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Morocco Grand Tour

This sample itinerary can be tailored to your precise requirements and interests. That is what the Morocco specialists at Pomegranate Travel excel at!

Itinerary

This awe-inspiring thirteen-night journey takes you through Morocco’s diverse, culturally rich highlights, incorporating some of the country’s most unique, privately led experiences. You’ll visit the lively Atlantic-facing city of Casablanca and the majestic imperial cities of Fez, Marrakech, Meknes, and Rabat, with their splendid architecture and historical treasure troves, contrasted with the magnificent setting of the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert’s magical allure.

Day 1

Welcome to Morocco & Expert Intro

Casablanca, Rabat

Arrive at Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca where you will be met by our representatives and escorted through arrival procedures. You will then enjoy a tour of Morocco’s ‘economic capital’, before proceeding to the official capital which is Rabat.

Let us take you to the heart of Casablanca, Morocco’s lively Atlantic-facing financial and trading centre and largest city. With its impressive Art Deco architecture, the oceanfront area of La Corniche with its café culture, and a bustling medina filled with specialist workshops, there is plenty here to explore. Accompanied by your private guide, visit the Hassan II Mosque, one of the only mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims in the form of group tours. Marvel at some of the most outstanding craftsmanship in Morocco as your guide explains the history of this enormous religious landmark jutting over the ocean. To feel the atmosphere of the city, stroll along the Corniche, and enjoy refreshments whilst people watching and picking up the city vibes.

Continue to Rabat, Africa’s greenest and most ecological city.

EXPERT BRIEFING: We have arranged an expert briefing where a member of our speaker’s bureau will set out for you the current state of affairs in Morocco, including questions around its political structures and methods of sharing power, in particular focusing on the concept of a constitutional monarchy and how it has brought stability to the country, including through the tumultuous time of the Arab Spring over a decade ago. We will touch on the diverse population, the key social and economic challenges for Morocco today, and Morocco’s role as a bridge between Europe and Africa. Our speakers are prominent journalists, risk analysts and think tank people, and offer deep expertise in their areas of knowledge. This will be a chance to step away from the medinas and romance of the past and probe deeply into the Morocco of today.

This evening, we will be happy to arrange dinner in one of the restaurants at the Marina, which has an extremely convivial atmosphere, and great views to the beautifully lit mausoleum.

Day 2

Rabat city tour

Rabat, Fez

Today’s tour is of Rabat, Morocco’s likeable, well-kept capital city on the Atlantic coast. With a convergence of contemporary architecture, colonial influence, the regal palace, and the charm of the ancient medina, Rabat is a diverse town with intriguing highlights. With your private guide, visit the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which holds the tombs of the Moroccan king and his sons, the late King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. Its white marble silhouette and pyramidal green tiled roof exemplify modern Alaouite architecture from the 16th to 19th centuries. You will also see the Hassan Tower, the last remaining sign of what was to be the largest mosque built in the Muslim world. Visit the expansive Royal Palace estate, which is like a city in itself, and journey back in time to Rabat’s historic medina and adjacent fort, the Kasbah of the Udayas with its delightful Andalusian Gardens and panoramic views across Rabat’s expansive Atlantic coast.

Rabat is home to some of the country’s finest museums, which, time allowing, you may wish to visit.

Day 3

Meknes, Voloubilis & private villa cuisine

Meknes, Voloubilis

Journey to Fez via the imperial city of Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its ancient medina and royal palace remnants, which had its heyday under Sultan Moulay Ismail.  Accompanied by your private guide, visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, originally built as a mosque and showcasing the finest Islamic artisanship.  Other highlights (currently under renovation) include the Bab Mansour, a magnificent ornamental city gate, once the main entrance to the citadel, featuring intricate mosaic work and inscriptions, the enigmatic underground Qara Prison with its labyrinth of vaulted chambers, and the city’s Granary used as a great storehouse.

Continue to the ancient ruins of Volubilis, the best-preserved Roman archaeological site in Morocco, with a spectacular display of mosaic floors amongst its treasures. Explore ancient houses with preserved mosaics, Galen’s Thermal Baths, the Triumphal Arch, the Capitol and the Basilica.

Onwards to Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, the site of the tomb of Idris I, regarded as the founder of the first Moroccan state, and the holiest city in Morocco. Enjoy a lunch at a beautiful private villa with inspiring views and delicious cuisine.

Continue to Fez, the spiritual capital of Morocco.

Day 4

Fez city tour

Fez

The oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities and a source of great pride and historic preeminence, Fez is the cultural heartland of Morocco. Regarded as a city of intellectuals, its streets are full of madrasas (religious schools) and mosques amongst an impressive display of ceramics, leatherware, textiles and other artisanal workshops, and the University of Al-Karaouine is cited as being the oldest university in the world. Accompanied by your private guide, today’s full-day tour explores the heart of Fez’s UNESCO-listed medina, the largest in the Arab world. See the ornamented Blue Gate of Fez el Bali, walk its car-free streets, and take in the towering minarets, brightly-coloured souks, world famous tanneries, and sound of donkey carts as they rattle past. Visit Fez el Jdid and marvel at the Royal Palace and the Mellah, believed to have once housed 250,000 Jews. Finally, time allowing stop at a ceramics factory and see how traditional artisanship is reproduced, preserving ancient traditions for the modern world.

Fez is known as the culinary capital of fine Moroccan cuisine, we will be happy to recommend and book a restaurant!

Day 5

Fez cooking workshop & lunch

Fez

Fez is considered to be Morocco’s food capital, showcasing some of the country’s most unique and memorable flavours. Consider this Moroccan fusion, where Berber, Arab and European influences collide, resulting in an explosion of tastes and aromas. Today’s inviting culinary experience takes you to the heart of Fassi cooking with a culinary workshop in a beautiful traditional riad. Explore the roots of Moroccan flavours through Fez’s unique history, applying these concepts to modern-day cooking techniques. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, you’ll create a mouthwatering menu of Moroccan dishes that combine tradition with the creativity of the modern kitchen. We can also arrange a pairing with local Moroccan wines, and for a longer experience consider adding in a pre workshop souk tour too!

Later today, you will have some free time to explore the area at your own pace or to take advantage of the exquisite Riad Fez Spa.

Day 6

Ifrane & journey to the Sahara desert

Sahara

Today we start early for a journey south and to the great Sahara desert.  We pass through Ifrane National Park, nestled in Morocco’s Middle Atlas Mountains, and boasting the largest cedar forests in the country. Visitors will meet the endangered primate the Barbary macaque, which thrives in this protected habitat.

Transfer to your desert camp in Merzouga, stopping en route for lunch and refreshments.  Arriving at the Sahara camp, you will exchange your vehicle for a camel, and be sure to catch the sunset from this new, higher view, which comes with its own rhythm.  Camels have been part of Moroccan culture since the beginning of time. They are hardy, patient, and equipped to withstand the harsh desert elements, making them an essential part of the country’s dynamic trading past.

After a day of unforgettable experiences, unwind and savor a sumptuous dinner under the twinkling stars at your luxurious camp, creating a magical and serene ambiance that will surely captivate your senses.

Day 7

Desert adventure, Todra Gorge, Skoura

Sahara, Todra Gorge, Skoura

This morning is time for some soft desert adventure, there are several options, quad bikes being a popular one – a thrilling off-road adventure as you steer yourself across the sun-drenched dunes and connect with the landscape via a unique form of transport.

Continuing your journey to Skoura, you will pass a series of limestone wadis carved out by the Dades and Todra rivers in the eastern part of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains.  The Todra Gorge is a magnificent natural wonder in an area surrounded by date palms, pomegranate groves and olive trees. With its towering orange cliffs, some reaching a sensational height of 300 metres, it’s also a popular destination for hikers and adventure seekers who come to scale its canyon walls.  Along the way, you’ll be able to admire the stunning rock formations and crystal clear river in one of the most scenically impressive parts of Morocco.

Arrive at, Skoura is a stunning oasis town at the gateway to the Sahara. Built by the Nassiri family, who still live there to this day, the elaborate 17th-century Kasbah Amridil is an architectural gem made from rammed earth, renowned for being one of Morocco’s grandest and most impressive.  Marvel at the surrounding landscape with its almond and fig trees amongst the palm groves and get a sense of life here more than 300 years ago.

Check in to your luxury hotel, a home away from home in the desert.

Day 8

Day at Leisure

Skoura

Following a couple of days of longer travel, today is a well deserved day of rest in the glorious grounds of Dar Ahlam, or ‘House of Dreams’, which provides a truly unique atmosphere in which to unwind.  Savor the spectacular gardens, and enjoy the pool area, or for those who are feeling more active a plethora of activities are on offer including oasis hikes and picnics, and touring local ancient Kasbahs.

This evening enjoy a private three course meal, in a hidden away nook of the property.

Day 9

Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs

Ouerzazate, Ait Benhaddou, Draa Valley

Today you journey from the edge of the Sahara to the High Atlas Mountains, and through the extraordinary landscape known as the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs.  Arriving at the desert town of Ouerzazate, you will tour its enormous Taourirt Kasbah.  Parts of the kasbah remain inhabited to this day, and it has appeared in a handful of famous movies, including Gladiator and Prince of Persia. Accompanied by your private guide, marvel at one of southern Morocco’s most striking architectural treasures, with its rammed-earth structure favoured in this region, intricate tataoui ceilings, carved stucco, and wall paintings, Taourirt Kasbah is well worth visiting for anyone interested in a superb example of Berber-style architecture.

Continue to Ait Benhaddou and another great kasbah.  With your private guide walk through the ancient ksar with its mud-brick buildings, defensive walls and granaries. Learn about its history and importance as a key stopover point on the trans-Saharan trade route. Time permitting, explore the surrounding area with its salt mines and the Tamdaght plateau, which offers panoramic views of the valley and the Atlas Mountains. Ait Benhaddou has also had its Hollywood moments, including in “Gladiator,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” and “Game of Thrones”.

Continue your scenic drive through the Draa Valley which stretches out for over 100 kilometres amidst vast desert terrain, sprinkled with green oasis’s, palmeries and more.  As you approach the High Atlas the road becomes more windy and the landscape more green and of course mountainous.

Arrive at this evening’s retreat accommodation, complete with resplendent gardens and fine cuisine.

Day 10

High Atlas & Marrakech

Atlas Mountains, Marrakech

This morning you will awaken to an entirely different, and quite breathtaking landscape.  Together with your private guide the day will be spent exploring the High Atlas Mountains according to your preferences.  For those who like an active challenge, there are numerous hiking trails which will allow you to fully immerse in the panorama of snow capped peaks.  We also recommend an authentic visit to a local Berber home where you will enjoy a traditional tea making ceremony, and learn the Berber method of making bread.  Lastly, for those interested in Jewish heritage, this area is home to some extraordinary mountain tombs.

 

This evening relax in the luxurious surroundings of your hotel.

Day 11

Secret Marrakech

Marrakech

After a morning at leisure, we continue to Marrakech and the charming Riad which you will call home for a few nights.  After a leisurely check-in, explore some of the city’s lesser known quarters with our secret Marrakech side car tour.  Accompanied by your private guide, take to the city’s myriad alleyways on this unique expedition, discovering hidden corners and paths less trodden. You’ll visit the Nouvelle Ville (new town) with its 1930s architecture, weave through the ancient cobbled streets of the medina, and absorb the peaceful rural setting of the Palmeraie (palm grove). Talk to your private guide about what interests you most, whether art, food, architecture, history or photography, or even Jewish heritage, and the ride will be completely tailored.

This evening we will be happy to book you at one of Marrakech’s many fabulous restaurants.

Day 12

Marrakech Classics & Evening Street Food tour

Marrakech

With its exotic heritage, fragranced gardens, labyrinthine medina, and flamboyant souks, Marrakech encapsulates the spirit of the Maghreb like no other city. With full flexibility, today’s privately guided half-day tour is an opportunity to explore Morocco’s “Ochre City”, taking in the sites that interest you most. Highlights include the main square, Djemaa el Fna, famed for its snake charmers, fortune tellers, musicians and dance troupes, and the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, a symbol of the city’s rich Islamic history. You might choose to explore the Jewish Quarter (Mellah), touching on the history of Jewish footprints in the region. Lovers of architecture (and beauty we might add!) shouldn’t miss the resplendent palaces of Marrakech and will want to visit the 19th-century Bahia Palace, renowned for its zouak ceilings, El Basha Palace or Dar Si Said (once reopened). Further treasures include the 16th-century Saadian Tombs within the royal kasbah, and Medersa Ben Youssef, perhaps the most exquisite example of Islamic architecture within a madrasa in Morocco. Whether you like to tour fast or slow, to focus on one topic or gain an overview, your private guide will tailor this tour to your specific interests.

This evening, as the sun sets over the Ochre City of Marrakech, indulge your tastebuds with our evening street food tour, venturing beyond the well-trodden paths of Djemaa el Fna into the heart of the medina with its bustling streets and hidden alleyways. Designed by locals with deep knowledge and passion for their city’s culinary secrets, embark on a journey through flavours and stories untold. This isn’t just a regular food tour but a culinary adventure where every dish tells a tale of Moroccan tradition and innovation. Sample flavours unique to Marrakech, visit a beloved local haunt that’s been serving popular favourites for more than 30 years, and immerse yourself in the rich culture of Moroccan cuisine, far from any of the tourist traps. Accompanied by an expert guide, this unforgettable private tour invites you to experience the city’s street food scene with depth and authenticity.

This evening we promise you will not go home hungry!

Day 13

Jardin Majorelle, Yves Saint Laurent & Creative You

Marrakech

Created by French artist Jacques Majorelle, later purchased by Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech’s Jardin Majorelle is a magnificent 12-acre botanical garden in the heart of the city, with an enormous display of cactus trees, cypresses, towering banana palms and vibrant bougainvillea surrounding a bright cobalt blue art deco studio, which houses the Musée Berbère (Berber Museum). Stroll along the peaceful shaded pathways and take in the scent of roses, jasmine and hibiscus while you learn about the history of the gardens and their 40-year creation by Jacques Majorelle. Visit the Berber Museum in Majorelle’s former painting studio, wander through its collection of Berber art, textiles and artefacts, and learn about North Africa’s first inhabitants’ history and rich cultural heritage.

Just next to the gardens, you will visit The Yves Saint Laurent Museum which guides visitors through Saint Laurent’s life and career, from his early days as a young aspiring artist to fame as a significant haute couture designer. In the company of your private guide, explore this incredible 4,000 square metre space with its collection of couture garments and accessories on loan from the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation. You’ll find an auditorium, voluminous displays of photographs and sketches, a gift shop, bookstore, café-restaurant, and a research library with over 5,000 titles. Art, design and fashion enthusiasts will delight in this treasure trove that celebrates the life of one of the world’s most influential designers.

This afternoon is a chance to get your creative juices flowing, now that you have been inspired by the spirit of the city.  We suggest a calligraphy or perfume making workshop, or even an Artisan’s tour of the souk in which you will meet various artisans and lend your hand to their crafts.

This evening we will be happy to advise and book a fabulous restaurant.

Day 14

Day at leisure

Marrakech

Having now experienced the charm and wonder of Marrakech, we now invite you to a day of leisure without an agenda, but with plenty of ideas for what to visit.  Close to your Riad you will find the fabulous Maison de la Photographie, one of our favourite small museums in Marrkech, as well as a rich selection of tempting shopping options, many of which are close to the Place des Epices (our client dossier unlocks all secrets!), and some wonderfully peaceful and atmospheric cafes and restaurants.  Today is a day of relaxation and exploration, a final opportunity to bid adieu to this captivating destination and the experiences that have enriched your journey.

This evening is your final chance to sample some of Marrakech’s enticing cuisine – we will as always be happy to advise and book.

Day 15

Depart Morocco

Marrakech

You will be transferred by comfortable air-conditioned car to Marrakech Menara International Airport where you will be met by our airport VIP service so that you do not need to stand in long lines.  We wish you a safe and comfortable journey, and trust you will be taking home many treasured memories.

Stay Longer

Consider including the picturesque city of Chefchaouen in this tour.

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