The Best of Morocco from Marrakech
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💎 Why we love it ?
This is an ideal two-week adventure to discover the best of Morocco. From the sights and sounds of Marrakech, the ancient Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, and the vast Sahara Desert, to the history of Fes, Rabat, and Meknes, there’s plenty to amaze. Plus top off your trip with a relaxing few days by the coast in breezy Essaouira.
🏁 Tour Itinerary: The Best of Morocco from Marrakech
Day 1: Welcome to Marrakech
Upon arrival at Marrakech airport, you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel or Riad in the city center. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore Marrakech – why not head to the medina and discover the delights of Jemaa el Fna, the exuberant marketplace, which is a hive of activity, sights, and smells at both day and night.
Day 2: Majorelle Gardens & Marrakech City Tour
After breakfast, you will head over to the beautiful Majorelle Gardens just a short drive from your accommodation. This botanical garden was designed by the French artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and 1930s. He used a distinctive shade of cobalt blue for the majority of the garden and although a lot of his other work has largely been forgotten – this garden is seen as his greatest masterpiece. The garden has been owned by Yves Saint Laurent since 1980 and his ashes were scattered there after his death in 2008. The garden contains an extensive collection of exotic plants and trees and is home to 15 species of birds. There is also a Berber Museum representing the various indigenous tribes of Morocco including over 600 artifacts. The newly opened Yves Saint Laurent museum nearby is also well worth a visit – this museum was opened in 2017 and is dedicated to the life and works of Yves Saint Laurent himself.
Please note entrance into the YSL museum is not included and costs 100 MAD per person if you would like to go in.
This afternoon you will Inside the rose-colored medina walls is a tangle of winding streets and alleys that open onto verdant gardens and bustling souks. At the heart of the medina is Djemaa El Fna, the city’s exuberant market place and towering over it, is the famous Koutoubia Mosque, the tallest building in the city
Day 3: UNESCO World Heritage Listed Ait Benhaddou & Ouarzazate
Departure from Marrakech at 9 o’clock to Ait Benhaddou – Ouarzazate. Departing the city this morning we travel across the plains of Haouz and reach the great High Atlas mountains. Climbing over the pass of Tizi n Tichka, we stop for lunch and then continue onwards with great views over the mountains and valleys to Ait Benhaddou. This incredible ancient fortified Kasbah was built for defense purposes high on a hill and is a stunningly well-preserved medieval city that has famously featured in many blockbuster movies, including Gladiator and Laurence of Arabia as its beauty is unequal to any other fortified kasbah in south Morocco. Carrying on we continue south to the Hollywood of North Africa – Ouarzazate (pronounced war-zazat). Ouarzazate is famous for being the filming location for many other Hollywood blockbusters and famous TV shows including James Bond – The Living Daylights, The Mummy, and more recently Game of Thrones.
Day 4: Camel Trek in the Sahara
Departure from Ouarzazate after breakfast at 8.00 AM – Todra Gorge – Merzouga (Sahara). This morning we begin our journey into the Sahara with a medley of palm trees, rose fields, and magnificent gorges. Traveling from Ouarzazate, there is a possibility of visiting the kasbah of Amherdil in Skoura before seeing the rose fields and reaching scenic Todra Gorge. Surrounded by towering vertical limestone cliffs reaching heights of 1000ft, it is known as Morocco’s Grand Canyon. The charm of Todra lies in its changing colors as the sun slowly moves from east to west. After time to wander through Todra, we hit the road again for Merzouga – our base before we head into the Sahara.
Depending on the time of year, spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming before climbing aboard our camels for an incredible trek into the Sahara Desert to watch a beautiful sunset and spend the night at our remote Berber Camp, nestled amongst the towering dunes of Erg Chebbi. We enjoy local food, music, and an amazing night camping in the Sahara.
Day 5: Sunrise Camel Trek & the Beautiful Town of Ifrane
Departing early from Merzouga (Sahara) to Fes, we climb back on our camels disembarking for a truly stunning sunrise. After freshening up and breakfast in Merzouga we’re back on the road heading for Fes. It’s a long drive today however there is a lot to see on the way. We’ll pass through cedar forests full of Barbary Macaque monkeys on our way through the Moyen Atlas mountains. Just before Fes, we stop at Ifrane – a beautiful town often likened to a Swiss Alpine resort. Along the way, we also start to see our first glimpse of Morocco’s nomadic Berbers – traveling across the mountains and often staying in make-shift tents as they head to their next destination. We arrive in Fes at about 7:00 PM.
Day 6: Fes el Bali Medina, Dye-Pits & Tanneries
Fes is the oldest and largest medieval city in the world and its medina is a cacophony of aromas, sights, and sounds. This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Fes el Bali – the old walled city. This fascinating medina is a veritable rabbit warren of 9400 alleys that often finish with dead ends – so be sure to stay close to the guide! We also visit the dye-pits and tanneries before lunch in the medina. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 7: Roman Ruins of Volubilis & Meknes
Fes – Volubilis – Meknes – Rabat. Departing Fes this morning we visit the fascinating UNESCO-listed Roman ruins of Volubilis, which date back to AD40. Continuing on we stop at the Imperial City of Meknes, which became known as the Versailles of Morocco due to its impressive buildings and elaborate monuments. After lunch and some free time, our final stop of the day is Rabat – Morocco’s capital.
Day 8: Rabat City Tour & Hassan II mosque in Casablanca
Rabat – Casablanca – Marrakech; This morning we take a tour of Rabat and visit some of the capital’s highlights, including the impressive Chellah – a necropolis and complex of ancient, medieval ruins, the Royal Palace, and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. After lunch, we continue to Casablanca where we visit the Hassan II Mosque, which has the tallest minaret and is the third-largest mosque in the world – it can hold 25,000 worshippers at any one time. After our visit to the mosque, we continue on to Marrakech for the night.
Day 9: Marrakech to the Charming Old Town of Essaouira Mogador
Marrakech – Essaouira. Today we have a leisurely morning before starting our journey to Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast via private transfer, and upon arrival enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
Days 10-12 Free time in Essaouira Mogador and the Atlantic Ocean
Essaouira – Marrakech. Spend the next three days exploring the sights and delights of Essaouira at your own pace. Set on the rugged shores of the breezy Atlantic Coast, this charming seaside city offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. While away the days here exploring its winding streets lined with whitewash houses, picking your way through the shops in its ancient medina, or by sitting at an ocean-facing restaurant sipping on a cup of coffee. During the warmer months why not try some water sports too, as the windy shores here offer ideal conditions for wind and kite surfing. Early evening of day 12 we return to Marrakech for the night.
Day 13: Goodbye Morocco
Our amazing tour of Morocco ends today after the hotel checks out. An included onward departure transfer to the airport will be provided.
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