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Marrakech, Atlas and the coast (5- 7 days)

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You're visiting Marrakech for a few days but you would also like a taste of the desert, the High Atlas mountains and/ or the Atlantic coast while you are in Morocco ? Then, this tour is for you. While being an all year round favorite, it is particularly ideal with those travelling to Morocco in summer, when the temperatures make the Sahara inacessible. Or maybe you just don't have the time for the 10 hour trip to the Sahara from Marrakech ( after all, it would take at least a 3 day return journey).

And so we have imagined a tour that blends the sensory overload of the imperial city of Marrakech, replete with palaces, gardens, museums and art galleries, with one or two nights in the Atlas Mountains trekking and taking in the views, and one or two nights by the Atlantic beach, unwinding in bohemian Essaouira or sleepy Oualidia. For a taste of the desert, also spend one night in a private tent in the Agafay desert, with dinner under the starriest skies and a camel trek. 4 to 5 days of history, arhitecture, shopping, crafts, adventure and farniente

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Salt and all that glitters ( 13 - 16 days)

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This 14 day custom Morocco tour covers Marrakech and Fez, the Erg Chigaga dunes, Taroudant and the Atlantic coast over two weeks.

The itinerary picks up the ancient caravan route (this side of Sahara) after stopping in Marrakech and Fez, the most fascinating imperial cities. It also entails a 5 hour drive across the Sahara. It reaches Taroudant, the ‘little Marrakech’, to then follow the Atlantic coast along deserted beaches and turqoise waters and unveil the unique architecture and farniente of Essaouira or to-die-for sea food of Oualidia. The pace is carefully balanced and ample time for relaxing and leisure has  been thought of. The myriad of landscapes is only matched by the diversity of cultures and their heritage: Arab, Berber, Touareg, Jewish, Portuguese and French. From suspended- in- time fishing villages to Berber adobe palaces, desert oases and Portuguese fortresses to the best conserved historic town of the Arab world, this is Morocco's a-thousand-and-one facets' tour. 

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Most of our guests prefer adding an extra day to either allow for some relaxing time by the beach in Essaouira or trekking in the Atlas Mountains. We can also break the distance in two on Day 4 and/ or Day 10 if you think the drive is too long.

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Land Of The Setting Sun ( 10- 12 days)

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This private 10-day Morocco tour covers the imperial cities, Sahara desert and Atlantic coast.

'Al Maghrib al-Aqsa’ - the land of the setting sun, Morocco was once known as a legendary land perched on the corner of Africa, where the known world would end. This journey through Morocco visits its 4 imperial cities: Marrakech, Fez, Meknes and Rabat along with stunning landscapes and wild nature, the Atlantic and the Sahara's ocean of sand Witness  the splendor of Roman epoch at Volubilis. Visit the world’s largest intact medieval city in Fez to then cross the lush country side to reach the Sahara and spend a night under the most beautiful starred sky. The trip then takes us past valleys, gorges, lakes, palm groves and rivers and explores mysterious ksours and kasbahs. Crossing the Atlas mountains, we reach the exotic and sensual Marrakech. After a day in the maze of its souks and palaces, what better choice then to shed off the dust in Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast ? The tour can start/ end in Marrakech/ Casablanca/ Rabat and be done in reverse. A day or two can be added/ subtracted to fit your travel schedule, if needed. If you have a night to spare, we recommend adding the visit of Chefchaouen to the itinerary.

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Essaouira - UNESCO world site

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A day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira is the ideal contrast to the hustle and chaos of Marrakech.

Art galleries, sea food stalls, nearby deserted beaches, Game of Thrones settings and sweet farniente are what makes this day tour special.

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

Our day trip from Marrakech leaves the city behind and two hours later, the deserted landscape around us softens and the panorama changes from arid beige to vivid green. In the distance, still some way off, a blue stripe rises above the argan groves on the horizon. It takes a little while to realise that it is the Atlantic. Below us, spread out like a map, lies Essaouira - a stunning splash of white between the sea and sky, much more Mykonos than Morocco with its honey-combed white chalk houses and blue framed windows.

Essaouira was for centuries a working port and that is what makes for its rugged charm. The Romans came here for the precious purple dye which they used to stain their imperial togas, but it was the Portuguese who put this place on the map, as a market place for gold and ivory, slaves and spices. The spice trade lives on in the colorful stalls in the ancient souks. Sightseeing visitors sip cool drinks in the cobbled square where slaves were sold after their long march across the Sahara. This was their last sight of Africa before the grim voyage to the New World. The black slaves left their music behind and its streets still resonate with the hypnotic rhythms of Gnawa while some locals may still remember the brief visit of a certain Jimi Hendrix in the 70's. After the Portuguese left, Essaouira became a free port in the 18th century - Morocco's window on the world. Foreigners flooded in, especially Jews, who transformed it into a boom town; in the 19th century there were more Jews than Muslims living here.

The greatest relics of those boom years are Essaouira's stark battlements, built to guard the city against pirates and invaders. Morocco's sultan had decided he had enough of the Republic of Sale and its pirates, a rebel 'state' within his kingdom, and commissioned a French architect to build a new port, with proper bastions, walls, canons and perpendicular streets. Orson Welles filmed his Othello on these robust walls more than half a century ago and scenes from 'Alexander', 'Kingdom of Heaven' and more recently 'Game of Thrones' ( where Khaleesi purchases her army of Unsullied) were shot here. Tall towers festooned with cannons still define the borders of the old town. Beyond these battlements, the new town, the ville nouvelle, peters out into countryside.

Thanks to its magnificent fortifications and overall bohemian ambiance, Essaouira is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  But Essaouira is still a market town and its white washed houses and year- round hippy-like atmosphere ressembles somehow what Ibiza must have looked like in the 70's. Among all this, rural Berbers still  come to hawk their wares to the artisans who live and work here and the world famous Gnawa music festival held every June still draws crowds of thousands filling its squares and beaches.

It is an ideal place to relax, wander on the beach and admire the different crafts and activities. Essaouira's real strength comes from the fact that tourism hasn't yet spoiled the town, which remains a hive of activity where fishermen and boat builders get on with their daily activities as they have done for centuries. An excursion to Essaouira would mean nothing without lunch in one of the food stalls along the sea front where delicious fish and seafood caught the very morning can be enjoyed while taking in the sea breeze and admiring the Purple Isles. In the afternoon, if you are not mad about European military architecture, go on lose yourself in the art gallery- packed streets, a world away from the hustle in the souks of Marrakech or explore the wild beaches that lie south of it.  

Whatever the choice, your driver will be glad to meet you at the end of the day and share the impressions of the day with you before starting the journey back to Marrakech.

A day trip to Essaouira wouldn't be complete without speaking of argan and thuya. The argan oil produced by the fruit with its unique qualities and wide spread use in both cooking and cosmetics is widely exported to Europe. On the road back, you might catch the sight of goats climbing up these trees in order to collect their food. Before you think the long journey has gotten the best of you, we can assure you this is nothing out of ordinary.

You are free to choose your time of departure. However, in order to make the best out of your day out, we recommend leaving no later than 8 AM. Forecasted return time in Marrakech is 6- 7 PM. 

PRICE.............................................................................................. 70 EUROS PER PERSON ( BASED ON 2 PERSONS SHARING THE VEHICLE). DISCOUNTS APPLY FOR 3 OR MORE PERSONS.

The rate includes: private ( sole use) of the modern air conditioned Toyota 4x4 and the English fluent driver- guide, entrance fees to all sites and monuments, refreshing drinks inside the vehicle, pick up and drop off from/ to the hotel/ Riad and transport insurance.

 

 

 

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Boutique tours of Morocco

What better place than Morocco for a private tailor made tour ? It can be a day trip from Marrakech into the Atlas Mountains. Or a 14 day private luxury Morocco tour. And everything in between. With such a different culture and language, a boutique 4x4 Morocco tour with an English speaking local driver- guide guarantees the best holidays in Morocco. Choose one of the many 4x4 tours from Marrakech or another imperial city and you will discover the off the beaten track Morocco. Much more than excursions from Marrakech or Morocco desert tours, our 4x4 custom tours travel all across Morocco, covering Berber villages, majestic Kasbahs, enchanting palm groves or Touareg desert camps. From Ait Benhaddou to Chefchaouen, from Erg Chebbi to Taroudant and from camel rides in the Sahara to hardcore trekking Morocco can only offer. Browse among our 4x4 boutique tours of Morocco and book your favorite today !