Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights
FROM: USD $1,299

Christmas in Morocco - 8 days

Make your way to magical Morocco this Christmas, a short hop from Europe but worlds apart. An exotic land of spices, ancient Kasbahs, rolling Saharan sands, verdant valleys and bustling souks.

Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Inclusions
Hotels
Reviews

Itinerary

Day 1

Marrakech

23 December 2017. 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

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 defense purposes. These many kasbahs, combined with their stunning setting, make this a beautiful region through which to travel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Dades Gorge  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Xmas Dinner at Todra Gorge

Dades Gorge - Todra Gorge. Merry Christmas! The morning is spent at Dades Gorge where you can choose to trek or relax. After lunch we visit to 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 afternoon is spent taking in the remarkable and sheer brilliance of Todra Gorge, opt to go rock climbing (subject to weather conditions, book and pay locally) or just relax and enjoy the day with a great Xmas dinner in the beautiful surroundings.
Overnight: Todra Gorge  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Camel trek into the Sahara

Todra Gorge - Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Crossing the Jebel Sarhro, we head down to Erg Chebbi sand dunes, which signify the start of the mighty Sahara Desert. 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 soak up the breathtaking 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: Erg Chebbi  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

The picturesque Draa Valley

Erg Chebbi - Ouarzazate. After a stunning sunrise and our camel ride back to the frontier post (camel HQ) there is time to freshen up before driving to the verdant Draa valley, along the route of 1000 Kasbahs.

Besides the natural, historical and architectural wonders that the Draa Valley offers, there are also small villages along the valley where time appears to have stood still. We continue on to Ouarzazate, where African traders once stopped on their journeys up to Europe.
Overnight: Ouarzazate  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Ait Benhaddou

Ouarzazate - Ait Benhaddou - Marrakech. In the morning either visit the Ouarzazate film studio that produced Lawrence of Arabia or opt to go Quad Biking (book and pay locally) before driving onward to the legendary Ait Benhaddou.

Ait Benhaddou - a ‘fortified city’ situated along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech, boasts some beautiful examples of ancient kasbahs. Only a handful of which remain inhabited. Granted UNESCO World Heritage listing, this incredible site had been the setting for many films including Gladiator. After exploring Ait Benhaddou we travel back to Marrakech.
Overnight: Marrakech  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Djemaa el Fna

This morning we tour magical Marrakech, an exotic pink city of snake charmers, steamy hammams, bustling souks and hidden palaces. The focal point and highlight of the city is the Koutoubia mosque and Djemaa el Fna - the central square, which is an extraordinary market place full of colour, music, spicy aromas and traders. Best seen in the evening when the square is overflowing with food stalls, dancers, acrobats, fortune tellers, musicians and henna artists.

This afternoon and evening is free for you to explore independently, soak up the incredible atmosphere and test your bartering skills in the souks. Perhaps pamper yourself with a steamy hammam!
Overnight: Marrakech  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8

Marrakech

30 December 2017. Our Moroccan adventure concludes after breakfast. Happy travels! If you would like to extend your trip and spend New Year's Eve in Marrakech or by the coast in Essaouira, take a look at our Rock the Kasbah or Surf the New Year tour.
Breakfast

Rock the Kasbah

Discover impressive kasbahs, camp under Saharan stars and ring in the New Year in stunning Marrakech - a festive season to remember! Rock the Kasbah this new year, with our 10 day tour departing 23 December 2015.

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.

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2017
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $1,299
USD $359
2018
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $1,299
USD $359

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.

Kasbah Tizzaouirine , Dades Gorge

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Overlooking Oued Dades, Kasbah Tizzarouine offers rustic Moroccan accommodation. Guest rooms vary from the quirky cave rooms to the more palatial Berber suites. The hotel also includes an outdoor pool and seating on a beautiful terrace giving great panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valley. Staff at the Kasbah are very helpful and the restaurant comes with great recommendations. Those who are in to local music can enjoy and join in with drumming sessions that take place each night.

Hotel Tomboctou, Todra Gorge

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Riad

Formerly the residence of Sheikh Bassou Ou Ali, the Hotel Tomboctou is an authentic Kasbah of soil that was fully refurbished in 1994. The 14 charming rooms are blessed with typical warming Moroccan themes, are fully air conditioned and equipped with excellent en suite facilities. The refreshing outdoor pool is perfect for relaxing by and meals are served in either the tent or earthen hall. Guests are invited to try some local delicacies like traditional tagine or Berber omelette. The accommodation is well located close to Tinehir and the popular Todra Gorge.

Desert Camp, Erg Chebbi

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Free Camp

Camping out in the Sahara Desert is an incredible experience, enabling you to sit on top of a dune to watch the setting sun, sit around a camp fire for dinner and lie back and see the stars. No alcohol.

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!

Trip Highlights

Marrakech - UNESCO-listed Place Djemaa el Fna (ancient medina, souks and market place)
High Atlas Mountains and views of Mt Toubkal - North Africa's highest peak
Todra Gorge - towering red canyon
Erg Chebbi sand dunes - beginning of the Sahara
Ait Benhaddou - UNESCO-listed fortified kasbah city
Bahia Palace - 19th Century palatial residence of the grand vizier Sidi Moussa & Koutoubia Mosque.
Dades Gorge - valley of the roses
Merzouga - Berber village and start point for our camel trek into the great Sahara
Ouarzazate - home to Morocco's film industry. Opt for a visit.

Included

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

Not Included

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.
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
International flights and visa
Entrance Fees: USD$25-30, paid in USD or local currency

Reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.56 out of 5 based on 9 recent reviews

1  |  2

The tour was really interesting. I found Morocco a fascinating country made more interesting by Jamal who has a deep love and a great knowledge of his country. The hotels were mostly good, the food was very much the same throughout, except for the picnic lunch, which was wonderful and the lunch where we had chicken skewers instead of tagine was a welcome change. Maybe it was because of the places we stayed but the overcooked meat and vegetables we had most days was uninspiring. The dinner we had in the hotel at the Sahara was really lovely. (I opted for the hotel stay rather than the Berber camp) Our guide Jamal was extraordinary. From the 'meet & greet' in the hotel to our final farewell, he was friendly. informative, ON TIME, and managed to keep an enthusiastic and generally rowdy group together and on track. Jamal has a quick wit and added to the fun we had on our trip. He obviously loves his country and was really informative without lecturing us. He's well suited to the job. Jamal treated us as individuals as well as a part of the group. He joined in some of our evening activities and had a good time with us. What a funny man he is. I can't imagine a better group or a better guide. If there were more than five stars in the rating below, he'd get more. He earned every one of them He earned the respect and has the ongoing friendship of us all, I'm sure. I hope Jamal wins the Tour Leader Award, he deserves to be recognised as a terrific tour guide and a great asset to your company

• Submitted 14 Jan 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

An excellent tour encompassing the stunning Atlas Mountains and a night in the desert - exactly what I wanted. Quite a lot of driving but didn't feel at all arduous with the excellent driving of Yousef and the wonderful scenery and good company of the group. Highlight of trip was our leader, Jamel. Couldn't have been more fun, flexible, caring and professional. Always ready to join in with a joke (and they were a constant feature of our group) but at the same time was always watching out for everyone's happiness and safety. He was a constant source of information about the country and culture and always happy to answer questions and share his knowledge. He is definitely your Tour Guide of the Year - couldn't be bettered!

• Submitted 13 Jan 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

The trip was fabulous !! Combination of a wonderful tour group and Jamal's tour leadership. I laughed more in a one week trip than I had the rest of 2016. Highlights were the camel ride, the quad biking, and the dancing at a couple of the hotels.

Jamal was very attuned to the group. He realized we were all tired of tagine so at the next lunch spot he made arrangements for skewers.

He could be silly and joke with us (especially Victor), but was serious when necessary. He is very knowledgeable about his homeland and proud of his Berber heritage.

A little too much time on the bus, but not unexpected given how much territory we covered in a relatively short time. Jamal even made that fun by providing yummy cookies and other treats during the long rides.

Jamal obviously loves his job and brought a lot of positive energy to the group, He was always upbeat (even when it was like "herding cats" and I like one of his sayings that every problem there are many solutions.

Will definitely use On the Go again and am optimistic that every trip has a "Jamal" !!

Judy B

• Submitted 04 Jan 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Great country, great tour and great guide. Really enjoyed it and Jamaal was one of the best guides I have had on a trip like this.

• Submitted 03 Jan 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

I had a fantastic time on the tour, it was exactly what I needed. Jamal the tour guide was fantastic, nothing was too much he made it so much fun but also giving out so much information and cared about each persons needs. Having an authentic Berber doing the tour was essential as he could talk with real passion.

There was a lot of time in the bus but there was no other way to get to each destination, the views were incredible, most of the hotels were great, the swimming pool a little cold!

The night in the Sahara was a highlight and would have been nice to be there a little longer.

The tour around Marrakesh was excellent and again Jamal found an excellent hammam for us to visit.

• Submitted 02 Jan 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

The best trip I had so far! Jamal is amazing, he made this trip so special. No task was too small or to big for him and always did everything he could to make sure we where having a good time.

• Submitted 02 Jan 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Overall the tour was amazing and great value for money. Both our guide and driver were a pleasure to spend time with. Morocco was wonderful - my only wish was that we had not spent quite so much time on the bus and more time exploring.

Nicola Jayne Ward • Submitted 21 Jan 2016

I have had a fantastic time in morocco, many thanks for the great trip!

James Perry • Submitted 21 Jan 2016

The overall tour was good and Jamal was friendly.

The only concern was the hotel could be better. They were run down and cold. I would be careful with the hotel in Marrakech, there are a couple of inappropriate people at the hotel bar.

• Submitted 07 Jan 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

The 2 day camel trek and camping was amazing. The best meal we had was at the hotel in Merzouga (although the heat didn't really work in that hotel). Rock climbing was amazing (although our guide forgot about it so we had to wake up really early the next day to fit it in). More local restaurants would be better - the restaurants chosen for us were a little bland. Also - our schedule was never laid out day to day so it was hard to plan what to wear or if we needed to bring toilet paper or snacks. I'd recommend a white board or poster each morning that details the time we need to leave and approximate stops and meals. Also - we didn't get any information about Morocco - we had to ask a LOT of questions to get basic facts about the stops on the tour and the local Moroccan culture. Id recommend giving the guides 5 facts or so per stop so that we can get more information on the country and the places we're visiting - or let us know ahead of time that we should do our own research. The best parts of the trip were the came ride and camp, rock climbing and visiting the souk in Marrakech. Magical.

• Submitted 06 Jan 2015
Tour
Guide
Country
1  |  2

In Brief

Range
Starts
Marrakech
Ends
Marrakech
Departs
23 Dec 2017
Hotel Rating
3 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 7, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 5
Visiting
Countries

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

An excellent tour encompassing the stunning Atlas Mountains and a night in the desert - exactly what I wanted. Quite a lot of driving but didn't feel at all arduous with the excellent driving of Yousef and the wonderful scenery and good company of the group. Highlight of trip was our leader, Jamel. Couldn't have been more fun, flexible, caring and professional. Always ready to join in with a joke (and they were a constant feature of our group) but at the same time was always watching out for everyone's happiness and safety. He was a constant source of information about the country and culture and always happy to answer questions and share his knowledge. He is definitely your Tour Guide of the Year - couldn't be bettered!

Avril Barnby