Mountains & Imperial Cities

The souqs of Marrakech
Landscape of Middle Atlas Mountains
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Exodus

A new adventure across the Atlas Mountains and through the Imperial Cities of Morocco 

The High Atlas Mountains of central Morocco are the perfect back drop to the imperial cities of Marrakech, Fez and Meknes. This fast paced journey through Africa's northern kingdom gives us time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the mountains, as well as allowing time to immerse ourselves in the a chaotic blend of spices, perfume and Arabic chatter of the cities.

Highlights
* Imperial Marrakech, Meknes and Fez * Time in the Atlas Mountains * Visit the Roman ruins of Volubilis and holy town of Moulay Idris * Explore little known Bin el Ouidane & Midelt
Profile
* 10 days land only / flight inclusive  * Travel by air-conditioned private minibus * 1 night premium hotel, 5 nights premium riads and 3 nights standard hotels * Free airport transfer for any flight
Food

9 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners included. Moroccan food is generally very good. Breakfast usually consists of a variety of breads with jam/butter/honey and coffee or tea. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced - kebab costs about £8 (approx. US$13.0). In main towns, it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal and wine will cost anything from £20 (approx. US$30) upwards. Generally, dinner is likely to cost between £5-10 (approx. US$8-15) depending on what you drink. Local beers, wines and soft drinks are reasonably priced, but you can pay UK prices or more for imported alcohol. Your leader will recommend restaurants for each evening, and additionally, you will enjoy lunches/dinner and afternoon teas with local families in their homes. *Vegetarians* can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian couscous, tagine or omelettes. This is particularly the case in more rural areas. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform the Exodus office prior to the trip. If you have a specific medical/dietary need (i.e. coeliac or vegan) you may find it helpful to bring some specialist food items from home.

Destinations
  • Adventure Holidays in Morocco
  • Meknes
  • Africa
  • Morocco
  • Atlas Mountains
  • Fez
  • Marrakech
Tour Types
  • Adventure
  • Scenic
  • Cultural
  • New Holidays
  • Mountains
  • New Cultural Holidays
  • Winter
  • Natural Wonders
  • Singles
Day 1

Fly to Marrakech, trasnfer to hotel. Evening briefing  *Riad Hamdane or similar*



Day 2

With time to explore Marrakech at the end of our journey, we leave the Red City behind and head east into the Atlas Mountains. Our destination for the day is the well-preserved Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most spectacular sights of the Atlas Mountains, made famous as the filming location for several Hollywood films including 'Gladiator'. The route takes us over Tizi N Tichka pass, the highest in Morocco, arriving mid-afternoon.  We will then have time for a walk around the town before dinner. *Hotel La Kasbah or similar*



Day 3

Leaving after breakfast we drive approximately 3 hours on from Ait Benhaddou to reach the Todgha Gorge. A canyon in the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains, 15 miles long and over 1,000m high. On arrival we take lunch and then have a two hour walk, starting in the Todgha Valley before heading into the gorge itself. The walk is not challenging and the natural rock walls of the canyon provide shade from the Moroccan sun. Overnight at our hotel in the valley. *Hotel Taborihte or Similar*



Day 4

Our journey today takes us on one of the smaller passes across the Atlas Mountains to the town of Midelt, a remote settlement still quite new to Morocco's tourist map. The pass takes us through the beautiful Ziz Valley, with its lush palmeries and dramatic mountain views. The town itself is populated largely by Berber people, but was settled by the French at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the second town, after Casablanca to get electricity in the country. On arrival we'll have some free time to explore the town with a stop for tea and cakes with a local family. *Hotel Taddart or Similar*



Day 5

Today we cross the Middle Atlas Mountains. Although not as high as the High Atlas, the range is surprisingly lush containing forests of oak and cedar as well as large swaths of fertile land used for growing all manner of fruits, nuts and cereals. En route we will stop in the small town of Ifran known for its distinctive European architecture, looking more like it belongs in the Alps than the Atlas. On arrival in Fez we should have a some free time before we enjoy a traditional Pastilla dinner, a famous dish from this region of Morocco, at a nearby restaurant. *Riad Tafilalet or Similar*



Day 6

This fascinating city is the intellectual and religious centre of Morocco. Founded over a thousand years ago, Fez has many mosques and medersas (theological colleges) including the 9th century al-Karaouine University, whose architecture is very similar to that seen in Moorish Spain. The medina in Fez is one of the largest in the world, an immense and confusing warren of souks home to thousands of craftsmen with their tiny shops opening onto the narrow alleyways. Noisy and pungent, the medina of Fez is a totally absorbing and unique experience. Our city guide walks us through different sections of the souk - from those selling leather to brass, copper and ceramics. And of course, no visit to Fez is complete without a visit to the tanneries. Outside the medina we shall visit the Jewish District (mellah), the exterior of the Royal Palace and drive to a panoramic viewpoint over the medina. *Riad Tafilalet or Similar*



Day 7

After breakfast we travel to Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, housing the largest and best preserved Roman ruins in North Africa. Despite the damage caused by the 1755 earthquake, this important Roman town managed to retain some detailed and very beautiful mosaics. Our next destination is the sacred hilltop town of Moulay Idriss. Once off limits to non-Muslims, the picturesque medina offers an excellent insight into traditional Moroccan life. We will visit a family with whom we will share a lunch of home-cooked couscous. In the afternoon we travel to Meknes, our next imperial city, where we enjoy a walking tour of this former capital, including the impressive gate with its arches of mosaic tiles. Overnight in imperial Meknes. *Riad D’or or similar*



Day 8

We break our journey to Marrakech in the small town of Bin Louidane. The ride from Meknes takes us on a different road across the Middle Atlas mountain range. On arrival there will be time to enjoy a gentle walk around the lake, a contrasting experience in a country so famous for its dry desert landscape. In the evening we will enjoy a barbecue dinner in the garden of our gite; Dar L'eau Vive on the banks of the river. *Gite L’eau Vivre or similar*



Day 9

From Bin Louidane we continue south to Marrakech, our final imperial city and one of Morocco's most popular and historical destinations. Here we enjoy a guided tour to help us find our feet and soak up the atmosphere of this amazing city. Our guide will take us to the Bahia Palace, the Saadian tombs, ending in Djemma el Fna, where the town becomes a maze of bustling bazaars, palaces and mosques. It is also worth seeing at night when this renowned landmark really comes to life, with the food stalls, snake charmers, juice-sellers and acrobats. It is a place of night-time entertainment for both local people and tourists, not to be missed. *Riad Hamdane or similar*



Day 10

Fly to London



* 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners included * All accommodation * Transfers for group flights


Imperial

Morocco is a great country with lovely people. Marrakesh and Fez were the highlights. Our guide, Mohammed, was excellent.

Rating: 4




Imperial

Morocco is a great country with lovely people. Marrakesh and Fez were the highlights. Our guide, Mohammed, was excellent.

Rating: 4




A great trip

This was our first trip with Exodus and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We chose this particular tour as it included fewer big cities and more of the Atlas mountains, which we were keen to experience and the smaller group size of 16 was certainly an important factor. There were quite a few long minibus journeys but we were prepared for that. However, the scenery was wonderful and the riads/hotels sometimes a bit flakey but fine! Our guide was good with a great sense of humour, and we met a friendly and fun group of people. All in all, a good tour and we shall be considering Exodus for our future adventures.

Rating: 4




Multi coloured Morocco...

Could not fault the tour. Wonderful experience, excellent tour guide Yeoseff and driver Mohammed. An absolute assault on the senses. Crossed a variety of terrain: gorges, dessert, oasis, mountains, plains, dams, lakes, villages, towns, Medina's, souks... Never boring. Temps cold in mornings and high in afternoon made an interesting challenge.The pretty constant lack of hot water and completely erratic heating was counteracted with a warm welcome and absolute charm everywhere we went. If you are travelling in January take your thermals! It was very humbling to be cheerfully offered tea and cakes by a Berber mother with a babe on her back who had just hauled water up the mountain on a donkey and entertained by her son spinning his prize possession a spinning top. The house was freezing but her and her son's smile electric. We should all be thankful for what we have. Thank you for such a mind blowing and beautiful holiday.

Rating: 5




Mountains and Imperial Cities

Good trip, great leader, lots to see and do.

Rating: 4




Great

A good trip, with a stop and go tour around the Atlas and cities (Fes, Meknes, Marrackech). Some walking was included which was wonderful (more even better). Alot of distance covered with different countryside and places.

Rating: 5




A great week af culture and long journeys

The trip involves a lot of travel, but the Sahara and Gite experiences were worth it. Take the itinerary with a small pinch of salt [which the food also needs] and enjoy the experience.

Rating: 4



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You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
15-Sep-2019 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
15-Sep-2019 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
20-Oct-2019 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
20-Oct-2019 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
10-Nov-2019 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
10-Nov-2019 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
22-Dec-2019 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
22-Dec-2019 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
05-Jan-2020 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
05-Jan-2020 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
22-Mar-2020 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
22-Mar-2020 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
19-Apr-2020 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
19-Apr-2020 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
07-Jun-2020 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
07-Jun-2020 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
13-Sep-2020 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
13-Sep-2020 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
18-Oct-2020 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
18-Oct-2020 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
08-Nov-2020 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
08-Nov-2020 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website
20-Dec-2020 for 9 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
20-Dec-2020 for 9 Nights Land only Visit Website

Touring with Exodus

Exodus is an award-winning company built on adventures. It started life on 4 February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments. They continue to discover countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts and jungles - exploring this amazing planet we all live on.

At Exodus, they know what makes you tick when it comes to holidays. It’s a desire shared by so many others. A yearning to visit new places and come home with a real sense of what they’re all about. This means delving into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to its unique identity. At the same time, they always remember that they are only guests. So they ensure they travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise their impact, to ensure that every Exodus holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved. This is a philosophy they take around the world, helping you reach some incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across 90 countries – choose from walking, cycling, culture, wildlife and even polar adventures in guided groups or self-guided, tailor-made for you or a ready-made itinerary in Peru or India, Costa Rica or Italy – the choices are endless. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible, making it simple for you to experience a very different holiday.

All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure with their combined experiences spanning 171 different countries and in their former lives, some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus – all guaranteed to give you the very best adventure possible. Extensive planning, research, fact-finding and training are just some of the ways this expertise comes through in your adventure.

Exodus recognises their obligation to operate their tours in a responsible and sustainable fashion to address the environmental, economic and social impact tourism can have. They are committed to the well-being of the communities that host you and the natural environment that you are there to experience. Key points in their philosophy include small groups which have less impact on local communities and environments, putting money directly into the communities visited by using locally owned and run accommodation and eating locally produced food, ensuring local staff and operators receive a fair rate for their services, encouraging their own staff to take an active interest in responsible and sustainable tourism and train them accordingly, endeavour to ensure that their practices help in the environmental conservation of the areas visited and provide their clients with advice and guidelines on how to respect the social, cultural and religious beliefs of local communities.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Exodus

9 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Group Size:6 - 16
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Meals:9 breakfasts, 1 lunches, 4 dinners.
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