Adventures / Wild Hikes

Roam the Ancient Cities of Morocco and Glamp in the Sahara

Immerse yourself in historic cities and cultural gems amidst Morocco’s unforgettable mountains and vast deserts

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Trip Ref #10522

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Roam the Ancient Cities of Morocco and Glamp in the Sahara

Immerse yourself in historic cities and cultural gems amidst Morocco’s unforgettable mountains and vast deserts

DURATION

9 nights

LOCATION

Morocco

ANNUAL LEAVE

6 days off work

SEASON

Year round

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Casablanca Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Riad · Berber Camp

DIFFICULTY

Easy

This is a relaxed adventure, suitable for anyone capable of walking for a few hours at a time at a steady pace.

Explore ancient Roman ruins at Volubilis, discover the unique city of Fès and wander the blue-washed passages of Moorish Chefchaouen

Hike in the shadow of undiscovered peaks in the verdant Rif Mountains and wild swim in the cool waterfalls of Akchour

Learn how to rock climb in the blush-tinged gorges of Todgha and sip thyme tea with the locals

Snooze under countless stars at a luxury Berber camp in the Sahara, and bed down in age-old riads and atmospheric kasbahs

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Local, English-speaking guide plus specialist guides in Akchour, Fes and Todgha

Accommodation

Think intricately decorated riads, boutique hotels and an unforgettable night under the Saharan stars

Meals

9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

Rock climbing gear

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Marrakesh Menara Airport

Any time on Day 10

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at the international airport in Casablanca and transfer you to your riad in the city. On the last day of your trip, your host will transfer you from your accommodation in Marrakech to the airport in time for your flight home.

For those arriving early or wanting to stay on, extra nights and transfers can be arranged with your host at an extra cost. Please see Optional Extras for more information.

Travel options

There are direct flights to Casablanca from the UK and various major hubs in Europe, as well as direct flights to Casablanca from New York. There are myriad indirect options into Casablanca depending on your start point. There are return direct flights from Marrakech to major airports across the UK and Europe, though currently there are no direct flights between Marrakech and North America, so you'll need to transit en route, depending on your carrier.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Berber Camp · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7 – Day 8

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Moroccan food is a unique blend of sweet and savoury flavours. Local specialities include tagine (a stew cooked in an earthenware pot), couscous and pastilla (flaky pastries stuffed with meat and dusted with cinnamon and sugar). Food is often softly spiced with cumin, turmeric and ginger.

Breakfast will usually feature bread, jams, cookies, fruit, juice, coffee and milk. Dinner will usually include soup, a classic Moroccan tagine, couscous, olives, nuts and fruit.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request this on your passenger information form.

What is the accommodation like?

Casablanca

On your first night of the trip, you'll stay at Gray Boutique Hotel and Spa in Casablanca which offers spacious, elegant rooms and a relaxing lounge bar. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with an en suite bathroom.

Chefchaouen

In the Blue City, you'll stay at Dar Mounir, a beautiful riad in the heart of Chefchaouen. It has a restaurant and café serving traditional Moroccan dishes and a terrace with panoramic views of the medina. You'll stay in individually decorated twin-share rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Fes

In Fès you'll spend two nights at Riad Reda, positioned in the heart of the medina. Many rooms have views of the oldest mosque in this spiritual city, while others open out on to the peaceful courtyard. There is a terrace with sun loungers and parasols, plus a sauna, steam room, gym, massage services and a range of spa treatments available. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Sahara Desert

Beneath the clear starry skies of the Sahara Desert, you'll stay at Golden Camp, a family-run Berber camp nestled in the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Each of the luxury tents has authentic decor, modern toilets and showers. You'll enjoy warm and friendly Moroccan hospitality throughout the camp, with traditional teas and cakes and a campfire at night.

Todgha Gorges

You'll spend two nights in the heart of Todra Valley at Hotel Tombouctou, an authentic kasbah full of history and charm in Tinghir. It has a terrace, a flower garden and an outdoor swimming pool. Each of the rooms is named after a stage along the ancient Saharan roads of the caravans, and each one is decorated according to the style of these historic places. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Marrakech

Your final night of the trip in Marrakech is spent at 2Ciels Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa. This urban oasis has a chic interior of art deco design paired with local craftwork. The hotel has a mezzanine lounge, a traditional hammam, a seafood restaurant and a rooftop tapas bar, with views over the city and beyond to the Atlas Mountains.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

Day 1

Welcome to Casablanca

Your host will meet you on arrival at Casablanca Airport and transfer you to your hotel in the city. Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local Moroccan restaurant and have a chat through the adventure to come with your tour leader and fellow adventurers.

Day 2

Casablanca to Chefchaouen

Hiking

2hrs

Driving

5hrs · 340km

Leave Casablanca behind after breakfast as you settle in for the road trip to Chefchaouen, the famous ‘Blue City’ and one of Morocco's most iconic locations. Head out for a walk through the winding cobblestone streets, surrounded by cobalt-hued walls dotted with tiny local craft shops, before a spot of people-watching in the shaded medina. Hike up to the Spanish Mosque for amazing sunset views of the blue town nestled on the hillside and cradled by the Rif Mountains.

Day 3

Akchour Falls

Hiking

3-4hrs · 12km · 400m up · 400m down

Head outside the Blue City today for a hike to Akchour Falls, a hidden gem nestled in the Rif Mountains. The trail winds past rivers, small cascades, rock formations and through a verdant forest until you reach Akchour, where the falls plummet into the turquoise pond below. Tuck into a well-deserved picnic lunch at this beautiful spot and enjoy some downtime here, before heading back to Chefchaouen for a free evening to explore the restaurants and bars.

Day 4

Chefchaouen to Fès, via Volubilis

Hiking

3.5hrs

Driving

5hrs · 232km

Hit the road to Fès after breakfast, with a spectacular pit-stop en route: the ruins of the ancient Berber-Roman city of Volubilis. This was an important outpost of the Roman Empire and is the best-preserved archaeological site in Morocco. Walk around the ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage Site before hiking on to the nearby holy town of Moulay Idriss, perched on the Zerhoun Mountains, where white cube houses are dotted on the green hills. Grab lunch and do some people-watching in the walled medina, where you'll see devotees honouring at the shrine of Morocco's first Islamic leader. Driving on to Fès, once the intellectual and spiritual heart of Morocco, check in to your next riad and head out to explore the narrow old alleyways before tucking into a delicious dinner of traditional Fès dishes.

Day 5

Fès

Meet up with a local guide today and delve into the sensory overload of sights, sounds and smells. Meander through Bab Boujloud and get lost in the labyrinth of the medina where workshops, tailors, bazaars and restaurants are dotted throughout packed passageways. Rub shoulders with locals and donkey carts and wind up at the unusual Chouara Tannery. Visit the Mosque of Kairouine, which was once the leading spiritual and educational centre of the Muslim world. Enjoy some downtime at your stunning riad and an evening free to explore the city's options for dinner.

Day 6

Road Trip to the Sahara

Hiking

1hr

Driving

7hrs · 463km

Leave the hustle of the city behind on an amazing road trip through the High Atlas Mountains, driving along fertile valleys, cedar and pine forests and barren, rocky landscapes to the small town of Midelt, where you'll tuck into a picnic lunch. Carry on through ever-changing scenery from the mountains to the desert, all the way to the Saharan village of Merzouga, surrounded by the dusty orange sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. Settle into your Berber camp, hike to the top of a dune for a golden sunset glimmering through the desert, and watch the clear sky turn into an array of dazzling stars.

Day 7

Merzouga to Todgha Gorges

Driving

3hrs · 200km

Climbing

2hrs

Rising early in the morning to catch the sunrise over the Sahara, you'll bid farewell to your Berber hosts at camp as you head towards Todgha. Stop on the way for a walk at Ksar El Khorobat, an ancient walled village where the families who live here preserve the centuries-old lifestyle. Have lunch at a nearby kasbah, then continue the journey to the Todgha where the adventure is ramped up. Meet up with a local rock-climbing instructor, listen to some introductory tips and get kitted up to tackle a series of climbing routes set in the spectacular high walls of the gorges.

Day 8

Hike the Todgha Gorges

Hiking

4hrs

Time for the biggest hike for the trip today as you trek through the spectacular Todgha Gorges. Start off on the trail meandering through fertile palm groves, passing farmers and their children along the way. Sip some thyme tea with a nomad family in the mountains before hiking deeper into the gorges, finding yourself surrounded by the breathtaking 400m high limestone high cliffs which flank the Todra River, the walls getting narrower the further you hike down the gorge. In the evening, rest up with a typical hammam experience in a public bathhouse alongside locals in Todgha.

Day 9

Todgha to Marrakech

Driving

6hrs · 363km

After enjoying your last Berber breakfast, drive to explore a slice of the 11th century. Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, perched on a hilltop and almost unchanged since then, is one of Morocco's most iconic sites. Enjoy a walk through the winding streets of the old town, making your way to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy the views across the surrounding plains. After that, continue the drive through the winding roads of the Atlas bound for Marrakech - an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. The evening is yours to spend at leisure: savour a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers.

Day 10

Farewell, Morocco

Your adventure comes to an end as your host transfers you to the airport in time for your onward flight.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • All equipment for rock climbing

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Small daypack (15+ litres)

CLOTHES

  • Breathable wicking layers with some stretch for hiking and climbing (shorts, leggings and t-shirts are all fine)
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Lightweight long sleeve top for sun/wind protection
  • Casual clothes for hot/warm weather
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Scarf/something to cover shoulders for women
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Underwear and socks
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots or shoes (worn-in)
  • Sandals (for leisure time, non technical)

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc.)
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
  • Face mask
  • Lip balm

Post trip accommodation in Marrakech (Double/twin room)

Payable Before Departure

Post trip accommodation in Marrakech (Double/twin room)

Per Night

Post trip accommodation in Marrakech (Single room)

Payable Before Departure

Post trip accommodation in Marrakech (Single room)

Per Night

Pre trip accommodation in Casablanca (Double/twin room)

Payable Before Departure

Pre trip accommodation in Casablanca (Double/twin room)

Per Night

Pre trip accommodation in Casablanca (Single room)

Payable Before Departure

Pre trip accommodation in Casablanca (Single room)

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Private airport transfer - Casablanca airport to accommodation

Payable Before Departure

Private airport transfer - Casablanca airport to accommodation

Private airport transfer - Marrakech accommodation to airport

Payable Before Departure

Private airport transfer - Marrakech accommodation to airport

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 625kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This is a very light physical adventure, with limited strenuous activities. The longest hike is a 12km distance with 400m elevation gain and loss which is easily doable by anyone with basic fitness levels, and capable of walking for a few hours. There are plenty of stops with a long picnic and rest at the falls to relax and recharge for the hike back down. No prior experience is needed for the intro to rock climbing, your instructor will talk you through how to start and again, no prior fitness is needed here, just a sense of adventure. All physical activities can also be opted out of if you're not keen on giving them a go.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

50 MAD per person, per day

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Tap water in Morocco is not safe to drink for travellers. The tour vehicle will have a large vat of water that you are able to top your water bottles up from. Most hotels will also provide safe drinking water so single-use water bottles should not be needed. Please bring your own reusable water bottle to fill up throughout the trip.

Morocco has a sub-tropical climate with temperatures between 18°C and 28°C, although they can soar to 35°C in the summer and fall to as low as 5°C in the winter. However, the weather varies from region to region due to the country's geographical setting. The eastern and southern regions are very dry and hot all year round as they are surrounded by the scorching Sahara Desert, while the Atlas Mountains, which snake from south to north and divide the country in half, make the climate in the centre more extreme with unforgiving heat in the summer and freezing temperatures in the winter. This trip visits a big variety of Morocco's climatic regions which makes for a trip perfect for tackling any time of year.

As this trip starts in one city and ends in another, it's not logistically suitable to leave your luggage in Casablanca at the beginning. The tour vehicle will transport your luggage between each point of the trip.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of exploring.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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