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Day 1: Arrive in Casablanca
Arrive at Mohammed V Airport in Casablanca, where you are met and transferred to our hotel. Our tour leader will greet you at a welcome meeting before our group dinner. Overnight in Casablanca.
Day 2: Casablanca, Rabat and Volubilis
Before departing Casablanca, we visit the Hassan II Mosque (one of the largest in the world). We drive from Casablanca to the imperial city and capital, Rabat. Here we visit the Royal Palace and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. We also visit the Roman ruins of Chellah Necropolis, which date back to the 1st century. Today the ruins are overgrown with fruit trees and wild flowers and are home to a colony of storks.
Day 3: Roman Ruins of Volubilis and Meknes
We begin our day exploring the 1,700 year-old site of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved complex of Roman ruins in Morocco. One of the Roman Empire's most remote outposts, Volubilis was actively inhabited until the 18th century. With its House of Orpheus, Basilica, Forum and Tri Arch, Volubilis is a splendid reminder of the vast impressive legacy left by the Romans.
Day 4: Medieval City of Fes
Fes, the oldest of the imperial cities, is the symbolic heart of Morocco and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We explore the medieval Medina, where narrow winding alleys and covered bazaars offer every conceivable type of craft workshop, market, restaurant and mosque, all surrounded by magnificent old stone walls. Our stroll through this ancient labyrinth highlights the color and activity of Moroccan souks (markets).
Day 5: Traverse the Mountains to the Sahara
Our day begins with a morning trip across the Middle Atlas Mountains and the beautiful cedar trees that cover their slopes. In the afternoon, we reach the Ziz Valley with its magnificent gorges.
Day 6: Erfoud and Merzouga
The region of Erfoud is famous for the petrified remains of plants and animals. In the morning, we visit a local workshop to learn about the fossils and watch them being made into everything from jewellery to furniture. We also explore an ancient ksar (a fortified village) and if he is home, we'll visit a local man who still lives there.
Day 7: Camel Safari, Berber Experience & Overnight in the Sahara
In the morning, we board our jeeps to explore the local agriculture and irrigation system used in the Sahara. The ride is very scenic and if we're lucky, we may be able to visit a nomadic family along the way. We also visit the house of a local music group, where we can appreciate their music and dances that they brought with them when they came from the sub Sahara. Moroccan caravans were connecting Morocco to Timbuktu since the 8th ceuntry.
Day 8: Golden Saharan Sunrise, Todra Gorge
We wake up early to watch a spectacular golden sunrise over the Merzouga Dunes. Following breakfast, we travel in 4x4 jeeps across the desert landscape and we meet up with our bus before our departure northwest towards Tinghir and the striking Todra Gorge. This gorge lies at the end of a lush valley filled with mud-brick villages and palm groves. Hemmed in by barren, craggy mountains, it is one of Morocco's most magnificent natural sights. The natural walls are 1,000 feet high and a river runs through the bottom of the gorge that narrows to a width of only 30 feet.
Day 9: Ouarzazate
We travel west along the "Road of a Thousand Kasbahs", stopping to explore Kasbah Ait Youl (Saad), which is 200 years old. After exploring, we join a local family for mint tea.
Day 10: To Taroudant
This morning we visit the legendary kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou (the location used in the filming of "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Last Temptation of Christ"). Leaving the rugged scenery of south central Morocco behind, we head west toward the Anti-Atlas region. Enroute, we see our first Argan trees. We stop and sample saffron tea in Taliouine and drive through the fertile Sousse Valley, known for its orange groves.
Day 11: Taroudant Sites, to Tafraout
In the morning, we explore the city of Taroudant, which is referred to as the "Small Marrakech". Our first visit is to its charming souk and finish our tour with a coffee in the local square. We then travel to the small village of Tiout where we will sample the delicious local bread and famous goat tagine for lunch.
Day 12: Anti-Atlas Mountains
A short drive this morning brings us to the small village of Adai. We explore the village on foot and then another short walk leads us to see two petroglyphs. We then make our way to Tafraout where you have some free time to stroll through the local market and see the famous local slippers being made. After our picnic lunch under an ancient Argan tree, we return to the hotel where you have the afternoon free to explore some of the trails that lead to local villages. Overnight near Tafraout.
Day 13: Scenic Mountains and Coastal Drive
We depart from our mountain retreat taking a route that provides us with some of the most splendid views of ancient mountains, steep terraces and Berber villages. We set our sights on the Atlantic Ocean again, stopping for lunch by the beach in Agadir.
Day 14: Essaouira, Fortress on the Sea
Essaouira is a quaint, historic town filled with interesting streets, a colorful harbor home to hundreds of fishing boats, Portuguese ramparts and fortifications, as well as miles of white sand beaches. Essaouira also offers some of the best seafood in all of Morocco, which may be why it was a favorite hideaway for Orson Welles.
Day 15: The Road to Marrakech
This morning we visit a local woman's Argan Oil Cooperative to see how this precious oil is produced before we travel to Marrakech.
Day 16: Marrakech Sites
In the morning we set out to discover the fabulous 11th century city of Marrakech. Marrakech is steeped in history and tradition! We stop at the city's famous landmark, the Koutoubia Mosque and also visit the Saadiens Tombs before walking through the medina to Bahia Palace.
Day 17: Return to Casablanca
Today we will drive back to Morocco's largest city, Casablanca. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner reminiscing on all of the wonderful encounters and experiences during our Moroccan adventure. Overnight in Casablanca.
Day 18: Depart Casablanca
The trip concludes with a transfer to the airport for departing flights.
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