This intrepid 10-day itinerary showcases the best of greater Lisbon alongside the natural wonders of Morocco. Start in the Portuguese capital with a fun tuk-tuk tour, and take day trips to the stunning coast of Arrábida Natural Park and the enchanting hills of Sintra. Soar above Marrakesh in a balloon and hike between Berber villages before your grand adventure to the Sahara, where a luxury desert camp awaits. End with a sunset camel ride before returning to the city for your final night.


  • Explore Lisbon's cobblestone streets with a fun tuk-tuk tour
  • Hike to Sintra's spectacular palaces, and visit coastal Arrábida Natural Park
  • Join a cooking class and soar over Marrakesh in a hot-air balloon at sunrise
  • Sleep in the Sahara desert and ride a camel at sunset

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lisbon (Portugal), Guided Tuk-Tuk Tour Lisbon
Day 2 Day Trip to Setúbal & Arrábida Natural Park Lisbon
Day 3 Day Trip to Sintra & Hike Lisbon
Day 4 Fly to Marrakesh (Morocco), Cooking Class Marrakesh
Day 5 Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride, Private Tour of Marrakesh Marrakesh
Day 6 Transfer to Boumalne Dades via Ouarzazate & Aït Benhaddou Boumalne Dades
Day 7 Hike Through Berber Villages Boumalne Dades
Day 8 Transfer to Merzouga, Sunset Camel Ride Merzouga
Day 9 Transfer to Marrakesh Marrakesh
Day 10 Depart Marrakesh  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon (Portugal), Guided Tuk-Tuk Tour

Guided Tuk-Tuk Tour
Guided Tuk-Tuk Tour

Welcome to sunny Portugal! Medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities, and golden beaches await. But first, a driver will greet you at Lisbon airport and transfer you to your hotel. Freshen up before hitting the colorful streets. Seek out a local pasteleria (bakery) and taste your very first pastel de nata.

Today you'll explore the "City of Seven Hills" in style with an electric tuk-tuk. Led by a knowledgeable guide, you'll zip through the charming capital's modern and historic districts, from the neoclassical avenues of Baixa to the cobblestone alleys of bohemian Bairro Alto. Discover the city's fascinating history and hidden corners, and stop at stunning panoramic viewpoints such as São Pedro de Alcântara, Parque Eduardo VII, Senhora do Monte, and Santa Luzia.

Day 2: Day Trip to Setúbal & Arrábida Natural Park

Breathtaking view of the Arrábida Natural Park
Breathtaking views from within Arrábida Natural Park

If you like wandering through local markets, today's trip to Setúbal is unmissable. This morning you'll visit one of the best markets in Portugal—and the world—where you can see what's in season, explore the variety of Portuguese seafood, and pick up delicious souvenirs. After, venture up to the Forte de São Filipe for views of the Tróia Península and its resorts.

Setúbal was once a large industrial city but now shines in the shadow of the Arrábida Natural Park. Within this protected reserve, you'll find endless bushland and pristine beaches. Take a scenic drive along the hilltop, stopping by Cabo Espichel—a wild, desolate spot where giant waves crash against sheer, towering cliffs. It is a place to appreciate the raw beauty of nature and is often a great place for sunset before returning to Lisbon.

Day 3: Day Trip to Sintra & Hike

Sintra Heritage Hike: Hidden Secrets
Sintra is a microclimate near Lisbon, so you never know what weather you'll experience

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sintra and its mystical hills, dotted with fairy-tale palaces and extravagant villas, have enchanted visitors for centuries. This place inspired poets and writers, such as Lord Byron, and now it's your turn to fall in love.

More than a day trip, today you'll hike through amazing scenery up to the incredible Moorish Castle, which dates back to the eighth century, and admire the marvelous Palácio da Pena (Pena Palace) at the top of the mountain, a favorite of the region. This 6-mile (10 km) hike will venture through the dense forest and the exotic natural environment, discovering the best trails and places in this fascinating region. After, your guide to drop you back in Lisbon.

Day 4: Fly to Marrakesh (Morocco), Cooking Class

Prepare delicious Moroccan food at a cooking class
Prepare delicious Moroccan food at a cooking class inside a riad

This morning you're destined for Marrakesh, "the Red City." Take a transfer to the Lisbon airport for your flight to Morocco. On arrival, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Drop your bags and rest up before venturing out to explore the sights, sounds, and scents of this exciting city.

This afternoon you'll relax in the kitchen of a Marrakesh riad (a traditional townhouse with a central courtyard) as you learn to cook some of this country's most famous foods. Traditional Moroccan dishes have fused the flavors of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East into something unique, dynamic, and delicious. Start by baking bread and preparing a tasty starter. Then you'll move on to the main course and dessert. Once the food is ready, savor your creations at a meal served on the patio or on the terrace by the riad's pool. 

Day 5: Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride, Private Tour of Marrakesh

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride over Marrakech
A hot-air balloon over Marrakesh at sunrise gives you great views of the High Atlas mountains
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Witness the desert landscape of Marrakesh from above with a hot-air balloon ride. Despite the early wake-up call, it's worth it to witness the sunrise over the red desert. The serene atmosphere created by the pastel colors, soft lighting, and crisp early-morning air offers a stark contrast to the vibrant hustle and bustle of Marrakesh. Admire the stunning scenery as you float over arid hills, quaint villages, and patches of greenery, all set against the stunning mountain backdrop. Indulge in a delicious Moroccan breakfast pastry while still in the air, then float back to earth.

Later this afternoon, a guide will meet you at the hotel for a half-day guided visit, leading you past historical sites such as the Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadien Tombs, the 19th-century Bahia Palace, and the Jewish Quarter. Wind your way through the colorful and lively UNESCO World Heritage-listed medina (old town), visiting different artisan areas within the souks where you can barter for souvenirs or gifts. Later you may like to visit the peaceful Majorelle Gardens or sign up for a relaxing and invigorating hammam spa experience.

Day 6: Transfer to Boumalne Dades via Ouarzazate & Aït Benhaddou

The kasbah at Aït Benhaddou
The ancient and famous kasbah at Aït Benhaddou

Rise early for today's six-hour transfer to Boumalne Dades, with a few stops planned. First, you'll cross the Tizi n' Tichka mountain pass, the highest in Morocco at 7,414 feet (2,260 m). Enjoy sweeping vistas over the peaks, noting the highest summit of Mount Toubkal, which sits at 13,671 feet (4,167 m). Continue east to Aït Benhaddou, an 11th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of ancient earthen buildings. Home to Morocco's most famous kasbah, it once held an important spot on the trans-Saharan trade route.

You'll pause for lunch here at a women's cooperative created to generate income for women in the village. Explore the old town's alleys and passageways before hitting the road again. Next, take a break at Morocco's Hollywood—the town of Ouarzazate—where you can tour a movie studio or visit the Musée du Cinema. As you approach to Boumalne Dades, you'll cross the Dades River toward El Kelâat M'Gouna, the "Valley of the Roses." Admire cultivated rose bushes and discover how the petals become rose water and oil for the cosmetic industry. 

Day 7: Hike Through Berber Villages

Green foothills of the High Atlas
The peaceful, green foothills of the High Atlas will surprise you
On today's adventure, you're unlikely to see any other tourists as you hike between real Berber villages that hug the mountainside. As you hike, take notice of the local farmers, shepherds, mules, goats, and dogs sharing the landscape. Look for terraced farming plots, which local farmers have built to make the steep mountainsides suitable for farming. Look closely, and you'll see small irrigation canals. With your mountain guide, you can hike as far, long, or difficult as you like. The views get better the higher you go, so arrive feeling ambitious and ready to hike!

Day 8: Transfer to Merzouga, Sunset Camel Ride

Campsite over sand dunes in the Sahara desert near Merzouga
Campsite over sand dunes in the Sahara desert near Merzouga

Return to the road today for a comfortable 4.5-hour private transfer to your Bedouin-style tent accommodation in Merzouga. You'll start early again to make a few cultural stops to meet desert communities in the Sahara. The first is Tinghir, a desert town with fantastic views of neighboring villages set along an extensive river oasis with 30 miles (48 km) of palm trees. Visit Ali Ait el Haj, the old Jewish quarter, and admire its interesting architecture. Continue to the 984-foot-high (300 m) Todra Gorge to walk through the red-stained limestones or relax in the cool shallow water.

Just before reaching Erfoud, you'll start to see the ever-shifting Saharan dunes. Erfoud is a busy market town known for its Date Festival, fossil mining, and artisan factories. Visit a local collective to see how fossil-rich rock is turned into beautiful objects like tables, plates, and bowls. Near Merzouga, take a short break to enjoy a camel ride through the dunes before you reach your luxury desert camp just before sunset. Settle in, then climb up the nearest dune to watch the sunset display its color show across the sands. Back at camp, enjoy dinner, a campfire, and traditional Berber music.

Day 9: Transfer to Marrakesh

Jemaa el Fna Square in Marrakech
Jemaa el-Fna Square lights up at night with a hive of activity

Today it's time to leave the dunes behind and return to Marrakesh for your departing flight. You'll spend much of today in the car on an 8.5-hour private journey from the dunes to the city, pausing to discover new spots as you cross the High Atlas. You could ask the driver to visit the incredible Kasbah of Amerhidil, located in Skoura, the largest oasis in the Dadès Valley. This gigantic desert grove has more than 70,000 palm, olive, fig, almond, and pomegranate trees. Continue to Marrakesh, ready to make the most of your final night in Morocco.

Venture into the central square of Jemaa el-Fna, which comes alive with musicians, performers, snake charmers, games, food stalls, and more after dark. If the excitement is too intense on the ground, look for a rooftop café on the square and relax while watching the fun.

Day 10: Depart Marrakesh

Admire the piles of fragrant spices as you explore the medina
Shop for fragrant spices on your final morning in Marrakesh

It's time to say goodbye to Portugal and Morocco. If you have time before your flight today, venture into the souks and shop for last-minute spices, slippers, and souvenirs. At the designated time, a driver will pick you up at your hotel for a quick transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Outdoor Adventure in Portugal & Morocco - 10 Days
Map of Outdoor Adventure in Portugal & Morocco - 10 Days