Morocco Explorer in Comfort

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$4,055/person

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A cultural journey exploring the highlights of Morocco

Details

Duration: 11 Days
Starts in: Morocco
Group Size: 6-10

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Gallery

Itinerary

Join Casablanca

On arrival in Casablanca you will be met and transferred to the hotel. There will be a group briefing at the hotel in the late afternoon (please check at reception for reconfirmation of timing). Later you will head to Rick’s Café (known from the movie Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart) for a welcome drink. Dinner at your own leisure. Overnight - Le Doge & Spa.

Drive to Meknes via Rabat (approx 4 hrs drive)

This morning you will visit Casablanca's Mosque Hassan II (interior guided visit included), followed by a short sightseeing tour by car in Casablanca before you drive to Rabat. Rabat is the capital of Morocco, and on the guided city tour you’ll visit the Mechouar and Royal Place (from the outside), Mausoleum Mohamed V and Hassan II with Hassan Tower, Chellah and Kasbah des Oudayas. In the afternoon we continue from Rabat to Meknès. Overnight: Palais Didi. Approx driving time: 4 hrs.

From Meknès to Fes, via Moulay Idriss & Volubilis (approx 2.5 hrs drive)

In the morning we visit the old imperial city of Meknès. The decoration of the Bab Mansour is known as one of the best of Morocco. During the guided sightseeing we visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail and the old stables of Dar El Ma and Heri. From Meknès we travel approx. 40 minutes to Moulay Idris and Volubilis. Moulay Idris is an important religious site - for many centuries it has been a place of pilgrimage, thanks to its tomb of the city’s founder, Moulay Idriss el Akhbar, a decendent of the Prophet Muhammad. The ancient Roman city of Volubilis is an archaeological site and UNESCO World Heritage site. Continuing our journey, Volubilis to Fes is approx. 2 hours. Fes, founded in the late 8th Century shortly after the Arabs swept across North Africa and Spain, is arguably the symbolic heart of Morocco. It has become the cultural and religious centre of Morocco and has retained a distinctly Arab identity despite the arrival of some Berbers from the interior over the centuries. Today Fes is made up of three sections, the modern section, the Ville Nouvelle, with its chic cafe- lined avenues, Fes el-Jdid and Fes el-Bali. Fes el-Bali is the original Medina and is one of the largest living medieval cities in the world. Overnight: Riad Fes. Approx driving time: 2.5 hrs.

Explore Fes

After a guided tour of the city and old Medina we depart and drive to Borj Sud, an old Christian fort built in the 17th Century, for an almost aerial view of the old city and its surrounding olive groves. From here we venture into the Medina of Fes el-Bali which dates back to the 8th Century. In 1976 UNESCO declared this Medina one of the world’s cultural treasures; the palaces, mosques, medressas and fountains are among the most beautiful in Morocco. The colours and aromas of the olive and spice stores mixed in with communal bakeries and the mysterious perfume shops are just some of the delights that make this journey through the ancient alleyways, full of scurrying people and surprises, a memorable experience. We will also visit the tannery to watch the dying of leathers and a mosaic and tile factory to see how these stunning local handicrafts are mode. We will enjoy a lunch in a traditional Moroccan restaurant including many local dishes. Overnight: Riad Fes.

Drive to Merzouga and Sahara Desert (approx. 8 hrs drive)

Today we need to be on the road by 7:00am. We drive in our air-conditioned minibus to Erg Chebbi, passing through the agricultural regions of north Morocco and the fertile plains irrigated by the Oued Aggai in the foothills of the Middle Atlas. Then we begin a long climb through an old cedar forest and holm oaks. Beyond Timhadite lies a completely barren plateau, reminiscent of a lunar landscape pitted as it is with small volcanic craters, the largest of which is Sidi Ali, an immense lake bordered by steep cliffs. After stopping for lunch at the breathtaking Ziz Gorges we continue on past palmfringed towns to Erfoud where we spend the night. Overnight: Kasbah Xaluca. Approx driving time: 8 hrs.

Camel ride to private desert camp (approx 3.5 hours)

Today we’ll head to the sand dunes at Erg Chebbi to experience the amazing colours of the desert from the saddle of the traditional Berber transport: a camel. After a short drive to Rissani, we travel by camel (or on foot if you prefer) to our private desert camp in the dunes. Enroute witness the deep orange-hued dunes of the vast Sahara which stretch for miles. This evening you will be entertained by a musical troupe. Overnight: Private deluxe camp.

Visit Berber villages and gorges, en route to Skoura (approx 2.5 hours drive)

Following a leisurely morning at the camp we leave the desert and begin one of the most impressive journeys in Morocco towards Tinerhir. We’ll take a short side trip to visit the spectacular Todra Gorge before continuing along the Dadès Valley and the road of the 1000 Kasbahs to Boumalne. We drive on to the inspiring Dadès Gorge and take time to explore the countryside, Kasbahs, oasis and Berber villages in the fertile valleys along the eastern flanks of the Atlas Mountains. We may visit the ancient Kasbahs of Skoura and depending on the day, explore the markets of El-Klaa Mgouna. The earthen oasis town of Skoura lies among the shadows of date and pomegranate trees on the banks of two seasonal rivers. Overnight: Kasbah El Kabbaba. Approx driving time: 2.5 hrs.

Visit Ait Ben Haddou, then to Marrakesh (approx 4.5 hrs drive)

A short drive this morning takes us to Ouarzazate with an optional visit to the film studios. Later we continue to the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, the most exotic and best preserved in the entire Atlas area. We will have lunch here before continuing on to Telouet and the former palace of Pasha El Glaoui, the Berber chieftain. Passing sandy coloured Kasbahs and the shy Berber women in their traditional black costumes, we leave the arid desert area and cross the High Atlas Mountains to arrive in Marrakesh late in the afternoon. Framed by the snowy heights of the Atlas Mountains and thousand year-old palm groves, Marrakesh has a profound impact on all that visit it. Overnight: Les Jardins de la Medina. Approx driving time: 4.5 hrs.

Visit medinas, palaces and gardens in Marrakesh

Today we are led by our expert guide to discover the soul of Marrakesh. We visit gardens, mosques, palaces, and the souqs of the old Medina before reaching the humming centre of Marrakesh: the Djemaa el-Fna. The atmosphere of this square is overwhelming with its jumble of food stalls, snake charmers, fortune and storytellers and the wide variety of people that flock to its attractions. A return visit at night, when the square really comes alive, is a must to try the food stalls and the fresh squeezed orange juice. Overnight: Les Jardins de la Medina.

Day trip to the High Atlas Mountains

Today you head up to the Ouirka Valley and visit a saffron plantation and herb garden. Continue to the mountains and the town of Imlil at the foot of the highest peak - Djebel Toubkal. Here you can either hike up around 1.5hrs to the Berber village of Aremd for lunch with a Berber family, or have lunch at the Kasbak Toubkal. Return to Marrakesh via Asni and Tahanout. We will have a farewell dinner this evening at Dar Marjana. Overnight: Les Jardins de la Medina.

In Marrakesh, trip concludes

Our trip concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to the airport to meet onward flights if you depart Marrakesh today. Transfers on alternative days or an extension to Essaouira can be arranged at an additional cost. Please ask us for details.

Additional Information

Overflowing with rich cultural traditions, history and stunning architecture Morocco's imperial cities provide the framework for our journey. Explore Rabat, Meknes and the colourful markets and intricate laneways of the medieval medina in Fes before travelling across the foothills of the Middle Atlas. A natural divide between coast and desert influences, the other side of the mountains yields the distinctive architecture of kasbahs (ancient fortresses) and the deep orange colours of the dunes on the edge of the Sahara Desert captivate our attention. Our trip concludes in Marrakesh, one of the most important artistic centres in the Islamic world, where there is time to bargain in the souqs showcasing a wide variety of handicrafts and food. This trip is a true journey of contrasts and discovery.

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