Discover the tradition and history of Moroccan Gardens on this nationally guided Boutique Tour to Morocco developed by horticulture and garden experts for garden enthusiasts.
Journey through Morocco's private and public green spaces and experience the sensory pleasures of lush gardens and flora on this exotic 7-Day tour that includes Morocco’s Imperial Cities and rural regions. The Gardens of Marrakesh Tour is an ideal way to connect with fellow gardeners and garden-lovers from around the world while exploring the ancient gardens of Morocco with licensed historical guides, expert gardeners, botanists, and herbalists to share their knowledge of the local history and flora.
GARDENS & PUBLIC GREEN SPACES VISITED ON THE TOUR
- Andalusian Gardens at Kasbah Oudaia and Exotic Gardens at Sidi Bouknadal in the Rabat region
- Moorish and Art Deco Gardens at Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh
- Propagator and Native Drought-Tolerant Nurseries in Marrakesh
- Historic Landmark Garden at La Mamounia in Marrakesh
- Oasis Gardens at the Palmerie in Marrakesh
- El Harti Gardens and the Cyber Park in Marrakesh
- Marrakesh Private Villa Garden
- Saffron Gardens in the Ourika Valley
- Herbal and Medicinal Gardens at Nectarome in the Ourika Valley
- Gardens at La Roseraie in the Ouirgane region
DAY 1: CASABLANCA - RABAT
(Driving Time: 1 1/2 Hours)
- Arrive in Casablanca.
- Visit the Mosque of Hassan II. Casablanca is home to the Hassan II Mosque, designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. Situated on a promontory overlooking the Atlantic with a gigantic glass floor and room for 25,000 worshippers, the Mosque is an enormous architectural masterpiece, the second largest religious building in the world with the world’s tallest minaret.
- Visit Kasbah of the Udayas and Andalusian Gardens.
- Tea and Pastries at Café Maure in the Kasbah Oudaia.
- Located on a rocky outcrop high above the river the Kasbah Oudaia was an imposing sight for pirates of yore. When you enter the grounds of Oudaia you immediately notice the Andalusian influence, with whitewashes walls and blue accents throughout, cobblestone streets, massive doors, and beautifully wrought iron. The formally structured Andalusian-style gardens are bordered with red hibiscus, hedges, morning glories, angel’s trumpets, date palms, and orange trees with long walkways shaded by grape vines.
- The Kasbah of the Udayas also has beautiful and quiet residential areas and is a haven for artists attracted to the beauty of the area and soothing tranquillity.
- Lunch by the sea at Borj Eddar in Rabat. Visit Sidi Bouknadel Exotic Gardens.
- In 1951, Marcel François, a French horticultural engineer acquired 4 acres of land in Sale, Morocco, and ten years later he opened his childhood dream, Bouknadel Exotic Gardens, a horticultural and artistic achievement, listed among the wonders of nature and classified as a national cultural heritage site in 2003.
- The gardens are a composition of exuberant creativity and technical ability. Francois traveled all over the world collecting plants from China, South Asia, the Savannah, the Congo, Japan, Brazil, and Polynesia.
- The gardens are divided into three areas: a reception area, horticultural production area, and, by far the most impressive, the garden area. All through the garden there are secret passages, waterfalls, swamps, pools, fountains, bridges, and an aviary all accessible via charming walkways throughout the garden.
- Welcome Dinner at Sofitel Le Jardin Des Roses.
- Spend the night at Sofitel Le Jardin Des Roses in Rabat.
DAY 2: RABAT - MARRAKESH
(Driving Time: 4 1/2 Hours)
- Breakfast at your Riad or Hotel in Rabat.
- Visit the Kasbah of Chellah Gardens. This walled area was once an ancient Roman city and a Merinid necropolis. The area has been converted into a series of gardens and display a wide variety of plant life, flowers, and colors.
- Lunch in Rabat. Then take the road to Marrakesh. Arrive in Marrakesh. Settle into your hotel. Option to explore the Djemaa El Fna Square and an evening out on the town.
- Dine and spend the night at a riad or hotel in Marrakesh with a garden setting.
DAY 3: MARRAKESH
- Breakfast at your riad or hotel.
- Visit to the Majorelle Gardens
- Early rise. Start your visit at 8am in the Majorelle Gardens to take advantage of the optimal morning light. The atmosphere of the Majorelle Gardens is peaceful and the area composed and colored like a painting. Moorish and Art Deco inspired structures with bold color palettes are assembled among a vast, opulent array of exotic plants and trees collected from the far reaches of the world. The courageous use of the famous Majorelle blue paint in the architectural design enlivens the garden and acts as a strong backdrop to the plant collection with over 1800 types of cacti, 400 species of palms, and other rare varieties of flora. This bold action revolutionized the way in which gardens are viewed. An elaborate system of canals connects the planted areas and infuse the garden with the sight and sound water. The contrasting effects of light and shadow are repeatedly played against each other throughout the gardens capturing the harsh sunlight and transforming it into a tamed element that defies an.
- Visit the El Bahia Palace. The El Bahia Palace in Marrakesh is a beautiful building and an excellent example of Eastern Architecture from the 19th century that represents the trends and standards of the wealthy at that time. The palace is surrounded by an eight hectare garden.
DAY 3: MARRAKESH CONTINUED
- Lunch in the old Medina of Marrakesh and explore the souks. Visit La Mamounia Gardens
- Go by horse and carriage to La Mamounia’s Landmark Gardens. Tea and garden tour of La Mamounia Gardens, if available. Built in 1929, this famous historical landmark hotel and gardens in the center of Marrakesh is cared for by 40 gardeners who twice a year plant 60,000 annuals. The gardeners provide immaculate care for the citrus and olive orchards, desert gardens, rose gardens, and tropical gardens, as well as the many fountains. The 200 year old avenue of olive trees leads one to the garden pavilion where you can soak in the peace and solitude with a cup of Moroccan mint tea. At the back of the 15 hectare gardens there is an herb and kitchen garden whose produce is used in the fresh daily menus at the hotel.
- End the day visiting the Harti Gardens and Cyber Park. Option to enjoy these public parks, shop in the old city souks, or relax at your hotel.
- The Harti Gardens is located in the new city of Gueliz and dates back to the Almoravid dynasty. Harti has an Olive Avenue, a Desert Cactus Garden, and a Rose Garden all set among mature trees. This garden is a combination of a city center garden and park where young and old come to enjoy its serene atmosphere.
- Cyber Park is a beautiful 8 hectare park in the heart of Marrakesh just a five minute walk from Djemaa El Fna Square. Cyber Park was originally a vegetable garden created in the 18th century by Prince Moulay Abdeslam. This expansive park uses the ancient Moroccan trench irrigation method for the lemon and olive groves. Public computer terminals are available throughout the park and there is an internet cafe in the center.
- Spend the night at a riad or hotel in Marrakesh with a garden setting.
DAY 4: MARRAKESH
- Breakfast at your riad or hotel.
- Begin the day with a drive-through tour of the Marrakesh Palmerie. The legend of the plamerie is that the millions of seeds from the dates eaten and thrown away by the nomads traveling from the Sahara all came together at this particular place. The Palmerie’s oasis of 13,000 hectares with over 100,000 trees has been protected by law since 1929. For the Arabs, the palm tree is a symbol of life, the most generous of all trees as it gives shade to everyone except itself. The Phoenix Dactylifera (date palm) grows up to 30 m high and can live up to 300 years. Every year 82,000 tons of dates are harvested from the Palmerie. Today the palm grove is mixed with exclusive private gardens and palatial villas.
- Next, visit MOB Nursery in Marakech. The MOB Nursery covers 12 hectares and employs 70 gardeners who maintain and produce ornamental trees, fruit trees, herbs, cactus, shrubs, annuals, perennials in greenhouses and ground plantings. They have on-site specialists in plant identification, pest control, aboriculture and garden designs.
- Visit a local Marrakesh Villa Garden and enjoy a mint tea ceremony and Moroccan sweets.
- Lunch at Flower Power Café, a one of a kind wholly organic restaurant that offers home made dishes with salads, herbs, and vegetables all grown on site next to the café. The café is owned and run by French expat Aurelia Tazi who moved to Morocco in 2004. Flower Power is her outlet for entertaining, creating, and decorating for guests who have a passion for organic food in green spaces. The café is charming and furnished with flea market finds purchased from the Marrakesh souk.
- Next take a tour of Casa Botanica Nursery located on the grounds of the Flower Power Café.
- Tour led by the director at Casa Botanica who has a masters in herbology and ethnobotany, Sadek Tazi. HE started the nursery in Casablanca where they produce over two-thousand species of plants by seed and propagation and specialize in drought resistant plants that have adapted to the harsh dry climate of Marrakesh. The vast three acre collection of aloes, agaves, yuccas, cacti, succulents, trees, flowering shrubs, palms, bamboo, citrus trees, roses, hibiscus, Mediterranean plants, aquatic plants, and the test gardens flourish in the shade of giant colored nets 6 m high, composed of threads of red, yellow, blue, green and silver, which protect plants from intense heat and other elements.
- Dine and spend the night at a riad or hotel in Marrakesh with a garden setting.
DAY 5: MARRAKESH - OUIRGANE
(Driving Time: 3 Hours)
- Breakfast at your riad or hotel in Marrakesh.
- Start the day with a visit to the Ourika Valley’s plant nurseries. Nectarome Medicinal & Herbal Gardens
- Visit the Nectarome which offers a wide range of activities with traditional bread baking class, spa services, and hearty meals.
- Guided tour of the Nectarome Gardens. Nectarome specializes in the field of phytotherapy, aromatherapy, and the distillation of aromatic plants that grow naturally in the wild, or are organically cultivated. In the one hectare organic garden at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains in the Ourika Valley they grow more than 50 aromatic and medicinal plants for research, development, and educational purposes. Based on Moroccan traditional medicine they offer a wide line of wellness products made with pure and natural essential oils with all products made on the premises. With several areas to relax in the garden you can take in the fragrance of the many herbs or taste them in the traditional recipes prepared on site.
- Lunch at Nectarome and continue your afternoon visit of the gardens with options including: Medicinal Spa Treatments – Sea Salt Herbal footbaths – Argan Oil Workshop – Henna Workshop
- Visit the Saffron Gardens & Gardens
- Herbal Tea Tasting at the Saffron Gardens
- A Moroccan Doctor founded the Saffon Gardens, a six-hectare project to grow saffron and exotic fruit. The area surrounding the saffron fields is a working farm with French goats for milk and many species of plants and trees. The annual harvest by the local Berber women in the village yields only five kilos of saffron that is certified by the International Certification Lab in France. There is a small museum explaining the process of growing, harvesting, trimming, and drying the saffron.
- Dine & Spend the night at La Roseraie – a cottage style hotel surrounded by thousands of rose bushes in Ouirgane.
DAY 6: OUIRGANE- MARRAKESH
(Driving Time: 2 Hours)
- Breakfast at La Roseraie Hotel and Gardens in Ouirgane.
- Explore the grounds of La Roseraie, a working 60 acre farm and garden with a rich display of roses, mixed flower beds, and fruit trees. Spend the afternoon in the gardens or take advantage of La Roseraie’s offerings that include horseback riding, trekking to Berber villages, and an onsite Spa.
- Lunch in the garden at Hotel La Roseraie
- Departure in the late afternoon and return to Marrakesh. Farewell dinner in Marrakesh.
DAY 7: CASABLANCA OR MARRAKESH DEPARTURE
- Breakfast in Marrakesh at your Riad or Hotel.
- Early morning drive from Marrakesh to Casablanca. Departures available also from Marrakesh’s Menara Airport