Electric Souk

Camel ride and camping in the Sahara
Fes - the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco
The mud-brick kasbahs of Ait Benhaddou
Meknes' UNESCO World Heritage-listed old medina
The Road of 1000 Kasbahs
When asked to describe riding a camel, most people's answers range from, "Camels are bastards" to "Most uncomfortable ride of your life".
Marrakech
Todra Gorge and the Dades Valley
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jamaâ El Fna
  • 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 Marrakesh.

     

    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).

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Casablanca

    Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.

    Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with the hotel reception or the hotels noticeboard for confirmation of where and when this meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early, so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to 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 please ensure you have all these details to provide to your trip leader.

    If arriving earlier, you will have a chance to explore Casablanca - the largest city in Morocco. Modelled after Marseille in France, this bustling port city is now also the undisputed economic capital of Morocco and one of Africa's largest ports. The architectural style of the city is eclectic, combining Art Deco French colonial buildings and Mauresque (Moorish) government institutions with an old medina and the city's modern-day landmark - the Hassan II Mosque.

    A pleasant way to spend the day exploring Casablanca is to wander around the Old Medina and city walls, then jump in a taxi and visit the Quartiers des Habous - the new medina full of shaded squares, narrow streets and lined with arcades that lead from one souk to another. This is a great place to enjoy a Moroccan coffee and maybe start working on your bargaining skills. Finish the day with a walk along the Corniche and watch the locals enjoy games of football on the beach during sunset.

     

    Hotel Guynemer or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 2 - Meknes - Moulay Idriss

    After breakfast, we can make a quick visit to the impressive Hassan II Mosque., built in 1993 by a team of over 6000 craftsmen. Located on the shores of the city it is an imposing edifice and one of the few mosques in Morocco that foreigners are allowed to enter.

    Later we make our way to the station where we catch the local train to Meknes, a journey of about four hours. Meknes was once an imperial city of Morocco and the capital of one of its most colourful eras, when the Sultan Moulay Ismail (a contemporary of Louis XIV) set out to build his own version of Versailles, constructing walls, gates and over 50 palaces with an unstoppable labour force of over 25,000 slaves.

    Pop over to the whitewashed village of Moulay Idriss to stay with a local family.

    La Colombe Blanche or similar

    Day 3-4 - Fes

    Travel by train from Meknes to Fes (40 min).

    Descending into the labyrinthine alleyways of the medina is like taking a giant step back to the Middle Ages. Preserved by the French for its historical value, this preservation also led to the decline of the city's importance, as both government and financial centres were set up elsewhere in the country. With the Jewish population moving away in 1956, and too many rural poor moving in for it to handle, this ancient centre of learning is only a shell of what it used to be. Still, it remains a fascinating living museum where getting lost is half the fun.

    An orientation walk of Fes around the medina uncovers a living monument to an ancient past and a place still very much alive with the many craftsmen, markets, tanneries, ceramics and mosques. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the city's most beautiful buildings which has recently been restored and is now open to visitors.

    We'll also visit the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramic factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way.

    Enjoy some free time and perhaps check out the Medersa el Attarine, built in 1323, or take a trip out to the nearby spa town of Moulay Yacoub or the ancient Roman city of Volubilis.

    Hotel de la Paix or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Midelt

    Travelling south through a variety of terrain, we reach Ifrane, a mountain resort established by the French in 1929.

    Further south, at Midelt, the landscape opens up and we enjoy expansive views to the west. Midelt is a fantastic place for an overnight stop. We rest here for the night, and enjoy an easy but spectacular walk.

    Auberge Jaafar or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 6 - Mergouza - Erg Chebbi

    En route to the desert, we stop at the spectacular narrow defile known as the Gorges du Ziz and then head to the large town of Er Rachidia.

    Past the 500-year old ruins of the Ksar of Meski before descending into the Ziz Valley, a particularly fertile region producing figs, olives, dates and tamarisk – a fruit grown for its tannin and used in the curing of leather skins.

    We reach Merzouga, where we drop our main bags off at a simple Auberge before heading into the desert on camels for the magical sunset.

    Spend the night at a simple desert camp.

    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 7-8 - Todra Gorge - Dades Valley - Ait Benhaddou

    Rising early, we enjoy another fun camel ride through the sand dunes. Sunrise is a magical time of the day and we experience the amazing interplay of light as the Sahara slowly comes alive all around us. Returning to the Auberge we collect the rest of our gear and then travel west to Todra.

    Almost imperceptibly, a bright tablecloth of green appears before our eyes as we enter a lush valley packed with palm trees and mud-brick villages. At the top of the valley we reach our hotel and then take a short hike into the celebrated gorge where sheer cliffs rise over 1000 feet above us.

    We spend the night at a local hotel in the gorge.

    From Todra Gorge, we travel along the ‘road of 1000 kasbahs’ and enjoy a walk in the impressive Dades Gorge.

    We also stop to visit the beautiful family-owned mud-brick home at Skoura, rising like a mirage beyond a dry riverbed, and continue to the fabulous medieval mud-brick town Ait Benhaddou, at its best in the late afternoon sun. We explore the many old streets and climb up to the fortress for a superb view over the old town. We can also – for a small fee – enter one of most interesting of the old houses, climbing up to the turrets for a view over the river. We spend the night just outside the walls.

    Hotel Les Roches or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 9-11 - High Atlas - Marrakech

    We continue our journey west, passing numerous Berber villages and enjoying expansive views of the countryside. Leaving the main road we arrive at the village of Telouet, home to the infamous Glaoui family whose repressive regime was something of a legend. We visit their crumbling mud-brick citadel, one of the most spectacular in the region, where several rooms are still in a good state of repair.

    We then wind our way up towards Tizi ‘n Tichka (2260m), the highest pass on the road to Marrakech and often covered with snow during the winter months. Leaving the Atlas behind we descend into the plains that surround Marrakech, which we reach in the late afternoon.

    One of the main attractions of Marrakech is Jemaa el Fna, where we find fire-eaters, fortune-tellers, actors, musicians and all manner of hawkers. In the centre of this vast throng are hundreds of foodstalls selling hot tagine, spicy dips and numerous other tasty dishes.

    Marrakech is lovely city, with palm-lined streets, earthy colours and the Atlas Mountains rising in the distance. There is much to see and do and we enjoy an orientation walk around the old medina. Our time is then free to explore the souks and alleyways that lead off to the north of Jemaa el Fna. Alternatively, some may wish 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 we will no doubt be drawn back to Jemaa el Fna for a final night out together.

    Your trip ends on Day 11, after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12.00 noon and you are free to leave at any time.

    Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Marrakech.

    Hotel Pacha or similar
    Breakfast
  • What's Included

    • • Gecko's expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
      • Sightseeing (not including entrance fees): Casablanca's Mosque of Hassan II; Meknes' old medina; Fes-El-Bali's souk; Ifrane; Midelt; Todra Gorge; ‘road of 1000 kasbahs’; Dades Gorge; mud-brick home at Skoura; Ait Benhaddou; Telouet; and Marrakech.

      • Camel ride and overnight desert camping.

    Not Included

    • International flights, arrival & departure transfers, entrance fees, visas, airport taxes, additional meals, drinks, optional sightseeing tours, insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
    08 Feb 2015 - 18 Feb 2015 Available US $885 Book Now
    29 Mar 2015 - 08 Apr 2015 Available US $885 Book Now
    12 Apr 2015 - 22 Apr 2015 Available US $885 Book Now
    26 Apr 2015 - 06 May 2015 Available US $885 Book Now
    10 May 2015 - 20 May 2015 Available US $885 Book Now
    24 May 2015 - 03 Jun 2015 Available US $885 Book Now
    07 Jun 2015 - 17 Jun 2015 Available US $920 Book Now
    14 Jun 2015 - 24 Jun 2015 Available US $920 Book Now
    21 Jun 2015 - 01 Jul 2015 Available US $920 Book Now
    12 Jul 2015 - 22 Jul 2015 Available US $955 Book Now
    26 Jul 2015 - 05 Aug 2015 Available US $955 Book Now
    09 Aug 2015 - 19 Aug 2015 Available US $955 Book Now
    06 Sep 2015 - 16 Sep 2015 Available US $955 Book Now
    20 Sep 2015 - 30 Sep 2015 Available US $955 Book Now
    04 Oct 2015 - 14 Oct 2015 Available US $920 Book Now
    01 Nov 2015 - 11 Nov 2015 Available US $920 Book Now
    15 Nov 2015 - 25 Nov 2015 Available US $885 Book Now
    29 Nov 2015 - 09 Dec 2015 Available US $885 Book Now
    20 Dec 2015 - 30 Dec 2015 Available US $885 Book Now
    17 Jan 2016 - 27 Jan 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    07 Feb 2016 - 17 Feb 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    06 Mar 2016 - 16 Mar 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    27 Mar 2016 - 06 Apr 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    10 Apr 2016 - 20 Apr 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    24 Apr 2016 - 04 May 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    08 May 2016 - 18 May 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    22 May 2016 - 01 Jun 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    05 Jun 2016 - 15 Jun 2016 Available US $920 Book Now
    12 Jun 2016 - 22 Jun 2016 Available US $920 Book Now
    19 Jun 2016 - 29 Jun 2016 Available US $920 Book Now
    10 Jul 2016 - 20 Jul 2016 Available US $920 Book Now
    24 Jul 2016 - 03 Aug 2016 Available US $955 Book Now
    07 Aug 2016 - 17 Aug 2016 Available US $955 Book Now
    04 Sep 2016 - 14 Sep 2016 Available US $955 Book Now
    18 Sep 2016 - 28 Sep 2016 Available US $955 Book Now
    02 Oct 2016 - 12 Oct 2016 Available US $955 Book Now
    30 Oct 2016 - 09 Nov 2016 Available US $920 Book Now
    13 Nov 2016 - 23 Nov 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    27 Nov 2016 - 07 Dec 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
    18 Dec 2016 - 28 Dec 2016 Available US $885 Book Now
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  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Electric Souk

    Willem - South Africa, 5 July, 2014
    5
    Overall Rating

    Exceptional guide. Has a good knowledge of the history. Fitted in some extras which I think was paid out of the tip kitty. We encountered a problem with a purchase we made and e-mailed him afterwards, to which he responded probably in 5 minutes. A trip I would absolutely recommend.

    Electric Souk

    kaye - Australia, 2 Sep, 1970
    5
    Overall Rating

    Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Learnt so much about Moroccan history, culture and it's people. Great local guides.

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11 days
$885
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Nuts+Bolts

#GEBM
- 16
Camel, Minibus, On foot, Taxi, Train
1 night Camping, 8 nights Hotel, 1 night Guesthouse
Casablanca
Marrakech

What to know

Entrance fees are not included, you pay these as you go along.

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