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Family Moroccan Imperial Cities tour
Education / Learning Cooking Family Moroccan Imperial Cities package
Hiking & Walking Educational/ learning Family Moroccan Imperial Cities package

Family Moroccan Imperial Cities

Explore! Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
93%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
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
10 days
From: $ 820 $ 82 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Historic Imperial cities - Experience Morocco's oldest imperial city, Fez and Marrakech with its vast central market place brimming with activity, Djemaa El-Fna.
  • Fez - Lose yourself in the melee of the centuries-old souks.
  • Travel into the desert - Travel like a nomad in a camel caravan and climb vast sand dunes in the Saharan desert.
  • Explore the Atlas Mountains - Go behind the scenes of Game of Thrones and Gladiator in Ait Benhaddou and discover the remote region of dramatic gorges and tranquil valleys.

Short Description

Immerse yourself in the exotic colours and cultures that make Morocco a truly captivating destination for families. Explore the medieval imperial cities of Fez and Marrakesh, camp under the stars in the Sahara, climb the vast sand dunes at Merzouga and trek in the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. Spend time with local Berber communities in the Rose Valley where we get to explore the valleys on foot. A great all round family adventure.

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 N/A
Start City N/A
End City Marrakech

Destinations

Morocco

Cities & Attractions

N/A

Age Requirement

7

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join the trip in Fes.

Description

Arrive at Fes airport and drive a short distance to our hotel and check in. For those arriving earlier in the day, it's recommended you hire a local guide if you wish to head into the medina, we recommend getting a guide as it is so immense it's very easy to lose your way! Alternatively kick back and relax by the hotel swimming pool.

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - Explore the medieval city of Fes the including Royal Palace and the bustling souks in the medina.

Description

After breakfast we take a guided group walking tour of the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali. During this morning's sightseeing we will view the Royal Palace and drive out to North Bori for some great views back across the city.

On route back to the medina we make a stop at a ceramic factory, where you can see potters working in the traditional way before starting our tour of the historic centre of Fes El Bali (Old Fes). We head into the souks and backstreets, wandering past the spice stalls and taking in the opulent majesty that makes Fes such a popular destination. As we head deeper into the historic medina the thrum of traffic quickly fades, replaced by the clamour of shopkeepers selling their ware. Noisy and pungent, the medina of Fes is a totally absorbing experience. Our city guide walks us through different sections of the souk - from those selling brass, copper, wooden craft and leather. Craftwork made and sold in the Fes medina is considered amongst the finest in Morocco. And of course, no visit to Fes is complete without a visit to the tanneries, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits.

After lunch our exploration of the city continues with a the luxurious majesty of the 14th century Attarin Madrasa whose intricate decoration and elegant design makes it one of the city's most captivating medieval colleges. As we walk through the market we smell freshly cooked baghrir, or Berber pancakes and we can try Harira soup, a tasty broth made from chickpeas, tomatoes and Moroccan spices.

You may consider heading back to the Palais Jamai after the tour for a drink late afternoon to watching the sunset over the Medina while a dozen prayer calls vie for attention, an experience you'll likely to remember for a long time.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 3 - Travel across mountain passes into the Sahara desert to the oasis town of Erfoud.

Description

Heading south, a long but rewarding travelling day we pass over the stunning Middle Atlas, heading first towards to Immouzer and Ifrane and passing near the small mountain village of Azrou, which in the Berber tongue translates as 'the rock'. This is the land of the fiercely independent Berbers, the Lords of the Atlas, whose traditions and ways still hold sway up here in their mountain strongholds far away from the cities below. The Berbers present us with a unique view of a way of life lost to the rest of North Africa, where music and dance and even language are far removed from their Arab neighbours.

Continuing into Berber sheep-raising country we head to Timadite and over the Col du Zad, before crossing the Tizi N'Tairhemt pass and via the Gorge du Ziz to Er Rachidia. Finally we traverse a broad plateau passed Meski Oasis, the so-called Blue Spring bordering the arid desert plains, from where our journey brings us at last into the Sahara to the desert settlement of Erfoud. Total journey time is approximately 7 hours excluding stops.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 4 - Lunch with a local family, camel ride to Bedouin camp in the dunes for sunset.

Description

This morning is a chance to rest and relax by the hotel pool before leaving late morning for Merzouga. We break for lunch at a local family's home and try out Tajine - the national dish of Morocco.

With a backdrop of the Erg Chebbi sand dunes, the charming Saharan village of Merzouga feels perfectly isolated; the Erg Chebbi dunes are the most stunning in the country and a highlight of any visit to Morocco. Mid-afternoon, meet our team of camel handlers and set off on a memorable Saharan experience, a two hour camel trek through the dunes to an oasis, where we spend the night in a simple Bedouin camp. The Erg Chebbi is one of the world's iconic landscapes, a vast sea of shifting wind-swept sand with towering dunes up to 150 metres in height. On arrival in camp there is time to explore the largest sand sea in Morocco or to relax by the dunes. The sand sea is famed for its pink tones that take on a spectacular rose colour at sunset, a photographers dream.

Tonight we stay in a traditional Bedouin camp, with large family tents exclusively for our group. Although there is a dining tent, most of our groups prefer to dine under the stars. Please note we recommend you bring a 3-4 season sleeping bag depending on season, sleeping bags can be hired at an extra cost, however these must be requested in advance.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - Sunrise over the dunes. Camel ride back to Merzouga, drive to Todra Gorge.

Description

After sunrise, we leave our desert camp and travel by camel, back to Merzouga where we have the chance to freshen up before heading to the Berber town of Tinghir (approximately 3.5 hours' drive). After we check into our hotel, we drive up the valley to the impressive Todra Gorge. For those that wish to, head out for a guided short walk here and appreciate the forces of nature. The gorge is a massive trench that rises over 250 metres and is one of Morocco's greatest natural sights. As we walk, the rocks change colour as the sun progressively moves through the sky. Dinner is included tonight.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 - Explore the Dades gorge. Continue to the mountain valleys.

Description

Known as the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs, the Dades Valley region has some of the most authentic Berber settlements of all the Southern Oasis Valleys, each of the oasis towns benefiting from its own distinctive feel. Whilst many of the original Kasbahs now lie in ruins, there are still enough to give a real flavour of Morocco's ancient heritage, with some of the valley women still favouring the traditional colourful dress and ornaments worn by their ancestors.

This morning we pass through this fascinating landscape, heading for the Dades Gorge. The waters of the Dades River feed the Dades Valley as it flows from the slopes of the High Atlas and across the high plateau, carving the great chasms of the Dades Gorge, before it continues to feed the waters of the Ouarzazate Lake and the Draa.
We'll go for a walk along the Dades river taking in a landscape steeped in natural and cultural treasures, where Kasbahs and kours (fortified villages) lie amongst fertile fields of almond and walnut trees and towering limestone cliffs.

Then we continue and drive to the Valley of Roses and the village of BouTrarar which lies at the foot of a rocky outcrop separating the Dades and Mgoun Valleys. Famed for its roses, the village lies blanketed under a landscape of scented blooms each spring, which are then harvested in May during the famous Festival of the Roses and processed into rosewater to be sold throughout the Islamic world.

Tonight we stay in a simple guesthouse.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 - Full day to explore the beauty of the Valley of the Roses, home to Morocco's most villages.

Description

We spend the day in this amazing valley formed by many rivers coming all from the Mgoun massif. After breakfast we drive to the village of Alemdoun to walk through the canyon of Targhia Agouti, full of laurels and olive groves. We break for picnic lunch outside the canyons then continue along fields of wheat and barley surrounded by rose bushes. Towards the end of the walk we have the opportunity to visit a traditional Kasbah joining the owner for a cup of tea in their house. Total walking time, five hours plus time for lunch and stops for kids to explore old kasbahs along the way, approximately 15km.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - Travel to picture-perfect Ait Benhaddou, negotiate your way through its winding alleys.

Description

After breakfast we drive to the desert city of Ouarzazate and on to the well-preserved Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, considered by many to be one of Morocco's most picturesque settings. Studded with richly decorated fortified towers, the town's Kasbah is quite spectacular and provided an ideal location for filming scenes from Game of Thrones, Jesus of Nazareth and Gladiator. Take time strolling through the winding streets of the old town accompanied by your Explore leader, it's well worth making the effort to walk to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy the views across the surrounding plains.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 9 - Drive over the high Tizi n' Tichka Pass to Marrakesh for a walking tour.

Description

After breakfast we head for Marrakech passing over the high Tizi n' Tichka pass at 2,260 meters, the highest mountain pass in North Africa before descending into the green valleys of the Marrakech plains.

Morocco's famous 'Red City', Marrakech is the spiritual heart of the country, a cultural melting pot of the mountain Berbers and the desert peoples of the south. Blessed with some of the most stunning architecture in Morocco, its mix of tradition, colour and history makes for a fascinating guided walk through its medina this morning. In the afternoon we head out for a guided tour to help us find our feet and soak up the atmosphere of this amazing city. Our guide will take us to the Bahia Palace and the Saadian tombs. We end in the Djemma el Fna, where the town becomes a maze of bustling bazaars, palaces and mosques. It is worth seeing this renowned landmark in the evening, as Marrakech revolves around this open-air central square. With the food stalls, snake charmers, juice-sellers and acrobats, it is a place of night-time entertainment for both local people and visitors.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 10 - Free time to discover the sights of Marrakesh where the trip ends.

Description

The trip ends today in Marrakech. Depending on the schedule of your flights, you may wish to spend some additional time in the souks or in the Djemma el Fna Square before departure.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 820
Price Per Day: $ 82 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

30 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 24
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 1
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.5

Family Moroccan Imperial Cities

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Company Reviews

Wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I was grateful to Explore with my booking as I was forced to cancel at a late date and then was enabled to rebook which meant the difference between having no summer holiday and a wonderful one. All of the administration seemed to be very efficient, friendly and professional.
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Wonderful holiday memories

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have travelled all over the world with explore on their family adventure holidays. We have an only child and she benefited so much with instant friendships, and has some wonderful holiday memories. Explore has always been very helpful with the booking process, and we have found most of the tour leaders they use to be professional, committed, really good at their jobs.
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Extremely enjoyable

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have travelled with Explore on several occasions. Each experience has been positive and every trip extremely enjoyable. The itinerary’s are excellent ensuring a full and varied experience and the use of local guides is hugely beneficial.
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It's fantastic trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
It's fantastic trip for me..just not very happy for accommodation. And the trip leader .If he can make more time with us.and make more interesting and funny when he was talking. It is should be good..other way he is good..
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wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Danijela, our tour guide, was wonderful. She shared plenty of facts about Croatia with us and managed all the arrangements really well. One of our group had a birthday while we were away and Danijela gave her a present and we celebrated. Transfers to and from the airport went well. Prior to going, the staff on the phones were really helpful with any questions.
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Great experiences

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our third family adventure with Explore, all have been great experiences. Kids bond immediately and adults can melt into the background and relax. The size of the groups makes mixing manageable and the guides and crews have been first rate throughout.
Read more

Details

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

A selection of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your Family adventure. Whilst the basic tour price you pay before you travel includes a great selection of highlights, we have also built in free time to allow you the flexibility to choose from a carefully selected range of additional excursions and activities or take time to relax, the choice is yours. At certain destinations along the way there may be several options to choose from and it may not be possible to fit all the activities in; your Explore Leader will be able to give advice on which are the most suitable for your family. Marrakech: Day 10: Enjoy a traditional hammam £5 per person.

Guides

An Explore Leader is an integral part of any Explore trip and your trip will be led by one of our experienced Explore Leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our Explore Leaders are the key to the success of our trips; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. Your Explore Leader will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this trip fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Tour Staff

Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s), Cook, Support Driver(s), Cameleers

Age Notes

Min. Age: 7

Trip ID#:

explore-FMO

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