12 days 11 nights grand tour of Morocco to imperial cities, coastal and desert from Casablanca is a must-see tourist tour intended for a people seeking of discovery and culture a balanced steps and a pleasant pace for a thorough approach to Morocco. The Atlas Mountains, dotted with tiny villages, the beautiful beach cities of the coast and the big dunes of the desert in Sahara and the old Medina of the imperial cities. Morocco has many layers to explore. Its long history has seen Berbers, Roman invasions, Islamic conquests and European colonization, all of which have left architecture, traditions and life style.
Today starts with a transfer from your hotel to visit the Hassan II Mosque before departing to Rabat (the capital). In Rabat, we’ll visit the Royal Palace, the ruins of Chellah, the Mohammed V Mausoleum and the Hassan Tower. Then, we’ll depart to Meknes where we’ll have dinner at a local restaurant overlooking the square opposite the Bab el Mansour gate. After dinner, we’ll retire to a local hotel.
After breakfast in Meknes, we’ll take a tour of the city, including The square, Bab el Mansour (a massive gate which holds the entrance to the old city and the Jewish quarter), the Royal Granaries & the city rampart. Then we’ll travel to Fes through Volubilis, where we’ll stop to visit the Roman ruins and Moulay Idriss mausoleum (part of the holy town and an important place of pilgrimage where the founder of Morocco’s first dynasty is buried). We will continue to Fes where we stay overnight.
We’ll start the day exploring the oldest city in Morocco, snaking through its alleys and narrow streets. We’ll begin sightseeing at the Royal Palace gate, followed by the Jewish headquarter where the first Mellah ever was built in Morocco, during the 16th century. We’ll ensure that you visit all sites with cultural and historical interest including the famous Al Qaraouine University, the oldest in the region. We’ll also visit the Tanneries, the Attarine museum, and the Moulay Idriss mausoleum. After lunch, you’ll visit many different cooperatives and then, experience a wonderful panoramic view over the whole Medina of Fes .
Your tour continues with a drive to Azrou where we’ll stop to explore the cedar forest, home of the Berber apes. Our drive, from there, carries on past Midelt and the Ziz valley with a quick lunch/drink stop in Erfoud, continuing through Rissani and finally reaching Merzouga. This night will be spent in a local hotel.
Today we will explore the desert region around the Erg Chebbi desert dunes. You’ll have the opportunity to see the nomad’s way of life and the marvelous contrast of the desert. We will visit the black village of Khamlia; where we’ll indulge in the music of the Gnawa. For lunch, we’ll delight in a traditional Berber Pizza in the ancient capital of Rissani. In the late afternoon, we’ll ride on camelback to watch the sunset over the dunes and spend the night in the desert camp. We will have a traditional Tagine dinner, drink delicious local mint tea, and listen to traditional Berber music around a campfire while watching the stars and the rising moon in the amazing Sahara desert.
We’ll fetch an early start to catch the sunrise over the dunes before arriving at a local hotel to freshen up. After breakfast, we’ll head through Rissani and Tinghir to Todra gorge; the highest and narrowest gorge in Morocco. After lunch at the gorge, we’ll drive through the Dades valley enjoying the view of the geological feature known locally as “Monkey Toes”. We’ll stay overnight in Dades valley.
After breakfast, we’ll continue our tour towards Ouarzazate through the path of a thousand Kasbahs (fortress) stopping at Kalaat Mgouna, the center of the Valley of Roses, famous for its annual Rose Festival. We’ll continue to the Unesco World Heritage site, the Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, famous for being used as a filming location for Hollywood movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, and for the famous HBO series Game of Thrones. We’ll then take the Tizi-n-Tichka mountain pass to Marrakesh, where we’ll spend the night.
Today we’ll have a guided tour of Marrakesh. You will explore the main attractions and monuments of the city including the famous Jamma el Fna square, Koutoubia mosque, the souks, palaces, and museums. We’ll also explore parts of the city such as Gueliz, The Menara Gardens, and Majorelle.
After breakfast, we’ll take the Tizi-n-Tichka Mountain pass through Marrakech, bringing us closer to the Atlantic coast, where Essaouira, the Pearl of the Atlantic, is located. In the afternoon we check-in at a local /riad, and then head out to watch the sunset from the Murallas (walls that fortify the city), an experience you can’t miss. In the evening, we’ll be treated to a dinner of the freshest fish in the city, and later take an evening stroll through its quiet and picturesque setting. The next day you’ll get a chance to explore the ancient city ‘Mogador’ (Essaouira), a name given by the Portuguese. Rated as one of the most beautiful coastal cities of the Atlantic, its medina is a canvas of blue and white surrounded by lengthy beaches and the ancient citadel walls of the Portuguese colonial époque. We’ll spend both nights at a local Riad.
This morning after breakfast in Essaouira, we can relax during the early part of the afternoon before departing to Marrakech or Casablanca, arriving around 6 pm, where our tour ends.