Wander Women Morocco:
A Surf, Yoga + Adventure Retreat
Marrakech + Beyond
September 26-October 4, 2024
Join us for a transformative journey as we dive into the enchanting tapestry of Morocco — a land of rich history, diverse traditions, and boundless inspiration. Indulge in eight magical nights immersing yourself in the treasures of Marrakech and its bustling markets, the peaceful and timeless Agafay Desert, the coastal charm of Essaouira, and beyond — and consider adding on our Blue Pearl Extension to experience the photogenic city of Chefchaouen.
Morocco is having a moment. Having captured the world’s imagination since Casablanca graced screens in 1942, Morocco is experiencing a revitalization of modern traveler attention. This unique North African nation’s allure lies not only in its historical wonders, fascinating culture and natural beauty, but also in its modern soul. At Wander Women, we build retreats that resonate with your soul, and our carefully crafted itinerary will take you on an adventure through time to experience the best of all worlds, in a completely unique experience you won’t find anywhere else.
Think mind-bending medinas where tradition and innovation coexist amidst centuries-old architecture, and sun-soaked beaches where ancient ruins overlook a budding surf community. Wind down with signature activities like aerial yoga, a traditional hammam, and a wine tasting at the country’s one stunning vineyard to boot (just to name a few!), all while connecting with spirited locals who make Morocco come alive as you share in their stories, traditions and warm hospitality.
Morocco is enormous, and many Morocco tours involve constant travel days with long stretches spent seeing the country from the window of a tour bus; while many Morocco retreats park it in one singular destination with a narrow view of the nation. We’ve opted to create an itinerary that’s just right — you’ll experience Moroccan cities, deserts, and beaches, without spending your entire trip in transit.
Amid the core memory-making days, you’ll be resting your head in our range of insta-worthy accommodations that are, frankly, off-the-charts fabulous — from our boutique riad right smack in the heart of Marrakech to the awe-inspiring vistas at our luxury camp under the starry Agafay Desert sky, and our beach-chic medina homestay where 360° panoramic views of the ocean and city will leave you seriously hashtag blessed. With each unique spot, we’re dialing up the vibes to match your surroundings — think mouthwatering Moroccan cuisine, story-sharing sessions over mint tea, and getting your groove on with some traditional henna artistry. Let’s just say, your comfort and style are totally our jam!
While Morocco’s magic is undeniable, navigating its diverse landscapes and cultural nuances can sometimes pose challenges for even the savviest traveler… enter Wander Women Retreats! Here lies your passport to unlocking its hidden gems, guided by locals who are not just experts, but also friends. Whether it’s decoding market haggling like a pro or effortlessly blending into local etiquette, you’ll have a sisterhood of like-minded adventurers to share experiences, insights, and the joy of experiencing Moroccan life with.
Capture every moment of this extraordinary journey with the artistry of a professional photographer who will be behind the lens every step of the way curating memories for a lifetime. You’ll receive a treasure trove of images captured in the moment, as well as a daily selection of highlights for you to post on-the-go.
As with all our retreats, Wander Women Retreats’ commitment to mindful travel is unwavering. We seek to support locally owned businesses, give back by working with social enterprises, embrace sustainable practices wherever possible, and foster meaningful connections with the places we visit.
This eight day retreat will be held from September 26-October 4, 2024, and costs $4,600 for shared accommodation and $5,500 for single accommodation. Please note — this retreat starts in Marrakech and will finish in Casablanca.
• Eight nights of unique accommodation
• Two meals a day
• Daily yoga
• All outlined activities — see below!
• All local transportation + airport transfers
• Local English-speaking guides throughout the trip
• A custom welcome bag
• Tips for tour guides and drivers (we generously tip on your behalf, removing the stress and anxiety of when and how much to tip in a new culture!)
• Professional photos of the trip
• Donation to a local NGO directed by our local partners
What’s Not Included
• International flights
• Visa fees
• Optional upgrade activities — see below!
• Additional meals, alcohol or activities not specified in the itinerary
• Mandatory travel insurance
Subject to change, but you’re going to have a magical time — here’s the general idea!
Day 1: Get ready to dive into the enchanting world of Morocco as you arrive into Marrakech and get whisked to our first gorgeous riad home by private airport transfer. After navigating through the labyrinthine medina for the first time to make it to our oasis, it’s time to unwind and stretch out those travel kinks with a relaxing early evening yoga class led by Alex. We’ll kick off this incredible week with a tantalizing welcome dinner indulging in flavors that will ignite your senses and set the stage for a week of magic.
Day 2: Time to turn your world upside down — figuratively and literally! Today we’ll elevate your yoga practice with a private aerial yoga session at Om Marrakech followed by a walking tour through Marrakech’s vibrant medina. From the elegance of Bahia Palace to the bustling Jewish neighborhood, the intricate woodworking lanes to the lively food markets — you’ll uncover the heartbeat of the city. Lunch provided along the way is like an immersion into local culture. As the sun sets, channel your creativity during an evening henna class, a tribute to Morocco’s artistic history.
Day 3: Rise and shine with rooftop asanas and a soul-nourishing breakfast followed by an eyecatching visit to Anima Garden for a visual feast of botanical wonders. The option to explore the Majorelle Gardens and Yves Saint Laurent Museum awaits, a testament to Morocco’s timeless style. Wash away the day with a traditional hammam experience — VIP style! As the sun begins its descent, indulge in evening drinks and dinner at a famous rooftop restaurant straight out of a movie scene.
Day 4: Fuel up on breakfast this morning as your adventures will be on two wheels! We’ll cycle the back streets of Marrakech with expert guides from a stylish local organization supporting youth education and promoting sustainable transport alternatives. We then bid adieu to Marrakech journeying to the Agafay Desert — don’t worry, not on a bicycle! But hold on as we switch to camel-back and make our way deeper into the dunes for a sunset yoga session and group dinner at our dreamy desert camp, where stories and stars come alive under the open sky.
Day 5: For those seeking an early morning adventure, the option of a sunrise hot air balloon ride beckons. Following your adventure or a leisurely morning to journal, enjoy a delicious breakfast that energizes you for the day ahead. Depart for Essaouira, a coastal gem that’s brimming with beauty and charm. Embrace the art of Moroccan cuisine with an evening cooking class that delves into the secrets of traditional dishes you’ll have already come to love, like tagine.
Day 6: Today we’ll kick start the morning with a splash of action – surf lessons, with a yoga warm up! All levels, including total beginner, can be catered to. After an invigorating morning, it’s time to rummage through Essaouira’s charming old city. With a local guide we’ll explore its quaint streets and fortress perfect for photography, and traditional craft workshops and vibrant markets great for souvenir shopping. Immerse yourself in local art and culture at the Dar Souiri cultural center, where exhibitions will give insight to the modern local scene. If you’re starting to feel fatigued, fear not — this afternoon you can relax and unwind at the beach, where Essaouira’s chill vibes will embrace you.
Day 7: Continue your surfing adventure to perfect that pop and join Alex for a yoga sesh, our favorite land and sea morning combo. Enjoy some free time to get a spa treatment, enjoy the sandy beaches, or explore Essaouira’s medina and put your, by now, well practiced bartering skills to use! As the day winds down, we’ll regroup to soak in the beauty of sunset on a boat tour that captures the tranquil essence of the seaside.
Day 8: Rise early to seize the day with our last surf and yoga session at sunrise. We’ll be departing Essaouira and making our way to the famed Casablanca, but not before making a pit-stop at the Val d’Argan Winery for a delightful lunch and wine-tasting experience — cheers to us, the show’s not over yet! And if you haven’t seen Casablanca yet, fear not, the bus drive is a few hours and we’ve got popcorn 😉
Day 9: Before we say farewell, we’ll embark on a morning tour of the colossal Hassan II Mosque, the largest functioning mosque on the continent, which dominates the Casablanca skyline. Conclude your journey with a closing lunch at Tahiti Beach club, where we’ll embark on some giggle-worthy aqua yoga, cocktail in hand as we cheers to the amazing memories and friendships made. Wave to Morocco from the window seat on your flight out today… or let the fun continue!
Not ready to say goodbye? Don’t let the goodbye blues sink in just yet — join us for our Blue Pearl Extension to the famously blue city of Chefchaouen!
Why sightsee when you can sight do! We’re going to enjoy Morocco in motion — but feel free to hang back anytime you need to rest and recharge. Here’s what’s included, but of course, expect some surprises.
Guided walking tour of each city
Creative henna class in Marrakech
Private aerial yoga session in Marrakech
Cycling tour of Marrakech
Camel ride or 4WDing in Agafay desert
Cooking class in Essaouira
Three days of private surfing lessons at Essaouira beach
Sunset boat tour of Essaouira coast
Tour and tasting at a winery
Guided visit to Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
For those craving more, there are optional add-ons to make the most of every moment!
Optional sunrise hot air balloon ride in Agafay
Optional tours of Majorelle Gardens + Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech
The Food + Accommodation
We’ll spend three nights at chic and oh-so instagrammable riad in the heart of Marrakech’s buzzing medina, one night under the stars at a lux glamping hotel in the Agafay desert, three nights at a boutique guest-house in Essaouira, and finally one more night in a modern hotel in the center of Casablanca.
There are options for both single or shared accommodation, where you can room with a friend or (if you’re traveling solo) meet your next travel bestie! Due to our preference for locally-owned boutique accommodation over corporate chain hotels, some of our shared rooms may feature sleepover-style shared beds. We’ll do our best to pair you with someone we think you’ll click with based on your intake forms — and we’ll all be besties by the end anyway. Rooms vary slightly by layout and view and will be assigned based on booking order.
Breakfast will be included everyday, along with either lunch or dinner. Moroccan cuisine is fragrant and distinct, a favorite not only for being delicious but healthy and balanced. We’ll eat well and feel great — and yes, there will be plenty of tagine along the way. For the non-included meals, we’ll bring you to a favorite spot where you can order at your own expense or branch off and do your own thing. All diets can be accommodated. Morocco has plenty of hearty vegetarian options!
Extend Your Adventure
Can’t imagine coming all the way to Morocco and not seeing the country’s most instagrammable town — Chefchaouen? Don’t worry, we got you covered! Our Blue Pearl Extension is the perfect way to see out your post-travel blues (in every shade — ha!). Tucked into the mountains of the north-western corner of Morocco, Chefchaouen is the perfect place to decompress from your trip with two nights of soulful immersion in this quaint town; expect a cool change as we head to higher altitude and a slower pace of life. We’ll feast, explore, shop and share stories, with a couple of Wander Women curated moments sprinkled in… want to know more? Check out our Blue Pearl Extension.
Travel With Us
On this trip you’ll be traveling with Wander Women Retreats founder Alexandra Baackes as your host and yoga instructor. She is a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, an aerial vinyasa and yin instructor, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and a regular yoga practitioner for nearly two decades. Alex fell in love with the region when she first fulfilled her lifelong dream of visiting in 2011 and has now launched retreats in many of its countries, including Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon, and traveled as well to Bahrain, Kuwait, The United Arab Emirates, and Turkey. She can’t wait to extend her travels to North Africa and share the unique culture and landscapes of Morocco with you!
Stay tuned for more information on co-hosts and photographers!
Health + Safety
Morocco has no COVID entry requirements. Yalla!
Getting There and Away
This retreat will begin in the beguiling Marrakech city and finish up in Casablanca. We recommend an open-jaw ticket for those flying in and out for this retreat. Or, if you are staying on to explore further, domestic flights are reasonable and regular in between these cities.
Most direct international flights to Morocco arrive and depart from Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport (the most frequent US departures are from New York City, Washington or Miami). Marrakech’s Menara Airport is also an international port with many flight routes that have a stop over in Europe along the way.
On arrival your airport transfer is included and will whisk you directly to our first accommodation so you can settle in with ease! Your departing airport transfer is also included on the final day of the retreat.
Please feel free to reach out to us for help with flight recommendations — we’re always available at email@example.com. We offer an hour of complimentary consultation on booking your trip, after which we will offer our hourly consulting at a special retreat guest rate.
This retreat has had a huge amount of interest from Wander Women alumni — book soon to avoid disappointment! Your deposit will be the first of five total payments for this trip, spread into convenient monthly installments.
This trip requires a minimum number of guests to run. We will notify you when it is a guaranteed departure! Until then, please do not book non-refundable airfare.
Can’t make this one? Don’t sweat — sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats. Don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. We’d love to chat!
So does non-refundable really mean non-refundable?
Yes, all payments are non-refundable. If the trip must be postponed or cancelled due to events beyond our control, you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payments to a future trip.
The reason payments are non-refundable is that we start incurring costs from the moment someone presses “book” — from credit card fees to high hourly wages for our team who correspond with guests, manage trip inventory and our e-commerce platform, analyze forms to create room assignments, coordinate with our local vendors, and beyond.
There’s nothing we want more than for our guests to take and enjoy the travel they have worked hard and paid for. Thank you so much for your understanding and respect of our need to enforce this policy strictly. We want to be here to travel with you for years to come!
Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, it is mandatory for all Wander Women Retreat guests to have personal travel insurance for the duration of the trip. Our affiliate, World Nomads offers coverage at affordable rates. We recommend you book your travel insurance as soon as you make your trip deposit to protect your investment.
Do I need to be good at yoga?
Absolutely not. (And frankly, we don’t believe in the idea of being “good” at yoga!) We have a range of yogis from brand-new beginners to talented instructors join us on our trips. You’ll get the opportunity to sample a wide range of yoga styles, and you can opt in or out of as many classes as you wish.
Do I need to be good at surfing?
Heck no! In fact… you don’t need to go surfing at all. While we’re excited to tap into Morocco’s funky surf scene with three mornings of private lessons in Essaouira, you are also welcome to take that time to chill, sleep in, journal, solo explore, or whatever makes your heart content! All levels, including never-before-been-on-a-board, will be catered to.
Will I have time to do my own thing?
This is your retreat and we want you to make it exactly what you want! There’s a lot to see and experience, so we’ve tried to design an itinerary that balances the best of activity and downtime. But any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, we’re going to cheer you on.
How much money will I need to bring?
For lunches at the local spots we’ll bring you to, you can expect to spend 50-80MAD (about $5-8USD) per meal, depending on where you go and what you order. For dinners, plan for around 80-120MAD (about $8-12USD.) As an Islamic country, liquor tends to be very expensive and hard to find throughout Morocco, a small beer will set you back around 40MAD ($4USD). We’ll have details on duty free, fear not!
Morocco’s bustling markets are a paradise for souvenir seekers and you can use your discretion on how much you want to bring for shopping. Be prepared to haggle your way to unique treasures, from textiles and ceramics to spices and handicrafts. Budget around $10 to $30 USD for smaller items, while larger purchases might require a bit more negotiation.
What about visas?
Good news! Entering Morocco is a relatively straightforward process as visas are not required for stays of up to 90 days when you hold a US, Canada, UK passport (along with many other countries). Before traveling you will just need to make sure that you have at least 6 months validity (from your intended return date) and a blank passport page — hurray another stamp!
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older.
Is there a waiting list?
There will be a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis in case spaces open up. If the retreat is full and you’re still interested, email us at email@example.com to be added to the waiting list.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.