Morocco: Hike, Bike & Horse Ride

7 Days from $1,070

START: Marrakech

FINISH: Marrakech

AGES: 15 - 99

THEME: Active Adventures

Overviewicon readmoreicon minus

Description

This seven-day heart-racing journey will have you cycling through manic Marrakech, mountain biking down the slopes of the High Atlas Mountains, hiking the rugged countryside and horse riding on the golden beaches of Essaouira. Experience the hospitality of the Berber people with a homestay in Aroumd, get lost in the colourful souqs of Marrakech and rejuvenate in a traditional hammam. If you’re all about active adventures, fresh air and off-beat wilderness, then this is the Moroccan jaunt for you.

Start: Marrakech

Finish: Marrakech

Ages: 15 - 99

Theme: Active Adventures

Accommodation: Gite (1 night), Hotel (5 nights)

Destination: Marrakech

Highlights

icon check
Discover the vibrant city of Marrakech from a different perspective during a bike tour through the main sites, perhaps finishing with a glass of the best freshly squeezed orange juice in Djemaa el-Fna
icon check
Gallop over sandy beaches and through mimosa forests along the Moroccan coast with an included horseback riding adventure in Essaouira.
icon check
Make a thrilling descent down the slopes of the Atlas Mountains by mountain bike. With downhill trails to suit any riding abilities, your local leader will set you up with the best route for you.
icon check
Scale the High Atlas Mountains and trek through scenic villages perched on natural rock terraces, then spend the night in a traditional Berber homestay, learn about local customs and traditions of this region.
icon check
Steam, scrub and relax in a traditional hammam in Marrakech – the perfect way to unwind after an active and action-packed week.

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Marrakech

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Marrakech, a feast for the senses. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6 pm – check with hotel reception to confirm the time. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. Dive right in to the spirit of the city (and get to know your fellow travellers) during an evening trip to Djemaa el-Fna, where you'll find vendors peddling traditional delicacies like snail soup. Stroll through the market to find henna painters and street performers among the swirls of smoke rising from food stalls. Enjoy an introductory dinner before returning to the hotel to get some rest in anticipation of tomorrow's bike ride.

icon check Day 2 : Cycling in Marrakech

Fuel up with a big breakfast before heading out to explore the city on two-wheels. Spend two and a half hours cycling across the city, pedalling past historical sites such as the orange walls of the King's Palace, the haggling masses of the Medina Market and the city's largest mosque – Koutubia. Then enjoy a free afternoon to explore at your own pace. Maybe head back to the Medina Market to find some souvenirs. Hooked on the flavours of Morocco already and want to get an authentic slice of local life? Perhaps book in for a Home Cooked Marrakech tour from Urban Adventures for an evening of Moroccan hospitality. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Marrakech-tours

icon check Day 3 : Mountain Biking in Atlas Mountains

Take a scenic drive up to the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains, which form part of the Berber territories of the Ourika Valley. Here our experienced guides will prepare you for a thrilling downhill mountain bike ride. Depending on your experience, you will have a choice between faster downhill roads or easier beginners trails. Enjoy an exhilirating ride through picturesque foothills, taking in views of gentle slopes and roughened peaks. Disembark and travel by support vehicle to the small village of Imlil, where you can rest up with a classic Moroccan lunch of salads, tajines and freshly baked bread. Following lunch, walk to Aroumd (about one hour) and enjoy the hospitality of a local Berber family during an overnight stay. While they have been called Berbers by outsiders for over 700 years, the word they use to describe them selves, Imazighen, means 'free people' in their native tongue of Tamazight. 

icon check Day 4 : Trekking in Aroumd / Essaouira

Lace up after breakfast and hit the mountains. Your leader will pick a trail based on the general ability level of the group and then it's time to tackle the High Atlas range on foot. Spend the morning navigating the boulders and crags, descending into a valley in the afternoon and emerging into the charming white-washed town of Essaouira. Enjoy a free afternoon in this laid-back fishing town, perhaps strolling along the coast and taking in views of the sand-coloured ramparts and city walls. There's a flourishing contemporary art scene, as well as plenty of traditional craftspeople selling their wares in the souqs, making it the perfect place to shop for gifts or souvenirs. For food, perhaps head for Rue Touahen, an emerging alternative hub full of quirky eateries and funky cafes.

icon check Day 5 : Horse riding in Essaouira / Marrakech

In the morning, saddle up for a horseback ride across Essaouira's white sandy beaches. This activity is fit for all levels – even if you are a beginner, you will be given all necessary instructions and guidance to enjoy the ride. Loop your way back to the ranch through mimosa forests and sandy dunes of so called Morocco’s windy city. This activity will certainly work up your appetite so afterwards hit the markets for a fresh-caught seafood lunch. Enjoy bit more of a free time in the afternoon before returning to Marrakech.

icon check Day 6 : Marrakech

After a big week, recharge your batteries at a traditional hammam – a steam room loosely translated as “spreader of warmth”. Bathing in Morocco is frequently a social affair, and locals might visit a hammam once a week for a ritual based body treatment that involves steaming, scrubbing and massaging the skin until it glows, along with a side of gossip and conversation. In the afternoon, visit your favourite places in Marrakech, be it Djemaa el-Fna, Bahia palace or Majorelle Gardens. Re-group for an optional farewell dinner in the evening.

icon check Day 7 : Marrakech

Sadly all good things come to an end. Your Moroccan adventure finishes after breakfast today. We suggest taking the time to savour the fascinating sights of Marrakech before you leave.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

icon check

Meals

6 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners
icon check

Transport

Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi, Horse, Walking, Bike
icon check

Accommodation

Gite (1 night), Hotel (5 nights)
icon check

Included Activities

  • Traditional Hamam Session - Marrakech

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Hotel Gomassine

71 Av. Mohamed Zerktouni Gueliz

Marrakech

MOROCCO

Phone: +212 524433086

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Hotel Gomassine

71 Av. Mohamed Zerktouni Gueliz

Marrakech

MOROCCO

Phone: +212 524433086

icon readmoreicon minusPhysical preparation

Morocco is a country which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Heat, pollution, poverty and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this wonderfully different country but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way. In Morocco there are very different attitudes to time keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by Morocco.

Early mornings:

On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination.

Physical fitness levels:

A good level of fitness is recommended and will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip and allow you to make the most of included activities. Trekking and cycling will be on a mixture of mountain paths, over a pebbled dry riverbed and with inclines and declines. Horse-riding will take place on the beach and there also be some city cycling involved. Fair level of fitness is a must!

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the single supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night:

- Days 3 Aroumd

Please also note that there is a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please contact your booking agent.

COMMISSION

The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry. In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedbacks from our previous travellers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.

Intrepid have set up a centralised system of receiving payments from these recommended suppliers, of which are then distributed towards local Responsible Travel projects (such as 'say no to plastic' cotton bags for our travellers and drinking water refilling stations), traveller information packs, and leader bonuses. Further details of these arrangements can be provided by your group leader on request.

While Intrepid endeavors to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

SCAMS:

When walking through touristy areas of cities you may be approached by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or take you to a local spice shop. They will either ask to be your local guide for the day or expect money when you arrive at your destination. Please note these people are not registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you (or 'la Shukran') should suffice.

WOMEN'S SAFETY:

Women should exercise caution when travelling in Morocco. While the risk of an incident occurring on your trip is very low, below are some things you can do for your safety and peace of mind when travelling:

- As with all travel, it’s important to use common sense and be vigilant.

- Respect local dress codes and customs, perhaps dressing more conservatively than you do at home.

- Avoid isolated areas when alone at any time of day.

- Lock your door when you are inside your room. Keep the door locked when you are leaving your room, even for a short time.

- If hotel staff need access to your room for any reason, request that they do this while you are out, or wait at reception while they attend to any cleaning or repairs. For the protection of both our travellers and staff, our leaders worldwide are not permitted to be alone in a room with a group member.

- Always take a hotel card with you when going out so you know the address and contact numbers.

- Should you encounter any inappropriate behaviour, inform your leader straight away.

- For further information and advice, visit:

https://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/pages/female-travellers.aspx

www.gov.uk/government/policies/supporting-british-nationals-overseas/sup...

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:

While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS:

Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:

Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Americans, EU and British citizens do not require a visa to visit Morocco for stays up to 90 days. All other nationalities should check with the Moroccan Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information.

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

Discover the vibrant city of Marrakech from a different perspective during a bike tour through the main sites, finishing with a glass of (in our humble opinion) the best freshly squeezed orange juice in Djemaa el-Fna

Gallop over sandy beaches and through mimosa forests on a horseback ride on the Moroccan coast

Make a thrilling descent down the slopes of the Atlas Mountains by mountain bike

Scale the High Atlas Mountains and trek through scenic villages perched on natural rock terraces, then spend the night in a traditional Berber homestay. Learn about the culture and traditions of the people who have called this rugged landscape home for over 4000 years

Steam, scrub and relax in a Marrakech hamman – the perfect way to unwind after an active and action-packed week

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

In 2020, Ramadan will take place from 23 April through until 22 May. This is the holiest month of the year for Muslims around the world. Many festivals are marked as Islamic Holidays, which may cause some disturbance to your travels around this time. Some regular services may not be available or open during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars. Please consider your travel arrangements carefully.

As Morocco has a tipping culture, travellers are expected to tip small amounts for most services, so please be prepared. Your leader will suggest methods and amounts to tip during the trip, but it is left to the group to decide the details.

This is an active trip packed with activities such as cycling, trekking and horse-riding. To fully enjoy it, you'll need to be in a good state of health and fitness.

The trip involves some early starts and long days due to the itinerary being packed with lots of exciting activities.

The weather in Morocco can be extreme. Summer temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, especially for those who aren't accustomed to the heat, so please consider what time of year you travel carefully. If you do travel in the warmer months then pack layers to cover you from the sun, bring the necessary sun protection and drink plenty of water. The desert can also get cold at night, so remember to bring base layers and warm clothing.

On Day 3 you will have a chance to discover the coast of Morocco on a horse back. While horses are great animals, we understand not everyone feels confident on their back. Please make sure you will make your Tour Leader aware of any issues before the start of this activity. Helmets for this activity are provided by us.

Day 2 & 4 will be based on cycling activities. To fully enjoy it, you must be a confident cyclist. Helmets are provided, but please feel free to bring your own.

Day 5 will take you in the hearth of Atlas Mountains. It’s a long day in remote area, but certainly well worth it. Please expect some ups and down while trekking in the mountains!

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

DRINKING WATER:

As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water in Morocco, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about two to three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are recommended for you to pack in your personal first aid kit.

ASTHMA:

For some travellers, the desert sand and dust can bring on bouts of asthma. If you suffer from asthma even occasionally, we recommend you bring your medication as it cannot be administered by your group leader and may not be readily available while you are travelling.

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost only about MAD 30. In main towns it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal and French wine will cost anything from Mad 220 upwards. Generally dinner is likely to cost between MAD 80-120 depending on what you drink - so an estimate for food would be about MAD 150-200 a day. Soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices, but generally speaking alcohol is not widely available in Morocco due to the cultural and religious reasons. Still, in some hotels and restaurants you will be able to purchase beers, wines and spirits, but you can pay western prices or more for imported alcohol. Please be aware of local laws, believes and traditions, and be very sensitive and respectful while consuming alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening. Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian cous cous and tajine or omelettes. This is particularly the case in rural parts of this itinerary. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform us prior to the trip. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

CURRENCY

The currency of Morocco is the dirham (MAD), divided into 100 centimes. Bank notes come in denominations of MAD 200, 100, 50 and 20. Smaller values are issued as coins in values of 10, 5, 1 as well as 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c. Changing money is easy and you will find banks and exchange bureaux in Casablanca, Fes and Marrakech, however, please note Australian dollars are not always accepted. In the desert and Atlas Mountains opportunities to exchange money are limited. There are ATMs in all major cities, which accept Visa cards, MasterCards and cards connected with Cirrus. Some ATMs, belonging to smaller banks, will not work so occasionally you may need to try two or three before you are successful. We would strongly recommend bringing a combination of cash and credit cards. Credit cards are useful for large purchases such as carpets or gold from a large store, but generally speaking they are not accepted in many places. Local restaurants, markets, and many hotels will only accept cash as payment for goods or services. Please ensure you only use banks, licensed money exchangers or hotels. We also suggest you keep your receipts. Do not change money with street touts. This is illegal.

TIPPING

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest MAD20-30 per person per day for local guides.

Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however MAD10 per person per day is generally appropriate.

Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline MAD30 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.

Please don't tip with very small denomination coins, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult

PRICES IN MOROCCO

Morocco is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. With drinks, tipping and of course - shopping, it can all add up. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Morocco to be a budget destination.

BARGAINING

In Morocco some services and products are not a fixed price which means that your bartering skills will be tested from hiring taxis to buying a souvenir in the Medina. This can be challenging for travellers who have not experienced this before. Ask your leaders for advice when you arrive however the best approach is to smile and have fun as this is an entrenched part of Moroccan culture.

EMERGENCY FUNDS

Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes). Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. Please follow the link for the Intrepid’s ultimate packing list. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light. WATER BOTTLE Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. SLEEPING BAGS Sleeping bags consume valuable space in your luggage and can be a pain. However in the winter months (from November to March) there may not be enough heating (sometimes none) or sufficient blankets to keep everyone warm, we recommend bringing your own sleeping bag. Unfortunately sleeping bags can not be hired/rented while on the trip and are not easy to find for purchase. Buy a small sleeping bag before you leave, it will definitely come in handy, particularly if you feel the cold.

DRONES IN MOROCCO: Please note that drones are not permitted to enter or be used in Morocco, either for personal or professional/commercial use.

icon readmoreicon minusClimate and seasonal

CLIMATE:

Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather.

Winter (approx November to March) can be very cold. Particularly in the mountains or near the desert, night temperatures can drop to 5 degrees Celsius or less. Even in the hot months out in the desert it can get cold at night. It is recommended to bring a good sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter. Some of our guesthouses / hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It is also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers.

Summer (approx May to September) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning. A hat is essential.

In 2020, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 23 April through until 22 May, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

Eid Al Adha will take place in Morocco between the 30 July and 1 of August 2020. This is also called a Sacrifice Feast and honours the sacrifice Abraham made of his own son. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the remaining third is retained by the family. Please expect delays or complete suspension of majority of the services during that time. For some, it may also be disturbing to see animals being sacrificed, as this does take place in public places sometimes.

On this trip you are going to cross the High Atlas Mountains through the impressive Tizi n’Tichka pass that raises to the altitude of 2,260 metres above sea level (7,415 ft). It is a great mountain road with breath taking views. During winter months (November till March) this part of Morocco is likely to be hit with heavy snow storms and it is possible for Tizi n’Tichka pass to become impassable. This usually last for a day until authorities have a chance to clear the road. In the event of snow storm, your itinerary may require to change. This is dealt with on the ground and depending on the situation we may re-route your itinerary or reverse it. In any case, you will be adequately informed.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

icon readmoreicon minusFeedback

Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

icon readmoreicon minusEmergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Morocco Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +212 661 922 693

icon readmoreicon minusResponsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

Morocco can be considered a liberal Muslim country as many Moroccan women do not wear headscarves. However, Morocco is very conservative when compared with standards you may be accustomed to at home and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders, cleavage and knees should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts (men and women), low-cut tops, and showing midriff is not recommended as it will restrict your entry into buildings of a religious nature and family homes, and is considered disrespectful to the local culture. Long, light-coloured, lightweight sleeved shirts, trousers and skirts are respectful, cover your body, keep you cool in the heat and protect you from the harsh sun.

In Morocco we have built strong links with local communities, craftspeople, animal hospitals, artists, and the handicapped - all of which directly rely on the assistance of donations and products purchased by our travellers and other visitors. We offer Intrepid travellers an opportunity to interact with locals, to value their activities and crafts and help towards sustaining their livelihoods.

While on our trips in Morocco you'll have opportunity to meet plenty of local people. Depending on which trip you choose there's a chance to enjoy a meal in a local family's house in Ait Benhaddou, spend a night in a family guesthouse in the High Atlas Mountains or in the pilgrimage village of Moulay Idriss, or share a camp with a nomadic family in Dades Gorge. These experiences will give you a better understanding of the way of life for a rural Moroccan family. You'll also have some fun by learning how to make Morocco's most famous dish, couscous.

Wherever possible, we contract local Moroccan suppliers and assist them to improve the quality of their services. By booking this tour, you'll be helping us to support service providers, artists, small businesses, guesthouse owners and the disadvantaged in communities throughout Morocco.

We use local guides with wide experience and knowledge of cultural traditions and an ability to interpret the cultural heritage of the people in the places visited.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation notes

We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may be different to western standards

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS

Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite (even if you paid for single room supplement!) and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

HEATING

Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It's also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers, which are a pleasure for most of the year. Air-conditioning systems (if available) don't always function.

CHECK-IN TIME

Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION

If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

icon readmoreicon minusTravel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

icon readmoreicon minusYour fellow travellers

GROUP TRAVEL

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS:

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

icon readmoreicon minusItinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES:

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation

Gite (1 night),Hotel (5 nights)

Kenya Safari!

Win a Classic African Adventure Tour to Kenya Overland Safari. Every NOVICA product purchased through the end of the year qualifies as an entry. Let the journey begin!
icon up
BACK TO TOP

Your NOVICA Packages are Safe and Secure!

NOVICA's response to COVID 19

Every NOVICA item comes with our universal guarantee

Certified clean packing environment

Quality tested and verified by our region teams

Fair trade and 100% happiness guaranteed