If you’ve got twelve days in Morocco, you’ll see a wide swath of the country—and you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to how to approach your adventure. Below you’ll find some inspiration as you think about what type of trip works best for you. Embark on a relaxed grand tour of Morocco's cities, adding time in the Sahara or the Atlantic coast — or both! There are also trip plans tailored to food and culture lovers, adventurers, travelers who enjoy guided exploration and those who prefer to see the sights solo at their own pace.

Itinerary #1: Best of Morocco - Cities, Sahara, & Atlas Mountains Hiking

Consider this dynamic trip plan if you’re looking to hit the highlights of Morocco and also enjoy unique experiences that will usher you away from the crowds and out into some of the country’s most sublime natural expanses. 

View of the Chouara Tannery in Fes
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival to Casablanca Casablanca
Day 2 Rabat and the "Blue City" of Chefchaouen Chefchaouen
Day 3 Roman Ruins, Imperial cities of Meknes and Fes Fes
Day 4 Discovering medieval Fes's culture and history Fes
Day 5 Into the desert: Erfoud, Merzouga and the Sahara Erg Chebbi
Day 6 Desert Adventures, Rissani Market, and Todra Gorge Tinerhir
Day 7 Dades Valley, Ouarzazate, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah Aït Benhaddou
Day 8 Tizi n'Tichka Pass over the High Atlas Marrakech
Day 9 Marrakech: Exploring the Red City Marrakech
Day 10 Hiking around Amizmiz and the High Atlas mountains Amizmiz
Day 11 Amizmiz back to Marrakech Marrakech
Day 12 Return to Casablanca; Departure  

This relaxed Grand Tour is a 12-day loop through cities and the Sahara that bookends in contemporary Casablanca; you’ll then journey through the ages as you visit a cluster of stunning and fascinating cities that speak to Morocco’s history: think ancient Islamic ruins, sprawling remnants of the Roman empire, and medieval architecture. 

By the time you reach Fes on day three, you’ll have built a solid foundation of Morocco’s heritage and you’ll also have some solid souk-shopping experience under your belt so you can brave the epic medina here. Watch artisans at work in the famed tanneries, take in the vibrant details of storied madrasas, and if you like, cap your day with a hands-on cooking class to learn the secrets behind traditional local cuisine.

Then it’s time to answer the desert’s romantic call: you’ll spend three days navigating to and from the Sahara, enjoying a variety of experiences deep in the sand sea and in the communities that pepper this iconic region. As you snake your way through the Atlas Mountains, along ancient trade routes, and finally across ochre dunes on camelback, take in the tranquility of your place in Morocco’s remote expanse while thinking about the other travelers who’ve tread your path centuries ago. Glamp under the stars near Merzouga, wake up to watch dawn on the dusty horizon, glide over the sand on an ATV and connect with local communities through their music, food, dance, and traditions. 

Trade desert serenity for eclectic spectacle in Marrakech on day eight; you’ll glide into town just in time to see Jemaa el-Fna Square — with its vendors, snake charmers, and excellent food stalls — come to life in the evening. After you explore the Red City’s various souks, madrasas, and the imposing Koutoubia Mosque, retreat to the Atlas Mountains for an intimate day in nature and community. After you hike the foothills, one Berber family will host you for lunch and a bread-making lesson, and another family will welcome you for dinner and a night in their home. Round out your trip with one last day in Marrakech, then return to Casablanca for your farewell. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Culture & Cuisine - Casablanca to the Atlantic Coast

Consider this cultural trip plan that circles you from Casablanca through Morocco’s heartland and mountains, then up and along the Atlantic. You’ll enjoy a food tour, cooking class, a spa experience at a Hammam, and time to connect with locals in Berber communities. 

Cool off in the shade of Marrakech's gardens
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival into Casablanca 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 Attend a Traditional Cooking Class - Relax in a Hammam Fes
Day 6 Day Trip to Ahinajen Berber Village Fes
Day 7 Drive to Marrakech via Beni-Mellal and the Atlas Mountains Marrakech
Day 8 Discover the Medina of Marrakech - Evening Food Tour Marrakech
Day 9 Day Trip to Ourika - Hike to a Waterfall Marrakech
Day 10 Travel to Essaouira - Stop at an Argan Oil Farm Essaouira
Day 11 Drive to Casablanca via the Atlantic Coast and Portuguese Ports Casablanca
Day 12 Depart Casablanca  

You’ll land in Casablanca, where you’ll have the day to explore this bustling contemporary city before hitting the road to see a cluster of historic towns that boast fascinating landmarks and beautiful landscapes. You’ll be driven through the country by your own private driver, who will be happy to give you ideas for how to explore each stop; and since you’re traveling privately, you can also decide how much time you want to spend at each site. If you’re looking for more insight at places like Volubilis, home to a sprawling complex of Roman ruins, you can also decide if you’d like to hire a guide on the spot. 

On day three, you’ll reach the imperial city of Fes, which will be your home base for the next four nights. With the help of a local expert guide, you’ll get to know the city and fantastically preserved UNESCO-protected medina. Since you have time here, you dive below the surface to really glean what makes the food, history, and culture here unique: you’ll visit artisan workshops, take a cooking class, and unwind with a traditional spa experience at a Hammam. Get a broader context of Fes and its environs with a day trip out to Ahinajen, a Berber village where you’ll lunch with locals and connect with resident farming families. 

Your driver will then take you on a scenic route through the gorgeous Atlas Mountains to Marrakech, which you’ll explore in a way similar to how you toured Fes. A guide will show you the lay of the city and its stories; you’ll visit must-see spots and hidden corners, all with their own magic. You’ll also take advantage of the Red City’s status as Morocco’s culinary epicenter via a delicious food tour; if you still have room after a few hours of sampling, get a recommendation for a traditional restaurant in town or dive into Jemaa el Fna Square to enjoy the incredible street food scene. You’ll get to walk it all off and stretch your legs with a beautiful hike to a waterfall just outside of town. 

While many trip plans will take you to the desert, yours will take you instead to the shores, where you can learn about coastal culture, historic fortifications, and ports once vital to the Portuguese. The seaside town of Essaouira also features great surfing, so if you’re itching to catch a wave, rent a board and hit the water. Otherwise, enjoy the unique fresh seafood in town, take advantage of the more laid back medina and souks, and find a spot with a great view of the ocean in time for sunset. Your driver will take you up the coast, along the stunning Atlantic, the next day when you return to Casablanca to end your adventure. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Morocco Highlights from North to South

If you’re inspired to truly see it all, check out this trip plan that takes you from Tangier in the north through both Fes and Marrakech, into the Sahara, and finally west to the coast. While the speed of this itinerary isn’t breakneck, you’ll be switching up destinations every day or so—but your hustle will be rewarded with sweeping desert vistas, mountain villages, lush ravines, and fascinating landmarks and towns in between. 

Trek across the Sahara on a camel
Day Highlights Overnight
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 Marrakech to Essaouira Essaouira
Day 12 Essaouira to Marrakech, Depart  

This itinerary is perfect for the traveler who wants to make the most of twelve days but who also prefers independence and self-guided exploration and flexibility. This trip plan is also perfect if you love road trips and dictating how much time you want to spend at different spots on your journey. You’ll start in Tangier, whose reputation has been rehabbed recently, though it’s managed to maintain its Boho heritage. Your private driver will then take you into the blue hues of Chefchaouen, by way of some great coastal spots like the Caves of Hercules. 

You’ll explore imperial cities, including Fes, where you’ll have a couple of days to lose yourself in the beautifully-preserved medina and its labyrinthine web. You’ll then spend three days in the desert and the fascinating communities that border the Sahara. If you want, you can trek out on the sand dunes and spend a night camping under the stars or you can opt for a more classic hotel experience, complete with a pool. Options abound here: adventure around the dunes on ATV or surfboard, explore villages, ride a camel, or shop eclectic markets. You’ll see cinematic landmarks, lush oases, kasbahs, and a stunning gorge in this part of the country, too. 

Enjoy epic views as you travel the Atlas Mountains en route to Marrakech, where you’ll stay for two nights. Travel the city solo, get a guide for a half-day tour, or hire one of the Caliche Horse Carriages found at the southwest corner of Jemaa el-Fna square until the city’s epicenter springs to life when the sunsets. On day eleven, you’ll venture out to the coast for a day in Essaouira, a laid-back fortified town on the Atlantic. Head to the beach to enjoy your last sunset in Morocco; in the morning you’ll return to Marrakech for your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Exploring Imperial Cities and Natural Landscapes

If you’re interested in seeing Morocco through a more intimate lens, consider this trip plan; you’ll counter the big city highlights with towns and villages tucked high in the Atlas Mountains and on ancient Saharan trade routes. 

Todra and Dades Gorges
Day Highlights Overnight
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 Imlil to Casablanca via the Atlantic Coast Casablanca
Day 12 Depart from Casablanca Airport  

Unlike other itineraries on this list, this trip plan allows you to take in the sights and sounds of parts of Morocco other travelers may bypass en route to bigger hot spots. Rather than spending just a few hours in Casablanca after you land, you’ll have ample time to really understand this contemporary city on the sea. Likewise, you’ll stop through unique towns like Asilah, a fortified seaside community, en route to Chefchaouen. On other itineraries, the Blue City is a day trip, but you’ll have a full guided tour plus two nights in town to soak up local flavor and friendliness. 

In addition to more meaningful time in small villages, you’ll have ample opportunities to take advantage of Morocco’s incredible landscapes. Hike to waterfalls, explore the stunning Todra Gorge then spend the night in the canyon, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime Saharan sunset from your perch on a camel. 

Once you arrive in Marrakech, you’ll continue your cultural connections with a relaxing evening in one of the city’s famed Hammams, then head out to the High Atlas Mountains to end your trip with a guided trek through and overnight stay in Berber villages. Cap your trip enjoying beautiful ocean views and stopping through old Portuguese Ports as you return to Casablanca for your final night in Morocco. Learn more

Start Planning Your Trip to Morocco

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Map of 12 Days in Morocco - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 12 Days in Morocco - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas