Imperial Cities, Atlas Mountains, and the Golden Dunes of the Sahara


Walled casbahs, labyrinthine souks, towering sand dunes, red-rock canyons—Morocco has a mystique all its own. We unlock its secrets as we roam the magical bazaars of Fez, the 9th century walled city suspended in a medieval dream, visit tiny seaside Essaouira, an artists’ haven, cross the High Atlas to explore the craggy Todra and Dades canyons, and meet welcoming Amazigh (commonly known as Berber, though they call themselves Amazigh) people in their mountain villages. In the breathtaking Moroccan Sahara, we enjoy an incredible experience—our own private luxury tented camp cradled in the sun-splashed dunes.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Casablanca / Rabat / Moulay Idriss / Volubilis

In Rabat, we stroll the 12th century Oudaya Kasbah, then travel inland through olive groves to visit the hill town of Moulay Idriss and the evocative Roman ruins of Volubilis, a World Heritage Site.

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Day 4

This city is hauntingly beautiful with its Arabic-Moorish architecture and honeycomb of twisting alleys. We enter the dazzling 9th century medina through one of its four medieval gates and discover a mile-long network of souks, open-air cafes, courtyards, and gardens.

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Days 5-7
Middle Atlas Mountains / Sahara Camel Safari

Crossing the Middle Atlas, we descend into the Sahara to our exclusive private luxury camp, where immense rolling dunes are continually reshaped by the wind. Our activities here are flexible—explore on foot or ride camels through the desert. We’ll feel as if we have the Sahara to ourselves as we savor the silence, watch the sunset, and stargaze under a brilliant sky.

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Days 8-10
Todra / Dades / Ait Ben Haddou / Marrakesh

In the High Atlas, we visit rugged Todra Gorge, with its steep limestone walls, and the sculpted red-rock formations of the Dades Gorge. En route, we should see nomad families camped with their flocks of sheep. We also explore the World Heritage Site of Ait Ben Haddou, an immense 11th century mud-brick citadel.

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Day 11

Whitewashed houses with blue shutters give the 18th century walled town of Essaouira a decidedly Mediterranean atmosphere. We explore the port, where bright blue fishing boats lie at anchor, and the bustling fish market and harbor.

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Days 12-14

In Marrakesh, we visit the 11th century medina and the central Djemaa el Fna Square, replete with snake charmers, fire-eaters, and fortune tellers. In the fabled souks, we find everything from pottery and fabrics to silver and spices on display. Depart on Day 14.

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One of the most comprehensive experiences of Morocco!
Ride a camel or hike across the Sahara’s golden dunes from a private luxury desert camp
Meet the nomads of the High Atlas Mountains
Roam the labyrinthine medinas of medieval Fez and Marrakesh


Length: 14 days
Cost From: $5295  
Arrive: Casablanca, Morocco
Depart: Marrakesh, Morocco
Lodging: 11 nights first-class and best-available hotels, 2 nights luxury tented camp
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 4 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking
Trip Level:

Cultural exploration and walking tours, optional camel rides and day hikes from desert camp, 4WD vehicle support