Planning the Morocco itinerary was one of the most difficult we did. There are so many places dotted around Morocco far and wide that it was difficult to choose where to begin and where to end. In the end, we decided that the best option was to fly to Marrakech and make our way up north to Chefchaouen and then fly back from Tangier. If you’re having trouble deciding an itinerary we hope that this is helpful.
Day 1 – Arrive in Marrakech
We stayed in the incredibly beautiful Riad Chorfa during our stay in Marrakech. We found it so calming that we decided to just chill in the riad for the day. If you would like to read more about this stay have a read from this link here.
Day 2 – Exploring Marrakech
The second day was spent exploring the streets of Marrakech. We visited Bahia Palace and Koutoubia Mosque, which has one of the biggest minarets in the whole of Morocco. Afterwards, we strolled around Jemaa el-Fnaa and the souks of Marrakech. We would have loved to see Medersa Ben Youssef, unfortunately for us, it was closed for renovation. If you want, you can do a day trip to Casablanca. We wanted to do a day trip to Casablanca to see the Hassan II Mosque but unfortunately did not have enough time. With more time we would have also liked to visit the beach town of Essaouira.
Day 3 – Start of Merzouga Desert Tour
As you might already know, we started our Morocco trip with a slight hiccup (read why here). This meant our tour to the desert started a bit later than we expected. But Hasan our guide was very understanding and helpful during. On the way, we stopped for panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains followed by Ait Ben Haddou.
The Kasbah in Ait Ben Haddou is a UNESCO world heritage site and numerous Hollywood movies have been shot here. Gladiator and The Mummy to name a few. Afterwards, we arrived at Ouarzazate where we saw the Taourirt Kasbah, one of the most spectacular Ksars in Morocco. Unfortunately, as we left too late we were unable to see the Rose Valley and instead went straight to our Riad in the Dadés Valley. Riad Tazawa was the name of the Riad we stayed in at Dadés Valley. This was another spectacular Riad where we were able to do some stargazing from their terrace.
Day 4 – Spending a night in the Desert
We started the day with a scrumptious breakfast in the gardens of Riad Tazawa. Afterwards, we set off towards the Todra Gorges stopping at various spots along the way to enjoy the beauty of Morocco. The guide makes stops anywhere you want if you want to take some photos or just enjoy the views. At one of those stops we bought some scarves and the seller taught us how to wear them. This was quite useful when we were riding the camels in the desert. After Todra Gorges we stopped for lunch at a nearby town before making our way to Merzouga for our desert camp. Once at Merzouga we dropped our bags at the Riad and just took backpacks for our stay in the desert. We were expecting the camel ride to be very bumpy but luckily our backs did not hurt as much as we thought it would. Once at the camp, we were able to enjoy the sunset whilst dinner was being prepared. After dinner, Amana was surprised with a birthday cake as it was her birthday. The tour organiser was kind enough to do this free of charge when I asked them!
We decided to take our mattresses out of the tent and sleep under the stars that night. It was magical.
Day 5 – Ziz Valley, Cedar Forests and Fes
Starting the day watching the sunrise in the desert, we make our way back to Merzouga on the camels. After breakfast at Merzouga, we made our way through Ziz Valley towards the Cedar Forest. This was my favourite part of the journey as the landscape is stunning along the way. We saw little nomadic villages dotted along the hillside with kids waving at us as we went by.
After feeding some monkeys (our first time doing so), the next stop was Ifrane, which is also known as the Switzerland of Morocco. Here you have a ski resort where you can enjoy snow during winter. We were in awe of how diverse Morocco is! You get the desert and a ski resort just 3 hours’ drive away! We arrived in Fes around 6 pm to end our tour to Merzouga desert.
Day 6 – Exploring Fes
It seemed to us like every Riad has an incredible spread for breakfast! After stuffing ourselves with a good breakfast, we headed out to explore Fes el Bali, the biggest car-free urban area in the world. But don’t let that fool you, it will still be packed with tourists and sellers. We had a very productive day visiting The University of al-Qarawiyyin, Fes Tannery, Zaouia Moulay Idriss II and walking around the medina.
We stayed in the intricately designed Riad Ouliya during our stay in Fes. They said that it took 3 years to complete the Riad, which does not surprise me at all. Again, the staff were very kind and helpful as with all the Riads we had been in. One of the places we really wanted to see in Fes was Al-Attarine Madrasa, but again it was under renovation so we could not visit it. Along with our love for sunsets, we also love a good viewpoint. And Borj Nord in Fes is supposed to have spectacular views of the old medina. Next time we visit Fes we will try to go there for sure. Another good day trip from Fes is the ruins of Volubulis.
Day 7 – Fes and Chefchaouen
We had the whole morning to see Fes as we booked our taxi to Chefchaouen for 2 pm. We made use of the morning in Fes by visiting Bou Inania Madrasa and the golden gates of Palais Royale. After the 4-hour drive to Chefchaouen, we decided to relax a bit and before going out for dinner. We ended up having dinner at Beldi Bab Ssour, which was exquisite!
We stayed in Lina Ryad & Spa, which had beautiful views over Chefchaouen with a semi-private terrace with a lounger. We spent a lot of our time in Chefchaouen just chilling on the terrace. Plus they had a pool that guest can book for their own use. So you had a huge pool to use all for yourself!
Day 8 – Explore Chefchaouen
Admittedly, we enjoyed Chefchaouen at a very slow pace. We enjoyed some pool time before heading out to see more of Chefchaouen. We met the kindest man whilst searching for the Green Door this day. You can read all about the kind man and the green door here. We thought about going to the Spanish mosque and waterfall but decided we just wanted to chill after a hectic week of travelling around.
Day 9 – Relax in Chefchaouen
We spent most of this day relaxing in the hotel, firstly because we paid a lot of money for the hotel, and secondly because we like to end our trips quite chilled. Don’t get me wrong, we did go out to enjoy Chefchaouen for a bit as well! We thought about going to the Spanish mosque and waterfall but decided we just wanted to chill after a hectic week of travelling around.