Morocco - Sahara and Beyond
with National Geographic Journeys & G Adventures
- Experience unique activities
- No single supplement ^
- Stay in a luxury desert camp
The culture of the Berbers in northern Africa dates back as many as 5,000 years. Discover their enduring legacy on this 15-day adventure into Morocco’s rich cultural heritage
Explore the souks and streets of Marrakech and Fes; spend a night in a comfortable tented camp; enjoy dinner with a traditional Berber family; and unwind in the coastal beauty of Essaouira. Throughout this magical ride, open your eyes to each dazzling place and earn a new point of view.
- Visit a women's co-op and enjoy a local lunch
- Watch storytellers and acrobats at Djemaa el Fna square
- Learn about Moroccan cuisine with a cooking class in a traditional Berber house
- Traverse the Sahara Desert by 4x4
- Try to mimic a local expert's elegant sweeps in an Islamic calligraphy class.
- Arrival transfer.
- Tour the city of Meknes and ruins at Volubilis.
- Guided walking tour of Fes medina.
- Traditional lunch at a G Adventures-supported project.
- Islamic calligraphy class.
- Guided night walk of Djemaa el Fna square with local meal.
- Explore Marrakech with a local guide.
- Marrakech cooking class in historic Riad.
- Visit the ancient kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou.
- Sahara Desert excursion by 4x4 with overnight in a comfortable desert camp.
- Explore the Draa region.
- Visit to Tafraoute.
- Explore Essaouira.
- Visit Menara Gardens and the Jardin Majorelle.
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
What is a National Geographic Journey?
A collection of unique tours designed to take you deeper into the cultures and habitats of the places we explore. They offer more inclusions, greater hands-on exploration, interactions with local experts, and the freedom to roam, all within the structure and security of travelling in a small group.
Day 1 - Casablanca
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. Sit down to a welcome dinner.
If you arrive early in the day, feel free to enjoy this beautiful city at your leisure. With its art deco and French colonial buildings, old medina, great restaurants and entertainment, there is plenty to keep you busy!
In the evening, there will be a brief meeting where you will meet your ceo and fellow group members to go over the details of the tour. Afterwards, go out for a welcome dinner in a nearby local restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel Imperial Casablanca (or similar) (dinner)
Day 2 - Casablanca to Fès
Take a guided tour of the imperial city of Meknes. Continue on to the ruins of Volubilis, the best-preserved roman ruins in morocco. After seeing the ruins, it’s off to Fes.
Meknes is one of the four imperial cities and its name and fame are closely linked to that of the Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made Meknes the centre of his empire and built many of the monuments that remain today.
Continue through the rolling hills to the roman ruins of Volubilis, the best-preserved roman ruins in Morocco. Once an important roman town situated near the westernmost border of roman conquests, Volubilis was listed as an UNESCO world heritage site in 1997.
Continue to Fes to spend the night. Stay in the new city of Fes, built by the French during their protectorate of morocco.
Accommodation: Pickalbatros Royal Mirage (or similar) (breakfast)
Day 3 - Fès
Step back in time and embark on a walking tour of the UNESCO world heritage site, the medina of Fes. Explore winding lanes and alleys; visit the many artisans, tanneries, and shops with an expert local guide. Enjoy a G Adventures - supported traditional lunch that benefits rural Moroccan women and children. This G Adventures lunch program provides access to education opportunities and healthcare services. The proceeds from this lunch program help support vocational training for rural women, allowing them to support their families and children. Enjoy a traditional home-cooked Moroccan meal and learn a bit of Arabic while you meet some of the women that are part of this program. Next visit a local cafe where we meet a local expert in Islamic calligraphy. Calligraphy means “beautiful writing” and Arabic calligraphy (or more properly, islamic calligraphy) is considered a high art form in the Arab world. Our expert explains the basics and provides a demonstration and then with some paper, a bamboo carved calligraphy stick and some ink, try your hand at mimicking the master’s elegant sweeps and flicks of the brush to write Arabic letters. In the evening, there may be the chance to partake in an optional dinner in a Grand Old Fes Riad that has been converted into a spectacular restaurant. You will not only enjoy a delicious meal of local specialties, but also an evening of singing, music, and belly dancing.
Accommodation: Pickalbatros Royal Mirage (Or Similar) (breakfast, lunch)
Day 4 - Fès to Marrakech
Travel to Marrakech. In the evening, experience all the colour and chaos with a visit to the famous Djemaa el Fna Square. Watch storytellers and acrobats as you enjoy a simple and delicious local meal at a market food stall.
Wander past fresh orange juice stalls and water sellers in colourful costumes reminiscent of an era past. See storytellers, magicians, and peddlers of traditional medicines as the day progresses. When the sun sets, the square fills with dozens of food stalls, and is packed with locals, entertaining chefs, and waiters. Grab a spot on a bench with other diners and try the “tanjia” (slow cooked lamb), harira soup, grilled seafood, famous moroccan couscous, tajine, snails, or even sheep’s head (for the truly adventurous). Wash it all down with some spiced tea. (breakfast, dinner)
Day 5 - Marrakech
In the morning, take a historical tour of the city, including the Bahia palace and Saadian tombs. After, visit a historic riad for a hands-on cooking class from a master Moroccan chef. With its unusual combination of cultures – berber, french, jewish, andalucian – Morocco is known for some incredible flavours that visitors talk about (and miss) long after they return home. In the heart of bustling Marrakech, visit a historic riad for a hands-on cooking class led by a renowned Moroccan chef who will discuss key ingredients and techniques. From rolling traditional semolina to measuring out spices for a mind-blowing tagine, learn the culinary tricks of a master while preparing lunch as a group, which we’ll all sit down to eat (and marvel at).. (breakfast, lunch)
Day 6 - Marrakech to Aït Ben Haddou
Travel to Aït ben Haddou, a UNESCO world heritage site in the Atlas mountains, and explore this ancient “kasbah" (fortress) village. Tour the UNESCO world heritage site and kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou with your CEO. Of all the remaining kasbahs in Morocco, the walls and interior of this area are the most intact. The kasbah still houses a few families, but many now live in the adjacent village. Like many of the earthen built fortresses in ouarzazate, Aït Ben Haddou has been used in many film and television productions like Gladiator, Babel, and Game of Thrones.
Day 7 - Aït Ben Haddou to Erg Chigaga
Travel through the Draa Valley to Zagora and embark on 4x4s into the desert. Stop at Tamegroute to visit the library of ancient Islamic texts and local pottery makers. Continue off road to the great dunes of Erg Chigaga to our comfortable desert camp. Opt to take a camel ride or to climb to the top of the dunes for views of the vast Sahara. Enjoy a traditional dinner under the stars.
Accommodation: Erg Chigaga Desert Camp (or similar) (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 8 - Erg Chigaga To Zagora
Cross the desert back to Zagora and enjoy a talk on the history of the Draa region. You’ll also get to visit some of the local historical sites. Explore this small desert outpost town that’s famous as a starting point for desert caravans. Learn about the history of the town and the Draa region with visits to some historical spots.
Accommodation: Riad Lamane (or similar) (breakfast)
Day 9 – Zagora to Taroudant
Head towards the Anti-Atlas region to the carpet towns of Tazenakht and Taliouine, where saffron is harvested. In Taroudant, visit the famed leather tanneries and local markets.
Accommodation: Hotel Riad Dar Zitoune (or similar) (breakfast)
Day 10 – Taroudant To Tafraout
Enter the Anti-Atlas region to view natural rock formations. In the afternoon, explore the town centre and its local markets.
Accommodation: Les Amandiers (or similar) (breakfast)
Day 11 - Tafraout
Visit Aït Mansour Gorge, the Painted Rocks, and the Chapeau du Napoleon. Walk through a palm valley and have lunch in a local village house. Visit a women's cooperative that produces handicrafts and argan oil. Watch demonstrations on how the oil is produced from nuts and then used in various products.
Accommodation: Les Amandiers (or similar) (breakfast, lunch)
Day 12 – Tafraout To Essaouira
Travel to the Atlantic coast to the port town of Essaouira. Opt to visit a local “hammam” (traditional spa and steam baths). Essaouira is also famous for its music scene and offers a great chance to check out a live performance.
Accommodation: Dar L'Oussia (or similar) (breakfast)
Day 13 - Essaouira
Enjoy a day of leisure in this coastal city. Make sure you watch the colourful and lively spectacle of the return of the boats to the port with their baskets full of fish, pick out the best of the bunch, which we’ll take to a local restaurant to cook up for our lunch. Opt to browse the shops and art galleries or take a stroll along the long, sandy beach. The active might choose to take a surfing or windsurfing lesson, or rent a fishing rod.
Accommodation: Dar L'Oussia (or similar) (breakfast, lunch)
Day 14 – Essaouira To Marrakech
Return to Marrakech and visit the Menara Gardens and the Jardin Majorelle. Opt to enjoy a farewell dinner at a palace-style restaurant with local folkloric entertainment. In the afternoon, have free time to further explore the fascinating city of Marrakech and dive into the labyrinthine souks. Visitors and locals alike find everything they desire here, whether it’s spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or famous Moroccan lanterns. The selection is exhaustive. Don’t forget to bargain. It's definitely part of the fun. Once you’ve tired yourself out, relax at one of the tea houses around the square, indulge in the ubiquitous sweet mint tea and watch life go by from a shady spot.
Accommodation: Le Kech Hotel & Spa (or similar) (breakfast)
Day 15 - Marrakech
Depart at any time. (breakfast)
|Date of departure||Price per person (twin share)|
|14, 21 April 2019||$3,639*|
|5, 26 May 2019||$3,289*|
|1, 16 June 2019||$3,289*|
|14 July 2019||$3,289*|
|11 August 2019||$3,289*|
|1, 5, 8, 15, 22, 26 September 2019||$3,639*|
|3, 13, 17, 20, 27 October 2019||$3,699*|
|10, 17, 24 November 2019||$3,529*|
- Price based on per person, twin share
- ^Solo travelers don't pay a supplement if they are happy to share with another client of the same gender
- If you wish to have your own room a supplement applies
- Land only price - please speak with your RAC Travel Consultant to arrange a quote on airfares
- Price and tour availability is subject to change or withdrawal without notice
- G Adventure terms and conditions apply
- G Adventure Code - DCBNG
- A credit card fee of up to 1.2% may apply
Terms and conditions apply: see RAC Travel general terms and conditions.