Enchanting Southern Morocco

From €685EUR

8 Days

Starts in Fes

+212 661 469 661

hello@besttravelmorocco.com

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SUMMARY

Tour Overview

Carefully selected hotels, Kasbahs, Riads. Includes one night in a traditional Berber camp

Qualified multi-language guide fluent in English, French, Spanish

Air-conditioned 4WD vehicle(s), mini bus or motor-coach

Fes, Volubilis, Moulay Idriss, Meknes, Ifrane, Azrou, Midelt, Ziz Canyon, Erfoud, Merzouga, desert tour, Todra gorge, Dades, Roses valley, Skoura, Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou, Atlas Mountain, Marrakesh

INcluded in your tour

Tour Highlights

We have over 20 years of experience crafting a Moroccan experience perfectly tailored to our guests needs. These are our most common itineraries, to be used as starting points in developing yours.

Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

We are experts at creating a Moroccan experience perfectly tailored to our guests needs. These are some of our most popular itineraries, and they may be customized to the utmost extent of your imaginations.

Arrival in Fes, Afternoon at Your Leisure

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We will meet you upon your arrival in Fes to accompany you to your hotel, where you can relax and settle in. Depending on your arrival time, you may wish to take a guided tour of the city before having dinner and spending the night.

Fes Sightseeing with Official Local Guide

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Following breakfast at the hotel, our accredited local guide will accompany you on a walking tour of the Fes medina. Step back in time as you wander through the labyrinth of twisting alleyways - donkeys and mules pass through the narrow streets, savour the aromas from the market stalls where countless spices and perfumes are traded, and explore the leather tanneries where men treat leather using century old techniques. We’ll cap the day with dinner at one of the many local restaurants of the medina then settle in for the evening at your hotel.

Roman Ruins and Royal Palaces

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After having breakfast in Fes, we will travel to Volubilis, the best preserved Roman ruins in North Africa, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Despite the damage caused by an earthquake in the year 1755, this important Roman town features detailed and gorgeous mosaics that will give you a window into Morocco's ancient history. Nearby is the town of Moulay Idriss, named after Emir Moulay Idriss I, who brought Islam to Morocco in the 8th century. From here we will continue to another city important to the Roman Empire - the imperial city of Meknes, originally known as Miknasa after the Berber tribe settled here in the 10th century. It was founded by the cruel Sultan Moulay Ismail, and is often called the "Versailles of Morocco" because of the grandeur and intricacy of its buildings and monuments. We will explore Meknes, including the Royal Palace and the many ornate gates to the city including the storied Bab Mansour before checking into our hotel and spending the night.

Atlas Mountains, Camel Trek, and Sunset in The Sahara

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After breakfast our guide will come to pick you up from your hotel in Meknes, from where we will embark on a picturesque journey towards Ifrane through hills covered in forests of cork oak and giant cedar in which a few Barbary apes still make their home. Crossing strikingly beautiful passes over both the Middle and High Atlas ranges we will catch our first glimpse of the South’s incredible architecture. After passing through a barren plain of scrub and desert on the other side of the mountains, we will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, from which we will have a fantastic view of the dramatic peaks of the High Atlas rising behind the town. Crossing Tizi-n-Talremt (Pass of the She-Camel), we will descend into a desert plain along the Ziz Valley. We will then head south to Erfoud and Rissani, into a huge oasis containing over six million palm trees and edged by many ksours (fortified villages). Our route will continue through an immense palm oasis and a vast area of stony plain that marks the transition to the desert before reaching the tranquil desert town of Merzouga in the afternoon, from which we will mount our camels and ride into the pink sands of the Erg Chebbi. We will have time to wander around the dunes before watching the sunset, and will spend the evening in a Berber camp amidst the dunes where we will have a campfire and enjoy a traditional Moroccan feast. After dark you can relax outside and marvel at the stars and crystal-clear Milky Way like few people have seen them. Overnight in Berber Camp.

A Desert Sunrise, Along the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs

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If you would like, your camel guide will wake you up early so that you can watch the spectacle of sunrise, when the color of the sand contrasts beautifully with the play of shadows on the dunes. After a cup of tea, we will ride the camels back to the kasbah, where we will be able to freshen up before heading into the Draa Valley. Besides the natural, historical, and architectural wonders found in the valley, there are also countless villages that seem to have remained untouched by the modern world. Fully veiled women can be seen washing clothes on the riverbanks and the men seem watchful and unaccustomed to foreign visitors. These local people, besides speaking a vernacular Arabic dialect, also speak Imazighen, the language of the Berber or Tamazight people, the indigenous inhabitants of North Africa for thousands of years. Our route will continue along the "Road of 1000 Kasbahs", which will take us to Ouarzazate (pronounced Warzza-zat), a city in the middle of a barren plateau at an altitude of 1160 meters, established at the crossroads of all routes going north, south, east, and west. Its geographical position has made it a key trading post since ancient times. The capital of a large province, the town's northern limits run along the foothills of the High Atlas, and its southern borders disappear into the vastness of the Sahara Desert. The area is still mostly populated by the Berber people, who were the original builders of the numerous fortified kasbahs and dwellings for which the region is famous. After checking in at our hotel, you can enjoy an afternoon beside the swimming pool and enjoy the clean desert air.

Ouarzazate to Marrakech, Fantastical Kasbahs

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Following breakfast we will explore the nearby Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, the most famous kasbah in Morocco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the backdrop for many of the films and shows shot on location. We then continue north across the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech - a fantastical Arabian Nights city with myriad alleyways, souks, and market stalls. Marrakech is the second oldest imperial city, known as the "Southern Pearl" of Morocco, and has for centuries been an important stop for traders and travelers alike; this remarkable city never fails to satisfy the curiosity of adventurous travelers, and we’re sure you’ll love it too. We will arrive in Marrakech by the afternoon, giving you plenty of time to explore the vibrant streets at your leisure before settling in for the evening.

Marrakech Sightseeing with Official Local Guide

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Breakfast will be served at your Riad, after which a knowledgeable local guide will lead you through the labyrinth of Marrakech's winding alleyways, hidden gardens, and secret souks. You will continue to the Djemaa el Fna, the principal cultural space in Marrakech and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, beside which the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque can be seen towering into the sky. In the evening this square overflows with food stalls, dancers, acrobats, fortune tellers, musicians, and henna artists. Following your tour you will have the full day to spend at your leisure, whether its pampering yourself at a local spa with massage or further exploring the souks of the medina. We will spend the night at our hotel in Marrakech.

Marrakech at Your Liesure, Transfer to the Airport

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Marrakech is a sensory-rich city with a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern conveniences. You may want to try a Moroccan hammam or a spa, try your hand at a local cooking class, or perhaps take a ride on a donkey cart around the city. Whatever it may be, our guide is at your service to help with suggestions, information, and arrangements. As we bid you farewell, we will help you with any departure formalities and arrange for your transfers to the airport. We hope you enjoyed your journey with us, and hope to see you again soon.

Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

We have over 20 years of experience crafting a Moroccan experience perfectly tailored to our guests needs. These are our most common itineraries, to be used as starting points in developing yours.

DAY 1: Arrival in Fes

We will meet you upon your arrival in Fes, and you will be taken directly to your riad in the heart of the old medina where we will leave you to relax and settle in.

DAY 2: Fes Sightseeing with local guide

In the morning after breakfast we will start your Moroccan experience with a day of exploring Fes, the intellectual and spiritual heart of Morocco. Fes features many mosques and madrasas, or theological colleges, including the 9th-century Karaouine University whose architecture is strikingly similar to that seen in Moorish Spain. In the morning we will wander through the famous medina, one of the largest in the world, where thousands of local craftsmen can be seen working in their tiny shops that open directly onto the twisting and turning alleyways of the souks. Noisy, pungent, hot, and claustrophobic, the medina of Fes is a totally absorbing and unique sensory experience. We will have a chance to visit the grounds of the Royal Palace, the Jewish Quarter (the Mellah), and the impressive Bab Bou Jeloud, or the Blue Gate to the medina. We will also see the wonderful mosaics and carved woodwork in Madrasa Bou Inania, a group of buildings from the 14th century with an elegant minaret overlooking Talaa Kebira, as well as the Fes El Bali, the largest bazaar in all of Morocco. We will have lunch in a traditional Moroccan restaurant where you can taste the cuisine typical of the region before continuing our tour through the labyrinth of the souks. We will spend the night in Fes.

DAY 3: Fes → Volubilis → Moulay Idriss → Meknes

After having breakfast in Fes, we will travel to Volubilis, the best preserved Roman ruins in North Africa, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Despite the damage caused by an earthquake in the year 1755, this important Roman town features detailed and gorgeous mosaics that will give you a window into Morocco's ancient history. Nearby is the town of Moulay Idriss, named after Emir Moulay Idriss I, who brought Islam to Morocco in the 8th century. From here we will continue to another city important to the Roman Empire - the imperial city of Meknes, originally known as Miknasa after the Berber tribe settled here in the 10th century. It was founded by the cruel Sultan Moulay Ismail, and is often called the "Versailles of Morocco" because of the grandeur and intricacy of its buildings and monuments. We will explore Meknes, including the Royal Palace and the many ornate gates to the city including the storied Bab Mansour before checking into our hotel and spending the night.

DAY 4: Meknes → Azrou → Midelt → Ziz Valley & Oases → Rissani → Merzouga → Erg Chebbi Sand Dunes

After breakfast our guide will come to pick you up from your hotel in Meknes, from where we will embark on a picturesque journey towards Ifrane through hills covered in forests of cork oak and giant cedar in which a few Barbary apes still make their home. Crossing strikingly beautiful passes over both the Middle and High Atlas ranges we will catch our first glimpse of the South’s incredible architecture. After passing through a barren plain of scrub and desert on the other side of the mountains, we will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, from which we will have a fantastic view of the dramatic peaks of the High Atlas rising behind the town. Crossing Tizi-n-Talremt (Pass of the She-Camel), we will descend into a desert plain along the Ziz Valley. We will then head south to Erfoud and Rissani, into a huge oasis containing over six million palm trees and edged by many ksours (fortified villages). Our route will continue through an immense palm oasis and a vast area of stony plain that marks the transition to the desert before reaching the tranquil desert town of Merzouga in the afternoon, from which we will mount our camels and ride into the pink sands of the Erg Chebbi. We will have time to wander around the dunes before watching the sunset, and will spend the evening in a Berber camp amidst the dunes where we will have a campfire and enjoy a traditional Moroccan feast. After dark you can relax outside and marvel at the stars and crystal-clear Milky Way like few people have seen them. Overnight in Berber Camp.

DAY 5: Merzouga → Todra Canyon → Dades Valley → Roses Valley → Skoura Oasis → Ouarzazate

If you would like, your camel guide will wake you up early so that you can watch the spectacle of sunrise, when the color of the sand contrasts beautifully with the play of shadows on the dunes. Afterwards you might even want to try to sand-board down a dune or two. After a cup of tea, we will ride the camels back to the kasbah, where we will be able to freshen up before heading out of town and through Erfoud, where we will stop at a fossil workshop. We will continue through the Todra Gorge, known as "Morocco's Grand Canyon", as well as the Valley of the Roses, famous for its Rose Festival in May, and over the "Road of 1000 Kasbahs" by the Skoura Oasis before arriving in Ouarzazate (pronounced Warza-zat), a city in the middle of a barren plateau at an altitude of 1160 meters, established at the crossroads of all routes going north, south, east, and west. We will stop here to have dinner and spend the night.

DAY 6: Ouarzazate → Ait Benhaddou → Atlas Mountains → Marrakech

After breakfast we will take some time to explore Ouarzazate, which is known as the "Hollywood of Morocco". Ouarzazate's studios have produced films including "Lawrence of Arabia", "Alexander the Great", "The Last Temptation of Christ" and "The Living Daylights". You will have the chance to visit Atlas Studios, one of the most famous studios in Africa, to see where many of these blockbusters were shot. You will also have the chance to visit the iconic Taourirt Kasbah, which was once the seat of power for the powerful Glaoui clan that controlled this region. We will leave Ouarzazate for Marrakech, first stopping at the nearby Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, the most famous kasbah in Morocco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the backdrop for many of Ouarzazate's films including notably "Lawrence of Arabia". In the afternoon we will continue north across the High Atlas Mountains. The road, completed by the French Foreign Legion in 1936, winds up over the Tizi n'Tichka Pass and offers stunning views over the mountains before descending past Berber villages to the plains surrounding Marrakech. Even today, the name Marrakech conjures up scenery straight out of Arabian Nights - alleyways, souks, and market stalls. This remarkable city, with the graceful architecture of the renowned 11th-century Koutoubia Minaret dominating the skyline, never fails to satisfy the curiosity of adventurous travelers. We will have dinner in Marrakech and spend the night.

DAY 7: Marrakech Sightseeing escorted by a local guide

After breakfast we will set off on a guided tour of Marrakech, known as the "Southern Pearl" of Morocco, which has for centuries been an important stop for traders and travelers alike. On our tour we will visit the Bahia Palace, the 16th-century Saadian tombs, and Menara and Majorelle Gardens. You will have some free time to have some lunch and visit the Koutoubia Mosque, whose 77 meter minaret dominates the center of Marrakech, and wander through the winding alleyways of the old medina. We will continue to the Djemaa el Fna Square where you can try bartering with the locals or have a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice on one of the many rooftop terraces overlooking the square. After the sun sets you will witness Djemaa el Fna becoming even livelier and overflowing with food vendors. We will spend the night in Marrakech.

DAY 8: Marrakech at Leisure → Transfer to the Airport

Today we will make as much use of our time as possible, wandering around the souks of Marrakech and finding souvenirs or gifts for friends before we take you to Marrakech Menara airport with plenty of time to catch your departure flight.

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Other Tours

We are experts at creating a Moroccan experience perfectly tailored to our guests needs. These are some of our most popular itineraries, and they may be customized to the utmost extent of your imaginations.

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