Morocco Family Journey: Ancient Souks to the Sahara

National Geographic Family Journeys, Marrakech to Marrakech

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Discover the magic of Morocco on a journey that takes you from bustling markets to soaring desert dunes. Meet enchanting musicians and storytellers steeped in Berber heritage, and try your hand at cooking up colorful local dishes. Hike past stunning rock formations, climb windswept sands, and uncover ancient secrets in green oases and grand palaces.

What’s included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sahara Dunes & Culture Excursion, Merzouga Your Family Journeys Moment: Atlas Film Studios Tour, Ouarzazate Your Foodie Moment: Tagine Cooking Class, Aït Ben Haddou Your Family Journeys Moment: Marrakech Henna Art Café Experience, Marrakech
  • Arrival transfer
  • Berber village visit and Berber pizza lunch
  • Dades Gorge guided walk
  • Visit Aït Ben Haddou
  • Tagine cooking demonstration
  • Walk in Djemaa el Fna square
  • Marrakech medina guided walk including Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace, souks and Jemaa el-Fnaa square
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Explore a maze of narrow alleys in the walled village of aït ben haddou
  • Learn to cook traditional moroccan tagine
  • Discover a sea of sand on an expedition into the sahara
  • Enter a world of color in the medina of marrakech
  • Experience morocco’s rich amazigh (berber) heritage.

Itinerary

Marrakech Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.
Marrakech/Ouarzazate Wind past red slopes and green terraces as we make our way south through the stunning valleys of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, stopping to enjoy a picnic lunch beside a sparkling river. Arrive in Ouarzazate, known as the “gateway to the Sahara,” and step behind the scenes at a film studio to see how the surrounding dunes have starred on the silver screen.
Ouarzazate/Merzouga Today, travel between jagged peaks and palm oases toward the desert town of Merzouga. Settle into our hotel near the incredible Erg Chebbi, a sweeping sea of dunes formed by wind-blown sand. As the sun sets, savour a traditional Berber dinner featuring staples such as fluffy couscous or spiced tagine, then spread a blanket on the sand for an evening of desert stargazing.
Merzouga This morning, hop aboard a 4x4 and ride across the dunes to discover fossils left behind by an ancient sea, and be entranced by Gnaoua musicians in a local village. Return to the hotel for free time to cool off in the pool, or opt to explore the desert in style, riding a camel across the sands as ancient travelers once did. Enjoy a tasty Berber dinner, then gather around a glowing bonfire for a storytelling session.
Merzouga/Dades Gorge Venture into the rugged landscape of the Dades Gorge, a dramatic and colorful valley carved by the waters of the Dades River. Visit a local village for lunch and enjoy a special dish—traditional Berber pizza! Wind through the valley on a guided walk as you learn about the amazing geology behind the weird and wonderful rock formations of the Gorge. This evening, enjoy free time to relax at the hotel.
Dades Gorge/Aït Ben Haddou Drive through the Ounila Valley to the ancient fortified village of Aït Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site where clay houses crowd together in a traditional ksar behind defensive walls. Explore alleyways twisting between historic structures, and stand guard atop the clay brick ramparts, taking in views of the green oasis around this imposing fort. Entertain your taste buds at a hands-on tagine cooking class, followed by a delicious dinner.
Aït Ben Haddou/Marrakech Journey through the mountains to Marrakech, known as the “red city” for its walls, houses, and many mosques built from red clay. After checking into your hotel and resting up, head to a local henna workshop to have your hands painted in this ancient temporary tattooing art. Then, explore the lively Djemaa el Fna, an ancient marketplace still used as the main square in Marrakech. After, enjoy free time to discover more of Marrakech.
Marrakech Wake up as the call to prayer echoes across the city. After breakfast, set out on a guided walk through the narrow, maze-like streets of the medina, lined with colorful shops brimming with rugs, spices, and much more. Spend the rest of the day exploring Marrakech on your own, or opt to explore the Marjorelle Garden. In the evening, gather for a farewell dinner in a traditional riad, a grand house with an elegant interior courtyard.
Marrakech Depart at any time.
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