Day 1: Marrakech – Airport
The first day of the program starts with the arrival in Marrakech and aims at getting in touch with the country. Our staff will pick you up at the airport of the city with a private vehicle to transfer you to your accommodation. Depending on the arrival time of your flight, you will enjoy free time or a guided tour with a local guide. In the evening you will rest in a charming riad, located in the medina.
Day 2: Marrakech – High Atlas – Ksar Ait Ben Haddou – Ouarzazate – Valley of the Roses – Dades Valley
The second day of the tour of the Imperial Cities of Morocco is the start of the route by road. After a delicious breakfast at the riad in Marrakech, we get into our private vehicle for the driver to head south. We will cross the High Atlas through the Tizi n’Tichka pass, at 2,260 meters above sea level, and on the ascent we will pass by beautiful Berber settlements, with spectacular panoramic views.
Overcoming this huge natural barrier, we will continue to the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. We will spend time visiting this mythical Berber fortress, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Here, we will discover its historical and artistic secrets and recall the scenes of great film productions shot here, such as Game of Thrones. Just a handful of kilometers away, on the outskirts of Ouarzazate, we will also visit the kasbah of Taourirt.
Both fortresses are a good preview of what awaits us in the rest of the day and the beginning of the next: the Route of the Thousand Kasbahs, which in turn runs through the palm grove of Skoura, the Valley of the Roses and the Dades Valley, all of great scenic beauty. In the latter environment is located our riad, where you will have dinner and sleep.
Day 3: Dades Valley – Todra Gorges – Tinjdad – Touroug – Erfoud – Merzouga
After charging the batteries with a good breakfast at the riad, we will follow the route through the Dades Valley to the Todra Gorges. Here we will discover one of the most spectacular rocky canyons of the country, with natural walls of about 200 meters. Later, our route will pass through beautiful palm groves: those of Tinghir (or Tinerhir), Tinjdad (or Tinejdad) and Touroug, which provide an explosion of greenery in an increasingly arid landscape.
In this way we arrive at Erfoud, famous for its countless fossils discovered and for its tradition in the production of marble, as we will know in one of its workshops.
And in the last part of the day we will reach the southernmost point of this circuit through the Imperial Cities of Morocco and the desert: Merzouga. Here we will change ‘vehicle’, leaving the 4×4 for the 8×8, that is, the dromedaries that will take us into the desert to the breathtaking dunes of Erg Chebbi. In the middle of this sea of fine golden sand we will witness the spectacle of the sunset. And in a tent camp we will enjoy dinner and night’s rest under a shining starry sky.
Day 4: Desert – Rissani – Ifrane – Fez
With the sunset and the brightness of the stars still in the retina, it’s time to wake up and enjoy an equally special sunrise. And also to have breakfast and take another camel ride, this time back to Merzouga. During the morning, there will also be time for a comforting shower (at the camp or in a hotel, depending on the package contracted). Ahead of us lies a new route by road in our private vehicle. We will leave behind the small town of Rissani, drive through the Ziz Valley, cross the Middle Atlas and drive through the beautiful Cedar National Park, also called the Monkey National Park because of the large population of Barbary monkeys that live there. Ifrane, known as the ‘Moroccan Switzerland’ for its unique gabled buildings, will be our prelude to Fez, a key stop on this tour of Morocco’s Imperial Cities. Upon arrival, a charming riad in the historic center will be waiting for you to spend the night.
Day 5: Fez
For its enormous attraction, Fez is worth a full day’s visit. Specifically, the fifth of this tour of the Imperial Cities of Morocco. After a good breakfast at the riad, we will meet with an official guide to discover the monumental sites of its historic center. The main landmarks of this guided tour are concentrated in the medina, such as the medersa of Bou Anania, the fountain of Nejjarine, the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss or the Karaouine mosque. The latter is one of the great cultural centers of Islam, home to the University of Fez, one of the oldest in the world. The craftsmen’s quarters of the medina, organized by guilds, will also be visited, especially that of the tanners. There will also be time to visit the Royal Palace and its gilded bronze doors. At the end of the day, accommodation will again be in the charming riad of the previous night, located in the medina. Summary of the day Breakfast in riad Visit of Fez with local guide Night in riad
Day 6: Fez – Meknes – Rabat
After another breakfast at the riad in Fez, we will head to the second historical capital of this tour of the Imperial Cities of Morocco. We are talking about Meknes, located just 60 km away by road, a distance that we will travel mainly between olive trees and fertile fields. In Meknes we will find a small but surprising city, with a rich monumental heritage. This is largely a legacy dating back to the time of Mulay Ismail, the sultan who made Meknes his capital and his eternal resting place: his mausoleum still fascinates today with its rich materials, such as fine porcelain, stone of different colors and the most detailed stucco. Our visit will also include the gates of the wall, such as Bab Mansur, or the Aghal al pond. Back in the car, we will continue our route west to Rabat, the third historical capital (and current capital since 1912) of our tour of the Imperial Cities of Morocco. We will spend the whole afternoon there, as it is home to important monuments such as the Dar el Makhzen Royal Palace, the Kasbah of the Oudaias and the mausoleum of Mohammed V, among other places. And at the end of the day, you will rest in a new charming riad.
Day 7: Rabat – Casablanca – Marrakech
After tasting the included breakfast at the riad in Rabat, it’s time to follow the route for 80 km along the Atlantic Ocean to Casablanca. It is the largest city in the country and world famous for the movie of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Our walk will take us along the Boulevard de la Corniche, a suggestive promenade that leads to the imposing Hassan II Mosque, one of the few visitable mosques in the country. After visiting (optionally) this icon of the twentieth century in Morocco, we will head to the city of Marrakech, where a new charming riad awaits us to spend the night.
Day 8: Marrakech – Airport
After breakfast at the riad and check-out, the following hours will be organized according to the flight schedule. You could take the opportunity to do the last shopping in the center, to visit monuments that were left pending or even to take a guided tour with a local guide, if you did not have time to do it on the first day. The Kutubia Mosque, the Saadian tombs or the Ben Youssef Medersa are places worth visiting during your stay in the city. At the agreed time, our driver will pick you up to transfer you to Marrakech airport. Here our services will end, but the farewell will have a desire to meet again in the future.
TOURIST PACKAGE INCLUDED
- Pick up and drop off at the airport
- Comfortable private transportation with air conditioning
- English speaking driver / tour guide
- Sandboarding in the desert
- Camel ride
TOURIST PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS
- Plane tickets