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 starts in Fez, 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 arizing from the ether. Hundreds of thousands of people pulsing through the narrow streets with not a vehicle in sight.
After arriving at the Fez Airport, you’ll check into the Riad el Yacout upon your arrival to 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 as your day starts with breakfast in the courtyard of the Riad El Yacout before being met by your guide. 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 as they hand hammer and carve brass and bronze. The rhythmic ticking of the weavers, the sweet smell of cedar from the woodworkers. And of course, the overpowering aroma of the tannery as they produce the finest Moroccan leather.
Almost as a respite from the overload on the senses, your guide will take you to the historical and cultural sites of Fez. Sites of history, culture, and faith lay waiting for your visit.
After the tour, the rest of the day is yours. If you’re adventurous, head back into the Medina, or stay at the Riad, swim in the pool, or enjoy an afternoon relaxing.
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. As you walk the streets and enter the 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 pirate 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 breakfast at the Raid before meeting the driver for the 4.5-hour drive north 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 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 lime-coated houses from the days of Delacroix or Matisse. While strolling the city, stop by the American Legation, the first US Embassy overseas (now a museum), then to 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 the Spanish influence on its culture, starting with the arena that stands on the Plaza de Torros and the 1913 Cervantes Theatre.
Have breakfast and checkout of the Riad for your next day of adventure. From Tangier, you’ll travel west for 30 minutes to Cap Spartal National Park.
Located where the Atlantic meets the Medeterian, its rocky coast is a serene site. From there, it’s a short drive to the Caves of Hercules for a brief visit and walk the tunnels carved out by the Phoenicians.
Your journey then turns south for 1 hour before stopping along the way at the Roman ruins of Linxus (the mythological garden of the Hesperides) for a self-guided tour of the city and 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 west 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 current 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 mostly an artist settlement. As you stroll, keep an eye out for the entrance into the gardens in the center of the Kasbah.
After a full day of travel and touring, you’ll check into your hotel for the night.
Enjoy breakfast in Rabat before starting the day. Check out of the hotel and meet your driver and head to Chella.
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 from the 2nd century remained linked to the Roman Empire, with a Roman military unit that remained 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.
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.
After exploring the museum, your driver will take you one hour south to Casablanca where you’ll check into your hotel for the evening.
After breakfast, your driver will take you to the Casablanca Airport for your departure.
- All transfers
- All accommodations
- Meals as listed
- Guided tours and admissions as listed
- Meals not list