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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Visit a women's co-op and enjoy a local lunch, watch storytellers and acrobats at Djemaa el Fna square, learn about Moroccan cuisine with a cooking class in a traditional Amazigh house, traverse the Sahara Desert by 4x4, try to mimic a local expert's elegant sweeps in an Islamic calligraphy class.

  1. Day 1
    Casablanca
    Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    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.
    Accommodation: Kenzi Basma Hotel (or similar)
  2. Day 2
    Casablanca to Fez
    Set out on a guided tour of two UNESCO World Heritage sites. venture to Volubilis and discover the soaring columns and remarkably well-preserved mosaic floors of this ancient Roman outpost. Then, visit the remains of the medieval city of Meknès, which served as Morocco's imperial capital in the 17th century. Then, enjoy lunch at a G Adventures-supported women's cooperative. Continue to Fez and check in to our hotel.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: Enjoy a guided tour of this imperial city. Gain local insight into city sites - each guide may put their spin on tour. Visit the Bab Mansour historic landmark, and 18th-century Bab EL Khmiss, the ornamental gate to the city. Wander the bustling souk to browse the vast array of food, clothes, and souvenirs. Take the opportunity to see the former royal stables and granary; built under the rule of Sultan Moulay Ismail, the stables could hold up to 12,000 horses.
    Activity: Listen to a certified local guide explain life in the Roman Empire at this UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the impressive, well-preserved Roman ruins. Peer into old bathhouses, marvel at the still-present mosaic floors, and gaze up at towering marble pillars. Hear stories about life in this Roman city that will leave you in awe of just how far their empire stretched.
    Activity: Enjoy a G Adventures-supported traditional lunch that benefits rural Moroccan women and children. This G Adventures lunch program provides access to education opportunities and healthcare services. The proceeds from this lunch program help support vocational training for rural women, allowing them to support their families and children. Enjoy a traditional home-cooked Moroccan meal and meet some of the women that are part of this program.
    Accommodation: Pickalbatros Royal Mirage (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  3. Day 3
    Fez
    Step back in time on a walking tour of the medina of Fez, a spellbinding World Heritage site dating back to the 9th century. Skirt past donkey carts as you take in the dazzling sights, from colourful mounds of spices to vividly painted ceramics, and observe Fez's famous tanners treating and dying hides in the traditional manner. Pay a visit to the breathtaking Madrasa al-Attarine, a masterpiece of intricate Islamic architecture, and pass by the famed Al-Karaouine Mosque—home to the longest continually operating university in the world. We'll meet a local calligraphy expert at a café later this afternoon for a demonstration of Arabic writing.
    Activity: Follow a local guide through the Fès medina, one of the world's largest medinas with more than 9000 winding streets lying within 365 hectares. See buildings in the medina that date back to the 9th century; there are 350 mosques in the medina that are still in use today. Enter through one of the great gates into the chaos. Explore the artisans' quarters as well as the many carpenters, bakers, butchers, and spice sellers. Visit the mausoleum and the Al Qarawiyin University. A highlight of the tour is the view of the famous Fès tannery from the balcony of a leather shop, where you can observe the men hard at work treating and dyeing the different hides. Take some time to shop for leather goods before returning to your hotel.
    Activity: Visit a local cafe where we meet a local expert in Islamic calligraphy. Calligraphy means "beautiful writing" and Arabic calligraphy (or more properly, Islamic calligraphy) is considered a high art form in the Arab world. Our expert explains the basics and provides a demonstration and then with with some paper, a bamboo carved calligraphy stick and some ink, try your hand at mimicking the master's elegant sweeps and flicks of the brush to write Arabic letters.
    Accommodation: Pickalbatros Royal Mirage (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Fez to Marrakech
    This morning, travel to Marrakech, a melting pot of Amazigh, West African, Mediterranenan, and Arab influences. Immerse yourself in the colour and chaos of Djemaa el-Fna, the city's main square, where storytellers and magicians captivate passersby and vendors of all kinds peddle their wares. Enjoy mouthwatering street food for dinner: consider sampling harira, a traditional Moroccan soup, or tangia, a slow-cooked meat stew.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    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. Grab a spot on a bench with other diners and try the "tanjia" (slow cooked lamb), harira soup, grilled seafood, famous Moroccan couscous, tajine, snails, or even sheep's head (for the truly adventurous). Wash it all down with some spiced tea.
    Accommodation: Opera Plaza Hotel Marrakech (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Marrakech
    Set out in the maze of tiny streets and alleyways and view the Koutoubia Minaret; then head to a spice shop to discover an array of Moroccan spices. After, visit a converted riad or traditional house for a hands-on cooking class, learning how to prepare a delicious tagine and a variety of salads, and enjoy your creations for lunch.This afternoon, take a historical walk of the ancient medina with our local guide, including visits to the enchanting Bahia Palace and the Saadian Tombs, the 16th-century mausoleum where the Saadian dynasty ruler Ahmed al-Mansour and his family are interred.
    Activity: Let a local guide show you the best of Marrekech. Head into the maze of tiny streets and alleyways of the ancient medina to really get a taste of everyday life in Marrakech. See the Koutoubia Minaret and head to a spice shop to discover an array of Moroccan spices.
    Activity: With its unusual combination of cultures - Amazigh (also known as Berber), French, Jewish, Andalucian - Morocco is known for some incredible flavours that visitors talk about (and miss) long after they return home. In the heart of bustling Marrakech, visit a historic riad for a hands-on cooking class led by a renowned Moroccan chef who will discuss key ingredients and techniques. From the making of different salads to measuring out spices for a mind-blowing tagine, learn the culinary tricks of a master while preparing lunch as a group, which we'll all sit down to eat (and marvel at).
    Activity: 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 wandering through the grand courtyard.
    Free Time: Head out for some independent exploration of the markets and souks.
    Accommodation: Opera Plaza Hotel Marrakech (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  6. Day 6
    Marrakech/Aït Ben Haddou
    Drive to Aït Ben Haddou, an ancient mudbrick settlement and UNESCO World Heritage site located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Explore this fascinating ksar, or fortified village, and compare the vistas of the city with scenes from the Game of Thrones series, Lawrence of Arabia, and Gladiator—parts of which were filmed here.
    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.
    Accommodation: Riad Maktoub (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Aït Ben Haddou/Erg Chigaga
    Travel through the Draa Valley towards the Sahara. Venture into the desert on 4x4s, making your way to the great dunes of Erg Chigaga. Settle into our comfortable desert camp and set off on a camel ride. Then climb to the top of the dunes to catch an unforgettable sunset over the Sahara, the world's largest desert. Enjoy a traditional dinner back at the camp and gather around a fire beneath the stars for an evening of storytelling and traditional music.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: Hold on and enjoy a ride on this even-toed ungulate, also known as the desert horse. Bring your camera for some fantastic photos of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
    Accommodation: Erg Chigaga Desert Camp (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Erg Chigaga/Zagora
    After breakfast, head out from the desert and pause at the small town of Tamegroute to visit a library of ancient Islamic texts. Then drive to the oasis town of Zagora, where a colourful regional market is held twice a week. Enjoy a talk on the history of the Draa region, centered around the Draa River—the longest river in Morocco—and unwind at our beautiful riad. Take a dip in the swimming pool, or relax with a drink on the patio.
    Activity: Explore this small desert outpost town that's famous as a starting point for desert caravans. Learn about the history of the town and the Draa region with visits to some historical spots.
    Activity: Visit Tamegroute, a small village in the Draa River Valley. Discover its history as an important centre of learning and religion while visiting the library of ancient Islamic texts. The town is also famed for its ceramics. Watch artists at work at a local pottery studio.
    Accommodation: Riad Lamane (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Zagora/Taroudant
    Head off the beaten path towards the Anti-Atlas or Lesser Atlas mountains. Stop at the town of Taliouine, a thriving centre for harvesting saffron—the world's most expensive spice—and continue to our stunning riad in Taroudant.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Accommodation: Hotel Riad Dar Zitoune (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Taroudant
    Concealed within striking red walls and framed by snow-dusted peaks, the market town of Taroudant is often called "Little Marrakech." Wander through the old town at leisure and browse its lively shops. Spend the afternoon at our riad, exploring its flower-laden paths or enjoying a book by the pool.
    Activity: Explore the markets of Taroudant, which is known as a market town frequented by Amazigh traders.
    Free Time: Enjoy time to explore the bustling markets and shops on your own.
    Accommodation: Hotel Riad Dar Zitoune (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Taroudant/Tafraout
    Venture deeper into the Anti-Atlas region, known for its spectacular natural rock formations and stark, lunar landscapes. Visit Aït Mansour Gorge, a stunning valley of pink-hued cliffs that harbour lush palm groves. Take a walk through the valley in the shade of towering palms and have lunch at the home of a local family. Later, hike to the rock formation known as Le Châpeau de Napoléon, or Napoleon's Hat, before continuing to Tafraout for the evening.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: Enjoy an excursion through the stunning landscapes of the region with stops at Aït Mansour Gorge and the Chapeau du Napoleon.
    Activity: Soak in stunning scenery on a walk through a palm grove.
    Activity: Enjoy homemade local specialties for lunch in a local family's home.
    Accommodation: Hotel Salama (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  12. Day 12
    Tafraout/Essaouira
    Travel to the beautiful port town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. Stroll the windy beaches, soak in the leisurely atmosphere of the medina, and watch the hustle and bustle of fishermen at the port. Opt to experience a Moroccan hammam, a traditional spa and steam bath; or check out the city's happening live music scene.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: Enjoy a brief walk with your CEO. He/she will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs.
    Accommodation: Hotel Miramar (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast
  13. Day 13
    Essaouira
    Enjoy a day of leisure in this charming coastal city, where Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, and Frank Zappa all famously travelled for inspiration. Walk along the 18th-century ramparts overlooking the Atlantic, and buy fresh fish from the market, which we'll take to a local restaurant to cook up for our lunch. Opt to browse the colourful shops and art galleries that line the white-washed streets of the medina, or take a surfing or windsurfing lesson.
    Free Time: Enjoy your day of leisure.
    Accommodation: Hotel Miramar (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  14. Day 14
    Essaouira/Marrakech
    Return to Marrakech and visit the ornate 12th-century Menara Gardens and the Majorelle Gardens, once owned by legendary French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Opt to view the beautiful collection of Amazigh artifacts at the Berber Museum, or visit the nearby Yves Saint Laurent Museum. Enjoy a farewell dinner with the group tonight.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: Visit the stunning and historic Menara Gardens, which were built in the 12th century by the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min. Explore the intricate designs along paths and trails in this peaceful oasis in the city.
    Activity: Visit this stunning garden in the heart of the city designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962). Follow the pathways through trees, exotic plants, streams, and pools while watching the numerous birds who call this peaceful paradise home. Please note that the entrance fee to Musée Yves Saint Laurent is an additional 30 MAD.
    Accommodation: Opera Plaza Hotel Marrakech (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  15. Day 15
    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:
14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transportation:
Private air-con minivan, walking, 4x4.

Inclusions
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Islamic Calligraphy Class, Fès Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Moroccan Foodie Experience, Marrakech Your G for Good Moment: Mhaya Village Community Lunch, Meknès Your Foodie Moment: Djemaa el Fna Market Square Visit, Marrakech. Arrival transfer. Guided city tour of Meknès including the ancient granaries and stables of Moulay Ismail and Bab Mansour. Guided tour of Volubilis including visit to Roman ruins. Guided walking tour of the Fès medina including artisans' quarters and Fès tannery. Guided night walk of Djemaa el Fna square with local meal. Marrakech medina walk and spice shop visit. Marrakech tour including souks, Bahia Palace and Saadian Tombs. Visit the ancient kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou. Sahara excursion by 4x4 including a visit to the town of Tamegroute. Overnight in a comfortable, traditional desert camp with dinner under the stars. Explore the Draa region and orientation tour of Zagora. Taroudant market visit. Aït Mansour Gorge excursion. Visit to Tafraoute. Explore Essaouira. Visit Menara Gardens and the Jardin Majorelle. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

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Accommodations

Hotels (13 nts), comfortable desert camp (1 nt).

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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.

National Geographic Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.4
Professional Staff
4.8
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
3.9

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