Imperial Cities, Desert and Coast

Discover a millenary culture with a great artistic heritage. Get to know the most important imperial cities in Morocco: explore Marrakech, its gardens and its crazy street markets, discover the fascinating old Medina of Fez with a local guide, and visit Meknes, Rabat and Casablanca. Visit traditional Berber villages and market towns, ride camels across the Sahara alongside Berber cameleers and sleep in starlit tents nestled among golden sand dunes. Travel through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs to Ouarzazate,  made popular by the film industry.  Switch gears and travel to seaside Essaouira, driving through argan groves to reach this coastal spot that's a hippie favorite. 

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Duration
11 Days
Service Level
Standard
Start Location
Casablanca
End Location
Casablanca

Arrive in Casablanca

Welcome to Morocco! Arrive at the Casablanca Airport. You'll be met by your driver and guide who will transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Visit the popular Hassan II Mosque and admire its exquisite craftsmanship ( optional )  and take a stroll along the Boulevard de la Corniche, often referred to as the "Miami of Morocco."

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Accommodation:Val d'anfa (or similar)
Meals included:No meals included.
Transportation:Private Car
    • Hassan II Mosque
      13 € per personDuration: 1h

      Join a morning tour and marvel at the fine artisanship: hand-carved stone and wood, intricate marble floor detailing, and gilded ceilings.

    Rabat, Meknes and Fes

    Leave Casablanca behind and travel north to Rabat, Morocco's administrative capital along the Atlantic coastline. We'll tour the old city including visits the 2nd-century Chellah Necropolis, established originally as a Phoenician colony, the Ouadaya Kasbah, the Mohamed V mausolieum and the Hassan Tower Mosque. Continue to the Imperial City of Meknes. Formerly the capital of Morocco during the reign of Moulay Ismail, where you can visit gardens, palaces, the impressive gate of Bab al-Mansour, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and the Royal Stables. Carry on eastward to Fes, the oldest imperial city in Morocco, where you can relax and enjoy the night at your leisure. Dinner is on your own, so be sure to consult your driver for some recommendations and advices.

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    Accommodation:Riad Dar D'Or (or similar)
    Meals included:breakfast
    Transportation:Private Car
    • Guided visit of Meknes
      Duration: 2h

      Embark on a half day guided tour of Meknes, Learn about Bab Mansour, Bab Khemis, El Heri es-Souan, huge granaries and stables built by Moulay Ism

    • Rabat Guided Visit
      Duration: 2h

      Embark on a guided tour of Rabat and visit the Mausoleum of Mohamed V, the Hassan Tower, Kasbah Chellah and Oudaya Gardens.

      Explore Fes

      Meet your guide in your Riad/Hotel at 09am and start the visit of “the oldest living Medina in the world”. Start at the gateway of the Royal Palace and the Blue Gate " Bab Boujloud ".  Explore the twisting streets of the old Medina, Madrasa Bounania, the elegant Nejjarine Fountain & Musuem and the pungent; Chouara Tannery.

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      Accommodation:Riad Dar D'Or (or similar)
      Meals included:breakfast
      Transportation:Private Car
        • Hammam & Spa
          60 € per personDuration: 2h

          Treat yourself to the purifying steam of a hammam ritual. Authentic Moroccan products such as Argan oil, beldi black soap and rhassoul mud add to

        • Cooking Class Fes
          85 € per person

          Cook yourself either lunch or dinner on this course in Fez that teaches you how to prepare Moroccan cuisine. 

        Middle Atlas and the Sahara Desert

        At 8:00 am your driver will pick you up, leave the UNESCO-protected Fes and travel south toward Merzouga Sahara Desert. The first stop will be in Ifran, nicknamed the little Swizerland, a neat and charming city that has a mild climate, lakes, white winters and a distinctive architecture, i. e. houses have sloping remarkably unusual roofs in Morocco.  A 15 min stop to stretch your legs, drink a cup of coffee. We will continue south to cross the majestic Middle Atlas, a region of rare beauty, varied landscapes, and forest roads shaded by towering stands of cedar trees. Stop for a while to observe the Barbary apes in the Oak and Cedar forest.  Afterwards, we will continue to Midelt, a town Known for apple production, we will have lunch here, then relish the impressive nearby Moulouya River. Later on, we will continue to the Sahara Desert driving over the fascinating Tizi n'Talghamt Pass (at an altitude of 1,907 m), and into the scenic Valley of Ziz which graces the landscape with its hidden oases and emerald green palm trees. On the way to the Sahara, you will see numerous ancient Ksour—fortified houses built of earth bricks and had served as a strongholds that protect sedentary populations and their precious wares, including gold, salt and spices. Once you are in Erfoud, you can feel the beginning of the Saharan oasis of Tafilalet and its immense arid plateaus. You will stop in one of the cafes to stretch your legs, use the bathrooms before heading to the Sahara Desert. Your camels are waiting for you at the edge of the golden dunes, the luggage will be loaded in an 4x4 car and transported to the camp, and you enjoy a beautiful camel ride over the sand dunes, contemplating the stunning scenery and the beautiful Desert sunset on the way to the camp.

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        Accommodation:Pueblo Touareg (or similar)
        Meals included:breakfast | dinner
        Transportation:Private Car | Camel Ride
          • Sandboarding
            10 € per personDuration: 1h

            Hire a sandboard and experience the thrills and spills of sandboarding the massive dunes.

          • 4x4 to The Camp
            free

            If the camel ride is not for you, you have the option to go to and return from the camp by 4×4.

          Dunes Tour, Rissani and Todra Gorge

          Be sure to rise early to witness a Saharan sunrise, before exploring more of the Desert. Take a sandboard and test your skills on the dunes, join the Erg Chebbi tour (around the sand dunes) or a quad ATV tour. Continue to nearby Khemliya to wander this traditional Saharan village and enjoy drumming music and dancing. Make your way west, entering through an impressive gate into the market town of Rissani. Check out the livestock auction and the "donkey parking lot". After breakfast we drive to Tinerhir enjoying the views of neighboring towns running along the sides of the lush and extensive river oasis. Admire the 984 feet (300 m) deep Todra Gorge and the Todra River below that cut through the red limestone to make it. Take a leisurely walk to explore the gorge and relax in the cool water of the shallow river below.

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          Accommodation:Le Festival (or similar)
          Meals included:breakfast | dinner
          Transportation:Private Car
          • Dunes Tour
            Duration: 4h

            Explore the surrounding areas of the marvel Erg Chebbi, visit the spectacular lake of Merzouga for spotting many desert birds. Drive off road to

          • Todra Gorge Guided Walk

            Embark in a guided walk in Todra valley and Gorge to stretch your legs and get a glimpse of a daily life in berber villages.

          • Visit Rissani
            freeDuration: 30min

            Stop at Risani to visit Donkey parking, Sheep and animal market, Date market, grains market, Berber Pharmacy and others.  Get in a capsule to get

          • Quad Biking
            75 € per personDuration: 2h

            Admire the spectacular contrasts between the arid lands of the plateaus, ride quads to enjoy the magnificent views of the Atlas Mountains and the

          • Sandboarding
            10 € per personDuration: 1h

            Hire a sandboard and experience the thrills and spills of sandboarding the massive dunes.

          Dades Valley, Skoura and Ait Ben Haddou

          Leave Tinghir behind and drive to Dades Valley. Upon arrival to Boumalne Dades, we will deviate into a secondary route heading up to Dades Dorges, a surprising landscape that is known for its stunning rock formation, kasbahs and attractive stone and pisé villages. On the banks of the river is a cultivated land that grows almond, fig and walnut trees and polars — its a glorious road that offers one of the most scenic drives in the world. Continue driving toward Skoura via the road of 1000 Kasbahs and the Roses Valley. The town of Skoura houses a number of impressive kasbahs, we will visit the most imposing one, the 17th century Amridil Kasbah — a masterpiece that had been printed in the country's 50 Dirham note. Skoura is one of Morocco’s beautiful oases, we will visit the palmeraie gardens and enjoy the abundance of its nature. Arrive in Ouarzazate, nicknamed "Hollywood of Africa" a town located on the main road between the mountains and the desert, Ouarzazate is made popular by the film industry. It is possibile to join a studio tour so to discover how the nearby desert landscapes have been featured in many films. Have lunch in one of the local restaurants. After lunch, we will travel to the nearby town Ait Benhadou village. Overnight in a beautiful kasbah with Dinner..

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          Accommodation:Riad Tamdakht (or similar)
          Meals included:breakfast | dinner
          Transportation:Private Car
          • Ait Ben Haddou
            Duration: 1h

            Go on a walk with a local guide crossing the river to the other side to discover The Ksar and climb to the top of the hill through the alleys of

          • Amredil Kasbah
            Duration: 30min

            Visit Amredil Kasbah with a local guide. The kasbah has been beautifully restored and is well worth visiting; constructed entirely of adobe, an excellent building material – keeps room temperature, due to the thickness of the walls.

          • Taourirt Kasbah
            5 € per personDuration: 30min

            Take a guided tour of the historic structure to explore its endless chambers and stairwells, discover the carvings and decor of the palace interi

          • Film Studio
            8 € per personDuration: 30min

            Join a film studio tour and visit the cinema Musuem to learn more about the filmmaking process and the history of the area.

          Telouet, Atlas Mountains and Marrakech

          After breakfast we will drive along the beautiful and awe-inspiring Ounila Valley that is full of bends in the road and surprises at the hues of the rock and soil, gardens, Berber villages, as well as small Kasbahs until you reach the village of Telouet. Arrive at Telouet Kasbah, the main seat of the Glaoui family. The kasbah boasts some of the best andalusion architecture with engraved stuccowork, colourful zellij tilework, painted cedar ceilings and doors. Meet your guide and learn the fascinating history of this crumbling yet stunning village and its role in the struggle for Moroccan independence. Drive across the High Atlas Mountains the highest mountain range in North Africa. Along the way, soak in uninterrupted views of the High Atlas Mountains and its beautiful Berber villages. Near the top, stretch your legs for a great panoramic view of the mountains. We will continue to Marrakech where our adventure comes to an end. As you descend the High Atlas, you will notice a dramatic change in the climate and landscape. Soon you will be a part of the noise and clamor of your final imperial city, Marrakech. Around 3 pm you will be dropped off in your Riad/Hotel or at the nearest parking lot to it.

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          Accommodation:Palm Menara Hotel (or similar)
          Meals included:breakfast
          Transportation:Private Car
          • Guided Visit of Telouet
            Duration: 30min

            Delve into the world of El Glaoui and visit the fascinating Kasbah. The kasbah is named in honor of “El Haj T’hami el Mezouari el Glaoui” who was the highly respected head of the Glaoua tribe in Morocco.

            Explore the Ochre City

            Meet your guide at 09am in your Riad/Hotel and start your Guided city tour of Marrakech, visit The Bahia Palace, Medrassa Ben Youssef, see the Koutoubia Mosque from outside Souks and Jamaa el Fna Square. The order of the visits depends on the location of your pick up but you will get a lot of flexibility in terms of what you can see and pace, plus we have the option of improvising and changing course along the way while focusing on what you find most interesting.

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            Accommodation:Palm Menara Hotel (or similar)
            Meals included:breakfast
            Transportation:Private Car
              • Dinner Show
                60 € per personDuration: 3h

                Enjoy an incredible evening of entertainment at Chez Ali Resort on the outskirts of Marrakech. Experience the sights and sounds of musicians and

              • Majorelle Garden
                12 € per personDuration: 1h

                Visit Majorelle Garden, follow the pathways through trees, exotic plants, streams, and pools while watching the numerous birds who call this peac

              Essaouira: Seaside and Seafood

              Say goodbye to the Red City, and travel to Morocco's west coast following a route that takes you over vast rolling plains. Along the way, pass through an argan tree forest, endemic to this part of the world. You may even see goats climbing on the argan fruit, up in the tree branches. Arrive in the port city of laid-back Essaouira, a nice contrast to frenetic Marrakech, and spend the rest of the day as you choose. Walk the Skala de la Kasbah (the 18th-century seafront ramparts) along the coast. Designed by European engineers, old brass cannons line the walls and offer viewing access over the Atlantic. Explore the UNESCO-protected medina before making your way to the windswept beach.

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              Accommodation:Villa Maroc (or similar)
              Meals included:breakfast
              Transportation:Private Car
                • Essaouira Guided Visit
                  30 € per personDuration: 2h

                  Hire a local guide for a tour of the Skala du Port and bastion southeast of the medina. Stroll the labyrinthine streets of the medina, hearing traditional Gnaoua Muic music on every corner. Watch artisans at work, crafting thuya wood crafts.

                • Horse Riding
                  35 € per personDuration: 2h

                  Ride a horse across Essaouira’s beaches, gallop across the smooth sand; clamber up steep seaside dunes to sweeping views, and wind through the sh

                El Jadida and Casablanca

                After breakfast, we will depart to Safi and to Oualidia via the coastal road with its superb view and have our lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we will drive to El Jadida, famous for its beaches and resorts. Our tour includes a visit to the famous citadel, a reminder of the Portuguese occupation of the 16th Century. Upon arriving in Casablanca, explore more of the Old Medina, bargain with local vendors in the bazaar, and pick up any last-minute souvenirs and gifts.

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                Accommodation:Val d'anfa (or similar)
                Meals included:breakfast
                Transportation:Private Car

                    Depart Casablanca

                    Depending on your departure details, you may wish to stroll along the Boulevard de la Corniche or get some souvenirs before driving to the airport. Safe Travels!

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                    Meals included:breakfast
                    Transportation:Private Car

                        What's Included

                        • Private modern vehicle with A/C + fuel + Motorway tolls
                        • Possibility to start the tour from any major city or airport
                        • English speaking driver through the whole tour
                        • Selected good and centrally located hotels /Riads
                        • Possibility to upgrade to 5* hotels ( entirely or partially )
                        • Breakfast is daily included
                        • Dinner included at the Desert camp, Todra Gorge and Ait Ben Haddou
                        • Certified guides for the sightseeing days
                        • Local guides for monuments and Kasbahs ...
                        • All local taxes
                        • Possibility to use the driver's mobile internet for limited needs
                        • No forced shopping or tourist traps
                        • Drinks
                        • Meals than those mentioned above
                        • Entrance fees to the monuments