28 March to 2 April 2020:
Join Kirsty Fergusson, with special guest host, Tom Stuart-Smith to explore the wonders of Morocco’s contemporary gardens.
This special Moroccan garden tour offers a unique selection of 21st century, mostly private gardens, designed by some of our best-known designers. Award-winning, British designer Tom Stuart-Smith will guide you through his own creation, Le Jardin Secret in the heart of Marrakech. While in the city of Taroudant we visit a series of remarkable gardens designed by Eric Ossart and Arnaud Maurières, two French globetrotting botanists, plant hunters, and garden designers. A further highlight of the tour will be a day comprised of all things Yves Saint Laurent, including the new YSL museum, Jardin Majorelle, and a private view of the adjacent Villa Oasis where Yves Saint Laurent lived during his lifetime in Morocco. In a picture-book setting with views of the High Atlas Mountains, wonderful climate and cuisine, and great shopping, visitors will discover two warm and friendly cities steeped in history. We stay at two outstanding small hotels: guesthouse Jnane Tamsna, surrounded by its own botanically rich and captivating garden in an oasis setting; and Dar al Hossoun in the ancient town of Taroudant, an eco-friendly Riad surrounding courtyards planted with many fascinating plant species.
Day 1: Saturday 28th March
Depart at 10:05AM from London Heathrow on flight BA0668, arriving in Menara, Marrakech Airport at 14:45 PM. We drive past the great city walls to the Palmeraie to Jnane Tamsna for a warm welcome. Time to settle in before an invitation to join the owners, Gary & Meryanne for cocktails and canapés followed by a classic dinner at which delicious Moroccan wines will be served.
Day 2: Sunday 29th March
We are delighted that today we will be accompanied by British garden designer, Tom Stuart-Smith who will host the tour for two days. We start the day with a tour of the gardens and interiors of Jnane Tamsna followed by a drive to the walled Medina, Marrakech’s heart, to visit Le Jardin Secret designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, with contrasting Islamic and exotic courtyards. After a light lunch at Café Arabe’s famed rooftop restaurant we visit two private gardens, the accompanied by Tom Stuart-Smith. The first, Riad Nouria, is a new creation designed by Swiss born, Hélène Lindgens and landscape architect, Hans Achilles on a level site: a formal, structured garden shimmering in bands of silver and verdant green foliage leading the eye to the Atlas Mountains beyond. There follows a special invitation to a well-established private garden of elegance and charm. We dine together this evening at Maison Arabe in the Medina.
Day 3: Monday 30th March
An early start for the beautiful, so very blue garden that has attracted so many to Marrakech: La Majorelle is a rhapsody of intense plantsmanship incorporating the exquisite Berber museum housed in Cubist artist Jacques Majorelle’s former studio followed by a visit to the new museum YSL in Marrakech. We are then privileged to be invited for a private viewing of Villa Oasis, one of the world’s most heavenly gardens, studded with pale blue, lime green and soft yellow pots: a citrus garden, lily pool, and shaded walkways with a special lunch served in the pool side pavilion. Some free time in the afternoon to explore the Medina or return to Jnane Tamsna where drinks and a tapas bar have been arranged for the evening.
Day 4: Tuesday 31st March
We start the day with a visit to The Thiemann Cactus Nursery, the largest succulent collection in Africa, a verdant oasis in the desert just a short distance from Marrakech. We then lunch in the new Royal Club House before driving through the dramatic arid landscape to Taroudant, arriving at the green oasis of Dar al Hossoun for a warm welcome from the owner and host, Mr Ollivier Verra and time to settle into your room prior to dining together at the hotel.
Day 5: Wednesday 1st April
Accompanied by Ollivier Verra, we visit four gardens designed by Eric Ossart and Arnaud Maurières with a pause for lunch at former home of Chilean artist, Claudio Bravo. The elegant Riad houses collections from paintbrushes to a staggering collection of Islamic glass vessels. We then return to Dar al Hossoun for a relaxed evening meal in the garden together.
Day 6: Thursday 2nd April
This morning we begin the final drive to Marrakech, Menara Airport for flight BA0669 departing at 12:00 PM, arriving at London Heathrow at 15:45 PM.
How much & what’s included
The price per person: £3898
Single supplement: £350 (levied by the hotels)
The price includes: 3 nights’ accommodation at Jnane Tamsna; 2 nights’ accommodation at Dar al Hossoun; 4 lunches; 5 evening meals with wine; all transport in Morocco plus return flights from London Heathrow (standard Euro Traveller class). Please contact the Boxwood office if you wish to obtain a quotation to upgrade to Club Europe. If you wish to travel independently, please deduct £180 and contact the office to discuss joining arrangements. The price does not include extras at the hotel, or travel insurance. Please note that Boxwood Tours use hotels of character featuring a variety of rooms & styles.
This tour is financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate