DISCOVER MOROCCO

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Trip Highlights
Tour details
Itinerary
What's included
Itinerary Changes
Terrain
Condition Grading
Starting point and getting there
Food, Weather
Gear checklist
Currency & Banking
Passports, Visas

Morocco is an incredibly diverse African country encompassing glorious mountains, serene deserts, green oases, stunning coastline and fascinating ancient cities. From vibrant colors and exotic aromas in the souqs of Fes and Marrakesh, to hypnotic music of Berber Sufis in the High Atlas, it is a feast for all the senses. Selecting highlights is an impossible task, so in this itinerary we included our personal favorites in an epic road trip through this awe-inspiring country. It starts in Marrakesh, a town of immense beauty and culture, that sits beneath the dramatic peaks of the Atlas Mountains. We spent a day exploring the medina (old town) with its famous souks, a literal maze of shop vendors selling, well, a bit of everything and we immerse in the local culture by participating in a cooking lesson. The next day we head towards the geologically phenomenal rocky landscape of the Ounila Valley which used be one of the main caravan trade routes. Towering sandstone cliffs, crumbling Kasbahs and arid hillsides greet you at every corner. We will visit the Kasbah of Telouet and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou and then we will spend two days exploring the area around Dades gorge where we going to hike through time-warp villages framed by weathered rock and palm oasis. Next stop is Merzouga and the Sahara Desert! Riding a camel in the Sahara Desert to spend a night under the stars in a desert camp is not only an iconic experience, it will definitely going to be one of the most memorable of your life. Last stop is Fes, the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities. The entire medina is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and It hasn’t changed for centuries, a place where ancient traditions are still in everyday practice.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Get away from it all while hiking along craggy clifftops to tiny Berber villages
  • Follow caravan routes on a camel and camp out in the sculpted dunes of the Sahara
  • Immerse yourself in the Imperial cities of Marrakesh and Fes
  • Marvel the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, a historic fairy-tale-like clay brick fortress

TOUR DETAILS

  • Days/Nights: 10 days / 9 nights
  • Single supplement: Cost based on request. Availability limited.
  • Condition grading: Moderate

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Arrival in Marrakesh and welcome dinner

The enchanting city of Marrakech founded in 11th century by Berber tribes is Morocco’s third largest city, and undeniably one of the most colorful. With winding alleys, crowded souks and stunning mosques, there is no doubt that the word “exotic” it is the best one to describe it. In the afternoon we meet at our hotel for an introductory talk and afterwards we will head towards the square of Jemaa el Fna, an open-air theatre full of action. When the sun it’s starting to go down the square becomes totally active and fills with dozens of food-stalls, storytellers, musicians and dancers.

Overnight in Marrakesh in a boutique riad
Dinner included

DAY 2

Cultural workshop and walking tour in the city

The morning begins with a fun and insightful introduction to Morocco, through a cultural workshop where you’re going to learn simple phrases, greetings, and common gestures in interactive memorable ways. Believe it or not, you’ll draw from the experience throughout your time in the country. For lunch you’ll learn how to make tajine, one of the most famous Moroccan dishes rooted in Berber culinary tradition. Named after the special pot in which it is cooked, the tagine pot produces its namesake dish: a slow-cooked stew of vegetables, meat and a variety of regional herbs and spices. After lunch we’ll visit some of the highlights of the city during a walking tour and we will get warmed up for a week of outdoor experiences in Morocco.

Overnight in Marrakesh in a boutique riad
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 3

Travel from Marrakech to Ait Ben Haddou and hike at Ounila valley

Upon departure, you will head in the direction of the High Atlas Mountains and the Tichka Pass. The scenery all through the High Atlas Mountains is stunning and the road is lined with Berber villages, goats, and small barefoot children running around chasing chickens. After Tichka Pass, you will leave the main road and travel via a small road to one of Morocco’s most impressive Kasbahs, Telouet located in a fertile valley surrounded by palm, fig and olive trees. We will explore the kasbah, have lunch and then we will continue towards Ounila Valley, a narrow valley between Telouet and Ait Ben Haddou, for our first hike. Because of its strategic location between the Sahara and Marrakech, different people such as Berber, Jewish and Haratin lived here together for many centuries.

Overnight in Ait Ben Haddou in a boutique riad
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Hiking distance: 8 km / Hiking Duration: 3 hr
Driving distance:
Marrakesh to Telouet 132 km / 2 hr
Telouet to Ait Ben Haddou 50 km / 1 hr

DAY 4

Visit Ait Ben Haddou and travel to Dades Gorges

Right after breakfast in order to beat the tour buses, we will visit the fortified city of Ait-Ben-Haddou, which consists of a group of buildings built entirely of local organic material and covered by a rich red mud plaster. This UNESCO World Heritage Site owns its existence to the presence of the Trans-Saharan Trade Route which was connecting the North African coast to sub-Saharan Africa. After that we’ll load into the 4x4s and after passing Ouarzazate we will travel via the Thousand Kasbahs Road. In southeastern Morocco the world Kasbah is usually applied to a square building with four towers at the corners, built with soil. The road will take us through Skoura Valley, famous for more than 300 kasbahs peppered throughout the valley, where we are going to visit the Amardil Kasbah. Next, we’ll pass through the Kelaa Mgouna Valley, famous for its rose fields and little later we will enter Dades Valley where we going to hike.

Overnight in Boumalne Dades in a boutique riad
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Hiking distance: 8 km / Hiking Duration: 3 hr
Driving distance:
Ait Ben Haddou to Boumalne Dades 200 km / 3 hr

DAY 5

Hike in Dades Gorges

Today’s hike will bring us in contact with the everyday life of the local people. We will pass through farming areas where we’ll find the Berber people harvesting small family plots of wheat and alfalfa. It’s also a very strong possibility that we’ll come across a nomad family or two who live in caves. You’ll find the people very hospitable and genuinely interested in foreigners. Depending on the amount of rain in recent weeks we may work our way above the oasis of the valley where we can see the palm groves and the crumbling Kasbahs from above.

Overnight in Boumalne Dades in a boutique riad
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Hiking distance: 10 km / Hiking Duration: 5 hr

DAY 6

Ride a camel in the Sahara Desert

Today you will leave the curvy roads of the Dades Gorges behind you as you head toward the village of Tinghir. Here, you’ll observe the beautiful palm tree oasis and the spectacular Todgha Gorge, with its sharply-cut rocks. This area is well known for its delicious dates, as well as fossils and we can stop off and search for them in the rough if you’d like. After a picnic lunch in the Acacia tree forest we will head to the small city of Arfoud, known as the “Gate to the Sahara Desert”, where our journey continues off-road to the impressive Erg Chebbi Sand Dunes. About an hour later, you will arrive at the meeting point where you will board your camels. They are tied together with a rope much like the camel caravans used on the historic routes and they seem to know their way into the serene environment. We will travel by camel approximately an hour out to our luxury desert camp and we will climb up to a high vantage point to watch the sunset and the continually changing colors of the sand. Afterwards dinner will be served, followed by music around the fire looking at the stars, the milky way, and the never-ending sky.

Overnight in Sahara in aLuxury Desert Camp
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Driving distance:
Boumalne Dades to Merzouga 250 km / 3 hr 30 min

DAY 7

Travel from Merzouga to Midelt

The next morning we will wake up early, to see the sunrise above Algeria and after a hearty breakfast, we will depart Merzouga and make our way to the town of Midelt. It lies on the high plains flanked by the Middle Atlas and the High Atlas Mountains and makes a handy break between the desert and Fes. Along the way, we will pass through the Ziz Valley, one of the longest valleys in Morocco. Here the hidden Ziz river feeds a string of oases and brings life to what would otherwise be dirt and stone. Dotted along its greenbelt are groups of Kasbahs, built to protect the families living there through the centuries, and can be viewed from various roadside viewpoints alongside the valley.

Overnight in Midelt in a boutique riad
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Driving distance:
Merzouga to Midelt 265 km / 4 hr

DAY 8

Hike near Ifrane and drive to Fes

Upon leaving Midelt, as you crisscross the Middle Atlas Mountains you may catch a glimpse of Barbary Macaques, an Old-World Monkey species in the shadowy cedar forest. Next destination is the city of Ifrane, built by the French in the 1930s. Set high up in the mountains, Ifrane was to be a “hill station”, a cool place where colonial families could spend the hot summer months. During the winter months, it is well-known for bountiful snow and amazing skiing adventures. Nearby Ifrane, we’ll have a short hike near Lake Ifrah, haven for wildlife, especially birds, followed by a lunch at a guest house. After lunch, our journey continues toward Fes, the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities. The entire medina is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and It hasn’t changed for centuries, a place where ancient traditions are still in everyday practice

Overnight in Fes in a boutique riad
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Hiking distance: 4 km / Hiking Duration: 1 hr 30 min
Driving distance:
Midelt to Ifrane 135 km / 2 hr
Ifrane to Fes 70 km / 1 hr

DAY 9

Explore Fes

The narrow streets and alleys of Fes, some barely an arm’s length wide are crammed with hundreds of merchants and skilled artisans, crowds of locals and tourists brave enough to find their way through the maze. Even Moroccans who didn’t grow up in Fes can easily get lost through them. So today alongside with our licensed guide we will explore the city. One of the most interesting parts of the tour was when we will followe our nose to the Tanners Quarter where barefoot workers dye skins in a kaleidoscope of little stone pools. The tannery still operates as it did a thousand years ago and It is the place where cow, sheep, goat, and camel hides are brought to be preserved, dyed, and turned into the handbags, jackets, and wallets sold in the surrounding souks.

Overnight in Fes in a boutique riad
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 10

Say farewell in Morocco or continue on your own

Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel and following that, your Tripin Adventures trip in Morocco concludes. There is going to be a transfer from our accommodations in Fes to the international airport for return flights home or you can continue your explorations of this marvelous region of Morocco.

Breakfast included

WHATS INCLUDED

Price includes:
All accommodations based on double occupancy
Hotel taxes and service charges
All transportation during the trip in 4x4s (4 people per car)
All fuel, taxes, and tolls as per itinerary
Entrance fees for Telouet and Amardil Kasbah
Services of a guide throughout the tour
One local host per car fluent in English
Tourist guide for the days in Marrakesh and Fes
Camel trek and camel guide
All water - during day, night, and at meals
All activities mentioned in the program
Transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person

Included meals:
Breakfast, lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary

Not Included:
Domestic and/or international air fare
Medical expenses
Travel or emergency evacuation insurance
Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
Visas if needed
Other items of a personal nature
Anything not mentioned in above program

ITINERARY CHANGES

We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Tripin Adventures. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants, anything not mentioned in above program.

TERRAIN

This trip level is Moderate and is suitable for most people that are in fairly good physical condition. The itinerary includes walking tours in cities and villages, and four days with moderate hikes of 1-5 hours. Although the paths are quite well-kept the terrain often tends to be very stony and rocky. You will mostly be walking on footpaths, mountain trails and on some tarmac roads and be prepared for few steeper passages.

CONDITION GRADING

Moderate
Trips designated “Moderate” are more active and require a bit more endurance. Hikes and treks include occasional steep ascents. Trip members should be experienced hikers in good physical condition, capable of walking 3-5 hours

STARTING POINT AND GETTING THERE

Starting point is: Marrakesh

Getting There & Away: Small, modern Marrakesh Menara Airport is located 6km southwest of the town. The airport is an important hub between Europe and Northern Africa, serving also flights to other Arab nations..

Getting Away at the End of the Trip: Fes-Saiss airport is 15km south of the city and has recently been expanded. It operates daily flights to Casablanca, as well as connections to Europe.

FOOD

Fresh, flavorful, and delightfully simple, Moroccan cuisine is influenced by Morocco's interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries.
When talking about Moroccan cooking, naturally the first place to start is with spices. A fixture on the ancient spice route, the country has adopted the abundance of globally imported spices from traders around the world. While a blend of varied spices gives Moroccan food its uniquely layered flavor profile, a few standout ingredients create the backbone of many of its most iconic dishes.
As a rule, our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There's no obligation to do this though. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. Note that alcohol and soft drinks are not included.

WEATHER

Morocco is located between Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Atlas Mountains on north-west of Africa. Diversity of weather conditions of Morocco is undeniable and is the result of geographic features of the location. So specific weather is depending on certain location in Morocco. Generally, the climate is moderate and subtropical, cooled by breezes off the Atlantic and Mediterranean. In the interior the temperatures are more extreme, winters can be fairly cold and the summers very hot. In fact, the further you go from the ocean the more extreme winter and summer temperatures become. The most pleasant time to visit Morocco is in the spring and autumn, when the weather is warm and dry. Average summer temperatures in the coastal cities, range from 18- 28°C. In the interior, however, highs frequently exceed 35°C.

GEAR CHECKLIST

Morocco in spring and fall has a temperate climate. Base your clothing on the “layering system”, if it is hot you can “peel off” layers quickly, if it is cooler and windy you can quickly “dress up”. The lighter you travel, the easier you travel. Use your best judgement and pack as lightly as possible. You will appreciate light luggage towards the end of your trip.
Please consider taking along the following items on your trip.

OFFICIAL PAPERS

  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets

LUGGAGE

  • Duffel bag or rolling luggage
  • Daypack to carry camera, water bottle and snacks etc.
  • Luggage locks and tags

OUTERWEAR

  • Midweight polar fleece sweater
  • Rain jacket and rain pants, or poncho

CLOTHING

  • Hiking shorts
  • Casual clothing made of light-weight fabrics
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Hiking pants, loose and easy to move in
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit

CLOTHING ACCESSORIES

  • Sun hat or baseball cap

FOOTWEAR

  • Lightweight and supportive hiking boots, broken-in with good ankle support
  • Casual, comfortable shoes for evening

ACCESSORIES

  • Sunscreen and lip protection
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Head torch

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

  • Security pouch or money belt
  • Trekking poles or walking staff
  • Camera, memory and batteries
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
  • Travel pillow
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Insect repellent (lowrisk)
  • Electric adapter plug/converter

This is not a fixed list, but more of a guideline, so feel free to add and remove items as you see fit.

CURRENCY & BANKING

The currency of Morocco is the dirham (Dh) and is officially designated as a closed currency, which means that it can only be legally traded within Morocco. The easiest way to obtain local cash is from an ATM. In addition to this all international airports in Morocco have a currency exchange counter. Exchange rates are fixed by law and charging high commissions is forbidden, which means that there are very small differences in fees between banks and exchange counters. You may want to check the website www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

PASSPORTS

You must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the conclusion of your trip. Please make sure that you have blank pages in your passport for your visa (if required), entry and exit stamps (one for each). Please make a copy to take with you in the event yours is lost or stolen and keep it separate from your actual passport.

VISAS

Currently a Moroccan Tourist Visa is not required for citizens of Canada, United States, Britain and Australia. If you hold another passport, please check online http://visacentral.com/visas.php

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