DAY 1: Arrival in Casablanca → transfer to Rabat
We will meet you upon your arrival in Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, after which we will take a short tour of the city. We will visit the grounds of the immense Hassan II Mosque, one of the Islamic world's greatest monuments, which features the world's tallest minaret and is the only working mosque in Morocco that can be visited by non-Muslims. After our tour we will depart to Rabat, Morocco's diplomatic and administrative capital. We will briefly introduce you to some of the city's most important sights, including the Kasbah des Oudayas and the Mohammed V Mausoleum, before taking you to your riad or hotel to let you settle in. We will spend the night in Rabat.
DAY 2: Rabat → Asilah → Rif Mountains → Chefchaouen
After breakfast we will begin our journey towards the mountains, stopping along the way in Asilah; a fortified town from the Portuguese colonial era with 15th-century ramparts and gates, the town is a brief taste of Spain mixed with Moroccan traditions. We will then continue to Chefchaouen, as we ascend into the towering Rif Mountains - a dramatic entrance to the vividly blue-colored town of Chefchaouen, set like a sapphire stone among the jagged mountain peaks. Once you are settled in the night’s Riad, you will have some time to walk among the blue and white walls of the medina and explore the unique local crafts markets. With a unique aesthetic framed by an unforgettable view among the mountains, Chefchaouen is a one-of-a-kind destination for photographers. In the evening you can enjoy a traditional meal at one of the hotel's three rooftop terraces before relaxing under the crystal-clear Moroccan night-sky.
DAY 3: Chefchaouen sightseeing → Optional trip to Akchour waterfalls
After breakfast you may choose a guided tour through the weaving Medina, or have a free day walking through the local markets where you can take in the unique offerings of the Moroccan highlands. Should you so choose, we can arrange a half-day (4 hours) trekking trip to Akchour waterfalls.
DAY 4: Chefchaouen → Volubilis → Moulay Idriss → Meknes → Fes
Following breakfast we will visit the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the best-preserved Roman ruins in North Africa, its detailed mosaics and architecture offering a unique perspective on Morocco's ancient history. We will then continue our journey passing through Meknes, an imperial city often called the "Versailles of Morocco" owing to the grandeur and intricacy of its buildings and monuments, before making our way to Fes, the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco. In Fes we will check into your hotel before having dinner and settling in for the night.
DAY 5: Fes Sightseeing escorted by an official local guide
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.
DAY 6: Fes → Ifrane → Azrou → Midelt → Ziz gorges → Erfoud → Rissani → Merzouga
We continue our journey onwards from Fes to Ifrane, through hills blanketed in forests of cork oak and giant cedar, where a few Barbary apes still call home. Passing through the Middle and High Atlas ranges, we will catch our first glimpse of Southern Morocco’s unique architectural style and stop for lunch overlooking a breathtaking view of the dramatic peaks of the High Atlas rising behind the town of Midelt. As we descend into the desert plains, the view changes from dramatic mountain peaks to an expansive oasis punctuated by countless Ksours (fortified villages), which then give way to a vast stony plain that marks the edges of the Sahara. Once among the dunes, you will be welcomed into a charming Kasbah where you will be able to relax beside the swimming pool, and enjoy the tunes of a desert blues band well into the evening.
DAY 7: Merzouga Culture and Traditions → Tea with Nomads → Camel Trekking in the Erg Chebbi
Watching the sun rise amongst the dunes is a magical experience, and not to be missed. Your breakfast will be waiting for you upon your return, after which you will have the opportunity to visit the nomadic communities around Merzouga, stopping for tea in the souks, and enjoying the traditional Gnawa music. As the mid-day sun wanes, we will mount our camels and trek into the pink sands of the Moroccan Sahara; here, we will have ample free time for you to explore and take in the beauty and vastness of the desert dunes. Once the sun sets, a Moroccan dinner will be served alongside live music around the campfire, after which you are free to explore again - this time in the company of a million stars exploding against the pitch-black sky, and the all-encompassing silence of the Sahara at night.
DAY 8: Merzouga → Rissani → Todra Gorge → Dades Valley
At your request, our staff will wake you at the crack of dawn to witness the spectacle of the desert sunrise, the colour of the sand contrasting beautifully with the palette of shadows on the dunes. After some light breakfast and tea we will ride the camels back across the desert to the Kasbah to freshen up before our journey back West towards the Todra Gorge, known as "Morocco's Grand Canyon". We will have lunch here and amble along the valley to take in the view.In some time we arrive at the Dades Gorge, where we watch the sunset's orange glow against the rocks before having dinner and spending the night in our hotel.
DAY 9: Dades Valley → Roses Valley → Skoura Oasis → Ouarzazate → Ait Ben Haddou → High Atlas → Marrakech
In the morning, we venture off the beaten track into the heart of the high Atlas mountains to share tea with a Berber nomad family in their tents, stopping for a brief hike above the valley ridge and visiting the Berber troglodyte villages. From there, we continue on to Ouarzazate, a bustling southern city often referred to as "The Hollywood of Morocco" owing to the many famous films shot on location such as Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, and Kingdom of Heaven, as well as several seasons of the hit show, Game of Thrones. Here, we will explore the nearby Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, the most famous kasbah inMorocco, 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.
DAY 10: Marrakech Sightseeing escorted by an official local guide
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 it’s pampering yourself at a local hammam or further exploring the souks of the medina. We will spend the night at our hotel in Marrakech.
DAY 11: Marrakech → Essaouira
Departing Marrakech after breakfast, we make our way through lush valleys filled with orange groves, ancient olive trees, and argan oil cooperatives to the quaint seaside town of Essaouira. This windswept fishing port with its broad beaches and an ancient walled medina, has long been a popular vacation destination for Moroccans. It is also a creative hub where many of the country's wood carvers and artists have made their home, and each year, hosts the Gnaouas Music Festival in the month of June. Stroll along the ramparts and beach as you take in the relaxed vibe of its small but lively medina, or visit the port to savour the catch of the day. We will have dinner in Essaouira and spend the night in a tranquil local hotel.
DAY 12: Essaouira sandy beach at leisure
Breakfast is served at your riad, and it’s time to explore Essaouria at your leisure. Meet local artists in their studios and browse their artwork, or head to the lively fish market for a savory lunch of fresh grilled fish caught just this morning. A short walk along the beach at low tide reveals the crumbling ruins of the fort of Borj El Barod, and a boat ride to the island of Mogador offers glimpses of the rare Eleanora's falcon. Should you fancy watersports, you may even want to try one of the many offered on the popular local beaches, including surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding, and kayaking. If you are feeling somewhat tired from your travels, Essaouria is a perfect place to recoup - simply sit in one of the many beachside cafes on Place Moulay Hassan, relax, and watch the waves roll in with a mint tea and a Moroccan pastry. We will once again spend the night in our Essaouiran riad.
DAY 13: Essaouira → Casablanca
On this final day of your Moroccan adventure, we will leave Essaouria and journey back to the bustling city of Casablanca, continuing up the coastline through quiet coastal towns to El Jadida where we may pay a visit to the citadel and be able to see the underground cistern. Upon our arrival in Casablanca we will have dinner and spend the night at our hotel.
DAY 14: Casablanca → Transfer to the Airport
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.