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On this comprehensive Morocco 15 day Tour from Casablanca to Marrakech, see the greatest of the nation’s attractions. The most breathtaking parts of Morocco are waiting for you, from the Atlas Mountains to the coastal Essaouira, the Saharan Deserts to the palmeries of the Todra Valley, the medieval old town of Fes to the spice markets of Marrakech. Look at the striking contrasts between the new and the ancient in the food, art, and architecture. Meet nomadic tribes and learn about destroyed towns. Morocco’s majesty is a feast for the senses and is just waiting to be discovered.
Arrive at any time to Casablanca airport, and transfer to your Hotel in the town. Let’s begin our Morocco 15 day tour!
Today is the real start of our Morocco 15 day Tour. After breakfast,pickup from your Hotel in Casablanca. Then, drive towards Rabat. Rabat’s history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates, and more recently the Moroccan parliament. It contains many fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now known as the Chellah. Store your luggage and spend a few hours strolling through the city’s old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Afterward, continue to Meknes on a 3-hour drive. The imperial city of Meknes was built when Sultan Moulay Ismail (a contemporary of Louis XIV) set out to create his own version of Versailles, using over 25,000 slaves to construct walls, gates, and over 50 palaces. Spend the night at a Hotel.
This morning is free for you to explore Meknes. In the 17th century, Sultan Moulay Ismail turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city – visit his immense Heri es Souani Granary, a mammoth architectural feat, and the city’s now crumbling imperial palaces. Also, why not try a camel burger for lunch at a friendly local restaurant in the medina? Later, board a private minibus and travel for 1 hour through rolling hills and olive groves to the archaeological site of Volubilis. This was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and the remains make an undeniably impressive sight. Upon arrival, take a tour around the ruins with a local guide. Please remember to pack drinking water, hat, sunglasses, and sun cream for this tour as it may get hot and you will be exposed to the sun. And, of course, don’t forget to take your camera as the town is filled with fantastic mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. Afterward, make the 2-hour drive to Fes, where you’ll spend the next two nights. Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco – vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming. It is a feast for the senses, with a huge, well-preserved medieval old city that’s the mother of all medinas. Morocco 15 day tour
Take a guided group walking tour of the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali. Step back into the Middle Ages in the labyrinth of the Medina, which is alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries and mosques. Pass donkeys piled high with goods (this is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world) and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania: one of the city’s most beautiful buildings, which has recently been restored and is now open to tourists. Visit Medresse el Attarine and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine: a beautifully restored 18th century inn. You’ll also see the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramics factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. In the evening, why not get your group together and try out some Moroccan specialities like harira (chickpea soup) and chicken-stuffed pastilla with couscous. Morocco 15 day tour
Board a private minibus and leave the intensity of the city behind for the simplicity of the scenic Middle Atlas Mountains (approximately 4 hours). Drive south and inland through a variety of spectacular scenery – fertile valleys and forests contrasted with barren, rocky landscapes. The area is populated with wandering nomadic shepherds attending to their flocks. Pass through cedar forests which are home to Barbary apes, North Africa’s only monkey, and on to your destination of Midelt. Nestled in a valley, Midelt is a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area and surrounded by farmland and orchards. Stretch your legs as you explore the nearby village of Berrem and take a closer look at local farming life. You could also check out an optional traditional music performance in Midelt. Tonight, stay at Ksar Timnay. This terrific accommodation is inspired by a traditional kasbah (type of medina or fortress) and is an ideal base for your tour through the Middle Atlas – especially with a large pool to cool off! Relax in the large rooms and be ready for some desert trekking tomorrow.
Today’s journey to the vast Sahara will take five hours. There will be plenty opportunities to pause and take in sights of kasbahs and palmeries because we’ll have the comfort of our own private minivan (valleys lush with date palms, fields, and orchards). Additionally, there’s a chance you’ll come across Nomads on their voyage; these free-spirited people were designed to travel beneath the open sky with their flocks of animals, never settling down for too long. After passing through frontier cities like Erfoud and Rissani and through a variety of landscapes, including bleak mountain sides and rich valleys, you will eventually arrive at the little Saharan settlement of Merzouga, which marks the end of the journey.
The quaint Saharan village of Merzouga feels wonderfully remote, as though the modern world has left it behind, with the backdrop of the orange-hued Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Mount a camel for a 1-hour ride into the desert at nightfall and leave your large luggage at your overnight camp on the edge of the desert. The most beautiful dunes in the nation are those at Erg Chebbi, and visiting Morocco would not be complete without seeing them. An erg is a large, wind-swept sea of shifting sand that has been sculpted into lovely, undulating crests and valleys. This place has a frontier-like atmosphere despite being just 20 kilometers from the Algerian border and at the end of a sealed road. Camp out in the desert under the stars for the evening.
Break your fast with traditional food, climb the next dune for a breathtaking dawn over the Sahara, and then start the drive to Todra Gorge. Visit the oasis museum in El Khorbat on the route, then continue on for around five hours to the stunning Todra Valley, which follows the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and is filled with mud-brick settlements perched on slopes. Your home for the next two nights will be the amazing surroundings, which include vast green valleys and rocks that the wind has molded into beautiful patterns. Since it’s better to explore on foot, you’ll take a quick stroll through some nearby fields and a deserted village.
Enjoy your free time today to discover the Todra Valley. It is strongly advised to take a guided hike through the gorge and over a neighboring mountain pass. There are a few different circuits to choose from, but a 10-kilometer circle that takes about 4 hours is the most popular option. You’ll walk a track with a local guide that occasionally undulates but isn’t too difficult if you have a moderate degree of fitness. You’ll pass through Berber communities on the trek, run into some local Berbers, and perhaps get to share a cup of mint tea with them. A spectacular environment is created by the nearby mountains and the famous Rose Valley in the distance. Make sure you have walking boots or sturdy sneakers, sunglasses, sunblock, and lots of water so you may enjoy the stroll to the fullest. You can join some local women for lunch in their mudbrick kasbah, providing a wonderful opportunity to observe how people still live in this mostly unaltered society. As an alternative, relaxing by the hotel pool while taking in the scenery of the luscious palm trees and towering cliff faces is a fantastic way to spend the day.
Travel 4 hours south today to Ait Benhaddou. You will pass by historic kasbah ruins, former colonial military outposts, bleak mountains, valleys of palm trees, and irrigated farmland on the picturesque route. Take a break for lunch in Ouarzazate, where movies like Black Hawk Down, The Sheltering Sky, and Lawrence of Arabia were filmed. You might also have time to visit the Atlas Movie Studios, time allowing. After that, proceed to Ait Benhaddou, your last destination. This was a significant station for caravans transporting salt over the Sahara centuries ago. Its majestic kasbah, a stunning illustration of clay architecture, is now a recognized World Heritage site. Why not indulge in Morocco’s most popular dishes, couscous and tagine, in the late afternoon?
Leaving the Sahara behind, travel for around 5 hours to Toubkal National Park over the breathtaking Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2260 meters above sea level), passing by mountains covered in snow and valleys that are in full bloom. You will spend the night at a Guesthouse in Imlil at the conclusion of the journey. You will spend the night at a guesthouse since the Imlil Valley provides breathtaking vistas of the High Atlas Mountains and a unique opportunity to observe traditional Berber culture. As the aroma of bread and woodstoves fill the air, meet the local people and take advantage of their hospitality.
Walk across the valleys and paths of the breathtaking Atlas Mountains in the morning (weather depending). Later, travel for around 5 hours west to the Atlantic Coast and the historic fishing village of Essaouira, where the medina meets the ocean. Sandstone paths stand out against the whitewashed homes, the clear blue sky, and the sand of the dunes and beaches nearby. The beauty of this artists’ community, which historically had sizable Jewish and British populations, has drawn celebrities like Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix, who, according to local lore, spent a lot of time here in the 1960s. There will still be time for exploration because you will arrive in the afternoon. You’ll be given several options for the rest of the day by your tour guide. The daily seafood auctions are always entertaining to watch, but if you prefer to people-watch instead, head to one of the little neighborhood cafes. Perhaps meet up with your party for dinner and to explore this charming town at night in the evening.
Today, go on a walking tour of the historic medina, Jewish mellah, harbor, and skala with a local guide (sea wall). After that, spend your spare time exploring the town. Essaouira’s winding alleyways are perfect for strolling. Walking through the town gives the impression that not much has changed since the time of the sea pirates due to their size, which discourages cars. This small town is a particularly relaxing place to unwind for a few days. Browse the plethora of shops and interesting art galleries that make it so. It is gaining recognition for its distinctive art and is becoming even more well-known for the burled Thuya wood that is skillfully carved and inlaid in the small stores that are nestled inside the strong Portuguese rampart walls. Walking through the streets is quite pleasant thanks to the aroma of the oils used to polish the vividly colored wood, which permeates the entire area. Why not get a freshly prepared plate of the day’s seafood for lunch? This can be enjoyed at a variety of locations along the coast. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in a hammam or local-style bath later on if you’d want to unwind. Morocco 15 day tour
On the three-hour shared bus ride to Marrakech, a historic, fascinating city encased in contemporary Europe, strike up a conversation with locals. Marrakech is a sensory extravaganza. Be drawn in by the enticing aromas and vivid hues of the spice markets, the melody of the musicians, the plush folds of the carpets, the mouthwatering delicacies, the acrobats, and the fragrant gardens. Maybe have dinner with the throngs of people at the well-known Djemaa el-Fna, one of the biggest public areas in the world and particular to Marrakech. As soon as dusk strikes, this square comes alive with activity. In the same square as henna artists, performers, and storytellers is a street food bazaar selling delicious Moroccan fare like snail soup. You might end your evening with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top eateries overlooking the square after enjoying a bite of some of the country’s well-known pastries together with a drink of freshly squeezed orange juice.
It’s time to take your time and discover Marrakech. A new smell, a new sight, or a new item to buy can be found with each step you take as you explore the Medina for some last-minute shopping. Each of the seemingly countless souqs is dedicated to a different trade, including pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets, and spices. Practice your negotiating skills while observing experienced artisans at work, or take a break from the bustle to have a tajine or a cup of tea while inhaling the heady aroma of Morocco. Alternately, you might go to the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and see its iconic minaret from the 12th century, which served as the model for the Giralda tower in Seville Wander around the French artist Jacques Majorelle’s tropical gardens (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). Consider seeing the ruins of the Palais Badi, which was once thought to be one of the most stunning palaces in the world, or the Palais Bahia, a magnificent example of Muslim architecture. One recently discovered jewel of the Medina are the Saadian tombs. Finding all of the aforementioned items can be difficult, but that is all a part of the experience of seeing Moroccan medinas. You’ll probably find yourself pulled back to the Djemaa el-Fna and its adjacent medina this evening. A fantastic way to end the day is to eat at one of the many alfresco restaurants that line the area. Morocco 15 day tour.
Transfer to Marrakech airport depending on your flight time. That’s the end of our great Morocco 15 day Tour.