10 Days Self-Guided Morocco Tour
From Berbers to bazaars, tanneries to tagines, discover magical Morocco.
For this trip, you’re going to need transportation, whether it’s a rental car, hired transport, or guided tour. We can arrange all of this for you.
Embrace your sense of adventure on this ten-day tour through the mystical and mesmerizing land of Morocco. Explore the French-infused port city of Casablanca, wander the labyrinth of tanneries and spice souks in Fes, discover the rocky landscape of the Atlas Mountains, camp under the starry night sky of the Sahara desert, sip mint tea with Berbers in Todra Gorge and join the nightly carnival of fortune-tellers, snake charmers and acrobats in Marrakech. Ancient kasbah ruins, colorful bazaars, and all the couscous and tasty tagines you can eat, this itinerary showcases all the things we love about Morocco.
Day 1: Casablanca
Welcome to Morocco. Modeled after Marseille in France, the city is famous for its art deco buildings and the modern-day masterpiece, the Hassan II Mosque. A pleasant way to spend the day exploring Casablanca is to take a guided tour of the city. Some things you simply can’t miss the Old Medina of Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque, Ain Diab Corniche, Mohamed V Square, and the Central Marketplace. And, if you love old movies as much as we do, you can’t miss Rick’s Café made famous in the movie Casablanca staring movie legends Ingrid Bergmann and Humphrey Bogart.
Day 2: Fes
After breakfast, head to Fes – the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco (approximately 4 hours). Fes is vibrant, noisy, fascinating, and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses. Head into the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali, arguably the world’s most fascinating and confounding old city. Medieval Fes was one of the world’s great centers of education and culture, both Islamic and Jewish. Its religious institutions and libraries are legendary, its mosques of great renown. Relax for the rest of the day.
Day 3: Fes
This morning, take a guided tour that will lead you along the twisting streets and alleyways of Fes, passing donkeys piled high with goods – and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Filled with historic khans, medresses and dye-pits, stalls loaded with fruits, herbs and soups, and where the squawk of chickens, the smell of spice and sound of hammering of copper fills the air, it’s not hard to imagine yourself back in the Middle Ages. Spend the day exploring the old city, visiting Medersa el-Attarine, the tanneries, and the splendid Fondouk Nejjarine – a beautifully restored 18th-century inn.
Day 4: Midelt
Today it’s time to leave the city behind and embrace the simplicity and beauty of the Middle Atlas Mountains. Journey through fertile valleys, pine forests, and barren, rocky landscapes for approximately 4 hours. You may see wandering nomadic shepherds as they tend to their flocks, or even catch a glimpse of Barbary apes – North Africa’s only monkey – before arriving in Midelt. This is a market town, originally built as a base for mining in the area, which is surrounded by farms and orchards. Take a walk exploring the village of Bremmem for an insight into the local farming life, or perhaps check out a traditional music performance in Midelt.
Day 5: Merzouga
Travel toward the mighty Sahara (approximately 5 hours), during which there’ll be plenty of chances to stop and take in the views of kasbahs and palmeries (lush valleys with date palms, fields and orchards). As you pass through frontier towns like Erfoud and Rissani, you’ll see the scenery alternate between barren mountainsides and fertile valleys until you reach the small Saharan village of Merzouga. You should arrive in time to take a camel ride into the desert at sunset. Erg Chebbi is home to huge windswept dunes that are quintessential Morocco, and are located just 20 kilometers from the Algerian border.
When you arrive in Merzouga, you’ll take a sunset camel trek into the desert and watch one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever behold. Tonight, you’ll sleep in a desert camp under the stars and our local friends will prepare a hearty feast. All you and your family need to do is sit back, relax, and take in the Milky Way.
Day 6: Todra Gorge
Enjoy breakfast at the camp. Afterward, return from the desert and begin the drive to Todra Gorge. On the way, visit the oasis museum of El Khorbat before continuing on to the beautiful Todra Valley (approximately 5 hours in total), which follows the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and is dotted with mud-brick villages perched on hillsides. The remarkable scenery – sprawling green valleys and rocks sculpted into stunning formations by the wind – will be your home for the next two nights.
Day 7: Todra Gorge
After breakfast, you will have some free time to wander and explore the Todra Valley. Take a guided hike through the gorge and over a nearby mountain pass. On the walk you’ll pass villages, meeting Berbers along the way and perhaps having a chance to share a cup of mint tea with some of them. The surrounding mountains and the famous Rose Valley in the distance make a sensational setting.
Day 8: Ouarzazate
Today travel south to Ouarzazate (approximately 3 hours). The scenic drive will take you past ancient kasbah ruins, former colonial military outposts, austere mountains, and valleys of palm trees and irrigated fields. Ouarzazate is where productions such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Sheltering Sky, Game of Thrones, and Black Hawk Down were filmed. If you have time, we recommend taking a tour of the Atlas Movie Studios. Afterward, continue on to your destination of Ait Benhaddou. Centuries ago, this was an important stop for caravans carrying salt across the Sahara, today its grand kasbah, a fine example of clay architecture, has been listed as a World Heritage site. In the late afternoon, visit the kasbah to have a wander around. Stop for a tea break at the Cooperative Tawesna. Tawesna lies between the river and the palm trees and is a co-op set up by the women association of the village in 2018. It is the first income-generating activity ever led by the association It involves 42 women who work 3 hours per week. The salary they earn then contributes to their daily spending as well as their children’s school fees.
Day 9: Marrakech
It’s an early morning start as you make the 4-hour journey to your final destination, Marrakech, a city that’s a feast for the senses. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colors of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats, and perfumed gardens. Take a private highlights and hidden gems tour of Marrakech and get insider tips while you explore the city.
In the evening, head over to Djemaa el Fna- the busiest square in the city. When night falls on this square it transforms into a hive of activity – henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies, including snail soup! Perhaps enjoy a bite of famous Moroccan pastries with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and then maybe finish your day with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top restaurants overlooking the square.
Day 10: Marrakech
What a trip this has been! Your Moroccan adventure has come to an end.