Morocco Private Trip – 11 days from Casablanca, Imperial cities and Sahara Desert
Day 01: Casablanca – Rabat:
Meet you at the airport of Casablanca and travel into the city with the first views of the Moroccan country-side. Once in the city, we will visit Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in Africa. It is decorated with beautiful tiling of the utmost craftsmanship. Later on, we continue our drive to the capital city, Rabat, to visit the fascinating and ancient Chellah fortress to get a sight into the ancient history and civilization of the city. We will also have a look at the Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohamed V, built in homage to the king, who passed away in 1961. His son and successor Hassan II, passed away in 1999, is also entombed here. Right by the ocean is the Oudaya Kasbah to check for before we end up in our hotel. Spend the night in a riad in the medina.
Day 02: Rabat – Chefchaouen:
After breakfast in the riad, we pick you up at the lobby and take the motorway to Chefchaouen, turning off through small villages to reach Ouazzan and then up through the mountains to Chefchaouen. Once in the blue pearl we check for the hotel to get our rooms and leave the luggage, and have free time to wander the lovely streets up and down and chilling in the many little cafés.
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.
Within our stay or visit to Chefchaouen, we must immerse ourselves deep in their local authentic lifestyle as it is very different from the frenetic pace of the big cities of Morocco. Overnight in a charming riad.
Day 03: Chefchaouen – Volubilis (Roman ruins) – Meknes – Fes :
After breakfast, we leave to Fes, another of the imperial cities of Morocco. Our journey will take us via the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Roman remains of Volubilis. They are spread over a wide area, affording beautiful views over the green valley and hills. We highly recommend to hire a guide to better explore the site. After doing so, we continue our trip through rolling hills and farms to arrive at Fes. We spend the night in a lovely riad in the medina.
Day 04: Tour of Fes:
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 05: Fes – Ifrane – Cedar Forest – 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. Here, we switch the vehicle for camels and go on a Sahara Desert trek to spend overnight in a lovely desert camp. There is also possibility to take 4×4 to the camp.
Day 06: Explore Sahara Desert:
Wake up early in the morning to 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 start the adventure driving through the Desert. 4×4 will pick you up from the camp 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. Check into the hotel.
Day 07: Merzouga – Todra Gorges – Dades Gorges:
After the breakfast, we leave for Todra. On the way, we pass 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. Additionally, our trip continues to Todra Gorges where to have a great opportunity to walk and enjoy the volcanic sceneries. After doing so, we carry on our drive to Dades Valley. Overnight in a riad.
Day 08: Dades Gorges – Rose Valley – Skoura – Ouarzazate:
After breakfast, a visit and a walk through Dades Gorges is scheduled. Our trip continues to Ouarzazate driving off-road along Boutghrar piste to visit Berber nomads living in their caves and partake of a glass of tea with them. From our visit, it becomes very clear just how hard the existence is for these nomads. The landscape is very dry and so feeding their goats and raising up their children is very hard. From here we carry on our journey through the Valley of the roses, famous for its Rose Festival in May. The site is also famous for many cosmetics and toiletry items. In Skoura, the 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. Later on, we make our trip straight to Ouarzazate. Night in a charming riad.
Day 09: Marrakech – Ait Benhadou – Marrakech:
Following our breakfast, the route goes on to Kasbah Ait Benhadou, one of Morocco’s nine World Heritage sites, and the backdrop for many Hollywood blockbusters. It is the most famous kasbah in Morocco and some of the buildings date back to the 17th century. Moreover, the drive will take us along the beautiful and awe-inspiring Ounila Valley, full of surprises at the hues of the rock and soil, and Berber villages as well as gardens.
We continue our route to Telouet fortress located right in the midst of High Atlas Mountains. The site was once the seat of the last Pasha Glaoui of Marrakech. We will visit the site, then we continue to Marrakech. The windy road of Atlas Mountains provides us with fabulous panoramic views. Late afternoon, we arrive at Marrakech. Night in the riad.
Day 10: Marrakech sightseeing:
Marrakech is probably best known for central Jamaa El Fna with its dried fruits stalls, fresh juice and nuts stalls, women applying henna, snake charmers, storytellers, and the myriad of nightly food stalls. Marrakech offers an important list of sites worth to visit such as, Yves St Laurent’s Majorelle Gardens which is known for its special shade of blue. The Koutoubia Mosque and Bahia Palace are also very recommended sites to visit during the sightseeing of Marrakech. The Koranic School of Ben Youssef Medrasa which is used to accommodate some 80 Koranic students back in ancient times. The Saadian Tombs, The Mellah “Jewish quarter” are a must during your travel to Morocco. Night in a riad.
A cooking class and nightlife tour can be scheduled as well if you wish.
Day 11: Transfer to Casablanca’s airport:
Upon your flight schedule, we transfer you from the riad to Casablanca airport in time for the check-in before the flight. End of our services.