Classic Imperial Cities Trip
11 DAYS TOUR FROM CASABLANCA TO SAHARA DESERT
Imperial Cities Trip : The imperial cities of Morocco are the cities designated as the capital (Asima) at different times by different monarchs from the Moroccan dynasties (Idrissides, the Almoravids, Almohad Merinids Saadian and Alawites), which followed the saying of Ibn Khaldoun, “In the great king, great city.”
Four in number, these cities are:
Fez, founded by Sultan Idris I Idrisid between 789 and 809, the capital of Idrisid dynasties Merinid, Wattasid and periodically Alawite, it is also the seat of government Idrisid between 1465 and 1471 and the dila’ite power between 1659 and 1663;
Marrakech, founded by the Almoravid Sultan Youssef Ibn Tachfine in 1062, capital of the Almoravid dynasties, Almohad and Saadian, it also acts as a “second capital” under the Merinides and Alawites;
Rabat founded by the Almohad sultan Abd al-Mu’min in 1150, enlarged in Yaqub al-Mansur in order to become its capital, she will become imperial city that under the Alawite Sultan Mohammed III, before becoming the capital of Morocco in the twentieth century;
Meknes, founded by the Alawite Sultan Ismail ibn Ali in 1672, Morocco’s capital from 1672 to 1727.
DAY 1: CASABLANCA
You will be welcomed by your driver and our guide in the airport of Mohamed V in Casablanca and take you to your hotel in Casablanca. The First night in the hotel.
DAY 2: CASABLANCA – RABAT
At 8: OO am you will start your trip by the visit of the biggest mosque in Morocco, Hassan 2 mosque. Then driving for 1hr to go to the capital of Morocco, Rabat. We will start with the gardens or ruins of challah , Mausoleum of Mohammed V , and one of the main gates of the royal palace and the Oudaya Kasbah. Lunch in a local restaurant than the drop you off in your riad in the medina for the over night.
DAY 3: RABAT – CHEFCHAOUEN
In the morning of the third day around 8 am you will drive straight to the bleu city of Chefchaouen .of course on the way you will pass through many small towns and stop for breaks to get Chefchouen a bite early to have time to walk inside of the bleu streets of the medina and take pictures also experience the local food of the little city. overnight in a guesthouse.
DAY 4 : CHECHOUEN-FES
In the morning at 9 am you will drive to Fes. Before you get Fes you will visit the historical site of Volubilis. After a tour with the local guide you will head to Meknes to have a short visit of the oldest Ismaailien city. First,you will start with the beautifull gate of Bad Mansour , the Moulay Ismail Mausoleum, sahrij ,the jewish quarter. lunch inside the old medina of Meknes. After lucnh you will drive to Fez. overnight in a riad in the medina.
DAY 5: TOUR GUIDE IN FES
The tour guide in Fes include the old medina and the new medina.with a local guide in Fes you will delicate the day to discover the oldest, intelectual medina in morocco.you will start with the royal palace,the jewish quarter,the up hill viww from the south Bourj,the ceramic-pottery-store-and-factory.and after all this places you will go for a long walk inside the medina to discover the very different life of it and the cultural and historical interest including the famous Al Qaraouine University – the oldest in the region, the Tanneries, the Attarine museum and Mulay Idriss mausoleum. After lunch, you’ll visit the tiles cooperative and then experience a wonderful panoramic view over the whole Medina of Fes. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the new city “La ville nouvelle” for a drink.
DAY 6 : FES- AZROU- MIDELT- MERZOUGA
Fes to Merzouga via Azrou, Cedar Forests and Ziz Valley Gorge. Your driver will meet you at your hotel at 07:30 to transport you to the desert village of Merzouga via Azrou, the cedar forests and Ziz gorge. This is an interesting route and you can stop for lunch in a Berber café. Arrive at the edge of the Erg Chebbi dunes and take shower in the hotel then you go outto have a short walk around the villages of Merzouga. Overnight in the hotel.
DAY 7 : MERZOUGA DESERT TOUR
After breakfast we can start exploring the area, visiting the village of the Gnawa people, originally slaves from Sudan to experience their music and lifestyle. You may also like to visit the nomad wire house where many Berber handicrafts are priced lower than in the big cities.
Then, in the afternoon you’ll be ready for your camel ride. Guided by an experienced camel driver, you’ll explore within the mysterious sand dunes of the Erg-Chebbi for 2-3 hrs before spending your first night under the stars, or if you prefer, in a Berber nomadic tent. Dinner will be served in the camp where you will spend the night.
DAY 8: MERZOUGA DESERT – DADES
Early in the morning, it would be nice to get up around 6:00am for the sunrise. And after you watch you will come back to your hotel for breakfast and shower. Than after that you will travel to the Dades valley through Rissani, Erfoud. Also drive through many Berber towns and villages. But on the way you will go the Todgha gorge. It’s one of the most breathtaking places in Morocco.
Todgha gorge, you see the nomads coming down the mountain to pick water from the gorge.
Then you will have lunch in a local restaurant in or outside the gorge so as to leave to the Dades valley. Overnight at the hotel in the Dades gorge or in the rose valley.
DAY 9 : DADES GORGE – MARRAKECH
this day is dedicated to begin your journey towards Ouarzazate via the High Atlas Mountains. You will start with the rose valley. If its spring time you will enjoy the flowers and visit one of the places where they distilate it. Then Continue your trip to Skoura palm oasis. In Skoura you will see a 17 century kasbah,the ameridel Kasbah. Then continue to the moroccan hollywood,ourzazat . Here, you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kasbah Ait Benhaddou. In typical Moroccan fashion, the true treasures must be searched out and discovered…
Usually off the beaten path. In actuality, this setting has been used for more films than any other location in Morocco, gladiator , kingdom of heaven , and recently The games of thrown. In the afternoon, you will be dropped off at your riad/hotel.
DAY 10 : MARRAKECH GUIDED TOUR
This day is for the exploration of Marrakech. First you will start with the famous and the UNESCO heritage site of Jamma Lfna,Alkotoubia mosque. Then walk to visit the oldest places in the city,the bahia and baddi palaces.
also you will visit an old medrassa called Iben yossef. Marrakech also is know with its tradtional souks, that look like a web.lunch in a local resturant .
After lunch you will see the botanical garden, the majorelle garden. And after that it will be a free time for you to wander by yourself. Over night in the same riad
DAY 11 : TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT,MARRAKECH OR CASABLANCA.
It depends on where your departure is.