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Marrakech & the Sahara

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ends on 26 Sep 2018
This tour is operated by
Marrakech & the Sahara - Exodus Travels
Marrakech & the Sahara - Exodus Travels
Good
82 reviews
Starts
Ouarzazate
+6 Destinations
Sahara Desert
Ends
Marrakesh
Map

Highlights

Start in Ouarzazate and end in Marrakesh! With the adventure tour Marrakech & the Sahara, you have a 8 day tour package taking you from Ouarzazate to Marrakesh and through Ouarzazate, Morocco and 5 other destinations in Morocco. Marrakech & the Sahara is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Max Group Size
16
Transportation
Coach / Bus
Travel style
Adventure

82 Reviews

Write a review
  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 1
    Written on November 17, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A great itinerary covering different parts of Morocco- desert, mountains and Marrakech- in a week. Really enjoyed the variety of each day and the beautiful secenery. Won't be my last trip to Morocco!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The camel trek into the desert and sitting around the fire at the campsite was fantastic, as was watching the sun rise over the sand dunes the next morning (well worth getting up early for!).Enjoyed visiting the towns and villages in the Sahara which meant we could get a sense of the 'real' Morocco.The walks in the Atlas Mountains were a personal highlight as the scenery was beautiful. What did you think of your group leader?Rachid was an excellent guide- very knowledgable and accomodating. A few people on the trip were ill and he did a great job of looking after them.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?I think this is a great trip if you want to see different aspects of Morocco in a relatively short period of time.I travelled in the second week of November and the weather was great- warm and sunny in the day (but not too hot) and cool at night- take a jumper. The campsite in the desert is more luxurious than most of us expected - the tents are very roomy, with enough space to stand up in, and have matresses and blankets so you won't be cold. The camp even had proper toilets!The hotels were excellent quality- most of them had a pool and wi-fi.The food was good but not much variety- outside of Marrakech the menu is very limited and often just offered tagine, cous cous or omlette! And we drank a lot of mint tea!There was a bit more time spent on the bus than the trip notes suggest, but this is a necessary trade-off to cover such a large area in a week, and the scenery you see from the bus makes the trips enjoyable.Highly recommend visiting the Majorelle Gardens during the free time in Marrakech- they are beautiful and it's a relaxing way to spend ah hour or so.Is there anything else you would like to add?Brilliant trip- you won't regret it!

  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 2
    Written on November 8, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Our trip around Morocco was lovely. We were able to see parts of Morocco that would have been more difficult to visit on your own. Diving through the mountains, camping out in the sahara, going on a camel caravan ride, staying in a small village, and ending in a big city with lost of people and markets made for a very nice and varied trip.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Of course watching the sunset over the dunes in the sahara after reaching our camp on camle back is an experience I will never forget.What did you think of your group leader?Abdullah was great. He was very sweet, knowledgable, helpful and professional. He always took the time to asnswer our questions. He did a very good job explaining what we coudl expect and we alsways punctual and accomodating.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Bring some medication for nausea and upset stomach. Even though we were careful about the food, a bunch of us got some bad cramps. Also, the drive through the mountains is very windy and made a few people nauseous even though we had an excellent driver.Is there anything else you would like to add?8 days goes by fast, so if you have the chance, extend your holiday and take atrip out to Essaouira for a nice relaxing stay by the seaside. Also, visiting the ancient city of Fes is spectacular!

  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 3
    Written on November 8, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    The tour was fun, informative, and culturally relevant.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The visit to the Sahara and our stay at the Berber camp was super! Sitting around the campfire at night while our hosts and the guests sang songs, all under a clear night sky with thousands of stars was delightful.What did you think of your group leader?Our tour leader was exceptional! His knowledge of the country, the people, and the culture is formidable. With his pleasant demeanour, tolerance for the quirks of the different nationalities comprising our group, and a good sense of humour, he made our visit comfortable, easy and fun.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?How to avoid getting sick: It's really easy to get an upset stomach in Morocco. To avoid this, don’t eat any uncooked vegetables unless you washed them yourself with properly treated water (i.e. bottled water), drink bottled water or manufactured drinks from bottles (i.e. don’t drink tap water, or any drink that might be made with tap water or fruit that doesn’t have the peel removed), and wash your hands with soap as often as possible. I’d also recommend brushing your teeth with bottled water and even cleaning your toothbrush with bottled water. Indeed, almost everyone on the trip got sick at some point (some quite sick actually) likely because they didn’t follow these simple rules. How to avoid getting ripped off: Bargain! Almost everything is negotiable in Morocco. I start my bidding at a maximum of 20-25% of what a merchant is asking, and never pay more than 50%. If I'm bargained up to 50% and the merchant says he/she won't sell, I say "No thanks," and walk away. 99.9% of the time, the merchant will not let you walk away so easily, but will still drive you past 50%. Don't let remorse get the better of you! Absolutely insist that 50% is your final offer. Eventually the merchant will give. Even if she/he pretends to be upset, don't get fooled, they're still getting more than what they would get from a local.Is there anything else you would like to add?Enjoy! Morocco is relatively safe and this tour can be a lot of fun.

  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 4
    Written on September 11, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    One of the best holidays i have had so far!!!! What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Quite a few inspirational moments. One that sticks out is singing and dancing around the camp fire in the Sahara desert. Truly amazing!! Get involved!!!What did you think of your group leader?Excellent group leader. His extensive knowledge of the land made me feel safe and at all times i felt comfortable. His leadership skills and attitude towards the trip has definitely had a positive effect on me. I will be using Exodus' services in the future :-)Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you are unsure of what to pack get in contact with exodus! I followed the universal list... however, i did not need a jumper, waterproofs or a sleeping bag for my trip. It all depends on the season. This was extra weight i could of done without!!!

  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 5
    Written on June 16, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    Morocco was my first Exodus experience, and if this trip was anything to go on, it won't be my last. It is a truly beautiful country, and one that can be more fully exploited by this trip, taking in the variety of everything the desert, mountains and city has to offer...What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Sitting on top of a Saharan sand dune watching the sun set and the stars come out will be a moment difficult to top for any future trip.What did you think of your group leader?Abdullah, our group leader, was simply sensational. Always watching out for the group, but never in an oppressive school-master way, his sense of humour and enormous passion for his country and his job really made the trip special.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?With long waits at airports on both the outward and return journey, make sure you're prepared. Though I didn't myself, some fellow travellers managed to find a few Moroccan dirham available in the UK which came in enormously handy when getting to Casablanca and realising that the departure lounge has no way of obtaining money, and only one solitary café for entertainment. Similarly, the airport lounge in the outbound flight remains something of a mystery for me, with nowhere to change dirham back (and some shops not even accepting anything other than Euros) despite being a closed currency.

  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 6
    Written on May 10, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    A whistle-stop tour of Southern Morocco, nicely topped off with a 2 nights in Marrakesh. Great trip for anyone looking for a variety of experiences - desert, mountains, city - packed into a week.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The camel trip was a memorable experience, as was glamping* in the desert and star-gazing. Equally memorable is the trip into the ante-Atlas mountains, and stay in the peaceful village, with gorgeous views from the gite. [* some members of our group were disappointed that the campsite is far more luxury than they were expecting - has low-occupancy tents (2 or 3 sharing max), proper toilets (although flushed with a scoop of water from a bucket and not plumbed) and a 3 course dinner was served on ceramic plates with proper cutlery. Our hosts even managed to rustle up a birthday cake !]What did you think of your group leader?Our leader was excellent. Clearly proud to show off his country and impart knowledge and tips. He looked after the group extremely well, always looking out to make sure everyone was ok, but without fuss or being obtrusive. 10/10Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Generally the quality of the accommodation is much better than you might expect from the trip notes. Sheets and blankets are provided at the gite and the camp site, so a light sleeping bag or liner should be sufficient - certainly from May- Sep (despite the trip notes recommending 3 season sleeping bag). Group flights change at Casablanca airport for both outbound and return flights, to/from Heathrow. There are limited facilities particularly for the domestic transit lounge on the outgoing flight (you'll have a 3h wait). You can get small amounts of Dirham in the UK (at poor exchange rates) but Euros also seemed to be accepted at the one and only cafe/bar in the terminal and where the Exodus group congregated! On the return leg, there was nowhere in Casablanca airport to exchange Dirham and most (Duty Free) outlets would not accept them for purchases even. Recommend you try to spend them in Marrakech. As a guide, £180 per person was plenty for the week for most people to cover meals, drinks, tips and small souvenirs. If you are not particular about returning to Heathrow or being on the group flights, there is a direct EasyJet flight to Gatwick leaving at a similar time to the group flights, for the return journey. This avoids another wait in Casablanca and Air Maroc were not the most efficient of check- in staff, to say the least! Some members of our group flew out on the Saturday, because the group flights arrive in Ouarzazate quite late and you arrive at the hotel around 2am, leave to start the first day proper at 9am. This is something I wish I'd done!Is there anything else you would like to add?Be prepared for a fair bit of sitting in the bus on this trip - necessary to take in so many places in the week. Marrakech is a brilliant experience and assault on the senses, but I was glad to be part of a group for this part of the trip - it meant the women in particular could enjoy it, without being hassled too much. The food in the south of Morocco is tasty but not particularly varied - you may feel like you never want to see a tagine again after a few days.. but the feeling won't last! The only restaurants, unfortunately, are for tourists, as the locals in the south do not eat out. Marrakech, is a different proposition entirely and there are loads of choices. The restaurant our guide took us to on the last night was particularly good. All in all a wonderful trip and would recommend. Travelling with a fantastic group of people also made the holiday special.

  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 7
    Written on April 17, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was the first time I had gone on a holiday like this and the first time on my own.  Although I was a little concerned to start with there was really no need to be.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and will be travelling with Exodus again. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Highlights of the trip were the trek on camels in to the desert and watching the sunrise and sunset, and the walk up in to the Atlas mountiains, it was beautiful. What did you think of your group leader?The group leader was great, he was very informative and would answer any questions you had.  He even arranged a birthday cake at our last hotel as 2 members of our party celebrated birthdays during the week we were there.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If it's your first time don't worry about it, everybody joins in and the ones that have done this type of holiday before are very quick to help and give advice.Is there anything else you would like to add?I can honestly say it was one of the best holidays I have ever had and I would not hesitate in using Exodus again, in fact I am going to book a trip to the Inca Trail next year.  The whole trip was organised extremely well and covered a lot of ground over the 8 days we were there, the hotels we stayed in were clean and friendly and the food was great.  Our groups age ranged from 24 to 64 and everbody got on really well and enjoyed each others company, although you may be a lone traveller you are never alone. Excellent!!!! 

  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 8
    Written on April 17, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    Better than I imagined.The trip notes don't do this trip enough justice!!! What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Two hour camel trekking into the Sahara and spending the night in a Bedouin camp under the stars. Running up the sand dunes to see the sunset and sunrise and another camel trek back again. Loved it!!!!Ait Benhaddou was awesome!!!! What did you think of your group leader?He was an absolute star. He had a sense of humour, was friendly and was there for us all the way :)Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Enjoy...Enjoy...Enjoy, that is all.Is there anything else you would like to add?Fantastic trip.

  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 9
    Written on March 9, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    Loved it, a hassle free way of seeing Morocco.  It would be difficult to visit all the places we went in such a short space of time independently. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? I think my best bit was the visit to the library and pottery. I think this was partly due to me not expecting much from the day which turned out to be really interesting.  Then the bus broke down, which also turned into a highlight as we went for a walk and had mint tea in a family’s home.   What did you think of your group leader? He was very knowledgeable and experienced which meant we could just sit back, relax and enjoy all the experiences. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you want to get to know Morocco and don't have much time- Book it

  • Marrakech & the Sahara reviewer 10
    Written on March 3, 2013
    3.0 - Average

    Lots of travelling, but worthwhile to cover the highlights this trip offers. Starts weren't too early and the pace was relaxed. It's not a gourmet experience (nor a particularly alcoholic one!) but food was enjoyable and more than plentiful.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Arriving on our camels at the Bedouin camp in the Sahara then racing up the nearest high sand dune to watch the sun go down. Singing round the camp fire until late, then getting up early to race back up the sand dune and watch the sun rise again. The trek up into the High Atlas mountains was refreshing - a sensible pace meant it was less challenging than it might have been, and the views were amazing. What did you think of your group leader?Lahcen was a great tour leader - friendly, calm, efficient, helpful and knowledgeable. His timing estimates were somewhat 'approximate', but it was all part of this charm! He definitely helped make the holiday.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?My luggage failed to make the connection from Casablanca to Ouazarzata. This is apparantly quite common and the tour leader was very matter of fact that I would be without my luggage for the first three days and nights of the holiday (half the trip). This included the night in the dessert, meaning I was without my sleeping bag, and I had to borrow blankets from the hotel. On the first morning I had to buy emergency essential toiletries and clothing from the market in Ouazarzata, which was challenging. As predicted, I did get my luggage back at the end of day three. Make sure you carry any essentials in your hand luggage.The trip is run with a kitty for all water, lunches and dinners for the majority of the trip (Marrakech is the exception), with all meals taken as a group as there don't appear to be opportunities to go out independently. This is appropriate and works well, but it would have been nice to know in advance what to expect.I was able to buy Morrocan Dirhams in London without any problems prior to the trip - and was grateful for them. Toilet stops are few and far between - and often involve finding your own convenient bush! That said, most toilets we did find were 'Western' style and usually had toilet paper and hand washing facilities.The night in the gite was extremely cold and very basic. You do need your sleeping bag there, too, as well as an overnight bag. This is the second night you are without your main luggage (the other being the night at the Bedouin camp in the dessert). Take a good book/pack of cards/something to pass time in the gite between sundown and dinner.Is there anything else you would like to add?An enjoyable trip with interesting stop-offs and a few great highlights. You're with the group virtually all the time, so fingers crossed you get good fellow travellers!

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start Marrakech.  
  2. Day 2: Across the High Atlas to Ait Benhaddou.
  3. Day 3: Through the Draa valley; camel ride through the desert to our Berber camp
  4. Day 4: Camel ride; short drive to Zagora and free time by the pool, optional afternoon walk. 
  5. Day 5: Into the High Atlas Mountains; walk to remote village of Tijhza and visit the local hammam.
  6. Day 6: Morning walk; afternoon transfer to Marrakech through magnificent mountain scenery.
  7. Day 7: Explore Marrakech: Djemaa el Fna Square, beautiful gardens, palaces and souks.
  8. Day 8: End Marrakech.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

  • Guide

  • Meals

  • Transport

  • Additional Services

  • Insurance

  • Additional Services

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About the countries

Useful things to know before you go

Currencies

د.إ
Dirham
Morocco

Plugs & Adapters

Morocco

Visa

Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

Vaccinations

These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid
Recommended for Morocco. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for Morocco. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for Morocco. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for Morocco. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Rabies
Recommended for Morocco. Ideally 1 month before travel.

Policies

Location
Ouarzazate is the starting point and Marrakesh is the endpoint.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 21 November 2018 the full payment of $619 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $619 for Marrakech & the Sahara, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 519 km.
  • Ouarzazate (Morocco)
  • 120 km
  • Zagora (Morocco)
  • 120 km
  • Ouarzazate (Morocco)
  • 27 km
  • Ait Benhaddou (Morocco)
  • 29 km
  • Telouet (Morocco)
  • 82 km
  • Marrakesh (Morocco)
  • 71 km
  • Tizi N'Tichka (Morocco)
  • 71 km
  • Marrakesh (Morocco)

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