Morocco Tours & Treks

Explore intoxicating landscapes and culture from the Deserts to the Atlas Mountains

Just a short hop from Europe, Morocco's dramatic landscapes are overlaid with centuries-old culture

For us, the wilderness experience in the High Atlas and Deserts rank among the best of such experiences in the whole of Africa giving countries like Namibia a run for their money.

Add to this some deeply stylish places to stay and exceptional value for money, and you begin to see why we love Morocco so much.

If you’re looking for an intense wilderness experience that blends seamlessly with the local Berber culture then consider spending a few days in the wilderness of the High Atlas or the Southern Deserts of Morocco. Using private mobile camps, carried on the backs of either camels or mules, we offer private treks into both these areas. Unlike similar safaris in the rest of Africa, this form of travel is intrinsically linked to the country’s culture; this is how people have travelled in this part of Africa since the days of Leo Africanus and before.

Our treks are gentle but exhilarating meanders through wild country from Almond blossomed groves to snow-capped mountain passes – ideal to do as a couple of families or a group of friends. For those looking for something more immersive consider joining the Ait Atta on their annual migration out of the deserts of Jebel Saghro up in to the pastures of the Atlas mountains.

Away from the wilderness, Morocco is alive with history and regal luxury. Slowly make your way with a private guide and vehicle from Fes in the north, through the souks and squares of Marrakech, the switchbacks and passes of the High Atlas, to the deserts and walled cities of the south. 

Along the way, experience a seductive blend of culture – from fresh tagines and mint tea at roadside stops, to fortified mountain Kasbahs in splendid isolation, to the cafes and carpets of Essaouira. Of course, being so easy to reach also makes Morocco an ideal family holiday destination. This is one of the most rewarding countries for a week or two of authentic, transformative travel.  

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Experiences

Trekking with a private camp in Morocco’s High Atlas

Gently exploring Morocco's wild areas off the beaten track

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Experiences

Private tented safaris in Morocco's Deserts

Traveling Morocco's deserts in style

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Experiences

Morocco's High Atlas for Families

An unforgettable off-grid adventure for families

See a family adventure itinerary

When to go to Morocco

Morocco was described in Michael Palin’s Sahara as a “cold country with a hot sun". A good generalization for much of the year and on days when the sun isn’t shining you need to be prepared. Fortunately though, such sunless days are rare and Morocco has a huge number of sunny days even in winter.

In general, the peak season is perceived as being from March to late June when the risk of rain has largely gone and before the full force of the summer heat arrives. However, it’s an ideal destination for the northern hemisphere autumn and winter months. November and December are usually months of clear blue skies and warm sunshine (average 21c (70f) in winter).

This is an ideal time for sightseeing, especially in Southern Morocco (Taroudant, Ouarzazate, Erfound) which can be very hot in the summer months.

Essaouira on the coast has a warm Mediterranean climate – protected from the fierce summer heat by the onshore winds, however it can be windy during the first few months of the year. From mid July to mid September it can be very hot in the cities and southern Morocco. January and February are the months of highest rainfall.

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Morocco is a cold country with a hot sun”

- MICHAEL PALIN

SAMPLE TRIPS

MOROCCO: IMPERIAL CITIES & THE DESERT

Highlights:

The grand tour from Fes via Taroudant to Essaouira with private camps in the desert and Atlas Mountains

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The sense of cleansing and freedom that the desert elicits is powerful. To find your self standing on a rocky ridge surrounded by silence, in the middle of vast people-less expanse is a wonderful experience and most definitley a tonic for the soul. ”

The High Atlas Mountains and the deserts of Southern Morocco offer some of the most sensational and untouched wilderness in all of Africa.

Leave Marrakech, head south and wind your way through valleys and switchbacks of the mountains and you enter a world of dramatic landscapes, small mountain villages and medieval kasbahs.

Reach Ouarzazate, (originally a small trading post in medieval times, but now the centre of a thriving film business) and you find yourself on the edge of a vast expanse of wild territory that stretches uninterrupted for many hundreds of miles.

Leave the main roads and the scale and extent of the landscape is awe inspiring.  At night in particular, when light pollution is totally absent, the thing that strikes one most, under the panoply of impossibly bright stars, is the minimal impact that man has made on much of this landscape to now.  Long may that last.

Quietly exploring these areas on foot, supported by a private camp is one of the greatest luxuries available in Morocco and allows you to travel lightly in a way that hasn’t changed for centuries. Spend the days on foot, with pack animals carrying your private tented camp.

The Draa Valley, Dades and Todra Gorges are dramatic destinations in themselves, while to the south and south west, close to the border with Algeria is where you’ll find some sensationally wild and unspoilt areas of real desert.  The Erg Chebbi and Erg Chiggaga are the two principle places where you’ll find dunes proper with the sand rolling as far as the eye can see and dunes that can be as much as 150 metres tall.  These areas can be explored on foot, supported by camels over a period of days.

In other areas you’ll find rocky deserts that look like the surface of Mars, red in hue and strewn with strangely eroded black rocks.  Craggy ridge lines catch the desert sand, creating massive dunes of red sand up to almost 200 metres in height.  This is country best seen using a private 4x4 and guide based from a tented camp to explore the rocky expanses, rolling dunes and ragged mountain ranges.  Unlike Namibia - another country with sensational desert country, but beset by many thousands of miles of fences - in Morocco the desert is accessible on tracks and trails many of which have been established camel routes for centuries. Our treks are all private so can be tailored to all levels of fitness. 

We walked through dusty ochre foothills, following a thin stream lined with wild pink oleanders and fragrant thyme.”

- RICHARD GRANT - THE TELEGRAPH

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Is Morocco a good family destination?

Morocco is somewhere we have travelled fairly extensively with children and can highly recommend as an unusual and highly rewarding holiday.  If you want to introduce kids to a new and entirely different culture, as well as a healthy dose of wilderness, there’s nowhere closer or more ideal.  The Moroccans love children and it’s not uncommon when walking in remote Berber villages to find women stopping to spontaneously kiss passing children or chuck them under the chin. Once they’ve overcome the deep embarrassment this causes them, your children will return feeling very cherished!

The short flight to Marrakech from London, (3 hours 35 minutes) means that Morocco is ideal for a short half term break. With small children, a few nights in Marrakech followed by 2 or 3 nights in the High Atlas is the perfect introduction with opportunities to try a little bit of trekking, perhaps aided by mules. For longer holidays, a family trek in the deep south is something we have done to great effect with children.  Despite long distances, the desert holds a powerful appeal to children – no doubt something to do with the large amounts of sand there is to play in.  Essaouira on the coast is a treasure trove for children, with endless small shops selling enticing goodies. Easter and Autumn half terms are ideal weather wise, small children would probably find the fierce summer heat too much to contend with.

Take a look at a family adventure in Morocco

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Morocco's Highlights

Essouira

Beautiful historic town on Morocco's Atlantic Coast

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Morocco's Highlights

Dades Gorge and Erfoud

Spectacular scenery in the South's Valley of the Roses

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Morocco's Highlights

Merzouga

A small frontier town on the edge of the Sahara Desert

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Blog

Travelling with the nomadic Ait Atta in Morocco

I think you can trace the point the human race started to go off the rails, to the moment when someone decided that life as a nomadic pastoralist...
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Blog

Trekking with the Ait Atta on their annual migration into Morocco’s High Atlas

This is a highly unusual opportunity to experience 21st century nomadic life first hand, as organised by Natural High for the Telegraph (you can read...
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Blog

Off the beaten track with a private 4x4 in Morocco

If you’re looking to get a sense of the scale of the wilderness in Morocco, and assuming that you don’t have the months or years required to cross it...
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Our experienced travellers include:

Catherine Ronan
Catherine Ronan
Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Reviews

Perfect holiday from start to finish.

"Absolutely excellent service. The itinerary was spot on and the whole holiday worked like clockwork. The pre holiday notes and briefing were most useful too. I would have no hesitation in recommending Natural High Safaris to others."

Angela R CR

Fabulous trip to Tanzania

"This is the second time we have used Natural High Safaris, and again they organised an outstanding holiday for us, this time in Tanzania, combining a safari and beach holiday that was top-notch. Highly recommend them, with huge range of experience and desire to really understand what it is their clients want - and then delivering! Thanks to Catherine Ronan."

Anonymous

An outstanding trip to the Himalayas superbly designed by Natural High.

"Natural High organised a 2 week family trip to Ladakh in August 2018. Andrea Hulme used her local knowledge to design an exciting trip that included a 5 day trek, white water rafting and numerous cultural visits and experiences. Their local partners Shakti were absolutely outstanding and we loved staying in the village houses as opposed to hotels. Their female Ladakhi guide Sonam was really one of the best we have every had on our travels."

Anonymous

Natural High

"Yet again another great holiday arranged by Natural High - Air France tried to ruin it but Natural High and their local agent were very helpful in resolving the problems caused. ."

James and Laura AH

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"as always prompt and comprehensive service"

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