Morocco Travel - Moroccan Adventure

Document Sample
Morocco Travel - Moroccan Adventure Powered By Docstoc
                                     Itinerary Overview
Walking the pistes and ancient caravan routes of the High Atlas Mountains, this active adventure
provides a hands-on exploration of the stunning landscapes, rich history and the Arab and Berber
cultures of the Magreb.* We explore the almost biblical passageways of the medina in the northern
historic city of Fez, gaining a glimpse of a Kasbah life style unchanged for centuries. We encounter local
Magrebi farmers, herders and nomads, each community steeped in its distinctive traditions and each
sharing the deep hospitality so characteristic of Islamic cultures. Hiking through quiet villages with
ochre walls richly red at sunset and seemingly organic to their mountain setting we also stay with a
highland Berber family. We even camp with Tuareg nomads and ride camels to watch in awe as the dawn
vanquishes the Saharan night. Finally, in the bustling main square of Djemna el-Fna, we weave amidst
snake charmers, basket weavers, soothsayers and musicians in the great southern Imperial capital of

*Magreb means west in Arabic, and has become a much-used term for Morocco.

    DAY   DATE       OVERNIGHT           HOTEL        MEALS   HIGHLIGHTS

     1            RABAT                Farah Hotel     D      Arrive Casablanca and transfer to Rabat
                                                              Drive Fez
     2            FEZ                  Dar Anebar     BLD
                                                              Visit Meknes, Volubilis, Moulay Idriss
                                                              Walking tour Fez: Souk, Madrassa, Medina,
     3            FEZ                  Dar Anebar     BLD
                                                              tanneries etc. Home cooked dinner
                  ATLAS                  Berber               Drive into Middle Atlas Mountains.
     4                                  Home Stay
                  MOUNTAINS                                   Hike & overnight in Berber village
     5            RISSANI              Xaluca Hotel   BLD     Drive over Middle Atlas Mountains to Sahara
                                                              Camel ride for sunset at Erg Chebbi Dunes
     6            DESERT CAMP          Desert Camp    BLD
                                                              Overnight desert camp
                                          Club                Dawn Camel ride at Erg Chedbbi dunes
     7            OUARZAZATE             Hanane
                                                              Drive Quarzazate via Todra Gorge & Tineghir
                                          Club                Full day excursion & 1/2 day hike
     8            OUARZAZATE             Hanane
                                                              Salt River hike to Ait Ben Haddou
     9            IMLIL                  Samra
                                                      BLD     Drive over Tiz n'Ticha pass to Ouirka Valley
    10            IMLIL                  Samra
                                                      BLD     Full day High Atlas hiking
                                                              Drive onto Moroccan plains
    11            MARRAKECH             Riad Daria    BLD
                                                              PM in Marrakech
                                                              Full day Marrakech tour: Visit Palais de la
    12            MARRAKECH             Riad Daria    BLD
                                                              Bahaia, Saadian Tombs, Maison Tiskiwin
    13            DEPART                               B      Transfer to airport or begin extension

                        Wildland Adventures | Moroccan Adventure |
                                       Itinerary in Detail

DAY 1: RABAT Arrive Casablanca. Meet, assist and transfer to Rabat
On arrival in Casablanca we are met by our guide and transferred to our Rabat hotel. En route, we visit
Casablanca's magnificent Mosque of Hassan II, heralded as the second largest mosque in the world.
Morocco's modern capital of Rabat is the first of our 'Imperial Cities', and the official residence of King
Mohammed VI. A visit to the Mohammed V Mausoleum and the remains of the Hassan Tower built in
1196 ACE provide an excellent introduction to Moroccan history, and we enjoy our first glimpse of
Moroccan culture during a short walk through the narrow passageways of the beautifuly Kasbah of the
Oudayas, admiring the decorative doors and immersing ourselves in the sights and sounds of daily life.
Dinner and overnight Farah Hotel (or similar) [D]

DAY 2: FEZ Drive Fez, via Meknes, Volubilis and Moulay Idriss
This morning we drive east (1hr) to our second 'Imperial City', Meknes, with its famous gate of Bab El
Mansour. At the impressive Dar Jamai Palace we visit the Royal Stables and the tomb of Moulay Ismail,
the dreaded sultan of Morocco who built some of Morocco's finest historical fortifications. At Volubilis, a
UNESCO World Heritage Site we explore the ancient buildings with mosaic floors of Morocco's largest
and best preserved Roman ruin. We walk among the cobbled streets of the holy city of Moulay Idriss,
named after the sainted fourth generation descendant of the prophet Mohamed, and both the founder of
Islam in Morocco and the founder of the city of Fez, our next Imperial City and today's final destination
(1hr). Overnight Dar Anebar (or similar) [BLD]

DAY 3: FEZ Walking tour of Fez Medina. Visit Tanneries, Madrassa, University, Idriss Memorial
Awaken to the mesmerizing call to dawn prayer building to a crescendo as each of a hundred minarets
join the chorus; a sound integral to Fez and a sound which has echoed each morning through this
exquisite walled city for over 1400 years. The former capital of Morocco and considered the first of the
'Imperial Cities', Fez remains Morocco's leading intellectual and religious center as well as a fascinating
cultural hub. Our guided walk through the bustling medina with visits to a tannery, wool souk (market),
spice shops, and stalls loaded with dates and olives offers a thorough immersion in Moroccan mercantile
life. We meet shop keepers and craftsmen whose skills have been passed from generation to generation,
and begin to understand the fine web of tradition that makes Moroccan culture so enduring and rich.
Walking through the maze of narrow passageways we visit the Qaraouine University, the Madrassa
(Quranic school), and the Moulay Idriss II memorial. We end the day with a unique experience; the
warmth and traditional hospitality of a local Arab family at a hosted home cooked dinner, perhaps a
tagine or couscous, or even harira, the traditional soup that ends each Ramadan day. Overnight Dar
Anebar (or similar) [BLD]

DAY 4: BERBER HOMESTAY Drive into the Middle Atlas Mountians
Driving from lowlands into the Atlas Mountains we pass villages and fields using a system of
gravitational irrigation established well before Roman arrival. There are many local footpaths we share
with local residents stopping to picnic amidst the lentils, turnips and fava beans, or to shelter from the
sun in the sweet shade of an apple or cherry orchard. Here we witness a lifestyle still organic, still in tune
with the seasons, still natural and refreshingly far from the myriad demands of urban modernity. We
explore the village of Zaouia D'Ifrane and hike to a nearby waterfall before meeting our Berber hosts. As
guests of a Berber family, we have a unique opportunity to experience a calmer, more relaxed way of life
and to sample home cooked Berber cuisine. Beds are Berber-style mattresses on a floor of colorful
carpets, with linens and blankets. There is a shared guest bathroom with a flush toilet. Overnight Berber
Home Stay (or similar) [BLD]

                        Wildland Adventures | Moroccan Adventure |
DAY 5: RISSANI Drive across the Middle Atlas
We settle back in our seats and watch the dramatic changes in landscape as our vehicle switch-backs over
the Atlas Mountains and descend to the mighty Saharan Desert. The terrain on this full day drive (7hr) is
varied and includes forests of giant cedar, high arid mountains with breathtaking views over tortuous
mountain passes and, as we drop to the flattening foothills of scrub, the vast Saharan desert stretches
before us for thousands of miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Following a centuries-old
caravan route, we pass through the Beni Mguild Berber capital of Midelt, an important center for local
carpet making. We begin to see ksars (fortified strongholds) along the way to Errachidia, where we pause
to stretch our legs and eat a tasty tagine before continuing on to Rissani. On arrival we have arranged a
henna ceremony before dinner. Overnight Kasbah Ennasra or similar [BLD]

DAY 6: DESERT CAMP Erg Chebbi Dunes Camel Ride and Optional Desert Camp
We start our desert explorations with an excursion to the Holy City of Rissani to visit the Mausoleum of
Moulay Ali Sherife, the Ksour of Abdel Hamid, and the Abdel Malik Kasbah. After lunch and a refreshing
dip in the pool we depart in the afternoon for Erfoud in our 4x4 vehicle, stopping at a quarry to view rock
excavations and fossils. At last we reach the edge of the vast Sahara where the paved road ends (1hr). As
the day cools, desert colors intensify. We mount camels and, accompanied by indigenous Touareg
nomads in their famous blue-dyed turbans, we ride the Erg Chebbi, a vast expanse of huge, drifting sand
dunes. Touregs are truly masters of their domain. Centuries ago, Touregs turned the deadly Saharan
sands into an ocean on which their ships of the desert (camels) traded goods as varied as dates and gold
bullion from the Atlantic coast to Lake Chad. The sunset changes and deepens the hues of this mystical
landscape as our surefooted dromedaries bring us to our desert camp. After a cold drink and a delicious
dinner we retire under a vast star-lit desert sky to ponder the imponderable, and to marvel at the comfort
of our private tents, mattresses, linens, pillows and Berber rugs. There is a shared bathroom facility.
(Those not wishing to camp in the desert may return to overnight in Rissani hotel) Overnight Desert
Encampment or Kasbah Ennasra (or similar) [BLD]

DAY 7: QUARZAZATE Drive Quarzazate via Todra Gorge
We awaken before dawn to see the moon reflected off millions of microscopic silicon chips in the sand. In
pre-dawn light we mount our saddled camels for a short ride to watch the sun creep over the desert
horizon. The true solitude and beauty of the Sahara shows itself only in such moments. Back at camp for
breakfast we re-board our vehicle and drive to Todra Gorge (3hrs) first heading towards the mountains
then turning south, hugging the Atlas through a stark landscape dotted with fertile oases and dramatic
volcanic and limestone peaks. Turning off the main road to the impressive Todra Gorge we embark on an
optional (1-2hr) walk through the gorge, exquisitely river-carved over millennium. After lunch in
Tineghir, we continue (2 hrs) to picturesque Ouarzazate. Overnight Club Hanane Hotel (or similar)

NOTE: If you are not camping and staying in the hotel tonight, you have the option of returning to Erg
Chebbi for a sunrise camel ride or departing directly from Erfoud for Ouzarzate.

DAY 8: QUARZAZATE Salt River Hike to Ait Ben Haddou (4 hours walking)
After breakfast we drive for half an hour to the Salt River, a dry river bed region of dramatic beauty,
where we stop at a Berber village and begin our hike. The village elevation is about 600m (1000 f), and
our hike traverses a gradual ascent to 1300 feet where we reach a natural plateau in the high Atlas
Mountains from which there are wonderful views of the Anti Atlas Mountains which lie across the Sous
Valley to the south. The scenery through which we pass is beautiful, arid, treeless and volcanic. Reaching
an oasis of palm, almond and alfalfa trees, we may stop for tea in a Berber house. We continue for
another two hours to the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, where we will have our lunch in a beautiful restaurant
next to the Kasbah. (4 hours walking plus stop for tea). We then visit Ait Ben Haddou before returning to
the hotel. Overnight Club Hanane Hotel (or similar) [BLD]

                        Wildland Adventures | Moroccan Adventure |
DAY 9: IMLIL Drive Imlilo over Tiz n’Techa Pass
Leaving the stark desert landscape of southern Morocco, we drive north from Ouarzazate into the High
Atlas Mountains (4hrs), and grind up a looping road over the Tiz-n-Tickka Pass (7,417 ft) the highest pass
in Morocco. This route offers spectacular views. We turn from the main road at Ait Ourir and pause for
"ateh" (mint tea) in the Ouirka Valley and take a short hike in the cooler mountain air. Isolated villages
and stepped cultivation cling to hillsides along the river. Continuing to Imlil, we leave our vehicle,
transfer our bags to pack-donkeys, and walk to our douar, a typical traditional stone and rammed-earth
Berber dwelling, our home for the next two nights. Committed to sustainable tourism, our douar owner
helps provide work for the men of the village and gives an opportunity for the Berber women to hone
their artisan skills and sell traditional crafts to tourist. Our douar is the perfect base from which to
explore the Toubkal Massif. Overnight at Kasbah Samra (or similar) [BLD]

DAY 10: IMLIL Full day hiking in Jebel Toubkal region
The fresh mountain air is exhilarating. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and marvelous views,
there is a myriad of hiking opportunities from which to choose in this truly dramatic setting. Our local
hiking guides lead a variety of excursions based on interests and abilities; everything from half-day hikes
along sandstone ridges to pastel and ochre colored villages that appear organic to the lush-green terraced
valleys to full-day treks in the nearby mountain peaks. There are more than forty spectacular mountain
peaks surrounding our kasbah with altitudes of at least 11,500 ft. including Mount Toubkal, the highest
peak in North Africa. Overnight at Kasbah Samra (or similar) [BLD]

DAY 11: MARRAKECH Free morning to walk around Imlil. PM drive Marrakech
Enjoy a free morning over a relaxed breakfast to savior the kasbah and its surroundings, or head out on a
brisk morning hike. After lunch it's off to vibrant Marrakech (1hr) where we have time to explore the
narrow streets. As dusk begins to fall, the focus is the Djemna el-Fna, the huge square in the Marrakech
medina and backdrop for an eclectic array of jugglers, storytellers, snake charmers, musicians and
soothsayers. Mouth-watering aromas waft through the medina from the many rows of open-air food
stalls. Perhaps we will retreat to a neighboring rooftop restaurant for a drink and the view. Overnight
Riad Daria (or similar) [BLD]

DAY 12: MARRAKECH Full day tour: Saadian Tombs, Bahaia Palace, Jemma el Fna
Prepare for a full day delving into this distinctly Magrebi city's history. Marrakech has for centuries been
Morocco's southern capital, competing with Fez not just metaphorically but militarily and religiously too.
Posterity has lost many architectural masterpieces through such conflicts. Of those that remain, we tour
the Palais de la Bahaia which housed Bou Ahmed's four wives, 24 concubines and numerous children,
and visit the Saadian Tombs, the royal burial ground of the Saadian dynasty. Based on time and interest,
we walk among the narrow streets and shops of the old city, view the extensive Berber collection of
clothing, jewelry, textiles, doors, baskets and carpets at the Maison Tiskiwin, and/or walk through Jardin
Majorelle, the extensive gardens of French painter Jacques Majorelle with a collection of plants from five
continents. In Morocco, as in most North African and Middle Eastern cultures bartering is considered an
opportunity to converse and interact as much as it is to establish an agreed price. Our guide will give you
tips and invite you to enjoy the exchange with shopkeepers! Return to the medina for any last minute
shopping before reflecting on our Moroccan adventure at a farewell dinner. Overnight Riad Daria (or
similar) [BLD]

Today we transfer to the airport for our international departure out of Marrakesh with connecting flight
through Casablanca. Or extend your Morocco vacation with a few days along the coast.

                        Wildland Adventures | Moroccan Adventure |
    GROUP SIZE           2-3          4-5            6-12
  COST PER PERSON:     $ 5225       $ 3925         $ 3595

       All guided tours and excursions
       English-speaking guides
       Airport-hotel transfers, land and sea transportation
       12 nights accommodation as indicated
       Meals as indicated [B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner]
       Wildland Adventures travel consultation and pre-departure services

       International airfare
       Tips and gratuities
       Airport departure taxes
       Drinks, alcoholic beverages, and meals other than listed above
       Personal expenses for extra services, optional activities, or changes in your itinerary for reasons
       beyond our control
       Travel insurance for trip cancellation, medical services, or evacuation
       Any other items not mentioned above

Background Information
Roads in Morocco are often narrow and windy in mountain passes and many secondary roads are
unpaved. Therefore, driving speeds in rural areas are slow. Driving times indicated from point to point
between cities and regions on this trip vary due to conditions and stops and can be up to 8 hours on the
longest day from Fez to Erfoud. Times estimated are total time including planned stops, not just time
sitting in the vehicle. Travel over high passes in winter is subject to delay.

                       Wildland Adventures | Moroccan Adventure |
               FARAH HOTEL, RABAT
               Located just five minutes from the city center, the Farah Hotel is a
               great starting point to explore the city of Rabat. The hotel is also
               near the Hassan Tower and the Mohammad V Mausoleum,
               offering great opportunities to understand more about the city's
               history. With its comfortable rooms and wonderful views of
               Rabat, Sale, the ocean and the Bouregreg River, the Farah Hotel is
               an excellent place to make resting place on your journey.

               FEZ: DAR ANEBAR
               Once a grand mansion, now stylishly renovated into one of Fez’s
               most characterful riads. Located close to Bab Jamaï, Dar Anebar’s
               courtyard has trees and fountain. Salons off the courtyard double
               as a restaurant, which serves quality traditional Moroccan cuisine.
               The rooms consist of a double, one suite with two bedrooms, and
               three further suites, including the luxurious Royal Suite. Facilities
               include restaurant, bar, library, wi fi, terrace with medina view,
               laundry, money exchange. All rooms are equipped with cable TV,
               mini-bar, air-conditioning/heating and en suite bathrooms.

               Kasbah Ennasra is a boutique hotel of great character offering just
               15 rooms consisting of suites and double / triple rooms. Located
               on the northern edge of Rissani town and strategically positioned
               close to the Erg Chebbi Dunes (19k from Erfoud and 52km from
               Merzouga). Hotel facilities include a restaurant, a bar, a
               swimming pool, room and laundry service, money exchange, and
               lots of character. All rooms and suites are decorated Moroccan
               style and fully equipped with A/C, heater, a private patio, and
               private en-suite bathrooms.

               Located not far from the Kasbah of Taourirt, which inspired its
               architecture, the hotel Hanane Club has the charm of traditional
               constructions of the area of Ouarzazate. Each of the rooms is
               original and decorated with traditional objects of Moroccan craft.
               All the rooms are equipped with private bath, a/c, satellite TV,
               mini bar, telephone, CD player. Facilities include wifi, laundry, a
               swimming pool as well as a Hammam bath and massage. Hanane
               Club Hotel offers a whole choice of menus and restaurants: the
               snack bar at the edge of the swimming pool, the Andalusian-style
               restaurant, the nomad tent for a typically Moroccan dinner, or the
               Asian restaurant.

               KASBAH SAMRA, IMLIL
Wildland Adventures | Moroccan Adventure |
A traditional Berber dwelling conversion, set in the dramatic scenery of the spectacular High Atlas,
Kasbah Samra is a fascinating eco-tourism project. Set at the head of a valley surrounded by the High
Atlas Mountains it is an ideal place to stay before and/or after a trek. The beautiful garden and spacious
roof terrace is a great place for relaxing and taking in sun and scenic views. The cozy rooms maintain the
rustic Berber style. They have a shower and are decorated with pretty fabrics and Moroccan rugs, and
most are equipped with an open fireplace. There are four standard rooms in the main house which rely
on candle-lit lanterns as there is no electricity in the main house; however, the three family suites have
electric lighting.

                                       RIAD DARIA, MARRAKECH
                                       Riad Daria is a very charming guest house the heart of the Kasbah
                                       in a quiet neighborhood. Originally a royal palace owned by the
                                       King’s family, it has been lovingly renovated in the traditional
                                       Hispano-Moresque style of architecture, retaining many of its
                                       authentic features. Each room and suite at the guesthouse is
                                       decorated in its own signature style and is equipped a television,
                                       private bathroom, telephone, safe and hair dryer. The hotel boasts
                                       a superb view of the Atlas mountains and the rooftops of the
                                       Medina, as well as a refreshing swimming pool and a large patio
                                       naturally shaded by orange trees.

                       Wildland Adventures | Moroccan Adventure |
                                 Booking your Wildland Adventure
You can book online using our Reserve a Trip form or by calling one of our destination-expert Program
Directors at 1-800-345-4453. Your space on a trip is confirmed once we receive your reservation form
and the initial trip deposit.

Deposit requirements are as follows*:
   • $500 per person for all trips in Central America.
   • $700 per person for all trips in South America, the Middle East, Asia, the Mediterranean and
       North America.
   • 20% of land cost for all trips in Africa. This deposit is generally non-refundable.

*Additional deposits may be required for some trips. It may be necessary to adjust prices up or down 30 days before departure to
allow for changes in group size, rooming status or currency fluctuations. Full payment of the remaining trip balance is due 90
days prior to departure. Prior to departure, all travelers are required to sign a Release of Liability

If you must cancel before departure, money will be returned less the cancellation fees charged by WA Inc.
plus any additional nonrefundable cancellation fees and payments already advanced to airlines, hotels
and local operators:

Days Prior to Departure: Fee* per person
91 or more: $100 (plus initial deposit for Africa trips)
61-90 days: Initial deposit amount
31-60 days:     50% of land cost
30 or less:    100% of land cost
*Note: Cancellation may result in additional penalties charged by local hotels, operators and airlines, occasionally as much as
100% of the cost.

Upon receipt of your deposit and completed reservation form, we will send you a comprehensive Pre-
departure Dossier. This contains our exclusive Wildland Adventures Destination Handbooks, country
map, immunization information, visa and other permit forms, a trip insurance policy, checklist, reading
list, travel gear catalog, cross-cultural information and optional trip extensions. You will receive a final
trip packet including Final Reminders and local contact information in your destination 2-3 weeks prior
to departure.

We think our trips are the best in the business. But don’t take just our word for it. We’re happy to provide
you with references from other Wild travelers. Have more questions or concerns? Call us a 1-800-345-
4453. We’re here to help.

This trip isn’t exactly what you’re looking for? We are happy to customize an itinerary to accommodate
your travel dates, interests and style of accommodations. Call us at 1-800-345-4453 or use the Contact a
Program Director button on the trip itinerary page on our website.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Wildland Adventures, Inc. has arranged your trip utilizing the travel services of local in-country ground operators
who are independent contractors. These local outfitters, lodges, hotels and other suppliers of your travel services will make every effort to
conduct this trip as described in the itinerary. It is however possible that due to transportation schedule changes, weather, delays and
unforeseeable acts of God, humans or nature, this itinerary may vary from what is described. Participants must assume all risks whether
identified in advance or unforeseen. All optional activities are at your own risk. Extra costs due to unexpected changes in your itinerary for
reasons beyond our control are not included. We highly recommend purchasing traveler’s insurance for trip delay, trip cancellation, baggage,
accident or sickness. Representatives are available for assistance at any time during your trip. If preferred hotels are not available, every attempt
will be made to reserve alternative accommodations of similar quality. (If upgrade is necessary, higher rates may apply.) All information and
services provided are subject to our Terms and Conditions

                               Wildland Adventures | How to Reserve a Trip |

Shared By: