Marrakech, Mountains & Coast

8 days
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£749
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4.7 / 5 from 17 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
AMG
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

A journey through the cities, mountains, to the coast of Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains provide a magnificent backdrop to the city of Marrakech where we explore the medina, museums and gardens as well as the colourful Djemaa el Fna.

Leisurely walks in the High Atlas Mountains offer the opportunity to visit Berber villages and gain an understanding into traditional life.

We complete the week in style in Essaouira, where we stay in a traditional riad enjoy local seafood by the long sandy beach.

Highlights

  • Colourful Marrakech
  • Walking in the beautiful Atlas Mountains
  • Relax on the coast in historical Essaouira
  • Premium departures available

Key information

5 nights riad in en suite rooms and 2 nights mountain gite with shared facilities

4 days sightseeing in Marrakech and Essaouira

Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs

Travel by private minibus

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners included
  • All accommodation
  • Free transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa's and Vaccinations
  • Single supplement

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Marrakech.

    Fly to Marrakech and transfer to our hotel.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Morning guided tour of Marrakech; visit Djemaa el Fna Square.

    We set off on foot for a guided tour of the ‘Pink City’ of Marrakech, to see the medina, the Bahia Palace, the 16th century Saadian Tombs and the Koutoubia Mosque. The afternoon is free to amble at your own pace, to visit one of the many gardens or wander through the busy souks. The city revolves around Djemaa el Fna, the main square. We meet here for dinner as dusk falls, when the square comes alive with acrobats, story tellers, snake charmers and an abundant array of food stalls.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Transfer to Tamatert, iovernight in mountain gite.

    Head into the heart of the High Atlas, to Tamatert, a village so remote we journey the last hour or so on foot to reach the mountain kasbah. After the hour and a half drive along windy roads from Marrakech, it’s a pleasure to take the well-defined path past walnut, apple and fig trees up to the Berber village, nestled in a peaceful valley near Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. Our family run riad offers, cosy rooms with open fire places and home cooked food, including vegtables grown in the garden.
    Mountain gite

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Daywalk to Tamatert Pass (2250m), rewarded with breathtaking views.

    Today we enjoy a full day's walk through the beautiful valleys of Ait Mizan and Ait Souka. Taking a slow ascent to the Tamatert col which offers rewarding and breathtaking views over this magnificent mountain range. We stop for delicious picnic lunch en route, enjoying some shade and the calm and peace of these beautiful mountains.
    Mountain gite

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Descend to Imlil on foot; transfer to Essaouira for a relaxed evening in a riad.

    Bidding a fond farewell to our hosts,we take the short walk to meet the bus in Imlil, a larger village easily reached by road from here we take our transfer to the Atlantic Coast. Arriving in time relaxed evening in the comfort of our beautiful riad in Essaouira. This settlement dates back to the 15th century, but the present town was constructed around 1760 by Sidi Mohammed ben Abdullah, who needed a base from which to suppress a revolt from Agadir. Today, Essaouira is extremely relaxed and its whitewashed houses with painted shutters, artisans' workshops, boatyards and fishermen provide a marked contrast to Marrakech.
    Standard Riad

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Guided tour in Essaouira; free afternoon.

    In the morning, our guide takes us on a short tour around this pleasant Portuguese fishing port. The afternoon is free to head off exploring this charming old town. There is time for some shopping in the old walled city, a relaxing walk (or camel ride) along the beach, a walk to the harbour and ramparts, or perhaps a boat trip. There are also many pleasant cafes and some outstanding seafood restaurants to sample before we return to our traditional riad.
    Standard Riad

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Free morning to further explore Essaouira; afternoon transfer to Marrakech; free evening to soak up the atmosphere around the main square. evening to soak up the atmosphere around the main square.

    Today we have a 3 hour drive back Marrakech to explore the many other activities available and absorb the vibrant atmosphere of the city. Simply enjoy a freshly squeezed orange juice in one of the many rooftop cafés overlooking the Djemma El Fna, or perhaps take a Calèche ride (a bright green horse drawn carriage) to the Majorelle Gardens. These small but tranquil gardens are decorated throughout in indigo blue and house a small museum of Islamic art in the grounds. A final treat would be to go for a hammam, a traditional Moroccan steam bath.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Fly to London.

    After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Morocco

No visa required by British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Morocco

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Tetanus and Hepatitis A.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners included.

Breakfasts usually consist of porridge, bread and jam with coffee or tea. When eating out, meals are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost only about £4 (approx. US$6.50). In main towns it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal with wine will cost anything from £20 (approx. US$30) upwards. Generally dinner is likely to cost between £5-10 (approx. US$8-15) depending on what you drink. £15 (approx. US$25) a day for food should be sufficient. Local beers, wines and soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices but you can pay UK prices or more for imported alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening.

Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of cous cous and tajine or omelettes. This is particularly the case during the more rural or trekking sections of the trip. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform the Exodus Office prior to the trip. If you have a specific medical/dietary need (i.e. coeliac or vegan) you may find it helpful to bring some items of food with you from home. 

If you are travelling from UK we advise you buy your own water purification tablets in the UK and take them with you. Bottled water can be purchased throughout the trip. Please note recycling is not fully established in Morocco so plastic bottles are an increasing waste problem.

Weather

Please note that this chart shows the average temperatures in Marrakech. In the mountains, the temperatures are likely to be a couple of degrees cooler, while on the coast, there is often a breeze and temperatures can be as much at 10ºC lower than in Marrakech. Night time temperatures between October and February are cool and the possibility of rain cannot be ruled out at any time of the year. During the winter, there are wonderful panoramic views of the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains from Marrakech.

Is this trip for you?

This trip provides a gentle introduction to Morocco. The itinerary is quite relaxed, yet there are a couple of long drives (especially from the mountains to the coast), simply to be able to experience three distinctly different aspects of this wonderful country. Although there is an organised itinerary most days, all activities are optional, so you can spend your time relaxing if you prefer.

The mountain walks on this trip would be described as undemanding by anyone with experience of hill or mountain walking. Those less familiar with hiking need to understand that mountain paths are stony and uneven.

Ramadan: Please note Ramadan runs from 15th May to 14th June 2018. During Ramadan, our local guides and drivers choose to work and so we continue to run trips in this period. However, it does need to be recognised that the energy levels of our local staff may be a bit lower and that some restaurants may be closed during the day. Having said this, Ramadan is a unique time to visit a Muslim country - each evening the streets empty for an hour while everyone breaks their fast, and there's a feeling of festivity in the air every night.

 

Accommodation

Riads & Mountain Gite

You spend 2 nights in riads with en suite rooms and 2 nights in a mountain gite with shared facilities and a 3-star hotel in Marrakech, which has swimming pool.

The highlight of the trip is the beautifully restored Douar Samra mountain gite. This Berber house is built in the traditional method using pisé (beaten earth), wood and stone, and welcomes visitors as part of the community. Local people help to run Samra and they have a vegetable garden in order to use as much local produce as possible. Every bedroom is different and there is also wonderful roof terrace overlooking the mountains.

You can request a single room on this trip subject to availability. The cost of the single supplement is GBP100, which only applies to the 5 nights spent in the hotel and riad and therefore does not cover any nights spent in the mountain gite.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed April 2017
    Gregory Park
    It was a great break. Starting in Marrakech which was really frantic and intense, we then moved to the mountains and stayed in the most fantastic gite in the mountains which were stunning and then a final couple of days in a place called Essaouira which was stunning and chilled. Such a great mix, the tour in Marrakech was great and we went to some really interesting places we might of missed if the tour wasn't guided. The walk in the mountains was amazing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a few of these to be honest. The mountain hike (walk) was beautiful almost every other step was a new stunning photo opportunity.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was fantastic, he was passionate about Morocco he gave us great advice about where to eat and what to avoid. He told us of all the good work that Exodus was doing to provide responsible tourism and how tourism had helped not only him but Morocco as a country. He was great.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you find out how to use a an Arabic toilet (it wrong footed me)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a great holiday that I would happily recommend to anyone.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Bernadette Vlug
    Well organised trip with 3 very different locations offering some sight seeing, mountain walking, free time and culture in good proportion. Great group and lovely holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Atlas mountains views, ambience, accommodation, food and people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Issmail was a very good guide for my taste. Very helpful, knowledgeable and obviously committed to his country, making sure that we all enjoyed the very best of it without being ¨pushy¨ . Lots of fun and laughs had!
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Alison Small
    This is a lovely trip. A very good introduction to Morocco in only a week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The three very different areas offered different kinds of inspiration. I loved the hustle and excitement of Marrakech especially at night. The mountains are stunning, and the accommodation at Douar Samra is something not to be missed. It's so cosy and comfortable. I'm vegetarian and the meals they made for me were delicious. The night sky from the roof top is breath taking. They even have beer and wine!! My favourite place is Essaouira, so relaxed and friendly but still exciting. Very easy to find your way around, no problem for loan woman to explore. I didn't visit the beach because it's often windy there on the coast,but all the others in my group went to the beach and liked it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hassan is a very good guide. He is totally at home in the mountains and seems to know almost everyone you meet. His English is perfect, he is always smiling. Very helpful, loves a joke and just gets on with whatever he needs to do.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are a little wobbly coming down steep slopes then take walking poles for the mountain walks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't get frustrated by people trying to sell you stuff in the souks. Smile, joke and talk to them, you will be amazed by their fascinating lives and story's. These are hard working proud people. They are very hospitable and love to chat over a glass of mint tea. Also put your odd bits of loose change in you pocket and give it to those you see on the streets who need a few coins more than you do. Go on this trip you will love it.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Karen Sherwood
    An excellent trip, well organised and good value for money

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking in the Atlas Mountains and being made welcome in a Berber's house for lunch. Everybody was very friendly

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rashid was a brilliant guide, who was very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and full of life and fun. Nothing was too much trouble and he was always there with a smile and some snippet of information that you didn't expect to get. Rashid is a true asset to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip was wonderful, but can be a bit tiring due to all the travelling. Saying that it was a very good trip and well worth going on. You get to experience the sensory overload of Marrakech, to the beauty and peace of the mountains, to the hustle and bustle of the beach. It was a lovely combination.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were very lucky in that there were only 3 on the tour, so it was more personal.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Ann Curran
    A fantastic trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I can't think of one moment in particular as there were so many! Morocco is so varied, from the noise and colour of Marrakesh, the beauty and peace of the Atlas Mountains to the relaxed pace of the coast. Everywhere we went people were very friendly and helpful, from the staff at the Riads and mountain Guest House, to the Caleche driver in Marrakesh who took a group of us to the Majorelle Gardens, and ran up the road to get us our entrance tickets so that we would not have to stand in a long queue.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hassan was a great leader. He was very friendly and cheerful, always happy to answer our questions. He sometimes ate with us in the evenings, joining in conversations and always willing to take a joke. If there were any difficulties he was quick to sort them out. Hassan was obviously very at home in the mountains. He walked at a pace that was manageable for our group, sometimes stopping to talk to local people on the way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is so much to see and do it is sometimes difficult to sit back, relax and take in the atmosphere, especially in the Souks where shopping calls! Try not to overdo it and save some of the shopping for the next trip - luckily there are plenty of ATM's.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am so glad I went on this trip because I was amazed at how varied Morocco is. This trip allowed me to get a taste of what Morocco has to offer and gave me ideas for (hopefully) other visits.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Janet Barker
    Just back from an amazing adventure to Marrakech, High Atlas mountains & Essaouria which was the complete experience of sight, sound & smells! Each area was a special experience : Marrakech for the crazy, busy Souks & madness of Jemaa al Fina square, the stunning scenery of the mountains at Tamatert & the perfect Berber guesthouse to the relaxed beach, fishing port & Souks of Essaouria. I will never forget the mystical reverberating sounds of the call to prayer, the smells of spices & tagines or the many different sights which make up Morocco.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most perfect & inspirational place for me was our stay at Douar-samra in the High Atlas mountains. The views are stunning, the guesthouse is beautifully decorated, the food is delicious & plentiful & the staff are so helpful & friendly. Thankyou Rachida, Mustafa & Omar. The walks we took there were through a beautiful landscape which I did not want to leave!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hassan is a perfect group leader! Helpful, knowledgeable, chatty, he got to know all the group, he suggested restaurants for group meals if you wanted & joined us, very friendly, relaxed & polite man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack walking boots & a headtorch for the mountains, the ground is rocky & you are likely to cross streams. Rooms without electricity have lots of romantic tealights but a headtorch meant I could read.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We also had a great mix of friendly chatty people in our group of 16. That also enriched the shared experience. This is a great introduction trip to Morocco where you don't need to worry about travel arrangements or room bookings. It was our first Exodus small group trip & we can't wait to book another.
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous
    This week in Morocco was very enjoyable and a useful taster as to what the country has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two days in the Atlas Mountains were enjoyed by everyone. We hiked up to 2,300m and saw some spectacular views. The accommodation here was in a traditional lodge in Tamatert; the Douar Samra, is beautifully restored traditional Berber home. The visit to the mountains combined with the fantastic accommodation at the Douar Samra was probable the highlight of the trip for everyone.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Rachid, was excellent. He was very well organised and calm and gave us an excellent insight into his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    At Marrakech airport money changing offices are available after the passport control and before customs. What is not immediately obvious is that conventional ATMs are available in the arrivals concourse after clearing customs. - Walking boots with good ankle support are highly recommended for the walks in the mountains - In the winter layered clothing is recommended due to a dramatic contrast in air temperature between night and day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All in all a very enjoyable week which gives a good insight into Morocco
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous
    This was a really relaxing, really interesting holiday giving an excellent taster of the culture and different landscapes of Morocco. I strongly recommend it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    High points included walking in the Atlas Mountains, eating and chilling out by firelight in the Douar Samra, mint tea poured from a great height, the souks of Marrakech, the quiet beach at Essaouira first thing in the morning, freshly squeezed orange juice, tasty bread and a number of very memorable meals.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rachid was first-class: everything was seamlessly organised and his calm and relaxed demeanour made us all feel very chilled out. He had useful suggestions of things to do and places to eat etc., and looked after the group really thoroughly. He even offered to take us running with him in the mountains (he is training for an ultramarathon) though we were happy to decline that particular activity...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy it! And be prepared to be hooked... I am already plotting my next visit.
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous
    A wonderful introduction to the variety that Morocco has to offer from the hustle and bustle of the Marrakech Madina, to the peace of the mountains and then the restful coast of Essaouira. There is something to suite everyone with this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without doubt my highlight was walking in the mountains. It is definitely worth doing the full days' walk up the mountain and was just the right pace to take in the breathtaking scenery. The lovely lodge in the heart of the Berber village was a perfect hideaway to relax and enjoy the view from the roof top terraces sipping mint tea and then settle down for our home cooked evening meals by candlelight. It was wonderful watching the life of the village going on around us and everyone making us feel so welcome especially the local children who enjoyed our sweets.My next best highlight has to be the seaside of Essaouira. It was really quiet when we visited so made it easy to walk round the streets and the shopkeepers didn't hassle you. I quite happily wandered around on my own without feeling I would get lost. I think most of our group would happliy have stayed there for longer.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mustapha was a brilliant tour guide. He was passionate about the history of his country and was very interesting to listen to, and was always ready to answer any of our questions no matter how daft they seemed. He went out of his way to make sure we well looked after and was always concerned for our health and safety. I was unwell towards the end of the trip and he made up a drink of Cumin and hot water to help me and it worked a treat. I would definitely vote Mustapha as Tour Guide of the year!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do your shopping in Essaouira rathewr than Marrakech as its so much easier to get around and you get some lovely items here especially wood and silver. You may pay a little bit more but the quality is so much better and you get more choice of local make things rather than the usual tourist mass produced stuff.Oh yes...don't eat the grapes!!!!! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great trip and good value for money. If you've never been on an Exodus trip before then this would be a good one to start off with. You get to see 3 completly different sides of Morocco without feeling too rushed through each bit. I will definitely be returning for another visit.
  • Reviewed February 2013
    Anonymous
    This was one of the best trips that I have ever been on. With the three completely different aspects it almost felt like three different holidays! From the hustle and bustle of Marrakech to the peace of the mountains to the relaxing nature of the coast every moment was wonderful and memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing in the mountains listening to nothing, eating a freshly cooked dinner by candlelight then returning to our room to find a log fire blazing and a hot water in my bed, life does not get any better!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mustapha was fantastic. He went out of his way to make sure we were all looked after, he was patient, humourous and answered every question put to him with enthusiasm. We were lucky to have him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When you get to the beach just say no to the Happy Cake....

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 0208 772 3936