12 Days Morocco tour : Rabat, Fez, Sahara Desert, Marrakech and Essaouira
Day 01: meet in Rabat:
Upon your arrival at the airport of Rabat, our driver will be at your disposal waiting to meet you. Once we meet, we pick you up and take our direction to Meknes, one of the fourth imperial cities in Morocco along with Fes, Rabat and Marrakech. In Meknes, we will be able to visit Sidi Said Mosque, The Royal Palace, The Tomb of Moulay Ismail as well as to hang out throughout the old medina of Meknes and its souks. Overnight in Meknes.
Day 02: Meknes – Volubilis “Roman ruins” – Fes:
After your breakfast in Meknes, you will be picked up and start our day trip to Meknes and Volubilis Roman remains with a wonderful drive through the magical green surroundings countryside. Within an hour drive, we arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Roman ruins in Volubilis.
Volubilis is the ancient Roman city spread over a wide area, offering beautiful views over the valley, the green fields, and the hills. Here, we highly recommend official guide to provide you with local history and knowledge as the site has a fascinating historical background. As we finish with the sightseeing of the site, we drive to visit the holy town of Zerhoun, located on the hillside above the ruins. The mausoleum of Moulay Idriss is not open for non-Muslims but still the main square has a lot to offer. Later on, we carry on our journey to the spiritual capital of Morocco, Fez. Overnight to spend in a charming riad.
Day 03: Explore Fez:
Right after having our lovely Moroccan breakfast, we meet you at the reception by 09am and take you to enjoy a full day sightseeing tour in Fes which is the oldest of Morocco’s four imperial cities. During our exploration, we will cover the main attractions with historical and cultural interests. The University of Al Karaouine was founded in Fes by a woman named Fatima al Fihri in 859. This site might be the oldest degree-granting university in the world. The medieval city of Fes El Bali “Old Fes” remains complete and unspoiled. Our sightseeing tour includes as well a visit to the exotic Bou Inania Medrasa “Koranic school’. Our journey offers wonderful photos from the main gate as well as famous souks. In the afternoon you can visit Fes El Jadid “New Fes”. Overnight in a charm riad.
Day 04: Fes – Ifran – Ziz Valley – Merzouga:
After breakfast in your riad or Hotel, you will leave Fes and drive towards the southeast following the Caravan roads to Sahara Desert of Erg Chebbi. During the journey, you will experience glimpses of the Middle Atlas Mountains. Stopping at the Cedar Forest, the largest one in Morocco, over the Middle Atlas Mountains– where you will sight Barbary macaques and maybe provide some food. After lunch in Midelt, we will continue through the large open high desert, and notice how the scenery changes to reveal hints of the desert as we approach the city of Errachidia. Our trip continues along the luxuriant Ziz Valley and the Tafilalet date palm grove, famous for date cultivation. This area is the cradle of the Alaouite dynasty – the current ruling royal family in Morocco. Overnight in a Riad or Hotel in Merzouga.
Day 05: Explore Merzouga:
After breakfast we will start a journey to explore the surroundings of Merzouga by visiting the ancient market of Rissani, historically known as Sijilmassa which is one of the most important stop points for trade caravans coming from sub-saharan countries toward Marrakesh. Once in the town, we will have the chance to hang around its ancient market and visit the traditional herb pharmacy. Later on, we then drive back to Khamlia village where we can have Moroccan Pizza in a local restaurant looking at the dunes, then enjoy the Gnawa music. In the afternoon, we get ready for a camel trek across the golden dunes of Erg Chebbi to spend a night under the nomad’s tents camp in the middle of the desert. Overnight at the desert camp.
Day 06: Merzouga – Todra Gorges – Boumalne Dades:
Early in the morning, the camel guide will wake you up to watch what may be the best sunrise of your life, enjoying the sun out of the dunes. You could not fail to appreciate the unique beauty of the spectacular Erg Chebbi sand dunes – changing with the light as the day progresses. After breakfast, we will leave for Todra gorges – the highest, narrowest gorges in Morocco. After lunch we will drive through Dades Valley, where we will see the majestic sand castles and the amazing rock formations known as “monkey toes”. Night will be spent in a Hotel in Dades Valley.
Day 07: Dades Valley – Ait Benhadou Kasbah – Atlas Mountains – Marrakech:
After breakfast we will depart to Marrakech via the Rose Valley including a stop at a rose distillation unit in order to get a clear idea of how rose productions are manufactured, then continue passing by the Skoura Palm grove and the road of 1001 Kasbahs until we join Hollywood of Africa, the city of Ouarzazate – famous for being the spot of the international movie makers and in which famous movies were filmed such as “Gladiator”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Mummy” and so many other films. Later on, we continue our way to the famous UNESCO World Heritage site Ksar or Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. A very wonderful fortified city that stands at the edge of a hill separated by a running Ounila river. Then we drive via the Atlas Mountains to pass via one of the Morocco amazing roads, the Tichka Pass that stands in 2260m above sea level. We will stop for a cup of coffee and a visit to the women Argan oil co-operative. Thereafter, we continue to join the red city of Marrakesh. Overnight in Marrakech.
Day 08: Exploring Marrakech:
After breakfast, a morning guided tour of Marrakech “the Red City of Morocco” will be dedicated to explore the beautiful secrets of Moroccan lifestyle. We will ensure that you see all the sites with historical and cultural interest, including the Koutoubia Menaret; the Saadian tombs; the beautiful Palace of Bahia and the Ben Youssef Coranic School. Finally, end up the morning by walking through the medina alleys -getting a chance to admire all of the different artisans performing their crafts before arriving at the famous Jamaa El Fna Square. Lunch at a restaurant near the square, and then in the afternoon visit the Majorelle Gardens, and have a short tour at the new city of Marrakech.
Day 09: Marrakech day trip to Essaouira:
In the morning we meet you in the reception going into a very fantastic nice trip discovering the sceneries of “Mogador” Essaouira. Along the road we will see a lot of Argan trees and goats climbing the trees. In order to have idea about the process of making oil, we will stop in women argan cooperative “optional”. During this tour you explore the old fortified fishing port of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. This Morocco-Portuguese town is the favorite of wind and kite surfers due to the shallow waters. Essaouira is typical of many small fortified Moroccan townships. In the past it was considered to be one of the most essential ports in Morocco, and still in certain manners. Essaouira is a world heritage city. In the afternoon around 03pm, we pick you up and drive back to Marrakech.
Day 10: Marrakech – Casablanca:
After the breakfast at the hotel, we will meet you at the reception and start our day trip to Casablanca. The ride is about three hours to arrive. In Casablanca, we will visit the most important sights of the city. Named “White House” by a group of Spanish and Portuguese sailors who marveled at the city back in time. Today, Casablanca is a bustling city of boulevards and modern infrastructure. Along our sightseeing, we will walk around the Habous district, where the small squares and narrow arcade streets provide a fine example of contemporary city planning mixed with the maze-like streets of the traditional medina. Furthermore, we continue towards United Nations and the majestic Mohammed V Square. Then, go to the lively Central Market and the Mehkma (Tribunal). Notre Dame de Lourdes cathedral and the famous Hassan II Mosque are also among the historical attractions to visit in Casablanca. Night in a charming hotel.
Day 11: Casablanca – Rabat:
Right after your breakfast, we pick you up and drive to Rabat. Once in Rabat, we start our private city tour. Enjoy a comfortable sightseeing experience in an air-conditioned vehicle that takes you to all the major historic sites in this green city. During your tour, we will ensure to cover all attractions with culture and history interests including visit Mohamed V Avenue, the Kasbah of the Udayas, the Royal Mausoleum, and Hassan Tower. Take a stroll in the medina and get a feel for local life. Once we have worked up an appetite exploring the city, savor a Moroccan lunch in a traditional restaurant. After lunch, we check into our hotel.
Day 12: Transfer to Rabat airport:
Upon your flight schedule, we transfer you from the riad to the airport in time for the check-in before the flight. End of our services.