Kasbahs & Coast
Soak up the atmosphere in Marrakech, camel trek into the vast wilderness of the Sahara, explore ancient Kasbahs in the Atlas and relax beachside in Essaouira, on Morocco’s stunning Atlantic coast!
Essaouira – ancient medina, wind swept beaches and current day fishing villageBahia Palace and Koutoubia Mosque Dades Gorge, Jebel SarhroMerzouga – camel trek and Berber style campHigh Atlas Mountains and views of Mt Toubkal – North Africa’s highest peak
Marrakech – UNESCO-listed Place Djemaa el Fna, medina and market placeAït Benhaddou – UNESCO-listed fortified kasbah cityErg Chebbi sand dunes – beginning of the SaharaTodra Gorge – towering 300m high canyonOuarzazate – home to Morocco’s film industry
Day 1 Marrakech
Saturday. Welcome to magical Morocco! Arrival transfer from Marrakech airport to our hotel in the centre of town. Be sure to arrive in time for your pre-departure meeting at 18:00.
Overnight: Marrakech | Dinner
Day 2 Dades Gorge
Marrakech – Dades Gorge. Driving through the striking Dades Valley, which extends from the High Atlas to the Jebel Sarhro range in the south, we reach the Dades Gorge – an area with beautiful towering red cliffs, winding streams and ancient kasbahs.
Overnight: Dades Gorge | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Todra Gorge
Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge. After breakfast we head east and discover the stunning Todra Gorge with its 300m high cliffs towering above us. Created millions of years ago, the striking gorge snakes its way through the rugged mountain range. The final 600m of the Todra Gorge are spectacular as the canyon narrows to a flat stony track as little as 10m wide in places with sheer and smooth rock walls up to 160m high on each side. We will have an early lunch at a village co-operative where hundreds of hand made Berber rugs, kilims and carpets are displayed and offered for sale. Then the afternoon is free to explore the gorge, walk through the Palmerie or if you’re feel active, try your hand at rock climbing (dependent upon weather conditions, book/pay locally). Overnight: Todra Gorge | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Camel trek into the Sahara
Todra Gorge – Berber camp in the Sahara. Crossing Jebel Sarhro, we drive to the Erg Chebbi sand dunes, which signify the start of the mighty Sahara Desert. On camel-back, we trek into the vast and silent Sahara, to a Berber camp. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Berber meal and sleep under the Saharan stars!
Overnight: Berber Camp | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Ouarzazate
Leaving the desert, we travel through the verdant Draa valley, along the route of 1000 Kasbahs, a beautiful landscape. We continue on to Ouarzazate, which African traders once used on their journeys up to Europe. It has also been used as a film set, for Alexander the Great, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Living Daylights
Overnight: Ouarzazate | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Ait Benhaddou – the fortified kasbah
Ouarzazate – Ait Benhaddou – Marrakech. In the morning we can opt to go quad biking or visit the film studio that produced Lawrence of Arabia (payable locally). We then head to Ait Benhaddou, a ‘fortified city’, situated along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. It is situated on a hill along the Ouarzazate River and boasts some beautiful examples of kasbahs, some of which remain inhabited. Granted UNESCO World Heritage listing, the site had been the setting for many films including Gladiator. After exploring the area we travel onward Marrakech.
Overnight: Marrakech | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 Djemaa el Fna
This morning enjoy a guided tour of Marrakech. Glowing red, like a welcoming campfire, against the snowcapped High Atlas Mountains, the very name Marrakech conjures up images of an exotic, distant city, of magic carpets and snake charmers and of frankincense and myrrh brought in by camel trains. Set within the rose-coloured walls of the medina lies a reality that is not that far removed from an exotic film set – a tangle of winding streets that open onto verdant gardens and dark alleyways that lead to bustling souks. The focal point is the central square, the Djemaa el Fna, an extraordinary gathering and market place. Full of colour, spicy aromas and traders it is best seen in the evening when overflowing with food stalls, dancers, acrobats, fortune tellers, musicians and henna artists. Towering over all this is the Koutoubia mosque, the tallest building in the city, and a reminder of the importance of Islam to the lives of the city’s residents. This afternoon if free for you to spend at leisure, perhaps picking up some last minute souvenirs! Make sure you test out your bartering skills.
Overnight: Marrakech | Breakfast
Day 8 Beachside Essaouira
Marrakech – Essaouira. This morning we take a supratours public bus to Essaouira. With a laid-back feel Essaouira is Morocco’s hippest coastal town. The windswept fishing port, broad beaches and ancient walled medina with ramparts built into the cliff have long been a favourite refuge for artists, sculptors, food lovers, surfers and backpackers. The medina surrounded by a fortress with 5 main gates you can navigate by, has retained its traditional styles and is laden with quirky shops, coffee houses, antiques, art studios, calligraphers, t-shirt designers and souvenir curios.
There’s a relaxed feel to the place and shopping here is a real delight. Locals and visitors alike enjoy strolling along the ramparts as the sun sets. The port is a hive of activity with fishing boats hauling in their daily catch.
Opt for a swim in the Atlantic, a game of football on the beach with the locals, an afternoon at the hammam, wind surfing or kite surfing (very cool to watch, even if you’d rather not participate yourself). The beach is also great for a stroll and since it runs for about 6 miles (10km) there’s plenty of it. By nightfall sit back and relax at any one of the many al fresco cafes, pubs or bars serving cold beer and the freshest seafood. Free time to explore Essaouira, try a hammam and practice your bargaining skills in the souks.
Overnight: Essaouira | Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 Explore your own way
Enjoy a free day relaxing on the beach, topping up your tan, shopping in the quaint village souk or choose from a number of exciting optional activities such as quad biking, horse riding, surfing or wind surfing available about town.
Overnight: Essaouira | Breakfast
Day 10 One last swim in the Atlantic
Essaouira – Marrakech. This morning offers free time for you relax or seize the opportunity for one last dip in the Atlantic. After lunch we return to delightful Marrakech on the Supratours public bus for the final night. Opt to head out with the group for a nice meal in celebration a wonderful tour.
Overnight: Marrakech | Breakfast, Lunch
Tuesday. Spend the morning relaxing or picking up a few last minute souvenirs. Our tour concludes upon hotel check out at 12 noon.
Transportation and transfers in private 4×4 or mini van/touring vehicle. Journey to/from Essaouira on a Supratours public bus.10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners including Berber camp dinner Arrival transfer from Marrakech airport on day 1Guided tour of Marrakech Escorted by an English speaking tour leader
Entrance fees to all included sites9 nights 3 star hotel and 1 night camping in the SaharaSahara camel trek & night in a Berber camp. Essaouira – beachside bliss and free timeAll road taxes and tolls
Gratuity for your tour guide. Budget approx USD$2 – 3 per person per day. Tipping your tour guide is an entirely personal gesture.