18 to 29s Intrepid | Essential Morocco

When people throw around the word ‘exotic’, they’re usually mean places like Morocco. Hang in iconic 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 laid-back Marrakech.

Theme

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

Over 29? We have a vast range of other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more!
  • Highlights

    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
  • What's Included

    Meals

    10 Breakfasts

    Transport

    Camel , Minibus , On foot , Taxi , Train

    Accommodation

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

    Included Activities

    • Fes - Guided walking tour
    • Jardin de Secrets visit
    • Marrakech - Guided walking tour
    • Medersa Attarine Entrance - Fes
    • Meknes - Guided walking tour
    • Mint tea making demo
    • Photography Museum
    • Street food tasting in Old Medina
    • Volubilis - Guided tour
  • Pricing

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      • End Date:9 Oct 19
      • Price:$1,004
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      • Start Date:15 Nov 20
      • End Date:25 Nov 20
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      • End Date:9 Dec 20
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      • Start Date:20 Dec 20
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      • End Date:3 Jan 21
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      • Start Date:27 Dec 20
      • End Date:6 Jan 21
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    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: 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.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: 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!

     

    Day - 3

    Location: 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.

     

    Day - 4

    Location: 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

    Location: 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

    Location: 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 your overnight camp set next to a simple Auberge (that's French for 'inn'), and get ready for one in a life time 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 and loops back to your private camp for an overnight stay. In the camp, you'll have a thin mattress, blankets and sheets (and auberge not so far away, just in case..). 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

    Location: 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! Head back for the brekkie, collect the rest of your gear together 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 1000 feet above you.

     

    Day - 8

    Location: 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

    Location: 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 2260 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

    Location: Marrakech - This morning you will meet your local guide and set off on a tour of the old medina, through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. Visit Le Jardin Secret, a traditional medina garden revived for the 21st century. Once owned by a powerful local chief U-Bihi who was poisoned by Mohammed IV, this historic riad has one of the most beautiful courtyards in Marrakech, combining exotic and traditional Islamic gardens that are fed by original khettara, an underground irrigation system. The rest of a day is free so where to do you start? Cycling trip, maybe a half 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

    Location: 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.

     

    Essential Morocco
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
HLO Ref# 12080
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