Please note that all listed run distances can be shortened or lengthened - all abilities accommodated! - and that itinerary is subject to minor adjustments due to weather, logistical considerations, etc.
DAY 1 | ARRIVAL IN MARRAKECH
Arrive in Marrakech, where we will pick you up at the airport and take you to our beautiful riad (traditional courtyard house). That evening you will get your first taste of Moroccan tagine as we dine on the rooftop, relax, and unwind. Those who manage to hold off the jet lag can experience the Djemaa El-fna (the central square of the old city) and the surrounding souks: sample local treats, bargain for scarves, charm a cobra, jump into a drum circle or simply wander around and take it all in!
No organized run
Meals: D (dinner)
DAY 2 | CROSSING THE HIGH ATLAS
Depart from Marrakech towards first run in the northern foothills of the High Atlas mountains. Just an hour from bustling Marrakech your run will take you through sleepy villages and through scenes of traditional agriculture, all with the beautiful backdrop of the mountains. At the finish line of the run we will have a fresh picnic prepared by our cook team, then we'll drive up and over the mountains towards Telouet - our destination for night. Spend the evening learning about the history of Telouet and the infamous Pasha Glaoui and enjoying a big dinner at our guesthouse.
Running: Up to 14 miles, pavement
DAY 3 | OUNILA VALLEY & AIT BEN HADDOU
After a big breakfast we have a short drive to our morning run along the Ounila Valley. A big contrast in the landscape now we are on the southern side of the mountains, so expect an arid brown landscape etched with the green gardens of the Ounila Valley. This is a stunning run along the canyon walls with great views throughout. After another picnic lunch at the finish line we will make a pitstop at Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO-preserved kasbah that has served as the set for Gladiator, Game of Thrones and many other films. Pictures taken, we’ll head to the fertile Dades Valley where you’ll have the evening to explore the gardens (and a hidden waterfall!), or simply relax and enjoy the view from our cliffside guesthouse.
Running: Up to 13 miles, pavement
DAY 4 | THE MARS RUN & THE TODRA GORGE
After a light breakfast we’ll begin a rolling trail run near the Dades Valley over a surreal, Mars-like landscape dotted with Berber nomad camps and views of the High Atlas, eventually finishing with an outdoor brunch in a small village. This one is always one of the favorite runs! After that, our destination is the Todra Gorge, a dramatic canyon that offers prime rock climbing - and running! - opportunities. There will be some optional afternoon activities, or you can just kick back and rest your legs by the pool.
Running: up to 12 miles, rocky/dirt road
DAY 5 | TODRA GORGE
After a relaxed breakfast at our riad we will drive out to our start line at top of the Todra Gorge. This run is great for kicking into cruise mode (net downhill!) and enjoying the spectacular gorge which gets more and more dramatic as you run. You’ll be winding along the bottom of the canyon and the walls will seem to grow and grow as you run! Lunch is at the finish line back at our hotel: an afternoon of refueling and relaxing by the pool awaits, as well as some downtime for those looking to explore the gorge a little more.
Running: up to 12 miles, pavement
DAY 6 | REST DAY
Rest day! Enjoy a sleep-in, a relaxed morning, a big breakfast and then a day of travel as we head south towards the Draa Valley, one of the biggest date palm oases in the world - an awesome sight! With less focus on running today we will have more time for taking in the traditional Berber culture in this area of Southeast Morocco. We'll visit a local pottery cooperative and then spend the night in Zagora at a beautiful guesthouse hidden in magical gardens.
No scheduled run (morning or evening shakeout optional)
DAY 7 | THE SAHARA
Today we head over the Anti-Atlas mountains to the village of M'Hamid, where we'll share snacks (and a lot of mint tea!) at the family home of one of our Moroccan team members. Afterward, it's time for the Sahara! After leaving the pavement far behind, the run will begin over rolling, rocky terrain and head towards the sand dunes, getting softer and softer as you go. Finish with lunch at our private camp set among towering sand dunes, then go explore and get ready for a sunset camel trek. Later on, it’s time for a huge feast, traditional music around the campfire and more stars than you've ever seen before. Sleep comfortably in traditional nomad tents, complete with real beds, rugs and solar lights - this is where "glamping" began!
Running: Up to 10 miles, jeep track and some sand
DAY 8 | LAKE IRIKI
Wake up early to catch a Sahara sunrise, then enjoy a relaxed breakfast. We'll depart the camp mid-morning and take a short drive to Lake Iriki where our run will begin. This lake no longer has any water, but it does have mirages galore - though pancake flat, this is a challenging and very memorable run! Finish with another big picnic then continue to Foum Z'guide, a town located on the edge of the desert. Enjoy the pool, a nice shower and the bar!
Running: Up to 10 mi, hard-packed dirt
DAY 9 | TRAVEL BACK TO MARRAKECH
If you're still craving a few more miles, then get up early for a low-key shakeout from the hotel. Otherwise, get some rest! We'll embark on the long (but very scenic) journey back to Marrakech after breakfast with plenty of breaks along the way. After we arrive you'll have time to get out and explore the city (or hit the hammam!) before a big farewell dinner at a rooftop restaurant.
Running: up to 8 miles, pavement
DAY 10 | DEPARTURE
This is it! Enjoy a final breakfast and then we will get you to the airport in plenty of time to catch your flight.
No scheduled run
PRICING & DETAILS
Sunday, March 15 - Tuesday, March 24, 2020
A $600 deposit secures your spot, and the total cost depends upon signup date:
Standard Pricing (through Dec 15): $2795
Late Pricing (after Dec 15): $2895
Private Room Upgrade: $450 - gives you a single room for 8 nights. A private tent is not guaranteed in the Sahara, though we’ll do our best to accommodate.
Early Arrival package: $205/$310 (single/double) - Arrive a day early for extra time to sleep off the jet lag and explore Marrakech! Includes private airport pickup, accommodation and dinner upon arrival, then breakfast and a medina city tour with a professional guide the following morning.
Balance due by December 15 2019. Please refer to the FAQs for our cancellation & refund policy.
Pre-trip guidance + communication
Transfers to/from Marrakech airport on arrival and departure day
Transportation: well-maintained 4×4 vehicles, fuel and drivers
Eight nights in comfortable, unique three and four-star hotels or riads (double occupancy)
One night in our private Sahara camp (fully equipped with traditional tents, real beds and a bathhouse)
Seven organized, vehicle-supported runs
Experienced Moroccan logistics team
Experienced Rogue Expeditions trip leaders
All meals + snacks
All water + coffee/tea/juice with breakfast
Rogue Expeditions shirt + buff
COST DOES NOT INCLUDE
Alcohol or beverages other than water (though coffee, tea and juice are included with breakfasts)
Personal purchases/souvenirs or extra activities
There will be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 16 runners. Spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so early deposits are recommended!
Participants will need a passport with at least 6 months of validity left. No visas or vaccinations are required for US or EU citizens in Morocco, though you may want to consider some standard vaccinations if you are a first-time traveler. Travelers from other countries should check with their consulate for details. Please keep in mind that Morocco is a developing country – though you will be comfortable and very well taken care of, an adventurous and flexible attitude is a must!
Please note that travel insurance is strongly recommended. Although we hope you never need it, we've seen enough to know that it can be a lifesaver in the event of a medical emergency, flight delays that cause you to miss the start of the trip, lost baggage or cancellation on your part (broke your leg two weeks before departure? Insurance could cover the entire cost of your trip!).
You can find those here.
Allison Macsas at firstname.lastname@example.org