Morocco itinerary: 16 day from city to desert

Morocco is a very diverse and gigantic country. That doesn't make planning a trip there any easier! Many sights are located far from each other, and the road aren't always very accessible either. However I had more than enough time to discover the highlights of this beautiful North African country in about 16 days and now I share my personal itinerary for Morocco with everyone who is planning their own trip to this magical place.

    Morocco itinerary - 16 days - Chefchaouen

    You can’t miss out on the blue pearl of Morocco when planning your itinerary!

    16 days in Morocco

    It’s possible to stay in Morocco for months and still not see everything, but with juste a little over two weeks you’ll probably have enough time to see the country’s most stunning highlights!
    You can easily set this itinerary for Morocco to your own hand.
    Prices of flights to Morocco change quickly, so definitely try changing around a few destinations if it makes you save up some extra cash.

    Morocco is a feast for all senses!

    Morocco is a feast for all senses!

    Day 1 – Tangier

    Tangier is located in the north of the country and provides an excellent start for your journey through Morocco.
    You really shouldn’t stay here for longer than one day. The walled city (the medina) is very small and besides the beach there isn’t much to see in Tangier (check out what you can see in a day in this article).
    If you arrive early in Tangier, you can try to continue to Chefchaouen in the evening.

    itinerary morocco tangier

    The gate which lets you enter the medina of Tangier.

    Day 2 – Tangier to Chefchaouen

    From Tangier you can easily commute to the blue pearl of Morocco. Chefchaouen is for many the favorite city during a trip through Morocco.
    With a (shared) taxi you’ll spend about 2.5 hours, with the CTM buses you will be there in a little over three hours.
    For a taxi, you must be willing to negotiate firmly. If you find enough passengers, you can drive to the blue city for 150 dirham.
    From Tangier you can also arrange a day tour to Chefchaouen. Prices and availability can be seen on this website.

    The CTM bus from Tanger to Chefchaouen costs 50 dirham (+/- € 5 / $5), but delays are very common.
    The CTM bus departs in Tangier from the ‘Gare Routiére’ at noon and 08:00 pm. Don’t forget to book your tickets in advance, as they are often sold out.
    If this happens, don’t panic. There are many other bus companies and, if necessary, taxis that can also bring you to Chefchaouen.

    Chefchaouen morocco itinerary

    It’s almost impossible to stay in a more romantic place! Chefchaouen is amazing!

    Day 3 – Chefchaouen

    If there is one place you shouldn’t skip when making your itinerary for Morocco, then it’s Chefchaouen. This mountain village is hidden between hills and mountains and is covered in all kinds of blue from top to toe.
    Wander through the blue maze and be surprised by the beautiful houses and the amazing views of this unique spot.

    Day 4 – Off to Fes

    Chefchaouen is located quite far from Fes or Fez. With the CTM bus it takes a little over five hours, with the taxi it takes you a little over four.
    With the CTM bus you pay 90 dh per person, with another bus company 50 dirham (I took the ‘diamont vert’ bus – but there is no info whatsoever that can be found online).
    If you find enough people to share a shared taxi, you can travel from Chefchaouen to Fes for 150 to 200 dirham per person.

    My personal preference was traveling with a taxi because this way you don’t lose that much time. But also because we could enjoy the beautiful landscapes a lot more, racing with the local speed devils.

    tannery fes morocco itinerary

    The tanneries of Fes are well-hidden between the narrow alleyways of the medina!

    Day 5 & 6 – Explore Fes

    Fez (or Fes) is one of the imperial cities of Morocco and it definitely is one of those places that I urge you to include in your Morocco itinerary.
    Explore the narrow streets of the Medina, hold your breath in the tanneries (they smell incredibly bad!), look for the tucked-away madrasa’s (islamic universities) or be amazed with the giant shops, riads (beautiful b&b’s) and restaurants hidden behind the narrow façades of the city.
    Make sure to visit these 8 places when you’re in Fes.

    royal palace fes morocco itinerary

    I still wonder what lies hidden behind so many doors and gates in Fes!

    Day 7 – Meknes

    From Fes you can take the bus or train to Meknes, another imperial city.
    The comfortable first-class seats on the train cost 32 dirham per person. A second-class ticket will get you going for 20 dh.
    The bus from Fes to Meknes costs 15 dh per person, and 30 for a shared taxi.

    From Fes, it takes less than an hour driving to Meknes.
    Meknes is the least impressive imperial city in my opinion, but nevertheless worth a visit. Don’t forget to visit the covered souk right next to the main square. Personally, I found this one the most beautiful I saw in Morocco.
    Would you like more tips on what to see in Meknes? Then read this detailed guide as well.

    meknes - imperial city morcco road trip

    An imperial city couldn’t be one without a little bit of grandeur and splendour, or could it?!

    Day 8 – Moulay Idriss and Volubilis from Meknes

    Take the grand taxi (shared taxi) towards Volubilis and Moulay Idriss. You pay 300 dirhams (about €30 – $33) and the taxi can transport up to six people.
    The taxi driver gives you enough time to visit both sights before returning to Meknes.
    If you arrive early in Meknes, you can combine Meknes with these two attractions in one day.

    Volubilis daytrip from Meknes

    Volubilis: the ruins of an old, Roman city.

    Day 9 – Rabat

    With the comfortable train service in Morocco you can travel from Meknes to Rabat in about two hours.
    The Moroccan capital is often forgotten during a trip through Morocco. Too bad! Because Rabat is definitely worth a visit.
    The beautiful Kasbah, the crowded medina and the beautiful necropolis of Chellah are attractions you really have to see. Of course there’s way more to see than just that. Check out this article for more ideas and photos of the highlights of Rabat.

    chellah storks morocco rabat itinerary

    The necropolis of Chellah is inhabited by dozens of storks nowadays!

    Day 10 – The train to Marrakech

    The train ride from Rabat to Marrakech takes about five hours. So try to take a train in the morning or arrange your day so you can spend some extra time in Rabat.

    To not completely lose your day, I recommend going to the Djemaa El Fnaa square in the evening. This gigantic square comes alive at night especially with stalls selling all kinds of products, performances and a lot of street food. In addition, you get to see the Koutoubia Mosque in the distance all lit up.
    Don’t you feel like walking around in the crowds? Head to one of the rooftop terraces of the restaurants / cafes around the square.

    Day 11 – Explore Marrakech

    Personally, I thought one day in Marrakech was enough. During my trip, I immediately noticed that Marrakech is very touristy. Certainly compared to the other cities I had already visited. By wandering around here, you lose a little bit of the authenticity of Morocco.
    Be sure to visit de secret garden (le Jardin Secret), Jemaa El Fna, the park behind the Koutoubia Mosque and the Medina. Pictures of these and more impressive sights in Marrakech can be found in this blog post.

    marrakech medina morocco itinterary

    Strolling through the medina of Marrakech can make you lose track of time!

    Day 12, 13, 14 – Off to the Sahara!

    Getting up early is a must!
    However long you are in Morocco for: this is something that you can’t miss out on when planning your itinerary for Morocco.
    During your drive to the Sahara, you drive along what is probably the most beautiful part of Morocco. Almost all organized tours plan their days the same. I myself booked this three-day excursion, and I can absolutely recommend it! Until this day, it was the highlight of my itinerary for Morocco. (You can read my experience or check out the photos here.)

    ait ben haddou morocco itinerary

    Aït-Ben-Haddou is a gorgeous village that has been featured in many movies and tv-series.

    You’ll travel a lot of miles, but on the way you make regular stops at some incredibly stunning sights. Aït-Ben-Haddou, the Boumalne Dades and Merzouga are all insanely mesmerizing. But a camel ride through the orange dunes of the Sahara is really the cherry on the cake! Additionally, you also spend one night in the Sahara itself, and that is something you HAVE to put on your bucket list!
    There are also options to travel to the desert for only two days, but from other travelers I heard that you’ll then end up in a much less impressive part of the Sahara. Moreover, you will not see the beautiful Ait-Ben-Haddou, the Boumalne Dades and Merzouga during these trips. So, if you plan to book a tour to the Moroccan Sahara, then make sure it’s this one.

    morocco desert sahara itinerary

    Spending a night in the Sahara is a once in a lifetime experience and definitely a great add-on to your Morocco itinerary!

    Day 15 – Essaouira

    You may be tired of the long ride to and from the Sahara, but you really shouldn’t miss out on a trip to Essaouira.
    From Marrakech it takes a little longer than two and a half hours of driving. I preferred organized transport ($27 – €25 back and forth). That way I had enough time to explore the village and still return to Marrakech in the evening.
    If you prefer organising this day excursion for yourself, head to the Gare Routière (the central bus station) and take the bus to Essaouira. You’ll pay between 50 and 70 dh (€5 to €7 – $6 to $8) for a single ride, but don’t forget that there are no buses back to Marrakech in the evening.
    A taxi from Essaouira to Marrakech will cost you at least 600 dh (€60 – $70).

    essaouira morocco itinerary

    Essaouira is the perfect end for your Moroccan itinerary!

    Day 16 – Back home

    From Marrakech to the airport I paid 70 dirham after one last, strong negotiation. It’s located about fifteen minutes driving from the medina.

    You only have two weeks in Morocco? Then you can change plans and visit Chefchaouen one day less and don’t go to Meknes, Moulay Idriss and Volubilis. Are you not looking forward to plan out the whole itinerary by yourself? Then perhaps these package deals are interesting to you:

    Map of my route through Morocco

    This may come in handy for everyone who wants to know how much you see of Morocco during this roundtrip, or just to know how many hours you’ll spend on the road.

    Total cost for my travels through Morocco

    Prices of accommodations, flights and excursions of course change very quickly. But this is how much this trip through Morocco cost for me personally. This way you get a good idea on what you would spend during two weeks in Morocco.
    Please also take note that food options are very different in Morocco. A meal can cost you almost five euros, but also twenty euros. So this depends from person to person as well. To make it easy, I took an average of €10 ($12) a meal.

    Tangier:

    • Accommodation: 1 night in the Melting Pot hostel: €13 – $14
    • Transportation from the airport to Tangier: €5 – $5,5
    • Transport Tangier to Chefchaouen: €5 – $5,5

    Total Tangier: €23 – $25

    Chefchaouen:

    • Accommodation: 2 nights in the Dar Sababa hotel: €76 – $83
    • Transport from Chefchaouen to Fes (shared taxi): €15 – $16,5

    Total Chefchaouen: €91 – $99,5

    Fes:

    • Accommodation: 3 nights in the Dar Anebar hotel: €126,90 – $139
    • Transport from Fes to Meknes (first class train): €3 -$3

    Total Fes: €129,90 – $142

    Meknes:

    • Accommodation: 1 night in the Riad Ritaj: €54 – $59
    • Taxi to Moulay Idriss and Volubilis and back: €30 – $33
    • Transport from Meknes to Rabat (first class train): €8 – $9

    Total Meknes: €92 – $101

    Rabat:

    • Accommodation: 1 night in the Riad Marlinea: €34 – $37
    • Transport from Rabat to Marrakech (first class train): €15 – $16,5

    Total Rabat: €49 – $53,5

    Marrakech:

    Totaal Marrakech: €153 – $167

    Total for accommodations, excursions and transport: €537,90 – $588

    Of course, there is also the cost of food, souvenirs, flight tickets and other purchases in Morocco.
    I paid myself less or more than €10 ($11) per meal (twice a day). Therefore, for 16 days would have cost an average of €320 or $350,5.
    For my flight tickets I paid €120.35 + €156.17 = €276.52 or $303.

    For a 16-day trip in Morocco, I spent a total of €1134,42 or $1243.

    That’s quite alright in my opinion! Definitely if you know that all hotel rooms and riads (except for the hostels) were double rooms, which also reduces the price per person if you go as a couple.

    Tour packages to Morocco

    Still not sure if you can plan out all of the itinerary for Morocco on your own? No worries! There are plenty of tour organizations who can help you out. Perhaps these are interesting to you?:

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    Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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    1. Omar Aloui says:

      Awesome itinerary with really really great budget ,I love the pictures .
      Food can be cheap in Morocco if you eat at the street stalls . For just a few dollars, you can have delicious kebabs, sausages, barbecued corn on the cob, hot roasted chicken, and huge sandwiches, among many other tasty options.!

      • Hey Omar!

        Isn’t it an amazing country?!
        It’s really cheap, indeed. And the food is so yummy! Not to even speak of the delicious fruit juice and tea that is offered everywhere!

    2. nourddine ait hommad says:

      Morocco is a nice a country and it has a plenty of great landscapes and cultures!

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