The Kingdom of Morocco offers a dizzying array of places to visit including modern cities, jagged mountain ranges, crumbling medinas, majestic sand dunes, and frenetic kasbahs. This hypnotic country has so many unique styles of architecture, herbs and spices to tickle the senses, interesting people, fascinating history, and bold colours. It’s impossible to not be both overwhelmed and charmed as you make your way around, enjoying your Morocco Itinerary.
Do a loop through the country with the perfect Morocco itinerary, starting with the modern city of Casablanca and ending in the fabled red city of Marrakech, where you can do a day trip to the fortress by the sea, Essaouira. (Or more, if time allows!) You’ll want to spend as much time as you can in each destination to really soak up the energy, both similar and different from each of the areas you have been.
This Morocco itinerary offers the best of Morocco and a wide array of much of what it has to offer. It’s enigmatic and addictive, so be prepared to fall in love with this magical country.
- 1 Morocco Itinerary Overview
- 2 Days 1-3 Morocco Itinerary: Casablanca
- 3 Days 4 Morocco Itinerary: Meknes and Volubilis
- 4 Days 5-7 Morocco Itinerary: Fes
- 5 Day 7 Morocco Itinerary: Day trip to Chefchaouen
- 6 Days 8-10 Morocco Itinerary: Sahara Desert
- 7 Days 10-11 Morocco Itinerary: Atlas Mountains
- 8 Days 10-13 Morocco Itinerary: Marrakech
- 9 Day 14 Morocco Itinerary: Day trip to Essaouira
Morocco Itinerary Overview
Days 1 – 3: Casablanca (2 Nights)
Day 4: Meknes and Volubilis ( Day Trip)
Days 4 – 7: Fes (3 Nights)
Day 7: Chefchaouen (Day Trip)
Days 7 – 10: Sahara Desert (3 Nights)
Days 10 – 12: Atlas Mountains (2 Nights)
Days 12 – 15: Marrakech (3 Nights)
Day 15: Day trip to Essaouira
Days 1-3 Morocco Itinerary: Casablanca
The “white city” on the Atlantic is one of the most famous cities in the country, however, the city made famous by Hollywood is nothing like it is in the movie. (Sorry to ruin that for you!) Though it’s one of the largest cities in the country, you can easily cover the best things to do in Casablanca in one day.
Casablanca is a modern city and an easy one to begin your Moroccan adventure in. Fly in and make sure to see the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest in the world and one of the few in all of Morocco that allow tourists inside. You will definitely want to take advantage of that opportunity as this mosque is as ornate as a palace and worth visiting. Just a short walk away is Rick’s Cafe, a great place for lunch or dinner. No, it’s not the Rick’s Cafe from the movie, but a fantastic recreation with incredible food, service, and ambience. You may be inclined to skip it as it’s not the original, but don’t.
Check out both the old and new medinas to try your hand at the art of haggling. It’s good to get some practice in before you head to Marrakech and the world-renowned market there. And when you go to the new media, also called Quartier Habous, be sure to visit Makhama du Pacha. Though it’s now a government administrative building, it’s stunning with intricate wood scrolling, stunning mosaics, and beautiful, bright colours and a must-see in Casablanca.
Days 4 Morocco Itinerary: Meknes and Volubilis
Next, make your way to Fes but make two stops on the way to Meknes and Volubilis. Meknes is one of the four Imperial Cities of Morocco and a former capital, founded in the 11th century. It is known for the large and ornately-decorated gates leading into the old city. The many large buildings and the towering old city walls showcase the former glory this city once had. Visit the most famous (and beautiful) gate, Bab El Mansour, and go across the street to the thriving market of El Hedim Square. It’s a smaller, but no less frenetic, version of the market in Marrakech.
Not far from Meknes is the ancient Roman ruin of Volubilis. Where did the Romans not go, right? Volubilis is one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world, so you don’t want to miss it. For a time, it was the capital of the Roman state, Mauritania. It was a wealthy city featuring the Triumphal Arch of Caracalla, the Temple of Jupiter, a large basilica, and some impressive mosaic floors in the homes of the wealthy. Though it was destroyed by the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, the important buildings have been partially rebuilt so it’s worth visiting.
Though you can certainly spend more time visiting Meknes, and it’s worth it if you have the time, a day between these two places will give you a good taste and will leave you hungry to see more in Morocco.
Days 5-7 Morocco Itinerary: Fes
The city of Fes is the second-largest city in Morocco, second only to Casablanca. It is another imperial city and former capital of the country. It’s home to the oldest and largest medina, or old walled city, in the country. The medina is a crowded maze of narrow passageways open to foot traffic only and it’s an assault to the senses. The frenetic hustle of people and donkey carts, the smell of food and artisans perfecting their craft, the sounds of the daily grind.
Somehow it manages to be as charming as it is overwhelming. Hiding inside are a leather tannery, striking minarets, artisan co-ops, picturesque fountains, and the oldest university in the world. You can tour the Chouara Tannery and learn how the artisans prepare the hides and craft their leather goods and watch pottery throwing, mosaic laying, and the intricate painting work that is done. See how tapestries are made by monstrous looms run by hand, and visit the University of Karueein wandering the courtyard and the halls where students have learned for well over a thousand years.
This area of perpetual pandemonium is best seen with a guide as it can be so overwhelming and you may never find your way out through the narrow paths inside. There are many who have never seen the outside of this place and know it well. And, you’ll never find a good map to guide you. As frenetic as the Fes medina is, and even though I’m not a person for crowds, it was one of my favourite places in Morocco.
When you visit Fes, try to take at least 2-3 days here. Also, consider a day trip to the fabled city of Chefchaouen. It’s known for the old city washed in shades of blue so if you’re not familiar with the name, you likely have seen the striking pictures. Though there isn’t agreement as to the story of why the city is blue, it’s a striking masterpiece worth visiting. Enjoy a cup of steaming mint tea and take in the colours. Then wander the narrow alleyways smelling of incense, oranges, and spices.
Day 7 Morocco Itinerary: Day trip to Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is known a the Blue City and is one of the best places to visit in Morocco. Located in the northern region of the country among the Rif Mountains, the town is filled with blue-washed houses and building which symbolises the sky and heavens to remind the people to lead a spiritual life.
You can book a private day tour for your day trip from Fes or opt for public transit. Note you will be travelling around 6-8 hours. If you have time spend a night in Chefchaouen to break up the travel.
Some of the highlights of Chefchaouen include, the medina, get lost in the maze of twisting alleyways where you will stumble upon native handicrafts, wool garments and colourful woven blankets!
Another highlight is Bouzaafar Mosque located on the outskirts of the city. This Spanish mosque offers the best panoramic views over Chefchaouen making it the most popular spot to watch the sunset over the blue-rinsed mountain city!
Days 8-10 Morocco Itinerary: Sahara Desert
Next, you’ll want to visit the small village in Morocco’s Sahara desert, Merzouga for a day or two. The wind-blown sand dunes rise up out of nowhere eclipsing the hotels in the forefront. They rise up from the ground made of a dry, barren landscape that looks much as you’d expect the surface of the moon to look. There are a number of seemingly random outcroppings of hotels and restaurants throughout the area, circling some native nomadic Berber tents. If you have a chance to visit some of the local tribes, take advantage of the opportunity as it’s fascinating to see how they have lived for centuries.
Of course, this area is all about visiting the sand dunes. Popular activities include jeep rides and 4×4 quad rides, sandboarding, and of course, riding dromedaries (a one-humped camel) over the dunes. The tan-colored sand dunes light up in color with the setting sun, in an amazing painting of reds, pinks, purples, and oranges. It’s truly magical to see. You can also visit the Gnawa, believed to be descendants of West African tribes who bring their style of singing and dance to the area.
Days 10-11 Morocco Itinerary: Atlas Mountains
Merzouga is at one of the southernmost points of Morocco not far from the border with Algeria. When you make your way up to Marrakech, there are a number of stops I recommend along the way worthy of seeing and a nice way to break up the long drive.
Todra Gorge is the first, and it’s a spectacular red-rock canyon on the eastern side of the High Atlas Mountains. The cliff walls rise over 500-feet high. Though the river that carved it is now just a trickle, it’s a beautiful place to walk through and often much cooler than the surrounding area during the heat of the summer. You can spend the night in the small city of Tinghir near Todra Gorge, or continue on.
Ait Ben Haddou
Next, head to Ait Ben Haddou which is a ksar, or a fortified group of adobe buildings high up on a large hill surrounded by tall walls. There are a number of kasbahs inside, which are merchant houses. They once had the protection of the ksar as this city was on the caravan route from the Sahara to Marrakech. A lot of wealth frequently made its way through the area as a result.
It was once a thriving village and though most have moved across the river into more modern dwellings, there are amazingly still four families that live within the walls. If you get an early start leaving Merzouga, you can visit both Todra Gorge and Ait Ben Haddou in a day. You’ll probably want to spend a couple of hours in each place. No matter how much time you have, this will be a must-see on your Morocco itinerary.
If you are interested, you’ll also drive past Ouarzazate, the movie capital of Morocco. It’s sometimes jokingly called “Moroccan Hollywood” or simply, “Mollywood.” There are two large studios here, Atlas Studios and CLA Studios, as well as the Museum of Cinema. Many famous movies have been produced here including Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia, as well as the Game of Thrones. In fact, Ait Ben Haddou may be familiar to fans of the show as Slavers’ Bay, where Danaerys freed the slaves and met the Unsullied, was filmed here.
As you make your way through the High Atlas Mountains, you’ll see jagged peaks with many impressive drop-offs. The highest point in Northern Africa is in these mountains and it’s a hiking paradise. During the summer, enjoy the mountains and the waterfalls. Ouzoud Falls often has the Barbary Macaque monkeys and it’s worth visiting. You’ll also see many women’s argan oil co-ops to stop in, a unique, popular, and expensive oil used for the face and body. You can also take hot air balloon rides near the mountains to see how they are lit up by the sun. In the winter, skiing is popular here. It’s a very different pace in the mountains than the cities of Morocco so it’s worth spending some time here if you are able to.
Days 10-13 Morocco Itinerary: Marrakech
The famed “red city” of Morocco is the most heavily touristed city in the country. Jemaa el-Fnaa, the Marrakech kasbah, or market, is the most famous in the country and it’s everything you have read—bustling, crowded, loud, overwhelming, and simply, amazing. It’s an intriguing representation of daily life in the city with the sights, sounds, and people aggressively bartering for a good price. Again, just like in the Fes medina, I was surprised by how much I loved Marrakech. For all that it is, it somehow manages to be interesting and curiously charming. There is an appealing flow to it and if you can sway in the same rhythm, you’ll appreciate it.
Marrakech is a place you need to be careful in, especially in the market. I’ll admit that I was a little nervous to visit given all that I had read before arriving, but as long as you employ general common sense and maintain awareness around you, you’ll do fine. There are many beautiful places to visit in Marrakech including Jardin Majorelle, the Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace, and others. And if you didn’t already have a Moroccan hammam, or ritual bath, I do recommend you try one here. Be sure to read about them but don’t let those accounts dissuade you.
Marrakech is centrally located and it’s a great place for day trips to see other parts of the country. If you didn’t stop in Ait Ben Haddou or Ouarzazate, or hike in the High Atlas Mountains on the way to Marrakech, you can do those as day trips from here. Spend a few days in Marrakech, then venture out to see other parts of Morocco as well.u.
Day 14 Morocco Itinerary: Day trip to Essaouira
One of the best day trips from Marrakech is the fortress city of Essaouira (though I highly recommend a couple of nights if you can swing it). It’s an easy bus ride to visit the old city where you’ll wander through the winding pedestrian passageways in the old city walls, the ramparts, and the citadel. The harbor fish market offers rows of picturesque bright-blue boats and if you climb the steps of the Harbor Scala, you can get the best views.
Though the beaches in Essaouira are beautiful, you won’t see many people laying out due to the tradewinds that blow for most of the year. Instead, you’ll see people enjoying watersports like surfing and kitesurfing.
Essaouira has a soothing vibe with an interesting mix of local Arabs, tourists, and hippies. The shopkeepers in the medina are not as pushy as in Marrakech so it’s a great place to do your shopping. Prices are better as well. Take some time to wander the crumbling cobblestone streets. Climb to the top of the ramparts and look over the crashing waves enjoying the wind on your face and the soothing sound of life in this city.
You’re probably already planning your Morocco itinerary and I’m considering my return trip now having re-lived this amazing visit. It’s so worth going so put any reservations aside that you may have about this country and go. You can do this tour by car and by bus, and if you would prefer to have guides and not deal with all of the logistics, there are many great tours that cover these areas. This Morocco itinerary will likely take you around two weeks to have the time you will want in each of the locations. It will be worth every exquisite moment.
So that was our Morocco Itinerary for 2 weeks! What do you think? Are you ready to plan your Africa Adventure? Next up we share with you everything you need to know about visiting Egypt!
Guest Bio: Sam is a travel-obsessed animal lover with big plans to travel the world with her dog. When she’s not blogging about her travel adventures at My Flying Leap, you can find her volunteering with her pet-therapy cat and dog, on the top of a mountain, or enjoying a glass of bold red wine planning for her next trip. You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Pinterest.
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