Luxury desert glamping, vintage sidecars and ancient storytelling
About this trip
Over the Atlas mountains, across the Sahara and along the wild coast; tap into your inner adventurer on this 10-day Moroccan epic.
Amongst the towering sands of the Sahara Desert, you’ll embark on a camel expedition across the Sahara to reach your luxury desert camp. You’ll sandboard down blazing red dunes, bathe like a Berber in hot sands and lie beneath a blanket of stars. As the Atlas Mountains rise up around you, discover crumbling ochre kasbahs and hike beneath 300-metre-high rock walls.
In Marrakech you’ll forgo busy food stalls for back-street dining and race across a desert to a soaring plateau in a vintage sidecar. Rooftop drinks in beautiful hidden riads will become part of your daily routine, whilst true friendships with like-minded travellers will blossom under the warm Moroccan sun.
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 8 dinners
- Stay in hand-picked 3-4 star hotels
- We offset 0.39 tCO2e (carbon) per person on this trip
- Tips for the guide & driver
- Private minibus & sidecar
- Arrival Airport transfer
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
Flashpackers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination 30 days before departure OR proof of a negative test within 72 hours of their adventure starting. Flashpackers must also provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Estimated total drive time on this adventure: 50 hours
Day 01 Hello, Marrakech
Welcome to dizzying, exotic, addictive Marrakech. This medieval oasis town, with the UNESCO heritage medina at its core, is certainly a force to be reckoned with. And reckon with it you will – but first, some down time at your luxury lodgings. Here, with views towards the Atlas Mountains and thriving medina, you’ll have a chance to meet and relax with your group. At tonight’s welcome dinner at La Tangia, prepare for some of Morocco’s culinary greats: tagines, grilled meats, couscous; as well as your first experience of warm Moroccan hospitality.
Day 02 Hollywood Landscapes
Today you begin your long journey towards the Sahara Desert. Travelling across the Atlas Mountains on the highest road pass in the country; you’ll enjoy panoramic views of deep valleys and soaring peaks set against a deep blue African sky. You’ll stop en-route at the historic village of Telouet to explore its rust-red kasbah, as well as the stunning Ounila Valley for lunch with a local family. You’ll arrive at Ait Ben Haddou in the beautiful light of late afternoon. The well-preserved kasbah here is most famous for its appearance in Gladiator. As the red hues begin to deepen with the changing light, climb to the granary for uninterrupted views of the Atlas Mountains and palm oasis.
Day 03 CAMEL EXPEDITION TO A LUXURY CAMP
You’ll be covering a big distance again today, but not without some incredible stops. First up: the immense green oasis of Skoura, where you’ll pause for mint tea and to meet the local women, watching as they show you how to bake bread in traditional clay ovens. From Skoura it’s onwards to Todra Gorge, where you’ll stop for lunch in the Todra Valley surrounded by towering rock walls. Back in the car after lunch, the immense dunes of Merzouga will soon rise up before you. And waiting for you at the foot of these giant red dunes? Your transport to a luxury desert camp: a train of camels. Saddle up and move off into the vast nothingness of the Sahara, your remote camp eventually appearing like a mirage on the horizon.
Day 04 Sand & stars
Start the day with sunrise yoga on the dunes before a traditional Moroccan breakfast on the sand. After, feel free to explore the surrounding dunes by foot, or embrace the thrill of coasting down them on a sandboard. Later, you’ll bake bread like a Berber in the sand. Watch as your Berber guide expertly kneads the dough and places it in its sandy oven. It won’t be long before you notice the bizarre sight of a mound beginning to rise up out of the ground. Don’t fill yourself up too much on bread, though, as you’ve another Moroccan feast being served fireside this evening, to the addictive beat of traditional drummers.
Day 05 Lush Oasis Living
After breakfast it’ll be time to load up your camels, leaving camp, and the desert behind you. Today, your journey will take you westwards through a vast wilderness, punctuated by bright oases and remote villages. This is a lonely road that few tourists travel, so enjoy the uninterrupted views of untouched Morocco. By mid-afternoon, you’ll descend into the fertile Draa Valley, otherwise known as the ‘date basket’ of Morocco, where 200 kilometers of palm groves follow the life-giving Draa River. Your boutique guesthouse makes an ideal stop on the road from the Sahara.
Day 06 Listen to a master storyteller
Today your journey continues westward towards the coast. Tazenakht will be your first stop where you’ll be shown how to weave wool for Berber rugs, before exploring the vibrant bazaars here. Next up is Taliouine, the ‘capital’ of the most expensive spice in the world: saffron. Learn all there is to know about this luxurious spice, before stopping for a saffron-infused lunch at a local auberge. You’ll end the day in Ouled Berhil, where you’ll check in to what was once a Pasha’s palace; the perfect location for this evening’s storytelling dinner. Storytelling itself is an ancient Moroccan tradition, and master storytellers curate and refine their stories over decades. Tonight, between a series of delicious courses, you’ll be enraptured by one of these expert performers.
Day 07 Boho Beach Life
You’ll finally reach the sparkling coast via Taroudant and Taghazout today. In Taroudant, you’ll be taken on a private tour of the former residence – now museum – of the late, internationally acclaimed artist Claudio Bravo. The first sight of crashing waves and surfers as you pull into Taghazout Bay for lunch is sure to induce some excitement. By the time you reach the walled port town of Essaouira, the laid-back, boho vibe of the country’s coast will be palpable. Watch sunset from La Skala (one of the port bastions) and then settle into your riad for an atmospheric dinner and drinks.
Day 08 Down time in Essaouira
A much needed day of rest is in order today, and there are few better places to while away some free time than Essaouira. Easily explored on foot, allow yourself to get lost down colourful alleyways of workshops, galleries, spice shops and music stores. When you’re feeling peckish, head down to the port and choose your seafood fresh from the boat to be cooked in one of the many local kitchens and grills that dot the medina. Afternoon drinks with your group on one of the many rooftop bars is a must, as is a walk along the beach to watch wind surfers catching the famous Essaouira breeze.
Day 09 BACK-STREET FOOD TOURING
Marrakech is calling. Upon arrival, dive straight into the labyrinthine medina, where you can visit a number of museums and monuments, including the architecturally astounding Palais Bahia. From here, barter your way through the city’s souks and spill out from a bustling alleyway into Jemaa-el-Fna Square, where snake charmers, market traders and performers will vie for your attention. As night falls and the crowds descend upon the main square, you’ll be led away from the din and down twisting alleyways on a private backstreet food tour. From sardine balls to lamb cheeks and a variety of vegetarian delights; this is your chance to try the more unusual dishes that have been refined over generations, served out of hatches and secret doorways.
Day 10 VINTAGE SIDECAR ADVENTURE
This morning you’ll be transported to the lunar landscapes of the Agafay Desert, where you’ll appreciate these otherworldly, rocky plains from your unique viewpoint in a vintage sidecar. Taking it in turns with a fellow Flash Pack traveler to ride on the back of the motorbike or in the sidecar, you’ll navigate the rugged terrain as you make your way up to the Kik Plateau, over 1,000 meters above sea level. Here, with 360-degree views, you’ll be treated to an exclusive picnic. It’s a wonderful way to finish your trip, but there’s one more feast in store tonight. For your farewell dinner, you’re off to one of the city’s best tapas bars – the perfect place to celebrate 10 days of adventuring achievements as a group of firm friends.
Day 11 Goodbye, Morocco
Today you’ll be checking out and transferring to Marrakech airport for your flight home. You’ve done it. A 10-day epic journey across Morocco’s vast and changing landscapes. There’s no doubt you’ll leave with stories to last a lifetime as well as some new friendships, too.
Our favourite hotels
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Sahara Luxury Camp
Nothing can quite prepare you for the stillness and ethereal beauty of both the desert and this wonderful camp. Expect cosy tents, al fresco dining and incredible star-gazing opportunities.
2Ciels Hotel, Marrakech
Art-deco rooms with Moroccan flair; 2 Ciels boasts a rooftop tapas bar, perfect for sundowners, as well as an on-site hammam and swimming pool. A welcome retreat after a day of exploring.
This is an impressive, sprawling property that harks back to an age of pure opulence. Expect spacious, traditional rooms hidden behind ornate wooden doorways.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Fly in and out of Marrakesh Menara Airport. Code: RAK
- Do I need a visa?
You do not need a visa if you’re visiting as a tourist from the EU, UK, USA, Australia or Canada for up to 90 days.
Please check with your local consulate/embassy if the country you are travelling from requires a visa.
We recommend that you travel with at least six months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket. When entering the country, make sure your passport is stamped as some tourists have experienced difficulties leaving the country because their passport bears no entry stamp.
- What time should my flight arrive? (to arrive in time for the welcome meeting)
Before 4 pm ideally. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 6 pm onwards starting at the hotel, which is located approximately 15 minutes away from the airport.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
Check-out time is 11 am but you can leave anytime that suits you. The airport is approximately 15 minutes away from the hotel, and your Pack leader can help you book your transfers the night before if needed.
- Are airport transfers included?
The arrival transfer is private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times.
We don’t include departure transfers however, the airport is approximately 15 minutes away from the hotel, with the cost of a taxi being 180 MAD, the equivalent of £15/$20.
If you and some other flashpackers are all getting the same flight, we recommend splitting the taxi journey.
- What fitness levels do I need for this trip?
We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness. Overall, the trip is relatively relaxed.
- What are the drive times like?
This is a trip for travellers that enjoy a road trip. The total drive time is around 50 hours so we don’t advise joining if you suffer badly with motion sickness or any other ailment that extensive travel can make worse. We use a comfortable vehicle, complete with Bluetooth through which you can connect your Flash Pack Spotify playlist, but there are some long drives, like from Marrakech to the Sahara desert, for example. We do break up the drives with local and authentic experiences like visiting a local pottery chez, but it’s worth noting that you could be in the vehicle for up to five hours on most of the travelling days.
- Why you should print your travel documents
There’s a chance that Marrakech airport will not accept mobile versions of boarding passes (and other important documents). With this in mind, please ensure you have printed all boarding passes and other required documents to present alongside any mobile information you have stored on your phone.
- Will the itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes are rare but can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting which we will always try and communicate to you.
- What will the accommodation be like?
On this trip, you’ll be staying in three- to four-star riads (boutique Moroccan B&Bs) that are clean and comfortable but not the same standard as a large chain hotel. Riads are typically traditional Moorish houses with beautiful tile work and an interior courtyard with fountain; some of them have hammams and pools. One of the most noticeable differences between hotels and riads is their more intimate size. What you lose in facilities, you’ll gain in authentic atmosphere and hospitality.
- What about Ramadan? Will it affect my trip?
Ramadan in 2023 will begin on the evening of Wednesday 22nd March and continue until the evening of Friday 21st April 2023. This is then followed by national celebrations for Eid Al Fitr (the Festival of Fast-breaking) and many people will be on holiday until 1 May.
Some aspects of your itinerary could change during this time as many shops and restaurants will be closed. It will also be quite difficult to obtain alcohol during Ramadan – your Pack Leader will be able to advise.
What Flashpackers say
"A fantastic trip to Morocco with a great group. This was my third Flash Pack trip and they always go well with a great group of people. "
"Amazing guide, great accommodations. A small group made it easier to get to know others traveling with you. Definitely enjoyed the off-the-beaten-path experience that Flash Pack created."
"Great tour guide and local guides. Excellent itinerary with enough time for unscheduled activities. Good hotels. Wonderful fellow travelers."
"Just an epic experience with everything planned so we could just focus on the adventure. I've also made new friends on the adventure."
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