Discover + Connect in Morocco

 

A Yoga and Meditation Journey

with Jill Ayres

September 15–27, 2018

Trip at a Glance

  • September 15–27, 2018
  • Daily practice with Jill Ayres
  • Escorted by BJ & Lauren of RetreaTours
  • Explore four beautiful, distinct facets of the Moroccan landscape, from sea to city to sand
  • Limited to 14 guests
  • Price varies according to number of guests (starts at $3390 USD at 6 guests, and will decrease with more guests). Please see Price tab below for details.
    • Price does not include international airfare

ASILAH

CHEFCHAOUEN

FES

MIDELT

MERZOUGA

Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

September 15   Arrive in Morocco

September 16-17   Explore the seaside artist colony of Asilah

September 18-19   Drive to Chefchaouen and explore this blue city hidden in the Rif mountains

September 20   Drive to Fes, visiting the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis en route

September 21   Explore the ancient Medina of Fes

September 22    Begin drive to the Sahara Desert, overnight in Midelt

September 23-24   Arrive in the desert and spend 2 nights camping in the dunes

September 25  Return to Fes in private vehicle

September 26  Relax in Fes (or perhaps shop the souks!)

September 27   Depart to home or continue your adventure

Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

September 15   Arrive in Morocco

September 16-17   Explore the seaside artist colony of Asilah

September 18-19   Drive to Chefchaouen and explore this blue city hidden in the Rif mountains

September 20   Drive to Fes, visiting the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis en route

September 21   Explore the ancient Medina of Fes

September 22    Begin drive to the Sahara Desert, overnight in Midelt

September 23-24   Arrive in the desert and spend 2 nights camping in the dunes

September 25  Return to Fes in private vehicle

September 26  Relax in Fes (or perhaps shop the souks!)

September 27   Depart to home or continue your adventure

Asilah

September 15–17

Today begins your Moroccan adventure: sea, city & sand! You’ll land in Tangier or Casablanca, Morocco and be taken to our first destination, the lovely seaside town of Asilah where our retreat begins in the late afternoon.  Now an artist’s enclave, Asilah dates back to 1500 BC when the Phoenicians used it as a trading base.

A quaint town with a tiny medina (old, walled section of town), Asilah is the perfect place to land and get your Moroccan bearings. You’ll feel comfortable independently exploring these tiny, car-free alleyways, discovering new gems behind every curve. Each year, Asilah hosts an art festival that finds its gorgeous medina whitewashed and used as a canvas for colorful murals.

Asilah is widely known for its laid-back atmosphere and small yet picturesque medina. Grab your camera and wander the tiny alleys, punctuated with brightly painted doorways and windows. For anyone interested, BJ can give informal photography workshops, illuminating composition tips and camera settings for your best snaps ever. We can also have fun yoga photoshoots! Our accommodation in Asilah is conveniently located near the medina, just a few minute walk along the seaside boardwalk.

We’ll spend some time at a beloved local haunt, dubbed “Paradise Beach.” On the coast’s broad shores, we can soak in some Moroccan sun and relax to the sound of the surf. But the beach isn’t the only place to appreciate the ocean here. Our favorite spot is out on the jetty in the southwest corner of the medina, watching the sun sink into the Atlantic while the last warm rays illuminate the whitewashed town. Sunsets in Asilah are not to be missed!

Asilah is also the perfect place to get acquainted with Moroccan cuisine. Enjoy melt-in-your-mouth tagines, simmered & spiced lamb meatballs (kefta), and delicately fluffed couscous. The endless amounts of expertly cured olives & freshly baked bread are a culinary offer that’s hard to refuse! Even if bread isn’t your thing, the smells wafting out of the community oven will still delight your senses. Harira is a deceptively simple tomato-based soup that is prepared differently by every chef, but is consistently delicious. Moroccans tend to end meals with local, seasonal fruit, and we can’t get enough of their cinnamon-dusted orange slices.

You’ll get intimately familiar with the national drink of Morocco, mint tea. Affectionately referred to as “Moroccan Whiskey” due to its role as a social lubricant in this largely dry country, it’s a deceptively simple blend of gunpowder green tea, loads of fresh mint leaves and sugar (to taste). It is served piping hot and often.  B’saha! (To your health!)

Chefchaouen

September 18–19

From Asilah, we’ll take a private vehicle eastward to our next destination, Chefchaouen. “Chefchaouen” literally means “look at the horns,” a reference to the twin mountain peaks the picturesque city is nestled against. And although this city is set in the gorgeous terrain of the Rif mountains, that’s not what makes it such a unique destination. Chefchaouen is also known as “the blue city,” for reasons that are apparent upon first glance. Everything that doesn’t move is painted a brilliant shade of blue, so vivid that it makes even the bluest of skies look dull in comparison (you’ll see!)  It is said that Jewish refugees started this tradition, as blue is the color of divinity in Judaism. Divine, inspiring, invigorating, fascinating—however you describe it, it’s a city unlike any other.

Bigger than Asilah but still easily navigable (and also vehicle-free), this medina contains structures from the late 1400’s. This aged city has softer lines and curves than Asilah, and you’ll feel like you’re exploring inside a fairytale, complete with petite blue-washed doors and rounded arches. We encourage you to explore these twisting alleys and streets, as it’s the most delightful maze filled with fantastic shopping and delicious food. One of the local Chefchaouen specialties is a fresh goat cheese, often served at breakfast. Also, don’t be shocked if you see all of the pastry shops and stalls slightly abuzz; a mark of quality for these sweet treats is the number of bees they attract!

Our accommodation in Chefchaouen sits high in the medina, affording a spectacular view of the city and sunsets. A large roof terrace provides plenty of opportunity for sunning and al fresco yoga sessions. Enjoy the stunning indoor swimming pool and private hammam (spa/sauna), along with all of the comfortable and stylish nooks and crannies set up for conversation or curling up with a good book.

Another great place to enjoy sunset is the nearby hilltop, dominated by an old structure they call the “Spanish mosque.” It’s a nice walk from the medina, about a 30 minutes hike uphill, past patches of cactus, goat herders, and the occasional grazing donkey, all under the towering “horn” peaks of Chefchaouen. The view from up here allows you a panorama of the entire city and the surrounding mountains. As the sun sets, we can listen to the melody of the mosques as they begin their sunset call to prayer.

Fes

September 20–21

We’ll say our farewells to the city of blue and head south to Fes. However, we have a stunning stop on the way (~3 hour drive). Volubilis was developed in the third century BC as a Phoenician settlement but thrived as a Roman outpost between the first and third centuries AD. It was inhabited by local tribes until it was eventually abandoned in the eleventh century. It is listed as UNESCO world heritage site for being “an exceptionally well-preserved example of a large Roman colonial town on the fringes of the Empire.” It’s an absolute must-see for history buffs, but an all-around fascinating experience for everyone.

From the site of Volubilis, we’ll head just another 90 minutes to Fes, the ancient capital of Morocco and currently the third largest city. Fes contains a very special medina, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, and is believed to be the largest car-free urban area in the world. (Are you noticing a theme here? We hate traffic!) The medina of Fes is a fascinating maze of smells, sites, and sounds. We’ll take a tour guided by a local professional and you’ll see some of the highlights of Fes, from the oldest continuously operated University in the world to the famed open-air leather tanneries. You’ll see how leather has been traditionally processed for centuries, and you’ll have the opportunity to take home shoes, bags, and even custom-made coats (made with your measurements and delivered to our riad!) This is the place to shop, for yourself or loved ones; from leather goods to rugs, pottery to jewelry.

Our riad in Fes is truly breathtaking, and the intricate Moroccan tilework will amaze you. Comprised of several riads that have been conjoined, our spacious hotel offers plenty of options for yoga space. You may never want to leave our home away from home in Fes! Luckily, you’ll get to see this riad again, as we’ll return here for two more nights after our Saharan Adventure.

We’ll say our farewells to the city of blue and head south to Fes. However, we have a stunning stop on the way (~3 hour drive). Volubilis was developed in the third century BC as a Phoenician settlement but thrived as a Roman outpost between the first and third centuries AD. It was inhabited by local tribes until it was eventually abandoned in the eleventh century. It is listed as UNESCO world heritage site for being “an exceptionally well-preserved example of a large Roman colonial town on the fringes of the Empire.” It’s an absolute must-see for history buffs, but an all-around fascinating experience for everyone.

From the site of Volubilis, we’ll head just another 90 minutes to Fes, the ancient capital of Morocco and currently the third largest city. Fes contains a very special medina, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, and is believed to be the largest car-free urban area in the world. (Are you noticing a theme here? We hate traffic!) The medina of Fes is a fascinating maze of smells, sites, and sounds. We’ll take a tour guided by a local professional and you’ll see some of the highlights of Fes, from the oldest continuously operated University in the world to the famed open-air leather tanneries. You’ll see how leather has been traditionally processed for centuries, and you’ll have the opportunity to take home shoes, bags, and even custom-made coats (made with your measurements and delivered to our riad!) This is the place to shop, for yourself or loved ones; from leather goods to rugs, pottery to jewelry.

Our riad in Fes is truly breathtaking, and the intricate Moroccan tilework will amaze you. Comprised of several riads that have been conjoined, our spacious hotel offers plenty of options for yoga space. You may never want to leave our home away from home in Fes! Luckily, you’ll get to see this riad again, as we’ll return here for two more nights after our Saharan Adventure.

The Sahara

via Midelt, September 22-24

We didn’t think your Moroccan adventure would be complete without a camel trek to the desert, and we’re sure you’ll agree! We’ll break up the ~8 hour drive to the desert in our own private vehicle with an overnight in the town of Midelt. This allows more time for yoga, shopping, and ensures we get to the desert tomorrow in time for the magical sunset hour. On the way to the desert, we can also stop by a traditional Berber shop (and try “Berber Pizza”!) and see their gorgeous handicrafts, jewelry, and antiques. We’ll also be able to visit a fossil museum and see firsthand how they transform slabs of fossilized rock into the beautiful pieces of art you see around you.

We’ll hop on our camel escorts and make our way to our tent camp in the desert, just in time to see the sunset. Your nights in the desert will be spent in the dunes, in a simple and authentic bivouac tents. Want to have a slumber party? We’ll share these tents, 4 to 8 guests per tent. As you’re able to see the expanse of the Milky Way from our desert home, we like to say that the tents are better than a Five Star hotel—they’re Billion Star accommodations!

We’ll eat a delicious meal prepared for us and then relax around the campfire, as our hosts entertain with traditional songs and dances (expect to get pulled into the festivities!) Then we can take time to lay out some mats on a nearby dune and stargaze; if you wish, you can even sleep directly under the stars.

The next morning we’ll return to our camels and head out for the day. We’ll cruise around on our ships of the desert, making our way mid-day to an oasis. Here we’ll have lunch, do some stretching, explore—maybe even take a siesta! We’ll slowly make our way home, taking in sunset before another lovely meal and night around the campfire. Get a good night’s sleep, because tomorrow morning is going to knock your socks off!

We’ll depart by 6 AM on our camels to head back into town; the sun will be rising behind us, illuminating the giant dunes before us with crisp, golden light in the quiet hours of the morning. We can stop for photos and some meditation or asanas; count yourself among the few who are fortunate enough to experience sunrise among the Saharan dunes. We’ll head back to our home base for breakfast and a proper shower. From the desert we’ll return to Fes, stopping at a few lovely sites on the way. Feel free to snooze or take in more of the natural beauty outside your window.

Back to Fes

September 25–27

We’ll arrive in Fes in the early evening and make our way back to your favorite riad. We’ll have a relaxed evening after a long day, and you can create your plan for the next day. We’ll have a free day in Fes, but we are more than happy to help you plan your day (or even accompany you!) Now’s the time to shop for all of those pieces you were eyeing in the market a few days ago. Maybe you’d like to revisit some of the sites inside the medina, or even take a trip to the new part of town.

The RetreaTour formally ends the morning of September 27th, but we will help you figure out the next stage of your adventure. Perhaps you’re ready for an early morning car ride back to Casablanca for a flight home; we can even arrange further private exploration of Morocco if you’re not ready to leave this fabulous land!

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Price & Inclusions

The retreat fee is $3390 USD with a single supplement of $650 USD. 

The minimum number of guests for this retreat is 6, but as we increase our number of guests (to the maximum of 14) the retreat fee will ultimately be lower (to as low as $2800 USD per guest if we reach 14 guests). We encourage you to tell your friends about this trip–the more the merrier AND less expensive!


An $800 USD deposit holds your space.  The second installment of $1200 is due by May 18, 2018 (120 days before start of trip) and the balance is due by July 17, 2018 (60 days before start of trip).

If you prefer to have your own room, the single supplement is $650 USD and will be added to your last payment. (Click here to understand why this single supplement is necessary). Please note that we cannot guarantee you a roommate for this trip, and if you room alone, you will be responsible for the single supplement.


Price Includes:

  • All transportation within Morocco, including airport transfers from Tangier or Casablanca
  • All accommodation
  • All meals
  • All site fees
  • Daily classes with Jill Ayres
  • One hammam treatment

 

Price does not include:

  • International airfare (although we can and will be more than happy to help you decide on arrangements)
  • Yoga mats and accessories are not included in this journey.
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Alcohol

 

NOTE: 

  • There is a minimum of 6 guests that must sign up in order for this trip to take place. We will hold your deposit & payments until the minimum number of guests have signed up.  Please do not purchase any airfare until you get the go-ahead from us that we’ve reached our minimum number of participants.  
  • If the minimum number of guests have not signed up 3 months prior to the departure date, we’ll give you the option to transfer your reservation to another tour or fully refund your money.
About your Daily Practice

You will enjoy a daily all levels Blissology Vinyasa yoga class that will awaken a deep joy inside of you and build a harmonious relationship with your body-mind, personal relationships and the beautiful country we will be traveling in.

Jill will also be guiding you in the amazing practice of Yoga Nidra, a meditation practice. This will awaken a deep wisdom inside of you that will enable you to tap into the quietness within and connect with the awe of the beautiful country we will be traveling through.

We’ll take advantage of the beautiful surroundings on this journey and enjoy our practice in innovative spaces, from rooftop terraces in Chefchaouen to Berber rugs in the Sahara.

Suggested Packing List and Weather

It’s important to understand the weather to really pack wisely! Here are the average (Fahrenheit) lows and highs for our destinations on this trip. Keep in mind these are the averages—we won’t know until the trip gets very close if there are any funky weather patterns going on that would cause fluctuations in temperature.

Asilah:  60° to 80°F Chefchaouen:   55° to 80°F Fez:   55° to 85°F  The Desert:  60° to 90+°F

As you see, it has the potential to run the gamut from 55° to above 90°—layers are going to be your best friend on this trip! Here is a suggested packing list, clothing first and ‘accessories’ second. Whenever we have specific recommendations, we’ve included a link so you can see what we are talking about. We adore packing cubes like these from Eagle Creek. You roll your clothes and then put them into different mini bags within your suitcase: one for tops, one for bottoms, one for undergarments, etc. It makes your luggage very organized and easy to manage! (Rolling doesn’t *necessarily* save a ton of space, but it does make it easier to see what you have in your suitcase, with less overlap.)

Clothing

Although more and more Moroccans are adopting Western wear, traditional clothing is very prevalent and modesty is the name of the game. In a nutshell, it is best to keep your shoulders and knees covered. Also in that spirit, please do not wear clothes that are tight, transparent or show too much skin, such tank tops or halter tops. We also discourage wearing form-fitting “skinny” jeans and shorts/skirts above the knee. Instead, we recommend wear loose fitting clothing such as long skirts, dresses, and pants. Men will probably want to steer clear of shorts, as well (they’re not scandalous, per se, but it’s just a very uncommon sight!) We recommend:

  • 8+ pairs undergarments; you can always have them washed or wash them in your bathroom
  • 3-5 pair light cotton pants or long skirts.  You may want to bring leggings (2 or 3 pair) to wear under your tunics, skirts or pants on chilly mornings or evenings (again—it’s all about the layers!) BJ is a fan of nylon pants, as they are lightweight and easy to clean.  Fleece pants might be nice, and good to sleep in.
  • 4-5 cotton t-shirts, blouses, or long sleeve shirts.
  • Maxi-dresses for the ladies are a nice option (as long as they are not spaghetti-strap, or you cover up with a light cardigan or scarf).
  • A light sweater/cardigan for chilly morning or evenings, or a heavier sweater or medium-weight jacket if you know you run cold and want that extra protection (is nice on your international flight, too!)
  • Bring a few pairs of socks. Light wool (like SmartWool) or tech socks work very well and tend to remain “odor free” a lot longer.
  • Comfortable walking shoes. Sneakers or comfortable slip-ons will suffice. You can also bring sandals or flip-flops, if you wish. Walking sandals are a lovely marriage of the two (Lauren is currently obsessed with her Keen shoes, but she also knows she’s probably pretty late that party!)
  • A hat with a brim is a great idea for our daytime adventures.
  • Bathing suit. We will have a gorgeous pool at our Fez location!
  • Scarf or buff. This will prove helpful in the desert should the wind kick up.

 

Accessories (including Yoga Accessories)

  • Yoga Mat.  Because of the unique nature of this RetreaTour™ in a location where yoga is not common, you will need to bring your own mat. 
  • Your most important “accessory”: your passport!
  • A print-out of your RETURN airline ticket itinerary; you’ll often need this to enter the airport to get home. You can also have it readily accessible on your phone (you may want to save it as a photo).
  • Bring a photocopy of your passport, as well (in case of emergency or loss of original, this will make getting a replacement a thousand times easier).
  • Ear plugs and eye shades to help you sleep better and recover from jet lag more quickly. BJ swears by this! Click here for more of our tips on preventing and dealing with jet lag.
  • Good sunscreen.  Lauren prefers mineral-based ones like Devita: good for you, good for the environment. How do you know if it’s mineral based? If the active ingredient is either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide—that’s it. They might be a little pricier initially, but a little goes a long way. Devite is especially nice because it doesn’t leave a tell-tale white film that many other mineral sunscreens can.
  • Daypack or camera bag (or purse for ladies). (If you need a recommendation on a camera, BJ would be happy to help, just email him. We can discuss what type of photography you like, how much you want to spend, and how much you want to lug around.) Lauren currently uses the REI Tranquility shoulder bag and loves it (purse and camera bag, all in one!)  PacSafe has a number of stylish, travel-friendly options, too.
  • If you do bring your camera (and please do!!), don’t forget extra batteries and/or your charging cord! You may want to think about an extra memory card, too.
  • Your favorite toiletries (especially hair conditioner, if you use it). Bring your favorite contact lens solution, if necessary, as store selections can be tiny.
  • A couple packs of travel tissues for off-the-beaten track restroom stops.
  • Wet wipes and/or hand sanitizer. Nothing replaces good ol’ hand-washing, but this will work in a pinch.
  • Ladies will want to bring any necessary feminine hygiene products with them.
  • Plug adaptor for electronics: you’ll need a 2 pin adaptor common across Europe. Here’s a nice example of a great universal adapter and here’s one with USB ports, as well (for easy charging of phones, external batteries, etc).
  • An external battery charger, such as this one, may be useful for USB-powered objects. This can be good for recharging your phone while we’re in the desert (for photo purposes).
  • A small travel umbrella, if you wish; can work for rain OR as a parasol.
  • Small notebook and pen for journaling purposes, if you desire!
  • Mosquito repellent.  While we are visiting these areas in dry season and malaria is not endemic to any of these cities, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.  Consider repellants based in natural essential oils, such as citronella.  Click here to read a blog post by BJ about malaria (and dengue).
  • Enough of any prescription drugs you need, as well as over-the-counter needs.  We recommend Imodium (anti-diarrheal), a probiotic (Lauren is a BIG fan of Jarrodophilus EPS), as well as melatonin and Benadryl for jet lag purposes.
  • We will have wifi at all of our hotels (except the Sahara Desert, of course!), if you want to stay in touch via your smartphone or tablet. Don’t forget your chargers! We recommend setting up Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, or another wifi-based calling service before leaving home, and familiarizing your loved ones with it before you leave.

 

Contact RetreaTours

Please use the form below or email [email protected] if you have any questions about this journey. Please let us know which trip you’re interested in in your email.

Payment Details

Please refer to the Price tab for specific information about price & what is included on your journey.

We have a great new system for our international guests which saves lots of money on conversion fees. We LOVE TransferWise! (Click here for our post about them). They are a reputable company and have the lowest fees around for moving money internationally.  If you use our link to sign up, you actually get a discount on your first transfer. 

PayPal charges you 2.5% on top of the current exchange rate. TransferWise uses the current exchange rate and only charges 0.9%. For a $3390 USD trip, that saves you $55 USD! Signing up for TransferWise only takes moment and the transaction just another minute. Quickest $55 you ever made!

Please click the button below to get started on TransferWise, or we can send you an invoice through TransferWise.

Click here to save money on your first TransferWise payment.

Please write Lauren for the transfer details if you choose to use TransferWise.

 

We can also accept credit card payments via PayPal using the buttons below. If you are interested in wiring money, please contact us for wire details. U.S. residents can also pay by check.

  • Paying by Check: Checks can be made out to Insight Travels, LLC and sent to 8821 NW 14 Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.
  • Paying by Credit Card or PayPal balance: You can pay with credit card or PayPal balance through the following the red buttons below.  Please click the appropriate amount to be taken to PayPal’s homepage to complete your transaction. All PayPal transactions must be in USD.  Note that you do not have to pay with your PayPal balance, but can pay with any debit or credit card.

Final installment due on July 17, 2018. We’ll provide you the amount and invoice via PayPal before the due date.

Click here to pay the $800 USD deposit by credit card (via PayPal)

Click here to pay the $1200 USD installment by credit card (via PayPal) [due by May 18, 2018] 

Registration Questions and Contract

Please click here or the green button below to complete the registration questions and contract. Your spot is considered reserved when you have submitted your deposit and completed these questions.

Please click here to download to view and download PDF of the contract for your records.

Click here to access the registration questions

FAQ: information about your visa, vaccines, money, food & more

PASSPORT/VISA

  • What do I need to know about the visa?    

What do I need to know about the visa?   Citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK will receive a visa for free upon arrival in Morocco (please click here to check your country’s requirements).  Your passport MUST be valid at least 6 months beyond the end date of the trip, and you’ll need two empty pages in the Visas section of your passport. 

 

FOOD

  • I have special diet needs, can I be accommodated?      We will always strive to help you find food that you can eat, but we can never make any guarantees.
    • Vegetarian / Vegan:  Most, if not all, soups and tagines are made with beef, lamb, chicken, or fish-based broths. Because these are slow-cooked over many hours, it would be unlikely that a restaurant could substitute a vegetable broth. Beyond the potential of a meat-based broth, it is easy to avoid eating all meat, as vegetable tagines and vegetable couscous are on almost every menu. There is very little to no dairy used in dishes, so vegans should not have a problem with milk/cheese/cream.
    • Gluten-free / Paleo: Morocco is a very bread-based country, but you can certainly choose to abstain. There isn’t much in the way of “hidden” gluten (like soy sauce, bread crumbs, etc), so any gluten will be apparent. Couscous is a wheat-based staple, of course, but is also something you can easily avoid. There are plenty of vegetables, fruits, and meats to choose from wherever we travel. Please click here for a printable card written in Arabic that you can give waitstaff and cooks, explaining what “gluten free” emails. (Click here to see the English version.)  Please do print this out and bring along with you if gluten is a concern. 
    • Raw food: This will not be something available in restaurants, although you can always supplement with fruits and veggies from the market that you wash in bottled water.
    • Please let us know when answering the Registration Questions what special dietary needs you may have or email us with any questions before you register.
  • Can I drink the water?  Although many cities around the world are getting more advanced public water systems, we don’t recommend it.  Not only from a pathogen standpoint, but it’s a different set of bacteria than your body is used to. Why risk an upset stomach if you don’t have to? We recommend drinking only bottled water, and you may want to rinse your toothbrush off in bottled water.

 

HEALTH

  • What vaccines do I need?

None are required to enter Morocco, but we suggest you work with your physician or your area’s travel health expert to decide what options are best for you.  You can read the CDC’s recommendations here and the Scottish NHS recommendations here.

  • What about malaria? 

Malaria is not a risk in the areas we will be traveling, but again—we request that you work with your physician or travel doctor when making these choices.

  • Do I need travel insurance?

We require that our guests carry travel insurance because it just makes sense.  It’s a relatively small expense but affords huge peace of mind!  When choosing a travel insurance policy we require that you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We also recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance, as this may cover cancellation penalties in certain circumstances if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances.

We like World Nomads, but ultimately you have to choose the one that is right for you. If you’re 70 years old or older, you’ll have to use a different company; we like Travel Guard. We’ll be asking for confirmation of your travel insurance 60 days before your departure. Please click here to get a quote. We love the services of these companies so much that we became affiliates, so we would ask that if you do choose to purchase these policies, you do it through our links.

 

MONEY

  • How much money should I bring?

That is entirely up to you and how much shopping you want to do, as well as your love for extra massages, henna, alcoholic beverages, etc.  All of your meals and transportation is covered, so you just have to gauge how much you want to spend on extras!

  • How do I get the local currency?

You can either exchange cash in Morocco (although not at the airport, the rate is terrible!) or use a local ATM (which we prefer). Better yet, a combination of both! Just make sure you call your bank and credit card company to let them know you’ll be traveling in Morocco, so they don’t put a hold on your card when they see it being used in a strange place.

 

ACTIVITIES

  • Can I opt out of activities?

Absolutely! Nothing on these trips in mandatory. In fact, we build in a bit of downtime most days for self-exploration or rest, depending on how you’re feeling that day. We can help you build in extra activities, too, if that is your style.

  • How fit must I be for this trip?

In addition to the yoga classes, we recommend you be comfortable walking & standing for 60-minute stretches (like we’ll be doing during our tours of Fes) and riding a camel for 60-minute stretches (although you are always free to get off the camel and walk, if you choose).

 

HOTELS

  • What kind of hotels will we be staying at?

We will be staying at a very nice family-run hotel in Asilah, and 5 star riads in Chehchaouen and Fes. In the Sahara we will be staying in a simple tent camp, which technically would be “no stars.” except you have the entire Milky Way above your head, so we call it a Billion Star accommodation! All hotels (besides the desert tent camp) will have wifi, hot and cold showers, and air conditioning (although you most likely won’t need it).

  • Will I be able to charge my electronics (phone, iPad, etc)?

Yes, except in the desert (sorry!) Just be sure to bring along a 2-pin European style converter. Better yet, grab a Universal Travel Adaptor that can go with you anywhere in the world! For a few dollars more, this model even has USB ports to charge your electronics!

 

COMMUNICATION

  • Should I bring my mobile phone?

If you do bring your phone and don’t have an international plan, we recommend that you put it in airplane mode and use it for wifi at our hotels and restaurants.

  • How can my family get ahold of me in an emergency?

Before the trip we will give you a list of our hotels and their phone numbers; in addition, we will give you our Moroccan phone numbers ahead of time, as well as an American number good for text messages and voicemails.

Travel Insurance

We require that our guests carry travel insurance because it just makes sense.  It’s a relatively small expense but affords huge peace of mind for very little cost. When choosing a travel insurance policy we require that you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We also recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance, as this may cover cancellation penalties in certain circumstances if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances.

We like World Nomads, but ultimately you have to choose the one that is right for you. If you’re 70 years old or older, you’ll need to use a different company (we can advise you if you like). We’ll be asking for confirmation of your travel insurance before your departure.

Travel Insurance. Simple & Flexible.

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    Who’s going?

    About Jill Ayres

    Health, fitness and an appreciation of nature have been my life partners and passions ever since I was a little girl riding horses on my grandparent’s farm.

    In 1988 I formalised my love of fitness by becoming qualified Level 4 certified Group Fitness and Gym instructor. This enabled me to inspire and share my passion with others, which continues to be a joy today.

    My journey into the wondrous practice of yoga was a slow one, with lots of research and lots of occasions where I would dip my toes into different types. Through this I arrived at “Vinyasa Flow” – I participated in a class and it was at that time where I experienced my biggest and most profound “ah ha” moment. I suddenly came to the realisation that this was for me – I loved the challenge of its poses, the way it made by body dance and the way it spoke to my emotional and spiritual being. This was the connection my whole being had been craving.

    I continued my yoga journey by practicing classes in my home town and participating in Melbourne classes when I could. At one such Melbourne experience, I came across an international yoga teacher by the name of Eoin Finn. Eoin teaches a style of Vinyasa yoga called Blissology. Blissology yoga appealed to my sense of physicality, spiritual values, belonging to community, love and fun. From this experience I wanted to take my practice further, traveling to Bali (Ubud) in May 2013, completing my 200-hour Blissology teacher training.

    Having taught group fitness classes since 1988 (gulp) I now embraced the practice of teaching yoga classes, which continue to challenge, nourish, surprise and guide me daily in my life. I have gone on to do further training by people that have inspired me: 100 hr Yin Yoga training with Mysan Sidbo; 60 hr training with Lisa Petersen around Somatic Movement and Embodied Anatomy, 1st Level Amrit Method of Yoga Nidra and just like everything in life, believe – one size does not fit all. My practice evolves daily with my mind/body requirements and I recognise that everyone that comes to the mat is on their own journey.

    I hope to see you on mat soon….hugs, Jill.

    About BJ and Lauren of RetreaTours

    BJ & Lauren take great pride in the trips they offer, as they can personally vouch for every hotel, every restaurant, and every activity that you will experience. They craft each element of the trip with intention, and they understand that it is this careful attention to detail that sets them apart.

    Fueled by their passion, armed with know-how, and supported by knowledgeable local contacts in all of their destinations, BJ & Lauren set the scene for the vacation of a lifetime. They provide not only on-the-ground support and guidance during the trip, but they are available to answer any and all questions before the trip begins.  From giving advice on the best flights and travel insurance to providing a packing list, FAQ, information about local food, and even a tiny “phrasebook,” BJ & Lauren pride themselves on these ‘nuts & bolts’ of personalized service.

    In addition, as a guest, you receive free travel consulting services (normally a $300 value) should you choose to extend your travels. As one of their most ‘frequent fliers’ put it recently, BJ & Lauren make everything easy for you. Once you arrive in your destination country, your trip is all-inclusive—your meals, transportation, lodging, site fees, donations, and tips are all taken care of.  The research has been done, the itinerary carefully laid out, the reservations made, the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. All you have to do is show up and take in all your destination has to show you! So….let’s get going!

    (Pictured above: BJ, Lauren, and a new friend in the Sahara, Fall 2014). 

    Photo Album

    Please click a photo to see an enlarged version; you can use your arrow keys or mouse to navigate within the album. All photos have been taken by BJ and Lauren during their travels in these areas.