Sample Itinerary (Subject to change to maximize awesomeness!)
Day 1: You will arrive at MARRAKECH Airport (RAK). We will have two pickup times at the airport (released soon). If you miss our pickup, you will be able to simply take a taxi to the Riad (at your own cost). In the evening we will have a welcoming ceremony and dinner together. Depending on what time your flight arrives, you'll be able to savor the carnivalesque atmosphere of Marrakech’s main square, Jemma el Fna. Wander the souks and shop for handmade leather goods, sip traditional mint tea with charismatic carpet weavers, and meet a local Berber family. The square in Marrakech is one of the most amazing places on earth, with snake charmers, musicians and plenty of sights to people watch!
Food stalls and shopping at Djemaa el-Fna Square
Day 2: After breakfast and morning affirmations, we will head out to experience a morning of life in the village. You'll enjoy an authentic cooking class in Lalla Takerkoust (around 45 min from Marrakech. Physical space will be cozy with our local Moroccan hosts. You'll experience and see Moroccan hospitality up close and leave feeling warm and lovely. After lunch, we'll head back to explore Marrakech with a guided tour. Be prepared to shop. Dinner will be on your own tonight giving you the freedom to move at your own pace and enjoy the square. Feeling up to a spa treatment? Today is the perfect day to experience a traditional Moroccan Hammam.
Dinner on your own.
Day 3: After Breakfast and morning affirmations, we'll depart Marrakech and make our way to the fragrant Rose Valley (Dades Gorge) where we will spend the night. The road takes us through the High Atlas Mountains, a true sight to behold. Time permitting, we'll also visit the magestic Kasbah Ait Benhaddou for some pictures in this frequently visited historical site. Heard about the healing powers of Argan oil? Today we will learn more about how it is made and be able to purchase bottels for ourslves. We'll also have a talk on the healing properties of spices in Ouarzazate. By the time we get to Auberge Chez Pierre for dinner, you will be surprised at the diversity of landscape and Moroccan sights and ready for an evening of relaxation.
Day 4: Rose Valley to Sahara
After breakfast, we'll enjoy Dades Gorge and the Rose Valley before heading to the Sahara Desert (Merzouga). The Dades Gorge in the valley of the roses and the Todra Gorge provide some of the most spectacular scenery of the south. These are fertile valleys where roses bloom in profusion in the Skoura and El Kelaa des Mgouna oases and where a large part of Morocco's rose and rose water production occurs. These gorges are located just southwest of Tinerhir and some 110 km (65 miles) from Ouarzazate. In the valleys along the Dades Gorge, you’ll notice more argan (nut) trees more than the palmeries that surround the Todra Gorge.
Along the way to the magistic Sahara, we'll be able to visit Erfoud, home of the fossils. Did you know dinosaur bones were found in Morocco? Morocco is rich with fossils such as ammonites, orthoceras, trilobites and dinosaur teeth. A portion of the Sahara Desert, which was once an ocean, is located within Morocco and holds many remains of creatures that once inhabited the earth. Skilled artisans have taken great time and care to prepare and polish some of the fossils. You'll have a chance to see and discover items over 150 Million years old.
Lunch a la carte
Dinner in Hotel
Day 5:Merzouga Sahara Desert Camp
Today we are in the enchanting Sahara Desert. Once an ocean, the Sahara is a magical never-ending place where you can lose your mind and find your soul. Not far from our camp, we will visit Khamlia, home of Pigeons du Sable, a Gnawa musicians haven of the Sudanese Brothers. If possible, we will meet local sisters in the cooperatives.
Before sunset, we will ride out to our desert tents where we will spend the evening. Don't worry, these tents aren't like sleeping at the state park. You'll enjoy running water, and restrooms, plus a comfy bed. If the sky is clear, you'll enjoy the feeling of sleeping under a canopy of a million stars. Camel rides out to the desert camp. (4x4 Option) *please note if people change their mind onsite there is a charge.
You'll have an option of riding the camel (a slow and steady ride through the desert)) or a 4x4 Jeep (an exhilarating ride where you are likely to bounce around and enjoy the sand like no other!)
You will need to let us know whether you desire the camel or 4x4 prior to our trip.
Day 6: Merzouga - Fes
After breakfast, we rise and head back (camel or 4x4). Today we'll be traveling to the ancient city of Fes. Also known as Fes el Bali, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded in the 9th century, and is home to the world's oldest university. The city of Fes reached its true economic and cultural height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Merinids, when it replaced Marrakech as the capital of the kingdom. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fes has retained its status as the country's Artisan center. We'll enjoy lunch in Midelt a la carte and continue our journey.
Lunch a la carte
Dinner will be in our Riad (hotel).
Day 7: Fes
After breakfast, we'll enjoy fall under Morocco's spell on an exotic private tour of Fes. One of my most memorable moments here was stepping into University of al-Qarawiyyin founded in 859 by Fatima al -Fihri, a woman. To see the legacy she left was amazing. Artisan workshops in the medina are as active today as they were 100 years ago, and strongly contribute to the city’s industrial economy. Trades such as blacksmithing, leather working, ceramics, silk, tapestries, and sculpting are still practiced in these workshops today. The original ramparts still protect this ancient city and its estimated 9000 narrow passageways and bustling streets.
Traditional Lunch Provided in the Medina
Dinner in the riad.
The amazing view from above one of the ancient rug shops in Fes
Day 8: After the hustle and bustle of Fes (get ready for the pan handlers!), you'll enjoy the calm and serene of today's destination, the city of Chefchaouen. This beautiful city is located on the Rift of the mountainous region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Iberian Peninsula. Chefchaouen is known worldwide for its Medina of shady alleys, whitewashed houses with blue turquoise doors, wrought iron windows and colorful tile covered roofs. The souks are decorated with their traditionally dressed inhabitants boasting their straw hats.
Blue lime-washed houses, busy squares and steep alleyways, the best way to discover this holy town is to wander around it taking in the atmosphere. This city has a powerful charm that you really can feel in the Outa-el-Hammam square, in the cobblestone medina.
Lunch on the way a la carte.
Dinner in the square a la carte. (At your cost)
Day 9:Chefchaouen to Casablanca
Today your blue fest continues and we'll enjoy a half-day walking tour of Chefchaouen. Sit on the terrace of a cafe and take in the view of the grand Tarik-Ben-Ziad mosque whose octagonal minaret is inspired by that of the Torre de Oro in Seville. The famous djellaba, this long and ample garment worn by the men and women of North Africa, was created here. For something different, visit a traditional oil mill (there are more than 1500 of them) or a craftsman's workshop. Over and above its weaving, Chefchaouen is renowned for its basket-making and its pottery.
After lunch, we will depart for Casablanca where we will spend the evening.
Dinner in the Riad
Day 10: Casablanca to Marrakech. This morning we will enjoy a guided visit of the King Hassan II Mosque located by the sea and featuring a 200-meter minaret that dominates the city's landscape. The inside of this masjid is simply AMAZING!
Following our tour, we will head directly for Marrakech where we will stop at the Majorelle Gardens. Once we get back to our Marrakech hotel, the rest of the evening is yours to do some last minute shopping and enjoy the square.
Lunch a la carte
Dinner in the Square a la cart
Day 11: Marrakech - Airport.
After breakfast and morning affirmations we will have a closing ceremony to cement our time together. You'll enjoy free time shopping or relaxing till our two departure times for the airport.
A few reminders:
*Traditional Moroccan Riads all have stairs
*A la Cart means this meal is at your own cost.
* For included meals, drinks are on your own. The hotels and restaurants include water, but if you should desire tea or pop, this is separate.