Bring a pillow for long journeys and nights in the mountains and desert.
Small group max 16 people. Min. age 16.
Solos welcome. Surcharge for single room.
10 nights in 3* hotels, 1 night in auberge, 2 nights in mountain gite & 1 night camping.
Flights, accommodation, all breakfasts, 4 dinners, transport, activities, tour leader, transfers.
No shortage of lunch and dinner options in Morocco. It’s one big kitchen.
Small group vacation
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.
Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson
Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando
Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.
Responsible tourism: Highlights of Morocco vacation
Accommodation and Meals: We spend 10 nights in hotels, 1 night in an auberge, 2 nights in a mountain gite and 1 night camping. Our local operators generally prefer to select accommodation which is locally owned in order to support smaller businesses and their employees. This ensures that most income generated is reinvested into the area and the community. Where meals are supplied, seasonal, fresh food is used wherever possible. Most vegetables come from the region of Sous; meat is locally supplied by butchers and fruits can be found at markets or farms in the countryside. The main Moroccan dishes most people are familiar with are couscous, meat and vegetable tagines, fish chermoula and bocadillos, which are available from street stalls almost everywhere.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Local Craft and Culture: In Casablanca we visit the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world, before having lunch in Rabat and visiting the Roman site of Volubilis and Meknes. Our city guide in Fez walks us through different sections of the souk and the tanneries. Outside the medina we shall visit the Jewish District, the exterior of the Royal Palace and the potteries where famous mosaic tables are made from the grey clay of the Rif Mountains. Another cultural highlight is Marrakech, where clients are encouraged to haggle for souvenirs, take a ride in a traditional Caliche, or to visit the world renowned Marjorelle gardens. In the evening, the Djemma el Fna central square comes alive with musicians, snake charmers, traveling acrobats and food stalls. This is the perfect opportunity to interact with local people, purchase locally produced handicrafts and to support small street vendors by trying authentic food.
Campaigning for Change: In conjunction with Baraka Community Partnerships, we have sponsored the development of a small village called Tijhza for many years with a variety of projects. These include supplying a pipeline system and water tower to the village and a toilet block for the school. Thanks to our volunteer groups, Tijhza now also has electricity and an annual medical clinic, which has had a hugely positive effect on the welfare of the village. More recently, we have achieved our aim of building a Hammam to alleviate some of the hygiene issues in the area and to provide a sustainable source income for many inhabitants. Unfortunately, devastating storms struck in November 2014, leaving much of the village severely damaged. We were able to raise emergency funding to provide supplies and to re-build many of the homes affected.
Community: Passing through Berber villages up in the High Atlas Mountains, hiring local guides, staying in local gites and using markets and mule transport has a positive impact on the local economy. There are also opportunities for us to stop at women’s co-operatives in the south east of the Atlas and in the Essaouira region. These co-operatives help local women to be more independent and take care of their children- especially if they are in difficult family situations. Stops can also be made at a care centre for those with disabilities, which aims to teach handicrafts skills and sell souvenirs. Also as we stay in Tighza, which is remote and still recovering from damages, our presence is really appreciated. Many clients like to leave behind items such as reading and writing materials and winter clothes which are taken in and re-distributed by a local association.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
Reviews of Highlights of Morocco vacation
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 06 Jan 2015 by Harriet Truscott
We saw some fascinating historic sites, and some wonderful scenery.Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Apr 2014 by sharon kalsy
The most memorable part of this vacation was going off the beaten track. The amazing tour guide Jerry who is a credit to the tour operatorRead full review
Reviewed on 02 Apr 2014 by Kathleen Culliton
The most memorable part of the vacation was the camel ride into & out of the desert - not knowing whether I would survive the lurches down over the top of the dunes!Read full review
Reviewed on 18 Nov 2013 by John Matson
Excellent...The camel trek into the Sahara Desert was the most memorable part.Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Jan 2013 by Joyce Radford
Very good! The best part was spending the evening and night in the desert. It was so peaceful and quiet.Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Jan 2009 by Stephanie Edwards
The silence was awesome and the views were never-ending. It was a privilege to witness a little of Berber village life and to learn about their community.
Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Nov 2008 by Joe Burns
Most memorable? Two things in particular, seeing the sunrise in the Sahara desert, and the night sky in the Atlas Mountains. Just such a wonderful experience!!Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Nov 2008 by Monique Linder
The trip was so varied and interesting that it is hard to identify any one thing... but i really enjoyed the Todra gorge walk, desert trip and Essaouira.Read full review
The group and the Atlas Mountains were the most memorable parts.Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Jan 2007 by Denise Wong
It's so engaging standing on sand dunes in the middle of nowhere in the desert and watch the sunrise. Camel trekking was also very interesting - the camels are so cute and the ride up and down and in between the dunes was quite an experience. Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Jan 2007 by Bela Hermanek
The most memorable part of the trip was the night in the Sahara desert. We slept under the stars, had ice on the sleeping bags but watched a glorious sunrise...Read full review
Reviewed on 19 Nov 2006 by Fiona McGrath
My trip was magnificent. I have seen and experienced so many amazing things. I recommend this to everyone who wants an adventure with the contrasts of the busy cities and the beautiful star filled peaceful Sahara desert. Read full review