10 days tour from Tangier speaks for itself: on this trip, we will not only have time to discover many places of great beauty but also do it in-depth and with the necessary calm to get to know the local customs of its people. We will travel through the north, the far south, the center, and the Atlantic Coast of the west to cover such famous attractions as the Imperial Cities, the World Heritage monuments, the dunes of the Sahara desert, and the Atlas Mountains. Undoubtedly, a most complete and fascinating experience that will remain engraved in your mind and in your heart.
On the cultural and artistic level, the 10-day desert tour from Tangier covers the most spectacular cities and monuments of the country. This is the case with the so-called Imperial Cities: Fes, Marrakech and Meknes, which we will dedicate enough time to visit. The same happens in smaller towns, such as Chaouen or Essaouira, which exude charm at first sight. In addition, we integrate into the circuit historical sites declared World Heritage by Unesco, such as the Roman archaeological site of Volubilis and the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. And to them we add other traditional medinas and picturesque kasbahs, configuring a very rich proposal at the level of architectural tourism.
Not only the man-made masterpieces will occupy our time in this 10 days Morocco tour from Tangier: but so will the masterpieces shaped by nature over millions of years. The Sahara desert stands out above all, as we will visit one of its most unique areas: the area around Merzouga, where the famous sand dunes of Erg Chebbi are located. We will also make our way through the Moroccan mountains of the Rif, the High Atlas, and the Middle Atlas, and in the latter, we will discover the orchards such as the National Park of the Cedars (or of the Monkeys). Very interesting will also be the valleys south of the Atlas Mountains, with palm groves and mountain canyons that will leave us with our mouths open. And of course, the Atlantic Coast will provide an interesting and relaxing counterpoint to our tour.
But undoubtedly, what makes this 10-day Morocco tour even more special is that we include genuine experiences with the local population to really get to know their way of life, in many cases truly traditional. For example, we will live with desert nomads in the ‘black village’, so-called because its inhabitants have their roots in sub-Saharan Africa. We will also have the opportunity to enter the craftsmen’s quarters of the medinas, often organized by guilds, as in centuries past. And we can even see a donkey parking lot in the city of Rissani, which demonstrates the survival of truly traditional ways of life. In addition, ethnographic activities can be integrated into the program, such as a visit to an argan oil production cooperative or workshops where the precious desert marble is worked.
The 10-day ‘Wonders of Morocco’ itinerary starts in the far north of the country, in Tangier, and ends in Marrakech. Both cities are very well connected with other countries, facilitating arrivals and departures by plane (or ferry in the case of Tangier). This is the itinerary day by day.
During this 10-day desert tour from Tangier to Marrakech, our services commence at the port or airport of Tangier. Our English-speaking driver will be awaiting your arrival with a private vehicle for the entirety of the tour. Once we meet, we’ll depart from this city nestled along the Strait of Gibraltar and head south.
Subject to the flight or ferry schedule, our first stop of the day will be Tetouan. This captivating city boasts a medina recognized as a World Heritage Site due to its beauty. Additionally, Tetouan was the capital of the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco, so the influence of its northern neighbor remains evident throughout the city. Those who have watched or read “El tiempo entre costuras” will easily identify the locations where the protagonist Sira Quiroga navigated during the plot.
Whether Tetouan is explored later or not, the afternoon of this first day will be spent in Chaouen, often referred to as Chefchaouen. Known as the “blue city” due to the distinctive hue of its buildings, Chaouen is nestled within the Rif Mountains. Exploring its labyrinthine, steep alleys will be a delight. Before retiring for the night in a charming riad, the free excursion will encompass its kasbah and breathtaking viewpoints.
Following breakfast at the riad in Chaouen, we resume our journey. Exiting the Rif Mountains and traversing cultivated fields, we will reach Volubilis. This archaeological site, recognized as a World Heritage Site, preserves the remnants of a significant Roman city. These remains bear witness to the historical importance of the province of Mauritania Tingitana in ancient times. Magnificent arches, religious temples, and intricate mosaics from grand villas are among the captivating relics that still endure today, offering a compelling experience for visitors.
Our next destination is Meknes, situated in close proximity to Volubilis. Under the rule of Sultan Mulay Ismail in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the city attained capital status, leading to the construction of many of its notable monuments. Thanks to its bustling souk and impressive gateways like Bab Mansur, the medina—also recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site—retains much of its captivating charm.
As the day draws to a close, we’ll arrive in Fes, although the exploration of this Imperial City will be reserved for the following day. In the meantime, our overnight stay will be at a delightful riad within the medina.
In this 10-day tour of Morocco, Fes stands out as one of the most monumental and captivating destinations. Naturally, its medina has earned the esteemed title of a World Heritage Site. It’s certainly worth dedicating an entire day to exploring, a plan that you will undertake with our official guide following breakfast at the riad.
The itinerary may encompass a stroll through locations like the Karaouine Mosque, which houses one of the earliest universities in the Islamic world. The medina’s squares hold treasures of immense historical and aesthetic value, including Nejjarine Square and its fountain, as well as esteemed medersas such as Bou Inania. The neighborhoods themselves hold a distinct allure, in large part due to their continuation of traditional activities, such as the renowned Chouwara tannery. Visitors will be equally entranced by the Mellah, or Jewish district, and the splendid gates of the Royal Palace.
These explorations can be extended into the free afternoon. This time also offers an opportunity to peruse local craft shops, renowned as some of the finest in the country. As evening descends, the riad will welcome you back for a well-deserved rest, a peaceful conclusion to a fulfilling day.
On this fourth day of the 10-day desert tour from Tangier to Marrakech, we finally make our way to the Sahara Desert. However, before reaching this remarkable destination, the journey promises many other captivating surprises. The initial enchantment awaits in the Middle Atlas Mountains, where we encounter Ifrane, often dubbed ‘Moroccan Switzerland.’ This small town is recognized for its distinctive gabled buildings reminiscent of the abundant winter snowfall it receives.
Between Ifrane and Azrou stretches the Cedar National Park, affectionately known as the Monkey Forest. This natural reserve provides a perfect habitat for Barbary macaques, an endangered primate species that thrives here with a robust population.
Upon crossing the natural barrier of the Middle Atlas, our route takes us through the picturesque Ziz Valley, eventually leading us to the desert landscape. Our path passes through Erfoud, renowned globally for its fossil significance, including some from great dinosaurs. The town is also esteemed for its prestigious marble production. Soon after, we’ll reach Merzouga, a settlement that lends its name to one of the Sahara Desert’s most captivating and unique sections.
In Merzouga, we embark on an authentic transfer: trading our modern vehicle for traditional dromedaries (alternatively replaced by 4x4s), a mode of transport used by desert nomads since ancient times. These dromedaries are an unparalleled means to navigate the golden expanse of fine sand in Erg Chebbi. This journey brings us to a tented camp, where a warm Berber tea welcome awaits, followed by a hearty dinner. As we’ll come to realize, these tents provide an ideal haven for resting amidst the desert, while offering an unparalleled opportunity to marvel at the starlit sky.
In this charming village, we’ll have a firsthand encounter with its residents, predominantly of African descent as descendants of former Sudanese slaves. Their way of life revolves around art and music, offering us the chance to immerse ourselves in a ‘Gnawa’ performance. This distinct percussion genre is characterized by its strong sub-Saharan rhythms and has been designated as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO due to its unique significance.
Following this enriching cultural and ethnographic experience, a thrill of adventure awaits as we embark on a 4×4 journey along a route frequently traversed during the Paris-Dakar rally. Along the way, we’ll pass the Khol mines and the remnants of a Berber and French village. We’ll be treated to awe-inspiring panoramic vistas of the sea of sand that forms the Erg Chebbi dunes. Moreover, we’ll engage with a group of desert nomads who are transitioning to a more settled lifestyle while still preserving many of their age-old traditions.
After sharing tea and conversations with these nomads, we’ll return to Merzouga, where the hotel will offer a dinner and a peaceful night’s rest, ensuring we’re rejuvenated for the next day’s explorations.
Just like the previous day, the sixth day offers the chance to wake up in an unparalleled setting, where the dawn’s hues assume unimaginable shades. Breakfast will be savored in this environment, shortly followed by our camel journey back to Merzouga. Once again, a rejuvenating shower is available (either at the camp or in a hotel, as arranged).
Our path returns to the main way and initially leads us to Rissani. This desert town delights with its historical medina, traditional market, and even a donkey parking area. Continuing on, we’ll venture into the Dades Valley, unveiling landscapes of immense beauty, including the Todra Gorges—a rocky canyon featuring natural walls towering around 200 meters, sculpted by erosion.
Next, we’ll embark on the Road of the Thousand Kasbahs and the Valley of the Roses, where ancient Berber fortresses coexist harmoniously with palm groves. During the latter part of the day, we’ll have an opportunity to visit one such fortress: the Taourirt Kasbah, located on the outskirts of Ouarzazate. This kasbah once served as the residence for the ‘Pasha’ of Marrakech, and much of its original architecture and decorative elements remain intact.
If time permits, we might arrange a visit to the film studios. Ouarzazate is known as the ‘Moroccan Hollywood,’ having hosted the filming of renowned blockbusters such as Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. Accommodation for the day will be provided in an Ouarzazate hotel, where dinner will also be served, ensuring a comfortable and fulfilling day’s end.
After breakfast at the Ouarzazate hotel, we head to the Ait Ben Haddou ksar, a fortified village renowned for its adobe architecture and UNESCO recognition. It’s a frequent filming location, including for Game of Thrones. Continuing to Marrakech, we stop at the Telouet kasbah, displaying historical charm akin to the Taourirt kasbah.
Crossing the High Atlas through the Tizi n’Tichka pass reveals stunning mountain vistas and charming villages. Marrakech, the Red City, awaits with UNESCO-listed sites. The next day, delve into its offerings; for now, rest in a riad for the night.
Starting your day with breakfast at the riad, you’ll gather energy for exploring one of the highlights of this 10-day Moroccan tour: Marrakech. As an Imperial City with a rich past as the kingdom’s capital, it boasts breathtaking monuments and charming corners. An official guide will lead a morning guided tour, providing detailed insights.
The tour encompasses various captivating sites: Koutoubia Mosque (exterior), Saadian tombs, Ben Youssef Medersa, Bahia Palace, and El Badi Palace. You’ll also explore bustling neighborhoods with artisanal souks.
The afternoon offers free time for shopping in local establishments or delving into other intriguing sites that reveal the city’s depth. Majorelle Gardens and the Marrakech Museum are compelling options. After such an immersive day, rest awaits at a historic riad for the night.
On the ninth day of the ‘Wonders of Morocco’ tour, a new dimension will unfold: the sea. We’ll journey to Essaouira, a charming coastal city embraced by the Atlantic Ocean. The day begins with breakfast at the Marrakech riad, followed by a road trip of approximately 190 km. Along the way, we’ll traverse vast argan forests and can pause at a local cooperative to witness the production of their renowned argan oil.
Upon reaching Essaouira, you’ll have ample time to explore at your own pace while uncovering its prominent landmarks and corners. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, exhibits their architectural influence in its citadel and sea walls, notably featured in Game of Thrones episodes.
The historic medina boasts Moroccan authenticity with monumental gates, souks, and mosques. Alternatively, you can enjoy the beaches and engage in water or coastal activities like camel rides or various forms of surfing. Essaouira’s maritime gastronomy, benefiting from abundant local fishing, offers a delightful culinary experience.
As the day concludes, a well-deserved rest in a medina riad marks the tour’s final night, culminating the 10-day journey through the wonders of Morocco.
Following breakfast at the Essaouira riad, the schedule will align with your flight departure. If time permits, you’ll have a final opportunity to explore Essaouira, whether it’s for last-minute shopping or a leisurely stroll. Subsequently, our driver will chauffeur you directly to Marrakech airport. Here, our services will conclude, bidding you farewell with gratitude and the hope of a future reunion for another captivating Moroccan tour, whether spanning 10 days or any other duration.
In the 10 days that make up this desert vacation from tangier to Marrakech, 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.