Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Moroccan Mosaics tour
Atlas Mountains Essaouira Moroccan Mosaics Trip

Moroccan Mosaics

Encounters Travel
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
9 days
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Overview

Short Description

This 9-day tour begins with the sites of old Marrakech before traversing the Atlas Mountains along some of Morocco’s old caravan routes. You'll see some beautiful scenery in the Draa Valley and at Todra Gorge and Dades Canyon before enjoying a desert 4x4 drive, camel ride and Berber Camp in the sand dunes at Erg Chebbi. Also visited are Ait Benhaddou World Heritage Site, the remote market town of Taroudant and some time by the coast at Essaouira

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Trip Includes

  • All accommodation in 3 & 4 star hotels and Berber desert camp
  • All transport and transfers in AC vehicles with a local driver
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Services of a professional local tour guide
  • Sightseeing tours as per the itinerary
  • Sunset camel ride through the sand dunes
  • 8 breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • Entrances fees to sights visited

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Itinerary

Day 1, Arrive into Marrakech, transfer to hotel
On your arrival in Marrakech airport (RAK) our representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in, relax after your flight, and have a first look around. Extra nights before the tour starts are available on request. If you arrive early enough, you can head into Marrakech's famous Djemaa el Fna Square for a first taste of Moroccan food at one of the main street stalls, while watching the many street performers and salesmen offering their wares.
| OVERNIGHT:
Marrakech 4-star hotel
| EXTRAS:
Single Room Supplement, Extra night - pre-tour

Day 2, Marrakech, city tour
Today’s tour of Marrakech begins with a trip to the iconic Koutoubia Mosque, home to the minaret which has become a symbol of the city. We then visit the Mausoleum and Bahia Palace which both host intricate and beautiful Arabic craftsmanship. Then we head to the lively souks and bazaars in Marrakech's famous medina. Home to many different types of traders these narrow and winding streets are bustling with activity and full of sights sounds and smells uniquely Moroccan. Today’s tour ends at the lively Djemaa El Fna Square.
| OVERNIGHT:
Marrakech 4-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 3, Atlas Mountains, Tizi N'Tichka Col, Dades Canyon
After breakfast this morning we enjoy a spectacular drive across the Tizi N'tichka col which at 2260m is the highest pass in Northern Africa. You'll get great views of the Atlas mountains, with many of the tops covered with snow for much of the year. We then descend and pass Ouarzazate, or 'place of no noise'. An incredibly dramatic landscape, this area has played host to countless well known films. Our final highlight today is a drive through the Dades Canyon with its steep winding access road with numerous switchbacks providing great views of the steep cliffs and the river below which rushes dramatically through the gorge, especially in the spring when the mountain snows are melting. We finish today in Tinghir where we spend the night.
| OVERNIGHT:
Tinghir 4-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4, Todra Gorge, Berber desert camp, sunset camel ride
Our next taste of dramatic Moroccan scenery comes at the Todra Gorge close to Tinghir, where we'll stop for a short hike along the valley floor with rocky cliffs towering above us on both sides. We then continue along the 'road of a thousand Kasbahs' to Erfoud before switching into 4WD vehicles to travel to Merzouga and through the Erg Chebbi sand desert to a traditional Berber camp amidst the dunes. Here a sunset camel ride is included plus a walk to the top of some of the dunes for spectacular views as the sun sinks below the horizon. You'll enjoy a hearty Bedouin meal and a campfire this evening, often with local musicians helping enhance the atmosphere, before sleeping in comfortable Berber camel-hair tents.
| OVERNIGHT:
Berber Desert Camp
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5, Draa Valley, Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou
After breakfast with our Berber hosts we head out of the dunes and drive back to Rissani and the birthplace of the Alaouita Dynasty. We leave our 4WD vehicles here and drive to Erfoud. Lodged in an idyllic setting between the Atlas mountains to the north and the Sahara desert to the south, Erfoud is the administrative capital of the region. We continue back along the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs through the Draa Valley to Ouarzazate where we spend the night. While in Ouarzazate we include a tour of the movie studios that have taken advantage of the amazing scenery in the area. Some of the most famous films that have been shot from the Atlas Studios here include Lawrence of Arabi, The Living Daylights, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Man who would be King, The Mummy, Gladiator, Asterix & Obelisk, Kingdom of Heaven, Kundun, Legionnaire, Hanna, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011), as well as part of the TV series Game of Thrones. Our final visit today is to Morocco's most well known Kasbah at the UNESCO world heritage site of Ait Benhaddou. This is a huge fortified city (ksar - a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls), with houses and kasbahs crowding together inside the defensive walls, an excellent example of traditional Moroccan earthen clay architecture.
| OVERNIGHT:
Ouarzazate 4-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Sunset desert camel ride

Day 6, Taliouine Kasbah, Taroudant walled market town
Our drive today skirts the foothills of the Atlas mountains with some great views to our right hand side, stopping for a break en-route to see the Kasbah at Taliouine and to learn about the production of saffron, the world's most expensive spice, which takes place in only this area in Morocco. If we're lucky we'll see some of Morocco's famous tree climbing goats before we arrive in Taroudant this evening. These goats have learned to climb the local Argan trees in search of the fruit and nuts inside. Taroudant is a large walled Berber market town, and its souqs are reputed to be the best in the south with some excellent local crafts on sale. As you are off the main tourist trail here, you'll get a much more authentic glimpse of everyday life, as well as finding better value in the markets than in Marrakech. The town walls are some of the longest and best preserved in Morocco, with their mud construction changing colour atmospherically as the day progresses - they're best seen in the early evening. You'll have some free time here in Taroudant to explore the souqs, and walk along the walls.
| OVERNIGHT:
Taroudant 3-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 7, Agadir, coastal drive, Essaouira
We head to the coast today with our first stop at Morocco's main resort town of Agadir. We'll take a short tour of the harbour and the famous High Kasbah, destroyed by the earthquake of 1960, before continuing along the coast towards the North Atlantic coastal town of Essaouira. Well regarded as one of Morocco’s most beautiful areas, Essaouira has always attracted and inspired artists, drawn by its good light and tranquil, relaxed way of life. Wandering around the old Medina and its fascinating streets dotted with art galleries it’s not hard to imagine why the city drew visitors such as Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix throughout the years. Essaouira has a wide sandy beach, though the prevailing winds and currents mean this is more of a mecca for kite surfers than for swimming or sunbathing.
| OVERNIGHT:
Essaouira 4-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 8, Essaouira free time. Drive to Marrakech
The first half of the day is free today to explore Essaouira further. You could visit the working port with its busy fish auction market and traditional wooden boat builders; explore the craft stalls and shops in the walled Medina which is UNESCO World Heritage listed and a great example of late 18th century European fortifications in Africa; take a boat trip to the nearby island of Mogador which is a nature reserve popular with birdwatchers; try a windsurfing or kitesurfing lesson from the beach; or just explore randomly at your leisure. While you're here it's also well worth having a meal at one of Essaouira's well known fish stalls, where a wide range of local freshly caught fish and seafood are displayed, ready to be cooked in front of you and served with bread and salad. After lunch we drive back to Marrakech (approx. 2 1/2 hours) for a final evening in this chaotic and busy city.
| OVERNIGHT:
Marrakech 4-star hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Marrakech Hot air balloon flight, Marrakech Quad-biking

Day 9, Marrakech. Free time. Transfer to the airport
Your day is free today to explore Marrakech further, and perhaps do some final souvenir shopping and sightseeing before we transfer you to the airport for your departure
flight. Subject to your flight time, we can also offer a range of day trips and excursions, including a spectacular hot air balloon flight.
| OVERNIGHT:
N/A
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Extra night - post-tour, Marrakech Hot air balloon flight, Marrakech Quad-biking, Imlil day trip

Availability

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5 Encounters Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

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5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
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Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
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Lodging
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Transportation
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Meals
5.0

Moroccan Mosaics

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Knowledgeable and entertaining

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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
I just got back from the Discover Egypt tour and I don't have enough good things to say. Our guide, Mohamed El Zawahry is an Egyptologist and is incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. I took my 2 kids, ages 12 and 16, and he did such an amazing job with them (and everyone else). Honestly as a blond haired, green eyed westerner I was a bit nervous about safety issues, but couldn't have felt better than I did (and I'm not a novice traveler). We saw so many things, learned so much, I only wish I would have added the Jordan trip on the front end of this tour! I had a medical complication in the middle of the trip and Mohammad and Walid went out of their way to help accommodate me. They made this trip so much more than it could have been! I highly recommend all of the 'extra' tours- Abu Simble, hot air balloon, Philae Temple- all incredible. Thanks for everything! My kids are still in awe!
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I just came home from an amazing bespoke trip round North India.
Encounters Travel were amazing. Hotels were beautiful, our driver and local guides I couldn’t praise more. The trip was well planned and ran like clockwork.
I saw some amazing places, learned about the history, architecture and people. I would recommend anyone to go to India and to go with Encounters
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Amazing trip to Egypt!

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I just got back from my amazing trip to Egypt!
My tour was Discover Egypt from January 13 to January 21, 2018... What can I say?! I grew up with a fascination for Egypt and I feel so blessed I was able to go, with so many dates as an option, once I saw the date of my birthday, that was it! What better way to spend my birthday than in a country that has always been on the top of my bucket list !
I was lucky to meet an amazing group of people that shared my desire to see this amazing place and every single person involved in this tour was absolutely amazing! My tour guy Big Mo was the best! I felt very safe and well taken care of from the moment I landed in Egypt to the day I left. I really appreciated the birthday celebration as well!
I miss every single moment I lived during those days.
I went with a fascination and left loving Egypt, it’s culture and it’s beautiful people.
I will treasure this experience forever.
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Well organized

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My husband and I booked the Discover Egypt trip in February 2017 and traveled in may 2017 and it was even more than we could have asked or dreamed it would be. Our group was led by Magz and we learned so much about Egyptian history and current culture. The trip was well organized and communication before during and after the trip was incredible. I have recommended this company to anyone who asks and can't wait to take another trip with them in the future. For any additional questions feel free to message me - I'm happy to provide more feedback. Thank you encounters for the trip of a lifetime!
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Discover Egypt is the most comprehensive tour I've ever been on

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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
Encounters Travel Discover Egypt is the most comprehensive tour I've ever been on.They met us at the airport getting off the plane and took us back to the airport and saw that we got through security and everything in between. It is very safe in Egypt. You can walk the streets and when telling people that ask that we were from America we were met with smiles and positive comments. Because of the low number of tourists in the country right now Encounters Travel has negotiated with the hotels to stay in 5 star hotels. The pyramids are spectacular but it's only a small part of what you will see. Right now there are no crowds. An example My Wife and I took an optional tour to some pyramids southwest of Cairo. We went inside the Red Pyramid to the burial chambers. Two people passed us going in and two people passed us going out. That's 4 other people in the pyramid with us. All of the people with Encounters Travel are there to see to it that you have an enjoyable time and are extremely helpful.Our tour guide Big Mo is very knowledgeable and friendly.The Encounters agent in Hurghada, Mohamed,( I think everyone in Egypt is that name,HaHa) Was extremely pleasant and fun to be with. When Anass,the Encounters manager found out that my wife couldn't walk far he arraigned for a wheel chair to tour the Egyptian museum so she could see it all. This was my second time going on the Discover Egypt tour. I went last year with my son and when my wife heard all of our stories she wanted to see it. Someone asked her on the way home what her favorite part was and she replied "All of it" If you ever thought of going to Egypt now is the time.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 20

Trip ID#:

Encounterstraveltourcms-MOSGMM

Trip Excludes

  • International Flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (not required for most nationalities)
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Single room supplements (chargeable if a same-sex room share is not available)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips
  • Any other items not mentioned above

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