Let’s journey through Morocco, experience the local way of life that blends traditions and modernity. Sipping mint tea, enjoying traditional bath at hammam, staying in quaint courtyard residences, riding camel in the vast Sahara Desert, wandering through ancient ruins and castles, zigzagging through valleys and meadows, and be overwhelmed by the exoticness of Morocco. Set at the crossroads of several civilizations, today’s Moroccan culture is shaped by the Berbers, Arabs, Sharawis, French, and Spanish. Its diversity in landscape and culture has long inspired foreign movie makers to film on its soil, including Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, and Tomb Raider.
Wee hour flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, transit in the Middle East, same day afternoon arrive in the biggest Moroccan city Casablanca, then change to a domestic flight bound for Marrakesh. Upon arrival in evening, transfer to a Dar (courtyard hotel) converted from traditional residence. Enjoy dinner in privacy at the Dar, and retire early to bed to ease fatigue from long haul flight.
After breakfast take a stroll in the medina (old quarter), listed as a UNESCO heritage site. Visit Ben Youssef Madrassa – once the largest Islamic institution in North Africa – to admire its beautiful architecture. Wander through labyrinths of cobbled streets and souks (market) lined with traditional crafts. Visit the biggest and most lively square in Morocco – Djemaa El-Fna; a host of local artists ply their trade in the square, including story tellers, snake charmers, and musicians. Enjoy dinner at the square’s open-air food court.
Embark on a 4D3N excursion through the Atlas Mountains to Sahara Desert with chartered transport. Journey through Atlas ranges dotted with cliffs, ridges, and rugged valleys. Lunch time arrive at Ait Benhaddou, listed as UNESCO heritage site; set in the foothill by a river, red earthen houses stand on hill slope and crowded within defensive walls. Known as the “most beautiful Moroccan village”, numerous movies were filmed here, including Gladiator and Babel. Later, drive to Skoura oasis for overnight stay.
Surrounded by palm groves, Skoura is known as the “valley of thousand Kasbah”. Located by a river bank, Skoura is a green lung amidst the barren and reddish undulating hills. Villages scattered around the lush palm groves, and punctuating the greenery are numerous earthen coloured Kasbah, built by tribal chieftains centuries ago. Morning stroll in palm groves, admire Kasbah Amridil built in 17th century, and have a village home visit lunch. Afternoon drive to Dades Gorge, zigzagging up the mountain passes with towering cliffs on both sides.
Today drive to Sahara Desert, afternoon arrive in Merzouga, a village located at the edge of Sahara dunes. After brief refreshment, take a camel safari to explore the deeper part of the desert before sunset. Vast rolling sand dunes like waves stretching into the horizon. Camel riding for about two hours to reach the desert camp surrounded by sand dunes for overnight stay; enjoy dinner under star-lit sky.
Climb a big sand dune to admire sunrise, the desert appears differently under varying sunlight. After morning tea, ride camel back to Merzouga, upon arrival, take a shower then enjoy breakfast. Afterwards, a long drive to Fez, en-route passes the impressive Ziz Valley, lush green palm groves flourished along the river banks surrounded by reddish mountains. Keep driving north, along the way passes the ski resort town Ifrane, known as Morocco’s little Switzerland. By night, arrive at the ancient city of Fez.
Once the imperial capital of Morocco, Fez medina is a living open-air museum, and the world’s biggest car-free urban zone. The medina is lined with historical monuments and traditional crafts. Visit thousand- year-old Chaouwara tanneries to learn about the process of treating animal skin; stand on vantage viewpoint of leather shop to take in the tanneries’ colouful sight, but pungent smell filled the air, as pigeon poops are used in softening leather. Other sites of interest include madrassa, souks, and palaces.
Take a day-excursion to ancient ruins Volubilis some 70km away. A UNESCO heritage site, Volubilis was founded in 3rd century BC, and later became an important outpost of the Roman Empire; it was also briefly the capital of Idrisid Muslim dynasty. Archeological remains include Roman architecture, mosaic arts, and marble statues. On the way back to Fez, stopover in Moulay Idriss, a holy hill town where the great-grandson of Prophet Mohammed, Idris I, arrived in 789, bringing with him the religion of Islam, and starting a new dynasty.
Morning take a public inter-city bus to Chefchaoune, a scenic hill town. The four hours bus journey passes through rolling hills and meadows. Afternoon arrived in Chefchaoune, houses in the old city are mainly painted in blue; its architecture is influenced by Spanish Andalusian and Moorish styles. Walking tour in the old city, its narrow cobbled streets are winding and follow the contours of the hills, impassable by cars. Among the sites of interest include hammam (bathhouse), square, and commercial streets.
Morning take a hike up the hill opposite the old city, en-route passing a small cascade of waterfall and walking path surrounded by woods. The hilltop offers impressive panoramic view of the blue town and surrounding mountains. Afternoon free and easy, one may explore the old city for street photography, take a stroll in the new city, enjoy slow time at a cozy café, or visit the hamman for traditional bath and mingle with the locals.
Rise early to catch the Casablanca-bound long distance public bus (6 hrs journey), arrive around lunch time, check in to a hotel located in the medina. Afternoon visit Hassan II Mosque, which is partially built on the Atlantic Ocean, it has exquisitely hand-crafted marble walls and towering minaret. Later, walkabouts in city center, one could visit the old Central Post Office to send out postcards, or have a meal at the restaurant once frequented by the French author who penned “The Little Prince”, or take a tram ride to enjoy the city view in comfort.
In the morning, take a combination of tram and train to reach the Mohammad V International Airport located in the outskirt of Casablanca. Board an afternoon flight to depart from Morocco, transit in the Middle East, arrival in Kuala Lumpur the following afternoon.
Afternoon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, end of tour.
A non-refundable deposit (unless tour cancelled by LevArt) of RM 2,200 is payable to secure booking. Balance fee RM 5,000 to be collected upon booking deadline or when the tour is fully booked.
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