- Admire the lavish interior of Morocco's largest mosque, the Hassan II
- Embark on a swashbuckling treasure hunt in seaside Essaouira
- Join a family-oriented cooking class in Marrakesh
- Ride a camel and sleep under the stars in the Agafay Desert
|Day 1||Arrive in Casablanca, Seaside Stroll||Casablanca|
|Day 2||Guided Tour of Casablanca & Hassan II Mosque||Casablanca|
|Day 3||Transfer to Essaouira, Family-Friendly Sightseeing||Essaouira|
|Day 4||Treasure Hunt Activity, Afternoon Picnic & Beach Time||Essaouira|
|Day 5||Horseback Riding on the Beach||Essaouira|
|Day 6||Transfer to Marrakesh, Dinner with a Local Family||Marrakesh|
|Day 7||Marrakesh for Kids, Biking Tour to Jardin Majorelle||Marrakesh|
|Day 8||Family Cooking Class, Visit Anima Garden||Marrakesh|
|Day 9||Transfer to the Agafay Desert, Camel Ride & Camping||Agafay|
|Day 10||Return to Marrakesh, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Casablanca, Seaside Stroll
Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival at the airport in Casablanca, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Along the way, they'll be happy to share local recommendations and tips to make the most of your family vacation in Morocco.
After you and your kids have had a chance to settle into your room and rest, take a relaxing trip down to the palm-lined Corniche de Casablanca for a stroll along the water's edge. For something more active, the kids might want to head to one of the nearby beach clubs for a swim to refresh after the long flight. Take it easy this evening with an early dinner, and rest up for the start of your adventures tomorrow.
Day 2: Guided Tour of Casablanca & Hassan II Mosque
Get to know Casablanca better today with a guided tour that will appeal to the whole family. Your driver will take you to a range of sites where you and your kids can learn about the city's history, admire the sights and sounds, and burn off some energy. Stroll through the old souk (market) and enjoy a delicious pastry on the terrace while sipping mint tea.
Check out the long sandy beach in the Ain Diab district, and visit the New Medina (or Quartier Habous), established in the 1930s by the French and full of charming streets and Art Deco architecture. Don't miss the airy Mohamed V Square, full of tall palm trees and French colonial architecture, or Rick's Café, immortalized in the legendary film, "Casablanca." End at the Notre Dame Church, a striking example of European modernism built in 1956.
Later, take a guided tour of Casablanca's Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in Morocco and the second-largest in the world. Open to non-Muslims (which is uncommon in Morocco), this is a great opportunity for non-Muslim families to learn more about local culture and beliefs firsthand. Be amazed by the lavish interior, full of beautiful green hues and mosaic tiles, blending wood, marble, and carved stone with arched and ornamented ceilings. After a busy day of sightseeing, your family will enjoy hanging out here peacefully for a while, admiring your surroundings.
Day 3: Transfer to Essaouira, Family-Friendly Sightseeing
Transfer southwest along the coast today to Essaouira, a city around a four-hour drive from Casablanca. After dropping your bags off at your hotel, start exploring the city with the help of a local guide. Hear stories from its long history, touched by many cultures, including Berbers, Phoenicians, Romans, and Portuguese, who built its fortress and ramparts in 1506. The medina's wide, bright streets cover 75 acres (30 ha) and are a fun place to wander and enjoy the souks, street vendors, leafy plazas, and whitewashed houses with ornate wooden doors.Eventually, these streets lead to the city's central square, Mulay El-Hassan Square, lined with restaurants and hotels. Nearby is the harbor, where you can watch fishermen make fishing boats by hand, mend nets, and bait fishing lines. Imaginative kids will love visiting the 16th-century Portuguese Castelo Real of Mogador and two defensive structures, the Borj El Barmil Tower and the Skala de la Kasbah. Your guide will leave you at the long, sandy beach at the end of the tour, where the kids can run around (and perhaps get an ice cream) while you soak up the sun.
Day 4: Treasure Hunt Activity, Afternoon Picnic & Beach Time
Treat the kids to an adventurous treasure hunt activity today. Designed for families, you'll be guided through Essaouira's medina by a parchment containing eight riddles, a map, and a logbook that includes several cultural points. Kids will love hunting for clues and learning about the city's pirate history while you can see more of the sights along the way. The activity will take two to three hours, but you can go at your own pace to suit your family's needs.After a busy morning, retreat to the beach in the afternoon. The main Essaouira beach can get crowded, so for a more peaceful experience, head to Cap Sim or Diabat, both located a few miles from Essaouira. There aren't many places to eat here, but your driver will provide you with a picnic, which kids will love eating on the beach as they play. Opt for a waterfront camel ride to add some fun into the mix, then enjoy watching the sunset at the end of the day.
Day 5: Horseback Riding on the Beach
This morning is free for you to sleep in, spend a quiet morning at the hotel, or set out to explore more of Essaouira on your own. As afternoon approaches, the animal lovers in your group will be thrilled to learn what's on the schedule—a gentle horseback riding excursion along Essaouira's golden beaches.
After meeting with your guide, the whole family will learn the basics and get acquainted with your trusty steeds (chosen to suit each age and ability). As you trot along Essaouira's long stretch of sand, enjoy the ocean breeze and the smell of the sea. Leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city as your guide leads you to quieter areas. Watch the sun sink into the water, then bid your new friends farewell and seek out one of the sea-fronted restaurants for a relaxed family dinner.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Transfer to Marrakesh, Dinner with a Local Family
Venture inland today to Marrakesh, a journey of about three hours. Along the way, task the kids with spotting goats in argan trees as you travel through the region's rolling plains—the goats love to climb the trees to eat the fruit, and this funny sight is common along today's drive. Upon arrival in Marrakesh, settle into your accommodation and take a stroll through the medina and the lively souks to get acquainted with the city, then head back to your hotel to rest up for this evening's excursion.Morocco sits at the geographical and cultural crossroads of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, creating a mix of cultures and nations expressed in the local gastronomy. And while you can find many great restaurants in Marrakesh, the best food is often found in family homes, with secrets and techniques passed down through generations. Tonight you'll join a local family for dinner in their home, learning the history of various dishes as you chat with your hosts. This experience is an excellent way for kids and adults to better understand Moroccan culture and make some new friends!
Day 7: Marrakesh for Kids, Biking Tour to Jardin Majorelle
There's so much for kids to enjoy in Marrakesh, so help them make the most of it on a family-friendly tour that includes fun games, a treasure hunt, and interactive outdoor activities. Learn about local traditions, admire the exquisite architecture of the Ben Youssef Madrasa and old palaces, walk in an open-air souk, and enjoy some local treats and drinks with the kids.If you're traveling with older kids who have plenty of energy, in the afternoon, you could embark on a cycle tour of Marrakesh and its surroundings. The Jardin Majorelle is a great destination, and you can meander on two wheels through the alleys of the medina along the way. At the garden, refresh in the peaceful setting and be amazed by the colorful architecture of the iconic home located here, designed by Orientalist artist Jacques Marjorelle and owned by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent until his death in 2008.
Day 8: Family Cooking Class, Visit Anima Garden
Kids are often naturally curious in the kitchen and like to help out, so nurture this curiosity today with a cooking class at a local nonprofit center. Discover the distinctive flavors of authentic Moroccan cuisine and learn culinary tips and tricks that you and the kids can replicate later at home. Children will enjoy trying to identify the smell and taste of various ingredients while blindfolded before taking a step-by-step lesson in cooking a traditional chicken tajine. Enjoy eating your family's creations after with a side of freshly-baked flatbread.
Later, make a trip to Austrian artist André Heller's Anima Garden, around 18 miles (30 km) southwest of Marrakesh. You'll feel like you've entered another world at this lush oasis, where art and nature are lovingly intertwined. The greenery of the artistic botanical garden in the otherwise barren landscape around Marrakesh is refreshing, and kids will enjoy exploring and running around the large, landscaped grounds.
Day 9: Transfer to the Agafay Desert, Camel Ride & Camping
Drive south today to the Agafay Desert, sprawling beneath the High Atlas mountains. It's about 90 minutes from Marrakesh, but you won't do the whole journey in one go. Along the way, pass through the town of Tahnaout, where you can stop at an argan oil cooperative. Continue through the city of Asni where, every Saturday, a traditional Berber souk is a center point of local trading and socializing.
Refresh with a glass of mint tea before starting an easy hike to Armed, the largest and highest village in the Imlil Valley. Spend some time with a Berber family as you hike down through the village of Ait Souka, and enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal in the family's guesthouse, where you can see how the locals live as you refuel with a hearty lunch.Then it's time to get back on the road and continue to Agafay, where the kids will be thrilled to learn you're staying tonight in an authentic desert camp. Take a camel ride through the arid plateau at sunset before returning to camp in time for dinner beside a bonfire under the stars. This is a truly special experience amid the quiet of the desert and the perfect way to end your last full day in Morocco.
Day 10: Return to Marrakesh, Depart
Bid the desert farewell this morning as you're transferred back to Marrakesh in good time for your departure. If you have a later flight, you might have time to stop for a last shopping excursion in the souks to grab some souvenirs. Just make sure not to get lost in the lanes! Transfer to the airport and say farewell to Morocco. Bon voyage!