From the modern pulse of Casablanca to the ancient mosques of Fez, Morocco is a country of unbridled colors, flavors, and diversity. Morocco’s cities are some of the most exciting on the continent, and on this 11-day journey, you’ll explore their cobbled alleyways, fragrant markets, ancient souks, and winding alleys.
You’ll also hop on a camel caravan and travel ancient routes across the Sahara Desert and along the High Atlas Mountains. You’ll meet local farmers, experience traditional Gnawa music, and cook tagine with a women’s coop in Marrakech. Throughout this exotic journey, you’ll be enjoying incredible Moroccan fare and soaking up all the spices of the fabled gateway to Africa.
Join a camel caravan through the Sahara Desert and spend two nights in a luxury tent camp, sleeping under a stunning canopy of stars.
Explorations by Collette
Explorations by Collette, a small group travel experience, sets you out on a transformative odyssey. With an average size of just 15 travelers, this is your chance to learn, discover, and seek out new things. With Explorations, you’ll find extraordinary travel moments already planned for you paired with opportunities to let your sense of adventure lead the way. The best is yet to come.
Overnight to Morocco
Kick back with your headphones at 30,000 feet and rest up. Morocco is a country of extraordinary diversity; it’s riddled with modern cities and colorful medinas (old towns), epic mountain ranges, and sweeping deserts—and everything in between. Wake up in the magical Casablanca, ready to immerse yourself in the multi-sensory adventure that lies ahead.
Elegant Moorish architecture, colorful souks, and spice markets—Casablanca is more than Morocco’s economic heart and one of its biggest ports. The ancient Berbers, the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the French have all influenced the city, as is evident in its eclectic architecture and culture.
While Casablanca has a European flair, the culinary scene is robust with the flavors of traditional Morocco. Your first night, sit down with your fellow travelers to a Moroccan meal rich with aromatic coriander, allspice, and ginger. Make new friends—and discover new flavors.
Rabat and Meknes
Wake up to the sounds of Muslim calls to prayer coming from Casablanca’s mosques—then set out to gaze upon the most breathtaking mosque of them all, Hassan II Mosque. This is the largest mosque in Morocco and its 689-foot minaret is the highest in the world.
Next, venture off to Rabat—Morocco’s capital—to visit the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. An epitome of modern Moroccan design, the jaw-dropping woodwork, marble, and bronze make this a tomb truly fit for a king. Then, it’s on to the imperial city of Meknes—a UNESCO World Heritage Center—and home to the Bab Mansour and Bab El Khamis gates.
Later, arrive at your riad (traditional Moroccan house) just in time for a traditional dinner, prepared by local women known as dadas.
Fez’s charms are infinite. Seemingly blind alleys lead to squares that delight with exquisite fountains and streets bursting with colorful souks, hovering minarets, and artisans making one-of-a-kind treasures.
You’ll learn all about Fez’s history on a tour that features the Medersa Bou Inania, one of Fez’s finest theological colleges, built between 1351 and 1357. Admire the restored zellige (colorful geometric mosaic tilework) and beautiful cedar mashrabiyyas (lattice screens). Then move on to the narrow streets of the historic Jewish quarter, the city ramparts, and the palace gates. Next, take a walking tour of Fez’s 9th-century medina—a UNESCO Heritage Site—and watch craftsmen in action at the leather tanneries.
The Legendary Sahara
Today, you’ll venture across otherworldly desert landscapes on your way to the Sahara Desert. You’ll pass through charming Ifrane with its curious alpine architecture, clean air, and majestic views of the Middle Atlas Mountains. When you arrive at Erfoud, also known as the “Door of the Desert,” you’ll make your way by 4x4 Jeep to your luxurious tent camp for a two-night stay.
Glamping in the Sahara
Your first morning in the desert, get up early and watch the sun illuminate the Sahara in stunning hues of orange, yellow, and red. Then, travel to the Oasis of Hassi Byed and meet a local farmer to learn about the challenges of surviving in the world’s largest hot desert.
Morocco is rich in many things, and music is among them. Next, you’ll travel to a local village and experience a performance of Gnawa music. Traditionally originating from the sub-Saharan region and practiced throughout Morocco, Gnawa music is spiritual at its roots. Later, visit a fascinating nomadic community and then return to your luxury basecamp and sleep under the stars.
How many people can say they’ve ridden a camel in the Sahara Desert? After today, you can. Mount your camel with your group caravan at sunrise and take off into the desert. You’ll make your way to Todra Gorge, a series of limestone river canyons in the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains.
The first time you set eyes upon Boumalne du Dades, you’ll understand why it’s called Morocco’s Grand Canyon. Feel your senses awaken as the desert sun illuminates the river valleys, the palmeries, the markets, and burnished mud-brick homes. After an incredible day, you’ll enjoy an equally incredible traditional Berber meal.
The Road to Marrakech
Turreted fortresses rise up like sandcastles along the rugged, sunbaked “Road of a Thousand Kasbahs” that runs between the Sahara and Marrakech—this is where you’re headed today. Along the way, stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou. This ighrem (fortified village) sits along the ancient trading route and is a striking example of southern Moroccan architecture.
Next Sahara stop: a local cooperative on your drive through the Valley of Roses, and then your modern-day caravan continues along the Tizi n’ Tichka Pass, winding through lush oasis valleys, sky-scraping mountains, and Berber villages.
You’ve finally arrived in Marrakech, a city that celebrates all the senses. Visit the ancient El Bahia Palace, whose architecture is a distinct blend of both Islamic and Moroccan styles. Wander through the salons of both the petit riad and grand riad and ogle the intricate marquetry and zouak (painted wood) ceilings.
Next up in Marrakech, explore the Jewish Mellah, the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, and get a peek at the Royal Palace on your way to the ancient city wall. So many choices, but here’s another: you can either visit the Jardin Majorelle and the Berber Museum, or—if fashion is your thing—explore the Musée Yves Saint Laurent and discover how Morocco has inspired the iconic designer.
Flavors of Marrakech
Today is all about diving deeper into the Moroccan culinary scene. In the morning, join a women’s cooperative in an interactive cooking class. First, you’ll head to le jardin (the garden) to source your own herbs and vegetables, and then the local ladies are going to show you how to make Morocco’s most celebrated dish: tagine. You can make this succulent, stew-like dish with dried apricots, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, turmeric, and tomato paste, to your taste.
Your homemade tagine is the perfect precedent to your last—and most flavorful—evening in Morocco. Dine behind the doors of an opulent palace, toast your journey with your new friends, and reflect on how the flavors of Morocco have inspired you.
Wake up to the smell of khobz bread baking and the sounds of prayer calls. It’s your last morning in Morocco, so take time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced while you sip your morning mint tea. Think about the things you’ve tasted, seen, and experienced—before boarding your luxury transfer that takes you back to Casablanca for your flight home.