Itinerary #1: A Taste of Morocco: Fes, Sahara Desert & Marrakech
This compact itinerary is perfect for those short on time as it features a taste of Morocco's best highlights. From buzzy, ancient Fes, through the Sahara and desert towns, to the souks, mosques, and gardens of Marrakech, the "Red City."
|Day 1||Fes: Exploring the Imperial City and medieval medina||Fes|
|Day 2||Over the mountains and into the desert||Merzouga|
|Day 3||Desert towns, lush oases & film-worthy landscapes||Ouarzazate|
|Day 4||Aït Benhaddou kasbah, Tizi n'Tichka Pass over High Atlas to Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 5||Marrakech: Exploring the Red City & Depart|
This quick trip begins in Fes el Bali ("old Fes"), home to the UNESCO-honored medieval medina. Explore the maze-like city with a local guide through souks, around mosques, and onto leather shop balconies to witness the famous tanneries, like Chouara. The next day, you'll travel over the Middle Atlas mountains and into the desert, passing Barbary macaques to the palm tree-fringed Ziz Valley and hidden oases. See artisans and fossils in Erfoud, ride camels through the Erg Chebbi dunes to catch a sunset, and spend the night in the quiet of a Bedouin-style camp.
After a morning of sandboarding or ATVing, you'll visit Rissani, take a respite from the desert heat with a river walk beneath the towering cliffs of the Todra Gorge, and visit nearby Dades Valley for the desert roses. Then, it's a stop at the most famous kasbah, 11th-century Aït Benhaddou, a popular filming location. From here, spot Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, as you make your way to Berber Marrakech. Explore the old medina and its souks, tour the Saadian Tombs and the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, and finally, indulge the senses in the Majorelle Gardens for a break from the city's energy. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Moroccan Cities of the North
Starting and ending in Casablanca, this northern itinerary includes touring Roman ruins in Volubilis, exploring the "Blue City" of Chefchaouen, and getting lost in the winding passageways of the medieval medina of Fes.
|Day 1||Morning in Casablanca, Afternoon in Rabat||Rabat|
|Day 2||The Blue City of Chefchaouen||Chefchaouen|
|Day 3||Roman ruins at Volubilis and the imperial city of Meknes||Fes|
|Day 4||Exploring the Imperial City and medieval medina of Fes||Fes|
|Day 5||Fes to Casablanca & Depart|
Starting in Casablanca, you'll join a guided tour of the impressive seaside Hassan II Mosque and its basement hammam. Then you're off to the present-day capital, Rabat, to discover the medieval fortification of the Chellah Necropolis, the grand door of the Kasbah des Oudaias, and the 20th-century Andalusian Gardens. Next up is the "Blue City" of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains. Have your camera batteries fully charged: Every turn you make is photo-worthy. Consider a short walk up to the Spanish Mosque for pretty views and a sunset over the city, or go for a hike; there are several options outside of town to nearby waterfalls.
On day three, spend time exploring the sprawling 3rd-century Roman ruins of Volubilis and its near-intact mosaics en route to Meknes and Fes. Once in the latter, visit the Merenid Tombs above the city to orient yourself as you listen to the muezzin's calls to worship. Finally, on day four, enjoy getting lost in Fes' winding streets and alleys of its historic medina. You'll hit the main highlights with a guide, like Bab Boujeloud, the main thoroughfare, Talâa Kebira, souks (markets), the 11th-century Chouara Tannery, and the 14th-century Al Attarine Madrasa. Spend the following day in Fes before returning to Casablanca. Learn more
Itinerary #3: Explore Marrakech, Atlas Hiking & the Coast
Tailor-made for outdoor adventurers, this trip introduces Morocco's mountainous landscapes. From Marrakech, you'll hike through small villages in the Atlas Mountains, spend the night with a local Berber family, and finish with a trip to seaside Essaouira.
|Day 1||Arrive & Explore Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 2||Amizmiz and the High Atlas mountains, Overnight in a Berber home||Amizmiz|
|Day 3||Return from the Atlas to Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 4||Seaside ramparts, kitesurfing, and fresh seafood in Essaouira||Essaouira|
|Day 5||Return to Marrakech, Depart|
Once in Marrakech, a former marketplace at the intersection of trade routes where many Berber villages from the Atlas Mountains and desert could exchange goods, you'll wander through the city's lively souks and enjoy the spectacle of Jemaa el-Fnaa. You'll head out of town the next day to experience rural Berber culture. Just an hour outside of Marrakech, you'll be in the small town of Amizmiz in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains. Explore the humble market and then ready yourself for a full day of hiking interspersed with lunch with a Berber family and end with an overnight stay as a guest in a local home.
On day three, return to Marrakech for a full day in the "Red City" to uncover more of its treasures, like the sunken gardens of the 17th-century El Badi Palace, the Mellah, and the 19th-century Bahia Palace. The next day, you'll venture west to the Atlantic coast to relax in the seaside town of Essaouira, once a Phoenician stronghold. Walk through the more-casual old medina, sip mint tea while watching fishing boats bob in the harbor, and climb up on the imposing seawalls and ramparts. On day five, keep your eyes out for goats in the nearby Argan trees as you travel back to Marrakech for your flight home. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Marrakech & Grand Tour of the Sahara
For a visit to the Moroccan desert and a deep dive into Berber culture and traditions, this itinerary is sure to deliver. Start and end in Marrakech, and take a grand tour of the desert, including the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs and the giant dunes of Erg Chebbi.
|Day 1||Arrive, Explore the Red City||Marrakech|
|Day 2||Over the High Atlas mountains and into the desert||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 3||Desert towns, fossil workshops, and Sahara camping||Erg Chebbi|
|Day 4||Date palms, movie locations, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah||Aït Benhaddou|
|Day 5||Return to Marrakech, Depart|
Your first day in Morocco sees you exploring the "Red City's" main features, from the souks of el Attarin and Haddadine to the intricate tile work of Ben Youssef Madrasa. The next day, you'll ascend the High Atlas mountains and into the desert landscape. En route, you may spot Mount Toubkal and visit the town of Taddert before continuing through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs to Boumalne Dades for your overnight. Day three, you'll continue to Erg Chebi, stopping first in Tinerhir and its river oasis, the Todra Gorge, Erfoud, and Rissani. Once in Merzouga, you'll "board" a camel and head to your Bedouin-style camp.
Wake early to take in the desert sunrise. Visit Khemliya, a traditional Saharan village, before passing through umbrella-shaped trees of the acacia forests and reaching Alnif for lunch. Continue through the Draa Valley, dense with date palmeries, and arrive at a desert hub and popular filming location, Ouarzazate. Visit Musée du Cinema to learn about filmmaking in the area. Then it's off to iconic Aït Benhaddou for exploration, stunning panoramic views, and recognizable filming backdrops. Stay the night in an old kasbah converted into an auberge. The next day, you'll return to Marrakech. Learn more
More Great 5-Day Morocco Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Morocco? Check out these other 5-day Morocco itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.