Morocco Adventure (trip)

Morocco Adventure

  • Mohammed V Airport in Casablanca
  • Culture & Nature
Morocco, Mediterranean

from $3,295* per person13 DaysYear-round
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Wildland Adventures 24 people max
Walking the pistes and ancient caravan routes of the High Atlas Mountains, this active adventure provides a hands-on exploration of the stunning landscapes, rich history and the Arab and Berber cultures of the Magreb. (Magreb means west in Arabic, and has become a much-used term for Morocco). We explore the almost biblical passageways of the medina in the northern historic city of Fez, gaining a glimpse of a Kasbah life style unchanged for centuries. We encounter local Magrebi farmers, herders and nomads, each community steeped in its distinctive traditions and each sharing the deep hospitality so characteristic of Islamic cultures. We Hike through quiet villages with ochre walls richly red at sunset and seemingly organic to their mountain setting, and stay with a highland Berber family. We even camp with Tuareg nomads and ride camels to watch in awe as the dawn vanquishes the Saharan night. Finally, in the bustling main square of Djemna el-Fna, we weave amidst snake charmers, basket weavers, soothsayers and musicians in the great southern Imperial capital of Marrakech.

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Locations visited/nearby

Morocco, Mediterranean

0 testimonials about this trip.

3 testimonials about the provider, Wildland Adventures:

  • Reviewer: Kate Steinbacher located in Roanoke, VA USA
    You are the kind of tour operator the world needs more of...caring of your groups AND the beautiful places and people we get to experience!

  • Reviewer: Ginger and Richard Lang located in Clyde, NC USA
    Congratulations on the kudos from National Geographic Adventure magazine. Our experiences in travel with Wildland underscore this commendation. We have loved traveling to Costa Rica and Southern Africa with you and are now involved in planning a trip to East Africa. Great job from a superb company! You are first in our minds!

  • Reviewer: Libby Volckening located in Northfield, MA USA
    How can I begin to thank you for the most amazing, wonderful, incredible vacation of my life?!?!?!  Everything was better than I could have hoped.  So many precious memories.  Such wonderful chemistry of personalities.  It has been very hard to leave it all behind and get back to my real life...

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.
  • Family oriented trip.


On arrival in Casablanca we are met by our guide and transferred to our Rabat hotel. En route, we visit Casablanca's magnificent Mosque of Hassan II, heralded as the second largest mosque in the world. Morocco's modern capital of Rabat is the first of our 'Imperial Cities', and the official residence of King Mohammed VI. A visit to the Mohammed V Mausoleum and the remains of the Hassan Tower built in 1196 ACE provide an excellent introduction to Moroccan history, and we enjoy our first glimpse of Moroccan culture during a short walk through the narrow passageways of the beautifuly Kasbah of the Oudayas, admiring the decorative doors and immersing ourselves in the sights and sounds of daily life. Dinner and overnight Farah Hotel or similar [D]

Please Note: Your sightseeing itinerary en route to Rabat today will be tailored to your international flight arrival time in Casablanca

This morning we drive east (1hr) to our second 'Imperial City', Meknes, with its famous gate of Bab El Mansour. At the impressive Dar Jamai Palace we visit the Royal Stables and the tomb of Moulay Ismail, the dreaded sultan of Morocco who built some of Morocco's finest historical fortifications. At Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site we explore the ancient buildings with mosaic floors of Morocco's largest and best preserved Roman ruin. We walk among the cobbled streets of the holy city of Moulay Idriss, named after the sainted fourth generation descendant of the prophet Mohamed, and both the founder of Islam in Morocco and the founder of the city of Fez, our next Imperial City and today's final destination (1hr). Overnight Dar Anebar (or similar) [BLD]

Awaken to the mesmerizing call to dawn prayer building to a crescendo as each of a hundred minarets join the chorus; a sound integral to Fez and a sound which has echoed each morning through this exquisite walled city for over 1400 years. The former capital of Morocco and considered the first of the 'Imperial Cities', Fez remains Morocco's leading intellectual and religious center as well as a fascinating cultural hub. Our guided walk through the bustling medina with visits to a tannery, wool souk (market), spice shops, and stalls loaded with dates and olives offers a thorough immersion in Moroccan mercantile life. We meet shop keepers and craftsmen whose skills have been passed from generation to generation, and begin to understand the fine web of tradition that makes Moroccan culture so enduring and rich. Walking through the maze of narrow passageways we visit the Qaraouine University, the Madrassa (Quranic school), and the Moulay Idriss II memorial. We end the day with a unique experience; the warmth and traditional hospitality of a local Arab family at a hosted home cooked dinner, perhaps a tagine or couscous, or even harira, the traditional soup that ends each Ramadan day. Overnight Dar Anebar (or similar) [BLD]

Driving from lowlands into the Atlas Mountains we pass villages and fields using a system of gravitational irrigation established well before Roman arrival. There are many local footpaths we share with local residents stopping to picnic amidst the lentils, turnips and fava beans, or to shelter from the sun in the sweet shade of an apple or cherry orchard. Here we witness a lifestyle still organic, still in tune with the seasons, still natural and refreshingly far from the myriad demands of urban modernity. We explore the village of Zaouia D'Ifrane and hike to a nearby waterfall before meeting our Berber hosts. As guests of a Berber family, we have a unique opportunity to experience a calmer, more relaxed way of life and to sample home cooked Berber cuisine. Beds are Berber-style mattresses on a floor of colorful carpets, with linens and blankets. There is a shared guest bathroom with a flush toilet. Overnight Berber Home Stay [BLD]

We settle back in our seats and watch the dramatic changes in landscape as our vehicle switch-backs over the Atlas Mountains and descend to the mighty Saharan Desert. The terrain on this full day drive (7hr) is varied and includes forests of giant cedar, high arid mountains with breathtaking views over tortuous mountain passes and, as we drop to the flattening foothills of scrub, the vast Saharan desert stretches before us for thousands of miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Following a centuries-old caravan route, we pass through the Beni Mguild Berber capital of Midelt, an important center for local carpet making. We begin to see ksars (fortified strongholds) along the way to Errachidia, where we pause to stretch our legs and eat a tasty tagine before continuing on to Rissani. On arrival we have arranged a henna ceremony before dinner. Overnight Kasbah Ennasra or similar [BLD]

We start our desert explorations with an excursion to the Holy City of Rissani to visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Sherife, the Ksour of Abdel Hamid, and the Abdel Malik Kasbah. After lunch and a refreshing dip in the pool we depart in the afternoon for Erfoud in our 4x4 vehicle, stopping at a quarry to view rock excavations and fossils. At last we reach the edge of the vast Sahara where the paved road ends (1hr). As the day cools, desert colors intensify. We mount camels and, accompanied by indigenous Touareg nomads in their famous blue-dyed turbans, we ride the Erg Chebbi, a vast expanse of huge, drifting sand dunes. Touregs are truly masters of their domain. Centuries ago, Touregs turned the deadly Saharan sands into an ocean on which their ships of the desert (camels) traded goods as varied as dates and gold bullion from the Atlantic coast to Lake Chad. The sunset changes and deepens the hues of this mystical landscape as our surefooted dromedaries bring us to our desert camp. After a cold drink and a delicious dinner we retire under a vast star-lit desert sky to ponder the imponderable, and to marvel at the comfort of our private tents, mattresses, linens, pillows and Berber rugs. There is a shared bathroom facility. (Those not wishing to camp in the desert may return to overnight in Rissani hotel) Overnight Desert Encampment or Kasbah Ennasra (or similar) [BLD]

We awaken before dawn to see the moon reflected off millions of microscopic silicon chips in the sand. In pre-dawn light we mount our saddled camels for a short ride to watch the sun creep over the desert horizon. The true solitude and beauty of the Sahara shows itself only in such moments. Back at camp for breakfast we re-board our vehicle and drive to Todra Gorge (3hrs) first heading towards the mountains then turning south, hugging the Atlas through a stark landscape dotted with fertile oases and dramatic volcanic and limestone peaks. Turning off the main road to the impressive Todra Gorge we embark on an optional (1-2hr) walk through the gorge, exquisitely river-carved over millennium. After lunch in Tineghir, we continue (2h) to Ouarzazate.Overnight Club Hanane Hotel or similar [BLD]

* Please Note: If you are not camping and staying in the hotel tonight, you have the option of returning to Erg Chebbi for a sunrise camel ride or departing directly from Rassani for Ouzarzate

After breakfast we drive for half an hour to the Salt River, a dry river bed region of dramatic beauty, where we stop at a Berber village and begin our hike. The village elevation is about 600m (1000 f), and our hike traverses a gradual ascent to 1300 feet where we reach a natural plateau in the high Atlas Mountains from which there are wonderful views of the Anti Atlas Mountains which lie across the Sous Valley to the south. The scenery through which we pass is beautiful, arid, treeless and volcanic. Reaching an oasis of palm, almond and alfalfa trees, we may stop for tea in a Berber house. We continue for another two hours to the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, where we will have our lunch in a beautiful restaurant next to the Kasbah. (4 hours walking plus stop for tea). We then visit Ait Ben Haddou before returning to the hotel. Overnight Club Hanane Hotel or similar. [BLD]

Leaving the stark desert landscape of southern Morocco, we drive north from Ouarzazate into the High Atlas Mountains (4hrs), and grind up a looping road over the Tiz-n-Tickka Pass (7,417 ft) the highest pass in Morocco. This route offers spectacular views. We turn from the main road at Ait Ourir and pause for "ateh" (mint tea) in the Ouirka Valley and take a short hike in the cooler mountain air. Isolated villages and stepped cultivation cling to hillsides along the river. Continuing to Imlil, we leave our vehicle, transfer our bags to pack-donkeys, and walk to our douar, a typical traditional stone and rammed-earth Berber dwelling, our home for the next two nights. Committed to sustainable tourism, our douar owner helps provide work for the men of the village and gives an opportunity for the Berber women to hone their artisan skills and sell traditional crafts to tourist. Our douar is the perfect base from which to explore the Toubkal Massif. Overnight at Kasbah Samra (or similar) [BLD]

The fresh mountain air is exhilarating. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and marvelous views, there is a myriad of hiking opportunities from which to choose in this truly dramatic setting. Our local hiking guides lead a variety of excursions based on interests and abilities; everything from half-day hikes along sandstone ridges to pastel and ochre colored villages that appear organic to the lush-green terraced valleys to full-day treks in the nearby mountain peaks. There are more than forty spectacular mountain peaks surrounding our kasbah with altitudes of at least 11,500 ft. including Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. Overnight at Kasbah Samra (or similar) [BLD]

Enjoy a free morning over a relaxed breakfast to savior the kasbah and its surroundings, or head out on a brisk morning hike. After lunch it's off to vibrant Marrakech (1hr) where we have time to explore the narrow streets. As dusk begins to fall, the focus is the Djemna el-Fna, the huge square in the Marrakech medina and backdrop for an eclectic array of jugglers, storytellers, snake charmers, musicians and soothsayers. Mouth-watering aromas waft through the medina from the many rows of open-air food stalls. Perhaps we will retreat to a neighboring rooftop restaurant for a drink and the view. Overnight at Riad Daria or Riad Samsara (or similar) [BLD]

Prepare for a full day delving into this distinctly Magrebi city's history. Marrakech has for centuries been Morocco's southern capital, competing with Fez not just metaphorically but militarily and religiously too, during the cyclical evangelical revivals. Moroccan history is a repeating pattern; periods of liberalism followed by corruption and immorality, followed by religious revival and war and destruction. When religion and war exhaust the inhabitants, tolerance and liberalism at last return, and the pattern starts all over again. Marrakech and Fez have been the most common combatants in this repeating cycle of history. Posterity has lost many architectural masterpieces through such conflicts. Of those that remain, we tour the Palais de la Bahaia which housed Bou Ahmed's four wives, 24 concubines and numerous children, and visit the Saadian Tombs, the royal burial ground of the Saadian dynasty. If time and interest allow, we view the extensive Berber collection of clothing, jewelry, textiles, doors, baskets and carpets at the Maison Tiskiwin and take a break to walk through Jardin Majorelle with its extensive international collection of plants. Return to the medina for any last minute shopping before reflecting on your Moroccan adventure at a farewell dinner. Overnight at Riad Daria or Riad Samsara (or similar) [BLD]

Today we transfer to the airport for our international departure out of Marrakesh with connecting flight through Casablanca. Or extend your Morocco vacation with a few days along the coast.

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