- Back to homepage
An adventurous holiday for active families. Trek in the Atlas mountains, discover ancient kasbahs, camel trek to Troglodyte caves and soak up the atmosphere in Marrakech. Suitable for children aged 8+
This holiday has been designed for families with a sense of adventure, wanting to do something very different on their holiday. It is for active types and has a mixture of trekking, culture, sight seeing and camel trekking. Accommodation is a mixture of boutique riads, comfortable guest houses and basic village gites. Please note that this itinerary is fully customisable.
Your holiday begins with a three day trek in the Atlas Mountains, passing through beautiful valleys and following winding mule tracks to Berber villages. Your baggage will be carried by mules and there will be an additional mule in case one of the children needs a break. The trek is fully catered and you will enjoy generous picnics with stunning views.
From the peaks of the Atlas mountains, you will head to the imperial city of Marrakech. Your time here will almost certainly be spent navigating the souks, visiting some of the cultural highlights and taking in the atmosphere over an ice cream in the main square, which comes alive at night with entertainers, musicians, snake charmers and story tellers.
After the chaos of the ancient medina, you will then head out to the rocky desert to the East of Marrakech. Passing through villages that seem to have stopped in time, you will be based for a week in a beautiful guest house with a pool, set in a lovely valley. From here, you will be able to explore world famous Ait Ben Haddou- a fortified kasbah made from traditional adobe materials. You will also have the chance to go camel trekking to some pre-historic caves. Slightly further afield, you could visit the crumbling Glaoui Kasbah Telouet, complete with intricate carvings and mosaics, the Ouarzazate film studios and the Skoura palmery.
This family activity holiday is a balance between trekking and culture. It is not a children's holiday, rather it has been designed for parents and children who want to have an active holiday to suit a mixture of tastes and interests.
For the trekking, you all need to be relatively fit. You will walk for about 4-5 hours a day, but as well as being accompanied by a guide and a mule to carry your bags, an additional mule will be provided in case one of the children needs to rest their weary legs.
In Marrakech, we recommend splashing out a little on a nice well located riad, as a calm space where you and your children can relax is an invaluable retreat from the buzz and heat of Marrakech. We can of course also recommend cheaper options if you are on a tight budget.
The time in Marrakech is self-guided and the trekking will be just you. However, there may be other people on the camel trek with you.
We have had a brilliant time away, and our Morocco experience was fantastic.
Trek Guide: Rachid. Fantastic 5/5. Very nice young fellow who was very attentive to Sally who was fighting off a bug during the trek, and managed the pace to ensure that she and Lucy finished it. His English was also very reasonable and we were able to communicate fairly well during the two days. (Our command of the Berber language on the other hand is still surprisingly rusty but we managed to get a few expressions under our belt alhumdulillah!). We enjoyed the walk very much but really had no idea what to expect. Given the gradients and altitude, it would have been rated medium at least but probably hard in the Australian bushwalking guides - but I had a chuckle when Rachid said that it was easy! and we do some hard walks here at home. Whilst it's reasonably high at 2500m for people accustomed to living at sea level, the impact was only marginal, though our son Ben did have a headache for most of it. A little more information in your guide about expectations would assist (and I'm thinking here of people like us who weren't travelling to Morocco just to walk). The accommodation was very basic but fine given where we were and what we were up to. It was extremely cold of course but Rachid arranged for some blankets to augment the sleeping bags and we were fine. The sleeping bags were also perfectly fine by the way and looked hardly used - they were just extremely thin, without the blankets they would have been hopeless! The village was an awe inspring glimpse into the past - biblical housing with satellite dishes!
Driver: Yusef. Fine 3/5. Completely different character to Rachid though. It's a challenge for sure to keep the conversation up for six days when your Darija is as rough as ours and the English is not so good - but this is getting picky given where we were.
Dar Hanane - fantastic - probably best of the lot - 5/5. Felt like home. Stuart and Mandy very welcoming and key staff were excellent.
Kasbah bab Ourika - 3/5. Why? Being rated at 5 star and given the tariff, our expectations were of course high. It was very nice, but for the money you might expect a bit more polish or something. It certainly had a feeling of subservience in relation to the staff - having come from Dar Hanane where the staff were all happy and relaxed, Bab Ourika had a comepletely different feel. The food was also very average. Sally says she could cook at the same standard at home!!
Dar Adrar - 4/5 Great. Very neat and tidy - great service - nice homely feel.
Kasbah Ellouze - 4/5. Again very nice. Sally did notice holes and stains on the sheets(!) but overall very nice and great service. It wasn't ask clean as other places.
Dar Sidi Buono (M'Hamid) - 3/5 - a bit tired but again OK for what it is. Nancy was lovely - very engaging and enchanting and service from the staff was OK.
Luxury Desert Camp (erg Chigaga)- 4.5/5. Brilliant concept, very novel accommodation, terrific service. BoBo was brilliant - very interesting and engaging individual who could just about write the text book on marketing and customer service. The food we ate here was about the best we had in Morocco. To produce that kind of fare in a tent kitchen was a miracle although both Ben and Sally ended up with food poisoning following the desert but not sure where it came from. Interesting for you to note this just in case anyone else reports it.
Dar Qamar (Agdz) - 4/5 - just a bit out of the way - so tricky to get back into town without a car. We would have walked if Sally and Ben were feeling better.
Service and Advice from Tourdust:
This was always going to be a challenge given that we couldn't walk into your office to discuss things, but overall I think everything was just fine. We didn't have a hitch and you or Anna were available for a chat when we needed it - we just needed to be organised with the specific questions needing answering.
Mohammed was also very professional and helpful on the ground and was available by phone when needed. He also went out of his way to organise for Ben's fleece top to be collected from Agdz when he had left it at Dar Qamar - very much appreciated.
That's it! We have had an amazing time. We enjoyed the contrasts that Morocco had to offer - it certainly is a collision of the ancient and modern. Apart from mudhouses with satellite dishes, the one thing that struck me was the nomadic Berber, who still pack up and travel with all of their worldly possessions on camels. We saw them when returning from Erg Chigaga - half a dozen camels being led by a gentleman in a jillaba talking on a mobile phone whilst his wife and daughters brought up the rear with the goats. Brilliant.
So, thanks for getting us around Morocco! We enjoyed it immensely and would recommend you to people in Australia trying to organise their trips to Morocco.
Timothy Head reviewing Morocco Family Holiday: Kasbahs, Mountains & Souks