(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.
Welcome to the Four Seasons Hotel Marrakech. An easy walk from the ancient ramparts of the Medina & across from the Menara Gardens, the rose-hued walls of this new resort enfold a decadent resort & spa in 40 acres of sunlit gardens. With specialized facilities & services for ever type of traveler, this luxurious property is perfect for everyone from small groups & couples on romantic getaways to families of any age.
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 which is a Theological college founded by the Merenid Sultan Abu Hassan in the 14th century, and 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 casbah 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 XIIth century. At the edge of 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 which 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.
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.
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.
Kasbah Xaluca Maadid in Erfoud is a truly exotic experience. Its distinctive structure rises from the sands, palm trees swaying in the wind; a place of adventure and relaxation. Come and be surrounded by Xulca's unique southern Moroccan style.
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!
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.
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.
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 rendez-vous for discerning lovers of luxurious sensations and relaxation.
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.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
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! I seriously doubt that two other people could have made this trip as fantastic and special as they did! Within days, it was like 4 friends were traveling together through the country.
Ismail did the tour in English and Spanish for us to ensure that we fully understood everything we saw and experienced. His passion for his country and culture was incredible and we learned an astounding amount about Moroccan history, food, agriculture, business, religion, fashion, and people. Through his shared knowledge, we have a deep love and appreciation of Morocco that we have would not have had otherwise.
We were so happy with all of the amazing places Ismail took us which included the common tourist spots but also a ton of local places tourist never experience. We were exceedingly thrilled and it enriched our vacation beyond any expectations. Ismail even helped us get jobs in Morocco; I kissed snakes and Armando worked in a public bakery. ;-) (see the pics)
We are also aware that we would not have experienced 10% of what we did had we done this trip alone or been on a large bus tour. Clearly, you have given us a wonderful gift of special memories, which we will never forget. We both want to return to see the north and of course we want to have Ismail and Said with us.
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 - which is the best gift of all!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Avi J. Moskovitz & Armando Silva
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!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
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!"
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