Experience Morocco - imperial cities, desert, mountains, beach!

Trip At A Glance

  • Trip type: International
  • Category: Moderate
  • Dates: June 4-15, 2022
  • Duration: 12 days (11 nights)
  • Early Bird Trip Price: $2,684.00
  • Early Bird Booking Deadline: 09/28/2021
  • Price: $2,809.00
  • Booking Deadline: January 4, 2022
  • Single Supplement: $695.00
  • Deposit: $800.00 (28.5%)
  • Group size: 12

We’re off to the North African country of Morocco! There’s nowhere else in the world quite like it! Visit ancient, mystical imperial cities with their mind-boggling medinas & souks; relax at beautiful beachside coastal towns, off-road through dramatic, rugged mountain ranges; camel trek through the endless, massive sand dunes of the surreal Sahara desert; explore remote, serene mountain valleys; enjoy a stay at a mountain lake town with views of the deep blue waters & dramatic rocky gorges – these experiences & more, all on one vacation in one single country. Wowza. Sounds pretty cool. Sounds like our Morocco trip!


Similar in size to the state of California, the Kingdom of Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries. This little corner of Africa, located just 8 miles off the coast of Spain bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the most moderate and peaceful countries in the region. Morocco reflects a mix of cultures - African traditions, Middle Eastern magic, Berber tradition and European (French & Spanish) flair. As you move from city to city and region to region, you'll notice these influences that comprise the rich culture of Morocco.

Geographically, Morocco is made up of four different areas: the Sahara desert with its many Berber towns and oases; the spectacularly scenic Atlas and Rif Mountains; the plains which are home to the imperial cities of Marrakesh and Fes; and the sandy coastline of the Atlantic Ocean dotted with small beach towns. On this trip, you’ll get to experience all of this!


Our itinerary reflects highlights of this ancient and beautiful country and provides an opportunity to sample the amazing contrasts Morocco offers. You'll check out the sights, places, and adventures that a visitor should ideally do & see. Important historical sightseeing mixed in with more local, in-the-know outings along with unique activities. We'll chat & hang with locals throughout our journey. We'll do a nice, practical travel pace with optional free time throughout the trip. You'll have all manner of accommodations - riads, kasbahs, 5+ resorts, and even a luxury tent in the Sahara desert! And as is the case on all our trips, you'll be treated to a very thoughtful itinerary where feel like you are traveling with friends who are showing you around their country. High-quality, non-touristy, responsible travel (local guides & driver and independently owned "hotels" only) is the way we do it.


Great Sand Sea of the Sahara Desert. Visit the desert town of Merzouga in the Tafilalet Valley on the edge of the Sahara Desert, camel trek through the awe-inspiring Sahara at sunset to a small oasis in the dunes, overnight under the starry skies at our desert camp with luxury tent accommodations in the massive Erg Chebbi sand dunes that reach 525 feet in height, and wake up to a stunning desert sunrise. As amazing of an adventure as it sounds.

Dadès Valley. Travel through the scenic Dadès Valley in the High Atlas Mountains, home to historic Berber kasbahs, beautiful oasis towns with lush palmeraies (palm groves), deep canyons, & famous gorges cut by the 220-mile Dades River.

Into the Mountains via 4x4. Off-road into the High Atlas range and head toward the 13,346 foot M’Goun Mountain - the fourth highest peak of the Atlas Mountains - for some impressive panoramic hiking. We’ll stay in the beautiful Aït Bouguemez valley, aka Happy Valley, enclosed by the towering mountain range.

Natural Bridge & Waterfall Hike. Enjoy the exceptional natural landscapes including a hike to an imposing natural travertine arch/bridge atop a river and to Cascades d'Ouzoud, the second tallest waterfall in Africa surrounded by reddish cliffs and green vegetation along the El-Abid River.

Mountain Lake Town of Bin El Ouidane. The picturesque lake in the small town of Bin El Ouidane is the main draw with its postcard worthy views and tranquil setting. Enjoy the many water-centric activities offered here including boating & kayaking, where you can get a dramatically different perspective of the sheer rock gorges from the valley floor.

Atlas Forests of Cedar. Stop in the majestic Atlas Cedar Biosphere Reserve, the largest cedar forest in Africa (75% of the world’s cedar tree population), home to the endangered Barbery apes (aka Atlas Monkeys) who are sure to entertain during our stop to visit with them.

Walled Imperial City of Marrakesh. Take in bustling, vibrant Marrakesh with a modern mix of Moroccan and international culture. Its famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square is truly one of the most hectic, but fascinating people-watching places in the country. Its maze-like medina overflows with a labyrinth of souks.

Medieval City of Fes. Contrast your visit of the imperial city of Marrakesh with Fes, the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities. Unlike bustling Marrakech, Fes still retains much of the traditional culture, providing a glimpse of the past with its serpentine streets & the world’s largest car-free urban space - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fes, the country's cultural and spiritual center is an adventure in art, architecture and its innovative foodie scene. 

Atlantic Ocean Coastline. Enjoy the relaxed vibe along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and visit the laid-back waterfront village of Oualidia, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a natural saltwater lagoon on the other end. Experience the port city of El Jadida with its old Portuguese Medina, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Hope you can join us on our trip to explore the magical Kingdom of Morocco - full of cultural and natural wonders to discover and experience. This adventure will not disappoint!

Riad Al Makan - Day 1 & 2

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5 (Excellent)

Riad Al Makan is a traditional guesthouse in the Fez medina with 19 rooms. The riad provides a tranquil and luxurious retreat from the fascinating, but hectic medieval city. The rooftop terrace overlooking the old Medina offering spectacular views of the medina and surrounding hills. Rooms include air conditioning, TV, hairdryer, electric kettle. 

 Riad Al Makan


Riad Al Makan room


Riad Al Makan bathroom


Riad Madu Premium Camp - Day 3

TripAdvisor rating: 5.0 (Excellent)

Madu is a premium luxury desert camp  in the heart of the Erg Chebbi Dunes of the Moroccan Sahara Desert. The tents offer hotel room comfort and include hot shower, toilet, and sink.

 Madu luxury camp outside


Madu luxury camp room


Madu luxury camp bathroom


Hotel Xaluca Dades - Day 4

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5 (Excellent)

Xaluca is surrounded by the majestic Atlas mountains with a panoramic view of the Dades Valley. The propety has an outdoor pool, hot tub, and restaurant & bar/lounge. All rooms offer WiFi, flat-screen TVs, toiletries & hair dryers.

Xaluca hotel Dades outside


Xaluca hotel Dades room


Xaluca hotel Dades bathroom


Kasbah du M'Goun - Day 5 & 6

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5 (Excellent)

Kasbah du M'goun is an old clay fortress that has been restored with the greatest care and with full respect for its environment. The unique mountain ecolodge is located in the small village of Aguerd N'ouzrou in Aït Bouguemez in the heart of the central High Atlas. The property has a steam hammam, outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, Internet, and several terraces with panoramic 360 degree views of the "Happy Valley" and M'goun mountains. The 14 individually furnished guestrooms feature showers with rainfall showerheads, hair dryers and blackout curtains.

Kasbah du MGoun outside


Kasbah du MGoun room


Kasbah du MGoun bathroom


Dar l'eau Vive - Day 7 & 8

 TripAdvisor rating: 4.0 (Very Good)

Dar l'eau Vive is a family-run hotel located on the banks of the river very close to Lake Bin El Ouidane. The property consists of 8 hotel rooms and 3  bungalows in the middle of the trees with a beautiful view of the river. Dar l'eau Vive offers an outdoor swimming pool, a sunbathing terrace, on-site restaurant, and a picnic area. Free Wi-fi. 

Dar Leau Vive overview


Dar Leau Vive room


Dar Leau Vive bathroom 


Riad Al Rimal - Day 9

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5 (Excellent)

Riad al Rimal is ideally located in the historic heart of the Marrakech medina, less than 2 minutes walk from the famous Jemma El Fna square. The boutique hotel combines the authenticity and refinement of Moroccan architecture with modern comfort. The property offers a rooftop terrace with a jacuzzi hot tub, a pool in the central courtyard, solarium, and hammam spa. Decorated in a traditional Moroccan style, all rooms are air-conditioned with hairdryer & free toiletries and feature a view of the patio area.

Riad Al Rimal outside 


Riad Al Rimal room


Riad Al Rimal bathroom


Mazagan Beach Resort - Day 10 & 11

TripAdvisor rating: 4.0 (Very Good)

Mazagan Beach Resort is a luxury 5-star seaside hotel resort with full-service spa, outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna, fitness center, and onsite restaurants. Mazagan is located on a 4.3 mile private beach. The spacious contemporary designed guest rooms include air-conditioning, TV with satellite channels, free WiFi, slippers, hair dryers, and complimentary bottled water & coffee/tea.

Mazagan outside


Mazagan room


Mazagan bathroom



  • Day 1. Arrival in Casablanca
  • Day 2. Guided Tour of Fes
  • Day 3. Fes to Merzouga via Azrou & Midelt
  • Day 4. Merzouga to Dades Valley
  • Day 5. Dades to Ait Bouguemez
  • Day 6. Ait Bouguemez
  • Day 7. Ait Bouguemez - Demnate - Ouzoud - Bin el Ouidane
  • Day 8. Bin el Ouidane
  • Day 9. Bin el Ouidane to Marrakech
  • Day 10. Marrakech to El Jadida via Oualidia
  • Day 11. El Jadida
  • Day 12. Transfer to Casablanca Airport


Sat, Jun 4 Day 1. Arrival in Casablanca

Your driver will be waiting for you upon your arrival in Casablanca. After going through immigration and collecting your luggage, head to the airport exit and look for your driver right outside (he'll be holding a Morocco Immersion sign).

Group arrivals consist of most folks who are on the IAD-CMN nonstop flight on Royal Air Maroc; a couple people arriving on the nonstop flight from Miami with ETA 11:40am; others will already be in Morocco - we will meet up at the airport, one person in Fes. When we have everyone, we'll start our journey to Fes. We'll make any desired stops along with the way (e.g., food, bathroom break etc.) Approximately 3 hour drive time.

Upon arrival early evening, you'll check into your riad. Later in the evening after you've had a chance to rest a bit, we'll all get together for a group dinner to celebrate our first day in Morocco!

Overnight @ Riad Al Makan


Sun, Jun 5 Day 2. Guided Tour of Fes

Today after breakfast, your local guide will meet you at your riad for a guided tour of the city. To start your tour, you'll first go to the Royal Palace and then walk through the old Mellah (Jewish Quartier) of the city. From here, you will head to one of the Borj (towers) and get a panoramic view of the entire car-free medina. Next, you’ll head to a mosaic house where you will have a demonstration of the traditional pottery methods utilized by Fassi artisans – you’ll see every step of the process from the formation of the clay to the piecing together of the mosaics. The tour will take you into the medina of Fes where you will discover the ancient streets and neighborhoods, visit the various artisan sections (including the tanneries), and see the important historic monuments (including the tomb of Idriss II and the Al-Qarawaiyin University - the oldest continually operated university in the world). Your tour will end after lunch. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon and evening free to explore the medina. Don’t worry if you get lost – that's all part of the experience!

Overnight @ Riad Al Makan


Mon, Jun 6 Day 3. Fes to Merzouga via Azrou & Midelt

After breakfast, you'll depart from Fes and head to the Sahara desert. This will be a long driving day to our final destination - approximately 7 hours - but there'll be a number of stops along the way to explore & take breaks.

Your first stop on the way will be the interesting Alpine-like city of Ifraine. Driving through this city, you'll think you've been teleported to Switzerland. The city's biggest claim to fame is a statue of the now extinct Atlas lion that once roamed the lands. The best part of the city is the European-like cafe in the main square that serves great coffee and delicious sweets - perfect break for today's road trip.

After a quick stop here for coffee and a snack, you'll continue into the Middle Atlas Mountains and through the largest cedar forest in Africa which is also home to the barbary apes (aka Atlas Monkeys) which are sure to entertain. Just be prepared to pay a toll in peanuts. These little guys may not let you pass without it!

After you've crossed through the Middle Atlas Mountains, you'll arrive to the city of Midelt located on the high plains between the Middle and High Atlas Mountains. You'll likely stop in this area for lunch and then continue through the High Atlas Mountains via the Ziz Gorge.

Take note of the change of landscape as you enter the desert region and make the final leg of the journey to Merzouga and the great sand sea of the Sahara, Erg Chebbi. You’ll have a little time to relax and unwind from the days driving and just before sunset, you'll climb aboard your camel and trek through the dunes to your luxury Berber camp for the night. (Note: Optionally take 4x4 vehicle to the desert camp.) Once there, you can watch the sunset and the stars come out. Dinner will be served and traditional music will be played while you lounge around the campfire gazing at the stars. When you're ready, you can retire to your luxury tent (with A/C) for the night… or, if you wish, you can sleep under the stars.

Overnight @ Riad Madu Premium Camp


Tue, Jun 7 Day 4. Merzouga to Dades Valley

This morning, you'll want to be sure to get up early to watch the sun rise over the dunes. Grab some coffee and climb up the nearest dune and watch as the sun turns the sand aflame. After this near-transcendental experience, you’ll have breakfast at camp and prepare for your day. When you're ready, you’ll take your camels back to the Kasbah on the edge of the dunes. If you want to add a little adventure, you can do optional quad ATV riding in the dunes this morning before departing. Also, instead of taking the camels from the camp, you can go by ATV. (Quad ATV is an additional cost - $45 pp/hr.)  

When back in the minvan, you’ll have some time to explore the desert region, stopping to visit Khamlia - a village composed of Gnaoua musicians - for tea and a short concert. A stop at a fossil museum provides a chance to search for your own fossils in the wild. You'll also get to visit the ancient irrigation system that once brought water to the desert from the distant Saghro Mountains.

Afterwards, you’ll head to the oasis town of Tinghir for a guided walk of the palmeraie and Mellah (old Jewish area). You'll also visit the nearby Todgha Gorge where you can walk through the most impressive part of the canyon. Todra Gorges is a deep-sided canyon carved out of the High Atlas range by fast-flowing rivers on their way down to the coastal plains.

Then, it's off to your accommodations located in the Dades Valley where you'll enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Overnight @ Hotel Xaluca Dades


Wed, Jun 8 Day 5. Dades to Ait Bouguemez

This morning after breakfast, you'll head into the mountains. Today brings some hiking and off-roading, reaching your kasbah in the late afternoon.

You'll start with an off-road transfer to Boutaghrar stopping along the way to meet nomads who spend the summers in the caves found in this region. When you reach Bourtaghra, you'll leave the driver and begin your hike. This scenic hike will take you through the terraced agriculture of the local berber villages as you follow the Talkadit River through the gorge of Agouti. At the end of your hike, meet up with your driver and begin the next phase of today's adventure.

You'll head to Almdoun where you'll enjoy lunch with the locals and then make your way over the second highest elevation in Morocco (4071 meters - 13,356 feet) to Ait Bouguemez where you will stop for the night. Most of this drive will be off-road, which makes the journey part of the adventure. Dinner at the kasbah.

Overnight @ Kasbah du M'Goun


Thu, Jun 9 Day 6. Ait Bouguemez

After a leisurely morning, the group will embark on a hike to explore the local area. you'll hike through Berber villages to a nearby granary located on a nearby peak. From there, enjoy panoramic views of all of Happy Valley before returning back to the kasbah for lunch. Note: Hike is optional - feel free to just relax at the kasbah & enjoy its grounds.

You'll have the rest of the afternoon to explore the area around the kasbah on your own through the terraced gardens and discover why this area is called "Happy Valley". Or just rest and relax by the pool. Dinner at the kasbah.

Overnight @ Kasbah du M'Goun


Fri, Jun 10 Day 7. Ait Bouguemez - Demnate - Ouzoud - Bin el Ouidane

After breakfast, you'll head to Demnate. Once there, you will make your way on foot to the natural bridge of Imi n'Ifri. When you reach the bridge, follow the river under the bridge and then continue over it before continuing your hike to nearby Tamount Ecolodge.

You'll have lunch here - their specialty is Rabbit Tagine (but vegetarians are welcome) - and then have some time to explore this unique space dedicated to the preservations of Berber traditions.

After lunch, you'll make the relatively quick drive to Ouzoud. When you arrive in Ouzoud, you can go to an overlook at the top of the waterfall and then make your way down to the bottom of the cascade where you can go for a swim beneath the falls, take a boat ride under the falls, or just enjoy the view from one of the many terraces.

After exploring the falls, there'll be a short drive the rest of the way to Bin el Ouidane, your destination for the next 2 nights. After some free time to enjoy the property, we'll take a brief walk down to the water and enjoy a sunset boat ride on the lake. Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight @ Dar l'eau Vive


Sat, Jun 11 Day 8. Bin el Ouidane

Enjoy a full day in the mountain lake town of Bin el Ouidane! This is a small village in the tranquil foothills of the Middle Atlas on Bin El Ouidane lake. The lake was formed by an arch dam considered the highest arch-shaped dam in Africa.

You'll be free today to enjoy your lakeside accommodations and partake in any of the available activities including visiting the spa, or just relax by the pool. In the morning, complimentary kayak outing on the lake (optional). Afterwards, enjoy a BBQ lunch in nature loverlooking the lake. Free afternoon on your own.

Overnight @ Dar l'eau Vive


Sun, Jun 12 Day 9. Bin el Ouidane to Marrakech

This morning you'll be off to Marrakech. Upon arrival, check into your riad and either opt for free time to explore on your own or have a guided tour of the city.

Guided Tour of Marrakech - Meet your local city guide who will show you all around Marrakech. The tour will include visits to some of the important monuments such as Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, and/or the Koutoubia Mosque. After you’ve visited these monuments, your guide will escort you to the souks of Marrakech where you'll have a chance to visit the various artisans and to learn about their crafts. Your tour will end by late-afternoon with the rest of the afternoon/evening to explore on your own.

Overnight @ Riad Al Rimal


Mon, Jun 13 Day 10. Marrakech to El Jadida via Oualidia

Optional: Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight - Weather permitting, there is an optional sunrise hot air ballon flight this morning. The "Hot Air Ballooners" will transfer early morning to a site just outside of the city for a sunrise hot air balloon ride. (Price approx $245 USD per person.)

This morning after breakfast, you'll depart from Marrakech and head toward the beach towns along the coast. Your first stop of the day will be the small beach city of Oualidia. Known for its oysters, you'll have time today, should you choose, to sample this local specialty before continuing up the coast to El Jadida.

Once here you can explore this old Portuguese city and then you will head to your nearby resort where you will have the rest of the day free to relax.

Check in @ Mazagan Beach Resort


Tue, Jun 14 Day 11. El Jadida

Free day to enjoy the beach & your resort! An optional morning bicycle tour is included if you'd like to do so. Note: Other activities this day not included in the trip price, though you'll have transportation available to you today anytime you wish to use it.


Wed, Jun 15 Day 12. Transfer to Casablanca Airport

Unfortunately, its departure day. But you'll have time this morning to enjoy your resort (checkout 11am) before making the drive to the airport in Casablanca in plenty of time for your departing flight.



• Ground Transfers to/from Airport
• Private Transportation and all related costs (including SUVs for portion of trip involving off-roading)
• English Speaking Tour Manager
• Guided tour of Fes
• Camel Trek and overnight in Premium Luxury Camp (with A/C)
• Guided Walk in Tinghir
• Guided Hike in Boutaghar
• Guided Hike in Ait Bouguemez
• Guided Hike in Demnate
• Guided Tour of Marrakech
• Sunset Boat Ride
• Kayaking in Ben el Ouidane (including equipment rental)
• Bike Tour at Mazagan (including equipment rental)
• 11 Nights of Accommodations
• 11 Breakfasts
• 7 Dinners (including Welcome Dinner)
• 3 Lunches
• Entrance Fees to sites listed


  • Airfare to/from Morocco
  • Meals (other than specified)
  • Activities at Widiane Resort
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Personal Expenses
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Gratuities

Early Bird Trip Price (double occupancy): $2,684 [only $244/night]  **Save $125**

Early Bird Booking Deadline: September 28, 2021

We'll be traveling all over the country and keeping our high-quality features including thoughtful itinerary, top-rated hotels, and private guide, driver, and minvan plus 4x4 vehicle.


Regular Trip Price - starting September 29, 2021 (double occupancy): $2,809

Regular Trip Booking Deadline: January 4, 2022

Single Room Supplement: $695 (This is to have your own room without sharing/having a roommate, not for upgraded rooms.)

Deposit: 30% of trip price due at booking ($800)

Final Balance Due: May 3, 2022 (30 days before departure)


Cancellation policy: Only 100% refundable only within two weeks of paying your deposit.

We recommend a premium Trip Insurance policy via a reputable company like TravelSafe. Premium trip insurance policies include the 'cancel for any reason' benefit. These premium policies must be paid for within 10-14 days of your initial trip investment.

While a 30% deposit is due at booking, the balance can be paid over time up until the booking deadline using our self-service payment feature. You can make payments of any size at anytime by logging into your account on the Gen X Travel Club website. This is a great way to finance/budget for the cost of a trip - instead of paying a larger single lump sum payment for the balance, you can make small monthly payments over time.

Estimated Airfare: $875

This is from the DC area, nonstop flight from Dulles Int'l Airport to Casablanca on Royal Air Maroc. Price varies depending on your departure airport, flight quality, etc. Use a connecting flight for lower airfare.

Note that the flight to Morocco is an overnight flight leaving on Fri Jun 3 with the itinerary starting on Sat Jun 4. 

For those in the Washington DC area, below is the recommended flight (nonstop) to purchase:

Morocco flight

Morocco Map