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South-Morocco

From desert to sea - Trip for singles

Book From   € 699,-
GROUP SIZE: 4-24 | 15 DAYS

South-Morocco

Here you can find the day-to-day description for South-Morocco

Highlights

There's plenty to do in this beautiful region. Select below or on the map opposite, the highlight you want to read more information about. Read through carefully and then go directly to the tour description.
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Marrakech

Marrakech

Marrakech is a fantastic city to explore in a couple of days. The old centre, with its endless and jam-packed streets in the soek, the glorious palaces and the great food make this city a very special place. |Morocco

Ait Ben Haddou

Ait Ben Haddou

In the village Ait Ben Haddou time is standing still. The clay houses have often been used as film sets for o.a. 'Gladiator'.|Morocco

Merzouga

Merzouga

Merzouga borders the Moroccan desert region Erg Chebbi. Don't forget to go on a camel tour through the sand plain at sunset. |Morocco

Todra Kloof

Todra Kloof

The Todra canyon is a 300m high natural wonder. Enjoy a guided tour to the palm tree gardens of Tenehrir and Todra. |Morocco

Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate

For many, the desert city Ouarzazate is the starting point of a desert tour. Tip: Visit the Atlas film studios, the city was used as film location for many films. |Morocco

Taroudannt

Taroudannt

The stylish town of Taroudannt is situated in the Souss valley. This sympathetic town is often called 'Little Marrakech' and offers many sights.|Morocco

Essaouira

Essaouira

Essaouira is an atmospheric little harbour town at the Atlantic Ocean. The impressive Portuguese fortifications still dominate the fishing harbour.

Casablanca

Casablanca

Casablanca is one of the royal cities of Morocco. This is an ideal place to get in the mood for all the different tastes and colours that Morocco has to offer. |Morocco

Day to Day description

Transport Route Overnight stay
1 Marrakech Marrakech
2 Marrakech Marrakech
3 Marrakech Marrakech
4 Bus Marrakech – Aït Benhaddou Aït Benhaddou
5 Bus Aït Benhaddou – Merzouga Merzouga
6 Merzouga Merzouga
7 Bus Merzouga – Todra Gorges Todra Gorges
8 Todra Gorges Todra Gorges
9 Bus Todra Gorges – Ouarzazate Ouarzazate
10 Bus Ouarzazate – Taroudant Taroudant
11 Taroudant Taroudant
12 Bus Taroudant – Essaouira Essaouira
13 Essaouira Essaouira
14 Bus Essaouira – Casablanca Casablanca
15 Casablanca End of tour in Casablanca

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Day 1: Marrakech

Welcome to Morocco!

Your tour starts in Marrakech, where you can use your hotel room from check in time (12.00 hrs at noon) on day 1. Most of your travel companions will arrive later this first day, the exact time will be depending on their flight schedule. You will meet your English speaking tour leader at 8.00 hrs A.M. on day 2 in the lobby of your hotel but we recommend that you also try and make contact this evening, after 20.00 hrs.

Day 2: Marrakech

Free day. The vibrant colours of Marrakech are displayed through its people and the markets. The famous Djemaa el-Fna square is the place of storytellers, snake charmers and daredevil performers. The old city walls of Marrakech are largely preserved continually strengthened and you can take a trip to see these walls in a horse-drawn carriage (still a normal means of transport here). The city walls conceal mosques, old palaces and sultans’ tombs such as the Bahia palace, the residence of a grand vizier and a wonderful example of Andalusian-Moorish architecture. The quiet central courtyard with its fountains and mosaic floor and garden full of palms and orange trees contrasts strongly with the surrounding kasbah.

Day 3: Marrakech

Our last day to enjoy this enchanting city before heading on our journey to the ksar or fortified city of Aït Benhaddou.

For those interested, you can join a full day excursion to visit Imlil, a village in the High Atlas, which has excellent walking. A local guide will accompany you and lunch is included.

How green can you go? TIP

Another possibility is to attend a crash course in Moroccan cuisine, in a beautiful Riad. It takes half a day, and of course participants are invited to enjoy the self-prepared food afterwards.

Our Projects

In collaboration with our local agents, Shoestring supports a number of projects with a financial contribution. Since our suppliers play a major role in maintaining and supporting these projects, we know that these contributions are allocated effectively.
Read More

Day 4: Marrakech – Aït Benhaddou

Passing the 4000m high, snow dusted mountain peaks our long journey to Ait Benhaddou will take us through the green foothills of the High Atlas to the picturesque Berber village of Taddert. At a height of 1600m it is the perfect spot for a coffee break surrounded by fields, poplar and large walnut trees. Berber women work the fields and often bear tattoos as a sign of the tribe they belong to. The Tizi-n-Tichka pass lies at a height of 2260m and from here you have a wonderful view of the bare hills in the south signalling the desert – the only green that is to be seen lies along the riverbeds. In the course of the afternoon, one of the largest kasbah complexes in the country looms swathed in an atmosphere of total tranquillity.

You will spend the night in an attractive Kasbah style hotel before travelling through the spectacular Atlas range to the kasbah of Aït Benhaddou.

Day 5: Aït Benhaddou – Merzouga

First we will pass through black, rocky, mountains, to the Draa River oasis, an area that resembles the Grand Canyon. In the oasis town of Agdz you can stop to take a look at the weekly market (depending on the day of the week), and spend some time in the company of the inhabitants of the remote villages. Berber women have heavy silver jewellery, face tattoos and will be selling their hand-woven carpets.

After this we drive to the east past the Saghro mountain range, an area characterized by basalt columns and deep canyons with hidden streams and reservoirs. The road passes straight through an impressive desert landscape to the green palm oasis of the Tafilalt. After Rissani, we reach the pink sand dunes of Merzouga, navigating a dirt road. We spend two nights (in July and August one night) in a nomad tent, close to the village of Merzouga. Mattresses (thick) and bed sheets, are provided.

Day 6: Merzouga

East of Merzouga lie’s the Erg Chebbi, an area with sand dunes more than 90m high. Large parts of the Sahara are made up of such “wandering dunes” that continuously change shape as a consequence of the shifting of the fine sand. From the auberge, you can visit Erg Chebbi, which offers a magnificent palette of deep warm shades – from pink and red to ochre and gold.

How green can you go? TIP

Those interested can go on a camel ride into the desert or you can take the camel into the Erg Chebbi, for a night under the stars! Although this is an optional part of the trip, for many it is one of the main highlights. N.B. During July and August we will spend only 1 night near Merzouga in the desert and stay longer at the beach at Essaouira.

Day 7: Merzouga – Todra Gorges

In the morning you will be travelling in the direction of Tineghir via Erfoud, with its remarkable Haratin population. These traditionally dressed people migrated here long ago with the camel caravans.

We travel along a series of small oases to the deepest river crevice in Morocco, the Gorge du Todra. At its narrowest section it is only ten metres wide but still hundreds of metres high. You stay in Tineghir, near the beginning of the Gorge.

What can I do?

Sustainable travel means taking into account the people, nature and culture so that travel remains possible in the future. The negative effects of tourism are increasingly palpable. 'So what can I do?', you may ask. Shoestring gives you 10 tips. Read More

Day 8: Todra Gorges

You have a free day. Those interested can go on a fantastic walk through the green Todra Valley. We follow the river and irrigation canals, passing under the palm trees, along tracks crossing nursery gardens along villages swarming with children.

Day 9: Todra Gorges – Ouarzazate

Today we travel to Ouarzazate, for a visit to the kasbah of Taourirt, the birthplace of the last pasha of Marrakech. Our route takes us along the green Dades Valley, also called ‘the land of 1000 kasbahs’.

Day 10: Ouarzazate – Taroudant

Between the High Atlas and the Anti-Atlas lies the old, extinguished volcano Jbel Siroua which peaks at 3304m. The bare mountain range is impressive, thanks to its wide panorama and craggy rock formations. In summer the area comes to life, when the desert nomads flee the heat of the Sahara and come to graze their sheep here. Crossing the southerly slopes of this bizarre volcano country for six hours, we reach Taroudant.

Your day is free to explore Taroudant, the fifth royal city of Morocco which has a markedly provincial character, in the centre of a fertile agricultural region. The city’s picturesque souks are too small to lose your way in, and a visit is highly recommended. The central square has a multitude of cafés that offer shade and the chance to watch life go by.

Day 11: Taroudant

When going shopping in Taroudant, bear in mind that the Berber market in Taroudant is called Jnane al-Jaami and here you can buy spices and dried fruits but mostly household goods and clothes. The Arab souk, however, specializes in handicrafts such as wrought iron, pottery, terracotta, brass and copper, leather and carpets/rugs and also jewellery.

How green can you go? TIP

Taroudannt is probably the most ´Moroccan´city of the south. The fertile grounds produce vegetables, fruits and olives and the produce is carried using donkey, camel or handcart. Taroudannt is known for its Berber silver and the decorative arts of the Touaregs.

Day 12: Taroudant – Essaouira

Essaouira is the most picturesque and relaxed coastal town along Morocco’s Atlantic coast. The town lies on a rocky base surrounded by low shrubs and woods, projecting into the ocean. An isolated spot battered by high foamy waves the whole year round, it’s often called ‘the windy city’ and famous for windsurfing. The old citadel of Essaouira is entirely surrounded by city walls, the tall houses towering above them– whitewashed and often with their doors painted a fresh blue. The medina is quite orderly, with the alleys laid out in a rectangular pattern.

N.B.
During July and August we will spend only 1 night near Merzouga in the desert and stay longer at the beach at Essaouira.

Sustainable travel

As a responsible company our mission is to increase and improve sustainability in our business. Find out more about the measures that we currently take as well as our further plans to ensure we achieve our green ambitions. Read More

Day 13: Essaouira

Essaouira also boasts a wide and long beach south of the citadel, where you can enjoy a leisurely ‘café au lait’; stroll along the sandy expanse or through the alleys of the attractive market. In the evening, there is fresh fish to savour in the many restaurants.

Day 14: Essaouira – Casablanca

Today we drive along the coast to Casablanca, the commercial centre of Morocco with its Art Deco and Neo-moorish buildings. We spend our last evening here, where you can pick up some last minute souvenirs or just relax and take in the atmosphere of this cosmopolitan and exotic city.

Time permitting, you may like to visit the Hassan II Mosque, the second largest in the world and the only working mosque in Morocco that can be visited by non-Muslims. You can only enter the mosque with an organised tour which is run at the mosque daily (Except Fridays) at 0900, 1000, 11,00 and 1400 and costs 120dh per person.

Day 15: Casablanca

The last day of your tour. The tour leader and the rest of the group will normally depart early in the morning but you can use your hotel room in Casablanca until check out time (most times at 12.00 hrs noon). We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of Morocco.

Your personal ‘my.shoestring’ page on our website is the perfect way to make contact with other travellers before and after your trip. You can read and create journals from trips and upload your photos onto the photo gallery. Visit my shoestring today.

When booking your tour, please check to see whether you need any post-tour nights, bearing in mind that accommodation for the night of the final day of the tour (day 15) is not included.
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