Our 9 day Moroccan Melodies trip is a great introduction to the captivating cities, small desert towns and archaeological sites that make up this wonderful country. The tour begins in coastal Casablanca where we view the huge Hassan II Mosque on the waterfront before heading to the capital city of Rabat to learn more about the history and culture of Morocco, both ancient and modern by visiting the main sites. From Rabat, we head out of the city to visit the intriguing Roman ruins found at Volubolis as well as the old imperial city of Meknes before travelling onto Fez where we explore the fantastic medieval Medina. From Fez we head into the dramatic landscape of the Atlas Mountains overlooking the Sahara desert. En-route we stop for a fun cooking class learning how to make the Moroccan staple, cous cous. We’ll then experience the natural beauty of the desert first-hand by taking part in a jeep safari and camel ride before watching sun set over the desert dunes and sleeping under the stars in a traditional Berber camp. We continue our tour through the imposing desert landscape with stops at the oasis town of Tinghir and the unique rock formations found at Todra Gorge. The tour then travels back down to Marrakech through the Atlas Mountains with further stops at Ouarzazate and the UNESCO site of Ait Benhaddou. Upon your return to Marrakech, you can extend your tour with a few more days in the city, or even include a few days on the coast at Essaouira.
Casablanca, Roman ruins at Volubolis, ancient Meknes and Fez, 4WD desert jeep safari, camel ride & Berber camp, Cous cous cooking class, UNESCO world heritage site of Ait Benhaddou, Todra Gorge, Atlas mountains, Marrakech
Day 1, Arrive into Casablanca On your arrival in Casablanca airport (CMN) our representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in, relax after your flight, and have a first look around. Extra nights before the tour starts are available on request. OVERNIGHT: Casablanca Hotel EXTRAS: Single Room Supplement, Extra night - pre-tour
Day 2, Casablanca / Rabat / Volubolis / Meknes We start our tour at the impressive Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, 7th largest in the world and with an amazing seaside location. Morocco’s nearby capital, Rabat is next and we’ll see the Royal Palace, Ouadaya Garden & Kasbah and the Hassan Tower Mosque. Then we visit the ancient Roman city of Volubilis, home to some of the most impressive Roman ruins in North Africa. Finally we finish the day in the Berber town of Meknes which is full of intricate gateways, beautiful gardens and at 40m the largest ramparts in the country. The central square in Meknes is a great place to spend the evening and taste some traditional Moroccan cuisine. OVERNIGHT: Meknes Hotel MEALS: Breakfast
Day 3, Fez. City tour A short morning drive brings us to the mediaeval city of Fez and we spend the whole day exploring its labyrinth of souks, mosques and spice filled streets. Our tour features the Moulay Idriss mausoleum, Nejjarine fountain and the Bou Anania Medersa and you have time to explore the heady alleyways of the Medieval Medina, home to tanneries, carpet shops and local restaurants before heading to the old Merinic capital of Fez Jdid. OVERNIGHT: Fez Hotel MEALS: Breakfast
Day 4, Fez / Midelt / Cous cous cooking class We discover Morocco’s beautiful mountainous landscape today as we follow ancient caravan routes up into the hills, stopping en-route at Ifran, known as the ’Switzerland of Morocco’. Its alpine resort style feel is a huge contrast to the traditional Arabic cities you’ll visit. Next we head on through the hills to the town of Midelt where we enjoy a fun cooking class learning how to prepare and cook Morocco’s classic dish of cous cous. OVERNIGHT: Midelt Hotel MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5, Erg Chebbi sand dunes / camel ride / Berber desert camp We drive through the scenic Ziz Valley this morning, descending to Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara Desert. We’ll make the short trip to Rissani and the birthplace of the Alaouite Dynasty before driving in 4WD vehicles through to the famous Erg Chebbi sand desert. Here we transfer to camels and take a sunset camel ride through the sand dunes to a traditional Berber camp nestled right on the edge of the dunes. You can enjoy some spectacular views over the sand dunes as the sun sinks below the horizon before enjoying a hearty Bedouin meal and a campfire this evening, often with local musicians helping enhance the atmosphere. You spend the night sleeping in comfortable Berber camel-hair tents. OVERNIGHT: Berber Desert Camp MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6, Tinghir, Todra Gorge, Ouarzazate We leave the desert reluctantly this morning and visit the spectacular narrow canyon of Todra Gorge, whose huge rock walls change in colour as the light moves during the day. We’ll also drive through the Dades Canyon on steep winding roads with numerous switchbacks providing great views of the steep cliffs and the river rushing dramatically through the gorge below. Finally we continue along the ‘Road of a Thousand Kasbahs’ through the scenic Draa Valley to Ouarzazate, or ‘place of no noise’. An incredibly dramatic landscape, this area has played host to countless well known films. OVERNIGHT: Ouarzazate Hotel MEALS: Breakfast
Day 7, Ait Benhaddou, Atlas Mountains, Ourika Valley After a short tour of the Atlas movie studios outside Ouarzazate, today’s main highlight is Morocco’s most well known Kasbah at the UNESCO world heritage site of Ait Benhaddou. This is a huge fortified city with houses and kasbahs crowding together inside the defensive walls, an excellent example of traditional Moroccan earthen clay architecture. Finally we head up into the Atlas Mountains again to cross the Tizi N’tichka col which at 2260m is the highest pass in Northern Africa. As we descend to Marrakech we’ll make a stop in the beautiful Ourika Valley with its beautiful river, pools and waterfalls. OVERNIGHT: Marrakech Hotel MEALS: Breakfast
Day 8, Marrakech, City tour Today’s tour of Marrakech begins with a trip to the iconic Koutoubia Mosque, home to the minaret which has become a symbol of the city. We then visit the Mausoleum and Bahia Palace which both host intricate and beautiful Arabic craftsmanship before exploring the lively souks and bazaars in Marrakech’s famous medina. Home to many different types of traders these narrow and winding streets are bustling with activity and full of sights sounds and smells uniquely Moroccan. Today’s tour ends at the lively Djemaa El Fna Square, a perfect place to finish our tour of Morocco. OVERNIGHT: Marrakech Hotel MEALS: Breakfast
Day 9, Marrakech. Departure transfer to the airport Your last day is left free for some final sightseeing and shopping until your departure airport transfer. You can add more days in Marrakech, a hot air balloon flight, quad bike adventure, Berber village day trip or an extension to the coastal town of Essaouira if you wish. OVERNIGHT: None MEALS: Breakfast EXTRAS: Extra night - post-tour, Marrakech Hot air balloon flight, Marrakech Quad-biking, Imlil day trip, Essaouira Extension
8 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Accommodation in 4-star level hotels, a comfortable Berber desert camp and basic Berber village stay
All transport and transfers with a local driver
24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
Services of a local tour guide/ leader throughout
Meals as indicated in the itinerary
Entrances fees to sights as stated
Book with flexibility
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