Magical Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains of Morocco

Unlike any other African country, Morocco has towering mountains, a windswept Atlantic coast and of course, the dunes of the Sahara desert. An assortment of cultural influences make this nation so unique–from the Roman empire, through Arab conquest, to its French protectorate status in the 20th century, Morocco has formed its own, highly unique culture through absorbing the influence of its conquerors and visitors.

Well-preserved medinas throughout the country beckon with their maze of streets, sidewalk market stalls, and hidden courtyards. Men and women alike emerge refreshed and relaxed from neighborhood hammams, timeless bathhouses where steam, water, and vigorous massage come together in a unique cultural experience. And the art of negotiation gets fierce in the atmospheric souks, where visitors and locals buy everything from carpets to handbags to dried fruit.

From well-spiced tagines and raisin-studded couscous, to mint tea and fresh orange juice—the flavor of Morocco is vibrant and tantalizing. There is something fascinating for every visitor, whether it’s the country’s rich past, the thrill of wandering a vivacious city, or the outdoor pursuits in Morocco’s varied landscapes.

 

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day One.   Arrival in Casablanca and drive to Rabat

Moroccan Mint Tea         served on a rooftop terrace.

You are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in downtown Rabat. We will stroll through the colonial district with its impressive Art Deco architecture. In the evening, we will have a Welcome Dinner to commence our journey through Magical Morocco

Lodging: Riad Dar Dar or similar

Meals Included: Dinner

 

Day Two.  Rabat to Fez

In the morning we set off en route to Fez via Meknes and Volubilis. We will visit Morocco’s largest winery to have a private tour and wine tasting. We will explore the Roman ruins at Volubilis, the most southerly Roman ruin site in Morocco before proceeding the to the fabled city of Fez.

Lodging: Riad Dar Finn or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

 


  • Morocco
  • $4155/person (double occupancy)
  • $1325/person (single occupancy)
  • Mar. 7 – Mar. 22 , 2018 (16 days)
  • Group Size: 7 min – 10 max
  • View Morocco Map Below

 

 

Day Three.  Fez

Weaver in Fez

Fez is one of the last remaining pockets of medieval civilization and its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Also known as the intellectual heart of Morocco, the city boasts some of the country’s finest craftsmen and monuments. We will wander and photograph in the labyrinth of narrow streets in the ancient quarter and then visit the oldest university in the world, the Al-Karaouine University, and enjoy a talk with a university professor.  In the afternoon, there is free time of exploring on your own.

Lodging: Riad Dar Finn or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

 

Day Four.  Fez

Fez Cooking Class

Today you will learn to cook the Moroccan way! Hosted by a Moroccan family, we will have a total immersion into Moroccan culture and family life! We will visit a local souk (an Arab market) to shop for the food ingredients, go to a farran (community bread oven), and cook and then eat in true Moroccan style.

Lodging: Riad Dar Finn or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

 

Day Five.  Fez to Erg Chebbi

Cedar Forests in the Middle Atlas Mountains

Today we drive through the Middle Atlas Mountains and the Ziz Gorge to the dunes of Merzouga.

We will see Barbary Apes living wild in the cedar forests, visit the university town of Ifrane and continue to Erg Chebbi with is at the foot of the highest dunes in Morocco.

Lodging: Riad Madu or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day Six.   Erg Chebbi to Desert Tent Camp

Erg Chebbi

Today we will experience the Moroccan Sahara. We will drive to the dunes where we will meet a fleet of camels for the one hour trek on camelback across the dunes to the secluded eastern side and our tent camp. The camp is set up on the eastern side of the highest dunes and offers a stunning panorama of the shifting sands of the Sahara desert. Tents are equipped with comfortable beds and private toilet facilities.

Lodging: Jaimas Madu Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day Seven.  Jaimas Madu Camp to Skoura

Breakfast in Skoura

We will leave the dunes for our onward journey towards Marrakech. We will drive along the south side of the High Atlas Mountains where we will have excellent views of the range. We will visit the Todra Gorge, a dramatic sandstone ravine, and stop for lunch. In the afternoon we will reach the oasis town of Skoura where we will spend the evening.

Lodging:  L’Ma Lodge or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

 

 

Day Eight.  Skoura

Skoura is on the of the most authentic and timeless regions of Morocco where desert and mountain scenery is combined with interesting cultural encounters with the local Berber people. This is an area that is rich with colors–canyon lands with streams and bright strips of land under cultivation where women in colorful clothes do their washing in the river. We will stop at the quaint village of Boutara to visit local potters and cheese makers.

Lodging: L’Ma Lodge or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day Nine.  Skoura to Marrakech

Ait Benhaddou

Our journey today takes us to Ait Benhaddou, the most impressive and well-preserved kasbah complex in Morocco. An 11th century ksour (collection of kasbahs) which is still inhabited. It is one of the finest examples of mudbrick architecture in Morocco.  We will continue driving on one of the highest paved roads in Africa to arrive in Marrakech.

Lodging: Ryad el Borj or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

Day Ten.  Marrakech

Ometepe Island rests in the middle of the large Lake Nicaragua

A non active volcano on Ometepe Island.

The capital of the Morrocan south,  Marrakech is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to be the second largest medieval complex in the world. Today we will go with our guide to the medina and visit the souks and workshops which have changed little since the Middle Ages. The afternoon will be free to explore on your own.

Lodging: Ryad el Borj or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day Eleven.  Marrakech to Imlil and return

Weddings on Valentines Day in Nicaragua are free.

Couples line up for a Nicaraguan group wedding

Today we will take a day trip to the village of Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains outside of Marrakech. In the midst of picturesque walnut groves and streams coming from the mountains, we will walk for an hour to a small village where we will have a traditional tagine lunch at a Berber Lodge. Later we will visit a couple of homes and experience traditional Berber hospitality before returning to Marrakech.

Lodging: Ryad el Borj or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

 

Day Twelve.  Marrakech

Today is a totally free day for you to enjoy Marrakech. Numerous options await you to further explore this colorful city: you can visit the botanical garden Jardin Marjorelle, bargain for a rug in the market Bab el  Khemis, or enjoy a traditional massage and steam bath.

Lodging: Ryad el Borj or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day Thirteen.  Marrakech to Essouira

On our way to Essouira, we will visit a Womens’ Cooperative that produces argan oil, a product endemic to Morocco and famed for its healing and skin care qualities. We continue on to Essouira, perched above the Atlantic Ocean and called “The Pearl of the Kingdom”. This picturesque 18th century port town boasts an attractive main square which was used in Orson Welles’ Othello. The relaxed atmosphere makes this an ideal place to buy local crafts or walk along the wide sandy bay, popular with wind and kite surfers.

 

Lodging: Ryad Watier or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day Fourteen.  Essouira

Today is a totally free day to enjoy Essouira. There are numerous optional activities you can consider such as mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, sailing, surfing, kite surfing, camel rides and visiting a vineyard. Or you might enjoy visiting more artisan’s workshops and colorful markets or photographing the scenic port and walking along the ocean.

Lodging: Ryad Watier or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

Day Fifteen.  Marrakech to Casablanca

We return to Casablanca today with a lunch stop at the attractive fishing village of Oualidia, which is famed for its oysters and fresh seafood. There will be time for a walk after lunch or an optional boat trip on the lagoon which borders the village.  Continuing on to “Casa”, one of the largest cities in Africa and center of commercial activity in Morocco, we will check into our hotel, an art deco design amidst numerous art deco architecture spread out in the city.

Lodging: Doge Hotel or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day Sixteen.  Casablanca  Tour Ends

After breakfast you will be taken to the  Casablanca Airport for your onward flight.

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

What’s Included

  • All accommodations for 2 people sharing
  • Transfers to and from airports in Casablanca
  • All local ground & river transportation with bottled water, driver, English-speaking guides.
  • Entrance fees on organized excursions
  • Breakfast everyday, four lunches and seven dinners
  • Fez Cooking Class
  • Gratuities for drivers & porters
  • Morocco Visa is not required for US Citizens for stays less than 90 days

What’s Not Included

  • International Air Tickets to/from Morocco
  • Single Room Supplement for rooming alone
  • Trip Cancellation/Travel Insurance
  • Meals where indicated on itinerary
  • Personal expenses (mini-bar, laundry, beverages, phone calls, etc.)
  • Gratuity for English speaking principal guide

Download Registration Form

“This was a primo trip. The kind of experience you remember with fondness forever. Do it! Small Footprints does not do those annoying large group stereotypical tours. These folks are dandy.”
– Patrick, Asheville, NC