Day 1: Casablanca – Rabat
Upon arrival at Casablanca airport, our staff will be waiting for you at the terminal. An English-speaking driver will pick you up in a private vehicle to start, without further delay, the exploration of Morocco in its entirety.
The first stop will be in Casablanca itself, the largest city in the country. Specifically, the Hassan II Mosque, which is not only the highest mosque in Morocco but also in the entire Islamic world: its minaret is about 200 meters high. But that is not its only interest, far from it: it is one of the few visitable mosques in the country, so we will take the opportunity to enter and learn about this Muslim temple, made of high quality materials such as different marbles and granites.
After visiting this modern architectural jewel, located on an artificial peninsula on the coast of Casablanca, we will leave for our next destination: Rabat. It has been the capital since 1912 and is considered one of the Imperial Cities of Morocco, a name that gives us clues about the monumentality of some of its buildings. For example, the Hassan Tower, erected in the late twelfth century. In that same century, construction began on the Kasbah of the Oudayas, an impregnable walled enclosure from which you will enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the city, its coast and the neighboring Salé.
You will be able to discover all this and much more at your own pace, as you will have free time to spend the rest of the day in this city, distinguished as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. In this way, you can lose yourself in the medina and its souk, or visit other interesting places outside it, such as the Mohamed VI Museum of Contemporary Art, to name a few examples. And in the evening, you will rest in a comfortable riad in the heart of the city center.
Day 2: Rabat – Chaouen
After breakfast at the riad in Rabat, we will leave early in the morning heading north. The goal is to reach Chaouen with enough time to visit this small town full of charm. We will reach it after a journey of about 4 hours by road, the last stretch of which runs through the Rif Mountains.
Between two of them is Chaouen, also called Chefchaouen or El Aaiún. Its medina, with narrow, steep and twisted streets, exudes a special charm due to the light blue color used to decorate the walls. It also has an interesting kasbah, which today houses an ethnographic museum, and strategic viewpoints from which to admire the town’s hamlet and its green surroundings.
It is also a town where ancient traditions and ways of life survive, as well as a very rich craftsmanship, highlighting its textile productions. On your return from shopping and strolling through the medina, your riad will be close by, as it will be located in the historic center.
Day 3: Chaouen – Volubilis – Meknes- Fez
On the third day of this circuit, after breakfast at the riad, we will leave the Rif Mountains and head south to discover two places as different as interesting, which will help us to understand the diversity and beauty of Morocco as a whole. The first one takes us to the Roman Empire. Specifically, to one of its most important cities in North Africa, in the province called Mauritania Tingitana. We are talking about Volubilis, which is currently an archaeological site of great value, as it preserves colonnades, mosaics, monumental arches and other elements that allow us to understand its importance in the past. For all this it is listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
Later, we will move on to Meknes, another of the sites recognized by Unesco. It is also considered one of the Imperial Cities of Morocco because it was designated capital in the late seventeenth century by Sultan Moulay Ismail. During the free visit of its historic medina you can admire its mausoleum, the wall and its monumental gates, including Bab Mansour.
In the last part of the day we will arrive in Fez, with time for a free walk. Here you can experience a first contact with this city with a rich past, as well as shopping in its craft shops, recognized inside and outside the country for their quality. And to conclude the day, you will sleep in a riad in the medina that will allow you to be rested for the guided tour the next day.
Day 4: Fez
To know in depth all the secrets and attractions of Fez, it is essential to have the explanations and the help of an official local guide. And that is precisely what we provide on this fourth day of the tour. After breakfast at the riad, you will meet him for a tour in English of the great medina of the city, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
Our guide will organize a tour adapted to your preferences and abilities, optimizing your time. Thus, some of the possible places to discover will be the famous madrasas of the city, such as Bou Inania and Attarine. Or the Karaouine Mosque, which houses one of the oldest universities in the world. Or the Nejjarine Square, with its eighteenth-century fountain of the same name. Another of the must-see places in Fez is its tanners’ quarter, which still works the leather as in the old days.
In any case, it will be difficult to cover all the sights of Fez in a single morning, so the free afternoon can be devoted to visit what remains to be seen. The Golden Gates of the Royal Palace or the Jewish quarter (Mellah) can be interesting ideas for this time of the day, as well as the interior visit to museums: Dar Bahta, Borj Nord, Nejjarine, etc. And after a day of intense sightseeing in Fez, you will return to rest at night in the same riad in the center.
Day 5: Fez – Ifrane – Monkey Forest – Erfoud – Merzouga Desert
The fifth day of this circuit is one of the longest. But precisely for this reason, it is also one of the most attractive for those who intend to discover Morocco in its entirety. And we will start shortly after hitting the road, after breakfast at the riad in Fez.
The first stop will be the small town of Ifrane, unique not only in this circuit but also in the rest of the country: it is located at an altitude of more than 1,700 meters and, due to the numerous precipitations it receives (in the form of snow in winter), its environment is very green and its roofs are gabled. It is not by chance, therefore, that it is known by the name of ‘the Moroccan Switzerland’.
In this mountain environment we will discover another place of great interest: the Ifrane National Park, also called the Monkey Forest. It receives this name because in this protected natural area lives a large population of Barbary macaques, the largest in Morocco. Another attraction of this park is its large green forest mass, colored by its cedars. These trees provide the perfect habitat for the life of these primates, the only species living in freedom north of the Sahara.
Day 6: Merzouga Desert – Khamlia – Paris-Dakar Tracks – Nomads – Merzouga Desert
One of the advantages of this circuit is that the desert of Merzouga will not be a simple place of passage. On the contrary: we will dedicate the entire sixth day to discover its most authentic corners and traditions. First of all, the magic of the sunrise over the dunes of Erg Chebbi, where the dawn projects lights difficult to find anywhere else in the world. After that, breakfast will be served and we will take the camels back to Merzouga. In addition, you will have the possibility to take a shower, in the camp or in a hotel according to the package contracted.
First of all, we will visit Khamlia, which is also called the ‘village of the blacks’ because that is the predominant color of its inhabitants. The explanation lies centuries ago, when the slave trade forcibly brought people from sub-Saharan Africa. The people we will meet on this visit are, therefore, descendants of them. And they have maintained the passion and sensitivity for the music of their ancestors. Specifically, the gnawa genre, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco. We will attend a performance in which we will discover their percussion rhythms and mystical dances so characteristic.
With the sound still in our ears we will take our 4×4 to cross one of the most spectacular tracks in this area, usual in the routes of the legendary Paris-Dakar rally. Wrapped in this aura of adventure we will pass through other interesting places, such as kohl mines, abandoned French and Berber villages and a special elevation of the terrain from which you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
In addition, to meet the inhabitants of this area of Morocco in full and in depth, we will have the opportunity to visit a settlement of semi-nomadic people who continue to maintain uses and traditions of yesteryear. They will tell us about their experience of living in the desert and will welcome us with hospitality during our meeting. After that, we will head to the hotel where you will have dinner and spend the night, located in another suggestive corner of the desert of Merzouga.
Day 7: Merzouga Desert – Rissani – Todra Gorges – Dades Valley – Ouarzazate
On the seventh day of this circuit we will say goodbye to the desert of Merzouga and the dunes of Erg Chebbi. But, after breakfast at the hotel, we will head to other unique areas of the Moroccan desert. The first stop of this day’s roadtrip will be Rissani, a small but surprising city that houses a beautiful historic medina. Its traditional market full of colorful local products and its picturesque donkey parking are scenes that demonstrate the genuine daily life that still goes on here.
Leaving Rissani behind, we will travel more than 150 km to reach the Todra Gorges: here, the small river of the same name has carved a rocky canyon of whimsical shapes and high walls, famous among climbers from all over the world. But any visitor can admire this natural landscape and walk through the gorge formed after millennia of erosion. A beauty that will be even appreciable from our car, because the road forms implausible curves as it passes through this area.
The twisting turns of the Todra Gorges will take us to the heart of the Dades Valley, which in turn is part of the Route of the Thousand Kasbahs: before our eyes will follow numerous Berber fortresses perched on top of arid hills, as well as palm groves and cultivated areas where the local inhabitants follow their traditional rhythm of life. The same will happen in the nearby Valley of the Roses, where the production of this flower gives numerous jobs to its people and a special color to the environment, especially in the spring season.
The city where we will end the day will be Ouarzazate. Many know it as the Hollywood of Morocco for its prestigious film studios. Scenes from films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator and many others were shot here, as we will discover if the expedition wishes and schedules permit. A visit that is on the program is the Kasbah of Taourirt, on the outskirts of the city: residence of Thami El Glaoui, Lord of the Atlas and Pasha of Marrakech, still retains much of its original decoration, both inside and outside. At the end of the day, a hotel with all the comforts will serve dinner and offer you rest for the next day of our tour.
Day 8: Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – High Atlas- Essaouira
The eighth day of this circuit begins with breakfast at the hotel in Ouarzazate and then we will move to the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, located just 25 km from the city. His visit is more than justified, as it is one of the best examples of traditional defensive architecture of the Berber civilization, being a key stop on the caravan route between Marrakech and Timbuktu. Strolling through its interior and contemplating it from the outside we will understand why it was elected World Heritage by Unesco … and why it serves as a setting in blockbusters like Game of Thrones.
After this visit, we will return to our vehicle to head for the High Atlas Mountains, which we will cross later. But before reaching the top of the pass, we will stop at another kasbah of interest: Telouet. This fortress is closely related to that of Taourirt, in Ouarzazate: although it has also suffered the ravages of time, we can see a similar architectural style inside and outside, as it was also the residence and stronghold of the Pasha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui.
Shortly after we will reach the Tizi n’Tichka Pass, at an altitude of more than 2,200 meters, an unbeatable position to contemplate the surroundings: the highest peaks of the High Atlas rise imposing on the horizon and on the slopes of these mountains lie small Berber villages where time seems to have stopped. This is what we will see during our descent, which will be a journey through an environment of great scenic beauty.
This descent takes us directly to Marrakech, but we will not stop there… for the time being, because this circuit of Morocco ends here, several days later. Therefore, we will take the highway that connects this city with Essaouira, popularly known as ‘the Pearl of the Atlantic’. We will arrive there in the early afternoon, with enough time to take a first walk through this beautiful city, bathed by the waters of the ocean. In the evening, you will stay in a charming riad, located in the heart of the medina.
Day 9: Essaouira
After breakfast in your riad, you will have a free day in Essaouira. It is one of the few that have this honor in this circuit that covers the whole of Morocco, as it offers more than enough reasons for it. In fact, its historic center has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco and it is here that you will find the main monumental attractions of this coastal city, which in the past was a Portuguese colony, under the name of Mogador. This will be easy to understand in places like the imposing fortress of La Scala and the gates of the old wall. It is an environment that evokes the strategic importance of this enclave, which has also hosted the filming of many scenes of the series Game of Thrones. And its fishing port maintains its charm, as well as other spaces and corners of the medina, such as the Clock Tower.
But you can also dedicate part of the day to activities, since the city has space and professionals for it. Many of them take place on the coast. For example, Essaouira is a good place for kitesurfing and windsurfing, as it is a coastline with plenty of wind. Another option is to ride a horse or camel along the sandy beach, an experience always magical thanks to the nobility of these animals and the beauty of the landscape that surrounds the experience. And if what you want is simply a refreshing swim in summer season, this will be the best occasion you will have in this circuit.
Our staff will be able to help or advise you on what to do and how to book any activity in Essaouira. And in the evening, you will repeat your stay in the riad in the medina.
Day 10: Essaouira – Marrakech
On this tenth day we will travel to the city where this tour ends: Marrakech. Before that, you will have breakfast at the riad in Essaouira and then our driver will pick you up to travel by road to the Red City, arriving mid-morning.
That way, you will have almost the whole day free to discover at your own pace the places you consider most important in Marrakech, taking into account that the next day you will also have a full day to know the main tourist city of Morocco in full, in that case by guided tour during the morning. Therefore, you can plan the day according to your preferences, for example to discover interesting monuments such as the El Badi Palace, stroll through charming places like the Majorelle Gardens or get tickets for prestigious museums such as the Marrakech Museum or the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.
Of course, you can also take advantage of this day for shopping, taking into account that we will no longer travel to other cities and, therefore, you will not have to carry more with shopping. In this sense, you can visit the more traditional souks of the medina or visit other neighborhoods with more modern stores, such as Gueliz. Whichever option you choose, you will enjoy a refreshing night’s rest in a riad in the historic center.
Day 11: Marrakech
In this tour, Marrakech is the perfect epilogue to almost two weeks of travel. Therefore, we will dedicate the whole morning to discover its charms through a guided tour. Our official guide will be waiting for you to start once you have finished breakfast, which will be served at the riad.
The tour that our guide will have prepared will focus on the historical sites that have contributed to declare this city a World Heritage Site by Unesco. In particular, inside the medina, where the famous Kutubia Mosque, the Ben Youssef Medersa, the Bahia Palace or the Saadian Tombs are located. These are places where all the beauty of Islamic art is displayed, with a dazzling decoration of tiles, marble, cedar wood and other rich materials. There will also be time to discover the souks of the center and also the most popular square of the city: the Jemaa el-Fna Square, which was itself declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The afternoon of this day will be free again, so you will have the opportunity to do something different from the previous day. Or you can simply rest, especially if it is a hammam in the traditional style or with a more modern character, in order to replenish your energy after the many kilometers of this circuit. And at the end of the day, you will return to stay in the riad of the medina, in what will be the last night of the route.
Day 12: Marrakech – Airport
After getting to know Morocco to the fullest, it is time to say goodbye. This last day will start with breakfast at the riad and foresees the transfer to Marrakech airport. Our driver will pick you up at the agreed time and take you in a private vehicle to be on time at the terminal. There we will say goodbye, grateful for the trust placed in us and hoping that you will choose us again for another tourist experience in Morocco.
TOURIST PACKAGE INCLUDED
- Pick up and drop off at the airport
- Comfortable private transportation with air conditioning
- English speaking driver / tour guide
- Sandboarding in the desert
- Camel ride
TOURIST PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS
- Plane tickets