Arrive Casablanca, Morocco
Arrive in Casablanca, where, after clearing customs and immigration, you are transferred to the city’s newest luxury hotel, designed with contemporary styling and traditional Moroccan accents. Spend the rest of the day at leisure in this exotic setting, the inspiration for the eponymous, 1942 Humphrey Bogart film.
Rabat & Fez | Ancient Traditions, Rich Heritage
Begin the day 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. Then, travel to the Moorish city of Rabat, capital of Morocco, to visit the Mohammed V Mausoleum, dedicated to the founder of modern Morocco, grandfather of the current king. View the Mauresque-style Hassan Tower and Oudaya Kasbah, along with its scenic Andalusian garden. Continue to Fez for a special cocktail reception followed by a welcome dinner hosted by A&K.
Fez | Timeless Medieval City
Explore Fez el-Bali (Old Fez), the cultural heart of Morocco. Founded in the eighth century by Moulay Idriss 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. Next, proceed to the intricately detailed 14th-century Karaouine — one of the oldest, still-functioning universities in the world, and Nejjarine Square. You also see the Royal Palace, madrasas and mellah (Jewish quarter) in Fez el-Jadid.
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. Upon completing this glimpse into antiquity, proceed to a winery outside Meknes for lunch set among the region’s sun-bathed vineyards and olive groves. Return to Fez with your evening at leisure.
Erfoud | Desert Oasis
Travel 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. Settle into your hotel, with the remainder of the day to spend at leisure. Gather for dinner this evening. Your gourmet meal is prepared with locally sourced, organic ingredients.
The Sahara | Into the Desert Dunes
This morning, discover the fortified desert town of Rissani. Continue to the desert dunes of the Sahara by four-wheel-drive vehicle, where a reception with mint tea and pastries awaits at your nomadic tented camp. The stunning reddish-hued sand dunes can reach up to 500 feet high, creating an otherworldly landscape. Experience it like a local on camel back. As the sun sets, 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.
Ouarzazate | Road of a Thousand Kasbahs
Journey overland to Ouarzazate, once a stopping point for African traders travelling to the cities of Morocco and Europe. En route, absorb views of the High Atlas’ 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.
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 Tifoultoute Kasbah, a majestic 17th-century fortress featuring a panoramic view of the valley of Ouarzazate and the High Atlas Mountains. Continue to elaborate Aït 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.
Ouarzazate | Crossing the High Atlas Mountains
Journey over the High Atlas Mountains, observing everyday life in remote rural towns, to the fascinating “Red City” of Marrakech, where you settle into your luxurious hotel.
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. Then visit Dar El Bacha, home to the pasha of Marrakech in the early 20th century. Afterward, visit Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech’s main square, which is filled with orange juice stalls and vendors, along with fire-eaters, mime artists, snake charmers and street musicians performing at every turn. You may also wish to stroll the city’s fabled, labyrinthine souks.
Marrakech | Design Your Day
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 Historic Jewish Quarter, once a thriving center of religious freedom and tolerance.
Tonight, attend a special farewell dinner with entertainment by a local gnaoua band.
Transfer to the Marrakech airport and board your international flight home, or join an Essaouira Post-Tour Extension.
Travel Privately with A&K | This itinerary is available as a private journey, Signature Morocco. Priced from $8,995.