12-Day In-Depth Morocco Tour with Essaouira

12-Day In-Depth Morocco Tour with Essaouira

This tour covers classic destinations in Morocco and provides in-depth experiences in Marrakesh, such as traditional cooking and visiting the Majorelle Gardens. Kick back in Essaouira, a city that is full of medieval and Jewish flavor.




from US$4,079 p/p

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Best Time

Nov. to May

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Tour Highlights

Relax in the Medieval Seaport Town of Essaouira

Essaouira is famous for its relaxing atmosphere, and it is also a windsurfer's paradise.

Relax in the Medieval Seaport Town of Essaouira
Enjoy a Sahara Desert Adventure from Erfoud to Merzouga

Take a 4X4 excursion deep into the desert, ride on a camel and sandboard, enjoy the sunset, and camp overnight in the desert.

Enjoy a Sahara Desert Adventure from Erfoud to Merzouga
Discover Amazing Views on Your Way to the Atlas Mountains

You will cross the magnificent Todra Gorge and pass by Berber villages on the way from Merzouga to Marrakesh, as well as a succession of oases and impressive kasbahs (citadels).

Discover Amazing Views on Your Way to the Atlas Mountains
Be Like a Local and Cook Your First Moroccan Tagine

Visit a Moroccan family in Marrakesh, discover a "secret" recipe from their nanny, and learn how to make a very representative Moroccan dish.

Be Like a Local and Cook Your First Moroccan Tagine
Walk into the Age-Old Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou

Built around 1,000 years ago, the UNESCO-listed Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou is one of Morocco's most impressive historic landmarks. Many famous movies / TV series including "A Game of Thrones" were filmed there.

Walk into the Age-Old Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou
Visit the Landmark Sights of Capital City Rabat

Discover the charming medieval fortress — the Kasbah of the Udayas. Look out from Rabat's ancient port and enjoy the beautiful ocean view. View the awesome Mausoleum of Mohammad V and Hassan Tower.

Visit the Landmark Sights of Capital City Rabat
Explore the Ancient Roman City of Volubilis

Volubilis is one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Morocco, with the remains of settlements dating from the pre-Roman to the early Islamic periods.

Explore the Ancient Roman City of Volubilis
Enjoy a Day in the Oldest Moroccan Imperial City — Fez

Visit the medieval medina (old district) and its major sights. View the Moulay Idriss Mausoleum and Al-Karaouine Mosque. Enjoy a panoramic view of Fez from the Borj Nord and Borj Sud ramparts.

Enjoy a Day in the Oldest Moroccan Imperial City — Fez
Immerse Yourself in History-and-Culture-Rich Marrakesh

Admire the splendor of Bahia Palace, visit Koutoubia Mosque, which is considered to be the most beautiful mosque in North Africa. Visit the Arab marketplace and handicraft quarters to witness a real-life scene of from the Arabian Nights fairy tales and feel the vitality of local people's life.

Immerse Yourself in History-and-Culture-Rich Marrakesh

Tour Map

In-depth Classic Morocco with Essaouira tour map

Itinerary Details

The itinerary below is only one possibility, which is offered as inspiration. We can tailor-make your trip based on your needs. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

Day 1
Casablanca Arrival

Once you land in Casablanca airport, our driver will meet and greet you at the airport with a welcome sign and escort you to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day as you wish.

Day 2
Casablanca to Rabat | Rabat City Tour

After breakfast in your hotel, we will drive north to Rabat, capital of Morocco.

Your tour in Rabat includes the Mechouar (large public square outside the palace) and Royal Palace, Hassan Tower, Kasbah of the Udayas, and the Mausoleum of Mohamed V. You will have free time to stroll around the souks (alley markets) and bazaars in the old medina of Rabat.

Day 3
Rabat to Fez | Meknes and Volubilis Discovery

After breakfast, you will be escorted by your English-speaking driver to Fez.

En route to Fez, you will visit the Imperial City of Meknes which became known as the Versailles of Morocco due to its impressive buildings and elaborate monuments.

Continue to the UNESCO-listed Roman ruins of Volubilis. You will reach Fez in the late afternoon, where you can explore the local market on own.

Day 4
Fez City Tour

Until 1912, Fez was the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco. Fez has retained its status as the country's center for artisans. You will explore the Medina of Fez — the old walled city. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded in the 9th century, and is home to the world's oldest university, the University of Al-Karaouin.

Other major sights include the Al-Attarine Madrasa (Islamic school), Al-Karouine Mosque, Moulay Idriss Mausoleum, Souk Nejiarine, and the Hebrew District (the Mellah). The rest of the day is free for you to walk around the narrow alleys of the old town and discover the sights you are interested in on your own.

Day 5
Fez to Erfoud and Merzouga | Sahara Desert Adventure

Your English-speaking driver will take you to Erfoud. You'll pass through a scenic forest of cedars and across the Middle Atlas Mountain range to reach the mineral-mining city of Midelt, where an optional stop for lunch is scheduled.

Upon your arrival in Erfoud, take a 4X4 excursion into the desert of Merzouga. Ride on a camel and sandboard, before enjoying the sunset in the desert. Stay overnight at a luxury desert camp.

Day 6
Merzouga to Ouarzazate

Travel between Erfoud and Ouarzazate with a private vehicle and English-speaking driver.

Stop in the Todra Gorge, located just southwest of Tinerhir (a High Atlas town) and some 110 km (65 miles) from Ouarzazate. After capturing stunning photos, you will continue the drive to Ouarzazate. Along the way, you will make a stop in Skoura, a beautiful oasis. At first glance, it resembles a thin, long, oasis, but if you have a chance to explore it, you will notice it is rather large and impressive.

Day 7
Ouarzazate to Marrakesh

After breakfast at your Ouarzazate hotel, we depart for Marrakesh via the dramatic Tizi n'Tichka mountain pass, and the breathtaking Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou — the UNESCO World Heritage site where movies such as "Gladiator" and "Jesus of Nazareth" were filmed.

Upon arrival in Marrakesh, start to explore Morocco's cultural center at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.

Day 8
Marrakesh City Tour

Your city tour of Marrakesh starts at the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque. Her beautiful minaret dominates the skyline of Marrakesh and can be seen from almost every approach to the city. You will also visit the Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs, and the Ben Youssef Madrasa (Koranic school).

You may discover the colorful souks of Marrakesh at your leisure in the evening.

Day 9
Marrakesh Cooking Experience and Garden Tour

On your third day in Marrakesh, you will cook a Moroccan Tagine with a local family.

This special experience will be followed by a visit to the Majorelle Gardens and the famous Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition. It is an exhibition of the fashion icon's best creations from his time as a designer.

Your night will end with free time in the vibrant heart of the medina of Marrakesh and its Jemaa el-Fna square, where Arabian Nights culture comes to life.

Day 10
Marrakesh to Essaouira

Head to Essaouira with a 3-hour drive. It is a small medieval city, also known as Mogador (from 'small fortress' in Phoenician), located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Upon arrival to Essaouira, you can enjoy a tour of the old port, stroll along the harbor side and admire the Skala Fortress with its ramparts and ancient cannons.

You can choose to visit Essaouira's medina, which is a perfect example of Portuguese influences in architecture, the municipal market, the jeweler's quarter, and the crafts complex. Explore the city's souks with their rustic workshops, or eat fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.

We recommend a walk on the beach, where you can enjoy the fresh air and relax.

Day 11
Enjoy a Free Day in Essaouira

The tour's penultimate day is a free day, which can be spent at your leisure, or you can partake in a great variety of optional activities that Essaouira has to offer. You can choose between mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, sailing, surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, camel rides, visits to vineyards, or trekking.

Day 12
Essaouira to Marrakesh for Departure

Enjoy the convenience of your final hotel breakfast, and then drive back to Marrakesh for your outbound flight.

Hand-picked Hotels

Radisson Blue
Radisson Blue
Riad Kalaa
Riad Kalaa
Riad & Spa Dar Bensouda
Riad & Spa Dar Bensouda
Golden Camp
Golden Camp
Dar Chamaa
Dar Chamaa
2 Ciels Boutique Hotel & Spa
2 Ciels Boutique Hotel & Spa

Price Includes

Price from: $4,079 (Tour code: gh-mr-5)

One-to-one consultancy
One-to-one consultancy
Knowledgeable local guides
Knowledgeable local guides
Private drivers/driver guides and vehicles as listed
Private drivers/driver guides and vehicles as listed
Hand-picked hotels
Hand-picked hotels
Breakfasts and meals as listed
Breakfasts and meals as listed
Entry to all attractions on the itinerary
Entry to all attractions on the itinerary
Transportation as listed
Transportation as listed
A 24/7 helpline while traveling
A 24/7 helpline while traveling

Trip Notes

These trip notes give more information about the tour details. Every element of the tour can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to make adjustments for you.

1) English-Speaking Driver

Your English-speaking driver will meet you with your name sign and see you off at the airport, as well drive for you among the cities of Morocco. Since some places are small, your driver will provide enough explanation about the places like the desert areas, Rabat, Casablanca and Essaouira.

2) Private City Guides

In Marrakesh, Aït Ben Haddou, and Fez, you will have a private English-speaking guide who will guide you to discover the attractions and share their local knowledge and perspectives with you. Feel free to ask questions, as our guides are able to provide you with insights into their local culture, history, and life.

3) Breakfasts and Other Meals

Only breakfasts are included in the tour every day. Usually, buffet breakfasts are available in the hotels, breakfast package are offered in desert and mountain areas.

Set meals for dinner on day 5 and day 6 are included. All other meals are according to your arrangements, but your driver/guide can provide recommendations and we can also arrange your dining choice if needed.

4) Transportation between Cities: Views along the Way

A private vehicle is the main transportation tool for getting between cities in Morocco. Some days you may have a 3–5-hour drive to the next destination. Your private driver will make some stops along the way to help ease your journey and to soak in the views.

5) Accommodation

We've chosen our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels with a taste of local flavor. Please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may differ from Western standards.

The comfort of the camp is reasonably high, with separate toilet and bath tents. The sleeping areas consist of 2-person tents with ample space and comfortable foam mattresses.

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