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.
- See Moroccan Switzerland, the beautiful city of Ifrane.
- Visit the wild monkeys in the cedar forest.
- Enjoy a luxurious drive along Ziz valley, the largest valley in morocco.
- Experience camel trekking in the Sahara desert.
- Spend an unforgettable night in an authentic Berber camp.
- Visit Ouarzazate city, the gate of the Sahara desert and the Hollywood of Africa.
- Discover Aït Ben Haddou Ksar; UNESCO world heritage site.
- Cross the high Atlas Mountains and Tizi-N-Tichka pass (2260m of Altitude).
Day 1: Tangier – Tetouan – Chefchaouen – Fes.
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 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 afternoon we will travel through the Rif Mountains to Chefchaouen, the blue pearl of Morocco, to explore 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. The drive continues through Rif Mountains to Fes.
Overnight in Fes.
Day 2: Explore Fes with a private guide.
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 you will get back to your accommodation.
Overnight in Fes.
Day 3: Fes – Ifrane – Atlas Mountains – Ziz valley – Merzouga desert.
Today we will leave Fes driving to the south east to a special destination, the Sahara desert. Making our journey enjoying the scenic views of the fertile Saiss plain with olive groves as far as the eye can admire, we will pass by Imouzzar, a small beautiful town in the middle atlas which is home of an annually festival of apples.
As we come to pass it we will make a coffee stop in Ifrane, a small ski resort town that is also known as the Swiss village due to its alpine-style architecture. Here you will see yourself transferred to Europe at short notice, in fact here live Austrians, French and wealthy Moroccans, and it’s the most expensive soil in Morocco apart from the big cities.
From there we will drive through the largest cedar forest in Morocco, where you will always find the wild monkeys but they are used to humans and they are happy to be fed, and surprisingly well mannered. The drive continues to Zaida where you will make stop for lunch, enjoying fresh barbecue in one of the many streetside restaurants.
After a quiet stay you will take in the scenery as you cross the Atlas Mountains and enjoying the lush green date and almond trees filling the gorge in Errachidia. Then drive through the luxurious way along Ziz valley, the largest valley in morocco, enjoying panoramic views of the contiguous palm oasis. To Erfoud city, known by its palm trees plantations and fossils expositions.
In the evening we will eventually arrive to the Erg chebbi desert, one of the best Morocco’s highlights, where you will be welcomed by Berber mint tea and homemade Moroccan cookies before meeting your camels for trek into your desert camp, on the way you will enjoy a spectacular sunset in the desert before getting to the camp where you will take some time to relax before enjoying a delicious dinner and live Berber music around camp fire under an amazing starry sky.
Overnight in the Sahara desert.
Day 4: Merzouga – Rissani – Todra gorges – Boumalne Dades.
In the morning it is recommended to wake up early to watch the sunrise over the dunes before taking time to enjoy a traditional Moroccan breakfast in the camp. And then ride back your camels to the village or maybe embark on an SUV if one camel is enough.
We will make our journey to Boumalne Dades, making stop to see the old town of Rissani where you can visit the mausoleum of Moulay Ali-Cherif, the final resting place of the current king’s great grandfather and the founder of the current dynasty.
The intricate decor on the entrance gate is reminiscent of the Bab Mansour in Meknes, while the interior courtyard has many flowers and date trees. There you can also explore the local market, which is much more local-oriented than that of Marrakech. You will find blacksmiths and woodworkers, mountains of olives and spices, and everything from house wares to electronics.
Leaving Rissani and head to Tinjdad passing by the village of Jorf, where you will be amazed by the style of the women covered in deep black, which is an Arabic tribe that is settled here. And then to Tinghir, where an impressive road takes you high above the palm oasis along the mountain into the stunning Todra gorges, the narrowest gorges in morocco, carved from the red rocks of the landscape by a river.
There you will have the opportunity to walk in the famous canyon to experience the rocky world. Then drive out the gorges enjoying the panoramic views along the Todra valley toward Boumalne Dades where you will spend the night with a traditional Moroccan dinner.
Overnight in Boumalne Dades.
Day 5: Dades valley – Ouarzazate – Aït Ben Haddou – Tizi-N-Tichka – Marrakech.
After breakfast in your Hotel/Riad, we drive along the lush Dades valley, making a stop in Kalaat M’Gouna, small beautiful town lies on the rose valley, which is famous for its rose cooperatives, where thousands of pounds of rose petals are harvested each year to be distilled into rose water and rose oil for use in cosmetics.
And then through the road of thousands Kasbahs to Ouarzazate, the gate of the Sahara desert and also called Hollywood of Africa, where you will have chance see the famous Kasbah of Taourirt in Ouarzazate city center. And visit the Atlas studio, the largest film studio in Morocco, where many films such as Game of thrones, Ben Hur and Cleopatra have been filmed.
The drive continues to Aït Ben Haddou Ksar, the UNESCO world heritage site since 1987, this little old town located in the former route of the caravan trade between the Sahara desert and Marrakech, the Ksar is now often used as a filming location for movies such as The Jewel of the Nile, The Mummy, Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven.
Here you will be able to have walk and stroll in the Ksar and its Kasbahs where you will see the amazing traditional Berber architecture of the houses. After quiet stay we will resume our way to Marrakech crossing the high Atlas Mountains where you can enjoy the beautiful views of the Berber villages along the way, to the highest point (Tichka pass) that the road can reach with an altitude of 2260m, offering you stunning landscapes as far as the eye can admire. We will eventually arrive to Marrakech in the evening and drop off in your accommodation. There our services will end.