Morocco Souks & Sand

Journey from Casablanca to Marrakech through moody desert landscapes, kasbahs, and villages. Picnic in mountain gorges, learn to cook the perfect couscous, and immerse yourself in labyrinthine souks. You’ll also discover the ruins of a Sultan’s city that was built to mimic Versailles, stay in a hotel made of Saharan sand, and find tranquility in a traditional riad surrounded by the frenzy of a medina. All-in-all, the sounds, smells, and flavours of North Africa will infuse your memories for years to come on this magical adventure through Morocco.

  • Explore a phenomenal mosque in Casablanca
  • Weave through the twisting alleys of Fes' medina
  • Visit a carpet and embroidery workshop
  • Enjoy a sunset camel ride through sand dunes
  • Overnight in a traditional Berber camp in the Sahara Desert
  • Stay in a hotel made of Saharan sand
  • Learn the secret to cooking perfect couscous
  • Get caught up in the energy of Marrakech

Itinerary

Day
Mrehba! Welcome to Morocco. Our trip begins with a group meeting at 6PM, followed by an optional Welcome Dinner at Rick’s Café – a tribute to the bar made famous by Bogart and Bergman in the classic film, Casablanca.
This morning we visit the grand Hassan II Mosque – the largest in Africa – then hit the road for Meknes. En route we’ll stop in Rabat for a guided tour of the city, where we’ll see Kasbah Chellah, Kasbah Oudaias, and the Archaeological museum. Once in Meknes, we’ll check-in to our riad (a Morocco style boutique hotel), and gather together for an included dinner.
After breakfast, we have a guided tour of Meknes to look forward to, then we’ll head for Fès. On our way, we’ll stop at Volubilis, a partly-excavated Roman city and UNESCO archaeological site. We’ll then have time to unwind in the evening before an included dinner at a local restaurant.
Today, a local guide will introduce us to the incredible Medina of Fes; the spiritual heart of Morocco. We’ll but scrape the surface of this mysterious place, as we explore just a few of its 10,000 streets. Laden with souks, markets, and handicrafts quarters, the potential for discovery is limitless. This will be followed by free time in the afternoon, and an optional dinner this evening.
Today we have a long drive ahead of us, to Erfoud, an oasis town in the Sahara known as the door to the desert. Our boutique hotel, beautifully situated, is nestled into the base of these imposing sand seas. After check-in, you can strip down to your swimsuit and luxuriate by the pool, before we feast on an included dinner.
Take this morning and early afternoon to relax and enjoy the hotel amenities. If you’d rather explore, be sure to ask your Group Leader what optional activities are available. Later this afternoon, we’ll commute – by camel, no less – to a traditional, but luxurious Berber desert camp, where we’ll arrive in time to watch the sun set. We'll enjoy a fantastic meal before we enjoy a peaceful sleep in the desert.
Today we’ll awake bright and early to watch the sun rise over the Algerian border. After returning our hotel, we’ll drive to the stunning Dades Gorge, which separates the Atlas Mountains from the Anti-Atlas, with a stop for lunch en route. We’ll also stop by a Berber Museum that captures what life was like for the Berbers in Southern Morocco. Tonight’s dinner, at our hotel, is once again included.
Today we travel travel towards Ait Benhaddou with a stop en route at Kasbah Amerhidil, part of the oasis town of Skoura. We’ll have an optional lunch here before continuing to Ait Benhaddou where we’ll check in to our comfortable hotel located near the old kasbah.
Today is defined by a spectacular drive across the High Atlas Mountains. Driving through the Tizi n’ Tichka pass – the highest in Morocco at 2,260m/7,400ft – our final destination is Marrakech. Once there, you’ll be able to enjoy the comforts of our centrally located riad, before we head out for a culinary class and dinner at one of the city’s most famous riads and cooking schools. In the evening, you may want to wander through the main square – Djemma el Fna – where many food stalls and street performers await.
For our last full day of exploring we’ll venture into Marrakech's wonderful Medina, or Arab Quarter, with a local guide who will unravel the magic of this place as we hop in and out of local shops. We'll also visit the Saadien Tombs & Majorelle Gardens where the ashes of Yves Saint-Laurent were scattered in 2008. The adventure finally ends with a Farewell Dinner at one of Marrakech’s most popular restaurants, where we can reminisce over the 10 past days before we part ways.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at your leisure.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Arrival/Departure Transfers to/from accommodation booked through OUT Adventures
  • Group leader from beginning to end of tour
  • 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 9 dinners
  • 3-star or higher accommodation (9 nights), Luxury Berber Desert Camp (1 night)
  • Arrival transfer to accommodation booked through OUT Adventures
  • Entrance and guided tour of Hassan II Mosque
  • Guided tours of Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis, Fès & Marrakech
  • Camel safari in the Erg Chebbi dunes of the Sahara
  • Desert camp experience
  • Entrance to Berber Museum, Saadien Tombs & Majorelle Gardens
  • Cooking class in Marrakech
  • Travel insurance package covering medical, trip interruption & baggage loss.

Availability

  • start
    end
    status
    price
     
  • start: Friday April 13, 2018
    end: Monday April 23, 2018
    status: Available
    price: Shared $4690*
  • start: Friday September 14, 2018
    end: Monday September 24, 2018
    status: Available
    price: Shared $4690*

Information

  • Duration: 11 Days/10 Nights
  • Starts In: Casablanca
  • Ends In: Marrakech
  • Group Size: Min 4, Max 16
  • Accommodation: 3-Star +
  • Physical Rating: 2/5
  • Prices: Based on double occupancy

Trip Notes

HOW WE TRAVEL

OUT Adventures is all about good times with likeminded guys. Whatever's on the itinerary - from fireside camping to five-star decadence - our goal is to make the experience magical. We're also committed to supporting the communities we visit by hiring local guides, staying at locally-owned accommodations when possible, and celebrating local cuisine. It all adds up to a great way to immerse yourself in the culture.

MOROCCO INFO

VISAS: A visa is not typically required for American, Australian, British and Canadian citizens travelling to Morocco for fewer than 90 days. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

CULTURE SHOCK: Tourism in Morocco is developed enough to afford many of the luxuries of home. However, we've found the culture and madness can be overwhelming for some. Most shops use high-pressure tactics which can disconcert Western travellers, but rest assured any shops you are brought to via OUT Adventures do not provide any sort of kickback to our company, or your guide.

LOCAL LGBT SCENE: Both religion and law have hindered progress for LGBT Moroccos, and there are actually laws in place that prohibit homosexuality. Alas, there are no LGBT establishments to visit. That said, OUT Adventures will ensure you experience the destination in a respectful manner, but we recommend you avoid public displays of affection for the safety of not only yourself, but also your fellow group members.

WEATHER: Temperatures in Morocco range from mild to hot with little rain. A hat is essential, as is a sweater, because even during the summer the desert can be cold at night. Overall, you can expect approximate daily highs of 25C/77F (or higher) and lows around 11C/52F.

REQUIRED VACCINATIONS: Based on the entry requirements for Morocco, there are no vaccinations needed for entry. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, you should consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic, as OUT Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.

ELECTRICITY: You will need an international travel plug/adapter for type C/E sockets. Visit http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/morocco/ for more information.

CONNECTIVITY: All of our hotels will have (at times very slow) Wi-Fi access, so feel free to tweet, pin, post and share your experience with your friends and family at home. They might be a tad jealous!

TRAVEL INSURANCE

For everybody's peace of mind, all OUT Adventures include comprehensive travel insurance. That's up to $200 you won't have to fret about adding to your budget, unless you want to insure the value of your trip for cancellation. Here's what's covered:

  • Unlimited Trip Interruption
  • Unlimited Trip InterruptionUp to $50,000 Emergency Medical plus up to $300,000 for ambulance transportation, up to $5,000,000 CAD with valid GHIP coverage.
  • Baggage Loss or Damage up to $1,500
  • Baggage Delay up to $500
  • Flight Accident up to $100,000
  • Travel Accident up to $50,000

YOUR GUIDE

All OUT Adventures are led by a gay (or gay-welcoming) guide. Whenever possible, we hire destination locals. And we can also connect you with the right people if you'd like to delve deeper into the local culture. If you're pleased with your guide, we recommend a tip of US $5-10 per person, per day...they'll certainly appreciate it!

FELLOW ADVENTURERS

OUT Adventures are a great way to meet people from around the world and all walks of life. Bear in mind that everybody's there for a good time, so mutual respect will go a long way. Please be on time for any meet ups, empathetic to the needs of others, and ready to roll with whatever the adventure brings.

Although we can't tell you who your fellow travellers will be for privacy reasons, we can tell you many great friendships began with an OUT Adventure. And just because we're a gay tour operator doesn't mean we're exclusive: friends and family are always welcome to join the fun.

FLYING SOLO

If you've never travelled on your own, it's an amazing way to get to know yourself while making new friends along the way. We can arrange for you to share a room with people in your age range at no charge, or you can pay a supplement for your own room. And if there's an odd number of solos, we'll rotate a single room on a random basis.

ITINERARY DISCLAIMER

The itinerary is correct at time of publishing. If anything, it will only get better based on feedback from prior travellers and our own research. It's best to reference your final trip documents rather than our website in case there have been any changes that affect your departure.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Every OUT Adventure offers optional excursions that are not included in price of this trip. Please see your daily itinerary in your final pre-trip packet to see what's available.

MEALS

To keep things flexible, not all meals are included in the trip price. Although we typically dine together, so that everybody can get a taste of everything, feel free to explore on your own...your guide will always have some restaurant recommendations.

STARTING POINT

Hotel Le Doge 9 Rue Dr Veyre, Casablanca 20250, Morocco Phone: +212 5224-67800

The four-star Hotel Gauthier is located in central Casablanca, in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods. The hotel features modern design and a lovely on-site bistro.

If you are checking in to the hotel under your OUT Adventures reservation, a complimentary arrival transfer will be included.

FINISHING POINT

Riad Nashira & Spa Diour Saboune, Derb Sidi Makhlouf n°16, Morocco Phone: +212 5243-90603

TIPPING

If you are happy with services throughout your trip, a tip is recommended. Tipping details will be provided in your final trip documentation, however we recommend budgeting approximately $150-$175 USD.

MONEY

The local currency is the Morocco Dirham. We usually recommend carrying local currency for small purchases, however credit cards are accepted at most upscale restaurants and hotels. We also recommend carrying approximately $400 USD to be used only in the case of an emergency, or if your credit/ATM cards are placed on hold.

WHAT TO BRING

Most OUT Adventures entail carrying your own luggage on occasion. And while you'll never schlep far, things can quickly get heavier than a celebrity breakup if you don't keep your baggage under 20kg/44lb. If you bring along a steam trunk, chances are you'll have costly surcharges on short flights. You should also bring something smaller for day trips to carry water, your camera, and any souvenirs you pick up along the way.

The following packing list should be used as a guideline, not as gospel. Our Adventure Specialists are happy to answer any specific questions about how much, or little to bring.

Travel Documents:

  • Passport/Visas/Flight Itineraries/Travel Insurance
  • Pre-trip packet
  • Credit/ATM card

General Personal Items:

  • Eye mask/ear plugs
  • Smartphone/camera/tablet/charging cords/International travel plug for type C/E
  • Daypack
  • Luggage lock
  • Guidebook/Phrase book/Reading material
  • Travel-sized towel
  • Sunglasses/Hat/Small Umbrella
  • Sandals/Comfortable Walking Shoes/Shoes for upmarket Dinners
  • Flashlight/headlamp and spare batteries for desert camp

Clothing:

  • Shirts: t-shirts/collared shirt or polo shirt for upmarket dinners
  • Pants: Long, lightweight pants for mosque visits/Casual pants for upmarket dinners
  • Shorts that ideally cover the knee, unless at hotel
  • Swimwear
  • Water resistant jacket

Health-related Items:

  • Personal medication/Insect repellent/bite cream/antihistamines
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Antibacterial gel/wipes
  • Toiletries
  • Travel First Aid Kit

GROUPS WITHIN GROUPS

We love when groups of friends join us on an OUT Adventure, whether you're celebrating a major milestone, or you just love to travel together. However, since we have travellers that will be flying solo, or as a couple, we would love your help ensuring everybody feels welcome and has an epic time. Here are some ways you can give us a hand, while also getting to know and befriending your fellow travellers:

  • Sit with (and get to know) different people at different meals
  • Mix up walking partners on excursions
  • Invite solo travellers to join you for an optional excursion or meal
  • Enjoy inside jokes in privacy, or let the group in on the secret ;)

If you'd rather relish an exclusive escape with just your own party, we also offer private departures. This is a great way to create and manage your own holiday guest list, while possibly saving money as well. Please contact one of our Adventure Specialists if you're interested in a customized quote.

 
*prices are based on per person, twin share and subject to change and availability at time of booking.