Majestic Morocco Tour

Private Tour – dates to suit you

The Majestic Tour covers the length and breadth of Morocco, an all-encompassing trip including all the imperial cities, the coast, rural and mountainous Morocco and the desert.  We recommend 16 days, which provides ample time to stay at least 2 nights in most places, whilst providing sufficient time to enjoy the journey between each location.

At the end of the description of the tour we have included Casablanca as an optional extra day. This would then make the tour 17 days.

However, if you only have 13 to 15 days available, we can tweak the itinerary according to your wishes.

The tour assumes that you will arrive in Marrakech and depart from Casablanca, although the trip can be amended in accordance with your entry and departure ports.

Breakfast on the roof terrace, Marrakech

Day 1:  Arrive in Marrakech

You will be met at the airport by a member of our staff and driven to a delightful riad near the famous Djemaa el-Fna square in the heart of Marrakech’s historic medina.

Depending on your energy levels after your flight, the first evening can be spent exploring the souks and the Djemaa el-Fna square. Your riad will provide you with a map. You can have dinner in your riad (often the best meals are the home-cooked ones prepared in the riads), or if feeling adventurous you can try one of the market stalls in the main square.  We can also reserve dinner at one of the many restaurants in the medina.

Day 2:  Marrakech

We will organise a full day private walking city guide tour of the medina. Your guide will meet you at your riad at 09:00 or 09:30 (depending on the time of year). Like all our private tours it is adapted you your wishes – so before you start your guide will talk through the many options for the day.

Explore the maze of colourful souks, see the impressive Koutoubia Mosque with its imposing minaret, learn about Morocco’s history of education and scholars at the Ali ben Youssef Medersa, visit some of Marrakech’s most important kings at the Saadian Tombs and enjoy the opulence of the stunning Bahia Palace. Experience the excitement and energy of the street performers at Marrakech’s Djemaa el-Fna square – including Morocco’s legendary storytellers.

The unforgettable Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

The colourful souks of Marrakech

Day 3: Marrakech (free day)

Marrakech is a wonderful place to explore on one´s own after being orientated by yesterday’s guided tour.

The souks are a shoppers dream or you can indulge in whatever activity interests you- visit one of the spectacular gardens, or perhaps take a cooking course with our friend who owns a saffron farm in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Or alternatively you can you go hot air ballooning, take a ride on a caleche, or even a motorbike and sidecar, escape to the Atlas Mountains on a bike, or simply relax and have a hammam. Additional ideas and options are provided in the ´day trips´section.

Day 4:  Essaouira

Depart after a leisurely breakfast. The drive is about 2h30 hours.

Essaouira is a tranquil coastal town, with a chilled out medina adjacent to the wild Atlantic Ocean. En route you may encounter the spectacle of goats grazing high in the argan trees. There are also many argan oil cooperatives on this route, the oil being all the rage these days.

Accommodation is in what we consider to the best guest house in Essaouira, with large bedrooms and a huge roof terrace with commanding views of the medina and ocean.

The much photographed harbour at Essaouira

The extensive beach at Essaouira

Day 5:  Essaouira

Essaouira´s atmosphere is more akin to Chefchouen than Marrakech and Fez with its blue and white buildings providing the perfect calm backdrop. The town is easy to explore on your own, the highlight being the city walls with views to the Atlantic. The medina is wonderful for ambling around and is now gaining a reputation for being a gastro centre, with new (and tiny) restaurants opening regularly. The sea front is very attractive, a lovely place for long walks. If you are feeling active, you can also kite surf, quad bike or ride horses on the beach.

Day 6:  Taroudant

Departing after breakfast, the trip to Taroudant is about 4 hours. It’s an attractive drive, much of it being along the coast with sweeping views of the Atlantic. At Agadir you turn inland, Taroudant being about 1 hour from Agadir.

Taroudant is regarded by many as the ¨grandmother of Marrakech¨, due to its ramparts. The city walls, constructed in the 16th century, are almost completely intact and provide an inspiring arrival experience with its impressive bastions and engraved city gates. It’s an authentically Moroccan town with two souks, which function almost entirely for the local population. It’s definitely worth a visit in the early evening.

Accommodation in Taroudant is in a guest house with stunning manicured gardens and stylishly created rooms.

The mighty city walls of Taroudant

Camel in the dunes

Day 7:  Erg Chigaga, Sahara

Departing after breakfast, the goal is to reach the Sahara and the desert camp well before sunset.  Lunch is best taken at Foum Zguid (the café here does the best French fries in Morocco), the last village before entering the desert.

The route to the desert is via the Berber carpet making town of Taznacht (please note that prices here should in theory be cheaper than Marrakech, but it does help to come equipped with a little knowledge –  see shopping in FAQ). You enter the desert at Foum Zguid and from here it is 3 hours off road through a mixture of rocks, oases, dried out lakes and dunes to the camp.

Accommodation is at our luxury camp. Located adjacent to the dunes and far away from any other camps, it is extremely comfortable, with spacious tents, all with en suite bathrooms and extremely comfortable king beds. It’s also a social place, an opportunity to integrate with Moroccans and fellow travellers.

Arrive at the camp before sunset and enjoy evening sundowners on the dunes, dinner and the camp fire under the blanket of the star filled Sahara sky.

Day 8:  Erg Chigaga, Sahara

In order to fully appreciate the desert we recommend spending 2 nights, which provides you with a full day at the camp.  There are plenty of activities for those that either want to remain at the camp or venture into the desert.  Activities including camel treks, guided walks, lunch at the oasis, visiting the local nomads and for the mildly reckless, sand boarding.  Camel riding can be done at anytime, but is often best at sunrise, when the desert is at its most serene. This is a magical place – enjoy sundowners on the dunes, informal singing and drumming around the fire and star gazing.

Our own Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp

Sunset at the impressive Todra Gorge

Day 9:  Todra Gorge

Departing from the camp after breakfast you will exit the desert via M´hamid. En route you pass through Tamegroute, famed for its pottery and ancient koranic library which houses manuscripts from the 11C.  After driving through the provincial capital of Zagora, you pass through the verdant Draa Valley and its 3 million palm trees, with unlimited kasbahs in various states of disrepair and then skirt the imposing and stark mountain range, Jbel Saghro.  This route is also famed for its fossil and meteorite shops.

You will spend the night at a wonderfully quirky guest house, located deep inside Todra Gorge.

Day 10:  Fez

Departing around 08:30, the route to Fez showcases some of the best of rural Morocco, well away from the normal tourist routes.

Exiting the gorge to the north you follow a stunning route to Er-rich, where you will encounter virtually no other tourists. There is another wonderful gorge en route, totally undeveloped, not shown on most maps, but just as glorious as the more well-known ones. After Er-rich you pass through Midelt (a convenient place for lunch) and Azrou, which is famed for its Barbary monkeys.  You can also take a hike here in the protected cedar forests. Shortly before Fez you pass through the bizarre town of Ifrane, the skiing capital and Morocco´s take on Switzerland.  This route also goes through one of the agricultural heartlands of Morocco and depending on the season some of the produce being sold is outstanding and tastes how food used to several decades ago.  You will overnight at one of our favourite riads in Fez.

Barbary monkey at Azrou

The medina at Fez

Day 11:  Fez

Full day private walking city guide tour of the medina. Your guide will meet you at your riad at 09:30. Like all our private tours it is adapted to your wishes – so before you set out your guide will talk through the many options for the day.

Fez is one of the oldest cities in world. Explore Fez’s ancient medina, a maze of small alleyways many of which date back 1200 years. The full day private walking tour includes not only the most important and interesting sites, but also focuses on local craftsmanship, hand-made work being one of the highlights to a trip to any medina in Morocco.  Listen to the melodious call to prayer echo off the ancient minarets and thick medina walls, while sipping Berber mint tea from one of the many café terraces overlooking the old city.

Day 12:  Fez (free day)

Fez is simply one of the greatest cities in the world. It is simply so different to anything in the ´western world.´ The medina is ancient and feels medieval with its narrow, traffic free streets.  It can initially feel a little overwhelming, a real culture shock. But you simply have to go with the flow, allow yourself to get lost and just immerse yourself in the spirit of the place. We can also organise a guide again for those who prefer it.

In our opinion the best way to spend the day is to just wander with a map and discover and soak up its atmosphere without anything too specific in mind. But you can also enjoy a cooking course, have a hammam, or have fun locating one of the ancient sites you saw on the previous day.

The recently renovated Chouara Tannery, Fez

Roman ruins at Volubilis

Day 13:  Chefchaouen (Rif Mountains)

A reasonably early start is required in order to have enough time to visit the sites en route. Today we drive from Fez to the Rif Mountains and the quaint village of Chefchaouen, the blue city. The first stopping point is the impressive Roman ruins at Volubilis, once a town of 42 hectares and 20,000 lucky inhabitants. It houses many very well preserved mosaics. The second stopping point is Meknes, the capital city during the Alouite dynasty. It has many impressive buildings, including the Royal Granary and stables, the Borj Balkari Tower and the mausoleum of Moulay Ismal. In both places we will organise a guide.

In the early evening you will reach Chefchaouen, an exceptionally attractive town, akin to an Andulician village in Spain but with eye-catching blue-washed buildings.

Accommodation is in a beautiful guest house with the best and most exquisite views of the town

Day 14:  Chefchaouen (free day)

A guide is not required. The town is compact and easy to navigate.

Part of Chefchaouen´s attraction is that it is the complete opposite when compared to the imperial cities in Morocco. It’s laid back, chilled and compact.  With its picturesque pastel blue medina, it’s a quaint little mountain town and a wonderful place to linger.  Bargain for Bedouin-made jewellery, spices and ceramics amongst the blue washed buildings of Chefchaouen’s medina. Enjoy sweet and savoury chicken or vegetable pastilles, a famous local dish. If you fancy a hike, the Achour falls, a 30 minute drive from Chefchaouen, makes for a very pleasant half day trip.

Chefchaouen, the blue city

The sun setting over Sale

Day 15:  Rabat

Depart after a breakfast overlooking Chefchaouen. The plan is to arrive in Rabat at about midday, allowing time to explore the main sites before an unforgettable private tour of Sale.

Founded by the Almohad dysnasty, the imperial and capital city of Rabat is a relaxed town, the highlights being the compact medina, the Kasbah of Oudayas and Hassan Tower.  It’s easy to explore on your own, or with your driver. However, the real jewel is the afternoon guided tour of Sale. The guide is well connected, but more importantly highly enthusiastic and engaging.  Sale is virtually untouched by tourism. It’s true Authentic Morocco. The history of Sale is fascinating.  This, coupled with its un-touristy medina, lively Central Square and some highly prized monuments (to which only you and your guide have access), makes the late afternoon tour a wonderful experience.

Day 16:  Casablanca (optional day)

We wrap up our time in Morocco with Casablanca. It’s the commercial hub of Morocco. You will stay in the best boutique hotel

Very few tourists visit Casablanca, but there is far more to it than the Hassan II Mosque (which is undeniably impressive) and Rick´s café.  Whilst it is choked with traffic, it has a pulse and atmosphere that are engaging. It also has a vast array of building styles, showcasing architecture over the last 150 years.  We will organise a guide to bring this all to life.  Casablanca is underrated. It’s fully deserving of a one night stay.

Hassan II mosque, Casablanca

Home with countless memories and a suitcase of memorabilia!

Day 16 or 17:  Departure

With a suitcase full of mementos and a head full of memories!

The Majestic Tour  covers the length and breadth of Morocco and offers something for everyone. It showcases the best of Morocco and its remarkable diversity.

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Highlights include:

  • Enjoy Marrakech and all it has to offer including it‘s wild, crazy and highly entertaining Djemaa el-Fna. By day acrobats, snake charmers, dancers and musicians wow the crowds and by night local restaurants have a cook off.
  • Relax in Essaouira, eat some wonderful seafood, stroll on the beach and explore the peaceful medina, a World Heritage Site where there are beautiful arts and crafts to be found.
  • Visit authentic Taroudant with its beautifully preserved 16th century city walls.
  • Enjoy sundowners on the dunes at Erg Chigaga.
  • Take a camel trek into the desert.
  • Have dinner under the stars followed by music by the fire.
  • Stay in a really unique guest house in Todra Gorge.
  • Explore the twisting medieval labyrinths connecting Fez‘s ancient souks, mosques and medina — the most complete medieval city in the Arab World.
  • Imagine different times in the fascinating Roman remains in Volubilis followed by a tour of Meknes, the imperial capital of Moulay Ismail an effective but ruthless sultan who ruled Morocco for 55 years (1672-1727).
  • Bargain for Bedouin-made jewellery, spices and ceramics amongst the blue-washed buildings of Chefchaouen’s medina.
  • Participate in our unique and fascinating guided tour of Sale which very few tourists will experience.
  • Visit Casablanca (optional), the commercial hub of Morocco, with its impressive Hassan II mosque.