When concocting a trip to Morocco, planning is everything! Some of the most beautiful places are far away from the big cities and quite difficult to get to. Therefore, if you don’t want to miss out on anything, follow our guide and enjoy your self-organized Morocco tour!
We will assume you start from Fez, where RyanAir flies, but it’s a circular route, so you can start it from any of the big cities with a port or an airport. Before you embark on your adventure, don’t forget to check our Morocco FAQ! It will save you a lot of trouble!
Day 1: Fez
Be kind to yourself on the first day and take your time to adjust to the climate. Have a late and relaxed Moroccan breakfast, consisting of delicious homemade pastry, cakes, and mint tea or coffee. Now you are ready to venture out without getting too overwhelmed. Fez has the biggest old city (madina) in Morocco and is famous for its tanneries and its beautiful gates decorated in blue. If you don’t want to miss any of the sights, follow the signs on the colorful touristic paths that cover most of the city. You can find a big map of these routes near Bab Rcif. Some of the essential sights are the ancient University of Al-Karaouine and the Bou Inania Madrasa. Try to find a place to dine on one of the rooftops to enjoy the view of the city.
Day 2: Meknes and around
Take a train to Meknes (<1h) in the morning. Meknes, while not as popular as Fez, Rabat, or Marrakesh, is also one of the four Moroccan imperial cities. The Spanish-Moorish style old city is smaller than Fez’s but as precious and less crowded. If you have time, venture out of the city in a grand taxi or with a tour to the old Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO heritage sight.
Days 3 – 4: Chefchaouen
There are direct buses to Chefchaouen from Meknes, but more often they stop at Derdara, a town 8km from Chefchaouen on the way from Fez to Tangier. Derdara and Chefchaouen are connected by frequent and cheap grand taxis, so it’s not a problem to get there.
Chefchaouen is a precious cozy small town lost in the Rif mountains. Its main attraction is its color – it’s painted bright blue! Nature around is beautiful, so if you have time, stay for a couple of days and enjoy a couple of hiking trips. Some hiking routes start right from the city, whereas to reach others you can taxi-pool with fellow tourists. A couple of the most interesting destinations are the Talasemtane national park and Akchour waterfalls.
Day 5: Tangier
Take a bus from Chefchaouen or Derdara to Tangier, a city that will amaze you with a wild mixture of cultures and architectural styles. Stroll along the waterfront or get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the old city. From here you can take boat trips of the Strait of Gibraltar and explore the “end of the world” – Cap Spartel Natural reserve. If you have a spare day, spend it relaxing on Achekar beach and visiting the beautiful Hercules’s cave.
Days 6-7: Rabat and Sale
You’re back to train routes, so there will be no problem to get from Tangier to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Rabat and Sale are twin cities, situated on the opposing sides of Bou Regreg river. Needless to say, there are great views of Sale from Rabat side and of Rabat from Sale side, so take your time to explore both. It is easy to manage, considering that there is a modern tram line running across the river to save your time.
Rabat’s jewel if the huge Kasbah of the Oudaias, facing the river mouth. The view is breathtaking, especially if you take it in from one of the rooftop cafes with a glass of mint tea in your hand. If you want to take a picture of the Kasbah itself, head to one of the large flat beaches surrounding it. Another place of interest is Hassan Tower and the Royal Mausoleum.
Sale is more of a dormitory district than a tourist attraction now, but it does have a breathtaking history. A Phoenician colony once, it later became an independent pirate republic, founded in the spirit of freedom and debauchery. The most impressive part of Sale is a huge cemetery right on the waterfront, with a background view of Rabat Kasbah.
Day 8: Casablanca
Taking the train again, you find yourself in a city made popular by a Hollywood movie of the same name. “Casa” is famous for being the most cosmopolitan and modern city in Morocco. For example, you’ll hardly ever see women in hijabs in the streets. The grandest tourist attraction in Casablanca is The King Hassan II Mosque. It’s the largest mosque in Morocco and third largest in the world!
Now if you have a spare couple of days or more, go to visit the walled beauty of Essaouira city and enjoy surfing or swimming on the beaches near Agadir. If not, proceed according to the plan, the rest of which, including the desert trip, gorgeous mountains, and a lot more, you can find in the second part of this itinerary.Written by Kate