Classic Morocco, Fez to Marrakech

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Morocco trip BikeHike Fez to Marrakech
Classic Morocco, Fez to Marrakech
Duration:
10
Days
Priced from:
3099.00
USD

Classic Morocco, Fez to Marrakech

Trip Overview

Beginning in Fez, this 10-day Morocco tour features light hiking and cultural visits. Fez, situated between the Middle Atlas and the Rif Mountains, is one of the world’s last remaining pockets of medieval civilization. One of the trip’s first experiences is a day hosted by a Moroccan family. We’ll visit souks together, bake together at a local farran and create a full meal to enjoy together in true Moroccan style. Changing landscapes, we’ll then adventure onward to the Sahara for the chance to experience more Moroccan life and landscapes, beyond the cities and villages. We’ll be connected to 4x4 transport to arrive out on the dunes where we’ll meet our fleet of camels for a camelback trek the rest of the way. After a night in the Sahara at a very comfortable camp, we’ll move on to stay two nights in a small village before transferring onward to Marrakech. Along the way to Marrakech, we’ll visit Ait Benhaddou, Morocco’s most celebrated and well-preserved Kasbah. Marrakech is situated to the north of the High Atlas Mountains, North Africa’s highest and most extensive mountain range. For cultural travel enthusiasts, this trip offers unparalleled access to the best of Morocco. 

WOW FACTORS

  • Explore Morocco's most impressive medina (old town) in Fez, an official UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Experience complete immersion into Moroccan life during a day hosted by a family, cooking and eating together
  • Visit a Berber village in the High Atlas Mountains with a local mountain guide 

Activities

Difficulty Level

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Itinerary & Map

Day 1

Fez
Arrival
A BikeHike Adventures representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your comfortable accommodation located in the historic center of Fez. Fez is known as the intellectual heart of Morocco. Its medina (old town) is Morocco’s most impressive one and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city also boasts some of the country’s finest craftsmen and monuments, such as the Bou Inania and Attarine Madrassas. After settling in at the hotel, you’ll have the remainder of the day to explore at leisure. Just steps from your night’s accommodation, you’ll find the old town’s beguiling labyrinth of tiny alleys and passageways, just waiting for you to wander through them. 

Accommodation: 
Dar Finn, a convivial riad in the Fez medina (or similar)
Meals: none

Day 2

Fez 
Cultural Walking Tour, Light Hike
After enjoying a Moroccan breakfast, we’ll set off with our guide to explore 9th-century Fez. Together, we’ll wander through the ancient quarter’s labyrinth of narrow streets. The center is teeming with life, including the meat bazaar, ancient leather tanneries and markets. Also central to the city is Al-Karaouine University, an extraordinary institution of cultural and intellectual heritage. If time permits, we might also visit Bou Inania Madrassa and Nejjarine Square. After lunch in town, we’ll leave Fez behind to spend the afternoon at Zelagh Mountain, where there’s a phenomenal view over the town and of the entire area. For those wanting to stretch their legs, the area is also great for light walking. After returning to Fez, we’ll dine together in a local restaurant. 

Accommodation: same Fez hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Fez
Cooking Class with Family
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll begin a day that is a true highlight on this itinerary. We’ll spend the morning fully immersed in Moroccan daily life, learning to cook with a local family. Together, we will visit the souks, bake at the local farran, prepare food and finish with a fantastic late lunch that we will all share together in true Moroccan style. Some of the meal’s highlights will include preserving lemons, Moroccan chermoula (specialty marinade), a seasonal Tagine of your choice and Moroccan mint tea. Afterwards, the remainder of the day is at leisure to continue exploring Fez on our own. 

Accommodation: same Fez hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Middle Atlas Mountains
4x4 transfer, Camel Trekking 
Today, after an early breakfast, we will have a long yet scenic transfer day to arrive at the Saharan dunes. During the journey through the Middle Atlas Mountains, we might be lucky enough to sight families of wild Barbary Apes in the cedar forests. Along the way, we will also pass several very interesting towns, including the unique pitched-roof university town of Ifrane. The town’s style and ambiance really stands out. Before approaching the edge of the desert, we’ll enjoy a simple lunch stop.  Continuing across the desert plains, we’ll arrive at the foot of Morocco’s highest dunes, at Erg Chebbi. We’ll then be transferred onto 4x4s to meet our next form of transportation, a fleet of camels. On camelback, we’ll cross to the quieter and more secluded eastern side of the dunes, where our overnight camp provides an authentic desert experience and a superb panorama of the shifting Moroccan Sahara sands. Upon arrival at the camp, we’ll be greeted with a mint tea and have time to settle into our well-appointed tents. Each tent includes comfortable beds, sheets and blankets while also being equipped with a private toilet, shower and washbasin. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the camp and explore the dunes at a relaxed pace with our guide. Later in the evening, we’ll enjoy dinner, along with a campfire, together among the stunning sand dunes and under the stars. 

Accommodation: Desert camp 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Day 5

Skoura
Transfer, Light Hike
This morning, we’ll leave the camp to make our way closer to Marrakech, stopping over in the oasis town of Skoura. As we leave the dunes behind, we’ll witness constant transitions in character and landscape. The first part of the journey is a 160 km / 99 mi drive between Merzouga and Tinerhir, an oasis town. Tinerhir is the gateway to the Todra Gorge, a dramatic sandstone ravine where 300 m / 984 ft cliffs tower above a passage only 20 m / 66 ft wide. As we approach, the route offers excellent panoramas of the range. After lunching in Tinerhir, we will have the opportunity to take an easy hike through the upper part of the gorge – an emblematic landscape of sand-coloured rock and palm oases. In the afternoon, we will continue onwards to our base for the next two nights, the town of Skoura. Our accommodation is typically a garden guesthouse set in palm groves. Tonight, we’ll dine together at the guesthouse. 

Accommodation: L’Ma Lodge (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Skoura
Village Visit, Light Hike
After a leisurely breakfast today, there are a couple activity options. While there is the choice to simply stay back and relax at your hotel, the suggested activity is to accompany our guide on a visit to the Upper Valley Des Roses and the Berber village of Boutrara. This is one of Morocco’s most authentic and timeless regions, combining superb scenery with some wonderful local Berber encounters. The buildings are all traditional. Women dress in bright costumes and the children are absolutely fascinated by us. We'll also likely enjoy some of the local hospitality such as being invited for a mint tea. If time permits, our guide can also take us on some short hikes today in the Agouti Gorge, where there are a number of Kasbahs to visit. Tonight’s dinner will be enjoyed together back at the guesthouse in Skoura. 

Accommodation: same Skoura hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Marrakech
Cultural walking tour
After breakfast, the main focus today is a visit to Ait Benhaddou, an 11th century “ksour” (a collection of kasbahs, or fortified houses), on the way to Marrakech. Ait Benhaddou is considered Morocco’s best-preserved and finest example of mudbrick architecture. Surrounded by date palms and rugged mountains, it is truly a site to behold. A UNESCO World Heritage Site as well, it is still inhabited by a handful of families and even made an appearance in the film The Gladiator. After visiting this Kasbah, we’ll continue over one of the highest paved roads in Africa – the Tichka Pass – to reach Marrakech, the capital of the Moroccan south. The driving approach to Marrakech is also an incredible sight as we’ll witness this beautiful oasis city of red, ochre and pink hues rising up out of the dusty plains north of the Atlas Mountains. We will spend the next few days based in Marrakech to explore the region while staying in the medina (old town), a beguiling labyrinth of tiny alleys and passageways where little has changed since the Middle Ages. Marrakech’s ancient center is said to be the second largest medieval complex in the world, after Cairo. After getting settled in at the hotel, the evening will be at leisure to soak in the atmosphere of the nearby souqs (markets) and all of the medina’s alluring sights, sounds and smells. An evening visit to the main square is highly recommended. There, the Djemaa el Fna is one of the world’s most animated nighttime spectacles as the square is transformed nightly into a giant open-air restaurant where men in white coats serve anything from sheep’s head stew to snails in hot sauce. Meanwhile, all around, the square itself is a feast for the senses, as one will witness all forms of entertainment, from snake charmers and storytellers to acrobats. Our guide can also recommend some great local restaurants.

Accommodation:  Ryad el Borj (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Marrakech
Cultural walking tour
After breakfast, our guide will meet us for an orientation tour of Marrakech’s medina (old town) to help us discover more hidden and “local” aspects of this medieval center. The remainder of the afternoon and evening will be at leisure, perfect for relaxing or exploring Marrakech’s extensive markets and colourful alleyways at one’s own pace. Our guide can recommend some of the best local restaurants for lunch and dinner, such as a rooftop restaurant in the heart of the Marrakech medina. 

Accommodation:  Same comfortable Marrakech hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9

Marrakech
Light Hike, Village Visit
This morning, we will leave the city behind to spend our last full day in the High Atlas Mountains. Towering peaks, tiny villages and a way of life that has hardly changed in centuries characterize the area. The warmth of the area’s inhabitants is exceptional and always lingers long afterwards in the memories of its visitors. Our mountain guide will pick us up at the hotel to begin our journey to Imlil, a village at the base of Jebel Toubkal, North Africa’s highest mountain. Set amid picturesque walnut groves, this relatively small village has become a bustling trailhead town while maintaining its character. From that village, we will walk with our guide for slightly less than an hour to arrive at a really tiny village. There, at a Berber lodge, we will enjoy a traditional and memorable tagine lunch, a perfect last experience for this trip. Back in Marrakech this evening, we’ll enjoy a group farewell dinner. 

Accommodation:  Same comfortable Marrakech hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Marrakech
Departure
After breakfast, the day will be leisure before transferring to the airport for the flight home. Most flights depart in the afternoon allowing more time to explore the city and pick up a few last minute souvenirs.

Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

TRIP INCLUDES:
All accommodation (twin shared), meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=Lunch, D=dinner), internal transportation, airport transfers and English speaking guides.

TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Airport departure taxes, meals not indicated, gratuities, and items of a personal nature.

MEALS:
9 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 5 Dinners

ACCOMMODATION:
Hotel: 8 Nights
Tent Camp: 1 Nights

Trip Facts

Weather in Morocco

Coastal areas tend to have a less extreme and more temperate climate than the interior, feeling pleasantly warm in winter and not ferociously hot in summer. Most Atlantic regions benefit from a sea breeze which keeps summer temperatures down. Rainfall levels are significantly higher than in low lying areas in the interior.

The plains of the interior have more extreme of temperatures, ranging from a punishing hot in summer (particularly during July and August) to cold in winter. Precipitation levels are very low, and any rain that does fall is most likely in November, February and April.

The Atlas Mountains and their associated sub-ranges are subject to variable conditions with much higher levels of precipitation (falling both as rain and snow in the high mountains) and colder conditions. There are significant regional variations, but generally the north side of the mountains is more bearably hot in summer, and colder in winter than the south side. Nighttime winter temperatures can fall as low as -10ºC and daytime summer temperatures can climb into the upper 30s ºC.

The south of Morocco is notoriously hot in the summer, particularly on the fringes of the Sahara. Although winter daytime temperatures are very pleasant, they tail off dramatically in the evening and often drop well below freezing. The north of Morocco is very lush by comparison as a result of much higher rainfall and temperate conditions.

Travel Documents

Citizens of Canada and the US require a valid passport to enter Morocco. Passports must be valid for six months beyond the date of entry or entry may be refused. There are no visas required for people travelling with Canadian or American passports. Citizens of other countries should check with the local embassy for updated information on entry requirements.

Food and Water

Moroccan food is a combination of European and Arab influences. Some typical Moroccan dishes include tagines (gently steamed stews) and pastillas (sweet and savory flaky pies). Spices also take centre stage in Moroccan kitchens, with chilies, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, saffron, paprika, and ginger. Breakfasts usually consist of locally made crepes, toast, jam, fresh orange juice and tea/coffee. Alcohol is not widely available in Morocco, although larger hotels, foreign-owned auberges and upmarket restaurants sell it.

FAQ

How big are BikeHike's groups?

Our adventures are built for small groups, with a maximum of 12 travellers on each guided tour. Each group is diverse, comprised of men and women of many different nationalities and ages. By travelling in small groups we leave minimal ecological impact, cause less disruption to the native life and are able to gain a better appreciation for our surroundings. 

How fit do I need to be to join this trip?

We understand that people come in many fitness levels, so we've graded our trips accordingly. There are four difficulty levels on our trips: Easy, Moderate, Challenging, and Strenuous. 

This is an “easy” trip. It is suitable for most people in good health. These trips generally include short days with around 2–3 hours of activity. During the easy hikes, the most you would have to carry on your back is a daypack.

Can you tell me about your typical BikeHike travellers on this trip?

Our travellers share a common love for outdoor adventure. Most are looking for an adventure in an unfamiliar destination. The age range on this trip is typically from 40-60, although we occasionally get younger and older travellers as well. 

What should I pack for this trip?

We have prepared a packing list that you can download by clicking the link to the right on this page. 

Which airports do we fly in and out of for this trip?

The arrival airport is Fez and the departure airport is Marrakech. You can arrive anytime on day 1 of the trip into Fez and depart anytime on day 10 from Marrakech.

CAN I TAKE THIS TRIP IF...

I am travelling solo?

Many of our travellers (both men and women) join as singles. On average, BikeHike groups are 75% single travellers and 25% couples. Unlike many adventure travel companies, we don't charge single supplement fees to solo travellers. Instead, we pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If we can't find you a roommate, you get your own room at no additional charge. A single private room supplement fee is only required if you specifically request a confirmed private room for the duration of the trip. Learn more about solo travel with BikeHike

I have special dietary requirements?

We will do our best to accommodate special dietary requests (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, etc.), but ask that you please discuss your request with us when signing up for a trip.

Accommodation

Most of our trips include comfortable mid-range accommodations. This includes accommodation that provides a clean and comfortable experience in characterful surroundings that reflect the destination. To build stronger connections with the communities and support the local economies, we avoid using large international chain brands on BikeHike trips. 

This trip includes the following types of accommodation:

HOTELS 

In an effort to keep money in the communities we visit around the world, BikeHike prefers small hotels, bungalows, and haciendas that showcase the character and local flair of each destination.

GLAMPING

There is one night camping on this trip and it involves camping in the Sahara, "glamping" style. Upon arrival at the luxurious camp, we’ll be greeted with a mint tea and have time to settle into our well-appointed tents. Each tent includes comfortable beds, sheets and blankets while also being equipped with a private toilet, shower and washbasin. Later in the evening, we’ll enjoy dinner, along with a campfire, together among the stunning sand dunes and under the stars. This is an incredible experience as you'll be tenting in the Saharan desert surrounded by dunes and little else! 

Click HERE for more information about accommodation styles.

Adventure Dates

  • Oct 11 - Oct 20, 2019
  • Nov 09 - Nov 18, 2019
  • May 22 - May 31, 2020
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Price

(Land only, based on twin/shared room)
3099.00
USD
per person

No single supplement fees
** Guaranteed departures on four travellers

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Add-Ons

  • It's easy to add days before and after your tour. Just ask! 
Day Destination Activity Lodging Meals
1
Fez
Arrival
Hotel
2
Fez
Cultural Walking Tour, Light Hike
Hotel
b,
l,
d
3
Fez
Cooking class with family
Hotel
b,
l
4
Middle Atlas Mountains - Sahara Desert
4x4 transfer, Camel Trekking
Glamping
b,
l,
d
5
Skoura
Transfer, Light Hike
Hotel
b,
l,
d
6
Skoura
Village Visit, Light Hike
Hotel
b,
l,
d
7
Marrakech
Cultural Walking Tour
Hotel
b,
l
8
Marrakech
Cultural Walking Tour
Hotel
b
9
Marrakech
Light Hike, Village Visit
Hotel
b,
l,
d
10
Marrakech
Departure
b

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