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One Week in Morocco: Sahara & Todra Gorge

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One Week in Morocco: Sahara & Todra Gorge

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Description

Spend a week in Morocco and find the best balance between bustling city medinas and relaxing mountain and desert landscapes – with this week-long adventure that hits Marrakech, the Sahara Desert and the Atlas Mountains. Get lost (the good kind) in Djemaa el-Fna Square, hike the Todra Valley, enjoy a homecooked lunch by a local family in Todra Gorge, then head to the Sahara Desert for a bucket list camel ride during sunset and a camping experience under the expansive night sky. Then, travel to the mountains, where you’ll experience the Tawesna tea house to try the best mint tea in the world (and a locally sourced Moroccan meal to pair it with). Hike through the peaceful Imlil and return to colourful Marrakech to end it all with a bang!

Trip Name
One Week in Morocco: Sahara & Todra Gorge
Last Updated
2024-02-14
Days
8
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • After a hike through rugged terrain and picturesque villages, take in the view of the valley as you tuck into a homecooked meal prepared by a local family in Todra Gorge.
  • Tick the Djemaa el-Fna Square off your bucket list in Marrakech and wander through the amazing chaos of street performers, singers, poets and street food carts all vying for your attention.
  • Stay the night in a Sahara Desert camp, far away from tourist crowds, after a camel ride through the Moroccan desert landscape, watching the sunset with your group.
  • Prepare for the best mint tea of your life on a visit to the Tawesna teahouse. This experience is more than just a cuppa, it’s about discovering a culture, sharing a true moment and contributing to the economic inclusion of women.
  • Take a break from the bustling city streets high in the Atlas Mountains – enjoy homecooked meals, authentic local connections and a breath of fresh air at an Aroumd homestay.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, Education for All. Donations help them support girls in the High Atlas Mountains through secondary school, bringing a generation of women out of the cycle of illiteracy, poverty and early marriage. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

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's 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, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. 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 fees 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 group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome 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 group leader or local representative 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 - Marrakech
Salaam Alaikum! Welcome to Morocco. This adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at around 6 pm at your hotel. After meeting your fellow travellers and the group leader, why not get to know each other while exploring the city’s main square – Djemaa el-Fna – or get lost exploring the city’s spice souks or bazaars? For dinner, maybe load up on some delicious street food, but be warned – the eggplant fritters are addictive and the barbeque smells around the city will be sure to make you hungry (even if you’ve just eaten!). Marrakech is also known as a great spot for trendy rooftop bars, so why not head to one of the local favourites with a view and grab a cocktail?
Day 2 - Todra Gorge
After breakfast, you’ll make your way to Todra Gorge. This is a long travel day, so make sure you have a book handy! After a while, you’ll come across a bright tablecloth of green that might seem so out of place, you'll think you’re dreaming. This valley is pretty impressive, with all its palm trees and mud-brick villages. Arrive at your hotel at the top of the valley, and take some time to relax, recharge and chill out under the palms. Maybe head out for a brief stroll before enjoying an included dinner with your group. Settle in for the night and get a good night’s rest, ready for a beautiful hike tomorrow.
Day 3 - Sahara Camp
After breakfast, take a hike through the shaded palms of the Todra Valley for a couple of hours, taking in the picturesque scenery of the gorge ahead. Who knew Morocco could be so green? Be rewarded at the end of your adventure with a home-cooked lunch served in the backyard of a local family. You'll be treated to dates, nuts, tea and a delicious meal to refuel after a gorgeous walk. Then, make your way to the Sahara! After a few hours of transit, get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a sun-kissed desert. The mode of transport? Camel, of course! Brace yourself for one heck of a sunset while you wind through the vast expanse of sand and loop back to your private camp for an overnight stay in the middle of the sandy dunes. Perfect photo op, anyone?! In the camp, you'll have a thin mattress, blankets and sheets (and an auberge not so far away, just in case). Ensure you bring a sleeping sheet and warm jumper if it's winter (you'd be surprised how cold it can get). Sleep under the stars and have a mind-blowing 'I am so far from home' kind of moment.
Day 4 - Ait Benhaddou
Remember to set your alarm this morning because you'll be getting up well before the crack of dawn for a not-to-be-missed sight. Climb a nearby sand dune to catch the sunrise and experience the interplay of light as the Sahara slowly comes alive. Head back to camp for breakfast, collect the rest of your gear and then travel towards Ait Benhaddou. Stop for lunch and the best mint tea in the world at the Tawesna Association. All profits here are devoted to the women’s projects in the village of Ait Benhaddou. This experience in the inclusive female teahouse is more than just a meal and a cuppa – it’s about discovering a culture and contributing to women’s economic inclusion and responsible tourism. Lunch includes some traditional Moroccan dishes like Amazigh bread and soup and ends with their signature mint tea and pastries - the women use natural ingredients sourced from local cooperatives to prepare these. Then, explore the medieval mud-brick town of Ait Benhaddou. If you’re wondering why it looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it before on the silver screen – think Gladiator, Game of Thrones and Lawrence of Arabia, all of which were filmed in this kasbah. Walk the many old streets and climb up to the fortress for a superb view over the Old Town. You can also (for a small fee) enter one of the most interesting old houses in the kasbah. Climb up to the turrets for a view over the river. You'll spend the night just outside the walls.
Day 5 - Aroumd
This morning, take a private transfer towards Imlil, high in the Atlas Mountains. Calling dibs on a window seat would be a smart move – the drive features some great scenery to keep you occupied along the way. Arrive at Imlil, a little village that sits at the foot of North Africa’s highest peak, and then lace up your shoes for a scenic walk. On your way to the mountain village of Aroumd, take your time to explore the landscape, the rolling mountains and the bursts of green flora. Tonight’s stay is in a family-run gite (or mountain home) in the village. The Amazigh people here are famous for their hospitality, so make the most of this opportunity to sit down, break bread with the family and learn about their culture. Facilities at the homestay are shared (both the bathroom and sleeping arrangements), but they’re cosy, comfortable and offer an experience that is so much more memorable than a hotel.
Day 6 - Aroumd
After breakfast, enjoy a slow-paced morning in the mountains. Today, you’ll head through Imlil on a day hike, exploring the scenery of the surrounding peaks and villages. Traverse through bursts of green and stop to admire the Imlil waterfall, where you can get up close and personal with the cascades. Walk at your own pace, enjoying the seclusion of being far away from the tourist crowds of the main cities. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way and return to your homestay accommodation for a relaxed and free afternoon and group dinner.
Day 7 - Marrakech
Say goodbye to the mountains and return to Marrakech. When you arrive, you have a free day to stroll through the bustling souks – the lifeblood that flows through the city. If you like, explore tranquil courtyards filled with the scent of orange blossom and the many salons and chambers that make up Bahia Palace. This splendid mansion was built in 1866 for a former slave who rose to power within the government. Why not head out on a cycling trip, go quad-biking or indulge in a luxury hammam and spa? You might like to visit Le Jardin Secret, a traditional medina garden revived for the 21st century. Once owned by a powerful local chief U-Bihi – who was poisoned by Mohammed IV – this historic riad has one of the most beautiful courtyards in Marrakech, combining exotic and traditional Islamic gardens that are fed by original khettara, an underground irrigation system. In the evening, you’ll no doubt be drawn back to Djemaa el-Fna for a final night out.
Day 8 - Marrakech
After breakfast, there are no activities planned this morning. Why not become a Moroccan MasterChef in an Urban Adventure’s cooking masterclass with a local guide? Journey through the souks of Marrakech and shop for the best ingredients before learning the insider tricks on how to whip up a deliciously authentic tagine in a classic riad setting, while getting to know the family that lives there. To find out more about the Tajine Cookery Class, visit urbanadventures.com.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
29-02-202407-03-2024AUD $ 725-
28-03-202404-04-2024AUD $ 705-
02-05-202409-05-2024AUD $ 715-
13-05-202420-05-2024AUD $ 685-
27-06-202404-07-2024AUD $ 680-
01-08-202408-08-2024AUD $ 646-
29-08-202405-09-2024AUD $ 680-
05-09-202412-09-2024AUD $ 705-
19-09-202426-09-2024AUD $ 735-
26-09-202403-10-2024AUD $ 735-
10-10-202417-10-2024AUD $ 735-
31-10-202407-11-2024AUD $ 735-
14-11-202421-11-2024AUD $ 705-
19-12-202426-12-2024AUD $ 705-
09-01-202516-01-2025AUD $ 710-
03-02-202510-02-2025AUD $ 710-
27-02-202506-03-2025AUD $ 710-
20-03-202527-03-2025AUD $ 740-
17-04-202524-04-2025AUD $ 740-
08-05-202515-05-2025AUD $ 740-
17-07-202524-07-2025AUD $ 770-
21-08-202528-08-2025AUD $ 770-
09-10-202516-10-2025AUD $ 770-
10-11-202517-11-2025AUD $ 770-
27-11-202504-12-2025AUD $ 740-
11-12-202518-12-2025AUD $ 710-
29-12-202505-01-2026AUD $ 710-

Accommodation

Desert Camp (1 night),Mountain Gite (Multi-share) (2 nights),Hotel (2 nights),Guesthouse (2 nights)

Transport

Private Vehicle

Map