Why not have it all? Our fourteen days below (or 10 days or more) allows time to slow down, immerse, relax and absorb the depths of mysterious Morocco. You will stay in uniquely different Imperial cities of Fes and Marrakech, visit Roman ruins at Volubilis, overnight in the Sahara Erg Chebbi dunes on camel trek and stay in a riad overlooking Ouzoud waterfalls and visit the old Portuguese sea port of Essaouira and much more!
All our tours are great for kids too!
Tours can also start or end Fes, Marrakech, Agadir, Casablanca or Rabat.
PRICE LIST all sampled tours.
MARRAKECH TO MARRAKECH
Your driver will meet you at the Marrakech Menara airport, take you to your medina riad, and check in. The riad (old house) is in the old medina part of the city, A World Heritage Site. Breakfast is served everyday with fresh coffee and tea, freshly baked bread, an omelette and orange juice. Evening drums will draw you to the Djemaa El Fna (main city square) where a festival atmosphere awaits. Plunge past the snake charmers and have your fortune told, listen to Berber and Gnawa musicians, or storytellers, or watch the "exotic" dancers illuminated by lamplight and wreathed in smoke. Food stall meals range from a bevy of fresh salads, harrira (lentil and bean soups) fried fish and chips (Moroccan style) to kebabs and even sheep's head (a specialty that has its own dedicated stalls). Stay Marrakech ancient medina in the heart of the old city.
Your driver will meet you at your hotel at 8:00a.m., depart Marrakech - don't worry we'll return - and transport over the High Atlas mountains Tichka pass. We will have time to stop and enjoy impressive landscapes, and break for coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice. At the height of the pass you will turn off the main road toward Telouet to visit the old Glaoui kasbah. This kasbah has an amazing story behind it, that is intrinsically linked to the formation of Morocco as a country. It was once a beautiful kasbah but now stands crumbling to ruins because no one wants to remember "the vulture" sultan who lived here until the 1950's. Back in the car you'll follow the old Salt Road camel caravan route to Sahara until reaching Ait Benhaddou. Stay in desert auberge with swimming pool.
After Ouarzazate, you'll head to Skoura oasis and then the Valley of the Rose, famous for producing elegant Persian rose oil. At the remote village of Boutaghrah you'll pass through many Berber villages and green riverside oasis and barren red hillsides clustered with kasbahs (fortified dwellings that house many families and their livestock). From here you'll drive off road, (weather permitting) through the mountain valleys to visit nomads in the area, then head for Dades valley. Along the way visit the red Tamnalt hills called the monkey fingers. Continue to Tinehir and stay in an old kasbah this night.
After breakfast you'll have a short drive to Todra gorges for a walk through a massive fault dividing the High Atlas mountains. The gorge sheer rock walls rises to 300 m in the narrowest part. Wander with a Berber guide* through palmeries, gardens, and kasbahs for a close look at traditional Berber ways of life. Drive through the Saghro volcanic mountains rising out of the Sahara and hunt for fossils. Have lunch in Rissani, the hub of the desert, and you can visit the lively thrice weekly market selling many goods, animals and spices brought in from the surrounding villages - explore and people watch. After lunch continue deeper into the desert world, until the red dunes appear on the horizon. Your destination is the auberge (small inn) in the Erg Chebbi dunes 29km from Merzouga. Upon arrival at the auberge, you will meet your camel guide and ride into the camp at sunset, where a traditional tagine dinner is prepared (vegetarians welcome). Climb the dunes and watch the moon rise before retiring to your bed in the nomad wool tent. Or take your mattress and sleep outside under the stars.
Our desert camp is far from the crowds coming from Merzouga. It consists of a circle of five nomad tents that each sleep about 4 people but they are very rarely full. They are equipped with carpets, foam mattresses, wool blankets, freshly washed cotton sheets and pillows - camp also has solar lighting and toilets, kitchen tent and dining tent, and carpeting around the fire pit. All camel guides are local nomads working to support their families.
This morning you'll wake very early to have tea and get ready to ride the camels by a different route back to the auberge. Stop to watch the sunrise before returning for a big breakfast and hot shower. You can chill out in the dunes or the auberge swimming pool, or take your car and driver for an off road tour around the Erg Chebbi dunes. You'll stop to visit Nomad families for tea if they are in the region, and you can explore as much as you wish. The village of Hamlia is on your route, and is famous for Gnaoua music where you can stop for a visit and dance with the music. Return to the desert auberge. Includes dinner and breakfast.
Our desert kasbah consists of a traditional building, situated right at the dune line on a natural rise surrounded by shady tamarisk trees. In times of rain, the site is surrounded by a natural lake filled with birds. The auberge has a swimming pool, and a two large salons for entertainment and where meals are served. The rooms are large, and have private patios overlooking the pool. The staff are from the immediate region, of haritan, nomad and berber origins - some are master drummers.
After breakfast you can take your time to relax around the pool, and enjoy a bit more time in the dunes to try sand boarding. After lunch you will depart for Midelt, is another world in contrast. This bustling desert town has an interesting shop that sells carpets made with striking abstract designs by the women of the region, and a regional market on Sundays.
Depart Midelt this morning after breakfast traveling from the desert to the Middle Atlas mountains to Meknes. The green forests and mountain valleys are a nice contrast from the desert. You can stop and visit the Barbary apes in the cedar forests of Azrou before descending to the hilly lowlands where the ancient city of Meknes is situated. Visit the 17th-century imperial city-within-a-city of Moulay Ismael, palaces, mosques, dungeons and gardens. The highlights are the dungeons; the royal stables containing grain silos that used to hold enough food for the city residents for a year, as well as a stable big enough for 12,000 horses; and the Moulay Ismael Mausoleum. Afterwards visit the Roman ruins of Volubilis along the way to Fes. The Romans built this city as a trading doorway into Africa and for 200 years in the 2nd and 3rdC AD it was the furthest outpost of all Roman cities. It's beautiful floor mosaics and columns to private houses can still be seen. The surrounding land is prized for it's olive trees. Nearby town was where Moulay Idriss I arrived in 789 bringing the religion of Islam, and started a new dynasty. In addition to founding the town, he also initiated construction of Fes. Stay in Fes medina riad.
After breakfast, meet your guide* and explore this fascinating storybook medina. The endless labyrinth of narrow streets is like no other, with hundreds of tiny shops, a dyers souk and craft manufacturers who ply their trade in narrow medieval grottoes. Visit the famous leather tanneries, still using techniques from ancient times to produce fine leather in beautiful colours. Fes is also famous for its robust and beautiful pottery, brass and copper trays and tea services, regional cuisine and ancient medersas (schools of Islam).
Leaving Fes towards Marrakech you'll pass through the bread-basket of Morocco near Beni Mellal where you'll see many olive presses at work. Soon after, you'll leave the main road to climb abruptly into the Middle Atlas mountains through deep gorges and forested hills until reaching Cascades Ouzoud, waterfalls into a spectacular gorge and an endless series of pools. The waterfalls are particularly fantastic during the rainy season November to March. Stay Ouzoud traditional house (riad) overlooking the falls.
Spend the day exploring the cascades and wonderful views in the valley. Late afternoon depart Ouzoud and return to Marrakech.
Stay in Marrakech medina riad.
Explore the back street maze of Marrakech with a guide,* visit Ben Youssef Medersa, the Koutoubia mosque, and the Saadian Tombs. Afternoon free to explore the vast souk (market). The Souk is comprised of many specialist areas e.g. metalwork, where crafters ply their trade; dyers workshops are strung with colourful skeins of wool; carpets, and carpet sellers entice you into their shops with a cup of mint tea; tiny shops selling Berber jewellery, old silver, and African beads; spices, olives, fresh herbs; visit traditional apothecaries where you can learn about all manner of potions to heal or cast spells of love or revenge. Visit a hammam for traditional relaxation and body scrub.
Your driver will meet you at your hotel and you'll transfer 2.5-3 hours to Essaouira with stops along the way. Essaouira is a laid back town west of Marrakech set on the Atlantic coast peppered with Argan trees (yes - there are goats in the trees). The expansive beach is great for long walks, and the town is famous for it's fresh seafood, thuja wood crafts and artists colony. Old Portuguese ramparts guard the walled city where you can watch silver craftsmen and wood carvers at work in one of the most charming medinas in all of Morocco. Visit a traditional pharmacy and learn about natural medicines and cures, and a Women's cooperative where Argan nuts are processed by hand into one of the rarest oils in the world. In winter Essaouira is generally warmer and wetter than Marrakech, and in summer pleasantly cool and breezy, rarely going beyond high 20's Celcius.
Stay Essaouira riad in the medina.
Stay Essaouira - a very nice way to finish your tour in Morocco! Explore around the old medina shops and markets filled with spices, African trading goods, wooden carvings and masks, colourful textiles and carpets, and pottery, and artists galleries. Essaouira is also an active fishing port where fresh fish is bought and sold right on the docks. There is also unique birdwatching and the rare Eleonoras falcon nests on the island opposite the port (closed to visits). Swim, kite sail, ride horses or camels or just relax on the golden sands (March to October), or explore around the various artists centers and galleries. Fresh seafood cooked right in the simple beachside cafes.
Transfer to the airport, bus or train station for departure.
For more information click on the menu across the top of this page.
FAQ's also has important information about visiting Morocco.
Telephone to Marrakech Morocco:
GSM: +212 667 705 212 / 661 498 177
Telephone from inside Marrakech Morocco:
GSM: 0 667 705 212 / 0 661 498 177
Telephone British Columbia Canada voice mail:
+1 604 393 3715
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Marrakech Morocco • British Columbia Canada
PRAISE FOR OUR TOURS
We are in snowy Amsterdam after a very wet Lisbon and wanted to say what a fantastic time we had in Morocco. Hamou certainly made the trip for us but we also felt the coverage of the itinerary, choice of accommodation & provision if a high quality vehicle were excellent.
Alex and I had a fantastic time seeing many parts of Morocco we never would have seen if we had tried to do it by ourselves. We particularly enjoyed the camel trek and sleeping under the stars in the Sahara (a magical experience!); visiting the palmeraie, old Jewish village and a rug maker's house in Tinghir (our site guide Mohammed was great and we had fun learning some Berber words from him!); and staying in the beautiful accommodation arranged for us in the Dades Gorge.
On the whole, our Morocco Explored trip has been a highlight of our time in Morocco and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the country.
B Monk, Australia