Discover Morocco
25 days from Casablanca Apparthotel to Grace Marrakech
From $ 2845
Duration25 days

Discover Morocco on this three week long, all-encompassing adventure. Discover Morocco, the land of contrasts - soaring mountains, lush valleys, the vast, unforgettable Sahara Desert and often missed pristine waters hiding in secret valleys and sprawling untouched beaches of southern Morocco. Travel in the footsteps of pirates, sultans and desert nomads, exploring the colonial architecture of Casablanca, the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, the medieval city of Fes and the intricate clay architecture of the Ait Benhaddou Kasbah. Move further to the south to explore a new side to Morocco that has inspired writers, painters and travellers. Enjoy the warm local hospitality and embark on this exotic, three week long adventure that will allow you to fully discover Morocco, the jewel of North Africa.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 25 days
    Service level: Standard
  • Starts in: Casablanca Apparthotel
    Physical Grading: Light
  • Ends in: Grace Marrakech
    Ages: 15+
Discover Morocco - Tour Map

Itinerary

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Day 1: Casablanca

Start place: Casablanca Apparthotel

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6pm – check with hotel reception to confirm the time. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. As there's not much free time included in Casablanca on this trip, we highly recommend you arrive a day or two early so you can explore. Modelled after Marseille in France, the city is famous for its art deco buildings and the modern-day masterpiece, the Hassan II Mosque. A pleasant way to spend the day exploring Casablanca is to wander the old medina and the city walls, then jump in a taxi to visit the Quartiers des Habous, the new medina. Finish the day with a walk along the Corniche, watching the locals play football on the beach, or take it easy with a glass of sweet mint tea in one of the many great cafes.
Day 2: Rabat/Moulay Idriss
Today take an early morning one-hour train to the historical town of Rabat. Rabat's history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan parliament. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now known as the Chellah. Store your luggage and spend a few hours strolling through the city's old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Continue on to Meknes by train (approximately 3 hours), before taking a 45-minute taxi through scenic countryside to the sacred pilgrimage village of Moulay Idriss. Once forbidden to non-Muslims, explore the delightful medina of this ancient town that offers an excellent insight into traditional Moroccan life. See where the faithful gather to pay homage at the tomb of Moulay Idriss I, who was the great-grandson of Mohammed and brought Islam to Morocco. At sunset, enjoy great views over the plains of Volubilis below. Your accommodation for the night is in a guesthouse/homestay with a local family. Bathroom facilities may be shared and you may be sharing a room with two or three others.
Meals: B, D
Day 3: Volubilis/Fes
Today, take a guided tour of the archaeological site of Volubilis. World Heritage-listed Volubilis was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and the remains make an undeniably impressive sight. Upon arrival, take a tour around the ruins with a local guide. Please remember to pack drinking water, hat, sunglasses and sun cream for this tour as it may get hot and you will be exposed to the sun. And, of course, don’t forget to take your camera as the town is filled with fantastic mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. After time spent imagining Volubulis as the bustling city it once was, return to the nearby imperial city of Meknes, where you'll have a few hours to explore. In the 17th century Sultan Moulay Ismail turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city, building his own version of Versailles with labour force of over 25,000 slaves. The adventurous may want to try a camel burger for lunch at a local restaurant in the medina. In the afternoon, take a one-hour train to Fes, where you'll spend the next two nights. Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses – with a huge, well-preserved medieval old city that’s the mother of all medinas.
Meals: B, L
Day 4: Fes
Take a guided group walking tour of the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali. Step back into the Middle Ages in the labyrinth of the Medina, which is alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries and mosques. Pass donkeys piled high with goods (this is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world) and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the city's most beautiful buildings, which has recently been restored and is now open to tourists. Visit Medresse el Attarine and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. You'll also see the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramics factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. In the evening, enjoy a delicious group dinner of Moroccan specialities like harira (chickpea soup) and chicken-stuffed pastilla with couscous.
Meals: B
Day 5: Chefchaouen
Take a local four-hour bus to the isolated town of Chefchaouen today. Chefchaouen, or the ‘blue city’, is arguably one of the prettiest places in Morocco. Set against a wide valley and nestled between two peaks in the stunning Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen may take you by surprise. Its medina has been lovingly cared for with striking blue and whitewashed houses, red-tiled roofs and artistic doorways. Much of Chefchaouen was recreated by Andalusian refugees escaping the Reconquistia, so you might feel like you're in the hills of Spain while exploring its streets. Ease into the relaxed pace of life in this rural retreat. Take a stroll through the ancient medina and shop for handicrafts, go hiking in the Rif mountains or simply sit at a cafe and enjoy the pleasure of time passing by. If you're feeling peckish, the goats' cheese on offer is a popular treat enjoyed by many visitors.
Meals: B
Day 6: Chefchaouen
Today is a free day to explore Chefchaouen. Perhaps take a guided tour of the sights, sounds, and smells of the medina, or sample the delicious local goat cheese at a cafe in the Plaza Uta el-Hammam. Admire the architecture of the 15th-century Grand Mosque (closed to non-Muslims) and browse the shops in the square selling woven goods and small sweets. Also within the plaza is the walled fortress of the Kasbah. Wander through the tranquil gardens inside, check out the ethnographic museum and soak in wonderful views from the rooftop. Alternatively, you might prefer to get out of town and enjoy a hike and picnic in the surrounding hills. In the evening, tuck into a tagine at a local restaurant or visit a hammam, a traditional Moroccan spa.
Meals: B
Day 7: Tangier
Today take a three-hour private minibus journey to the coastal town of Tangier, a place of strategic importance to the Mediterranean and the gateway to Africa. Once a hotspot for artists, secret agents and millionaires, Tangier has been going through something of a renaissance of late thanks to the arrival of a new monarch in Morocco in 1999. Mohammed VI of Morocco and his forward-thinking ideas about commerce and tourism has suddenly woke up the community to the potential of this city. Today, the city's medina and kasbah are well worth exploring, as are the cafes and patisseries around the Place de la France in the Ville Nouvelle. Perhaps visit the American Legation Museum, the former palace of Dar el-Makhzen or the Caves of Hercules. The recently reconstructed beach promenade is lined with great restaurants. Perhaps enjoy a fresh seafood dinner by the port, before boarding an overnight sleeper train bound for Marrakech.
Meals: B
Day 8: Marrakech
Arrive early into Marrakech on the overnight train. The day is free for you to explore. Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Explore the Medina and the city's seemingly endless mosaic of souqs. Each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. Perhaps visit the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its 12th-century minaret, which was the famous prototype for the Giralda tower in Seville. Take a wander through the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). You might like to check out the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, or the ruins of the Palais Badi, reputedly one of the most beautiful palaces in the world in its time. The Saadian tombs are a recently uncovered gem of the Medina. All of the above can be a challenge to locate, but that's all part of the experience of exploring the medinas of Morocco. In the evening, join the thronging crowds for an optional dinner in the Djemaa el Fna, the city's main square. When night falls it transforms into a hive of activity. Henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. This is sure to be an unforgettable farewell to Marrakech.
Day 9: Marrakech
Today is a free day for you to discover Marrakech further. Perhaps explore the Medina for some shopping, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. In the seemingly endless mosaic of souqs, each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. Watch skilled artisans perfect their craft, practise your haggling skills or take a break from the hustle to sip on tea or share a tajine, filled with the pure scent of Morocco. You can also venture out of Marrakech for a day trip; if you feel energetic, why not try one of the famous day walking trips. Oukaimeden or Ourika Valley are great places not far from Marrakech. If you would like to relax after the first part of your adventure, ask your leader to help you out with booking a session in one of the famous Moroccan Hammams.
Meals: B
Day 10: Aroumd
Today, take a short drive up the towering High Atlas Mountains to the village of Imlil (approximately 2 hours), photographing snow-dappled mountains and valleys in full flower along the way. On arrival, store your main luggage and load daypacks onto pack mules before walking into traditional mountain village life with a one-hour trek up to the peaceful village of Aroumd. If you feel like the walk is too strenuous then there's the option of riding the mule. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the remote village of Aroumd offers stunning views across the High Atlas Mountains and a unique opportunity to experience traditional Berber culture. Spend the night in a family-run mountain home (gite) in Aroumd. Surrounded by the smell of woodstoves and bread, meet the host family and enjoy Berber hospitality and food. Facilities at the homestay are shared (both the bathroom and sleeping arrangements) but cosy, comfortable and definitely a unique Intrepid experience. Use the rest of the day to explore the village and the surrounding farmlands. If the group are up for it and weather permits, there will be a chance to hike of around eight kilometres to the pilgrimage shrine of Sidi Chamharouch (approximately 4 hours return). Regardless of fitness levels, the gentle pace of Aroumd makes it a special place to explore beyond the reach of the modern world.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 11: Ait Benhaddou
This morning journey along mountain roads and over Morocco's highest pass, Tizi n'Tichka (2,260 metres), to Ait Benhaddou on the edges of the Sahara (approximately 6 hours). Perched on a hilltop and almost unchanged since the 11th century, Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco's most iconic site. It was once an important stop for caravans passing through as they carried salt across the Sahara, returning with gold, ivory and slaves. Today its grand kasbah has been listed as a World Heritage site, with its fortified village being a fine example of clay architecture. If you think you recognise the place, you probably do, as the town has a long list of film and TV credits, including Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones and Gladiator. Enjoy a walk through the winding streets of old town, making your way to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy the views across the surrounding plains. In the evening, why not join a simple cooking demonstration of Morocco's most famous cuisine: couscous and tagine. The locals will explain the secrets and subtleties of these traditional meals, as the ladies of the kitchen prepare a feast.
Meals: B
Day 12: Zagora
This morning you'll journey south towards the Sahara, stopping in the regularly used film location of Ouarzazate along the way (approximately 5 hours in total). Continue to travel through the lush Draa Valley to Zagora, a small oasis town on the Sahara fringe that is perfect for an overnight stop. Take a stroll through the palm groves, explore the ksars and wander around the surrounding countryside.
Meals: B
Day 13: Sahara Camp
Continue along the rugged and desolate Jbel Tadrart ranges and through seas of sand and past the occasional desert oasis of date palms to the township of Tamegroute. Visit an intriguing library filled with ancient scripts of science, literature, the Koran and stories of the prophet Mohammed (subject to unregulated opening times). Join a local guide to uncover the underground Kasbah and its unique ceramic pottery industry. Leave Tamegroute behind and carry on driving to the end of the road at the frontier town of M'Hamid (approximately 1 hour). From here, take a short camel ride through the dunes, where you’ll jump into 4WD vehicles. The rough track runs parallel to the Algerian border, across the stony Hamada desert, whose only populace is small scatterings of nomadic people and their camels. The group will reach the massive Erg Chigaga dunes in the late afternoon. An erg is a vast sea of shifting wind-swept sand that's formed into picturesque, undulating crests and valleys. The Erg Chigaga is one of the world's iconic landscapes, with towering dunes up to 150 metres in height.
Meals: B, D
Day 14: Taroudannt
Today rejoin the minivan and venture towards the market town of Oulad Brhhil, sometimes called ‘Little Marrakesh’. The journey should take around eight hours in total. This drive goes through desert scenery and along a route that's a reserve for the indigenous argan trees. Argan oil is highly prized for its culinary, cosmetic and medicinal uses and is only produced in Morocco, and is certainly a trademark of Morocco around the world. If you're lucky, the group might come across the famous image of goats climbing these trees in search of nuts. Please note that this is a long travel day, and you won't arrive at tonight's accommodation until late afternoon/early evening. The riad (house) tonight is 45 kilometres outside of Taroudannt and offers the chance to relax by the pool or take a steamed bath.
Meals: B
Day 15: Essaouira
In the morning, take to the souqs and haggle with local traders for silver jewellery or colourful Moroccan ceramics and mosaics. Afterwards, leave the valleys of the High Atlas Mountains behind and head west to the coastal town of Essaouira (approximately 5 hours). The name Essaouira means image, which is appropriate since it's such a picturesque town. Its charm is undeniable; within the stone ramparts you'll find whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters, art galleries and wood workshops. This laidback artists' town is a former Portuguese trading colony and was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations. The town faces a group of rocky islands, called the Mogador, and is surrounded by an expanse of sandy beaches and dunes. It's still a busy fishing port and its pretty harbour is filled with tiny colourful boats which go out early every morning for the day's catch. Visitors who have been seduced by its charms include Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix, who (according to local legend) spent much of his time here in the 1960s. More recently, filmmaker Ridley Scott chose the ramparts as an important location for his film, Kingdom of Heaven. As you’ll arrive in the early evening, there won’t be much time to look around today. In the evening perhaps have some dinner with the group, as the local seafood is as fresh as it gets.
Meals: B
Day 16: Essaouira
Today, join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall). Afterwards, use your free time to get under the skin of the town. The narrow streets of Essaouira are ideal for casual exploration. Their size discourages cars, and on walk through the town it feels as though little has changed since the days of sea pirates. The fishing port is a serious commercial operation and there’s much fun to be had observing the daily catch and its subsequent auction. A freshly-cooked plate of the day's catch is highly recommended. Browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries that make this little town a particularly pleasant place to unwind for a few days. It has a growing reputation for its unique art and is becoming even more famous for its burled Thuya wood, delicately formed and inlaid in tiny shops that are built into the thick walls of the Portuguese ramparts. The scent from the oils used to polish the richly coloured wood permeates the air and makes walking down the streets incredibly pleasant. If you’d prefer to relax, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in a hammam or local-style bath.
Meals: B
Day 17: Marrakech
Use the morning to see the last of Essaouira, as you’ll catch a bus back to Marrakech in the afternoon (approximately 3 hours). The monuments of Marrakech are numerous and range from the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its superb minaret to the lesser-known tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). There's the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, and the ruins of the Palais Badi, reputedly one of the most beautiful palaces in the world in its time. The Saadian tombs are a recently uncovered gem of the Medina. All of the above can be a challenge to locate, but that's all part of the experience of exploring the phenomenal medinas of Morocco. Explore the Medina for some last-minute shopping, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. This evening you will likely be drawn back to the Djemaa El-Fna, and its surrounding medina. When night falls on this square it transforms in to a hive of activity. Henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. Perhaps dine with the group here – a great way to finish your adventure.
Meals: B
Day 18: Marrakech
Today is another free day in Marrakech before you head to discover the south coast of Morocco. Options to spend a day are countless. Marrakech has numerous places to visit, but if you have already done your sightseeing, perhaps venture out of the city on one of many day tours available. If you’re filing active, there are few options to either cycle, quad bike or trek. Alternatively, why not enjoy a luxurious Hammam and Massage in one of many traditional places in Marrakech.
Meals: B
Day 19: Sidi Ifni
Hit the road early today and head for Sidi Ifni (journey time approx 5.5 hours). Stop along the way around well-known resort, Agadir, for included lunch. After a devastating earthquake in 1960, Agadir had to be rebuilt from the ground up. It’s now known as Morocco’s best seaside city, boasting a lively beachfront promenade that highlights the exuberance of the country’s street culture in a spacious, bright atmosphere. Continue to your destination today. Once known as a Spanish port city before being returned to Moroccan rule in 1969, Sidi Ifni still hosts many old Spanish fortifications, slowly crumbling into ruin amongst the rest of the European architecture and the native Moroccan houses. It’s known as one of Morocco’s best-kept secrets for people looking for a peaceful, un-commercialised gateway into the local way of life. There’s little to no beachside hostels, discos or even tourists coursing through the streets, and the city holds many of its own quirks with its blue and white painted buildings and trace love for Spanish music and football. Spend your afternoon exploring the city or relaxing after long, but interesting journey.
Meals: B, L
Day 20: Sidi Ifni
Your second day in Sidi Ifni will start with guided tour of the city, where you’ll get to learn about the Spanish history of the old town and the port, slightly haunting if not beautiful in its dilapidation. Afterwards take a more natural approach with a trip to Legzira beach. This pristine stretch of sand has previously been characterised by the unique red arches that dip over the beach and into the sea, although unfortunately only one more of these glorious structures remains. Bring a book or beachside games to enjoy your morning in this atmospheric location. For lunch, perhaps try local speciality; grilled fish or fish tajine. After dipping your toes in the water and heading back to Sidi Ifni, you'll have an evening to spend as you wish.
Meals: B
Day 21: Tafroute
Embark in your private transport to Tafraoute, a secluded shred of paradise far from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life (travel time approx. 3.5 hours). While the journey is long, it is stunning in parts – keep your eyes peeled for herds of goats climbing argan trees. Ancient traditions still run strong here in the Berber heartland. People have a genuine friendliness and honesty unlike anywhere else on earth and the cooking, which cleverly mixes spices, prunes and meats, is indescribably delicious. Get an insight into the unique charms of Tafraoute with a guided orientation tour and walk through the city. You’ll also get to witness the beauty of the surrounding landscape on a walk through a desert oasis to witness Belgian artist Jean Veran’s painted rocks project, standing out as vibrant monuments in a sea of tanned desert soil. Visit a traditional Berber house for a cup of Berber Whisky (mint tea) before heading to your accommodation for dinner this evening.
Meals: B, D
Day 22: Taghazout
Prepare to visit some of the world’s most beautiful bodies of water as you board your private transport – make sure you have your swimmers ready! You’ll first get to visit the aptly named Paradise Valley - a dreamland full of gorgeous pools of water hidden in bright stone canyons. Afterwards, you’ll travel onwards to a surf resort near to the small fishing village of Tag Taghazout, Moroccohazout. Over recent years, the town has gained a reputation as a prime surfing location for locals and tourists alike – the waters stay warm throughout the year and the surf is excellent for starters and adept wave riders alike. After your long journey from Marrakech today (230km) engage in a relaxing yoga session.
Meals: B, D
Day 23: Taghazout
If you were thinking about surfing yesterday but didn’t have the know-how to ride a board, worry not – you’ve got a 2 hours surfing class to build your skills up. It’s okay if you’re a beginner, the intensity of the course will be adjusted to the abilities of the group so everyone gets a chance to enjoy themselves. The surf academy provides wetsuits and all the equipment you will need you’re your lesson. You will only need your swimmers. Come the afternoon, you’ll have some time to polish your surf skills, lounge by the pool or explore the small fishing village of Taghazout.
Meals: B, D
Day 24: Marrakech
Today morning you are free to spend as you wish. Later on you will travel to Marrakech where remaining of your day is also free. Perhaps you discovered parts of it already at the beginning of this adventure, but if not, it’s a must to see the well-known Djemaa el Fna, the most vibrant square in North Africa. In the evening why not head out to a final farewell dinner with your group at one of the trendy restaurants in the Gueliz district of Marrakech.
Meals: B
Day 25: Marrakech
Your Moroccan adventure comes to an end this morning - however, don't let that stop you from exploring the streets, visiting a souk, or talking to your tour guide about taking a one day Urban Adventure in Marrakech.

End place: Grace Marrakech

Meals: B

Inclusions

Included

  • Rabat orientation walk
  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
  • Fes - Guided walking tour
  • Guided trek in the High Atlas Mountains
  • Ancient library
  • Camel ride
  • Guided walking tour Essaouira
  • Guided tour of Sidi Ifni
  • Tafrouat museum - La Maison Berbère
  • Guided tour of Tafroute
  • Yoga class
  • Surfing class
  • Transport

    4x4, overnight sleeper train, private vehicle, public bus, taxi, train, camel
  • Accommodation

    Desert camp (1 night), Gite (1 night), Guesthouse (1 night), Hotel (15 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Riad (3 nights), Surf camp (2 nights)

Dates & availability: Discover Morocco

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Wed, 09/30/2020 Finishing Sat, 10/24/2020 Catalog Price $ 2820 Sale Price $ 2820 16 Book

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