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South Morocco Discovery

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10 Days
Marrakech
Marrakech
Min Age : 15+
Max People : 16
Tour Details

From souk to Sahara, see the best of Morocco’s south

From the colourful, chaotic Marrakech medinas to the vast, serene Sahara desert, this tour immerses you in the rich cultures and landscapes of South Morocco. Stay in traditional accommodation and explore villages off the beaten track. Feast on tagine, visit the grand Ait Benhaddou kasbah, travel through the Sahara on a camel and relax in seaside Essaouira. This ten-day tour is perfect for travellers looking to discover the diversity of Morocco’s south in a short amount of time.

Departure & Return Location

Marrakech

Departure Time

06:00 PM

Price Includes

  • Meals 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • AccommodationHomestay (1 night), Hotel (6 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)
  • TransportOvernight sleeper train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Train
  • Activities
    • Aroumd - Guided Hike in the High Atlas Mountains
    • Tamegroute - Ancient Library
    • Sahara Desert - Camel Ride
    • Essaouira - Walking Tour with Local Guide

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees

Why you’ll love this trip

  • Experience local hospitality at a homestay with a charming local family in Moulay Idriss – if you’re lucky, you might even get an invite to a cooking demonstration.

  • Relive a glorious medieval past in Fes city. While many tourists get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the medina, you’ll have a local guide to show you the way.

  • See for yourself the vivid blue hues of Chefchaouen while you explore the houses and laneways of this surreal city.

  • Need a break from your wanders around the narrow streets of Meknes? Replenish your energy with the camel burger cooked right in front of you at a restaurant in the medina.

  • Where else would you find drummers, dancers, fortune tellers, jugglers, street food vendors and old medicine men in one place? Why, in Marrakech, exploring the acclaimed Djemaa el Fna.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people and environments.

  • In 2020, Ramadan will take place from 23 April to 22 May. It may cause some disturbance to your travel schedule. Some regular services may not be available or open during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars. Please consider your travel arrangements carefully.

  • On Day 2 you will have a chance to discover Rabat on self-guided tour. You will be provided with a map and clear instructions but your tour leader will not be leading you through the city. Rabat is easy to navigate and self-guided touring is a great chance to discover its secrets.

  • The train from Rabat to Meknes on Day 2 can get pretty busy at peak periods, so we’d recommend packing lightly in a rucksack to make sure you can get on and off the train easily.

  • There are some steep steps up to the guesthouse in Moulay Idriss on Day 2, which can be quite difficult to negotiate if you’ve packed heavily. If you need assistance to carry your luggage from the taxi to the accommodation, mules can be provided.

  • On Day 7 of the trip, a 3-hour journey by public bus to Tangier is windy in places so it’s not for the faint hearted. Although the backdrop of the stunning Rif Mountains makes this a truly scenic journey.

  • There’s also an overnight train on Day 7. The train has four-berth couchette compartments with upper and lower bunks on each side, so you may be sharing a confined space with people outside of your travel group. Overnight trains are a great way to meet the locals and other travellers, as well as ensuring you get maximum time in various destinations. This train is occasionally cancelled at very late notice, meaning we take a minivan instead.

Itinerary

Day 1Marrakech

Welcome to Marrakech! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm – check-in reception for time and place confirmation. There’s not much time to explore Marrakech after the meeting, but if you arrive early there’s plenty to see and do. We’ve compiled a list below of suggested activities for those who arrive early.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities

  • Marrakech – Marjorelle Gardens – MAD70
  • Marrakech – Palais Bahia – MAD70
  • Marrakech – Palais Badi – MAD70
  • Marrakech – Saadian Tombs – MAD70
  • Marrakech – Medersa Ben Youssef – MAD40
  • Marrakech – Museum of Marrakech – MAD40
  • Marrakech – Hamam (public baths) – MAD250
  • Marrakech – Photography Museum – MAD40

Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and emergency contact information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and emergency contact information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Day 2Aroumd

Take a short drive into the High Atlas Mountains to the village of Imlil (approximately 2 hours). On arrival, store your main luggage and load daypacks onto pack mules. Make the 1-hour trek to the peaceful village of Aroumd. 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 (Amazigh) Berber culture. Spend the night in a family-run mountain gite were surrounded by the smell of woodstoves and bread, you will enjoy traditional hospitality and food. Use the rest of the day to explore the village and the surrounding farmlands. If the group is up for it and weather permits, there will be a chance to hike around eight kilometers to the pilgrimage shrine of Sidi Chamharouch (approximately 4 hours return). Regardless of your fitness levels, the gentle pace of Aroumd makes it a special place to explore beyond the reach of the modern world.

Accommodation

  • Gite (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Aroumd – Guided Hike in the High Atlas Mountains

Optional Activities

  • Aroumd – Mule Ride from Imlil to Aroumd – MAD80

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information

The optional walk to Sidi Chamharouch shrine requires appropriate footwear. A pair of good walking shoes with rigid and grippy sole will be sufficient. You will walk over well-trodden paths that may be muddy and unstable.

Facilities at the homestay are shared (both the bathroom and sleeping arrangements) but cozy, comfortable, and definitely a unique Intrepid experience.

If you feel like the walk is too strenuous, there’s the option of riding the mule (extra cost).

Day 3Ait Benhaddou

This morning journey along mountain roads and over Morocco’s highest pass, Tizi n’Tichka (2260 meters), to Ait Benhaddou on the edges of the Sahara (approximately 6 hours). Perched on a hilltop and almost unchanged since the 11th century, Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco’s most iconic sites. It was once an important stop for caravans passing through as they carried salt across the Sahara, returning with gold, ivory, and slaves. The town has a long list of film and TV credits, including Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones, and Gladiator. Enjoy a guided 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. Your evening is free, with the option of partaking in a local cooking demonstration and meal of Morocco’s most famous dishes: couscous and tagine.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities

  • Ait Benhaddou – Cooking Demonstration & Dinner – MAD100
  • Ait Benhaddou – Henna Tattoo – MAD50

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 4Ouarzazate & Zagora

This morning you’ll journey south towards the Sahara, stopping in the regularly used film location of Ouarzazate along the way (approximately 5 hours in total). Continue to travel through the lush Draa Valley to Zagora, a small oasis town on the Sahara fringe that is perfect for an overnight stop. On arrival, take a stroll through the palm groves, explore the ksars, and wander around the surrounding countryside.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities

  • Ouarzazate – Atlas Movie Studios – MAD80
  • Ouarzazate – Kasbah Taourirt – MAD20

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 5Tamegroute & Erg Chigaga

Drive along with the rugged and desolate Jbel Tadrart ranges and through seas of sand and past the occasional desert oasis of date palms to the township of Tamegroute. On arrival, visit an intriguing library filled with ancient scripts of science, literature, the Koran, and stories of the prophet Mohammed (subject to unregulated opening times). Afterward, join a local guide to uncover the underground Kasbah. Afterward, carry on driving to the frontier town of M’Hamid (approximately 1 hour). From here, take a short camel ride through the dunes, then jump into 4WD vehicles and drive to the massive Erg Chigaga dunes. Arrive in the late afternoon. Enjoy a night under the stars at your desert camp.

Accommodation

  • Desert camp (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Tamegroute – Ancient Library
  • Sahara Desert – Camel Ride

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Special Information

The camel trek through the Sahara is a highlight of the trip for many. If you’re uncomfortable with this, it’s possible to walk alongside the camels for about an hour to the camp. You would need to walk back the same distance the next morning, but it’s a gentle and relaxing walk. The camp itself is a simple affair, with bedding and basic toilet facilities provided. The blankets provided are usually sufficient for most travelers between April and October, but if you feel the cold easily you may like to bring your own sleeping bag for extra warmth, especially during the months between November and March. Electricity is not available in the camp therefore it’s important to come prepared with fully charged phones, cameras, and everything else you may need.

Day 6Taroudant

Travel to the market town of Oulad Brhhil by minivan. The journey should take around 8 hours in total, including several stops. This drive goes through desert scenery and along a route that’s a reserve for the indigenous argan trees. If you’re lucky, the group might come across the famous image of goats climbing these trees in search of nuts. Arrive at your accommodation by the early evening and relax after a long day of travel.

Accommodation

  • Riad (1 night)

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Special Information

Please note that this is a long travel day, and you won’t arrive at tonight’s accommodation until late afternoon/early evening. The riad (house) tonight is 45 kilometers outside of Taroudant and offers the chance to relax by the pool or take a steamed bath.

Day 7Taroudant & Essaouira

In the morning, take to the souqs and haggle with local traders for silver jewelry or colorful Moroccan ceramics and mosaics. Afterward, head west to the coastal town of Essaouira (approximately 5 hours). The name Essaouira means image, which is appropriate since it’s such a picturesque town. Its charm is undeniable; within the stone ramparts, you’ll find whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters, art galleries, and wood workshops. You’ll arrive in the early evening, so there won’t be much time to look around today.

Accommodation

  • Riad (1 night)

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 8Essaouira

Today, join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish Mellah, port, and Skala (sea wall). Afterward, enjoy free time for the rest of the day. Maybe grab a freshly-cooked plate of the day’s catch at the port, or browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries. If you’d prefer to relax, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in a hammam or local-style bath.

Accommodation

  • Riad (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Essaouira – Walking Tour with Local Guide

Optional Activities

  • Essaouira – Hamam (public baths) – MAD200
  • Essaouira – Berber Massage – MAD350
  • Essaouira – Horse Riding – MAD250
  • Essaouira – Seafood Market Lunch – MAD80

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 9Marrakech

Enjoy a free morning Essaouira, then catch a bus back to Marrakech in the afternoon (approximately 3 hours). Enjoy free time on arrival to explore or partake in optional activities. Maybe check out the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, or the ruins of the Palais Badi.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities

  • Marrakech – A Taste Of Marrakech: Inside the Medina Urban Adventure – MAD605
  • Marrakech – Tajine Cookery Class Urban Adventure – MAD640
  • Marrakech – Cascades d’Ouzoud Day Tour – MAD2207
  • Marrakech – Hot Air Ballooning – MAD2050
  • Marrakech – Luxury Spa Hammam & Massage – MAD750
  • Marrakech – Ourika Valley Day Tour – MAD1817
  • Marrakech – Oukaimeden Day Tour – MAD1882
  • Marrakech – Asni & Ouirgane Day Trip with Lunch – MAD1806
  • Marrakech – Heart of the Atlas Mountains Cycling Day Tour – MAD2000
  • Marrakech – Medina, Palaces & Tombs Urban Adventure – MAD630
  • Marrakech – Palmery Cycling Tour – MAD350
  • Marrakech – Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour – MAD350

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 10Marrakech

Your adventure ends after breakfast. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Marrakech (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Map

Photos
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