Arriving at Mohammed V airport in Casablanca, your trip will start from this commercial capital of Morocco and enjoy a day trip visiting the seaside Cornish of Ain Diab. You will also visit the magnificent Hassan II mosque, the second largest religious building in the world, which is open to non-Muslims.an overnight in a hotel in Casablanca.
After breakfast, your tour will take you to Rabat the political and administrative capital of Morocco. In Rabat, you will visit a wonderful Kasbah ‘Oudaia Kasbah’, the Hassan Tower and Chellah Necropolis. You will then set off for Chefchaouen city via Kenitra and over the Rif mountains to Wazzan and spend a night in a guest house or in a hotel in Chefchaouen ‘the blue’ city of Morocco.
Today, your tour will take you to discover a delightful town, with its steep, narrow streets and white and indigo lime-washed buildings. The Place Uta el-Hamman, the square at the heart of the old town, is ideal for a relaxed stroll, and is close to the Grand Mosque. Nearby are the Fondouk, the Kasbah and Museum. The Medina, with its maze of alleyways, contains more than 100 weavers’ workshops / Chefchaouen is famous for the woolen Jellabas that are woven here. The Quartier Al-Andalus district also contains highly decorated and painted houses. Overnight at a hotel or guest house in Chefchaouen.
After breakfast we leave Chefchaoun, crossing the Rif mountains and arriving at the ancient Roman town of Volubilis, with its Basilica, mosaic of Diana and the Bathing Nymphs, and Triumphal Arch. Continuing on to Meknes, you will have the opportunity to see Bab Mansour el-Aleuj (Gate of the Victorious Renegade) said to be the finest gate in Meknes, or even Morocco. After a visit to the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail and stroll around the medina, we set off for Fes. Overnight at a hotel or a Riad in Fes.
You will spend most of the day with a local guide exploring the attractions of Fes, which was founded 1,000 years ago by the second Moulay Idriss. Your tour starts from the Royal Palace gate and takes you through the narrow streets of the medina to the Jewish Quarter and the Tanneries. This tour highlights all the sites with cultural and historical interest including the Bou Inania Medersa and the Karaouiyine Mosque. Afterwards you will visit the ceramics cooperative to see traditional Moroccan crafts. In the afternoon we will take you to admire the panoramic view over the Medina, and visit the new city to experience modern Fes
After breakfast, your trip will take you to Fes and travel through the heart of the Middle Atlas. We will drive through Ifrane, known as “Little Switzerland” due to its likeness to a Swiss Alpine resort. We then travel to Azrou, an important market town known for its Berber carpets. You will spend some time in the Cedar Forest / the largest in Morocco / and see the Barbary apes that live here. After lunch, we cross the Atlas Mountains through a small pass where you may see some nomadic shepherds with their flocks before arriving at your hotel in Midelt. you will spend a night in hotel or a guest house in Midelt.
After breakfast, we drive to the Sahara Desert via the town of Erfoud, known for its date festival celebrated each November. Arriving in Merzouga, you will be welcomed with a refreshing cup of mint tea. You may choose to join a Berber family for lunch where you can learn more about their culture. In the afternoon a camel ride will take you across the sand dunes to a Bedouin camp where you will spend the night experiencing the immensity and silence of the desert. Overnight in a tent camp.
Waking up early, you will experience possibly the most spectacular sunrise of your life. You will then return to your hotel by camel for breakfast and a shower. We will take a short drive to the Potential Lake which has a large and diverse bird population. From there we will visit the village of Khamlia to experience the music and life of the Gnaoua, descended from slaves brought to Morocco from Mali, Mauritania, Guinea, and Ghana. In the afternoon we circle the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi and discover the black Hamada desert where we will meet some nomads and learn about nomadic life over a cup of refreshing mint tea. Overnight in a hotel
After breakfast, we set off for Erfoud / fossil town. Here you will see stalls selling crystals and semi-precious stones as well as fossils. The workshop Usine de Marmara is open to visitors. Leaving Ewe we travel through Todra Gorge, a narrow corridor with sheer cliffs 300m (985ft) high rising up dramatically on each side. These are the most impressive cliffs in southern Morocco and they are well known to experienced mountaineers. We will have lunch before continuing to the Dades Valley where you will see some impressive rock formations known by locals as “monkey toes” as well as interesting mud Kasbahs. Spend a night by the Dades Valley in a riad or a hotel.
Today we travel off-road and explore the region between the Dades Valley and the Valley of Roses. You will encounter the local nomads, some of whom still live in caves and tents. At El-Kelaa M’Gouna up to 4000 tonnes of rose petals are picked every spring to be processed into rosewater or exported for the perfume industry. The Rose Festival is held here in May. As we travel from El-Kelaa M’Gouna towards Skoura you will see Kasbahs set out among the greenery of the Dades Valley. The small town of Skoura is surrounded by an impressive palm grove and the most beautiful Kasbahs in southern Morocco are to be found here. You may like to stroll round or visit the most impressive Kasbah / Amerhidil. On arrival in Ouarzazate / the Hollywood of Africa / you may visit the stunning Taourirt Kasbah and the Atlas Film Studios. Spend a night in a Kasbah or riad.
After breakfast, we travel north arriving at the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou; probably the most celebrated, filmed and photographed Kasbah in Morocco. Featured in numerous films (including Lawrence of Arabia, The Sheltering Sky and Gladiator), it is the best-preserved Kasbah in Morocco and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We cross the Atlas Mountains by the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass which at an altitude of 2260m (7417ft) is the highest pass in Morocco. You will enjoy amazing views of this fascinating landscape and Berber villages. We arrive in Essaouira in the late afternoon where you will be accommodated in a riad or guesthouse.
After breakfast, you will visit the ramparts called the Skkala, one of Essaouira’s main attractions. You will also see the Mellah, the former Jewish quarter and the Medina. The pedestrianised Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful arts and crafts to be found including objects carved out of local Thuya wood. You can sample fresh local fish for lunch. In the afternoon you will have free time to walk around the Main Square and Medina, enjoy a mint tea in one of the local cafés and explore the Atlantic-facing sandy beach. Overnight at your riad or guest house.
After breakfast in Essaouira, we leave for Marrakesh. En route you will see many Argan trees, important to the region both economically and ecologically. You may also see local goats perched in the trees feeding on the fruit and leaves. At the Women’s Co-operative of Argan Oil you will learn about the wide-ranging applications of the oil, from cosmetics to medicines. After lunch in the new city of Marrakech, you will check in to your riad in the Medina. In the afternoon you may choose to explore the famous Jemaa el Fna square with its fortune tellers, snake charmers, acrobats, and musicians. Overnight at a riad in the heart of the old Medina.
Today, your local guide will take you to see the historic sites of Marrakesh including the Koutoubia Mosque, Emma el Fna square, the souks of the Medina, the Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, and the famous Ben Youssef Medersa. In the afternoon your private driver/guide will take you to visit the Majorelle and Menara gardens. You will have dinner at a local restaurant and stay overnight at your riad.
Depending on your flight time, there may be an opportunity for some last minute shopping before we collect you for your transfer to the airport.