Day 1: Marrakech
Welcome to Morocco! An arrival transfer from Marrakech airport is included. Be sure to arrive in time for your pre-departure meeting at 6pm. Tonight we enjoy a traditional dinner together, spending the first night at our pre-expedition hotel.
Day 2: Marrakech -- Casablanca
En-route this morning we travel up to Casablanca, made famous by Humphrey Bogart in the film “Casablanca”. We will have the option of visiting the stunning Hassan II mosque, which has the tallest minaret and the third largest mosque in the world, it can hold 25,000 worshippers at any one time.
Day 3: Casablanca -- Meknes
After breakfast we head straight to Rabat , Morocco’s capital city where we will spend the morning to visit Oudaia Kasbah, Hassan tower, the Royal palace and Chellah. After lunch we will move on to the third of our Imperial cities, Meknes, to enjoy some free time. (B)
Day 4: Meknes -- Chefchaouen
En route to Chefchaouen, we take a tour of the Roman ruins at Volubilis, the largest ancient site of Morocco. UNESCO-listed, the site dates back to 40AD and once ruled the entire Roman province of Mauritania. Then on to Chefchaouen – a haven of peace and tranquility. High up in the Rif mountains, Chefchaouen boasts a beautiful blue door and white-walled medina that was originally a Berber post. The main square is the heart of Chefchaouen, with the Kasbah, central mosque and cafes. The busy market is a mix of traditional Moroccan and tourist fare.
Day 5: Chefachouen -- Fes
After a morning of free time to explore the beautiful Chefchaouen, we head to the bustling, imperial and ancient city of Fes, the oldest and largest medieval city in the world. Its medina is a heady mix of aromas, sounds and sights. There are plenty of mosques and palaces to visit, but be aware that only Muslims can enter mosques in Morocco.
Day 6: Fes
We embark on a guided tour of the Medina to further explore its maze of souks, tanneries and potteries and learn about the fascinating history of the city before we return to our hotel to get ready for an optional night of Moroccan entertainment and food at a restaurant in town.
Day 7: Fes -- Midelt
This morning we journey over the Moyen Atlas to stop at Midelt. This is a beautiful alpine area. Surrounded by huge pine trees and a tranquil mountain setting, this is a great spot to cool down and relax after the hustle and bustle of Fez. We will enjoy a small hike in the afternoon. We spend the night in this mountain location.
Day 8: Midelt -- Merzugaa Desert
Today we enjoy a stunning drive rewarded by a fantastic Moroccan lunch and an afternoon relaxing and swimming. It’s now time to head towards the desert and Merzouga, where we transfer to camels for a trek into the desert for a night at our Berber Camp. We enjoy local food, music and an amazing night out under the Saharan stars.
Day 9: Merzouga Desert -- Todra Gorge
Leaving the desert, we move on to Todra Gorge. This 1,000ft gorge is hemmed in on all sides by vertical limestone cliffs and is nicknamed Morocco‘s Grand Canyon. There’s time to explore the gorge, from its plunging depths to dizzying heights. The charm of Todra lies in its changing colours as the sun slowly moves from east to west.
Day 10: Todra Gorge -- Ait Benhaddou
Leaving the impressive Todra Gorge we make the short journey to Gorge du Dades in the Dades valley, a green and fertile valley by the Dades River that flows through it giving life to a huge variety of colourful fruit and nut trees and extraordinary red rock formations. We will lunch here then on to Ait Benhaddou for a tour of the famous Kasbah, where Lawrence of Arabia was once filmed.
Day 11-12: Essaouira
Today’s drive is truly stunning as we traverse the high Atlas Mountains on our way to Essaouira. A colourful fishing town situated within 15th century Portuguese fortifications, where great beaches and surf beckon. Relax on the beach or alternatively explore the UNESCO-listed medina (more recently famous as the setting of Game of Throne’s “Astapor”) with its various souks and woodcarving workshops. Any city gate leads to the Medina, so you’re unlikely to get lost. The beach is in front of the Medina and there are plenty of cafés with terraces, both ideal for relaxing for a few hours. Blue doors and window frames abound as do the artist’s shops – buy a carpet or Thuya wood carving or sit on the beach sipping a mint tea as the sun sets, an antidote to the bustle of the Imperial cities.
Day 13-14: Essaouira -- Marrakech
We take the new highway back to Marrakech, the final one of Morocco‘s four Imperial cities we visit on this tour. Marrakech set against the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Its great pride and landmark is the Koutoubia Tower, sister to the Tower of Hassan in Rabat and the Giralda Tower in Seville. It is said that after the third of these was completed, the sultan had the eyes of his architect put out, lest he should build another more beautiful tower elsewhere. No visit to the city is complete without a visit to the city’s UNESCO-listed medina and Djemâa-el-Fna, an extraordinary gathering and market place.
Day 15: Marrakech
Your adventure tour ends after breakfast.
– Camp with the Berbers and camel trek in the Sahara
– Chefchaouen, the stunning city of blue and white
– Volubilis, UNESCO-listed Roman ruins
– Fes, the ancient imperial city
– Todra Gorge, the ‘Grand Canyon’ of Morocco
– Marrakech, UNESCO-listed medina, mosques, palaces and souks
– Essaouira, UNESCO fortified old town with great beaches and surf
– Casablanca and the largest Mosque in Morocco
– Services of 1 or 2 person crew (leader and driver)
– Transfer from Marrakech airport
– 14 nights accommodation
– Transport in 4×4 Land Cruiser or Mini Van
– Guided tours of Marrakech, Chefchaouen, Fes and Volubilis
– Berber camp
– Sahara camel trek