Immerse yourself in Morocco's history, including its extensive Jewish heritage, during this 16-day trip. Start by touring the Jewish and Muslim religious sites of Casablanca, then transfer to Morocco's "Blue City," Chefchaouen. From here, head to Fes to explore the beautiful medina and Mellah (Jewish quarter) before spending a night camping in the Sahara. In Marrakesh, relax in a traditional hammam and then finish in the city of Essaouira, famous for its seaside promenade and Jewish roots.


  • Discover the best Jewish and Muslim religious sites of Casablanca
  • Take a day trip to the walled Jewish city of Sefrou while staying in Fes
  • Ride a camel through the incredible dunes of the Sahara Desert
  • Explore the winding streets in the ruins of the Ksar of Aït Benhaddou

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Casablanca, Explore on Your Own Casablanca
Day 2 Tour the Hassan II Mosque & Museum of Moroccan Judaism Casablanca
Day 3 Transfer to Chefchaouen via Rabat & Ouazzane Chefchaouen
Day 4 Transfer to Fes via the Roman Ruins in Volubilis, Moulay Idriss & Meknes Fes
Day 5 Tour the Old Medina & Jewish Mellah of Fes  Fes
Day 6 Day Trip to Sefrou Fes
Day 7 Transfer to Azrou via Ifrane National Park Azrou
Day 8 Transfer to Merzouga via Erfoud & Desert Camel Ride Merzouga
Day 9 Transfer to Ouarzazate via Rissani, Tinghir & Boulmalne Dades Ouarzazate
Day 10 Transfer to Marrakesh via Aït Benhaddou Marrakesh
Day 11 Marrakesh City Tour & Hammam Experience Marrakesh
Day 12 Day Trip to the Ourika Valley Marrakesh
Day 13 Transfer to Essaouira via an Argan Oil Collective Essaouira
Day 14 Tour the Old Medina & Jewish Mellah of Essaouira Essaouira
Day 15 Transfer to Casablanca via Safi, El Jadida & Azemmour Casablanca
Day 16 Depart Casablanca  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Casablanca, Explore on Your Own

Sunset over the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
Catch the sunset over the seaside Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival in Casablanca, your driver will be waiting for you at the airport to transfer you to your hotel. Settle into your room, then hit the streets to explore. A good way to start is to take a stroll through the old souk (market) and enjoy a delicious pastry on the terrace while sipping mint tea.

You can also admire the Art Deco buildings in the Hobous, a pleasant place to seek out crafts, olive, and spice markets. Walk the scenic Boulevard de la Corniche along the Atlantic coast, people-watch from a bench amid the palm trees and French architecture in the airy Mohamed V Square, or relax on the sandy beach in the Aïn Diab district. For dinner, follow Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart's footsteps at Rick's Café, which recreates the famous scene in the legendary film.

Day 2: Tour the Hassan II Mosque & Museum of Moroccan Judaism

The Hassan II Mosque - Casablanca, Morocco
Tour some of Casablanca's most beautiful architectural marvels

Begin today with a tour of Hassan II Mosque, sitting in a picturesque location on the sea. The largest mosque in Morocco and second-largest globally, the complex includes a museum, baths, a Quranic school, a library, a prayer room, and a 650-foot tall (200 m) minaret, the tallest in the world.

This mosque is unique because non-Muslims can enter (uncommon in the country); just be sure to cover your shoulders and legs. Once inside, admire the ornate mosaic tiles and arched and ornamented ceilings. The roof is covered with emerald green tiles, and at night, the mosque glows orange, illuminated by lights that reflect on the ocean's waves. 

In the afternoon, tour several sights of Moroccan Jewish heritage. At the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, originally a Jewish orphanage, see historical jewelry (including a reconstructed jewelry-making shop), manuscripts, and other artifacts. Next, visit Temple Beth-El, a beautifully refurbished synagogue with exquisite colored glass windows.

Day 3: Transfer to Chefchaouen via Rabat & Ouazzane

Blue-hued Chefchaouen
Wander through the charming streets of Chefchaouen, the "Blue City" of Morocco

This morning, you'll travel from Casablanca to Rabat, Morocco's capital. Start with a visit to the medieval fortification of Chellah Necropolis, where you can wander through Roman and Islamic ruins. Continue to the Andalusian Gardens to enjoy a serene green space away from the crowds, then discover the Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohamed V. Continuing on, you'll stop in the town of Ouazzane, a holy city for Moroccan Jews, home to the annual pilgrimage site of Rabbi Amram ben Diwan's Tomb

Your final stop is Chefchaouen, Morocco's famed "Blue City." Beautifully perched beneath the raw peaks of the Rif mountains, Chefchaouen is one of the prettiest towns in Morocco, an artsy, blue-washed mountain village that feels like its own world, with its winding maze of picturesque streets, relaxed atmosphere, and some of the friendliest people in the country. 

Settle into your traditional riad (house with courtyard), then head out to explore. The medina (historic city, typically walled) is a delight, with bright-blue buildings and narrow lanes converging on the busy Plaza Uta el-Hammam. End the day at Ras el Ma Spring and take a tea break at quaint riverside cafés. For an exceptional view of the city, walk past the walls and through its historic gates toward the Hotel Atlas and continue up the path to enjoy the sunset from the Spanish Mosque.

Plan your trip to Morocco
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Transfer to Fes via the Roman Ruins in Volubilis, Moulay Idriss & Meknes

Make a stop at the well-preserved Roman ruins in Volubilis on your way to Fes

Wake up early to enjoy a quiet walk through the "Blue City" before leaving the charming streets behind. From here, you'll begin a four-hour transfer to the historical city of Fes, making several stops along the way. Your first stop is Volubilis, Morocco's best-preserved Roman ruins. As you wander through the once-great city, you'll encounter impressive merchant homes, ancient temples, and vibrant mosaics that offer a glimpse into the ancient Roman civilization. 

Continue down the street to the picturesque town of Moulay Idriss, one of Morocco's holiest cities. This hilltop town offers panoramic views and narrow streets lined with green-roofed buildings. Next, transfer to Meknes, founded in the 11th century. Explore Meknes' medina, the city walls, and the Ville Impériale area, where you'll find iconic landmarks such as the magnificent Bab al-Mansour Gate and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail

Finally, your journey concludes in Fes, a city renowned for its rich cultural heritage. After you settle into your riad, descend into the buzzing heart of its medina, exploring the labyrinthine streets and bustling markets. End your day watching the sunset from the Marinid Tombs, where you'll find fantastic views of this dynamic city.

Day 5: Tour the Old Medina & Jewish Mellah of Fes 

Sol Hachuel tomb in Fez Jewish Cemetery
Explore the ancient Jewish quarter, including the cemetery, in Fes

Meet your local guide after breakfast in your riad for a tour of Fes' most famous sites. Begin in the fortified Medina of Fes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that makes you feel you're stepping back in time, mainly due to the lack of colonial influence in the city. Get lost among the twisting cobbled streets, and stop to peruse the iconic souks for spices, leather goods, ceramics, shoes, scarves, medicines, and more. Fes is also rife with Jewish heritage, and on your tour, you'll visit the mellah (the old Jewish section of the medina).

In the afternoon, get to know the artisan community here with visits to iconic tanneries and mosaic workshops. Visit the famous Chouara Tannery, with its extensive assortment of colorful leather dyes and traditional techniques from centuries ago. Head back to your riad for a little reprieve. Relax for the rest of the day or return to the streets to test your new knowledge of the city.

Day 6: Day Trip to Sefrou

Moroccan lunch with a local family in Sefrou
Explore the charming and beautiful walled city of Sefrou

This morning, meet your guide at your riad for a day trip to nearby Sefrou, a walled town on the slopes of the Middle Atlas mountains, about 17 miles (28 km) southeast of Fes. The city, once a market town in the Roman era and a stopping point for caravans of traders, was a significant town long before Fes was built in the eighth century.

Sefrou is known for its long Jewish history; a third of the population was Jewish until the 1970s. You'll take the time to check out its Jewish cemetery, with its tidy whitewashed graves, where Rabbi Raphael Moshe Elbaz and Rabbi Lahou Harroch are buried. It's also well known for its cherry festival, one of Morocco's oldest and most prominent regional celebrations. It dates back to 1919 and occurs during the cherry harvest in early June. 

Walk the city's charming streets and visit the Ensemble Artisanal de Sefrou (Craft Center of Sefrou). This beautiful complex, located by the old city, has several workshops where artisans work on wood, ceramic, rug weaving, and even silk djellaba buttons. See their work and learn from the craftspeople before returning for your last dinner in Fes.

Day 7: Transfer to Azrou via Ifrane National Park

Stop to explore Ifrane National Park on your way to Azrou

Enjoy a comfortable 1.5-hour transfer from Fes to the village of Azrou, a charming town in the scenic High Atlas mountains. As you weave through dramatic roads and reach the mountains, you'll enter an area of Morocco known as "Little Switzerland," which features various picturesque Alpine villages, including the 1930s hamlet of Ifrane. This little town is an ideal stopping point, with its quintessential French and Swiss mountain architecture.

As you continue, you'll see vast cedar tree forests of the Ifrane National Park, home to the endangered Barbary macaque monkey, gorgeous nature, and other wildlife. Lastly, you'll arrive in Azrou. This beautiful Berber town, located within the park, is known for its rug and jewelry making. 

Day 8: Transfer to Merzouga via Erfoud & Desert Camel Ride

Photo taken by Jennifer H
Take a camel ride through the Sahara Desert to a Bedouin camp in Merzouga

Wake up early and meet your driver for the seven-hour transfer to Merzouga, with stops to explore desert communities in the Sahara. Your first stop will be Midelt, "the Apple City," alongside the River Moulouya. Traverse the Tizi-n-Talremt Pass into the Ziz Valley, known for its hidden oases and clusters of palm trees. Then, stop in Errachidia for lunch and visit the Musée des Sources de Lalla Mimouna to see the natural mineral spring, named after a Muslim saint also celebrated by Moroccan Jews.

Continue to the market town of Erfoud, where you'll catch your first glimpse of the dunes. Stop to watch an ancient method of water mining, chat with nomadic shepherds, and enjoy a cup of tea with a local Berber family. Erfoud is also famous for its fossil mining and artisan factories, where you can stop to shop, learn about fossils found in this area, and discover how fossils are made into beautiful objects.

You'll soon see the ever-changing sand waves of Erg Chebbi in the distance, an extensive set of dunes covering 14 square miles (35 sq km). Switch from car to camel for a ride through the dunes to your luxury camp in Merzouga. After settling into your tent, climb the nearest dune to watch the sunset. Head back to camp for dinner by the campfire, accompanied by traditional Berber music and jaw-dropping views of the starry skies.

Day 9: Transfer to Ouarzazate via Rissani, Tinghir & Boulmalne Dades

Taourirt Kasbah, Ouarzazate
Explore the skinny streets of the Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate

Wake up early to marvel at the sunrise over the dunes before traveling back across the desert. Meet your driver and begin the six-hour drive to Ouarzazate. On the way, visit the market town of Rissani to see the "donkey parking lot" and continue to Alnif for fossil workshops. Head to Tinghir to walk through the old Jewish Quarter, then drive through the Dadès Gorge, which cuts through the rusty red mountains, before stopping in Boumalne Dadès for lunch.

End your day in Ouarzazate, the "Gateway to the Sahara." After settling into your accommodations, explore the town's UNESCO-listed 19th-century Taourirt Kasbah. Follow the maze of stairwells to the top floor, where you'll find a prayer room through keyhole archways, traces of stucco, and an original tataoui ceiling.

Unlike other kasbahs in the region, Taourirt Kasbah escaped ruin after catching the attention of film scouts. The town has been the site of many famous movies and shows, including "Game of Thrones." See sets and props at the Musée du Cinema, or take a guided tour at a film studio (Atlas Film Studios or CLA Studios) for more memorabilia. 

Day 10: Transfer to Marrakesh via Aït Benhaddou

Visit the incredible Ksar of Aït Benhaddou before heading to Marrakesh

This morning, head to the nearby town of Aït Benhaddou to explore the impressive Ksar of Aït Benhaddou. This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 11th century and is one of the most incredible sites in the region. Explore the old town's alleys and passageways, then hike up to the old granary for incredible views of the kasbah, surrounding areas, and historic camel caravan routes. 

Next, wind your way up the desert slopes of the mountains through the Tizi n'Tichka Pass. Near the top of the pass, enjoy incredible panoramic views of the mountain range, including Mount Toubkal, North Africa's highest mountain, to the west. 

After a scenic and tranquil drive, you'll reach the vibrant Marrakesh. Once settled into your riad, feel free to venture into the city. In the evening, head to the lively Jemaa el-Fna Square as the sun sets. Here, you'll find musicians, performers, food stalls, snake charmers, games, and food stalls. There are also many cafés surrounding the square where you can sit and enjoy the activity over a meal. 

Day 11: Marrakesh City Tour & Hammam Experience

Marrakesh, Majorelle La Villa
Discover the beauty of Marrakesh, the "Red City" of Morocco

It's time to discover Marrakesh, Morocco's "Red City," so named after the naturally occurring pigment in the walls. Meet your local guide for a tour of the Medina of Marrakesh. You'll be dazzled by the displays of bright babouches (leather shoes), glowing lanterns, and mounds of spices. Your guide will share the history and stories of the medina, the souks, and the Mellah (Jewish) sections, all within the city's rose-pink walls.

Continue your tour to explore more of the city. See the Bahia Palace, a sprawling complex dating to the late 19th century filled with colorful, intricate details. Explore the ruins of El Badi Palace, built in 1578, and the Majorelle Gardens, an artist's landscape garden created in 1923, which provides a cool respite. End your tour at the intricate Saadian Tombs, the historic royal necropolis.

After your tour, head to the ultimate pampering escape in a hammam (bathhouse). Begin with an ancient Moroccan bathing ritual that combines heat, steam, and meticulous body cleansing. Then, enjoy a relaxing and refreshing massage, a nourishing body mask (made of locally sourced argan oil), and a cup of soothing herbal tea. 

Day 12: Day Trip to the Ourika Valley

Explore the dramatic landscape of Setti Fatima in the Ourika Valley

Your Ourika Valley day trip begins early in the morning after breakfast. Enjoy a short yet scenic drive from Marrakesh into the foothills of the Atlas mountains. The route curves along the valley, passing through several picturesque mountain villages.

You'll continue your tour to Setti Fatma, a region known for its beautiful streams, seven waterfalls, dramatic cliffs, green valleys, and medieval agricultural traditions. Enjoy a walk around the valley, taking in the views of green terraces and the surrounding Atlas mountains.

In the early afternoon, take an easy hike to the first waterfalls with your local guide. After the hike, you'll enjoy lunch in a local restaurant with a beautiful mountain view. You'll return to Marrakesh in the evening, where you'll have time to continue your exploration of the city.

Day 13: Transfer to Essaouira via an Argan Oil Collective

Boats in the waters of Essaouira
Welcome to the beautiful Moroccan seaside town of Essaouira

Today, you'll travel to the beautiful seaside town of Essaouira. During the three-hour transfer, watch for the remarkable argan forest, endemic to this region and known for the goats that climb the trees, feasting on the fruit. Stop at the Women's Argan Oil Cooperative and learn how local women extract precious oil from the argan nut for use in the health, food, and cosmetic industries (and also visit the famous goats).

Continue to Essaouira, Morocco's "White Pearl." Once you settle in, enjoy strolling along the Skala de la Kasbah, a centuries-old seafront rampart that graces the coastline, or people-watching in the active fishing harbor.

Essaouira is also a prime destination for surfing, with trade winds that prevail year-round. Grab a board or just lay on the sand of Essaouira Beach, purchase locally-produced argan oil, and grab a drink in Mulay El-Hassan Square, the city's central hub. Head to the port at dinner to purchase fresh fish or sample the famous grilled sardines. 

Day 14: Tour the Old Medina & Jewish Mellah of Essaouira

Explore one of the best-preserved Jewish quarters of Morocco in Essaouira

Along with your guide, explore more of Essaouira. Enjoy the city's charm as you twist through the medina's wide and bright streets, filled with souks, street vendors, leafy plazas, and whitewashed houses with ornate wooden doors. As you stroll, stop into various traditional shops, like the Spice Souk, for herbal medicine, mounds of spices, and amlou (a mix of honey, almond, and argan oil). 

Jewish heritage is very present in Essaouira; in the afternoon, you'll visit one of the best-preserved Jewish quarters in Morocco, the Mellah of Essauoira. The ancient streets still retain vestiges of colorful doorways and intricate carvings. Visit the newly opened Jewish culture center, Bayt Dakira, to see the museum, synagogue, and research center.

In the evening, you'll have time on your own to explore more of the city or to enjoy some live music at one of the many venues around the medina, along with a fresh seafood dinner.

Day 15: Transfer to Casablanca via Safi, El Jadida & Azemmour

The spectacular cliffs of Safi
Relax and enjoy the Moroccan coast on a transfer from Essaouira to Casablanca

This morning, your driver will transfer you back to Casablanca, driving along the coastal route for around five hours. You'll stop in some of Morocco's most picturesque seaside cities, starting in Safi, known for its excellent beaches and Atlantic views. Your next stop is El Jadida, where you can tour the haunting Portuguese cistern. Spend some time walking the ramparts and visiting the Church of the Assumption, then have lunch at a charming restaurant.

Your final stop is Azemmour, known for its artist enclave. 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 into the city for dinner and some evening exploration.

Day 16: Depart Casablanca

Squeeze in a seaside walk at sunrise in Casablanca before catching your departing flight

Wake up early to see the sun rise over beautiful Casablanca and the ocean. Check out of your hotel and meet your driver for private transport to the airport. Safe travels on your departing flight, wherever the skies take you next!

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Map of  Morocco's History & Jewish Heritage Tour -16 Days
Map of Morocco's History & Jewish Heritage Tour -16 Days