- The Atlas Mountains
Immerse yourself in the souqs of Marrakesh and see craftsmen busy at their trade.
Learn about Marrakesh’s past by visiting its grand palaces, mosques and gardens with a guide.
Stay in a traditional riad, each of which has its own distinctive character.
Soak up the laid-back, bohemian atmosphere of Essaouria’s historic medina and fishing port.
Go hiking in the High Atlas Mountains and visit traditional Berber villages.
What our specialists say...
This trip encompasses three very different regions of Morocco. You start and finish within the impressive medina walls of Marrakesh, staying in a traditional riad and exploring the city’s souqs, palaces and gardens. After the heat and bustle of the city, spend a few days out on the coast in the historic fishing town of Essaouira, enjoying the cool sea breeze and laid-back atmosphere as you stroll through the markets and watch fishermen bring in their catch. It’s then on to the striking scenery of the High Atlas Mountains, where you can hike through the green countryside and visit traditional Berber villages that cling to the hillside, stopping for mint tea with a local family.
We recommend this trip for:
- High Atlas Mountains
Itinerary idea in detail
Day 1 Marrakesh
International outbound flight , Marrakesh
Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Marrakesh. Upon arrival into Marrakesh airport, you're met by an airport representative and your private driver, and driven to your riad. The rest of the day is yours to relax in your riad or head out to explore Marrakesh's medina; you could wander around the souq, or sample some of the delicious food served in the many local restaurants, from lamb tagine to sweet pastilla.
Day 2 Marrakesh
Today your private guide takes you around the city, giving you an excellent grounding in its history and culture. Included in the tour are visits to the beautiful Saadien Tombs, where the bodies of sultans and their families have rested for centuries; the imposing Koutoubia Mosque; the crumbling El Badi Palace and the 15th-century Jewish Quarter. This afternoon you're led through the maze-like souq, visiting the many different quarters where craftsmen can be seen hard at work producing anything from leather baboucha shoes to cactus silk scarves and traditional lanterns.
Day 3 Marrakesh
Today you could stroll around the peaceful Majorelle Gardens; a welcome contrast to the noise of the souqs. In its Berber Museum you can admire artefacts once belonging to Berber tribes, while the Yves Saint Laurent 'Galerie Love' displays vibrant paintings created by the French fashion designer. We suggest having lunch at the Amal Association in Gueliz, a women's co-operative that provides cookery and waitressing training for disadvantaged women. In the evening, head to Djemaa El Fna, the city's lively main square, where street performers draw in crowds and open-air restaurants serve freshly cooked food.
Day 4 Essaouira
This morning you're driven for around two and a half hours to the coastal town of Essaouira. The landscape is fairly flat for most of the way, with the Atlas Mountains rising in the distance on a clear day. As you get closer to the coast, it becomes greener and hillier, with olive groves and argan trees growing in the fields. You could stop at a women's argan oil co-operative, where the women show you the process of retrieving oil from the argan seeds. Arriving at your accommodation in Essaouira, spend the rest of the day exploring the town's medina, which is far quieter than Marrakesh's.
Day 5 Essaouira
Spend today getting to know Essaouira. We suggest heading out early to watch fishermen unloading their catch from their blue boats in the port, followed by a stroll along the historic ramparts, enjoying views of the city and sea. You can then explore more of the medina, which is very compact and features many stalls and shops selling bright rugs, decorated plates and an array of spices. For lunch, we highly recommend heading to one of the open-air fish grills to dine on today's freshly caught seafood.
Day 6 Essaouira
Spend another day in Essaouira, perhaps buying a few souvenirs or browsing the jewellers' market. You could join a Moroccan pastry workshop at l'Atelier Madada, where a small group of you learn how to make sweet treats such as almond gazelle horns and orange blossom biscuits. The Place Moulay Hassan public square is a good spot to enjoy a drink or an ice cream while watching the world go by. In the evening, there are many restaurants and bars overlooking the bay where live music can be enjoyed over a tasty meal and a sundowner.
Day 7 High Atlas Mountains
This morning your private driver picks you up for the four hour transfer to the High Atlas Mountains. You travel back along the same road towards Marrakesh before heading out to the mountains, where the landscape completely changes to rolling foothills, deep, green valleys and rugged mountains, some of which may be capped with snow. Once you arrive at your accommodation, you can take time to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere, perhaps taking a dip in the pool.
Day 8 High Atlas Mountains
On your first full day in the Atlas Mountains, you could visit a local Berber village with a guide, where you can share lunch and mint tea with a Berber family and learn about their way of life. We recommend visiting the Assafou Foundation, which provides free education to children living in these rural communities. Here you can see the school where the children are taught and where local women learn skills such as weaving so that they can sell their handicrafts at local markets or in Marrakesh's souqs.
Day 9 High Atlas Mountains
You have another day at leisure in the mountains. We suggest taking a taxi to a local town to explore the market, where people living in rural villages near and far travel to sell their goods or purchase everything they need for that week. You could also head out with a guide for a hike through the hills and valleys - there are lots of routes to suit most fitness levels, and your guide will know the most suitable for you. Alternatively, make the most of your accommodation's facilities and spend more time relaxing in the sun.
Day 10 International return flight
High Atlas Mountains , International return flight
Contact a specialist
The specialist who designs your trip to Morocco will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.Watch our tailor-made process ›
When to go
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