12 Days Majestic Tour from Casablanca

Cultural Tour
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    This tour is provided by

    Destination Morocco

    Destination Morocco is one of the premier tours and travel companies specializing in Moroccan tour packages. Right from 3-day mini tours to extensive 15-day vacations, we have designed packages that will suit both your time frame and budget, and let you enjoy this mystical land of Atlas Mountains, the magnificent Sahara, and lovely ocean beaches and oasis.
    • 12 Days
    • Suitable for ages 6+
    • Morocco

    A Moroccan tour is an abundance of everything – culture, food, shopping, and sightseeing across varied landscapes. Even in landscapes, you have a plethora of choices right from towns situated on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to sand dunes in the deserts of the Sahara.

    Morocco is equally revered for its food as it is for its sightseeing. Mint teas, local bakeries, handmade cakes, native delicacies, and roadside stalls in the souks are the order of the day.

    And no Moroccan trip is complete without shopping at the souks. Right from colorful embroideries to subtler and sober souvenir items, Morocco is a place that will make you go back with loads of goodies and memories.

    Your Moroccan tour will be filled with exquisite sights and sounds, meeting with the native artisans, camping under the stars, and shopping from local craftsmen.

    Departure & Return Location

    • Casablanca

    Price Includes

    • Camel trek (one camel per guest)
    • New air-conditioned vehicle 4WD or Minivan/Mini Bus
    • Entrance Fees
    • Meals as per itinerary
    • Overnight in Desert Luxury Camp
    • Pick-up and Drop Off Service
    • Professional driver/Tour guide during the tour

    Price Excludes

    • Flights
    • Lunches and drinks
    • Local Guide Fees
    • Personal expenses
    Travel Tips
    Things You Must Know Before Visiting Morocco

    More and more people are visiting Morocco every year. It’s a beautiful country. If you plan on going, here are a few pointers to help you prepare for your trip.

    1. Dress Appropriately

    Overall, guys can dress however they like, but women need to dress more conservatively. Although you see many tourists wearing whatever they want, we chose to cover up as much as possible to avoid unwanted attention. Even if you’re traveling with a group of guys, you may still get harassed. Some of the girls in our group got groped on multiple occasions even though we were paired off with a male buddy. It was mostly really old men, and it happened more often in crowded places. When visiting mosques, you need to cover down to your wrists and ankles. For the ladies out there, it really helps to have a shawl/scarf handy in case you need it.

    1. Currency and Cost

    More established shops will take credit cards, but most smaller markets, street vendors, and cabs will not. Be ready with the local currency. The Moroccan Dirham (DEER-HAM) goes for roughly 9.20 Dirhams (DH) per 1 USD or 10 per 1 euro. We thought things would be cheaper in Morocco, but because of how touristy the country has become, the prices were comparable to Europe. Our tour guide recommended each person exchange 100 euros per day.

    1. ATMs.

    Exchange enough money when have a chance. ATMs can run out of money especially during a holiday or on the weekend also keep in mind some machines will let you withdraw up to $400.00 a day. There are many exchange offices especially in the big cities, your tour guide will help you get the best exchange rates. Also, traveler’s checks are pretty much useless in Morocco. It’s hard to find a place to cash them.

    1. Keep Correct Change with You

    Moroccan cab drivers rarely “have change” when you need it. To avoid overpaying, keep your coins. Most of our cab rides within the city were roughly 30 Dirhams, be careful when the cab driver says I will charge you a flat fee (it’s illegal), once you’re inside the cab look at the meter it should read something like 2.3 DRS during the day and 3.2 DRS during the night, roughly a 10 minutes cab ride should cost you around $8.00, do the best you can to have small change with you (coins).

    1. Tipping

    Have some change ready for tips. A good general rule of thumb is 3 to 5 DH at a local place and 5 to 10 DH at nicer places (coffee shops), when you dine at a restaurant a 10% tips is greatly appreciated. For your driver and guide 15 to 20% is greatly appreciated.

    1. Be Wary of Local Guides.

    It’s definitely great to hire a local guide to help you get an inside perspective on the country and navigate through the maze of the medinas (old towns) but be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. The local guides have built relationships with many different stores, and they are most likely getting a cut of the sales. Don’t be fooled when they say they are trying to help you haggle to get the best price. I always offer them a 70% off the asking price, we start negotiating until we meet somewhere in the middle, put your poker face on. For this reason, our guides and drivers will stay with you from the beginning to the end of the tour to avoid such miss-step.

    1. Stay Away from Strangers Offering Free Tours or Directions.

    Even if you don’t hire a local guide, there will be a lot of locals offering you tours while you’re walking around the markets and medinas. If you go with one of them you may end up completely lost and pressed to spend money. Most of the time they will ask for a tip afterward too. This is the same as asking for directions. A lot of them will offer to walk you to where you’re going but then ask for a tip. If you’re so inclined, always have money to pay them off or just plan ahead and ask your hotel or pull up some maps when you have WIFI. And this is the reason why we have well-trained staff professional chauffeurs and nationally certified guides that offer you protection to your experience.

    1. Fridays are Holy Days and Prepare for Holidays

    Keep in mind that it is a Muslim country, so pay attention to their holidays otherwise you might be there when everything is closed. Also, most shops and attractions are closed during the mid-day prayer then everything is back to normal after that. During Ramadan most food places will be closed until late afternoon, however, you can still find some places where you can eat, the restaurant at the hotels, and Riads are always open. If you arrive in Morocco on Eid al-Adha, where they slaughter and sacrifice helps. Shops restaurants will be closed for at least 4 to 6 days and banks will be close for at least 2 days.

    1. Careful What Water You Use

    To stay on the safe side, drink bottled water and even use it to brush your teeth. the water bottle is really useful when you’re in Morocco.

    1. Pack Some Immodium

    Because the food, the meat, and the vegetables are all organic and they are not processed in most cases you will be fine but just to be in the safe case, bring some medication with you.

    1. Watch Your Pockets

    Most Moroccans are friendly and honest, but be careful about pickpockets in any major city especially in crowded places like the markets.

    1. What Language Do They Speak?

    Moroccans speak a mixture of Arabic, Berber, English, Spanish, and French. You’ll be fine with English in most of the larger cities, but you’ll probably need a translator in the rural parts of the country. Here are a few basic Arabic words that came in handy:

    • Hello(Peace Be With You): Salam Alikome (salaam a eleikum)
    • Thank You: Choukran (shokran)
    • No Thank You: La Choukran (la shokran). This one is useful when you have a bunch of street vendors hassling you to buy something.
    • Watch Out: Although you won’t use this yourself, you’ll most likely hear this in the medinas or souks (outdoor markets). It will be said by locals coming by with a mule, motorcycle, or cart and is a warning to move to the side.
    1. Visiting Mosques:

    If you’re hoping to visit Mosque in Morocco, you might be out of luck unless you’re Muslim. Most mosques are off-limits to non-Muslims, with the exception of the massive Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. They are still beautiful to take photos from outside though!

    1. Do I Need a Visa or Vaccines?

    Almost all English-speaking countries (except South Africa) do not require visas to enter the country. The CDC also doesn’t require any vaccines although many would recommend Hepatitis A and Typhoid shots. Find out more details from the CDC here.

    1. Ask Before Taking Photos (And You May Have to Pay).

    When you’re walking through the markets, be careful about taking photos of people and shops. Unless you are purchasing something, they may get angry at you and even demand money for the photos. When taking photos of the snake charmers, you need to pay 20 DH. Some may even hassle you for more, so it’s good to first establish a price before taking a photo.

    1. Souvenirs to Bring Home:

    Leather and carpets are well known in Fes. Fragrances, oils, and spices (like saffron) are famous in Morocco.  Your tour guide will have recommendations for each product you want to get as a souvenir.

                                         ****************************

    Overall, Morocco is a beautiful country, and you will be happy to experience it. As long as you’re completely aware of your surroundings, and you go in with the right mindset and expectations, you can have a wonderful experience.

    Itinerary

    Day 1Casablanca Arrival

    Arrive at Casablanca, where you will be picked up from the airport and dropped to your hotel to experience the cosmopolitan culture.
     

    Day 2Casablanca to Fes

    Get a guided tour of Morocco’s largest and Africa’s second-largest mosque, Hassan II. After this, you will be driven to Fes and will pass the cities of Meknes and Volubilis on the way. in Meknes, you will visit the historical sites such as the Royal stables, the Moulay Ismail Mausoleum, the beautiful gate Bab El Mansour, and the Mederssa Al Bouaanania, After Lunch, we will head to explore the ruins of the Roman empire in north Africa the archeological site of Volubilis, after visiting Volubilis we will continue our journey towards Fes for an overnight stay.

    Day 3Exploring Fes

    Today is the first of two half-day tours of Fes with your own private guide, who will help you explore the winding streets of the medina as well as giving you a full history of the city.  Despite the modernization, what will enchant you is the old-world architecture that still prevails in different parts of the city. There are wonderfully designed mosques such as MedersaBouInania and Medersa el-Attarine, that even though don’t open their door to non-Muslims, can be seen from outside. The complexly done tile work is an absolute artistic delight.

    The King’s Palace, Saadian Tombs, and Jewish quarters are other well-known places of interest that one can explore. The King’s Palace is open only to the members of the Royal family. Others can enjoy viewing it from outside. Another noteworthy thing is that the city is full of fountains, just like important kingdom cities used to be way back in time. And given that it is still traditional, both men and women should cover themselves well when they are exploring the city.

    Contrary to what the world believes, the world’s oldest university is not anywhere else but at Fes. The University of Al-Qarawiyyin is supposed to have been established in 859 AD, and UNESCO granted it heritage status. There are so many more places to visit in Fes, such as the ancient tanneries, and the colorful bazaars. Make sure you are carrying your camera along! The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

    Day 4Fes to Chefchaouen

    Today with your driver/guide you will take a full day trip to explore the blue town and the pearl of the north, the city of Chefchaouen which still attract tourists all over the world, during this day trip to Chefchaouen from Fes you will explore the picturesque blue-washed alleys of Chefchaouen is the main city in the Rif Mountain region in the north of Morocco and is undoubtedly one of the prettiest towns in the country.

    The city is dramatically situated, with blue and whitewashed buildings perching on the mountainside and small steep alleys, paths, and stairways winding around the tightly packed old medina. It remained a bastion against European influence until 1920 when the first Christians were allowed to enter, and the town retains a strong Arabic and Andalusian feel, with traditional wrought iron and beautifully woven lamps. Chefchaouen is a relaxed and tranquil town with a rather bohemian feel, and is a perfect antidote to many of the larger cities in Morocco, with superb views of the surrounding countryside.

    Day 5Fes to Merzouga Desert

    Today, you can explore the town of Ifran and meet the Barbary apes at the Cedar forest in Azrou further. You can take a journey uphill into the Middle and high atlas mountains and stay overnight in the Sahara Desert, and enjoy the Caravan Trails at one of the greatest sights of Morocco. The Erg Chebbi are the most accessible dunes of the Sahara in Morocco. The best times to see them are at sunrise and sunset, when the changing light subtly alters their colour with each passing second, from butter yellow to gold, ochre, and honey. A night camping in the desert is a special experience; the deep tranquillity seemingly a million miles away from Morocco’s hectic cities, and the perfect, clear night skies displaying a vast curtain of stars.

    Day 6Merzouga desert – Dades Valley – Ouarzazate

    The driver will pick you up in the morning and visit the city of Ouarzazate that’s also known as ‘the door of the desert’ and is the gateway to the Sahara Deserts. Ouarzazate boasts a significant role in the history of the south of Morocco, lying as it does at the confluence of the three major southern oasis valleys – the Draa, the Dades, and the Ouarzazate. Extensive fortifications built by successive sultans trying to dominate and control this traditionally subversive region have come and gone, the pisé walls washed away in sporadic rains. The only lasting impression has been left by the French, who made Ouarzazate their southern garrison town, and laid out a grid of streets and built modern buildings to line them.

    There are, however, a couple of well-preserved kasbahs in and around the town, and Ouarzazate is a great base for exploring the surrounding scenery: steep desert valleys filled with palms, leading into rocky desert plains. Close to Ouarzazate lies the spectacular ancient ksar town of Ait Ben Haddou, an extraordinary example of traditional clay-brick dwellings in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains.

    Day 7Ouarzazate – Kasbah ait ben haddou – Marrakesh

    The first of the day will include a visit to the world heritage kasbah ait ben haddou, marked as world heritage site since 1987 and a famous fortified village that still attracting various directors all over the world, many famous films were shot in this site such as; Gladiator, Mommy, Heaven, Games of Thrones, …, where you will learn about the impact and historical relevance of this 17th century Kasbah. After the visit we will head to Marrakech through the High Atlas Mountains, check in to your hotel in Marrakech where a half and can spend it leisurely, relaxing and strolling around one of the many beaches.

    Day 8Explore Marrakech: Guided city tour

    Full day dedicated to exploring the pearl of the south, the second imperial city of Morocco, enjoy the cultural heritage of Marrakech and check out how local artisans produce Kaftan. A lively, colourful city, Marrakesh is defined by its old medina and souqs, which lattice the centre and resound with the hum of craftsmanship and the tantalising aroma of exotic spices. At the heart of the medina is the Djemaa El Fna, an open space which comes alive at night with entertainers and soothsayers amid the food stalls. Over its turbulent history, the city has fallen in and out of favour with the ruling sultans, but its function as a trading place has continued regardless.

    Rising above this activity are proud reminders of the city’s past in the towering minarets, ornate tombs and cavernous palaces. These are encircled by ochre ramparts, shaded beneath palms and framed by the distant backdrop of the Atlas Mountains. Marrakesh’s many gardens offer a haven of tranquillity in this busy city. The best known of these is the Majorelle Garden, where vibrant plants surround a striking cobalt-blue Art Deco pavilion.

    Day 9 Explore the artisans workshop in Medina

    In the morning, Indulge in some Lamp Crafting under the eyes of local artisans, and feel how it is to live like a Marrakech native. There are a huge range of crafts represented in distinct areas of the medina, including carved wood, embroidery, henna painting, calligraphy, ceramics, and copper. Wander the maze of souqs and you are likely to take home some great souvenirs. The stalls don’t seem to suffer from being situated amid a dozen competitors selling virtually identical spoils. Throughout the different souqs, you will quickly be able to identify the particular sights, sounds, and especially smells that are unique to each craft. Fes is best known for the production of leather goods at the iconic tanneries that feature on virtually any visual depiction of the city

    Day 10Marrakech to Essaouira

    Drive through the Expressway to reach the city of Essaouira, the old Portuguese capital, explore the picturesque markets, and visit the famous fish and seafood souk and the Jewish corner. Essaouira is one of the prettiest and most relaxed towns in Morocco. Located on the Atlantic coast, it is surrounded by long stretches of beach, with wind and waves that have drawn the windsurfing and surfing communities here. They have perpetuated the laid-back atmosphere that grew in the town during the 1960s, when this undiscovered gem was a favorite retreat of artists and musicians, including Jimi Hendrix.
     
    The appeal of the town lies in the beautiful juxtaposition of the imposing Portuguese ramparts and the rolling surf of the Atlantic. At the heart of the town the harbor, fortified by the Portuguese, is home to a large fishing fleet that ensures Essaouira’s fish restaurants are amongst the best in the country. Essaouira is also famous for the woodcarving of local artisans, who sell their wares in souqs beneath the ramparts.
     

    Day 11Essaouira Beach

    Have breakfast, and then relax at your hotel or explore the Medina of Essaouira on your own pace or just relax on the beach enjoy the fresh air of the Atlantic.

    Day 12Return Flight

    Return to Casablanca and take a fight back home.
    Map

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