I first learned about Morocco, a Northern African country that seemed oh-so-mysterious, when I read the book the Alchemist some years ago. Imageries of bustling ancient souks and vast deserts had me falling in love with a place I had never even been to. Time and flight deals finally aligned for me recently when I figured I could pass through Morocco on my way back to Canada from India, a trip I had already planned. I adjusted those flights faster than I could say “Africa!” The trip turned out amazing. A lot of you on my IG have been asking for more details, so I’ve put together this Morocco Itinerary 14 Days Best Highlights, to share with you exactly everything I got to experience and suggestions for planning your own trip to this glorious country. Here we go!
*My trip was partially sponsored by G Adventures. All opinions expressed are my own. I only ever endorse things I truly love. This post may contain affiliate links, which means, at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for supporting!
Should you do Morocco independently or with a tour operator?
Personally, I decided to hire a tour operator for two main reasons. First of all, Morocco is big! It may not look it on the map, but this country is huge. Commuting in Morocco takes a lot of time. All the famous Instagrammable places you’ve seen are nowhere near each other. They are distanced by mountains, deserts, and a lot of headaches looking at bus schedules. I threw in the towel and decided I wanted a stress free vacation and let someone else make a reliable plan for me.
Second of all, I am going to be honest and say I did not want to be alone in Morocco because I was a bit concerned about safety. I was told to not go by myself by other female travellers and that worried me slightly. I can tell you from my experience now that yes, Morocco has some common petty scams. However, the nature of these crimes is mostly money-driven instead of violence. As a female solo traveller when I first arrived in Casablanca, men hollered at me on the streets a lot (mostly “nihao”s thanks to my Asian face), but I just ignored them and walked away. I never felt that I was in any physical danger. Still, it was a lot more comfortable when I joined a group, where I could feel a sense of security with people that I can trust.
My tour operator of choice in Morocco (Or anywhere really) was G Adventures. I had done G Adventures’ tour in India previously and loved their well organized itineraries and small group size. The particular itinerary I joined in Morroco was Markets & Mountains. It covered all the major places I had wanted to see, from the blue city of Chefchaouen, to the golden Sahara Desert, to the colourful medina of Marrakech. It is the best Morocco itinerary for young travellers who are 18 to thirty-somethings. G Adventures also has more than 10 other Morocco itineraries on their website, with different length and interest options for everyone. Check them out here.
2 weeks in Morocco cost
Tour: The 13 days Markets & Mountain tour with G Adventures starts at $899 USD.
One extra night in Marrakech hotel: If you want to spend an extra night in Marrakech as I suggest in this article, a reasonable cost for hotel is $30.
Spending money for food souvenirs and Tips = Morocco is a budget-friendly country. A meal with drink for us typically costed $5-7 dollars. Two weeks in Morocco and I spent just $250 on top of the tour for food and extra activities. Although if you are planning to buy souvenirs, I would say give yourself a little more to spend. My suggestion: $300
$899 + $30 + $300 = $1229 total (Not including flights to Morocco and Insurance)
Flights: Use Skyscanner, my go-to search engine to find the best flight deals for Morocco. TIP: Utilize the “Cheapest Month” function if you are flexible with your travel dates.
Insurance: Do not skip getting insurance. You never know what may happen on the road. Protect yourself & gears with World Nomad, the best affordable travel insurance company there is. My cost for 14 days in Morocco (Canadian traveler under 30 years old): $62 USD. Check your quote here.
How to get in and out of Morocco
Most international flights land either at Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca or Menara Airport in Marrakech. For this itinerary, we start in Casablanca and depart from Marrakech. I recommend this route as it is a lot more efficient than wasting time commuting back to the city you started from.
Morocco’s national carrier is Royal Moroc Air. I did not personally use them. However, I had heard horror stories from my friends who were on the same Morocco tour as me. Royal Moroc had changed the time of their flights to 2 hours earlier without informing them, leading them to miss their flights. So be wary of this airline.
I flew with TAP Air Portugal which was wonderful. The food and entertainment were all on point.
14 days in Morocco itinerary
Map & highlights
Here is a quick at a glance of our Morocco vacation itinerary:
Day 1: Casablanca
Day 3: Chefchaoeun
Day 4: Chefchaouen/Fès
Day 5: Fès
Day 6: Fès/Marrakech
Day 7: Marrakech
Day 8: Marrakech/Todra Gorge
Day 9: Todra Gorge/Merzouga
Day 10: Merzouga/Aït Ben Haddou
Day 11: Aït Ben Haddou/Aroumd (Aremd) Atlas Mountains
Day 12: Aroumd (Aremd)/Marrakech
Day 13: Marrakech (At own cost)
Day 14: Departure
Day 1: Casablanca
Casablanca isn’t the most exciting city in Morocco for tourists. Most people find it a bit underwhelming. However, it is a good starting point for your big Morocco adventure as you ease your way into the local culture. One day in Casablanca is more than enough. From Mohammed V International Airport, you can get into the city by taking the train to Casa Port station. It takes 50 MAD and departs every hour. Alternatively, if you are traveling via G Adventures, you can arrange for airport pick up.
Accommodation in Casablanca
Tarik’s Airbnb: Since I arrived in Casablanca a couple of days early before my tour, I stayed at a local’s house, which I found via Airbnb. Tarik’s place is amazing. I mean, look at this room. Enough said. Tarik is also a tour guide so I got to jump on one of his informative tours in Casablanca. I highly recommend Tarik’s place. Use my code to receive $45 off if it is your first time booking on Airbnb.
Hotel Campanile: Our group stayed in this attractive hotel for one night. It is modern, new, and very clean.
Things to see in Casablanca
Hassan II Mosque
If you visit one place in Casablanca, make it this one! Hassan II Mosque is the largest mosque in Africa, and the 10th largest in the world. It also has the tallest minaret in the world at 210m high. This architectural work of art took 1000 workers to complete. It can hold a capacity of 25,000 worshippers in total. Entrance to the mosque is only permitted via guided tours, which operate on set schedules that are mostly in the mornings and one in the afternoon at 15:00. Check with your hotel for the schedule of the day. The entrance fee is 12 euros. If you are on a budget though, you can go to the mosque between the guided tour hours when only Muslim prayers are allowed inside. Since the door to the inside of the mosque is still open, you can stand at the entrance and poke your head in for a peek. #BudgetTravelTips #YouAreWelcome 😛 Otherwise, the exterior of the mosque is also stunning and completely free.
You have probably heard of the famous classic American Romance film Casablanca. Well, you can visit the famous cafe in the story and pretend you are there with Humphrey Bogart. Although I hate to spoil it for you, the movie wasn’t actually filmed here. WHAT? Yes, Casablanca was filmed in Hollywood in the states. This Rick’s Cafe was created afterward as a replica of the one in the movie. If you are shaking your fist at me for telling you this now, hey I’m sorry. The stunning cafe is still very much worth going. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
My guide Tarik called this the “Miami Beach” of Casablanca. La Corniche is a promenade that runs right along the coast of the city. It’s a great place for a walk on a sunny day. The sea breeze feels pleasant and watching the waves crash is very therapeutic. There are many restaurants, cafes and even clubs here. I recommend coming in the late afternoon to catch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. Then, stay for some nightlife in the evening. After all, this is the biggest party spot in the city.
Though not as impressive as the medinas in some other Moroccan cities like Fez or Marrakech, the old town in Casablanca is still worth visiting, especially if this is your first stop in Morocco. On the outskirts of the medina, the shops look pretty boring, selling brand name knockoffs and cliché touristy trinkets. But when you venture deeper into the heart of the area, you get an exciting look at the way the locals really live. Produce stalls with women hunching over them, choosing potatoes; bread shops with queues of people in the front, all waiting to buy their daily carbs; butcher shops with whole carcasses of meat on display in the window, declaring their freshness (Be warned, it’s a bit grotesque). The Old Medina is colorful, quirky, and a whole lot for the senses.
Day 2:Casablanca to Rabat to Chefchaouen
After a good night’s sleep, it is time to get on the road. The transportation vehicle my tour used in Morocco was a minivan. As a group of 14, it was an efficient method for us to get around. Our first stop from Casablanca was Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. The driving time was about 1 hour and 20 minutes. To be honest, I was surprised when I learned that the capital city of Morocco is neither Casablanca or Marrakech, but a place I had never heard of before. Rabat is a modern yet relaxed city. It may be off most tourists’ radar, but there are actually several interesting landmarks to visit here. I was really glad we stopped by Rabat on our way to Chefchaouen.
Things to see in Rabat
Hassan Tower and the Royal Mausoleum
The construction of Hassan Tower started in the 12th century, when Rabat first became the capital. Then ruler Yaqub al-Mansour envisioned building the tallest mosque in the world. However, the grand vision was not meant to be. Yaqub al-Mansour passed away before the work was completed and the project fell apart. However, the stunning ruins became a UNESCO world heritage site in 2012, so I guess not all the effort was wasted. Also on site along with the unfinished tower is the royal mausoleum. Both King Mohamed V and his two sons are entombed here. Visiting the inside of the mausoleum is allowed and completely free.
Kasbah of the Udayas
This ancient military base is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Rabat. Within the fortress citadel, there are stunning Andalusian gardens and acropolis with beautiful ocean views. You will likely make many new furry friends here and cats seem to run this place.
For more things to do in Rabat, check out this article here.
After Rabat, we drove to our final destination of the day, Chefchaouen, the Blue Pearl of Morocco. The drive took about 4 hours 30 minutes.
Accommodation in Chefchaouen
Hotel Madrid: This hotel where we stayed is adorable. The rooms here are vividly decorated and very comfortable. I loved the wooden furnishing and all the colors. The location is also very convenient as it is near the main square.
Day 3: Chefchaoeun
This insta-famous blue town will give you all the fairytale vibes. Some say that the town is blue because the Jews introduced the colour in the 30s, as blue symbolizes the sky and heaven. Another more practical theory is that the colour keeps mosquitos away. I personally am convinced that smurfs must have lived here. This was definitely one of the top destinations in Morocco for me. Take the day to wander around the blue-washed alleyways and get yourself completely lost. That insta is going to be lit!
Things to see in Chefchaouen
I wrote a detailed guide on all the cool activities to do in Chefchaouen, so make sure to take a look there. Here are a couple of highlights:
Callejon El Asri
This is arguably the most popular spot to take photos in Chefchaouen. You will recognize this pretty staircase lined with flower pots when you see a queue of people lining up in front of it.
Watch the sunset at the Spanish Mosque
For a different perspective of the town, climb up to the Spanish Mosque at the top of the medina before the sunset. You will get a panoramic view of Chefchaouen nestled in the mountains.
From Chefchaouen, you can take a hike into the lovely Rif Mountains. A couple of people in our tour group did this hike and loved it. You will see lush mountains view, small waterfalls, and streams, and might even pass by some cannabis plantations?
Day 4: Chefchaouen to Meknès to Fès
Fez is about a 4 hours drive from Chefchaouen. On our way to Fez, we stopped by Meknès, another imperial city of Morocco, where we took pictures at Bab El Mansour, one of the most exquisite ornamental gates in all of Morocco. The former royal stables and granary are located in Meknès, which some of us took the chance to visit. The stable is said to be able to hold up to 12,000 horses, so I imagine it to be quite impressive. The rest of us walked around in the town souk, where we entertained ourselves hunting down brand name knock offs like “Dulce & Camino” and “Glain Kleine”. After lunch and a break, we headed to Fès and checked into our hotel.
Accommodation in Fès
Hotel Mounia: Hotel Mounia features traditional Moroccan decor and is conveniently located in the city. The hotel has its own bar and hammam, which is great if you feel like taking a lazy day and having a staycation. We took a peek at the hammam and it looked really nice. However, our guide recommended a less fancy but cheaper option for us which I will share in the next section.
Day 5: Fès
Fès is a fascinating mix of past and present. While the new part of the city is very modern and clean, the old medina will make you feel like you’ve traveled back to medieval times. We had a local guide with us, which was immensely valuable for spending the day efficiently. Our guide Khalid (Lovingly referred to us as “DJ Khalid”) took us everywhere and taught us a lot about Moroccan traditions like the local wedding culture.
Things to do in Fès
This medina is absolutely enormous. Only locals know their way around the maze so don’t even attempt to figure it out on your own. The winding streets are lined with stalls selling all sorts of fresh and dry goods like fava beans, mint, goat cheese, and snails. We even saw two camel heads hanging in front of one window. When in the medina, watch out for your belongings, especially your phone. Pay attention when you hear “Belak bleak”, AKA “Get out of the way!”, a common call when donkeys and mules are passing through. Also, people in the medina are not always cool with photo taking, so always ask for permission before you snap away.
Moroccan tile work is one of the best in the world. Visit a ceramic workshop and learn about all the work that goes into creating gorgeous Moroccan products. We went to Poterie de Fes, where we saw the whole process from shaping clay, to hand painting the pieces, to assembling the pattern. Everything is by hand and very impressive.
This tannery is quite notorious. It smells like dead cows and pigeon poop. Seriously…I mean it quite literally. Leather making is famous in Fès and you can come to Tannery Chouara to see how it’s done. From a balcony, you can watch workers dying leather in giant tanks of color. The smell is very strong but the shop will provide visitors with mints to cover their noses. It is really quite an interesting experience.
Fès is truly a mecca for artisans. If the leather tannery traumatized you a bit, you can recover by visiting one of the vegan-friendly loom workshops. Get yourself a Moroccan silk scarf made from cactus. The shop staff showed us all the different ways there are to tie a turban. I had no idea there are so many styles like “the Arabian”, “the Nomad”, “the Berber” and “the Sandstorm”. It was so much fun!
Going to a hammam is a quintessential experience to try in Morocco. A Hammam is a bath house and it is unlike any spa experience you’ve ever known. Basically, you get naked, and a lady (maybe a man if you are a guy) will scrub your whole body with an exfoliating pad. It can be quite rough but you come out with smooth baby soft skin after. It can feel slightly awkward, but also hilarious, if it is your first time. We went to Hammam Mernissi where we paid 250 MAD for a 70 minutes treatment with exfoliation and massage.
Day 6: Fès to Marrakech
It is time to head to Marrakech, the capital of South Morocco. Fès to Marrakech is a whooping 6 hours drive, the longest leg in this itinerary. Told you Morocco is big! Have that road trip playlist ready. The nice thing is that the scenery along the way is incredible. I was surprised to find that Morocco actually has regions that are very lush and green, in contrast to the desert imagery I had always held in my mind. We arrived in Morocco in the late afternoon, which gave us some time to rest and explore the main market and have a relaxing dinner.
Accommodation in Marrakech
Hotel Amalou: While not the most awe-inspiring with its decor, Hotel Amalou is clean and comfortable. I really liked their shower, which had nice water pressure (I’m very picky about this). They also had a hairdryer available in the room. Yasss! As well, there is an outdoor pool on site. I stayed here even after the tour was over. For $35 a night, it is great value for the price.
Day 7: Marrakech
Marrakech is a bustling city with a lot to see. You can always find more things to do here. We return to this city again later on in the itinerary so don’t worry if we only spend one day here for now. Here are some of the top sites to visit in Marrakech.
Things to do in Marrakech
Djemaa el Fna Market Square
This square is the beating heart of Marrakech. There are so many things going on here that will keep your eyes busy. You will notice some snake charmers and men holding monkeys on leashes. A word of advice about these animal “entertainers”: Do not take photos or even show interests. What these people do to the animals is cruel. The more tourists pay attention to them, the more they will stick around, trying to make money. Instead, check out the storytellers, magicians, and water sellers in colorful costumes. As day turns into night, more and more entertainments pop up. Grab a mint tea on one of the restaurant patios, sit back, and have fun people watching.
Jardins Marjorelle is an enchanting garden in the middle of the city. The brainchild of French painter Jacques Majorelle, this urban oasis took 40 years to complete. Wander through the magical bamboo forest, stunning cacti, walk past pools filled with water lilies and visit the Berber museum where you can learn all about the traditional culture. Tip: Go early in the morning as soon as possible as this landmark is very popular and gets packed later on in the day. The garden opens at 8 AM on most days.
El Badi Palace
Though it is now in ruins, you can still imagine the ornate glory of El Badi Palace when you step into its grounds. The grand palace, which name translates to “The Incomparable” in English, was constructed in the 16th century. It was commissioned by Sultan Ahmed el Mansour. Skilled builders were brought in from all over the world to fulfill this opulent vision. The completed palace had 360 lavish rooms, a huge central pool and several summer pavilions. Sadly, with the passing of Sultan Ahmed el Mansour and the civil war, the palace slowly disintegrated. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction in Marrakech.
In contrast to Jardins Margorelle, Menara Gardens is an off the beaten path gem that not many tourists know about. Located west of Marrakech near the Atlas Mountains, it is free to enter and so much quieter than the other popular gardens. There is a big pond in the center of the green space, reflecting the nice pavilion and all the trees around it. It is a peaceful place to take a walk or meditate.
Day 8: Marrakech to Todra Gorge
Say goodbye to the cities, we are heading towards the desert baby! Day 8’s destination is Todra Gorge, the last stop before we arrive in Sahara in a day. Eek! You can see the change in the landscape along the way, as the city gives way to rocky hills and small villages. On our drive, we passed through Tinghir, a town with a population of 50,000. Set in one of the most beautiful oases in Southern Morocco, Tinghir is vibrant with palm tree groves and other Mediterranean flora. Then, we arrived in Todra Gorge. The total drive took 7 to 8 hours.
Accommodation in Todra Gorge
Royal Palmas Hotel: Here is where I had the absolute tastiest Moroccan feast during our whole trip. The chef at Royal Palmas is brilliant. For 100 MAD each, we had a buffet organized for us. There were delicious Moroccan vegetable and Harira soups, fresh salads, three different styles of tangines, and juicy oranges for dessert. The breakfast was also excellent. Though the rooms are quite nice, my main fond memory from staying here is the food. 😛
Things to do in Todra Gorge
Walk through the deep valleys and you’ll feel like you are on a different planet. The limestone canyon walls can be as high as 400 meters. A popular activity here is rock climbing. Apparently, Expedition Impossible, an American reality show, was filmed in part in Todra Gorge.
Day 9: Todra Gorge to Merzouga
This is the day we journey into the vast Sahara Desert. From Todra Gorge, the drive is about 3 hours and 30 minutes. We passed by some mysterious mirages along the way, which our guide explained were just reflections in the sand from heat forming what looks like water. The road to the desert really opened my eyes that Sahara is not only sand dunes, but there are oasis with different vegetations, rocky arid landscapes, and lots of little towns. We arrived in Merzouga just before lunch, which gave us the whole afternoon to explore and create some epic memories.
Accommodation in Merzouga
Auberge les dunes d’or: This dune-side hotel is the oldest establishment around the area. The rooms have patios that go straight out into the sand dunes. There is a nice outdoor pool in the hotel. The brothers who run this place are very friendly and funny. They chatted with us a lot, especially when they hosted a bonfire for us at night time. I would highly recommend staying at this hotel.
Things to do in Merzouga
There are not enough words to describe the beauty of the Sahara. In my Sahara camel trekking guide, I also listed all the inspiring activities you should try in this gorgeous golden desert. Here are some of my favourites:
Golden sand dunes stretching on to infinity beyond where the eyes can see, a camel caravan marching slowly in the glow of the setting sun…Sounds dreamy? Well that is exactly what this experience is: a dream come true. Saddle up, hop on a camel ride and let nomad guides lead you to the perfect lookout spot atop the Erg Chebbi dunes to watch the sunset. It will be one of the most legendary moments. I promise.
If you love snowboarding, you will love sand boarding too. It is so much fun. A word of warning though, those sand will get everywhere!
Bonfire under the stars
Sahara at night has a whole different kind of magic. Gather around the fire and listen to the beat of the drums played by the Berbers. Look up and see all the stars there are in the sky. The experience is unreal.
Day 10: Merzouga to Aït Ben Haddou
The movie-like journey continues on Day 10. On this day, we traveled the Route of 1000 Kasbahs to Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO heritage site. But first, we stop in Ouarzazate, the “Hollywood of Morocco”. Some big-name TV and movies were filmed here. Does a little show called “Game of Thrones” sound familiar? 😛 From Ouarzazate, Aït Ben Haddou is just 40 minutes drive away.
Accommodation in Aït Ben Haddou
Auberge La Baraka: This little hotel is located just 400m away from Aït Ben Haddou. You can even see it from some room windows. The breakfast buffet is delicious and the whole place is quite cozy.
Things to do in Aït Ben Haddou
Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou
Ksar is a Northern African term for “castle”. Nestled in high Atlas Mountains, the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou is super impressive. With an estimated area of 1300 square meters, it consists of numerous earthen buildings, all surrounded by a wall of defense. The ancient structures are made of clay and have been maintained very well. They look like sandcastles from a fairytale! The kasbah still houses a few families, but most now live in a village nearby There is a long list of movies that have taken scenes here, including Laurence of Arabia, Gladiator, and The Mummy. Make sure to walk up to the top of the kasbah and catch a stunning sunset over the town.
Take a cooking class
Learn how to cook the classic Moroccan dish, tagine. Tagine is a flavourful clay pot dish consists of meat, vegetables, and lots of spices. This is probably the dish you will eat the most in Morocco. Take an opportunity to learn how to make it yourself and enjoy the fruit of your labour for dinner.
Day 11: Aït Ben Haddou to Aroumd (Aremd) Atlas Mountains
From the desert to the mountains, this itinerary really covers a lot. On this day, head into the serene Atlas Mountains for a completely different scenery. We crossed the Tizi n’Tichka pass (at 2260 m) and entered into Toubkal National Park. From the town of Imlil, we hiked for about an hour to a quaint mountain village called Aroumd (Aremd). It was a lovely hike. I really enjoyed the fresh mountain air. Along the climb, we met some friendly villagers who were herding their goats and mules. After the hike, we checked into a mountain gîte for the night. The rustic cottage was quite simple yet very charming at the same time. We had homemade dinner made from local produce and spent the night together in the salon chatting away about life.
Day 12: Aroumd (Aremd) to Marrakech
Back to Marrakech! From Aroumd, the drive back to the Red City is just 1 hour and 45 minutes. For the G Adventures tour, this would the last full day on the itinerary. Take time to visit any place that you had missed during the first stop to Marrakech. For me, I had one thing I really wanted to check off the list, which was to try snail soup at the night market. My travel buddies and I went out of our way to find a place that sold it. The taste was interesting (a little chewy and a lot salty), but at the end of the day, it was sharing funny experiences like this with my fellow travellers that make memories so special.
Day 13: Marrakech (At own cost)
On the last day in Morocco, you can either take it easy for these final moments or go all out and hop on a day trip from Marrakech. Here are some fun day trip options.
This stunning waterfall is about 160 km outside of Marrakech. The water cascades down dramatically from a high cliff, eventually reaching a huge basin at the end. It is a refreshing place to visit in the hot summer months. After you take a dip in the water, you can sit under one of the olive trees, have a snack, and perhaps meet some monkeys. Recommend tour
Essouira is a pleasant port city on the west coast of Morocco. Besides the calm port, the UNESCO World Heritage Site declared medina, a bizarre reason to visit Essouira is that you might see some tree-climbing goats. Yes, this is a famous sight in southwest Morocco, where cloven-hoofed goats tend to climb up argan trees in search of yummy fruit to eat. This is a unique phenomenon you would only find in Morocco, so don’t miss it. Recommended tour
Agadir: This is another sunny west coast city that is worth visiting. If you are ready for a change from the desert landscape, the beaches and sea breeze in Agadir is waiting for you.
Day 14: Departure
We have come to the end of our trip. I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide of all the places to go in Morocco. Have a safe journey wherever you go next!
More inspiration for your Morocco trip planning
Here are my other articles to help you prepare for your Morocco journey:
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Plan your trip in 5 easy steps
- Book a tour: I traveled through Morocco on G Adventures’ Markets to Moutain tour and I highly recommend it. The itinerary is efficient and wonderful!
- Book flights: Find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner, my go-to search engine.
- Find hotels: Score affordable accommodation in Morocco on Booking.com.
- Buy insurance: You never know what may happen on the road. Protect your trip & gears with World Nomad, the best travel insurance company ever. Get a quote here.
- Read up on the best advice: Lonely Planet: Morocco Travel Guide