Hakima’s Moroccan Cooking School

Mountain and Sahara Tour



For a more extended trip out of Marrakech, I recommend a tour of at least 5 to 6 nights into the countryside to visit ancient casbahs in the mountains, ride a camel into the Sahara desert and spend a night in a Berber tent, and enjoy authentic cooking lessons.  This tour can be lengthened or shortened to meet your preferences.  Cooking lessons are optional, and you can participate in some or all as you choose.

EXAMPLE: possible 5 day (4 night) itinerary:

Day 1:  Drive (about 3 hours) over the High Atlas Mountains.  After a visit to an ancient palace we will have your first cooking lesson (pastilla or tagine) in the village of Telouet and lunch over-looking the meadows and mountains.

After lunch, we drive an hour or so to Amridil to visit and explore  an ancient Kasbah.  Time for Moroccan tea in the court yard.

Spend the night in a small family hotel in a Berber village in the Dades (an area of remarkable beauty) near Boumaine Dades.  Cooking lesson 2 takes place in the family kitchen at the casbah/hotel  with several generations of Moroccan cooks.

Day 2:  After breakfast, an off-road trip takes us through remote landscape and (depending on the season) a visit to nomadic herders.  We go along side a beautiful river and through a steep gorge to the top of the Dades and then another few miles to the Toudra Gorge for cooking lesson 3 and the night at a wonderful, newer hotel - Kasbah Les Amis. 

Day 3:  We continue our journey through the Atlas, through the towns of Goulmain, Tinerhir and hopefully on the way see more nomads with their camels, chickens and goats.  We reach Merzouga on the edge of the Sahara desert. There we journey for an hour or so by camel (with Berber guides) at sunset to a camp in the Sahara and watch the sunset and sunrise from the heart of the dunes.  Following dinner, watch an incredible show of stars, and then enjoy a little music and singing with your guides and sleep in a tent made of rugs on a bed with white sheets.

Day 4: After watching the sunrise, depart on your camel back to Merzouga for breakfast and a welcome warm shower or dip in the swimming pool.  We head to the Valley of the Dates and the night at the fabulous Hotel Itrane in Tamnougalt. Here you may swim in their beautiful pool and/or indulge in cooking lesson 4 with the local women.

Day 5: This takes us back to Marrakech, or allows another day in the Valley of the Dates and time for another cooking lesson to learn the magic of cooking  Berber pizza on a wood fire in a 300 year old casbah before returning to Marrakech.  Day 5 in the Valley also allows time to discover Tamnougar, and explore the Valley and casbahs (one of which is a frequent movie set). Return to your riad in Marrakech for your time remaining in Marrakech or spend another night in the valley of the dates and another dip in the pool…or..?

Your choice.


The above mountain and Sahara tour is an example of one itinerary with my traveling cooking school.  Other tours can be arranged with my wonderful Moroccan driver, guide  and friend of 9 years, Mokhtar. Guided tours are available without the cooking  lessons throughout the kingdom of Morocco, including, to the southern coast to watch birds, Fez to visit the souks, to the magic of the Imperial City, Rabat, to the sands of the Sahara, and to the shores of the Mediterranean or the Atlantic Oceans.

For inquiries, questions, and booking please contact:

Carolyn Watts

333 Lawrence St.

Port Townsend, Washington 98368