The Imperial Cities of Morocco Tour explores five cities: Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Fes and Marrakech and includes a trip to the Merzouga Desert complete with a camel ride for an overnight stay in a nomad campsite.
Your tour can begin in any of city of your choice. Below is our suggested route, but we are happy to accommodate any starting point you desire.
Morocco Imperial Cities and Desert Tour 9 Days
Day 1: Casablanca – Rabat
After your hotel or airport pick-up (depending on your travel plans), we start the tour with a visit to Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco and the principal economic capital. Casablanca is a modern city but one that holds within its walls an authentic medina with souks and meandering streets everywhere. Here in this beautiful city, you will visit the most popular points of interest like the Grand Mosque of Hassan II, the Anfa neighbourhood, the Park of Nations and the Boulevard de la Corniche. Following our tour of Casablanca your tour will continue to Rabat, literally meaning “fortified place”, Rabat is the capital of Morocco. Here you will visit more points of interest such as the Real Palace, Kasbah Oudaya, the Mausoleum of Mohamed V and the Tower of Hassan. At the end of the day, your tour guide will bring you to your hotel where you will enjoy a lovely dinner before retiring for the night.
Day 2: Rabat – Meknes – Fes
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, our journey takes us to Fes but not before making a stop in Meknes, a city located below the Mid-Atlas Mountains. Your visit to Meknes includes the popular Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site followed by lunch. After lunch, the road leads us to Fes where you will check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner.
Day 3: Fes
Your day begins with breakfast at the hotel followed by an entire day dedicated to the lovely city of Fes. Fes is divided into three zones: the old (Fes el-Bali), the new (Fez el Idid), and the French district (Ville Nouvelle). Visitors to Fez are astounded by medieval walls and plazas filled with endless winding streets.
There is so much to do in Fes including visiting La Mellah, the Jewish neighbourhood; the old medina; Fes el Bali, the new medina; Fes el Jedid, the Spanish Mosque and so much more. Once our tour is over, we will guide you to your hotel accommodations where you will enjoy a hearty meal and spend the night.
Day 4: Ifrane – Midelt – Ziz Valley – Erfoud – Merzouga
After breakfast at the hotel, your tour continues to the Merzouga Desert, while making stops along the way. At this point in the tour we will be exploring the Mid Atlas Mountains including a stop in Ifrane, an enchanting town that is so unique from many of the towns in Morocco beginning with its distinct architecture. Don’t be surprised if you think you have stepped into the middle of a European city! A light jacket or sweater is suggested here since Ifrane is chillier than most towns in Morocco. Next, we visit Arzou where you will see many dormant volcanoes such as Jebel Hebron measuring 702 feet, among others.Our tour continues to one of the oldest cedar forests in Morocco. We are sure you will enjoy meeting the very friendly monkeys who welcome being fed and photographed. In addition, the town in the surrounding area is known for its handmade wooden artisans. We will be sure to give you a tour of the town and show you several points of interest before we continue our tour towards the desert.Your tour continues to Midelt, a town located between the Mid Atlas and High Atlas Mountains, where we will enjoy lunch. Make sure you have your camera handy because our tour through the Ziz Valley is every photographer’s dream! Enjoy the beauty of the towering cliffs that practically touch the sky and the beautiful adobe villages dotted along the road.
Finally, in the early afternoon, we arrive in Merzouga where you will leave your luggage in a secure location and prepare a small bag for your trek into the desert. If time allows, you will be able to take a breather while enjoying a cup of delicious Moroccan tea while your guide prepares the caravan for your trip into the desert. Once all the preparations are complete, our adventure into Erg-Chebbi begins on your very own camel.Your trip into the desert will be a remarkable trip full of magical sights, towering dunes and the magnificent color of the desert sand. Better yet, your arrival is scheduled just in time to enjoy a truly memorable sunset atop a dune with your fellow travellers. Once settled in the camp, we invite you to enjoy a typical Moroccan meal followed by music and singing by a blazing bonfire underneath a carpet of glittering stars.
Day 5: Merzouga
After a restful night in the desert, you will be awakened early to enjoy the sunrise and later in the afternoon you will visit with a typical nomad family where you will get to see a family make authentic Berber pizza and later, enjoy a meal under a shady tree. After your meal, you will be invited to take a rest before we whisk you off on a trip through the desert on a 4×4 to see an oasis and visit the Khamilia Village, the mines of MIFISS. At the end of the day, you will return to your camp where you will enjoy dinner and music before retiring to your tent for another overnight.
Day 6: Merzouga – Rissani – Valle del Draa – Ouarzazate
In the morning we return to the hotel where you stored your luggage so you can shower and get ready for the day’s agenda. Today, we will visit a village created by Sub-Saharan people called Khamlia. One of the major tributes of this community is their music. We hope you will enjoy hearing some of their music while visiting the village.
We continue towards Rissani where we stop to explore the market brimming with vendors selling a large variety of artisans, carpets, livestock, food and more! After our market visit, we invite you to enjoy lunch before continuing our journey towards the Valle de Draa where you will take in the breathtaking scenery with stops along the way to take pictures for your memory books.
Finally, we will arrive in Ouarzazate where you will check-in at your hotel for an overnight and dinner.
Day 7: Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech
After a hearty breakfast, we depart for Kasbah de Taourit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with an interesting mix of Islamic and Jewish architecture.
Next, we visit Ait Ben Haddou, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and where many movies have been filmed including Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator and The Mummy. This fort, which was originally built to defend the city, is one of the most conserved sites of all Morocco.
Our next stop takes us to Kasbah Telouet, located in the village of Telouet. You will notice the difference in this location as the area is very much deteriorated over the years yet still a magical site to see!
On the road through the High Atlas Mountains, we will make several stops to enjoy the beautiful scenery and enjoy the fresh air. Make sure you have your camera ready for breathtaking shots throughout.
In the evening we arrive in Marrakech and check in to your hotel where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight.
Day 8: Marrakech
After a grand breakfast, you will have the opportunity to tour the city with us or with a local guide. What is there to stay in this amazing city? Simply put, it’s full of life with two very unique perspectives for the day and the night. There is so much to see, including:
* Los Zocos with narrow, winding streets filled with interesting smells and sensations. You will also have a chance to see La Plaza de Jamma el Ena where in the day you will find many vendors selling their wares and at night dozens and dozens of food stalls serving typical Moroccan food
* The Koutoubia Mosque, the most important mosque of the city can be viewed from the exterior. Unfortunately, entry is not permitted for non-practising Muslims
* Constructed for over a decade, Palacio Bahia is majestically decorated. This is a must see!
Day 9: Marrakech – Airport
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport where your tour ends.
- – Pick-up airport or hotel
- – 4×4 transport/ Minibus with air conditioner
- – Fuel
- – Driver / Guide
- – Hoteles/Riads half pension
- – Night in the desert and camel trek
- – Sandboarding
- – Noon meals
- – Beverages
- – Tickets to monuments
- – Flight