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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:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: DCBNG/155189
  • Starts: Casablanca, Morocco
  • Finishes: Marrakech, Morocco
You will Visit
  • Casablanca
  • Marrakech

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Casablanca

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. Sit down to a welcome dinner.
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. Entrance is only permitted via guided tours, which operate from Saturday to Thursday (closed Fridays) at 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, and 14:00. These times are subject to change (particularly around Ramadan), please double check times with your hotel. Tickets can be purchased at the mosque.

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.


02

Day 2: Casablanca/Fès

Take a guided tour of the imperial city of Meknes. Continue on to the ruins of Volubilis, the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. After seeing the ruins, it's off to Fes.
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.

03

Day 3: Fès

Step back in time and embark on a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Medina of Fes. Explore winding lanes and alleys, visit the many artisans, tanneries, and shops with an expert local guide. After, enjoy a G Adventures-supported traditional tagine lunch at a cooperative that benefits rural Moroccan women and children. This evening, visit a local cafe where we meet a local expert in Islamic calligraphy for a demonstration on "beautiful writing".
In the evening, there may be the chance to partake in an optional dinner in a grand old Fes riad that has been converted into a spectacular restaurant. You will not only enjoy a delicious meal of local specialties, but also an evening of singing, music, and belly dancing.

04

Day 4: Fès/Marrakech

Travel to Marrakech. In the evening, experience all the colour and chaos with a visit to the famous Djemaa el Fna square. Watch storytellers and acrobats as you enjoy a simple and delicious local meal at a market food stall.



05

Day 5: Marrakech

In the morning, take a historical tour of the city, including the Bahia Palace and Saadian Tombs. After, visit a historic riad for a hands-on cooking class from a master Moroccan chef, and enjoy the lunch that you have prepared.

06

Day 6: Marrakech/Aït Ben Haddou

Travel to Aït Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Atlas Mountains, and explore this ancient “Kasbah" (fortress) village.


07

Day 7: Aït Ben Haddou/Erg Chigaga

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.

08

Day 8: Erg Chigaga/Zagora

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.

09

Day 9: Zagora/Taroudant

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.

10

Day 10: Taroudant/Tafraout

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

11

Day 11: Tafraout

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.

12

Day 12: Tafraout/Essaouira

Travel to the Atlantic coast to the port town of Essaouira. Opt to visit a local “hammam” (traditional spa and steam baths).
Essaouira is also famous for its music scene and offers a great chance to check out a live performance.

13

Day 13: Essaouira

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.

14

Day 14: Essaouira/Marrakech

Return to Marrakech and visit the Menara Gardens and the Jardin Majorelle. Opt to enjoy a farewell dinner at a palace-style restaurant with local folkloric entertainment.
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.

15

Day 15: Marrakech

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Arrival transfer
    • Tour the city of Meknes and ruins at Volubilis
    • Guided walking tour of Fes medina
    • Traditional lunch at a G Adventures-supported project
    • Islamic calligraphy class
    • Guided night walk of Djemaa el Fna square with local meal
    • Explore Marrakech with a local guide
    • Marrakech cooking class in historic Riad
    • 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
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (13 nts), comfortable desert camp (1 nt)
    • 14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 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.