Join an intimate group of women for an Exotic Hiking and Cultural Adventure in Morocco
October 11 - October 22, 2023
Embark on an extraordinary journey with like-minded women on a three-day moderate trek through the High Atlas Mountains experiencing the exquisite beauty of the land and witnessing daily life in the local berber villages. Follow that with an expedition into the vast Sahara Desert, which offers a surreal experience of splendor and serenity. Enjoy a camel trek and spend an unforgettable night in a luxury desert camp amid the dunes and beneath the stars. And, wander through Morocco's vibrant cities of Marrakesh and Fes, where ancient traditions, bustling souks, fragrant spices, and mesmerizing architecture await to create an unforgettable experience.
Our adventure will begin in the city of Marrakesh where we will immerse ourselves in the labyrinthine streets of the Medina and explore iconic landmarks such as the magnificent Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque.
We will hike for three days in the Atlas Mountains with experienced local guides leading us through picturesque valleys. Mules will carry our luggage, leaving us to carry only our daypacks. We will stay at authentic lodges in the villages and experience the hospitality of the local people. The average hiking time is 5-6 hours per day with approximately 600 meter ascent or descent through spectacular scenery.
The Sahara desert is a far drive, yet worth the effort! We will be taken by private car on a three-day journey to numerous destinations, including the UNESCO world heritage site of Ait-Ben-Haddou; a filming location for "Game of Thrones" and "Gladiator". We ride on our camels at sunset to our luxury tent where we will spend the evening relaxing together, under the stars.
We will visit the mystical city of Fes, a UNESCO World Heritage site nestled in the heart of Morocco. Here, we will stay at a beautiful Riad and have the option to visit a private luxury Hammam to experience a ritual bath and spa treatment. We will take a guided tour of the famous Medina, see the world famous tanneries and take a Moroccan cooking class. There will also be free time for relaxation at our beautiful Riad, take a cooking class, or wander through the souks.
We will stay in Casablanca on our last night and have the option to tour the Hassan II Mosque before leaving on our flights home.
This trip is a "Lifestyle Health Adventure". I designed the itinerary around concepts of Lifestyle Medicine: movement, community, whole foods, and stress reduction, especially at the spa and under the stars in the dunes.
DAY 1 MARAKESH
Arrive at Marakesh international airport by 4 pm
You will be picked up by a private driver at the airport and taken to our accommodations at the Riad Melhoun & Spa in Marrakesh where we will be waiting for you. There will be a group welcome to start our adventure.
DAY 2 MARAKESH
We will have a guided tour of Marakesh to explore iconic landmarks such as the magnificent Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque. We will wander through the famous Souk in Marakesh with free time for exploration.
DAY 3 TREK
We will drive to the Atlas Mountains, meet our team (guides, cook, and mules) in the village of Imi Oughlad, and hike to Ouirgane. We will stay overnight at the Ouirgane Ecolodge.
5-6 hrs of hiking. 650 m ascent, 350 m descent.
DAY 4 TREK
We will hike from Ouirgane to the Azzaden Valley and stay overnight at Azzaden trekking lodge.
5-6 hrs of hiking. 760 m ascent.
DAY 5 TREK
We will hike from Azzaden to Imlil and stay overnight in the Dar Adrar guesthouse.
Approximately 5 hours of walking. 550 m ascent, 650 m descent.
DAY 6 THE DESERT
We will start the desert tour by driving from Imlil to Dades Gorges via Tizi n Tichka, Ourzazate, Ait Benhaddou and Kelaa Mgouna. We will stay overnight in Hotel Auberge Chez Pierre in Dades.
DAY 7 THE DESERT
We will be driven from Dades to Merzouga via Todghra Gorges. Here, we will take a guided camel trek through the dunes and stay overnight in a luxury tent camp.
DAY 8 THE DESERT
We will drive through the beautiful Ziz Valley, meet Berber families, enjoy walking in nature, and stay overnight at Riad villa Midelt.
DAY 9 THE DESERT
We will drive from Midelt to the beautiful city of Fes with stops along the way. Dinner in Fes and stay at the beautiful Raid & Spa Dar Bensouda.
DAY 10 FES
Free morning/afternoon in Fes. Your choice- through our Riad, you can schedule a spa service and visit the luxury Hammam, relax by the pool, book a guide, take a cooking workshop, or wander. This is a Friday and some shops will be closed. Group dinner.
DAY 11 FES
We will have a guided tour of the world-famous Medina and points of interest in Fes. Final group late lunch/early dinner and an evening drive to Casablanca (around 3.5 hours) where we will stay at Movenpick Hotel Casablanca.
DAY 12 DEPART FROM CASABLANCA AIRPORT
Early breakfast and the option to visit the Hassan II Mosque before heading to the Casablanca International Airport, if your fight time allows.
****Itinerary may be altered based on the leaders and group preferences, and tour operator decisions.
COST AND CANCELLATION POLICY
Trip cost $3,750*
*Prices based on shared double.
If you want a roommate, we can arrange for you to virtually meet other members of the trip.
Single supplement for $700. In Marrakesh, there are limited singles. Please contact asap if you would like a one. One night accommodation along the trek at the Azzaden trekking lodge may only have space for two people in each room. You will be paired with another guest for this night.
A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required at the time of registration. Email below for more information.
Full payment is due by AUG 11TH. The trip is nonrefundable after August 11th. Personal trip insurance is required.
WHAT IS INCLUDED AND EXCLUDED IN THE COST
Travel to and from designated airports and during the trip to each location
All meals except the five lunches listed below
Guided tour in Marakesh
Guided tour in Fes
Trekking guides, cook and mules
Price does not include:
Tips and gratuities
Entrance fees to historic monuments
1 lunch in Marekesh, 1 lunch in Fes, and 3 lunches in the desert are not included (there will be many options for food, especially in the medinas)
Hammam and spa amenities, and additional activities you want to do such as on your free day in Fes
Instead of hotels, I chose Riads for accommodations during part or our journey.
A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with the style and architecture of the region. They are centered around a garden or courtyard and adorned with intricate mosaics, carved wood, and other ornate decorations. Many have been converted into boutique hotels for a unique cultural immersion while providing a tranquil setting. We are staying in beautiful Riads with spas and rooftop restaurants in both Marrakesh and Fes.
Each room in the Riad is different. Some are larger, and some are smaller. I will offer room preference according to the date that you register.
Accommodations during our trek and the desert will be more modest. But, authentic and part of the great adventure.
Riad Melhoun & Spa
Raid & Spa Dar Bensouda
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
TRIP INSURANCE: It is required to have your own travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage and emergency evacuation. Depending where you live, this usually costs roughly between $150 and $200. We can suggest a few policies or you can research on your own. This will be discussed along with registration.
FLIGHTS: You will ARRIVE at MARRAKESH MENARA AIRPORT on October 11th. There is usually a connecting flight from Casablanca. Please try to arrive before 4pm but we can make arrangements if you are later. We will DEPART from the CASABLANCA AIRPORT on October 22nd. Please confirm registration before booking your air tickets. If you want to visit the famous Hassan II Mosque the morning of our departure, we expect to be back at our hotel around 11 am and the airport is 45 minutes away. We will have a private driver to arrange airport transfers.
WAIVERS: Everyone will receive legal waivers upon registration that must be signed.
FITNESS LEVEL: Hiking during out treks is considered to be moderate. We will be hiking around 5-6 hours per day, and there will be up and/or down of approximately 2,000 feet per day (with breaks and stunning scenery). If you have any questions or concerns, talk with us and your medical provider.
SAFETY: We will have male guides from a licensed and well-reviewed trekking company for our seven days in the Atlas Mountains and Sahara. We will be picked up from the airport by a private driver and stay in top-rated accommodations in central locations in the cities. The two days of sightseeing in the cities will be with a private guide. You will have time to be on your own if you want to, or you can stay with group members, ask the hotel for a guide, or relax at our beautiful Riads in your free time. If you want to wander, the medinas can be confusing, especially in Fes. You will be given the number to the hotel to call at any moment and they will send someone to get you. And, we will create a WhatsApp group chat for anyone interested. The US travel.state.gov website rates Morocco as level 2 (exercise increased caution). France, Denmark, Turks and Caicos, and Nepal have the same rating at this time. You can read more here.
CAR TRAVEL: There is quite a bit of car travel on the desert part of this trip. Morocco is a very large country with limited internal flights. Our three days in the Sahara will include approximately 6 hours of driving each day, although not consecutive. We will have beautiful views and take breaks.
GROUP SIZE: There will be a minimum of four and a maximum of nine women in our group. If sold out, you can be placed on a waiting list.
OTHER: Packing suggestions, tipping, dress at mosques and in villages, etc. will all be discussed.
Please use the contact forms below to find out more information and/or to be notified of future trips!
Contact for more information about this trip.