Days
11
Price from
$1,425USD

Fall in love with Morocco on this 11-day journey

Experience the aromas, colours and sounds of the Moroccan medinas in this short trip that is all highlights, with most time spent in Fes, Marrakech and the delightful coastal town of Essaouira.


Start
Casablanca, Morocco
Finish
Marrakech, Morocco
Country
Morocco
Style
Peregrine
Code
PGMS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Marvel at the size of the Mosque of Hassan II, which dominates the Casablanca skyline – this massive edifice is the largest in Africa and second only in the world to the great mosque at Mecca. Enjoy a guided tour around this impressive site with the local expert.

  • Uncover one of the most remote parts of the Roman Empire, and the most impressive Roman ruins in Morocco, at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Volubilis. Learn about the past from the knowledgeable local guides.

  • Explore Morocco’s first imperial city, Meknes, and discover the charming streets of the old medina that lead to the lovely Bou Inania Medresse (religious school).

  • Dive into Fes’ medina under a watchful eye of our local guide and be surrounded by the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco, in arguably the world's most fascinating and confounding old city

  • Experience the unique surroundings of Bine el Ouidane, a remote and unique settlement beautifully located on the bank of a lake, surrounded by sheer rocks. Relax in this comfortable yet off-the-beaten track location.

  • Witness the evening transformation of Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech, when in becomes a living stage; where food, music and entertainment come together to make one of the world’s greatest public squares

  • Get into the laid back vibe of Essaouira, a Moroccan town with a European seaside twist – discover the best seafood markets only known to our local guides, walk the famed ramparts, embrace the beach, and explore streets of art galleries and workshops

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip includes a full day tour around the Medina of Fes on Day 4. You will be walking and on your feet at least five to six hours, this is one of the highlights of Morocco and well worth any weariness at the end of the long day.

  • The weather in Morocco can be extreme. Summer temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, especially for those who aren't accustomed to the heat, so please consider carefully what time of year you travel. If you do travel in the warmer months, pack layers to cover you from the sun, bring the necessary sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • In 2016, Ramadan will take place from 7 June to 6 July. This is the holiest month of the year for Muslims around the world. Many festivals are marked as Islamic Holidays, which may cause some disturbance to your travels around this time. Some regular services may not be available or open during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars. Please consider your travel arrangements carefully.

  • As Morocco has a tipping culture, travellers are expected to tip small amounts for most services, so please be prepared. Your trip leader and the tipping section of our Essential Trip Information will help to provide you with some suggestions as to what amounts are appropriate.

  • Although you shouldn’t expect any aggressive selling techniques in Morocco, please be aware that you may be approached by shop owners and street vendors offering their goods to you on regular occasions.

Itinerary

Welcome to Morocco! On arrival at Casablanca Airport, you will be met by a Peregrine representative and transferred to your hotel. While this is an arrival day and you may arrive at any time, please note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday, and that there will a Welcome Meeting with your leader tonight. If you arrive with time to spare, then a great option for your limited time in Casablanca is to visit the art deco Villa des Arts. This gorgeous gallery dates back to 1930s and holds numerous exhibitions of contemporary Moroccan and international art. If you are looking for a different type of cultural experience, then you can discover a unique and fascinating part of Moroccan history at the Museum of Judaism.

Notes: Please be aware that some of our travellers in Casablanca are being approached by locals offering excursions before their Peregrine trip commences. This has been particularly prevalent in and around the hotels used by Peregrine. These guides are in no way connected to Peregrine and we cannot guarantee the safety or quality standards of their tours. We strongly advise customers not to join any tour offered by unauthorised guides. Peregrine assesses the safety of all optional excursions offered by our tour leaders. If you would like more information on the excursions available, please contact us before you travel or see the Peregrine branded notice in the reception of your hotel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Les Saisons or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you will visit one of the most impressive sites in Casablanca – the massive edifice of the Mosque of Hassan II. Opened in 1993, and second only in size to the great mosque at Mecca, the huge building is part on land and part on sea, and in one area water can be seen through a glass floor. It can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and the main roof is retractable to create an open courtyard. It is one of the only religious sites open to non-Muslims. Later, you will leave Casablanca and drive north along the coast to Rabat (approximately 1.5 hours), the elegant capital of Morocco and its first Imperial city. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now known as the Chellah, where you will visit the remains of the citadel. You will also see the vast minaret of the Hassan Mosque and explore the lovely walled quarter known as the Kasbah des Oudaias. In the late afternoon, continue on to Meknes (approximately 2 hours), the sixth largest city in the kingdom, and former capital of Morocco.
Accommodation
  • Riad Ritaj or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chellah - entrance
  • Guided tour of Hassan II Mosque
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will discover the charming streets of Meknes’ medina – the old walled section of the city. Enter via the northern gate, Bab Berdaine, and walk to the shrine of Moulay Ismail who, in the 17th century, turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city. You will explore the elaborately decorated public buildings hidden in these winding streets, including the lovely Bou Inania Medresse (religious school). Take some time to soak up the bustling atmosphere of the old souk before driving out of the city to the ruins of Volubilis (approximately 45 minutes). Volubilis was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and the remains make an undeniably impressive sight. Volubilis is the foremost Roman site in Morocco and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. Upon arrival you will take a tour around the ruins with a local guide. Please remember to pack drinking water, hat, sunglasses and sun cream for this tour as it may get hot and you will be exposed to the sun. And, of course, don’t forget to take your camera as the town is filled with fantastic mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. After time spent imagining Volubulis as the bustling city it once was, continue on to the living museum of Fes for the night (approximately 1.5 hours). After checking in your hotel in late afternoon, maybe seek out a memorable dinner of one of the city’s signature dishes, the salty and sweet pastille.
Accommodation
  • Riad Almakan or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided walking tour - Meknes
  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses. It is made up of three distinct ‘cities’, or quarters, and you will stay in the elegant ‘Nouveau Ville’, or New City, which has a distinctly French/European character. Today head into the huge, well-preserved medieval old city, known locally as Fes el Bali, and the mother of all Medinas. Medieval Fes was one of the world's great centres of education and culture, both Islamic and Jewish. Its religious institutions and libraries are legendary, its mosques of great renown. Walk though the twisting streets and alleyways, passing donkeys piled high with goods, and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Filled with historic khans, medresses and dye-pits, stalls loaded with fruits, herbs and soups, and where the squawk of chickens, smell of spice and sound of hammering of copper fills the air, it’s not hard to imagine yourself back in the Middle Ages. Spend the day exploring the old city, visiting the Belghazi Museum, Medresse el Attarine, the tanneries and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon and perhaps spend the evening relaxing in this calming oasis, away from the buzz of the medina.

Notes: Today’s experience will include shopping in carefully selected places. As the receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry, Intrepid has established a centralised system of receiving and distributing payments from these recommended suppliers. For more information, please refer to ‘Important Notes’ section or talk to your leader on the ground.
Accommodation
  • Riad Almakan or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fondouk Nejjarine
  • Guided walking tour Fes
  • Mederassa Bou Inania
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bine el Ouidane is your destination today. You will drive approximately 5 hours in a comfortable private van, with frequent stops along the way. You will witness the beautiful and ever changing Moroccan landscape as well as slow, rural life. On many occasions you will have a chance to buy fresh local fruits and vegetables, which are mostly grown in nearby villages. Small village shops often sell original handicrafts too, if you’d like to stock up on souvenirs. Bine el Ouidane is a small settlement beautifully placed on the bank of a lake, surrounded by sheer rocks. Take a moment to sit back and enjoy the calmness and peacefulness of the place. Perhaps take a short walk for a closer look at the majestic Bin el Ouidane dam, an arch shaped wall that not only provides hydroelectric power to the surrounding settlements, but most importantly irrigates fields in Beni Moussa and the Tadla plains. Without the irrigation system, it would be nearly impossible for local farmers to grow their crops. This evening at the boutique hotel is free for you to enjoy as you please.
Accommodation
  • Bin Louidane hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you will drive for approximately 3 hours from Bine el Ouidane to Marrakech, an ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity. There’s no rush as the scenery on the way is always interesting, and there will surely be calls for several photo stops along the way. On arrival in Marrakech you will check in to your beautiful riad, or Moroccan mansion; beautifully decorated, cosy yet historical. This evening, why not head to the great square of Jemaa el Fna, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. When night falls it transforms into a hive of activity. Snake-charmers, henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. You can enjoy a bite of famous Moroccan pastries with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and then finish your day with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top restaurants overlooking the square.
Accommodation
  • Riad Hamdane or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After breakfast today, meet your local guide and set off on a morning tour of the old medina, through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. Explore tranquil courtyards filled with the scent of orange blossom, and the many salons and chambers that make up Bahia Palace. This splendid mansion was built in 1866 for a former slave who rose to power within the government. Continue to the Marrakech Museum, itself a former palace, which houses a fine collection of Moroccan art and sculpture. Stop by the Koutoubia Mosque; its famous minaret is the prototype for others of its kind around the world, including La Giralda in Seville. Then walk back through the streets of the old medina to the Jemaa el Fna. The rest of the day is free to explore further or shop in the bazaar. Perhaps visit the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle or check out the ruins of the Palais Badi, once one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Otherwise, perhaps head back into the medina, where every step brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. Watch skilled artisans perfect their craft, practice your haggling skills or take a break from the hustle to sip on tea or share a tajine, filled with the pure scent of Morocco. Why not feast with new friends in one of the many great restaurants lining the square.
Accommodation
  • Riad Hamdane or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided walking tour around Marrakech
  • Palais Bahia
  • Photography Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast leave for Essaouira (approximately 2.5 hours), a city where the medina brushes up against the Atlantic Ocean and where you will spend the next two nights. The narrow streets of Essaouira are ideal for casual exploration. Their size discourages cars, and on walk through the town it feels as though little has changed since the days of sea pirates. Sandstone walkways contrast with whitewashed houses, bright blue sky and the sand of the surrounding beaches and dunes. It is one of North Africa's most attractive places, and you will soon find yourself slipping into its easy-going rhythm of this Moroccan town with a European seaside twist. The fishing port is a serious commercial operation and there’s much fun to be had observing the daily catch and its subsequent auction. Elsewhere there are numerous shops and several fine art galleries to distract a visitor, along with a wide variety of restaurants. Your tour leader will help guide you through the maze of options. This evening you might like to indulge in a luxuriating massage and hammam in a spa.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Miramar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa - MAD750
  • Heart of the Atlas Mountains cycling day tour - MAD900
  • Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour - MAD350
  • Palmery cycling tour - MAD350
  • Hot Air Ballooning - MAD1990
  • Imlil & Aroumd day tour - MAD1817
  • Asni & Ourigane with lunch - MAD1806
  • Cascades d'Ouzoud day tour - MAD2207
  • Oukaimeden day tour - MAD1882
  • Quad biking Barrage Lalla Takerkoust - MAD1650
  • A Taste Of Marrakech - MAD509
  • Tajine cooking class - MAD546
  • Quad Biking the Rock Desert & Palmgrove - MAD660
  • Ourika Valley day tour - MAD1817
  • Essaouira Food & Culture day trip - MAD840
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The name Essaouira means image, which is appropriate since it's such a picturesque town. This artists' town was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations, and its charm has seduced people like Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix, who (according to local legend) spent much of his time here in the 1960s. On this free day perhaps grab a traditional Moroccan breakfast and wander the streets, giving way to the cart-haulers calling ‘ballak, ballak’, pass the harbour filled with colourful boats which go out early every morning for the day's catch, see camels and surfers sharing the beach, and perhaps explore the fish souk. Here you can choose a catch of the day and take it to a local-filled restaurant – follow their lead and hand over your market purchase for it to be grilled for the freshest of meals. Take day to search the less hectic medina, discover the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum and its collection of artefacts, woodwork, carpets and stringed instruments, enjoy cafe life on the main square, or sit back and watch the kitesurfers ride the crashing waves. You can also discover the taste of Morocco in a cooking class, or head outside of the city to the beautiful surroundings on a daytrip.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Miramar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Horse riding - MAD250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The morning is free for you to explore further, and in the afternoon drive back to Marrakech (approximately 2.5 hours). Once you have settled in to your hotel, you will likely be drawn back to the Jemaa el Fna, and its surrounding medina. Eating out at one of the many outdoor restaurants lining the square is a great way to finish your adventure.
Accommodation
  • Riad Hamdane or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip ends today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around midday and you are free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring here. Speak to your leader about the wealth of extra activities to do around Marrakech.
Optional Activities
  • Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa - MAD750
  • Palmery cycling tour - MAD350
  • Heart of the Atlas Mountains cycling day tour - MAD900
  • Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour - MAD350
  • Quad biking Barrage Lalla Takerkoust - MAD1650
  • Asni & Ourigane with lunch - MAD1806
  • Oukaimeden day tour - MAD1882
  • Imlil & Aroumd day tour - MAD1817
  • Hot Air Ballooning - MAD1990
  • Cascades d'Ouzoud day tour - MAD2207
  • Quad Biking the Rock Desert & Palmgrove - MAD660
  • Tajine cooking class - MAD546
  • Ourika Valley day tour - MAD1817
  • A Taste Of Marrakech - MAD509
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Taxi

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (4 nights), Traditional riad (5 nights), Feature Stay (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Chellah - entrance
  • Guided tour of Hassan II Mosque
  • Guided walking tour - Meknes
  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
  • Fondouk Nejjarine
  • Guided walking tour Fes
  • Mederassa Bou Inania
  • Guided walking tour around Marrakech
  • Palais Bahia
  • Photography Museum

Dates & availability

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Important notes

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.
COMMISSION:
The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry. In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Peregrine has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedbacks from our previous travellers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.
Peregrine have set up a centralised system of receiving payments from these recommended suppliers, of which are then distributed towards local Responsible Travel projects (such as 'say no to plastic' cotton bags for our travellers and drinking water refilling stations), traveller information packs, and leader bonuses. Further details of these arrangements can be provided by your group leader on request.
While Peregrine endeavors to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Peregrine cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.