8 Days Morocco Expedition Tour from Casablanca

Cultural Tour
FromUSD$2,577

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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.
    • 8 Days
    • Suitable for ages 6+
    • Morocco

    During this 8 Day Tour of Morocco you will understand what makes Morocco so cosmopolitan, yet to old-worldly, and so traditional, yet so forward-looking. You will understand the different cultures that have shaped Morocco, right from the Berber tribes and the Arab rulers to more recently the French and Spanish settlements. One of the only few countries in the world where you can witness a desert at one end and coast at the other, and grand palaces in some cities and extremely small alleys in some others. Let’s undertake the perfect Moroccan travel experience!

    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.

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    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 1Arrival – Transfer to Marrakech

    Arrival Casablanca followed by transfer direct to Marrakech via toll motorway (2.5 hours). lunch for the journey included. Evening walk through Marrakech´s exciting souk including the Jemaa El Fnaa square, a living theatre with snake charmers, acrobats, storytellers, astrologists and more. Our hotel is a Riad in the heart of the medina with great shopping and sightseeing right out the door. Lunch and dinner provided today
     
     

    Day 2Marrakech - Telouet & Ait Ben Haddou

    After breakfast, we transfer by private Toyota Land Cruiser or Deluxe Van(s) over the high Atlas Mountain pass of Tizi-N-Tichka. This fascinating national road offers us breathtaking views in all directions. Our first destination is the valley of Telouet where we offer our services to a small development project in this impoverished mountain region. We’ll also have a look at the remains of a former Kasbah (fortress) that controlled the caravan trade routes for many years. We then carry on towards the Sahara Desert to AitBenhadou (famous for Hollywood films such as Gladiator, The Mummy, Kingdom of Heaven and Lawrence of Arabia. We spend the night here in a comfortable tourist class hotel that has a small pool and a great terrace overlooking the Hamada (stone desert of the Sahara). Perhaps we get involved in some local drumming this evening with our hosts! Travel time approximately 4 hours in total. All meals included today.

    Day 3Ait Ben Haddou - Ouarzazate - Todra Gorge

    This morning after exploring the famous Kasbah and film locations of AitBenhadou, we set off for Todra Gorge – a vast canyon of the Atlas Mountains. Before Todra, we’ll have a stop at Skoura in the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs for a light trek through the date palm oasis to observe the strange sand castle-like homes. Soon after we reach our hotel in the canyon and spend some time exploring on foot and if time permits, we can rock climb with your guides and get involved in some creative challenges and games. Travel time approximately 3 hours in total. All meals included today.

    Day 4Todra Gorges - Fossils Area - The Saharan Dunes

    Today we head for the great Sahara dunes of Erg Chebbi – Morocco’s most authentic location. Before leaving however we take part in a few adventure challenges in the canyon and a short trek through an amazing oasis plantation, perhaps visiting a Berber home for mint tea. Carrying on to the dunes, we arrive late afternoon to find our camels waiting to take us (2 hours approximately) to a unique Bedouin-style desert camp where we sleep in comfortable tents under the stars. Time permitting, we can explore the high dunes and climb, jump, roll, etc. to our heart’s content! Tonight, we enjoy Sahara Berber drumming and perhaps a fire to keep us warm – unless you prefer to dance! This experience is a highlight of any visit to Morocco. Travel time approximately 4.5 hours in total. All meals included today.

    Day 5Merzouga Desert - Anti Atlas - Draa Valley - Ouarzazate

    This morning we make a pilgrimage up the high dune to catch the sunrise over the desert – A moment that lasts a lifetime… After breakfast, our camels guide us back to civilization and we transfer via the southern desert road with spectacular scenery to the bustling market town of Ouarzazate. Here we tour a film studio and have some time for shopping and exploring the markets. Ouarzazate was an important center on the camel caravan between Tomboktu and Marrakech, it still has an exciting frontier feel about it. Tonight, we stay in Ouarzazate in a comfortable hotel with a small pool. Travel time approximately 6 hours in total. All meals included today.

     

    Day 6Ouarzazate To/ Atlas Mountains

    Today we leave early to return over the high Atlas and onto Asni, a small agricultural region on the foothills of the Atlas. Here we get involved in on-going community projects that assist the region. We will interact with children in education, games, and sport as well as helping with some light infrastructure work and perhaps even an agriculture project. Part of this experience will be a light guided trek through the villages to gain an idea of what Berber life is like here. Accommodation is in the Association building (Berber style), where large simple rooms are provided with mattresses on the floor. The building used another international school, is simple but clean and safe for our purposes. All meals are provided by the Association volunteers and our group can offer a hand with all preparations. This is a very rewarding experience and an opportunity to both learn how NGO volunteer projects work, and to give back. Travel time approximately 5 hours in total. All meals included today.

    Day 7High Atlas - Marrakech to Casablanca

    All-day tour in Marrakech then go to Casablanca in the afternoon

    Today we return to Casablanca and have an afternoon of relaxation, last-minute souvenir shopping, optional sightseeing and if the weather cooperates, a bit time on the beautiful Atlantic beach Casablanca is known for! November can be a chilly time in the ocean but it’s a great location for relaxing after the adventure. Tonight, we stay in a comfortable hotel near the city center. Travel time approximately 3.5 hours in total. All meals included today.

    Day 8Return Flight Casablanca Airport

    Short tour in Casablanca to explore the main highlights then transfer to Airport for your return flight.
     
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