Day 1: Tangier – Tetouan – Chaouen
In this 10-day ‘Wonders of Morocco’ tour, our services start at the port or airport of Tangier: there, our Spanish-speaking driver will be waiting for you with a private vehicle for the whole tour. After the meeting, we will leave this city nestled in the Strait of Gibraltar to head south.
Flight or ferry schedule permitting, the first visit of the day will be Tetouan: this amazing city has a medina declared a World Heritage Site for its beauty and was the capital of the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco, so the influence of its northern neighbor is still palpable in the city. In addition, those who have seen or read El tiempo entre costuras will know how to recognize the places where the protagonist Sira Quiroga moved during the plot.
Regardless of the eventual visit to Tetouan, the afternoon of this first day will be spent visiting Chaouen, also called Chefchaouen and known as the ‘blue city’ for the original color of its houses. Nestled in the Rif Mountains, a stroll through its winding and steep streets will be most pleasant. Its kasbah and its panoramic viewpoints will also be other attractions of the free visit before the night’s rest in a charming riad.
Day 2: Chaouen – Volubilis – Meknes – Fez
After breakfast at the riad in Chaouen, we return to the road. We will leave the Rif Mountains and, among cultivated fields, we will reach Volubilis: in this archaeological site, declared a World Heritage Site, the remains of that great Roman city are preserved, which testify to the importance of the province of Mauritania Tingitana in antiquity. Monumental arches, religious temples and mosaics of stately villas are some spectacular vestiges that are still preserved today, for the visitor’s enjoyment.
Very close to Volubilis is our next stop: Meknes. Many of its monuments date back to its period of splendor, during the reign of Sultan Mulay Ismail in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, who named it the capital. Its medina, also named a World Heritage Site by Unesco, retains its charm thanks to its souk and imposing gates of the wall as Bab Mansur.
In the final stretch of the day we will arrive in Fez, although we will leave the visit of this other Imperial City for the following day. In the meantime, the night’s rest will be in a charming riad in the medina.
Day 3: Fez
In this circuit of Morocco in 10 days, one of the most monumental and interesting places is Fez. As it could not be otherwise, its medina is declared a World Heritage Site. Therefore, it is worth spending a full day to visit it, something you will do with our official guide after breakfast at the riad.
Among the places that can be visited on foot during the tour are the Karaouine Mosque, which also houses one of the oldest universities in the Islamic world. Its medersas are also of great prestige, such as Bou Inania, and the medina’s squares are home to elements of great history and beauty, such as Nejjarine Square and the fountain of the same name. Its neighborhoods maintain a special charm, largely because they retain traditional activities, such as the famous tannery Chouwara. The Mellah or Jewish quarter does not disappoint those who come to visit it, and the same goes for the golden gates of the Royal Palace.
These visits can be extended in the afternoon, which is free. This time of the day can also be used for shopping in the local handicraft stores, which are among the most valued in the country. And in the evening, the riad will welcome you back for a well-deserved rest.
Day 4: Fez – Ifrane – Monkey Forest – Erfoud – Merzouga Desert Dunes
Our circuit ‘Wonders of Morocco’ in 10 days takes us finally, on this fourth day, to the Sahara Desert. But until that moment arrives, the route will bring us many other surprises. The first of them are in the Middle Atlas Mountains. For example, Ifrane, a small town called the ‘Moroccan Switzerland’ for its original gabled buildings that remind us of the abundant snow that falls here in winter
Between Ifrane and Azrou stretches the Cedar National Park, popularly known as the Monkey Forest: this nature reserve is the perfect habitat for Barbary macaques, an endangered primate species that still retains a very large population in this place.
Once we pass the natural barrier of the Middle Atlas, our route will cross the Ziz Valley until we enter the desert terrain. We will pass through Erfoud, known worldwide for the importance of its fossils, some of them of great dinosaurs, and also for its prestigious marble production. And soon after we will arrive at Merzouga, the town that gives its name to one of the most beautiful and unique portions of the Sahara Desert.
In Merzouga we will make an original transfer: we will leave our modern vehicle to get on the traditional dromedaries (replaceable by 4×4), used by the nomads of the desert since ancient times. In fact, they represent an unbeatable way to cross the golden dunes of fine sand of Erg Chebbi. In this way, we will arrive at the tents camp, where we will be welcomed with a Berber tea and where dinner will be served. As we will see, these tents are the ideal accommodation to rest in the middle of the desert and, above all, to enjoy a sky sparkling with stars.
Day 5: Merzouga Desert – Black nomad village – Merzouga Desert Dunes
One of the great advantages of this 10-day Morocco tour is that we can dedicate two days to the exploration of the Merzouga desert. Therefore, after breakfast in the tents and a refreshing shower (in the camp or in a hotel in Merzouga, depending on the package contracted), we will move to Khamila.
In this small village we will know first hand its inhabitants, mostly black because they are descendants of former slaves from Sudan. Their way of life is based on art and music and we will have the opportunity to enjoy a ‘gnawa’ performance, the percussion genre that distinguishes them and has a strong sub-Saharan rhythm. Its uniqueness and value have been recognized by UNESCO, with the declaration of Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
After this cultural and ethnographic experience, it will be the turn of adventure and adrenaline, as we will travel by 4×4 on a track very used during the Paris-Dakar. In the itinerary we will pass by the mines of Khol and the remains of a Berber and French village. And we will find the ideal place to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the sea of sand that form the dunes of Erg Chebbi. In addition, we will make contact with a group of desert nomads in the process of sedentarism, but still retain much of their ancestral customs.
After tea with them, we will return to Merzouga, where the hotel will serve dinner and rest for the night.
Day 6: Merzouga Desert – Rissani – Todra Gorges – Dades Valley – Ouarzazate
As on the previous day, on this sixth day you will have the opportunity to wake up in a unique environment, where the lights of dawn acquire colors unimaginable anywhere. In this environment you will enjoy breakfast and, shortly after, we will take our camels to return to Merzouga. Again, there will be time for a good shower (at the camp or in a hotel, as agreed).
The road will take us back to our route and will lead us first to Rissani: this small desert town surprises with its historic medina, its traditional market and its donkey parking. After them, we will go to the Dades Valley and in its surroundings we will discover landscapes of enormous value, such as the Todra Gorges: this rocky canyon has natural walls of about 200 meters, carved by erosion.
After that, we will enter the Route of the Thousand Kasbahs and the Valley of the Roses, where palm groves and ancient Berber fortresses coexist in perfect harmony. Precisely, at the end of the day we will have time to visit one: the Kasbah of Taourirt, on the outskirts of the city of Ouarzazate: it is a kasbah that served as a residence for the ‘Pasha’ of Marrakech in the past and still retains much of its original construction and decorative elements.
In addition, if the schedule allows, we can plan a visit to the film studios: Ouarzazate is known as the ‘Moroccan Hollywood’ because in these facilities have been filmed real blockbusters, such as Lawrence of Arabia or Gladiator. Accommodation for this day will be in a hotel in Ouarzazate, where dinner will also be served.
Day 7: Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Telouet – Marrakech
At the hotel in Ouarzazate you will have breakfast and then we will go to the first visit of the day: the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. Located just over 20 km from the city, it is a fortified village built by the Berbers of the desert centuries ago. Its adobe architecture is impressive, as well as its humble interior where families still live. For its uniqueness, this ksar was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco and is regularly chosen for the filming of series and movies, such as Game of Thrones.
After admiring inside and out this unique construction, we will resume our route by road towards Marrakech. But on the way, we will stop to visit another interesting kasbah: Telouet. Nestled in the High Atlas Mountains, its external appearance shows its long history, but inside it preserves spaces of extraordinary beauty and exoticism, with courtyards and rooms of refined decoration based on local tiles on floors and walls, and wooden coffered ceilings. Like the kasbah of Taourirt, it served as a residence for the El Glaoui family, that of the ‘Pasha’ of Marrakech and Lord of the Atlas. Therefore, you will notice similarities and affinities between the two residential fortresses.
After visiting the Kasbah, we will continue our ascent through the High Atlas until we cross the Tizi n’Tichka pass: here and in the following kilometers of descent you will enjoy beautiful views of this Moroccan mountain range, the highest in the country. And we will pass by picturesque villages, which also deserve a photo en route.
In the afternoon we will arrive in Marrakech, known as the Red City, with two sites protected under the UNESCO World Heritage designation: the historic medina and the Jemaa el-Fna Square. Therefore, we will devote the necessary time to its discovery the next day, while at this time you will be free for a first contact with the city. And at the end of the day, you will spend the night in a charming riad.
Day 8: Marrakech
With breakfast at the riad you will start this day and will give you strength to visit one of the most attractive places of this tour of Morocco in 10 days: Marrakech. Considered Imperial City for its past as the capital of the kingdom, it has spectacular monuments and charming corners. Therefore, our official guide will be in charge of accompanying you and explaining every detail during a guided tour in the morning.
This route can include a wide variety of places of great interest: the Kutubia Mosque (exterior), the Saadian tombs, the Ben Youssef Medersa, the Bahia Palace or the El Badi Palace. You will also visit populous neighborhoods that exude customs, with souks of artisans.
The afternoon, which will be free, can be spent shopping in these establishments, or you can visit other places of interest that will give you a deeper understanding of the city. The Majorelle Gardens or the Marrakech Museum are some interesting proposals. And after such an intense day, you will return to spend the night in a historic riad.
Day 9: Marrakech – Essaouira
The circuit ‘Wonders of Morocco’, in 10 days, will have given us many surprises by then, but we will add one more: the sea. Therefore, on this ninth day we will head for the coastal city of Essaouira, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. We will arrive there in the morning, after breakfast at the riad in Marrakech and a road route of about 190 km. On this route, by the way, we will cross immense argan forests and we can stop at a local cooperative to learn how they produce their precious oil, world famous.
Once in Essaouira, you will enjoy your visit at your leisure, but with enough time to discover its main monuments and corners. This city, also declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, was built in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese, leaving an important mark on its architecture. This can be seen in its citadel and its sea walls, which were also chosen for the filming of chapters of Game of Thrones.
But its historic medina is also full of life and typical Moroccan constructions, such as its monumental gates, souks and mosques. Another option to spend the day is to take a swim in one of its beaches or do some water or coastal activity. Some of the most popular are the dromedary rides and the practice of sports such as surfing and its variants (kite surfing, windsurfing).
In addition, Essaouira is an unbeatable place to taste the maritime gastronomy of Morocco, since it is a country where fishing has an important weight. In fact, many fishermen work off the coast of the city and supply fish to local restaurants. And at the end of the day, a well-deserved rest awaits you in a riad in the medina, which will also be the last night of this 10-day Morocco tour.
Day 10: Essaouira – Airport Marrakech
After breakfast at the riad in Essaouira, this day will be conditioned by the flight schedule back home. If the program allows it, you will enjoy a last free time in Essaouira for shopping or a farewell walk. Afterwards, our driver will transfer you directly by road to Marrakech airport. There our services will end and we will say goodbye with gratitude and wish for a future reunion for a new tour in Morocco, of 10 days or any other duration.
TOURIST PACKAGE INCLUDED
- Transfers from and to the airport or port (in Tangier)
- Private vehicle with English-speaking chauffeur
- One night in a riad in Chaouen, breakfast only
- Two nights in riad in Fez, on breakfast only basis
- Two nights in tents camp in the middle of the desert, half board (dinner and breakfast)
- One night in a hotel in Ouarzazate, half board (dinner and breakfast)
- Two nights in riad in Marrakech, breakfast only
- Overnight in riad in Essaouira, breakfast only
- Excursions in the desert, in dromedary (one per person) and 4×4
- Local guide for visits in Fez and Marrakech
- Travel insurance
TOURIST PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS
- Plane tickets