12 Days Morocco Trip Itinerary Details
Live the adventure of 12 days Morocco trip itinerary with us and visit the most attractive sites in the Kingdom
Explore the marvelous Morocco in 12 days Morocco trip itinerary, from the economical and largest city Casablanca passing by the oldest city of Fez to the charm medina in Marrakech, visiting a local Berber family to know their life in the ruggedly breathtaking High Atlas Mountains and staying at Marrakesh Journeys Exclusive Desert Tented Camp built in between dunes of the Sahara.
Advantage of experience the Splendors of Morocco with Marrakech Journeys:
- Experience by 4×4 in the Sahara and camelback for an unforgettable overnight stay at Marrakesh Journeys Exclusive Desert Tented Camp with a delicious dinner and listen to Moroccan music
- Explore the old Fez or as it’s called Fez el-Bali, Morocco’s cultural symbol, on a guided stroll among its winding alleyways and past its myriad souks
- Enjoy a lively conversation with a female professor; freely discuss the important role of women in todays Morocco
- Visit the ancient Roman heritage of Volubilis, won a UNESCO World Site, to marvel at soaring arches and vivid, well-preserved 2,000-year-old mosaics
- Explore the charm Marrakech at its most authentic, taking in the sights, sounds and scents of its UNESCO-listed medina
- Visit local artisans whose works still reflect the influences of Morocco’s historic Roman, Moorish and Berber cultures
Contact us for more details on this Splendors of Morocco Tour.
DAY 1 ARRIVE CASABLANCA, MOROCCO
Begin of the 12 days Morocco itinerary in the port city of Casablanca, Morocco’s largest metropolis and its commercial hub. Visit the stunning Hassan II Mosque, which accommodates up to 25,000 worshipers; its minaret stands as the tallest religious structure in the world.
DAY 2 RABAT & FEZ | ANCIENT TRADITIONS, RICH HERITAGE
In the second day of this Splendors of Morocco tour we will drive from Casablanca to Fez; but before arriving there, we will visit the capital of Morocco ‘Rabat’.
Rabat may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a trip to Morocco – resulting in a more laid-back atmosphere compared to other cities. Nevertheless, Rabat is buzzing with life and attracts visitors with several must-sees.
Protected by powerful ramparts, the medina reflects the soul of the old Almohad city. Souika street and its shops present magnificent rugs, the delicate work of copperware artisans, succulent pastries and appetizing brochettes. Rue des Consuls
– which got its name because this is where representatives of foreign nations resided
– is flanked by elegant residences where the craftsmen practice their art under the watchful eyes of passersby. Rabat offers commercial, modern districts as well
– plus a busy marina and a city beach. Salé, vis-à-vis Bouregreg river, is also worth a visit.
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In contrast to the maze of streets, the historic city center is linear and impressive. A walk through Rabat’s medina might look something like this. From the Bab el-Had gate, walk down Suik Street, the largest and busiest street in the medina. You will arrive at al-Sabat, a shoe market covered in reed mats selling baboush (leather slippers), silver and gold jewelry. Then, on the partially glazed Consular Street, artisans make wool rugs, textiles, and copper objects. The medina also offers cheap local food, so don’t hesitate to try mint tea, marshmallows, tagines, and more.
KASBAH OF THE UDAYAS OUDAYAS
Kasbah Udaya is a city within a city, a bit distant compared to Rabat, and it is even bigger today than it was yesterday. But if there is only one thing to see in Rabat (what a crazy idea!), you must go to Uday.
While in Rabat, don’t forget Oudaya, and when you pass Rue Bazzo on your way to the inevitable Moorish café where you have a great view of the Salé and Bouregregues, stop for a moment… to enjoy the silence of this place, and then you can continue walking and take those little blue alleys, where beautiful encounters await you.
The magnificent Bab Rouak, or “Gate of the Winds,” is monumental. The richness of its decoration is remarkable, and it also serves as an exhibition hall: under the ornate arches of its four square halls are placed works of art by famous Moroccan artists.
Built on the ruins of the Roman city of Sala Colonia, the necropolis, described in guidebooks as “the most romantic place in Morocco,” did not always have the charm it has today.
However, the most prestigious of them has never been a place of worship: the Tower of Hassan is actually an unfinished minaret of the largest mosque of the Middle Ages (along with the Great Mosque of Samarra). The Mosque of Hassan (or the Mosque of Hassan) actually became the “Tower of Hassan.
Hassan’s tower is much more than just a minaret. It is the full power of the Almohad empire that the creator of this imposing minaret wanted to express by building this “tower” as a beacon on the edge of the sea, visible several kilometers away from friendly or hostile ships sailing along the coast. Nowadays it’s the most attractive site in Rabat.
MOHAMMED VI MUSEUM OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART
The architecture of the MMVI is closely linked to the city of Rabat. Located in the heart of the capital, whose architecture is characterized by its particular identity and rich cultural diversity, the building was born out of a desire to integrate itself into this urban fabric. A conceptual approach was therefore chosen, which was to reconcile the processes of contemporary creativity with inherited secular heritage.
DAY 3 FEZ | TIMELESS MEDIEVAL CITY
The third day of this Splendors of Morocco tour is dedicated to explore Fez el-Bali (Old Fez), the cultural heart of Morocco. Founded in the eighth century by Moulay Idris I, this imperial capital was a renowned center of medieval learning. Stroll the labyrinthine old quarter, with its 9,000 narrow lanes, alleys and souks, on a market visit of exceeding authenticity. Watching local craftsmen in action — working with bronze and pottery — makes for an engaging artisan visit as well. Proceed to the intricately detailed Karaouine. Built in 859 AD, it is one of the oldest still-functioning universities in the world. You also visit Nejjarine Square before continuing to Fez el-Jadid (New Fez), where you see the Royal Palace, madrasas (Islamic schools) and mellah (Jewish quarter).
The 14th-century Jewish quarter of Fès has currently 160,000 inhabitants that live among and along its 9,500 streets.
The best way to get to know the Jewish quarter of Fez is to walk down the main street (rue Mellah) and wander through the narrow alleys of the once luxurious textile markets, which have now been transformed into simple clothing stores.
JEWISH CEMETERY & HABARIM SYNAGOGUE
The best way to get to know the Jewish Quarter of Fez is to walk down the main street (Mela Street), through the narrow alleys of what was once a luxurious textile market, now transformed into simple clothing stores.
ROYAL PALACE DAR EL-MAKHZEN
Dar al-Makhzen or the Royal Palace of Fez is the royal palace of the Moroccan king in the city of Fez, built in 1864 during the reign of Sultan Mohammed bin Abdallah (Mohammed bin Abdallah) on the site of the old palace built by Sultan Mohammed IV. Today it is an important tourist and archaeological site, and the extensive surrounding park includes numerous courtyards and gardens with plants and statues.
Among the three tanneries in the city of Fez, this famous factory produces some of the finest leather in the world, using age-old methods and the finest materials. Visit this oldest part of the Medina to discover this interesting process and buy some souvenirs.
MERENID TOMBS AT BORJ NORD
Some of the tombs and the 16th century fortifications are very dilapidated, but the beautiful decorations of the time remain, creating an emotional atmosphere. The best time to visit is at sunset, when you can enjoy the spectacular view of Fez, but be sure to return early, as the trail is not illuminated.
A former trading post built in 1711 during the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wooden Artifacts Museum has been beautifully restored and displays a wonderful collection of wooden artifacts including daily necessities, carpentry tools, musical instruments, weapons, and religious objects such as rosaries.
The Attarine Medersa, a former madrasa, may not be the largest in the city, but it is impressive in many ways, not just for its size. The colorful tiles and architecture make it a must-see addition to any itinerary.
JNAN SBIL GARDEN
The Jnane Sbil Garden is known for its botanical biodiversity and hydraulic infrastructure (water mill and distributor, water jets). Today there are more than 3,000 species of plants, some of which are very rare, and includes several areas: the Andalusian Garden, the Mexican Garden, the Bamboo Garden, roads and water wheels.
The Qarawiyyan Mosque was originally built in several stages by Fatima el-Bint Mohammed bin Abdellah el-Fihri, a pious woman from Kerouan, in 859. converted into a mosque in 933, the sanctuary originally consisted of a prayer hall, a qibla wall and four parallel running nave, and a large courtyard with minarets on the north wall; it was enlarged in 956 during the Zenitic period, and several annexes (library, katua, ablution rooms, etc.) were added during the Almohad, Malini, Saad, and Alawite periods. The capacity of the building is 20,000 people.
There is a passage through the blue gate called Bab Bu Jeroud, and we highly recommend that you have a guide to take you around and teach you about the history of the gate. There are also many restaurants in the area where you can have lunch or refreshments.
EL MOKRI PALACE
Now almost abandoned, it is nevertheless one of the most beautiful residences of the city, from where, in 1980, the then director Mahtar M’ Bou made a UNESCO appeal for the preservation of the city of Fez.
What is worse, this palace is the second of its kind. Tayeb El Mokri, son of the Grand Vizier Mohammed El Mokri, was Minister of Finance during the reign of Moulay Hafid until 1912 and then Pasha of Casablanca under Mohammed V from 1927 to 1949.
The family business has been making ceramics for generations and is known by local residents for its beautiful products. This authentic store offers everything from vases to plates and cups. Please take your time to browse the mosaics and painted ceramics.
The Al-Qarawiyyin Library, considered the oldest library in the world, founded in Fez over 1000 years ago (9th century), has recently completed restoration work and opened to the public. The library is still in use as the library of the University of Qarawiyyin and is the oldest continuous library in the world.
BOU INANIA MEDERSA
Medersa Bu Inania is a religious and educational building in Talaa Kebira, a remarkable work of art in itself.
Ask for a guide to help you better understand Medersa and its history, and you will be fascinated by its atmosphere.
DAY 4 VOLUBILIS | ROMAN RUINS & LUNCH AT A VINEYARD
Journey overland to explore Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in North Africa. With its triumphal arches, basilicas and capitals, the Volubilis skyline brims with iconic examples of Roman architecture. Among its greatest treasures, however, are the mosaic floors of former family dwellings, which include depictions of Orpheus charming animals with his lyre, nine dolphins signifying good luck and a portrait of Amphitrite in a seahorse-drawn chariot. Next, proceed to a winery outside Meknes for a memorable Chef ’s Table lunch at an on-site restaurant set among the region’s sunbathed vineyards and olive groves. Return to Fez, with your evening at leisure.
DAY 5 ERFOUD | DESERT OASIS
Fifth day’s program in this Splendors of Morocco Tour is traveling to small, desert-fringed Erfoud, pausing for lunch en route and marveling at everyday life as you pass Berber villages, endless date palm plantations and the majestic Atlas Mountains. After the day’s scenic drive, settle into your hotel before gathering for dinner this evening. Tonight’s meal is prepared with locally sourced, organic ingredients.
DAY 6 THE SAHARA | INTO THE DESERT DUNES
This morning of the Splendors of Morocco Tour, discover the fortified desert town of Rissani. Continue into the desert dunes of the Sahara, at first by four-wheel- drive vehicle, amid stunning reddish-hued sand dunes that reach up to 500 feet high, creating an otherworldly landscape. Then, switch modes of transport and Ride Like a Local, camelback, to your nomadic tented camp, where a reception with mint tea and pastries awaits you. As the sun sets over the Saharan dunes, celebrate your unforgettable desert foray with a Scenic Sundowner. Return to your camp for a traditional meal before a campfire, along with distinctively Moroccan entertainment. Then, slumber in comfort as the sounds of the desert lull you to sleep.
DAY 7 OUARZAZATE | ROAD OF A THOUSAND KASBAHS
Also in these 12 days Morocco trip itinerary, it’s programmed to have a journey overland to Ouarzazate, once a stopping point for African traders travelling to the cities of Morocco and Europe. Continuing our Splendors of Morocco tour en route, absorb stunning views of the High Atlas Mountains’ southern slopes, intersecting the Dades Valley’s flourishing crops, irrigation canals and palm trees. Travel along the “Road of a Thousand Kasbahs” to Ouarzazate and your delightful oasis of a hotel.
DAY 8 OUARZAZATE | DOOR OF THE DESERT
Begin the day in Ouarzazate, a city originally built as a French garrison in the 1920s. Today, it is a regional trade center, known for its pottery and carpets. See the Kasbah of Tifoultoute, a majestic 17th-century fortress featuring a panoramic view of the valley of Ouarzazate and the scenic High Atlas Mountains. Continue to Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of the region’s most exotic kasbahs, some of which have been featured in famous films, including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.
DAY 9 OUARZAZATE | CROSSING THE HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS
THE HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS
Journey over the breathtaking High Atlas Mountains, observing everyday simple and beautiful life in Berber rural towns, to the charming “Red City” of Marrakech, where you check in to your luxurious hotel.
DAY 10 MARRAKECH | EXPLORING THE RED CITY
Today, begin to unearth the secrets of Marrakech, starting in the medina, the old walled section of town that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at its architectural jewels, including the soaring Koutoubia Minaret. Also, this Splendors of Morocco Tour includes a visit to Dar Si Said Museum, originally built as a palace in the 19th century. Afterward, visit Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech’s main square, which is filled with orange juice stalls and vendors, along with acrobats, dancers and street musicians performing at every turn. You may also wish to stroll the city’s fabled, labyrinthine souks.
EL BADI PALACE
Badi means “incomparable. The remains of the palace perfectly illustrate the size and importance of the building at the time of its construction. Today there is a huge esplanade preserved with old water features adorned with orange trees. A large pool stretches across the width of the plaza. Cross the bridge and you get to the Marrakech Museum of Photography and Visual Arts.
The Saadi Dynasty tombs are beautifully decorated with vaulted ceilings, intricate carvings, and intricate stucco work. It is a very popular place in Marrakech, so be prepared to wait in line.
Menard Gardens is a botanical garden adjacent to the Atlas Mountains, west of Marrakech, Morocco, created in the 12th century by Abd al-Mumin, ruler of the Almohad Caliphate. The name Menara comes from the small pyramid-shaped, green-roofed pavilion, which means lighthouse. Although there is no real lighthouse in the gardens, all the buildings on the hill, including the Menaret Manara Mosque, are called Menara by the locals.
Stroll through this maze of markets and let the sights, smells, and sounds overwhelm your senses. If you feel the urge to shop, be prepared to bargain.
The 12-kilometer-long Marrakech Wall was built more for its outward beauty than for its defensive function. Today, it is the perfect place to spend a romantic moment with a loved one. Horse-drawn carriages are available for tours of the medina and walls. This tour is best done at dusk.
Djemaa el Fna Square is one of the most important cultural squares in Marrakech; it has been one of the city’s symbols since its founding in the 11th century and is characterized by a very concentrated Moroccan folk cultural tradition expressed in music, religion and various artistic expressions. So, visiting Marrakech is incomplete without visiting this dynamic Square.
MAISON DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE
Located in the heart of the city, the museum presents the history of Morocco through 3,500 photographs taken between 1870 and 1950. From its rooftop, one of the highest in the region, visitors can enjoy a spectacular view while having a light meal.
ALI BEN YOUSSEF MADRASA
Madrasah Ali Ben Yousef is an old Koranic school built in the 14th century. At its peak, it had 900 students and was the largest seminary in North Africa; it was closed in the 1960s and reopened as a public place in 1982. Although it does not look like much from the outside, inside you will be amazed at its beauty.
KOUTOUBIA MOSQUE AND MINARET
Built in 1120, the Koutoubiya Mosque and its minaret stands 70 meters high and is a spiritual landmark in Marrakech. Unfortunately, only Muslims are allowed to enter, but the building itself is impressive from the outside.
When you are tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the perfect retreat. Take a walk in the shade of the palm trees, observe the beautiful plants, fountains, and birds, and when you tire, relax in the garden café.
YVES SAINT LAURENT MUSEUM
Opened in 2017, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum of Fine Arts surprises with its unusual architecture. The brick building combines curves and lines, cubes and motifs, and houses exhibition rooms, an auditorium, and a library.
The YSL Museum of Art, located next to the Majorelle Gardens, displays most of the French fashion designer’s work and also holds special exhibitions. Those interested in fashion and design will enjoy spending time at this unique museum.
DAY 11 MARRAKECH | DESIGN YOUR DAY
In the day before the end of 12 days Morocco trip itinerary, you will begin your day at Jardin Majorelle, a picturesque garden created by French painter Jacques Majorelle and later restored by design legend Yves Saint-Laurent. Stop at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum nearby for an up-close look at some of the famed designer’s creations. This afternoon, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities:
- Learn to Cook with Moroccan Spices with a cooking demonstration and tasting.
- Explore the Souks of Marrakech with an expert guide, walking narrow streets lined with centuries-old shops.
- Enjoy a Guided Walk of the Jewish Quarter, once a thriving center of religious freedom and tolerance.
Tonight, attend a special farewell dinner with entertainment by a local gnaoua band.