Morocco hidden treasures


Day 1 – Casablanca airport – Casablanca



Casablanca airport – Casablanca

On arrival to the airport and after completing Immigration and custom formalities you will be met and transferred directly to your Hotel, afternoon, you will be drive to the truly magnificent Hassan II Mosque the second largest mosque in the Islamic world after the Masjid al- Haram in Mecca. This architectural masterpiece, a symbol of an Islam open to the world, took 7 years to complete using 50 million man-hours and inaugurated on the 30th August, 1993 was built partially on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, on the farthest western point of the Maghreb.
Conceived by the French architect Michel Pinseau (1924-1999) The Mosque employed 3,300 craftsmen from all over Morocco; has 53,000 m² of carved cedar wood; 67,000 m² of plasterwork and some 10,000 m² of sculpted ornamentation and writings; it contains on the ground floor an oblong Prayer Hall of perfect symmetry measuring 200 x 100m.
Supported by seventy-eight pillars where granite, marble and onyx mix their respective reflections, this vast room supports a retractable roof covered with emerald green tiles – the symbolic colour of Islam, representing Mother – to welcome to prayer 25,000 believers inside and 80,000 on the adjoining esplanade. Embedded in the axis of the southern facade, a 210 metre-high minaret, boasts a laser beam of 30km reach pointing towards Mecca. This magnificent Mosque also encompasses a Medersa (School of Koranic learning), a Library, a National Museum and immense lecture halls, all beautifully decorated by artisans from all over Morocco: frescoes and zelliges in traditional geometrical motives, painted and sculptured woods, stuccos of intricate designs, arabesques in decorative drawings and writings in brilliant colour inaugurated in 1992 and a masterpiece of Moroccan architectural design and craftsmanship.
Passing through the elegant residential district of Anfa, the original site of Casablanca, admire its green parks and Art Deco villas. Anfa hosted the Conference of Casablanca with President Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill, where the date of the Allied landings on the French coasts was fixed for the spring of 1944. Continuing on via the Corniche (boardwalk), then you shall leave for a tour of the largest city in Africa (after Cairo) to visit the Mellah and jewish sites you will also see the exterior of the Dar el Makhzen, or King’s Palace, with its magnificent doors, and the New Medina. Then on to the Pasha’s Mahkma Court of Islamic Law and to the Mohammed V Square, overnight at the Jnane Sheherazade Casablanca

Day 2 – Casablanca – Rabat – Chefchaouen



Casablanca – Rabat – Chefchaouen

Breakfast, then departure to Rabat, The political capital of Morocco (in Arabic Ribat) was founded in the 10th century near the ruins of the Phoenician a later Roman port of Sala Colonia at the mouth of Bou-Regreg River. It became the capital of the great 12th-century Almohades conqueror Yacoub El Mansour, who ruled an area that extended from Tunisia to northern Spain.
After the death of Yacoub el Mansour, Rabat lost much of its importance and was not to recover its status as capital until the French occupation in 1912.
Visit by the Mechouar (Royal Palace precinct) of the Palais Royal, built in 1864 on the ruins of a late 18C property. The inside is not open for public; it contains the Royal Cabinet, Ministry of the Royal Household and the prime minister’s offices. Drive through the ramparts for a photo stop at Chellah Necropolis gateway (old sala colonia which was for 15 centuries the site of –Phoenician, Roman, Berber and Arab- of Sala). Continue to The Hassan tower; is unfinished minaret of Hassan Mosque, constructed by Yacoub el Mansour in the last five years of his reign after his victory over the king of Castle and Leon at Alarcos.
The mosque was destroyed at the same time as the city of Lisbon in the earthquake of 1755. Visit the nearby white marbled Mausoleum of the King Mohammed V, where both kings are buried (Mohammed V, Hassan II and his brother Prince Mulay Abdellah). Proceed to Oudaias Kasbah, built on the bluff overlooking the estuary and the Atlantic Ocean, dominate the surrounding area and can be seen from some distance. The main entry point is the Almohades gate of Bab Oudaia built in 1195. Most of its houses built by Moslem refugees from Spain, we continue to Chefchaouen or Chaouen, as it is often called by Moroccans, is a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to Tangier and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. The name refers to the shape of the mountain tops above the town that look like the two horns (chaoua) of a goat. « Chef Chaouen » derives from the Berber word for horns, Ichawen. There are approximately two hundred hotels catering to the summer influx of European tourists. One distinction possessed by Chefchaouen is its blue-rinsed houses and buildings. Chefchaouen is a popular shopping destination as well, as it offers many native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool garments and woven blankets. The goat cheese native to the area is also popular with tourists. Overnight at the Riad Echchaouen

Day 3 – Chefchaouen – Tangier



Chefchaouen – Tangier

Breakfast, then departure to Tangier, You will be touring around Tangier and its surroundings as well as visit Spartel Cape and the Hercules caves. From this point you will get an exceptional view of the strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean.You will then visit the Kasbah district, next to the port, the old Medina, with its craftsmanship shops and the magnificent Minaret, looking over the sea. You will have the opportunity to pass by the Grand Socco, where multiple small hotels have previously accommodated famous artists and writers
Such as Matisse, Camille saint Saens and Paul Bowles, overnight at the riad Dar Souran

Day 4 – Tangier – Meknes – Volubilis – Fes



Tangier – Meknes – Volubilis – Fes

After breakfast you will be driving to Meknes, you will visit the:
Bab Mansour (The Victorious gateway): This monumental gateway separates the central square of the Medina, Place el Hedim, from Moulay Ismail’s vast enclosed imperial city. It has come to symbolize Meknes: It is reproduced in countless books, articles, postcards and posters.
Continue you pleasant drive to Holy city of Mulay Idriss, home to the sanctuary of its namesake; Moulay Idriss is Morocco’s patron saint. The picturesque little town is a national pilgrimage site as it holds the Tomb of the holy saint Moulay Idriss.
On to Volubilis or “Oualilli” as it is known by the Berber, easily ranks among the best preserved Roman towns in North Africa. Volubilis was once the home of Cleopatra’s daughter who eventually married the Berber King Juba II.
Late afternoon, arrive to Fez, Check in at your hotel for Overnight at the Riad la Perle de la Medina.

Day 5 -Historical city tour of Fes



Historical city tour of Fes

Depart for full day sightseeing of Fez.
The oldest of the imperial cities, FEZ is arguably the symbolic heart of Morocco.
Is it Fes or Fez? It is both, and neither. The Western name for the city is drawn from the Arabic Fasand, as there is no one correct way to translate Arabic words into Western characters. In French, the city is referred to as Fés, while Americans tend to use Fez. Fassin or Fassis, as the residents call themselves, use the pronunciation of Fas, derived from three Arabic letters fa (f), alif (a) and sin (s). So everyone wins.
After Today you will explore this exciting, fascinating, two-thousand year old Imperial City of Fes. Surrounded by 9 miles of ramparts in a narrow valley, it is strategically positioned on the old caravan crossroads which once connected the Saharan empires with the Atlantic and Mediterranean trading routes to Europe. Fes was known as one of the holiest cities in the Islamic world besides Mecca and Medina.
Moroccans say that Marrakech, Rabat and Casablanca live in the present, but that Fes certainly lives in the past. European chroniclers of the middle Ages wrote that for several centuries Fes was the most civilized Western outpost of the Semitic world. Its scholars introduced astronomy and medicine to the West via Spain. Historians of the time said that the writings of both Plato and Aristotle first reached Western Europe in Arabic translations – again from Fes.
One hundred and fifty years after the death of the Prophet Mohammed Bin Abdullah Banu Hashim, his grandson set foot in Morocco. This man was Idriss Ibn Abdallah, destined to become Moulay Idriss, patron saint of Morocco and founder of Fes. Implicated in a failed rebellion against the Arabian Abbasids, he fled Baghdad with his bedraggled army to this ‘Land of the Setting Sun’, as one could travel no further by land. Here, on the eastern bank he started to build what was to become the first Islamic settlement in Morocco.
Fes is quite reminiscent of a Jerusalem 1000 years ago. With its two hundred mosques and holy shrines, Fes contains more places of worship than any other city in Morocco. At its peak early in the thirteenth century, Fes boasted almost eight hundred mosques and mausoleums for its 125,000 inhabitants. By the seventeenth century however, the Scottish traveler William Lithgow reported that places of worship were far outstripped by some twelve thousand licensed brothels. As the traveler Budgett Meakin remarked: “Fes is at once the most religious and the wicked city in Morocco…the saints and sinner being for the most part, identical…”
Today you will see the The Kairaouine Mosque (Djemaa el Kairaouine the second-largest mosque in Morocco (outside as non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the mosque). Admire the ancient gate of Bab Boujeloud. See the impressive Dar el Makhzen we drive to the Borj Sud to take in the panoramic view of the Medina. Then a Walking Tour of the labyrinth of the ancient and amazing Fes Medina and Mellah (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). See the Bou Inania Mosque, the colorful es Sabbaghine with its Street of the Dyers; the impressive al Quarawiyyin Mosque and University (exterior only) and the el Atterine Medersa (exterior only). Your guide will take you through the bustling maze of alleyways of the fascinating medina and souks. Offered here is every possible combination of beautiful pottery, Berber carpets, Fassi brassware, Jewish silverware, traditional and modern jewelry, and beautiful leather goods. Amidst all this you will find the pungent aromas of spices, herbs and oils.
Next pass the delightful el Nejjarine Square and fountain, then on to the renowned Tanneries of Chouara on the bank of the Oued Fes. Leaving the Medina we make our way to the 16th century Saâdien watchtower at the North Borj. Overnight at the Riad El Amine.

Day 6 – Fes – Ifrane – Midelt – Errachidia – Erfoud – Merzouga



Fes – Ifrane – Midelt – Errachidia – Erfoud – Merzouga

Full day drive across the cedar forests and picturesque scenery of the Middle Atlas Mountains to Immouzzer, dominating the plain of the river Sebou, through the hill station of Ifrane
Ifrane: was created in 1929 as a self-conscious “poche de France”.
It is so a small city different in relation to the rest of Morocco that one would believe itself in a Swiss village. It is indeed a well-known skiing station, with its chalets, its pull-buttocks and other ski lifts, its well-off and clean streets, its odour of forest and its freshness of altitude.
While walking in the streets of Ifrane, one forgets the city herself doesn’t offer a lot of interest of the point of historic view it is a European creation of the years 1930.
But it is a pleasant and cool stage, and its vicinity is very interesting.
Ifrane is the Moroccan estivage center the more frequented. The province of Ifrane is at the heart of the Middle Atlas with a surface of 3573 km2. It is lived by two big Tribes Sanhajas and Beni Mguil. This city became a high place of the winter sports. With its chalets to the roofs covered with red tiles, it is situated to 1650 m of altitude.
Its natural wealth’s brought the persons responsible of the region to create a national park of 53000 ha. In its region you can find the biggest forest of Cedar in the country.
The first traces of the human installation in the region go back up to the Neolithic. Of the underground cave as those of Tizguite as well as the archaeological vestiges going back to the prehistory in Zerouka, Ghabt, Al Bahr and Ittos.
On January 16, 1995 King Hassan II inaugurated the higher education institute “Al-Akhawayn »University.Al-Akhawayn means the two Brother (in Arabic), registers it as being the brainchild and beneficiary of the Moroccan King and his brother the king of Saudi Arabia “Fahd”; it has also been Funded by the United States. The undergraduate and graduate curricula are modeled on the American system of higher education and the language of instruction is English.
Azrou: is a Berber town of 45,000 inhabitants, caught between steep wooded hills and facing a distinctive puckered volcanic outcrop. From this the town gets its name.
The word AZROU means the “ROCK” in the Berber dialect. Arrival to Merzouga, Check in at your hotel Tombouctou, Camel ride to watch the sunset, dinner and overnight.

Day 7 – Merzouga – Todra Canyon – Tineghir – Ouarzazate



Merzouga – Todra Canyon – Tineghir – Ouarzazate

Breakfast at the hotel, then departure to Ouarzazate, drive along the ‘Road of a Thousand Kasbahs’ which follows the southern slopes of the High Atlas Mountains, stopping at Tinerhir to walk in the Todra gorge. Continue to Skoura, an oasis town surrounded by palm groves, Dinner & overnight at the hotel at the Berbere Palace

Day 8 – Ouarzazate – Ait Benhaddou – Marakech



Ouarzazate – Ait Benhaddou – Marakech

Breakfast, drive to the fortified village of Ait Benhaddou and visit its magnificent kasbah, a Unesco world heritage site, then we continue to Marrakech through Tizi’n Tichka pass, afternoon, free at leisure, overnight at the Atlas Medina

Day 9 – Marrakech

day trips from Marrakech



Today, we will explore Marrakech, the red city called “the pearl of the south”, the imperial capital in the eleventh century, whose monuments, richly decorated with fine stucco work, mosaics and marbles, testify to the rich past of this city. The old town, or medina, is enclosed by walls in ocher, which stand out against the backdrop of the stunning Atlas Mountains and stand out among the lush greenery of palm groves. We will visit the graves Saadian, the Bahia Palace, the Menara gardens, the Koutoubia minaret, the Medersa Ben Youssef, a Koranic school with its beautiful ancient architecture. After lunch at leisure, we continue to the colorful Souks and markets where we will visit some artisans making some local crafts varying from cooper, jewelry, wood work, and leather. From there we will end our day tour of Marrakech at the busy Jamaa El fna square where acrobats, musicians, snake charmers, fire eaters and story tellers all perform in an amazing harmony. Overnight at the Atlas Medina

Day 10 – Marrakech – Casablanca airport



Marrakech – Casablanca airport

Breakfast, then early transfer to Casablanca airport for your return flight


  • Accommodation at the hotels listed above or similar on bed & breakfast only except in Merzouga & Ouarzazate YES
  • Transportation by an air conditioned Mini bus 8 seats with our an English speaking driver Entrance fees to the Monuments YES
  • Airfare ticket NO
  • Travel insurance NO
  • Personnel expensesNO
  • All meals that are not mentioned in the programNO
  • DrinksNO

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Grand tour of Morocco

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