Day 01: Casablanca - Chefchaouen
Today we will meet you in your hotel in Casablanca or at the airport and drive to the famous Blue City of Chefchaouen. On the way, we will make some short stops to visit places of interest. The night will be spent in the magical blue medina of Chefchaouen with bed and breakfast.
Day 02: Free Day to Explore Chefchaouen
Today you will have the day to yourselves to wander and explore, discover the amazing medina, its history and hidden gems. There is plenty to see and some fabulous shopping with many artists and artisans producing work exclusive to this town. Enjoy the atmosphere at night in the square where many places offer great food. Overnight at the same accommodation with bed and breakfast.
Day 03: Chefchaouen - Volubilis - Meknes - Fes
After breakfast we leave the blue city and travel across the beautiful landscapes of the region, fields of wheat, wildflowers, typical metal roofed houses and winding rivers to Ouazzane; this is home to some of the best honey and figs. Our next stop is the Roman Ruins of Volubilis; a 3rd century UNESCO site with extensive excavations that include columns, mosaics, a huge gateway and many streets and houses. This was a very important city dating back to 225 BC., your guided tour will give you an interesting insight into the life back then and the history of the Romans in this region. After that we travel to the imperial city of Meknes which was founded by the Almoravid dynasty in the 11th century as a military settlement and became a capital under Sultan Moulay Ismail in the 17th century. He introduced a Hispano Moorish style in the architecture with the greatBab Mansour; a gate of intricate mosaic or zellig, the ramparts,the granary and the Sahrij Swani Basin; used for irrigation and plantation. From Meknes we continue to the spiritual capital of Fes. Overnight will be in a typical ornate riad in the medina.
Day 04: Exploring Fes
After breakfast in your riad, your guide will come to meet you and start your guided tour of Fes. The tour comprises a walking part and a driven part to give you the opportunity to see and discover the most out of the day. You will see the huge seven gates of the Royal palace, the Mellah or Jewish quarter; which was an important commercial area, a pottery cooperative to see the intricate and fascinating work involved in producing some of Morocco´s finest work, an incredible panoramic viewpoint of the whole medina and then into the medina for a delicious Fes style lunch. In the afternoon, you can visit the cultural and spiritual sites and monuments in the medina and its narrow souks full of foods and crafts, artisans and of course the famous Tanneries. Fes has some 9000 streets in a car free zone and is really best explored with a knowledgeable local guide, its ancient history includes housing the world’s oldest still operating university with a library and mosque founded in 859 by a woman named Fatima; called the Quaraouiyine. Overnight in the same riad.
Day 05: Fes - Ifrane -Azrou - Midelt - Erfoud - Merzouga - Camel trekking & night in the desert
We leave Fes after breakfast and take the road south for the Sahara. Our first stop will be at Ifrane, known locally as "the little Switzerland of Morocco" because of its alpine architecture; we enter the great cedar forest in the Middle Atlas Mountains where you will most likely see the indigenous Barbary monkeys swinging in the trees. We stop in Midelt for lunch and follow the Ziz Valley which has some amazing panoramic places to stop and view from. The landscape changes as the journey continues south; mountains and canyons, rivers and plateaus, nomads with their rustic dwellings and flocks of animals, and as we approach the towns of Errachidia and Erfoud, hints of the Sahara become apparent. We drive through Berber towns and villages from Erfoud to Rissani; once the capital called Sijilmassa, and the foundation of the Alaouite dynasty which is the current ruling royal family in Morocco. The open vast desert is suddenly in front of us and Merzouga awaits us and a welcoming glass of mint tea. Our camels will also be waiting to take you across the golden dunes to your desert camp for a night under the stars. Traditional dinner and Berber Music will be served.
Day 06: Sahara Desert - Todra Gorge - Dades Valley
One of the most magical times in the day is before the sunrises, the silence is amazing and the way the light changes as the sun moves across the dunes is very special. You will be woken in time to enjoy this and then you will ride the camels back in silence to fully appreciate the tranquility of the desert and the Erg Chebbi Dunes. You can have breakfast and a refreshing shower before we take the road for our day’s adventure. From Merzouga to Rissani, through adobe kasbah towns and villages, past vast palm groves, we travel to Tinghir and up into the Todra Gorge. 300 metres high and only 10 metres wide at its narrowest point, this vertical walled canyon is a magnet for international rock climbers. You can enjoy a wander along the crystal clear glacial waters of the river. We continue our tour to the next wonder; Dades Gorge, where erosion has formed some crazy rocks that are called “Monkey Fingers” as they look like fat fingers. You will spend the night in a typical hotel in the gorge and enjoy local hospitality with half board.
Day 07: Dades Valley - Ait Benhaddou Kasbah - Marrakech
After breakfast, we start our day with many wonderful sights to encounter. Driving along the Dades Valley and the Valley of the Roses; also called the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs, you will see many rose coloured adobe kasbahs, fields of crops with hedges of Damascus roses which are cultivated here for their highly prized fragrant oil. In Kelaat M’gouna, we will stop at a rose cooperative where you can purchase some rose water gifts and have an idea about the processes of the roses. We continue or journey along this road to the pal grove of Skoura, then Ouarzazate; the Hollywood of Africa, and to the famous Ait Benhaddou kasbah; UNESCO heritage site and fortress. We will have lunch in the village and a short visit of the ksar. This is where they made the movie The Gladiator, the Kingdom of Heaven and the Prince of Persia, among many others. Back on the road and we cross the High Atlas mountains with its winding roads that cross the high pass of Tizi n´Tichka at 2260 metres. Here we can stop to observe the process of making Argan Oil at a women’s cooperative before driving down to the plains and the medina of Marrakech.