Cultural Tours Handcrafted in Morocco
  • Northern-Morocco-tours-Casablanca-Mosque Hassan II
  • Northern-Morocco-tours-asilah
  • Northern-Morocco-tours-hercules cave
  • Northern-Morocco-tours-Rif Mountains
  • Northern-Morocco-tours-Chefchaouen medina
  • Northern-Morocco-tours-Lixus ruins
  • Northern-Morocco-tours-Volubilis mosaic
  • Imperial-Cities-Morocco-Rabat-Chellah
  • Imperial-Cities-Morocco-tours-Meknes-Mausoleum Moulay Ismail
  • Imperial-Cities-Morocco-Meknes
Northern Morocco & Rif Mountains Tour

Northern Morocco Discovery

11 days / 10 nights (*see notes)

Tour Ref:   SV031
Tour start:   Casablanca
Tour end:   Casablanca (or Marrakech)
Tour type:   Family, Cultural
Regions:   Atlantic Coast, Imperial Cities (excl Marrakech), Northern Morocco & Rif Mountains
Available:   All year upon request

Tour summary

An 11-day private Morocco tour exploring the coastal and inland regions of northern Morocco. Travel along the rugged Atlantic Coast, lush Rif Mountains and discover the Imperial Cities of Rabat, Fes and Meknes. Starting and ending in Casablanca, the tour includes visits to Morocco’s key archaeological sites at Lixus and Volubilis as well as the charming ‘blue’ medina of Chefchaouen, nestled in the Rif Mountains. On the northern tip of Morocco, you dip your toes in the sparkling Mediterranean Sea and spend a day exploring Tangiers - the port that has lured famous poets, writers, artists and eccentrics over the past century. Daily journey times under 6 hrs and carefully selected comfortable boutique accommodation throughout make this Morocco cultural tour suitable for families and children as well as couples, 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


Meet & greet at Casablanca Mohammed V airport before transfer directly to your 4-star hotel on the seafront. Casablanca is the economic and industrial capital of Morocco and has a population of around 6 million. Depending on your time of arrival in Casablanca, you will visit the 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. The mosque sits on a promontory rock jutting into the ocean and in one area there is a glass floor to view the Atlantic Ocean below. An English-speaking official city guide will then show you around Casablanca’s other sights including: the old medina (the old city with a narrow maze of streets), the port, the splendid art deco buildings along Boulevard Mohammed V in the ville nouvelle, La Place des Nations Unies with its cafes, restaurants and shops, the Catholic Cathedral of Sacré Coeur (now used only for cultural events) and the Parc de la Ligue Arabe - a large public garden with lawns, fountains, play areas and palm trees. You then return to the hotel and are free to choose your own restaurant for dinner this evening and we suggest you stroll along the Corniche to dine at one of the great seafood restaurants near to the port.

Stay: 4-star hotel on the Corniche, seafront of Casablanca

Meal plan:

Day 2

Casablanca - Rabat

Your Morocco tour continues along the Atlantic Coast for about an hour until you 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 nearby Salé. On reaching your hotel you have time to freshen up and have lunch at a local restaurant before meeting your English-speaking city guide. In the afternoon 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 Andalucian 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 the current 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. Depending on time, you may also 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. Dinner is served at your hotel this evening.

Stay: Charming riad/guesthouse in the medina of Rabat

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 3

Rabat - Atlantic coast - Larache - Lixus - Asilah - Tangiers

The tour continues this morning along the Atlantic coastline as you head from Rabat to Tangiers in the far north. Passing through the fortress town of Larache you will get a chance to visit the nearby archeological ruin at Lixus, an ancient city dating to 11th century BC. It was established as a settlement by the Phoenicians in the 8th Century BC and later became part of the Roman Kingdom of Mauritania. It was believed in those times that Lixus was the site of the Garden of the Hesperides - a sanctuary of Hercules where he gathered golden apples. The archeological site at Lixus reveals vestiges of Roman baths, temples, ancient stone walls, an amphitheatre, mosaic floors and a Christian church. From here you head back to the coast to enjoy lunch in the peaceful seaside village of Asilah. This pretty whitewashed medina has a distinctly Spanish feel, due to its turbulent history with Spanish and Portuguese occupations. Nowadays it is a popular with Moroccan and Spanish holidaymakers in the summer, especially during August when there is a fabulous international arts festival. The fishing village is charming and you stop for lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants near the harbour. You have time then to explore the walled medina and beach before continuing on to Tangiers. From Asilah the drive to Tangiers takes an hour. Along the way you will pass by the Caves of Hercules at Cap Spartel, the point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean before arriving in Tangiers in time for dinner at your hotel/guesthouse.

Stay: Boutique hotel/guesthouse in Tangiers

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 4


Today is a day to either explore on your own or take a guided day-tour of Tangiers. Tangiers sits on the northern most point of Morocco, dipping its toes into the Mediterranean Sea and just a few miles distant from the rock of Gibraltar. With its cosmopolitan feel and status as an International Zone after World War II, the ‘gateway to Africa’ it has always attracted artists, writers, beatniks and hippies. Though the city used to have a rather sleazy reputation, in recent years it has been revamped and cleaned up in order to attract investment and tourism. There are number of sites well worth visiting here including the old medina and souks, the Tangiers kasbah and museum, the American Legation library and exhibition, many bookshops, contemporary art galleries and cafes around the main squares of the Grand Socco and the Petit Socco - and not of course forgetting the fishing port from where you can walk the length of the beach along a boardwalk with its cafes, clubs and ice-cream parlours. Today you are free to choose your own restaurants for lunch and dinner.

Stay: Boutique hotel/guesthouse in Tangiers

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 5

Tangiers - Tetouan - Chefchaouen

Departure from Tangiers to head east towards the Hispano-Moorish medina of Tetouan. Here, in the Ensanche area, you stop for lunch and a chance to see the striking Andalucian architecture and white buildings which have been restored to their former glory. At the edge of the medina and the new town there is the small Tetouan Museum of Archeology with ancient artifacts from the Phoenician and Roman settelments of Tamuda and Volubilis. After a brief stop in Tetouan the journey continues across verdant landscape of the Rif Mountains, heading due south to reach the picturesque ‘blue’ medina of Chefchaouen. This evening you are free to explore the small medina and choose your own restaurant serving local Rif specialities including locally produced goat’s cheese.

Stay: Guesthouse in the Chefchaouen medina

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 6


The day is free for you to explore this charming, blue and whitewashed medina, nestled in the Rif Mountains. The town get’s its name from the Berber words for “look” or “chauf” and “horns” or “chaoua” as the town resembles a pair of goats horns perched as it is on two neighbouring hilltops. A local guide can be offered if required. It’s easy to navigate and you can explore the main points of interest: the winding streets of the medina, the 18th century kasbah and museum, the 15th century Grand Mosque and the Plaza Uta el-Hammam. In the afternoon you can opt to drive 30 mins north from town to visit Akchour and hike for about 2-3 hrs to visit the natural rock formations of God’s Bridge or the Akchour waterfalls. You may prefer simply to stay in the medina and shop for local handicrafts and typical woollen textiles and colourful rugs specific to Chefchaouen region. You are free to choose your own lunch and dinner restaurants this day.

Stay: Guesthouse in the Chefchaouen medina

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 7

Chefchaouen - Rif Mountains - Fes

The day’s journey takes you south from Chefchaouen, via the Ketama region. You tour through breathtaking Rif Mountains scenery and forests with plenty of opportunities to stop for photos. Lunch en route and you reach the spiritual capital of Morocco - Fes - by late afternoon after about a 5-6 hour drive. Dinner is served at the riad this evening.

Stay: Riad in Fes old medina

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 8


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 lunch and dinner today. NB You may wish to add an extra day here for your own exploration and shopping, or to add on activities such as cookery class, a medina food tour or hiking in the Middle Atlas Mountains.

Stay: Riad in Fes old medina

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 9

Fes - Moulay Idriss - Volubilis - Meknes

Morning departure from Fes and drive for about an hour to reach the charming white-washed town of Moulay Idriss - considered to be one of the holiest places in the Kingdom. Until 1916 it was closed to non-Muslims, but now tourists are welcomed. Every year thousands of Muslims make the pilgrimage here to the burial site of Moulay Idriss, the great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and the founder of the city of Fes. You can wander the small medina, sip tea and admire the views across rolling landscape and vineyards to Volubilis. Next you continue to the Roman ruined city of Volubilis, Morocco’s most important archeological site and a UNESCO World Heritage site. You enjoy a guided walking tour and see the incredible mosaic floors that have survived for centuries and learn of the significance of this city when Romans advanced into Africa and were defeated by the indigenous Berber tribes. Lunch is in a nearby restaurant. The tour then continues to the Imperial city of Meknes which sits on fertile plains of the Middle Atlas Mountains and is one of Morocco’s famous regions for wine-growing. 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. You will have dinner and spend the night in a traditional riad in the old medina of Meknes.

Stay: Traditional riad in Meknes medina

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 10

Meknes - Casablanca

Today you travel by highway from Meknes for about 3-4 hours to reach Casablanca where you have the rest of the day and evening at leisure. NB we can arrange transfer today from Meknes to Marrakech instead if required (allow approx. 6 hrs drive).

Stay: 4-star hotel in Casablanca on the seafront

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 11


Your Morocco tour ends this morning after check-out of your Casablanca hotel. We will transfer you to the Casablanca Mohammed V airport as required. Alternatively, 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

  • Itinerary can be adjusted to start Casablanca and end in Marrakech.

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