Travel to medinas, mountains, deserts and palmeries

Meet a new travel crew on a solo traveller-only adventure through Morocco, visiting the hotspots from Casablanca to Marrakech. Travel from the Atlas Mountains to the endless sands of the Sahara, the medieval old town of Fes to the spice markets of Marrakech and out to the Atlantic coast at Essaouira. Admire the colourful mix between old and new, learn about ancient fallen cities and cross paths with nomadic Berber communities. You’ll travel and stay the local way, and with a leader to get you straight into the action, discover the many mysteries hidden within these majestic lands.


Start
Casablanca, Morocco
Finish
Marrakech, Morocco
Destination
Morocco
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
STXMSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Under the eye of a local guide during a walking tour, 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 and stay in a traditional Berber homestay to better understand the customs of this nomadic community.

  • What could be more ‘Morocco’ than a Sahara camping experience? A camel trek through the dramatic red dunes at sunset as well, of course.

  • Kick back in the coastal town of Essaouira, perhaps enjoying a fresh seafood barbecue on the waterfront and strolling the charming seaside laneways.

  • Take a guided tour through Marrakech's lively medina and join the nightly carnival of fortune-tellers, dancers and medicine men at Djemaa el-Fna in the heart of the city.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is for solo travellers only, made for those who wish to explore with other solo travellers.

  • When travelling in Morocco, temperatures can get extremely hot. Have a think about what time of year suits you best to travel.

  • This trip has departures that run during Ramadan. During this time, some restaurants and shops are closed, but you'll get unique insight into local customs. See Important Notes for more details.

  • Accommodation on this trip includes a Sahara camp, traditional mountain gite, guesthouse and hotel, some with basic facilities.

  • For more details on specific logistical information for this trip, see the Important Notes and Essential Trip Information sections located below the trip itinerary.

Itinerary

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at around 6 pm. As there's little free time included in Casablanca on this trip, why not arrive a day earlier and discover the art deco buildings and modern-day masterpiece of the Hassan II Mosque. You could wander the old medina and the city walls then jump in a taxi to visit the Quartiers des Habous (new medina). Finish the day with a walk along the Corniche, watching the locals play football on the beach, or take it easy with a glass of sweet mint tea in one of the many great cafes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Casablanca - Jewish Museum - MAD50
  • Casablanca - Villa des Arts Gallery & Museum - Free
  • Casablanca - Guided Tour of Hassan II Mosque - MAD130
  • Casablanca - Religious Casablanca Urban Adventure - MAD1206
  • Casablanca - The Medina and Beyond Urban Adventure - MAD948
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. 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).

Please note that some travellers are being approached by locals in Casablanca offering excursions before their Intrepid trip commences. This has been particularly prevalent in and around your joining point hotel. 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.
This morning take a 1-hour train to Rabat. The town's history is long and colourful, including Roman settlements, pirates and, more recently, the Moroccan parliament. Store your luggage at your accommodation, then head out for a walking tour of the city's Old Quarter and the Kasbah des Oudaias. Catch your breath and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean from this prime spot. Next, board another train for the 3-hour journey to Meknes. After getting settled into your hotel the rest of your evening is free. The imperial city of Meknes was built when Sultan Moulay Ismail (a contemporary of Louis XIV) set out to create his own version of Versailles, using over 25,000 slaves to construct walls, gates and over 50 palaces.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rabat - Leader-led walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, there's free time for you to explore Meknes independently. Your leader can give you advice on where to grab lunch or explore. Later, board a private vehicle and make the 1-hour drive through rolling hills and olive groves to the World Heritage-listed archaeological site of Volubilis. On arrival, take a guided tour around the ruins of the Roman capital. Afterwards, make the 2-hour drive to Fes, where you'll spend the next two nights soaking up this vibrant, noisy and fascinating city. On arrival in Fes, the rest of your time is free. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Volubilis - Entrance and Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
The Volubilis ruins are exposed to the elements. Please remember to pack drinking water and sun protection for this tour as it may get hot and you will be in full sun.
Begin exploring Fes today with a guided 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 and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Visit the Belghazi Museum, Medresse el Attarine and 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, choose whether you would like to partake in an optional group dinner of Moroccan specialities. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fes - Medina guided walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
You will have the chance to shop at the medina today in pre-selected places. Intrepid has established a centralised system of receiving and distributing payments from these suppliers – a commission system ingrained in Morocco’s tourism industry. Your group leader can help explain the intricacies of this sytem. If you are not interested in these shopping experiences, let your leader know beforehand and you will have the option of enjoying free time and meeting your group later at your hotel.

Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes today as you will be on your feet for most of it.
Board a private vehicle and leave the city behind for Midelt in the scenic Middle Atlas Mountains (approximately 4 hours). Drive south through a variety of spectacular landscapes including fertile valleys, cedar and pine forests and barren, rocky landscapes. Nestled in a valley, Midelt is a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area and surrounded by farmland and orchards. On arrival, stretch your legs with a visit to the nearby village of Berrem and take a closer look at local farming life.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Walk and visit of Berrem village
Optional Activities
  • Midelt - Folklore Musical Performance - MAD600
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning make a 5-hour drive towards the mighty Sahara Desert, with stops en route to admire views of Kasbahs and palmeries. Pass by frontier towns like Erfoud and Rissani before reaching the end of the road at the small Saharan settlement of Merzouga. Drop off your luggage at your overnight camp on the edge of the desert and mount a camel for a 1-hour sunset ride into the dunes. Spend the night in a camp under the stars, sitting back and relaxing while our local friends prepare your small group a hearty feast.
Accommodation
  • Camp site (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
If you'd prefer not to ride a camel it is possible to walk alongside the caravan on the sand.
This morning you can choose to wake up early and take a walk up a nearby dune for a spectacular sunrise over the desert. Return to camp for a traditional breakfast and then make the 5-hour drive to Todra Gorge. On the way, visit the oasis museum of El Khorbat. Arrive at your accomoodation in the late afternoon or early evening. The rest of your night is free for you to take in the epic scenery – sprawling green valleys and rocks sculpted into stunning formations by the wind – where you will be based for the next few nights. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tinejdad - Museum El Khorbat
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you have have free time to explore the Todra Valley, which you can do at your own pace or on a guided hike. There are a couple of circuits to choose from, but the most popular choice is a ten-kilometre circuit that takes about 4 hours and travels through Amazigh (Berber) villages for a chance to meet locals. For lunch, choose whether you would like to join some local ladies in their mud-brick kasbah – a great opportunity to see local lives in action. Otherwise, lounging by the hotel pool with views over the palmeries and cliff faces is also a good option.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Todra Gorge - Full day hike - MAD250
  • Todra Gorge - Lunch in a mudbrick kasbah - MAD70
  • Todra Gorge - Henna Tattooing - MAD50
  • Todra Gorge - Hamam (Public Baths) - MAD100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
We think the optional guided walk around Todra Gorge listed above is probably the best way to get an insight into the local area. It requires a moderate level of fitness, takes place over rocky terrain and has a steady incline, especially at the start. Going back down may be slippery, especially after a rainy day. If you plan to take part, please be prepared with good walking shoes or boots and plenty of water.
Travel south today on a 4-hour drive to Ait Benhaddou, travelling past ancient kasbah ruins, former colonial military outposts and valleys lined with palm trees. Grab lunch en route in Ouarzazate – a popular filming location. Time permitting, you can take a tour of the local Atlas Movie Studios before you continue to Ait Benhaddou. Centuries ago this was an important stop for caravans carrying salt across the Sahara. Today its grand kasbah – a fine example of clay architecture – has been listed as a World Heritage site. Your time is free on arrival, but you might want to attend an optional cooking demonstration in the afternoon to learn the secrets behind Moroccan specialities like couscous and tagine.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ouarazate - Atlas Movie Studios - MAD80
  • Ouarzazate - Kasbah Taourirt - MAD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Travel by private vehicle over the spectacular Tizi n'Tichka Pass to Toubkal National Park (approximately 5 hours). At the end of the road in Imlil, store your main luggage and load a daypack onto a pack mule. Walk into traditional mountain village life with a 1-hour trek to the peaceful village of Aroumd. If you don't feel comfortable with the walk, you can ride a mule instead. 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 Amazigh (Berber) culture. Spend the night in a family-run mountain gite. Surrounded by the smell of woodstoves and bread, meet the host family and enjoy some traditional hospitality and food.
Accommodation
  • Gite (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Aroumd - Mule Ride from Imlil to Aroumd - MAD80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
The walk from Imlil to Aroumd and further to the Sidi Chamharouch shrine requires a pair of good walking shoes. You will walk over well-trodden paths that may be muddy, rocky and unstable in places. Your main luggage will be left behind and only hand luggage can be carried to the village for you.

Facilities at the homestay are shared (both the bathroom and sleeping arrangements) but comfortable.
Take a morning walk through the valleys and trails of the stunning Atlas Mountains. Afterwards, head to the Atlantic coast and the old fishing town of Essaouira (approximately 5 hours). Sandstone walkways contrast with whitewashed houses, bright blue sky and the sand of the surrounding beaches and dunes. It is one of North Africa's most attractive places, and you will soon find yourself slipping into the easy-going rhythm of this Moroccan town with a European seaside twist. Arriv your leisure. Your leader will guide you through some options for the rest of the day, such as observing a daily catch and seafood auctions or just to sit back and relax at a seaside cafe. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Atlas Mountains - Half-day hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
It may not be possible to head on an Atlas Mountains hike in poor weather.
Today, join a local guide for a walking tour through Essaouira’s old medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall). The rest of your day is free for you to explore at your own pace. Maybe head back to the port for a freshly cooked plate of today’s catch. Or you could browse the shops and art galleries that give this town its charm. If you’d prefer to relax, perhapsd indulge in a hammam.
Accommodation
  • Riad (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Essaouira - Guided walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Essaouira - Hamam (public baths) - MAD200
  • Essaouira - Berber Massage - MAD350
  • Essaouira - Horse Riding - MAD250
  • Essaouira - Seafood Market Lunch - MAD80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Chat with locals on a public bus ride to Marrakech (approximately 3 hours) this morning. On arrival in the city, the afternoon is free. Meet with your group this evening for dinner at the famous Djemaa el-Fna – one of the world’s largest public spaces. When night falls on this square it transforms into a hive of activity. Henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies! 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Marrakech - Dinner on Djemaa el Fna
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy a free day in Marrakech to explore at your own pace. You could check out the Medina for some last-minute shopping. Or maybe you'd rather see the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle. Your leader knows all of the highlights, so be sure to ask of their favourites. Tonight, consider venturing back to Djemaa el-Fna to dine at one of the outdoor restaurants or search for a rooftop bar for a fascinating view over the square.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Marrakech - Marjorelle Gardens - MAD70
  • Marrakech - Palais Bahia - MAD70
  • Marrakech - Palais Badi - MAD70
  • Marrakech - Saadian Tombs - MAD70
  • Marrakech - Medersa Ben Youssef - MAD40
  • Marrakech - Museum of Marrakech - MAD40
  • Marrakech - Tajine Cookery Class Urban Adventure - MAD640
  • Marrakech - Luxury Spa Hammam & Massage - MAD750
  • Marrakech - Heart of the Atlas Mountains Cycling Day Tour - MAD2000
  • Marrakech - Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour - MAD350
  • Marrakech - Quad Biking Barrage Lalla Takerkoust - MAD1650
  • Marrakech - Palmery Cycling Tour - MAD350
  • Marrakech - Asni & Ouirgane Day Trip with Lunch - MAD1806
  • Marrakech - Oukaimeden Day Tour - MAD1882
  • Marrakech - Ourika Valley Day Tour - MAD1817
  • Marrakech - Hot Air Ballooning - MAD2050
  • Marrakech - Cascades d'Ouzoud Day Tour - MAD2207
  • Marrakech - Quad Biking the Rock Desert & Palmgrove - MAD715
  • Marrakech - Medina, Palaces & Tombs Urban Adventure - MAD630
  • Marrakech - A Taste Of Marrakech: Inside the Medina Urban Adventure - MAD605
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for today and your tour comes to an end after breakfast. If you would like to spend more time in Marrakech, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability). Chat to a booking agent.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Camel, Private Bus, Public bus, Taxi, Train

Accommodation

Camp site (1 night), Gite (1 night), Guesthouse (2 nights), Hotel (10 nights)

Included activities

  • Rabat - Leader-led walking tour
  • Volubilis - Entrance and Guided Tour
  • Fes - Medina guided walking tour
  • Walk and visit of Berrem village
  • Tinejdad - Museum El Khorbat
  • Atlas Mountains - Half-day hike
  • Essaouira - Guided walking tour
  • Marrakech - Dinner on Djemaa el Fna

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the single supplement does not include Days 6 & 10, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case, you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender. If a single room becomes available for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night. There is a limited number of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability, please contact an Intrepid booking agent.

RAMADAN
In 2020, Ramadan will take place from 23 April through until 22 May. 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.

COMMISSION
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. 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, and funds 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 endeavours 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.

DESERT CAMP
Due to environmental concerns and to improve safety and consistent quality of desert camp experiences, in early 2019 the Moroccan government restricted overnight camping inside the Erg Chebbi dunes. This means that groups on this trip are no longer able to camp overnight inside the dunes and the desert experience will now operate at the edge of the desert, close to the local accommodation, otherwise called an auberge. After checking in to your camp, set off for a camel ride into the dunes and loop back to your camp at the edge of a desert. The camp set up is identical with the one used inside the dunes – you will be sleeping in Nomadic tents; local food will be served, and you will have an option to dine outside. You will also be free to climb nearby dunes for a sunset or sunrise the next morning.

While we are disappointed at the timing of the decision and that this has meant changes to our original program, as a responsible tour operator, we support the rationale of reducing the environmental impact of our stay in at the Erg Chebbi dunes and improving safety for all travellers who visit this part of Morocco.

Essential trip information

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