17 Nights

28 September – 15 October


Discover the magic of Morocco, from the Marrakech Medina to the Agafay Desert, the ancient capital of Fes and fabled Tangier.

Join me on an epic journey of discovery – and rediscovery – to Morocco.

In a past life I travelled frequently to Morocco, always to Marrakech and almost always to buy rugs. Marrakech is one of those places that makes your heart move to a different beat, much like the melodies of the snake charmers in the main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa. From the frenzy of the souk to sleeping in a riad; the shadows of date palms and minarets against 900-year-old ramparts; the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in the distance and exquisite calls to prayer: few places are so transportive and otherworldly.

I have long wanted to return, to lose myself once again in the magic of the pink city. Bartering in the souk, cooling off in a plunge pool and relaxing on a rooftop at the end of the day. To see my friend, Elsa, whose riad in Marrakech is my favourite home away from home. And also to discover other corners of the country.

Having launched The Pursuit Of, it seemed only logical to put together a Moroccan adventure. I would love you to join me – to experience the culture of ancient cities and the vast beauty of the desert; great design, wonderful people and fabulous Moroccan cuisine. I want to share with you my passion for Marrakech – and my experience buying beautiful Berber rugs and Moroccan handicrafts – get ready to be taken to the best places – and to discover, together, thrilling new destinations such as Fes and Tangier.

We’ll sample superb restaurants and bed down in gorgeous guest houses. Yes, there are more opulent options and I’ve stayed at the best of them but trust me, Morocco is best experienced this way, in style and comfort but without the disconnect of staying in a ‘luxury’ hotel. Think of this trip more in terms of barefoot luxury: lodging at the highest point of the kasbah in Tangier, at one of the world’s most romantic, and photogenic, boutique hotels; sleeping in a 600-year-old riad in Fes; and coming home to Elsa’s riad in Marrakech. Unique, atmospheric and – as always – less as a tour and more like travelling with an old friend.

17 nights

28 September – 15 October 2024

AUD 19,900 double 21,900 single per person, including GST

50% deposit with balance due 90 days prior to departure

Day 1-6: Marrakech

I met Elsa on a trip to Marrakech back in 2006. Her guesthouse, Riad UP, has been my Marrakech home ever since. Before that trip I’d stayed at Amanjena and a couple of other luxury riads – none of which had the je ne sais quoi of Elsa’s place, a mix of relaxed style, great food, and the bohemian spirit of its owner. Elsa hails from Mallorca but lived in Paris for many years, where she ran a small hotel before moving to Marrakech. 

Riad UP is a traditional Berber courtyard home from the 19th century, beautifully restored with seven guest rooms (all air conditioned and en-suite) arranged around an atmospheric courtyard with palm trees, cacti and a plunge pool. Elsa’s minimalist style is heaven after hours of sensory overdrive in the souk. It is also perfectly positioned – close but not too close to the action – a six-minute walk to Jemaa el-Fnaa, but tucked away in a peaceful and authentic corner of the medina. 

I’ll take you shopping for Berber rugs and also for long lunches. We’ll visit cultural spots such as the divine Maison de la Photographie and the harem courtyard of a grand vizier’s palace; and discover house museums such as Jardin Majorelle, a 1930’s cubist villa and garden created by the Orientalist painter, Jacques Majorelle, and later the Marrakech home of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. Speaking of the Morocco-loving couturier, another stop will be his eponymous museum, a contemporary architectural marvel designed by Studio KO. Then, at the end of the day, we’ll savour sunsets from rooftop terraces, sipping on a crisp vin gris before setting off into the night to experience the city’s dazzling restaurant scene.

Day 6-8: La Pause

If Marrakech has you spinning, think of La Pause as the antidote – a sumptuous eco camp sans electricity in the moon-like terrain of the Agafay Desert. Accommodation comprises individual Berber lodges constructed in pise (mud and straw), decked out with large beds, Berber rugs, open fires and private en-suite bathrooms. Lighting comes in the form of candles and oil lanterns, making for magical nights. La Pause features two swimming pools: one shaded by olive trees and another capping a hill with panoramic views. There’s quad biking in the desert and camel riding at sunset – and Bedouin tents making for perfect spots to enjoy mint tea, a glass of wine and candlelit suppers, gazing up at the stars.

Day 8-13: Fes

Get ready for a triple dose of history, culture and dazzling architecture. From La Pause we travel north to Fes, Morocco’s ancient capital and the most complete medieval city of the Arab world. The Medina of Fes is enormous, home to around 800 acres of mosques, madrasas, tanneries, foundouks, hammams, riads and historic mansions. One such mansion, the 600-year-old Dar Seffarine, is our home in Fes.

Dar Seffarine belongs to Alaa, an Iraqi architect, and Kate, a Norwegian graphic designer, who together share a passion for the preservation and renovation of historic architecture. Through their mutual love of ancient medinas, medieval buildings and Islamic art, they found the perfect project, built centuries ago according to Kate, as a family home in the ‘posh’ part of Fes, close to the Al-Qarawiyyin mosque and university. Even against the city’s wealth of monumental architecture, Dar Seffarine’s grandeur is impressive, with four-metre-high cedar doors, soaring columns and exquisite carved plasterwork and zellij tiles.

We’ll explore the city’s big-ticket items, such as  the 9th-century University Al-Qarawiyyin and the 11th-century Chouara Tannery – each the oldest of their kind in the world – and magnificent madrasas (religious schools) such as Al-Attarine and Bou Inania. But we’ll also discover a more intimate side to Fes, touring private houses in residential areas with Alaa, who will talk us through the challenges – and delights – of restoring historic residential buildings.

Day 13-18: Tangier

Ahhh, Tangier! Is there anywhere on the planet that conjures so tantalising an image of 20th-century hedonism? I don’t know – I’ve never been – but I’m dying to find out. The storied port city played muse to the post-war demimonde, from Tennessee Williams to Jack Kerouac, Barbara Hutton and the Rolling Stones. According to the American writer William S. Burroughs, who settled in the city for a few years in the late 1950’s: “Tangier is one of the few places left in the world where, so long as you don’t proceed to robbery, violence, or some form of crude, antisocial behaviour, you can do exactly what you want.”

There is, however, a lot more to Tangier than its infamous repute. At the juncture of Europe and Africa, Tangier has been held by the Phoenicians, Portuguese, Middle Eastern caliphates, Spanish, British and French before becoming the Moroccan sultanate’s diplomatic centre in the 19th century. Today, a new generation of Tanjawi creatives are redefining the city.

We’ll certainly have the best outlook. Built in the 18th century and once the townhouse of a high-ranking pasha, Hotel Nord Pinus is positioned at the highest point of the kasbah. The hotel’s lavish restaurant and rooftop bar make the Nord Pinus one of the most sought after spots in town, sensational views across the Straight of Gibraltar framed by the keyhole-arched windows. Rooms are kitted out in a romantic mix of antiques and vintage, with lacquered Chinese cabinets, brass beds and Iraqi stained glass.

Tangier is all about lingering, so lots of downtime to soak up the faded fabric of the place. We’ll visit the just-opened Museum of Contemporary Art – located in a former prison dating back to the 17th century – showcasing Moroccan post-war art. But for the most part we’ll wander Tangier’s famed bohemian haunts, from cafes to bookshops and the antique dealers of the old Spanish quarter, with lots of getting lost in the kasbah in between. We’ll walk on the beach and perhaps even watch a movie at Cinéma Rif, the legendary1930’s picture house made over as North Africa’s first art-house cinema. Then sundowners on the terrace, gazing across the strait to Spain, before a late dinner (Tangier keeps to a more Mediterranean timetable) at a fabulous restaurant – perhaps a drink at El Morocco Club on the way home.

Rug and textile shopping in the Marrakech Medina; a digital detox in the Agafay Desert; touring hidden Fes with a local architect; following in the footsteps of the  great 20th-century hedonists in Tangier. 

The Pursuit Of Morocco

17 nights

28 September – 15 October  2024

AUD 19,900 double 21,900 single per person, including GST

50% deposit with balance due 90 days prior to departure


  • Private Airport Transfer upon arrival in Marrakech
  • Five nights accommodation Riad UP
  • Two nights accommodation La Pause
  • Five nights accommodation Dar Seffarine
  • Five nights accommodation Hotel Nord Pinus
  • Breakfast plus lunch and/or dinner daily, including alcoholic beverages
  • Sunset drinks and cocktail experiences
  • All transport throughout itinerary 
  • Entrance fees, taxes and local guides where required
  • Private airport transfer upon departure in Tangier

Not Included:

  • Flights to/from Morocco
  • Comprehensive travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Visa or travel requirements for entry into Morocco
  • Room Service 
  • Massage and spa treatments
  • Laundry
  • Gratuities


  • A total of six guest rooms are available for single or double occupancy. They are beautiful spaces but often compact, ranging in size from 20m2 to 50m2. 
  • Additional accommodation can be arranged should you wish to arrive a day or two earlier in Marrakech, or if you would like to stay longer in Tangier, pending availability.
  • September-October is the ideal time of year to visit Morocco, with warm days and cool nights.
  • Dress for comfort although casual-elegant attire is required at some bars and restaurants.

Jason Mowen is an Australian interior designer and writer who divides his time between Murrurundi in the Upper Hunter and Matino, Puglia. An inveterate traveller, he has worked with tourism boards, luxury hotels and cultural institutions to promote atmospheric travel across the globe.

Jason is a contributor to Vogue Living, WISH and The Murrurundi Argus.  His words have also appeared in international publications such as Vogue and Conde Nast Traveller, while his interiors have been published in Elle Decor, Belle and AD.

His travel style is unhurried and full of passion, seeking out beauty and interest in unexpected places and always avoiding the crowd.

Terms and Conditions:

Please note, a minimum number of guests are required for the trip to proceed. You will be provided with confirmation once this number has been reached. 

If you choose to book your flight in advance of final confirmation, please book a refundable fare and/or obtain travel insurance to protect yourself against additional charges, should dates change or if cancellation occurs.

You will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the total booking cost, unless the booking is made 90 days or less prior to departure, in which case full payment must be paid when booking. If there is an unforeseen date change or cancellation, your deposit is refundable.

Fully comprehensive travel insurance is required for the trip. Please provide proof of insurance prior to departure.

Please note that while all efforts are made to present the itinerary as presented, we reserves the right to make any changes to the final itinerary deemed necessary, or due to circumstances beyond our control, such as flight changes, cancellations, political disturbances, natural disasters, etc.

Photographs and video recordings of guests may be used by The Pursuit Of for promotional purposes.