This 9-day tour will introduce you to all that Morocco has to offer. The tour contrasts the old towns, bustling medinas, great food and ancient architecture of Morocco’s northern imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Marrakech with some of the country’s spectacular scenery including the Atlas Mountains, Erg Chebbi Desert sand dunes, the Draa Valley and Todra Gorge.
Private tour option
If our scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer not to travel with a group, or do you want another trip?
then we can also run this tour privately for you. Please contact us for more information and prices
Day 1 : Arrive into Casablanca
Upon arrival our staff will meet you at Casablanca airport and transfer you to your hotel for the start of your trip. They’ll help you settle in and introduce you to the local area
Day 2 : Casablanca, Rabat, Volubolis & Meknes
We start our tour early today with a visit (from the outside) to the impressive Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. The mosque, 7th largest in the world and with the highest minaret has an amazing location right on the edge of the sea. We then head to Morocco’s nearby capital, Rabat. Also strategically located on the Atlantic coastline, Rabat began as a settlement in the third century BC and we’ll enjoy a tour of the old city including visits to the Royal Palace, Ouadaya Garden & Kasbah and the Hassan Tower Mosque. Next is the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. Recently listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and dating back as far as AD40, Volubilis is home to some of the most impressive Roman ruins in North Africa. Finally we the Berber town of Meknes. Formerly the capital of Morocco during the reign of Moulay Ismail, he transformed the town, constructing intricate gateways, beautiful gardens and at 40m the largest ramparts in the country. Our days ends with the short drive to Fez where we spend the night.
Day 3 : Fez, city tour
We leave Meknes this morning for the short drive to the mediaeval city of Fez. Over 1,200 years old, the city of Fez is a labyrinth of souks, mosques and spice filled streets. We delve into the fascinating history of the city with a full tour encompassing the Moulay Idriss mausoleum, Nejjarine fountain and the Bou Anania Medersa. We also spend time confusing our senses in the cacophony of noise surrounding the heady alleyways of Medieval Medina, home to tanneries, carpet shops and local restaurants before heading to Fez Jdid to explore the cities many varied souks.
Day 4 : Drive from Fez to Midelt
We start to discover some of Morocco’s beautiful mountainous landscape today as we leave Fez and follow ancient caravan routes up into the hills. Along the way we’ll stop at Ifran, known as the ”Switzerland of Morocco” and a huge contrast to some of the other more Arabic feeling cities you’ll see in Morocco. The French built Ifran in the 1930s, with the intention of recreating an alpine style resort, and you’ll see beautiful parks with lakes, flower beds, and red roofed houses throughout what was named the second cleanest city in the world in 2013. Next we head on through the hills to the town of Midelt where we check into our hotel and in the afternoon enjoy a fun cooking class where we learn how to prepare and cook Morocco’s classic dish of cous cous.
Day 5 : Ziz Valley, Erg Chebbi sand dunes, camel ride and Berber camp
We’ll continue through the scenic Ziz Valley this morning as we descend to Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara Desert. We’ll make the short trip to Rissani and the birthplace of the Alaouite Dynasty – Morocco’s current royal family before driving in 4WD vehicles through the desert to Merzouga and the famous Erg Chebbi sand desert. Here we transfer to camels and take a sunset camel ride through the sand dunes to a traditional Berber camp nestled right on the edge of the dunes. You can enjoy some spectacular views over the sand dunes as the sun sinks below the horizon before enjoying a hearty Bedouin meal and a campfire this evening, often with local musicians helping enhance the atmosphere. You spend the night sleeping in comfortable Berber camel-hair tents.
Day 6 : Drive to Ouarzazate via Tinghir and the Todra Gorge
We leave the desert reluctantly this morning and finish our safari before driving to the oasis town of Tinghir. The nearby Todra Gorge is our next stop where we walk through its narrow canyon beneath huge rock walls that change in colour as the light moves during the day. We’ll also drive through the Dades Canyon with its steep winding access road with numerous switchbacks providing great views of the steep cliffs and the river below which rushes dramatically through the gorge, especially in the spring when the mountain snows are melting. Finally we continue along the ‘Road of a Thousand Kasbahs’ through the scenic Draa Valley to Ouarzazate, or ‘place of no noise’. An incredibly dramatic landscape, this area has played host to countless well known films.
Day 7 : Ait Benhaddou, Atlas Mountains & Ourika Valley
While in Ouarzazate we include a tour of the movie studios that have taken advantage of the amazing scenery in the area. Some of the most famous films that have been shot from the Atlas Studios here include Lawrence of Arabi, The Living Daylights, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Man who would be King, The Mummy, Gladiator, Asterix & Obelisk, Kingdom of Heaven, Kundun, Legionnaire, Hanna, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011), as well as part of the TV series Game of Thrones. Today’s main highlight though is a tour of Morocco’s most well known Kasbah at the UNESCO world heritage site of Ait Benhaddou. This is a huge fortified city (ksar – a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls), with houses and kasbahs crowding together inside the defensive walls, an excellent example of traditional Moroccan earthen clay architecture. Finally we head up into the Atlas Mountains again to cross the Tizi N’tichka col which at 2260m is the highest pass in Northern Africa. As we descend to Marrakech we’ll make a stop in the beautiful Ourika Valley with its beautiful river, pools and waterfalls.
Day 8 : Marrakech city tour
Today’s tour of Marrakech begins with a trip to the iconic Koutoubia Mosque, home to the minaret which has become a symbol of the city. We then visit the Mausoleum and Bahia Palace which both host intricate and beautiful Arabic craftsmanship. Then we head to the lively souks and bazaars in Marrakech’s famous medina. Home to many different types of traders these narrow and winding streets are bustling with activity and full of sights sounds and smells uniquely Moroccan. Today’s tour ends at the lively Djemaa El Fna Square, a perfect place to finish our tour of Morocco.
Day 9 : Marrakech, free time, transfer to the airport for departure
Your day is free today to explore Marrakech further, and perhaps do some final souvenir shopping and sightseeing before we transfer you to Marrakech airport for your departure flight. Subject to your flight time, we can also offer a range of day trips and excursions, including a spectacular hot air balloon flight
Accommodation in mainly 4-star level hotels, and a comfortable Berber desert camp
All transport and transfers
24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
Services of an experienced local tour leader throughout
Meals as indicated in the itinerary
Entrances fees to monuments as stated
International flights (available on request)
Visa fees (not required for many nationalities)
Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
Meals not indicated in the itinerary
Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
Any other items not mentioned above