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Tales from Morocco

Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
 
Staying in comfortable hotels with a pool, see acrobats, fire-eaters and snake charmers in Marrakesh; walk in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, accompanied by your own local, English-speaking guide and a mule; and spend a day in a Berber village seeing local life first-hand.
Tales from Morocco. 7 nights
Tales from Morocco. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A family walking holiday in Morocco

Morocco is a land of great contrasts, from noisy, chaotic cities bursting with colourful life and activity, to the timeless Berber villages in the mountains. The endless sands of the Sahara Desert may not be far away, but snow covers the highest of the Atlas Mountains for most of the winter, the meltwater keeping the high valleys green and fertile throughout the year. Here, the Berber people live a traditional life, growing apples, peaches, cherries, apricots and wheat, which are traded on ancient mule trails much as their forefathers have been doing for centuries.
On this holiday, you and your family can discover the exotic street life of Marrakesh, from the bustling souks to the acrobats, musicians, dancers, snake charmers, story-tellers and even dentists who gather each evening in the main square. Travel by mule to reach a remote mountain village and spend a day with your Berber hosts helping to feed the animals on the farm, trying your hand at making bread in a clay wood-fired oven, weaving a brightly patterned rug, sharing in the preparation of a tagine for dinner, and getting to know all about life in the Atlas Mountains. And when it's all over, there's the option to spend a few relaxing days on the beach by the glistening Atlantic Ocean (please contact us for details).
You are accompanied by English-speaking local guides for much of your holiday, ensuring your time in Morocco becomes an unforgettable holiday of a lifetime.
 
 

Itinerary

The descriptions of the walks and the order in which you do them are given as guidance only and may vary depending on conditions on the ground. The durations given for the walks are an indication of how many hours you will be away from your base for in total, and include time for lunch and plenty of stops to admire the views and to take photographs.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    In the Atlas Mountains, the temperatures will be cooler than those shown above, and may drop to around freezing at night during the coldest months of the year.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 18 20 22 24 27 31 36 36 32 27 22 19
    mm 32 35 31 29 14 4 1 2 6 22 38 35
  • Arrival in Marrakesh
    Night 1: at Ksar Anika (the first of three nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Marrakesh, with half-day privately guided tour
    Take your time to experience the unique atmosphere of Marrakesh, which is surrounded by ochre-coloured ramparts. To help you get your bearings, we include a half-day orientation tour which visits the Bahia Palace where the king resided in opulence with his numerous wives and concubines, and takes you on an enthralling sensory trip through the maze of souks (markets) to see the dyers, tailors and shoe-makers, before winding up at Djemaa El Fna, the large open square that forms the heart of the city. It is here that dozens of acrobats, musicians, dancers, snake charmers, story-tellers and food sellers gather to amuse and feed the crowds. Afterwards, retire to your riad, a veritable oasis of calm, where you can swim in the pool or enjoy a film in its private cinema.
    View over Marrakesh
  • Explore Marrakesh, or optional desert experience
    Today, you could continue to explore Marrakesh on foot; or travel in style by hiring a horse-drawn caléche (open carriage) and take a ride around the Ochre City's ramparts and to the Majorelle Gardens, a lush paradise of burbling streams and meandering footpaths shaded by trees and exotic plants, that was created over forty years by French artist, Jacques Majorelle. However, for the real desert experience, head out to nearby La Palmeraie, and board a 'ship of the desert' for an unforgettable camel ride (pay locally) across the hot red sands of Morocco.
    Ornate mosques
  • Travel to Ouirgane, then free afternoon
    As you head out from the city towards the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains on the 90-minute transfer to your second base, you become increasingly aware of the huge contrast between Marrakesh and the High Atlas Mountains. The Tatfi de l'Atlas is a rustically furnished hotel in the small village of Ouirgane, where you stay four nights and where your walking guide will meet you each morning. You arrive in the late-morning, leaving you plenty of time to relax in the expansive gardens and beautiful pool area with a panoramic view over the Ouirgane Valley.
    Tatfi de l'Atlas
  • Walk via Tassa Ouirgane: 4hrs; 600m ascent/descent
    Your Moroccan mountain guide will introduce himself – and your mule – to you at the hotel after breakfast, ready to take you on your first walk in the Tassa Ouirgane National Park. The route starts through juniper woods before crossing a dry riverbed and climbing a small hill for views over Ouirgane and the reservoir which provides water for Marrakesh. Continuing through olive groves and fields of corn and wildflowers, the route meanders over a number of small hills dotted with red juniper, before following ancient mule tracks past isolated Berber hamlets high above the Azzadene Valley to reach the village of Tassa Ouirgane. Rest awhile and savour your picnic lunch whilst enjoying the panoramic views before returning down the other side of the valley to the hotel.
  • Experience life in a Berber village
    Today your guide will take you by taxi (45 mins) to spend a fabulously rewarding day in a Berber village, the highlight of the holiday. After being dropped off at the town of Imlil, he will lead you and your mule (or you can walk) up to the traditional Berber village of Around to meet the family with whom you will spend your day. This is a timeless place, where you will experience life as it is (not staged for tourists) and, indeed, how it has been for centuries in these remote mountain villages. After enjoying a traditional Berber breakfast of olives, bread and olive oil washed down with mint tea, you take the bread dough to the communal clay oven where it is baked over a wood fire. On returning to the kitchen with your bread, young and old will then help to prepare your very own tagine for lunch, with guidance from your host. Whilst this is slowly cooking, you can help in the fields below the village, gathering grass to feed the cows, perhaps, or picking fruit from the orchards for the next meal. Life here is very sociable and you may also drop in on a neighbour to say hello or take your turn at weaving a colourful Berber rug before tucking into the delicious tagine you prepared earlier. Before bidding adieu, you may be invited to visit the local school – a privileged opportunity to see how different it is growing up in the High Atlas Mountains.
    Berber village
    Making bread
  • Walk via Tinzert: 5hrs; 500m ascent/descent
    Again you will be greeted after breakfast by your guide for a walk through the wild valleys and plateaux around Ouirgane. Following mule tracks near a long, salty stream, you reach the villages of Marigha Izdern (1,205 metres), then Imareghan Noufla (1,224 metres) with its age-old stone oil presses still using the traditional grinding round of donkeys or mules. From here, you walk alongside scattered fields of maize, seasonal wildflowers, olive trees and occasional Berber hamlets, before arriving at the little village of Tinzert (which means “nose” in Amazigh, the Berber language). Here, surrounded by mountains, you will come across a centuries-old salt-mining industry – cavernous wells from which the local workers draw water into large salt flats where the hot sun soon evaporates the water. This mine is one of the few sources of employment locally apart from farming. Enjoy your picnic in the shade, before returning via mule trails which zigzag downhill.
 

Accommodation

From an elegant city-centre riad to a welcoming country hotel with a pool in the mountains, your comfortable accommodation will give you a real flavour of this exciting land.
 

Prices

All prices are in £ sterling (GBP), based on 2 sharing, with a 3rd/4th bed as required.

 
Prices in £ per person
2 March - 31 October 2019

Adult / Child (up to 17yrs), sharing a room for 2 people*
2 March - 31 October: £795 / £695
*For a single room, add £75, all dates

For family rooms, add the following:

Child (12-17yrs) / Child (2-11yrs) in 3rd/4th bed
2 March - 31 October: £545 / £490

For a party of 5, deduct £250 plus a further £50 for any additional travellers
1 mule is included on all walks from Ouirgane, for an extra mule add £16 per mule per walk

Included travel: return transfer from Marrakesh (0h30 out/1h30 home)
 
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  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Marrakesh (latest arrival and earliest flight departure times are flexible)

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Marrakesh. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Marrakesh (Menara) TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Marrakesh (Menara) TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Marrakesh (Menara) Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Marrakesh (Menara) (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Marrakesh (Menara) easyJet,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Marrakesh (Menara) Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Marrakesh (Menara) British Airways,  easyJet,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Marrakesh (Menara) British Airways 
    Heathrow - Marrakesh (Menara) (via Casablanca) Royal Air Maroc 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Marrakesh (Menara) Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Marrakesh (Menara) Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Marrakesh (Menara) easyJet,  Ryanair,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Manchester - Marrakesh (Menara) (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Marrakesh. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 4 dinners
    3 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • your own Berber walking guide (3 walks with mule)
  • half-day city tour in Marrakesh
  • all transfers
  • guide book to Morocco (eg Rough Guide)
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • It means that you explore as individuals, not as a group, in the company of your own local guide. Because there's no group to consider, it's you who sets the pace and, similarly, you are free to pause to take in the views as often as you like. Your guide (often a different one for each part of your holiday) will be an English-speaking local who knows the local area intimately. Smiling and courteous, they can read the skies to predict the weather and tailor the excursions accordingly. Theirs is a discreet form of guiding, letting you appreciate the landscapes for yourselves as they lead the way.
  • British citizens require a full British passport to enter Morocco, but no visa is required for stays of fewer than 90 days. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay in Morocco. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.
  • The NHS website www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk gives a general outline of the immunisations you are likely to need, though you should seek advice from your doctor or practice nurse in good time before your holiday for more tailored information.
    Because there are no reciprocal health agreements between the UK and Morocco, it is all the more important that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover you in the case of illness or an accident.
  • Arabic is the official language, but French is very widely spoken.
  • Morocco is one hour ahead of Britain all year round (although the exact date that the clocks go forward in spring and back in autumn may differ slightly; if you are travelling in late March or October, please check locally).
  • So as not to cause offence, it is best to dress modestly with long trousers (or a skirt) and long sleeves. If you are female, you are not expected to cover your head, however.
  • It can get very hot during the summer, especially in Marrakesh, where 40C is not uncommon. In the mountains, however, it is generally much cooler. Please contact us for more information.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/21/2019 5:14:05 AM