Moroccan Caravan Tours
11 Day South & Desert Tour
Dates: Departs according to your party's dates>
Designed by Addi Ouadderrou, a native of Morocco
Join us in getting to the heart of Morocco through an exploration of its arts and culture. Morocco is a complex and diverse country that has the Mediterranean Ocean to its north, the Atlas mountain ranges in its center, the Atlantic Ocean to its west, and the vast open Sahara to its south. It has long been the crossroads between Europe, the Middle East, and West Africa, and its geographic diversity is matched by its cultural diversity. Berbers, Romans, Arabs, Jews, West Africans, and Europeans have all influenced the arts and culture of Morocco. This tour allows the participants to explore historical interactions between these different groups in order to understand how they have all contributed to the artistic identity of contemporary Morocco. This tour provides participants with the unique opportunity to meet with locals, visit the historical, cultural, and artistic centers of Morocco. Medieval Islamic arts can be found in the city of Fes. Time spent in the Saharan region of southeastern Morocco introduces participants to Berber nomadic arts, including carpet making and the way of living. Participants take camel rides across the desert, visit the nomads and experience a sleep in the Sahara desert under the stars. A visit to the southwestern city of Marrakech allows participants to explore museums and galleries of Moroccan art and see artists actually making art. You will also be treated to musical and dance performances along the way.
My name is Addi Ouadderrou, I was born and raised in an Amazigh (Berber) village in southeastern Morocco. I am proud of my Amazigh (Berber) heritage. My native language is Tamazight (Berber) and I am fluent in Arabic, French, Spanish and English. I have extensive experience leading tours in Morocco and I am willing to share with you my personal experiences and valuable cultural insights that only a Moroccan native can have.
Day 1: Departure Flight from the USA to Marrakech, Morocco. Dinner and breakfast are served on board
Day 2: Marrakech
Upon arrival, you will be assisted and transferred to your hotel by a private air-conditioned coach. You will check in at a four star hotel, get some rest and have lunch. Aternoon visit to the dynamic square of Jamaa El Fna and the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque with its magnificent minaret that is a classic example of Moroccan-Andalusian architecture. dinner at a Moroccan restaurant with a beautiful view overlooking the square. Overnight at the hotel. (L,D)
Day 3: Marrakech-Ouarzazate
After Breakfast, go on a visit to the brilliant Majorelle gardens, a complex later maintained by the French designer Yves Saint Laurent. The gardens were originally owned by Jacques Majorelle, an Orientalist painter. We will also visit The mellah or the Jewish section, the Saadian Princes tombs. The tour continues to see the delicate beauty of the 19th century Bahia palace, beautifully decorated with carved cedar wood, marble, and mosaics. After lunch at a Moroccan restaurant, leave for Ouarzazate crossing the picturesque High Atlas Mountains through a pass called Tizi N’Tichka, meaning “Pass of the Pastures,”that links Marrakech with the Saharan regions of Morocco. This area was once home to the powerful Amazigh (Berber) Glaoua, a family that governed central Morocco during the time of the French protectorate. This area is famous for its many kasbahs, or fortifications. Upon arrival, check-in at your scenic hotel surrounded by palm trees. Dinner and overnight. (B L D)
Day 4: Ouarzazate-Tansikht-Rissani
Today you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the Draa Valley. A beautiful scenic region inhabited by the Mezguita Berbers and the Draoua people who together live and conduct their daily life activities in the many Ksours or mud brick villages built in the center of magnificent palm tree groves and surrounded by rolling mountains. Picnic lunch overlooking the valley.
After crossing the Draa River, you will notice the changes in landscape as it starts to become flat and sandy. Keep on the lookout for camels crossing the road! After a drive through numerous Berber villages, we reach the vast Oasis of Tafilalet and the Saharan town of Rissani. Upon arrival, check-in at a charming family owned hotel for dinner and overnight. (B L D)
Day 5: Rissani-Desert
Today is the day for adventure. We will tour the Tafilalet oasis and be treated to a panoramic view of its thousands of date palm trees and hundreds of villages locally called kasabat and ksour. A visit to the small, desert town of Rissani, the gate of the Sahara, allows us to view its beautiful medieval architecture, and the ruins of Sijilmasa. Sijilmasa was once a stopping point for caravans crossing the Sahara, and the massiveness of its ruins are testament to the important role it once played in the history of North Africa. During a visit to the souk or market you will have a chance to enjoy the contrast of the colors, the sounds and the smells of the market. We will also have an opportunity to discuss Moroccan spices and herbs during a visit to a healer.
After lunch in Rissani, leave the oasis for an adventurous journey across the vast open desert. You will have an opportunity to see Berber nomads who still live in their Berber tents. You will surely be invited to share some mint tea with them and that is simply part of the Moroccan warm hospitality. You will spend your first desert night at the foot of the golden sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. (B L D)
Day 6: Sahara Desert
Today we will depart for an all day excursion by camels going further into the desert with its unique Saharan settings and mirages. At some point, we will stop to have lunch with an Amazigh “Berber”nomadic family in their tent.
You will appreciate the opportunity! after lunch, continue the wonderful ride up and down into the dazzling sand dunes. By sunset you will arrive to an oasis where you spend the night, the sunset must not be missed in this area! After dinner, you can either sleep in the Berber nomadic tents or under the wide open sky to watch and enjoy the stars and also take advantage the romantic tranquility of the desert. (B L D)
Day 7: Sahara Desert
After you have enjoyed the sunrise and had breakfast, pack your belongings and get your camel started to continue your desert adventure across the vast and magnificent sand dunes. The ride is full of unforgettable breath taking scenes. By lunch time we reach a Berber mud brick village with an oasis that is irrigated by the water coming out of the giant sand dunes through a traditional system of irrigation called Khettara, an under ground water canal in the form of connected wells that eventually brings water to the surface. A family cooked lunch will be awaiting you. You will enjoy walking around the village, exploring the Berber lifestyle.
Today, You will spend a marvelous evening under the stars, eating an authentic lamb dinner slow cooked in a clay oven. This delicious dinner will be accompanied by sounds of Berber music - - good for digestion! When the party gets going, you can join by drumming and dancing along with the Berbers. We will spend the night at a quaint mudbrick hotel in the Sahara. (B L D)
Day 8: Sahara Desert
Today, enjoy your breakfast and take advantage of the opportunity to absorb the beauty and the calm of the Sahara. Relax and or take a memorable walk on the golden/pink sand dunes. These memories are guaranteed to be engraved in your minds for ever! Lunch and dinner are included.
Day 9: Ouarzazate
Today we leave by 4X4 Land-Rovers to take a road typically referred to as the road of 1000 kasbahs to arrive at Ouarzazate where we will spend the night. During this ride you will see many villages and kasbahs. We will stop and have lunch at the Todra Gorge, a massive canyon that we reach after passing through palm tree groves and Berber villages. Once again, keep on the lookout for camels crossing the road!
Upon arrival we check in at our charming hotel for dinner and overnight. (B L D)
Day 10: Marrakech
We leave Ouarzazate, crossing the picturesque High Atlas Mountains for Marrakech. We will make a detour into the High Atlas Mountains and follow a road that once served as a major caravan route to Mali, the evidence of which you will see in the local people and the unique architecture. After lunch at the famous kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, we continue to Marrakech, passing numerous Berber villages that dot the mountain ranges. You will have a chance to see hardworking Berber women carrying big loads on their backs.
Upon arrival, check-in at your four star hotel for Lunch & overnight. Free afternoon (B, L, D)
The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or wonder around and catch up with your shopping. You will be treated to an Arabian Night style evening of entertainment that includes a fantasia horse show dinner, belly dancers, and many other Moroccan folkloric music and dance groups. (B D)
Day 11: Come back home
Breakfast and transfer to Marrakech’s International Airport with luggage assistance to catch your flight to come back home.
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