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Morocco might make you think of big markets and bigger deserts, but there's so much more to this exciting country in north-western Africa. Take an eight-day adventure to some of Morocco's most colourful places, passing some awesome beaches along the way. Taghazout is a magnet for Moroccan chillers thanks to some A-grade Atlantic surf and other seaside towns like Essaouira are made for kicking back and soaking up some cultural vibes. Country living out by the Atlas Mountains can't be beat either - the people are nice, the views are pretty and you're not gonna find food this good in a restaurant. Take the time to check out some of Morocco's best secrets, from the mountains to the beaches.
Day 1: Marrakech
Salaam Alaikum! Welcome to Morocco. This adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at around 6 pm. After meeting your fellow travellers and the group leader, why not get to know each other while exploring the city’s main square – Djemaa el-Fna – or get lost exploring the city’s spice souqs or bazaars. For dinner, load up on some delicious street food. The eggplant fritters are super addictive and the barbeque smells around the city will be sure to make you hungry.
Day 2: Aroumd
Wake up in the morning and catch a private bus towards Imlil, high in the Atlas Mountains. Calling dibs on a window seat would be a smart move – the 2-hour drive has got some great scenery to keep you occupied on the way. Arrive at Imlil, a little village that sits at the foot of North Africa’s highest peak, and then lace-up for a scenic 1-hour trek to the mountain village of Aroumd. Tonight’s stay is in a family-run gite (mountain home) in the village. The Berbers are famous for their hospitality, so make the most of this opportunity to sit down, break bread with the family and learn about their culture. Facilities at the homestay are shared (both the bathroom and sleeping arrangements) but they’re cosy, comfortable and offer an experience that is so much more memorable than a hotel.
Day 3: Taghazout
Today you’ll hit up some of Morocco’s best swimming spots so make sure you have your swimsuit ready. First stop is the appropriately named Paradise Valley, full of gorgeous waterholes and canyons. You’ll have time to explore the rocky landscapes dotted with palms, and take a dip in one of the pools cascading through the canyons and ridges. Afterwards, roll on to Taghazout. This scruffy little roadside village might not look like it at first, but it’s quickly gained a solid reputation as an awesome surfing location. The waters stay warm all year round and the surf is top notch for both rookies and adept wave riders.
Day 4: Taghazout
Kick off your adventures in the sleepy town of Taghazout with an early morning yoga session, helping you relieve any tension before diving into the water later in the day. Oddly enough, the skills required for both surfing and yoga complement each other through the principles of concentration, flexibility and balance. Good news if you were planning on hitting the waves! Don’t know how to ride a board? No stress. Today includes a half-day surfing course to teach you the basics, and if you already know the ropes, there’s always time to refine your skills in unfamiliar territory.
Day 5: Essaouira
You’ve got a free morning in Taghazout, so why not get up early and watch the sunrise, then take an optional yoga class or rent out a surfboard and hit the waves? Later, travel to the old fishing town of Essaouira, a place where the medina brushes up against the Atlantic Ocean. Its name translates to ‘little picture’, and you’ll be definitely taking many around the place. This artists’ town has attracted visitors like Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix who (according to local legend) spent a lot of time here in the 1960s. Join your local leader for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port and by the skala (sea wall). Spend the night in a restored riad: a traditional nobleman's house unique to Morocco. The riad is beautifully designed and decorated in traditional Moroccan style; cosy yet historical. It’s definitely one of the more stylish stays of your Moroccan adventure.
Day 6: Essaouira
Yesterday’s walking tour should have you well up to scratch with the ins and outs of Essaouira, so go crazy! Get exploring. Have a traditional Moroccan breakfast, and maybe wander to the harbour and its adjacent fish markets (you’ll have to get up early if you want to see the daily catch being auctioned off). There’s also an opportunity to head back to the markets for a fresh seafood lunch. You might like to check out the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum for a look at its collection of artefacts, woodwork, carpets and stringed instruments. If you feel like something more active, why not go on an optional horse ride along the sandy beaches of Atlantic Ocean?
Day 7: Marrakech
Chat with locals on a shared bus ride back to Marrakech (approximately 3 hours). Once the bus arrives back in the city, enjoy some time to explore, and later on, tuck in for an awesome included dinner experience at the famous Djemaa el-Fna. This square is known as one of the largest public spaces in the world – it’s truly an unmissable part of the city. As soon as the sun sets, the square comes to life with henna-painters, performers and storytellers sharing the space with street food stands. The smells of the stalls will lure you in and the tastes will keep you coming back for more. There’s all sorts of excellent pastries, fresh juices, teas and even bowls of snail soup to go round if you’re feeling a little adventurous! As the evening closes in, enjoy the company of your new friends over some of these delicious snacks as you overlook the bustling hub.
Day 8: Marrakech
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave your accommodation at any time. Check-out time is usually around midday. This doesn’t mean your Moroccan adventure has to come to an end! There are a range of in-depth Urban Adventure tours that may take your fancy, and continue your exploration of this engaging country. See urbanadventures.com/destination/Marrakech-tours for more information. If you wish to spend more time in Marrakech, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
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The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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