Enjoy an easygoing family holiday, camping and camel-trekking in Morocco

Cross the swirling sands of the Sahara, watch dawn break across the dunes and rock the Kasbahs of Morocco’s fascinating past on a family adventure to remember. Recreating the simple nomadic lifestyle, spend three nights camping out under the crystal clear desert skies, the dramatic desert backdrop covered by a dreamy blanket of stars. Come and see why Marrakech’s bustling medina and lively bazaars ensure the city is regularly featured in people’s ultimate bucket lists of must-see places to visit.

Start
Ouarzazate, Morocco
Finish
Marrakech, Morocco
Countries
Morocco
Themes
Family
Code
XMFM
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 2 Max 16
Carbon offset
417kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • The main square of Marrakech is a real feast for the senses. Sip sweet mint tea, be dazzled by snakecharmers and tap your foot to traditional Berber musicians
  • Embark on a two-day desert adventure and witness the rolling dunes of the Sahara from the back of a camel
  • Meet the famous 'Blue Men' of the desert, the Bedouin tribe. You might even have the chance to play drums with them, traditional style, as the desert sky lights up with stars
  • Crossing the Tizi-n-Tichka pass is a road trip you won't forget. Gaze in awe at spectacular views across the High Atlas Mountains
  • Ait Benhaddou is picture-perfect, literally. Learn all about this town's Hollywood stardom and enjoy a guided tour of the incredible kasbah

Itinerary

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. Your trip begins in Ouarzazate, which is situated at the confluence of three valleys and on the threshold of the Sahara Desert. Settle into your hotel and perhaps take a stroll to acquaint yourself with the town. This place was originally a staging point for trans-Saharan caravans and later became garrison for the French Foreign Legion. If you arrive early and have time, perhaps pay a visit to Atlas Studios, a major Hollywood outpost in Morocco, located just a few kilometres from town.
Meet your trip leader in the hotel reception at 9 am. This morning you will explore the town of Ouarzazate and visit the hundred-year-old Taourirt Kasbah. A potent symbol of the Glaoui clan's power, the kasbah gives a glimpse of how these feudal lords lived. You will then have the chance to buy an essential piece of desert kit – a shesh. This is a long piece of cloth, a bit like a scarf, that's wrapped around the head to keep the sun off. The loose end can be pulled across the face to keep the sand out. Continue your drive across the Tizi-n-Tiniffift pass and through the Draa Valley, following the southern slopes of the Djebel Sahro to Nkob and on to the Oasis of Tazzarine (approximately 3 hours).
In the morning, take a taxi to Iferd (approximately 30 minutes). Here you will meet your camel caravan and the camelteers who will journey with you into the desert. Then ride your camel all the way to camp (approximately 2 hours). Each person will be on their own camel, forming a typical desert caravan. There will be additional animals to carry your baggage, camping equipment and most importantly your water. The gait of the camels soon lulls you into a strange rhythm – one that's been the same for centuries. Time seems to dissolve as you are surrounded by the soft haze of the desert. Arrive at your Bedouin camp, set up, and no doubt enjoy a glass of sweet mint tea. Watch as the scenery around you changes colour with the setting sun. After dinner, if you are lucky, your camel drivers may decide to play drums and invite you to join them for an evening of traditional songs.
Early risers will be treated to another amazing display of changing colour and light. Cross your fingers for clear weather! After breakfast you will have a short walk through the dunes to make the most of the views on offer. How far you walk will depend on the ability of the group as well as the conditions. Walking through sand can be tough, and makes you realise how hard life here would be without the camels! Remounting your camel, make your way slowly out of the desert, back towards the hills and valleys of the Atlas (approximately 2 hours). Bid farewell to your travel companions and camels and rejoin the vehicle for the return trip to Tazzarine (approximately 1.5 hours).
Head towards Agdz, through the Draa Valley, and eventually to Ait Benhaddou (approximately 4 hours). The Draa Valley area is very fertile and its terraced farmlands are fed by an intricate system of irrigation channels. Continuing via Ouarzazate, you will reach Ait Benhaddou, one of the best-preserved fortified kasbahs in the country. With its dramatic red-earth walls and slit windows, this is a magnificent example of a stronghold. The surrounding villages are well worth exploring too. Not far away there are the film studios of Ouarzazate which have been used for many epic films, from classics such as 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'Jewel of the Nile' to the more recent 'Hidalgo' and 'Alexander'. Consider an optional visit to these studios. 
In the morning, cross the riverbed to visit Ait Benhaddou. Take the opportunity to explore some of the ruined buildings. Climb to the top of the hill where the agadir (grain store) offers spectacular views down over the village and the surrounding countryside. You can also enter one of the houses and share a glass of mint tea with some of the residents to gain a better understanding of how they live their lives. In the afternoon, drive north across the High Atlas mountains en route to Marrakech (approximately 4 hours). The road, completed by the Foreign Legion in 1936, winds up over the Tizi-n-Tichka pass (2,260 m) and offers stunning views of the mountains before descending past Berber villages to the plain surrounding Marrakech. Arrive in Marrakech and settle in.
Enjoy a walking tour of the city centre, taking in the main sights on your way to the sprawling souq and main square. The souq is a great place to sharpen your bargaining skills, and you are almost certain to be tempted by some of the extraordinary variety of merchandise on display – perhaps a pair of traditional Moroccan slippers or some exotic spices. The adjacent main square has the atmosphere of a medieval fair. Snake charmers and jugglers are among those who vie to entertain you. In the evening, wonderful smells waft by as food stalls cook up their local delicacies. In the afternoon you will have time to wander and make your own discoveries. If you'd like to take a traditional bath, ask you leader where the nearest hamman is. Alternatively, the tanneries around Bab Debbagh are great to visit.
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport
Camel, Minibus, Taxi
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Hotel (4 nights)
Included activities
  • Taourirt Kasbah visit
  • Kasbah Ait Benhaddou
  • Guided walking tour of Marrakech
  • Palais Bahia

Dates

There are currently no departures for this trip.

{{departure_day.departure_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}} {{departure_day.arrival_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}}

Style: {{departure.style}}

Boat/Ship: {{departure.vehicle_name}}
On sale Hot deal Departure guaranteed On request
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.base_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.discount_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
Fully booked Bookings closed

Total price per person {{room.room_type | lowercase}}
Includes {{departure.kitty_currency_code}} {{departure.kitty | noFractionCurrency:departure.kitty_currency_symbol}} kitty
Includes {{extra.extras_code}} {{extra.extras_symbol}}{{extra.extras_value}} in local payments Single supplement available from {{product.currency_code}} {{departure.single_supp | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}

Contact us to arrange an alternative departure for you

Book {{departure.places_left}} spaces left! space left!

If you can’t find the dates you’re after here, click on the button below to find options for the next season. Please bear in mind that some of our itineraries can change from year to year, so this trip may differ slightly next season to the information shown on this page.

Next Season Dates

Important notes

A DISCOUNT OF 10% APPLIES ON THIS TRIP TO CHILDREN UNDER 15 YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF TRAVEL.

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.


Alcohol
Morocco is a Muslim country therefore alcohol is not readily available, particularly during Ramadan.

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

Reviews

Our Sahara Family Holiday trips score an average of 4.63 out of 5 based on 8 reviews in the last year.

Sahara Family Holiday , April 2016

Sahara Family Holiday , March 2016