Customize Your Own Morocco Adventure Holiday
Morocco's Great Escape Tour is the perfect experiential adventure holiday for Families and Active Travelers. Customize your own Marrakech Express Adventure. Wander through magical Palaces, Andalusian Gardens & Zipline Across the Atlas. Windsurf at the Kasbahs,
Venture on a Hot Air Balloon Ride. Trek the Desert Dunes and Climb Mount Toubkal.
DAY 1: MARRAKESH ARRIVAL
- Arrive in Marrakesh and transfer to your riad. Explore Djemaa El Fna Square at sunset. Enjoy a food tasting at the many stalls that serve up a range exotic eats.
- Dinner Recommendations: La Maison Arabe, Le Tobsil, Dar Moha or La Trattoria, or Cafe de La Post
- Spend the night at a charming riad in the Marrakesh medina with majestic views of the High Atlas.
DAY 2: MARRAKESH GUIDED HISTORICAL TOUR
- Breakfast at your riad.
- Visit the Majorelle Gardens. The Majorelle Gardens, previously the Jardin Bou Saf, bears its name from its original creator, Jacques Majorelle, the French expatriate artist who was born in Nancy, France in 1886. Jacques Majorelle was the son of the celebrated Art Nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle. In 1947 he opened his gardens to the public and during this time also painted a magnificent ceiling space at La Mamounia, a five-star hotel with gardens. Jacques Majorelle studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nancy in 1901 and later, in 1919, he went to Marrakesh to recover from heart problems. He built the garden during those years using a special color of blue extensively in the garden that is now named after him, Majorelle Blue. Jacques Majorelle returned to France in 1962 after a car accident and died later that year of complications from his injuries. As a collector of unique plants from five continents Jacque Majorelle left Yves Saint Laurent one of the more unique collections of flora and fauna of this era, as well as a place of inspiration and contemplation. Even though Morocco is no longer under the French protectorate, this originally French creation is one of the most beloved areas in Morocco.
- Visit the Saadian Tombs. The Saadian tombs in Marrakesh date from the time of the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur. The tombs were only recently discovered in 1917 and were restored by the Beaux-Arts service. The mausoleum comprises the tombs of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty that originated in the the Draa Valley.
- Visit the Jewish Mellah. Founded in 1558 by Moulay Abdallah, the Mellah district was designated as the Jewish quarter in Marrakesh. At the time of the Spanish religious wars, Jewish refugees escaped the country and were offered this little piece of security by the Sultan.
- Visit the Old Spice Market, Rahba Kedima. A colorful market filled with a wide array of fresh spices such as cumin, cinnamon, saffron, dried pepper, and more.
- Dinner Recommendations: La Maison Arabe, Le Tobsil, Dar Moha, La Trattoria, or Cafe de la Poste.
- Spend the night at a charming Riad in the Marrakesh Medina with majestic views of the High Atlas.
DAY 3: COOKING CLASS - FREE EXPLORATION
- Breakfast at your riad.
- Mid-morning to mid-afternoon Moroccan Cooking Class. These workshops are conducted by a dada, a traditional Moroccan cook, or a chef from a Moroccan restaurant, and are held at the hotel. Small groups of maximum 10 participants work alongside a translator, using modern equipment found in everyday kitchens. At a typical half-day workshop, one learns to prepare an appetizer and a main dish, or a main dish and dessert.
- Dine on the lunch you have prepared.
- Option to add Moroccan wine pairings.
- Visit a communal bread oven and spice market.
- After the workshop, enjoy some free time to wander. Visit the Marrakesh Palmerie Garden & Art Gallery created by Abderrazak Benchabbine. Benchabbine is a Marrakesh legend, a quiet and soft-spoken garden designer, ethnobotanist, perfumer, teacher, photographer, writer, and publisher, he is currently a Botany and Ecology professor at the University of Marrakesh. The cactus garden was planted 10 years ago with 40 kinds of cactus from Morocco, South Africa, the United States, South America, and Mexico. All the locally grown cactus came from his mentor, a German engineer of Agriculture here in Morocco. The Palmerie Museum has one of Morocco’s most stunning contemporary art collections by Moroccan artists all set within the lush gardens.
- Dinner Recommendations: La Maison Arabe, Le Tobsil, Dar Moha, La Trattoria, or Cafe de la Poste.
- Spend the night at a charming riad in the Marrakesh Medina with majestic views of the High Atlas.
DAY 4: CANYON ACROSS THE OURIKA VALLEY OR HIKE THE HIGH ATLAS OF MOUNT TOUBKAL
- Breakfast at your Riad.
- Journey to the Ourika Valley.
- A popular trip for all ages, canyoning in Morocco’s Ourika Valley near Marrakesh is an adventurous activity for thrill-seekers. Canyoning involves descending deep mountain gorges and canyons safely with ropes and harnesses. Canyons can be dry or wet, depending on the season and weather conditions. Canyoning is an exciting way to see the natural wonders of Morocco up close.
- This trip is not for those with a fear of heights as you will be abseiling over spectacular waterfalls, scrambling over rocks, and wading through pools of water. This is truly an adventure activity for the athletic nature-lover. Most canyon tours are half-day and suitable for those 10-years and older in reasonable fitness.
- Transport from Marrakesh and back are included.
- We supply professional and experienced guides, plus all ropes, harnesses, hardware, wetsuits in the winter, and splash jackets.
- You bring a head for heights, sturdy sensible footwear, swimsuit or shorts, and a change of clothing as you will get wet.
- Lunch in Ourika at a charming guest house. Explore the Ourika Valley and then return to Marrakesh.
- Dinner Recommendations: La Maison Arabe, Le Tobsil, Dar Moha, La Trattoria, or Cafe de la Post.
- Spend the night at a charming Rrad in the Marrakesh Medina with majestic views of the High Atlas.
DAY 5: MARRAKESH SUNRISE BY HOT AIR BALLOON OVER THE HIGH ATLAS - TIZI N'TICHKA PASS - TELOUET - OUARZAZATE
- Early morning departure from your riad.
- See Marrakesh from the air during a sunrise hot air balloon excursion. The hour-long balloon flight will drift you along the High Atlas Mountains.
- Ride across the land in a 4×4 Land Rover through local villages to Berber tents awaiting your arrival.
- Enjoy a traditional Moroccan breakfast in a Berber tent with views across the High Atlas Mountains.
- Visit a local berber house and family to experience the traditional Moroccan Berber lifestyle.
- Take the road to Ouarzazate. Located just four hours from Marrakesh, Ouarzazate is the main Berber city in the south known for spectacular sunsets and dramatic mountain and desert scenery.
- En route you will go by piste to visit Kasbah Telout, one of Morocco’s hidden jewels and a famous kasbah that is the ancestral home of the Pacha Glaoui Family. Kasbah Telout is hidden on a tiny road in a small village that is 20 minutes outside of Tichka. The original zellij tile, masterful design, and collection of authentic preserved silks are grand remnants of the Glaoui family. Although Kasbah Telout appears to be in ruins on the exterior, its interior is one of true splendor.
- En route stop for lunch and visit the Argan Cooperative where argan oil, argan butter, and argan cosmetics are made by hand from argan nuts. Berber women crack the nuts and the grind them one by one. Enjoy a complimentary tasting. This cooperative is run entirely by women.
- Visit Ait Benhaddou. 32 km from Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Jesus of Nazareth were filmed here. In recent years, controlled restoration has been carried out under the auspices of UNESCO. Ait Benhaddou once served as the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh. Most of the town’s inhabitants live in a more modern village on the other side of the river, however ten families still live within the old ksar.
- After visiting Ait Benhaddou, continue the road to your riad in Ouarzazate.
- Dine and spend the night in Ouarzazate at a charming riad with views of the Atlas and ancient kasbahs.
DAY 6: OUARZAZATE - VALLEY OF ROSES - BOU THARAR VALLEY OF NOMADS - BOUMALNE DADES VALLEY & GORGE
- Breakfast at your riad. Take the road to visit the Valley of Roses.
- The perfumed Valley of Roses, just north of El Kelaa Des Mgouna is a pleasant journey on the road to Ouarzazate. You will stop for a tour of the Capp et Florale distillation factories laid out in the small kasbah town that manufactures the entire nation’s production of rose water (eau de rose). Rose water and other products such as hand and body soaps, oil, crème perfume, and dried roses are for sale and are also popular gifts among Moroccans. Ten tons of petals are required to produce a few liters of precious rose oil and the harvest is a labor of love. The culminating festivities of the annual Rose Festival are a lively time of year to visit.
- The breathtaking Valley of Nomads located in Bou Tharar is a beautiful valley where nomads live in caves that are surrounded by Mount Mgoun. Mount Mgoun is the second highest mountain in Morocco and boasts extraordinary views of the rust colored, earthy scenery. Have tea with a nomadic family. See how they make their own carpets and co-exist in Bou Tharar with other nomadic families.
- Visit the Dades Valley. The Dades Valley covers 125 km between the Todra Gorge and Ouarzazate. The Dades Valley boasts limestone cliffs with uniquely shaped erosions and superb scenery along the valley’s piste. Driving along you will pass flower-filled fields, fertile agricultural fields, riverbanks, and several fortified ksours. At the bottom of Gorge of Boulmane Dades there are ruined hilltop kasbahs and valley floor gardens.
- Lunch will be served at a nearby guesthouse that offers local Moroccan fare and a panoramic view. Relax and sip mint tea while gazing at the impressive valley view. Continue your discovery of the Dades Valley and Gorge after lunch.
- Dine and spend the night at a riad in the Dades Valley.
DAY 7: DADES VALLEY - TINERHIR - ERFOUD- RISSANI - MERZOUGA
- Breakfast at your riad. Then take the road to Merzouga. En route to Merzouga, pass the Skoura palmerie of 1000 Kasbahs, the famous Amerdihl Kasbah, and the perfumed Valley of Roses. Visit the Sahara Desert towns of Rissani, home to the Moulay Ali Cherif Mausoleum, and Erfoud, capital of fossils with beautiful ksars.
- Take the road to Erfoud. Visit the Royal Palace gate. Enjoy the panoramic view from the top of the Borj-Est that rises 935 m (3067 ft) above the city. Tour the fossil sites in Carriere des Fossiles and the Maadid Ksar.
- Continue the road to Rissani, a desert town from the ancient Alawi Dynasty and the birthplace of King Mohammed VI, the current King of Morocco. Visit the old Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, the first King of the Alawi Dynasty. Next, visit Maison Touareg, a Tuareg house demonstrating Tuareg culture.
- Visit Khemlia, a village with Sudanese Gnaoua Musicians that is known for its century old trance and traditional Moroccan music. See a live performance of Gnaoua music and learn about their tradition, instruments and their native village.
- Arrive in Merzouga’s Sahara Desert, then go by 4×4 to Morocco Traveler’s private, luxury bivouac. Welcome with Moroccan mint tea, dates, and almonds. Camel trek across the dunes with your Taureg guide and return to your luxury Merzouga camp. The tented camp consists of separate large bedroom tents and a festive restaurant tent. Spend a memorable night under the stars after a sunset camel ride and a dinner next to the fire. Enjoy live music by a local folkloric band. Our isolated luxury Sahara desert camp is extremely private and isolated from other camps in Erg Chebbi.
- Spend the night in you private luxury bivouac in the Sahara Desert.
DAY 8: MERZOUGA - ALNIF - N’KOB
- Rise, have breakfast, and take a sunrise trek back to Merzouga. Take the road to explore Merzouga’s desert scenery by piste. View flora and fauna that is unique to the Sahara.
- Then take the road to the village of Ait Ouzzine, a Berber village inhabited by over 300 families who live in beautifully painted crenelated kasbahs and tend to their henna fields, water wells, livestock, and gardens. This peaceful village is tucked away along an impressive desert route connecting the Draa Valley, Tansikht, and Rissani.
- Meet a local Berber family and partake in a cooking lesson on traditional bread and tajines.
- Explore and tour the village. Walk in the green fields and see how traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, livestock, and henna plants.
- Lunch will be served to you in Ait Ouzzine by a traditional Berber family. The menu will include a traditional meal of fresh baked bread with spices, a chicken and vegetable tajine (tagine), and fresh local fruits for desert.
- After lunch, have your hands and feet painted with henna, or have your hair adorned with saffron by a local village artist. Relax. Experience the tradition of Berber perfume made from musk and amber along with the villages own spices.
- End the afternoon in Ait Ouzzine with mint tea and almonds. Take the road through the Draa Valley back to Ouarzazate.
- Dine and spend the night at a Sandcastle Hotel nestled in between the Saghro and Atlas Mountains.
DAY 9: N'KOB - DRAA VALLEY - ROAD OF THE ANCIENT CARAVANS - OUARZAZATE
- Breakfast at your riad. Then, take the road to the Draa Valley and Skoura
- Drive through the magnificent Draa Valley to the Sahara Desert town of Agdz, at the heart of the Draa Valley known for its 45 different types of dates. Stop for a picturesque view in Agdz and its stunning palmerie along with local trade routes famous for bringing dates, spices, and other goods from the South to Marrakesh.
- Lunch at Kasbah Tamnagoult.
- Continue on the road to Ouarzazate.
- End the day with an exploration of Ouarzazate’s antiques, Berber carpet cooperatives, and local artisanal shops where you can find authentic Berber jewelry and pottery.
- Dine and spend the night at a charming Riad in the region of Ait Benhaddou with views of the kasbah and mountains.
DAY 10: OUARZAZATE - TIZI N'TICHKA PASS - MARRAKESH
- Breakfast at your riad. Take the road via the Tizi n’Tichka Pass back to Marrakesh.
- Lunch en route at a local cafe with views of the Tizi n’Tichka Pass.
- Transfer to Menara Airport for departure.