- Visit the remarkable Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
- Ride camels across beaches and donkeys in kasbahs
- Visit the famous film set town of Ouarzazate
- Enjoy a foodie tour and family cookery class in Marrakesh
|Day 1||Arrive in Casablanca||Casablanca|
|Day 2||Transfer to Essaouira||Essaouira|
|Day 3||Relax & Explore in Essaouira||Essaouira|
|Day 4||Camel Riding Adventure, Seafood & Sunsets||Essaouira|
|Day 5||Transfer to Agadir||Agadir|
|Day 6||Explore Souss Massa National Park||Agadir|
|Day 7||Transfer to Taroudant, Explore Tiout, Kasbah Donkey Ride||Taroudant|
|Day 8||Transfer to Ouarzazate||Ouarzazate|
|Day 9||Guided Family Tour of Ouarzazate||Ouarzazate|
|Day 10||Visit the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs & the Valley of the Roses||Ouarzazate|
|Day 11||Transfer to Marrakesh||Marrakesh|
|Day 12||Explore Marrakesh, Visit Majorelle Gardens||Marrakesh|
|Day 13||Family Cooking Class at Amal Nonprofit Center, Private Food Tour||Marrakesh|
|Day 14||Depart Marrakesh|
Day 1: Arrive in Casablanca
Welcome to Morocco! This North African country is a colorful blend of Arab, Jewish, and Berber influences, while its proximity to Spain and history of French colonization give it a distinctly European feel. It's also a very family-friendly destination, with its maze of bustling souks, kasbahs, dunes, deserts, and beaches, the perfect foil for inspiring curious minds of all ages.
Upon arrival, you'll be met by a private driver and transferred to your accommodation in Casablanca. On the Atlantic coast, Morocco's economic capital is dominated by the towering Hassan II Mosque—its stunning 690-foot (210 m) minaret is the tallest in the world. Settle into your accommodation and then head out to explore.
Day 2: Transfer to Essaouira
Make an early start this morning, so you don't miss the opportunity to tour the Hassan II Mosque. The world's fifth-largest Muslim place of worship, it's one of the rare mosques open to non-Muslims, with tours offered in the morning. Admire the elaborate decoration in the prayer hall, where you'll find intricate patterns and designs in cedar wood and pink granite, painstakingly created by a team of over 6,000 master craftspeople.
Afterward, grab some snacks and pastries for the journey as your driver transfers you to the beautifully chilled-out seaside town of Essaouira. Check in to your accommodation for a quick refresh before heading out with the kids to explore. Your first stop should be the Skala de la Kasbah, the city's 18th-century seafront ramparts. Old brass cannons line the walls, and it's a terrific place to enjoy unparalleled views across the Atlantic and for little ones to unleash their inner pirate.
The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure. Head to the UNESCO-listed medina before making your way to the windswept beach, where the kids can play to their heart's content. Essaouira has some superb dining options, so in the evening, head to one of the many restaurants (children are warmly welcomed everywhere) and dine on freshly caught seafood before returning to the ramparts and enjoying a sundowner as you watch the sunset.
Day 3: Relax & Explore in Essaouira
Wake to the sound of the sea and the gulls, and enjoy a delicious morning feast of fresh fruits, pastries, and yogurts before heading out with the kids to explore Essaouira and the local beaches. Take the kids on a guided treasure hunt where, armed with a parchment of eight riddles, a map of the medina, and a logbook, they'll uncover the town's historical past—pirates feature heavily!
Afterward, you have several options. Either spend the day at Essaouira's main beach, where you'll find all the usual watersports, beachfront bars, and plenty of child-friendly activities. Venture farther afield to the beach of Cap Sim, located south of Essaouira, and you'll be rewarded with 12 miles (20 km) of beautiful dunes. Take a picnic, hike the dunes, or relax and watch the windsurfers. Alternatively, your driver will take you to the remote beach of Diabat, where the kids can have a blast exploring the ruins of the 18th-century Borj el Baroud Castle.
Day 4: Camel Riding Adventure, Seafood & Sunsets
It's almost impossible to spend time in Essaouira without seeing the colorfully adorned camels along the beach. If the kids haven't already been clamoring for their camel ride, today's their opportunity! On this morning's two-hour guided camel trek, you and your family will ride across beaches, dunes, and forests as you take in the beautiful scenery and magnificent views of the Atlantic coast while getting to know these serene and gentle animals.
Day 5: Transfer to Agadir
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Take one last stroll along the beach in Essaouira this morning before transferring to Agadir. A laidback modern city almost entirely rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1960, Agadir has since emerged as a remarkable modern metropolis. As you tour the coastal road, discover windswept fishing villages and lush valleys nestled in the Lower Atlas mountains. It's a four-hour drive with plenty of stops to stretch the legs, grab refreshments and capture the view. Check into your accommodation and make the most of the vast sandy beach.
After playing on the sand with the kids, stroll along the promenade, treat the kids to ice cream, and browse the buzzy marina, filled with restaurants and boutiques. Afterward, you have several options. Continue the relaxed vibe by the seafront, enjoy a casual dinner, or head to the kasbah, a series of 16th-century fortifications on a hill atop the city, for the ultimate view of the sunset over the Atlantic.
Day 6: Explore Souss Massa National Park
There are no time pressures today, and your excursion to the beautiful Souss Massa National Park is an easy 30-minute drive away. Either head to the waterfront for a second breakfast (breakfasts in Morocco are fresh, varied, and delicious!) or pack a picnic and waste no time exploring the park's 131 square miles (338 sq km). With plenty of sandy beaches, dunes, forests, and wetlands to discover, the park is perfect for kids of all ages to let loose. Keep your eyes peeled for the native pink flamingoes, Audouin's gulls, and the rare and endangered northern bald ibis.
After you've spent time exploring the park's highlights, including the Sidi Rbat Beach, Massa Valley, and Youssef Ibn Tachfin Reservoir, head back to Agadir, making sure to stop at the old walled market town of Tiznit. Known throughout Morocco for its gold, especially silver handicrafts, visit the souk, where you'll find one of the county's best selections of Berber jewelry. Afterward, head back to Agadir and toast your holiday adventures at one of the restaurants on the marina.
Day 7: Transfer to Taroudant, Explore Tiout, Kasbah Donkey Ride
Wave goodbye to Agadir today and transfer to Taroudant, the former capital of Souss and 16th-century capital of the Saadian Empire, nicknamed "Little Marrakesh" due to its lively souks and similar ramparts. Stop to enjoy the views of the walled medina backed by the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas mountains before exploring the souks and discovering the town's well-preserved ancient architecture.
Next, hop back in the car and continue to Tiout, a small Berber village famous for its kasbah ("Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" was filmed here) and palm-filled oasis. Enjoy a traditional tajine and couscous lunch at the top of the kasbah and admire the terrific views across the palm groves and surrounding countryside. There's a treat in store for the kids this afternoon as you meet the local donkeys and take a guided donkey ride around the village. Afterward, head back to Taroudant, where you'll overnight.
Day 8: Transfer to Ouarzazate
It's on to the next leg of your family adventure as you leave behind Taroudant and embark on a scenic 4.5-hour journey to Ouarzazate, known as the "Gateway to the Sahara." Your driver will stop at the little towns of Taliouine (Morocco's saffron capital) and Taznakht (the country's carpet capital) for refreshments and a stretch of the legs along the way.
Arrive at the city, and if you feel like you're entering a film set, your hunch is correct. Movies including "Black Hawk Down," "Lawrence of Arabia," "American Sniper," "Gladiator," and "Game of Thrones" were all filmed here. Drop your bags off at your accommodation and get your bearings with a stroll around the 19th-century kasbah. You'll be spoilt for choice with places to dine this evening, from local, family-run restaurants, to french inspired, fine dining and international cuisine.
Day 9: Guided Family Tour of Ouarzazate
Enjoy a leisurely wake-up after yesterday's drive and then head out on a guided family tour of the town. Start at the kasbah and make your way to the top, where on a clear day, you can see as far as the red-mud city of Aït Benhaddou, the green Draa Valley, and the rusty Todra Gorge. In keeping with Ouarzazate's famous film location reputation, kids will have plenty of fun running around as extras in their own movies as you explore the keyhole archways and maze of stairwells that lead to the top floor of the kasbah.
Wander through the old town, visit the Mellah (Jewish quarter), and stroll through the souks to pick up babouche (flat Moroccan slippers made of leather in many colors), ceramics, and jewelry, and watch the artisan rug makers at work. Next up after lunch is a movie set tour. Learn about films produced in the region as you tour the Atlas Film Studios, and get an up-close look at props and sets from recent blockbusters. Afterward, spend the day exploring the desert plains or rest and recharge before tomorrow's adventures.
Day 10: Visit the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs & the Valley of the Roses
It's an early start this morning as you meet your driver and prepare for an unforgettable journey deep into the Atlas mountains. Pass through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, named for the numerous defense fortresses that have fallen into disrepair, and travel through small towns as you catch glimpses of the traditional farming methods still in use. As you approach Boulmane Dades, encourage the kids to keep their eyes peeled for the many nomads in the area, tending to their animals.
Day 11: Transfer to Marrakesh
It's your final morning in Ouarzazate, and today you'll swap the desert for the lively vibrancy of Marrakesh. After breakfast, meet your driver and wind up the desert slopes through the Tizi n'Tichka Pass. As you near the top, stop to enjoy the panoramic mountain views and the plains of Marrakesh below. Journey through deep valleys and abundant almond and walnut orchards as you slowly approach the city. Your driver will drop you at your accommodation.
When you're ready, rally the kids and head out to explore. Your first stop is the city center, where you'll find Jemaa el-Fna square, the beating heart of Marrakesh. This lively spot is perfect for kids, with plenty of live entertainment, including musicians, jugglers, and a vast array of local vendors and food carts. Head to one of the rooftop cafés, enjoy a glass of mint tea, and soak up the atmosphere.
Day 12: Explore Marrakesh, Visit Majorelle Gardens
Enjoy breakfast on your sun-filled terrace this morning before embarking on a day exploring the sights and sounds of Marrakesh with the kids. This morning's activity offers the perfect way for little ones to uncover the city's gems through a guided tour and interactive treasure hunt. Discover the beautiful architecture of the Ben Youssef Madrasa, stroll through the colorful souks, and hear about local traditions as the surroundings spark the kids' imagination and they discover this fascinating and welcoming city.
Stop for a cool drink and a bite to eat in the old town before heading to the Majorelle Gardens. Designed by the french artist Jacques Majorelle and owned by Yves Saint Laurent, the 2-acre (1 ha) grounds burst with color. Set the kids off in search of the giant water lilies and lotus flowers as you stroll among the bamboo and cacti and listen to the sounds of some 15 bird species native to North Africa.
The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. Enjoy some downtime in your riad, take a dip in the plunge pool, or head back to Jemaa el-Fna. As the sun starts to set, the square comes alive with snake charmers, storytellers, and fragrant food stalls. Watch the sunset from one of the child-friendly cafés as you and the kids listen out for the evocative sounds of the evening call to prayer. Then, head to the medina for a delicious meal before turning in for the night.
Day 13: Family Cooking Class at Amal Nonprofit Center, Private Food Tour
Enjoy a slow wake-up this morning but don't dally too long, as you have a full day of fun activities. First up is a visit to the Amal Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering disadvantaged women through restaurant training and job placement. Discover the unique flavors of Moroccan cuisine as you and the kids take part in a child-focused culinary workshop. Little ones will love challenging their parents to guess an array of spices blindfold!
If the delicious smells generate hunger pangs, the center's chefs will show you and the kids how to make a sumptuous traditional tajine with flatbreads. While the tajines are slowly cooking over the fire, hear about the NGO's work and success stories in empowering the women who train there, to go on and thrive in the workplace.
Day 14: Depart Marrakesh
It's time to bid farewell to Morocco. With hearts full of adventures and memories to last a lifetime, your driver will transfer you to the airport in Marrakesh for your onward flight. Safe travels!
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