Morocco is one of the most diverse countries in Africa, with high mountains, sweeping desert, rugged coastline, and the winding alleyways of ancient medina cities and souqs. Aromatic tajines, palm-spotted, red-earthed landscapes and limitless generosity define the home of the Maghreb. This magical tour will give you a glimpse of the friendliness, vibrancy and flavour of this Berber-Arab-Spanish-Portuguese-French melting pot.

The terrain of Morocco has informed my dreams since I was a child, as a magical and wondrous place. I would like to invite you to join me on an enchanted journey to re-awaken the magic in your life, through listening to the heartbeat of Morocco. By staying in the Medina and engaging with these ancient cities rhythms and customs. Being mystically transported, (or just woken up) by the call to prayer, drinking mint in the souks, finding exquisite restaurants, walking through beautiful gardens and staying in the Sahara desert under a million stars. We visit romantic Casablanca with its rich history and traditions. Explore the medieval city of Fez, seeing amazing architecture, spice markets and tanneries, take a camel ride to our camp in the Sahara and stay in cosmopolitan Marrakech, let the Magic begin ……

This Inspirational Journey is for you if:

  • You want to explore an ancient and magical place.

  • You want to travel to an exotic location, but perhaps wouldn’t do it on your own.

  • You adore learning about different cultures and peoples.

  • You really enjoy eating Moroccan food and trying new things.

  • You are excited to explore the souks and medinas with all their colour and vibrancy.

  • You want to visit the place that “Casablanca” and “Gladiator”was filmed.

  • Two nights is an historic Kasbah has you imagining Arabian Nights.

  • A nights in the desert glamping under the stars sounds like heaven to you.

The Magic

As the sun set on another magical day in this red country, you watch the merchants in their Djellaba close up shop for the day and you wander past small coffee houses and colourful lantern displays back to your welcoming Riad. 

Entering this hidden exotic space, you make your way to your room which can only be described as romantic, complete with lush soft furnishings and a Moroccan tiled bathroom. 

Resting onto the day bed in your room, you can’t help smiling about the delightful day you just had walking through the gardens, shopping for perfumes and handmade gifts, visiting a museum, eating in charming restaurants, and exploring with your amazing new friends!

Ah…the delights of Morocco! During our trip we will be staying in  a selection of modern hotels and charming Riads, as well as a rustic fortified city and camping in the Sahara Desert!

Discover Historical Casablanca, Colourful Chefchaouen, Ancient Fez, Famous Ait Ben Haddou, Saharan Nights and the Magic of Marrakech!

Itinerary

Day 1 – Casablanca

Casablanca’s handsome Mauresque buildings, which meld French-colonial design and traditional Moroccan style, are best admired in the Downtown area. Visitors who spend time here are sure to get into the local swing of things and realise that this old pirate lair is looking towards the future, embracing the European-flavoured urban sophistication that has underpinned life here for the past century.

Our first day has been set aside just to arrive and rest after the long flight. We will meet at the hotel foyer for dinner at 6pm and head to Ricks Cafe inspired by the movie (self-pay). If you are buzzing though we can visit the largest shopping malls in Africa – Morocco Mall and take a walk along the promenade. 

Drive time from airport to accommodation – 1 hour

OVERNIGHT – Casablanca

Day 2 – Casablanca to Chefchaouen

This morning we visit the the imposing Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world; and the old Church of the Sacred Heart, in neo-Gothic style as well as the place Mohammed V, inspired by art deco and with beautiful portals and immaculate facades.

After this we will head to Rabat, capital of Morocco for a harbour side lunch and then continue on to Chefchaouen, the famous blue city.  

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. While tourism has definitely taken hold, the balance between ease and authenticity is just right. The old medina is a delight of Moroccan and Andalusian influence with red-tiled roofs, bright-blue buildings and narrow lanes converging on busy Plaza Uta El Hammam and its restored kasbah. Long known to backpackers for the easy availability of kif (cannabis), the town has rapidly gentrified and offers a range of quality accommodation, good food, lots to do and no hassles to speak of, the prefect photo op awaits you. 

Drive Time – 5 hours

Meals – Breakfast

OVERNIGHT – Chefchaouen

Day 3 – Chefchaouen – Fez

After breakfast we will then drive to Meknes, a city known for its Imperial past.  

We will visit Volubilis. Sitting in the middle of a fertile plain, the ruined Roman city of Volubilis is the best-preserved archaeological site in Morocco. Its most amazing features are the many beautiful mosaics preserved in situ, and it was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1997. Volubilis is about 33km north of Meknes and a four hour drive from Fez

Drive Time – 3 hours

Then onto Fes and arriving in time for a delicious dinner in our romantic riad in the old quarter. 

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. Donkeys cart goods down the warren of alleyways as they have done since medieval times, and ruinous pockets loom around every corner – though a government drive to restore Fès el-Bali to its former glory is spurring changes.

Fez’ medina can seem like it’s in a state of perpetual pandemonium; some visitors fall instantly in love and others recoil in horror. But its charms are many. Seemingly blind alleys lead to squares with exquisite fountains and streets bursting with aromatic food stands, rooftops unveil a sea of minarets, and stooped doorways reveal the workshops of tireless artisans.

Drive Time – 3 hours 

Meals – Breakfast

OVERNIGHT – Fez (This accommodation is a 10 minute cobblestone walk in the old medina)

Day 4 – Fez 

After a leisurely breakfast todays tour Stars at Bab Boujloud, the ornate blue gate leading into the medina, and Moulay Idriss Mausoleum. We will visit the  university of Al-Qarawiyyin, which is both a university and a mosque situated in the heart of the medina. UNESCO has named it the oldest continuously functioning educational institution in the world. We will also pass other schools such as the Madrasa Bouanania built by Sultan Abu Inan Faris and the Madrasa Al-Attarine created by Sultan Uthman II Abu Said. Onto the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts and see the traditional tools used by craftsmen, also the Berber carpets and musical instruments. We will visit the tannery, the largest tannery in Africa. Visit the Mellah or Jewish Quarter and the old Ibn Danan Synagogue, dating from the 17th century. After the Medina we will go outside the Medina walls to the main gate of the Royal Palace where you’ll see craftsmen at work and you’ll enjoy the view of the large plaza and its palm trees.

Meals – Breakfast

OVERNIGHT – Fez Old Town 

Day 5 – Fez to Marrakech

Thismoring we visit a small village outside Fes, Bhalil and meet people who are still living in ancient caves, some families for more than 12 generations. 

We then catch our flight to Marrakech, and at around 12.20pm make our way to our accommodation becoming excited along the way for tomorrow we are exploring Marrakech! Afternoon for exploring the local Bahia Palace and Mellah area. 

Meals – Breakfast 

Fez to Kech 12.20pm arrive 1.20pm Air Arabia (15 kilos checked baggage internal flights and 7 kilos hand luggage)

7.30pm have dinner at Comptoir Darna – Belly dancing restaurant (*Self Pay)

OVERNIGHT – Marrakesh

Day 6 – Marrakech

9am Breakfast

10am Explore Marrakech – A day of sites, walk through the medina, stop at the herbologist for all your lotions and potions, head to a french patisserie for a coffee and cake, sustenance before we make our way to the Badi and Bahia places, both located in the Jewish quarter. Before heading back to our accommodation to freshen up and head out to the Katoubia Mosque, which has the largest minaret in the Muslim world, before hitting Jma El Fna, the most famous square in Morocco with its snake charmers, food stalls and general mayhem. Free time to wander and have dinner. 

Meals – Breakfast 

OVERNIGHT – Marrakesh

Day 7 – Marrakech – Ait Ben Haddou

This morning we visit the Marjorelle Gardens and Yves St Laurent Museum, (where we will have lunch). Along the way we can see the modern part of Marrakech Guilez, outside the medina walls and soak in the vibe for a modern and cosmopolitan Marrakech.

In the afternoon we head to my favourite artisan markets! On this tour with Tammie, you’ll shop for real-deal souvenirs like leather, lamps, shoes, carpets, spices, and argan oil. Free time to wander before heading to the airport to catch our flight to Ait Ben Haddou! 

Marrakech to Ouarzazate ABH 17.45 arrive 18.25 Air Maroc (20 kilos checked baggage internal flights and 7 kilos hand luggage)

Meals – Breakfast 

OVERNIGHT – Ait Ben Haddou

Day 8 – Marrakech – Ait Ben Haddou

Wake up in magical Ait Ben Haddou – the impressive and well-preserved kasbahs and UNESCO world heritage site, the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. We will take a morning tour with our local guide “Ali Berber” to visit this picturesque fortified village, which has been used as a film location in numerous famous films such as ‘Gladiator’, ‘Alexander’ and ‘The Mummy’.

In the afternoon there is free time to wander lane-ways, shop for carpets and jewelry head to a quaint little coffee shop or read your book by the pool. 

Meals – Breakfast  

OVERNIGHT – Ait Ben Haddou

Day 9 – Sahara

This morning we make our way via four wheel drive to our Sahara Camp. We will arrive in the afternoon in time to relax before setting out on our sunset camel ride. Then watch the stars come out before dining in the salon and then being joined by our local guides “The Berbers” for some drumming around the camp fire. Enjoy a peaceful nights sleep in total silence, ah bliss. *Please note there are no showers during this part of the journey. Each tent has an ensuite attached with a comfortable eco toilet, (bucket with seat and sand, it does not smell). You also have fresh water to watch with and brush your teeth and drink, its really very comfortable for camping and if only for one nights most people find it fine. 

 *Optional extra cost for the camel ride approx $40AUD. 

Meals – Breakfast & Dinner

OVERNIGHT – Camp Adounia – Sahara

Day 10 – Sahara to Casablanca

Have a leisurely start to the day or join us for a not too early yoga/meditation class, and then take some time for yourself after breakfast to enjoy the peace of this place which you may never visit again. Mid morning we drive to the Pottery collective in Tamagroute for you last bit of shopping and to fill your last amount of baggage allowance with ceramics! This afternoon we will lunch and relax at Kasbah Zagora, here you can indulge in an optional Hammam and or massage, just the ticket before your flight home tomorrow. 

Meals – Breakfast

OVERNIGHT – Casablanca Airport Riad

Day 11 – Casablanca Tour Concludes 

Wake up close to the airport in our comfortable Riad, spend the day by the pool, until you need to head to the airport for your next flight. Please make any international return flights home for after 1.30pm just in case our evening flight changes and we have to catch one the following morning, this is just a back up. 

* Self-Pay

**Please note that some flights have not been released as yet and flight schedule do change. We will stay as close as possible to this itinerary however flights to the Sahara often only go 3 times a week, meaning our program may have to change to accommodate this. Nothing will be lost from the program however just moved around. 

Its always sad when a good thing comes to an end, but this creates space for our next great adventure. Tammie xx

NB* Trip Starts in Casablanca and ends in Casablanca so please arrange your flights accordingly. Please arrange your departure flight on the last day for after 1.30pm to allow for any changes to the schedule. **Please note single beds in Morocco can be narrow. 

 

Inclusions

2 nights Casablanca (last night near airport)

⇒ 1 night Meknes

⇒ 2 nights Fez

2 nights Marrakech 

2 Nights staying at a Kasbah – Enroute to Sahara

1 Nights Camp in the Sahara Dessert (all meals included) 

Flights from Fez to Marrakech, Marrakech to Zagora and Ouarzazate to Casablanca

⇒ All Breakfasts included

⇒ Airport transfers – arrival to Casablanca and departure from Casablanca 

 Private vehicle throughout with travel guide

 Guided walking tours throughout with a licenced professional guide

Shopping and sight seeing with Tammie

Horse and carriage ride to Marjorelle Gardens

Optional yoga, dance and meditation class

Optional extra’s (additional cost)

 Spa treatments and visit to the hammam

Camel Ride

Tips for guides, drivers and hotel porters we recommend $25 per day per person = $250AUD

What is not included

Airfares to and from Casablanca

 Some Lunches and Dinners (prices for these can vary from very cheap to western prices depending on where you are eating)

 Personal purchases (The shopping is fabulous in Marrakesh, leave space in your bags girls!)

Drinks and alcohol purchases (we can bring beer and wine to the desert also!) 

Travel Insurance (which is compulsory) We work with Travel with Jane  

You have two payment options for this trip. To pay a $750 deposit and the remainder 75 days prior to the start of the retreat or to organise a payment plan. 

Deposits can be paid via Direct Bank Transfer or via PayPal.

If you pay via PayPal you can use your credit card.

Up until 75 days before the start of the tour a $750 non-refundable deposit will be retained.  For between 75 days and 45 days,  50% will be forfeited.  For less than 45 days or for no shows the entire amount will be retained as we would have already had to pay for accommodation, transport, flights and activities, and this money will not be returned to us.  Once the tour has commenced no monies will be returned to you.  This is why travel insurance is compulsory.

The average daily temperature in the months of September/October linger around 21 degrees Celsius. This average includes a potential low of 15 degrees Celsius, which often occurs during the night, and a high of 30 degrees Celsius. Please note the Sahara is hotter than the rest of Marrakech and can reach 40 degrees during the middle of the afternoon. Getting prepared for the anticipated high will be the important factor to consider when packing and planning your holiday.

Despite entering the autumn season, Marrakesh sees around nine hours of sunshine on any given day. This gives you plenty of time to spend your day outdoors exploring the souks and various sites of interest.

Q.  Where do I fly in and out of?

A. Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport.

There are no direct long-distance flights to Casablanca from Australia or the USA, you will have to stop on the way. Morocco is easy to access from the UK and Europe. Check www.skyscanner.com for your options.

Q. What dates and times should I fly in/out of Casablanca?

A. You need to arrive on the 22 September 2021. We have included a complimentary nights accommodation for you on the first night just to settle in, there is no sightseeing planned for this day it is just a rest day. *Please note that Casablanca in primarily an industrial port city and we do not recommend arriving early as there is not much to see here and things that are noteworthy we see the following day.

Please arrange your departure for the 2nd of October for after 13.30pm as this will give you time to get to the airport and also allows for a contingency for our flight from the Sahara.

Q. What sort of rooms are available?

A. We have both single and twinshare rooms available. The single room has the supplement included. If you choose twinshare and are not travelling with a  friend we will do our best to find you a roommate however in the event noone else is seeking a twinshare roommate then the single room rate will apply. We hope you understand. *Please note that snorers, smokers or people who wear CPAP machines when sleeping must disclose this when booking as this could impact other peoples sleep and they need to be aware of this. **Also please note we cannot guarantee compatibility of roommates, for example you may be of different ages or nationalities, however mostly when we do match people up they get on well and its only for a short period of time. Some people have even made lifelong friendships.

Q. What is the maximum group size?

A. Our groups are usually between 12 and 18 participants. These are ideal numbers as they are small enough to be manageable and intimate but large enough for diversity and fun!

Q. What will the food be like?

A. I’m sure most people are aware that Moroccans use Tagines to cook, (as they don’t have electic or gas ovens). They cook each meal from scratch so note it can take time. The other common food in Morocco is couscous. For a country that was previously colonised by the French its a shame there isn’t more French influence in the cooking. You can see the French flavours however at breakfast when we carb load croissants, brioche, cake, crepes and anything else made from gluten. Fruits salad, yogurt and fresh juice also available. *Please note this is not a trip for the coeliacs and in fact on these tours we are unable to accommodate complex dietary requirements or allergies. We have tried to in the past however local people do not understand the requirements and we don’t want to be responsible for people being unwell and we just can’t guarantee that the kitchens will get it right. I have to say meat eaters find it easier and have more variety than vegetarians in Morocco as they are predominantly a meat eating country. On most menus you can also find pasta and soups, unfortunately fresh salads are rare as these vegetables cannot be grown locally. *Only drink bottled water

Q. what are Moroccan people like?

A. The people of Morocco are kind, warm, and well known around the world for their hospitality. A Moroccan, after having just met you, will invite you to his home for a feast of all they have to give, even if they are of meager means. They value building personal relationships, and want to help others for the sake of it, not always for their own personal gain. Family is important to Moroccans and you will often find extended family gathering for meals, tea, and visits. Moroccans will often ask you about the health and well-being of your own family, even if they have never met them. They have a genuine interest in concern for other people. Personal honor and respect is most important to Moroccans so crossing these lines can quickly turn a valuable relationship sour almost immediately.

You will find many men and woman wearing the traditional djellaba, a long hooded robe worn over their clothes. Women add the hijab, or head covering in a sign of submission to God. For special occasions, a caftan replaces the djellaba. The main difference between the two is that a caftan is made of more expensive fabrics and does not include the traditional hood. It is also adorned with lace, embroidery beading of bright colors. You will find just as many men and women among the younger generation wearing Western style clothing such as T-shirts and jeans and modern suits.

Q. Do I require a visa to enter Morocco?

A. Most countries do not require a visa to enter Morocco, (This includes Australia, New Zealand, Britain, United States, Canada, Other EU countries). You do however require a passport valid for more than 6 months and a return or exiting plane ticket.

Q. I have never travelled to a an exotic country like Morocco before, will I experience culture shock?

A. Yes but in the very best way. Morocco is extremely old, beautiful and romantic. The people are predominately Arabs and very friendly. There are however lots of hawkers or touts which can become tiresome. Always remain polite and respectful and your trip should be a pleasant one. Like most Muslim countries you will see a lot more men than women, as women are predominantly at home. Morocco is a modern, cosmopolitan country in many ways and people really want to encourage tourists and do their best to accommodate us. *Please wear appropriate clothing for a Muslim country ie cover shoulders and knees.

Q. How much money will I need?

A. Well, that depends on your shopping habits! You will need to allocate around $15 per meal lunches and dinners and then add on extra for personal spending. Alcohol is always more expensive in countries where people don’t drink and is taxed highly. I tell people to bring around $500AUD to change on arrival to Casablanca, (not at the airport as they have terrible rates but we will find you a money changer in Casablanca city or the concierge at our hotel can help). Then bring a credit card for the other larger spending.

Q. Can I add extra days or extra tours to this trip? *Note above we do not suggest you come early unless you have something specific in mind.

A. Yep, you sure can. We can arrange extra nights and airport transfers for $200AUD per night. If you wish to stay longer to see more sights please send us your desired itinerary and we can get our ground staff to price it for you with a guide. Please note this will be independent travel, ie a Vibrant Women representative will not be with you.

Q. I think I wanna come….but it is a big decision and I am not 100% sure, can I talk it over with you and see if it is right for me?

A. Yes, I think that is a great idea.

You don’t know me and I want you to! Please view previous testimonial here to get an idea of what our past guest have to say about us and also if you just flick me an email to tammie@vibrantwomen.com.au I will arrange a time to call you or just give me a call – (+61) 0459247122 this works for Whatsapp too.

Q. Ok, I SO wanna come, how do I book?! How much is the deposit?? What’s the process please???

A. Great! You can just complete the registration form here from there we will send you a confirmation email outlining what is covered in the trip, answering any questions and provide you with payment options. Once you have paid the depsoit or commenced a payment plan then we will send you the trip notes and any other documentation you need to prepare for your journey. We are available to help you every step of the way.

Q. I’m nervous about arranging my flights, can you help me?

A. We use Donna McHugh from Wauchope Travel to arrange all of our flights please contact her on (+61) 02 65852288 or email info@wauchopetravel.com.au Donna can arrange flights to and from anywhere in the world and she knows our itineraries.