Of all the destinations in Antique Lands Travel's portfolio, Morocco may simply be the most gorgeous. Not only are its landscapes varied and breathtaking, but its art, cuisine, architecture, and handicrafts are complex, colorful, and sublime. To make matters better, Moroccans are noted for their hospitality and will welcome you warmly (usually with a pot of sweet mint tea) and proudly share their country's beauty with you. Morocco's history stretches back thousands of years where it was once an important part of the Carthaginian Empire; then a flourishing Roman province; and later the capital of Islamic empires that stretched across Spain and North Africa. Even though it's bordered on two sides by the Atlantic and Mediterranean, Morocco has long been a center of overland trade, producing a melange of cultures from Amazigh (Berber), Arab, and European influences. Every day you're in Morocco, you'll be awed by treasures and treats that will tantalize all of your senses. You may love there it so much you might never want to leave....
The following sample itinerary is for a 15-day expedition through Morocco that explores every facet of the country's natural and human-made beauty.
❊ - indicates a UNESCO World Heritage Site
DAY 1 - Arrive at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport
-Our representative will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel in Rabat (1.5-hour drive).
-Rest of the day free to rest and acclimate.
DAY 2 - Rabat
Note: Every morning your guide and driver will meet you after breakfast.
-Start your day in Morocco's capital with a guided tour through the city's old Casbah District and Medina* (12th century CE). There's a decidedly Andalusian feel due to the refugees who settled here after fleeing the Reconquista in 15th-century Spain.
-Visit the unfinished minaret known as "Hassan's Tower" (1150 CE) before viewing the nearby Mausoleum of King Mohammed V (1971 CE).
-Tour the Roman and 14th-century Islamic ruins at Chella, and then explore Morocco's modern art scene at the Mohammed VI Contemporary Art Museum.
DAY 3 - Rabat - Tangier
-Depart Rabat for Tangier, stopping en route at Cape Spartel, famous for its panoramic views of the Straits of Gibraltar.
-Peer into the nearby Caves of Hercules, where the hero supposedly slept before his 11th Labor.
-Arrive in Tangier and tour the city's cliffside Medina, once the haunt of 1950s Beat Poets.
-Next, you'll visit the historic Casbah and Casbah Museum with its extensive collection of historic artifacts and traditional Moroccan art.
-While in the Casbah, pay homage at the tomb of the great 14th-century CE traveler, Ibn Battuta, whose journeys put Marco Polo's to shame.
-That afternoon stroll through the New City, settle into a café, and watch the world go by in Tangier's main square, the Grand Sacco.
DAY 4 - Tangier - Chefchaouen
-Depart Tangier for Chefchaouen. Perched in the verdant Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is known as "The Blue Pearl of Morocco," famous for its narrow lanes and vividly painted adobe houses.
-Tour Chefchaouen's charming Medina where you'll have plenty of opportunities to shop in its markets.
-Next, you'll visit the city's Casbah, ascending the ramparts for a splendid view of the city.
DAY 5 - Chefchaouen - Fez
-Travel to Fez, stopping en route at Meknès* where you'll tour its Medina, Bab al-Mansour gate, its markets, royal stables, and famous Jewish Village.
-Continue to the extensive Roman ruins of Volubilis* and then visit the holy city of Moulay Idriss.
DAY 6 - Fez
-Start your day in Fez' impressive Medina*, the largest in the world. Inside you'll visit Medersa Bou Inania, a 14th-century Islamic law school and sumptuous architectural gem.
-Next, stop by the equally impressive Medersa el-Attarine, another 14th-century law school. Climb the stairs to the top for a view the green-tiled roof of the Qaraouiyine Mosque (857 CE), site of the world's oldest university.
-Experience the Chouara Tanneries where leather makers still practice their craft.
-After lunch you'll walk through Fez' New City where you'll tour the Jewish Quarter and visit its Jewish Museum.
-End your day with a leisurely stroll through the tranquil Bou Jeloud Gardens.
DAY 7 - Fez - Erg Chebbi
-Leave Fez that morning and travel through cedar forests in the Middle Atlas Mountains, stopping in the Amazigh city of Midelt for lunch.
-Continue through the scenic Ziz Gorge in the High Atlas Mountains and stop that afternoon in Rissani where you'll visit the ruins of Sijilmasa (8th-14th centuries CE), once major caravan center.
-You'll then travel to Erfoud where you'll take a 4x4 into the Sahara to Erg Chebbi, arguably the largest sand dunes in North Africa.
-After settling in at your luxury tented campsite, enjoy a camel ride through the desert to witness a sunset you won't soon forget.
DAY 8 - Erg Chebbi - Ouarzazate
-Today you'll travel through the Dadès Gorge in the High Atlas range, admiring its rugged beauty.
-Pass through the massive canyon walls of the Todra Gorge, known as "The Valley of One Thousand Casbahs" with numerous extant and ruined fortresses.
-Stretch your legs with a stroll through the Skoura Oasis before arriving that afternoon in Ouarzazate.
DAY 9 - Ouarzazate
-Travel to nearby Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou* (11th century CE), a massive, mud-brick fortress city featured in numerous Hollywood productions, most notably Gladiator.
-Next, you'll visit the town of Telouet, location of the famous "Lord of the Atlas" palace before taking a scenic drive through the Tizi n'Tichka passage with its terraced valleys and cliffside villages.
DAY 10 - Ouarzazate - Marrakech
-Depart Ouarzazate for Marrakech, "The Ochre City," a former imperial capital founded in 1062 CE.
-Arrive in time for lunch, and then see the Koutoubia Mosque, a 12th-century CE structure with its emblematic minaret that dominates the skyline.
-Next, visit the luxuriously decorated Saadian Tombs, final resting place for many of Morocco's monarchs.
-Tour Bahia Palace, a 19th-century CE jewel box of Andalusian-Moroccan architecture.
-Wander the ruins of El Badii-Ksibat Nhass Palace (16th century CE), a once-opulent palace noted for its pavilions, mammoth garden, and reflecting pools.
-End your day in Djemaa El Fna, the center of Marrakech's Medina*. It's a vibrant hub of bric-a-brac stalls, musicians, storytellers, soothsayers, and snake charmers where the entire spectrum of Moroccan life unfolds before you.
DAY 11 - Marrakech
-Tour the Merdersa Ben Youssef (1565 CE), an Islamic legal college that's an architectural masterpiece with fine zellige tiling, stalactite ceilings, cedar-wood detailing, and Kufic inscriptions.
-Take a look at the nearby Almoravid Koubba, the city's oldest monument built in the 12th century CE.
-Next, you'll experience Marrakech's Marjorelle Gardens, famous for being the former residence of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and for the deep blue color of its walls.
-After lunch you'll tour the Manara Gardens. Once a royal retreat, this huge site is popular among locals who throng to its beautiful pavilion and serene reflecting pool.
-Enjoy shopping in Marrakech's souqs before indulging in a soothing Turkish Bath in one of the city's lavish hammams.
DAY 12 - Marrakech - Ansi
-Ascend the High Atlas Mountains for the Amazigh village of Ansi where you'll check into a mountaintop lodge with spectacular views.
-Tour Ansi and learn about the Amazigh, their history, language, and culture.
-Take a guided nature walk and savor a delicious picnic in the rarified air.
-Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at your mountain aerie.
DAY 13 - Ansi - Essaouira
-Depart Ansi for the picturesque seaside city of Essaouira, known for its historic forts, beautiful beaches, and bohemian vibe.
-Essaouira is not so much a city you see but experience. Walk the city ramparts, explore the Medina*, enjoy its beaches, and take in the gorgeous scenery.
DAY 14 - Essaouira - Casablanca
-Travel along the Atlantic Coast to Casablanca, Morocco's largest city.
-Marvel at Casablanca's massive Hassan II Mosque (1993 CE), which boasts the world's tallest minaret at 689 feet.
-Next, visit Sacred Heart Cathedral (1930 CE) before the touring the impressive and informative Jewish Museum.
--Enjoy a farewell dinner on the last night of your trip.
DAY 15 - Depart for Home
-We will transfer you to Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport for your flight home.
INCLUDED WITH ANTIQUE LANDS' CUSTOM JOURNEYS: