Itinerary #1: Imperial Cities & the Sahara Desert
If you only have one week in Morocco, a classic option is this grand tour, covering multiple imperial cities like Fes, Meknes, and Marrakesh and Roman ruins, the Sahara desert, and the Atlas mountains.
|Day 1||Arrive, Explore Casablanca||Casablanca|
|Day 2||Meknes, Roman Ruin in Volubilis & Fes||Fes|
|Day 3||Fes: Exploring the Imperial City and medieval medina||Fes|
|Day 4||Over the Middle Atlas mountains and into the Sahara||Merzouga|
|Day 5||Desert towns, lush oases, and film-worthy landscapes||Ouarzazate|
|Day 6||Aït Benhaddou Kasbah & Tizi n'Tichka Pass over the High Atlas||Marrakesh|
|Day 7||Marrakesh: Explore the Red City & Depart|
Begin in seaside Casablanca. Walk the Boulevard de la Corniche and grab a bite in Rick's Café, immortalized in "Casablanca." Next morning, take a guided tour of Hassan II Mosque, featuring the tallest minaret in the world, before you're off to Meknes to explore the Ville Impériale. Roam gardens and palaces, the impressive gate of Bab al-Mansour, and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. Nearby you'll find Volubilis, home to the best-preserved Roman ruins in the country. Marvel at the merchant homes, temples, and colorful mosaics in situ, including the Labors of Hercules. Carry on to Fes and its medieval medina and visit the ruins of the Merenid Tombs to orient yourself.
On Day 3, navigate the old city with a map or on a tour, getting lost in the labyrinth of winding side streets and busy souks, snapping pics of Chouara Tannery. The next day, you'll traverse the Middle Atlas mountains into the Sahara Desert to ride a camel near Merzouga to your camp in the desert. On Day 5, continue in the Sahara with stops in desert towns like Khemliya and Rissani before entering the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs and overnighting in Ouarzazate, a popular hub and filming location. You'll explore Aït Benhaddou the following day and ascend the High Atlas to end your stay in Marrakesh. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Marrakesh, Desert Tour & Essaouira
Focusing solely on one imperial city, Marrakesh, this week-long itinerary features the Sahara, Atlas mountains, and desert villages like the lesser-visited Zagora. Plus, you'll work your way to the coastal beach town of Essaouira.
|Day 1||Arrive & Explore Marrakesh||Marrakesh|
|Day 2||Over the High Atlas to Ouarzazate||Ouarzazate|
|Day 3||Zagora & Camping in the Sahara||Zagora|
|Day 4||Aït Benhaddou Kasbah||Aït Benhaddou|
|Day 5||Return to Marrakesh||Marrakesh|
|Day 6||Marrakesh to Essaouira||Essaouira|
|Day 7||Return to Marrakesh & Departure|
You'll start in Marrakesh amid the 1,000-year-old sandstone walls of the "Red City," exploring the medina and taking in the bustle of Jemaa el-Fna and its food vendors, musicians and even snake charmers. The following day, head into the desert and over the High Atlas mountains to Ouarzazate, which you may recognize from films like "Gladiator" and "Lawrence of Arabia."
Drive through the date palms of the Draa Valley and deeper into the desert to the often-overlooked Zagora before camping in a tent under the stars. After an early wake-up to watch the sunrise over the dunes, you'll loop back via the kasbah of Aït Benhaddou. Spend the evening and morning here without the crowds before you go back along the Tizi n'Tichka pass to Marrakesh. Don't linger for too long, though; you have one destination left. Head to the seaside city of Essaouira to relax at the beach, or try hopping on a kiteboard before you go back to Marrakesh to catch your flight home. Learn more
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Itinerary #3: Cities of Northern Morocco
On this tour of northern Morocco, you'll work your way south from Tangier—a short ferry ride to and from Spain—cover two other imperial cities (Fes and Rabat) and overnight in the photogenic "Blue City" of Chefchaouen and spend time in Casablanca.
|Day 1||Arrive in Tangier & Explore||Tangier|
|Day 2||Tangier to Chefchaouen||Chefchaouen|
|Day 3||Chefchaouen to Fes via Volubilis & Meknes||Fes|
|Day 4||Tour of Fes Medina & Transfer to Rabat||Rabat|
|Day 5||Rabat to Marrakesh via Casablanca||Marrakesh|
|Day 6||Tour of Marrakesh & Explore Majorelle Gardens||Marrakesh|
|Day 7||Depart Marrakesh|
You'll start in the port city of Tangier, where its new marina contrasts with a history shaped by multiple cultures over the years. Then head to the "Blue City" of Chefchaouen, where you'll wander through a maze of bright blue buildings amid the Rif Mountains. After a quiet evening and morning exploring the city, you'll make your way first to Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing Morocco's best-preserved Roman ruins. Stop in Meknes next, the imperial city of Moulay Ismail, which grew from a small town to a magnificent capital during his reign. End the day in Fes, Morocco's "cultural capital," staying the night in a riad.
On Day 4, follow a guide through the rugs, jewelry, and leather goods of Fes' medina. You'll also visit the hillside Marinid Tombs, the famous Chouara Tannery, and the 9th-century Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University. Next is the capital, Rabat, known for its white architecture. Spend the afternoon scoping out spots like the Royal Palace and Andalusian Gardens. Then hop over to Casablanca to see the Hassan II Mosque, the second-largest in the world, on your way to Marrakesh. End in the "Red City" with its famous Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens and the hustle and bustle of Jemaa el-Fna. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Highlights of Morocco from Beach to Desert
Explore some of Morocco's most popular sites on this sea-to-sand itinerary. Beginning in Casablanca and ending in Marrakesh, you'll visit the off-the-beaten-path coastal town of Asilah and hit all the major highlights from Chefchouan and Fes to Merzouga and Aït Benhaddou. Bonus, you'll indulge the senses in a hands-on pottery workshop in Fes.
|Day 1||Arrive in Casablanca & Transfer to Asilah||Asilah|
|Day 2||Asilah to Chefchaouen via Caves of Hercules||Chefchaouen|
|Day 3||Chefchaouen to Fes||Fes|
|Day 4||Fes to Merzouga Camel Trek||Merzouga|
|Day 5||Merzouga to Dades Valley||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 6||Dades Valley to Marrakesh via Ait Ben Haddou||Marrakesh|
|Day 7||Guided Tour of Marrakesh & Depart|
You'll start in the seaside city of Asilah, an art-filled spot that Casablanca residents head to on the weekends. After scoping out the murals, you'll venture to Chefchaouen, the famous "Blue City," whose buildings are featured everywhere on postcards. On the way, stop at the Caves of Hercules outside Tangier, where the mythological hero rested before performing his 11th labor. From Chefchaouen, you'll travel to Fes, home to one of the most extensive old quarters in the world, and set out for a guided tour of the city. You'll stop for a pottery workshop to try your hand at the crafts found throughout the many souks.
On Day 4, head over the Atlas mountains and out to the dunes of Erg Chebbi in the Sahara, where you'll ride camelback to a desert camp and spend the night under the stars. Make your way back to the city through the Dadès Valley and the impressive Todra Gorge. Follow the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs to the town of Ouarzazate, also known as the "Hollywood of Morocco." Eventually, you'll reach Marrakesh, where a guide will lead you through all the city's top spots, including the souks, Saadian Tombs, and the Koutoubia Mosque. Learn more
Itinerary #5: Marrakesh, Desert Tour & Hiking in the Atlas Mountains
Choose this diverse itinerary if you'd like to experience a mix of cultural education and outdoor adventure in Morocco. Within a week, you'll head into the desert from Marrakesh to cover the top attractions of the desert, including hiking in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, breaking bread with a Berber family, and stopping in at an argan oil co-op.
|Day 1||Arrive in Marrakesh, Explore||Marrakesh|
|Day 2||Over the High Atlas mountains into Morocco's desert||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 3||Land of A Thousand Kasbahs, fossil workshops, and sunset in the Sahara||Erg Chebbi|
|Day 4||Hidden oases and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah||Aït Benhaddou|
|Day 5||Tizi n'Tichka Pass over the High Atlas mountains to Marrakesh||Marrakesh|
|Day 6||Hike through small villages in the Atlas Foothills||Amizmiz|
|Day 7||Return to Marrakesh, Depart|
Begin in Marrakesh and experience the buzz of Jemaa el-Fna, the city's famous souks, the Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace, and outside the medina, the lovely Majorelle Gardens. On Day 2, you'll head into the High Atlas mountains. You'll see Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, on a clear day. You'll also pass by traditional Berber villages with their mud-brick homes, and you'll have the opportunity to stop at an argan oil co-op. Later on, you'll see the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs and fragrant Kelâat M'Gouna, where roses grow abundantly—stop by a rose collective to see how the flowers are harvested and turned into rose water and oil.
The following day, take a leisurely hike in the Todra Gorge before attending a fossil-related craft workshop in Erfoud. Then it's time to explore the Sahara on a camel amid the towering dunes of Erg Chebbi. On Day 4, adventurous travelers might try a sand-boarding experience before lunching in Alnif, buying dates in the Draa Valley, and spending an otherworldly evening in the film- and Game-of-Thrones- famous Aït Benhaddou. The next day, return to Marrakesh before leaving for Amizmiz. With your mountain guide, you'll hike the surrounding areas and stay with a Berber family for an unforgettable cultural experience. Learn more
More Great 1-Week Morocco Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Morocco? Check out these other one-week Morocco itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.