- Ait Benhaddou
- Desert Tours from Marrakech
- Erg Chebbi
This 9 day morocco itinerary is designed for guests who want to explore Moroccan culture and history in a short period of time. Moreover, with this 9 days desert tour from Marrakech, you will visit the imperial cities of Fes, Chefchaouen, and Marrakesh. You will enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Moroccan desert, and the beauty of its palaces and mosques.
In addition, you will get to know the rich history of Morocco and learn about the traditional Berber lifestyle in the desert.
9 Days Desert Tour from Marrakech – Quick Highlights
Quick Highlights of 9 days desert tour from Marrakech include; you will walk through the Medina (old town) of Chefchouan, Fes, and Marrakech with background information about the history and cultures.
Also, visit of Roman ruins Chellah and Mausoleum, Explore Rabat’s Andalusian houses in the Kashba and the street life in the medina market, ride a camel and enjoy the overnight stay in the Merzouga desert.
Furthermore, you will experience Major Morocco imperial cities through guided cultural visits to the Koutoubia mosque, mellah, and palace Special focus: “Coexistence of Muslims and Jews in Morocco.
9 Day Morocco Itinerary from Marrakech to Imperial cities and beyond
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Marrakech – Marrakech|
|DEPARTURE TIME||8:30 AM|
|WHAT TO WEAR/BRING||Baggy trousers for camel trekking, Warm clothing for evenings and nights in winter, sunblock, lip balm, UV-safe sunglasses, Sneakers, small bag with a water bottle and torch|
Day 1: Marrakech to Essaouira day trip
After breakfast, you’ll travel to a quaint city, Essaouira, the Old Portuguese town of Mogador. It was fortified by a French architect Vauban follower. These influences have bestowed a gorgeous and distinct outcome. Today, the city is steadily being transformed into a city of adventurers.
On the way, you will see the famous Argan tree while goats are on the top climbing trees (Goats you’d have to see it to believe it. It’s a wonderful site.). You can always ask our driver to stop for you so you can purchase pure Argan oil.
Once you arrive in Essaouira, there are a number of things to do. First, you will visit Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the old city center of Essaouira. The Medina is home to a number of historical landmarks, including the Place Moulay Hassan, the Skala du Port, and the Glaoui Palace.
Next, if you’re looking for a more relaxed activity, Essaouira is also a great place to enjoy the beach. The city has a number of beaches, including the Plage des Nations, the Plage d’Or, and the Plage des Sablettes. Essaouira is also a popular windsurfing destination, and there are a number of windsurfing schools located in the city. Also, you will witness this coastal area have a Mediterranean climate, while the inland areas have a more continental climate.
After that, you will visit the vibrant cafés of Moulay El Hassan square and listen to the sound of Gnawa music
In last you will have lunch before returning back to Marrakech.
Day 2: Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou – Ouarzazate –Skoura– Rose valley – Dades Gorge
Today is day 2 of your journey through Morocco. You will be traveling from Marrakech to Ait Benhaddou to Ouarzazate to Skoura to the Rose Valley to Dades Gorge. This will be a long but rewarding day, as you will get to see some of the most beautiful and iconic sights in the country.
You will begin your day in Marrakech as you start traveling to Ouarzazate via the Tizi Pass. The mountain range of the High Atlas Mountains of the Tichka Pass will give you a great sightseeing drive. There is no other tourist journey where you get such an amazing and exceptional perspective. The road trip will lead you to some unbelievable spots where you can smell the fine air, take fantastic pictures, and get wonderful video footage for memories.
First, you’ll head to Telouet, the Kasbah of Telouet which sits in Telaoute town inside the Onilla Valley. It is considered a favorite destination among Moroccan travelers. It’s said that 1000 people lived in its walls in the 10th century. Five wives and 80 concubines are claimed to occupy it. Pacha Glaoui reportedly extorted and collected fees for trade caravans coming over the Atlas Mountains.
When you walk inside the palace it’s very edifying to see the comparison of what it resembles outside the Harem at El Glaoui’s palace as compared to the entry of the palace. The doors of the Harem and foyers offer a good idea of the luxurious lifestyle that El Glaoui favored, along with a taste of Andalusian décor.
Though the oldest sections of the Kasbah are completely destroyed, walking through the mazelike corridors is incredibly challenging. In the Kasbah, the wind blowing through broken ruins makes it difficult to vaguely navigate at all.
From here, you will make your way to the historic city of Ait Benhaddou. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see, with its traditional earthen buildings and stunning location atop a hill. After Ait Benhaddou, you will continue on to Ouarzazate. This city is often referred to as the “Hollywood of Morocco”, as it has been the filming location for many movies and TV shows over the years. Some of the most famous films that have been shot here include Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, and Game of Thrones.
Your next stop will be Skoura, where you will visit the Valley of the Roses. This valley is home to the world-famous Moroccan rose, which is used to make rose water and essential oils. The valley is absolutely stunning, with miles upon miles of rose fields stretching out before you.
After Skoura, you will make your way to Dades Gorge. This gorge is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco, and it’s easy to see why. The gorge is full of winding roads and stunning views.
Be sure to take plenty of photos!
Day 3: Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi
After breakfast, you’ll leave Dades Gorge for Tinghir. Afterward, you’ll probably walk up the unrestored kasbah in Dades Gorge above the oasis, followed by a trip to the Todgha Gorge, Morocco s Grand Canyon (about 600 feet tall).
The scenic river valleys involved in my journey provide an easygoing route to the southern part of Morocco. The gorge is cut into the ochre-colored peaks of the Atlas Mountains. Its walls are 300 meters high and at their thinnest points are 20 meters away. Then you’ll continue onto Tinjdad, where you visit the Berber Museum and enjoy lunch there.
Afterward, you will pass through regular desert scenery, followed by volcanic mountain scenery, stopping to admire a 1000-year-old massively extensive underground network of aqueducts until Tafilalet oasis, Morocco’s largest having 120,000 date-bearing palms, you’ll also take a look at the ruins of Sijilmassa in Rissani, Africa s second-largest city in the 10th century.
Afterward, you’ll arrive at Merzouga; the doorway into the desert where your guide and camels await you for horse-drawn transportation across the sand dunes of the Moroccan Sahara. Camel ride as you navigate the desert twilight, for approximately one to two hours to reach your desert campsite for the night. Your guide will prepare for you to enjoy refreshing mint tea and a hot, fragrant tagine dinner.
Finally, you will spend a relaxing night in a desert camp and enjoy dining around campfires.
Day 4: Erg Chebbi – Merzouga – Midelt – Azrou – Ifrane- Fes
On the fourth day, you will have the chance to appreciate the sunrise over the dunes of the Erg Chebbi valley, which may be the greatest moment of the Merzouga desert.
After breakfast, you’ll drive to the Ziz palm-filled valley, then continue to the northern mountain range of the Eastern High Atlas until Midelt.
Then you’ll be going to take a short break for lunch after you eat your sandwich. On the way, you will encounter a gathering of Barbary Macaques along the road, most likely waiting to receive their fare. You continue through the Middle Atlas Mountains and follow the path used by the Atlas cedar trees that are used to construct mosques and palaces around the country
You continue to the mountain station Ifrane, known as the Switzerland of Morocco for its attractiveness as well as for it to be able to take fun photographs. You will travel past this National Park on your trip toward Fes where you’ll spend the night. You are expected to arrive at the Fes riad around 6 PM.
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Day 5: Fes sightseeing
After breakfast, your local guide will take you to explore Medina o Fes, one of the world’s largest walled cities. No driving today as you will have a walking tour of “Old” Fes, with explanations of its culture and history, covering its Islamic shrines and former theological institutions, the Nejjarine Museum, the King’s Palace, and workshops for various crafts and goods in the area of the world’s oldest functioning university, the Qaraouïne.
You will walk through narrow streets lined with fresh fruit, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets, and many other art objects of Morocco. Fes teems with superlatives. Not only is Fez’s medieval city the largest car-free urban area in the world, but it is also home to the oldest existing, continually operating educational institution on the planet.
You explore the medina, wending our way along the labyrinthine passageways to experience the diversity of the souqs (markets). You visit centuries-old tanneries and walk among crumbling ruins.
Before dropping you off at your Riad, our driver will take you to see Fes from above to see the ramparts, with the Borj Sud overlook, a visit to the Bou Inania Medersa, and a demonstration at the workshops for pottery and zellige tile mosaic outside the city.
Spend the night at Riad with breakfast.
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Day 6: Fes – Volubilis – Chefchaouen
Departure from Fes at 8:30 am to Chefchaouen. But before heading to Chefchaouen you will have a chance to gain further insight by going back to the third century by visiting Volubilis. This city is known as a historic Roman city recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
Next, you will arrive at Chefchaouen, The town is surrounded by mountains, and the blue-washed buildings provide a beautiful contrast to the natural landscape. It’s an absolutely magical place that will stay with you long after you’ve left.
With its stunning distinctive pale blue, whitewashed buildings and winding cobblestone labyrinths, Chefchaouen is a delightful city with Spanish heritage. Because of it, countless Jews and Majors fled during the Spanish Inquisition.
Further, you will wander around the full of narrow streets and alleyways lined with blue-washed buildings and get lost for a while! There you can also explore plenty of shops and stalls selling souvenirs and local handicrafts and stop along the way for photos.
You will have free time to explore the medina by yourself. Spend the night at Hotel with breakfast.
Day 7: Chefchaouen– Rabat – Casablanca
After breakfast, you will drive towards the capital city of Morocco, Rabat, on the shores of the Atlantic. This Moroccan city of Rabat has an old, walled medina that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Next, you will see Oudaya Kasbah and its beautiful gardens, with explanations on the history of Rabat, its corsair days, and the consequent first international recognition of the independence of the United States by Sultan Sidi Mohamed ben Abdellah.
Also a stop at the Mohamed V Mausoleum and Hassan Tower which is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat constructed in 1195 AD. It was intended to be the largest minaret in the world with a mosque. If time allows, you can depart for the Chellah fortress to see its Roman remains and the intricate necropolis of the 14th Century Merinid Dynasty.
From there, you will head to the Museum of History and Mediterranean Civilization and then to the new Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, a magnificent structure of neo-Moorish architecture.
After that, you will leave Rabat, the political capital of Morocco, for the economic capital; Casablanca.
There, you will be able to visit Rick’s Cafe Casablanca and the Great Mosque Hassan II, which is commemorated with an illustration of Moroccan architecture. It’s the fifth-largest mosque in the world, and it has a capacity of 25,000. There is also an adjacent mosque that can provide space for an additional 100,000 worshippers, which means that the on-site capacity is even larger than it initially appears.
After a hectic day, you get a Drop off at your hotel/riad in Casablanca.
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Day 8: Casablanca- Marrakech
After breakfast, you will visit the Corniche and go towards the old Medina. There you will be moving through the focal points of the new town in Casa called Ville Nouvelle.
Then explore the first focal point Place Mohammed V where you will see the architectures of the French where Moorish design is complementing it beautifully and then the second one; Place des Uniones, where you can enjoy a monumental fountain that plays Music.
At that point, you will proceed to Morocco Mall and well-known residential blocks in the area: Asayag, Bessonneau, and Glaoui. You will also go to Avenue du Forces Royal, a commercial place which will lead you to the old medina. You will see the handicraftsmen, jewelers, and barbers.
And then you’ll visit a shrine nearby where the tomb of Sidi Allal el-Kairounant is kept.
In the evening you will be dropped off at your hotel.
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Day 9: Drop off at Marrakech airport
After an amazing 9 days desert tour from Marrakech, our driver will also drop you off at the city’s airport.
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