The Smaller Roads of Morocco

Small Group Tour or Private Journey

About The Smaller Roads of Morocco

Summary

The Smaller Roads of Morocco tour covers a few favourite places but also takes the more intersting routes through the Atlas Mountains, along the rugged Atlantic coast and in the south.

Activity code: MOSG04

Duration: 10 Days

START / FINISH - Marrakech

A new small-group tour [or Private Journey] with English-speaking guide visiting some of the main historic locations in Morocco together with smaller, more interesting routes to and from the south of the country - to visit the kasbahs and the edge of the desert - and to and from the Atlantic coast - to experience one of the most scenic roads next to the waves.

The Smaller Roads tour starts in Marrakech and travels through the Atlas Mountains via the Tizi n'Test and the Tizi n'Outfi, stunning roads which are not usually used for tour groups. Similarly, many of the other roads used, such as from Taroudant to Agdz, from Demnate to Safi and on to Essaouira offer beautiful open-road scenery and are as much a joy of this itinerary as the colourful, vibrant and incredible towns, cities and people you also encounter.

As well as a full programme of sightseeing in each location we have also included a few short walks, some Moroccan cookery and an outstanding guide.

Departures in 2018:

  • September 6th.
  • 2019 dates on request.

Highlights of the Small Roads of Morocco Tour:

  • MARRAKECH - Nestled on a large plain at the foot of the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains, it is the perfect city to begin your visit to Morocco. Surrounded by its original fortified city wall Marrakech entices you into its midst to explore the historic and labyrinthine Medina. Today, Marrakech has become a thriving metropolis with chic night spots, top restaurants and a very modern atmosphere in places. All of which emphasises the immense historical context of the Medina and its focal point, the Djemma el Fna.
  • TAROUDANT: a once-forgotten walled city located within the Souss Valley, sometimes referred to as the 'Grandmother of Marrakech'. Taroudant's excellent location between two majestic mountain ranges of the Moroccan south lends itself as an ideal base for exploring the region; particularly the Anti-Atlas Mountains and arriving through the High Atlas via the exhilarating Tizi'n'Test adds to the "far away" feeling. Enclosed by the well-preserved old city walls Taroudant will satisfy the visitor's desire for cultural and historical experiences.
  • ANTI ATLAS MOUNTAINS: are a little off the beaten track, although some places have become popular with climbers in recent yearsthere is some good walking and simple peace and quiet for all. Tafraoute, for example, is a perfectly positioned village in the dramatic Anti Atlas Mountains, a region is known for its pink granite rocks surrounding small valleys of date palms, argan and almond trees..
  • HIGH ATLAS: Travelling through the High Atlas your journey includes the Moulay Brahim Gorge, the remote and ancient Tinmal Mosque, the Tizi n'Test and Tizi n'Outfi roads and the crashing waterfalls of Ouzoud - a 100m drop cuts through the middle of a luxuriant chasm, the watercourse flows on for 2km to the deep gorges of El Abid wadi (400m). Other fantastic natural sights include the pretty Arous gorges near Agouti and the Imi-n-Ifri bridge, near Demnate (a gigantic stone arch carved out by the Mahseur wadi from which hundreds of stalactites hang).
  • ATLANTIC COAST: Morocco's Atlantic coastline is stunningly beautiful, stretches for hundreds of miles and is for the most part totally undeveloped. On this journey you encounter the lesser-visited places of El Jadida and Safi and travel the quiet roads right next to the sea, particularly between Safi and Essaouira.

What makes this holiday special ?

This is a small group tour but can be arranged for any reasonable date as a private chauffeur-driven holiday itinerary; fully guided with a/c vehicle, plenty of stops to take photographs and stretch your legs en route. You can also choose your accommodation from our personal selection of hotels and riads in each location to make up a tailored itinerary to suit your taste and budget - please contact us for more details.

What's included in your Smaller Roads of Morocco Tour ?

  • Round tip airport transfers (Marrakech)
  • 9 nights accommodation in 3/4* hotels on HB basis
  • English-speaking driver throughout
  • Licenced English-speaking Mountain guide (includes guided walks in Tinmal, Anti Atlas and Ouzoud)
  • Official English-speaking local guides for tours of sights (includes Taroudant, Ouarzazate, El Jadida, Safi)
  • Fully-inclusive air-conditioned comfortable transport for 9 days as per the itinerary
  • Half day cookery class (in Demnate or Essaouira)
  • Porterage
  • All taxes, full 24hr representative services.

NB: Flights available to book with us through a range of airlines, from various UK airports.

Contact us now to book this Small Group Tour or Private Journey for any dates.

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival and transfer to hotel Marrakech.

    You will be met on arrival at Marrakech airport and transferred to your hotel. After checking in, and depending on your time of arrival, you have the remainder of the day free in this bustling city in the Kingdom of Morocco. After dinner a briefing with your guide and our local representative. [D]

    • Dinner and overnight in Marrakech. [e.g. Hotel Kech - 1nt].

  • Day 2: Marrakech Ouirgane - Tinmal - Tizi n'Test - Taroudant

    Following your first hearty Moroccan breakfast it is time to depart with your guide into the High Atlas Mountains to the south. Once you have left the plain, watching always the highest peaks of the Toubkal Massif ahead of you, the first dramatic scenery you encounter close-at-hand is the Moulay Brahim Gorge which takes you into the foothills proper and the market town of Asni. Beyond this, ever climbing the road will bring you to Ouirgane and the relatively new (man-made) lake of the Oued n'Fis. Once out of the vilage the road becomes even more quiet and a series of dramatic views over the valley are offered until you reach the Berber village of Ijoukak and then across the other side of the valley you glimpse the partially reconstructed Tinmal Mosque. It is here that you will embark upon a short hike with your guide, arriving at the end to visit the inside of the mosque with its incredible arches.

    After your well-deserved picnic lunch it is time to rejoin your vehicle for the final ascent to the Tizi n'Test with its panoramic views in both directions and then the gentle descent to the Souss Valley and your overnight hotel in Taroudant. [BLD]

    • Dinner and overnight in Taroudant. [e.g. Hotel Dar Zitoun - 2nts].

  • Day 3: Anti Atlas Circuit

    A guided walking visit of old Taroudant after breakfast and then depart for a day in the Anti Atlas. Near Tafraoute head off for an interesting short walk (with a picnic lunch) to view the incredible rock art and natural sculptures. Return to Taroudant in the late afternoon to relax by the pool. [BLD]

  • Day 4 : Taroudant - Talouine - Agdz [Draa Valley] - Ouarzazate

    A journey up the Souss Valley along quiet roads on the south side of the river. The section from Talouine is particularly scenic with the mightly Jbel Sirwa rising above you on the left. At Tazenacht it is time to leave the main road once more crossing two minor mountain passes en route to Agdz. Lunch will be probably be taken in Tazenacht.

    After a short refreshment break in Agdz it is time to climb up the dramatic Draa Valley to the Tizi n'Tinififft for the incredible views and then descend into Ouarzazate towards the end of an impressive day of scenery. [BLD]

    • Dinner and overnight in Ouarzazate. [e.g. Hotel Fint - 1nt].

  • Day 5: Ouarzazate - Skoura - Tizi n'Outfi - Imi n'Ifri - Demnate

    A guided visit of the Kasbah of Taourit in Ouarzazate in the morning and then it is time to head east along the shore of the great Mansour Edddhabi Lake for the short drive to the oasis of Skoura. A visit of the iconic Amerhidil kasbah in the palmeraie is followed by your departure back into the High Atlas along a road opened just a few years ago. This route travels up over the Tizi n'Outfi to Demnate.

    Just before you arrive at your hotel you will pass by the natural rock bridge of Imi n'Ifri, always worth a stop and there should be enough time for a walk down the path into the gorge (assuming you don't mind walking back up!). [BLD]

    • Dinner and overnight in Demnate [e.g. Kasbah Tizouit - 2nts].

  • Day 6: Demnate - Ouzoud - Demnate

    A relaxing day with just a short drive to the waterfalls at Ouzoud; your guide will take you on a hike through the valley in and around the cascades with a lunch at one of the cafes looking up at the towering waterfalls. [BLD]

  • Day 7: Demnate - El Jadida

    After breakfast it is time for your cookery course in Demnate with lunch being the spoils of your culinary labour.

    In the early afternoon it is time for a drive across country via El Kelaa des Sraghna, Ben Guerir and Sidi Bennour to El Jadida. [BLD]

    • Dinner & Overnight in El Jadida (e.g. Hotel Pullman - 1nt)

  • Day 8: El Jadida - Safi - Essaouira

    After breakfast a guided tour of El Jadida including the impressive cisterns and then time to take the coast road to Safi for lunch (depending upon timing your driver may elect to take the new highway for some of this so that you have time for a relaxing lunch and also to enjoy the views on smaller road down to Essaouira after lunch). [BD]

    • Dinner and overnight in Essaouira [e.g. Riad Mimouna - 2nts]

  • Day 9: Essaouira

    A full day in Essaouira, including a visit to an Argan co-operative. Explore the port and take in a fresh fish BBQ for lunch (plenty of choice, your guide will advise on types of fish and costs). [BD]

  • Day 10: Essaouira - Marrakech

    Return inland, due east, to the ancient city of Marrakech for your flight home or an extra night. [B].

  • Marrakech - add-on nights

    Please ask if you wish to stay on in Marrakech for one or more nights; accommodation, sightseeing and plenty of activities available to pre-book.

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