Morocco, we know it from countless movies, and for many, it remains the very definition of "Exotic". Join us on this journey from Casablanca to Marrakesh, where we really get into the "vibe" of the country with time to explore.
With OTS its always about the experience, the food, the people, and the culture, enjoyed at a non-hurried pace. This 2024 trip is particularly special as we have secured one of the most beautiful “Riads” in the medieval city of Fes for our 4 nights there. Truly you will feel like you are living in a palace. Anyone interested in Islamic architecture will be blown away by this gem of a building.
You need to have a degree of fitness and mobility to join this trip as there are many, stairs to navigate, and donkey's and cards to dodge in the Medinas.
Morocco is an intoxicating fusion of cultures, ancient cities, medieval bazaars, and mountain villages. We get to see the impressive Roman ruins of Volubilis, stroll through the streets of the "Blue '' city of Chefchaouen, wander through the medinas of Marrakesh and Fes. All while enjoying great company, taste sensations, and exotic accommodations.
We travel Morocco at a leisurely pace with time to take a mint tea, savour a restaurant, and immerse yourselves in the smell of spices and local pace of life. On this OTS adventure we avoid the huge distances and long drives, required to see the Sahara dunes and desert villages, which make up many itineraries. We slow it down a little, spending 2-3 nights or more in most places of interest, and on most days, breakfast is something to be enjoyed rather than a rush to get on the road.
If the sand dunes of the Sahara, a camel ride, a night under the stars etc are a must see for you, then think about adding a 2-3 night round trip tour into the Sahara from Marrakech. Or our “Night under the stars” a truly memorable way to end the trip.
Day 1: Casablanca (1 night)
Today is arrival day and a welcome to our fellow travellers. Marrakesh and Casablanca are both well connected with flights from several hubs, and you should find it easy to fly into one and out of the other at no extra cost. You can arrive any time on day one. The airport is serviced by an hourly train service, which will take you to where are our first hotel is located, alternatively a taxi will take about 45min. Evening welcome meal at “Ricks” Café.
Day 2: Casablanca to Tangier (2 nights)
In the morning we visit the grand Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca, a truly awe-inspiring start to the day. Then we go from the ancient past to the future, as we board the Bullet train for our 300km and hour trip to Tangier. It’s the fastest rail track in Africa, and yes, we will travel 1st class. In Tangier we have our first taste of a “Riad” with our centrally located accommodation, from where we explore this historic city.
Day 3: Tangier
Tangier, has been a strategic gateway between Africa and Europe since Phoenician times. It is vibrant, edgy, and packed with history. Love it, or hate it, you will certainly not forget it.
We have a full day to explore, we visit the Dar el Makhzen, palace of the sultans. The American Legation Museum and take tea and sweet cakes as we explore the whitewashed hillside, Medina.
Day 4: Tangier to Chefchaouen (2 nights)
Chefchaouen, or the ‘blue city’. Set against a wide valley and nestled between two peaks in the stunning Rif Mountains. Its medina has been lovingly cared for, with striking blue and whitewashed houses, red-tiled roofs, and artistic doorways. Much of Chefchaouen was recreated by Andalusian refugees escaping the Reconquista. Here we stay in a hotel right in the centre of where we want to be, allowing us all free time to explore and photograph at our leisure.
Day 5: Chefchaouen
After a morning walk with Richard the rest of the day is free time so you can put your camera or sketching skills to the test in this beautiful place.
Day 6: Chefchaouen to Fes (4 nights)
Special day today as we head to from Fes via the Roman ruins of Volubilis, stopping for Lunch somewhere special (Surprise) We will arrive in Fes early evening and settle in to our exquisite “Riad” you will feel like you are a Prince / Princess.
Day 7-9 Fes
The living museum of Fes has disputable origins, some believe its origins come from ancient Greece, others claim it comes from the Balkans. Nevertheless, the city is the best example of the medieval Arab world. Today, Fes, is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco – vibrant, noisy, fascinating, and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses.
This morning we will head into the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali, on a walking tour. Medieval Fes was one of the world's great centres of education and culture, both Islamic and Jewish. Its religious institutions and libraries are legendary, its mosques of great renown. Walk along the twisting streets and alleyways, passing donkeys piled high with goods, and explore the specialty sections that divide the souks, filled with historic khans, madrassas and dye pits, stalls loaded with fruits, herbs and soups, and where the squawk of chickens, the smell of spice, and sound of hammering of copper fills the air, it’s not hard to imagine yourself back in the Middle Ages.
On our second day and third day we continue exploring the old city, visiting Medersa el Attarine, the tanneries, and the splendid Fondouk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th-century inn. Its endlessly fascinating, and a shopping paradise and you will have free time to go off and do your own thing.
Day 10: Fes to Rabat (1 night)
This morning after breakfast we pack up our bags and head to the capital city of Rabat. After lunch, we will explore the old cities Medina and Souks, and the lovely walled quarter known as the Kasbah des Oudaias. Overnight at our quirky hotel in Rabat.
Day 11: Rabat – Marrakesh (3 nights)
Today’s journey will take about 5 hours with stops along the way, the lush valleys will give way to barren desert as we head towards the Atlas Mountains.
In Marrakesh we stay in the very heart of the Medina It is a sight to behold and as no vehicles are allowed in the Medina, and our Riad, is in the middle of where we want to be.
we will have to walk 10 min without luggage or hire a man with a cart.
Day 12: Marrakesh
This morning set off on a morning walking tour of the old medina, through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. We end up in the tranquil courtyards, and the many salons and chambers that make up Bahia Palace. Henna painters, performers, and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies.
Day 13: Marrakesh
This morning we visit the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle and check out the ruins of the Palais Badi, once one of the most beautiful palaces in the world.
The rest of the day is free time to explore further or do some last min shopping in the bazaar.
Day 14: Departure day
You can head to the airport any time, there will be a “day room” available for anyone on late flights. Or stay on a few days, take a trip to the coast, or take the train back to our starting point, if you are flying out of Casablanca.
Add-on a truly memorable end to the trip. (Min 4) with our 3 day 2 night Deserts & Stars add-on
Experience walking in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, and a night of stargazing under canvas in the desert.
Click on the link below for full details.
Deserts & Stars add-on
As with all our trips you must let go of the concept you're signing up for a typical tour, you're not, you're coming on a semi-structured adventure with all the hard work done for you. There will be plenty of opportunities for self-directed exploring using the knowledge and experience of your host Richard. Things will go wrong some days, and changes need to be taken in your stride especially in these days of COVID.
Contact us to register interest and find out further information.
15th to 27th April 2024
Starts in Casablanca (CMN) and finishes in Marrakesh (RAK)
14-day 13-night adventure.
Small group Min 6, Max 12.
This trip will be hosted by Richard
Highlights include :-
Cost estimate for 2024 Euro 3390pp twin share.
Private room guarantee plus Euro 400.
Due to the nature of adventure travel and the prices of the resources on which it depends, the published price of any trip is subject to change at any time, before or after booking confirmation, up to 60 days before the departure.
Options and methods of payment.