- Trip Style
- Service Level
- Physical Grading
- Important Notes
- About Accommodation
- My Own Room
- Group Size Notes
- About our Transportation
- Local Flights
- Meals Included
- Group Leader Description
- Joining Hotel
- Arrival Complications
- What to Take
- Emergency Contact
- Money Exchange
- Emergency Fund
- Optional Activities
- Detailed Trip Notes
- Trip Specific Safety
- Local Dress
Moroccan Dreams - DCMDD
12 days: Morocco
Arrival transfer - Welcome gift - Explore Marrakech with an expert local guide - Visit the ancient kasbah Village ofAit Benhaddou - Sahara desert excursion by 4x4 with overnight in a luxury desert camp - Explore the Draa region and visit local historical sites- Visit Tafraoute and its markets - Walk through a Palm Valley with lunch in a local home - Visit a local women's cooperative - Explore Essaouira - Explore Menara Gardens and the Jardin Majorelle - Visit an artisan workshops and markets with demonstrations
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and G Adventures. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Validity: Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013
Discovery Adventures: Say hello to your world.
Engage the extraordinary cultures, wildlife and landscapes through exhilarating, educational and immersive activities while achieving a greater appreciation for our planet. These trips are as much about doing as seeing — all with a comfortable feel.
- All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
- Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
- Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
- More included meals, activities and transfers
2: There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Day 1 Marrakech
A great place to start your exploration of Marrakech is Djemaa el Fna square, the heart of Marrakech, that changes its offerings throughout the day. In the morning you’ll wander past the fresh orange juice stalls, water sellers in colourful costumes with traditional leather water bags and brass cups, and snake charmers reminiscent of an era past.
As the day progresses the snake charmers are replaced by Chleuh dancing-boys, story-tellers, magicians, and peddlers of traditional medicines. As the sun sets, the square fills with dozens of food-stalls, packed with locals and the entertaining chefs and waiters. Grab a spot on a bench with the other diners and try the Tanjia (slow cooked lamb), Harira soup, grilled seafood, famous Moroccan couscous, tajine, snails or even sheep’s head for the truly adventurous, and wash it all down with some spiced tea.
To really get a taste of everyday life in Marrakech, head into the maze of tiny streets and alleyways of the ancient medina. Tourists and locals alike will find everything they desire in the souks, whether it’s spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or famous Moroccan lanterns, the selection here is exhaustive, and don’t forget to bargain, it's definitely part of the fun.
For history and architecture buffs Marrakech is sure to dazzle. The Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs, Ben Youseff Medersa and Almovid Koubba are all easy to get to and well worth a visit. Once you’ve tired yourself out, relax at one of the tea houses around the square, indulging in the ubiquitous sweet mint tea, watching the hustle and bustle from your shady spot.
Day 2 Marrakech (1B)
Day 3 Aït Benhaddou (1B,1D)
Aït Benhaddou is a wonderful example of a kasbah, which is a type of fortress. Carefully restored over the years and now classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is now considered to be one of the best preserved kasbahs in Morocco. A few families still call the kasbah their home, but the majority of locals have gradually moved to the nearby settlement. During our visit to the Kasbah, lose yourself in the narrow, winding passageways and feel the magical atmosphere of this incredible structure. Opt to take a tagine cooking course in your free time.
Approximate driving time without stops: Marrakech to Ait Ben Haddou = 3hrs
Day 4 Erg Cheggaga Desert Camp (1B,1L,1D)
Approximate driving time without stops: Ait Ben Haddou to Zagora = 3hrs, Zagora to Deluxe Camp = 3hrs
Day 5 Zagora (1B,1D)
Approximate driving time without stops: Deluxe Camp back to Zagora = 3hrs
Day 6 Taroudant (1B,1D)
Approximate driving time without stops: Zagora to Taroudant = 4.5hrs
Day 7-8 Tafraoute (2B,1L,2D)
Approximate driving time without stops: Taroudant - Tafraoute = 3.5hrs
Day 9-10 Essaouira (2B,1D)
Enjoy this coastal city and don't miss the colourful and lively spectacle of the return of the boats to the port, with their baskets full of fish. Afterwards, head up to the ramparts on the old city wall for a great view over the city and out to sea. Browse the shops and art galleries or take a stroll along the long, sandy beach. This is the perfect place to unwind and relax with a cold beer or shisha pipe (waterpipe). The active might choose to take a surfing or windsurfing lesson, hire a fishing rod or just take a long walk on the beach.
In the evening, head to one of the local barbeque fish cafes where you can pick out the catch of the day and have it cooked to perfection for the perfect sea food dinner. Essaouira is also famous for its music scene and a great chance to check out a live performance.
Approximate driving time without stops: Tafraoute to Essaouira = 6hrs
Days 11 Marrakech (1B,1D)
Approximate driving time without stops: Essaouira to Marrakech = 3hrs
Day 12 Marrakech (B)
1. Weather: Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can be be cold at times. Summers - April to September are VERY HOT through out Morocco.
Winter - November to March can be cool to freezing cold - especially in the Atlas mountains, with the possibility of snow. Please bring appropriate clothing for these months.
2. Drinking water: It is advisable to drink bottled water in Morocco.
3. Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between July 10 to August 10, 2013. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day.
4. Discovery Adventures is operated in conjunction with G Adventures, the world leader in sustainable adventure travel. An award winning company with over 800 employees and 17 operational offices worldwide, G Adventures has 20 years experience in creating culturally interactive travel experiences. G Adventures advocates a triple bottom line business philosophy where equal attention is given to the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism to achieve long-term environmentally responsible growth whilst protecting destinations & cultural heritage for future generations.
Weather: Please note that the climate in Morocco can be both very hot during the day in summer months (up to 50°C) and cold at night in the mountains in autumn, early spring and winter (down to -6°C). Summer months, from April to September are very hot throughout Morocco. Winter months November to March can be cool to cold, especially in the Atlas Mountains, with high probability of snowfall. Most Moroccan buildings are not equipped with heating, so without proper layers you will be cold at night. Please bring appropriate clothing for the months in which you are travelling and check temperatures before you leave. Bedding is provided in the desert camp, but in winter months if you feel the cold you may wish to bring a sleeping bag too.
Comfort hotels (10 nts), deluxe desert camp (1 nt)
The accommodation level for most Discovery Adventure tours are comfortable, in mid-range hotels, motels, lodges, guest houses, etc. You'll often enjoy air-conditioned rooms, complete with en suite bathrooms and some amenities. Accommodation and amenities can vary by Country and region and please remember that standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. Some trips may include camping, permanent tented camps or more rustic lodges, depending on the remoteness of where you are visiting. Please see your trip details for more information, specific to your tour. Porterage is not included, but can be arranged directly at most hotels.
Please note that Morocco is a developing country and as such the infrastructure is not as reliable as you would expect at home. Expect quirky plumbing and the occasional cold shower even in the best hotels!
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Night 4 Erg Cheggaga Desert Camp.
Private air-con minivan, walking, 4x4.
Group Size Notes
Max 15, Avg 10
About our Transportation
Our transport throughout this tour is a comfortable air conditioned mini van.
There are no local flights on this tour.
11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 8 dinners
Travelling with Discovery Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful foods and flavors that are available in the world. Some meals are included in the trip price in more remote regions or as a highlight where we can share a local specialty or cultural experience. In many places where there is a choice of eating options, we like to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company, but there is no obligation to do this. Your group leader will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Group Leader Description
All Discovery Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our expert CEOs (Chief Experience Officers). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. CEOs are experts in their region with a broad, general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local expert guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
Dellarosa Hotel & Suites
5 Avenue Moulay Hassan
Tel +212 524 442227
We do not expect any complications and nor should you but the following information is supplied in case of extra ordinary circumstances.
PRE-BOOKED AIRPORT TO HOTEL TRANSFERS
If you have pre-arranged an airport to hotel transfer, please look for your transfer driver at the Airport Information Desk in Terminal 1. He will be holding a G Adventures sign and waiting in this area for you. Your name will not be on the G Adventures sign, so please ask the driver whom they are there to meet.
The Airport Information Desk is located in the main Arrival Halls in Terminal 1, next to the stairs and escalators to the train station.
If you have arrived in Terminal 2, please make your way to the Airport Information Desk in Terminal 1 to find your driver.
If you are unable to locate your G Adventures airport representative, please call our local staff at +212 528 824898 (during office hours Mon-Fri) or +212 661 429700 (after office hours or at any time if you are unable to get through to the office) They will assist you in getting to the joining hotel.
If you have arrived at Casablanca airport, before calling please double-check with the airport staff which terminal you have arrived at. (This may not be the terminal stated on your airline ticket, as Casablanca flight arrivals often experience a change in arrival terminal). Please make your way to the Airport Information Desk in Terminal 1 (this is a short walk from the other terminals)
If you are not travelling with a telephone, please head to the airport Information booth who will be able to assist you in the purchase of a phone card and direct you to a telephone.
If for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, or your flight is delayed, please call the above numbers to inform our staff so we can re-book your transfer.
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labeled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase or sports bag on wheels, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning game drives. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•USD cash and travelers cheques
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•Discovery Adventures / G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
•Day pack for daily personal items
•Watch or Alarm clock
•Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
•Sun hat, Sun block, Sunglasses
•Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
•Small towel and swim wear
•Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
•hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
•Long Shorts or long skirt
•Hiking pants/track pants
•Shirts/T-shirts (covering the shoulders)
•Fleece or sweater
•1 smart outfit for evenings out
•Camera and extra memory card/film
•Extra batteries (recommended)
•Electricity Plug Adapter
• Personal female hygiene products (as they are difficult to purchase locally)
• Local Dress
•First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin, malaria pills, band aids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
Optional Items: reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, Maps, guidebooks
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Morocco)
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +212 (0)528 824898
After hours emergency number: +212 (0)661 429700
G Adventures Local Office London, UK
Emergency number: +44 7817 262559
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
Most nationalities receive a free visa, valid for a period of 90 days on arrival in Morocco. There are exceptions to this (including Israeli and South African passport holders) and it is essential that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements for your nationality before departure.
The local currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD).
ATMs are very common in Morocco with Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. .While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work - it is important you check with your bank before departure and advisable to travel with more than one type of card.
Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards, but are generally only useful for larger/expensive purchases. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.
The foreign currency most commonly accepted in Morocco is the Euro. You will be able to exchange Euros, as well as GBP and USD at money exchange offices in major cities.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of cash (Euro/GBP or USD) and cards is best.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your Tour Leader will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1-$2 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your Discovery Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $10-15 USD per person, per week can be used.
Your CEO will recommend different optional activities, feel free to ask him/her for more information.
Please note that prices are approximate and are quoted in Moroccan Dirham (Dh)
Traditional Hammam (steam bath) including massage – Dh 300
Moroccan 3 course dinner and folklore entertainment in a traditional restaurant overlooking the famous Djemma el Fna Square - Dh400
Ali Ben Youssef Medersa - Dh40
Koubba Ba’adiyn - Dh40
Museum of Marrakech - Dh40
El Badi Palace - Dh10
Saadian Tombs - Dh10
Bahia Palace - Dh10
Dar si Said - Dh10
Majorelle and Museum of Islamic Art - Dh50
Bicycle hire – Dh70–100 per day
All prices are per person(unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes, as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. For travelers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. Discovery Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our group leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Detailed Trip Notes
The winter months in Morocco are from October to March and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from April to September and starts off with moderate temperatures until mid-June when temperatures get into the 90s (Fahrenheit), returning to more moderate heat in September. However, the inland climate is very dry and high temperatures very bearable. It rains generally only in short downpour bursts in the period from the beginning of November until March.
The official unit of currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham, MAD or MDH.
Morocco uses 220V, 50Hz. and plugs are two prong rounded.
Arabic (in Moroccan dialect) and Berber are the official languages of Morocco, but French is very widely spoken, as well as English also in tourist resorts.
Trip Specific Safety
Like anywhere in the world, major cities have areas safer than others, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and mind your personal belongings.
Shoulders should be covered and no short shorts/skirts when visiting religious monuments.