9 DAYS, 9 NIGHTS

MOROCCO: NORTH TO SOUTH

Discover the medieval city of Fes, walk the blue-hued streets
of Chefchaouen, and surf the sands of Erg Chebbi.

ABOUT THIS EXAMPLE
MOROCCO TOUR

This adventure begins in Casablanca, where you’ll tour the Hassan II Mosque and spend your first night in Rabat, Morocco’s capital city. The next morning, you’ll journey to the famous blue-hued city of Chefchaouen, where ample time awaits to explore the medina and its charms. Take a leisurely stroll up the hillside and witness the city lights illuminate as the sun sets. Continuing your journey, you’ll reach Fes, renowned as one of the world’s finest walled, non-vehicular cities, where a guided city tour awaits. Next, embark on an unforgettable journey to the Great Sahara Desert, with a camel ride across the dunes and luxurious tent accommodations under the starry sky. Traverse through the rugged landscapes of the Toughra and Dades gorges before arriving in the picturesque Draa Valley, where interactions with locals in quaint villages await. Concluding your tour, you’ll explore the vibrant streets and iconic landmarks of Marrakech, the famed Red City of Morocco. *This is an example itinerary. All trips are custom-crafted to your interests and needs.

Your example 9-day, 9-night
Morocco: North to South

Get inspired with this trip — then get in touch to plan your own bespoke private tour of Morocco.

MOROCCO: NORTH TO SOUTH

Day 1 — Casablanca to Rabat
Day 2 — Rabat to Chefchaouen
Day 3 — Explore Chefchaouen
Day 4 — Chefchaouen to Fes
Day 5 — Exploren Fes
Day 6 — Fes to Sahara Desert
Day 7 — Sahara Desert to Dades Gorges
Day 8 — Dades Gorges to Tamnougalt
Day 9 — Tamnougalt to Marrakech

MOROCCO: NORTH TO SOUTH

Day 1 — Casablanca to Rabat Day 2 — Rabat to Chefchaouen Day 3 — Explore Chefchaouen Day 4 — Chefchaouen to Fes Day 5 — Exploren Fes Day 6 — Fes to Sahara Desert Day 7 — Sahara Desert to Dades Gorges Day 8 — Dades Gorges to Tamnougalt Day 9 — Tamnougalt to Marrakech

the economic hub of Morocco

Your journey commences in Casablanca, the economic hub of Morocco. Here, you’ll marvel at the architectural masterpiece of Hassan II Mosque, set against the backdrop of crashing ocean waves.

After exploring Hassan II Mosque, you’ll journey along the ocean road toward Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. Along the way, you’ll pass through quaint towns nestled in lush agricultural landscapes. In Rabat, you’ll see the Hassan Tower and the Mohammed V Mausoleum. You’ll stroll through the Kasbah Oudayas, a neighborhood high above the Atlantic Ocean.  Your night will be spent in a cozy riad in the medina.

the renowned blue-washed city

Today, you’ll journey to the renowned blue-washed city of Chefchaouen, nestled in the stunning Rif Mountains. Upon arrival, you’ll have ample time to explore this charming city, easily navigated on foot. From different vantage points, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. As the sun sets, you can ascend the hillside on the outskirts of town to witness a mesmerizing view of Chefchaouen aglow with twinkling lights.

Stroll through the bustling streets

Today is yours to unwind and immerse yourself in the sights of Chefchaouen. Wander through the bustling medina, brimming with an array of handcrafted treasures. Notice the distinctive traditional attire adorned by the Berber women here, a unique feature that sets Chefchaouen apart in Morocco. Who knows, you may even run into an impromptu street performance.

In Chefchaouen, market days fall on Mondays and Thursdays, drawing people from neighboring mountain villages to sell their fresh produce and wares. Stroll through the bustling streets adorned with crates of colorful fruits and vegetables, and witness the nostalgic sight of old balancing scales.

Morocco's medieval city

After breakfast, you’ll head in the direction of the medieval city of Fes, making a stop along the way at the Roman city of Volubilis. Here, you can explore the well-preserved ruins at your own pace, or opt for a guided tour if you prefer. Volubilis boasts some of the finest Roman ruins in this part of northern Africa and holds UNESCO World Heritage status.

Continuing your journey, you’ll pause at the charming city of Moulay Idris Zerhoun, renowned as one of Morocco’s significant historical pilgrimage sites. Despite its historical significance, the city charms visitors with its picturesque setting, nestled between two verdant hills cradled by mountains.

After leaving Moulay Idris Zerhoun, it’s a short drive to Meknes where you’ll see sites such as the famous gate of Bab El Mansour, El Hedim Square, and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. After leaving Meknes, it’s on to the amazing medieval city of Fes. You’ll spend the night in a beautiful riad in the medina.

Morocco’s spiritual heart

Today you’ll have a guided exploration of Fes, Morocco’s spiritual heart. Founded in the 9th century, the walled city is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Within the majestic walls of Fes, over 9,500 narrow streets and dim alleyways wind endlessly, weaving around thousands of stalls showcasing centuries-old craftsmanship.

Prepare yourself for an extraordinary sensory experience unlike any other. Few outsiders truly grasp the mysteries hidden within the bustling labyrinth of Fes, where every corner is alive with vibrant colors, captivating music, and exotic aromas. As a newcomer, you may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to a bygone era, surrounded by the timeless rituals of Moroccan life.

Yet, amidst the chaos, you’ll soon realize that the city’s inhabitants have carried on these traditions for centuries, creating an enchanting tapestry of history and culture within the noble walls of this Imperial city.

embark on a camel ride

From Fes, your journey continues eastward towards Midelt, where you’ll traverse the Middle Atlas Mountains, possibly catching a glimpse of Barbary Macaques in the forest. These Old World monkeys are primarily found in the Atlas and Rif Mountains of Morocco and Algeria. Passing through the forested areas, you’ll arrive at Ifrane, renowned for its prestigious Al Akhawayn University. As you approach Midelt, the imposing eastern High Atlas Mountains seemingly emerge out of the landscape. Nestled on the high plains between the Middle and High Atlas Mountains, Midelt is celebrated for its abundant apple orchards.

After departing Midelt, you’ll cross the High Atlas Mountains via the N’Talghemt Pass (6,256 ft. / 1,907 m), gradually descending into the expansive Ziz Valley, one of Morocco’s longest valleys.

Along the way, you’ll encounter flocks of sheep and goats grazing amidst the hillsides, tended to by Berber shepherds. Arriving in Arfoud later in the day, you’ll discover its status as the International Capital of Fossils, and a notable filming location for movies like The Mummy and King of Persia.

Continuing beyond Arfoud, your journey ventures off-road towards the magnificent Erg Chebbi Sand Dunes. After driving off road, you’ll reach the camel meeting point, where you’ll embark on a camel ride to the desert camp. Upon arrival, you can opt to climb to a high vantage point to witness the breathtaking desert sunset. Following dinner and music, you’ll retire for the night in a well-appointed tent, complete with private ensuite, under the starry desert sky.

Rugged Gorges and Lush Valleys

If you’re an early riser, you’ll want to catch the stunning sunrise over the dunes before boarding the 4×4 for the journey to the Dades Valley and Gorges. En route, you’ll pass the aquifers near Arfoud and the quaint village of Tinjdad, home to a captivating Berber museum.

The road from Tinjdad offers picturesque landscapes, leading to the breathtaking Toughra Gorges, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll. Continuing your journey, you’ll traverse the Berber village of Tinghir, flanked by lush green date palm oases and overlooked by ancient kasbahs and the abandoned 19th-century Medersa Ikelane.

Finally, you’ll arrive at the majestic Dades Gorges, where you’ll spend the night at a charming inn.

panoramic views of kasbah ruins

The morning vista of the Dades Valley is simply breathtaking. After a delightful breakfast, we’ll set off for the charming village of Tamnougalt nestled in the picturesque Draa Valley. The people of Tamnougalt open their doors to foreigners and are some of the warmest people in the country.

Tamnougalt holds a rich history as the central hub for caravans in the 16th century. Explore the Tamnougalt Kasbah, once the seat of regional governance and the opulent residence of the caïd, still preserved by the original family. From the Kasbah’s heights, soak in panoramic views of ancient ruins, lush date palms, and the winding river valley below.

Tonight, enjoy a peaceful retreat at a charming inn.

journey through the High Atlas Mountains

After breakfast, you’ll bid farewell to the captivating Draa Valley and its kasbah ruins as you journey across the Tizi n’Tinififft Pass (5,446 ft. / 1,660 m.). As you navigate the winding roads amidst towering basalt cliffs, you’ll be surrounded by a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors at every turn.

After approximately 70 kilometers (45 miles), you will pass through Ouarzazate, known as the Moroccan Hollywood for the numerous movies filmed in the city.

After Ouarzazate, your journey leads to the iconic Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site nestled on the southern slopes of the High Atlas. You can explore the intricate pathways of the kasbah before continuing your adventure to Marrakech.

After departing Ait Ben Haddou, you’ll journey through the High Atlas Mountains, navigating winding hairpin bends and awe-inspiring canyons, where vibrant hues and sweeping vistas create an unforgettable landscape. Crossing the renowned Tichka Pass (7,414 ft. / ,260 m.), you’ll be treated to unparalleled views before reaching Marrakech, Morocco’s vibrant Red City, by day’s end. Prepare for new experiences and discoveries in this lively destination.

See additional add-on experiences

See what extra adventures await – then get in touch to start planning your own custom tour of Morocco.

You are in good hands with Abdul, Nancy, and the ODM team!

I am not someone who usually uses a tour guide service or travel agency, I prefer to plan everything on my own. That being said, we used ODM for our trip to Morocco for logistics ease and to take some burden off of us for planning. Nancy and the ODM team delivered and put together an excellent custom trip for us with no worries. We hit Casablanca, Tangier, Chefchaouen, Moulay Idriss, Fes, Rabat, and Marrakech over a week. All of our hotels and riads were great, and Nancy was very flexible and accommodating. She is extremely responsive and always kept us updated. Our host/guide, Abdul, was excellent in every way – professional, knowledgeable, experienced, safe, and friendly. We had a great time with him and he really took good care of us.. (even meeting us at night to take us around the medinas or escort us to dinners). We will definitely use ODM again if we come back to Morocco. You are in good hands with Abdul, Nancy, and the ODM team!
Harris

What’s included in your
Morocco tour

We take care of all the details of your custom tour of Morocco so that you don’t have to.

Experienced Local
Moroccan Tour Guide

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

Private Transport

Spacious, fully-equipped, driver & fuel.

Handpicked Accommodations

Choose Comfort, Premium, or Luxury ranked by us based on guest satisfaction.

Meals
All breakfasts included. Lunches and dinners included where indicated.
Airport Transfers

Airport transfers included.

Camel Trek

Ethical and authentic camel trekking experience (optional).

Sahara Desert Camp

Comfort or Luxury.

Private Guided Tours
Private city tours, food tours, kasbah tours, hiking tours, and more.
Local Encounters

Always genuine, always unique.

Local Encounters

Always genuine, always unique.

Camel Trek

Ethical and authentic camel trekking experience.

Handpicked Accommodations

Choose Comfort, Premium, or Luxury ranked by us based on guest satisfaction.

OUR PROMISE

Whatever you want your custom tour of Morocco to include, we’ll create something fully unique for you — and only you.

I recommend Open Doors Morocco in the highest possible terms

Nancy and her in-country hosts were flawless in both planning and execution of our two week trip in Morocco. There were four of us in two cars and we traveled from the Atlantic nearly to the Algerian border and sampled much of Morocco’s terrain and culture. In the planning phase Nancy was unfailingly amiable, available and thorough. In the travel phase Said and Abdul (our local hosts) were wonderful: easy-going, flexible, and very knowledgeable. They were quick to make changes as needed and yet still clear about both options and must-do stops. I recommend Open Doors Morocco in the highest possible terms.
Thomas

Answers to your
FAQs

To see all our most frequently asked questions, check out our full FAQ page.
How should I pack for Morocco?

For the most part, Moroccans are very good at accepting cultural differences. That said, as a Muslim country, modesty is important. In general, larger cities are more tolerant than rural areas. However, just like anywhere, showing too much skin can attract unwanted attention. It can also cause discomfort to locals. We recommend the following, especially in smaller cities, villages, and the countryside:

Women
Long skirts or dresses that cover the knees
Maxi dresses with scarves to cover shoulders
Jeans or pants
Loose fitting tunics and blouses
Shirts with sleeves, short sleeves are fine
Cuddl Duds – for warm layers in winter

Men
Long pants
Jeans
Shorts are acceptable, but less common among adult males

General
Clothing that doesn’t expose the décolletage, shoulders, or thighs
Comfortable shoes
Flip Flops
Scarves, hats, or turbans for sun protection
Ear plugs in case of unwanted noise
Small packs of Kleenex for unstocked restrooms
Hand Sanitizer
Covid Rapid Tests
Electrolytes – not found in Morocco (the Nuun brand is an easy one for traveling)

Can I drink tap water, is it safe?
We do not take chances and ensure that you have access to bottled water at all times. Water used for tea and coffee has been boiled and is considered safe to drink.
When is the best time to visit Morocco?
The geography of Morocco is such that all throughout the year there are locations where the climate is mild. For instance, during the summer months when it is extremely hot in the interior of the country, the coast is a cool respite. Summertime is the best time to hike and explore the higher altitudes of the Atlas mountains. In winter, the Atlantic coast is warm. The desert is very hot in the summer, but pleasant at other times of the year.
How does Open Doors Morocco determine pricing for tours?

Like the old adage says, “You get what you pay for.” We have no interest in being the cheapest tour in Morocco. You receive an excellent value and return home with amazing memories and new friends in Morocco. Our tours are not cookie cutter, one size fits all tours. While we have example itineraries on our website, everything is customized. Because we put a great deal of focus on each of our tours, we limit the number of bookings at one time. This enables us to build great individualized itineraries and match people with our excellent hosts. We do not compromise on the quality of our local hosts.

We believe in paying our local hosts fair living wages. This is also something we will not compromise. One of the primary reasons we started Open Doors Morocco was that we saw the disparity in the tourism industry here. In most cases, the locals work the hardest, yet are compensated the least. The majority of Moroccans working in the tourism industry are not able to support their families on their income. At the same time, we won’t compromise on the expectations we lay out for our hosts. We have high standards for our local hosts and they rise to the occasion because they love their jobs and engaging with their foreign guests. You can read an outsider’s review on our vision by visiting Sixnie and Salt: Ethical Tourism: What is it? And Why Should You Care about It?

Please note that we do not offer itemized cost breakdowns.

The company is certainly not the least expensive option, but it is very, very, very much worth it!
– Emily D.

Why is it better to book with Open Doors than to travel independently?

There are many reasons to select Open Doors Morocco for your Morocco vacation. First, our primary goals are to create amazing experiences for our guests, while relating ethically with the Moroccan nationals. Those who choose to travel independently in Morocco, stand to miss out on many things that can only be experienced with a local host. We prefer to use the term, “host” rather than “guide” because they are far more than guides. Your ODM host is the touchstone between you and the Moroccan culture. They love introducing guests to their country and being involved in cross-cultural experiences. You will have the opportunity to meet some very special Moroccan people as you travel throughout the country simply because you are with a Moroccan.

Depending on where you are in the country, we may hire an additional guide. For instance, we always hire a guide in the city of Fes. The Fes Medina is a labyrinth and it requires a guide who is licensed specifically for the Fes Medina.

We have never used a guide in any of our travels, but this was the only way I could talk my husband into this trip. I’m so glad we did. We would not have been able to navigate on our own and see as much otherwise.
– Vicky L.

Secondly, traveling with us enables you to forget about the details. We will handle everything from touchdown to departure.

Finally, at Open Doors Morocco we believe in paying our tour hosts a thriving wage. We don’t pay our tour hosts peanuts for their knowledge and expertise. They are passionate about their work and sharing their country with others. The work hard and should be adequately compensated for their work. This is unusual in the tourism industry and it’s something we don’t compromise on.

We enjoyed Said’s company immensely, his knowledge, insights and stories were golden. We discovered spots we wouldn’t have on our own, and I doubt with anyone else.
– Disco Donkey

What types of accommodation do you use?

We do not book in the large “cookie cutter” hotels unless specifically requested. We use accommodations with a Moroccan style that we know personally and have been rated by our guests as excellent. That said, there are various levels of accommodations in Morocco. We will book Standard, Comfort, or Luxury accommodations. Depending on your location, luxury is not always available.

Standard accommodations are clean and simply decorated, yet still beautiful. Comfort (or Superior) accommodations are slightly more plush. Finally, luxury accommodations are the most plush.

In addition to traditional accommodations, we also offer home visits in various parts of the country. These home visits are available for those wishing to experience life in a Moroccan home. Our home visits are well vetted. Some people like to stay in a home visit for 1-2 nights out of their trip. Staying in a home visit is one way to help the local economy. It’s also a sure fire way to make sure you are pampered and spoiled while you are there. Moroccans are amazing hosts!

The care that this company takes in preparing customized itineraries that accommodate all manner of needs/desires (my partner is an above-knee amputee) is impressive, and resulted in great experiences for us.
– Rosemary Y.

How much time do I need in the country in order to experience the Sahara?

There are few words adequate enough to describe the wonder of a visit to the Moroccan Desert, especially when your host was a Nomad who grew up calling it home.
– Deborah K.

To visit the desert, you need a minimum of three days, four is better. In fact, a desert trip wrapped up into a longer tour is the best way to see it. There is so much to experience that it’s difficult to process in a short time period, especially since the desert is far from the primary tourism cities.

As a word of warning, now and then someone will come to us asking to see the “Marrakech Desert” just an hour outside the city. There is no desert directly outside Marrakech, and any tour operator who tries to sell you a tour to the Marrakech Desert is lying to you. The “Marrakech Desert” consists of hills with dust on them.

Additionally, if you run across a tour for $100 – $200 USD, you would be wise to ask questions. It’s impossible to operate a private tour for this amount of money. These types of tours are those that will take up to 17 people per vehicle, and in our opinion is not the best way to experience the desert. A private tour, in a high quality 4×4 with the capability to drive off-road is the best means of travel for this adventure. In addition, when the vehicle is driven by an experienced ODM host, who not only has been to the desert once or twice, but grew up in the desert, your experience is so much richer and authentic. It’s similar to the difference between hiring someone from Delaware to take you on a tour of California and hiring someone born and raised in California to lead you. In other words, how many times in your life will you get to see the Sahara Desert?

Should I exchange money before traveling to Morocco?
Morocco’s currency is the dirham. For the most part, Morocco is a cash country. Plan to use cash, and be pleasantly surprised when you find opportunities for credit cards. It is possible to order the Moroccan dirham from your bank prior to travel. However, this is not necessary and is usually more expensive. There are ATMs all throughout the country. Also, your host will be happy to take you to a money exchange cashpoint that will give you the best deal. We do not recommend using the ATMs or the the exchange counters in the airport as you will pay a higher exchange rate. If you are an American citizen, the bank Charles Schwab, offers an excellent checking account. They do not charge any foreign fees on purchases or ATM withdraws. If you are charged for using a foreign ATM, they will refund the charge to you at the end of every month. It is good practice to notify your credit card companies and / or bank as to the dates of your travel to Morocco. Traveler’s checks cannot be used in Morocco.
Should I purchase a Travel protection plan / insurance?

While Open Doors Morocco does not require guests to purchase travel protection, we highly recommend that they do. Those who choose to protect their trip are responsible for arranging this on their own. We work with Arch RoamRight, and you can request a quote HERE. Arch RoamRight offers a free child policy with each parent policy purchased. Whichever company you choose, we encourage you to look for a policy that covers emergency medical expenses, emergency evacuation, trip interruption and delayed arrival, trip delay, baggage delay, missed connection, in addition to the other elements you believe are important.

Further, if you feel nervous about cancellations due to global pandemic, a personal health issue, or other reasons, we recommend highly looking into a “Cancel for no reason” policy. We recommend that you purchase your coverage at the time of booking and double check the small print to ensure it covers all you want it to cover. Many policies will cover pre-existing conditions as long as the policy is purchased within a certain number of days that the deposit is paid.

I have special dietary restrictions. Can you cater to these?
Open Doors Morocco is happy to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences. Please let us know at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements or allergies and we will pass the information on to your guide and hotels. For those who have significant dietary restrictions, it is a good idea to bring along a card stating your dietary needs in French and Arabic. We are happy to help with translations. Having a card will help when you find yourself eating in a location where your guide isn’t with you.
Will Open Doors Morocco help me book airfare?
Open Doors Morocco does not book airfare, nor are we responsible for changes or delays in your reservation or flight. However, we are more than happy to provide tips and even research suggested flights.
Who will be my local host / guide?
Open Doors Morocco makes host assignments one month to a few weeks before your trip. We will communicate this information as soon as the assignment has been made. All of our hosts are friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced and share Open Doors Morocco’s passion for transformative travel. Each of our hosts offers a unique personality, perspective, and passion to share with you during the trip.
What type of vehicles do you use?
The majority of the time we use Toyota Land Prados. These are the same as Toyota Land Cruisers in the United States. Although the legal limit is six guests in these vehicles, we have found that four guests is the limit in terms of comfort. In much of Morocco, 4x4s are the best means for transportation. However, there are exceptions depending on the make up of the group. For families, we often use Mercedes minivans. If the desert is included in a trip where a van is utilized, it will be necessary to switch out to 4x4s in the desert. A mini bus is often utilized for a group tour. If a group is traveling to the desert, it is necessary to switch out to 4x4s at that time. Some small groups travel in a caravan of 4x4s.

HOW TO BOOK IN 3 EASY STEPS

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We Take Care of the Rest

Once confirmed, we handle all the logistics from this point on!

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