Morocco: Marrakech Riad to Sahara Camelback

THE ADVENTURE

When it comes down to it — you’ve either been to Marrakech or you haven’t. There’s no in-between. There’s no, “Maybe I was there. I kinda, sorta remember it.” Yves Saint Laurent,  head of the House of Dior and arguably the most important fashion designer of the 20th century, seemingly agrees with comments like, “A visit to Marrakech was a great shock to me. This city taught me color.” The sights, sounds, smells — the overwhelming look and feel of the Red City of Morocco — well, it just takes your breath away in different ways. This city has taught GlobeKick a lot over these last couple of years. And we’re returning back to continue the adventure. Here’s your chance to jump in.

Join us on this classic GlobeKick adventure as we journey from Marrakech and descend through the Atlas Mountains to explore traditional Berber culture and the Sahara Desert, including the lunar, rocky landscape of Zagora, the mountainous dunes of Erg Chebbi and Merzouga, and the Dades and Todra Gorges.

We’ll spend our first couple nights together in a traditional Moroccan riad in Marrakech, where you’ll have ample time to explore the bustling souks of the Medina … but be prepared. The vibrancy of Marrakech has a tendency to shock. The sounds of tradesmen at work, the aroma of spices and tinctures, and the kaleidoscope of rugs, scarves, and beautiful wares make the experience both thrilling and exhausting.

GlobeKick began “it’s complicated” love affair with Morocco in 2016 while spending Thanksgiving in Marrakech. We’re grateful and excited to share our love as a team for this amazing place and culture with new GlobeKick members from near and far.

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Activities

  • Medina life of Marrakech
  • Shopping the souk markets
  • Tasting tajines
  • Trekking into the Sahara on camels
  • Berber traditional camping in the Sahara

Accommodations

  • Three nights in a classic Moroccan riad of Marrakech (shared room)
  • Three nights camping the Sahara (shared)

Itinerary

Day 1 - Day 2: Meet Us in Marrakech

  • If you’re arriving in Marrakech on Day1 at Menara Airport, we’ve got your ride from the airport to the riad covered! If you’ve been poking around The Red City for a few days already, no worries. Just make sure you meet us at your GlobeKick palatial digs on Day1 before 4pm (don’t worry we’ll send detailed directions on how to find the riad).
  • After a customary welcoming chill out with some Moroccan mint tea, we’ll take our dinner appetites to the UNESCO world heritage site and a place like none other: Jemaa el Fnaa. As we roll through the rows of different spices, sweets, and other delectables, dinner may well be in hand (literally). If not, we’ll tuck away to a side-square cafe for Moroccan tagines, some laughs, and a comfier spot for watching the the whirl of Moroccan nightlight spin.
  • Our second day in Marrakech leaves us plenty of time for walking exploration of the Medina, visiting historical and spiritual sites like the Koutoubia Mosque, join GlobeKick for a traditional Moroccan cooking class, and/or amble out to “The New City” of Gueliz for a swanky cocktail and some boutique shopping.

Day 3 - Day 6: Trekking and Camping the Sahara

  • Departing early from Marrakech we will descend south and right through the length of the Atlas Mountains on the winding Tishka Pass. The views are breathtaking – not only in terms of the physical natural beauty, but you will also see the Berber villages of the Atlas, and the traditional houses and daily lives of the Berber people. Our first stop is the ancient Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, which bridges the mountains with the Sahara. We’ll then move onto Ouarzazate – our gateway to the Sahara – where we’ll stop for lunch. From here, we’ll make our way to the first night’s stop in the Dades Gorges. Relax in the tranquility of the nature that surrounds — Marrakech suddenly feels about a million miles away.
  • We begin our day heading onwards to another gorge: the mighty Todra beckons. Ok things are starting to feel downright cinematic. Here we’ll spend some time enjoying the Hollywood movie backdrop before heading down to the Sahara … for the big reveal. This is now a landscape that you’ve only seen Storm Troopers combing or sword waving warriors galloping. Erg Chebbi are the giant sand dunes that surround the town of Merzouga – the Berber town where we’ll spend our second night. From Merzouga we’ll take the traditional method of transport – the camel – to a Berber camp in time for sunset. Thus unfolds an evening of Berber hospitality under the stars of the Sahara.
  • After an early breakfast on our last day in the desert, we’ll take another camel trek to catch the sunrise over the sands of the Sahara. Following obligatory scoops of souvenir sand and well-wishes to our Berber hosts, we’ll begin back on our journey up north through the Atlas mountains –  arriving back to the bright lights of Marrakech that evening.

Day 7: Au Revoir. And, Yes, This was Real.

  • Whether you’re heading back to Hometown, Somewhere ; onto London ; over to Spain ; gliding through Essaouira ; or just deeper into the heart of Marrakech … our last morning here together in this place makes good sense. Marrakech was always a place for people to come together for a brief time. Whether to trade, swap travel stories about the desert, share laughter, spices and food, or all of the above … this City was always that place. It dawns on you that morning as we part ways till the next adventure, for GlobeKick and GlobeKickers … it still is.
  • Airport shuttle to Menara Airport provided for those flying out this final day.

Provisions

What's Included.

Transport from airport to riad on Day 1 only

Guided Touring Experience of Jemaa el Fnaa on Day 1

Three nights of lodging in Marrakech riad (breakfasts included ; shared room)*

Traditional Moroccan cooking class

Roundtrip Transport to Gorges, Merzouga, and two Camel Trekking experience

Tents and camping features in authentic Berber campsite in the Sahara

Food and water throughout desert excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Transport from riad to airport on Day 7 only

What's Not Included.

Transportation from your hometown to Marrakech on Day 1

Insurance of any kind

Lunches and Dinners in Marrakech

Transfers beyond those otherwise included

Alcoholic beverages and/or Soft Drinks

Visas, Associated Travel Fees

Items of a Personal Nature

Dates

May 19th – 25th 2019

Group Size

Maximum 26 GlobeKickers

Suggested Airport

Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK) in Marrakech, Morocco

Weather

The temperatures in Marrakesh, Morocco in May reaches an average high of 85°F and low of 59°F, with the average being right around 69°F. Don’t expect much rain at all and prepare for lots of sun and sand.

Gear

Required

  • Passport
  • Color Copy of Passport Identification Page
  • Driver’s license (if you’re planning to a rent a car)
  • Credit cards & ATM card (don’t forget to set the travel notifications on your bank accounts so that your bank knows your traveling)
  • 1 bathing suit or swim trunks
  • 1 pair of water resistant sandals 
  • Rash-guard (after camel riding)
  • Brimmed Hat
  • Sunglasses (polarized preferred) 
  • Snacks or energy bars
  • Hydro Flask water bottle
  • Small backpack or day pack
  • Feminine hygiene products (as needed)
  • Hand sanitizer or handy wipes
  • Eye-glasses and/or contacts
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip-balm (with SPF)
  • Body lotion
  • Prescription medicine (make a note of active ingredients in addition to brand in case of loss)
  • Motion sickness remedy (bumpy van rides, etc)
  • Pain relievers
  • Calamine lotion (or similar)
  • Diarrhea remedy
  • Hydration tablets
  • Allergy medicine (& EpipPen if serious)
  • Standard first-aid-kit with bandages
  • Sleeping aid for travel
  • 1 pair of long pants (desert night)
  • 1 light long sleeve shirt (desert night)
  • 1 pair of close-toed shoes for walking or hiking (comfortable for camel riding)
  • 1 outfit for going out (dress or nice shirt)
  • No more than 7 t-shirts or tank tops
  • No more than 5 shorts/pants
  • P.J.’s
  • No more than 7 sets of underwear and socks. (Quick drying are best)

*For Women: please consider this column on packing guidance.

https://marocmama.com/what-to-pack-when-visiting-morocco-women/

Recommended

  • Towel
  • Razor
  • Nail clippers & tweezers
  • Face wash
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Hair brush & hair product
  • Deodorant
  • Ear plugs
  • Eye mask
  • Headphones
  • Cell phone
  • Camera (if you’re using something other than your phone)
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Light Jacket or lightweight sweater
  • Tablet or E-reader
  • Journal

Optional

  • Camera and Accessories
  • Compass
  • GoPro (great for sand-duning, climbing or ATV’ing!)
  • Maps
  • Small Multitool

Travel Documents

  • Passport
  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Visa
  • Photo Identification
  • Color Copy of Passport Identification Page

The GlobeKicker Gauges

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 1.25.55 PM

1 = lowest and 10 = highest

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