A trip to Morocco can feel like a step back in time. From the bustling medina of Marrakech to the traditional Riads in Fes, Morocco is known for its timeless and unique heritage and style. Life in Morocco is very much a mix of cultures–as a coastal country in North Africa, Morocco welcomes a mix of Arabic, French, Spanish, and Indigenous Berber influences. A visit to this lively and vibrant destination will most definitely open your eyes to a new world of enchantment and wonder. We’re starting in Casablanca and then head to Rabat, Tangiers, Fes and Chefchaouen. If you want the perfect ending to your adventure,.there's a trip extension to magnificent Marrakesh We’'ll take the time to meet the women of Morocco so we can learn about the Moroccan lifestyle. Of course, we’ll be headed to the markets where the shopping is incredible, you’ll experience a traditional hammam ritual and we’ll have a cooking class in a Riad. Mosques and Palaces will fill your days, ubiquitous mint tea will relax you, and on our last night we’ll be throwing a party like you’ve never seen or experienced. You’ll be dressed in stunning silk traditional dress and music; dancing and feasting will ensue. This experience is the Morocco of your dreams. You’ll see the real Morocco and soak in the ambiance of this exotic other-worldly place which will surely live in your dreams forever. October is one of the best times to visit Morocco, with temperatures ranging from 66 °F (19 °C) to 75 °F (24°C).
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip
We'll start the trip in Rabat, Morocco’s capital, but you’ll want to fly into Casablanca international airport. After customs and baggage claim, you’ll be welcomed to Morocco by our driver and guide, who will drive you to Rabat to begin our Moroccan adventure (approx. 1 hour driving time).
You’ll check into our lovely hotel – Riad Kalaa – and have some time to relax and settle in. We’ll meet in the evening for a welcome dinner at our charming riad!
This morning, we will explore Rabat’s highlights beginning with Chellah Necropolis. From Chellah, we’ll then head to the Yacoub al-Mansour Esplanade, which is home to two, must-see monuments: the King’s Mausoleum, which was built in 1971 and houses the remains of the late king Hassan II, Prince Abdallah and their father King Mohamed V, and the Hassan Tower, an incomplete red sandstone minaret which began construction in 1195 AD.
We’ll wrap up our visit of Rabat at the Kasbah des Oudayas, an Almohad fortress built in 1150 AD. From the Kasbah des Oudayas, we’ll head to lunch at Dar Naji, a Moroccan restaurant that is not to be missed. Watch out for the tea pouring performance at the end of the meal!
This afternoon, we’ll embark on the 4.5-hour drive to Tangier. After arriving and checking in at our hotel – Riad Mokhtar – we’ll have dinner on the property.
After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll head out to see Tangier’s sites, beginning with the American Legation Museum. Fun fact: Morocco was the *first* country to recognize the USA’s independence back in the 1700s! We’ll tour the museum, have lunch, and walk-through Tangier’s blue-and-white medina before heading to Cap Spartel in the late afternoon. The drive along the coast is not to be missed, and the cape is spectacular at sunset. We’ll get to see both the cape and the Cave of Hercules, with an Africa-shaped opening that leads out to the sea.
After a day’s worth of excursions, the rest of the evening and dinner will be at your leisure.
Overnight at El Minzah
After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll head off to the famous blue city of Chefchaouen (approx. 3 hours driving time). Upon arrival, we’ll embark on our guided exploration of the town. Known for its signature powder-blue walls and its calming charms, Chefchaouen was founded in 1471 AD and has recently become famous for its cerulean streets.
Our guide will lead us to their favorite haunts as well as the signature locations of Chefchaouen, starting with the Kasbah in the center of town, which offers breathtaking panoramic views from the top of the tower. After lunch in the medina, we’ll be joined by a professional photographer who will take shots of us in the blue streets!
After we get some memorable photos, we’ll have some free time to wander up to the town’s waterfall or through the hidden charms of the medina. We’ll meet up for a delicious dinner all together. Note: Chefchaouen is a dry city – no alcohol.
Overnight stay at Lina Ryad & Spa
In the morning, we’ll bid farewell to the “Blue Pearl” and head over to Fes, Morocco’s ancient cultural capital. Founded in 781AD, Fes is now considered the world’s largest car-free urban zone and is a UNESCO World Heritage site!
The drive is about 5-hours, so we’ll break up the drive with a stop en route at Volubilis, the Roman ruins located outside of the city, and will then enjoy lunch and a wine tasting at a local vineyard.
We’ll check into our riad and enjoy a group dinner there. We’ll need a full night’s rest before our action-packed visit of Fes in the morning!
Overnight stay at Riad Myra.
After breakfast, we’ll begin our exploration of the ancient city of Fes. A trip to Fes is like a step back in time, so make sure to take in all of its unique sights, smells, and sounds.
Our day will include stops at the medina, the Medersa (old school), and the legendary tanneries, where ancient techniques are still used to prepare Moroccan leather, which is then used to produce a variety of clothing, shoes, and bags. We’ll also stop by the world’s oldest and longest operating learning institution, the University of Al Quaraouiyine, founded in 859AD.
We’ll break for lunch in the medina and will continue our tour of the souks and artisan quarters after eating.
This evening you’ll have to yourself. Take the opportunity to try a meal at a local restaurant of your choosing, and our guide will definitely have great recommendations!
Overnight stay at Riad Myra
Today, we’ll have a leisurely breakfast and morning to enjoy more of the city.
For those more inclined to a little pampering, we have an optional hammam and spa experience planned to get you scrubbed and relaxed. The traditional hammam ritual involves several steps to cleanse, detoxify, and help in relaxation. You’ll experience one of the world’s most ancient traditions, a black-soap cleanse, followed by a cascading cold-water rinse. This prepares your skin for an invigorating scrub, which leaves you soft and free of accumulated toxins and impurities. After another rinse, a mask of Moroccan volcanic clay is applied to the body, face and hair. The last step of this centuries-old practice of purification is the relaxing massage using pure oils, Morocco’s precious youth elixir!
After a tasty lunch, we’ll get creative with a DIY craft workshop with a local artisan. Here, we’ll be able to learn ancient craft techniques firsthand from some of the country’s most skilled artists!
Finally, we’ll conclude our stay with a farewell dinner before heading back to our riad for the night.
Overnight stay at Riad Myra
After breakfast, those ending their trip here in Fes will bid farewell to new friends made who we will surely count as friends for life, along with all the sights and sounds of the past week’s adventures.
We’ll transfer you back to the Casablanca Airport for your departure flight. It’s a 4-hour drive, so please make sure your return flight is in the late afternoon or evening to ensure plenty of time to get to the airport, and for customs and security.
For those choosing to extend their trip, we’ll head to the Fes Airport to catch our domestic flight to Marrakech. We’ll check into our fabulous hotel – La Maison Arabe. We'll then enjoy a self-guided visit of the Majorelle Gardens and YSL Museum. The gardens are filled with exotic plants and trees from all over the world. Next door sits the YSL Museum, home to original work of the internationally renowned designer. Once we’ve made our way through the gardens, we’ll take some time to check out the museum and learn more about Yves Saint-Laurent.
In the evening, we’ll head to the famed Djemaa el Fna Square, which comes alive at night. Storytellers hold audience's captive; juice vendors call out the flavors they have available and live musicians perform in the middle of the square. After our visit, we’ll head back to La Maison Arabe for a delicious dinner.
We’ll wake up for breakfast and head out to explore Marrakech’s old city. Our guide will take us on a walking tour of the most notable monuments, followed by a lunch break in the medina. We’ll then continue with a visit of the souks, where every imaginable good is sold, from spices to shoes to floor-length carpets. If needed, our guide will be able to help us negotiate at the souks for anything that catch our eye!
After exploring the medina, we’ll head to our tagine cooking class! This class is hands-on and is taught by an expert chef, who will walk us through the process of how to make a traditional tagine. After prepping our tagines and side salads under the chef’s guidance, we’ll all get to enjoy our homemade creations for dinner!
Overnight Stay at La Maison Arabe
Bid farewell to your new friends, driver and guide. If flying home from Marrakech, the airport is a short drive. If you're returning from Casablanca airport, its a ~4.5-5 hour drive, so please make sure your departing flight is in the late afternoon or evening to ensure plenty of time to get to the airport, and for customs and security.
Riad Kalaa is a true traditional riad, this former notable's house dating from 1815 offers 11 rooms and suites.
Lina Ryad & Spa surrounded by magnificent cerulean mountains and nestled in the heart of the medina, this luxurious riad enjoys a privileged position in one of Morocco’s most unique destinations.
Your host for this trip is L. Leigh Rhoads (“Linda Leigh” to her friends, of which you will assuredly be one after your travels) who calls the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia home. Leigh speaks basic French due to her time spent in Caen, France and is a veteran of Moroccan travel. A Civil Rights attorney by trade, Leigh has taken every gift of time available to her, between practicing law and being mother to an extremely fun and mischievous set of twins, to seek out adventurous and meaningful travel experiences like this one. She is so looking forward to sharing the magic of colorful and eclectic Morocco with you!
Includes transfer from the CMN airport and one night at Le Casablanca Hotel
Includes transfer from the CMN airport and two nights Le Casablanca hotel
Unique culture, Desert Sahara and delicious foods.
Immerse yourself in the exotic colours and cultures that express the flavours of Morocco. From the imperial cities of Fes and Rabat to the vibrant town of Chefchaouen, the rich history and traditions of this ancient land await.
Airport transfers on start/end date of trip
A registered country guide, driver and host to look after your every need
All meals specified in the itinerary
All activities, entrance fees and transportation in country, as specified
Hammam & Spa experiences
Your international airfare
Airport transfers before or after trip start/end date
Fes to Marrakech flight (if taking the extension)
Souvenirs & shopping
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
You are going to want to fly into Casablanca International Airport (CMN)
The trip officially starts on October 15th but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to Morocco, you may want to consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and get acclimated to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will take care of booking your room for you and make sure that you are kept in the same room as you will be in when the trip starts.
We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.
The weather in October is beautiful. Temperatures are a high of 82F and a low of around 60F.