Vauillez activer JS

Global morocco discovery

 

Best To Have: 16 DAYS

Best Time:

Great For: couple, groups and families

Description: This tour a complete discovery of Morocco. Imperial cities, the glorious Sahara Desert, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, the Atlas and the Rif Mountains

 

DAY 1: CASABLANCA RABAT

Pick up Casablanca airport by our driver and depending on arrival time, visit of Hassan II mosque Casablanca's landmark building designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is a extravagant symbol not only of the city, but also of Morocco itself.  Hassan II Mosque II is one of the largest mosque in the world with a gigantic glass floor for over 24000 worshippers. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 meters.  Its location looking out to the Atlantic gives it an exceptional beauty. Intricately carved marble pieces, vibrant mosaics and zellige tile details pay honor to traditional Islamic architecture, and yet still manage to feel contemporary.

After the visit drive to Rabat. On arrival and after lunching and hotel check in start your visit and learn about the glorious history of Rabat dating to the 8th century.

Start your visit by the medina which takes its name from the Muslims who were expelled from Spain in 1609-1610 due to their religious beliefs. Wander through Andalusian wall and you find yourself in rue Souiks lined up with shops vending traditional craftwork.  Visit Souk-es-Sebat, a district of dealers of fine leather goods, fabric sellers and bazaars. Continue to Rue des Consuls, the busiest in the medina, lined up with craftsmen’s workshops and fabric and carpet-seller’s stalls. Here each Thursday mornings, you can witness the Rbati carpet auction.

Rue des Consuls has a charming story to tell. From the 17th century up until 1912, all diplomats and representatives of foreign powers lived in this famous street, putting them just a stone’s throw from the slave market at its far end, where they could buy prisoners taken by pirates to be sold at auction. From the end of the 16th century, the city, under the name of Salé-le-Neuf, included Rabat and excelled at its main activity – piracy.

Captured sailors were sold as slaves to wealthy families in the region. Christians were luckier, as they could be brought back by their countries’ diplomats, who had a budget available to them for this very purpose. The taking of Christian ships was the main source of Salé’s income, and it became Morocco’s leading port, keeping on with its pirating activity and continuing to make foreign ships tremble for several centuries.

Have your lunch in a nice restaurant offering Rbati delicious food.

Continue your visit to The Oudaya Kasbah a haven of peacefulness, with its flower-filled little streets, Andalusian garden and Moorish café. The Oudaya gateway is built of dressed stone and is regarded as one of the jewels of Almohad art. Most of the remains still to be seen date back to the 12th century, and the Kasbah contains Rabat’s oldest mosque. Its minaret, adorned with small decorative arcades, is most probably the work of one of the first Alaouite sovereigns. From the ocean side of the old semaphore-station platform at the end of the main street, you can enjoy superb panoramic views over Salé and the Bouregreg Estuary. In the Kasbah’s main square, a warehouse built in the late 18th century now accommodates a cooperative where you can watch girls at work weaving carpets.

The Oudaya museum was renovated in 1995 and is housed in a residence built for Moulay Ismail between 1672 and 1694, and in which the sultan stayed during his visits to Rabat. The museum exhibits rich and varied collections of jewellery, testimony to the extraordinary expertise of Morocco’s craftsmen. The museum is located also in lush garden of an Andalusian style

DAY 2: RABAT – TANGER

Rise and have your breakfast. Set off to continue your exploration of Rabat. Visit Hassan Tower. The ruins of the Hassan Tower bear witness to the size of what was to have been one of the largest places of worship anywhere in the Muslim world. Its construction was abandoned upon the death of its founder in 1199, and the Lisbon earthquake in 1755 caused further damage. The mosque comprised a great courtyard laid out over deep, restored cisterns and reaching to the foot of the minaret, and an immense hypostyle room whose 312 columns and 42 marble pillars were arranged to form nineteen naves, not counting its lateral porticos. It was on this site that the Mohammed V Mausoleum was built, in fitting tribute to the Nation’s liberator.

Visit also The Mohammed V Mausoleum whose design and decoration take one’s breath away. This masterpiece of traditional Moroccan art, with its painted woodwork, sculpted plasterwork and marble, and carved bronze, required all the know-how of the Kingdom’s master craftsmen. Mohammed V’s tomb is carved from a block of white onyx and stands in the center of the edifice’s lower level. Today, his two sons, the late King Hassan II and Prince Moulay Abdallah, rest in peace alongside him.

Drive to the Chellah Necropolis. It is located about 2 km from the city center and is made up of the necropolis itself and the ancient city of Sala. The ruins, with their omnipresent birdlife, nesting storks and wild vegetation is one of Rabat’s most attractive landscapes. Protected by an impressive surrounding wall and accessed through a enormous gateway, the necropolis is an oasis of tranquility, a peaceful flower- filled garden containing an ablutions room, a zaouia with an oratory, the zellij adorned Merinid minaret, and a series of burial rooms.

After the visit go for lunch in Rabat new town the “city of flowers”, as Marshal Lyautey liked to call it. The fascinating gates that surround the Medina.

After lunching, take the Atlantic coast to Tangier in the North of Morocco where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean meet

B&B accommodation in a boutique Riad in Tangier Kasbah

DAY 3 TANGIER

your guide will take you for a journey of learning. Start your tour with the Kasbah which is Tangier’s heart and soul, an impressive fortification with walls overlooking the medina and the whole city.

You will access it from the Grand Socco via rue d’Italie and uphill along rue de la Kasbah. This is a district of venerable palaces, accommodating some truly superb residences. In Place de la Kasbah, the Sultan’s palace, “Dar el Mekhzen”, houses a museum of Moroccan arts, while the palace next door, Dar Chorfa, is home to a museum of antiquities and archaeology.  Stop for a coffee at the Café du Détroit, which takes its name from the magnificent views of the Straits to be taken from its terrace.  The Grand Socco (Spanish for souk) at the entrance to the medina is undoubtedly the busiest part of the city. Its square is bordered by the former residence of the Mendoub (the Sultan’s representative) and its park. The Mendoubia Park is splendidly laid out, dominated by a giant banyan tree, and graced with a multitude of venerable dragon trees.  It is the Mendoubia Park, that King Mohammed V delivered his 1947 speech declaring Moroccan Independence. Tangier was to keep its special status until 1960.  The Rue des Siaghines (“jewellers’ street”) leads to the Petit Socco, a picturesque little square surrounded by hotels and cafes that served as second homes to the city’s celebrities – Paul Bowles, Jean Genet, Paul Morand, Pasolini, and Camille Saint-Saëns among them. Leaving the Petit Socco, rue de la Marine takes you to Bab el Bahr (“the door to the sea”), guarded by a pair of borjs (fortified towers), one of which, Borj el Mosra, is decked with giant cannons. Down below, the fishing port is the scene of non-stop activity, orchestrated by the cries of the seagulls wheeling above.

Have a cap of mint visit in Café Hafa. The cafe enjoys a unique location, clinging to the cliffside in the shade of gardens and terraces and with panoramic views of the Mediterranean on the right, the Atlantic on the left, and the Andalusian coastline across the Straits. It first opened its doors in 1920 and has since been frequented by such famous names as Paul Bowles, the Rolling Stones and Randy Weston. Legend has it that the Beatles, Bob Marley and Sean Connery have all savored mint tea there, along with the breath-taking view.

Visit The American Legation Museum.  In 1777, Morocco became the first country to officially recognize the United States of America as an independent nation. In 1821, in order to seal this new-found friendship, the Sultan, Moulay Slimane, gifted the legation to the American diplomatic mission, and it remains the only monument belonging to the United States outside their national territory. The vast residence was built in the 18th century, restored in 1920, and turned into a museum in 1956, conserving a varied collection of works tracing Tangier’s history from the 17th to the 20th century.

Visit Ibn Battouta Tomb, the grave of the city’s most emblematic son. Ibn Battouta’s tomb is to be found high up in the medina, in a little street in the Fuente Nueva district. The celebrated traveler, pilgrim, explorer and ambassador, an indefatigable scholar open to the world at large, was born in Tangier in 1304, and set off to make the pilgrimage to Mecca as an inexperienced young man of 22. The journey was to mark the beginning of one of the most extraordinary adventures of all time!

Ibn Battouta is often compared to the somewhat better-known Marco Polo. They were, however, men of very different character. While Marco Polo and his brothers set out to explore unknown lands for commercial reasons, Ibn Battouta travelled in search of knowledge – which didn’t stop him from covering a considerably greater distance than his illustrious predecessor!

Visit Kasbah museum of Mediterranean culture is located on top of the hill in the medina. Kasbah actually means the citadel or fortress of a village. It is usually located at the highest point for defense purposes.

The Kasbah Palace is in the eastern part of the Kasbah in a strategic position. It was used by both the Carthaginians and the Romans. This was the site of the governors of the city as early as the 12th century. The Portuguese governors resided here between 1471 and 1661. From 1662 to 1684, a larger castle was the residence of British governors.

Ahmed Ben Ali who fought against the English occupation in 1684 built the current palace that houses the museum. Since 1737, this structure has been the seat of power and the symbol of local authority. In 1922, the Kasbah Palace became a museum. Inside the museum, you will see a typical Moroccan style palace. It features zellij coating, carved plaster, painted and carved wooden dome. The large patio is decorated in white marble indicating their European origin

Have lunch at restaurant run by women association Darna located in Grand Succo

Continue and visit Boulevard Pasteur which the new town’s main street. It leads to Place Faro, a vast terrace protected by antique cannons and affording magnificent panoramic views of the port, the bay, and the distant Spanish coastline. Locals spend hours on end there, contemplating the sea glittering in the sunlight and the graceful ballet of the ships navigating the Straits – earning the square its nickname of “Sour Al Maâgazine”, which roughly translates as “wall of laziness”. From there, rue Anoual takes you down to the astonishing Art Deco edifice of the Gran Teatro Cervantes. The theatre first opened its doors in 1913 and was the largest of its day in North Africa, boasting 1400 seats and equipped with cutting-edge stage machinery. Its boards have been walked by countless great performers, Lola Flores for one.

B&B accommodation in a boutique riad in the Kasbah of Tangier

DAY 4 TANGIER-ASSILAH-TETOUAN

After breakfasting your driver will take you for a panoramic visit of Tangier’s city located between two seas to see the twin capes, Hercules cave and Rmit forest. 

Start with The Caves of Hercules. Located on the Cape Spartel massif off the Atlantic coast, the Caves of Hercules are natural limestone formations, their damp and somber interiors lit by a single passageway giving on to the ocean, the entrance to which bears an extraordinary resemblance to an outline map of the African continent. The caves are Tangier’s most popular tourist attraction, a truly out-of-the ordinary experience on account of their beauty, major archaeological interest, and mythological significance. According to the Ancient Greeks, it was here that Hercules came to rest after completing his 12 labors. The legend states that it was the demigod himself who created the Straits of Gibraltar, parting the mountains and bringing Jbel Tarik (Gibraltar) into being on one side and Jbel Moussa on the other. Myth is only a step away from reality...

Continue to twin capes symbolizing entry into the city of Tangier: Cape Spartel on the Atlantic side and Cape Malabata on the Mediterranean. Cape Malabata, facing east towards the rising sun, is planted with pines and low trees and affords a 180° view over the Straits of Gibraltar. A little further on, you come to that decidedly strange edifice, Malabata castle, which, despite its medieval-style architecture, was actually built in the early 20th century. Cape Spartel is topped by a lighthouse put up in 1965 and is the perfect spot from which to experience the sun setting over the ocean. On the way there, it’s well worth taking the time to stop off at the Perdicaris park of Rmilat forest.

The park is furrowed by small shady alleys where the delicate scents of eucalyptus, black pine and Mimosa are floated. The water from the source that flows there would have therapeutic virtues...

This park bears the name of a wealthy American diplomat, John H. Perdicaris, owner of the land, who came to settle there. He redesigned the park by planting all kinds of exotic plants and built a house of architecture influenced by the cosmopolitan aspect of the city at the time. The whole park integrates perfectly with the harmony of the landscape.

After that drive to charming Asilah. It has a charm all of its own, its white houses with their touches of brilliant blue and subtle green distinguishing it from other towns in the region. Music fills its streets, paintings bring its medina walls to vibrant life, and, every summer, its International Cultural Festival provides a rich program of theatre, dance, and concerts. A strategically located port, Asilah has passed through Roman, Spanish and Portuguese hands, and its bastions, towers and defiant walls make for some pleasant walks along a shoreline dotted with restaurants serving excellent cuisine based on fresh local fish

After that drive to Tetouan, B&B accommodation in a Boutique Riad

Day 5 : TETOUAN-CHEFCHAOUEN

After breakfast and begin your historical visit. Start with the medina characterized by the architecture of its houses built in the Andalusian style inspired from Seville and Granada. With its green and white houses, its crenellated ramparts and shady squares, the Medina of Tetouan is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. It has five kilometers long rampart walls. The medina is accessible through seven magnificent carved doors Oqla Bab, Bab Saaida (east), Bab Mqabare and Bab Ejjyafe (North), Bab Nouader (west), Bab Toute, Bab Remouz (south).

The seven gates of the medina are historical testimonials of the city and its succeeding waves of settlement, the arrival of the Andalusians in the fifteenth century, and then the Moorish invasion in the early seventeenth century, the transfer of the Mellah district in 1808, and the opening of the walls in the twentieth century in order to connect the new Spanish (Ensanche) district to the Medina .

The medina of Tetouan is the liveliest place in town. Here, the souks are well separated, each trade occupying a specific perimeter. Its large Mellah (Jewish quarter) was called Little Jerusalem. The Tarafin Street bordered with jewelers leads to the Hassan II square and to the Royal Palace, a fine example of Spanish-Moorish architecture.

The medina has retained its past dynamic nature, the artisans perpetuate their know-how and the houses are well preserved by the descendants’ owners. These old houses built around a patio reflect the high degree of sophistication of domestic architecture.

Its distinctiveness lies in the existing of a 15th century network of pipelines coming from the water springs of the city. In Berber language, «Titaouin» means «Springs». This is where the houses and many fountains get their water from through the Skoundou (Spanish segundo), a network of underground pipelines.

This network provides the houses and buildings, fountains, mosques, and hammams with drinking water, along a spring line coming out at the foot of Jebel Dersa. This network is similar to the one developed by the Romans in Volubilis and seems to have been adopted by the Andalusians. Even today, some houses keep these water fountains from the past.

Visit the Palace Square in the Mohammed V Avenue where you can admire Dar Tair known for its statue on the top floor. On this avenue, there is the ancient Spanish casino dating from the 20s, and Tetouan’s General Library and Archives built in the 30s. Its large documentary resources have turned it into a reading and research place dedicated to the history of Morocco. This avenue also passes through the Square Moulay El Mehdi where is located the Church of Our Lady of Victory, built in 1919. Continue to Square Al Adl, where you will find the courthouse and the cinema Avenida, a legendary place in the city. There is the Spanish theater built in the 30s.

Visit the Archaeological Museum where lies the ancient history of the city, luxury mosaic works, Roman bronze figurines, coins collections from the Punic period.

Visit Bab Okla Gate where stands the school of traditional arts and crafts «Dar Sanaa» with its neo-Arabic architecture. It stands as a showcase for the different artistic expressions which have flourished for centuries in Tetouan. The artisans are working on wood painting, embroidery, zellige, copper, leather, stucco or marquetry with the same expertise as their ancestors four centuries ago.

Continue to the Ethnological Museum of Moroccan Arts that was established in 1929. It is a masterpiece of Tetouan. At the entrance, you can enjoy a garden with a pool in the center and a wall fountain adorned with zellige a design similar to those found in the Andalusian palaces of Granada. Today, this museum present, with a permanent exhibition, traditional costumes and musical instruments, traditions, the habits and customs of the city of Tetouan and its region.

Have lunch in one of the medina finest restaurant to taste the local specialties. Tetouan culinary art is a combination of many influences (Rif, Andalusian, Jewish...), and is reputed to be one of the best in Morocco. Tetouanese dishes, including sweet and sours, chicken with caramelized raisins are pure delight. Other typical recipes: the chicken and eggs Pastilla without almonds, the Tahliya, the gazelle horns, the ktayefs, and of course the Jben, a creamy white cheese wrapped in palm leaves and prepared in women’s co-operatives.

After lunch, continue at your leisure to explore the beauty of Tetouan.The succession of twentieth century Spanish architecture and the many unique buildings give the city a modern prestigious cachet with the European colonial architecture that combines Baroque and Art Deco influences. Gardens, public areas and broad avenues have been created to enhance the rich urban heritage.

Visitors find it Andalusian, Ottoman, European. Tetouan is just all that. From this excitement is born a true art of living that still continues today through its craftsmen and artists. Land of the arts, from music to visual arts, the city is home to artistic movements, which influences go far beyond the region.

Like any other artistic capital, Tetouan had to have its School of Fine Arts, founded in 1947 by Don Mariano Bertucci, Spanish orientalist painter and great fan of Moroccan art. National Institute of Fine Arts since 1993 , this school has since 2000 a department for the teaching of comic strip art and hosts every year since 2004 the International Festival of Comic Strips.

Tetouan stands apart by its numerous festivals, the most important of which are the International Festival of Mediterranean Cinema created in 1985, the International Lute Festival, the International Festival of Comic Strips and the Women’s Voices Festival, a tribute to all those who worked tirelessly to take their city into the XXI century, while preserving its authenticity and versatile identity.

We can arrange a customize private tours around these festivals. Let us be your guide and we promise to show you the best

Visit Riad Al Ochak garden located below the old medina. It covers about five acres. It was created in 1929, a perfect model of the famous gardens of the Palace Alhambra in Granada. It has been extensively restored and now offers Its colorful flower beds, its stately trees and numerous ponds and fountains. The garden is part of the city’s heritage and most people are used to gathering there in the late afternoon seeking quiet moments of relaxation.

Once finishing drive to the Blue Pearl of the Rif Chefchaouen classified a 6th most beautiful cities of the world by the American magazine Coundy Nast.

B&B accommodation in a boutique riad with option of Turkish bath

 

Day 6 CHEFCHAOUEN

Breakfast at your Riad and guided visit of the bleu pearl Chefchaouen. start exploring the blue medina of Chefchaouen.  Its medina is small, but authentic: wander through its alleys to blend with the locals and take in the smells of everyday life, such as bread hot out of the oven and expertly prepared tagines.

Continue to the source Ras El Mae where to enjoy the waters murmurs and watch the locals using the river’s water as a fridge for orange juice.  Ras el-Maa River would pass along the eastern fringes of the medina of Chefchaouen before eventually emptying out into the Mediterranean Sea. In the old days, traditional water mills were all along the river functioning with water power.

Continue your exploration to the Kasbah right in the middle of the historic district, whose lush gardens are a cool haven in the heart of the city. The Kasbah was the nuclear part around which the old medina evolved due the arrival of The Moorish people expelled from Andalucía because of their religious beliefs. The Kasbah was built in 1471 by Mouly Ali Ben Rachid, the founder of the city of Chefchaouen

Relax over a cup of mint tea in the Big Square Outa Hammam, the heart of the medina, facing the Great Mosque with its unique rectangular shape.

Continue to Souika, the former Jewish quarter Mellah, now lined up with numerous shops of local handicrafts and Goldsmith. The Jews original work. The Jews settled here in the early sixteen centuries when they were expelled from Spain and were welcomed by the Mouly Ali Ben Rachid.

Have you lunch is nice restaurant serving local dishes and don’t miss a taste the goat cheese one of the specialty of the region

B&B accommodation in a boutique Riad Lina and Spa in Chefchaouen Medina

DAY 7 CHEFCHAOUEN

Explore Chefchaouen at your leisure, relax at your boutique Riad Lina and Spa, have massage and Hammam. Today is a break to recover your energy to be fully energized for the following day. B&B accommodation Riad Lina and Spa in Chefchaouen Medina

Day 8 : CHEFCHAOUEN  - VOLUBILIS - MEKNES– FES

Breakfast at your Riad and start your journey to Volubilis, Meknes and finally to Fes. Continue to Volubilis located in the foothills of the Zerhoun Massif. Volubilis takes its name from the Berber word Oualili, the name for the colorful flower of the convolvulus, a plant to be found in abundance in the region. Included on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997, Volubilis is Morocco’s largest archaeological site, with a full 18 hectares open to the public. The site owes its fame to the countless mosaics that decorate its ancient dwellings including a basilica, temple and triumphal arch. Its prosperity, which was derived principally from olive growing, prompted the construction of many fine town-houses with large mosaic floors.

Volubilis is regarded as the ancient capital of the Roman-Berber kingdom of Mauretania. It developed from the 3rd century BC onward as a Berber and Phoenician-Carthaginian settlement before being the capital of the Berber kingdom of Mauretania.

Continue to Moulay Idriss, the oldest town in Morocco, founded by Moulay Idriss I in 789, having fled Mecca because of religious and tribal conflicts.

It is located at twenty kilometers north of Meknes, set on a rocky peak overlooking the Oued Erroumane Valley and the plain upon which the Ancient Romans built their city of Volubilis. This holy town holds a special place in the hearts of the Moroccan people. It was here that Moulay Idriss I arrived in 789, bringing with him the religion of Islam, and starting a new dynasty. In addition to founding the town named after him, he also initiated construction of Fez, continued later by his son, Moulay Idriss II.

Later, explore Meknes rich history.  Visit the magnificent gateway of Bab el-Mansour the main gate between Meknes' Medina and Imperial City districts. Bab el-Mansour is an enormous and highly picturesque edifice with intricate architectural style of zellige tiling and carving work. It is one of North Africa's best examples of persisting gateways. Continue to Place Hedim the main square in the old part of the city.

The Bab Mansour gate faces onto Place Hedim, the main square in the old part of the city. Place Hedim is much smaller than Marrakech’s Jemaa el Fna square and also much less interesting. However, there will likely be a few people selling things, charming snakes and running games

Visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail   that is home to the tomb of Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made Meknes his imperial capital in the 17th century. The interiors are truly incredible. It shows the glorious exuberance of Moroccan religious ornament. The actual mosque is not open to non-Muslims, but you can enter the outer parts of the complex and enter the tomb hall itself, with its magnificent decorated interior.

Continue to Meknes Medina (Old Town) an exciting, busy place full of local products. For enthusiastic shoppers Souk Nejarine offers plenty of textile shops. Souk Sebbat is also home to many traditional Moroccan craft shops as well as clothing and Morocco's famous slippers.

The 12th-century Grand Mosque, with its distinctive green-tiled roof, sits right in the medina's center. The medina is still enclosed by its glorious walls built during the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail.

Visit also The Imperial City area that has plenty of interesting old ruins to explore, most dating from the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail. The Koubat Al Khayatine is the city's old ambassador building and today, part of the building is open to the public, with a small photography exhibit on Meknes.

Visit the museum The Dar Jamai built in 1882 as the residence of the famous Jamai family and was converted into the Museum of Moroccan Art in 1920. The museum holds the rich traditional decoration of painted wood and sculpted plaster that were popular interior design of the 19th-century Moroccan higher-classes. The museum is dedicated to arts and crafts of the region.

Continue your visit to Bou Inania Medersa that was founded in the 14th century. It is located within the loops of Meknes' souk streets. The Madrasa is still gorgeously preserved with much of its rich zellige tile decoration. The rooftop of the Madrassa has   excellent views across the whole Meknes Medina district and the Ville Nouvelle (new town).

Stop for lunch in the Nouvelle Ville of Meknes at a charming restaurant that offers Moroccan cuisine and a variety of local wines from the Meknes region.

Vendor a little bit out of the old town, past the Royal Gold Course (which is protected by a huge wall) and visit the Heri es-Souani granaries. The site is made up of two main areas. The first is the interior part which feels a bit like the Habs Qara prison except not as creepy. It was used to store huge amounts of grain. The exterior part of the complex also has rows of stone arches, but it was used to as a royal stable to keep horses and other animals.

Visit Sahrij Souani , built by Moulay Ismail, is located in the imperial city, northwest of the granaries. It is a hydraulic structure that measures 148.75 m by 319 m and has a maximum depth of 1.20 m. The lake was constructed to guarantee the supply of water, in times of siege or drought, to the palaces and mosques of the town, as well as to the public baths, homes, gardens and the orchards that surrounded the town and provided for its daily fruit and vegetable requirements.

Late in the afternoon, drive to Fes, B&B accommodation in a boutique riad in Fes Medina.

DAY 9 FES -GUIDED HISTORICAL VISIT

After your breakfast start your first part exploration journey of the magnificent Fez old medina. It is a real labyrinth left intact since the Middle Ages. It has been classified as a world heritage in 1981 by UNESCO. Fez medina is considered the largest medina in the Arab world and surrounded by 24 kilometers of walls.  The medina encloses 9500 houses, 176 mosques, 83 mausoleums, 11 madrasas dating from the Merenids dynasty and 40 hammams. The medina also encloses magnificent palaces.

Enter the old medina of Fez, through the bleu gate known as Bab Boujloud dating to the 12th century. The name is a vernacular corruption of the expression "Bou Jnoud", meaning a parade ground or military square, referring to the large square known as Place Bou Jeloud just outside and to the west. It is also located near the site of what used to be one of the main citadels of Fes el-Bali, the Kasbah Bou Jeloud.

Stroll the Talaa Kebeera shortly after Bab Boujloud and continues on through the much of the medina. Many different shops, souks and sights are located just off this main road. Though often crowded by locals and tourists alike, it is a nice taste of old Fez.

Visit the Dar Batha Museum. Dar Batha Museum is located in the heart of the medina. Before becoming a museum in 1915, the building was a beautiful palace of Arab-Andalusian style, built by Moulay el Hassan in the late nineteenth century. This museum is full of treasures that reflect the traditional art of Fez and its region carved wood, embroidery, zellige, wrought iron, jewelry, coins, carpets … depicting the stunning wealth of Fassi craftsmanship.

Continue to The Madrasa Bou Inania founded in AD 1351–56 by Abu Inan Faris. It is widely acknowledged as an excellent example of Marinid architecture.

 Visit Nejjarine Museum on your way. This well-restored former Fondouk – a place where traders took lodgings and stored and sold their goods during the 18th century – is now home to the Nejjarine Museum of Wood Arts and Crafts. Opened in 1998, the museum allows visitors to marvel at such artefacts as craftsmen’s tools, prayer beads, ancient chests, and musical instruments.

Visit (from outside) the Zaouia of Moulay Idriss II, a religious shrine containing the tomb of Idris II who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828. He is the main founder of the city of Fes and of the first Moroccan Islamic state. In this place your will encounter amazing shops selling candles and locals Fessi sweets altogether with various fragrances used for religious and special events.

Visit Kissaria Serrajine, where an irresistible range of silks, brocades, braided trimmings, embroidered slippers and kaftans awaits you coming. Along the streets you can see a fabulous expertise at work. Continue to Seffarine known for its Boilermakers, coppersmiths, glazed ceramic workshops marked by the famous cobalt blue of Fez. All is a fascinating world of craftsmanship

Visit the famous Quaraouiyine University, the oldest existing, constantly operating. It the first degree-awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records. Quaraouiyine University is referred to as the oldest university that was founded by Fatima al-Fihria in 859 with an associated madrasa, which next became one of the principal spiritual and educational centers of the historic Muslim world. It was incorporated into Morocco's modern state university system in 1963.

Visit the Al-Attarine Madrasa close to the Al-Quaraouiyine. It was built by the Marinid sultan Uthman II Abu Said in 1323. The madrasa takes its name from the Souk al-Attarine, the spice and perfume market.

Visit the Glaoui palace and the  Mokri Palace where to admire the fine work of the woodcarvers or the delicate lines of the wrought iron sculptured with surgical precision.

After enjoying your lunch continue your visit by visiting Fez tanneries referred to as the Chouwara tanneries. The tanneries, made of numerous ditches filled to the brim with a incredible variety of pigments, process skins for production of sleep, cow and goat leather in the traditional manner. Look down at the proceedings from a neighboring rooftop terrace-a giant artist’s palette in all its colorful splendors.

Visit the Pottery area and you will come across several scattered shops of ceramic around the medina, each with its own specialty. Some sell fountains, others tilework, etc

Continue to Fes Jdid starting by the Royal Palace, the main monument of Fez el-Jdid. It offers impressive views over its finely carved doors. The creation of Fez el-Jadid marks the full development of the city and the climax of Moorish art illustrated by the construction of magnificent buildings.

Next visit The Mellah, Jewish Quarter founded after the sixteenth century by the Sultan to protect the Jewish community in the city is crossed by the main street, a lively street gathering all kinds of businesses: jewels, upholstery, fabrics. The houses of the Mellah differ from Muslim houses by the windows looking on the outside and their wooden and wrought iron balconies. 

Visit the Synagogue Ibn Danan a seventeenth-century Judeo Moroccan heritage masterpiece that is worth visiting.

Enter Fas El Jdid through its monumental gate Bab Semmarine and wander along the shops lined up on both sides.

Continue to Jnan Sbil garden formerly known as the Bou Jeloud gardens on the north-western edge of the medina. This garden has palms, eucalyptus, weeping willows, citrus trees and bamboo. It was opened to the public by Moulay Hassan in the 19th century. It covers 7.5 hectares. This garden is one of the oldest gardens in Fes. Because of its historical importance, great care was taken to restore the Jnan Sbil garden to its original design.

Later drive to Borj Nord from which you can have gorgeous views of Fes. At night, the old city’s walls and ramparts are lit up and you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. The Borj is a fort built in 1582 by the powerful Saadi sultan Ahmad al-Mansour to defend the city from external attacks. It was modeled after the Portuguese Forts in the 16th century. The Borj is considered the largest defense structures around the city of Fez. Today, the fort is open to public as the Museum of Arms.

Take a short hike to the remains of Merenids Tombs which are perched on the hill of Al qolla. this 14th century site was the royal necropolis. From 1361 to 1398, Abou El Hassan’s successors and others of royal linage were buried there. Now in ruins, little is left of the necropolis beyond the remains of three cupolas and mosque, and a few sections of wall. But from the top of this gentle hillside overlooking the city, the views are mesmerizing experience.

Before going back to your Riad, your driver will advise where to enjoy delicious Fassi food for dinner, B&B accommodation

Finally return to your boutique riad in the Old medina, B&B accommodation

DAY 10: FES - ERFOUD - RISSANI – MERZOUGA

Rise early and have breakfast at your Riad and take the road to Merzouga. Stop in Ifrane to see the view of Ifrane University and go for a short walk around the beautiful streets of this European style city. Ifrane is located in the middle atlas in a national park that was established in October 2004 due to many reasons among which is the existence of remarkable species in the territory, the presence of internationally important ecosystems, and the increase of human activity and resource exploitation.  With its unique architecture, cedar forest and temperature, Ifrane becomes an appealing destination

Wander down through the dramatic Ziz Gorges and valley where the Oued Ziz brings life to the last southern valley of the Ziz and the Tafilalte oases. Have lunch with a Berber family at Aoufous village in the Ziz Valley. The Ziz valley, presents a spectacular sight of a dense canopy of palms. Lunch in the ziz family.

Next, head the road to the scenic Erfoud city where you will visit Borg Est 935 m high above the city which allows you to enjoy gorgeous views. Explore the fossil sites located at 13km from Erfoud to Merzouga where you can see the fossilized stones dating to a very ancient geological era.

You will continue to Rissani, a desert town from the ancient Alawi Dynasty to discover the old Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, the first King of the Alawi Dynasty. On your way to Merzouga, a stop at Khamlia, the village of Gnawa to enjoy the charming music of Gnawa

Continue the road to Merzouga and arrive before sunset. Upon arrival to Merzouga, another expedition is waiting for you, a camel trek or drive along the dunes of the golden Sahara Desert to enjoy sunset over the majestic Erg Chebbi Dunes. Once you reach the heart of the Sahara, a warm welcome at your luxury camp where you will spend the night under the huge sky full of bright stars. Dinner and overnight in the camp

Day 11: Skoura -Kella M’gouna -Boumalen Dades Valley- Todra Gorge  (Driving Time: 4 hours)

Breakfast at your Riad and set off from Skoura oasis the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs to The Valley of Roses, just north of El Kellaa M’Gouna is for certain an enjoyable trip. You will stop for a visit of the cooperative producing various products of roses: rose water hand and body soaps, oil, crème fragrance. The annual Rose Festival is a perfect time of the year to visit.

Your journey will lead you to the breathtaking Valley of Nomads located in Boutaghrar located at 40km from Rose valley Kellaa M’Gouna. The stunning valley where nomads still live in caves will allow you to travel back in time. The valley is surrounded by Mount M’Goun which is the second highest mountain in Morocco with astonishing views of earthy scenery.

Continue to the Dades Valley that covers 125 km between the Todra Gorge and Ouarzazate. The Dades Valley is located in the high valley of Dades that is scattered with Oasis, palm groves and Kasbahs. Carved through the walls of the High Atlas Mountains by the Dades River, Dades Gorge is an exceptional natural beauty. It has spectacular views which is best seen in the morning when the sun reaches the bottom of the canyon. Driving along you will pass fertile agricultural fields, riverbanks, and several fortified ksours.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant offering local Moroccan food and a panoramic view. Relax and sip mint tea while contemplating the remarkable valley view. Continue your discovery of the Dades Valley and Gorge after lunch.

Next head to Todra Gorge which is the canyon of the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains close to Tinghir. Your driver will take you through picturesque roads to reach the Todra Gorge which extends to Tinghir. Todra Gorge is a spectacular site with gigantic red rock walls that changes its color with the effect of the sunlight.

Drive back to Skoura, B&B accommodation in a boutique Riad

Day 12: Skoura - Ouarzazate - Ait Ben Haddou - Kasbah Telouet - Marrakech

Have your breakfast and head the road to Marrakesh.  First, visit the Ait Ben Haddou UNESCO world heritage site and then continue to Marrakesh via the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass built by the French in the 1920’s.

On the way you will also visit also Kasbah Telouet which is one of Morocco’s hidden gems. It is the ancestral home of the Pacha Glaoui Family and former route of the caravans from the Sahara over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech. The Kashah was established in the 18th and 19th centuries and represented the El Glaoui family's power hence named Glaoui Palace. It can still be visited but it is steadily becoming more damaged and is slowly collapsing. In 2010, work was underway to restore the property

On the way stop for lunch and visit the Argan Cooperative where Argan oil, Argan butter, and Argan cosmetics are made by hand from Argan nuts by Berber women. You will be invited to taste the Argan natural products. Drive to Marrakesh; inner at a nice restaurant. B&B accommodation in a nice Riad in Marrakesh

Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Marrakech.

Day 13: Marrakech Guided Historical:

Breakfast at your riad and set off to explore the fascinating city of Marrakesh.  Start your visit with old Medina. Explore this charming area on foot. In Djemaa el Fna, you will visit the famous 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. The guide will take you through the intricate streets and alleys of the Djemaa el Fna. Enjoy the smells of food and explore the souks specializing in Berber carpets, silver jewelry, handmade shoes, and leather tanneries.

Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of Marrakesh’s most tasty restaurants. After lunch explore the El Bahia Palace which is a set of gardens located in Marrakesh. It was built in the late 19th century, planned to be the greatest palace of its time. The name means "brilliance". As in other buildings of the period in other countries, it was intended to capture the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan style. There is a 2-acre (8,000 m²) garden with rooms opening onto courtyards.

Visit the Saadian Tombs are mausolea in Marrakesh which date to time of the Saadian dynasty sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603). The tombs were discovered in 1917 and were renovated by the Beaux-arts service. The mausoleum includes the burials of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty that originated in the valley of the Draa River. Among the graves are those of Ahmad al-Mansur and his family.

 

Visit Marrakesh Museum. The museum is housed in the Dar M’Nebhi Palace, constructed in the late 19th century by Mehdi M’Nebhi. The palace was carefully renovated and converted into a museum in 1997. The house itself represents an example of classical Moorish architecture, with fountains in the central courtyard, traditional seating areas, a hammam and intricate tilework and carvings

Later a short drive to Gueliz or Nouvelle Ville of Marrakesh to explore Marrakesh modern areas. Continue to the magical Majorelle Gardens designed by Jacque Majorelle and preserved by Yves Saint Laurent. Its blue and yellow colored paths make of it a attractive garden with various ponds, cacti, and plants.

Evening free to explore Marrakesh on your own. Your private driver will be available to escort you to a variety of restaurants we recommend.  B&B accommodation in a boutique Riad

Day 14: Marrakech – Essaouira-Marrakesh

Breakfast at your Riad and start your journey to the former Portuguese fishing village of Essaouira.

Essaouira is a port city and resort on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. The navy blue of its sky, its rosy ochre ramparts, and white and blue painted houses make up of it a perfect piece of art. Its medina is protected by 18th-century seafront ramparts called the Skala de la Kasbah. Behind its walls, protected from the wind, a timeless world persists.  Old brass guns line the walls overlooking the Atlantic and watch over the old town.

On your way to Essaouira explore wide variety of landscapes, great biodiversity, and rich cultural heritage. Explore the world’s largest area of Argan forest a national treasure where to see goats hanging calmly on the top of Argan trees. Here you can enjoy unspoilt natural surroundings, where Argan, almond, and olive trees grow wild side by side. And while you’re in the area, you can visit the Argan oil cooperative and admire the know-how of the women as they work at extracting Argan oil and appreciate the traditional hospitality of Berber culture

Upon arrival enjoy local gastronomy at the fishing port. Settle yourself down on a sofa or perch yourself on a pouf and share a delicious tajine or couscous. The Souiri cuisine is best known for is its fresh fish. Essaouira is a city of fishermen and makes the utmost of what the ocean provides.

Visit of the medieval town Essaouira with its lovely white-washed and blue houses and learn about the local tradition and enjoy the fresh seafood.

Essaouira is famous for its annual Gnaoua Music Festival that attracts many visitors in June. It also has a wide beach for surfing called Plage de Safi.

Visit Moulay Hassan Square which is the liveliest place of Essaouira located in the medina, not far from the city walls and port, an ideal location for enjoying a glass of mint tea. Sit back on one of its café terraces and watch the casual comings and goings of the passers-by.

Visit the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum a residence built in the 19th century. It presents Essaouira’s cultural heritage. You can find information on the history of Essaouira and its region dating back to the prehistoric era. You can also find a variety of collection of the town’s craft heritage

Visit Essaouira Thuya wood workshops, rare commodity found only in Essaouira. Wander along the ramparts and visit painter’s galleries where watercolors gleam from canvases.

Visit silver jewellery shops, a craft that owes its existence and fame to the Jewish silversmiths of the 18th century.

In the afternoon drive back to Marrakesh, B&B accommodation in a Boutique Riad in Marrakesh

DAY 15 MARRAKESH – TOUBKAL EXCURSION-MARRAKESH

  

WELCOME TO MOROCCO

Plan your Morocco travel with your local expert Tour Operator, Global Morocco Exploration. Customize your tour to your travel style. Our expertise, client-focused approach, and pricing reflects the quality and value of each trip we run.

We design each itinerary around you, so our suggested itineraries are a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely tailored to you.

Call us on +212672743347 or email the founder at fatima@globalmoroccoexploration.com to start planning your holiday

Book