Day 1 - Arrive Casablanca, Morocco
Arrive in Casablanca and transfer to your luxurious
accommodations, designed with contemporary styling and
traditional Moroccan accents. Enjoy the rest of the day at
leisure in this exotic setting, the inspiration for the eponymous,
1942 Humphrey Bogart film.
Day 2 - Rabat & Fez
Begin the day in the port city of Casablanca, Morocco’s largest metropolis and its commercial hub. Visit the stunning Hassan II Mosque, which accommodates up to 25,000 worshippers; its minaret stands as the tallest religious structure in the world. Then, travel to the Moorish city of Rabat, capital of Morocco, to visit the Mohammed V Mausoleum, dedicated to the founder of modern Morocco, grandfather of the current king. View the Mauresque-style Hassan Tower and Oudaya Kasbah, along with its palm-dotted Andalusian garden. Continue to Fez for a special cocktail reception. Then, sit down to a welcome dinner, joined by a female professor who converses with you about the role of women in modern Morocco, an A&K-exclusive experience.
Day 3 - Fez
Explore Fez el-Bali (Old Fez), the cultural heart of Morocco.
Founded in the eighth century by Moulay Idris I, this imperial
capital was a renowned center of medieval learning. Stroll the
labyrinthine old quarter, with its 9,000 narrow lanes, alleys and
souks, on a market visit of exceeding authenticity. Watching
local craftsmen in action — working with bronze and pottery
— makes for an engaging artisan visit as well. Proceed to the
intricately detailed Karaouine. Built in 859 AD, it is one of the
oldest still-functioning universities in the world. You also
visit Nejjarine Square before continuing to Fez el-Jadid (New
Fez), where you see the Royal Palace, madrasas (Islamic
schools) and mellah (Jewish quarter).
Day 4 - Volubilis
Journey overland to explore Volubilis, a UNESCO World
Heritage Site that is home to some of the best-preserved
Roman ruins in North Africa. With its triumphal arches,
basilicas and capitals, the Volubilis skyline brims with
iconic examples of Roman architecture. Among its greatest
treasures, however, are the mosaic floors of former family
dwellings, which include depictions of Orpheus charming
animals with his lyre, nine dolphins signifying good luck and
a portrait of Amphitrite in a seahorse-drawn chariot. Next, proceed to a winery outside Meknes for a memorable Chef’s
Table lunch set among the region’s sunbathed vineyards and
olive groves. Return to Fez, with your evening at leisure.
Day 5 - Erfoud
Travel to small, desert-fringed Erfoud, pausing for lunch
en route and marveling at everyday life as you pass Berber
villages, endless date palm plantations and the majestic Atlas
Mountains. After the day’s scenic drive, settle into your hotel
before gathering for dinner this evening. Tonight’s meal is prepared with locally sourced, organic ingredients.
Day 6 - The Sahara
This morning, discover the fortified desert town of Rissani.
Continue into the desert dunes of the Sahara, at first by
four-wheel-drive vehicle, amid stunning reddish-hued sand
dunes that reach up to 500 feet high, creating an otherworldly
landscape. Then, switch modes of transport and Ride Like a
Local, on camel back, to your nomadic tented camp, where
a reception with mint tea and pastries awaits you. As the sun sets over the Saharan dunes, celebrate your unforgettable
desert foray with a Scenic Sundowner. Return to your
camp for a traditional meal before a campfire, along with
distinctively Moroccan entertainment. Then, slumber in
comfort as the sounds of the desert lull you to sleep.
Day 7 - Ouarzazate
Journey overland to Ouarzazate, once a stopping point for
African traders travelling to the cities of Morocco and Europe.
En route, absorb stunning views of the High Atlas' southern
slopes, intersecting the Dades Valley’s flourishing crops,
irrigation canals and palm trees. Travel along the “Road of a
Thousand Kasbahs” to Ouarzazate and your delightful oasis
of a hotel.
Day 8 - Ouarzazate
Begin the day in Ouarzazate, a city originally built as a
French garrison in the 1920s. Today, it is a regional trade
center, known for its pottery and carpets. See the Kasbah
of Tifoultoute, a majestic 17th-century fortress featuring a
panoramic view of the valley of Ouarzazate and the scenic
High Atlas Mountains. Continue to Ait Benhaddou, a
UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of the region’s most
exotic kasbahs, some of which have been featured in famous
films, including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.
Day 9 - Ouarzazate
Journey over the High Atlas Mountains, observing everyday
life in remote rural towns, to the fascinating “Red City” of
Marrakech, where you check in to your luxurious hotel.
Day 10 - Marrakech
Today, begin to unearth the secrets of Marrakech, starting in
the medina, the old walled section of town that is a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. Marvel at its architectural jewels,
including the soaring Koutoubia Minaret. Then visit Dar Si
Said Museum, originally built as a palace in the 19th century.
Afterward, visit Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech’s main square,
which is filled with orange juice stalls and vendors, along with
fire-eaters, acrobats, dancers and street musicians performing
at every turn. You may also wish to stroll the city’s fabled,
Day 11 - Marrakech
Begin your day at Jardin Majorelle, a picturesque garden
created by French painter Jacques Majorelle and later
restored by design legend Yves Saint-Laurent. Stop at the
Yves Saint Laurent Museum nearby for an up-close look
at some of the famed designer’s creations. This
afternoon, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities:
Learn to Cook with Moroccan Spices with a cooking
demonstration and tasting.
Explore the Souks of Marrakech with an expert guide,
walking narrow streets lined with centuries-old shops.
Enjoy a Guided Walk of the Jewish Quarter,
once a thriving center of religious freedom and tolerance.
Tonight, attend a special farewell dinner with entertainment
by a local gnaoua band.
Day 12 - Depart Marrakech
Transfer to the Marrakech airport and board your international
flight home, or join an Essaouira Post-Tour Extension.