Marrakech – whisper it and instantly your mind goes to a place of seduction and spices. Experience it for yourself. This intense one week journey reveals the secrets of Morocco and is filled with all the activities and energy you crave. In the company of other young travellers, dance among the dunes of the Sahara, go rock climbing in Todra, and hang with the hippies in Essaouira. Explore the kasbahs, coast, and desert and lose the herd on a trip you’ll never forget.
Stand in the shadows of Todra Gorge, take in the dramatic view at Ait Ben Haddou, see history come to life in ancient medinas, ride a camel to a desert camp, explore this land of mystery for yourself.
Days : 8
Price : From AED 3,326*
*Per person twin sharing and excluding flights
Trip Style : Basic
Trip Type : Individuals
Physical Grading : 2 - Light
Arrive at any time. Additional Notes: On arrival, check the notice board (or ask reception) for the exact time and location of the group meeting. Afterwards, there will be the possibility to go out for a meal as a group in a nearby local restaurant. If you arrive late, no worries, your leader will leave you a message at the front desk. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Travel west into the desert, and stop off at Nkob, which is flanked by the Saghrou Mountains. Transport: Private Vehicle (9.00 hour(s))
In late afternoon, set off by camel to a desert camp deep in the dunes. Learn to tie a turban to keep the desert sun off your face and add a little flare to photos. Enjoy a warm welcome (with mint tea). A traditional dinner under the stars, cooked by our hosts, awaits. In the evening, listen to stories about life in this region and, perhaps, some traditional music on the drums. Additional Notes: Notes for the Sahara Desert tented camp stay: There will be a chance to repack and take only overnight bags out to the desert. The accommodations are basic, with four people per tent (though feel free to sleep out under the stars). Bathroom facilities are basic and shared. Mattresses with sheet and blanket are provided. For winter months (Nov- April), we recommend bringing a sleeping bag for additional warmth. There will be the chance to shower upon arrival in Merzouga the following morning. Included Activities: Overnight at Berber Desert Camp Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours) Ride out to the tented camp for the night. Local guides will teach you how to mount and dismount and other handy camel-related safety tips. Camel (1.50 hour(s))
Rise early to get on the trusty camels. Watch the sun rise before returning to Merzouga. Depart early from the camp. Make the first stop of the day at Tineghir to visit the town and go for a walk through the palm groves. Then head to the breathtaking Todra Gorge to spend the night nestled between the sheer cliff walls among the palm trees and gurgling river. This serene spot is great for hiking, relaxing on the edge of the river or sampling some local Berber delicacies. Additional Notes: Due to the location, the hotel power is run by a generator and the electricity is turned off every night at approx. 23:00. We recommend bringing a headlamp for getting around at night if necessary. Included Activities: Todra Gorge Visit and Walk Through Palm Groves Transport: Head back to Merzouga and wave goodbye to your new humpback friend. Camel (1.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))
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." Continue on to the fascinating and beautiful Aït Ben Haddou, a wonderful example of a kasbah. Included Activities: Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Travel to the coast, and take in the laidback vibe of this coastal town on an orientation walk. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s))
In the morning, don't miss the colourful and lively spectacle of the return of the boats to the port, with their baskets full of fish. Afterwards, head up to the ramparts on the old city wall for a great view over the city and out to sea. Browse the shops and art galleries or take a stroll along the long, sandy beach. This is the perfect place to unwind and relax with a cold beer or shisha pipe (waterpipe). The active might choose to take a surfing or windsurfing lesson, hire a fishing rod or just take a long walk on the beach. In the evening, head to one of the local barbecue fish cafes where you can pick out the catch of the day and have it cooked to perfection for an amazing seafood dinner. Essaouira is also famous for its music scene and offers a great chance to check out a live performance.
Continue on to Marrakech where the tour ends upon arrival in the early afternoon. Additional Notes: Please book any onward travel after 4pm. Included Activities: Departure Day (Activities) Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Like anywhere in the world, major cities have areas safer than others, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and mind your personal belongings. It is important to note that as it is not a legal requirement in buses in Morocco, your vehicle may not be equipped with seat belts.
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.
On this trip you can expect to stay in local hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. Where a town has both an ancient medina and a "ville nouvelle" we generally stay in the ville nouvelle, both because the standard of hotels is higher, and because travellers (especially women) often find the medinas at night a little confronting. Please note that Morocco is a developing country and as such the infrastructure is not as reliable as you would expect at home. Expect quirky plumbing and the odd cold shower! In the desert we will spend a night at a nomad camp: Facilities at the camp are very basic. Travellers will sleep in multi-share tents (4 persons per tent). Mattresses and bedding are provided. For those travelling in the winter months (Nov- April), we recommend a sleeping bag for additional warmth. There will be the chance to take a shower after breakfast on our return to Merzouga the following morning.
While visiting mosques and other religious monuments you should dress modestly, cover your shoulders and you shouldn't wear short shorts or skirts. Outside of capital cities and the more touristic centres, local dress is often more conservative and as a matter of respect we ask that both men and women are aware of this and recommend loose-fitting clothes with your shoulders covered. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.
Breakfasts on tour Many breakfasts are included as part of your tour. Moroccan breakfasts tend to be different from your usual cereal and toast morning fare – most will be very simple - a croissant or sweet roll with jam and instant coffee and some hotels will have buffets where you will have more variety. While you are experiencing what a Moroccan family would eat, some travellers do find the provided breakfasts a bit “bread heavy” and enjoy buying fruit the day before to supplement their breakfast. Lunches and dinners Moroccan cuisine is world famous and your CEO will be taking the chance to show you the best of it. Staples include cous cous, a type of grain topped with stew, tagine which is actually the name of the pot this tasty dish is cooked in, and brochette, bbq skewers of meat. These meals will generally cost between 45- 70 MAD depending on the type of restaurant and which part of the country you are in. Other tastes not to be missed include pastilla, a sweet pasty with a savoury filling which is traditionally pigeon and harira, a delicious soup based on chick peas and filling enough when teamed with fresh bread to be a whole lunch. If you are heading to the coast the fresh seafood cooked at one of the local markets is a must eat! Snacks Morocco's fresh orange juice is highly recommended and you should not leave without trying a glass. The brave can try the tiny snails which are perhaps the local's favourite snack but you might prefer a cone of piping hot bite-size fried cake donuts. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Please note that there is a lot of fast paced travel on this itinerary which necessitates some long travel days in our mini van. We feel that if you enter this trip with this knowledge and expectation, you will appreciate even more the variety of locations we are able to include in this itinerary. We use a 16-seater minivan and with a full group every seat will be used. The legroom in the minivan is possibly smaller than you may be used to and taller passengers may find space a little cramped. It is important to be aware that as it is not a legal requirement in buses in Morocco, your vehicle may not be equipped with seat belts. The minivans have air conditioning, however please note that summer temperatures in Morocco can easily reach 50 celsius. When the outside temperature is so hot, a minibus air conditioning system will not be able to cool the bus to the temperatures you are used to enjoying at home. Please bear in mind that travelling in Morocco in summer will inevitably involve very hot temperatures and some discomfort may be experienced when travelling.
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of Morocco, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. We also use certified local city guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
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*Per person twin sharing and excluding flights