Cultural Tours Handcrafted in Morocco
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Imperial Cities of Morocco

Imperial Cities of Morocco with Central High Atlas

10 days / 9 nights (* see notes) - can be done in reverse

Tour Ref:   SV001
Tour start:   Casablanca
Tour end:   Marrakech (or Casablanca)
Tour type:   Cultural, Family
Regions:   Imperial Cities (all), Atlas Mountains, Atlantic Coast
Available:   All year upon request

Tour summary

A cultural and historical private tour of the Imperial Cities of Morocco that encompasses the jewels of Morocco’s dynastic heritage: Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis, Fes, Meknes and Marrakech. The tour also allows for free time for your own exploration and relaxation. Between Fes and Marrakech, you travel along the spine of the Central High Atlas Mountains spending a night at one of Morocco’s natural beauty spots - the majestic waterfalls known as the Cascades of Ouzoud. With guided visits, stays in comfortable traditional riads and small guesthouses, an easy daily pace and plenty of downtime, this is a perfect tour for couples, families, students, friends and people of all ages and fitness levels.

Please note: All our Morocco tours can be customised to allow extra days for shorter daily car journeys, extra activities, relaxation days, exploration days etc. We can also adapt tours to connect with different start/end locations in Morocco. Let us know your wishes and we will build your perfect Morocco tour itinerary.

Price: Contact us for a personalised quotation.
Prices will vary according to number of people travelling in vehicle, number of days, time of year, category of accommodation chosen and activities requested.

NB Our Morocco tours are private tours organised upon request.

Day-to-day tour itinerary

Day 1

Casablanca - Rabat

Meet & greet at CASABLANCA Mohammed V airport and then take a brief visit to the thriving economic capital of Morocco - Casablanca city. Depending on flight arrival time we suggest lunch on the beachfront or Corniche, near to the port followed by a visit of Morocco’s magnificent Hassan II mosque - the largest in the Kingdom. With space to accommodate 25,000 worshippers it is the second largest mosque in the world. You then travel for about one hour to reach Morocco’s coastal capital city - Rabat - to stay at a boutique riad in the pretty Kasbah Oudayas neighbourhood with its ramparts overlooking the Atlantic ocean, Bouregreg river and to nearby Salé. Depending on time you reach Rabat you may wish to visit the Museum of Oudayas, housing a collection of Moroccan folk art or even visit the Rabat Museum of Archaeology in the city centre.

Stay: Riad or hotel in Rabat

Meal plan: Dinner

Day 2

Rabat - Meknes

3 hr morning tour of elegant Rabat city with official English-speaking guide. You will explore the picturesque Kasbah Oudayas on the northern fringes of the medina, dating from the Almohad dynasty. Also you visit the nearby Hispano-Moorish Andalusian Gardens and the Chellah necropolis which was once a Roman garden and olive grove. It subsequently became a royal cemetery with the addition of lush, exotic gardens and terraces which are now open to the public and it is a beautiful, peaceful haven. The tour also includes views of the Royal Palace, where King Mohammed VI is in residence, the Hassan Tower - a half-built minaret which was intended to be the tallest minaret for the largest mosque in the world when construction began at the end of the 12th century under the reign of Almohad Sultan, Yacoub el Mansour. Nearby, on Yacoub al Mansour esplanade, is the Mohammed V Mausoleum which holds the remains of Mohammed V and Hassan II - kings of the subsequent Alaouite dynasty. After the morning tour, we suggest lunch in Rabat at one of the many international restaurants before we continue the tour to the Imperial city of Meknes. Meknes is surrounded by fertile plain of the Middle Atlas Mountains and is abundant in olives, cereal crops and fruit. It is also an important wine-growing region of Morocco. On arrival in Meknes, after a 2 hr drive, you check in to your riad in the old city and relax. The afternoon is free for you to explore the markets and medina unguided or visit the fascinating 19th century Dar Jamai Museum which houses some exhibits dating back to the era of Sultan Moulay Ismail who founded the city.

Stay: Riad in the medina

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 3

Meknes - Volubilis - Moulay Idriss - Fes

The morning is set aside for a tour of the main sights of Meknes with an official English-speaking city guide. Moorish palaces, mosques, ramparts and beautiful Moorish architecture are all to behold in the city that served as the capital during the 17th century. The main points of interest are the Bab el Mansour gate, the Medersa Bou Inania Koranic School, the Place El Hadim square, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail and the covered markets.

After lunch in Meknes you continue for about one hour to reach Morocco’s most important archeological site, the ruined Roman city of Volubilis - now a UNESCO World Heritage site. A local guide will walk you around the ruins and show you the remarkably well-preserved mosaics before then continuing by car to the hilltop village of Moulay Idriss. Many Moroccans make an annual pilgrimage to pray at the mausoleum Moulay Idriss where the Prophet Mohammed’s great-grandson and Morocco’s most-revered saint is buried. The town itself is picturesque with whitewashed narrow streets and alleys. The town used to be closed to non-Muslims but since 1916 has welcomed tourists. You can stop for tea and enjoy the views across the surrounding countryside and to Volubilis. From here you journey onwards to reach the medina of the spiritual capital of Morocco, Fes - arriving in time for dinner at your hotel/riad in the medina.

Stay: Riad in the medina (standard or luxury)

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 4


Full day private guided walking tour of Fes old medina - Fes El Bali with an English-speaking city guide. The guide will walk you through the maze of souks and sights visiting some of the highlights including the famous Fes pottery sous, the musical instrument makers, metalworkers, carpet souks and the Chaouwara tanneries. There are over 9,000 cobbled medieval streets weaving their way through markets, mosques, Koranic schools, riads and hidden fountains. Worth visiting are the Moulay Idriss Zaouia or shrine, Bab Bou Jeloud ornamental gate, Al-Kairaouine Mosque and University - the oldest university in the world, Al-Attarine Madrasa, Nejjarine fountain, King’s Palace, the Dar Batha Museum, Nejjarine Museum of Arts & Crafts and the Jewish quarter or mellah. Your guide will include as much as possible in your day. You are free to make your own plans for dinner this evening.

Stay: Riad in Fes old medina

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 5


Free day in Fes for shopping and exploring unaccompanied. You may wish to opt for a cookery class, a medina food tour or other activity outside the city this day such as hiking in the Middle Atlas Mountains.

Stay: Riad in Fes old medina

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 6

Fes - Azrou - Central High Atlas - Beni Mellal - Ouzoud

Today is a long, but picturesque journey heading south from Fes to Ouzoud in the Central High Atlas. Leave Fes early morning and stop after a couple of hours in the cedar forests of Azrou to stretch the legs and spot the Barbary apes that live here. Then continue on the road that winds through open countryside, skirting the north-western flanks of the Middle Atlas Mountains on one side and with fertile agricultural plains to the other. Lunch stop in Beni Mellal and by late afternoon you arrive to the one of Moroccos favourite beauty spots - the waterfalls at the Berber village of Ouzoud are the highest in Morocco. If you get here in time you may be able to catch on camera one of the rainbows created by the mists. Spend the night here in a charming guest house and dinner is included.

Stay: Guesthouse

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 7

Cascades d'Ouzoud - Marrakech

Morning time for walking by the spectacular Ouzoud waterfalls and descending down through the terraces to the pools below. We suggest you enjoy lunch in this tranquil and laid back surroundings here before heading on to Marrakech. Afternoon drive for approx 3 hrs to reach the vibrant Imperial city of Marrakech. Dinner will be at your hotel this evening. Choice of medina, new town and palmeraie for accommodation base.

Stay: Riad/hotel/boutique guesthouse in Marrakech (standard or luxury)

Meal plan: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 8


Half-day with city guided tour of Marrakech - also known as the ‘red city’ for its famous pink-hued ramparts. Our English-speaking city guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning and take you through the souks of the medieval medina, introducing you to artisans, bakers, carpenters, spice merchants, apothecaries and also including visiting the landmark monuments of Ben Youssef Madrasa, the Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque. Your tour ends at the famous Place Jemaa el Fna square where you can enjoy lunch from a roof terrace overlooking the bizarre activities of the acrobats, storytellers, musicians and snake charmers. Rest of the day is at leisure and we suggest you return to the square for an evening dinner at one of the outdoor food grills to sample anything from grilled meats, fried fish, fried aubergines, boiled snails, harira soup, spiced ginger tea, boiled sheep’s head and other local delicacies. Even if you decide to eat elsewhere, the experience of the Place Jemaa el Fna at night is an intoxicating one - with smoke swirling up from the grills, the pounding rhythms of the street musicians, the call to prayer ringing out from the mosques as the excited crowds gather for this nightly ‘circus’.

Stay: Riad/hotel/boutique guesthouse in Marrakech (standard or luxury)

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 9


Free day in Marrakech to explore the medina and sights or perhaps take a horse-drawn carriage to visit the famous Majorelle Gardens in the new town. You may wish to enjoy add-on activities this day such as: cookery class, hot-air balloon ride, horse riding, camel riding, quad biking, golf, hammam/spa treatments.

Stay: Riad/hotel/boutique guesthouse in Marrakech (standard or luxury)

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 10

Marrakech - Departure

Departure transfer from Marrakech airport (or Casablanca) or you can choose to continue your holiday in Morocco with us by adding on one of our Suggested Morocco Adventure Tour Itineraries.

Stay: N/A

Meal plan: Breakfast

  • This is a leisurely-paced tour and can be reduced to 8 days / 7 nights if required so that just ONE full day in both Fes and Marrakech.

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