Day 1: Fez to Chefchaouen visiting Meknes and Volubilis
Early in a blue-skied morning, our professional driver will pick you up from your hotel in fez at an appointed time. Then, we will hit the road heading west as a start of our journey to uncover the mystics that surround the history of Morocco. For flexibility purposes, we will have a chance to decide, if we have any preferences, which route we take: the highway, or the scenic route. The latter is highly recommended for its panoramic views of Oulad Shaker reservoir and the surrounding rolling countryside. They are dotted with wheat fields, olive groves, fruit trees, and vineyards. Our first stop will be at the ruined Roman city of Volubilis. French archaeologists began excavating Volubilis in the early 20th century. However, half of the immense city remains beneath centuries of topsoil. We will plunge into the famous wonders of the Basilica, the Triumph Arc, and many other palaces with their exquisite mosaics. We can chose to have the tour of Volubilis either with or without a local guide. Afterward, we will make a quick stop in the adjacent small town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun. Hovering atop a hill overlooking Volubilis, Moulay Idriss Zerhoun houses the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss I (745-791), the first Muslim king of Morocco. During our stop in Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, we will go to a panoramic viewpoint to get a glimpse on the fascinating natural scenery joint with the centuries old houses. Then, we will hit downtown for lunch. Our last stop will be in the great ancient capital of Morocco: Meknes. Smaller in comparison to the other Moroccan Imperial Cities, Meknes held the status of capital of Morocco for only 55 years during the reign of the famous Sultan Moulay Ismail (1634-1727). This sultan is recorded as one of the few who reigned over Morocco with an iron fist. His capital was the strongest walled city in his time. The walls are more than 1.5m thick to sustain the canons of the rebellious tribes and foreign powers trying to seize power in Morocco. Meknes’s old city offers a trove of sights for curious visitors: Moulay Ismail’s massive stables, the capacious granary, and the cavernous underground prison. Foreign captive corsairs built most of these sites. They were a apart of the European raid attacking the sultan navy on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic during the 17th century. We will also visit Moulay Ismail’s mausoleum (one of the only mosques in Morocco open to tourists). The monumental Mansour Gate is also a part of our journey. A Portuguese architect designed it as a price for his freedom. He was arrested in the shores of Morocco on the Atlantic heading toward one of the Moroccan colonised coastal cities at that time. We will also visit the covered food market, and the El Hedim Square. At the end of our journey to Meknes, we will head north to Chefchaouen before sunset to witness a show of Mother Nature setting the sun and concluding the day. Overnight and dinner in Chefchaouen.
Day 2: tour in Chefchaouen.
On the second day of our journey exploring the mystics of the north of Morocco, we will explore the beautiful, blue town of Chefchaouen. Upon our arrival, we will enjoy a fascinating panoramic view over the city. Nestled in a green mountain valley at 600m above sea level, a local chieftain built it as a hidden outpost. Its name remained a mystery for foreign intruders as it literally means in Tamazight language (Berber) “look at the horns”. Its strategic position on the foot of two horn-like mountains, Megou and Tisouka, helped push back the increasing incursions of European powers into Morocco in the 15th and 16th centuries. After the Reconquista and fall of Islamic rule in Spain, Muslim Andalusian refugees flocked to Chefchaouen to begin new lives on the African continent. Until the middle of the 20th century as Spanish rule of northern Morocco began, Chefchaouen had held a strong reputation for being impossible for non-Muslims to enter. The clean and fresh air of Chefchaouen marks the simple walking in its blue narrow streets a healthy benefit. Its fountains are pouring some of the best quality mineral water in all of North Africa. As it is much calmer and cosier than Fez, it is an escape from the overwhelmingly busy street of Fez’ old Medina. Its most striking feature is its old city’s picturesque sky blue painted walls and streets ornamenting the two horn-like Mountains with beautiful tidy houses. Among the major sights in Chefchaouen are the Kasbah (fortress), and the Ras El Ma River Valley. For flexibility purposes, we can chose to explore the village either with or without a local guide. Overnight in one of its cosy hotels.
Day 3: Chefchaouen to Tangier
We will leave Chefchaouen early in the morning at an already appointed time. Then, we will hit the road north towards Tangier. We will have few stops to explore its surrounding sites. Cape Spartel and the Caves of Hercules will be amongst our short stops. Our drive will take us north, over the mountains for a glimpse of the meeting point of the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. We will also drive by the UNESCO’s protected old medina of Tetouan with the possibility of a short visit. Before our arrival in Tangier at noon, we will make a stop at the scenic Cape Spartel. This site overlooks the Mediterranean. On a blue-skied day, we can catch a glimpse of British Gibraltar and the European continent in the distance. Cape Spartel is one of the northernmost points in Africa. It is the point where Hercules separated the two continent with his massive hands. The mystery of the lost continent of Atlantis that sank into the Atlantic Ocean is not far from Cape Spartel. Going down from the Cape, we will visit the majestic Caves of Hercules. Both nature and man carved them over the past centuries. In ancient times, it was thought that Hercules slept in this cave before completing his 11 labour tasks. Our day ends by checking into our hotel in Tangier and have the rest of the day to explore Tangier’s historic old medina. Some of the famous sites we will visit in the old medina are the Kasbah fortress and the American Legation. The latter was one of the first American diplomatic posts overseas. Nowadays, it houses a cultural centre and museum. Overnight and dinner in a cosy hotel in Tangier.
Day 4: Tangier to our departure point (Fez/Rabat/Casablanca)
On the last day of our exciting tour in unveiling the northern mystics of the beautiful kingdom of Morocco, we will meet our professional driver at an already appointed time. He will drive you to your accommodation/ Airport anywhere in the North of Morocco (Fez/Rabat/Casablanca).