Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights

Surf the New Year

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11 Days  |  Starts/Ends: Marrakech  |  from USD $1,629  |   Guaranteed Departures  1 reviews

Spend a cracking Christmas exploring the Atlas, snap up some bargains in the souks of Marrakech and ring in the New Year beachside in Essaouira, on Morocco's stunning Atlantic coast!

Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions
Reviews

Itinerary

Day 1

Marrakech

23 Dec 2016. Welcome to Morocco! Arrival transfer from Marrakech airport to our hotel. This evening (at 19:00) our welcome meeting takes place, where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers.
Overnight: Marrakech

    Marrakech
Day 2

Dades Gorge

Marrakech - Dades Gorge. Leaving Marrakech, we drive through the Dades Gorge, an awesome valley which extends from the High Atlas to the Jebel Sarhro range in the south. Berbers built many kasbahs in the vicinity of gorges for defence purposes. These kasbahs combined with the stunning natural setting, makes this a beautiful region through which to travel.
Overnight: Dades Gorge  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Xmas Day in Todra Gorge

Dades Gorge - Todra Gorge. Merry Christmas! This morning you can choose to go for a walk in Dades Gorge or just relax. We travel on to Todra Gorge after lunch and visit a traditional Berber home where the semi nomadic family have set up a co-operative for the trade of carpets, kilims and handicrafts for all the rural communities across the Atlas. The remainder of the day is spent exploring the magnificent gorge. This dusty red canyon is just 10m wide at its narrowest point, with its cliff walls towering 300m above and a small glacier stream flowing through it. If you're feeling adventurous, there is the option to rock climb (subject to weather conditions, bookable locally). Tonight we sit down to a wonderful Christmas meal.
Overnight: Todra Gorge  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Discover the Sahara

Todra Gorge - Erg Chebbi. Crossing Jebel Sarhro, we enjoy lunch and a swim before travelling down to Erg Chebbi sand dunes, the start point of the mighty Sahara Desert. The Erg Chebbi dunes located near the remote frontier town of Merzouga are renowned for their incredible height and size. In parts the vast sand pile reaches skyward to heights of 150 metres!

The desert winds ensure this astonishing landscape is forever changing and no two days offer the same panorama. Mounting our camels, we trek across the vast rolling dunes of the Sahara and take in the breath-taking scenery. Arriving at our simple Berber camp, we enjoy dinner and a night under the Saharan stars. Wrap up warm and remember your winter weight sleeping bag. If you would prefer the comfort of a hotel with en-suite facilities this evening, opt for our Sahara Hotel Upgrade .
Overnight: Merzouga  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Route of 1000 Kasbahs

Erg Chebbi - Ouarzazate. After a stunning sunrise and a camel ride back to the frontier post (camel HQ) there is time to freshen up before driving to the verdant Draa valley. Besides the natural, historical and architectural wonders that the Draa Valley offers, there are also small villages along the valley where time seems to have stood still.

Along the Route of a 1000 Kasbahs, we continue on to Ouarzazate, (pronounced as wazza-zat). Sitting at an altitude of 1160 metres in the middle of a barren plateau, Ouarzazate lies at the cross roads of all routes going north, south, east, and west. Its geographical position has made it a key trading post in both ancient and modern times. Capital of a large province, the town's northern limits run along the southern aspect of the High Atlas and its southern boundary disappears back into the vast Sahara Desert. Today, the area is still essentially populated by Berber people, who were constructors of the numerous fortified kasbahs and dwellings for which the region is famous. After hotel check in, consider a late afternoon swim.
Overnight: Ouarzazate  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Ait Benhaddou

Ouarzazate - Ait Benhaddou - Marrakech. This morning there is the option to visit the film studio that produced Lawrence of Arabia or go quad biking (both payable locally). Then we head to Ait Benhaddou, a medieval fortified city, situated along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. It is situated on a hill along the Ouarzazate River and boasts some beautiful examples of kasbahs, some of which remain inhabited. Granted UNESCO World Heritage listing, the site is incredibly well preserved. Late this afternoon we return to Marrakech.
Overnight: Marrakech  |  Breakfast

    Ait Benhaddou
Day 7

Djemaa el Fna

This morning enjoy a guided tour of Marrakech. Set within the rose-coloured walls of the medina lies a reality that is not that far removed from an exotic film set – a tangle of winding streets that open onto verdant gardens and narrow alleyways that lead to bustling souks. The focal point is the central square, the Djemaa el Fna, an extraordinary gathering and market place. Full of colour, spicy aromas and traders it is best seen in the evening when overflowing with food stalls, snake charmers, fortune tellers, musicians and henna artists. Towering over all this is the Koutoubia mosque, the tallest building in the city, and a reminder of the importance of Islam to the lives of the city’s residents. This afternoon is free for you to spend at leisure, perhaps picking up some souvenirs from the souks! Make sure you test out your bartering skills.
Overnight: Marrakech  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8

Beachside Essaouira

Marrakech - Essaouira. This morning we travel to Essaouira. With a laid back vibe Essaouira is Morocco’s hippest coastal town. The windswept fishing port, broad beaches and ancient walled medina with ramparts built into the cliff have long been a favourite refuge for artists, sculptors, food lovers, surfers and backpackers. The medina surrounded by a fortress with 5 main gates you can navigate by, has retained its traditional styles and is laden with quirky shops, coffee houses, antiques, art studios, calligraphers, t-shirt designers and souvenir curios. There’s a relaxed feel to the place and shopping here is a real delight. Locals and visitors alike enjoy strolling along the ramparts as the sun sets. The port is a hive of activity with fishing boats hauling in their daily catch.

Opt for a swim in the Atlantic, though the water is a little cold this time of year, a game of football on the beach with the locals or an afternoon at the hammam. There's also the opportunity to test your skills at surfing, wind surfing or kite surfing. The beach is also great for a stroll and since it runs for about 6 miles (10km) there’s plenty of it. By nightfall sit back and relax at any one of the many al fresco cafes, pubs or bars serving cold beer and the freshest seafood. Free time to explore, try a hammam and practice your bargaining skills in the souks.
Overnight: Essaouira  |  Breakfast

Day 9

New Years Eve by the beach

Enjoy a free day relaxing on the beach, shopping in the quaint souks or choose from a number of exciting optional activities or excursions available about town. This evening - New Year's Eve we'll all head out together for dinner and a few drinks.
Overnight: Essaouira  |  Breakfast

Day 10

Marrakech

Essaouira - Marrakech. This morning is spent at leisure, sleep in or head to beach for your first swim of the year. This afternoon we return to Marrakech.
Overnight: Marrakech  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Marrakech

02 Jan 2017. Spend the morning relaxing or picking up a few last minute souvenirs. Our tour concludes upon hotel check out at 12 noon.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates can be guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.

Guaranteed Departure
4+ places available
Limited places
Sold out
On Request (Please Contact Us)
2016
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $1629
USD $539
2017
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $1629
USD $539
2018
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $1629
USD $539

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Hotel Marrakech Le Semiramis, Marrakech

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Set amongst lush gardens, the Hotel Marrakech Le Semiramis is a modern establishment just a short drive from the medina. Guest rooms are tastefully decorated and all come with a private balcony. The grounds of the hotel also include a large outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and French bowls. Meals are served in a selection of restaurants including the Chellah and Oasis restaurants which specialise in Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine.

Hotel Saghro, Todra Gorge

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Just a 10 minute walk from Tinghir Park and Resistance Plaza, Hotel Sagho is a traditional Moroccan hotel. Guest rooms are comfortable with authentic Moroccan decor and private balconies. Some have great views of Todra Gorge. An outdoor pool is a refreshing treat in the Moroccan heat. Complimentary wi-fi is available throughout and an american style breakfast is served on the terrace every morning.

Desert Camp, Merzouga

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Standard Camp

Set amongst the towering dunes of Erg Chebbi, the Berber camp is designed with a traditional Moroccan theme. The permanent tents include multiple beds and electricity (after night fall) Camping out in the desert is a wonderful experience, due to the lack of light pollution, the stars come out in abundance and really are a sight to behold.

La Perle Du Sud, Ouarzazate

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

A comfortable hotel emanating authenticity from it's show of modern art to traditional features and furniture.

El Andalous Hotel & Spa, Marrakech

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Just 10 minutes from the airport, the El Andalous Hotel and Spa offers a welcome respite from the hubub of the city. Evoking the golden age of Arab-Andalusian culture; exotic and romantically rich. Guest rooms are well furnished with excellent en suite facilites as well as private balconies. The hotel pool is great place to relax by and enjoy a tasty beverage or two. The medina is just a 20 minute walk from here or a cab can get you there in a few minutes!

Riad Zahra , Essaouira

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Riad

Located in the residential district, the Zahra offers calm, relaxation and a peaceful stay. Its comfortable guestrooms are decorated in traditional Moroccan style and are equipped with an en suite and satellite TV. The property has a restaurant serving Moroccan and international specialities. There is another restaurant that serves grilled dishes. Riad Zahra is an ideal starting point for nautical activities or to discover Essaouira and the surrounding area. For your entertainment, the hotel proposes numerous activities including desert trips in a 4x4, surfing and kite surfing lessons.

Trip Highlights

Marrakech - UNESCO-listed Place Djemaa el Fna, (medina and marketplace)
High Atlas Mountains and views of snow capped Mt Toubkal
Todra Gorge - towering 300m high canyon
Merzouga - camel trek and Berber style camp
Essaouira - ancient medina, wind swept beaches and current day fishing village
Bahia Palace - 19th century residence of the grand vizier
Jebel Sarho and Dades Gorge - a striking valley and stream cut within the mountain range
Erg Chebbi sand dunes - beginning of the Sahara
Ait Benhaddou - UNESCO-listed fortified kasbah city

Included

10 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners including a traditional Berber meal at our Sahara camp
Arrival transfer from Marrakech airport on day 1
Guided sightseeing of Merzouga, Dades Gorge, Todra Gorge, Ait Benhaddou and Marrakech
Escorted by a licenced English speaking Moroccan tour guide
All transportation and transfers in private air-conditioned tourism vehicles
9 nights 3 star accommodation and 1 night camping - Berber desert camp in the Sahara Desert (Hotel Upgrade available)
Camel trek into the Sahara Desert
Essaouira - beachside bliss and free time
Specialist local guides at some sites
All road taxes and tolls

Not Included

International flights and visa
Note: On some road journeys, the tour leader may not be in your particular vehicle
Tipping Kitty: USD$55, paid in USD or local currency
Gratuity for your tour guide & driver. Budget approx USD$2 - 3 per person per day. Tipping your tour guide and driver is an entirely personal gesture.
Entrance Fees: USD$25-30, paid in USD or local currency

Reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on 1 recent reviews

Jamal is a fantastic guide, knowledgeable and passionate about his country and able to answer all our questions. Nothing was too much bother and both Jamal and Sliman made sure that we had the best possible trip. I felt very safe with Sliman's driving. Thank you!

Hilary Thain • Submitted 21 Jan 2016

I have had a wonderful time. Morocco is a beautiful country and I believe this tour gives a very good idea of the beauty and diversity in it. Thank you.

Kristian Thompson • Submitted 21 Jan 2016

Jamal was a great guide. His knowledge of Morocco is outstanding and really added to the trip's good value. He has a good sense of humor and a good command of English. The tour was a success because of him. I also think the itinerary was well planned, a good mix of activities and scenery.

Mary Masterilli • Submitted 21 Jan 2016

Our tour guide jamal was very helpful, knowledgeable, good humour, patient and looked after us very well. Sliman is a very safe and competent driver, he didn’t take risks on road and was very friendly and helpful. I will miss them both.

Katrina Hill • Submitted 21 Jan 2016

We had the best tour guide ever. He went over and above to see that the needs of the group were met. He was always cheerful and really, he is your best asset. I would look after him if I were you! The tour would have been a lesser one without him.

Mary Mcclory • Submitted 21 Jan 2016

The tour had a good mix of mountain, shore, city and desert. We covered a lot of ground, saw a lot of things, and had a lot of adventures - but without being too much. Our guide, Jamal, was very personable and added a lot to the tour with his knowledgeable commentary. The group size (12 people) was just right. The accommodations were very good. I would recommend this tour and On The Go to my family and friends. Looking forward to joining you on another adventure!

• Submitted 15 Jan 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

Just back from my most awesome New Years experience ever. I was on the Morrocan Surf the New Year and it was more than I could have ever expected. The group was great, our guide was brilliant and finishing in chilled out Essaouira was the best way to finish this tour. Thanks so much On The Go, already planning next years New Year trip with you guys.

Sim Piromalli • Submitted 18 Apr 2012

Thanks for a brilliant Christmas and New Years On The Go. Morocco is a fantastic place and I highly recommend it to anyone and everybody. So impressed with On The Go - I have already booked an ANZAC tour with you guys. Thanks again.

H Mclean • Submitted 18 Apr 2012

Thanks On The Go for my best trip ever. This was my third trip with you guys and you never fail to impress. Keep up the good work.

John Malcom • Submitted 18 Apr 2012

Hey John -

Xmas/NY in Morocco was excellent, a great escape for winter sun and really great fun! The group were all about the same age so we had a good laugh and the berber camp and Sahara camel trek was awsome. The history, scenery, shopping, food, culture and surfing made it an unforgettable experience - would love to say we'd be back but we have a travel wish-list as long our arms.

Next stop, ANZAC day!

Thanks - M&J Sinclair

Mark & Joanne Sinclair • Submitted 28 Jan 2010

Tour Details
Starts
Marrakech
Ends
Marrakech
Departs
23 Dec 2016
Hotel Rating
3 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes, - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 5

Tour Bolt-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons
Extra Tour Info
Visiting the Sahara
Our guide to visiting the Sahara Desert in Morocco

Jamal is a fantastic guide, knowledgeable and passionate about his country and able to answer all our questions. Nothing was too much bother and both Jamal and Sliman made sure that we had the best possible trip. I felt very safe with Sliman's driving. Thank you!

Hilary Thain
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