Camel caravan in the Sahara Desert | Morocco
FROM: €765 pp
Christmas in Morocco - 8 days map

CHRISTMAS TOUR: 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. Ride camels in the Sahara Desert, explore Marrakech, and spend Christmas surrounded by towering Dades Gorge!

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
COVID Safe Guide
Reviews

Trip Highlights

Marrakech - Discover the sights, smells and sounds of this sensual city including the medina and Djemaa el Fna main square
Sahara Desert - Climb aboard a camel for a ride amongst the Erg Chebbi sand dunes and spend a night at our traditional Berber camp
Draa Valley - Pass through this scenic region, stopping in Agdz to visit ancient kasbahs and enjoy incredible mountain views
Dades Gorge - Spend Christmas Day exploring the kasbah Amridil and take in the breathtaking view of this mighty gorge, tucking into a delicious Christmas dinner in the area
Ait Benhaddou - Delve into the warren of narrow streets that make up this famous UNESCO-listed kasbah
Ouarzazate - Relax in the 'Hollywood of Morocco' and opt to visit the film studios responsible for Gladiator and other blockbusters

Included

Breakfast daily, 4 lunches and 5 dinners inclusive of a traditional Berber meal in the Sahara
Guided sightseeing - Merzouga, Dades Gorge, Ait Benhaddou and Marrakech
Escorted by a licensed English speaking Moroccan tour guide
Marrakech Airport arrival and departure transfer on days 1 and 8
All road taxes and tolls
6 nights 3 - 4 star hotels and 1 night camping at a Berber desert camp in the Sahara (hotel upgrade available)
Camel trek into the Sahara Desert
Specialist local guides at some sites
All transportation and transfers in private air-conditioned tourism vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visa
Tip for your tour guide and driver. We recommend you allow USD$2-3 per day, per traveller for your guide and USD$1-2 per day, per traveller for your driver. Tipping your guide and driver is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$30-40pp, paid in USD or local currency
Note: On some road journeys, the tour leader may not be in your particular vehicle
Entrance Fees: USD$30-50pp, paid in USD or local currency

Itinerary

Day 1

Marrakech

23 December. 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

Ait Benhaddou

Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou – Skoura. This morning we drive onwards to the legendary 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 onwards to Skoura where we have an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Skoura  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Xmas Dinner at Dades Gorge

Skoura – Dades Gorge. Merry Christmas! We spend the morning visiting the kasbah Amridil before continuing to Gorge du Dades in the Dades valley. On arrival we take some time to explore the gorges, palmeries and kasbah ruins. We then have the evening to relax before enjoying a great Xmas dinner in the beautiful surroundings.
Overnight: Dades Gorge  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Camel trek into the Sahara

Dades 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 breath-taking scenery. Arriving at our simple Berber camp, we enjoy dinner and an evening by the campfire, under the spectacular Saharan night sky. Remember to wrap up warm!

If you would prefer the comfort of a hotel with en-suite facilities this evening, opt for our Sahara hotel alternative at no additional cost. Please do let us know your preferred option at the time of booking.
Overnight: Merzouga  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

The picturesque Draa Valley

Erg Chebbi – Agdz – Ouarzazate. Today we travel through Mercissi and Nkob in the Saghro Moutain region, passing the incredible rock formations and wells that have been dug over centuries by the nomads to get access to water, along the way. Onwards to the small town of Agdz, with its Palmeries, ancient Kasbahs and incredible views of Jebel Kissane Mountain. Our final stop of the day is Ouarzazate – Morocco’s film capital, where we lay our heads for the evening. This evening we enjoy a group meal together.
Overnight: Ouarzazate  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate – Marrakech. Famous for being a prime filming location for many Hollywood TV shows and Blockbusters, we have the opportunity to explore the World's largest film studio this morning. Be sure to explore the iconic Colosseum used in 'Gladiator' and the prop jet used in 'Jewel of the Nile'. Carrying on we continue to Kasbah Telouet. Built in 1860 this kasbah was once home to the very wealthy Thami El Glaoui until he conspired with French Colonialists to delay Morocco's fight for independence.

Descending into the city of Marrakech, Morocco's pink city. We have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the Medina and the delights of Djemaa el Fna, the exuberant market place, which is a hive of activity, sights and smells at both day and night.
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. 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.

Prices & Dates

Departure dates marked with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departures are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.

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Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas Departure
Guaranteed Departure
Available
Contact us to book
Not Available
2022
Twin Share
Single Room
23 Dec - 30 Dec Christmas departure - book early!
Christmas departure - book early!
G
€765
€1,035
2023
Twin Share
Single Room
€775
€1,065

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room
Post Tour Accommodation - Marrakech
€85
€135
Pre Tour Accommodation - Marrakech
€85
€135

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.

Adam Park Hotel & Spa, Marrakech

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Guests can expect a very comfortable stay at the Adam Park Hotel & Spa. Each of the elegant rooms feature a patio or balcony with views of the surrounding area. Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. Several restaurants offer a variety of options including Italian specialities, Moroccan favourites and international cuisine. There are also plenty of ways to unwind after a day exploring Marrakech, with an outdoor pool, fitness centre and a spa offering rejuvenating massage treatments.

Sawadi Ecolodge, Skoura

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Riad

This eco-friendly riad is located in the oasis of Skoura, in a 4-hectare farm, 40 km from the town of Ouarzazate. Located halfway between the desert and the Atlas Mountains, it offers air-conditioned rooms, an outdoor seawater pool and a hammam which can be enjoyed after using several of the sporting facilities including table tennis, a volleyball, a badminton and a bowling alley. On site, you can also arrange sightseeing excursions on foot, horseback, bicycle, camel or local transport. Rooms at the Sawadi are colourful and decorated in a traditional Moroccan style, with views of the Atlas Mountains or the riad's gardens. All the buildings of the Sawadi Estate are designed in the traditional Berber style, and are built with materials taken from the site, such as clay, straw and palm trees.

Kasbah Ait BenHadda, Skoura

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Riad

Nestled in the heart of the Skoura pal grove, the Ait Benhadda boasts incredible mountain views, and stunning terraces and garden to enjoy the landscape. All guest rooms are en-suite and air-conditioned and are equipped with a satellite TV. Guests can cool off by the pool or taste some of the Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine at the on-site restaurant.

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.

Ksar Sultan Dades, Dades Gorge

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Riad

Ksar Sultan Dades is located in Boumalne Dades; a small town on the edge of the Dades Valley. Ait Benhaddou and Kasbah Ruins are local landmarks and the area's natural beauty can be seen at High Atlas and Monkey Paws, which are a short drive away. Each of the riad's 9 rooms has a unique design and overlook the pool or the stunning, remote views of the valley. The outdoor pool provides a welcome respite from a busy day exploring the incredible surrounds. The guesthouse has a cafe and restaurant and there are also plenty of dining options within a short drive.

Camp Touareg, Merzouga

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Desert Camp

Set amongst the bright orange dunes of Erg Chebbi, Touareg Berber camp is designed with a traditional Moroccan theme. Tents are simply furnished with metal framed double, twin or triple beds. All bedding is provided including a pillow, sheets and a blanket (more blankets in winter). A Moroccan rug on the floor and solar generated electricity (after night fall). The camp has two toilet blocks and a large dining tent. Camping out in the desert is an incredible experience. Watch the sunset over the dunes, enjoy simple but tasty Moroccan cuisine and spend the evening by the camp fire, under a spectacular star filled sky.

Ksar Ben Youssef, Ouarzazate

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Riad

Ksar Ben Youssef is a newly built, traditional hotel located just 5kms from the centre of Ouarzazate. Offering 18 spacious air-conditioned rooms, with a variety of bedding configurations. Its large pool, overlooked by a rooftop terrace with shady nooks, is the perfect respite from the desert heat. Guests can enjoy a buffet style breakfast from the on-site restaurant or dine on one of the many terraces.

Dar Amoudou, Ouarzazate

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Riad

Nestled in the heights of Ouarzazate's old district of Ait kdif, Dar Amoudou is a guest house with nine traditional styled rooms that offer all the modern comforts of a luxury hotel including; air conditioning, heating, free Wi-Fi, satellite channels and of course, en-suite facilities. Offering breathtaking views of Ouarzazate and the Atlas Mountains, the attractive terrace is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the magical surroundings, whilst also enjoying traditional Moroccan cuisine.

Reviews

Travellers have rated this tour as 4.57 out of 5 based on 21 recent reviews

1  |  2  |  3  |  4

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 2020
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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 2019
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The Christmas in Morocco tour was fantastic. There was quite a bit of travel time but it was paced well and lots of stops to take pictures, see attractions, get food and local flavor. We got many sights in and definitely were exposed to and got a good feel for the country and the people and culture. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and provided tons of background and cultural information and made some changes to the things we saw and did based on the group's requests. The meals were great and varied, and even with all of the travelling and sightseeing there was still time on our own to relax and do some things on our own as well. It was my first tour solo and I will happily do it again given my experience.

• Submitted 08 Jan 2019
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We had an absolutely fabulous time in Morocco. The airport pickup was well organised, friendly and very comfortable. When we got to the hotel we met with our guide who greeted us warmly and spent time chatting with us and making sure we had everything we needed.

The tour itself was fantastic, our guide was very friendly, funny and knowledgeable. He and the driver made what was sometimes a long day of travelling seem much shorter due to their positive and informative manner. We had a great time on every part of the tour and we fell in love with Morocco.

Thank you for a memorable holiday!

• Submitted 08 Jan 2019
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The tour was great! There was a lot of driving but our tour group members were fantastic and we all became great friends over the week. Also, we were so fortunate to have a great guide who was super fun, took great care of us, gave us a glimpse of Moroccan life and culture, and adjusted the tour to our wants and needs. He really added to our tour experience and connected to each and every one of us ensuring we all had a great time. As for the tour itself, each stop was super interesting and fun. The site specific guides were great and added to the tour experience in general. Other than the tour having a lot of driving and the “international” food menus being very poor, I would have liked one more day in Marrakesh to enjoy the markets and do some more shopping. The Moroccan food we had was excellent.

• Submitted 07 Jan 2019
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A great trip, good value and fun! We had a fab guide who made every effort to make the holiday memorable. There were some long days travelling; the only way to pack it all in but worth noting if you don’t travel well. We stayed at the hotel rather than do the camel trek- don’t worry about missing out if you decide to do the same we still rode in the camels and enjoyed some evening entertainment thanks to our guide and the hotel staff. This was our second trip with on the go and we will definitely consider them again next Christmas and New Year.

• Submitted 03 Jan 2019
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This is an excellent tour and we all had a fabulous time. There is quite some distance to travel on the first and last days of the tour, our tour guide kept us entertained and informed about the various sites we were passing along the way. The variation in landscape was breathtaking. The days in between were full of activities. Don't miss the camel ride into the Sahara, the sunset is amazing. The accommodation is lovely and the Moroccan people warm and friendly. The last day in Marrakech with the City Tour and the Celebration Dinner was wonderful, a real experience. Your tour guide was fabulous nothing was too much trouble, he really looked after us and always with a happy smile and a joke or two.

• Submitted 03 Jan 2019
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Our guide Abdellatif was very knowledgeable, attentive and helpful. He went above and beyond to ensure that we had a comfortable stay. It helps that he is also quite humorous at times, making the long drive between cities more bearable. I am also very grateful to our Hussein who drove safely and steadily.

I would highly recommend the one night camp at Sahara desert. It was the highlight of the trip. The tent is more luxurious than I expected, almost like a glamping. Though I wish for more variety in the meals provided. The food served are all the same in every city.

• Submitted 02 Jan 2019
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To mirror what I wrote in the feedback form, I thought the itinerary was well planned. However, I did not anticipate spending so much time driving in the minibus. Some of the hotels were not great, others exceeded my expectation. Some of the food provided by some of the hotels was not good/ The driver Hussain, was an excellent driver and coped well with the bus breakdown between Ouazazate and Marrakech - we resumed driving in a short space of time. The other travellers (12 others) were fantastic and really made the trip a memorable one for me. The guides used in the Film studio and city guide in Marrakech were really good. Our tour guide Abdellatif, was fantastic - I cannot praise him highly enough - he is a real treasure for On The Go Tours. He was friendly, answered every question we had about aspects of Morroco - there was nothing he didn't know about his country. He was great fun and we spent so much time laughing that he made this trip so special. I really hope the company continues to use Abdellatif as he was a crucial factor in this being one of my best holidays. It would be appreciated if the amount of driving could be looked at, and also revise some of the hotels and of course the food. My fellow travellers would have preferred more Moroccan food. Finally, I have already thanked Abdellatif but can you please give him 5 stars and a big thank you again from me

• Submitted 31 Dec 2018
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We're a family of six from the US who had never done an organized tour previously. Our experience with On the Go Christmas in Morocco was wonderful, and surpassed all expectations. Our tour guide, Ibrahim, was superb, and really made our trip special. He was provided great insight and historical information, and his command of English and sense of humor was incredible. Fantastic trip!!!

• Submitted 16 Jan 2018
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1  |  2  |  3  |  4

In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Marrakech
Ends
Marrakech
Departs
23 December
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 24
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star hotels
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 7, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 5
Visiting
Marrakech, Skoura, Dades Gorge, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou, Erg Chebbi, Agdz
Countries
Click to play videoBeautiful sky over the famous Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech
Click to play videoSand coloured kasbah in Ait Benhaddou
Long road winding up the side of the mountain at Dades Gorge
Click to play videoCamel walking through the Erg Chebbi sand dunes
City walls of Ouarzazate

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
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