12 day Casablanca Sahara Desert Tour in Morocco
12 day Casablanca Sahara Desert Tour in Morocco
Make a reservation for a 12-day Casablanca vacation. The 12 day Casablanca Sahara desert tour in Morocco will take you to imperial cities and desert adventures as you begin your Moroccan journey from Casablanca. Explore the culture and history of Meknes, Fez, Rabat, and Marrakech by navigating ancient medinas’ narrow and winding streets, shopping for artisanal wares in vibrant souks, and admiring the intricate tile work of historic mosques. Explore the desert by riding a camel through shifting sands in the Sahara, staying in desert camps, visiting mud-brick fortresses, and crossing the Atlas Mountains’ high rocky peaks.
Summary of your 12-day Casablanca Sahara desert tour in Morocco
Highlights of 12 day Casablanca Sahara desert tour in Morocco
- Visit Casablanca ( Hassan 2 mosque, Ricks Cafe)
- Stay in beautiful traditional Moroccan riads
- Visit Marrakech city
- Day trip to the coastal city of Essaouira
- Visit Ait Ben Haddou Casbah, Ouarzazate, and the Dades and Todra gorges
- In Merzouga, you can explore and experience the Sahara Desert
- Camel ride in the Merzouga Sahara desert
- Stay in a desert camp, and visit nomads and desert villages
- Visit the imperial city of Meknes and the Roman ruins of Volubilis
- Fez city tour with a guide
- Chefchaouen, Tetouan, and Tangier are all cities to visit
- And A LOT MORE
Detailed itinerary for a 12 day Casablanca Sahara Desert Tour in Morocco
The itinerary for the 12 Casablanca Sahara Desert Tour in Morocco is given below. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to change your desert tour. Morocco Sahara Desert Tours will design the most exclusive desert travel experience for you.
Day 1: Casablanca airport to Marrakech
You can have your guide meet you at the Casablanca airport arrivals entrance, or we can come to your accommodation to pick you up. We will all go to the Hassan II Mosque, Africa’s largest mosque. See the impressive architecture of this structure, half of which is constructed on the ground and half of which hovers over the ocean. You will be able to tour inside the mosque (but not during prayer hours) and admire the impressive architecture. Your guided tour will provide more history and information about this famous mosque. Following our stop in Casablanca, we will travel to Marrakech (about 2 – 3 hours by car), where you will rest and relax in a beautiful riad.
Day 2: Tour of Marrakech
After breakfast at the riad, your local city guide will meet you and take you on a tour of the old medina. After your medina tour, your driver will meet you and take you to Majorelle Gardens. Explore the spectacular gardens with their unique, exotic flowers and plants, and take some time to enjoy this beautiful haven in the city. Following your visit to the gardens, we will head to Menara Gardens. We’ll return to Marrakech for a late-afternoon walk through the medina after a short drive back to the old Medina of Marrakech. Take some time to explore Jemaa el Fna, where the sounds of musicians, the aromas of rich food and spices, and the sight of snake charmers might enchant you. This place, known as Morocco’s cultural crossroads, is packed with incredible performers, delectable food, and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Return to your riad near the main square after you’ve done exploring and relax for the evening.
Day 3: Day tour from Marrakech to Essaouira
After breakfast in your riad, you’ll depart for the coastal city of Essaouira. Enjoy your travel in Morocco, arriving after a 3-hour drive to begin exploring the city. The Skala Fortress will be your first stop. In addition, wander through the medina’s alleys to see hundreds of handicrafts. Surfers from all over the world visit this “City of Wind.” Essaouira has been influenced by many cultures, including the Portuguese conquest, which has left its mark on much of its architecture. It is, however, still a small city with a rich history. Because of its size, as well as its distinctive blue doors and washed walls. It is also known as Morocco’s “Jewel of the Atlantic.” Lunch can be eaten the Moroccan way, with fresh fish “grilled” at the fish market. Finally, you will return to Marrakech in the afternoon. Stay the night at your riad.
Day 4: Marrakech – Tizi N Tichka – Ouarzazate – Dades gorges
Your guided tour from Marrakech starts in the morning. We will meet you at your Riad in Marrakech. Following that, we drive to Ouarzazate through the Tizi n’ Tichka mountain pass (2260m), Morocco’s highest road pass in the High Atlas Mountains. Then you’ll arrive at Ait Ben Haddou, a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is Morocco’s largest Casbah, and we will visit it and walk through its streets, taking pictures and learning about it. After that, we’ll have lunch somewhere in a restaurant. Then we continue to Ouarzazate, known as “the Hollywood of Africa”, where we visit a nearby Casbah and a movie studio. Then we take the “Road of a Thousand Casbahs”. Following that, we make a stop at “Kalaat Mgouna,” which is known for its roses and an annual festival in May. Finally, we arrive at Dades Gorges. We’ll be staying in a nice hotel with dinner and breakfast.
Day 5: Dades gorges – Todgha gorges – Erfoud – Merzouga
Begin your day by visiting Tinghir, a town on the eastern edge of the high Atlas mountains. Travel through desert oases and Berber villages with your guide to the Todgha gorges. You will make a stop at Todgha Gorges to stroll through and admire the beauty of this canyon. Continue your journey through the desert, passing through several villages before arriving in Erfoud (capital city of dates). Berber miners here are relentless in their quest for trilobite fossils, and Erfoud hosts an increasingly successful festival for dates with dancing and music in October. We’ll stop for lunch in Erfoud. Merzouga, located on the outskirts of the Erg Chebbi dunes, is just a short drive from Erfoud. These huge dunes are the largest in Morocco, spanning 22km and 5km wide, with some dunes reaching over 150m in height. Relax and settle in for the evening, taking time to explore the dunes and watch the spectacular sunset in this peaceful desert land. Before retiring for the evening, treat yourself to a delicious meal.
Day 6: Merzouga desert tour
At 9 a.m., your Morocco Sahara Desert Tours guide will pick you up from your hotel for a tour of the Merzouga desert and surrounding villages. Stop in Khamlia, the home of liberated slaves from Sub-Saharan countries who have been settling in Morocco for generations. Listen to their Gnawa music, spiritual songs, and vibrant dance. We’ll go off-road, following the Erg Chebbi dunes to remote desert villages, abandoned mines, and a nomadic Berber encampment. These welcoming nomadic families will greet us with tea and an explanation of their way of life. We’ll return to Merzouga for lunch, and we highly recommend trying the typical Berber “pizza,” which consists of meat and vegetables stuffed into a bread crust and cooked over an open flame. In the late afternoon, you will be transported to the dromedaries—one-hump camels native to this place of Morocco—for a 70 to 90-minute camel ride to our camp in the middle of the Erg Chebbi dunes (standard or luxury camp options available). If you like, you could watch the sunset from behind the dunes and go dune sandboarding. Return for dinner and music, as well as a glass of popular mint tea. Our guides will entertain you with drums and castanets, breaking the silence of the desert with laughter and singing. You will tuck into your tent for the evening as you lounge around the campfire under the brilliant Milky Way. Remember to look up and see stars you’ve never seen before.
Day 7: Merzouga – Ziz valley – Midelt – Azrou – Meknes
Wake up to see the amazing sunrise over the dunes, and begin the trek (by camel or car) back to civilization. After packing up, you will leave on your journey to Meknes, with stops along the way. First, we will make our way to Rissani to visit the lively market (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays). After searching for spices or other local treasures, we will drive to Aoufous and the Ziz Valley. In this impressive valley, you will find thousands of date palm trees, stretching for over 100km. Morocco produces some of the world’s best dates, and we will stop here for a panoramic view of the valley from above. We will continue to the town of Midelt for lunch and take a quick stop in the Berber town of Azrou, a market center at the junction of roads to Fez, Meknès, Midelt, and Khenifra. Deep in the Middle Atlas, it sits amid stunning scenery, with sweeping views of cedar and pine forests and high meadows that burst into flower every spring. You might even spot a few of the local friendly Barbary apes being feed by visitors. Our drive will head to Meknes, the imperial city with remnants of its rich history. Travel through the Bab Mansour, a huge gate with arches and mosaic tiling that leads into the former imperial city. We will visit the mausoleum of Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made the city his capital in the 17th century and marvel at the pristine courtyards and fountains of this once royal city. Conclude the day’s tour in your comfortable hotel.
Day 8: Meknes – Volubilis – Fez
After breakfast, we’ll travel through Meknes on our way to Volubilis. Volubilis is a partially excavated Berber and Roman city that is widely regarded as the ancient capital of the kingdom of Mauretania. It was constructed beginning in the third century BC as a Berber, then proto-Carthaginian, settlement before becoming the capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania. It expanded rapidly under Roman rule beginning in the first century AD. We will see the ruins of a temple, a church, houses with beautiful mosaic floors, a communal bakery, an olive press, and a city gate. Through your guide, learn about the past behind the walls and ruins, culminating with a visit to the Volubilis museum. We’ll drive to the next imperial city after we finish at Volubilis. Fez is a city in northeastern Morocco that is known as the country’s cultural capital. It is most famous for its Fez El Bali walled medina, which features medieval Marinid architecture, lively souks, and an old-world atmosphere. Religious schools such as the 14th-century Bou Inania and Al Attarine, both decorated with intricate cedar carvings and ornate tile work, can be found in the medina. You will remain in the heart of the El Bali medina, and we will take a quick walk through the old town before returning to the riad to relax and rest for the next day.
Day 9: Fez city tour
In the morning, a local guide will meet you at your riad and take you around the old city. Fez’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and with your guide, you will visit many famous cultural and historical attractions. The tour will include:
- Bab Bou Jeloud, an ornate city gate and the main western entrance to Fes
- El Bali, the old city of Fez
- Tanneries, with famous leather craftsmen
- Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts
- The University of Al Quaraouiyine, the oldest university in the world
- Palais Royale, the royal palace of the Alaouite, the sultan in the city of Fez
- The Jewish quarter, where you will wander the narrow alleys of the medina
In the late afternoon, you will be taken to have a panoramic view of Fez and return to your riad for the evening.
Day 10: Fez – Chefchaouen
Wake up for a day trip to Chefchaouen, also known as Chaouen, a town perched beneath the rough peaks of the Rif. Chefchaouen is one of Morocco’s most beautiful cities, an artsy, blue-washed mountain village that feels like its own world. Though tourism has taken hold, the balance between convenience and authenticity is ideal. The old medina, with its red-tiled roofs, bright-blue houses, and narrow streets, is a delight of Moroccan and Andalusian influence. The town has rapidly gentrified and now offers a variety of quality lodging, great food, and plenty to see and do. This is an excellent location for relaxation, exploration, and day trips to the cool green hills. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend the afternoon discovering Chefchaouen before spending the night in the bluest town you’ll ever see.
Day 11: Chefchaouen – Tetouan – Tangier
After breakfast, we begin our drive north through the Rif mountains, stopping in the city of Tetouan. From there, we’ll go to Tangier. Tangier tourist attractions include the following:
- Cap Spartel: Cap Spartel is located on the northwest tip of Africa. The promontory protrudes into the water, forming the Mediterranean Sea-Atlantic Ocean boundary.
- Visit the Caves of Hercules: It is a Tangier landmark that is not only breathtaking in nature but also rich in history. They recently renovated the whole area around the cave, and it now looks fantastic. The view of the sea from the cave entrance is breathtaking.
- Tangier’s Old City was one of the first African settlements to be colonized by Europeans. While walking through this incredible city, you will notice how different colonial, Moroccan, Andalusian, and Moorish architecture is packed together.
- Tangier’s new city is a must-see for fans of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century architecture, as it features many fine examples of this style.
And then you’ll check into your Tangier hotel or Riad for the night to relax and rest.
Day 12: Tangier – Rabat – Casablanca
Begin your final day in Tangier, on Morocco’s northwestern coast. After breakfast, we’ll drive the final stretch of road between Tangier and Casablanca, stopping in Rabat, Morocco’s capital city. We will visit the Casbah of Oudaias (Udayas) and the Hassan Tower in Rabat. Those who were unable to visit the Hassan II Mosque on Day 1 would have the opportunity to do so after driving from Rabat to Casablanca. It is the largest mosque in the country, and its minaret is the tallest in the world, towering at 689 feet/210 meters. The mosque took seven years to construct and required the participation of 10,000 artisan craftsmen. Non-Muslims can now take a tour of the building’s breathtaking interior, but only during non-prayer times. Take a few moments to say goodbye to your tour guides and friends before we take you to the airport or your pre-arranged hotel for extended stays.
About 12 day Casablanca Sahara Desert Tour in Morocco
This comprehensive 12 day Casablanca Sahara desert tour in Morocco includes the best of Morocco, from cultural stops in historic cities to desert exploration in the Sahara and surrounding desert. Explore medieval medinas (ancient cities), bustling souks, ancient ruins, and historic Casbahs. You’ll walk along long-forgotten caravan routes, ride a camel across massive dunes, and relax in a gorge oasis. The following are some of the inclusions and exclusions of a 12-day Casablanca Sahara desert tour in Morocco.