Morocco: North to South

From $2,199* PPDO | 15 days / 14 nights | Contact us for customization.

Itinerary 15 days / 14 nights

Your journey begins upon arrival to Casablanca. (Alternatively fly into Rabat.) Just after collecting you at the airport, your host will take you to the Hassan II Mosque. Currently, there is one scheduled non-Muslim tour on most days. After visiting Hassan II, you will take the ocean road toward Rabat, Morocco’s capital city. Along the way you will pass through small towns nestled in a fertile agricultural region. Just south of Rabat, you’ll make your way through the cities of Skhirat and Temara, both with beautiful beaches. You will overnight in a charming and comfortable riad in Sale, just across the the River Bou Regreg from Rabat.

Your host will pick you up at your accommodations and you’ll be on your way to the beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen. It will take about 3.5 hours and you’ll see beautiful scenery along the way. Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains and they are amazing. You will have enough time to roam around the city – it’s easily traveled on foot. Your riad is right next to the famous kasbah that you walk through. There are very beautiful views from various vantage points there. At sunset, you can climb the hillside on the edge of town to see an amazing view of the city.

You’ll have today to relax and take in the sights of Chefchaouen.

You’ll have today to relax and take in the sights of Chefchaouen.

After breakfast, you’ll head toward the medieval city of Fes. On the way you’ll stop at the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. You can roam through the city on your own or have a guide take you. Most people choose to roam on their own. After Volubilis it’s on to Fes. Fes is amazing! You’ll spend the night in a beautiful riad in the medina.

You will have a full day to explore Fes. This includes a private guide through the medina. Only licensed, certified guides are allowed to accompany tourists in Fes, this is why your host won’t guide you through the city. Even Moroccans who didn’t grow up in Fes can easily get lost through the maze of winding streets and alleyways. If you are interested in pottery, there is a pottery shop outside the oldest part of the city that has the famous Fesian pottery. You’ll be able to see how the pottery and the mosaics are created and painted. Your night will be spent in the same raid as the night before.

From Fes, you will travel east toward the small city of Midelt. As you crisscross the Middle Atlas Mountains you may catch a glimpse of Barbary Macaques in the forest. The Barbary Macaque, an Old World Monkey Species, is found chiefly in the Atlas and Rif Mountains of Morocco and Algeria. It is near the forest that you will enter the city of Ifrane, home of the world famous Al Akhawayn University. Ifrane is a well known for snow skiing during the winter months. As you near the city of Midelt, it will seem as if the eastern High Atlas Mountains rise out of nowhere. Midelt lies on the high plains in between the Middle Atlas and the High Atlas Mountains, and it is a perfect stop over between Fes and the Sahara Desert. Midelt is known as an agricultural center, famous for its apples. It is also a principal city for the mining of minerals.

After breakfast you’ll cross the High Atlas Mountains via the N’Talghemt Pass (1,907 m / 6,2,56 ft) and then slowly descend into the Ziz Valley, one of the longest valleys in Morocco. Flocks of sheep and goats will be grazing alongside the road and up into the hillsides and if you look closely enough, you’ll see the Berber shepherds watching over them. Later in the day, you’ll make your entry into the city of Erfoud. Erfoud is the International Capital of Fossils as well as a film site for the recent movies The Mummy and King of Persia. Each year in October the city hosts the International Date Festival.

After passing through Erfoud, your journey continues off-road to the impressive Erg Chebbi Sand Dunes. About an hour later, you will arrive at the meeting point where you will board your camels. You will travel by camel approximately an hour out to the desert camp. You’ll find the camp in a beautiful and isolated location, nestled in the midst of the dunes. If you like, you can climb up to a high vantage point to watch the sunset. Afterwards, dinner will be served, followed by music. Your night will be spent under the stars in a genuine nomad tent.

On this day, there are many different options. You can spend time in Rissani or Erfoud. You can also visit the Gnaoua Music Association where descendants of individuals from Ghana keep their music and traditions alive. There are also some other opportunities for exploration, such as nomad families, driving further into the desert, etc.

If you happen to be a morning person, you’ll enjoy watching the sunrise from behind the dunes. After breakfast, you’ll board your camels and make your way back to the camel meeting place. Then it’s back to the 4×4 and onto the Dades Valley and Gorges. Just outside the city of Erfoud, you’ll pass by the aquifers. You will also pass through the village of Tinjdad, where there is a Berber museum. The road out of Tinjdad loops through flat land with beautiful landscapes. Upon reaching the Toughra Gorges, you can take a nice stroll through the gorges. Back on the road, you’ll pass through the Berber village of Tinghir. On the eastern edge of the village, you’ll find a lush green oasis full of date palms. Crumbling kasbahs and the abandoned 19th-century Medersa Ikelane lie under the canopy of the oasis. Later in the day, you will arrive in the beautiful Dades Gorges. Your night will be spent at a beautiful inn.

The view of the Dades Valley is beautiful in the morning. After breakfast you’ll be on your way to the village of Tamnougalt in the beautiful Draa Valley. Tamnougalt served as the 16th century central meeting point for the infamous caravans entering and leaving the desert. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the Tamnougalt Kasbah, that served as the regional government seat as well as the aristocratic residence of the caïd. The kasbah is still owned by the family of the original caïd. From atop the Kasbah, you’ll have an unobstructed view of ruins, date palms, and the river valley. Your night will be spent in a beautiful inn.

This day can be spent in various ways. You may desire to spend some of the day exploring with our Berber friend Mustafa. He will be happy to show you his kasbah that he restored himself. The door on the front of the proposal is his backdoor. He’s an amazing host. Lunch can be a picnic near the river (it usually has water in March and April).

After breakfast, you leave the Draa Valley and the kasbah ruins behind as you cross over the Tizi n’Tinififft Pass (1,660 m / 5,446 ft). As you twist and turn around basalt cliffs you will be inundated by a myriad of colors everywhere you look. After approximately 70 kilometers (45 miles), you will enter Ouarzazate, known as the Moroccan Hollywood for the numerous movies filmed in the city. After exploring Ouarzazate, you’ll be on your way to Marrakech. On the far side of Ouarzazate, you will visit Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site, located on the southern slopes of the High Atlas. After spending time climbing through the Kasbah, you will depart for Marrakech. The road snakes over the High Atlas Mountains, around hairpin bends, and in and out of canyons. As you take in the beautiful display of colors and the unmatched panoramas you’ll see why this stretch of road is considered one of the most scenic segments in the entire country. Just before you start the descent down the other side of the High Atlas, you will cross the famous Tichka Pass (2,260 m / 7,414 ft), the highest paved pass in North Africa. By the end of the day, you will find yourself in the famous Red City of Marrakech.

There are many options for this day in Marrakech. Some include the Majorelle Gardens, Bahia Palace, Ben Youssef Merdersa, and of course, the souks. The Jmaa Fna Square can be quite intense (and highly touristy) at night, but some people enjoy eating dinner in the stalls there.

Departure: You may choose to fly out of Marrakech or be transferred to Casablanca or Rabat.

What’s Included in Tour

Tour Highlights

  • Experienced Local Moroccan Host

    Fluent in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and local dialects

  • Private 4x4 Transport

    Spacious, fully-equipped, driver & fuel

  • Handpicked Accommodations: Standard, Comfort, or Luxury

    Ranked by us, based on guest satisfaction and feedback overtime

  • Meals

    All breakfasts included. Dinners included where indicated.

  • Airport Transfers

  • Private Guided Tour of the Fes Medina

  • Camel Trek

  • Sahara Desert Camp - Comfort or Luxury

  • Local Encounters

Village of Tamnougalt

Village of Tamnougalt

Photo Credits: David Brush

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Nancy LauerMorocco: North to South