Morocco Meteor Shower - 9 days

Gaze up to the nights sky and witness the incredible Geminids Meteor shower as it peaks over the Moroccan desert. Explore the highlights of Morocco on this 9 day tour led by an expert local guide. Starting in Marrakech we travel to Ait Benhaddou and Ouarzazate before we begin our camel trek into the Sahara. Visit the Imperial Cities of Fes, Rabat and Meknes.

Dec 10 - 18, 2020
$1866 CAD per person
Savings of $659 per couple

*Land only

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
• Geminids Meteor Shower - Witness one of the brightest Meteor Showers in the world from the heart of the Sahara Desert
• Casablanca - Morocco's largest city
• Meknes - a great Imperial city
• Fes – the oldest medieval city in the world, medina dye pits and tanneries
• Todra Gorge - Towering red canyon
• Marrakech – UNESCO-listed medina, mosque, palaces and souks. Majorelle Gardens - Yves Saint Laurent's famous blue gardens
• Rabat - the lively capital city
• Volubilis – UNESCO-listed Roman ruins
• Erg Chebbi sand dunes - beginning of the Sahara
• Ait Benhaddou - UNESCO Listed ancient kasbah

INCLUDED
• Joined by a local Astronomer guide to provide information about the Geminids Meteor Shower
• 7 nights 3 - 4 star hotels and riad, 1 night camping - Berber desert camp in the Sahara Desert (Hotel upgrade available)
• Guided sightseeing of Casablanca, Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Merzouga, Todra Gorge, Ait Benhaddou and Marrakech
• Specialist local guides at some sites
• All transportation and transfers in private air-conditioned tourism vehicles
• 8 Breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners including a traditional Berber meal our Sahara camp
• Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 and day 9
• Escorted by a licensed English speaking Moroccan tour guide
• Camel trek into the Sahara
• All road taxes and tolls

NOT INCLUDED
• International flights and visa
• Entrance Fees: USD$70-90pp, paid in local currency
• Gratuity for your tour guide & driver. Budget approx USD$2 - 3 per person per day. Tipping your tour guide and driver is an entirely personal gesture
• Tipping Kitty: USD$40-50pp, paid in local currency ?

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ITINERARY

Day 1
Marrakech
Tuesday 10 Dec 2019. Upon arrival at Marrakech airport you’ll be met and transferred to our hotel in the centre of town. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore Marrakech - you might want to explore some of the highlights of Marrakech, such as the medina or Djemaa el Fna, the exuberant market place. Later on there will be a Welcome Meeting at the hotel at 19:30hrs.
Overnight: Marrakech

Day 2
Majorelle Gardens & Marrakech City Tour
After breakfast we head over to the beautiful Majorelle Gardens just a short drive from the hotel. These botanical gardens were designed by the French Artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and 1930s. He used a distinctive shade of cobalt blue for the majority of the garden and although a lot of his other work has largely been forgotten – this garden is seen as his greatest master piece. The garden has been owned by Yves Saint Laurent since 1980 and his ashes were scattered here after his death in 2008. The garden contains an extensive collection of exotic plants and trees and is home to 15 species of bird. There is also a Berber Museum representing the various indigenous tribes of Morocco including over 600 artefacts. The newly opened Yves Saint Laurent museum nearby is also well worth a visit - this museum was opened in 2017 and is dedicated to the life and works of Yves Saint Laurent himself. Please note entrance into the YSL museum is not included and costs 100 MAD per person if you would like to go in.

This afternoon you will meet up with the rest of the group who are coming in from Casablanca before embarking on a guided tour of Marrakech. Inside the rose coloured medina walls is a tangle of winding streets and alleys that open onto verdant gardens and bustling souks. At the heart of the medina is Djemaa El Fna, the city's exuberant market place and towering over it, is the famous Koutoubia Mosque, the tallest building in the city.

This evening you'll be met by your specialist astronomy guide, who will give you a short presentation after dinner about the sky above you and what you can hope to see in the next couple of evenings.
Overnight: Marrakech  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3
Ait Benhaddou
Marrakech - Ait Benhaddou - Ouarzazate. Departing the city this morning we travel across the plains of haouz and reach the great High Atlas mountains. Climbing over the pass of Tizi n Tichka, we stop for lunch and then continue onwards with great views over the Mountains and valleys to Ait Benhaddou. This incredible ancient fortified Kasbah was built for defence purposes high on a hill and is a stunningly well preserved medieval city which has famously featured in many blockbuster movies, including Gladiator and Laurence of Arabia as its beauty is unequal to any other fortified kasbah in south Morocco. Carrying on we continue south to the Hollywood of North Africa – Ouarzazate (pronounced war-zazat). Ouarzazate is famous for being the filming location for many other Hollywood blockbusters and famous TV shows including James Bond – The Living Daylights, The Mummy and more recently Game of Thrones.

After dinner we will head outside and look up to the sky, your astronomy guide will explain the constellations and stars that shine bright in the nights sky.
Overnight: Ouarzazate  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
Geminids Meteor Shower
Ouarzazate - Todra Gorge - Merzouga (Sahara). This morning we begin our journey into the Sahara with a medley of palm trees, rose fields and magnificent gorges. Travelling from Ouarzazate, there is a possibility of visiting the kasbah Amherdhil in Skoura before seeing the rose fields and reaching scenic Todra Gorge. Surrounded by towering vertical limestone cliffs reaching heights of 1000ft, it is known as Morocco’s Grand Canyon. The charm of Todra lies in its changing colours as the sun slowly moves from east to west. After time to wander through Todra we hit the road again for Merzhouga – our base before we head into the Sahara. Depending on the time of year, spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming before climbing aboard our camels for an incredible trek into the Sahara Desert to watch a beautiful sunset and spend the night at our remote Berber Camp, nestled amongst the towering dunes of Erg Chebbi. We enjoy local food, music and an amazing night camping in the Sahara.

The stars above Morocco are impressive all year long, however, every year on the 13th of December the Geminds Meteor Shower peaks with amazing effect. Having been observed for over 500 years, it is believe the meteor shower emanates from the Gemini constellation and hence this is where it gets it's name. Your local astronomer will guide you through the science behind what you'll hopefully get to see, the incredible display of ones the worlds brightest meteor showers.

If you would prefer the comfort of a hotel with en-suite facilities this evening, opt for our complimentary Sahara hotel alternative. Please do let us know your preferred option at the time of booking.
Overnight: Berber Camp  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Fes
Merzouga (Sahara) - Fes. Departing early, we climb back on our camels disembarking for a truly stunning sunrise. After freshening up and breakfast in Merzouga we’re back on the road heading for Fes. It’s a long drive today however there is a lot to see on the way. We’ll pass through cedar forests full of Barbary Macaque monkeys on our way through the Moyen Atlas mountains. Just before Fes we stop at Ifrane – a beautiful town often likened to a Swiss Alpine resort. Along the way we also start to see our first glimpse of Morocco’s nomadic Berbers – travelling across the mountains and often staying in make shift tents as they head to their next destination. We arrive into Fes in the early evening.
Overnight: Fes  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6
Fes
Fes is the oldest and largest medieval city in the world and its medina is a cacophony of aromas, sights and sounds. This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Fes el Bali - the old walled city. This fascinating medina is a veritable rabbit warren of 9400 alleys that often finish with dead ends – so be sure to stay close to the group! We also visit the dye-pits and tanneries before lunch in the medina. The remainder of the day is at leisure – why not take part in an optional Tagine Making Class or a night of Moroccan entertainment and food at a restaurant in town (both payable locally).
Overnight: Fes  |  Breakfast

Day 7
Volubilis & Meknes
Fes - Volubilis - Meknes - Rabat. Departing Fes this morning we visit the fascinating UNESCO listed Roman ruins of Volubilis, which date back to AD40. Continuing on we stop at the Imperial City of Meknes, which became known as the Versailles of Morocco due to its impressive buildings and elaborate monuments. After lunch and some free time our final stop of the day is Rabat – Morocco’s capital where we overnight.
Overnight: Rabat  |  Breakfast

Day 8
Rabat & Casablanca
Rabat - Casablanca - Marrakech. This morning we take a guided tour of Rabat and visit some of the capital’s highlights, including the impressive Chellah - a necropolis and complex of ancient, medieval ruins, the Royal Palace and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. After lunch we continue to Casablanca where we visit the Hassan II Mosque, which has the tallest minaret and is the third largest mosque in the world - it can hold 25,000 worshippers at any one time. After our visit to the mosque we say goodbye to our fellow passengers leaving us in Casablanca and continue onto Marrakech for the night.
Overnight: Marrakech  |  Breakfast

Day 9
Marrakech
Wednesday 18 Dec 2019. Our amazing tour of Morocco ends today after hotel check out.
Breakfast

Terms & Conditions: 
Prices quoted are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect ALL applicable savings, and are land only. Airfare extra. Save 15% applies to On The Go Tours Signature Tours - 8 days or longer only. New bookings only. Not combinable with any other offer except past passenger discount. Offer valid from November 11 - 25, 2019. Offer reliant on space availability and may be withdrawn at any time, and is subject to availability until booked. Subject to On The Go Tours Booking Terms and Conditions.