Travel enthusiasts may have heard about a group of gypsetters having some down time in the Sahara last year from which a number of life changing experiences occurred. At Restival, adventurous spirits completely unplugged from modern society and discovered their inner spark. Luckily for those who didn't make it first time around, it's back in February 2017 - better but no bigger (they like to keep things intimate) than before.
The lovechild of a retreat and festival, this visionary event helps each guest reconnect with oneself, with each other and with the world around them - somewhat ironically on one of the most remote places on earth.
Caroline Jones, the founder of Restival says: "We offer extraordinary experiences in exceptional locations, shaped by the culture and traditions of indigenous tribes, far from the glare of modern technology and the stress of modern living. We bring people together to create their own family - it's an extraordinary experience, rarely open to the outside world."
The six-day retreats running this November bring together tribal wisdom and wellness expertise in a comfortable, eco-luxe environment in the Sahara Desert. Luxury white tents, outdoor lanterns, Berber rugs, open campfires, sumptuous Moroccan cushions and local, organic food and drink together create a haven of tranquillity.
Restival's programme of events ranges from art, writing and music workshops to astronomy, camel riding, storytelling, yoga, meditation, the art of relationships, gong baths, music, dancing and mindfulness. It's held with the generous assistance of Berber nomads who share their ancient customs and a fascinatingly fresh perspective on the world. While there's much on offer, there's also no set agenda. Participate at your will, play backgammon or strum on a guitar all day if you wish. The ultimate goal is for guests to return home feeling rejuvenated, recalibrated and reconnected to a whole new world.
In a society that's marked by hustle, bustle and technological addictions (yes, we saw you just check your Instagram), this unique, self-affirming, positive experience is needed now more than ever.
Who needs a luxury resort when you have a five million-star eco-camp waiting for you?
Register your interest here.
When is it?
The Moroccan Restival is held over five nights and six days, twice a year. The retreat will take place in February 2017.
How do you get there?
Once booked, you'll receive a welcome pack detailing everything you need to know from flight times and visa information to what you should bring. From Marrakech, the Restival team will transport you over the Atlas Mountains in a 4×4 convoy to the camp (and back).
How many people attend Restival?
The camp is a space to relax, somewhere you can choose to partake in activities with others or spend time alone. To help keep Restival an intimate experience, there are just 100 tickets available for each week.
Where do you stay and how much does it cost?
The camp is located in the Sahara desert, near the town of Merzouga, an eight- hour drive from Marrakech. Here you'll find design-conscious, spacious tents with comfy beds and white cotton linen. Prices start from £1,000 to share a tent with four people.
There's an early bird offer on at present - 20 per cent off all tickets!
The cost of your ticket includes ALL organic meals, elixirs, drinks, shared experiences and airport pickups and journey to the desert. Don't expect the usual festival backlog around an ATM machine. There is, however, a Berber pop-up shop selling traditional items such as Gandoras, Kaftans, scarves, turbans, rugs, jewellery and tagines.
What do you eat?
Mealtimes are an occasion for Restival-ers to connect. Guests dine in traditional Berber style, seated on the floor around long tables in a tent. An organic, locally sourced buffet is designed to cater to all tastes and achieve maximum nutrition.
What does a typical day look like?
Restival invites guests to do as much or as little as they like. Practice sunrise yoga, attend an interactive workshop, take a camel ride at sunset or stargaze to the sound of traditional Berber song. There's no timetable; you do what feels best for you.
A regular day may go as follows:
7.00AM Yoga / meditation / gong sound bath 8.30AM Breakfast 9.30AM Workshops 12.30PM Lunch 2.00PM Workshops /meditation / wellness activities 5.00PM Sunset yoga/ gong sound bath/ sunset camel ride 7.15PM Dinner 8:45PM Campfire stories / astronomy 10.00PM Berber music, singing and dancing.
What not to miss?
Don't miss the sunrise yoga, the gong sound bath, sunset camel ride, campfire stories from old Morocco, astronomy and traditional Berber music and dance. The Berber Village is home to a real nomadic tribe, ready to share their time-honoured baking and weaving skills. Come sundown, Touareg music will serenade the campfire. Here you'll find BBC journalist Richard Hamilton sharing passages from his captivating book, The Last of the Storytellers. Soak up the Saharan sky as the camp's astronomer uncovers the fascinating facts behind our solar system.
How do I book?
Right here. Fill out the form at the foot of the page to register your interest.
Welcome to the trip of a lifetime.