MOROCCO: MARRAKESH, ESSAOUIRA AND
THE HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS
If exotic lands intrigue you... if you hope to introduce your kids to the timeless traditions of cultures vastly different from their own... then Morocco is just the ticket to an ultimately memorable family vacation.
With coastline, the Atlas mountains and the vast Sahara desert this country has many climates and attractions for the adventurous and culture seekers alike. You'll find Berber, French and Moroccan Arabic spoken here, and a long and fascinating history. It's a colorful, magical place to uncover with your family.
Day 1 Marrakesh
Welcome to Morocco! As you pass through customs keep your eye out for your driver holding a sign with your name. You'll be assisted with your luggage and transferred to your hotel.
Tonight enjoy a special welcome dinner with your guide, complete with a wide variety of delicious traditional foods.
Day 2 Marrakesh
The colorful and lively city of Marrakesh is a perfect introduction to Morocco. Begin by exploring the Medina, the ancient walled city. You'll marvel at the spectacular architecture inside and out. Visit the famous tanneries where local families still use pre-industrial techniques to cure and dye leather. The sights, sounds and smells are an unforgettable experience for all of your senses.
Then head to the bustling Djemaa el - Fna, a magical marketplace and the center of local life. It's a bustling world of story tellers, snake charmers, dancers, water sellers and food stalls. Here you can explore the seemingly nonstop action and vivid display of almost every sight, smell, sound and flavor found in Morocco.
End the day at the hotel for dinner and if you want, head out for an optional evening trip to the Djemma el Fna Souk to see how the exciting square transforms in the nighttime.
Day 3 Atlas Mountains
Head out of the city on a 90 minute scenic drive to the High Atlas Mountains. Stop at the Kik Plateau for an invigorating bike ride along the outcropping, overlooking the vast valley below.
Tea is an important ritual in Morocco, and you'll have plenty of time to enjoy it! Visit an Amazigh home to learn the right way to make it using fresh mint, sugar, and green tea leaves. It's a tradition deeply connected to hospitality and friendship. You'll also learn to make a tagine, a stew made in a specially shaped clay pot.
Enjoy a good night's sleep in your traditional Moroccan riad.
Day 4 Atlas Mountains
Today enjoy a hike following a path up Mt Toubkal. Mingling with pilgrims and mountain trekkers you'll climb to the shrine of Sidi Chamharouch, a local Berber saint. Though it's not permitted to enter the shrine itself, you can enjoy a picnic along the stream in its shadow. As you head back you’ll pass through a small village to see the traditional adobe construction of the local houses.
Day 5 Essaouira
Leaving the High Atlas Mountains behind, head to the seaside town of Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast. From flat, dry desert to the mild and breezy coast, the unique landscape and fauna of Essaouira are sure to make anyone happy!
Make a stop along the way at the Toubkal National Park Eco Museum in Asni to learn about the historic landscape of the mountains The interactive exhibits help bring the Amazigh culture to life.
Once in Essaouria enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, then stretch your legs on a walk through magnificent gates into the World Heritage designated medina and scented souks of this historic port city.
Day 6 Essaouira
Begin the day with a camel ride on the beach, catching the fresh breeze from the coast. Then meet up with a local artist known for his paintings along the Scala. Learn about his techniques during a lesson, and have your own piece of art to take home.
This afternoon is fee to wander the shops, enjoy the beach, or sign up for a surf lesson.
Day 7 Marrakesh
Checking out of your seaside hotel, head back to the lively city of Marrakesh; It's a 3 hour drive, with stops along the way to stretch your legs.
In the afternoon, take a stroll through the stunning Majorelle Gardens. Designed by an expatriate French artist, these spectacular gardens, filled with bamboo groves, banana trees, and coconut palms will surely leave you feeling euphoric. The gardens are also home to the Islamic Art Museum, a must see for anyone experiencing Marrakesh.
End the day, and your adventure, with a special farewell dinner with your guide to say good-bye and shukran.
Day 8 Saying Good Bye
All great adventures must one day come to an end. This morning, enjoy your last breakfast in Morocco and bid a final farewell to your new friends. A private transfer to the airport meet your departing flight is included.