Morocco Encompassed Trip Notes

Morocco Encompassed

Last Modified: 03 May 2016
Morocco Encompassed
Trip code: XMSQC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Visit Morocco and discover this land of contrasts - sparkling coastlines, soaring mountains, lush valleys and the vast, unforgettable Sahara Desert. Travel in the footsteps of pirates, sultans and desert nomads, 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 - riding a camel over Saharan dunes, hiking in the High Atlas Mountains and haggling for treasures in bustling souqs. Take an exhilarating journey to absorb the extraordinary sights of mysterious Morocco.
Table of Contents
StyleMeals introductionFinishing point instructions
ThemesMealsAlternate finish point
Is this trip right for you?TransportAlternate finish point description
Why we love itMoney mattersAlternate finish point instructions
MapGroup leaderEmergency contact
ItinerarySafetyVisas
Itinerary disclaimerJoining pointWhat to take
Physical ratingJoining point descriptionClimate and seasonal information
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsHealth
Important notesAlternate joining pointTravel insurance
Group sizeAlternate joining point descriptionA couple of rules
Your fellow travellersAlternate joining point instructionsResponsible Travel
AccommodationFinish pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Accommodation NotesFinish point descriptionFeedback
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- - In 2016, Ramadan will take place from 7 June to 6 July. This is the holiest month of the year for Muslims around the world. Many festivals are marked as Islamic Holidays, which may cause some disturbance to your travels around this time. Some regular services may not be available or open during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars. Please consider your travel arrangements carefully.
- - As Morocco has a tipping culture, travellers are expected to tip small amounts for most services, so please be prepared. Your leader will suggest methods and amounts to tip during the trip, but it is left to the group to decide the details.
- - A camel trek through the Sahara Desert is a highlight of the trip for many. If you're uncomfortable with this, it's possible to walk alongside the camels for about an hour to the camp. You would need to walk back the same distance the next morning, but don’t worry - it’s a gentle, relaxing walk. The opposite can be said for the hike up to Aroumd, as you'll be trekking up steep, rocky steps for around an hour. If you do decide to do this walk walk then you'll need comfortable walking shoes, but you can also hire a mule to ride up all the way. Please also note that your main luggage will be left behind, as only hand luggage can be carried up to the village for you.
- - Although you shouldn’t expect any aggressive selling techniques in Morocco, please be aware that you may be approached by shop owners and street vendors offering their goods to you on regular occasions.
- - The weather in Morocco can be extreme. Summer temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, especially for those who aren't accustomed to the heat, so please consider what time of year you travel carefully. If you do travel in the warmer months then pack layers to cover you from the sun, bring the necessary sun protection and drink plenty of water. The desert can also get cold at night, so remember to bring base layers and warm clothing.
- - We have sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may be different to western standards.
- - On the seventh day of the trip, a three-hour journey by public bus to Tangier is windy in places so it's not for the feint hearted. Although the backdrop of the stunning Rif Mountains makes this a truly scenic journey.
- - There's an overnight train on Day 7 of the trip. The train has four-berth couchette compartments with upper and lower bunks on each side, so you may be sharing a confined space with people outside of your travel group. Overnight trains are a great way to meet the locals and other travellers, as well as ensuring you get maximum time in various destinations.
- - The train from Rabat to Meknes on Day 2 can get pretty busy at peak periods, so we’d recommend packing lightly in a rucksack to make sure you can get on and off the train easily.
- - There are some steep steps up to the guesthouse in Moulay Idriss on Day 2, which can be quite difficult to negotiate if you've packed heavily. If you need assistance to carry your luggage from the taxi to the accommodation, mules can be provided.
Why we love it
- - Widely regarded as Morocco's holiest place, overnight visits to Moulay Idriss were prohibited to non-Muslims until 2005. Experience a homestay with a charming local family; if you’re lucky, you might even get an invite to a cooking demonstration by the ladies of the house
- - Enjoy plenty of time to practise your photography among the vivid blue houses of Chefchaouen
- - Scale the High Atlas Mountains and trek through scenic Berber villages, spending a night in a traditional Berber homestay. Discover the culture and tradition of an indigenous population who have stood the test of time
- - Negotiate your way through the winding alleys of Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, a superb example of Moroccan architecture rich in history and mystery
- - Moroccan cuisine is interpreted throughout the world in different ways. While in Ait Benhaddou, master the way traditional way of preparing Moroccan couscous and tagines
- - Travel through the Sahara desert in a camel convoy, sleep under the North African stars and enjoy an evening beside the campfire listening to Bedouin tales
- - Put your feet up and relax in the laid-back coastal town of Essaouira. This is a good chance to recharge before heading for the colourful chaos of Marrakech
- - Djemaa El-Fna isn't just a marketplace, it's a way of life. Marrakesh's largest outdoor food market is brimming with activity and is a great place to sample Moroccan delicacies while rubbing shoulders with the locals
- - Relive a glorious medieval past in Fes city. While many tourists get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the medina, you'll have a local guide to show you the way
- - Literally translated, Morocco's grand capital of Rabat means ‘fortified palace’. The botanical gardens are a lovely place to relax and sip a mint tea
- - Need a break from your wanders around the narrow streets of Meknes? Replenish your energy with the ideal hump-day treat: a camel burger cooked right in front of you at a restaurant in the medina
- - Where else would you find drummers, dancers, snake charmers, fortune tellers, jugglers and old medicine men in one place? Marrakech is the perfect place to share a final group meal and stock up on treasures in the city's colourful souqs
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Casablanca
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. 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 ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Modelled after Marseille in France, the bustling port city of Casablanca is now the undisputed economic capital of Morocco, with one of Africa's largest ports. The architectural style of the city is curious - famous for its art deco French-colonial buildings and Mauresque governmental institutions, an old medina and the phenomenal modern-day masterpiece, the Hassan II Mosque.
A pleasant way to spend the day exploring Casablanca is to wander the old medina and the city walls, then jump in a taxi to visit the Quartiers des Habous - the new medina full of shaded squares and narrow streets, lined with arcades that lead from one souk to another. This is a great place to enjoy a Moroccan coffee and maybe start improving your bargaining skills. Finish the day with a walk along the Corniche, watching the locals enjoy sunset football on the beach.
There's no free time included in Casablanca on this trip so if you want to explore the city or visit the highly recommended Hassan II Mosque we suggest you book an additional night or two of accommodation before the trips starts.
Optional Activities
  • Jewish Museum - MAD40
  • Villa des Arts - art gallery & museum - Free
  • Guided tour of Hassan II Mosque - MAD120
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Rabat/Moulay Idriss
    Today take an early morning one-hour train to the historical town 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. Store your luggage and spend a few hours strolling through the city's old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Continue on to Meknes by train (approximately 3 hours), before taking a 45-minute taxi through scenic countryside to the sacred pilgrimage village of Moulay Idriss. Once forbidden to non-Muslims, 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. Your accommodation for the night is in a guesthouse/homestay with a local family. Bathroom facilities may be shared and you may be sharing a room with two or three others.
    Accommodation
    Guesthouse (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast
    Day 3 Volubilis/Fes
    Today, take a guided tour of the archaeological site of Volubilis. World Heritage-listed Volubilis was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and the remains make an undeniably impressive sight. Upon arrival, 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, return to the nearby imperial city of Meknes, where you'll have a few hours to explore. In the 17th century Sultan Moulay Ismail turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city, building his own version of Versailles with labour force of over 25,000 slaves. The adventurous may want to try a camel burger for lunch at a local restaurant in the medina. In the afternoon, take a one-hour train to Fes, where you'll spend the next two nights. Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses – with a huge, well-preserved medieval old city that’s the mother of all medinas.
    Included Activities
    • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
    • Guided walking tour Fes
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast, 1 lunch
      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 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 Tour leader on the ground.
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 5 Chefchaouen
      Take a local four-hour bus to the isolated town of Chefchaouen today. Chefchaouen, or the ‘blue city’, is arguably one of the prettiest places in Morocco. Set against a wide valley and nestled between two peaks in the stunning Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen may take you by surprise. Its medina has been lovingly cared for with striking blue and whitewashed houses, red-tiled roofs and artistic doorways. Much of Chefchaouen was recreated by Andalusian refugees escaping the Reconquistia, so you might feel like you're in the hills of Spain while exploring its streets. Ease into the relaxed pace of life in this rural retreat. 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 goats' cheese on offer is a popular treat enjoyed by many visitors.
      Optional Activities
      • Walking tour with local guide - MAD300
      • Picnic lunch for hike - MAD70
      • Kasbah (closed on Tuesdays) - MAD20
      • Medina visit with local guide - MAD300
      • Hamam (public baths) - MAD150
      • Henna tattooing - MAD50
      • American Legation Museum - MAD20
      • Museum Dar El Mekhzen - MAD20
      • The Caves of Hercules - MAD25
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 6 Chefchaouen
        Today is a free day to explore Chefchaouen. Perhaps take a guided tour of the sights, sounds, and smells of the medina, or sample the delicious local goat cheese at a cafe in the Plaza Uta el-Hammam. Admire the architecture of the 15th-century Grand Mosque (closed to non-Muslims) and browse the shops in the square selling woven goods and small sweets. Also within the plaza is the walled fortress of the Kasbah. Wander through the tranquil gardens inside, check out the ethnographic museum and soak in wonderful views from the rooftop. Alternatively, you might prefer to get out of town and enjoy a hike and picnic in the surrounding hills. In the evening, tuck into a tagine at a local restaurant or visit a hammam, a traditional Moroccan spa.
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 7 Tangier
        Today take a local three-hour bus to the coastal town of Tangier, a place of strategic importance to the Mediterranean and the gateway to Africa. Once a hotspot for artists, secret agents and millionaires, Tangier has been going through something of a renaissance of late thanks to the arrival of a new monarch in Morocco in 1999. Mohammed VI of Morocco and his forward-thinking ideas about commerce and tourism has suddenly woke up the community to the potential of this city. Today, the city's medina and kasbah are well worth exploring, as are the cafes and patisseries around the Place de la France in the Ville Nouvelle. Perhaps visit the American Legation Museum, the former palace of Dar el-Makhzen or the Caves of Hercules. The recently reconstructed beach promenade is lined with great restaurants. Perhaps enjoy a fresh seafood dinner by the port, before boarding an overnight sleeper train bound for Marrakech.
        Accommodation
        Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 8 Marrakech
        Arrive early into Marrakech on the overnight train. The day is free for you to explore. Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Explore the Medina and the city's seemingly endless mosaic of souqs. Each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. Perhaps visit the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its 12th-century minaret, which was the famous prototype for the Giralda tower in Seville. Take a wander through the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). You might like to check out the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, or the ruins of the Palais Badi, reputedly one of the most beautiful palaces in the world in its time. The Saadian tombs are a recently uncovered gem of the Medina. All of the above can be a challenge to locate, but that's all part of the experience of exploring the medinas of Morocco. 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. Snake-charmers, henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. This is sure to be an unforgettable farewell to Marrakech.
        Optional Activities
        • Marjorelle Gardens - MAD70
        • Palais Bahia - MAD10
        • Palais Badi - MAD10
        • Saadien Tombs - MAD10
        • Medersa Ben Youssef - MAD40
        • Museum of Marrakech - MAD40
        • Hamam (public baths) - MAD250
        • Photography Museum - MAD40
        • A Taste Of Marrakech - MAD450
        • Tajine cooking class - MAD546
        • Cascades d'Ouzoud day tour - MAD2207
        • Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa - MAD650
        • Ourika Valley day tour - MAD1817
        • Oukaimeden day tour - MAD1882
        • Asni & Ourigane with lunch - MAD1806
        • Quad biking Barrage Lalla Takerkoust - MAD1320
        • Quad Biking the Rock Desert & Palmgrove - MAD660
        • Medina, Palace and Tombs half day tour - MAD325
        • Heart of the Atlas Mountains cycling day tour - MAD900
        • Palmery cycling tour - MAD350
        • Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour - MAD350
        • Imlil & Aroumd day tour - MAD1817
        • Essaouira Food & Culture day trip - MAD840
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Day 9 Marrakech
          Today is a free day for you to discover Marrakech further. Perhaps explore the Medina for some shopping, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. In the seemingly endless mosaic of souqs, each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. Watch skilled artisans perfect their craft, practise 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. You can also venture out of Marrakech for a day trip; if you feel energetic, why not try one of the famous day walking trips. Oukaimeden or Ourika Valley are great places not far from Marrakech. If you would like to relax after the first part of your adventure, ask your leader to help you out with booking a session in one of the famous Moroccan Hammams.
          As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 10 Aroumd
          Today, take a short drive up the towering High Atlas Mountains to the village of Imlil (approximately 2 hours), photographing snow-dappled mountains and valleys in full flower along the way. On arrival, store your main luggage and load daypacks onto pack mules before walking into traditional mountain village life with a one-hour trek up to the peaceful village of Aroumd. If you feel like the walk is too strenuous then there's the option of riding the mule. 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 culture. Spend the night in a family-run mountain home (gite) in Aroumd. Surrounded by the smell of woodstoves and bread, meet the host family and enjoy Berber hospitality and food. Facilities at the homestay are shared (both the bathroom and sleeping arrangements) but cosy, comfortable and definitely a unique Intrepid experience. Use the rest of the day to explore the village and the surrounding farmlands. If the group are up for it, there will be a chance to hike of around eight kilometres to the pilgrimage shrine of Sidi Chamharouch (approximately 4 hours return). Regardless of fitness levels, the gentle pace of Aroumd makes it a special place to explore beyond the reach of the modern world.
          Included Activities
          • Guided trek in the High Atlas Mountains
            Optional Activities
            • Mule ride - Imlil to Aroumd - MAD50
              Accommodation
              Gite (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 11 Ait Benhaddou
              This morning journey along mountain roads and over Morocco's highest pass, Tizi n'Tichka (2,260 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 site. It was once an important stop for caravans passing through as they carried salt across the Sahara, returning with gold, ivory and slaves. Today its grand kasbah has been listed as a World Heritage site, with its fortified village being 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. In the evening, why not join a simple cooking demonstration of Morocco's most famous cuisine: couscous and tagine. The locals will explain the secrets and subtleties of these traditional meals, as the ladies of the kitchen prepare a feast.
              Optional Activities
              • Cooking class and dinner - MAD100
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 12 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). While here, make a short visit to Horizon Association for People with Disabilities. This is an organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation, health and empowerment of people with disabilities. Some of the services they provide include the building and fitting of prosthetic limbs and custom-made wheelchairs, and physio and social therapy for sufferers of accidents and illness. They also operate an artisan workshop, which trains local people in trades such as pottery, weaving, metal work and jewellery making. Since their establishment in 1994, the Horizon Association has served over 3,000 people. We're very proud to support this project through The Intrepid Foundation. 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. Take a stroll through the palm groves, explore the ksars and wander around the surrounding countryside.
                Included Activities
                • Horizon Association for People With Disabilities visit
                  Optional Activities
                  • Atlas Movie Studios - MAD50
                  • Kasbah Taourirt - MAD20
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 13 Sahara Camp
                    Continue 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. Visit an intriguing library filled with ancient scripts of science, literature, the Koran and stories of the prophet Mohammed (subject to unregulated opening times). Join a local guide to uncover the underground Kasbah and its unique ceramic pottery industry. Leave Tamegroute behind and carry on driving to the end of the road at the frontier town of M'Hamid (approximately 1 hour). From here, take a short camel ride through the dunes, where you’ll jump into 4WD vehicles. The rough track runs parallel to the Algerian border, across the stony Hamada desert, whose only populace is small scatterings of nomadic people and their camels. The group will reach the massive Erg Chigaga dunes in the late afternoon. 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. Your camp for the night is fairly basic with bedding, mattresses and toilet facilities provided. During the winter months of November to March it can get very cold at night, so it’s a good idea to bring base layers and a warm sleeping bag.

                    Notes: Due to passenger feedback, all departures in the summer months of June, July and August use a slightly altered itinerary in the Sahara. We'll take a 4WD safari to the remote Erg Chigaga dunes, but instead of camping in the dunes you’ll stay at a fixed camp in Ouled Idriss. This camp is better suited for high summer temperatures.
                    Included Activities
                    • Ancient library
                    • Camel ride
                      Accommodation
                      Camp site (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                      Day 14 Taroudannt
                      Today rejoin the minivan and venture towards the market town of Taroudannt, sometimes called ‘Little Marrakesh’. The journey should take around six hours in total. This drive goes through desert scenery and along a route that's a reserve for the indigenous argan trees. Argan oil is highly prized for its culinary, cosmetic and medicinal uses and is only produced in Morocco, and is certainly a trademark of Morocco around the world. If you're lucky, the group might come across the famous image of goats climbing these trees in search of nuts. Please note that this is a long travel day, and you won't arrive at tonight's accommodation until late afternoon/early evening. The riad (house) tonight is 45 kilometres outside of Taroudannt and offers the chance to relax by the pool or take a steamed bath.
                      Accommodation
                      Riad (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast
                      Day 15 Essaouira
                      In the morning, take to the souqs and haggle with local traders for silver jewellery or colourful Moroccan ceramics and mosaics. Afterwards, leave the valleys of the High Atlas Mountains behind and 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. This laidback artists' town is a former Portuguese trading colony and was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations. The town faces a group of rocky islands, called the Mogador, and is surrounded by an expanse of sandy beaches and dunes. It's still a busy fishing port and its pretty harbour is filled with tiny colourful boats which go out early every morning for the day's catch. Visitors who have been seduced by its charms include Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix, who (according to local legend) spent much of his time here in the 1960s. More recently, filmmaker Ridley Scott chose the ramparts as an important location for his film, Kingdom of Heaven. As you’ll arrive in the early evening, there won’t be much time to look around today. In the evening perhaps have some dinner with the group, as the local seafood is as fresh as it gets.
                      Included Activities
                      • Guided walking tour
                        Optional Activities
                        • Hamam (public baths) - MAD200
                        • Berber massage - MAD350
                        • Horse riding - MAD250
                          Accommodation
                          Riad (1 nt)
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast
                          Day 16 Essaouira
                          Today, join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall). Afterwards, use your free time to get under the skin of the town. The narrow streets of Essaouira are ideal for casual exploration. Their size discourages cars, and on walk through the town it feels as though little has changed since the days of sea pirates. The fishing port is a serious commercial operation and there’s much fun to be had observing the daily catch and its subsequent auction. A freshly-cooked plate of the day's catch is highly recommended. Browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries that make this little town a particularly pleasant place to unwind for a few days. It has a growing reputation for its unique art and is becoming even more famous for its burled Thuya wood, delicately formed and inlaid in tiny shops that are built into the thick walls of the Portuguese ramparts. The scent from the oils used to polish the richly coloured wood permeates the air and makes walking down the streets incredibly pleasant. If you’d prefer to relax, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in a hammam or local-style bath.
                          Accommodation
                          Riad (1 nt)
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast
                          Day 17 Marrakech
                          Use the morning to see the last of Essaouira, as you’ll catch a bus back to Marrakech in the afternoon (approximately 3 hours). As Marrakech is not a new place for you anymore, you will know your way around. It is always great to go back and re-visit some of your favourite sites, but if you would like to discover this city further, there is still plenty to choose from. If ever in doubt, ask your leader for any suggestions. This evening you will likely be drawn back to the Djemaa El-Fna, and its surrounding medina. When night falls on this square it transforms in to 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. Perhaps dine with the group here – a great way to finish your adventure.
                          Optional Activities
                          • A Taste Of Marrakech - MAD450
                          • Tajine cooking class - MAD546
                          • Cascades d'Ouzoud day tour - MAD2207
                          • Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa - MAD650
                          • Ourika Valley day tour - MAD1817
                          • Oukaimeden day tour - MAD1882
                          • Asni & Ourigane with lunch - MAD1806
                          • Heart of the Atlas Mountains cycling day tour - MAD900
                          • Medina, Palace and Tombs half day tour - MAD325
                          • Quad Biking the Rock Desert & Palmgrove - MAD660
                          • Quad biking Barrage Lalla Takerkoust - MAD1320
                          • Palmery cycling tour - MAD350
                          • Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour - MAD350
                            Accommodation
                            Hotel (1 nt)
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 18 Marrakech
                            Your 'Morocco Encompassed' adventure ends after breakfast. Check out time is usually around 12.00pm, but you’re free to leave any time before. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Marrakech (subject to availability).
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Itinerary disclaimer
                            ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
                            Physical rating

                            Included activities
                            Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
                            Guided walking tour Fes
                            Guided trek in the High Atlas Mountains
                            Horizon Association for People With Disabilities visit
                            Ancient library
                            Camel ride
                            Guided walking tour
                            Important notes
                            1. There is an altered summer itinerary (June, July & August). See Trip Notes for further details.
                            2. A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.

                            Group size
                            Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
                            Your fellow travellers
                            GROUP TRAVEL
                            As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                            SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                            Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                            Accommodation
                            Camp site (1 night), Gite (1 night), Guesthouse (1 night), Hotel (10 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Riad (3 nights)
                            In Morocco you will experience a whole variety of different style of accommodation, ranging from comfortable hotels to local guesthouses and mountain gites. As Morocco is opening up to more mainstream tourism due to increasing coverage from airlines, the general standard of accommodation has improved in some areas but other areas are still catching up. All accommodations we use are clean and functional although the rooms and facilities may be basic and limited at times and the breakfasts simple.

                            OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                            The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                            TWIN SHARE BASIS
                            Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

                            CHECK-IN TIME
                            Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

                            PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                            If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

                            HEATING:
                            Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It's also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers, which are a pleasure for most of the year. Air-conditioning systems (if available) don't always function.


                            Our camp in the Sahara desert is a basic affair with all necessary facilities. It is a private camp with several tents forming a square, with dining table in the middle. Tents are very spacious and you will have your own comfortable mattress and bedding. Tents are shared between 4 people depending on the size of the group, but often you will only share the tent with one or two other travellers. You may also sleep outside under the stars as this is the best way to experience the desert. Toilet with running water is available though it is a small distance from the camp. There is a light in the camp, but no access to electricity, thus we recommend bringing spare batteries for your camera. Dinner is cooked in the camp, served fresh straight from the fire.
                            Meals introduction
                            While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

                            Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region however some vegetarian Moroccan dishes are available. Generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, fruit, and vegetable tajines. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

                            There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).
                            Meals
                            16 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
                            Transport
                            4x4, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi, Train

                            There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. High passes, windy roads and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort. The best part about all of these long drives are the spectacular views and fun stops en route such as mountain passes, kasbahs, palmeries, sand dunes, goats up trees etc.

                            For this trip we use a combination of private buses and trains. The size of private vehicle will depend on the group size. Roads in Morocco are reasonably good, and driving conditions in towns and on the plains are good. On mountain roads, the pace will be slower. Although the buses normally have air-conditioning and heating, this is not always up to European standards. Morocco’s excellent train network is one of Africa’s best, with comfortable, fast trains that run closely to their timetables. Trains may sometimes be quite full, but that can be seen as a great opportunity for local interaction.

                            Overnight train in Morocco is safe, fast and fun way to cover a big distance of the land. While we book sleeping cabins with 4 berths we always try to accommodate you with the other members of the group. If number of travellers in the group is uneven, you may be sharing the cabin with local travellers.
                            Money matters
                            CURRENCY
                            The currency of Morocco is the dirham (DRH), divided into 100 centimes. Bank notes come in denominations of DRH 200, 100, 50 and 20. Smaller values are issued as coins in values of 10, 5, 1 as well as 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c. Changing money is easy and you will find banks and exchange bureaux in Casablanca, Fes and Marrakech. In the desert and Atlas Mountains opportunities to exchange money are limited. There are ATMs in all major cities, which accept Visa cards, MasterCards and cards connected with Cirrus. Some ATMs, belonging to smaller banks, will not work so occasionally you may need to try two or three before you are successful. We would strongly recommend bringing a combination of cash and credit cards. Credit cards are useful for large purchases such as carpets or gold from a large store, but generally speaking they are not accepted in many places. Local restaurants, markets, and many hotels will only accept cash as payment for goods or services. Please ensure you only use banks, licensed money exchangers or hotels. We also suggest you keep your receipts. Do not change money with street touts. This is illegal.
                            TIPPING
                            If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest MAD20-30 per person per day for local guides. Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however MAD10 per person per day is generally appropriate. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
                            PRICES IN MOROCCO
                            Morocco is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. With drinks, tipping and of course - shopping, it can all add up. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Morocco to be a budget destination.
                            BARGAINING
                            In Morocco some services and products are not a fixed price which means that your bartering skills will be tested from hiring taxis to buying a souvenir in the Medina. This can be challenging for travellers who have not experienced this before. Ask your leaders for advice when you arrive however the best approach is to smile and have fun as this is an entrenched part of Moroccan culture.
                            EMERGENCY FUNDS
                            Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
                            COMMISSIONS
                            The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, Intrepid has established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. Intrepid aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you.
                            A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
                            Group leader
                            All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. You can expect your Intrepid Food Adventures group leader to be passionate about the local food scene and keen to share their insider knowledge on the best authentic local food and drink experiences throughout your trip.

                            Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                            Safety
                            Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                            We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                            Your driver/guide will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your driver/guide will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your driver/guide has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                            For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety

                            GENERAL SCAMS: When walking through touristy areas of cities you may be approached by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or take you to a local spice shop. They will either ask to be your local guide for the day or expect money when you arrive at your destination. Please note these people are not registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you (or 'la Shukran') should suffice.

                            FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                            Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                            TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
                            Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                            PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                            While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
                            Joining point
                            Hotel Maamoura
                            59 Rue ibn Batouta
                            Quartier deb Omar (near Central Market)
                            Casablanca
                            20000
                            MOROCCO
                            Phone: 212 522452967
                            Joining point description
                            The Hotel Maamoura has 55 rooms equipped with air conditioning, television, Internet and 24 hours room service.

                            The hotel is located in central Casablanca approx 15 minutes from the train station, close to shops and restaurants.
                            Joining point instructions
                            Taxis are easy to locate from outside the airport for the 25 kilometre journey into Casablanca city centre. The Taxis are large Mercedes vehicles and have no meter. You need to agree on the price before you get in! The rate is MAD 250 (EUR 25) during daylight hours and MAD 300 after 8.00pm

                            Alternatively take a local train from the airport into the central station (Casablanca Voyageurs) and then take a taxi to the hotel. Trains run every hour from 6.00am until 10.00pm, take 35mins and cost MAD 30. From Casablanca Voyageurs Station take a Petit taxi to the hotel. You will have to negotiate the taxi fare before getting in! Aim to pay MAD 25.

                            The hotel is well known and located in the centre of town, a few streets away from Place du 16 Novembre. Don't believe any taxi driver that tries to tell you that it is closed or full.

                            Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport:
                            If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, the driver will be waiting for you at the information desk in Terminal 1 near the entrance to the train station. Your driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid logo or your name.

                            In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact to the Transport Company emergency phone number :+212 661 315 626 Or Peak Number : 212 (0) 66192 2693
                            Alternate joining point
                            For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                            07 Sep 2016 (XMSQC160907), 19 Oct 2016 (XMSQC161019), 26 Oct 2016 (XMSQC161026), 21 Dec 2016 (XMSQC161221)
                            Hotel Transatlantique
                            79 Rue Chaouia
                            Centre Ville
                            Casablanca
                            MOROCCO
                            Phone: +212 522294551
                            Alternate joining point description
                            Hotel Transatlantique is situated close to Central Market of Casablanca, Place Mohammed V, and Hassan II Mosque. Complex Cultural Sidi Belyout and United Nations Square are within short taxi drive from the hotel.
                            All rooms are en suite, with shower/tub combination. In each room there is flat screen TV with satellite channels.
                            Hotel has its own restaurant and lounge area with well-equipped bar. Coffee shops and nightclub can be both find in a walking distance from the hotel.
                            Alternate joining point instructions
                            Taxis are easy to locate from outside the airport for the 25 kilometre journey into Casablanca city centre. The Taxis are large Mercedes vehicles and have no meter. You need to agree on the price before you get in! The rate is MAD 250 (EUR 25) during daylight hours and MAD 300 after 8.00pm

                            Alternatively take a local train from the airport into the central station (Casablanca Voyageurs) and then take a taxi to the hotel. Trains run every hour from 6.00am until 10.00pm, take 35mins and cost MAD 30. From Casablanca Voyageurs Station take a Petit taxi to the hotel. You will have to negotiate the taxi fare before getting in! Aim to pay MAD 25.

                            The hotel is well known and located in the centre of town, a few streets away from Place du 16 Novembre. Don't believe any taxi driver that tries to tell you that it is closed or full.

                            Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport:
                            If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, the driver will be waiting for you at the information desk in Terminal 1 near the entrance to the train station. If your flight land in Terminal 2 please go direct to Terminal 1. Your driver will be holding a board with your name on. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact to the Transport Company emergency phone number :+212 661 315 626 Or Peak Number : 212 (0) 66192 2693
                            Finish point
                            Hotel Le Caspien
                            12, rue Loubnane
                            Marrakech
                            MOROCCO
                            Phone: 212 524422282
                            Finish point description
                            Centrally located in the Gueliz district 5mins walk from Avenue Mohammed V, the Caspien hotel has 40 rooms all with en-suite bathrooms, A/C, TV, telephones. The hotel has a small swimming pool and 2 restaurants.
                            www.lecaspien-hotel.com
                            Finishing point instructions
                            Marrakech Menara Airport is approx. 5km from the city centre. Petite taxis (small cars which are light brown in colour) can easily be hailed from the street, or ask the hotel to assist. Negotiate the fare before getting in and aim to pay no more than 100MAD (150MAD at night).

                            Pre booked departure transfer to the airport:
                            If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be collected from your hotel 3 hours prior to your flight.
                            Please reconfirm your departure transfers with your tour leader.

                            In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you not find the driver please contact travel company on the emergency phone numbers: +212 6 61 24 31 06 and +212 6 66 19 27 66 Or Peak Number : 212 (0) 66192 2693


                            Departure from Casablanca:
                            For those of you that are flying out of Casablanca: Trains from Marrakech to Casablanca, depart on the hour every 2 hours between 4:45am and 8:45pm and cost EUR8 for 2nd class and EUR12 for 1st class. The trip is scheduled to take 3 hours & 10 minutes and is subject to frequent delays.

                            From Casablanca Voyageurs Station, trains run to the Casablanca airport every two hours at 13 mins past the hour between 03h13 and 22h13. From Casa L’oasis (first station in Casablanca), trains run to the airport every two hours at 20 mins past the hour between 03h20 and 22h20. The trip takes 35 minutes.
                            Check the useful website (in French) for more information - www.oncf.ma

                            Alternatively, from Casablanca city the 25km taxi ride to the Casablanca airport costs MAD250 (EUR25)

                            Please note that private transfer from Marrakech hotel to Casablanca airport are available for sale.

                            Alternate finish point
                            For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
                            20 Jul 2016 (XMSQC160720)
                            Moroccan House Hotel Marrakech
                            3, Rue Loubnane Guéliz, Centre-ville
                            Marrakech
                            MOROCCO
                            Phone: +212 524420305
                            Fax: +212 524420297
                            Alternate finish point description
                            Alternate finish point instructions
                            Marrakech Menara International airport is located west of the city center about 6 km from both Gueliz (New Town) and Medina (Old town). It's about 15 to 20 min from the city center.
                            The best way to get to the airport is by taxi. There are petit taxis with a meter (maximum of 3 passengers) and grand taxi (maximum 5 passengers) ideal for heavy luggage. Most of hotels can arrange this service but please always agree for the price of the transfer before you get in the taxi. Negotiate the fare before getting in and aim to pay no more than 100MAD (150MAD at night). The shuttle airport bus goes from the city center to the airport every hour during the day.

                            Pre booked departure transfer to the airport:
                            If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be collected from your hotel 2 hours prior to your flight.
                            Please reconfirm your departure transfers with your tour leader.
                            In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you not find the driver please contact the emergency phone number: 212 6 61 24 31 06 and +212 6 66 19 27 66 Or Peak Number : 212 (0) 66192 2693

                            Departure from Casablanca:
                            For those of you that are flying out of Casablanca: Trains from Marrakech to Casablanca, depart on the hour every 2 hours between 5:00am and 9:00pm and cost EUR8 for 2nd class and EUR12 for 1st class. The trip is scheduled to take 3 hours & 10 minutes and is subject to frequent delays.

                            From Casablanca Voyageurs Station, trains run to the Casablanca airport every hour at 5 min past the hour. First departure is at 5:00am and the last departure at 10:00pm. The trip takes 35 minutes. Check the useful website (in French) for more information - www.oncf.ma

                            Alternatively, from Casablanca city the 25km taxi ride to the Casablanca airport costs MAD250 (EUR25)
                            Emergency contact
                            While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                            We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                            You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                            For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                            In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Morocco Office can be reached on the numbers listed below:

                            PEAK Marrakech: +212 661 922 693

                            PEAK Marrakech: +212 661922693
                            Visas
                            Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                            Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Americans and British citizens do not require a visa to visit Morocco for stays up to 90 days. All other nationalities should check with the Moroccan Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information.
                            What to take
                            PACKING
                            On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

                            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                            It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.


                            CLIMATE & CLOTHING:
                            Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. Summer (approx June to September) can be very hot everywhere we travel & winter (approx November to February) can be very cold. It's recommended to bring a good sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter.

                            SLEEPING BAGS:
                            Sleeping bags consume valuable space in your luggage and can be a pain. However in the winter months (from November to March) there may not be enough heating (sometimes none) or sufficient blankets to keep everyone warm, we recommend bringing your own sleeping bag. Unfortunately sleeping bags can not be hired/rented while on the trip and are not easy to find for purchase. Buy a small sleeping bag before you leave, it will definitely come in handy, particularly if you feel the cold.

                            WATER BOTTLE:
                            Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
                            Climate and seasonal information
                            CLIMATE:
                            Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather.
                            Winter (approx November to March) can be very cold. Particularly in the mountains or near the desert, night temperatures can drop to 5 degrees Celsius or less. Even in the hot months out in the desert it can get cold at night. It is recommended to bring a good sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter. Some of our guesthouses / hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It is also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers.

                            Summer (approx May to September) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning. A hat is essential.

                            RAMADAN, EID UL-FITR and EID UL ADHA FESTIVAL 2016:
                            In 2016 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 06 June through till 05 July, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken.
                            Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it is a period of National holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be effected.
                            Eid ul Adha occurs approximately 2 months after Edi ul- Fitr, on 10 and 11 September 2016.
                            Health
                            All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                            You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
                            Travel insurance
                            Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                            When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                            If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                            A couple of rules
                            Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                            Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                            Responsible Travel
                            We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                            The Intrepid Foundation
                            http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                            Feedback
                            After your travels, we want to hear from you! We realise that our partner company may ask you to complete paper or online feedback following your trip, however we would also like to know what you thought and encourage you to submit your feedback to us too. We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback

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