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Walled clay villages and palaces clad in ornate tiles, colorful medinas where piles of spices and barrels of olives beckon, Berbers that carry on timeless ways of life high in the mountains—this is the enchanting mix that is Morocco. Get an insider’s perspective on this fascinating country, exploring alongside private guides. Wander the ancient lanes of Fez, examine the mosaics at the ancient Roman site of Volubilis, experience Berber hospitality in the High Atlas Mountains, and cap off the trip in magical Marrakech.
Visit six UNESCO World Heritage sites with a private guide, from the medina of Marrakech and the historic city of Meknès
Sip traditional mint tea in the home of a Berber family living in the High Atlas Mountains.
On a private tour, discover Fez's ancient maze of colorful markets and mosques.
Itinerary - 9 Days
Day 1 — Arrive Casablanca/Fez
Arrive in Casablanca, where you’ll be met for your private transfer to Fez. In the heart of Fès el Bali, the old walled city, turn down a narrow lane and step through the threshold of an unassuming portal to discover the ornate courtyard of your traditional Moroccan guesthouse. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, soaking up the vibrant colors and intoxicating scents of the medina’s ancient maze of covered bazaars. Riad Maison Bleue
Day 2 — Fez
Delve deeper into Fès el-Bali on a private guided tour of this World Heritage site. Peruse the medina’s markets and craft workshops and stroll the arcades of Al-Karaouine, the longest continually operating university in the world. Contrast the twisting lanes of the old quarter with the plazas and palaces of Fez el Jdid, or “New Fez,” a district built during the Marinid dynasty in the 13th century. Admire the opulent entrance to the Royal Palace, the one-time imperial seat of the city. Then take a stroll atop the old town walls, stopping at the Blue Gate to see its intricate mosaic design. Riad Maison Bleue (B, D)
Day 3 — Meknes/Volubilis/Rabat
Today, discover two World Heritage sites with a private guide. The medieval walled city of Meknès served as Morocco’s imperial capital in the 17th century and features grand, tiled gateways and mausoleums. Outside of the city are the partially excavated Roman ruins of Volubilis. Admire the well-preserved mosaic floors of this city, dating back to the third century B.C. Arrive in Rabat and step through the spectacular Moorish gate of the oceanfront Kasbah of Ouadaya before visiting the stunning marble Mausoleum of Mohamed V. Villa Mandarine (B, L)
Day 4 — Marrakech/High Atlas Mountains
Journey into the High Atlas Mountains, stopping for lunch in Marrakech. Continue to the Kasbah du Toubkal, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World and your home for the next two nights. Perched on a hilltop amid the soaring peaks of Toubkal National Park, this stunning retreat was built from the ruins of a kasbah and celebrates the customs and traditions of the local Berber people. National Geographic guests at the lodge have an exclusive invitation to enjoy a village walk with a local staff member, followed by a traditional mint tea in his or her home. Kasbah du Toubkal (B, L, D)
Day 5 — High Atlas Mountains
This morning, set out to explore the slopes of Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. On a range of hikes, walks, and donkey rides, discover a landscape of vast plateaus carved by deep ravines, waterfalls, and dramatic cliffs. Meet with a Berber family in the village, and then settle into the cushions and carpets of the lodge’s traditional restaurant to savor local specialties.
Kasbah du Toubkal (B, L, D)
Day 6 — Aït Ben Haddou
Travel through the canyons of the High Atlas Mountains to the Kasbah Telouet, a deserted fortification on an age-old caravan route between Marrakech and the Sahara. Within faded and crumbling walls, encounter the unexpected grandeur of the palace's ornate interior before continuing to the ancient village of Aït Ben Haddou. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, meandering enchanting narrow lanes lined with adobe houses.
Ksar Ighnda Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 7 — Marrakech
Drive to legendary Marrakech, a cultural melting pot of Berber, African, Mediterranean, and Arab influences. Discover hidden neighborhoods as you venture into artisan quarters and souks off the beaten path. Then immerse yourself in the magic of Djemaa el-Fna, the city’s lively main square. Listen to the tales of storytellers, warm up to fire-eaters, and delight in the beguiling music of snake charmers as you wander through this enchanting plaza. Villa des Orangers (B, L)
Day 8 — Marrakech
Visit Marrakech’s cultural and historic highlights on a private full-day city tour. Start at Koutoubia Mosque’s iconic minaret tower and then stroll through the lavish colonnades and courts of the Bahia Palace. Continue to the Saadian Tombs, the final resting place for the Saadian royal family. Pass through the imposing Bab Agnaou Gate, the entrance to the royal Kasbah. End your day at the Majorelle Gardens, a collection of exotic plants set among elegant ornamental ponds and a colorful art deco villa. Villa des Orangers (B)
Day 9 — Marrakech/Depart
Transfer to the Marrakech airport and catch your international flight home. (B)
About Private Expeditions
National Geographic Private Expeditions are specially crafted itineraries designed for independent travelers that combine guided excursions, fascinating insights into culture and wildlife, and top accommodations. Simply select a trip and decide whom you'd like to travel with and when you want to travel. We'll take care of the rest.
May - June 2017 September 2017 - June 2018 September - December 2018
Prices are per person, double occupancy and are subject to availability. Single traveler prices are available upon request.
International airfare to Casablanca and home from Marrakech is not included in the expedition cost.
A holiday surcharge may apply to certain travel dates based upon international or local holidays, as well as local events and festivals.
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Other Important Details
Please contact our reservations specialists to learn about the level of physical activity on this trip. The activity level can be decreased or increased based on your preference.