You are welcome to arrive in Marrakech at any time, as today is a designated arrival day with no planned activities. Please note that there will be an important welcome meeting this evening at our joining hotel. Please check the hotel notice board for more information on the location of this meeting or ask at reception. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to this meeting, as you will be required to fill out some important pre-tour admininstation documents. After learning more about our tour and plans for the following day, you are welcome to join our leader and your travelling companions for an optional dinner in a nearby local restaurant. Overnight in Marrakech.
Heading out of Morocco, we make our way up into the Atlas Mountains, and the village of Ouirgane. As we wind our way up through the trees into the hills and beyond, the climate becomes noticeably fresher and the air clearer. The short drive from Marrakech gives an ideal introduction to the way of life in the mountains. We switch to a different form of transport to take in the mountain air. Take a ride by mule through orchards with backdrop of high mountain peaks. Along the way we can experience the traditional way of mining for salt here, and see the salt being carried on the backs of mules between each village. Overnight in Ouirgane.
Today we make our way through the Ouirgane Valley on foot. We follow mule tracks through the valley, passing through mountain villages and olive groves along the way. This is the ideal way to get to see the best of the Atlas and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the mountains, taking in this traditional way of life. Overnight in Ouirgane.
This morning we leave Ouirgane behind us and drive over to the city of Taroudant. The imposing ramparts of the city hove into view as you come through the Atlas, one of Morocco's most incredible road journeys. Taroudant occupies a lofty position between the Atlas and Anti-Atlas mountains. After a brief stop here to see some of the city, we continue onwards to Tafraoute, in the Anti-Atlas. A popular destination for the Berber during the summer months, and surrounded by almond trees, Tafraoute is well hidden inside the mountains. The cycling route from here takes us along paved roads, weaving through the mountain passes, with some good ascents and descents to get the adrenaline flowing. The pink-hued mountains and various palmeries form a spectacular backdrop to our cycle. Overnight in Tafraoute.
Continuing our journey through Morocco, its up along the coast from Tafraoute to the village of Sidi Kaouki. This relaxed Berber village is a world away from Morocco's bustling cities, and all the better for it. You may want to linger on the great beach here, but we have a date with our camels today. Hopping onto camel back, we take off for a ride along the beach. These ships of the desert are noble creatures who carry us along the sandy expanse of the beach, past the whitewashed walls of the villages to our camp, where we spend the night. Sleeping out under canvas or, if you prefer, under stars in this peaceful beach location is a great way to unwind after a day on camelback. Overnight beach camp.
A full day camel trek with picnic lunch. We will pass through remote villages and along plateaus dotted with argan trees. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way and take a nap in the shade to avoid the midday heat. We will continue down a small path to follow a river that will lead us to a beautiful beach, here we find our camp for the night and a welcoming mint tea. Overnight in communal tents or opt to sleep under the stars. Approximate travel time: 4.5hrs of camel riding
We rise early to make our last camel trek, of about 3hrs to reach the river of Tidzi. Here we say goodbye to our camel team and transfer by minibus to the port town of Essaouira. The rest of the day is free to explore this quaint town with it's small bustling medina full of crafts, art and music. The inviting surf along the beach will lure you in, opt to refine your skills on a surfboard, or maybe take on the locals in a game of beach volleyball. If you're feeling in need of rest, then unwind further and wander around the markets down by the port. Overnight in Essaouira
After breakfast the morning is free to enjoy Essaouria one last time, before we transfer back to Marrakech. Once in Marrakesh, a great place to start your explorations is Djemaa el Fna square, the heart of Marrakech, that changes its offerings throughout the day. In the morning you’ll wander past the fresh orange juice stalls, water sellers in colourful costumes with traditional leather water bags and brass cups, and snake charmers reminiscent of an era past. As the day progresses the snake charmers are replaced by Chleuh dancing-boys, story-tellers, magicians, and peddlers of traditional medicines. As the sun sets, the square fills with dozens of food-stalls, packed with locals and the entertaining chefs and waiters. Grab a spot on a bench with the other diners and try the Tanjia (slow cooked lamb), Harira soup, grilled seafood, famous Moroccan couscous, tajine, snails or even sheep’s head for the truly adventurous, and wash it all down with some spiced tea. To really get a taste of everyday life in Marrakech, head into the maze of tiny streets and alleyways of the ancient medina. Tourists and locals alike will find everything they desire in the souks, whether it’s spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or famous Moroccan lanterns, the selection here is exhaustive, and don’t forget to bargain, it's definitely part of the fun. Perhaps end the day like a local with an optional group dinner in the famous food stalls of Djemaa el Fna. Overnight in Marrakech. Approx travel time: Essaouira to Marrakech, 3hrs
You are free to depart at any time today. Please note that check-out time from the hotel is normally mid-morning, but luggage storage facilities are available. We are able to organise extra post-trip accommodation if you wish to extend your stay for a few more days. Please ask at the time of booking.