Best of Morocco Tour 2020-2021

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Total Trip:

15 Days
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Countries Visited:

Morocco
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Places Visited:

Rabat, Tangier, Fez, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, Essaouira, Casablanca, Chefchaouen
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Minarets and fortress towers create an unforgettable skyline. Mountaintops separate lush valleys from desolate desert sands. The sweet ocean scent of the Atlantic blows through labyrinthine streets. Customized for 2020-2021, your handcrafted tour of Morocco introduces you to mouthwatering food and legendary palaces, blossoming marketplaces and enchanting snake charmers. Morocco is an endless adventure filled with remarkable color and unforgettable mystique. Relax in charming renovated mansions

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Day 1

Imperial Arrivals

Welcome to Morocco, a country whose culture is ingrained in the landscape and emanates from the cuisine. Arrive in Casablanca where your private guide and transfer are waiting. The city sits at the country’s western edge, against the quiet lull of the Atlantic Ocean. Palm trees border wide boulevards. The trees sway in the delicate sea breeze. The sweet scent of coconut mixes with the salty sea air. Historic neighborhoods edge contemporary Art Deco buildings erected during French colonialism. A cosmopolitan ambiance can be felt through the cityscape, from award-winning restaurants to contemporary art galleries displaying aesthetics that shy away from the more classic Moroccan images.

Hassan II Mosque looks out over the cobalt water. The ocean laps at the small wall that pushes against the ocean. The minaret stands 689 feet tall, the largest minaret in the world. The sunlight glints off of the water and inside of the mosque you can see the ocean wading beneath the glass floor of the main hall. The walls contain an opulent shimmer, constructed with decadent hand crafted marble. Over 100,000 worshipers can pray inside the mosque, with 25,000 inside the main hall. Walk through the multi-colored arches and notice the engraved floral designs. The elegance of the mosque reveals Morocco’s contemporary connection to its boisterous and flamboyant heritage.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

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Day 2

Morocco’s Edge

Breakfast is filled with aromas and flavors that feel oddly familiar and uniquely foreign. Honey and melted butter combine to create a sweet and creamy syrup poured over Beghrir, a savory pancake made from semolina. After breakfast, you make your way northbound towards the Strait of Gibraltar and to the famous city of Tangier. The city sits across from Spain and has served as the entryway to the Mediterranean. Tangier has always been a bridge between the European and African continents, attracting people from around the world with enthusiasm and mystique.

The city is divided between the medina, an antique area surrounded by historic walls, and the modern city. Inside the medina, you find narrow alleyways that wind around the cityscape, lined with stuccoed walls and cobbled streets. The Grand Socco is the main square fringed with palm trees. A fountain sits at the center and provides a pleasurable, cooling mist to the air. At the edge of the plaza is a keyhole gate known as Bab Fass. The terrace offers a view of the square from up high, where the romantic image of Morocco’s past comes to vibrant life.

What's Included:

included

Tour

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Transfer

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Accommodation

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Breakfast

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Day 3

Bathed in Blue

Every morning is an introduction into the stunning and detailed cuisine of Morocco. Today, breakfast is filled with the crisp aroma of fresh, herbaceous tea zested with orange citrus. You leave Tangier behind and make your way through vast plains. The air is perfumed with fresh grass and in the distance you can see the rising foothills of the Rif Mountains. The range has an elevation of 8,054 feet and casts imposing shadows over the valley below. You come to the 15th-century city of Chefchaouen. You find the buildings situated beneath the mountain peaks and awash in vibrant blue. The old streets wind and wander along the mountainside lined with stucco homes shining sky blue with cobalt doors.

Some buildings were constructed in the Andalusian style, with red-tiled roofs. 11 towers rise above the old walls and once provided protection to the medieval city. Walk through the shaded lanes and it looks like you are exploring a city underwater with the various shades of blue encircling the streets; it is a unique atmosphere. At the heart of the old city is a plaza paved in cobblestones. Cafes and restaurants provide ambiance and a collection of delicate and rich aromas: fresh pressed dark roast coffee mingles with freshly brewed mint tea. The red walls of the Kasbah encroach on the old square and contrast with the smooth colors of the city.

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included

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Day 4

Distant Blue

The colors of Chefchaouen fade into the silhouette of the mountain peaks as you make your way to the medieval city of Fez. En route to the imperial city, you stop at the Meknes, the 17th century capital of Morocco known for its 24-mile long walls that protected the city from invaders. Meknes has a slow and relaxed pace with a collection of narrow alleys that wind around the old city. The architecture provides reminders of the nobility that once called the city home. The Middle Atlas Mountains rise in the distance swooping downward into the fertile plains that surround the city. Dashes of olives, grapes, and lemons provide aromatics to the city streets.

Dar Jamaï Museum is situated in the 19th century palace. The garden maintains its lavish Arab style with vibrant fruit trees and shady cypress trees. The palace windows are painted and framed by detailed tile arrangements and decorated wooden panels. The décor alone is a surviving symbol of nobility’s wealth and dedication to art and culture. Today the palace maintains one of the country’s great museums, filled with talented craftsmen and artists. The main hall is a postcard-like in its central elegant fountain surrounded by graceful arches amidst traditional Islamic geometric tiles.

What's Included:

included

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Day 5

Spirited Center

Fez is often considered the spiritual and cultural center of Morocco. The medieval city reached its peak between the 13th and 14th centuries. The city is inherently tied to its past, with tradesmen utilizing the same methods employed hundreds of years ago, utilizing tradition over modernization. Venture through the main gate known as Bab Bou Jeloud. The powerful triple arched entrance is decorated with glistening blue tiles. The central arch is flanked by two narrow keystone openings. The city bustles from the moment you enter, filled with a wealth of energy. The marketplace is alive with locals and visitors, spreading down a long stretch of lane.

Spices are arranged in conical peaks that display their color as much as their aroma. It looks like rainbows have been separated and sold by their individual striped hues. Silks are draped over stores and flow with effortlessness and grace against the fast moving market. The aroma of leather sweeps through the meandering alleys and emanating from the famous tanneries, almost hidden behind the leather shops. Behind the vendors, you can see people stepping into the tannery pits to dye, clean, and dry leather before it is shaped into various goods.

What's Included:

included

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Day 6

The Desert Luster

Fez dwindles into the distance as your private transfer ferries you away from the medieval city and through a sensual cedar forest. The spiced aroma from the trees fills the air as you climb through the foothills of the Middle Atlas Mountains. Continue through a series of valleys known as the Ziz Gorges where the Ziz River cuts through the Atlas Mountains. Hills climb up to 1,050 feet with a canyon walls that reach a width of 656 feet. The lush greenery looks like an oasis against the backdrop of cliffs layered with red and black rock.

When you reach the town of Erfoud a 4x4 collects you and takes you into the vast Sahara Dessert for a panorama of unparalleled scenery. The wonders of the desert begin at the edges of the golden sand and spread into the vast unknown. The 4x4 reaches Erg Chebbi, possibly the largest collection of sand dunes in the Sahara with dunes that tower like mountains almost 525 feet into above the level field. The late afternoon provides a breeze over the sweeping sands. The beauty of the landscape is in its seclusion and pristine nature. The sunset gives way to endless starlight flickering above the dunes.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

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Day 7

More than Desert Grounds

The towering and imposing dunes fade behind the horizon and give way to the oases around Dades and Todra Gorges. The Dades River swirls through the valleys and gives life to nut trees and palms that fill the area with greenery and buttery fragrance. The canyon walls of Todra Gorge rise 900 feet high and stretch for upwards of 300 feet long. You can’t help but marvel at the stunning landscape as you make your way into the Valley of 1,000 Kasbahs, situated between the High Atlas Mountains and the Jbel Sarhro Mountains. In Skoura, you find remnants of what was once a vibrant desert trading post.

Graceful palm groves create a vast contrast to the desolate desert sands. The canopy shades almost 15 miles of gardens watered by a water system of locks, levees, and canals with centuries of experience. Birds flutter and twitter around the oasis. The golden towers of a historic fortress rise out of the canopy. Kasbah Amridil was constructed in the 17th century and appears on the 50-dirham note. The doors contain hand carved locks and the village life displays olive presses and bread ovens that continue to function.

What's Included:

included

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included

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included

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Day 8

Architecture of the Desert

The desert landscape has changed from the meandering dunes to a rocky arid expanse that brushes against the rusty-red cliffs. Outside of Ouarzazate you make your way to Telouet, home to the “Lord of the Atlas,” A palace that has watched over the desert landscape since the 19th century. The town rests at an elevation of 5,900 feet and was the former seat of power to the El Glaoui family. The red sand Kasbah walls look ruinous from the outside. However, once inside the Glaoui Palace you find a museum filled with opulence dating back to the family’s pinnacle of prominence.

Wooden doors are decorated with hand carved geometric shapes. The walls are decorated with elegant zerij mosaics, traditional Islamic artwork. The windows are framed with latticed-style wrought iron work. The panorama fills with green fields of Berber villages. Trees almost block out the rocky outcrops and lead to mountains rolling along the horizon. The interior courtyard is paved with polished marble and lined with thin, graceful columns. The remains of the sensational palace remind you to never judge a book by its cover, or a palace by its exterior.

What's Included:

included

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included

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included

Breakfast

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Day 9

Inside the Earthen Walls

Venture outside of the town of Ouarzazate and find the UNESCO World Heritage site of Aït Ben Haddou. The city is famous for providing the backdrop in Hollywood movies such as Gladiator and The Mummy. The village inside the walls shifts from red to gold in the shifting sunlight. From a distance the village looks like a hill, blending into the surroundings. Corner towers reinforce the defensive walls. Houses crowd together in a stunning example of a southern Moroccan town. The earliest constructions date back to the 17th century. The scent of arid earth winds through the streets. A loft fortress overlooks the mountainside and the expansive desert. You continue through the Tizi n’Tichka mountain pass and on to Marrakech.

What's Included:

included

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included

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Day 10

Cultural Bounty

Marrakech is the pulse of historic Morocco. Djemaa el Fna Square fills with remnants of the mystical and inspiring. Snake charmers play their instruments to enchant both the focused cobra and passersby. Fortunetellers read people’s palms and spin tales about the future. The scent of exotic spices blends with the aroma of orange zest and mint tea. The alleys of the medina wind away from the main square and take you on a tour of the city that feels like you are searching for buried treasure. Your guide shows you Koutoubia Mosque, a 12th-century edifice that can be seen from almost every angle of the city.

An age-old ordinance states that no building can be built higher than a palm tree, but the mosque was exempted. The minaret is one of the three oldest remaining Almohad minarets in the world and stands almost 230 feet tall. A book market once blossomed near the base of the minaret and filled the nearby square. Ceramic tiles create a dazzling band at the top over inspiring decorative motifs. A topper of copper orbs captures the sunlight and shines above the old city. Your exploration of Marrakech has just begun and you already have seen historic wonder and marvelous mystique.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 11

Moment in the Mountains

The morning fills with the now familiar aromas of mint tea and sweet honey. Your plush, antique surroundings open up to the remarkable history of the medina and the culture encapsulated within it. You make your way into the High Atlas Mountains during the day for a breath of fresh, mountain air and a visit to Kasbah du Toubkal. The roads wind around the foothills with hairpin turns to bring you into the mountain range that rises to an elevation of 13,671. The fortress stands above the wild tree line and blossoming lupines.

Sporadic purple and pink flower petals poke out of the lush greenery. The hillside continues to rise over the old fortress into the mountaintops. You can reach the village of Imlil by a muleteer path that winds along the rolling mountainscape. The sweet aroma of budding flowers mixes with the verdant trees. The village rises along the sloping landscape. In the drier months the earthen homes blend into the arid mountains. The mountains are more than just a view but a reward, opening up like a time capsule. From the Kasbah rooftop you can sip a soothing cup of tea and watch the colors of the mountains change with the shifting sunlight.

What's Included:

included

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included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 12

The Sea and Walls

West of Marrakech is the charming town of Essaouira. The walls wrap around the old Phoenician trading post and press against the Atlantic Ocean. The sweet aroma of the sea rises in the breeze. The warm sun is cooled by the ocean spray that lingers around the twisting historic streets. The Atlantic shines cobalt blue. The walls were built by the Portuguese and protected the outpost for centuries. The streets have a relaxed ambiance that creates a carefree atmosphere. Seagulls soar over the walls and narrow alleys turn the town’s center into a maze.

Local women wear white veils and palm trees cast shadows and shade over the red walls. Modern gourmet coffee shops stand next to historic old restaurants. You listen to the waves brush against the shore and can stand on the dramatic ramparts for a view of the historic, labyrinthine streets. A sea bastion on the cliffs gives you access to the city walls. 18th and 19th century brass cannons continue to look outward, ever-watchful sentinels. The horizon along the ocean is clear and calm. Whitewashed houses are decorated with heavy wooden doors. People roam through the streets without a care and don’t notice you enjoying your unique panorama.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 13

Old Styles of New Life

The sunlight spreads over the valley and onto the sapphire water outlining the walled city. The day in Essaouira is to be experienced at your own pace and filled with joy. Take a horseback ride along the sandy beach and feel the sea breeze comb through your hair. Venture outside of the city with the fishing boats and catch the famous Alizee winds in the sail on your own private sailing tour. In the nearby valley, halfway to Marrakech, you arrive at the legendary local winery of Val d’Argan. The vineyard was open by a French ex-pat in the 1990s and now produces some of the most celebrated wines in North Africa. The lush vines spread across the valley floor. Camels turn the soil, helping the farming.

The restaurant has open screens that look out onto the plush landscape. You can tour the 100 acres of fields under cultivation and see the storage barrels of wine before enjoying a private tasting. The wines are often featured on wine lists between Marrakech and Essaouira. Sip on a chilled glass of rose beneath the warm sun. The aroma of lime flower and mature fruit linger in the glass. A nearby goat farm produces some of the region’s most renowned cheese, bringing wine and cheese together and sparking images of European flair, but in an entirely distinct environment.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 14

Return of the Cosmopolitan

History and heritage fade into the seaside city as you journey back to Casablanca. The sophisticated culture of the city returns in swaying palms and Art Deco architecture conjuring up images of French colonialism. Upon your return you notice the contrast between the city’s contemporary heritage and the surrounding country’s classic culture. The Villa des Arts is a museum housed in a 1930s pristine white Art Deco building. The stairs are decorated with ornate black and white marble with a wrought-iron railing. The gallery exhibits sculptures and paintings from contemporary Moroccan artists. At the nearby Parc de la Ligue Arabe, local kids play soccer on the large field. Bushes blossom against the colonnade of fragrant trees. People in the financial center of Morocco work and play hard, taking time out of their fast-paced day to enjoy the sunshine, shade, and a honeyed cup of mint tea.

What's Included:

included

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Accommodation

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Breakfast

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Day 15

Past and Present Morocco

A soothing voice sings out in the morning. The Call To Prayer echoes along the neighborhoods, emanating from Hassan II Mosque. The quiet lapping of the Atlantic Ocean against the city’s shores fades beneath the morning prayer.  The savory flavors of your final breakfast in Morocco are filled with spices you have grown to relish and expect. Soon your private transfer will meet you at the hotel to escort you to the airport. Your time in Morocco has taken you from seaside to desert sands, through mountain passes and valley floors. You have experienced Moroccan splendor it all its beauty, from cosmopolitan predilections to unadulterated heritage.

To see more Morocco itineraries, visit the luxury Morocco tours page.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Witness the grandeur of the Sahara Desert and the famous Erg Chebbi sand dunes
  • Explore famous old cities, surrounded by medieval walls and filled with labyrinthine streets
  • Visit traditional historic marketplaces home to tanneries and vivacious spices
  • Traverse the High Atlas Mountains with a private guide in the foothills
  • Venture to the beachside allure of the walled city of Essaouira
  • Listen to the enchanting tales of storytellers in the Dejemma el Fna Square
  • Tour a celebrated winery with a tasting, near a renowned goat farm that produces its own delectable cheese
  • Step into desert villages known to set the scenes in major motion pictures, such as Babel
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Detailed Description

It is easy to be enchanted by the Old World ambiance of Morocco. Marketplaces glow with a medley of spices and ancient city gates that once provided protection now offer a unique view of the meandering city streets. Luxurious rugs line shop walls and the aroma of traditional cuisine drifts out of restaurants and homes alike. This 15-day tour of Morocco takes you beyond the country’s beautiful surface and into the marvels of the persevering heritage. From desert castles to opulent palaces, your Moroccan adventure will flourish with luster.

Your custom tailored tour, arranged by one of Zicasso's Morocco travel agents, begins with your arrival in Casablanca. Your private guide and transfer meet you at the airport and escort you through the city en route to the modern capital of Rabat. The relaxed pace but historic streets provide early insight into the country’s unique combination of contemporary life and celebrated heritage. Make your way to Tangier, located on the Strait of Gibraltar, across from Spain. The city is separated into the modern and the antique, both showing a different side of the famous city, from bustling markets to an energetic port.

Chefchaouen is located in the mountains and glows with sky blue coloration. The peaceful city has a thriving culture based on traditional crafts. Make your way to Fez, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its medieval architecture and craftsmen culture. Journey through scenic cedar forests and across the Middle Atlas Mountains to the desert town of Erfoud where a 4x4 takes you into the Sahara Desert to view the breathtaking sand dunes at Erg Chebbi. Enjoy the sunset, starlight, and sunrise over the exquisite landscape. Make your way through the oasis around the Ziz Valley and visit the desert villages encircled by powerful walls. The towns are almost camouflaged by their coloration standing against the desert landscape. Witness Berber Villages and roads that wind around the gorge before arriving in Marrakech. The city ignites the connection to this captivating culture.

The medina erupts with activity and legendary stories. The High Atlas Mountains contain small villages and a Kasbah with exceptional views of the surrounding landscape: from lush sloping foothills to rugged purple mountaintops. At the seaside town of Essaouira, you find ancient fortifications with a bohemian ambiance. With a day at leisure you can horseback ride along the beach or windsurf. You can even go wine tasting at a local, celebrated vineyard. Return to Casablanca and enjoy your final day along La Corniche or meandering along the opulent art galleries. Your private transfer escorts you to the airport for your flight, but the magic of your Moroccan adventure continues.

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Starting Price

$3370 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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