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Moroccan Explorer: Imperial Cities to Desert

Group Tour | General Interest 11 Days & 10 Nights Lead-in price: £1995

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 Marrakech

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Marrakech with British Airways. Transfer to Le Meridien N’Fis (or similar) for an overnight stay. (N)

Day 2: Marrakech - Rabat

Transfer to Rabat from Marrakech this morning after a leisurely breakfast. 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 Dar Echcahouen Hotel (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 Le Meridien N’Fis (or similar) 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

Transfer to the airport and fly to London, via Casablanca, with British Airways. (B)

Meal basis:

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

Important information Accommodation: Rooms of the same standard can vary within riads. To remain cool, rooms may also have limited natural light.

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

  • 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.

  • Hotel Riad Ksar Ighnda
    Hotel Riad Ksar Ighnda

    Located on the edge of the desert at Ouarzazate is the Ksar Ighnda, located in spectacular surroundings and only a 2-minute drive from the Unesco world heritage site of Ksar Aït Benhaddou. The riad provides an authentic yet modern setting with sculpted ceilings, traditional furnishing and works of art decorating the interiors. Enjoy treatments in the spa using Moroccan Argan oil, or take a stroll in to the village to watch local artisans at work.

Superior group tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Main Costs
Departure-Return date Original Price Saving Single Supplement Guaranteed Departures Click to Book
16 Sep 2022 - 26 Sep 2022 £2,035 £0 £385 Reserve
7 Oct 2022 - 17 Oct 2022 £1,995 £0 £385 Yes Reserve
21 Oct 2022 - 31 Oct 2022 £2,135 £0 £385 Reserve

Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

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

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

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.

  • * Small group size - average 10 people (max 18)
  • * 4-star accommodation
  • * Flexible - extensions available
  • * International flights with British Airways
  • * Internal flights as specified
  • * Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
  • * Experienced local tour manager
  • * 10 breakfasts & 8 dinners
  • * Guided sightseeing & entrance fees

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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