Immerse yourself in the art, architecture, riads and romance of Marrakech on this special journey crafted and co-hosted by luxury travel planning company, Indagare in partnership with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. During the tour, participants will be joined by writer and historian, Mitchell Owens.
From the windswept Desert d’Agafay to the sparkling city of Marrakech, Morocco is a seductive destination that truly has it all: glamour, romance, history, adventure and eternal allure. The itinerary for this exclusive trip to Morocco provides in-depth exploration of the public and private sides of the country’s most stylish city, Marrakech. Guests will visit extraordinary local landmarks—including the famous medina and its souks—tour sumptuous private riads and residences, and meet with celebrated tastemakers and creative leaders.
Highlights of this itinerary include the opportunity to gain special access to the Villa Oasis, the former private retreat of Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, as well as the adjacent Majorelle Garden and Yves Saint Laurent Museum, and enjoy architecture, history, and design-focused touring with expert guides at such top monuments, museums, and locations as the Medina, the Secret Garden, Bahia Palace, Jnane Tamsna, Villa des Orangers, Riaf el Fenn, and more. On this tour, guests will explore up-and-coming neighborhoods and be invited into the beautiful private homes of local Marrakech insiders for design touring and conversation, and have the opportunity to be immersed in the culture of Marrakech with guided shopping in the souks, a Moroccan cooking class and an excursion into the exotic Desert d’Agafay for a camel trek, a Berber feast and a musical performance.
This tour is arranged by Indagare. For further information, please contact [email protected] or 646-780-8383.
Please note that a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this travel program. All travel program participants have the opportunity to receive a complimentary Individual level membership for one year to the ICAA.
Tour participants will visit Djemaa el Fnaa, the busiest square in all of Africa, in the heart of Marrakech's famous, ancient, pink-walled medina. Filled with food stalls, musicians, snake charmers, and more, Djemaa el Fnaa has received the rare designation of "UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Space," due to its unique role in transmitting oral history through generations.
This tour includes dinner at the beautiful Villa de Orangers, a Relais & Chateax hotel that displays the stunning architecture of a typical Moroccan townhouse, with verdant courtyards, tiled walls and exotic flair.
Tour participants will visit the Secret Garden, a recently restored 400-year-old complex showcasing Islamic art and architecture and garden design.
Tour participants will visit the Bahia Palace, at 19th-century palace with a trapezoidal garden, a huge tiled courtyard and many treasures that mix Andalusian and Moorish art and architecture.
Tour participants will enjoy lunch at Riad El Fenn, the creation of Vanessa Bramson (sister of Richard Bramson) and one of the most stylish riads in the city; Madeleine Weinrib has recently joined Vanessa as a co-owner of Riad El Fenn. Afterwards, there will be opportunity to shop the property's well-curated design store.
Tour participants will visit Dar el Bacha, an ornate palace built by the powerful Glaoui family that now contains and excellent historical museum.
The Saadien Tombs, the mausoleum of the great dynasty that once ruled North Africa, features incredible mosaic work. Tour participants will visit this treasure, which was lost until the beginning of the 20th century when aerial photographs revealed its existence.
The Yves Saint Laurent Museum opened in 2017 to much fanfare as the French designer regularly celebrated his love for Marrakech and the inspiration is provided for his work. The adjoining Majorelle Garden, a gorgeous botanical garden designed by French expat artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s was bought in the 1980s by Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé is now open to the public.
Tour participants will enjoy a private visit to the Villa Oasis, the beloved retreat of Saint Laurent and Bergé, and the former home of Jacques Majorelle, features interiors that include pieces of Majorelle's works as well as many traditional Moroccan details such as carved plasterwork, coffered ceilings, tile floors, intricate stencil and metalwork and arched doors. The rooms are also home to an incredible collection of paintings and objects that Bergé and Saint Laurent amassed over the years.
Tour participants will enjoy lunch at Jnane Tamsna, a private estate created by one of North Africa's most stylish women, Meryanne Loum Martin. Jane Tamsna is popular with fashion designers and celebrities for its privacy, as well as its chic decor. The property is located on a sprawling walled estate 20 minutes from the medina.
Tour participants will venture further into the exotic Palmeraie to see cactus gardens, museums, and the perfume laboratory of Abderrazzak Benchaabane. Benchaabane, an ethnobotanist and humanitarian is Marrakech's leading garden designer, ever since he worked on the Majorelle Garden's restoration for Yves Saint Laurent.
Tour participants will meet a dada (traditional cook) for a hands-on Moroccan Gastronomy Workshop and cooking class that will introduce participants to traditional Moroccan cuisine while preparing a two-course meal.
Participants will be lead on a walking of Gueliz by author and architecture historian Rachel Thomann. Gueliz is Marrakech's up-and-coming "new city," to learn about the area's unique architectural heritage, where Art Deco, French Colonial, and traditional Moroccan design meet. Here, tour participants will also be wlecomed for a private visit in a beautiful modern home in the neighborhood.
Tour participants will venture 45 minutes outside of Marrakech to the Desert d'Agafay, an arid rocky area that is ideal for a taste of Moroccan desert culture. At sunset participant will have the option of riding a camel to a dinner feast, which will be hosted in a Berber tent under the stars. Entertainment includes live Andalusian and Gnaoua music unique to North Africa, as well as a fire-eater show and belly dancing.
Saadien Tombs (Wikimedia Commons/Luc Viatour)
Majorelle Garden (Wikimedia Commons/The Bill Band Theory)
Credited to Indagare
Djemaa El Fna (Wikimedia Commons/Michal Osmenda)
Dar El Bacha (Wikimedia Commons/Ariel Gera)
Dar El Bacha (Wikimedia Commons/Yassir Zek)
Dar El Bacha (Wikimedia Commons)
La Palmeraie (Wikimedia Commons/Viault)
Saadian Tombs (Wikimedia Commons/Mike Prince)
Bahia Palace (Wikimedia Commons/Val Traveler)
If you would like to register, you may contact the travel operator organizing the program. Please note that a $500 donation per person to the ICAA is required in order to participate in each travel program.
Your $500 donation helps to further the ICAA’s goal of advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts by supporting its varied educational programs, including continuing education courses, college workshops, the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture, New Heights, and many more.
Yes, a donation of $500 to the ICAA is required for each travel program you register for. The donation is required for each person attending a tour.
You can make your $500 donation to the ICAA online, or you can download, complete, and mail this form to the ICAA. You can alternatively fax a copy to 212-730-9649. You may also call 212-730-9646 x109 or email [email protected] to make a donation. Donations must be made separately from the registration fee.
No, membership is not required to attend an ICAA travel program. However, complimentary Individual membership to the ICAA is included with your $500 required donation.
For full itinerary and more information, contact [email protected], 646-780-8383. Due to the exclusive nature of our tours, some private locations or visits may be omitted from the ICAA's website.
Over the past several years, the ICAA has travelled to destinations including Paris; Andalusia; Atlanta; Barbados; South Africa; Chicago; the Netherlands and Belgium; Scotland; the French Riviera; Morocco; the Italian Lake Region; Charlottesville; Naples; and New Delhi, among many other locations.
The ICAA is always looking to diversify its travel offerings. If you have a suggestion or location you would like to see added, please email [email protected]