Morocco Desert and Imperial tours: This trip starts in Casablanca and brings you to the Imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fes and Marrakech. We travel across the Middle Atlas to the desert, gorges and mountain passes of the High Atlas. We stop in each city to see the main monuments and sites and spend nights in traditional Riads or in nomad tents while visiting the desert.
Day 1: Casablanca – Rabat
After pick up at the airport, we drive to the city where you will visit Hassan II mosque ” (except on Fridays or on religious holidays). The largest of the African continent, this mosque partially built over the ocean is decorated with beautiful mosaics, marble floors and painted wood ceilings “. After the visit, continue onto the capital city, Rabat, to spend the night in a Riad in the heart of Sale medina, ” a lively neighborhood located on the opposite side of the Bourgreg River. Founded by the Phoenicians “.
Day 2: Rabat – Meknes
After breakfast, we cross the river again to reach Rabat. Here you will visit the Hassan Tower and Mohammed V’s Mausoleum hosting the tomb of the king and of his deceased son and successor,Hassan II. Continue to Kasbah Oudaya to visit its Andalusian gardens. The Kasbah is white and blue painted as in the typical decoration style of Moroccan coastal cities on the Atlantic sea. The trip continues onto Meknes, where you will visit Bab Mansour gate and the Moulay Ismail mausoleum. Overnight stay in a Riad.
Day 3: Meknes – Volubilis – Fes
Depart for the UNESCO listed Roman ruins of Volubilis after breakfast. Placed below Zerhoun mountain, these ruins overlook a plain area from where you can have spectacular views of the valley and hills and see also the holy city of Moulay Idriss, located at 5 km of distance.Although non-Muslims are not allowed to entry the mausoleum, the city has other interesting sites to visits including its narrow streets, and nice square with typical shops. We then continue to Fes for dinner and overnight stay in a Riad.
Day 4: Fes
Spend the entire day visiting Fes, the oldest of the “Imperial Cities”. Explore the medieval part of the city, Fez El Bali or “Old Fez”, which has maintained its original state, and its exotic Bouanania Medresa that is open to non-muslims, the Medina and the 9th-century Kairaouine Mosque. In the afternoon explore the “New Fes” or Fez El Jdid and the Museum of Moroccan Arts. Night in the Riad.
Day 5: Fes – Midelt – Er Rachidia – Rissani
Departing from Fez at 8 am, we drive towards Midelt via Azrou and the nearby Cedre Gourat forest in the Middle Atlas where groups of Barbary apes (monkeys) can be found. After lunch in Midelt, a city famous for the production of apples, we continue over the Tizi-n-Talremt pass and through the Ziz Valley with its palm trees andlengthy oasis.
Admire the “ksars” of the several Berber villages we encounter on the way before passing by Erfoud, an oasis town and well-known site for dates and fossils, and finally reach Rissani, the city of the Alaouite family or the royal family of Morocco. Here you’ll spend the night in a new but traditionally built Kasbah.
Day 6: Rissani – Merzouga Erg Chebbi Dunes
After breakfast, visit the traditional market and the old ksar of Rissani before heading towards the Erg Chebbi dunes in Merzouga for lunch. Afterwards, take a camel ride to watch the sunset from the top of the dunes before returning to the desert camp. Here you will enjoy dinner, entertainment with music and spend the night in a nomad tent.
Day 7: Merzouga – Tinghir/Toudgha – Dades Gorges
Wake up early to admire the sunrise over the dunes and enjoy breakfast. Take a walk to the dunes before we depart for Tinghir and the Toudgha gorges, where we will have lunch. The road to these places passes through Tinjdad and the Toudgha Valley, where you can take a walk immersed in palm trees gardens or along the river. The trip continues to the Dades Valley and the Dades Gorges, where you’ll spend the night in hotel.
Day 8: Dades Gorges – Saghro Mountains – Draa Valley – Zagora
After breakfast at the hotel, we head towards the Sarhro volcanic mountains via the road of Tizn Tazazart, a spectacular route following dramatic rock formations and gorges. We then drive through the Draa valley with its lined up palm groves and Berber villages to reach Zagora for dinner. Overnight stay in hotel.
Day 9: Zagora – Tamgroute – Mhamid – Erg Chegaga dunes
After breakfast, we head out to Tamgroute to visit its famous Koran Library, subterranean kasbah and pottery manufacture before continuing towards M’hamid, the “doorway to the Sahara desert” for lunch. In the afternoon, after a one-hour camel ride, we take a track which will carry us through the rocky desert scenery towards the sand dunes of Erg Chegaga that spread over 40 km. Here enjoy a welcome drink at the desert camp before admiring a spectacular sunset. Spend the night in the desert camp or under a star-filled sky after enjoying a tasty dinner.
Day 10: Erg Chegaga Dunes – Foum Zguid – Taznakht – Ait Benhaddou
Admire the sunrise over the sand dunes and enjoy breakfast before we depart with 4×4 vehicles via the old Paris-Dakar road to Foum Zguid, crossing Iriqui lake. We will stop for lunch in the Berber village of Taznakht before arriving to Ait Benhaddou, where you will have dinner and spend the night in hotel.
Day 11: Ait Benhaddou – High Atlas Mountains – Marrakech
After breakfast, visit Ait Benhaddou’s 16th century spectacular Kasbah, ” one of the best preserved in Morocco.Listed by UNESCO World Heritage, this Kasbah was famous for Hollywood films shooting including blockbuster film Gladiator in 2000 “. After the visit, we drive through the high Atlas Mountains over its highest pass at 2.260 m before reaching Marrakech around 3 pm.
Day 12: Marrakech
After breakfast, you will spend the whole day visiting Marrakech, ” known also as the “red city” for its red mud brick buildings. Founded by the Almoravides dynasty at the end of the 12th century, the city is located in the heart of a palm grove and surrounded by impressive mountains” . Spend the morning discovering the souks and Djemaa El Fna square, a market during the day and a site for an endless parade of performers and entertainers at night. After lunch at the hotel, visit the Saadian Tombs, the Museum of Moroccan Arts hosted in Dar Si Said, the Menara and Agdal city gardens, the Koutoubia tower, and finally the Bahia Palace. In the evening you have the option to dine in a typical Moroccan restaurant with folklore show. Night in hotel.
Day 13: Marrakech – Essaouira – Marrakech
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive west towards Essaouira, a charming town well known for its artisans who produce unique handicrafts made of Thuya tree roots. After the visit to the city, souk and shops, we drive back to Marrakech.
Day 14: Marrakech
Free day in Marrakech. Dinner and night at the hotel.
Day 15: Marrakech – Back to the airport
The morning is at leisure for some last minute shopping or more sightseeing. Later in the day, transfer to the airport.
Morocco Desert and Imperial tours
What is included:
- Transport in 4×4 jeep or Minivan
- Accommodation in 4/5 stars Hotels/Riads Half Board.
- Guides for the imperial cities
- Entrance Fees to Sites.
What is excluded?
- Personal Spending
- 2pax: 1420 €
- 4pax: 995 €