Let Us Customize the Perfect Luxury Morocco Safari
Below are our recommended places to visit. Contact us today or call 303-778-1089 to learn more about how we are able to customize the perfect luxury Morocco safari just for you!
Less than an hour’s drive from Marrakesh, the breathtaking and remote-feeling Atlas Mountains stretch across the northern part of Africa extending 1,500 miles through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The ranges are divided into several sections including the High Atlas, Middle Atlas and Ant-Atlas, which are all found in Morocco. The highest peak is Mount Toubkal or Jebel Toubkal, with an elevation of 13,671 ft in southwestern Morocco. The second highest mountain is the M’Goun at 13,356 ft. Travelers love to discover the beautiful scenery, amazing colors and the incredibly well-preserved traditional Berber villages of the High Atlas range. Active travelers may enjoy a trek in the mountains through a forest of juniper and oak trees. Explorations can also be enjoyed on horseback, mountain bike or even skis! We like to end a trek with the opportunity to experience the amazing views followed by a refreshing mint tea in a local Berber home.
Casablanca is the largest and most populated city in Morocco and is considered to be the economic capital of the kingdom. Known as “Casa” by locals, the city is home to the second largest religious monument in the Arab world. Second only to Mecca, the Hassan II Mosque was designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. The mosque has room for 25,000 worshipers, with additional space in the courtyard for 80,000 more. It has a glass floor through which the Atlantic can be seen, and the mosque’s minaret is the world’s tallest at 689 ft.
The city’s architecture is from a different age and is a big draw. Influences of Art Nouveau and Art Deco in combination with traditional Moroccan design creates a unique feel that delights travelers. Churches, mosques, medinas and history along with some of the best dining in the country make it a must see.
Chefchaouen, also known as the blue pearl, is Morocco’s most beautiful small town and is set in the rugged Rif Mountains. Its vivid blue and white buildings topped by red tiled roofs are distinct and picturesque. Founded in 1471, Chefchaouen served as a fortress to protect northern Morocco from Portuguese invasions. The charming town has much to offer including shady gardens, a lovely medina, nearby hikes and more. We love taking a break to people watch from one of the outdoor cafes on the Plaza Outa.
Fes is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. Along with Marrakesh, Meknes and Rabat, the four cities make up the historical capitals of Morocco. Fes is perhaps the most unspoiled, boasting the most enchanting souks. In Fes you can get a real feel for authentic Moroccan culture – a trip back in time – and a visit to this city is not complete unless you take a walk around the beautiful and historic Nejjarine Fountain (a national monument) and one of the many madrassas (Quranic schools) located around the town. This cultural heart of Morocco is full of narrow lanes, alleys and souks that make up the labyrinth of the city’s old quarter, originally founded in the 8th century.
Marrakesh is another of the four imperial cities of Morocco and is located to the north of the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. It is known as “the red city” due to its distinctly colored clay and chalk buildings, as well as the walls that fortify the city. Dotted with mosques, tombs, palaces and riads, Marrakesh is packed with beauty, charm and culture. The minaret of the Koutoubia mosque is an iconic landmark and can be seen from almost any terrace in the city. Other popular destinations include the ornate El Bahia palace with its gardens and tranquil courtyards, the intriguing ruins of El Badi Palace, as well as the Jemaa el Fna, the largest market in Morocco and the biggest square in Africa. In the evening, the Jemaa el Fna fills with musicians, dancers, acrobats and storytellers, entertaining locals and travelers alike. Wander around the many souks where you can haggle for everything from spices to shoes and teapots. Visit the famous Menara and Majerolle Gardens or perhaps enjoy a ride on a traditional horse-drawn carriage. All of this and more is why Marrakesh is one of the top places to visit in North Africa.
The historic city of Meknes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meknes’ golden age as the imperial capital of Morocco began in 1672 with Moulay Ismail’s ascension to the throne. The city has been referred to as the “Versailles of Morocco” due to its many extravagant monuments and buildings that beg to be explored. Bab Mansour is the largest and most striking of the Meknes’ many gates. The Roman ruins of Volubilis, another World Heritage Site, and Moulay Idriss, site of the tomb of Idriss I and birthplace of Morocco’s first Arab dynasty, are only a short trip from Meknes.
The enchanted capital city of Rabat is home to many historic monuments. Rabat, which lies on the Atlantic coast, replaced Fes as the capital of Morocco in 1912 when Morocco was turned into a French protectorate. The French administrator General Louis Hubert Lyautey commissioned an architect to start building a French-style city, which today is the main area of Rabat. More relaxed than Morocco’s other large cities, one of Rabat’s must-see sights is the mausoleum of Mohammed V, which was completed in 1971 and contains the tombs of the late Moroccan king and his two sons. The building is considered to be a prime example of modern Alaouite architecture with its typical white silhouette and green tiled roof. Get a taste of a traditional Moroccan medina with a visit to the Oudaya Kasbah, built in the 16th and 17th centuries on ancient foundations. Travel outside the city walls to see the ancient city of Sala, the first city in Morocco to be built by the Berbers.
Nicknamed “The door of the desert,” Ouarzazate is a city and capital of the Ouarzazate Province in the Souss-Massa-Drâa of southern-central Morocco. Sitting at an elevation of 3,810 ft, it is in the middle of a bare plateau south of the High Atlas Mountains. To the south of the town is the Sahara Desert. Ouarzazate is an important holiday destination in Morocco as a base for excursions across the Draa Valley and into the desert. The Ouarzazate area is a noted filmmaking location, with Morocco’s biggest studios inviting many international companies to work here. Films such as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Living Daylights (1987), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Kundun (1997), Legionnaire (1998), Hanna (2011), and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011) were shot here, as was part of the TV series Game of Thrones.
The Sahara is the largest subtropical hot desert in the world, stretching from the Red Sea in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Highlights of visiting the Sahara Desert in Morocco include elegant Taroudant, a market town en route to the Sahara where busy souks sell produce from the rich and fertile Souss Valley. Here you can tour the old Kasbah Quarter, where the ancient Saadians had their palaces. Also visit Merzouga and the Erg Chebbi for the incredible desert scenery including dormant volcanoes and endless sand dunes. This is a great place for a camel excursion into the desert. Deeper into the dunes and with no one around for miles, you can spend time in a unique desert camp where you can experience the complete solitude of the desert while enjoying dramatic sunsets and nights under the stars behind the vast desert plains.
Situated between Fes and Rabat, Volubilis is an ancient settlement that has been under Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman rule from the 3rd century BC onward. Around 285 the town fell to local tribes and was never reclaimed by Rome due to its remoteness and indefensibility along its southwestern border. By the 11th century Volubilis was abandoned when the seat of power relocated to Fes. During and after French rule over Morocco, about half the site was excavated to reveal fine mosaics, prominent public buildings and high-status houses. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed for being “an exceptionally well-preserved example of a large Roman colonial town on the fringes of the Empire.”
Contact us or call 303-778-1089 to speak with a Journey Specialist about where to go on your Morocco safari!
When to Visit
Deciding when to visit Morocco depends on what you wish to see. Our favorite months to visit are late spring (April and May) and early autumn (September and October) for the mildest weather in our favorite locations. The winter months would be our second choice, though the mountains and desert can be quite cold at night. If you plan to trek in the mountains, we advise against the winter months. The summer months can be very hot, especially inland and in the desert.
One other consideration is the religious calendar. Festivals can have an effect on travel, including Ramadan. Be sure to work with your Journey Specialist to choose the right time for your visit.
Contact us or call 303-778-1089 to speak with a Journey Specialist about when to go on your Morocco trip!