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Trip Extensions

Essaouira

Duration: 3 days

This extension takes you to the Atlantic coastal towns of Essaouira, Safi and El Jadida. 

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive casablana & transfer to rabat

Rabat street musicianRabat street musician

On arrival at the Casablanca airport, you will be greeted by your driver and transferred to Rabat (60 miles), Morocco's capital where you check in to your lovely four-star riad (manor home). 

The city of Rabat is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River with a population of about 1.2 million. Depending on your arrival time and if you're up to it, you may visit some of the sites in Rabat such as the Residence of the King (Royal Palace); the Old Medina with its street markets (souks) and side street to the historical Kasbah (Rue des Consuls); Kasbah of the Oudayas, a 12th century medieval fortress citadel with exceptional ocean views from the acropolis and the Oudaya Gate; or the Hassan Tower, a minaret for an incomplete mosque. It was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the largest mosque, but construction stopped when Sultan Yacub al-Mansour died in 1199.

Your charming Riad, built in 1815, is located in in the heart of the medina.

Meals
Dinner
Lodging
Riad Kalaa (or similar)

Day 2: rabat & chefchaouen

Admire Rabat's architectureAdmire Rabat's architecture

You'll have some time this morning to relax, or spend more time exploring the city. Afterwards, depart for Chefchaouen (approx. 4 hr drive), the famous blue city of Morocco, located in the Rif Mountains. The city was founded in the 15th century as a small fortress when the Moorish and Jews fled here to escape the Reconquista of Spain.

On arrival, check-in to your centrally located Riad, offering great views of the city from the rooftop dining area (note - there is stair-climbing involved in getting to this hotel.) Dinner will be served at the Riad.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Dar Meziana Riad (or similar)

Day 3: chefchaouen exploration

Stay in a wonderful traditional riadStay in a wonderful traditional riad

After breakfast, you will have a tour of this “cool” blue town, home to about 40,000 people. Set at an altitude of almost 2200 feet on the outskirts of the Tisouka and Megou Mountains, this charming small town has little car traffic, which allows for clean and fresh air in which to discover its beauty. Take a walk through the Medina and the Uta el-Hammam main square for an authentic look at Moroccan life; visit the Kasbah Museum, which contains a modest collection of old arms, instruments, textiles, and city lodges. Take a leisure walk through its relaxing gardens; and Ras el Maa Waterfall, located east of the medina and often frequented by locals who swim and wash clothes here. You may even have the chance to visit a women’s coop to see the women at work and even purchase some of their artistry. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Rif Mountains. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Dar Meziana Riad (or similar)

Day 4: volubilis & meknes to fez

Marvel at the mosaics of the Roman ruins at VolubilisMarvel at the mosaics of the Roman ruins at Volubilis

Today, explore the Roman ruins at Volubilis, considered the best-preserved archeological site in Morocco. You'll spend time exploring these 2,000 year old UNESCO ruins and perhaps imagining what life must have been like during the Roman Empire. Lunch will be at Meknes, one of Morocco's Imperial cities, where you'll have time to explore. This town was the Ismailian capital during the 17th century, but now famous for its 25-mile-long walls and monumental landmark gate of Bab el-Mansour. Wander the lanes of the old medina, visit the Mellah Jewish quarter, and the Royal stables. The Dar Jamai palace houses one of the country's best museums, exhibiting glorious ceramics, jewelry, rugs, and textiles with distinct ornate Meknesi needlework. Enjoy the setting of this town in a region of olives, wine, and citrus. Afterwards, continue the drive to Fez, often referred to as "the cultural capital of Morocco". 

Dinner and overnight will be at the beautiful Riad Myra, not far from the old medina.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Riad Myra (or similar)

Day 5: fez exploration

Immerse yourself in the medinaImmerse yourself in the medina

Today will be devoted to Fez, the world's only walled medieval Arab city that remains completely intact.  It may be cliché, but visitors often compare their first visit to the medina (the maze of shop-lined alleyways that comprise the old city) to an encounter with the tales of One Thousand and One Nights (a.k.a. the Arabian Nights). The medina has UNESCO World Heritage status. Visit the King's Palace, one of the best palaces in the country; the colorful leather-dying pits to see leather-making techniques unchanged since the middle ages; and a pottery workshop where you will have the chance to watch the craftsmen chip mosaic tile pieces and paint designs on plates. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Riad Myra (or similar)

Day 6: fez free day

Explore ancient FezExplore ancient Fez

Behold and partake in Fez in the manner which will feel most satisfying to you. Perhaps you'd like to pleasantly lose yourself in the enormous medina... bathe in a traditional hamman... try a cooking class.  Or, spend more time exploring the city. The Al-Attarine Madrasa, built by Sultan Uthman II Abu Said in 1323, and Bou Inaniya Madrasa, an excellent example of Marinid architecture are both worth visiting. Other interesting sites include the el-Nejjarine Fountain and Museum, which contains Moroccan wooden displays including intricately carved doors, window frames, and chests; Moulay Idriss Mausoleum in the holy town of Moulay, where Islam was first brought in 789; or the Kairaouine Mosque, the 2nd largest mosque in Morocco and the world's oldest university. It's minaret, the oldest Islamic monument in Fez, dates back to 956.

Note: Some mosques and mausoleums are not open to non-Muslims. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Riad Myra (or similar)

Day 7: erfoud

Admire Berber villages on your drive among the Atlas MountainsAdmire Berber villages on your drive among the Atlas Mountains

After an early breakfast, begin your ascent across the Middle Atlas Mountains, with most of the day spent winding your way through beautiful forests, jagged rock faces, and intriguing Berber villages as you make your way to the Sahara Desert. Stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, famous for its fossils and rocks. Continue on past Errachidia and the Ziz Valley, known for its date palm trees to Erfoud.

Arrive at your Riad for a refreshing swim in the pool (depending on weather) or a hot shower. Dinner will be served in the Kasbah.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Palais Du Desert (or similar)

Day 8: sahara desert

Explore nature's art -- vast sand dunes -- at sunriseExplore nature's art -- vast sand dunes -- at sunrise

After breakfast and a leisurely morning in Erfoud, head off in four-wheel-drive vehicles across the barren, yet otherworldly beautiful and majestic Sahara sand dunes. At the end of the 4x4 drive, board camels for a ride through the desert's stark beauty to an oasis where you will spend the night in comfortable Berber tents, enjoying a traditional dinner and Berber storytelling. You'll also enjoy a 30 minute camel ride out to the dunes of the Erg Chebbi where you will see the sunset. 

Your Superior Tent has a bed with mosquito netting, and private bathroom with a shower and running water. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Berber tent camping

Day 9: todra gorges and skoura

Enjoy your time in and around the SaharaEnjoy your time in and around the Sahara

Those who wake early can enjoy  sunrise over the sand dunes. After breakfast, return by camel to the 4x4 vehicles and head back to Erfoud.  From there, set out along the eastern side of the High Atlas Mountains en route to Todra Gorge. In the afternoon, take a walk up in towering Todra Gorge (with walls rising 600 feet high from the gorge's narrow bottom), where the picturesque river valleys provide a dramatic setting for a beautiful journey toward the southeast of Morocco.

Your journey continues on to Skoura, a beautiful oasis town located in the Dades Valley (Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs). This is a wonderful place for a leisure walk through the Kasbahs. Overnight at the charming L'Ma Lodge, traditionally built as an adobe house in the heart of the palm groves in Skoura. The lodge has a large garden with many palm and fruit trees. Enjoy dinner at the palace.

 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
L'Ma Lodge (or similar)

Day 10: ouarzazate to marrakech

Explore atmospheric ancient kasbahs such as Ait Ben HaddouExplore atmospheric ancient kasbahs such as Ait Ben Haddou

After an early breakfast,  depart for Marrakech via Ouarzazate (war-za-zat) via the mountains of the high Atlas. You will appreciate the beautiful scenery in and around Ouarzazate, one of the jewels of Morocco. The setting here has been used for more films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, and The Gladiator, than any other location in Morocco. Lunch will be at Ait Ben Haddou Ksar, a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls and containing traditional pre-Saharan homes.

Arrive in Marrakech and check in to your hotel. Afterwards, head out to the Djemaa el-Fna, the center square of the medina. While some may say that nothing rivals Fez and its ancient medina, there are many others who say that Marrakech is the Masterpiece. In fact, UNESCO has selected Marrakech's grand plaza -- the Djemaa el-Fna Square -- as a "Masterpiece of Cultural Heritage," ranking it high on a short list of the planet's "intangible" cultural treasures.  It's the performance art rather than the architecture that wins the award; find street theater and snake charmers and musicians in the plaza 16 hours a day in a tradition that dates back a thousand years. Of course, there are also the thousands of shops in the souk, offering a distinct and creative blend of traditional and contemporary artistry. 

Dinner will be served at the Riad.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Riad Clos des Arts (or similar)

Day 11: marrakech tour

Admire Marrakechs many sights, including Djemaa El-Fna SquareAdmire Marrakechs many sights, including Djemaa El-Fna Square

Today's tour takes you through the "Southern Pearl of Morocco" to discover Marrakech's hidden treasures including Palace of the Bahia, built in the late 19th century by Si Moussa, a former slave who had risen to become vizier to Sultan Moulay Hassan and the 16th century Saadian Tombs, mausoleum for members of the Saadi Dynasty. 

After lunch, visit the magnificent Koutoubia Mosque, the largest in Marrakech. This grand 12th century mosque is adorned with curved windows, ceramic inlay, merlons, and decorative arches. Its 250 foot tall minaret includes a spire and orbs.  Spend more time exploring the Djemaa el-Fna and the souk (market) lined with fresh fruits, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets, and Moroccan art. Dinner will be at a local restaurant or near the big square.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Riad Clos des Arts (or similar)

Day 12: marrakech & casablanca

Mingle with the localsMingle with the locals

Your last day in Marrakech is free to do as you like - perhaps explore more of the medina, take a leisure stroll through the Menara Gardens and see a variety of orchards and olive groves that surround a 16th century pavilion, do some last minute shopping in the souks, or take a cooking class at the La Maison Arabe.

In the late afternoon, transfer to Casablanca for dinner at a local restaurant and your final night in Morocco. Your hotel is very close to the city center for exploring on your own if you have time. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Club Val D'Anfa

Day 13: depart morocco

Everyone, smile for the camera!Everyone, smile for the camera!

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward flight back to the U.S. or extend to the charming Atlantic port town of Essaouira, known for its sea walls and sea breezes, and its fish grills and musicians.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$4,000
- $4,850
2-3 travelers - $4,500 4-5 travelers - $4,000 6-9 travelers - $3,800 Group sizes 2-5 includes English-speaking driver Group size 6-9 includes driver and guide
Single Supplement:
$1,300
Privately on Request
Oct 10-22, 2017
Oct 9-21, 2018
Oct 8-20, 2019

Need to Know

Duration:
13 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Charming 4* riads & small hotels
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking with optional hikes; a couple of long driving days
Group Size:
2-9
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Top Travel Destinations for 2017

Where will your adventures take you in 2017? For curious explorers eager to see the world, it can be hard to narrow down travel options. So, the team at Journeys International has …

Catch Rabat's Moorish architecture in just the right light
Catch Rabat's Moorish architecture in just the right light
Wander the atmospheric ruins of Meknes, its granary, and horse stables
Wander the atmospheric ruins of Meknes, its granary, and horse stables
Marvel at the mosaics of the Roman ruins at Volubilis
Marvel at the mosaics of the Roman ruins at Volubilis
Admire Berber villages on your drive among the Atlas Mountains
Admire Berber villages on your drive among the Atlas Mountains
Enjoy your time in and around the Sahara
Enjoy your time in and around the Sahara
Explore atmospheric ancient kasbahs such as Ait Ben Haddou
Explore atmospheric ancient kasbahs such as Ait Ben Haddou
Admire Marrakech's many sights, including Djemaa El-Fna Square
Admire Marrakech's many sights, including Djemaa El-Fna Square
See the lingering locals
See the lingering locals
Camel ride at dusk
Camel ride at dusk
Colorful rug
Colorful rug
Everyone smiles for the camera
Everyone smiles for the camera
Fez
Fez
Another riad courtyard
Another riad courtyard
Tuareg shopkeeper
Tuareg shopkeeper
Volubilis countryside
Volubilis countryside
Sharing tea in Marrakech
Sharing tea in Marrakech
Rabat street musician
Rabat street musician

Morocco Souks and Sahara

A Moroccan cultural tour from Fez into the Sahara and Atlas Mountains and on to Marrakech

overview

Join a small group of adventuresome travelers on an exploration of Morocco's imperial past and vibrant present.  Travel from the Atlantic coast of North Africa through holy cities and Roman ruins, then into the desert and back to Marrakech. Explore the walled medinas (old cities). Wander the fragrant suks (markets). Stay in atmospheric riads (manor homes of the old cities).  Engage the spirit of a land steeped in tradition that is also eager to embrace the future. 

Begin in Morocco's captial, Rabat, then spend some time in one of the most charming cities in Morocco - Chefchaouen. On the way to see the Roman ruins of Volubilis, stop at Meknes. Wander deep into the ancient medina in Fez, experience the breathtaking desert vistas of the Sahara and Todra Gorge en route to Ouarazazate, and behold exciting Marrakech where ancient history and non-stop street entertainment equally entrance those who are fortunate enough to spend time here.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Join a small group of adventuresome travelers on an exploration of Morocco's imperial past and vibrant present.  Travel from the Atlantic coast of North Africa through holy cities and Roman ruins, then into the desert and back to Marrakech. Explore the walled medinas (old cities). Wander the fragrant suks (markets). Stay in atmospheric riads (manor homes of the old cities).  Engage the spirit of a land steeped in tradition that is also eager to embrace the future. 

Begin in Morocco's captial, Rabat, then spend some time in one of the most charming cities in Morocco - Chefchaouen. On the way to see the Roman ruins of Volubilis, stop at Meknes. Wander deep into the ancient medina in Fez, experience the breathtaking desert vistas of the Sahara and Todra Gorge en route to Ouarazazate, and behold exciting Marrakech where ancient history and non-stop street entertainment equally entrance those who are fortunate enough to spend time here.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive casablana & transfer to rabat
    Rabat street musicianRabat street musician

    On arrival at the Casablanca airport, you will be greeted by your driver and transferred to Rabat (60 miles), Morocco's capital where you check in to your lovely four-star riad (manor home). 

    The city of Rabat is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River with a population of about 1.2 million. Depending on your arrival time and if you're up to it, you may visit some of the sites in Rabat such as the Residence of the King (Royal Palace); the Old Medina with its street markets (souks) and side street to the historical Kasbah (Rue des Consuls); Kasbah of the Oudayas, a 12th century medieval fortress citadel with exceptional ocean views from the acropolis and the Oudaya Gate; or the Hassan Tower, a minaret for an incomplete mosque. It was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the largest mosque, but construction stopped when Sultan Yacub al-Mansour died in 1199.

    Your charming Riad, built in 1815, is located in in the heart of the medina.

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Riad Kalaa (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: rabat & chefchaouen
    Admire Rabat's architectureAdmire Rabat's architecture

    You'll have some time this morning to relax, or spend more time exploring the city. Afterwards, depart for Chefchaouen (approx. 4 hr drive), the famous blue city of Morocco, located in the Rif Mountains. The city was founded in the 15th century as a small fortress when the Moorish and Jews fled here to escape the Reconquista of Spain.

    On arrival, check-in to your centrally located Riad, offering great views of the city from the rooftop dining area (note - there is stair-climbing involved in getting to this hotel.) Dinner will be served at the Riad.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Dar Meziana Riad (or similar)
  • Day 3: chefchaouen exploration
    Stay in a wonderful traditional riadStay in a wonderful traditional riad

    After breakfast, you will have a tour of this “cool” blue town, home to about 40,000 people. Set at an altitude of almost 2200 feet on the outskirts of the Tisouka and Megou Mountains, this charming small town has little car traffic, which allows for clean and fresh air in which to discover its beauty. Take a walk through the Medina and the Uta el-Hammam main square for an authentic look at Moroccan life; visit the Kasbah Museum, which contains a modest collection of old arms, instruments, textiles, and city lodges. Take a leisure walk through its relaxing gardens; and Ras el Maa Waterfall, located east of the medina and often frequented by locals who swim and wash clothes here. You may even have the chance to visit a women’s coop to see the women at work and even purchase some of their artistry. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Rif Mountains. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Dar Meziana Riad (or similar)
  • Day 4: volubilis & meknes to fez
    Marvel at the mosaics of the Roman ruins at VolubilisMarvel at the mosaics of the Roman ruins at Volubilis

    Today, explore the Roman ruins at Volubilis, considered the best-preserved archeological site in Morocco. You'll spend time exploring these 2,000 year old UNESCO ruins and perhaps imagining what life must have been like during the Roman Empire. Lunch will be at Meknes, one of Morocco's Imperial cities, where you'll have time to explore. This town was the Ismailian capital during the 17th century, but now famous for its 25-mile-long walls and monumental landmark gate of Bab el-Mansour. Wander the lanes of the old medina, visit the Mellah Jewish quarter, and the Royal stables. The Dar Jamai palace houses one of the country's best museums, exhibiting glorious ceramics, jewelry, rugs, and textiles with distinct ornate Meknesi needlework. Enjoy the setting of this town in a region of olives, wine, and citrus. Afterwards, continue the drive to Fez, often referred to as "the cultural capital of Morocco". 

    Dinner and overnight will be at the beautiful Riad Myra, not far from the old medina.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riad Myra (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: fez exploration
    Immerse yourself in the medinaImmerse yourself in the medina

    Today will be devoted to Fez, the world's only walled medieval Arab city that remains completely intact.  It may be cliché, but visitors often compare their first visit to the medina (the maze of shop-lined alleyways that comprise the old city) to an encounter with the tales of One Thousand and One Nights (a.k.a. the Arabian Nights). The medina has UNESCO World Heritage status. Visit the King's Palace, one of the best palaces in the country; the colorful leather-dying pits to see leather-making techniques unchanged since the middle ages; and a pottery workshop where you will have the chance to watch the craftsmen chip mosaic tile pieces and paint designs on plates. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riad Myra (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: fez free day
    Explore ancient FezExplore ancient Fez

    Behold and partake in Fez in the manner which will feel most satisfying to you. Perhaps you'd like to pleasantly lose yourself in the enormous medina... bathe in a traditional hamman... try a cooking class.  Or, spend more time exploring the city. The Al-Attarine Madrasa, built by Sultan Uthman II Abu Said in 1323, and Bou Inaniya Madrasa, an excellent example of Marinid architecture are both worth visiting. Other interesting sites include the el-Nejjarine Fountain and Museum, which contains Moroccan wooden displays including intricately carved doors, window frames, and chests; Moulay Idriss Mausoleum in the holy town of Moulay, where Islam was first brought in 789; or the Kairaouine Mosque, the 2nd largest mosque in Morocco and the world's oldest university. It's minaret, the oldest Islamic monument in Fez, dates back to 956.

    Note: Some mosques and mausoleums are not open to non-Muslims. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riad Myra (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: erfoud
    Admire Berber villages on your drive among the Atlas MountainsAdmire Berber villages on your drive among the Atlas Mountains

    After an early breakfast, begin your ascent across the Middle Atlas Mountains, with most of the day spent winding your way through beautiful forests, jagged rock faces, and intriguing Berber villages as you make your way to the Sahara Desert. Stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, famous for its fossils and rocks. Continue on past Errachidia and the Ziz Valley, known for its date palm trees to Erfoud.

    Arrive at your Riad for a refreshing swim in the pool (depending on weather) or a hot shower. Dinner will be served in the Kasbah.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Palais Du Desert (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: sahara desert
    Explore nature's art -- vast sand dunes -- at sunriseExplore nature's art -- vast sand dunes -- at sunrise

    After breakfast and a leisurely morning in Erfoud, head off in four-wheel-drive vehicles across the barren, yet otherworldly beautiful and majestic Sahara sand dunes. At the end of the 4x4 drive, board camels for a ride through the desert's stark beauty to an oasis where you will spend the night in comfortable Berber tents, enjoying a traditional dinner and Berber storytelling. You'll also enjoy a 30 minute camel ride out to the dunes of the Erg Chebbi where you will see the sunset. 

    Your Superior Tent has a bed with mosquito netting, and private bathroom with a shower and running water. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Berber tent camping
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: todra gorges and skoura
    Enjoy your time in and around the SaharaEnjoy your time in and around the Sahara

    Those who wake early can enjoy  sunrise over the sand dunes. After breakfast, return by camel to the 4x4 vehicles and head back to Erfoud.  From there, set out along the eastern side of the High Atlas Mountains en route to Todra Gorge. In the afternoon, take a walk up in towering Todra Gorge (with walls rising 600 feet high from the gorge's narrow bottom), where the picturesque river valleys provide a dramatic setting for a beautiful journey toward the southeast of Morocco.

    Your journey continues on to Skoura, a beautiful oasis town located in the Dades Valley (Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs). This is a wonderful place for a leisure walk through the Kasbahs. Overnight at the charming L'Ma Lodge, traditionally built as an adobe house in the heart of the palm groves in Skoura. The lodge has a large garden with many palm and fruit trees. Enjoy dinner at the palace.

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    L'Ma Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: ouarzazate to marrakech
    Explore atmospheric ancient kasbahs such as Ait Ben HaddouExplore atmospheric ancient kasbahs such as Ait Ben Haddou

    After an early breakfast,  depart for Marrakech via Ouarzazate (war-za-zat) via the mountains of the high Atlas. You will appreciate the beautiful scenery in and around Ouarzazate, one of the jewels of Morocco. The setting here has been used for more films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, and The Gladiator, than any other location in Morocco. Lunch will be at Ait Ben Haddou Ksar, a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls and containing traditional pre-Saharan homes.

    Arrive in Marrakech and check in to your hotel. Afterwards, head out to the Djemaa el-Fna, the center square of the medina. While some may say that nothing rivals Fez and its ancient medina, there are many others who say that Marrakech is the Masterpiece. In fact, UNESCO has selected Marrakech's grand plaza -- the Djemaa el-Fna Square -- as a "Masterpiece of Cultural Heritage," ranking it high on a short list of the planet's "intangible" cultural treasures.  It's the performance art rather than the architecture that wins the award; find street theater and snake charmers and musicians in the plaza 16 hours a day in a tradition that dates back a thousand years. Of course, there are also the thousands of shops in the souk, offering a distinct and creative blend of traditional and contemporary artistry. 

    Dinner will be served at the Riad.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riad Clos des Arts (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: marrakech tour
    Admire Marrakechs many sights, including Djemaa El-Fna SquareAdmire Marrakechs many sights, including Djemaa El-Fna Square

    Today's tour takes you through the "Southern Pearl of Morocco" to discover Marrakech's hidden treasures including Palace of the Bahia, built in the late 19th century by Si Moussa, a former slave who had risen to become vizier to Sultan Moulay Hassan and the 16th century Saadian Tombs, mausoleum for members of the Saadi Dynasty. 

    After lunch, visit the magnificent Koutoubia Mosque, the largest in Marrakech. This grand 12th century mosque is adorned with curved windows, ceramic inlay, merlons, and decorative arches. Its 250 foot tall minaret includes a spire and orbs.  Spend more time exploring the Djemaa el-Fna and the souk (market) lined with fresh fruits, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets, and Moroccan art. Dinner will be at a local restaurant or near the big square.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riad Clos des Arts (or similar)
  • Day 12: marrakech & casablanca
    Mingle with the localsMingle with the locals

    Your last day in Marrakech is free to do as you like - perhaps explore more of the medina, take a leisure stroll through the Menara Gardens and see a variety of orchards and olive groves that surround a 16th century pavilion, do some last minute shopping in the souks, or take a cooking class at the La Maison Arabe.

    In the late afternoon, transfer to Casablanca for dinner at a local restaurant and your final night in Morocco. Your hotel is very close to the city center for exploring on your own if you have time. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Club Val D'Anfa
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: depart morocco
    Everyone, smile for the camera!Everyone, smile for the camera!

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward flight back to the U.S. or extend to the charming Atlantic port town of Essaouira, known for its sea walls and sea breezes, and its fish grills and musicians.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$4,000
- $4,850
2-3 travelers - $4,500 4-5 travelers - $4,000 6-9 travelers - $3,800 Group sizes 2-5 includes English-speaking driver Group size 6-9 includes driver and guide
Single Supplement:
$1,300
Privately on Request
Oct 10-22, 2017
Oct 9-21, 2018
Oct 8-20, 2019

Need to Know

Duration:
13 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Charming 4* riads & small hotels
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking with optional hikes; a couple of long driving days
Group Size:
2-9
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Essaouira

Duration: 3 days

This extension takes you to the Atlantic coastal towns of Essaouira, Safi and El Jadida. 

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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