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Highlights of Morocco:...
 

Highlights of Morocco: Marrakech, the Sahara & Fes

12 days |  15 days with Essaouira & Marrakech extension
Group size1022 travelers
people in a berber market in marrakesh morocco
a table full of tangine and other moroccan food
a man selling oranges at a stand in morocco
tan buildings and palm trees in ouarzazate
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
This tour itinerary varies by year
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    Vibrant cities, oasis towns, and desert communities—this is Morocco.

    One day you’re riding a camel through the Sahara Desert and the next you’re walking through lively city souks. On this small group adventure tour, you’ll see classically tiled gates and walled medinas as well as towering mountain ranges and colorful botanical gardens, all located in the heart of North Africa. Among these unique landscapes and inspiring cultures, find your Morocco moment.

    Your tour package includes

    • 10 nights in handpicked hotels
    • 10 breakfasts
    • 3 lunches
    • 6 dinners
    • 1 cooking class
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    Included highlights

    • Djemaa el Fna market
    • Moroccan cooking class
    • Majorelle Garden
    • Ait-Ben-Haddou
    • Kasbah Ait Kassi
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    Start planning today

    An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

    Talk to a Tour Consultant

    Day-by-day itinerary

    Print itinerary
    Overnight Flight1 night
    Day 1: Travel day

    Board your overnight flight to Marrakech today.

    Marrakech3 nights
    Day 2: Arrival in Marrakech
    Included meal: Welcome dinner

    Welcome to Morocco! Sip a welcome drink with your Tour Director and fellow travelers on a terrace overlooking the lively Djemaa el Fna market. Then, enjoy a welcome dinner.

    Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Marrakech
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Get a feel for the history of Marrakech, one of Morocco’s imperial cities, on this morning’s guided tour.

    • Pass through the sophisticated Gueliz district
    • Marvel at the massive Koutoubia Mosque, which features a minaret that reaches nearly 200 feet high and dominates the city’s skyline
    • Enter the UNESCO-listed Medina of Marrakech to see the Bahia Palace
    • Step inside the evocative Saadian Tombs, the mausoleum for the 16th-century ruling princes

    Return to your hotel and spend some time relaxing before experiencing Marrakech’s market culture on this afternoon’s guided tour.

    • Visit Djemaa el Fna, a festive, open-air market where musicians, snake charmers, and clowns perform during the evenings
    • Walk through the city’s vibrant souks to see the many products being sold by the local vendors
    Day 4: Cooking class & Majorelle Garden
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Visit a local cooking school and learn how to make Moroccan cuisine, including the famous chicken tagine, and tea during a hands-on cooking class. Enjoy eating the traditional cuisine for lunch.

    This afternoon, enter Majorelle Garden, which was designed by French architect Jacques Majorelle and purchased by legendary fashion duo Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1998.

    • Stroll through the twelve-acre botanical garden
    • Visit the Berber Museum and Yves Saint Laurent memorial

    Enjoy a free evening in Marrakech or add an excursion.

    Traditional Hammam Spa Visit & Dinner

    From $119 per person

    Ouarzazate1 night
    Day 5: Ouarzazate via Ait-Ben-Haddou
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Transfer through the High Atlas Mountains to Ait-Ben-Haddou.

    • Sit down for an included lunch at a local restaurant
    • Take a guided walking tour of the village’s UNESO-listed ksar to see the fortified complex made up of defensive walls and towers

    Continue on to Ouarzazate, where movies and shows such as Lawrence of Arabia and Game of Thrones were filmed.

    Sahara Desert Region2 nights
    Day 6: Erfoud via Kasbah Ait Kassi, Tinghir & Todra Gorge
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Dinner

    Make several stops as you travel from Ouarzazate to the Sahara Desert region.

    • Visit Kasbah Ait Kassi to meet a local family at this traditional riad, or courtyard, and sit down to enjoy a cup of mint tea
    • Walk through Tinghir’s ancient Jewish Quarter with your Tour Director
    • See Todra Gorge and follow your Tour Director on a short walk along the canyon
    • Stop to learn about the ancient Berber Qanat water well system
    Day 7: Rissani & Erg Chebbi sand dunes
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Dinner

    Spend the morning touring the oasis town of Rissani with your Tour Director.

    • Enter the Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif
    • Walk through Ksar El Fida, the oldest ksar in Rissani
    • Stop at a local fossil shop before returning to Erfoud

    Enjoy free time to eat lunch and relax at your hotel. This afternoon, head out to the Erg Chebbi sand dunes and discover the otherworldly beauty of the Sahara Desert.

    • Hop inside a 4x4 Jeep and ride through the desert to visit the town of Merzouga
    • Visit a Bedouin tent for traditional mint tea and snacks
    • Learn about Khamlia’s Gnawa people, an ethnic group originating from West Africa, and see how they celebrate their culture during a musical performance
    • Take a camel ride over the sand dunes and soak in the incredible landscape
    Fes3 nights
    Day 8: Fes via Midelt & Ifrane
    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Drive through the scenic Ziz Valley and Atlas Mountains to reach the town of Midelt, where you’ll enjoy free time to explore and eat lunch. Next, visit Ifrane, a city known for its cedar forests and alpine-style architecture. After, continue on to Fes.

    Day 9: Roman Archaeological Site of Volubilis & Meknes
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Head outside of Fes today and begin by visiting some of the most significant historical sites in northern Morocco.

    • Discover the ancient ruins at the UNESCO-recognized Roman Archaeological Site of Volubilis
    • See the Roman ruins of the forum, temple, baths, and gates followed by free time to visit the museum
    • Walk through the holy town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, known as the birthplace of Islam in Morocco

    Continue on to Meknes for an included lunch and a Tour Director-led sightseeing of one of Morocco’s imperial cities.

    • See the bustling Lahdim Square and Bab el-Khemis Gate
    • View the Bab Mansour gate before entering the ruins of Dar el Ma to see the ancient stables and granaries

    Return to Fes, where you’ll enjoy a free evening.

    Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Fes
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

    Take a guided tour of Fes, the spiritual and cultural center of Moroccan life.

    • See the ornate brass doors of the Royal Palace and visit the Mellah Jewish Quarter
    • View the Bab Bou Jeloud, a blue-tiled gate that exemplifies the Moorish architectural style
    • Attend a ceramics demonstration, where you’ll learn how the intricate and colorful art pieces are created
    • Explore the UNESCO-listed Fes Medina on a walking tour through the colorful souks and tanneries
    • Visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss and a madrassa, a type of local school focused on both secular and religious studies
    • Sample msemen, a traditional flatbread

    Enjoy a free evening in Fes or add an excursion.

    Morocco Home-Hosted Dinner

    From $85 per person

    Casablanca1 night
    Day 11: Casablanca via Rabat
    Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

    As you make your way to Casablanca, stop to tour Morocco’s capital city of Rabat.

    • Enter the white and green Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which houses the tombs of the 20th-century king and his two sons
    • View Hassan Tower, intended to be the world’s largest mosque until construction halted in 1199
    • Make a photo stop at the Royal Palace
    • Walk through the Kasbah des Oudaias to see the mouth of the Bou Regreg river and the Andalusian gardens

    Enjoy free time for lunch before continuing on to Casablanca, where your Tour Director will introduce you to the seaside city made famous by Old Hollywood.

    • See the Hassan II Mosque, the largest in Morocco
    • Pass through the fashionable La Corniche waterfront area

    Tonight, attend a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.

    Flight Home
    Day 12: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

    Please note: Some flights may leave Casablanca very early in the morning.

    Extension to Essaouira & Marrakech
    You know Marrakech and Casablanca (you did just travel there!) but have you heard of Essaouira? Join your expert Tour Director to explore this vibrant city on Morocco's western coast. Get ready to be wow-ed by the boutiques, art galleries, and adorable tree-climbing goats in the Argan forest. Yes, seriously.
    Essaouira2 nights
    Day 12: Essaouira via El Jadida & Oualidia
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Travel from the bustling Casablanca to the more quiet Essaouira, stopping along the way for a guided sightseeing tour of El Jadida and lunch in Oualidia.

    • Walk through the old Cité Portugaise and see the Church of the Assumption and the underground Portugese Cistern
    • Visit Oualidia and sit down for an included lunch, then, enjoy free time to explore the seaside town

    Continue on to your hotel in Essaouira.

    Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Essaouira
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Dinner

    Set off on a guided tour of the UNESCO-listed Essaouira and learn more about this port city made famous by the Orson Welles film Othello.

    • View the Clock Tower and the attached Sidi Mohommed Ibn Abdallah, the largest mosque in the city
    • Explore the Moulay Hassan Square, which hosts the Gnaoua Festival every year bringing in artists and musicians from around the world
    • Walk the walls of the Skala de la Kasbah rampart and take in the views of the ocean and the medina of the city

    Tonight, sit down for an included dinner with your group.

    Marrakech1 night
    Day 14: Argan Forest & Women's Cooperative Visit
    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    As you make your way back to Marrakech, visit an Argan Forest and learn how empowered women command the production of the famous oil in an otherwise male-dominated culture.

    • Join a local guide for a walk through an Argan forest and learn about the ecology and lifecycle of the Moroccan trees
    • See why the trees are nicknamed “the Tree of Life” not only for it’s fruit but it’s impact on the local culture
    • Visit a Women’s Cooperative and discover the secrets to producing argan oil, a delicious and rich substance with health benefits used in products all around the world
    • Sit down for tea with a Berber villager and experience Moroccan hospitality

    Then, continue on to Marrakech and enjoy a farewell dinner as you celebrate your trip with your fellow travelers.

    Flight home
    Day 15: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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    Reviews

    Overall rating 4.4 out of 5
    Based on 16 authentic and unedited traveler reviews
    Sort by
      11/22/19 by 3rd-time traveler Deborah

      Morocco is a very exotic, interesting place to visit. Our itinerary ensured we experienced a range of sites. Riding a dromedary and the cooking class were special. Our tour director Adessamie was excellent - very knowledgeable, kind, fun and willing to help in anyway. I learned a lot about the cultu...

      Read more +
      Amazing Trip
      11/22/19 by 3rd-time traveler Nancy

      This was an amazing trip. It was so well organizied from start to finish. Andessamie was our tour director and he was fabulous. He took great care in making sure all was taken care of. He was so knowledgeable and kind. He especially help when I needed to see a doctor and get medication. Thank ...

      Read more +
      Morocco
      10/18/19 by 2nd-time traveler Jacqueline

      Fascinating country, beautiful countryside. Morocco is full of history, culture, the food was amazing! Our tour guide Ouadie Chalaya was knowledgeable, professional and helped us navigate our way around from simply locating the nearest ATM to treating us to fresh apples and inviting us to taste loc...

      Read more +
      Show more reviews

      Traveler photos

      Hotels, flights & FAQ

      Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

      Hotels

      We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
      Radisson Blu Hotel Marrakech Carre Eden
      Radisson Blu Hotel Marrakech Carre Eden

      This modern hotel is located in the Gueliz district. Guests enjoy a restaurant, a pool, and a spa. Nearby you’ll find the Koutoubia Mosque, the Marrak...

      Read more +
      Berbere Palace
      Berbere Palace

      This contemporary hotel is located in Ouarzazate. Guests enjoy multiple restaurants, a garden, and an outdoor pool. Nearby, you'll find the Ksar Ait-B...

      Read more +
      Kasbah Hotel Xaluca Arfoud
      Kasbah Hotel Xaluca Arfoud

      This adobe-style hotel is located outside of the Erfoud city center. Guests enjoy a spa, a pool, and restaurants. Nearby you’ll find the Sahara Desert...

      Read more +
      Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace
      Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace

      This stylish hotel is located in Fes’s new quarter. Guests enjoy the surrounding gardens, spa, and outdoor pool. Nearby you’ll find Royal Palace Fes, ...

      Read more +
      Grand Mogador City center
      Grand Mogador City center

      This modern hotel is located near the Fonciere neighborhood. Guests enjoy a gym, lounge, and spa. Nearby you’ll find the Royal Palace of Casablanca, S...

      Read more +
      Le Medina Essaouira Thalassa Sea & Spa MGallery
      Le Medina Essaouira Thalassa Sea & Spa MGallery

      This boutique seaside hotel is located steps from Essaouira’s port. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, spa facilities, and private beach. Nearby you’ll fi...

      Read more +
      Riad les Trois Palmiers El Bacha
      Riad les Trois Palmiers El Bacha

      This historic 18th century home turned hotel is located in the Marrakech Medina. Guests enjoy 2 pools, individually styled rooms, and homemade Morocca...

      Read more +

      Flights

      Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
      Add our airfare package and you'll get:
      • Round-trip flight for your tour
      • Airport transfers at your destination
      • A great price locked in today
      • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
      • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
      • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
      • Find out more about flights

      Local weather

      Essaouira, Morocco
      Weather averages
      Today
      High 84 °FLow 68 °F
      /
      66°66°69°71°74°77°82°83°79°77°71°68°54°54°56°58°62°65°69°70°68°66°61°57°
      JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
      Marrakech, Morocco
      Weather averages
      Today
      High 95 °FLow 65 °F
      /
      65°68°73°77°84°89°98°99°91°84°73°68°47°49°52°55°62°67°72°76°70°66°56°51°
      JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
      Casablanca, Morocco
      Weather averages
      Today
      High 78 °FLow 66 °F
      /
      64°65°68°70°75°78°81°83°81°78°71°67°52°51°53°56°62°66°70°71°69°67°60°56°
      JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
      Fes, Morocco
      Weather averages
      Today
      High 84 °FLow 63 °F
      /
      56°58°62°68°77°84°93°93°84°76°63°59°41°42°44°49°58°65°73°73°66°59°49°44°
      JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
      Ouarzazate, Morocco
      Weather averages
      Today
      High 90 °FLow 59 °F
      /
      59°62°68°76°83°91°97°95°87°77°67°61°38°40°46°52°60°67°73°72°65°57°47°40°
      JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

      FAQ

      Print FAQ
      Passport, visa & entry requirements
      • In order to enter Morocco, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
      • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
      • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
      • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
      • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code MOR.
      Tour pacing & mobility
      • You will walk for at least 3 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.
      • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
      • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
      • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
      • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
      Transportation & arrival information
      • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Marrakech and depart from Casablanca (or Marrakech on the tour extension). You are responsible for going through customs, collecting your luggage, leaving the arrivals hall, and making your way outside of the airport. A representative from Go Ahead Tours holding a Go Ahead Tours sign will meet you outside of the airport and take you to your hotel. Please wait outside of the airport if you do not see the sign, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
      • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
      • A 4x4 Jeep ride in the Sahara Desert is included in the price of your tour.
      • All other included transportation is by private motor coach.
      Baggage allowance
      • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
      • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
      • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
      • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
      Clothing & packing tips
      • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
      • Please note that summer temperatures in Morocco are often very high and we advise wearing breathable clothing. Cotton, linen, or a quick-dry material is best for hot days outside, though a light scarf or extra layer may be needed for chillier evenings and early mornings.
      • You may want supportive walking sandals to keep cool during city sightseeing tours. Comfortable closed-toed shoes, such as sneakers or lightweight hiking boots, are best for activities in the desert.
      • Sun protection is very important. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face and the back of your neck from the sun.
      • A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when other facilities are not readily available while on the road.
      • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
      • It is preferable not to visit mosques or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis). Furthermore, in Morocco modest dress is preferred for women in general. Female travelers often feel more comfortable with shoulders and bare knees covered at all times.
      Health
      • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
      • While in Morocco, we recommend drinking bottled water and refraining from consuming tap water, even when brushing teeth.
      • Temperatures in this region often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), especially during the summer months. Drinking plenty of water, limiting your alcohol intake, and using proper sun protection is extremely important in order to prevent the effects of dehydration and heat stroke.
      • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
      • Please note that certain medication, both over the counter and prescription, are banned in some foreign countries. The importation of these drugs can carry severe consequences. Please consult your physician four weeks prior to departure to ensure that any drugs you may want to bring with you are legal in Morocco.
      • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
      • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code MOR.
      Cuisine
      • Moroccan cuisine consists of a unique blend of spices, such as saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin. Popular dishes include delicately spiced stews of meat, most often cooked with vegetables or fruit in a conical clay pot known as a tagine. These dishes are often added to couscous.
      Electricity & air conditioning
      • Morocco operates on 220 volts and use Types C or E plugs with two small, round pins.
      • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter.
      • Air conditioning is available in all of your hotels in Morocco.
      • Hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
      Connectivity
      • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
      • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
      • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
      Time zones
      • Morocco is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and five hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
      • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm on tour.
      Currency
      • You will use the Moroccan dirham on tour.
      • The Moroccan dirham is a closed currency. This means North American banks cannot exchange for it and you can only obtain it once you arrive in Morocco.
      • You can exchange your dollars for dirhams at a Bureau de Change in the airport, at a bank, and in most hotels.
      • Keep your receipt after exchanging your money as you may need it to exchange your dirhams for dollars upon departure. You can do this at the airport for a good rate.
      • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
      • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
      • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
      • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
      Tipping
      • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
      • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
      • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
      • Your guide will partner with a local aide to further assist the group during certain guided sightseeings in Morocco. We recommend tipping the equivalent of $1USD per aide.
      • Tips can only be paid in cash.
      Purchasing excursions on tour
      • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
      • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
      • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
      • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

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