Morocco is a captivating destination with its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and diverse cities. A well-structured 12-day itinerary can provide travelers with a unique insight into the country’s history, natural beauty, and vibrant local life.
From exploring the imperial cities of Marrakech, Fes, Rabat, and Meknes to experiencing the wonders of the Sahara Desert, a 12-day journey in Morocco can be a truly unforgettable experience.
Travelers can select from various itinerary options to ensure their Moroccan adventure suits their specific interests and preferences. By combining classic destinations such as Casablanca, Chefchaouen (the blue city), the Sahara, and Marrakesh, visitors can gain a comprehensive understanding of Morocco’s allure.
Alternatively, delving into lesser-touristed areas like Erg Chigaga, Zagora, Taroudant, and Agadir can provide a unique perspective on the country less often experienced by tourists.
Regardless of the chosen path, a 12-day Morocco itinerary will provide ample opportunities for travelers to immerse themselves in the country’s distinct atmosphere, sample its delicious cuisine, and admire its impressive historical sites.
With careful planning and an open mind, adventurers embarking on this journey will likely leave Morocco with a deeper appreciation for its complex and enchanting character.
Day 1: Arrival in Casablanca
Upon arrival at the Casablanca airport, travelers can take a taxi or arrange for a pre-booked shuttle to their accommodation in the city. Casablanca, being the largest city in Morocco, offers a variety of lodging options, ranging from luxury hotels to more budget-friendly guesthouses.
Once settled, visitors can begin exploring the city’s most famous landmark, the Hassan II Mosque. This architectural marvel, boasting the world’s tallest minaret, is a must-see for its exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. Tours of the interior are available, offering a glimpse into the mosque’s intricately designed spaces and spectacular ocean views.
Next on the itinerary is a visit to the Royal Palace of Casablanca, which showcases traditional Moroccan architecture and beautiful gardens. Though the Royal Palace is not open to the public, its grand exterior and the surrounding area provide ample photo opportunities.
After exploring the Royal Palace, travelers can stroll through the Arab League Park, a lush urban oasis perfect for a leisurely walk or a picnic. The park, which is described as the green lung of Casablanca, is a tranquil escape from the bustling city and has been a popular destination for both tourists and locals since its creation in 1918.
For those interested in shopping, the Central Market is an excellent place to experience Moroccan culture and pick up some souvenirs. Here, visitors can find a variety of fresh produce, spices, and traditional crafts.
Day 2: Casablanca to Rabat
On Day 2 of the Morocco itinerary, travelers should make their way from Casablanca to Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. The distance between the two cities is around 86 kilometers, and it takes approximately 1-1.5 hours to travel by car or train. If using the train, travelers can take advantage of comfortable and frequent services from Casablanca’s Casa Port or Casa Voyageurs stations.
Upon arrival in Rabat, it is essential to visit the Hassan Tower, a historical landmark symbolizing the city. This unfinished minaret, standing proudly at 44 meters, is the centerpiece of the Hassan Mosque remnant. Nearby, travelers can explore the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, a beautiful architectural masterpiece containing the tombs of Moroccan kings.
Another must-see attraction in Rabat is the Oudaya Kasbah, a 12th-century fortress offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Bouregreg River. Inside the Kasbah, visitors can wander through the blue-painted Andalusian Gardens and enjoy a traditional Moroccan mint tea at the quaint Café Maure.
To dig deeper into Moroccan history, a visit to the Chellah, an ancient Roman ruins site that later became a necropolis, is highly recommended. Its gardens, encircling walls, and historical remains make for a fascinating exploration.
Before leaving Rabat, be sure to take a stroll through the city’s modern downtown, featuring contemporary architecture, art galleries, and various shopping opportunities. The Rabat in 1 Day guide provides an excellent outline for making the most of your visit to the capital.
Day 3: Rabat to Meknes and Volubilis
On the third day of the 12-day Morocco itinerary, you will journey from Rabat to Meknes and Volubilis. After breakfast, prepare to embark on this culturally-rich adventure that will take visitors through fascinating historical sites.
The first stop of the day will be in Meknes, one of Morocco’s four imperial cities. This historical capital is renowned for its architecture, including Bab Mansour, an impressive gateway adorned with mosaic tilework, and the Mausoleum of Sultan Moulay Ismail. The latter is the final resting place for one of the most significant figures in Moroccan history, who ruled from 1672 to 1727.
While exploring Meknes, you can also enjoy wandering through vibrant markets, or souks, where you’ll find everything from spices to traditional handcrafted goods.
After visiting Meknes, continue to the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis. This UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases the best-preserved Roman ruins in North Africa. As you explore this archaeological gem, you’ll discover a range of well-preserved mosaics and structures, such as the Basilica, the Capitol, and the Triumphal Arch. The site provides an invaluable insight into the history of the Roman Empire’s presence in Morocco.
Throughout the day, make sure to allocate time for breaks, meals, and rejuvenation. The journey from Rabat to Meknes and Volubilis will offer a splendid combination of history, architecture, and culture, making for an unforgettable day on this incredible 12-day Moroccan adventure.
Day 4: Meknes to Fes
On the fourth day of the 12-day Morocco itinerary, travelers will journey from Meknes to the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco, Fes. The drive between these two cities takes approximately 1 hour, offering a wonderful opportunity to take in the picturesque Moroccan landscape along the way.
In Meknes (an Imperial city), visitors can explore fascinating historical landmarks such as the Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the holy city of Moulay Idriss. Afterwards, lunch in one of Meknes’ local restaurants will provide a delicious taste of Moroccan cuisine before the journey to Fes begins.
Upon arrival in Fes, travelers can spend the rest of the day trip discovering the city’s ancient medina, a vibrant maze filled with craft workshops, bustling markets, and architectural gems. Fes is well-known for its stunning madrasas, which are Islamic schools built with ornate wood and plaster carvings. Some key places to visit include the Bou Inania Madrasa and the Al Quaraouiyine Mosque, which is the oldest university in the world.
Exploring the intricate network of souks and alleyways, visitors can shop for traditional Moroccan crafts such as ceramics, leather goods, and textiles. They may also visit the famous tanneries, where the time-honored process of leather dyeing and sun-drying is carried out. To further experience Fes’ rich history, guests can consider visiting the Dar Batha Museum for its collection of wood carvings, ceramics, and regional art.
Day 5: Fes Sightseeing
On the fifth day of your 12-day Morocco itinerary, you will fully immerse yourself in the rich history and in the cultural city of Fes, the spiritual city of Morocco. Begin your day by exploring the Medina and its narrow alleys that are filled with unique treasures and architectural gems.
One of the must-see sites in Fes is the famous Al Qaraouine Mosque. Founded in 859, this ancient mosque is considered the oldest continuously operating university in the world. As a non-Muslim, you won’t be able to enter the mosque, but you can still admire its magnificent exterior and intricate details.
Continue your journey through Fes by visiting the Dar Batha Museum, which showcases over 6,000 objects of Moroccan art, including ceramics, textiles, carpets, and jewelry. The carefully preserved museum is also home to a beautiful Andalusian garden, offering a peaceful respite from the bustling Medina.
Next, make your way to the Bou Inania Madrasa, an architectural masterpiece built in the 14th century. This former Islamic school features ornate decoration and stunning craftsmanship that are sure to impress even the most discerning traveler.
Finally, round out your day of sightseeing in Fes by visiting the Al-Attarine Madrasa, another beautiful example of Moroccan architecture. Its exquisite cedar wood carvings, marble columns, and intricate stucco work provide a perfect ending to your day of exploration in this enchanting city.
Day 6: Fes to Merzouga
On the sixth day of the 12-day Morocco itinerary, travelers embark on an exciting journey from Fes to Merzouga. The trip begins with a drive through the picturesque landscapes of the Middle Atlas Mountains, which provide an opportunity to witness stunning views and unique flora and fauna.
The route goes through Ifrane, a charming city commonly referred to as the “Switzerland of Morocco” due to its alpine-style architecture and low temperatures, which often result in snowfall. Marvel at the snow-capped peaks in the surrounding region as the journey continues towards the Cedar Forest, a fresh, dense greenery that is home to Barbary macaques and other wildlife.
Travelers pass through the town of Midelt and descend into the impressive Ziz Valley, a fertile oasis teeming with lush palm groves and ancient mud-brick kasbahs. The day’s adventure culminates with the arrival in Merzouga, a small village on the edge of the Erg Chebbi sand dunes, one of the most iconic landscapes in Morocco’s Sahara Desert.
Here, they will have the opportunity to embark on a camel ride into the golden sea of sand, culminating in a memorable night spent in a traditional Berber desert camp. This enchanting day in the 12-day Morocco itinerary immerses travelers in the breathtaking natural beauty that the country has to offer, from verdant forests to the other-worldly expanse of the Sahara Desert.
Day 7: Merzouga Desert Experience
On the seventh day of the 12-day Morocco itinerary, travelers will embark on an unforgettable adventure in the Merzouga Desert. This enchanting destination is known for its stunning golden sand dunes, which are best explored by camel trekking or a thrilling 4×4 ride.
In the morning, visitors can witness the breathtaking sunrise over the dunes, a mesmerizing sight that should not be missed. After a traditional Moroccan breakfast in the desert camp, it’s time to begin exploring. Activities available in the area include sandboarding, ATV rides, and guided tours that reveal the unique flora and fauna of the region.
A highlight of the Merzouga Desert experience is the opportunity to visit a local Berber village and stop in a desert camp. Here, travelers can learn about traditional Berber culture, enjoy a delicious homemade meal, and perhaps even participate in a traditional music and dance performance.
As the day comes to a close, be sure to take in the magical sunset over the dunes, followed by a stargazing session under the clear desert skies. With a cozy night spent in a desert camp, this unforgettable day is the perfect mix of adventure, culture, and relaxation.
Day 8: Merzouga to Dades Valley
On the eighth day of the 12-day Morocco itinerary, travelers will journey from the desert town of Merzouga to the breathtaking Dades Valley. Known for its spectacular landscapes, the Dades Valley is situated between the Atlas Mountains and the Jbel Sarhro mountain range.
After a hearty breakfast, visitors will embark on the journey by either private vehicle or shared minivan, passing through picturesque landscapes and a variety of small villages. One of the highlights of this route is the Todra Gorge, a narrow limestone canyon with towering, 300-meter-high cliffs on both sides. Travelers can take a short break here to admire the beauty of the gorge and explore the area on foot, optionally taking a guided walk through the canyons.
Continuing the drive towards the Dades Valley, the scenery will shift from the arid desert to an area of greenery, fertile valleys, and traditional villages.
The Dades Valley offers striking contrasts in scenery, such as the unique “monkey fingers” rock formations, and historic kasbahs nestled within the valley. Upon arrival, visitors can explore the valley on foot, following one of the many scenic walking trails, or take a guided tour to learn more about the region’s history and culture.
As the day draws to a close, travelers will retire to their chosen accommodation, whether it’s a traditional Moroccan guest house (or riad) or a more modern hotel, where they can relax and prepare for the next day of their Moroccan adventure.
Day 9: Dades Valley to Ouarzazate
On the ninth day of your 12-day Morocco itinerary, you’ll be traveling from the Dades Valley to the famous desert gateway city of Ouarzazate. The journey promises stunning landscapes and an array of attractions to discover along the way.
Begin your day by departing from the Dades Valley after breakfast. As you make your way towards Ouarzazate, you’ll pass through the breathtaking Tizi n’Tichka Pass, which offers spectacular views of the High Atlas Mountains. Be sure to stop and take in the scenery as you wind your way through this majestic mountain pass.
Upon arriving in Ouarzazate, you will want to explore the city’s most famous landmark, the well-preserved Aït Benhaddou Kasbah. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a striking example of Moroccan architecture and has been featured in numerous Hollywood movies. Take your time walking through the narrow streets and admiring the beautiful earthen structures that make up this historic fortress.
After visiting Aït Benhaddou, consider discovering more about the local culture by visiting the Ouarzazate Museum, which showcases Berber art and artifacts as well as other artifacts from Moroccan history. Finally, take a stroll through the bustling central market, where you can shop for traditional Moroccan goods and sample local cuisine.
Day 10: Ouarzazate to Marrakech
On day 10, the journey continues from Ouarzazate to Marrakech, a city known for its vibrant markets, palaces, and gardens affectionately known as the Red City. The first stop en route to visit Marrakech is the famous fortified city of Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah. This UNESCO World Heritage site has been featured in numerous films and TV series, showcasing its tremendous architecture and intriguing history.
After exploring Ait Ben Haddou, travelers will continue through the High Atlas Mountains, taking in the breathtaking landscapes and picturesque views. The winding roads through the mountains will lead the tour group to the Tizi N’Tichka pass, the highest pass in North Africa at 7,415ft. By climbing this significant altitude, travelers can soak in the incredible mountain scenery and get a glimpse of traditional Berber villages that dot the landscape.
Once in Marrakech, the evening can be spent exploring the bustling city, browsing the colorful markets of Jemma el-Fnaa, or visiting one of the many historical landmarks such as Bahia Palace or Koutoubia Mosque. Marrakech is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, with lively street performers and food stalls that offer an authentic taste of Moroccan cuisine.
Accommodations in Marrakech range from traditional Moroccan riads to modern hotels, ensuring a comfortable stay in this energetic city. Rest well for the upcoming 11th day to continue the exciting Moroccan itinerary.
Day 11: Marrakech Sightseeing
On the eleventh day of the Morocco itinerary, travelers will enjoy an immersive experience exploring Marrakech’s vibrant attractions. Start the day with a visit to the iconic Jardin Majorelle, a stunning botanical garden that showcases exotic plants, fountains, and vibrant blue buildings.
Next, venture to the Bahia Palace, a 19th-century palace featuring exquisite architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens. This historical landmark offers a glimpse into Moroccan royal life, with intricate carvings, ornate tile work, and sumptuous courtyards.
As the day progresses, head to the bustling heart of Marrakech, Djemaa el-Fna Square. This lively spot is famous for its snake charmers, street performers, and various stalls selling delectable local cuisine. A must-visit here is the nearby Koutoubia Mosque, a 12th-century architectural marvel that represents the essence of Marrakech’s rich heritage.
After exploring the central square, dive into the vibrant labyrinth of the Marrakech souks. Navigate through the narrow alleys filled with vibrant handicrafts, aromatic spices, and traditional textiles. This is an excellent opportunity to practice haggling skills and pick up unique souvenirs to bring back home.
Finally, to unwind from the day’s adventures, relax in one of the many traditional Moroccan hammams found throughout the city. Experience a rejuvenating steam bath treatment followed by a soothing massage that will invigorate your senses and prepare you for the final days of your Moroccan journey.
Day 12: Departure from Marrakech
On the final day of the 12-day Morocco itinerary, travelers must prepare for their departure from Marrakech. It is essential to pack up belongings, check-out from the hotel or riad, and make necessary travel arrangements to reach the airport on time.
Marrakech offers various transportation options to help visitors reach their next destination. Travelers can choose from taxis, shuttle buses, or private airport transfers. While most tour operators provide airport transfers, it is advisable to confirm these details ahead of time.
Before leaving, take the opportunity to explore some last-minute attractions in Marrakech, such as the vibrant souks or the tranquil Jardin Majorelle. Ensure that there is sufficient time for these activities and to reach the airport without any stress.
Additionally, it’s crucial to consider the check-in and security processes at Marrakech Menara Airport. The airport is relatively small but can get crowded during peak travel hours. Therefore, arriving at least 2-3 hours before the flight departure time is recommended.
During your 12-day Morocco itinerary, the country offers a variety of accommodation options across different cities that cater to different budgets and preferences. Let’s explore some places to stay in Casablanca, Marrakech, and Fes, three popular destinations on this trip.
- ONOMO Hotel Casablanca – A comfortable mid-range option with modern amenities.
- Movenpick Casablanca – A luxury hotel featuring top-notch facilities and services.
- Riad Star – A traditional Moroccan guesthouse (riad) with a rich history and elegant architecture.
- La Sultana Marrakech – A luxurious 5-star hotel boasting exquisite design elements and an indulgent spa experience.
- Riad Laaroussa – A stunning 17th-century palace turned guesthouse located in the heart of Fes’s vibrant medina.
- Palais Faraj Suites & Spa – A lavish hotel offering spacious suites, a spa, and panoramic views of Fes.
These accommodations offer a mix of traditional Moroccan charm and modern amenities, allowing travelers to enjoy their stay while exploring the country. Apart from hotels and riads, more budget-conscious tourists can also find hostels and guesthouses in most cities.
When embarking on a 12-day Morocco itinerary, consider the following travel tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Packing essentials: Be prepared for a variety of weather conditions by packing layers, including a light jacket and a hat for sun protection. Comfortable walking shoes are essential, as some areas, especially the old Medina streets, may have uneven surfaces. It is also advisable to travel with a reusable water bottle, sunscreen, and any necessary medications.
Culture and etiquette: Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, so it’s important to respect local customs and dress modestly. Women, in particular, should cover their shoulders and knees. When visiting mosques, shoes must be removed, and both men and women should be appropriately covered. It’s also polite to learn a few basic phrases in Arabic, such as greetings and expressions of gratitude.
Transportation: Trains and buses are reliable modes of public transportation for long-distance travel within Morocco. Consider renting a car if you prefer more flexibility and control over your schedule. When in cities, taxis are available, but ensure to negotiate the fare before starting the journey.
Safety precautions: While Morocco is generally safe, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take common-sense precautions. Avoid displaying valuable items or large amounts of cash, and keep your belongings secure. In crowded areas, be mindful of pickpockets and scam artists. It’s also a good idea to have a copy of your passport and important documents in case of loss or theft.
Local currency and tipping: The Moroccan Dirham (MAD) is the official currency. Most establishments accept cash only, and ATM machines are widely available. Tipping is customary in Morocco, with 10-15% being an appropriate amount for restaurants and a few dirhams for services, such as bellhops and taxi drivers.
We have done a detailed Two Week Morocco Itinerary, see here as well as everything from 2 days up in Morocco.
FAQs on 12 days in morocco
Is 2 weeks enough in Morocco?
Yes, two weeks is enough to explore the diverse landscapes, rich culture, and history of Morocco. This time frame allows you to visit main cities, like Marrakech, Fes, and Casablanca, as well as venture into the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountains, and the charming coastal towns.
How many days do you need in Marrakech Morocco?
Three to four days is usually sufficient to explore Marrakech and its surrounding areas. This allows you to visit the city’s main attractions, such as the Medina, Jardin Majorelle, Bahia Palace, and Koutoubia Mosque, and also take a day trip to the nearby Atlas Mountains or the Ourika Valley.
How many days in Morocco is enough?
The ideal duration for a trip to Morocco depends on your interests and the places you want to visit. For a well-rounded experience that covers the main attractions, a 10 to 14-day trip is recommended. However, shorter trips can still offer a glimpse of the country’s highlights.
Is 10 days too long in Marrakech?
Ten days might be too long to spend exclusively in Marrakech, as you can cover its main attractions within three to four days. However, you could use Marrakech as a base to explore other parts of Morocco, such as the Atlas Mountains, Essaouira, Ouarzazate, or even take a desert excursion.
Is 2 weeks too long for Morocco?
Two weeks is not too long for a trip to Morocco, as it allows you to explore the country’s diverse landscapes, culture, and history at a comfortable pace. A two-week itinerary can cover the main cities, natural wonders, and even offer time for relaxation or immersive cultural experiences.
How to spend 14 days in Morocco?
A 14-day Morocco tour itinerary could include the following:
- Marrakech: Spend three to four days visiting the city’s attractions and taking day trips to the Atlas Mountains or Ourika Valley.
- Casablanca: Spend a day exploring the modern city and visiting the impressive Hassan II Mosque.
- Rabat: Spend a day visiting the capital’s historical sites, such as the Hassan Tower and the Kasbah of the Udayas.
- Fes: Dedicate two to three days to explore the ancient city and its remarkable Medina.
- Chefchaouen: Spend a day in the picturesque blue city nestled in the Rif Mountains.
- Volubilis and Meknes: Allocate a day for these historical cities with their impressive Roman ruins and imperial architecture.
- Merzouga and the Sahara Desert: Take a two-day desert tour excursion, including a camel trek and an overnight stay in a desert camp.
- Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou: Visit these locations, famous for their film history and stunning Kasbahs.
- Essaouira: End your trip with two days in this charming coastal town on the Atlantic coast, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and exploring the fortified Medina.