Welcom to Morocco!
Either you come by plane or by ferry you will find our shuttle with a card by your name waiting for you to drive you to your hotel.
We start this tour from the gateway of Europe to Africa, Tangier named for the goddess Tinge, and the lover of Hercules, who mythically pulled Europe apart from Africa to form the Strait Gibraltar. A dramatic drive takes you through La Montagne over a pine-covered headland to the Cap Spartel Lighthouse that lies just 14km west of Tangier. 5km further you’ll get to Grottes d’Hercule where you’ll have much-photographed view from within the mythical dwelling cave of Hercules that resembles a map of Africa. Back to the Medina where you’ll spend a few hours Meandering down the alleyways, within its 15th century Portuguese fortress walls to visit the Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Culture. Wander up St Andrew’s Church for a spot of gravestone reading, then take in the latest art exhibition at center culturel Ibn Khaldoun.
Leaving the famously decadent Tangier, with its Europe-facing Medina and skip inland into the Rif Mountains. European influence continues in Chefchaouen with its bright blue, Andalusian-tiled medina, with its grand red-hued Kasbah lording it over the Main square of Outa Hmam. Chaouen a city that perched beneath the raw peaks of the Rif Mountains. The « Blue Town » has a mystical blue-washed Medina, surely the prettiest and the smallest when compared to others in the country. The town remained isolated with the Andalusian character architecture. Chaouen is undoubtedly a place to enjoy exploring at random.
Head east along the 210km coast passing through the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean Ocean, Steha, Jabha, Cala Iris to the dry canyons and limestone cliffs of Al-Houciema National Park. You’ll stopover for a small village famed with its history of piracy called Targha. High atop an outcrop of back rock, a stone fort where the 13th century mosque is associated with a local saint, and then cut off in Steha and Cala Iris. From here the road follows the coast on a splendid roller-coaster ride to the blue –and-white town of El-Jebha. Continue east to the city of Abdelkarim El Khattabi « Al-Houciema », the city that was built as a garrison after the Rif Wars in the early 20th century.
Take the route east From Al-Houceima to Oujda. We’ll wander up a verdant area of scenic gorges that few imagine when they think of Morocco, and even fewer visit. The ruggedly beautiful Beni-Snassen Mountains. While you’re here it’s highly recommended to visit the site of an active excavation by Oxford University, the Grottes des Pigeons, which has revealed human remains from the Pleistocene era including some 80.000 years old early human jewelry. Few other kilometers bring you to Grottes de Chameau with its camel-like in shape. In about 3km further the pretty 10km long of Zegzel Gorges. Do not miss the chance to sample the cumquats, a local industry. Even the Romans remarked upon them. Not far from here the home of Ria music. Despite of Oujda’s heritage, it receives very few foreign travelers. The reason for this is because it was once the busiest border crossing with Algeria, making it popular with traders and tourists alike. When border closed in 1994, Oujda’s economy took a major hit and lost most of passing trade, and a steady flow of tourists indeed.
At the morning and before you head to Fes you’ll soak into the three-side walled Medina and around. Further south, through the highway we get to the Imperial city of Fes, it is more quintessentially Moroccan in its ancient Medina.
Do not panic the guide will show you the must-see sites! With your private Fes born and bred guide you will have the opportunity to discover the ancient breeding ground for scholars and artisanas and the largest medina of the world. Your will see the America Fondouk, Nejjarines, the Tanneries, the Medersa (Theological college) and Karaouine the first established university in the world. Your guide will shed light on many tales and 1200 years of history of this UNESCO-protected Medina. When you finish your visit of the medina we will drive you out of Fes to have a delicious house-made food in Lalla Fatiha’s place in Sefrou.
An early-morning start is recommended for this day. We leave the mazing Medina of Fes with its mysteries and secrets of the 9000 alleyways head to southeast towards Merzouga and the gateway into the golden dunes of the Sahara desert. En route we will pass by the cedar forests of Ifran, the Switzerland of Morocco, where you might think that you are in the Alps. If we’re lucky we’ll come across the Barbary Macaques in our way to Midelt where we’ll stopover for lunch. After eating we drive through the Middle Atlas Mountains to reach the Ziz Valley, which considered to be among the largest producer oasis dates in Morocco, then it’s off to Merzouga with its highest dunes in Morocco, you can store any baggage while packing an overnight bag to bring along. You’ll have the chance to be accompanied by a camel and blue-turban-robed guide into the sandy seas. After hour-long camel ride you will be among the luckiest to watch the sun set over the Sahara dunes and spend a night in a Bedouin style tent.
This morning you’ll wake up with the sun shining on you face to witness what we hope is a glorious sunrise among the dunes, meanwhile to watch the light creep slowly down the dunes and pull all the world around you outside their warmth heavy mound of blankets for an early-breakfast. After an hour-ride camel back out of the desert you will depart and head for Erfoud where you can marvel at the million-year-old fossils that the area is famous for. Then heading north for a sublime experience in the Todgha gorges where we’ll be stuck between the gigantic rock walls. Arriving to Dades gorges a rust-red and mauve mountains. A series of crumbling Kasbahs and Ksours line the valley in the Berber villages to the monkey Fingers Mountains.
If we get there earlier and you still have some energy to hike a couple of hours we will drop-off our luggage at the hotel and get dressed for the hike.
You leave Dades at 8:00am traversing the valley of roses and daggers straight to the 11th century UNESCO-protected red mud-brick ksar, which has formed the backdrop for many Hollywood movies production such as Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus of Nazareth, Gladiator, Game of Thrones and many others. You might also like to explore Ouarzazate, home to Taourirt Kasbah and the «Ouallywood» studio. Wind up the memorable Tizi n’Tichka pass via the north Africa’s highest peak, the high Atlas Mountains with the Berber villages lined beside the road to arrive to Marrakech where you will have a day-long to explore the crazed cacophony of musicians, snake charmers and vendors in the open-air famed Jamaa El Fnaa square, and the highly recommended sites with your guide.
Today, with your private Marrakech born and bred guide, you embark exploring the Red City from its old part with its Medina’s skinny lanes that leads to lavish sites, tombs and religious monuments decked out in marble. Bahia and El-Badii Palace and Saadien’s Tombs will be your targets. Afterward, you driver/Tour Guide will pick you up for the outside medina visit to explore the Majorelle garden, Museum Saint Laurent, Berber Museum. While in Marrakech you will surely encounter thousands of motorcyclists and horse-carts roaming in the city and some of them pull over next the vast square of Jemaa El-Fnaa where it’s carnival night every night and musicians, acrobats, storytellers and slapstick acting troupes tap into the Medina frenetic pulse.
After having your breakfast at the Riad, you’ll be picked up by your driver/tour guide around 08:00am, you will head to Essaouira. Beside the road we’ll have the chance to see the tree goats’ phenomenon, before having enough time to explore Jimi Hendrix’s town. You’re free to roam in the city that was once and still a haven for hippie backpackers and Gnawa musicians. You can book a local guide, if not you can start your visit by the ramparts a series of forts that were built in the 15th century around the Medina of Mogador. Inside the Medina you’ll have the chance visit The Mellah (former Jewish quarter), the Morocco’s 3rd fishing port where you can have a delicious fish meal. For the sports-oriented travelers, Essaouira is a place to some fine wind and kitesurfing schools.
Around 8am you’ll head north to the 15 century Portuguese fortified city of Mazagan known now as El-Jadida, nicknamed «the Deauville of Morocco» its Portuguese structures, fortified ramparts and a system of defense surrounding the Medina which advances out into the sea, all evoke the city’s past history. (Listed as World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO), an ancient coastal town impressive testimony of Portuguese architecture. Driving north to Casablanca where you spend your last night in morocco before leaving.
If time didn’t allow you to visit Casablanca’s sights yesterday you must do it this morning. After we done with Casa the Morocco’s political and administrative capital will be waiting, Rabat may be short on top-drawer tourist attractions, but it compensates with plenty of charm. You will have the opportunity to explore the city in a short sojourn, first through the monumental Hassan tower with the pillared stumps of its mosque being all that remains from the earthquake of 1755. There is also the near-by Mausoleum of the royal family. And do not miss to have a cup of mint tea in red Oudayas, a walled village within a city. Head further to north to the famously decadent Tangier which has always carried a slightly seedy allure, in part due to its time as a semi-independent international zone that attracted eccentric foreigners, artists and spies. The corniche bustles.
We tell you «see you soon» instead of goodbye, and we hope that you’ve spent with us one of your memorable tours ever.
Socoma 1, N° 17 & 18, Flat 3, 1st Floor, Marrakech – Morocco