A Journey to Morocco Through the Sahara Desert

Tastes of Morocco

From a Sahara Jeep tour to a Jewish heritage journey to connecting with local weavers and artisans. Discover incredible mountain views, picturesque landscapes and North African vibes.

Morocco is a feast for all your senses. We’ll trek through canyons and endless oases and feast on couscous and tagines and participate in memorable tea rituals. Take in the beauty of the Palmaraie, a palm oasis of several thousand trees outside of Marrakech and wander through the Medina, where maze-like tapestries of narrow streets and high stone walls lure you in.

We’ll connect with the culture, food and traditions of nomads and traders, absorb breathtaking plant life and cultivation with wildflowers and cherry orchards that lead the way to nature’s beauty.

Leave here with a new appreciation for Arab and Andalusian architecture, diverse Berber traditions and a repertoire of Morrocan recipes influenced by Arab, Andalusian and Mediterranean cuisines.

Morocco Journey through the Sahara Desert reveals the heart and soul of this unique African destination with its old Medinas and Mosques, souks, diverse landscapes, mouthwatering cuisine, bustling bazaars and the age-old remains of civilizations past to timeless golden dunes.

From Casablanca and Rabat the country’s most modern cities to Fes, one of the most preserved ancient walled cities in the world with streets filled with mystery and surprises, to Merzouga with its stunning sunrise and curvaceous dunes, discover the stunning scenery of exotic Ouarzazate, the gateway to the Sahara, and end in Marrakech which blends the antique with the modern while incorporating vital, cosmopolitan energy. Take a day off from bustling Marrakech to hike in the high Atlas Mountains

Your 12-day experience will be one you will treasure for a lifetime.

 

Highlights: 

  •  Experience a fascinating outlook into the uniqueness of Morocco
  •  Ride into the desert on a 4×4 for an outdoor adventure and desert exploration
  •  Tour ancient villages along the way
  •  Discover UNESCO World Heritage sites
  •  Enjoy traditional Moroccan feasts
  •  Visit contemporary artists’ studios and artisans’ shops
  •  Wander the winding lanes of old Marrakech

Day 1: Welcome to Morocco! MARHABA!

Arrival at Casablanca Mohamed V airport, depending on the time of your arrival, start your day with the “must-sees” such as the Hassan II Mosque, and admire the world’s largest minaret. Depart to Rabat, the government Capital of Morocco and home to the Royal family. Visit ‪the fascinating Kasbah des Oudaias and Andalusian Gardens, and then check in to your Riad. 

Day 2: Explore Fes

Depart towards Fes along a beautiful stretch of farmland where olive, grain, vegetables, and grapes are grown. Continue your day in Fez’s old town, or Medina. Here you will enter a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized as one of the well preserved historic towns of the Arab-Muslim world. Venture into the depths of the tanneries, observe weavers at their looms and discover hidden workshops. 

Day 3: The Jewish Quarter of Fes

Start your day with a discussion with one of the high-end professors from the local university about Moroccan culture, politics and lifestyle. Hear interesting stories of the Mellah, the Jewish Quarter – Morocco is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the diaspora, dating back 2000 years. Visit its synagogues, cemetery, and museum, and stroll in streets that once witnessed the presence of the Jewish families and grand rabbies. Fez is also the home of Al-Qarawiyeen University, the oldest one in the world, where the famous Jewish philosopher Maimonides (Rambam) studied. After this tour, if time allows, visit the famous Nejjarine fountain. In the afternoon, discover with your local culinary expert the secrets of Moroccan cuisine on a street food tour: ‘When the stomach is full it tells the head it’s time to sing’ – Moroccan Proverb.

Day 4: From Fes to Merzouga

Today we will head all the way to Merzouga with lovely stops along the way. Start your day with a visit to Cèdre Gouraud national park, to watch the many monkeys living in the forest.Continue your day by driving towards Midelt, between the Middle Atlas and High Atlas mountain ranges. Witness the dramatic Ziz Gorge, passing the ancient, holy city of Rissani, en-route. Continue driving towards Merzouga, with the last stop on the way at Errachidia. Get a real feeling of a rocky desert and the high mountains which will take your breath away for sure.

Day 5: Hit the Roads of the Sahara Desert

A 4×4 vehicle will be waiting for you to start your adventure as you head towards the dunes of Erg Chebbi, possibly the largest dunes in the Sahara desert. Upon arrival at the camp, you will witness the sunset from over the desert dunes and be astounded by the peace and calm as well as the changing colors of the landscape. Overnight at a luxurious desert camp

Day 6: Discover the Magnificent Ouarzazate

Start your drive towards Ouarzazate, travel through Todra Gorges. One of the highlights of the South is the massive fault in the plateau that divides the High Atlas from the Jebel Sarhro, called the Todra Gorges. Stop at Ait Benhaddou, one of the most spectacular sites found along the valley of the Kasbahs. It presents a majestic sight and has been featured as the backdrop in many films including ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Jesus of Nazareth’.

Day 7: Ouarzazate “The Door to the Desert” & Skoura

Meet a local expert who will lead you by 4X4 jeeps to explore the old Kasbahs in the area of the Skoura valley. Skoura, often referred to as the valley of 1000 kasbahs, is a fertile oasis lined with immense palm groves that provide great views of the Atlas Mountains alongside deserted landscapes. 

Check-in at your hotel and enjoy a relaxed free afternoon. 

Day 8: Marrakech Express

Drive to Marrakech passing via Tizin Tichka, the highest pass of all Morocco’s Mountains. This is a spectacular route offering wonderful scenery of the Atlas and the Taddert. Check-in at your hotel and in the afternoon take a stroll around the winding little streets and the Djemaâ El Fna, Marrakesh’s main square, a place with various and non-stop entertainment: storytellers, snake charmers, fire-eaters and more.

Day 9: The Red City of Marrakech

Start your day with a visit to the Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech. The mosque is also known by several other names, such as Jami ‘al-Kutubiyah. Visit the Bahia Palace (Palais de la Bahia), one of Marrakech’s most imposing buildings. Explore the Majorelle Gardens, a beautiful green oasis that was created by Jacques Majorelle, and in total took more than 40 years before this architectural gem was finished. Finally you will enjoy the museum of Yves Saint Laurent to see his fabulous work over the years.

Day 10: Marrakech- The Pearl Of The South

Start your day with an alternative tour of the souks of Marrakech. Each Marrakech souk has a different specialty, be it rugs, leather goods, spices, metalwork or clothing. Enjoy the endless colors and flavors of the Moroccan culture.                      Optional- hover over Marrakech in a hot air balloon!

Day 11: The High Atlas Mountains

Start your drive towards the High Atlas, then choose between a cooking class taking place in the Amizmiz Valley, and horseback riding in the Atlas Mountain, a fantastic experience with gentle and well-trained horses riding through the local Berber Villages.

 

Day 12: Hiking at the High Atlas

Your mountain guide will meet you for a half-day hike through the mountain regions. The region is a great area to bird-watch with many migratory species often found in the High Atlas. This region is particularly known for the highly sought-after white-rumped swift, and Levaillant’s woodpecker can often be seen in the valleys around Asni and Imlil. 

Day 13: Departure 

Transport to Marrakech Menara Airport for your flight home

Discover culinary treasures and vitality of Morocco, outstanding manmade sights, encounters with legendary landscapes, and hands-on gastronomic experiences.

Awaken your senses and enliven your mind in our 9-day Moroccan journey. Embrace Morocco’s amazing flavors as we travel through imperials cities, rural villages, Middle Atlas mountains, and the magnificent Agafay desert.  

 

Highlights: 

  • Learn how to cook traditional Moroccan food
  • Shop in local market places for exotic local ingredients
  • Gain knowledge about the different spices and condiments
  • Visit Meknes, also known as the wine capital of Morocco
  • Discover souks, tanneries, and artisan workshops in medieval Fes
  • Walkthrough the narrow alleys in the Old Medina of Marrakech
  • Experience the energy and essence of the street food scene

Day 1: Welcome to Morocco! MARHABA!

Arrival at Casablanca Mohamed V airport. Start your journey with the number one must-see,  the Hassan II Mosque, and admire the world’s largest minaret. Depart Casablanca and travel to the Moorish city of Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Check in to your Riad, gather for a lovely welcoming dinner in which you will be briefed about our Moroccan culinary journey introducing you to your fellow travelers and logistical team. 

Day 2: Head to Fes through the magnificent city of Meknes

On your way to Fes, stop in Meknes. One of the Imperial cities of the country and once Capital of Morocco under the rule of Moulay Ismail, it has a wonderful charm and style, with beautiful gates, palaces, and mosques, all enhanced by the beauty of the surrounding countryside. 

Tour the Old Town of Meknes on foot to see the many kinds of souks and take a great opportunity to bring home some souvenirs. Then, head to a stunning vineyard located between the foothills of the Rif and the Middle Atlas Mountains where Christophe fuses Bordeaux expertise together with the creative freedom he has in Morocco to produce the most delicious whites, roses and the Moroccan favorite “gris”. Continue your drive towards Fes, arrive at your hotel and check-in. 

Day 3: Explore the Jewish quarter of Fes

Our journey to Jewish Fes takes us into a history that shaped Sephardic Judaism, visiting its synagogues, cemetery, museum, and taking a walk in its street that once witnessed the presence of the Jewish families and grand rabbies, will remind us not only of how Moroccan life was/is like but also of how was Jewish life in Spain before the expulsion of 1492. Then head to The oldest and largest of the traditional tanneries in Fez’s leather souk, Chaouwara Tannery dates back to medieval times. Participate in a Sephardic cooking workshop to aim to know better the Jewish culinary heritage of Morocco.

Spending time with our lovely local family in their beautiful riad, you will be encouraged to fully take part in the daily activity of shopping and preparing for a delicious traditional meal.

Day 4: Discover Fes, the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities

Visit Fez’s old town or medina that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized as one of the well preserved historic towns of the Arab-Muslim world. Be a part of a tasting trail at the souk at the medina. Find your way through the streets and souks with a local Fez food expert. Start by exploring the fresh food souks, then on to the honey souk to taste an array of delicious honey. Try traditional Moroccan foods including dried meats, milawi, harsha, briwats, spicy sardines, and fresh goat cheese, finishing off with a visit to a traditional Moroccan tea house. Enjoy an afternoon Patisserie Class – This afternoon finds us again at our friends’ house (the same family from yesterday) indulge your sweet tooth and learn how to prepare Moroccan patisseries as well as discovering this important cultural practice. 

Day 5: Exploring the Middle Atlas Mountains

This morning enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Atlas foothills en route to get to the town surrounded by mountains and lush agriculture. Delve into the traditions of rural Morocco and start learning the secrets of a good Moroccan couscous, participate in a Couscous Rolling from Scratch. After lunch take a walk along the ridge to see the donkey-powered olive press and have mint-tea and an olive oil tasting with the owner. Drive back to your hotel in Fes for some free time, in the evening Chef, Najat invites us to experience a brave new Morocco.

Day 6: On the way to Marrakech Express

Drive to Fes Sais International Airport to catch a domestic flight to Marrakech. Continue your day with a special evening activity at the street food of Djemaâ El Fna square. Tasting Marrakech is a tailor-made food and cultural experience that takes place in the famous Jamaa el-Fna square in the company of a state-approved guide and a foodie expert. The tour is private and customized to your appetite and palate.

Day 7: Marrakech The Red City

Start your day at The Bahia Palace (Palais de la Bahia), one of Marrakech’s most imposing buildings. Visit the Jewish quarter of the second oldest imperial city and the ancient Salat el Azama synagogue. Visit the Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech. Explore the Saadian tombs, one of the only remains of the Saadian dynasty that reigned over the golden age of Marrakech between 1524 to 1659. Continue to the Majorelle Gardens, this beautiful green oasis was created by Jacques Majorelle, bought by Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. Come all together for an evening cocktails with private storytelling. 

Day 8: Herbs and Spices Teachings in the Berber villages surrounding Marrakech

Head off to the outskirts of Marrakech for a cooking class that takes place in the Amizmiz Valley, populated by Berbers who still stick to their traditional way of life, enjoy the High Atlas Mountains dominating the landscape. Your professional chef and tutor will teach you how to utilize herbs and spices as well as prepare a typical Moroccan meal including bread-making Moroccan style. After your Cooking Class, head for a 4×4 excursion through the majestic High Atlas Mountains. 

Day 9: Adventures at The High Atlas & The Agafay Desert

This morning enjoy a 4×4 excursion through the beautiful scenery of Marrakech’s Palmeraie and the foothills of the Atlas Mountains to immerse yourself more in the Berber life and traditions. Drive towards the Agafay Desert, arrive at your Luxurious desert camp. Tonight, dinner is set up privately for you at a nomadic tent where you will be welcomed with authentic Moroccan entertainments. 

Day 10: Deprature- MAʿ AL-SALĀMAH!

Transport to Mohammed V Airport OR Marrakesh Menara Airport for your flight home