MOROCCO CITIES AND SAHARA 15 DAYS TOUR

MOROCCO MAJOR HISTORIC CITIES, BERBER VILLAGES, THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS AND THE SAHARA MUSLIM HERITAGE TOUR. SPECIAL ZIYARATS...


Muslim Heritage Tour of Morocco

Morocco offers the ultimate Islamic quest for those in search of new horizons. To visit Morocco is to take a fascinating halal journey that will forever change one s perspectives and perceptions. in our Muslim group tours you will disicover the beauty and mystic of Morocco. With its ever-changing natural beauty and intricate, rich Islamic history, Morocco is the ideal catalyst for the curious and open-minded traveler.

This Muslim heritage grand tour of Morocco is a great introduction to the diverse landscapes that Morocco has to offer through walking, hiking, camping over the dunes in the Sahara Desert, as well as making ziyarats to special maqams. Join our halal grand tour of Morocco

DAY TO DAY ITINERARY

Once you land at the Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca, your guide will meet you at your arrival gate to take you immediately to check-in to your hotel. The remainder of the morning will be to relax and acclimate. In afternoon, your guide will take you on a monumental tour exploring Casablanca, the largest port of the Maghreb, and capital in all but administration. Next, you will visit the Habous quarter to be introduced to your first Spanish Moorish ambiance of a lively market in old Casablanca, then of course the Art Deco colonial downtown with the real flavor of the Mystic French connection.

Your guide will introduce you to La Corniche and Ain Diab shoreline. This will give you an idea of the creative architecture in neighborhoods of the well off Moroccans of Anfa quarter, and also the inclusive resort of La Corniche. And of course, you will not miss the great mosque of Hassan II, the second largest mosque in the world. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner.

In the morning, after your breakfast, you will depart for Rabat, the capital of Morocco. This is a wonderful short drive of about 45 miles through the lush farms and exotic plants. You will reach Rabat, a city styled in a spaciously elegant European grid, yet slightly aware of its modernity. Rabat and its twin city Sala Colonia are separated by only a river but are historically worlds apart. They have an ancient legacy that spans hundreds of generations. Each civilization that has inhabited each of the cities has left its mark, resulting in a wide variety in architectural styles, including those from the Phoenician and Roman eras.

You will spend your day discovering the delights that Rabat has to offer. Your guide will take on a historical and lively tour of the Jewish quarter, the Mellah in the Heart of the city starting at Place Sidi Makhlouf. The 12 century ramparts are best seen from this landmark. Walk up to Bab Chellah in the medina and cross Sidi Fateh St. This will lead you to the traditional Souk Laghzel (Yarn market). Your guide will introduce you to the importance of this guild on textile role in the Moroccan society.

Later, you will cross to the citadel of the Oudaya Kasbah entering from its 12th century main gate to explore an extraordinary Medieval Moorish marvel overlooking the delta of Bourgreg River. You will have the opportunity to visit the old-fashioned Moorish gardens, stop in a traditional coffee house for mint tea, and in between explore the Oudaya museum of tribal arts and crafts. A docent will introduce you to traditional Berber Textiles.

You will continue your quest exiting the Oudaya Kasbah and up the hill to visit the Hassan Tower and Mohamed the V Mausoleum, an emblem of the real Moroccan architecture at its finest. You will reach the Royal Palace and the Necropolis of Chellah at the end of your tour. Finally, you will return to the hotel for dinner and other accommodations.

This journey will take you from imperial time of Rome to the third century A.D. Unlike the movies, this temporal voyage will take almost the entire day. (Of course there will be stops along the way.) The first stop will be the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. Volubilis was a critical city in the imperial Roman department of Mauritania (modern day Morocco, and its actual provinces in the Sahara) during the reign of Caracalla. Volubilis is impressively well preserved and the genius of Roman urbanism is still intact. The two central integral streets in every Roman castrum, the Cardo and Decumanus, are prominent. The cardo is the boulevard which runs north-south and the Decumanus, east-west. The intersection of the two is the heart of every roman city. There you will find the ruins of the ancient forum.

Jumping forward in time and just few minutes away is the venerated citadel of Moulay Idris, founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idris Al Akbar, grandson of the Prophet Mohamed (s.a.w.s). This citadel is considered to be both the cradle of Sufism to Moroccans and the rest of the muslim world.It is the first Islamic capital for the premier Arab dynasty. The city was created primarily for the indigenous population that migrated with Moulay Idris from the Middle East. You will drive around 15 miles to the next stop, the imperial city of Meknes. Meknes is a 17th Century city built by Moulay Ismail to rival Fez. It is also considered to be the Versailles of Morocco.

Finally, you have reached your destination, the ninth century city of Fez. In the evening, you will get a taste of the greatest of the Imperial Cities. You will visit the sights on the outside of ancient walled city, including the ramparts, the gates, and the Borjs (Moorish Forts). After this introductory aperitif to Fez, you will dine in your hotel and prepare for day three: Fez!

Visiting Fez is like traveling back in time. It is a unique experience. Undeniably fascinating, Fez stimulates the senses with its haunting yet beautiful sounds, visual splendor, and evocative smells. The most ancient of the imperial capitals and the most complete medieval city of the Islamic world, Fez is reminiscent of a city suspended in time, unfazed by the constantly evolving world outsides of its walls. Fez owes nothing to the Western world, save electricity.

Time spent in Fez will reveal much about the sophistication of the Moroccan artisan, providing an unparalleled learning experience to those who cross its path. Your morning will be spent visiting the Medina. Our specialized guide will take you on a historic discovery of the city of Fez starting at the King s Palace and its Meshwar with ramparts and majestic gates.

Next, you will explore the Jewish quarter, a 15th century citadel with all its Moorish maze architecture and medieval glory. Visits to Sephardic synagogues and mausoleums of holy Rabbis will be the highlights of this part of town. Then, we will drive to the Merinides hill to visit their necropolis. Here you will enjoy the best panoramic view on the old walled Medina, brimful with its countless minarets to call for the prayers in a city that has responded to these calls for 12 centuries. Drive down the hills to the gate of Bab Guissa to leave your vehicle and enter an ancient world. Fez has preserved its Medina as it was centuries ago. Not even a bicycle is able to be used as tool of transportation. Only donkeys, mules and horses are able to help moving all what the city produces and needs as supplies.

The first guilds you will immediately encounter are the cobblers, the saddlers and black smiths interlaced by some caravansaries for tribesmen who come from the surrounding areas to trade and supply their needs. Down the hill to Juteya you will encounter all sorts of crafts but noticeably carpenters and leather workers as one of the traditional tanneries is not far. This walk will lead you to El Ashabine square with its variety of activities. From there, you will wind your way to the Sgha square which will lead you to Attarine then Souk el Henna and the Mausoleum of Moulay Idris, the founder of Fez. Next to it, you will visit the Nejjarine square with its famous fountain, its guild of carpentry and the museum of folk arts at the Fondouk.

You will walk to the tannery and on to visit the great Mosque university of Al Quarrawiyyine, passing by Shemmaine, the market of dried fruits. After that, you will visit the Medersa Attarine and walk to Sbetryyine, a guild of book binders, which will lead you to the Seffarine Square, where the tapping of metalworkers is still deafening passerby as it was the case for centuries. You will break for lunch then continue exploring the marvels of Fez Medina. These will highlight the Dyers souk, Foundouk Tetouani and the shrine of Sidi Ahmed Tijani. You will end your walk at foundouk Lihoudi where a local Fez family will host you for traditional mint tea in their home. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.

You will spend your day discovering the rural environs of the Atlas Mountains Berbers. Covered with evergreen pines, tall cedar trees, and poplars, and laced with flowing streams, your first view of the Middle Atlas will appear oddly un-Moroccan. Passing by Imouzzer, with a quick stop at the Swiss-like town of Ifrane, you will soon come across the first real town of the Middle Atlas, Azrou.

Azrou is an important market center for the region s Berber tribes, located at a major junction of mountain routes. Your driver will take a little detour in a cedar forest to introduce you to one of the oldest inhabitants of this region, the Berber apes. This may also coincide with the encounter of a nomadic family in its temporary encampment. As nomads are very hospitable people, whenever we encounter them we are all invited at least for a mint tea under their tents.

At Midelt, the Middle Atlases give way to the High Atlas Mountains, whose peaks are visible through the haze, soaring to over 12,000 feet. You will stop in Midelt for lunch, enjoying the dramatic sight before you. You will then continue to Erfoud, one of the most delightful southern regions consisting of a dry, red belt of desert with a sudden drop into the lush valley of Ziz, with copious date palm groves and flowing streams. Visit the gorges of Ziz and some of the oases and natural sites before you reach the magnificent oasis of Erfoud.

After you arrive in Erfoud, you will leave your vehicle and hop into the 4-Wheel Drive cruiser which takes you to meet a caravan of camels that you will ride to camp. You will conclude your day in your camp over the dunes of Merzouga where tents are pitched for you to enjoy a night under the African Skies. After dinner, the Rokba drummers will illuminate your night with their lively dances and moving chants. Enjoy this encounter of Man and nature at its best.

You will wake up early to reach the highest peak of the dunes and watch the sun rise over the spectacular Merzouga dunes. This is an experience that should not be missed.

Afterward, you will eat breakfast with the Toaregs and continue onward, transported in a 4-wheel drive vehicle, to explore the ancient, holy oasis of Rissani. There, you will visit the ruins of Sijilmassa, remnants of the first Arab and Islamic city of Morocco, and the prehistoric fossils present throughout the desert. You will then return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.

You will leave Erfoud travelling west toward the Valley of Todra, which lies right between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert. You will reach Tinghir, the town where we will be spending the night. Only 15 kilometers from Tinghir inside the Valley of Todra, you will find the Todra s highest and narrowest gorges in the region.

Next, you will travel through the Dades valley, where in the spring, thousands of Persian roses bloom in hedgerows, filling the air with their heavenly perfume. You will also see the thousands of Kasbahs scattered along the Dades River, majestic sandcastles with a visually appealing, timeless beauty. You will end your day with dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.

Today, you will continue to explore the Dades Valley, traveling through El Kelaa De Mgouna and Boumalne to view the inimitable natural vistas and unusual rock formations. You will then continue onward to Ouarzazate, which is one large oasis that intercepts the flow of water between the Dades, the Draa valleys, and the majestic High Atlas Mountains. This is an ideal place to stop for the night. You will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations in your hotel.

You will spend most of your day en route to Marrakesh, exploring the legendary Kasbah of Ait-Benhaddou, a renowned architectural marvel classified as UNISCO world heritage. Your journey will lead you to the highest pass in Morocco, the Taddart and Tizi Tishka pass, at an altitude of 11,000 feet. This pass divides the mountains into two distinct facets: the harsh, stark side acting as a shield that protects the hinterland from the harsh, dry expansion of the Sahara, and a lush side, soft and evergreen, which collects the moisture from the Gherbi winds of the Atlantic Ocean.

You will arrive in Marrakech, a city of pleasure for both visitors and locals, where southern tribesmen and Berber villagers bring their goods to market and find a variety of entertainment. To tourists, the city is a feast for the imagination, full of incomparable beauty, situated before the towering mountains that provide a thrilling backdrop. After a visit to the bustling Jemaa El Fna square, you will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.

You will devote your morning to the exploration of Marrakech s many historical sites, starting at the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flowerbeds, reflecting the image of an exquisite Moorish edifice. It was constructed in 1866 for dignitaries, who enjoyed glorious sunsets with the ethereal Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. The pool also functions as an innovative irrigation system that is serving dry life in the desert.

Your tour will cover many impressive sites, including the Koutoubia Minaret (which is identical to la Giralda, a tower found in Sevilla, Spain), and the Saadien tombs, which demonstrate Moorish architecture at its best. The tombs consist of sixteenth-century mausoleums, which had lain walled-in and undiscovered until 1917. Next, you will explore the gardens of the Agdal then the Marjorelle. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.

You will begin your day with an excursion to the Ourika Valley, where you will visit the traditional Berber Souks, as well as the Jewish shrines. After lunch, you will visit the Berber Museum of Arts and Crafts to learn about the dwellers of these mountains and their products before you discover their workshops and sophisticated, hand-made products. You will return to Marrakech for dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.

You will begin your day by traveling to Essaouira (Mogador), a picturesque city with a rich history. With a fascinating antiquity, Essaouira was occupied by the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, supplied essential purple dyes to the Romans, absorbed the sophisticated Jewish arts of silversmith, and spent centuries as a Portuguese enclave.

Despite the obvious influence of these civilizations, Essaouira has managed to remain a small, authentic Berber town. Alive with the breath of fresh air provided by the Atlantic, Essaouira is a jewel nestled in the ragged coast, with a vast expanse of empty sands trailing back along the promontory towards the South. After an introductory tour, you will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations in your hotel.

You will travel to Casablanca, stopping at El Oualidia for a seafood lunch. You will continue onward to El Jadida, where you will visit the citadel, evidence of the 11th century Portuguese occupation. Finally, you will arrive in Casablanca, having completed a journey that has led you through immeasurable antiquity. You will conclude your day with a farewell dinner and spend the night at the hotel.

You will depart for Casablanca Airport in the morning where you will board your flight back home with a lifetime worth of memories packed neatly into your suitcase.

  • 10 night accommodation in 4-star hotels
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Land transportation in chauffeured vehicles
  • Services of English-speaking guides in major & tour leader throughout
  • Entrance fees to monuments and museums
  • Hotel tax and service charges
  • Casablanca: 2 nights, Suisse Hotel
  • Rabat: 1 night, Chellah Hotel
  • Fez: 2 nights, Hotel Royal Mirage
  • Merzouga Dunes: 1 night, Bivouac
  • Erfoud: 1 night, Hotel Belere
  • Tinghir: 1 night, Kasbah Lamrani
  • Ouyarzazate: 1 night, Hotel Tichka Salam
  • Marrakech: 3 nights, Hotel El andalous
  • Essaouira: 1 night, Hotel Des Iles
    DATE PRICE PER ADULT BASIS STATUS
    2018-01-06 US 1485 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-01-20 US 1485 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-02-03 US 1485 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-02-17 US 1485 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-03-03 US 1485 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-03-17 US 1485 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-03-31 US 1485 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-04-15 US 1885 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-04-29 US 1885 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-05-13 US 1685 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-05-27 US 1685 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-06-09 US 1485 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-06-23 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-07-07 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-07-21 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-08-04 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-08-18 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-09-01 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-09-15 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-09-29 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-10-13 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-10-27 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-11-10 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-11-24 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-12-08 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2018-12-22 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-01-05 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-01-19 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-02-02 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-02-16 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-03-02 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-03-16 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-03-30 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-04-13 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-04-27 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-05-11 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-05-25 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-06-08 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-06-22 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-07-06 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-07-20 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-08-03 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-08-17 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-08-31 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-09-14 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-09-28 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-10-12 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-10-26 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-11-09 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-11-23 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-12-07 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire
    2019-12-21 US 1665 excluding flights Departure Guaranteed Inquire

WHAT IS INCLUDED

  • Land Transportation (Air Conditioned Van)
  • 13 Nights accommodation in 4 star Islamic Hotels
  • Halal Breakfast and Dinner daily
  • Services of Muslim local guides and tour manager
  • Entrance fess to monuments and museums
  • Hotel taxes and Ziyarats Fees
  • Cost per person: $2,285.00

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

  • Round Trip Flight
  • Tips for Drivers and Guides
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal spending

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Maqam ziyarats in Morocco

We are always available to answer any question you might have about this tour in Morocco (what to wear, weather, security...) or customizing this tour just for you.

info@alcazartours.com