MOROCCO AUTHENTIC HIGHLIGHTS, ITINERARY
Morocco is a land of contrasts – where Africa meets Europe and the Middle East adds its own flavor. Considered a moderate Islamic state, Morocco opens its doors to everyone regardless of ethnicity, religion or political status. From ancient philosophers and scholars to Bob Marley and Jimmy Hendrix, Morocco has hosted many! If you´re looking for a colorful and diverse experience, this is the place. From the wild markets of Marrakech to the snowy peaks of the Atlas, the silence of the Sahara and pristine beaches of the Atlantic, Morocco is simply amazing. Our journey combines the best of everything – cities, villages, mountain, desert, music, food, shops and the coast, plus opportunities to do community services and some fun adventure activities along the way! Expect plenty of interaction with the friendly Berber tribes’ people of North Africa. Learn their unique drumming, practice the language and taste the delicious food. We´ll fill your week with a lifetime of memories and educational experiences that are second to none.
DAY 1 WELCOME TO MOROCCO – TRANSFER TO MARRAKECH HOTEL
Welcome to Morocco! On arrival at Marrakech Airport, you will be met by a Premium Morocco Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. While this is an arrival day and you may arrive at any time, please note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday, and that there will a Welcome Meeting with your leader tonight. Transfer to a Hotel to spend the night.
Notes: Please be aware that some of our travellers in Marrakech are being approached by locals offering excursions before their Premium Tours trip commences. This has been particularly prevalent in and around the hotels used by Premium Tours. These guides are in no way connected to Premium Morocco Tours and we cannot guarantee the safety or quality standards of their tours. We strongly advise customers not to join any tour offered by unauthorised guides. Premium Tours assesses the safety of all optional excursions offered by our tour leaders. If you would like more information on the excursions available, please contact us before you travel or see the Premium Tours.
Meet At Airport and Transfer to Marrakech
DAY 02: MARRAKECH EXPLORATION
After breakfast today, meet your local guide and set off on a morning tour of the old medina, through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. Explore tranquil courtyards filled with the scent of orange blossom, and the many salons and chambers that make up Bahia Palace. This splendid mansion was built in 1866 for a former slave who rose to power within the government. Continue to the Marrakech Museum, itself a former palace, which houses a fine collection of Moroccan art and sculpture. Stop by the Koutoubia Mosque; its famous minaret is the prototype for others of its kind around the world, including La Giralda in Seville. Then walk back through the streets of the old medina to the Jemaa el Fna. The rest of the day is free to explore further or shop in the bazaar. Perhaps visit the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle or check out the ruins of the Palais Badi, once one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Otherwise, perhaps head back into the medina, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. Watch skilled artisans perfect their craft, practice your haggling skills or take a break from the hustle to sip on tea or share a tajine, filled with the pure scent of Morocco. For your final evening, why not feast with new friends in one of the many great restaurants lining the square.
Guided walking tour Marrakech
Jamaa lfna & Koutoubia
Coranic medrassa ben youssef
Monuments and Heritage Tour
Meals Included :Breakfast
Day 03 – Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou – OUARZAZATE– DADES GORGE
This morning after breakfast we set off in a comfortable private A/C Vehicule; for our circular 3 day Desert Tour journey through the Saharan landscapes of both the Hamada (stone desert) and Erg (dune desert). Our first visits include : High Atlas mountains, discover traditional Berber villages and Terraces, drive up the spectacular Tichka Pass 2260m high, we drive down the valleys to Ait Benhadou, the most spectacular Unesco Site in the southern Morocco, a walk to discover the Kasbah where Gladiator, Game of thrones, Lawrence of Arabia and many other moveies were shot, discover the beautiful berber Archeticture, Lunch in a local restaurant and set off for Ouarzazate Largest saharan center, Moroccan Hollywood, Visit the Cinema Museum, opportunity to shop in a super Market and Cash Machines, before we continue to Skoura Palmery where an ancient Kasbah once held treasures of the silk route in desert oasis terrain, we join the valley of roses, stop to see one o many destilation families, opportunity to buy rose water & beauty products made from roses which local berber grow and celebrate each year in May ! followed by a visit to the spectacular dades Gorge where steep walls hundreds of feet high tower above. A relaxing and highly scenic tour day with stunning views of this mystical land. accommodation in a comfortable hotel Car: 6 hours -Walk : 2 hours. /
Visit Cinema Museum
Ait benhaddou Kasbah
Breakfast / Dinner
Day 04 – Dades Gorge – Todgha Gorge – Erg Chebbi dunes
We start the day by a visit to the spectacular Todra valley and Gorge, the most spectacular palm valley and Canion in the Sahara, walk in the gorges and photo opportunities, drive to Touroug for lunch in the stone desert after lunch we will visit an old under ground irrigation channels dating app to 12 to 17 Century, discover this magical irrigation system, get you some scarves for the Sahara & we then cross Sijilmassa, morocco’s king ancestors town, famous for being the most imporatnt Caravans carrefour along the history, and then we continue our Day 2 of our Saharan exploration as we make our way through the far reaches of Morocco’s eastern perimeter to within 20km of Algeria’s border where we encounter the magnificent Erg Chebbi dune landscape. Morocco’s most famous Saharan dunes is just breathtaking and transforming to the soul. On foot or camel back you have the option to travel into the remote dunes until our Nomadic style camp hidden in the dunes. An evening sunset climb to one of the higher dunes is customary followed by dinner and perhaps a campfire experience and Berber songs and storytelling can be arranged. Breakfast and dinner included. Accommodation in a desert camp.
Temperatures normally 12-15c at night.
Accommodation DESERT CAMP
Visit Todra & Dades gorge
Visit Underground Channels
Overnight Desert Camp
Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 05: MERZOUGA – ERG CHEBBI DUNES SAHARA DESERT
Exploration 4×4 & Camel Trek for sunset) Throughout the sand dunes we go for a drive on these fabulous landscapes on the edge of the Erg Chebbi, the largest sand dunes in Morocco. We will see plenty of nomadic black tents in the middle of nowhere. We shall stop by a nomadic family to have tea and see what a nonadic life looks like. We go on our drive and let’s discover the nomadic life of Touareg people by visiting Alkhamliya, a village where nothing has been changed through centuries. Either we lunch here in Alkhamliya village or we go back to our hotel and lunch there. After a nape we go on a camel ride to meet one of the most fascinating sight we will ever seen, the superb sunset in the middle of the high sand dunes of Merzouga. Tonight we stay in Berber tented desert camp and enjoy a wonderful stars view.
Accommodation : DESERT CAMP
Meet Nomads and Lunch with Berber Pizza at Gnaoua house
Day 06 SAHARA – ZIZ VALLAY – MIDDLE ATLAS
Before sunrise, you will be woken up to climb the sand dunes for fantastic photo opportunities. We will then make our way back to the hotel for showers and breakfast before setting off for Fez. En route we will pass through Arfoud, the Ziz palm Valley, Meditlt, the cedar forests and visit the macaque monkeys of Azrou, and stop in Ifrane for a short walk to enjoy and discover the most beautiful town in Morocco, Arrive to fes after a long drive.
Accommodation : RIAD
Meals Included : Breakfast
DAY 07: EXPLORE FES
The old city of Fes el Bali is home to perhaps the greatest of all medinas. Descending into its labyrinthine alleyways is like stepping back to the Middle Ages. Donkeys wander the streets and the smell of spices fills the air. With a local guide, navigate narrow streets alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries, mosques and colourful local characters. Explore the different speciality sections of the Medina that are known for specific types of food – from natural butters and fats, to pastries, to crepes and soups to dried and fresh produce.
Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses. It is made up of three distinct ‘cities’, or quarters, and you will stay in elegant, riad-style accommodation on the edge of the huge, well-preserved medieval old city – the mother of all medinas. Today head into the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali, arguably the world’s most fascinating and confounding old city. Medieval Fes was one of the world’s great centres of education and culture, both Islamic and Jewish. Its religious institutions and libraries are legendary, its mosques of great renown. Walk through the twisting streets and alleyways, passing donkeys piled high with goods, and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Filled with historic khans, medresses and dye-pits, stalls loaded with fruits, herbs and soups, and where the squawk of chickens, smell of spice and sound of hammering of copper fills the air, it’s not hard to imagine yourself back in the Middle Ages. Spend the day exploring the old city, visiting, Mederassa Bou Inania, the tanneries and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy a memorable dinner of one of the city’s signature dishes, the salty and sweet pastille.
Guided walking tour Fes
Mederassa Bou Inania, Tanneries, Jewish Quarter
Day 08 – Fez – Volubilis – Meknes – Rabat
Today, we visit the roman ruins of Volubilis where you walk with a guide or without guide to enjoy the beauty of the ruins, cosidered most preserved Roman-Berber era ruins, witnessing the prpersperity of north africa !
Arrive at we then carry to on Meknes, for some photo opportunity, After the visit of Bab Mansour, Lahdim square, and the graneries, we will make our way to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. We will visit the Oudaya Kasbah, and enjoy the charming garden of Challa, surrounded by walls and beautiful defensive gates, built between 1310 and 1330. Later we will stop at Mohamed V Museum built in 1972, and we will visit the tombs of Moroccan kings Mohammed V, who died in 1962, Hassan II who died in 1999, the tomb of Moulay Abdullah the uncle of Mohammed VI and Hassan Tower which was built in 12th century.
We will visit the famous and the biggest Mosque in Africa, Hassan II, which was built between 1987 and 1993. This will be a golden opportunity to see the skilful work of Moroccan artisans, revealing the richness and beauty of their handicraft.
Included Activities :
Casablanca Hassan 2 Mosque, Rabat – Guided Walking Tour / Chella, Oudaya, Hassan Tower
Meals Included: Breakfast
DAY 09: CASABLANCA – ELJADIDA – ESSAOUIRA
After breakfast leave for Essaouira (approximately 4.5 hours), a city where the medina brushes up against the Atlantic Ocean and where you will spend the night. The narrow streets of Essaouira are ideal for casual exploration. Their size discourages cars, and on walk through the town it feels as though little has changed since the days of sea pirates. Sandstone walkways contrast with whitewashed houses, bright blue sky and the sand of the surrounding beaches and dunes. It is one of North Africa’s most attractive places, and you will soon find yourself slipping into its easy-going rhythm of this Moroccan town with a European seaside twist. The fishing port is a serious commercial operation and there’s much fun to be had observing the daily catch and its subsequent auction. Elsewhere there are numerous shops and several fine art galleries to distract a visitor, along with a wide variety of restaurants. Your tour leader will help guide you through the maze of options.
Accommodation : RIAD
Visit To Argan Women Co-operative
The name Essaouira means image ( likely wall ), which is appropriate since it’s such a picturesque town. This artists’ town was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations, and its charm has seduced people like Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix, who (according to local legend) spent much of his time here in the 1960s. On this free morning perhaps grab a traditional Moroccan breakfast and wander the streets, giving way to the cart-haulers calling ‘ballak, ballak’, pass the harbour filled with colourful boats which go out early every morning for the day’s catch, see camels and surfers sharing the beach, and perhaps explore the fish souk. Here you will choose a catch of the day and take it to a local-filled restaurant – follow their lead and hand over your market purchase for it to be grilled for the freshest of meals. Your leader will also take you to the fresh vegetables markets where you will choose your salads and veggies to accompany your seafood lunch. Enjoy delicious meal together with the rest of your group. After lunch, take a chance to search the less hectic medina, discover the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum and its collection of artefacts, woodwork, carpets and stringed instruments, enjoy cafe life on the main square, or sit back and watch the kitesurfers ride the crashing waves. You can also discover the taste of Morocco in a cooking class, or head outside of the city to the beautiful surroundings on a day trip.
Day 10 ESSAOUIRA – MARRAKECH
In the aternoon after lunch we drive back to Marrakech, last chance to see the souks, explore the charming Marrakech by or go for a relaxing traditional Hammam, Massage and Spa.
Accommodation : Hotel
Meals included : Final Dinner
DAY 11: MARRAKECH AIRPORT TRANSFER
Your trip ends today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around midday and you are free to leave at any time. We will arrange a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring here. Speak to your leader about the wealth of extra activities to do around Marrakech. Transfer to Casablanca airport according to your flight details.