● Visiting the imperial city of Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Roman ruins of Volubilis
● Sunset camel ride into the Sahara desert and sleeping under the stars in the dunes of Erg Chebbi
● Exploring the dramatic Todra Gorge and its high walls which magically change colour throughout the day
● Visit the "Hollywood" of Morocco, Ouarzazate where many films, including "Lawrence of Arabia" have been made
● UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Grand Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. Once an important stop for caravans carrying salt across the Sahara
● Trekking through the hidden Berber villages of the Todra Valley and Atlas Mountains
● Spend the night in a family run mountain home (Gite) enjoying Berber hospitality and food.
● Essaouira, with its medieval-style battlements and white-washed dwellings, staying in a traditional Riad
● The bustling souks and Medina's of vibrant Fez and Marrakesh
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your adventure begins today where you'll meet with your Adventurous Women ™ Tour Escort Sue, Local Guide and fellow travellers at our 6pm welcome meeting in the foyer of the hotel. Afterwards, we'll embark on our first adventure, where we'll enjoy a traditional Moroccan feast together.
As there's little free time included in Casablanca on this tour, to fully explore the city why not consider coming a day earlier.
Modelled after Marseilles in France, the bustling city of Casablanca has a curious architectural style - famous for its art deco French Colonial buildings and Mauresque government institutions, an old medina and the modern-day masterpiece of the Hassan II Mosque. A pleasant way to spend a day exploring Casablanca is to wander the old medina and the city walls, then jump in a taxi to visit the Quartiers des Habous, the new medina. Finish the day with a walk along the Corniche, watching the locals play football on the beach, or take it easy with a glass of sweet mint tea in one of the many great cafes.
Meals: None included
Today we take an early morning one-hour train ride to the historical town of Rabat. Rabat's history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan parliament. We store our luggage here and spend a few hours strolling through the city's old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias to enjoy stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. Afterwards, we continue on by train to the imperial city of Meknes, our final destination for the day.
This morning is free at your own leisure to explore Meknes. Bab el-Mansour is worth a visit, a big hit with visitors and for good reason. Completed in 1732, the gate is impressive not only for its size but its original green and white zellige tiles, marble columns and inscriptions from the Quran along the top. Elsewhere, you'll find one of the city's busiest spots, Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail â€“ the ornate tomb of the man who gave Meknes its imperial status (Ladies take a head scarf), or simply grab a mint tea and explore the medina from the Place el-Hedim.
Later, we board a private bus and travel to the World Heritage-listed archeological site of Volubilis. We journey back thousands of years and explore the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis sprawled over a wildflower-dotted hillside. A triumphal arch presides over the awesome remains of palaces and mansions, Roman baths and basilicas, and stunning mosaics.
Afterwards we continue onto Fes, where we'll spend the next two nights. 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 medina's. We settle in to our hotel, freshen up and join together on the rooftop terrace to watch the sunset over the Medina while a dozen prayer calls vie for attention. It's an experience you'll likely remember for a long time.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Today we take a guided walking tour of the fascinating Fes medina, visiting the tanneries, potters and other artisans. Winding alleyways filled with shop owners, animals, colourful materials, street food and all sorts of treasures â€¦.. itâ€™s a carnival for the senses! After the guided tour, you may feel like spending extra time in the medina or visiting other sites in Fes, however you may just wish to return to the sanctuary of the hotel and cool off with a swim in the rooftop pool.
This morning, we board our private minibus and leave the intensity of the city behind for the simplicity of the scenic Middle Atlas Mountains. We drive through a variety of spectacular scenery and pass through cedar forests which are home to Barbary apes, North Africa's only monkey. Then it's onto our destination for the day, Midelt. Nestled in a valley, Midelt is a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area, and surrounded by farmland and orchards.
Time to stretch our legs, as we explore the nearby village of Bremmen and take a closer look at local farming life. We also visit Kasbah Myriam, an embroidery workshop run by Franciscan nuns with the aim of providing sustainable employment and education to local Berber women. This is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir.
Accommodation: Guest House
Today we head out to the mighty Sahara Desert. Since we'll have the convenience of our own private minivan, there will be many opportunities to stop and admire views of Kasbahs and palmeries along the way. We drive through changing scenery, from barren mountain sides to fertile valleys, pausing in frontier towns like Erfoud and Rissani, before reaching the end of the road at the small Saharan settlement of Merzouga.
We leave our main luggage here at Merzouga, pack overnight essentials into a day pack and head out for a one hour sunset camel ride (or walk if you wish) into the desert. The sun begins to set as we reach the magnificent Erg Chebbi sand dunes and we see them turning a wonderful red hue. As night falls, we listen to the intoxicating beat of Berber drum music and song, while enjoying a Moroccan home-cooked feast before sleeping under the stars in our private berber tent.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Desert Camp
After breakfast we depart for Todra Gorge, travelling along the rugged road of a thousand Kasbahs, rising up like turreted sand castles along this ancient caravan trading route. On the way we visit the oasis museum of El Khorbat, before following along the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, through to the beautiful Todra Valley. The remarkable scenery, sprawling green valleys and rocks sculpted into stunning formations by the wind, will be our home for next two nights.
We enjoy free time today to explore the Todra Valley. A guided hike through the gorge and over a nearby mountain pass is â€˜optionalâ€™ and is highly recommended. There are a couple of circuits to choose from, but the most popular choice, and the one we recommend, is a 10 kilometre circuit that will take about four hours.
Accompanied by a local guide, youâ€™ll walk a trail that undulates slightly here and there, but isn't too challenging if you have a moderate level of fitness and the right footwear (hiking boots or walking shoes). On the walk you'll pass Berber villages, meeting local Berbers along the way and perhaps having a chance to share a cup of mint tea with some of them. The surrounding mountains and the famous Rose Valley in the distance make a sensational setting.
For lunch you can join some local ladies in their mud-brick kasbah, a fantastic opportunity to see how people live in this largely unchanged culture. Simply lounging by the hotel pool with views over the lush palmeries and soaring cliff faces is also a great way to spend your day here. Henna tattooing is available too for a small fee and thereâ€™s an opportunity to try a Hammam (traditional public bath) to soothe the muscles if you wish.
After breakfast we begin our scenic drive to Ait Benhaddou, stopping at Ouarzazate along the way to enjoy lunch and if time permits, a visit to the Atlas Movie Studios. Ouarzazate is known as Moroccoâ€™s â€œHollywoodâ€ with itâ€™s several film studios, where the likes of Gladiator and the Mummy, amongst other greats, were filmed. We then continue our journey onto Ait Benhaddou, where centuries ago this was an important stop for caravans carrying salt across the Sahara. Today its grand kasbah, a fine example of clay architecture, has been listed as a World Heritage site. In the late afternoon, why not enjoy a cooking demonstration to learn the secrets behind Morocco's most famous cuisine: couscous and tagine.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Guest House
We bid farewell to the Sahara and journey over the spectacular Tizi n'Tichka Pass (2,260 metres above sea level) to Toubkal National Park photographing snow-dappled mountains and valleys in full flower along the way. At the end of the road in Imlil, we store our main luggage once again and load our daypacks onto a pack mule. We then begin our walk into traditional mountain village life, with a one-hour trek up to the peaceful village of Aroumd, far from the reach of the modern world. If you don't feel comfortable with the walk, you can ride a mule instead.
Tonight is a magical cultural experience as we stay with a Berber family in their home up in the mountains. This is guaranteed to be one of the many highlights of the tour, as we get to see how a Berber family survives up in the mountains using age-old traditions. Conditions are rustic and facilities are shared (both the bathroom and sleeping arrangements) but cosy and comfortable, making this a truly unique experience.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Traditional Gite
This morning take a morning walk through the valleys and trails of the stunning Atlas Mountains (weather dependable), before we head off towards the Atlantic Coast and the old fishing town of Essaouira. Sandstone walkways contrast with white washed houses, bright blue sky and the sand of the
surrounding beaches and dunes, make this one of North Africa's most attractive places to while away time. Here we stay in a restored riad, or Moroccan mansion, a traditional nobleman's house unique to Morocco that's a calming oasis away from the buzz of the medina. Our riad is beautifully designed and decorated in traditional Moroccan style, cosy yet historical. This is likely to be one of the most memorable stays of your journey.
Accommodation: Traditional Riad
We'll be getting into the laid back vibe of this Moroccan town by now and so today, weâ€™ll join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall) finishing with exploring the fish souk. A freshly-cooked plate of the day's catch is highly recommended for lunch and is included in the cost of your tour if youâ€™re wanting this option.
Then the rest of the day is yours â€¦ Your Adventurous Women ™ Tour Escort Sue, can recommend cafe life in the main square, quaint shops, art galleries and more! If youâ€™d prefer to relax, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in a hammam, a little Yoga or a massage.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Traditional Riad
Today is all yours to explore more of this lovely seaside town at your own leisure, or simply take the time to sleep in, relax and pamper yourself if you didn't get the chance yesterday. Also now that you're familiar with your surroundings you will find it very easy and enjoyable to use this time to do a little shopping if you wish.
Accommodation: Traditional Riad
The Moroccan "red city" of Marrakech awaits us today! We leave Essaouira for Marrakech travelling on a shared bus, this is pure cultural immersion, just simply by being amongst the Moroccan people and having the opportunity to chat with them along the way.
After arriving in Marrakech, it's time to stretch our legs a little. We visit Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture and The Saadian tombs, which are a recently uncovered gem of the Medina. Afterwards we check into our hotel, freshen up and meet with Adventurous Women ™ Tour Escort, Sue for lunch. Sue will be taking you to eat out at a nearby restaurant, run by a non-profit organisation dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women, by providing them with training in restaurant/culinary skills, also assisting them in job placement.. fabulous food, fabulous organisation!
Later we head out to the famous Djemaa el Fna, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakesh. When night falls on this square it transforms into a hive of activity and a feast for the senses. Henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies, including snail soup! This evening we'l be eating out together at one of the many outdoor restaurants lining the square.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Explore the Medina for some last-minute shopping, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. In the seemingly endless mosaic of souqs, each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. Watch skilled artisans perfect their craft, practice your haggling skills or take a break from the hustle to sip on tea or share a tagine, filled with the pure scent of Morocco. Perhaps visit the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its 12th-century minaret, which was the famous prototype for the Giralda tower in Seville. Take a wander through the nearby tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). This evening it's likely that we'll be drawn back to the Djemaa el Fna and its surrounding medina to enjoy our last meal together, as our adventure comes to an end.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. However, you may choose to stay an extra day, along with our Adventurous Women ™ Tour Escort. Take a day to pamper yourself, do any last minute shopping, join in a Yoga session in the Medina, explore the Souqs â€¦. the day is all yours.
**If taking this option, ask us to book you an additional night at the Hotel.
Accommodation: 8 nights hotel, 2 nights guesthouse, 3 nights riad, 1 night desert camp, 1 night gite
Transport: Private air conditioned bus, Camel, Public bus, Taxi train
Adventurous Women® Tour Escort - Sue Hile, Owner of Adventurous Women®.
English speaking Tour Leader
Locally Guided Walks/Orientation Walks - Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Aroumd, Atlas Mountains & Essaouira
Desert Camel Trek
Visit Berrem Village & Kasbah Myriam
Entry Fees - Volubilis Ruins, Museum El Khorbat Todra, Palais Bahia Marrakech
Arrival and departure Airport transfers are included on a group basis. Additional costs apply if arriving/ departing separately.
Any visas required
Services not mentioned in the itinerary
Late check out at hotels
Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
Drinks with included lunches and dinners
Tips for leaders, guide and driver
Expenditure of personal nature
Optional activities (We will provide you with a list of these activities to assist you in budgeting)
Travel insurance- compulsory
- We send out comprehensive Pre-Departure Notes well in advance to help you plan and prepare.
IS THIS TOUR FOR YOU? (Important Information To Note)
This tour, by its very nature, is not designed for the 5 Star Traveller. It is for the girl who has an 'adventurous spirit' and is looking for a unique and rewarding experience! It doesn't mean you can't bring your hairdryer, or pack some nice clothingâ€¦. it just means that you need to be willing to adopt a "Go With The Flow" attitude. After-all being in a foreign country things don't always go to plan and having this mindset will help you chill out and get the best out of your holiday. Also Morocco is still considered to be a developing country, so please donâ€™t expect the same standards as at home.
You need to be able to cope with being on the move, as we are doing and seeing a lot on this tour to give you a really good overall look into this country. If you need some down time, there is opportunity to miss some of the activities on offer, or why not add in an extra couple of days at the end of the tour.
You need to be aware that Moroccan cuisine can sometimes become repetitive, particularly in some of the remote areas we visit - bread and meat is the main staple and catering for vegans or gluten free diets can be extremely difficult on this tour. We can cater for vegetarians, however some supplementing from supermarkets will be required by yourself to ensure a balanced diet, as the vegetarian options are limited.
In most establishments they do not have designated non-smoking areas, we ask them to deodorize the rooms prior to our arrival, however if you are particularly sensitive we suggest taking along spray deodorizer (or purchase there) and Febreze for your clothing.
For this trip you will also need to be mobile on your feet without assistance - some of the sites we visit, require you to be on your feet, navigating steps and uneven surfaces at times. You will also need to carry your own suitcase at times.
You'll be sharing a room with another lady in the group, as most of our travellers come alone (unless you specifically pay for a single supplement or book with someone you wish to share with, for the entirety) - We work on a rotating roster system whereby at each new place we arrive into, you get to share with another from the group. This works really well to bond the group and alleviate any potential annoyances that may come with sharing with one person the whole time.
Notice of cancellation must be in writing, with an email as an acceptable form of communication, directly to Adventurous Women with the following conditions: