Morocco: Sahara & Beyond

National Geographic Journeys, Casablanca to Marrakech

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

The culture of the Berbers in northern Africa dates back as many as 5,000 years. Discover their enduring legacy on this 15-day adventure into Morocco’s rich cultural heritage. Explore the souks and streets of Marrakech and Fes, spend a night in a comfortable tented camp in the Sahara, enjoy dinner with a traditional Berber family, and unwind amid the coastal beauty of Essaouira. Throughout this magical ride, open your eyes to each dazzling place — and earn a new point of view.

What’s included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Islamic Calligraphy Class, Fès Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Moroccan Foodie Experience, Marrakech Your G for Good Moment: Meknes Community Lunch, Meknès Your Foodie Moment: Djemaa el Fna Market Square Visit, Marrakech
  • Arrival transfer
  • Guided city tour of Meknes including the ancient granaries and stables of Moulay Ismail and Bab Mansour
  • Guided tour of Volubilis including visit to Roman ruins
  • Guided walking tour of the Fes medina including artisans' quarters and Fès tannery
  • Guided night walk of Djemaa el Fna square with local meal
  • Marrakech medina walk and spice shop visit
  • Marrakech tour including souks, Bahia Palace and Saadian Tombs
  • Visit the ancient kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou
  • Sahara excursion by 4x4 including a visit to the town of Tamegroute
  • Overnight in a comfortable, traditional desert camp with dinner under the stars
  • Explore the Draa region and orientation tour of Zagora
  • Taroudant markets and tanneries visit
  • Aït Mansour Gorge excursion
  • Visit to Tafraoute
  • Explore Essaouira
  • Visit Menara Gardens and the Jardin Majorelle
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


  • Visit a women's co-op and enjoy a local lunch
  • Watch storytellers and acrobats at djemaa el fna square
  • Learn about moroccan cuisine with a cooking class in a traditional berber house
  • Traverse the sahara desert by 4x4
  • Try to mimic a local expert's elegant sweeps in an islamic calligraphy class.


Day 1 Casablanca Please note that this tour does not spend any time in Casablanca. You may wish to come a day early in order to explore Casablanca, and take some time to see its medina, beachfront, and classic examples of Art Deco architecture. Be sure to also visit the spectacular Hassan II Mosque. Entrance is only permitted via guided tours, which operate from Saturday to Thursday (closed Fridays) at 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, and 14:00. These times are subject to change (particularly around Ramadan), please double check times with your hotel. Tickets can be purchased at the mosque. In the evening, there will be a brief meeting where you will meet your CEO and fellow group members to go over the details of the tour. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 Casablanca/Fès (1B) Meknes is one of the four Imperial cities and its name and fame are closely linked to that of the Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made Meknes the centre of his empire and built many of the monuments that remain today. Continue through the rolling hills to the Roman ruins of Volubilis, the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. Once an important Roman town situated near the westernmost border of Roman conquests, Volubilis was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. Continue to Fes to spend the night. Stay in the the new city of Fes, built by the French during their Protectorate of Morocco. Additional Notes: This is a long and busy day. The times listed are actual driving times and do not include stops. We will stop to explore Meknes and Volubilis, and not arrive in Fes until the evening. Included Activities: Meknes City Tour Volubilis Guided Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours)
Day 3 Fès (1B, 1L) Step back in time and embark on a walking tour of a UNESCO World Heritage Site — the Medina of Fes. Explore winding lanes and alleys to visit the many artisans, tanneries, and shops with an expert local guide. After, enjoy a G Adventures-supported traditional tagine lunch at a cooperative that benefits rural Moroccan women and children. This evening, visit a nearby café where we meet a local expert in Islamic calligraphy for a demonstration on "beautiful writing". Included Activities: Fès Medina Guided Tour Meknes Community Lunch Islamic Calligraphy Class
Day 4 Fès/Marrakech (1B, 1D) Included Activities: Djemaa el Fna Market Square Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 5 Marrakech (1B, 1L) Today, take a historical tour of the city, including the Bahia Palace and Saadian Tombs. Visit a historic riad for a hands-on cooking class from a master Moroccan chef, and enjoy the lunch that you have prepared. Included Activities: Marrakech Medina Walk and Spice Shop Moroccan Foodie Experience Marrakech Medina Tour
Day 6 Marrakech/Aït Ben Haddou (1B, 1D) Included Activities: Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Day 7 Aït Ben Haddou/Erg Chigaga (1B, 1L, 1D) Spend the night in a simple desert camp which provides a peak into traditional desert living. Each tent is outfitted with sheets, pillows, a raised bed, towels, and covers against the desert cold and it has a separated ensuite with simple portable toilette and wash basin. While the accommodation is basic, it is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Included Activities: Tamegroute Visit Camel Ride Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s)) 4x4 (3.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Erg Chigaga/Zagora (1B) Cross the desert back to Zagora and enjoy a talk on the history of the Draa region. You’ll also get to visit some of the local historical sites. Included Activities: Zagora Orientation Tour Transport: 4x4 (3.00 hour(s))
Day 9 Zagora/Taroudant (1B) Head towards the Anti-Atlas region to the carpet towns of Tazenakht and Taliouine, where saffron is harvested. Continue to Taroudant for the night. Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 10 Taroudant (1B) In Taroudant, visit the famed leather tanneries and local markets. This afternoon enjoy free time to explore on your own. Included Activities: Taroudant Markets and Tanneries Visit
Day 11 Taroudant/Tafraout (1B, 1L) Enter the Anti-Atlas region known for its natural rock formations and visit Aït Mansour Gorge and the Painted Rocks. Continue through a palm valley and have lunch in a local village house. After, take a hike through the Chapeau du Napoleon before continuing to Tafaroute for the evening. Included Activities: Aït Mansour Gorge and Area Tour Palm Valley Walk Lunch at Local Village House Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 12 Tafraout/Essaouira (1B) Essaouira is also famous for its music scene and offers a great chance to check out a live performance. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours)
Day 13 Essaouira (1B, 1L) Enjoy a day of leisure in this coastal city. Watch the colourful and lively spectacle of the return of the boats to the port with their baskets full of fish. Pick out the best of the bunch, which we’ll take to a local restaurant to cook up for our lunch. Opt to browse the shops and art galleries, visit a traditional hammam or take a stroll along the long, sandy beach. The active might choose to take a surfing or windsurfing lesson, or rent a fishing rod.
Day 14 Essaouira/Marrakech (1B, 1D) In the afternoon, have free time to further explore the fascinating city of Marrakech and dive into the labyrinthine souks. Visitors and locals alike find everything they desire here, whether it’s spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or famous Moroccan lanterns. The selection is exhaustive. Don’t forget to bargain. It's definitely part of the fun. Once you’ve tired yourself out, relax at one of the tea houses around the square, indulge in the ubiquitous sweet mint tea and watch life go by from a shady spot. Included Activities: Menara Gardens Visit Jardins Majorelle Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 15 Marrakech (1B) Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day