Morocco

Highlights of Morocco

Our example itinerary, ‘Highlights of Morocco’, starts in Marrakech and finishes in Fes. It includes most of the highlights of the country (including the High Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert) combined with a few of our favourite less well-known gems.

Highlights

  Wander the markets of Marrakech
  Walk in High Atlas Mountains
  See the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou
  Explore remote Dades Gorge
  Camel ride in the Sahara
  Visit Fez, Meknes and Volubilis

15 days from £1,500 pp

Plus international flights starting at £150 direct.

A 2-week holiday for a family of four will usually cost from £6,000 based on comfortable mid-range boutique hotels or riads (usually with pools) excluding international flights.

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Highlights of Morocco day-to-day itinerary

Day 1 Marrakech
On arrival at the airport, you will be met by a Stubborn Mule Representative and transferred to your hotel in the old city.


Day 2 Marrakech
This morning your guide will take you on a walking tour of Marrakech.

This is a wonderfully exotic city, its narrow winding streets enticing you in and surrounding you with scenes from the Arabian nights. There are myriad souks spilling their goods into the street. There are beautifully converted mansions, crumbling mosques, boutique galleries and steaming hammams. All roads lead to the great square, Djemaa al Fna. This becomes the centre of activity at night with food stalls and entertainers galore. The children will be agog at the non-stop activity; grab a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice or get a henna tattoo from one of the many Berber women. Enjoy the music from the street musicians and then sit down to a delicious meal of calamari, kebabs, Moroccan salad and freshly cooked flatbread.

Your walking tour will finish in a rooftop restaurant where you will enjoy a delicious lunch. The afternoon is free for you to further explore by yourselves.


Day 3 Imlil (High Atlas)
After breakfast a short drive takes you to Imlil. This is a small town in the foothills of the High Atlas, nestled in the shadow of Mount Toubkal. The afternoon is free for you to explore and perhaps take a walk or browse the souvenir shops.


Day 4 Imlil (High Atlas)
Today you head into the hills around Imlil either by foot or on the back of a mule, to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the High Atlas. The views here are gorgeous. There are small fields of fruit trees, burbling irrigation streams, traditional stone built houses and the dramatic backdrop of the mountains. In spring the fruit trees are in blossom, which is particularly beautiful. Along the way you will stop at a rocky waterfall. Here the children will enjoy clambering over the boulders at the edge of the falls.

The route will be tailored to the ages of your children and we will provide as many mules as are needed. Most families find that it works well for the parents to walk and the children take it in turns to ride a mule. However we can arrange whatever will suit.

You stop for a traditional Berber lunch of flatbread, soup and hot sweet mint tea in a local village house.


Day 5 Ait Ben Haddou
After breakfast head to Ait Ben Haddou, which takes around 4.5 hours. The road initially passes through a green and fertile landscape before it rises sharply into the mountains. Here it becomes more barren and you will cross the dramatic Tizi ‘n Tichka pass with spectacular views.

In the afternoon you can relax at your accommodation.

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Day 6 Ait Ben Haddou
This morning visit the magnificent kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou. Perched high on a rocky outcrop, its crumbling towers and red hued walls probably the most picturesque in Morocco, the Kasbah is familiar to many from numerous Hollywood films. The children will enjoy following the narrow streets as they wind towards the top of the hill from where there are incredible views out over the rocky desert.

In the afternoon you can either relax at your hotel (particularly enticing if we arrange a hotel with a pool) or you could perhaps visit Ouarzazate. This is around 30km away and is home to a vast studio where films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator and Cleopatra were filmed.


Day 7 Dades Gorge
Continue across the desert from Ait Ben Haddou through a stunningly scenic valley lined with ancient kasbahs, giving this legendary route the name ‘the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs’. The first section is known as the ‘Valley of the Roses’ due to its prolific rose bush cultivation. Stop en route to explore the oasis town of Skoura with its numerous crumbling kasbahs including the magical Kasbah Amerhidil. This is the kind of oasis town that your children will have seen in picture books, a lush landscape of date palms and groves of fig and almond trees, situated in the heart of the desert. The palm trees and cooling winds from the Atlas Mountains make this the perfect place for a refreshing stop before continuing to the Dades Valley.


Day 8 Dades Gorge
You have a full day to enjoy the incredible views in and around Dades Gorges. This is a scenically stunning section of the Dades River valley which separates the High Atlas Mountains from the Anti Atlas. Precipitously steep rocky mountains descend to the valley bottom, a jumble of rose red and sand coloured rock. Spend the day following quiet trails into the gorge to traditional local villages and through the palm groves and terraced fields.


Day 9 Todra Gorge – Sahara Desert 
After breakfast set off on another scenic drive through the magnificent Todra Gorge. This is a stunning canyon that has been carved through the mountains over the millennia. Take the kids out to explore the gorge and marvel at the sheer rocky walls rising above you. Stop to chat to the friendly Berber people who herd their goats and camels in the area.

You will continue driving into the desert until you arrive in the Sahara, in Merzouga. This small town is situated right on the edge of a huge sand sea. Giant apricot and ochre coloured dunes tower above the town and beckon you to explore. You will meet your camels and will climb on for a 90 minute ride into the desert. The sun will start to set as you ride, and the views over the vast dunes of the Sahara are breath-taking.

Spend the night in a desert camp, far from civilisation, with a blanket of stars above and camp-fire for the evening.


Day 10 Sahara Desert
A full day to enjoy the desert surroundings and the world’s largest sand-pit! Spend some time sandboarding down the dunes or simply enjoy a gentle hike through the mesmerising dune scenery. Quad biking is also available plus 4×4 excursions (for an additional fee), depending on which camp you’re staying at.


Day 11 Midelt
Rise early to watch the sun rise over the desert before continuing to Midelt.

Midelt is a small town with lovely views over the mountains. There is time to visit the Kasbah Miriam, an old Catholic nunnery that is home to a women’s co-operative. This produces the most exquisite embroidery work and carpets. The children will be fascinated to see how these are made.


Day 12 Fes
Head north to Fes, passing through the varied and beautiful landscape of the Middle Atlas. Once you arrive in Fes, settle into your hotel before taking a late afternoon wander through the old city. As the sun sets, and the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer, this is the perfect time to find a roof-top restaurant and watch the world go by.


Day 13 Fes
You have a full day to explore Fes. Children love following the labyrinthine streets of the old city, which have changed little since they were built in the 8th century. The streets are so narrow that no cars can pass through, so all goods are transported by donkey and you will have to occasionally get out of the way as a heavily laden animal lumbers past!

Make sure that you head deep into the medina, following small alleyways as they wind past hawkers, mosques, traditional houses and souks, the heady aroma of spices vying with the ever-present smell of the tanneries. This is perhaps the best-preserved medieval city of the Arab world and children will be wide-eyed taking it all in.

We can either arrange a guide for you or you can explore by yourselves.


Day 14 Meknes & Volubilis
Today you have a full day tour to Meknes and Volubilis. The historic centre of Meknes is a UNESCO world heritage site and is a wonderful place to explore with huge thick city walls, impressive imperial buildings and an enticing souk. From Meknes the road leads through rich agricultural farmland to the hilltop Roman ruins of Volubilis. These are quite extensive and a great place to let younger children have a run around and clamber over the ancient stones. Return to Fes for the night.


Day 15 Fes
A free day until you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.

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Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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