Imperial Cities & Desert Trip

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Morocco Tours: Imperial Cities and Desert Trip from Casablanca 8 Days

Morocco Tours: Imperial Cities and Desert Trip from Casablanca 8 Days
The four cities which have received throughout the centuries the name of Imperial Cities and are the capitals of Morocco are: Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Marrakech. Loaded with history and monuments, fascinating culture and a riot of colour, each one of them has their own and different character.

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  • Visiting: Casablanca, Rabat, Meknés, Volubilis, Fes, Ifrane, Midel, Erfoud, desert, Erg Chebbi desert, Todra Gorges, Dades Valley, Ouarzazate, Ait Ben Haddou, Talouet, Marrakech

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Day 1: Casablanca - Rabat

Arrival at Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca where one of a team will meet you with transport. You'll be visiting the magnificent mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca. You'll set off towards the city of Rabat and visit its monuments: the Fortress of Oudayas, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the Tower of Hassan, also beautiful gardens. You will overnight in a hotel.

Day 2: Rabat - Meknes - Volubilis - Fes

After breakfast we depart form the capital city of Rabat and travel inland to the old Medina city of Meknes following the vast forest of Mamora. Arrival in Meknes, a city that reached its zenith thanks to the Sultan Moulay Ismail. Just 27 km from Meknes are the ruins of the Roman city of Volubilis, once an important Roman city built in a fertile agricultural area; it grew rapidly under Roman rule in the 1st century AD to cover about 40 hectares with 2.6 km of walls. You can see magnificent mosaics and columns in the partially excavated site which is now a UNESCO heritage location. On our route to Fes we will also visit the holy city of Moulay Idriss. Continuation towards Fez and overnight in a riad.

Day 3: Visiting Fes

After breakfast in your hotel our guide will meet you to start your guided tour of Fez. The whole day will be devoted to discovering the intellectual city of the kingdom. You will be able to visit many monuments, such as, Madrassas (Koranic schools), Sahrij, Bouananiya and Attarine, the souks, Fez El-Jdid and the Quaraouiyine Mosque which is the oldest university in the world still in use. There are many more beautiful places to visit, also the fountains which are in each district and the many gifted artisans working in tiny workshops in an age old traditional manner. The narrow streets and alleyways hide a maze of fascinating and interesting historical and cultural buildings. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Day 4: Fez - Ifrane - Midelt - Erfoud - Desert

After breakfast we depart form Fez, our journey today will go towards the Middle Atlas Mountains to visit Ifrane, also known as the little Switzerland of Africa because of its alpine architecture and great cedar forest. The following town will be Azrou, The Rock, and a well-known town thanks to its artisan crafts, carpets and wooden sculptures. Our next stop will be the apple capital and of Midelt where we will stop for lunch. You will continue through the Tizi Talghemt or pass of the Camel, at 1907 meters of altitude. The relief is impressive; the mountains are completely devoid of vegetation and are an amazing purple colour. You'll arrive at Errachidia which is a must on the way to the huge oasis of Tafilalet and the palm grove of Erfoud. We travel on towards the Erg Chebbi dunes. We will go to a hotel in Merzouga where you can prepare for the camel trek into the beautiful golden sand Dunes, there you will spend the evening in a bivouac camp and enjoy a Berber dinner, some local drumming music around the camp fire and sleep in traditional Nomad camel hair tent.

Day 5: Erg Chebbi Desert - Rissani - Todra Gorges - Dades Valley - Ouarzazate

We always recommend that you wake up early enough to witness the sunrise over the dunes and enjoy the opportunity to get some special photos. We return by camels to the hotel for breakfast and a shower. Our tour today starts with a stop in Rissani and a visit in its famous street market, where nomads of the area go to stock up with goods, from there to Jorf situated on the right bank of the Ziz River, then towards the Ksar de Touroug, surrounded by spectacular oases. Afterwards, you will go through Tinejdad before reaching Tinerhir. We will make a stop in the fantastic Todra Gorge for some great photos. After lunch we travel to the precious Dades Valley, visiting Boumalne, Kelaat M´gouna, and Valley of the Roses which achieves its greatest splendour during the month of May. You will arrive at Ouarzazate and will have the possibility of visiting the Taourirt Kasbah which was once the residence of the Pasha of Marrakech. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 6: Ouarzazate - Ait Benhaddou - Telouet - Marrakech

After breakfast, the adventure begins. We return to Marrakech over the great High Atlas Mountains crossing the pass of Tizi´n´Tichka at 2260 metres altitude. This drive offers wonderful panoramic views over the mountains of the High Atlas, needless to say there will be stops for photos. Not long after leaving Ouarzazate, we will take the piste, a road only passable for 4x4 vehicles, towards Aït Benhaddou, passing through a valley where we will find a little Berber town. A 16th century UNESCO world heritage site, Ait Benhaddou is one of the best preserved and most spectacular kasbahs in Morocco. A famous location for sets in many blockbuster Hollywood films, Ait Benhaddou was used for the well-known film of 2000, The Gladiator, The Mummy, Kingdom of Heaven, Prince of Persia and many more over the last century. There are 8 or 9 Berber families still living in the fortress village. From here we continue down the valley towards the capital of the Pasha of Marrakech, visiting its palace situated in the Kasbah of Telouet. You will be able to relax and appreciate the picturesque view of the Kasbah, with its interiors covered with intricate handmade floor tiles, iron decorated windows and nests of storks on the eroded pink towers. We will take the highway full of curves and bends to the high pass of Tizi n´Tichka that offers a spectacular panorama with multitudes of colours and descend to the red plains around Marrakech. The night will be in a riad.

Day 7: Exploring Marrakech

In the morning you will visit Marrakech, the city which gave its name to Morocco. A part of the year goes by before the majestic Atlas Mountain summits are covered with snow. Its destiny is linked to the different dynasties that follow one another and its tradition of political, economic and cultural metropolis which has always dominated the history of the Maghreb. Marrakech is also the city of spectacle, where there are permanent celebrations that can be seen in the famous Djemaa el Fna square. This square has been for several centuries the most incredible popular theatre of the world: snake charmers, musicians, dancers, story tellers, fortune tellers and actors. In Marrakech there are numerous places to visit, for example, the Garden of the Agdal, the Saadian Tombs the Bahia and Badi Palaces, the Majorelle Gardens, best known for its icon blue painted buildings and plant pots and of course the souks. After this you will have time to enjoy dinner in a famous place and you will spend the night in the Riad.

Day 8: End of Itinerary

Departure from Marrakech and transfer to the airport.

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