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Imperial Cities of Morocco Immersion

9 Day Small Group Tour
Marrakech to Marrakech

Tour Overview

Discover the history of Morocco’s ruling families with visits to the cities that served as the seat of power from the first dynasty (Fes to the current one (Rabat) with a few in between (Meknes & Marrakech). If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life and have a passion for history, this is for you!

About This Tour

  • Tour Type: Small Group Tour
  • Starts from: Marrakech
  • Ends in: Marrakech
  • Activity Level: Easy to Moderate
  • Maximum Group Size: 12

Tour Highlights

  • Wander through the blue streets in Chefchaouen
  • Uncover the ruins of an ancient Roman outpost
  • Travel back in time in the maze-like medina of Fes
  • Get a glimpse of the country-side
  • Become acquainted with the excitement of beguiling Marrakech

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome to Morocco! Arrival to Marrakech

Welcome to Morocco! Tour will start in your riad in Marrakech (details provided upon booking). You can arrive any time, as today will be a day of leisure to recover from your travels and prepare for the journey ahead. In the evening, you’ll meet your group for a welcome dinner.

Airport transfers can be arranged by request and are complementary from Marrakech. Transfers from airport in Casablanca can be arranged for an additional fee.

Meals: Dinner
Overnight: Marrakech
Accommodations: Riad Nesma (or similar)

Day 2: Marrakech Immersion

After breakfast, your local city guide will meet you at your riad and show you all around Marrakech. Your tour will include visits to the important monuments such as Bahia Palace, Ben Yousef Madrassa, and Koutoubia Mosque. In between visiting these spots, you’ll wander with your guide through the maze-like souk filled with local artisans hard at work at their crafts. Marrakech is known for its spices used for medicine for thousands of years, so your tour will include a visit to a traditional pharmacy to learn about these various uses.

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Marrakech
Accommodations: Riad Nesma (or similar)

Day 3: Marrakech to Fes: A Glimpse of the Countryside

After breakfast you will depart from Marrakech and head to the imperial city of Fes. This will be kind of a long day of driving, but there will be plenty of stops for tea and photographs along the way.

After a long day of traveling, you may not feel like going out upon your arrival to Fes, so dinner will be available and included at your riad in Fes tonight.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Fes
Accommodations: Riad Al Makan (or similar)

Day 4: Fes Immersion!

Today after breakfast, your local guide will meet you at your riad for a guided tour of the Fes. To start your tour, you will first go to the Royal Palce and then walked through the old Mellah (Jewish Quartier) of the city. From here, you will head to one of the Borj (towers) and get a panoramic view of the entire medina. Next, you’ll head to a mosaic house where you will have a demonstration of the traditional pottery methods utilized by Fassi artisans – you’ll see every step of the process from the formation of the clay to the piecing together of the mosaics. After this, the tour will take you into the medina of Fes where you will discover the ancient streets and neighborhoods, visit the various artisan sections (including the tanneries), and the important historic monuments (including the tomb of Idriss II and the Al-Qarawaiyin University – the oldest continually operated university in the world). Your tour will end after lunch at which time you’ll have the rest of the afternoon and evening free to explore the medina. Don’t worry if you get lost – that is all part of the experience.

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Fes
Accommodations: Riad Al Makan (or similar)

Day 5: Fes: Another Day of Exploration

You’ll have the day free to explore the ancient city of Fes on your own. Wander through the maze-like medina, enjoy a relaxing day at a Moroccan hammam, or become acquainted with Fassi cuisine with a cooking class. The day is yours, but your tour manager will be available should you need help arranging anything.

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Fes
Accommodations: Riad Al Makan (or similar)

Day 6: Fes to Chefchaouen: Roman Ruins & Magnificent Meknes

After breakfast, you will depart Fes and head north towards Fes. On the way, you will stop to visit the ruins of the Roman outpost of Volubilis. Before the Romans came, Volubilis was an Amazigh city known as Oulili (pronounced wa-lee-lee) which dates back to the 3rd century B.C. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in the 18th century and subsequently further damaged by Moulay Ismail’s architects (who used pieces to build the gates of the city of Meknes), it is still “an exceptionally well preserved example of a large Roman colonial town on the fringes of the Empire”, according to the UNESCO World Heritage listing. The city was reclaimed by the local Amazigh tribes around 235 AD and it was near here in the 8th Century that Idriss I established the first dynasty of the Kingdom of Morocco.

After a guided tour of Volubilis, you’ll head to the lessor known imperial city of Meknes. Your visit will begin by entering the old medina through the interesting gate of Bab Mansour, which incorporates marble pillars that were moved from the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Once inside the medina, you will visit the tomb of Sultan Moulay Ismail. It was under this eccentric ruler’s reign from 1672 to 1727 that Meknes served its time as the capital of Morocco. Next you will visit the impressive Agdal reservoir and Heri es-Souani, a former granary and stable that lay alongside the reservoir and which once housed 12,000 horses.

After exploring Meknes, you’ll drive to the blue city of Chefchaouen. Although this is not an official “imperial city”, it is well worth a visit.

Important Note: The majority of the monuments in Meknes are currently undergoing extensive restoration for the foreseeable future, so the tour here may be limited or skipped.

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Chefchaouen
Accommodations: Riad Hicham (or similar)

Day 7: Chefchaouen: The Blue Pearl

Today, you will have the entire day free to explore this magical city and discover why it is called Morocco’s Blue Pearl.

OPTION: Spend the morning hiking nearby to Cascade d’Akchour. The full hike to the big waterfall is a challenging 10 mile round trip trek, but the out and back trail makes it easy to hike as little as you might like.

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Chefchaouen
Accommodations: Riad Hicham (or similar)

Day 8: Chefchaouen to Royal Rabat

After breakfast, you will head to the current capital city of Morocco, Rabat, where you’ll see the most important historic sites such as Hassan Tower, Mohammed V Mausoleum, and Kasbah of the Udayas. After touring these sites, you’ll have some free time to explore on your own before meeting up in the lobby for one last dinner together as a group.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Rabat
Accommodations: Hotel des Oudaias (or similar)

Day 9: Bon Voyage!

Today after breakfast, you’ll head back to Marrakech for your flight home. The tour will end at Marrakech airport at approximately 2 PM (14:00).  To be safe, your departing flight should be after 4 PM (16:00).

If time allows and the group is interested, a stop to visit the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca may be added.

If you wish to depart from Casablanca Airport, a stop can be made there on the way to Marrakech (ETA 11:00 AM) free of charge). 

Meals: Breakfast

DATES & RATES

*Price listed is based on double occupancy. Private rooms are available for an additional fee of $360 USD per person.

2023 Dates

Departure DateAdult PriceChild PriceBook Now!
Jun 10-18, 2023$1750 USD$1245 USDBook Now!

2024 Dates

Departure DateAdult PriceChild PriceBook Now!

Jan 30 - Feb 7, 2024

$1750 USD$1245 USD
Book Now!
Jun 8 - 16, 2024$1750 USD$1245 USDBook Now!

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Inclusions

  • Ground transfers to/from Airport
  • Private transportation
  • English Speaking Tour Manager
  • 8 Nights of Accommodations
  • Meals Included: 8 Breakfasts; 3 Dinners
  • Guided Tours of Marrakech, Fes, Volubilis, and Meknes*
  • Entrance Fees (to sites listed)

*Please note that the majority of the monuments in Meknes are currently under extensive restoration for the foreseeable future, so the tour here may be skipped or very limited.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I meet the tour group on arrival day?

What time should I arrive the first day?

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What if I would like to spend extra time in Morocco before or after my tour?

Will ground transfers be provided to/from the airport?

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What is the maximum number of participants for this tour?

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I am ready to go! How to a book this tour?

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I am a solo traveler, but would like to share a room. Can you help me find a roommate?

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