JOURNEY TO MOROCCO
MAR 19 - 26, 2019
THE IMPERIAL CITIES
THE IMPERIAL CITIES
Journey duration is 8 days, 7 nights in country.
Dates are Tuesday, Mar 19 through Tuesday, Mar 26.
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
Visit Khamlia Village
Hike through the Todra Gorge
Visit the Blue Pearl city of Chefchaouene
See the imperial city (and Morocco’s capital) Rabat
Get lost in the Medina of Fes
Get to know Morocco beyond the cities in the Ziz Valley
We arrive to the Casablanca airport and hit the road to the capital, Rabat. We visit the Kasbah of the Oudayas, Mohammed V Mausoleum, and Hassan Tower, a minaret from 1195. Then, it’s on to Chefchaouene, the Blue Pearl of northern Morocco. Overnight in Chefchaouene, Dar Yacout.
After breakfast, we explore Chefchaouene. We visit the town's main square, go on a small hike and visit the town’s market set against the backdrop of the green Rif mountains. Then, we pass Wazan and other villages in the Rif mountains and set on the road toward 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 Fes, Riad Ghita.
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 world’s oldest leather tannery (at our own risk). Dinner and overnight in Fes, Riad Ghita.
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 drive through the quiet Ziz Valley that's off the main tourist trail. Finally, 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.
We start the day with a ride in a 4x4 jeep through the desert that takes us to Al Khamlia, a desert village that’s famous for its Gnaoua music. Later, 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 guesthouse in the Dades Valley and settle for the night surrounded by mountains. Overnight in Dades Valley, Jnan Tiouira guesthouse.
Today we leave Dades Valley and drive to Kelaat M’Gouna, a town famous for cultivating roses. The drive is spectacular, with hundreds of Kasbahs lining the route. We continue on to Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, the most preserved ksar (fortress) in the south of Morocco. On the way to Marrakech, we cross the High Atlas mountains through the majestic Tizi’n’Tichka pass that reaches an altitude of 2,260m. We stop at an argan oil collective before arriving to the Pink City. Overnight in Marrakech, Mon Riad.
Today is all about exploring the beautiful Pink City, Marrakech. We visit Koutoubia mosque, the Saadiens tombs and the Bahia Palace, and walk through the many souks of the old medina. We wander through 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. We end with a visit to the peaceful Majorelle Gardens and the Yves Saint Laurent museum. Overnight in Marrakech, Mon Riad.
Today, departure: transfer to Marrakech airport and/or to the train station to Casablanca included.
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 is an additional lump sum payment of $274)
Journey price is $2,010 (if paid by credit card) and $1,958 (if paid by ACH / bank transfer).
7 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 1 nights in hotels/guesthouses (double-occupancy rooms)
All breakfast meals and dinners on Day 4 and 5
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 departureExcursions:
Guided tour of Fes
Guided tour of Marrakech
Khamlia village visit + 4x4 jeep ride
Camel ride into the Sahara desert
Argan oil cooperative visit
Entrance fees to sites (Fes Medrassa Bou Inaania, Marrakech Majorelle Garden, Ben Youssef Madrasa, Bahia Palace, Koutobia Mosque, YSL Museum)
What's not included:
Airfare to/from Morocco (please note we start in Casablanca and end in Marrakech)
Personal expenses + drinks
Dinners on Day 1-3, 6-7
Tips for service personnel (driver, local guides, etc)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7 nights accommodations in three-star hotels or higher (double-occupancy rooms) & desert camp; All breakfast meals and dinners on Day 4-5; All in-country transportation; Professional guide; All excursions.
For full booking terms and conditions please click here.
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).