Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco, serves as an excellent starting point for an extraordinary journey through the country’s most prominent destinations. This 12-day tour originating in Casablanca is a prime illustration of the diverse experiences Morocco offers, spanning inland and coastal regions, urban centers, desert landscapes, and areas of remarkable natural beauty. Through this comprehensive itinerary, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the true essence of Morocco, found not only in its grand monuments but also in the small nuances of daily life, which we’ll help you uncover throughout the duration of the tour.
This meticulously designed journey strikes a harmonious balance, allowing for guided explorations and engaging activities during your leisure time. Whether you’re visiting monumental sites or indulging in authentic local experiences, this tour encapsulates the richness of Morocco’s culture, history, and landscapes. From bustling cities to serene desert expanses, from architectural marvels to hidden gems, you’ll gain a well-rounded understanding of Morocco’s multifaceted allure.
On this tour, we will visit cities of unquestionable beauty, both for their moments and for their lively famous life. In Casablanca, the great metropolis of the country, we will see one of the largest mosques in the world. In Rabat, Meknes, Marrakech, Fes, and Essaouira you will stroll through historic medinas declared World Heritage by Unesco, where defensive walls, richly decorated madrasas, palaces of refined taste, sacred mausoleums, and countless places of interest survive. Recognition also has other places we will visit, such as the Roman archaeological site of Volubilis and the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. And we will not miss the opportunity to visit other cities and towns that are certainly worth visiting, such as Chaouen and Rissani, which retain their charm intact.
In order to fully discover Morocco, it is essential to include in the program the most beautiful natural landscapes of the country. Of course, we will thoroughly enjoy the Sahara desert, as we will enter one of its most suggestive and remote areas: the desert of Merzouga, where the dunes of Erg Chebbi are located. Here, the golden color of the fine sand blends with a clean blue sky that acquires indescribable shades at dawn and dusk … to give way to a firmament full of glittering stars at night. The Ifrane National Park, home to a large population of Barbary monkeys, demonstrates the rich wildlife that still survives in some parts of the country, especially in the Middle Atlas.
On the other hand, the highest peaks of Morocco will stand out before our eyes as we cross the High Atlas, while in the Rif we will witness another type of mountain range, greener and wetter. And the sea will show its most attractive side in front of the coasts of Essaouira, where beaches suitable for bathing and very suggestive rock formations are formed.
Here is the detailed program, day by day, of this tour that starts in Casablanca and ends in Marrakech 12 days later.
Upon arrival at Casablanca airport, our team will greet you, and an English-speaking driver will be ready with a private vehicle for your immersive Moroccan journey.
Starting in Casablanca, you’ll marvel at the Hassan II Mosque, the tallest in Morocco and the Islamic world. This contemporary architectural wonder, situated on a man-made island, showcases intricate materials like marble and granite. Continuing to Rabat, the capital since 1912 and an Imperial City, you’ll encounter landmarks like the Hassan Tower and the panoramic Kasbah of the Oudayas.
In Rabat, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, your afternoon is free to explore the medina’s souk, visit attractions like the Mohamed VI Museum of Contemporary Art, or simply immerse yourself in the city’s allure. Rest in a comfortable riad in the city center, ready for the next chapter of your Moroccan adventure.
After enjoying breakfast at the riad in Rabat, we will set out early in the morning, embarking on a journey towards the north. Our destination is Chaouen, and we aim to arrive with ample time to explore this enchanting small town. The drive will take approximately 4 hours, with the final stretch winding through the picturesque Rif Mountains.
Nestled within this mountainous terrain lies Chaouen, also known as Chefchaouen. Its medina, characterized by narrow, steep, and winding alleyways, exudes a captivating allure due to the predominant use of light blue hues adorning its walls. The town’s essence is further captured by an intriguing kasbah, now transformed into an ethnographic museum, offering insights into the region’s cultural heritage. The kasbah’s strategic vantage points provide panoramic views of Chaouen’s charming village and the lush landscapes that surround it.
Chaouen serves as a living testament to ancient traditions and ways of life, as well as a hub of rich craftsmanship, particularly renowned for its textile productions. After indulging in shopping and leisurely strolls through the medina, you’ll find comfort in your riad, conveniently located in the heart of the historic center, where you can unwind and reflect on the day’s explorations.
The third day of this remarkable journey begins with breakfast at the riad. We’ll bid farewell to the Rif Mountains and set our course south, embarking on a discovery of two distinctly captivating places that reflect the diversity and splendor of Morocco as a whole.
Our first stop immerses us in the Roman Empire‘s legacy. Specifically, we’ll journey to Volubilis, a city of immense significance within the province of Mauritania Tingitana. This archaeological marvel now stands as a testament to the past, preserving colonnades, intricate mosaics, monumental arches, and other artifacts that offer insight into its historical importance. Volubilis’s rich heritage has earned it a well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage designation.
Continuing our expedition, we’ll reach Meknes, another UNESCO-recognized gem. As one of Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Meknes was designated as the capital by Sultan Moulay Ismail in the late seventeenth century. During your free exploration of its historic medina, you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at its grand mausoleum, fortified walls, and monumental gates, including the impressive Bab Mansour.
The day’s final leg leads us to Fes, where you’ll have time for an independent stroll. This experience offers your first introduction to a city steeped in history, and you’ll also have the chance to shop in its renowned craft stores, celebrated for their exceptional quality both locally and beyond. As the day draws to a close, you’ll retire to a riad nestled within the medina, ensuring a restful night’s sleep in preparation for the guided tour that awaits you on the following day.
On the fourth day of this tour, a comprehensive exploration of Fes awaits, facilitated by the insights and guidance of an official local guide. After a satisfying breakfast at the riad, you will meet the guide for an English-language tour of the city’s renowned medina, which holds the esteemed title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The guide’s expertise ensures an experience tailored to your preferences and capabilities, making the most of your time. Among the plethora of options, you may delve into notable sites such as the renowned madrasas of Bou Inania and Attarine. Alternatively, you can visit the historic Karaouine Mosque, home to one of the world’s oldest universities, or Nejjarine Square, adorned with an eighteenth-century fountain. The tanners’ quarter, where the leathercrafting tradition continues as it has for centuries, is another highlight not to be missed.
Given the depth of Fes’s attractions, it may prove challenging to uncover all its treasures in a single morning. However, the free afternoon provides an opportunity to explore any remaining sites of interest. Delve into the Jewish neighborhood (Mellah), marvel at the Golden Gates of the Royal Palace, or consider museum visits to Dar Bahta, Borj Nord, or Nejjarine. As the day winds down, you’ll return to the same riad in the heart of the medina to rest, reflecting on your immersive journey through Fes.
On the fifth day, the journey unfolds with fascination. Departing from Fes after breakfast, we venture into the diverse landscapes of Morocco. First, we visit Ifrane, known as the “Moroccan Switzerland,” characterized by gabled rooftops and verdant surroundings due to ample precipitation. Then, the Monkey Forest in Ifrane National Park introduces us to a thriving population of Barbary macaques, inhabiting cedar-filled forests unique to this region.
Transitioning from the Middle Atlas Mountains to the Ziz Valley, we witness the transformation from cultivation to desert, arriving in Erfoud—an internationally renowned fossil-rich town. Finally, we reach Merzouga, where the road ends and camels await. A camel ride through Erg Chebbi’s golden dunes immerses us in the desert’s essence. Our tent camp greets us with Berber tea, a sumptuous dinner, and a night beneath star-studded skies, a memory that will surely linger.
Dedicating the entire sixth day to the enchanting desert of Merzouga, this tour offers a profound immersion into its authenticity. Commencing with the mesmerizing sunrise over the Erg Chebbi dunes, unparalleled light illuminates the dawn. After relishing this spectacle, a hearty breakfast awaits, followed by a camel ride back to Merzouga. Shower facilities are available in the camp or a hotel, as per the package chosen.
Embarking on a journey to Khamlia, also known as the ‘village of the blacks,’ unveils a historical narrative intertwined with the slave trade. Descendants of sub-Saharan African slaves have preserved their ancestral music, particularly the mesmerizing Gnawa genre, acknowledged as Intangible Cultural Heritage by Unesco. A musical performance showcases their rhythmic percussions and mystical dances.
The expedition continues via a captivating 4×4 route, tracing the iconic Paris-Dakar rally trail. Crossing kohl mines, abandoned settlements, and elevated vantage points, the landscapes unfold before us. Interaction with a semi-nomadic village introduces us to traditional desert life and extends a warm welcome.
Dinner and accommodations await at the hotel in the mesmerizing expanse of the Merzouga desert, concluding a day filled with genuine cultural encounters and awe-inspiring vistas.
On the seventh day, bidding farewell to the enchanting Erg Chebbi dunes, we embark on a new adventure across the Moroccan desert. After a satisfying breakfast, our journey begins with a visit to the surprising city of Rissani. Its vibrant historic medina showcases a traditional market teeming with colorful local products and a charming donkey parking area, offering a glimpse into genuine daily life.
Continuing our drive, we cover over 150 km to reach the captivating Todra Gorges. This natural wonder boasts a rocky canyon carved by the meandering Todra River, attracting climbers from around the globe. The unique shapes and towering walls of the gorge provide a picturesque backdrop for a leisurely stroll or a scenic drive along the winding road.
Transitioning to the Dades Valley, an integral part of the Route of the Thousand Kasbahs, we encounter Berber fortresses set atop arid hills. The valley’s lush palm groves and cultivated fields offer insights into the traditional way of life. Nearby, the Valley of the Roses blooms with the fragrant flowers that contribute to the region’s livelihood, painting the landscape with vibrant colors, particularly in spring.
As the day winds down, we reach Ouarzazate, often referred to as Morocco’s “Hollywood” due to its renowned film studios. Scenes from iconic films like Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator were shot here. Exploring the city, we visit the Kasbah of Taourirt, once the residence of Thami El Glaoui, and now showcasing its original interior and exterior design. After an eventful day, we enjoy a hearty dinner at a comfortable hotel, preparing for the adventures of the following day.
On the eighth day of the 12-day tour from Casablanca, we begin with breakfast at the hotel in Ouarzazate. We then travel 25 kilometers to the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, an exemplary Berber defensive construction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After exploring its interior and exterior, we return to our vehicle and head to the High Atlas Mountains. A stop at Telouet, another kasbah related to Taourirt in Ouarzazate, follows. Continuing, we reach the Tizi n’Tichka Pass, offering spectacular views of the High Atlas peaks and Berber villages. The descent takes us to Marrakech, and from there, we proceed on the highway to Essaouira. Arriving in the afternoon, we take a stroll through the coastal city before staying overnight in a charming riad in the medina.
After breakfast at your riad, you’ll have a free day to explore Essaouira. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its historic center boasts monumental attractions like La Scala fortress, old wall gates, and the charming Clock Tower. Essaouira’s significance as a former Portuguese colony, known as Mogador, is palpable in its strategic architecture. The city’s fishing port holds its charm, and corners of the medina, like the Clock Tower, evoke its rich history.
Activities await, particularly along the coast. Wind enthusiasts can enjoy kitesurfing and windsurfing, thanks to the abundant coastal winds. Horse and camel rides along the sandy beach offer a magical experience, surrounded by stunning landscapes. If a refreshing swim is on your agenda during the summer, Essaouira’s beach is the perfect spot. Our staff can assist in organizing activities and offering recommendations. Rest in the evening at the medina riad.
On this tenth day, after breakfast at the Essaouira riad, our driver will pick you up for the road trip to Marrakech, where this tour concludes. You’ll arrive in the Red City by mid-morning, giving you ample free time to explore Marrakech at your own pace. With a full day planned for guided exploration the next day, you can use today to visit key sites that interest you most. This might include landmarks like El Badi Palace, leisurely walks in Majorelle Gardens, or museum visits like the Marrakech Museum and Yves Saint Laurent Museum.
Alternatively, you could dedicate the day to shopping, unburdened by the need to travel further. Explore the traditional medina souks or browse modern stores in neighborhoods like Gueliz. Whichever route you choose, the night will bring relaxation in a medina riad, preparing you for the guided adventure awaiting you in Marrakech the next day.
Marrakech serves as the perfect conclusion to this nearly two-week journey. Starting the morning with a guided tour, your official guide will accompany you through the city’s historical gems, following a breakfast at the riad.
The guided tour will focus on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the medina, including the renowned Koutoubia Mosque, the Ben Youssef Medersa, the Bahia Palace, and the Saadian Tombs. These sites showcase the splendor of Islamic art with their intricate tilework, marble, cedar wood, and opulent materials. You’ll also explore the bustling souks and the iconic Jemaa el-Fna Square, recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The afternoon will be yours to enjoy as you wish—perhaps exploring different activities or simply rejuvenating, with options like traditional hammams or modern wellness experiences to recharge after the extensive journey. Concluding the day, you’ll return to your riad in the medina for your final night on this remarkable route.
As your comprehensive exploration of Morocco comes to an end, the final day will commence with breakfast at the riad. The itinerary includes your transfer to Marrakech airport, where our driver will be punctual to ensure your smooth journey. Traveling in a private vehicle, you’ll arrive at the terminal on time. It’s with sincere gratitude for your trust in us that we bid you farewell, hopeful that you’ll consider us for future adventures and experiences in Morocco. Safe travels!
In the 12 days from Casablanca that make up this Morocco in full, we offer the necessary services to enjoy the experience:
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Morocco is a diverse country that serves as a gateway to Africa. Epic mountain ranges, ancient ruins, vast deserts, and kind people can all be found here.