For sheer diversity, Morocco is the perfect destination. We explore the imperial cities of Marrakech, Meknes and Fez and continue our journey to the mountain ranges to the south, where sand dunes and kasbahs are scattered among palm oases inhabited by friendly Berbers. A highlight of our trip is a camel trek in the Sahara and a night at a Bedouin camp. We fit in a visit to Todra Gorge, the beautiful 16th-century kasbah of Ait Benhaddou and enjoy a village walk in the picturesque Tijhza valley of the High Atlas. We complete the trip with a walk along the sandy beach of Essaouira.
Meet the group in the early evening for the briefing with our leader. We can go out for dinner in the city depending on arrival flight times, dinner not included).
Riad Hamdane or similar
A modern and commercial seaport, Casablanca is a complete contrast to the Morocco we are soon to explore. This morning we make our way 3 hours to Casablanca to visit the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest in the world. Afterwards, we drive 2 hours to Rabat for lunch, the political capital of Morocco, but second to Casablanca in importance. Although mostly modern, Rabat has an excellent old quarter that we take time to explore.
Hotel le Musee or similar
This morning we strike out from Rabat over the Northern plain towards Meknes, a drive of around 3 hours. The scenery changes as the land becomes more cultivated, this being one of the most fertile areas of Morocco. Sultan Moulay Ismail's old capital of Meknes is our first example of one of the imperial cities of Morocco. We meet our guide and wander the narrow streets of the old city, and explore the souk, perhaps having your first chance at bartering for souvenirs. In the afternoon we take a short drive to the largest and best kept Roman ruins in Morocco – Volubilis, once a large Roman town and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. After exploring this site we continue our journey to the ancient city of Fez, where we spend two nights.
Riad la perle de la medina or similar
This fascinating city is the intellectual and religious centre of Morocco. Founded over a thousand years ago, Fez has many mosques and medersas (theological colleges) including the 9th century al-Karaouine University, whose architecture is very similar to that seen in Moorish Spain. The medina in Fez is one of the largest in the world, an immense warren of souks, home to thousands of craftsmen with their tiny shops opening onto the narrow alleyways. Noisy and pungent, the medina of Fez is a totally absorbing and unique experience. Our city guide walks us through different sections of the souk - including those selling leather brass and copper. Of course, no visit to Fez is complete without a visit to the tanneries. Outside the medina we shall visit the Jewish District (mellah), the exterior of the Royal Palace and take a drive up to a panoramic viewpoint over the city.
Riad la perle de la medina or similar
Today we have a long journey, meaning approximately 10 hours spent on the road including plenty of stops and some superb scenery along the way. We venture over the stunning Middle Atlas, down through the picturesque Ziz Valley to the Hamada, a flat stony desert gradually approaching the spectacular site of the golden sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. We stay in a small and welcoming auberge (inn) on the edge of the dunes from where it is easy to climb to watch the sunrise.
Auberge Yasmina or similar
There is time today with a free morning to explore the largest sand sea in Morocco, or to relax in the shade of a palm tree by the dunes. The sand sea is famed for its pink tones that take on a spectacular rose colour at sunset. In the late afternoon, we partake in a genuine Saharan experience - a 1.5-hour camel trek through the dunes, where we watch the sunset. We then come back to the camp at the edge of the desert to spend the night.
Full-Service camping at Luxury Camp Yasmina
After sunrise, we leave our desert camp and travel by camel back to the auberge where we can have breakfast and a shower. We then head towards the little city of Skoura, nestled on a beautiful palm grove and located near Ouarzazate. En-route explore Todra Gorge, and the picturesque oases they hide in (journey time approximately 4 hours). Following the 1000 Kasbahs Road for approximately another 2 hours, you will marvel at the breath-taking vistas of impressive ancient Kasbahs nestled in lush palm groves.
Kasbah Sawadi or similar
There is the opportunity to take a 1 hour drive to Toundout Valley and enjoy a four hour guided hike crossing through a Berber village and Imi-noulawen valley, where you will learn a little of their culture. Alternatively, relax in and around the lodge walking through the magnificent lush palm groves. Considered as the palm grove capital of Morocco, Skoura will certainly offer peace and relaxation through its various walks discovering multiple palm groves, and Kasbahs.
Kasbah Sawadi or similar
Leaving Skoura, we re-join the main road and drive west along the 'Route of the Thousand Kasbahs' via the desert city of Ouarzazate and on to the well-preserved Kasbah Ait Benhaddou. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most spectacular sights of the Atlas, made famous as the location of several Hollywood films including 'Gladiator'. After admiring the view, we may see something of the simple village houses. Continuing into the mountains we branch east through a wide flat mountain valley, finally arriving at Anmiter, where we leave our bus and take a 1.5-hour picturesque walk on a gentle uphill gradient to the village of Tigzha, where we spend the next two nights. Our luggage will be transported to the gite for us. For those who do not want to walk, mules are available (100 MAD, payable locally).
Kasbah Oliver or similar
We start our day with an optional walk through the villages of the Tijhza Valley, heading up into the hills on mule tracks with the peaks of the High Atlas acting as a fitting backdrop to our walk. The length of our walk will depend on the ability of the group, but it is likely to be approximately 4 hours. The afternoon is free to relax with a book, enjoy the mountain views, take a stroll through the beautiful landscape or challenge the village children to a game of football!
Tijhza is just one of four villages in this remote valley that has been supported by Exodus for over ten years on various responsible tourism projects. We will visit the village hammam, built with money raised by Exodus clients. This is a truly authentic experience and terrific fun. It is very much a traditional hammam and you are likely to get the opportunity to mix with the villagers, which further adds to the experience. A standard treatment is included, but you will need to purchase a scrubber and soap for 20MAD (£1.50) plus customary tip of 20MAD. Refreshed, we return to the riad for our final dinner in the mountains.
Kasbah Oliver or similar
Leaving the gite, we walk back to our bus for a short drive to the palace of Telouet. This once grand building stands abandoned and crumbling but we can visit a small part of this labyrinthine, fairy-tale like structure. We continue our scenic drive over the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech, via the Tizi'n'Tichka pass, which at 2,260m is the highest road in Morocco. The scenery is spectacular and there are some wonderful views of the mountains. We stop at a women's cooperative Argan Oil farm, where you can see the trees growing, get a demonstration of the production process as well as have the opportunity to purchase products. Our journey finally brings us to the flat arid plains of Marrakech, and then onwards to the pretty seaside town of Essaouira. You can expect a total journey time of approximately 10 hours today, with plenty of comfort breaks and photo stops along the way.
Maison du Sud or similar
A free day in Essaouira, a charming old Portuguese fishing port overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The settlement dates back to the 15th century but the present town was constructed around 1760 by Sidi Mohammed ben Abdullah, who needed a base from which to suppress a revolt from Agadir. Today, the town is extremely relaxed and its whitewashed houses with painted shutters, artisan workshops, boat yards and fishermen provide a marked contrast to the desert, kasbahs and cities we have so far visited. Our hotel is situated in the heart of the old walled city, where we have plenty of time for some shopping in the souks or strolling along the beach. With many pleasant cafes and some outstanding seafood restaurants, there is plenty of choice for our evening meal.
Maison du Sud or similar
After breakfast, we drive back to Marrakech, journey time approximately 2.5 hours. In the afternoon we enjoy a guided tour to help us find our bearings and soak up the atmosphere of this amazing city. Our guide will take us to the Bahia Palace and the Saadian tombs, ending in the Djemma el Fna, where the town becomes a maze of bustling bazaars, palaces and mosques. It is worth seeing this renowned landmark in the evening, as Marrakech revolves around this open-air central square, with food stalls, juice-sellers, snake charmers and acrobats, it is a place of night-time entertainment for both local people and tourists.
Riad Hamdane or similar
Today is free in Marrakech and there is no shortage of things to do. You might wish to visit the largest mosque in Marrakech, Koutoubia, or venture through the souks and old streets of the medina. After bartering for souvenirs, there will be time for a short visit to the Koranic School and Museum of Marrakech. After this, you can unwind by taking a ½ hour calèche ride (a bright green horse-drawn carriage) to the Jardin Majorelle. These tranquil gardens are decorated throughout in indigo blue and were once owned by Yves St. Laurent, the perfect place to escape the hectic rush of the city.
For your lunch we would highly recommend the Amal Women's Training Centre and Moroccan Restaurant, which we at Exodus support in their cause to empower women from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to training their students to become self-sufficient and improving their quality of life through acquiring new skills in a professional restaurant setting. For a superb traditional Moroccan meal and the opportunity to support this worthy cause, do pay them a visit.
This evening it's common for the group to enjoy a final meal together on Djemma el Fna.
Riad Hamdane or similar
Trip ends after breakfast.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.
My first Exodus trip and what a cracker; diverse, interesting, informative and full of new and exciting experiences and activities and Adil the tour guide was outstanding. The itinerary is full of interesting stops, numerous extras were added in and adding in multiple extras like hiking in the early morning out to the dunes to enjoy the sunrise, climbing mini mountains and outcrops at Riad Oliver this was a packed trip and just the way I wanted my first experience from Exodus to go. I'm surprised at the cost to what actually was included and the amount of time away, flights and activities. The company was excellent and I quickly bonded and gelled and look forward to my next trip. Well done Exodus!
If you want to learn about the culture and history of a country as well as seeing some spectacular scenery then this is for you. There is a lot of travelling involved and a few early morning departures (8:00am) but enough time for rest to compensate. Maybe a little more space in the mini-bus would have been nicer as the back 4 seats were a little cramped but there were plenty of breaks during the journeys to from Marrakech to Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Fes, Merzouga, Skoura, Tigzha, Ouarzazate, Essaouira and back to Marrakech. If you fancy something different here are two examples; 1) A camel ride onto the Sahara to watch the sunset, eat and sleep in a Bedouin Camp with some traditional music, up before dawn early for another camel ride to watch the sunrise then back to the hotel for breakfast, and 2) Two nights in a mountain retreat and a 4 hour morning walk in the High Atlas mountains. Food was good and sometimes exceptional. All accommodation was acceptable and in some cases fantastic. Our tour guide, Ahmed, and driver, Mustafa, were absolutely marvellous. My 15 travelling companions also contributed to the enjoyment of the holiday. This was my first holiday of this type and I will certainly try another - most likely with Exodus. They obviously have years of experience organising holidays like this.
We decided to do a family adventure-type trip for the Hallowe'en mid-term and we picked this trip. It was really a phenomenal experience. We travelled from Marrakech across The Atlas mountains and back (with a couple of days in Marrakech at the end) in a week. We visited some amazing places, had a great time, and the pace and intensity level was perfect for the whole family (four of us, ranging from 9 to 46 years old). Our guide (Mohamed) was really excellent, always attentive to everyone's needs, and always very interesting and insightful in explaining us everything that we saw and was going on around us. Truly, truly recommended.
Really enjoyed this trip - we were lucky to be part of a great group. The trip introduces you to a lot of Morocco, from cities to the coast, from desert to mountains. There is a lot of travelling involved, some long days, but that is the price to pay to see so much of the country. Travel is in a 16 seat minibus (and we were a group of 16) but I didn't find the seats uncomfortable, and there were plenty of stops for coffee, toilets, retail opportunities! I had been slightly wary of going on this holiday as I can't stand being hassled to buy things, but (bar the main square in Marrakech) any hassle was low key and less than I have experienced elsewhere. Moroccan people generally were very friendly and had a very good sense of humour.
Basically travelling around for two weeks having a look at almost everything Morocco has to offer. No two days are the same. No two places are the same. The only constants I found was how friendly the locals are and mint tea!
A relaxing and very enjoyable adventure. First day of camel trecking was enhanced by a terrific sandstorm, followed by torrential rain that fell whilst we were sleeping outside in the Sahara desert. The guide said we needed scarfs to protect us if there was sand storms and we needed them (although at first I thought they were making fun of the travellers).
What an exciting adventure my trip to Morocco was with nearly everyday a new city/town to visit in just over two week period. I thoroughly enjoyed the culture past and present, the historical buildings, the vast landscape and the many people along the way.
Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the trip. Thought it was well organised.
We had 10 people in our group. We all got in well together marking a good start. The experience of the different places we visited gave us a good understanding of Morocco.
Highly recommend this trip. A really varied trip showing the best that Morocco has to offer. Marrakech is very manic and a bit 'in your face' but thanks to an excellent tour leader and local guide the group were able to find our way to such hidden gems as the Majorelle Gardens (Yves St Laurent's former gardens) and the 'Secret' Garden. The trip up to the Atlas Mountains and stay in Douar Samra was nothing short of magical, I got to stay in the Tree House while others stayed in the very unusual and individual rooms in the house or annex. Meals were a delight thanks to the marvellous cooking of Rashida the resident cook and the atmospheric use of candles (there is no electricity in the main house) and traditional low level seating and tables. Your luggage is transported the final distance by donkey and there are also ducks and all vegetables are grown in the Douar's vegetable garden. Fabulous views and sunsets and great walking in the mountains. However the gem is absolutely Essaouira. I had never heard of this place before but it is the most delightful and fascinating seaside town. Again great orientation tour from local guide Rashida and plenty of time to enjoy the shopping, sweeping sandy beach, bars, restaurants and busy exciting fishing harbour. Our leader, Abdul, was very informative and accommodating and great fun. Morocco is well worth a visit and I will be back!
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
This 14 night guided walking holiday includes:
All breakfasts and 4 dinners
Transfers for group flights
How to book:
|16th Feb 2020||US$1849||Tour only: US$1849||Check availability|
|5th Apr 2020||US$1879||Tour only: US$1879||Check availability|
|24th May 2020||US$1849||Tour only: US$1849||Check availability|
|19th Jul 2020||US$1849||Tour only: US$1849||Check availability|
|2nd Aug 2020||US$1849||Tour only: US$1849||Check availability|
|20th Sep 2020||US$1849||Tour only: US$1849||Check availability|
|18th Oct 2020||US$1849||Tour only: US$1849||Check availability|
|1st Nov 2020||US$1849||Tour only: US$1849||Check availability|
This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
10 nights boutique hotels and premium riads, 1 night auberge, 2 nights mountain gite and 1 night Bedouin camp
15 days land only / flight inclusive
Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs.
Travel by private minibus and camel
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Highlights of Morocco - Premium. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.