12 DAYS DESERT TOUR FROM CASABLANCA TO MERZOUGA DESERT
DAY 1 : CASABLANCA AIRPORT – CASABLANCA HOTEL
As soon as you land we will meet you at the airport greet you and pick you up to your hotel where you will spend the night and have breakfast at.
DAY 2 : CASABLANCA- RABAT – CHEFCHAOUEN
When the sun rises we will pick you up and together we explore the beautiful sights and monuments of Casablanca, like the Grand Hassan II mosque, one of the gigantesque and overwhelming mosques around the world, well loved for its combination of traditional and modern print, each detail of it is fascinating from the ceramic mosaic, carved plasterwork and painted wood, this outstanding piece of art is a symbol of the renaissance of Moroccan craft arts. It was fully polished in 1993 , took five years of intensive labor by 30000workers, craftsmen, engineers…. Standing in its gigantesque square you will be able to overlook the Pacific Ocean. After that we will drive though Mohammadia and then stop at Rabat another big imperial city. It is actually the current capital of the ruling dynasty. We will stroll down in its streets and stop at the Hassan tower, and Oudaya Kasbah. we will continue our trip to the blue city Chefchaouen where we will spend the night in a beautiful Riad or hotel.
DAY 3 : CHEFCHAOUEN – VOLUBILIS – MEKNES – FES :
After having breakfast we will stroll down the city’s streets to explore its magic by daylight. After that we will hit the road towards Volubilis, characterized with its important roman ruined sites , it is located in a very spectacular place somewhere between the hills and Moulay Idriss, the site used to host numerous roman artifacts yet most of them were taken to museums. Overall the city is still intact, and looks as it once looked. We will have lunch at Meknes the ancient capital of Moulay Ismail. While walking down its streets you can overlook the Zerhoun mountain which rises to 1000 meters to the north, the city is worldwide known for its quality of olives, Meknes is an imperial city and considered one of the first ones to be built by Ismaili dynasty as a result the city is filled with history and heritage from the ancient times, it has gigantesque gates adorned with traditional moro-andalus sculpture. The city also contains Medrassa Bouanania another heritage by the ancient civilizations, vibrant souks, dar Jamai, El Hdim Square, which is similar to Jamaa El Fna square with its acrobats performers, storytellers, snake charmers, after we have fun in the olive city we will move not far away just 40 km to Fez where we will spend the night at in a traditional riad.
DAY 4 : FES – GUIDED TOUR
After having breakfast we will start our trip around Fez, one of the most important cities of the kingdom, and actually it is believed to be the first built city by the Idrissids, it is the spiritual, cultural, scientific and artistic capital of Morocco, walking down its narrow ancient streets of the medina you would feel as if time had stopped in the middle age, we will visit historical sites and buildings like the Quaraouine mosque which is also considered as the first university to ever exist founded in 859. It is a prestigious center for the Arab world, its influence grew as the Marinids took charge over it. Fez was divided into two ^parts fortunately they were reunited by Almoravids. And in the 11th century Fez became one of the major cities of Islam. At sunset we will drive upwards to a wonderful hill where we can overlook the whole city in one scenery. After that we go back to the Riad to rest and get ready for the next day.
DAY 5 : FES – ZIZ VALLEY – ZIZ GORGES – MERZOUGA
After having breakfast we will head to Erg chebbi dunes. Yet as we go along the road we will stop at Ifran and Midelt to rest and continue through the marvelous Tizi N Talghamt mountain pass, and the ziz gorges. As we proceed you will be able to notice the change in sceneries from mountainous to desert-like. We will have lunch in Errachidia among very welcoming habitants. We will continue via Ziz valley’s formidable landscapes, we will make a quick stop at Erfoud to view its famous and marvelous fossils. In the afternoon we will be found in Merzouga, you will be received with fresh cup of mint tea and a charming smile. And then we go to rest in the hotel getting ready for tomorrow’s activities.
DAY 6 : ERG CHEBBI TOUR – NOMAD FAMILLY – CAMEL TREKKING TOURS
As daylight breaks we will have a tour to visit nomad families in their homes, visit also the Merzouga Oasis of palm trees. After that we will stop at Khamlia village home to many Malawian and Sudanese people. Then we will enjoy A beautiful concert of Gnawa whilst sipping delicious mint tea. Once we go back to the hotel we will find the camels waiting for us to carry over the high dunes of Erg chebbi , the trip would take 40 min, but it would be joyful and peaceful as we tour the vast seas of sand while the sun sets. When we arrive we will have a yummy delicious traditional meal under a starry sky. You will sleep in nomad tent for you to enjoy full nomad experience.
DAY 7 : CAMEL DESERT TOUR – RISSANI – TODRA GORGES –DADES VALLEY:
Make sure not to miss the spectacular sunrise over the golden high dunes of Sahara. After that we will go back to the hotel , shower and have breakfast. Then we will drive to Rissani which was once the capital of Tafilalt region, also a very important trade center. It was founded at around 757 by the great Arab leader Moussa Ben Nasser, the region was considered important for trade because it laid on the length of the sahel Europe trade route, people were trading gold, and many goods. Besides it contains some major archeological sites like the roman ruins between the village and the river. It also contains an exquisite Kasbah built by Moulay Ismail which unfortunately had been destroyed by Ait Atta tribe in 1818. The region is rich of history, it used also to be the home for the current ruling dynasty the Alaouits before they gained the Moroccan territory in the 17th century. After exploring a little bit of history and south Moroccan culture. We will have lunch in Tinjdad and then continue the road through the 1000kasbah, it is located between Merzouga and Ouarzazat. The road is always adorned with huge palm groves, and high mountains in the back, we will spend the night in a hotel in the marvelous region of Dades valley.
DAY 8 : DADES VALLEY – OUARZAZATE – AIT BENHADDOU – MARRAKECH
Once we take breakfast in the hotel, we will stroll down the narrow gorges before the depart to Marrakech, as we drive we will pass by Dades valley, Kalaat Mgouna also known as the capital of flowers, each year in May or June its local inhabitants host a ceremony the rose festival in which they crown young girls and celebrate their floral productions. Our journey still proceeds as we go along the 1000thousand Kasbah route, valley of roses. At lunch time we will stop at Ait Benhadou a small well known village for its cinematic location for movies like the Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia….. It is also a unesco heritage site. As soon as we finish exploring the exquisite site we will hit the road again to Marrakech via Tizi n Tichka mountain pass. As the sun sets we will be found in the heart of Marrakech where we will spend the night in a Riad.
DAY 9 : MARRAKECH GUIDED TOUR:
For your ninth day we will fully explore the beloved Marrakech, most tourists prefer stopping by Marrakech before they leave. This charming is the perfect combination of both modern and traditional Moroccan print, you could see that in its buildings in the ancient medina, you can start off by paying a visit to Jamaa el Fna square, a unesco worldwide heritage site. You can have a freshly squeezed lemon juice from the aligned dozens of shops, and then observe the snake charmers, acrobats, storytellers, musicians…. besides the square there are few recognizable museums like Dar sidi Said and Bahia Palace. You can also visit the Saadain tombs and have lunch there before we steer again to the Koutoubia Mosque although non muslims aren’t allowed to enter yet you still can marvel at the formidable architecture of the ancient civilizations, also there’s a lovely garden in front of it, if you are interested we can stop at the big malls or continue directly to Majorelle gardens the mesmerizing live nature that lays in the heart of Marrakech. Late afternoon we will be back to the hotel.
DAY 10 : MARRAKECH – ESSAOUIRA:
For today’s activities we will make sure to visit the wonderful Essaouira city. It used to be a Portuguese harbor or fort against other towns for its vast port. Along its streets you will find multiple examples of both Moorish and Portuguese artifacts, the city also is known for its famous Araar wood. It is also home to silver jewelry. The city is called “ The jewelry of Atlantic” for its charming arts, fresh breezes of air coming from the sea, the smell of wood coming from handicraft shops… here’s a fact Orson Welles was so overwhelmed by the city that he filmed Othello in Essaouira in 1949. We will surely visit the famous fishing port, medina and artistic complex. In the afternoon you can visit its traditional souks, fish auctions, and narrow ancient streets. You will spend the night in one of the city’s finest hotels and have a breakfast there.
DAY 11: ESSAOUIRA – MARRAKECH
The morning will be for you to stroll around Essaouira, and you desire to have some coast line activities we would be happy to plan it together. Late afternoon we would return to Marrakech where we will spend the night in.
DAY 12: MARRAKECH – CASABLANCA AIRPORT
As you have your breakfast we will pick you up from the hotel and drive you to the airport. And that would be the end of our services until we embark on a another journey.