Morocco is a land of stunning contrasts, where majestic minarets tower over spice-scented souks and soaring mountains give way to endless desert. Set out to explore the epic landscapes and imperial cities of this magical country. On a three-day trek, ride camels across the Sahara alongside Berber cameleers and sleep in starlit tents nestled among golden sand dunes. Discover the Moorish splendors of Fèz, the medieval medina of Marrakech, and the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Hike to rose-colored casbahs, visit Berbers in their mountain villages, and explore dramatic gorges and less-traveled corners in 4x4 vehicles.
Ride a camel to a tented camp in the Sahara and watch the sun rise over wind-sculpted sand dunes.
Hike to traditional mountain villages and learn about Berber culture while sipping mint tea.
Explore the Roman ruins of Volubilis and the ancient adobe village of Aït Ben Haddou, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Discover the stunning architecture and enchanting medinas of Morocco’s imperial cities.
Itinerary - 14 Days
Day 1 — Casablanca, Morocco
Arrive in Casablanca and gather for a welcome dinner. Hotel Novotel Casablanca (D)
Day 2 — Rabat
This morning, visit the extraordinary Hassan II Mosque. Then travel to Rabat and discover its architectural treasures on a tour led by a local guide. Golden Tulip Farah Rabat (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Meknès/Volubilis/Fez
Travel to Meknès, Morocco’s 17th-century capital, and visit its grand gateways and mausoleums decorated with mosaic tiles. Delve into the Roman ruins of Volubilis before transferring to Fez. Hôtel Les Mérinides (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Fez
Explore Fez, the oldest of Morocco’s four imperial cities. Wander the narrow streets of the suqs and visit the Nejjarine Fountain and its exquisite mosaics. After lunch, visit the historic Jewish quarter in Fez Jdid and the Dar Batha Museum of Moroccan arts. Hôtel Les Mérinides (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Ziz Valley/Erfoud
Stop for a hike in the cedar forests of the Atlas Mountains, home to Barbary macaque monkeys. France’s colonial influence on Morocco can be seen in the alpine town of Ifrane. On our way to Erfoud, descend into the spectacular Ziz Valley and its lush oases of date palms. (2–3 miles hiking, 1 hour) Kasbah Hotel Chergui (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Erg Chebbi/Begin Camel Trek
Drive in 4x4s to the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi and explore an otherworldly sandscape of shifting colors. After learning about camel riding from Berber cameleers, embark on our Saharan trek, camel riding (and walking, if you wish) across the dunes. Arrive at our tented camp and dine under a star-studded sky. (4–5 miles camel riding and walking, 2–3 hours) Camping (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Remlia Well
Awaken for an early walk as the rising sun paints the sand orange and gold. Then set out on our camels across a varied desert terrain. Traverse fan-shaped landforms and dry river basins, keeping an eye out for fossils as we approach our camp near Remlia. (8 miles camel riding and walking, 4–5 hours) Camping (B,L,D)
Day 8 — End Trek/Alnif/Boumalne Dadès
Set out on our camels for a final morning trek. Then drive off-road in 4x4s to Todra Gorge, where sheer rock walls reach nearly to 1,000 feet, and arrive at Boumalne Dadès, a town nestled amid a semidesert landscape. (1–2 miles camel-riding and walking, 1 hour) Hôtel Xaluca Dadès (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Dadès Valley
Travel through the “valley of 1,000 casbahs” linking the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara. Pass oases, rose plantations, and casbahs. Hike through the terraced fields of Dadès Valley. Later, visit the Berber village of Bou Tharar. (4–5 miles hiking, 3 hours) Hôtel Xaluca Dadès (B,L,D)
Day 10 — Valley of the Roses
Spend the day hiking in the Valley of the Roses, a fertile region known for its pink Persian roses. Enjoy a traditional lunch with a local Berber family. (7 miles hiking, 4–5 hours) Chez Talout (B,L,D)
Day 11 — Aït Ben Haddou
Embark on a hike in the Skoura oasis, known for its beautiful casbahs. Continue to the fortified village of Aït Ben Haddou and wander its twisting lanes. (3-4 miles hiking, 3 hours) Riad Ksar Ighnda (B,L,D)
Day 12 — High Atlas/Marrakech
Today’s journey takes us over the peaks of the High Atlas Mountains, which rise above a landscape of oasis pastures, and willow and poplar groves. Take a walk in the stunning Ounila Valley before continuing on to Marrakech. (2–3 miles hiking, 1–2 hours)
Hotel Es Saadi (B,L,D)
Day 13 — Marrakech
Enjoy a full day exploring Marrakech. Visit the Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadian Tombs, and Bahia Palace. Meander through the medina; and soak up the colorful chaos of the lively central plaza. Tonight, gather for a festive farewell dinner. Hotel Es Saadi (B,L,D)
Day 14 — Marrakech
This morning, transfer to the airport for your return flight.
National Geographic Adventures are unique, active itineraries for intrepid travelers that combine spectacular places, cultural interaction, and physical challenge. You'll explore fascinating, off-the-beaten-path places with top guides, and wherever possible, meet National Geographic experts in the field.
Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room/tent, add $800 in 2015 and $1,100 for a deluxe tent in 2016. On the December departure, there is an additional holiday surcharge of $300. International airfare to Casablanca and return from Marrakech is not included in the adventure cost.
While on our camel trek, we will be riding camels
(and/or walking, if you wish) for 1 to 5 hours per day (1 to 8 miles). No previous experience is necessary. During hiking excursions, our hikes range from 3 to 5 hours per day (4 to 7 miles). Vehicle support is limited on hikes and during the camel trek. Participants always have the option to rest a day and ride to the next hotel. We will stay
2 nights in spacious tents and 11 nights in Moroccan-style hotels that reflect the local character.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
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