Uncover the heart of Morocco on journey from Casablanca to Marrakech, through roman ruins, Berber villages and across the dunes of the Sahara.

Morocco is an intoxicating fusion of cultures, with a history as diverse and varied as the colours woven into each carpet sold on the street. Uncover the essence of this enticing country on a two-week adventure through ancient cities, medieval bazaars and high mountain villages. Admire the impressive Roman ruins of Volubilis, go behind the scenes of a film makers heaven in Ait Benhaddou, discover the dramatic red dunes of the Sahara Desert and stroll through the blue streets of Chefchaouen. Journey into Morocco’s heart through its food, religion, language and culture to better understand this exciting nation and passionate people.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Casablanca, Morocco
Finish
Marrakech, Morocco
Destination
Morocco
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
XMKC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Visit the grand Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca, one of the most impressive temples in Morocco, before exploring the sights of the country's first imperial city of Meknes.

  • Feel like you've travelled back to the Middle Ages in the labyrinthine medina of Fes, under the eye of a local tour guide.

  • Go behind the scenes of Game of Thrones and Gladiator in Ait Benhaddou. This fortified red city was once an important stop on the caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech – now it's a film-maker's heaven.

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

  • Stay in a traditional Berber homestay to understand the culture and tradition of an indigenous population who have stood the test of time.

  • Discover the dramatic red dunes of the Sahara Desert and spend the night camping under North African stars.

  • Admire Morocco’s changing landscapes from the comfortable seat of a private, air-conditioned minivan.

Is this trip right for you?

  • If you wish to spend more time in Casablanca or Marrakech, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

  • This trip includes a full day tour around the Medina of Fes on Day 4. You will be walking and on your feet for at least 5 to 6 hours, this is one of the highlights of Morocco and well worth any weariness at the end of the long day.

  • On Day 7, the group will take a camel trek through the Sahara. You will set off from your camp on the edge of a desert and loop back. This is a great way to experience the desert, but if you'd prefer, it's possible to walk alongside the caravan on the sand for about 1 hour.

  • On Day 9 you'll visit M’Goun Valley and Todra Gorge. This remote area of Morocco is an amazing place to discover on foot, but to do so you'll need a moderate level of fitness and have the relevant footwear and clothing with you. Don’t worry if trekking isn’t really your thing, there are other activities to do in the valley.

  • 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 carefully what time of year you travel. If you do travel in the warmer months, pack layers to cover you from the sun, bring the necessary sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • In 2020, Ramadan will take place from 23 April to 22 May. This is a great time to visit Morocco due to fewer crowds, however it may cause some disturbance to your travel schedule. 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 trip leader and the tipping section of our Essential Trip Information will help to provide you with some suggestions as to what amounts are appropriate.

  • 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.

  • We've 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 differ to western standards.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Salaam Alaikum! Welcome to Morocco, both wealth and poverty line the streets of Casablanca, so it is a great place to acclimatise to the culture shock. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6pm, if you arrive with time to spare, then perhaps visit the art deco Villa des Arts, this gorgeous gallery dates back to the 1930s and holds numerous exhibitions of contemporary Moroccan and international art. If you are looking for a different type of cultural experience, then you can discover a unique and fascinating part of Moroccan history at the Museum of Judaism.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • Villa des Arts - art gallery & museum - Free
  • Jewish Museum - MAD50
  • The Medina and Beyond Urban Adventures Tour - MAD948
  • Religious Casablanca Urban Adventures Tour - MAD1206
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 details and next of kin information 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.

An airport arrival transfer is included, although this transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at least 15 days prior to travel.

Please be aware that some of our travellers to Casablanca are being approached by locals offering excursions before their Intrepid trip commences. This has been particularly prevalent in and around the hotels used by Intrepid. These guides are in no way connected to Intrepid Travel and we cannot guarantee the safety or quality standards of their tours. We strongly advise customers against joining any tour offered by unauthorised
After breakfast today, Casablanca beckons. Take a 45-minute guided tour of the Hassan II Mosque and understand why this is considered the ‘diamond’ of the city. Completed in 1993, this architectural masterpiece has a retractable roof, heated glass floors which look over the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the most impressive religious monuments in the world. Hassan II Mosque can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and is one of the only religious sites open to non-Muslims. Next, it's about a 1.5-hour drive to the capital of Rabat. Rabat's history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan parliament. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. After a short orientation walk you will have some free time to discover the city. Start your visit with a walk through the Medina and Souks, then explore the lovely walled quarter known as the Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy an included local drink. Afterwards, continue the walk to visit Mohamed the 5th Mausoleum the vast minaret of the Hassan Mosque. In the late afternoon, travel to Meknes (approximately 2 hours), the former capital of Morocco, where you’ll spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Casablanca - Guided Tour of Hassan II Mosque
  • Kasbah Les Oudayas Rabat
  • Kasbah Oudaya local drink
  • Hassan Tower visit
  • Mausoleum Mohammed V visit
  • Mausoleum Hassan II visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today enjoy a morning tour of Meknes and discover the charming streets of the old medina. From the northern gate of Bab Berdaine, walk to the shrine of Moulay Ismail (closed for renovation) – who turned Meknes from a provincial town to an imperial city in the 17th century – then explore the elaborately decorated public buildings hidden in these winding streets, including the granary of Mouly Ismail and the old souk. Next, drive to the nearby archaeological site of Volubilis, the remains of which make an undeniably impressive sight as they come into view on the edge of a long, high plateau. Enjoy a tour of the ancient hilltop ruins with a local guide, and discover the town’s fantastic mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. Afterwards, make the 3-hour drive to Chefchaouen, or the ‘blue city’, which 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 Reconquista, 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 an orientation walk with your leader through the ancient medina and shop for handicrafts, 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.
Accommodation
  • Riad (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
  • Meknes - Guided walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy free morning to further discover Chefchaouen. Take another stroll around the streets and search for your favourite shade of blue. Then perhaps enjoy lunch before boarding our private minibus on a long journey to Fes (approximately 4 hours) for the night. The living museum of Fes has disputable origins, some believe its origins come from ancient Greece, other claim it comes from the Balkans. Nevertheless, the city is a best example of medieval Arab world, and you are soon to find out more of its past and modern times. After checking in your hotel in late afternoon, perhaps enjoy a memorable dinner of one of the city’s signature dishes, the salty and sweet pastille.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you will discover the city of Fes, the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco – vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses. Head into the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali, arguably the world's most fascinating and confounding old city. Medieval Fes was one of the world's great centres of education and culture, both Islamic and Jewish. Its religious institutions and libraries are legendary, its mosques of great renown. Walk through the twisting streets and alleyways, passing donkeys piled high with goods, and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Filled with historic khans, medressen and dye pits, stalls loaded with fruits, herbs and soups, and where the squawk of chickens, smell of spice and sound of hammering of copper fills the air, it’s not hard to imagine yourself back in the Middle Ages. Spend the day exploring the old city, visiting Medersa el Attarine, the tanneries and the splendid Fondouk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon and perhaps spend the evening relaxing in this calming oasis, away from the buzz of the medina.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fondouk Nejjarine
  • Medersa Attarine Entrance - Fes
  • Fes - Guided walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
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. If you are not interested in shopping experience, you need to advise your tour leader about it beforehand. It is possible for you to have a free time during the tour, however, it will be impossible to set a meeting point inside the medina due to the fact it is so complicated to navigate. If you decide to leave the group you will only be able to meet back with them in your hotel in Fes.
Today, leave the intensity of the city behind for the simplicity of the High Atlas Mountains. Drive south, inland through a variety of spectacular scenery – fertile valleys, cedar and pine forests and barren, rocky landscapes – to the small town of Midelt (approximately 3.5 hours). Midelt is a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area and is nestled between the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains at an elevation of just over 1500 metres. It's a perfect spot to break up the journey to the Sahara and is a great base for some easy walks. Many of the locals are Berber, and the town can offer an insight into their way of life. After lunch, stretch your legs for a few hours on an easy hike in the nearby hills. Be prepared for some astonishing views of the Atlas Mountains, with snowy peaks almost touching the sky. Wander through plantations of apple trees on the way back to your accommodation for a relaxing evening, resting up before the Sahara tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning there's little bit of time to relax before hitting the road again. Drive through changing scenery, from barren mountainsides to fertile valleys, on the journey to Merzouga. With a backdrop of the orange-coloured Erg Chebbi sand dunes, the charming Saharan village of Merzouga feels wonderfully isolated, like the modern world has left it behind. The Erg Chebbi dunes are the most stunning in the country and an essential part of any visit to Morocco. An erg is a vast sea of shifting wind-swept sand that's formed into picturesque, undulating crests and valleys. The Erg Chebbi is one of the world's iconic landscapes, with towering dunes up to 150 metres in height. Located at the end of a sealed road and just 20 kilometres from the Algerian border this really feels like frontier country. You will leave your gear at your overnight camp set next to a simple hotel and then ride camels into the edge of the Sahara Desert, enjoying a spectacular sunset along the way. The dunes are stunning, especially as the evening light plays across them and sets off the colours. Tonight you will camp out in traditional style, with the chance to try some fantastic local cuisine while you sit around an open fire, enjoying lively music and dancing under the stars.
Accommodation
  • Desert camp (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Depending on the group size, we will have between 3 and 5 nomadic style tents, 1 dining tent and 1 toilet tent. Once the dining tent is there, most travellers would dine outside, under the stars and sitting around an open fire. Blankets and mattresses are provided, however during the cold winter months from November to March, you may consider bringing your own sleeping bag for extra warmth and comfort. Electricity is very temperamental and relies on rechargeable batteries, therefore it’s better to come prepared with phones, cameras and everything else you may need fully charged. The entire camp is set up by our crew while you relax and enjoy the mighty Sahara desert.
Enjoy a real Lawrence of Arabia moment this morning with yet another camel ride, this time for an unforgettable sunrise across the desert. After breakfast drive to Todra Gorge (approximately 4 hours), a massive trench that rises over 250 metres to form one of the most dramatic and spectacular natural sights in Morocco. The limestone stacks make a perfect area for trekking, and so today you will take a short walk through the sheer cliffs. Continue your journey inland for tonight’s destination, M’goun (approximately 2 hours). You will get closer to the customs and lifestyle of the Berber this evening with the night spent in a traditional Berber house.
Accommodation
  • Gite (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
You have a full day to explore the beauty of this largely untouched Moroccan backcountry. On foot is the best way to discover the natural and man-made landscape and the rural way of life. There are a couple of circuits to choose from, but the most popular choice, and the one we recommend, is a 10-kilometre circuit that will take about 4 hours. Accompanied by a local guide, you’ll walk a trail that undulates slightly here and there, but isn't too challenging if you have a basic level of fitness. On the walk you'll pass Berber villages, meeting local Berbers along the way and perhaps having a chance to share a cup of mint tea with some of them. The surrounding mountains and the famous Rose Valley make a sensational setting.
Accommodation
  • Gite (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided half day trek at M'goun Valley
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Leaving the M'goun Valley today, set off on the fabled ‘Road of 1000 Kasbahs’. The first stop is at Skoura Oasis (after approximately 2 hours), home to several privately owned kasbahs. Here you’ll visit the Kasbah Ameridhl, with its extravagant decorations and mud-brick fortifications before continuing on your journey to Ait Benhaddou (approximately 2 hours). Perched on a hilltop and almost unchanged since the 11th century, Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco's most iconic sites. 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 the old town, making your way to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy the views across the surrounding plains. After heading to your nearby hotel for the night, maybe sit back on the roof top terrace and watch the sun setting over the magical Kasbah.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kasbah Skoura
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you will drive for several hours through the winding roads of the Atlas, bound for Marrakech, an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. There’s no rush as the scenery through the High Atlas Mountain passes is magnificent, and there will surely be calls for several photo stops along the way. After checking in to your hotel, you might like to head to the great square of Jemaa el Fna, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. When night falls it transforms into a hive of activity. Henna painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. Perhaps finish your day with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top restaurants overlooking the square.
Accommodation
  • Riad (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast today, meet your local guide and set off on a morning tour of the old medina, through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. Explore tranquil courtyards filled with the scent of orange blossom, and the many salons and chambers that make up Bahia Palace. This splendid mansion was built in 1866 for a former slave who rose to power within the government. Continue to the Marrakech Museum, itself a former palace, which houses a fine collection of Moroccan art and sculpture. Stop by the Koutoubia Mosque, its famous minaret is the prototype for others of its kind around the world, including La Giralda in Seville. Then walk back through the streets of the old medina to the Jemaa el Fna to enjoy a refreshing glass of fresh orange juice. The rest of the day is free to explore further or shop in the bazaar. Perhaps visit the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle or check out the ruins of the Palais Badi, once one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Otherwise, you might like to head back into the medina, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. Watch skilled artisans perfect their craft, practice your haggling skills or take a break from the hustle to sip on tea or share a tajine, filled with the pure scent of Morocco.
Accommodation
  • Riad (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Marrakech - Guided walking tour
  • Koutoubia Mosque and minaret
  • Palais Bahia visit
  • Fresh orange juice Djemaa el Fna
Optional Activities
  • Marrakech - Marjorelle Gardens - MAD70
  • Palais Badi - MAD70
  • Saadian Tombs - MAD70
  • Medersa Ben Youssef - MAD40
  • Museum of Marrakech - MAD40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned after breakfast so, if you have time, why not immerse yourself in a cooking masterclass with a local guide. Journey through the souks of Marrakech and shop for the best ingredients before learning the insider tricks on how to create a deliciously authentic tagine in a classic riad setting, while getting to know the family that live there. Take home the recipe and recreate your memories of Morocco at the dinner table. To find out more about ‘Tajine Cookery Class’, visit urbanadventures.com.
Optional Activities
  • Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa - MAD750
  • Palmery cycling tour - MAD350
  • Heart of the Atlas Mountains cycling day tour - MAD2000
  • Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour - MAD350
  • Quad biking Barrage Lalla Takerkoust - MAD1650
  • Asni & Ouirgane with lunch - MAD1806
  • Oukaimeden day tour - MAD1882
  • Imlil & Aroumd day tour - MAD1817
  • Hot Air Ballooning - MAD2050
  • Cascades d'Ouzoud day tour - MAD2207
  • Quad Biking the Rock Desert & Palmgrove - MAD715
  • Urban Adventures - Tajine cooking class - MAD640
  • Urban Adventures - A Taste Of Marrakech - MAD605
  • Ourika Valley day tour - MAD1817
  • Essaouira Food & Culture day trip - MAD1554
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

12 breakfasts, 5 dinners

Transport

Private minibus, Camel, Taxi

Accommodation

Desert Camp (1 night), Gite (2 nights), Riad (3 nights), Hotel (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Casablanca - Guided Tour of Hassan II Mosque
  • Kasbah Les Oudayas Rabat
  • Kasbah Oudaya local drink
  • Hassan Tower visit
  • Mausoleum Mohammed V visit
  • Mausoleum Hassan II visit
  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
  • Meknes - Guided walking tour
  • Fondouk Nejjarine
  • Medersa Attarine Entrance - Fes
  • Fes - Guided walking tour
  • Guided half day trek at M'goun Valley
  • Kasbah Skoura
  • Marrakech - Guided walking tour
  • Koutoubia Mosque and minaret
  • Palais Bahia visit
  • Fresh orange juice Djemaa el Fna

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip with the exception of the following nights:
Day 7 - Sahara desert

COMPLIMENTARY ARRIVAL TRANSFER
Complimentary arrival transfer is included on this trip, but please note it has to be pre booked at least 2 weeks prior to your departure. Please advise your exact arrival details; flight number, date and time. We will be unable to provide complimentary transfer without these details.

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

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 as follows:
Your desert camp is set at the edge of the desert, close to the local accommodation, otherwise called an auberge. After checking in to your camp, you will set off for a camel ride in to the dunes and loop back to your camp at the edge of a desert. The camp set up is identical with the one we used inside the dunes; you will be slipping 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 programme, 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 to this part of Morocco.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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 Essential Trip Information

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