Experience a whole new world of travel! Switch up your European travel itinerary and take a detour to North Africa’s most vibrant country, Morocco. Beat your own path hiking the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and ride a camel! Journey to the Ourika valley to have tea with a local Berber family and relax with traditional Hamman baths at one of the local spas of Marrakech. Morocco will be an exciting worldly experience unlike anything you’ve ever encountered.
**Please note: The trip meets at Marrakech Airport anytime on Thursday. Transportation to the Marrakech Airport is not included, so please plan your arrival accordingly.
*All activities are paid in cash upon arrival in Morocco (Euro cash preferred). The trip leader will reach out to all guests prior to the trip to collect flight information as well as to request a response for those who wish to reserve a spot for an activity.
For accurate departure times, travel times, activity information or suggestions on how much extra money you will need, please contact [email protected] *Again please note, this trip does not include flights to or from Morocco.
A city of contrasts, Marrakech boasts a unique culture, deep history, special charm, and delicious cuisine. Any time on Thursday based on your flight's arrival time, a driver will meet you outside of the arrivals hall of the RAK airport for a private Bus2alps transfer into Marrakech (look for them holding a "BUS2ALPS" sign). Your guide(s) for the weekend will then meet you at the transfer drop off point and walk with you approximately 10 minutes to our Riad (accommodation) in Marrakech. It usually takes about 1 hour to clear customs after arrival at the RAK airport.
We will then settle into the Riad and provide lunch recommendations prior to heading off on the guided ‘Souk Survival’ intro tour of Marrakech. Here we will explore the markets (souks) of the old town and learn the intricacies of bartering to get the best deal. We will finish the evening with an included dinner of traditional Moroccan cuisine at our Riad, complete with musicians and followed by mint tea.
*Please note, if you plan to arrive on Wednesday, email [email protected] to arrange an additional night's accommodation. For Wednesday arrivals, an airport transfer will also be included, but your Bus2alps guide will not join you until Thursday.
Friday morning, after breakfast, we depart on an excursion to the Ourika Valley and the foothills of the Atlas mountains. Along the way we will take a break at a Berber family’s house, where we will visit inside their home and have tea with the family members. We will then stop for a quick camel ride that goes into the base of the mountain paths. After that, we will commence the hike to see the waterfalls, followed by an included lunch by the riverside. This hike is difficult, and tennis shoes are required! We recommend bringing athletic or other comfortable clothes for the hike.
We will return to Marrakech around 17:00 - 18:00 in the evening for an included group dinner in the Jamaa El Fna Square, as we can watch as the square comes alive at night with musicians, artists, and crowds of Moroccans.
After breakfast Saturday morning you have a free morning and can choose to join one of the optional activities: an ATV tour or a traditional Hammam Bath & Massage. For those who do not wish to participate in an activity, the morning is yours to explore the souks of Marrakech or linger over lunch in the main square.
In the afternoon we will head off on an extensive walking tour of Marrakech led by a local guide. We will visit a Berber herbalist, the spice markets, the Marrakech Museum, and a cooperative featuring Moroccan jewelry, clothing and furniture. Please note that while panoramic photos are fine, permission should be asked before taking a close-up photo of a person or their shop in Morocco. Snake charmers and monkey trainers who can be seen around the square during the day charge for photographs.
In the evening we will arrange an optional group dinner at a nearby restaurant. Otherwise, the night is yours to explore!
Depending on your return flight time you will have the morning free to further explore Marrakech and finish some last minute haggling in the souks for souvenirs. Your Bus2alps trip leader will organize your transport back to the airport in time to meet your flight and will inform you of this time earlier in the weekend so you can plan accordingly.
Accommodation: While in Marrakech we stay in a traditional accommodation called a “Riad.” These beautiful buildings consist of rooms overlooking a central garden, usually with a fountain as the focus point. Rooms will be shared between 4-6 people.
Weather: The weather in Morocco tends to be warm during the day time but may cool down in the evenings. We recommend bringing a fleece or sweater to wear at night time. Although usually sunny, there are sometimes short rain showers during the months of November & December, so we recommend packing an umbrella and/or rain jacket.
Common Sense: Morocco is generally a very safe place to travel; Marrakech especially is welcoming to tourists. People following a few basic common sense travel rules should have no problem.
- Keep your passport and money safe at all times. Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket. Travel in groups and don’t leave friends behind. Respect the local culture and they will respect you.
Shopping: Street vendors, sales people and hustlers can be very persistent. Bargaining is a part of daily life in Marrakech. If you are interested in something feel free to enter into the bargaining process, but never pay the first price and never feel obligated to pay more than you want to. If you do not want something politely say no thank you, hold up your hand and walk away. For those vendors who are particularly persistent, just ignore them and keep walking. Again, please note that you should ask permission before taking a close-up photo of a person or their shop in Morocco.