Morocco Souks Private Tour is for travelers who wants to learn how local crafts are made with opportunities to explore and buy. Let us be your guide in Morocco.
Exploring the Souks (markets) in Morocco is a unique and exciting experience. No visit to Morocco would be complete without exploring the medinas (walled cities with maze-like streets) of Chefchaouen, Marrakech, Fès and Ouarzazate.
Souks and markets are a major feature in Moroccan life, and among the country’s greatest attractions. Souks are daily destination where locals shop for fresh meat, vegetables, household goods and other items. Each major city and town in Morocco has a special souk quarter. Villages in the country side also have local souks which are usually held one day each week in an open field or outside the towns kasbah walls. Large cities have labyrinths of individual souks (each Souk square that is dedicated to particular craft). Some of the best buys in Morocco are dates, leather ware, handicrafts, carpets, pottery, wood carvings, traditional dress (jellaba) and various food products.
Whether or not you are a big shopper, visiting a souk is a cultural experience that should not be missed on a trip to Morocco.
- Explore and Shop the Souks of Tangier, Chefchaouen, Fes, Meknes, Marrakech & Ouarzazate.
- Meet Craft Designers, Rug and Embroidery Weavers
- Treasure hunt for Morocco's handicrafts such as leatherwork, silver and other locally made goods
- Guided Historical Tours of Tangier, Chefchaouen, Meknes, Fes, Marrakech and Ouarzazate
- Visit the Ouarzazate market of antiquarian
- Day 1 : Casablanca - Tangier
Have breakfast in a local café, visit the Hassan Mosque, and then take the road directly to Tangier. Once in Tangier you will unpack at your hotel, rest and then have dinner in the medina of Tangier.
- Day 2 : Tangier - Chefchaouen
Have breakfast and visit Tangier medina. Tangier the “North Bride” as the locals name it is the gateway to Africa. It is a major city in northwestern Morocco located on the Maghreb coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel.
Many civilizations and cultures have wedged the history of Tangier dating before the 5th century BC. Between the period of being a strategic Berber town and then a Phoenician trading center to the independence era around the 1950s, Tangier was a link for many cultures. In 1923, it was considered as having international status by foreign colonial powers, and became a destination for many European and American diplomats, spies, writers and businessmen.
Start your day with a panoramic visit of this charming city. After that drive to see the Grand Socco, a popular nighttime square close to the Mosque of Sidi Bou Abib and the link between Ville Nouvelle and the medina.
Next visit the Caves of Hercules a place of stunning natural beauty and great archeological significance and then Cap Spartel, a majestic part of Tangier where the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Cape Spartel is a peninsula of about 300 m above sea level at the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, 12 km West of Tangier. Below the cape are the Caves of Hercules.
Next, visit the old medina, the top attraction of Tangier a labyrinth of alleyways both commercial and residential. It's confined by the walls of a 15th-century Portuguese fortress; lined with cafes and bazaars, Spanish church, jewelers’ shops, and an arts center displaying works depicting Tangier’s social history.
continuing north, you will find the Kasbah ornamented with mosaics and woodcarving.
Discover Marshan discrit , an attractive residential area west of the Kasbah.
Drive through The park of Rmilat . While walking around you can smell the eucalyptus, black pine and mimosa float.
This park is named after a wealthy American diplomat, John H. Perdicaris, owner of the land, who moved there. He redeveloped the park with all sorts of exotic plants and built a house with an architecture influenced by the cosmopolitan aspect of the city at the time. The whole park fits perfectly with the harmony of the landscape.
Next, visit the Anglican church of St. Andrew built for Tangier’s growing British population. After, make a stop to appreciate fine works of art at the Musée d’ Art Contemporain showcasing contemporary Moroccan paintings.
Have a traditional delicious lunch at a charming restaurant Populaire Le Saveur De Poisson, a rustic and well-appointed restaurant in the Tangier Medina.
In the transfer to the bleu pearl Chefchaouen, dinner at a charming restaurant, overnight at Riad Lin
- Day 3 : Chefchaouen
Have breakfast at your boutique Riad and start discovering the town’s old medina on foot along with your guide who will share stories of Chefchaouen’s history.
Start your tour with the Kasbah Museum in the medina. The Kasbah of Chefchaouen belongs to the early 15th century and was built by the legendary ruler Moulay Ali Ben Rachid in 1471 for defence riasons againt the Portugues expansion in the North. The kasbah was the governor house where he lived with his family and cabinet. It is surrounded by gardens of Andalusian style. Inside it, you can visit the museum showing of the main handcrafts of the town : wood carving, plaster, Zelij .
Step onto the tower roof and take pictures of a panoramic view of the town over the big square, the great mosque and the Jewish Mellah. Next, visit Plaza Uta El-Hammam where the striking 15th century Grand Mosque sits. Visit the Mellah where the Jewish refugees who escaped the Spanish persecution settled .
Try fresh goat cheese salad, a local Rif specialty, Goat meay tajine with seasonal vegetable. Browse the small shops famous for selling woven rugs, blankets, woolen goods and the best berber carpets
Visit the Jewish quarter Mellah which now named Swika ( diminutive of souk/market) where the local shop and where the Berber Bride shop for the wedding party.
End your day with a guided hike in the green hillsides. In the evening, relax in a hammam, a Moroccan spa experience. Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Chefchaouen.
- Day 4 : Chefchaouen - Volubilis - Mouly Driss - Fez
After breakfast start your expedition through the Rif Mountains to the UENSCO World Heritage site, Fes
The Rif Mountains has been inhabited by Berbers for thousands of years. In the 11th century BC, the Phoenicians began to establish trading posts with the approval of the local Berbers on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. The original language of the Riffians is called Tariffit , though many also speak Moroccan Arabic, Spanish, or French.
Head south to Volubilis, ruins of a Roman city in Morocco. The importance of the city is reflected in the Capitoline temple, the Basilica, said to be one of the most beautiful in Africa in its day, and its 1,300 square meter Forum, with sumptuous mosaics still to be seen in some of the most luxurious homes.
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. The Idrisid dynasty was founded in this town. The town has the only round minaret in Morocco.
Take your lunch in a local restaurant in Mouly Driss and end your today in on of Morocco’s four imperial cities, Fez. Diner and overnight in luxious riad in Fes Medina
- Day 5 : Tour Fez
Breakfast at your riad and tour the oldest medinas of the world declared by UNISCO as world heritage. In the tour you will explore the Merenid Tombs of Fes, the Musée des Armes located in an old fortress built by Moulay Hassan I.
You will enter the Fes el-Bali through Bab Boujeloud, the Blue Gate which is one of the main entrances to the medina. You will go through Talaa Kebira, the main street in the medina, where you wiil be amazed by the lines of shops of colorful Moroccan handicrafts. You will visit the University of al-Karaouine, the university in the world that was founded by a lady Fatima Al Fihriya. Then, visit Dar el-Magana, a 14th century water clock and Zaouia el Tijaniya, the shrine and tomb of Ahmed el Tijani.
On your visit you will also see the Slipper-Makers area as well as the souks selling henna, slippers, caftans, silks, jewelry, spices and natural perfumes used for sacred occasions
You will also visit the Najjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Craft located in a beautifully restored fundouk, an old style of hotel for traders.
Lunch will be the medina in one of the fine Moroccan palace-style restaurants that serves delicious Fessi food. After lunch, visit the Musée Dar el-Batha to see the remarkable collections of pottery, woodwork, leather-work, and manuscripts from the nineteenth century.
Next, pass through Bab el Ftouh, to explore the Andalusian quarter, a residential part of the medina . Wander through the Fès el Jedid, a kasbah which functioned as Morocco’s administrative center until 1912. Discover the royal palace and many interesting neighborhoods such as the Jewish Mellah, and the Ville Nouvelle. Explore the Medrasa Bou Inania, an Islamic school founded by Abu Inan Faris that is gorgeously ornamented .
Visit University of al-Karaouine. Founded in 859, by a lady whose name Fatima Al Fihriya. This university is one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world, and is considered the oldest university in the world.
Visit the Weavers Cooperative located in a residential neighborhood. The workshop specializes in weaving the finest jellaba fabric made of silk and wool threads imported from Italy. The shop also makes a quality jellaba fabric from a locally spun, textured wool thread called hubba. Hubba is sometimes referred to as couscous because its nubby texture resembles Morocco’s national semolina dish of the same name. Visit the Tanneries , one of the most dynamic and charming souks in Fes where to find the best leader.
Visit the Dyers street, a dyers market, to see the dying traditions which have been used for centuries to dye cloth and sheep, goat, cow, and camel leather. After finishing the visit of the old medina, a drive to see the rampart of Fes, dinner at a charming restaurant. Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Fes.
medina meeting place. Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Fes.
- Day 7 : Fez - Meknes - Fez
Breakfast at your Riad and drive to Meknes which is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco. Founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids as a military settlement, Meknes became capital of Morocco under the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismaïl (1672–1727), son of the founder of the Alaouite dynasty. Sultan Moulay Ismaïl turned Meknes into an remarkable city in Spanish-Moorish style .
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.
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 avid 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 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
Drive back to Fes, dinner at a charming restaurant, overnight in a boutique riad in Fes.
- Day 8 : Fez - Marrakesh
Wake up early, have breakfast and then take the road to Marrakesh.
Arrival to Marrakesh, check in at your hotel, rest and head to Djemaa El Fna Square for a dinner where aromatic smoke fumes of the delicious food sold in the square and the sounds of Moroccan music fill the air. Food is prepared hot and fresh everywhere along the lines of countless food stalls. The entire square is dark except for the gas lamps lighting up the food vendors cooking area and illuminating the towers of greasy smoke sailing over the Djemaa Fna.
- Day 9 : Marrakesh - Jemaa El Fna Square
After breakfast, departure for an introduction to Marrakesh’s shopping area in the Medina, the old quarter of the Marrakesh. From there you will discover the historically charming area by foot. In Djemaa el Fna Square, you will find a lively area filled with artisan shops, aromatic bakeries, and excited shopkeepers enthusiastic to meet you.
Your guide will help you navigate through the labyrinth like streets and alleys of the Djemaa El Fna Square to enjoy the aromatic streets, taste the fresh squeeze orange juice and venture into the souks (shops) specializing in Berber carpets, silver jewelry, artisan workshops, handmade shoes, tanneries, etc.
The souks are laid out in the narrow streets north and east of Place Jemaa el-Fna and stretch from the Ben Youssef Mosque in the north to the Souk Semarine in the south. There is a different entrance to get into the Djemaa el Fna, just to the left of the Café Argana, which leads into the Bab Ftouh area and up Rue Mouassine; Rue Souk Semarine, through the potters' market; and opposite Café de France, to the left of the mosque, through the olive market. One can enter through any of the Babs (gates) in the walls, such as Bab Lakhsour, and just walk in the direction of Djemaa el Fna and everywhere you will see handicrafts bazaars.
The Marrakesh Souks are worth exploring for the ultimate shopping experience : There are many souks : Souk Semarine for clothes, Souk Rahba Qdima, has rugs, carpets, and sheepskins. Souk el Attarine has spices and perfumes; Souk des Bijoutiers has jewelry; Souk des Forgerons has copperware; Souk Larzal is the wholesale wool market; Souk des Teinturiers is the wool dyers' market; Souk des Babouches sells the pointed slippers a traditional favorite worn Moroccans; Souk Chouari is where carpenters work in wood and you will find lovely smells of cedar; Souk Haddadine sells ironwork; and Souk Cherratin offers a range of leather goods. Tanneries, due to their unpleasant odors, are kept at the edges of Marrakesh. a main thoroughfare, traditionally dominated by textiles
Entering the souks via Rue de Souk Smarine (clothing) or Bab Doukkala you will pass the former slave market and arrive at Rahba Kedima “Old Square” where magicians and healers buy their supplies and local Marakeshis from the country side sell fruit, vegetables and live chicken. Heading north of Rahba Kedima you will see Souk el Batna, which sells thousands of leather sheep skins, Souk Zrabia- the main carpet market, Souk el Kebir-sells leatherwork and Souk des Bijoutiers sells jewelry.
Have lunch at a traditional Moroccan restaurant in the medina then continue exploring the souks within the Djemaa El Fna. Near the Rue Bab Doukkala is the Souk Haddadine where there is a constant sound of hardworking brass and copper workers clamoring away at metal and melting it to make trays, lanterns, grills, locks and keys. Finally, head back to your hotel to relax before dinner.
- Day 10 : Marrakesh - Majorelle Garden & Gueliz
Have breakfast and then visit the Majorelle Garden, a magical garden estate designed by Jacque Majorelle and maintained by Yves Saint Laurent. The Majorelle Garden is filled with colorful walkways, ponds, cactus and plants as well as a beautiful shop with hand-made goods. After visiting the Majorelle Garden, you will navigate your way to the new city, to French, Gueliz.
Gueliz is the Garden district within modern Marrakesh and spaciously laid out with wide avenues, municipal gardens, large hotels, cafes and apartment buildings. In the midst of Gueliz there are beautiful, trendy and upscale boutique shops. On your tour of Gueliz, you can browse the modern shops selling traditional Moroccan wears such as caftans, jellabas, fine silks, jewelry and other artisan goods. You can also make pit-stops at the various Moroccan galleries where Western and Moroccan art and artifacts are shown.
Enjoy lunch in the Gueliz, which offers a variety of Moroccan fare and International restaurants. After lunch explore Marrakesh at your leisure.
- Day 11 : Marrakesh - Ouarzazate
Rise up early, have your breakfast and then take the road to Ouarzazate. Dinner on the road and then settle in to your hotel for the evening.
- Day 12 : Ouarzazate Souks - Fint Oasis - Ait Ben Haddou
After breakfast at your hotel, you will take the road to Ouarzazate and take the windy road towards the Oasis of Fint passing the "Plateau de pierres". On the way you will find a shining Oasis of palms. Visit this Oasis that floats under the Atlas Mountains. Tour the surrounding area where date palm oases and dramatic desert scenery is the best.
After exploring the Oasis of Fint you will take the road to the picturesque village of Aït Benhaddou. Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River and was once a significant stop for traders carrying gold, salt and slaves along the famous Southern Caravan route moving through the Sahara. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah; and for Jesus of Nazareth the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. In recent years restoration has been carried out under UNESCO sponsorships. Take your camera to photograph this spectacular site with its stunning views that surround this Kasbah and its towers and dark red walls. Aït Benhaddou was once a significant stop for traders carrying gold, salt and slaves along the famous Southern Caravan route moving through the Sahara.
Take your lunch and then head to the souks and shopping streets of Ouarzazate. Your guide will lead you on a private tour through this desert city known for fabulous spices, antique silver jewelry, all things roses- imported from Kelaa De Mgoun/ Valley of Roses a, the capital of eau de rose.
Dinner and overnight in hotel in Ait Ben Hadou
DAY 12: OUARZAZATE- VISIT ATLAS FILM STUDIOS-MARRAKESH
After breakfast, head to the road to visit the Atlas Film Studios. The studios are lined by Holly-wood style Egyptian figures and cover 30,000 sq m of desert. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at The Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery. International blockbusters shot here in recent years include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawke Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara. Most of the filming takes place in the desert in the south however you can view the Tibetan monastery featured in Scorese’s Kundan and an Egyptian temple from Cleopatra.
Take the road back to Marrakesh. For lunch enjoy a tajine in a cafe restaurant of the Tadart. At 2260 meters above sea level, the highest part of Atlas as well as the highest pass in Morocco, your lunch will be complemented with overwhelming mountain views. Driving on the road to Marrakesh, you will pass the interesting town of Amerzgane, the Kasbah Telouet and Aït Ourir, a charming Berber village where you can stop to take some pictures of the Atlas foothills.
Soon after seeing views of the olive groves of the Oued Zat, you will begin ascending onto the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass Road. Along the route to Marrakesh you will see panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains as well as sights of fertile valleys, blue and red colored villages .
Diner and overnight at a boutique riad in Marrakesh
- Day 13 : Marrakesh - Casablanca
Departure from Marrakech's Menara Airport. This ends your Morocco Travel experience.