Many people don’t know this, but Morocco’s landscape is incredibly diverse. There is so much more than the dry, dusty Sahara desert. Morocco is home to the High Atlas Mountains, vast fertile valleys, rivers, Mediterranean beaches, forests, and even Roman ruins. In my ten days in Morocco, I got to see it all. It certainly did require a lot of time on the road, though, with up to eight hours drive sometimes between each checkpoint. Check out my itinerary below and start planning!
I took a late afternoon flight from Rome FCO airport to CMN in Casablanca. Flights are usually very short, lasting anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour and 10 minutes. I flew AirItalia, which, unfortunately is not cheap. It was the only flight available for me that day, so I had to take it.
I met up with my group near the coast and we eventually made our way to Rabat, the current capital city of Morocco, via bus.
We stayed at Le Rive Hotel and had dinner here as well. By the time we arrived in Rabat, I went straight to bed.
Rise and shine! Breakfast at 8 at Le Rive Hotel included a traditional Moroccan spread with dates, date cookies, coconut cake, and (as Italians would call it) polenta cakes, made of corn flour. I found out early on that Moroccans sure go hard with their sugar!
Next, we had a guided tour of Rabat’s highlights. The first stop on our journey was the Kasbah of the Udayas and the River Bour Regreg.
We were also lucky enough to drive past the Mausoleum of Mohammed V right as the current King Mohammed was visiting. We weren’t able to go inside because of this, but we did get to see an impressive military procession (which I was unable to photograph).
We then settled in for a three hour bus ride to Meknes. Yes, lunch came very late for us. After walking around the city for an hour or so, seeing the souk, the famous horse stables, and watching the sunset, we boarded our bus again for Chefchaouen – The Blue City.
When we arrived in Casa Annasr four and a half hours later, it was very late and we ate dinner immediately. This included a three course meal of soup, bread, Tagine, and plates piled high with fruit for dessert.
On day three, we had a simple bread, butter and jam breakfast at Casa Annasr and immediately began exploring.
Our day in Chefchaouen, the Blue Pearl of Morocco felt short. I could have stayed here for a week! If you visit, make sure to give yourself at least two full days to leisurely explore all the narrow streets and hidden charms.
My favorite part of Chefchaouen, though, was the small town feel. The locals were exceptionally friendly and even the stray cats were docile, clean, and well fed. It was clear that the citizens took great care of their home.
We ate a lovely lunch at a restaurant just off of the main square called Chez Aziz. If you go, you must order their fruit salad, which was more of a smoothie bowl / avocado shake with chopped dates and granola on top.
We again had dinner and spent the night at the night Casa Annasr.
In the morning, we drove to Volubilis, Morocco’s most famous Roman ruins. Obviously, Volubilis is not nearly as big or as preserved as Rome, but the Moroccans were certainly proud of the history here.
Next on our itinerary was Fes. Two hours later, we pulled up at the Royal Mirage Hotel.
We spent the next day touring Fes… until I got food poisoning. We had lunch at Dar Tajine and then spent the next few hours “getting lost” in the Medina and narrow streets around.
The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel before departing for Midelt.
It was a long day on a winding road, and we only took a break to eat lunch before getting back on the bus to drive to Erfoud.
Finally, we had a warm and traditional Moroccan welcome at Hotel Xaluca, where we feasted on a buffet for dinner before cozying up in the this fancy hotel in the middle of nowhere.
We woke up early that morning to take some beautiful photos of the location – it was like an oasis.
After breakfast, we drove on 4 by 4 through the sand dunes until we finally (and may I stress the word finally when you are prone to motion sickness) arrived at our destination for lunch, in a region called Tisserdmine.
After riding camels into the sunset (totally not as romantic as it sounds!) we settled in for a long, Wi-Fi free night in our “glamping” tents at La Belle Etoile.
In the morning, we had breakfast at La Belle Etoile (temporarily closed for booking, similar accommodation here: Kasbah Azalay Merzouga Hotel) then returned to Erfoud in the 4 by 4’s before driving to Ouarzazate.
It was really a long drive before I was finally able to curl up into another bed, this time the Kenzi Azghor Hotel.
Again, with the driving, but today we were on our way to Ait Ben Haddou, the Hollywood of Morocco. We stopped here for lunch before continuing on to our final destination of Marrakesh. Of course, with the 8 hour drive, there were many pit-stops along the way.
In the evening, we checked into the lovely Hotel Atlas Asni in the new part of Marrakesh.
We started the morning with the all-inclusive breakfast at the hotel then had a tour of Marrakesh’s highlights. After snacking on some cookies from the market, I went back to the hotel for a traditional massage. By day ten, I was exhausted!
I even ordered room service that night, just so I could stay in my bed.
On the last day, I woke up very early and took a ten minute cab ride to the airport. Then flew out of Marrakech RAK airport to Casablanca CMN, then from Casablanca to FCO in Rome.
Check the map to see how much ground was covered!