Morocco Family Trek

NUMBER OF DAYS 11

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If exotic lands intrigue you... if spectacular mountain trails make your hiking boots dance for joy... if you hope to introduce your kids to the timeless traditions of cultures vastly different from their own...then Morocco is just the ticket to a memorable family vacation.

Marrakesh, our starting point, is the perfect introduction—or should we say immersion!—into Moroccan culture. Wander down labyrinthine alleyways and discover an ancient souk, the centerpiece of Moroccan daily life. Explore the gorgeous architecture of a former Koranic school. And listen for the alluring melodies of a wooden flute...is that a cobra being charmed out of its basket? As we dive into this energetic, colorful, full-of-surprises world, you’re sure to catch that sparkle of wonder in the eyes of your children.

In the High Atlas Mountains everyone’s inner child thrills to a ride by mule-back along thread-like trails that reach for the sky. Work up an appetite as you trek through authentic Berber villages and through groves of lemons and oranges. And savor a delicious snack of bread and honey in the traditional Berber home of new friends. At the end of the day, the whole family enjoys the fine amenities at our beautiful hotels—gorgeous swimming pools, indulgent spas, and blooming rose gardens.

For 2015, private departures are available on the dates of your choice, depending on availability.

We're happy to create a private trek for your family to fit your travel dates and budget. 

Alumni Discount: if you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices

 

Prices are based on the number of people in your party.

Itinerary includes: All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private tri-lingual guide throughout, area specialists, all meals, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.

Days 1-2 – Depart home / Arrive Marrakesh

Welcome to Morocco! Your journey through this fascinating land is a feast of sensory and cultural delights—the memories are sure to make this a family adventure of a lifetime.

Day 3 – Marrakesh

Back-dropped by the stunning Atlas Mountains and once a key city of trade on the ancient caravan routes, Marrakesh retains its fascinating blend of Arab, African and European influences. The kaleidoscope of colorful architecture and the incredible spectacle of Djemma el-Fna have entertained centuries of visitors from far and wide—think peddlers of copper and cure-alls, henna artists and fortune-tellers and yes, snake charmers!

 

  • Tour the Medina, the vibrant ancient city
  • Visit a medersa (traditional boarding school)
  • Explore the souks, or open-air markets
  • Djemma el-Fna—a feast for the senses! 
Days 4-7 –High Atlas Mountains

The breathtaking Ouirgane Valley cuts through an ever-changing landscape. Grab your backpack, your camera and spirit of adventure and get ready to take on the trails.

 

  • Drive into the High Atlas Mountains
  • Free afternoon in Imlil
  • Trek to the Shrine of Sidi Chamharouch
  • Free afternoon
  • Hike the Ouirgane Valley
  • Village hike
  • Visit with a local family
Days 8-9 – Essaouira

Founded in the 1760s Essaouira is a fishing port that ships its catch all over the world. It’s also one of the only cities in Morocco laid out on a grid pattern, an innovation of its architect—a Frenchman who was the prisoner of the sultan.

 

  • Drive to Essaouira
  • Tour a bustling fishing pier and mingle with locals
  • Free day
Day 10 – Marrakesh

In Marrakesh the amazing Majorelle Gardens are known for paths that wind through bamboo, banana and coconut groves and the many species of birds found only in this area of North Africa.

 

  • Tour Majorelle Gardens
Day 11 – Depart Marrakesh / Arrive home
Es Saadi Gardens and Resort

The Es Saadi Gardens & Resort spreads across acres of park and features a hotel, palace, and a variety of villas. It is situated in a residential area within walking distance of the Marrakesh’old city, with spectacular views of the High Atlas peaks. The gardens are colorful, the restaurant is renowned for its excellent cuisine and extensive wine list, and there is also a very pleasant bar. A large terrace surrounds the pool, and drinks and snacks can be ordered poolside. Amenities include tennis courts, a full spa and sauna, a health and fitness center, and a hammam (Turkish bath). There are 150 air-conditioned rooms and suites, each with a balcony, phone and TV.

Riad Dar Imlil

Riad Dar Imlil is a comfortable guesthouse located in the heart of the Atlas Mountains. Only a five-minute walk to the center of the village of Imlil, this peaceful haven is far removed from the hustle and bustle of Marrakesh. Amenities include a restaurant featuring both international and indigenous cuisine, a hammam (Turkish bath), and a panoramic rooftop terrace with spectacular views of the Atlas Mountains and the surrounding Berber villages.

La Roseraie Resort and Spa

Tucked away in the lime and lemon grove-carpeted foothills of the High Atlas Mountains and surrounded by rose gardens and wild flowers, is the idyllic, family-run La Roseraie. A world away from the stress and strains of the modern world nature lovers, bird-watchers, horseback riders, and those who simply yearn for peace and quiet will find this picturesque retreat a very special place. Forty-five rooms are individually decorated in cottage-style, and there’s a comfortable bar with an open hearth and an acclaimed restaurant. More friendly than sophisticated, the hotel has a good range of facilities, including indoor and outdoor freshwater pools, tennis courts, and a hydrotherapy center. The hotel's own stables offer riding by the hour.

Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa

Reminiscent of a sumptuous Moroccan riad, a classic Moroccan house built around a courtyard, the facade of Le Mediana Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa is decorated in the traditional red of Mogador. Set by the sea, close to the medina, this luxury hotel has 117 rooms, each with a balcony. Amenities include a private beach, two swimming pools, a full service spa offering massage and beauty services, multiple restaurants, and Internet access.

Why Morocco?

Magical kingdom of exotic sights, sounds and cultures
Morocco—a magical kingdom of sights, sounds and cultures is an experience that lasts a lifetime. Your teens will rise to the challenge of “roughing it,”  trekking along narrow mule paths, and visit magical cities where they’ll experience very different cultures through colorful markets, exotic foods and time-honored traditions. This is one of the most rewarding family adventures you will ever experience!
Marrakesh
Known as the “red city,” Marrakesh is the second largest city in Morocco after Casablanca. Founded in 1062 as the capital of the Almoravid dynasty, Marrakesh is a fascinating mix of Arab, African and European influences. The sights and sounds of Djemma el-Fna—the world’s greatest open-air gathering spot, will dazzle your senses. Acrobats, drummers, pipe musicians, dancers, storytellers, and vendors of everything under the Moroccan sun are all part of the lively and eclectic mix that’s sure to enthrall even the most seasoned traveler—especially watching a real snake charmer!
Essaouira
Experience an authentic—and very photogenic—slice of coastal culture in the lively village of Essaouira. Nestled amidst old Berber, French and Portuguese military fortifications, Essaouira is a fishing port that ships its catch all over the world, and you’ll see veiled women greeting their husbands as they return home with their boat-loads of fish.
Warm, welcoming, engaging people and culture
Morocco is the third most populous Arab country, after Egypt and Sudan, and most Moroccans are Sunni Muslims of Arab, Berber, or mixed Arab-Berber descent. In fact, approximately 80% of the world’s Berber population lives in Morocco. As we explore the cities and villages, from mountains to the coast, you’ll discover that this is a richly diverse country whose people love music, dance and fine cuisine. A long history of social traditions, religious and ethnic tolerance, and the longest running monarchy in the world all contribute to the fascinating fabric of this modern-day magical kingdom. You and your family will have the opportunity to meet Moroccans and learn about their ancient cultures and customs in a highly personal way. From visiting with Berber tribesmen and villagers to our terrific local guides, your youngsters and teens will long remember this family vacation for the hospitable warmth of the Moroccan people.
Proximity to Europe
Although Morocco is a North African Arab nation, with 99% of the population being faithful Muslims, it is located just south of Spain and has had a tremendous influence from European countries. Darija, or Moroccan Arabic, a few dialects of Berber, and French are spoken throughout Morocco, and many of its villages are annual tourist locations for French, Spanish, and Portuguese families. It is a fascinatingly exotic nation, but much closer than it would seem, and still with many elements of Western familiarity.
The Hand of Fatima
You’ll fall in love with the hamsa – or “Hand of Fatima” – and what it represents. This symbol is ever-present in Morocco, on jewelry, clothing, walls, souvenirs, and anything else you can imagine. The hamsa is a hand with an eye in the middle; the five fingers represent the five pillars of Islam. It is a symbol of power, strength, and blessings and a perfect demonstration of the gentle, well-wishing Moroccan people. The hand can be depicted in many ways, for different purposes: when the fingers are spread apart, it serves to ward off evil; when they are closed together, the hamsa serves to bring good luck.

Why Morocco with Thomson?

Trek off the beaten path in the Atlas Mountains with your kids
Imagine hiking high in the Atlas Mountains, a 1,500-mile range that stretches across northern Africa through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Rising dramatically in the west along the Atlantic Ocean and extending to the Moroccan-Algerian border, your family will enjoy the amazing beauty, from soaring peaks to herds of goats in fertile fields, and delightful villages where smiles know no borders.
Berber village of Ouirgane
Now that the hard work of hiking is done, it’s time to reward yourself and your kids with stays in luxurious hotels outfitted with a wide range of pampering amenities as we visit peaceful Ouirgane. In this Berber village, enjoy the hospitality of a local couple who treat you to fresh baked bread served with honey and mint tea, a favorite Moroccan snack.
Visit the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakesh
You’ll be inspired by the vivid hues of Majorelle Gardens, designed by expatriate French artist Jacques Majorelle in 1924. A special shade of bold cobalt blue, which he used extensively in the garden and its buildings, is named after him—“Majorelle blue.” Stroll through bamboo groves, banana trees and coconut palms, and try to spot the more than 15 bird species only found in this area of North Africa. The garden also houses the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech, whose collection includes North African textiles as well as ceramics, jewelry, and paintings by Majorelle.
Explore a medersa
Your family will love exploring the phenomenal Moorish architecture—both inside and out —of a medersa, a traditional Moroccan boarding school.
Relax—You’re with Thomson!
From the moment you arrive until the day you depart, our dedicated Thomson team is behind the scenes taking care of every last detail. Our amazing local guides, drivers, and staff are there to ensure your family’s safety and comfort every step of the way. Your only job is to show up and have a great family vacation!
Wonderful guides
There are so many tremendous experiences to be had in Morocco, and our highly capable guides will see to it that your family gets the most out of all of them. Take a family tour through colorful walled medinas with complete confidence that you’re seeing all there is to see and that you’re totally safe. Hike through the Atlas Mountains, knowing that you’re being exposed to all the best scenery and going to all the best spots. Traveling with our guides, you can be assured that everything will be just right, and your family won’t miss out on anything Morocco has to offer.
a map of Morocco Family Trek