Morocco is well known for it’s diversity of people and places and cultures. Throughout this trip, you will be introduced to the authentic Morocco lifestyle in all of it’s beautiful and unique diversity. Every day you will have opportunities for interaction with locals and their different cultures, both Arab and Berber (or Amazigh). We will assist you in meeting and talking with craftsmen, farmers, and many ordinary people who just happen to be in the same place and at the same time as you. Urban and rural, ancient and modern, men and women, desert and mountains – all will come together in this trip, leaving you amazed and with a better understanding of this complex country. Morocco Classics will take you to all the highlights and will help you save time and energy as you experience the best that Morocco has to offer. This tour is suitable for everyone of all ages.
Day 1: Arrival day Arrive in Casablanca, where you’ll meet your tour leader and have your first taste of Morocco in it’s largest city. Depending on your time of arrival, you will have some time to explore and see firsthand the mixing of cultures throughout the city. From European-style art deco architecture to the conversations in French that you’ll hear on the streets, the legacy of French colonization is everywhere. In the middle of these things however, you will find hammams, Moorish styled building elements, souqs, and all the others things that are associated with what is considered traditional North African culture.
Day 2: Casablanca to Meknes We will start our day by visiting the largest mosque in Morocco, Hassan II Mosque. Following your tour of this impressive structure which is situated right on the coast where crashing waves can be heard in the midst of the peaceful interior, we will hop onto our comfortable, air-conditioned van for a few hours drive to Rabat, one of the four Imperial Cities of Morocco. Rabat is Morocco’s capital and second largest city, and is located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Rabat, and its neighboring city of Salé, still maintain important textile, food processing and construction industries. In addition, tourism and the presence of all of the foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities in the country. We will have a few hours here to explore the kasbah, which has managed to maintain its history with only a touch of modern influence. After another 2 hours of driving time, we will arrive in Meknes where we will stop for the night. Meknes is the second of the imperial cities that we will visit, chosen by Moulay Ismail to be his capital city in the 17th century. Moulay Ismail was one of the most important kings in the Alaouite dynasty, and you will have a chance to explore his legacy in Morocco further as we explore Meknes this evening. It’s here you’ll have your first opportunity to experience the Moroccan tradition of gathering in the local souq for storytelling and street food.
Day 3: Meknes to Fes After breakfast at the hotel, we will spend part of the morning walking through the streets of Meknes with a local guide. A stop at the food market is a must, where you’ll be able to sample all types of pastries before continuing along in your journey back into the 17th century. After this, we will head on to Fes. In total, we will spend about 2.5 hours driving today, but you will barely notice the time because of the stops we will make along the way! From Meknes, we will take a scenic route through the countryside for about one hour before arriving at Oualili, perhaps better known as the well-preserved and partially excavated Roman city, Volubilis. After spending some time exploring the ruins we will head to the nearby town of Moulay Idriss, the most important holy place for Muslims in Morocco, which has only allowed non-Muslims to stay overnight since 2005. The town itself is compact, and it’s narrow streets are spread across two hills, offering you views of the fertile fields and olive groves below. After spending some time in this interesting town, we will continue on to Fes where we will stop for the night. Depending on your desires for the night, we can either have dinner near the hotel or we can head into Fes’ famed medina for your first taste of everything that makes Fes such an appealing stop accompanied by a delicious camel burger!
Day 4: Fes Today you’ll spend all day exploring Fes, another of the former imperial cities of Morocco, with special attention being given to its medina and it’s 10,000 winding streets and alleys. Fes’ medina is most known for it’s size, being the largest car-free urban area in the world, as well as it’s many historically and culturally significant landmarks. We’ll provide you with a government certified local guide for the day, who will introduce you to the oldest continuously functioning university in the world (University of Al Quaraouiyine, founded in AD 859), the Bou Inania madrasa (a 14th century religious university famed for its carved wooden walls and Arabic calligraphy), as well as several other locations which will help you to further understand this complex and awe-inspiring city. And what trip to the Fes medina would be complete without a visit to the famed tanneries? We’ll make sure you’re provided with a sprig of mint to help you cope with the smell of the leather being processed, and then you can watch the tanners at work from a balcony until you’re content. And make sure you bring some cash with you on this day…the quality and quantity of leather goods, ceramics, and textiles that you’ll find here is unmatched!
Day 5: Fes to Azilal This morning we will set out on one of the best drives in Morocco, with majestic views of the Atlas Mountains finally coming into view. We will drive through Ifrane, Khenifra; Beni Mellal, with each city offering you a different view of the many sides of Morocco. At the end of our drive we’ll reach Azilal, a small town located between the middle and high Atlas Mountains. Use this evening to relax and enjoy a break from the fast paced cities we have visited so far, and learn more about the lifestyle of rural Berbers in Morocco. For dinner we would recommend ordering fish, which is caught fresh daily in the nearby Bin el-Ouidane lake.
Day 6: Marrakesh Today we’ll begin to make our way towards Marrakesh, with a few interesting stops along the way. First we’ll head off the main road to Ouzoud Falls, the biggest waterfall in Morocco and the perfect place to spend some time reflecting on the beauty of this majestic country. There are frequently monkeys hanging around, and when you are done observing the waterfall their antics are sure to entertain you. Another 2.5 hours on the road, interrupted only by a few strategic stops for photographs of the mountain views, and we’ll arrive in Marrakesh where you’ll be able to see firsthand the famed red sandstone walls which date back to the 12thcentury and give the city its nickname of the “Red City”. We’ll have more than enough time to begin our exploration of this important city, beginning with the sights, sounds, and smells that comprise Jemaa el-Fnaa square. Historically, the square was used for public executions, but as you’ll see tonight it’s now a much more light hearted destination where locals and tourists alike spend the night wandering around the myriad food stalls and being entertained by storytellers and musicians. It won’t take you too long to understand why Jemaa el-Fnaa is one of the most recognized squares in the world.
Day 7: Marrakesh After a good breakfast to start the day, you’ll head off on a full day of sightseeing in this fascinating city. Marrakesh is perhaps the most important of Morocco’s imperial cities, historically because it was the capital city of Morocco under two different dynasties, and currently because of its important role in Morocco’s economy and culture. Today you’ll see beautiful examples of Islamic architecture at Koutoubia Minaret and Bahia Palace, find refuge from the hectic city atmosphere in Menara Gardens and Majorelle Botanical Gardens, and get lost in the winding alleys of Morocco’s largest medina. You’ll also get the chance to see Jemaa el-Fnaa again during the day, where you’ll exchange your ideas of food stalls and acrobats for fresh orange juice vendors and snake charmers.
Day 8: Marrakesh You’ll have the entire day free to enjoy as you wish in Marrakesh today. Options range from a relaxing visit at a local hammam to exploring local art galleries and museums. Or you can choose to people watch at a local cafe with a glass of mint tea and a good book. This is your day, and we are here to help you fill it with activities that will perfectly suit your final day in majestic Morocco.
Day 9: Departure Day Today you’ll say goodbye to your guide and to majestic Morocco. It is our hope that throughout this trip Morocco has become like a second home to you, and that you’ve come to appreciate all of the beauty and diversity that she has to offer. After goodbyes, we’ll make sure that you are transferred from your hotel to the airport or train station in time for the next part of your journey.
The commitments Explore Morocco
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