Classical antiquity left its mark on Morocco in mythology and history. You’ll travel the route of Hercules 11th labor, from the Pillars of Hercules (Straight of Gibraltar), where he destroyed a mountain and joined the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Then the Caves of Hercules, where he stayed on the way to the Garden of Hesperides (Lixus). Past the mythology, you’ll visit the city of Tingis (Tangier) and ruins of the Roman cities of Volubilis, Lixus, and Chella.
- Roman ruins of Volubilis
- Roman ruins of Linxus
- Roman ruins of Chella
- Pillars of Hercules
- Cave of Hercules
- Tour of Fez and Meknes
- Rabat Museum of History and Civilizations
Your adventure into antiquity begins on your arrival in 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.
After breakfast, you’ll join your driver for a 1.5-hour drive west, arriving at the Roman ruins of Volubilis.
Originally founded in the 3rd century BC, Volubilis became a vital outpost of the Roman Empire. As the centuries passed and the world changed, Volubilis became the ruins you see today. When you walk the streets and enter the ruins of shops and homes, you can still almost hear their voices in the wind. Explore on your own, or upgrade to a guided tour.
After Volubilis, it’s a short drive to the Imperial City of Meknes. Your self-guided tours include the massive Heri es Souani granary and stables, the Prison de Kara where Barbary Pirates would keep their Christian prisoners, and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail.
After the tours, you’ll be brought back to Fez, and the rest of the day is yours.
Enjoy an early breakfast at the Raid before meeting the driver for the 5-hour drive north to Cap Spartel.
Located on the Straights of Gibraltar with Europe looming on the horizon only 8 miles away, Cap Spartel is the meeting of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Oceans. The first stop is the Caves of Hercules, where mythological Hercules slept before his 11th labor to get golden apples from the Hesperides Garden. Then to the Cap Spartel lighthouse (the oldest in Morocco) with its breathtaking views.
The journey continues to the Roman City of Tingis (now Tangier). Named for a daughter of the titan Atlas, Tingis was first settled by Carthaginians, then controlled by the Roman-allied kings of Mauretania before coming under Roman rule in the 1st century BC as the provincial capital Colonia Iulia Tingi. Conquered by the Vandals, it was briefly restored to Byzantine control before the Muslim conquest of North Africa.
Little is left of Tangiers Classical past, most notably the Punic necropolis just west of the Kasbah. Other artifacts are consigned to the Museum of the Kasbah while the Classical city lays buried under the streets of White City with its lime-coated houses from the days of Delacroix or Matisse.
Modern Tangier became the playground of the rich and famous, authors, artists, and even spies. After checking into the Riad, the afternoon is yours to enjoy on your own. Stop by the American Legation, the first US Embassy overseas (now a museum), then stroll the high walls of the Kasbah into the alleys of the Grand Socco market. A little farther away, visit the “Sultan’s Palace,” a museum of Moroccan arts. Tangier is also renowned for its Spanish influence on its culture, starting with the arena on the Plaza de Torros and the 1913 Cervantes Theatre.
Have breakfast and check out of the Riad for your next day of adventure.
Your driver meets you, and your journey turns south for 1 hour before stopping at the Roman ruins of Linxus (the mythological garden of the Hesperides) for a self-guided tour of the city and the remains of its coliseum. If you enjoy seafood, we’d recommend a stop or lunch at the village of Larache nearby.
Your driver will then take you southwest for 2 hours to Rabat, the bustling, modern capital of Morocco, where you’ll see the ruins of the Hassan Tower and the magnificent Royal Tombs. Guarded by smartly dressed honor guards, the ornate tombs are the resting place of the currently ruling dynasty.
A short drive away, nestled high on the bluff overlooking the Sale River, is the pirate fortress Kasbah of the Udayas. Once the fortress of the Barbary Coast pirates, it’s now primarily an artist settlement. As you stroll, keep an eye out for the entrance into the gardens in the center of the Kasbah.
Now known as Chella, the Roman city of Sala Colonia (built near the Phoenician settlement on Shalat) was a substantial port city connected by roads to other Roman settlements throughout Morocco. The city became a center of Christianity in the 2nd century. It remained linked to the Roman Empire, with a Roman military unit remaining there until the end of the 5th century. Now located on the edge of the diplomatic quarter of Rabat, the ruins include a decumanus maximus, a forum, and a triumphal arch.
Time allowing, after Chella, your driver will take you to the Rabat Museum of History and Civilizations. The Museum is dedicated exclusively to archaeological collections, in chronological order, beginning with prehistory, then the Punic period, the Roman era, and ending with the Islamic era.
From Rabat, it’s a 1-hour drive to Casablanca, where you’ll check into your hotel for the night.
Enjoy your last breakfast in Morocco and an easy start to the day. Check out of the hotel and meet your driver for a sightseeing drive in Casablanca. The colonial Frech colonial and Art Deco district are just the start before moving on to the magnificent Hassan II Mosque for a tour (closed on Fridays). After the tour, the driver will take you to the Casablanca airport for your flight out.
- All transfers
- All accommodations
- Meals as listed
- Guided tours and admissions as listed
- Meals not listed
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.
La Tangerina, Tangier
The La Tangerina is the embodiment of Tangier. A mix of Morocco and turn of the century European empires and tourism, the La Tangerina is an elegant time machine with a view across the Straights of Gibraltar from the terrace.
Club Val d’Anfa, Casablanca
Located in the entertainment district of Anfa, the resort hotel Club Val d’Anfa is as modern as the city of Casablanca, offering all the amenities and comforts you’d want.
|2 Travelers, 1 Room||$1,153|
|3 Travelers, 2 Rooms||$1,246|
|4 Travelers, 2 Rooms||$982|
|5 Travelers, 3 Rooms||$1,073|
|6 Travelers, 3 Rooms||$925|
All prices are per traveler, ground only, and INCLUDE taxes. Contact us for groups larger than six travelers.