Morocco Private (12 days)

Morocco Private (12 days)

DURATION

12 DAYS

BEST TIME

Mar-May
& Sep-Nov

DESTINATION

Morocco

TYPE

PRIVATE & CUSTOM

Morocco Private

Morocco offers an unparalleled cultural and natural diversity that, combined with its unbeatable hospitality, great roads, beautiful architecture, and superb cuisine, provides one of the greatest travel experiences in the world today.

This expedition brings you close contact with locals and nature: you will explore three of the Atlas mountain ranges, the Imperial cities, and the Atlantic coast. Of course, we can customize it for you.

Morocco is a destination that encompasses beautiful but sometimes lengthy drives. Our itinerary reduces those long drives to a minimum and increases the opportunities for off-the-beaten-path experiences. We are very proud of our Morocco Expedition and can’t wait for you to experience it!

We use first-class and award-winning riads and kasbahs, and spaces are limited. We highly recommend that you book soon.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • The itinerary is the most complete offered today.
  • You will explore the Imperial cities, three Atlas ranges in Morocco, and its Atlantic coast.
  • Drive times have been reduced to their minimum, resulting in the best pacing possible.
  • We use first-class upscale Riads and Kasbahs for accommodations instead of modern hotels.

 

  • A Master Local Guide will accompany you along your trip to Morocco.
  • Become Berber on your visit to an authentic Berber town. 
  • Window seats when using 4×4 and 20% of empty seats when onboard tour busses are guaranteed.
  • This itinerary gives you plenty of free time in the most important cities to allow you to experience them firsthand.

“I love Morocco – it’s a real challenge to all five senses. You think you know something, and you don’t. It’s wonderful. It keeps you on your toes that way.”

– Amy Ryan

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

The sample itinerary below can be customized to take full-advantage of your travel time and interests.

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 
Arrive in Fes

Upon arrival in Fes, an NPE representative will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel.

Overnight at Palais Faraj or similar (Melas Aloft).

Day 2
Fes

Fes is considered to be not only the oldest royal city in Morocco but also one that has preserved its medieval architecture, flavor, and way of life.

You will begin the day visiting the ramparts, the perfect introduction to the culture and history of Fes. Your NPE Guide will take you through the city’s most fascinating portions. While the morning’s highlight will be a tour of the 14th-century Madrassa near the Karaouine Mosque, you will also explore the depths of the food and spice markets and perhaps enjoy a taste of the offerings at the public bakeries.

The old way of craftsmanship can be seen in the ateliers found throughout Fes, where you can watch the artisans at work. You will also see fountains, mosques, sanctuaries, and Islamic schools.

Fes cuisine is considered one of the best in all Morocco, and lunch today will allow you to taste some of its finest traditional dishes, from multiple delicate first courses to tanginess and light and tasty couscous. The restaurant itself is an architectural wonder.

The late 19th-century palace that was home to King Hassan I is our destination after lunch. It is now a museum displaying the traditional arts of the city.

We will then visit the Jewish quarter in the New Fez sector of the city, where we can admire the jewelry offered in the market and visit a 17th-century synagogue.

Dinner is on your own tonight, so you choose to visit one of the many superb restaurants in the city or stay in your hotel to enjoy its facilities and its cuisine (Wich is also great).

Overnight at Palais Faraj or similar (B, L).

Day 3 
To Rabat via Meknes and Volubilis

This morning, the northern Rif Mountains will accompany you on your drive to Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Morocco’s youngest imperial city.

Meknes was founded in the 12th Century and was fully developed under Sultan Moulay Ismail, one of Morocco Meknes was founded in the 12th Century and was fully developed under Sultan Moulay Ismail, one of Morocco’s most powerful historical leaders. Despite his reputation as a ruthless warrior, the Sultan was also a passionate builder, and during his 55-year reign, he developed Meknes from a small town into a majestic capital with gigantic ramparts, monumental gates, more than 50 palaces, and 15 miles of exterior walls. You will see the impressive Bab el Mansour gateway and visit the ruins of the old stables and granaries.

Later we will reach Volubilis, the site of one of Rome’s African colonies, established during the first centuries of the Christian Era. Because of the area’s fertility, especially in olive cultivation, Volubilis in ancient times expanded and included a basilica and other public buildings. The surrounding villas were decorated with impressive mosaics that can be seen today. The partially excavated ruins of Volubilis are a World Heritage Site and provide excellent photo opportunities.

After our visit to Volubilis, you will be driven to Rabat where you will check in at your hotel.

Overnight at Riad Zyo in Rabat or similar (B, L).

Day 4
Rabat

Rabat is the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco and the residence of the King.

You will explore the fantastic Kasbah of Chellah. On this archaeological site, you will discover the remains of two civilizations: Sala Colonia, dating back to Roman times, and the Merinides Necropolis of the 14th Century.

Within the walls of the Kasbah, you will visit a delightful jewelry museum and an Andalusian garden, a part of the royal residence of the 17th Century. Continue to the Tour Hassan, the last vestige of an unfinished mosque from the late 12th Century.

Next, you will admire the Mohammed V Mausoleum, which is a place of exquisite contemplation.

The Mohammed V Mausoleum is one of the finest architectural monuments in Morocco, built as a memorial to this symbolic King of Morocco. Along your tour, you will visit the main gate of Bab Errouah, made in the 12th Century. The Kasbah Oudaia, occupied by Muslims evicted from Spain in the 17th Century, is a beautiful example of authentic Moorish design.

End your visit with a stroll in the park of the official royal palace, where you will see the royal guards at the residence’s entrance.

The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore this imperial city and enjoy your hotel.

Overnight at Riad Zyo in Rabat or similar (B, L)

Day 5
To Marrakech via Casablanca, Hasan II Mosque

After breakfast, you will be driven to Casablanca, where you will enjoy a complete visit to the largest religious building in Africa, the Hassan II Mosque.

After an early lunch at the fort next to the mosque, you will continue to Marrakech (a 3-hour drive on a good highway) where you will check in at your hotel.

Later that day, around sunset time, visit Jemma el Fenna, the largest plaza in Africa. Enjoy a coffee or tea at one of the balconies that serve as restaurants while the activity picks up, and then walk with your guide to experience this unique and bustling site.

Overnight at Riad Al Maha or similar (B, L).

Day 6
Marrakech

This morning, enjoy a complete tour of Marrakech, including the main mosque, the Saadian tombs, and the souks. Before returning to your hotel, you will enjoy lunch and visit Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle and the Berber Museum.

Overnight at Riad Al Maha or similar (B, L).

Day 7
Your day at Marrakech

Marrakech is full of wonders, and we have left this day open for you to explore. Get lost in the souks for superb photos and shopping, visit some of the attractions that we didn’t cover during the city tour, and enjoy a superb cooking class at La Maison Arabe (optional), the options are plenty, and your guide will help you with recommendations.

Overnight at Riad Al Maha or similar (B).

Day 8
Berber Live in the Atlas Mountains 

Drive through the lush and dramatic Atlas landscapes for an unforgettable Berber experience and an eye-opening, hands-on experience (Drive time is around one hour to one hour and a half).

You will start your experience by baking bread and preparing tagine in the kitchen of a village family and getting to know them better over a pot of traditional mint.

While your tagine is simmering on a stove, you will take a walk through the alleyways to explore the village, meet locals, and discover ancestral activities still maintained by the Berber. You will assist farmers in their daily tasks, such as irrigating fields, herding sheep, or cutting grass. On the way, you will also join local artisans in their workshops, get hands-on in making local crafts, and get sufficient education on the necessary materials and the proper techniques for perfect craftsmanship.

After this fantastic experience, we will return to Marrakech.

Overnight Riad Al Maha or similar (B, L)

Day 9
To Coastal Essaouira

After breakfast, we will leave Marrakech and travel towards the Atlantic coast. Outside Essaouira, a stop at a women’s cooperative where they make Argan oil will provide insight into this valuable emollient. Essaouira has a reputation for having a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, and we will first enjoy our lunch here before going on a walking tour of the city.

As its location was ideal for taking advantage not only of seagoing traffic but also the inland Trans-Saharan trade routes, Essaouira has been a trading center since the time of the Phoenicians. The Portuguese occupied the area in the 16th Century, naming it Mogador.

We will begin our exploration of the city at the old Portuguese fort that guards the harbor.

Eventually falling into Muslim hands, Mogador was renamed Essaouira in 1760. The city has since attracted many foreigners and overseen the establishment of a large Jewish community. Essaouira eventually became Morocco’s international port and trading center.

The architecture is a blend of Portuguese and Moorish, and you will soon become aware that blue might be considered the ‘color theme’ of the city. Your guided tour will take you through the jewelry market, spice souks, and various artisan markets. You will visit carpentry workshops where the artisans turn cedar and thuya wood into beautifully made furniture. As in ancient times, Essaouira still attracts talented artists from different parts of the world.

Note: The total drive time for this day is 3 hours, but it will be broken with activity stops.

Overnight at Heure Bleue Essaouria (B, L).

Day 10
Essaouira

After breakfast, we will take a short drive south from Essaouira to Tizi Village. Our drive through the argan forest allows us to view some endemic bird species. Once at Tizi, we will have the opportunity to explore a rustic Berber market full of a wide variety of goods and furniture from the surrounding communities.

Later that day, you will return to Essaouira for lunch. the rest afternoon is yours in this beautiful relaxed town.

Ovyernight at Heure Bleue Essaouira (B, L).

Day 11
Essaouira / Oualidia / Casablanca

Today, you’ll go on a trip along the coast that will give you beautiful views.

After breakfast, our first stop will be the fishing village of Bhibih, where you can observe shorebirds. Then you will head to Safi Town, originally a Portuguese trading post in the 15th Century. Safi is famous for its unique ceramic workshops, where the skills and traditions of the craft are handed down through generations.

Oualidia is also on the coast and is an idyllic location with a beautiful beach and lagoons where oysters are bred. From Oualidia, we journey to El Jadida, another old Portuguese trading center, where we will enjoy lunch at the medina.

Our afternoon travel will continue along the coast, crossing the fertile lands of Zemmour, until we arrive in Casablanca, where you can enjoy dinner at the hotel or at one of the many great restaurants the city offers. (If you would like to have dinner at Rick’s Cafe, please let us know ASAP, as bookings must be made well in advance)

Overnight at Le Doge Hotel (B, L).

Day 12 

Flight back home

After breakfast at the Le Doge, you will be driven to the Casablanca Airport and assisted with check-in for your flight home.

Lodgings

Palais Faraj

Located right in the heart of Fes, Palais Faraj is the best option to stay in this beautiful city. Its privileged location provides the best view of the medina during your stay. Also, Palais Faraj has a Spa that will help you relax after a full day of experiences and activities in Morocco. Its restaurant will allow you to try the best of Morrocan cuisine while enjoying the views from the terrace.

Riad Zyo

Located right in the heart of the beautiful and unique city of Rabat, Riad Zyo will be our base hotel, from where we will explore the most important attractions of Rabat.

This fantastic riad maintains traditional architecture and ornaments, creating a romantic environment perfect for resting after long days of exploring the wonders of Morocco.

Riad Zyo serves a traditional Moroccan breakfast and is near restaurants that serve both local and traditional seafood.

Riad Al Maha

The luxurious hotel riad Almaha Marrakech combines centuries-old Moroccan craftsmanship with modern art in rhythm to create the beauty of order and is a haven for indulgent artists.

Almaha is an excellent place to explore the mysteries of the medina, with its strange souks and busy squares, and to see the desert and the Atlas mountains outside of the red city.

Set in the heart of The Kasbah, Marrakech’s oldest neighborhood, the best tourist attractions and all located near this fantastic hotel. From here, you will be near the beautiful Saadian tombs, the outstanding Koutoubia Mosque, the unique Jemaa el-Fna Square with its smoky food stalls, magicians, musicians, and snake charmers, and the fantastic Jewish neighborhood of Mellah.

Heure Bleue Essaouira

The Heure Bleue Palais isn’t an average hotel. It is a historic home with men and women serving their guests. Like a pearl in an extraordinary location,  the Heure Bleue Palais welcomes you to Essaouira. This palace, located in the center of the historic Mogador’s harbor, is dedicated to the well-being of its visitors throughout its history and has an active role in Essaoira’s society. The hotel hosts major cultural, musical, and sports events that punctuate the Souirie year, being an important hub for Morrocan culture.

Le Doge Relais & Chateaux

Hôtel & Spa Le Doge is a luxury 5-star “Relais & Châteaux” establishment located a few steps from the Sacre Coeur Cathedral. Rooms are cozy and carefully decorated to create a warm atmosphere that makes you feel like in a cocoon.

At the “Jasmine” restaurant, you will be able to enjoy a traditional and tasty Moroccan cuisine with authentic flavors.

If you wish to enjoy a drink, a library bar with a superb chimney offers an intimate space. You also have the option to visit the new roof floor lounge bar with an incredible view over the white city. If you need relaxation time, you will find a wellness area including a hammam, a steam room, and also the possibility to have a relaxing massage.

When to go

The best time to visit Morocco is during spring (mid-March to May) or autumn (September to October). The weather is warm but pleasant, unlike the cold temperatures and snow of winter, or the scorching heat of summer.

The coastal regions can be visited year-round. In the winter they are pleasantly mild, while in the summer they bask in temperatures hovering around the mid-20°Cs.

The High Atlas Mountains can also be visited all year round, although it does get cold in winter. The summer may still be a bit hot to embark on any long-distance hikes, but if the heat doesn’t bother you then conditions are fine any time between April and October. Outside these months, there is snow on the peaks, which makes hiking more dangerous, but creates some spectacular panoramas.

The Islamic festival of Ramadan will affect transport in Morocco. The dates vary each year, so it’s worth checking what they are while planning your trip.

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions, please let us know. The NPE expedition advisors are here to help.

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recommended Expeditions

Morocco Private (14 days)

Morocco Private (14 days)

DURATION
14 DAYS
BEST TIME
Mar-May & Sep-Nov
DESTINATION
Morocco
TYPE
PRIVATE & CUSTOM

Morocco Private

Morocco offers an unparalleled cultural and natural diversity that, combined with its unbeatable hospitality, great roads, beautiful architecture, and superb cuisine, provides one of the greatest travel experiences in the world today.

This is an expedition that brings you in close contact with locals and nature: you will explore the Sahara, three of the Atlas mountain ranges, the Imperial cities, and the Atlantic coast. Of course, we can customize it for you.

Morocco is a destination that encompasses beautiful but sometimes lengthy drives. Our itinerary reduces those long drives to a minimum and increases the opportunities for off-the-beaten-path experiences. We are very proud of our Morocco Expedition and can’t wait for you to experience it!

We use first-class and award-winning riads and kasbahs, and spaces are limited. We highly recommend that you book soon.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • The itinerary is the most complete offered today.
  • You will explore the Sahara, the Imperial cities, three Atlas ranges in Morocco, and its Atlantic coast.
  • Drive times have been reduced to their minimum, resulting in the best pacing possible.
  • We use first-class upscale Riads and Kasbahs for accommodations instead of modern hotels (Only one night at a basic hotel is included, and we do it to break the long drive to the Sahara). 
  • You will be accompanied by a Master Local Guide.
  • New Paths Expeditions upscale Sahara Desert Camp is the finest that exists. You will feel like nomad royalty while exploring the desert.
  • You have two chances to ride camels over the Sahara dunes: one during sunset and the other on your way to a Berber nomad town.
  • Window seats when using 4×4 and 20% of empty seats when onboard tour busses are guaranteed.
  • We include 2 nights at award-winning Bab Ourika. Our relation price/quality is unbeatable.
From the souks of imperial cities, across the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara and back to Jemaa el-Fnaa. This expedition surpassed all of our expectations.

– David K., La Jolla – CA

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

The sample itinerary below can be customized to take full-advantage of your travel time and interests.

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 
Arrive in Casablanca

Casablanca is Africa’s largest port and Morocco’s commercial capital. After you are met at the airport, you will be taken to the Le Doge Hotel, located close to the Boulevard de la Cornich and other famous landmarks. The Le Doge is a Relais & Chateaux property. Your Local Master Guide will provide you with a pre-departure briefing followed by a welcome dinner at Rick’s Café, built in remembrance of the café where Sam played it again.

Overnight at Le Doge (D).
Day 2
To Fes via Meknes and Volubilis

The day begins with a brief visit to the largest religious building in Africa, the Hassan II Mosque. Then you drive to Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Morocco’s youngest imperial city. Meknes was founded in the 12thCentury, but was fully developed under Sultan Moulay Ismail and contains numerous palaces, mosques, and other historical buildings.

Volubilis is the site of one of Rome’s African colonies and was established during the first centuries of the Christian Era. The partially excavated ruins of Volubilis are a World Heritage Site and provide excellent photo opportunities. Arrive at Fes tonight.

Dinner and overnight at Riad Palais Amani (B, L, D)

Day 3 
Fes

Fez will then stimulate all your senses as you explore with your Local Guides the insides of Fes el Bali (old Fes) across food and spice markets, handicraft quarters, auction sectors and colorful Souks. Visit artisan workshops to discover the secrets of their ancestral arts and skills. Stop at the public bakeries and pastry makers in the residential quarters and see their historical fountains, mosques, Koranic schools and sanctuaries.

A superb lunch will be served at a beautiful Riad, and you will then visit a royal palace of the late 19th century where King Hassan I lived. This palace is now a museum of Fez traditional arts. Continue to Fez El Jedid (new Fez) for a stroll in the Jewish quarter where you will be able to visit a 17th-century synagogue and have some time in the jewelers market.

Dinner and overnight at Palais Amani (B, L, D)

Day 4
Through the Middle Atlas Mountains to Midelt

You leave Fes after breakfast for a journey through the Middle Atlas Range to the small town of Midelt. Midelt is located on a high plain between the Middle and High Atlas Mountain ranges. You will enjoy a light hike in a cedar forest in search of Barbary macaques. As you journey to Midelt, you will continue through the Middle Atlas Mountains where you will stop periodically to admire the scenery and meet some of the local Berbers.

The ending day will bring the expedition to the Taddart Hotel in Midelt where you will have dinner and overnight. The accommodations at the Taddart are comfortable but basic.

Overnight at Taddart Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 5
To the Sahara

You will be able to view some of the most spectacular and beautiful scenery in North Africa as you travel through the High Atlas Mountains. Villages dominated by their Kasbahs are perched on mountainsides and alternate with snow-covered peaks and lush valleys filled with date palms. After lunch when you will drive in 4×4 vehicles to the Merzouga sand dunes (Window seats are guaranteed to all expedition participants) and then mount camels and ride under the warm evening light to our top-class Sahara Desert Camp; being greeted upon your arrival by mint tea and dishes of nuts or fresh dates.

Overnight at New Paths Expeditions Exclusive Sahara Desert Camp (B, L, D)

Day 6
Life on the Sahara

Photograph the Sunrise over the Sahara Desert and then travel over the dunes on camels (or by 4×4 vehicle) towards Tanamouste, a village inhabited by seminomadic Berber families. You will have an opportunity while here, to interact with the local people and learn their culture and traditions. Lunch will be provided by one of the Berber families. Then pile into 4×4 vehicles to explore the area before returning to New Paths Expeditions exclusive desert camp A candlelight dinner accompanied by music will round out the day. Our deluxe tents await us.

Overnight at New Paths Expeditions Exclusive Sahara Desert Camp (B, L, D)

Day 7
Draa Valley

Drive along the impressive volcanic mountains of Sarhro where fossils abound. Lunch will be taken in the city of Nekob, at the beginning of the Draa Valley – a date palm oasis that stretches for almost 150 miles. In sharp contrast to the Sahara you just left behind, you will find a rich valley filled with orchards, rose farms, date palms, and vegetable gardens. The 18 types of dates that grow in the Draa Valley are considered to be the best found in Morocco, and you will be present during the date harvest!

Dinner and overnight at the lovely Kasbah Azul (B, L, D)

Day 8
To Ait Ben Haddou via Ouarzazate

Drive through the Draa Valley to view its magnificent Ksars (palaces) and Kasbahs to Ouarzazate, where you will visit the Taourirt Kasbah, as well as to an art gallery that features a collection of Berber arts and crafts will engage part of the day. You will also have an opportunity to visit a “Berber pharmacy” that offers the best quality Argan oil and saffron.

The expedition will then proceed to Ait Ben Haddou, the backdrop for many of the above-named films. The Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou is a World Heritage Site.

You will enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the lovely Ksar Ighnda (B, L, D)

Day 9
Ait Ben Haddou

Today you will spend the morning exploring Ait Ben Haddou. This Ksar was originally a very important point on the caravan route between Timbuktu and Marrakech, and was able to exert control over the region’s trade. It has been restored by UNESCO. You will then enjoy the hospitality of a local family learn how to prepare a traditional tagine, which you will subsequently be served for lunch. Free time in the afternoon will allow you to absorb some of the local colors on your own. A sunset photographic walk will be offered by your Local Master Guide.

Once again, you will enjoy the Ksar Ighnda for dinner and rest (B, L, D)

Day 10
Across the High Atlas Mountains to Ourika Valley

Drive across the most impressive part of the High Atlas Mountains. You will journey through valleys and pass through mud-brick villages until you achieve the Tizi N’Tichka Pass at 7,000 feet. This is the turning point, and you will now descend to the plains, driving through landscapes that change from gorges and mountains until you reach the unforgettable Ourika Valley.

The Ourika Valley will seem almost like a fairytale realm with its forested foothills, clear mountain streams, tree-filled bottomlands, and villages perched on the hillsides.

Spend the night at the award-winning Bab Ourika, set on a hill with spectacular views of the valley spread out below. (B, L, D)

Day 11
Ourika Valley

An easy 1.5-hour walk is scheduled along the valley, allowing us to meet some of the local people and learn something of their traditions and culture, as well as keeping a lookout for wildlife such as painted frogs and green woodpeckers. Our stroll will continue to the local village to visit the weekly market, where you will find not only local crafts but spices and other regional specialties. After you return to Bab Ourika, you will have the remainder of the afternoon to rest, use the hotel pool, or simply enjoy the beautiful hotel gardens. Be sure to try the traditional scrub followed by a massage – the hamman – before getting ready for dinner.

Overnight at Bab Ourika (B, L, D)

Day 12 & 13
Marrakech

A short morning drive will take us from Ourika to Marrakech. You will now enjoy a complete tour of the famous Marrakech Medina. This is the old, walled part of the city and is filled with an incredible variety of vendors with their small stalls. The Medina is an unforgettable riot of color, sounds, and smells. Free time to simply explore and the shop is provided after you visit not only the Medina but also the gardens in the surrounding area.

The expedition will be staying on the 12th at a small, comfortable boutique Riad, which offers easy access to the Medina. On the 13th, you will enjoy a Moroccan gourmet farewell dinner and you will spend the overnight at the luxurious and exotic Palais Khum. If you like, you can sign up for a cooking class to learn some traditional recipes for your lunch.

Day 14
Marrakech – Fly Home, or Continue with the Coastal Morocco Extension

You will be taken to the airport for your return flight to your home unless you have signed up for the extension.

Extension

Day 1 
To Coastal Essaouira
 

After breakfast, you will leave Marrakech and make your way towards the Atlantic coast. Outside Essaouira, a stop at a women’s cooperative where they make Argan oil will provide insight into this valuable emollient. Essaouira have a reputation of having a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, and you will first enjoy your lunch here before going on a walking tour of the city.

As its location was ideal for taking advantage not only of seagoing traffic, but also the inland Trans-Saharan trade routes, Essaouira has been a trading center since the time of the Phoenicians. The Portuguese occupied the area in the 16th Century, naming it Mogador. You will begin your exploration of the city at the old Portuguese fort that guards the harbor.

Eventually falling into Muslim hands, Mogador was renamed Essaouira in 1760, the city attracted many foreigners and oversaw the establishment of a large Jewish community. Essaouira was eventually to become Morocco’s international port and trading center.

The architecture is a blend of Portuguese and Moorish, and you will soon become aware that blue is what might be considered the ‘color theme’ of the city. Your guided tour will take you through the jewelry market, spice souks, and various artisan markets. You will visit carpentry workshops where the craftsmen turn cedar and thuya wood into beautifully made furniture. As in ancient times, Essaouira still attracts talented artists from different parts of the world. Overnight at Heure Bleue Essaouria (BLD) Note: The total drive time for this day is 3 hours, but it will be broken with activity stops.

Day 2
Essaouira

After breakfast, you will take a short drive south from Essaouira to Tizi Village. Your drive through the argan forest will allow you to view some of the endemic bird species. Once at Tizi, you will have the opportunity to explore a rustic Berber market, full of a wide variety of goods and furniture from the surrounding communities.

Ounarra is your next destination, and the expedition will stop at the Val d’Argan Wine Estate. The family-owned estate was established in 1994 and covers 30 acres. The winery produces red, white, and rose wines, which will be available for wine tasting. Lunch will be served on the roof terrace overlooking the entire estate. For your return to Essaouira, you will drive through the lovely thuya forest. Your total time on the road will be approximately 3 hours.

The Heure Bleue Essaouria (B, L, D) will provide your dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3 
Essaouira / Oualidia / Casablanca

A coastal journey after breakfast at the hotel will provide you with stunning views. Your first stop will be the fishing village of Bhibih, where you can observe shore birds, then you will head to Safi Town, originally a Portuguese trading post in the 15th Century. Safi is famous for its unique ceramic workshops, where the skills and traditions of the craft are handed down through generations.

Oualidia is also on the coast and is an idyllic location with a beautiful beach and lagoons where oysters are bred. From Oualidia you journey to El Jadida, another old Portuguese trading center, where you will enjoy lunch at the Medina. Your afternoon travel will continue along the coast, crossing the fertile lands of Zemmour until you arrive at Casablanca. You will enjoy a farewell dinner and overnight will be at the Le Doge Hotel (BLD).

Note: Our travel time will encompass approximately 6 hours (Multiple activities in between).

Day 4
Casablanca / Fly US

After breakfast at the Le Doge, you will be driven to the Casablanca Airport and assisted for check-in for your flight home.

Lodgings

Le Doge – Casablanca

Hôtel & Spa Le Doge is a luxury 5-star “Relais & Châteaux” establishment located a few steps from the Sacre Coeur Cathedral. Rooms are cozy and carefully decorated to create a warm atmosphere that makes you feel like in a cocoon.

At the “Jasmine” restaurant, you will be able to enjoy a traditional and tasty Moroccan cuisine with authentic flavors.

If you wish to enjoy a drink, a library bar with a superb chimney offers an intimate space. You also have the option to visit the new roof floor lounge bar with an incredible view over the white city. If you need relaxation time, you will find a wellness area including a hammam, a steam room, and also the possibility to have a relaxing massage.

Riad Palais Amani – Fes

Situated in the walls of Fez’s ancient medina, just a few minutes walk from the Golden Triangle. It is ideally located near the Cultural, Historical, and Religious Center.

Housed in an ancient palace, Palais Amani offers spacious rooms and suites. Each is decorated with traditional furniture and has en-suite facilities. You can choose to have breakfast in the dining room or on the terrace with a lovely view of the garden. The hotel’s restaurant serves an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner offering a savory Morrocan and French cuisine. You will also find many beauty treatments, including massages, facials, and manicures.

Palais Amani is one of the largest riads in the medina. It underwent a three years restoration to repair and replace the complex mosaic, stained glass, plaster carving, and woodwork that one would expect in a Moroccan listed building. It has also been an opportunity to add all the modern comforts making the riad the fine luxury hotel that it is today. Palais Amani is very spacious so to respect your privacy providing at the same time an intimate atmosphere and the personal attention you deserve.

Exclusive Sahara Desert Camp – The Sahara

This luxury camp is nestled deep within the dunes providing a very private atmosphere that gives you the chance to feel like a very special guest as if you were the only one.

The en-suite sleeping tents are equipped with a king-size bed with high-quality sprung mattresses, percale sheets, duck-down duvets, and lovely pillows. Each tent has ‘wall-to-wall’ plush rugs, a full-length mirror, bedside tables, an armchair, and space to hang your clothes; all items being handmade in Morocco. The en-suite bathroom has a toilet, dressing table, and silver pewter buckets for washing. Light is provided by solar power.

The camp offers relaxing areas outside with day beds, cushions, and hammocks.

Breakfast is served under the morning sun, and dinner is served under the stars. Cold drinks, including beer and wine, are always available.

Many activities are proposed to discover the incredible surroundings, such as; camel trekking, guided walks, picnic lunches, and sundowners on the dunes.

Kasbah Azul – The Draa Valley

In the heart of the palm grove of the Draa Valley, is located the gorgeous guesthouse Kasbah Azul, built of natural materials in the authentic tradition of antique techniques of southern Morocco.

This majestic house is harmoniously set into the natural and protected ecosystem of its surroundings. A peaceful Garden of Eden for those who love nature. Here you will find a one-hectare garden, with palm trees, oleanders, and many flowers. At night, you will probably smell the sweet perfume of jasmine, orange trees, and henna plants.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable, decorated in vibrant warm colors for a ravishing stay in an oriental atmosphere.

Engaged in an ecological perspective, the owners grow vegetables and fruit, which they use to prepare a subtle French-Moroccan mixture cuisine.

When to go

The best time to visit Morocco is during spring (mid-March to May) or autumn (September to October). The weather is warm but pleasant, unlike the cold temperatures and snow of winter, or the scorching heat of summer.

The coastal regions can be visited year-round. In the winter they are pleasantly mild, while in the summer they bask in temperatures hovering around the mid-20°Cs.

The High Atlas Mountains can also be visited all year round, although it does get cold in winter. The summer may still be a bit hot to embark on any long-distance hikes, but if the heat doesn’t bother you then conditions are fine any time between April and October. Outside these months, there is snow on the peaks, which makes hiking more dangerous, but creates some spectacular panoramas.

The Islamic festival of Ramadan will affect transport in Morocco. The dates vary each year, so it’s worth checking what they are while planning your trip.

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions, please let us know. The NPE expedition advisors are here to help.

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