Tour price is -----€ per person including PRIVATE travel in a 4 x 4/Minivan with driver and guide
Upon arrival to Tangier you will be greeted by your driver and transferred to your hotel. Your first contact with Tangier will be an outing to the medina to discover the birthplace of Ibn Battuta, a famous 14th century traveller and writer. Then visit the old town and see the Grand and Petit Socco (squares), the Grand Mosque, the souk, the former palace of the Sultan Moulay Ismail (exterior) and the Mendoubia Gardens.
After lunch we will head toward Chefchaouen via the city of Tétouan. Chefchaouen is known worldwide for its Medina of winding alleys, whitewashed houses with blue turquoise doors, wrought iron windows and colorful tile covered roofs. The souks are decorated with their traditionally dressed inhabitants boasting their straw hats. The best way to discover this holy town is to wander around it taking in the atmosphere. This city has a powerful charm that you really can feel in the Outa-el-Hammam square, in the cobblestone medina. Sit on the terrace of a cafe and take in the view of the grand Tarik-Ben-Ziad mosque whose octagonal minaret is inspired by that of the Torre de Oro in Seville. This Andalusian architecture can be found in the kasbah and its gardens, at the center of the medina. Chefchaouen is renowned for its basket-making and its pottery.
Dinner and lodging..
Early in the morning we will continue our journey towards Fez. Before arriving in Fez, we will stop along the way in Volubilis. Volubilis is a partly excavated Berber and Roman city in Morocco situated near the city of Meknes and commonly considered as the ancient capital of the kingdom of Mauretania. It was originally built by the Phoenicians, and the city came into its own during the Roman Empire, the well-preserved Arch of Caracalla still stands. Moulay Idriss or Moulay Idriss Zerhoun is located north of Meknes and is considered the holiest city of Morocco. It was here that Moulay Idriss I arrived in 789, bringing with him the religion of Islam, and starting a new dynasty. In addition to founding the town named after him, he also initiated construction of Fez, continued later by his son, Moulay Idriss II. .
Our final stop of the day is Fez. Fez is one of the imperial cities along with Marrrakesh, Meknes and Rabat. It is considered the cultural and religious center of Morocco. Boasting more than 12 centuries of history, as well as a medina that is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. Fez is a multifarious city renowned for the splendour of its faded glory. The historic city of Fez is divided into three districts. The old medina quarters of Fes el-Bali, the original city founded by the Idrisid dynasty, in the late 8th century, is the site of the famous Qarawiyyin University, the oldest continually-operating university in the world and the Chouara Tannery from the 11th century, one of the oldest tanneries in the world. The smaller Fez el-Jdid, founded in the 13th century, is the site of the enormous Royal Palace and the Mellah, the Jewish quarter, and the modern Ville Nouvelle (new city) constructed during the French colonial era. The Medina of Fez is listed as a World Heritage Site and is believed to be one of the world's largest urban pedestrian zones and considered as one of the most extensive and best conserved historic towns of the Arab-Muslim world.
Dinner and lodging.
After breakfast, our local guide will join us for a tour of Fez. The whole day will be devoted to discovering Fez, a UNESCO World Heritage and the oldest of the imperial cities, and one of the most complete medieval cities in existence. Surrounded by huge defensive walls, it seems suspended in a time warp, somewhere between the Middle Ages and the modern. But it’s more than that, it is a living city almost devoid of tourists, where whilst wandering amongst its amazing 9,000 tiny streets you experience its noisy hawkers selling everything from colorful vegetables, to delicious middle eastern pastries flavored with cinnamon and honey. We’ll take you through the maze-like souks of the old medina including a visit to the Zaouia (sanctuary) of MoulayIdriss II, founder of Fez. Fez served as the capital of Morocco for more than 350 years and is home to the University of Al Karaouine, the oldest operating university in the world. Your guided tour will take you to Moulay Idriss mausoleum, the Nejjarine Fountains and the Tanneries. After lunch you will also view the exterior of the Royal Palace and walk through the famous Jewish quarter “the Mellah”, where you will have the option to visit one of the few living synagogues in Morocco. Your tour of Fez includes a short visit to the famous ceramic factory, and then you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view over the whole Medina of Fez.
Lodging in your hotel or Riad.
Early rise to continue our tour. Our driver will pick you up at your Hotel / Riad in Fez. We start to discover some of Morocco's beautiful mountainous landscape today as we leave Fez and follow ancient caravan routes up into the hills. Along the way we'll stop at Ifran, known as the ''Switzerland of Morocco'' and a huge contrast to some of the other more Arabic feeling cities you'll see in Morocco. The French built Ifran in the 1930s, with the intention of recreating an alpine style resort, here you'll see beautiful parks with lakes, flower beds, and red roofed houses throughout what was named the second cleanest city in the world in 2013. We will make a stop at the cedar forests of Azrou where the wild monkeys are located. It will be a good opportunity to take photos of wilderness in Morocco.
We continue our journey through the Middle Atlas Mountains enjoying the landscapes to arrive at the small town of Midelt where we’ll stop for lunch. Next, we head on through the hills and through the scenic Ziz Valley as we descend to Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
We'll then drive in 4WD vehicles through the desert to Merzouga and the famous Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Here we transfer to camels (dromedaries) and take a sunset camel ride through the sand dunes to a traditional Berber camp nestled right on the edge of the dunes. You can enjoy some spectacular views over the sand dunes as the sun sinks below the horizon before enjoying a hearty Berber meal and a campfire this evening, often with local musicians helping enhance the atmosphere. You spend the night sleeping in comfortable Berber tents (jaima).
Early rise to watch the sunrise over the spectacular Merzouga dunes around the camp. This is a once in a lifetime experience that you will not soon forget and one of the high points of our journey. We will return by camels (dromedary) to the town of Merzouga where we will have breakfast. After saying farewell to the desert, we will head towards Rissani, where we will visit the local market. A former major caravan center, Rissani remains a major commercial center in the region, with a large souk, particularly lively on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. We continue then to Erfoud where we can visit the manufactures of fossilized marble before starting our way to Touroug and Tinjdad palm groves. One hour later we´ll reach one of the best places of the High Atlas, the Todra Gorges. The course of the river has carved out this cliff-sided canyon and it´s because of its beauty and the high rock sides that´s very popular among climbers. After a short walk through the sheer cliffs of the Todra Gorge, we will take a short break for lunch. In the afternoon we continue to the Dadès valley, also known as the valley of figs, going through Boumalne Dadés where we’ll stop at the “monkey legs”.
Dinner and lodging at the Dadès Gorges.
After breakfast we can enjoy one of the best views the Dadès valley has to offer from strategic lookout points in the mountains, from here we can appreciate the great number of kasbahs and uniqueness of each one. Then we continue down a road speckled with different kasbahs that were built here for the added protection the valley provides, giving this area its name the “Land of a Thousand Kasbah”. After several stops along the road to enjoy the Valley of the Roses and the big Skoura palm grove we`ll get to Ouarzazate to visit the Kasbah of Taourirt (UNESCO World Heritage Monument – 1986), old residence of the Glaoui or Marrrakesh pasha. If interested, we can visit the cinema studios and the cinema museum. We will also visit Ait Ben Haddou, an ighrem (fortified village), and traditional Mud Brick city on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has been featured in many films including Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, Game of Thrones and many others.
After lunch in town we will head towards Marrakech going through the mountain port of Tizi Ntichka with some stops along the way to take pictures. Your journey begins with beautiful views of the mountains and ends in the dry flatlands around Marrakech, allowing you to experience the depth of the country's terrain.
Transfer to Riad.
We will be leaving this morning on a leisurely drive to Essaouira, a colourful fishing town situated within 15th century Portuguese fortifications, where great beaches and surf beckon. With the opening of Morocco to the rest of the world at the end of the 17th century, the Medina of Essaouira was laid out by a French architect who had been profoundly influenced by the work of the military engineer Vauban at Saint Malo. For the most part, it has retained its appearance of a European town.
In Essauoira you will have free time to relax on the beach or alternatively explore the UNESCO-listed medina with its various souks and woodcarving workshops. Any city gate leads to the medina, so you’re unlikely to get lost. The beach is in front of the Medina and there are plenty of cafés with terraces, both ideal for relaxing for a few hours. Blue doors and window frames abound as do the artists shops.
We will return to Marrakech in the late afternoon. Dinner and lodging in Riad.
In the morning visit to the Medina at Marrakech with a local guide. Marrakech, a former imperial city in western Morocco is also known as the ―Red City or ―Pink City due to the distinctive hue of the local earth used in the construction of its many brick buildings. The medina, is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire, with maze like alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. We begin unearthing the secrets of Marrrakesh, starting in the medina, the old walled section of town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll marvel at the city's architectural jewels, including the soaring Koutoubia minaret and Dar Si Said; housed in a palace, it is among the most beautiful of its kind in the world. We'll then continue to the Bahia Palace, an exemplary specimen of privileged life in the 19th century.
Then we visit Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech’s main square, which is filled with orange juice stalls and vendors, and is well worth returning to in the evenings when it is packed with street food stalls, fire-eaters, mime artists, snake charmers and street musicians performing at every turn. We will also visit the 16th century Saadines Tomb, where Saadian royalty found their final resting place, and the magnificent Majorelle Botanical Gardens, inspired by French artists and fashion designer Yves St. Laurent.
The afternoon is then free to explore the Medina's fabled, labyrinthine souks and do some souvenir shopping. In the middle of the old market (Rahba Lakdima) you'll find queues of stalls filled with jars upon jars of spices, petals, bark and leaves inside.
Breakfast and free morning. At pre-arranged time we will meet at Riad for transfer to airport. We will help you with all luggage and boarding needs. Our services end here.