Morocco Grand Tour, 7 Days Tour
Day 1: Casablanca – Rabat – Fes
In Casablanca we’ll visit Hassan 2nd Mosque, the biggest mosque in Africa, and experience the Cornish coast before departing for Rabat, the capital of Morocco, where we will see the Oudaya Kasbah and its beautiful gardens, this Kasbah of Oudaya is located at Abou Regreg River, it was built during the reign of the Almohad dynasty in 1150 AD.
The Mausoleum of Mohamed V and Hassan II, and Hassan Tower which is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat were constructed in 1195 AD, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world with the mosque, on our way to Meknes we will go back in time to the 3rd century by visiting the most important archaeological site in Morocco, Volubilis, has the best preserved Roman ruins in this part of Northern Africa, this roman ruins were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, here you will see the most beautiful Mosaics in Morocco dating back to 3rd century BC, here you will have a guided tour of the site and learn a lot about the Roman Empire.
From Volubilis we go on our way to Meknes that was named after a Berber tribe which was known as Miknasa in the medieval North African sources, Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727) he built it in the ingeniously designed granaries, really fascinating architecture of tiny windows, massive walls where he used to store grain and hay to feed his 15.000 horses not food for humans,we will stop as well to get pictures of the Bab AL Mansour, the Great gate built in the 11th century by the King AL Mansour Adahbi, then continue to Fes via the foothills of the Rif Mountains, get to Fes at the end of the afternoon.
Check in to your riad at the heat of the Medina. Overnight riad
Day 2: Exploring Fes
Most of the morning will be spent visiting the medina (the old city) and its alleys – including the famous tanneries and the Quaraouine mosque.
Fes comprises of three distinct parts, Fes El Bali which is the oldest part surrounded by a big wall, where there are more than 9000 narrow streets and allies, Fes-Jadid or the new Fes is home of the Mellah, the Jewish quarter and the Ville Nouvelle ( the newest section of Fes ) created during the French occupation.
Fes El Bali is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its medina is the largest in the world, among its narrow streets and allies is the oldest university in the world, the University of Al-Karaouine was founded in AD 859 and it is still operating nowadays, after lunch in a typical Moroccan restaurant in the Medina, you’ll visit the Merinid tombs and experience a wonderful panoramic view of the city.
Overnight accommodation will be at your hotel or riad in Fes.
Day 3: Fes – Ifran – Azrou – Ziz Valley – Merzouga: 425km
After breakfast we will depart for Merzouga through the Middle Atlas and Higher Atlas mountains. Stopping at Azrou, a Berber village in the middle of the famous cedar forest – the largest in Morocco – where you may well sight Barbarian apes.
We will drive through Ifrane, the ‘Switzerland’ of Morocco and the cedar forests of Azrou where we can stop to hand feed the monkeys, continuing to Timhdit and then Zaida, to enjoy a barbecue or tagine for lunch, followed by a refreshing glass of mint tea, we’ll travel through the Tizi Ntalghamt Pass to Midelt and along the magnificent Ziz Gorges carved through volcanic rock, taking in views of the Anti-Atlas plateau, you’ll notice how the scenery changes to reveal hints of the desert as you approach the city Er Rachidia, and then travel along the luxuriant Ziz Valley, stopping for panoramic views along the way, we will drive through welcoming Berber villages to Erfoud, and then Rissani, the foundation of the Alaouite dynasty – the current ruling royal family in Morocco.
Rissani is surrounded by 360 ksar (a fortified village with many towers) and has a big souk (an open market), held three times a week. Arrive to Merzouga on the afternoon, you’ll be welcomed with a glass of mint tea then get guided by an experience Camel Guide taking the best care of you.
Overnight will be at the berber camp
Day 4: Merzouga – Todra Gorges – Dades Valley
Early in the morning, your camel man will wake you up to see the spectacle of the sunrise – what well may be the best sunrise of your life -over the dunes of the Sahara, you’ll peacefully camel-trek back to your riad for luxurious breakfast and a shower, after breakfast, we will leave for Rissani if it is a Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday this is an opportunity to explore the souk, once a meeting place for many caravans coming from Timbuktu in Mali.
Rissani, once Sijilmassa, is the foundation of the Alaouite Aynasty, the current ruling family, with most of the woman veiled, and men hooded, this is a very traditional Moroccan town, we’ll continue driving towards Tinghir Todra gorges, the highest, narrowest gorges in Morocco, here you will have the option to hike for an hour within the valley, where you will meet locals and learn about the culture and geography, after a tradition lunch in the heart of the gorge, you will continue to the Dades Valley, where you’ll see the majestic sand castles and the amazing rock formations known as “monkey toes”.
Overnight accommodation will be in a luxurious hotel overlooking the Dades valley
Day 5: Dades Gorge – Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah – Marrakech
After breakfast in the hotel, you will travel through the Dades Valley towards Kalaa M’gouna and Ouarzazat.
The road through Dades Valley is the way of the thousand kasbahs – providing numerous opportunities to take some of your best photographic shots of the trip, next you will enjoy the fertile Rose valley and the rock formations along the way, we’ll stop at Kalaat M’gouna, “the rose city” known as the ancient city of the Jews of the Dades, the fortress of Tiliit has been the centre of a Jewish region ruled by the Spanish-Jewish family of Perez from the end of the 15th century until the reign of Moulay Ismail in 1672, where you will have the option to visit the cooperative for the roses, to purchase the rosewater, which will make your linen smell good a long time after your trip is over.
Continue to Skoura and the birds valley, visit the Kasbah Ameridil, a well-preserved kasbah in this area, after some hiking in the valley stop in a high restaurant, lunch in high looking the whole valley, on to Ouarzazate. “The door to the Sahara desert”, it’s the main Berber city in the south known for its spectacular sunsets and dramatic mountain and desert scenery, on our way from Ouarzazate to Marrakesh; there is the fortified Kasbah of Aït Benhaddou, which was built in the 11th century by T-hami El Glaoui (Now one of the UNESCO heritage site) your journey will continue through the majestic Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2260m) over the High Atlas Mountains.
before arriving at your accommodation in Marrakech
Day 6: Exploring Marrakech
After Breakfast in the Riad you will have a full guided tour will be scheduled to discover Marrakesh which is known as the “Red City”.
Marrakesh is the most important former imperial city in Morocco’s history,it is situated near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountain, like all the old cities, we will ensure that you see the most important sites of historical and cultural interest, including the Menara Gardens, Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace, Koutoubia Mosque and its gardens, delving through the alleys of the souk where they will have the opportunity to see in action at different artisans working leather, carpet weaving, tailoring slippers, etc….
Marrakesh has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco and also has one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Jamaa el Fna, the square is full of story-tellers, water sellers, dancers, snakes charmers and musicians. During the night the square turns into a huge open-air restaurant.
During our visit we will see The Koutoubia Mosque, built in the 12th century in the reign of Almoravid Dynasty, after lunch at a restaurant near the square, we will walk through narrow streets and allies in the ancient city and souks and view hundreds of handicrafts.
On the afternoon, you will have some free time to wonder by yourself and see Marrakech as you like
Day 7: Marrakech – Departure
After breakfast, you will travel to the airport for your departure flight. Tour ends at the airport.