Would you like to know the essentials of Morocco… and a little more? Are you interested in culture and history, but also in nature and the way of life in this country? This 9-day circuit can be a great proposal, reaching Chaouen in the north and Merzouga and its dunes (Erg Chebbi) in the south, with many attractions in between. And all this with the best accommodation and transportation services in your package to achieve an absolutely premium experience.
The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range that divides the country into two parts. And in this circuit you will have the opportunity to know the best of both, because we will cross them twice: one through the Middle Atlas and the other through the High Atlas. These will be two excellent occasions to get to know the mountain landscapes on both sides, so different from each other.
To the north of this mountain range are located the main monumental cities (Rabat, Fez, Meknes, Marrakech), as well as towns of great charm, such as the blue village of Fez. Also here are the most significant archaeological remains, such as Volubilis, and the greenest landscapes of the whole country, such as the Ifrane National Park.
On the other hand, the most arid Morocco is found south of the Atlas Mountains, where some of the most unique places in the country are concentrated. For example, Berber fortresses such as Ait Ben Haddou and Taourirt. But above all, it is desert territory, with the dunes of Erg Chebbi as its hallmark. In addition, nature is harsh and imposing, as we will discover in the Todra Gorges.
This tour lasts 9 days and 8 nights, starting in Casablanca and ending in Marrakech, using the airports of the respective cities. This is the summary of the 9 days that make up the trip:
The first day of this 9-day tour has as its main attractions the Casablanca Mosque, one of the few visitable mosques in Morocco and the world, as well as the most emblematic monuments of Rabat: the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the Hassan Tower are the best examples of this.
Both cities are located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and are two of the main cities of Morocco: the first for being the most populated and the second for being the capital and home to the main symbols of power of the Alaouite monarchy.
This day will depend largely on the time of arrival of the flight to Casablanca airport and, depending on this, you may or may not visit the mosque. Our staff will be waiting for you at the terminal to welcome you and take care of the first formalities that may be necessary. And with our private vehicle, equipped with chauffeur, we will make all the displacements of the day, as it will happen during the whole circuit.
On this second day of the circuit we will leave the capital to travel to a small town whose historic center still has the soul of a village: Chaouen. This town is nestled in the Rif Mountains and is one of the most picturesque of the whole country, not only for its location but also for its whitewashed houses painted in light blue.
Some of the most representative places of Chaouen are the Kasbah (from the 14th century, nowadays Ethnographic Museum), the Uta el Hammam Square and, in general, all the little nooks and crannies of the medina, where time seems to have stopped. In addition, getting away from the medina and going to the surrounding viewpoints will provide a spectacular panoramic view of this destination, known as the ‘blue village’ of Morocco.
To get here, we will leave Rabat after breakfast at the hotel, a road trip of about 250 km. And to make the most of the day, the accommodation will be located in Chaouen.
On this third day of circuit, we leave behind the picturesque Chaouen to visit other places of maximum interest in the center of Morocco: Volubilis and Meknes, which are barely 20 km away from each other.
Volubilis is a Roman city of which magnificent archaeological remains remain, such as the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus or the Arch of Caracalla, as well as very well preserved mosaics. Undoubtedly, a must for lovers of History, especially Ancient History.
Meknes, on the other hand, is an Imperial City forever linked to the name of Moulay Ismail, who enlarged it to his glory at the end of the 17th century. Therefore, here is his mausoleum and other constructions of that period, such as the wall and its corresponding monumental gates.
The day will begin, as usual, with breakfast at the riad of Chaouen and will end in Fez, where we will move after the visit of Meknes. A charming riad will be waiting for us in the medina of Fez.
Fez is such a unique and important city that it deserves a full day for exploration. Therefore, this fourth day of the circuit aims to do just that. It should be noted that it is the spiritual and cultural capital of Morocco, as well as the former capital of the kingdom, so it also holds the title of Imperial City.
The list of places to discover is very long, and many of them can be part of the guided tour that we will enjoy during half a day, while the others will be left for the other half of the free day. Its mosques (Karaouine and Andalusians), its madrasas (Bou Inania, Attarine), its souks, its Jewish quarter, the Golden Gates of the Royal Palace, its museums of arts and traditions…
Breakfast will be served at the riad where you will stay during your two nights in Fez. The morning guided tour will be with a tour guide authorized by the Ministry of Tourism and the other half of the day can also be devoted to shopping, as this city is considered the most prestigious from the point of view of craftsmanship.
On this fifth day of the circuit, history and culture give way to the wildest and purest nature. So we leave Fez and head for the Middle Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert, which provide a fascinating contrast: green and cool in the former, and arid and hot in the latter.
The Ifrane National Park, colloquially known as the Monkey Forest, is located in the Middle Atlas. The reason: the large population of Barbary macaques, which find in the cedars of this reserve the perfect habitat to live in. And this is how we will understand it during a brief tour of the surroundings. The closest towns to this National Park are Azrou and Ifrane, and in the latter we will also stop to admire its alpine style houses, as it is located at about 1,700 meters above sea level.
But when we pass to the southern slopes of the Middle Atlas, everything changes: the road route will take us into the Hamadas desert and after about 300 km, will lead us to Erfoud, famous for its fossils. In many cases we will travel with the intermittent Ziz River as a companion, which eventually becomes a dry wadi near Merzouga.
This town, Merzouga, is famous for giving its name to the most beautiful part of the Sahara in Morocco, but we will not stop here: in Merzouga we will take dromedaries or 4×4 vehicles to reach the heart of the dunes of Erg Chebbi, a spectacular sea of fine sand located next to it.
And now in the tents camp, accommodated in one of these Berber tents with all the services, we will say goodbye to the day, with a tea and a shining firmament of stars over our heads.
On the sixth day of the circuit we will leave the deepest desert but we will remain in the vast region south of the Atlas, entering valleys and canyons full of charm. The first stop on this return trip will be Rissani, famous for its market, its central square and the donkeys that are often ‘parked’ waiting for their owners.
After that, a roadtrip of more than 300 km begins, with places to remember. This is the case of the Todra Gorges, which overwhelm their visitors by the vertical walls that form a narrow rocky alley. The Dades Valley, which follows, is wider and is notable for its combination of palm groves, ruined kasbahs and bare mountains.
Ouarzazate is the city where the journey of this sixth day concludes. Depending on the time of arrival, we will evaluate the visit of the kasbah of Taourirt on the same day or the next day. Lodging will be in a comfortable hotel to recharge your batteries and rest.
On the seventh day we will finally reach the long-awaited Marrakech. But this is not just a transition day, as the program is loaded with visits for this day. For example, that of the kasbah of Taourirt, if you did not have time the day before: it was the residence and fortress of Thami El Glaoui, Pasha of Marrakech and strong man in times of the French Protectorate.
The main attraction of the day is Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified village or
very cinematographic, as it was used as a film set in Game of Thrones. It is one of the best examples of Berber architecture in the desert, and we will spend the necessary time to admire it. And shortly before crossing the High Atlas through the port of Tizi n’Tichka we will also visit the kasbah of Telouet, another interesting example of military and palatial architecture.
Once these visits are completed, the only thing left to do is to enjoy the rest of the trip by road, downhill through the valleys that lead to Marrakech. And before resting in the riad in the center, you will have free time for a first contact with this city, known as the Red City because of the color of its buildings.
Tourist capital of Morocco. Imperial City in times of the Almoravids and Almohads. A city full of life and culture in its medina. A modern metropolis with chic services for the premium tourist… Marrakech is a unique destination and, as such, it is worth a day’s leisurely stop.
In the first part of the day we will take a guided tour of the historic center, where places such as the Jemaa el-Fna square, the Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadian Tombs or the Bahia Palace stand out, great exponents of the city’s past wealth and its vibrant present. The afternoon, on the other hand, will be free, so it will be the ideal time to do your last shopping or visit one of the many interesting museums in the city: the Museum of Marrakech, the Yves-Saint Laurent Museum, the House of Photography…
This concludes a day full of first-class services, such as breakfast at the riad, a guided tour by an official guide and another night’s rest in the charming riad in the center.
After eight days of intense circuit, on the ninth day we put an end to the trip. We will accompany you until the last moment, as we will transfer you to the airport at the agreed time, depending on the scheduled flight time. And there, at the terminal, we will say goodbye until the next time, either in other destinations in Morocco or in other countries where our agency also operates.
To make the most of this 9-day tour from Casablanca, the travel package includes the following services of transportation, accommodation, meals and assistance:
In order to make the proposed 9-day tour, the traveler will have to pay for the following services, not included in the package, with his own budget: