Give us 8 days and you’ll get the essential Morocco experience. The imperial cities of Fez, Meknes, and Marrakech, Kasbahs, and the Sahara.
- Imperial Cities of Marrakech and Fez
- Camel caravan in the Sahara
After arriving at the Marrakech airport, a car and driver will take you into the city, where you’ll check into the Riad Azoulay. Nestled deep in the heart of the Medina (old city), it’s an easy walk to everything Marrakech has to offer, and you’ve got the rest of the evening to get acquainted with the city.
As the sun sets, Marrakech comes alive at the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square. Rows upon rows of vendors fill the square with an otherwordly haze of their cookfires, offering every flavor of Morocco set to the sounds of musicians and the shrill drone of the snake charmers’ flutes. As you walk the rows, you’ll encounter wave upon wave of aggressively helpful cooks and servers touting their meals.
After dinner, the square is the center for musicians, acrobats, storytellers, and strongmen delighting the crowd for tips. When you can no longer withstand the energy of the Jemaa, head back to your riad for the night.
Today Marrakech awaits! Enjoy a relaxed breakfast at the riad before your guide meets you for a private 4-hour guided walking tour of Marrakech (with admissions included).
The world comes to Marrakech, filling the narrow streets with a symphony of sounds and voices punctuated with the ever-present scooters weaving their way at breakneck speed through the crowds.
You’ll walk the Medina led by your guide and not miss a site. From the Saadian Tombs to the Madrasa and everything in between. You’ll see magnificently restored palaces and massive ruins of long past empires.
In Marrakech, food is everywhere! Instead of stopping for a sit-down lunch, enjoy a Taste of Marrakech (included). During the city tour, your guide will ensure you can stop and sample the local delicacies of Marrakech, making the city a roving buffet.
After the tour, the rest of the day is yours to explore Marrakech. Take a carriage ride to the Menara Gardens with its olive groves and a massive artificial lake. Or head to the Majorelle Gardens for a rest from the hustle and bustle of the city. Then back to the riad for the evening, a bastion of tranquility after a day exploring Marrakech.
Marrakech springs to life in the morning as vendors open their shops and people go about their daily lives. You’ll enjoy breakfast at the riad before checking out and meeting your driver for the adventure south.
Like a formidable wall, the High Atlas Mountains grow closer and you begin your ascent over the highest pass in Africa. For 4 hours, you’ll wind your way up and over the High Atlas Mountains with its sharp turns, steep drops, and dramatic vistas as you venture through the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass.
Descending the mountains, you’ll arrive at Kasbah Aït Benhaddou. A fortified village from the 11th century, this massive site and current UNESCO world heritage site held the key to Marrakech, situated along the ancient trans-Saharan trade routes. Venture over the bridge and into this centuries-old time capsule. Uneven stone streets twist and turn as you climb towards the summit of the Kasbah, passing small shops and vendors as you go. Your efforts are rewarded as you reach the top with its views of the Atlas and the valley below.
A short drive away from Aït Benhaddou, on the edge of Ouarzazate, is Atlas Studios. Morocco itself is made for the movies! Exotic, adventurous, and dramatic. Nowhere is this more obvious than at Atlas Studios, where you’ll spend an hour guided through its backlots and soundstages. Here, step after step, the sets change from Rome to Jerusalem, China to Egypt.
After your tour, it’s a short 2-hour drive east to Todra Gorge. Gone are the farms and fields of the plains of Marrakech as the road travels down into the dusty Valley of Roses (center for rosewater production) with its small villages and earth-hewn kasbahs before veering off to the Todra Gorge, where you’ll have dinner and spend the evening.
Eco-auberge Le Festival, Todra Gorge
To describe this place as a hidden gem would be an understatement. Literally carved out of the cliffside, this natural stone castle with the towers and even cave rooms (yes, rooms carved into the rock), is off the grid and nearly self-sustaining without sacrificing quality or comfort.
Have breakfast at the auberge before checking out and meeting your driver for a day of outdoor adventure. Your driver will drop you off at the mouth of the gorge and drive ahead to wait on the other side.
It’s a quick and easy walk along the narrow paved road next to a small babbling stream, a remnant of the mighty forces that carved the gorge. As you stroll, the 500-foot cliffs tower over you on either side. When you emerge from the gorge, your stroll continues downstream through the palm groves where your driver will be waiting.
It’s just a few minutes down the road to Tinghir for your next adventure, a hiking trek up to the rim of the valley. By foot (or optional donkey for an additional fee), the hour-and-a-half trek offers a spectacular view of the valley below.
After an active morning, you’ll meet your driver and head southeast for an hour, stopping next at the 15th-century Ksar el Khorbat. An occupied and living Kasbah with a museum of Kasbah life, it’s a rare look into a vanishing way of life. Spend time in the museum, and if you’re hungry (hiking does build an appetite), we’d recommend the restaurant in the Kasbah which has an excellent camel meat tagine, a southern Morocco specialty.
After visiting the Kasbah, it’s a 2-hour drive to the Sahara. You’ll check into the Auberge du Sud and have a moment to relax before joining a camel caravan into the dunes to watch the sunset.
The camel is a truly gentle giant, swaying softly as you ride into the towering sand dunes led by a guide. This lifeless brutal environment hides a remarkable beauty. Every minute the sands shift and the colors change as the sun slowly starts to set. Dismount the camels and venture on foot to the top of the dunes and enjoy a front-row seat to one of the most incredible sites in nature. As twilight settles over the desert, you’ll ride your camel back to the Auberge for dinner and to spend the evening.
After breakfast and checking out of the Auberge, your driver will take you north, 7 hours to Fez. The desolate rolling dunes of the Sahara slowly drop away as you enter the foothills of the mountains. Traveling higher, the green of the Middle Atlas Mountains starts to surround you. Forests of cedars accented by gentle streams are a magical site after the desert. Villages that look like they were plucked from the Swiss Alps appear, and (if you’re lucky) a troop of Barbary Apes await as you pass through Midelt before ascending 2 hours later into Fez.
They say that Marrakech is the beating heart of Morocco, always alive and moving, but Fez is the soul of Morocco. Above the valley, looking down into the Medina, this old city of 200,000 looks dead and lifeless, only springing to life when you enter like spirits arising from the ether. Hundreds of thousands of people pulsing through the narrow streets with no vehicles in sight.
After a long day of traveling, you’ll check into the Riad el Yacout upon arriving in Fez. The moment you walk in the door, the luxury embraces you like an old friend. You’ll have dinner and the rest of the evening on your own.
Before sunrise, the call of over a hundred muezzin in Fez fills the morning stillness. Your day starts with breakfast in the courtyard of the Riad El Yacout before being met by your guide. Then, for the next 5 hours, you’ll be taken on a walking tour of the Fez Medina.
One of the largest labyrinth cities in the world, the Fez Medina is a riddle waiting to be solved. Its narrow streets and alleys twisting and turning through thousands of years of history.
Fez is THE place for shopping for traditional crafts. Around every corner, another market appears. The cacophony of the metalworkers echoes off the narrow streets as they hand hammer and carve brass and bronze. The rhythmic ticking of the weavers working their looms adds to the sound, and the sweet smell of cedar from the woodworkers fills the air. And, of course, the overpowering aroma of the tannery as they produce the finest Moroccan leather.
The Medina of Fez is an epicurean delight. Instead of stopping for a sit-down lunch, enjoy a Taste of Fez (included). During the city tour, your guide will ensure you can stop and sample the local street food of Fez, making the city a roving buffet.
Almost as a respite from the overload of the senses, your guide will take you to Fez’s historical and cultural sites. These bastions of history and faith are islands of reflection in the turbulent sea of daily life in the Fez medina.
After the tour, take some time to relax at the Riad, have dinner, and get ready for your Ghost Tour of Fez. In 2.5 hours, you’ll see this ancient city like never before.
After the Ghost Tour, you’ll return to the Riad for the night.
Enjoy your last breakfast in Morocco and an easy start to the day. Check out of the Raid and the driver will take you to the Fez airport for your flight out.
- All transfers
- All accommodations
- Meals as listed
- Guided tours and admissions as listed
- Meals not listed
Riad Azoulay, Marrakech
One of our favorite places in Marrakech is Moroccan charm mixed with an Italian flare. Located deep in the Medina of Marrakech, this is the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle of Marrakech’s streets.
Eco-auberge Le Festival, Todra Gorge
To describe this place as a hidden gem would be an understatement. Literally carved out of the cliffside, this natural stone castle with the towers and even cave rooms (yes, rooms carved into the rock) is off the grid and nearly self-sustaining without sacrificing quality or comfort.
Auberge du Sud, Erg Chebbi
A kasbah-like hotel right on the dunes of the Sahara, the Auberge leaps out of the brutal sands of the Sahara like a mirage. An oasis of civilization at the foot of rolling dunes.
Riad El Yacout, Fez
Truly one of the best finds in all of Morocco, the Riad el Yacout is a sprawling boutique hotel comprising several centuries-old buildings. Take a refreshing dip in the pool, head to the terrace, or just explore and relax.
The Kingdom of Morocco has reopened its sea and air borders and travelers, under certain conditions, can access Moroccan territory if they have a valid vaccination passport or a negative PCR test.
What are the steps to be taken by travelers to come to morocco?
Travelers wishing to travel to Morocco, by any means, must present a health form, to be downloaded online before boarding, duly completed. It is also distributed on board the airport or ship.
They must also present a valid vaccination passport or a negative PCR test result less than 72 hours old.
Children under the age of 12 are exempt from all requirements.
What does a valid vaccination passport mean?
A valid vaccine passport means receipt of three doses or, failing that, two doses with a delay in the administration of the second dose not exceeding 4 months.
For the J&J vaccine, a single dose is equivalent to 2 doses of the other vaccines.
What about travelers in transit?
The above entry requirements do not apply to travelers in transit to Morocco. They are required to comply with the health requirements of their final destination country. It is the sole responsibility of travelers to inform themselves and comply with the health requirements of the countries of departure, transit and destination.
What are the sanitary measures to be respected?
As part of the fight against the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, Morocco ensures the application of health measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for safety and health of everyone.
For your safety and safety of others during your stay in Morocco, it is necessary to:
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap or a hydro-alcoholic solution.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a single-use handkerchief and dispose of it in a garbage can.
- Maintain a distance of 1.5m with your interlocutor.
- Avoid hand gestures, hugs and kisses and make sure the mask is worn.
- Take all precautions when going out.
Useful numbers during your stay
During your stay, you must adopt barrier gestures to protect yourself and others. However, once you arrive in Morocco, several numbers are available to citizens and travelers for advice, assistance, security and emergency.
A list of embassies and consulates in Morocco is also at your disposal for any information, request for documents or to benefit from consular services.
Stay safely in morocco
It is best to find out about the restrictions in each country before planning your trip.
Find below the measures adopted by the tourist services in Morocco and intended to guarantee you a nice stay:
Cafés and restaurants
Cafes and restaurants are open while respecting some sanitary measures. You must always wear your mask at the entrance and every time you get up to move around. At the entrance, your temperature is checked, and you are invited to disinfect your hands. To ensure the safety of all clients, the entrance and exit routes are separate.
Beaches, resorts and wellness centers
Private bathing establishments are open (Hammams, Gyms, and Covered Swimming Pools). The general health protocol being followed, body temperature is checked at the entrance and hand disinfection is required. In the case of the wellness centers, the entry and exit routes are separated. Respect of social distancing is recommended, and the wearing of masks is mandatory in common areas. In order to fully enjoy these activities, it is advisable to follow all the guidelines mentioned at the reception area of these establishments and to inquire in advance by telephone. Public beaches are open.
Hotels and accommodation facilities
A reservation is mandatory to fully enjoy your stay in hotels, resorts, riads and all classified accommodation structures. To ensure the health and safety of all travelers, the Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts and Social Economy grants the “Welcome Safely” certification testifying to the compliance of these tourist accommodation establishments with the control protocols of Covid-19 in Morocco.
Within these establishments, the wearing of a mask is mandatory in the reception rooms, the restaurant areas and any other common room. It should also be noted that body temperature is taken upon entry and hand disinfection may also be required. The respect of social distancing measures and hygiene rules is also required.
Museums and cultural sites
Museums and cultural places are currently open. At the entrance, temperature is checked, followed by hand disinfection. As the entrance and exit routes are separated, the safety distance will have to be respected in case of waiting. Inside these establishments, it would be preferable to avoid touching objects and to follow the indicated and signaled routes. Wearing a mask is mandatory.
Cinemas and theatres
Cinemas and theaters are open. All arrangements will be made to protect your health and safety: a marked and indicated route, a temperature reading at the entrance, hand disinfection and numbered and separate seats to keep a safe distance. It should be noted that wearing a mask is mandatory to attend shows in cinemas and theaters.
Natural parks, green spaces and playgrounds
In playgrounds, green spaces and public nature parks, regular disinfection of your hands is recommended. Wearing a mask is mandatory. A physical distance of at least one meter is recommended. In private areas, a temperature reading, and hand disinfection is mandatory at the entrance, as well as the wearing of a mask.
Shops and commercial activities
In shops, boutiques, shopping malls and local stores, it is mandatory to wear your mask to protect yourself and others. It is brought to your attention that at the entrance of each store, sanitizers are available to customers, as well as thermal scanners for checking body temperature. As the number of customers is limited in these areas, it is compulsory to respect the safety distance in queuing.
Tour guides will be provided with a hygiene kit and disinfected audio equipment before and after each visit. Wearing a mask is obligatory during the entire visit. It is mandatory to respect the rules of social distancing and to disinfect your hands after each contact.
Means of transport
To move freely in Morocco, several means of transportation are available: cabs, buses, streetcars, trains, coaches and rental cars.
To ensure your safety on public transportation, it is mandatory to wear a mask, maintain a safe distance from other passengers, and sit in the seats reserved for you.