Authentic Morocco Escorted Tour

An 8 day escorted small group tour in Morocco. We focus on authentic travel experiences and explore off the tourist trail.

Authentic Morocco Tour

Authentic Morocco Escorted Tour

Embark on a journey through the heart of Morocco, where the echoes of ancient empires reverberate in the four imperial cities: Marrakech, Rabat, Meknes, and Fes. Within the labyrinthine alleys of these medinas, vibrant trade and skilled craftsmanship converge in a tapestry of colours and scents. The allure of Moorish architecture graces the cityscape, as centuries-old buildings adorned with elegant arabesques and meticulously carved cedar wood ceilings stand as a testament to the region's distinctive heritage.

However, this voyage promises more than just the well-trodden paths. Our curated itinerary ventures into the true essence of Morocco. Venture off the beaten track to encounter remote villages and their welcoming inhabitants. Delve into the stories behind Berber carpets, witnessing their artisanal creation, a tradition unaltered over centuries. Ascending the majestic Atlas Mountains, a Berber family opens their home, offering not just mint tea, but a glimpse into the ancient craft of loom weaving by skilled women. Higher still, the rugged mountains unveil rudimentary salt mines, where men painstakingly extract salt bars by hand, evoking the days of caravan trade.

To enhance this exceptional travel odyssey, indulge in the comfort of Riads — traditional Moroccan homes turned into luxurious accommodations. Handpicked for their architectural splendour and lavish interior designs, these Riads provide a restful haven that mirrors the grandeur of the journey itself. Through the convergence of history, culture, and a commitment to unearthing the hidden gems, this 8 day expedition promises an unforgettable tour into the heart and soul of Morocco.

Day 1 - Marrakech (Sunday)
Our guide will be waiting for you at the exit of the international area of the airport for the transfer to the hotel where we will spend the next two nights. We stay overnight at our comfortable Riad Jolie in the medina or Novotel 4 Stars at Hivernage the more elegant quarter in the centre of Marrakech at a short distance from Djemma El Fna square.
Overnight at Riad Jolie or Novotel

Day 2 - Marrakech (Monday)
Marrakech held a crucial role in history as a major stop for caravans. The Koutoubia's minaret stands out as a town symbol. This tall tower, 70 meters in height, has been well-preserved since the twelth century during the Almohad period. Moving on, the Ben Youssef Madrasa showcases stunning carved cedar wood designs, stucco work, and colorful zellij tiles. A prime example of Arab architecture, the Bahia Palace's magnificence is a sight to behold.

There will be time to relax back at the hotel and as the afternoon transitions into evening, the vibrant heart of Marrakech awaits: Djemma el Fna square. Walking through this square is an unforgettable experience. Each day, both locals and visitors explore the square, where musicians, jugglers, storytellers, magicians, acrobats, snake charmers, and fortune tellers create a lively atmosphere. As twilight settles, it's the perfect moment to begin exploring the Souk. The milder temperature draws more activity: the Souk transforms into a maze of sounds and colors, discover people dressed in traditional clothing, the aroma of spices and perfumes, and intricate crafts fashioned by skilled Moroccan artisans.

As evening arrives, Djemma El Fna square comes alive with thousands of lanterns. For dinner, there's a delightful choice between the diverse "street food" from numerous stalls, offering a variety of delectable specialties, or the restaurants overlooking the plaza. After this captivating day, it's time to return to the comfort of our hotel.
Overnight at Riad Jolie or Novotel (B)

Day 3 - Casablanca and Rabat (Tuesday)
It is a busy day today as we setoff early, reaching Casablanca before lunch. The architecture of the town centre dates-back to the French colonial era with buildings inspired by the Art Deco style. Our first visit will be to the spectacular Hassan II Mosque, one of the few mosques open to non-Muslims. It is the largest religious building in Morocco with one of the tallest minarets in the world and tens of thousands of wood carvings, Zelig decorations (glazed tiles), stained glass, marble, mosaics, chiselled ceilings, and stucco. The mosque, inaugurated in 1993, is a masterpiece of engineering and architecture.

Less populous than Casablanca, Rabat, the capital of the kingdom, is an elegant town, where the King lives, where the parliament is located, and where all the embassies have their delegation. Visit the Casbah des Oudaias, dating from the 11th century, still inhabited and perfectly preserved with its narrow alleys and the well-kept Andalusian Garden. Also from that period are the remains of the Hassan Mosque, near the Mausoleum of Mohamed V guarded by Royal Guards in their sumptuous traditional costumes. In the evening we will reach our comfortable Riad for dinner and overnight stay.
Overnight at Riad Dar Alia or similar (B)

Day 4 - Meknes and Volubilis (Wednesday)
An exhilarating day awaits us, where the echoes of history resound. Meknes, a city shaped by the vision of Sultan Moullay Ismail during the 17th century, stands as a testament to Morocco's inaugural Arab dynasty. Under the guidance of a knowledgeable local, we delve into the heart of Meknes. A highlight is the awe-inspiring Bab El Mansour, an entrance gate that boasts a fascinating origin – constructed by a Christian turned renegade, who found himself in the service of the sultan. Legends tell of El Mansour's eventual demise at the hands of the very ruler he served. A fleeting visit to the Medina adds a touch of authenticity to our exploration.

The day's adventure leads us to the sprawling ruins of Volubilis, the most expansive archaeological site in Morocco. With roots dating back to the Carthaginian era of the third century BC, Volubilis flourished as a significant center. As the 1st century of our era dawned, this historic site evolved into the westernmost capital of an expansive, semi-autonomous Roman-influenced territory that encompassed parts of present-day Algeria and Tunisia.

Our journey then carries us towards the captivating city of Fez, with our arrival expected in the early evening. Amidst the enchanting ambiance, we settle in for the night at Riad Yacout. This charming abode, exuding the essence of Moorish elegance, offers modern comforts amidst traditional surroundings. With a recent restoration, Riad Yacout becomes our haven for the next two nights, a perfect base for further explorations.
Overnight at Riad Yacout or similar (B)

Day 5 - Fes (Thursday)
In our opinion, Fes has the most beautiful and complex medina in North Africa, to which we will dedicate the whole day, accompanied by a local guide. The old town, built in a hilly area, is composed of two distinct parts: Fez al Bali and Fez el Djedid.In this universe of narrow medieval alleys, caravanserais and souks, the crowd is always on the move. Expect donkeys loaded with goods, the scent of spices, Arabic and Berber music, the voices and the calls of the muezzin. At lunch, we will taste the refined gastronomic specialties of this sophisticated town, spicy and mild flavours that have made the cuisine of Fes special. The madrasa of Boua Inania, the mosque of Kairaouine and much more will fill this day exploring in a lively medieval urban environment.
Overnight at Riad El Yacout or similar (B)

Day 6 - Atlas Mountains and Cedar Forests (Friday)
Today our route will wind through the valleys, villages, and mountains of the Middle Atlas. Stop and enjoy Ifrane, a popular mountain resort with its climate and alpine architecture. We will soon leave the main road for a path between valleys and peaks through great cedar forests. We arrive in the afternoon at a tiny Berber village in the mountains. Our group will have dinner and stay for the night at this pleasant but simple accommodation.
Overnight at the Gite Rahhabia or similar (B)

Day 7 - Salt Mines and Carpet Auction (Saturday)
Today we will go off the beaten track to discover the most authentic Berber traditions. Travel along dirt tracks that will take us to the most remote of villages. We will be received in private Berber homes and after sharing the traditional welcome tea, we will witness the weaving. Using an artisan loom, these are considered some of the most beautiful of Moroccan carpets, produced by the women of the Atlas Mountains. Our tour continues higherin to themountains until we arrive at the rudimentary mines where men dig bars of salt. These are to be loaded on mules that will carry them to the valley as has happened for centuries. In the afternoon we travel to a market on the day of the carpet auction, where the Berber women take the carpets that have beencarefully woven over the months. The woman will hand the carpet to a 'barker' who praises its characteristics to a small crowd of merchants coming from all over the country, and then the auction starts… We end the day with a drive to reach our hotel in the evening.
Overnight at the Continental Hotel or a local Riad (B)

Day 8 - The Salt Market (Sunday)
This morning we will stop in a village on market day to experience the colourful goods and the crowds. Expect a large quantity of rams and goats, local handicrafts, and the salt merchants who come to sell the bars that we saw quarried in the mountains. We leave the market begin our journey back to Marrakech, which we will reach between late afternoon and early evening. There are day use rooms available before a transfer to the airport.

Get in touch with Our Local Tour to book the Authentic Morocco Escorted Tour.

Departure Dates
11 February to 18 February 2024
31 March to 7 April 2024
5 May to 12 May 2024
4 August to 11 August 2024
13 October to 20 October 2024
4 November to 11 November 2024
29 December to 5 January 2025

Price - £1599 per person (based on two people sharing)
Single Supplement - £410

Please note: This tour requires a minimum of six people to operate. We may be able to run at lower nuumbers for an additional supplement.

Included in the Authentic Morocco Escorted Tour

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Transportation with deluxe vehicle A/C with driver for the whole tour
  • All accommodation as shown or of a similar quality
  • Daily breakfast (B), plus lunch (L) and dinner (D) as shown in the itinerary
  • Services of a local expert English speaking guide
  • Exclusive authentic experience visiting the local weavers and salt miners

Not Included in the Authentic Morocco Escorted Tour

  • International travel to the start and end point - contact us for information and flight options
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any visa requirements
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips for driver and guide
Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice. Please refer to the COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. 

Visa and Passport Information

Visas

British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Morocco for the purpose of tourism for up to 3 months. When entering the country, make sure your passport is stamped. Some tourists have experienced difficulties leaving the country because their passport bears no entry stamp.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay in Morocco. However, the Moroccan Consulate General in London advise that your passport should be valid for at least 3 months on your date of entry to Morocco. If your passport does not meet this requirement you may face difficulties and you should check with the Moroccan authorities and your travel provider before travelling. Before travelling, make sure your passport isn’t damaged. Some travellers have been refused entry when travelling on damaged passports.  

Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

Vaccinations

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. 

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Our Local tour that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities.

Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. 

What to bring on your escorted tour of Morocco.

Clothing

Lightweight clothing is essential however a warmer jumper is advisable for cooler evenings in the mountains  A light rain coat is advisable. There is a laundry available in most hotels.

Footwear

Lightweight comfortable shoes/trainers and sandals. Waterproof footware is recommended.

Luggage while on your tour

Please allow yourself one main piece of luggage and a day-sack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage, so don't overload yourself, a soft wheely bag may be easier to manage than a suit case.

Equipment

We recommend a sunhat, sunscreen, a torch, insect repellent and a waterbottle. A solar charger for your phone and other electronics is a good idea. 

 

Banking and Currency

Currency

Moroccan Dirham (MAD; symbol Dh) = 100 centimes. Notes are in denominations of Dh200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of Dh10, 5 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes.

Banking

Mon-Thurs 0830-1230 and 1500-1830, Fri 0830-1200 and 1500-1830.

Most major credit cards are accepted in larger restaurants, hotels, guest houses and the occasional shop in the souks, with Visa and MasterCard being accepted most widely.

Cash can be withdrawn from ATMs in larger towns, although service in smaller towns can be erratic. Most major hotels now have more reliable ATMs.

Traveller's cheques are accepted in some areas but are not advised, as the exchange can be problematic and it can be difficult to find a bank able to cash them, although some of the main tourist hotels offer this facility.

Travel, Transport and Getting Around

The high-speed toll roads connecting Tangier, Rabat, Casablanca, Meknes, Fes, Marrakech and El Jadida are of excellent quality. Coastal communities and most large towns are also well served by good roads. In the interior, south of the High Atlas Mountains, road travel becomes much more difficult, especially across the Atlas Mountains in winter. International and local car hire companies have offices in major towns, cities and airports. Car hire is generally expensive, and prices vary with the season. The minimum age for driving a hired car is 18, although many hire companies will require drivers to be 21 or over.

Metered petit taxis are available in major towns. Taxi drivers are not usually tipped, although it is common to round fares up at least to the next dirham on short trips. Larger, grand taxis are usually Mercedes cars, used for travel outside medinas and to areas outside towns. These can be shared, but fares should be agreed before departure as they don't have meters.

Bike hire is available in most major towns - although attempting to cycle through city traffic is inadvisable. For those travelling longer distances, bikes can be transported on trains and buses.

Making use of the extensive bus network is the cheapest and most popular way to get around Morocco. Buses serve most communities, and private operators compete for custom on the more popular routes. The major bus companies are Compagnie de Transports Marocains, Trans Ghazala, and ONCF. There are extensive bus services in Casablanca and other main towns. Pre-purchase tickets are sold.

Traffic drives on the right in Morocco and the wearing of seatbelts is compulsory. The speed limit is 40kph (25mph) in cities and built up areas, rising to 80km (50mph) on more major roads, up to 120km (75mph) on motorways. No alcohol at all is allowed in the bloodstream when driving.

Foreign driving licences are accepted, as well as International Driving Permits. Third Party insurance is required. Insurance documentation and a licence must be carried with you at all times. Insurance can be arranged locally.

The Moroccan rail system, run by Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF) provides regular services. The network runs from Oujda in the northeast to Casablanca on the west coast, Tangier on the north coast and Fes and Marrakech in the interior. However, only a small part of the country is served, and even large centres such as Agadir and Essaouira are not covered.

Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Water sources outside main cities and towns may be contaminated and sterilisation is advisable. Bottled water is the best bet and is available everywhere. Milk is unpasteurised, so boil before drinking. Meat and fish should be freshly cooked and served hot. Vegetables are typically served cooked. If eating fruit, try to stick to fruit that can be peeled before eating. Most produce is grown organically, without chemical pesticides or fertilisers but it’s highly likely to have been washed in unsterilized water.

Fusion isn't a new trend in Morocco, where the cuisine is a blend of Mediterranean, Arabic, Jewish, Persian, West African and Berber influences. Meals range from the diffa, an elaborate multicourse feast featuring couscous and grilled meats, to quick brochettes (kebab) from a roadside stall. Produce is seasonal, grown locally and typically without chemical pesticides or fertilisers.

Tagines, the fragrant stews of meat, vegetables or fish, named after the distinctive conical earthenware vessel they’re cooked in are the Moroccans main staple. Flavours revolve around a subtle array of spices, and traditionally every spice shop would have its own secret ras el hanout spice blend recipe.

Restaurants range from buffet diners to high-end establishment serving gourmet fare. Many now offer à la carte menus and a three-course fixed-price menu is still common at dinner. Restaurants in cities and large resorts are cosmopolitan, offering a good selection of cuisines, including typical Moroccan fare, plus French, Italian, Spanish and fusion dishes.

The best way to experience the true flavour of Moroccan cuisine, however, is to sample the street food. Djemaa el Fna square in the centre of Marrakech sees an explosion of pop-up food stalls after dark, and most other cities have their own foodie quarters. Scrumptious local specialities such as almonds, olives and a rainbow array of spices can be found in souks across the country.

Laws on alcohol are fairly liberal (for non-Muslim visitors) and bars in most tourist areas stay open late. Wines, beers and spirits are available to tourists. Muslims are forbidden to drink alcohol. By law, no-one is allowed to drink alcohol in view of a mosque or during Ramadan, although tourist establishments sometimes flout this rule. Locally produced wines, beers and mineral waters are reasonably priced, but imported drinks tend to be expensive.

Tipping waiting staff is expected (if service is satisfactory), usually up to 5 dirams on small bills, and around 10% for larger bills.

Climate and Weather

Morocco’s climate is very diverse, varying with the season and region. In general the country has a tropical climate, with temperatures reaching as high as 35°C (95°F) and as low as 5°C (41°F) in the Sahara. The coast has a warm, Mediterranean climate tempered on the eastern coast by southwest trade winds whilst inland areas have a hotter, drier, continental climate. In the south of the country, the weather is very hot and dry throughout most of the year, though temperatures can drop dramatically at night, especially in the months of December and January.

Rain falls from November to March in coastal areas, and the country is mostly dry with high temperatures in summer and a cooler climate in the mountains. Marrakech and Agadir enjoy an average temperature of 21°C (70ºF) during the winter.

Owing to the relatively high winter temperatures, and summers that are dry rather than unbearably humid, Morocco is an all-year round destination. If you really want to avoid the heat, the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons of April to May, and September to November.

Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Lightweight cottons and linens are best worn during summer, with warm medium weight wear for the evenings, during the winter, and in the mountains. Waterproofing is advisable in the wet season, particularly on the coast and in the mountains. Both men and women should be careful to wear clothing that is cognisant of cultural sensitivities – long sleeves and low hems will be looked on favourably. Sunscreen, a sunhat and sunglasses are essential especially in summer.

Internet Availability

Access is unrestricted and is widely available in business centres, hotels and in internet cafés. A one month prepaid unlimited internet access card for laptops, iPhones and smartphones is available from Maroc Telecom (who also have the best national coverage).

Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets (outlets) in Morocco are one of the two European standard electrical socket types: The "Type C" Europlug and the "Type E" and "Type F" Schuko. If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all three types.

Electrical sockets (outlets) in the Kingdom of Morocco usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need.

But travel plug adapters do not change the voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 220-240 volts the socket is supplying. North American sockets supply electricity at between 110 and 120 volts, far lower than in most of the rest of the world. Consequently, North American appliances are generally built for 110-120 volts.

Ready to book or need more information?

Then get in touch with our expert travel consultants now. We can help you with tailormade options, best times to travel and much more...

TOP