Morocco

10 DAY/9 NIGHT ADVENTURE

Marrakech - Sahara Desert - High Atlas Mountains

Video by Jo Ann Taylor & Samsung Galaxy Note8

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Walking

Join us on a unique adventure tour to the fascinating, historically rich and culturally diverse nation of Morocco!

Explore with us the Kingdom of Morocco.  From the bustling souks of Marrakech to the quiet Berber villages nestled deep within the High Atlas Mountains to the shifting sands of the Sahara Desert…

 

Appealingly exotic, be transformed into a world filled with saturated color layered in varied texture. The sights, the sounds, the spice filled aromas are blended into a mesmerizing intoxication. You may feel like you are dreaming but you will be wide awake not wanting to miss a moment.

Connection

Discover the connection that walking can bring when you take off from the trekking lodge into the Atlas Mountains.  With your local guide and your small group of fellow travelers, follow your feet.

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Itinerary

 

Please note that the details of this itinerary are subject to change. Many of the planned activities are organized according to availability, events or seasonal dates, appropriate weather conditions or the discretion of our guides. We make every effort to provide the experience described in the itinerary with the understanding that some things may change.

October 15 – Arrive Marrakech

Arrive at your convenience and transfer to our lovely boutique hotel, Riad Les Yeux Bleus.

Located in the Bab Doukkala district, one of the most picturesque quarters of the medina and within walking distance from the square of Jemaa el Fna in the heart of Marrakech. Recently renovated by a team of talented Marrakech artisans the new Riad Les Yeux Bleus opened its doors for those keen to experience Moroccan hospitality at its best. And we will do just that…

The perfect place to relax after your long journey to this country filled with wonder.

Welcome dinner with Gene and Jo Ann Taylor, co-founders of the Walking Connection and your hosts on this premier small-group journey.

Meals Included: Dinner

Accommodation: Riad Les Yeux Bleus - 1st of 2 nights

Day 1 

October 16 – Discover Marrakech

After breakfast we will set out to discover the ancient ways, exotic pulse and uplifting energy of the legendary “Red City” of Marrakech that coexists in friendly symbiosis with modern and vibrant urban life. We will take a look at the extraordinary museums and monuments that reflect the past and be introduced to the mysteries of the medina with its wide array of wares on display in the colorful souks.

At the end of our full day with a local guide, it will be your time to do some exploring on your own and perhaps discover that perfect place to watch the sun go down as the city bustles below.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Riad Les Yeux Bleus - 2nd of 2 nights

Day 2

October 17 – The Atlas Mountains Await

We’ll journey into a different world, nestled into the folds of the impressive Atlas Mountains. The greatest mountain range of North Africa, it is perhaps the most beautiful and intriguing part of Morocco. Sprinkled with Berber Villages the way of life has changed little for centuries. It has retained a remoteness which until recent decades was virtually untouched where a whole new experience awaits for those like us that venture in.

 

The tranquility of Berber village life provides the perfect contrast to the hubbub of the city. Our authentic destination is situated in the Toubkal National Park and is beyond the main road system. From the village of Imlil, footpaths and mule tracks mount through lush, irrigated terraces, apple orchards and walnut groves to other villages where for centuries traditional values and hospitality are unaffected by the outside world.

Lodging of Distinction: Kasbah du Toubkal (1820 m), just 60 km from Marrakech, is situated in Imlil at the foot of Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. Described by Condé Nast Traveler as “having the best rooftop views in North Africa…this is the country’s first and foremost mountain retreat”.

Special Opportunity: We will have the honor of stopping and having lunch with some of the girls from Education For All. On Jo Ann Taylor’s recent visit to Morocco she was introduced to the program by two of the founders and brothers Mike McHugo and Chris McHugo and had the opportunity to meet a few of the very impressive students. Very few girls from rural communities in Morocco get the opportunity of continuing their education after primary school. To help tackle this, Education For All, is building and running girls’ boarding houses near secondary schools, so girls from rural families can continue their education.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kasbah du Toubkal - 1st of 3 nights

Day 3

October 18 – Local Walks and Treks - Your Choice

Regardless of levels of fitness this area is accessible to all.  There is a wide range of walking and trekking possibilities, from a short ramble through the villages that surround the Kasbah, to a more demanding overnight trek.  You have the opportunity to choose what is best for you.

Option 1: guided walks in the area including cultural visits in the surrounding village to take in the Berber way of life and meeting some of the friendly local people. Enjoy the village of Targa Imoula, visible from the roof of the Kasbah, with shady orchards and walnut groves on route. Walks will be discussed the night before and determined by the interest and ability of the group. Afternoon relax or explore on your own. Overnight at Kasbah du Toubkal

 

Option 2: full day trek to Azzaden Trekking Lodge with picnic lunch along the way. Mule support will be arranged for overnight bags. This option is suitable only for those that have the ability and desire to hike a full day, 2 days in a row. Two guides will be with us so you can go your own pace. The mule trails around the valleys are well contoured and kept in excellent condition. Overnight at Azzaden Trekking Lodge. The lodge has very limited availability, single rooms are not available. Please contact us to discuss whether this option is for you to consider.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kasbah du Toubkal - 2nd of 3 nights​ (OR Azzaden Trakking Lodge)

Day 4

October 19 – MORE Walks or Treks - Your Choice

Option 1: guided walk will again be determined by the group with the possibility of a short walk through the village of Mzig, hidden away around to the West.  This will give us the photo opportunity with views of Imlil and the surrounding terraces. At the Kasbah enjoy a bread making demonstration by one of the local women. Afternoon relax or explore on your own.

 

Option 2: return Lodge to Lodge trek via an alternate route back to the Kasbah.

 

Celebrate in the evening our authentic experience amid the Atlas Mountains with a wonderful dinner together.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kasbah du Toubkal - 3rd of 3 nights​

Day 5

October 20 – Travel the Mountain Pass to Ouarzazate

After breakfast say our farewells and depart on our journey towards the Sahara desert. Cross the High Atlas Mountains via one of the highest mountain passes in Morocco, the Col du Tichka (2260 m), travelling through some spectacular scenery and then descending to the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ksar of Aït Benhaddou. This impressive 17th century fortified collection of earthen buildings is world famous and has been used as a backdrop for many films.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Le Berbere Palace​

 

Day 6

October 21 – Night Under the Stars

We will head south to the edge of the true Sahara desert near M'Hamid el Ghislane. The journey takes us through the spectacular Draa Valley and the continuous mile after mile of date palms. We arrive at the end of the road in the village of M'Hamid where the locals are dressed in the traditional blue Berber robes associated with the desert people. There is a further hour or so off-road and this is where the Sahara begins…

 

The deluxe camp, one of the finest in Morocco, is located amongst the dunes of Erg Chigaga. Enjoy the evening as the Berber staff gather to sing and play drums around the camp fire. Combined with the magic of the night sky and an excellent dinner it will be a moment of time to remember forever.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Luxury Desert Camp​

Day 7

October 22 – Camel Trek - Hump Day!

At dawn you will have the option of taking a camel ride deep into the dunes to watch the peaceful sunrise. After breakfast, we will head towards the oasis town of Skoura. This town lies next to one of the largest palm groves in Morocco and is part of an ancient trading route. Our stay overnight will be at the charming rustic Kasbah Aït Ben Damiette where an excellent dinner will be provided.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Kasbah Aït Ben Damiette

Day 8

October 23 – Over the Atlas and back to Marrakech

Early morning departure for our return journey across the dramatic High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech. Once again, we will stay at the lovely Riad Les Yeux Bleus where you will have free time to explore the medina on your own.

 

Enjoy our farewell dinner at our beautiful riad.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Riad Les Yeux Bleus

Day 9

October 24 – Morocco Farewell

After a final breakfast at the hotel, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

Or carry on with an optional extension to the coastal town of Essaouira.

Extend your holiday to Essaouira, Depart Morocco or Points Beyond

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10

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