Morocco Explorer


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A cultural journey exploring the highlights of Morocco


Join Casablanca

If you are arriving on Day 1 of the trip you will be met and transferred to your group hotel. If you arrive on any other day please make your own way to the joining hotel as listed on your final tour voucher. Meet your guide and group members at a briefing at approximately 7:00pm on Day 1 (details will be at the reception of group hotel). Overnight: Idou Anfa Hotel (or similar).

Drive to Rabat (approx 2 hrs drive)

This morning we will visit Casablanca’s beautiful Hassan II Mosque. Then we willdrive to Rabat, the capital of Morocco, to visit the Grand Mosque - another very imposing and highly decorated structure. Overnight Riad Kelaa (or similar). Approxdriving time: 2 hrs.

Drive to Chefchaouen (approx 4.5 hrs drive)

Drive north along the fertile plains to Ouazzane. Continue on the mountain road to Chefchaouen, which is built on the lower slopes of the Rif Mountains. The houses here are painted blue, typical of the Andalusian style. In the late afternoon we will visit the Medina. Overnight Hotel Dar Mounir (or similar). Approx driving time: 4.5 hrs.

Explore Chefchaouen

Full day to soak up the atmosphere of the prettiest mountain town of the Rif mountain range. After breakfast, we will have a guided tour to the Medina including the Kasbah, the Outa Lhmam square and the souks. There will be free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. The guide can offer various suggestions, such as a walk up to the Spanish mosque via the spring of Ras El Ma for a panoramic view; or visit to a local weaving shop or cooperative. Overnight Hotel Dar Mounir (or similar).

Drive to Fes via Moulay Idriss, Volubilis and Meknes (approx 4.5 hrs drive)

Today we have time to explore the ancient Roman ruins at Volubilis, the largest and best preserved in the country and originally one of the Roman Empire’s remotest outposts. We also wander around the beautiful village of Moulay Idriss, a holy site, named after Morocco’s most revered saint of the same name. Moulay Idriss was the great grandson of the Prophet Mohammed and founder of the first Moroccan dynasty. The city of Meknes was once the heart of the Moroccan sultanate with many impressive buildings as a result. Continuing to Fes, founded in the late 8th Century shortly after the Arabs swept across North Africa and Spain, we arrive at the symbolic heart of Morocco. It has become the cultural and religious centre of the country and has retained a distinctly Arab identity despite the arrival of some Berbers from the interior over the centuries. Today Fes is made up of three sections, the modern Ville Nouvelle, with its chic cafe-lined avenues, Fes el-Jdid and Fes el- Bali. Fes el-Bali is the original Medina and is one of the largest medieval cities in the world. Overnight Riad Yacout (or similar). Approx driving time: 4.5 hrs.

Explore Fes

After a guided tour of the city and old Medina we drive to Borj Sud, a Christian fort built in the 17th Century, for an almost aerial view of the old city and its surrounding olive groves. From here we venture into the Medina of Fes el-Bali which dates back to the 8th Century. In 1976 UNESCO declared this Medina one of the world’s cultural treasures; the palaces, mosques and fountains are among the most beautiful in Morocco. The colours and aromas of the olive and spice stores mixed in with communal bakeries and the mysterious perfume shops are just some of the delights that make this journey through the ancient alleyways, full of scurrying people and surprises, a memorable experience. We will also visit the tannery to watch the dying of leathers and a mosaic and tile factory to see how these stunning local handicrafts are made. We will enjoy a lunch in a traditional Moroccan restaurant. Overnight Riad Yacout (or similar).

Drive to Erg Chebbi (approx 8 hrs drive)

Today we will be on the road by 7:00am. We travel in our air-conditioned minibus passing through the agricultural regions of north Morocco and the fertile plains irrigated by the Oued Aggai in the foothills of the Middle Atlas. We then begin a long climb through an old cedar forest and holm oaks. The scenery changes dramatically where beyond Timhadite lies a completely barren plateau, reminiscent of a lunar landscape pitted with small volcanic craters, the largest of which is Sidi Ali, an immense lake bordered by steep cliffs. After stopping for lunch at the breathtaking Ziz Gorges we continue on past palm-fringed towns to Erfoud and Merzouga, and to the sand dunes at Erg Chebbi. Here the deep orange-hued dunes of the vast Sahara stretch for miles. Overnight Auberge Tombouctou (or similar). Approx driving time: 8 hrs.

Erg Chebbi, drive to the Dades Gorge (approx 5 hrs drive)

Today we'll rise before dawn to experience the amazing colours of a Saharan sunrise from the saddle of the traditional Berber transport: a camel. On returning to our hotel we have breakfast and commence our journey to the Dades Gorge. En route we have lunch at the spectacular Todra Gorges and visit some of Morocco’s greatest antiquities, the Kasbahs of the eastern slopes of the High Atlas. We drive on to the spectacular Dades Gorge where we stay in a small local hotel. We also take time to explore the countryside and wander for a few hours through the fertile fields and local villages soaking in rural Morocco. Overnight Hotel Xaluca (or similar). Approx driving time: 5 hrs.

Visit Berber villages en route to Ouarzazate (approx 2.5 hrs drive)

En route to Ouarzazate (pronounced war-zar-zate), we explore the Kasbahs, oasis and Berber villages in the fertile valleys along the eastern flanks of the Atlas Mountains. We may visit the ancient Kasbahs of Skoura and depending on the day, explore the markets of El-Klaa Mgouna. The earthen town of Ouarzazate lies among the shadows of date and pomegranate trees on the banks of the Dades River. Overnight Dar Mouna guesthouse near Ait Ben Haddou (or similar in Ouarzazate). Approx driving time: 2.5 hrs.

Visit Ait Ben Haddou then to Marrakesh (approx 4.5 hrs drive)

This morning we will visit the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, the most exotic and best preserved in the entire Atlas area. We will have lunch here before continuing on to Telouet and the former palace of Pasha El Glaoui, the Berber chieftain. Passing sandy coloured Kasbahs and the shy Berber women in their traditional black costumes, we leave the arid desert area and cross the High Atlas Mountains to arrive in Marrakesh late in the afternoon. Framed by the snowy heights of the Atlas Mountains and thousand-year-old palm groves, Marrakesh has a profound impact on all that visit it. Overnight Riad Berta (or similar). Approx driving time: 4.5 hrs.

Visit medinas, palaces and gardens in Marrakesh

Today we are led by our expert guide to discover the soul of Marrakesh. We visit gardens, mosques, palaces, and the souqs of the old Medina before reaching the humming centre of Marrakesh: the Djemaa el-Fna. The atmosphere of this square is overwhelming with its jumble of food stalls, snake charmers, fortune and storytellers and the wide variety of people that flock to its attractions. We return in the evening, when the square really comes alive. It is a must to taste the many wonderful dishes on offer at the stalls. You will be given your kit bag and sleeping bag to pack your gear for the trek. Overnight Riad Berta (or similar).

Trip concludes in Marrakesh

Our trip concludes after breakfast. You will be transferred to the airport if you depart Marrakesh today. For departure on any other day, transfers can be arranged at an additional cost.

Additional Information

Overflowing with rich cultural traditions, history and stunning architecture Morocco's imperial cities provide the framework for our journey. Explore Rabat, Meknes and the colourful markets and intricate laneways of the medieval medina in Fes. We also take a fascinating deviation to Chefchaouen, a gorgeous mountain city in northeastern Morocco with its distinctive blue-washed homes and a Mediterranean theme, before travelling across the foothills of the Middle Atlas. A natural divide between coast and desert influences, the other side of the mountains yields the distinctive architecture of kasbahs (ancient fortresses) and the deep orange colours of the dunes on the edge of the Sahara Desert captivate our attention. Our trip concludes in Marrakesh, one of the most important artistic centres in the Islamic world, where there is time to bargain in the souqs showcasing a wide variety of handicrafts and food. This trip is a true journey of contrasts and discovery.

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12 Days



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