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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
We’ll be engaging with community members, so travelers should be comfortable with and respectful of Muslim culture. Participants will be required to follow a culturally appropriate dress code during their time in the mountains and in the Sahara, meaning loose-fitting, long-sleeve shirts and long pants.
In Morocco, the sale of and access to alcohol is limited outside of major cities. Alcohol can’t be consumed publicly in rural areas, but can be consumed within the lodging premises—at meals or in guest rooms. The trip cost includes a limited amount of alcohol per person per night in the mountains and the Sahara (one to two glasses of wine per evening). Participants can buy their own alcohol at dinners in Casablanca, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, and Essaouira.
Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated, though in most cases ingredients can't be substituted or omitted from particular dishes. If you have a severe allergy, please contact us to find out if this is the right trip for you. All provided meals are traditional Moroccan cuisine.
A portion of the proceeds from your trip will be donated to the Atlas Cultural Foundation, a U.S. and Moroccan non-profit organization that collaborates with rural Moroccans to improve cultural preservation, community education, and public health. During the trip, you'll participate in activities with members from ACF’s Moroccan team and their local partners. These interactions are important cultural exchange experiences that introduce new perspectives and strengthen understanding across cultures.
If this will be your first trip to Morocco, we recommend staying a few extra days before or after the trip to visit any more traditional tourist sites that are not included in the itinerary.