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Escorted Tours

Moroccan Explorer Mountains to Desert


Route:
  • London
  • Marrakech
  • Tinghir
  • Merzouga
  • Ouarzazate
  • Ouirgane
  • London

9 DAYS from £1011pp

Tour Highlights
  • City tour in Marrakech, witnessing snake charmers and musicians in Djema El Fnaa Square
  • Soak in the sights and sounds of Marrakech's colourful souks
  • Journey through the incredible High Atlas Mountains
  • Breath-taking vistas overlooking the sun-drenched Sahara
  • Meander through the spectacular Todra Gorges
  • Traverse sandy desert landscapes and spend a night in a comfortable desert camp

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Moroccan Explorer Mountains to Desert

Uncover Moroccan traditions, spice-filled souks, rugged landscapes and sun-scorched desert plains, as you wind through a mystical land in the shadows of North Africa's tallest mountain range - the mighty High Atlas.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Marrakech

Depart London on your scheduled flight to Marrakech. Upon arrival, you will be met by your representatives and transferred to tonight's hotel in time for a welcome dinner this evening.

  • Dinner
2
Marrakech

Indulge your senses as you begin your Moroccan adventure in the 'Red City' city of Marrakech; renowned for its bustling medinas, aromatic souks and elaborate Arab architecture. Embark on a comprehensive tour, commencing at Marrakech's largest mosque and minaret - the 12th century Koutoubia Tower. A dazzling spectacle of Hispano-Moorish art, marvel at the varying geometric arch motifs which spectacularly embellish its 77-metre minaret, before continuing to Bahia Palace. Next, weave through a labyrinth of bustling alleyways, teeming with the colourful stalls, charismatic hawkers and powerful aromas which epitomize Marrakech's souks and explore the Berber apothecary, offering a display of magic potions, spices and refreshing mint tea. Finally, witness a kaleidoscopic vision at the colourful dyers souk, before watching as the world-famous Djema El Fnaa Square transforms from a day market into an immense show of dancers, musicians and snake charmers this evening.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
3
Marrakech to Tinghir via Tiz N'Tichka

Following breakfast, embark on a scenic journey towards the High Atlas, North Africa's highest mountain range. Along the plains of Ouarzazate, Skoura and Tinghir; traverse rugged scenery along a route fringed by immense palm groves, before reaching the province of Al Haouz where the small rivers that trickle through its arid terrain remain the sole source of irrigation to the area. Pause to absorb incredible panoramas of the Touama streams and verdant vegetable terraces from Toufliht Park, before journeying onwards towards the breath-taking Tizi N'Tichka path, 'the gateway of the Sahara'; ascend a rocky trail and be rewarded with incredible views that stretch beyond the horizon of sun-scorched pre-Sahara areas that lay motionless at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. After lunch, reach the magical town of Kelaa Mgouna, positioned amidst the Valley of Roses which bursts with dusky-pink hues, and peruse the local beauty products, skilfully produced from these delicate flowers.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Tinghir to Merzouga via Todra Gorges

Set out for Merzouga this morning, leaving the panoramic sights of Tinghir Valley behind you. Marvel at a carpet of dense green palm groves in Todra and follow a winding crystal-clear stream which spectacularly cuts through the awe-inspiring Todra Gorges. On arrival into the fortified villages of Tinekdad and Erfoud, take advantage of time at leisure and browse through a collection of local market stalls, which sell an extensive array of delicately produced artefacts using ancient fossils, for which Erfoud is synonymous with, and savour some regional recipes during a break for lunch, before journeying through Tafilalt, the largest Saharan oasis in Morocco. Later this afternoon, your arrival into Merzouga is announced as a camel ride transports you across sandy desert landscapes towards your evening accommodation. As the blazing sun begins to set over this idyllic location, settle into your comfortable desert camp whilst listening to the rhythmic beats of an entrancing drum performance this evening.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Merzouga to Ouarzazate

Rise early to catch the first glimpse of sunlight emerge over the vast Saharan landscape, before discovering the elaborately adorned gate of the Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, whose embellishment of green ceramics truly characterise traditional Moroccan architecture. A network of rural market stalls in Rissani's nearby souk provides the perfect opportunity to witness hawkers fervently sell a varied selection of local produce, before travelling onwards across the unforgettable lunar plains, mountain peaks and canyons of Saghro Djebel. Having arrived into the small villages of Tazzarine and N'Kob, enjoy a flavourful lunch and trace along a mere section of the Draa River, leading into Tanssikht this afternoon, the final stop of the ancient Saharan caravans which journeyed south. Conclude today's exploration in 'the door of the desert' - Ouarzazate.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Ouarzazate

Mirroring the image of a remarkable life-sized sandcastle, begin your day with a visit to the official residence of the Pacha of Marrakech - Taourirt Kasbah, a stunning citadel encompassing over 300 rooms made entirely of earth and straw, all connected by a warren of corridors. Next, continue to the Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, a fortified village and UNESCO World Heritage Site situated along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech, in which traders transported gold, ivory and salt. Spend an afternoon at leisure to discover a breath-taking area used as a backdrop for many a Hollywood blockbuster.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Ouarzazate to Ouirgane

Travel to the southern verge of the Atlas Mountains today, an area rich in vegetation, abounding verdant plains and gushing streams; amidst the spacious fields cultivating regional vegetables, adobe houses dot a landscape of supreme beauty. Enduring the test of time, be transported to a bygone era as you discover the modest lifestyle of indigenous Berbers who maintain the self-sufficient existence that they have led since the middle ages. This afternoon, begin the return journey along the Tiz N Tichka pass, stopping in Taddert village for a light refreshment Uncover Moroccan traditions, spice-filled souks, rugged landscapes and sun-scorched desert plains, as you wind through a mystical land in the shadows of North Africa's tallest mountain range - the mighty High Atlas. along the way. Snake past abrupt valleys and majestic mountain peaks before descending onto the three famous valleys Zat, Ourika and Ghighaya, speckled with local farmers tending to their herds of sheep. Head towards the village of Ouirgane later this afternoon for your overnight stay.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Ouirgane

This morning, explore the tranquil town of Ouirgane as you embark on a walking tour through the flourishing fields of corn and flowers. Follow the river's undulating course, lined by flourishing red juniper, before gazing in awe at the magnificent panoramas of Jbel Toubkal, which at 4,167m is the tallest in the mountain range, located in Toubkal National Park. Witness the higher elevations of the massif, whose snow-capped peaks offer an entirely disparate scene to the sun-scorched vistas of the Sahara, before being welcomed into the home of a hospitable local family who will treat you to a refreshing cup of authentic mint tea. After lunch, return to your hotel in Ouirgane and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Ouirange to the UK

After breakfast, transfer to Marrakech airport for you return flight to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Your Meals

Breakfast is always western style and served in the hotel each morning. Lunch and dinner where stated will be taken at local restaurants or at your hotel. A variety of restaurants are visited giving you the chance to experience a range of dishes.

Important Information

Visas

A visa is not required for your trip to Morocco. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding passport validity.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Flight Information

Your initial flight is to Marrakesh Menara Airport with British Airways, departing from London Gatwick South Terminal. Your return flight is from Marrakesh Menara Airport with British Airways.
Baggage allowance (per person): Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding 56cm x 35cm x 22cm in size one personal item (such as a handbag or laptop case) not exceeding 43cm x 22cm x 25cm. Weight restrictions will be finalised on your E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.
If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.

Health and Vaccinations

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing steep stairs and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 30. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is a fully escorted tour meaning that you will be met by a local guide in each of the cities that you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency Information

The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham which is a closed currency and will need to be exchanged in the resort. Cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any dinners where these are not mentioned in your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200-£300 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour. Tipping is not compulsory and is at your discretion. We would recommend approximately 150DHS (£11.00) per person which is split between the drive and guide. Should you wish to tip, this will be collected by your guide at the end of your tour for your convenience. It is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency, please do not give coins as these are difficult to exchange.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPrice
2021 Dates
02 Jun 202113 Jun 2021£1551.00
01 Sep 202112 Sep 2021£1379.00
29 Sep 202110 Oct 2021£1206.00
27 Oct 202107 Nov 2021£1321.00
17 Nov 202128 Nov 2021£976.00
2022 Dates
16 Feb 202224 Feb 2022£1149.00
16 Mar 202224 Mar 2022£1206.00
01 Jun 202209 Jun 2022£1609.00
07 Sep 202215 Sep 2022£1436.00
28 Sep 202206 Oct 2022£1264.00
26 Oct 202203 Nov 2022£1379.00
16 Nov 202224 Nov 2022£1034.00
Itinerary changes

The order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction and/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times. Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Moroccan Dirham

Average Flying time

3 - 3 ½hours

Min/Max temperature

15 °C / 22 °C

Spoken languages

Arabic, French and English

When to go

Weather can vary throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Marrakech

What to pack
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhat
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera and charger
  • A plug adaptor - the electricity in Morocco is 220 V. You will need a round 2-pin plug adapter
Tour Map
Moroccan Explorer Mountains to Desert  Route Map
Tour Dossiers
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