Southern Moroccan Adventure

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  • Southern Moroccan Adventure
  • March 5-12, 2023
  • 8 Days/7 Nights
  • 7-10 Guests

Overview

A trip to Morocco can feel like a step back in time. From the bustling medina of Marrakech to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Sahara desert. Morocco is known for its timeless and unique heritage and style. Life in Morocco is very much a mix of cultures–as a coastal country in North Africa, Morocco welcomes a mix of Arabic, French, Spanish, and Indigenous Berber influences. A visit to this lively and vibrant destination will most definitely open your eyes to a new world of enchantment and wonder.

March is one of the best times to visit Morocco, with temperatures ranging from 58 °F (14 °C) to 72 °F (22 °C). Our trip takes place in Casablanca, Merzouga in the desert, Dades, and Marrakech for 7 nights (or 9 nights with the extension to the seaside town of Essaouira) of Moroccan enchantment!

Highlights

  • Visit the majestic Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
  • Ride camels through the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert
  • Stargaze in the open desert sky after nightfall
  • Stay in a traditional riad in Marrakech
  • Learn how to cook an authentic Moroccan tagine in a hands-on cooking class
  • Tour the souks of Marrakech with a guide who can help bargain
  • Opt for a traditional Hammam scrub and spa treatment
  • Explore the mystical Djemaa el Fna Square at night
  • Stroll through the photo-worthy Majorelle Gardens

On this adventure you’ll be spoilt with all the traditional Moroccan experiences, but we’re going not one step further. Most trips just go to Marrakesh and call it a day. On this luxury tour for women-only, we’re heading to Casablanca and staying in  a luxury camp in the Sahara, we’ll explore the Dades Gorges known as Morocco’s Grand Canyon and then finally to Marrakesh. We have an extension to the seaside if you desire the perfect ending to your adventure.

On our women-only trip, we’ve set up meet-and-greet experiences with locals putting an emphasis on the women of Morocco which will enable us to learn a bit more in-depth about the Moroccan lifestyle. Of course, we’ll be headed to the markets where the shopping is incredible, you’ll experience a traditional hammam ritual and we’ll have a cooking class in a Riad. Mosques and Palaces will fill your days, ubiquitous mint tea will relax you, and on our last night we’ll be throwing a party like you’ve never seen or experienced. You’ll be dressed in stunning silk traditional dress and music, dancing and feasting will ensue. This experience is way beyond the Morocco of your dreams. You’ll see the real Morocco and soak in the ambiance of this exotic other-worldly place which will surely live in your dreams forever.

Itinerary

Day 0, March 4, Saturday

The trip doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, Thursday March 5, but if you’re traveling across an ocean to get to Morocco, you may want to consider arriving in Casablanca a day early so you have time to relax and get acclimated to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, just let us know and we’ll get you booked into our hotel for Saturday night.

Day 1 – March 5, Sunday

Arrival & Welcome to Morocco!

We start the trip in Casablanca, so book your flight for arrival at Casablanca International Airport on March 5 (or earlier). After customs and baggage claim, you’ll be welcomed to Morocco by our driver and guide, who will take you to our hotel, Le Casablanca. Rest and relax, and in the afternoon, we’ll get to visit Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in Africa and a stunning example of Moroccan architecture! (Approx. 30 mins driving time).

We’ll all meet in the evening for a dinner at Rick’s Cafe.

Day 2 – March 6, Monday

Today, we’ll have the morning at leisure to relax before meeting for lunch at La Sqala, a great Moroccan restaurant with open seating in an outdoor garden.

We’ll then visit Casablanca’s Habous district in the afternoon, which is one of the most popular shopping areas in the city. Our guide will walk us through the district and give some background and will also be able to help us negotiate for any Moroccan goods that catch our eye!

After a day spent in Casablanca, we’ll have the rest of the afternoon at our leisure before meeting back at the hotel for dinner. Then, we’ll make our way to Casablanca Airport to catch a late evening flight to Errachidia, the closest airport to the Sahara Desert. We’ll be picked up upon arrival at the airport there and will drive south to Erfoud, where we’ll be spending the night. (Approx. 1.5 hours driving time).

Overnight Stay at Palais Masandoia.

Day 3 – March 7, Tuesday

After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll head out to the Sahara desert! We’ll stop for lunch shortly before arriving at the Sahara and will then head through the dunes and into our desert camp (Approx. 1 hour driving time).

Upon arrival, we’ll be able to get settled in our luxury tents (complete with a bathroom and shower!) and enjoy the surrounding scenery. Close to golden hour, we’ll take a camel ride through the dunes to experience the traditional nomadic lifestyle.

We’ll eat a homemade dinner in the camp’s dining tent and will have the rest of the evening to sit by the campfire, enjoy some live music, and stargaze!

Overnight stay at Luxury Desert Camp.

Day 4 – March 8, Wednesday

If anyone in the group is in the mood to wake up early, we can set our alarms to catch the incredible sunrise over the Saharan dunes! Otherwise, we’ll meet for another delicious breakfast at the desert camp and have the option to sand-board in the dunes. We’ll then bid farewell to the desert and head to Dades, a town located halfway between the Sahara and Marrakech.

We’ll stop for lunch en route and will have the opportunity to stop for photos and take a quick walk through the Dades Gorges, also known as Morocco’s Grand Canyon. Once we arrive at our property, a rustic mountain lodge with charming rooms, we’ll have a gourmet dinner at the property, which is known for its Moroccan-European fusion that changes daily based on local ingredients (Approx. 5.5 hours driving time).

Overnight stay at Chez Pierre.

Day 5 – March 9, Thursday

After breakfast, we’ll head to the Ochre City of Marrakech! We’ll make a stop at Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, a popular filming location where shows like Game of Thrones have been shot. We’ll take a brief visit of the Kasbah and have lunch nearby and will then continue the drive to Marrakech (Approx. 7 hours driving time in total).

After arriving and checking in to our riad, we’ll have yet another Moroccan adventure: a tagine cooking class! This class is hands-on and is taught by an expert chef, who will walk us through the process of how to make a traditional tagine. After prepping our tagines and side salads under the chef’s guidance, we’ll all get to enjoy our homemade creations for dinner!

Overnight stay at Riad Elegancia

Day 6 – March 10, Friday

On Friday, we’ll wake up to breakfast on the riad’s terrace and then head out to explore Marrakech’s old city. Our guide will take us on a walking tour of the most notable monuments, followed by a lunch break in the medina. We’ll then continue with a visit of the souks, where every imaginable good is sold, from spices to shoes to floor-length carpets. Once again, our guide will be able to help us negotiate at the souks!

In the evening, we’ll head to the famed Djemaa el Fna Square, which comes alive at night. Storytellers hold audience’s captive, juice vendors call out the flavors they have available, and live musicians perform in the middle of the square. After our guide helps us get our bearings, we’ll have the rest of the evening and dinner at our leisure.

Day 7 – March 11, Saturday

This morning, we’ll head to the Majorelle Gardens for a self-guided visit through the colorful paths! The gardens are filled with exotic plants and trees from all over the world. Next door sits the YSL Museum, home to original work of the internationally renowned designer, Yves Saint-Laurent. Once you’ve made your way through the gardens, take some time to check out the museum and learn more about YSL.

Lunch today is at Amal Association, an organization dedicated to empowering disadvantaged women in Marrakech. We’ll eat a delicious lunch here and learn more about the work they do!

For those more inclined to a little pampering, we have an optional hammam spa trip planned to get you scrubbed and relaxed. The traditional hammam ritual involves several steps to cleanse, detoxify, and help in relaxation. You’ll experience one of the world’s most ancient traditions, a black-soap cleanse, followed by a cascading cold-water rinse. This prepares your skin for an invigorating scrub, which leaves you soft and free of accumulated toxins and impurities. After another rinse, a mask of Moroccan volcanic clay is applied to the body, face and hair.  The last step of this centuries-old practice of purification is the relaxing massage using pure oils, Morocco’s precious youth elixir!

Finally, the trip concludes with a farewell dinner and party, where we’ll celebrate together with a gourmet dinner, entertainment, and henna artists!

Day 8 – March 12, Sunday

We bid farewell to our new friends who we will surely count as friends for life, along with all the sights and sounds of the past week’s adventures.

Departure

Ideally, your return flight is from Marrakech airport (a 15 min drive from the airport), but if you booked a round-trip flight to/from Casablanca, we’ll arrange for you to be driven to the Casablanca Int’l airport. Casablanca is 2.5-3 hour drive from Marrakech, so make sure your departing flight is in the late afternoon or evening to ensure plenty of time to get to the airport, and for customs and security.

 

Optional Trip Extension to Essaouira:

For those who’d like to spend a bit more time in Morocco, there’s an optional trip extension to the seaside town of Essaouira

Day 1 of Essaouira Extension – March 12, Sunday

Marrakech to Essaouira

While others depart, you’ll have the morning at leisure in Marrakech. Then we’ll pack up and head to Essaouira, the charming coastal town just a few hours west of Marrakech – a UNESCO World Heritage site. (approx 3 hour drive)

We’ll stop en route to see the tree goats and visit an argan oil co-op to see how the famous health product is made by women and learn about its importance for the local economy. We’ll enjoy a vineyard lunch on the city outskirts.

We’ll check-on at the Riad Villa Maroc with some free time to relax before meeting up for dinner.

Upon arrival at our property, we’ll have some time to relax before meeting up for dinner.

Day 2 of Essaouira Extension – March 13, Monday

Exploring Essaouira

After a breakfast of Moroccan pancakes or Viennese pastries we’ll be treated to a half-day guided visit of Essaouira. we’ll visit the city’s old ramparts, the Medina, artisan cooperatives, and heritage sites. With its brilliant blue and white architecture, windswept beach, and easy-going charm, Essaouira is a lovely change from the hectic pace of Marrakech. On your guided visit, you’ll learn all about the city’s history and the influence left over the centuries by the Carthaginians, Romans, and Portuguese. Behind the 18th century sea walls are thuya wood workshops, artists’ enclaves and silent alleyways where cats sun themselves and veiled women emerge from studded doorways. The harbor is a photographer’s dream, with fishing nets laid out on the quayside, boats unloading their catches and the smell of freshly grilled sardines and lobsters in the air.

Lunch is included near the beach for some fresh seafood.

After lunch, the rest of the afternoon will be at your leisure to enjoy the nearby beach and soak up the sun! We’ll meet back up later in the evening for our final dinner together.

Day 3 of Essaouira Extension – March 14, Tuesday

Departure

Bid farewell to your new friends, driver and guide and drive back to Marrakech airport (~3 hours) or Casablanca airport (~4.5-5 hours). Please make sure your departing flight is in the late afternoon or evening to ensure plenty of time to get to the airport, and for customs and security.

 

Trip Notes:

  • GG2P reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability, as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!
  • Vegetarians & Vegans - Not to worry – you will be well fed in all restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.

 

Trip Cost

Trip Cost: $6,495 USD

Trip Extension to Essaouira: $1,940 USD

 

Trip Notes:

  • GG2P reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability, as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!
  • Vegetarians & Vegans - Not to worry – you will be well fed in all restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.

 

What’s included?

  • Airport transfers
  • A registered country guide, driver and host to look after your every need
  • All hotels
  • All meals specified in the itinerary
  • All trips, entrance fees and transportation in country
  • Souk Cuisine cooking class
  • Meals and visits with artists, women at the cooperative as well as a Moroccan family

What’s not Included?

  • Hammam & Spa experiences
  • Your international airfare
  • Souvenirs & shopping
  • Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended) and trip medical coverage (required for travelers over 50 years of age).

I’m interested, so what do I do next?

If you have questions, complete the form below. We’ll get back to you ASAP!

If you’d like to come, press the Reserve Now button above. You'll be prompted to complete a form with your pertinent details, put down a refundable $250 placeholder deposit, and schedule a time to speak with a GG2P representative. We like to speak with everyone before they embark on their first trip with Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond. This allows you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. These are intimate, small group trips; a quick yet personal conversation allows you to get to know how our trips work and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, we’ll immediately refund your $250 deposit.

If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for a non-refundable deposit, usually 35% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 place-holder deposit, if you already paid it) and your place is reserved. At this point, you’re committed to the trip, so we recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case your plans change unexpectedly. The balance will be due approximately 2 months before the trip.

Our cancellation policy is here.

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