Best of Morocco (MR): 14-Nights

Price $2050 $1950 15 Days
Scroll down

Best of Morocco (MR): 14-Nights

$2050 $1950 per person


*Prices are per person in CAD dollars, land only, based on double occupancy. Price shown is the lead in rate for 2024 departures and discounted rate includes the member savings.

Enter the world of ancient Morocco on this journey through the imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fes and Marrakech. We explore colourful souks, walk through gorges in the towering Atlas Mountains and discover desert oases, with the option of spending a night in the desert. We enjoy time with the locals as we travel through the land of Berbers and to the beautiful Atlantic coast where we relax in the tranquil port town of Essaouira.

What’s Included: Meals – Breakfast: 14, Transport – Bus/4WD, Accommodation – 13 nights standard hotel/1 night premium hotel, Trip Staff – Explore Tour Leader/Driver(s).

*MEMBER BENEFIT: Book your first Explore trip and save $100 CAD* per person based on double occupancy. *Terms & Conditions: to receive your discount quote promo code TRIPMERCH100 at time of booking. Only applicable to Explore trips of 8 days duration or longer booked via Trip Merchant by first time Explore travellers who are members of participating membership organizations resident in Canada and booking in CA$. Not applicable to polar or Galapagos cruises, or tailor-made trips. **Other restrictions may apply.

Call for assistance: 1-800-481-9739 ext. 1
Mention Promo Code for Savings: TRIPMERCH100

Departure Dates

September 17, 24
October 7, 14, 22, 29
November 5, 19
December 17
February 4, 18
March 3, 17
April 14, 28
May 5, 19
June 16
July 21
August 4
September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
October 6, 13, 20, 27
November 3, 17
December 1, 15
  • Destination
  • Arrival City
    Casablanca, Morocco
  • Departure City
    Marrakech, Morocco
  • Activity Level
    Moderate - Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a holiday which combines exciting activities and experiences with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Typically you’ll be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries.
  • Passenger Limit
    10-15: Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.
Join tour Casablanca
Join the tour in Casablanca and meet your group and Tour Leader.
Accommodation: Moroccan House Hotel (or similar)
Meals Provided: None
Visit to Hassan II Mosque and Sightseeing in Rabat; continue to Meknes
This morning we visit the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca before we set forth along the coast heading north, towards Rabat, the city that was established as the capital of their protectorate by the French in 1912 and since independence has served as the capital of a modern Morocco. Rabat's history stretches back as far as 8BC, when settlers arrived in what is now the Chellah area, a district that went on to become a prosperous Roman town, before being transformed by the Merinids into a cemetery, On arrival we will have an opportunity to explore something of the city's historic heart, with a guided walking tour of the area around the Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, before wandering through the engaging Kasbah des Oudaias, originally a fortified town that is now infused with a distinctly Andalusian flavour. After taking in the sumptuous grandeur of the Royal Palace we will continue our journey to Meknes, once the heart of the Moroccan Sultanate, lying amidst the landscapes of the Oued Boufekrane River valley. The Sultan loved Meknes, and he would have liked never to leave it once wrote a chronicler to the tyrannical Sultan Moulay Ismail. Ismail (1672- 1727) was a tireless builder, and his greatest efforts were reserved for his capital at Meknes, which at its peak, with over 20 grand gateways and 50 palaces, must have been a sight to inspire any who looked upon it.
Accommodation: Hotel Akouas (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Sightseeing in Meknes; drive to Fes via Volubilis
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of the major highlights of Meknes, including the old granaries of the Heri es-Souni and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail himself. In spite of Ismail's seemingly unquenchable blood lust and far from benevolent treatment of his subjects, the sultan still seems to be held in high regard and his tomb is something of a place of reverence even today amongst a people who still see his rule as Morocco's Golden Age. We'll also take in the Bab el Khamis Gate and walk through the city's spectacular centrepiece, the Bab Mansour, en route to the Place el Hedim and the city's Medina, where we can try our bartering skills in the busy markets. From here we head next for the nearby ancient site of Volubilis - the capital of the Roman province of Mauritania Tingitana. The detailed mosaics here are still intact and the site gives a good idea of the layout of provincial settlements. The afternoon then sees us taking the road northeast, travelling via Nzala des Beni Ammar to the country's cultural capital, Fes. Probably the oldest of the imperial cities, its fascinating history is rich with wars, murders and political intrigue. It has played an important part in Moroccan trade, culture, religion and politics as well as being the seat of learning for science. The old and new towns are adjacent but totally separate entities and the panoramic views of Fes El Bali (the old city), seen from the North Borj (tower), are very useful to help you orientate yourself for when you are in the narrow alleyways.
Accommodation: Hotel Zahrat al Jabal (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Exploring Fes
We have a full day today to take in the artisan capital of Morocco and during the morning's sightseeing we will have a chance to take in the mosques and souks of the Fes el Bali, view the Royal Palace and drive out to North Bori for some great views back across the city. Craftwork made and sold in the Fes medina is considered amongst the finest in Morocco and a wander through its artisan districts reveal weavers and brass workshops, coppersmiths and tanners, producing beautiful pieces much as they have for generations. Beautiful buildings abound in this city as well, including the Sanctuary of Moulay Idriss 2nd, the Karouine Mosque and the Al Andalus Mosque (viewed from the outside only). After lunch our exploration of the city continues with a tour of Fes El Bali (Old Fes), exploring the souks in the backstreets, wandering past the spice stalls and taking in the opulent majesty of the 14th century Attarin Medersa, whose intricate decoration and elegant design makes it one of the city's most captivating medieval colleges.
Accommodation: Hotel Zahrat al Jabal (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Drive over the Middle Atlas to Erfoud
Turning south today we climb steadily into the dramatic landscapes of the Middle Atlas, heading first towards to Immouzer and Ifrane and passing near the small mountain village of Azrou, which in the Berber tongue translates as 'the rock'. This is the land of the fiercely independent Berbers, the Lords of the Atlas, whose traditions and ways still hold sway up here in their mountain strongholds far away from the cities below. The Berbers present us with a unique view of a way of life lost to the rest of North Africa, where music and dance, even language and religion, are far removed from their Arab neighbours. Continuing into Berber sheep raising country we head to Timadite and over the Col du Zad, before crossing the Tizi N'Tairhemt Camel Pass and continuing via the Gorge du Ziz to Er Rachidia. Finally we traverse a broad plateau past Meski Oasis, the so-called 'Blue Spring' bordering the arid desert plains, from where our journey brings us at last on to the desert settlement of Erfoud.
Accommodation: Hotel Le Riad (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Drive to Merzouga via Rissani; Afternoon optional camel ride and desert camp
Our day starts by following the meandering Ziz River towards Rissani, the last sizeable community and the end of the vegetation belt before the dunes of the Sand Sea begin. The settlement is the homeland of the Alaouite dynasty, which reigned in this region for 300 years, and this morning we'll have an opportunity to visit the founder's Mausoleum and explore something of the local ksour (fortified villages). After lunch, we then drive on to the settlement of Merzouga, which lies on the edge of Erg Chebbi, an area of spectacular high dunes that are amongst some of Morocco's most spectacular natural landscapes. The afternoon is then free to simply relax, take a 4WD trip around the dunes to explore the surrounding area, or take a camel ride into the haunting V-shape dunes that seem to creep slowly across the desert floor. Alternatively, you may choose to appreciate their vastness by climbing them. The word erg is Arabic for great sand dune area and although many people imagine the Sahara as an endless sea of rolling golden sand dunes, they actually cover only about one fifth of its surface, the rest being covered by vast rock and gravel plains. Today even affords an opportunity to spend tonight camping out in the desert in a traditional Berber-style tent (optional), to truly appreciate the captivating tranquillity of this desert setting.
Accommodation: Kasbah Le Touareg (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Drive to Todra Gorge area
This morning we will leave the southern desert behind and head for the mountains once more. Following an ancient route along the southern slopes of the Atlas, we reach the town of Tinerhir, our base from which to explore the towering vistas of the Todra Gorge. Arriving in the afternoon there is usually time for an initial exploration of the area and perhaps a walk in the famous lush palmeries that line the banks of the nearby Todra River (optional). Extending some way along the river's course, the gardens are a lush oasis of produce, with date palms and olive groves, fruit orchards and almonds, all littered amongst a fertile landscape of grain and vegetables.
Accommodation: Kenzi Saghro (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Optional walks in Todra Gorge
The dramatic ochre-coloured cliffs of the Todra Gorge rise vertically to leave just a narrow pass through which our track and the river struggle for right of way. In the morning Berber women drive their goats through the narrow gorge to the better grazing land higher up and we have an opportunity to follow their daily ritual and admire the stunning views, as we spend the morning exploring these deep, narrow mountain chasms on foot. You may choose to join the tour leader on an optional walk to Abdelali viewpoint for some excellent panoramas across to the Jebel Sahro and down into the gorge. The walk generally takes around 5 hours return and is considered as a moderate trek, but be aware that in high temperatures it can be more demanding (walking boots with ankle support essential). Alternatively you may opt to explore the gorge valley floor following the path of the river and take in the local scenery from one of the nearby cafés.
Accommodation: Kenzi Saghro (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Drive to Ait Benhaddou via El Kelaa des M’Gouna and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs
This morning we driving westwards, where we make a short stop in El Kelaa des M'Gouna positioned at the foot of a rocky outcrop that separates the Dades and Mgoun Valleys. Famed for its roses, the town lies blanketed under a landscape of scented blooms each spring, which are then harvested in May during the famous Festival of the Roses and processed into rosewater to be sold throughout the Islamic world. Driving on through the Dades Valley with its fertile oases, we enter the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, where each of the oasis towns can boast their own distinctive character, the mud and straw structures becoming more plentiful and more ornate as you progress along the valley. Later this afternoon we make our way towards the small, fortified Berber settlement of Ait Benhaddou, which has been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is considered by many to be one of Morocco's most picturesque settings. Studded with crenelated towers and richly decorated, the town's Kasbah is quite spectacular and provided an ideal location for filming scenes from Jesus of Nazareth and Lawrence of Arabia.
Accommodation: La Kasbah (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Drive to Ouirgane
Heading north, the parched desert sand and stone gives way to the hills and deep gorges of the High Atlas Mountains as we wind our way up and over the Tizi n' Tichka, the highest vehicular pass in Morocco and often snow covered during the winter months. We will then head to the small village of Ouirgane. En route we may have the opportunity of visiting the local market at Tahanoute and the village of Aguersioual, where we will enjoy a mint tea with a Berber family and experience the everyday life of the people of this region. Depending on our arrival time there may be the opportunity for a short hike around Ouirgane, Imlil or alternatively to the Berber village of Matate.
Accommodation: La Bergerie (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Drive to Essaouira via Marrakech
Today we head via Marrakesh to take the road west to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Our destination is the historic port of Essaouira. This afternoon you will have free time to enjoy this charming small seaside town.
Accommodation: Hotel Souiri (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Free day in Essaouira
The day is free for independent explorations in this colourful coastal fishing town. Situated within 15th century Portuguese fortifications, the town has a relaxed but lively feel and an experience not to be missed is a visit to the old walled Medina. After passing through the narrow, highly decorated arched entrance, it may be hard to resist snapping up last minute gifts such as locally made rustic leather belts, gleaming gold and silver jewellery, or wooden boxes exquisitely inlaid with ebony and mother of pearl by local craftsmen. The lively throng of the Medina, with its local women carrying out their daily routines, veiled in their traditional dress, forms a sharp contrast to the open golden sands of the harbour area where hopeful seabirds can be seen circling above the fisherman as they return from the blue waters with their daily catches. We suggest a stroll around the old town, perhaps taking in the Mellah (the old Jewish Quarter) or maybe a wander along the fine sandy beach and through the harbour.
Accommodation: Hotel Souiri (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Drive to Marrakech; Afternoon sightseeing tour
This morning we leave the coast and return to Marrakech. It's a few hours' drive and after we have checked in to the hotel we will take a walking tour of the Red City. Like many North African towns, Marrakech is divided into two distinct parts, the Gueliz (the modern French-built city) and the Medina (the Old City), a place where trade and barter amongst the colourful souks still renders its ancient heart a glittering cacophony of noise and colour. The city's beating heart is the spectacular Djemma-el-Fna, a site not to be missed and a scene straight out of the pages of the Arabian Nights. Here we will find the streets and alleys alive with storytellers and musicians, jugglers and acrobats, snake charmers and clowns. Marrakech is a city like no other; with a staggering array of spectacular architecture and wonderful facades and not to be missed are the Koutoubia mosque and tower, Saadian tombs, Ben Youssef medersa, the Dar Si Said Palace (now the Museum of Moroccan Art) and the Menara gardens. This evening there is also an opportunity to visit a traditional Hammam.
Accommodation: Moroccan House (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Free in Marrakech
Today has been left free to continue exploring this amazing city at your leisure. You can wander past vendors selling doughnuts and fried grasshoppers, meander through native markets where Muslim women, their hands and feet dyed with henna, call out to sell their wares, and enjoy the sounds and the smells of the exotic. Perhaps you will prefer to take time to enjoy more of the remarkable Medina, haggling for a bargain or two, or simply sitting at one of the local cafés and watching the street tableaux unfold before you. Do remember that many of the mosques will be forbidden to non-Muslims and be careful of photographing women. If you are unsure, it is always best to ask.
Accommodation: Moroccan House (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Tour ends Marrakech
Our tour ends in Marrakech today after breakfast. Depending on the schedule of your flights, you might be able to spend some additional time exploring the city independently and buy the last souvenirs in the market.
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Call for assistance: 1-800-481-9739 ext. 1
Mention Promo Code for Savings: TRIPMERCH100

Tour Location

Leave a Reply