10 Days Mystique & Marching tour from Casablanca

Cultural Tour
FromUSD$3,215

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    This tour is provided by

    Destination Morocco

    Destination Morocco is one of the premier tours and travel companies specializing in Moroccan tour packages. Right from 3-day mini tours to extensive 15-day vacations, we have designed packages that will suit both your time frame and budget, and let you enjoy this mystical land of Atlas Mountains, the magnificent Sahara, and lovely ocean beaches and oasis.
    • 10 Days
    • Suitable for ages 6+
    • Morocco

    Travel on the Road of One Thousand Fortresses and explore a multitude of Kasbahs, check out the Roman ruins of Volubilis and venture into its surroundings experience luxury dessert camping, and sleep under the pitch dark sky sprinkled with shimmering stars. Take a camel ride and enjoy the sand dunes in the Sahara Desert.

    Explore the medinas and alleys of some of the most famous Moroccan cities like Marrakech and Fes. Visit the countryside in the exciting 4X4, Visit Morocco, and find true enchantment!

    Departure & Return Location

    • Casablanca

    Price Includes

    • Camel trek (one camel per guest)
    • New air-conditioned vehicle 4WD or Minivan/Mini Bus
    • Entrance Fees
    • Meals as per itinerary
    • Overnight in Desert Luxury Camp
    • Pick-up and Drop Off Service
    • Professional driver/Tour guide during the tour
    • Local Guide Fees

    Price Excludes

    • Flights
    • Lunches and drinks
    • Personal expenses
    Travel Tips
    Things You Must Know Before Visiting Morocco

    More and more people are visiting Morocco every year. It’s a beautiful country. If you plan on going, here are a few pointers to help you prepare for your trip.

    1. Dress Appropriately

    Overall, guys can dress however they like, but women need to dress more conservatively. Although you see many tourists wearing whatever they want, we chose to cover up as much as possible to avoid unwanted attention. Even if you’re traveling with a group of guys, you may still get harassed. Some of the girls in our group got groped on multiple occasions even though we were paired off with a male buddy. It was mostly really old men, and it happened more often in crowded places. When visiting mosques, you need to cover down to your wrists and ankles. For the ladies out there, it really helps to have a shawl/scarf handy in case you need it.

    1. Currency and Cost

    More established shops will take credit cards, but most smaller markets, street vendors, and cabs will not. Be ready with the local currency. The Moroccan Dirham (DEER-HAM) goes for roughly 9.20 Dirhams (DH) per 1 USD or 10 per 1 euro. We thought things would be cheaper in Morocco, but because of how touristy the country has become, the prices were comparable to Europe. Our tour guide recommended each person exchange 100 euros per day.

    1. ATMs.

    Exchange enough money when have a chance. ATMs can run out of money especially during a holiday or on the weekend also keep in mind some machines will let you withdraw up to $400.00 a day. There are many exchange offices especially in the big cities, your tour guide will help you get the best exchange rates. Also, traveler’s checks are pretty much useless in Morocco. It’s hard to find a place to cash them.

    1. Keep Correct Change with You

    Moroccan cab drivers rarely “have change” when you need it. To avoid overpaying, keep your coins. Most of our cab rides within the city were roughly 30 Dirhams, be careful when the cab driver says I will charge you a flat fee (it’s illegal), once you’re inside the cab look at the meter it should read something like 2.3 DRS during the day and 3.2 DRS during the night, roughly a 10 minutes cab ride should cost you around $8.00, do the best you can to have small change with you (coins).

    1. Tipping

    Have some change ready for tips. A good general rule of thumb is 3 to 5 DH at a local place and 5 to 10 DH at nicer places (coffee shops), when you dine at a restaurant a 10% tips is greatly appreciated. For your driver and guide 15 to 20% is greatly appreciated.

    1. Be Wary of Local Guides.

    It’s definitely great to hire a local guide to help you get an inside perspective on the country and navigate through the maze of the medinas (old towns) but be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. The local guides have built relationships with many different stores, and they are most likely getting a cut of the sales. Don’t be fooled when they say they are trying to help you haggle to get the best price. I always offer them a 70% off the asking price, we start negotiating until we meet somewhere in the middle, put your poker face on. For this reason, our guides and drivers will stay with you from the beginning to the end of the tour to avoid such miss-step.

    1. Stay Away from Strangers Offering Free Tours or Directions.

    Even if you don’t hire a local guide, there will be a lot of locals offering you tours while you’re walking around the markets and medinas. If you go with one of them you may end up completely lost and pressed to spend money. Most of the time they will ask for a tip afterward too. This is the same as asking for directions. A lot of them will offer to walk you to where you’re going but then ask for a tip. If you’re so inclined, always have money to pay them off or just plan ahead and ask your hotel or pull up some maps when you have WIFI. And this is the reason why we have well-trained staff professional chauffeurs and nationally certified guides that offer you protection to your experience.

    1. Fridays are Holy Days and Prepare for Holidays

    Keep in mind that it is a Muslim country, so pay attention to their holidays otherwise you might be there when everything is closed. Also, most shops and attractions are closed during the mid-day prayer then everything is back to normal after that. During Ramadan most food places will be closed until late afternoon, however, you can still find some places where you can eat, the restaurant at the hotels, and Riads are always open. If you arrive in Morocco on Eid al-Adha, where they slaughter and sacrifice helps. Shops restaurants will be closed for at least 4 to 6 days and banks will be close for at least 2 days.

    1. Careful What Water You Use

    To stay on the safe side, drink bottled water and even use it to brush your teeth. the water bottle is really useful when you’re in Morocco.

    1. Pack Some Immodium

    Because the food, the meat, and the vegetables are all organic and they are not processed in most cases you will be fine but just to be in the safe case, bring some medication with you.

    1. Watch Your Pockets

    Most Moroccans are friendly and honest, but be careful about pickpockets in any major city especially in crowded places like the markets.

    1. What Language Do They Speak?

    Moroccans speak a mixture of Arabic, Berber, English, Spanish, and French. You’ll be fine with English in most of the larger cities, but you’ll probably need a translator in the rural parts of the country. Here are a few basic Arabic words that came in handy:

    • Hello(Peace Be With You): Salam Alikome (salaam a eleikum)
    • Thank You: Choukran (shokran)
    • No Thank You: La Choukran (la shokran). This one is useful when you have a bunch of street vendors hassling you to buy something.
    • Watch Out: Although you won’t use this yourself, you’ll most likely hear this in the medinas or souks (outdoor markets). It will be said by locals coming by with a mule, motorcycle, or cart and is a warning to move to the side.
    1. Visiting Mosques:

    If you’re hoping to visit Mosque in Morocco, you might be out of luck unless you’re Muslim. Most mosques are off-limits to non-Muslims, with the exception of the massive Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. They are still beautiful to take photos from outside though!

    1. Do I Need a Visa or Vaccines?

    Almost all English-speaking countries (except South Africa) do not require visas to enter the country. The CDC also doesn’t require any vaccines although many would recommend Hepatitis A and Typhoid shots. Find out more details from the CDC here.

    1. Ask Before Taking Photos (And You May Have to Pay).

    When you’re walking through the markets, be careful about taking photos of people and shops. Unless you are purchasing something, they may get angry at you and even demand money for the photos. When taking photos of the snake charmers, you need to pay 20 DH. Some may even hassle you for more, so it’s good to first establish a price before taking a photo.

    1. Souvenirs to Bring Home:

    Leather and carpets are well known in Fes. Fragrances, oils, and spices (like saffron) are famous in Morocco.  Your tour guide will have recommendations for each product you want to get as a souvenir.

                                         ****************************

    Overall, Morocco is a beautiful country, and you will be happy to experience it. As long as you’re completely aware of your surroundings, and you go in with the right mindset and expectations, you can have a wonderful experience.

    Itinerary

    Day 1Casablanca Arrival

    Land in Casablanca, and explore this city made famous by the 1940s Oscar-winning love story that goes by the same name!
     

    Day 2Casablanca to Marrakech

    Arrive in Marrakesh, also known by its French name Marrakech – the imperial city of Morocco. Explore the dense souks (marketplaces) in the evening.
     

    Day 3Exploring Marrakech

    Today, you will have the entire day to explore Marrakech. You can visit Djema El Fna, Ali Ben Youssef Medersa, Bahai Palace, the gardens of famous French architect Jardin Majorelle, and the famous Saadian Tombs. Don’t forget to eat the local cuisines around Djema El Fna. A lively, colourful city, Marrakesh is defined by its old medina and souqs, which lattice the centre and resound with the hum of craftsmanship and the tantalising aroma of exotic spices.

    At the heart of the medina is the Djemaa El Fna, an open space which comes alive at night with entertainers and soothsayers amid the food stalls. Over its turbulent history the city has fallen in and out of favour with the ruling sultans, but its function as a trading place has continued regardless. Rising above this activity are proud reminders of the city’s past in the towering minarets, ornate tombs and cavernous palaces. These are encircled by ochre ramparts, shaded beneath palms and framed by the distant backdrop of the Atlas Mountains. Marrakesh’s many gardens offer a haven of tranquillity in this busy city. The best known of these is the Majorelle Garden, where vibrant plants surround a striking cobalt-blue Art Deco pavilion.

    Day 4Marrakech to Kasbah ait ben haddou and Ouarzazate

    Visit Ouarzazate, Ouarzazate boasts a significant role in the history of the south of Morocco, lying as it does at the confluence of the three major southern oasis valleys – the Draa, the Dades and the Ouarzazate. Extensive fortifications built by successive sultans trying to dominate and control this traditionally subversive region have come and gone, the pisé walls washed away in sporadic rains. The only lasting impression has been left by the French, who made Ouarzazate their southern garrison town, and laid out a grid of streets and built modern buildings to line them.

    There are, however, a couple of well-preserved kasbahs in and around the town, and Ouarzazate is a great base for exploring the surrounding scenery: steep desert valleys filled with palms, leading into rocky desert plains. Close to Ouarzazate lies the spectacular ancient ksar town of Ait Ben Haddou, an extraordinary example of traditional clay-brick dwellings in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains.

    Day 5Ouarzazate to Dades Gorges

    Today we will head towards Dades Valley and Skoura lies astride the route from Ouarzazate to the Sahara and is a town typical of those in the Dades Valley. The modern town offers little to detain the visitor, but the palm plantations are criss-crossed by paths that run by old pisé walls, starting to crumble, up to kasbahs in equally ruinous condition. The whole effect is quite beautiful and if you are going to break your journey anywhere in the Dades Valley, Skoura is a good place to do so. The Dades Valley is the principal route between the desert and the ancient trading oasis of Tifilalt.

    The main High Atlas are to the north, but at Todra the valley descends to a dramatic gorge that cuts through the mountains. It’s one of Morocco’s greatest natural sights, completed by a gently burbling stream and a welcoming cafe to rest at. At its eastern end, the valley joins that of the Ziz River, where towering palms threaten to spill over the canyon edge into the valley hundreds of metres below.

    Day 6Dades Gorges – Todra Gorges – Merzouga desert

    Merzouga is the doorway to Erg Chebbi sand dunes. You can explore this desert region in a 4X4. It is also famous for desert birds, and at times flamingoes! Erg Chebbi is the most accessible dunes of the Sahara in Morocco. The best times to see them are at sunrise and sunset, when the changing light subtly alters their color with each passing second, from butter yellow to gold, ochre, and honey. A night camping in the desert is a special experience; the deep tranquillity seemingly a million miles away from Morocco’s hectic cities, and the perfect, clear night skies displaying a vast curtain of stars.

    Day 7Merzouga to Fes

    Fes is an important city, situated at the crossroads of other important towns like Tangier, Marrakech, and Rabat! There’s a lot to do, and during your first day here you can explore the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss II, and the Royal Palace of the King of Morocco.

    Day 8Exploring Fes

    On your second day, you can take a walk to the city’s fortified entrance, explore the famous tanning industry of Fes, and visit the renowned medinas that make Fes the best destination in Morocco. Despite the modernization, what will enchant you is the old-world architecture that still prevails in different parts of the city. There are wonderfully designed mosques such as MedersaBouInania and Medersa el-Attarine, that even though don’t open their door to non-Muslims, can be seen from outside. The complexly done tile work is an absolute artistic delight.

    The King’s Palace, Saadian Tombs, and Jewish quarters are other well-known places of interest that one can explore. The King’s Palace is open only to the members of the Royal family. Others can enjoy viewing it from outside. Another noteworthy thing is that the city is full of fountains, just like important kingdom cities used to be way back in time. And given that it is still traditional, both men and women should cover themselves well when they are exploring the city. Contrary to what the world believes, the world’s oldest university is not anywhere else but at Fes. The University of Al-Qarawiyyin is supposed to have been established in 859 AD

    Day 9 Day trip to Meknes and Volubilis

    Visit the Roman Ruins of Volubilis and the Historic Capitol of Meknes. Only a short distance west of Fes, the fortunes of the small market town of Meknes took a dramatic turn when Sultan Moulay Ismail assumed power in the 17th century and chose it for his royal court. Huge palaces, harems, and miles of walls pierced with arched gates were constructed. After his death, the city’s influence seeped away, and earthquakes and rain reduced his massive works to subsiding mud-bricks: only the monumental gates hint at its former glory. A different period of history awaits at nearby Volubilis, one of the Roman Empire’s key Moroccan settlements. Among the remains of buildings and streets, the colorful and vivid mosaic floors are the real highlights.

    Day 10Return Flight

    Return home with fond memories.
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