Need a Christmas break? Get some sun and explore the beautiful, historic cities, the impressive mountains, the magical Sahara desert and discover the real Morocco
Most of Morocco – FULLY BOOKED
This trip is fully booked. We hope to see you Christmas 2018 or earlier. Check our other trips
Need to get away from it all and enjoy a sunny climate during the cold holiday seasons? Experience something different and get away from it all?
We offer you Most of Morocco. The sunny climate. The vibrant cities with their buzzling narrow streets and lively atmosfere. The historic ruins of old times. The impressive High Altas mountains with it scenics views. The overwhelming desert and the calming sea. All this mixed with Moroccan hospitality and lively colours and scents and delicious food.
In 15 days we will reveal all of that and more!
- 15 day trips that will show you most of Morocco
- Stay at the desert, including camelride
- Visit Unesco World Heritage Ait Benhaddou
- Hike through the majestic High Atlas
- Relax at laidback artists’ coast-town Essaouira (movie location for Game of Thrones)
- Visit the film location of Ouarzazate
- Relax level (few hours walking)
- 24 December 2017 – 7 January 2018
- 4 – 20 persons per group
- Group will be accompagnied by Hassan Hisse
- Breakfast are included (except in Marrakech)
- stays in a hotel in Marrakech, in a gite (rural Moroccan home) and a Sahara camp
- Option to book extra stays before or after this trip
€ 1025,- per person (excl. flight)
Day 1 – Casablanca
Welcome in Morocco! If you fly to Casablanca we’ll arrange transfer from the airport and your stay at a comfortable hotel. Today you have free-time to discover the city. We will meet with the group at 6 pm in the hotel.
Day 2 – Rabat – Meknes
Today we will go by bus to the capital of Morocco; Rabat. Rabat’s history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan parliament. We will spend a few hours strolling through the city’s old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Afterwards, we’ll continue to Meknes. The imperial city of Meknes was built when Sultan Moulay Ismail (a contemporary of Louis XIV) set out to create his own version of Versailles, using over 25,000 slaves to construct walls, gates and over 50 palaces.
This morning is free to explore Meknes. Try a camel burger for lunch at friendly local restaurant in the medina. Later, we will travel for one hour through hills and olive groves to the archaeological site of Volubilis. World Heritage-listed Volubilis was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and the remains make an undeniably impressive sight. Upon arrival, take a tour around the ruins with a local guide. Afterwards, make the two-hour drive to Fes, where you’ll spend the next two nights. Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses – with a huge, well-preserved medieval old city that’s the mother of all medinas.
Day 4 – Fes
Take a guided group walking tour of the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali. Step back into the Middle Ages in the labyrinth of the Medina, which is alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries and mosques. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the city’s most beautiful buildings, which has recently been restored and is now open to tourists. You can visit the Belghazi Museum, Medresse el Attarine and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. You’ll also see the famous tannery and a ceramics factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a delicious group dinner (at your own cost) of Moroccan specialities like harira (chickpea soup) and chicken-stuffed pastilla with couscous.
We will leave the intensity of the city behind for the simplicity and the calmness of the Middle Atlas Mountains (approximately 4 hours by bus). The area is populated with wandering nomadic shepherds attending to their flocks. Pass through cedar forests which are home to Barbary apes, North Africa’s only monkey, and on to your destination of Midelt. Nestled in a valley, Midelt is a market town. Stretch your legs as you explore the nearby village of Bremmem and take a closer look at local farming life. Visit Kasbah Myriam, an embroidery workshop run by Franciscan nuns with the aim of providing sustainable employment and education to local Berber women.
Day 6 – Sahara Camp
Today it’s a five-hour drive towards the Sahara Desert. There will be many opportunities to stop and admire views of Kasbahs and palmeries (valleys lush with date palms, fields and orchards) along the way. The end of the road is at the small Saharan settlement of Merzouga. We will mount a camel for a one-hour sunset ride into the desert. The Erg Chebbi dunes are the most stunning in the country and an essential part of any visit to Morocco. Located at the end of a sealed road and just 20 kilometres from the Algerian border, this really feels like frontier country. Spend the night in a desert camp under the stars. Our guides will prepare a hearty feast, so all you need to do is sit back and relax.
Day 7 – Todra Gorge
Return from the desert and begin the drive to Todra Gorge. On the way visit the oasis museum of El Khorbat, before continuing on to the beautiful Todra Valley (approximately 5 hours in total), which follows the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and is dotted with mud-brick villages perched on hillsides. The remarkable scenery – sprawling green valleys and rocks sculpted into stunning formations by the wind – will be your home for next two nights.
Day 8 – Todra Gorge
Today enjoy free time to explore the Todra Valley. A guided hike through the gorge and over a nearby mountain pass is highly recommended. There are a couple of circuits to choose from, but the most popular choice, and the one we recommend, is a 10 kilometre circuit that will take about four hours. On the walk you’ll pass Berber villages, meeting local Berbers along the way and perhaps having a chance to share a cup of mint tea with some of them. The surrounding mountains and the famous Rose Valley in the distance make a sensational setting. To fully enjoy the walk, you need a moderate level of fitness, good walking boots or sturdy trainers, sunglasses, sun cream and plenty of water. For lunch you can join some local ladies in their mud-brick kasbah, a fantastic opportunity to see how people live in this largely unchanged culture.
Day 9 – Ait Benhaddou
Today travel south for four hours to Ait Benhaddou. We will pause for lunch in Ouarzazate, where productions such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Sheltering Sky and Black Hawk Down were filmed. Time permitting, you can take a tour of the Atlas Movie Studios. Continue on to your destination of Ait Benhaddou. Centuries ago, this was an important stop for caravans carrying salt across the Sahara. Today its grand kasbah, a fine example of clay architecture, has been listed as a World Heritage site. In the late afternoon, why not enjoy a cooking demonstration to learn the secrets behind Morocco’s most famous cuisine: couscous and tagine.
Day 10 – Aroumd
We will journey over the spectacular Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2,260 metres above sea level) to Toubkal National Park (approximately 5 hours), photographing snow-dappled mountains and valleys in full flower along the way. At the end of the road in Imlil, store your main luggage and load a daypack onto a pack mule. We will walk into traditional mountain village life with a one-hour trek up to the peaceful village of Aroumd, far from the reach of the modern world. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the remote village of Aroumd offers stunning views across the High Atlas Mountains and a unique opportunity to experience traditional Berber culture. Spend the night in a family-run mountain home (gite) in Aroumd. Facilities at the homestay are shared (both the bathroom and sleeping arrangements) but cosy, comfortable and definitely a unique experience.
Day 11 – Essaioura
Take a morning walk through the valleys and trails of the stunning Atlas Mountains. Afterwards, head westwards for five hours towards the Atlantic Coast and the old fishing town of Essaouira, a city where the medina brushes up against the Atlantic Ocean. This artists’ town was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations, and its charm has seduced people like Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix, who (according to local legend) spent much of his time here in the 1960s. Stay in a restored riad, or Moroccan mansion, a traditional nobleman’s house unique to Morocco that’s a calming oasis away from the buzz of the medina. Your riad is beautifully designed and decorated in traditional Moroccan style, cosy yet historical.
Day 12 – Essaouira
Today, join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall). Afterwards, use your free time to get under the skin of the town. The narrow streets of Essaouira are ideal for casual exploration. Browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries that make this little town a particularly pleasant place to unwind for a few days. It has a growing reputation for its unique art and is becoming even more famous for its burled Thuya wood, delicately formed and inlaid in tiny shops that are built into the thick walls of the Portuguese ramparts. The scent from the oils used to polish the richly coloured wood permeates the air and makes walking down the streets incredibly pleasant.
Day 13 – Marrakech
Chat with locals on a shared bus ride to Marrakech (approximately 3 hours), an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens. Perhaps join the thronging crowds for dinner at the famous Djemaa el Fna square. When night falls on this square it transforms in to a hive of activity. Snake-charmers, henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies, including snail soup!
Day 14 – Marrakech
Today is free so you can discover by yourself. Explore the Medina for some last-minute shopping. Perhaps visit the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its 12th-century minaret, which was the famous prototype for the Giralda tower in Seville. Take a wander through the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). You might like to check out the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, or the ruins of the Palais Badi, reputedly one of the most beautiful palaces in the world in its time. Eating out at one of the many outdoor restaurants lining the square is a great way to finish your adventure.
Day 15 – Marrakech
Your Discover Morocco adventure comes to an end today. Check-out time is usually around midday and you are free to leave at any time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring here. Speak to your leader about the wealth of extra activities to do around Marrakech.
- Full Escort: Fully escorted by Hassan (your local guide)
- Transport: Minibus or 4×4 transfers from and to the Airport and around, camel ride
What is not included:
- Lunch and dinner in Marrakech
- International flights
- Sleeping bags
- Travel insurance
- Drinks and items of a personal nature
- Additional stays before or after the trip, although these can be purchased
How to get there
Direct flights are available from cities across Europe, the Middle East, West Africa and North America to Casablanca Mohammed V Airport and Marrakech Menara Airport and other airports throughout Morocco. Upon request we can arrange the flight for you.
Passport and visas
Travellers are responsible for their own valid travelling documents.
All people travelling to Morocco need to have a passport that is valid until at least 6 months after leaving Morocco.
EU and British citizens, Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and Americans do not require a visa to visit Morocco for stays up to 90 days. All other nationalities should check with the Moroccan Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information.
The currency of Morocco is the dirham (MAD), divided into 100 centimes. Changing money is easy and you will find banks and exchange bureaux in Casablanca, Fes and Marrakech, however, please note Australian dollars are not always accepted.
Vaccinations are not obliged by the Moroccan government. Check you local physician and bring along the travel route to check if vaccinations are required for you.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You’ll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
In the winter months (from November to March) there may not be enough heating (sometimes none) or sufficient blankets to keep everyone warm, we recommend bringing your own sleeping bag.
Because the climate in Morocco can vary, especially in the mountains; where the nights can be cold and it will be warm during daytime, we recommend to wear different layers of clothes. And for the hiking trips; don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes!
Morocco is an islamic country, and although Moroccans in the big cities can be very liberal, it is highly appreciated -especially in the rural areas -if you cover your shoulders and your knees. This is applicable for both men and women.
The summers can be very hot. Don’t forget to bring a hat or something to cover your head. Or buy a scarf in the souks of Marrakech.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
Do you want to now more about the availability, flights or do you have other questions?
Contact us via email@example.com or +212 6 62 74 30 23 (also for WhatsApp)