April 14-26, 2019
Guided by: Kayla Peckford
US$ 1,780 per person sharing (International airfare not included)
Discover Morocco in style on a budget adventure from Casablanca to Marrakech through Chefchaouen, Fes, Sahara and Atlas Mountains. Journey into Morocco’s heart through its food, religion, language and culture to better understand this exciting nation and passionate people.
April 13,14, 2019: Casablanca
A comfortable international flight takes you to Casablanca, Morrocco (arriving April 14th). Upon arrival, Kayla will welcome you and drive with you to your hotel. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting, and then (time permitting), a visit to the art deco Villa des Arts, or the Museum of Judaism.
April 15: Meknes
After breakfast today, Casablanca beckons. Take a 45-minute guided tour of the Hassan II Mosque. Next, it's about a one-hour drive to the capital of Rabat. Rabat's history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan parliament. You will also see the vast minaret of the Hassan Mosque and explore the lovely walled quarter known as the Kasbah des Oudaias. In the late afternoon, continue on to Meknes (approximately 2 hours), the sixth largest city in the kingdom, and former capital of Morocco.
April 16, Chefchaouen
Today enjoy a morning tour of Meknes. Discover the charming streets of the old medina. You will explore the elaborately decorated public buildings hidden in these winding streets, including the lovely Bou Inania (religious school) and the old souq. Next, you will drive to the nearby archeological site of Volubilis. World Heritage-listed Volubilis was one of the Roman empire's most remote bases. Enjoy a tour of the ancient hilltop ruins with a local guide. Afterwards, make the three-hour drive to Chefchaouen, or the ‘blue city’, which is arguably one of the prettiest places in Morocco. Set against a wide valley and nestled between two peaks in the stunning Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen may take you by surprise.
April 17, 18: Fes
Enjoy free morning to further discover Chefchaouen. Take another stroll around the streets and search for your favourite shade of blue. Then perhaps enjoy lunch before boarding our private minibus on a long journey to Fes (approximately 3.5 hours) for the night. The city is a best example of medieval Arab world, and you are soon to find out more of its past and modern times. Discover the city of Fes, the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming. Walk through the twisting streets and alleyways, passing donkeys piled high with goods, and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Spend the day exploring the old city, visiting, Medresse el Attarine, the tanneries and the splendid Fondouk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon and perhaps spend the evening relaxing in this calming oasis, away from the buzz of the medina.
April 19: Midelt
Leave the intensity of the city behind for the simplicity of the High Atlas Mountains. Drive south, inland through a variety of spectacular scenery – fertile valleys, cedar and pine forests and barren, rocky landscapes – to the small town of Midelt (approximately 3.5 hours). After lunch, stretch your legs for a few hours on an easy hike in the nearby hills. Be prepared for some astonishing views of the Atlas Mountains, with snowy peaks almost touching the sky. Wander through plantations of apple trees on the way back to your accommodation for a relaxing evening, resting up before the Sahara tomorrow.
April 20: Merzouga
This morning there's time to haggle for carpets (mainly Kilims), take another refreshing walk, or visit a nearby Franciscan convent where local girls and women learn weaving, tapestry and embroidery. Drive through changing scenery, from barren mountainsides to fertile valleys, on the journey to Merzouga. You will leave your gear at a simple auberge and then ride camels into the edge of the Sahara Desert, enjoying a spectacular sunset along the way.Tonight, you will camp out in traditional style, with the chance to try some fantastic local cuisine while you sit around an open fire, enjoying lively music and dancing under the stars.
April 21, 22: Mgoun
Enjoy a real Lawrence of Arabia moment this morning with a sunrise camel ride across the desert on the return journey to the auberge. Then drive to Todra Gorge (approximately 3.5 hours), a massive trench that rises over 250 metres to form one of the most dramatic and spectacular natural sights in Morocco. The limestone stacks make a perfect area for trekking, and so today you will take a short walk through the sheer cliffs. Continue your journey inland for tonight’s destination, M’goun (approximately 1 hour). You will get closer to the customs and lifestyle of the Berber this evening with the night spent in a traditional Berber house. Explore the beauty of this largely untouched Moroccan backcountry. On foot is the best way to discover the natural and man-made landscape and the rural way of life. Accompanied by a local guide, you’ll walk past 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 make a sensational setting.
April 23: Ait Benhaddou
Leaving the Dades Valley today, set off on the fabled ‘Road of 1,000 Kasbahs’. The first stop is at Skoura Oasis (after approximately 1 hour), home to several privately owned kasbahs. Here visit the Kasbah Ameridhl, with its extravagant decorations and mud-brick fortifications. Continue on your journey to Ait Benhaddou (approximately 1 hour). Perched on a hilltop and almost unchanged since the 11th century, Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco's most iconic sites. Enjoy a walk through the winding streets of old town, making your way to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy the views across the surrounding plains.
April 24, 25: Marrakech
Drive for several hours through the winding roads of the Atlas, bound for Marrakech, an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. This evening, why not head to the great square of Jemaa el Fna, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. Henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. Finish your day with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top restaurants overlooking the square. The next day, meet your local guide and set off on a morning tour of the old medina, through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. The rest of the day is free to explore further or shop in the bazaar. On your final evening, why not share a farewell feast with new friends in one of the many great restaurants lining the square.
April 26, 27: Departure
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Transfer to the airport for your flight home (arriving home on April 27th), with memories of a unique adventure that will last a lifetime!
Included for this safari:
- All accommodation based on twin sharing
- 12 breakfasts and 7 dinners
- Private air-conditioned vehicle throughout
- Excellent English speaking leader throughout
- Local guides in: Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis, Fes, Mgoun & Marrakech
- Entrance/Admission Fees (where applicable with included activities)
- Airport transfer- arrival & departure transfers are included on a group basis. For those arriving outside the group, private airport transfers can be purchased.
- International airport departure tax
- Any visas required
- Services not mentioned in the itinerary
- Early check-in & late check out at hotels
- Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
- Drinks with included lunches and dinners
- Tips for leaders, guide and driver
- Expenditure of personal nature
- Personal Insurance
- Optional activities