The Morocco Imperial Cities Tour is a popular route among tourists that offers a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture. This week-long tour covers four ancient cities, which served as Morocco’s capital at different times in history: Rabat, Fez, Meknes, and Marrakech. During the tour, travelers can visit historical sites, monuments, museums, and markets.
Here’s what to expect in each city:
- Rabat: As the current capital of Morocco, Rabat offers a mix of modern and traditional architecture. Visitors can explore the iconic Hassan Tower, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, and the charming Kasbah of the Udayas.
- Fez: The oldest of the imperial cities, Fez is renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed medina. This well-preserved medieval city boasts of the Bou Inania Madrasa, the Royal Palace, and the Jewish Quarter, among other attractions.
- Meknes: A smaller city that was once the capital during the reign of Sultan Moulay Ismail. The Bab Mansour gate, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and the underground prison of Dar El Ma are some of the must-visit sites.
- Marrakech: Also known as the “Red City” due to its distinct red sandstone walls and buildings, Marrakech is a bustling city that attracts visitors from all over the world. The city’s highlights include the Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadian Tombs, the Bahia Palace, and the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square.
The Morocco Imperial Cities Tour is a perfect way to explore the country’s history and culture while experiencing its modern and vibrant cities. For a hassle-free tour, it’s recommended to book with a Morocco tour operator.
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Upon your arrival in Casablanca, you will be met by a private driver and taken to your hotel. Dependent on the time of day, you may have the opportunity to explore this cosmopolitan city, one intertwined with its culture yet alive with the modern day. Vast boulevards lined with swaying palm trees from the Atlantic Ocean’s breeze, the city’s boundaries defined by the nearby Atlas Mountains and the Atlantic edges. There you will find art galleries depicting the life of the locals both past and present, as well as the stunning Hassan II Mosque, an example of Morocco’s Moorish influences. Take this time to become accommodated with the beauty of Casablanca and the wonders of Morocco.
After breakfast, we will begin our journey to Rabat, the administrative capital. On the way, we’ll make stops at the Hassan Tower, a 12th-century structure left uncompleted; the memorial of Mohamed V, a tribute erected by King Hassan II to his father who is known as the father of independence; and the Kasbah of Oudaya, famous for its picturesque white and blue buildings and its breath-taking view of the Atlantic beach and river Bouragrag. Subsequently, we’ll be visiting the Imperial City of Meknes, a metropolis renowned for producing olives and olive oil, and where you can get a glimpse of that first-hand at the Lahdime local market. Close by, we’ll explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known for its many Latin inscriptions and arresting mosaics. Finally, we’ll end our day trip in the medieval city of Fes.
After breakfast, you will meet your local tour guide to explore the old medieval medina of Fes, the first imperial city, full of more than 9000 alleyways. You will start with a stop by the ornamented Royal Palace gate and see the panoramic view of the southern entrance of Fes. Then you will visit the tile and mosaics cooperative and mingle with local people in the narrow winding lanes full of articles of color and donkeys carrying goods. You will explore one of the Koranic school (Medrassa), the Nejjarine fountain, and the Karaouine Mosque University. You will visit the famous leather tanneries of Fes, where locals work on the skins of goat, lamb, camel and cow in small pits. Finally, you will indulge yourselves with some of the special dishes of Fes cuisine. After your tour of Fes is complete, you will travel to the administrative capital Rabat and take in the unfinished mosque tower of Hassan, which dates back to the 12th century.
We’ll begin our day by departing from Fes and heading to Ifrane, where we can take pictures of the iconic lion statue and explore the picturesque Prince Street. We’ll then make our way to Azrou, a village known for its woodworking and stunning red carpets. After our time in Azrou, we’ll have lunch in Beni Mellal and then make our way to the stunningly red city of Marrakech.
After breakfast, you will start your day with a guided tour of Marrakech city. Begin your visit at the beautiful Jack Majorelle gardens, full of exotic plants and painted in a bright indigo blue. Explore the 19th Century Bahia Palace, with its exquisite mosaics and stucco, and learn about the lives of its 4 wives and 24 concubines. Marvel at the astounding architecture of the Saadian Tombs, a royal necropolis from the 17th century. Get your hands on some souvenirs in the vibrant souks of Marrakech, before reaching Jemaa lefna, a bustling square full of snake charmers, monkeys, food stalls and musicians.
Marrakech is the ideal place for anyone looking to have fun. From its vibrant gardens and modern entertainment complexes to its upscale shopping centers, there is something for everyone. Near the core of the city, you’ll find well-designed and equipped golf courses to take in the scenery and master your game. For night owls, Marrakesh offers a wealth of clubs, bars and other evening attractions. For those who want an authentic experience, the city boasts top-tier Hammam and Spa centers offering Turkish baths. Or, you can explore the culture’s cuisine by signing up for one of our cooking classes
You can choose to make the most of your morning in Marrakech, or set off on an early journey to Casablanca. Upon arrival, you can check into the hotel, and then enjoy some relaxation or a stroll along the waterfront. Spend the night with a hearty breakfast at the hotel.
Depending on when your return flight is scheduled, make sure to leave yourself enough time to get to Casablanca international airport. During your journey, you’ll have plenty of stories to tell about your amazing Arabian and Berber days and nights.
- Marrakesh: Visit the city known for its vibrant souks, Jardin Majorelle, and Bahia Palace.
- Fez: Explore the city famous for its well-preserved medieval old city, Islamic art and architecture, and historic madrasas (schools).
- Meknes: Wander through the city and its impressive monuments and structures built by Moulay Ismail, such as his granaries, palace ruins, and Bab Mansour gate.
- Rabat: See the current capital of Morocco, with a mix of ancient and modern attractions, including the Kasbah of the Udayas, the Mohammed V Mausoleum, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art.
These are just a few of the must-see cities in Morocco, each with their own unique character and attractions. To get the most out of your trip, consider working with a Moroccan travel agency who can help you plan a customized itinerary that includes the destinations and experiences that interest you the most.
- Private air-conditioned vehicle
- knowledgeable certified tour guide
- Private English speaking driver
- Premium class accommodation
- Daily breakfasts & some dinners
- Entrance fees to historical sites/museums
- Departure transfer
Prices are on request and depend on your chosen accommodation, services, and the time of travel.