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Morocco: Sahara & Beyond

The culture of the Berbers in northern Africa dates back as many as 5,000 years. Come discover their world on this 15-day experience through the most incredible cultural highlights Morocco has to offer. Explore the souks and streets of Marrakech and Fes; spend a night in a comfortable, tented camp; enjoy dinner with a traditional Berber family; and unwind in the coastal beauty of Essaouira. Come to Morocco and return home with a new understanding of this unique part of the world.


Duration: 15 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, History Physical rating: 2 - Light
Accommodation standard:   Moderate% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 155189
Starts: Casablanca, Morocco Finishes: Marrakech, Morocco
You will visit
  • Casablanca
  • Marrakech

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Casablanca (1D)

If you arrive early in the day, feel free to enjoy this beautiful city at your leisure. With its art deco and french colonial buildings, Old Medina, great restaurants and entertainment, there is plenty to keep you busy!

In the evening, there will be a brief meeting where you will meet your CEO and fellow group members to go over the details of the tour. Afterwards, go out for a welcome dinner in a nearby local restaurant.



Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Transport:
Private Vehicle

02

Day 2: Casablanca/Fès (1B)

Meknes is one of the four Imperial cities and its name and fame are closely linked to that of the Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made Meknes the centre of his empire and built many of the monuments that remain today.

Continue through the rolling hills to the Roman ruins of Volubilis, the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. Once an important Roman town situated near the westernmost border of Roman conquests, Volubilis was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

Continue to Fes to spend the night. Stay in the the new city of Fes, built by the French during their Protectorate of Morocco.

Additional Notes:
This is a long and busy day. The times listed are actual driving times and do not include stops. We will stop to explore Meknes and Volubilis, and not arrive in Fes until the evening.

Included Activities:
Meknes City Tour
Volubilis Guided Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours)

03

Day 4: Fès/Marrakech (1B, 1D)





Included Activities:
Djemaa el Fna Market Square Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))

04

Day 5: Marrakech (1B, 1D)

In the morning, take a historical tour of the city, including the Bahia Palace and Saadian Tombs. After, visit the medina with a local who will take you to her favourite spice shop. You'll learn about all different types of herbs and spices. From the medina, head to a traditional Berber house and take part in a cooking class, once prepared, sit down to dinner with your new friends.

Included Activities:
Marrakech City Tour
Marrakech Culinary Experience

05

Day 6: Marrakech/Aït Ben Haddou (1B, 1D)




Included Activities:
Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah Guided Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))

06

Day 7: Aït Ben Haddou/Erg Chigaga (1B, 1L, 1D)

Travel through the Draa Valley to Zagora and embark on 4x4s into the desert. Stop at Tamegroute to visit the library of ancient Islamic texts and local pottery makers. Continue off road to the great dunes of Erg Chigaga to our comfortable desert camp. Opt to take a camel ride or to climb to the top of the dunes for views of the vast Sahara. Enjoy a traditional dinner under the stars.

Included Activities:
Tamegroute Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
4x4 (3.00 hour(s))

07

Day 8: Erg Chigaga/Zagora (1B)

Cross the desert back to Zagora and enjoy a talk on the history of the Draa region. You'll also get to visit some of the local historical sites.

Included Activities:
Zagora Orientation Tour

Transport:
4x4 (3.00 hour(s))

08

Day 9: Zagora/Taroudant (1B)

Head towards the Anti-Atlas region to the carpet towns of Tazenakht and Taliouine, where saffron is harvested. In Taroudant, visit the famed leather tanneries and local markets.

Included Activities:
Taroudant Markets and Tanneries Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)

09

Day 10: Taroudant/Tafraout (1B)

Enter the Anti-Atlas region to view natural rock formations. In the afternoon, explore the town centre and its local markets.

Included Activities:
Tafraout Orientation walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))

10

Day 11: Tafraout (1B, 1L)

Visit Aït Mansour Gorge, the Painted Rocks, and the Chapeau du Napoleon. Walk through a palm valley and have lunch in a local village house. Visit a women's cooperative that produces handicrafts and argan oil.

Included Activities:
Aït Mansour Gorge and Area Tour
Women's Cooperative Visit
Lunch at Local Village House
Palm Valley Walk

11

Day 12: Tafraout/Essaouira (1B)

Essaouira is also famous for its music scene and offers a great chance to check out a live performance.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours)

12

Day 13: Essaouira (1B, 1L)

Enjoy a day of leisure in this coastal city. Make sure you watch the colourful and lively spectacle of the return of the boats to the port with their baskets full of fish, pick out the best of the bunch, which we'll take to a local restaurant to cook up for our lunch. Opt to browse the shops and art galleries or take a stroll along the long, sandy beach. The active might choose to take a surfing or windsurfing lesson, or rent a fishing rod.

13

Day 14: Essaouira/Marrakech (1B)

In the afternoon, have free time to further explore the fascinating city of Marrakech and dive into the labyrinthine souks. Visitors and locals alike find everything they desire here, whether it's spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or famous Moroccan lanterns. The selection is exhaustive. Don't forget to bargain. It's definitely part of the fun. Once you've tired yourself out, relax at one of the tea houses around the square, indulge in the ubiquitous sweet mint tea and watch life go by from a shady spot.

Included Activities:
Menara Gardens Visit
Jardin Majorelle Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.50-3.00 hours)

14

Day 15: Marrakech (1B)

Depart at any time.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Arrival transfer
    • Tour the city of Meknes and ruins at Volubilis
    • Guided walking tour of Fes medina
    • Islamic calligraphy class
    • Guided night walk of Djemaa el Fna square with local meal
    • Explore Marrakech with a local guide
    • Marrakech cooking class and market visit
    • Visit the ancient kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou
    • Sahara Desert excursion by 4x4 with overnight in a comfortable desert camp
    • Explore the Draa region
    • Visit to Tafraoute
    • Explore Essaouira
    • Visit Menara Gardens and the Jardin Majorelle
    • Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (13 nts), comfortable desert camp (1 nt)
    Meals Included
    • 14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
    Transport
    • Private air-con minivan, walking, 4x4
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Visit a women's co-op and enjoy a local lunch
  • Watch storytellers and acrobats at Djemaa el Fna square
  • Learn about Moroccan cuisine with a cooking class in a traditional Berber house
  • Traverse the Sahara Desert by 4x4
  • Try to mimic a local expert's elegant sweeps in an Islamic calligraphy class