Day 1: Arrive in Casablanca & Transfer to Rabat
Greetings from Morocco! You will be driven from the airport in Casablanca to Rabat after your flight lands. Check into your opulent accommodations, then use your driver and guide to explore the city.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, grab lunch at a restaurant that appeals to your palate and is delicious. As the capital of Morocco and the royal family’s residence, Rabat exudes imperial opulence, from historical monuments to modern restaurants that focus on fine dining. Consider utilizing the amazing bounty of the Atlantic if you’re craving traditional food. Even in the medina, you can find incredibly fresh foods like briny oysters and creamy sea urchins. Whatever your taste, your guide will make a great suggestion for where to eat your first meal.
Explore the blue-painted Oudaya neighbourhood, perched above the Atlantic Ocean, after lunch to burn off the calories. The highlight of this enclave is The Kasbah of the Oudayas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the complex or stroll through its luxuriant Andalusian gardens before returning to the ramparts for a spectacular sunset. You will go to the Hassan Tower, which is among the most magnificent structures from the Almohad Dynasty. Hassan Tower is a curious landmark once part of a lofty mosque construction project from the 12th century that was ultimately abandoned.
After exploring the ruins, visit the Mausoleum of Mohamed V for an outstanding example of the intricate tilework, mosaics, and craftsmanship found all over the region. Enjoy Rabat’s diverse culinary scene tonight. While there are many excellent Moroccan restaurants throughout the city, the best French and Italian food in the nation can be found in the New City’s Embassy District, which is just inland from the medina.
Day 2: Discover Chefchaouen, A City Awash in Blue
You will travel to Chefchaouen today. Chefchaouen gives visitors a taste of traditional Morocco in the Rif Mountains centre. Walls, doors, windows, stairways, alleyways, and archways—a combination of pastel sky blue and more vivid, saturated hues—make this small city a visual delight in blue. You can relax after checking into your opulent riad or explore the town at your own pace. The main square, Outa el-Hammam, is the ideal location to observe daily life. To find the town’s normal life, take the narrow, winding alleys away from the tourist areas.
You will choose where to eat for dinner based on suggestions from your driver or expert. This area is great for finding handcrafted wool clothing, woven blankets, cedarwood furniture, and other Moroccan artisanal goods. Order a Maqlouba (upside-down) coffee and sip it while observing the neighbourhood women fetch water and wash their clothes in the spring nearby.
Day 3: Transfer to Fes via Meknes, Moulay Idriss & Volubilis
Enjoy breakfast in Chefchaouen before setting out to tour some imperial cities, culminating in Fes on this day about royalty. Your first stop is the historic city of Meknes, which has a more manageable medina than Fes. You can explore souks filled with spices, slippers, and colourful treasures because the shopkeepers are also laid back here. Your driver will make the most of your stopover by taking you through the picturesque Ville Impériale region. You can explore a variety of palaces, gardens, and architectural sites depending on how much time you want to spend here.
The oldest town in Morocco is next, Moulay Idriss. The city, which many people regard as holy, was established in the eighth century by Moulay Idriss I, Morocco’s first significant Islamic ruler. Visit this emerald-green minaret, the only one in the nation that is round, to learn about how the Idrisid dynasty was founded. Your driver can also advise you where to go for lunch so you can take in the charm of this hilltop town.
The royal treatment continues with a journey through time in Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the nation. The vast complex includes examples of merchant homes, complete mosaics, temples, and more. It also has an ingenious heating system. Your knowledgeable English-speaking guide will give you a private tour customized to your interests if you feel compelled to learn more and want to extend your time here.
After sightseeing, you’ll spend the rest of the day in Fes at a five-star riad with opulent interiors. Your hotel will have a central courtyard where you can relax and stay cool. Depending on where you stay, your hotel may even have its hammam on the ground floor. If you want a more personalized spa experience, you can spend the evening getting a soothing massage in one of Fes’s hammams. A delicious dinner is waiting wherever you decide to soak and scrub off the day. You can relax at your opulent riad or visit one of the city’s top restaurants.
Day 4: Explore Fes & its UNESCO Medina
After breakfast, your tour guide will meet you to begin your exploration of the medina in Fes. This UNESCO-protected old quarter is teeming with charming lanes and congested streets. You will be able to observe both the minute details of daily life and the grandiosity of the madrasas and palaces thanks to your local guide’s sharing of untold tales and showing you secretive areas of the medina. Your guide will give you many suggestions for lunch and dinner so you can experience Fes from a local’s perspective.
Enjoy Fes’ artisan side in the afternoon. You can meet artisans and discover more about the significance and history of their professions in this city, which is a centre for Moroccan arts and crafts. You’ll go to tanneries and mosaic studios to see how old-fashioned techniques are still used in contemporary crafts.
Return to your riad for a brief break. You can take it easy the rest of the day or head back to the medina’s streets to put your newly acquired city knowledge to the test. Or, if you want to immerse yourself even more in the local culture, think about taking a private cooking lesson from an accomplished English-speaking chef. You’ll learn how to use distinctive North African ingredients like briny preserved lemons, the exotic complexity of Ras el Hanout (a necessary spice blend), and tiny pearls of couscous, in addition to learning about the intricate relationships between tradition and food. Enjoy your creations as a meal to commemorate your lesson!
Day 5: Guerrouane Region Winery Tour
Just outside of Fes, in Morocco’s distinctive Guerrouane agricultural region, take a delightful and abundant day trip. With a winery tour and private tasting, you can spend the day learning about the region’s crops, history, customs, and flavours. Since the Roman era, Moroccans have grown and refined wine grapes for mass production. Vintners and growers concentrate on red blends, Rosé, Vin Gris, and the regional brandy known as Mahia (water of life). Jewish communities in the area are said to have started the winemaking tradition, later developed by French settlers.
Guerrouane is the agricultural centre of Morocco, where favourable weather conditions for orchard fruits like apricots, plums, oranges, as well as the prized grapes of the area, combined with good soil, rain, and sun. Coteaux de l’Atlas 1er Cru, Morocco’s sole AOC wine, is produced in this undiscovered gem. A fun and educational vineyard tour will be followed by an afternoon of wine-tasting flights featuring various regional varietals. After that, you’ll spend the night in Fes. You can unwind while enjoying your favourite bottle of the day’s wine discovery in the courtyard of your riad.
Day 6: Over the Middle Atlas Mountains to the Sahara
Get a head start today so you can heed the Sahara’s alluring call. After an early breakfast, you’ll begin your journey by driving through Azrou and its magnificent Cèdre Gouraud Forest, where troops of Barbary macaque monkeys lounge in old cedar trees close to the road as you cross the Middle Atlas Mountains. Then, halt in Midelt, located on a chilly, high desert plateau, for lunch. As the day continues, you’ll travel through a landscape of high mountain ranges, wide valleys, and narrow canyon passes. You will travel with your driver through the Ziz Valley, a crucial section of the historic Saharan Trade Route. Look out the window to see the ksars in the neighbourhood, strongholds constructed by traders to guard the trade in gold, salt, and spices.
You’ll notice the first indications of Saharan dunes after passing through the Ziz Gorge. Additionally, you will travel through Erfoud, a thriving market town famous for its dates and fossils found in hillside mines. If you’d like to learn more about the fossils found in the area and how locals use them to create a variety of goods, you can stop at a nearby artisan collective. The enormous Erg Chebbi dunes will become visible as you go on. With some dunes rising over 650 feet, this enormous sand sea is 13 square miles (35 square kilometres) in size (200 m).
Prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with North African luxury once you reach the Sahara. As the sun sets, mount a camel and ride across the dunes. Enjoy a clear view as the landscape is bathed in a golden glow (you can even spot Algeria in the distance). As dusk falls, the moon’s reflection in the sand will help you and your camel find your special lodging for the night: an opulent camp tucked away at the base of the Erg Chebbi dunes. In your glamping tent, complete relaxation is at hand. Later, savour a meal prepared by local Berber tribesmen while listening to live music while cozying up by the fire.
Before you retire for the evening, look at the sky from your private vantage point or try stargazing from atop the dunes.
Day 7: Adventure in the Todra Gorge
Start your journey to Tinghir, an oasis city at the foot of the Atlas mountains, after you have met your private driver. Get up early to enjoy a sunrise over the dunes. Then, eat breakfast in camp before returning to Merzouga across the desert. Before continuing across the plains, take a break in the desert town of Rissani. This town’s traditional market, where many animals are bought and sold, is a great place to stroll around. While you’re here, visit the “donkey parking lot.”
Once you arrive in Tinghir, savour the change in scenery. Continue your journey through a verdant valley that gets narrower and more vertical until you reach the Todra Gorge. Get outside and stroll the unpaved paths that wind through the canyon and up its sides. Before moving on, take some time to unwind with a delectable lunch and spend your afternoon exploring this beautiful location. Local farmers who cultivate figs, dates, and wheat and reside in the region’s ksars attend a weekly market in the town.
Return to the Todra oasis and spend the night in a lavishly furnished kasbah, a fortified hilltop town made of mud bricks adorned with the finest regional goods and fossils. After a relaxing day, go for a dinnertime stroll through the valley (there are several unexpectedly ambitious restaurants here.) Feel free to stroll around the oasis a little after your meal because the locals are quite hospitable.
Day 8: Head to Ouarzazate via the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs
Today, you can traverse the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs on your way from Tinghir to Ouarzazate along historic trade routes. You’ll pass by a lot of well-known fortified towns along the way. The town of Boumalne Dadès, an oasis town at the entrance to the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, will be the first significant stop along the way. The Dadès Gorge, which cuts through a dramatic landscape of rust and mauve-striped mountains, can be found if you head north. The valley below is an irrigated oasis dotted with crumbling kasbahs, Berber villages, figs, almonds, and olive orchards.
Head south toward the Valley of Roses, the centre of Moroccan rose oil production, after lunch in Boumalne Dadès. When the fragrant Provence rose is harvested every spring, the surroundings smell divine. Finish the day in the town of Ouarzazate, well-known for its contribution to the Moroccan film industry. However, Ouarzazate is more than just a movie location, you can visit the famous ksar of At Benhaddou by taking a short drive from the city. This location is important along the trans-Saharan trade route between Marrakech, Ouarzazate, and the southern desert in the 11th century.
Then retire to your kasbah, located across a dry riverbed from Ait Benhaddou. Take a stroll outside at night if you’d like to see how the valley glows when the moon is out due to light reflecting off the white sand. The scene is beautiful.
Day 9: Cross the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech via Aït Benhaddou
Before leaving the Sahara, explore Ait Benhaddou again in the early morning. Wind your way through the imposing Tizi n’Tichka Pass into the High Atlas Mountains. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Marrakech’s plains and mountains as you near the summit. The highest peak in North Africa, Mount Toubkal, can be found to the west. Take note of the striking environmental shift as you descend the north-facing slopes. Soon, you’ll start crossing wide river valleys and passing a lot of almond and walnut orchards.
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: Medina & City Tour in Marrakech
Meet your local private guide, who will lead you through Marrakech’s old city after breakfast. You will encounter bustling souks and confusing alleys as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Displays of djellabas, colourful babouches, intricately pierced lanterns, conical mounds of exotic spices, and the intense commotion of medina life are sure to mesmerize you. Your enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide will enlighten you on the background and legends of the Red City’s Medina, Souk, and Mellah neighbourhoods. Additionally, your guide will be able to recommend some excellent lunch spots!
Jacques Majorelle, a French painter, spent forty years creating the Majorelle Gardens, a famous garden retreat later inhabited by the renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Within the confines of this urban oasis, stroll through two and a half acres of tranquil water gardens, visit Morocco’s only museum devoted exclusively to Berber art and culture, and peruse Yves Saint Laurent’s gallery. You’ll continue your private tour in the late afternoon by visiting sites like the Saadian Tombs and the Bahia and El Badii Palaces.
Day 11: Morning Hot Air Balloon Ride, Afternoon at Leisure
Marrakech is located where a wide plain and the High Atlas Mountains converge. A hot air balloon ride over the Red City at sunrise would be ideal for viewing these contrasted landscapes. This morning, you’ll receive a pre-dawn wake-up call before making the dark transfer to the mountains and boarding your hot air balloon. Once in the air, observe the sun rising over North Africa’s tallest peaks as it illuminates the city far below. Before you return to Marrakech after your flight, savour a delicious and picturesque Berber breakfast.
Spend the remaining time of the day however you like on your own. Do independent exploration, enrol in a private cooking lesson with a local chef, or visit a market for more shopping. Your private driver will take you wherever you want to go in the city, and your guide can help you plan any additional private excursions or custom experiences that interest you. Tonight, eat dinner in the comfort of your riad or venture out to one of the city’s top restaurants. Marrakech is located where a wide plain and the High Atlas Mountains converge. A hot air balloon ride over the Red City at sunrise would be ideal for viewing these contrasted landscapes. This morning, you’ll receive a pre-dawn wake-up call before making the dark transfer to the mountains and boarding your hot air balloon. Once in the air, observe the sun rising over North Africa’s tallest peaks as it illuminates the city far below. Before you return to Marrakech after your flight, savour a delicious and picturesque Berber breakfast.
Spend the remaining time of the day however you like on your own. Tonight, eat dinner in the comfort of your riad or venture out to one of the city’s top restaurants. Do independent exploration, enrol in a private cooking lesson with a local chef, or visit a market for more shopping. Your private driver will take you wherever you want to go in the city, and your guide can help you plan any additional private excursions or custom experiences that interest you.
Day 12: Transfer to Essaouira, Argan Oil & Seafood
You will visit Essaouira today, a town renowned for its fantastic surfing beaches and laid-back atmosphere. The three-hour drive crosses vast, rolling plains. You’ll travel through a special forest, the only ecosystem where argan trees can flourish. You’ll stop by a group of local women who produce argan oil, known for its superb aesthetic and health benefits. Even goats may be munching on the argan tree fruits high in the tree branches. It’s a beautiful sight!
When you arrive in Essaouira, explore the Old Medina and stroll along the impressive seawalls. In addition to its charm and history, Essaouira is home to one of Morocco’s best-preserved Jewish neighbourhoods, which is the ideal illustration of a community of coexistence.
The commercial hub of the city and a must-visit location for foodies interested in discovering regional cuisine is the harbour in Essaouira. Many fishermen bring their catches ashore every morning to sell in the busy market next door, where buyers haggle for the best prices. Enjoy the results of their labour at one of the nearby food stands, where you can devour fresh fish that has been grilled or fried. You can either order fish directly from the stalls or follow the local custom of purchasing your fish at a nearby market and paying a grillmaster to prepare it for a small fee. Tonight, unwind in a magnificent luxury riad in Essaouira and let the sound of the waves crashing lull you to sleep.
Day 13: A Day of Seaside Adventure in Essaouira
Enjoy the sunshine today on the beach in Essaouira. If the Atlantic waters are too chilly for swimming, plenty of other enjoyable activities are nearby! Some important landmarks can be found along the shore. When the tide is low, you can climb the crumbling fortress in the sand and explore it by walking south along the bay. Then proceed to cross the nearby stream and climb the hill, where you will eventually come across the ruins of an additional, larger fortress complex. Kids and those who still have a sense of wonder will love exploring here.
After being driven back to town for lunch, the adventures will resume. Take a surfing or kitesurfing lesson on the beach (wetsuits and equipment are provided), or go on a camel ride across the sand or a horseback ride through the coastal forests if you’re looking for some adrenaline. After that, relax at your riad while enjoying the sunset with Moroccan mint tea. Get your fill of expertly prepared, freshly caught seafood from the friendly locals here.
Day 14: To Casablanca via the Atlantic Coast & Portuguese Ports
You’ll leave early today to travel to Casablanca along the coast, stopping briefly in a few interesting seaside towns. Safi, renowned for its fantastic surfing beaches and Atlantic Ocean views, is the first place you’ll go. You’ll make a second stop in El Jadida, where you can explore the impressive Portuguese cistern. After exploring the Church of the Assumption and the ramparts, have lunch within the city.
Next, go to Azemour, which has, over the years, served as a source of inspiration for 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. The crumbling 16th-century medina, wedged between the Oud Er-Rbia (Mother of Spring River) and the ocean, can serve as inspiration.
When you get to Casablanca, check into your hotel and unwind for a while before going out for dinner and an evening of sightseeing.
Day 15: Depart Casablanca
It’s time to bid Morocco farewell. You’ll travel to Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca to catch your flight when the time comes. You might be able to squeeze in some last-minute sightseeing in Casablanca or a cup of tea at one of the city’s classic cafés, depending on the time of your departure flight.