Fez, Morocco: Yoga, Culinary and Cultural Retreat

Yoga, Culinary and Cultural Retreat at Les Jardin Des Biehn in Fez, Morocco

with Savonn Wyland and Kari Kemper

April 27 – May 4, 2025

Join us for a retreat week (8 days, 7 nights) exploring in and around Fez, Morocco.  Fez’s combination of historical, culinary, cultural, and artistic heritage makes it a fascinating destination for travelers interested in experiencing the depths of Moroccan traditions. Daily yoga practices will set us up for enriching days filled with opportunities to visit historically significant sights, cook and eat traditional food, hike in the Zalagh Mountains, and much more. 

Location and Amenities

Nestled in the heart of the medina, Les Jardin des Biehn is a luxury riad housed in the former summer palace of Pacha El Mokri. Opened in 2010 by the Biehn family from Provence, France, the riad features eight suites and six rooms, each uniquely decorated with art, antiques, and textiles.  Almost all of the rooms have private balconies or terraces overlooking a lush Andalusian garden.

The riad’s restaurant, Fez Café, offers a relaxed atmosphere and a menu that highlights Mediterranean flavors and Moroccan traditions, using fresh, local market ingredients. Depending on the meal we will have options to dine indoors or on the terrace surrounded by greenery. The riad also boasts a serene swimming pool and a traditional hammam with a superb massage room.

Retreat Highlights​

Curated Yoga Classes Taught by Savonn and Kari. Join Savonn and Kari for curated yoga classes, with up to 2 classes a day (morning and late afternoon) offered in a variety of styles, such as Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, Hatha Yoga and  Yin Yoga. All classes are optional and will be taught by either Savonn and/or Kari.

Fusion Gourmet Meals. Fez cafe (the restaurant attached to the riad) is led by Chef Hicham Moufid who offers elegant and refined cuisine with Mediterranean accents. Using fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the garden, along with daily selections from local markets, Chef Hicham crafts a menu that changes with the seasons. Trained at a French gastronomic school and an excellent pastry chef, he fuses tastes and ingredients to reinvent Moroccan cuisine.  Breakfast at Fez cafe is included during our stay as well as a group Welcome Dinner on the first night.  You can chose to dine at the restaurant on other evenings as well.

We will also have one group dinner during out Farm to Table Cooking class and a farewell night group dinner at a local restaurant.

Guided  Food Tour of the Fez Market. The Fassi Food Tour includes over 10 carefully selected stops, for a truly mouth-watering experience. We will  explore the famous food markets within the ancient Medina with our own “foodie” guide. We will meet shop owners who share their stories and passion for their products. Plan on tasting the famous Moroccan pancakes, a variety of honey, dates, olives, sipping mint tea, and snacking on other specialties of Fez.

Farm to Table Cooking Class and Dinner.Moroccan cuisine is renowned for its fresh ingredients and unique flavors. Enjoy a Farm to Table Cooking experience on a farm in Bhalil, just outside of Fez. This activity offers a unique way to cook traditional Moroccan dishes in an authentic setting while learning about Moroccan culture, people, and their traditional way of life. Upon arrival, our host will take us through the garden to select fresh ingredients for our meal. We will use the produce straight from the garden, learn to cook a flavorful dish, and then enjoy eating our creations along with homemade bread from a traditional wood-fired oven.

Hiking in the Zalagh Mountains. An English-speaking hiking guide will lead us on an easy trek with breathtaking views. Covered with olive groves and scented by wild lavender, Mount Zalagh offers stunning views of the entire city and surrounding landscapes, including the Sebou Valley, Rif Mountains, and Sais Plain. Despite its proximity to Fez, Mount Zalagh remains uncrowded.  We will see almond and olive groves and discover the flora and fauna native to the Fez region. We will have a stop for mint tea and snacks/lunch.

Optional Activities and Excursions

Pastries Workshop  Moroccan pastries are integral to everyday life in Fez, and the medina is famous for its traditional sweets. Spend time with a Moroccan family, learning about Fez culture while preparing delicious sweets together. Typical ingredients include honey, coconut, almond paste, sesame seeds, powdered sugar, and rose or orange water. This hands-on workshop will guide you in making 3 to 4 different pastries. You’ll also visit a communal bakery (Farran) to bake your pastries, discovering the importance of the baking process. Finish with Moroccan mint tea and enjoy your freshly baked Fassi sweets.

Moroccan Bread Making  Participate in an exclusive experience in a family home in the Medina of Fez. Learn the methods to make Moroccan bread from scratch, including kneading and baking techniques. Visit a communal bakery (Ferran) to see how bread is stacked and baked, and learn how to mark your bread tray. Once your bread is delivered from the communal oven, enjoy it with fresh Moroccan mint tea, honey, and cheese. Your English-speaking facilitator will explain the different types of cheeses and honey you’ll taste with the bread you made.

Moroccan Tam Tam Workshop  Immerse yourself in Moroccan musical traditions with a private Handmade Tam Tam Workshop held in one of the Fez medina’s ancient Fondouks. Start by painting your own drum with the help of a local artisan, using a recommended Berber design or your own unique creation. Once painted, the Tam Tam drum is topped with goat leather, and you’ll learn how to bind it together. Complete your drum and start playing, taking the sounds of Morocco home with you.

Pottery & Ceramic Workshop: Fez is renowned for its high-quality pottery and zellij tiles, crafted by skilled artisans. In this workshop, you’ll participate in the pottery-making process, sinking your hands into pliable clay and turning the pottery wheel by foot. Guided by an artisan, you can create your own work of art, such as a small tagine, mug, bowl, or vase.

For those interested, a painting workshop is also available. Learn how Moroccan pottery is painted, with skilled painters teaching you Islamic and Moorish painting techniques.

Moroccan Beauty Secret Workshop: Learn to create your own natural beauty products with the guidance of local women who will share their methods and secrets. You’ll work with ingredients like argan oil, rose water, black soap, and purifying Ghassoul clay, and discover the history and rituals behind each item.

Moroccan Henna Art Workshop​. Henna is a symbolic and essential part of Moroccan cultural heritage, representing divine blessing, protection, beauty, and happiness. In the Art of Henna workshop, you will meet your private henna artist in a family home, interact with local women, learn about henna rituals and traditions, sip tea, and enjoy beautiful designs.

Instructors

Savonn Wyland

Co-Owner/Co-Founder of Sellwood Yoga

With over 25 years of experience teaching, Savonn has developed a teaching style that is both grounded and inspiring. Her approach to teaching emphasizes skillful and detailed instruction, while also inspiring students to find their own personal expression on the mat. By blending various styles and approaches, she creates a unique and transformative experience for her students. Savonn’s classes, workshops, and retreats are designed to help students deepen their practice, explore their own personal expression, and connect with a supportive community.

Stacey Degen

Kari Kemper

Yoga Instructor

Kari’s teaching style is dynamic and flowing, with a focus on bringing attention to the breath and encouraging curiosity. She emphasizes proper alignment that is unique to each individual’s body, functional range of motion, and strength with a sense of humor and openness. Kari’s ability to assess the class and adjust sequencing to meet the needs of each student creates an inclusive space for all to practice, fostering playfulness and lightheartedness.

Pricing and Registration

Please click on the “Sign Up” button to the right and make a non-refundable deposit of $500 to reserve your spot. On March 8, 2025, your remaining balance will be charged to the card you use for your deposit. For alternative payment options, please reach out to us at retreats@sellwoodyoga.com.

Once we receive your deposit, we will follow up within 3 days to review your lodging preference and confirm other details about the retreat.

Accommodation Options

Standard Room with en suite bathroom

  • Shared: 2 separate twin beds $2,725/per person
  • Single: queen bed $3,325
  • Shared Couple: 1 shared king bed $2,600/per person

Deluxe Room with separate lounge room and en suite bathroom

  • Shared: 2 separate twin beds $2,935/per person
  • Single: king bed $3,585
  • Shared Couple: 1 shared king bed $2,800/per person

Junior Suite (larger than the standard rooms, some with separate terrace, or patio, or private garden) all with en suite bathroom

  • Shared: 2 separate twin beds $3,545/per person
  • Single: queen bed $4,145
  • Shared Couple: 1 shared king bed $3400/per person

Senior Suite (larger than the  junior suites , some with balconies, garden or mountain views, separate living rooms) all with en suite bathroom

  • Shared: 2 separate twin beds $4,200/per person
  • Single: queen bed $4,800
  • Shared Couple: 1 shared queen or king bed $4000/per person

Retreat price includes:

  • 7 nights’ accommodation at Les Jardin Des Biehn  (spacious bedrooms with private bathrooms)
  • Daily yoga classes with 1-2 classes per day (except for arrival and departure days)
  • Welcoming Night Dinner at Les Jardin Des Biehn and Farewell Evening Dinner at a local restaurant
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 3 dinners
  • Included Activities: Guided Food Tour of the Fez Markets (including food and beverage samples from at least 10 vendors), Farm to Table Cooking Class and Dinner, Guided Hiking in the Zalagh Mountains with a stop for tea and snacks/lunch.
  • Transportation to/from all pre-arranged group excursions
  • Group transfer to and from Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport (CNM) at the start and end of the retreat. We will communicate group transfer information when we know the travel plans of the attendees. If you opt out of the group transfer we can help you arrange your own private transfer at your own expense.

Retreat price does NOT include:

  • Airfare or other travel expenses to and from Morocco
  • Personal, medical, or trip cancellation insurance
  • Optional excursions and add-ons
  • Bodywork and spa treatments
  • Additional food, meals, wine, or alcohol outside of what is provided

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We know that life happens and unforeseen situations and circumstances can change and impact your plans. Our cancellation/refund information is listed below. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance so that you have more travel-related protection in case you need it. There are no refunds or discounts for arriving late, leaving early, flight cancellations, travel delays, injury, family emergencies, or illness.

Full payment is due by March 8, 2025. The card that you use for your deposit will be charged for your balance on March 8, 2025.  If you would like to pay the balance with a different credit card or by check, please make arrangements in advance by emailing retreats@sellwoodyoga.com.

  • The $500 deposit is non-refundable.
  • If you have paid in full by February 1, 2025, and need to cancel, we will issue a refund (not including the $500 deposit).
  • If you have paid in full and need to cancel between February 1, 2025, and March 8, 2025, we will issue studio credit that needs to be used within 365 days (not including the $500 deposit).
  • No refunds or credit will be given for cancellations later than March 8, 2025.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to provide additional protection in case of any unexpected situations that may alter your travel plans. You can check out travelinsure.com, insuremytrip.com, or speak with your credit card, airline, or travel company to find suitable options for your needs.

Questions?

If you have questions, please email retreats@sellwoodyoga.com or use the form below.