Known around the world for its Hollywood-featured city Casablanca, Morocco is a country of intriguing beauty and steadfast culture whose natural allure outshines even the cinematic genius of the stars who made it famous. Though none of the movie was shot in the rugged mountains and beautiful isolation of this Saharan paradise, it sparked a romantic fascination that has left travellers wondering what they might find in the wind-swept desert hosting nomadic Bedouins, or the bustling Arab markets of the "Red City" of Marrakech.
Day 1 - Toronto to Casablanca
Day 2 - Casablanca: Fittingly, your Moroccan adventure begins in Casablanca, the largest and most metropolitan city in the country. Heavily influenced by Europe across the sea, and by its days as a French protectorate, Casablanca has a less distinctly Moroccan flavour, and instead offers a measured introduction to the country where you can browse art galleries and lounge in parks before embarking into the mysticism of Morocco's interior. Relax tonight in the grace and comfort of your accommodations at Indou Anfa.
Day 3 - Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Fes: Depart for Rabat, the white imperial city that feels like a scaled down version of the cosmopolitan Casablanca. Here you will visit the amazing ramparts and walls surrounding the palace, the Oudaya Kasbah that commands spectacular views of the ocean, and Rabat's most famous landmark, the lofty Hassan Tower. Make a memory in front of the ancient Roman necropolis Chellah before winding through the 40 kilmetre long walls, royal stables and Jewish quarter of Meknes. You'll end your day in Fes, Morocco's spiritual capital, where you can relax in the pool or sauna available at the Ramada Fes.
Day 4 - Fes: Today is devoted to a true, in-depth exploration of Fes, the oldest and most beautiful of the imperial cities. Long the country's religious centre, Fes is a city shaped by great dynasties that retains a distinct culture and lays claim to the creation of the world's first University. Fez el-Bali is the largest living Islamic medieval city in the world where you'll find narrow, winding alleys crammed with shops, restaurants and mosques proffering unique smells and amazing sights. You'll also visit the archeologically stunning Medersa, the Nejarine fountain and a traditional Islamic school to see a community bread oven.
Day 5 - Fez, Mldelt, Erfoud: Departure from the dynamic city of Fes is eased by a passage through the stunning Atlas mountains, the cedar forests near Ifrane, and the palm trees of the Ziz Valley. Tonight you'll have the option to partake in something truly, uniquely Moroccan - a night in a Bedouin encampment, where spectacular sunsets kiss the red sand dunes of Merzouga. For those not embarking on the excursion, you'll stay at the ornate and luxurious Kasbah Hotel Xaluca.
Day 6 - Erfoud, Zagora: The spectacular Sahara desert is dotted with oases - a perfect image of the vast wilderness that surrounds this region of Morocco. You'll visit Erfoud, an oasis town in the Sahara desert, travel through the pre-Saharan region of Tafilalet, visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Sharif, and see the traditional villages of the Draa valley. You'll end at the "door of the desert" in Zagora where you'll settle down at the 4-star Hotel Reda.
Day 7 - Zagora, Ouarzazate: Your morning is filled with oases and sand dunes, followed by a drive through the foothills of the eastern Anti-Atlas to the black mountain slopes of Tizi N'Tinififft. You'll visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah near Ouarzazate, famously and repeatedly used as a film set, after which you'll enjoy a tea ceremony with a local family. Spend tonight reflecting on what you've seen of the Draa River and Sahara Desert at the 4-star Mercure Hotel.
Day 8 - Ouarzazate, Marrakech: The Kasbah of Tifoultout and Tamegroute is the most spectacular fortress in the south of Morocco. Marvel at the unsurpassed beauty that has lent itself to famous film productions like Lawrence of Arabia before departing for the Red City of Marrakech through the heart of the Atlas Mountains, where you'll be staying at the exquisite 5-star Kenzi Farah Hotel.
Day 9 - Marrakech: Currently the centre of Moroccan tourism, Marrakech offers travellers the fantastical sight of a red-tented marketplace full of snake charmers and story tellers set against the backdrop of a mighty mountain range. On your first full day in the city you'll visit all the major sights: the Menara gardens, Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs and Koutoubia Mosque. Leisurely explore Djemaa el Fna -often considered the best city square in the world and dubbed an "open air circus" bursting with local charms and handicrafts. Then you'll enjoy a carriage ride through the city to witness a stunning Moroccan sunset as it paints the Saharan skyline.
Day 10 - Marrakech: Continue your exploration by partaking in optional excursions to the Botanical Gardens or Photo Museum or taking in the city of your own accord.
Day 11 - Casablanca: You'll return to this dynamic city with plenty of time to explore its highlights. Visit Hassan II Mosque, the world's third largest mosque and the crowning achievement of King Hassan II, spend some time wandering through the Royal Palace and market stalls found in the Habous District, or stop by Rick's Cafe to pay homage to the movie named for this amazing city.
Day 12 - Depart Casablanca