Capital Cities Tour of Morocco
Customized trip of Morocco
Our cultural tours in Morocco are all based on deep historic emphasis and daily life currently. Nothing could be more introductive of Morocco's captivating qualities than its Majestic Imperial cities tour. With a powerful history thousands of years old, exceptional cultural and social diversity, and immeasurable intellectual depth, Morocco's distinctive nature enriches all who experience it.
If you have only 8 days to spend in Morocco, this is the best cultural tour for you to explore the history, architecture, culture and cuisine of this fascinating country. You will visit Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis, Fez, then the Atlas Mountains which lead to the best man-made oasis on earth, namely Marrakech. This trip can be customized just for you.
Day 1: Arrive to Casablanca Airport - Excursion and Historic Tour of Rabat
Once you land at the Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca, your guide will meet you at your arrival gate to take you immediately to check-in to your hotel in Rabat. This is a wonderful short drive of about 45 miles through the lush farms and exotic plants.
You will reach Rabat, a city styled in a spaciously elegant European grid, yet slightly aware of its modernity. Rabat and its twin city Sala Colonia are separated by only a river but are historically worlds apart. They have an ancient legacy that spans hundreds of generations. Each civilization that has inhabited each of the cities has left its mark, resulting in a wide variety in architectural styles, including those from the Phoenician and Roman eras.
You will spend your afternoon discovering the delights that Rabat has to offer. Your guide will take on a historical and lively city tour, starting in the old city Sidi Makhlouf quarter, the 12 century ramparts are best seen from this landmark. Walk up to Bab Chellah in the medina and cross Sidi Fateh St. This will lead you to the traditional Souk Laghzel (Yarn market). Your guide will introduce you to the importance of this guild that makes Rabat special in traditional handmade textiles production especially Rabat Carpets.
Proceed with your historic visit of Rabat to the citadel of the Oudaya Kasbah entering from its 12th century main gate to explore an extraordinary Medieval Moorish marvel overlooking the delta of Bourgreg River. You will have the opportunity to visit the old-fashioned Moorish Gardens, stop in a traditional coffee house for mint tea, and in between explore the Oudaya museum of tribal arts and crafts. A docent will introduce you to traditional Berber Textiles.
Your guide will take you to the exiting the Oudaya Kasbah and up the hill to visit the Hassan Tower and Mohamed the V Mausoleum, an emblem of the real Moroccan architecture at its finest. You will reach the Royal Palace and the Necropolis of Chellah at the end of your tour. At the end, you will return to the hotel for dinner and other accommodations.
Day 2: Travel to Fez visiting Meknes, Volubilis adn Moulay Idris
Today is an excursion for early History of Morocco, a day of time travel! This journey will take you from imperial Rome to the ninth century A.D. Unlike the movies, this temporal voyage will take almost the entire day at a mild pace. (Of course there will be stops along the way in notable places.)
The first stop will be the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. Volubilis was a critical city in the imperial Roman department of Mauritania (modern day Morocco, and the Western Sahara) during the reign of Caracalla. Volubilis is impressively well preserved and the genius of Roman urbanism is still intact. The two central integral streets in every Roman castrum, the Cardo and Decumanus, are prominent. The cardo is the boulevard which runs north-south and the Decumanus, east-west. The intersection of the two is the heart of every roman city. There you will find the ruins of the ancient forum.
On the other side of the hill, just few minutes away you will visit with your guide the venerated citadel of Moulay Idris, founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idris Al Akbar, grandson of the Prophet Mohamed (s.a.w.s). This citadel is considered to be both the cradle of Sufism to Moroccan society as well as the first Islamic capital for the premier Arab dynasty. The city was created primarily for the indigenous population that migrated with Moulay Idris from the Middle East.
You will drive around 15 miles to the next stop, the imperial city of Meknes. A guided historic tour of Meknes is yours. Meknes is a 17th Century city built by Moulay Ismail to rival Fez. It is also considered to be the Versailles of Morocco.
Congratulation, you have reached your final destination of the day, the ninth century city of Fez. In the evening, your guide will get a taste of the greatest of the Imperial Cities. You will visit the sights on the outside of the Medina, ancient walled city, including the ramparts, the gates, and the Borjs (Moorish Forts). After this introductory visit aperitif to Fez, you will dine in your hotel and prepare for day three: Fez!
Day 3: Walking guided Tour of Fez
Full day will be devoted to your historic walking tour of Fez. Undeniably fascinating, Fez stimulates the senses with its haunting yet beautiful sounds, visual splendor, and evocative smells. The most ancient of the imperial capitals and the most complete medieval city of the Islamic world, Fez is reminiscent of a city suspended in time, unfazed by the constantly evolving world outsides of its walls. Fez owes nothing to the modern world, save electricity. Fez is not only the heartbeat of Morocco but a world heritage of humanity.
Time spent in Fez will reveal much about the sophistication of the Moroccan artisan, providing an unparalleled learning experience to those who cross its path. Your morning will be spent visiting the Medina. Our specialized guide will take you on a historic discovery of the city of Fez starting at the King's Palace and its Meshwar with ramparts and majestic gates.
Then, we will drive to the Merinides hill to visit their necropolis. Here you will enjoy the best panoramic view on the old walled Medina, brimful with its countless minarets to call for the prayers in a city that has responded to these calls for 12 centuries. Drive down the hills to the gate of Bab Guissa to leave your vehicle and enter an ancient world. Fez has preserved its Medina as it was centuries ago. Not even a bicycle is able to be used as tool of transportation. Only donkeys, mules and horses are able to help moving all what the city produces and needs as supplies.
The first guilds you will immediately encounter are the cobblers, the saddlers and black smiths interlaced by some caravansaries for tribesmen who come from the surrounding areas to trade and supply their needs. Down the hill to Juteya you will encounter all sorts of crafts but noticeably carpenters and leather workers as one of the traditional tanneries is not far. This walk will lead you to El Ashabine square with its variety of activities. From there, you will wind your way to the Sgha square which will lead you to Attarine then Souk el Henna and the Mausoleum of Moulay Idris, the founder of Fez. Next to it, you will visit the Nejjarine square with its famous fountain, its guild of carpentry and the museum of folk arts at the Fondouk.
You will walk to the tannery and on to visit the great Mosque university of Al Quarrawiyyine, passing by Shemma'ine, the market of dried fruits. After that, you will visit the Medersa Attarine and walk to Sbetryyine, a guild of book binders, which will lead you to the Seffarine Square, where the tapping of metalworkers is still deafening passerby as it was the case for centuries. You will break for lunch then continue exploring the marvels of Fez Medina. These will highlight the Dyers souk, Foundouk Tetouani and the shrine of Sidi Ahmed Tijani. You will end your walking tour and retreat to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.
Day 4: Travel Across the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech
Travel for the day discovering the rural environs of the Atlas Mountains Berber villages, wards, and nomadic settlements. Covered with evergreen pines, tall cedar trees, and poplars, and laced with flowing streams, your first view of the Middle Atlas will appear oddly un-Moroccan. Passing by Imouzzer, with a quick stop at the Swiss-like town of Ifrane, you will soon come across the first real town of the Middle Atlas, Azrou.
Azrou is an important market center for the region's Berber tribes, located at a major junction of the Atlas Mountain routes. Your guide will take a little detour in a cedar forest to introduce you to one of the oldest inhabitants of this region, the Barbary apes. This may also coincide with the encounter of a nomadic family at its temporary encampment. As nomads are very hospitable people, whenever we encounter them we are all invited at least for a mint tea under their tents.
At Khenifra, the Middle Atlas ranges give way to the High Atlas Mountains, whose peaks are visible through the haze, soaring to over 12,000 feet. After lunch, you will descend the Atlas Mountains finally arriving in the foothills which overlook the magnificent oasis city of Marrakech Alhamra. Some of the aforementioned stops will include visits to Berber villages, scenic views, and traditional markets. You will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.
Day 5: Guided Visit of Marrakech
Your local guide will meet you in the morning at the lobby of your hotel to take you walking visit of historic Marrakech. You will devote your morning to the exploration of Marrakech many historical sites, starting at the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flowerbeds, reflecting the image of an exquisite Moorish edifice. It was constructed in 1866 for dignitaries, who enjoyed glorious sunsets with the ethereal Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. The pool also functions as an innovative irrigation system that is serving dry life in the desert.
Your guided tour of Marrakech will cover many impressive sites, including the Koutoubia Minaret (which is identical to la Giralda, a tower found in Sevilla, Spain), and the Saadien tombs, which demonstrate Moorish architecture at its best. The tombs consist of sixteenth-century mausoleums, which had lain walled-in and undiscovered until 1917. Next, you will explore the gardens of the Agdal then the Marjorelle. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.
will begin your day with an excursion to the Ourika Valley, where you will visit the traditional Berber Souks, as well as some workshops. After lunch, you will visit the Berber Museum of Arts and Crafts to learn about the dwellers of these mountains and their products before you discover their workshops and sophisticated, hand-made products. You will return to Marrakech for dinner at a festive Moroccan Restaurant.
Day 7: Drive to Casablanca Airport
You will take you to Casablanca airport to connect for your flight back home. Assist you with checking and bid you goodbye. Thank you for visiting Morocco.