9-Day Cities and Sahara Round Trip Tour from Marrakesh

9-Day Cities and Sahara Round Trip Tour from Marrakesh

A well rounded tour of Morocco including camel-trekking in the Sahara, a visit to the seaside, and adventures in historically-rich urban centres.

Itinerary

Day 1: Marrakesh – Essaouira

Your driver will meet you in the morning either at the airport in Marrakesh or at another location of your choice in the red city. Today we travel west to the Atlantic coast to explore the seaside city of Essaouira, a seafood-lover’s paradise. Enjoy the sun and the ocean in this calm and picturesque port city. Spend a relaxing day by the beach or exploring around town. Spend the night in a local hotel.

Day 2: Essaouira-Casablanca-Rabat

After breakfast, we head north up the Atlantic coast to Casablanca, where we will have lunch and then visit a few of the city’s highlights including Mohamed V Square. We will also do an external visit to the Hassan II mosque. Built on the seashore, its minaret is over 200m high and it is the largest functioning mosque on the African continent. In the afternoon we continue to Rabat, the seat of Moroccan government. Rabat is known for its botanical sights such as the Andalusian gardens and historical attractions such as the Hassan Tower. We will explore a little in the afternoon before dinner and a night at a local hotel.

Day 3: Rabat – Chefchaouen

After breakfast we begin to travel to the northern city of Chefchaouen. We will arrive in this picturesque blue city just in time for a late lunch. Chefchaouen medina has a Spanish-style square surrounded by many funky arts and crafts stores, roof-top restaurants and cafes. In this friendly and laid-back centre, you can explore a little on foot in the afternoon and evening before we have dinner and spend the night in a local riad.

Day 4: Chefchaouen – Volubilis – Meknes – Fez

We depart from Chefchaouen after breakfast and visit Volubilis, Morocco’s partially-excavated ancient Roman ruins. After exploring the ruins, we will travel to the imperial city of Meknes. Here we will have lunch and explore the city a little in the afternoon. We will see the Bab Mansour, an elaborately-tiled city gate as well a the city’s great walls. Also recommended is a visit to the mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. Finally, in the evening, we will continue to Fez where we spend the night and have dinner in a local riad.

Day 5: Fez Guided City Tour

Today you can explore the UNESCO-protected Fez medina with an official tour guide. Fez medina is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Morocco. You will feel like you have been transported back in time as you pass through the medieval cobbled streets. There are leather tanneries and thriving ceramics workshops. Fez is also renowned for its intricately tiled gates, mosques, towers and madrasas. In the late afternoon we return to our riad for dinner and another night.

Day 6: Fez – Ifrane – Azrou – Midelt

After breakfast at the riad, we depart from Fez. We will travel through the mountains, passing through Ifrane, Morocco’s ski-town, built in a sort of Swiss Alps style, to arrive to the cedar forests of Azrou where the wild monkeys live. It will be good opportunity to take photos of the wilderness in Morocco. With any luck, we will have a chance to interact a little with the Barbary monkeys. Take a break for lunch. We continue our journey through the Atlas Mountains until we reach the apple city of Midelt where we will enjoy dinner and stay overnight in a local hotel.

Day 7: Midelt – Rissani – Khamlia – Merzouga– Erg Chebbi

Enjoy breakfast before starting the trip to the Sahara. Travel through the beautiful Ziz river valley, arriving at Rissani where we may be able to see cloth, spices and livestock for sale if we’re lucky enough to visit on a market day. Enjoy lunch here before continuing farther into the desert to the village of Khamlia. This village is famous for its musical culture and we will enjoy a performance by a group of local musicians. Afterwards, we will travel to another village at the edge of Erg Chebbi, the tallest dune formation in all of Morocco. Leave your luggage at a local hotel and stop to enjoy a cup of mint tea while you meet your camel guide. In the late afternoon, hop on the caravan and your camel-trekking guide will lead you deep into the sahara to our desert camp. The camel ride is 1.5 to 2 hours during which you’ll see a spectacular desert sunset. At the camp, enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal and drumming around the campfire before you sleep under the stars or in a classic wool nomad tent (khaima).

Day 8: Erg Chebbi – Merzouga – Todra Gorge – Dades Gorges – Ouarzazate

Wake up early if you want to see the sunrise over the dunes of Erg Chebbi and return by camel caravan to the inn, where breakfast is waiting. Your driver will then ferry you to the steep cliffs of Todra Gorge where you can explore a little on foot before continuing to the Dades Gorges where we will stop for lunch and have an opportunity to see the famous “monkey fingers” rock formations. In the afternoon, we continue to Ouarzazate, the centre of Morocco’s film-making industry. At this gateway city between the desert and the mountains, we will settle in for dinner and a night spent in a local hotel.

Day 9: Ouarzazate – Ait Benhaddou – Marrakesh

Today we travel through the valley of a thousand Kasbahs. In particular, we’ll stop at Ait Benhaddou, the UNESCO heritage site. This well-preserved fortress takes you back in time to the days of the ancient trade routes between Moroccan cities and the whole of the African sahara. Enjoy lunch nearby before continuing on to Marrakesh. We conclude our tour by dropping you off in the evening wherever you are continuing your stay in Marrakesh.

Includes:

  • Transportation (4×4 SUV or minibus with air-conditioning)
  • English-speaking driver/guide
  • Hotel/riad overnight stays
  • Breakfast & Dinner (except for breakfast on first day and dinner on last day)
  • Local city guides where applicable
  • Camel trekking at Erg Chebbi
  • Accommodation in traditional nomad tent
  • Turbans for protection from sun and sand
  • Sandboarding in The Dunes

Excludes:

  • Flights
  • Lunches
  • Drinks
  • Admittance fees (for optional attractions such as museums and mosques)
NOTE: If the tours that we offer do not match what you’re looking for, contact us and we will prepare a custom itinerary according to your wishes.

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