Itinerary #1: Morocco's Imperial Cities & Sahara Desert
Spend eleven days taking a grand tour through the best of Morrocan culture in Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, and Marrakech, and through the romance of desert sand seas and tiny villages.
|Day 1||Arrive; Morning in Casablanca, afternoon in Rabat||Rabat|
|Day 2||The Blue City of Chefchaouen||Chefchaouen|
|Day 3||Roman ruins at Volubilis and imperial cities of Meknes and Fes||Fes|
|Days 4-5||Fes: Exploring the Imperial City and medieval Medina||Fes|
|Day 6||Middle Atlas, Erfoud Fossils, Merzouga and the Sahara Dunes||Erg Chebbi|
|Day 7||Desert adventures, Rissani market, and Todra Gorge||Todra Gorge|
|Day 8||Dades Valley, Ouarzazate, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah||Aït Benhaddou|
|Day 9||Tizi n'Tichka Pass over the High Atlas to Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 10||Marrakech: Exploring the Red City||Marrakech|
|Day 11||Return to Casablanca; Depart|
Touch down in Casablanca, where you’ll have the morning to channel your inner Humphrey Bogart at a replica of Rick’s Cafe and fit in a visit of the wonderful, contemporary Hassan II Mosque; be sure to duck inside as this is one of the very few working religious sites whose interior is open to non-Muslims. You’ll then jaunt over to Rabat, the imperial city (and country’s capital) for the rest of the day and night. Then it’s off to the breathtakingly vivid Blue City of Chefchaouen, where you’ll enjoy turquoise washed streets and quiet alleyways begging for contemplative exploration.
On day three, keep the royal vibes going with a visit to three cities with imperial roots: the ancient Volubilis, captivating Meknes, and thrilling Fes, your home base for the next few nights. Spend your days touring the city’s incredibly preserved medieval medina and marketplaces; a guide will shepherd you through complex networks of tiny streets and souks, as well as the city’s iconic tanneries which still employ the same traditional techniques artisans have used for centuries. You’ll get a broader sense of Fes as you visit the Mellah — the old Jewish quarter — modern neighborhoods, and a fascinating tile collective, where you’ll see craftspeople at work.
Snake your way through the Atlas mountains on day six, passing through lush oases in the Ziz Valley, until you greet the desert. The ever-shifting undulating dunes of Erg Chebbi’s sand sea are sure to enchant you. Then mount a camel and trek through the desert for a spectacular night of camping under the stars; dine by the fire as Berber musicians serenade you. You can tackle the sand the next day with fun adventure sports or lose yourself in charming nearby villages.
Travel through old caravan routes, through stunning ochre valleys and oases, stop at an 11th-century desert fortress, and spend the evening in the setting of your favorite Hollywood productions (hello, Game of Thrones). You’ll retreat from the desert through the mountains on day nine and will spend your final two nights based in the magic of Marrakech. Tour the iconic Red City with an expert and take in the exquisite details of the mosques and madrassas. End your evenings either entrenched in or overlooking the spectacle of Jemaa el-Fna Square before you return to Casablanca for your departure on day eleven. Learn more.
Itinerary #2: Explore Moroccan Cities, Berber Villages, and the Coast
If you’re interested in understanding the breadth of Moroccan culture, both urban and rural, consider this trip plan, which uses city centers like Casablanca, Marrakech, and Fes as jumping-off points to discover tiny towns and pastoral enclaves. Along the way, you’ll meet city folk and farmers, see ancient ruins, medieval medinas, and tranquil seaside communities.
|Day 1||Arrive in Casablanca - Explore||Casablanca|
|Day 2||Travel to Rabat - Visit the Town of Salé||Rabat|
|Day 3||Drive to Fes - Stop in Meknes and the Roman Ruins at Volubilis||Fes|
|Day 4||Explore the Imperial City of Fes and its UNESCO Medina||Fes|
|Day 5||Day Trip to Ahinajen Berber Village||Fes|
|Day 6||Drive to Marrakech via Beni-Mellal and the Atlas Mountains||Marrakech|
|Day 7||Discover the Medina of Marrakech - Evening Food Tour||Marrakech|
|Day 8||Day Trip to Ourika - Hike to a Waterfall||Marrakech|
|Day 9||Travel to Essaouira - Stop at an Argan Oil Farm||Essaouira|
|Day 10||Drive to Casablanca via the Atlantic Coast and Portuguese Ports||Casablanca|
|Day 11||Depart Casablanca|
Bookend your trip with Casablanca, where you’ll have time to explore contemporary Morocco before you head to Rabat, home to the spectacular Hassan Tower monument. On day three, dive into the intimate medina in Meknes (it’s easier to navigate than those you’ll see later in your trip) and wander the immense Roman ruins of Volubilis before you settle in Fes.
Although Fes serves as your home base for the next three nights, you’ll explore the city and its UNESCO designated Medina in-depth with an expert guide. Juxtapose your urban experience with a fascinating day trip to Ahinajen, a rural Berber village where you’ll meet local farmers working their land. More historical Berber communities await when you navigate through the Atlas Mountains on day six; see if you can spot the region’s famed Barbary Apes en route! You’ll be based in Marrakech for the next three days, so kick off your first evening with dinner overlooking the bustle of Jemaa el Fna Square or jump right into the fray!
You’ll discover the traditions and secrets of Marrakech’s medina with an expert, then will taste your way through the city on a guided food tour; many royal chefs hail from Marrakech, Morocco’s culinary capital, so you’re bound to the delicious local flavors here. Escape the rhythm of the city with a beautiful day trip to the Ourika Valley, where you’ll hike to a stunning waterfall, then head to the seaside for some tranquility. You’ll spend the night in the coastal town of Essaouira, which boasts a beautiful harbor, fortified sea walls, easy-to-navigate medina, and well-preserved Jewish quarter. Then drive along the Atlantic as you make your way back to Casablanca for your departure. Learn more.
Itinerary #3: Grand Morocco Tour from North to South
Travel Morocco from top to bottom on this epic trip plan that begins in Tangiers and takes you through mountains, deserts, centuries-old medinas, and ancient caravan routes on your way to Marrakech. This is a perfect itinerary if you’re interested in seeing the country’s highlights as well as its hidden gems.
|Day 1||Welcome to Tangier!||Tangier|
|Day 2||Explore Tangier and Caves of Hercules, Onward to Chefchaouen||Chefchaouen|
|Day 3||Chefchaouen to Fes, Visit the Roman Ruins of Volubilis & Meknes||Fes|
|Days 4-5||Fes: Exploring the Imperial City & Medieval Medina||Fes|
|Day 6||Over the Middle Atlas from Fes to Erfoud, Merzouga & the Sahara||Merzouga|
|Day 7||Desert Adventures Around Merzouga, Rissani Market & Todra Gorge||Todra Gorge|
|Day 8||Todra Gorge to Aït Benhaddou, Stopping at Dades Valley & Ouarzazate||Aït Benhaddou|
|Day 9||Aït Benhaddou to Marrakech, Tizi n'Tichka Pass over the High Atlas||Marrakech|
|Day 10||Marrakech: Explore the Red City||Marrakech|
|Day 11||Depart Marrakech|
Kick-off your adventure with two days in the north; you’ll start in the dynamic hum of Tangier, a port city that has majorly overhauled its reputation as a destination while still maintaining its age-old bohemian allure. Take some time to explore coastal treasures like the Caves of Hercules before heading south to the Blue City of Chefchaouen, a tranquil town that’s so much more than an Instagram backdrop. There’s much to explore around the city, but save the abandoned hilltop Spanish Mosque for sunset so you can enjoy stellar panoramic views.
As you venture further south toward Fes, you’ll trek through the ages as you stop through towns with imperial heritages and breathtaking landmarks. Gear up to shop the souks in Meknes, as the medina here is smaller and easier to navigate than those that await you in bigger city centers. You’ll then have three nights and two full days to take advantage of all that Fes has to offer; during your exploration, tour a local tile collective, lose yourself in the UNESCO-designated medina, and marvel at the exquisite craftwork of spots like Al Attarine Madrasa and Bou Inania Madrasa.
Trade city vibes for breathtaking remote expanse on day six when you venture through the Atlas Mountains and make your way to the iconic sands of the Sahara; along the way, pass through hidden oases and charming market towns before you ride a camel through the desert to the cozy tent where you’ll spend the night. Take in the drama of unobstructed celestial vistas and incredible sunrise views from your spot in the Sahara, then explore more of the desert and its nearby communities however you like — wander through towns or sand surf your way across the land!
Go deeper into Morocco’s desert, mountains, and rural communities as you continue navigating south and west. As you trek the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, visit iconic cinematic backdrops, the country’s oldest fortress, and an Argan-oil collective en route to Marrakech, where you’ll spend the rest of your trip. Tour the sandstone Red City however you like (or hire a guide for a more in-depth discovery), wander through the Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens, and sample delicious delicacies from street food vendors in the electrifying whirl of Jemaa el-Fna Square. After breakfast on day eleven, you’ll head to the airport for your return flight or your next adventure. Learn more.
Itinerary #4: Imperial Cities and Natural Landscapes
Looking to dive deep into Morrocan culture, see the country’s highlights, and take advantage of its spectacular landscapes? Check out this trip plan, which incorporates guided tours in epicenters like Fes with opportunities to enjoy a traditional spa experience in a hammam and hike to a gorgeous waterfall off-the-beaten-path.
|Day 1||Arrive in Casablanca - Explore||Casablanca|
|Day 2||Drive to the "Blue City" of Chefchaouen via Rabat and Asilah||Chefchaouen|
|Day 3||Hike to Akchour Waterfall - Private Tour of Chefchaouen||Chefchaouen|
|Day 4||Visit the Roman Ruins of Volubilis - Drive to Fes||Fes|
|Day 5||Discover the Beautiful City of Fes||Fes|
|Day 6||Travel Over the Atlas Mountains to Merzouga Desert Camp||Merzouga|
|Day 7||Visit the Market of Rissani and the Stunning Todra Gorges||Todra Gorge|
|Day 8||Drive to Aït Benhaddou via Ouarzazate||Aït Benhaddou|
|Day 9||Drive Tizi n'Tichka Pass to Marrakech - Visit a Hammam||Marrakech|
|Day 10||Discover the Charming Berber Town of Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains||Imlil|
|Day 11||Return to Marrakech for Your Departure|
Get to know Morocco with time in Casablanca, followed by a visit to the modern-day capital of Rabat and the ever-charming Blue City of Chefchaouen, which you’ll tour with a private guide. Retreat to nature with a sensational waterfall hike nearby and explore Volubilis, a sprawling complex of ruins from the Roman empire. The enchanting bustle of Fes awaits: discover the city with a guide, then head out on your own to find your favorite spots in the labyrinth of the medieval medina.
Enjoy a spectacular drive through the mountains on your way to Merzouga, where you’ll adventure through the Sahara on camelback before enjoying a delicious dinner al fresco, serenaded by Berber musicians. You’ll glamp out here in the desert’s expanse, then visit tiny local communities en route to the spectacular Todra Gorges, comprised of a series of epic limestone river canyons. The next two days takes you through the heart of Morocco — visit centuries-old kasbahs, heritage sites, and an unforgettable drive through the Atlas Mountains via the spectacular Tizi N'Tichka pass — to Marrakech.
Explore the bustle of the Red City or rest up until you head to a local hammam for an evening of traditional spa experiences. You’ll spend the next day hiking through hillside Berber villages and connecting to local families as you dine with them in their homes. In the morning, you’ll return to Marrakech for some last-minute shopping (if time allows) before you head to the airport. Learn more
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