Beginning and ending in Casablanca, this fifteen-day tour guides you through Morocco's most storied and spectacular cities. Travel to the blue streets of Chefchaouen, visit the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, and take in the magnificence of Fes, the country's oldest imperial city. Wind down in Marrakesh, where you'll learn to bake delicious Moroccan breads, soar across the desert in a hot air balloon, and enjoy the ultimate spa experience at a traditional hammam.

Highlights

  • Wander the sky-blue streets of romantic Chefchaouen
  • Tour and taste at local wineries while learning the history of Moroccan winemaking
  • Fly across the landscapes of Marrakesh via hot air balloon 
  • Ride camels through the shifting dunes of the Sahara

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque Tour Casablanca
Day 2 Transfer to Rabat, Hassan Tower, Salé & the Oudaya Rabat
Day 3 Transfer to Chefchaouen, Explore the Blue City Chefchaouen
Day 4 Transfer to Fes via Volubilis, Moulay Idriss & Meknes Fes
Day 5 Explore the Imperial City of Fes Fes
Day 6 Guerrouane Region Winery Tour Fes
Day 7 Baking Class & Fes Medina Food Tour Fes
Day 8 Transfer to Merzouga: Middle Atlas Mountains & Sahara Merzouga
Day 9 Transfer to Ouarzazate, Fossil Workshops Ouarzazate
Day 10 Transfer to Marrakesh Marrakesh
Day 11 Marrakesh Medina & City Tour Marrakesh
Day 12 Sunrise Yoga & Hammam Experience  Marrakesh
Day 13 Hot Air Balloon Experience Marrakesh
Day 14 Transfer to Casablanca via Ancient Portuguese Cities  Casablanca
Day 15 Depart Casablanca  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque Tour

Casablanca's Hassan II Mosque

Welcome to Morocco! Your driver will collect you from Casablanca airport and transport you to your accommodation, a 45-minute drive. Once you've checked in and had time to regroup, head out to one of Casablanca's most popular attractions, the enormous Hassan II Mosque. The largest mosque in Morocco, it includes a museum, Koranic school, library, and a prayer room that can accommodate up to 25,000 people. It not only showcases some of the best examples of Moroccan architecture, but it is also the only mosque in Morrocco whose interior is open to non-Muslims. 

Later, you'll have time to discover Casablanca at your leisure. You can head to the city's medina, where you'll find shopping and food options, or visit Mohamed V Square, an airy plaza that features palm trees and French Colonial architecture, with peaceful gardens to stroll through. If you'd like to take a longer walk, Arab League Park is nearby. This 30-acre (12 ha) park is full of walking paths and green spaces. Relax at your hotel this evening before you continue your adventures tomorrow. 

Day 2: Transfer to Rabat, Hassan Tower, Salé & the Oudaya

Abu al-Hasan

Your journey continues to the city of Rabat. Your driver will pick you up in the morning, taking you on the 53-mile (86 km) drive into the city. Rabat is the capital of Morocco and home to the royal family. Your first stop after arriving will be the Hassan Tower monument, one of the most magnificent buildings of the Almohad Dynasty. The tower is the minaret of an incomplete 12th-century mosque, located near the modern Mausoleum of Mohamed V. All that remains of the old mosque is the red sandstone tower standing at 145 feet (44 m), and about 200 columns. 

This afternoon, you'll visit the nearby city of Salé for a tour of the historic madrassa of Abu al-Hasan, an educational institute that was built in the 14th century by Sultan Abu al-Hasan. You'll be able to walk through the hallways and student rooms, where you'll find stunning examples of Moroccan architecture. The madrassa is next door to the Great Mosque of Salé, the third largest mosque in Morocco. 
 
You can also check out the Bab Antare and Bab Mellah, walls and regions that divide up the city, and be sure to spend some time exploring Rabat's blue-painted Oudaya Kasbah, which sits perched above the Atlantic Ocean. Watching the sunset from the ramparts is a wonderful experience. For dinner, take advantage of the city's busy culinary scene with traditional Moroccan food or a visit to the Embassy Quarter for French or Italian dining. 

Day 3: Transfer to Chefchaouen, Explore the Blue City

Stairways of the Blue City

Your driver will transfer you from Rabat to the city of Chefchaouen, which takes about four hours. This scenic drive traverses flat plains and green hills, eventually taking you through the rugged landscapes of the Rif Mountains. A visual delight, Chefchaouen is known for its romantic, old-world vibes, and you'll quickly see why it is often referred to as the "Blue City." From pastel shades to deep azure, you'll find their trademark color everywhere—doors, windows, stairs, and archways. You are free to explore the town at your own pace this afternoon. 

Visit Outa el-Hammam, the main square, which 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 everyday life of the town. This neighborhood is a great location to shop for handcrafted wool garments, blankets, cedarwood furniture, and other artisanal work from northern Morocco. Be sure to order a maqlouba (upside down) coffee and watch the local women retrieve water and wash their laundry in the nearby spring. Tonight, rest and relax at your hotel. 

Day 4: Transfer to Fes via Volubilis, Moulay Idriss & Meknes

The Roman ruins of Volubilis

Enjoy a leisurely morning in Chefchaouen; if you're inspired to wake before dawn, head to the Spanish mosque, which is perched high atop the town, and be rewarded with a fantastic sunrise. Or take it easy with a languid breakfast, followed by exploration in the medina. Later, your driver will transport you to the imperial city of Fes, with a few stops along the way.

Your first destination is 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. From there, it's on to Moulay Idriss, which, from a distance, looks like a sitting camel. Moulay Idriss was Morocco's first Islamic capital, and 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 final stop before Fes is the city of Meknes. 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! Your royal road trip ends in Fes, one of Morocco's four imperial cities. After you check in to your luxury riad (a traditional townhouse set around an inner courtyard) in the historic medina, you can explore the city on your own a bit, and have dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Day 5: Explore the Imperial City of Fes

Spices in the Fes medina 

Start your day with a guided tour of the Fes medina. This UNESCO-protected site is full of arms-width alleyways and donkey-width roads. Learn some of the hidden stories and see secluded corners of the medina, which takes you to some locals-only spots as well as the magnificence of Fes' madrasas and palaces. You'll begin by walking through the Blue Gate (Bab Boujloud), a Moorish gate with three arches and the old town's main entrance, and continue into the bustling souks. Here, you'll find special, hand-crafted goods such as bright rugs, jewelry, leather goods, and of course, huge towers of spices. 

Fes is the oldest and longest-running imperial city in Morocco, with a fascinating mix of sights to see. The city is for artists and other craftsmen, and you'll meet artisans to learn about the history and importance of their trades. Visit Chouara Tannery, where you'll see their assortment of leather dyes and learn about centuries-old techniques,  You can also stop at Bou Inania madrassa and Al Attarine madrassa, two 14th-century schools with beautiful Marinid and Moroccan architecture. Visit the Jewish district of Mellah and the Royal Palace, or check out the Borj Nord Museum, with its collection of weapons and armor.

Day 6: Guerrouane Region Winery Tour

Moroccan grapes on the vine

Step out of the city today, as you travel just beyond Fes to Morocco's unique Guerrouane agricultural region. Spend the day learning about the area'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. Vintners focus on red blends, rosés, 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 tasting, which features flights of various local wines. 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. 
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Day 7: Baking Class & Fes Medina Food Tour

Exotic tajines in the Fes medina

Take a deep dive into Fes' culinary culture with a breadmaking class and guided food tour. Your morning begins with a visit to a local baker, where you'll learn to make five different kinds of traditional bread. This is a great activity for anyone who might want to be able to replicate the delicious breakfast breads served in Morocco when they return home to their own kitchen! After you prepare the dough, it will be baked in one of the community bread ovens and you can enjoy the fruits of your labors with a serving of warm, crusty bread. 

Later tonight, you'll take a guided tour of all the food hotspots in the Fes medina. You'll sample foods from various vendors, including dates, olives, cheeses, and mint tea. Your guide will share their knowledge about the history of some of the local specialties, and how food is inherent to Moroccan culture. The tour concludes at a local restaurant with a traditional Moroccan meal. 

Day 8: Transfer to Merzouga: Middle Atlas Mountains & Sahara

Camels waiting for riders in the Sahara

Your road trip begins right after breakfast, as you travel into the dunes of the Sahara. The drive takes you across the Middle Atlas mountains and through the town of Azrou, home to the majestic Cèdre Gouraud Forest. Keep an eye out for troops of Barbary macaque monkeys lounging in ancient cedar trees near the road.

Stop for lunch in Midelt, known as Morocco's "Apple City" for its productive orchards, then continue through the Ziz Valley, an essential branch of the ancient Saharan Trade Route. From the window, you'll catch glimpses of the area's ksars, fortified houses built by merchants to protect the gold, salt, and spices that passed this way. After passing through the valley, the landscape changes to Saharan dunes. These wind-blown sand formations are in constant motion, often leading them to encroach upon roads and buildings. 

Soon, you'll see the massive dunes of Erg Chebbi. This vast sand sea covers 13 square miles (35 sq km), with some dunes rising over 650 feet (200 m). From the outpost of Merzouga, you'll trek across the Sahara for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: 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. Take a camel ride across the desert just in time for sunset, taking in the endless views. Tonight, you'll have dinner prepared by local Berber tribesmen and be serenaded by live music. 

Day 9: Transfer to Ouarzazate, Fossil Workshops

The city of Ouarzazate

Travel back across the desert to Merzouga, where your driver will collect you and transport you to your next destination, the city of Ouarzazate. Your drive takes you through remote, empty lands that border the Sahara. The views are vast and extensive, with desert plains, high mountains, and plateaus all around. Along the drive, you'll pass by forests of umbrella-shaped acacias, trees that are specially adapted to this harsh environment.

Stop in the town of Alnif, known for its plethora of ancient fossils from prehistoric creatures known as trilobites, and a bucket-list destination for fossil hunters from around the world. Visit the museum and learn about the fossils, and take a fossil workshop where you'll learn all the stages of prepping a trilobite. You may even want to go on a fossil hunt first, so you can work on your own trilobite! 

Later, continue to the Dadès Gorge and valley, ending your day in Ouarzazate, a town made popular by its involvement in the Moroccan film industry. Tour a local movie studio, or visit the Musée du Cinema. Learn about films and television shows produced in the region, such as "Black Hawk Down" and "Game of Thrones." There is, however, more to Ouarzazate than just movies, so be sure to consider a guided tour at Aït Benhaddou, the most famous kasbah in Morocco, as well as a visit to the Mellah (Jewish quarter). 

Day 10: Transfer to Marrakesh

Marrakesh's Jemaa el-Fna square

Today, you'll cross the mountains that separate Ouarzazate from Marrakesh, driving along dry desert slopes and through Tizi n'Tichka pass. Near the top of the pass, see the panoramic views of the mountain range and the plains of Marrakesh below. Be on the lookout for Mount Toubkal—North Africa's highest mountain—to your west. As you descend the slopes of the High Atlas, you'll notice a dramatic change in climate and landscape, one of deep valleys and abundant almond and walnut orchards, eventually taking you into the hustle and bustle of vibrant Marrakesh.

After you check in at your hotel, you can spend the afternoon at a slower pace, heading out to Marrakesh's main square, Jemaa el-Fna, in the early evening. The square comes alive with musicians, performers, snake charmers, and lively games, and you can peruse the numerous food stalls or sit and relax at one of the many surrounding cafés. 

Day 11: Marrakesh Medina & City Tour

Marrakesh, Koutoubia Mosque
Marrakesh's Koutoubia Mosque

Meet up with a private guide who will take you through the old city of Marrakesh. 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 guide will regale you with the history and stories of the medina, the souk, and the Mellah neighborhoods of the Red City. 

Your tour continues in the afternoon, exploring places like the palaces of Bahia and El Badii, and the Saadian Tombs. You'll also see the Majorelle Gardens, a garden retreat built by French painter Jacques Majorelle, and later inhabited by famed designer Yves Saint Laurent. Stroll through peaceful water gardens, visit Morocco's only museum dedicated solely to Berber art and culture, and explore Yves Saint Laurent's gallery, all within the walls of this urban oasis. Tonight, head back to Jemaa el-Fna square for dinner and live entertainment. 

Day 12: Sunrise Yoga & Afternoon Hammam

A traditional Moroccan hammam

Indulge in some relaxation and self-care today. Begin your morning with a private sunrise yoga session, led by a local yogi who will personalize your practice to your level of experience. Afterward, you'll have time for breakfast at your hotel and perhaps relax poolside for a bit, then spend your afternoon in the luxury of an authentic Moroccan hammam.

Learn about the traditions of the hammam, which are based on historic Roman bath practices, and unwind with one of Marrakesh's most sought-after spa experiences. Hammams start with a steam session, followed by a soak and traditional eucalyptus scrub. You can tailor your services to include massages, baths, or options from an extensive treatment menu using locally sourced products like argan oil. Afterward, head back to your riad to laze the rest of the day in luxury, or if you're up for it, go into town for a delicious dinner at one of Marrakesh's spectacular eateries.

Day 13: Hot Air Balloon Experience

Marrakesh sunrise via hot air balloon

Take in the stunning views of the Marrakesh desert with an incredible hot air balloon ride. The early wake-up call is worth it, as you'll watch the sunrise over the desert, surrounded by pastel colors and crisp morning air. Your balloon will take you over arid hills, quaint villages, and pockets of green, all with a gorgeous mountain backdrop. After sunrise, you'll sit down in your balloon and have breakfast and a Moroccan pastry while still in the air. This is truly a wonderful way to see a different side of Marrakesh.

This afternoon, you're free to continue your exploration of the city on your own. You can head back to the markets for shopping, or if you'd like a quieter option, head to Le Jardin Secret, a complex of palaces and gardens hidden right in the heart of the medina. The complex contains two gardens, the Exotic Garden and the Islamic Garden, both joined by a narrow path. You'll see plants from all over the world here, including South Africa, Madagascar, and Latin America—you'll feel like you've been transported to the Garden of Eden. Refresh in these peaceful surroundings before rejoining the busy medina.

Day 14: Transfer to Casablanca via Ancient Portuguese Cities 

Beautiful El Jadida

It's back to Casablanca via the coastal route, visiting two old Portuguese fortified cities along the way. Your first stop is El Jadida, where you will tour the hauntingly beautiful Portuguese cistern. Then, you'll visit the city of Azemour, which has inspired many Moroccan artists over the decades, some of whom have chosen to live here. Life here is still traditional despite its proximity to the cosmopolitan art market of Casablanca. The crumbling 16th-century medina squeezed between the Oud Er-Rbia (Mother of Spring River) and the ocean provides plenty of artistic inspiration.

For lunch, your driver can take you to one of the local fish markets, where unassuming food stalls serve some of the freshest grilled and fried seafood you can find. The traditional way to eat here is to buy the fish yourself in the market and have the grill masters cook it for a small fee. You can also choose to order fish straight from many of these food stalls.

After you arrive in Casablanca and get checked in at your hotel, make the most of your last evening in Morocco by visiting some of the city's trendiest neighborhoods. Start in Maarif, home of the French-style eponymous market, and Ain Diab, a prime beachfront community home to the Morocco Mall and miles of walking paths. The waterfront, or Corniche, is a great place to people watch, especially when the entire city comes out to the promenade right before sunset. Enjoy your last Moroccan dinner at a local restaurant or café. 

Day 15: Depart Casablanca

Farewell, Morocco! 

It's time to say goodbye to magical Morocco. Your private driver will pick you up from your hotel and transport you to Casablanca airport. Have a safe and comfortable flight home, or on to your next destination!

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Map

Map of Morocco's Imperial Cities: Casablanca to Marrakesh - 15 Days
Map of Morocco's Imperial Cities: Casablanca to Marrakesh - 15 Days