Cultural visits to major cities, excursions to lush natural parks, 4×4 and dromedary routes through the deepest desert, free time for shopping and personal activities… This 16-day tour from Tangier is one of the most complete in our catalog, and here you can learn more about it in detail. If you want to return home without giving up any destination of interest in Morocco, this is your circuit.
Life in Moroccan cities has a vibrant rhythm that can be appreciated in the souks of its medinas and in the modernist neighborhoods that emerged around them in the twentieth century. But far from these big cities there are small towns where the pace slows down to the point of giving the impression of having stopped, especially in some towns and villages, as we will discover on this trip. And in all these cases, the day to day life takes place among beautiful monuments, sometimes promoted by sultans and other times by the humble people who live here.
The list of examples is enormous, and many of them are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Marrakech, Fez, Meknes, Rabat, Essaouira, Volubilis, Tetouan and Ait Ben Haddou. But it would be unfair to fail to mention others that, without that title, fall in love as much or more to their visitors: Chaouen, Asilah, Rissani, Ouarzazate….
Berber art and Islamic art demonstrate the historical mastery of the Moroccans over time. But there is another beauty, even more astonishing if possible, that explodes in every corner of the country: the natural beauty of its landscapes, in many cases virgin and genuine, practically untouched by man.
The sand dunes of the desert (Erg Chebbi) are the best example of this. But there are many others: oases of palm trees in the Dades Valley, narrow canyons in the Todra Gorges, snow-capped peaks in the High Atlas, green cedar forests in the Middle Atlas, airy beaches on the Atlantic coast, argan fields in the interior… and much more, which we invite you to discover in this 16-day circuit.
This is the program for each day of this 16 days and 15 nights tour, from Tangier to Casablanca, by road and with enough time to discover each destination:
Upon arrival in Morocco, our staff will be waiting for you to start the road tour. This meeting can take place at the port of Tangier or at its airport, depending on the means of transport chosen to reach this city on the Strait of Gibraltar.
In our premium vehicle, we will travel to Asilah, another coastal city bathed by the sea, in this case the Atlantic Ocean. It is a pleasant beginning of the circuit, because here we will discover a small and pleasant city, where you can breathe an artistic, bohemian and even hippie atmosphere of the most original. This is because its medina hosts in summer a great cultural festival, which fills the walls of the old town with murals.
That and the work of the artists installed here make that throughout the year, Asilah distills art. The wall, from the Portuguese period and overlooking the sea, offers another special attraction to its medina, where the riad will be located to rest this first night.
On the second day of the tour, we will have a change of scenery without leaving the north of the country. Our road trip will take us first to Tetouan, a historic city located just 10 km from the Mediterranean Sea. Its whitewashed medina hides corners full of charm and, at its gates, the Royal Palace reminds us that this was and still is an important summer residence for the Moroccan kings. In addition, its widening brings a touch of Andalusian air to the center, from the times when it served as the capital of the Spanish Protectorate in the twentieth century.
From Tetuan we will move to Chaouen, for which we will have to go into the green mountains of the Rif. An explosion of blue color will capture our attention when this locality appears before our eyes, as its inhabitants paint their houses in this way to achieve a fairy-tale result. From this moment, you will have free time to stroll around this unique place and, in the evening, you will rest in a riad located in the center.
This 16-day tour devotes a full day to the main destinations in the program. Therefore, this third day will be spent entirely in Chaouen, and you will be able to stroll, visit, photograph and, in short, savor the attractiveness of this village lying on a green hillside. Some strategic viewpoints will show it to you, but to admire its charm it will be necessary to walk through its alleys, climbs, nooks and crannies and other corners that its people take care of every day with love. The kasbah, the square of Uta el-Hammam or the small waterfall of Ras el-Ma, at one end of the medina, are other places that you can visit at leisure before returning to the riad in the evening.
With the blue of Chaouen still in our minds, we will travel to Rabat on this fourth day of the tour. The attractions of the capital of the kingdom do not stand out precisely for their modesty, but for their majesty and opulence. This is the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, erected as the pantheon of the last Alaouite kings, with special mention to the tomb of this architect of the independence of Morocco in 1956. The nearby Hassan Tower, from the Almohad period (11th century) and the Kasbah of the Udayas are other imposing constructions and, moreover, full of history.
The day will be free, so you can visit these and other places of interest according to your tastes: the Mohamed VI Museum of Modern Art, the medina and its markets, the exterior of Dar-al-Mahkzen (current royal residence)… and so on and so forth. And in the evening, a riad in the center will welcome you for the night’s rest.
On this fifth day, we will travel from the current capital of Morocco, Rabat, to other capitals of the kingdom in the past: Volubilis, Meknes and Fez. And although they have that honor in common, they are very different places.
Volubilis is actually an archaeological site from Roman times, but with spectacular remains still standing and visible to the naked eye: temple columns, triumphal arches, figurative mosaics, baths that are considered the forerunner of today’s hammams… It was undoubtedly one of the most important cities of the Mauritania Tingitana province and, after the fall of the Roman Empire and the Arab conquest, it remained briefly as a government capital, until its transfer to Fez in the ninth century.
The next destination on the route is Meknes, which occupied its role as a governmental center in the time of Moulay Ismail (XVII-XVIII centuries). This sultan ruled the kingdom with an iron hand and ordered the construction of the Royal Palace that stands in the center. Its mausoleum and the Bab Mansour gate, which gives access to the medina, are other places to admire during a walk through the city.
After that, we will return to the road to drive the last kilometers of the day to Fez. Upon arrival, you will have some free time in the city before resting in the riad that will host you for this night and the next.
The sixth full day will be spent in Fez: this city offers so many attractions that it is necessary to stop here at leisure to discover them in depth. In addition, the first part of the day will be spent on a guided tour with a professional certified by the Ministry of Tourism.
In this guided tour we will visit the medina of Fez, or rather, the ‘medinas’, as its historic center is divided into old medina (Fez el Bali) and new medina (Fez el Jedid), in different periods of medieval times. The Karaouine Mosque, which houses one of the oldest university centers in the world, is one of its most emblematic sites. The same is true of its prestigious medersas, such as Bou Inania, or its squares and neighborhoods, such as Nejjarine and the tanneries (Chowara).
After discovering these charming corners and understanding why Fez is considered the cultural and religious capital of Morocco, you will have free time for other visits (Nejjarine Museum, Borj Nord, etc.) or to go shopping in the center: in particular, handicrafts, because here you will find handmade masterpieces, in disciplines such as ceramics or leather.
On this sixth day we go into the deepest Morocco, on the other side of the Atlas Mountains. Before that, during the first part of the route, we will visit several surprising places on its north face. First of all, Ifrane, a village with an alpine appearance due to its buildings with pointed roofs. And secondly, the Ifrane National Park, better known as the Monkey Forest for its population of Barbary macaques that will surely come out to make themselves known to us.
After passing this mountain range, the Ziz River will guide us through its valley to the gates of the desert: its course and riverside vegetation will be lost as we approach Erfoud, gateway to the Sahara and a city rich in fossils, which are for sale in its stores.
The road trip will continue a few more kilometers to Merzouga: this small village gives its name to a very special sector of the desert, where the spectacular dunes of Erg Chebbi are located. And through them will pass this last stretch of the afternoon, on the backs of camels that will make us reach the camp of luxury tents. In one of its Berber tents we will sleep in total comfort, after having dinner in the heat of a bonfire and in the middle of an unparalleled starry night.
The beauty of the desert is not only in its landscapes, but also in its people who, although scarce, continue to inhabit these arid places as in the past. And all this we will discover on this eighth day, after enjoying an amazing sunrise in the dunes, breakfast at the bivouac and return to Merzouga.
The first to show us their art will be the members of the black community of Khamlia, a village where gnawa music is still very much alive. A unique occasion to be moved by the rhythms and dances of these performers whose origins date back to the slaves brought here from Sudan and other areas south of the Sahara.
After enjoying the performance, our off-road vehicle will take us through old Paris-Dakar dirt tracks, kohl mines exploited during the 20th century (and today abandoned) and remains of Berber settlements.
In this inhospitable environment, the courage of the nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes that continue to live here as they did centuries ago is all the more admirable. With our intermediation, we will visit families who will tell us about their daily life based on primary and ancestral activities, with cattle as one of their few sources of wealth.
On the way back to Merzouga, there will be time to admire the dunes of Erg Chebbi from an elevated viewpoint, which will give us a complete view of this natural site with more than 25 km in length. But our desert experience will not be complete until we dine and sleep in a local hotel, with a Berber architecture and interior design.
Having passed the halfway point of our circuit, it will be time to head for other equally interesting regions of Morocco. To do so, we will leave the Sahara desert via Rissani, a small but charming village with a medina that mixes historical monuments with scenes from another time. Its great symbols are the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif (founder of the Alaouite dynasty), its market of traditional products and its donkey parking, a means of transport still in use here.
The Dades Valley will meet us with its kasbahs and palm groves, its small mountains and its humble cultivated fields. All this will be parading on the other side of the window of our car, but when we reach the Todra Gorges we will have no choice but to set foot on land: this canyon carved by the river of the same name is a spectacle of nature, with whimsical shapes and walls that exceed 100 meters high at some points.
After a walk through the Todra Gorges we will continue along the road of the Dades Valley and the Valley of the Roses to reach Ouarzazate, the goal of this day, where dinner and comfortable rooms for rest in a hotel-riad awaits.
If during the ninth day we saw kasbahs of attractive silhouette, on this tenth day we will visit them inside and admire the mastery of the Berber builders to raise these fortresses using the humble and scarce materials of the environment, especially the sand to create adobe.
The Kasbah of Taourirt is located in the heart of Ouarzazate, and is undoubtedly its main monument. Castle-palace of Thami El Glaoui and his family, this Pasha of Marrakech and Sultan of the Atlas spared no expense in decorating the interior rooms and walling its exterior.
With greater humility but with the same defensive sense, the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou was created, about thirty kilometers from Ouarzazate. Here we will stop, as did the caravan routes of the past, in this case to delight us with this fortified village of film that, in fact, has been used to set fictions such as Game of Thrones.
Back on the road, the altitude of the route will increase until it reaches 2,260 meters above sea level: at that point is the Tizi n’Tichka pass of the High Atlas, which we will cross to start a pleasant descent to Marrakech. And upon arrival in this ‘red city’, you will have free time to take the pulse of the center before resting for the night in the riad’s rooms.
The eleventh day of this circuit has Marrakech as its only protagonist: we will spend the whole day in this exciting city, full of historical buildings and brimming with popular life in its medina and beyond.
During the morning, an official guide will take us through the most beautiful and interesting streets and squares of Marrakech, either for their beauty or for their originality. The Jemaa el-Fna square will be a must, as well as the surroundings of the Koutoubia mosque, just to mention some of the most significant places in Marrakech.
For the afternoon, you can decide according to your interests, as you will have free time for it: shopping in the chic district of Gueliz, visit one of its art and craft museums (Museum of Marrakech, Orientalist Museum, Museum of Yves-Sain Laurent, etc.), go into purifying gardens (Majorelle, La Mamounia) or any other activity of your choice. And in the evening, you will enjoy the second night of rest in the riad in the center.
This more than two-week circuit includes a surprising excursion near Marrakech: the Ouzoud Waterfalls, which shows the wildest side of nature on the north side of the Atlas Mountains, about 160 km from the red city.
This waterfall saves a drop of more than 100 meters and falls with force in thaw season, although this cool enclave can be visited at any time of the year. Here we will travel by road and on arrival we will visit the existing mills before the fall, and then enjoy the views of the waterfall from a privileged terrace. If the weather permits, the more adventurous can take a refreshing swim before returning to Marrakech in the afternoon.
Back in Marrakech, the rest of the day will be free, and the riad in the medina will welcome you for the third and last night before leaving the city the next day.
The Atlantic Ocean is the incomparable setting in which this circuit ends, since on this thirteenth day we move there and we do not leave the coast until the end.
The first maritime destination to enjoy is Essaouira, where we will arrive crossing the argan fields that separate this city from Marrakech. In them, by the way, we will have the opportunity to visit a local cooperative to explain how the oil is extracted and how it is produced from this tree, so popular in Morocco and abroad.
Upon arrival in Essaouira, you will have free time to discover it at your own pace. Known as Mogador by the Portuguese (who used it as an important port on their trade routes) and as the ‘pearl of the Atlantic’ today, it preserves interesting monuments such as the synagogues of its Jewish quarter and, above all, the maritime fortress of Skala. To sleep, a charming riad will be waiting for you in the medina.
The fourteenth day of the circuit is conceived as a day of disconnection. Those looking for relaxation will find in its beaches a good place to sunbathe and swim. And those who prefer to have fun with energy can practice some aquatic activity, especially surfing or any of its variants, so popular here.
Having a drink in its bohemian beachfront bars or tasting the fish caught in its waters are other proposals to spend your free time in this interesting city, where you will return to spend the night.
On this penultimate day of the tour we leave Essaouira, but not the Atlantic Ocean: we will now travel by road to Casablanca, the largest city in the country. It is therefore an important financial city, with large public and private projects in various fields.
The great tourist symbol of Casablanca is undoubtedly its Hassan Mosque, which happens to be one of the largest and highest in the world. And, fortunately for those who visit it, it is one of the few that can be visited by non-Muslims. Built at the end of the last century, it dazzles with its rich variety of materials, including marble and ceramic tiles of different colors.
Visiting a museum in the city (Abderrahman Slaoui, Jewish Museum) or indulging in a restaurant are other possibilities for this day, which you are free to organize according to your preferences. And to spend the last night of the circuit, nothing better than a comfortable hotel in the center of the city.
After more than two weeks on the circuit, with intense and more relaxing days, it is time to return from Casablanca Airport. Our staff will pick you up at the hotel for the transfer and at the passenger terminal will end our services that, hopefully, have served to enjoy all of Morocco and take it forever in your heart.
This 16-day circuit not only offers a varied route in terms of destinations, but also a very complete and premium package of services. This is the list of what is included:
These services are not included in the package and the customer will decide on them: