Souks, kasbahs and ksars, oh my! Morocco is a magnificent country filled with reasons to visit that have long enticed visitors to this fabled country. With Gate 1 in Morocco, visit imperial cities with grand architecture and the High Atlas Mountains that have housed Berber tribes for centuries. Souks, or a market or bazaar, bustle with people looking to shop and walk around. Kasbahs, or the citadels of ancient cities, often protected the leader when the city was under attack. The ksar, or a Berber village or castle, rise from the sands like other worldly lodgings. See all of these unique Moroccan sights and so much more when traveling to Morocco with Gate 1.
Fez, Marrakesh & Rabat; Three Imperial Cities
Of Morocco’s four historic imperial capitals Fez, Marrakesh, Rabat & Meknes, Gate 1 Travel visits three: Fez, Marrakesh and Rabat. Fez, or the “Athens of North Africa” is teaming with sophistication and amazing history. It is also the second largest city in population after Casablanca and was the capital of the country for over 400 years. Visit highlights of this great city including; The University of Al Karaouine, the oldest university in the world; the Al-Attarine Madrasa, an excellent example of Islamic architecture; and the Nejjarine Fountains and Museum, a traditional fountain for caravans. The favorite site for many in Fez is the Fes el Bali medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This marketplace is thought to be one of the largest car-free urban areas in the world, on par with Venice, making it ideal for a stroll. Find brass and leather goods, lush carpets, handmade slippers, and so much more at the medina. Just a short drive from Fez, the magnificent ruins of Volubilis reveal the ancient streets where Romans and Berbers once thrived and traded goods. Explore original preserved mosaics, a Roman Road and the city layout. Follow along the Moroccan countryside and pass by the Holy City of Moulay Idriss for a perfect photo op.
Depart for Marrakesh and enjoy the ever-changing Moroccan landscape with valleys and the Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. Arrive in Marrakesh and visit the Saadian Tombs that date back to the 16th century. This is where the Saadian royalty can be found in their final resting place. Stop by the Koutoubia Minaret and the Bahaia palace on a city tour of marvelous Marrakesh. Next visit the Djemaa El Fna Square that encompasses the culture and personality of this lively city. As evening sets in, this place becomes a thrilling blend of snake charmers, fire eaters, kebab stalls and much more! It is a great place to explore during free time and experience all things Morocco.
Morocco’s capital city, Rabat, has been cited as one of the most exciting travel destinations in the world. A walk through the Oudaya Kasbah and you will understand why. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built by the Almohad Empire in the 12th and 13th centuries and houses a palace, mosque and cobbled lanes. Nearby, the incomplete mosque has the Hassan Tower as its centerpiece. The mosque and its tower were intended to be the largest of their kind in the world when they were begun in 1195. The impressive ruins of the Chellah, Muslim necropolis, stretch even further back in time, to the days of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans. It is now overgrown elegantly with fruit trees and wild flowers.
Rissani, Sijilmasa and Ouarzazate; Cities from the Sands
The Sahara often comes to mind when dreaming of travel to Morocco. Gate 1 introduces you to this spellbinding region where the regal Atlas Mountains taper off into sand dunes. On the road from Fez to Erfoud, you will witness some of Morocco’s most dramatic landscapes including the montane cedar woods that lead into the Middle Atlas Mountains and the lush Ziz Valley. Depending on your itinerary, you may even stop at a fossil factory to learn more about this unique activity which is famous in this area. Stop in Rissani, a town that balances mountains and desert and was once a busy caravan stop. Stop at the bustling souk here and also visit an 18th century ksar. Next visit the former Berber city of Sijilmasa with its storied trading town history.
Continue your journey and view some of the world’s most dramatic canyons that cut through the Middle Atlas Mountains. Visit the Todra Palmeraie Gorge that towers to 800 feet and then to the Dades Canyons before continuing on to the road of one thousand Kasbahs to Ouarzazate.
The medieval desert village of Ouarzazate, or “without noise” in Berber, is so well preserved that it has become the perfect movie location when an ancient town is needed. Ouarzazate is home to a 12th-century Taourirt village that is still inhabited today that you will visit. Nearby is Ait Benhaddou that is comprised of six kasbahs and fifty ksars. It has also had its fair share of film crews scouring its streets for the perfect shot. While here, take note of the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site before you and how it has inspired many film makers. Some of the movies and TV shows shot here include Game of Thrones, the Mummy, Gladiator, Babel and Prince of Persia.
Casablanca, Agadir & Essaouira; Morocco’s Coastal Gems
Speaking of film sets, Casablanca is one of Morocco’s most visited cities because of its setting for the classic movie of the same name. This commercial heart of Morocco lies on the coast of the country and set aside the beautiful Corniche seaside. Visit the incredible example of Moorish Revival architecture that is the Hassan II Mosque. It is Africa’s second largest mosque and the fifth largest in the world. It also boasts the second tallest minaret in the world at just under 700 feet! Built partly on the sea, the mosque can accommodate 25,000 worshippers inside and 80,000 in its courtyard.
Further south, the resort town of Agadir is at the foothills of the Anti-Atlas Mountains. View the beaches of this former fishing village as well as the hilltop ruins of the old kasbah, a beautiful site.
Essaouira, formerly Mogador, is possibly Morocco’s most picturesque coastal city. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a perfect example of a typical North African fortified town, with its preserved walls, medina and bright blue fishing boats. Walk along the city’s ramparts just north of Moulay Hassan Square where artists sell their paintings. Continue on to the Skala de la Ville, the fortification built along the cliffs that once defended the city from sea attacks. It now provides visitors with an excellent view of the port and the picture-perfect bright blue boats. Stroll through the medina where artisans and craftsmen have practiced their trades for hundreds of years.
Quality and value go hand in hand in Gate 1 Travel’s Morocco. Enjoy restaurants that introduce you to a newly refined take on Moroccan cuisine, and some of the country’s finest hotels. What’s more, our Tour Managers are among the most experienced and insightful around, with a boundless national pride that you’ll find contagious. Simply put, there is no other way to experience Morocco to its fullest than with Gate 1 Travel!
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Please Note: Sightseeing varies per itinerary.