April 15 - 22, 2024 | 9 persons
Love for Morocco
Morocco Wanderlust Concept
Maureen Bleeker Paal
A Culture & Creative travel trip to explore the magical sides of Marrakech and experience an exclusive stay in an authentic Berber village, in the Atlas mountains.
This guided adventure will be all in English and will be from April 15 – 22, 2024 for 8 days (7 nights).
A Creative combination.
This adventurous trip will be hosted and guided by us – Caroline and Maureen. We both share a love for the endless creativity and unique way of living, that you will see in Marrakech.
Everything is still made by hand here, which has created a community of artisans and makers and friendly locals.
We both love to Connect and Create – whether it’s creating connections between people or creating experiences – it’s been the Why behind both our brands.
That is why we will take you to the best places in the souk and share with you the local specialities.
The magic will be brought by professional guide and tour leader Jalil. Without him we would not be able to create such a wonderful trip!
This trip will all be in English, which makes it exciting to invite a more international community, to experience all that Marrakech has to offer.
We also are invited to stay in an authentic Berber village in the Atlas mountains – which truly is special. This is not a place where tourists will come. We will experience life with the local villagers, which makes this trip a great mixture of bustling city living and the more quieter pace of the village. Once in the village, we will go to the source of their creativity – it’s a special part of this trip.
Jalil, Maureen and I truly look forward to not only inspire people, but also to make them wander and wonder during this trip. To slightly step out of your comfort zone and be inspired and energized when they leave. We can’t wait to show you around!
A short summery of what we have planned for our trip:
Day 1 Early or late arrival in Marrakech [exact times yet to be confirmed]
We arrive at the Riad, divide the shared bedrooms and get settled in.
If there is enough time, we will wander through the souk and have lunch in the city.
in the evening, our chef will cook for us and we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner at the Riad.
Day 2 After breakfast we’ll explore the city per tuk tuk
Visits to artisans, Jardin Majorelle, the vintage souk and visit the carpet souk
Day 3 Creative workshop, lunch and tour at El Fenn, hammam and dinner at the Riad
Day 4 After breakfast, free time to explore. Meeting back at 3pm at the Riad, change clothes, special dinner in the desert.
Day 5 Breakfast, drive to the mountain village in Toyota Jeeps. We sleep in the village.
Day 6 A whole day of experiencing village life with the locals.
Day 7 After breakfast we drive to a special kasbah, Ait Ben Haddou, which is on the Unesco Heritage list.
We will spend the night here.
Day 8 After breakfast we will drive back to Marrakech airport, to travel back home.
Our special trip will take place in and around Marrakech. We will explore not only the cultural side that this vibrant city has to offer, we also will be visiting the special creative places which are often hidden from view. We will be invited into the workshops of the talented makers and artisans, who create all the beautiful wares you will see in the souks.
We also will be visiting a special place in the Atlas mountains. An authentic Berber village, where you will not see other tourists, but where you are welcomed into the homes and daily lives of a Berber community. In the village, we will have our own house to stay in with our own private chef – who will cook for us 3x a day. This visit in the village will give you a feeling of going back to basic living.
You need to bring a sleeping bag for this part of the trip, which is all part of this adventure. This village is completely self sufficient, which makes it extra special and together we will enjoy being close to nature again. This is an authentic way of experiencing life amongst the friendly villagers. Being invited to be a part of their daily life and visiting their homes is special. This is all part of experiencing Morocco with an open mind and seeing the different ways of living. Luxury in the city and basic in the village. A magical way of exploring this wonderful country!
While we are in the village, you will see how the women make their carpets – all by hand. They have sheep and from their wool, the women create their magic. Spinning and knotting in their experienced ways. It will be an experience to witness this creative process and it will show, how much detailed work goes into creating all their beautiful handmade carpets.
It’s all about living life in a simpler way. The beauty of simplicity, creativity, creating connections and the pureness to witness it all – that’s what makes this part of the trip so special.
To show the contrast of the Moroccan culture, we will experience another side while being in the city of Marrakech. It’s a city filled with mixtures of old and new, modern and traditional living. Neutrals and bright colours – all creating that magic Marrakech is known for. But the most important part of the energy in this city comes from the people. They are friendly, helpful, creative and their food is truly delicious. The combination of seeing all these contrasts will also inspire your own creativity. We will motivate you to lean into that creative part of yourself during the special workshop we have organized.
When we start our trip, we will stay in the beautiful Riad dar Palm. Your home away from home while we stay in Marrakech. From there we will explore and wander the city with a filled program, full of surprises. And no worries – everything is taken care of. You will not have to organize or think about anything, other than how to fully relax and enjoy your time in Morocco.
As your guides during this trip – Caroline, Jalil and Maureen – we are looking forward to share all these various experiences with you.
About your guides - Caroline and Jalil
Exploring and sharing the Moroccan Culture in an authentic and creative way is part of our mission.
Jalil and I will be there to guide you and share the knowledge we have, about this special country and their people. Over the years, we have organized together various guided tours and multiple journeys, for groups from around the world. This part of our work we still consider special. That we are able to do this and see what the positive effect this has – for both the locals as well for our visitors. Jalil and myself, we still feel grateful to witness the excitement and amazement when people experience Morocco and all it has to offer. Most people have a certain image in their minds how Morocco will be. We intend to share our own experiences with you and leave you with great memories to take home.
I started “Love for Morocco” to give people a good and safe feeling, so that they can enjoy the country without worries and fully enjoy the beauty and everything Morocco has to offer.
I live in The Netherlands with my family and I’m also back frequently in Marrakech, to run the Riad and our various trips.
Jalil lives and works in Marrakech and he is a professional guide and group tour leader. His parents are from the Berber village in the mountains that we will be visiting, which makes it very special for us. To be amongst his family and the villagers, being invited into their homes, is unique. Jalil has a lot of knowledge about his country and the culture and he will be happy to share some of it with you.
We both look forward to share more of Morocco with you.
Will you be joining us?
Will you join?
This unique 8 day adventure will be an English speaking trip, where you will experience the various beauty of Marrakech and a Berber village in the mountains.
For this trip we ask that you keep an open mind, be kind and let the magic of Morocco unfold.
We have space for 9 people in the Riad, which will make the group feel special as well.
Once we get closer to April 2024, Caroline will add you to a WhatsApp group, where you will receive additional detailed information (such as: what to bring, food allergies, etc)
Total Price: 2100 euro
Which will include:
- all overnight stays (with shared bedrooms)
- all meals and drinks 3x a day (excluding lunch on day 4)
- limitless tea and water
- all local transport (from and to the airport and Jeeps with private drivers)
- all entrance tickets (for various places)
- one workshop
- English speaking guide and tour leader
- all the tips (for various people)
- Insurance with the Dutch Garantie fonds
What is not included:
- the flight to Morocco
- travel and cancelation insurance (you are obligated to have your own travel insurance, before you start this trip)
- extra drinks and drinks with Alcohol
Our retreats: Travel save
You have to take out your own travel and cancellation insurance. Because sometimes there are things you didn’t anticipate… Please inquire with your cancellation and travel insurance about their rules regarding canceling travel cancellations.
We are affiliated with a Dutch guarantee fund, so that our travellers are protected in case of a bankruptcy.
Hello and Welcome! I’m Maureen Bleeker Paal and for the past 21 years I have been living a nomadic lifestyle, together with my husband, our two girls and our little dog.
We have called many countries Home during these years, but originally we are from Amsterdam and currently we call Brighton, UK our home away from home.
While travelling, moving countries, raising a family and working part-time, I also wrote on my blog, from 2010 untill 2020. Ten creative years, where I could use my love for writing and photography, while building a community of like minded people. These days we meet on Instagram, but for me, the magic will always be to meet somebody in person. How else can you give a good hug, right?
I’ve always been a natural Connector – helping and working with various people in different countries, to get the goals they are after. Five years ago we moved from New York City to Brighton and I started hosting Creative Meetups, which were always so fun to do. During the pandemic years I had to switch everything online and I created the Moksi Collective. A membership for Creative Entrepreneurs. Since 2018 I’m a Mindset Mentor for Creative Entrepreneurs, where I focus on Wellbeing, Mindset and Business. I take people on a journey where they will get more clarity, boost their confidence and create a consistent way to move forward – in their business and personal life.
I’m a life long learner. And even though I have learned many tools, techniques and strategies over the years – from different business courses, sale workshops, membership courses, marketing webinars and last month on an Educators retreat – my mission is simple.
For me, it’s all about Creating Connections from the Heart.
So I hope when you decide to join, either the Cultural Connections adventure trip I’m hosting with Caroline and Jalil – or you’ll join one of their other great trips – I hope you will enjoy your time in Morocco.
See you soon!
the itinerary of this cultural trip
Cultural connections with Maureen | April 15 – 22, 2024 | 9 persons
Late arrival in Marrakech, where you all will be picked up and brought to the Riad – which will be your home while staying in Marrakech.
We will sleep in the beautiful Riad dar Palm, in the middle of the Medina – the old and authentic part of the city – which is filled with its uniques narrow streets. In the Medina you will experience what is hidden behind the closed doors and high walls. A riad is a big house built around an inner courtyard. Which means all the windows are inwards facing, to the courtyard – not to the streets. The Riad has space for 9 people and we will have shared bedrooms – 2 people per room and one room is dedicated to 3 people. All the bedrooms have their own bathrooms and toilets.
During your stay in Riad dar Palm, you will start your days with a delicious fresh breakfast. All the lunches are included in this trip (besides the lunch on your free afternoon on day 4). The same goes for all the dinners – which you will enjoy either in one of the many restaurants the city has to offer, or back home at the Riad. One thing is for sure – food in Morocco is fresh and tastes delicious!
Today will be a busy day. After breakfast at the Riad, we will go out and explore Marrakech by tuk-tuk – an adventure on its own! Using a tuk-tuk is a very handy way of moving around the narrow streets while also going a bit further into the city. We will visit artisans and makers in their studios, wander through the lush gardens of The Jardin Majorelle (which was owned by Yves Saint Laurent), wander through the souk and visit speciality shops. One special stop will be made, where we will be welcomed at a souk filled with handmade carpets and where we will hear the stories behind them. Jalil is our professional guide who will translate all your wishes or questions. At the end of this day we will have dinner in a very authentic Moroccan way.
After another special breakfast at home, we will make our way through the Medina to our Creative workshop (the topic is a surprise). Afterwards you can bring your creation home as a special souvenir, handmade by you.
For lunch we will be eating at the famous El Fenn – which you might recognize from Instagram. Afterwards we are invited for a guided tour in this beautiful hotel with its restaurant and specialty shop. Another beautiful place for you to be inspired! After making our way back home to the Riad, we will be having a special treatment at the local Hammam. A perfect way to end the day and feel completely refreshed. If this will be your first time going to the Hammam, you don’t have to worry at all. You may wear swimwear (a bikini or swimsuit). Any questions at all about treatments at a Hammam, we are here to answer them. After another full day, we will have a relaxed dinner at our roof terrace in the Riad. This night you will sleep well!
After another delicious breakfast made by our chef, you can enjoy half of this day freely as you like. Perhaps you would like to go back to that special shop? Or you want to visit a museum? Jalil and Caroline are here to guide you to wherever you would like to go. This day is the only day that you need to take care of your own lunch. A perfect way to explore the many restaurants Marrakech has to offer. In the afternoon at 3pm we meet again at the Riad to change our clothes, for a special dinner with candlelights and life guitar music – in the desert!
A wonderful experience to end our stay in Marrakech.
After breakfast and having packed our bags and suitcases, we will begin our journey to the Berber village in the Atlas mountains. We will drive in Toyota jeeps, together with our own chefs and guides. During the ride we will stop for coffee and a lunch, while enjoying the magical views this part of the country has to offer. After we arrive in the village, we will explore where we are, while our chefs prepare our dinners for the evening. In the house – where we all will be staying – we will sleep together in one big room, just as the locals do as well. This is another way of creating an open mind and experiencing the other side of Morocco in a pure and authentic way. Here we will sleep on thick carpets and in a sleeping bag. In the house there is a big bathroom and toilet for us to share. If you like camping, you will know this as a luxurious way of Glamping – Moroccan style! Since we are the only people who are visiting this village, it makes this a special experience. For them, as well as for us. Connecting with each other and being invited into their lives and homes is truly kind and special.
After our breakfast, we will explore the village together. The friendly villagers have allowed us to peek behind their (normally closed) doors. We will experience how life is in this village, how the villagers have a simple and basic way of being self sufficient. We also are invited to see how the women create their handmade carpets together. This is one of the many places in Morocco where all the beautiful carpets you see in Marrakech (and around the world), are being made. All carefully created by hand, thread by thread, by these talented women. Remember, an average carpet can measure 2×3 meter, so seeing the process behind these carpets being made, is truly a work of art. It’s something we hardly can imagine, all created by hand.
We also will be invited to drink some tea – a Moroccan speciality. Another part of their daily life is making bread by hand, which we also may experience.
All this is done with love. To share with us how they life their lives. We are grateful to be able to experience it all.
*If we have time, we might drive to another village which lays a bit higher up the mountains, to view the landscape from up there. In the evening we will have a relaxed joyful evening at the house, where our chefs will have prepared another delicious meal for us. We will do everything a bit more slower while being up in the mountains, since the village is much higher than the city (more than 2000 meter), which will make us a bit more tired than usual. Especially after all our adventures in the city.
After our breakfast in the village we will pack our bags and head to another location. The villagers will probably come to say goodbye and this is partly why we want you to experience visiting them.
To experience another culture and another way of living life. A place that is not open to everyone. But with so much kindness (and some help from Jalil) we will understand each other. Love is a universal language. We can’t wait for you to experience this part of the trip for yourself.
During our drive down the mountains, we will enjoy our lunch.
Our next location will also feel special. We will stay in kasbah Ben ait Haddou – another magical place. To keep a little bit of a surprise element, you will see and experience this all for yourself once there. One thing we can share is that this kasbah has been used in many movies as a background decoration. We will be climbing the kasbah – which is on the Unesco World Heritage list.
After we have our dinner there it is time to relax. This is yet another experience – a great way to end this part of the trip.
After a good nigh sleep it is time to drive back to Marrakech and to the airport. We hope that on this day you will feel fulfilled with joy and inspiration.
That you have experienced a part of Morocco that you did not know, but have come to love as well. Thanks to the great efforts and know-how of Jalil, Caroline and Maureen, we hope you will have enjoyed this adventure. On this last day, we wish you safe travels back home and many more adventures in your hearts!
All bedrooms will be shared.
‘Love for Morocco’ is an official travel organization that is affiliated with a Dutchguarantee fund
Flight information (if you fly Transavia from Amsterdam):
Outward flight Monday 15th of April 2024 15.50pm – 18.40pm Amsterdam – Marrakech
Return flight Monday 22nd of April 2024 19.25pm – 00.10am (next day) Marrakech – Amsterdam
If your flight is from another airport please contact us to discuss your schedule to be sure it will fit the program. We have arranged a private driver to pick you up, if your times are different.
• To travel to Morocco you need a passport. Your passport must still be valid for six months upon departure!
• If you can, book your flight flight yourself with Transavia (after you got the confirmation from Caroline). The earlier you book, the cheaper the ticket will be.
• Book your flight from or via Amsterdam, or from another airport that fits you. But just discuss with Caroline or Maureen to discuss if your flight fits the program.
• Check that you want to be able to reschedule your ticket! This costs €18.00 extra, but the trip can still be rescheduled if necessary.
We create a Whats-app group with all participants well in advance. Here I share important information for everyone and you can also ask questions.
If you have any questions before, please call, app or email firstname.lastname@example.org | 0031 (0)6 – 39593119