Marrakesh Express to a Festival of Roses and the Wild Sahara!

May 4 – 12, 2020

-BOOK NOW  or call 770-432-8225, if trip full then WAITLIST  All must login to Book or Wait

“And to the desert, I’ll go to lose my mind and find my soul.”

Morocco

Join us on the route of a Thousand Kasbahs and a Midnight At the Oasis that you’ll never forget. It’s time to play with the blue Berbers! Discover the very best of exotic Morocco on this all new unique and oh-so-affordable adventure to a kingdom of golden sands. A quick 6 hour flight from New York and you are transported to an entirely different and intoxicating world – one of deserts and oases, camels and kasbahs, palm trees and roses – lots of roses! Our past groups loved this colorful and friendly country, but this journey is distinctly special – offering rare opportunities to see areas of Morocco that others just dream about: Ourika Valley, Dades, Tichka, Merzouga, Tinghir, Quarzazate, Haddou and more.

Imagine rose perfumed streets in a town filled with pink Persian roses? We’ll enter the Valley of the Roses in time for the spectacular Rose Festival, presided over by the Rose Queen. You’ll be right in the middle for parades with floral floats and even a rose souk for shopping. This is an event for the locals and witnessing this spectacle of dancing and music while sampling delicious Berber cuisine – all while breathing in the scent of the roses – will blow you away! Springtime is harest time. Watch the farmers gather to celebrate this year’s crop. This is truly the prettiest and sweetest smelling celebration in Morocco and a feast for the senses!

The beauty of the High Atlas Mountains can only rival the verdant gorges and blue wadis below. Explore through the craggy Todra gorges with its towering canyon walls that will make you think you’ve stepped into a movie set. Then swim in the pools of the waterfalls of the verdant Ourika Valley. And nothing can truly prepare you for the awe you’ll experience watching the sun set over the breathtaking Sahara desert. All of this followed by an evening beneath the stars while Glamping in Berber tents. And just when you think your eyes can’t handle more splendor, you head out on a pre-dawn camel ride to see the sunrise – It is goose bump inducing!

Join the carnival atmosphere of Marrakesh’s legendary Djemaa El Fna and its colorful musicians, dancers and even snake charmers and fortune tellers. Get lost in the labyrinth that is the Medina – a sensory overload with endless alleyways of tiny shops and food stalls filled with African spices and unimaginable treasures. We give you plenty of time to play in Marrakesh, but it’s never enough for this seductive city. Be sure to find time to pamper yourself in one of the world class Hammams. You’ll enjoy full body bliss with the bathing ritual you’ll never forget.

Morocco is a country I can’t get enough of. You’ll fall in love with the friendly Berber’s, their fascinating traditions and yes – their food – in this unique journey into the true heart and soul of Morocco. But let’s talk value! So much is included in this budget-priced adventure with five fabulous hotels, guided tours and almost all meals included. You’ll never find a trip that is so affordable that will leave you with so many priceless memories.

-BOOK NOW  or call 770-432-8225, if trip full then WAITLIST    

A note from Jenn on our last trip – Suzy, I can’t thank you enough for the great fun we had on this trip! Morocco had been at the bottom of my bucket list, but now ranks #1 of all my other 6 AFS trips. Our tour manager and guides were incredible and what a great group. I form truly deep friendships on this desert adventure.

Morocco solo travel 

 

Our Glorious AFS Itinerary

-BOOK NOW  or call 770-432-8225, if trip full then WAITLIST  

Download printable PDF itinerary

Monday May 04 – Depart US. Fly roundtrip Marrakech.  We have great air price and connection times coming soon to you in Trip Tips.    (Or fly RT Casablanca 2 hours transfer can be arranged.)

Day 1 – Tuesday May 05 Arrive Marrakech 920A or 340P      D

You will be met at the airport and taken to our hotel, the Diwane Marrakech Hotel & Spa (or Le Semiramis Marrakech).Located just north of the city center, this hotel is the perfect place to call home for the next three nights!  It’s very close to the upscale Gueliz neighborhood which is filled with shops and galleries.

You’ll have the afternoon to settle in before we all join in for a scrumptious Welcome dinner of Moroccan cuisine and get to know your fellow travelers.

 Overnight:  Diwane Marrakech hotel & Spa (3 nights)

Fab first-class property. LINK

Day 2 – Wednesday May 06: Marrakech Sightseeing                                  BD

Djemaa El FnaA full day lies ahead of us with a guided city tour of mesmerizing Marrakech. We start with the vast world-famous square of Djemaa El Fna. The name means “assembly of the dead,” but this place is always alive with everything from snake charmers, soothsayers, acrobats and conjurers, musicians and slapstick acting troupes who help keep the old city’s frenetic pulse.

We’ll explore the towering 12thcentury Koutoubia Minaret, the sprawling Bahia Palace and gardens as well as the magnificent and ornate Saadian Tombs. And even if you don’t consider yourself a shopper, you’re going to be wowed when we head to the colorful medina where you will have free time to wander the endless corridors of souks where you can sightsee as well as bargain for treasures. Be sure to do a Hammam Bath & Spa.

For countless new things see www.visitmarrekech.com

We return to hotel in late afternoon for dinner.

Overnight:  Diwane Marrakech hotel & Spa (3 nights)

Day 3 – Thurs May 07: Day tour to Ourika Valley and Berber Village    BLD

This morning, we get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to Morocco’s serenely beautiful Ourika Valley. Known Ourika Valleyfor its seven waterfalls, the lush Ourika Valley sits just south of Marrakech in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. See, smell, and shop for the abundant essential oils and medicinal plants at the Aromatic Garden. You’ll have the opportunity to visit a traditional Berber home and see how the locals live. We’ll enjoy a Berber lunch at a local restaurant. A highlight of the tour will be a hike to Ourika’s waterfalls where you can reward yourself with a refreshing swim in the pools of the falls.

We’ll return to Marrakesh in the late afternoon and once more have dinner at the hotel.

 Overnight:  Diwane Marrakech hotel & Spa (3 nights)

Day 4 – Friday May 8 – Marrakech / Ouarzazate / Dades                           BD

After breakfast, we make our way to Ouarzazate along the magnificent Tizi In Tichka mountain pass through the spectacular High Atlas Mountains. The winding route is legendary and the vistas are breathtaking for epic Instagram pics.

The payoff is on the other side as we take part in the assault of the senses known as the Dades Rose Festival. Kalaat M’gouna means “Valley of the Roses” and the city itself is named after the nearby Mount Mgoun. During the 3 day festival, the streets are filled with local Berber musicians playing traditional instruments and dancing. There is also a parade and numerous booths set up by artisans and food vendors as local tribes taking to the stage and treating attendants with songs, dances, and sword maneuvers, snake charming and traditional musical instrumentals. Garlands of roses are sold by local children for a very small price.

We’ll overnight at the beautiful Hotel Dades Xaluca Resort where our dinner is included.

Overnight: Hotel Dades Xaluca (1 night)

Day 5- Saturday May 9 –  Dades,  Merzouga  and Sahara Sand Dunes.         BD

After breakfast, we’ll take a hike through the famous Dades Gorges. Lying between the Atlas Mountains and the Jbel Bivouac Palmyras Y DunasSargho of the Anti-Atlas mountain range, the gorge is known for its rocky wadis.  Then on to the desert village of Merzouga where you will climb aboard your camel and ride through the stunning dunes of Erg Chebbi. Be prepared to have your breath taken away as you watch the sunset over the desert.

Tonight, we are glamping in traditional Berber tents but the nomadic tribes never had it this good!We enjoy a traditional BBQ dinner with traditional dancing and drum music under the desert skies around the campfire before retiring to bed.

Overnight: Desert tent: Bivouac Palmyras Y Dunas (1 night)

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Day 6 – Sunday May 10 – Merzouga / Tinghir / Roses Valley / Ouarzazate        BD

Watch the sunrise while taking a camel ride along the golden sand dunes in Merzouga. Then return to the inn for shower and breakfast before moving on to Tinghir. This desert oasis is situated on the plateau separating the High Atlas from the Anti Atlas Mountains and rises to an altitude of almost a mile above sea level. We get deep into the gorges of the Todra with their towering limestone walls.  Our past groups loved this.  Continue to the town of roses – Kelaat Mgouna.

The route is called the thousand kasbahs road for a reason. Berber villages and kasbahs dot the landscape. Kelaât Mgouna is the major access point to the breathtakingRoses’ Valley. In the late spring months, the city is literally covered in roses. A pink carpet as far as the eye can see dots the otherwise brown landscape. This is Roses’ harvesting season and we visit the local distilleries in Kelaat Mgouna to learn all about the distillation of the petals, the manufacturing of rose water and how it is used in cosmetics.

End the day at the boutique hotel Kenzi Azghor in Ouarzazate where we will also enjoy dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Kenzi Azghor (1 night)

Day 7 – Monday May 11: Ouarzazate / Ait Ben Haddou / Marrakech                BD

MarrakechStart the day with a city tour of Ouarzazate, including the earthen built kasbahs of Taourirt and Tifoultout. Considered to be among the most beautiful kasbahs in Morocco, these are National Heritage sites and you will understand why as you explore the many rooms and buildings. Next, we visit the Atlas Film Studioswhere some of the most famous movie desert landscapes were and are still being shot. We’ll tour the spectacular fortress of Ait Ben Haddou, the iconic landscape immortalized in such films as Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, Gladiator, and Alexander.

In the afternoon, we again cross the High Atlas Mountains via the Tiz In Tichka pass to Marrakech. Tonight, we enjoy a Farewell Dinner at Moroccan Restaurant

Overnight::  Diwane Marrakech hotel & Spa (1 night)

Day 8 – Tuesday May 12: Depart Marrakech                        B

Following breakfast, we make our way to the airport for our flights back to the States.  Note – you can always arrange a post trip on own to see the Imperial Cities of the North.

What is the Rose Festival? 


Valley of the Roses: discover Morocco’s floral festival

Dawn is tinting the Atlas Mountains rust-red as the rose-pickers of Hdida set out for work. Dressed in flip-flops and djellabas (full-length hooded garments with long sleeves), they follow a dusty path down to the fields and before too long are lost in foliage… Click here to read on…

Limited to only 34 participants. Don’t delay, book now.

-BOOK NOW   if trip full, then WAITLIST  

Land Price: $1475

Deposit: $500   (no 2nddeposit)

Included: First class accommodations, expert local guides, private AC coach, Jordanian visa, AFS GTL and meals as stated

Not included: Gratuities

Group Air –  Air details on your own or our group air in Trip Tips emailed to you after deposit paid

  •  All prices are per person twin share.  Single rooms limited per group and a single supplement applies.  Cost set by hotel/cruiseline and vary considerably.  AFS will find you a roommate match. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”  
  • Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.  
  • Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate.
  • We write our itineraries over a year in advance. Though unlikely, we always reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. 
  • Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

Group Air -In emailed Trip Tips when offered.

Diwane Hotel & Spa Marrakech

Amenities

  • Pool
  • Free WiFi
  • Free Breakfast
  • Free Parking
In addition to an outdoor pool, Diwane Hotel & Spa Marrakech provides a health club and a children’s pool. Dining is available at one of the hotel’s 2 restaurants and guests can grab coffee at one of the 2 coffee shops/cafés. Guests can unwind with a drink at one of the hotel’s bars, which include a poolside bar and a bar/lounge. A complimentary breakfast is offered each morning. Wireless Internet access is complimentary.

4-star hotel with restaurant and outdoor pool

Popular property highlights

  • Free self parking
  • Free WiFi
  • Restaurant
  • Outdoor pool
  • 24-hour front desk

Hotel Features

Along with a restaurant, this hotel has an outdoor pool and a fitness center. Free WiFi in public areas, free self parking, and a free manager’s reception are also provided. Additionally, a bar/lounge, a coffee shop/café, and an outdoor tennis court are onsite.

Room Amenities

All 118 rooms offer free WiFi, minibars, and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. Guests will also find room service, hair dryers, and safes.

Desert tent: Bivouac Palmyras Y Dunas

With a prime position overlooking the biggest dunes of Mergouza, Palmeras Y Dunas offers panoramic views and an outdoor swimming pool.

All the air-conditioned rooms and suites are equipped with a private bathroom. Some of them have views over the Dunes of Merzouga.

The Palmeras restaurant serves traditional Moroccon cuisine and a barbecue buffet. There is a bar and snack bar and rooms service is available.

Guests can walk just 15 minutes to a view point for watching the sunset. Other excursions such as camel rides and dune buggies can be organized from the hotel.

Kenzi Azghor
Kenzi Azghor solo tour

Main amenities

  • 110 guestrooms
  • Restaurant and bar/lounge
  • Full-service spa
  • Outdoor pool
  • Outdoor tennis court
  • Terrace
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Air conditioning
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Garden
  • Lobby fireplace
  • Front desk safe
  • Free WiFi in lobby

  •  All prices are per person twin share.  Single rooms limited per group and a single supplement applies.  Cost set by hotel/cruiseline and vary considerably.  AFS will find you a roommate match. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”  
  • Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.  
  • Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate.
  • We write our itineraries over a year in advance. Though unlikely, we always reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. 
  • Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

Marrakesh Express to a Festival of Roses and the Wild Sahara
#AFSTRAVEL
#solotravels
#solotravel