16 days

Highlights of Morocco

Highlights of Morocco

M’goun Valley's Berber villages

Camel ride and camping in the Sahara

Fes - the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco

Meknes' UNESCO World Heritage-listed old medina

Roman site of Volubilis

The mud-brick kasbahs of Ait Benhaddou

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jamaâ El Fna

The Road of 1000 Kasbahs

Todra Gorge and the Dades Valley

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Essaouira medina

Trip rating
  • This is our most extensive trip through exotic Morocco. The country’s essence lies in the ancient cities, medieval bazaars and high mountain villages. And the food will be another highlight you won’t be able forget!

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Casablanca

    On arrival at Casablanca Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day so you may arrive at any time. Note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. The balance of the day is free to explore your surroundings and our tour leader may make contact in the evening.

    Hotel Les Saisons or similar

    Day 2 - Casablanca-Rabat-Meknes

    In Casablanca we see the impressive Mosque of Hassan II, opened in 1993, and second only in size to the great mosque at Mecca. It can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and is one of the only religious sites open to non-Muslims. Later we drive to Rabat, the elegant capital of Morocco and our first Imperial city. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating to the Almohad and Merenid dynasties and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now know as the Chellah, where we visit the remains of the citadel. We 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 we continue to Meknes.

    Hotel De Nice or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Meknes-Volubilis-Fes

    Volubilis was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and as we approach it we can see it prominently sited along the edge of a high plateau. Today it is the most impressive Roman site in Morocco and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. We explore the many public buildings and at the House of Orpheus we see several fine mosaic floors intact. Back in Meknes we discover the charming streets of the old medina - a perfect prelude to Fes. From the northern gate, Bab Berdaine, we walk to the shrine of Moulay Ismail who, in the 17th century, turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular Imperial city. We visit the lovely Bou Inania Medresse (religious school) and after time to explore the old souk we drive to Fes for the night.

    Fes Inn or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 4 - Fes

    Spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco, Fes is vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming - a visual and pungent assault on the senses. It is made up of three distinct 'cities', or quarters, and we are based in the elegant 'Nouveau Ville', or New City, which has a distinctly French/European character. Today we head into the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali, arguably the world's most fascinating and confounding old city. Medieval Fes was one of the world's great centres of education and culture: both Islamic and Jewish. Its religious institutions and its libraries are legendary. Its mosques are of great renown. And it was to Fes that many of the Muslims (and Jews) expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella came in 1492. As we walk through the streets and alleyways, passing historic khans, medresses and dye-pits, it is not hard to imagine ourselves back in the Middle Ages. We 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. We return to our hotel in the late afternoon.

    Fes Inn or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Fes-Moulay Yacoub

    Fes el Jedid, meaning New City (but not to be confused with the Nouvelle Ville) is also well worth a visit. Unlike Fes el Bali, which grew organically over the years, Fes el Jedid was an entirely planned city, built by the Merenids in the 13th and 14th centuries. The imposing gateway of Bab Boujeloud leads us into broad streets, where public and private gardens add a splash of colour to the surroundings. Later, we drive to nearby spa village of Moulay Yacoub. Here you can enjoy a swim (separate areas for men and women) or descend to the old thermal baths for a traditional hot bath. We return to Fes in the late afternoon. PLEASE NOTE: Due to traveller feedback, our leaders have proposed changing this side trip to a small village called Sefrou, about 30k from Fes. It's a lovely little town, once home to one of Morocco's largest Jewish communities. Your leader will explain the 2 options and you'll have to make a group decision. Alternatively, you can spend the whole day in Fes.

    Dar Anebar or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 6 - Fes-Midelt

    Leaving Fes we drive south, passing through a variety of spectacular scenery as we make our way towards Midelt. Midelt is a smallish market town, nestled between the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains, at an elevation of just over 1500m. It's a perfect spot to break the journey to the Sahara, being a great base for some easy walks. Many of the locals are Berber, and the surrounding countryside is beautiful. After lunch, we can stretch our legs for a few hours on an easy hike in the nearby hills.

    Hotel Kasbah Asmaa or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 7 - Midelt-Merzouga

    There time to haggle for carpets (mainly Kilims), take another refreshing walk, or visit the nearby Franciscan convent where the sisters teach local girls and women weaving, tapestry and embroidery. In due course we reach Merzouga, where we drop off our gear at a simple Auberge and then ride camels into the edge of the Sahara Desert, enjoying a spectacular sunset along the way. The dunes are stunning, especially at this time of the day, and tonight we camp out, enjoying lively music and dancing under the stars.

    Desert Camp
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 8 - Todra Gorge-Dades Valley-M'goun Valley

    We enjoy a further sunrise ride today before we return to our Auberge and make our way towards Todra Gorge, a massive trench that rises over 250 metres and one of the most dramatic natural sights in Morocco. We take a short walk in the area before continuing to the beautiful Dades Valley, where we stop for a break, take some photos of the remarkable scenery and continue our journey. We arrive in the M'goun valley and overnight in a Berber house.

    Gite Tamaloute or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 9 - Full day walk in the M'goun Valley

    We have a full day to explore this beautiful area, and a good trek is the best way to do it! There are a couple of circuits to choose from, but the most popular choice, and the one we recommend, is a 10km circuit that will take about 4 hours. On the walk, you'll pass Berber villages, meeting Berber along the way. The mountain scenery and the famous Rose Valley make this a truly sensational setting.

    Gite Tamaloute or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 10 - Skoura-Ait Benhaddou

    Leaving the Dades Valley we set off on the fabled 'Road of 1000 Kasbahs'. Our first stop is at Skoura Oasis, home of several privately-owned Kasbahs, where we visit the splendid Kasbah Ameridhl with its extravagant decorations and mud-brick fortifications. Continuing our journey we reach Ait Benhaddou, one of Morocco's greatest paradoxes. If you think it looks like something from a Hollywood movie you are forgiven, as its list of movie credits is substantial. However, Hollywood aside, it is still, in its own right, one of the most spectacular sights in Morocco and its superb collection of mud-brick kasbahs are without equal. We enjoy a walk through the old town before heading to our nearby hotel for the night.

    Hotel La Kasbah or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 11 - Ait Benhaddou-Marrakech

    We drive for several hours through the winding roads of the Atlas, bound for Marrakech. We can take our time as the scenery is magnificent and keen photographers may call for a few photo stops! On arrival in Marrakech you check in to your beautiful Riad hotel. This evening, why not head to Jemaa el Fna, the great square, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. Every night it comes alive with snake-charmers, musicians, story-tellers, fire-eaters and hundreds of small outdoor restaurants.

    Riad Hamdane or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 12 - Marrakech

    After breakfast we meet our Marrakech local guide and set off on a morning tour of the old medina. We visit the beautiful Bahia Palace, a splendid mansion built in 1866 for a former slave who had risen to a position of importance in the government of Moulay Hassan. We explore the tranquil inner courtyards, fragrant with orange blossom, and the many salons and chambers that make up this elegant home. We continue to the Marrakech Museum, itself a former palace, which houses a fine collection of Moroccan art and sculpture and we then walk through the streets of the old medina as we make our way back to the Jemaa el Fna. The rest of the day is free to explore further, or shop in the bazaar.

    Riad Hamdane or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 13-14 - Essaouira

    We leave after breakfast for Essaouira. The narrow streets of Essaouira are ideal for casual exploration. Their size discourages cars, and as we walk through the town it feels as though little has changed since the days of sea pirates. It is one of North Africa's most attractive venues and soon we find ourselves slipping into its easy-going rhythm. The fishing port is a serious commercial operation and it is fun to observe the daily catch and its subsequent auction. Elsewhere there are numerous shops and several fine art galleries to distract the visitor, along with a wide variety of restaurants. Our tour leader will help guide us through the maze of options.

    Palais des remparts or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 15 - Essaouira-Marrakech

    The morning is at leisure to explore further and in the afternoon we drive back to Marrakech. Once we have settled in to our hotel we 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.

    Hotel Gommasine or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 16 - Marrakech

    Your trip ends today, after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12.00 noon 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 Marrakech.

    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine’s expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and professional local guides at some sites.
    • Sightseeing, including entrance fees where applicable.
    • Camel ride into the Sahara, camping overnight and enjoying traditional music.
    • Walks in Todra Gorge, Midelt and M'goun Valley.
    • Authentic accommodation experiences - stays in a Berber house and in a 'riad' near Jemaa el Fna.
    • Arrival transfer.

    Not Included

    • International airfares and airport departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Laundry - may be available at locations where we stay two or more nights
    • Optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips - this is something to consider, and it might be worthwhile speaking to your group about making a group contribution at the end of the trip. From 1st Jan 2015, gratuities are included for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package
    • Personal items
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Highlights of Morocco

    Josephine - Australia, 12 May, 2013
    5
    Overall Rating

    What a wonderful, insighful journey throughout Morocco. An intriguing country, varied and beautiful landscapes, culturally complex whilst also simple in so many ways. Our tour leader Tariq was terrific, fun, knowledgable and his passion for Morocco country shone through. Our bus driver Abdoul, was also extremely friendly and accomodating. Cant wait to go back and see more of Morocco!

    Highlights of Morocco

    Christine - Canada, 10 Mar, 2013
    5
    Overall Rating

    Our guide Atika was a gem. The highlight of the trip! She made us love her and her beautiful country. I will truly cherish our time together and the wonderful memories. Morocco and her people are inviting, beautiful, kind and just plan fantastic. Highly recommend Morocco as a travel destination!

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    We asked the question on Facebook, and got an overwhelming response. So we thought we'd lay it out for you here, and let you weigh up some of the...

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PGHM
Group size 1 - 16
Start City: Casablanca
End City: Marrakech
Style: Small Group

What to know

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

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