Morocco highlights: from coast to medina
Take a surf lesson in Essaouira, ride across the desert on a quad bike & sip wine in the Argan Valley
Morocco highlights: from coast to medina
About this trip
Morocco is vast, and with limited time to explore, it’s best to just focus on the highlights. But which ones?
Allow us to introduce our compact, yet perfect, eight-day Morocco adventure, made up of iconic locations and immersive experiences, always with that special Flash Pack twist.
In little over a week you’ll get to witness the chaos of Marrakech’s labyrinthine medina and explore the fascinating suburbs by sidecar. You’ll sleep overnight in a desert camp, bonding with your group beneath the stars. You’ll sip mint tea in a Berber tent and learn to make the perfect tagine. You’ll trek through the Atlas Mountains, zoom through the desert by quad bike and learn to surf Essaouira’s best breaks.
There’ll be plenty of opportunities for relaxing too. Think sipping ice-cold wine at a vineyard in the lush Argan Valley and feeling renewed after an authentic Moroccan hammam. There’ll even be time to salute the sun as it sinks below the Atlantic horizon during a private beachside yoga session.
These are the highlights of Morocco. Who needs two weeks, anyway?
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
- Stay in hand-picked 3-4 star hotels
- We offset your carbon emissions
- Tips for the Pack Leader & 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: 13 hours
Day 01 WELCOME TO MARRAKECH
Arriving in Marrakech, your senses will come alive as you weave through the chaotic streets in your exclusive Flash Pack transfer. You’re heading right to the heart of the action, close to the ancient medina, where your luxurious riad-hotel is a haven of air-conditioned calm. After freshening up, it’s time to meet your group for a celebratory drink – you made it! And tonight, you’ll have your first taste of authentic Moroccan food as you venture out for a welcome meal at a traditional local restaurant.
Day 02 SIDECAR ADVENTURE & BACKSTREET FOOD TOUR
This morning you’ll be exploring the city – Flash Pack style – on an exhilarating sidecar adventure. Taking it in turns with a fellow Flash Pack traveller, you’ll ride on the back of the vintage motorbike or in the sidecar, soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of the city as you wind past spice-scented streets and along palm-lined avenues to remote neighbourhoods where daily life seems to have frozen in time. Enjoy a moment of quietness and a fresh mint tea before being dropped back at your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Rested and ready to go, there’s an appetising evening in store with a food tour of the medina. Together with a local guide, you’ll navigate the bustling alleys to secret foodie spots. Here you’ll taste all sorts of treats, from fresh olives and honeyed pastries to roast lamb and tangia, all washed down by a spicy herbal infusion known as khoudenjal.
Day 03 BERBER COOKING LESSON
After breakfast, you’ll leave the city hubbub behind as you travel towards the Atlas Mountains. Your first stop will be at a Berber village where you’ll be welcomed into a local home for a rustic tajine cooking class. Gathered around the kitchen table, your host will guide you through the process using simple utensils and fresh ingredients. It’s a wonderfully communal way of cooking and you’ll learn a lot about Berber life. Stewed to perfection, you’ll sit together on Berber carpet to enjoy your delicious dish, accompanied by traditional Tafarnout bread baked in a clay oven. The menu might be simple but the mountain views are spectacular. Fully sated, you’ll make your way to an idyllic retreat hidden in the Atlas foothills to spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool and enjoying the hotel’s lush gardens.
Day 04 HIKING, BIKING & DESERT GLAMPING
Fill up at breakfast because you’ll need plenty of energy for today’s trek into the mountains. Setting off early, you’ll traverse wildflower fields, fruit orchards and crop-filled valleys as you ascend to the hilltop village of Tikhfist for a picnic. From here you’ll enjoy extensive views, looking out across the Ouirgane reservoir, a vital water source for this fertile region. Along the way you might see children playing in the village, shepherds tending their flock and locals going about their everyday lives. This afternoon, you’re off on another adventure: a quad bike ride into the desert. After a safety briefing, you’ll leave the Atlas behind in a trail of dust as you negotiate the rocky terrain. You’re travelling in style to tonight’s accommodation: a cosy Berber camp where ensuites come as standard and camel rides are optional. You’ll dine round the campfire under the stars enjoying a live local music performance.
Day 05 VINEYARD VISIT & ON TO ESSAOUIRA
Waking up in the desert is a magical experience so there’s no rush today to get started. In due course, you’ll meet your minibus and rejoin the road as you set off for the windswept seaside town of Essouaira. En route you’ll be stopping off for some organic wine-tasting in the fertile Argan Valley. The 52-hectare vineyard has ideal conditions for cultivating red, white and rosé wines, as well as delicious vin gris (grey wine), exclusive to Morocco. After three tastings and lunch, it’s onwards to the coast and your riad for the night. This afternoon, you’ll be free to explore at your own pace. You might want to check out the wave-lashed ramparts of the fortified medina, watch fishing boats being mended in the atmospheric port or simply find a bar with a rooftop terrace – perfect for people-watching, sundowners and soaking up the city’s bohemian vibe.
Day 06 SURFING & YOGA
Blessed with vast swathes of golden sand and consistent Atlantic trade winds, Essaouira isn’t short of waves. Since the 60s it’s been a surf Mecca for those in the know, and today you’ll be donning a wetsuit and joining a surf pro for a private lesson with your group. As you get to grips with paddling out, popping up and no doubt falling off, you’ll cheer each other on and revel in the shared experience that will leave you tired but happy. You’re free to rest up until late afternoon when it’s back to the beach for more action. This evening’s activity will be a little more sedate, however, as you’ll be taking part in a sunset yoga flow and meditation. Allowing yourself to breathe and stretch to the sound of crashing waves, you’ll feel refreshed, energised and ready for your dinner. Tonight, you’re off to a renowned local fish restaurant for a special banquet of freshly caught seafood washed down with a cocktail or two.
Day 07 MARRAKECH HAMMAM
You’ve come full circle today as you travel back to Marrakech. On your last full day, you’ll enjoy the ultimate Moroccan experience: a hammam. This centuries-old cleansing ritual involves steaming open your pores on hot marble seats, rinsing your skin and being scrubbed with a mitt before bathing with Moroccan black soap (a mix of olive leaves and argan oil). Feeling renewed, you’ll be treated to a relaxing massage before slipping into a fluffy robe for tea and cake on the terrace. Then it’s back to the hotel to glam up for tonight’s farewell dinner party at the fabled Le Comptoir Darna. One of the city’s top venues, this glitzy restaurant and nightclub is the place to be for evening entertainment: think cabaret, belly dancing and after-dinner DJs spinning tunes into the small hours.
Day 08 UNTIL NEXT TIME, MOROCCO
All good things must come to an end and it’s time to say your goodbyes. You’ve had an immense eight days together, getting a taste of the real Morocco. Your Pack Leader can help you arrange a transfer back to the airport. If you’re not ready to go home, why not extend your trip with your newfound friends on one of our other adventures?
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.
Domaine de la Roseraie
Tucked away in the heart of Berber country, you’ll find this idyllic hideaway at the foothill of the High Atlas Mountains. Expect cottage-style rooms with private patios leading out into aromatic rose gardens and lime and lemon groves, three glistening outdoor pools, and a yoga studio with breathtaking views of the mountains.
Dar L'Oussia, Essaouira
Built on the ramparts of Essaouira’s medina, this large boutique riad is right in the heart of the action: a stone’s throw from the souks with panoramic views of the ocean. Set over five floors, there’s a gorgeous roof terrace – ideal for sundowners – Moorish-style rooms and a traditional courtyard restaurant.
Staying in this desert camp, you’ll feel transported to an expedition from the golden age of explorers. Beautifully crafted Berber tents dot the lunar landscape, the waft of fresh bread drifts from the campfire and the clear starry skies are filled with simplicity and silence. It’s a magical experience.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Fly in and out of Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK).
- Do I need a visa?
Currently, citizens of Australia, New Zealand, the USA, the UK, the EU, and Canada, among many others, do not need a visa to travel to Morocco, for a stay up to 90 days.
You will, however, need a passport with six months’ validity and an onward or return ticket (with supporting documents). 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?
Before 5 pm ideally. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 7 pm starting at the hotel, which is located approximately 15 minutes away from the airport.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no activities planned for the last day, so leave any time you wish. 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 in a taxi being around 20 EUR for three people, the equivalent of approximately £17/$21.
If you and some other Flash Pack friends are all getting the same flight, we recommend splitting the taxi journey.
- What fitness levels do I need for this trip?
The trip includes light walking and hiking, suitable for most fitness levels. The surfing and yoga sessions are also suitable for beginners. 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.
- 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 are the drive times like?
This trip has much shorter drives than our Magical Morocco itinerary which is more for those who love road trips. You will stay at four different locations in Morocco on this trip. The drive times between locations are between 1.5 to 3.5 hours. The total drive time is 13 hours.
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."
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission to create 1 million friendships so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends. Want to know more about your group? GET IN TOUCH
We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS
We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone. We include guide and driver tips to make sure that our team are well looked after
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