South Morocco Discovery
From 09/12/2023 to 09/01/2025
Take a guided hike through the High Atlas Mountains and spend a night with an Amazigh family in the traditional village of Aroumd.
Travel in a camel convoy and a 4WD to Erg Chigaga in the Sahara Desert – the most majestic place to watch the sunset – and spend a night in a Bedouin camp under the North African stars.
Recharge with two days in seaside Essaouira where Jimi Hendrix spent time in the 60s, and explore the whitewashed houses, lively port and tiny picturesque alleyways.
Explore Ait Benhaddou, a World Heritage site with a grand history and a long list of film and TV credits, on a walking tour with a local guide who knows all the local insights.
Visit an Argan oil women’s coop and duck in and out of souqs to haggle with traders as your local leader helps you to navigate the 16th-century walled city of Taroudant.
Breakfasts Included: 9.
Lunches Included: 2.
Dinners Included: 2.
Camp site (1 night),Gite (1 night),Hotel (4 nights),Riad (3 nights).
4x4,Private vehicle,Public bus,Taxi.
Age: min 15.
Group Size: 1 - 16.
Aroumd - High Atlas Mountains guided hike.
Ait Benhaddou - Leader-led ksar walk.
Tamegroute - Ancient Library.
Tamegroute - Underground kasbah guided tour.
Tamegroute - Medfouna lunch (Amazigh pizza).
Sahara Desert - Sunset Camel Ride.
Taroudant – Argan oil women coop visit.
Essaouira - Guided walking tour.
Essaouira – Local fisherman visit.
Itinerary / more information
1 - Marrakech Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Marrakech in Morocco. This vibrant city has a myriad of things to see, do, taste, smell and enjoy! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. There's not much time to explore Marrakech this, but if you arrive early there's plenty to see and do. Just speak to your booking agent to organise extra accommodation.
2 - Aroumd This morning, take a short drive into the High Atlas Mountains to the village of Imlil. When you arrive, store your main luggage and load your overnight bags onto pack mules. Make the 1-hour trek to the peaceful village of Aroumd. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the remote village offers stunning views across the High Atlas Mountains and a unique opportunity to experience traditional Amazigh culture. Spend the night in a family-run mountain gite where, surrounded by the smell of woodstoves and bread, you'll enjoy traditional hospitality and homecooked food. Use the rest of the day to explore the village and the surrounding farmlands. If the group is up for it and weather permits, there will be a chance to hike to the pilgrimage shrine of Sidi Chamharouch (approximately 4 hours return). Regardless of your fitness levels, the gentle pace of Aroumd makes it a special place to explore beyond the reach of the modern world.
3 - Ait Benhaddou This morning, journey along mountain roads and over Morocco's highest pass, Tizi n'Tichka (2260 metres above sea level), to Ait Benhaddou on the edges of the Sahara. Perched on a hilltop and almost unchanged since the 11th century, Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco's most iconic sites and a World Heritage site. It was once an important stop for caravans passing through as they carried salt across the Sahara, returning with gold, ivory and slaves. Does it look familiar? The town has a long list of film and TV credits, including Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones and Gladiator! Enjoy a leader-led walk through the winding streets of the Old Town, making your way to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy the views across the surrounding plains. Your evening is free, with the option of partaking in a local cooking demonstration and meal of Morocco's most famous dishes: couscous and tagine.
4 - Ouarzazate - Zagora This morning you'll journey south towards the Sahara Desert, stopping in the regularly used film location of Ouarzazate along the way. Continue to travel through the lush Draa Valley to Zagora, a small oasis town on the Sahara fringe that is perfect for an overnight stop. Here, take a stroll through the palm groves, explore the ksars and wander around the surrounding countryside.
5 - Tamegroute - Erg Chigaga After breakfast today, you'll drive along the rugged and desolate Jbel Tadrart ranges and through seas of sand past the occasional desert oasis of date palms, to the township of Tamegroute. Here, you'll visit an intriguing library filled with ancient scripts of science, literature, the Koran and stories of the prophet Mohammed (subject to unregulated opening times). After, join a local guide to uncover the underground Kasbah. Enjoy a hearty lunch of Medfouna - nicknamed the 'Amazigh Pizza' - a crispy flatbread filled with a variety of smoky ingredients like beef, egg and vegetables. Then, carry on driving to the frontier town of M'Hamid. From here, your group will jump into 4WD vehicles and drive to the massive Erg Chigaga dunes. This is the largest dune in the Moroccan Sahara and one of the less asited - meaning your experience will be further from surrounding towns and villages, making for a unique experience. Arrive in the late afternoon and then all aboard for the experience of a lifetime - riding on the backs on camels into the Saharan sunset. Tonight, enjoy a night under the stars at your desert camp.
6 - Oulad Berhil Travel to the market town of Oulad Berhil today after breakfast, stopping along the way to stretch your legs and take in some epic views. Today will be a long travel day, so stock up on snacks, your favourite playlists and your go-to book. Enjoy desert scenery along a route that's actaully a reserve for the Indigenous argan trees. You'll make a pitstop at a local woman's cooperative specialising in argan oil production. This coop provides women and their families in the rural area with extra income for their community, promoting independence. You'll learn about how the argan is extracted from the trees, how it's produced and then have the opportunity to try the Amlou paste - a common dip in Morocco made with almond and argan oil. Arrive at your accommodation by the early evening. Your riad for tonight has a steam bath and a pool - the perfect way to relax after a long day of travel!
7 - Taroudant - Essaouira In the morning, take to the souqs of Taroudant and haggle with local traders for silver jewellery or colourful Moroccan ceramics and mosaics. After, head west to the coastal town of Essaouira. The name Essaouira means 'pretty picture', which is appropriate, since it's such a picturesque town! Within the stone ramparts, you'll find whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters, art galleries and wood workshops - ironically, the perfect spot for photos! This evening is free for you to explore or relax.
8 - Essaouira Today after breakfast, join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall). Essaouira is one of the oldest port cities in the country, and fishing here is still quite traditional. You'll have the chance to meet one of the expert fishermen in the port, who will tell the group all about their story and show you some of the tricks they use, what type of fish to catch and what seasons mean to them. After, enjoy free time for the rest of the day. Jimi Hendrix spent a lot of time here during the 60s, so you know this is a great spot to sit, people watch and listen to the sound of the ocean. Maybe grab a freshly cooked plate of the day's catch at the port or browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries. This is also a hotspot for surfing, so consider taking a lesson if that's your thing. If you'd prefer to relax, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in a hammam (Moroccan day spa) or local-style bath.
9 - Marrakech Enjoy a free morning in Essaouira, then catch a bus back to Marrakech in the afternoon. Enjoy free time when you arrive, to explore or partake in optional activities. Walk around the famed Jemaa el-Fnaa Square - one of the largest public squares in the world - and take it all in. From fire dancers to performers and street food carts, this is somewhere you actiually want to get lost. Maybe check out the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, or the ruins of the Palais Badi. Join your group tonight for an optional farewell dinner.
10 - Marrakech Your adventure ends after breakfast. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Marrakech (subject to availability). Just speak to your booking agent.
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