Active + Adventure

The Checklist: Ultimate Adventures

by Sarah Tuff


The trip: Forget the Land Cruiser. The only authentic way to cross the Sahara, T.E. Lawrence style, is on the back of a camel. Yes, it may be less cush than a leather car seat, and even a boxful of Altoids can't help that camel breath, but you'll be too spellbound by Morocco to care. The country's sensual bazaars, imposing Atlas Mountains, and undulating sands all have mystical powers over travelers, who feel more complete after experiencing the Moroccan mosaic of casbahs, souks, and Berber villages. As part of a two-week trip from Marrakesh to Fez from Mountain Travel Sobek, adventurers devote four days (and up to seven hours per day) camel-trekking across the desert, navigating pumpkin-colored dunes and black volcanic rock while rocking rhythmically atop a blanket. Nights are spent camping under the impossibly bright stars while the camels sleep nearby. After bidding goodbye to the animals, guests explore the dune mountains of Erfoud and the medieval architecture of Fez—including the 20-plus palaces of the sultan Moulay Ismail, who is said to have fathered 1,000 children. We're not sure how much time he spent on a camel.

Why go? Because you need to believe in magic again.

What to pack: An extra suitcase, to bring home the handcrafted rugs, lanterns, pillows, and leather bags you'll pick up along the way.

Difficulty: 4 out of 10. Expect a bit of discomfort on the camels and one seven-hour day of hiking.

Your guides: Mountain Travel Sobek. Morocco-savvy since 1975, the company has had more than 30 years to track down the most cooperative dromedaries.

Mountain Travel Sobek
Tel: 510-594-6000
14-day trip, including nine nights in hotels, four nights camping, and all meals, $4,295 per person

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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