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Morocco Family Journey: Ancient Souks to the Sahara

Operator
G Adventures
Days
9
From
USD $1,999
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Dates & Prices

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Land Price
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From
Saturday,
Dec 19, 2020
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Sunday,
Dec 27, 2020
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Mar 20, 2021
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Mar 28, 2021
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From
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Jun 26, 2021
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Jul 04, 2021
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From
Saturday,
Jul 17, 2021
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Jul 25, 2021
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From
Saturday,
Aug 07, 2021
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Aug 15, 2021
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From
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Dec 18, 2021
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Dec 26, 2021
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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Explore a maze of narrow alleys in the walled village of Aït Ben Haddou, learn to cook traditional Moroccan tagine, discover a sea of sand on an expedition into the Sahara, enter a world of color in the medina of Marrakech, experience Morocco’s rich Amazigh (Berber) heritage.

  1. Day 1
    Marrakech
    Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.
    Activity: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.
    Transport: You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to start your adventure.
    Accommodation: Royal Mirage Deluxe Hotel (or similar)
  2. Day 2
    Marrakech/Ouarzazate
    Wind past red slopes and green terraces as we make our way south through the stunning valleys of Morocco's High Atlas Mountains, stopping to enjoy a picnic lunch beside a sparkling river. Arrive in Ouarzazate, known as the "gateway to the Sahara," and step behind the scenes at a film studio to see how the surrounding dunes have starred on the silver screen.
    Activity: Discover the sets of blockbusters from years past at Atlas Film Studios, the largest film studio in the world. Get behind-the-scenes access to the sets and props used in the making of films like Star Wars (1977) and Gladiator (2000) which were filmed here. Wander past jetplanes, through a colosseum, and into a tomb as your guide reveals the scenes that they were used in and how they were built.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Accommodation: Berbere Palace (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  3. Day 3
    Ouarzazate/Merzouga
    Today, travel between jagged peaks and palm oases toward the desert town of Merzouga. Settle into our hotel near the incredible Erg Chebbi, a sweeping sea of dunes formed by wind-blown sand. As the sun sets, savour a traditional Amazigh dinner, then spread a blanket on the sand for an evening of desert stargazing.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Accommodation: Auberge du Sud (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Merzouga
    This morning, hop aboard a 4x4 and ride across the dunes to discover fossils left behind by an ancient sea, and be entranced by Gnaoua musicians in a local village. Return to the hotel for free time to cool off in the pool, or opt to explore the desert in style, riding a camel across the sands as ancient travelers once did. Enjoy a tasty Amazigh dinner, then gather around a glowing bonfire for a storytelling session.
    Free Time: Enjoy some free time this afternoon to explore the area or relax at your hotel. Opt for a camel ride through the dunes.
    Transport: Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle's going, we don't need roads.
    Activity: View the golden dunes of the Sahara desert on a 4x4 excursion. Drive around the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi and take in the view of the seemingly endless sea of sand. Watch the dunes as the colours creep across the landscape and look out for the kohl mine en route to the village of Khamlia. Here you will meet Gnaoua musicians and learn about the history of Gnaoua music in the Sahara. Enjoy a performance by these talented artists. Depart back through the desert region and visit local Amazigh living in the area, learning about their way of life and sharing in some mint tea in one of the homes.
    Accommodation: Auberge du Sud (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Merzouga/Dades Gorge
    Venture into the rugged landscape of the Dades Gorge, a dramatic and colourful valley carved by the waters of the Dades River. Visit a local village for lunch and enjoy a special dish—traditional Amazigh pizza! Wind through the valley on a guided walk as you learn about the amazing geology behind the weird and wonderful rock formations of the Gorge. This evening, enjoy free time to relax at the hotel.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: Make a stop for lunch and indulge in traditional Medfouna, also known as Amazigh pizza. This local delicacy is a tasty combination of flatbread dough filled with meat, onions & spices.
    Activity: Traverse the winding Dades Gorge, taking in the dramatic landscape and rich colours of the mountains all around you. Listen to weird and wonderful facts about the fascinating geology of the area.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Accommodation: Hôtel Xaluca Dades (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  6. Day 6
    Dades Gorge/Aït Ben Haddou
    Drive through the Ounila Valley to the ancient fortified village of Aït Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site where clay houses crowd together in a traditional ksar behind defensive walls. Explore alleyways twisting between historic structures, and stand guard atop the clay brick ramparts, taking in views of the green oasis around this imposing fort. Entertain your taste buds at a hands-on tagine cooking class, followed by a delicious dinner.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site and kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou. Of all the remaining kasbahs in Morocco, the walls and interior of this area are the most intact. The kasbah still houses a few families, but many now live in the adjacent village. Like many of the earthen built fortresses in Ouarzazate, Aït Ben Haddou has been used in many film and television productions like Gladiator, Babel, and Game of Thrones.
    Activity: Learn all about the quintessential Moroccan dish — tagine. Start with an introduction to the tagine itself (a clay pot) and the different ingredients and spices used. Get hands on with the ingredients and then tantalize your taste buds by indulging in your delicious creations for dinner.
    Accommodation: Riad Maktoub (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Aït Ben Haddou/Marrakech
    Journey through the mountains to Marrakech, known as the "red city" for its walls, houses, and many mosques built from red clay. After checking into your hotel and resting up, head to a local henna workshop to have your hands painted in this ancient temporary tattooing art. Then, explore the lively Djemaa el Fna, an ancient marketplace still used as the main square in Marrakech. After, enjoy free time to discover more of Marrakech.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: The Henna Art Café is located in the heart of the Marrakech Medina. Pick your design from a gallery or ask for something unique, then watch as a skilled artist adorns your skin with intricate patterns of all-natural henna. Admire your new body art as you enjoy a cup of tea.
    Activity: Wander past fresh orange juice stalls and water sellers in colourful costumes reminiscent of an era past. See storytellers, magicians, and peddlers of traditional medicines as the day progresses. When the sun sets, the square fills with dozens of food stalls, and is packed with locals, entertaining chefs, and waiters.
    Free Time: Spend free time relaxing at one of the tea houses around the square, indulging in the ubiquitous sweet mint tea, or opt to take a city tour to see more of the city.
    Accommodation: Royal Mirage Deluxe Hotel (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Marrakech
    Wake up as the call to prayer echoes across the city. After breakfast, set out on a guided walk through the narrow, maze-like streets of the medina, lined with colorful shops brimming with rugs, spices, and much more. Spend the rest of the day exploring Marrakech on your own, or opt to explore the Marjorelle Garden. In the evening, gather for a farewell dinner in a traditional riad, a grand house with an elegant interior courtyard.
    Activity: Head into the maze of tiny streets and alleyways of the ancient medina to really get a taste of everyday life in Marrakech. Shop to your heart's content in the souk and search out spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or the famous Moroccan lanterns. Visit the Saadian Tombs - a complex of sepulchers and mausoleums that house the remains of Saadian Sultan Ahmed Al Mansour Ed Dahb. The tombs were sealed off until their re-discovery in 1917. Tour the grounds of the Bahia Palace, marvelling at the intricate decoration, and experience the sights and sounds of the bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa square.
    Free Time: Spend free time relaxing at one of the tea houses around the square, indulging in the ubiquitous sweet mint tea, or opt to take a city tour to see more of the city.
    Activity: A traditional Moroccan house with a beautiful interior courtyard is the setting for tonight's farewell dinner with the group. Enjoy a meal with your new found friends and reminisce about the fantastic adventure you've all had.
    Accommodation: Royal Mirage Deluxe Hotel (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Marrakech
    Depart at any time.
    Activity: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

    Meals: Breakfast
Countries Visited

Morocco

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Inclusions

Meals:
8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

Transportation:
Private air-con minivan/coach, 4x4 vehicle, walking

Inclusions
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sahara Dunes & Culture Excursion, Merzouga Your Family Journeys Moment: Atlas Film Studios Tour, Ouarzazate Your Foodie Moment: Tagine Cooking Class, Aït Ben Haddou Your Family Journeys Moment: Marrakech Henna Art Café Experience, Marrakech. Arrival transfer. Amazigh village visit and Amazigh pizza lunch. Dades Gorge guided walk. Visit Aït Ben Haddou. Tagine cooking demonstration. Walk in Djemaa el Fna square. Marrakech medina guided walk including Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace, souks and Jemaa el-Fnaa square. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Hygiene and Safety Protocols for G Adventures Tours

Travel with Confidence

Your safety, as well as the safety of employees and partners, has always been G Adventures top priority, which is why new physical distancing and cleaning measures have been put in place on all of the tours. New Travel with Confidence policy features new health and safety procedures from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, without taking away from having the time of your life. The policy will evolve as time goes on and as G Adventures continues to monitor local public health recommendations, but what won't change is the commitment to keeping you safe as you explore big, beautiful world.


Before you join us

Global Connection Officers

GCOs (the people who answer when you call us) are available 24/7 to help with any questions you have prior to your trip, so you can feel confident and safe before leaving. No matter what time of day, they're there to respond to you — even at 3AM. They'll be up to date on local regulations and restrictions and can guide you through your travel process as smoothly as possible. And if you don't feel well before travelling, there's the Book with Confidence policy that helps you reschedule your trip for when you do, which they can help you with too (terms & conditions apply). If you book flights with us and there are any changes, rest assured that the team will support you by making new arrangements on your behalf.

Smaller groups

Groups have always been small. This offers security, access, camaraderie, and a connection with your destination you won't get by travelling on bus tours or on your own. The average group size is 12, ensuring travellers can engage with each other without being squeezed together like sardines — and that was before physical distancing became a reality. Plus, if you have 8 or more friends you'd like to adventure with, you can reserve the entire trip!

My own room

If you're joining one of the small group tours on your own, good on ya! If you are a solo traveller sharing a room with someone, G Adventures will do their best to ensure they will be your roommate for the entire journey to support distancing efforts. G Adventures has 'My Own Rooms' available as an extra option for tours (pending availability), and they'll be offering more of these at more affordable prices to make it even easier to have a bit more space.


When you arrive

Chief Experience Officers

CEOs are responsible for ensuring you have the time of your life while keeping you as safe as possible. Here's how they're ready to do that:

  • They're trained in First Aid, CPR, and other safety protocols
  • They're supported 24/7 by the field staff in offices around the world who are well-equipped to handle emergencies
  • They can help you find local clinics if you're feeling sick
  • They'll receive new training to ensure they are up to date on all health and safety policies during these evolving times
  • They have extensive local knowledge to proactively help you navigate wherever you're travelling
  • Their local knowledge allows for greater flexibility when it comes to knowing the best time to visit certain highlights to avoid crowds whenever possible and suggesting the restaurants with the strictest hygiene practices or those where you can reserve your own table or room in advance
  • They'll wear face masks when necessary based on local guidelines and recommendations

You & your fellow travellers

Travellers' safety and wellbeing is G Adventures biggest concern. If you're not feeling well before your departure, G Adventures has a Book with Confidence policy that provides you with flexibility and freedom to delay leaving until you're back to 100% healthy (terms & conditions apply). If you have a fever or any other symptoms on tour, you may be required to have a doctor clear you before rejoining us. All travellers are requested to bring face coverings, whether they're buffs, face masks or bandanas (extra style points encouraged). G Adventures makes every effort to have hand sanitizer available, but recommend bringing your own.


While on tour

Planes, trains, automobiles and more

Small private transport vehicles

  • Every surface in G Adventures well-kept fleet of private vehicles will get at least one daily deep cleaning
  • Each traveller will have a daily assigned seat
  • Hand-sanitizer will be required every time you board the vehicle
  • Facial coverings will be recommended while on-board
Boats
  • Every surface will get at least one daily deep cleaning
  • High-traffic areas will receive more frequent cleaning
  • Hand-sanitizer or hand washing will be required every time you board the boat, as well as before and after meals
  • To support physical distancing, meals may have assigned seating and there will be assigned slots for activities and rooming
  • Facial coverings will be recommended and welcomed on-board
  • Your crew is trained in health and safety measures (including food handling) and all cooking staff will follow up-to-date advice from health authorities
Local transportation
  • Use of local transportation will be limited wherever possible. Please reference the Trip Details for each individual tour for specifics
  • If local transportation is used, precautions will be followed in adherence to local health and safety regulations to keep travellers safe and sound.

Where you'll be staying safe

G Adventures has always carefully selected accommodation partners for high standards and local roots. Travelling in small groups means that the stay is in smaller hotels too, with fewer guests — which means less daily contact with others outside your group in public spaces. Now G Adventures is working with accommodation partners to optimize their health, safety and cleanliness procedures, as well as creating additional measures for physical distancing. Here are some of the things G Adventures is working on to help keep you safe:

  • Daily deep cleaning and disinfecting of all surface areas inside your room with extra cleaning on light switches, door handles, TV remotes, and thermostats
  • No hotel staff will enter your room after it has been cleaned
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of all public restrooms and all surfaces in public areas. This might include the closure of public spaces such as gyms, bars, restaurants, and meeting rooms for periods throughout the day
  • Wherever possible, groups will stay on the lower floors to limit elevator use
  • Hotels will implement social distancing protocols in line with local regulations
This is just the beginning of commitments to keeping you sleeping safe and sound. G Adventures will continue to evolve and roll-out these and additional policies as needed.

A good & safe place to eat

G Adventures has always carefully selected food service partners and worked closely with them to ensure they are meeting health, safety, and cleanliness standards with their facilities, staff training, and food preparation and delivery. Wherever possible, G Adventures will reserve separate tables or private rooms at the restaurants visited on the trip, opt for more "al fresco" opportunities when it is possible (gotta love that fresh air!), and ensure breakfasts can be "grab and go" boxes, while avoiding family style or self-serve buffets for meals. G Adventures wants you to feel comfortable and safe as you savour every last bite.

Activities

You've always had freedom and flexibility to do your own thing on tours with optional activities and experiences. Now, you'll still have those options with added measures to keep you healthy and safe. All equipment for activities on tour, including hiking poles, camping supplies, life jackets, snorkels, etc., will be cleaned thoroughly at least once a day and disinfected between use. When travellers are responsible for putting up their own tents on camping itineraries, you will be given the supplies required to disinfect your gear. G Adventures will also do their best to make activities and highlights stops happen during non-peak hours, so you can have fun and feel safe no matter what you're doing.


Before you leave

A healthy goodbye

If you're not feeling well at the end of your tour for any reason, let your CEO know and they can help get you access to medical care and support. Because we want you to head home after a life-changing experience feeling just as good (let's be honest, way better) than when you left.

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Accommodations

Hotels (8 nts)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

G Adventures Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.1
Professional Staff
4.3
Repeat with Operator
4
Value for Money
3.9

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Ratings based off 450 reviews about G Adventures Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

This was my 8th tour with this operator and I have a 9th scheduled. Obviously I am happy with this operator.

It was a great tour and are guides were very knowledgeable.

A Gadventures tour is a great affordable way to see the country and get the opportunity to meet and interact with the local people

It was a dream vacation.Thank you.

The G-Adventures travel guides were excellent

All 100% perfect, nothing to be done better

The G Adventures tour was fantastic.

Very satisfied with tour, enjoyed it very much.

I liked the variety of activities and the chance to opt out without undue pressure. I met some really fun people on this tour.

Everyone connected with the tour went above and beyond. The tour was more than I ever dreamt!

Our CEO Solofo for this trip is fantastic. He is patient and very nice. He went extra ways to help me and other members. I really enjoy this trip because of him! He is an excellent CEO. I definitely will recommend to other friends about him. Pls let him know that we really enjoy his introduction. He is also very informative and knowledgeable. In a word, he is excellent!

Great trip at a reasonable price.

Awesome trip in a great country. Our CEO was professional and fun!!!

G adventures offers hands down some of the best tour packages out there!

The Japan vacation was better than I expected!!!! It was an active "moving" trip, which I truly enjoyed. I've done "coach tours" where you sit on the bus and they take you -- this experience was "hands on" riding the buses, trains and running through the streets -- it was amazing !!!!! We got the full feel of Japan and the people. This trip is not for the weak or slow pace crowd - you drag your luggage through the streets, up and down stairs --- it was truly exciting and exhilarating. G adventures has a fan for life. The instructions and assistance was outstanding -- Great job - Steve (AffordableTours.com) was outstanding !


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