ECLECTIC MOROCCO Highlights & Hidden Delights
This Morocco itinerary highlights the best of the country including Fez, the Sahara Desert, and Marrakesh. Many companies attempt this route, only a few do it superbly! You can also do this trip in reverse if you are starting (and even ending in) Marrakech.
Day 1 – Arrive Casablanca | Rabat
Airport Transfer (2hrs)
Depending on your time of arrival, after your driver has dropped you off at your hotel you might like to see some of the sights of Casablanca, in particular the Hassan II Mosque with the tallest minaret in the world.
Day 2 – Meknes | Volubilis | Fez
Travel to Meknes, one of Morocco’s lesser-visited Imperial Cities. Built on the backs of tens of thousands of slaves by the tyrannical Moulay Ismail, it was conceived to be the ‘Versailles of Morocco’. Overlooked as it may be by many travellers, should you decided to take an optional guided tour you will find charms that make your visit worthwhile; Heri es Souani, where Moulay Ismail stabled his 12,000 horses; his tranquil tomb, which he had built during his reign to ensure it would equal the glory of his imperial city; and the Bab Mansour, said to be one of Morocco’s most fabulous gates. Your next stop, Volubilis, is the most impressive Roman ruins in Morocco, and one of the former Empire’s most remote outposts, as the tough legionnaires were held back from further expansion by the Berber Tribes. Once a thriving provincial city, it takes only a little imagination to see toga-clad senators and scurrying plebeians filling its streets. You will spend tonight in Fez.
Day 3 – Fez Guided Visit
More than just a hat with a twirly tassel, Fez is a jewel box of exotic delights on this best of Morocco tour. To unravel the intricacies of the nine thousand streets and alleyways of the UNESCO-protected Fez Medina would take a lifetime, but your Fez born-and-bred guide will reveal the city’s most special parts, including the Fondouk Nejjarine, the tanneries and the various craft souks. Do you know why the bakery is also a de facto marriage bureau? Probably not, but your guide will explain why, and tell many other tales of this fascinating city. Some other sites of interest in Fez are the King’s Palace and Mellah/Jewish Quarter, the Pottery Complex, and the Batha Museum.
Day 4 – Ifrane | Ziz Valley | Erfoud
Transport (7hrs), Optional Walk
A long drive today, but one that shows the visual wealth of Morocco. You’ll depart after breakfast and head for Ifrane, developed during the French Protectorate as an administrative center and escape from the searing summer heat, before continuing onward through Midelt. En route, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Ziz Valley, the largest producer of dates in Morocco. Look closely and you will see that not all the palm trees are tall, as the height depends on the variety, of which there are 283 recognized ones grown in the country – the most delicious (and expensive) of which are Mejhoul. Children coming along on this journey will be delighted to see the family’s donkey, goats and chickens. Either before or after your meal you can a short walk through the date palms and farms that surround this small village. Then, it’s onward to Erfoud for the night.
Day 5 – Sahara Desert (Erg Chebbi)
This morning you’ll have some free time before heading south towards Merzouga and the gateway into the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert. You’ll have the chance to pack an overnight bag before choosing your ‘ship of the desert’ (your favorite camel) who will take you into the sandy seas. After your hour-long camel ride, you’ll have the chance watch the sun set over the Saharan dunes. Your home for the night will be a Bedouin-style tent in a private tented area, complete with beds, blankets and sheets, as well as rich Moroccan carpets covering the sand and western-style bathroom facilities. You can also choose to spend the night in deluxe tents (each tent having its own hot-water shower, sink, and western toilet). Nothing will beat this night under the desert stars.
Day 6 – Tinjedad | Skoura (Valley of Kasbahs)
This morning, you’ll be able to rise with the sun as it begins its glorious passage for another day. Make sure you grab some photos before climbing back onto your newfound camel friend for the short ride back to the hotel. Feeling invigorated by a hot show and hardy breakfast, you’ll take the road to Rissani, where, if time allows, you can marvel at the million-year-old fossils that the area is famous for. Then it’s onward to Tinjedad for lunch to an extraordinary ksar (a completely walled-in village) where you can also see a local Berber cultural museum and even enjoy a walk in the oasis. You’ll then continue onward to Skoura, known as the Valley of Kasbahs.
Day 7 – Ouarzazate | Ait Ben Haddou | Telouet | Marrakesh
After leaving Skoura, you’ll travel to Ouarzazate, home to the Taorirt Kasbah, one of the strongholds of the Glaoui family who once ruled the south of Morocco. You’ll then make your way to Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best preserved Kasba’s in the entire Atlas region. Don’t be surprised if you feel as if you are stepping into another, more ancient world, as the Kasbah has been the backdrop to many historical films, including Lawrence of Arabia, The Last Temptation of Christ, and Gladiator. You will also have the opportunity to visit Telouet, a lesser-visited Kasbah and the once rich and powerful throne of the Gloaui family whose vast wealth came, in part, from the levies charged to the camel trains that passed through their territory. This will add one hour to today’s travel time. They say that there are 340 bends on the Tizi n Tichka pass, but in reality there are only two, left and right, although they are repeated an awful lot of times. This amazing zigzag feat of French engineering that climbs to 2,260m (7,400ft), replaced the ancient route of the camel trains on their arduous journey from Timbuktu to Marrakech, bearing gold, spices and slaves. Your journey takes you over the Tiz n’Tichka pass in the High Atlas Mountains, to end in Marrakesh.
Day 8 – Marrakesh Guided Visit
Your “best of Morocco” adventure continues today with a private guided tour to discover the secrets of the Marrakech Medina. Meandering the arms-width streets of the souk with your guide, the centuries roll back as he regales you with the history of the city’s glorious monuments (and their not always glorious past), telling you tales of a culture whose daily rhythm has changed little over the centuries. You can read more in our travel guide to Marrakesh that will help you get a feel of what this ancient city has in to reveal.
Day 9 – Marrakesh to El Jadida
Depending upon your flight time tomorrow, you can stay in Marrakesh or travel to El Jadida.
The Portuguese Fortified City of Mazagan was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, on the basis of its status as an “outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures” and as an “early example of the realisation of the Renaissance ideals integrated with Portuguese construction technology”. According to UNESCO, the most important buildings from the Portuguese period are the cistern, and the Manueline Church of the Assumption.
Day 10 – Depart Casablanca
Airport Transfer (1.5hrs)
We say goodbye today to this “best of Morocco” itinerary. We hope you enjoyed your journey with our team!
Included In the Price:
Private A/C Vehicle, 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser or Deluxe Van throughout the tour + fuel
English/French/Spanish speaking driver during the tour
Pick up & Drop off at your accommodation
Camel ride each way
Dinner and Breakfast are daily included
Free time to explore interesting sites such as Aït Benhaddou, kasbahs, walks and canyons, breaks for photos etc.
Option to visit a nomade family.
Entrance fees to monuments, studios and Kasbahs
Contact our team for customized rates. Our main goal is to offer you a high-quality experience on every level. If you find our pricing above your budget, we still encourage you to contact us since we may be able to meet your needs without compromising the quality of your trip. Our tours are all private and customized.
We believe in the saying that our customer is a boss.” All our tours are private tours, personalized and flexible. You can ask the driver to stop at any time, you want to take pictures, drink, go shopping or just want to get out of the car and stretch out. You just need to relax and leave the Trip to us, we will give you unforgettable memories during your stay in Morocco