MOROCCO

MARRAKESH, ESSAOUIRA, AGAFAY DESERT

(trip 1 of 2)
NOVEMBER 3 - 10, 2018

Trip must be paid in full.

Travel with a purpose and join Sisters Traveling Solo for our Cultural Experience to Morocco.  Our cultural experiences are designed to be less touristy and focus more on understanding the culture, people and history of each Country we visit. 

 

During our trip in Morocco we spend time in Marrakesh, Atlas, Eassouria, and have a luxury glamping experience in the Agafay desert!

This trip to Morocco was designed to give you a better understanding of the women of Morocco, their history and food.  From learning to make Moroccan bread, tea, argan oil; having our dinners made by local Chefs; visiting a women's weaving cooperative, women's association, meeting the local women in a Berber community; to and staying/renting out entire traditional Moroccan Raids; this trip allows you to get a deeper understanding of Moroccan culture.

— Dates   

 

Saturday, November 3 - Saturday, November 10, 2018

8 Days, 7 Nights - 3 Night in Marrakesh, 3 Nights in Eassouria, 1 Night in Glamping in Agafay desert. 
 

*Note: Our travel from Marrakesh to Eassouria will require a 2.5 hour drive. Our travel from Eassouria to the Agafay desert will require a 2 hour drive.  Agafay to Marrakesh is only a 40 minute drive.  All guest will fly in and out of Marrakesh.

— Cost (Includes all meals except free day)

 

$2,595* pp -  Shared Double Room; $3,095* pp - Single Room

(Hotel 3 nights, Riad 3 nights & Luxury Tent 1 night)

Cost Includes:  5 Star Accommodations, Tour Cost (horse and carriage tour, street food tour, walking tour, Atlas Mountain tour), 3 private dinners with meals prepared by 3 different guest Chef, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner except on free day), private music concert, traditional Moroccan spa treatment, bread making demonstration, ATV/Quad bike adventure,  airport and local transfers.

— Deposit

 

5 Star Lodging - $295 pp for shared double room;  $395 pp for single room 

— Maximum Trip Size

 

The maximum number of Sisters on this trip; 21
*does not include STS Staff
There will be NO waitlist once this trip sells out.

— Passport Required 

 

A valid passport is required to travel to Morocco.  The passport must be valid for 6 months past the trip return date.  Attendees are responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary documents to travel out of their Country.

 

Depending on your Country of residency, a visa may also be required.  Attendees are responsible for obtaining the necessary visa.

— Why book with a Cultural Experience with Sisters Traveling Solo?

Sisters Traveling Solo is traveling with a purpose! Our Cultural Experiences are a lot less touristy and are designed around food, history and people.  These trips will provide you with an in depth understanding of the Country we are visiting.  

 

On our Cultural Experiences we will work with the experts, the locals.  For these trips we specifically decided to partner with a local guide who is also a woman, so that our money helps support another Sister.  

These trips will not only affordable, but the trip cost won't change or increase.  And no extra fees are charged to those who prefer to use our trip payment options. 

 

All your travel needs will be handled from the moment you land.  We handle airport transfers, local transportation, accommodation needs, and connect you with other Sisters who share the same passion as you! Your only responsibility is booking your flight and enjoying Morocco!

— Itinerary 

 

DAY 1 (Nov. 3rd) - Marrakesh

Arrive at Marrakesh Menara Airport Marrakesh, Morocco. You will be met by one of our drivers, and transferred to our private Riad (Traditional Moroccan House) for a welcome tea and a short orientation. After check-in, take the rest of the afternoon at leisure rewinding from the long flight.

In the evening, at our Riad, we will all get together for a welcome dinner prepared by a local Chef.  Over dinner, we will get to know each other. 

 

Once our dinner is complete, we will enjoy a private concert by a local female folk singer.  The singer is an amazing older single woman who has lead a very unique life in Morocco.

 

DAY 2 (Nov. 4th) - Marrakesh

Today after breakfast, we will go on a guided walking cultural tour of the old city, and visit the photography museum to discover the Moroccan Empires unique past. 

During the afternoon, our local Chef from our 1st night will take us on a food tour. We will then get some time to shop in Africa's largest market.

Finishing our day up with a 1.5-hour traditional Hammam spa treatment massage.  The Moroccan Hammam has extreme importance to the Moroccan culture; it’s a weekly ritual. Moroccans have a traditional beauty regime of exfoliation, oils, natural masks, and massage; that has been practiced for generations.

After our dinner which will be prepared by another guest Chef, we will take a horse and carriage tour to discover the glittering French quarter (New City).

DAY 3 (Nov. 5th) - Marrakesh - Atlas Mountains day trip

Today after breakfast, we will take a 90-minute ride to the Atlas Mountains. The Atlas Mountains are home to the Berber villages. The Berbers are the original inhabitants of Morocco and have a very different culture and architecture then the other destinations we will visit. Women especially play a big role in these communities and since food is such an integral part of the society.

During our time in the Atlas Mountains, we will attend a bread making workshop. Bread is also a very important food in Morocco as people do not use forks and knives and instead eat with their hands. Because of this, Moroccan bread is extremely delicious and every region has a different way of preparing it. This specific region of the Atlas is very famous for a type of bread that is very thin and quick to bake.

For lunch, we will enjoy Couscous. Couscous is one of the most important dishes in Morocco and is always served on Fridays (holy day) before the mosque.

After lunch, we will visit the Timlil Mosque, take part in a tea workshop, visit a Berber Women's weaving cooperative, and tour a small Berber town before heading back to our Riad in Marrakesh.

DAY 4 (Nov. 6th) - Eassouira
 

On day 4, we depart for Eassaouria; a 2.5-hour drive from Marrakesh.  Our 1st stop in Essaouira will be a visit to a women’s Argan cooperative.  Indigenous to Morocco, the argan tree produces argan fruit which is gathered after ripening and laid in the sun to dry. The organic argan nuts are then hand-cracked by local Berber women in fair-trade cooperatives.

Argan oil is very precious and takes hours of physical work for the women to produce. In the cooperative, it takes three days and 16 pounds of argan nuts for one woman to make one liter. We will visit the Berber women to observe their traditional techniques and learn how the oil is extracted and all its benefits.

These women now have the opportunity to provide for their families and receive an education. The financial benefits reaped from selling the oil have allowed the village people to stay in and grow their own local economy instead of heading to the big cities to find work. The women have taken the money to build schools, homes, and community centers for the villages.

Check out this video:

https://youtu.be/EVxZZeKtU2U

After our time at the Women’s Argan Cooperative, we will head to our hotel to check in; the remainder of the day is free for you to explore or reflex.

DAY 5 (Nov. 7th) - Eassaouria
 

Today, after breakfast, we will go on a guided 3 hour walking historical tour of Essaouira.  The tour will include visiting the Jewish quarter and a recently restored synagogue. We will also visit the Portuguese fortress and the fishing port.

You will get a chance to see some of the local handicrafts workshops that are only produced in Essaouira like the Moroccan woodwork and the handmade rafia shoes.

We will also make a stop at a local art gallery to meet some local well-known artists who will talk about their work and the history of art in Essaouira.

For lunch, we will partake in a fish bbq, and later in the afternoon, we will attend a traditional Moroccan music and drumming workshop.  Spending the afternoon with Imad a local musician and instrument maker with deep Gnawa roots. He will take us on a journey through Medina to discover the sacred and traditional world of the Gnawa.

Gnawa Music is a spiritual music from Morocco that is traditionally used to induce trance and healing ceremonies.  Simply put Gnawa, is the music of former enslaved black Africans who integrated into the Moroccan cultural and social life. We will get to play some of the traditional Gnawa instruments as well as experience a private dance presentation from a Gnawa dancer.

We will learn about their history and traditions and the steps required to become a Gnawa musician. We will finish off with a 30min drumming exercise where we will be split up into groups to learn and practice different basic rhythms and then join back together in a circle to play.

Here is an example of some of the rhythms.

https://youtu.be/p2vdvCy2qho

 

DAY 6 (Nov. 8th) - Eassaouria
 

On our final full day in Essaouira, we will start our day by visiting a local women’s association.  The local women's association is a non profit organization that helps single mothers in Morocco. If a women has a child out of wedlock in Morocco she is usually rejected by her family and society leading many to end up on the street.

 

This organization provides skills training, day care and housing to single moms and helps them get jobs and permanent housing.  They have a restaurant they set up where they hold classes and serve meals. We take a tour of the facility, meet the moms and kids, and then lunch together.

 

After our visit to the local women's association, we will return to our hotel and reflex pool at the beach for the remainder of the day as we enjoy lunch and each other’s company.

This evening we will enjoy a private dinner and concert with Gnawa Masters and Dancers. 

DAY 7 (Nov. 9th) - Agafay Desert
 

Our final full day in Morocco will check out and head to our ATV excursion.  Our excursion includes a beach and Dunes tour. 

After some fun in the sun, we will have lunch at a local cheese farm.  The food at the cheese farm is a fusion of Moroccan and French cuisine with local ingredients right off their farm.  The restaurant is owned a Moroccan man who is handicapped and a true character! 

After lunch, we will depart for a 2-hour ride to the Agafay desert for our Moroccan glamping experience.  After check-in, we will enjoy Moroccan tea.  After check-in you will have the option of relaxing or taking a camel ride.

In the evening we will enjoy our final dinner under the stars. 

DAY 8 (Nov. 10th) - Departure
 

On our final day, we will enjoy breakfast and begin to departure for our 40-minute ride back to Marrakesh Menara Airport International Airport. The last transfer will depart at our noon check out time.

— Included in the Cost   

Private Facebook Group - Once deposit has been paid, you will receive an invitation to our private Facebook group.  In the group, we answer all questions you may have regarding your upcoming trip.  The private Facebook group allows you to connect with others before you go, share travel tips, and maintain friendships when you return.

'Know Before You Go' Call - To ensure you are all ready for your trip, we will hold a conference call two weeks before the trip to go over our 'Know Before You Go' document. 

Airport Transfers – We’ll arrange your airport pickup and drop off from Marrakesh Menara Airport International Airport.  And coordinate with our drivers to get you and a few others from the airport to our Riad.

 

Local Transportation - All ground transportation to and from our activities.

 

Accommodations - 8 days, 7 nights 5 Star Accommodations Star (3 nights in Riad, 3 nights in hotel, and 1 night in luxury tent) in Morocco

Activities – As descripted in the above itinerary.

 

Meals -  Daily breakfast, Daily lunch and Daily dinners included except on free day (does not include alcohol). 

 

STS Apparel – Each guest will be provided with a STS T-shirt.

— Accommodations   

Accommodation -  8 days, 7 nights 5 Star Accommodations Star (3 nights in Riad, 3 nights in hotel, and 1 night in luxury tent) in Morocco

Hotel Lodging - Each room includes 2 Twin Beds (double occupancy) or 1 Double bed (single occupancy)

Riad Lodging - We have rented two Riads for this trip; both within walking distance of each other.  The Riads consist of 3 different single occupancy room types; double occupancy will be in standard twin rooms; two members per room. 

 

Single occupancy members will be able to choose from a Standard Room, Junior Suite, or Superior Suite during our stay in our Riads.  An additional $50 for Junior Suites, and $100 for Superior Suites will be added to the deposit. This will be a one time charge. 

 

There are a limited number of Junior and Superior Suites and they are first come first serve.  If the selection is not available at booking that means the room type is not available. There is a limit on each room type there will be no changing rooms once booked. 

Double Occupancy in Riad

Twin Rooms -  two twin beds (2 members per room)
Twin Junior Suites - two twin beds (2 members per room) add $50 to trip deposit

Single Occupancy in Riad

Standard Room - 1 queen bed (1 member per room) or

Junior Suite -  1 queen bed (1 member per room) add $50 to trip deposit or

Superior Suite - 1 queen bed (1 member per room) add $100 to deposit

 

Luxury Tent Lodging - All tents include a private bathroom

Double Occupancy in Tent

Twin Tent -  two twin beds (2 members per tent)
 

Single Occupancy in Tent

Single Tent -  one standard bed (1 member per tent)


Roommates – If you do not have a paid roommate, we will pair you with another STS member.  If you have a roommate who has paid their deposit, please provide us with their name and we will pair you two.

— Total Cost

 

Shared Double Room - $2,595 per person

Deposit Required - $295 per person; 8 Monthly Payments - $288
(Plus $50 for Junior Suite deposit)

Single Room - $3,095 per person

Deposit Required - $395 per person; 8 Monthly Payments - $338

(Plus $100 for Suite deposit)

Non-refundable deposit due to guarantee booking.  If you cancel your trip your deposit can be applied to a future Sisters Traveling Solo (STS) trip if your trip is not cancelled because of missed payments.  If your trip is cancelled due to missed payments, you cannot apply the deposit to any future STS trips. 

 

— Payment Terms

Full Payment Special - $100 off total cost if full payment is made on 12/01/17 - $2,495 per person for shared double room.  $2,995 for single room

Pay Remaining Balance over 8-month period (January - August) - Monthly payment is total cost of $2,495 double occupancy ($3,095 single occupancy) minus trip deposit dividend by 8. Payments are due on the 1st of each month regardless of when deposit is made.  Payments must be made on time.

A $75 late charge will be applied to all payments made after the 3-day grace period.  Missed payments will be applied to the next month plus the $75 late fee. Trip will be automatically cancelled after two missed payments.  No refund of deposit or payments will be provided to a trip cancelled due to missed payments. If trip is cancelled due to missed payments, trip deposit cannot be applied to any future Sisters Traveling Solo trips.

Your trip must be paid in full by 8/1/18. Please contact us if you are having difficulties making your payment.

 

 

— Refund Policy

Full refunds minus the nonrefundable deposit will be given up until February 1, 2018.  After February 1, 2018, there will be no refunds.

Non-refundable deposit due to guarantee booking.  If you cancel your trip your deposit can be applied to a future Sisters Traveling Solo (STS) trip if your trip is not cancelled because of missed payments.  If your trip is cancelled due to missed payments, you cannot apply the deposit to any future STS trips.  Deposits cannot be applied to payments of another trip.  Deposits can only be applied to the deposit of a future trip that you are currently no making payments on.

 

 

— Booking

 

Shared Double Room

1. Full Payment Special - Pay in full on 12/01/17 - $2,495 for $100 Off

2. Monthly Payment Plan (January - August) $295 (or $345) deposit with $288 monthly payments

Single Room

1. Full Payment Special - Pay in full on 12/01/17 - $2,995 for $100 Off

2. Monthly Payment Plan (January - August) $395 (or $495) deposit with $338 monthly payments

— Not Included in the Cost   

Flights -  Roundtrip flight into Marrakesh Menara Airport

Alcoholic Beverages - Alcoholic beverages are not included in cost

Meals - Meals on half a free day; on Day 4, November 6, 2018

Souvenirs - Cost of souvenirs.

Gratuity - for Guides, Drivers, or Waiters. 

Additional Excursions -  Outside of what was mentioned above

Visas - Any travel visas that may required based on Country of residency

— Bookings opened on December 1, 2017

We have listed, and we working to give you a little more time to save for our trips.  This trip will open on December 1, 2017.    

 

You must be a member of Sisters Traveling Solo to book this trip.  On December 1, 2017 at 8am Eastern time we will post, in our Sisters Traveling Solo group we will share the password to book this trip. 

If you are not a member join us on Facebook by clicking the underlined link.

— Terms & Conditions and Travel Advisory

 

Agreement to our Terms & Conditions and Travel Advisory is required when submitting our travel registration form.


— Required After Deposit Is Paid

 

Travel Insurance - Travel Insurance is not provided but is REQUIRED to attend this trip.  You will be asked to show proof of travel insurance before we depart.  A minimum of $250,000 in travel insurance is REQUIRED. Travel insurance can be obtain when you purchase you flight or with World Nomad using the link below.

— Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact us at SistersTravelingSolo@gmail.com

We will be happy to answer all your questions regarding this trip.

 

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