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Experience the flavors of Morocco on a one-week Desert Tour from Casablanca, immersing yourself in the country’s rich history and culture. From paying homage to Casablanca’s legendary classics to the mystical Marrakech, every step of this journey will leave a lasting impression.
Beginning in the bustling city of Casablanca, we’ll venture through Chefchaouen’s blue-washed medina and explore the Roman ruins of Volubilis before arriving in Fes, known as the Athens of Africa. Then, prepare to be enchanted by Morocco’s legendary Sahara desert, where you’ll ride a camel through the Merzouga sand dunes, sleep under the stars in a desert camp, and marvel at lush green oases and canyons.
Finally, your journey culminates in the mystical city of Marrakech, where you’ll be swept away by the vibrant markets, intricate architecture, and lively atmosphere. With every taste and sight, you’ll fall deeper in love with the beauty of Morocco.
Upon arrival at Casablanca airport or your hotel, you’ll be greeted by your knowledgeable driver/guide who will take you on a remarkable journey through Morocco. Our first stop is the magnificent Hassan II Mosque, an architectural marvel that is the second-largest mosque in the world, accommodating over 100,000 worshippers within its interior and terrace. This mosque is also one of the few that welcomes non-Muslim visitors for a scheduled and guided tour.
Following our visit to the mosque, we’ll continue our journey to the enchanting Blue City of Chefchaouen, passing through charming villages and towns along the way. Upon arrival, you’ll check into your comfortable and cozy Riad in Chefchaouen, where you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Start your day off right with a delicious breakfast at your Riad in Chefchaouen before embarking on a leisurely stroll through the charming town. Marvel at the beauty of the blue and white houses lining the narrow streets, creating a stunning picture at every turn.
In the afternoon, we’ll depart for the ancient Roman archaeological site of Volubilis, where you’ll have a guided tour to immerse yourself in the rich history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After exploring Volubilis, we’ll head to the cultural capital of Morocco, Fes. Once we arrive, we’ll indulge in a delectable Moroccan dinner at an authentic Riad situated in the heart of the bustling Fes Medina. After dinner, you’ll retreat to your comfortable Riad to spend the night.
After a fulfilling breakfast, you’ll meet with your local guide to explore the spiritual capital of Morocco, Fes. Known for its rich cultural and religious heritage, Fes is one of the oldest cities in the kingdom and is often referred to as the “Athens of Africa” due to its abundance of educational institutions.
Our tour begins with a visit to the Royal Palace’s grand esplanade, where you’ll marvel at the luxurious architecture. Next, we’ll make our way to the 16th century Borj Sud, where you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the walled city. We’ll then delve deep into the UNESCO World Heritage Medina, strolling through narrow streets, charming bazaars, and ancient madrassas (old Koranic colleges), and hillside shrines. Don’t miss the bustling Nejjarine Square and the opportunity to discover Moroccan art at the Dar Batha Museum.
Fes is a city that captures your heart with its abundant places to see, and our guided tour will make sure you don’t miss any of the highlights. After finishing the city tour, you’ll have the evening to yourself to enjoy dinner at one of the many Moroccan restaurants. If you need assistance with reservations, please let us know. You’ll spend the night at your comfortable riad or hotel to rest up for tomorrow’s adventures.
After a satisfying breakfast, we’ll begin our journey by driving across the fertile Saiss plains to the Berber towns of Ifran and Azrou. Both towns are nestled in the Middle Atlas Mountains and are renowned ski resorts and winter/spring holiday destinations for locals.
As we continue our drive through the cedar forest, keep an eye out for Barbary Monkeys roaming around. We’ll stop for lunch at leisure in the Berber town of Midelt before continuing through Ziz Valley. The drive will take us past some of the most breathtaking date palm tree oases in Morocco, until we reach Errachidia, one of the major Moroccan cities in the Sahara desert. We’ll make a quick stop there before heading to Rissani, the birthplace of the dynasty that has ruled Morocco to this day and considered one of the holiest towns in the country.
After a brief stop in Rissani, we’ll continue on to Merzouga, where you’ll meet your camel caravan. Enjoy a leisurely ride on the back of your camel over Erg Chebbi dunes, watching the sun turn different shades of orange before sunset. Your camel caravan will lead you to your Sahara desert camp, where you’ll settle into your private tent and enjoy a delicious Moroccan dinner under the glittering stars while listening to the echoes of local nomadic drum music.
After a good night’s sleep and breakfast, you will start your day with a visit to the Monkey Fingers, a geological rock formation in the Dades Valley that resembles human fingers. You can also take a walk along the Dades Gorges, which offer breathtaking views of the valley and its surroundings. Next, you will continue to Ouarzazate, also known as the “Hollywood of Africa,” due to its film studios and numerous movies filmed in the area, such as Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia. You will visit the Taourirt Kasbah, a well-preserved fortress that used to be the residence of the Glaoui tribe, who were the former rulers of the area. After lunch, continue to Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an ancient fortified city, which has been used as a backdrop for many famous movies such as Game of Thrones, The Mummy, and Prince of Persia. Your local guide will take you through the winding alleys of the kasbah and tell you about its fascinating history. After exploring Ait Ben Haddou, you will drive back to Marrakech, where you will spend the night at your riad or hotel. In the evening, you can experience the vibrant nightlife of Marrakech and dine at one of its famous restaurants.
On the last day of the tour, you will enjoy breakfast before departing on a scenic drive along the road of 1001 Kasbahs and the Valley of the Roses. If your tour coincides with the spring season, you will have the opportunity to witness local ladies’ artisanal rose water distilling workshops. You will also visit the famous oasis of Skoura and walk to the Kasbah of Amridil, one of the most well-preserved Kasbahs in Morocco, to learn about the Kasbah’s architecture, the Sahara desert lifestyle, irrigation techniques, and costumes.
Next, we will travel to Ouarzazate for lunch before visiting the UNESCO world heritage fortified village of Casbah Ait Ben Hadou. This village is renowned for being used as a set for various Hollywood blockbusters, fashion magazines, photo shoots, and world-known brand commercials. Finally, we will embark on a drive back to Marrakech through the High Atlas Mountains and Tizi N’tichka pass. You will arrive in Marrakech late in the afternoon, and your Morocco desert tour from Casablanca to Marrakech will conclude with a drop-off at your hotel, riad, or any other desired location.
The best time to hike in Morocco is during the spring (March to May) and the fall (September to November). During these months, the weather is typically mild, with comfortable temperatures during the day and cool nights. The landscapes are also more colorful during these seasons, as wildflowers bloom in the spring and the foliage changes color in the fall.
However, it’s still possible to hike in Morocco during the summer and winter months. Summer can be hot, but the higher elevations in the Atlas Mountains offer cooler temperatures. Winter can be cold, especially at higher altitudes, but there are still opportunities for winter hiking and skiing. It’s important to note that some trails and passes may be inaccessible during the winter months due to snow and ice.
It is technically possible to climb Toubkal without a guide, but it’s not recommended. The terrain can be challenging, especially for inexperienced hikers, and having a guide can provide added safety and support. A guide can also help with navigation, especially in areas where the trail may not be clearly marked.
In addition to safety concerns, climbing Toubkal without a guide may not be permitted. The Moroccan authorities require hikers to obtain a permit before climbing Toubkal, and our tour companie and guides are licensed to issue these permits. If you don’t have a permit or are caught climbing without one, you may be fined or even deported.
It’s also worth noting that climbing with us can enhance your overall experience. Our guide can provide insights into the local culture and history, and can help you appreciate the natural beauty of the area. We will also take care of logistics, such as arranging transport and accommodations, leaving you free to focus on enjoying your hike.
Climbing Mount Toubkal can be a challenging hike, but it’s generally considered a moderate to strenuous climb. The difficulty of the climb will depend on several factors, including your level of fitness, previous hiking experience, and the route you choose to take.
The standard route to the summit starts in the village of Imlil and involves hiking to the Toubkal Refuge, where climbers can rest for the night before making the final ascent to the summit the following day. The hike to the refuge is approximately 5-6 hours and involves a steady uphill climb.
The final ascent to the summit involves some steep and rocky terrain and can take 3-4 hours, depending on your pace. Altitude can also be a factor, as the summit of Toubkal is 4,167 meters (13,671 feet) above sea level. It’s important to acclimate properly to the altitude and take necessary precautions to prevent altitude sickness.
That being said, the climb to Mount Toubkal is accessible to most hikers with a moderate level of fitness and previous hiking experience. It’s recommended to train and prepare for the climb in advance, with a focus on building endurance and stamina.
Overall, while climbing Mount Toubkal can be a challenging hike, the stunning views from the summit and the sense of accomplishment make it a rewarding experience.
The temperature in the High Atlas Mountains can vary greatly depending on the season and altitude. In general, the higher you go, the colder it gets.
During the winter months (December to February), temperatures in the High Atlas Mountains can drop below freezing, especially at higher altitudes. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach -10°C (14°F) or colder at the summit of Mount Toubkal. It’s important to come prepared with warm clothing and gear if you plan to visit during the winter.
In the summer months (June to August), temperatures in the High Atlas Mountains can be quite hot during the day, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). However, temperatures can drop significantly at night, especially at higher altitudes, so it’s important to pack warm layers for evenings and early mornings.
Overall, it’s best to come prepared for a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions when visiting the High Atlas Mountains, as the weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly.
Hiking Toubkal Mount in the winter can be challenging and requires proper equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Here are some essential items you should bring with you:
Insulated and waterproof boots: Your boots should be sturdy, waterproof, and insulated to keep your feet warm and dry in snowy conditions.
Warm clothing layers: You’ll need to dress in layers, including a base layer, mid-layer, and outer shell, to stay warm and regulate your body temperature. Insulated jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves are also necessary.
Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants: You’ll need a waterproof and windproof jacket and pants to protect you from the snow, wind, and rain.
Crampons and ice axe: In snowy conditions, you may need crampons and an ice axe to help you navigate the mountain safely.
Backpack: A sturdy backpack with a waterproof cover is essential for carrying your gear, snacks, and water.
Sleeping bag: If you plan to spend the night in a mountain refuge, you’ll need a warm and insulated sleeping bag.
Sunglasses and sunscreen: The sun’s reflection on the snow can be intense, so bring sunglasses and sunscreen to protect your eyes and skin.
Morocco is generally considered a safe country for trekking, but like any travel destination, it’s important to take appropriate safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Stay on designated trails: Stick to designated trails and avoid venturing off into unknown areas.
Dress appropriately: Dress appropriately for the weather conditions and bring the necessary equipment, such as proper footwear, warm clothing, and rain gear.
Stay hydrated: Bring enough water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout your trek.
Avoid hiking alone: It’s always safer to hike with a group or a guide, especially if you’re not familiar with the area.
By taking these precautions, you can enjoy a safe and rewarding trekking experience in Morocco.