Morocco: +212661769561 Morocco: +212605852119 UK: +44 7837 263635 traveltodeserttrip@gmail.com
Morocco: +212661769561 Morocco: +212605852119 UK: +44 7837 263635 traveltodeserttrip@gmail.com

From Casablanca: Grand Tour Morocco 20 days Atlantic to Desert and Atlas

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149
20 Day

The Grand Tour of Morocco in 20 days History, culture, magnificent landscapes and a touch of adventure.

Tour Details

Discover one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. The four Imperial cities, Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Marrakech with their palaces, beautiful gardens and picturesque souks, offer an immense contrast with the landscapes of the north and south of Morocco. Mountain ranges with peaks over 4000 m, gorges and rivers, pretty villages and kasbahs surrounded by oases and green fields, not to forget the vast spaces of the south and the desert with the large dunes sand from Merzouga.

 
 
 

 

Price Includes

  • Accommodation and meals as per programme
  • French/English speaking driver-guide included (vehicle and fuel)
  • Airport transfer
  • One 1.5 litre bottle of water per person per day during the tour
  • Guided tour (½ day) of Marrakech, Rabat and Fez with a local French-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to the monuments/sites indicated in the programme
  • Camel ride
  • Nights in tents in a luxury camp in the desert according to the programme.

Price Excludes

  • All drinks
  • Tips
  • Visit to the Majorelle Gardens/Berber Museum and the YSL Museum
  • Lunches
What to Expect

 This tour will take you through the imperial cities with their jewels of architecture and history, rich in culture and tradition, part of the Mediterranean coast and the Atlantic coast, the magnificent little blue city and Essaouira, which is also one of Morocco’s must-sees, During the tour you will also discover the souks, the medinas and other treasures to be discovered: kasbahs, palm groves, the beauty of the Merzouga desert, accompanied by a ride on the back of a dromedary that some call the Arabian camel.

  • Visit the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca and immortalise its fabulous ornamentation: zelliges, marble, fountains
  • Discover Rabat's main attractions, including the Hassan Tower, the Mohammed V Mausoleum, the old medina, the Kasbah and the garden.
  • Mohammed V, the old medina, the Kasbah and the Ouadaya garden
  • Visit the Roman ruins at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Volubilis and stop off at the holy city of Moulay Idriss.
  • Spend a day discovering the medieval city of Fez, wandering through its souks
  • famous for its goldsmiths and leatherworkers, its incredible leather tanneries, its ancient madrasas ancient madrasas, and fabulous mosques.
Itinerary Grand Tour Morocco 20 days Atlantic to Desert and Atlas

Day 1CASABLANCA - ARRIVAL

We start the tour by a pick up from the airport, the port or your accommodation in Casablanca. The
city is considered the economical center and the largest city in Morocco. Firstly, we will visit the Hassan II mosque the largest mosque in Morocco. It is located on the west coast of the city on a promontory overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Free time for lunch. Then we explore the city, and also visit the amazing
Cornish of Casablanca. Overnight stay in a hotel.

Stopover : CASABLANCA
Meals included : Breakfast

Accommodation : Hotel Odyssee Center

Day 2CASABLANCA - RABAT with a local guide

A short orientation tour of Casablanca, one of North Africa’s largest cities and the country’s economic capital. You will pass the Arab League Park, see the United Nations Square, the Corniche (coastal road).  Continuation to Rabat, Imperial city and capital of the country. After lunch, visit Rabat with a guide. You will stop off at the Royal Palace, visit the Chellah, a 14th-century Merinid necropolis set in a beautiful park and built on Roman foundations, the Hassan Tower, the city’s emblem visible from afar because of its exposed position on a hill, and the mausoleum of King Mohamed V. Finally, take a stroll through the Kasbah des Oudaya, with its splendid view of the Atlantic coast.

Stopover : RABAT
Journey time: 2 h (90 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation : Riad Kalaa

Day 3RABAT - CHEFCHAOUEN

Leaving Rabat to the north, you drive along the picturesque Rif mountains to Chefchaouen. The views over the almost untouched countryside are particularly spectacular. Chefchaouen means ‘look at the horns’ in Tamazight, the local language (from chouf = to look and chaouen = the horns), in reference to the two mountain peaks from which there are magnificent views of this ancient town, which is considered to be the most beautiful in the Rif. The well-preserved medina, with its blue and white houses, lively squares and steep streets, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a stroll through the old town: in the heart of the medina on the central square, the ‘Place Outa-el-Hammam’, you’ll find lots of little cafés and restaurants, the impressive mosque with its octagonal minaret and the kasbah. The town, which has been holy for centuries, was closed to non-Muslims until 1920. 

Stopover: CHEFCHAOUEN
Duration of journey: 4 h (250 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation : Casa Hassan

Day 4CHEFCHAOUEN

Today is free. Take a stroll around the medina, which is entirely surrounded by a wall, and soak up the lively atmosphere over a mint tea in one of the many picturesque cafés. Visit the central Outa-el-Hammam square, where the Great Mosque dominates with its ornate minaret. Nearby is the entrance to the seventeenth-century Kasbah of Moulay Ismail, home to the Folklore Museum, where a variety of traditional garments, jewellery, ceramics, bridal sedan chairs, finely embroidered textiles, weapons and musical instruments bear witness to the Arab-Andalusian culture of this region. In the rooms of the former prison, works by local artists are on display and art exhibitions are organised. You can also enjoy a pleasant walk in the surrounding area, as far as the Ras-el-Ma springs, where the water flows all year round. Make the most of your day in this extraordinary city!

Stop-over : CHEFCHAOUEN
Meals included : Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation : Casa Hassan

Day 5CHEFSCHAOUEN - FES

After breakfast, departure for Fez, probably the most imposing imperial city. Fes is a living testimony to history and culture, knowledge and religion, but also to the skills of Moroccan craftsmen and the art of cooking. The Jewish influence can still be felt to this day in Fez, which is a city where you can admire, watch and learn….. Fes, which in its past was one of the centres of Islamic civilisation, remains an intellectual centre of the Arabic-speaking world thanks to art and science, and offers the unspoilt image of a medieval city.

Stopover: FES
Journey time: 3 h 30 min (200 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation : Riad Al Makan

Day 6 FES - ½ DAY GUIDED CITY TOUR

At 09:00, a local guide will collect you from the Riad. Fez is made up of three sectors:

Fès-el-Bali, the old part of the city, which dates back to the 9th century with a maze of small streets, so narrow that sometimes two people cannot pass each other. Here you will find almost all the city’s historical and cultural sites. Then there’s Fes-el-Jedid, which means ‘New Fes’ and then the New Town, dating from the French protectorate. First you can admire the panoramic view of the city from the Borj Sud. Then you’ll discover the old town, a labyrinth with thousands of little streets, where you won’t get lost thanks to your guide. Stroll through this captivating medina, visiting the Andalusian quarter, the Medersa Attarine and Bou Inania Koranic schools (14th century), the Place Nejjarine with its remarkable fountain and the Karaouiyine Mosque (from the outside). In the bewildering souks, you can watch shopkeepers haggling and craftsmen working in their workshops. After stopping in front of the Royal Palace, you will cross ‘Le Mellah’, the Jewish quarter and admire the city’s most beautiful gateway, the Bab Boujloud, and visit the potters’ quarter.

In the afternoon, you can explore the area at your leisure.

Stopover : FES
Meals included : Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation : Riad Al Makan

Day 7 VOLUBILIS – MEKNES – FES

Today’s route takes you to Volubilis and Meknes. In ancient times, Volubilis was an important Roman city on the western edge of the Roman Empire and today is an example of an architectural complex illustrating the organisation of the ancient Roman administration. The remains that have come to light, such as the Capitol, the forum, the triumphal arch, the basilica and the thermal baths, as well as the magnificent mosaics, bear witness to the past wealth of the inhabitants, who traded heavily in olive oil. Continuation to Meknes. The smallest of the four Imperial cities is situated on a plateau 550 m above sea level, and its medina has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1996. The city, with its healthy, mild Mediterranean climate, is located in one of the most fertile regions of Morocco, renowned for its olive and wine-growing. Explore the ancient capital of Moulay Ismaël, stopping off at the Bab Khemis gate and then the Bab Mansour, one of the most beautiful city gates in Morocco, where court hearings were once held and the heads of those condemned to death were displayed. You can visit the huge water reservoir, the Agdal basin, the famous ‘Heri as Souani’ granaries and the horse stables just behind, and finally the mausoleum housing the tomb of Moulay Ismaïl, which is open to non-Muslims. In the evening, return to Fez.

Stopover : FES
Meals included : Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation : Riad Al Makan

Day 8 FES – MIDELT

The road from Fes to Midelt crosses the Middle Atlas via the Kandar Pass and Ifrane, passing through slopes wooded with pine and holm oak. Stop off at Ifrane, a popular winter resort for Moroccans at an altitude of 1,650 metres. Often referred to as the Switzerland of Morocco, the small town is best known for its elite Al Akhawayn University. Passing through immense cedar forests, where you may be lucky enough to encounter Barbary macaques in the wild, you continue on to Midelt (1,488 m), a small town set in an impressive landscape, which makes its living from mining and fruit growing, especially apples, and is an ideal starting point for hikes up Djebel Ayachi (3,737 m).

Stopover: MIDELT
Duration of journey: 4 h (240 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Kasbah Asmaa 

Day 9MIDELT – ERFOUD – RISSANI – MERZOUGA

A nomadic proverb says: ‘You can’t describe the desert, you have to live it’. Tonight you’re in for an unforgettable experience.

You leave the peaceful town of Midelt via the Talghemt pass, which means ‘camel pass’, to the Hassan Addakhil dam. From Errachidia along the beautiful Ziz valley, the contrast between the desert landscape punctuated by small villages, flowering oasis gardens and long palm groves, offers an unusual spectacle. Erfoud is the capital of Tafilalet, with 300,000 date palms, and the town celebrates the ‘date festival’ in October to mark the end of the harvest. Continue on to Merzouga and Erg Chebbi. The desert adventure begins with a camel ride to admire the sunset over sand dunes up to 100 m high. An unforgettable night among the dunes awaits you.

Stage : MERZOUGA
Duration of journey: 4 h 30 min (270 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast Dinner
Accommodation: Luxury Camp

Day 10MERZOUGA – TINJDAD – TINGHIR

Don’t miss the magnificent sunrise with its unparalleled play of colours. After a traditional breakfast, you will leave the Erg Chebbi for Rissani, cradle of the Alaouite dynasty. Here you will find the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, founder of the dynasty and ancestor of the current King Mohamed VI. (It is possible to visit the inner courtyard, but the tomb is reserved for Muslims). Crossing the vast arid plains, you will discover the Khettaras, the remains of ancient underground water galleries. In Tinejdad, visit the ancient Ksar El Khorbat, restored with the help of the Barcelona Technical School of Architecture and now largely inhabited again. A visit to the ‘Oasis Museum’ will give you a better understanding of traditional life in the pre-Saharan valleys. Late afternoon, arrival in Tinghir,

Stopover: TINGHIR
Journey time: 3 h 30 min (200 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast Dinner
Accommodation : Riad Dar Bab Todra

Day 11TINGHIR

The charming town of Tinghir, situated between the High Atlas and Jebel Saghro, with its palm groves stretching for miles, is an invitation to stay a little longer. Visit the world-famous Todra Gorge, with its rock faces up to 300 metres high. After a short walk through gardens of palm and olive trees, visit the old small mosque and Koranic school of Ikelane, dating from the last century and currently being renovated. Take a stroll through the old Ksar, some of which has been beautifully restored, or take a stroll through the centre of town along the women’s alleyway. If you’re in Tinghir on a Monday, the day of the weekly market, a visit to this typically rural souk is a very special experience.

Stopover : TINGHIR
Meals included : Breakfast Dinner
Accommodation : Riad Dar Bab Todra

Day 12 TINGHIR – ALNIF – TAZZARINE - ZAGORA

Drive to Alnif and Tazzarine, a region famous for its fossil deposits and its ‘Camoun beldi’ cumin and henna crops. If you have a 4×4 vehicle, you can make a diversion to Ait Ouazik, about 08 km from the Tazzarine roundabout in the direction of Taghbalt, where a track on your right leads to the unique site of rock engravings. You then cross a rocky landscape via Taghbalt and the Tizi n’Tafilalt pass to Zagora. The town was once one of the most important caravan stations, as the ‘Timbuktu 52 days’ sign in the centre indicates. In Zagora, the big souk is located on the outskirts of the town towards Foum Zguid and takes place every Wednesday and Sunday. In an area reserved for women, you can examine the homemade products and beauty products – Zagora pottery has a good reputation throughout the country.

Stopover: ZAGORA
Journey time: 3 h 30 min (240 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast Dinner
Accommodation : Zagora Oasis Lodge 

Day 13M'HAMID EL GHIZLANE & Camel trekking

Once again you can experience the desert, listen to the silence…..

Wide open spaces and a desert landscape await you as far as M’Hamid. Stop off at Tamegroute, in the centre of which is the Zaouïa Naciria, a Sufi religious brotherhood founded in the 17th century and renowned for its very rich library containing precious ancient works of theology, history and medicine. Tamegroute is also home to a number of pottery workshops that make everyday objects such as tagine dishes, plates, bowls, cups and tiles of a distinctive green colour.

On leaving Tamegroute, the first sand dunes can be seen at Tinfou. After passing Tagounite and its large palm grove, and crossing the last small pass before the vast desert, you arrive at your camp at M’Hamid El Ghizlane in the middle of the sand dunes. You will explore this magnificent landscape on the back of a dromedary, the ‘ship of the desert’. In the evening, enjoy this very special atmosphere around a campfire. Overnight in tents

Stopover: ZAGORA
Duration of journey: 1 h 30 min (90 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast Picnic Dinner
Accommodation : Authentic desert Camp

Day 14M’HAMID EL GHIZLANE - ZAGORA –OUARZAZATE – AIT BEN HADDOU

After breakfast, return to Zagora, then head up the lush Draa Valley, lined with verdant palm groves and oasis gardens, past picturesque villages, fortified kasbahs and adobe-built ksour to Agdz. This small town was once an important stopover for caravans coming from Timbuktu and played a significant economic role in the region. After crossing the Tizi-n-Tinififft pass, you approach Ouarzazate. Depending on your time of arrival, you can stop off again at the Taourirt kasbah, the town’s most famous site. It was once the seat of government of the powerful Berber Glaoui tribe and served as the palace of Pasha Thami El Glaoui, who ruled the entire region to the south-east of Marrakech. The magnificent scenery of the Atlas Mountains, the ochre-coloured earthen architecture and the desert have attracted many film-makers to this region. You can also visit one of the film studios here.

Continue to Ait Benhaddou, one of the most imposing ksars in southern Morocco and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Stopover: AIT BEN HADDOU
Duration of journey: 4 h 30 min (270 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast Dinner
Accommodation : Hotel Riad Ksar Ighnda

 

Day 15AIT BEN HADDOU - TELOUET - MARRAKECH

A magnificent mountain landscape awaits you as you follow the Ounilla valley and its typical villages to Telouet. Here, at an altitude of 1,800 m, the imposing Kasbah, the former stronghold of the Pacha Thami Glaoui, stands hidden from view. Built between the XVIIIᵉ and XIXᵉ centuries, it is a place steeped in history. Despite the dilapidation of this building, which was once the seat of the Glaouis, one of the most powerful Berber tribes, the old palace remains impressive. The Tizi n’Tischka road (2260 m), one of the highest road passes in Morocco and the most important link between Marrakech and the desert, offers breathtaking views of the valleys and small Berber hamlets clinging to the mountainsides. As you descend towards Marrakech, you’ll be amazed by the views as far as the valley floor and the Haouz plain.

Stopover: MARRAKECH
Duration of journey: 4 h (190 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation : Riad Dar Soukaina

Day 16HALF-DAY GUIDED TOUR OF MARRAKECH

In the morning, accompanied by a local guide, visit Marrakech, also known as the ‘City of the South’. With him you will see some of the most important sites. You will pass through the Menara gardens and the Koutoubia (from the outside), then visit the Bahia Palace, the Saadian tombs and the El Badii Palace, followed by a stroll through the souks with a break for lunch in a small restaurant in the souks. Then return to your Riad/hotel. Let the many new impressions linger in your thoughts, enjoy the ‘dolce far niente’ or relax by the pool (please note: not all Riads have a pool).

Stopover : MARRAKECH
Meals included : Breakfast 
Accommodation : Riad Dar Soukaina

Day 17 MARRAKECH – ESSAOUIRA

Head for the Atlantic coast to Essaouira, formerly known as Mogador. You will pass through typical villages and large argan groves. On the way, stop off at an argan cooperative, where the women extract top-quality table oil and cosmetics from the fruit of the argan tree. Essaouira is not only popular with surfers, it is also a meeting place for artists, painters and musicians.

The old town and its narrow streets invite you to take a stroll. There are plenty of shops, boutiques, galleries, woodcarving workshops and good little restaurants to choose from.

Stopover: ESSAOUIRA
Journey time: 3 h 30 min (190 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast
Accommodation : Maison Du Sud

Day 18ESSAOUIRA

The former Mogador, as Essaouira was known until Morocco’s independence, is now a seductive city that you can easily explore for yourself. As well as the beach and the sea, Essaouira (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004) is a pleasant town with plenty of entertainment on offer. In the morning, you can attend the fish auction at the port. You can stroll through the old medina, where you’ll find the jewellers’ souk, numerous stalls selling beautiful handicrafts, thuya wood marquetry workshops and the Sqala de la Kasbah, a 200-metre-long ancient battery. Sip mint tea on one of the countless terraces or go surfing or horse-riding, which are available outside the town. If the wind is not too strong, you can laze on the beach or take a long walk. For lunch, try a delicious fish dish, and in the evening, sample typical regional dishes in one of the many authentic restaurants.

Stopover : ESSAOUIRA
Meals included : Breakfast
Accommodation: Maison Du Sud

Day 19 ESSAOUIRA - SAFI - CASABLANCA

On the way to Casablanca, your first stop will be in Safi, a historic former Portuguese town. Safi is known for its important sea-fishing port (the famous sardines!) and is famous for its pottery and ceramics, which are sold all over Morocco. Continue on to El Jadida, another port city. Formerly known as Mazagan, you can walk around the Portuguese city, a fortified town surrounded by thick walls and flanked by four towers, with a water cistern and the Church of the Assumption. The fortress has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. You will then take the motorway to Casablanca.

Stopover: CASABLANCA
Duration of journey: 4 h 15 min (380 Km)
Meals included : Breakfast
Accommodation : Sky Casa Airport

Day 20 CASABLANCA- Departure from the airport

Today, alas, the day has come to say goodbye and return home with your memory full of memories and in your luggage.

Depending on your departure, you will have some free time before leaving your Riad / hotel and transferring to Casablanca airport for your return flight.

Stopover : CASABLANCA
Meals included : Breakfast