Highlights of Morocco 12 days

Highlights of Morocco - Chefchaouen

Overview

From well-spiced tagines and raisin-studded couscous to mint tea and fresh orange juice — the flavor of Morocco is vibrant and tantalizing.
There is something fascinating for every visitor. Whether it’s the country’s rich past, the thrill of wandering a vivacious city, or the outdoor pursuits in Morocco’s varied landscapes.

Destination: around Morocco
Duration:  12 days
Start: Casablanca
Finish: Marrakech/Casablanca
Type: Discovery
Period: all year round
Group size: min. 2 – max. 16 persons

Top 5 sights

  • Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca
  • Medina and Tanneries in Fes
  • Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou
  • Marrakech medina and Djemaa el-Fna
  • Night in the Sahara Desert
(2 customer reviews)
(2 customer reviews)

Highlights of the Tour

  • Visit the grand Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca – one of the most impressive temples in Morocco.
  • Explore the sights of the country’s first imperial city of Meknes.
  • Feel like you’ve travelled back to the Middle Ages in the labyrinthine medina of Fes, under the eye of a local tour guide.
  • Go behind the scenes of Game of Thrones and Gladiator in Ait Benhaddou. This fortified red city was once an important stop on the caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech – now Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou is a film-maker’s heaven.
  • Take a guided tour through Marrakech’s lively medina and join the nightly carnival of fortune-tellers, dancers, and medicine men in Djemaa el-Fna square.
  • Discover the dramatic red dunes of the Sahara Desert and spend the night camping under North African stars..

Short Itinerary

  1. Arrive to Casablanca
  2. Casablanca/Rabat/Meknes
  3. Meknes/Volubilis/Chefchaouen
  4. Chefchaouen/Fes
  5. Fes
  6. Midelt
  7. Merzouga (Sahara Camp)
  8. Sahara/Todra Gorge
  9. Todra Gorge/Dades Valley/Ait Benhaddou
  10. Marrakech
  11. Marrakech
  12. End of tour
Highlights of Morocco - itinerary map

What’s Included

R

Included

  • All breakfasts as mentioned in trip note
  • All dinners with mineral water on table
  • All accommodation as mentioned in trip note
  • Transfers from and to the earoport  any time
  • Comfortable airconditioned bus with safe driver
  • Local experienced, LICENCED, good English speaking tour guide

Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks
  • Souvenirs
  • Visas and vaccinations, PCR tests
  • Tipping

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive to Morocco

Welcome to Morocco. Arrival and transfer to your hotel.

Accommodation: 3-star hotel
Meals included: –
Activities included: –

Day 2: Casablanca/Rabat/Meknes

After breakfast a short drive to the Hassan II Mosque to take a 45-minute guided tour. Completed in 1993, this extraordinary monument was the late king’s most ambitious project and his legacy to the city. Its 200 metre-high minaret is the tallest in the world. Hassan II Mosque can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and is one of the only religious sites open to non-Muslims. Next, it’s about a one-hour and half drive to the capital of Rabat. Rabat’s history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan parliament. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala. Start your visit with the walk through Ouday kasbah. Afterwards, continue the walk to visit Mohamed the 5th Mausoleum the vast minaret of the Hassan Mosque. In the late afternoon, continue on to Meknes (approximately 2 hours), the sixth largest city in the kingdom, and former capital of Morocco.

Accommodation: 3-star hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Activities included: Casablanca – Guided Tour of Hassan II Mosque – Kasbah Les Oudayas Rabat – Hassan Tower visit – Mausoleum Mohammed V visit Mausoleum Hassan II visit

Highlights of Morocco - Casablanca Mosque Hassan II

Day 3: Meknes/Volubilis/Chefchaouen

Today enjoy a morning tour of Meknes. Discover the charming streets of the old medina. From the northern gate of Bab Berdaine walk to the shrine of Moulay Ismail, who turned Meknes from a provincial town to an imperial city in the 17th century. You will explore the elaborately decorated public buildings hidden in these winding streets, including thegranary of Mouly Ismail and the old souq. Next, you will drive to the nearby archeological site of Volubilis. World Heritage-listed Volubilis was one of the Roman empire’s most remote bases. The remains make an undeniably impressive sight as they come into view on the edge of a long, high plateau. When it was damaged by an earthquake in the 18th century, much of the marble was taken for construction in Meknes. Enjoy a tour of the ancient hilltop ruins with a local guide. Please remember to pack drinking water, hat, sunglasses and sun cream for this tour as it may get hot and you will be exposed to the sun. And, of course, don’t forget to take your camera as the town is filled with fantastic mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. Discover the sea creature mosaic in the House of Orpheus, and see the exploits and labours of Hercules, which are depicted in stunning detail. Afterwards, make the three-hour drive to Chefchaouen, or the ‘blue city’, which is arguably one of the prettiest places in Morocco. Set against a wide valley and nestled between two peaks in the stunning Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen may take you by surprise. Its medina has been lovingly cared for with striking blue and whitewashed houses, red-tiled roofs and artistic doorways. Much of Chefchaouen was recreated by Andalusian refugees escaping the Reconquistia, so you might feel like you’re in the hills of Spain while exploring its streets. Ease into the relaxed pace of life in this rural retreat. Take an orientation walk through the ancient medina and , or simply sit at a cafe and enjoy the pleasure of time passing by. If you’re feeling peckish, the goats’ cheese on offer is a popular treat enjoyed by many visitors.

Accommodation: 3-star hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Activities included: Entrance and guided tour Volubilis – Guided walking tour in Meknes

Day 4: Chefchaouen/Fes

Enjoy free morning to further discover Chefchaouen. Take another stroll around the streets and search for your favourite shade of blue. Then perhaps enjoy lunch before boarding our private minibus on a long journey to Fes (approximately 4 hours) for the night. The living museum of Fes has disputable origins; some believe its origins come from ancient Greece, other claim it comes from the Balkans. Nevertheless, the city is a best example of medieval Arab world, and you are soon to find out more of its past and modern times. After checking in your hotel in late afternoon, perhaps enjoy a memorable dinner of one of the city’s signature dishes, the salty and sweet pastille.

Accommodation: riad or 3-start hotel
Meals included: breakfast

Highlights of Morocco - Fes tannery

Day 5: Fes

Today you will discover the city of Fes, the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses. Head into the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali, arguably the world’s most fascinating and confounding old city. Medieval Fes was one of the world’s great centres of education and culture, both Islamic and Jewish. Its religious institutions and libraries are legendary, its mosques of great renown. Walk through the twisting streets and alleyways, passing donkeys piled high with goods, and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Filled with historic khans, medresses and dye-pits, stalls loaded with fruits, herbs and soups, and where the squawk of chickens, smell of spice and sound of hammering of copper fills the air, it’s not hard to imagine yourself back in the Middle Ages. Spend the day exploring the old city, visiting, Medresse el Attarine, the tanneries and the splendid Fondouk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon and perhaps spend the evening relaxing in this calming oasis, away from the buzz of the medina.

Accommodation: riad or 3-star hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Activities included: Fondouk Nejjarine – Medersa Attarine Entrance – Guided walking tour

Day 6: Fes/Midelt

Today, leave the intensity of the city behind for the simplicity of the High Atlas Mountains. Drive south, inland through a variety of spectacular scenery – fertile valleys, cedar and pine forests and barren, rocky landscapes – to the small town of Midelt (approximately 3.5 hours). Midelt is a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area, and is nestled between the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains at an elevation of just over 1,500 metres. It’s a perfect spot to break up the journey to the Sahara, and is a great base for some easy walks. Many of the locals are Berber, and the town can offer an insight into their way of life. After lunch, stretch your legs for a few hours on an easy hike in the nearby hills. Be prepared for some astonishing views of the Atlas Mountains, with snowy peaks almost touching the sky. Wander through plantations of apple trees on the way back to your accommodation for a relaxing evening, resting up before the Sahara tomorrow.

Accommodation: Kasbah or 3-star hotel
Meals included: breakfast

Highlights of Morocco - Sahara Desert

Day 7: Midelt/Merzouga (Sahara Camp)

This morning there’s little bit of time to relax before hitting the road again. Drive through changing scenery, from barren mountainsides to fertile valleys, on the journey to Merzouga. With a backdrop of the orange-coloured Erg Chebbi sand dunes, the charming Saharan village of Merzouga feels wonderfully isolated, like the modern world has left it behind. The Erg Chebbi dunes are the most stunning in the country and an essential part of any visit to Morocco. An erg is a vast sea of shifting wind-swept sand that’s formed into picturesque, undulating crests and valleys. The Erg Chebbi is one of the world’s iconic landscapes, with towering dunes up to 150 metres in height. Located at the end of a sealed road and just 20 kilometres from the Algerian border this really feels like frontier country. You will leave your gear at a simple auberge and then ride camels into the edge of the Sahara Desert, enjoying a spectacular sunset along the way. The dunes are stunning, especially as the evening light plays across them and sets off the colours. Tonight you will camp out in traditional style, with the chance to try some fantastic local cuisine while you sit around an open fire, enjoying lively music and dancing under the stars.

Accommodation: comfortable camps
Meals included: breakfast, dinner

Day 8: Sahara to Todra Gorge

Enjoy a real Lawrence of Arabia moment this morning with a sunrise camel ride across the desert on the return journey to the auberge. Then drive to Todra Gorge (approximately 4 hours), a massive trench that rises over 250 metres to form one of the most dramatic and spectacular natural sights in Morocco. The limestone stacks make a perfect area for trekking, and so today you will take a short walk through the sheer cliffs. Continue your journey inland for tonight’s destination TODRA GORGE.

Accommodation: Kasbah or 3-star Hotel
Meals included: breakfast, dinner

Highlights of Morocco - Ait Benhaddou

Day 9: Todra Gorge/Dades Valley/Ait Benhaddou

Leaving Todra Gorge, along the ‘Road of 1,000 Kasbahs’,(visit kasbah Amridil, with its extravagant decorations and mud-brick fortifications. Continue on your journey to Ait Benhaddou(cinema village) (approximately 2 hours). Perched on a hilltop and almost unchanged since the 11th century, Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco’s most iconic sites. Its grant kasbah is one of the most beautiful in Morocco and the fortified village is a fine example of clay architecture. If you think you recognise the place, you probably do, as the town has a long list of film and TV credits, including Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones and Gladiator. Enjoy a walk through the winding streets of old town, making your way to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy the views across the surrounding plains. After heading to your nearby hotel for the night, maybe sit back on the roof top terrace and watch the sun setting over the magical Kasbah.

Accommodation: Riad or Kasbah
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Activities included: Kasbah Skoura

Day 10: Marrakech

Today you will drive for several hours through the winding roads of the Atlas, bound for Marrakech, an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. There’s no rush as the scenery through the High Atlas Mountain passes is magnificent, and there will surely be calls for several photo stops along the way. On arrival in Marrakech you will check in to your hotel. This evening, head to the great square of Jemaa el Fna, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. When night falls it transforms into a hive of activity. Henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. Enjoy a dinner on this magical square with your new friends on one of the outdoor street food vendors and then perhaps finish your day with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top restaurants overlooking the square.

Accommodation: riad or 3-star hotel
Meals included: breakfast

Highlights of Morocco - Marrakech

Day 11: Marrakech

After breakfast meet your local guide and set off on a morning tour of the old medina, through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. Explore tranquil courtyards filled with the scent of orange blossom, and the many salons and chambers that make up Bahia Palace. This splendid mansion was built in 1866 for a former slave who rose to power within the government. Continue to La maison de la photography, itself a former palace, which houses a fine collection of Moroccan old pictures and arts. Stop by the Koutoubia Mosque; its famous minaret is the prototype for others of its kind around the world, including La Giralda in Seville. Then walk back through the streets of the old medina to the Jemaa el Fna. The rest of the day is free to explore further or shop in the bazaar. Perhaps visit the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle or check out the ruins of the Palais Badi, once one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Otherwise, perhaps head back into the medina, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. Watch skilled artisans perfect their craft, practice your haggling skills or take a break from the hustle to sip on tea or share a tajine, filled with the pure scent of Morocco.

Accommodation: riad or 3-star hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Activities included: Guided walking tour of Marrakech medina – Koutoubia Mosque and minaret (from outside only) – la maison de la photographie in Palais Bahia
Optional activities:  Majorelle garden – Palais Badi – Saadian Tombs – Medersa Ben Youssef – Museum of Marrakech

Day 12: End of the tour

Transfert to Marrakech aeroport or if casablanca will drive you to Casablanca for 3h drive.

Accommodation: –
Meals included: breakfast

Notes for the Tour

Vehicle

We travel by private minibus or 4×4 drive (depending on the size of the groupe) and camels in the Sahara

Accommodation

Morocco is a developing country and as such, the accommodation standards are not equivalent to those in Europe and can be more simple.

We choose our properties because of their location, cleanliness, traditional style or for their welcoming atmosphere, as we endeavour to provide an authentic Moroccan experience. However, some of the properties might have some outdated or simple furniture and the level of service may vary depending on the location.

Hot water is variable or limited in certain locations, and many of the older buildings have been built to protect from the summer heat, however, this can result in rooms being cold during the winter. Hotels will always provide more blankets but not all offer heating facilities so please bear this in mind when packing if travelling through the winter months.

Breakfasts are generally plentiful and in a continental style but can have a limited selection. A swimming pool is often available, especially in the cities.

Night in the desert

During this trip we stay in the desert in a simple camp with communal tents. Mattresses, blankets and pillows are all provided.

In the winter months, the nights and early mornings can be cold in the desert, please pack warm clothes to wear.

Simple washing facilities are available, including showers and flushing toilets, however, hot water and strong water pressure cannot be guaranteed.

Book now

Do you want to book or have a question? Feel free to contact us.

Mobile:

+212 671 170 034

Whatsapp:

+212 671 170 034

Contact us and all you have to do is dream.
We’ve got plan for you and any dream will do.

2 reviews for Highlights of Morocco 12 days

  1. Johan

    10 jours de rêve passé avec Lahcen, Mohamed et leur équipe (Cuisinier et chamelier). Ils ont su nous faire voyager et profiter de ce si beau pays, Lachen est un guide formidable et passionné comme nous souhaiterions rencontrer dans tout voyage organisé. Encore mille merci à vous tous.

  2. vamoni

    Great trip with all the best places in Morocco. Lovely cities, breathtaking views, lovely people. Gorgeous!

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