- Explore the cobbled streets of Chefchaouen, Morocco's famous "Blue City"
- Step back in time to the Roman ruins of Volubilis
- Ride camels across the desert dunes of Erg Chebbi
- Escape the heat in the peaceful oasis of Marjorelle Gardens
- Delight your tastebuds with a food tour of Marrakech's bustling medina
|Day 1||Arrive in Morocco, Explore Off-the-Beaten-Path Casablanca||Casablanca|
|Day 2||Transfer to Chefchaouen via Rabat, Discover the "Blue City" of Chefchaouen||Chefchaouen|
|Day 3||Transfer to Fes via the Roman Ruins of Volubilis & Meknes||Fes|
|Day 4||Transfer to Erg Chebbi via the Middle Atlas Mountains & Camel Ride||Merzouga|
|Day 5||Transfer to Boumalne Dades via Tinghir & Todra Gorge||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 6||Transfer to Marrakech via the Dades Valley, Ouarzazate & Aït Benhaddou||Marrakech|
|Day 7||Sights & Colors of Marrakech: Majorelle Gardens & Private Food Tour||Marrakech|
|Day 8||Transfer to Casablanca & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Morocco, Explore Off-The-Beaten-Path Casablanca
Welcome to Morocco! If you have time to spare after your arrival, consider exploring some of Casablanca at your own pace. Although many assume the city's Old Medina is a must-see, Casablanca's is "only" around 200 years old—much newer than Fes and Marrakech. So if you’re visiting those other cities, you don't need to spend much time in Casablanca's "old town." Instead, venture off the beaten path and visit some of the city's hidden gems where the locals tend to congregate.
- Known as Casablanca’s "new medina," the Hobous was established in the 1930s by the French and is full of charming streets and art deco architecture. Pop into some artisan shops to browse local crafts, olives, textiles, and spices. As an idealized version of a traditional medina (old town), you'll appreciate the clean streets, attractive Mauresque buildings and arcades, neat rows of shop stalls, and even a small park.
- Set on the Atlantic Ocean, the scenic Beach Promenade is perfect for a stroll. Follow the Boulevard de la Corniche between two of the city's beaches. Often called Morocco’s "Miami," you'll find several buzzy cafes, restaurants, and bars along this stretch. You can also visit the El Hank Lighthouse and enjoy views of the Hassan II Mosque from afar.
- The airy Mohamed V. Square features tall palm trees and French Colonial architecture. Stroll around the gardens, enjoy the fountain, or relax on a bench to people-watch. If you'd like to take a longer walk, you'll find Arab League Park nearby, home to 30 acres of walking paths and green spaces. Bordering the park on its northwest side is the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
- If your main reason to visit Casablanca is to follow in Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart's footsteps, consider a visit to Rick’s Café, which recreates the famous scene in the legendary film!
Day 2: Transfer to Chefchaouen via Rabat, Discover the "Blue City" of ChefchaouenA 5-hour private transfer takes you towards Chefchaouen today, stopping en route in Morocco's present-day capital of Rabat. Start with a visit to the medieval fortification of Chellah Necropolis, where you can wander through Roman and Islamic ruins, then step back in time to the original city center, passing through the grand door of the Kasbah des Oudaias. Continue to the 20th-century Andalusian Gardens to enjoy a serene green space, then discover the Hassan Tower, a minaret of the incomplete mosque and mausoleum of Mohamed V.
As you leave Rabat behind, enjoy the scenic and shifting landscapes, passing flat plains, forested hills, and small villages as you enter the Rif Mountains. After settling into your accommodation, head out to discover Morocco's famed "Blue City" (known simply as “Chaoeun” to the locals). Beautifully perched beneath the raw peaks of the Rif, Chefchaouen is one of the country's prettiest towns, an artsy, blue-washed mountain village that feels like its own world.
The medina is a delight of Moroccan and Andalucian influence with red-tiled roofs, bright-blue buildings, and narrow lanes converging on busy Plaza Uta el-Hammam and its restored kasbah (citadel). Peruse the nearby souks (markets) or enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants before heading to the Grand Mosque and Kasbah. After a wander through the colorful, winding streets of the Quartier Al Andalous, end the day at Ras el Ma Spring, where you can take a break at one of the quaint riverside cafés, then walk past the historic walls to the Hotel Atlas for sunset views across the city.
Day 3: Transfer to Fes via the Roman Ruins of Volubilis & MeknesToday you'll set out on a 4.5-hour private transfer from Chefchaouen to your accommodation in Fes. After saying goodbye to the scenic Rif Mountains, your first stop is Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing Morocco’s best-preserved Roman ruins. Wander through the massive complex, exploring large merchant homes with visible heating systems, temples, and many colorful mosaics. Continue to Meknes and stroll through the compact medina, which is less busy than other cities and offers a more laid-back atmosphere.
Your final stop is Fes. Before settling into your riad (traditional Moroccan house), drive up to the Marinid Tombs, where you can enjoy a lovely panorama of the old city. On the hillside below, you may see leather drying in the sun. Then make your way into the bustling medina and enjoy navigating Fes' charming streets. Relax at your riad for dinner.
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Day 4: Transfer to Erg Chebbi via the Middle Atlas Mountains & Camel RideToday's comfortable, 8-hour private transfer takes you to your Bedouin-style tent accommodation in Merzouga. Starting early, your driver will stop at a few cultural spots along the way to show you the desert communities of the Sahara. Climb to an elevation of 7,146 feet (2,178 m) over the Col du Zad Pass, winding through the cedar forests of the Atlas Mountains as you keep your eyes peeled for the local Barbary monkeys. Stop for lunch in Midelt, known as the "Apple City" thanks to the nearby Moulouya River and surrounding fruit orchards.
Continue over the Tizi n'Talrhemt Pass and into the Ziz Valley, famous for its hidden oases and palm tree clusters. Chat with nomadic shepherds, stroll through settlements, and, if time allows, enjoy a cup of tea with a local Berber family. As the drive continues, you'll spot the waves of Erg Chebbi in the distance—sweeping sand dunes covering almost 14 square miles (35 sq km), with some peaks rising over 650 feet (200 m). The color and shape change depending on the time of day and the wind, with particularly spectacular views just before sunset.
Upon arrival near Merzouga, enjoy a short break as you prepare for a camel ride through the dunes, reaching your luxury camp in the late afternoon. Get settled in your tent, then climb up the nearest dune to watch the sunset display its color show across the sands. Head back to camp for dinner and a night by the campfire, enjoying traditional Berber music from the locals. Before climbing into bed, savor the stars strewn across the clear desert sky.
Day 5: Transfer to Boumalne Dades via Tinghir & Todra GorgeTo make the most out of your day, consider waking early to catch a colorful desert sunrise. Then spend the rest of the morning exploring Khamleya, an authentic Saharan village where you can enjoy traditional music, drumming, and dancing before going for a stroll around the community's unique farming plots. Afterward, join your driver for a comfortable 4.5-hour private transfer to your accommodation in Boumalne Dades. Along the way, make a couple of cultural stops as you take in views across desert plains, high mountains, and endless plateaus.
Continue to the desert town of Tinghir to find fantastic views of neighboring villages along an extensive river oasis that features 30 miles (48 km) of palm trees. Don't miss the ancient and colorful Jewish quarter of Elhaj Ait Ali for a glimpse into Morocco's rich Jewish history. Your next stop is the Todra Gorge at 984 feet (300 m) high, where you can take an easy walk or relax in the cool shallow water, then enter the Dades Valley, where you'll find your accommodation in Boumalne Dades on a lush stretch along the Dades River.
Day 6: Transfer to Marrakech via the Dades Valley, Ouarzazate & Aït BenhaddouGet back on the road today for the 5.5-hour drive towards Marrakech. Leaving Boumalne Dades, you'll pass El Kelaa M'gouna, where fragrant fields of rose bushes are cultivated for use in the world's cosmetic industry. Every May, a Rose Festival takes place to celebrate the year’s production. You can make a quick stop at a women-run rose cooperative to see the process of converting the petals into water and oil, and sample some of the products. Along the road, you'll also see children selling various crafts made from the flowers.
Continue to Ouarzazate, made famous by the country's growing movie industry, then proceed to the UNESCO-listed Aït Benhaddou, whose atmospheric old ksar (castle) has provided the backdrop to Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, and Game of Thrones. As you proceed up and over the Atlas Mountains, take in incredible panoramic views over the mountain range and the winding road ahead. After a stop at Taddert, where you can visit an olive oil cooperative for a quick tasting, get back on the road and enter the hustle and bustle of vibrant Marrakech for the evening.
Day 7: Sights & Colors of Marrakech: Majorelle Gardens & Private Food TourMarrakech is Morocco's second-largest metropolis, known as the "Red City" thanks to the natural red pigment in its walls. Explore the vibrant sights, sounds, and smells as you wander through its bustling center, stopping at landmarks like the beautiful Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens. Continue to Jemaa el Fna Square, the city's landmark plaza filled with markets, street food, and performers, and on to the city's best souks, where you can barter over spice towers and traditional Moroccan slippers.
Next, you'll visit the city's famed Majorelle Gardens, botanical gardens offering an incredible reprieve from the unrelenting Moroccan heat. The brightly colored buildings complement the various species of sub-tropical flowers, plants, and trees. Although not lush (this is the desert, after all), you'll find plenty of interesting and unique vegetation to admire. Within the gardens, you can't miss its famous bright blue and yellow cubist villa, which is home to the Berber Museum and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.
End the day exploring the flavors of Marrakech with a private food tour through the city's medina. Filled with picturesque alleyways and vibrant squares, bustling Marrakech is the perfect city to get lost in as you follow your nose and taste buds from one snack to the next. On this culinary journey to some of the city's beloved local hot spots, you'll taste ten traditional delicacies, ranging from unique sweets to authentic and savory tagines. Along the way, learn about the country's essential ingredients, cooking techniques, and culinary culture.