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Immerse yourself in the sights, smells and sounds of the real Morocco. This unique, tailor-made trip with a highly experienced local guide touching on the many and varied mysteries that Morocco is renowned for – landscape, activities, culture, history, architecture, atmosphere and cuisine.
The discovery starts in the stunning art deco city of Casablanca and from there we traverse the snow- capped Atlas Mountain peaks and valleys to the Sahara desert, before continuing onto the crowded medieval city of Marrakech. Explore from the lush green coast through the High Atlas Mountains to the deserts, casbahs and markets.
From the modern to the ancient, you will walk, hike, taste and experience the Morocco of the 21st century and of the 1st century. You will discover that some things have changed a lot and some things haven’t changed at all! Enjoy the local cuisine and healthy meals, stay in a unique riad-style accommodation and experience the culture of everyday local life.
Marhaba! Welcome to Morocco! On arrival at Mohammed V International Airport, you will be greeted by your in-country host who will be with you for the duration of your stay and available 24 hours a day.
Your tour guide and in-country host is from the Atlas Mountains and a highly experienced guide. He has been leading tours and adventures all over Morocco for several years and has an unparalleled knowledge of his country that he is looking forward to sharing with you.
We have a direct transfer from the airport to our hotel in Casablanca city in our private vehicle (45 minutes). On arrival you will be welcomed with a cup of Moroccan mint tea – the first of many! Your welcome dinner will be in one of the local restaurants in the art deco city of Casablanca. Your first tastes of Morocco!
Today we travel 4 hours to Moulay Driss a small medieval holy town built in the heart of Zarhoun mount.
On arrival we start walking through fields of olive trees and small farming villages. We hike to the highest point
overlooking Saiss plains and the Middle Atlas mountains. From there we start hiking downhill to discover Morocco’s most impressive Roman ruins at Volubilis. Beautifully preserved mosaics depicting Roman myths and legends can be found among the remains of the merchants’ houses of this once-important city. Our local guide will make the past come alive as he leads you through the site (4 hours hike).
We leave Moulay Driss early in the morning and drive to Midelt (4 hours). Plenty of panoramic views as we cross the stunning Mid-Atlas mountains. We will also take a break in the cedar forest to see if we can catch sight of some Barbary apes,
the only monkeys to be found in North Africa. Watch out though – they won’t be shy if there’s food about! Lunch will be taken en route during a rest break.
On arrival to Tataouine, we start our hike (4hours) to discover the nomadic lands of Ait Merghad tribes. We will be hiking through gorges, valleys and reach one of the peaks at 2,000 meters above sea level.
During our hike we will have the opportunity to visit the home of a Berber family to have a cup of tea.
At the end of the day, we arrive at our accommodation in time to enjoy amazing panoramic views of the Eastern High
Atlas mountains from the terrace.
After dinner in our hotel, how about some Berber music and dancing tonight? Live musicians and local dancers can be arranged to entertain you with their lively music, drumming and dancing.
We leave Midelt after breakfast to transfer to Merzouga (4 hours). We cross the High Atlas mountains and head for the Sahara Desert, seeing the lush green oasis of Tafilalelt on the way and passing through the beautiful Ziz Gorges. Watch the changing landscape as we travel: from mountains and valleys, to oases and reservoirs, to rolling plains and, finally, the majesty of the
We arrive in time to start a 4 hour hike through the dunes and the arid plains. We will have camels to carry our bags with an optional camel ride into the desert. We will be experiencing the real Saharan landscapes by hiking the highest dunes in Morocco and seeing the dramatic shadows and golden orange, pink, and red hues of the ever-changing Erg Chebbi. In the
evening we will listen to the silence of the desert, experience its tranquility, and contemplate its awesome vastness as you gaze at the countless millions of stars above you.
Dinner at the camp is cooked by our caravan drivers tonight
We leave the desert behind us as we make our way to Todra Gorges (4 hours).
We cross two or three beautiful oases on our way today and stop for a short break in Erfoud, a town famous for its large concentration of fossils. Morocco is rich in geological diversity; the wildly varied landscapes tell stories that are millions of years old. The staggering number and variety of fossils to be found in Erfoud and the surrounding region is a vivid illustration
of North Africa’s fascinating prehistory.
About halfway on our route today, we can visit a Berber museum where you can learn about the history and culture of Morocco’s indigenous tribes through a large collection of Berber artefacts, clothes, jewellery, crafts and other day-to-day items.
Our guest house Tabourihte in Todra Gorges is a friendly place, run by locals, and you can relax after dinner with traditional drumming, singing, and dancing – joining in is optional!
The Guest House is not licensed to serve alcohol, but you are welcome to take some wine or beer with you to enjoy with your meal.
Relax, relax, relax! With two nights in Todra Gorges, it is the ideal time to sit back and relax by the pool, soaking up the breathtaking scenery but if you are feeling active, why not try one of the optional activities? You can join a half-day hike with a local guide which will take you from our Kasbah and up to the top of the Gorges to see some spectacular views. The hike is fairly demanding, but achievable for anyone with a reasonable level of general fitness.
Today we have our longest but most spectacular drive (8 hours) across the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi ‘n Tichka pass, the highest in Morocco at 2260m. The views from the pass are spectacular, with each bend in the winding road bringing another breathtaking panorama of the dramatic reddish brown mountains, snow-capped ridges, olive, pine, and juniper trees
tumbling into the valleys, and the surprising green of cultivated terraces clinging to the mountainsides. We pass through several Berber villages, where you might come across a weekly souk where locals gather from miles around to exchange their produce.
The road we take today is known as “The Road of a Thousand Kasbahs”. As we drive, you will see many examples of the classic adobe-style Kasbah architecture that is exemplified by the magnificent Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou.
We will pass through the Valley of the Roses where rose petals are harvested and treated to make the scented rose water used for hand washing, in perfumes and other cosmetics, as well as in Moroccan patisserie.
At our arrival to Marrakech we have dinner together at one of the lively food stalls in the beating heart of the Medina Place Jemaa el Fna. Watch the snake charmers, acrobats, and storytellers weave their magic as night falls and the square buzzes with life.
Free time to explore Marrakech today. You might like to visit the Ben Youssef Medersa and the Marrakech Museum in the Medina. Or take a “petit taxi” to the exotic gardens of Jardin Marjorelle, a haven of tranquility and legacy of fashion legend Yves St Laurent. Or capture the
beauty of the Jardin Menara, set against the backdrop of the Atlas mountains. Make sure you’ve done all your shopping in the souks, or while away the time experiencing some of the café culture in the new city, Gueliz. If you want to experience a traditional Moroccan hammam or treat yourself to a Berber massage, your host can arrange this for you (optional).
Or perhaps you’d like to try your hand at cooking up your own tastes of Morocco? We can offer you a cooking class (optional), where you will shop for your ingredients in the souk before learning how to turn them into a delicious, traditional Moroccan dish. Please ask your host for details.
Last dinner together tonight at one of the local restaurants near our hotel.
Transfer to Marrakech or Casablanca airport and we say “Au revoir!” to our host.
We hope that you have enjoyed your first taste of Morocco – from the delicious and fragrant dishes of typical Moroccan cuisine, to the sights and sounds of the vibrant cities, the magnificence of the Atlas mountains, the awe-inspiring vastness of the Sahara desert, and the sheer variety of beautiful landscapes and spectacular scenery that Morocco has to offer.
We wish you a “Bon voyage!” and hope see you on another Take Shape Adventure!
A comprehensive gear list is provided to participants prior to the trip.
Travel Insurance is mandatory. Get yours here.
Please do not book flights until you get confirmation that the tour is proceeding.
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October 11th-19th, 2021
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