Morocco Tour: The Sahara Desert To Marrakech

sahara desert

New Year is always a tricky time of the year; going on a night out can lead to extortionate drinks prices and hour long queues at the bars, and staying in makes new found couples even more obvious. Earlier in 2015 I decided that I wanted to be out of the country on holiday for New Year and after lots of searching I found a week long tour in Morocco through travel company Exodus. 

Without much thought to change my mind I booked the tour to go on my own and join up to 15 other people for a week of travelling. I spent time worrying about whether I would get on with people, if I would get involved in conversations and other confidence worries I get with new people. I needn’t have worried though as the group of people ranging from a few girls my age through to couples in their 60’s were all lovely and we all got on great.

pottery making in morocco

The week was quite full on as we travelled across Morocco and covered places such as Ourzazate, Zagora, The Sahara Desert, The Atlas Mountains, a few places I can’t even spell never mind pronounce, and ending in Marrakech. The whole experience was amazing, we got to see so much/ do so much and it was refreshing to be with such a relaxed group of people.

As a solo traveller I was put in a room with another girl my age who was travelling on her own and we got on really well and it was just like sharing a room with an old friend.

I had some experiences on the trip which I will never forgot such as on the Tuesday we took a 90 minute camel trek into The Sahara Desert. I’ve ridden a camel before but never through sand dunes and it was an experience I am not likely to forget (even if it’s just the pain I remember). That night we were staying in a bedouin camp in the desert, and despite the word ‘camp’ it wasn’t like our camping. These were permanent huts which were surprisingly warm. We climbed sand dunes, watched the sunset, star gazed out at the perfectly clear black sky and were taught some traditional dancing from the locals who run the area. It really was a perfect night.

sahara desert camels

On New Year’s Eve we had another of our special experiences which was staying in a village in the High Atlas Mountains. We were dropped where the road finished and walked 90 minutes uphill to our accommodation which was situated around 1800m high in the mountains. After lunch though we completed a 4 hour hike to the top of one of the mountains bringing us to around 2400m high. The trek was one of the toughest things I have done as they weren’t real paths just mule tracks, the rocks were moving under foot and there were sheer drops on every turn. But all 13 of us which ventured up there made it in one piece and the views were worth every step walked.

atlas mountains and oasis in morocco

We ended our holiday in Marrakech which was a stark contrast to the isolated quietness we were used to, and in all honesty it was a little overwhelming. Great for a day or so but I wouldn’t be running back there unless it was just for the sunshine and resorts.

Despite my worries about travelling alone and my lack of confidence I really had an amazing week and I would encourage anyone who is debating doing a tour to just do it!

Have you ever been to Morocco? What did you think of it?
January 5, 2016
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  • Reply Esmeralda Vermeulen

    I've never been to Morocco but I know my hubby really would like to go there. Your trip sounds absolutely magical minus the pain I suppose. I'd have to get 'rid' of our son as I suppose it's not very child friendly? Defo something to consider!

    January 5, 2016 at 3:23 pm
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      The longer trek was optional so you didn't have to do it so it didn't need to be a hard trip. I think with Exodus most of the trips are for 16+ but there might be some more leisurely ones which cater for younger children too x

      January 5, 2016 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply Ashleigh -

    Always wanted to go here, looks so lovely!

    January 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Nicol

    i love marrakesh! i did the tales mountains and the waterfall excursions. i didnt have time to do the sahara desert 🙁

    January 5, 2016 at 10:29 pm
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      Oh sounds like you had a great trip. Waterfalls sounds amazing! x

      January 5, 2016 at 10:32 pm
  • Reply Shannon Ritchie

    Morocco is such a beautiful country! I would love to visit! Great post X

    January 5, 2016 at 10:42 pm
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      It is a beautiful country, you definitely should go x

      January 5, 2016 at 11:29 pm
  • Reply Erin MacNeil

    That sounds so fantastic! I've been looking into Exodus trips lately as well, I'm glad to see it can work out so well!


    January 5, 2016 at 11:04 pm
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      I would really recommend them. All the people on my trip had done at least 2/3 each before and loved them x

      January 5, 2016 at 11:29 pm
  • Reply Emmyw

    What an awesome way to start the year! I am looking to book a trip for February – possibly on my own and its so nice to hear you found the whole solo-travelling situation quite easy. I'd also worry I didn't get along with people. This whole trip sounds fab. Particularly jealous of the Camel rides…

    January 6, 2016 at 10:16 am
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      Where are you thinking of going in February? Solo travelling is a lovely feeling. This year I am going to be going to New York completely solo so no tour/ group which will be refreshing x

      January 6, 2016 at 11:14 am
  • Reply AboutMy Fro

    Lovely read! I have never been, sounds like you had fun x

    January 6, 2016 at 10:39 am
  • Reply Lorraine

    Never been! I would love to go and it sounds like you had a great time. Solo travelling…not sure if I could go through with it.

    January 6, 2016 at 12:40 pm
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      I was worried about solo travelling but it greatly helped my confidence which is only a good thing! x

      January 6, 2016 at 12:46 pm
  • Reply fashion-mommy

    Never been, but it looks totally amazing. I think you are really adventurous to do this by yourself – so impressive.

    January 6, 2016 at 4:59 pm
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      Thanks, it was certainly a daunting experience to begin with x

      January 7, 2016 at 9:39 am
  • Reply Ami Ford

    I've never been to Morocco but this looks absolutely incredible! Those views are gorgeous, I really want to go solo travelling so I may just have to look this up. Italy is somewhere I really want to visit on my own as well though! x

    Ami | perksofbeingami

    January 7, 2016 at 3:07 am
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      Italy was actually the other tour which was running over New Year which I debated! You should just do it. x

      January 7, 2016 at 9:39 am
  • Reply Face Up Beauty

    Morocco is beautiful. Lucky you. Your desert trip reminds of a jeep safari we did in Dubai. Loved it. Hair raising but a total ball. What a great idea to go abroad for NY. Tx

    January 7, 2016 at 10:36 am
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      Oh Dubai sounds awesome! If I am going to be off work for the festive period I like to take advantage of that! x

      January 7, 2016 at 10:44 am
  • Reply Elizabeth

    What an utterly fantastic thing to do! Wow! I was so pleased with myself that I climbed our largest hill (only 450 metres!) on New Year's Day – but your mountain… wowee!!!

    January 7, 2016 at 10:50 am
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      Thanks. You chose to climb a hill though and that's impressive in itself, I was just taken haha x

      January 7, 2016 at 11:10 am
  • Reply Kitty Wood

    It looks absolutely beautiful, I've always wanted to go to Morocco. I've lived in Saudi Arabia and been to Tunisia and Egypt, and Morocco is on the list!

    January 7, 2016 at 10:56 am
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      That's awesome, I've always been intrigued by both Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. x

      January 7, 2016 at 11:10 am
  • Reply Jenna Von

    Oh wow! Your trip looked amazing.
    Lucky you!

    I haven't been to Morocco, I haven't ever actually left the UK.
    I have a traveller inside me somewhere but anxiety takes over and I wouldn't dare go alone and my friends don't have the same interests.

    I'm glad you got the courage to go alone, seems like it was worth the risk and you really enjoyed it.

    Jenna von x

    January 8, 2016 at 10:42 pm
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      It really was worth it so definitely something you should think about, even if it's just one in Europe. x

      January 8, 2016 at 10:47 pm
  • Reply Miranda Myrabev

    I have never been to morocco but it is on my list of places I want to visit. I have never been on an organised tour before and now I am intrigued since I am a solo traveller.

    January 10, 2016 at 5:48 pm
    • Reply Rhian Westbury

      An organised tour just takes away the time and pain of organising it yourself and not knowing where to go/ stay and how to get from place to place. I'll definitely be doing more of them! x

      January 10, 2016 at 9:02 pm

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