top of page
  • Writer's pictureVanessa Valenti

Perfect Morocco itinerary for a 8-days-car trip

We had been dreaming of Morocco for a while and we had always imagined a trip to Morocco by car, in complete freedom, exploring far and wide this country full of history, culture, delicious cuisine and elaborate architecture.

Now that we realized this dream I can say that exploring Morocco on the road with your own car is the best way to enjoy the country and the incredible variety of landscapes it offers: from snow-capped peaks to the desert, ancient cities alternating with modern ones and to the remote villages in the barren territory... a car trip to Morocco is worth the plane ticket itself. The distances to travel are often very long but they are amazing: Morocco's roads are simply incredible! Traveling on the road, although tiring and demanding, allowed us to explore Morocco independently and freely, without losing any places we wanted to visit, worthy in terms of money and within the times dictated by the itinerary that we built ourselves! As far as driving by car is concerned, let me reassure you straight away: there is traffic only in the centers of the larger cities but mainly at certain times. In any case, nothing so dangerous or crazy here (Bali it was definitely worse), the roads are in excellent condition and we never had problems with parking! For more information about renting a car in Morocco, parking, fuel and some useful practical advice READ MORE: How to plan a road trip in Morocco in a few simple steps


Marocco on the road

If you have at least one week available, my advice is to leave for an unforgettable Morocco on the road without even thinking about it twice!

Our road trip in Morocco in numbers:

  • 7 stop-overs

  • 2000 km by car

  • €100 of fuel

  • 180 km on foot (average 20 km per day)

  • incalculable blisters on my feet

  • 2 fines

While planning the itinerary, we decided to concentrate our trip on the central-northern part of Morocco, with the classic tour of the imperial cities (Marrakech, Rabat, Fès and Meknes) and a few extra stops, leaving the southern part and the coastal area of Agadir.

We included some less touristy stops compared to the usual circuits, such as Rabat and Casablanca, left out Meknes for a short stop (which is almost completely under renovation at least until the end of the year), avoided the Roman ruins of Volubilis, included a trek in the northern mountains and then head towards the center, passing through Fès and reaching the Merzouga desert. The desert is one of the most fascinating and dream destinations in Morocco, but it's far and out of the way: fortunately, the road to reach them is panoramic, making driving a real pleasure.

From the desert, we then headed west crossing the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs (simply sensational) to finally arrive in Marrakech, the last stop of our journey, from which we then went back to Casablanca to catch the plane to get back home.

Honestly, there is nothing we had done that I would skip or change other than the timing.

As you will have understood from the "numbers" of our trip, it was quite physically demanding and if we had had even just a couple of more days I would have used them to extend the time of the return journey from the desert a little, which were the most tiring. Including the second driver when renting the car is another thing I would do in hindsight: Enrico insisted on driving the whole time and regretted it bitterly. Taking turns every now and then is essential on such long distances and the price for adding a second driver is generally quite cheap (€40-50).


This is the itinerary of the stop-overs we did and where we spent the night: only in Fès and Marrakech did we stop for two nights, for the rest we always moved around.

This is where we stayed:

  1. Casablanca - 1 night

  2. Rabat - 1 night

  3. Chefchaouen - 1 night

  4. Fès - 2 nights

  5. Desert - Erg Chebbi Dunes - 1 night

  6. Ait Ben Haddou - 1 night

  7. Marrakech - 2 nights

For more details on where we stayed READ MORE: How to plan a road trip in Morocco in a few simple steps



Casablanca

Hassan II Mosque
Hassan II Mosque

Casablanca is one of the most important and largest cities in Morocco and was the starting point of our trip.

People could tell you that, apart from the Hassan II Mosque, in Casablanca there is nothing to see: certainly the Mosque is one of the most interesting attractions of the city but it also offers some other very unmissable gems.

We liked it a lot and it was worth stopping by even if for a short while, especially at the beginning of the itinerary: it's an excellent start and a good first impact with the town.

For me, a half or maximum day in Casablanca should be included in the itinerary.

Hassan Tower
Hassan Tower

Rabat

Rabat is the administrative and political capital of Morocco and it was a real surprise: smaller than Casablanca and with an extremely fascinating medina overlooking the sea.

It had our hearts immediately with its Kasbah des Oudaias which offers a wonderful view of the blue sea from the Cafèe Maure, and then the Andalusian gardens, its colorful souk (where among other things you will find everything you want to buy in Marrakech but at half the price) and then the Hassan Tower and Mohammed's Mausoleum... a big yes for us!

Rabat, like Casablanca, is also definitely worth a half-day or full-day stop!

Meknes

Moulay Ismail Mausoleum
Moulay Ismail Mausoleum

Meknes is one of the 4 imperial cities of Morocco and it was a real shame to have to practically skip it as it is totally under renovation. I'm not just saying... seriously the entire historic city and practically all the attractions are closed and unusable, covered by large tents that prevent any peeks. However, I am sure that once the work is finished it will be a real gem not to be missed.

In any case, it is located on the road to reach Chefchaouen from Rabat, so we still stopped by for a couple of hours to visit the music museum and the Moulay Ismail mausoleum, both very close to the car park and really worth it.

Volubilis

A few kilometers north of Meknes, exactly on the road that leads to Chefchaouen, there are the Roman ruins of Volubilis: an ancient Roman city where you will found the best preserved and most visited archaeological ruins in Morocco.

In 1997, the area was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A visit to Volubilis requires at least 2 hours and we honestly preferred to skip it and make time for the trek north of Chefchaouen to the Akchour waterfalls.

After multiple visits to Rome and many visits to various splendid Roman ruins scattered across the Mediterranean, it seemed a bit repetitive and we preferred to focus on something newer and more distinctive. It's totally according to your description, this was just our choice.

Chefchaouen

The Blue City is without a doubt a must-see destination on a road trip to Morocco: a not-so-short detour from the circuit of imperial cities, but totally worth it.

You might consider Chefchaouen a tourist destination but it is still extremely fascinating, characteristic and dreamlike: getting lost among the blue alleys to discover the most particular corners is one of the most beautiful moments of this trip to Morocco.

However, the city is small and in 2 or 3 hours you will realize that you have already explored every alley and photographed every building, so I guarantee you that half a day here is more than enough.

Akchour

Akchour is a mountainous area about 40 minutes north of Chefchaouen, hiding some splendid waterfalls which are worth a nice trek of about 12-15 km to discover unique landscapes.

The hike is rather simple but extremely characteristic and interesting: among other things, you will always be accompanied by monkeys that populate the trees in this area.

The excursion takes up at least half a day: the ideal is to do it in the morning with an early start, to avoid the heat and the hordes of tourists.

Fès

Chaowara Tanneries
Chaowara Tanneries

Fès is also nicknamed "the Imperial Pearl of Morocco": it's an extremely contrasting city so it is difficult for both me and Enrico to give a definitive judgment.

Let me explain better... it is an ancient city rich in history, incredible architecture, lively and colorful souks but, unlike Marrakech which has been completely renovated and made tourist-proof, the medina of Fès has remained as such and as it was 400 years ago. I won't deny that the impact is quite strong: the medina is an intricate labyrinth of narrow, high alleys, at times suffocating and a little scary, especially at sunset. The GPS doesn't work 3 times out of 4 and getting lost is the order of the day, which I don't hope for at night (I speak from experience).

The tanneries, one of the main attractions of the city, are very controversial: visually beautiful, but an obscene and inhuman spectacle that puts even the least sensitive stomachs to the test... It is certainly an unmissable destination on an itinerary in Morocco and will offer you an authentic photograph of the country, unlike Marrakech, but certainly very intense and full of contrasting emotions. For those who have already been there, I'm curious to know your impressions and what you think!

In any case, 1 maximum 2 days are totally enough to visit it!

Merzouga Desert and Erg Chebbi Dunes

Merzouga desert (on the Algerian border) with its Erg Chebbi Dunes is part of the Sahara Desert: it's far away from the area of ​​the imperial cities and Marrakech, but it's one of the most spectacular destinations of this trip and I recommend to absolutely include it in your itinerary... simply sensational, breathtaking.

Nothing compared with the Egyptian Sahara Desert. This is a whole other story. Unfortunately, to reach Merzouga you have to drive many hours but the route includes a panoramic road both coming from Fès and Marrakech: you will travel along desert roads with a view of very high snow-capped peaks. The ideal is to spend a night there, sleeping in a tented camp near the Dunes, perhaps combining a camel ride at sunset or sunrise, depending on the location of the camp you choose.

Dades Gorges
Dades Gorges

Road of 1000 kasbahs

The Road of Thousand Kasbahs is located on the route that leads from Merzouga to Marrakech: this is also very long, but beautiful and also challenging to travel by car but it is a breathtaking panoramic road totally worth it.

The road runs through desert terrain that alternates natural gorges that seem to have come from another planet with very green oases in which there are fortified stone villages that will take you directly into the most beautiful Arab films you can remember.

Having had more time, this part would perhaps have deserved two days instead of one, in order to take it more calmly, break up the endless hours of driving and perhaps include a nice trek.

Ait-Ben-Haddou

Ait-Ben-Haddou

Ait-Ben-Haddou was one of the most beautiful destinations of this trip: we simply loved it and I'm so happy to have included a one-night stop here.

The fortified city, or Ksar, of Ait-Ben-Haddou is a UNESCO World Heritage site with architecture typical of pre-Saharan Africa, with buildings built with red mud and straw.

Unlike the other Ksars in the country, it is so perfectly preserved that many incredible films such as Gladiator and Prince of Persia have been filmed there.

The fortress is actually small and compact, it will take you no more than a couple of hours to fully explore it: we got there around 6pm, just in time to settle into our accommodation and stroll through the streets until we enjoyed the sunset from the terrace at the top of the city.

Sleeping inside the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou is an unmissable experience: there are only a couple of solutions to choose from, making it very exclusive, and super typical and characteristic.

Marrakech

It may be banal and obvious but Marrakech is simply incredible and I totally fell in love with it: it's touristy, yes, less typical at times, but still magical and fascinating.

The fact that the colors of the souks mix with those of refined boutiques, the street food stalls that alternate with refined restaurants, the terraces overlooking the city from which to admire the red sunset... Marrakech is really a must-see. There is so much to do and it is more Western-friendly... certainly more expensive but for me it is worth it without a shadow of a doubt. Two days are more than necessary and in my opinion even more than enough without missing anything and visiting it thoroughly.


Morocco Itinerary

Now let's see in detail day by day how to divide the itinerary and the various days:

Day 0 : flight to Casablanca

  • Mohamed V Square

  • Parc de la Ligue Arabe

  • Sacre Coeur Cathedral

  • Mosquée Hassan II

  • Rick’s Cafe

  • Breakfast at Sqala

  • Ancienne Medina

  • districtHabous: Souk, le Grand Marché d’Olives, Patisserie Bennis Habous

  • Parc Isesco

  • Eglise Notre Dame de Lourdes

  • Kasbah des Oudaias

  • Cafe des Oudayas

  • Andalusian gardens

  • Rabat Old Market and Souk Es Sebbate

  • Hassan Tower and Mohammed Mausoleum

  • Place Moulay el Hassan

  • Ave mohammed V : Street Food from 18:00

  • Dinner at Tajine wa Tanja

  • Sunset at the beach

Day 2 : Meknes and Chefchaouen

  • Dar Jamai Museum

  • Moulay Ismail Mausoleum

- Chefchaouen

  • Place el Houta

  • Plaza Uta el Hammam

  • Grand Mosquée de Chefchaouen

  • Medina, Souk

  • Dinner at Restaurant Lalla Mesida

Giorno 3 : Akchour and road trip to Fès

  • 12km-Trekking at Akchour Waterfalls

  • road trip to Fès

  • Dinner Chez Rachid nella medina di Fès

Day 4 : Fès

  • Chaowara Tanneries

  • al Attarine Madrasa

  • al Quarawyne University

  • Fondouk Staouniyine

  • Place Seffarine

  • Henna Souk

  • Nejjarine fountain, Souk Nejjarine and Place Najjarine

  • Rainbow Street Art

  • Bab Boujloud

  • Royal Palace

  • Jnan Sbil Park

  • Moroccan cooking class at Riad Hayat Fes

Day 5 : Merzouga Desert - Erg Chebbi Dunes

  • Riad trip to Merzouga Desert stopping by Ifrane and Ziz Gorges

  • Camel tour among the Erg Chebbi Dunes

  • Dinner and night spent at a desert camp

Day 6 : Road of 1000 Kasbahs - Ait-Ben-Haddou

  • Breakfast in the desert

  • Todra Gorges

  • road of 1000 Kasbah

  • Dades Gorges - Café - Restaurant Timzzillite Chez Mohamed

  • Kelaat m'Gouna - Rose Soffi Cooperatives

  • Ait-Ben-Haddou

Day 7 : Marrakech

  • Lunch at Le Jardin

  • Madrasa Ben Youssef

  • Souk Haddadin

  • Cafe des Epices

  • Souk semmarine

  • Jemaa el-Fnaa

  • Koutoubia Minaret Mosque

  • Lalla Hasna Park

  • Saadian Tombs

  • Sunset at Place Jemaa el-Fnaa from Le Grand Balcon du Café Glacier

  • Dinner at Jemaa el-Fnaa Street Food

Day 8 : Marrakech

  • Jardin Majorelle

  • Le Jardin Secret

  • Atay Cafe

  • Souk de Teintures

  • Chez Ibrahim (Pâtisserie Marocaine Cafeteria)

  • Lunch at La Famille

  • Palais Bahia

  • El Badi Palace

  • Place de Ferblantier

  • Hammam de la Rose

  • Dinner at Nomad

Day 9 : road trip back to Casablanca



As mentioned before, with at least two more days available I would have extended the tour of the 5th and 6th day in order to lighten the lengths by car, at least on the 6th day perhaps including a trek in the Todra Gorges and in those of Dades which are absolutely wonderful. A two-week trip would also have included the Ouzoud Waterfalls, near Marrakech, and Essaouira. ​​Whether you have 1 week, 10 days or 2 weeks available, Morocco will give you unique emotions. There are so many options and whatever your choices are, the result will be a journey that will remain in your heart forever.

Honestly, I wouldn't change anything on our itinerary: we were very happy to have started from Casablanca and continued on to Rabat - Meknes - Chefchaouen and then Fès and so on. We found that it was an excellent way to gradually immerse ourselves in the culture, traditions and architecture of this extraordinary country without suffering from culture shock. Furthermore, I think that doing everything in the opposite direction, starting from Marrakech and then Fès, in some ways makes a visit to Casablanca and Rabat less impactful and exciting... let me explain: the architecture of Casablanca and Rabat is more delicate and modern and perhaps, after seeing grandiose and famous works such as those that characterize the most famous and touristy Marrakech and Fès, they would have been less fascinating and exciting. In my opinion, this is the right direction of the itinerary that I would do again and I would recommend.

I really hope I gave you some interesting ideas for planning your trip that may be useful to you. For any questions or curiosities, I am available as usual both in the comments and in private.

Don't miss all the insights on the various stages of this incredible trip:

part 1 - day ① and ② : Discovering Casablanca, Rabat and Meknes

Once you've built your itinerary, all you have to do is start planning your trip step by step, starting from booking flights, accommodation and car rental. For all this technical and logistical information, don't miss my guide on how to organize a road trip in Morocco step by step! READ MORE: How to plan a road trip in Morocco in a few simple steps

For any questions or further information do not hesitate to write to me either in the comments or in private.


 

Did you just book a trip to Morocco but don't know where to start planning your time there? Then, let me present to you my digital map of the country which includes: Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Chefchaouen, Fez, Merzouga, the Street of a Thousand Kasbahs and Marrakech.

Thanks to this map you will be able to build your entire road trip in Morocco.

This is a private map on Google Maps on which you will find:

  • more than 100 places to visit including the best souks, madrasas and museums

  • the best photo spots

  • attractions and activities customized based on my experience

  • where to stay overnight and where to park the car

  • where to eat (restaurants, cafes, and much more)

To receive the map for FREE, you can choose one of these two ways:

☞ follow me on Instagram and request the map directly via DM

☞ subscribe to the mailing list and request the map below in the comments or by sending me an email to: lethergo.it@gmail.com


 

Have a nice trip!

Related Posts

See All

Comentarios

Obtuvo 0 de 5 estrellas.
Aún no hay calificaciones

Agrega una calificación
bottom of page