Casablanca to Essaouira - 13 days
Combining the best of culture and coastal bliss, this two week tour of Morocco ensures you won't miss out on any of the key sights - the Imperial Cities of Marrakech, Fes, Rabat and Meknes, the dunes of the Sahara, ancient ruins and more, and then rewards you with a few days of rest and relaxation the Atlantic Coast in Essaouira.
Marrakech City Tour
Casablanca - Marrakech. This morning after breakfast we head to Marrakech to meet the rest of the group before embarking on a guided city tour of Marrakech. Inside the rose coloured medina walls is a tangle of winding streets and alleys that open onto verdant gardens and bustling souks. At the heart of the medina is Djemaa El Fna, the city's exuberant market place and towering over it, is the famous Koutoubia Mosque, the tallest building in the city.
Overnight: Marrakech | Breakfast, Dinner
Marrakech - Ait Benhaddou - Ouarzazate. Departing the city this morning we travel across the plains of haouz and reach the great High Atlas mountains. Climbing over the pass of Tizi n Tichka, we stop for lunch and then continue onwards with great views over the Mountains and valleys to Ait Benhaddou. This incredible ancient fortified Kasbah was built for defence purposes high on a hill and is a stunningly well preserved medieval city which has famously featured in many blockbuster movies, including Gladiator and Laurence of Arabia as its beauty is unequal to any other fortified kasbah in south Morocco. Carrying on we continue south to the Hollywood of North Africa – Ouarzazate (pronounced war-zazat). Ouarzazate is famous for being the filming location for many other Hollywood blockbusters and famous TV shows including James Bond – The Living Daylights, The Mummy and more recently Game of Thrones.
Overnight: Ouarzazate | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ouarzazate - Todra Gorge - Merzouga (Sahara). This morning we begin our journey into the Sahara with a medley of palm trees, rose fields and magnificent gorges. Travelling from Ouarzazate, there is a possibility of visiting the kasbah Amherdhil in Skoura before seeing the rose fields and reaching scenic Todra Gorge. Surrounded by towering vertical limestone cliffs reaching heights of 1000ft, it is known as Morocco’s Grand Canyon. The charm of Todra lies in its changing colours as the sun slowly moves from east to west. After time to wander through Todra we hit the road again for Merzhouga – our base before we head into the Sahara. Depending on the time of year, spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming before climbing aboard our camels for an incredible trek into the Sahara Desert to watch a beautiful sunset and spend the night at our remote Berber Camp, nestled amongst the towering dunes of Erg Chebbi. We enjoy local food, music and an amazing night camping in the Sahara.
If you would prefer the comfort of a hotel with en-suite facilities this evening, opt for our Sahara Hotel Upgrade.
Overnight: Berber Camp | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Merzouga (Sahara) - Fes. Departing early, we climb back on our camels disembarking for a truly stunning sunrise. After freshening up and breakfast in Merzouga we’re back on the road heading for Fes. It’s a long drive today however there is a lot to see on the way. We’ll pass through cedar forests full of Barbary Macaque monkeys on our way through the Moyen Atlas mountains. Just before Fes we stop at Ifrane – a beautiful town often likened to a Swiss Alpine resort. Along the way we also start to see our first glimpse of Morocco’s nomadic Berbers – travelling across the mountains and often staying in make shift tents as they head to their next destination. We arrive into Fes in the early evening.
Overnight: Fes | Breakfast, Lunch
Fes is the oldest and largest medieval city in the world and its medina is a cacophony of aromas, sights and sounds. This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Fes el Bali - the old walled city. This fascinating medina is a veritable rabbit warren of 9400 alleys that often finish with dead ends – so be sure to stay close to the group! We also visit the dye-pits and tanneries before lunch in the medina. The remainder of the day is at leisure – why not take part in an optional Tagine Making Class or a night of Moroccan entertainment and food at a restaurant in town (both payable locally).
Overnight: Fes | Breakfast
Fes - Volubilis - Meknes - Rabat. Departing Fes this morning we visit the fascinating UNESCO listed Roman ruins of Volubilis, which date back to AD40. Continuing on we stop at the Imperial City of Meknes, which became known as the Versailles of Morocco due to its impressive buildings and elaborate monuments. After lunch and some free time our final stop of the day is Rabat – Morocco’s capital where we overnight.
Overnight: Rabat | Breakfast
Rabat - Casablanca - Marrakech. This morning we take a guided tour of Rabat and visit some of the capital’s highlights, including the impressive Chellah - a necropolis and complex of ancient, medieval ruins, the Royal Palace and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. After lunch we continue to Casablanca where we visit the Hassan II Mosque, which has the tallest minaret and is the third largest mosque in the world - it can hold 25,000 worshippers at any one time. After our visit to the mosque we say goodbye to our fellow passengers leaving us in Casablanca and continue on to Marrakech for the night.
Overnight: Marrakech | Breakfast
Marrakech - Essaouira. Today we have a leisurely morning before starting our journey to Essaouira on Morocco's Atlantic Coast via private transfer, and upon arrival enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure. Why not find a restaurant in the charming old town and try the local cuisine.
Overnight: Essaouira | Breakfast
Essaouira - Casablanca. Spend the next three days exploring the sights and delights of Essaouira at your own pace. Set on the rugged shores of the breezy Atlantic Coast, this charming seaside city offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. While away the days here exploring its winding streets lined with whitewash houses, picking your way through the shops in its ancient medina, or by sitting at an ocean-facing restaurant sipping on a cup of coffee. During the warmer months why not try some water sports too, as the windy shores here offer ideal conditions for wind and kite surfing. On the evening of day 12 a private transfer will take you back to Casablanca for the night.
Overnight: Essaouira (2), Casablanca (1) | Breakfast x 3
Today your touring arrangements come to an end.
Need to start your tour in Marrakech?
If you find that Marrakech is the better airport for you to fly to and from then why not check out our Best of Morocco tour. The start dates and duration is the same and you'll still visit everything the same as this tour.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Hotel Diwan , Casablanca
Located close to the city centre, Hotel Diwan is a contemporary hotel just a short walk from the main train station. The modern guest rooms are air conditioned with flat screen TVs and en suite facilities. The onsite restaurant offers a buffet breakfast every morning as well as an array of international cuisine in the evenings for dinner. The hotel also has an on site gym, spa and complimentary wi-fi is available.
Hotel Club Val D’Anfa , Casablanca
Located between the sea and Anfa mount, Hotel Club Val d’Anfa is in one of the most prestigious residential districts of Casablanca. Combining warm colours, ceramic tiles and fine wood, the interior decor was inspired by Amazigh art. The attractive guest rooms contain all the modern amenities needed for your stay and face either the sea, hotel gardens or the Casablanca Corniche. Boasting three restaurants, two bars, a fitness centre, spa and pool - there's certainly plenty to keep guests entertained.
Riad dar Chamaa , Ouarzazate
In the classic kasbah style, Riad dar Chamaa is set within the Ouarzazate palm grove with fantatsic views of the surrounding Atlas mountains. All guest rooms are air conditioned with en suite facilities. They are designed in a classic Moroccan riad style with marble floors. The riad boasts a beautiful central courtyard and a refreshing outdoor pool complete with sun loungers for relaxing. The riad also boasts a tea lounge, restaurant and pool bar.
Desert Camp, Merzouga
Set amongst the towering dunes of Erg Chebbi, the Berber camp is designed with a traditional Moroccan theme. The permanent tents include multiple beds and electricity (after night fall) Camping out in the desert is a wonderful experience, due to the lack of light pollution, the stars come out in abundance and really are a sight to behold.
Riad Al Makan, Fes
Situated inside the Fes medina, Riad Al Makan is designed in a beautiful Moroccan style. All of the en suite guest rooms are individually designed with beautiful mosaic patterns and marble floors. the riad also benefits from complimentary wi-fi, an onsite restaurant, 24 hour front desk assistance and a gift shop. There is also an outside terrace perfect for enjoying a cup of Moroccan tea on.
Hotel des Oudaias, Rabat
On the edge of the medina in Rabat, Hotel des Oudaias is a beautiful riad style property. Guest rooms are spacious and beautifully furnished in a typical Moroccan style with wooden furnishings, marble floors and en-suite bathrooms. Rooms are air-conditioned and have flat screen TVs. The property also boasts complimentary wi-fi throughout and an on site restaurant.
Riad Imilchil, Marrakech
Traditional and stylish, the Riad Imilchil is a beautiful example of boutique Moroccan accommodation. The 6 rooms and 1 suite are beautifully decorated with colourful interiors and gorgeous en suites. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout and there is a stunning rooftop terrace where guests can view the whole of the city whilst enjoying a refreshing drink. At night you can view the famous Djemma El Fna pulsating in the distance. Well located just 10 minute walk into the centre of the Medina.
Adam Park Hotel & Spa, Marrakech
Guests can expect a very comfortable stay at the Adam Park Hotel & Spa. Each of the elegant rooms feature a patio or balcony with views of the surrounding area. Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. Several restaurants offer a variety of options including Italian specialities, Moroccan favourites and international cuisine. There are also plenty of ways to unwind after a day exploring Marrakech, with an outdoor pool, fitness centre and a spa offering rejuvenating massage treatments.
Riad Zahra , Essaouira
Located in the residential district, the Zahra offers calm, relaxation and a peaceful stay. Its comfortable guestrooms are decorated in traditional Moroccan style and are equipped with an en suite and satellite TV. The property has a restaurant serving Moroccan and international specialities. There is another restaurant that serves grilled dishes. Riad Zahra is an ideal starting point for nautical activities or to discover Essaouira and the surrounding area. For your entertainment, the hotel proposes numerous activities including desert trips in a 4x4, surfing and kite surfing lessons.
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The tour was amazing - it was probably the best trip I have ever done! The country is interesting and the trip really broadened my horizons. It was the perfect combination of fun, historical exposure and cultural experiences.
Our tour guide, Hicham Tora, was exceptional. He is kind, attentive, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the country, its sights and its people. He really went beyond the call of duty by teaching the curious among us some Arabic and Tamazicht phrases. His insights and enthusiasm about the country is probably the main reason why I fell in love with Morocco. I would definitely go back (inshallah).”