Tangier to Marrakech Desert tours Itinerary 10 days
DAY 1: MEET AT TANGIER OR FINDEK AND DRIVE TO CHEFCHAOUEN
Early morning transfer by taxi from Ceuta to Moroccan town called Fnidek out of the spanish moroccan Border, arranged by you, and Meet our guide in Fnidek and drive for 5 hours to arrive chefchaouen in the Rif mountains, Set against a wide valley and nestled between two peaks in the stunning Rif Mountains, the isolated town of Chefchaouen is a surprising delight. Much of Chefchaouen was recreated by Andalusian refugees escaping the Reconquistia, so its striking blue and whitewashed houses, red-tiled roofs and artistic doorways give it the feel of the Spanish hills. Begin the day with a breakfast of Chaoueni specialties – the ftour beldi (country breakfast) consists of eggs, olive oil, goat’s cheese and orange juice, and is sure to ready anyone for the day ahead. Set on the famous Outa el Hammam square, the restaurant where we enjoy this breakfast is a great place to watch the town come to life. Spend the rest of the morning exploring the sights, sounds, and smells of the medina, the shops in the square selling woven goods and small sweets, and, most importantly, tasting the town’s famous goat’s cheese. Herds of goats wander the sparse hillsides that surround Chefchaouen, and their cheese is sold in great fresh rounds in the street markets. Enjoy a free afternoon to relax or explore more of the town. Within the plaza is the walled fortress of the Kasbah – you can wander through the tranquil gardens inside, visit the ethnographic museum, and soak in wonderful views from the rooftop. Alternatively, you might prefer to get out of town and enjoy a short hike in the surrounding hills. This evening you’ll get a real insight into Moroccan food with a home cooked dinner – bursting with flavour and made with love.
Accommodation : Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities : Chechaouen Guided Tour
Meals Included :Welcome Dinner
DAY 2: CHEFCHAOUEN – VOLUBILIS – FES
Descend from the hills and travel south through the centre of the peninsula towards the sacred pilgrimage town of Moulay Idriss (approximately 3 hours). From here it’s a short journey out to the World Heritage site of Volubilis. The remains of this Roman city make an undeniably impressive sight as they come into view on the edge of a long, high plateau. Take a tour around the arches, basilicas, and superb mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. The reward for walking in the sun lies in an incredibly memorable lunch of traditional Roman recipes in the shadow of the ancient ruins. Recline on Moroccan Kilims and dine on local ingredients, much like the Romans did a thousand years ago. Once forbidden to non-Muslims, (IF TIME PERMITS) your next stop at ancient Moulay Idriss offers a great insight into traditional Moroccan life. Here the faithful gather to pay homage at the tomb of Moulay Idriss I – the great-grandson of Mohammed and the man who brought Islam to Morocco. Explore the delightful streets, perhaps sampling the famous nougat candy sold at street-side stalls. Continue on to Fes, arriving by evening (approximately 1.5 hours), the spiritual heart of Morocco.
Accommodation : Riad (2 nights)
Included Activities : Guided walking Tour Volubilis
Meals Included : Breakfast
DAY 3: EXPLORE FES
Breakfast in the Riad. Enjoy the guided city tour of Fes. Begin with the entrance to the largest royal palace in Morocco. Continue with a panoramic view of the ancient medina. Enjoy an authentic experience at the traditional ceramic crafts village of Fes after that. Your next stop is Fes El Bali, the ancient town or Medina, which is a medieval part of Fes that has not changed for centuries. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Visit the famous Al-Karaouine mosque, built by Fatima Al Fihria in 857. Al-Karaouine mosque became home to the University of Al-Karaouine, which is the first university in the world and the world’s foremost center of learning at the beginning of the second millennium. The university was built by Fatima Al Fihria in 859, and, since then, it has become one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world. In the medina, visit also a Merdersa, which is a Coranic school. Complete the city tour of Fes with the leather Souq and the oldest Leather Tannery in the world. The tannery dates back at least nine centuries.
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, Potery, Medina
Meals Included : Breakfast / Dinner (Pastilla)
DAY 4: FES – MIDELT – ZIZ VALLEY – ERFOUD – MERZOUGA
This is a long driving day, where we will meet different colors of the kingdom by leaving the old Moroccan city of Fes. In the way we will pass through the most modern and clean city in the country Ifran. This Berber name of Ifran means caves and it is nicknamed in Morocco as a little Switzerland since it is a very green town and is a ski resort in the Middle Atlas region of Morocco because of its high altitude at 1665 meters. Ifran is very known as well by The Brotherhood private university, established in 1997 by The king of Morocco Hassan II and the king of Saudi Arabia Fahd. Where all classes are taught in English, it is an international university. Lunch will be scheduled in a Berber village called Midelt which is situated on the foothills of the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains. From vast plateau we start crossing up those tough mountains which are still settled by a big Berber community. The landscapes here includes palm tree oases at Jbel Ayachi (at 3747 m) before driving down the curves and join the pre-Saharan zone passing first by Errachidia and Erfoud, which is famous for its pottery and the interesting fossil quarries. Fossils are a major industry in Erfoud, some 350 million years ago the region around Erfoud was a part of the huge ocean. Heading up to the red colored sand sea dunes of Erg Chebbi at Merzouga via Rissani, the hometown of the Alaouist dynasty, where Moulay Ali sheriff started to unify Morocco under his red flag in the beginning of the 17th century. From a vast plateau you will get impressed by the huge sand dune of Merzouga appearing from the horizon. Night and dinner at our hotel.
Accommodation : Desert Camp
Included Activities / Visit to Cedar Forest ( Macaque Monkeys )
Meals Included :Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 5: MERZOUGA – RISSANI – TODGHA GORGES – DADES
Visiting Errisani and the Mausoleum of the founder of the Alaouite Dynasty of Morocco, Moulay Ali Chrif in the 17th century. This silent town was the ancient capital of Tafilalet and its location as a crossroads between north and south brought the city to an important status of a former major caravan center. Up to now Rissani remains a major commercial center in the region, with a large souk, particularly lively today on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sunday. It was noted for its leather and goat skin trading in ancient ages.
127 km from Errisani the great canyons of Morocco Todgha Gorges are situated beyond the central high Atlas Mountains. Here, the contrasting landscapes remind visitors of the Colorado, with its high plateau, its gorges and great canyons, and its peaks sometimes splintered by erosion. Several peaks in this area exceed 4000 m, with Jbel Saghro 2500 m and Jbel Mgoun at 4068 m being the highest peak in this part of the High Atlas. The area is populated by Berbers. Here you can enjoy a hike among those fabulous canyons. We then continue to Dades valley.
Accommodation : Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities : Visit todra gorge, Old Water channels, Errissani Markets
Meals Included :Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 6: DADES VALLEY – OUARZAZATE – AIT BENHADDOU KASBAH – MARRAKECH
A visit to one of those kasbahs is scheduled by seeing Amrhidil Kasbah. We pass a town called Boumalen situated on the edge of Dades valley which rises in the High Atlas Mountains, giving life to a huge Berber community by its rich agriculture. Along this valley another valley called valley of roses appearing with the green colors of its Alfalfa plants, olive trees, fig trees and grapes. This valley gives birth to a rose from which locals produces different cosmetic products like soap, perfumes and skin creams. Locals here celebrate this rose by organizing a national festival eachend of April. Getting to Ouarzazate (Hollywood of Africa, Noiselessly town, The door of the desert), is a city situated in the middle of a bare plateau, south of the High Atlas Mountains. It is mainly inhabited by Berbers, who constructed many of the prominent kasbahs and building for which the area is known. One of those building is Taourirt Kasbah diverted in 17th century.
Why this town is nicknamed as Hollywood of Africa? Simply because it has been noted as a film-making location, with Morocco’s biggest studios inviting many international film companies to shoot their movies like: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Living Daylights (1987), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Martin Scorsese’s Kundun (1997) and Babel (2005).
We start our day visiting the fortified city of Aït Benhaddou, built in the 11th century. Once up on a time this Kasbah was the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh. It is situated on a hill along the Ounila River and has some beautiful examples of kasbahs, which unfortunately sustain damage during each rainstorm and windstorms. Most of the town’s inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river; however, around five families are still living within this Kasbah.
Aït Benhaddou Kasbah has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 and several films have been shot there, including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Time Bandits (1981), The Jewel of the Nile (1985), Kundun (1997), Gladiator (2000) and Alexander (2004). Drive to Marrakech in the afternoon across the Atlas mountains.
Accommodation : Riad
Visit Cinema Museum
Meals Included : Breakfast
DAY 7: 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 8: MARRAKECH – ESSAOUIRA
After breakfast leave for Essaouira (approximately 2.5 hours), a city where the medina brushes up against the Atlantic Ocean and where you will spend the next two nights. 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.
Optional : This evening you might like to indulge in a luxuriating massage and hammam in a spa.
Accommodation : Riad (1 night) /
OPTIONAL Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa – MAD750
Visit To Argan Women Co-operative
Meals Included : Breakfast / Lunch
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 9: ESSAOUIRA TO CASABLANCA
we make our way to Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco, after 4 hours drive via AAsfi and El jadida, if time permits we will visit el jadida for a quick visit, after arriving to Casablanca 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.
Accommodation : Hotel (1 night) /
Visit Hassan 2 Mosque, Corniche
Meals Included : Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 10: CASABLANCA 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
Moroccan Culture & People, Food & History
Berber music and animation
Sleeping in desert Camp
Pick Up : Pick up at Tangier, Fnidq Town Near Ceuta
Drop Off : Drop off Casablanca Airport
- A very comfortable and air 4×4 Land Cruiser
- Fuel for entire journey
- Qualified English speaking guides (you can specify other languages)
- Pick up from Fnidek, outside Ceuta, Spain
- All nights accommodations
- Camel trekking
- Berber music and animation
- Dinners and Breakfasts during the Tour ( see Itinerary )
- Marrakech, Fes, Volubilis, Chaouen, city guided tour
- Pick up & Drop off at Airport
- Real life experiences
What’s not included?
- Flights & Travel insurnace
- All Lunches – ( Dinners – See Iitinerary )
- Extra & Monuments