When visiting Morocco, many make a beeline for vibrant Marrakech and look no further. This tour reveals the soul of the country through its Berber villages, ochre-glowing desert, ancient kasbahs, souks brimming with locally made treasures and sweeping sandy beaches. We’ll watch the countryside roll out as we snake up into the High Atlas Mountains and see how luscious dates grow in such a remarkably dry landscape. And after an Arabian Nights dinner, you can watch for shooting stars in the desert night sky.
Today we take an unforgettable journey across the High Atlas Mountains and over the Tizi n’Tichka Pass. The natural landscapes change continuously as we make our way along this snaking road, with valleys of fruit trees and large desert-like areas. See traditional Berber villages perched on the mountain sides, blending into their surroundings with peach-coloured walls, and see the local way of life, with women and children tending their goats and sheep.
Our journey continues on the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs to the fertile oasis of Skoura, renowned for the cultivation of roses. The fortified, 7th-century Amerhidil Kasbah is the most imposing building here, easily recognisable from its image on 50 Dirham notes.
Our route today starts in the Valley of Roses, where the nation’s eau de rose is produced. As we travel on, uniquely shaped limestone cliffs announce that we have reached the spectacular town of Boumalne Dades. The road then winds through Dades Gorge, naturally carved through towering red cliffs, to Erfoud, where you can visit the Royal Palace gate. This modern city has the authenticity of a Moroccan Sahara Desert town.
We travel in 4WD vehicles into the gorgeous surrounding landscapes to the dunes of Merzouga, where we mount awaiting camels for a trek further into the desert. Tonight we have an Arabian Nights dinner and stay at a Deluxe Desert Camp. Watch the changing colours as the sun sets and the sky fills with stars.
After a hearty Berber breakfast we set off for Erfoud by camels and 4WD. We’ll then travel between the peaks of the Jbel Saghro (the ‘Dry Mountain’) to Agdz, a town famous for the dates that grow here. We continue to Ouarzazate for an overnight stay.
This morning we’ll take a tour of the film studios, where many famous films, such as ‘Gladiator’, ‘Game of Thrones’, and ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ have been produced, then continue on to Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO-listed fortress which was once a major stop on the old Salt Road caravan routes.
Next up, we’ll visit the stronghold of Telouet, home of the Glaoui family (and Thami El Glaoui ‘The Lord of the Atlas’), who once ruled Morocco. Keep your camera handy for the final journey of the day - we’ll be passing through some of the most spectacular scenery of the trip as we make our way back to Marrakech.
Today we follow the coastal route to the Val d'Argan vineyard. We’ll taste wines produced in Moroccan vineyards, then have lunch in the shade of an olive tree.
Afterwards we travel on to Essaouira, decorated in the blues and whites of Berber, Arab, Jewish, French and Portuguese influence. Cars aren’t allowed through the narrow streets of the gorgeous, UNESCO-listed medina quarter, giving the impression that Essaouira remains rooted in the days when pirates and sailors thronged the town.
Take a guided tour and enjoy time at leisure to wander through the medina’s alleyways to witness artisans making their wooden tables, boxes and sundry items in wood inlaid with mother of pearl. Then, head along the town’s coastal boundary to find the old Scala Fortress, where 19 bronze cannons still watch over the seas.
Tonight’s farewell dinner is at the sumptuous L’Heure Bleue Palais. Former residence of a kaid (tribal chief), this Relais & Châteaux-listed palace is remarkably restored, preserving the elegance of its past and offering hospitality and Moroccan cuisine to match.
We transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Marrakech is a former imperial city of Arab and African character, reflecting the city’s role as a caravan station on trans-Saharan trade routes. We take time to explore the city this morning. Capture the essence of Islamic and Moroccan styles as you wander the Menara Gardens, the Saadian Tombs, the Bahia Palace and gardens, and Djemaa el-Fna - full of snake charmers and acrobats.
We also see the 12th-century Koutoubia mosque. Standing 225 feet high, it is one of the largest, most beautiful mosques in the western Muslim world, with a Moorish minaret that can be seen for miles.
The afternoon is free, before we head out for dinner in a traditional palace in the old medina, where kings and queens have dined.
After a leisurely morning, take a horse and carriage to the Majorelle Garden. French painter Jacques Majorelle spent 40 years creating this enchanting garden of exotic plants and cacti, and pools filled with water lilies and lotus flowers. As we take a stroll through the garden, you’re bound to spot numerous birds enjoying this serene haven.
We return to the medina to glean the secrets of Moroccan cooking under the guidance of a local chef at La Maison Arabe, then relax on the medina-view terrace with a sweet mint tea.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Marrakech. On arrival, choose to relax in the riad or wander through the streets of this fascinating, fast-paced city - our riad is around 15 minutes on foot from the souks and Djemaa el-Fna.
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