Rough Luxe Tour

Berber Duchess Rough Luxe Itinerary

Join us for a spectacular adventure into the real heart of Morocco. This tour is specially curated for wanderlusters seeking the quintessential rough luxe experience. Our service is carefully considered, offering a fine balance of down-to-earth hospitality with special treasured comforts, inspired by the authentic Berber spirit and Morocco’s majestic landscapes.

Day 1

After breakfast, embark upon a guided tour of Marrakech’s most vibrant destination: its UNESCO-listed medina. Among bustling souks, artisan markets and architectural jewels, you’ll discover the Berber Duchess’ hand-picked favourites. Camera at the ready: your first day in Marrakech is a colour-saturated sensory adventure. Whether it’s photography, museums, shopping, cuisine, traditional spa treatments, or all the above, the Berber Duchess beckons you into the authentic heart of the city. After an optional lunch at a roof-terrace restaurant, enjoy the afternoon exploring at leisure. We recommend a visit to the kaftan souk to acquire some cool and comfortable djellabas – the ideal local attire for your upcoming adventures. Come evening, head up to the Berber Duchess’ private roof terrace for sundowners followed by a sumptuous Moroccan dinner beneath the stars.

Berber Duchess Super Life Squeezer Option: Experience a spectacular Moroccan sunrise in a hot air balloon over Marrakech, with a 5am wake-up call, back for breakfast by 9.30am.

Day 2

After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be chauffeured into the Agafay Desert for lunch at one of our favourite lodges , 50 minutes from Marrakech. While away the afternoon by the pool, thrill-seekers can hop on a quad bike for an invigorating spin beneath those wide African skies. Late afternoon, you’ll head up into the High Atlas Mountains to the tranquil village of Imlil. Here, true Berber hospitality awaits at our hotel on the wild fringes of Toubkal National Park. Among your welcoming committee is the hotel’s donkey to carry your bags up to your room. In keeping with its authentic Berber roots, minimal electricity means most guestrooms are blissfully without plug sockets and are lit solely by candlelight. Once settled, don your djellaba and head out to the hotel’s balcony to drink in those magnificent views with a gin and tonic or tipple of your choice. A delicious communal dinner is served by the fire, lovingly made to authentic recipes with locally sourced ingredients. Retire for the night to your guest room, where you’ll find a crackling fire in the hearth.

Day 3

Tuck into a healthy breakfast before heading out on a relaxed three-hour walk around Imlil’s circumference at 9am. Accompanied by a friendly local guide, you’ll enjoy breathtaking scenery as you catch glimpses of the local way of life in this sleepy mountain village. Having worked up an appetite, a delicious lunch awaits at your next stop, the grand Kasbah Tamadot. This luxurious retreat, owned by Sir Richard Branson, is 20 minutes down the road from Douar Samra. Here, you’ll witness the incredible legacy of Richard’s mother, Eve. She established the Eve Branson Foundation to create career opportunities for local people in the High Atlas. Browse the EBF shop to discover some of the treasures created by those she mentored. After lunch, you’ll travel through the peaks of the High Atlas Mountains to arrive at the oasis town of Skoura at dusk. Settle into your accommodation, before reconvening for a delicious local dinner at 8pm.

Day 4

Skoura is home to a two-centuries-old, UNESCO-protected palmeraie, popularly known as the Oasis of a Thousand Palms. After breakfast, you’ll take an easy mountain bike ride around it, accompanied by local guide Ali. He’ll reveal Skoura’s hidden treasures, including the remains of historic mudbrick kasbahs, lush date palms and olive gardens, and the rich medley of influences from the Amazigh, Arab and Jewish people. Lunch is a shaded picnic beneath the trees, after which you’ll wheel back to the hotel for a short drive to the soaring Todra Gorge. Snap some dramatic selfies here, before heading on to the vast valley of the Dadès Gorge, where our charming hotel awaits. Unwind from your adventures with a dip in the pool or enjoy a traditional Hammam and massage before dinner at 7.30pm.

Day 5

Today, you’ll head to the thrilling expanse of the Sahara Desert with a pair of unmissable pitstops en route. First is the Serpentine Road at the end of Dadès Gorge. With its dizzying hairpin bends, it’s one of the world’s most picturesque and thrilling roads. Next, take a deep, fragrant breath in the Valley of the Roses, whose blooms are distilled into perfumed cosmetics and cure-alls by the local women. Roses have long been integral to Morocco’s sacred ceremonies and formal occasions. The taxis sport a pink stripe to recognise the significance of this valley, and every shop in the area is dedicated to the blooms.

Your Desert Experience

On arrival at the Sahara Desert at around 4pm, you’ll be whisked off on camelback for a peaceful journey through undulating sand dunes to base camp. This is where you’ll enjoy the true rough luxe experience: authentic Berber hospitality served with heart-warming comforts.

Settle in amongst the poufs and kilim rugs for a refreshing cup of Moroccan mint tea – otherwise known as Berber whiskey. Immersed in the true magic of the desert, the natural inclination is to unwind and savour the vistas. Or, for a more hands-on experience of the desert, hop on a sandboard and surf the dunes.

As the sun sets, the camp is lit with twinkling lanterns. Curl up by the bonfire and share tales of exotic journeys and desert adventures. Perhaps try your hand at drumming while stargazers delight at the crystal-clear night sky. Dinner is simple yet delicious – a real taste of Moroccan fare. After a convivial evening, enjoy a digestif beneath the stars before sauntering off for a cosy night’s sleep in your private tent with ensuite bathroom.

Day 6

Each tent has electrical plug points, and we recommend charging your phone or camera overnight for more photo opportunities at dawn: There’s no view more astonishing than a Sahara sunrise. After breakfast, you’ll hop into a 4WD for a brief stop at Erfoud to admire its abundant date palms and fill up on Medjool dates. Then it’s onwards to the fortified village of Goulmima in the middle of the desert. Your guide, Hamid, a retired English teacher, will introduce you to the village’s fascinating agriculture and heritage. He also invites you into his home, to meet his family and beloved animals, offering a glimpse of real life in the village. After visiting the extraordinary ruins of Golmima’s first school, built in 1945, lunch will be served. Tuck into a traditional Berber pizza baked in the outdoor oven and washed down with mint tea and fresh fruit from the local trees. Our final stop of the day is the nearby Palm Grove of Tadighoust, where you’ll stay in the stylish riad of a well-known, huge-hearted French philanthropist. Take a dip in the pool, unwind in the courtyard, enjoy a massage or explore the kasbahs of olde before returning for dinner. The chef, Hissam, never disappoints!

Day 7

Your day begins with a visit to Africa’s Hollywood, Ouarzazate, where blockbusters such as Gladiator, The Jewel of the Nile, Babel, Asterix & Obelix, Aladdin and The Mummy were filmed. While now predominantly famous for its Atlas Film Studios, historically this sizable town marked the crossroads for the caravans of African traders. Enjoy an hour or so taking in the sights and exploring the Cinema Museum. Then we’ll circle back to Marrakech to close our tour with refreshments on the Berber Duchess Riad roof terrace.