Day 1: Tuesday 13th March
Depart at 09:15 from London Gatwick on flight BA2666, arriving in Menara, Marrakech Airport at 12:50. We drive the short distance to La Mamounia and enjoy a simple lunch together. In the afternoon, there will be a gentle tour of the gardens of La Mamounia. Dinner this evening will be served in the French restaurant at the hotel.
Day 2: Wednesday 14th March
We drive to the walled Medina, Marrakech’s heartbeat, to visit the Bahia Palace, an ornate collection of buildings converted into a palace in the late nineteenth century on behalf of the Grand Vizier Ba Ahmed ben Moussa said Ahmad (1841–1900). A walk through the souk accompanied by excellent guides is followed by lunch at Café Arabe’s famed rooftop restaurant, followed by a visit across the street to Le Jardin Secret with contrasting Islamic and exotic courtyards. We return to La Mamounia for a rest before venturing out to La Palmeraie to Jnane Tamsna where Gary & Meryanne Martin will host a gala dinner and garden walk in the grounds of their special guest house. Return to La Mamounia.
Day 3: Thursday 15th March
Driving towards the Ourika valley and Atlas Mountains, we are invited to visit a private, English-owned garden of Arabic design featuring the most exquisite lemon arbour. Lunch will be served in the shaded garden of Nectarome, Jardin Bio-Aromatique d’Ourika, an herbal garden and shop promoting herbs and plant extracts for beauty, health and culinary use; there will also be an opportunity to relax in herbal footbaths and sip refreshing mint tea. André Heller, Viennese multi-media artist, perhaps best known as a musician, is also a creator of gardens. His latest venture, Anima, a few miles outside Marrakech, has much to delight, impress, and perhaps challenge the keen garden visitor. Return to La Mamounia before going out to dine at an excellent local restaurant.
Day 4: Friday 16th March
This day is all about Yves Saint Laurent and his love of Marrakech and Morocco.
We start the day 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 Jacques Majorelle’s former Cubist painting studio. Return to the hotel in time to dine this evening in restaurant La Morocain, in the grounds of La Mamounia.
Day 5: Saturday 17th March
We include another beautiful exclusive private garden this morning, followed by a visit to…… Lunch is at the gardenesque Beldi Country Club with time to visit its glass-making & fabric souk - plus a field of more than 10,000 roses, that may just be starting to show colour - before we return to Marrakech, Menara Airport for flight BA2667 departing at 18:10, arriving at London Gatwick at 21:45.