Imperial cities, majestic desert and the stunning south – breathtaking!
Explore the capital city Rabat, ancient Fes and Moorish Meknes before slowing to the pace of the desert towns. Make memories by riding camels to your magical night under the stars of the desert. Then take the ancient caravan route from the Sahara to Marrakech, discovering the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs, Valley of The Roses and 300m high gorges – the beauty of this region is breathtaking.
Day 1 Casablanca – Rabat
We will collect you from Casablanca Airport and begin our tour of The Kingdom of Morocco. We will visit the Hassan II Mosque, the largest in Africa and unusually in Morocco it is open to non-Muslims so a visit is a must. The build statistics are awe inspiring and the design, absolutely stunning.
We will then drive on to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. This city is a fascinating mix of old and new, the older parts include the unfinished Hassan Mosque dating from 1184 which we will visit along with the beautiful Royal Palace and remains of the Merinid tombs dating from the 14th century.
Overnight in Rabat.
Day 2 Rabat – Meknes – Volubilis – Fes
We will start the day with some further sightseeing in Rabat, a chance to visit the 12th century Oudaya Kasbah and its hidden garden. This was used by the Almoravides to prepare their army before launching attacks on Spain.
Then onto the impressive Spanish-Moorish style city of Meknes with its beautiful gates. Founded in the 11th century, Meknes became a capital under Sultan Moulay Ismaïl, the founder of the Alawite dynasty. We will visit the mausoleum of Moulay Ismael and HeriSouani an ingeniously designed granary of immense proportions.
In the vast open arable fields, we stop to explore Volubilis. Morocco’s most well preserved roman ruins. A guided tour of the site will fascinate and intrigue you as you learn about the form and purpose of a Roman settlement.
Finally onto the medieval city of Fes.
Overnight in Fes.
Day 3 Fes
Your guide will meet you and show you the 16th-century southern tower and fortress which faces the northern one, offering a panoramic view over the city. We will visit a fascinating pottery cooperative where you will learn about the making of Moroccan mosaic “zellige” and the blue pottery of Fez.
The labyrinthine 8th-century medina, the oldest intact Arabic City, will take you back to medieval times. This is a working city and trades of every kind are practiced in the narrowest streets imaginable, tiny shops displaying all manner of traditional crafts and heavily laden donkeys are the only transport. This is a confusing and extraordinary city rightly identified as the intellectual and cultural capital of the country.
Overnight in Fez.
Day 4 Fes – Ifrane – Azrou – Midelt – Erfoud – Desert
We leave Fes behind and head towards the Middle Atlas mountains. We will visit Ifrane, a beautiful ski resort before the cedar woods, home of the Barbary apes. Then onto in Midelt, known for its apple production, for lunch.
After lunch, we move further and further south. With time to capture some wonderful photographic moments in Ziz valley, the beginning of the date palm groves.
We then arrive at Erg Chebbi, with its beautiful apricot-coloured sand stretching as far as the eye can see. There will be time for tea and to prepare for the desert camp. You will be introduced to your camel which you will ride into the dunes to watch the sunset. The camel is still an integral part of desert life as it has been over the centuries, having been used to ship precious cargoes from sub-Saharan Africa to the coastal trading ports. You will be led by Berber guides and will be mesmerised by the silence and majesty of the desert.
Standard Camp – We will leave our belongings in a hotel at the dune line and enjoy the trek to the oasis where our camp is located and after a moonlit dinner and drumming around the camp fire, sleep in Berber tents or perhaps star gazing under the magical Saharan night sky. The following morning we will return by camel to the hotel for breakfast, before enjoying a full day exploring the desert.
Luxury Camp – You and your camel will trek across the dunes, led by your trusted guide, to the Luxury Camp in time to see the spectacular sunset over the dunes. (All your belongings will be transported in the 4×4 to the camp) This camp is small and private with beautiful lanterns and cushions everywhere, big, comfortable beds and with en-suite facilities. Attention will be lavished on you all night and you will enjoy camp fires, music and drumming and a three course dinner. (Sand boarding available.)
Dinner and overnight in Desert Camp.
Day 5 – Desert – Todra Gorge – Dades Valley
Nothing is quite as special as waking in the desert dawn. We will have time to enjoy breakfast and a shower before heading off to Tinjidad where we stop to see the old underground system of irrigation “khatarat” still in use.
There are choices today to either visit some sights along the way or enjoy some trekking in the Todra / Dades area.
In Todra, the 300 m high Gorge will literally take your breath away and you can walk along the shallow river enjoying the colourful spectacle.
Then onto Dades Valley, called The Country of the Figs we will also see green fields of apricots and almonds – peach, walnut and pomegranate trees. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and strange rock formations.
Overnight Dades Valley
Day 6 – Dades – Valley of The Roses – Skoura Oasis – Ouarzazate – Ait BenHaddou – Marrakech
This morning we will drive to the Rose Valley, famous for its cosmetics, perfumes and medicines. The pickers have to pick the blossoms in the very early morning in order to preserve the fragrance and properties.
We drive across the oasis of Skoura with its amazing old Kasbah and palm groves to arrive at Ouarzazate – The Door Of The Desert. This is a world renowned film making location. From Lawrence of Arabia in the 60’s to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen 2011 – you can visit the Atlas Studios, one of the largest in the world. There will also be an optional visit to the most impressive Taourirt Kasbah.
Then we head to the fortified city of Ait Ben Haddou, Unesco World Heritage site. Situated on the old caravan route from the Sahara to Marrakech, we will have time to walk and explore before the High Atlas crossing via the infamous Tizi n Tichka pass to the exotic city of Marrakech.
Overnight in Marrakech
Day 7 – Marrakech
After breakfast a local guide will provide a city tour to include gardens, ramparts, Bahia Palace and the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. Then the famous souks with their myriad of stalls and vibrant colours. This is an amazing place to shop for gifts and the guide will help you do this. The tour will end in Djemaa el-Fnaa, the famous market square in Marrakech’s old quarter complete with storytellers, magicians, food stalls and snake charmers.
Overnight in Marrakech