On this 11-day tour of Morocco, you’ll begin and end your travels in Casablanca, home to the famous Hassan II Mosque. Your trip takes you through all four imperial cities–Rabat, Meknes, Fes, and Marrakech. Take in daily life in each town at the lively medinas. You’ll also have the opportunity to observe Moroccan life among the farms in the Berber villages on this well-rounded Moroccan journey.

Highlights

  • Visit the Hassan II Mosque, with one of the tallest minarets in the world
  • Explore the remaining Roman ruins on your stop in Volubilis
  • Watch the various entertainers come alive in Marrakech’s Jemaa el Fna Square
  • Observe Berber families working on their farms in Ahinajen

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Casablanca Casablanca
Day 2 Casablanca - Guided Tour Casablanca
Day 3 Rabat - Hassan Tower and Salé City Tour Rabat
Day 4 Travel to Fes With Stops in Meknes and Volubilis Fes
Day 5 Fes - Guided City Tour Fes
Day 6 Day Trip to Ahinajen Berber Village Fes
Day 7 Fes to Marrakech: Beni-Mellal, Berber Villages & the Atlas Mountains Marrakech
Day 8 Travel to Marrakech With a Stop in Beni-Mellal Marrakech
Day 9 Day Trip to Ourika Marrakech
Day 10 Travel to Casablanca Casablanca
Day 11 Departure From Casablanca  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Casablanca

Sunset over the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
Sunset over the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Today, you’ll arrive in Casablanca and be picked up from the airport by your private driver. You’ll be taken to your accommodations, and then have the night to yourselves to recover from your flight. Enjoy a nice welcome dinner, and make sure to ask your driver for some recommendations.

Day 2: Casablanca - Guided tour

Hassan II Mosque
The Hassan II Mosque has one of the tallest minarets in the world

You will begin today with a tour of the Hassan II Mosque. This exquisite mosque has one of the tallest minarets in the world and is a building representative of the best of Moroccan architecture. The interior is lavish with wood, marble, and carved stone and with guided ceilings. It is also the only mosque that is open for the public to tour and a real experience. Afterward, lunch is on your own.

In the afternoon, you’ll meet with your guide to take a tour of the city. The old medina here is newer than those in Fes and Marrakech, so this tour will focus on the newer medina, the Habous, which was built in the 1930s by the French. The architecture here is a focal point and is inspired by the Art Deco movement. After the tour, the evening and dinner will be on your own.

Day 3: Rabat - Hassan Tower and Salé city tour

Hassan Tower
Hassan Tower

Today, you will travel to Rabat, home of Hassan Tower. Rabat is the capital of Morocco and home to the Royal Family. The Hassan Tower monument is one of the most significant buildings produced from the Almohad Dynasty. It is a minaret of the incomplete mosque and Mausoleum of Mohamed V. In fact, it is a 12th-century project that was abandoned, where all that remains today is the red sandstone tower standing at 145 feet and about 200 columns. Following the exploration of the tower, lunch will be on your own, with recommendations from your driver.

Next, you will head to the nearby city of Salé for a tour of the historic madrasa. The stunning architecture and Moroccan craftwork is something that not many travelers get to experience. You can also check out the Bab Antare and Bab Mellah, which are walls and regions that divide up the city.

Tonight, you will have dinner on your own. Be sure to ask your guide to recommendations.

Day 4: Travel to Fes with stops in Meknes and Volubilis

Meknes
Meknes

Today, you’ll leave Rabat and travel toward Fes. After breakfast, you will depart for Meknes, which is your first stop. It has a smaller medina than Fes, which allows you time to explore at a more leisurely pace–without worrying about the more aggressive shopkeepers. Your driver will lead you through the Ville Impériale area, where you can explore gardens, palaces, the impressive gate of Bab al-Mansour, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and the Royal Stables

Next, move on to Moulay Idriss, which, from a distance, looks like a sitting camel. The oldest town in Morocco, it was founded by Moulay Idriss I in 789, who fled Mecca because of religious and tribal conflicts. It was here that the Idrisid dynasty was founded. Note that the town has the only round minaret in Morocco. Lunch is on your own here, with recommendations from your driver.

Next, you’ll stop in Volubilis. This UNESCO World Heritage Site contains Morocco’s best-preserved Roman ruins and makes for a nice break from driving. You can wander the massive complex with a guide, exploring large merchant homes with visible heating systems underneath, temples, and many colorful mosaics still in good condition. 

Today ends in Fes, one of Morocco's four imperial cities, where you can relax and enjoy the night at your leisure. Dinner is on your own, so be sure to ask your driver for some recommendations.

Day 5: Fes - Guided city tour

Fez tanneries
Fez tanneries

Your tour guide will meet you after breakfast to start your day of exploration in the Fes Medina. This UNESCO-protected medina is full of arms-width alleyways and donkey-width roads. Your Fes born-and-bred guide will share hidden stories and show you secluded corners of the medina, and you will see daily life unfold, along with the impactful Fes madersas and palaces. Your guide will help you learn about Fes as only a true local can. Be sure to ask your guide for lunch suggestions. 

Fes is a hub of Moroccan crafts and arts, and you’ll meet artisans to learn about the history and importance of their trades. Visit tanneries and mosaic workshops to observe traditional crafting methods still in use today. 

In the afternoon, return to your riad. You can relax for the rest of the day or go back out to test your new knowledge of the medina streets. 

Day 6: Day trip to Ahinajen Berber village

Ahinajen
Ahinajen

Today, you will visit the Berber village of Ahinajen in the Middle Atlas Mountains. You will be transported 2 hours in a local souk van or a pick-up, as the locals do. Upon arrival, you will be introduced to a local family to have lunch with. After lunch, you will be taken down the valley to observe and interact with the farmers working on the land. Traditionally, women and children act as shepherds for the family livestock, and you will get to see how the family dynamic works. This experience can be very eye-opening to the rural way of life in the Atlas Mountains and is a great way to interact directly with the local culture. On the way back to Sefrou, you will stop in Mausoleum of Sidi Bousghin for the panoramic view of Sefrou and the snow-capped Middle Atlas Mountains.

Dinner will be on your own in either Sefrou or Fes.

Day 7: Travel to Marrakech with a stop in Beni-Mellal

Sunset over Jemaa el Fna Square
Sunset over Jemaa el Fna Square

Begin the day early, as you prepare for your long day of travel from Fes to Marrakech. This 8-hour journey takes you through the Middle Atlas and High Atlas Mountains. Along the way, you will see Berber villages, and you can stop at a few if you would like. You will break for lunch at Beni-Mellal, with recommendations on where to eat from your driver.

Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains, before you are in the midst of the hustle and bustle of vibrant Marrakech. Once you are in Marrakech, feel free to spend the rest of the afternoon at a slower pace. You will go on a guided hammam visit to relax after the long day traveling.

In the early evening, the center, known as Jemaa el Fna Square, comes alive with musicians, performers, snake charmers, games, food stalls, and more. If you want to enjoy from a distance, there are many cafés surrounding the square where you can sit and watch the show over a meal.

Day 8: Marrakech - Guided medina tour and evening food tour

Cooking in Marrakesh
Enjoy an evening food tour in Marrakesh

On your second day in Marrakech, after you have breakfast, you will meet your local tour guide who will take you on a tour to explore the stunning old medina, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In its lively souk, you can take in the displays of djellabas, soft, brightly colored babouches, intricately pierced lanterns, mounds of exotic spices, and life unfolding among the web of alleys. Your knowledgeable guide will tell you about the history and stories of the Medina, the Souk, and the Mellah sections–all kept within the city’s rose-pink walls. Lunch is on your own with the recommendation of your tour guide.

After lunch, take some time to relax before your evening activities. Around 6 pm, you will go on a 3-4 hour guided food tour around the Marrakech Medina, tasting local foods and partaking in a full meal.

Day 9: Day trip to Ourika

Ourika Valley
Ourika Valley

Your Ourika Valley day trip starts early in the morning. After a short drive from Marrakech into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, you’ll take the road along the valley of Ourika, where you’ll enter through a group of clinging mountain villages. Later, you’ll continue the tour to reach Setti Fatma, a favorite weekend destination of many Moroccans, which is highly appreciated for its streams and waterfalls, beautiful cliffs, and green valleys. You will explore a region which still practices a medieval agricultural tradition. Walk around the valley to take photos of the views of green terraces and the surrounding Atlas Mountains. A local guide can take you on a hike to the first waterfall.

After the hike, take a break for a traditional lunch in a local restaurant and enjoy the view over the mountains. Then, you’ll return to Marrakech in the evening, where you will have time to yourself and dinner at your leisure.

Day 10: Travel to Casablanca

El Jadida
El Jadida

Today, you will leave early to head to back to Casablanca via the coastal route. You will visit two, old Portuguese fortified cities along the way.

The first city you will encounter is El Jadida, where you will tour the hauntingly beautiful Portuguese cistern. You can also walk the ramparts and visit the Church of the Assumption.

Next is Azemour, which has inspired many Moroccan artists over the decades, some of whom have chosen to live here. Life here is still traditional, despite its close proximity to the cosmopolitan art market of Casablanca. A crumbling 16th-century medina squeezed between the Oud Er-Rbia (Mother of Spring River) and the ocean provides plenty of artistic inspiration.

Once in Casablanca, you will check into your downtown hotel. After lunch, you will be picked up by your guide to tour parts of Casablanca you did not visit upon your arrival.

Then, your final evening and dinner will be on your own.

Day 11: Departure from Casablanca

Farewell, Morocco!

After breakfast, you will take the 45-minute trip to Casablanca Mohamed V International Airport in preparation for your departure flight. Safe Travels!

Map

Map of Explore Morocco: Imperial Cities to Berber Villages - 13 Days
Map of Explore Morocco: Imperial Cities to Berber Villages - 13 Days