SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 1, 2023
Marrakech | Agafay Desert
Experience the delight of getting lost in a maze of medieval alleyways in Marrakech, then finding yourself in the vastness and quietude of the Agafay Desert.
Imagine soaking in the vibrancy of the red city...
and then retreating to peaceful havens where you will turn inward, reflecting on the imprint this place and its people have left on your soul.
Immerse yourself in culture and your yoga practice.
8 days, 7 nights accommodation:
5 nights accommodation at a boutique riad in Marrakech Medina (old city)
2 nights accommodation ‘glamping’ in Agafay Desert
Breakfast every day
Dinner each night
Airport transfers to / from Marrakech Airport (RAK)
Welcome circle with mint tea
Yoga & Meditation class(s) each day with Anna Swank
Daily discussion circle about the history and culture of Morocco with Bram Hubbell
2 days of walking tours in Marrakech Medina with visits to cultural and historical sites, including:
Ali Ben Youssef Medersa (16th Century Quranic School)
Historical ‘Secret Garden’ to soak in nature’s beauty surrounded by Islamic art and architecture
Bahia Palace with its grand courtyard
Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech's most important mosque & it's magnificent minaret
Jemaa el-Fna, the main square with vibrant night market
The Souks, the famous open-aired market place
Monumental Saadian Tombs with their beautifully decorated colored mosaics
Traditional hammam with 1 hour massage
Learn the art and history of Arabic Calligraphy (lesson includes all materials and lunch)
Meditative hike in the quietude of the Stone Desert
Closing fire circle in the desert with storytelling & stargazing
Taxes & Fees
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
Camel riding in the desert
Lunch on 2 days
Tips for local staff
Any optional excursions (we can suggest a few!)
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Our Morocco retreat is much more than a yoga holiday. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and learn from the Moroccan people. As you get lost in the streets of Marrakech and the dunes of the Agafy desert, you will also have the opportunity to explore inward to learn about yourself.
As Proust’s famous line says, the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new places but in seeing with new eyes.
The Third Eye chakra establishes a connection with the external world through inner vision. It is through our eyes that we see the world, and through our consciousness that we perceive its meaning.
This is the spirit of our retreat.
Although I will be on maternity leave and can't be there with you in September, Bram Hubbell and our dear friend Anna Swank will be your guides through Morocco, and to the inner passageways that yoga invites us to explore.
Bram will lead the outward portion of our journey. He will be guiding us during our exploration of the sites of Marrakech and teaching about the history and culture of Morocco.
Anna will guide the journey inward, teaching themed yoga and meditation classes that will help you to dive deep within yourself to notice the imprint of this unforgettable place and its people.
“Thus travel spins us round in two ways at once: It shows us the sights and values and issues that we might ordinarily ignore; but it also, and more deeply, shows us all the parts of ourselves that might otherwise grow rusty. For in traveling to a truly foreign place, we inevitably travel to moods and states of mind and hidden inward passages that we’d otherwise seldom have cause to visit.” - Pico Iyer
Daily Yoga Practice - Each morning Angela will guide our yoga practice on the roof of our traditional Moroccan home. Imagine saluting the sun while the birds chirp and the call for prayer rings out over the city. As the sun sets, we will gather around the pool in the courtyard of the house for our evening practice.
Guided Walking Tours - Bram will lead two immersive walking tours of the Marrakech medina, teaching the history and culture of Morocco as we explore the city's historic sights, its bustling souks, and its spiritual landmarks.
Moroccan Cultural Activities - We have hand picked and planned an assortment of cultural experiences & excursions to learn more about our host country. These will range from historical sites to classes on Arabic calligraphy. We will even have a local local guide who will teach you about buying Moroccan rugs in the souk. (Bring extra space in your bags!)
Delicious meals - Experience the flavors of Moroccan & Mediterranean cuisine from some of the best local restaurants and cafes in Marrakech. Did I mention that Bram’s superpower is finding the best ‘off the beaten track’ places to eat wherever we travel? You’re welcome. ;-)
Glamping in the Stone Desert - After five days in the city, we’ll visit the Agafay Desert, where we can get lost in its vast and natural beauty. Surrounded by dunes, we will journey inward to awaken a different part of ourselves. And when you want an oasis from the vastness of the desert, you can relax in comfortable tents or dip into the natural pool.
Time to Relax - You will get spoiled during your stay with us with a visit to a traditional Hammam to experience a full body scrub and massage. Then, relish in “the sweetness of doing nothing” during our time in the Agafay desert…no set plans besides yoga and moments to reflect and enjoy golden hour around the campfire with the Atlas Mountains as a backdrop.
Riad in Marrakech:
We have secured exclusive rental of a gorgeous, 8-bedroom Riad in the Marrakech Medina (old city) for the first 5 nights of this retreat.
A Riad is a traditional guesthouse that is constructed around a central courtyard. Riad is an Arabic word that literally means “gardens” in English.
Throughout our stay in the red city, this private boutique hotel will be our safe haven of peace, a timeless cocoon preserved from the bustle of the vibrant Medina.
Glamping in Agafay Desert:
Located deep in the heart of the stony desert of Agafay, our camp is a secluded, magical setting for reflection and inner transformation.
Less than an hour away from Marrakech, you will be transported to a desert landscape with the contrast of snow peaked Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. Far enough away from crowds and traffic to disconnect from the outside world and enjoy a peaceful experience of complete stillness.
You will spend two majestic nights in a luxurious, spacious tent fitted out in a style mixing local handicraft and French Art Deco with a private ensuite bathroom.
The property boasts a stunning pool, breathtaking views, delicious Moroccan food, and outstanding care to make your desert dream come true.
One spot left in a shared room
A $600 non-refundable deposit secures your spot on the retreat and early bird pricing*.
Payment plans are available.
*early bird rates will be honored for this last spot on the retreat!
Single Occupancy (private room) = $3697 early bird / $3997 reg
Double Occupancy (shared room) = $2997 early bird / $3297 reg
Anna is a yoga teacher and scholar of Arabic language and culture who has lived & studied extensively in the Middle East and Morocco.
She will guide you inward, using yoga and meditation practices to explore the parts of yourselves that have been touched, moved, and awakened by your travel experience.
With over 40 years combined experience traveling the world, teaching and practicing yoga, Anna and Bram will guide a truly special yoga retreat and intentional travel experience. They have run seven trips together through the Middle East for students and teachers alike.
Autumn (September-November) is one of the best times to visit Morocco. The weather is warm, but you will avoid the extreme temperatures of the scorching heat and cold nights. Days are usually hot with balmy evenings, so visitors should pack light and cool clothing. The average daily temperature is 80 F in the day and 64 F at night.
AMENITIES & INTERNET
At our Marrakech location, Wi-fi access is complimentary and laundry service is available for an additional cost.
WHAT AIRPORT SHOULD I FLY INTO?
Marrakech (RAK) is the most convenient.
RAK airport is approximately 30 minutes from our Riad in the Medina. Airport transfers from RAK are included in the cost of the retreat.
As of October 2022, the average economy flight cost from the NYC area is around $800 round trip.
WHAT AIRLINES FLY TO MARRAKECH?
Royal Air Maroc is the Moroccan national carrier
Tap Air Portugal
WHAT TIME SHOULD I PLAN TO ARRIVE AND DEPART?
Plan to arrive in Marrakech no later than 2pm on Sunday, September 24th for check in. Yoga and Welcome Circle begins at 4pm, followed by dinner in our Riad.
If you are flying home on October 1st, please book your flight departure no earlier than 4pm. We will depart from the Agafay Desert by 11am, and you will need a few hours before your flight to check in.
For those wishing to join us for the add-on extension of the trip in Fez, your transfer will be from Agafay Desert to the train station in Marrakech with Angela and Bram. Please contact us to discuss best options for booking your flight home.
WHAT ARE GOOD RESOURCES TO LOOK FOR FLIGHTS?
Some popular search engines to look for best priced flights are:
REFUNDS / CANCELLATIONS
$600 deposit secures your place and is non-refundable.
In the event of cancellation by the customer, regardless of the circumstances, the following refund fees, minus the deposit, apply:
If you wish to cancel your trip you must notify Angela Rauscher Yoga in writing. Once we’ve received your notice, cancellation will take effect subject to the following:
If cancellation takes place before June 18, 2023, any payments made will be refunded, minus your deposit.
If cancellation takes place after June18th, 2023, all payments will be forfeited and no refunds will be given.
Any refunds will incur a 6% admin cost
COVID Travel Regulations
to Enter Morocco as of 5 September 2022
All passengers are required to download, print and sign a passenger health form before arrival in Morocco.
All arriving passengers over 18 years old must present valid proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken no longer than 72hrs before boarding.
Valid proof of vaccination must contain proof of three doses. Two doses will be accepted if no more than 4 months has passed since the second dose was received. (One dose of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is equivalent to two doses of other vaccines).
A valid vaccine passport means receipt of three doses or, failing that, two doses with a delay in the administration of the second dose not exceeding 4 months.
For the J&J vaccine, a single dose is equivalent to 2 doses of the other vaccines.
A vaccine pass is required to enter public places including hammams, gyms, cafes, restaurants, hotels, shops and sports halls. A vaccine pass will also be required to access public administration buildings
The wearing of face masks in public spaces remains mandatory.
Random rapid antigen tests will be conducted upon arrival for selected groups of passengers. Additional PCR tests may also be required after 48 hours of arrival for randomly selected passengers.
Specific measures will be put in place for positive cases, including isolation at the passengers’ place of residence. More serious cases would be transferred to hospital.
Always purchase travel insurance which covers your trip interruption, trip cancellation, luggage and/or valuables loss and medical assistance, including repatriation if necessary. We recommend travel insurance that includes "cancel for any reason" coverage.
Please ensure that your passport is valid, with at least 6 months until expiry and that you are aware of immigration/visa laws in Morocco.
Visas: As a US citizen, if you want to travel to Morocco for tourism or other short-term purposes, you are not subject to any visa requirements at all. US citizens, along with several others, are exempt from Morocco visas and can visit the country with just their passport and a return flight ticket for up to 90 days.
If you have any questions that we have not answered, please write to us HERE.