17 Day Morocco Craft & Culture

Women Only

Max group 12

Lifetime Deposit

Morocco. The Land of Mint Tea. If ever there were a more perfect place to stimulate your creativity – this is it! 

Experience Morocco as only a woman can by bonding with your fellow Patchies over both henna and hammam, in true Moroccan style. Cook classic dishes, like couscous and tagine, and learn from artisan virtuosos how to weave, dye, and make jewellery the traditional way. 

Your hands and feet will be busy by day, creating and unfurling the coil of medinas, but by night you’ll be sleeping in historic kasbahs, riads and luxury desert camps. From the ochre earth and sands of the desert to the milky blues of Chefchaouen, every single day will be a celebration of your inner creative.

You’ll visit famous sites like the Ksar of Aït Ben Haddou, along with hidden gems like the oasis village of Aït Bouguemez and ride into the Sahara Desert by camel – witnessing the night sky studded with twinkling stars from the peak of a giant sand dune.

Did we mention that there will be gallons of mint tea to fuel all your adventures? You’ll come back with bags packed full of handmade souvenirs to show for it by the end of your trip, so come on – let’s go crafting in Morocco!

Highlights

Populate your personal journal with your Moroccan-made memories

Explore the Marrakech Medina and lunch at a Women’s Support Restaurant

Follow Morocco’s Wool Story - from sheep to loom

Overnight in a Luxury Desert Camp

From CousCous to Pastries - learn to cook the best Moroccan food

Wander the blue alleyways of Chefchaouen

Trip Details

Price

$8,950 AUD (twin share per person)

  • $1,900 deposit.
  • 2 week cooling off period applies.
  • Lifetime Deposit. If you need to cancel, your deposit is transferable to other trips.
  • Twin Share: we’ll match you with a roomie if you’re travelling solo.
  • Private supplement available: $1,997 AUD, max 4 spots
    Please refer to our payment terms in the FAQs.

 


Trip length

17 days, 16 nights


Dates

Starts: Marrakech, 6 October 2024

Finishes: Casablanca, 22 October2024


Meeting point

Riad Adore, Marrakech


Ending point

Golden Star Hotel, Casablanca


Group size

Maximum 12 — guaranteed departure


Participation requirements

Please see our “Is this trip right for you?” section to see the participation requirements.


Included

  • Meals: 16 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 16 dinners
  • Private vehicle transportation
  • 15 nights boutique accommodation
  • 1 night comfortable desert camp
  • A top-rated and English-speaking Tour Leader
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All listed activities and more!

Not included

  • International Flights and travel insurance (necessary)
  • Visa – Australians and New Zealanders do not require a visa to travel to Morocco. 
  • Additional hotel nights & late checkouts
  • Drinks and other other personal expenses
  • Tip kitty – See FAQs for more information

Our accommodation

All of our accommodations have a focus on character, with many memorable stops along the way. We are looking at mostly 4 star accommodation, in Historic Riads or Kasbahs for the majority of the trip.

What our Morocco Patchies say


Click the tabs to find out more
Day 1: Welcome to Morocco!

Welcome to Morocco! Spend your first day shaking hands with the city of Marrakech. It might be difficult to pull yourself away from your  (very) beautiful riad, but it’s time to take to the medina streets for your first taste of Morocco! You’ll spend the evening getting to know your fellow Patchies over dinner. Soon you’ll be crafting your way through this colourful country together.

Accommodation: Riad Adore or similar
Included: Dinner

Day 2: Explore Marrakech

Dive right into Moroccan culture today with a language lesson. Two languages prevail in this desert country, Arabic and Amazigh, with some French sprinkled in too! This class will focus on Arabic and set the tone for your trip, allowing you to make connections you might not otherwise have the chance to. 

A ladies luncheon is on today with Amal, an organisation that is wholeheartedly dedicated to empowering women. 100% of the proceeds of this restaurant go into training these lovely local ladies, and fuel new projects like an upcoming Sign Language Cafe. The afternoon will be dedicated to learning about Marrakech through museums. The Majorelle Gardens, with their signature shade of blue, and an afternoon sip on the veranda of the Women’s Museum are on the docket. Take to the medina tonight to try out some of the words you learned today and watch the locals light up in appreciation! 

Accommodation: Riad Adore or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 3: Traditional Hammam

It’s day three and you’re headed to an authentic hammam. Attending these bathhouses is a weekly ritual for Moroccan women and a rite of passage for female visitors. (There’s no bond like the one formed in this inner sanctum of steam!) If you’re a bit shy about stripping down, don’t fret! A private spa can also be arranged.

You’ll emerge from the hammam refreshed – and maybe a bit hungry too. Thank goodness we’ve arranged for a Moroccan pastry class – your first class of this trip – with a pro, Samira. She’ll teach you how to create traditional baked goods like corne de gazelle and batbout, a breakfast staple that adorns every Moroccan table. Then, get ready to use your hands in a different way in a henna class.

You’ll learn about henna and its cultural importance as you make henna paste from scratch and decorate your hands – an adornment that will fade with each day of the trip. The grand finale of your last day in Marrakech is a woman-led food tour.

Accommodation: Riad Adore or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Who are the Amazigh?

You’ll hear the phrase Amazigh tossed around a lot in Morocco. Is it a language? A people? It can be difficult to decipher. Amazigh is another name for Berber, and in fact the more accurate term. It refers to both a language and a people. The Amazigh are the original inhabitants of Morocco, long before the Muslim conquest of the country in the 7th century. You’ll probably be surprised to know that most Moroccans speak a mixture of both Arabic and Amazigh, especially if you’re travelling outside the major city centres. Practise some Amazigh words like azul, the word for hello, and you’re sure to delight locals and melt barriers, licketysplit.

Day 4: The High Atlas Mountains

Wave goodbye out your window to the Red City today. It’s time to head into the High Atlas! The drive is just shy of four hours, the perfect amount of time to watch the landscape meld into hues of lime and dark forest greens. Yes, that’s snow in the distance! As you climb higher into the mountains you’ll pass earthen Amazigh villages, tiny honeycombs in the shadow of the imposing Mount Toubkal. Suddenly, you’ll see it in the distance – an emerald city of terraced fields. This is Ait Bougoumez. 

You’ll have time to rest before cooking your own dinner of traditional tagine this evening. 

Accommodation: Toúda Lodge or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 5: Atlas Wool Supply Co.You’ve got one full day in the Atlas Mountains, so let’s enjoy it.

Kick off the day at the Atlas Wool Supply Co. who aren’t just raising and shearing sheep, they’re completely changing the way animal agriculture affects the entire country. As the suppliers to the Anou women’s cooperatives, the sheep have an even greater role to play in the local economy. You’ll dig deeper into the process by learning how to card, spin, and naturally dye the wool from the experts.

Then it’s a choose your own adventure this afternoon! Option 1: Hike deeper into the High Atlas Mountains to reveal shepherds tending their flocks and have the chance to be welcomed into a Berber home. Option 2:  visit the local Association of Woodworkers to carve your very own souvenir from sustainably collected wood. You can choose depending on how you feel on the day..

Accommodation: Toúda Lodge or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 6: UNESCO Heritage of Aït Ben Haddou

It’s over five hours by road today as you descend from the High Atlas. Those that pay attention to what’s going on outside the bus will see women with their scythes, donkeys, and men sipping mint tea with the epic backdrop of jagged summits. Once again the greenery will give way to dust before you catch a glimpse of the saffron city of Ait Ben Haddou. 

Sure this area can be a bit touristy – when you’re a UNESCO World Heritage site it’s hard not to be – but we promise that it’s a worthwhile stop. You’ll have the chance to walk through the city’s ancient maze of alleyways or enjoy tea by the riverside. Not long ago, locals still lived within its walls but most have moved nearby in favour of electricity and running water. Take the afternoon to relax at the riad with a dip in its refreshing pool.

Accommodation: Caravane or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 7: Women’s Wool Collective

Afous Gafous. 

If you Google this name, you’ll find very little information about this little gem which is where it’s time to enjoy another class.

A women’s wool collective lives here, spinning, weaving, and dying their fibres. Take the opportunity to get to know these female artisans over tea and snacks, absorbing their crafting wisdom, before jumping in yourself! You’ll learn their methods first-hand, including spinning and dyeing the wool. This small taste of fibre art will come in handy later on in the trip!

Did you know that Morocco is a popular film destination? You’ll pass through the heart of Moroccan Hollywood today in Ouarzazate. Admire it from afar because you’re on to a real-deal kasbah in the date palm oasis of Tamnougalt (a real oasis!) and even better, you’ll be sleeping here tonight!  

Accommodation: Kasbah Itraine or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 8: Tamnougalt – Crafts and Cooking

You might be wistful this morning – not wanting to pull yourself away from the mud-brick Kasbah. We don’t blame you, which is why the crafts are coming to you! Take to the terrace and its views of the date palms to learn about Amazigh symbols, carving them into wood and learning to write your name. 

Couscous is a must on Fridays in Morocco and in the second class of the day, you’ll learn how to make this staple with some local women. The Amazigh have been cultivating and eating this grain for thousands of years and here you are boiling up your own pot. 

Take some free time this afternoon to soak up the scenery at the Kasbah, take a dip in the pool, or to explore the town’s gardens and ruins. You might even be invited into a local home for tea! Later we have a secret activity in store. 

Accommodation: Kasbah Itrane or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 9: Merzouga 

Today is already the halfway point of the trip! What better way to celebrate than a picnic on your way to the Moroccan Desert. You’ll sit beneath a grandmother acacia tree, enjoying the glow of your wonderful time so far. If you’re lucky you might catch your first glimpse of camels lumbering in the distance. Take the rest of the road trip to reflect on the past 9 days, because the adventures are just getting started! You’re about to spend the next two nights beneath the wide-open night skies of the desert. 

Accommodation: Riad Serai or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 10: Desert 4X4 Adventure

Pinch yourself.

You’re waking up on the edge of the Moroccan Desert! 

A full day today!

Jump into 4×4’s for a full desert immersion but the highlights are to come – with two classes that you won’t forget in a hurry. 

The first class is for the foodies: learn how to make nomad pizza. Stand elbow to elbow with your new friends and learn to make this delicious concoction that’s baked in a traditional oven. 

Then, get ready for your next class: Amazigh drumming! The rhythmic sound will take you back hundreds of years. 

And as if it couldn’t get any better, you’ll roll into a luxury Desert Camp at the end of the day.

Accommodation: Dunes Luxury Camp or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 11: Lake Aguelmame

Wake up this morning for one last sunrise in the Moroccan Desert before you head out – it’s a road trip today with a long (5+ hours) drive by the town of Midelt, before resting along the shores of Lake Aguelmame Sidi Ali. The landscape will stiffen from desert to mountain as you travel through the Ziz Valley. Scan the hillsides, dotted with grazing sheep and goats, to spot their shepherd caretakers. 

It’s been a long few days of activities and adventures. Take this afternoon and evening to rest in the peaceful, lakeside atmosphere of your hotel – this is a really special one. You’ll be scratching your head at how you woke among the dunes this morning and are sleeping among the cedars tonight.

Accommodation: Hotel Xaluca Spa or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

 Sipping the Berber Whiskey

Moroccans rarely pass up the opportunity to sip mint tea and you’ll be offered it any time you meet locals. Affectionately referred to as Berber Whiskey, this frothy drink makes up for its lack of alcohol with plenty of caffeine! Perhaps the great equaliser in Morocco, everyone drinks mint tea and it’s always a social event. Made from a concoction of gunpowder green tea, spearmint leaves, and sugar, the tea is brewed in a traditional metal tea pot before being poured from great heights to ensure its bubbly consistency. Being served mint tea is a symbol of both friendship and hospitality. You’ll likely be offered it multiple times a day. When in Morocco!

Day 12: Welcome to Fes!

It’s another bit of a drive to the city of Khenifra today for a jewellery-making class where you’ll learn to create traditional button jewellery used to decorate jellabas – traditional Moroccan dresses. After a morning of stimulating your creative side, relax on your journey to Fes. Small towns, punctuated with minarets that are crowned with heaving stork nests will pass by every so often. 

Your first glimpses of Fes will be from an overlook where you’ll see the city surrounded by the rolling hills of the Middle Atlas. Fes will be a stark contrast to the desert outposts and quiet mountain towns you’ve been in for the last week or so. Take a breath and embrace the rough and tumble streets with donkey carts, piles of fragrant spices, and sellers loudly hawking their wares.  Settle in – this is home for two nights. 

Accommodation: Riad Sara or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 13: Loom Weaving

Remember the wool collective you visited in Ait Bouguemez? Your skills are going to come in handy today.

Morocco is famous for its kaleidoscope rugs and carpets and right here, you’ll be creating your own! Head into the Fes Medina to Anou, an artisan rug shop that teaches curious travellers how to weave. Grab your individual loom and form a circle of creativity among the colourful textiles that drape the walls – the perfect inspiration.

Float away on Cloud 9 this afternoon, chuffed by your newfound skills and handmade souvenir. It’s time to dig your heels into this imperial city and discover its most famous sites on a tour of Fes. 

Accommodation: Riad Sara or similar
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 14: The Blue City of Chefchaouen

Have you ever heard of the Blue City? That’s where you’re driving today on a 3-4 hour trip from Fes. Make sure your camera is ready when you arrive, because when people call it the blue city, they’re not joking – the city’s alleyways offer photo opportunities around every corner. 

After check-in, we also wouldn’t blame you if you’re ready to hole up in your riad and just admire your new surroundings.

Accommodation: Riad Cherifa or similar
Included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 15: Explore Chefchaouen

You’re free to explore Chefchaouen on your own today. 

We recommend exploring the medina. This is one of the most calm and quiet medinas in Morocco and a great chance to relax a bit while you’re perusing. If it happens to be market day, you’ll have a rare opportunity to admire the unique Amazigh style of clothing that many women wear in this area. 

For lunch, seek out one of Chefchaouen’s many rooftop restaurants for beautiful views of the city, some seriously yummy food, and of course, Moroccan mint tea. 

A sunset dinner is the perfect way to end the day. Can you believe that your time in Morocco is coming to a close?

Accommodation: Riad Cherifa or similar
Included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 16: Casablanca

It’s your final full day in Morocco, and it’s a road trip as we head towards Casablanca where most international flights depart. 

You’ll make a pit stop in Rabat along the 4.5-hour drive for lunch and a quick visit to the stately Hassan Tower. Rabat is also known as the Royal City and you’ll soon see why with its large boulevards and impressive buildings. This is where the royal family resides.  

It’s a short final push to your last stop of the trip, Casablanca, where you’ll have the opportunity to make a visit to the Hassan II Mosque.

Gather together with the gals one last time this evening to reminisce on your trip, where you’ve crafted your way through this magical country.

Accommodation: Golden Star or similar
Included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 17: Farewell Friends

How is it already time to say your farewells? Exchange contact info with your fellow Patchies and hug goodbye. There’s no doubt you’ll be bringing unique crafts to life once you’re back home, inspired by your adventures through Morocco.

Included: Breakfast

The Essential Info

Moroccan culture is very inviting! Each person you encounter on our tour will be happy to meet you and enjoy your company.

Please know that we’ll do everything we can to provide an amazing trip, but if you’re having issues of any sort, please let your group leader know as soon as possible.

Currency

The currency of Morocco is the dirham (MAD), divided into 100 centimes. Bank notes come in denominations of MAD 200, 100, 50, and 20. Smaller values are issued as coins in values of 10, 5, 1 as well as 50c, 20c, 10c, and 5c. Changing money is easy! You’ll find banks and exchange bureaux in Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, and in all major airports. Please note that sometimes Australian dollars are not accepted in exchange bureaux or banks, so the safest option is to bring US dollars. In the desert and Atlas Mountains, opportunities to exchange money are limited. There are ATMs in all major cities, which accept Visa, Mastercard, and other credit cards connected with Cirrus. Some ATMs that belong to smaller banks will not work, so occasionally you may need to try two or three before you are successful.

We strongly recommend bringing a combination of cash and credit cards. Credit cards are useful for large purchases such as carpets or gold from a large store, but generally speaking they are not accepted in many places. Local restaurants, markets, and many hotels will only accept cash as payment for goods or services. Please ensure you only use banks, licensed money exchangers, or hotels to change currency. We also suggest that you keep your receipts. Do not change money with street touts as this is illegal.

Prices in Morocco

Morocco is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, due in large part to the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, roadside stalls, and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist-friendly restaurants, you can expect to pay much more. With drinks, tipping, and of course shopping, it can all add up. Budgets are a personal choice, but please bear in mind that you should not expect Morocco to be a budget destination.

Bargaining

In Morocco, some services and products are not a fixed price, which means that your bartering skills will be tested, from hiring taxis to buying a souvenir in the medinas. This can be challenging for travellers who have not experienced this before. Ask your leaders for advice when you arrive! We find that the best approach is to smile and have fun, as this is an entrenched part of Moroccan culture.

Emergency Funds

Please make sure you have access to an additional $500 to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g., a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action, or an outbreak of avian flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.

Your tour includes breakfast each day and several other meals as indicated in the itinerary. You will therefore need additional funds to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. Credit cards are accepted in most goods shops and restaurants, though smaller outlets will generally only take local currency.

Shopping is a personal thing that varies enormously. On average, people spend between 25-50 euro on knick-knacks, ceramics, and other souvenirs. If you plan on purchasing a carpet, prices can be anything from 100-500 euro or more.

You should carry sufficient funds for shopping and any additional sightseeing/optional activities you may wish to undertake. You will find a suggested list (with approximate costs) in your trip notes.

Clothing & Footwear

Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place, and also depending on the time of year. Morocco is a dry country, but rain is possible anywhere – please come prepared for this eventuality. Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.

Please also bring appropriate footwear for your trip and remember that we’ll be engaging in multiple walking tours and hiking activities. Bring comfortable shoes that support your feet/ankles. Your body will thank you!

Climate and Seasonal Information

Being an arid country, Morocco can have a lot of variation in its weather conditions. The nighttime in winter (November through March) can be quite cold, with temperatures dropping to 5 degrees or less overnight. This is especially the case in mountainous or desert regions.

Summer can be very hot everywhere we go, and it can get quite uncomfortable. You’ll need to come prepared for this, remembering the cultural standards of dress in Morocco. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and a hat!

Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to the payment of your full balance, the final price may change if there is significant variation in the AUD:USD exchange rate. Our trip pricing is determined by what the exchange rates are at the time of publishing the trip.

The pricing on these trips is based on the following exchange rates:

1 AUD : 0.63 uSD

A deposit of $1,750 is required to hold your spot. Payment can be made by credit card (fees apply) or bank deposit.

There is a cooling-off period of 2 weeks.

We have implemented a ‘lifetime deposit’ guarantee. Deposits are not refundable, but they are transferable at any time, right up until the first day of the trip.

The final balance of the trip is required 95 days in advance of the departure date. Our suppliers require upfront payment well in advance to guarantee availability.

Please refer to the full terms and conditions for further information.

This is the most frequently asked question we get!

Nearly everyone is in their 50s and 60s, with some people above and below (but of course, everyone is welcome!)

Most Patchies come alone and are matched with a room-mate. Remember, you don’t need to pay for a single supplement if you come solo. We will place you with a similarly-aged roommate.

The typical Patchie has travelled a LOT, is a well-seasoned adventurer, and is not easily thrown by small things. However, many Patchies tell us that this is their first ever group tour. Many of our guests have avoided tours to this point as they’re not attracted to being herded around in large groups.

Oh, and one last thing:

Patchies are warm, generous, and kind. We knew it would be like this, but we weren’t expecting it to be *quite* like this. We’re so blessed as a business to have the customers we do; we consider ourselves to be some of the luckiest people in the world.

Morocco is a conservative country, so we recommend you dress reasonably conservatively – that is, cover your shoulders and knees. That being said, Morocco receives many visitors, and the locals have a relaxed attitude when it comes to visitors and tourism in general.

Most flights from Australian and New Zealand cities to Marrakech and from Casablanca are 2 stops via Asia, Europe, or Qatar and Emirates.

We recommend being prepared to spend the equivalent of around 500 euro. It’s possible to spend ​less, but you’ll most likely find yourself buying souvenirs, gifts, or treats. Bank cards are generally usable in Morocco, and ATMs are generally, but not always, available. It is better to change your money on arrival, or you can simply make withdrawals at ATMs before heading into areas with less coverage.

Level 1 or Easy

So long as you have a general level of health and fitness, you’ll be fine. There will be days where you’ll be walking and spending a lot of time on your feet. Daily activities may include city walks and getting on and off various forms of transport. Some Moroccan towns are hilly, so you will need to be able to scale several flights of stairs. Some showers in hotel bathrooms may be over-the-bath. Also, from time to time, you must be OK with using a squat toilet – we do our best to accommodate what you’re used to (all hotel rooms have sit-down toilets) but when you’re on the road, sometimes it’s the only choice available.

All activities are optional, meaning that if you don’t feel like it, you can skip it but it will be impossible to enjoy your trip if you’re not able to do a walking tour for a full afternoon. Unfortunately, this tour cannot accommodate people requiring walking aids.

 

Most of our trips have a tip kitty because many cultures have interesting and diverse rules when it comes to tips. We’ve found it to be the easiest way to combat over-tipping, under-tipping or having the tip fall into the wrong hands. Our goal is for guests to relax and know that the complexities of tipping are taken care of, on their behalf.

For your Moroccan adventure, we ask your contribution be: 1100 Moroccan Dirham ($100 USD) and given to your guide on Day 1.

The kitty will be managed by your guide and distributed along the way at restaurants for included meals, hotel staff and other providers.

What is not covered is a customary tip at the end of the trip for your guide and driver. If they’ve ensured that your trip is memorable, we recommend the following guidelines:

Guide: 500 to 800 Moroccan Dirham
Driver: 300 to 600 Moroccan Dirham 

(Exchange Rate used – 1 USD : 10.00 Moroccan Dirham)

In the unlikely event of a health or security related incident during a trip, we’ve engaged a local partner to assist. From our experience, there is not one framework that fits all, and every incident is unique and requires a different approach. With all trips, your guides are your day-to-day support. While behind the scenes, there is an active line of communication – between your guide, the on-ground support team, and Australian Ops.

 

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