Beauty of Morocco Custom Tour

Travel to the Edge of the World

Beauty of Morocco Custom Tour

from

$2,695.00

Adventure awaits on this exciting 14 day Beauty of Morocco custom tour. A veritable melting pot of Arabic, African and European cultures, Morocco has long draw adventurers, travellers and tourists to the north-western tip of the African continent. Morocco is a unique blend of the exotic and the familiar, the diversity of landscapes, and the contrasts between Ville Nouvelle and ancient Medina, all add up to make Morocco a rewarding travel experience.

This itinerary can be customized to include a whole range of activities, from hiking in the Atlas and relaxing at laid-back Atlantic resorts like Essaouira to getting lost in the back alleys of Marrakesh. Looking for something a bit different? Contact us and we can adjust this itinerary to best suit your needs.

Recommended times for this custom Morocco Tour: FEB to MAY & MID-SEPT to MID DEC

Description

Highlights Include:

    Wandering through the maze-like medinas of Marrakech
    Hiking in the Atlas Mountains with a Berber guide
    Relaxing in the laid-back coastal town of Essaouira
    Off-roading in the Sahara Desert across sand dunes
    Driving through the High Atlas Mountains to the UNESCO site of Kasbah Ait Benhaddou

Day 01 | Arrival to Marrakech
Transfer to riad in Old Medina.

Our driver will meet you outside the main arrivals hall and transfer you directly to your riad/hotel in the ancient medina of Marrakech Imperial City. A delicious Moroccan dinner will be served at your riad/hotel the night you arrive in Marrakech.

Overnight: Riad/boutique hotel in Marrakech medina (with small splash pool)
Meals: Dinner

Day 02 | Guided Tour of Marrakech Medina
10.00am – our English-speaking official city guide will meet you at your riad to take you on a historical and cultural walking visit of the Marrakech medina for approximately 3-4hrs. You will visit the Bahia Palace, the Place Jemaa el Fna, the Koutoubia Mosque, the artisans of the souks – carpenters, leatherworkers, metalworkers, tailors etc, the Medersa Ben Youssef Koranic school. You will possibly also visit a Berber pharmacy with a range of spices and natural herb remedies to try.

Your tour ends in the Place Jemaa el Fna and the rest of the day is then free for you to visit other historic monuments such as the Baadi Palace, Saadien Tombs or alternatively head out into the new town area of Gueliz for modern shopping, cafes and galleries or to visit the tranquil oasis of Yves St. Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle with its fascinating Berber Museum and exotic garden. Your guide will help you choose a place for lunch. Evening at leisure for your own dinner arrangements. Alternatively, head out to the bustling main square – Place Jemaa el Fna – to sample an array of grilled foods from the street-stalls and sizzling barbecues. Even if you decide to eat elsewhere, the experience of the Place Jemaa el Fna at night is an intoxicating one – with smoke swirling up from the grills, the pounding rhythms of the street musicians, the call to prayer ringing out from the mosques as the excited crowds gather for this nightly ‘circus’

Overnight: Riad/boutique hotel in Marrakech medina (with small splash pool)
Meals: Breakfast

Day 03 | Free Day Marrakech
Enjoy the day, shop, relax or get thoroughly lost in this intoxicating and enthralling city.

OPTIONAL: An ideal opportunity also to learn about Moroccan cuisine. So why not book into a local Cookery Class as an optional extra? Usually from 10.00am -3.00pm including shopping for spices, ingredients as well as preparing and eating the meal.

Overnight: Riad/boutique hotel in Marrakech medina (with small splash pool)
Meals: Breakfast

Activity: 3 hrs sightseeing / 1 hr boat ride

Day 04 | Marrakech to Mt. Toubal National Park
10.00am you driver comes to the riad to transfer you to either the Ouirgane Valley or Imlil Valley in Toubkal National Park. Depart Marrakech and head into the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, passing through the Gorge of Moulay Brahim, Tahanout and the market town of Asni.

The weekly local souk is on Saturdays and well worth stopping to experience! Along the way you will be able to see the peak of Mt. Toubkal as you ascend. You pass through a region growing apples, cherries, walnuts, almonds and sometime can spot wild mushrooms or herbs being sold at the side of the road. You reach the Ouirgane Valley or Imlil Vally by around 12.00noon and check in to your chosen accommodation. Lunch is available (not incl) at the guest-house. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own or simply relax. Evening dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Character guest-house/hotel in Imlil/Ouirgane (pool only available in Ouirgane Valley)
Meals; Breakfast & Dinner

Day 05 | Hiking with Berber Guide & Lunch
The day starts when you meet your local Berber trekking guide at your chosen accommodation. Around 10.00am you head off with mules to carry you (optional) into surrounding countryside and valleys, on ancient mule paths that meander along terraced hillsides and through mud-built villages. With panoramic views across valleys and to the peaks of the High Atlas Mountains, including Jbel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. You visit a family home in the village of Aremd (Imlil) or Anraz (Ouirgane) where lunch has been prepared by the women of the house. Normally this will consist of Moroccan salads, hearty tajine or couscous, followed by fresh fruit and yoghurt. Time to relax and experience the tranquillity of rural mountain life before then continuing to trek back to your accommodation. Dinner is at your hotel in the evening.

Overnight: Character guest-house/hotel in Imlil/Ouirgane (pool only available in Ouirgane Valley)
Meals; Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 06 | Toubkal National Park – Essaouira Cosal Medina

09.00am driver will pick you up from your mountain guest-house and you then take the road back out of the Ouirgane or Imlil valley, via Asni towards Marrakech. You then head out west to Essaouira via the main national road. The journey takes approximately 4 hours and we suggest you explore the picturesque medina on arrival.

Lunch is available in one of the many small cafes or restaurants close to the main Place Moulay Hassan or can be pre-booked at your riad/hotel. Essaouira medina is small, laid back and easy to get around with loads of funky shops, art galleries, cafes and intriguing local crafts. No trip to Essaouira is complete without heading to the fishing port to sample fresh catch of the day in the evening at one of the outdoor fish grills.

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Riad in medina (no pool) OR Luxury boutique hotel in medina (with rooftop pool)

Day 07 | Free Day in Essaouira
A full day to unwind and enjoy the magnificent sandy beach of Essaouira that stretches for miles. Horse-riding, camel-riding, surfing, kite-surfing, quad-biking can all be arranged for you with our local partners. Enjoy a sunset aperitif at one of the beachfront chalet restaurants overlooking the bay. A guided visit of Essaouira medina can also be arranged (extra cost).

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Riad in medina (no pool) OR OR Luxury boutique hotel in medina (with rooftop pool)

Day 08 | Essaouira – Taghazout – Taroudant
9.00am – driver and guide pick you up from your riad/hotel and you head off in 4×4 south along the stunning Atlantic coast of Morocco. Rocky outcrops, secluded beaches and rolling surf make this surfers paradise. You will pass through areas of thorny argan trees, the banana-growing region of Taghazout just north of Agadir and then head inland at Agadir into the fertile Souss Valley to arrive in the historic walled city of Taroudant by around 2.00pm. Depending on time and travel progress you may stop for lunch en route or upon arrival in Taroudant. Lunch not included. Drive approx. 5 hrs

Overnight: Character guest-house or riad inside or outside the medina (with pool)
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 09 | Taroudant Visit – Taliouine Village – Anti-Atlas Mountains – Foum Zguid
In the morning you will visit the charming Taroudant medina – known as ‘the grandmother of Marrakech’ due to its powerful early status in the 16th century as the capital city of the Saadien dynasty before they moved on to take Marrakech. Your local city guide will show you around the colourful Arab and Berber markets within the ramparts.

At lunchtime you then head east passing through the Souss Valley and into the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Along the way you will possibly see goats acrobatically climbing in the branches of argan trees, as they nibble the nuts which yield the prized argan oil. You will pass also through the main saffron-growing region of Morocco and have time to stop in Talioune to visit one of the saffron-merchants if you wish. The hillsides around here are the main area of saffron-cultivation in Morocco (harvest time is around November). The purple crocus sativus flowers are picked very early morning and then are dried before extracting the inner stamen that is the ‘saffron’. Then continue towards the Berber ‘carpet capital’ of Tazenakht village, known especially for the many local tribal hand-woven carpets that are traded here, before finally reaching the desert outpost of Foum Zguid right at the edge of the Sahara desert. Our boutique hotel sits at the edge of a palm grove and at the foot of the Jbel Bani mountain ridge.
Drive approx. 5hrs

Overnight: Boutique hotel, Foum Zguid (with pool)
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 10 | Sahara Desert Off-Road – Erg Chegaga Dunes & Desert Camp
You have the morning to relax at this tranquil hotel and enjoy the pool. You have an early lunch here (not included in price) before the departure around 14.00hrs in 4X4 on the old Paris-Dakkar rally route off-road into the Sahara and across the Lake Iriqui National Park. The dried lake desert flats great for a bit of off-road adrenalin rush! The route also takes in rocky pistes and dried river beds, acacia trees and the occasional authentic nomad encampment.

After 3hrs off-road you will reach the majestic dunes of Erg Chegaga and find the bivouac encampment. You will be served by your Saharoui ‘blue men’ nomad hosts of the region and they will arrange for you to trek into the dunes and watch the sunset or try your hand at sand-boarding. Delicious dinner is served in the restaurant caidal tent before you relax and gaze into the galaxies of stars overhead, to the accompaniment of desert songs, drumming and a crackling campfire. The camp has communal showers, WCs and solar-powered lighting.
Drive approx. 3hrs off-road.

Overnight: Erg Chegaga Standard comfort camp (Luxury Desert Camp also available)
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 11 | Sahara Desert – Draa Valley – Tamegroute – Zagora – Agdz
8.00am approx. you leave the desert camp in 4×4 and continue travelling off-road through small dunes and stony desert, passing acacia trees, tamarist trees and a natural spring know locally as the ‘Sacred Oasis’. You reach the village of M’Hamid el Ghizlane mid-morning and there you join the tarmac road that leads you northwards along the route of the Draa Valley. You pass through lush palm groves and see mud-built traditional villages along the route.

Just before lunch you reach the small village of Tamegroute which was once a very important centre of Islamic teaching in Morocco. The local Berber pottery (7 families working a co-operative system) still hand-make green-glazed ceramics and tiles which are used for mosques and other religious buildings throughout Morocco. You spend some time here to visit both the pottery and the Zaouia – Koranic school and the library which holds many ancient, fragile manuscripts dating back to 14th century. You will enjoy lunch in the shaded gardens of a small hotel in the palm groves of Zagora before then continuing about 1.5hrs to the to the market town of Agdz, the heart of local date production and distribution. You spend the night in a boutique guest-house with mature gardens and pool, surrounded by palm groves. Dinner is included.
Drive approx 2.5 hrs off-road and 3.5hrs on tarmac

Overnight: Boutique guest-house, Agdz oasis (with pool)
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 12 | Agdz – Kasbah Ait Benhaddou – Hight Atlas Mountains – Marrakech
Free time until approx. 11.00am to enjoy the hotel pool and explore the oasis. Then drive north through the Draa Valley to reach the famous UNESCO World Heritage site of Kasbah Ait Benhaddou by lunchtime. You visit the hilltop fortress on foot before or after lunch (not incl) at a nearby restaurant. The Kasbah is famous as a backdrop in may movies such as Gladiator, Jewel in the Nile, Lawrence of Arabia, Babel. It is a fabulous example of southern Morocco architecture with turrets, pisé construction and carved Berber motifs. Only a few families live here now in what was once an important strategic citadel on the caravan route from the Sahara. You can climb to the top of the fortified citadel and from the granary tower you can enjoy commanding views for miles around.

You then continue the journey back to Marrakech on the stunning Tizi n Tichka mountain pass, twisting and zig-zagging across the High Atlas Mountains for about 4 hours and seeing magnificent mountain scenery, valleys, mud-built villages before reaching the medina of Marrakech around 7.00pm. Dinner is served on arrival at your hotel/riad.
Drive approx 6hrs

Overnight: Riad/Boutique hotel in Marrakech medina. Or luxury Villa in Palmeraie area outside medina (with pool)
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 13 | Marrakech Free Day
The days is totally unplanned. You can visit local markets, finish of some souvenir shopping, visit other historic sights of the medina not seen already. Or simply relax and book yourself in for a traditional Moroccan hammam/spa and massage treatment (not incl). Plenty to do and see!

Overnight: Riad/Boutique hotel inside medina (with small splash pool) Or luxury Villa in Palmeraie area outside medina.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 | Departure Marrakech
Check-out of accommodation at 12.00noon.
Private transfer to Marrakech airport as required (30 mins drive).
Alternatively a private transfer can be booked to take you to Casablanca airport (allow 3.5hrs drive)
Stay: N/A
Meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions:

    • 13 nights in 4* star accommodations (can be upgraded) based on double occupancy
    • Meals as per itinerary (All breakfasts, 1 lunch, 8 dinners)
    • Local transportation (private vehicles)
    • Excursions and entrance fees (as per itinerary)
    • Local guides (where applicable)

    Tour Exclusions:
    • International Flights (can be arranged through us nicola@finisterra.ca)
    • Mandatory travel medical insurance and optional cancellation insurance (can be arranged through us
    nicola@finisterra.ca)
    • Meals and beverages not mentioned in itinerary
    • Items of personal nature
    • Services and entrances not mentioned above
    • Passport, vaccination and visa fees
    • Tips/Gratuities for tour guides, drivers, etc.

DATES: SPRING- FEB to MAY & AUTUMN- MID-SEPT to NOV,
2018

Please note that THIS TOUR IS FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE! You may choose to alter this itinerary to best suit your travel needs (dates, length, itinerary).

Costs and Fee Schedule

Prices from $2695USD are based on double occupancy. Single supplement fee applies.

A 20% non-refundable deposit is due at time of registration and can be paid by cheque or credit card. Please contact info@finisterra.ca for more information.
Final Payment: Full payment is due 60 prior to departure.

Air Travel
Flights are not included in the tour price. DO NOT purchase any airline tickets until the trip is confirmed to take place. Pre and post tours can be arranged through us available at an additional charge. Please contact Finisterra Travel for further details info@finisterra.ca

Important Information

Travel Visa requirements and passports are the responsibility of the participants. Cancellation, Travel, Flight and Health insurances are STRONGLY recommended and are the responsibility of the participant to research and secure the appropriate coverage.

Passport Information
Please note that most countries require passports to be valid for 6 months from the date of your return flight. We are not responsible if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct passport, visa or other travel documentation.