At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.
Trip code : FXMFE
Trip length : 8 days
This trip offers a great introduction to Morocco, you will experience vibrant Marrakech, visit small Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains and have time to relax and ride camels on the beach. Imagine the twisting alleyways of an ancient medina, a crowded souk full of colourful pottery and carpets or the sound of a muezzin calling to prayer drifting across an orange plantation. Morocco offers all this and more - complete with a stunning backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. This short adventure provides a fabulous introduction to these exciting highlights. You visit the old walled city of Marrakech and more out-of-the way places that few tourists get to see - such as the remote villages of the Berbers, hidden away in the folds of the Atlas Mountains. Move on to the Atlantic coast to ride camels along the beach and explore the old pirate hideout of Essaouira - packed with colour and atmosphere. This trip offers a real insight into an enthralling and beautiful country.
The tour starts at the Marrakech hotel. You will receive full details of exactly where to meet your Group Leader on the Joining Instructions which will be sent to you 2-3 weeks before your trip starts. Even today, the name Marrakech conjures up images of scenes from the Arabian Nights: alleyways, souks, stalls and markets. This remarkable city, dating from the 11th century, never fails to satisfy the curiosity of adventurous travellers. The graceful architecture of the renowned Koutoubia Minaret, dominates the skyline.
Hotel Meriem (AAA) - 1 night
Hôtel Meriem is located in Marrakech City Centre, and 2 outdoor pools
You start your adventure with a bus journey (approx 6-7 hours) across the Atlas Mountains - rising to a height of 2092m at the Tizi-n-Test Pass. On the way you can visit the 12th century mosque Tinmal. Your destination is Ifergane, a pleasant village in the foothills of the mountains, and home to the Berber people who inhabited the land centuries before the Arabs arrived 1,200 or so years ago. These proud people still speak a separate language, which consists of three main dialects. Although Arabic is gaining an ever-increasing foothold, most people - especially the young - know a few words of French too. The overall journey time today is approximately six to seven hours - it is the longest travelling day of the trip. With the fading sun dipping below the mountains, you will undoubtedly find yourselves sipping a traditionally prepared glass of sweet mint tea while you wait for your evening meal to be served. The sound of the muezzin can often be heard giving the call to prayer.
Riad Arganier D'or (AAA) - 2 nights - Swimming Pool (B)
Today starts with a relaxing morning, giving you the opportunity to walk and to enjoy the fresh air and scenery. You can stroll through the oasis and there are local villages to explore. The oasis is full of palm trees and streams of water giving an exotic feel to the area. You can have a go at riding a donkey around the fields. Afterwards, a short drive takes to Taroudante city (approx. 30 minutes) where you visit the tanneries. The distinctive smell of the tanneries is noticeable from a distance. Moroccan leather goods are very popular and here you can learn how the animal skins are cured to produce the leather. (B)
Today you continue driving through the fertile Souss plain along many vegetable and fruit farms, crossing the Argan tree forest where you might see goats climbing the trees. You continue on towards Taghazoute beach on the Atlantic coast, where you have a picnic lunch (approx. 1 1/2 hours). This is a popular spot for beach lovers, and it is not hard to see why. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the wide sandy beach and Atlantic waves at Agadir where you spend the night.
Tagadirt Appart Hotel (AA) - 1 night (B)
You travel up the coast to Sidi Kaouki (approx. 2 1/2 hours), where a real highlight awaits you: You mount camels to ride across the expansive sand dunes - enjoying the view from this moving vantage point is a great feeling! Having worked up an appetite, you enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach before you get back in the bus to continue to Essaouira (approx. 30 mins). Arriving in Essaouira you find yourselves in one of Morocco’s most attractive coastal cities. The wild waves of the Atlantic crash remorselessly onto the rocky coastline of this old pirates’ hideout. Portuguese, Berber and French battlements encircle the maze of narrow lanes with tiny cafes looking out onto small squares. Two fortresses look out over the ocean, and on an offshore island stands another, even larger castle. As befits a seaport, the pace of life is more relaxed here, and the whitewashed streets lend a seemingly Mediterranean air to the city.
Caverne d'Ali Baba Hotel (AA) - 2 nights (B)
This morning you can stroll around the lively old port, which is full of colour and interest. The early morning is the best time - when fishermen can be seen bringing in their catch or mending their nets. The harbour was once the lair of pirates who sailed out to plunder richly laden ships that passed along the coast - after all, this was the main trade route round the Cape of Good Hope to Western Europe. It later became a free port, when it had a small international community of merchants. The cosmopolitan mixture of different influences makes it a wonderful place to explore - and it is full of visual surprises. The whole day is free to relax and wander as you please. Take a leisurely stroll along the ramparts, visit the little workshops which specialise in ornate inlaid work using thuya wood (a local conifer), spend time on the glorious beach or enjoy a meal of freshly-cooked sardines down on the quayside. (B)
Leaving Essaouira behind, you journey inland by private charter bus to Marrakech; this will take approximately three hours. This afternoon head off on a walking tour of the centre - which takes in the main sights - and make your way into the sprawling souk. As is usual in a souk, individual trades and crafts are concentrated in one street or area, so the shoemakers are all next to each other, as are the jewellers, the potters, weavers etc, making it easy to find what you are after. This is the best place in Morocco to sharpen your bargaining skills, and you’re almost certain to be tempted by some of the extraordinary variety of merchandise on display - perhaps a pair of traditional Moroccan slippers, or some exotic spices.
The Djemaa el-Fna provides the throbbing atmosphere of a medieval fair; it always seems full of life and continues late into the night. In this great open square at the heart of the medina, snake charmers and jugglers are among those who vie to entertain you. In the evening wonderful smells waft by as food stalls cook up their local delicacies. Each time of day seems to carry a distinct character, so do keep popping back for more!
Hotel Meriem (AAA) – 1 night (B)
The trip ends after breakfast. (B)
Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for a fun, informative experience.
This tour is operated by our partners The Adventure Company
Transport - Minibus, on foot, camel.
Accommodation - Hotels and guesthouses (7nts).
Meals - 7 breakfasts
Imagine the twisting alleyways of an ancient medina, a crowded souk full of colourful pottery and carpets or the sound of a muezzin calling to prayer drifting across an orange plantation. Morocco offers all this and more - complete with a stunning backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. This short adventure provides a fabulous introduction to these exciting highlights. You visit the old walled city of Marrakech and more out-of-the way places that few tourists get to see - such as the remote villages of the Berbers, hidden away in the folds of the Atlas Mountains. Move on to the Atlantic coast to ride camels along the beach and explore the old pirate hideout of Essaouira - packed with colour and atmosphere. This trip offers a real insight into an enthralling and beautiful country.
There are no challenging physical activities on this trip. The walks and camel riding are quite easy and you can opt out if you don't want to take part. Any healthy child or adult should be able to take part. It's more a case of preparing mentally for Moroccan life. Seasoned travellers are unlikely to have any problem with this. There are some longer drives through marvellous scenery. Minimum age: 5 years.
For your comfort we recommend you travel as light as possible; many airlines impose a maximum weight limit of 20kg – we advise you to take 10kg as you will be on the move a good deal! For domestic flights using light aircraft the usual weight limit is 15 kg.
One main piece (a soft bag or rucksack, not a hard suitcase).
A daypack (25-30 litres), large enough to carry what you need for the day including camera, water, etc.
Don’t try to change money in the street in Morocco - it is illegal.
Mineral water in Morocco is usually referred to by brand name, Sidi Harazem, Sidi Ali or the naturally sparkling Oulmes. They're really cheap and you can get them anywhere.
Moroccan meals can consist of up to five courses! If you eat a little of each, you may just have enough appetite left to find some room for desert which is well worth saving some space for!
SOME INTERESTING READING:
Your Child’s Health Abroad - Matthew Ellis and Jane Wilson-Howarth, (Bradt publications)
Travel with Children – Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet)
Lords of the Atlas – Gavin Maxwell
The Sheltering Sky – Paul Bowles
A year in Marrakech – Peter Mayne
By bus to the Sahara – Gordon West
FOR YOUNGER READERS:
The Bachelor and the Bean – Shelley Fowles
Duel in the Desert – Walter Dean Myers
Tales from Morocco – Denya Johnson-Davies
Travelling Solo to Morocco – Bettina Guthridge
French is widely spoken throughout Morocco, but if you’d like to try some Arabic, here are a few phrases to get you started:
God willing - Insh ‘Allah
Thank you - Shukran
Aiwa – yes
La – no
Do you have vegetarian food available here?
Hal Ladaika taam nabaty?
Thank you; I would like to have tea with you
Shukran, ana owad an ashrab al shai maak
Which Arabic sweet or cake would you advise is the best?
Ma how tabak al hilo il mofadal ladaika?
I’m looking for the souk
Ana badawwar ‘ala as-sooq
For most trips prices are based on sharing a twin room. Therefore, if you’re a solo traveller you’ll be paired with someone from the group of the same sex, unless you decide to pay a single room supplement. Details of this supplement can be found on the Extensions & Extras tab on our website. Occasionally we use multiple-share or dormitory accommodation – particularly when stating in remote places.
If you’re a family of 2 you’ll be accommodated in a twin room. If you’re a family of three you will usually be accommodated in a triple room. If you’re a family of four you’ll probably be accommodated in two twin rooms and we’ll do our best to ensure they’re as near as possible. We cannot always guarantee a triple room. If a triple room is not available, an adult from your family will automatically be roomed with a fellow adult member of the group of the same sex. If you prefer to have a room of your own we can sometimes offer a single room for the entire trip or on selected nights within a trip. However a single room supplement applies, look on the Extensions & Extras tab on our website or ask our Travel Consultants for details.
Local Costs - Morocco
Average costs are given for guidance only, and may vary widely according to location and type of establishment.
Coffee/tea 8-15 MAD
Soft drink 10-20 MAD
Medium beer 20-40 MAD
Bottle of wine 80-220 MAD
Bottle of water 8-20 MAD
Local snack lunch 60-100 MAD
3-course dinner* 80-220 MAD
*reasonable mid-range tourist class restaurant.
Sleeping bag hire 60MAD/night
Please note that there will often be a certain amount of repetition in the types of food available. Tagine and cous-cous are both examples of very common dishes that you will encounter, and you should be prepared that meal times may become a bit monotonous.
Holders of UK & IRL passports do not require a visa. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the end date of the trip. Nationals of all other countries should contact their local embassy or consulate. Information can also be found on here. This information is given in good faith, but may be subject to change without warning. Please note that, where appropriate, obtaining a valid visa is ultimately your responsibility. Please consult a visa agency or the consular authorities 4-6 weeks before departure for the most up-to-date information.
Please note the British Honorary Consulate in Marrakech is closed until further notice. Should you require assistance you should contact the Consular Section at the British Embassy in Rabat. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. British Nationals with a genuine emergency outside normal office hours may call the Embassy switchboard on +212 (0) 537 63 33 33 where the Global Response Centre can assist you. Please note that only emergency calls can be handled out of office hours. Visa enquiries can only be dealt with during office hours.
Vaccinations - Morocco
The following are recommended:
For detailed information and advice concerning vaccinations go to:www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk. Vaccination requirements change periodically so we advise that you check with your nearest specialist travel clinic 4-6 weeks before departure to get up-to-date information. A specialist travel clinic should also be able to advise regarding any special vaccination requirements for your children.
Please note - Henna tattoos are commonplace in Morocco. You should be aware that some henna tattoos contain the chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause a painful allergic reaction, including swelling and an itchy rash in some people.
International rules for carrying medicines vary. Some countries do not allow certain medicines to be imported, or require official documents, such as a doctor’s letter, to prove drugs have been prescribed by a doctor and obtained legally. It is sensible to contact the relevant embassy or high commission of your destination to check what their drug transportation rules are before you travel.
A single supplement is available for this trip priced from 93 GBP. This does not guarantee a single room for all accommodation. please contact us to discuss this.
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