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Highlights of Morocco
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Mixed Groups

9 Days / 8 Nights Trip | Explore Red City of Marrakech, Drive to Beni Mellal, Fes City Tour, Mountains to Merzouga

Highlights of Morocco

Morocco is a country of dizzying diversity. Here, you'll find huge mountain ranges, ancient medinas, sweeping deserts, and warm hospitality.
Led by an expert local guide, this exciting group tour is an excellent way to see the country through the eyes of someone who calls it home. Morocco provides a truly cultural experience. You can explore Marrakech and the imperial cities of Fes, Rabat and Meknes. You can trek across the Sahara on camels. You can learn about folklore and history from almost 2000 years ago. You can also enjoy camping under the stars in the desert!
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  • Duration
    9 Days
  • Starting From
    $834
    /person
    Twin sharing
  • Travel Operator
    Explore
  • Flights
    Not Included
    Flight booking assistance will be provided.

Trip highlights

Visit Marrakech, the imperial city
Highlight #1
Visit Marrakech, the imperial city
The UNESCO-listed medina, Yves Saint Laurent's famous blue gardens, the Jemaa el-Fnaa square and the souk makes your time here colourful and intriguing.
Volubilis: Rome in Morocco.
Highlight #2
Volubilis: Rome in Morocco.
Marvel at Volubilis where the Romans ruled 2000 years ago, and take in the blend of different cultures.
Fes: Cultural capital of Morocco
Highlight #3
Fes: Cultural capital of Morocco
Wander around the oldest medieval city in the world, visit the ancient medina and religious schools from the 14th century.
The Sandy Sahara
Highlight #4
The Sandy Sahara
Visit Sahara, an endless sea of rolling golden sand, the third largest hot desert in the world; almost as big as China!
Trek the limestone river canyon!
Highlight #5
Trek the limestone river canyon!
The limestone canyons in Todra Gorge formed by the Dades river is one of Morocco's top attractions for trekking and rock climbing.
Video

The historic country of Morocco.

A magnificent  journey through the breathtaking north African country, Morocco.Visit the bustling Medina of Fez. Take a camel back ride in the Sahara Desert or spend your time in the busy streets of Marrakech. Enjoy a night camping under the stars. Lots to do and lots to explore in this historic country!

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Itinerary

Join tour Marrakech

Join tour Marrakech. Depending on the schedule of your flight, you may wish to start exploring the 'Red City' independently.

Morning sightseeing in Marrakech; drive to Beni Mellal

Morocco's famous 'Red City', Marrakech is the spiritual heart of the country, a cultural melting pot of the mountain Berbers and the desert peoples of the south. Blessed with some of the most stunning architecture in Morocco, its mix of tradition, colour and history makes for a fascinating guided walk through its medina this morning. We'll wander through its bustling souks and pay a visit to the remarkable setting of the Bahia Palace, a fusion of Moroccan and Islamic styles that was intended to be the greatest palace of its time. Following our tour we then depart Marrakech, for the beautiful Cascades of Ouzoud, before continuing on through Azilal and on towards Bin el Ouidane Lake. Our final destination today is the city of Beni Mellal, lying at the foot of Mount Tassemit.

Drive to Fes; visit Meknes and optional visit to Volubilis

Today we drive along the northern slopes of the Middle Atlas Mountains, into the Oued Boufekrane River Valley and on to the city of Meknes, once the heart of the Moroccan Sultanate. Built by the tyrant, Moulay Ismail, the city was once filled with palace and grand gateways and although much of Ismail's capital has crumbled to dust, it still exudes a sense of its former regal grandeur. In the company of a guide we will visit the old granary of Heri es-Souni and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail himself. In spite of the sultan's infamous blood lust and cruelty, many still see his reign as a golden age and the tomb is held in high regard. From here we continue on to Fes, where we will spend the next two nights. On route we will stop at the ancient site of Volubilis, once the capital of the Roman province of Mauritania Tingitana for an optional tour. At this stop a local guide and entrance fees are at your own expense.

City tour in Fes; free time this afternoon

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fes el Bali is probably the oldest of the great imperial cities and certainly the most complete medieval city in the Arab world. This morning we enjoy a tour of the city that has long been regarded as Morocco's 'artisan capital', taking in the medina and the souks and paying a visit to the Royal Palace (Fes El Jedid). Craftwork made and sold in the Fes medina is considered amongst the finest in Morocco and a wander through its artisan districts reveals an array of weavers and brass workshops, coppersmiths and tanners, producing beautiful pieces much as they have for generations. We also take a drive out to the North Borj (tower) for some great panoramic views of the city.

Drive over the Middle Atlas Mountains to Merzouga

Today we have a long, but very scenic drive over the Middle Atlas Mountains to Merzouga. These are the lands of the fiercely independent Berbers, the 'Lords of the Atlas', whose timeless traditions still hold sway up here in their mountain strongholds far away from the cities. The road takes us through Ifrane and Azrou where we will take a short walk through the Atlas cedar forest, home of the endangered Barabary macaques. We then continue our drive into the Gorge du Ziz and across the broad plateau towards the desert settlement of Erfoud. Following the meandering course of the Ziz River we then head into the dunes of the Sand Sea, the traditional homeland of the Alaouite, who ruled this region for some 300 years. Our final destination today is the settlement of Merzouga, lying on the edge of the Erg Chebbi, an area of high dunes that are amongst the most spectacular natural landscapes anywhere in Morocco.

Optional camel ride; drive to Tinerhir and hike the Todra Gorge

This morning we have the option to take a camel ride into the dunes to watch the sunrise.The word 'erg' is Arabic for 'great sand dune area' and although many people imagine the Sahara as an endless sea of rolling golden sand dunes, they actually cover only about one-fifth of its surface. Leaving mid-morning we then drive along the southern slopes of the Atlas towards Rissani and from there continue on to the town of Tinerhir, set amongst the dramatic ochre-coloured cliffs of the Todra Gorge. This afternoon we'll take a hike through the narrow gorge, wandering through a landscape of towering, sheer sided walls that in some places are up to 300 metres high and little more than 10 metres wide.

Drive to Bou Tharar via the 'Road of a 1000 Kasbahs'; visit a Berber village

Returning to Tinehir this morning, we then drive along the famous 'Road of a 1,000 Kasbahs' to Boumaine-Dades. The Dades Valley can boast some of the most authentic Berber settlements anywhere, with each of the oasis towns offering up its own distinctive charm and character. Many of the original kasbahs lie in ruins now, but enough remain to provide a real flavour of Morocco's ancient heritage. Our journey today also takes us via the town of El Kelaa Mgouna and the famous Valley of the Roses, before finally arriving at the Berber village of Bou Tharar, located at the entrance to the wonderfully scenic Mgoun Gorge. This afternoon we'll take a hike through this stunning area, paying a visit to some of the local Berber villages that lie scattered amongst the desert landscapes.

Drive to Marrakech via Ouarzazate and the Tizi n'Tichka Pass

Leaving Bou Tharar after breakfast this morning we drive on to the oasis town of Skoura, where we pay a visit to the kasbah. From here we then continue to Ouarzazate, a desert outpost lying to the south of the High Atlas, sandwiched between the high mountains and the expansive sands of the Sahara. Driving over the Tizi n'Tichka Pass we then make our way back to Marrakech, where we have a free evening to enjoy the many delights of the city. Marrakech is a city like no other, a place where trade and barter still renders its centre a delightful chaos of noise and colour and at its heart you'll find the spectacular Djemma-el-Fna, a site not to be missed.

Tour ends Marrakech

The tour ends today in Marrakech. Depending on the schedule of your flights, you may wish to spend some additional time in the souks or in the Djemma el Fna Square before departure.

Inclusions

 Included meals: 8 breakfast, 1 dinner.

 Trip staff: Expert tour leader, Driver(s)

 Transport: 4WD minibus.

 Accommodation: 2 nights standard auberge, 1 night standard guesthouse, 5 nights standard hotels.

Not Included

 Additional 5% GST

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This Trip Is Operated By Explore

At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Our authentic travel experiences explore the sights and culture of a country, with hand-picked accommodation that balances comfort and location. Our average group tour size is just 12; perfect for meeting new people and getting to the heart of our destinations.

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