Morocco Cooking Holiday – Marrakech & Essaouira
This Moroccan cooking holiday is a twin-centre tour where you will experience mystical and exotic Marrakech before travelling through argan countryside to the authentic coastal town of Essaouira. With the smell of spice in the air, you will discover the fusion of influences from Africa, Arabia and Spain which create the distinctive cuisine that Morocco is gaining worldwide respect for. Take part in a culinary class with a DADA, traditional Moroccan cook and stay in beautiful boutique hotels. Private driver & vehicle at your disposal.
Moroccan Cooking Holiday Day 1: Pick-up from Marrakech Airport & transfer to hotel
We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation which is a 5 star restored riad with pool, situated in the ancient medina. Depending on your time of arrival we may be able to visit the Majorelle Gardens. These striking botanical gardens, previously owned by Yves St Laurent, are set over 12 acres and contain the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech.
Moroccan Cooking Holiday Day 2: Marrakech Guided Sightseeing
Today you can really explore the world-famous city of Marrakech, the second oldest imperial city, known as the “Southern Pearl” of Morocco, which has for centuries been an important stop for traders and travellers alike. Your tour will include the Bahia Palace and the Saadian tombs. You will also visit the iconic Koutoubia Mosque whose minaret dominates the centre of Marrakech before continuing on to the Djemaa el Fna, which is one of the main cultural spaces in Marrakech and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will have the chance to relax at one of the many cafes surrounding the square while you absorb the sights and sounds of this tantalising city. Then, after lunch, experience the hustle and bustle of the aromatic souks of the Medina as you wind your way through the labyrinth of narrow alleyways and mysterious bazaars selling hand-made rugs, lanterns and spices. The guided tour finishes in the famous square, which transforms as night falls into a huge open-air restaurant, crammed with stalls lit by gas lanterns, and the air is filled with wonderful smells and plumes of cooking smoke spiralling up into the night.
Moroccan Cooking Holiday Day 3: Marrakech Cooking Workshop
The fusion of influences from Africa, Arabia and Spain create the distinctive cuisine that Morocco is gaining worldwide respect for. Spices, fruits and nuts feature extensively and the ingredients are fresh, natural, home grown and delicately balanced.
Today you will take part in a culinary class with a DADA, traditional Moroccan cook. Small groups with a maximum of ten participants work alongside a translator (Arabic / English /French) using easy to use modern equipment found in everyday kitchens. You will see how Moroccan bread is made and experience a traditional bread oven as well as learning to prepare a two-course meal. At the end of the workshop, you will dine on the meal you have prepared.
Moroccan Cooking Holiday Day 4: Essaouira
We will collect you from your riad this morning and make the 2.5-hour drive through lush valleys filled with orange groves and ancient olive trees to Essaouira.
On the way, we will stop at an argan oil cooperative where you can watch the entire process and have the opportunity to buy some high-grade pure argan oil products. If we’re lucky we will also see the amazing spectacle of goats climbing the argan trees to reach the fruits.
When we arrive in Essaouira we will provide a short tour in order to point out landmarks and help you get your bearings before taking you to your accommodation. You can elect to stay in a medina riad with spa and hammam or at a beldi chic retreat with pool set in the countryside twenty minutes outside of the town. Our driver will be available for you throughout your time here in order to provide transport whenever you require it.
Moroccan Cooking Holiday Day 5: Essaouira
Enjoy today at leisure. Perfect for pottering, the souks are hassle free in comparison to Marrakech and are renowned for their rich and varied handicrafts. There are zocos (markets) all over the city filled with textiles, jewellery, ceramics, musical instruments and handmade wooden items. Art galleries and small boutique shops are nestled between an abundance of café’s where you can chat with the locals while sipping mint tea and chilling out. Visit Si Said’s spice shop set in the spice market behind the fish market to purchase high-quality spices including locally produced saffron and royal tea blends. If you have room in your luggage, perhaps buy a tagine to bring home and try out your new skills.
Having been established in the 18th century as Morocco’s principal port, exporting goods brought from the caravan route from Timbuktu through desert and mountain, Moroccan Jews were encouraged to settle here in order to handle the European trade, with many Jewish buildings remaining in the “mellah” today.
Moroccan Cooking Holiday Day 6: Transfer back to Marrakech
Today we will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you back to Marrakech airport in plenty of time for your connection.
The guide price for this Morocco Cooking Holiday is £1369 pp (guide price only, based on two adults in mid-season.)
- Airport Transfers.
- Full availability of Private Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle including fuel for the duration of the trip.
- Experienced English speaking driver.
- Services of licensed official English-speaking guide in Marrakech.
- 5 night’s accommodation.
- Breakfast daily & one lunch.
- Culinary Workshop.
Some of our favourite recipes:-