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This retreat will be a tour full of contrasts through the desert, over the Atlas Mountains, passing tents of nomads, kilometers of palm oases, authentic Berber villages, to Marrakesh and the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Luxurious hotels, delicious food, and a lot of sunshine will help you to relax and the magical orient will inspire you. In the desert, you will use the company’s cool jeeps, directly along the famous route of the Dakar Rally. Experience Morocco with other yogis.
Throughout the retreat, you will exclusively stay in very beautiful oriental hotels, all except in Ouarzazate, with pool and gardens. In the Sahara, you will stay in a Bivouac camp from brick-rammed earth cottages with waterproof roofs made of dromedary wool. You will sleep on comfortable wooden beds with mattresses, sheets, and blankets. Toilets and showers are available.
During days two to seven, there will be daily yoga practice, meditation, and breathing exercises in the morning and evening. During the 2016 retreat dates, there will be ten yoga sessions in total while in the 2017 retreat dates, there will be eight yoga sessions in total.
At sunrise and at sunset, participants will meet for yoga practice, effective breathing exercises, and relaxing meditations. The evening on arrival, and the morning before departure are at your disposal. On the tours, you will continue the tour every day after breakfast to the next place, visiting different attractions, and arrive early enough in the afternoon in order to have time to relax by the pool or to visit the city.
The trip includes sightseeing in Marrakesh, Taroudant, Ouarzazate (the American Atlas Corporation Studios), Zagora, and Mhamid. In the desert, you can expect a hike through the dunes, a meditation session at sunset on top of the highest dune, a walking meditation, nature rituals, drums at the bonfire, yoga at sunrise, and a delicious dinner prepared by nomads. The yoga classes are apt for beginners as well as for advanced students. The experienced yoga teacher adjusts the program according to the students’ needs.
There will be ten yoga sessions in total with invigorating Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga with pranayama and meditation in the desert, according to weather conditions. There will be no yoga class at the days of arrival and departure.
Arrival at the airport of Agadir. Transfer to Taroudant that will take about 35 minutes. The tour starts in Taroudant (little Marrakesh, 200,000 inhabitants). It’s the capital of the fertile Souss region and its agricultural center. You will be staying in a beautiful hotel in the middle of the medina. The city is surrounded by an eight meter high adobe wall. If all arrive on time, you can collect the first authentic impressions of Morocco walking through the souk and the medina. In the center, there is a wonderful square with nice coffee houses. It’s a nice place to observe the life of the locals. The city is famous for its leather, dye, and above all copper works like kettle and little tableware. It is surrounded by olive groves, orange and mandarin plantations, as well as vineyards.
There will be an approximately four-hour drive through the impressive Atlas Mountains, passing Taliouine, which is a famous fort of the cultivation of saffron. After a coffee break, the group will continue on to Tazenakth, a cooperative for berber carpets, through palm oases, during the date harvest in October. Here you will be picking fresh dates directly from the palms along the riverbed to Zagora, a small town oasis. There you will stay at a beautiful hotel with a pool and palm forest.
With the jeeps, you will now travel two days off-road along the original route of the Paris Dakar first through the stone desert along the DjebelBani. Here you can experience a lot of mirages. After that, you will get closer to the impressive sand dunes of the Sahara Desert. After a short drive, you will arrive at the Bivouac Camp at the Erg Chegaga. The silence and the beautiful, big sand dunes touch all hearts. The will be lunch in a Bivouac tent. If you want, you can ride on a dromedary through the dunes. In the evening, you will hike up on top of the highest dune and enjoy the wonderful sunset. You will sleep in very comfortable huts, with waterproof roofs made of camel hair blankets, comfortable beds with mattresses, pillows, blankets, and bed linen. There will be a sink, toilets, and a possibility to shower. You will have dinner at the Bivouac restaurant. At night, at the bonfire, you can observe the countless beautiful stars in the sky while the friendly locals play music and drums for everyone.
On this day, you will enjoy the sunrise, the silence of the Sahara Desert, and the golden sand. After breakfast, the group will continue off-road between tamarisks, dromedary flocks, and nomad tents, leaving the desert behind and driving towards Mhamid, back to civilization. The town has 8,000 inhabitants, many of them working in tourism. There are nice cafes, which developed into a cool off-road meeting point. After a small break, you will continue until you get to the Draa Valley, a 150-kilometer long palm oasis, where you will stay at a romantic hotel in Zagora. In the afternoon, there will be enough time to relax at the pool before the yoga session. The city is growing fast as it has 45,000 inhabitants. The market on Wednesday is just as worth seeing as the nice small cafes. The gardens of Amezrou are cultivated by the locals to sustain themselves, here you can visit the irrigation system. In the city, there are a lot of small shops that sell the typical colorful scarves, carpets, and silver jewelry.
In the morning, you will continue to Agdz, which is the starting point for many desert safaris. The drive will follow the river bed of the Draa Valley, cross a pass, and arrive at the famous film city Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate and its surroundings were used as scenery for many American movies. If you wish, you can visit the Atlas Corporation Studios where there are many original props and sceneries. You can enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the city in the city center.
You will depart early in the morning, so you have enough time to visit Marrakesh. You will cross the impressive High Atlas, which is 2500 meters, where a lot of fossils and stones are sold and you can see many different landscapes. You will arrive in Marrakesh at noon through the exclusive residential area, until you get to the city wall, along the stunning gardens, and through the medina to get a first impression of the modern red city. You will stay in a hotel close to the Marrakesh’s central square, which you will visit in the afternoon, together with the food stands and the bazaar.
Draa or the National Park at the Atlantic, 40 kilometers from Agadir, you will be staying in a fishing village. The hotel has an ocean view, which is only a few meters away from a long sand beach. For dinner, you will have fresh, grilled fish with plenty of time for relaxation at the beach.
You will have breakfast in the hotel, then it's time to say goodbye and head home. You will need independent transfer going to the airport.
Marion is a Hatha yoga teacher with 30 years of teaching practice in different forms of movement. She imparts her extensive professional knowledge with love and humor. Regular trainings in Anusara yoga, Power yoga, Prana flow, Vinyasa yoga, yoga therapy, hormone yoga, Luna yoga, Jivamukti yoga, and Asthanga yoga inspire her varied classes. She used to be a full-time freelance artist and set decorator at a theater until she discovered the magic of the desert in Morocco in 2009. Since then, she is living in a fishing village in the south of Agadir.
This retreat will take place in several locations around Morocco namely Taroudant, Zagora, the dunes of the Sahara Desert (Erg Chegaga), Ouarzazate, Marrakesh, and to the sea.
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For the retreat, breakfast and dinner are included and will be served in the respective hotel. You will have lunch in very nice traditional restaurants while on the road. The food in Morocco is very varied and good. There is a strong French influence, remaining from the colonial era. Fresh fruits and vegetables of local farms are available in the local markets.
The traditional dish is tajine, a dish cooked in a clay pot over the fire, vegetarian if desired, with lamb, chicken, fish or beef, mixed with vegetables, dried fruits, pickled lemons and olives and wonderful spices. Patisserie with almonds, lemons, dates, and dessert. The national drink is the "thé à la menthe," a green tea with mint leaves and fresh sugar.
Please let Yogitrip know in advance if you are vegetarian or vegan or suffer from food intolerances.
In any location you will go to in this retreat, except in Ouarzaza, you will have time to relax by the pool or to visit the city surroundings.
Please book a flight to Agadir Airport (AGA). Transfer from the airport to Taroudant is included in the price. Transfer to the airport on departure day is not included in the price, but it will approximately cost 20 EUR.