Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech
Marrakech's weather can be energy-sapping hot or surprisingly cold, depending on the time of year. Either way, give yourself time today to get used to the temperature as well as the city's general hustle and bustle. An afternoon ride on the double-decker City Sightseeing bus is a perfect, hassle-free way to get your bearings and absorb the atmosphere, passing the city's iconic sights such as the Koutoubia Mosque and Jemaa el Fna. Later this afternoon, make your way to the incomparable cuisine and entertainment spectacle taking place on Jemaa el Fna.
Day 2: Discover the Medina
Today's the day to enter the fray and discover this city's heart and soul. Hire a guide for a morning walking tour, taking in one or two historical sights, a visit to a herboriste (herbalist) and some of the souks, and a stop along the way for a mint tea. You'll no doubt be led to a few shops along the way, so make the most of the situation by taking mental notes of each item's general price and quality, preparing yourself for a return visit should you be seriously interested in something. If you haven't already done so, be sure to head to Jemaa el Fna for the late afternoon and evening show. Perhaps treat yourself tonight with dinner at one of the medina's romantic and ambience-filled restaurants such as Cafe Arabe or Narwama, or try Al Fassia in Guéliz should you prefer to "go local." Those with children should venture out to Jaafary palmeraie for the dinner extravaganza at Chez Ali.
Day 3: Over the High Atlas & Toward the Saharan Sands
Leave the plains behind and travel up and over the mighty Western High Atlas via the Tizi n'Tichka pass. Stop off at the very picturesque, mud-walled kasbah at Aït Ben Haddou before spending the night in Morocco's very pleasant movie capital, Ouarzazate.
Day 4: Valleys & Gorges
Enjoy the beautifully scenic drive along the Dadès Valley, also called the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs. Reach Tinerhir by afternoon and make your way up the Todra Valley, following the path of the Oued Todra to where it bubbles up from the earth below at the foot of the 300m-high (984-ft.) Todra Gorge. If the weather's warm, sleeping on a hotel rooftop within the gorge allows for some excellent star gazing.
Day 5: The Saharan Sands
Reach your accommodations at the foot of the Erg Chebbi dunes -- near the small villages of Merzouga and Hassi Labied -- by midafternoon. If you're up for it, board your trusty camel for a 1- to 2-hour trek into the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. Sunset and sunrise on top of your own dune is an almost spiritual experience for some.
Day 6: Over the Atlas Mountains to Fes
This is a long day's journey traveling up and over both the High and Middle Atlas mountain ranges, and will take some perseverance and planning if traveling by public transport. If you're staying within the Fes el Bali medina, prearrange your accommodations and ask for clear directions to their front door, or arrange an escort to guide you.
Day 7: Ancient Fes
With more than 9,500 lanes and alleys within Fes el Bali's walls, it may be best to arrange a guide to show you the major sights for half a day, followed by some of your own exploration and shopping. Be sure to take time out for a mint tea at one of the many pavement cafe-restaurants near Bab Boujloud. For something different but quintessentially Moroccan, prebook an evening cooking lesson with Lachin Beqqi of Fes Cooking and enjoy your very own homemade dinner of traditional Moroccan cuisine.
Day 8: The Rif to Chefchaouen
If you have your own transport, depart Fes early and visit the nearby sights of Meknes, Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, and Volubilis. Today's final destination is the Rif mountain village of Chefchaouen. Enjoy an evening of excellent people-watching on place Outa el Hammam, the village's heart.
Day 9: From Mountains to Ocean
Rise early for a short hike up to the Spanish Mosque, or take a morning stroll through the luminous blue streets of Chefchaouen. Travel down the Rif mountains by afternoon, arriving in Tangier with enough time to continue on to the popular seaside village of Asilah. If you've traveled in good time, you'll be sitting on the medina's ramparts by sunset, gazing out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 10: Heading South Along the Coast
A morning arrival in Rabat will give you enough time to visit the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the burial shrine of the current king's father and grandfather, and the adjoining Hassan Tower before continuing on to nation's "other" capital, Casablanca. Take the time to "look up" and marvel at the many Art Deco buildings still standing above street level in downtown Casa. Wander through the city's small medina, arriving at Rick's Café in time for early evening aperitifs or late evening for a cocktail and some tunes from resident piano man Issam Chaaba.
Day 11: Essaouira
Visit the monumental Hassan II Mosque -- one of the world's largest and open to non-Muslims -- before setting out for the seaside town of Essaouira, a long-standing travelers' favorite. Enjoy dinner at the fresh seafood grills between the medina's main square and the port.
Day 12: Beach & Shopping
Take your time today to enjoy Essaouira's beach and medina. In between sessions of sunbathing and shopping, enjoy more fresh seafood at the basic restaurants located within the medina's fish market, or find a cozy, warm restaurant for an intimate, candlelit meal.
Days 13 & 14: Back to Marrakech
Arrive back in Marrakech by afternoon to seek out some last-minute shopping in the medina's souks or at one of the specialist boutiques in the ville nouvelle. Splurge tonight on a romantic dinner at one of the city's fine restaurants, or be in the thick of the action on Jemaa el Fna before flying out tomorrow morning.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.