Imperial Cities and the North
tour 7 days
Day 1: Casablanca – Rabat
As soon as your plane lands, our driver will already be waiting for you to start your trip. We will start our trip towards Casablanca, where we will visit the Hassan II Mosque, the second largest mosque in Africa after Mecca. After the visit, we will drive to Rabat. Once we reach Morocco’s capital city, we will visit the Kasbah of the Oudayas, an ancient military fortress that was declared a World Heritage Site in 2012 by UNESCO. In this citadel, we can find the famous monumental door Bab el-Kebir, as well as one of the first palaces ever built by the Alaouite dynasty, which still reigns over Morocco. We will then visit the Hassan Tower. On the esplanade, we will see a minaret and dozens of columns, which are the remains of an unfinished mosque. The Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the first king of independent Morocco, was also built on the unfinished mosque’s esplanade. He is buried in the mausoleum, as well as his son and successor Hassan II, father of the current king. Free time. Night at the hotel.
Day 2: Rabat – Asilah – Tangier
After breakfast, we will resume our trip to the small seaside town of Asilah. The walls surrounding the town were built in the XV century by Afonso V of Portugal. We can still see several old cannons near the seaside area. Bab el Bhar, also known as “the sea gate”, as well as the squared Portuguese tower that overlooks the entire town, are located in the Sidi Ali Ben Hamdush Square, the interior of which holds temporary exhibitions. Near the seaside, we can find the Raisuni Palace, a Hispano-Moresque mansion, now a cultural palace and the seat of the cultural museum. The medina consists of neat white houses with colourful mural paintings. The street lighting is original, and the paved streets are masterpieces made by local artists. A Muslim graveyard with ceramic multicoloured tombstones stands out near the sea. There is also the Sidi Ahmed el-Mansur mausoleum, Saadian who reconquered the town after the “Battle of Three Kings”. We will then leave to spend the night in Tangier. Free time. Night at the hotel.
Day 3: Tangier – Chefchaouen
After breakfast, we will head towards Chefchaouen. Chefchaouen is located in the only intercontinental natural park, declared a Natural Biosphere Reserve. The oldest part of town stretches towards the top of the mountain and, at its highest point, we can find the Ras al-Ma springs. A citadel and a mosque with an octagonal base tower can be found at the Uta al-Hammam Square, the heart of the town. The Grand Mosque of Chefchaouen is another one of the town’s landmarks. The new part of town has been erected underneath the old town. Inhabited by wise, kind and respectful people, Chefchaouen offers beautiful urban landscapes, fine local handicrafts, and a state of peace and calm that is quite hard to find in our modern society. Night at the hotel.
Day 4: Chefchaouen – Volubilis – Moulay Idriss – Meknes
We will leave the beautiful city of Chefchaouen behind, and we will make our way to Meknes. On our way to Fez, we will stop to explore and discover the Roman ruins of Volubilis. This Roman archaeological site, that spreads over 20 ha, contains a myriad of archaeological remains and monuments. This is quite astonishing if we consider that just half of it has been excavated for now. The most important remains are the Forum, a basilica from the II century and the Capitoline Temple, located on the highest point of the city, as Roman tradition requires; and the Arch of Caracalla, located on the Decumanus and built in 217 to thank the Emperor for expanding the Roman citizenship to every single inhabitant of the Empire. Some thermal baths, oil presses, shops, as well as some houses, which follow the typical Roman design, have also been unearthed. Decorative mosaics have also been discovered in the residencies of the richest inhabitants. We will then have a panoramic view of the holy city of Moulay Idriss. We will arrive to Meknes in the afternoon. Free time. Night at the hotel.
Day 5: Meknes – Fez
After breakfast, we will explore the smallest of all the Imperial cities. We will visit the fortified medina, the astonishing Bab Mansour gate, the el-Hedim Square and the Sultan Moulay Ismail’s stables and barns in the city that carries the name of this Great Sultan of the Alaouite Dynasty. After the visit, we will drive to Fez. Free time. Night at the hotel.
Day 6: Full day to explore Fez
After a delicious and fulfilling breakfast at the hotel, we will start our guided tour in the new part of the city, where we will discover the Royal Palace and the Jewish quarter (Mellah). We will also go to a viewpoint where we will have an overview of the medina from the Southern Tower and the mosques. We will then wander around the medina, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We will visit the Al-Karaouine University; the Nejjarine Fountain; and the Cherratine and Al-Attarine Madrasas, both decorated in an Arabic style and devoted to the study of religion. We will soon notice that it’s a medieval city, where time has stopped on the Dar al-Magana’s clock 1200 years after its completion. The tour includes a visit to a ceramic workshop. Its labyrinth-like narrow streets are organized by unions: potters, dyers, tanners… The bustle of these people will make us travel back in time. Free time. Night at the hotel.
Day 7: Fez – Casablanca airport
After breakfast, we will make our way to Casablanca for a drop-off at the airport. Airport drop-off. End of our services.
- Start of the trip: Casablanca
- End of the trip: Casablanca
- Accommodation in charming hotels with private room and bathroom
The price includes
- Airport or hotel transfers in Casablanca.
- Private transport with A/C
- English-speaking driver/guide at your service during the whole trip
- Accommodation type: bed & breakfast
- Official guide in Fez
- Meals (lunch and dinner)