Morocco Markets and Mountains

From Fez over the Atlas Mountains and back to Marrakech
Overview

overview

From the Atlantic coast of North Africa through imperial cities and Roman ruins over the Atlas Mountains and back to Marrakech, Morocco's history and scenery beckon. Visit the cities and landscapes which have inspired artists, writers, and poets for centuries. Begin in Casablanca and Rabat. Explore Meknes, Moulay Idriss and the Roman city of Volubilis. Wander deep into the ancient medina in Fez, the most captivating of all the imperial cities. Cross the Middle Atlas Mountains, watch the sunrise over the sand dunes of Merzouga, continue over the "Lawrence of Arabia" landscape to Ouarzazate, and then behold vibrant Marrakech where ancient history and non-stop street entertainment equally entrance those who are fortunate enough to spend time here.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Casablanca
    Casablanca -- at last

    Find a warm welcome at Mohammed V airport of Casablanca. Assistance and transfer to your hotel will be provided. 

    Meals
    Dinner
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  • Day 2: Casablanca/Rabat
    Admire Rabat's architecture

    After breakfast explore Casablanca, the commercial capital of Morocco. Visit the central market, Mohamed V square, the Habous district, the royal palace, the residential area of Anfa and the outside of the Hassan II mosque. Enjoy a fish lunch and orientation commmentary at one of the seafront restaurants.  Continue to Rabat, the administrative capital of the kingdom, for a city tour that includes the Mechouar (ramparts and walls surrounding the royal palace), the Oudaya kasbah, the splendid Mohamed V mausoleum and the Hassan Tower.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
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  • Day 3: Meknes/Moulay Idriss/Volubilis
    Examine intricate Roman mosaics at Volubilis

    After breakfast, depart for Meknes, the Ismailian capital, famous for its 40 km long walls, and the most beautifully preserved ancient gate in Morocco. Visit the Bab Al Mansour and the royal stables of Moulay Ismail, the old medina and the Jewish quarter. After lunch, continue to the holy city of Moulay Idriss, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the country, named for Morocco's most revered saint, the great-grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. (It is said that five pilgrimages or "moussems" to Moulay Idriss equals one haj to Mecca.) Nearby, explore the best preserved archaeological site in Morocco, the Roman ruins at Volubilis. Continue to Fez.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
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  • Day 4: Fez
    Explore ancient Fez

    After breakfast, the whole day will be devoted to sightseeing in Fez, the most ancient of the imperial cities, founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idriss II. Visit the medieval medina with its Attarine & Bouanania Medersas (religious Islamic universities), the Nejjarine fountain, the Moulay Idriss mausoleum and the Karaouine mosque.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
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  • Day 5: Ifrane/Azrou/Errachidia/Ziz Valley
    Head over the Atlas Mountains to small towns

    After breakfast, depart via the mountains of the Middle Atlas traveling through Ifrane, a charming ski resort, and Azrou, an important handycraft center. Continue to Errachidia and the Ziz Valley known for the date palm trees which are the source for the yearly date festival in Erfoud.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
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  • Day 6: Rissani/Tinghir/Ouarzazate
    Explore nature's art -- vast sand dunes -- at sunrise

    Those who wake early can enjoy an excursion by Land Rover to see the sunrise over the sands dunes of Merzouga. After breakfast back at the hotel, travel to Rissani, the holy city where Moulay Ali Cherif, ancestor of the Alaouite dynasty, is buried. Visit the kasbah of the 17th century and the ksar Abbar ruins, and continue to the Oasis of Tineghir via Tinjdad road. Visit the magnificent Todghra canyons, where the rock walls reach an altitude of 250 meters. Visit the Dades canyons and continue to Ouarzazate. You'll be following the road of the thousand kasbahs and the Dades Valley, famous for its roses and its annual rose festival.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
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  • Day 7: Ait Benhaddou/Tichka Pass
    Visit ancient kasbahs (Ait Ben Haddou)

    After breakfast, visit the Kasbahs of Taourirt & Tifoultout, and Ait Benhaddou, the most spectacular fortress in the south of Morocco, which has served as setting for many famous films such as “Lawrence of Arabia ”.   Travel to Marrakech via the Tichka Pass for an impressive view over the Atlas Mountain chain.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
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  • Day 8: Marrakech
    Immerse yourself in atmospheric, mysterious Marrakech

    The entire day will be devoted to the visit of Marrakech, the second oldest imperial city, known as the "pearl of the south". The city was founded by the Almoravides at the end of the 11th century. The historical sites include the Menara garden, the Saadian tombs, the Bahia palace, the Koutoubia Mosque and Dar Si Said museum. In the afternoon, visit the old medina and its souqs and handicraft quarters,  and the famous Djemaa El Fna square with its non-stop street entertainment. You may choose to have a special dinner with a "Fantazia" show at characteristic restaurant.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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  • Day 9: Essaouira
    Visit the picturesque fishing town of Essaouira

    Enjoy a leisurely start today. After breakfast, drive approximately two hours to Essaouira, the former Mogador and Portuguese stronghold along the Atlantic coast.  This charming and picturesque port village has been an important stop along trade routes since Roman times.  There is a Portuguese, French and Jewish legacy here, as well as an artistic base that has for centuries attracted musicians, painters and craftsmen from Morocco and all over the world.  It is well known for its woodcarving handicraft.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
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  • Day 10: Safi/El Jadida
    Seek out locally-made pottery

    Visit the former Portuguese fortress of Safi, known for its pottery.  Continue to Oualidia via the lovely coastal road, and then on to El Jadida, to view the famous Portuguese citadel, ramparts and cistern before arriving in Casablanca.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: Casablanca/Onward
    Bid farewell to this exotic and warmly-welcoming land

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your homebound or onward flight.

     

     

     

     

     

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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Oct 26-Nov 5, 2014
Apr 6-16, 2015 10-Day Trip
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,850
- $4,495
2-3 travelers - $4,495 4-5 travelers - $4,250 6 - 12 travelers - $3,850
Single Supplement:
$940
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
3
comfortable & delightful hotels
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
3
comfortable & delightful hotels

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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