Original Travels | 2023
Designed by YKDesigner
Seasons: Winter, Spring, Autumn | Days: 15 | Level: moderate
Journey through the rich tapestry of Morocco with our grand tour, unveiling the country's myriad wonders from the vast deserts and timeless medinas to the majestic Atlas Mountains. Go beyond the usual tourist paths, embracing real encounters with locals, hands-on experiences in traditional crafts, and discoveries of hidden gems. Every step brings a new story, every corner reveals age-old traditions, and every interaction deepens your connection to this enchanting land. With a harmonious blend of culture, landscapes, and genuine Moroccan hospitality, this tour is more than just sightseeing—it's a profound immersion into the very heart and soul of North Africa
Welcome to the charming city of Tangier - a place that has always captured the imagination of travelers, artists, and writers. Situated at the western end of the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier has a rich history and is a melting pot of cultures, blending Arab, European, and African influences. Today, the city has undergone a renaissance with its beautifully restored medina, new marina area, and lively cultural scene. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or simply enjoying the Mediterranean vibe, Tangier has something for everyone. Get ready to explore!
After a 2.5-hour private transfer from Tangier, arrive at Chefchaouen, the "Blue City," nestled in the Rif Mountains. Spend the day discovering the charming town, founded in 1471 as a holy stronghold against the Portuguese. See the white-washed houses, tiled roofs, and patios that add to its Spanish flair, and visit some of its eight mosques and zaouias. The town's blue-washed buildings will enthrall you as you stroll through its streets. You can also visit the medina, souks, and kasbahs, and witness the locals' daily way of life. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant or in a cozy riad before retiring for the night.
After breakfast, Set Up on a scenic drive from Chefchaouen to Fez via Volubilis and Meknes. Drive through the lush, rolling hills of the Rif Mountains and take in stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Stop at the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, where you'll marvel at the well-preserved mosaics and architecture. Continue on to Meknes, the former imperial city, and explore its impressive historical sites, including the stunning Bab Mansour Gate and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. Finally, arrive in Fez, one of Morocco's most fascinating and historic cities, where you'll enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant or riad.
Begin your guided tour of Fez, known as the spiritual center and pearl of Arab culture. Enter the almost millennium-old city through the ornate Bab Bou Jeloud Gate and let yourself be captivated by the hustle and bustle in the enchanting medina. Explore the narrow streets, the tanneries, and dyers' district, and take in the vibrant colors and fragrant spices. Visit magnificent Koran schools, beautifully designed mosaic fountains, and the impressive mosque of Karaouine. Fez is often called a "living museum," and in the evening, you will understand why. Enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant or riad, and perhaps take a stroll to experience the magic of Fez by night.
Long day journey today from Fez to Merzouga, where you'll discover the awe-inspiring dune landscape of Erg Chebbi. Along the way, you'll drive through the Middle Atlas mountains, pass by small villages and extensive olive groves. Take a break to learn more about the Berber culture over a cup of tea with a local family. Upon arrival in Merzouga, you'll hop on camels and travel across the desert to your tent. Climb a nearby dune to witness a breathtaking sunset before returning to camp for dinner and an unforgettable evening of Berber music and stargazing.
Enjoy a Jeep ride through Erg Chebbi's dunes, meet local nomads and visit the Gnawa house in Khamleya village to discover Gnaoua music, which has spiritual roots yet is also quite mainstream. In the afternoon, rent a sandboard or join a quad ATV tour to explore the sand dunes. At sunset, climb the nearest dune for a colorful display on the sand sea, then enjoy traditional Berber music by the campfire. Take a moment to admire the starry night sky before retiring to bed.
After breakfast, continue along the "Road of 1,000 Kasbahs" passing many clay castles nestled amidst fruit trees and palm groves. Take a detour into Todra Gorge to marvel at the power of the Todra River and feel dwarfed between rock walls up to 300 meters high. Continue through the Dades Gorge and arrive at the oasis town of Boumalne for an easy walking tour through a vast palm grove while interacting with local families. Drive through a beautiful landscape of palm oases, rose fields, and fruit trees to Ouarzazate for a short city tour and a visit to the nearby Ksar Ait Benhaddou. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful fortifications in the country, a scene of numerous historical films, and learn about the ruling families who lived there.
After crossing the Anti Atlas, stop to visit the carpet weaving cooperatives of Tazenakht and the saffron fields of Taliouine on your way to Taroudant. The craftswomen will showcase the making of the elaborate carpets with traditional patterns, and you'll learn about the special crocus and painstaking process of saffron thread extraction. Taroudant, surrounded by an eight-meter-high 16th-century wall, awaits us in the early evening. Explore the wall and stroll through the lively souks of the pretty medina with your guide, who knows the best dinner spots.
Morning free time to relax at your hotel. Around noon, head to the village of Tiout 19km from Taroudant, a superb oasis of undulating palm trees, where you can discover the traditional life of the Berber inhabitants who will surely welcome you with a mint tea. Typical lunch Then you will enjoy a walk to the palm grove on foot (or on the back of a donkey) before returning to Taroudant.
Explore the coastal town of Essaouira! After driving north along the Atlantic coast, we arrive at this laid-back seaside destination. Along the way, we stop in the village of Taghazoute, a popular spot for surfers, to take in the rugged sea and salty breeze. As we continue our journey, we pass by the Argan trees unique to southern Morocco, which are the source of the high-quality argan oil used in cosmetics. During a visit to a women's cooperative, we'll learn about the process of manufacturing the oil. Once we arrive in Essaouira, we'll wander through the charming alleys, past restaurants and merchants, and make our way to the port where fresh catches of the day are prepared. Keep an eye out for seagulls soaring through the gusts of wind, hoping to snatch some fish remains!
Explore Essaouira's History & Architecture: Ramparts, Old Town, and the traditional port with a long history of fishing and windsurfing. Stroll along the beach and see Moulay El-Hassan Square, the Grand Mosque, and Siaghine Alley in the medina. Visit the marquetry on the north Bastion and the Museum Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah, displaying musical instruments, costumes, and more. Explore the Jewish Quarter (Mellah) and its market on Rue Mohammed Zerktouni.
Drive to Marrakech, the enchanted city of winding streets, majestic architecture, and vibrant colors. Upon arrival, the day is yours to explore. Our guide will lead you to the lively Djeema El Fna square, where street performers and vendors come together. During the afternoon, the square is a peaceful oasis, but the perfect starting point for your souk exploration. Don't miss the serene Jardin Majorelle, designed by Yves Saint Laurent. As evening falls, dine on a feast of Arabic, Moroccan, and African delicacies in the many food stalls of the Djeema El Fna, and revel in the magic and mystery of Marrakech.
Explore Marrakech's cultural highlights including the magnificent Palais de Bahia and the Saadian tombs, then wander through the maze of souks and discover the vibrant scents of cardamom, turmeric, and cedar wood. Spend your free afternoon haggling with the local traders and don't miss the chance to visit Djemaa el-Fna, a vibrant open-air theatre and UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage site. Indulge in delicious Moroccan cuisine from the food stalls and be enchanted by the fantastic world of 1,001 nights.
Enjoy some leisure time on your own in the beautiful and bustling city of Marrakech. Take a relaxing stroll in the gardens near the stunning Koutoubia Mosque or head to the lively Jemaa el Fna Square. As the sun starts to set, you'll find musicians, performers, and food stalls in the square, which was an important trading bazaar for many centuries.
It's time to bid farewell to the beautiful country of Morocco. Your tour has come to an end, and it's time for your departure. We hope you enjoyed your time here, exploring the rich culture, history, and cuisine of this fascinating country. A transfer will be arranged to take you to the airport, where you can catch your return flight home.