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Morocco Family Journey: Ancient Souks to the Sahara

Morocco Family Journey: Ancient Souks to the Sahara


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Overview

Dates & Prices

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Sat, Aug 01, 2020
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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Morocco

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.

Discover the magic of Morocco on a journey that takes you from bustling markets to soaring desert dunes. Meet enchanting musicians and storytellers steeped in Amazigh (also known as Berber) heritage, and try your hand at cooking up colourful local dishes. Hike past stunning rock formations, climb windswept sands, and uncover ancient secrets in green oases and grand palaces.

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)

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)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

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)
Meal(s): Breakfast Dinner

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)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

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)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

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)
Meal(s): Breakfast Dinner

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)
Meal(s): Breakfast

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)
Meal(s): Breakfast Dinner

Day 9: Marrakech
Depart at any time.
Activity: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.
Meal(s): Breakfast

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Inclusions

Meals Included
8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport
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.

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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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