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Medinas, Kasbahs, and Ancient Ruins Tour

Explore the Imperial Cities of Morocco

Oudaya Kasbah, Rabat, Morocco, Imperial cities of Morocco

Imperial Cities of Morocco: Oudaya Kasbah, Rabat

Immerse yourself in Morocco’s rich history as you discover the cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fez, and Marrakech (with a few stops in between).  These old cities have each served as a capital city of the kingdom at some point in history which is why they are referred to as the Imperial Cities of Morocco.  If you are interested in history and architecture, this tour is ideal for you!

NOTE: The following itinerary is a sample.  Your tour will be fully customized to you based on your interests and airport preferences.

Trip at a Glance:

Starting from

$1789 USD

per person (based on 2 people)


Premium 3/4 star accommodations in traditional riads and kasbahs

Daily Itinerary


Day 1: Casablanca

Day 2: Casablanca – Rabat

Day 3: Rabat – Meknes

Day 4: Meknes – Volubilis – Fez

Day 5: Fez

Day 6: Fez – Marrakech

Day 7: Marrakech

Day 8: Day Trip to Ourika Valley

Day 9: Marrakech – Casablanca

Includes:
  • Private 4×4 Transportation
  • English Speaking Driver/Guide
  • Guided Tour of Fez
  • Guided Tour of Volubilis
  • Guided Tour of Marrakech
  • All Entrance Fees
  • 8 Nights of Accommodation
  • 8 Breakfasts
Excludes:
  • Meals not specified
  • Alcohol
  • Airfare
  • Gratuities
Imperial Cities of Morocco, Casablanca, Morocco

View of Atlantic Ocean

Day 1: Casablanca

Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by your private driver at the airport who will then transfer you to your hotel for the evening where you can rest and recuperate from your travels.  Depending on your arrival time, you may choose to do a little exploring after you’ve rested.  Your driver will be available to transport you, if desired.

Day 2: Casablanca to Rabat 
(Approximate travel time: 1 hour)
Meals included: Breakfast

After breakfast, your adventure will truly begin.  If you didn’t have a chance to explore on Day 1, your driver will take you to visit Hassan II Mosque and the Old Medina before driving up the coast to the first stop of your Imperial Cities of Morocco tour and the current capital city of Morocco: Rabat.  Here you will visit the ruins of the Roman town of Sala Colonia (also known as Chellah) which was settled in 40 AD.  Next you will venture into the walls of the Kasbah of the Udayas to stroll through its narrow blue and white streets and explore the old Medina before returning to your hotel for the night.

Imperial Cities of Morocco, Rabat, Hassan Mosque, Morocco

Ruins of Hassan Mosque, Rabat

Day 3: Rabat to Meknes 
(Approximate travel time: 3 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast

Following breakfast, you will leave Rabat to head to the next imperial city: Meknes.  Your visit will begin by entering the old medina through the beautiful 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 his 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 (built under the reign of Moulay Ismail) and Heri es-Souani, a former granary and stable that lay alongside the reservoir.  After exploring these sites, you will discover the rich artistry of Moroccan craftework with a visit to Musée Darjamaï followed by free time in El-Hadim Square before retiring back to your hotel.

Day 4: Meknes to Fez via Volubilis
(Approximate travel time: 1 hour)
Meals included: Breakfast

After breakfast, you will bid farewell to Meknes and make your way to the Roman ruins 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, 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 in a town that bears his name, Moulay Idriss Zarhoun, which is the next stop on our imperial cities of Morocco tour.  When you have finished exploring this compact village, you will be taken to your riad in Fez for the night.

Imperial Cities of Morocco, Fez, Morocco, Blue Gate

Blue Gate in Fez

Day 5: Fez
Meals included: Breakfast

No driving today!  Your day will begin, as always, with breakfast after which you will explore another of Morocco’s imperial cities: Fez. This ancient city was actually originally two separate ones.  The first, Fas Elbali, was founded by Idriss I in 789 AD and the second, Al-‘Aliya was founded by his son, Idriss II, in 808 AD and under his rule this city served as his seat of power thereby replacing Oulili as the capital of Morocco.  In 1070 AD, the two cities were combined and renamed to Fez.  The tour will take you into the medina of Fez through Bab Boujloud (the Blue Gate), where you will discover the ancient streets and neighborhoods, as well as Al-Qarawaiyin University.  Founded in 864 AD and still in operation today, it holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest continually operated university in the world.  After discovering all that the Medina has to offer, you will be taken to get a high up panoramic view of the old city before returning to your riad for the evening.

Day 6: Fez to Marrakech
(Approximate travel time: 6 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast

Imperial Cities of Morocco, Marrakech, Morocco, Koutoubia

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech

Following breakfast, you will hit the road to make the journey to Marrakech.  This will be your longest day of travel, but don’t worry.  You will have plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs as you will stop for coffee, lunch, photographs, and more coffee as you travel through the agricultural center of Morocco.  Once you arrive in Marrakech, the evening will be yours to relax.  As always, your driver will be at your disposal, if you need him.

Day 7: Marrakech
Meals included: Breakfast

No driving today, either!  Instead you will spend the day with a local city guide who will show you the sights and sounds of the next city on our imperial cities of Morocco tour: Marrakech. Marrakech, also called the Red City because of the pink walls of the medina, served as the capital city during the rule of the Saadian Dynasty who ruled Morocco from 1554 to 1659.  Your tour will include visits to the old Ben Youssef Madrasa, El Badi Palace, the Saadian Tombs, and the beautiful Koutoubia Mosque.  After you’ve visited these monuments, your guide will escort you to the souks of Marrakech to see how artisans still use traditional methods for their handicrafts today.  After your tour, you will be driven outside of the medina to enjoy the tranquility of Marjorelle Garden which were created by the French painter Jacques Marjorelle over the course of 40 years.  After your stroll among the exotic plants and trees of the lush gardens, you will be taken back inside the medina to visit the famed square of Jemaa El F’na.  This is the busiest square in all of Africa and it only comes alive after dark.  Here, you will truly experience the sights, sounds, and even smells of Marrakech before returning to your Riad for the evening.

Imperial Cities of Morocco, Ourika Valley, Morocco

Restaurant by Ourika River

Day 8: Day Trip to Ourika Valley
(Approximate travel time: 2 hours round trip)
Meals included: Breakfast

After exploring the imperial cities of Morocco, you may need a little relaxation.  Today, your driver will arrive to your riad following breakfast to transport you to Ourika Valley.  Here you will see authentic 16th and 17th century Berber Villages in the heart of the High Atlas Mountains.  The sweeping vistas will include many agricultural terraces and unique reddish mountain landscapes. You will have lunch at a restaurant that is situated alongside the Ourika River.  After lunch, you will visit Setti Fatma to take in the beauty of the seven waterfalls and then return to Marrakech for the evening.

Day 9: Marrakech to Casablanca
(Approximate travel time: 2 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast

Your driver will take you back to the airport where he will see you off and bid you bon voyage and au revoir until your next visit!

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