One Week in Morocco: Sahara & Todra Gorge

Trip Code: XMYD

Why we love it

After a hike through rugged terrain and picturesque villages, take in the view of the valley as you tuck into a homecooked meal prepared by a local family in Todra Gorge., Tick the Djemaa el-Fna Square off your bucket list in Marrakech and wander through the amazing chaos of street performers, singers, poets and street food carts all vying for your attention., Stay the night in a Sahara Desert camp, far away from tourist crowds, after a camel ride through the Moroccan desert landscape, watching the sunset with your group., Prepare for the best mint tea of your life on a visit to the Tawesna teahouse. This experience is more than just a cuppa, it’s about discovering a culture, sharing a true moment and contributing to the economic inclusion of women., Take a break from the bustling city streets high in the Atlas Mountains – enjoy homecooked meals, authentic local connections and a breath of fresh air at an Aroumd homestay., By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, Education for All. Donations help them support girls in the High Atlas Mountains through secondary school, bringing a generation of women out of the cycle of illiteracy, poverty and early marriage. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Is this trip right for me?

The weather in Morocco can be extreme. Summer temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, especially if you're not used to the heat. If you do travel in the warmer months, bring the necessary sun protection and drink plenty of water. At night the temperature can drop, so bring your warm clothes, too. Camping can be especially cold at the start and end of the season.

In 2024, Ramadan will take place from 9 March to 8 April. Travelling during this holy month can be a rewarding cultural experience, however some regular services may not be available during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider your travel arrangements carefully before booking travel for this period.

The Todra Gorge visit and Aroumd guesthouse takes you to remote areas of Morocco. They are amazing places to discover on foot, but to do so, you'll need a moderate level of fitness and suitable footwear.

Although you shouldn’t expect any aggressive selling techniques in Morocco, please be aware that you may be approached regularly by shop owners and street vendors.

We've sourced our accommodation 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 from Western standards.

Important information

1. How to endear yourself to the locals: don’t pose for photos where the holiest of holy people pray. If you want to take a photo of people, always ask - they may say no, so respect that. Even if it’s hot, cover your shoulders, knees and hair. Don’t shake someone’s hand or eat with your left hand - this is the one you use to wipe your butt.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 3 (Desert Camp) and Days 5,6 (Guesthouse) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. 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 speak to your booking agent for further information.

What to bring/pack

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, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, swimming suit, waterproof pouch/bag for phone, hiking shoes and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your group leader or local representative will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you., SLEEPING BAGS
Please review the weather at the time of year you plan to visit Morocco, particularly the overnight temperatures. If you feel the cold, from November to March you may find the heating and blankets to be insufficient at night. You may like to bring a sleeping bag or thermals to sleep in. Sleeping bags cannot be hired while on the trip and are not easy to buy outside of large cities., DRONES IN MOROCCO
Please note that drones are not permitted to enter or be used in Morocco, neither for personal nor professional/commercial use.

Physical rating

 
2

Although the trip is graded easy, the walk on Day 7 is approximately 10 km. There are other walks, like Midelt and dune climbing, and in addition a lot of walking around the cities and towns. The walking is not extreme by any means, but we recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes.

Joining your group

Hotel Amalou, 156 Avenue Abdelkrim Khattabi Gueliz, Gueliz, 40 000 Marrakech, Morocco, Marrakech, MOROCCO, Phone: +212 524422356

Hotel Amalou is centrally located in the Gueliz district. The property is 4 km from Bahia Palace and 1 km from Conference Palace. There are 59 rooms all with en suite bathrooms, air conditioning and TV. Wi-Fi is available in public areas. Outdoor swimming pool is available to hotel guests.

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure.

For your confirmed arrival transfer, you’ll be met outside Marrakech Airport (RAK) by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign. The driver will wait a maximum of one hour from the time the plane lands. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +44 20 4576 9838.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport to your hotel. The price should be agreed before entering the vehicle and should be approximately MAD250 during daylight hours and MAD300 at night.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Amalou, 156 Avenue Abdelkrim Khattabi Gueliz, Gueliz, 40 000 Marrakech, Morocco, Marrakech, MOROCCO, Phone: +212 524422356

Hotel Amalou is centrally located in the Gueliz district. The property is 4 km from Bahia Palace and 1 km from Conference Palace. There are 59 rooms all with en suite bathrooms, air conditioning and TV. Wi-Fi is available in public areas. Outdoor swimming pool is available to hotel guests.

Alternate Finish Point


Intrepid can assist with pre-booking a departure transfer to the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to the start of your trip.

If you have a confirmed departure transfer your leader will advise your pick up time the day before your trip ends. If your driver has not arrived within 30 minutes of the scheduled pick up time, or your departing flight is cancelled or changed, please contact the transfer operator directly: +44 20 4576 9838.

Taxi fare from your hotel to the airport will cost approximately MAD100 - MAD200 to prebook. If hailing a taxi on the street, the price should be agreed before entering the vehicle. Please ask your leader or hotel staff for assistance in arranging a taxi.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 7

Lunches included: 4

Dinners included: 5

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

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 for cultural and religious reasons. Still, in some hotels and restaurants, you will be able to purchase beer, wine and spirits, but you will pay foreign 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 couscous and tajine or omelets. 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.

Climate & seasonal information

WEATHER IN MOROCCO
As a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. Winter (November to March) can be very cold, particularly in the mountains and the desert, with overnight temperatures dropping to 5 degrees Celsius or below. Even in summer the desert gets cold at night. It is recommended to bring a sleeping bag, thermals, a scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter.  Please be prepared for cold showers.

Summer (May to September) can be very hot everywhere, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. 

Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating or air conditioning as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It is also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which are limited in some places.

EID AL-ADHA
Eid Al-Adha (Sacrifice Feast) will take place in Morocco 16 – 17 June 2024 and 6 – 1 June 2025. This festival 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 public services during that time which may be disruptive to the trip schedule. For some, it may also be disturbing to see animals being sacrificed, as this can take place in public.

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 10 March to 08 April 2024 and 1 March to 30 March 2025 and  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.

In case of emergency

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 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 or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative 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. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

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

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +30 697 800 6335 

Intrepid's Local Operator: +212 661 922 693

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties 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 or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels or hostels in line with the Intrepid style of travel. Yes, we do cool, mostly central and often very original accommodation in Morocco, but remember, occasionally we are not in the right centre of action, which means you may need to hop on a public transport to get to the city centre (or grab a lovely old Merc taxi – plenty of them around). Please note that service and accommodation in Morocco is not quite the same standard you are used to. Your accommodation will not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. In fact, on Intrepid trips you may sometimes share your room with more than one person. But that certainly isn’t the rule.

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.

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.

Transportation

There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from the main tourist routes. High passes, windy roads, and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days, we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort. The best part about all of these long drives is the spectacular views and fun stops en route such as mountain passes, kasbahs, palmeries, sand dunes, goats up trees, etc.

We also use public transport on some of our trips around Morocco. Be it a train or a public bus, remember that the best part of it is the possibility to interact with local people traveling along with you.