Morocco, we know it from countless movies, and for many, it remains the very definition of "Exotic". Join us on this journey from Marrakesh to Casablanca, 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.
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 enjoy 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 arriving a little early and booking a 2-3 night round trip tour into the Sahara from Marrakech.
Day 1: Marrakesh arrival day
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 anytime today and taxi to our hotel where we will be ready to meet you. (A private transfer can be arranged should you require it) Freshen up and if there is time head out into the hive of activity. Henna painters, performers, and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. It is a sight to behold, and our Hotel/Riad, will be in the middle of where we want to be.
Tonight, we will all meet up for a welcome meal, somewhere special and hosted by Richard, and get to know each other.
Day 2: 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.
Day 3: Marrakesh – Atlas Mountain foothills
Today we head off on a private tour for a day of exploration in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. We lunch in one of the Berber villages and have planned a few short walks in between photo stops, to experience the high desert landscapes.
Day 4: 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 shop in the bazaar.
Day 5: Marrakesh – Rabat
This morning after breakfast we pack up our bags and head train station to board the train 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 in Rabat.
Day 6: Rabat – Fes
We travel to Fes via the wonderful city of Meknes, one of the four imperial cities of Morocco with its vast imperial palace, extensive fortifications, and monumental gates. We spend most of the day exploring Meknes, arriving in Fes for the evening and checking into our beautiful Riad which will be our base for the next 3 nights.
Day 7-8 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 souk. 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 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 the afternoon free to go off and do your own thing.
Day 9 Fes to Chefchaouen via Volubilis
Special day today as we head our from Fes via the Roman ruins of Volubilis, stopping for Lunch somewhere special (Surprise) and then onward to Chefchaouen (approximately 4 hours) where our first view of the “Blue city” will be in the evening light.
Day 10 Chefchaouen
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. 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 11: Chefchaouen - 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.
Day 12: Tangier
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 13: Tangier to Casablanca
This morning we go from the ancient past, to the future, as we board the Bullet train for our 300km and hour trip to Casablanca. Its the fastest rail track in Africa, and yes, we will travel 1st class.
In the afternoon we visit the grand Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca, a truly awe-inspiring finish to the day.
Day 14: Casablanca and a Farewell to our fellow travellers
Today is 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, and chill out in some of the lovely resorts in and around Marrakech.
As with all our trips you have to 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.
April 2024 dates to be finalized
Starts in Marrakesh (RAK) and finishes in Casablanca (CMN)
14-day 13-night adventure.
Small group Min 6, Max 12.
This trip will be hosted by Richard
Highlights include :-
Cost estimate for 2024 to be finalized.
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.