Moroccan Explorer: Imperial Cities to Desert

Resort: Moroccan Explorer: Imperial Cities to Desert
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: Morocco
Price From: £2295.00


Explore the imperial cities of Fez, Rabat, Meknes and Marrakech, all former or current capitals of Morocco and known for their architecture and vibrant souks. Along the way, travel through diverse landscapes, from the Atlantic coast through fertile plains to the Sahara desert.


Day 1: Fly to Casablanca

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc. Transfer to Sofitel Tour Blanche (or similar) for an overnight stay. (N)

Day 2: Casablanca Rabat

Morning tour of Casablanca including United Nations Square and the Hassan II mosque before continuing to Rabat. Afternoon tour of the city, including the Royal Palace, the 12th-century Hassan Tower with its mausoleum followed by a mint tea in the Andalucian gardens at Oudaya Kasbah. Stay for 1 night at Riad Dar El Kebira or Dar El Kebira Salam (or similar). (B, D)

Day 3: Chefchaouen

Travel by road to the blue-walled town of Chefchaouen, perched beneath the rugged Rif mountains. Take a walking tour to discover the kasbah with its charming garden, then continue to the cobbled main square, Outa-el-Hammam square and admire the 15th-century Grand Mosque with its distinctive octagonal minaret. Stay overnight at Riad Cherifa (or similar). (B)

Day 4: Volubilis Meknes Fez

Morning at leisure in Chefchaouens medina. Continue to Fez, stopping en route at the Roman ruins of Volubilis, which mark the westward extent of the Roman Empire, and the Unesco world heritage site of Meknes, now one of the quieter imperial cities but once the heart of the Moroccan sultanate. Spend 2 nights at the Palais Ommeyad & Spa (or similar). (B, D)

Day 5: Fez

Full-day tour of Fez, the oldest of Moroccos imperial cities. Visit the Bou Inania madrasa, the Nejjarine fountain, the souk, tanneries and medina. Visit a communal bakery and join a tasting tour through the medina. (B, D)

Day 6: Erfoud

Travel to Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara desert, through the high plains between the Middle Atlas and High Atlas mountain ranges. Stop en route at Ifrane village for a walking tour. Continue to Erfoud and stay 2 nights at Palais du Desert & Spa (or similar). (B, D)

Day 7: Erg Chebbi

Morning at leisure. This afternoon journey into the Sahara desert in 4×4 vehicles. Stop for a refreshing mint drink with a local Nomad family and see the sunset over the dunes before returning to your hotel this evening. (B, D)

Day 8: Ouarzazate

Travel west to Ouarzazate with a photo stop at Todra gorge, an impressive orange-coloured canyon. Take a panoramic tour of Ouarzazate and stay overnight at Ksar Ighnda (or similar). (B, D)

Day 9: Ait Benhaddou Marrakech

Depart for the fortified village of Ait Benhaddou, a superb example of traditional Moroccan earthen architecture. Scenes from the films Gladiator, Prince of Persia and The Jewel of the Nile were shot here. Arrive in Marrakech and visit the beautiful Jardin Majorelle to see the exotic plants before continuing to Palais Sebban (or similar), a traditional Moroccan guesthouse in the medina for a 2-night stay. (B, D)

Day 10: Marrakech

Full-day city tour of Marrakech. Highlights include the lavish Moroccan architecture of Bahia Palace, the walls of the former El Badi Palace, Koutoubia mosque and the bustling souks. Finish in Djemaa el Fna market square, a swirling carnival of musicians, fire eaters, storytellers and snake charmers. Farewell meal at a local restaurant. (B, D)

Day 11: Fly to London via Casablanca

Transfer to the airport and fly to London, via Casablanca, with Royal Air Maroc. (B)

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