Overview & Highlights:
- Visit Tangier and its sites including Hercules cave and Cap Spartel.
- Explore Tetouan, Moroccan white dove.
- Discover the charming blue-washed Medina of Chefchaouen.
- Explore the ancient Medina of Fes with professional guide.
- Explore Rabat, the current capital city of Morocco.
- Visit Hassan Tower, Mohammed V Mausoleum and Oudayas Kasbah.
- Visit the quiet town of Asilah.
Day 1: Tangier – Tetouan – Chefchaouen.
Upon arrival, we will meet you at the port or airport. And start our journey, in the north of Morocco. And explore the different sites of Tangier, including the medina, Cap Spartel, and the legendary Cave of Hercules. Legend holds that when Hercules was in need of a place to rest between two of his labors, he swam across the Strait of Gibraltar and ripped the cave from the side of the cliff with his hands.
The opening of the cave that faces the sea is in the shape of Africa. Then head to the medina, where you will see York Castle and the Kasbah Museum. Then we drive out of Tangier to Tetouan, the beautiful city nicknamed the White Dove, lies along the Martil Valley and it’s one of the two major ports of Morocco on the Mediterranean Sea. In 1913, Tetouan became the capital of the Spanish protectorate of Morocco, until 1956 when Morocco regained its full independence. It is a renowned multicultural center.
And its medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. It has also been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the area of Crafts and Folk Art since 2017. Then in the late afternoon we will travel through the Rif Mountains to Chefchaouen, the blue pearl of Morocco.
Overnight in Chefchaouen.
Day 2: Chefchaouen – Fes.
After breakfast you will check out of your Hotel/ Riad, and take quiet morning to explore Chefchaouen, the charming blue-washed medina, an endless winding maze of picturesque homes and streets. That in the late 15th century its population was boosted by a number of Jews and Muslims fleeing southern Spain and remained mostly untouched and isolated until the last century.
There you can see the Grand Mosque and the Kasbah. The Mosque was built by Moulay Mohamed in 1560 and cannot be entered by non-Muslims (but the view from the outside is still nice). A visit to the Kasbah (old fortification) can be done in 30-40 minutes, where you can visit a garden, a museum, and some of the old prison cells. And hike up to the Spanish Mosque further up the mountain, looking out over Chefchaouen.
In the afternoon travel back the mountains toward Fes, making stops along the way enjoying the scenic views as far as the eye can admire. In the evening we will eventually arrive to Fes and check into your hotel/Riad.
Overnight in Fes.
Day 3: Fes sightseeing – Rabat.
After breakfast in your Riad/Hotel, you will meet your private local guide to explore the different sights of the ancient Medina of Fes. Begin your tour with a visit to the royal palace, with its seven golden doors, and learn about the significance of the intricate decor.
Continue and stroll through the Mellah, or Jewish quarter, which was built next to the palace to offer protection. And then take in the view of the city from Borj Sud, a former fortress and one of the lookouts on a hill where you can see all of Fes laid out, allowing you to spot landmarks otherwise hidden by the skyline-obscuring buildings.
Visit a pottery cooperative to see how they make the unique Fes pottery, as well as handcrafting the intricate mosaics adorning half of Morocco. Head into the ancient medina and step into a sort of living museum. The Fes medina is very much a local community that lives and works and goes about daily life in the medina.
Stop by the Al-Quaraouiyine University, the oldest degree-granting university still in operation, have been founded in 859CE by a woman. Visit handicraft workshops, where you will see why Fes is considered the handicraft capital of Morocco. This can include, among other things, the silk weavers, where beautifully colorful fabrics are woven from silk fibers of the agave plant, and the famous Fes tannery, where they process all manner of animal hides by hand, much as they have for nearly 1000 years.
During your tour of the medina, you will stop for lunch in a restaurant that would be very easy to walk right past, but is truly a hidden gem. In the late afternoon we will travel to the west toward Rabat the current capital of Morocco.
Overnight in Rabat.
Day 4: Rabat – Asilah – Tangier.
After breakfast, you will check out of your hotel. Making our journey to Rabat, Morocco’s fourth imperial city, where you will visit the Hassan Tower, which has sat unfinished since 1199. Commissioned by Abu Yusuf Yaaqub al-Mansur, the tower was to be the minaret for the largest mosque in the world.
Unfortunately, when the sultan passed away in 1199, the project was abandoned, leaving some partial outer walls, 348 columns, and a minaret only standing half-finished at 140 feet rather than the intended 260 feet. Standing opposite the Hassan Tower is the Mohammed V Mausoleum, which contains the tombs of Mohammed V, the current king’s grandfather, as well as the king’s father, Hassan II, and his uncle, Prince Abdullah. It is considered a masterpiece of Alaouite architecture with its white walls and green tiled roof. Visit also the Kasbah of the Oudayas, which is a small fortified town area of the city, with white and blue houses, a nice Moorish garden and a breath taking view of the opposite city Sale and the Atlantic Ocean.
After quiet stay you will continue through the coast to Asilah, a quiet beautiful town on the Atlantic coast, with well-preserved old walled medina that dates mostly from the Portuguese occupation (15th-16th century) and afterwards. The medina has been heavily restored and its buildings are typically painted white, with occasionally blue or green, in addition to which can be found many of the murals. Asilah hosts annual music and arts festivals, including a mural-painting festival.
The festival is also the occasion for mural painting in which the medina’s houses are painted with new murals every year. It has also a weekly market every Thursday, and due to its proximity to Spain, the cuisine in Asilah is described Ibero-Moroccan with notable delicacies and seafood. There you will enjoy your lunch in one of the seaside restaurants. Then continue to Tangier where our wonderful tour ends.