Day 1: Arrive in Casablanca
When you get to Casablanca, meet your private driver there. The rest of the day can be used for leisure activities or a city tour. You can explore the Old Medina as you begin your stay in Casablanca. Despite its name, the historic medina (old city) in Casablanca is only slightly over 200 years old. After that, explore the Habbous, also known as “New Medina.” This area, built in the 1930s by the French, offers a glimpse of some intriguing art deco structures. It’s also a pleasant place to browse the local markets for arts and crafts and food. Next, stroll down the Boulevard de la Corniche, a stretch of beach dubbed “Morocco’s Miami.” Numerous beaches and interesting sites can be found along the extensive waterfront. If following in the footsteps of Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart is your primary motivation for visiting Casablanca, you might want to consider having dinner at Rick’s Café, which has a replica of the iconic scene from the famous movie.
Day 2: Visit the Hassan II Mosque & Museum of Moroccan Judaism
Take a tour of the 1993-opened Hassan II Mosque to start your day. Explore and savour its opulent interior, featuring gilded ceilings, wood, marble, and carved stone details. The mosque’s 690-foot (210-meter) tall minaret is the second-tallest in the world and the tallest building in all of Morocco. This one is one of the few mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims. Visit a few places with a Moroccan Jewish heritage in the afternoon. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism, formerly a Jewish orphanage, is the first. Historical manuscripts, jewellery, and a replica jewellery store will be displayed. After that, go to Temple Beth-El, a synagogue that has been tastefully renovated and features stunningly coloured glass windows. If you have time, return to the Habbous for retail therapy and relaxation in the late afternoon.
Day 3: Transfer to Chefchaouen via Rabat and Ouazzane
In the morning, travel to Rabat, the capital of Morocco, to see the Hassan Tower monument, one of the most impressive structures from the Almohad Dynasty. The Hassan Tower is the unfinished minaret of a mosque from the 12th century. The red sandstone tower, which is 144 feet (44 meters) tall, and about 200 columns are the only things left of the old mosque today. The contemporary Mausoleum of Mohammed V is located across from the Hassan Tower. The tombs of King Mohammed V of Morocco and his two sons, Prince Abdallah and King Hassan II, are located there. Later, they proceed to Ouazzane, a holy city for many Moroccan Jews. They pilgrimage every year to see the tomb of Rabbi Amram ben Diwan. This rabbi from Jerusalem is renowned for his numerous miracles in Morocco during his lifetime. Return to the highway and proceed to Chefchaouen, also referred to as the “blue city” because of its blue-painted structures. Once there, explore the town at your own pace or unwind in the main square, Outa el-Hammam. Order a maqlouba (upside-down) coffee and sip it while observing the neighbourhood women fetch water and wash their clothes in the spring nearby. Budget-conscious shoppers will love shopping in Chefchaouen because they can find handcrafted wool clothing, woven blankets, cedarwood furniture, and other artisanal goods.
Day 4: Explore Moulay Idriss, Volubilis & Meknes on the Way to Fes
To reach Fes, one of Morocco’s four “imperial cities,” depart from Chefchaouen and head south. Spend some more time in Chefchaouen’s medina before you leave, or watch the sunrise from the Spanish Mosque if you wake up early enough. Visit Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site housing the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco, en route to Fes. Enjoy a relaxing break from your car ride by exploring the expansive complex, which includes temples, sizable merchant homes with apparent heating systems, and numerous intact mosaics. Next, proceed to Moulay Idriss, the first Islamic capital of Morocco and a location that continues to have cultural significance. The city is home to Morocco’s only circular minaret. You can wait until you get to prosperous Meknes to eat lunch here. Wander through Meknes’ Ville Impériale neighbourhood to see the Royal Stables, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and the impressive Bab al-Mansour gate. Be on the lookout for Roman columns concealed in unexpected places because many of these palaces were built using materials from Volubilis. Spend the evening at your riad in the medina of Fes, a traditional home with a courtyard.
Day 5: Wander through Fes' Jewish Quarter and Medina
After breakfast, meet your tour guide to begin your exploration of Fes’ ancient medina, which is filled with charming alleyways and winding streets. Fes has a significant Jewish history. You’ll go to the Jewish Cemetery, where Rabbi Raphael Moshe Elbaz and Rabbi Lahou Harroch are both interred, and the mullah, the old Jewish section of the medina, during your tour. In the afternoon, visit renowned tanneries and mosaic studios to learn more about the local artistic community. Meet local artisans, observe them at work, and learn about the significance of their work both inside and outside the walls of the old city of Fes. Later, return to your riad for a brief break. The rest of the day can be spent relaxing or exploring the medina’s streets to put your newfound city knowledge to the test.
Day 6: Day Trip to Sefrou: Jewish Heritage and Artisan Craft Center
Meet your tour guide this morning to begin your day-long exploration of Sefrou. About 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Fes, in the Middle Atlas Mountains, is the walled town of Sefrou. It started in the Roman era as a market town and a resting place for trade caravans travelling from the Mediterranean to the Sahara Desert. The town developed into a cultural melting pot over the years. Before the French left in the 1960s and 1970s, when a third of Sefrou’s population was Jewish, most Jewish Moroccans left the nation. Visit the Sefrou Craft Center while you’re in town. Several workshops where craftspeople produce woodwork, ceramics, woven rugs, and even silk buttons for djellabas are housed in this lovely complex near the old city (traditional robes). You will have the opportunity to view their work and discover more about their specialities here. Return to Fes in the evening for dinner.
Day 7: Travel to the Atlas Mountains
travelling toward the Atlas Mountains. Regarding Laura M. Spend the morning exploring the medieval medina of Fes. Make time to go shopping, have a leisurely lunch, and tour the city’s historic sites like the Bou Inania Madrasa and the Royal Palace of Fes. Then bid Fes farewell and ascend deeper into the Middle Atlas Mountains. You will arrive at the extensive cedar tree forests of Ifrane National Park an hour after leaving Fes. The only African monkeys to be found north of the Sahara Desert are the endangered Barbary macaque monkeys, a prominent feature of this park. You will arrive in Azrou, a stunning Berber town known for its rug and jewellery manufacturing, after passing through the park. You can eat dinner and unwind here before going to bed.
Day 8: Over the Middle Atlas to the Desert: Erfoud, Merzouga & the Sahara
Start your journey into the desert early as you leave the Middle Atlas Mountains. Make a brief stop in Midelt, referred to as “the apple city” due to its extensive production. Watch for the nearby Moulouya River, which enables the growth of this fruit in the desert. Moving forward, cross the Tizi-n-Talremt Pass and enter the Ziz Valley, renowned for its cavernous oases and groves of palms. You can have lunch in the town of Errachidia. Visit the Lalla Mimouna natural mineral spring at the Musée des Sources de Lalla Mimouna while you’re here. The name “Lalla Mimouna” derives from a Muslim saint revered and honoured by Moroccan Jews. After lunch, proceed to Erfoud, a thriving market town noted for its artisan factories and fossil mining, known for its date festival. The Erg Chebbi’s sand waves will soon be visible in the distance. There are over 656 feet of dunes in this vast sea of sand, which is 22 square miles (35 km2) in size (200 m). As you prepare for an exciting camel ride through the dunes, take a quick break close to Merzouga. Later, return to camp for dinner and a night spent listening to local musicians perform traditional Berber music by the campfire.
Day 9: The Edge of the Sahara and Fossil Workshops
To enjoy a sunrise over the dunes: Get up early. Have breakfast in camp before returning to Merzouga across the desert. After meeting your driver there, start the lengthy drive to Ouarzazate. Before travelling across the desert plains, think about stopping in Rissani. A traditional market like this is a great place to stroll around, especially on market days when lots of animals are bought and sold. There is even a “donkey parking lot” in Rissani! Travel for the remainder of the day through the desolate, remote region bordering the Sahara. Views of high mountains, plateaus, and desert plains will surround you. Make a brief stop on the way in Tinghir, a Berber town that once housed a thriving Jewish community. To get a sense of the town’s past, stroll through the old quarter’s streets. Take a break for lunch in nearby Boumalne Dadès before continuing to the picturesque Dadès Gorge, which cuts through a striking landscape of rust-red and mauve-striped mountains. Finally, spend the evening in Ouarzazate, a town that has gained notoriety for serving as the setting for numerous movies and television programs. After arriving in Marrakech, check into your opulent riad, the ideal place to unwind from your journey. The afternoon can be spent relaxing and enjoying a pot of fresh mint tea by the pool or under a jasmine bush. If you feel motivated to venture out in the evening, you’ll arrive just in time to see Jemaa el-Fna, the medina’s central square, come alive with food vendors, snake charmers, and performers. You can enjoy the activity while dining in one of the many cafés surrounding the square or travel to the new city to discover Marrakech’s cutting-edge culinary scene.
Day 10: Over the High Atlas to Marrakech via Aït Benhaddou
Your day should begin with a tour of Ait Benhaddou, Morocco’s most well-known kasbah (fortification) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When it played a significant role along the trans-Saharan trade route between Marrakech, Ouarzazate, and the southern desert, this fascinating old ksar (Berber palace) is thought to have been constructed in the 11th century. It’s time to leave the Sahara Desert and return to the city after you’ve finished exploring the site. Through the Tizi n’Tichka Pass, wind your way up the High Atlas Mountains’ arid desert slopes. You will soon be immersed in the commotion of energetic Marrakech. Once there, unwind for the remainder of the afternoon as you, please. After that, eat dinner in the bustling Jemaa el-Fna square of the city.
Day 11: Medina and City Tour & Hammam in Marrakech
Take a tour with a guide to discover Marrakech’s historic medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will be astounded by the vibrant goods, clothing, and spices available in the city’s bustling souks (markets). Enjoy exploring the winding lanes of the souks, then grab a bite to eat and carry on with your city tour. Visit El Badi Palace, which at one point was converted into a mellah. Jews from Spain and Morocco used to live here in large numbers. You must also visit the Jewish Cemetery and Saadian Tombs while on your tour. Take a final bath in a genuine Moroccan hammam to cap off your day (traditional bathhouse). Discover the hammam’s past while taking advantage of a stimulating scrub performed the old-fashioned way. Numerous hammams also provide massages and a long list of spa services using products from the area, like argan oil. Take one final stroll through the medina to sample some street fare before calling it a day, or visit one of the city’s many restaurants to experience Marrakech’s distinctive culinary style.
Day 12: Argan Oil & Seafood in Essaouira
Visit Essaouira today, a town renowned for its beaches and top-notch surfing. As you get closer to the coast, you’ll enter a special forest, the only ecosystem where argan trees can grow. Keep an eye out for goats grazing on the fruits of the argan trees, high up in the tree branches, when you stop to visit a group of local women who make argan oil. When you first arrive in Essaouira, take some time to stroll along the impressive walls, explore the medina, or unwind by the bustling fishing harbour. Take advantage of the chance to sample some freshly caught seafood served at lunch or dinner. Essaouira has a strong Jewish heritage and is one of Morocco’s best-preserved Jewish neighbourhoods. It’s a wonderful exploring place and a prime example of a coexisting neighbourhood.
Day 13: Jewish Heritage Tour of Essaouira
In the medina of Essaouira, blue-painted doors and shutters are a lingering Andalusian influence. In the morning, meet your guide and travel to the fishing harbour. The harbour in Essaouira is bustling with activity and a great place to see the fishermen unloading their catch and making a profit. Visit the recently opened Jewish cultural centre, Bayt Dakira, which includes a museum, synagogue, and research centre, following a stroll around the neighbourhood and a delicious seaside lunch. Spend some time alone in the evening further exploring the city. You are welcome to listen to live music at any of the many venues near the medina.
Day 14: See Morocco's Atlantic Coast & Portuguese Ports, Evening in Casablanca
Return to Casablanca via the coast, stopping briefly at a few interesting seaside towns along the way. Go to Safi first, which is renowned for its fantastic surfing beaches and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Visit El Jadida next to see its eerily lovely Portuguese cistern. Have lunch in the city after exploring the ramparts and the Church of the Assumption. Next, proceed to Azemmour. Over the years, this small city has inspired numerous Moroccan artists, some of whom have chosen to settle here. Despite its proximity to Casablanca’s international art market, life in this community is still very traditional. Discover some inspiration in the stunning, deteriorating 16th-century medina of Azemmour, tucked between the Oum Er-Rbia (Mother of Spring River) and the sea. When you get to Casablanca, check into your hotel to unwind before going out to dinner and doing some nighttime exploring.
Day 15: Depart from Casablanca
As you get ready to leave from Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca, say goodbye to Morocco. You will be picked up by your driver and transported to the airport in plenty of time for check-in.
Why not add to your cultural experience of your Moroccan holiday with this 3 days desert tour from Fes to Marrakech? The best part of this desert trip takes place in the most famous dunes of the Sahara Desert in Morocco, Erg Chebbi. The whole trip provides a golden opportunity to see this spectacularly diverse and beautiful part of Berber Morocco.
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Don't miss one of the most popular routes in Morocco for travelers wishing to travel to the Moroccan Sahara Desert. This 3 day desert tour marrakech to the Merzouga desert offers a comprehensive insight into the life of nomads and Berbers.
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If you don't have a long Morocco vacation or want to spend only a short part of your Morocco adventure on a desert trip, go for this two-day Zagora desert tour. It is the perfect short adventurous excursion. This 2-day Zagora desert tour from Marrakech takes you over the High Atlas Mountains and the famous Tizi-n-Tichka Pass to the Zagora desert in the south.