Moroccan Adventure, Culture & Relaxation – 9 Days
Combining desert adventures, High Atlas hiking, cultural experiences and relaxation with this 9-day tour, there is something for every traveler.
Stroll through Marrakech’s old medina and labyrinthine souks
Hike through the village at the foot of the Atlas Mountains and spend the night with a local family
Follow the ancient caravan routes, along oasis and fortified castles in the Moroccan desert
Climb the 18th-century walls of Essaouira and enjoy fresh seafood
|Days 1-2 Discover Marrakech, the “red city” of Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 3 Cross the High Atlas Mountains into the desert Boumalne Dades||Boumalne dades|
|Day 4 Desert Town and Sahara Camping||Merzouga|
|Day 5 Date Palms, Alnif and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah||Ait Benhaddou|
|Day 6 Ait Benhaddou, Tizi-n-Tichka Pass over the High Atlas, Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 7 Trekking in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and overnight in the Berber home of Amizmiz||Amizmiz|
|Day 8 Essaouira: seaside ramparts, kitesurfing and fresh seafood||Essaouira|
|Day 9 Return to Marrakech and depart||Departure|
Moroccan Adventure, Culture & Relaxation – 9 Days program itinerary
Days 1: Marrakech: Exploring the Red City
Welcome to Marrakech! Known as the “Red City” for its 1,000-year-old red sandstone walls and buildings, Marrakech is a major economic center. Marrakech has Berber rather than Arab roots and was once an important trading capital for the tribes of the Atlas Mountains. Position yourself around the bustling Jemaa el-Fna square in Marrakech: the souk (market) to the north, the Koutoubia mosque and gardens to the west, and the kasbah (fort or fortification) area with the Saadian mausoleum, Bahía Palace and El Badi palace are to the south. In Ville Nouvelle you will find the Majorelle Gardens.
For a unique way to explore the medina (old town), board a calèche (horse carriage in French) and start acclimatizing to your surroundings. Look out for medieval inns that provided accommodation and supplies for merchants and travelers. Today, some have been converted into residences or large shopping areas and workshops that you can explore. Find your way to the Koutoubia Mosque and relax in the gardens surrounded by fountains and palm trees. Although the mosque is not accessible to non-Muslims, its 12th-century foundation and minaret are worth checking out.
As night falls, Jemaa el-Fna comes alive with musicians and storytellers, acrobats and dancers, and even snake charmers. Wander through the rows of food stalls offering everything from dinner to fruit drinks, dried dates and small snacks. For a bite to eat, or for a more relaxed experience, grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafés above the square while watching the show below.
Day 2: Marrakech: Palaces & Souks
Meet your guide on a half-day tour to discover the finer details of Ben Youssef Madrasah and see the 16th century architecture. Admire traditional Moroccan craftsmanship: carved cedar, carved plaster, arabesques, Islamic calligraphy and colorful zellij (mosaic tiles). Wander the old residence halls where up to 800 students once lived, and visit the prayer hall.
Spend time exploring the Dar Si Said Museum (also known as the Museum of Moroccan Art), admiring exhibits of clothing, antiques, jewelry, and intricately carved Spanish Moorish ornaments. Afterwards, indulge your senses as you explore the complex labyrinth of souks hidden behind ordinary restaurants and shops. Head to Souk el Attarin, Souk Chouari and Souk Smata for a variety of spices, woodwork and babouche (traditional Moroccan slippers). Visit the Souk des Teinturiers (dyers’ souks) and see for yourself how leather and fabric are dyed.
Day 3 Cross the High Atlas Mountains into the desert Boumalne Dades
Leaving the busy city, head east to the desert and up the High Atlas Mountains. See if you can see Mount Toubkal, the highest peak at 13,671 feet (4,167 meters). Along the way, you will pass many Berber villages with traditional mud-brick buildings. Enjoy lunch at Taddert and visit a local argan oil cooperative to learn how local women extract the precious oil from argan to make oil for the health, food and cosmetic industries. Follow the winding road to the Tizi n’Tichka pass, stopping for panoramic views.
Continue east to the Desert Junction and the filming location of Ouarzazate. Take a movie studio tour and discover that your favorite movies were shot in nearby desert areas. Drive along the Valley of the Thousand Castles towards Boumalne Dades, passing many small towns and you will see traditional farming methods in use. As you pass through the fragrant “Valley of Roses” Kela’a M’gouna, keep an eye out for the nomads tending their animals. You will eventually arrive at Boumalne dades, a major town connected to the Dades River.
Day 4 Desert Town and Sahara Camping
Today, you will continue eastwards to your final destination: the sand sea of Erg Chebbi outside Merzouga. Along the way, stop at Tin Hill to admire the river oasis that stretches on either side of the town. The surrounding desert landscape features impressive hills, mesas and plateaus. Nearby, you will have the opportunity to explore the Todra Gorge, a 984-foot (300 m) deep canyon cut by the Todra River. Continue to the desert town of Erfoud. Famous for its figs and fossils, visit a craft workshop to learn how the fossil-rich rocks are ingeniously transformed into practical and decorative objects.
When you’re near the Saharan town of Merzouga, stop by the market town of Rissani and be sure to visit the livestock auction and the “donkey car park”. Leaving Rissani, you will begin to see the beginning of the huge dunes of Erg Chebbi, looming over the horizon. Once in Merzouga, ride a camel into the desert and enjoy the sunset over the large sand dunes. Return back to Erg Chebbi desert camp for enjoy your dinner. Relax by the campfire, listen to traditional Berber music and admire the vast starry night sky before heading back to your Bedouin-style tent.
Day 5 Date Palms, Alnif and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah
Wake up early to witness the Saharan sunrise, then explore more of the desert: rent a sandboard, take an Erg Chebbi tour (around the dunes), or a quad ATV tour. Head south to Khemliya to discover this traditional Saharan village. You will have a second chance to stop in Rissani to visit Maison Tuareg, a warehouse selling traditional rugs, jewellery and leather goods. From there, walk through the umbrella-like trees of the Acacia forest, and then arrive at Al Nif for lunch. Continue through the Draa Valley with lush date palms and a chance to take a box of dates for a drive.
Continue west to the medieval Aït Benhaddou, ending the tour with a stop in Ouarzazate. Movie lovers may enjoy visiting the Musée du Cinema. Aït Benhaddou is a UNESCO-protected site and Morocco’s most famous fortress, which once occupied an important position on the trans-Saharan trade route between Marrakech, Ouarzazate and the southern desert. Spend the night in the old town and hang out in the empty alleys after the daytime crowds leave. Pay a nominal fee to enter some kasbahs, then climb to the roof for a beautiful view of the surrounding ksours (single kasbahs) and Ouarzazate valley.
Day 6 Ait Benhaddou, Tizi-n-Tichka Pass over the High Atlas, Marrakech
Explore the narrow passages and alleys to get a real feel for this 11th-century fortified city before the crowds pour into the old castle. Depart Aït Benhaddou and head back to Marrakech for the last time through the High Atlas Mountains, through the Tizi n’Tichka pass. As you descend the northern slopes of the High Atlas Mountains, you will notice dramatic changes in climate and landscape. After the tranquility of the mountains and desert, you will soon arrive in lively Marrakech.
You may want to spend the time in the afternoon at a slower pace. Visit Jemaa el-Fnaa square and dinner at one of the many food stalls.. Take a short walk in the evening to admire the floodlit Koutoubia Mosque before returning to your accommodation.
Day 7 Trekking in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and overnight in the Berber home of Amizmiz
Today we’re heading to the small town of Amizmiz (about an hour south) at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains, south of Marrakech. Explore the modest markets of the old town before joining a mountain guide to trek through the narrow streets of the surrounding hills and mule trails. Hike between small Amazigh villages and watch local farmers and shepherds love animals and landscapes. You may also see children going to and from school, which are usually shared by several nearby villages.
Enjoy lunch with your local family, learn how to make homemade bread, and gain insights into their daily lives. Continue hiking until the afternoon before returning to another local Amazighian home. You can have dinner there and have a room to retire at night.
Day 8 Essaouira: seaside ramparts, kitesurfing and fresh seafood
After breakfast, head west to the Atlantic coast and the charming seaside town of Essaouira. The route along the way takes you through vast rolling plains and characteristic argan forests. If you’re lucky, you might see goats in the trees eating argan fruit, a sight to behold when pastures are limited or unavailable. Along the way, you can choose to stop at an argan oil cooperative to see how the precious and expensive oil is extracted from the nuts.
Arrive in the laid-back port city of Essaouira, contrasted with frenetic Marrakech, and spend the rest of the day as you choose. Peruse the UNESCO-protected medina, go horseback riding in the surf, take a kite surfing lesson, or stroll along the coast at the Skala de la Kasbah (18th-century coastal city wall). Designed by European engineers, ancient brass cannons line the walls to provide access overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Fans of Jimi Hendrix might want to take a taxi to Diabat at the end of Essaouira Beach, where he reportedly spent some time. Walk back to Essaouira for a meal of freshly caught seafood.
Day 9 Return to Marrakech and depart
Essaouira, known as the “windy city” for its crescent-shaped beaches, hit by the strong Alizee trade winds, is a popular surfing destination. Spend the morning watching windsurfers, surfers and kitesurfers, or the more adventurous, take a lesson before saying goodbye and head back to Marrakech.
Depending on your flight details, you may want to explore the Kasbah area south of Jemaa el-Fna. Visit the Saadian Mausoleum and learn about the 500-year-old craftsmanship in its construction. Visit the sunken gardens of the 17th-century Badi Palace as you pass through the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) and the 19th-century Bahia Palace. Visit the only surviving Almoravid monument, the 12th-century Almoravid Quba, then spend some time at the Marrakech Museum in the 19th-century Dar Mnebbi Palace, admiring modern and traditional Berber and Moroccan art.
- include Private tour
- Daily breakfast Hotel accommodation and all transportation in Maeeakech
- Airport Full transportation with air-conditioning,
- gas and driver English speaking guide and driver Overnight in Marrakech, Dades valley, Sahara desert, Ait Benhaddou, Amizmiz & Essaouira
- Tour Guide in Marrakech
- including breakfast
- Daily including breakfast, free time to explore scenic spots, take photos, etc.
- Customized and flexible stops
- Travel insurance
- Entrance tickets to monuments
NOTE : At Traveling Morocco Agency we offer Luxury & Standard accommodations Tour from Marrakech to Marrakech via Chefchaouen,Fes, Meknes, , .
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