Morocco Imperial Cities Tour from Casablanca 12 days
Imperial Cities Tour from Casablanca 12 days
If you wish to go on a journey where you experience the Sahara Desert, tour the Imperial Cities and get away to Atlantic Coastal towns, with little of rich history, exotic culture, and this North African country’s hospitality in between, then this 12-day tour in Morocco is the perfect option for you.
Start your 12-day tour from Casablanca with a visit to the Hassan II mosque and discover Rabat’s main attractions. Tour Hassan Tower, discover the Mausoleum of Mohamed V, and wonder the Ouadayas Gardens and Kasbahs. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Roman ruins Volubilis and tour the medina of Meknes and photograph its massive walls and ancient gates.
Go on a full day Fes sightseeing tour to explore the medina and its touristic sites of interest. Photograph the Royal Palace, tour Madrasa Bou Inania & Madrasa of al-Qarawiyyin, visit the leather tanneries and explore the vibrant medina and the bustling alleyways.
Experience camel trekking in Erg Chebbi dunes, witness the marvellous sunset from the summit of the dunes take inspiring photos of your party, and immerse yourself in the Sahara Desert. Enjoy dinners under the Sahara starlit sky and share evening music and drumming with the nomads and other guests in the desert. Sleep in comfortable nomad tents in a desert camp among the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
Enjoy a full day trekking in the wind-blown sand dunes of Merzouga and explore travelling through the magnificent Sahara Desert the nomadic way. Or, go on a half a day 4×4 tour around the dunes, sip a glass of tea with the nomads and visit Khamlia village to learn about Gnawa music.
Discover brick-mud Berber villages and learn about the daily life of the local inhabitants of the south. Explore the Dades Valley plantation and take a walk alongside the riverbank or go for a hike around the Toudgha Gorges’s massive canyons. Tour the beautifully Kasbah Amredhil, visit Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, and Telouet. Travel over the Atlas Mountains and via the Tizi-n-Tichka and capture photos of splendid views.
Go on a full-day sightseeing tour in Marrakech with a local guide to discover its most interesting attractions. Explore the exotic medina and stroll along the alleyways and visit the Jardin Majorelle and le Jardin Secret. Tour Medersa Ben Youssef and the Saadian Tombs, visit El Badi Palace and El Bahia Palace and explore the much-talked-about Djemaa El Fna.
Photograph goats on trees and pay a visit to the argan oil co-operatives producing argan oil products. Explore the Atlantic coastal town of Essaouira, photograph its massive ramparts, tour its windy alleyways, full of shops selling leather and wood goods. Immerse yourself in the pure peacefulness of this charming town on a free day.
Learn about the history of ancient sites and the exotic culture of the medinas. Stay I beautiful riads and authentic guest-houses. Taste Morocco’s cuisine’s most popular and delicious dishes.
Travel from Essaouira to Casablanca to catch your flight in time.
1 Day: Casablanca – Rabat
You will be greeted by your driver and transferred to your hotel in Casablanca. Depending on the time of your arrival, you can visit the Hassan II mosque, the largest mosque in Africa, and the highest religious institution in the world. Decorated with beautiful tiles and Moroccan craftsmanship and offering amazing views of the ocean, the mosque is a sight to be seen.
Next, we drive on the highway for an hour to Rabat the capital city. Rabat is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to historical and cultural landmarks. The rest of the day can be spent exploring the medina and the Oudaya Gardens, and Kasbah. Dinner and overnight in a beautiful riad.
2 Day: Rabat – Fes
After breakfast in your riad, you will explore the Hassan Tower, a symbol of the city, and then visit the Mausoleum of the Mohamed V, built in homage to the king. Tour more of the vibrant medina.
After lunch, we take the motorway to Meknes, where you can tour the medina and photograph the massive ramparts.
Shortly after, we turn north to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Roman ruins of Volubilis. This site spread over a wide area and overlooks beautiful views of the valleys and the hills.
Here, you can hire a local guide for historical insight into the history of this interesting site. From here, you will continue to Fes where a beautiful riad offers night rest.
3 Day: Fes Sightseeing
After breakfast, you will begin your guided tour of the medina, one of the world’s largest walled-enclosed cities in Morocco. You will explore the narrow streets lined with fresh fruits, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets and many other art objects of Morocco.
A visit to the Royal Palace, the leather tanneries, and potters are just a few places you will experience. Tour the Bou Inania Madrassa and the Al-Kairaouine Madrassa. Taste some of Morocco’s cuisine best dishes in a restaurant in the heart of the medina. After lunch, you will complete the tour and return to your hotel/riad for the evening.
4 Day: Fes – Merzouga
After an early breakfast, you will begin your ascent across the Middle Atlas Mountains. Most of the day will be spent winding your way through beautiful lush forests, jagged rock faces, and Berber villages as you cross the Atlas Mountains and begin to descend towards the Sahara Desert.
Half way, you will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, famous for its fossils and rocks. We continue on mountain roads overlooking the wide flowing Oued Ziz. Passing through kasbahs and palm groves we head towards the adobe coloured city of Er-Rachidia and then Erfoud (famous for its date festival and fossils).
From here our trip continues to the dunes of Merzouga for a walk in the dunes of Erg Chebbi (250m). From the top of the dunes the sunset is spectacular. Here, at Erg Chebbi dunes, we will have dinner and spend the night in a nomad tent under a night sky full of stars. A night you will not forget.
5 Day: Merzouga
After breakfast, enjoy a full day trekking in the desert of Merzouga. You can either ride the camels or walk behind them as they carry what is need for your lunch, which will be prepared by your camel-men. You will walk for three hours in the morning and another three hours in the afternoon to arrive back at the camp for the night.
The second option, you can take the 4×4 car from the camp to the Khamlia Berber village where you will visit a Nomad in their house and have a glass of tea with them. Later, you visit Sub-Saharans who perform Gnawa Music. Back at the camp, at 250m, the sunset is a spectacular sight. Dinner is served in a nomad tent which is the venue for the overnight.
6 Day: Merzouga – Dades Gorges
After breakfast, you will return by camel to the 4×4 and head back to Rissani and Erfoud. From Erfoud, you set out behind the High Atlas Mountains on route to the Toudgha Gorges for lunch.
In the afternoon, you will take a walk up in the towering Toudgha Gorges, with sheer cliffs of 985 feet high. The picturesque river valleys make for a beautiful journey towards the southeast of Morocco.
Then continue your journey towards another impressive Dades gorges, passing by the strange rock creation of Tamnalt Hills. Overnight right in the heart of Dades gorges lined by the red and mauve rocks. Overnight in hotel.
7 Day: Dades Gorges – Ouarzazate
After breakfast a walk in the Dades gorges is scheduled. Back at the car, the trip to Ouarzazate continues, going off-road along the Boutartar piste to visit Berber nomads in their caves and partake of a glass of tea with them.
From here we continue through the valley of the roses, famous for its Rose Festival in May, and past the kasbahs of Skoura. In Ouarzazate, you stay in a riad.
8 Day: Ouarzazate – Marrakech
After breakfast, the route goes on to the kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, a World Heritage site and the backdrop for many Hollywood blockbusters. It is the most famous kasbah in Morocco.
From there the road continues along the Ounila valley to the kasbah of Telouet. This kasbah is set right in the midst of the mountains and was once the seat of the last Pasha of Marrakesh, El Glaoui.
From here, travel over the admirably high Atlas Mountains and via the highest pass in Africa, Tizi-n-Tichka. At the end of the afternoon we arrive in Marrakesh, dinner and night in a riad.
9 Day: Marrakech Sightseeing
After breakfast, you will have a guided tour of Marrakech, the southern pearl of Morocco. You will discover the palace of Bahia, the Majorelle garden, the Saadian tombs, and many other hidden treasures.
After lunch, you will continue the tour to the magnificent Koutoubia mosque and the famous square Djemaa el-Fna, one of the spectacular attractions of Marrakesh, dinner and night in a riad.
10 Day: Marrakech – Essaouira
After breakfast in your riad in Marrakech, the itinerary continues to the seaside town, Essaouira. Along the road, we will stop by the much-talked goats on argan trees.
Back on the paved road and after a short drive, you will visit a local argan co-operative. You will learn about the benefits and the use of argan oil and witness the process of producing cosmetic products.
Having arrived in Essaouira, enjoy lunch overlooking the Atlantic Coast. The rest of the day can be spent exploring the wall-enclosed medina or relaxing in of the many cafés in the windy alleyways.
11 Day: Essaouira
Situated along the Atlantic Coast, the medina of Gnawa, formerly known as “Mogador” to the Portuguese colonials, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most charming towns in Morocco.
Today, explore Essaouira’s old medina and photograph the Portuguese ramparts. Wander the windy alleyways full of little shops selling leather and silver goods and souvenir. Stop by the seaport and choose a selection of freshly caught fish to be prepared for lunch on the spot.
After lunch, enjoy a walk by the beach, go for a swim or simply sip a glass of mint tea, and enjoy the pure tranquillity of the coastal town. You will spend the night in your beautiful riad.
12 Day: Essaouira – Casablanca
After breakfast, the itinerary continues back to the airport in Casablanca. Along the road, we can stop in El Jadida where you can visit the Portuguese cistern and the old Portuguese town.
After lunch, you continue north along the Atlantic Coast road past Azemmour a small town situated on the left bank of the Oum Er-Rabia River. By the end of the afternoon, you will arrive back at Casablanca or at the airport to catch your flight.
- Private transportation in a 4×4 air-conditioned modern vehicle or luxury minivan
- Pick-up from and drop-off at your accommodations and airport transfers
- Berber driver guide Experienced in English
- Overnights in accommodations with air-conditioned rooms/suites
- Two Overnights in a luxury desert camp in Erg Chebbi dunes, with ensuite-bathrooms
- Breakfasts and dinners (except in Rabat, Fes, Marrakech, and Essaouira) with vegetarian and vegan options available
- Camel rides for an hour to an hour and a half and free sand-boarding
- Berber music and drumming around fire camp under the starlit sky
- The opportunity to ask the driver to stop for breaks whenever you wish