Moroccan Caravan Adventure
March 1-13, 2019
PRICE - $2700 per person based on double occupancy
Day 1 March 2 - Chefchaouen
Arrive Tangier airport according to your flight times. Once everyone has arrived we will meet our transfer to Chefchaouen (2hrs).
We will make our way up into the Rif Mountains and visit the Andalusian town of Tetouan. The Medina here is an UNESCO world heritage site and the "new town" has a wonderful mix of Spanish colonial architecture.
From here we continue our journey to Chefchaouen. Prepared to have your senses overwhelmed. Beautifully perched beneath the raw peaks of the Rif, Chefchaouen is one of the prettiest towns in Morocco, an artsy, blue-washed mountain village that feels like its own world.
You’ll be tired, so take some time to settle into your Riad (hotel), then go out and explore a bit.
We’ll meet our Lead Bull Dave at 6:00pm in the Riad reception to walk to our first group meal. Time for the fun to begin!
Day 2 March 3 - Chefchaouen
Now that you have gotten yourself lost more than once in the narrow winding street and sampled the local cuisine, let’s get someone that really knows there way around to help us (not that Dave doesn’t know!).
We’ll have a guided walking tour starting at the Kasbah Museum. Get your camera ready, from the rooftop of the museum you will have a panoramic view of the blue painted houses and tiled roofs! From the museum we will make our way to the Grand Mosque in the cobbled square of the Place Utta el-Hammam. Created in the 15th century by Moors who fled to Morocco to escape Spanish persecution. You will follow the guide through the souks of Chefchaouen and see the many native handicrafts on sale.
The tour will end just in time for lunch. It is your choice which of the many cafes or restaurants in the medina you would like to try.
The rest of the night is free to do your own thing.
Day 3 March 4 - Chefchaouen - Volubilis - Fez
Goodbye Chefchaouen. We’re on our way to Fez today. Yes, Fez of the hat fame.
On our way we'll stop and explore Volubilis, the most-extensive and well-preserved Roman ruins site in all of Morocco, with a local guide. After our photo-worthy tour, just a short drive will bring us to Fez.
Welcome to Fez! Our home for the next 2 nights. An ancient breeding ground for scholars and artisans, imams and gourmands – Fez is a supremely self-confident city with a historical and cultural lineage that beguiles visitors. And there is something intangibly raw about a place where 70,000 people still choose to live in the maelstrom of a medina so dark, dense and dilapidated that it remains the world's largest car-free urban area. And of course, the Fez Hats!
You have a free night to explore the city, and maybe, buy a hat.
Day 4 March 5 - Fez
Time for a little Fez education today. Our guide will help us explore the medina of Fez, one of the world's largest walled-in cities. Marvel at the variety of shops lining the complex maze of streets, and visit sites such as the M'nebhi Palace, the 14th century Medersa Bou Inania, the Rcife souk (market) and see the famous dye-works.
Free night on your own.
Day 5 March 6 - Fez to Merzouga
We’ve got a long drive ahead of us today (7hrs), but our target is one of the most remote areas you can imagine – the Sahara Desert. The roads will pass stunning waterfalls, cedar forests and rock formations and we will pass through the Middle and High Atlas Mountains along the way. Finally, we will reach Merzouga, a small, dusty town in eastern Morocco, located on the edge of the starkly beautiful Sahara Desert. Although the town itself has little to offer the intrepid traveler (besides a handful of hotels and restaurants), it is famous as the gateway to the vast Erg Chebbi dunes. Here, soaring peaks of sand change color with the shifting light of dawn and dusk. Camel trains create romantic silhouettes, and Berber villages act as remote oasis in an environment that has remained unchanged for thousands of years.
Our Lead Bull advises rest tonight, because tomorrow we go native for our overnight camel trek in the desert!
Day 6 March 7 - Sahara Desert
I hope you’re ready, because today we are relying on the years of skill and experience built up by our Lead Bull Dave as we hitch a ride on camels to explore the Sahara desert and camp under the stars.
We begin this action packed day with a ride on a 4X4 allowing us to visit the unique landscape of the Erg Chebbi Dunes (up to 160m high!). We will also visit the hamada (flat desert) villages and the industrial heritage sites from the time of the French occupation and its mining industry. Your morning dune tour isn't over yet, from here we make our way to Merzouga, a major center for traditional Gnaoua music and dance. We will be lucky enough to see Gnaoua musicians perform. Merzgouga is also located by a large lake that is home to many migrating birds.
We will make our way back to the hotel for tea (and maybe a shower), before we mount the camels and trek back into the heart of the desert for a 2 hour journey with the sun setting.
The camels will be packed with foods, blankets and everything else which we will need. We will spend the night in an equipped camp with drums music in the middle of the Sahara, a great opportunity to take lovely pictures of the sunset and sunrise. It will be a magical night when the sky is clear of cover and stars sparkle and shine with intensity.
During the night, there will be a wonderful dinner around a campfire, and we will spend the night in nomad tents. The next day, we’ll collect the survivors and ride the camel’s back to Merzouga after the sunrise, where you can have breakfast and shower in the hotel.
Day 7, March 8 - Merzouga – Atlas Mountains
Wake up early to see the sun rise over the dunes – it’s fun to climb the nearest dune to do this! Then have breakfast in your camp before a 45-minute camel ride back to your 4×4, which awaits you at a hotel offering second breakfast and the opportunity to take a shower.
From here it is onto Erfoud, with its spectacular Fossil Museum then we head off-road for a very scenic journey into the High Atlas. The winding track takes us through traditional Berber villages such as Goulmima with its palmery and kasbahs, and Amellago, set opposite dramatic rock cliffs, and stunning mountain landscapes. After Tamtattouchte, with its lovely white-painted marabout (pilgrimage chapel) beyond the town, the road descends through the famous Todhra Gorge, where you can stroll between its towering cliffs.
Beyond the Gorge, we pass through the lovely palm oasis of Tinerhir, and head to the Dades Valley across the plain, with views of the Jebl Sahro mountains as sheep, goats and even camels graze near the road. We arrive at the Dades Valley in the late afternoon, the best time of day as the sun lights up the spectacular red rock formations of the ‘Monkey’s Fingers’ and the mountains beyond.
Day 8 March 9 - Valley of the Roses
Today an expert local guide will lead you on a hike through the spectacular landscape of the Valley of the Roses, in the Mount M'Goun range of the High Atlas, which is lush and green most of the year. This is one of the main regions in the world for growing damask roses, which hedge every small field and bloom in May and are used to make many rose products. You will pass through traditional Berber villages, with earth-built houses and stunning kasbahs.
Back to our Riad where you are free to spend the rest of the day as you choose.
Day 9 March 10 - Chez Pierre
This morning you will return to the Dades Gorge via the beautiful off-road route, stopping to visit a nomad family on the way to take tea with them and learn how they live. You will have the afternoon to relax or explore the beautiful gardens at Chez Pierre.
Day 10 March 11 - Dades Valley - Marrakech
We’re leaving the mountains today for Marrakech. We descend the lush green Dades Valley, known as ‘the valley of a thousand kasbahs’, passing the spectacular rock formations of the ‘Monkey’s Fingers’ again, and head towards Ouarzazate with views of the M’Goun Massif in the distance. Not far beyond Ouarzazate, we visit the spectacular hillside town of Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where over 20 major films have been made, from Lawrence of Arabia to Gladiator and Game of Thrones. It has the largest and best-preserved collection of kasbahs in Morocco.
The journey continues on the ancient caravan route that brought goods from the South of Morocco to the cities of the north. We pass through wonderful scenery, mountains, gorges and traditional Berber villages, to visit the kasbah of Telouet, former stronghold of the famous Glaoui tribe, who ruled Morocco in the 19th century. This impressive fortress has a fine interior, decorated with ornate plasterwork, painted wooden panels and ceilings, and beautiful silks.
We re-join the main road near the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass (2260m), and enjoy the mountain scenery in the afternoon light, to arrive at your hotel in Marrakech in the early evening.
Day 11 March 12 - Marrakech
Marrakech has stood for close to a thousand years, a city of history and culture. One of the most evocative places in the world, just the name conjures up images of this cultural melting pot – sandstone buildings, dusty streets and towering minarets against deep blue skies immediately spring to mind. Known as The Red City thanks to the hue of the thick walls surrounding the old city, it’s a place to engage the senses, nowhere more so than in the famous souks. These vibrant markets are a whirlwind of colour and noise, where throngs of people weave between tightly packed stalls exhibiting pyramids of brightly coloured spices, richly woven rugs and a thousand other exotic goods. Enticing smells waft through the souks, and the clamour of voices haggling and the cries of vendors competing for customers provides a constant backing track to the city.
This morning we will go shopping with the Amal Project (a non-profit association dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women) and enjoy a Moroccan cooking class, where together we will make our own delicious lunch! The afternoon is free for you to discover Marrakech on your own. It’s almost impossible to walk through Marrakech for more than five minutes without finding some architectural wonder to marvel at. From the exquisite gardens to the intricately carved archways to the ornate mosques, this is a city that displays its history in its man-made environment. The Medina is a sight to behold: designated a UNESCO World Heritage Centre it’s a wonderful mix of Amazigh, Arabic and Moorish architecture. When it comes to entertainment, Marrakech blends cultures to magical effect. Jemaa El-Fnaa is the busiest square in the whole of Africa, packed with fire-eaters, cross-dressing bellydancers, amazing acrobats, astrologers, and a hundred other types of street entertainers.
We’ll meet at our Riad reception tonight for a walk to our final group meal of the trip. Plenty of reminisce and talk about. It may be a long night!
Day 12, March 13 Marrakech - Home
Depart according to you flight times.
When home, log in the Kefi Club site and share your photos with the rest of the group so you can relive the fun.
Deposit due at time of booking
Second payment due 3 months prior to departure
Final payment due 1 month prior to departure
What's Included? - Accomodation, camel rides, transporation in destination, a cooking class and more!
Kefi Travel Club recommends travel insurance for all its tours and vacations. We provide this service through CAA Travel. Please contact us for a quote.
Kefi Travel Club requires medical insurance for participants on any out-of-country tours. We provide this service through CAA Travel. Please contact us if you require coverage.