Morocco

Updated: Feb 23

Reserve through the month of November 2020 for $1!

Why I love this travel operator …



SMALL GROUPS

Join a small group of like-minded travelers that, like you, are eager to safely and confidently experience all the things that make our world worth exploring.


SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES

They have always created their tours by building meaningful relationships with local communities, directly benefiting the people and places they visit.


BOOK AND TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE

They have measures in place to help keep you safe from the moment you book to the moment you (reluctantly) head home, earning a badge from the World Travel and Tourism Council. WTTC’s Safe Travels Protocols



FLEXIBILITY, FREEDOM AND FUN

No matter the Travel Style, their tours balance well-planned itineraries with the flexibility to do your own thing and make the experience your own.


LOCALLY-BASED GUIDES

They don’t have tour guides — they have Chief Experience Officers. And they are all locally based, meaning they know the area you’re exploring like the back of their well-traveled hand.


REGENERATIVE TRAVEL

When you travel with them, you experience first-hand their commitment to making travel a force for good is in everything they do.

STARTING AT $1105

DAY 1: CASABLANCA

Arrive at any time. Please note that this tour does not spend any time in Casablanca. You may wish to come a day early in order to explore Casablanca, and take some time to see its medina, beachfront, and classic examples of Art Deco architecture. Be sure to also visit the spectacular Hassan II Mosque.

A general note about this tour: it has a very fast-paced itinerary, which covers a lot of ground. This is great as it allows us to see a huge amount in the time available, but it also means some early starts, some long drives in the minivan, and less free time than many other of their tours.

Meet your trip leader and fellow travelers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards.

Accommodation: Hotel Campanile Casablanca (or similar)

DAY 2: CASABLANCA/CHEFCHAOUEN

Depart in the morning for Tangier. Take a guided tour of city sites, including the medina, kasbah, Grand Socco (a bustling square at the entrance to the medina) and Petit Socco, a little square in the medina perfect for people-watching and mint tea-drinking. In the afternoon, continue on to Chefchaouen.

Explore the city and learn more about this melting pot. With culture, cuisine and language coming from North Africa, Spain, Portugal, and France, this bustling port city is unique and fascinating. Visit the Kasbah, grand souk, petit souk, and the old medina. Marvel at the panoramic views of Gibraltar, Tarifa, and the meeting point between Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

Accommodation: Hotel Madrid (or similar)

DAY 3: CHEFCHAOUEN

Enjoy a free day in Chefchaouen to explore. The city, whitewashed in different shades of blue, is spectacular on its own but with the surrounding mountains, it’s a sight to behold. At sunset, opt to visit the Spanish Mosque for a stunning panoramic view of the city.

Rif Valley Mountains Hike: Lace-up your hiking boots, and trek through the scenic Rif Mountains – the perfect natural playground for adventure seekers. Hike along lush mountains, passing small waterfalls and streams en route to the Spanish Mosque for spectacular panoramic views of Chefchaouen. Continue on through the mountains, passing plantations and stopping for a traditional lunch at a local gîte. Once you reach the piste, jump in a jeep and head back to the main road to meet your driver.

Accommodation: Hotel Madrid (or similar)

DAY 4: CHEFCHAOUEN/FES

Enjoy a traditional lunch that benefits rural Moroccan women and children. This lunch program provides access to education opportunities and healthcare services. The proceeds from this lunch program help support vocational training for rural women, allowing them to support their families and children. Enjoy a traditional home-cooked Moroccan meal and meet some of the women that are part of this program.

After lunch, continue through the rolling hills to the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Listen to a certified local guide explain life in the Roman Empire at this UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the impressive, well-preserved Roman ruins. Peer into old bathhouses, marvel at the still-present mosaic floors, and gaze up at towering marble pillars. Hear stories about life in this Roman city that will leave you in awe of just how far their empire stretched.

Then you’ll continue to the imperial city of Fès, one of Morocco’s most interesting cities. Enjoy free time this evening.

Optional Activities:

Ville Nouvelle Exploration, free: Hit the newer part of Fès to see life in action. Find a sidewalk café to sip mint tea and watch everyday life go by.

Shop Fes Medina, free: Spend some time in the medina checking out carpet shops, sampling local delicacies at the food stalls or shopping for leather goods. Prepare to bargain, just don’t get lost wandering the passage ways!

Accommodation: Hotel Mounia (or similar)

DAY 5: FES

Follow a local guide through the Fès medina, one of the world’s largest medinas with more than 9000 winding streets lying within 365 hectares. See buildings in the medina that date back to the 9th century; there are 350 mosques in the medina that are still in use today.

Enter through one of the great gates into the chaos. Explore the artisans’ quarters as well as the many carpenters, bakers, butchers, and spice sellers. Visit the mausoleum and the Al Qarawiyin University.

A highlight of the tour is the view of the famous Fès tannery from the balcony of a leather shop, where you can observe the men hard at work treating and dyeing the different hides. Take some time to shop for leather goods before returning to your hotel.

Free afternoon.

Optional Activities:

Ville Nouvelle Exploration, free: Hit the newer part of Fès to see life in action. Find a sidewalk café to sip mint tea and watch everyday life go by.

Shop Fes Medina, free: Spend some time in the medina checking out carpet shops, sampling local delicacies at the food stalls or shopping for leather goods. Prepare to bargain, just don’t get lost wandering the passage ways!

Belghazi Museum, 15MAD/person: Housed in an exquisite 17th-century building, the gallery showcases different art styles passed through generations in Morocco, such as ceramics, embroidery, instruments, and costumes. Climb up to the rooftop for a panoramic view of the city.

Meknes City Tour: Enjoy a guided tour of this imperial city. Gain local insight into city sites – each guide may put their spin on tour. Visit the Bab Mansour historic landmark, and 18th-century Bab EL Khmiss, the ornamental gate to the city. Wander the bustling souk to browse the vast array of food, clothes, and souvenirs. Take the opportunity to see the former royal stables and granary; built under the rule of Sultan Moulay Ismail, the stables could hold up to 12,000 horses.

Accommodation: Hotel Mounia (or similar)

DAY 6: FES/MERZOUGA

Enjoy a long, but beautiful, travel day across the unique landscapes of Morocco to get to the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert.

Travel through the diverse landscapes that make Morocco so unique. Pass through cedar and pine forests, keeping an eye out for Barbary apes. Pass over the Middle Atlas Mountains through the pre-desert countryside with its deep gorges filled with a splendid oasis of green palm groves. Arrive at the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert.

Spend the night in a desert auberge (simple hotel), located right on the edge of the dunes. Have a local-style dinner and spend the night.

Accommodation: Auberge Les Dunes D’Or (or similar)

DAY 7: MERZOUGA

Explore the sand dunes by foot or opt to take a 4×4 excursion around the dunes. In the late afternoon, enjoy a camel ride to watch the sunset before returning to your hotel for an evening of entertainment. Hold on and enjoy a ride on this even-toed ungulate, also known as the desert horse. Bring your camera for some fantastic photos of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Local guides will teach you how to mount and dismount and other handy camel-related safety tips.

This evening, indulge in a traditional dinner, then gather around a campfire under the stars near to your hotel. Listen to stories about life in this region and, perhaps, some traditional music on the drums.

Optional Activities:

Merzouga 4×4 Desert Excursion: View the golden dunes of the Sahara desert on a 4×4 excursion. You’ll be driven around the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, taking in the views of the seemingly endless sea of sand. Pass a kohl mine en route to the village of Khamlia. Witness the delightful sounds of the African music of Gnawa — played by members of the community — as you enjoy a cup of mint tea with the locals.

Accommodation: Auberge Les Dunes D’Or (or similar)

DAY 8: MERZOUGA/TODRA GORGE

Rise early to watch the sunrise. After breakfast, continue through a stone desert to the stunning Todra Gorge. Wedged between massive cliff walls, the gorge is filled with a green oasis of palm trees. This serene spot is great for hiking, relaxing on the edge of the river or sampling some local Amazigh delicacies.

Accommodation: Hotel Amazir (or similar)

DAY 9: TODRA GORGE/AIT BEN HADDOU

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site and kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou. Of all the remaining kasbahs in Morocco, the walls and interior of this area are the most intact. The kasbah still houses a few families, but many now live in the adjacent village. Like many of the earthen built fortresses in Ouarzazate, Aït Ben Haddou has been used in many film and television productions like Gladiator, Babel, and Game of Thrones.

Opt to participate in a tagine cooking class for an intro to Moroccan cuisine.

Travel along the “Route of 1000 Kasbahs” to the thriving town of Ouarzazate for a lunch stop. This town is home to Atlas Film Studios, where many films have been shot over the years, including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.

Optional Activities:

Tagine Cooking Demonstration, 120MAD/person: Learn all about the quintessential Moroccan dish — tagine. Learn about the tagine itself (a clay pot) and different ingredients and spices. Enjoy the fruits of your labour for dinner.

Accommodation: La Rose du Sable (or similar)

DAY 10: AIT BEN HADDOU/HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS

Enjoy a hike to the village of Aroumd (Aremd), at the base of the High Atlas Mountains. Let a mule carry the bags up to this mountain hideaway and hike alongside. Enjoy views of Mt Toubkal from the mountain gîte before a home-cooked dinner.

Leave the pre-desert country for the magnificent High Atlas Mountain landscape, crossing the Tizi n’Tichka pass at 2260m. Head into the splendid Toubkal National Park, passing through small villages on winding mountain roads, arriving at the village of Imlil.

With our main luggage transported by mule, embark on the 1 hour hike from Imlil to the little village of Aroumd (Aremd), arriving at our simple mountain gîte for the night. While the hike to the gîte is uphill, it is achievable by anyone of average fitness. Take it at a slow pace!

Enjoy a homemade dinner of local produce in the cozy salon. Settle in and enjoy the tranquility, fantastic views, and clean mountain air of this magical region.

Accommodation is multi-share, up to six beds in each room. Bedding is provided, but you will need to bring a sleeping bag for additional warmth if travelling between November and April. You will also need to bring your own towel. Bathroom facilities are shared.

Accommodation: Auberge Tafraout (or similar)

DAY 11: HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS/ESSAOUIRA

After breakfast, take a scenic hike back down the mountain to meet the van in Imlil and head to the coastal town of Essaouira, (a funky, Portguese-flavored, hippie, coastal village. Get crazy!), arriving mid-afternoon. The rest of the day is free to explore as you wish.

Browse the many shops for leather, jewelry, lamps or trinkets. Watch the brightly painted ships bring their catch into the busy harbor or take a stroll along the long, sandy beach. This is the perfect place to enjoy some local seafood and unwind.

Accommodation: Riad Nakhla (or similar)

DAY 12: ESSAOUIRA

Enjoy a free day exploring this coastal port town any way you like.

Optional Activities:

Windsurfing, 60EUR/person: Ride the waves at this windsurfer’s paradise. Try taking a lesson if you’re new to the sport. The reliable strong winds can be challenging.

Shopping: Pop into brightly colored shops selling leather shoes and purses, slippers, scarves, Moroccan lanterns, and mosaics…you name it. Visit an artists’ co-op and shop for handmade silver jewelry. Try not to get overwhelmed by choice – with dozens of shops lining the narrow winding streets, there’s a lot to choose from.

Kite Surfing (group lesson), 1100-1650MAD/person: Join a 2-hour group lesson to get a grip on this sport, then take hold of the winds on your own.

Surfing, 695-990MAD/person: Head out to catch some waves and enjoy the surf and fresh sea air.

Traditional Hammam Experience: Visit a hammam, a great way to get squeaky clean and soothe sore muscles. Enjoy a body scrub and massage in a traditional Moroccan bathhouse with multiple rooms (dry and steamed). Begin with a dry or hot room to prepare your skin and body, followed by a hot steam room. Enjoy a body scrub and massage followed by a traditional mint tea.

Accommodation: Riad Nakhla (or similar)

DAY 13: ESSAOUIRA/MARRAKECH

Journey to Marrakech. After arriving in the “Red City,” join a certified city guide for a tour of the Marrakech medina.

Head into the maze of tiny streets and alleyways of the ancient medina to really get a taste of everyday life in Marrakech. Shop to your heart’s content in the souk and search out spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or the famous Moroccan lanterns. Visit the Saadian Tombs – a complex of sepulchers and mausoleums that house the remains of Saadian Sultan Ahmed Al Mansour Ed Dahb. The tombs were sealed off until their re-discovery in 1917. Tour the grounds of the Bahia Palace, marveling at the intricate decoration, and experience the sights and sounds of the bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa square.

End the day like a local with an optional group dinner in the famous food stalls of Djemaa el Fna.

Accommodation: Hotel Gomassine (or similar)

DAY 14: MARRAKECH

Enjoy a final free day to explore.

A great place to start your adventure is Djemaa el Fna square, in the heart of the medina. The square changes its offerings throughout the day. Finish up your souvenir shopping or wander the new part of the city for a taste of the modern.

Optional Activities:

Djemaa el Fna Market Square Visit, free: Wander past fresh orange juice stalls and water sellers in colorful costumes reminiscent of an era past. See storytellers, magicians, and peddlers of traditional medicines as the day progresses. When the sun sets, the square fills with dozens of food stalls, and is packed with locals, entertaining chefs, and waiters. Grab a spot on a bench with other diners and try the “tanjia” (slow cooked lamb), harira soup, grilled seafood, famous Moroccan couscous, tajine, snails, or even sheep’s head (for the truly adventurous). Wash it all down with some spiced tea.

Jardins Majorelle, 70-100MAD/person: Visit this stunning garden in the heart of the city designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962). Follow the pathways through trees, exotic plants, streams, and pools while watching the numerous birds who call this peaceful paradise home. (Please note that the entrance fee to Musée Yves Saint Laurent is an additional 30 MAD.)

Musee de Marrakech, 50MAD/person: Wander around the salons of the ornate Mnebhi Palace displaying various collections of Moroccan art forms.

El Badi Palace, 70MAD/person: Visit the ruins of what was once the most ornate palace of the 16th-century. Its sunken gardens and pools give a glimpse into its former glory.

Dar Si Said, 30MAD/person: Standing as a monument to master Moroccan artisans, this complex houses the Museum of Moroccan arts. Here, you will find displays of ancient weaponry, carpets, Amazigh (also known as Berber) jewelry, granary doors and more. Make sure to see the highlight of a visit to this museum, the painted, domed wedding-reception chamber.

Accommodation: Hotel Gomassine (or similar)

DAY 15: MARRAKECH

Depart at any time.

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