11 days from
Deserts and medinas, from Marrakesh to Essaouira
Slip on your babouches and make tracks for Morocco - land of spices, souks, surf, and the Sahara. This 11-day group tour takes you on an epic voyage through arid plains, soaring mountains, Berber villages, and windswept coasts. From haggling in the perfumed bazaars of Marrakesh’ medieval medina and riding camels through the dunes at sunset, to hiking through the High Atlas, dining under desert stars, and riding the Atlantic rollers at a boutique surf camp, North Africa’s top destination will give you the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 1: Arrive in Marrakesh
Salam alekum Morocco! Fly into the Red City and make your way to our starting hotel. Cool off in the hotel pool ahead of a welcome meeting this evening, where you'll find out about the adventure in store. Then head out for your first mouth-watering Moroccan meal of the trip.
Day 2: Tinghir & Todra Gorge
Head deep into the Atlas Mountains today, travelling past rocky hills, and terracotta-coloured villages, before arriving in the oasis town of Tinghir. Wander through the town's palm groves and terraces before we make our way into the rugged Todra Gorge for a jaw-dropping walk.
Day 3: Desert Life
Today's all about that desert life, starting with a steaming mint tea when we arrive at our traditional Kasbah hotel in Merzouga. Then head into the dunes on camel-back, reaching the perfect viewpoint in time for sunset, before a night of dinner, drums, and traditional music under the desert stars.
Day 4: Route of 1,000 Kasbahs
Get up with the sun today to travel the route of 1,000 Kasbahs to Ait Ben Haddou. Explore the historic village, marvelling at the red mud-brick buildings that seem frozen in time before joining an optional tagine cooking demo, or heading into the Sahara on an epic land cruiser expedition.
Day 5: High Atlas Hike
We're into the High Atlas today, heading into Toubkal National Park. Strap on the walking boots ready for the hike from Imlil to the charming village of Aroumd, where we'll spend the evening soaking up spectacular mountain views and eating a meal made from local produce in our cosy gîte.
Day 6: Back to Marrakesh
Hike back to Imlil before returning to the Red City. Lose yourself in the maze-like medina with its fragrant souks, watch the snake charmers and magicians on Djemaa el-Fna Square, and sip sugary mint tea, and watch the sky turn orange overhead as the minarets ring with the sunset call to prayer.
Day 7: Free Time Marrakesh
Today's yours to explore. Treat yourself to a hammam, pay a visit to the leafy Jardins Majorelle, wander the Musée de Marrakesh, or see the work of ancient Moroccan artisans in the Dar Si Said Museum. Tonight, pull up a bench in Djemaa al Fna with the other diners, and get stuck into a tajine.
Day 8: Taroudant & Taghazout
We're Atlas bound again today as we journey to Taroudant, a charming market town known for its artisan goods and majestic red ramparts. Practice your haggling in the souks, before continuing to the fishing village of Taghazout, where we're staying in an airy surf camp right by the beach.
Day 9: Surf Lesson
Wake to the sounds of the waves, before suiting up ready for a surf lesson with a qualified instructor. Spend your day riding the rollers, rent a paddleboard, or join an optional beachfront yoga class, before gathering for a beach bonfire on the sands as the sun kisses the sky goodnight.
Day 10: Essaouira
Head north to sun-soaked Essaouira, where we'll take a tour of the city's spice-perfumed lanes, and atmospheric port. This afternoon, explore the bohemian boutiques, relax with a hammam, or take advantage of the 'Wind City of Africa's' natural assets with a windsurfing or kiteboarding lesson.
Day 11: Farewell Morocco
All roads lead back to Marrakesh, where we'll arrive around lunchtime, and say choukran Morocco before heading home.
Accommodation & Meals
You’ll stay in a selection of accommodation that has been chosen for their authenticity and location on this trip. You’ll spend 7 nights in comfy hotels, 1 night in a mountain gîte, and 2 nights in a cool surf house right by the beach.
Lots of our travellers are solo travellers, so when you book with us, we’ll pair you up with a like-minded roommate of the same sex. Our trips are great for couples or friends as well - just let us know you’re together, so we can be sure to put you in the same room.
- Marrakesh (3 nights): Small, centrally located hotel in the Gueliz area, with restaurant, and outdoor pool (twin-share rooms).
- Todra Gorge (1 night): Rustic hotel just steps from Toubkal National Park, with terrace with views of the mountains, and restaurant (twin-share rooms).
- Merzouga (1 night): Traditional Kasbah with a beautiful courtyard, outdoor pool, restaurant, and views over the Sahara Desert (twin-share rooms).
- Aït Ben Haddou (1 night): Family run, Berber hostel at the foot of the dunes of Erg Chebbi, with terracotta-coloured walls, outdoor pool, shared lounge, terrace, and restaurant serving African cuisine (twin-share rooms with en suite and Wi-Fi).
- Aroumd (1 night): Cosy, mountain gîte with incredible views (multi-share, dorm style rooms with shared bathrooms).
- Tag Hazout (2 nights): Newly built surf and yoga camp, just a short walk from the beaches of Taghazout. Panoramic roof terrace with ocean views, airy, Moroccan inspired bedrooms, and traditional tiled bathrooms (twin-share rooms).
- Essaouira (1 night): Traditional riad-style hotel overlooking the medina with a sunny terrace, living room, and restaurant (twin-share rooms).
The above information is only intended to be used as a guide, giving you a flavour of some of our accommodation providers, and the style of accommodation you may be staying in. Please note that all nights are subject to change.
10 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners are included on this trip. You’ll have the freedom to eat wherever and whenever you like the rest of the time. Let us know in advance if you’ve got any dietary requirements. Moroccan cuisine is justly world famous, from tagine and couscous to brochette, and harira, foodies will be in heaven.
Real Travelling reviews & media
Sharlene G review
The Real Travelling team have been absolutely fantastic in helping me get my trip booked - from assuaging fears about being a solo traveller to finding the best deals for me, the team have been...Read more.
Easy to do
Agne S review
Good prices, easy to book, helpful advisors.
Alycia R review
The booking process was incredibly smooth. Everything was so clear on the screen. I knew what all of my booking options were without having to search for them. I knew exactly how much my trip will...Read more.
Millie F review
Katie L review
Excellent fast service
Jake H review
Easy to book but needs to be clear that passport details will be needed as I’ve booked but still waiting for passport to arrive so can’t enter details for a while
Dates & Prices
To get a flight quote use the buttons below or call our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037.
Most expensive: £254 December, 2023
This tour begins and ends in Marrakesh. Arrive into Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK) at any time on day 1. No activities have been planned for your arrival day however there is a welcome meeting held at the starting accommodation usually between 5pm and 7pm. Airport transfers are not included so you will need to make your own way to our starting hotel. It’s a short taxi journey of around 20 minutes.
The tour ends on day 11, on arrival back in Marrakesh (around 12pm). We would recommend that you don’t book any return flights before at least 4pm to allow for potential delays.
This trip is the perfect blend of affordability, adventure and authenticity. Designed for intrepid travellers aged 18 - 39, it's a wallet-friendly experience where you'll mix with the locals, travel on local transport, and stay in rustic accommodation in the style of the region. As well as included activities, there are lots of optional add-ons, so you can tailor the trip to your budget and preferences while immersing yourself in each captivating locale.
The maximum group size is 18.
Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time, followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively, and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day.