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Morocco Encompassed

Morocco Encompassed

From $ 2,175 AUD

Description

Sparkling coastlines, soaring mountains, lush valleys, and the vast, unforgettable Sahara Desert – this is Morocco Encompassed. Travel in the footsteps of pirates, sultans, and nomadic people, exploring the colonial architecture of Casablanca, the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, the medieval city of Fes and the intricate clay architecture of the Ait Benhaddou Kasbah. Enjoy the warm local hospitality and embark on exotic adventures like riding a camel over Saharan dunes, hiking in the High Atlas Mountains, and haggling for treasures in bustling souqs. This exhilarating 18-day journey is the ultimate way to discover Morocco.

Trip Name
Morocco Encompassed
Last Updated
2021-04-15
Days
18
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Experience a homestay in Moulay Idriss, widely regarded as Morocco's holiest place, and visit the tomb of Moulay Idriss I, great-grandson of Mohammed.
  • Spend two days relaxing in Essaouira and enjoy a guided walk through the art galleries and wood workshops within this walled seaside city.
  • Scale the High Atlas Mountains and trek through scenic Amazigh (Berber) villages, then spend the night with a local family in their gite.
  • Travel through the massive sand dunes of the Sahara Desert on a camel, then sleep under the North African stars at a Bedouin camp.
  • Step back in time with a guided tour of Fes’s medina. While many tourists get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the medina, you'll have a local to show you the way.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Casablanca
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. If you arrive with time to spare before the meeting, consider exploring the city on an immersive, local-led Urban Adventure.
Day 2 - Rabat – Moulay Idriss
Today take an early morning 1-hour train to the historical town of Rabat. Store your luggage and spend a few hours strolling through the city's Old Quarter on a self guided walk, then head to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Continue to Meknes by train (approximately 3 hours), then take a 45-minute taxi through scenic countryside to the sacred pilgrimage village of Moulay Idriss. Explore the delightful medina of this ancient town that offers an excellent insight into traditional Moroccan life. See where the faithful gather to pay homage at the tomb of Moulay Idriss I, who was the great-grandson of Mohammed and brought Islam to Morocco. At sunset, enjoy great views over the plains of Volubilis below.
Day 3 - Volubilis – Fes
Today, take a guided tour of the World Heritage-listed site of Volubilis, one of the Roman empire's most remote bases. The remains make an undeniably impressive sight as they come into view on the edge of a long, high plateau. Enjoy a tour of the ancient hilltop ruins with a local guide. Afterward, return to Meknes and take a few hours to explore at your own pace. The adventurous may want to try a camel burger for lunch at a local restaurant in the medina – don’t knock it ‘til you try it! In the afternoon, take a 1-hour train to Fes, where you'll spend the next two nights. Fes is the most complete medieval city in the Arab world, and the most ancient of Morocco's imperial cities.
Day 4 - Fes
Take a guided group walking tour of the Old City, known locally as Fes el Bali. Step back into the Middle Ages in the labyrinth of the Medina, which is alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries, and mosques. Pass donkeys piled high with goods (this is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world) and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania: one of the city's most beautiful buildings, which has recently been restored and is now open to tourists. Visit Medresse el Attarine and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine: a beautifully restored 18th-century inn. You'll also see the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramics factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. After the tour, the afternoon is free. In the evening, enjoy a delicious group dinner of Moroccan specialties like harira (chickpea soup) and chicken-stuffed pies with couscous.
Day 5 - Chefchaouen
Take a local 4-hour bus to Chefchaouen today. Set against a wide valley and nestled between two peaks in the stunning Rif Mountains, much of Chefchaouen was recreated by Andalusian refugees escaping the Reconquista, so you might feel like you're in the hills of Spain. Your afternoon and evening are free. Perhaps take a stroll through the ancient medina and shop for handicrafts, go hiking in the Rif mountains, or simply sit at a cafe and enjoy the pleasure of time passing by. If you're feeling peckish, the local goat’s cheese is a popular treat enjoyed by many visitors.
Day 6 - Chefchaouen
Today is a free day for you to explore Chefchaouen as you wish. Perhaps take a guided tour of the sights, sounds, and smells of the medina, or sample the delicious local specialties at a cafe in the Plaza Uta el-Hammam. Alternatively, you might prefer to get out of town and enjoy a hike and picnic in the surrounding hills. In the evening, how about tucking into a tagine at a local restaurant or visit a hammam a traditional Moroccan spa? The night is yours.
Day 7 - Tangier
Take a 3-hour private minibus journey to the coastal town of Tangier – a place of strategic importance to the Mediterranean as a gateway to Africa. Your afternoon here is free. Perhaps visit the American Legation Museum, the former palace of Dar el-Makhzen or the Caves of Hercules. You could also enjoy a fresh seafood dinner by the port, watching the sunset over the Atlantic. Later tonight, board an overnight sleeper train bound for Marrakech.
Day 8 - Marrakech
Arrive early into Marrakech and then the day is free for you to explore. Perhaps visit the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its 12th-century minaret, which was the famous prototype for the Giralda tower in Seville. Or, you could take a wander through the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). In the evening, join the thronging crowds for an optional dinner in the Djemaa el Fna: the city's main square. When night falls it transforms into a hive of activity. Henna-painters, performers, and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies.
Day 9 - Marrakech
Today is a free day for you to discover Marrakech further. There are no activities planned until a meeting at 6 pm to welcome any new people joining your adventure. If you would like to relax after the first part of your journey, ask your leader to help you out with booking a session at a hammam.
Day 10 - Aroumd
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 your overnight bags 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 Berber (Amazigh) culture. Spend the night in a family-run mountain gite where, 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 kilometres 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.
Day 11 - Ait Benhaddou
This morning, journey along mountain roads and over Morocco's highest pass, Tizi n'Tichka (2260 metres), 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 leader-led walk through the winding streets of the 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. 
Day 12 - Ouarzazate - 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.
Day 13 - Tamegroute - Erg Chigaga
Drive along 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. Then 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.
Day 14 - Oulad Berhil
Travel to the market town of Oulad Berhil 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.
Day 15 - Taroudant - Essaouira
In the morning, take to the souqs of Taroudant and haggle with local traders for silver jewellery or colourful Moroccan ceramics and mosaics. Afterwards, 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. 
Day 16 - Essaouira
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.
Day 17 - Marrakech
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.
Day 18 - Marrakech
Your adventure ends after breakfast. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Marrakech (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-06-202121-06-2021AUD $ 2,260-
07-06-202124-06-2021AUD $ 2,260-
11-06-202128-06-2021AUD $ 2,260-
25-06-202112-07-2021AUD $ 2,175-
05-07-202122-07-2021AUD $ 2,175-
09-07-202126-07-2021AUD $ 2,175-
14-07-202131-07-2021AUD $ 2,175-
21-07-202107-08-2021AUD $ 2,175-
28-07-202114-08-2021AUD $ 2,175-
30-07-202116-08-2021AUD $ 2,175-
06-08-202123-08-2021AUD $ 2,175-
13-08-202130-08-2021AUD $ 2,175-
18-08-202104-09-2021AUD $ 2,175-
23-08-202109-09-2021AUD $ 2,260-
27-08-202113-09-2021AUD $ 2,260-
30-08-202116-09-2021AUD $ 2,260-
01-09-202118-09-2021AUD $ 2,350-
03-09-202120-09-2021AUD $ 2,350-
05-09-202122-09-2021AUD $ 2,350-
10-09-202127-09-2021AUD $ 2,350-
12-09-202129-09-2021AUD $ 2,350-
15-09-202102-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
17-09-202104-10-2021AUD $ 2,395-
19-09-202106-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
20-09-202107-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
22-09-202109-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
24-09-202111-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
26-09-202113-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
27-09-202114-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
29-09-202116-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
01-10-202118-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
03-10-202120-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
06-10-202123-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
08-10-202125-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
10-10-202127-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
11-10-202128-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
13-10-202130-10-2021AUD $ 2,350-
15-10-202101-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
17-10-202103-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
18-10-202104-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
20-10-202106-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
22-10-202108-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
25-10-202111-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
27-10-202113-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
29-10-202115-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
01-11-202118-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
05-11-202122-11-2021AUD $ 2,260-
08-11-202125-11-2021AUD $ 2,175-
12-11-202129-11-2021AUD $ 2,175-
17-11-202104-12-2021AUD $ 2,175-
19-11-202106-12-2021AUD $ 2,175-
22-11-202109-12-2021AUD $ 2,175-
24-11-202111-12-2021AUD $ 2,175-
29-11-202116-12-2021AUD $ 2,175-
03-12-202120-12-2021AUD $ 2,175-
08-12-202125-12-2021AUD $ 2,175-
11-12-202128-12-2021AUD $ 2,175-
13-12-202130-12-2021AUD $ 2,175-
17-12-202103-01-2022AUD $ 2,175-
19-12-202105-01-2022AUD $ 2,175-
21-12-202107-01-2022AUD $ 2,175-
05-01-202222-01-2022AUD $ 2,465-
07-01-202224-01-2022AUD $ 2,375-
14-01-202231-01-2022AUD $ 2,375-
21-01-202207-02-2022AUD $ 2,285-
28-01-202214-02-2022AUD $ 2,285-
02-02-202219-02-2022AUD $ 2,285-
04-02-202221-02-2022AUD $ 2,285-
09-02-202226-02-2022AUD $ 2,285-
11-02-202228-02-2022AUD $ 2,285-
16-02-202205-03-2022AUD $ 2,285-
18-02-202207-03-2022AUD $ 2,285-
25-02-202214-03-2022AUD $ 2,285-
02-03-202219-03-2022AUD $ 2,285-
04-03-202221-03-2022AUD $ 2,285-
07-03-202224-03-2022AUD $ 2,285-
09-03-202226-03-2022AUD $ 2,285-
11-03-202228-03-2022AUD $ 2,285-
14-03-202231-03-2022AUD $ 2,375-
16-03-202202-04-2022AUD $ 2,375-
18-03-202204-04-2022AUD $ 2,375-
19-03-202204-04-2022AUD $ 2,375-
23-03-202209-04-2022AUD $ 2,375-
01-04-202218-04-2022AUD $ 2,375-
04-04-202221-04-2022AUD $ 2,375-
08-04-202224-04-2022AUD $ 2,465-
11-04-202228-04-2022AUD $ 2,465-
13-04-202230-04-2022AUD $ 2,465-
16-04-202203-05-2022AUD $ 2,465-
18-04-202205-05-2022AUD $ 2,465-
20-04-202207-05-2022AUD $ 2,465-
22-04-202209-05-2022AUD $ 2,465-
29-04-202216-05-2022AUD $ 2,465-
02-05-202219-05-2022AUD $ 2,465-
06-05-202223-05-2022AUD $ 2,465-
13-05-202230-05-2022AUD $ 2,465-
16-05-202202-06-2022AUD $ 2,465-
20-05-202206-06-2022AUD $ 2,465-
25-05-202211-06-2022AUD $ 2,465-
30-05-202216-06-2022AUD $ 2,465-
03-06-202220-06-2022AUD $ 2,375-
06-06-202223-06-2022AUD $ 2,375-
10-06-202227-06-2022AUD $ 2,375-
15-06-202202-07-2022AUD $ 2,375-
20-06-202207-07-2022AUD $ 2,375-
24-06-202211-07-2022AUD $ 2,375-
29-06-202216-07-2022AUD $ 2,375-
04-07-202221-07-2022AUD $ 2,285-
08-07-202225-07-2022AUD $ 2,285-
13-07-202230-07-2022AUD $ 2,285-
20-07-202206-08-2022AUD $ 2,285-
27-07-202213-08-2022AUD $ 2,285-
29-07-202215-08-2022AUD $ 2,285-
05-08-202222-08-2022AUD $ 2,285-
12-08-202229-08-2022AUD $ 2,285-
17-08-202203-09-2022AUD $ 2,285-
22-08-202208-09-2022AUD $ 2,285-
26-08-202212-09-2022AUD $ 2,285-
29-08-202215-09-2022AUD $ 2,375-
31-08-202217-09-2022AUD $ 2,375-
02-09-202219-09-2022AUD $ 2,375-
04-09-202221-09-2022AUD $ 2,375-
09-09-202226-09-2022AUD $ 2,465-
11-09-202228-09-2022AUD $ 2,465-
14-09-202201-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
16-09-202203-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
18-09-202205-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
19-09-202205-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
21-09-202208-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
23-09-202210-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
25-09-202212-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
26-09-202212-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
28-09-202215-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
30-09-202217-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
02-10-202219-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
05-10-202222-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
07-10-202224-10-2022AUD $ 2,465-
09-10-202226-10-2022AUD $ 2,375-
10-10-202226-10-2022AUD $ 2,375-
12-10-202229-10-2022AUD $ 2,375-
14-10-202231-10-2022AUD $ 2,375-
16-10-202202-11-2022AUD $ 2,375-
17-10-202202-11-2022AUD $ 2,375-
19-10-202205-11-2022AUD $ 2,375-
21-10-202207-11-2022AUD $ 2,375-
24-10-202210-11-2022AUD $ 2,375-
26-10-202212-11-2022AUD $ 2,375-
28-10-202214-11-2022AUD $ 2,375-
31-10-202217-11-2022AUD $ 2,375-
04-11-202221-11-2022AUD $ 2,285-
07-11-202224-11-2022AUD $ 2,285-
11-11-202228-11-2022AUD $ 2,285-
16-11-202203-12-2022AUD $ 2,285-
18-11-202205-12-2022AUD $ 2,285-
21-11-202208-12-2022AUD $ 2,285-
23-11-202210-12-2022AUD $ 2,285-
28-11-202215-12-2022AUD $ 2,285-
02-12-202219-12-2022AUD $ 2,285-
07-12-202224-12-2022AUD $ 2,285-
10-12-202227-12-2022AUD $ 2,285-
12-12-202229-12-2022AUD $ 2,375-
16-12-202202-01-2023AUD $ 2,375-
18-12-202204-01-2023AUD $ 2,465-
20-12-202206-01-2023AUD $ 2,465-

Accommodation

Desert camp (1 night),Gite (1 night),Homestay (1 night),Hotel (10 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night),Riad (3 nights)

Transport

4x4,Overnight sleeper train,Private Bus,Private vehicle,Public bus,Taxi,Train

Map