13 Days itinerary from Casablanca

✪ Tour features :

This epic 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca tour will kindle your historic and cultural spirit as you begin in Casablanca, with a captivating Tangier city tour of fascinating Medina, Cap Spartel and legendary Cave of Hercules.

Throughout this tour, you will visit many ancient monuments, cities and villages of Berber heritage and of historic significance in MoroccoYou will witness wonderful old walled medinas, much aged mud-brick villages, war fortresses and remarkable caves. You will discover ancient Roman ruins, thrilling cities, including the three Imperial cities Fez, Meknes & Marrakech. Explore the most filmed location in Africa, the UNESCO site of Ksar ait Benhaddou. Visit the nomads in the Sahara, share a cup of tea with them and uncover their lifestyle.”

Fall in love with the “Blue Pearl” city of Chefchaouen and capture the delights of UNESCO listed ancient Medina in Fez, where a guided tour will reveal history, culture and expose many meandering alley ways. Camel trek into the iconic Sahara Desert where you will enjoy a classic overnight stay in a Berber desert camp and may avail yourself of sand boarding and quad bike riding the golden orange Sahara dunes.

There will be an exhilarating journey over lofty mountain peaks of the Rif Mountains and the Atlas Mountains, as you continue to explore the gorges, oases, Cedar forests and the wondrous landscapes. Of historic interest will be a stop at the famed cinema studios city of Ouarzazate known as “Hollywood of Africa”.

View the processing of Morocco’s famous Argan Oil. Discover the magnificent city of Marrakech in a full day guided city tour through the UNESCO listed Medina and other historic sites. Enjoy a hot air balloon flight over the spectacular Marrakech environs followed by a camel ride. Visit Ourika Valley and enjoy the majestic panoramic views and wonderful nature of the High Atlas mountains. Visit the uniquely modern Hassan II Mosque and the famous Rick’s cafe in Casablanca.

TOUR ITINERARY

” Please Click on each section bellow so that the details of each day will appear “.

✪ Day 1 : Arrival in Casablanca Airport » Tangier :

13 Days itinerary from Casablanca

  • Arrive in Casablanca and meet your Grand Morocco driver guide outside airport arrival terminal.
  • Start your 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca by Travelling north to the stunning city of Tangier on the Mediterranean coast. Check into your Riad and enjoy the afternoon to relax and recover from your journey.
  • Optional if time permits: Explore the sites of Tangier including the Medina, Cap Spartel and the legendary archaeological Cave of Hercules.
  • Greek Legend holds that when Hercules (God of war & power in ancient Greek mythology) was in need of a place to rest between two of his labors, he swam across the Strait of Gibraltar and ripped the cave from the side of the cliff with his hands creating a huge shape of the African continent.
  • (Overnight in a Riad in Tangier).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 2 : Tangier » Asilah » Lixus :

Travel to nearby Asilah. This former Portuguese fortress (and occasional pirate base) is now a hub for artists, who inhabit the white-washed Medina with blue trim.

In the afternoon, head down the coast to explore the ruins of Lixus with a private local guide. This ancient city was established by the Phoenicians during the 7th century BC as confirmed by archaeological discoveries. After coming under Carthaginian domination for a period of time, Lixus became an “Imperial” outpost of the Roman settlement in north Africa and was an important city during the reign of Emperor Claudius I in the early 1st century AD.

Return to Tangier in the evening. (Overnight in Tangier).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 3 : Tangier » Chefchaouen :

After breakfast, we travel into the stunning Rif Mountains to the blue pearl city of Chefchaouen and spend time exploring this charming blue washed town with a private local guide.

Known as “the blue pearl” and ranked sixth of the most beautiful cities of the world. Chefchaouen is an artsy, blue washed mountain village which was founded in the 15th century and was populated by Jewish and Muslim refugees from the Spanish Inquisition in 1478. The town buildings are painted blue and white, so the entire village appears to be wonderfully drenched in many hues of glorious blue leaving the traveler with a surreal impression.

This town was isolated until early 20th century but has preserved a Moorish way of life and is regarded as the prettiest town in Morocco. Chefchaouen presents glorious photo opportunities and walking here will make you feel as though moving through a dreamland. (Overnight in Chefchaouen).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 4 : Chefchaouen » Volubilis » Meknes » Fez :

After leaving Chefchaouen, we head south via the stunning Rif Mountains towards the Roman ruins of Volubilis, where you will undertake a walking visit of the ruins. Morocco has one of the richest histories and cultures globally, influenced by centuries of diverse rulers which includes Roman rule.

During Roman occupation of Morocco, Volubilis was the powerful ancient capital and administrative centre of Roman Africa and prospered economically. Volubilis developed from the 3rd century B.C. as a Berber settlement and grew under Roman rule in the 1st century A.D.

The Roman city fell to local tribes in c.285 A.D. and was never retaken by Rome. By the 11th century Volubilis had been abandoned after the seat of power was relocated to Fes. The ruins remained intact until the earthquake in 1820. Among the most famous of the ruins are the luxury villas with their water tanks, large courtyard beautiful mosaic floors, various pavilions, Basilica, Triumphal Arch built in 217 A.D and more than 300 temples. It was UNESCO World Heritage listed in 1997.

Depart to the imperial city of Meknes. Visit the 18th century Bab Mansour gate which is the world’s most exquisite of its kind in North Africa and one of the 4 most beautiful gates in the world, Lahdim square, the Royal stables, the incredible Bassin Souani and more with a private local guide.

Our journey now continues to the charming Imperial city of Fes. This city is a north eastern Imperial Moroccan city referred to as “The Mecca of the West & The Athens of Africa”, also renowned as being the country’s capital of knowledge and culture. Fes is renowned for its exciting and colourful “Fes El Bali” walled Medina, its medieval Marinid architecture, vibrant souks and old world atmosphere and charm. (Overnight in Riad in Fes).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 5 : Fez guided city tour :

After a restful night and a tasty Moroccan breakfast in your charming Riad, today you will begin a full day Heritage tour of Fes, with your expert Grand Morocco local guide. (Walking tour with some transportation between sites).

  • Begin with a visit to the 12th century “Bab Boujloud” or “blue gate” with its stunning blue and green ceramics.
  • Visit the largest royal palace in Morocco (Dar el Makhzen) with its seven golden doors, learn about the significance of the intricate decor and marvel at it’s wonderful golden gate made of marble, copper and glorious mosaics.
  • Stroll through the “Mellah” or Jewish quarter, the old Moroccan Jewish Heritage quarter, built in 1438 and was built next to the royal residence to offer protection.
  • Take in the panoramic view of the city from “Borj Sud”, a former fortress and one of the lookouts on a hill where you can see the UNESCO listed ancient Medina of Fes.
  • Visit a pottery co-op to see how the unique pottery of Fes is made and view the intricate mosaics which adorn half of Morocco.
  • Head into the ancient medina and step into a living museum. The Fes medina is very much a local community which lives and works and goes about daily life in the medina, so be sure to keep moving and watch out for the donkeys!
  • Stop by the University of “Al-Qarawiyyin” which is the oldest existing, continually operating higher educational institution in the world, according to UNESCO and the Guinness World Records. It was founded by a woman, Fatima al-Fihri in 859AD, with an associated Madrasa (Koranic school-institution for study of Islamic theology and religious law). It became one of the leading spiritual and educational centres of the historic Muslim world.
  • Visit the Madrasa Bou Inania (ancient religious school) which was founded in the 14th century and where you will be overcome by the wondrous Marinid architecture.
  • Visit handicraft workshops, where you will see why Fes is considered the handicraft capital of Morocco. This can include, among other things, the silk weavers, where beautifully colorful fabrics are woven from silk fibers of the cactus plant and the famous 11th century “Chouara” leather tannery, which is one of the most iconic sites in the Medina where they process all manner of animal hides by hand, much as they have for nearly 1,000 years.
  • Explore the exciting narrow streets lined with local fresh fruit, vegetables, spice moulds and mysterious Souks.
  • During your tour of the medina, you will stop for lunch in a restaurant that would be very easy to walk right past but is truly a hidden gem. (​Lunch included).
  • In passing, admire Madrasa Al-Attarine (Koranic school), NejjarineMoulay Idriss Mausoleum (founder of Fes). Negotiate the narrow alley-ways, accessible only by foot or donkey and visit our chosen sites within Fes Medina. Your local guide will give you information regarding Moroccan history, culture and the Moroccan BERBER way of life especially around Fes.

Our team always provides interesting, historic and exciting adventures along the way. So, now brace yourself for an amazing on-ward trip to the Sahara Desert and its sensational environs. (Overnight in Riad in Fes).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 6 : Fez » Ifrane » Atlas mountains » Ziz Valley » Sahara Desert :

Travel to Ifrane town, which has a European image and atmosphere, with sloping roofs, chimneys housing large stork nests, generous flower beds and Chestnut trees. Thus, the nickname “Little Switzerland of Morocco”.

The city was French built in the 1930’s and is known for its mountainous terrain, altitudes to 1,664 M and cold winter temperatures, -24 degrees, measured in 1935, the lowest temperature in Africa.

Skiing is a popular sport in Ifrane. It also claims the distinction of featuring in the top 10 of the world’s cleanest cities, ahead of Ottawa, Helsinki and Singapore. 

The Cedar plantations in Ifrane and the surrounding area are known to be the largest Cedar plantations in the world and cover about 134,000 hectares of Morocco, being still a potent symbol of national pride.

Stop at the Cedar forests of the Middle Atlas, altitude 1,278 M where you may be able to glimpse and feed the Barbary Macaque Apes in their Cedar forest habitat and hopefully observe their antics.

The Barbary Macaque also known as Barbary ape or magot, is a species of Macaque found only in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Algeria along with a small population of uncertain origin in Gibraltar.

  • Stop in Zayda for lunch, enjoying fresh barbecue in one of the many local street side restaurants.
  • Drive through the scenic Middle Atlas Mountains and the striking Ziz Valley oasis, the largest palm grove oasis in Morocco housing 1 million palm trees. There is a wonderful sight of a dense canopy of palms between ancient striated cliffs dating back to the Jurassic period, 199.6 to 145.5 million years ago.
  • Continue to the eminent Sahara Desert town of Merzouga, a Berber town on the edge of Sahara Desert, 50 km from the border with Algeria and regarded as the gate way to the Grand African Sahara, which is a huge expanse of sand dunes.

  • On approach you will observe a magnificent panoramic view of the golden dunes considered the highest sand dunes in north Africa at 350M elevation. Then we continue to the camel station to meet your camel and the experienced camel man who will guide your camel trek to explore the mysterious Sahara sand sea.
  • Enjoy the most charming sunset in the Merzouga Dunes & spend the night in a Berber desert camp, in the heart of the dunes. The evening will include dinner, followed by entertainment around the camp fire, listening to traditional Berber drum music, gazing at the night sky full of the milky way stars and having the experience of a life time, which will captivate your heart and soul, not for a night, but forever. (Sand boarding is available in the camp)

(Overnight in a Sahara Desert camp).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 7 : Sahara sightseeing tour & Quad bikes excursion :

Before sunrise, on waking, you may climb the sand dunes for a fantastic view of the amazing sunrise in the Sahara Desert, followed by a typical traditional Berber breakfast.

  • Begin your day with a 1 hour Quad excursion through the Sahara Desert. Enjoy the exhilaration of speeding through the sands and up the dunes, where you will stop to enjoy a peaceful moment with just sky and sand for as far as you can see. You will have a professional guide to ensure your safety!
  • Explore the Berber farms and fields of Merzouga and marvel at the ingenious underground water and irrigation system, for family agriculture and for spectacular date palms.
  • Visit “ Tifert N Igdad ” Salt Lake or “Flamingos Lake”. During Spring the lake attracts many species of birds e.g. amazing colony of Greater Flamingos, desert Warbler, Egyptian Nightjar, Falcons, desert Sparrows and many more. Several species reside at the lake all year round. Other wild life to be spotted at the lake are lizards, hedgehogs and desert foxes.
  • Visit the Black Village of “Khamlia”, a little village with a big story. This village has a population of 390 of Black African families and Berber ethnic groups and it is located at the foothills of Merzouga dunes, doors to the great Sahara Desert.

For centuries black Africans from the Gnawa tribe, originating from sub-Saharan countries such as The Sudan, Mali and Niger, were forcibly moved from their homelands across the Sahara to Morocco as part of the worldwide slave trade. Shackled in chains as they crossed the desert, they sang to soothe their pain and found a mindfulness in the rhythmic chanting and clanking of the chains.

Today Khamlia’s inhabitants are direct descendants of those slaves. We will visit one of the music associations, have a cup of tea and listen to the Gnawa inspirational African music which is legendary from their ancestors, preserved from their original homeland and still played in a traditional manner.

  • Partake of a delectable lunch of Berber Pizza which is a food specialty of the desert town of Merzouga.
  • Visit a desert nomadic Berber family, share a cup of tea with them and be totally captivated by their life style, their traditional tents and the harsh desert environment in which they live.

Head to your Riad/Hotel in front of the sand sea for a rest or a swim at your leisure. (Overnight in your Hotel/Riad).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 8 : Sahara Desert » Erfoud » Todgha Gorges » Dades Valley :

Depart for the town of Rissani which was an ancient strategic cross roads destination on the trans-Saharan trade route linking Western Africa with Europe and Asia. It was a major camel caravan and commercial centre which gave great importance to the city from the 8th to 16th centuries.

Caravans of up to 200,000 camels would arrive in Rissani each year from many sub Saharan African countries, e.g. Mali, Ghana, Senegal, Niger, Sudan, all trading gold, ivory, local crafts, slaves and most importantly salt, which was sometimes used as trade currency and more valuable than gold at that time.

If time permits, visit Rissani traditional markets / Souks. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, being the busiest shopping days for souvenirs, gifts, spices, crafts and jewellery such as silver. There is a live stock market for sheep, goats and donkeys, local fresh produce such as dates, olives, vegetables and many traditional items. It might be possible to stop here to explore these traditional markets and maybe taste some Moroccan sweet dates.

Head to Erfoud, known as the capital for dates(fruit) and a global entity for fossil stones famous for amazing fossil beds and Paleozoic Strata, where ancient ‘Trilobite’ fossils are found, 505 to 570 million years old. There will be a visit to a fossil museum where you will witness some of the world ancient fossils.

Visit the World famous Todgha Gorges, contemplate the scenic panoramic views of the old Jewish and Berber mud villages. Some time at leisure to enjoy the immensity of the huge red cliffs, 400M elevation, where many international rock climbers come to enjoy their preferred sport.

Todgha Gorge is recognised worldwide for being one of the most spectacular rocky canyons. No wonder this place has been used for filming many movies due to its magnificent natural setting, one of the most famous movies being the “Mummy”.

In this area, lives a large community of Berber nomads. Sometimes, you can sight Berber nomad women, who have Berber tattoos on their faces. They may be seen herding their goats to drink water at the river’s edge and collecting their own water which is carried by their mules back to the caves where they live.

Continue your journey towards one of the most beautiful valleys in the Kingdom and enjoy colourful Berber mud villages overlooking the amazing Dades Valley.

Drive along the spectacular Dades Valley to discover the amazing rock formations known as “monkey fingers”. These extraordinary rock formations are metamorphic rock which has been severely eroded by rain, water (which has produced a chemical breakdown of the rock), wind and possibly sand storms over thousands of years. (Overnight in Dades valley).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 9 : Dades Valley » Rose Valley » Ouarzazate » Ksar Ait Benhaddou » Marrakech :

After breakfast, we continue driving through the Rose valley, known for the famous Damaskina roses also for the annual festival during the rose harvest in May where Miss Rose of Morocco is chosen.

Continue through the “Road of the thousand Kasbahs” and earth castles to the “Oasis of Skoura”. This oasis is UNESCO protected and is famous for its numerous Kasbahs and here we will stop to visit the iconic 17th century “Kasbah of Amridil”.

In ancient times camel caravans of gold, spice, slaves, salt and other cargo, off-loaded in Skoura, after many weeks trekking across the desert from several sub Saharan countries e.g. Mali, Senegal, Ghana and Asia. Today, Skoura’s historic Kasbahs known as mud brick castles remain and traders still arrive with desert products, especially trading salt.

Drive to the picturesque Ouarzazate city, widely acclaimed “Hollywood of Africa”. This city is an international venue for documentaries and large scale movies. There may be an opportunity for photo stops and for visiting one of the many cinema studios. This city is also housing “Noor complex” which is the world’s largest solar power plant!

Visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage listed site of “Ksar Ait Benhaddou”. This Ksar (village) is one of the most intriguing of the Red Earth Castles lining the ancient road of the old caravan traders and is the oldest mud village in Morocco. It was once a commercial hub for caravan traders and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

Desert Tour from MarrakechThis village has been a back drop for many international movies, such as, Gladiator, Game of Thrones, Indiana Jones, Kingdom of Heaven and many more.

The journey will continue through the dramatically beautiful landscapes of the High Atlas Mountain areas, passing through old scenic Berber mud villages and over the Tizi n Tichka pass at altitude 2,260M.

Visit a women’s cooperative for making the world famous Argan Oil. You will see the process of extracting the oil from the Argan fruit. Tree climbing goats have an important role in assisting in the oil production (ask your guide). The oil making process is passed down through the generations of women and is used for cooking, medicines, and cosmetics.

Continue travelling to our final destination, the wonderful Imperial city of Marrakech which was originally called “Amur n Akuch”, a Berber name meaning “Land of God”. Marrakech is a major tourist destination and home to many Kasbahs, Mosques, Palaces and gardens.

Check in to your riad in the medina. (Overnight in Marrakech).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 10 : Marrakech guided tour :

Today you will embark on a full-day city tour of exotic and vibrant Marrakech, exploring in depth, the rich cultural heritage and antiquity of this enchanting city.

Your Grand Morocco expert local guide will lead you through the UNESCO World Heritage listed, Ancient walled medina which dates back to ancient Berber inhabitants, existing back to more than 1700 B.C.

  • Visit Bahia Palace, a masterpiece of Moroccan and Andalusian architecture and a major monument of Morocco’s heritage. This 19th century palace was built by “Ba Ahmed”, the Grand Vizier of Marrakech & named after his favourite wife “Bahia”. Craftsmen worked on this palace for fourteen years. The tiles were imported from Tetouan, the marble from Meknes while the cedar wood used for the painted and shimmering ceilings came from the Atlas Mountains.
  • Stop at a Berber Apothecary shop, learning of the medicinal uses of many of the common spices and herbs which are still used across Morocco to treat common illnesses.
  • Visit Ben Youssef Madrasa, a 14th century school founded by the Moroccan Monarch “Abu el Hassan”, another beautiful example of Moroccan and Andalusian architecture. The Saadian dynasty enlarged and redecorated the building in 1570 and it became the largest Islamic college in north Africa.

  • Observe the 12th century & largest mosque in Marrakech, “Koutoubia Mosque” and its 77 meter high minaret. It was completed under the reign of the Berber Almohad caliph Yaqub al-Mansour (1184-1199) and inspired other buildings such as the Giralda of Seville and the Hassan Tower of Rabat. Local laws restrict any new building projects from exceeding the height of the minaret, providing a focal point for all to enjoy.
  • Visit Saadien tombs, the only remains of the Saadian dynasty which ruled Marrakech in 1524 to 1659.

  • Explore the world famous UNESCO site of Djemaa el Fna Plaza which is the heart of Marrakech, where can be found traditional activities such as magicians, story tellers, musicians, snake charmers and Marrakech’s legendary Souks. When it was created in 1050 it was used for public execution.

(Overnight in Riad / Hotel in Marrakech).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 11 : Hot Air Balloon & Ourika Valley Excursion :

In the early morning, head out to the Palmeraie, where you will find your Hot Air Balloon ready for a breathtaking adventure with stunning aerial views of the Marrakech environs and the high Atlas mountains.

Enjoy a Camel ride and a traditional Berber breakfast after returning to the ground.

Head into the stunning Ourika Valley in the High Atlas Mountains to experience one of the best preserved valley landscapes in Morocco. Have lunch and enjoy panoramic views of the lush landscape, fed by the Ourika river as the water flows from the Atlas Mountains towards the Imperial city of Marrakech.

(Overnight in Marrakech).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 12 : Marrakech » Casablanca :

Today you will travel north to Casablanca and visit the iconic “Hassan II Mosque”. This mosque is the largest mosque in Africa and 5th largest in the world. Its minaret is the world’s second tallest minaret at 210 M.

This coastal modern edifice, was designed by French architect Michel Pinseau and completed in 1993, and building the Mosque was estimated to have cost 585 million Euros. It straddles the land site and the Atlantic Ocean with a capacity of 105,000 worshipers, 25,000 inside & 80,000 in the outer courtyards. Historically, the venture was the ‘brain-child’ of King Hassan II, to honor the memory of the deceased King Mohammed V in 1961.

The building started in 1986 and completed in 1993 and was the blending of designs, Islamic architecture, Moroccan elements and Moorish influences giving rise to an amazing beautifully decorated structure.

You will stop at “Rick’s Café”. The world famous Warner Bros movie, classic “Casablanca” was part-filmed here in 1942. In the same year, the movie went on to win 3 Oscars for best film, best director, and best screenplay.

Later, we will stop at the sea side wander of “la corniche” for a pleasant leisurely walk along the edge of Casablanca beach to take-in the fresh sea breeze from the Atlantic Ocean. (Overnight in Casablanca).

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

✪ Day 13 : Airport transfer :

After breakfast, we will collect you from your Hotel in Casablanca and transfer you to the Airportfor your on-ward flight. Now ends your 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca of the wonderful Kingdom of Morocco.

Note : We recommend arriving at the airport 3 hours before your departure time, as the airport can get very busy.

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

WHAT IS INCLUDED :
  • Travel in an air-conditioned 4WD or Minivan, with a professional, licenced English speaking driver/guide.
  • WiFi hotspot in the car + 2 bottles of water each per day.
  • 13 days / 12 nights accommodation with breakfast in beautiful 3, 4 or 5 star hotels / riads as you request.
  • Hot Air Balloon in High Atlas Mountains.
  • Official local guides in Lixus, Chefchaouen, Volubilis, Meknes, Fes & Marrakech.
  • Entrance to all included sites and monuments.
  • Lunch in (Day 5 / 10).
  • Dinner in (Day  6/7/8).
  • Turbant (head wear) each for the camel trip in Sahara.
  • Camel ride, Quad bikes, Sand boarding in the Sahara desert.
  • Overnight stay in a Desert luxury camp.
  • A visit to a local nomad family in Sahara.
  • Airport Pick up and drop off.
  • All taxes and fees for this * 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED :
  • Travel insurance.
  • Flight ticket.
  • Snacks, drinks and incidentals.
  • Hotel services, such as room service or laundry service.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Meals not noted as included in this 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

PLEASE NOTE

This * 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca tour is customised by Grand Morocco LLC.  “If our set itineraries do not match what you are looking for, please contact us and we will tailor-make an itinerary to suite your requirements”.

BOOK THIS TOUR

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

* 13 Days itinerary from Casablanca .

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