Imperial Cities, Sahara, and Atlantic - 12 days
12 Days 11 Nights
Physical difficulty level
Live tour guide
1st day : Casablanca – Rabat
We meet at airport to travel into the city with views of the Moroccan country-side. Visit to Hassan II mosque (not possible on Fridays or religious holidays), the largest mosque in Africa and decorated with beautiful tiling craftsmanship. It takes a while to get tickets and the tour takes about an hour. Next we go to the capital city, Rabat and spend the night in a riad.
2nd day : Rabat - Fes
After we have breakfast in the riad, we visit the Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, tower was built in homage to the king, who died in 1961. His son and successor, Hassan II, died in 1999, is also in a tomb here. North of Meknes we stop and visit Volubilis and the Roman ruins, they are spread over a wide area with beautiful views of the valley and hills. Later we have dinner in Fes and we spend the night in a riad.
3rd day : Fes Sightseeing
We are going to enjoy a full day on a sightseeing tour in Fes, it is the oldest of Morocco’s four “Imperial Cities”. The medieval city of Fes El Bali, or “Old Fes” remains complete and is unspoiled. During your tour of this part of the town, you can visit the exotic Bou Inania Medersa, the Medina and the Kairaouine Mosque. You can take many photos of the lovely courtyard from the main gate as well as the famous soukhs. Later we can visit Fes El Jdid, or “New Fes” and the Museum of Moroccan Arts.The night is spent in the riad.
4th day : Fes – Merzouga
We leave from Fes at 8 am. and travel via Azrou, you will be able to see Barbary apes in the cedar forest of the Middle Atlas. We will have lunch in Midelt, “the apple capital”, at the foot of the Ayachi Mountain. We continue over the Tizi-n-Talremt pass and through the Ziz Valley, which is very well-known for its palm trees and the length of the oasis. As we travel along the road there are many “ksars”, small villages of individual houses. We reach Er Rachidia and then Erfoud, famous for its date festival and fossils. Once we reach the bivouac in Erg Chebbi, we can enjoy a glass of tea and walk the dunes before the sunset. In the evening we have dinner and enjoy an evening of music and we spend the night in a nomad tent.
5th day : Merzouga
After we eat breakfast, there is some time sand-boarding before taking the camels for a ride or walk alongside as they carry luggage and provisions for sleeping and meals. We will walk for three hours in the morning and three in the afternoon until we arrive at the oasis for the night. Lunch is out in the dunes and is prepared by the camel-man.
6th day : Merzouga – Dades
Early risers are fortunate to take in the sunrise. It’s an awesome site when the colours of the dune and the shadows play together. After enjoying breakfast you can have a camel ride for a couple of hours or less before leaving for Tinghir and the Toudgha gorges for lunch. The road passes through Tinjdad and the Toudgha Valley. You can walk along the river through the gardens or the road on the other side of the gorges. Then, we travel to Dades Valley and spend the night there in a hotel or riad.
7th day : Dades - Ouarzazate
After we have breakfast there is time for a walk, then the trip to Ouarzazate. We go off-road along the Boutarar piste and visit some Berber nomads and enjoy a glass of tea with them. Then we continue through the Valley of the Roses, famous for its Rose Festival in May, and where highly valued oils, creams and soups are produced. Then we reach the kasbahs of Skoura, the most well-known is Kasbah Amredil. Once we arrive in Ouarzazate we will stay in a riad or guest house.
8th day : Ouarzazate - Marrakesh
After we have breakfast, we head to Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, a World Heritage site and the backdrop for many Hollywood blockbusters such as the Kingdom of Heaven and the Gladiator. It is the most famous Kasbah in Morocco and one of the most visited places. We take the road to Telouet, along the recently asphalted road high above the beautiful green valley below. Telouet is set right in the midst of the mountains and was once the seat of the last Pasha of Marrakesh, El Glaoui, from where the highest pass in Africa, Tizi-n-Tichka was controlled. At the end of the afternoon we arrive in Marrakesh, having crossed this highest pass in North Africa.
9th day : Marrakesh Sightseeing
Best know for Marrakech for central Djemma El Fna with its juice stalls, dried fruit and nut stalls, women applying henna, snake charmers, story sellers and the myriad of nightly food stalls. We visit the Majorelle Gardens which belonged to Yves St Laurent and is famous for its special shade of blue, the Koutoubia Mosque, El Bahia Palace which means “the palace of the beautiful”, the Qoranic School, the Ben Youssef Medersa which used to house some 80 Qoranic students and the Saadian Tombs. We spend the night in a riad.
10 - 11th day : Marrakesh – Essaouira
Essaouira is many tourists’ darling ! Previously known as Mogador to the Portuguese inhabitants, it is a charming small town on the coast well- known for local handicrafts, especially thuja wood furniture, carving and small artefacts, sold in innumerable shops along the windy streets.
Orson Wells filmed “Othello” here, making especially the Portuguese ramparts famous in its opening scene. Argane nuts are processed by hand into one of the most versatile oils at the women’s cooperative. Just delicious in salads and a treat for the skin.
The customer chooses a selection of freshly caught fish at the sea front and it is prepared right on the spot ! The surfing and the beach make it an ideal spot for coastal lovers. Essaouira has a favorable micro-climate ; mild in winter and cool in summer.
This is a truly favourite place to chill after a trip to the desert – on the beach, in the little cafés by the port or wandering in and out of all the little shops. The nights are spent in a riad in the town.
12th day : Essaouira – Casablanca
After breakfast we journey back to the airport in Casablanca (about a five hour drive). On the way we can stop in El Jadida to visit the Portuguese cistern and the old Portuguese town. We continue north past Azemmour (“the olive” ; Portuguese : Azamor) a small ancient town on the left bank of the Oum Er-Rbia River.
Hotel/Airport Pick-up and Drop-off
Transport By air-conditioned car
11 nights Accomodation
11 Dinners and 11 breakfast
Bookings can be cancelled whenever without any fees.