Planning Your Ultimate Trip to Morocco
Colorful souks, maze-like medinas, stately casbahs, camel rides on the dunes in the world’s driest desert: it’s no wonder that Morocco is a top destination for travelers interested in history, antiquity, and the great outdoors. Taking travel times and practical logistics into account, the following itineraries will help you make the most of your time, whether you have five days or two weeks to spend.
Our recommendation for five days in Morocco combines an active excursion to the Sahara Desert—think sun-baked desert towns, sandboarding on the dunes, and driving through the High Atlas mountains—with cultural sightseeing in Marrakech, where the trip starts and ends. For more 5-day itinerary ideas, see this article.
With two more days to spend, it’s easy to build on that foundation, adding on visits to the imperial cities of Fes, Casablanca, and Meknes. Our 7-day itinerary suggestion also features a stop at the fascinating Roman ruins at Volubilis. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our full list of 7-day itineraries.
If you have 10 days, you can do everything you’d do on the 7-day itinerary, but you’ll have more time to explore the Sahara Desert, an extra day in Marrakech, and a side trip to the famed “Blue City” of Chefchaouen. Find more 10-day Morocco itineraries here.
And if you’re fortunate enough to have two full weeks at your disposal, our recommended 14-day itinerary includes all of the stops above, plus several additional features: an extra day in Casablanca, a day and a night in the seaside retreat of Essaouira, and enough time for hiking in the High Atlas mountains and staying overnight with a local family in a Berber village. Learn more about your options for 14-day itineraries in Morocco here.
In 5 Days: Classic Marrakech & Sahara Desert Tour
- Combine two days in Marrakech with three days in the Sahara
- Shop in colorful souks and visit Jemaa el-Fna Square
- Ride a camel along the dunes and glamp under the stars
- Visit Todra Gorge, Aït Benhaddou, and the High Atlas Mountains
Five days in Morocco is just enough time to experience the beauty of the Sahara Desert—including massive sand dunes, the peaks of the High Atlas mountains, historic kasbahs, and picturesque desert towns—and the medieval city of Marrakech, where you'll start and end the trip.
Spend the first day exploring Marrakech, known as the "Red City" due to the rosy pigment in the sandstone that was used to build its walls. You'll wander through the busiest square in Africa, Jemaa el-Fna, and browse the souks in the medina around it, then visit the Koutoubia Mosque, the 16th-century Ben Youssef Madrasa Islamic school, and the 19th-century Bahia Palace, one of the city's most luxurious palaces.
Moving on from the city, you'll climb into the High Atlas mountains, spotting towering Mount Toubkal along the way. Visit an argan oil cooperative before traveling through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs and fragrant Kela'a M'gouna, also known as the "Valley of the Roses." On day three, you'll arrive at Todra Gorge, a deep ravine, and stop in the desert town of Erfoud, known for figs and fossils. Check out the "donkey parking lot" and livestock auction in the market town of Rissani. Then continue on to the sand sea of Erg Chebbi. At Merzouga, the town closest to the desert, you'll board a camel to ride to your campsite for the night.
See the sunrise over the desert before trying a sandboard or ATV desert tour on day four. You'll stop in a traditional Saharan village and taste locally grown dates in the Draa Valley before visiting Ouarzazate, a popular filming location for Hollywood movies and series like Game of Thrones. Tour medieval Aït Benhaddou, the most famous kasbah in Morocco, where you'll spend the night. Travel back to Marrakech, enjoying views over the mountains and desert, on day five. Squeeze in one last meal and some shopping in the souks before you catch a flight home. Learn more
In 7 Days: Add Fes, Casablanca, and a Bonus Day Trip
- Spend two nights exploring the Imperial City of Fes
- Visit the iconic Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
- Enjoy a bonus day trip to the Roman ruins at Volubilis
- Fly into Casablanca and out of Marrakech to maximize time
This wide-ranging week-long tour takes you to many of Morocco's key highlights, including sightseeing in imperial cities, a camel ride in the Sahara, and a tour of the Roman ruins of Volubilis. With a couple of extra days to build on the five-day itinerary, you'll have more time for urban sightseeing—and getting lost in the medina of Fes, the country's cultural capital, is part of the fun.
You'll start the adventure in Casablanca, where you'll have time on the first afternoon to stroll along the beach promenade known as Boulevard de la Corniche, sometimes referred to as the Miami of Morocco. On day two, you'll visit Hassan II Mosque, home to the tallest minaret in the world, before leaving Casablanca to visit Meknes, an imperial city, and nearby, the nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
On day three, move on to Fes, where you'll explore the medieval medina, Fes el Bali, on foot, stopping to visit key attractions like the striking Chouara Tannery, which dates back to the 11th century. After a Moroccan dinner, you'll get an early start the next day, ascending more than 7,000 feet to the Col du Zad Pass and the cedar forests of the Middle Atlas mountains. From here, the itinerary resembles the five-day itinerary.
You'll spot Barbary macaque monkeys in the trees as you continue into the Ziz Valley, known for its oases and palm trees. Attend a craft workshop in the market town of Erfoud before reaching the Erg Chebbi dunes for a sunset camel ride followed by dinner under the stars at your campsite. Try sandboarding on the dunes on day five, then continue to deep Todra Gorge for a hike and a dip in the river.
Continue on through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs and the popular filming location of Ouarzazate. You'll visit Aït Benhaddou Kasbah and drive through the High Atlas mountains next before finishing the day in Marrakech. Time your visit to busy Jemaa el-Fna Square at sunset: you'll see the plaza enlivened with musicians, snake charmers, and food vendors. You'll spend the following morning sightseeing in the city before it's time to go home. Learn more
In 10 Days: Detour to Chefchaouen & Add More Time in the Sahara
- Add a day in Chefchaouen, the city painted in vibrant blue hues
- Visit all four imperial cities—Rabat, Meknes, Fes, and Marrakech
- View an endless array of roses in Kela'a M'gouna
- Camp in a Bedouin-style tent in the Sahara Desert
Explore the Sahara Desert, the imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, and Fes, and the famed "Blue City" of Chefchaouen on this colorful ten-day loop around Morocco. Compared to the seven-day itinerary, you'll have an extra day in Marrakech and an extra day in the desert, giving you a chance to slow down and enjoy both destinations at a more relaxed pace.
You’ll start in Casablanca and do some sightseeing around town, including a visit to Hassan II Mosque. On day two, travel north to the imperial city of Rabat, where you’ll tour the 20th-century Andalusian Gardens and Hassan Tower. After lunch, continue on through the rocky peaks of the Rif Mountains to the “Blue City” of Chefchaouen, where you’ll have time to explore the picturesque medina.
On day three, tour the Roman ruins at Volubilis and the imperial city of Meknes, moving on to Fes in the evening. You’ll spend the next day wandering through the medieval medina of Fes before continuing on to the Sahara Desert.
The next few days on the itinerary are similar to what you’ll find on the five- and seven-day trip plans: you’ll travel over the Middle Atlas mountains to Erfoud and Merzouga, stopping in green oases and cool Todra Gorge, then stopping in Dades Valley, Ouarzazate, and Aït Benhaddou. But you’ll have an extra day to spend, so the pace is more relaxed. The trip ends in Marrakech, where you’ll spend two nights, giving you plenty of time for sightseeing, shopping in the souks, and experiencing the spectacle of Jemaa el-Fna square at dusk.
In 14 Days: Morocco Grand Tour, Including High Atlas & Essaouira
- See all of Morocco's most treasured highlights, and more
- Relax on the windswept Atlantic Coast in Essaouira
- Spend the night in the mountain home of a local Berber family
- Hike between villages in the High Atlas mountains
On this grand tour of Morocco, you have time for many of the country's top offerings, including imperial cities, the Sahara Desert, and a range of cultural attractions and outdoor pursuits. With a full two weeks to spend, you'll be able to add seaside Essaouira to the itinerary, not to mention an overnight in a Berber home and time for hiking between mountain villages.
The trip begins with the same schedule as the 10-day itinerary. Kick off the trip in Casablanca, then see Rabat, Chefchaouen, and the Roman ruins of Volubilis before arriving in Fes, where you’ll spend two nights. On day five, you’ll move onto the Sahara Desert, visiting Erfoud, Merzouga, the Todra Gorge, Dades Valley, and Aït Benhaddou, as you would on shorter Morocco itineraries.
By day eight, you’ll arrive in Marrakech, where you’ll have a full day and two nights for sightseeing and shopping. Then venture south to the small town of Amizmiz in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains. With a guide, you'll trek between Berber villages, enjoy lunch with a local family—and learn how they bake their bread in traditional ovens—and stay overnight at a homestay in one of the villages.
Back-track to Marrakech for a day before traveling onward to Essaouira, a beach town on the Atlantic coast, for sightseeing in the UNESCO-protected medina and dining on fresh seafood. From there, you’ll head back to Casablanca for one last day in Morocco before catching a flight out. Learn more