- Be chauffeured around the country by a private driver
- Stay at five-star unique hotels and riads
- Explore Morroco's wine country
- Go glamping in the Sahara
- Take a hot air balloon ride over Marrakech
|Day 1||Arrive in Casablanca & Transfer to Rabat||Rabat|
|Day 2||Rabat to Chefchaouen: A City Awash in Blue||Chefchaouen|
|Day 3||To Fes: The Roman Ruins at Volubilis||Fes|
|Day 4||Fes: Explore the Imperial City and its UNESCO Medina||Fes|
|Day 5||Guerrouane Region Winery Tour||Fes|
|Day 6||Fes to Merzouga: Over the Middle Atlas Mountains to the Sahara||Merzouga|
|Day 7||Merzouga to Tinghir: Adventuring in the Todra Gorge||Todra Gorge|
|Day 8||Tinghir to Ouarzazate||Ouarzazate|
|Day 9||Ouarzazate to Marrakech: Over the High Atlas, Ait Benhaddou||Marrakech|
|Day 10||Marrakech: Medina & City Tour||Marrakech|
|Day 11||Marrakech: Morning Hot Air Balloon Ride and Afternoon Leisure||Marrakech|
|Day 12||Marrakech to Essaouira: Argan Oil & Seafood||Essaouira|
|Day 13||Essaouira: A Day of Seaside Adventure||Essaouira|
|Day 14||Essaouira to Casablanca: the Atlantic Coast & Portuguese Ports||Casablanca|
|Day 15||Depart from Casablanca|
Day 1: Arrive in Casablanca & Transfer to Rabat
Welcome to Morocco! After you land in Casablanca, you'll be picked up from the airport by your private driver and chauffered to Rabat. Check into your luxe accommodations, then get to know the city with the help of your driver.
Once you've worked up an appetite, grab lunch at a delicious spot that suits your taste. As Morocco's capital of Morocco and home to the royal family, Rabat oozes imperial glam, from relics of empires past to contemporary eateries specializing in fine dining. If you're hungry for traditional fare, consider taking advantage of the Atlantic's incredible bounty. Even in the medina, you'll find super fresh delicacies like briny oysters and creamy sea urchin. Whatever your palette, your driver will give you an excellent recommendation for where to enjoy your first meal.
Walk off lunch by exploring the blue-painted Oudaya neighborhood that sits perched above the Atlantic Ocean. The Kasbah of the Oudayas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the crown jewel of this enclave, so explore the complex or stroll around its lush Andalucian gardens, then head to the ramparts for a vivid sunset.
You'll also 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.
Tonight, enjoy Rabat's robust culinary scene. You will find good Moroccan food around the city, but if you're looking for something more continental, 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.
Driving time: 2 hours
Day 2: Rabat 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 more vivid, saturated hues. Chefchaouen is located in the heart of the Rif Mountains and offers travelers a sense of old Morocco.
After you check-in at your luxurious riad, you are free to explore the town at your own pace or simply relax. Outa el-Hammam, the main square, is the perfect place to watch the world go by. Walk up the tiny higgledy-piggledy alleys away from the touristed areas to find the every-day life of the town.
This neighborhood is a great location 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 with recommendations from your driver or specialist.
Driving time: 4 hours
Day 3: To Fes - The Roman Ruins at Volubilis
Today is all about royal vibes: enjoy breakfast in Chefchaouen before hitting the road to explore some imperial cities, culminating in Fes.
Your first stop is Meknes, a historic town that boasts a more manageably sized medina than you'll find once you reach Fes. The shopkeepers are also easy-going here, and you can truly take your time exploring souks filled with spices, slippers, and colorful treasures. Thanks to your driver, you'll make the most of your stopover here with a visit through the scenic Ville Impériale area. Depending on how much time you'd like to spend here, you can discover an array of palaces, gardens, and architectural sites.
Next up is Morocco's oldest town, Moulay Idriss, which from a distance resembles a sitting camel. Considered a holy city by many, the city was founded in the 8th-century by Moulay Idriss I, Morocco's first major Islamic ruler. Learn about the conception of the Idrisid dynasty, and be sure to visit the emerald-green minaret here — it's the only round minaret in the country. Your driver will also help you select a great place to enjoy lunch amid the charm of this hilltop town.
The royal treatment continues with a trip through the centuries in Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you'll find the country's best-preserved ruins from the Roman empire. The sprawling complex features examples of merchant homes (and their ingenious heating systems), intact mosaics, temples, and more. If you're inspired to dive deeper and want to extend your time here, your expert English-speaking guide will give you a private tour tailored to your interests.
When you've had your fill of sightseeing, you'll end your day in iconic Fes at a luxuriously-appointed five-star riad. An oasis in the imperial city, your accommodation will feature a central courtyard where you can lounge and keep cool and, depending on where you stay, may even house its own hammam on the ground floor. If you're interested in a more bespoke spa experience, you can enjoy a relaxing massage in one of Fes's hammams in the evening.
Regardless of where you choose to soak and scrub off the day, a delicious dinner awaits to cap your imperial adventure. You can hang back at your luxe riad or head out to one of the city's best dining spots; your driver and your specialists will help you pick a great restaurant!
Driving time: 4 hours
Day 4: Fes - Explore the Imperial City and its UNESCO Medina
Your tour guide will meet you after breakfast to start your exploration in the Fes medina. This UNESCO-protected old quarter is full of charming alleyways and narrow roads. Your local guide will share hidden stories and show you secluded corners of the medina, allowing you to observe both the small details of daily life and the grandiose of the madrasas and palaces. Your guide will help you see the local side of Fes, giving you plenty of recommendations for lunch and dinner.
In the afternoon, enjoy the artisan side of Fes. The city is a hub of Moroccan crafts and arts, enabling you to meet artisans and learn about the history and importance of their trades. You'll visit tanneries and mosaic workshops to observe traditional crafting methods still in use today.
Head back to your riad for a little reprieve. You can relax for the rest of the day or return to the streets of the medina to test your new knowledge of the city. Or, if you're eager for more cultural immersion, consider a private cooking class with a talented English-speaking chef and teacher. You'll learn about the intricate connections between tradition and food and how to use unique North African ingredients like briny preserved lemons, the exotic complexity of Ras el Hanout (an essential spice blend), and tiny pearls of couscous. Celebrate your lesson by sitting down to feast on your creations!
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 excellent 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 to Merzouga - Over the Middle Atlas Mountains to the Sahara
Today, get an early start so you can answer the seductive call of the Sahara; you'll be covering a lot of ground to reach the desert, but your journey will be well worth it.
After an early breakfast, you'll start your road trip by crossing the Middle Atlas Mountains through the town of Azrou and its majestic Cèdre Gouraud Forest, where troops of Barbary Macaque monkeys lounge in ancient cedar trees near the road. Then, stop for lunch in Midelt, which sits on a cold, high desert plateau. Despite the harsh landscape, Midelt is known as Morocco's "Apple City" for its productive orchards. The agricultural abundance is thanks to year-round water from the Moulouya River.
As the day presses on, you'll cross a landscape of steep mountain ranges, broad valleys, and narrow canyon passes. Your driver will take you through the Ziz Valley, an essential branch of the ancient Saharan Trade Route. Gaze out the window to see the area's ksars, fortified houses built by merchants to protect the gold, salt, and spices that passed this way.
After crossing through the incredible Ziz Gorge, you'll see early signs of Saharan dunes. These wind-blown sand formations are in constant motion, often leading them to encroach upon farms, roads, and buildings. You can also see an ancient method of water "mining” here, an ingenious way to transfer water from the mountains to farmland before modern pumps. Along the way, pay attention to the area's nomadic shepherds and their tents.
You'll also pass through Erfoud, a bustling market town known for dates and fossils discovered in hillside mines. If you like, you can stop at a local artisan collective to learn about the area's fossils and learn how locals transform them into an array of products. As you continue, the massive dunes of Erg Chebbi will emerge in the distance. This vast sand sea covers 13 square miles (35 square km), with some dunes rising over 650 feet (200 m).
Near the iconic outpost of Merzouga, you can take a short break as you prepare for the trip to your desert camp. Today you'll trek across the Sahara for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in North African luxury. You'll mount a camel for a spectacular ride across the dunes as the sun sets; with an unobstructed view (you can even spot Algeria in the distance), take in the golden glow across the landscape.
As night falls, you'll maintain visibility as the moon reflects off the sand, guiding you and your camel to your unique accommodation for the night: a luxurious camp nestled at the foot of the Erg Chebbi dunes. Sink into total relaxation in your impeccably-appointed glamping tent, where you'll be treated like royalty. Enjoy incredible meals prepared by local Berber tribesmen and cozy up by the fire serenaded by live music. Gaze up at the heavens from your romantic spot or see if you can stargaze from atop the dunes before you turn in for the night.
Driving time: 9 hours
Day 7: Merzouga to Tinghir - Adventuring in the Todra Gorge
If you are an early riser, you'll be rewarded with sunrise over the dunes. You'll then enjoy breakfast in camp before you travel back across the desert to Merzouga.
Once you meet your private driver, you'll begin your 3.5-hour drive to Tinghir, an oasis city that sits at the foot of the Atlas mountains. Consider stopping in the desert community of Rissani before setting out across the plains. The town is an excellent place to take a walk around a traditional market, where many animals are bought and sold. Be sure to stop by the "donkey parking lot" while you're here.
Hit the road yet again and enjoy a spectacular journey across Morocco. You'll travel through a remote, empty land that borders the Sahara. The views are vast and extensive, with desert plains, high mountains, and plateaus all around. This landscape gives a real feeling of wildness, excellent in its grandeur. Along the drive, you'll see forests of umbrella-shaped Acacias that have adapted to thrive in this harsh environment. You can also elect to break up the trip with a stop in the town of Alnif to see the local fossil workshops.
Enjoy the change in landscape when you reach the lush Tinghir; there's a weekly market in town for local farmers who grow figs, dates, and wheat and live in the area's Ksars (fortified villages). Take some time to relax with a delicious lunch and use your afternoon to explore this scenic spot before you press on.
Your road trip today continues through a green valley that gets increasingly tighter until you enter the vertical Todra Gorge. Get out and explore rustic trails that take up and out of the canyon. Then rewind your way down into the Todra oasis, where you will spend the night in a well-appointed Kasbah, a fortified hilltop town featuring mud bricks and furnished with the finest local products and fossils.
Lounge in luxury, then explore the valley for dinner; there are several unexpectedly ambitious restaurants here. The locals are quite friendly, so feel free to explore the oasis a bit after your meal.
Day 8: Tinghir to Ouarzazate
Today you'll travel along ancient trade routes from Tinghir to Ouarzazate through the Valley of A Thousand Kasbahs. Along the way, you will see many iconic fortified towns, so if you're inspired to take in the view or explore a sight, feel free to stop for photos wherever you please!
The first significant stop on your way will be the town of Boumalne Dadès, an oasis town at the mouth of the Valley of A Thousand Kasbahs. If you turn north, you can visit the Dadès Gorge, which cuts through a dramatic landscape of rust and mauve-striped mountains. The valley below is an irrigated oasis filled with fig, almond, and olive orchards and dotted with crumbling kasbahs and Berber villages. Ask your driver for lunch options in Boumalne Dadès.
Heading south from Boumalne Dadès brings you through the Valley of Roses, the heart of rose oil production in Morocco. Every spring, the landscape smells heavenly during the harvest of the fragrant "Provence Rose."
End the day in Ouarzazate, a town famous for its involvement in the Moroccan film industry. There is more to Ouarzazate than movies, though, and you will drive a short way from town to the iconic ksar of Ait Benhaddou. It's believed that the site dates back to the 11th century when it held a prominent position along the trans-Saharan trade route between Marrakech, Ouarzazate, and the southern desert.
Tonight you'll retire to your very own kasbah across a dry riverbed from Ait Benhaddou. If you're tempted to pry yourself away from your luxe accommodations, consider a nighttime stroll — when the moon is out, the entire valley glows from the light reflecting off the white sand. The sight is enchanting.
Driving time: 3 hours
Day 9: Ouarzazate to Marrakech - Over the High Atlas & Ait Benhaddou
Today you will cross the High Atlas Mountains that separate Ouarzazate from Marrakech. En route, you'll trade the quiet of the desert for one of the most vibrant cities in Morocco. You may want to explore Ait Benhaddou one more time in the morning light before you leave the Sahara for good.
You'll wind your way into the High Atlas Mountains through the towering Tizi-n-Tichka pass. Near the top, you'll enjoy incredible panoramic views of the mountains and the plains of Marrakech below. Be on the lookout for Mount Toubkal — North Africa's highest peak — to the west. As you descend the north-facing slopes, you'll notice a dramatic change in climate and landscape. You will begin to cross deep river valleys and see abundant almond and walnut orchards.
Once in Marrakech, check into your luxury riad, the perfect play to unwind after your travels. You may want to spend the rest of the afternoon at a slower pace and sip a pot of fresh mint tea by the pool or in the shade of a jasmine bush. If you're inspired to head out in the evening, you'll be right in time to watch the medina's main square, the Jemaa el Fna comes alive with musicians, performers, snake charmers, games, food stalls and more.
You can wander the square to find incredible fare from street vendors, or watch the spectacle from afar while you dine: many cafes surround the square, so feel free to sit and enjoy the activity over a delicious meal. Or head to the new city to explore Marrakech's modern food scene. The Red City is the culinary heart of Morocco, so no matter where you dine, you're sure to have a memorable meal.
Driving time: 4 hours
Day 10: Marrakech - Medina & City Tour
After breakfast, meet your private local guide who will lead you through the old city of Marrakech. As you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will come across lively souks and maze-like alleys. You're sure to be dazzled by displays of djellabas, brightly colored babouches, intricately-pierced lanterns, conical mounds of exotic spices, and the intense hubbub of medina life. Along the way, your knowledgable and energetic guide will regale you with the history and stories of the Medina, the Souk, and the Mellah neighborhoods of the Red City. Your guide will also have some great recommendations for the best places to grab lunch!
In the afternoon you'll continue your private tour, exploring places like the Bahia and El Badii Palaces, and the Saadian Tombs. You'll also see the Majorelle Gardens, an iconic garden retreat built over forty years by French painter Jacques Majorelle and later inhabited by famed designer Yves Saint Laurent. Stroll through two and a half acres of peaceful water gardens, visit Morocco’s only museum dedicated entirely to Berber art and culture, and explore Yves Saint Laurent’s gallery, all within the walls of this urban oasis.
Day 11: Marrakech - Morning Hot Air Balloon Ride and Afternoon Leisure
Marrakech sits where the High Atlas Mountains meet an expansive plain. What better way to observe these ly contrasted landscapes than taking a hot air balloon ride over the Red City at sunrise?
You'll have a pre-dawn wake-up call this morning; you'll then drive through the dark to the mountains and board your hot air balloon. Once aloft, watch the sun climb over the highest peaks in North Africa and illuminate the city far below. After your flight, enjoy a delicious and scenic Berber breakfast before you return to Marrakech.
Take the rest of the day to yourself to spend however you like. Take a private cooking class with one of the city's culinary masters, do some self-guided exploring, or visit a market for some additional shopping. Your private driver can take you to any location you desire in the city, and your specialist can help arrange any other private tours or bespoke experiences that speak to you.
Tonight, enjoy dinner back at your luxury riad or head out to one of the city's great eateries.
Day 12: Marrakech to Essaouira - Argan Oil & Seafood
Today, you will travel to Essaouira, a town made famous for its excellent surfing beaches and laid-back vibes. The 3-hour drive takes you over extensive, rolling plains. En route, you'll pass through a unique forest, the only ecosystem where argan trees grow. You'll visit an association of local women that make argan oil, famed for its excellent health and beauty properties. You may even see goats grazing on the fruits of the argan trees, high in the tree branches. It is quite a sight!
Upon your arrival into Essaouira, walk the impressive seawalls and discover delights in the Old Medina area. Jewish heritage is very present in Essaouira, home to one of the best-preserved Jewish quarters in Morocco; in addition to its charm and history, the neighborhood is the perfect example of a community of coexistence.
The Essaouira harbor is the commercial heart of town and a must-see destination for foodies curious about the local culinary culture. Every morning, many fishers haul their catches ashore to sell in the nearby bustling market, where customers haggle for the best deals. Enjoy the fruits of their labor at nearby food stalls where you can tuck into incredibly fresh grilled and fried fish. You can order fish straight from the stalls or do as the locals do: buy your fish in the nearby market and commission a grillmaster to cook it for a small fee.
Tonight, relax in one of Essaouira's wonderful luxury riads and let the crash of the waves lull you to sleep.
Driving time: 3 hours
Day 13: Essaouira - A Day of Seaside Adventure
Soak up the sun today on the sands of Essaouira's beach. If the Atlantic waters prove too cold for a dip, you can still take advantage of a host of other fun activities here!
The shore is also home to some significant landmarks. Walk south along the bay to find a ruined fortress in the sand; when the tide is low, you can climb the structure and wander around! Then venture on to cross the nearby stream and climb the nearby hill, where you'll discover the wreckage of another, more massive fortress complex. This is an excellent spot for kids — and kids at heart — to explore.
You'll be chauffeured back to town for lunch, after which the adventures continue. If you're craving adrenalin, take a surfing or kitesurfing lesson on the beach (wetsuits and gear are provided), or explore from the land: you can arrange a camel ride across the sand or a horseback ride through the coastal forests.
After, rest up at your riad and enjoy a glass of Moroccan mint tea as you watch the sunset. Then get your fill of freshly caught seafood expertly prepared by the warm locals here.
Day 14: Essaouira to Casablanca - the Atlantic Coast & Portuguese Ports
Today, you'll head out early to Casablanca via the coastal route, with some brief, interesting stops in other seaside cities along the way. You'll first visit Safi, know for its excellent surfing beaches and views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The second city you'll stop at is El Jadida, where you can tour the striking Portuguese cistern. Spend some time walking the ramparts and visit the Church of the Assumption; after, have lunch here in the city.
Next, stop at Azemour, which has inspired many Moroccan artists over the decades, some of whom have chosen to live here. Life in this community is still traditional, despite its proximity to the cosmopolitan art market of Casablanca. Get inspired by the crumbling 16th-century medina, squeezed between the Oud Er-Rbia (Mother of Spring River) and the ocean.
Once you arrive in Casablanca, check into your hotel and relax before venturing out into the city for dinner and some evening exploration.
Driving time: 5 hours
Day 15: 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.