Sunday. Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival at Casablanca airport, you'll be met and transferred to our hotel where you have the remainder of the day at leisure. Perhaps visit the old medina or sit back and watch the world go by with a pot of tea at Rick's cafe.
Casablanca - Rabat. This morning after breakfast, we visit the incredible Hassan II Mosque, rising 210 meters into the air, the third largest mosque in the world is covered in ornate traditional tile work.
After exploring we make our way to Rabat, Morocco's charming capital is ours to explore this afternoon. Take a stroll along the long stretch of beach that starts behind the medina, or just up the hill from the medina is the well-preserved Kasbah of the Udayas, dating back to the 12th century.
Please note: For those who have opted to start in Marrakech you will be transferred to Casablanca on the morning of day 2 to meet the rest of the group.
Rabat - Volubilis - Chefchaouen. Departing Rabat this morning we visit the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Dating back to 40AD we take time to explore the triple arched Tingis gate, the columns of the Capitoline temple, the Basilica, the courthouse and much more. We'll then continue to Chefchaouen, nestled in the heart of the Rif Mountains, the city boasts incredible blue-washed buildings and majestic views of the surrounding landscape. The rest of the afternoon is ours to independently wander round the Plaza Uta el-Hammam in the heart of the Medina, or perhaps try some of the local street food and watch the sun set.
After some free time to relax or continue exploring the city this morning, we make our way to Talassemtane National Park. Located on the eastern side of the Rif Mountains, Talassemtane boasts a wide range of landscapes, as well as housing a number of plant species and mammals including the Barbary macaques and the otter. We make our way to the Akchour Falls and God's Bridge where we relax with a picnic lunch while soaking up the breath-taking views. Return to Chefchaouen for an afternoon at leisure.
Chefchaouen - Fes. Bordered on the foothills of the Atlas Mountains lies the imperial city of Fes, the oldest and largest medieval city in the world. On arrival we enjoy a guided tour of ancient Fes el Bali - the old walled city, with its labyrinth of 9400 alleys. Fes el Bali really is a feast for the senses, with its cacophony of aromas, sights and sounds. During the tour visit one of the pungent leather tanneries that Fes is famous for, where you can enjoy wonderful views of the giant dye pits.
Today is at leisure to explore this Imperial city. Why not take part in an optional Tagine Making Class or a night of Moroccan entertainment and food at a restaurant in town (both payable locally).
Fes - Ifrane - Azrou. After breakfast, we make our way through the cedar forests full of Barbary Macaque monkeys on our way through the Atlas Mountains to the French built "swiss" village of Ifrane. We have free time here to enjoy the tranquility of the lakes and waterfalls that flow into the valleys that surround the world's biggest cedar forest in the Mediterranean, before continuing to Azrou, our home for the night.
Azrou - Merzouga (Sahara). Departing early, we leave the cool air of the mountains and make our way to the Sahara Desert. It's a long drive, however there's a lot to see on the way. We'll travel through the Middle Atlas Mountains to the plateau that lies between the Sahara and Tell Atlas range. We'll soak up the spectacular and dramatic scenery of the Gorges du Ziz as we make our way onwards through the High Atlas, stopping to have tea with a berber family en route. We'll continue to Merzouga - our base before we head into the Sahara. Depending on the time of year, spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming before climbing aboard our camels for an incredible trek into the Sahara Desert to watch a beautiful sunset and spend the night at our remote Berber Camp, nestled amongst the towering dunes of Erg Chebbi. We enjoy local food, music and an amazing night camping in the Sahara. If you would prefer to take a Jeep to the Berber camp, this can be arranged locally through your guide at no additional cost.
If you would prefer the comfort of a hotel with en-suite facilities this evening, opt for our Sahara hotel alternative at no additional cost. Please do let us know your preferred option at the time of booking.
Merzouga (Sahara) - Todra Gorge - Dades Gorge. Departing early, we climb back on our camels disembarking for a truly stunning sunrise. After freshening up and breakfast in Merzouga we’re back on the road heading for Todra Gorge. Known as Morocco's Grand Canyon, the charm of Todra lies in its changing colours as the sun slowly moves from east to west over the towering vertical limestone cliffs that reach heights of 1000ft.
We continue to the perfumed Valley of Roses, famous for the miles and miles of rose hedgerows that colour the landscape pink. As we travel through the valley, we stop at the women's cooperative where we learn how the rose products are made. Continue to Tinghir, home to the largest silver mine in Africa, and our final stop of the day, where we have the evening at leisure to relax and unwind in our former kasbah hotel.
Dades Gorge - Skoura - Ouarzazate. Leaving the rose fields behind, our morning begins with a visit to the 300 year old Kasbah Amherdhil in Skoura where we gain a fascinating insight into the ancient traditions of kasbah life. We then continue along the Road of 1000 Kasbahs to Ouarzazate.
Famous for being a prime filming location for many Hollywood TV shows and Blockbusters, we have the opportunity to explore the World's largest film studio. Be sure to explore the iconic Colosseum used in 'Gladiator' and the prop jet used in 'Jewel of the Nile'. Evening at leisure.
Ouarzazate - Ait Benhaddou - Marrakech. Travelling over the High Atlas Mountains
we stop along the old caravan route where to explore Ait Benhaddou. This incredible ancient fortified Kasbah was built for defence purposes high on a hill and is a stunningly well-preserved medieval city which has famously featured in many blockbuster movies, including Gladiator and Laurence of Arabia as its beauty is unequal to any other fortified kasbah in south Morocco. Carrying on we continue to Kasbah Telouet. Built in 1860 this kasbah was once home to the very wealthy Thami El Glaoui until he conspired with French Colonialists to delay Morocco's fight for independence.
Descending into the city of Marrakech, Morocco's pink city. We have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the Medina and the delights of Djemaa el Fna, the exuberant market place, which is a hive of activity, sights and smells at both day and night.
After breakfast, we set out to explore this fascinating city on a guided tour. Inside the rose coloured medina walls is a tangle of winding streets and alleys that open onto verdant gardens and bustling souks. At the heart of the medina is Djemaa El Fna, the city's exuberant market place and towering over it, is the famous Koutoubia Mosque, the tallest building in the city. We have the afternoon at leisure to purchase any last minute souvenirs or get lost in the medina and see where it takes you.
Our amazing tour of Morocco ends today after hotel check out. An included onward departure transfer to airport will be provided. Passengers who have opted to end their tour in Casablanca will depart early this morning.