Morocco’s culture is tightly intertwined. A blur of national identity and religion, this country’s history is a diverse tapestry, as varied as the colours woven into each carpet sold on the street. Since ancient times French, Spanish, Islamic, Jewish and ancient Berber dynasties have brought their own ethnic thread to the needlepoint, and have together knitted a vibrantly distinct region of West Africa. Journey into Morocco’s heart through its food, religion, language and culture to better understand this exciting nation and passionate people.

From 1st January 2017 this trip will change the itinerary slightly. Instead of spending 3 days in Fes, we will now travel to Chefchaouen first and then spend 2 days in Fes. The start day of the trip has changed to Saturday. These changes come as a result of traveller feedback. The new itinerary is outlined below.
1. Casablanca
2. Casablanca/Rabat/Meknes
3. Chefchaouen
4. Chefchaouen/Fes
5. Fes
6. Fes/Midelt
7. Midelt/Merzouga/Sahara desert
8. Todra Gorge/Dades Valley/M'goun Valley
9. M'goun Valley
10. Skoura/Ait Benhaddou
11. Ait Benhaddou/Marrakech
12. Marrakech
13. Marrakech

Casablanca, Morocco
Marrakech, Morocco
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
540kg pp per trip


  • Visit the grand Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca, one of the most impressive temples in Morocco, before exploring the sights of the country's first imperial city of Meknes
  • Under the eye of a local tour guide, feel like you've travelled back to the Middle Ages in the labyrinthine medina of Fes
  • Trek through scenic countryside and traditional villages in the Atlas Mountains. Stay in a traditional Berber homestay to understand the culture and tradition of an indigenous population who have stood the test of time
  • For many people, their dream of Morocco is a camel trek or walk through the dramatic red dunes of the Sahara Desert to camp under North African stars. This trip provides you with the opportunity to do just that
  • Go behind the scenes of Game of Thrones and Gladiator in Ait Benhaddou. This fortified red city was once an important stop on the caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech – now it's a film-maker's heaven
  • Take a guided tour through Marrakech's lively medina and join the nightly carnival of fortune-tellers, snake-charmers, dancers and medicine men in Djemaa el-Fna square


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. An airport arrival transfer is included, although this transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at least 15 days prior to travel. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6pm – check with hotel reception to confirm the time. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. If you arrive with time to spare, then a great option for your limited time in Casablanca is to visit the art deco Villa des Arts. This gorgeous gallery dates back to 1930s and holds numerous exhibitions of contemporary Moroccan and international art. If you are looking for a different type of cultural experience, then you can discover a unique and fascinating part of Moroccan history at the Museum of Judaism.

Note: Please be aware that some of our travellers to Casablanca are being approached by locals offering excursions before their Intrepid trip commences. This has been particularly prevalent in and around the hotels used by Intrepid. These guides are in no way connected to Intrepid Travel and we cannot guarantee the safety or quality standards of their tours. We strongly advise customers against joining any tour offered by unauthorised guides. Intrepid Travel assesses the safety of all optional excursions offered by our tour leaders. If you would like more information on the excursions available, please contact us before you travel or see the Intrepid-branded notice in the reception of your hotel.
After breakfast today, Casablanca beckons. Take a 45-minute guided tour of the Hassan II Mosque. Completed in 1993, this extraordinary monument was the late king's most ambitious project and his legacy to the city. Its 200 metre-high minaret is the tallest in the world. Hassan II Mosque can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and is one of the only religious sites open to non-Muslims. Next, it's about a one-hour drive to the capital of Rabat. Rabat's history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan parliament. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now known as the Chellah, where you will visit the remains of the citadel. You will also see the vast minaret of the Hassan Mosque and explore the lovely walled quarter known as the Kasbah des Oudaias. In the late afternoon, continue on to Meknes (approximately 2 hours), the sixth largest city in the kingdom, and former capital of Morocco.
This morning you will discover the charming streets of Meknes’ medina – the old walled section of the city. Enter via the northern gate, Bab Berdaine, and walk to the shrine of Moulay Ismail who, in the 17th century, turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city. You will explore the elaborately decorated public buildings hidden in these winding streets, including the lovely Bou Inania Medresse (religious school). Take some time to soak up the bustling atmosphere of the old souk before driving out of the city to the ruins of Volubilis (approximately 45 minutes). Volubilis was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and the remains make an undeniably impressive sight. Volubilis is the foremost Roman site in Morocco and it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. Upon arrival you will take a tour around the ruins with a local guide. Please remember to pack drinking water, hat, sunglasses and sun cream for this tour as it may get hot and you will be exposed to the sun. And, of course, don’t forget to take your camera as the town is filled with fantastic mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. After time spent imagining Volubulis as the bustling city it once was, continue on to the living museum of Fes for the night (approximately 1.5 hours). After checking in your hotel in late afternoon, perhaps enjoy a memorable dinner of one of the city’s signature dishes, the salty and sweet pastille.
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. 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 the Belghazi Museum, 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. In the evening, enjoy a delicious group dinner of Moroccan specialities like harira (chickpea soup) and chicken-stuffed pastilla with couscous. The group may also head to the Palais Jamai for a drink. Watching the sunset over the Medina while a dozen prayer calls vie for attention is an experience you'll likely remember for a long time.

Notes: Today’s experience will include shopping in carefully selected places. As the receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry, Intrepid has established a centralised system of receiving and distributing payments from these recommended suppliers. For more information, please refer to ‘Important Notes’ section or talk to your leader on the ground.
Today you are free to discover more of Fes in your own time. The 'New City' of Fes el Jedid (not to be confused with the Nouvelle Ville) is well worth a visit. Unlike Fes el Bali, which grew organically over the years, Fes el Jedid was an entirely planned city, built by the ruling family of the Merenids in the 13th and 14th centuries. The imposing gateway of Bab Boujeloud will lead you into the medina-contrasting broad streets, where public and private gardens add a splash of colour to the surroundings. Later, escape the big city and head off the beaten track to the town of Sefrou, where you can stroll the streets, visit the market and soak up the atmosphere of this lovely little town. This small Berber town is only a short drive away from Fes, on the edge of the Middle Atlas range of mountains, making it a most picturesque place. It was here that Moulay Idriss II was based while he oversaw the building of Fes. You’ll then return to the city for the night – perhaps enjoy an evening drink at one of the cafes in the Nouvelle Ville.
Today, leave the intensity of the city behind for the simplicity of the High Atlas Mountains. Drive south, inland through a variety of spectacular scenery – fertile valleys, cedar and pine forests and barren, rocky landscapes – to the small town of Midelt (approximately 3.5 hours). Midelt is a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area, and is nestled between the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains at an elevation of just over 1,500 metres. It's a perfect spot to break up the journey to the Sahara, and is a great base for some easy walks. Many of the locals are Berber, and the town can offer an insight into their way of life. After lunch, stretch your legs for a few hours on an easy hike in the nearby hills. Be prepared for some astonishing views of the Atlas Mountains, with snowy peaks almost touching the sky. Wander through plantations of apple trees on the way back to your accommodation for a relaxing evening, resting up before the Sahara tomorrow.
This morning there's time to haggle for carpets (mainly Kilims), take another refreshing walk, or visit a nearby Franciscan convent where local girls and women learn weaving, tapestry and embroidery. Drive through changing scenery, from barren mountainsides to fertile valleys, on the journey to Merzouga. With a backdrop of the orange-coloured Erg Chebbi sand dunes, the charming Saharan village of Merzouga feels wonderfully isolated, like the modern world has left it behind. The Erg Chebbi dunes are the most stunning in the country and an essential part of any visit to Morocco. An erg is a vast sea of shifting wind-swept sand that's formed into picturesque, undulating crests and valleys. The Erg Chebbi is one of the world's iconic landscapes, with towering dunes up to 150 metres in height. Located at the end of a sealed road and just 20 kilometres from the Algerian border this really feels like frontier country. You will leave your gear at a simple auberge and then ride camels into the edge of the Sahara Desert, enjoying a spectacular sunset along the way. The dunes are stunning, especially as the evening light plays across them and sets off the colours. Tonight you will camp out in traditional style, with the chance to try some fantastic local cuisine while you sit around an open fire, enjoying lively music and dancing under the stars.

Notes: The camp is set up for private use of our group. Depending on the group size, we will set up between 3 and 5 nomadic style tents, 1 dining tent and 1 toilet tent. Once the dining tent is there, most travellers would dine outside, under the stars and sitting around an open fire. Blankets and mattresses are provided, however during the cold winter months from November to March, you may consider bringing your own sleeping bag for extra warmth and comfort. The entire camp is set up by our crew while you relax and enjoy the mighty Sahara desert.
Enjoy a real Lawrence of Arabia moment this morning with a sunrise camel ride across the desert on the return journey to the auberge. Then drive to Todra Gorge (approximately 3.5 hours), a massive trench that rises over 250 metres to form one of the most dramatic and spectacular natural sights in Morocco. The limestone stacks make a perfect area for trekking, and so today you will take a short walk through the sheer cliffs. Then continue on to the beautiful Dades Valley (approximately 1 hour), where you will stop for a break and have some time to take in the remarkable scenery – sprawling green valleys and rocks sculpted into stunning formations by the wind. Continue your journey inland for tonight’s destination, M’goun (approximately 1 hour). You will get closer to the customs and lifestyle of the Berber this evening with the night spent in a traditional Berber house.
You have a full day to explore the beauty of this largely untouched Moroccan backcountry. On foot is the best way to discover the natural and man-made landscape and the rural way of life. There are a couple of circuits to choose from, but the most popular choice, and the one we recommend, is a 10 kilometre circuit that will take about four hours. Accompanied by a local guide, you’ll walk a trail that undulates slightly here and there, but isn't too challenging if you have a basic level of fitness. On the walk you'll pass Berber villages, meeting local Berbers along the way and perhaps having a chance to share a cup of mint tea with some of them. The surrounding mountains and the famous Rose Valley make a sensational setting.
Leaving the Dades Valley today, set off on the fabled ‘Road of 1,000 Kasbahs’. The first stop is at Skoura Oasis (after approximately 1 hour), home to several privately owned kasbahs. Here visit the Kasbah Ameridhl, with its extravagant decorations and mud-brick fortifications. Continue on your journey to Ait Benhaddou (approximately 1 hour). Perched on a hilltop and almost unchanged since the 11th century, Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco's most iconic sites. Its grant kasbah is one of the most beautiful in Morocco and the fortified village is a fine example of clay architecture. If you think you recognise the place, you probably do, as the town has a long list of film and TV credits, including Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones and Gladiator. Enjoy a walk through the winding streets of old town, making your way to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy the views across the surrounding plains. After heading to your nearby hotel for the night, maybe sit back on the roof top terrace and watch the sun setting over the magical Kasbah.
Today you will drive for several hours through the winding roads of the Atlas, bound for Marrakech, an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. There’s no rush as the scenery through the High Atlas Mountain passes is magnificent, and there will surely be calls for several photo stops along the way. On arrival in Marrakech you will check in to your beautiful riad, or Moroccan mansion; beautifully decorated, cosy yet historical. This evening, why not head to the great square of Jemaa el Fna, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. When night falls it transforms into a hive of activity. Snake-charmers, henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. Enjoy a bite of famous Moroccan pastries with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and then finish your day with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top restaurants overlooking the square.
After breakfast today, meet your local guide and set off on a morning tour of the old medina, through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. 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. Continue to the Marrakech Museum, itself a former palace, which houses a fine collection of Moroccan art and sculpture. Stop by the Koutoubia Mosque; its famous minaret is the prototype for others of its kind around the world, including La Giralda in Seville. Then walk back through the streets of the old medina to the Jemaa el Fna. The rest of the day is free to explore further or shop in the bazaar. Perhaps visit the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle or check out the ruins of the Palais Badi, once one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Otherwise, perhaps head back into the medina, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. Watch skilled artisans perfect their craft, practice your haggling skills or take a break from the hustle to sip on tea or share a tajine, filled with the pure scent of Morocco. On your final evening, why not share a farewell feast with new friends in one of the many great restaurants lining the square.
Your trip ends today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around midday and you are free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring here. Speak to your leader about the wealth of extra activities to do around Marrakech.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


12 breakfasts, 5 dinners
Private minibus
Desert Camp (1 night), Gite (2 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Hotel (8 nights)
Included activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Casablanca - Guided Tour of Hassan II Mosque
  • Chellah - entrance
  • Kasbah Les Oudayas
  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
  • Entrance
  • Guided walking tour - Meknes
  • Guided walking tour Fes
  • Medersa Attarine - Entrance - Fes
  • Fondouk Nejjarine
  • Mederassa Bou Inania
  • Guided walking tour of Marrakech
  • Koutoubia Mosque and minaret
  • Palais Bahia
  • Photography Museum


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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip with the exception of the following nights:
Day 7 - Sahara desert
Day 8 & 9 - M'goun Valley
2. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking

The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry. In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedbacks from our previous travellers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.
Intrepid have set up a centralised system of receiving payments from these recommended suppliers, of which are then distributed towards local Responsible Travel projects (such as 'say no to plastic' cotton bags for our travellers and drinking water refilling stations), traveller information packs, and leader bonuses. Further details of these arrangements can be provided by your group leader on request.
While Intrepid endeavors to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes


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Morocco Uncovered , September 2016

Morocco Uncovered , October 2016