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8 Day Morocco South Saharan Desert Women’s Tour – March 2023 – SOLD OUT

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UPDATE: THIS TOUR IS NOW SOLD OUT! IF YOU ARE INTERESTED AND WANT TO GO ON THE WAITLIST EMAIL ME AT thewanderingquinn@gmail.com WITH THE SUBJECT ‘MOROCCO WAITLIST’.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT MY FUTURE TOURS AS SOON AS THEY GO ON SALE EMAIL ME AT thewanderingquinn@gmail.com WITH THE SUBJECT ‘FUTURE TOURS’ AND I’LL ADD YOU TO THE MAILING LIST.

Are you up for a unique adventure in North Africa?? Join me and a group of like-minded women on an 8-day, 7-night trip to Morocco that you’ll never forget! We’ll be starting and ending our tour in the well-known city of Marrakech, but we’ll be spending most of the week off-the-beaten-path exploring the South Saharan Desert on an authentic road trip with a local tour guide staying in riad accommodation and 2 desert camps!

Friday 3rd March – Friday 10th March 2023

Marrakech – Atlas Mountains – South Saharan Desert – Marrakech

With Ellie Quinn and Morhara Morocco Tours

Keep reading to see the whole itinerary, price and how to book!

October Update: This tour is half full already with ladies from the UK, USA and Taiwan booked on!

Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn

Overview of the Tour

This 1 week Marrakech & Desert Explorer tour will offer us an introduction to the Imperial city of Marrakech before we depart for an exciting authentic road trip into the rural south visiting two different Desert areas that not all tour groups go to!

After a day tour around the bustling city of Marrakesh with our own local female guide, we’ll be on the road for the next 5 days witnessing many different landscapes like Mountains, Valleys and Deserts and be surrounded by nature in the Moroccan Sahara.

We’ll be visiting tranquil rural red earth Berber villages and UNESCO Kasbahs of the southern Draa Valley, seemingly travelling back in time with each passing kilometre south into a region where it is possible to believe that time has stood still.

2 nights of our tour will be spent in Luxury Desert camps with 4×4 jeep and camel rides through the Sahara Desert to get to them. We’ll enjoy watching the sunset from the dunes, eating local dishes for dinner and evenings around the fire with drumming and singing under the stars.

Although we’ll be on the move a lot and seeing many different places, our local guide Hassan who runs Morhara Morocco Tours and whose family base is in the South Saharan Desert will be with us all the way providing us with a memorable but relaxed road trip tour filled with personal experiences special for our ladies tour!

Sahara Desert camp, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
Atlas Mountain village, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn

Highlights of the Tour

  • Private Marrakech City Tour
  • Lunch in Marrakech Rooftop Restaurant
  • Ouarzazate Hollywood Of Morocco
  • Draa Valley Kasbah & Date Palm Oases
  • The Sandcastle Kasbah
  • Zagora Town 52 Saharan Days To Timbuktu
  • Glamping At Erg Lihoudi Desert Camp
  • Patterned Sands of Erg Lihoudi
  • Glamping At Erg Chigaga Desert Camp
  • Dune Sets & Ochre Dunes of Erg Chigaga
  • Saharan Sunrises & Sunsets From Towering Dunes
  • Camel Rides Into Camp & Around The Dunes
  • 60km Adventure 4×4 Drive Into Desert Camp
  • Visiting & Meeting Artisan Women’s Argan Oil Co-Operative
  • Visiting & Meeting Artisan Women’s Saharan Carpet Co-Operative
  • Visiting Artisan Women’s Berber Bakery
  • Bread Making In The Oasis with The Women Of The Village
  • Visiting Artisan Saharan Silver Jewellery Makers In The Oasis
  • Visiting & Meeting Artisan Tamegroute Potters
  • Optional Mule Riding In Fint Oasis
artisan pieces in desert, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
door entry into village, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn

Map of Where We’re Going

This map pins all the major places we’ll be visiting and staying overnight.

You can see on this map just how far South we are going! Halfway through the trip, we’ll be so close to Algeria and at this point, we actually reach the end of the road from Morocco into the Sahara Desert! This makes me soo excited!

Itinerary, Transport and Accommodation

Transport

We’ll have a private AC Minibus throughout the tour which will be driven by our tour guide Hassan.

As we reach the Saharan Desert, the minibus will no longer do and this is where we’ll have to get adventurous! We’ll have private 4×4’s to take us through the Desert, and to get to and from our first overnight camp we’ll have to jump on camels and do an approximately 1-hour camel ride both ways.

I love that we’ll have the same minibus for nearly all of the trip as this will make it much more relaxing for us and we’ll be comfortable in our surroundings, but I love that mid-tour we’ll get adventurous! Exploring the desert in 4x4s and on a camel is a must and will really enhance this memorable trip!

ladies on camels, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
This will be a lot of fun!

Accommodation

Accommodation for 5 nights of the tour will be in different Boutique Riad style accommodations in twin sharing rooms. 2 nights of the tour will be in luxury Desert camps staying in female shared tents.

Due to the nature of the small independent hotels and camps, we’ll be staying in, we cannot offer single occupancy, but honestly, once you’re on the trip and you’ve met your roomie, you’ll love having someone to share this experience with!

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for more photos of the camp accommodation!)

Erg Lihoudu camp, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
Erg Lihoudu Desert Camp where we’ll spend 1 night
Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
Erg Chigaga Desert Camp where we’ll spend the next night

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Marrakech – Friday 3rd March

  • You will be met at Menara Airport Marrakech by a representative of Morhara Morocco Tours and taken to our hotel in Marrakech.
  • I will be in Marrakech from midday so for those who arrive during the day too, we can explore some of Marrakech together and have dinner as a group.
  • Note – You do not need to be in Marrakesh by a certain time this day so you can be flexible with your flight, but if you can arrive by late afternoon you can join us for dinner, get to know the group and get a good sleep before a big week ahead.

Day 2: Marrakech

Full Day Guided Historic & Cultural City Tour

  • Breakfast at our hotel
  • Meet our local female Marrakech City Guide
  • Visit to Koutoubia Mosque area & Gardens
  • Visit the mosaiced Bahia Palace & Pashas Hareem
  • View the Artisans skill at the ornately tiled Saadien Tombs
  • Explore the vast ruinous El Badi Palace
  • Have lunch in a rooftop café in the Medina or overlooking iconic Jemaa el Fnaa Square
  • Visit the tranquil Ben Youseff Madrasa
  • Exploration of Souks in Medina
  • Return to accommodation approx late afternoon/early evening
  • Dinner
  • Overnight stay in Marrakech

Day 3: Marrakech To Agdz

Stairway To Heaven Mountain Road Trip

  • Breakfast at our hotel in Marrakech
  • Meet Hassan who will be our guide and driver for the rest of the week
  • Depart Marrakech for the journey South
  • Traverse the spectacular High Atlas Mountains & Tichka Pass
  • Optional visit to Argan Oil Co-Operative
  • Visit the ruinous but ornate Kasbah Telouet
  • Tour of UNESCO Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou
  • Ben Haddou has been the location of many International films
  • Lunch at the hotel overlooking Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou
  • Scenic Journey to the Berber Town of Agdz
  • Arrive Agdz approx late afternoon
  • Dinner
  • Overnight stay in Agdz

Day 4: Agdz To Erg Lihoudi Desert Camp

Ancient Kasbahs & Towering Date Palm Oases

  • Breakfast at our hotel in Agdz
  • Visit the atmospheric Kasbah Tamnougalt in Agdz
  • Spectacular drive through Date Palm lined Draa Valley
  • Journey through red-earthed villages and Kasbah oases
  • Refreshment at small enclosed palmerie garden
  • Lunch at the pre-Saharan town of Zagora
  • Visit the 11thcentury village of Tamegroute
  • Guided tour of partial underground & still inhabited Kasbah
  • Visit the memorable Tamegroute pottery
  • Approx 1hr Camel Trek into Erg Lihoudi Desert Camp*
  • Optional climbing of Dunes to watch the Sunset
  • Dinner, campfires & live Saharan music at camp

*If you do not want to ride a camel or can’t for any reason, you can get a 4×4 all the way to the camp, I’ll just need to know this in advance to plan in!

Day 5: Erg Lihoudi Desert Camp To Erg Chigaga Desert Camp

Off-Road Drive Into Remote Towering Dunes

  • Breakfast at our camp
  • Depart camp after breakfast by camel* (approx 1-hour ride) to meet with 4×4
  • Short drive to the Saharan town of M’hamid (M’hamid is the last town reached by tarmac)
  • Visit Kasbah Museum of Ouled Driss in palmerie
  • Lunch in M’hamid
  • Optional time at the pool to cool off before heading into the Sahara
  • 60Km ‘Off Road’ drive over lunar Desert piste & into Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp
  • Approx 1hr camel trek at sunset around the dunes
  • An optional climb of dunes & optional Sandboarding
  • Enjoy Saharan hospitality, dinner, campfire & live drumming

Day 6: Erg Chigaga Desert Camp To Fint Oasis

Desert Rally & Camel Caravan Routes

  • Breakfast at our camp
  • Depart Camp by 4×4 after breakfast
  • 90km Desert drive to exit the Sahara
  • Exit by a different route from the entry
  • Follow the old Dakar Rally Desert route & by the dry lake of Iriqui
  • Lunch at Desert outpost Foum Zguid
  • Journey through post-Saharan landscapes & Berber carpet-producing villages
  • Arrive at the time forgotten Fint Oasis approx mid/late afternoon
  • Free time for exploration of Fint Oasis Village & beautiful valley habitat
  • Dinner
  • Overnight stay in Fint Oasis

Day 7: Fint Oasis To Marrakech

Rural Time Forgotten Berber Life

  • Breakfast at our hotel
  • Option to visit Fint Oasis
  • Visiting Artisan Women’s Berber Bakery
  • Spectacular return journey over the High Atlas Mountains
  • The return journey offers you a different perspective of the region
  • Lunch stop on route driving through the Atlas Mountains
  • Arrive in Marrakech approx early evening
  • Dinner in Marrakech
  • Overnight stay in Marrakech

Day 8: Free Time in City & Airport Transfer – Friday 10th March

  • Breakfast at our hotel in Marrakech
  • End of official tour
  • Today will include an airport transfer back to Menara Airport Marrakech at whatever time you need it for. Please allow 45mins to arrive at Menara Airport Marrakech plus 3 hours before your flight.
  • Note – Today will be determined by your departure flight. If you wish to have more time exploring Marrakesh on your own please book a later flight, or you can book extra nights in Marrakesh / Morocco if you wish to continue your trip after the tour finishes.
tea in the desert, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
I can’t wait for allll the Moroccan Mint Tea!

Cost, Inclusions, Exclusions

Total Cost = £1480 pp

Deposit required to secure place = £300

The remaining balance of £1180 will be required 6 weeks before departure which is 20th January 2023.

Please note that all payments including the deposit and final payment once paid are non-refundable which is industry standard.

However, if you have to cancel, because I want to help you out as much as possible, I will try my best to resell your place. If and once I have resold your place, I will refund you the money paid so far minus £100.00 for the admin fee. Of course, I am going to be more likely to resell your place if you cancel further out than if you cancel just before the trip.

For information on refunds if the whole tour has to cancel, please scroll down the Terms and Conditions.

Inclusions

So much of the tour is included in the total price including all breakfasts and all but 1 lunch and 1 dinner, plus many of the activity and attraction fees.

This means you will need to spend very little money once we are on the tour. (Although I definitely advise bringing money for shopping and leaving extra room in your bag!)

  • Airport Transfer on Day 1 and Day 8
  • 7 Nights Accommodation
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 6 Lunches (Day 2 – Day 7)
  • 6 Dinners (Day 1 – Day 6)
  • All Transport
  • Bottled Water For Vehicle Travel
  • Full Day Marrakech Guided City Tour
  • Kasbah Entrance Fees
  • Camel Ride in Lihoudi Dunes
  • Camel Ride in Chigaga Dunes
  • Camel Guide Fees
  • 60 km Entry Off Road Desert Drive
  • All Artisan Site Visits
  • All Artisan Co-Operative Visits

On the note of food, both meat (halal meat of course) and non-meat options will be available and vegetarians can be catered for but because of the nature of the places we will be eating other dietary requirements like vegan, no dairy, gluten-free etc cannot be accommodated for and will have to be managed by you bearing in mind we will be in some rural places.

Exclusions

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance (which is mandatory)
  • Visa (if required for your country, please check before booking. No visa or costs are needed for British Passports)
  • Dinner on Last Night in Marrakech on Day 7
  • Entrance Fees in Marrakech
  • Personal Drinks & Snacks
  • Personal Shopping
  • Gratuities for Tour Guide at End of Tour

How To Book

Ok, so I hope you are super excited after reading about the tour! When I spoke amazing team at Mohara Morocco Tours they told me this is one of their best and most unique tours, I was hooked from the moment I read the itinerary and I couldn’t not make this the tour I run in Morocco in 2023 with an amazing group of women!

STEP 1: To let me know if you want to join this tour, please complete this google doc form so I can get your contact details and find out why you want to join the tour!

This isn’t an interview or anything like that, but because this tour is a bit different and off the beaten path, I just want to be sure you are clear about the tour details and that we get the perfect group who will be positive and up for trying new things!

STEP 2: I will reply to you via email within the next 7 days, if there’s a spot for you I’ll send you bank details to transfer the deposit of £300.00 which will guarantee your space.

STEP 3: Get excited about our trip to Morocco! I’ll send you a confirmation letter once the deposit had been paid and nearer the time I’ll create a WhatsApp group so we can get excited and plan together! On 20th January the remaining payment of £1180 will be required and I will contact you beforehand about this.

Please do not book your flight until I have sent you the confirmation letter.

Ready to join?? Complete this quick google doc form now!

Your Questions Answered

What are the Vaccination requirements?

As it stands, there are no vaccination requirements to enter Morocco or attend this tour. At of the start of October 2023, Morocco relaxed it’s vaccination and PCR entry requirements to that of before the pandemic.

Of course, we hope it stays this way but I will update you of any changes going forward.

Please refer to the government information from your own country but this is the UK government’s entry requirements for Morocco.

Is the tour for Muslim women only?

No, not at all. I have recently co-hosted some retreats for Muslim women in Spain and England but this trip is not like those and there will be no specific religious activities.

I really hope a range of women will book this trip from all over the world and with all different backgrounds as this will be a lovely mix for us all to enjoy.

Because of this potential mix of religions, and ages etc I do ask that we are all respectful of one another.

Is there an age requirement? 

The minimum age is 18 years and there is no maximum age! I really want to stress this too as from the tours and retreats I’ve run in the past, the issue of women thinking they are too old to join always comes up!

On my 2 tours to India in 2020 I had ladies join who were in their 60’s and on all the tours and retreats I’ve run the ages have ranged from around 20 – 65.

I love this big age range as it means we can all learn from each other and have such varied conversations and experiences.

The only limit and this is on any age, is that you must be fairly physically fit as we will be doing quite a bit of walking on some days and you must be in a position where you are comfortable sitting in a bus for long journeys.

What will the food be like and what if I have dietary requirements?

Food will be varied -Tagine, Cous Cous, Egg dishes, Fruits, Salads, Meat dishes. All meat will be halal of course.

Vegetarian dishes will be available for both meat and non-meat eaters alike and we can therefore cater for vegetarians.

We cant cater for specific dietary needs or free-from foods though like vegan, no dairy, gluten-free etc because of the nature of the places we are staying and eating. You would have to manage your dietary requirements yourself bearing in mind we will be in fairly rural areas.

Is a payment plan available?

There is not an official payment plan available but I am happy to speak to you and break down the final payment into instalments to will help you out.

I have special travel requirements, I’m not sure if they’ll suit this trip to Morocco.

If you have special travel requirements please email me – thewanderingquinn@gmail.com with more details and I’ll look into this for you.

Terms and Conditions

1. If you need to cancel after paying your deposit or final payment, please note that as per industry standard, all payments including the deposit and final payment once paid are non-refundable.

However, I want to help you out as much as possible so I will try my best to resell your place. If and once I have sold your place, I will refund you the money paid so far minus £100.00 for the admin fee. Please note that I am going to be more likely to resell your place if you cancel further out than if you cancel just before the trip.

2. You must take out travel insurance prior to the tour, as explained below, I suggest doing this as soon as the deposit has been paid. I will ask you for your travel insurance details just before the tour starts so if anything happens I can call your insurance company and I know your policy details.

3. Neither I (Ellie Quinn) nor any of the team at Morhara Morocco Tours are responsible for any accidents or losses you may have before, on, or after the tour. You join this tour with the responsibility for yourself and if something happens, you have your travel insurance to claim on.

4. If the tour gets cancelled due to covid, a natural disaster or another type of event where we have to completely cancel, I feel sure you can understand that rural Southern Morocco has a fragile economy, therefore in an attempt to protect the people Morhara Morocco Tours works with such as guides and accommodation owners, if the whole tour has to be cancelled all payments made are non-refundable.

Of course, this will be a hard situation for us all to be in so I ask you to understand. I will try my best to refund you what is available after paying local guides, our accommodation etc but I not guarantee anything.

If a total cancellation happens, we (Ellie and Morhara Morocco Tours) will try our best to reschedule and move deposits but this is not guaranteed.

If you are concerned about this happening, I advise you to take out travel insurance straight after paying your deposit. Travel insurance is mandatory on this tour (I will ask you for your details before you arrive) and as soon as you take travel insurance out you will be covered for certain cancellations. It is much safer to buy insurance once the deposit is paid than plan to buy it a week before leaving and something happens between then as you will have no insurance to cover you.

I recommend checking Compare the Market for options if you’re in the UK.

Any other questions?

Email me at thewanderingquinn@gmail.com

Ready to join?? Complete this quick google doc form now!

Photos of the Tour

Here are photos given to me by Morhara Morocco Tours of the places we’ll be visiting and the 2 desert camps we’ll be staying in!

ladies with artisan women, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
women in desert at sunset, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
Sahara Desert camp, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn

Ready to join?? Complete this quick google doc form now!

camp bedroom entrance, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
bedroom in desert camp, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
bathroom in desert camp, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
desert view from bedroom window, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn

Ready to join?? Complete this quick google doc form now!

bread cooked in sand in desert, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
artisan pieces in desert, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
Marrakech at sunset, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn
door entry into village, Women's Group Tour to Morocco with Ellie Quinn

Ready to join?? Complete this quick google doc form now!

Amal

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Can someone from America join and how much will be the trip in US

TheWanderingQuinn

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Hello, Yes, you can join if you are from the US and it's great because US citizens get a 90 day visa free entry into Morocco which means you do not need to apply or pay for a visa. Right now, the exchange rate of £1480 is $1581.00 and the deposit exchange rate of £300.00 is $321.00, but of course the exchange rate does change daily so once you pay the deposit, the exchange rate could change for the final payment unless all paid in advance. I hope that makes sense, let me know if you need anything else.