Arrival at Casablanca Mohammed V airport. Welcome and assistance, and sightseeing tour of Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco. We will visit the exterior of the Hassan II Great Mosque, the world’s second largest, and the only working mosque in Morocco that can be visited by
non-Muslims, one of the Islamic world’s greatest monuments. Departure to Meknes.
After breakfast, we will depart to Fès with a stop at Meknès or “the Moroccan Versailles”, which was founded at the end of the 17th Century by Moulay Ismail. Highlights will include Bab Mansour, Saharij Souani and the old Medina. Independent lunch and departure to Volubilis, the UNESCO-sponsored Roman ruins and the sacred town of Moulay Idriss I, where the founder of Islam in Morocco is buried. We will then continue to Fès. Check-in at hotel, overnight stay Fes.
We will enjoy all that Fes has to offer, a guided city tour to visit the old Medina of Fes; a particularly exciting experience because when you enter the sprawling labyrinthine alleys you feel like you have stepped back in time. Donkeys and mules are the only form of transport in these steep, narrow streets. Delicious scents come from the souk, where perfumes and spices are traded. In contrast, however, the most appalling stink emanates from the leather tanneries, where men often stand up to their waists treating leather in noxious baths, in much the same way as has been done for centuries – don’t let this put you off visiting there too; ethnic leather goods make great souvenirs!
After breakfast we will embark on a picturesque journey towards Ifrane, through hills covered in forests of cork oak and giant cedar, home of a few Barbary apes. Crossing beautiful and tranquil passes over both the Middle and High Atlas ranges we will catch a first glimpse of the south’s
incredible architecture. Lunch in Midelt, approached through a bleak plain of scrub and desert. The dramatic peaks of the High Atlas, rising behind the town, provide a spectacular background. Crossing Tizi-n-Talremt (Pass of the She-Camel), we will descend into a desert plain along the Ziz valley. We will then head south to Erfoud and Rissani, a huge oasis containing over six million palm trees, edged by many ksours (fortified villages). Continuing along a striking route that marks the transition to desert, when we reach Merzouga we will be greeted with a glass of tea. We have time to relax, then we get ready to ride camels into the pink sands of Morocco’s highest dunes. We will have time to wander the dunes before sunset. Dinner is served, followed by traditional music and the night in a nomad tent.
If we wake up early enough, we can watch the spectacle of sunrise, when the colour of the dunes combines with the play of shadows to make an awesome sight. After breakfast we ride the camels for a couple of hours (or less; it is up to you) before leaving for Tinghir and Todra Gorges for lunch. The road passes through Tinejdad and the Todra Valley. This stunning area affords plenty of opportunities to walk, such as along the river through the gardens or up the road on the other side of the gorge. Later, we will continue to the Dades Valley and the Dades Gorges before spending the night in a hotel.
After breakfast there is some time to relax on and have breakfast at the hotel terrace, with wonderful views across the fertile Dades Valley. Then drive through the villages of this charming area, passing fields cultivated by the Berber women, with the peaks of the High Atlas as a fitting backdrop. Our journey will then continue toward Ouarzazate, going off-road along the piste to visit Berber nomads in their caves and partake in a glass of tea with them. From here, we will continue through the Valley of the Roses, famous for its Rose Festival in May, and past the road of 1000 kasbahs by Skoura oasis.
After breakfast, departure to Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, a World Heritage site and the backdrop to many Hollywood blockbusters. This is the most famous kasbah in Morocco. From here, we will drive to Marrakech through the picturesque highest pass in Africa, Tizi n’Tichka with Berber clay villages nested at the roof of the mountains. At the end of the afternoon we will arrive in Marrakech.
Enjoy a guided city tour of Marrakech today, taking you through the winding streets, bustling souks, and the focal point of the city – the great Djemâa-el-Fna. No visit to the city is complete without a visit to the city’s UNESCO-listed medina & Djemâa el-Fna, an extraordinary gathering and market place. Explore this mystical city at your leisure and relax with our optional activity – a visit to a traditional hamman. Enjoy a steam bath followed by an exfoliating massage – the ideal end to the day.
We spend the morning visiting some of Marrakesh landmarks before heading to the seaside town of Essaouira. This former Portuguese fishing village has grown into a laid-back town popular among travellers with art galleries, beautiful beaches and places to eat seafood fresh off the boat
After breakfast, we will depart to Casablanca, then transfer to the airport for your departure flight.