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Highlights of Morocco; Imperial cities and Sahara desert

Experience culture and history of Meknes, Fes, and Marrakech as you navigate narrow and winding streets in ancient medinas, shop artisanal wares in animated souks, and admire the intricate tile work of historic and stunning mosques. Explore the desert as you ride a camel over shifting sands in the Sahara, delve into mud-brick fortressed cities, and cross the high rocky peaks of the Atlas mountains.

per adult from

$1,232

AUD

Duration

8 days

Pickup

Hotel pickup available

Voucher

Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Accommodation included: 7 nights
    • Air-conditioned vehicle
    • English speaking driver
    • Camel riding in the desert
    • Accommodation in charming riads with breakfast
    • DIner and music performance at the desert camp
    What's excluded :
    • Entry/Admission - Hassan II Mosque
    • Entry/Admission - Notre Dame de Lourdes
    • Entry/Admission - Volubilis
    • Entry/Admission - Fes el-Bali

  • Day 1: Casablanca to Rabat

    Stop At: Hassan II Mosque, Blvd Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah, Casablanca 20450 Morocco
    The Hassan II Mosque, sitting in a picturesque location on the sea. Inaugurated in 1993, its 656-foot (200 m) minaret is the tallest structure in Morocco — and the tallest minaret in the world. It is estimated that the courtyard can hold 80,000 worshipers, with room for another 25,000 inside While the exterior and surrounding area are impressive — the lavish interior is festooned with wood, marble, carved stone, and gilded ceilings — what makes this mosque even more unique is that it is of the few in the country open to non-Muslim visitors. One-hour guided tours run in the mornings between 9 am and 2 pm, and include a tour of the Hammam in the basement.
    Duration: 2 hours

    Stop At: Notre Dame de Lourdes, Rond-Point d'Europe, Casablanca 20500 Morocco
    The imposing Notre Dame de Lourdes Church has very obvious European influences and is a striking contrast to many of the more traditional attractions that can be found in the city of Casablanca. In fact, you’ll see this massive edifice quite easily from a distance as it towers above many of the smaller, locally funded structures that surround it.

    At first glance, you may wonder why there is a Catholic church in Morocco. The fact is that there are approximately 20,000 Catholics living in the country and that this religious denomination has long been accepted in Morocco. The Notre Dame de Lourdes Church in Morocco is clear evidence of the strong Roman Catholic presence in Casablanca and, while this may not be the major religion in the country, it certainly isn’t only practiced by a small minority.
    Duration: 40 minutes

    Stop At: Rabat, Rabat, Rabat-Sale-Kenitra
    Morocco’s capital doesn't have the wow-factor of Marrakech; Nor does it have the hordes of tourists. Rabat is sedate but has a star attraction – the old Kasbah des Oudaïas, perched high above the Atlantic rollers.

    Rabat has a long and chequered history. Along with its twin city Salé, it was once the haven of the Barbary pirates, the notorious ‘Sallee Rovers’ who preyed upon European merchant ships and kidnapped Cornish villagers. Nowadays Rabat is a quiet, impeccably clean city with palm-lined boulevards and none of the traffic problems that bedevil Casablanca, making it an increasingly popular destination for tourists. When considering where to take a short break in Morocco, a holiday in Rabat certainly shouldn't be counted out.

    Overlooking the mouth of the Bou Regreg river is the fortress of the Kasbah des Oudaïas. You can spend a pleasant hour or two strolling down the streets of blue and white houses, admiring the 12th century fortifications and exploring the Andalusian-style garden. Next door, the Café Maure is a great place to sip a mint tea and admire the view over the Atlantic. With a wide array of accommodation options, you can choose to stay in a simple hotel in Rabat or an elaborate riad packed with Moroccan charm.

    TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN RABAT

    Parliament of Morocco
    Royal Palace
    Saint Pierre Cathedral
    Mohammed V Mosque
    Medina of Rabat
    Hassan Tower
    Kasbah of the Udayas
    Mausoleum of Mohammed V
    City Centre
    Duration: 3 hours

    No meals included on this day.
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Riad Dar ELkebira, Located a few meters from the Consuls street and the Kasbah des Oudayas.

    Day 2: Rabat to Chefchaoeun

    Stop At: Chefchaouen, Chefchaouen, Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima
    This charming Berber city painted in shades of blue set in the Rif mountains is a must if you are visiting or passing through northern Morocco.

    Founded in 1471 this beautiful and highly atmospheric little city has much to offer in the way of insights into Rif mountain life. Painted in shades of blue, the small streets are like no other place in the country. Small hotels and restaurants are the way to experience this authentic and interesting place.
    Duration: 5 hours

    No meals included on this day.
    Accommodation included: Overnight at riad Linas & Spa located at the heart of the Medina at few steps from the main attractions.

    Day 3: Chefchaoeun to Fes via Vollubilis and Meknes

    Stop At: Volubilis, Morocco
    The largest Roman archeological site in Morocco lies at Volubilis. Moscais, triumphal arch, capitol building, house of Bacchus – everything testifies to the city's splendor and its economical and political weight.


    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Meknes, Meknes, Meknes-Tafilalet Region
    Meknes is an Imperial capital founded in the 17th century by the Alaouite sultan MoulayIsmaël who decided to make it one of the most beautiful and powerful Imperial cities in Morocco, protected by 40km of walls. The medina and the remains of the royal palace has earned Meknès a place on UNESCO's world heritage list.

    Gates and palaces: Considered to be one of the most beautiful gates in the world, Bab Mansour was constructed at the beginning of the 18th century. It is the entrance to the Imperial city proper, where a visit to the sultan's mausoleum is still of interest.
    Markets and lively squares: Meknes has one of the busiest medinas in Morocco. The Place El-Hedime, located exactly between the old town and the Imperial part of the city, houses the covered market and becomes busy at dusk: fire-swallowers, storytellers, animal trainers and jugglers .
    Duration: 2 hours

    No meals included on this day.
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Riad Ghita Palace in the Medina, a great location and easy access to the main historical sites of Fes.

    Day 4: Full day sightseeing in Fes

    Stop At: Fes el-Bali, Fes 30110 Morocco
    Fez is an Imperial City that has stood in the north of Morocco for a thousand years. Within its sturdy walls you’ll find the place where old Morocco still exists – in the elaborate architecture, the historic medina and the throngs of people that make their home here.
    Walk through high walled streets, watch the daily procession of mourners entering the tomb of Fez’s founder Moulay Idriss II, and see the ornate carvings and mosaics on every surface; it’s easy to understand why Fez is called the spiritual heart of Morocco. Time seems to have stopped in large parts of this city, nowhere else can you find such a strong link to the kingdom's past.
    With our local guide, we will visit the Medina: Souks, Tanneries, Madersas, Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University.

    Duration: 5 hours

    No meals included on this day.
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Riad Ghita Palace

    Day 5: Over the Atlas mountains to the desert

    Stop At: Merzouga, Merzouga, Meknes-Tafilalet Region
    Leave Fes towards Merzouga desert through the Atlas mountains, you will notice the landscape change as you approach Merzouga, the town closest to the Sahara dunes.

    As you approach you will get your first glimpse of the massive sand sea of Erg Chebbi, looming on the forward horizon. Here the sand dunes rise to over (200m).

    Here we start our adventure on camel back into the desert, time to enjoy the sunset as you sit atop a large dune. Have a meal and spend the night in a desert tent. At night, join the local guides for a campfire complete with traditional music and star gazing.

    If you are an early riser, then a Saharan sunrise can be just as thrilling as a Saharan sunset.

    Duration: 6 minutes

    No meals included on this day.
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Tiziri luxury camp; Simple understated luxury with natural fabrics and a tangible essence of tranquillity.

    Day 6: Merzouga to Todra gorges and Boumalen Dades

    Stop At: Tinerhir, Tinerhir, Souss-Massa
    The Dades valley is a stunning area of Morocco covered with two tone kasbah's and earth palaces from where comes its nickname "The valley of a thousand kasbahs". Much of the valley is visible only if you leave your vehicles and venture on by foot but just driving through is a stunning and unforgettably beautiful experience.

    Sometimes known as the Country of Figs (not to be confused with the drier Draa valley located to the north of Zagora known as the Country of the Dates).

    A wilderness like area with its unearthly silence surrounded by snow-capped mountains on one side and on the other, the desert. The river Dades flows through the valley, watering a magnificent trail of wheat, fruit, walnut, almond and silver birch trees along its way, nestled amongst a back drop of spectacular, rocky land formations.
    Duration: 2 hours

    No meals included on this day.
    Accommodation included: Overnight stay at Xaluca Dades hotel

    Day 7: to Ait Benhaddou & Marrakech

    Stop At: Ouarzazate, Ouarzazate, Souss-Massa
    If the rocky terrain around Ouarzazate seems familiar, that’s because the area has been used as the backdrop for many Hollywood film productions. Ouarzazate has doubled up as Tibet, Egypt and every country of the Middle East in films like Jewel of the Nile, The Sheltering Sky, Kundun, Gladiator, The Kingdom of Heaven and Prince of Persia. You can see some of the props at the Atlas Film Studios just outside town.

    Ouarzazate itself is a largely modern town, built as a garrison for the French Foreign Legion in the 1920s. The only historic building is the Taourirt Kasbah, home of the infamous Glaoui family, the ‘Lords of the Atlas’, who controlled access to the southern trade routes in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Taourirt Kasbah also has a Hollywood connection - it made a cameo appearance in Star Wars. Opposite is a small crafts area where you can buy carpets, carved implements and earthenware at keener prices than in Marrakech.

    If you prefer to stay somewhere more atmospheric, Skoura, a small town 35 kms east of Ouarzazate with a lovely palmeraie and kasbah, makes a good alternative for exploring the pre-Sahara.
    Duration: 6 minutes

    Stop At: Marrakech, Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi
    Marrakech has always been a bustling city, filled with foreign sights, sounds, and smells. For some, it can be a bit of a shock to the senses. “The red city”, is named for the natural red ochre pigment in the walls, and is Morocco’s second largest city.
    Duration: 2 days

    No meals included on this day.
    Accommodation included: Stay at Riad Pachavana at the heart of Marrakech Medina

    Day 8: Sightseeing in Marrakech

    Stop At: Marrakech, Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi
    Marrakech; One of the most evocative places in the world, just the name conjures up images of this cultural melting pot – sandstone buildings, dusty streets and towering minarets against deep blue skies immediately spring to mind. Known as The Red City thanks to the hue of the thick walls surrounding the old city, Marrakech has been a popular tourist destination in Morocco since the 1960s, attracting everyone from the Beatles to Sienna Miller. It’s a place to engage the senses, nowhere more so than in the famous souks. These vibrant markets are a whirlwind of colour and noise, where throngs of people weave between tightly packed stalls exhibiting pyramids of brightly coloured spices, richly woven rugs and a thousand other exotic goods. Enticing smells waft through the souks, and the clamour of voices haggling and the cries of vendors competing for customers provides a constant backing track to the city.
    Our guided sightseeing includes the Koutoubia mosque, the Bahia palace, Saadian tombs, Menara gardens, the Souks and the famous Jemaa Elfna square. Free evening in one of the local restaurants surrounding the square.

    Duration: 6 minutes

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.
  • Departure Point :
    Traveler pickup is offeredAirports
    • Mohamed V Airport, Casablanca Morocco
    Ports
    • ميناء طنجة المتوسط, Morocco
    Departure Time :
    12:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    -
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Infant seats available
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

Language

-

Age Req.

-

Fitness Req.

None

Group Size

14

Organised by Original Travels

Activity ID: V-159012P2

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