Morocco: Mountains, Desert & Berber Culture - Atlas Obscura Trips
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Morocco: Mountains, Desert & Berber Culture

from $4,515 USD per person for 11 days, 10 nights
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  • 14 People Maximum
  • Moderate Activity Level
  • Overland Adventure
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Trip Overview
Overview

From the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and breezy coastal port cities to the blazing Sahara Desert, Morocco’s diverse and stunning landscapes have been cradles of human history for hundreds of thousands of years. Among some of the country’s earliest inhabitants were the Amazigh, or Berber, people—who continue to shape the language, culture, and cuisine of Morocco today. On this immersive, 11-day trip, we’ll venture through Casablanca, deep into the mountains, through the vast Sahara, and beyond, visiting various Berber communities for days at a time. We’ll participate in local initiatives led by community members, learn about the differences between various Berber cultures across the country, and sip countless cups of steaming mint tea—camping in the desert, soaking in steamy hammams, and straddling a camel or two along the way.

Highlights
  • Mountain villages
  • Remote desert oases
  • Conversations with community members
  • Urban nightlife
  • Sahara camel trek & dune camping

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
Morocco

Additional Info

Pricing & Single Accommodations

The total cost of this trip is $4,515 ($6,005 if taking the extension to Essaouira). For those traveling solo, single accommodations can be provided, subject to availability, at an additional cost of $825 ($1,235 if taking the extension). Please contact us to request a single room.

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins with a late afternoon tour of the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. We recommend you arrive in Casablanca before 12 p.m. on Day 1, so you can settle into your accommodations and meet our guide and group in time for the tour. Our trip concludes the morning of Day 11. We will provide airport transfers to the Ouarzazate airport anytime during the day. If you are joining the extension, you can fly out of Essaouira anytime on Day 14 (or out of Marrakech anytime after 12 p.m).

Activity Level

Travelers should be comfortable walking three to five miles on moderate trails over the course of a day. In addition, participants should be prepared to embark on a three-hour camel trek across desert terrain into the Sahara, where we'll spend one night camping in pre-set two-person tents. 

Note that the village where we will be based in the Atlas Mountains is at 5,250 feet. The maximum elevation we will reach on hikes and walks is about 6,560 feet. When driving over mountain passes to get to and from the village, we will reach up to 8,600 feet. Altitude affects some more than others; please take these elevations into account as you consider whether this trip is right for you.

Included
  • Experienced local guides to accompany you for the duration of the trip, as well as special guests throughout.
  • Airport transfers upon arrival to Casablanca, and upon departure from Ouarzazate (main program) or Essaouira or Marrakech (extension).
  • Accommodations throughout the trip in comfortable, atmospheric hotels and traditional riads, as well as one night of camping in two-person tents in the Sahara.
  • All meals described in the itinerary.
  • Transportation throughout Morocco by private minibus (and 4x4s if needed).
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events, and required materials.
  • $100 donation to the Atlas Cultural Foundation.
  • Bottled or treated drinking water throughout our journey, and afternoon tea or coffee every day.
  • Berber and Moroccan Arabic phrasebooks.
  • Limited alcohol per participant during our time in the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara. Travelers can expect one to two glasses of Moroccan wine per person each day with meals. Alcohol in Casablanca, Marrakech, and Ouarzazate is not included, but will be available for purchase.
Excluded
  • Flights to and from Morocco.
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations.
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of the Atlas Obscura offerings.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Applying for a Moroccan visa, if applicable. 
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Trip FAQ

Morocco’s weather and landscape is extreme, and you should be prepared for both hot and cold weather, wind, rain, and sun. In the fall, the weather is usually mild. However, it’s not uncommon to have stretches of either intense heat or rain and cold.

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Upcoming Departures

  • Sep 23–Oct 3, 2020
    from $4,515 per person
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