For a trip that allows your family a genuine chance to connect with another culture, this 12-day Moroccan trip is ideal. Starting in Fes, you'll ride, cook, camp, and soar through cities, villages, and deserts, journeying over the Atlas mountains and through the Sahara to Marrakesh. The kid-friendly activities and pace ensure this will be a trip to remember for even the littlest family members.


  • Explore the historic medina of “Africa's Athens”
  • Ride a camel through the desert
  • Surf the sands at Erg Chebbi
  • See the sun rise over Marrakesh from a hot-air balloon

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Fes Fes
Day 2 Explore Fes: Tour of the Medina & Jnan Sbil City Park  Fes
Day 3 Day Trip to Volubilis & Meknes, Mosaic Workshop Fes
Day 4 Transfer to Midelt via the High Atlas Mountains, Fossil Hunt Midelt
Day 5 Transfer to Merzouga via Erfoud, Saharan Camel Ride Merzouga
Day 6 4WD Dunes Tour & Sandboarding  Merzouga
Day 7 Transfer to Skoura via Todra Gorge & Rose Valley Skoura
Day 8 Guided Tour of Skoura & Horseback Riding Skoura
Day 9 Transfer to Marrakesh via Ouarzazate & Aït Benhaddou Marrakesh
Day 10 Explore Marrakesh: Family Treasure Hunt & Gardens Marrakesh
Day 11 Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride & Family Cooking Class  Marrakesh
Day 12 Depart Marrakesh  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Fes

Medina in Fes
Little ones can sample dates and other treats in this historic medina

Welcome to Morocco! Your driver will meet your family at the airport and drive you to your accommodation in Fes. If it's not too late in the day, head out and get to know the city a little. One of Morocco's royal cities, it is bursting at the seams with culture, cuisine, and history. Stroll the streets and get the kids some of its famous orange juice. Take a look at the exterior of the Royal Palace and the historic Jewish quarter. 

If you have a little more time, visit the Borj Nord museum—the kids will be fascinated by the ancient armor and weaponry—or head to Café Clock, a kid-friendly space where you can relax with a coffee while the kids are entertained with Moroccan dance, storytelling, and, for the older kids, even a cooking class. Afterward, head back to your accommodation and rest up for a busy day tomorrow.

Day 2: Explore Fes: Tour of the Medina & Jnan Sbil City Park 

Exploring FEZ with kids
Winding medina streets are perfect for kid-friendly explorations
Spend the day exploring the medina (old town) of one of Morocco's most culturally important cities. Reasonably quiet and authentic compared to others in the country, this medina is great to explore with the kids. Take a guided tour through all the nooks and crannies of the ancient center, from its narrow alleyways to its rooftop heights. The largest urban pedestrian area in the world, you'll meet a vast array of craftsmen, bakers, mosques, foundouk (roadside inns), and tanneries.
When it's time for a break, head to the Jnan Sbil city park. A great shady spot for kids to run around, you can relax with the locals in its beautifully manicured gardens and enjoy the water sculptures and birdlife, right in the middle of this bustling city. Head back to one of the medina's many terraces for a thé à la menthe (mint tea), or ask your driver to recommend you a family-friendly restaurant to sample the city's famous cuisine. 

Day 3: Day Trip to Volubilis & Meknes, Mosaic Workshop

Worker in Fes arranging tiles
Learn the art of making mosaics in Fes
Your family's first stop today is the 2,000-year-old Roman complex, Volubilis, home to incredible UNESCO-listed ruins. Let the kids roam around the area, imagining life in the townhouses—several are surprisingly well-preserved, right down to the mosaics and bathrooms. Marvel at the temples and heating systems, all still visible, as your guide paints a picture of life here in Rome's furthest outpost. Afterward, you'll drive a short distance to Moulay Idriss, one of Morocco's holiest towns and the site of the introduction of Islam. 
Next, your driver will take you to Meknes, a military settlement founded in the 11th century and the capital of Morocco's Alaouite Dynasty. Here is a superb chance to see fine Spanish-Moorish architecture and to show the kids regional handicrafts at the Museum of Moroccan Art. If there's time, take the little ones on a horse-and-carriage tour of the city—it's a good opportunity for them to see an authentic medina that is a little less bustling than some.
In the afternoon, you'll head back to Fes for a hands-on pottery and mosaic workshop, great for the kids. Guided by a local craftsman, your family will learn the art of cutting tiles for the exquisite zellige tilework that you've been seeing around the city. In true Moroccan style, there'll be a break for tea where you can chat with your guide. You'll leave this workshop with a new appreciation for the beautiful artwork around you.

Day 4: Transfer to Midelt via the High Atlas Mountains, Fossil Hunt

Boy fossil hunting
Let the kids hunt for fossils in Midelt

This morning, your driver will take you to your next stop, Midelt. Along the way, you'll travel through the scenic High Atlas mountains, passing the picturesque alpine villages that have earned this area the nickname "Little Switzerland". The hamlet of Ifrane is even built in the style of French-Swiss mountain villages and makes a good stopping point for the kids to stretch their legs.

Plan your trip to Morocco
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
When you get back on the road, you'll climb to an elevation of 7,146 feet (2,178 m) over the Col du Zad Pass to be greeted by stunning views and dense cedar forests—truly another side to Morocco! The kids will enjoy watching out for families of Barbary macaque monkeys, which can be spotted socializing in the trees. As you begin to descend, you'll pass through traditional Berber villages and orchards bordering the nearby Moulouya River.

After settling into your accommodation in Midelt, enjoy lunch and spend some time exploring the town. A great option for the kids is a guided fossil hunt. Midelt is famous for fossils and minerals, and a local guide can show the kids where best to search. They’ll love finding their own mementos of the trip—there's also plenty of opportunity to buy cut and polished ammonites and minerals for yourself.

Day 5:Transfer to Merzouga via Erfoud, Saharan Camel Ride

Midelt to Merzouga via Erfoud with a Saharan Camel Ride
Enjoy a luxury camping experience in the Sahara
Today marks a change in scenery as your family leaves the alpine region and begins its journey through the desert communities of the Sahara on the way to Merzouga. Your driver will start by taking you over the Tizi-n-Talremt Pass and into the Ziz Valley, known for its hidden oases and clusters of palm trees. Keep an eye out for the ksars along the way, communal fortifications built by merchants in earlier times to protect their goods.
Your first stop is Erfoud, a bustling market town famous for its annual Date Festival, fossil mining, and artisan factories. Your driver will take you to visit an artisan collective to see how the fossil-rich rock is transformed into beautiful tables, plates, and bowls. Continuing on your drive,  you'll soon see the sand waves of Erg Chebbi in the distance. The Erg Chebbi is an extensive set of dunes with peaks rising over 650 feet (200 m)—you'll be coming back here tomorrow for a closer look. 
Next up is a highlight of the day—your driver can take a break because you'll reach your accommodation in Merzouga via camel. You and the kids will love the sensation of gliding over the sands on these “ships of the desert.” Arrive at your luxury camp just in time to watch the sunset from the nearest dune. Head back down for dinner by the campfire, and an enchanting evening under the stars listening to traditional Berber music played by locals before retiring to your tents. 

Day 6: 4WD Dunes Tour & Sandboarding 

The kids will love the thrill of sandboarding

Begin the day by heading back to Erg Chebbi for a 4WD tour. You'll drive through the desert to Gnawa House in Khamleya village to explore Morocco's traditional spiritual music. Gnaoua or Gnawa music is spiritual at its roots, but popular maâlems (master musicians) are bringing it into the mainstream. With lively, repetitive beats, you and the kids will find yourselves getting into the groove in no time as you watch the musicians and dancers.

Next up, head for the dunes and rent a sandboard for a thrilling way to explore. Depending on their age the kids will love taking a gentle cruise down the smaller slopes, or a longer ride down the bigger dunes. You'll be amazed at how the dunes change shape and appearance dependent on the light and wind. Watch the sunset and then head back to camp for another memorable desert evening. 

Day 7: Transfer to Skoura via Todra Gorge & Rose Valley

Transfer to Skoura via Todra Gorge & Rose Valley
See the donkeys “parked” in Rissani
Get your family up early this morning to watch a spectacular desert sunrise. After breakfast, your driver will take you to your next stop, the relaxing palm grove of Skoura. You'll have several breaks along the way, the first being the town of Rissani.  Enjoy exploring its busy market and observing its famous livestock auction—the kids will be captivated by the donkey "parking lot." Pop into Maison Tuareg, for a chance to see traditional arts and crafts, including carpets, jewelry, and leather goods—perhaps a little souvenir shopping is on the cards? 

You'll continue to Tinghir, with its panoramic views and fascinating Jewish quarter, and then to the striking Todra Gorge with its 984-foot (300 m) high red-stained limestone cliffs. Take the kids for an easy walk or paddle in the cool water before you hit the road again and pass through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs (historic defense fortresses). You'll pass through several small towns around here; be on the lookout for nomads tending to their animals, and traditional farms. 
Next is the Dadès Valley, home to cultivated farmland bordered by rose bushes used to make rose water and oil. If you're here in May, you can catch the annual Rose Festival, but you and the kids will be able to stop at the rose collective to watch the distillation process at any time of year. Crafts made from the flowers are often for sale on the roadside. When you're ready to continue, head to your accommodation in Skoura.

Day 8: Guided Tour of Skoura & Horseback Riding

Guided Tour of Skoura, Pottery factory, Lunch with a Local Family
Explore the striking Kasbah Amridil in Skoura
Today brings a fantastic opportunity for you and the kids to immerse yourselves in Moroccan culture, with a guided tour of this southern oasis. Beginning with an easy one-hour walk, you'll visit a number of villages where you can learn about the architecture and history of the region direct from local families as you and the kids enjoy a range of activities and live entertainment. You'll have the chance to visit a pottery factory and some kasbahs, and, best of all, have lunch and a tea ceremony with a local family in their home. Your kids will come away having truly encountered another culture firsthand.
Spend the afternoon seeing Skoura from a different perspective—on horseback. Don't worry if your family is inexperienced, as the session will begin with instruction. You and the kids will then ride through the Skoura palm grove, across the Atlas mountain plateaus, and through villages and rolling hill country, with great views of the Valley of the Roses and the M'Goun River

Day 9: Transfer to Marrakesh via Ouarzazate & Aït Benhaddou

Goats in Argan Tree
A common Moroccan sight:  goats relaxing in an argan tree outside Marrakesh

Your family will be heading to exciting Marrakesh today—but your drive there will be no less packed with points of interest. Start early for plenty of time to explore. Head back through the Dadès Valley—stop off at the rose collective if you missed it last time. Next, take a break in Ouarzazate. This picturesque town is the center of Morocco's film industry and has featured in many famous productions—think "Black Hawk Down," "Prometheus," or "Game of Thrones." The kids might enjoy touring the movie studio there or visiting the Musée du Cinema

Just out of town, you'll discover the Taourirt Kasbah, an impressive fortified citadel in a spectacular alpine setting. Drive onward, and let the little ones explore the alleys and passageways of the UNESCO-listed medieval kasbah of Aït Benhaddou. Next, you'll head over the Tizi n'Tichka Pass—enjoy the sweeping vistas over the peaks. Make a stop in the town of Taddert and visit an argan oil cooperative. See firsthand how the precious oil is extracted from the argan nut for use in the health, food, and cosmetic industries. 

As you descend, you'll enter the tranquility of the plains. Enjoy the last leg of this scenic drive and prepare yourselves for the vibrant bustle of Marrakesh. When you arrive, settle into your accommodation and head out to Jemaa el-Fna, the city's main square. Alive with musicians, performers, games, and snake charmers, it's the perfect contrast to the alpine and desert villages of the last few days. The kids will love the excitement of it all. Visit one of the many food stalls and then head back to your accommodation for the night. 

Day 10: Explore Marrakesh: Family Treasure Hunt & Gardens

Anima Gardens
Let the kids run through the colorful Anima Gardens
Explore Marrakesh today with the perfect guided family tour—a treasure hunt! Beginning with the historic medersa (school) and the city's palaces, your kids will be entertained with games and activities. Sample local treats at the open-air souk and explore the medina. At the end of the tour, the winning Marrakesh expert will be awarded a prize— a great motivation for the kids.
Now that you've all got the feel of the city, you have a few choices for your afternoon entertainment. Take the family souvenir shopping at the souks, or visit one of the beautiful gardens just outside the city—try Jardin Majorelle (which you can visit as part of a bike tour of the city), or the Anima Garden. Come evening, head back to the main square and observe the hustle from the peace of a rooftop café or restaurant, while you sip on the traditional mint tea. 

Day 11: Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride & Family Cooking Class

Soaring over Marrakech
Soar over the desert near Marrakesh
Inspire your family with the beauty of Morocco's scenery today as you begin with an unforgettable sunrise breakfast on board a hot-air balloon. You and the kids will love the excitement of the trip, but you'll undoubtedly also be struck by the peace, soft colors, and crisp morning air—a contrast to the bustling city in the heat of the day. Enjoy the finest of pastries and views from the best seats in the house!
Back on terra firma, it's off to a family cooking class at the Amal Center. The whole family will learn the basics of Moroccan cooking, beginning with a blindfolded sniff test of the spice jars. See the kids' pride as they produce an authentic and tasty chicken tajine cooked over an open fire. While you're waiting, you'll learn about the Center's work training disadvantaged women for employment—it won't just be your taste buds that are inspired today! 

Day 12: Depart Marrakesh

Round your trip off with a refreshing visit to Oasiria

It's the last day of your family trip, but make the most of the time you have left. Explore Marrakesh a little more, or ask your driver to drop you off at Oasiria, a waterpark close to the medina. Laze around the pools or tackle the climbing walls and waterslides as your hearts desire. Your driver will meet you here and take you to the airport in good time to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Morocco Family Adventure from Fes to Marrakesh via the Desert - 12 Days
Map of Morocco Family Adventure from Fes to Marrakesh via the Desert - 12 Days