The Grand tour of Morocco is a 16-day exploration of all that Morocco has to offer for its discerning travellers:
Upon arrival at Casablanca airport, meet your driver and guide and depart to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and get ready for an afternoon visit of the Medina: Walk to Hassan Tower and its neighboring Mausoleum of the late king Mohammed V, the esplanade of the actual Royal Palace, and the Kasbah of Loudaya overlooking Bouregreg River.
After breakfast, drive along the coastal road to Asilah, one of the Atlantic coasts14-century Portuguese forts. Visit the Kasbah and enjoy a seafood lunch at one of the local cafés before you continue to Tangier.
Upon arrival, visit Hercules caves and the lighthouse at Cap Spartel, where the Atlantic coast meets the Mediterranean Sea.
From here continue to Tangier Medina where you will walk along your guide in the labyrinthine streets to visit the Mandoubia Gardens and the Grand Succo before you check into your hotel.
After breakfast, drive across the Rif Mountains with splendid views of the Mediterranean Sea to Tetouan or the ‘’ the white Dove ‘’ as it is called locally. The archaeological museum of Tetouan can not be missed, along with a panoramic drive through the city.
From here we will carry of to Chefchaouen, one of the most beautiful cities in Morocco. Upon arrival, enjoy a breath-taking walk with your guide through the white washed streets of the city, dotted with amazing blue doors.
In the afternoon, enjoy the beauty of the city at leisure.
Today we will drive through the the scenic Rif Mountains towards the holy town of MoulayDriss, this hill side town is one of the holiest sites in Morocco, hosting the mausoleum of MoulayDriss, the founder of Fes, and a great grand son of the prophet Mohamed.
Lunch will be served at leisure at a local café before we continue to the nearby Roman archaeological site of Volubilis which hosts the largest and most preserved Roman ruins in Morocco.
From here, we continue to Meknes. Be ready for a walking tour of Meknes to include the mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, the founder of the city, with Bab Mansour and the granaries which once hosted over 12 000 horses.
Late in the afternoon, we continue to Fes.
Today, you will explore Morocco’s oldest city, considered by many as ‘’ Athens of Africa ‘’ thanks to its cultural, religious, and educational institutions.
Discover the iconic sites of an ancient Imperial city accompanied with your guide. You will start with a visit of the broad esplanade of the Royal palace, famous for its cedar wood and bronze gates. Continue to the 16th-century BorjSud to admire its architecture and a spectacular panoramic view of the walled city. From here, you will go deep into the UNESCO world heritage Medina. Follow narrow lanes to covered bazaars and an eminent madrasa, and pass riverside tanneries and hillside shrines. Get a glimpse of daily life in bustling Nejjarine Square, discover Moroccan art in the Dar Batha Museum and leave the medina to visit potters’ studios and BorjSud, an imposing Saadian watchtower.
Drive back to your hotel or riad, and spend the evening at leisure.
After breakfast, get ready for a fairly long drive today crossing the Middle Atlas Mountains and Ziz Valley, all the way to Tafilalt region.
Drive past the fertile landscapes south east of Fes towards Ifrane, a little town in the middle of the Atlas Mountains famous for being a ski resort in the winter and a holiday destination for the locals in summer and spring. You may want to take a panoramic drive to enjoy its European-like style as it was an alpine village.
From here you will continue to Azrou. On the way, you will meet the Barbary Macaques wondering in the famous cedar forests.
By noon, you arrive at Midelt, where you can choose to have lunch at leisure at one of the local cafés before you continue driving past little Berber Villages as you cross the Middle Atlas Mountains towards Ziz Valley where you will enjoy amazing scenery of vast valleys dotted with green date palm trees.
Arrive at Merzouga in mid afternoon to find your camel caravan is waiting for you to enjoy a life time experience riding your camels to your Morocco Sahara desert camp while assisting to a dramatic sunset scenery over Erg Chebbi color changing sand dunes.
Enjoy a Moroccan dinner under the stars while you are entertained by your nomads hosts playing their Tam Tam drums around a campfire.
Overnight at your private tent.
If you wish, your nomad hosts will wake you up early enough to climb the nearby dune and watch the sunrise before breakfast.
Today’s journey will start with a visit of a fossils workshop to learn more about how the locals dig for ammonites, orthoceras, trilobites and dinosaur teeth, and how they process them for sale.
From here we continue southwest to the oasis of Tinnghir, where you will enjoy an our walk in the oasis, next to the stream, accompanied with your local guide. The walk will lead you to the magnificent canyons the Valley of Todra is famous of.
After a little break in a local café for lunch, you will drive along the road of 1001 Kasbahs to the Dades Valley famous for its Damascus roses plantations.
Upon arrival at Skoura oasis, visit the Kasbah of Amridil to learn more about the lifestyle of the local Berbers living in Morocco desert oases, Kasbahs architecture and amazing irrigation techniques used locally.
Arrive at Ouarzazate late in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
After breakfast, start your journey with a 30 minutes drive to the UNESCO world heritage village of Ait Ben Haddou, cross the river accompanied with your local guide to visit the famous Kasbah, famous for being used as a set of various Hollywood epics in the past ( Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, etc…… )
We will continue our journey crossing the High Atlas Mountains past adobe Berber villages and TiziNtichka pass to the ochre imperial city of Marrakech.
Dinner and overnight at your Marrakech riad.
After breakfast in your hotel or riad, get ready for a full day guided tour of the Medina of Marrakech, with its palaces, historical sites, Souks, medina walls and gardens:
Your exploration of Marrakech will start with an outside visit of La Koutoubia Mosque with its majestic minaret, considered the landmark of Marrakech. From there, you will continue to the Saadian tombs, dating to the 14th century, and hosting the Saadian Dynasty kings tombs. After a short drive past the Mellah, visit the Bahia Palace, built in the 19th century and intended to capture the essence of Islamic and Moroccan style.
From here, enjoy a walk through the labyrinthine streets of the Medina watching the local craftsmen in their workshops, locals bargaining for their daily needs in the markets, and awaken your senses while walking t=in the spice markets.
Enjoy a quick lunch at one of the local cafés in the Medina before you head to Ben Youssef Medersa, a 14th century Islamic college containing 130 students dormitories around a courtyard richly carved in cedar, marble and stucco.
Right after the visit of the Medrasa, meet your horse drawn carriage just off Dar Elbacha Royal Palace and start a scenic drive through Gueliz, the French colonial district, and the new town to Majorelle Gardens, a 12 acre botanical gardens created in the early 20th century by a French architect, then reopened to the public after it was owned by the late French designer Yves Saint Laurent.
After breakfast, we will suggest various activities to choose from for the day:
* Have the day / or just half the day at leisure;
* Enjoy a Moroccan cooking class at La MaisonArabe to learn how to prepare a Tagine, a pastilla or a Couscous;
* Pamper yourself at on of the riads’ best oriental Spas
* Enjoy half a day quad biking adventure in the palm grove next to Marrakech
* Do some last minute shopping in the Souks
This morning, you will cross the Haouz planes west of Marrakech towards the coastal town of Essaouira. On the way watch goats herding and climbing Argan trees exclusive to this area in the world. Stop at a local ladies Argan oil processing cooperativee to learn how this liquid gold is extracted from the nuts, and maybe buy some.
If you are a wine lover, don’t miss Val d’Argan on the way: A unique vineyard established by a French wine producer and producing some nice red and white wine.
Arrive at Essaouira early in the afternoon, check into your riad and get ready for an afternoon walking tour of the Medina and the port.
Essaouira is a perfect example of a cosmopolitan Portuguese seaport of the 18th century.
Today, enjoy the peaceful town of Essaouira and its beach at leisure.
After breakfast, we follow the coastal road passing by different fishermen villages to Safi, famous for its ceramics production. Visit a local ceramics production factory before you continue to Oualidia, known for its oyster production. Choose to have lunch to enjoy the beauty of its lagoon before you continue to Eljadida, one of the rare settlements created by the Portuguese explorers on their way to India. Enjoy a walk through the well-preserved Medina, an other UNESCO world heritage town with its bastions, water reservoir, churches and Jewish Mellahs.
In the afternoon, continue to Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city.
After breakfast, meet your guide for a visit of Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest in the world, and is considered a perfect witness of the majesty of Moroccan architecture.
After a scenic drive along the coast, enjoy lunch at a seaside café before you spend the rest of the day at leisure.
A farewell dinner will be served at the legendary Rick’s Café.
After breakfast, transfer to Casablanca for your return flight.