Mosaic of Wild Morocco

About the Experience

Your journey through Morocco is like entering a mosaic of wild mystery, your senses enchanted with the gorgeous aesthetic of this ancient way of life.

On our 15 day tour, you’ll be enchanted by Morocco’s wild beauty: you will cross palm groves in the oasis and the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert, journey through the Atlas mountains and dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean.

You’ll climb aboard a camel to trek through the bronzed sands of the Sahara. At nightfall, enjoy a feast prepared by nomads, as you stretch out to sleep in a luxurious tent beneath an endless galaxy of stars. Or stroll the ancient medina of Fes, where you can marvel at the magnificent rainbow-hues of the famous tanneries, which dot the city like a cartoon grid of polka dots. Meander around the market, baskets overflowing with spices and surrounded by tapestries of fine handmade weaving.

Hike the fertile valleys of the Ziz valley, where you can pluck an olive from a branch to roll its bitter delights on your tongue. Savour Moroccan tagine and chicken pastilla, sip mint tea and try your hand at grinding flour for flatbread, enjoying the authentic Moroccan hospitality with a local family in their home. Take part in a sacred henna ceremony with your Wild Women sisters and feel renewed in the ritual of the hammam in a traditional spa.

On your journey, you will also visit the unique town of Ifrane – famous for its winter activities and the barbary macaque – the only primate found north of the Sahara. You will visit the dramatic Todra Gorge – a series of cascading limestone ledges that soar up to 400m. You’ll stay at the Kasbah Toubkal, perched on a plateau in the heart of the Atlas Mountains. Will the wonders ever cease?

Whether cycling the palm groves of Skoura past the towers and turrets of kasbahs, or riding a horse along the glimmering beaches of the Atlantic ocean in the artist’s hub of Essaouira, your adventure in Morocco is truly a marvel. And when you hold your hand to the sun, to admire the intricate elegance of your Henna tattoo, you will feel entwined in the swirls and beauty of its markings – knowing that you have been a part of this resplendent place.

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Mosaic of Wild Morocco

About the Experience

Your journey through Morocco is like entering a mosaic of wild mystery, your senses enchanted with the gorgeous aesthetic of this ancient way of life.

On our 15 day tour, you’ll be enchanted by Morocco’s wild beauty: you will cross palm groves in the oasis and the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert, journey through the Atlas mountains and dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean.

You’ll climb aboard a camel to trek through the bronzed sands of the Sahara. At nightfall, enjoy a feast prepared by nomads, as you stretch out to sleep in a luxurious tent beneath an endless galaxy of stars. Or stroll the ancient medina of Fes, where you can marvel at the magnificent rainbow-hues of the famous tanneries, which dot the city like a cartoon grid of polka dots. Meander around the market, baskets overflowing with spices and surrounded by tapestries of fine handmade weaving.

Hike the fertile valleys of the Ziz valley, where you can pluck an olive from a branch to roll its bitter delights on your tongue. Savour Moroccan tagine and chicken pastilla, sip mint tea and try your hand at grinding flour for flatbread, enjoying the authentic Moroccan hospitality with a local family in their home. Take part in a sacred henna ceremony with your Wild Women sisters and feel renewed in the ritual of the hammam in a traditional spa.

On your journey, you will also visit the unique town of Ifrane – famous for its winter activities and the barbary macaque – the only primate found north of the Sahara. You will visit the dramatic Todra Gorge – a series of cascading limestone ledges that soar up to 400m. You’ll stay at the Kasbah Toubkal, perched on a plateau in the heart of the Atlas Mountains. Will the wonders ever cease?

Whether cycling the palm groves of Skoura past the towers and turrets of kasbahs, or riding a horse along the glimmering beaches of the Atlantic ocean in the artist’s hub of Essaouira, your adventure in Morocco is truly a marvel. And when you hold your hand to the sun, to admire the intricate elegance of your Henna tattoo, you will feel entwined in the swirls and beauty of its markings – knowing that you have been a part of this resplendent place.

 

DAY ONE: WELCOME TO MOROCCO

Upon arrival at the international airport in Casablanca (CMN), you will be greeted and driven to your hotel for your first night in Morocco. Depending on when you arrive, this day will be at your leisure. In the evening you will meet your group and tour leader, who will brief you about the trip. Afterwards, she will take you to a dinner hosted by a local family, supported by the Al Hidn, an association that empowers illiterate widow women in rebuilding their lives through a series of educational programs as well as providing them with financial and educational support to keep their kids at school.

 

DAY TWO: HORSEBACK RIDING IN MEKNES

This morning, you will have a guided group tour of the magnificent Hassan II Mosque: the largest in Morocco and the fifth largest in the world.  On this one hour tour, you will discover the most ambitious project of late King Hassan II, which was completed in 1993. Built partially into the water overlooking the Atlantic, it possesses the world’s tallest minaret (>200m) and can hold up to 25,000 worshippers inside the mosque hall.

Afterwards, you will drive to Meknes to visit a horse riding club owned by a Moroccan/Suisse couple. Meet their beautiful horses and if you choose, embark on an easy one hour horseback ride exploring the countryside. An optional activity will be offered to those who do not wish to go riding. We will have lunch in the medina of Meknes and then drive onward to Fes – your home for the next two nights. 

This evening, you will be treated to a Fes signature dish – the sweet and salty chicken pastilla – a savoury Moroccan pie.

You will overnight in a riad.  Originating from the Arabic term for ‘garden’ a riad is a Moroccan traditional house, normally two or more stories high, built around an inner courtyard with a garden and a fountain.  Dreamy!

 

DAY THREE: MAGICAL MYSTICAL MEDINA

This morning, meet your local guide for a tour of the old medina of Fes. You will walk the maze of streets passing by artisans doing their daily jobs, exploring what was once one of the world’s great centers of education and culture, both Islamic and Jewish. You will spend your day exploring the old city and stop by Fes’s famous tanneries and ceramic arts studio. View the stunning architecture of Medressa el Attarine and the beautiful Fondouk Nejjarine. You’ll also see the oldest university in the world, recognized by UNESCO and founded by a Moroccan Muslim woman, Fatima al-Fihria.

Tonight your dinner will be independent.  Your guide will provide you with several recommendations in the vicinity of your accommodations.

 

DAY FOUR: CEDAR FORESTS OF IFRANE

Today, we leave the bustling city market and head south to Ifrane. Nicknamed Little Switzerland, its winter beauty and local ski resorts attract many who love to play in the snow. Ifrane’s fresh air and natural parks that protect a rich ecosystem have been decisive in its ranking as the second cleanest city in the world.  In Amazigh, Ifrane means caves, and this town is well known for its natural caves carved into the Jurassic carbonate layer.

After checking into your hotel, rejoin the group for a short drive to visit a local park where you will discover the oldest tree in the cedar forests of the Middle Atlas.  Enjoy a one-hour walk in nature where you can discover the flora and fauna of the region including the famous barbary macaque – the only macaque species found outside Asia and the only primate species found north of the Sahara.

Next, you’ll head to another natural area to explore a local lake called Dayat Aoua: this lake is surrounded by a wet meadow, oak forests (Quercus rotundifolia) and cedar: Cedrus atlantica. A belt of poplars and willow surround the lake edges. You’ll have the opportunity to explore this park for about an hour before heading back to your hotel for dinner.

 

DAY FIVE: MIDELT AND ERRACHIDIA

Today, you will drive 4 hours to the Ziz valley through a variety of spectacular scenery – fertile valleys, cedar and pine forests and barren, rocky landscapes.  On the way, you’ll stop in Midelt: a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area, but now surrounded by farmland and orchards. Continue to Errachidia, once called Ksar Essouk, the capital of the Ziz Valley and one of Morocco’s biggest date production areas.

Check in to your hotel, an elegant traditional guest house surrounded in spectacular beauty including red rock formations, a palmeraie (palm forest) and river.  Spend the rest of the day at your leisure before gathering for dinner.

 

DAY SIX: EXPLORING ZIZ VALLEY 

After breakfast, meet your mountain guide and prepare for a hike in the rich palmeraie that is the Ziz Valley.  You’ll cross many fields and learn about growing dates, grains, and olives by using the old system of irrigation.  

Afterward, you will visit a local Berber family to have a cup of tea, eat lunch and experience family life in the valley.

The rest of the day will be at your leisure – perhaps a nice time to relax in the gardens at your hotel.

 

DAY SEVEN: INTO THE SAHARA 

This morning, you’ll depart the Ziz Valley.  You’ll stop in Erfoud, a small town well known for its fossils, as well as Risaani and then continue your drive to the golden dunes of Merzouga, situated about 20 kilometres from the Algerian border. Upon arrival, you’ll store your main luggage, have lunch, and then be introduced to your camel who will then give you a one hour ride into the Sahara to a secluded desert camp in the dunes. Upon arrival, meet your nomad hosts, enjoy a hearty welcoming feast outside and spend the night under a billion stars.

Your night’s rest will be in a spacious Berber suite tent, exotically decorated and fully equipped with a comfortable bed, private bathroom and shower.

 

DAY EIGHT: SAHARA SUNRISE

After taking in the Sahara sunrise and enjoying your nomadic breakfast, the day’s activities are yours to choose.  You may want to relax and enjoy the serenity of the desert in camp, take a guided walk in the dunes, or embark on another camel ride.  

Enjoy lunch either in camp or as a picnic during your dune walk or camel ride.

 

DAY NINE: THE TODRA GORGES

Today, you’ll depart from the Sahara and drive 5 hours towards Todra Gorges: a series of spectacular limestone river canyons that soar up to 400 meters. You’ll stop here en route to your next destination to admire this stunning landscape. Continue on to Skoura, one of the few palm groves that are still inhabited and cultivated in Morocco.  This beautiful oasis will be your home for the next two nights.

The Ksar, where you will be staying, is a traditional building carrying history and ancient architecture. It features a spacious elegant garden, interspersed with palm, apple, olive and pomegranate trees. Candles and lights dangle from the trees at night creating a warm and magical atmosphere, reflecting in the luxurious outdoor swimming pool.

 

DAY TEN:  CYCLING THE PALM GROVE

After breakfast, meet your guide for a morning cycling tour of the palm groves of Skoura.  This village is home to several privately-owned Kasbahs and traditional houses of southern Morocco. You will visit the Kasbah Ameridhl, with its extravagant decorations and mud-brick fortifications.  

While cycling, you’ll take breaks under the shade of palm, olive and other fruit trees as you explore this lovely oasis. On one stop you’ll learn how bread is made locally, then enjoy a picnic by a stream. After returning to your hotel in the early afternoon, you will have the rest of the day at your leisure.

 

DAY ELEVEN: THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

You depart Skoura this morning and en route to your next destination, make a stop in Ouarzazate, which is known as Morocco’s ‘Little Hollywood’. Ouarzazate has been featured in several films. 

You will also visit the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou – a fortified red-earth city. We’ll continue the drive to Toubkal National park and the small mountain town of Imlil. Upon arrival to the high Atlas Mountains, stretch your legs after the 6-hour drive for a short hike through the peaceful village and arrive at your accommodations, the celebrated Kasbah Toubkhal-one of National Geographic’s “Unique Lodges of the World”. This authentic eco-guesthouse (gite) has been responsibly designed and has involved the local community throughout the process.  Five percent of each booking is contributed to Education for All, an organization founded by the owner of the Kasbah that helps Moroccan girls living in rural locations receive continuing education.

 

DAY TWELVE:  THE OCEAN BECKONS

Today you depart the Atlas Mountains and drive 4 hours to the chill coastal town of Essaouira.  This charming blue seaside town was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations, and now possesses a vibrant art culture and is a hub for Moroccan contemporary art drawing artists from near and far.  

Essaouira is also a major fishing port and you’ll be able to enjoy some of the day’s fresh catch.  After checking into your hotel, meet your local guide who will take you out for a freshly cooked seafood market lunch.  

After your seafood feast, you’ll have a guided tour of the city. The quaint narrow streets are ideal for exploration by foot.  

Dinner is independent today.

 

DAY THIRTEEN: HORSEBACK RIDING ON THE BEACH

After breakfast, you will have the option to experience horseback riding along the beaches of Essaouira. This majestic experience will allow you to enjoy the early morning calm of the oceanside and recharge your energy. An alternative activity will be offered to those who do not wish to go riding.

Afterwards, you will be treated to a Moroccan hammam.  Optional, but highly recommended and deemed an “essential Moroccan” experience. Hammams are deeply rooted in everyday communal life and involve a steam bath and massage/scrub, and are yet another wonderful way to experience local culture.

The rest of the day will be at your leisure.  Maybe you’ll wish to return to the beach or visit the numerous art galleries and shops of Essaouira.

 

DAY FOURTEEN: ANCIENT CITY OF MARRAKECH

Today, you will drive 3 hours to Marrakech, an ancient city with a touch of European modernity. Upon arrival, explore the medina or relax at your riad and then you’ll have another opportunity to experience wonderful Moroccan hospitality. Your tour leader will take you to the Jewish quarter of the medina of Marrakech where you will share an authentic Moroccan dinner with a local family. Your host will serve Moroccan salads and fresh, home-baked bread while waiting for the main course. Dishes will vary depending on the season and availability on the day, but you can expect dishes such as lamb with prunes and almonds, couscous and roast Moroccan chicken. Vegetarian options will be available too.

The Marrakech experience is not finished yet!  You will visit a Hennaya (a Henna tattoo maker). This is one of the oldest jobs of Moroccan women. The artist will create a lovely Henna Tattoo on your hands or feet, while your tour leader explains the origins and common use of this traditional Moroccan cosmetic product.

 

DAY FIFTEEN: FAREWELL MOROCCO

This morning you will close your trip with one last community experience.  Participate in a morning cooking class at the Amal Centre – a Marrakech-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women through training and job placement.  Share some laughs and enjoy a final delicious Moroccan meal together in the company of women.

Afterwards you can return to your riad if you have opted to stay an additional night in Marrakech, otherwise, a transfer can be provided to the Marrakech airport for return flights home scheduled for later in the day.

 

 

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