(11 Days – Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Fez, Erfoud, Sahara Desert, Ouarzazate, Marrakesh
This private tour of Morocco combines the ancient city of Fez and the festive city of Marrakesh with time in and around the Sahara Desert, exploring oases, sand dunes, fortified towns and Berber culture.
Begin in Fez, the intellectual and religious heart of Morocco. During private touring, explore Fez el-Bali (“Old Fez”) and its medieval medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site crammed with narrow streets, tiny squares and busy workshops. See centuries-old mosques and universities, as well as the open-air tanneries.
If desired, also visit studios where artisans create traditional carpets, copperware, leatherwork, ceramics and zellij tilework. Also tour Fez el-Djedid (“New Fez”) to see the Royal Palace and explore the mellah, the largest Jewish quarter in Morocco. If desired, spend a day touring major Roman ruins at Volubilis and the former imperial capital of Meknes, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Next, enjoy a scenic drive over the mountains and through the vast date palm orchards of the Ziz Valley to Erfoud, an oasis town on the edge of the Sahara Desert. During private touring, visit ksars (fortified villages) in the ancient town of Rissani and also see the ruins of Sijilmassa, a historic trading post along the trans-Sahara caravan routes.
Then, venture into the Sahara Desert for an unforgettable night in a private Bedouin tented camp among the sand dunes. Ride camels over the dunes, and enjoy traditional Moroccan cuisine and gnawa music in your camp.
Transfer through the Dades Valley, also known as the “Valley of the Thousand Kasbahs” for its abundant traditional architecture, to Ouarzazate. Stay at a luxury resort designed like a kasbah (traditional fort), and enjoy private touring of regional highlights such as Ait Benhaddou, a spectacular ksar (fortified village) and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Also see evocative locations used in filming notable movies and TV shows, and browse souks for local handicrafts such as patterned carpets.
Next, cross the breathtaking Tizi n’ Tichka Pass in the High Atlas Mountains en route to Marrakesh, a beautiful city of pink buildings, bustling souks (markets), and upscale shops and restaurants. During private touring, explore exquisite Moorish gardens and architectural highlights such as Jardin Majorelle, Jardin Menara, the Palmeraie and the Bahia Palace. See important historic monuments and districts, including the Jewish quarter, Koutoubia Mosque, and Ali ben Youssef Mosque and Medersa.
If desired, also visit museums such as Dar Si Said Museum of Moroccan Arts. Take an insider tour of the massive souks where shops offer local products such as argan oil, Berber carpets and Moroccan slippers. Also visit the spice souks, which are stocked with locally harvested saffron, cumin and other ingredients.
Relax with a glass of Moroccan mint tea at one of our favorite spots, and enjoy reservations at elegant restaurants in restored ryads (guesthouses). One night, explore Djemaa el-Fna, the city’s lively main square, which transforms each evening into a multisensory pageant of energetic street performances and tantalizing food stalls. If desired, visit the best boutiques and galleries in Gueliz. There will also be time to enjoy your luxurious resort, one of the most exclusive hotels in Morocco.