Private Morocco Expedition
To the Sahara through the Imperial cities and the Atlas Mountains. The most complete and best paced Morocco Expedition offered today. Atlantic Coast extension available.
Private Morocco Expedition
Morocco offers an unparalleled cultural and natural diversity that, combined with its unbeatable hospitality, great roads, beautiful architecture, and superb cuisine, provides one of the greatest travel experiences in the world today.
Multiple UNESCO sites are included in the expedition, and deep cultural immersion is guaranteed: you will meet the several Berber groups who populate Morocco, as well as the Sahrawi desert nomads, a unique ethnic group resulting from the mixture of Berber and Tuareg. The Sahrawi show a fascinating blend of Bedouin Arab and black African characteristics and cultural traditions.
Morocco is a destination that encompasses beautiful, but sometimes lengthy drives. Our new itinerary has been successful in reducing those long drives to a minimum, and has increased the opportunities for off-the-beaten-path experiences. We are very proud of our Morocco Expedition and can’t wait for you to experience it with us!
The Morocco Expedition is limited to 10 participants and we only offer three departures every year. We highly recommend that you book at the earliest possible date. To do so, please check the complete details and contact us.
The Ideal Morocco Expedition
- The itinerary is the most complete being offered today.
- You will explore the Sahara, the Imperial cities, three Atlas ranges in Morocco and its Atlantic coast.
- Drive times have been reduced to their minimum, resulting in the best pacing possible.
- We use first class upscale Riads and Kasbahs for accommodations, instead of modern hotels (Only one night at a basic hotel is included, and we do it to break the long drive to the Sahara). Our hotel selection is the best being offered today!
- You will be accompanied by a Master Local Guide.
- New Paths Expeditions upscale Sahara Desert Camp is the finest that exists. You will feel like nomad royalty while exploring the desert.
- You have two chances to ride camels over the Sahara dunes: one during sunset and the other on your way to a Berber nomad town.
- Window seats when using 4×4, and 20% of empty seats when on board tour busses are guaranteed.
- We include 2 nights at award winning Bab Ourika. Our relation price / quality is unbeatable
This expedition is led by a certified and vastly experienced NPE Local Head Guide.
All departures are guaranteed, and private for your party, being it of 2 or more participants.
Considerable discounts apply when booking 4 or more participants at the same time.
Even though this itinerary has been crafted in detail and is the most complete Morocco experience, NPE will be glad to customize it to your particular interests and needs.
Morocco Itinerary in Brief
Casablanca is Africa’s largest port and Morocco’s commercial capital. After you are met at the airport, you will be taken to the Le Doge Hotel, located close to the Boulevard de la Cornich and other famous landmarks. The Le Doge is a Relais & Chateaux property. Your Local Master Guide will provide you with a pre-departure briefing followed by a welcome dinner at Rick’s Café, built in remembrance of the café where Sam played it again.
Overnight at Le Doge (D).
Day 2: To Fes via Meknes and Volubilis
The day begins with a brief visit to the largest religious building in Africa, the Hassan II Mosque. Then you drive to Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Morocco’s youngest imperial city. Meknes was founded in the 12thCentury, but was fully developed under Sultan Moulay Ismail and contains numerous palaces, mosques, and other historical buildings.
Volubilis is the site of one of Rome’s African colonies and was established during the first centuries of the Christian Era. The partially excavated ruins of Volubilis are a World Heritage Site and provide excellent photo opportunities. Arrive at Fes tonight.
Dinner and overnight at Riad Palais Amani (B, L, D)
Day 3: Fes
Fez will then stimulate all your senses as you explore with your Local Guides the insides of Fes el Bali (old Fes) across food and spice markets, handicraft quarters, auction sectors and colorful Souks. Visit artisan workshops to discover the secrets of their ancestral arts and skills. Stop at the public bakeries and pastry makers in the residential quarters and see their historical fountains, mosques, Koranic schools and sanctuaries.
A superb lunch will be served at a beautiful Riad, and you will then visit a royal palace of the late 19th century where King Hassan I lived. This palace is now a museum of Fez traditional arts. Continue to Fez El Jedid (new Fez) for a stroll in the Jewish quarter where you will be able to visit a 17th-century synagogue and have some time in the jewelers market.
Dinner and overnight at Palais Amani (B, L, D)
Day 4: Through the Middle Atlas Mountains to Midelt
You leave Fes after breakfast for a journey through the Middle Atlas Range to the small town of Midelt. Midelt is located on a high plain between the Middle and High Atlas Mountain ranges. You will enjoy a light hike in a cedar forest in search of Barbary macaques. As you journey to Midelt, you will continue through the Middle Atlas Mountains where you will stop periodically to admire the scenery and meet some of the local Berbers.
The ending day will bring the expedition to the Taddart Hotel in Midelt where you will have dinner and overnight. The accommodations at the Taddart are comfortable, but basic.
Overnight at Taddart Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 5: To the Sahara
You will be able to view some of the most spectacular and beautiful scenery in North Africa as you travel through the High Atlas Mountains. Villages dominated by their Kasbahs are perched on mountainsides and alternate with snow covered peaks and lush valleys filled with date palms. After lunch when you will drive in 4×4 vehicles to the Merzouga sand dunes (Window seats are guaranteed to all expedition participants) and then mount camels and ride under the warm evening light to our top class Sahara Desert Camp; being greeted upon your arrival by mint tea and dishes of nuts or fresh dates.
Overnight at New Paths Expeditions Exclusive Sahara Desert Camp (B, L, D)
Day 6: Life on the Sahara
Photograph the Sunrise over the Sahara Desert and then travel over the dunes on camels (or by 4×4 vehicle) towards Tanamouste, a village inhabited by seminomadic Berber families. You will have an opportunity while here, to interact with the local people and learn their culture and traditions. Lunch will be provided by one of the Berber families. Then pile into 4×4 vehicles to explore the area before returning to New Paths Expeditions exclusive desert camp A candlelight dinner accompanied by music will round out the day. Our deluxe tents await us.
Overnight at New Paths Expeditions Exclusive Sahara Desert Camp (B, L, D)
Day 7: Draa Valley
Drive along the impressive volcanic mountains of Sarhro where fossils abound.Lunch will be taken in the city of Nekob, at the beginning of the Draa Valley – a date palm oasis that stretches for almost 150 miles. In sharp contrast to the Sahara you just left behind, you will find a rich valley filled with orchards, rose farms, date palms, and vegetable gardens. The 18 types of dates that grow in the Draa Valley are considered to be the best found in Morocco, and you will be present during the date harvest!
Dinner and overnight at the lovely Kasbah Azul (B, L, D)
Day 8: To Ait Ben Haddou via Ouarzazate
Drive through the Draa Valley to view its magnificent Ksars (palaces) and Kasbahs to Ouarzazate, where you will visit the Taourirt Kasbah, as well as to an art gallery that features a collection of Berber arts and crafts will engage part of the day. You will also have an opportunity to visit a “Berber pharmacy” that offers the best quality Argan oil and saffron.
The expedition will then proceed to Ait Ben Haddou, the backdrop for many of the above-named films. The Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou is a World Heritage Site.
You will enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the lovely Ksar Ighnda (B, L, D)
Day 9: Ait Ben Haddou
Today you will spend the morning exploring Ait Ben Haddou. This Ksar was originally a very important point on the caravan route between Timbuktu and Marrakech, and was able to exert control over the region’s trade. It has been restored by UNESCO. You will then enjoy the hospitality of a local family learn how to prepare a traditional tagine, which you will subsequently be served for lunch. Free time in the afternoon will allow you to absorb some of the local colors on your own. A sunset photographic walk will be offered by your Local Master Guide. Once again, you will enjoy the Ksar Ighnda for dinner and rest (B, L, D)
Day 10: Across the High Atlas Mountains to Ourika Valley
Drive across the most impressive part of the High Atlas Mountains. You will journey through valleys and pass through mud-brick villages until you achieve the Tizi N’Tichka Pass at 7,000 feet. This is the turning point, and you will now descend to the plains, driving through landscapes that change from gorges and mountains until you reach the unforgettable Ourika Valley.
The Ourika Valley will seem almost like a fairytale realm with its forested foothills, clear mountain streams, tree-filled bottom lands, and villages perched on the hillsides.
Spend the night at the award-winning Bab Ourika, set on a hill with spectacular views of the valley spread out below. (B, L, D)
Day 11: Ourika Valley
An easy 1.5-hour walk is scheduled along the valley, allowing us to meet some of the local people and learn something of their traditions and culture, as well as keeping a look out for wildlife such as painted frogs and green woodpeckers. Our stroll will continue to the local village to visit the weekly market, where you will find not only local crafts but spices and other regional specialties. After you return to Bab Ourika, you will have the remainder of the afternoon to rest, use the hotel pool, or simply enjoy the beautiful hotel gardens. Be sure to try the traditional scrub followed by a massage – the hamman – before getting ready for dinner.
Overnight at Bab Ourika (B, L, D)
Days 12 & 13: Marrakech
A short morning drive will take us from Ourika to Marrakech. You will now enjoy a complete tour of the famous Marrakech Medina. This is the old, walled part of the city and is filled with an incredible variety of vendors with their small stalls. The Medina is an unforgettable riot of color, sounds, and smells. Free time to simply explore and shop is provided after you visit not only the Medina but also the gardens in the surrounding area.
The expedition will be staying on the 12th at a small, comfortable boutique Riad, which offers easy access to the Medina. On the 13th, you will enjoy a Moroccan gourmet farewell dinner and you will spend the overnight at the luxurious and exotic Palais Khum. If you like, you can sign up for a cooking class to learn some traditional recipes for your lunch.
Day 14: Marrakech – Fly Home, or Continue with the Coastal Morocco Extension
You will be taken to the airport for your return flight to your home unless you have signed up for the extension.
Day 14: To Essaouira
After breakfast, you will leave Marrakech and make your way towards the Atlantic coast. Stop on route at a women’s cooperative where they make Argan oil.
Enjoy lunch in Essaouira before going on a walking tour of the city.
The architecture is a blend of Portuguese and Moorish, and you will soon become aware that blue is what might be considered the ‘color theme’ of the city. Your guided tour will take you through the jewelry market, spice souks, and various artisan markets.
Dinner and Overnight at l’Heure Bleue (B, L, D)
Day 15: Essaouira
Today, you will take a short drive south to Tizi Village. Your drive through the argan forest will allow you to view some of the endemic bird species. Once at Tizi, you will have the opportunity to explore a rustic Berber market.
Ounarra is your next destination, and the expedition will stop at the Val d’Argan Wine Estate. The winery produces red, white, and rose wines, which will be available for wine tasting. Lunch will be served on the roof terrace overlooking the entire estate.
For your return to Essaouira, you will drive through the lovely thuya forest.
Dinner and Overnight at l’Heure Bleue (B, L, D)
Day 16: Essaouira / Oualidia / Casablanca
A coastal journey will provide you with stunning views. Your first stop will be the fishing village of Bhibih, where you can observe shore birds, then you will head to Safi Town, originally a Portuguese trading post in the 15th Century, famous for its unique ceramic workshops.
Oualidia is an idyllic location with a beautiful beach and lagoons where oysters are bred. From Oualidia, you journey to El Jadida, another old Portuguese trading center, where you will enjoy lunch at the old Medina. Your afternoon travel will continue along the coast, crossing the fertile lands of Zemmour until you arrive at Casablanca.
Farewell dinner and overnight at the Le Doge Hotel (B, L, D).
Day 17: Casablanca / Casablanca Airport
According to your flight schedule, you will be driven to the Casablanca Airport and assisted to check-in for your flight home.
This expedition can depart on the day of your preference throughout the year though our preferred months are October, November, December and early May. We recommend avoiding January and February due to the higher chances of sand storms in the Sahara, and June to September due to extremely hot weather. Because we use boutique first class accommodations, booking in advance is highly recommended.
Note: All prices are in US$, per person, and based on double occupancy.
Please note that all departures are dependent on hotel availability, and prices may change during special holidays, or if hotels or room categories change. Please call us for details.
Included in Land Cost:
- Services of New Paths Expeditions in-house support team.
- Complete pre-departure documents, including a map, book, expedition details, luggage tags and more.
- 24-7 Services of a NPE Local Head Guide
- Services of local guides
- All ground transportation (including airport transfers) in 1 to 3 year old vehicles with professional drivers.
- Window seats guaranteed when using 4×4.
- Accommodations as noted, including the Sahara Luxury Camp.
- All sightseeing, entrance fees, and visits as noted.
- Meals as noted.
- Bottled water at included meals, transfers and tours.
- Services of transfer assistants, drivers, and local staff.
- Gratuities for luggage porters, transfer assistants and restaurant staff.
- International flights.
- Passport and visa fees.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Gratuities for Local Head Guide and Driver.
- Personal expenses and incidentals, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, e-mail, and laundry.
- Trip cancellation, travel delay, and baggage loss insurance.
- Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of New Paths Expeditions.
Deposits and Final Payments:
To guarantee your space on this expedition a deposit of US$ 500.00 is required at the time of booking. The remaining expedition cost will be charged 90 days before the expedition begins.
Le Doge in Casablanca
Hôtel & Spa Le Doge is a luxury 5-star “Relais & Châteaux” establishment located a few steps from the Sacre Coeur Cathedral and within a short walk of Place Mohammed V. The sumptuous Hassan II Mosque is 1.4 miles away.
Rooms are cosy and carefully decorated to create a warm atmosphere that makes you feel like in a cocoon.
At the “Jasmine” restaurant, you will be able to enjoy a traditional and tasty Moroccan cuisine with authentic flavors.
If you wish to enjoy a drink, a library bar with superb chimney offers an intimate space. You also have the option to visit the new roof floor lounge bar with an incredible view over the white city.
If you need a relaxation time, you will find a wellness area including a hammam, a steam room, and also the possibility to have a relaxing massage.
Note that a multilingual staff is available at the front desk 24/7.
Free Wi-Fi access is provided at the hotel.
Riad Palais Amani in Fes
Situated in the walls of Fez’s ancient medina, just a few minutes walk from the Golden Triangle. It is ideally located near the Cultural, Historical and Religious Center.
Housed in an ancient palace, Palais Amani offers spacious rooms and suites. Each is decorated with traditional furniture and has en-suite facilities. You can choose to have breakfast in the dining room or on the terrace with a lovely view on the garden. The hotel’s restaurant serves an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner offering a savory Morrocan and French cuisine. You will also find many beauty treatments, including massages, facials and manicures.
Palais Amani is one of the largest riads in the medina. It underwent a three years restoration to repair and replace the complex mosaic, stained glass, plaster carving and woodwork that one would expect in a Moroccan listed building. It has also been an opportunity to add all the modern comforts making the riad the fine luxury hotel that it is today. Palais Amani is very spacious so to respect your privacy providing at the same time an intimate atmosphere and the personal attention you deserve.
A Wi-Fi access is available.
Exclusive Sahara Desert Camp in the Sahara
This luxury camp is nestled deep within the dunes providing a very private atmosphere that gives you the chance to feel like a very special guest as if you were the only one.
The en-suite sleeping tents are equipped with a king-size bed with a high quality sprung mattresses, percale sheets, duck down duvets and lovely pillows. Each tent has a ‘wall-to-wall’ plush rugs, a full-length mirror, bedside tables, an armchair and space to hang your clothes; all items being handmade in Morocco. The en-suite bathroom has a toilet, dressing table and silver pewter buckets for washing. Light is provided by solar-power.
The camp offers relaxing areas outside with day beds, cushions, and hammocks.
Breakfast is served under the morning sun, and dinner is served under the stars. Cold drinks, including beer and wine, are always available.
Many activities are proposed to discover the incredible surroundings, such as; camel trekking, guided walks, picnic lunches and sundowners on the dunes.
Kasbah Azul in the Draa Valley
In the heart of the palm grove of the Draa Valley, is located the gorgeous guesthouse Kasbah Azul, built of natural materials in the authentic tradition of antique techniques of southern Morocco.
This majestic house is harmoniously set into the natural and protected ecosystem of its surroundings. A peaceful Garden of Eden for those who love nature. Here you will find a one-hectare garden, with palm trees, oleanders and many flowers. At night, you will probably smell the sweet perfume of jasmine, orange trees and henna plants.
The room are spacious and comfortable, decorated in vibrant warm colors for a ravishing stay in an oriental atmosphere.
Engaged in an ecological perspective, the owners grow vegetables and fruit, which they use to prepare a subtle French-Moroccan mixture cuisine.
The hotel offers a Wi-Fi access.
Ksar Ighnda in Ouarzazate
At Ouarzazate, on the edge of the desert where the light shines on a setting of natural beauty is the Riad Ksar Ighnda. Its situation onto the Atlas Mountains provides a unique relaxing atmosphere.
In the village, you will come across Berbers, local artisans and discover typical local crafts.
Rooms are spacious and nicely decorated with Moroccan furnitures and painted or sculpted ceilings. It has a modern bathroom in a traditional style and a magnificent view of the desert.
You will be able to enjoy a relaxing time using the jacuzzi and hammam, testing a traditional black soap scrub, or having a wonderful oil-argan treatment in the wellness area.
Bab Ourika in the Ourika Valley
All the magic of Kasbah Bab Ourika lies in its unique situation at the apex of the Ourika Valley, dominating the green fields and groves of olives, orange or lemon, surrounding at 360º by the extraordinary landscape of the Atlas Mountains. With panoramic views, the hotel receives warm sunlight all day and offers unforgettable sunsets.
You will relax in rooms that are decorated individually all of them have a great terrace (2 Suites also include a secluded private pool). They all offer stunning views of the Atlas, the National Park and the Valley of Ourika.
A peaceful place you must experience at least once in your life!
Palais Khum in Marrakech
Palais Khum is situated at 10-minute walking from Djemaa El Fna square and a 5-minute driving from Majorelle Garden.
Rooms are comfortable and equipped with air-conditioning. Each room is unique and tells a story by its name and concording decoration. They are all thematically furnished. Private bathrooms come with a shower or a bath.
The onsite restaurant combines the traditional Italian techniques with Moroccan ingredients which result in great flavors that will convince the finest palates.
The elegant spa is a highlight of the hotel. It offers an indoor heated pool and a well-equipped wellness centre with two traditional hammams where you can realize Moroccan beauty rituals and personalized massages. A cozy location for a break
Free Wi-Fi access is available in all areas.
L’Heure Bleue in Essaouira
Heure Bleue Palais opened in June 2004 after three years of renovation, with a vocation as a luxury hotel being part of “Relais & Châteaux” association. Today Heure Bleue Palais is the pride of Essaouira and pure serendipity for its guests.
This historic home is one of this special place where you can feel the art of Moroccan hospitality at its very best. The rooms & Suites are dispersed around a central courtyard that immerses the house with a warm light.
Rooms are nicely furnished and decorated with different styles. It is a mix of inspirations from Africa, Orient, Portuguese or also British spirit!
You can choose from several dining options. The outdoor restaurant, “Courtyard Patio”, serves international and Moroccan dishes, and the Moroccan Restaurant serves a gourmet cuisine in a very cozy atmosphere. Light lunches can also be relished on the panoramic terrace.
“The English Lounge” is the hotel’s bar featuring a piano and a chimney. It has a Colonial atmosphere adorned with precious woods, leather and Oriental rugs.
There is also a billiards & cinema room, a heated rooftop pool, and a wellness centre where you can enjoy a relax time in the hammam or having a massage. The hotel uses 100% natural beauty products!
Free wi-fi is included in the many hotel’s facilities.
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“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!”
Jack N. Douglas-CO
“Our three expeditions with you were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!”
Harriet T. Saugerties-NY
“NPE always provides excellent expedition guiding services where ever in the world we go. They attend to every detail, and NPE always has surprising added elements that are delightful. The best!”
Charlene P. La Jolla-CA
“Well planned, good local guides, top expedition leader. The trip far exceeded all expeditions.”
Frederic K. Orange-CA