Morocco’s Amazing Mountains & Sahara with Jennifer Carnevale

Your TourHero

Hero Jenn

Hey! I’m Jenn with two 'n's. I’m a writer and self-proclaimed travel-hacker who’s been budget traveling for the past 15 years. Ever since I saw Chichén Itzá and learned about the Mayan civilization as a kid, I knew I had to see all the ruins this world has to offer! I love eating my way through new cities, learning about the culture and history of each place I go, talking to locals about legends and lore, and trekking through the paths less taken to find ancient cities and beautiful vistas. I truly believe if we travel with the intention of learning, we can and will make this world a better place for all.

Duration

14 days · 13 nights

Travel Date

Sep 19 – Oct 2, 2022

Activity Level

Moderate

Group Size

8 - 16

Transportation

Car, bus, camel, ferry

Tour Price

USD 1,214
/ person
Interest-free installments starting
USD 49 / month
17 people interested
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Your Fellow Explorers

Age range

21 – 40

Travel interest

Food, culture, sightseeing, history, nature, hiking, adventure

Fellow Travelers

CristelakaterinaJENNIFERLaurenKaitrinDarielleLiliyaRebecca

Your Local Guide

Guide - Under Moroccan Sun

Under Moroccan Sun was founded by Hassan El Amrani, a native Berber from the Sahara Desert of Morocco. Making both the United States and Morocco his home, Hassan has a clear understanding of what travelers expect. His company’s specialty is Morocco, which allows them to focus on the relationship they build with their travelers after helping them dive into the sights, scents, and secrets of this exotic kingdom. Over the years, Under Moroccan Sun Tours has passionately served travelers from all over the world and has grown to include professional, licensed, multilingual guides and drivers who will help you navigate the exotic kingdom of Morocco at your own pace. Their extensive experience and the unique cultural perspective of Moroccan natives will ensure that your voyage through Morocco will be safe, stimulating, and unforgettable.

Great Value! – Under Morrocan Sun did our tours in Marrakech and Casablanca as well as our transfer from Marrakech to Casablanca. Booking online was easy and hassle free. Hassan responded promptly to our questions/requests. He provided a formal itinerary with the pricing. Once agreed, he sent us a secure link to process payment. Hassan sent us an email with the driver/guide's name, phone number and pick up time the day before our first tour. He also followed up with another email to make sure we were satisfied with the tour, guide, etc. Guides were professional and knowledgeable. Ismael, our driver was outstanding. He was nicely dressed, friendly and shared lots of information about places and traditions. He was careful and drove safely. The vehicle was in good working condition. Overall a great experience. Highly recommended Under Morrocan Sun.

Read more
Charlie

An easy way to travel the country – We planned to spend a month in Morocco and decided to hire a guide after reading the recommendations from Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet. I contacted 4 or 5 companies listed on TA and settled on Under the Moroccan Sun because they were responsive and in our price range. A driver and a guide met us at the airport and stayed with us the entire time we were on the road. They drove us from town to town, carried our luggage, stopped whenever we wanted, taught us key Arabic words, and were very kind and generous in explaining their culture and history. They hired a local guide in each town. They made traveling around the country very easy and ensured we wouldn't run into any major problems. They had our back.

Read more
John M
Morocco>Morocco’s Amazing Mountains & Sahara with Jennifer Carnevale

A 14-day trip to Morocco will give you the adventure of a lifetime! One of the most diverse countries in Africa, you’ll take in its major city destinations including Marrakech, Taroudant and Tangier over the course of your journey. Here you’ll experience the country’s intricate architecture, traditional markets, mosques and vibrant atmosphere, with mint tea being served wherever your feet take you. You’ll find a completely different culture as you set off into the Atlas Mountains, with winding roads, hairpin bends, extraordinary colors and hilltop villages. Marvel at the clay buildings still found intact in these serene places and at the wonders of nature as you navigate the cliffs and canyons. Your adventure will also take in Morocco’s world-famous Sahara Desert, with its swathes of untouched sand dunes, incredible sunsets and skies brimming with stars. And that’s without mentioning the country’s beautiful beaches, clear blue water and vibrant musical nightlife! Come see Morocco and treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Cancellation policy

Refunds for deposits
If you cancel your trip after placing a deposit but before your card on file is charged for the full payment, you can request a full refund of your deposit up to 30 days before the tour departure.

Refunds for fully-paid trips
If you cancel your trip after making full payment, you may change or cancel your trip up to 30 days before the tour departure for a credit towards a future trip. You will receive a credit equivalent to 100% of your trip payment to be used anytime within the next 2 years from the date the credit note is issued.

A full credit will also be issued if the tour is canceled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions (see our COVID-19 guarantee on the tour itinerary page). We suggest buying your own travel insurance for coverage of cancellations within 30 days of the tour commencing for reasons other than a full tour cancellation.

Your TourHero

Hero Jenn

Hey! I’m Jenn with two 'n's. I’m a writer and self-proclaimed travel-hacker who’s been budget traveling for the past 15 years. Ever since I saw Chichén Itzá and learned about the Mayan civilization as a kid, I knew I had to see all the ruins this world has to offer! I love eating my way through new cities, learning about the culture and history of each place I go, talking to locals about legends and lore, and trekking through the paths less taken to find ancient cities and beautiful vistas. I truly believe if we travel with the intention of learning, we can and will make this world a better place for all.

Duration

14 days · 13 nights

Travel Date

Sep 19 – Oct 2, 2022

Activity Level

Moderate

Group Size

8 - 16

Transportation

Car, bus, camel, ferry

Morocco>Morocco’s Amazing Mountains & Sahara with Jennifer Carnevale

A 14-day trip to Morocco will give you the adventure of a lifetime! One of the most diverse countries in Africa, you’ll take in its major city destinations including Marrakech, Taroudant and Tangier over the course of your journey. Here you’ll experience the country’s intricate architecture, traditional markets, mosques and vibrant atmosphere, with mint tea being served wherever your feet take you. You’ll find a completely different culture as you set off into the Atlas Mountains, with winding roads, hairpin bends, extraordinary colors and hilltop villages. Marvel at the clay buildings still found intact in these serene places and at the wonders of nature as you navigate the cliffs and canyons. Your adventure will also take in Morocco’s world-famous Sahara Desert, with its swathes of untouched sand dunes, incredible sunsets and skies brimming with stars. And that’s without mentioning the country’s beautiful beaches, clear blue water and vibrant musical nightlife! Come see Morocco and treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Timeline

  • Day 1 · Marrakech
  • Arrive in Casablanca
  • Visit Hassan II Mosque
  • Travel to Marrakech
  • Tour of Majorelle Botanical Gardens
  • Lunch (not included in price)
  • Check-in at Riad Papillon Hotel (or similar according to availability)
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 2 · Marrakech
  • Breakfast
  • Marrakech guided city tour
  • Lunch (not included in price)
  • Evening food tour
  • Day 3 · Atlas Mountains
  • Breakfast
  • Journey through Atlas Mountains
  • Lunch (not included in price)
  • Arrive at Ait Benhaddou Village
  • Check-in at Auberge Kasbah Hotel (or similar according to availability)
  • Dinner
  • Day 4 · Dades Valley
  • Breakfast
  • Visit Amridil Kasbah
  • Lunch (not included in price)
  • Travel to Dades Valley
  • Meet local family for overnight stay
  • Dinner
  • Day 5 · Merzouga Desert
  • Breakfast
  • Travel to Merzouga in the Sahara Desert
  • Lunch (not included in price)
  • Desert camel ride
  • Arrive at camp site
  • Dinner
  • Desert drum session
  • Day 6 · Ouarzazate
  • Breakfast
  • Sunrise sand dune climb
  • Journey to Ouarzazate
  • Lunch (not included in price)
  • Check-in at La Vallee Hotel (or similar according to availability)
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 7 · Taroudant
  • Breakfast
  • Visit to Atlas Film Studios (optional)
  • Journey to Taliouine
  • Lunch (not included in price)
  • Continue to Taroudant
  • Check-in at Dar Randigaba Hotel (or similar according to availability)
  • Dinner
  • Day 8 · Essaouira
  • Breakfast
  • Journey to Agadir
  • Lunch (not included in price)
  • Continue to Essaoira
  • Check-in at Essaouira Beach Hostel (or similar according to availability)
  • Dinner
  • Day 9 · Agadir and Essaouira
  • Breakfast
  • Free day in Essaouira
  • Lunch and dinner (not included in price)
  • Free evening
  • Day 10 · Marrakech & Tangier
  • Breakfast
  • Bus ride to Marrakech
  • Lunch and dinner (not included in price)
  • Night journey to Tangier
  • Day 11 · Tangier
  • Breakfast
  • Check-in at Tangiers Hostel (or similar according to availability)
  • Full day tour in Tangier
  • Lunch and dinner (not included in price)
  • Free evening
  • Day 12 · Chefchaouen
  • Breakfast
  • Journey through Rif Mountains
  • Visit Akchour Waterfalls
  • Lunch (not included in price)
  • Arrive in Chefchaouen
  • Check-in at Dar Dadicilef Hotel (or similar according to availability)
  • Dinner
  • Day 13 · Tangier
  • Breakfast
  • Journey to Tangier
  • Lunch and dinner (not included in price)
  • Check-in at Tangiers Hostel (or similar according to availability)
  • Free evening
  • Day 14 · Departure
  • Breakfast
  • Ferry to Spain
  • Journey ends

Details

Day 1

Arrive in Casablanca, get set for Marrakech!

Welcome to Morocco and get set for the adventure of a lifetime! Your base for the next 14 days is home to spectacular architecture, ever-changing landscapes, mountain ranges and the famous Sahara — the world’s largest subtropical desert. Your expert local guide will meet you in Casablanca Airport, then whisk you away to see the impressive Hassan II Mosque, located by the Atlantic Ocean and a real taste of the sights to come. The journey continues along the Ain Diab coastline before a visit to Rick’s Cafe, a romantic restaurant inspired by the classic movie Casablanca. You’ll continue to Marrakech, and take in the Majorelle Botanical Gardens. Amid the chaos of the city, you’ll find a small oasis of beautiful serenity here, with the garden the result of forty years’ worth of plant collecting. Take the evening to catch your breath. Stroll the Jemaa el-Fna Square and discover the market, musicians, acrobats and magicians. Maybe now it’ll sink in that you’re in glorious Morocco and that an amazing trip awaits you!

Day 2

Guided city tour of Marrakech & evening food tasting

After shaking off your travel head and enjoying a hearty breakfast, prepare to see Marrakech Medina, the city’s vibrant, historical old town. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, Medina is home to market stalls, religious buildings and some of the country’s most impressive architecture. You’ll start at the dramatic 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech’s biggest landmark. Move on to see the stunning Bab Agnaw gate in the Kasbah District, then take in the 15th century Saadian Tombs. Meander the intricate alleyways leading to the el-Badi Palace and enter through the Mellah region, formerly the city’s Jewish Quarter. Finish a first day’s fabulous tour with a stroll around the bustling souks market, and be sure to make the most of your guide’s local knowledge. Recharge your batteries back at your hotel and get your appetite going — you’ll spend the evening on a food tour of the local area, learning and tasting all the fabulous flavors Morocco has to offer.

Day 3

Journey through the breathtaking Atlas Mountains to Ait Benhaddou earthen village

Pinch yourself! You’re already on day three of your Moroccan adventure! It’s time to leave the sights and sounds of Marrakech behind and head off into the wilderness. Today you’ll be heading south to the dramatic Ait Benhaddou Village, taking a route through the spectacular Atlas Mountains. Separating the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert, the mountains stretch for more than 2,500 kilometers over North-West Africa. You’ll be entering into another world in this mountainous region! See a completely different landscape with its own flora, fauna and culture. Discovering the village of Ait Benhaddou for the first time is a sight to behold. Known as the Ksar, you’ll enjoy a tour around the earthen buildings and hear about its history as an ancient stopping point for travelers heading to the Sahara. Enjoy a free evening to unwind and gather yourself for another day in the high mountains.

Day 4

Journey through the High Atlas Mountains from Ait Benhaddou to the Dades Valley

Another halcyon day in the Atlas Mountains awaits as your journey continues to wind its way south. You’ll take in Kasbah Amridil in Skoura, a fortified city dating back to the 17th century and one of the most impressive you’ll find in all of Morocco. Emerging from the forest as you approach from a distance, you may recognize the kasbah from the classic movie Lawrence of Arabia. With breathtaking scenery around every corner, you’ll head into the Dades Valley and meet your local hosts for the night. They’ll be happy to show you their way of life and let you join in with food preparation and cooking. And your guide will be on hand to offer translations and keep the conversation flowing!

Day 5

Take a hike to Todra Gorge before a camel ride in Merzouga Desert

After a wonderful doze in a local house, you’ll enjoy breakfast with your new friends before saying your goodbyes. One of the world’s most spectacular canyons awaits, in the shape of Todra Gorge. These extraordinary paths in the rock were carved by the Dades and Todra Rivers, to a height of nearly 2,000 meters. You’ll disembark from your vehicle to enjoy a gentle hike and take in the best of the scenery. From here, the desert awaits. Upon your arrival, stretch your camel-legs, for you’ll be riding one of these magnificent creatures across the sands, accompanied by a stunning Sarahan sunset. After settling into your camp for the night, eat dinner under the stars and take part in a drum session. The Merzouga region is famed for its relaxing, trance-like rhythms and you’ll enjoy a night’s sleep unlike no other.

Day 6

From the desert to the Anti-Atlas Mountains and Ouarzazate City

An early start for day six, but it’ll be worth it — climbing the sand dune to see the sunrise wash the desert in color is nothing short of a miracle! After breakfast at camp, it’s back on the road as you head through the Anti-Atlas Mountains on a journey to Ouarzazate. You’ll pass the quaint and peaceful towns of Alnif and Nkob and their beautiful oasis and palm-tree forest, before landing in Ouarzazate. This Moroccan city is known as Africa’s Hollywood, and tomorrow you’ll have the chance to see why!

Day 7

From Ouarzazate to Taroudant City, the ‘mini-Marrakech’

Wake up to a different vista in Ouarzazate, often called the ‘door of the desert’ due to its close proximity to the Sahara. Many of the country’s film studios are based here, and movie-goers may recognize scenes from The Mummy, Gladiator, and The Hills Have Eyes... not to mention Game of Thrones! Resume your journey through the Atlas Mountains to Taliouine, famed for its excellent saffron, and continue to Taroudant. Sometimes referred to as a smaller version of Marrakech, its appearance is similar in places, only you can explore without the bustling crowds. With a laid-back atmosphere, friendly markets and lovely architecture, Taroudant is a delightful city to relax in for the night as you reach the halfway point of your Moroccan adventure.

Day 8

Onwards to Essaouira, the city on the Atlantic coast

Your journey continues through the foothills of the Anti-Atlas Mountains to Agadir, a city on the Atlantic coastline. With a laid-back vibe and miles of glorious golden sand, Agadir also has a vibrant market scene and kasbah ruins on its hilltop. After exploring the city’s highlights and taking in some fresh sea air, you’ll journey to the port city of Essaouira with its 18th century ramparts. Essaouira’s old town is a UNESCO heritage site with a lively music scene and friendly atmosphere. Take the evening to soak up some local vibes ahead of tomorrow’s full day in the city.

Day 9

Explore Essaouira and get scrubbed in a hammam!

The bohemian city of Essaouira is yours for the day! An excellent place for exploring on foot, take your time to see its various highlights and soak up the local flavor. Don’t miss the fishing port, ramparts and cannons still fixed in the walls. Explore the winding streets and alleyways, drop in at the fish market and mingle with the locals. Consider a guided horse or camel ride, or maybe relax in a hammam. These are public steam rooms inspired by ancient Roman baths, and a great way to unwind and exfoliate. After all that traveling, make the most of the city’s position on the coast and chill out on the sands. Given the winds coming in from the Atlantic here, it’s also a surfer’s paradise!

Day 10

A day of travel — to Marrakech and then Tangier

After a night in Essaouira, it’s time to get going again — true adventurers never stay in one place for too long! You’ll travel to Marrakech, grab a bite to eat and then take the journey to Tangier. Now’s the perfect opportunity to catch up on some rest, fill in your journal or start making plans for your time in Tangier.

Day 11

Full-day tour of Tangier, exotic city of mystery and beauty

Following yesterday’s traveling and relaxation, you’ll be perfectly recharged to get going again! Tangier is a fabulous place to find yourself for the day, with its interesting history, varied architecture and clear blue sea. You’ll take a drive through the city’s urban district to reach the promontory Cap Spartel and take in a glorious panoramic view of the city. Next, you’ll visit the prehistoric Hercules Caves, a mysterious cave complex once believed to be the resting place of Hercules himself. Take in the city’s beautiful kasbah and its accompanying museum, before heading to the American Legation Museum, which celebrates the relationship between the US and Morocco. Finish up in the city’s old town and grab a souvenir or two. Look out for the snake charmers working in the streets!

Day 12

Journey through the breathtaking Rif Mountains to Akchour Waterfalls and Chefchaouen City

Wave goodbye to the coast for now and get set for a return to the mountains! This time you’ll be taking a journey through the Rif Mountains, and you'll stop for a gentle hike to the charming Akchour Waterfalls. These cascades are a turquoise delight to witness, and one of the country’s hidden gems. Continue through the mountains to Chefchaouen, famed for its blue-washed buildings, and look out for the cats — Chefchaouen has a healthy population of feline creatures, and you’ll likely see them lining the steps and keeping out of the sun. Visit the kasbah and take in the magnificent views from the Ras el-Ma Spring before relaxing in Utta el-Hammam Square, a great place for people-watching with its many cafes and restaurants.

Day 13

A relaxing return to Tangier

It’s travel time again! Fill up on a hearty breakfast and enjoy a drive back to Tangier. There’ll be just enough time on your arrival for a stroll around the old town or a dip in the ocean, so make the most of your last night in Morocco!

Day 14

Say farewell to Morocco and board the ferry up to Spain

All great adventures have to end some time, and now it’s time to say your goodbyes. After breakfast, take a final look at Tangier and prepare to catch the ferry to Spain. As you glide across the clear blue sea, take in your experiences from the past few days and always keep a piece of Morocco close to your heart.

Accommodation

  • Riad Papillon Hotel Marrakech (or similar according to availability)

    The Riad Papillon makes for a magical stay in Marrakech with its beautifully-decorated traditional interior. Located in the old town, you’ll find all the city’s highlights just a short walk away. All ensuite rooms offer supreme comfort with air-conditioning. There’s a rooftop terrace to relax in after your excursion around the city. Pop into the dipping pool to cool off from the heat of Marrakech and unwind like the locals do! Complimentary WiFi can be found throughout the building. Room type: Shared occupancy.

  • Auberge Kasbah Hotel Ait Benhaddou (or similar according to availability)

    In the heart of Ait Benhaddou, the Auberge Kasbah is just a short drive from the magnificent Ksar earthen village. Your hosts will welcome you with open arms and be delighted to share their knowledge of the region for those who like to go exploring! On-site, you’ll find spacious and comfortable rooms, yoga classes, WiFi and evening entertainment. There’s also a restaurant, bar, shared lounge and garden to chill out in. Room type: Shared occupancy.

  • La Vallee Hotel Ouarzazate (or similar according to availability)

    The La Vallee Hotel offers supreme comfort in stylish settings in the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate. With an on-site restaurant, you won’t have to go far to eat, and you’ll find other amenities just a short walk away. Relax outside around the pool, or cool off in the water and admire the beautiful courtyard as you paddle around. With free WiFi throughout the building, La Vallee is a perfect refuge for all weary travelers. Room type: Shared occupancy.

  • Dar Randigaba Hotel Taroudant (or similar according to availability)

    Enjoy a mellow stay in Taroudant, Morocco’s ‘mini-Marrakech’! Dar Randigaba is a wonderful haven after your time in the high-hills and all that exploring. Find the terrace to kick back and relax in, and a living room beautifully made out in a traditional Moroccan style. With free WiFi throughout the building, coffee and tea readily available, and the friendly host’s huge music collection to admire, Dar Randigaba will make every moment of your stay in Taroudant a pleasure. Room type: Shared occupancy.

  • Essaouira Beach Hostel (or similar according to availability)

    Unwind after a day exploring Essaouira’s bohemian city with the perfect beach location. The sands are just a minute’s walk away, and you’ll have a magnificent view of the sunset across the ocean from the hostel’s comfy rooftop terrace. You'll find shops and restaurants on your doorstep, fresh sea air in abundance, and WiFi throughout. The hostel also offers surf equipment, trips, and classes for those looking for something a little extra. Room type: Multiple occupancy.

  • Tangiers Hostel (or similar according to availability)

    Found in the delightful old town, you’ll have all of Tangier’s main attractions and historical sites within a short walk, including the city’s famous kasbah. Within the hostel you’ll find a terrace with an outdoor kitchen and barbecue area, a book exchange and common room. You’ll also be able to pick up a free city map, play board games and dine at the on-site restaurant. Free WiFi can be found throughout the building. Room type: Multiple occupancy.

  • Dar Dadicilef Hotel Chefchaouen (or similar according to availability)

    Close to the kasbah, Spanish Mosque and Ras Elma Park, Dar Dadicilef offers calming surroundings after your time in the mountains. You’ll find scrumptious Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Moroccan meals in the nearby restaurants. A garden, terrace and barbecue facilities can be found on-site, with free WiFi availabile throughout the premises. Take a jaunt to the nearby El Hammam Square and see the sun set as you mingle with the locals. Room type: Multiple occupancy.

Included

  • 2 nights in Riad Papillon Hotel Marrakech (or similar)
  • 1 night in Auberge Kasbah Hotel Ait Benhaddou (or similar)
  • 1 night in Dades Valley local home
  • 1 night camping in Merzouga Desert
  • 1 night in La Vallee Hotel Ouarzazate (or similar)
  • 1 night in Dar Randigaba Hotel (or similar)
  • 2 nights in Essaouira Beach Hostel (or similar)
  • 1 night overnight travel – Marrakech to Tangier
  • 2 nights in Tangiers Hostel (or similar)
  • 1 night in Dar Dadicilef Hotel Chefchaouen (or similar)
  • Shared occupancy in accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Tolls, fuel and parking fees
  • Bilingual private driver and guides
  • All meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All tours as mentioned in the itinerary
  • 24/7 guest support

Not included

  • Flights
  • Entrance to Hassan II Mosque (USD 15)
  • Entrance to Marjorelle Botanical Gardens (USD 15)
  • All food not mentioned in inclusions
  • Optional add-ons
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities

COVID-19 guarantee

We know many of you are yearning to travel, but also want to do it in a safe and enjoyable way.

To ensure your wellbeing, we’re working with each of our partners to ensure that exhaustive precautionary health and safety measures are in place. This includes reducing group sizes, incorporating more outdoor adventures, and closely monitoring the spread on the ground.

At the same time, we also know that this is a holiday for you and that you want to experience the best of each location, with minimal inconvenience. We’re confident that each of our trips will be both safe and enjoyable, but if we cannot keep to either of those promises, we will defer or cancel the trip if necessary and gladly issue you credit for a future tour to be used towards any tour within 2 years.

Cancellation policy

Refunds for deposits
If you cancel your trip after placing a deposit but before your card on file is charged for the full payment, you can request a full refund of your deposit up to 30 days before the tour departure.

Refunds for fully-paid trips
If you cancel your trip after making full payment, you may change or cancel your trip up to 30 days before the tour departure for a credit towards a future trip. You will receive a credit equivalent to 100% of your trip payment to be used anytime within the next 2 years from the date the credit note is issued.

A full credit will also be issued if the tour is canceled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions (see our COVID-19 guarantee on the tour itinerary page). We suggest buying your own travel insurance for coverage of cancellations within 30 days of the tour commencing for reasons other than a full tour cancellation.

USD 1,214
Per person