Day 1: Casblanca
Arrive in Casablanca. Spend some time getting oriented and rest after your flight. Visit the site of Hassan II Mosque which is perched on the Atlantic Ocean and open to tourists to visit even if you are not Muslim.
Day 2: Chefchaouen
Leave Casablanca and drive north to the capital city of Rabat where you will enjoy a tour of a few hours of the highlights including Hassan II mausoleum and tower as well as Kasbah Oudaya overlooking the ocean and boasting a beautiful garden within its walls.
After this relax and watch the scenery as you travel into the Rif Mountains to Chefchaouen.
Day 3: Fes
Enjoy a morning stroll through the medina as the local women prepare to do the family wash at the local riverbed and the shop keepers slowly open their businesses for the day. Enjoy a coffee in the square and reflect on this magnificent and simple way of life in the mountains. At your leisure today, make you way to through the countryside to the bustling ancient city of Fes with its complex and chaotic Medina.
Day 4: Fes
Today you will meet your local city guide and enjoy a day tour of the medina and surrounding area. Marvel at the carved brass gates at the Royal Palace, walk through the Jewish quarter, meander through the narrow busy streets of the medina stopping for demonstrations of weavers, carpet knotting, brass hammering and tile and pottery making. Visit the famous tanneries, a UNESCO site and famous for its natural dying methods dating back centuries. You will stop for lunch along the way and return to your riad dazzled by the sights and sounds.
Day 5: Sahara Desert
Leave Fes behind, your camels await. Drive over the Middle Atlas mountains through the cedar forests and rolling hills. See Macaque monkeys and Berber horses and stop in at the small Europeam hamlet of Ifrane, known at the “Switzerland of Morocco”. Then head south to Midelt, and on to the stunning Ziz Valley where you will see valleys and oasis filled with date palms as far as the eye can see. Berber villages and casbahs will take over the view as you head through Rissini and into Merzouga. Once there you will go off road for a bit before arriving at the base hotel (Hotel Yasmina) where you will day good bye to the car for the night and hop on your camel for a trek into your camp. If you prefer we can arrange for 4 x 4’s to take you in and out. Spend the night in tents under the stars with your dinner and breakfast prepared by nomads who operate the camp.
Day 6: Todgha Gorge
After making your way back to the car, you will ride through Erfoud (date capital of Morocco) and along the Valley of 1,000 Kasbahs (old and new) and drive towards Todgha Gorge. Spend some time exploring the gorge basin and marveling at the rock face (350m high). Stay in the nearby valley at Chez Pierre or similar and enjoy the traditional Berber lifestyle of the south.
Day 7: Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah
Visit Dades Gorge this morning before driving through the Roses Valley and on to Ouarzazate. Stop along the way to see the ancient system of irrigation or “khetteras”. Once at Ait Ben Haddou you can enjoy the beautiful views of the riverbed and monument and take a walk through the village up to the top of the kasbah. Stay in a traditional guesthouse with dinner included.
Day 8: Essaouira
Bypassing Marrakech today you will make your way west to the Portuguese fishing village at Essaouria. Enjoy the quiet Medina filled with artists and musicians. Tour the working fishing port and select lunch straight off the boat to be prepared on a nearby grill and walk for miles along the beach. Don’t miss the sunset, a big draw for locals and visitors alike.
Day 9: Marrakech
Only a 3 hour drive, you can leave in the morning and stop off at an argan cooperative to see the most pure oil being made. Approach the Red City and settle into your riad near the old Medina. Enjoy dinner in Jemna el Fna square where snake charmers play their flutes and orange juice stalls beckon you to taste. Try snail soup if you dare, or just enjoy some traditional Moroccan bbq in the midst of the excitement.
Day 10: Marrakech
Your guide will meet you at the riad for a 1/2 day tour of Marrakech including the Koutoubia mosque grounds, the Bahia Palace, Saadian tombs, and the Mellah or old Jewish quarter. After lunch do some shopping the souks for souvenirs and try your hand at haggling. Visit a local hammam or enjoy the Jardin Majorelle for peaceful escape from the chaos.
Day 11: Casablanca
Travel to Casablanca at your leisure. Its up to you how you would like to spend this day. Perhaps you want to get to Casablanca in the early afternoon. Or maybe you like to visit some of the other attractions in Marrakech that you didn’t get a chance to see during the tour. There are so many! Either way, your driver will take you to Casablanca as you like.
Day 12: Departure