Morocco Grand Tours – 18 Days from Casablanca, Essaouira, Marrakech, Fes, & Sahara Desert
Day 01: Casablanca – Oualidia:
Upon your arrival at the airport of Casablanca, one of our team members will meet you and take direction to Oualidia. We will drive via highway to arrive to our destination – Oualidia. It is a serene fishing village, spread along the southern shores of a natural seawater lagoon, flanked by a Kasbah built-in 1634 by Sultana El Oualidia. The town offers fine sand beaches, safe surfing, and windsurfing or take a ride in a small fishing boat to the south are small sandy coves and rocky cliffs to explore. Check into the hotel.
Day 02: Oualidia – Essaouira:
Morocco is not just winding souks and desert dunes. It is also over 1200 miles of coastline running along the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Mediterranean. Along the coast, charming former harbors, busy fishing ports and picturesque beach towns abound. Many Coastal towns are still to get uncovered. The town of Essaouira is among the most popular domestic tourist destinations in Morocco. Thus, our trip is taking us there as well.
At the time of your choice, we get ready to leave Oualidia and drive to Essaouira. Our journey will take us down the picturesque coastal road enjoying the views and green landscape until we arrive at our destination. Once we arrive, we check into the hotel. Free time to wander the town for your own.
Day 03: Explore Essaouira:
Today is entirely to be dedicated to explore more of this lovely coastal town. Essaouira, a small seaside town that attracts surfers, travelers and history lovers. Formerly known as Mogador because of the Portuguese establishment in the 16th century, Essaouira has its own walled medina, amazing cuisine and a vibrant atmosphere that is very distinct. It has something special to offer for all its visitors. You can walk through the vibrant colorful alleys to enjoy the local lifestyle. If you are sunset-sunrise lover, Essaouira is the right spot for you. For adventure lovers, Essaouira is also known for kite and wind surf. Overnight in Essaouira.
Day 04: 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 05: Explore 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. Spend the night in a fantastic riad.
Day 06: Free day in Marrakech:
Today will be spent in Marrakech to explore more of that the city has to offer.
Day 07: Marrakech – Atlas Mountains – Ait Benhadou:
After your breakfast at the hotel, we pick you up and drive through 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. Later on, we arrive at Kasbah Ait Benhadou; one of Morocco’s nine World Heritage sites, and the backdrop for many Hollywood blockbusters. The site is a very wonderful fortified city that stands at the edge of a hill separated by a running Ounila river. Night to be spent in the kasbah.
Day 08: Ait Benhadou – Ouarzazate – Skoura – Dades:
After the breakfast, we pick you up from the hotel and drive to 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. Subsequently, we carry on trip to immerse in Skoura oasis where Amridil Kasbah waits for a very worth-while visit. The kasbah is in a beautiful state of restoration and gives a clear idea of life within such housing. The walls and roof are made of adobe, an excellent building material; warm in winter and cool in summer, as the walls are very thick. We continue to our destination Dades 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. Finally, we arrive at Dades 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 09: Dades – Todra Gorges – Erfoud – Merzouga:
After breakfast, we depart to Merzouga via Todra Gorges, an amazing beautiful natural site which worth a visit. We continue by the water channels, which you can descend into to appreciate the architecture and genius behind this old form of irrigation that prevents evaporation in the summer heat. This system of channels starts at a higher gradient at one end until they finally emerge at the soil’s surface where they are fed into the fields. Our journey goes ahead to Erfoud where the fossils are found and polished in a very amazing way. Arriving to the heart of the desert, the Berber village of Merzouga, where we will switch the car for camel trek to spend the night of your life time under the stars and under a nomad tent in a camp in the middle of the desert.
Day 10: Explore Merzouga:
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 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 check for the hotel.
Day 11: Explore Merzouga + Berber Cooking class:
Today will be dedicated just to relax at the hotel, and maybe do some activities such as ride ATV & buggies. We will also have time to visit a Berber family and have lunch with them including a cooking class. Spend the night in Merzouga.
Day 12: Merzouga – Ziz Valley – Ifran – Fes:
After refreshing up a journey will take us again toward one of the famous, cultural capital of Morocco, the city of Fes. We will drive through the fascinating valley of Ziz that provides us with a great picturesque view. 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. We carry on with our trip passing via remote mud villages scattered along the road. We stop for lunch in Midelt. Along the trip, we will come across barbarian atlas apes in the huge cedar forest, then passing through the beautiful city of Ifran or Switzerland of Morocco as the Moroccans call it. Arrive at Fes and check for our hotel.
Day 13: Fes sightseeing:
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 14: Fes – Volubilis – Chefchaouen:
Our driver will meet you at the lobby by 08 am to take you on a fascinating day trip to the blue city of Morocco. The drive from Fes to Chefchaouen is about 03 hours. Before we head off to the blue city, we will shift our drive to the Roman ruins – Volubilis. Official guide of the site is highly recommended in order to understand the history of this UNESCO World Heritage. We continue our drive to Chefchaouen. Once in the town, we will check for the hotel.
Day 15: Explore Chefchaouen:
Today will be spent to explore this blue iconic pearl. During our journey, we will discover the magical amazing Chaouen, a mountainous town in north of Morocco with a superb setting, full of charm and authenticity. The city is characterized by the Andalusian blue architecture and is famous for its beautiful local Rif rugs. Every corner of Chefchaouen’s Medina offers a magical view of the city streets and surrounding mountains. Its small streets are very beautiful, colorful and pleasant to walk. Uta Hammam square is the heart of the medina and a meeting point for locals, there are many good cafes. In the same square, you will visit the city’s great mosque and the kasbah with its very pleasant gardens. Lunch will be in one of the restaurants by the square. We will spend night in a traditional riad.
Day 16: Chefchaouen – Rabat:
After your breakfast, we start our journey and drive to Rabat – the political capital of Morocco. The drive will take via Rif Mountains and few small villages nestled beneath the mountains. In Rabat, we will cover the historical and cultural sites of the city including Oudaya Kasbah, Hassan Tower. Overnight in a riad.
Day 17: Rabat – Casablanca:
Right after your yummy breakfast, we pick you up from the hotel and drive to 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. Overnight in riad.
Day 18: Casablanca airport:
After breakfast we will drive to the International Airport of Casablanca via the cost. Drop off at the airport. End of our services.