Quick Madrid and Marrakech/Atlas Mountains Mom/Son Trip

Quick Madrid and Marrakech/Atlas Mountains Mom/Son Trip Claimed

1 Week | Nov 2016 | Mom/20 yr old son | CIty & Hike

Average Reviews

Trip Overview

With just a week to visit my son in Madrid where he is studying and make a quick trip to Morocco we had to pick some highlights and focus rather than trying to do too much. What a terrific trip! Makes me want to return to Morocco for more adventures! The Morocco portion of the trip was planned/booked via Naturally Morocco in London. They are terrific- experts in the country and can suggest itineraries that match your budget and travel wishes. They booked all the hotels, transportation, guides and excursions and it just made the trip so easy and seamless. www.naturallymorocco.com . E-mail: info@naturallymorocco.co.uk

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Madrid

Arrive Madrid in afternoon. Taxi’s have flat fee of 30 Euro to the city.

Checked into Air BnB

Wander to park area for sunset, to outside of Palace, through XXX area and then have dinner at Tintoy Tapas – wonderful small, quaint bar/tapas restaurant.

Day 2: Madrid

Slept in!

Wandered around Malasana district, filled with lots of funky vintage clothing stores and fun shops. Had lunch at XXX outdoor on the square (don’t miss the ‘basement beach’ which apparently is a fun evening spot).  Explored this and other neighboring ‘hoods in the afternoon before having a wonderful homemade paella dinner at Carter’s host family’s home.

Day 3: Madrid/Morocco

Visited wonderful Prado museum, wandered through the gardens, toured the Royal Palace. Then off to the airport and flew via a $30 Ryan Air ticket to Marrakech.  We were picked up the airport and driven 15 minutes to the closest parking area to our Riad. Cars can’t get into the narrow alleys of the area around the Riad so we were met by someone who then took us down the winding alleyways to Riad Darhani. It is a nice Riad in a great location. We could have increased to a more deluxe accommodation but it was perfect for us with a very kind and friendly staff to help us as needed.

Riad Darhani: Includes B&B in Double or Twin room(s) at this spacious riad with a swimming pool and large roof terrace, ideally located near the Dar el Bacha Museum in an antique dealers’ quarter in the medina, just a few minutes on foot from Jemaa el Fna and very convenient for the well known Café Arabe. No hammam at the riad, but a good one is nearby.

Day 4: Morocco

After breakfast we got the map of the area (be sure to get directions on where your Riad is as it’s not easy to find! – as we left I took some photos so I could remember where to make turns on our way home later). We explored the Jemaa el Fna square things were getting set up (terrific fresh OJ and we go great dried fruit). We opted not to explore the cobras, monkeys on chains etc….  We then changed money at the bank (lots of ATMs as well) and spent the day seeing some sights (the Bahia Palace was terrific, as was the Ben Youssel Madressa school).

We purchased rugs at Lahandira and they shipped them home, arriving in less than a week. They have mainly vintage but some new. The rug area off the Spice square has lots of options (I don’t know about shipping).


Lahandira: Rugs

From Trip Advisor:

Foundouk Namouss ”Draz” Sidi Ishaq Num 100 Errahba El QadimaMarrakech, MoroccoEmail: Lahandira@gmail.com 212(0)677423353/ 212(0)679225719It took some effort to find: when entering the souks from the right hand side coming from Jemaa El Fna, keep going straight ahead. Shortly after passing the spice market, there is a white sign with blue lettering above you that says “Lahandira”, directing you to a small white-tiled courtyard on your right. The actual shop is at the top floor of an old catholic church, stacked to the ceiling with carpets. While all of their carpets are priced reasonably, the shop owner and his son are specialised in vintage and antique carpets, which they buy directly from the Berber tribes in the Moroccan hinterland. Eventually, we went home with a lambswool Beni Ouarain carpet for a very fair price.


cafe des epices – rooftop dining on the Spice Market square. Wonderful food (spiced turkey burger was to die for) and coffees etc. Nice hang out in the midst of the busy day.


More shopping later – poufs (leather and fabric), belt, gifts etc. Everything is negotation….

Dinner on the rooftop ofCafé Arabe. I emailed them via their site ahead and made a reservation which was good, as it was busy. Request a rooftop seat – great place for a meal and a drink(not all places sell alcohol, but they do).

CAFE ARABE – make reservations ahead of time. Sit upstairs

184 rue Mouassine, Marrakech (00 212 524 42 97 28; www.cafearabe.com). The first proper café in the sinuous alleys of the Medina, Café Arabe fills most of an old traditional-style house, with seating beneath orange trees in the courtyard and in a couple of colourful adjacent salons. It serves Italian food (the café’s owners are from Rome) and a lengthy menu of traditional, Moroccan and fruit teas, plus juices, a buffet of salads and pastas, and a selection of own-made quiches, tarts and pastries.

Day 5: Morocco/Atlas Mountains/Azzaden Valley

We were picked up at 9 by a man with a cart who wheeled our luggage out to the waiting car. We then drove approx 1.5 hours to the town of Imlil where we were dropped at the Trekking store. We rented sleeping bags ($5/day), met our guide and cook, saw our bags put into our donkey’s side packs and off we started on our 2 day trek into the Atlas Mountains. It was all up until lunch- starting through the town and then up the rocky slopes with a view of the snowy peaks around us. Lunch was served on the crest of the mountain – which was spectacular! The food that was made from what our donkey was carrying, spread on a blanket with view all around was terrific. After lunch and a rest we continued down the other side and came to the village (Usem?) where we were to spend the night in a Gite. The hiking in total, walking slowly, was about 4 hours. The lodging was a sort of bunkroom style local building (we were only ones there) and our cook made us dinner. There was no heating and as we were at high elevation it was chilly, but ok. You need your own sleeping bags (they have blankets) and towels if you plan to shower (cold water). No cars can get into the Berber villages here.

Day 6: Morocco/Atlas Mountians

Trek continued, leaving about 8amand walking in totally about 5-6 hours through a variety of terrain along the river. We went through a number of Berber villages and it was a beautiful walk. We stopped for lunch and then finished in Ourigane which is by a reservoir.

AZZADEN VALLEY (starts in Imlil ends in Ouirgane).

Includes transfers to AND from Marrakech (Journey time approx. 1 hour), Ouirgane or Ourika, 2 day/1 night trek for 2-4 people with guide, mules to carry bags, cook, accommodation in Berber houses or gites, all food and camping materials if needed (small tents, big tents, mattress) but EXCLUDES mineral water. Trek routes may be subject to change due to weather and local conditions, especially in winter (late November to March). Trek Grade: Moderate.

DAY 1 Imlil ——-Tizi M’zzik —Tizi Oussem —–Id Aissa

Trek from Imlil valley to Id Aissa on a five hour walk which takes you over Tizi M’zzik Mountain pass 2540m and down into the spectacular valley of Azzaden, spend night in village of Id Aissa (gite).

Day 2: Ia Aissa ——-Tiziane —–Azerfsane —-Tassa Ouirgane —–Ouirgane centre.

A downhill walk leading through the nature reserve protecting the Barbary sheep. Lunch will be served at a stop off en route to Tassa Ouirgane, another hour and half after that and you will arrive in the centre of Ouirgane travelling through olive groves and many Berber villages.

We spent the night at the Chez Momo hotel. It is beautiful with a pool, rooftop deck for reading etc, hot water (although ours wasn’t working really…) and very nice staff. We asked for an earlier pick up time the next day which they were able to do as our driver was from the local village.

Accom: Chez Momo, Ouirgane – Spacious, nicely appointed earth-built auberge overlooking the reservoir. Rebuilt in 2008 due to the flooding of the valley. Pool, pretty gardens, attractive bar & restaurant. No air conditioning in rooms, but fans are available upon request.

Day 7:Morocco/ a bit of Marrakech and back to Madrid

Breakfast at the hotel, then left at 9:30 for the 1.5 hour drive to the city. The driver dropped us near the square so we could have a few more hours in the city. Started pouring rain as soon as we left him (raincoats in the car) so we just did a bit of shopping (fabric poufs!) and had lunch again atCafé d’espice and then headed to the airport, and back to Madrid.

Day 8: to home

Caught an early flight back home! 



Time of year


Type of Trip

Adventure/Active, Urban exploration


1 week

Who Went

Family with adult kids

Accommodation Type



less than $200


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