Morocco 12-Day Itinerary – Best places to visit in the country

  • 05.04.2024 07:09
  • Bruno Arcos

Best things to see and do in Morocco in 12 days. Discover the country’s most famous landmarks and tourist hotspots in our Morocco 12-day itinerary!

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This Morocco 12-day itinerary is a part of our broader travel guide for the country. We recommend you check it out for the best travel tips and the most accurate information on transportation, hotels, restaurants and safety tips in Morocco.

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary – Where to go in Morocco in 12 days

Welcome to Morocco, the nation of the Atlas! If you’re considering a journey to this remarkable nation, we’re here to make sure you get the most out of your experience. While 12 days may only scratch the surface, we believe this timeframe offers the bare minimum for a decent trip around Morocco. With that in mind, alongside the classic stops of Marrakesh and Fes, which are must-sees in any shorter itinerary, with 12 full days you can explore the imperial city of Meknes, venture into the Sahara dunes in Merzouga, check out the “instagrammable” Blue City of Chefchaouen, and enjoy have a healthy mix of beach and culture in the coastal town of Essaouira.

That being said, whether you have more or less available time in your hands, feel free to explore our alternative routes in Morocco:

So, without further ado, here are the cities, places and tourist attractions you should visit in a 12-day itinerary through Morocco:

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 1 – Marrakesh: The Medina

Just arrived in Marrakesh, your first day in Moroccan soil will be entirely dedicated to exploring the fabulous Medina, the historic walled center where time seems to stand still. Here, where no cars or vans are allowed, buildings are built and coated with red clay, and numerous merchants still set up their stalls along the narrow and dusty, bustling streets. It’s a true microcosm of the commercial and religious traditions of the Maghreb region. However, before diving deep into the organized chaos of the Medina, your day will kick off with a visit to the Tanneries of Marrakesh, one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Although Fez’s is widely known for its tanneries, Marrakesh boasts its very own district dedicated to the treatment of leather and animal skins. Unlike Fez, however, Marrakesh’s tanneries aren’t particularly touristy, meaning the experience will be more chaotic, but also more traditional and authentic. As a final word of notice, keep in mind workers and locals tend to be particularly aggressive around here when it comes to making a few extra dirhams of you. Stay firm and refute any approaches.

When finally entering the inebriating Medina, you’ll start off by visiting the extraordinary Ben Youssef Madrasa (40 Dh), the largest of its kind in the country. In Islam, a madrasa is a school for religious studies, and this one is renowned for its exceptional beauty, with its stunning central courtyard and intricate zellij mosaics and stucco details. Although the entire Medina can be seen as a souq due to its maze-like layout and endless array of shops and stalls, most businesses are concentrated in specific areas, such as the district of Rahba Kedima. While it may seem chaotic at first glance, there is indeed some sort of organization, with different souqs specializing in specific products or services:

  • Place Rahba Kedima: spices, herbs and teas;
  • Souq Haddadine: metal products (lampshades, tables, etc.);
  • Souq Cherratine: leather goods;
  • Souq Sebbaghine: skins and textiles;
  • Souq Zrabia: carpets, rugs and tapestries;
  • Souq Smata: clothing;
  • Souq Kchacha: dried fruits and vegetables.

In between, don’t forget to visit the Almoravid Qubba (60 Dh), the oldest monument in Marrakesh, before taking a moment to relax in the Jardin Secret (80 Dh). True to its name (Secret Garden), this picturesque and quaint green space – located amidst the chaos of the Medina – allows visitors to take a break from the sensory overload of central Marrakesh. Once part of a Saadian palace, the garden underwent massive renovation works and opened to the public in 2016, steadily gaining popularity (though it can still be considered a hidden gem of sorts). Next to the garden, we also recommend indulging in a traditional Hammam experience, a staple of Moroccan and North-African culture. Offering heated marble rooms and exfoliation massages with local products, you can find all kinds of Hammams throughout Marrakesh, both local and tourist-oriented. For a more authentic experience, consider visiting Hammam Mouassine, the city’s oldest (entry costs 10 Dh, massages and treatments are extra). After completing your cleansing ritual, ramp up the energy levels and head to the legendary Jemaa El-Fna, one of the city’s greatest attractions and an essential place where to witness the Moroccan way of life. Whether day or night, the square is constantly buzzing with traditional music, street vendors and motorbikes. For a panoramic view, enjoy a mint tea on the terrace of Café Glacier, taking in the mesmerizing atmosphere around you. Finally, end your day with a visit to the Koutoubia Mosque, whose minaret marks the highest point in the entire Medina. While non-Muslims can’t enter the mosque, a stroll through its gardens is enough to enjoy the building’s architecture.

First day wrap-up:

  • Tanneries of Marrakesh
  • Medina
    • Ben Youssef Madrasa
    • Souqs of Marrakesh
    • Almoravid Qubba
    • Jardin Secret
    • Hammam Mouassine (traditional baths)
    • Jemaa El-Fna
    • Koutoubia Mosque

Where to eat in Marrakesh – Cheap restaurants inside the Medina

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 2 – Marrakesh: Palaces, Tombs and the Majorelle Gardens

Now that you’ve explored the Medina, your second day in Marrakesh will be spent discovering the city’s other attractions, with a focus on the palaces and remnants of the Saadian Sultanate, the powerful dynasty that ruled over Moroccan territory during the 16th and 17th centuries. However, to start your morning in a more relaxed tone, we recommend a quick stroll along Errachidia Street. Located near the Saadian Tombs, this thoroughfare provides a much-needed respite from the crowded and excessively touristy scene of the Medina. While offering the same traditional architecture and street markets, the atmosphere is notably more subdued, offering visitors a quieter experience. And since we mentioned the Saadian Tombs (70 Dh), a necropolis where many of Morocco’s historical monarchs are buried, this will be your next stop! Comprising several burial halls, with the sumptuous Chamber of the Twelve Columns as the highlight, this historical site is yet great another example of traditional Moroccan interior architecture. A bit further north, it’s also worth visiting the Badi Palace (70 Dh), which are actually the ruins of an ancient royal residence, before venturing into the district of Mellah. Historically recognized as Marrakesh’s Jewish quarter, Mellah was once home to a vibrant Semitic community. While now predominantly Muslim, you can still find signs of its Jewish heritage through the architecture and monuments that still honors its past, such as the Lazama Synagogue or the Jewish Cemetery, the largest in Morocco.

When it comes to palaces, and although Marrakesh offers plenty of options, the most impressive of the bunch is definitely Bahia Palace (70 Dh). Built in the 19th century to serve as the opulent residence of Si Musa, the grand vizier of the sultan and the highest position in the country’s government, the residence was subsequently expanded and improved, boasting some of the best examples of art made with colorful mosaics forming intricate geometric patterns. Just a few minutes away, we also suggest a visit to Dar Si Said (30 Dh), another imposing mansion, currently functioning as a museum that showcases an interesting collection of Berber art, Moroccan tapestries and traditional doors. Finally, you can catch a bus (explained in the transportation section) or walk about 3 km to reach the famous Majorelle Gardens (155 Dh), where your day will come to an end. Located outside the historic center, the gardens served as a retreat for the French high-fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, and are famous for their exotic trees, cacti and vibrant colors. Please note that is mandatory to buy your tickets online, as there is no option to do so in person. Along with the gardens, you can also purchase a combo ticket (315 Dh) and visit the two on-site museums: the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum and the Pierre Bergé Berber Art Museum.

Second day wrap-up:

  • Errachidia Street
  • Saadian Tombs
  • Badi Palace
  • Mellah Quarter
    • Lazama Synagogue
    • Jewish Cemetery
  • Bahia Palace
  • Dar Si Said
  • Majorelle Gardens (combo w/ Yves Saint-Laurent Museum e o Pierre Bergé Berber Art Museum)

Where to eat in Marrakesh – Cheap restaurants in Kasbah, Mellah e Gueliz

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 3 – Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou

As the time comes to bid farewell to Marrakesh, you will want to get progressively closer to the desert, starting with a trip to Ouarzazate, the biggest city before officially entering the Sahara. To get there, you can catch a bus from Supratours or CTM, or a shared taxi from the Red City (more details in the transportation section of the general guide), with the journey lasting approximately 4 hours. Upon reaching Ouarzazate and dropping off your luggage at your place of accommodation, you’ll then arrange a private taxi to take you to Ait Ben Haddou, located roughly 30 km away. Nestled amidst the majestic peaks of the High Atlas, this fortified village (referred to locally as a “ksar”) is famed for its distinguished red clay high-rise buildings. An extremely popular filming location for period dramas, due do its old-world architecture, it stands as one of the nation’s most iconic sites. For the round-trip (plus an hour’s wait), budget around 200 Dh.

Back in Ouarzazate, and despite the rather limited timeframe, you’ll at least try to get to know the city’s main attractions. While not particularly beautiful, the fact that most of the city’s buildings boast the same color, plus the desert landscape as backdrop, makes it a pretty exotic destination. Plus, it’s a great place to break the long journey into the Sahara and enjoy a good night’s sleep. That being said, visitors shouldn’t miss out on the Kasbah Taourirt (80 Dh), considered the city’s main ancient castle, or the Old Synagogue (30 Dh), the main place of worship for Ouarzazate’s once thriving Jewish community. Additionally, if you still have some time left, consider a visit to the Atlas Film Studios (80 Dh). Since the natural landscape and the traditional Moroccan architecture have served as the perfect setting for many internationally acclaimed movies and tv shows, this film producer has taken part in a lot of famous Hollywood flicks. Therefore, if you’d like to check out the settings and props that were used in the likes of “Game of Thrones”, “Gladiator”, “The Mummy”, “The Passion of the Christ” or “Babel”, this is the place to go!

Third day wrap-up:

  • Ait Ben Haddou
  • Ouarzazate
    • Kasbah Taourirt
    • Old Synagogue
    • Atlas Film Studios

Where to eat in Morocco – Cheap restaurants in Ouarzazate

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 4 – Trip through the Desert

On the fourth day of our itinerary, you won’t have time for any sightseeing because most of your time will be spent traveling to Merzouga, the small Berber village that has become the biggest tourist hotspot in the Saharan portion of the Maghreb. Given how isolated it is from the rest of the country, you can only travel between Ouarzazate and Merzouga aboard one of Supratours’ buses (8 hours), though you’ll likely arrive after 20h00. Alternatively, you can try to find a shared taxi in Ouarzazate. While the journey is certainly shorter (around 6 hours) and allows for an earlier start to make the most of the day, it comes at a higher cost. Once again, you can find all the details in our broader guide! Regardless of your choice, upon reaching the village and checking into your desert camp, there won’t be much time left for anything substantial.

Fourth day wrap-up:

  • Bus ride to Merzouga

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 5 – Merzouga: The Sahara Desert

Guess it’s finally time to delve into the enormous, legendary Sahara! In fact, you can use any number of adjectives you’d like and you’ll still find yourself unable to truly encapsulate the sheer vastness of this place! Unfortunately, unless you have rented a 4×4, exploring the desert requires joining a guided tour to access the best spots and activities. That’s exactly why Merzouga has become such a popular place, since it’s located very close to Erg Chebbi, a sprawling sea of dunes where most tours take place.

Fortunately, booking a tour in Merzouga is effortless – in true Moroccan fashion, you don’t have to find a tour, tours practically find you 🙂 If you’ve booked a room or tent at a camp through Booking.com (our recommendations are in the general guide), simply ask them to connect you with a local company. Some camps even organize their own tours or work with specific guides from Merzouga. Alternatively, it’s also incredibly easy to find reliable tours online, and many already include accommodation in the desert. Finally, if you’re one of those travelers who don’t like to plan anything ahead, wait until you arrive in Merzouga and look out for local agencies.

While there are many tour operators, most of them offer similar experiences. In a standard desert tour, you can expect a camel ride (keep in mind many animals are poorly treated), a more adventurous activity like sandboarding or quad biking, and a stargazing session. After all, in the serene isolation of the world’s largest desert, night skies are some of the brightest and clearest you will ever witness! Additionally, most tours also include accommodation for a night in the desert, with guides taking groups to watch both sunrise and sunset, dinner and some sort of entertainment. In more elaborate versions, some tours will also take you to Lake Merzouga and to the village of Khamlia, and will arrange a meeting with an authentic nomadic Berber family.

Fifth day wrap-up:

  • Erg Chebbi
  • Tour across the Sahara Desert

Where to eat in Morocco – Cheap restaurants in Merzouga

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 6 – Trip to Fes

Much like the day of your arrival to the desert, you also won’t have much time left when trying to head back to civilization. After all, you’ll be taking on a 9-hour bus drive to Fes, with the journey running through the night and dropping you off in the city at dawn. Currently, only Supratours runs direct buses between Merzouga and Fes. However, considering the less-than-ideal times and potential level of discomfort, we suggest finding a shared taxi (see our general guide of Morocco) so that you can leave Merzouga as early as possible and arrive in Fes by nightfall.

Another alternative is to mix up both options, given how hard it can be to find other travelers or locals wishing to take on such a lengthy journey to share the taxi with. Here’s how: you can arrange a shared taxi to Errachidia, about 2 hours away (it’s much more likely to find Berbers looking for the same route), and then catch a CTM bus to Fes from there. It will be a long and tiring day (you’ll have to transfer to another CTM bus in Meknes), but at least you’ll arrive in Fes at a decent time and won’t risk having to pay a small fortune for a private taxi. However, for this plan to work, you’ll have to depart from Merzouga to Errachidia before 07h00, as the daytime buses to Fes depart from Errachidia at 09h30.

Sixth day wrap-up:

  • Bus or shared taxi ride to Fes

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 7 – Fes: Medina

After the super long journey back from the desert and a well-deserved night of sleep in one of Fes’ many traditional riads, it’s time to explore another of Morocco’s imperial capitals. In fact, and beyond its historical title, Fes actually shares many similarities with Marrakesh, starting with its extraordinary Medina, locally known as Fes el Bali. Much like what you saw in the “Red City”, cars are not allowed within the old city’s walls, though Fes’ Medina is even larger and more chaotic – in fact, Fes el Bali is the single biggest and oldest Medina in all of Africa! In total, we’re talking about over 9000 streets and alleys occupying 540 hectares of land, making it the largest pedestrian zone in the world. Without further ado, you’ll enter the Medina through Bab Boujloud, the most famous monumental gate to the historic center. As you pass through the gate, the Medina unfolds before you in an endless maze of colors, scents and – of course – souqs! While these are scattered pretty much everywhere, most shops and vendors can be found on the western bank of the River Oued Bou Khareb, particularly near the picturesque Place Seffarine, and along Talaa Kebira Street, considered the main thoroughfare in the historic center. It is precisely at the start of this street that you’ll find the Bou Inania Madrasa (20 Dh), arguably the most impressive religious building in the city, originally built in the 14th century.

Navigating through the bustling souqs of Talaa Kebira, you can make a detour to the Nejjarine Museum (20 Dh). To no surprise, Fes is a city of craftsmen and artisans, and you can visit this institution and see some of the most beautiful carvings and art pieces made of wood. Plus, the exhibition is housed inside a caravanserai, offering a glimpse into the renovated interior of one of these historic buildings. Near the museum, adjacent to Place Seffarine, we also recommend visiting the el-Attarine Madrasa (20 Dh), which many find even more beautiful than the Bou Inania, and the Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque, considered the oldest university in the world. Originally a center of theological studies, the building’s use is now restricted to its religious function, though it’s still officially part of the same university since 857. Similarly to most active religious buildings in Morocco, non-Muslims cannot enter the mosque, but they can still admire its beautiful central courtyard. As the day comes to an end, you simply cannot miss the classic visit to the Chouara Tanneries, the most famous of all the leather tanneries in Fes!  An important center for this activity for over 900 years, this is where you can watch how the animal skins are dyed before being turned into all kinds of objects and luxury goods. Besides, the view over all the colorful vats (the recipients where skins are left to dry) has become a postcard-picture of sorts! While you can’t enter the tanneries, most tourists visit one of the many shops overlooking the vats to enjoy the view. This is technically free, but leaving a little tip is obviously appreciated. Finally, you’ll cap off your day with a climb to the Marinid Tombs, located atop a hill in the quarter of Borj Nord, outside the Medina. The tombs may be in terrible shape, but the breathtaking view over the historic center couldn’t be better!

Seventh day wrap-up:

  • Medina – Fes el Bali
  • Bab Boujloud
  • Souqs
  • Talaa Kebira Street
  • Bou Inania Madrasa
  • Nejjarine Museum
  • Place Seffarine
  • el-Attarine Madrasa
  • Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque
  • Chouara Tanneries
  • Marinid Tombs

Where to eat in Morocco – Cheap restaurants in Fes

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 8 – Fes: Mellah and the Palaces

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to visit the Medina, your second day in Fes will be dedicated to exploring other attractions and districts of the city, starting with the Mellah Quarter. Along with the Medina and its status as an imperial city, it’s pretty much impossible not to draw any comparisons with Marrakesh, especially when Fes also boasts its very own Jewish district, equally called Mellah. There are barely any Jews left in Fes, but the remnants of their history remain, such as the Jewish Cemetery and the Aben Danan Synagogue. Also in this quarter, don’t miss out on the Royal Palace of Fes, built when the Marinids first started to develop this area of the city. Nowadays the palace is not open to the public, but it’s still worth checking out its exterior. As you leave the Jewish quarter and reapproach the Medina, take a break at the Bou Jeloud Gardens, the city’s main green area. Fes is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do, but it can also be confusing and chaotic, which is why this is such a cool place to wind down.

As you resume your walk and re-enter the Medina, this time you’ll explore the eastern bank of the Oued Bou Khareb River, where the atmosphere is more local and much less touristy. Start off by visiting the Glaoui Palace (25 Dh), once home to one of Morocco’s most influential clans in the 19th and 20th centuries, when some of its members served as Vizer to the Sultan and even as Pasha of Marrakesh. Though it may look quite humble when compared to its European counterparts, it’s yet another great example of traditional Moroccan architecture. Finally, once you make it to the river banks, you simply have to visit the Sarhij Madrasa (20 Dh), recently restored to its former glory, and the Al-Andalus Mosque, renowned for its striking green and white minaret that stands out from the rest of the Medina’s landscape.

Eighth day wrap-up:

  • Mellah District – Jewish Quarter
    • Jewish Cemetery
    • Aben Danan Synagogue
  • Royal Palace of Fes
  • Bou Jeloud Gardens
  • Glaoui Palace
  • Sarhij Madrasa
  • Al-Andalus Mosque

Where to eat in Morocco – Cheap restaurants in Mellah and near Glaoui Palace

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 9 – Day Trip to Chefchaouen

Known as the “Blue City” for the homogenous color painted over all its buildings and landmarks, Chefchaouen stands out as one of Morocco’s most popular tourist destinations, gracing Instagram feeds all across the globe! Since time is definitely an issue, you’ll only have a day trip to enjoy the famous Maghrebi village, meaning you’ll need to depart from Fes quite early in the morning in order make the most of your visit in between two long bus journeys (3h30 each way). On the other hand, if the bus times don’t really suit your plan, you can always go for a shared taxi or take an organized tour from Fes. Chefchaouen may not offer an extensive array of sights and attractions, but the town is all about wandering through the Medina, exploring its winding alleys and allowing yourself to get lost amidst in the bustling local souqs. Naturally, the most captivating thing about Chefchaouen is the apparently omnipresent blue shades that adorn its every single façade, a legacy of the extensive Jewish community that settled here after escaping the Spanish Inquisition. No one really knows why the tradition started in the first place, though some speculate that the blue helps cool down homes and keep mosquitoes away. Be that as it may, locals keep painting their houses blue, even centuries later!

Apart from wandering aimlessly, there are always a few must-see spots you shouldn’t miss, such as Bab El Ain, the main gate to the Medina, or the Uta el Hammam Square, hailed as the heart of Chefchaouen. In this square, you can explore the Kasbah Museum (60 Dh), housed inside an historic fortress, and admire the Grand Mosque of Chefchaouen (though, as usual in Morocco, non-believers are barred from entering). To end your day trip in style, make sure to climb your way up to the Spanish Mosque, located atop a hill just outside the Medina. Although the building has been left abandoned, what really matters are the commanding views over the old town and its blue-splattered landscape. The high point (both literal and figuratively) of your visit before returning to Fes.

Ninth day wrap-up:

  • Medina of Chefchaouen
  • Souqs
  • Bab El Ain
  • Uta el Hammam Square
  • Kasbah Museum
  • Grand Mosque of Chefchaouen
  • Spanish Mosque

Where to eat in Morocco – Cheap restaurants in Chefchaouen

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 10 – Meknes

It’s time to bid farewell to Fes and take the brief journey (by either bus or train) to Meknes, the least famous of Morocco’s imperial cities. Upon arrival, your priority should be to drop your luggage at your hotel, as you’ll only have the day to explore this historic town before moving on to your next destination. That said, you’ll kick things off with a visit to the iconic Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, the Sultan who established Meknes as the imperial capital in the 17th century, playing a pivotal role in reclaiming parts of the country from British and Spanish control. Despite being located within the grounds of a mosque closed to non-Muslims, the mausoleum is actually open to all visitors. Before venturing into the fortified historic center, it’s also worth taking a detour to the Qara Prison (10 Dh), the underground precinct where the same Sultan used to hold tens of thousands imprisoned, using them as slave laborers during the day. Back to street level, it’s then time to finally enter the bustling Medina of Meknes, starting with a visit to the legendary Bab al-Mansour, Morocco’s most famous city gate. In fact, this monument is so imposing and important that is no longer possible to cross it, with visitors entering the Medina through a smaller adjacent gate.

As for the city center, it offers the quintessential charm you’ve come to expect by now. Think winding alleys, picturesque narrow streets and bustling souqs everywhere – the classic Moroccan recipe! As soon as you enter the Medina, you’ll immediately come across Lahdim Square, a pocket-version of Marrakesh’s bustling Jeema El Fna, where you can soak in the lively atmosphere and explore the Dar Jamai Museum (20 Dh), a Moroccan art institution and one of the buildings with the most impressive interiors in the country. Exhibition aside, the museum’s rooms and garden alone are worth the visit! Next up, head north and finish your minitour of Meknes at the Bou Inania Madrasa (20 Dh), another historical Islamic school. Along with the traditional architecture, you can get up to the rooftop and enjoy the best views over the Medina. Right next to the madrasa, you may also have a look at the Grand Mosque of Meknes… but only from the outside!

If you like to travel on a slow pace or happen to only arrive in Meknes late in the morning, then this is good for the day. However, if you’ve arrived early from Fes and managed to explore all these attractions in 2 or 3 hours, you might want to consider spending the afternoon visiting a remarkable place located approximately 30 km from the city. We’re obviously talking about the Archaeological Site of Volubilis (70 Dh), the awe-inspiring Roman remains of a 5000-year-old city. Not only will you be able to roam through the ruins of ancient basilicas, colonnaded streets and bathhouses, but you’ll also get to see Volubilis’ intricate and well-preserved mosaics – for many THE most impressive tourist attraction in Meknes! Near the ruins, and since you’re already there anyway, it’s worth making a quick stop in Moulay Idriss, Morocco’s main pilgrimage destination. However, it’s not the mosques or the temples that attract tourists (in fact, these are closed to non-Muslims), but rather the village’s extraordinary location on the hillsides. Even if you don’t have the time for anything else, at least do yourself a favor and take a brief walk through Molay’s streets and climb to La Grande Terrasse for sweeping views of the village, before returning to Meknes. A day as busy as it is memorable!

Regarding transportation and logistics for the afternoon, and given your limited time, we suggest you head to the Institute Française de Meknes, a hub for shared taxis (grand taxis) where you can hop on a car to Moulay Idriss. Given how close Meknes and the village are, you won’t have to wait long for the taxi to fill up and leave. Expect to pay around 20 Dh for the journey. For the onward journey to Volubilis, you’ll then need to arrange a private taxi. In this case, budget approximately 40-50 Dh for the 5-minute ride, including waiting time and return trip. Upon returning to the village, find another shared taxi to Meknes (again, around 20 Dh). Alternatively, if all of this sounds a bit too convoluted, consider booking a private tour from Fes that includes visits to Meknes, Volubilis and Moulay Idriss. These tours usually end with the trip back to Fes, but you can simply tell the guide you’re staying in Meknes overnight.

Tenth day wrap-up:

  • Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail
  • Qara Prison
  • Medina of Meknes
  • Bab al-Mansour
  • Souqs
  • Lahdim Square
  • Dar Jamai Museum
  • Bou Inania Madrasa
  • Grand Mosque of Meknes
  • Archaeological Site of Volubilis
  • Moulay Idriss

Where to eat in Morocco – Cheap restaurants in Meknes

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 11 – Road to Essaouira

As your Moroccan adventure heads to its inevitable conclusion, it’s time to make your way to Essaouira, the last destination on your itinerary. Unfortunately, getting there means having to sit through a lengthy and monotonous 11 to 13-hour bus journey with CTM, leaving little room for anything else. Furthermore, since there are no direct buses from Meknes, you’ll have to transfer in Casablanca.

On the other hand, if you want to complete the journey as quickly as possible (it’ll still take about 9 hours), you can hop on a fast train to Marrakesh, and then change to a bus heading to Essaouira. Either way, that will be all for the day, so take the time to try to eat a proper meal and get a good rest once you finally make it to the coast.

Eleventh day wrap-up:

  • Bus ride to Essaouira

Morocco 12-Day Itinerary: Day 12 – Essaouira

As your return home draws uncomfortably near, we hope to be able to provide you one last memorable day in Essaouira, also known as Mogador. Unlike the other cities on your itinerary (with the exception of Merzouga, in the desert), Essaouira is notably smaller, resembling more of a serene fishing village than a bustling city. Here, life seems to go by at a slower pace, allowing you to calmly enjoy the final moments of your trip. Of course, the heart of the town lies within the walls of the local Medina, another prime example of Moroccan traditional architecture, in this case with heavy foreign influences. While by now you will have made yourself more than familiar with the bustling souqs and historic façades, the Medina of Essaouira is actually quite unique, since you can walk along its old Ramparts overlooking the Atlantic. In fact, this got to be one of the best and most pleasant strolls one can take in Morocco.

Once you make it to the port area, don’t miss the opportunity to climb the Borj El Barmil Tower. Not only does it offer the finest viewpoint in Essaouira, but it’s also part of the famous Sqala du Port (50 Dh), an artillery platform – technically part of the city walls – that gained recognition as a popular filming location for the “Game of Thrones” series. Outside the ramparts, right below Sqala du Port, we recommend doing some people-watching at the Fishing Port. Due to its location, Essaouira is deeply connected to everything-fishing, so this is a great spot to see the boats unloading their catch. If you’re lucky, you may even witness a live fish auction on the docks! Finally, for the ultimate way to bid farewell to Morocco, why not going for a swim at Essaouira Beach? However, be warned that this is definitely not the ideal place to sunbathe (for that, head further south to Agadir), since the beach is famous for its notorious winds. Because of that, though, this has become a hotspot for windsurfing enthusiasts! Nevertheless, it’s a great place to enjoy a drink before boarding the bus for the short ride back to Marrakesh, where your return flight awaits.

Twelfth day wrap-up:

  • Medina
  • Souqs
  • Ramparts of Essaouira
  • Sqala du Port
  • Borj El Barmil Tower
  • Fishing Port
  • Essaouira Beach

Where to eat in Morocco – Cheap restaurants in Essaouira

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