Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Essential Morocco tour
Ait Benhaddou Casablanca Essential Morocco Trip
Cultural Culture Essential Morocco package

Essential Morocco

Geckos Adventures
4.9 . 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: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
11 days
From: $ 748 $ 68 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Pre-2005, you wouldn't have been able to spend a night in holy moulay idriss if you weren't a muslim. these days you can stay with an awesome local family and eat their delicious home-cooked fare no matter your beliefs
  • It's easy to get lost in a labyrinth (think less david bowie film, more medieval maze), especially when there are enticing distractions at every turn. never fear, your local guide knows the city of fes like a lifelong friend
  • Don't get in a hoof when you're offered a camel burger in meknes. like all good food in the medina, this exotic lunch is cooked before your eyes at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant
  • Sleep under the stars in the sahara, watch the sun rise over the dunes, ride a camel through the desert and explore the spectacular todra gorge. is this all a dream?
  • Souq and ye shall find. the marrakech marketplace is even more chaotic than you'd imagine. take a deep breath before you start haggling your socks off with the locals
  • How about tasting some berber whisky? even better, how about learning how to prepare this traditional drink? learn from the experts on one of the exclusive demonstrations.
  • Who knows where the best street food is in marrakech? those who knows the streets of marrakech best. venture out for some street food tasting in the maze of marrakech streets with the local expert.

Short Description

Hang in Casablanca before a homestay in Moulay Idriss, see lots of cool old stuff in Fes, head on to Midelt, Mergouza and Erg Chebbi for walking, ruins and a sunset camel ride. Ride on through the dunes to Todra Gorge, before visiting Dades Valley and Ail Benhaddou. Finish up with High Atlas and sexy Marrakech. Morocco is the land of legendary hospitality, so mind your manners. Bring a scarf to cover your shoulders and take off your shoes if you enter someone's home (plan ahead and wear clean socks).

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
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
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 Casablanca
End City Marrakech

Destinations

Morocco

Cities & Attractions

Ait Benhaddou Casablanca Marrakech

Activities

Culture

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Itinerary

Day 1 Casablanca

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at around 6 pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned until this important meeting. Check the hotel reception for the exact time and place of the meeting. If you can't arrange a flight in time, you might want to arrive a day early – we can book additional accommodation for you, depending on availability. If you're going to be late, please contact the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so make sure you have these ready to give your trip leader. If you do arrive early in Casablanca, get out and explore the city. A good place to start is the Old Medina. Try some hot, syrupy mint tea along the way. Notes: Some travellers in Casablanca are being approached by locals offering excursions before their Geckos trip commences. This has been particularly common in and around the hotels used by Geckos. These guides are in no way connected to Geckos and we cannot guarantee the safety or quality standards of their tours. We strongly advise customers not to join any tour offered by unauthorised guides. Geckos assesses the safety of all optional excursions offered by our local leaders. If you would like more information on the excursions available, please contact us before you travel, or see the Geckos-branded notice in the reception of your hotel.

Day 2 Meknes - Moulay Idriss

After breakfast it's time for an optional guided tour of the Hassan II Mosque. Please advise your leader if you would like to take this option. Entrance fees are paid locally. More than 6,000 craftsmen joined forces to build this beauty in 1993. It's one of the few mosques in Morocco that foreigners are allowed to enter. You'll be joining other people for this tour, but you can upgrade to your own guide if you like – just talk to your leader. Later, head to the station and take a local train to Meknes (approximately 2.5 hours). When you arrive, you'll jump into a taxi and pop over to the whitewashed village of Moulay Idriss, one of Morocco's most important pilgrimage sites. You'll stay with a local family here this evening. Staying overnight here has only been allowed for foreigners since 2005. Lucky you! Notes: Your guided tour of Meknes will be either today or tomorrow.

Day 3 Fes

Take a drive through the beautiful rolling hills to Volubilis for a guided tour of these epic Roman ruins. After Volubilis, head back to Meknes where you'll meet your local guide for a tour. Prepare for an unusual lunchtime – you'll be able to get a camel burger. Now that's a burger bar with a difference! Fear not if you’re a vegetarian, there will be an option for you too. Travel by train from Meknes to Fes (approximately 40 minutes). It's an amazing living museum, like stepping into medieval times. Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses – with a huge, well-preserved medieval old city that’s the mother of all medinas. With the free afternoon, take a walk around, perhaps find a quiet place and listen to the evening ‘call for prayer’. It’s a cool thing to do. Notes: The tour of Meknes, if it hasn’t happened yesterday, will take place today morning.

Day 4 Fes

Getting lost in Fes is half the fun, but you'll have an orientation walk this morning to help you get the lay of the land first. Join your local leader to browse markets stalls, meet craftsmen and see beautiful mosques. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the city's coolest buildings, which has recently been restored and is now open to visitors. You'll also visit the famous tannery and its dye pits (which are also famously stinky, but well worth it), and a ceramic factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. Then enjoy some free time and maybe check out the exquisite carvings and magnificent tile work at the Medersa el Attarine (near the spice and perfume market). Fes is a shopping heaven for those who want to pick up a souvenir or two. Today is going to be a big day so remember to keep hydrated and pack some snacks.

Day 5 Midelt

Travelling south across a bunch of different terrain, you will reach Ifrane, a mountain resort established by the French in 1929. After a short stop for coffee and a leg-stretch, continue further south. Then, at Midelt, the landscape opens up, giving way to awesome views to the west. This smallish market town, surrounded by farmland and orchards, is a great spot to break up the journey to the Sahara. It was originally built as a base for mining in the area. You'll see Berber people and nomadic shepherds tending to their flocks. You'll stay the night in Midelt. But first it's time for a nice walk (approximately 1.5–2 hours). The walk itself is easy, but the terrain is rocky in some places, so wear your best walking shoes. Bring your camera too, or your smartphone or whatever, because the scenes along the way might just make your Instagram account explode.

Day 6 Merzouga

On your way to the desert, stop at the spectacular narrow defile known as the Gorges du Ziz. Then head to the large town of Er Rachidia. Pass the 500-year old ruins of the Ksar of Meski then descend into the Ziz Valley, a particularly fertile region that produces figs, olives, dates and tamarisk – a fruit grown for its tannin and used in the curing of leather skins. Arrive in Merzouga, drop your main bags off at a simple Auberge (that's French for 'inn'), then take your day pack filled with overnight essentials. Time to experience a desert full of awesome. The mode of transport: camel, of course. Brace yourself for one heck of a sunset. This ride takes about an hour, going through the sea of sand to your private desert camp for an overnight stay. In the camp, you'll have a thin mattress, blankets and sheets. Make sure you bring a sleeping sheet if it's winter (you'd be surprised how cold it can get). Sleep under the stars and have a really romantic 'I am so far from home' kinda moment.

Day 7 Todra Gorge - Dades Valley

Hope you remembered to set your alarm this morning, because you'll be getting up well before the crack of dawn. Climb to a nearby sand dune to catch the sunrise. Watch the Sahara come alive! You'll also enjoy another fun camel ride through the sand dunes while the sun is rising higher and higher. Head back to the Auberge, collect the rest of your gear and then travel west to Todra. Then you'll come across a bright tablecloth of green that might seem so out of place you'll think you are dreaming. This valley is pretty impressive, with all its palm trees and mud-brick villages. Arrive at your hotel at the top of the valley, then take a hike into the gorge where sheer cliffs rise more than 1,000 feet above you.

Day 8 Ait Benhaddou

From Todra Gorge, travel along the ‘Road of 1,000 Kasbahs’ and enjoy views of the Dades Gorge. You'll also travel past the town of Skoura, home to the beautiful little houses rising like a mirage beyond a dry riverbed. Continue to the medieval mud-brick town of Ait Benhaddou, which is at its best in the late afternoon sun. If you wonder why Ait Benhaddou looks familiar to you, it is because you have seen it before! Perhaps not live, but certainly on the silver screen. Gladiator, Game of Thrones and loads of other movies and shows were filmed in this kasbah. Explore the many old streets and climb up to the fortress for a superb view over the old town. You can also – for a small fee – enter one of the most interesting of the old houses, climbing up to the turrets for a view over the river. You'll spend the night just outside the walls.

Day 9 High Atlas - Marrakech

Continue west, passing a few Berber villages. Take in those epic views of the countryside. Wind your way up towards Tizi ‘n Tichka. This is a whopping 2,260 metres above sea level, the highest pass on the road to Marrakech. It often gets covered with snow during the winter months. Leaving the Atlas behind, you'll descend into the plains that surround Marrakech and arrive late afternoon. Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Take an orientation walk around the old medina and the city's seemingly endless mosaic of souqs. Each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. Sample some of the best street food in the world on the way. Then enjoy some free time. This is a good chance to get lost in the fun of Jemaa el Fna, where there are so many fire-eaters, fortune-tellers, actors, musicians and hawkers vying for your attention.

Day 10 Marrakech

Free day in Marrakech so where to start? Cycling trip, maybe a day trip out for some walking? No? Luxury Hammam and Spa, cooking class, quad-biking? Options are endless. Or, if you want to keep it simple, make a beeline to the food stalls for some tagine or some other Moroccan treat (nothing says 'I can't give you any money' like a face full of fava-bean dip). You might also like to visit the 16th-century ruins of the El Badi Palace, the famous Majorelle Garden or the adjacent Museum of Islamic Art. In the evening you will no doubt be drawn back to Jemaa el Fna for a final night out with your new pals.

Day 11 Marrakech

Your trip ends on today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around noon and you are free to leave at any time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you want to spend more time exploring Marrakech.

Availability

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Price From $ 748
Price Per Day: $ 68 per day
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Stride Featured in

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15 Geckos Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 13
Great 2
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

Essential Morocco

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Company Reviews

abosolutely recommend

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just completed the Indochina All Stars Tour, amazing! The tour leaders are awesome and the whole concept of the Geckos Adventure travel is excellent. I would absolutely recommend this tour to anyone.
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Perfect! What more can I say!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I went to Egypt on a small tour and it was perfect. The guide was awesome and a credit to this company he was very knowledgeable and was more then a guide, some people just to their job, this guy went beyond that and did more then his job and made the experience great. I had a minor accident which was dealt with swiftly and perfectly by Geckos and the Guide. I am hoping to travel to Kenya and Tanzania this September, expect a booking from me Geckos :)

The tour itself was totally what I like from start to finish. Easy to book, cheap, and just pure brilliant, want an adventure, it begins here :)

I have don't many tours over the years and as a traveler who spends much time on the road and filming videos about my adventures, this adventure exceeded my expectations.
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Details

Accomodations

Desert camp (1 night), Guesthouse (2 nights), Hotel (7 nights)

Guides

All Geckos Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Geckos Adventures endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other tour leaders. In Morocco, you can be sure your tour leader will be born and breaded Moroccan. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Geckos Adventures we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Hotel Amalou
  • 156 Avenue Abdelkrim Khattabi Gueliz, Gueliz, 40 000 Marrakech, Morocco
  • Marrakech
  • MOROCCO
  • Phone: +212 524422356

Trip ID#:

geckos-GEBM

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