Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Ouarzazate, Essaouira, Marrakech, Volubilis, Sahara Desert, Atlas Mountains, Fes
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Adventurers and explorers traveled the oceans and the deserts to witness the majesty of Morocco. The sand dunes of the Sahara rise like mountains and the High Atlas Mountains sit in the clouds. Ancient fortress walls stand watch over the hills and the coastline. Minarets create an absorbing skyline and spices provide a rainbow of color in the historic, vibrant marketplace. In this 2 week Morocco tour, you will follow in the footsteps of Romans and sultans, discovering the wealth of culture and...
Casablanca – A City By the Sea
Welcome to Casablanca, a city connected to its heritage along the contemporary streets and life. The wide boulevards are lined with palm trees that sway in the ocean breeze. The Atlantic laps at the bordering shores and the Atlas Mountain foothills create the eastern boundary. Arrive at the airport and be met by your private transfer. Your hotel, furnished by one of Zicasso’s Morocco travel agents, is situated near the heart of the vibrant city. Art galleries present images of the people’s modern life that has also been informed by a rich cultural past. The minaret of Hassan II Mosque creates a solitary skyline against the shore. You can settle in to the wonders of Casablanca and see the majesty of Morocco.
Meknes – Imperial Images of Casablanca and Rabat
The morning sunlight rises over the distant mountains and spreads across the city. The Hassan II Mosque catches the light and shimmers against the sapphire ocean water. Breakfast is an array of distinct flavors and aromas. Creamy yogurt is enhanced with a touch of orange blossom water, which offers a sweet and citrusy addition. Rghaif, a flaky pastry, is sweetened with fig or date jam. Sip freshly brewed mint tea and enjoy the morning breeze before you venture out onto a guided private tour of Casablanca.
Hassan II Mosque was constructed in 1993 but contains the traditional embellishments and elegance of historic palaces and places of worship throughout the country. The minaret stands over 260 feet tall. The soothing sound and perfume of ocean spray adds to the beautiful rhythm of the Call to Prayer. The courtyard has a retractable roof and can hold up to 80,000 worshipers. Detailed decoration covers every inch of the mosque’s surface. The interior marble tile is pristine and polished. Latticework rises up the structural columns and is enhanced with lapis hues.
Moorish arches decorate the doorways and fountains. Glass chandeliers dangle from a network of domes that make up the main prayer hall. Geometric and floral mosaics adorn the walls. You can breathe in the beauty of the mosque and find traces of the sea in the air. The lavish and opulent design takes you away from the city and into a unique moment of reverie. A private transfer meets you at your hotel in the afternoon. Continue on to the old imperial city of Meknes by way of Rabat.
Meknes – The Modesty of the City
Meknes is filled with a serene charm that eludes the rapidly moving streets of larger cities. Rich plains sweep across the Middle Atlas Mountains. Cereals, olives, grapes, and oranges thrive in the climate and create a stunning landscape. Bab al-Mansour has stood as the city’s main gate since the 1730s. Zellij tiles border the keyhole entryways and add texture to the golden stones. The image of the gates provides a view into the rich regal history of the city and Morocco. The Old Town moves in a pace faster than the rest of the city.
The narrow lanes wind and twist around sharp corners. The sounds of the marketplace are lively. The aroma of incense blends with conically displayed spices. Slippers are handmade and lined up in rows for customers to inspect. The 12th century Grand Mosque has a distinctive green-tiled roof. The minaret is visible above the rising homes of the Medina. In the afternoon your private guide will escort you to the Roman ruins of Volubilis that sit atop a citadel along the mountainside.
Fes – The Exotic and Unforgettable
Fes is known for its exoticism, a spiritual capital that shines in the cultural eye of Morocco like a time capsule. The authenticity of the Medina and the noble remains of the Imperial history enchanted you the moment you arrived in the city. After breakfast you are guided through the city. The old streets spiral around houses and businesses, hiding restaurants, shops, and delightful squares around blind corners. Outside of the Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts is Carpenters’ Square. The Nejjarine Fountain is a vibrant decoration, shimmering with mosaic that rises above the trickling water.
The keyhole arch frames blossoming geometric shapes. You can hear the sounds of carpenters tinkering away in their workshops at the nearby Nejjarine Souk. Mederssa Bou Inania was constructed in the 14th century and remains a scholastic and architectural gem. The zellij and cedar lattice screens create a delicate contrast to the hard brass doors. The theology school contains a full mosque and a green-tiled minaret. Onyx marble columns create the mihrab. Fes is a city brimming with grace and beauty around every corner. Each moment takes you into something new and astonishing yet expected and captivating.
Sahara Desert – The Secrets of the Desert
Morocco is home to diverse regions, from the Atlantic to the Atlas Mountains, lush fields and vibrant orchards, and of course, the Sahara Desert. The flavors of figs and dates take you back in history when people would traverse the simmering sands of the desert holding pouches filled with the sumptuous fruits. After your meal you will begin your journey to Merzouga, the highest sand dunes in North Africa. The small town sits 31 miles from the border of Algeria.
The desert is ethereal, empty of modern distraction and modest in its peaceful power. Step aboard your camel transport and continue your exploration of both landscape and time. Camels sway from side to side and can carry an average of 487 pounds, which gave them the name “ship of the desert.” When night casts a shade over the desert you can see the unadulterated stars shining down over the ocean of sand. In the silent desert night you share the experience of the travelers before you.
Merzouga – The Power of Dunes
The morning rises over the desert and creates a unique golden glow. The sky is layered with orange, pink, and purple hues. After breakfast you step aboard your ship of the desert and continue to explore the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. The dunes stretch almost 18 miles and at points can reach a height of almost 525 feet above sea level. The dunes shift in color from rose to gold and back again. Their dramatic rise above the flat surface is inspiring. The air is crisp and hot. You marvel at the serene landscape. You return to Merzouga in the afternoon and relax in the town that borders an ocean of desert. You have never felt more in touch with the overpowering beauty of nature in its naturally commanding form.
Tinghir – Highlighting the Landscape
The scenery takes many forms throughout Morocco, from manicured gardens grown for sultans to undulating sand dunes created by an almighty being. The beauty of the landscape continues to unfold before you in Tinghir. Away from the encompassing desert is the High Atlas region. You exchange the sand dunes for mountaintops pressing against the horizon. At the town’s eastern edge you will find a palm oasis unfolding like a gift and spreading across the foothills. The trees cover around 30 miles of land in 505 to 1,640 yard stretches of tract.
The greenery stands out amongst the arid and rugged landscape beyond. The High Atlas Mountains rise to a peak of 12,671 feet. Nearby is the Todra Gorge. The remarkable rock walls edge the trench and change color with the shifting daylight. The gorge is over 600 feet deep and divides the orange limestone with a ravine. A crystal-clear river meanders through the splits in the desert. Look back at the Tinghir and find the remains of an ancient and dilapidated Kasbah watching over the inviting oasis canopy.
Ouarzazate – Road to One Thousand Kasbahs
The road to Ait Benhaddou is filled with towering rock walls and expansive desert. Old villages hide behind ancient Kasbahs and the oasis of Tinghir fades behind you. Journey Dades Gorge and arrive at Ouarzazate, a city known for its distinctive image. The town looks like it sprang from the desert, molded from the same sand and accentuated with palms and arid plant life. The Berber city sits at the edge of dramatic mountains and is known as the Gateway to the Desert. It has been used in movies throughout cinematic history, from Gladiator to the 1962 award-winning Lawrence of Arabia.
The Kasbah has a maze of stairwells that wind around its towering frame eventually leading you to the top floor. Venture through the keyhole archways to find a prayer room. The ceiling maintains portions of its original decoration. The fortress walls protected the village from raiders and the elements. Now it protects the marketplace and hides backstreet craft shops. There are few places in the world that can take you back to an inspiring time just by wandering through the narrow streets and classic buildings.
Atlas Mountains – Contacting the Berbers
The High Atlas Mountains is North Africa’s greatest mountain range that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Moroccan-Algerian border. It separates the glaring temperatures of the Sahara from the Mediterranean climate of the West Coast. In the morning you will delight in the sweet and savory flavors of breakfast before following your guide into the higher reaches of the mountain range. The scenery is raw and stunning, oscillating between rugged mountaintops with snow-capped peaks, and endless lush green fields.
Muleteers and their mules climb along the rocky outcrops and subtle pathways. In the evening you will come to a charming traditional village. Structures are built climbing up a small ridge and shaded by high altitude brush. The nearby peaks are packed with snow. The aroma of tajine with lamb meat and caramelized plumbs emanates from the village. Your earthen pot is placed over coals and the food simmers in spices and stews until dripping with flavor in every bite. The Berber village is rich with tradition and awash with North African history.
Essaouira – In the Heart of Colliding Cultures
When the mountains slope downward and reach the Atlantic Ocean you see powerful golden walls rising against the cobalt blue water. The outer ramparts of Essaouira resemble walled cities of Europe. When you enter the 18th century Portuguese fortress you will find a city that is definitively Moroccan. The streets around the Medina are narrow. The buildings are whitewashed. Seagulls glide on the breeze and settle atop the walls. The relaxed pace of the mountainside carries over to the seaside. The Atlantic laps at the base of the walls. Brass canons from the 18th and 19th centuries continue to line the upper walls. Small fishing boats venture out to deeper water in search of a catch. Wood carvers and artists are housed and sell their goods along the hidden niches of the labyrinthine streets.
Essaouira – Measures of Pace
Indulge in the relaxed pace of the seaside village. The breeze sweeps the ocean aroma through the streets. The walls look out over the shimmering colors of the water. Rich, creamy yogurt is spiced with orange blossom. In the marketplace turmeric and saffron brighten the streets. Palm trees rise over the fortress and shade the golden walls. The Hammam Lalla Mira is similar to a Turkish bath and is one of the oldest restored hammam in the area. The interior is decorated in traditional style and the tranquil ambiance is soothing and rejuvenating. Green tiles accentuate the baths and the rooftop lounge watches over the city streets and ramparts. Indulge in the beachside or listen to the gentle sway of the breeze against the palms.
Marrakech – Emblematic Squares
The seaside fades into the distance and you spot the green-tiled trim of the Koutoubia Minaret in the foreground. Arrive in Marrakech and settle into a traditional riad that gives you insight into the noble tastes of historic royalty. Djemmaa el-Fna is the city’s famous square where the narrow streets of the Medina connect. Stalls and shops fill the square and are enhanced by the local spirit of continued heritage. Snake charmers move with the rhythm of their music. The snakes wind and twist in the air trying to follow the enchanting image. Storytellers recite remarkable legends for the captivated passersby. The aroma of mint tea spills over the rooftop cafes. Indulge in the atmosphere and listen to the charming music of the square, a blend of stories, heritage, and endless spirit.
Marrakech – Rising Culture
The walls of the Medina are painted a mix of white and blue, changing around every corner. Handmade slippers are displayed next to shop doors, each intricately designed and dyed with splendid hues. After breakfast, you will meet your guide and venture out onto a tour of Marrakech’s splendid sights. Koutoubia Mosque minaret stands over 250 feet in height. The mosque was constructed in the 12th century to create a mixture of brickwork, columns, and arcades. Windows are formed inside of horseshoe-shaped and keyhole arches.
The courtyard is 148 feet wide. Kufic script decorates the walls. The main prayer hall is T shaped and contains more than 100 columns. The imagery and décor are both vibrant and soft-spoken. You continue onward to the 16th century Saadian Tombs, home to 66 members of the dynastic family. The interior is decorated with blossoming mosaics. The pillars and tombs are carved from marble and the atmospheric grounds feel more like a palace. The city is filled with exceptional architecture, stunning artistry, and effervescent culture that stems from the city’s 11th-century founding.
Marrakech – Capturing Highlights
Wake up and enjoy the reflective pool at the center courtyard of the cultural mansion. Savor the flavors of breakfast and the aroma of freshly brewed mint tea. The tiny details of your vacation are just as important as the larger highlights. When you look back on your in-depth time discovering Morocco you will always remember the succulent tajine and the fig jam. You will think of the flourishing landscapes and the storytellers that sit in Djemaa el-Fna. The details of your exploration collect in the larger experience, like culture, history, and all the wonders of Morocco.
- Explore the cosmopolitan culture of Casablanca, including the Hassan II Mosque
- Wander through the incredible Roman Ruins of Volubilis
- Experience Berber culture on an exploratory tour of the High Atlas Mountains
- Venture between the high rolling cliffs of the Todra and Dades Gorge
- Visit the Gates of the Desert at Ouarzazate
- Journey through the Sahara Desert to witness exceptional sand dunes
- Discover the historic charm of Fes’s Old City, known as the Medina
- Stroll through the narrow maze-like streets of Marrakech and find the picturesque image of Morocco
- Relax in a charming seaside village with deep historical roots
This 14-day Morocco itinerary will show you snake charmers and fortunetellers, sprawling mountain ranges, and extensive deserts. The landscape influenced the culture and the culture influenced the world. Legend and history come to life in the charming streets that provide insight into royalty and heritage. Arrive in Casablanca to find a city set alongside the sea. Mohammad V Square is decorated with palm trees and neo-Moorish buildings. The emblematic garden shows you a small taste of the larger culture to come.
Follow your guide through the Hassan II Mosque, the third-largest mosque in the world. Travel through Rabat, the capital of Morocco, which has the inviting ambiance of a provincial town. Arrive in Meknes and experience the romantic palace and market areas that have decorated the city for centuries. Outside of Meknes are the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Columns and mosaics continue to decorate the countryside. In Fes you follow your guide along the historical streets to the Mederssa Bou Inania.
You can hear the Nejjarine Fountain and enjoy the casual culture of the unforgettable Medina. Travel into the desert and spend time exploring the landscape on camelback. Visit the famous Sahara sand dunes and spend a night under the stars. Luxuriate in the shade of the oasis canopy at Tinerhir and wander through Todra Gorge. Journey along the Road of One Thousand Kasbahs, through Dades Gorge, and arrive at Ouarzazate. The desert city almost blends into the surrounding sands.
Continue onward to Ait Benhaddou and its treasured fortress. The Berber villages of the High Atlas Mountains welcome you with traditional warmth. In Essaouira you have time to indulge in the seaside village and stroll along the 18th-century fortress streets. In Marrakech you can watch the fascinating myths and history of Morocco come to life. Tour around the Medina and see palaces and mosques. A private transfer will escort you to the airport after you have discovered and experienced enriching and enchanting Morocco.
$3,145 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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