Itinerary 1: Grand Tour of Morocco
It's called the Grand Tour for a reason: this popular itinerary takes you to the imperial cities, the desert, and the mountains. This itinerary offers a great balance of culture, history, and adventure—and makes the most of your time, as it starts in Casablanca and ends in Marrakech.
|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|
|Day 4||Fes: Exploring the Imperial City and medieval Medina||Fes|
|Day 5||Middle Atlas: Erfoud, Merzouga and the Sahara||Erg Chebbi|
|Day 6||Desert towns, lush oases, and film worthy landscapes||Ouarzazate|
|Day 7||Aït Benhaddou Kasbah and Tizi n'Tichka Pass over the High Atlas||Marrakech|
|Day 8||Marrakech: Exploring the Red City||Marrakech|
|Day 9||Day hike through the Atlas foothills and hillside villages||Marrakech|
The trip begins in Casablanca, the commercial capital of Morocco. You'll be moving along relatively quickly, but you won't want to miss the striking Hassan II Mosque. Perched beside the sea and featuring the tallest minaret in the world (690 feet), it's one of the only mosques in the country that allows non-Muslims to enter. Then on to Rabat, where you'll have time to visit Roman and Islamic ruins, the 20th-century Andalusian Gardens, and Hassan Tower, a 12th-century minaret.
The itinerary continues in the picturesque blue city of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains. Wander through the boldly-hued medina, which dates from the 15th century, and stop for a mint tea on Plaza Outa el-Hammam. As the sun goes down, walk up the path to the abandoned Spanish Mosque (a 20-30 minute stroll) to take in views of the city and the mountains.
After stopping at Volubilis—noted for the still-intact heating systems and colorful mosaics—and Meknes, head to Fes. By day, explore both medina quarters, Fes el Bali and Fes el Jdid with a guide. People-watch on the busy thoroughfare of Talâa Kebira, walk through the old souks (markets) and visit the Chouara Tannery and its many dye-filled stone pots, where the men at work use centuries-old techniques.
In Erfoud, known for fossil mining, you can stop to meet local artisans before continuing onto Erg Chebbi, an extensive complex of sand dunes that shift and travel depending on the changing wind. When you reach Merzouga, it's time for a camel ride through the dunes and camping under the stars before a day at Aït Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates from the 11th century.
From there, you'll descend into the final destination on the itinerary: the "Red City" of Marrakech. As the sun goes down, you'll want to be near the main square of Djemaa el-Fna as it comes alive with musicians, performers, snake charmers, and food vendors. The following day, pick up some spices, woodwork, or traditional Moroccan slippers in the old medina's souks before continuing to Ben Youssef Madrasa, a 16th-century Koranic school celebrated for its ornate interior.
On your last full day, day-trip into the foothills of the High Atlas mountains, hiking past Berber villages and stopping for lunch with a local family before returning to Marrakech. If you're especially interested in a homestay, this part of the trip could be extended to last two nights (you'd have to skip Chefchaouen, though). The same goes for the coast: if you'd like to add in an overnight stay in the beach town of Essaouira in lieu of a visit to Chefchaouen, it's an easy detour. Learn more
For more on what to see and do in Morocco's "Red City," where this itinerary ends, check out this ultimate guide to Marrakech.
Itinerary 2: Traveling Into Morocco's Past
This ten-day tour is similar to the Grand Tour, though you'll skip over the relatively modern cities of Casablanca and Rabat and spend more time delving into Morocco's most historic destinations. This itinerary is ideal for travelers arriving by ferry from Spain and departing by plane out of Marrakech.
|Day 1||Arrive, Tangier and Chefchaouen||Chefchaouen|
|Day 2||Roman Ruins of Volubilis and the imperial cities of Meknes and Fes||Fes|
|Day 3||Fes: Exploring the Imperial City and medieval Medina||Fes|
|Day 4||Middle Atlas: Erfoud, Merzouga and the Sahara||Merzouga|
|Day 5||Adventures around Merzouga, Rissani market, and Todra Gorge||Tinerhir|
|Day 6||Dades Valley, Ouarzazate, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah||Aït Benhaddou|
|Day 7||Tizi n'Tichka Pass over the High Atlas mountains to Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 8||Marrakech: Exploring the Red City||Marrakech|
|Day 10||Return to Marrakech; Depart|
If you're traveling by ferry from Spain, Tangier will be your point of entry. Enjoy a visit to the seaside medina, take a walk along the waterfront promenade, and have a mint tea in Zoco Chico square.
You'll be moving on quickly to the famous blue city of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains. If you're not in a rush, opt for the scenic route. With a few extra hours, you can stop along the way for a refreshing hike to the Cascades d'Akchou (Waterfalls of Akchour). Once you reach Chefchaouen, allow yourself plenty of time to wander through the blue-washed streets and visit the Grand Mosque. If you're feeling energetic, take a short hike to the white Spanish mosque for glorious sunset views over the city and mountains.
Next, you'll visit the Roman ruins at Volubilis and the impressive imperial architecture in nearby Meknes on your way to Fes. After a day in the city, venture into the Middle Atlas mountains, passing apple orchards and palm tree clusters on your way to Erfoud, known for fossil mining. The sea of sand dunes known as Erg Chebbi is next. Outside of Merzouga, enjoy a sunset camel ride, star-gazing, and traditional Berber music around a campfire before sleeping in a traditional tent.
Spend the next day hiking the Todra Gorge, visiting Morocco's most famous kasbah, Aït Benhaddou, and visiting a rose collective in the Dades Valley. Continue on to Ouarzazate and take a studio tour to learn about how the region's landscapes have been used in films and TV series like "Gladiator" and "Game of Thrones."
This itinerary continues on to Marrakech, but only for a day—enough time for some basic sightseeing and shopping in the souks, including a sunset visit to the busy square of Djemaa el Fna. You'll side-trip to the beach for relaxation in the laid-back port city of Essaouira. Highlights include strolling along the Skala de la Kasbah (the 18th-century seafront ramparts), exploring the UNESCO-protected medina, dining on freshly caught seafood, and, of course, relaxing on the beach. The next day, you'll return to Marrakech to catch a flight out of Morocco. Learn more
This article offers a rundown of the country's top highlights and places to visit.
Itinerary 3: Hiking & Relaxing Around Marrakech
If you'd rather focus your time and energy in one region of Morocco instead of moving around the country, this is the itinerary for you. Starting and ending in Marrakech, this trip plan involves more time hiking and enjoying the outdoors—and less time in transit.
|Day 1-2||Arrive; Marrakech: Exploring the Red City||Marrakech|
|Day 3||Over the High Atlas mountains to Ouarzazate and Boumalne Dades||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 4||Desert towns and camping in the Sahara||Erg Chebbi|
|Day 5||Date palms, Alnif, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah||Aït Benhaddou|
|Day 6||Return to Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 7||Amizmiz and the High Atlas mountains; Overnight in Berber Home||Amizmiz|
|Day 8||Return from the Atlas mountains to Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 9||Seaside ramparts, kitesurfing, and fresh seafood in Essaouira||Essaouira|
|Day 10||Return to Marrakech; Depart|
Before leaving Marrakech for the mountains, you might opt to take a half-day guided tour that covers many of the city's highlights in a short time, including Ben Youssef Madrasa school of Islam, the souks, and Dar Di Said Museum (also known as the Museum of Moroccan Arts) with its exhibitions of clothing, antiques, and jewelry.
Leave the city behind and head into the High Atlas mountains, where you might spot Mount Toubkal from the car window. You'll pass Berber villages and stop to visit a local argan oil cooperative before reaching the film location hot spot of Ouarzazate for a tour. The trip continues through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, Kela'a M'gouna, Todra Gorge, and the market town of Rissani before reaching the awe-inspiring sand dune sea of Erg Chebbi—a standout highlight for many travelers.
Wake up early for a desert sunrise before renting a sandboard or joining an ATV tour. You'll have the chance to visit the traditional Saharan village of Khemliya before continuing through the Draa Valley, known for growing dates. Pick up a box of dates for the trip—they're a great local snack.
After visiting Aït Benhaddou, circle back to Marrakech to get your fill of fine dining and sightseeing, if you so choose, before leaving the city again to venture into the foothills of the High Atlas mountains and the small town of Amizmiz. Enjoy a guided hike along quiet roads and mule paths, passing by traditional Berber villages. Your guide will arrange for lunch with a local—or an overnight with one, if you like.
You'll pass through Marrakech once more on your way to the historic beach town of Essaouira, where you can feast on seafood, hang out on the seafront ramparts, and shop in the souks of the old medina. It's an ideal place to wrap up ten days of outdoor adventures in Morocco. Return to Marrakech to catch a flight out. Learn more
Read this article for more ideas and inspiration on hiking and outdoor activities in Morocco.
Itinerary 4: Historic Highlights from Casablanca
Circle out from Casablanca with this trip to some of Morocco’s premiere attractions.
|Day 1||Arrive in Casablanca||Casablanca|
|Day 2||Roman Ruins at Volubilis and Imperial Cities of Meknes and Fes||Fes|
|Day 3||Fes: Exploring the Imperial City and Medieval Medina||Fes|
|Day 4||Into the Desert: Erfoud, Merzouga & the Sahara||Erg Chebbi|
|Day 5||Desert Towns, Todra Gorge, and Film-Worthy Landscapes||Ouarzazate|
|Day 6||Aït Benhaddou Kasbah and Tizi n'Tichka Pass over the High Atlas to Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 7||Marrakech: Exploring the Red City||Marrakech|
|Day 8||Essaouira: Seaside Ramparts & Fresh Seafood||Essaouira|
|Day 9||Casablanca via the Coast||Casablanca|
You’ll start from Casablanca, but don’t linger in the city too long. You’ll head to the relaxed markets of Meknes and its grand Bab al-Mansour gate, followed by the Roman ruins at Volubilis. Your destination for the evening is Fes, where you’ll hear the evening call to prayer as you look out over the city from the Merenid Tombs. Meet up with a guide the next morning for your tour of the medina and its many merchants and historic attractions, along with the fragrant Chouara Tannery.
Head into the desert through the palm-filled Ziz Valley, with a stop at an artisan collective to learn about area fossils in Erfoud, and eventually reach the dunes of Erg Chebbi to camp for the night. Visit traditional Saharan villages and market towns as you explore the sandy expanse, traveling through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs to Ouarzazate, a gateway to the Sahara Desert made popular by the film industry. Spend the night there, then head to Aït Benhaddou, an 11th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site, as you make your way to Marrakech. The sights, sounds, and smells of the Red City all clamor for your attention during a full day to explore at your own speed.
Switch gears as you travel to seaside Essaouira, driving through argan tree groves to reach this seaside spot that’s a hippie favorite. Check out the ocean from the city ramparts or hit the beach and watch the kiteboarders before you return to Casablanca. You’ll have one final night in the city to pick up any last-minute souvenirs before you head home. Learn more
Itinerary 5: Desert Adventure From Fes to Marrakech
Adventure into the dunes of the Sahara along with waterfalls and gorges on this itinerary.
|Day 1||Arrive in Fes||Fes|
|Day 2||Guided Tour of Fes||Fes|
|Day 3||Fes to Merzouga Camel Trek||Merzouga|
|Day 4||Merzouga to Dades Valley||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 5||Day with the Locals in the Valley of Roses||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 6||Dades to Ait Bouguemez||Ait Bougumez|
|Day 7||Ait Bouguemez to Demnate||Demnate|
|Day 8||Demnate to Marrakech via Ouzoud||Marrakech|
|Day 9||Guided Tour of Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 10||Depart Marrakech|
Start your journey by doing some shopping in Fes, where your guide will lead you through the craft-filled streets of the historic medina and tannery. Then it’s into the desert you go, traveling through the Middle and High Atlas Mountains (keeping one eye out for the Atlas Monkeys along the way) to reach your camp at Erg Chebbi. After a night on the dunes, you’ll travel through the Dades River Valley to see the Dades Gorge and hang out with a Moroccan family in the Valley of Roses.
Tie on your hiking shoes under the foot of the M’Goun Mountain before you offroad into the High Atlas. Once amid their heights, you’ll do some more hiking, as well as stop for a carpet-weaving workshop to learn about this popular area craft. Find some refreshment with a swim or boat ride under the waterfalls at Ouzoud, some of the highest in Morocco, before you make it to Marrakech in the evening. On your last day, a guide will lead you through the city’s hotspots as you toast to your trip from a balcony over Djemaa el Fna Square. Learn more
Itinerary 6: Nature and Culture in Southern Morocco
Go from city to sand and back on this 10-day journey though Moroccan nature and culture.
|Day 1||Arrive in Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 2||Guided Tour of Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 3||Marrakech to Dades Valley via Aït Benhaddou||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 4||Day with the Locals in the Valley of Roses||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 5||Dades Valley to Merzouga Camel Trek||Merzouga|
|Day 6||Merzouga to Agdz||Agdz|
|Day 7||Agdz to Tifnit Beach||Tifnit Beach|
|Day 8||Free Day on Tifnit Beach||Tifnit Beach|
|Day 9||Tifnit Beach to Essaouira||Essaouira|
|Day 10||Free Day on Tifnit Beach|
Start off in the colorful oasis city of Marrakech, where you’ll follow your guide through the conical spice piles of the markets and landmarks like the Koutoubia Mosque. Then it’s time to head into the countryside and Dades Valley, stopping at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Aït Benhaddou along the way. Head to evocatively named destinations like the Road of 1000 Kasbahs and Valley of Roses for insight into Moroccan life.
Hop onto a camel for your trek at Merzouga to the dunes of Erg Chebbi in the Sahara. After a night under the stars and an early morning to see the sunrise, you’ll take it easy with a stop at the musician's village of Khamlia, a village comprised entirely of Gnaoua musicians, where you'll be treated to a short private concert. Spend the night at the oasis town of Agdz at Kasbah Tamnougalt. The following day, you’ll stop at the easygoing markets of Taroudant on your way to Tifnit Beach. Lounge along the ocean with a full beach day, then keep the surfer vibes going in Essaouira. Linger into the evening in Mulay El-Hassan Square before you make your way to Casablanca to catch your flight home. Learn more
More Unique 10-Day Morocco Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your Morocco trip? Check out these other 10-day Morocco itineraries, ranging from active, to cultural, to luxury, or family-friendly trips.
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