27th April to 1st May, 2019:
An exclusive TELEGRAPH tour hosted by gardens correspondent, HELEN YEMM and led by KIRSTY FERGUSSON
Marrakech has become a destination of choice for the discerning traveller seeking a taste for the exotic infused with sophistication and luxury. In a picture-book setting with views of the High Atlas Mountains, wonderful climate and cuisine and great shopping, visitors will discover a warm and friendly city with almost a thousand years of history. Known as ‘the rose among the palms’, Marrakech is characterised by pink-coloured pisé (rammed earth) architecture and deeply-rooted tradition for making and preserving gardens and green spaces. We have selected a wonderful range of gardens to visit, from old palaces to modern private creations. Highlights of this tour include visits to: a day of Yves Saint Laurent including the new YSL museum; Jardin Majorelle; a very special private garden created by the designer and his partner Pierre Bergé; and Tom Stuart-Smith’s Le Jardin Secret. We will also take a tour through the souk with a local guide to see (and buy) some of the world’s most irresistible fabrics and artefacts. We are accommodated at Jnane Tamsna, guesthouse extraordinaire, surrounded by its own botanically-rich and fascinating garden in the city’s outlying Palmeraie. American ethnobotanist Gary Martin and his wife Meryanne Loum-Martin created Jnane Tamsna to express their own personal vision of vitality and excellence. Tranquillity abounds. Meryanne planned the buildings, inspired by the rich diversity of Islamic art and design. Gary is director of the Global Diversity Foundation that supports biodiversity in community projects on three continents.
Day 1: Saturday, April 27
Depart at 12:50 PM from London Gatwick on flight BA2668, arriving in Menara, Marrakech Airport at 16:35 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 and Meryanne for cocktails and canapés followed by a classic dinner at which delicious Moroccan wines will be served.
Day 2: Sunday, April 28
Start the day with a tour of the gardens and interiors of Jnane Tamsna. We then drive to the walled Medina, Marrakech’s heart, to visit Dar El Bacha, the beautiful Museum of Confluences. A light lunch at Café Arabe’s famed rooftop restaurant, is followed by a visit across the street to Le Jardin Secret designed by British designer, Tom Stuart Smith, with contrasting Islamic and exotic courtyards. Free time in the afternoon to further explore the Medina or to return to Jnane Tamsna where drinks and a tapas bar have been arranged in the Garden Gallery
Day 3: Monday, April 29
Start the day visiting Anima, the creation of André Heller, Viennese multi-media artist, who is perhaps best known as a musician. Anima lies a few miles outside Marrakech and has much to delight, impress and even challenge the keen garden visitor. Lunch is at the gardenesque Beldi Country Club with time to visit its glass-making and fabric souk as well as its field of more than 10,000 roses. We are then invited to visit an English-owned garden of Arabic design featuring the most exquisite lemon arbour. In complete contrast we then tour a remarkable permaculture garden belonging to the owners of an interesting nursery housing a wonderfully exciting range of beautifully-grown exotics. The evening is free for you to dine at Jnane Tamsna or we can reserve for you a place at La Mamounia’s Moroccan restaurant. This meal is not included in the tour price.
Day 4: Tuesday, April 30
This day is all about Yves Saint Laurent and his love of Marrakech and Morocco starting with a visit to the new museum YSL in Marrakech. Just around the corner we find 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. We are privileged to be invited to Villa Oasis, with lunch in a beautiful pavilion nestling in one of the world’s most heavenly gardens, studded with pale blue, lime green and soft yellow pots, with a citrus garden, lily pool, and shaded walkways. Free time this afternoon to see more of the Medina if you wish before returning to Jnane Tamsna to participate in a Gala Dinner hosted by Gary & Meryanne.
Day 5: Wednesday, May 1
One last beautiful private garden to visit before lunching together by the pool at the Maison Arabe Country Club. Return to Marrakech, Menara Airport for flight BA2667 departing at 19.10 PM, arriving at London Gatwick at 22.40 PM.
How much & what’s included
The price per person: £3698
Single supplement: £390 (levied by the hotel).
The price includes: four nights with breakfast at Jnane Tamsna and three evening meals, all with local wines included, plus four lunches as set out in the itinerary; and return flights from London Gatwick, South Terminal (standard World Traveller class). The price does not include extras at the hotel or travel insurance. Those wishing to make their own flight arrangements should state this on the booking form and we will deduct £260 per person from the tour price. Please note that hotels used by Boxwood Tours are invariably 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.