Sidecars, starry nights, and enchanting secret gardens

In Morocco, we fell in love all over again

“What we need is for people to come to Morocco. Don’t cancel your trips. Visit us. You’re welcome, anytime” – Lachen, one of our brilliant local guides.

September’s earthquake was catastrophic. But the process of recovery is fast underway, fuelled by the spirited energy of the people of Morocco themselves and their love for their country. Ultimately, Morocco’s recovery depends on people returning to this sublime and supremely hospitable country. By going there, travellers will be helping communities whose livelihoods depend on travel.

Morocco enchants at every turn. It is a place that we’ve been falling in love with for years – and we will continue to do so. That’s why, only a few short weeks ago, we packed our bags and set off to enable our entire team to experience the beauty of Morocco for themselves. A chance to be enchanted, a journey to spark inspiration.

This is our story, as told by Sophie.

berber music in agafay desert in morocco
agafay desert camp

Welcome one and all

We arrived at sunset. Between the rocky dunes of the Agafay Desert, our tented camp sprawled before us. This was Caravan by Habitas. Welcomed with ice-filled glasses of fresh pomegranate juice (with a dusting of chili), we followed trails lined with lanterns and olive trees to our tents and lodges.

Our tents were decorated with local artisan crafts and our outdoor Berber lounge areas offered sweeping views reaching as far as the Atlas Mountains. As we freshened up, we watched the sun sink beneath the dunes. It was beautiful.

As the air turned cool and stars began to light up the night sky, we each made our way to Habitas’ Olivar restaurant at the heart of the desert camp. Warmed by outdoor heaters and decorated with woven mats and lattice lanterns, the space quickly filled with traditional Moroccan music as local performers sang, clapped, and played qraqebs (hand cymbals), the guitar-like sinter, and bendir drums. As they spun their shashiya hats with swirling tassels (many of us tried our hand – or head – at this at one point or another), we dined on vast dishes piled high with vegetable couscous, spice-filled tagine, eggplant pastilla, and roasted lamb. It was a night to remember.

hiking in the atlas mountains in morocco
volunteering in the atlas mountains in morocco

A different kind of travel

Our trip to Morocco offered us the chance to work alongside Afoulki pour les Femmes, a women-led association undertaking vital relief efforts in the Atlas Mountains. In Al Haouz province, we spent a day volunteering with our partners to help support remote and rural communities affected by September’s earthquake.

Despite the devastation caused by the earthquake, the Atlas Mountains are now safe, and as beautiful as ever. A lunar-like landscape of red peaks, almond blossom, small Berber villages, and vast river canyons, they’re unlike anywhere else on earth. And it was our honour and privilege to work alongside those working to restore and promote both livelihoods and regenerative travel projects here.

Going forward, we’ll be supporting them as much as we can, and we encourage those with the means to contribute in turn; whether through monetary donations or by spreading word about their vital work. You can donate here.

If you’d like to read more about our experience volunteering in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, you can read the full story here. Additionally, if you’d like to get involved and include volunteering as part of your own trip to Morocco, just ask.

marrakech medina streets
sidecar adventure in Marrakech in morocco

Dashing through the souks

As a luxury travel company, we’re always seeking new ways to see the world differently. Discovering the streets of Marrakech by vintage sidecar is one such experience.

After a warming glass of sweet mint tea (it is popular to add plenty of sugar in Morocco), we split off in pairs to meet our sidecar drivers – and knowledgeable local guides. Taking it in turns, one of us would sit on the back of the motorbike behind our experienced driver, the other in the sidecar compartment.

As we dashed through alleys and streets, passing market stalls, metal workshops, dodging pedestrians and mule carts, we experienced Marrakech’s medina from a whole new perspective. It is rare to feel like a local in a country that is not your own, but driving alongside other locals and navigating secret passageways, we felt like just one of many. In the best possible way. It was thrilling – and humbling – to witness a city as its residents know it. And very fun.

candlelit dinner in morocco
party in morocco

Winter nights and enchanting rose gardens

On our final night in Morocco, we hosted an awards evening with our colleagues, friends, and partners. It was a chance to offer gratitude and appreciation, and to celebrate demonstrations of humility, thoughtfulness, and curiosity, as well as an opportunity to reflect on our time in Morocco together.

Located just ten minutes from the centre of Marrakech, we pulled up at Beldi Country Club. And it was magnificent. A place that seemed to be taken straight from a scene in a fairytale (or the Netflix show Bridgerton), we walked, enchanted, through gardens filled with cactus and thousands of roses, lit by candlelight and dotted with water lily ponds. We sipped on cocktails in one of the elegantly designed greenhouses and danced in a beautiful traditional ball room beneath countless ornate hanging lanterns.

It was a happy but bittersweet moment, for our time in Morocco had come to an end. But we’ll be back. There’s no doubt about that.

Atlas mountains in morocco
village in the atlas mountains in morocco

This is only the beginning

Our research trip to Morocco enabled us to see and experience firsthand the process of recovery that is fast underway after the earthquake. It also enabled us to fall in love with this remarkable country all over again. Beneath the stars, above the clouds.

Morocco has many tales to tell, many treasures to discover. Between dancing in rose gardens lit by hundreds of lanterns, exploring the honey-coloured dunes of the Agafay Desert, and dashing through the spice-scented souks of Marrakech, Morocco will leave you enchanted. Every time.

And we’ll be back.


Our Travel Experts are ready and waiting to plan your own tailor-made journey into Morocco – from the Atlas Mountains to the Agafay Desert.

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