JOURNEY TO MOROCCO

AUG 31- SEP 9, 2018

 

THE CULTURES BEYOND THE CITIES

 

ⵆ The Journey 

Journey duration is 10 days, 9 nights in country.

Journey is led by our founder, Yulia Denisyuk.

Dates are Friday, Aug 31 through Sunday, September 9.

In that time we will:

  • Sleep under the stars in the Sahara desert camp
  • Get busy on the beautiful streets of Marrakech, visit such gems as Ben Youssef Madrasa, YSL Museum, Jemaa el-Fnaa and more
  • Stay on top of a mountain in Imlil Village
  • Hike through the Todra Gorge
  • Visit the Blue Pearl city of Chefchaouene
  • Hike in the High Atlas mountains
  • Get lost in the Medina of Fes
  • Get to know Morocco beyond the cities in the Ziz Valley
 
  HIKE THROUGH THE HILLS OF NORTHERN JORDAN
  SPEND THE DAY WITH LOCAL ARTISAN WOMEN
  SLEEP UNDER THE STARS IN THE WADI RUM DESERT

Trip Itinerary

DAY 1: aug 31, 2018

We arrive to the Casablanca airport and take a short tour of the city and the Hassan II mosque before heading to Chefchaouene, the Blue Pearl of northern Morocco. We drop off our bags at the hotel and go explore the famous blue-colored Chefchaouene streets. We visit the town's main square, go on a small hike and watch sun set behind the Rif mountains. Overnight in Dar Echchaouen.

DAY 2: sep 1, 2018

Today we leave Chefchaouene but not before exploring this beautiful town some more. We visit the local baker and shop for some colorful natural dyes. We pass Wazan and other villages in the Rif mountains and set on the road toward Volubilis and Meknes, the youngest imperial city and one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here we visit the gate of Bab Mansour, El Hdim place, the ramparts of the old medina, and more. We arrive to Fes, the oldest city in Morocco, just in time for dinner and overnight in our riad. Overnight in Riad Ahlam.

DAY 3: sep 2, 2018

Today we have a full day to see the many intricacies that Fes, the intellectual and religious center of Morocco and the capital of craftsmanship, has to offer. After breakfast, we explore the medieval medina, a labyrinth of around 9,500 alleys, narrow cobbled streets that teem with ancient mosques, medreses (Koranic schools) and foundouks (ancient trading houses). We visit Mellah, the Jewish quarter, and enter the famous tanneries (at our own risk). We visit the Fes tiles cooperative and experience a beautiful panoramic view over the Medina of Fes. Dinner and overnight in Fes, Riad Ahlam.

DAY 4: sep 3, 2018

We leave Fes today and drive towards Midelt via Ifran, stopping at the cedar forests of the Middle-Atlas mountains to see the Barbarian Apes in their natural habitat. We continue through the Tizi Ntalghamt pass to Midelt and along the magnificent Ziz Gorges carved through volcanic rock, passing the Middle-Atlas plateau as the scenery changes to reveal hints of the desert as we approach Errachidia. We arrive to the quiet Ziz Valley that's off the main tourist trail. Overnight in a small guesthouse owned by a Berber family, the Maison D'Hotes guesthouse.

DAY 5: sep 4, 2018

We hike through the valley in the morning and visit local Berber villages before driving to Erfoud, Rissani and Merzouga where we will visit an old irrigation system in the middle of the desert. We stop by Khamlia village, then we meet with our camels and ride into the majestic Sahara desert for sunset in the Erg Chebbi Sad Dunes, the highest sand dunes in North Africa. We stay overnight under the stars in our desert tent camp.

DAY 6: sep 5, 2018

Today we get up early to watch the sunrise in the dunes, then take our camels back out of the desert. We travel through the steep cliffs of the Todra gorge and visit the road of 1,000 kasbahs and the colorful Valley of Roses. We arrive to our hotel in the Dades Valley and settle for the night surrounded by mountains (and an amazing pool!). Overnight in Hotel Xaluca Dades.

DAY 7: sep 6, 2018

Today we leave Dades Valley and drive to kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, the most preserved ksar in the south of Morocco. We continue on through High Atlas mountains to arrive at Imlil village. We stay in a small guesthouse overlooking the village and visit the village hammam (optional). Overnight in Guesthouse Ouassaggou, with the Berber family owners living on the ground floor.

DAY 8: sep 7, 2018

After breakfast, we go on a morning hike in the nearby mountains then say goodbye to Imlil. Our journey continues through the majestic Tizi nTichka pass that reaches an altitude of 2,260m over the High Atlas Mountains. We stop by at an argan oil cooperative before arriving to Marrakech. We visit Koutoubia mosque, the Saadiens tombs and Bahia Palace, and walk through the many souks of the old medina. We end at Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, the heart of the city crowded with snake charmers, storytellers, musicians, barbers and sellers of fruit, water, spices, food, and just about anything else. Overnight in Marrakech Riad Argan.

DAY 9: sep 8, 2018

Today we have a more leisurely day in the city. In the morning, we have a cooking class at the Riad La Maison Arabe (optional) and visit Majorelle Gardens and the YSL Museum. Overnight in Marrakech Riad Argan.

DAY 10: sep 9, 2018

We leave Marrakech today and prepare to miss Morocco as soon as the plane takes off (transfer to Marrakech airport included). 

Accommodation & Rates

All accommodations are in 3-star hotels or higher, including traditional Moroccan riads and a desert camp (double-occupancy rooms; if you'd like some privacy, single-occupancy rooms available for an additional lump sum payment of $250)

Journey price is $2,290 (if paid by credit card) and $2,223 (if paid by ACH / bank transfer).

What's included:

  • 9 nights accommodations in three-star hotels or higher, including 1 night in a desert bedouin camp, 5 nights in the traditional Moroccan-style riads, and 3 nights in hotels/guesthouses (double-occupancy rooms; if you'd like some privacy, single-occupancy rooms available for an additional lump sum payment of $250)
  • All breakfast and dinner meals (with exception of dinners on Day 2, 3, 8, 9)
  • 2 litres of water per person per day
  • All in-country transportation (we will have our own driver and guide and explore Morocco at our own pace), including airport transfers on days of arrival and departure
  • Excursions:
    • Guided tour of Fes
    • Guided tour of Marrakech
    • Khamlia village visit
    • Camel ride into the Sahara desert
    • Sand boarding in the Sahara dunes
    • Hiking in Ziz Valley
    • Hiking in Imlil
    • Argan oil cooperative visit

What's not included:

  • Airfare to/from Morocco (please note we start in Casablanca and end in Marrakech)
  • Personal expenses + drinks
  • Lunches
  • Dinners on Day 2, 3, 8, 9
  • Marrakech cooking class (optional), plan ~$60
  • Entrance fees to sites (Casablanca Mosque interior, Fes Medrassa Bou Inaania, Marrakech Majorelle Garden, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Bahia Palace, Koutobia Mosque, YSL Museum), plan ~$52 total if you would like to visit all sites
    • Note that we are not including cost of entrance fees on this Moroccan tailored itinerary to give us some flexibility with the pick-and-choose approach. Particularly in Marrakech, we will have an intense schedule if we want to visit all sites, so we'd like to provide an option for us to decide on the ground.
  • Tips for service personnel (driver, local guides, etc)
  • Travel insurance

HOW TO SIGN UP:

To be considered for our trip, please submit your information below.

Spots are limited to maximum 7 participants. 30% deposit is due by Monday, Jul 16 and the last day to pay for the tour in full is Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need to be a photographer (or a social media influencer) to join you on this tour? No. Our focus is on making sure we travel at our own pace and getting to know the places and people around us. We have a passion for photography and we want to share this passion with the group - but it is not mandatory by all means to be a professional photographer or have an interest in photography/social media. All we ask is that you come with an open mind and heart.
  2. Who fulfills the trip on the ground? We are partnering with a wonderful tour company on the ground that has a passion for same things we do to make this happen. We have used this company's services in the past and we really like their mission and work ethics.
  3. What gear do I need to bring? Whatever gear you are comfortable with or want to learn more about: your phone, your DSLR, or no gear at all - all options are just fine (see #1). If you want to learn more about astrophotography, we'd recommend bringing a DSLR and a tripod. 
  4. Do I need to arrive and depart at a specific time? We have included transfers to/from airport as part of the trip, so you will have flexibility in choosing the flights that work for you. Afternoon arrival and morning departure are ideal - but we can work with other schedules as well.
  5. What about visas? For US citizens: we will not need a visa to enter Morocco. If you will be traveling with any other passport, please email us so we can advise on visas.
 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

9 nights accommodations in three-star hotels or higher (double-occupancy rooms) & desert camp; All breakfast and dinner meals (excl dinners on Days 2, 3, 8, 9 ; All in-country transportation; Professional guide; All excursions.

For full booking terms and conditions please click here.


CANCELLATION POLICY

More than 30 days before departure: cancellation is free; 30-14 days before departure: cancellation fee is 50%; 14-1 days before departure: cancellation fee is 100% (non-refundable).