Beautiful Barcelona and Magical Marrkech
At this time 2 weeks ago, I was sipping wine on a mountain in Spain, getting ready to fly off to Morocco. Ah, what a dreamy trip it was! And it all happened because one of my best childhood friends, Lauren, texted me one day in January with links to a cheap roundtrip flight to Barcelona. It’s no secret that Norwegian Air often runs deals to various cities in Europe for very reasonable prices. The airline might be bare bones, but we felt this was a deal we couldn’t pass up. Lauren and I have both been to Barcelona, so when we tossed around the idea of working Marrakech, Morocco, into the trip, we got even more excited. So with only a month and a half to plan, we booked it!
Day 1: Barcelona, Spain
We arrived in Barcelona around noon, headed straight to our Airbnb to drop off our bags before making our way down Las Rambles to get tapas. We went to Cervesería Catalana, a place recommended to us by a friend. The sangria, manchego cheese, fried artichokes, and patatas bravas were our favorites!
Afterward, we just decided to explore, which is the best part of a city like Barcelona. Getting lost in the little old cobblestones of the Gothic Quarter or walking along the water was so enjoyable. We stopped at a bar called No Sé where we got the fun, fruity cocktail shown above on the left. After that, we made our way to Paradiso, a bar that was recommended to us by everyone. It’s famous because of its speakeasy style entrance through a refrigerator door and its creatively served cocktails. Lauren’s was served in a “boulder” cup on a wooden board while mine was served in a glass apple.
Day 2: Montserrat, Spain
Because Lauren and I have both seen the major tourist sites in Barcelona, we decided to make our way outside the city on a guided tour to Montserrat, a nearby mountain with incredible views, a beautiful monastery, and nearby vineyards. We booked our tour through Trip Advisor with a company called Castlexperience. It was so affordable and our guide was amazing. We got some tapas, tasted 4 different wines, and saw so many beautiful views!
Day 3: Marrakech, Morocco
We arrived to Marrakech in the morning, where we were picked up at the airport by transportation we had set up in advance with our hostel. I highly recommend doing this if you ever decide to visit Marrakech and stay in the Medina because it is very confusing, there are no street signs, and cars can’t go inside. The Medina takes some time to understand and navigate, so we found it important to look for landmarks at every turn!
We started our day by exploring the souks, getting our first look at the colorful items each shop had to offer. We stopped for a beautiful rooftop lunch at Nomad and enjoyed the 80 degree weather.
Our next stop was one of my favorites- Le Musée Yves Saint Laurent and Le Jardin Majorelle. The curation of couture by YSL was insanely impressive and the garden, full of cactuses and bright green plants was stunning. The bold colors had us entranced, and I highly suggest anyone visiting Marrakech goes there.
Day 4: Marrakech to Zagora, Morocco
This excursion was the portion of our trip we were the most excited about. We signed up for an overnight in the Zagora Desert, including scenic stops through the mountainous regions of Morocco and a camel ride at sunset. We used Berber Tours Morocco to book our travel. Our driver came to pick us up at our hostel, drove us the 6 hours through the mountains, giving us the history and a local insight to all the places along the way. We even got to see the site of a historic Kasbah in Ouarzazate, where scenes of Game of Thrones have been filmed. We felt very safe and had an amazing time taking in the breathtaking views.
At the end of the day, we rode camels to our campsite, which was beautifully decorated with Berber rugs, floor cushions, and Moroccan lamps. We ate dinner, listened to the Berber camp guides perform songs around the fire, and looked at the stars. The camp guides even sang a birthday song for Lauren!
Day 5: Zagora to Marrakech, Morocco
This day was mostly spent in the car back to Marrakech, but we did make one important stop, which was at Berber House to look at rugs! I can’t wait to roll it out in my new apartment next summer.
Day 6: Marrakech, Morocco
After our tiring trip to the desert, I knew just what we needed. The spa! For Lauren’s birthday, I booked us a traditional Moroccan Hammams treatment at Les Bains de Marrakech. The spa was insanely beautiful and our treatment was so relaxing and nourishing for the skin.
After the spa, we continued exploring the souks, drinking fresh juices, and making our final purchases!
In the afternoon, we made our way to La Mamounia, a palace that has been converted into a hotel. The grounds are stunning, so we took our time walking through the gardens, sipping tea, and finishing the evening with drinks at sunset before our final dinner at Cafe Arabe, which was absolutely delicious.
Day 7: Barcelona, Spain
And finally we made it back! We started the day with brunch at El Arbol before taking off to bike around the city. We made our own little route, visiting the harbor, Cathedral de Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi House and Ciutadella Park. We stumbled upon our dinner spot, Floripa, a vegan cocktail bar and loved it. Of course, we couldn’t leave Barcelona without hitting up the nightlife so we checked out Pacha and Opium.
Lauren and I had the most amazing time. I feel so lucky that someone I have called a best friend for the last 22 years of my life has also proven to be the best travel partner. If you have any questions about my trip or want to view more highlights, feel free to follow me on Instagram or send me a message!