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14 Days Imperial And Desert Trip

Day 1: Airport-Casablanca :

Today, we pick you up at the  Casablanca Mohammed V Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Casablanca. If  you arrive in time and it’s not too late, we’ll visit the most well -known mosque,  Hasan II and drive by Rick’s Café, made famous from the movie, Casablanca,  filmed in 1942. If your arrival time was late, we will visit these sites the next morning.

Day 2 : Casablanca/Rabat/Chefchaouen:

After breakfast, we start our journey exploring Casablanca. We will see the Mosque Hassan II, the 3rd largest mosque after “Mecca” and Cafe Ricks where the movie, Casablanca, was filmed in 1942.  We drive on to Rabat,  the capital of Morocco,  founded by the Phoenicians in the 10th century. You have the opportunity to visit ruins left behind, Chellah Necropolis , the Hassan Tower or the unfinished Mosque. Later on we drive to the Blue City, Chefchaoune,  where you’ll  stay in an authentic Riad .

 

Day 3 : Chefchaouen :

Today you will have all day to discover this well -known city with its blue-washed walls within the old Medina. We will walk the winding alleyways,  the leather and weaving shops,  the steep cobbled lanes , the square of ‘Wtta-Hmam’s red-walled Kasbah ,where you will enjoy lunch in a local restaurants in the main square near the Kasbah.  built in the 14th century  by Moulay Ali ben Moussa to fight the Portuguese. 

  

Day 4:  Chefchaouen – Volubilis – Meknes – Fez :

Today, we drive towards Fez, enjoying the magic of the Rif mountains , before arriving at Volubilis, the Mauritanian capital during the 3rd  century, an important outpost of the Roman Empire. You  can walk ( possibly with a local guide) and later on,  just 20 KM further, arrive in Meknes, for lunch in a local restaurant and to explore this city, known with its imperial past, it’s huge gate with arches and mosaic tiling, the mausoleum of the Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made the city his capital in the 17 century, the main square,L’ahddim, the oldest and largest prison underground. Next we’ll see the unique old medina . End your day in the authentic riad within the medina of Fez.

Day 5 : Exploring Fez:

Today after breakfast you will have the entire day to explore Fez,  the second largest city in Morocco, to see all the historical monuments. The Fez el Bali walled Medina, the vibrant souks and old-world atmosphere , Bou Inania, a school from the 14th  century with it’s amazing architecture, and the Al Attarine and Karaouine  schools. We’ll  break for lunch and then visit the Merenid Tombs, and the ceramic (ZELLIJ) factory to watch artisans use clay for a variety of decorative work.  Then back to the riad at the end of the day.

 

Day 6 : Fez – Azrou – Ifrane – Medelt –Ziz Valley -Merzouga desert 

 

This morning we drive toward Erg-Chebbi Dunes, about an hour and a half from Fez. We will take a break in Ifrane along the way. Ifrane , known as the Switzerland of Morocco, is a beautiful resort town high up in the mountains and  great for photos. We continue driving through the Middle Atlas Mountains and stop next in the Cedar Forest where the Macaque monkeys live. You’ll have a chance to observe them and take pictures, and then we move on, driving through beautiful landscapes until we reach Midelt for lunch. Later, we drive through the Ziz Valley, the last 80 KM stretch through the mountains, a lush, fertile land with plenty of stopping points along the route.Then to your riad in Merzouga desert .

Day 7: Hassi Labyad – Merzouga – Khamlia – Tamradanite:

 After breakfast we will do an exciting off-road drive around the sand dunes near the Algerian-Moroccan border to explore another aspect of the Sahara. You have the opportunity to meet Berber families living in camel hair tents. You’ll learn a little of their culture.  We will then visit the small Berber villages of Tamrdanite and M’fis,  where we can visit the still functioning mineral mines. Continuing our trip  toKhamlia, a remote village with only 32 families living there, we will listen to  their  Gnawa music and meet the Khamlia people , who originated from Mali. For lunch, we’ll stop at a local restaurant to taste a delicious Berber pizza. We will then drive to your Riad to get ready for a Moroccan highlight, a camel ride to the camp. On the way  , you can stop to take picture of the Sahara desert sunset. Overnight, you’ll stay in the desert camp, enjoying dinner and music before a unique night.

Day 8 : Erg Chebbi – Rissani – Tinjdad – Todra Gorge – Boumalen Dades(Dades Valley):

Breakfast and a short trek back to where your driver guide will be waiting you . We depart, driving toward Rissani,  an old imperial city in Morocco and  the ancient capital of Tafilalte  We’ll visit the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, the third great grandfather of Moulay Cherif, who was the founder of the Alaouite dynast of Morocco on the southern edge of town. Then, on to Erfoud, an oasis town in the Sahara, where you can see Morocco’s fossils and marble factories. Next, we visit the Todra Gorge to stop for lunch and to wander through what is recognized as one of the most spectacular canyons in the world. We can watch rock climbers as they crawl up the limestone cliffs, which measure up to 500 feet high . 

Day 9 : Dades Valley – Botghrar – Kalaat M’gouna (Rose Valley) – Skoura (Ouasis) – Ouarzazate (Hollywood Of Africa ):

After breakfast we will begin our day exploring the Dades Valley with its almond and fig trees,  through the Atlas Mountains. We’ll  drive off- road for about 16 miles, to see a very different and beautiful landscape, where you feel as though you’re in  the middle of nowhere. This is where the Nomads live in caves. Here we’ll stop for a break with a nomad family. They will welcome us with a cup of tea where we can observe their culture and way of life. We will continue on to the village of  Botghrar, driving alongside the Rose Valley to Kalaa M’gouna , known as the City of Roses, for lunch in a local restaurant. Take as much time as you want before we move toward our the next destination, Skoura, to visit one of the most coveted Kasbahs in Morocco (Amridil Kasbah ) from the 17th century, which appears on Morocco’s 50-dirham note. Then to your hotel in Ouarzazate ( The Hollywood of Africa) .We’ll stay overnight. Dinner and breakfast included.

Day 10 : Ouarzazate – Taznakht – Taliouine – Taroudant :

This morning you will begin your day by  visiting Ouarzazate  (Hollywood of Africa), Taourirt Kasbah and the Atlas Studios.. the studio, is the  largest movie studios in Africa and you will see where The Mummy, Gladiator, Hana, and Lawrence of Arabia, were filmed. Later,  we will drive across Taznakht to Taliouine, famous for its production of the spice, saffron. This town produces more saffron than any other place in Africa. You’ll visit a Saffron cooperative .

Later on to your Riad in Taroudant.

Day 11 :Taroudant – Agadir – Essaouira :

This morning you will discover Taroudant,  known as the grandmother of Marrakech because of its resemblance to Marrakech but on a smaller scale. With its surrounding ramparts, it has the feel of a fortified market town. Later,  we  drive across Agadir, with a short stop at the Kasbah of Agadir Oufella,  to take in the beautiful views of the city. Lunch in Sidi Kaouki Beach, a  destination known for surfers because of the wind and waves. You can swim and refresh before we take you to our Riad/hotel in Essaouira .

Day 12 : Essaouira – Chichoua – Marrakech :

After breakfast you will have enough time to explore Essaouira, an old town protected by an 18th century seafront rampart,  called the Skala de la Kasbah ,which were designed by European engineers. After lunch, we drive to Marrakech, with a walk in the UNESCO Masterpiece of the oral and intangible Heritage of Humanity,  Jemaa el-Fna,  one of the main cultural spaces in Marrakesh and a symbol of the city since its foundation in the eleventh century. It represents a concentration of popular Moroccan cultural traditions performed through musical, religious and artistic expressions. It’s a place for cultural exchange and part of Morocco’s artistic heritage since 1922. Then, on to your riad,

Day 13 :  Exploring Marrakech :

Today after breakfast, you  have a local guide to explore the red city of Marrakesh, the third largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca and Fez .You will visit the main square of Jamaa el Fna ,the Ktoubia Mosque , the Bahia Palace, Saadian tombs , spice Souks, and more. Lunch in a  local restaurant in the  medina. Later, will take you to the French section of Marrakesh to visit the Majorel garden and Saint Lauren Museum .Then,  back to your Riad/hotel.

Day 14: Marrakech – Casablanca Airport :

We will drop you at the Airport in time for your flight.