This eclectic itinerary is your best chance to see everything you can in fifteen days while maintaining a leisurely pace. From imperial cities to coastal surf towns, and arid Sahara valleys, Morocco will be an unforgettable travel destination. From the arid Sahara Desert to the beach resorts along the western coast, Morocco is a slide show of constantly shifting panoramas, landscapes, and people. This country has played host to foreign conquerors and rulers from ancient Roman to modern French origins and has emerged as a traditional Muslim center of culture and commerce unlike anywhere else.
Welcome to Morocco! You will be picked up at the airport in Casablanca on arrival and transferred to your self-arranged hotel. Get settled into your room and get a good night's sleep before your adventure in Africa begins!. (This service is on a private basis.)
Casablanca is Morocco's most forward-minded city. It is where modern industry is churning most noticeably, and where Morocco's economy shows the most activity. Commonly used as Morocco's gateway, most international flights arrive and depart from here. Despite most travelers wanting to reach the Sahara or walk in Marrakesh's medina, Casablanca deserves a little more attention. It is where a culture as old as Morocco's gazes onto a modern world, and interprets modern fashions as its own. Much can be learned about Morocco's culture by walking its streets and meeting its people.
Today, you will have a half-day tour by car during which you will explore Casablanca's highlights. In addition to visiting the outside of the famous Hassan II Mosque, you may want to visit the Habous Quarter, the Central Market, United Nation Square, and the Ain Diab Corniche. One of the most interesting, rich historical aspects of Casablanca is the Art Deco architecture left by French colonialists through downtown Morocco. Many of these buildings are in various states of disrepair, but an absolute must-see for Art Deco enthusiasts is the Cinema Rialto on rue Mohammed Qorri. This particular neighborhood is rich with examples of Art Deco and is worth an afternoon stroll. There is also the Jewish Museum -- one of the only ones in the Muslim world.
*Please note: To visit the Hassan II Mosque, you must be dressed appropriately. Men should wear pants and shirts, no shorts or tank tops. Women must cover their heads, arms, and legs.
This morning, you'll take off with your private guide and driver for the "Blue Town" of Chefchaouen. En route, stop in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Once in "Chaouen" you'll have the afternoon free to explore and relax.
Total travel time: 5 hours (This service is on a private basis.)
Chefchaouen is one of the most iconic towns in Morocco, thanks to its sea of enchanting shades of blue. Taking a stroll through the winding streets of blue washed buildings, offers an experience that truly feels like a fairy tale. Chefchaouen is traditional enough to promise an authentic Moroccan experience, yet modernized enough to make travel here seamless and comfortable. With the recent renovation of the town's medina, what was once just a backpacker's destination, is now an irresistible retreat for all.
You will enjoy an orientation walk in Chefchaouen today with your guide and perhaps a short hike if you'd like. The rest of the day will be free to relax at your leisure.
Today, you'll depart Chefchaouen following breakfast and head south towards the imperial city of Meknes, founded by the Berber tribe Meknassa in 711 (older than Rabat, Fez & Marrakech). Meknes used to be the capital of Morocco during the kingdom of Mly Ismail from 1672 to 1727. Take a tour of Bab Mansour and El Khzenand and enjoy lunch before continuing to Volubilis.
Volubilis is the most important and extensive remains of a Roman city in Morocco, and one of the most distant of the Empire’s domain, thanks to the powerful Berber tribes who showed themselves to be more than a match for the conquering legionnaires. Once one of the most important regions producing grain to feed the voracious Roman appetite, and wild animals to keep the crowds entertained as they tried to devour gladiators in the arena, this prosperous provincial city was home to some 200,000 residents at the height of its glory.
The fascinating sights here are overseen by the nearby village of Moulay Idriss, which looks like a camel sitting from a distance. The oldest town in Morocco, it was founded by Moulay Idriss I in 789, having fled Mecca because of religious and tribal conflicts. It was here that the Idrisid dynasty was founded, and the town has the only round minaret in Morocco. Then, you'll head to the Imperial City of Fez to prepare for tomorrow's full day.
(Total travel time: 4-5 hours) (This service is on a private basis.)
In Fez, you will be able to explore the UNESCO protected Fez Medina with a privately guided full day tour. Since this can be confusing due to well over 9,000 streets and alleyways, your guide will take you to the most worthwhile parts, including the Fondouk Nejjarine, the tanneries and the various craft souks. If you have particular places of interests, let us know!
Lunch is included today on the tour. (This service is on a private basis.)
An old and noble city, Fez truly is the center of culture and intellectualism in Morocco. Many of the country's most important historical movements began in Fez, and although the city has seen ruler after ruler come and go, it has stood strong for over 1,200 years. The rich history is apparent everywhere you look, as you navigate through the medina's narrow passages. Wind your way through the city and wake up your senses with the flavors and aromas behind every street corner. Money from tourism has poured into Fez in the past couple of decades, influencing the construction of more modern riads, to compliment an ancient lifestyle.
You will depart early this morning and head to Ifrane, the gateway into the Middle Atlas Mountains. From this alpine area, you'll continue onward through Ifrane and the expansive Ziz Valley oasis. It's here where you'll meet our local coordinator who will take you on a short walking tour through this rich agricultural area filled with date palms and small farmsteads. Following, lunch will be served at his family's humble home. Continue on to Erfoud where you'll enjoy a relaxing evening at the hotel, allowing you to be fully rested for tomorrow's desert adventure. Drive Duration: approximately 7 hours. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning you'll have some time to explore Erfoud Market and the old irrigation system at Khettarat before stopping for lunch at El Khorbat for some Berber pizza. Then we continue south to Merzouga and the Erg Chebbi region of the Sahara Desert. Once near the dunes, you'll take a 4x4 to meet the camels where a one-hour ride on these local dromedaries takes you into the encampment. If you'd rather not ride camels, you can continue into the desert camp via 4x4. You'll be sleeping in a Bedouin-style luxury tent. This tent area has actual beds/blankets/sheets, carpets aligning the ground, and western-style bathroom facilities. A scrumptious dinner will be served this evening.
Approximate Driving Time = 3 hrs (This service is on a private basis.)
The limitless expanses of the Sahara feels like a final frontier. As one of the world's most sparsely populated regions, the Sahara Desert provides unspoiled beauty in the void of life. This dramatic destination showcases some of Morroco's most memorable and iconic experiences. Spend an evening in a Berber-style camp, sleep beneath a blanket of stars, admire epic sunrises & sunsets and explore the endless sea of powder sand dunes by camel back. These unparalleled activities promise an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.
Rise early for a walk in the famous Erg Chebbi dunes or continue your explorations by camel or 4WD (the choice is yours). Your guide can also take you to experience some local culture in the nearby village of Khemlia to listen to Gnawa spiritual music before heading back to camp for another night on the dunes. (This service is on a private basis.)
Today begins your journey to Ouarzazate. In Tinjedad, you'll be able to make a stop at a local Berber-history museum that also serves excellent lunches. Here, we can arrange a guided walk of this lesser-visited palm oasis if you'd like. En route to Ouarzazate, if you'd like to visit the Dades or Todra Gorge (Todra being a bit more touristy), either one will add at least two hours to your transport time today. We do not recommend this in the cooler months with shorter days, though.
You'll end today in the scenic Valley of Kasbahs on the edge of Ouarzazate.
Approximate Driving Time = 6 hrs (This service is on a private basis.)
Today you will visit the Taorirt Kasbah once owned by the Glaouis family. You will also be stopping at the UNESCO world heritage site at Ait Ben Haddou. A little later in the journey, you will visit the Telouet Kasbah, located along the former caravan route from the Sahara over the Atlas Mountains sitting at an elevation of 5,900 ft. Then, you'll head into the High Atlas Mountains and the small Berber village of Imlil.
(Total travel time: 4 hours) (This service is on a private basis.)
Northern Africa's highest mountain range has given birth to unique cultures ever since humans first began exploring its mountain passes. The high peaks completely stop the dry Sahara winds from the south, allowing for the comfortable Mediterranean weather that most Moroccan cities enjoy. Berbers call this place home, and it really takes a local guide to know where the semi-nomadic people are at any given point throughout the year. During the warm months of June through September, this is a hiker's paradise, while snow in the high peaks from September to May, transform the area into a sought after skiing destination .
After breakfast this morning, set off for a day hike in the Atlas Mountains with your guide. You can discuss hiking options best suited for your abilities with your guide today. After you have returned from your fun excursion, it will be time to transfer back to your accommodation later today.
Check in to your hotel (self-arranged) upon arrival, and spend the evening at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
Marrakesh represents the maze of shops, entertaining street performers, exotic foreign spices and hard working street vendors, that Morocco is known for. Marrakesh welcomes the quintessential Moroccan travel experience. Each of the imperial cities have their own medinas, but there is a reason that foreigners know about the Marrakesh Medina best. Where berber tribes once traded their gold and ivory, vendors now sell trinkets to tourists, in a world where the atmosphere has remained the same for centuries. The churning of commerce is thriving more than ever, and the result is quite magical.
After breakfast, you will set off for a guided tour of the most remarkable historical sites in Marrakesh! This outing will provide you the opportunity to understand more about this old city. It is no surprise that Marrakesh is the number one destination in Morocco and one of the world's top ten destinations. Founded in 1060 by the Al Moravide dynasty, this city has played an important role in Moroccan economy and politics, throughout centuries. Not far from the High Atlas Mountains, Marrakesh is also a gateway to the Berber culture and Mountain life style.
Time permitting, you will visit Bahia Palace, Badi Palace, the Saadian tombs, Ben Youssef Mederssa, Koutoubia gardens, Majorelle Gardens and a tannery. Bring your camera for the incredible photo opportunities! (This service is on a private basis.)
Spend this free day as you like, and enjoy the amenities at your hotel.
From Marrakesh, you'll head to the most laid-back beach town in Morocco. This artsy and relaxed coastal region is home to a wonderful medina, ramparts, a great beach with wind and surfing activities, and excellent restaurants. Drive Duration: approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes. Upon arrival, you'll enjoy a short visit to the city's historical sites before your afternoon free time. (This service is on a private basis.)
A medieval city, complete with fortified walls around a protected harbor, Essaouira shows European influence from the outside, but becomes distinctly Moroccan once you walk through its streets. The scents and smells of a fishing economy mix interestingly with regional spices, family riads and ubiquitous storefronts. Surfers come from all around the world to take advantage of the city's infamous, constant winds.
This morning you will make your way along the Atlantic coast to Casablanca for the final days of your Moroccan exploration. Along the way, you'll pass the cities of Safi and El Jadida and enjoy the great views over the ocean. (This service is on a private basis.)
You have a free day today to further explore Casablanca with its unique mix of architecture, medinas, and perhaps a stroll through central market or the Boulevard de la Corniche.
In the morning, you will be picked up at your self-arranged hotel and transferred to the airport for your departure flight home. We hope you had an amazing time in Morocco! (This service is on a private basis.)
A beautiful riad in the heart of the Chefchaouen medina, Riad Casa Perleta offers amazing decor and a friendly staff. The rooms are elegant with custom tadelakt bathrooms, air conditioning, and carved wood doors. The rooftop is amazing with views of the countryside and a cute little kitchen for guests to enjoy tea or breakfast. The center of Casa Perleta is a sunny atrium full of plants and inhabited by the riad’s resident pet dog. Perfect for a quiet, romantic getaway in Chefchaouen.
This Riad was built at the beginning of the last century by Mohammed Chergui, aristocrat of that period. Due to its location, in between the two mains street of the Médina, the Riad Salama is really a small enchanting oasis. It has a beautiful open mosaic courtyard - different from traditional riads, with a small pool and a lovely seated area with lots of natural shade. With two regular rooms, two luxury rooms and two suites it's never going to be crowded and can be a real sun trap in the afternoon. Tasteful stained glass windows provide character, and each of its rooms features a balcony or patio with a view over the garden, traditional Moroccan décor, lots of light, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and amenities.
Kasbah Hotel Xaluca is located in Erfoud, a city known as “the Door to the Desert”. This beautiful Kasbah is especially unique, due to its distinctive characteristics and antique charm. The property was built with adobes, the traditional Moroccan building bricks and invites you into a pleasant space to relax and unwind among the dunes and palms. Xaluca Erfoud features 8 bungalows and 134 spacious rooms decorated with regional materials. The hotel combines tradition with modern amenities, where installations are adapted to the highest standards.
A sea of soft, warm, apricot-toned sands – the undulating landscape of the Erg Chebbi desert is one of Morocco's most enchanting natural wonders. For millenia, travelers have marveled its infinite stillness - a beauty beyond words. For the weary traveler seeking such restorative magic, we offer a very special retreat: our Erg Chebbi Luxury Desert Camp. There are 16 luxury desert sleeping tents set up in the Main Camp. Each tent has been carefully designed to offer the highest comfort and luxury. These tents radiate through earthy hues, handcrafted furniture and soft textiles. All tents have either double or twin beds with seating area and ensuite bathrooms (shower, flushing toilet and hand basin) with running cold and hot water. There are many places in the camp set up for relaxation with fabulous views of the desert and sand dunes. A tented restaurant offers traditional 3 course meals served at dinner. And when night falls, the camp lights up by many lanterns and comes alive with campfire and music.
Built according to local traditional architecture, Riad Tama is located in Ouarzazate. It features an outdoor swimming pool with a garden and a sun terrace. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout. All modern rooms and suites are air-conditioned and feature a sitting area, mini bar and a safety deposit box. They all have a private bathroom with a shower. Some enjoy pool views. This smoke-free riad features 2 restaurants and spa services. This is an eco-friendly retreat in the oasis of Tamassint, but close to all the sites that Ouarzazate has to offer.
Riad Jnane Imlil is an authentic family-run guesthouse at the foothill of Mount Toubkal in the High Atlas Mountains. The property features nine rooms with private bathrooms, including four suites with balconies and three deluxe suites with sitting areas. The rooms were specially designed in traditional Berber style, decorated with impressive Moroccan architecture by local craftsmen. Three salons and two panoramic rooftop terraces feature gorgeous views of the Berber Villages & Atlas Mountains, including a postcard perfect view of the highest peak in Northern Africa, the Toubkal Summit. During your stay, you can expect comfort, tranquility, modern conveniences and high quality service.
The Heure Bleue Palais is not an ordinary hotel, it is a house steeped in history but also men and women serving their guests. Like a pearl in an exceptional setting, the Heure Bleue Palais welcomes you in Essaouira. At the heart of the bay of the ancient Mogador, this palace has for word of order the well-being of its guests. Welcome to this superb riad, member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association!
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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