Unique Experience Intrepid | South Morocco Discovery

From the colourful, chaotic Marrakech medinas to the vast, serene Sahara desert, this tour immerses you in the rich cultures and landscapes of South Morocco. Stay in traditional accommodation and explore villages off the beaten track. Feast on tagine, visit the grand Ait Benhaddou kasbah, travel through the Sahara on a camel and relax in seaside Essaouira. This ten-day tour is perfect for travellers looking to discover the diversity of Morocco’s south in a short amount of time.

Theme

Explorer

  • Highlights

    • Duck in and out of souqs and haggle with traders as your local leader helps you to navigate the 16th-century walled city of Taroudant.
    • Explore Ait Benhaddou, a World Heritage site with a grand history and a long list of film and TV credits including Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones and Gladiator.
    • Recharge with two days in seaside Essaouira and explore the whitewashed houses, lively port and tiny alleyways with a local guide.
    • Take a guided hike through the High Atlas Mountains and spend a night with an Amazigh (Berber) family in the traditional village of Aroumd.
    • Travel through the Sahara Desert in a camel convoy and spend the night in a Bedouin camp, listening to tales by the campfire. 
  • What's Included

    Meals

    9 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

    Transport

    4x4 , Private vehicle , Public bus , Taxi

    Accommodation

    Camp site (1 night), Gite (1 night), Hotel (4 nights), Riad (3 nights)

    Included Activities

    • Aroumd - Guided Hike in the High Atlas Mountains
    • Essaouira - Walking Tour with Local Guide
    • Sahara Desert - Camel Ride
    • Tamegroute - Ancient Library
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  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: Marrakech - Welcome to Marrakech! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm – check in reception for time and place confirmation. There's not much time to explore Marrakech after the meeting, but if you arrive early there's plenty to see and do. We've compiled a list below of suggested activities for those who arrive early.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: Aroumd - Take a short drive into the High Atlas Mountains to the village of Imlil (approximately 2 hours). On arrival, store your main luggage and load daypacks onto pack mules. Make the 1-hour trek to the peaceful village of Aroumd. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the remote village of Aroumd offers stunning views across the High Atlas Mountains and a unique opportunity to experience traditional (Amazigh) Berber culture. Spend the night in a family-run mountain gite where, surrounded by the smell of woodstoves and bread, you will enjoy traditional hospitality and food. Use the rest of the day to explore the village and the surrounding farmlands. If the group are up for it and weather permits, there will be a chance to hike around eight kilometres to the pilgrimage shrine of Sidi Chamharouch (approximately 4 hours return). Regardless of your fitness levels, the gentle pace of Aroumd makes it a special place to explore beyond the reach of the modern world.

     

    Day - 3

    Location: Ait Benhaddou - This morning journey along mountain roads and over Morocco's highest pass, Tizi n'Tichka (2260 metres), to Ait Benhaddou on the edges of the Sahara (approximately 6 hours). Perched on a hilltop and almost unchanged since the 11th century, Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco's most iconic sites. It was once an important stop for caravans passing through as they carried salt across the Sahara, returning with gold, ivory and slaves. The town has a long list of film and TV credits, including Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones and Gladiator. Enjoy a guided walk through the winding streets of Old Town, making your way to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy the views across the surrounding plains. Your evening is free, with the option of partaking in a local cooking demonstration and meal of Morocco's most famous dishes: couscous and tagine. 

     

    Day - 4

    Location: Ouarzazate – Zagora - This morning you'll journey south towards the Sahara, stopping in the regularly used film location of Ouarzazate along the way (approximately 5 hours in total). Continue to travel through the lush Draa Valley to Zagora, a small oasis town on the Sahara fringe that is perfect for an overnight stop. On arrival, take a stroll through the palm groves, explore the ksars and wander around the surrounding countryside.

     

    Day - 5

    Location: Tamegroute – Erg Chigaga - Drive along the rugged and desolate Jbel Tadrart ranges and through seas of sand and past the occasional desert oasis of date palms to the township of Tamegroute. On arrival, visit an intriguing library filled with ancient scripts of science, literature, the Koran and stories of the prophet Mohammed (subject to unregulated opening times). Afterwards, join a local guide to uncover the underground Kasbah. Afterwards, carry on driving to the frontier town of M'Hamid (approximately 1 hour). From here, take a short camel ride through the dunes, then jump into 4WD vehicles and drive to the massive Erg Chigaga dunes. Arrive in the late afternoon. Enjoy a night under the stars at your desert camp.

     

    Day - 6

    Location: Taroudant - Travel to the market town of Oulad Brhhil by minivan. The journey should take around 8 hours in total, including several stops. This drive goes through desert scenery and along a route that's a reserve for the indigenous argan trees. If you're lucky, the group might come across the famous image of goats climbing these trees in search of nuts. Arrive at your accommodation by the early evening and relax after a long day of travel.

     

    Day - 7

    Location: Taroudannt – Essaouira - In the morning, take to the souqs and haggle with local traders for silver jewellery or colourful Moroccan ceramics and mosaics. Afterwards, head west to the coastal town of Essaouira (approximately 5 hours). The name Essaouira means image, which is appropriate since it's such a picturesque town. Its charm is undeniable; within the stone ramparts you'll find whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters, art galleries and wood workshops. You’ll arrive in the early evening, so there won’t be much time to look around today. 

     

    Day - 8

    Location: Essaouira - Today, join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall). Afterwards, enjoy free time for the rest of the day. Maybe grab a freshly-cooked plate of the day's catch at the port, or browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries. If you’d prefer to relax, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in a hammam or local-style bath.

     

    Day - 9

    Location: Marrakech - Enjoy a free morning Essaouira, then catch a bus back to Marrakech in the afternoon (approximately 3 hours). Enjoy free time on arrival to explore or partake in optional activities. Maybe check out the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, or the ruins of the Palais Badi.

     

    Day - 10

    Location: Marrakech - Your adventure ends after breakfast. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Marrakech (subject to availability).

     

    South Morocco Discovery
*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# 5828