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From the majestic foothills of the High Atlas to the windswept beauty of the Atlantic Coast, this walking trip covers Morocco's most breathtaking landscapes. Trek through valleys dotted with orchards and mountain-side villages and deserted stretches of coastline with peaceful ocean views. Along the way, delve further into Moroccan culture with tours of the historic port town of Essaouira and the Red City of Marrakech.
Explore Tour Leader
3 nights comfortable hotel
4 nights comfortable riad
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our tour of Morocco starts in the Red City. With its dusty rooftops, maze-like streets and bustling souks, Marrakech encompasses the essence of Morocco. Head to the medina and people watch while you sip a mint tea in Jemaa el-Fna (the main square) or visit the Jardin Majorelle, just a short walk from our hotel.
There are no activities planned for today, so you're free to arrive at any time. If you'd like an airport transfer, you'll need to arrive at Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK), which is around a 20-minute drive from our hotel. Our Explore Leader will meet you in the hotel reception at 6pm for a welcome meeting and then an optional dinner. If you arrive later, they'll catch you up as soon as possible.
Hotel Almas (or similar)
This morning, we'll leave Marrakech behind and head to the small village of Ouirgane in the High Atlas Mountains. Located in the heart of the Toubkal National Park, Ouirgane is surrounded by red earth hills and pine forests. On arrival, we'll cross to a nearby Berber village to have lunch in a local house - this is a great opportunity to try traditional home cooking and learn about Berber culture.
After lunch, we'll take a short drive to the Bridge of Assiff Azdeb, from where we'll walk amongst the olive groves to the village of Tikhfist. Stopping at a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the valley, we'll see Lalla Takerskout Lake shimmering below us. Taking the path down to the villages of Torort and Anraz, we'll return to our hotel on foot, breathing in the scents of juniper and pine along the way.
Our hotel for tonight is set within beautiful, landscaped gardens and backed by mountains. There's an outdoor pool to unwind in after a day of walking, too.
Today's walk covers eight kilometres and is expected to take around three hours. It has a total ascent and descent of 250 metres.
La Bergerie (or similar)
Today we continue our journey through the mountains, to Ouled Berhil, stopping off along the way to visit the 12th century Tinmel mosque. We take a short walk crossing the Oued Nfiss Valley to view the red brick fortress from above before entering the site. Tinmel was once considered the centre of the powerful Almohades dynasty that expanded an Islamic empire from North Africa into Spain, whilst the mosque itself is no longer in use it is possible to admire the fortified brick arches and elaborate Mihrab of the roofless building.
Continuing by bus we take a breath taking drive crossing the High Atlas Mountains over the Tizi n Test pass (2,092 metres) to the Souss Plain. This scenic road is winding and spectacular. Weaving its way up into the mountains through a series of switchbacks, you can take in the fabulous views back across to the Toubkal Massif. Descending to the Souss Valley, across the agricultural plain, past orange groves to arrive at Ouled Berhil.
For the next two nights we'll be staying in a traditional Moroccan house known as a riad. Riad Hida was built in 1860 and the property boasts lush gardens with fountains, palms, fruit trees and an outdoor swimming pool, you may even spot peacocks roaming the grounds. The lounge and dining rooms feature several collectors' items, with colourful mosaic adorning the walls and ceilings.
Riad Hida (or similar)
Today we'll take a scenic drive north into the Western High Atlas, to the valley of Afensou. Our first stop will be a viewpoint overlooking the valley before we walk down to Afensou village, passing by farms where we'll see locals hard at work growing and harvesting vegetables.
We'll have lunch in Afensou at a family-run guesthouse, feasting on a traditional tagine accompanied by freshly baked khobz (a round bread that's a staple in the local diet). Tagine is a fragrant, slow-cooked stew, named after the clay dish it's cooked in, it's bursting with the sweet and sour flavours of dates and spices.
On our way back to Ouled Berhil, we'll make a stop at Taroudante, a walled city in the Souss Valley known as 'Little Marrakech'. This thriving market town is a meeting place for Berber locals, where they come to trade food and crafts.
Today's walk covers four kilometres and is expected to take around two hours. It has a total descent of 100 metres.
We'll leave the Atlas Mountains behind us this morning and head towards Agadir, driving alongside the Atlantic Ocean to Sidi Mbarek. Hugging the coast, we'll drive past small villages, banana plantations and beaches where you can spot camels and surfers. Keep an eye out along the way for the bizarre sight of goats grazing in the trees - in the southwest of Morocco, goats climb Argan trees, attracted by the fruit's pulp.
This afternoon's walk takes us from the small village of Sidi Mbarek down to the beach, along the deserted sands where we'll enjoy vast ocean views. We'll arrive in the sleepy surf town of Sidi Kaouki where our bus will be waiting to take us on to Essaouira.
Essaouira is a quaint fishing town, set within 15\super th\nosupersub -century Portuguese fortifications. We'll be staying at the Riad Al Madina, within the historic city walls. This former 19\super th\nosupersub -century palace has been carefully restored to retain the elegance of its original splendour. There's a central courtyard, filled with plants and fountains and a sun terrace overlooking the city's medina.
Today's walk covers 12 kilometres and is expected to take around two hours along a flat route.
Riad Al Madina (or similar)
This morning, we'll take a guided walking tour of Essaouira. Entering the walled medina, we'll pass through narrow streets and alleys, where craftsmen sell their wares. We'll walk along the impressive ramparts, admiring the view out to the Atlantic Ocean and the port area of the town. The bustling port is crammed with bobbing blue fishing boats and we'll observe local fishermen bringing in their nets.
The rest of the day is free to explore at your own pace. Head back into the medina and shop for souvenirs or walk along the golden stretch of the beach.
After breakfast, we'll set off back to Marrakech by bus. On arrival, we'll dive straight into the heady delights of the Red City with a guided walking tour. We'll pass by the rose-coloured Koutoubia (booksellers) Mosque on the way to Bahia Palace, an open-air museum that's famous for its decorated stucco walls and marble floors.
We'll fuel up on fresh pastries from a traditional bakery before continuing to the medina on foot. There, we'll be guided through the labyrinth of spice-scented souks, passing by craftsmen selling rugs, leather goods and crockery before dropping by a spice shop to sample ripe dates and almonds. Finally, we'll navigate our way out into the energetic Jemaa el-Fna Square.
Our tour of Morocco ends at our hotel in Marrakech.
There are no activities planned today, so you're free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you'd like an airport transfer, you need to depart from Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK).
Total distance : 13 miles
The climate is both Mediterranean and Atlantic. The dry, hot season is from May to October when summer temperatures can reach 38°C and above (if sight seeing is included we will do our best to avoid the heat of the day during this period). Temperatures may drop significantly at times during the night as the day's heat rapidly diminishes. From December to January snow can be expected on mountain passes and it can be wet. In winter, day temperatures will probably be around 18-25°C, dropping to perhaps 0-5°C.
2 Pin Round
Arabic, Berber, French.
Essaouira - Surfing lesson 350 Moroccan Dirham per person
Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. The weather conditions in the mountains can be changeable, and it will be cold, especially at night, so bring warmer layers. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier and warmer are recommended as a base layer, and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans. Morocco is a Muslim country and it is important to dress with respect for local customs. People may be offended by shorts or revealing dresses, which can attract unwelcome attention. We advise that in general both men and women should cover shoulders, upper arms and knees. Transparent, plunging necklines and tightfitting clothes should be avoided. Women should also cover their heads when entering a sanctuary, though in general, mosques are forbidden to non-Muslims. -Warm jacket and trousers - After sunset and before sunrise in the mountains, temperatures can fall. A warm jacket and long warm trousers are the most convenient way of keeping warm -Breathable wind and waterproof jacket -T-shirts -Long sleeved tops -Sunhat -Long trousers -Sleepwear -Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them) -Swimwear and towel -Midlayer Fleece/pullover -Socks (liner and thicker pair) -Scarf
We recommend you bring lightweight walking boots or shoes, make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
Bring one main piece of luggage and a 20 litre day sack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a jumper, camera, sun-cream and water . On hot days you will carry fewer clothes but more drinking water.
-Sunglasses -Sun cream -Head torch or Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb) -Camera -Walking poles (if you usually use them) -Personal toiletries (including anti-bacterial hand sanitiser and/or wash) -Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials. -Insect repellent -Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore
Few destinations give you as warm a welcome as Morocco and our accommodation has been chosen to reflect that. We choose our accommodation based on location, quality, and traditional style to give you a real taste of life in the country. It's worth bearing in mind that Morocco is a developing country and standards might not always be equivalent to those at home. Some properties might be simply furnished, access to hot water may be sparse in certain stays and the level of service might vary from place to place. Older buildings can get cold in the winter months and don't have heating facilities, so you might want to pack an extra jumper - hotels will provide extra blankets. Our hotel in Ouirgane, La Bergerie, is set within landscaped gardens with beautiful mountain views and an outdoor pool for relaxing in. We'll also spend four nights staying in riads (a traditional Moroccan house). In Ouled Berhil, we'll stay at Riad Hida, built in 1860, this regal property boasts lush gardens with an outdoor swimming pool as well as a lounge and dining room dotted with collectors' items and mosaics. In Essaouira, we'll stay in the Riad Al Madina within the city walls, rooms lead off from a central courtyard and there's a sun terrace with views over the medina.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Morocco: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. UK passport holders are requested to have at least 3 months validity from the date of entry into Morocco. All other nationalities please check with your nearest embassy for requirements of passport validity.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, typhoid, infectious hepatitis and polio. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.
In 2024, Ramadan runs from the 10th March to the 9th April. Read more about travelling during Ramadan.
The 30th March 2024 departure coincides with Ramadan.