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Moroccan Explorer: Imperial Cities to Desert

Private Travel | General interest 11 Days & 10 Nights Lead-in price: £2245 Current prices from: £2245
Explore the imperial cities of Fez, Rabat, Meknes and Marrakech, all former or current capitals of Morocco and known for their architecture and vibrant souks. Along the way, travel through diverse landscapes, from the Atlantic coast through fertile plains to the Sahara desert.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Explore the atmospheric Roman ruins of Volubilis & the town of Meknes
  • Stay in traditional riad accommodation in the medinas of Chefchaouen & Marrakech
  • Drink mint tea with a local nomad family and see the sunset over the dunes
  • Sample local food at the Medina in Fez
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Superior Group Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Casablanca

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc. Transfer to Sofitel Tour Blanche (or similar) for an overnight stay. (N)

Day 2: Casablanca • Rabat

Morning tour of Casablanca including United Nations Square and the Hassan II mosque before continuing to Rabat. Afternoon tour of the city, including the Royal Palace, the 12th-century Hassan Tower with its mausoleum followed by a mint tea in the Andalucian gardens at Oudaya Kasbah. Stay for 1 night at Riad Dar El Kebira or Dar El Kebira Salam (or similar). (B, D)

Day 3: Chefchaouen

Travel by road to the blue-walled town of Chefchaouen, perched beneath the rugged Rif mountains. Take a walking tour to discover the kasbah with its charming garden, then continue to the cobbled main square, Outa-el-Hammam square and admire the 15th-century Grand Mosque with its distinctive octagonal minaret. Stay overnight at Riad Cherifa (or similar). (B)

Day 4: Volubilis • Meknes • Fez

Morning at leisure in Chefchaouen’s medina. Continue to Fez, stopping en route at the Roman ruins of Volubilis, which mark the westward extent of the Roman Empire, and the Unesco world heritage site of Meknes, now one of the quieter imperial cities but once the heart of the Moroccan sultanate. Spend 2 nights at the Palais Ommeyad & Spa (or similar). (B, D)

Day 5: Fez

Full-day tour of Fez, the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities. Visit the Bou Inania madrasa, the Nejjarine fountain, the souk, tanneries and medina. Visit a communal bakery and join a tasting tour through the medina. (B, D)

Day 6: Erfoud

Travel to Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara desert, through the high plains between the Middle Atlas and High Atlas mountain ranges. Stop en route at Ifrane village for a walking tour. Continue to Erfoud and stay 2 nights at Palais du Desert & Spa (or similar). (B, D)

Day 7: Erg Chebbi

Morning at leisure. This afternoon journey into the Sahara desert in 4×4 vehicles. Stop for a refreshing mint drink with a local Nomad family and see the sunset over the dunes before returning to your hotel this evening. (B, D)

Day 8: Ouarzazate

Travel west to Ouarzazate with a photo stop at Todra gorge, an impressive orange-coloured canyon. Take a panoramic tour of Ouarzazate and stay overnight at Ksar Ighnda (or similar). (B, D)

Day 9: Ait Benhaddou • Marrakech

Depart for the fortified village of Ait Benhaddou, a superb example of traditional Moroccan earthen architecture. Scenes from the films Gladiator, Prince of Persia and The Jewel of the Nile were shot here. Arrive in Marrakech and visit the beautiful Jardin Majorelle to see the exotic plants before continuing to Palais Sebban (or similar), a traditional Moroccan guesthouse in the medina for a 2-night stay. (B, D)

Day 10: Marrakech

Full-day city tour of Marrakech. Highlights include the lavish Moroccan architecture of Bahia Palace, the walls of the former El Badi Palace, Koutoubia mosque and the bustling souks. Finish in Djemaa el Fna market square, a swirling carnival of musicians, fire eaters, storytellers and snake charmers. Farewell meal at a local restaurant. (B, D)

Day 11: Fly to London via Casablanca

Transfer to the airport and fly to London, via Casablanca, with Royal Air Maroc. (B)

Meal basis:

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information Extensions

Pre-tour extensions are available in Casablanca and post-tour extensions are available in Marrakech, Essaouira and the Atlas mountains. Please speak to a Cox & Kings travel consultant for further details.

Superior tour

This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation. Rooms of the same standard can vary within riads. To remain cool, rooms may also have limited natural light.

Single supplement

From £795pp.

Private & tailor-made travel:

This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits you, for which guideline prices are shown. Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Superior group tour accommodation

  • Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche
    Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche

    Located in the business district in the city centre, the Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche has fantastic views of Hassan II and is just a 2-minute walk from the medina. Excellent spa facilities provide relaxation after a busy day sightseeing. The hotel's restaurants offer local and French bistro-style cuisine, as well as a gourmet restaurant for a gastronomic experience. Features: 171 rooms and suites, 2 restaurants, bar, spa, hammam, hot tub, gym, beauty and massage treatments, Wi-Fi, indoor swimming pool. Room facilities: Air conditioning, minibar, television, telephone, tea & coffee facilities, bathrobes, slippers, Wi-Fi, hairdryer; in-room safe.

  • Palais Sebban
    Palais Sebban

    Located on a quiet street inside the old medina and within 5 minutes walk of the Djemma El Fna Square and the Koutoubia Mosque, the Palais Sebban has been lovingly restored to a very high standard with particular attention to the detail, such as the beautifully carved plasterwork that adorns its central courtyard and the stunning tiled pool area. The property has 15 large rooms authentically decorated including 4 suites with private terraces. All the rooms offer air-conditioning and mini bar. Due to the traditional architecture and design of the riad, the rooms may have small windows which are interior facing into the public areas of the riad. Because of its location in the old city, this property can only be reached on foot; it is approximately 5 minute's walk from the nearest car access point.

  • Palais Ommeyad Suites & Spa
    Palais Ommeyad Suites & Spa

    The Palais Ommeyad Suites & Spa is located in the Old Medina in Fez, a 20-minute walk from Karaouiyne Mosque. The property has traditional Moroccan decor and features spacious guestrooms. The restaurant serves Moroccan cuisine characterised by a variety of dishes, mainly from Arabic, Berber or Jewish traditions

  • Hôtel Palais du Désert & Spa
    Hôtel Palais du Désert & Spa

    Located in the oasis of Erfoud in southern Morocco, the Palais du Desert & Spa is a luxurious property located in the suburbs of the town, close to the palm grove and Zerktouni mosque. The hotel was built in 2014 and is renowned for its Moroccan architecture. The two restaurants serve a variety of local and international dishes while the lounge bar is an ideal location for after-dinner drinks.

  • Dar El Kebira Salam
    Dar El Kebira Salam

    Dar El Kebira is located in the heart of the Medina of Rabat, close to the Kasbah of Oudayas. The Moorish building has been completely restored and furnished providing tranquillity and well-being in a Moroccan style. The riads restaurant is decorated with Moroccan divans, a colossal fireplace with ancient Moroccan pottery and serves traditional Moroccan cuisine such as couscous, tagines, pastilla and harira.

Superior group tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Main Costs

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • What's Included
    • International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
    • UK departure and overseas airport taxes
    • Accommodation, Itinerary & meal basis as described
    • Local Transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
    • Fully escorted by an English-speaking guide throughout
    • Entrance fees unless otherwise stated

Destinations on this tour

  • Casablanca

    Casablanca is rapidly developing into a modern industrial success story. The largest...

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  • Fez

    Being home to one of the oldest universities in the world, Fez is considered to be the...

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  • Erfoud

    Erfoud, a huge oasis, is situated in the very centre of the Tafilalet, cradle of the Alaouite dynasty.

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  • Marrakech

    One of Morocco’s four Imperial Cities, Marrakech was founded in the 11th century at the...

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  • Rabat

    The capital of Morocco, modern Rabat is a planned city of wide boulevards and handsome public buildings and gardens.

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  • Chefchaouen

    Chefchaouen is located in the Rif mountains of northwest Morocco.

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  • Ouarzazate

    Ouarzazate lies in a valley at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. It is popular with...

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