Epic mountains, ancient cities and sweeping desert
As the gateway to Africa, Morocco is a country of massive cultural and environmental diversity, as well as warm hospitality. From the snowy peaks of the High Atlas Mountains to the rolling dunes of the Sahara Desert, Morocco is made for adventure. On this tour, starting in Casablanca, you’ll have the chance to explore some of Morocco’s most interesting town and cities, with the possibility to add an extension to the coastal town of Essaouira at the end.
6 - 18 April 2020
15 - 27 June 2020
14 - 27 September 2020
13 nights’ twin share accommodation, including one night in a luxury desert camp
14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
English-speaking local tour guide throughout
Transport by air-conditioned minibus, 4WD and camel!
All activities from hiking through national parks to sunrise camel rides, included
Maximum 14 fellow travellers
Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival at Casablanca airport, you will be met by your Unmapped guide and driven to your hotel. You have time to settle in before you meet the rest of the group and then we’ll head into town to experience our first Moroccan dinner while getting to know each other.
Meander through medinas
After breakfast today, we’ll drive to Morocco’s capital city, Rabat, for a guided tour of the medina. We’ll meander through the souks and explore the beautiful Kasbah Oudaias, where we’ll stop for a drink. Next, we’ll visit Mohamed the 5th Mausoleum and the vast minaret of the Hassan Mosque, followed by Challah site. Later in the afternoon we’ll drive to the city of Meknes and check into our boutique hideaway.
The Blue City
Fill up on breakfast this morning as we have a big day ahead! First, we’ll take a guided tour of Meknes, a city of winding narrow medina streets and grand buildings. You’ll find this one-time home of the Moroccan sultanate quieter than its grand neighbour, Fez, but with just as much to delight the intrepid traveller.
After lunch, we’ll drive to the beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen. Set against a wide valley and nestled between the peaks of the stunning Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is what Instagram dreams are made of. After checking into our quaint riad, we’ll be taken for a home-cooked dinner with a local family. Over dinner, we’ll have the chance to learn about life in Morocco and sample some local dishes.
Today, we’ll set off to visit the vast Talassemtane National Park which was created in 2004 to conserve the last of Morocco’s threatened forests. The name means ‘cold spring’ in Berber. There are many opportunities for trekking within the park and we’ll tackle a challenging route this morning with the opportunity to stop and take in the scenery at the park’s waterfalls. Once we return to the hotel, the rest of the day is yours to explore or relax.
Royalty for a night
This morning, spend time exploring the mesmerising streets of Chefchaouen or treat yourself to a relaxing morning at our beautiful riad. Later, we’ll all meet and start the drive to the city of Fes. This city is the best example of the medieval Arab world and is also the world’s largest car-free urban area.
Our home for the night is a former palace located within the walls of Fes’ ancient medina. After checking in, we’ll have some time to relax before walking to a nearby restaurant for a delicious Moroccan dinner overlooking the medina.
Sundowners in Fez
This morning, tuck into a hearty breakfast before we set off for a guided tour of the old medina of Fes. As we meander through the maze of streets, we’ll pass artisans refining their craft, we’ll explore Fes’s famous tanneries, the beautiful Fondouk Nejjarine building and we’ll pass by the oldest university of the world, founded by a Moroccan Muslim woman, Fatima al-Fihria.
As night falls, we’ll visit one of the best vantage points in the city where we’ll enjoy a glass of wine as the sun goes down.
Into the mountains
Today, we will take you to Ifrane, or Little Switzerland, as this quaint town in the Middle Atlas Mountains is also called, due to alpine-style architecture and nearby ski slopes. The purity of Ifrane’s atmosphere and its nature reserve has given Ifrane the title of the second cleanest city in the world.
After checking into your hotel and having a little time to settle in and enjoy the views, we’ll make our way to Ifrane National Park, a 500 sq km park known for its Atlas cedar trees and the Barbary macaque. We’ll take a relaxing walk around the reserve, before returning to town for a hearty dinner in the mountains.
Today, we leave the tranquil town of Ifrane behind and drive towards the desert, stopping for lunch along the way. Once we reach the oasis town of Erfoud, we’ll swap our minibus for the 4WDs we’ll need to navigate the rolling desert dunes.
As we cross this area of Sahara Desert, keep an eye out for camels wandering among the undulating dunes, some of which are over 350m high. Our home for the night is the Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp and you’ll have time to experience some desert activities before having dinner under the stars.
From Sahara to Skoura
It’s an early start today, but it will be totally worth it because this morning we’ll be taking a camel ride to witness the sun rising above the dunes. Then, after breakfast, we’ll say “see ya” to the Sahara and make our way west towards Todra Gorge, where a 300m-deep fault has created a deep ravine which is so narrow in parts that trekkers must walk through single file. We’ll have lunch while taking in this striking scenery.
We’ll continue our journey to the town of Skoura, renowned for its kasbahs, where historic mud-brick castles remain and desert traders peddle their wares at the souks on Mondays and Thursdays. Our hotel tonight is located in Skoura’s palm grove, and you can spend the afternoon relaxing poolside under the olive trees.
Rock the kasbah
This morning we’ll meet at reception ready for a cycling tour of Skoura’s palm grove, home to several privately-owned Kasbahs. We’ll cycle through a labyrinth of palm and olive trees and also stop to explore Kasbah Ameridhl, with its extravagant decorations and mud-brick fortifications.
Back at the hotel, chill out, enjoy a swim or do some more exploring before we leave for our next stop, Kasr Ait Benhaddou, a fortified village and UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech.
A dramatic drive
This morning, we’ll take a walk in and around Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, where a number of films and TV shows have been shot, including Prince of Persia, Gladiator, and Game of Thrones. Afterwards, we’ll drive over Morocco's highest pass, Tizi n'Tichka, which is 2,260 metres above sea level. Take in the dramatic scenery as we wind our way through the mountains until we reach Marrakech.
Upon arrival in Marrakech, we’ll check into our luxury hotel which is a two-minute walk from Marrakech’s famous El Fna Square. The rest of the afternoon is yours to relax in the hotel’s outdoor pool, shop in the famous souks or take in the city’s artisan heritage.
Ride, relax and feast!
Today, after breakfast, we’ll have a chance to see the sights of Marrakech from a different perspective – on two wheels! We’ll start by cycling to the King’s Palace, then through the medina before stopping at Djeema-El-Fna for a refreshing drink of some of the best freshly-squeezed orange juice in the world.
After lunch at your leisure, you'll be invited to experience a traditional hammam and massage in one of the medina’s luxury spas. To top off this fantastic final day, we’ll have a farewell dinner at one of the best local restaurants in Marrakech.
Goodbye Morocco or hello beach!
Today you could either be making your way back home or making your way to the coastal serenity of Essaouira. If you’re not ready to go home just yet, check out our three-day extension, you won’t regret it.