Morocco Real Food Adventure

Overview

Clear your plate for flavour-filled Morocco, where Berber, Arabic and European influences mix to create an adventurous culinary cocktail. Follow the smell of food through mesmerising markets and master recipes taught by those that know them best. Grab street food from a souq and share traditional meals in local homes. Take a handful of bustling medinas, mix with a dash of sea and season with fresh local produce, all drizzled with warm Moroccan hospitality for an adventure that will linger long on the tongue and in the memory.

What's Included:

  • Return flights
  • 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Included transport: Train, Private Vehicle, Public Bus, Taxi
  • Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights), Gite (1 night), Guesthouse (1 night), Riad (2 night)
  • Included Excursions:
  • Casablanca - Welcome Dinner
  • Moulay Idriss - Cous cous demonstration and dinner
  • Casablanca - Street Food Breakfast
  • Moulay Idriss - Olive Press Visit
  • Meknes - Guided walking tour
  • Fes - Guided walking tour
  • Fes - Medina Tasting Trail including Pastilla Demonstration
  • Marrakech - Cooking Class (Moroccan Salads)
  • Marrakech - Medina Tasting Tour
  • Marrakech - Home-cooked Meal
  • Aroumd - Berber home-cooked meal
  • Aroumd - Berber Tagine Cooking Class
  • Essaouria - Wine Tasting
  • Essaouira - Argan Oil Cooperative Visit
  • Essaouira - Village and Market Tour

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Casablanca

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Aromatic tajines, palm-spotted, red-earthed landscapes and limitless generosity define this friendly, vibrant and flavourful Berber-Arab-Spanish-Portuguese-French melting pot. Modelled after Marseille in France, the bustling port city of Casablanca has a curious architectural style – famous for its art deco French-colonial buildings and Mauresque governmental institutions, an old medina and the modern-day masterpiece of the Hassan II Mosque. For those who arrive early, a pleasant way to spend the day exploring Casablanca is to wander the old medina and the city walls, then jump in a taxi to visit the Quartiers des Habous – the new medina full of shaded squares and narrow streets, lined with arcades that lead from one souk to another. This is a great place to enjoy a Moroccan coffee and maybe start improving your bargaining skills.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm, where we’ll be collecting your insurance and next of kin details. You can arrive at any time during the day, as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. After the meeting, your food adventure gets into gear with a traditional Moroccan meal, complete with briouate (delicious crispy yufka pastry parcels stuffed with a variety of fillings), kemias (a plethora of salads served on small plates) and perhaps even a taste of Casablanca's signature dish, seven vegetable couscous. Maybe finish the day with a walk along the Corniche, watching the locals enjoy sunset football on the beach. Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Meknes/Moulay Idriss

Try typical Casablanca street food for breakfast – choose from msmen (layered, pan-fried bread), omelette, khlea (a type of Moroccan preserved meat), bessara soup or a variety of other dishes to be found amongst the stalls. Breakfast will, of course, be served with mint tea, the perfect beverage to kick-start a day in Morocco. Then board a train to the former capital of Meknes (approximately 3.5 hours). In the 17th century Sultan Moulay Ismail turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city, building his own version of Versailles with labour force of over 25,000 slaves. Jump in a taxi to Moulay Idriss (approximately 1 hour). Take a walking tour of the town, sample the famous nougat candy sold at street-side stalls, and then make a stop to uncover the local olive scene. Olives are at the heart of Moroccan cuisine and here you’ll visit an olive press to learn the secrets and sample a drop of the luxuriously golden oil. Explore the delightful medina of this ancient town, and see where the faithful gather to pay homage at the tomb of Moulay Idriss I, who was the great-grandson of Mohammed and brought Islam to Morocco. Settle down in a guest house where your hosts will demonstrate how to hand-make couscous from scratch. Pitch in to help prepare a variety of Moroccan salads and finish with a hearty kefta (meatball) tajine. Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning you’ll return to Meknes by taxi and take a walking tour with a local guide, exploring the elaborately decorated public buildings that line the winding streets of the old walled section of the city. If there is time, you may be able to visit the nearby Roman city of Volubilis, which is filled with fantastic mosaics featuring legends like the labours of Hercules in fantastic detail. Once we arrive in Meknes, it’s time to eat something a bit different, a local riff on an American classic – a camel burger! Ride the rails once again as you climb aboard a train to the living museum of Fes (approximately 1 hour), the most complete medieval city in the Arab world. Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses. You’ll have free time for the rest of the day. Perhaps check out the Medersa Bou Inania, a stunningly beautiful and elaborate building that cost so much that on completion the Sultan Abou Inan threw the details into the river and declared that such ‘a thing of beauty is beyond reckoning’.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Fes

Enjoy your morning in Chefchaouen exploring the sights, sounds, and smells of the medina, the shops in the square selling woven goods and small sweets, and, most importantly, enjoy a taste of the town’s famous goat’s cheese. Herds of goats wander the sparse hillsides that surround Chefchaouen, and their cheese is sold in great fresh rounds in the street markets. In the afternoon travel to Fes, the most complete medieval city in the Arab world. Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses. You’ll have free time for the rest of the day to explore. This evening is a great time to seek out Moroccan specialties like harira (chickpea soup) and pastilla (classic pies with many sweet and savory variations)! Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Fes

Today head to the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali. Descending into the labyrinthine alleyways of the medina is like taking a giant step back to the Middle Ages. See donkeys piled high with goods (this is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world) and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk on a tasting trail. Different areas of the medina are known for specific types of food – from natural butters and fats, to pastries, crepes and soups to dried and fresh produce. Pass dye-pits, stalls loaded with fruits, herbs and spices. With the squawk of chickens, the smell of spice and the sound of hammering copper filling the air, watch artisans craft pots, manipulate metal and tan leather with skills passed down over the centuries. There will be products you can buy, if you are interested, to take home as a souvenir. In the evening complete your experience with a hands-on cooking class, learning to create one of the city's signature dishes - pastilla. This intriguing salty and sweet pastry parcel will no doubt be a recipe to impress back at home. Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Marrakech

Take a train ride to Marrakech (approximately 8 hours), an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. After a long day of travel, enjoy some Moroccan hospitality with home-cooked meal with a local family. Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Midelt

Leave the intensity of the city behind for the simplicity of the scenic Middle Atlas Mountains (approximately 4 hours). Drive south, inland through a variety of spectacular scenery – fertile valleys, cedar and pine forests and barren, rocky landscapes. The area is populated with wandering nomadic shepherds attending to their flocks. Pass through cedar forests which are home to Barbary apes, North Africa's only monkey, and on to your destination of Midelt. Nestled in a valley, Midelt is a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area, and surrounded by farmland and orchards. Stretch your legs as you explore the nearby village of Bremmem and take a closer look at local farming life. In the evening a special meal will be prepared using the aromatic herbs native to the region.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Merzouga

Enjoy a stunning drive towards the Sahara Desert (approx. 5 hrs). We will have opportunities to stop and admire the panoramic views of the Kasbahs and palm groves (valleys lush with date palms, fields and orchards).

You may also have a chance to pause in some of the frontier towns such as Erfoud and Rissani before reaching the end of the road and the small Saharan settlement of Merzouga.

Enjoy a demonstration of medfouna (also called 'Berber pizza'), a traditional stuffed bread prepared with meat, herbs and spices by the nomadic peoples of the High Atlas. Traditionally prepared by women to feed local farm workers, this hearty delicacy is a great introduction to the cuisine of the desert region.

Later today you will leave your gear at a simple auberge and then ride camels into the edge of the Sahara Desert, enjoying a spectacular sunset along the way. The dunes are stunning, especially as the evening light plays across them and sets off the colours. Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: M'Goun Valley

After breakfast prepare for a scenic drive filled with stunning landscapes on the way to the M'Goun Valley. The journey will take you past ancient kasbah ruins, former colonial military outposts, austere mountains and valleys of palm trees and irrigated fields. Dinner tonight is a Berber tajine prepared in a traditional clay pot cooked over an open fire. Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: M'Goun Valley

While the morning holds the option of exploring the nearby village souk of Kelaat M'gouna or witnessing Moroccan bread-making techniques in action, today’s adventure will give you until sunset to explore the beauty of this largely untouched Moroccan backcountry. Accompanied by a local guide, pass through Berber villages, meeting local people along the way. You’ll take a trail that undulates slightly here and there, but isn't too challenging if you have a basic level of fitness and the scenery is certainly worth the walk! Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Marrakech

Today we are bound for our final destination. Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Upon arrival a local guide will take you on an orientation walk and tasting trail. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens. Perhaps join the crowds for dinner at the famous Djemaa el Fna, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. When night falls on this square it transforms in to a hive of activity. Henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies, including snail soup! Perhaps enjoy a bite of famous Moroccan pastries and then maybe finish your day with a cup of tea overlooking the square. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Marrakech

Commence your day learning to prepare sumptuous Moroccan salads, a staple of the table, at a cooking school that seeks empowerment for underprivileged women through cooking and literacy skills. Feast on your creations for lunch. The afternoon is free to explore the sights of the city. Perhaps drop by the Koutoubia Mosque or the dazzling Bahia Palace.

In the evening, perhaps ascend the stairs of one of the surrounding restaurants for a birds-eye view of the action or head back into the medina for some shopping, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. (final dinner Optional) Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Marrakech

Your food adventure across Morocco comes to an end this morning. If you are extending your stay, perhaps stroll through the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent), or return to the medina, where every corner brings a new flash of colour, an enticing new smell, or a souvenir to haggle over. The Saadian tombs are another recently uncovered gem of the Medina. Be sure to take a break from the bustle to sip on tea or eat a tajine, filled with the quintessential flavours of Morocco. Optional Activities Asni & Ouirgane with lunch Urban Adventures - Medina, Palace and Tombs half day tour Ourika Valley day tour Oukaimeden day tour Cascades d'Ouzoud day tour Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa Essaouira Food & Culture day trip Meals Included: None

Hand Picked By

Louise Pye

Discovering a new place with a local leader by your side helps you to step out of the guidebooks and get under the skin of your chosen destination. We are delighted to be working with Intrepid Travel who have some of the best leaders around, with all the insider tips travellers could ask for. From the best restaurants to sampling local delicacies and teaching you a few words in the local language, they know it all. Travelling with them, you’ll enjoy unrivalled access to this remarkable fountain of local knowledge

Louise Pye

Additional Information

  • Date: Various departure dates in 2020
  • Board Basis: Mixed Meal Plan
  • Duration: 11 nights
  • Departure Airport: London Heathrow
  • Guide Price: From £1,185pp
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