(Marrakech, Skoura, Erfoud, Merzouga, Ouarzazate)
Carefully created with support from luxury family travel connoisseur Amie O'Shaughnessy of Ciao Bambino, this customizable adventure showcases Morocco`s surreal deserts, mystical High Atlas Mountains & magical Marrakech in a style and at a pace that`s ideal for families with children or even just those of you who are young at heart!
From sunrise camel rides, a sleep over at a Bedouin camp and biking through an oasis, to cooking lessons with a dada (Moroccan chef), sipping mint tea in ancient mountain Kasbahs and watching the sunset over the otherworldly dunes of Erg Chebbi, this is truly a unforgettable family journey. Led by expert private guide and driver, experience a fusion of cultural encounters, awe-inspiring natural wonders and historical treasures as you tour Marrakech, Skoura, Erfoud, Merzouga and Ouarzazate. Spend your nights relaxing at carefully selected kidtastic hotels (The Four Seasons Marrakech) and exotic Riads that even the adults are sure to love. All will fall under Morocco’s spell as you hunt for treasures in mystical bazaars, dine with a local family, experience traditional village life, delve into history at a fossil museum, tour ancient palaces and much much more.
Featuring private expert guide, driver and 24/7 Kensington support this is a worry-free way share the magic of Morocco with your children. Speak to a Destination Expert to learn in more detail how we can customize this tour to suit your family’s individual interests, style, schedule and budget. Asa lama lakum!
Take an airport transfer in Marrakech with a private vehicle and driver.
The Four Seasons Kids Club will go out of their way to make children feel welcome with little gifts, an entertainment room for teenagers and dedicated kids areas and pools. A menu of activates and adventure like treasure hunts, Arabic calligraphy, Moroccan slipper making, sports and henna painting is offered through the Four Seasons Kids Club. There is a dedicated children’s Concierge is always close at hand – to make reservations for a family dinner, help arrange a babysitter and ensure there are child sized and themed extras in the room. Simply provide your destination experts with the names and ages of the children in your party so that we can be prepared to give them the stay of a lifetime.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.
Your tour usually starts at the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. This mosque's beautiful minaret dominates the skyline of Marrakech and can be seen from almost every approach to the city thanks to a long-standing planning ordinance that forbids any other building in the old city to rise above the height of a palm tree. You will also visit the El-Bahia Palace. This 19th century palace is elaborate in its decoration and was built over a period of seven years for Ba Ahmed, the son of the Grand Vizier Si Moussa. There are row after row of apartments—that once housed Ahmed's harem—a trapezoidal garden, a huge tiled courtyard, and many hidden treasures, both in the form of antique objects d'art and the palace's convergence of Andalusian and Moorish architecture. One of most visited sites in Morocco is the Saadian Tombs, which were only accessible via the mosque next door. However, in 1917 they were opened to the public and can now be accessed via a narrow passage that leads to an enclosed garden watched over by two mausoleums that include more than one hundred mosaic-decorated tombs. The Koranic School Medersa Ben Youssef is a Theological college founded by the Merenid Sultan Abu Hassan in the 14th century. It was restored in 1564 by the Saadians who made it the largest theological college in the Maghreb and a rival to the important Medersa Bou Inania in Fés.
The legendary restaurant at La Maison Arabe today offers cooking workshops designed for the amateur and professional alike. The workshops are conducted by a dada (traditional Moroccan cook) or a chef from our Moroccan restaurant, and are held either at the hotel or at the Kasbah of our Country Club. Small groups of maximum 8-10 participants work alongside a translator (Arabic/English/French), using easy-to-use modern equipment found in everyday kitchens. At the end of each workshop, participants dine on the meal they have prepared. At a typical half-day workshop, one learns to prepare an appetizer and a main dish, or a main dish and dessert.
Enjoy an afternoon guided tour by horse drawn carriage through the Gardens of Majorelle, a property acquired in 1922 by the painter Jacques Majorelle. In 1980, the ownership of the garden changed and now belongs to the families of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. Also, enjoy a brief tour of the Gardens of Menara. This garden area extends over a hundred hectares and has in its center an immense pool dating from the twelfth century. At the edge of the water, amongst the various plants and olive trees, is a small Saadien house, which over the last century has been rebuilt and renovated back to its original beauty. Enjoy the remainder of the evening exploring the nearby monuments that surround the gardens.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Marrakech and Skoura. The approximate travel time is 5 hours.
Enjoy lunch in the mountains at one of the best restaurant with great views (not included in tour price).
You will be visiting the fantastic old fortified kasbah Ait Benhaddou protected by UNESCO, Taourirt Kasbah which is the old fortified town of Ouarzazate and the famous Ouarzazate's Cinema Studios.
Ait Ben Haddou has been used in numerous Hollywood film productions for its distinctive architecture. In 1987 this famed location was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.
Depart at around 10AM for a morning off road excursion through the Palm grove Oasis around Skoura. Marvel at the mud architecture of the Kasbahs providing amazing views of the Atlas Mountain range. The palm groves of the area were laid out in the 12th century by the Almohad sultan Yacoub el-Mansour and named after its original inhabitants, the Berbers of the Haskourene tribe. Skoura is often referred to as the “Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs” and boast some of the most famed kasbahs in Morocco. The Ben Morro Kasbah stands on the left of the road above Skoura. It was built in the 17th Century, completely restored, and converted into a guest house. The most imposing of the kasbahs in this area that you will tour is 17th Century Amerhidil Kasbah. This fortified residence once belonged to the most powerful family responsible for protecting the village and its lands called the Glaoui. Today it is owned by the Sheikh of Amerhidil. Finally, the Kasbah of Aït Abou, built in the 1800’s and the oldest Kasbah in the palm grove, is six stories with walls 25 m high. Its surrounding buildings have been turned into a garden filled with pomegranate, apple, pear, fig, quince and olive trees that provide the necessary shading for growing crops.
Enjoy lunch at leisure (not included in tour price).
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Travel today between Skoura and Erfoud in a private vehicle with an English speaking driver. En-route, stop in the Dades Gorge located just southwest of Tinerhir, some 110 kilometers away from Ouarzazate. The beauty of the Dades River is most evident in the mid-spring through early summer, giving the valley an unprecedented amount of greenery. In the valleys along the Dades Gorge, grows a variety of argan (nut) trees opposed to the palmeries that grow and surround the Todra Gorge. Upon arrival to the top of the gorge, prepare for slightly cooler temperatures and truly amazing views. Located just Northwest of Rissani and Northeast of Ouarzazate, near to the city of Tinerhir are the Todra Gorges. Experience the unbelievable might of the massive canyon walls reaching some 300 meters high.
En route enjoy a short walk in the Dades gorge, via the pretty village of Ait Youl. Marvel at the natural beauty of the unusual rock shapes and colours that enclose the lush farmland on the banks of the river. Explore the splendour of abandoned kasbahs perching on vantage points along the Gorge.
After breakfast, departure by private car to visit a local fossil museum and collection in the town of Erfoud. The ‘hammada’ region is home to abundant findings of fossils and beautiful rock formations. With a sharp eye, it is quite possible to walk in this region and stumble across many unusual treasures within a few footsteps, examples of which will be displayed in Erfoud.
A 4x4 vehicle will be waiting for you to continue your adventure by heading towards the dunes of Erg Chebbi, possibly the largest dunes in the Sahara desert. The dunes of Erg Chebbi are a strikingly strange natural formation. On the top of the flattest area you could imagine, suddenly a long mountain of sand rises. This mountain is surrounded by flat and desolate nature on all sides, and you could end up wondering if it really is real. But so it is, even if its existence is so weird that it has given rise to legends and myths among the locals. Upon arrival at the camp you will witness the sunset from over the desert dunes and be astounded by the peace and calm as well as the changing colours of the landscape. If you're up to it you can also ride a camel!
Breakfast at the camp and continue to Ouarzazate. En route, visit Rissani, the holy city where Moulay Ali Cherif, ancestor of the Alaouite dynasty, is buried. Visit the ruins of Sijilmassa, a famous capital of the old caravan routes in the 8th century. Continuation to Tineghir via the Tinjdad road and stop to view the Todgha canyons ; a massive fault in the plateau diving the High Atlas from the Jbel Saghro, with a crystal-clear river running through it, the gorge rises to 300m at its narrowest point. Arrival in Tineghir we will visit its Mellah gateway and the ancient and colorful Jewish quarter. Tinghir is believed to have one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Morocco. Departure to Ouarzazate via El Kelaa des M'Gouna and optional visit of Tiliit (5 miles from El Kelaa Des M'Gouna), known as the Ancient City of the Jews of the Dades. A really interesting day, all one valley to discover, the most beautiful valley of all the Moroccan south, cultivated mountain, population more than smiling, then valley of Dades, valley of roses, valley of the 1001 Kasbahs. Arrival to Ouarzazate late afternoon.
Relax as a private vehicle with English speaking driver provides a transfer to Marrakech, for a visit to the village of Ait Ben Haddou. Located approximately 60 kilometers from Skoura this fortified village (or ksar) is ideally positioned along a once frequented, ancient caravan route linking the Sahara and Marrakech. Ait Ben Haddou has been used in numerous Hollywood film productions for its distinctive architecture. In 1987 this famed location was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next, travel to the village of Telouet, located approximately 1 hour north of Ait Ben Haddou. Telouet hosts one of the area's most recognized structures, the palace of the 'Lord of the Atlas.' This palace was the residence of the once Vizier of Marrakech, back in the early 20th Century. An evocative relic of the time when the Glaoui clan ruled over the Atlas and Marrakech, the palace was the family’s Headquarters and was situated in a dramatic location, on a broad mountain valley, providing sweeping views of the peaks on all sides. Continue from here back onto the main road back to Marrakech, crossing on the dramatic Tizi n'Tichka passage through the High Atlas Mountains range on the way. Whilst passing take time to notice the many beautifully-terraced valleys and adobe villages perched precipitously on the hillsides.
Welcome to the Four Seasons Hotel Marrakech. An easy walk from the ancient ramparts of the Medina and across from the Menara Gardens, the rose-hued walls of this new resort enfold a decadent resort and spa in 40 acres of sunlit gardens. With specialized facilities and services for every type of traveler, this luxurious property is perfect for everyone from small groups and couples on romantic getaways to families of any age.
Ideally located 45 minutes from Ouarzazate City (international airport) towards the Dadés & Todra Gorges, Merzouga’s desert. This exclusive ‘maison d’hôtes’ of a typical and traditional architecture, is nestled in a palm grove, 6 kilometers from the village of Skoura stretching towards the High Atlas Mountains.
Kasbah Hotel Xaluca is located in Arfoud, a city known as “the Door to the Desert”. The hotel is a truly exotic experience and it is listed as unique in Morocco due to its distinctive characteristics. It was built with adobes, the traditional Moroccan building bricks, and it is a great place to relax and enjoy the moment. Kasbah Hotel Xaluca offers 134 spacious rooms decorated with regional materials, as well as 8 bungalows. It is a fantastic place, situated among the dunes and palms, where you will be able to enjoy unique emotions.
Enjoy your special night under the stars at this beautiful Oasis in a premium tented camp. Experience a camel ride at sunset and sunrise from the top of the dunes. Your desert experience includes an authentic Moroccan dinner under the stars and breakfast in the morning.
On the edge of the desert at Ouarzazate where the stunning light shines on a setting of natural beauty, Hotel Riad Ksar Ighnda opens its doors for you onto the Atlas Mountains: a rendezvous for discerning lovers of luxurious sensations and relaxation.
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
Justin Yax ,
April 21, 2014
"Once again, a perfect trip. From Elizabeth's planning to Godfrey's guiding, we could not have asked for a more thorough and well planned safari. I can't wait to come back and do it again, this time with a Kilimanjaro climb added onto the trip!"
Nancy Frierson ,
April 21, 2014
"The entire trip was superb - all the transfers, the lodging and the food, the safari experience and the knowledgeable guides. The guide's ability to spot an animal and identify it at a great distance allowed us to see and photograph all the animals on our list and then some. The lodgings were even better than we had hoped and the staff could not possibly have been better. Our trip of a lifetime turned out to be just that."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - the best gift of all!
Ebony Hoskins ,
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
July 26, 2013
"Our family of 6 traveled to Morocco for a 9 day Imperial cities discovery, I was absolutely amazing. Our guide Lahcen Zaaim was the best guide we have EVER had and we have traveled to many countries. There was not one subject that he was not knowledgeable about. He made the trip sooooo memorable. He was so flexible and when he picked us up in the mornings to head out, he was talking nonstop to tell us soo much about everything we were seeing. There was soooo much to see in Morocco and he made sure we saw it all.. He truly has a gift in the touring business, you feel as if your leaving your best friend when the trip is over. When we got to the airport in casablanca, he spotted us before we saw him and of course, we asked him, how did you recognize us? He even went as far as to get the King of Moroccos artist to meet us at our riad the night before we left to return home late to do our names in moroccan arabic to frame, They were beautiful, He showed us a picture of the Kings Face he had done for the Palace! Lily Baffour from Kensington planned our trip and she was amazing, planning everything as she thought we would like based on what I told her. She did an Outstanding job and literally sent our Iteniaries by next day air in a beautifully done spiral bound personally book for each family that was going on the trip, SOOOOOO IMPRESSED and she even got the guide we requested!!!! I cant say enough about this trip and Kensington, we will definitely use again!!! We experienced a VERY different culture in going to Morocco and thats what we wanted, a Very different exotic trip and thats what we got!!!! Again our accomodations we Top Notch, staying in the TRuly authenic Riads, they were SOOOOO Luxurious, Plan on taking another suitcase or buying one there because you will buy more things to bring home than any other trip because of all the Handicrafts there, especially in Fes!!!
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