12 Day Morocco Itinerary

by Meghdut

Planning a trip to Morocco? Look no further than this comprehensive 12-day itinerary to make the most out of your adventure. From exploring the bustling streets of Marrakech to trekking through the Sahara Desert, this itinerary covers all the must-see destinations and hidden gems along the way. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, indulge in delicious cuisine, and experience the warm hospitality of the Moroccan people. Get ready for an unforgettable journey that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Let’s dive into the 12-day Morocco itinerary and embark on a remarkable travel experience like no other!

Table of Contents

Day 1: Arrival in Marrakech

Explore the Medina of Marrakech

Welcome to Marrakech! As you arrive in this vibrant city, your first stop should be the Medina. This ancient walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is filled with narrow alleyways, bustling markets, and stunning architecture. Lose yourself in the maze of streets as you explore the various souks, where you can find everything from spices to textiles to traditional crafts. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and soak up the sights, sounds, and scents of Marrakech.

Visit the Bahia Palace

After exploring the Medina, make your way to the Bahia Palace. This stunning 19th-century palace was once home to the grand vizier of Marrakech and offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Moroccan aristocracy. Marvel at the intricate tilework, delicate stucco carvings, and beautiful gardens as you wander through the palace rooms and courtyards. Don’t forget to visit the harem section and the stunning Grand Court, where you can see the palace’s true grandeur.

Discover the Saadian Tombs

Next on your itinerary is a visit to the Saadian Tombs. Hidden for centuries, these tombs were rediscovered in 1917 and offer a fascinating insight into Moroccan history. Step inside and admire the intricate plasterwork, the beautiful marble pillars, and the ornate domed mausoleums that house the remains of Saadian dynasty members. It’s a truly unique experience that transports you back in time.

Enjoy a traditional Moroccan dinner

End your first day in Marrakech with a delicious traditional Moroccan dinner. Indulge in the flavors of the local cuisine as you feast on dishes such as tagine (a slow-cooked stew), couscous, and traditional Moroccan pastries. Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the Moroccan people as you enjoy live music and entertainment. It’s the perfect way to immerse yourself in the rich culture and culinary delights of Morocco.

Day 2: Marrakech to Essaouira

Travel to the coastal town of Essaouira

Today, you’ll embark on a journey to the coastal town of Essaouira. Located on the Atlantic coast, this picturesque UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its stunning beaches, historic architecture, and vibrant arts scene. Enjoy a scenic drive as you leave Marrakech and make your way to this charming seaside destination.

Visit the Skala de la Ville

Upon your arrival in Essaouira, head straight to the Skala de la Ville. This historic fortification offers panoramic views of the city’s medina, harbor, and the Atlantic Ocean. Take a leisurely stroll along the ramparts and soak in the beauty of your surroundings. Marvel at the cannons, which stand as a testament to the town’s history as a fortified stronghold.

Explore the lively Medina

No visit to Essaouira would be complete without exploring its lively medina. As you wander through the narrow, winding streets, you’ll encounter a variety of shops selling traditional crafts, colorful textiles, and unique souvenirs. Take your time to browse, haggle, and find some hidden treasures to take home. Don’t forget to stop by the fish market, where you can sample some of the freshest seafood in town.

Enjoy fresh seafood at the port

End your day in Essaouira with a seafood feast at the port. Watch as local fishermen bring in their daily catch and choose from a variety of seafood options, including fish, shrimp, and shellfish. Whether you prefer a relaxed beachside restaurant or an authentic street food experience, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes. Sit back, relax, and savor the flavors of Essaouira as you enjoy a delicious meal by the water.

Day 3: Essaouira to Casablanca

Travel to the vibrant city of Casablanca

Today, you’ll leave Essaouira and make your way to the bustling city of Casablanca. Known for its modern architecture, vibrant nightlife, and cosmopolitan atmosphere, Casablanca offers a stark contrast to the traditional charm of Marrakech and Essaouira. Enjoy a comfortable journey as you travel to this vibrant metropolis.

Visit the Hassan II Mosque

Your first stop in Casablanca should be the iconic Hassan II Mosque. This architectural marvel is one of the largest mosques in the world and is known for its stunning design and intricate details. Take a guided tour and marvel at the grandeur of the mosque’s interior, featuring beautiful mosaics, marble floors, and a retractable roof. Don’t forget to visit the outdoor esplanade, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Explore the Corniche

After visiting the mosque, take a stroll along the Corniche. This lively waterfront promenade stretches along the coastline and offers stunning views of the ocean, as well as a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Relax on the beaches, indulge in some people-watching, or simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Enjoy Moroccan cuisine for dinner

End your day in Casablanca with a delicious Moroccan dinner. Whether you choose to dine at a traditional Moroccan restaurant or explore the city’s vibrant food scene, you’re in for a treat. From tagines to couscous to aromatic mint tea, Casablanca offers a wide range of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds. Sit back, relax, and savor the flavors of Morocco as you enjoy a memorable dining experience.

Day 4: Casablanca to Chefchaouen

Travel to the enchanting blue city of Chefchaouen

Today, you’ll leave Casablanca behind and embark on a journey to the enchanting blue city of Chefchaouen. Nestled in the Rif Mountains, this picturesque town is known for its striking blue-washed buildings, narrow streets, and serene atmosphere. Enjoy a scenic drive as you make your way to this hidden gem.

Stroll through the narrow streets

Upon your arrival in Chefchaouen, take some time to simply wander through its narrow streets. The blue-washed walls, colorful doorways, and stunning architecture create a truly magical setting. Explore the medina at your own pace, stopping to admire the intricate details and unique charm of each corner. Don’t forget to browse the various shops, where you can find locally made handicrafts, textiles, and traditional Moroccan items.

Visit the Ras El Ma waterfall

As you explore Chefchaouen, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Ras El Ma waterfall. Located just outside the town, this tranquil spot offers a refreshing escape from the bustling streets. Take a leisurely walk to the waterfall, relax by the cascading waters, and soak in the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. It’s the perfect place to unwind and connect with nature.

Experience the local culture and cuisine

End your day in Chefchaouen by immersing yourself in the local culture and cuisine. Sample traditional Moroccan dishes at one of the town’s many restaurants, or try your hand at cooking a Moroccan meal during a cooking class. Don’t forget to try the local specialty, “Ras El Hanout,” a vibrant blend of spices that adds depth and flavor to many Moroccan dishes. As you savor the flavors of Chefchaouen, you’ll truly feel like you’ve experienced the heart of Morocco.

Day 5: Chefchaouen to Fes

Travel to the historic city of Fes

Today, you’ll bid farewell to Chefchaouen and make your way to the historic city of Fes. Known as Morocco’s cultural and spiritual capital, Fes is a UNESCO-listed old town (Fes el-Bali) that offers a fascinating glimpse into the country’s rich history and traditions. Enjoy a scenic drive as you leave the mountains behind and enter this vibrant city.

Explore the UNESCO-listed old town (Fes el-Bali)

Once you arrive in Fes, immerse yourself in the maze-like streets of the UNESCO-listed old town, Fes el-Bali. This labyrinthine medina is one of the world’s largest car-free urban areas and is bursting with history, culture, and architectural wonders. Lose yourself in the bustling souks, visit the historic mosques and madrasas, and marvel at the intricate tilework and woodcarvings that adorn the buildings. Don’t forget to try your hand at haggling as you shop for unique souvenirs and traditional crafts.

Visit the famous Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque

No visit to Fes is complete without a visit to the Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque. Founded in the 9th century, this mosque and university holds the title of the world’s oldest continuously operating educational institution. Step inside and admire the stunning architecture, intricate calligraphy, and peaceful atmosphere. Take a moment to absorb the rich history and spiritual significance of this sacred place.

Enjoy a traditional Moroccan tea ceremony

End your day in Fes with a traditional Moroccan tea ceremony. As you sip on aromatic mint tea, you’ll experience the warm hospitality and welcoming culture of Morocco. Learn about the art of tea preparation, listen to traditional music, and engage in lively conversations with locals. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with the Moroccan people and deepen your appreciation for their customs and traditions.

Day 6: Fes

Discover the royal palaces and gardens

Today, dedicate your time in Fes to exploring the city’s royal palaces and gardens. Start your day at the Royal Palace, where you can admire the impressive gates and ornate architecture. Although the palace is not open to the public, the exterior is a sight to behold. From there, make your way to the Jardin Jnan Sbil, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. Stroll through the lush gardens, relax by the fountains, and enjoy a moment of tranquility in the bustling city.

Visit the tanneries of Fes

No trip to Fes is complete without a visit to its famous tanneries. Head to the Chouara Tannery, one of the oldest and largest tanneries in the city, and witness the traditional process of leather production. Marvel at the colorful vats filled with natural dyes and watch as skilled workers treat and dye the animal hides. Although the smell can be strong, the experience is truly unique and offers a glimpse into an age-old craft.

Explore the Jewish Quarter (Mellah)

Next on your itinerary is a visit to the Jewish Quarter, also known as the Mellah. This historic neighborhood is a testament to Morocco’s rich Jewish heritage and offers a fascinating blend of architecture, culture, and history. Explore the narrow streets, visit the synagogues, and learn about the Jewish community’s contributions to Moroccan society. Don’t forget to stop by the Ibn Danan Synagogue, a beautiful 17th-century synagogue that has been restored to its former glory.

Experience a traditional Moroccan hammam

End your day in Fes with a traditional Moroccan hammam experience. Step into a world of relaxation as you indulge in centuries-old bathing traditions. Enjoy a steam bath, exfoliate your skin with fragrant black soap, and unwind with a therapeutic massage. The hammam is not just a cleansing ritual, but also a social and cultural experience that has been a part of Moroccan life for centuries. Leave feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, ready to continue your Moroccan journey.

Day 7: Fes to Merzouga

Travel through the Middle Atlas mountains

Today, you’ll leave Fes behind and embark on a journey through the Middle Atlas mountains. Enjoy a scenic drive as you traverse winding roads, lush forests, and picturesque landscapes. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, as this region is home to Barbary macaques, wild boars, and various bird species.

Experience a camel trek in the Sahara Desert

As you reach Merzouga, it’s time for one of the highlights of your Morocco itinerary – a camel trek in the Sahara Desert. Mount your trusty camel and embark on a magical journey through the golden sand dunes. Feel the gentle sway of your camel’s stride as you explore the vast desert landscape. Marvel at the shifting colors of the sand as the sun sets, casting a warm glow over the desert. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Enjoy a night under the starry desert sky

After a captivating camel trek, settle down in a desert camp and prepare for a night under the starry sky. As night falls, the desert comes alive with the sound of traditional Moroccan music and storytelling. Enjoy a delicious dinner under the canopy of stars, listen to the rhythmic beats of traditional drums, and immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere. Gaze up at the clear desert sky and marvel at the beauty and vastness of the universe.

Traditional Moroccan music and storytelling

As you return to your desert camp, embrace the magical ambiance created by traditional Moroccan music and storytelling. Listen to mesmerizing tales and legends passed down through generations, accompanied by the rhythmic beats of traditional instruments. Engage with the local musicians and storytellers, learning about their traditions, culture, and heritage. It’s an evening filled with laughter, music, and the warmth of Moroccan hospitality.

Day 8: Merzouga to Ouarzazate

Visit the famous Todgha Gorges

Today, you’ll leave the desert behind and continue your journey to the town of Ouarzazate. Along the way, make sure to stop at the famous Todgha Gorges. These stunning limestone canyons are a sight to behold, with towering cliffs reaching up to 300 meters in height. Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow canyon, admiring the dramatic rock formations and experiencing the raw beauty of nature.

Explore the stunning Dades Valley

As you continue your journey, take a detour and explore the stunning Dades Valley. Known as the “Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs,” this picturesque area is dotted with ancient mud-brick fortresses, traditional Berber villages, and breathtaking landscapes. Drive along the scenic road that winds through the valley, stopping to take in panoramic views and capture stunning photos. Immerse yourself in the tranquility and natural beauty of this hidden gem.

Pass through the scenic Tizi n’Tichka Pass

Before reaching Ouarzazate, you’ll pass through the scenic Tizi n’Tichka Pass. As you ascend the winding mountain roads, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the High Atlas Mountains. Make sure to stop at the pass, soak in the panoramic vistas, and capture the beauty of the rugged landscape. It’s a perfect photo opportunity and a chance to appreciate the natural wonders of Morocco.

Explore the film studios in Ouarzazate

End your day in Ouarzazate, the “Hollywood of Morocco.” This city is known for its film studios, which have been the backdrop for many famous movies and TV shows, including “Gladiator” and “Game of Thrones.” Take a tour of one of the studios and learn about the filmmaking process and the movie magic that has taken place in this remote corner of the world. Feel like a star as you walk in the footsteps of famous actors and explore the sets and props.

Day 9: Ouarzazate to Ait Ben Haddou

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou

Today, you’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou, an ancient fortified village that has been used as a backdrop for numerous films and TV series. As you approach the village, you’ll be greeted by the sight of its famous kasbahs, towering mud-brick buildings that have stood the test of time. Stroll through the narrow streets, marvel at the intricate architecture, and imagine the vibrant past that once thrived within these walls. It’s a truly immersive experience that takes you back in time.

Explore the ancient fortified village

As you explore Ait Ben Haddou, delve deeper into the history and culture of this ancient fortified village. Wander through the labyrinthine streets, discover hidden corners, and learn about the traditional way of life that has been preserved here for centuries. Climb to the top of the kasbah for stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the kasbah’s intricate design. It’s a photographer’s paradise, with every turn offering a new angle and a new perspective.

Learn about the local Berber culture

Throughout your visit to Ait Ben Haddou, take the time to learn about the local Berber culture. Berbers are the indigenous people of North Africa, and their rich traditions and customs are still vibrant in this part of Morocco. Engage with the locals, listen to their stories, and gain a deeper understanding of their way of life. Explore their handicrafts, taste their traditional cuisine, and appreciate the warmth and hospitality they extend to visitors. It’s an opportunity to connect with a culture that has flourished in this region for centuries.

Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape

End your day in Ait Ben Haddou by enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. As the sun sets, casting a golden glow over the village and the rugged mountains, find a quiet spot to sit and reflect. Take in the beauty of the desert, the mountains, and the kasbahs, and appreciate the timeless nature of this place. It’s a moment of peace and tranquility that will stay with you long after you leave Ait Ben Haddou.

Day 12: Departure

Final exploration of Marrakech

On your last day in Morocco, take the time to enjoy a final exploration of Marrakech. Head back to the Medina and revisit your favorite souks, indulge in some last-minute shopping, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere one last time. Immerse yourself in the energy of Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square, where you can watch street performers, listen to traditional music, and experience the city’s lively ambiance. Take a moment to reflect on your incredible Moroccan journey and the memories you’ve made along the way.

Last-minute shopping at the souks

Before you leave Marrakech, make sure to do some last-minute shopping at the souks. Wander through the labyrinth of alleyways, browse the stalls, and haggle for unique souvenirs and keepsakes. From vibrant textiles to intricate pottery to traditional Moroccan spices, the souks offer a treasure trove of items to take home. Whether you’re looking for gifts for loved ones or something special for yourself, you’re sure to find something that captures the essence of Morocco.

Transfer to the airport for departure

As your Moroccan adventure comes to an end, it’s time to transfer to the airport for your departure. Bid farewell to the vibrant city of Marrakech, taking with you memories that will last a lifetime. Reflect on the rich history, diverse landscapes, and warm hospitality that you’ve experienced throughout your 12 days in Morocco. As you board your flight, you’ll leave with a deep appreciation for this enchanting country and a desire to return and explore even more.

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