Day 1: Tangier – Tetouan – Chaouen
This trip through Morocco from north to south starts in Tangier, located in the Strait of Gibraltar, next to Cape Espartel. Whether you arrive in the city by air or by sea, our Spanish-speaking driver will be waiting for you at the airport or at the port, at the agreed time.
Depending on the arrival time of your flight or ferry, our first stop could be Tetouan. Its historic medina, recognized as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, is home to places of great charm, wrapped in an all-pervading white color. In addition, some places of interest outside the old town have a strong Spanish character: this is because it was the capital of the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco in the twentieth century.
Whether we visit Tetouan or not, what is certain is that the second part of the day will take us to Chaouen, also called Chefchaouen. This picturesque town, tinged with blue and lying on the slopes of the Rif Mountains, has a network of streets full of charm, viewpoints with panoramic views and a kasbah that takes us back to past times, almost novel. After a free visit to the oldest part of the city, you will rest in a charming riad in the heart of the medina.
Day 2: Chaouen – Volubilis – Meknes – Fez
The second day of this route begins with breakfast in the riad of Chaouen, then continue the route south, leaving behind the green mountains of the Rif. And thanks to the fact that this circuit ‘Morocco from north to south’ has a duration of 8 days, we can add a day to discover the attractions between Chaouen and Fez.
The first and interesting stop will be at the archaeological site of Volubilis, a city built by the Romans when this territory was part of the Mauritania Tingitana province. In this World Heritage Site are preserved remains of enormous value, some of them imposing as the temple of Jupiter, the arch of Caracalla or the mosaics of the most stately homes. The visit will be free or guided, according to the preferences of the group.
Very close to Volubilis is another UNESCO World Heritage Site: Meknes. Its historic medina still preserves interesting buildings of its golden age, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when Sultan Moulay Ismail established the capital here. The Bab Mansur gate or the mausoleum of Ismail are places that will attract the eyes of any visitor.
And after Meknes, we will follow the route to Fez. This Imperial City, whose medina also has the highest recognition by Unesco, well deserves a full day for its discovery. So this day will allow time for a free walk, before resting and spending the night in your riad in the medina.
Day 3: Fez
After recharging your batteries with breakfast at the riad, you will be ready to explore Fez, considered the ‘cultural and religious capital’ of the country. This and much more will be discussed by the official local guide with whom you will take your guided tour of the city.
Some of the monuments that can be part of the itinerary are the prestigious medersas or Koranic schools, such as Bou Inania, the Karaouine Mosque, or the Nejjarine Fountain. In addition, you will visit the populous neighborhoods of the medina, including the tanners’ quarter. And if time allows, you will stroll through the Mellah and around the Royal Palace, with its spectacular gilded gates.
In any case, you will have the afternoon free to extend or complete these visits, or to shop in detail, since the craftsmanship of Fez enjoys enormous recognition throughout the country. And in the evening, you will rest again in the riad located in the medina.
Day 4: Fez – Ifrane – Monkey Forest – Erfoud – Merzouga Desert Dunes
We are approaching the halfway point of this route through Morocco, from north to south, which begins with breakfast at the riad in Fez. In the morning we will reach the Middle Atlas, whose mountains hide surprising corners. This is the case of Ifrane, the first stop, where the buildings with gable roofs evoke cities of other latitudes. Not in vain, it is known as the ‘Moroccan Switzerland’, as snow is common in winter season.
Between Ifrane and Azrou is another pleasant surprise, especially for nature lovers: the Cedar National Park, also called Monkey Forest. The cedars form a landscape of intense greenery and are also the perfect home for Barbary monkeys, endangered primates that have one of their largest populations here.
Shortly after we will cross the Medio Altas Mountains to travel south through the Ziz Valley. On the horizon is the Sahara desert, which is already palpable in the town of Erfoud, although this is famous for its fossils and marbles, as we shall see. And just 50 km later, we will reach the southernmost point of the route: Merzouga.
In this town, which gives its name to a portion of the Sahara desert, we will leave the car to get on the back of camels (replaceable by 4×4). In this way, we will make an excursion that will take us through a sea of golden dunes of fine sand: Erg Chebbi. In the heart of this incomparable landscape is our Berber tent camp, where you will have dinner and rest for the night. In the sky, thousands of shining stars will accompany your dreams.
Day 5: Merzouga Desert – Rissani – Todra Gorges – Dades Valley
On this fifth day of the circuit ‘Morocco from north to south’, waking up is an experience in itself: getting up early to see the first light of dawn in the dunes of Erg Chebbi has a special charm that we will not miss. And after breakfast in the tents, we will head back to Merzouga by camel. We will reserve time for a refreshing shower, in the camp or in a hotel according to the package contracted.
Our private vehicle will take us again by road to amazing places. The first of them, Rissani, a small desert town, which still retains a very interesting historical medina and corners difficult to see in the XXI century, as its donkey parking. Also by road we will arrive later to Tinghir or Tinerhir, which in Tamazight language means “city of the mountain” in reference to the rocky elevations of its surroundings.
In fact, the next stop on the itinerary is the Todra Gorges, very close to here: a spectacular canyon carved into the rock by erosion. The result is vertical walls of 200 meters in some cases and unforgettable views from the road or on foot.
After that, we will follow the route through the Dades Valley and start the so-called Route of the Thousand Kasbahs. In one of the picturesque villages of the area you will find our riad, where you will have dinner and spend the night.
Day 6: Dades Valley – Valley of the Roses – Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – High Atlas – Marrakech
After breakfast at the riad in the Dades Valley, we will return to our vehicle to drive for miles through this natural landscape and the nearby Valley of Roses. The first big stop will be in Ouarzazate, and more specifically in the kasbah of Taourirt: this Berber fortress was also the residence of the ‘Pasha’ of Marrakech and still retains elements that allow us to imagine the grandeur and importance of the building in the past.
Shortly after we will arrive at another fortified enclosure, even more famous: the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. Listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, it is also a regular filming location for movies and series, such as Lawrence of Arabia and Game of Thrones. Before us will be shown as an extraordinary walled village that fascinates any visitor by the panoramic views from the outside and the humble houses and stalls that still survive inside.
After delighting us with this unique set of its kind, we will return to the road to cross the High Atlas Mountains through the port of Tizi n’ Tichka to more than 2,200 meters above sea level. On the ascent and descent, local villages and panoramic views will appear before our eyes, with snow-capped peaks in the coldest time of the year.
In the afternoon, we will arrive in Marrakech, a spectacular Imperial City that we will discover at our leisure the following day. For the time being, you will have free time for a first contact with its streets and its people, and after that you will enjoy your accommodation in a charming riad in the medina.
Day 7: Marrakech
The seventh day of this great route through Morocco from north to south is devoted to discover Marrakech, always full of monumental and popular attractions. Breakfast in the morning, at the riad, will give you strength for the intense day ahead. And with our official guide you will visit the most emblematic places of the ‘red city’, so called because of the predominant reddish tone of its buildings.
The guided tour may include monuments such as the Kutubia Mosque (exterior), the Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs or the Ben Youssef Medersa, among other options. The neighborhoods of artisans will show their customs during the route and you will discover that the Jemaa el-Fna Square is the real nerve center of Marrakech.
In the afternoon you will have free time to shop in the stalls of this square or any other souk, or to visit other more modern areas of the city. You can also take the opportunity to visit a museum, such as the Museum of Marrakech, or discover gardens such as Majorelle. And to sleep in this last day of circuit, you will spend another night in the riad of the medina.
Day 8: Marrakech – airport
In the morning of this eighth day, you will have breakfast at the riad in the medina. Depending on the time of your flight, you will have some free time for shopping or sightseeing. And at the agreed time, our driver will pick you up in a private vehicle to transfer you to Marrakech airport. Here the services will end, with gratitude for having chosen us and with the hope of a future reunion to explore other areas of the country.
TOURIST PACKAGE INCLUDED
- Transfers to and from the airport (or port) in Tangier and Marrakech.
- Private vehicle with chauffeur throughout the tour
- Night in riad in Chaouen, on breakfast only basis
- Two nights in riad in Fez, on breakfast only basis
- Night in tents camp in the desert of Merzouga, half board (dinner and breakfast)
- Night in riad in the Dades Valley, half board (dinner and breakfast)
- Two nights in riad in Marrakech, breakfast only.
- Dromedary excursions in the dunes of Erg Chebbi in the desert of Merzouga (one dromedary per person).
- Guided tour with official guide in Fez
- Guided tour with official guide in Marrakech
- Travel insurance
TOURIST PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS
- Plane tickets