Imperial cities and Sahara 14 days

  • Romance tour group of 2  people
  • Fun tour group of 4 to 5 people
  • Family & friends  6 to 8 people
  • Leisure group of 9  people & up

Itinerary

handsome young man smiling with bag at the airport

DAY 1: CASABLANCA / RABAT (Casablanca to Rabat: 70 km)

Upon your morning or evening arrival, you will be assisted by your host at Mohammed V Airport, then will set on a sightseeing tour of Casablanca, the largest port of the Maghreb – busier even than Marseille seaport, the city on which it was modeled from. Your visit will include the central market, the Habous district, the Royal Palace, the Mohamed V square, the residential area of Anfa, and the Hassan II Mosque. There will be an optional seafood lunch at the Corniche in Ain Diab (coastline). In the afternoon, you will depart to Rabat, the capital of the nation, where you can enjoy some quality leisure time.

DAY 2: RABAT / MEKNES / FES (Rabat to Meknes: 130 km/Meknes to Fes: 50 km)

Our visit begins in the Medina with the Kasbah of the Oudayas. Visit the venerated Mohamed V Mausoleum, the Hassan Tower, the Mosque, and the ramparts and walls of the Mechouar surrounding the Royal Palace. Then, we will move to Meknes via Volubilis and Moulay Idriss. This excursion embodies much of Morocco’s early history in the creation of the country’s first Arab dynasty. Then, continue to Fes where you will stay overnight.

DAY 3: FES

After breakfast, embark on a full-day tour of the city of Fes. The Holy City of Fes is a jewel of Spanish-Arabic civilization. Fes does not reveal its secrets easily; they need to be discovered little by little, with reverence. Only in this way can the splendors of Medrsa architecture be fully appreciated. Only in this way will the call of the medina tempt you. Bustling with artisans and merchants, its captivating sounds, fragrances, and colors mesmerize the visitor with a constant swirl of activity.

The great À Karaouiyne University has been a religious and intellectual center whose influence has spread far beyond the Kingdom’s boundaries for eleven centuries. As the cradle of religions and cultural/artistic traditions, Fes, the double city, is the kingdom’s spiritual capital. The Andalusia mosque, on the other hand, is accessed through a mighty door of sculpted cedar. An imposing minaret decorated with green faiences crowns the Rsif Mosque. The Medersas around the Karaouiyne Mosque, former lodging houses for students coming from outside the city, attest the importance of its thousand years of history. In the Medina, a labyrinth of sloping, winding alleyways is cramped and full of stalls and workshops. This is the famed Kissaria – the commercial center. A multitude of locally produced goods is on sale in this incredible maze-cotton fabric, silk, brocade work, slippers, and many more.

The craftsmen of the El Attarine souks offer the visitor a non-stop spectacle. For hundreds of years, such work has been regulated by traditional guilds, ensuring that its quality is worthy of the city. Each district has its own specialty such as cobalt blue enameled pottery, carpets, wrought iron, etc. Leaving the souks through the Boujeloud gate with its decoration of green and blue faiences, the riches contained in the wonderful Museum of Moroccan Art await one. There will be an optional lunch at the Medina and shopping in the afternoon. Spend the night at your scheduled hotel in Fes.

DAY 4: FES

All day will be spent on leisure, shopping, and we are open for special requests. Keep in mind that the car and driver are one call away at any time. Stay overnight at your scheduled hotel in Fes.

DAY 5: FES / AZROU / MIDELT / ERFOUD (Fes to Erfoud: 421 km)

After breakfast, go on an enjoyable drive across the Atlas Mountains in the morning. The first hills you will see of the Middle Atlas seem surprisingly un-Moroccan. There are evergreen pines, tall cedar trees on the peaks, and poplars on the foothills. The road across is almost ceremonial.

Azrou, the first real town of the Middle Atlas, stands at a major junction of routes. It is an important market center and has long held a strategic role in controlling the Berbers of the mountains.

At Midelt, you have left the Middle Atlas behind. Suddenly, through the haze, appear the much greater peaks of the High Atlas rising sheer behind the town to a massive range — the Djebel Ayashi at over 12000ft. The drama of that sight, tremendous in the clear and cool noon, is the most compelling reason to stop over for lunch. Stay overnight at your scheduled hotel in Erfoud.

DAY 6: ERFOUD / MERZOUGA

Leisurely enjoy the morning, then depart to Merzouga, one of the most pleasing of all southern routes. You will see a dry, red band of the desert, and then suddenly, a drop into the valley filled with date palm trees. Check in with the Touareg host, and enjoy lunch, dinner, and overnight stay under nomad tents.

travel items

DAY 7: MERZOUGA / OUARZAZATE

  • Merzouga to Tinerhir: 143 km
  • Tinerhir to Ouarzazate: 169 km

You will get an early wake-up call for the sunrise excursion to Dunes. An experience not to be missed is to watch the sun as it rises from the top of the golden dunes, a spectacular view of the Sahara which no words can describe. Head back to the tent for a special Breakfast with the Touareg people, then continue on to explore the holy ancient city of Rissani. In the early afternoon, depart to Tinghir. You will find the highest and the narrowest gorges in the region, the Todra’s, only 15 km from Tinghir. Traveling through the Dades valley in spring, you will find the bloom of thousands of Persian roses – cultivated as hedgerows dividing the plots. There will be thousands of Kasbahs scattered along the Dades River through El Kelaa Des Mgouna and Boumaine. Lunch at a local restaurant located at the feet of canyons. Continuation to Ouarzazate. Overnight at your scheduled hotel in Ouarzazate.

DAY 8: OUARZAZATE / ZAGORA / OUARZAZATE (165 km)

  1. After early breakfast, today’s adventures include a day trip into Zagora and surrounding regions. You will have the chance to view the 12th-century vellum copies of the Koran and historical documents at one of the oldest library in Morocco. There will be an optional lunch in Tamgroute before returning to Ouarzazate for the rest of the evening.
  2. After a relaxing breakfast, visit the carefully Taourirt Kasbah, where outstanding views of the fortified town and valley can be seen from the terrace. Stay overnight at your scheduled hotel in Ouarzazate.

DAY 9: OUARZAZATE/ MARRAKECH (Ouarzazate to Marrakech: 240 km)

After breakfast, take part in a sightseeing tour at Ouarzazate. Continue on to Marrakech with a visit to Ait Benhaddou. Enjoy the day leisurely, and spend the night at your scheduled hotel in Marrakech.

DAY 10: MARRAKECH

After breakfast, start a full-day tour of Marrakech. A historic visit in Marrakech will include the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flowers, reflecting the image of a beautiful Moorish construction built in 1866 for the dignitaries. See glorious sunsets with the Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. Also, the pool is a functional irrigation system to the surrounding areas. The tour will see several impressive sights such as the Koutoubia Minaret (the twin tower of la Giralda in Sevilla, Spain) and the Saadian tombs demonstrating Moorish architecture in its perfection. The tombs, consisting of splendid mausoleums built in the sixteenth century, were walled for some time, not to be discovered until 1917.

Other sites include the museum of Dar Si Said with the best display of Berber arts and crafts to be found and the remains of the Badii Palace, a historical monument chosen to host the annual National Festival of Popular Art beginning the second Friday in June. The Bahia Palace still hosts dignitaries in the heart of the Mellah (Jewish quarter) today. Lunch will be at the hotel, then you can have a walk through the colorful souks of Marrakech in the afternoon. Conclude the day with a sunset drink overlooking the exciting Jamaa El Fna Square. There will be an optional dinner at “Chez Ali” under Berber tents with a Fantasia show (is not included in the package and needs a reservation). Stay overnight at your scheduled hotel in Marrakech.

DAY 11: MARRAKECH / OURIKA / MARRAKECH (40 km)

Partake in an excursion to the Ourika Valley where we will visit Berber souks and Jewish Shrines. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon of shopping in the Medina. Return to Marrakech for dinner and stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 12: MARRAKECH / ESSAOUIRA (Marrakech to Essaouira 175 km)
Depart to Essaouira (Mogador). Apart from the immediate impact of sea air and the friendly animation of the town, the predominant images of Essaouira are of the Atlantic — picture a rugged coast and offshore islands, the vast expense of empty sands trailing back along the promontory to the south, and the almost gothic scenery of the eighteenth-century fortifications. You can have optional lunch at Chalet de la Mer and stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 13: ESSAOUIRA / EL JADIDA / CASABLANCA (Essaouira to Casablanca: 369 km)

After breakfast, you will depart to Casablanca via El Jadida and stop at El Oualidia. Relax and enjoy a seafood lunch. Stop along the coastline to El Jadida and visit the citadel. Visit the Vestige of the Portuguese occupation during the 11th century. Continue to Casablanca where you will stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 14: CASABLANCA / AIRPORT MOHAMMED V

Head to the Mohammed V Airport to catch your flight back to your home after having a memorable trip that you will cherish for a lifetime!

Our services include:

1. Accommodation at first-class hotels and Riads

2. Transportation:
a. Transportation by a deluxe vehicle according to the number of participants with a professional English-speaking driver as a guide.
b. Camel trek
c. Excursion by Land Rover 4X4 for an overnight stay under nomad tents in Merzouga

3. Guides:
a. Local guides in each major city
b. Entrance fee to monuments
c. Tips for luggage handling: only at the airport and hotels are included

4. Meals:
a. 4 hotels: 2 meals a day
b. Daily breakfast and choice in between lunch and dinner at the hotels as indicated in the program
c. Riads and 5* hotels: daily breakfast
d. Overnight in Merzouga: Full Board (FB) — breakfast, lunch, and dinner under a tent in Merzouga

5. Full assistance will be provided by our local office in Casablanca as needed.

6. All applicable taxes will be included.

Not included unless stated otherwise:

  1. Discounted Air Fares: from all major cities in the USA to Casablanca and beyond are available by request
  2. Insurance: we highly recommend for clients to buy an individual travel insurance
  3. Tips: tips to guides, drivers, laundry, phone calls, room service are beyond our package