Grand Morocco Tours – 11 days from Tangier – Imperial cities & Essaouira
Day 01: Tangier – Larache – Rabat:
We pick you up from your location hotel, riad, bus or train station and start our adventure traveling across Morocco. Upon your arrival in Tangier, our assistant driver will be waiting to meet you and shake hand. As you meet, you start the drive to Rabat which is the actual capital and one of four imperial cities in Morocco. The city is famous for domes, minarets, sweeping terraces, wide avenues, and green spaces. Our drive will take us via Larache which is actually, both Andalusian and Arab town on the Atlantic coast. Once in Rabat, we will cover the main essential historical attractions such as: The picturesque Oudaya Kasbah, Hassan Tower, The Mausoleum of Mohamed V, and the Chela Necropolis where the Roman and Islamic ruins lie side by side whispering endless stories of the past centuries. When we finish with Rabat sightseeing, we check for our hotel where to spend overnight.
Day 02: Rabat – Meknes – Volubilis – Fez:
Right after your lovely Moroccan breakfast, we meet you at the lobby by 08am and leave Rabat for Fez. Our journey will take us via the imperial city of Meknes. The history of the city dates back to 11th century as it was founded by a local Berber family. Meknes has few historical sites to provide us with such as: Bab Mansour, Moulay Ismail Mausoleum and an old stable used as granary… After this, we shift northeast to Volubilis ‘Roman Ruins’. It is a UNESCO heritage site worth visiting. The site takes us back to 3rd century BC. The Berber name of the site is Oualili which means Nerium oleander plant. We will have an official guide to better understand and cover all the historical secrets of this iconic area. Later on, we take our road to Fes. Late afternoon we will arrive at Fez for an overnight stay in the Hotel/Riad.
Day 03: Fez guided walking Tour:
After breakfast in the Riad, we meet you at the reception and start exploring the oldest city in Morocco, walking via its alleys and small streets. The walking tour of fez is divided into two parts, the internal and external side. We will start with the external part in which we will try to visit the most historical monuments: The Royal Palace gate, the Jewish headquarter, the first Melah ever built in Morocco, built during the 16th century, the pottery and Zellij tilework… Additionally, during the internal part of our walk, we will ensure to cover all sites with cultural and historical interests including the famous Al Karaouine University, the oldest in the region, the Tanneries, the Attarin Museum and Moulay Idriss Mausoleum. After lunch, we carry on exploring more sites walking through the narrow alleys of this labyrinthic medina. Around 03pm we will get back to our hotel.
Day 04: Fez – Ifran – Midelt – Ziz Valley – Merzouga:
After having breakfast in your hotel/Riad, your private driver/guide will take you for a journey of a lifetime experience. Today will allow us to explore different landscapes travelling past Ifrane, where houses have sloping roofs, remarkable and unusual in Morocco. This is to cope with yearly snowfall. Our journey continues with a drive through the UNESCO preserved Cedar Forest of the Middle Atlas. The forest hosts a colony of endangered Barbary Apes which you might see and feed. From here we drive south of the Middle Atlas passing through Timhadite until we reach Midelt, which lies at the foot of Ayachi Mountains. It is nicknamed ‘the apple capital’ and serves as the commercial agricultural Centre for the surrounding area. It is also one of Morocco’s principal cities of several minerals, such as quartz and vanadinite…we stop for lunch here in one of the local restaurants. Later on, we will continue further south travelling over the Tizi N’ Talghamt pass known as the ‘camel’ pass. We carry on with our trip passing via remote mud villages scattered along the road, then we descend through Ziz Valley, which is particularly known for its palm grove. The fascinating valley of Ziz provides us with a great picturesque view. We will arrive in Erfoud, famous for its date and fossils. Finally, we arrive at the red Erg Chebbi dunes of Merzouga. Overnight in a typical charming hotel.
Day 05: Sahara Desert tour & camel ride:
A visit to Morocco without being in the Sahara Desert and a camel ride is definitely incomplete, therefore, today will fully be dedicated just to the desert area. We will have a unique opportunity to visit Gnaoua village “Black people” originally from Mali, Niger…. They will entertain us with their authentic instruments. After spending a worthwhile moment with Gnaoua; we drive deep in the Desert for a panoramic view that shows the contrast of golden dunes with black volcanic rocks. Later on, a cup of tea with a nomad family is worth it in order to explore the way they survive and feel the harshness of life and what it feels like to be a nomad. We follow our path to an abandoned coal mine. After that, we will drive to the village of Merzouga for lunch. Additionally, we make our way to the hotel to collect luggage and get ready for our camel ride adventure. The dromedaries will take us across Erg Chebbi dunes enjoying the sceneries of the area. The sunset view on top of the dunes will be the best experience ever. Arrive at the camp in the middle of dunes, we receive you with a cup of tea as hospitality. Dinner and breakfast will be served in your luxury camp. The tents are well equipped with all needs.
Day 06: Merzouga – Rissani – Todra Gorges – Dades & Rose Valley – Ouarzazate:
Wake up early in the morning to attend and enjoy a spectacular sunrise, when the color of the dunes and the play of shadows are an awesome sight. Set up over the dunes, waiting for the sun to rise and meanwhile feel the cold morning breeze are feelings you will not find elsewhere but here in the Desert. After so, you have your yummy breakfast and get ready to leave the Desert for Ouarzazate. We will pick you up with a 4×4 jeep to meet the driver and head off to our next destination. Our journey will lead us to drive via a number of villages and towns along the road. Not far away from Merzouga, we will stop in Sijilmasa which is one of the oldest cities in Morocco. If our trip coincides with the day market (Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday) of the town, a visit is worth it. Later on, we go ahead with our adventure to Todra Gorges, a paradise site for rock climbers and hikers. We will stop at the site to explore its high cliffs. Subsequently, we will follow our passion towards our destination Ouarzazate driving through Dades and Rose Valley. Rose valley is famous for producing different products of rose such as: rose water, rose cream, and rose oil…we carry on our trip to Ouarzazate via Skoura oasis. Finally, we arrive at Ouarzazate for overnight.
Day 07: Ouarzazate – Kasbah Ait Benhadou – Atlas Mountains – Essaouira:
Right after your breakfast at the hotel/Riad, we meet you at the lobby by 8am and start our adventure to Essaouira. Before we leave, a short tour through the city is inevitable. Kasbah Taourirt, Cinema Museum as well as Atlas Studio are in our bucket-list for today. After doing so, we take our direction towards the Kasbah Ait Benhadou. This latter is a UNESCO heritage and is a chosen backdrop for many Hollywood movies such as Kingdom of Heaven, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves… It is an iconic vestige that will take us back to the ancient eras of the country, the time of salt and gold trade… our trip continues to Essaouira via the enormous landscape of Atlas Mountains. Along the drive we pass through the windy road with an altitude of 2260m.We will stop on the road for lovely panoramic views. We will make our way through Marrakech to make it to Essaouira. Late afternoon, we arrive to Essaouira overnight.
Day 08: Essaouira explore:
Right after your breakfast, you will have free time to explore and discover the charm of this amazing town. Essaouira is the favorite of wind and kite surfers due to its shallow waters. It was once a favorite haunt of Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix. Despite the beach, there is the old medina to discover. Essaouira is typical of many small fortified Moroccan townships. At one time it was considered to be one of the most essential ports in Morocco, and it is still in certain manners. Essaouira is a world heritage city…overnight in Essaouira.
Day 09: Essaouira – Marrakech:
Get up in the morning, enjoy your breakfast and have your luggage collected to leave Essaouira and drive to Marrakech. Around 10am we start our journey to the red city Marrakech. Before we arrive in Marrakech, we shift our way deep into the High Atlas Mountains to visit the Berber family Nathalie mentioned. When we arrive, they receive us inside their authentic traditional house, visit the house and see how typically they live. They provide us with all the bio nutrition they have (tea, cheese, bread…). Later on, we will take our direction to Marrakech. We drop you at the hotel/Riad. Overnight in Marrakech.
Day 10: Marrakech Guided Tour:
Today we provide you with a very interesting Tour itinerary, covering the highlights of Marrakech city on a half-day walking trip. During our journey, we will explore Marrakech Medina with an informative Tour guide. Get an opportunity to learn about the local history, architecture, food & culture while walking through the narrow streets of the old town Medina.
Again, we will ensure to explore the old city of Marrakech with its labyrinthine streets, famous markets, visit the famous Bahia Palace, a beautifully decorated palace full of enchanting inner rooms and elaborate mosaic walls. Subsequently, we will walk through the Jewish Quarter, with distinctly different architecture from the rest of the medina, and discover the incredible Saadian tombs, and then see the Koutoubia Mosque, an icon of Marrakech and a point of orientation for tourists. Later on, we head to the world-famous Jamaa el Fna square with its countless orange juice stands, snake charmers, traditionally-garbed water sellers and henna women. Enjoy a refreshing midday pause on one of the terraces with a panoramic view and take in the sights of the colorful crowds below. Free afternoon to walk the city on your own.
Day 11: Marrakech – transfer to airport:
Upon your flight time, we pick you up from the hotel in Marrakech and drive to airport. Once we drop you off at the airport, we come to the end of your trip in Morocco and end of our services.