Mesmerized In Morocco

Looking for the best yoga retreat in Morocco?

Join us in Essaouira, a relaxed fishing town on the coast of Morocco for inspiring yoga practices, incredible Moroccan food and wine, pampering hammam and spa day, camel rides on the beach, like-minded travel buddies and so much more. We have been traveling to Morocco with yoga retreat groups since 2012 and it is one of our favorite trips!

Come along to find out why we believe it’s truly the perfect yoga retreat.

March 14 - 21, 2020 March 21 - 28, 2020 April 4 - 11, 2020 April 11 - 18, 2020 October 10 - 17, 2020 October 17 - 24, 2020

Yoga Retreat Morocco

About Includes Itinerary Stay Pricing Payments Video Travel Tips Guide Gallery

About

Experience the amazing culture, cuisine, charm, and charisma of Morocco with us on the best yoga retreat around!

Morocco is one of our long time, favorite destinations for our yoga retreats. We have chosen Essaouira, a laid-back fishing village on the coast as our home for the week. Incredible shopping, pampering beauty treatments, live music venues, delicious Moroccan cuisine, and a lively night life make the perfect combo for a balance of yoga and exploration.

Our Morocco yoga retreat includes daily yoga, meals, pampering spa day, cooking class, henna, camel rides and a guided trip into Marrakech, not to mention tons of fun, free time and new travel friends.

Join us on this incredible Morocco yoga retreat adventure and get to know Morocco with the locals while learning a bit about yourself along the way.

Includes

RETREAT PACKAGE INCLUDES

 

7 nights in a massive seaside Castle turned Riad

Traditional breakfast daily on the rooftop with seaviews

Three delicious dinners at our Riad including local wines from Mogador*

Yoga classes and workshops as per the Itinerary

Grounding circle with mint tea & cookies

Henna designs on hands and feet

Argan Farm excursion with lunch included

Countryside Spa day with traditional hamman body scrub, one hour massage with local argan oil and lunch

Guided group adventure into Marrakech to explore the pulse of the country; includes trip to the famous Marjorelle Gardens of Yves Saint Laurent, a visit to the famous Ben Yousself Koran School, and free time for shopping

Cooking class of traditional dishes with a guided adventure to the spice market for shopping; lunch included

A free day to explore as you wish

Camel ride along the secluded coastline with Mogador island as our backdrop

All local taxes

What’s not included :

Airfare & Airport Transfers
Alcohol, bottled water
2 lunches & 3 dinners on your own
Travel insurance
Extras
Staff Gratuities (suggested between $50-100usd for the incredible staff)

 

Flight options to arrive into Essaouira-Mogador airport (ESU), Marrakech Menara (RAK) airport or Casablanca’s Mohammed V International (CMN) are all available to you. We can arrange transfers and potentially pair those arriving at similar times. Please forward along your flights once you have them to see about the possibilities. Please review our Travel Tips Guide below for more.


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Itinerary

Morocco Yoga RETREAT ITINERARY*


DAY ONE

Arrival & Settle-in**  
3:00pm Riad check-in
5pm Grounding circle & opening stretch
6:30pm Henna designs on hands and feet with Moroccan cookies and mint tea
8pm Dinner together as a group

 


DAY TWO

7:30am Coffee, tea & fruit available
8:30-10am Mindful Flow Yoga Practice
10:15am Breakfast
11:30am Group outing to explore the Ramparts, the souks and the Medina
1pm Lunch together at a local Argan Farm; Argan oil production demo and farm walk
6:30-7:30pm Gentle Yoga
Dinner on your own

 


DAY THREE

7:30am Coffee, tea & fruit available
8:30-10am Mindful Flow Yoga Practice 
10:15am Breakfast
11am Countryside Spa Day : Enjoy a traditional Hammam black soap body scrub with eucalyptus followed by a body mask made from local plants and herbs. A one hour relaxing massage with argan oil to follow. A lovely BBQ lunch will be enjoyed poolside at the Country Club, all included*.
6:30-7:30pm Gentle flow
8pm Dinner together as a group at the riad

**Please note half the group will enjoy the cooking class on this day and come to the spa on Day Four as to optimize space and our time.


DAY FOUR

7:30am Coffee, tea & fruit available
8:30-10am Mindful Flow Yoga Practice
10:15am Breakfast
11am – 5pm Traditional Moroccan Cuisine Cooking Class & Market tour w/ lunch of our labors
6:30 -7:30pm Specialty afternoon workshop
Dinner on your own

 

**Please note half the group will enjoy the Countryside Spa on this day and come to the cooking class on Day Three as to optimize space and our time. 


DAY FIVE

7:30am Breakfast
8:30am Group outing to the pulse of the country, Marrakech. Personalized tour with local guide to the famous Marjorelle Gardens owned by the late Yves Saint Laurent, we will enjoy lunch in the gardens (on your own) then head to the Ben Youssef Madrasa Islamic College to see an incredible sample of Moroccan architecture. We will walk through the back-alley souks where the artisans of Marrakech are busy at work dying yard, welding metal, cutting leather, and hammering out lanterns. A real insider’s visit to the best shopping the souks has to offer. We will break to do some shopping on our own and meet in the famous Jemaa el Fnaa square at 6:45pm to head to an amazing dinner on a rooftop overlooking the city. Dinner on your own here but we will eat together.
9:30pm Return to Essaouira

  


DAY SIX

7:30am Coffee, tea & fruit available
8:30-10:30am Mindful Flow Yoga Practice
10:45am Breakfast
11am-7pm Free time to explore as you wish; lunch on your own. Take a kite lesson, visit a local argan oil producer, enjoy quiet beach or pool time, or check out the amazing shopping in the Medina.  Make sure to catch some live music as that is one of the amazing things that Essaouria is known for by night!
Dinner on your own

  


DAY SEVEN

7:30am Coffee, tea & fruit available
8:30-10am Mindful Flow Yoga Practice
10:15am Breakfast
11am-4pm Camel rides on the beach
6-7:30pm Gentle flow evening practice
8pm Farewell Dinner together as a group

  


DAY EIGHT

7:30am Coffee, tea & Breakfast available
Departure Day***

 


*This itinerary is subject to adjustments, changes in times, locations, or activities as the retreat leaders and hosts see fit. Any change will be on par with our standards or an upgrade in services or location making for an even more amazing experience for the group and our guests. Thank you in advance for your flexibility and cooperation if any situation were to arise.

**Please plan to sleep well on the plane or arrive a day or two early in order to acclimate yourself to the change in time. If you will stay in Marrakech for a few days upon arrival we recommend staying at Chambre d’amis in the Medina. We love it!

***We will pair those arriving and departing at similar times in shared cars for an additional cost if you like. Please send along your flight details if you are interested in this service.


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Stay

OCEAN VIEWS & CLASSIC CASTLE ARCHITECTURE

Accommodations at one of the best locations in all of Essaouira for exploring the souks, ramparts, nightlife and fishing port. Located in the heart of the Medina in the former residence of Mogador notables, our hotel has kept its architectural heritage and friendly premise intact. Not to mention Villa Maroc has been featured in Vogue, Maison, Elle, and many other publications for its style and charm.

 

Essaouira as a city is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. This Atlantic castle is our home for the week offering many nooks and crannies for escape to the roof to read, enjoy a glass of wine by the fire, or take a spa service in the hammam downstairs.

  

Room styles vary including fireplaces, terraces, and seaviews depending on your choice. We are offering Shared Double and Triple rooms as well as Private Suites and Economy Rooms. All accommodations are unique and charming with special details and gorgeous furnishings.

 

All rooms have private bathrooms en-suite, some with showers and some with bathtub/shower combo. Come explore this lovely property with us in the charming seaside town of Essaouira!


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Pricing

Morocco Retreat Pricing


SHARED TRIPLE ROOMS

Shared Triple rooms have 3 twin beds, ensuite bathroom and adorable details.

2,550 Euro per person


SHARED DOUBLE SUITES

 

Shared Double rooms have 2 twin beds, ensuite bathroom, and adorable details.
2,695 Euro per person


PRIVATE SUPERIOR ROOM

1 Queen bed, sitting area, ensuite bathroom, and charming details
3,075 Euro private; 2,570 Euro per person shared bed*


PRIVATE ECONOMY ROOM

1 Queen bed, ensuite bathroom, charming details
2,830 Euro private; 2,445 Euro per person shared bed*

 

* You must provide your bedmate for these options.

We will pair single travelers together looking to share a room. Roommates should book their accommodations together. There will be plenty of space for alone time around the riad during the retreat. It is a larger property with several different sitting areas both indoors and out.


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Payments

Morocco Yoga Retreat Payments

Deposits* of $750usd are due to secure your space in the retreat.

The balance of your retreat (minus your $750usd initial deposit*) is due 90 days prior to arrival. All details for this will be emailed to the group three months before the retreat.

You may pay with a credit card via PayPal, a bank wire transfer, Zelle, or deposit a check into our bank account to settle your balance. We also accept Bitcoin. We understand how much fees blow…though some of these options do incur a fee that will be passed on to you. Please see the itemized list below.

                                          

PayPal = 4% We can no longer accept Friends & Family payments. IF you have an active US PayPal account you may be able to send us funds with no fees. If fees are incurred we will roll them over into your balance due.

Bank Wire = please add $20usd to your total

Zelle or dropping a check into our Chase account = Free

Bitcoin = any transaction fees your wallet requires

Please let us know your preferred method of payment and we will send you the appropriate information right away.


MAKE YOUR DEPOSIT HERE :

Please check availability with us for accommodations before making your $750usd deposit*

Roommates should book together. If you would like to share a room and do not have a roommate we will provide one for you if possible. In the case that there is no one to share a room we ask that you take a private economy room instead.

To make your deposit with a credit card, please click the link below. You will be directed to Paypal.com. A 4% fee will be charged with this method.


Retreat Dates



POLICIES


CANCELLATION POLICY

Cancellations made within 90 days or less of arrival are 100% non-refundable. All initial deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

CLIENT RESPONSIBILITY

The acceptance of a verbal or written confirmation from YOGA & ADVENTURES WORLDWIDE (Y&AWW) constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions listed herein. Participants are responsible to be adequately insured, therefore Traveler’s Insurance is strongly recommended*. Y&AWW and its staff assume no responsibility nor liability for any delay, loss, damage, injury or accident with regards to persons or property which may be caused by fault or negligence of any third party vendor. This includes hotels, transportation providers, and local operators participating in part for our services. Y&AWW shall be held harmless for any expense caused by injury or accident, to any participants as well as any loss or damage of personal items while on our tours. We reserve the right to make any changes to services and itineraries, with or without notice, which may become necessary.

Yoga & Adventures Worldwide, its affiliates, retreat facilitators, hotels, third party vendors, and tour providers, the ownership, or staff, of course, cannot be held responsible for events that are outside of our control. There are no refunds as per our cancellation policies. We highly recommend that all of our guests secure a quality travel insurance that will cover them for ANY event which may cause for a change of travel plans, or for ANY unfortunate event including but of course not limited to:

– Transportation delays, cancellations or changes due to strikes, labor disputes, or lockouts from airlines, boats, ferries or any type of transportation
– Any inconvenience or complication caused by bad weather, storms, and hurricanes : a direct hit, near miss, or significant threat of a hurricane strike
– Government/political actions, events or situations; threats or acts of terrorism, acts of war or declared war.
– Personal health issues or personal situations in general which may affect travel plans
– Any loss, theft or damage of personal items at any stage of your trip
– Any accident causing injury during any stage of your trip

AIG offers Travel Guard at affordable rates. Please let us know if you have chosen to purchase insurance or declined at final balance due.

By submitting payments toward your retreat you accept these Terms and Conditions.

If you have any questions regarding the details of this retreat please feel free to contact us to set up a Skype conversation or to receive further info via email.

CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS

Video

Our dynamic and amazing Morocco Yoga Retreat as captured by Anna Fishkin and edited by Reed Rickert of Modern Maya : Nomadic Media Collective.

Travel Tips Guide

Morocco Travel Tips Guide

GETTING TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT :

There are several options for arriving in Morocco to meet the group. Typically the best choice is Marrakech airport for flights but please see the options below for details :

1.  Fly directly into Essaouira-Mogador Airport (ESU). A driver can be arranged to pick you up and bring you to the edge of the Medina just steps from our Riad.  There are men with carts available to help you with luggage to the hotel once you get to the walking district.

2.  Fly into Marrakech’s Menara International Airport (RAK). There are many flight daily from major cities worldwide. We recommend that you take a taxi from the airport to the “Supratours” bus station, which offers cheap bus travel to Essaouira (about 60 Dirham each + 5 Dirham per bag = US$8, 3 hours, four buses daily).

The Supratours station is very close to the train station in Marrakech, so if you get lost, you can ask for the “gare de trenes”, and it is right around the corner. Supratours will take you to the center of Essaouira, right in between the Bab Sbaa and Bab Marrakech entrance to the Medina. Alternatively a driver can be arranged to bring you directly to the Riad from the airport. Travel time is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

3.  Flights into Casablanca International Airport (CMN-Mohammed V) are considerably less expensive than flights directly into Marrakech.  You have two choices for taking public transport :

Simplest Option

The simplest would be to take the train (located in the CMN airport) to Marrakech (130 dirham = about £11 or US$17, about 4 hours travel). Then, leave the main entrance to the train station, take a right on Avenue Mohammed VI, and another right when you get to the roundabout (this road is N8) You will pass Hotel Ibis, and find the “”Supratours” bus station (about 60 Dirham each + 5 Dirham per bag = US$8, 3 hours traveling, four daily). Supratours will take you to the center of Essaouira, right in between the Bab Sbaa and Bab Marrakech entrance to the Medina.

Also from the Mohammed V Airport, you can take the hourly train to the Casa Port station (about 40 dirham each, with a train change at the Ain Sebaa train station). From the Casa Port station, walk 1 km towards the “Place Zellaqa”, where you should see the “Compagnie de Transports au Maroc” (CTM) bus station. CTM is the state bus station of Morocco, and has 2 buses daily from Casablanca (130 Dirhams = about US$12, 6-7 hours traveling) to Essaouira.  Alternatively, a driver can be arranged to bring you directly to the Riad from the airport. Travel time is approximately 4 to 4.5 hours.

Please check out this link for more on train travel in Morocco.

If you would like us to organize a private car service for you (or try to share with others arriving at a similar time) please forward your flight itinerary and we will coordinate your ride to the Riad in Essarouira directly from the airport. We expect that most retreat participants will be arriving a few days before the retreat and spending time in Marrakech, another location of their choice, or coming directly to Essaouria.

We recommend Chambres d’amis, Ryad Dyor, and Riad Dar-K in Marrakech for a stay in the Red City and booking a room with Villa Maroc if you’d like to come right to Essaouira early. Please let us know about this and we will try to get your same room for you during your extended stay.

A private ride from RAK to Villa Maroc is around $100usd one way and from CMN to Villa Maroc $200usd one way (at the time of writing). If we have others with similar arrivals we can try to pair you together to share the ride and the cost. Please check with us when booking flights.

Most citizens are allowed to enter Morocco without a visa if you are staying for less than 90 days. If you are a citizen of Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, or Jordan you may need to apply for a visa. Other countries do not. Please check with us if you have any doubts.

AIRLINE TICKET TIPS AND TRICKS :

1.  Each time you plan to search for flights you should ‘Clear Browsing Data’ from your device.  Google how to here. This deletes any previous searches from your computer so you get a fresh start with pricing out flights.

2.  There is a sweet spot for buying airline tickets 6 weeks before your trip on a Tuesday.

3.  Huffington Post also has these suggestions that might be helpful.

4.  I use Google Flights to find the best dates and rates for travel. Check it out, you will love it!

PLEASE NOTE YOUR PASSPORT MUST BE VALID FOR 6 MONTHS AFTER YOU ARRIVE INTO THE COUNTRY. PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK YOUR EXPIRATION DATE PRIOR TO BOOKING.

WHAT TO WEAR & WHAT TO BRING

 

DRESS

Morocco is a progressive Muslim country with much respect and rights for women. You can see everything from full head-to-toe coverage to sheer wraps over bikinis in Morocco but the majority of foreign women wear skirts or capris, comfortable walking shoes, and a modest top. Try to stick with outfits that extend to the knee and cover the shoulders and collar bone. This type of dress will eliminate much of the unwanted attention you may receive based on appearance.

Weather at this time of year is in the mid to high 70s F during the day with mild sunshine. Evenings cool quite quickly so please be prepared with a warmer jacket or shawl. Essaouira is know as being a very windy place (kiteboarders abound!!) so a wrap is always a good idea to have handy. You can expect a bit of rain during this time of year versus the hot and dry summer months so bring a portable umbrella that packs easily just in case.

BRING

Our Riad does NOT provide any yoga props so please bring your own mat (I find that folding mind in quarters and laying it at the bottom of my suitcase flat works quite well). Blocks, straps, and blankets will be improvised or you can bring your own if they are a pertinent part of your practice.

Feel free to bring a journal for capturing your thoughts or any art supplies to stretch your creative muscle in this very artistically inclined city.

Sunglasses, sun hat, good walking shoes, comfortable and appropriate clothing, yoga clothes, a bathing suit, as well as your camera are all good items to have with you.

A Universal Adaptor for plugs is necessary so please plan to bring one along for charging devices.  Morocco has European style 2 prong outlets.

Shopping is at every turn in Morocco so it may be a good idea to pack a collapsable yet sturdy duffle bag at the bottom of your large suitcase (leave space as well for extra goodies you’ll surely pick up!). I usually pack a smaller carry on with all my items for a trip then place it inside my empty larger suitcase to check PLUS the empty duffle bag inside it all (but i LOVE to shop)!

If that is too much for you and you find yourself in need of a bag one can be purchased in Morocco to bring back home filled with your new treasures.


CULTURE & MOROCCAN NATIONALS

Overall Morocco is an amazing and most hospitable country therefore women traveling alone should not be afraid, just sensible, respectful, aware, and cautious.

For the most part Moroccans are incredibly open-minded, especially in cities where tourism is common (Marrakesh, Casablanca, Fes, Essaouira, Rabat, Meknes, and Ouarzazate) and you will find it quite easy to have conversations with locals (in souks and hotels) about world politics, the cultural and historical traditions of Morocco and the economy.

Moroccans who work in the tourism industry and in the souks tend to be multi-lingual and up to date on world politics. If you are a person who enjoys conversation during your travels you will find the opportunity to discuss many things within the souks and markets while you are shopping and being offered the traditional hospitality of mint tea.

Female Travelers

If you are a female traveler in Morocco there is little to worry about as long as you maintain respectful dress and carry yourself appropriately. The popularity of tourism caused the Moroccan economy to undergo a process of liberalization and modernization, consequently altering some societal values.

Today, Moroccan women are taking more active roles in the government, law, medicine, warfare, and trade. There is also an increase in university enrollment among the younger generation, ultimately, leading to a more open-minded youth and a greater tolerance for modern ideas and western influences.

Consequently, Moroccans are getting more used to seeing females (particularly tourists) visiting cafes and other places that were in the past were primarily frequented by men.

 

TIPS FOR FEMALE TRAVELERS

Don’t react to catcalls, whistles, or anything else directed at you.

Dress conservatively, no mini skirts, shorts, tank tops or tight shirts.

Enjoy the culture by becoming a participant and dress in a Caftan or Jellabah (the traditional robe worn by local women).

Don’t go out on your own at night if you are not in a major city or area that is well lit.

If asked, let people know you are married and carry a photo of your ‘husband’ with you or buy yourself a modest ring to wear on your wedding finger.

If you feel you are being harassed or followed, walk into a shop or hotel and ask for help.

If you are lost ask directions from a woman or family.

If you feel threatened by someone make a scene by shouting loudly to shame the person.

If you speak French, Spanish, or Arabic it will make it easier to stand up for yourself if you encounter undesirable behavior.

If it is possible, travel in a group of women or with a male. While tourists are welcome all over Morocco, Moroccans are still uncomfortable with the idea of a solo female traveler; with the exception of major cities.

Public displays of affection such as kissing are considered taboo in Morocco and should be reserved for the privacy of your Riad or hotel room.