Discover Morocco’s fascinating history, secrets, and hidden corners in this 17 Day tour which includes of the North of Morocco and the Sahara plus the 4 Imperial cities of Fes, Meknes, Rabat and Marrakesh, the largest city in Morocco, Casablanca, plus the seaside city of Essaouira.
Day 1 : Pick up at Casablanca Airport
Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be greeted by your driver and tour guide who will take you directly to your hotel.
After having some rest, enjoy your first evening in Morocco and an overnight stay in your hotel.
Day 2 : Casablanca
After a leisurely breakfast, your driver and tour guide will pick you up and take you on a tour of the city of Casablanca.
Your first stop on the tour will be the Hassan II Mosque. This mosque, one of the largest in the world, was built by Moroccan artisans from all over the Kingdom. The minaret is 60 stories high and has a laser pointing to Mecca on the top. Guided tours are offered at the entrance of the mosque.
After the tour, head to City Center and visit the city’s markets. Feel free to stop for lunch at any point. In the afternoon, head to the Corniche for a drive along the waterfront.
At the end of the day, your driver will take you to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 3 : Rabat
After breakfast, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and you will take a one-hour drive along the highway to Rabat, Morocco’s Capital, and one of the four Imperial Cities. Rabat is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the River Bou Regreg. It is an attractive city with wide streets and many gardens.
It was awarded World Heritage Site status and is considered a ‘modern capital and historic city’ by UNESCO.
When you arrive, your driver will drive to your hotel. In the afternoon, your driver will pick you up and you will visit the ancient monuments such as the Chellah which dates to the Marinids and the Kasbah of the Udayes. Also worth a visit are the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and Morocco’s most important museum which opened in October 2014, the Museum Mohammed VI of Modern and Contemporary Art.
At the end of the day, you will head back to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 4 :Rabat to Chefchaouen
After breakfast, your driver will pick you up and you will start your journey to Chefchaouen, a gorgeous mountain city known as the ‘Blue City’. As you get closer to Chefchaouen, the terrain will become hillier and the views more spectacular. Before you arrive, you can stop for panoramic views of the city which is built on the side of a mountain.
When you drive to the Old Town, you will see the blue-washed buildings, all painted in various shades of blue.
You driver will take you to your hotel and you are free to walk around the medina and the narrow-cobbled streets which are sometimes very steep. In the main square, there is a red-walled Kasbah and many outdoor restaurants and coffees.
In the evening enjoy dinner in the plaza of the Medina and then return to your hotel
Day 5 :Chefchaouen
After breakfast, feel free to spend a few more hours in Chefchaouen. Then meet up with your driver and drive to the Akchour Waterfalls, which is one of Morocco’s hidden gems and located in the heart of the Rif Mountains. The two main waterfalls are connected by a bridge called God’s Bridge. You can then explore the small town of Akchour and have lunch there.
After your visit, you will drive back to Chefchaouen for a relaxing evening. Enjoy dinner in the square and listen to the local musicians.
Day 6 : Chefchaouen to Fes
After breakfast, your driver will pick you up and you will head towards Fes, the second Imperial City on your tour. Fes is known as the spiritual and intellectual capital of the country.
The drive from Chefchaouen to Fes will take 4-5 hours. You will drive through small villages and past long stretches of olive groves. Stop for lunch when you would like for a fire-cooked tangine.
Upon your arrival in Fes, you driver will take you to your hotel for an overnight stay
Day 7 : Tour of Fes
After breakfast, you will meet your driver and your private Fes tour guide. You will begin your Fes sightseeing tour from the area known as the Middle Town, the Fes el Jadid.
You will visit the historical sites such as the Royal Palace, one of the oldest and largest in Morocco, the Mellah or Jewish Quarter, founded in 1438, and the landmark Marinid Tombs which date back to the Marinid Dynasty.
Later, you will enter the winding, old walled city of Fes el Bali, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.
Here you will visit the magnificent Moulay Idriss Mausoleum and the medieval University of Karaouiyine plus the leather tanneries which have been in operation with little change for 1000 years.
After your tour, return to your hotel for an overnight stay
Day 8 : Day Trip to Volubilis, Moulay Idriss and Meknes
After breakfast, you driver will drive you to Volubilis, which is one of the best-preserved excavations in North Africa dating from the Roman Empire. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with a guide, you will have an opportunity to explore a whole city of Roman ruins. There are remnants of townhouses with ancient mosaic floors intact.
Then drive to the charming, whitewashed city of Moulay Idriss, considered the holiest city in Morocco. It was here that Moulay Idriss 1 arrived in 789, bringing with him the religion of Islam and starting a new dynasty. This quiet city is built on a hill and is a nice place for lunch.
Then head to Meknes, the third Imperial City on your tour and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will tour the major attractions of the city including the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail and the Bab Mansour Gate plus the Bab Berdieyinne Mosque. You will also visit the Qara Prison, also known as the cellar, or the prison of the Christians. It is a series of underground vaulted chambers built in the early 18th century by the order of Sultan Moulay Ismail.
After your tour, head back to your hotel in Fes for an overnight stay.
Day 9 : Fes to Merzouga
After breakfast, you will leave Fes and begin the drive to Merzouga through the Middle Atlas Mountains. The trip takes 7-8 hours, and you can stop as many times as you want for photos.
You will drive through an everchanging landscape over the winding roads through mountains, forests, and verdant mountain villages. Between Errachidia and Erfoud, there is a beautiful oasis which is lined with palm trees and greenery. At Erfoud, you will head south and drive through the desert to Merzouga.
Upon arrival in Merzouga, head straight to the Auberge Café du Sud for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 10 : Sahara Desert
In the morning, after breakfast, you can explore the village and then your driver will give you a tour of the area in a 4-wheel drive where you can meet the Bedouins, the people who are native to the area. You can also tour the mudflats and view the enormous sand dunes.
Then prepare for your night in the desert. In the late afternoon, embark on a camel ride to go to the bivouac to watch the sun setting beyond the massive dunes. Enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night in your tent.
Day 11 : Ait BenHaddou
Today, wake up before dawn to watch the exquisite sunrise in the desert that rises in the east behind the dunes. After breakfast in the camp, take a camel ride back to Merzouga and get ready for your next adventure.
Head north to Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate is known as the capital of the south of Morocco. It is also a center for commercial filming and several production studios are located there.
When you get to your hotel in Ait BenHaddou, have a rest and then enjoy a delicious Moroccan dinner.
Day 12 : Ait benHaddou to Marrakesh
After breakfast, visit the Kasbah at Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO world Heritage Site. This Kasbah, built along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh, consists of a half dozen Kasbahs or merchant houses. It is well preserved and one of the most spectacular sights in the South of Morocco.
Then you will start your trip to Marrakesh and stop for lunch along the way.
You will drive over the High Atlas Mountains through the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass to Marrakesh. This spectacular mountain pass, built in 1936 by the French, reaches an altitude of over 7000 feet and is the highest major mountain pass in North Africa.
When you reach Marrakesh, head to your hotel for an overnight stay
Day 13 : Guided Tour of Marrakesh
After a leisurely breakfast, you will meet your driver and private Marrakesh tour guide and begin a sightseeing tour of the city, also known as the ‘Red City’. The color is pervasive as many buildings were constructed from local red sandstone.
Explore several historical palaces, museums and sites in the city, such as the walled Medina of Marrakesh, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
See the former palace of the Sultan, known as the Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs and the old Jewish Synagogue and more.
Enjoy all the festivities in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the famous Djeema el Fna Square. Visit the artist’s landscape in the Majorelle Garden, once owned by Yves St. Laurent.
At the end of the day, return to your hotel.
Day 14 : Day Trip to Ourika Valley
After breakfast, your driver will pick you up and you will depart for a day trip to Ourika Valley.
You will head south and drive past the olive groves and then along the river as you head towards your destination. Beyond the rolling hills, you will see the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in the distance.
Enjoy lunch in the heart of Ourika Valley by the river before you head to the waterfalls of Setti Fatma. If you would like, you can take a short hike to the waterfall for some spectacular views.
At the end of the day, return to your hotel.
Day 15 :Marrakesh to Essaouira
After a leisurely breakfast, depart Marrakesh for Essaouira, a beautiful Moroccan coastal town. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, it was part of the ‘hippie trail.’ Today, it is known as Morocco’s windsurfing capital. Much of the ride is along the highway but as you approach Essaouira, look for the goats who have climbed the trees and are looking for fruit.
When you arrive in Essaouira, you will head to your hotel. This afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy. Feel free to do whatever you want. You can explore the plaza, or just enjoy the amenities of your riad.
Day 16 : Essaouira
Essaouira is a place to relax. One can walk along the beach for miles or walk through the Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and not get lost. There are many small cafes along the way plus a variety of marketplaces.
In the afternoon, you can explore the port of Essaouira where fish are caught daily in blue boats. This lovely color is painted on every boat that fishes the Purple Islands every morning. Then you can walk along the ramparts and look at the old Spanish and Portuguese cannons, a testament to Morocco’s multicultural past.
If you would like to have a tour guide show you the historical sites such as the Simon Attias Synagogue which was built in 1882, the Ben Youssef Mosque and the Galeries Frederic Damgaard, you can contact your driver and he will make the arrangements. We leave that choice up to you.
Day 17 : Transfer to Casablanca Airport
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and drive directly to the airport in Casablanca for your return flight home. Your driver will make sure you get to the airport at least 2 hours prior to your flight’s scheduled departure.