Kingdom of Morocco
Au départ de
Day 1: Casablanca Airport – Casablanca
On arrival at the Casablanca Airport, meet your driver and visit the Boulevard de la Corniche; stop for lunch to feast on fresh fish from the sea. Tour the district of Habous quarter including Mahkama du Pacha, the former home of the Pacha now an administrative building, and the Royal Palace. Continue to your guesthouse for dinner and the night.
Day 2: Casablanca – Chefchaouen
After a traditional breakfast, depart via the Atlantic coast through Rabat, the administrative capital of Morocco and another important imperial city of Morocco. Rabat is known for sites that illustrate the Islamic and French colonial heritage. Visit the old town of Rabat, called Oudayas and Kasbah Oudaya, located adjacent to the Rabat medina at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river opposite Sale, a royal fort of the Berber era surrounded by formal Andalusian gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Continue through Kenitra, have lunch along the way and continue to the “blue city” of Chefchaouen, a sleepy village in the heart of the Rif Mountains noted in the top 50 most beautiful places in the world. Arrive at your guesthouse in Chefchaouen in late afternoon and relax before dinner and the night.
Day 3: Chefchaouen – Fes via Meknes
After a traditional breakfast, take a walking tour of Chefchaouen and depart for Fes, via the imperial city of Meknes (known as the “Versailles of Morocco”), one of the most important imperial cities of Morocco and former capital of Morocco under Sultan Moulay Ismail. Visit the Roman ruins of Voulibilis, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and filming location for Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ. Spread out across several acres, the ruins reveal the transformation of the Roman Empire Carthaginian settlement into a typical Roman city devoted to the Roman gods. Stop for lunch in Meknes, known for sites that illustrate both Islamic and French colonial heritage. Visit the triumphant arch of Bab Mansour, argued to be the most beautiful in Morocco. Wander Place el Hedime (Square of Ruins) which links the medina and the kasbah, lined with modern residential buildings and a covered souk. Continue to your riad in Fes for dinner and the night.
Day 4: Fes
After breakfast, enjoy a free day in Fes for relaxation (with a spa or traditional hammam) or to visit the cultural capital of Morocco. Fes, founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idriss II, is known for the fortified medina of Fez El Bali and is one of the largest preserved medieval sites in the world and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with medieval architecture, lively souks and old-fashioned atmosphere. Explore the religious schools of the medina, such as the Medersas Bou Inania and Al Attarine, one of the most beautiful Koranic schools in Fes, dating back to the 14th century, both decorated with carved cedar panels and delicate mosaics. Have lunch along the way and discover historic mosques, picturesque gates, a traditional Moroccan tile (jelliz) factory, and the city’s distinctive and colorful tanneries. Enjoy a cultural night out at Kassr Annoujoum including a concert of contemporary Andalusian music followed by a “Thousand and One Nights”, culinary session of traditional Moroccan cuisine. Return to your riad for the night.
Day 5: Fes – Midelt
After a traditional breakfast, depart for Midelt situated in the high plains surrounding the Mlouya River, between the Middle and High Atlas Mountain ranges. Trek on foot in a beautiful cedar forest then continue to the village of Midelt. Stop at El Karma Couscous and participate in a cooking class to learn how to make hand-rolled couscous, which has been a part of Moroccan tradition for centuries. Continue to your guesthouse in Midelt and relax before a traditional Moroccan dinner and the night (Ksar Timnay or similar).
Day 6: Midelt – Merzouga
After a traditional breakfast, depart to Merzouga via the villages of Er Rachidia and Erfoud, through Tizi Ntalghomt and the Ziz Valley. Stop for lunch in Er Rachidia, one of Morocco’s most ancient and famous cities, known as the date capital of Morocco. Visit Musee des Sources de Lalla Mimouna and discover the Saharan heritage and culture of Er Rachidia. Meet your cameleers who will guide you to your desert camp for sunset over the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Enjoy a desert dinner followed by traditional Saharan music around the campfire and night in luxury tents.
Day 7: Merzouga – Ouarzazate
After watching sunrise over the dunes, and a traditional breakfast, depart for Ouarzazate via the village of Rissani, crossing the Tafilalet and vast mineral Massif Bougafer to reach Alnif. Continue to Ouarzazate through the Draa Valley oasis, and through Tansikht and the village of Agdz. Stop at an ecolodge near Agdz for an ecotour and lunch. Arrive at your guesthouse in Ouarzazate in the late afternoon and relax or receive a traditional henna application before a traditional dinner and the night.
Day 8: Ouarzazate – Marrakech
After a traditional breakfast, depart early morning for Marrakech. Stop for a photo near the stunning Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue through the Ounila Valley, a part of the main caravan route from sub-Saharan Africa to Marrakech. Visit the famous Kasbah Telouet; built in 1860, it is one of the former residences of Pacha Glaoui and perhaps with the best examples of Islamic architecture in Morocco. Have lunch and continue through the High Atlas Mountain pass of Tizi-n-Tichka. Arrive in Marrakech in the afternoon and continue to your guesthouse before dinner and the night.
Day 9: Marrakech – Behind the Doors Culture Tour
After a traditional breakfast, visit Jardins Marjorelle, built by the painter Jacques Marjorelle, and the former home of Yves Saint Laurent and its spectacular Berber museum. Visit the Saadian Tombs and Bahia Palace to learn about Moorish architecture. Stop for lunch along the way and set off to explore the local culture via a tour of the daily life of Moroccan people through a “behind the doors” culture tour: a visit to a communal bakery, a walk through a local food market, and a visit to a traditional hammam and fondouk, an historic trading place for merchants from across North Africa. Take in the sites at Jemma el Fna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which for centuries has been an incredible world of native theater: snakes, musicians, dancers, storytellers, and fortune-tellers. Stop for dinner in the medina and return to your guesthouse for the night.
Day 10: Marrakech – Casablanca
After a traditional breakfast, depart for Casablanca. Explore the Hassan II Mosque, the second largest mosque in the world including a minaret 690 feet high and is one the few mosques open to non-Muslims. Continue to your guesthouse and relax with a spa or traditional hammam before a traditional dinner and the night.
Day 11: Casablanca – Casablanca Airport
After a traditional breakfast, take a short walking tour of Casablanca before transferring to the Casablanca Airport.