10 days from Casablanca: Imperial Cities, Chefchaouen and the desert of Merzouga
An individualized and comfortable tour. From Casablanca you will reach the Imperial Cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fèz and Marrakech. From Fèz we will reach the desert of Merzouga and the red dunes of Erg Chebbi and take a dromedary trip at sunset and overnight in the luxury desert camp; nomadic hospitality guarantee a unique and unforgettable experience. Passing through the oases of the Draà valley you will cross the High Atlas and reach Marrakech before the tour brings you back to Casablanca.
Itinerary: Casablanca - Rabat - Chefchaouen- Volubilis - Meknes - Fèz -Midelt – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi – Rissani – Nkob- Draavalley- Agdz- High Atlas – Telouet – Marrakech - Casablanca
Type of tour: Private guided Landcruiser/Minivan tour and camel riding in the desert
Min. participants/max. participants: from 2 participants; maximum 6 participants in Jeep
Duration of the tour: 10 days and 9 nights with half board
Departure/arrival: departure and arrival from/to your Casablanca Hotel/airport
Individual starting dates, all over the year
Casablanca - Rabat
We start in Casablanca this is the economic heart of Morocco. Many European manufactures have set up shop in Casablanca making this city an industrial power house. Here along the coast we will visit the Great Mosque of Hassan II, which is open to non-Muslims. From here we travel north along the Atlantic coast to Rabat. Rabat was founded in the 12th century as a military stronghold. Used as a haven for Barbary pirates in the 17th century. These pirates and the problems they created lead to Morocco being the first nation to recognize the United States as a sovereign nation. You will be able to tour monuments from dating back to the Romans in this Atlantic port town. The souks here are top quality offering some of the finest handmade goods in Morocco. The accommodations for the night are in a traditional Rabat Riad bed and breakfast complete with tea service.
Rabat - Chefchaouen
Today we travel to the blue city of Chefchaouen. Wonderfully situated on the southern slopes of the Rif Mountains. Known as the Blue Pearl of Morocco Chefchaouen is a photographers dream come true. Because of the location in the Rif Mountains the city has a rich history of being a place of refuge for Moors expelled from Spain to Jewish refugees fleeing here in the 1930’s. Accommodations for the night will be in a local Bed and Breakfast.
Chefchaouen - Volubilis – Meknes
Setting out into the Rif mountains we head towards the Saiss plain. Here we find archaeological site of Volubilis. This imperial Roman city dates back to the 3rd century BC and is also a UNESCO world heritage site. There are well preserved columns and mosaics here. Also located in the Saiss is one of Morocco’s 4 imperial cities, Meknes. This military stronghold with its combination of Spanish and Islamic architecture is known as the Versailles of Morocco or the city of a hundred minarets. Meknes is also home to Moulay Ismail’s 17th century Imperial Villa, the Bab El Mansour gate and the old souk. Your accommodations will be in a Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service.
Meknes – Fèz
After breakfast and a tour of Meknes and its brilliant souks we set off though the mountains towards Fèz arriving in the afternoon. You will have time to tour the vibrant souks and historic media; Your accommodations will be in a Riad bed and breakfast in the old medina
Today you will be given a personalized tour of the three different districts of Fèz. The original city is now known as Fès-el-Bali was founded early in the Islamic Golden Age. This district walled and at its center is Qarawiyin University. Founded as a mosque in 857 the institution subsequently became a leading spiritual and educational center. Fès-el-Bali itself is a city within a city. Many of the historic souks, tannery and culinary aspects have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Fèz el Jadid, another district was added mid 13th century. At the time Fèz was the capital of Morocco. This new district was built around the Royal Palace and Jewish quarter. Fèz is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. The newest district dates back to colonial French rule, early 20th century. This area is the largest and most populist area.
Fèz – Midelt – El Rahidia – Erfoud – Rissani – Merzouga – Dunes of Erg Chebbi (Merzouga)
Setting out form Fèz we head east towards the Erfoud region. This area is home to centuries old horizontal wells called Qauah, that once irrigated the desert. After lunch we set out for Merzouga and the dunes of Erg Chebbi. The Chebbi dunes are continuously changing and moving, reaching a height of 160 meters. Here you can admire the gilded pink. The evening will be spent in camp, fitted with private tent and bathroom enjoying first class Berber hospitality. Complete with the traditional mint tea ritual, dinner and music topped off with star gazing in the vast desert sky.
Rissani - Nkob – Draá Valley – Agdz
After breakfast and a beautiful desert sunrise we resume our journey an set off to Rissani. This ancient mountain city is known the Ali Cherif Mausoleum as well it’s vibrant souqs and markets. Further down the road at Nkob we will stop for lunch before entering the Draa Valley. This lush valley produces some of the best dates in all of Morocco. There are millions of date palms that are harvested between September and December. These high quality treats are available along side the road as well as in every shop. From here we go to Tamnougalt, one of the oldest kasbahs (walled city or castle) in Morocco. This is where you will stay in a Moroccan Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service and full dinner.
Draá Valley - Ouarzazate – High Atlas – Telouet – Marrakech
Our day starts with breakfast and a walk in a local oasis. Then we set off through the Atlas mountains to the city of Ouarzazate. This fortified village or kasbah was first recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987. Hollywood has also recognized Ait Benhaddou in it own way filming dozens of movies here including The Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Marco polo (1982) and The Mummy to name a few. Here we will stop for lunch and a tour. Once the village tour is complete we will set off for Marrakech, arriving in the evening. Here you will stay in the medina at a Moroccan Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service.
Marrakech is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and holds the promise of incomparable sensations. Winston Churchill said Marrakech “is the most lovely spot in the whole world” and you will see this is still true today. In the afternoon you will have a Guided tour of the city and will accompany you through Jemaa El Fna, the narrow streets and vibrant souks. Tea service on the Riad terrace in the evening.
Marrakech – Casablanca
After breakfast we set off for Casablanca
- Private transport in an air-conditioned Landcruiser (Minivan)
- English speaking driver/guide
- Pick up and drop-off at the airport or your Riad/Hotel in Casablanca
- The opportunity to ask a driver to stop when and where you wish
- Free time to explore the places such as Ait Ben Haddou, Dadesvalley, Draavalley ecc for walks and photo stops
- half day city sightseeing tour at Marrakech with English speaking guide
- half day city sightseeing tour at Fèz with English speaking guide
- 2 overnight in air-conditioned room with private bathroom in Hotel/Riad with breakfast and dinner
- 6 overnight in air-conditioned room with private bathroom in Hotel/Riad with breakfast
- 1 overnight in comfortable tent with private bathroom in the luxury desert camp of Merzouga with breakfast and dinner
- the camel riding (1,5 hour) with a local guide in the desert
- sandboarding and berber drumming in the desert camp
- tea, coffee and mineral water in the desert camp
- Dinner in the Imperial Cities
- Personal expenses
- Entrance fees