Terre des Etoiles, Agafay - Morocco
WELCOME TO THE AGAFAY REG’S WILDERNESS
Only starlit sky at night
Welcome to the Agafay’s Wilderness, less than an hour-drive away from majestic bustling Marrakech, in the arid lands of a desert. From the edge the Wad N’Fiss river to the plains of Haouz, through the foothills of the Atlas towards Amizmiz, this desert unfolds its rocky lunar landscapes over several hundred hectares. This landscape from canyon through plains to stony hillocks offers a rich palette of contrasts.
Absolutely still, seemingly timeless, the land was long ago a lush succession of fields and forests. These lands, abraded over the years by human activity indifferent to the environment’s fragility, Pierre Yves MARAIS, creator of the ecolodge, has dreamt them back to life thanks to the resurgence of a few springs. Definitely a region to center and ground yourself in the energy of the Earth.
Terre des Etoiles or… when utopia becomes reality. Could you actually think of a more beautiful project than creating sapling by sapling, seed by seed, an oasis in the desert, reviving this desert landscape and returning it to life?
A REG NATURE RESERVE
Agafay desert, lake of Takerkoust in the distance, Kik plateau, hiking through berber villages of the Atlas mountains… here is the setting of Terre des Etoiles. The landscape of the Agafay desert is covered with rare wild flowers, wheat and barley, but during the summer and autumn months it looks like a real reg desert with stony dunes running down the majestic Atlas Mountains. Definitely a taste of the aridness of the Great Sahara to discover sitted on a camel.
THE LODGE THROUGH A PURE NATURE D(ECO)RATION
From a fleeting dream he had carried during his halts in the heart of Agafay, Pierre Yves MARAIS, founder of the ecolodge, decided to focus on sustainability. Driven by a passion for these wild spaces and a forward-looking vision of responsible tourism, this committed professional with a strong taste for challenges invests himself body and soul into the adventure of a radically different nature. Convinced of the need to minimize the impact of tourism on the natural environment, he decided to establish an Environmentally friendly camp, not only sustaining guests from this land’s biodiversity but also nurturing and expanding it, launching many desert revegetation initiatives. Opting for a visionary and sustainable management of energy, water and waste, the camp is a space mindful of the natural resources and the environment hosting it. In recognition of these initiatives on the road to sustainability, Pierre Yves and Terres des Etoiles were awarded the Green Key Label, a program supported by the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.
Human, natural and social ecosystem, the eco-camp is a crossroads and a venue for life, thought of as a collective place of creation and sharing, set in this Moroccan land for all residents and visitors. An opportunity to take a break and pay attention to the thousand little things of our daily lives, suspend our frenetic pace and disconnect from the so-called « civilized » world.
Common areas such as the large, traditional Caidal tent, the terrace or the outdoor bar reinforce the spirit of conviviality so dear to the Camp and welcome you for moments of exchange and relaxation. These spaces have been completely refitted by a Spanish architect and Italian interior designers based in Marrakech. The new layout incorporates the curves of the surrounding arid valleys and the furniture, in the spirit and colours of the desert, and was entirely created by local craftsmen.
Here, vegetation is gradually returning across the land thanks to the whole team’s unwavering commitment and the ingenious solutions offered by permaculture. You will enjoy and benefit from a pleasant vegetable garden, ambling among eggplants, peppers and other seasonal delights. Fresh and organic, these are also the beautiful ingredients which delight the guests’ taste buds at lunch or dinner around the table d’hôtes, or set menu culinary delight. Adjoining this cultivated area, a small farm also provides the opportunity to follow farmyard life.
Meals are to be appreciated under canva as in a long Voyage… in the camp style, enjoying views of the desert. As such, an invitation to eat in full consciousness.
Comfortably set in a Berber tent, overlooking the fascinating landscapes of the Agafay desert, enjoy an incomparably relaxing moment: rejuvenating care treatments inspired by traditional techniques using natural products such as argan oil, prickly pear or orange blossom. A precious moment to make the most of the setting of Agafay desert.
SLOWFOOD & THE AGAFAY
Morocco is commonly known for its pastilla, tagine, couscous, three classic dishes not to be missed during your trip and that you will for sure enjoy at Terre des Etoiles, with organic vegetables.
What if, from a simple seed, everything were possible? Could Mother Nature resume her reign over these barren lands? What if, by dint of hard work, men could restore these lands to their former vitality? Here at Terre des Etoiles, Pierre Yves and his team are all fascinated with finding answers to these questions. No long distribution circuits here: it is all about from earth to the sink to the plate ; every day’s bountiful harvest of fresh produce from the permaculture vegetable garden. Not only can you enjoy pleasant strolls through the grounds and gardens but also enjoy a simple livestock farm with chickens, goats and donkeys.
Looking for more savoir-faire than just savoring dinner? After a tour of the vegetable garden of Terre des Etoiles and its generous bounty of fresh and seasonal products, head for the kitchen with Chef Youssef! Patient and passionate, Youssef will let you in on all the secrets of the most famous Moroccan recipes.
AN ECO SENSITIVE LODGE…
The ecolodge emerged from the hilly landscapes of a stone desert. Almost at the doorstep of the Imperial city of Marrakech, you will find 18 tents and their terraces, lined with dry stone walls according to the techniques used in Ardèche. Each lodge has been designed to bring you all the comfort of a hotel suite, while respecting the ecological values of the camp.
In the beginning, those chic and comfortable tents were raised against these immense horizons set against the mighty Atlas mountains. Then came an authentic permaculture-based-bio garden to supply the kitchen with only the freshest of ingredients, because to sow, to plant is to create life. Patiently, sustainably, the 12 acres of almost lunar lands have been transformed. Today camels, horses, a restaurant, two plunge pools… Tomorrow a traditional hammam low steam bath and a wellness centre. Like a plant, Terres des Etoiles grows to let ecotourism flourish, rooted in the land and the hearts, in intelligent and complete harmony with nature.
The electricity for the camp is exclusively provided by a solar panel installation. As for the two pools, their water is untreated so guests can have a swim before the water is used to irrigate the crops… Nothing lost, everything transformed.
FOR AN ECO SENSITIVE EXPERIENCE…
In such a reasoned oasis, yoga and meditation are wonderful suggestions to reconnect ; the energy of the place and the wood terrace inviting to sit down and ground yourself. No doubt the inspiring desert environment will boost your energy.
TAKE HEIGHT & FLY OVER…
A unique environment to relax, explore, conquer or indulge depending on the days, and finally submit to. Choose from a wide range of carefully selected activities to immerse yourself in the « cradle of stars », Terre des Etoiles Desert Camp being the starting point of many excursions set in these exceptional landscapes.
At nightfall, the spectacular vision of the infinite celestial vault invites to marvel at Life in its purest simplicity, while the in-house astronomer will introduce you to the mysteries of stars and planets. Thanks to telescopes and other astronomical equipment, you will be guided and projected into the sky, invited to take height… from the ground. A real opportunity to get intimate with the stars.