15 Days Grand Tour of Morocco
Day 1: TANGIER – ASILAH
Pick up after your arrival at the place where we indicate and this morning will be free to have a first look at the city of Tangiers, you will be able to admire its narrow zigzag streets, the houses with their arabesque paintings and its medina; one of the largest and most historic of the country, it has never been restored so it has a special charm.
We will make a visit to the Hafa Café that is located on a steep cliff that ends abruptly in the neighbourhood of Marshan, at the top of the Tangier hills.
After lunch we will continue toward Asilah where we will visit the Caves of Hercules, pass by Cape Spartal, crowned with beautiful views of the strait and the headland and we will continue toward the caves facing the Atlantic which are flooded during high tides, visit their interiors that house several rooms and multiple hidden corners, in addition to the central space with an exit to the sea that calls to mind the silhouette of Africa.
Asilah is one of the strengths of Moroccan tourism in the north, located on the edge of the sea, it has a special charm. Its medina is characterized by the luminosity of the sky and the constant sound of the sea in its quiet clean streets and there are whitewashed houses adorned with paintings, murals of the artists who visit and make this city a special beauty. The walls that surround the small town full of labyrinthine streets are decorated in white and blue, itis one of the most beautiful Atlantic medinas, with a bohemian and avant-garde air, art, poetry and painting.
We discover cuisine that uses the freshest fish that returns in small boats each noon, and where time stops in the peace of the alleys, embroideries of silence embraced by the wall that protects the town during the bad weather of the ocean.
Accommodation in a hotel.
Day 2: ASILAH – RABAT
Today our journey will continue towards Rabat, known as “The Garden City”, a perfect combination of ancient and modern city, one of the most dynamic and commercial of the country where you can find one of the most famous monuments of Morocco, “The Hassan Tower”, which is located at the top of a city hill, the views from the river are extraordinary, particularly at night when it is illuminated giving a truly beautiful added touch.
Rabat medina is a place to get lost in, without a doubt, there is an ease with which you can stroll through its streets, full of shops and a mix of smells and products of all kinds, crafts, carpets, spices, food, animals, etc… You will be able to enjoy all of Rabat at your pace during the day today. Accommodation in a riad.
Day 3: RABAT – CASABLANCA
The old Medina of Casablanca can only be visited on foot and is the real heart of the city; its walls with bastions dating back to the sixteenth century, its network of small narrow streets and extremely colourful life fill this medina with atmosphere. There are all kinds of items on sale and you can breathe in the ambience of daily life, wander through the narrow winding streets in which the aromas of the spices is constantly perceptible or simply observe the industriousness of its many craftsmen. Accommodation in a hotel.
Day 4: CASABLANCA – SAFI – ESSAOUIRA
Our trip continues bordering the Atlantic and enjoying the beautiful coastal scenery that surrounds us until you reach Essaouira, located in a small rocky platform slightly inset from the sea and with a great personality. This is a very quiet town where its beauty does not go unnoticed, known as the pearl of the Atlantic, the Sleeping Beauty or the Windy City due to its great sand beach and its trade winds making the area into a place for surfers. There is a small medina where the tranquil streets and orderly paths lend their own personality and make this different from other medinas. The fishing, handicrafts and tourism are the towns main business and we cannot miss the colourful and lively spectacle of the boats returning to port with their gulls flyingbetween them. We take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the charm of the narrow streets, white walls and the blue painted doors and we can notice a relaxed and quiet atmosphere in the medina.
Day 5: ESSAOUIRA – MARRAKECH
Today we will have time to finish enjoying Essaouira, after lunch we head toward Marrakech where we arrive in the middle of the afternoon and you will be able to get your first taste of this city.
Day 6: MARRAKESH
Today we will discover the fascinating history of Marrakesh in the hands of a local guide, visiting the famous Koutoubia, Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs and the Menara Gardens.
Eat lunch at a typical restaurant in the medina (paid by the client) and then the afternoon will be free to discover the charms of this city for yourselves, which means walking through the streets of the medina, savouring the traditional Moroccan food in the Djemma el-Fna Square or getting lost in its immense souk. Being in this city means you are able to observe the essential Morocco, constantly changing… The former beauty of the city is still visibletoday, along with the tastiest spices, the smell of fresh mint, the bustle of its impressive souk, the largest in all of Morocco and the sound of the snake charmers. Marrakesh is all this and more as the capital of the south and the epicenter of Moroccan tourism and handicrafts.
The medina is the main point of this city, including the souk and its beautiful Djemaa-el Fna Square. In contrast to medinas as big as the one in Fes, getting lost in here involves no risk and is in fact very common, the traveller will find shops of many varied products, food stalls where the traditional soup of snails is served and indicated by the intense smell of the mint and some fantastic herb stalls.
The Djemma el-Fna Square is where all the alleyways of the medina lead to. Admittedly this is a very busy square, occasionally overwhelming if it´s your first time. However it is a magical place, in which it is difficult to resist staying a long time. The square is full of markets stalls of juice and dried fruit in the mornings then in the evening jugglers, magicians, snake charmers and storytellers meet. The square has recently been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Day 7: MARRAKECH – OUZOUD WATERFALLS – MARRAKECH
After breakfast our journey continues to the Cascades of Ouzoud located in the Middle Atlas and without any doubt they the most spectacular waterfallsin the North of Africa. With a 110 metre drop they are located in the middle of a landscape of clay and surrounded by rivers and impressive gorges.
Its surroundings are regularly frequented by macaques (monkeys) making Ouzoud a place even more special, well worth a visit to spend a relaxing day.
We will return in the middle of the afternoon to Marrakech.
Day 8: MARRAKECH – AIT BENHADDOU – OUARZAZATE – DADES GORGE
Today after breakfast our route will continue towards the Dades Gorge. We cross the High Atlas mountains which offer us extraordinary landscapes to enjoy, the colours constantly change from oranges to greens, the shoulders of the roads are busy with vendors and for a landscape really worth viewing, we will cross the mountain pass Tizi n’Tichka; the highest point of the route at 2,260 meters of altitude.
Our journey through the mountains will take us towards Ouarzazate. On the road as we go we will be seeing kasbahs, sets of genuine adobe houses, and then we arrive at Ait Benhaddou (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO); this fortified Kasbah was inhabited by the tribe of Ben Haddou until it began to deteriorate, so UNESCO helped to rehabilitate a large part of the building. Ait Benhaddou is a majestic sand coloured fort with an interior that looks like the set of a movie and is very impressive to stroll around. The citadel itself is tiny and consists of only a few streets, pebbled and narrow,climbing until you reach the top of the fortification where there are some splendid views of the red, dry and dusty mountains.
After lunch we will continue towards Ouarzazate. This is the point that joins the mountains and the desert together. Passing through the valley of Skoura; an important enclave of greenery which has more than 700,000 date palms and that stands out for its kasbahs, scattered throughout the oasis and its surroundings, our route continues in the direction of the Valley of Roses, situated at the foot of the High Atlas, as its name indicates this is the area of amost important crop and is very interesting from the point of view of tourism as you will see 30 km of uninterrupted cultivation of roses and some splendidscenery nestled at the foot of an ochre coloured canyon that offers a true spectacle of beauty and is one of the places that is most important in Morocco.
We will arrive at the Dades Gorge to spend the night.
Day 9: DADES VALLEY – TODRA GORGE – MERZOUGA
Today after a traditional Moroccan breakfast we will head toward Merzouga desert, we make a stop to visit the large Todra palm grove with its kasbahs and its typical villages, where the river runs through the whole oasis of Todra and on its shores grow palm trees full of dates, olive trees and several crops. Our route continues to the impressive gorge of the Todra Gorge, a mandatory stop to contemplate the great canyon, formed by red limestone rock vertical walls and where the most spectacular last 600 meters of the canyon narrows to have a width of about 10 metres and at 160 metres in height is a incredible picture of stone including a river of crystal clear waters. This picturesque environment makes it an obligatory stop before we will arrive at the foot of Erg Chebbi where we will be for the night.
Day 10: MERZOUGA – ERG CHEBBI – MERZOUGA
Today is all about enjoying the magic of the dunes, so we will start very early and take a tour through the heart of the desert in our 4×4, by the lake or Dayet Sriji, Lake of the Flamingos, where depending on the winter weather there is more or less water and where many birds go to hibernate, mainly the flamingos, then we pass by Khamlia (village of the blacks) where we stop. This town has a population of 334 inhabitants of mainly Gnaoua and Berber ethnicity, who originated in Black Africa before moving to the Sahara and beginning to settle with the nomadic Berbers. Its people are warm, quiet and friendly and music is an important part of their culture At Khamlia we will enjoy their hospitality, take a cup of tea and listen to Gnaoua music, all while resting between the dunes in the wonderful landscape of the desert. Our route continues by the dunes where the Paris-Dakar rally passes, and if we meet any of the semi-nomadic families that live in the area in this sea of sand and stone, it will be an adventure that you will enjoy every second!!
We will come back to the hotel where in the afternoon camels lead us to the foot of the large dune, an experience that will no doubt astound you and for the next hour and a half we can go taking photographs. At night you will be able to see that the desert transforms and becomes a very different colour and can also get quite cool depending on the time of year you go. You will eat dinner to the rhythm of the drums as we sing and play and likely as not the big camp fire will make great company until we are ready to go to sleep. This magical night and authentic night under the starry sky of the desert is best enjoyed by leaving all your worries behind.
Dinner and accommodation in Haimas (nomad tents) in the middle of the desert.
Day 11: MERZOUGA – RISSANI – ZIZ VALLEY – MIDELT
Seeing the dawn is without any doubt one of the greatest spectacles in the desert so today it’s an early rise to contemplate this wonderful sight, you should not miss seeing the changes of colour that the dunes go through as the sun rises over the horizon. A visual spectacle that you are not going to forget. Camels await us to return to the riad and we have a good shower and a traditional Moroccan breakfast, then we will continue toward Rissani, very famous for its market, the atmosphere strolling through the souks of Rissani is not to be found in any other place in Morocco. The city prides itself on being the last commercial centre before the desert, at twilight the roofs filter the evening sunrays into an kaleidoscope of colours and aromas of the combination of well known spices overtake the senses.
Our route continues toward Erfoud; one of the charms of this small village is its tranquility, we will also have the possibility of visiting a factory of fossilsbefore passing through the Ziz valley, an immense and splendid valley, a natural space surrounded by peculiar, reddish sandy canyons and the impressive palm grove that stretches on for miles and miles. We will continue toward Midelt arriving by nightfall.
Day 12: MIDELT – MEKNES – FES
Today our route continues to Meknes to visit the ruins of Volubilis, we pass by the mountain range of the Rif, its winding and vertiginous roads make this a very interesting mountain range where we can discover some unpublished landscapes, and where the people who you are and the experience that you live along this road give an experience that you definitely will not forget.
We arrive in Volubilis home to the best kept and most impressive ruins to be found throughout Morocco, (declared a World Heritage Site in 1997), an expert guide will guide us during this hour and a half long visit. There are areas limited to the public but we will be able to freely move freely in the complex. Many of the mosaics are well preserved and one of the most stunning areas, built on the highest part, is the Capitol, the Basilica and the Forum.
Our trip continues toward the city of Meknes where we stop for lunch. This is an Imperial City and similarly to Fes its inviting medina makes it much easier for walking and finding your way around. It is very traditional with restaurants, craft cooperatives, winding alleys full of life and market stalls which sell an assortment of groceries. Don’t be deceived by its small size, Meknes hides some treasures of sublime architectural beauty; the town symbol; the Bab Mansour, built in 1732, is the largest gate in Morocco and the whole of Africa.
We will then continue to Fes where we arrive in the middle of the afternoon and spend the night at the riad.
Day 13: FES
Today we will spend the whole day touring this great city, which has not suffered the passage of time, the oldest, rich, cultural, religious, spiritual and most mysterious of the four imperial cities of Morocco.
The medina of Fes has to be visited without haste, it is the biggest of the Maghreb, wandering through its many labyrinthine alleys is part of the charm of this medina, but to really appreciate this city the best thing to do is walk by day and then again in the evening because it changes completely; during the day it is a bustling city full of people wandering in the shops, buying or just observing, at sunset it acquires another speed becoming much more relaxedand less overwhelming.
Its medina is a maze of narrow streets filled with houses, shops and workshops and there are more than 150 neighbourhoods, each of them with its ownmosque, Koranic school, bakery etc…
Fes has hidden among its adobe walls: palaces, mansions, mosques, gardens that become backwaters of peace for those who survive the bustle of its streets, and if only for this reason, while you are walking look carefully at each gate, because if you find one ajar it may bring you the pleasant surprise that on the other side you can discover a different world.
The most famous monuments are the Mosque of Moulay Idriss (in the IX century, rebuilt in the XIII), the tomb of the founder of the city, the Quaraouiyine Mosque, (founded in the year 859 and extended up until the XIII century), the Medersa Bu’ Inaniyya, a residence for students of the Koran which was built in 1355 and the Andalusian Mosque, (founded in 860 and enlarged in the year 1200).
Before you dive into the bustle of the city, we suggest that you appreciate it as a whole, and for this there are multiple viewing points. From them you willbe able to observe the actual fabric of the city, the walls and pastel colour of the houses, the twilight of its streets, which have been part of its appearance since its foundation. The only things that struggle to blend in with the atmosphere of past centuries are the TV antennas and the dishes. Everything else, is total vintage.
Day 14: FES – CHEFCHAOEN
After a good moroccan breakfast, this morning we will go toward Chefchaouen, passing over the Rif Mountains located in the north of Morocco, of great botanical interest and inhabited by Berbers, one of the things that make this mountain range authentic and particularly attractive is that they are marked by endless villages whose Berber inhabitants are so full of life. We will be able to admire all the villages and how life goes in the mountains for the village people.
We will arrive at Chaouen, Xauen, Chichauen; all names used to refer to a magical town located in the Rif Mountains, squatting between the slopes of two mountains peaks and surrounded by cultivated fields, the green of which highlights the white of its houses, this special town appears, where the blue displays it’s full palette of shades, confusing the sky with the horizon. Painted in indigo blue to repel mosquitoes its narrow streets are unpredictable and they are an ideal place for strolling and admiring this wonderful town (the most quiet place inMorocco). The medina and the atmosphere of the Square of Uta is one of the most amazing places. Its medina is attractive particularly because of the colour of the homes, is formed by a maze of narrow streets, many of them are closed at the ends, without any doubt is a safe place, quiet and wonderful to walk where you will find yourself feeling at home as their inhabitants are very hospitable people.
Lodging and dinner in a riad.
Day 15: CHEFCHAOUEN – TANGIER
Today we depart for Tangier and transfers for the port/airport or place where you indicate and end of our services.
Tour Include :
- Private Transport with A/C
- Driver/guide english speaking
- Hotel (breakfast & dinner included)
- Camel Ride & Night in Sahara Desert
- Camel Per person
- Sandboarding in The Dunes
Not included :
- Monuments tickets