Highlights of Morocco vacation

“Our best bargain 15 day, small group tour of Morocco, where the gamut of gorgeousness stretches from cities to Sahara, Atlas to Atlantic.”

Highlights

Casablanca | Rabat | Meknes | Fez | Merzouga | Sahara Desert | Todra Gorge | Telouet | Kasbah Ait Benhaddou | Trek in High Atlas mountains | Essaouira | Marrakech

Travel Team

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02 Feb 2020
US $1399
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08 Mar 2020
US $1479
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Our top tip:
Bring a pillow for long journeys and nights in the mountains and desert.
Trip type:
Small group max 16 people. Min. age 16.
Solos:
Solos welcome. Surcharge for single room.
Accomm:
10 nights in 3* hotels, 1 night in auberge, 2 nights in mountain gite & 1 night camping.
Included:
Flights, accommodation, all breakfasts, 4 dinners, transport, activities, tour leader, transfers.
Meals:
No shortage of lunch and dinner options in Morocco. Itís one big kitchen.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
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.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

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 womenís 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 center 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.

Climate

5 Reviews of Highlights of Morocco vacation

4 out of 5 stars
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4
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Reviewed on 06 Jan 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The visit to Kasbah Ait Benhaddou.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't underestimate how chilly the hotels can be - without any heating, the rooms get very cold during the evening.

The food can get very repetitive, especially for vegetarians - you might want to bring something to liven it up, like Marmite.

You will spend a lot of time on the minibus with some very long days traveling, so you may want to bring music, podcasts, books, etc.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Very difficult to tell.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Generally very enjoyable. We saw some fascinating historic sites, and some wonderful scenery. However, our guide tended to rush us from the sites rather too fast, and there was definitely too much hanging around in shops getting the heavy sell.

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Going off the beaten track. The amazing tour guide Jerry who is a credit to the tour operator

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


This was a moderately challenging trek but most of us found it very hard. Would be helpful if the tour operator gave a clue about what this description meant (eg being able to use a step machine at speed for several hours)

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I would use this tour operator again and recommend it

Reviewed on 02 Apr 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The camel ride into & out of the desert - not knowing whether I would survive the lurches down over the top of the dunes!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If you for eg need to follow a particular diet (I need to eat high fibre foods) to make sure to buy enough in the supermarket in Fes at the start of the vacation, as the items may not be available elsewhere until you reach Marakech.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I enjoyed it, but it wouldn't be top of the list.

Reviewed on 18 Nov 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The camel trek into the Sahara Desert

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be careful not to eat uncleaned fruits and vegetables.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 10 Jan 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Spending the evening and night in the desert. It was so peaceful and quiet.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Pack lots of layers. It gets colder than England in winter at night.

Instead of buying bottled water, use water purification tablets instead. We did and had no stomach bug issues.

Do leave the group and go do your own thing once in a while.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


In a lot of ways, yes. I spent new year day with the children at the local school (school is supported by the operator.)

I was glad not to see lots of tourist rubbish strewn about especially in the desert

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good! It would have been fantastic if we had some spare seats on the minibus!

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