- Visit the Blue City of Chefchaouen
- Enjoy fine dining options in the capital of Rabat
- Relax in a luxe spa experience at a Hammam
- Take a traditional Moroccan cooking class in Fes
- Go wine tasting in the Guerrouane Region
|Day 1||Afternoon Arrival in Casablanca: Hassan II Mosque||Casablanca|
|Day 2||Casablanca to Chefchaouen - A City Awash in Blue||Chefchaouen|
|Day 3||Chefchaouen to Fes - Volubilis, Moulay Idriss, and Meknes||Fes|
|Day 4||Fes: Imperial City, Medieval Medina & Hammam||Fes|
|Day 5||Guerrouane Region Winery Tour||Fes|
|Day 6||Fes - Traditional Cooking Class||Fes|
|Day 7||Fes to Casablanca: Rabat and Salé||Casablanca|
|Day 8||Depart from Casablanca|
Day 1: Afternoon Arrival in Casablanca - Hassan II Mosque
Welcome to Morocco! This afternoon you'll arrive in Casablanca; your private driver will pick you up from the airport and introduce you to the city's best — and biggest — treasure: the Hassan II Mosque, home to the tallest minaret in the world. This breathtaking building is representative of the best of Moroccan architecture, and it is also the only mosque that is open to the public with interior tours.
After, you'll check-in at your beautifully-appointed accommodation. Throughout this trip, you will stay in a variety of luxury hotels that reflect the diverse architectural and cultural heritage of Morocco. In cosmopolitan Casablanca, you will stay in a hotel, but you will soon step back in time in deluxe riads — buildings with delicate tilework and central courtyards designed to keep interiors cool — in the imperial cities of Fes and Marrakech.
Take the rest of the evening to yourself to relax and unwind. Dinner will be on your own, but your driver will help guide you to any number of trendy restaurants around Morocco's economic capital. If you're hungry for more traditional flavors, taste Morocco's unique ingredients like pungent saffron, dynamic spice blends, bright preserved lemons, and grassy herbs. As you move through your culinary exploration of the north, see how different preparations, techniques, and recipes revamp the classics.
Driving time: one hour
Day 2: Casablanca to Chefchaouen - A City Awash in Blue
Today, you will make your way to Chefchaouen. This little city is a visual delight in blue; walls, doors, windows, stairways, alleyways, and archways – everything is a combination of pastel sky blue and deeper, more vivid hues. Chefchaouen is located in the heart of the Rif Mountains and is famous for its sense of "old Morocco."
En route, you'll visit the imposing Hassan Tower monument, one of the most magnificent buildings of the Almohad Dynasty. A curiosity of a landmark, Hassan Tower is a minaret of a 12th-century mosque, a lofty construction project that was ultimately abandoned. All that remains today is the red sandstone tower, standing at 145 feet (44 m), and about 200 columns where a more extensive complex was meant to be. After you wander the ruins, check out the Mausoleum of Mohamed V, which serves as a stellar taste of the intricate tilework, mosaics, and craftsmanship that you'll see throughout the land.
Lunch will be on your own with recommendations from your driver. Consider sampling some super fresh seafood, prepared simply on a grill, accompanied by the traditional bold flavors of Morocco's cuisine. After, explore the blue-painted Oudaya neighborhood perched above the Atlantic Ocean. The picturesque charm of this neighborhood is the perfect primer for what lies ahead on your journey today.
From Rabat, you'll head into the Rif Mountains to the Blue City of Chefchaouen. Check-in to your opulent riad and relax or head out to explore this laid back town at your own pace. Outa el-Hammam, the main square, is a place to watch the world go by.
Walk up the tiny higgledy-piggledy alleys away from the touristed areas to find a taste of local life. This is a great place to shop for handcrafted wool garments, woven blankets, cedarwood furniture, and other artisanal work from Northern Morocco. Be sure to order a Maqlouba (upside-down) coffee and enjoy it while watching the local women retrieve water and wash their laundry in the nearby spring. Dinner will be on your own at one of the town's wonderful eateries. Cap off your evening with a freshly brewed cup of a mint infusion; not only is the traditional tea a relaxing way to end your meal, but it's said to help aid in digestion.
Driving time: 5 hours
Day 3: Chefchaouen to Fes - Volubilis, Moulay Idriss, and Meknes
Enjoy your morning in Chefchaouen; if you're inspired to wake before dawn, you'll be rewarded with a fantastic sunrise from the Spanish mosque, perched high atop the town. You could take it easy with a languid breakfast (think cumin-scented fried eggs, goat cheese, and warm bread with olive oil), followed by exploration in the medina. You can also spend a relaxing with a cup of fresh mint tea in Place Outa el-Hammam, watching the city come to life from a cafe.
Later in the morning, you'll hit the road to travel through Morocco's royal past. You'll first head south toward Fes. En route, you'll stop to visit Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features Morocco's best-preserved Roman ruins. Wander the massive complex and explore large merchant homes with visible heating systems, temples, and many well-preserved mosaics. If you'd like to dive deep into the history here, you can hire your own private guide. Because you're traveling with a private driver, you can stay as long as you like at the ruins, as well as any other sites you visit on your trip.
After, you'll move on to Moulay Idriss, which, from a distance, looks like a sitting camel. Moulay Idriss was founded in 789 CE; Morocco's first Islamic capital, the city remains a site of ongoing cultural significance. Check out the unique round minaret here, the only one of its kind in Morocco. Your driver will help you find a great option for lunch, but if you can snag reservations early enough beforehand, you can enjoy a private dining experience at the city's most exclusive restaurant.
Your next stop before is the prosperous city of Meknes, which features a smaller medina and friendlier shopkeepers that you will see in larger cities. Your driver will lead you through the Ville Impériale (New City) area, where you can see gardens, palaces, the impressive gate of Bab al-Mansour, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and the Royal Stables. Many of these palaces were constructed with materials taken from Volubilis, so be on the lookout for Roman columns hidden in unexpected places!
You'll end your royal road trip today in Fes, one of Morocco's four Imperial Cities. After you check in to your luxury riad in the historic medina, the rest of the day is yours. The unforgettable medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a maze of winding alleys that climb up both sides of a steep river valley and is the largest car-free urban area in the world.
If you lose yourself are exploring the medina on your own, pay attention to whether you are going up or downhill as you walk. Walking uphill will generally take you to the edge of the medina, where it is much easier to get your bearings and catch transportation.
Driving time: 5 hours
Day 4: Fes - Imperial City, Medieval Medina & Hammam
Fuel up with a delicious breakfast, then meet up with your private tour guide (a Fes local) to explore the UNESCO protected medina. Your guide will share hidden stories and show you the secluded corners of this thriving epicenter; take in the minutia of daily life and the magnificence of madrasas and palaces. Once you've worked up an appetite, ask your guide for lunch suggestions — there are many luxurious restaurants hidden behind unassuming doorways.
You'll also dive into traditions and craft today; you'll visit tanneries and mosaic workshops to observe traditional crafting methods still in use today and connect with the artisans at work.
Relaxation is the keyword for this afternoon. Return to your riad to unwind for a bit, then visit the local hammam (traditional public bath) for some pampering and rejuvenation. Most hammams provide a variety of services, including massages, baths, and an extensive treatment menu using locally-sourced argan oil products. Whatever you choose, start with a traditional steam, soak, and — the perfect hammam trifecta.
Day 5: Guerrouane Region Winery Tour
Enjoy a fun and decadent day trip out of the city today when you venture into Morocco's unique Guerrouane agricultural region, just beyond Fes. Spend the day learning about the region's crops, history, traditions, and flavors with a winery tour and private tasting.
Moroccans have been cultivating and refining wine grapes for large scale production since the Roman era. The tradition of winemaking can be traced back to the region's Jewish communities and was later expanded by French settlers. Growers and vintners focus on red blends, Rosé, Vin Gris, and local brandies called Mahia (water of life).
Guerrouane is Morocco's agricultural heartland, where good soil, rain, and sun combine to provide great conditions for orchard fruits like apricots, plums, and oranges, as well as the region's prized grapes. This hidden gem is also home to Morocco’s only AOC wine — Coteaux de l’Atlas 1er Cru. After a fun and informative vineyard tour, you'll sit down to an afternoon of tasting flights featuring various local styles of wine.
Afterward, you'll return to Fes for the night. The courtyard in your riad is the perfect place to relax as you crack open your favorite bottle from the day's wine discovery.
Day 6: Fes - Traditional Cooking Class
Morocco sits at the geographical and cultural crossroads of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. It is no surprise then that Moroccan cuisine is famous for fusing the flavors of these regions into something unique, dynamic, and delicious. What better way to relax for a day than by taking a private traditional Moroccan cooking lesson from a master?
Take a leisurely morning with breakfast at your riad, some relaxation, and possibly a stroll around the neighborhood. You'll then head to your five-hour cooking class, which begins with a visit to a nearby souk to shop for produce — just as the locals do.
As you prepare a traditional four-course meal, complete with fragrant spices, perfect couscous, and the ubiquitous preserved lemon, you'll learn about traditional Moroccan cooking methods and will hopefully create amazing memories. At the end of class, sit down to enjoy your delicious dishes, which you can recreate once you're home from your trip.
Spend the rest of the day however you like — you could relax at your riad, or venture back out to explore more of Fes. Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own; your cooking teacher, specialist, and driver are bound to have some great recommendations for excellent eateries in town.
Day 7: Fes to Casablanca via Rabat and Salé
Today you will depart Fes toward Casablanca. On the way, you'll return to Rabat, and visit the charming suburb of Salé.
As Morocco's political capital, Rabat has a bustling culinary scene. Although you'll find good Moroccan food around the city, head to the embassy quarter of the new city (just inland from the medina) for some of the best French and Italian dining in the country.
In the afternoon, travel to the nearby city of Salé, where you can tour the historic madrasa, where you'll find striking architecture and Moroccan craftwork. Be sure to also check out the Bab Antare and Bab Mellah, spectacular walls and gates that divide up the city.
In the early evening, you'll arrive in Casablanca, where you will have the night to explore and dine on your own.
Driving time: 3.5 hours
Day 8: Depart from Casablanca
It's time to say goodbye to Morocco. Depending on the time of your departure flight, you may be able to do some last-minute sightseeing in Casablanca or enjoy tea at one of the traditional cafés. When the time comes, you'll head to Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport for your flight.