Best of Morocco
Give me More-occo, you say? Travel to Morocco and visit the best of the country's sights on this 15-day all-encompassing adventure from Casablanca to Marrakech. From the Atlas Mountains to seaside Essaouira, the Saharan deserts to the palmeries of Todra Valley, and from the medieval old town of Fes to the spice markets of Marrakech, the most spectacular of Morocco await. Observe the vibrant contrasts between old and new architecture, artwork, and cuisine. Learn about fallen cities and cross paths with nomadic tribes. The majesty of Morocco is a feast for the senses and is waiting to be explored.
Tour At a Glance
- Under the eye of a local tour guide, feel like you've travelled back to the Middle Ages in the labyrinthine medina of Fes.
- Stay in a traditional Berber homestay high in the Atlas Mountains, to better understand the culture and tradition of an indigenous population who have stood the test of time.
- Take the opportunity to trek through the dramatic red dunes of the Sahara on a camel, experiencing an unforgettable sunset experience.
- Kick back in the coastal town of Essaouira and discover at your own pace, enjoying a fresh seafood barbecue on the waterfront.
- Marrakech’s Djemaa el-Fna is a city within a city. Explore one of the world’s largest meeting places, joining the night’s carnival atmosphere of fortune-tellers, dancers, and medicine men.
- Tour code: XMSC
- Group Adventure
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. As there's little free time included in Casablanca on this trip, to fully explore the city consider coming a day or two earlier. Modeled after Marseille in France, the city is famous for its art deco buildings and the modern-day masterpiece, the Hassan II Mosque. A pleasant way to spend the day exploring Casablanca is to wander the old medina and the city walls, then jump in a taxi to visit the Quartiers des Habous, the new medina. Finish the day with a walk along the Corniche, watching the locals play football on the beach, or take it easy with a glass of sweet mint tea in one of the many great cafes. It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive on time, you may wish to arrive a day early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Hotel ( Night)
Casablanca - Religious Casablanca Urban Adventure - MAD1206Casablanca - The Medina and Beyond Urban Adventure - MAD948Casablanca - Jewish Museum (entrance fee) - MAD50Casablanca - Hassan II Mosque - MAD130
Today take an early morning 1-hour Today take an early morning 1-hour train to the historical town of Rabat. Rabat's history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates, and more recently the Moroccan parliament. It contains many fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now known as the Chellah. Store your luggage and spend a few hours strolling through the city's old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Afterward, continue to Meknes on a 3-hour train. The imperial city of Meknes was built when Sultan Moulay Ismail (a contemporary of Louis XIV) set out to create his own version of Versailles, using over 25,000 slaves to construct walls, gates, and over 50 palaces.
Hotel ( Night)
Rabat - Leader-led walking tour
3 Meknes - Volubilis - Fes
This morning is free for you to exp This morning is free for you to explore Meknes. In the 17th century, Sultan Moulay Ismail turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city – visit his immense Heri es Souani Granary, a mammoth architectural feat, and the city's now crumbling imperial palaces. Also, why not try a camel burger for lunch at a friendly local restaurant in the medina? Later, board a private minibus and travel for 1 hour through rolling hills and olive groves to the archaeological site of Volubilis. This was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and the remains make an undeniably impressive sight. Upon arrival, take a tour around the ruins with a local guide. Please remember to pack drinking water, hat, sunglasses, and sun cream for this tour as it may get hot and you will be exposed to the sun. And, of course, don’t forget to take your camera as the town is filled with fantastic mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. Afterward, make the 2-hour drive to Fes, where you'll spend the next two nights. Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco – vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming. It is a feast for the senses, with a huge, well-preserved medieval old city that’s the mother of all medinas.
Hotel ( Night)
Volubilis - Entrance and Guided Tour
Take a guided group walking tour of Take a guided group walking tour of the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali. Step back into the Middle Ages in the labyrinth of the Medina, which is alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries and mosques. Pass donkeys piled high with goods (this is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world) and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania: one of the city's most beautiful buildings, which has recently been restored and is now open to tourists. Visit Medresse el Attarine and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine: a beautifully restored 18th century inn. You'll also see the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramics factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. In the evening, why not get your group together and try out some Moroccan specialities like harira (chickpea soup) and chicken-stuffed pastilla with couscous.
Hotel ( Night)
Fes - Medina walking tour
Board a private minibus and leave t Board a private minibus and leave the intensity of the city behind for the simplicity of the scenic Middle Atlas Mountains (approximately 4 hours). Drive south and inland through a variety of spectacular scenery – fertile valleys and forests contrasted with barren, rocky landscapes. The area is populated with wandering nomadic shepherds attending to their flocks. Pass through cedar forests which are home to Barbary apes, North Africa's only monkey, and on to your destination of Midelt. Nestled in a valley, Midelt is a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area and surrounded by farmland and orchards. Stretch your legs as you explore the nearby village of Berrem and take a closer look at local farming life. You could also check out an optional traditional music performance in Midelt. Tonight, stay at Ksar Timnay. This terrific accommodation is inspired by a traditional kasbah (type of medina or fortress) and is an ideal base for your tour through the Middle Atlas – especially with a large pool to cool off! Relax in the large rooms and be ready for some desert trekking tomorrow.
Guesthouse ( Night)
Walk and visit of Berrem village
Midelt - Folklore Musical Performance - MAD600
6 Sahara Camp
Today it's a 5-hour drive towards t Today it's a 5-hour drive towards the mighty Sahara. Since we'll have the convenience of our own private minivan, there will be many opportunities to stop and admire views of kasbahs and palmeries (valleys lush with date palms, fields, and orchards). You may also have the chance to pass by Nomads on their journey – these free-spirited people are born to move with their animal flocks under the open sky, and never stay settled in one place for too long. Continue to drive through changing scenery, from barren mountainsides to fertile valleys, pausing in frontier towns like Erfoud and Rissani, before reaching the end of the road at the small Saharan settlement of Merzouga. With a backdrop of the orange-coloured Erg Chebbi sand dunes, the charming Saharan village of Merzouga feels wonderfully isolated, like the modern world has left it behind. Store your main baggage in your overnight camp on the edge of the desert and mount a camel for a 1-hour sunset ride into the desert. The Erg Chebbi dunes are the most stunning in the country and an essential part of any visit to Morocco. An erg is a vast sea of shifting wind-swept sand that's formed into picturesque, undulating crests and valleys. Located at the end of a sealed road and just 20 kilometres from the Algerian border, this really feels like a frontier country. Spend the night in a desert camp under the stars. Our local friends will prepare a hearty feast, so all you need to do is sit back and relax.
Desert camp ( Night)
7 Todra Gorge
Walk up the nearest dune for a spec Walk up the nearest dune for a spectacular sunrise over the Sahara, break your fast with traditional food, and begin the drive to Todra Gorge. On the way visit the oasis museum of El Khorbat, before continuing on to the beautiful Todra Valley (approximately 5 hours in total), which follows the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and is dotted with mud-brick villages perched on hillsides. The remarkable scenery – sprawling green valleys and rocks sculpted into stunning formations by the wind – will be your home for the next two nights. This area is best discovering on foot, so you’ll take a short walk through the surrounding farmland and a ruined village.
Hotel ( Night)
Tinejdad - Museum El Khorbat
8 Todra Gorge
Today enjoy free time to explore th Today enjoy free time to explore the Todra Valley. A guided hike through the gorge and over a nearby mountain pass is highly recommended. There are a couple of circuits to choose from, but the most popular choice is a 10-kilometre circuit that will take around 4 hours. Accompanied by a local guide, you’ll walk a trail that undulates slightly here and there, but isn't too challenging if you have a moderate level of fitness. On the walk you'll pass Berber villages, meeting local Berbers along the way and perhaps having a chance to share a cup of mint tea. The surrounding mountains and the famous Rose Valley in the distance make a sensational setting. To fully enjoy the walk, ensure you have walking boots or sturdy trainers, sunglasses, sun cream, and plenty of water. For lunch, you can join some local ladies in their mudbrick kasbah – a fantastic opportunity to see how people live in this largely unchanged culture. Otherwise, a simple lounge by the hotel pool with views over the lush palmeries and soaring cliff faces is also a great way to spend your day.
Hotel ( Night)
Todra Gorge - Full day hike - MAD250Todra Gorge - Lunch in a mudbrick kasbah - MAD70Todra Gorge - Henna Tattooing - MAD50Todra Gorge - Hamam (Public Baths) - MAD100
9 Ait Benhaddou
Today travel south for 4 hours to A Today travel south for 4 hours to Ait Benhaddou. The scenic drive will take you past ancient kasbah ruins, former colonial military outposts, austere mountains, and valleys of palm trees and irrigated fields. Pause for lunch in Ouarzazate, where movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Sheltering Sky, and Black Hawk Down were filmed. Time permitting, you may also have time to take a tour of the Atlas Movie Studios. Afterward, continue on to your destination of Ait Benhaddou. Centuries ago, this was an important stop for caravans carrying salt across the Sahara. Today, its grand kasbah, a fine example of clay architecture, has been listed as a World Heritage site. In the late afternoon, why not enjoy Morocco's most famous cuisine: couscous and tagine.
Guesthouse ( Night)
Ouarazate - Atlas Movie Studios - MAD80Ouarzazate - Kasbah Taourirt - MAD20
Bid farewell to the Sahara and jour Bid farewell to the Sahara and journey over the spectacular Tizi n'Tichka Pass (2260 metres above sea level) to Toubkal National Park (approximately 5 hours), passing snow-dappled mountains and valleys in full flower along the way. At the end of the road in Imlil, store your main luggage and load a daypack onto a pack mule. Walk into traditional mountain village life with a 1-hour trek up to the peaceful village of Aroumd; far from the reach of the modern world. If you don't feel comfortable with the walk, you can ride a mule instead. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the remote village of Aroumd offers stunning views across the High Atlas Mountains and a unique opportunity to experience traditional Berber culture, and as such, you’ll spend the night in a family-run mountain home (gite). Surrounded by the smell of woodstoves and bread, meet the host family and enjoy Berber hospitality and food.
Gite homestay ( Night)
Take a morning walk through the val Take a morning walk through the valleys and trails of the stunning Atlas Mountains (weather depending). Later on, head westwards for around 5 hours towards the Atlantic Coast and the old fishing town of Essaouira: a city where the medina brushes up against the Atlantic Ocean. Sandstone walkways contrast with whitewashed houses, bright blue sky, and the sand of the surrounding beaches and dunes. This artists' town was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations, and its charm has seduced people like Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix, who (according to local legend) spent much of his time here in the 1960s. As you will arrive in the afternoon, there will be still some time for exploring. Your tour leader will guide you through some options for the rest of the day. Observing the daily seafood auctions is always a fun thing to do, but otherwise, visit one of the small local cafes and do a spot of people watching. In the evening, perhaps catch up with your group to share a meal and discover this lovely town by night.
Hotel ( Night)
Atlas Mountains - Half-day hike
Today, join a local guide for a wal Today, join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port, and skala (sea wall). Afterward, use your free time to get under the skin of the town. The narrow streets of Essaouira are ideal for walking. Their size discourages cars, and on a walk through the town, it feels as though little has changed since the days of sea pirates. Browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries that make this little town a particularly pleasant place to unwind for a few days. It has a growing reputation for its unique art and is becoming even more famous for its burled Thuya wood, delicately formed and inlaid in tiny shops that are built into the thick walls of the Portuguese ramparts. The scent from the oils used to polish the richly coloured wood permeates the air and makes walking down the streets incredibly pleasant. For lunch, why not order a freshly cooked plate of the day’s seafood? There are so many places to enjoy this on the seaside. Later on, if you’d prefer to relax, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in a hammam or local-style bath.
Hotel ( Night)
Essaouira - Guided walking tour
Essaouira - Hamam (public baths) - MAD200Essaouira - Berber Massage - MAD350Essaouira - Horse Riding - MAD250Essaouira - Seafood Market Lunch - MAD80
Have a casual chat with locals on a Have a casual chat with locals on a 3-hour shared bus ride to Marrakech: an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats, and perfumed gardens. Perhaps join the thronging crowds for dinner at the famous Djemaa el-Fna: one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. When night falls on this square it transforms into a hive of activity. Henna-painters, performers, and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies, including snail soup! You could enjoy a bite of famous Moroccan pastries with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and then finish your evening with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top restaurants overlooking the square.
Hotel ( Night)
Marrakech - Dinner on Djemaa el Fna
It’s time to explore Marrakech at y It’s time to explore Marrakech at your own pace. Explore the Medina for some last-minute shopping, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight, or a new gift to buy. In the seemingly endless mosaic of souqs, each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. Watch skilled artisans perfect their craft, practice your haggling skills, or take a break from the hustle to sip on tea or share a tajine, filled with the pure scent of Morocco. Otherwise, you could visit the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its 12th-century minaret, which was the famous prototype for the Giralda tower in Seville. Take a wander through the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). You might like to check out the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, or the ruins of the Palais Badi, reputedly one of the most beautiful palaces in the world in its time. The Saadian tombs are a recently uncovered gem of the Medina. All of the above can be a challenge to locate, but that's all part of the experience of exploring the medinas of Morocco. This evening you will likely be drawn back to the Djemaa el-Fna and its surrounding medina. Eating out at one of the many outdoor restaurants lining the square is a great way to wrap up the day!
Hotel ( Night)
Marrakech - Marjorelle Gardens - MAD70Marrakech - Palais Bahia - MAD70Marrakech - Palais Badi - MAD70Marrakech - Saadian Tombs - MAD70Marrakech - Medersa Ben Youssef - MAD40Marrakech - Museum of Marrakech - MAD40Marrakech - Tajine Cookery Class Urban Adventure - MAD640Marrakech - Luxury Spa Hammam & Massage - MAD750Marrakech - Heart of the Atlas Mountains cycling day trip with lunch - MAD2000Marrakech - Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour - MAD350Marrakech - Quad Biking Barrage Lalla Takerkoust - MAD1650Marrakech - Palmery Cycling Tour - MAD350Marrakech - Asni & Ouirgane day trip with lunch - MAD1806Marrakech - Oukaimeden Day Tour - MAD1882Marrakech - Ourika Valley Day Tour - MAD1817Marrakech - Hot Air Balloon Ride - MAD2050Marrakech - Cascades d'Ouzoud Day Tour - MAD2207Marrakech - Quad Biking the Rock Desert & Palmgrove - MAD715Marrakech - Medina, Palaces & Tombs Urban Adventure - MAD630Marrakech - A Taste Of Marrakech: Inside the Medina Urban Adventure - MAD605
With no activities planned for toda With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time. Check-out time is usually around midday, however, if you wish to spend more time in Marrakech, we can organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Dates & Prices
Is this trip right for you.
- On Day 4 of the trip, you'll embark on a full-day tour around the Medina of Fes. While you'll be on your feet for at least five to six hours, this is one of the highlights of Morocco and well worth any weariness at the end of the long day.
- On Day 6, the group will take a camel trek through the Sahara. You will set off from your camp on the edge of a desert and loop back. This is a great way to experience the desert, but if you'd prefer, it's possible to walk alongside the caravan on the sand for about an hour. The walk is not very demanding and you manage with a basic level of fitness.
- On Day 8 you'll visit Todra Gorge. This remote area of Morocco is an amazing place to discover on foot, but to do so you'll need a moderate level of fitness and have the relevant footwear and clothing with you. If trekking isn’t really your thing, have no fear, as there are plenty of other activities to do in the valley.
- On Day 10, the group will trek to the village of Aroumd in the High Atlas Mountains. The walk takes about an hour up steep, rocky steps. Your main luggage will be left behind and only hand luggage can be carried to the village for you. You'll spend the night in a traditional Berber house at the foot of Mt Toubkal.
- Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be extremely high in Morocco (over 40°C), which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water.
- In 2022, Ramadan will take place from 2 April to 1 May. Travelling during this holy month can be a rewarding cultural experience, however some regular services may not be available during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider your travel arrangements carefully before booking travel for this period.
- As Morocco has a tipping culture, travellers are expected to tip small amounts for most services, so please be prepared. Your trip leader and the 'Money Matters' section of our Essential Trip Information will help to provide you with some suggestions as to what amounts are appropriate.
- Although you shouldn’t expect any aggressive selling techniques in Morocco, please be aware that you may be approached by shop owners and street vendors offering their goods to you on regular occasions.
- We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may differ from western standards.
- Camp site (1 night)
- Gite homestay (1 night)
- Guesthouse (2 nights)
- Hotel (10 nights)
Joining point description
Hotel Al Walid is conveniently located opposite the main train station in Casablanca from where it is easy to discover the city. The hotel offers a sauna and a highly rated restaurant. Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a minibar. Staff is available to help with any queries 24/7.
Joining point instructions
Taxis are easy to locate from outside the airport for the 25 kilometre journey into Casablanca city centre. The Taxis are large Mercedes vehicles and have no meter. You need to agree on the price before you get in! The rate is MAD 250 (EUR 25) during daylight hours and MAD 300 after 8.00pm
Alternatively take a local train from the airport into the central station (Casablanca Voyageurs). Hotel Al Walid is located opposite the station on the right hand side of the square.
Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport:
If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, the driver will be waiting for you outside the exit of the arrivals hall in Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. Your driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid logo or your name.
In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact to the Transport Company emergency phone number: +212 662529286 or Peak Emergency Number: +212 66192 2693
Finish point description
Hotel Le Caspien has 40 rooms equipped with TV, air-conditioning, phone, Wi-Fi and private bathrooms. The hotel is in Marrakech's new town of Gueliz surrounded by plenty of restaurants, cafes and shopping options. Other hotel facilities include 2 restaurants and a small pool. It takes only a few minutes by taxi to reach the Old Medina and gardens.
Finish point instructions
- Marrakech Menara Airport (airport code RAK) is approximately 5km from the city centre. Petite taxis (small cars which are light brown in colour) can easily be hailed from the street, or ask the hotel to assist. Negotiate the fare before getting in.
- If you have pre booked a departure transfer you will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. Please reconfirm your departure transfers with your tour leader. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +212 6 61 24 31 06 and +212 6 66 19 27 66.
- Onward travel to Casablanca: Trains from Marrakech to Casablanca depart every 2 hours throughout the day. The trip is scheduled to take approximately 3 hours but is subject to frequent delays. From Casablanca Voyageurs Railway Station, trains run to Casablanca airport (airport code CMN) approximately every two hours. Please check up-to-date timetables online: oncf.ma (in French). Please note that we can also organise a private transfer for you from your Marrakech hotel to Casablanca airport.
- SCAMS: When walking through touristy areas of cities you may be approached by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or take you to a local spice shop. They will either ask to be your local guide for the day or expect money when you arrive at your destination. Please note these people are not registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you (or 'la shukran') should suffice. WOMEN'S SAFETY: Women should exercise caution when travelling in Morocco. While the risk of an incident occurring on your trip is very low, below are some things you can do for your safety and peace of mind when travelling: - As with all travel, it’s important to use common sense and be vigilant. - Respect local dress codes and customs, perhaps dressing more conservatively than you do at home. - Avoid isolated areas when alone at any time of day. - Lock your door when you are inside your room. Keep the door locked when you are leaving your room, even for a short time. - If hotel staff need access to your room for any reason, request that they do this while you are out, or wait at the reception while they attend to any cleaning or repairs. For the protection of both our travellers and staff, our leaders worldwide are not permitted to be alone in a room with a group member. - Always take a hotel card with you when going out so you know the address and contact numbers. - Should you encounter any inappropriate behaviour, inform your leader straight away. - For further information and advice, visit: PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
Medical and health information
- All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
- You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling.
- The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here
- If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader.
- All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
- This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit
- As a rule, we recommend you don't drink tap water in Morocco, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people, this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally, this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about two to three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are recommended for you to pack in your personal first aid kit.
- For some travellers, the desert sand and dust can bring on bouts of asthma. If you suffer from asthma even occasionally, we recommend you bring your medication as it cannot be administered by your group leader and may not be readily available while you are travelling. A light scarf or face mask can also be helpful for all travellers.
MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY
Food and dietary requirements
- Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost only about MAD 30. In main towns, it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal and French wine will cost anything from MAD 220 upwards. Generally, dinner is likely to cost between MAD 80-120 depending on what you drink - so an estimate for food would be about MAD 150-200 a day. Soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices, but generally speaking, alcohol is not widely available in Morocco due for cultural and religious reasons. Still, in some hotels and restaurants, you will be able to purchase beer, wine and spirits, but you will pay foreign prices or more for imported alcohol. Please be aware of local laws, believes and traditions, and be very sensitive and respectful while consuming alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening. Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian couscous and tajine or omelets. This is particularly the case in rural parts of this itinerary. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform us prior to the trip. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.
- What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips, you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).
- Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps or handles. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
- Please follow the link for the Intrepid’s ultimate packing list. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.
- It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
- Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1-litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micro pure. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
- Sleeping bags consume valuable space in your luggage and can be a pain. However in the winter months (from November to March), there may not be enough heating (sometimes none) or sufficient blankets to keep everyone warm, we recommend bringing your own sleeping bag. Unfortunately sleeping bags can not be hired/rented while on the trip and are not easy to find for purchase. Buy a small sleeping bag before you leave, it will definitely come in handy, particularly if you tend to feel the cold.
- Please note that drones are not permitted to enter or be used in Morocco, neither for personal nor professional/commercial use.
TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
DRONES IN MOROCCO
Passport and visas
You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the passport details you provide are accurate. Any errors provided may result in extra fees for making corrections in bookings. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip.
COVID-19 ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS
Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, you must monitor your government's foreign travel advice for the most up-to-date border measures and entry requirements as they may change without notice. See Intrepid Travel Alert page for some commonly used government travel advice websites:
Entry requirements may include but not limited to the presentation of a vaccination certificate, a negative PCR test, health declaration form, passenger locator form, or proof of hotel or tour booking. Lack of any required documents may result in denial of entry.
Airline boarding requirements may differ, or be in addition to, a destination’s entry requirements. Monitor your airline’s requirements regularly in the lead up to travel. Being allowed to board a flight doesn’t guarantee entry to a destination.
Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that extends to cover COVID-19 related expenses.
Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour.
We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested.
Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Americans, EU and British citizens do not require a visa to visit Morocco for stays up to 90 days. All other nationalities should check with the Moroccan Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information.
MOROCCO COVID-19 ENTRY & EXIT REQUIREMENTS
For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Morocco, please check your government's foreign travel advisory and visit the following website:
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Morocco can be considered a liberal Muslim country as many Moroccan women do not wear headscarves. However, Morocco is very conservative when compared with standards you may be accustomed to at home and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders, cleavage and knees should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts (men and women), low-cut tops, and showing midriff is not recommended as it will restrict your entry into buildings of a religious nature and family homes, and is considered disrespectful to the local culture. Long, light-coloured, lightweight sleeved shirts, trousers, and skirts are respectful, cover your body, keep you cool in the heat and protect you from the harsh sun.
In Morocco, we have built strong links with local communities, craftspeople, animal hospitals, artists, and the handicapped - all of which directly rely on the assistance of donations and products purchased by our travellers and other visitors. We offer Intrepid travellers an opportunity to interact with locals, to value their activities and crafts and help towards sustaining their livelihoods.
While on our trips to Morocco you'll have the opportunity to meet plenty of local people. Depending on which trip you choose there's a chance to enjoy a meal in a local family's house in Ait Benhaddou, spend a night in a family guesthouse in the High Atlas Mountains or in the pilgrimage village of Moulay Idriss, or share a camp with a nomadic family in Dades Gorge. These experiences will give you a better understanding of the way of life for a rural Moroccan family. You'll also have some fun by learning how to make Morocco's most famous dish, couscous.
Wherever possible, we contract local Moroccan suppliers and assist them to improve the quality of their services. By booking this tour, you'll be helping us to support service providers, artists, small businesses, guesthouse owners, and the disadvantaged in communities throughout Morocco.
We use local guides with wide experience and knowledge of cultural traditions and an ability to interpret the cultural heritage of the people in the places visited.
Climate and seasonal
WEATHER IN MOROCCO
As a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. Winter (November to March) can be very cold, particularly in the mountains and the desert, with overnight temperatures dropping to 5 degrees Celsius or below. Even in summer the desert gets cold at night. It is recommended to bring a sleeping bag, thermals, a scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter. Please be prepared for cold showers.
Summer (May to September) can be very hot everywhere, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.
Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating or air conditioning as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It is also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which are limited in some places.
Eid Al-Adha (Sacrifice Feast) will take place in Morocco 19 - 23 July 2021 and 9 - 13 July 2022. This festival honours the sacrifice Abraham made of his own son. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one-third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the remaining third is retained by the family. Please expect delays or complete suspension of public services during that time which may be disruptive to the trip schedule. For some, it may also be disturbing to see animals being sacrificed, as this can take place in public.
HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAIN PASSES
On this trip, you will cross the High Atlas Mountains through the impressive Tizi n’Tichka pass that rises to the altitude of 2,260 metres above sea level (7,415 ft). It is a great mountain road with breathtaking views. During the winter months (November to March) this part of Morocco can be hit by heavy snowfalls and it is possible for Tizi n’Tichka to become impassable. This usually lasts only for a day until authorities have a chance to clear the road. In the event of a snowstorm, your itinerary may be required to change. This is dealt with on the ground and depending on the situation we may re-route your itinerary or reverse it.
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 02 April - 01 May 2022 and 22 March - 20 April 2023, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.
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