Try something a little different for Christmas this year. Just a few hours travel from Europe, Morocco is a culture and many worlds away and a perfect setting for a Xmas adventure holiday! On this hotel based tour you’ll experience the Gorge du Dades, Todra Gorge with it's 300 m high gorge walls, camel trekking and overnight in a Berber camp in the Sahara, a visit to Ait Benhaddou's famous Kasbah and a tour of Marrakesh. All this topped off with some beach time to the Atlantic coast as well!
Day 1: Marrakesh. Welcome to Morocco! You arrive in Marrakesh and, after a short transfer from the airport, spend the first night in a hotel in the center of town and meet your fellow travelers at a pre-departure meeting at 6:00 pm. Overnight - Marrakesh.
Day 2: Gorge du dades. Leaving Marrakesh, we drive through the striking Dades Valley, which extends from the High Atlas to the Jebel Sarhro range in the south, to reach the Gorge Du Dades. With towering red cliffs, winding streams and ancient Kasbahs, the Gorge Du Dades is incredibly beautiful and a fitting start to your adventure. Overnight - Gorge du Dades.
Day 3: Todra Gorge. Explore the magnificent Todra Gorge. This dusty red canyon is just 10 m wide at its narrowest point, with its cliff walls towering 300 m above and a small glacier stream flowing through it. Enjoy a trek through the gorge, or for the more adventurous, try rock climbing! Overnight - Todra Gorge.
Day 4: Berber Camp. Today we drive to Erg Chebbi where sand dunes signify the start of the mighty Sahara Desert. Leaving our vehicle we take a camel trek into the vast and silent Sahara desert to a Berber camp. This evening we are enjoy local food in the camp and spend an amazing night, sleeping out, under the Saharan stars! Overnight - Berber camp.
Day 5: Ouarzazate. We leave the Sahara Desert and continue the adventure through the Draa Valley along the route of 1000 Kasbahs, a beautiful landscape. We continue on to Ouarzazate, which African traders once used on their journeys up to Europe. Its appeal is best conveyed by the fact that it has been used as a film set so many times - Alexander the Great, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Living Daylights. Overnight – Ouarzazate.
Day 6: Aït Benhaddou. On a hill along the Ouarzazate River we find Aït Benhaddou, a "fortified city", situated along the former caravan route between the Sahara Desert and Marrakesh. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it boasts great examples of kasbahs some of which remain inhabited. This site too has been the setting for many films including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. We then travel over the High Atlas mountains on our way to Marrakesh. Overnight – Marrakesh.
Day 7: Djemâa-el-fna. Enjoy a guided tour of Marrakesh this morning with free time in the afternoon to explore independently. Set within the rose-colored walls of the Medina, is a reality that is not that far removed from a film set – a tangle of winding streets that open onto verdant gardens and dark alleyways that lead to bustling souks. The focal point is the central square, the Djemâa-el- Fna, an extraordinary gathering and market place. Full of colour, spicy aromas and traders, it is best seen in the evening, when overflowing with food stalls, dancers, acrobats, fortune tellers, musicians and henna artists. Overnight – Marrakesh.
Days 8-9: Essaouira. This morning we take a leisurely drive to Essaouira; a colourful fishing town situated within 15th century Portuguese fortifications, where great beaches and surf beckon. Relax on the beach or alternatively explore the UNESCO-listed Medina with its various souks and woodcarving workshops. Any city gate leads to the Medina, so you’re unlikely to get lost.
The beach is in front of the Medina and there are plenty of cafés with terraces, both ideal for relaxing for a few hours. Blue doors and window frames abound as do the artists shops – buy a carpet or Thuya wood carving or sit on the beach sipping a mint tea as the sun sets, an antidote to the bustle of the Imperial cities. There is the opportunity to do some optional activities, such as quad biking, surfing, horse trekking and wind surfing or you can just simply sit on the beach and relax!
Day 10: Marrakesh. After a relaxing morning in Essaouira, we head back to Marrakech for the final night. We all go out for a group meal and celebrate the end of a successful tour!
Day 11: Marrakesh. Your Xmas adventure holiday finishes after breakfast.
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