16 DAYS/15 NIGHTS
Day 1. CASABLANCA.
You will be met on arrival Casablanca airport and transferred to your hotel. After checking in you have an afternoon at leisure in this bustling commercial capital of Morocco. D
Day 2. CASABLANCA / RABAT / VOLUBILIS / FEZ.
After breakfast our adventure starts at the magnificent Hassan II Mosque, built by the late King and second only in size to the Great Mosque in Mecca. A short orientation tour of the Corniche area of Casablanca before setting out for Rabat, the Imperial Capital, for our visit of the magnificent Mohamed V Mausoleum where both Kings Mohamed V and Hassan II are buried. We also see the well preserved Tour Hassan and the Chellah which were built by the Merinid Dynasty between the 12th and 13th centuries to then continue our day taking the road to Volubilis, once a busy trading post for the Roman Empire, to see the impressive Roman ruins. The mosaics here are some of the best preserved in the world. A short visit of the Imperial City of Meknes, the one-time capital of Moulay Ismaël, founded in the 9th century by Zenata Berbers, including the old ramparts, the Agoudal Basin: the Moulay Ismaël royal stables and one of the most beautiful gates in Morocco – the Bab el Mansour – and the Moulay Ismaël Mausoleum, one of the very few holy sites in Morocco which may be visited by non-Muslims, then on to the Imperial City of Fez for our dinner and overnight stay. BLD
Day 3. FEZ.
A full day to explore this magnificent city, one of the best living examples of a medieval Arab city and the religious capital of the Kingdom of Morocco. We take in the Karaouine mosque and Medersas whilst also experiencing the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the labyrinth of souks and tanneries. The tour includes photo stops at the imposing gate of Bab Boujloud, the ancient ramparts, the splendid fountain at Place Nejjarine and the beautiful front entrance to the Royal Palace. A light lunch is served in a local restaurant. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay at the end of the afternoon. Doubtless, some shopping will be in mind! BLD
Day 4. FEZ / ERFOUD.
After an early breakfast we leaving on a full day’s drive south across the cedar forests of Ifrane, with its almost Swiss-Alpine scenery and on through the Middle Atlas Mountains for the desert region of the South. We stop for lunch at the incredible Ziz Gorges, then to take Landrovers for our journey down through the many oases in an ocean of sand to arrive at our final destination of the awesome dunes of Erg Chebbi. From here the Sahara stretches as far as the eye can see. We witness a stupendous sunset to return and spend the night in a local Auberge. BLD
Day 5. ERFOUD / TODRA GORGES / OUARZAZATE.
We’ll rise before dawn today to experience a breathtaking sunrise over the Saharan dunes from the back of a camel, back for breakfast before taking the road to the Todra Gorges. Lunch is taken in the shade of these towering cliffs before setting off on the road of a Thousand Kasbahs for Ouarzazate. In the afternoon visit of the town, including the 17th century Kasbah Taourirt and Kasbah Tifoutoute, both of which were once the homes of the powerful Pasha Glaoui. (Please note that either or both of these kasbahs may be closed without notice for film crews). Dinner and overnight in our Ouarzazate hotel. BLD
Day 6. OUARZAZATE / MARRAKECH / OUIRGANE.
Setting out early in the morning towards the north up through the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi n’Tichka and Marrakech to Ouirgane, we get our first real sight of the mighty Jbel Toubkal (4167m) and sister peaks as we arrive at our hotel tucked away in a beautiful valley for a bit of peace and quiet. Ouirgane has been called ‘The oasis in the High Atlas’. BLD
Day 7. OUIRGANE / TREK / TIZZIANE.
A late breakfast and it’s time to meet up with our mountain guide and mules to begin our trek of about 5 hours passing through the village of Touroud and from where we strike out along a piste to the National Park of Tassa Ouirgane. At the village of Tassa Ouir (meaning the Centre of Flowers)we hike between red pine and junipers to picnic amidst walnut trees near the forest in the Azerzeane Valley to continue down through the hamlet of Ikoubline and overnight in a Berber Gîte d’étape at the pretty village of Tizziane. (1600m). BLD
Day 8. TREK TO AAZIB ASSOUÂL.
Leaving Tizziane via the Tizi n’Touati (2100M) we ascend for 3 hours to reach the Assaka Plateau, passing stands of holm oaks, red pine and junipers to continue down to the Valley of the Assif D’Knt and a night under canvas near Tizgui at the Âazib Assouâl. BLD
Day 9. TREK TO TIZI OUSSEM.
Ascent from Tizgui towards Tizi n’Taghoudalalte at 2700m with its impressive panoramic views. Descent through almost an almost alpine atmosphere with fields of poppies, wildflowers and ancient terraced irrigated fields along the Valley of the n’Aït Ouissa’dane to the last hamlet in this Valley-Tizi Oussem and our overnight bivouac surrounded by the Jbels Tasghimout (2004m), Aguelzim (3547m) and Tazaghârt (3843m). BLD
Day10. TREK TO TAZAGHÂRT REFUGE.
Leaving Tizi Oussem we continue our climb to the end of the Aït Ouissa’dane Valley and then take lunch on a ridge at the Cascades d’Irhoulidene (2300m) with a close-up view of the mighty Jbel Toubkal and her sister peaks, to reach our mountain Refuge home for the night in the early afternoon. BLD
Day 11. TREK TO THE TOUBKAL REFUGE.
Today we cross the remote Tizi n’Taddate (3700m) along off-the-beaten goat trails up through the steep and rocky pass to the Jbel Bignouissen (4009m) where we picnic amidst some quite magnificent views. Our next challenge awaits us but first we descend to our overnight accommodation in the Toubkal refuge which, at 3207m, marks the spring snowline. BLD
Day 12. TREK SUMMIT OF MOUNT TOUBKAL.
An early start today for Toubkal. The summit is neither technical nor demanding but the views are particularly spectacular. When ready, we shall descend via the South Circuit for a straightforward ramble back to the Refuge. In the afternoon we have a gentle hike south-eastwards to the head of the Assif n’Aït Mizane Valley and the Tizi n’Ounoums (3664m) with a view of the distant Lake Ifni to return to our Refuge for the night.BLD
Day 13. TOUBKAL SUMMIT / IMLIL / MARRAKECH.
An easy walk down the slopes of the Valley of the Assif n’Isouhouanem n’Ouagounss passing through Sidi Chamharouch to picnic by a waterfall then down through granite and basalt rocks to the village of Aroumd, built on a spur of moraine to arrive at Morocco’s ‘Little Chamonix’ – the trailhead village of Imlil for a quick cuppa before joining our transport to Marrakech for our overnight and dinner in our hotel. BLD
Day 14. MARRAKECH.
A full day in Marrakech with a tour of the historical sites in the morning and the afternoon in the Souks around the Djmâa El Fna Square, with its myriad of street performers. Dinner is in a Moroccan restaurant with folklore and then overnight in our Marrakech hotel. BLD
Day 15. MARRAKECH.
A day at leisure, or last minute shopping or the opportunity to make optional excursions. BLD
Day 16. MARRAKECH / CASABLANCA / HOME.
Departure transfer for Casablanca in accordance with your flight scheduled for your return flight home. B
B = Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner