Absolute Morocco

16 days

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An in-depth immersion into the best that Morocco offers. This itinerary beautifully pairs the bustling souks and ancient history of Marrakech and Fes with two incredible desert regions, allowing the perfect escape from modern society for an immersion into true wilderness. Meander the myriad alleyways of the eye-capturing Blue City of Chefchaouen, where you can get a taste for for mountain village life as you explore alleyways and buildings in every hue of blue. Relax at serene seaside Oualidia. The perfect fusion of stunning landscapes, incredible culture, architecture, history, and delicious Moroccan cuisine await.

Highlights

  • Explore the Instagram-worthy Blue City of Chefchaouen
  • Immerse in the beautiful simplicity of the Sahara and Agafay Deserts
  • Delve into Marrakech’s souks and historical sites
  • Relaxation awaits at seaside Oualidia
  • Interact with local artisans, and indulge on a tasting tour of Moroccan cuisine

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Tangier – Evening with Sea Views

Welcome to Morocco, where culture and incredible history fuse together, transporting you to an ancient land. Upon arrival, transfer to Villa Josephine for the evening. Villa Josephine is perched on a hill with panoramic ocean views and vintage-style décor. Flights arrive late afternoon, so this evening is at leisure. Enjoy dinner overlooking the ocean at sunset, the perfect welcome to this mesmerizing country.

DAY 2

Chefchaouen – Tangier Medina and Palace Tour

This morning, explore the Andalusian town of Tangier, with Spanish and French influences. Meander the alleyways and souks of the medina. Explore the Kasbah, the former Sultan’s Palace, and gardens, and visit the Museum of Antiquities and Moroccan Art. In the afternoon, transfer to Chefchaouen. Settle into your riad, Villa Josephine, for the next two nights, and enjoy the fabulous rooftop views across the magical Blue City of Morocco.

DAY 3

Chefchaouen – Discover the Blue City on Foot

Camera in hand, walk the myriad powder blue, cerulean and cobalt laneways with beautifully decorated doors and windows. Discover women selling herbs, 400-year-old doorways, souks filled with spices and jewelry, local cobblers and tailors for a glance into the past. Sunset can be enjoyed atop the hill next to the Spanish Mosque, overlooking the entire city and its mountainous backdrop.

DAY 4

Fes – Tasting the Flavors of Fes

A scenic drive takes you to Fes today, an ancient city with beguiling history and incredible Islamic architecture. Step into the labyrinth alleyways of the Fes medina with your guide, for an introduction into Moroccan cuisine. Explore the food markets, meeting shop owners and learning the importance of various spices. See butchers preparing meat, visit an ancient bakery and community hammam house. Sample meats, olives, potato cakes, honey, pastries with almonds and orange blossom water and more. Your accommodation for the next two nights is a visual feast for the eyes. Riad Fes features intricate Moroccan tiling, plasterwork, and architecture, along with incredible rooftop views across Fes’ ancient medina.

DAY 5

Fes – Historical Tour and Discovering the Souks

Delve back in time today, exploring the highlights and secrets of Fes, the holiest city in the Islamic world after Mecca and Medina. Wander the 2,000 year-old medina with winding alleyways, bustling souks and artisan workshops filled with rugs, spices, copper, ceramics and exotic delicacies. Feel the history of the Jewish quarter and step inside a synagogue. Experience the multi-colored vats of the open-air leather tanneries for amazing photographs and the chance to purchase beautifully made leather items. Sunset is best enjoyed atop a rooftop, listening as the Islamic Call To Prayer drifts across the city.

DAY 6

Rabat – Ancient Meknes, Holy Moulay Idriss and Roman Volubilis

UNESCO World Heritage Meknes holds 15 miles of fortified walls and more than 50 palaces. Snap a photograph of the beautiful Bab el Monsour gate, peruse the alleyways and bustling main square, and step inside an ancient Madrassa or Islamic school to appreciate intricate architecture. Next to Moulay Idriss, a whitewashed town and the holiest city in Morocco. Your final stop is the 2,000 year-old Roman city of Volubilis, encapsulating Roman urban planning and beautifully preserved mosaics and ruins. This evening you’ll rest at the La Hassan Palace Hotel in Rabat.

DAY 7

Oualidia – Rabat Medina Tour and Beachside Relaxation

This morning, embark on an exploration of the Rabat medina, steeped in history from the Romans, Carthaginians, Phoenicians, and Muslims who have visited before. In the afternoon, drive to the sleepy seaside town of Oualidia, for a peaceful relaxation away from the busy cities. Indulge in two nights at the La Sultana Oualidia, where effortlessness and luxury are carefully intertwined. Soak away in your private jacuzzi, take a hammam treatment in the spa, or enjoy a freshly-caught seafood dinner at sunset with your feet in the sand, followed by your favorite beverage at the waterfront bar over the lagoon.

DAY 8

Oualidia – Beach Picnic, Oyster Farm Exploration by Boat

An intimate experience awaits as you immerse yourself in seaside tranquility. This morning is at leisure to take a surf lesson, guided walk of the on-site vegetable gardens or perhaps a horse ride along the beach. Your guide will whisk you away to a secluded beach for lunch, where a gourmet picnic awaits. This afternoon, board a traditional boat and discover nearby oyster beds, for an insight into local fishing traditions. Return to your accommodation and enjoy freshly shucked oysters overlooking the lagoon.

DAY 9

Marrakech – Historical Tour

Drive to Marrakech, the ancient and bustling heart of Morocco. Step back in time as you explore ancient monuments and delve into history at the Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs, the Jewish quarter and Koutoubia Mosque and minaret. Pamper yourself with three nights at one of Morocco’s most beautiful riads, the La Sultana Marrakech affording one of the most beautiful rooftops in the city. You’ll experience old-world charm and luxury in intricately detailed décor, architecture, gardens, and incredible service.

DAY 10

Marrakech – Majorelle Gardens, Berber Museum, Sunset in the Agafay Desert

Peruse the Majorelle Gardens, filled with cacti, flora, ornamental ponds and an Art Deco villa painted cobalt blue. View Yves Saint Laurent’s collection of Berber antiques; an excellent display of beautiful traditional clothing, jewelry, tools, weapons, and household items providing a window to traditional Berber tribes. Take a 4×4 offroad to the Agafay Desert, just outside Marrakech. Rolling sandstone mountains provide a barren and picturesque backdrop as you arrive to a desert camp in time for a camel ride at sunset. Enjoy a delicious Moroccan meal in a private dining tent illuminated by lanterns, with a thousand stars above you. Return to Marrakech this evening.

DAY 11

Discovering the Souks, Food Tasting Trail

Delve into the souks and laneways of the medina, meeting local artisans who create musical instruments, metal lanterns, and ceramics. Explore the woven textiles and rugs, spices, handbags, leather goods and sample delicious pastries. This afternoon, embark on a culinary tasting tour on foot. Delve into the fruit and vegetable souks, smell the spices, sample tagine, preserved meat (vegetarians are well catered for), honey, dates, and nuts. Your evening culminates with mint tea on a rooftop overlooking the city, as the Call To Prayer echoes far and wide.

DAY 12

Zagora – Scenic Drive

A beautiful drive takes you to Zagora, a small town at the gateway to the Sahara Desert and an ancient caravan trade route for Bedouins and Saharan people en route to Timbuktu. Your evening is at leisure at Azalai Desert Lodge, where laidback charm and delicious food are infused with warm Saharan hospitality. Take a stroll through the palm tree oasis, indulge in a spa treatment, dip in the pool or enjoy a beverage on the rooftop with views to the Atlas Mountains and desert beyond.

DAY 13

Sahara Desert – Sunset on the Sand Dunes, Desert Dinner, Campfire under the Stars

The culmination of your Moroccan journey arrives today, as you take a 4×4 offroad, over sand dunes, across a dried salt lake bed, and past wandering camel caravans en-route to the Sahara Desert. Desert luxury is best enjoyed at the Dar Ahlam Dune Camp, where your evening is illuminated by flickering lanterns, rolling dunes, a night sky overflowing with stars, and a chance to truly reconnect with nature. Hike atop a dune for a truly memorable sunset across a magnificent landscape. An intimate experience awaits for dinner, with delicious gourmet Moroccan cuisine served in a private setting among the dunes (shoes optional). Tonight, relax on rugs and cushions, as you let the campfire lull you into a state of pure bliss.

DAY 14

Skoura – Sunrise on the Dunes, Desert Explorations

Before dawn’s first light, summit the towering dunes to witness one of the world’s most spectacular sunrises. Aridity, lack of movement and the changing colors of the sky imprint a memory not soon forgotten. Board your 4×4 for a scenic drive along the road of a thousand kasbahs past the scenic Dades Valley with dramatic scenery. Arrive at Skoura this evening. Spend two nights at Dar Ahlam, a heavenly retreat nestled among a palm tree oasis, surrounded by farmlands and crumbling kasbahs.

DAY 15

Skoura – Ait Ben Haddou Discovery

Today, have your camera ready for one of the most photographed and beautifully preserved monuments of Berber architecture in all Morocco. Drive past mud-brick villages en-route to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ait Ben Haddou, the scene for movies such as Gladiator, Laurence of Arabia, the Game of Thrones series and more. Wander it’s snaking laneways as you learn the history of a bygone era. Views from the top of the kasbah are simply spectacular. En-route back to Skoura, visit the 17th-century Amerdil Kasbah, immortalized on the country’s 50 dirham note and famed for its Berber architecture.

DAY 16

Departure Day

Today you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight to Casablanca, and connect with your international flight home. Reminisce about your journey across breathtaking landscapes, into an ancient historical land filled with beautiful architecture and incredible culture.