Day 01: Arrive Casablanca
Merhaba! We arrive in Casablanca at the Mohamed V Airport and are warmly welcomed and transferred to the hotel.
Overnight: Barcelo Casablanca Hotel, Casablanca (2 nights) (D)
Day 02: Casablanca
This morning we head to the Portugese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)* to visit its famous citadel. One of the early settlements of the Portuguese explorers in West Africa on the route to India, it is an outstanding example of the interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures, well reflected in architecture, technology, and town planning. The city was built as a fortified colony on the Atlantic coast in the early 16th century. It was taken over by the Moroccans in 1769. The fortification with its bastions and ramparts is an early example of Renaissance military design. The surviving Portuguese buildings include the cistern and the Church of the Assumption, built in the Manueline style of late Gothic architecture. (B, D)
Day 03: Casablanca / Rabat
Morning tour includes including the central market, the Habbous district, the Royal Palace, the Mohamed V Square, the residential area of Anfa and the exterior of Mosque Hassan II. A short drive to Rabat to visit the Royal Palace, the Oudaya Kasbah, the Mohamed V Mausoleum, the Hassan Tower before checking in our hotel.
Overnight: Belere Hotel, Rabat (1 night) (B, D)
Day 04: Rabat / Meknes / Fez
Departure to the Historic City of Meknes*, founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids as a military settlement, Meknes became a capital under Sultan Moulay Ismaïl (1672–1727), the founder of the Alawite dynasty. The sultan turned it into a impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls with great doors, where the harmonious blending of the Islamic and European styles of the 17th century Maghreb are still evident today. Our visit of the Ismalian Capital includes its 40 km long walls, Bab Mansour, the royal stables and the Jewish quarter. We continue on to Fez with stop for visit at the Roman city of Volubilis*. The Mauritanian capital, founded in the 3rd century B.C., became an important outpost of the Roman Empire and was graced with many fine buildings. Volubilis was later briefly to become the capital of Idris I, founder of the Idrisid dynasty, who is buried at nearby Moulay Idris.
Overnight: Barcelo Medina Hotel, Fez (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 05: Fez
The whole day is devoted to explore the Medina of Fez*, founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world. Fez reached its height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom. The urban fabric and the principal monuments in the medina – madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains - date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fez has retained its status as the country's cultural and spiritual centre. Our sightseeing of Fez includes the Medina of Fez with its Attarine and Bou Anania Medersas, the Nejjarine fountain, the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss and the Karaouine Mosque. (B, D)
Day 06: Fez / Beni Mellal / Marrakesh
We travel to Marrakesh passing by berber villages of Immouzer du Kandar and Ifrane before arriving Marrakesh in the afternoon. Known as the “Ochre City”, it’s the most important former imperial city in Morocco’s history.
Overnight: Hotel Atlas Asni, Marrakech (3 nights) (B, D)
Day 07: Marrakesh
Today will be dedicated to the exploration of the Medina of Marrakesh*, founded in 1070–72 by the Almoravids. Marrakesh remained a political, economic and cultural centre for a long period. Its influence was felt throughout the western Muslim world, from North Africa to Andalusia. It has several impressive monuments dating from that period: the Koutoubia Minaret, the Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, the Djemaa El Fna Square with its surrounding souks and handicrafts quarters. (B, L)
Day 08: Marrakesh
An early morning departure brings us to Essaouira, an idyllic fishing town, formerly known as Mogador and a Portuguese stronghold. We visit the Medina of Essaouria*, an exceptional example of a late-18th-century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco and its Saharan hinterland with Europe and the rest of the world. The area is famous for its woodcarving handicrafts. (B, D)
Day 09: Marrakesh / Ouarzazate
Departure to Ouarzazate in the morning by 4X4 car, passing through Telouet! Visit of the Kasbah of Glaoui and the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou*, the best preserved Kasbah in Morocco and under Unesco protection. Optional Lunch in Ait Ben Haddou. Then continuation to Ouarzazate and visit of the Kasbah of Tiffeltout and Taouirt, as well as the famous film studios.
Overnight: Riad Salam, Ouarzazate (1 night) (B, D)
Day 10: Ouarzazate / Zagora
After breakfast departure to Taznakth, famous for its Berber carpets, then continuation southwards to Agdz where we head for Zagora to visit the library of Tamgroute and the adjacent old Kasbah. Overnight for this evening can also be requested under Berber tents in Tinfou; however, must be requested at the time of booking.
Overnight: Palais Asmaa Hotel, Zagora (1 night) (B, D)
Day 11: Zagora / Marrakesh
Head back to Ouarzazate following the same road till Agdz and then through the mountains of the Anti Atlas. Afternoon continue onto Marrakesh via the national road crossing the Tizn Tichka Pass.
Overnight: Hotel Atlas Asni, Marrakesh (1 night) (B, D)
Day 12: Depart Marrakesh
Morning transfer to the airport in Marrakesh for our departure flight. Check out time is by 1100 hrs. (B)