The journey of a lifetime awaits in Morocco on this exhilarating two week adventure. From the sights and sounds of Marrakech, the ancient Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou and the vast Sahara Desert, to the history of Fes, Rabat and Meknes, there’s plenty to amaze. Plus top off your trip with a relaxing few days by the coast in breezy Essaouira.
Welcome to Marrakech
Saturday. Upon arrival at Marrakech airport you’ll be met and transferred to our hotel in the center of town. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore Marrakech - why not head to the medina and discover the delights of Djemaa el Fna, the exuberant market place, which is a hive of activity, sights and smells at both day and night. Later on there will be a welcome meeting at the hotel at 19:30hrs.
Majorelle Gardens & Marrakech City Tour
After breakfast we head over to the beautiful Majorelle Gardens just a short drive from the hotel. These botanical gardens were designed by the French Artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and 1930s. He used a distinctive shade of cobalt blue for the majority of the garden and although a lot of his other work has largely been forgotten – this garden is seen as his greatest master piece. The garden has been owned by Yves Saint Laurent since 1980 and his ashes were scattered here after his death in 2008. The garden contains an extensive collection of exotic plants and trees and is home to 15 species of bird. There is also a Berber Museum representing the various indigenous tribes of Morocco including over 600 artifacts. The newly opened Yves Saint Laurent museum nearby is also well worth a visit - this museum was opened in 2017 and is dedicated to the life and works of Yves Saint Laurent himself. Please note entrance into the YSL museum is not included and costs 100 MAD per person if you would like to go in.
This afternoon you will meet up with the rest of the group who are coming in from Casablanca before embarking on a guided tour of Marrakech. Inside the rose colored 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
UNESCO World Heritage Listed - Ait Benhaddou & Ouarzazate
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 defense 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
Camel trek in the Sahara
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 colors 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 dunes of Erg Chebbi. If you would prefer to take a Jeep to the Berber camp, this can be arranged locally through your guide at no additional cost. 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 alternative at no additional cost. Please do let us know your preferred option at the time of booking.
Overnight: Merzouga | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sunrise camel trek & the beautiful town of Ifrane
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 el Bali medina, dye-pits & tanneries
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
Roman ruins of Volubilis & Meknes
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 city tour & Hassan II mosque
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 worshipers 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 to the charming old town of Essaouira
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
Free time in coastal Essaouira
Essaouira – Marrakech. 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. Early evening of day 12 we return to Marrakech for the night.
Overnight: Essaouira (2), Marrakech (1) | Breakfast x 3
Our amazing tour of Morocco ends today after hotel check out. An included onward departure transfer to Marrakech airport will be provided.
Need to start your tour in Casablanca?
If you find that Casablanca is the better airport for you to fly to and from then why not check out our Casablanca to Essaouira tour. The start dates and duration is the same and you'll still visit everything the same as this tour.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates marked with a 'G' are operating. All departure dates from 1 Apr 2023 are guaranteed to operate when there are 2 persons booked on the tour. Prior to this date a departure is guaranteed with 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room. We also offer a triple share option on this tour, please contact us for details.
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.
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.
Ksar Ben Youssef, Ouarzazate
Ksar Ben Youssef is a newly built, traditional hotel located just 5kms from the centre of Ouarzazate. Offering 18 spacious air-conditioned rooms, with a variety of bedding configurations. Its large pool, overlooked by a rooftop terrace with shady nooks, is the perfect respite from the desert heat. Guests can enjoy a buffet style breakfast from the on-site restaurant or dine on one of the many terraces.
Dar Amoudou, Ouarzazate
Nestled in the heights of Ouarzazate's old district of Ait kdif, Dar Amoudou is a guest house with nine traditional styled rooms that offer all the modern comforts of a luxury hotel including; air conditioning, heating, free Wi-Fi, satellite channels and of course, en-suite facilities. Offering breathtaking views of Ouarzazate and the Atlas Mountains, the attractive terrace is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the magical surroundings, whilst also enjoying traditional Moroccan cuisine.
Camp Touareg, Merzouga
Set amongst the bright orange dunes of Erg Chebbi, Touareg Berber camp is designed with a traditional Moroccan theme. Tents are simply furnished with metal framed double, twin or triple beds. All bedding is provided including a pillow, sheets and a blanket (more blankets in winter). A Moroccan rug on the floor and solar generated electricity (after night fall). The camp has two toilet blocks and a large dining tent. Camping out in the desert is an incredible experience. Watch the sunset over the dunes, enjoy simple but tasty Moroccan cuisine and spend the evening by the camp fire, under a spectacular star filled sky.
Hotel Atlas Saiss Fes, Fes
Hotel Atlas Saiss Fes is a popular 4 star hotel, conveniently located just a 15-minute walk from Nouvelle Ville. The hotel offers spacious and comfortable guest rooms, equipped with free WiFi, flat screen TVs, air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. Facilities include a restaurant, 24 hour room service and a sauna (at an additional cost). Start the day with a generous continental breakfast before heading out to explore the enchanting imperial city of Fes. After a busy day, relax on the hotel terrace, enjoy a tasty meal at the restaurant or rejuvenate in the sauna.
Riad Dar Alia, Rabat
Boasting a fantastic location, just a short walk from the entrance to the Kasbah of the Udayas, Riad Dar Alia is wonderful choice for a stay in the capital. It offers a number of uniquely decorated rooms in a traditional Moroccan style. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property and a restaurant serves a variety of Moroccan specialities.
Riad Dar Zouhour, Rabat
Riad Zouhour has been recently and lovingly restored in a charming and traditional style. Located in the Medina District of Rabat, and just a two-minute walk to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Kasbah of the Udayas; the Hassan Tower Mosque and Royal Palace of Rabat are also within easy walking proximity to the riad. Its rooms are quiet and comfortable, and you can enjoy some R&R in the hamman after a busy day exploring, or just sit and relax on the sun terrace and patio.
Atlas Essaouira and Spa, Essaouira
The elegant Atlas Essaouira & Spa is set on Essaouira's beachfront, with its own private stretch of sand. The hotel is ideally located to enjoy the range of activities on offer in the area, such as horseback riding and canoeing, along with exploring the historic medina of Essaouira. Alternatively kick back and relax at the hotel which has two lovely swimming pools along with a poolside bar and delightful terrace. Or for a spot of pampering head to the hotel spa with its traditional hammam. There's also a fitness centre on site and the hotel has a choice of two restaurants. A traditional Moroccan and Mediterranean restaurant and a beachfront restaurant serving seafood and grilled dishes. While comfort is guaranteed in the air-conditioned guestrooms, which are bright, modern and spacious, with satellite TV, WiFi and a mini bar.
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.
Overall a really enjoyable trip sadly cut short due to Corona Virus
Great tour - helpful ”
This was my first booking with On the Go Tours and my first trip to Morocco. I am an advocate for Morocco now. I fell in love in love with the place. Morocco is such a beautiful and exotic country. Breathtaking landscapes accompanied by interesting histories and cultures. Doing the trip in Nov-Dec, my friends and I were able to experience almost all the seasons in Morocco, from the lush green plantations of argan and olives, to the freezing snowy mountain of High Atlas, to the cool sandy Desert of Sahara, to the yellowish autumn Maple trees on the way to Fes and the windy beach of Essaouira.
True to its name, it was indeed the Best 13 Days of Morocco to us. We were able to sample local cuisines and pastries, immersed ourselves with the locals in different cities, explore the busy medina, learnt how to haggle, got the local hamam massage and even wore the djellabas for a day during the trip.
We love the accommodation e, from posh hotel to local riads and cool Berber camp, we tried it all. There were days with long road trips but we didn't mind. The van was very clean and comfortable and our driver Hossain was a good driver.
Our guide Jamal was exceptional. I couldn't have asked for a better guide. I had guides before on my previous trips but not many as enthusiastic, passionate and dedicated as Jamal. He took good care of us, making sure all our needs were met, always on standby when we texted him, and always went the extra miles even when he doesn't have too. Though we had local guides in different cities, he was always there watching over us and every ready to come to our assistance. Coming from a country which the weather is hot and humid all year long, my friends and I were ecstatic when we saw the snow, first time. Jamal was sensitive and dear enough to make a stop and take photos with the snow. He didn't have too, but he did. Thank you Jamal.
He was also very professional and knowledgeable. He gave us information on the sights we saw from time to time during our road trips. He patiently answered all our questions, even the silly ones. He walked us through the histories and cultures of Morocco. He gave suggestions, haggled for us (at the shops) and even took great photos of us (he was our part time photographer). He is humble, very funny and approachable. We were travelling in a group of eight (my three friends and I, a family of three and a solo traveller) and we all agreed that we did miss his presence when he dropped us off in Essaouira. During our trip, we became close like a big family and we owed that to Jamal. He was the heart of the group. We also enjoyed the lunch picnics he prepared for us. We highly recommend Jamal for tours in Morocco.
All in all, Morocco should be in everyone's bucket list. Thank you On the Go for making our trip a smooth ride and to Jamal our guide for the wonderful memories made. We have lots of stories and photos to share back home. Having said that, I wouldn't hesitate to make another booking with On the Go Tours and will surely promote it, and Jamal to my friends. Thank you.”
Excellent tour giving a good over view of the country and culture and thoroughly enjoyable.
Our tour guide Hicham paid a key role in ensuring we got the most out of the tour.”
Our tour guide Hicham was exceptional every step of the way he really looked after me and was with me every step of the way from recommending safe restaurants with delicious food, to helping me bargain at the souk, to keeping away the hawkers. He was able to answer all of my questions and his knowledge of Morocco is quite extensive. He shared with us a lot of rich Moroccan and Berber culture and I found it so interesting. His friendly and proactive attitude led everyone in the group to be fond of him and even become friends. ”
We had a wonderful time. All of our guides were great. Abdellah was a special standout. We learned a lot about the culture and had a great experience.
Thank you for your help and advice. We would definitely travel with On the Go again. ”
This was my first time with On the Go tours & my first time in Morocco. It has been just fantastic. The tour gives you a real insight & taste to the country, it is so much more varied that I ever realised. The places visited are lively, full of character & colourful. Our guide, Lhoucine was full of stories about each place, ensuring that we enjoyed all aspects of his country. He was courteous & respectful at all times & responded with humour to each of our national characteristics.
There were some enjoyable stop offs on the long travelling days & he responded very well to all our various demands & needs. Overall an excellent adventure with a great group of people, staying in some fantastic Riads right in the centre of local life & organised effortlessly.”
Our second trip with On the Go Tours. The tour was excellent, with informative and friendly local guides. The accommodation was very good with friendly hosts. The tour group was very welcoming which led to relaxing and enjoyable holiday. The tour guide Jamal was excellent with his knowledge of the country and its people. Jamal was the person who made the trip special by making us laugh and smile everyday.”
I have just completed the Best of Morocco trip and like my fellow explorers, I had the most amazing experience. Even though we had a variety of ages and nationalities, we blended together, partly because of our combined love of travelling but also because of our fantastic guide, Hicham Tora.
He was very helpful, kind and considerate even when there were little glitches, as there always is in life - without him, our adventure would have been different.
The local guides in each of the cities/villages were also very good at their job and they always made it fun.
I loved our accommodation - especially in the traditional Riads I was truly amazed at the hospitality and welcome shown to us in all hotels and Riads.
I will be recommending this trip and On the Go to all that will listen and hope to travel again as I love the smaller groups. ”
It was a fascinating and interesting tour. Lhoucine was excellent, full of knowledge and so kind and willing to help us all. The experiences were wonderful with many high points.
The negatives were having to return to Marrakech for a night because two people joining in Casablanca were to have a city tour. Although it was in the trip notes, it seemed unnecessary to the rest of us, who could easily have transferred directly to Essaouira. The second negative was the awful riad in Essaouira! There was a nasty smell in the lobby, our room was cramped and dark with no air con (room 22). We couldn't open a window as it opened at waist height and looked into all the other rooms.
On the whole, we had a great time and the tour provided us with so many experiences. We were lucky enough to be with a great group of people and it was very jolly. Lhoucine gave us his phone number and we could contact him at any time. He was very accommodating, nothing was too much trouble and his manner gentle, calm and quiet but with a great sense of humour and fun. He also provided fantastic picnics on the picnic lunch days and he and our driver were so efficient in setting up and clearing away. An excellent guide!”
This was our third "On the Go" tour and definitely what this company has to offer is always of a high standard . The guides and drivers without exception have been excellent.. On this tour Jamal surpassed both those high standards and exceeded our expectations in the most delightful and unexpected ways.He is a knowledgable and proud Morrocan..He is keen to share his heritage and country. No question is too hard or too trivial to answer. Jamal is a gifted communicator with a wicked sense of humour and he loves both surprising and pleasing his guests. Jamal is also diplomatic when he dealt with the various personalities on the tour. He gave great practical support and overcame language barriers when travellers needed to see Doctors or retrieve cards that had been swallowed by ATMs....even when doing so encroached on his own free time and in one case and using his own car. Jamal gave up that time quietly and with a smile in his face.He even got up at at 4.30 a.m to meet us and make sure we met up with our local guide to take a sunrise balloon ride over Marrakech. Jamal is truely deserving of recognition for the valued contribution he made to our trip.Well done Jamal, you are a legend. ”
At a Glance
Overall a really enjoyable trip sadly cut short due to Corona Virus
Great tour - helpful ”