There is something indescribably freeing about Morocco. One can easily romanticise the leather dyers of Fez, the all-blue city of Chefchaouen or the bustling markets of Marrakech–but I think it’s the approachability of the country that really draws travelers in.
The amazing bus and train system can take you virtually anywhere in the country. The ease with which you can explore old madrassas. Food is a ripe palette of Mediterranean olives, spices, fried breads. I swear I’ve never have a better roast chicken than in the Medina of Meknes.
A&R’S MOROCCO (8 Days)
Alexander & Roberts has a great small-group or private tour around the imperial cities of Morocco. Accommodations include the luxurious Riad Fes and the boutique La Maison Arabe.
Day 1 – Check in to the Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche Hotel. Then join your guide to experience the exotic ambience of the Central Market and see the Royal Palace. The impressive Hassan II Mosque is built from exquisite indigenous materials on a platform that extends over the ocean. Dine tonight at Rick’s Café, a fun reimagining of the classic Bogart film.
Day 2 – In Rabat, explore the Oudayas Kasbah, a walled city within the city; founded in the 12th century, it’s still home to 2,000 of Rabat’s citizens. Marvel at the Hassan Tower, an unfinished but impressive minaret started nearly 1,000 years ago, and sit down to a delightful lunch along the seafront. Continue to Fès where you check in to the enchanting Riad Fès.
Day 3 – A scenic journey brings you to Meknes, one of Morocco’s four Imperial cities. See the 300-year-old Gate of Bab El Mansour, stroll in the ancient Jewish Quarter and visit the magnificent Royal Stables, large enough to hold 20,000 Arabian horses. Drive to Moulay Idriss, a sacred hilltop city, and then explore the history of Roman Africa at Volubilis. Built in the 1st century, these ruins are among the best-preserved in North Africa.
Day 4 – Founded in the 9th century, this is the best preserved medieval city in Morocco and is regarded by many as the cultural and spiritual heart of the country. Today you’ll explore the ancient Medina and admire the ceramic mosaics of the Nejjarine Fountain. Gaze upon the 1,000-year-old minaret of the Karaouine Mosque, the second largest in Morocco and home to one of the world’s oldest universities.
Day 5 – Journey into the picturesque Middle Atlas Range through charming mountain hamlets and remote Berber villages like Ifrane, Immouzer du Kandar and Azrou. Stop for lunch in the bustling market town of Beni Mellal and continue to Marrakech. Settle in to the 5-star La Maison Arabe and enjoy the rest of your evening at leisure.
Day 6 – Stand in Djemaa El Fna Square, the lively heart of the city, and its exotic. Visit the lavishly decorated Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace and Le Jardin Majorelle, the gardens and villa residence of Yves Saint-Laurent. Stop for tea and spectacular views over the Medina at Maison de la Photographie.
Day 7 – Travel into a captivating land of olive groves and citrus orchards. As the peaks of the Atlas Mountains draw near, you enter the Ourika Valley. Visit a Berber cooperative where the rare Argan nut is cultivated and tour a farm specializing in saffron. Delight in the lovely setting of Setti Fatma, a quiet mountain village, before returning to Marrakech. Dine at Palais Soleiman, one of the city’s finest restaurants.
Day 8 – Farewell to Morocco
PLUS Extension: Sahara & Southern Morocco (+4 Days)
Discover this often overlooked but most rewarding region as you travel through the High Atlas Range to historic Ouarzazate and into the Sahara. Exploring scenic backroads, our easy-to-add adventure includes all transportation, two nights deluxe hotel, an overnight at our romantic desert encampment, 4 meals and in-depth sightseeing including the Todra Gorge and Route of 1,000 Casbahs.