Discover the heritage, landscapes, culture and cuisine of Morocco over 10 fascinating days, beginning your odyssey in Marrakech and ending it on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Agadir. This adventure offers you a second option for your convenience, starting and ending your journey in Casablanca. Wander through bustling markets, explore semi-ruined kasbahs and mazy medinas, relax in lush desert oasis and behold the majesty of the Atlas Mountains, where the contrasts between barren and verdant panoramas will takes your breath away. Accommodation is in four-star hotels on a half-board basis with plenty of opportunities to savour the best traditional Moroccan dishes.
A mean tagine: Morocco’s most popular dish is a delicious stew made with fish, chicken or lamb and vegetables served with couscous
Ouallywood: Scenes in Arabia, Egypt, the Holy Land, Tibet and even Yunkai from Game of Thrones have all been filmed at Atlas Studios in Ouarzazate
Babouche: Colourful, comfortable and cool – Morocco’s ubiquitous slippers are undoubtedly the most practical souvenir you can take home with you
A wide range of optional excursions and pre and post-programme extensions are available on request. Please ask tour designer Fatima Lahricha for rates and conditions
Marrakech: Admire the famous Koutoubia Mosque, the beautiful Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs and Agdal Garden, and wander through the bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa market
Casablanca: Enjoy a tour of this cosmopolitan city and admire the magnificent Hassan II Mosque
Meknes: Behold the ancient city gates of Bab Mansour and Bab El-Khemis and the granaries of Moulay Ismail
Fez: See the magnificent Moulay Idriss Zaouîa, enjoy lunch in the Medina, explore the historic Jewish quarter and take in the panoramic views from the Royal Palace and fortifications
Erfoud: Ascend high into the Atlas, discovering ski resorts, former French colonial outposts and bustling market towns en route to this oasis in the Sahara
Tinghir: Discover desert oases and enjoy lunch in the dramatic surroundings of the Todra Gorge
Ourzazate: Visit the fortified village of Kelaat M'Gouna and awe-inspiring Ait Benhaddou kasbah as well as the Taourirt kasbah in Ourzazate itself
Agadir: 10 days of magical adventure end in this popular resort on the Atlantic coast
Check-in at hotel on arrival followed by dinner and lodging.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before embarking on a visit of the top monuments charting the history of Marrakech. Admire the magnificent Koutoubia mosque, whose 70 metre-high minaret is the city’s most famous landmark. It dates from the late 12th century, when most of north Africa and the southern Iberian peninsula were part of the Almohad Empire. Behold the beautiful Bahia Palace with its exceptional cedar and marble decorations and discover the beautifully decorated Saadian Tombs before wandering in the shaded retreat that is the Agdal Gardens, where groves of citrus, fig, apricot and pomegranate trees are linked by paths lined by olive trees. After lunch at the hotel, continue to the walled Medina and its maze of alleys and side streets. Browse the souks and admire the rich craftsmanship of their wares before arriving at Jemaa el-Fnaa square, the beating heart of Marrakech. Marvel at this bustling hive of activity as the sun sets over this vast space packed with stalls and heaving with snake charmers, Gnawa musicians and myriad colourful characters. Return to the hotel for dinner with a folkloric show.
Bid farewell to Marrakech after breakfast at the hotel, depart for Casablanca, a city whose name evokes Hollywood glamour but is in fact the kingdom’s commercial powerhouse. Discover the charms of this cosmopolitan coastal metropolis capital, seeing the elegant boulevards of the French colonial Ville Nouvelle and the majestic Hassan II mosque by the sea (exterior view) and visiting the vast Morocco Mall with some free time for shopping. Continue to the hotel for check-in and dinner.
Take to the road after breakfast at the hotel, driving parallel to the Atlantic towards the capital, Rabat. Enjoy a guided panoramic tour of the city, seeing the Royal Palace, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the Hassan Tower before wandering through the Kasbah of the Oudayas to the explore its famous gardens. Break for lunch before departing in the afternoon for Meknes, a former imperial capital during the reign of Moulay Ismail in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
Discover Meknes’s imperial heritage after breakfast at the hotel. Such was the grandeur of the city that Moulay Ismail built, that Meknes became known as the ‘city of a hundred minarets’ and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the imposing city walls and the beautifully decorated gates of Bab Mansour and Bab El-Khemis; the vast El Hedhim Square, the granaries of Moulay Ismail and much more. After lunch in Meknes, take to the road, driving northwards to the hilltop holy village of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, which is named after a great-grandson of the prophet Mohammed and who is credited with bringing Islam to Morocco. The village is also home to Morocco’s only cylindrical minaret. Continue to the ruins of the ancient city of Volubilis. Originally built by the Phoenicians, the city came into its own during the Roman Empire and the well-preserved Arch of Caracalla still stands, with a legible triumphal inscription boasting of victories in Britain and Germany among others. The remnants of a temple and basilica are also still visible as are number of magnificent mosaics, which hint at the wealth and opulence of Volubilis in its heyday. The final leg takes you to Fez, for check-in and dinner at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel is followed by a day exploring the fascinating city of Fez. Boasting more than 12 centuries of history as well as a Medina that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest university in the planet, Fez is multifarious city renowned for the splendour of its faded glory. The medina, Fez el Bali, is a vast network of winding alleys hemmed in by ancient walls. Despite being car free, the bustle, noise, shouting, smell of tanned leather, delicate aroma of oriental perfumes, barbecues, sweet pastry all this is the imperial city create a sense of movement and vibrancy that draws you deep into its soul. Head to the Nejjarrine fountain and you can detect a cedar smell from the carpenters’ district. The alleys are lined with places of study or prayers such as madrasas or the magnificent mausoleum of Moulay Idriss Zaouia; the most important saint’s shrine in Morocco. After lunch in the Medina, continue through the rustic narrow streets of the Mellah, the former Jewish district, and head to the outskirts to see the Royal Palace and to enjoy the extraordinary panoramic view of the whole city offered by the fortifications of the north. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Depart after breakfast at the hotel, climbing from the 400 metres above sea level of Fez into the Middle Atlas, with altitudes of more than 2,000 metres. Admire the contrasting landscapes of imposing massifs solid masses with unusual rock formations and hills covered in dense forests of cedars. The route passes along Ifrane, a picturesque ski resort at 1,650 metres, which is famed for its European-style country cottages with sloped roofs. Pause for lunch in Midelt, a former French colonial outpost. Take to the road in the afternoon, passing through the market town of Er-Rich and Tizi N'Talghomt pass en route to Erfoud, for check-in and dinner at the hotel.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing Erfoud for a scenic journey to Tinghir and the dramatic Todra Gorge. Alternatively, there’s an optional pre-dawn excursion to the dunes of Merzouga to experience sunrise over the first big hills of the Sahara. (Not included in price; to be paid to guide on the spot.) En route, pass through the oasis of El Jorf, where a large palm grove stands in contrast to the colours of the town’s adobe homes and the sands of the desert, and the market town of Tinejdad before arriving in Tinghir. Continue to the Todra Gorge, which is located just a 15-minute drive north of the town. A small stream still flows through this spectacular canyon, which at times is just 10 metres wide and with steep walls as high as 160 metres. Lunch in the middle of the gorge allows you to savour this spectacular natural location while tasting delicious treats. Return to Tinghir for check-in and dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Ouarzazate via the Dades Valley, which is also known as the ‘valley of one thousand kasbahs’. The first stop is at the fortified village of Kelaat M'Gouna, a fragrant oasis in the heart of the ‘valley of the roses’. Continue to Ait Benhaddou, which is home to one of the most famous kasbahs of all and has been used as a location for of dozens of movies. For centuries, this oasis on the banks of the River Oued Ounila was a key hub on the trans-Saharan trade route and that legacy is writ large on the weather-beaten walls of the kasbah, which is crowned by the ruins of a fortified granary. Wander through this beguiling UNESCO World Heritage Site before enjoying lunch in front of the kasbah – a magical experience that will linger long in the memory. In the afternoon, continue to Ourazazate to visit the Taourirt kasbah, which was one of the bastions of T'hami El Glaoui the powerful Lord of the Atlas during the final decades of French colonial rule. Time permitting, visit also the Tifoultoute kasbah some 10km away from the town. Check-in at the hotel followed by dinner.
Take to the road after breakfast at the hotel, heading to Agadir. En route, pass towns such as Tazenakht, which is famed for its handwoven wool carpets, and Taliouine, which is Morocco’s top saffron-producing area. Stop for lunch at Ouled Berhil before continuing towards the onetime Saadian dynasty capital Taroudant, which is popularly known as ‘Little Marrakech’ thanks to the imposing ochre ramparts, which surround it. Arrival at Agadir and drop off at a city-centre hotel.