Arrive to Casablanca, the starting point for your discovery of Morocco.
This evening meet with your tour director and guide for a welcome drink and tour briefing.
Casablanca – Marrakech
This morning before we make our way to Marrakech we take in a guided city tour of Casablanca. Visit the Mosque of Hassan II, situated on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, and impressively can hold up to 25000 worshippers. It is an enormous architectural masterpiece and the second largest religious building in the world, and its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 metres. After lunch, travel to Marrakech.
This morning, take in the sites of Marrakech with a traditional horse and carriage ride. Visits include the Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadian tombs and the Bahia Palace. By lunch, we end at Djemaa el-Fna square where there is time to take lunch and an unscheduled afternoon, to explore the market ‘Souk’, with smells of spice, and buy some souvenirs.
DAY 4 & DAY 5
Marrakech - Imlil
From Marrakech, it’s an easy drive of a few hours, crossing a vibrant green valley. arriving to Imlil for our next two nights of stay for an adventure in the Atlas mountains. The Imlil village is located at the foothills of the highest mountains in Morocco (Toubkal Summit 4165m).
We have two days in Imlil and the option to explore with an organised easy paced walks of three hours each day to discover the Berber culture. You’ll visit typical villages and also a local waterfall.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (day 4 & day 5)
Imlil - Ait Ben Haddou - Boumalne Dades
Today is one of the longer days of travel, about 7 hours. We will have an early Berber breakfast and head south to Ait Ben Haddou village, and crossing the Tizi n’Tichka pass (2260m) which makes it possible to join the semi-arid regions of the south-east of the High Atlas from the more fertile plains of the Atlantic.
Later in our drive, we will stop to visit the ancient fortified city of Ait Benhaddou to explore the narrow alleyways of the clay Kasbahs. Three hundred Berber families used to live here, but now it’s only home to half a dozen. Ait Ben Haddou was built in the 11th century and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage listing, and the Ksar Ait Benhaddou is one of the most extraordinary Kasbahs in Morocco. Located near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, Ait Benhaddou is both dramatic and picturesque. The site has been a popular setting for films including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.
After lunch, we leave Ait Ben Haddou behind and head towards Boumalne Dades via the Valley of the Roses. A highlight of the region are the Dades Canyons with immense landscapes along the Dades River before arriving for our overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Boumalne Dades – Merzouga
Today, our Sahara adventure will start with a drive along the street of 1001 Kasbahs to Tinghir, a little desert spring town, well known for its ravines and stream. We keep on Todra gorges, where we will have some free time to investigate the desert spring and the gulches, and find a local bistro for lunch. By the end of the day our camel caravan is waiting for us for a camel trek experience across the sand dunes for a terrific view of sunset and watching the changing shades of light over the dunes. Just at sunset, we should be arriving to our Sahara desert luxury camp. An in the glory of the stars, enjoy a Moroccan dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Merzouga – Fes
Leaving Merzouga and the Sahara Desert in our wake, our first stop is at a little lookout from which we can admire the Ziz Valley as we begin our climb up the Middle Atlas Mountains. After, we stop at the half-way point between Merzouga and Fes for a delicious lunch and make a stop in the Cedar Forest. You can expect to see monkeys, but we have no idea just how many furry friends there will be, baby monkeys climbing over their mama monkeys. From here, onto Fes for our next three nights of stay.
Today, a full day tour of the UNESO World Heritage city of Fez. We see the famous tanneries and Andalusian and El Quaraoiyin Mosques. We visit Najjarine Square where you can sit and watch the world go by in a café, or visit the Souks. In the afternoon we visit New Fez (Al Jdid) which is considered the most colourful and always bustles with life.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
FREE TIME EXTRAS:
Dinner at a local restaurant and show
From Fes, we take an excursion to visit Moulay Idriss, Volubilis and Meknes. First stop, Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, a small hilltop town that stands at the base of Mount Zerhoun with a labyrinthine of the medinas. Then not far away we visit Volubilis, the most impressive of the Roman sites in the country. Volubilis contains essentially Roman ruins of an ancient city built in a commanding site. Today, it is a UNESCO world heritage site. Finally we continue to reach the imperial city of Meknes by early afternoon and tour its focal monuments, such as El Hedim square and Bab Mansour. Meknes prides itself on its friendly and relaxed atmosphere.By late afternoon we have returned to Fes.
DAY 11 & DAY 12
Fes – Chefchaouen
From Fes we head north, deep into the Rif Mountains, where Earth meets the Heavens, to explore the enchanting sky blue city of Chefchaouen.
We start off early, as it’s a 2.5-3 hour drive up into the Rif Mountains, to reach Chefchaouen. Nestled in a green mountain valley at 600 metres above sea level, Chefchaouen was originally built up as a hidden outpost to push back the increasing incursions of European powers into Morocco starting from 15th century. After the the fall of Islamic rule in Spain, Muslim Andalusian refugees flocked to Chefchaouen to begin new lives on the African continent. Until the middle of the 20th century, when Spanish rule of northern Morocco began, Chefchaouen had held a reputation for being impossible for non-Muslims to enter. Today, that’s all different: tourists just can’t get enough of Chefchaouen’s charms. Much calmer and cosier than Fez, Chefchaouen’s most striking feature is, without a doubt, its old city’s picturesque sky blue painted walls and streets built on a mountainside. Among the major sights in Chefchaouen are the Kasabah (fortress), the Ras El Maa river valley, and the hillside Spanish Mosque (a 30 minute hike from town).
Meals: Breakfast (Day 11 & Day 12)
Chefchaouen – Asilah – Casablanca
This morning we leave the blue city for a small Mediterranean town, Asilah. A gorgeous seaside town on the northern coast of the country, Asilah has a rich and varied history. With roots as far back as the 16th century, when it was on the main trade route used by the Phoenicians, it was later captured by the Portuguese before coming under Moroccan rule in the 17th century. Each successive culture and society has left its mark on the town, making modern day Asilah a fascinating display of Morocco’s unique heritage. A Portuguese fortress leans precariously over the cliffs, while charming blue and white Moroccan houses line the streets.
Finally, we head back to Casablanca for a final night of stay after our highlight visits through the country.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Our colourful adventure comes to an end after breakfast.
Itineraries may be subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. If there is any itinerary change prior to departure of significance we aim to inform you prior to travel. Itinerary changes while on tour will be informed by your tour leader/guide while on tour.