morocco tafraoute atlas mountains istock

Ultimate Morocco Explorer

This ultimate Morocco trip combines the rugged High Atlas mountains, the vast Sahara Desert and the enchanting city of Marrakech and allows you first-hand experience of Morocco’s greatest treasure – its people. Camp overnight in traditional Bedouin tents in the desert and try your hand at haggling in the many Berber souks.

Departures: Year round | Duration: 8 days

Suggested Itinerary*:

Day 1 – UK – Marrakech – Ouarzazate

  • Fly from the UK to Ouarzazate via Casablanca. Overnight and dinner in Ouarzazate.

Day 2 – Ouarzazate – Sahara Desert

  • This morning you’ll drive east towards the Sahara Desert following the old caravan routes through the Jebel Sahro mountains and the desert oasis of the Draa Valley. En route you’ll see evidence of the seasonal flooding that occurs in the region.
  • After lunch, you’ll meet your local Touareg guides and camels for the trek into the pre-Sahara Desert. Overnight in a Bedouin camp with traditional tents, food and music, all under the spectacular desert night sky.

Day 3 – Sahara Desert

  • Join your camels and guides to retrace your steps back across the sand and meet your coach. Visit the Koranic library and pottery makers of Tamegroute and the village of Tinfou—being overrun by sand encroachment. Overnight and dinner in Draa.
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morocco atlas mountains berber village mtb

Day 4 – Sahara Desert – High Atlas

  • Leaving the desert behind, you’ll travel west into the High Atlas mountains. En route, stop at the UENSCO World Heritage Site of Ait Ben Haddou, an ancient kasbah which once controlled the main trade routes from the desert, across the High Atlas and into Marrakech. Plate tectonics, fold mountain formations, volcanic rocks and tilted and folded uplifting strata are all clearly visible in this rugged landscape.
  • As you journey through the mountains look out for evidence of water irrigation techniques and terracing as people have learnt to adapt to the difficult terrain. Overnight and dinner in Imlil.

Day 5 – High Atlas

  • Choose from a wide and varied range of fieldwork topics including river processes, rural settlements, mountain landforms, desertification and water management and irrigation.
  • Alternatively, you might also choose to do some trekking to explore the mountains further and visit a local Berber village, or involve yourself in some community work. Overnight and dinner in Imlil.
morocco marrakech caleche

Day 6 – High Atlas – Marrakech

  • Spend a free morning in Imlil – why not visit the souk to practise haggling, take a hammam (traditional steam bath) or just hang out and chat with the locals?
  • After lunch, travel to the former imperial city of Marrakech. Depending on your arrival time there may be some time to take in the sights and sounds of the largest souk in the country and the bustling city square, Djemaa el Fnaa.
  • Overnight and dinner in Marrakech.

Day 7 – Marrakech

  • Explore this fascinating city in horse-drawn calèches. Your guide will show you the famous Djemaa el Fnaa, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the beating heart of Marrakech’s old quarter. Wander the souks and visit a traditional Berber pharmacy to learn more about natural treatments and remedies created from plants and minerals, and stop in at a traditional tannery to learn more about the techniques used for centuries by craftsmen to make leather goods.
  • You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the new area of Marrakech, Villa Nouvelle, to compare how the traditional and modern parts of the city exist side-by-side.
  • After dinner, take in the fabulous spectacle of the Djemaa El Fnaa by night – food stalls, acrobats, dancers, snake charmers and musicians fill the vibrant open air square.

Day 8 – Marrakech – UK

  • After breakfast here might be time for some sight-seeing in Marrakech, not to mention some last minute souvenir haggling in the souk, before your return transfer to the airport.

*Additional days can be added to extend your stay.