Call to book01904 734 939
Tour Search

Morocco’s Ancient Cities and Kasbahs

You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
10 days From £1,995 per person


Discover Morocco’s ancient cities and kasbahs, on a journey from mountains to desert.

Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys

2024 Tour code: MDG24

About the tour

Explore three of Morocco's alluring Imperial Cities - Fez, Marrakech and Rabat - discovering architectural treasures, intricate palaces, magnificent mosques and vibrant souks. We venture into the Atlas mountains into an ancient desert landscape, visit exquisite mud-carved palaces and traditional Berber villages, travel along the wondrous 'Route of 1000 Kasbahs', and experience the desert's ever-changing skies, spending a night under the stars in a luxury tented camp.


What’s included


Day 1 - London and Marrakech

We meet at London Heathrow for our flight to Marrakech, Morocco's first historical capital and Imperial City. Here we are transferred to our hotel for two nights where we have dinner.

Day 2 - Marrakech

Today, we take a guided tour of ancient Marrakech, at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains. We visit the ramparts, the stately 12th century Koutoubia minaret and the Menara Gardens. We then visit the Bahia Pal-ace with a lush Moorish-style garden and courtyard, Dar El Bacha, once the home of a Sultan, finally reaching the lively Djemaa El F'na Square, the ancient trading point of Northwest Africa, where musicians, dancers, acrobats, jugglers and snake-charmers and stallholders still ply their trade. This evening, we enjoy dinner and a folklore show, performed by people from different tribes around the country.

Day 3 – Casablanca

This morning we take the train from Marrakech to Casablanca, where we are transferred to our hotel. After free time to enjoy lunch independently, we take a guided sightseeing tour of Morocco's most modern and largest city. Our tour takes us to the Hassan II mosque, and Place Mohamed V - a popular shopping street with 1930s residential blocks. We also see the United Nations Square, designed by French architect Joseph Marrast, and the 1920s-built League of Arab States Park - an elegant oasis of palm trees, pergolas and cafés with shady terraces.

Day 4 – Rabat and Fez

After breakfast we travel by coach to Rabat, the political capital and fourth of Morocco's Imperial Cities. We set out on a guided tour, seeing the old Medina, the picturesque Kasbah of the Oudayas, and the Oudaya Gate which faces the Barbary coast Corsair port of Sallee, with historical museums, built during the Almohads dynasty. The Merinides built the well-preserved Hassan Tower and the Chellah in the 12th and 13th centuries. We walk into the Mohamed V Mausoleum, the burial place of the present King's father, in front of the Royal Palace. We have lunch at the Marina Riverside restaurant. This afternoon we take the train from Rabat to Fez, where we check into our hotel for two nights and enjoy dinner.

Day 5 – Historical Fez

Today we head out on a full day city tour of Fez, the oldest of the four Imperial Cities. Founded around 809 AD, Fez is considered the spiritual and intellectual capital of Islam in the west. Our tour takes in the Borj Nord arm museum, the great gateway of the Royal Palace, the imposing fortifications of the medieval Kasbah des Chrardas, the 9th century Karaouyine Mosque and the 14th century University. We also see the shrine of MoulayIdriss II, founder of Fez, the Nejarine fountain and the Bab Boujloud gateway, as we explore the spice market and souks of the Medina. You are free to enjoy lunch in a restaurant recommended by our guide or to eat in another of your choice. Tonight we enjoy dinner and a performance at a Moroccan restaurant in the Medina.

Day 6 – Fez - Azrou - Midelt - Errachidia - Erfoud

We head south by coach today, towards the Sahara, discovering fascinating Ksars - Berber mountainvillages. Making photostops enroute, we visit the pseudo-Swiss town of Ifrane - with its red-tiled roofs and cedar forest - then arrive at Azrou, a fortress settlement in the Middle Atlas mountains. Our tour continues into the Oued Gigou Valley, through the High Atlas to the ksar of Midelt, where we stop for lunch. Our journey continues as we travel through passes with intriguing names - like the Pass of the She-Camel - into the dramatic Ziz Gorges, to the French-built garrison town of Errachidia, alive in the evening with students from the University and Lycée. We reach the small palm grove at Meski - the familiar picture postcard image of La Source Bleue. After crossing an arid belt of red desert we descend into the oasis town of Erfoud, and experience our first impression of the proximity and vastness of the Sahara. We dine and spend the night at our Kasbah hotel.

Day 7 – Rissani and Merzouga Camp

Today we leave our Kasbah hotel by coach, a short trip to the desert town of Rissani, once an important trading centre for African and Berber people where Gold was traded for salt and sugar. Caravans guided by the Touareg used to come and go between here and West Africa. Here we are given a guided sightseeing tour of the Berber villages, Ksar Akbar and Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim. We also make a photo stop at the tomb of Moulay Ali Charif, founder of Morocco's Alaouite Dynasty. After sightseeing we're taken on a 4x4 drive through the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi to the Saharan village of Merzouga, where we are greeted with a refreshing glass of mint tea. Our 4x4 journey continues to explore this fascinating sea of golden dunes, the only true desert area in Morocco. We arrive in our fabulous tented camp - Merzouga Camp - where we enjoy a 3-course dinner and spend the night under a starry sky watching the changing colours of the desert.

Day 8 – Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs and Dadès Gorge

Before breakfast today you have the exciting option of a private sunrise desert excursion by camel. We return for breakfast in our desert camp, then travel by coach to the village of TInehrir at the start of the stunning Route of 1000 Kasbahs in the wonderful Dadès valley. From here we set out up the Oued Todra, a remarkable deep and narrow canyon, continuing through rugged mountains to the mouth of the Todra Gorge. After breaking for a light lunch we arrive into Boulmane du Dadès, where we check into our hotel for the night.

Day 9 – Marrakech

Our drive back to Marrakech this morning involves stops at the beautiful ruins of El Glaoui Kasbah and a group of other kasbahs built against a volcanic twist in the rocks. We return to the mouth of the gorge to see Qlaat Des M'Gouna, a citadel of the M'Gouna tribe, where thousands of small, pink Damascne roses, first planted by French settlers, are grown. We also visit the fortified 18th century Kasbah of Taourirt in Ouarzazate and magnificent Kasbah and Ksour of Ait Ben Haddou, a World Heritage Site. We make photostops at the Tizi n'Tichka mountain pass and the small town of Ait Ourir to Taddert, then continue down the Glaoua Plains into Marrakech. We check into our original Marrakech hotel where we dine together on the last night of our Moroccan holiday.

Day 10 - London

After a free morning in Marrakech, maybe to indulge in a final browse of the souks, or to sip mint tea in a café overlooking the bustling square Djemaa el-Fnaa, we are transferred to the airport for our flight back to London Heathrow.

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Radisson Blu Hotel, Casablanca

Radisson Blu Hotel, Casablanca

View hotel

Dades Xaluca Hotel, Dades

Dades Xaluca Hotel, Dades

View hotel

Kasbah Hôtel Xaluca Arfoud, Erfoud

Kasbah Hôtel Xaluca Arfoud, Erfoud

View hotel

Marriott Jnan Palace Hotel, Fez

Marriott Jnan Palace Hotel, Fez

View hotel

Es Saadi Gardens & Resort, Marrakech

Es Saadi Gardens & Resort, Marrakech

View hotel

Merzouga Camp, Merzouga Camp

Merzouga Camp

View hotel

Enhance your holiday


Flight upgrades
UK rail connections
London hotels