The Imperial Cities & Sahara Desert Tour

Starts from US $1560.00 Per Person

 

Unveil the secrets of the Morocco’s historic Imperial cities, Meknes, Fes, Rabat, and Marrakech with additional time dedicated to explore Sahara Desert, enjoy the scenic views of High Atlas Mountains and beautiful oases driving along the 1000 Kasbahs Road. You’ll start in Casablanca and end Marrakech / Casablanca.

Highlights

dot circle icon Explore Morocco’s imperial Cities to absorb the extraordinary sights  of  history and  culture.
dot circle icon Wander the alleways of the old medieval Medina in Fez.
dot circle iconRide a camel over the dunes of the Sahara
dot circle iconAdmire the scenic High Atlas Mountains
dot circle iconExplore old fortified kasbahs and desert oases featured in your favorite films
dot circle iconWatch musicians, acrobats, and snake charmers in Jemaa el-Fna Square

Brief Itinerary

 

DayHighlightsOvernight
Day 1Arrival to Morocco – CasablancaCasablanca
Day 2Casablanca & RabatRabat
Day 3Meknes – Volubilis – Moulay Idriss Zerhoune Village – FezFez
Day 4Guided Tour in the Imperial City of FezFez
Day 5Ifrane – Middle Atlas Mountains – Cedar Forests- Ziz Palms Valley – Sahara DesertSahara Desert
Day 6Sahara – Sijilmassa – Tinjdada – Todra Gorges – Dades ValleyDades Valley
Day 7Dades Valley – Kelaat Magouna – Skoura Ouarzazate, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah- MarrakechMarrakech
Day 8Explore the Imperial City of MarrakechMarrakech
Day 9Depart from Casablanca-CMN / Marrakech-RAK

Detailed Morocco Tour

Day 1: Casablanca

Welcome to Morocco! Welcome to Casablanca. The largest city and the economical capital in Morocco. Upon landing in the Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca. You’ll make your way through customs and see the professional, English-speaking private driver ready to take you to your hotel, where you will check in and relax.

Depending on your arrival time, you will visit this bustling modern metropolis, starting your morocco tour at the elegant residential district of Anfa, well known for its green parks and Art Deco villas. Move next to visit the amazingly-beautiful Hassan II Mosque sitting pretty on an outcrop over the Atlantic Ocean, the second largest mosque in the Islamic world after the Masjid al-Hamra in Mecca.  Uniquely in Morocco, non-Muslims are permitted to enter to the Hassan II mosque. This architectural masterpiece is a symbol of an Islam open to the world, took 7 years to complete. Feast your eyes on the gilded cedar ceilings, the intricate marble work, stone and wood carving.

On now to the Ain Diab Corniche, take a stroll along this stunning lively Atlantic coast, often referred to as the Miami of Morocco. Finish the day in Casablanca and settle into your accommodation.

Day 2: Casablanca & the Imperial City of Rabat 

Following a full breakfast at the hotel in Casablanca, you’ll be off to Rabat, the administrative Imperial capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, founded in the 12th century. Start your sightseeing tour with a drive through this graceful city of parks and gardens along Victory Avenue to the King’s Palace to savor and photograph its impressive finest Islamic architecture. Next you arrive to explore the medieval fortification of the Chellah in the heart of Rabat and explore its Roman and Islamic ruins, once a prosperous Roman enclave called Sala Colonia, their Necropolis is today a garden of olive, fig trees, banana palm trees, hibiscus, and bougainvillea. Wander around the Medina to stop by the monumental unfinished Hassan mosque, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, but the construction on the mosque stopped after death of the Sultan Yacoub el Mansour of the Almohad dynasty in 1199. Additionally, continue to the Mohamed V Mausoleum, guarded by the mounted Royal Household Guard, the last resting places of the late King Mohammed V and of his son, the late King Hassan II.

After a stop at a local restaurant to try the delicious Moroccan food, head to visit the Kasbah Oudayas  overlooking the Atlantic, which offers an opportunity for fabulous photography, enjoy the flowers bloom in the 20th-century Andalusian Gardens and stroll quietly in the peaceful streets.

Rest and relax in delightful Riad to experience living in the traditional home and enjoy mesmerizing view in the heart of the adminitrative capital of Morocco.

Day 3: Roman Ruins at Volubilis -> Moulay Idriss Zerhoune

-> The Imperial City of Meknes

After breakfast we shall now set out to the Imperial City of Meknes (whose Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), situated west of the Saiss plain between the pre-Riffian elevation of Zerhoun and the foothills of the Middle Atlas, Meknes was once called “the Moroccan Versailles”, and chosen by Moulay Ismaïl in 1672 to be the capital of his empire. Throughout its history, its importance grew due to the strategically-central location, clement weather, abundant water and supplies. Spend enough time exploring its 40 km of Ramparts, the monumental gate of Bab Mansour, the lively el-Hedim Place, the magnificent Museum of Dar Jamaï, and the splendid Moulay Ismail Mausoleum.  From here to the huge granary and the stables – once accommodating the Sultan’s 20,000 Arabo-Berber ‘Barb’ horses – built next to a the El Heri es-Souani fed by underground channels that brought fresh water all the way from the distant Middle Atlas Mountains. Now, we leave Meknes to the Morocco’s best-preserved Roman ruins at Volubilis, where you’ll have a real sense of Roman lifestyle exploring the ancient olive presses, mansions, incredible mosaics, monumental arches and Corinthian still-intact columns.

We shall break for lunch at Volubilis before driving alongside the dark, outlaying ridges of the Zerhoun Hills for a panoramic view of the town of Moulay Idriss, the holiest Islamic town in the kingdom of Morocco. Continue to the Imperial City of Fes and your hotel or riad for a well-earned rest in the fortified old medina.

Day 4: Exploring the Imperial City and medieval medina

After a full breakfast at your Riad in Fes, you’ll begin your professionally-guided tour of the oldest imperial city of Fez, by visiting Dar Batha Museum, an Hispano-Moorish palace housing some admirable collections of traditional Morocco’s art, then drive through the impressive Dar el Makhzen to stop at the Royal Palace well-known with its magnificent seven bronze gates. From here continue through the Mellah with its intense atmosphere to the Borj Sud (Southern Tower), here to take in the panoramic view of the fortified Medina. Now, start your walking tour of the labyrinth ancient Fes Medina,  discover the bustling maze of alleyways, visit the Bou Inania Mosque; the colourful es-Sabbaghine with its Street of the Dyers, the brass workers at es-Saffarine, and the impressive al-Quarawiyyin Mosque -University, pass through the aromas of the Souq el-Atterine area of spices and groceries to the delightful el-Nejjarine Square with its fountain and caravanserai, where you will stop nearby for lunch at an authentic local restaurant.  On now to the renowned Tanneries on the bank of the Oued Fes, then move to the pottery’s kilns, and visit perfumes and beauty products at the Souq el-Henna. Leave the Medina from the Bab Boujloud to continue your tour over the magnificent ramparts with its beautiful gates, make our way to the 16th century Saâdien watchtower at the North Borj and its Weapons Museum.
End you’re your full day trip contrasting culture and journey into some 1,200 years of history in Fez at your Riad.

Day 5: Over the Middle Atlas and into the desert: Erfoud, Merzouga and the Sahara

Today, the breakfast will be served early to start your journey south in no hurry, through the cedar forests and the Berber villages of the Middle Atlas Mountains, crossing the Col du Zad pass (2178 m). You will see the Barbary Macaque monkeys by the side of the road and in the trees as you travel to the majestic town of Midelt “the apple city”, famous for its mineral rocks that are millions of years old. After Lunch, you can also hit the shops there to get some fun souvenirs for your loved ones! Along the way, appreciate the scenery of Oued Moulouya and the apples’ orchards. Next, drive over the pass of Tizi n’Talghemt into the Ziz valley dotted with fortified Ksours and palm trees. As you are near Erfoud town, you will start to see the early signs of the Sahara Desert. Never stationary, the Sand dunes travel as the winds shift. Discover how the fossil & mines-rich rock are transformed into decorative and practical useful objects in Erfoud. In the afternoon, you will reach Merzouga village, where you will change the pace onboard a 4WD vehicle, continue on your comfortable off-road drive to the extensive sea of sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. some dunes rise to over 200 m. Arriving at camp and welcomed with a cup of min tea, before you enjoy your camel ride through the dunes to watch the colorful display as the sun sets behind the scenic huge dunes. Return to the luxury camp for enjoying traditional Berber music, dinner over the fire in the open air under a blanket of stars and spend the night in a Bedouin-style tent.

Day 6: Adventures around Merzouga, Rissani Market, Todra Gorge and Dades Valley

Wake early to catch a breathtaking desert sunrise, feel the soft sand beneath your toes in the cool morning and try your skill at sand boarding over the sea of golden-brown dunes. After a full breakfast at the luxury camp in Sahara Desert, get on your 4WD vehicle for the journey back to explore the nearby Ganawa Village of Khamlia and experience traditional drumming music and dancing, before leaving the dunes behind and stop in Rissani, delight your senses in the very old Sijilmassa Market, Known for its impressive gates,  livestock auction, and donkeys park. From here drive to Todra gorges (300m) carved by the Todra River through red limestone, you will enjoy a leisurely walk  around the gorge and relax in the cool waters of the shallow river below. Continue your beautiful journey along the road of Thousand Kasbahs towards the picturesque Dades Valley, where you will conclude your day with a dinner and overnight over the pink-reddish river.

Day 7: Dades Valley -> Ouarzazate, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah ->Tizi n’Tichka Pass over the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech

Once you enjoy your full breakfast, you will set out behind the High Atlas Mountains on route to Morocco’s most famous Kasbah of Aït Benhaddou. Passing through Kela’a M’gouna and stop to visit a roses local cooperative to see the process of converting rose petals into rose water and oil, also admire the rose bushes bordering plots of farmland. Continue driving west to Ouarzazate, home to Taourirt Kasbah, one of the fortresses of the Glaoui family and the famous Atlas Studio Cinema, here you will learn more about the filmmaking process and discover how this region have been featured in movies, including Gladiator, Black Hawk Down and Lawrence of Arabia. Move now to explore the nearby 11th century Aït Benhaddou Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which held an important position along the trans-Saharan trade route, wander around the alleys to climb up to the old Granary, an excellent vantage place to see the picturesque Kasbah and the surrounding beautiful valley. The fans of Game of Thrones Movie may opt for a walk down to the river to see the featured gate. Afterwards, leave Aït Benhaddou Kasbah behind to begin the ascent over the High Atlas mountains (the mountain range’s highest peak at 4167 m). As you reach the top, you will get the opportunity to stretch your legs for a great panoramic view of the snaking road of Tizi n’Tichka Pass. In Taddart visit a local Olive Oild Cooperative, learn and sample, how olives are processed for various uses. Continue descending the High Atlas Mountains and see the dramatic change in landscapes and climate. Soon you will be a part of the clamor and the nose of the red city. As you reach Marrakech, check and settle at your Riad/Hotel, then move to Jemaa El Fna, the main and busiest square in all of Africa! in the early evening, it comes alive with musicians, dancers, sorry-tellers, snake charmers, performers and acrobats, games and food stalls. Dinner on a terrace over the entertaining square and enjoy a cup of mint tea.

Day 8: Explore the Red City of Marrakech 

Unlike Fes, the red imperial city of Marrakech has Berber roots, it was once a substantial trading imperial capital for Berber tribes of the High Atlas Mountains and today remains a significant morocco travel destination. Meet your private tour guide and start exploring lively Marrakech!

Get lost in the red medina, start your day tour in Marrakech at the Koutoubia Mosque, then move next to the Kasbah area with the Saadian Tombs, visit the colorful souks, and Bahia Palace in the north, continue to El Badi Palace in the south. For a more relaxed experience, enjoy your sumptuous lunch at one of the best local restaurants in Marrakech, before you drive to visit the botanical Majorelle Gardens in the New City built by the French.

In the afternoon, orient yourself around the Jemaa el-Fna Square. As the sun sets, it comes alive with storytellers, musicians, dancers, acrobats, and even snake charmers. Also, many rows of food stalls will begin to appear, serving anything from full local meals to fresh fruit drinks, and dried dates and fruits., have a bite and a glass of the Moroccan sweet mint tea in one of the many cafés that sit above the square and enjoy the spectacle below.

Day 9: Return to Casablanca, Depart

Complete any last-minute shopping, or you may wish to spend additional time exploring Marrakech’s Islamic and Moroccan architecture and artisanship at its finest, before catching your flight home from Marrakech Airport ( RAK) or Casablanca Airport (CMN).  You’ll depart enriched by the accumulated knowledge, breathtaking views, and new friendships shared during your amazing experience in Morocco imperial Cities.

Tour information

calendar alt icon 09 days / 08 nights
plane departure icon Casablanca-CMN
plane departure icon Casablanca-CMN/Marrakech-RAK
clock icon All year round
location arrow icon Customizable
user check icon Private

smt1 check iconWhat’s Included

– Private transportation: Air-conditioned and high comfortable vehicle, equipped with free-WIFI.
– English speaking – friendly, easygoing and open-minded private driver.
–  All vehicle charges: Gasoline, parking, toll road.
– Mineral water.
– Elegant Meals:

* Daily Breakfast.

* 1 Dinner in Sahara.

* 1 Dinner in Dades Valley.

– 7 nights at top Quality Moroccan Riads, Hotels & Kasbahs.

–  1 Overnight under an elegant Bedouin-style tent in Sahara Desert.
– Professional and Knowledgeable local guides in major cities.
– All Entrance fees to the historic monuments.
– Luggage handling at all accommodations & airports.
– All transfers- even individual transfers when required.
– VAT & Regional Taxes.
– No hidden fees.

smt1 close iconWhat’s excluded

– Airfare & International Travel Insurance.
– Drinks.
– Lunch each day.
– Dinner each day except those mentioned included.
– Tips & Extra.

Why Book With Us?

calendar check icon +30 Years of Experience
smile beam icon +5000 Happy Travelers
sliders h icon Private, Flexible & Personalized Trips
archway icon  Authentic and Local Experiences
headset icon  24/7 Ground Support From Local Experts.
shield alt iconGuaranteed Safety & Security

Camel Trekking

Sail your ship of the desert into the dunes to enjoy the sunset and/or sunrise.

Sand-boarding

Sand-surfing in the Big Dunes of Morocco. If you plan to take one of our Morocco desert tours to one of these destinations Erg Chigaga or Erg Chebbi dunes.  in luxury or standard level, you will have sand-boarding included.

Sahara ATV Quad Biking

Quad Biking experience

Quad Biking experience is suitable for beginners and more advanced drivers. follow your private guide to explore the Sahara Desert and discover the real nomadic lifestyle.

Buggy Riding

An amazing buggy excursion accompanied by your private guide to explore the Sahara Desert and the surrounding Berber villages.

Artisanal Workshops

master-led classes

Acquire new skills in pottery, metalwork, jewelry-making, woodwork or embroidery! These funds, hands-on, master-led classes will sharpen your artistic abilities. Ask us about it.

Cooking Lesson

Prepare a delicious Moroccan meal

Prepare a delicious Moroccan meal. An expert chef will reveal local culinary secrets during this hands-on experience. Enjoy the end results for your midday meal! Ask us about it.

Baking Class

Man cooking cookies

Indulge your sweet tooth and learn how to bake Moroccan pastries at a non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women. Ask us about it.

Hot-Air Balloon Ride

Take off on an hour-long flight across the Palmeries of Marrakech for an aerial view of the High Atlas Mountains, followed by brunch in the home of a Moroccan family.

Pricing

From 3 to 5 Stars Range 

smt3 star iconsmt3 star iconsmt3 star iconsmt3 star iconsmt3 star icon

Tour range2 Persons3 to 4 Persons5 to 6 Persons7 persons or more
Budget Comfort 3*$1950$1650$1560Inquire this now!
Classic – Mid Range 4*$2250$1920$1820
Affordable Luxury 5*$3250$2750$2590
Deluxe Luxury – Highest Level$4950$4455$4220

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    The Imperial Cities & Sahara Desert Tour