If you need an itinerary for 12 days in Morocco, you need THIS guide. And if you need a shorter or longer itinerary, then we also have another 5 adventures for you to look over!
But this itinerary in particular, celebrates the incredible cities and Medinas of North Morocco. From the beautiful blue Medina of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains, to the more metropolitan Casablanca. We help you piece an itinerary together, while at the same time showing you different options for your 12 days in Morocco. Even a few hidden gems that you might not have considered yet!
We travelled Morocco as a family for three months and saw so much of this North African country. We’ve stayed in many riads, explored many Medinas and sipped many mint teas. Since then we have created MANY itineraries and guides to help other travellers.
Read our itinerary to 12 days in Northern Morocco for everything you ought to know to planning your trip. Choc full of advice, we highlight the best way to get to each destination, the best riads to book for your stay, and an overview of what to see and do!
If you are a first timer to Morocco and want a better understanding of the Moroccan highlights, then read our master list of Morocco itineraries. Here we explain the bigger picture to help you identify what you want from your vacation in Morocco.
Each itinerary we share is based on experience, created with love and careful consideration. If you follow our itinerary and guides, I’m certain your trip to Morocco will be one to remember!
North Morocco Itinerary Map: 12 Days
Starting below with our map, click and save our recommended route and itinerary for 12 days in North Morocco.
One of our favourite things about travel in Morocco is the ease of creating an itinerary that starts in one destination and finishes in another. There are many international airports, which means you can select multi-destination flights. In other words, book an arrival flight into Casablanca and a departing flight from Tangier. Of course, the alternative to this is to make your journey in reverse, starting in Tangier and finishing in Casablanca.
But do check our section at the end of this post which highlights potential add-ons and variations to this itinerary.
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Itinerary Overview & Where to Stay
Below is a simple table demonstrating how you might set out your 12 days and travel itinerary. After reading our master itinerary post on the regions and sights of Morocco, you may decide to increase, decrease nights, or skip destinations based on your preferences.
One of my favourite parts of our travel to north Morocco was Fes and the Rif mountain region. Most travellers we met only spend a day in Fes and a day in Chefchaouen. But these are the areas that truly stand out in my memories of Morocco.
|Riad – Ryad 91|
Apartment – Family ApartHotel
|2 nights Casablanca|
|Riad Marhaba||2 nights Rabat|
|Dar Meknes Tresor||1 night Meknes|
|Dar Seffarine||2 nights Fes|
|Riad La Santa||2 nights Chefchaouen|
|Kasbah Rose||2 nights Tangier|
North Morocco Itinerary Details
This itinerary may look a little hectic and in fact for some people it probably is. Slow travellers may want to slow it down further and add a few more nights to their itinerary. However, following our recommended route from Casablanca through to Tangier, the cities and Medinas are actually reasonably close. So travel time isn’t a major haul.
We might suggest you spend less time in Casablanca or Rabat, as we aren’t big new-city folks! Where as the history and culture found in locations like Fes, Meknes and Chefchaouen, appealed to us more. But this is a very personal choice and we’ll let you decide the details for yourself. Read on to find all the travel details, pertaining to – getting there; where to stay; and suggested things to do.
Casablanca: Days 1 – 3
Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. It’s fast paced and well known for being the economic centre of Morocco. The iconic oceanside city with sprawling mosque and corniche are common images that come to mind, when conjuring up images of Casablanca. Some travellers love it, some find it overwhelming. Whatever the case, one or two days is normally enough to see the highlights.
🚀 Getting There: Casablanca is a popular start point and end point for a Morocco vacation. The international airport receives many flights from all corners of the world. So if you start your itinerary in Casablanca, there will be no shortage of options.
💎 Where to Stay: We include two options here, because honestly finding a good hotel or riad in Casablanca is more difficult. For an okay riad look at Ryad 91, and a nice apartment hotel in a good location see Family ApartHotel.
⚡️ Things to do in Casablanca:
- Hassan II Mosque, is the second largest Mosque in Africa, completed only recently in 1993. The Mosque is open to non Muslims via guided tours.
- Place Mohammed V, Casablanca’s administrative hub.
- Casablanca cathedral, also known as the Church of the Sacred Heart. Is considered by many to be one of the most splendid churches in Africa, but now sits abandoned.
- Morocco Mall – for those looking for a modern shopping experience.
- Parc de la Ligue Arabe – this park is Casablancas biggest open space.
- The Old Medina.
- Stroll along the corniche boulevard.
- Grab something to eat or drink at Rick’s Cafe – modelled on the famous bar from the 1943 Humphrey Bogart film Casablanca.
Rabat: Days 3 – 5
Rabat is the capital, but interestingly only the seventh busy city in Morocco. Like Casablanca, Rabat is located along the Atlantic Coast and therefore remains a pleasant temperature year round. Settle into the riad, catch your breath and then take a guided city tour, walking tour or food tour!
🚀 Getting There: Travel time is one hour north by car and similar by fast train. Book tickets online with ONCF. Leaving early in the day, means you get a day and a half to explore Rabat.
💎 Where to Stay: Riad Marhaba – mid range, a great location and a pretty little authentic riad!
⚡️ Things to do in Rabat:
- Hassan Tower and Mausoleum of Mohammed V – both found within the same grounds.
- Kasbah of the Udayas – 12th century cliff top citadel, on the left bank of the Bou Regreg River.
- Andalusian Gardens – at the entrance of the Kasbah of the Udayas
- Rabat Medina – less hectic than Marrakech and Fes Medinas. Mostly residential with many shops and cafes along Rue des Counsuls and Rue Souika.
- Chellah Fort.
- City of Sale – cross the Bou Regreg River to visit Sale.
Meknes: Days 5 – 6
Next stop is Meknes. Take a day to explore a handful of sights in Meknes, but mostly soak in local Moroccan culture. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the holy city of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun and the ancient Roman Ruins of Volubilis. A half a day would be more than enough time to explore both.
If you prefer less hopping about with bags and luggage, you may prefer to carry onto Fes and return to Meknes and Moulay as a day trip. However, if you want to experience a path less travelled, then Meknes really is a great place to do so.
🚀 Getting There: Continue the journey on the fast train from Rabat to Meknes. Travel time is just under 2 hours. Moulay is only 40 minutes drive from Meknes, while Volubilis is a further 8 minutes. Once again we recommend an early start, making the most of your day in Meknes.
💎 Where to Stay: Dar Meknes Tresor – great value for money and excellent reviews
⚡️ Things to do in Meknes & Moulay IDriss:
- Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail – the final resting place of Sultan Moulay Ismail
- Dar Jemai Museum – an interesting little museum centrally located
- The Medina and Lahdim Square (AKA Place Hedim) – are local places to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere
- Bou Inania Madrasa – alternatively wait to visit the Madrasa with the same name in Fes
- Take a bus to Moulay Idriss – visit the centre and then the Archaeological Ruins of Volubilis
Fes: Days 6 – 8
In Fes you can easily spend two days wandering through the Medina exploring all it has to offer. Home to the infamous leather tanneries, this is the biggest and oldest Medina in the world.
On our first visit into Fes we were overwhelmed, on the second day we fell in love.
You absolutely must read our in-depth guide below, for the best places to eat and our awesome self-guided walking tour of the city. Reading it will give you a leg up or a head start, to help you beat the overwhelm that we felt.
Fes is also a super location to take a cooking class – read our review.
🚀 Getting There: Between 1 hour and 40 minutes by train from Meknes.
💎 Where to Stay: Dar Seffarine is my first choice, but see our guide to Fes for a second option.
⚡️ Things to do in Fes:
- Bab Boujloud or the Blue Gate
- Bou Inania Madrasa
- Place Nejjarine and the Carpenters Souk
- Nejjarine Museum & Fondouk
- The Henna Souq
- Zawiya or Mausoleum of Moulay Idris
- Al Attarine Madrasa
- Al Qaraiyyin University and Mosque
- Chouara Tannery
- Marinid Tombs
Chefchaouen: Days 8 – 10
Moving on to the Blue City of Morocco! We’ve suggested two days, purely because we thoroughly recommend that you get off the beaten track and take a day trip to God’s Bridge in Akchour. In all honesty, if you decide against taking this day trip, you would only need one night in Chefchaouen.
Chefchaouen is very well known these days thanks to Instagram, but when you see it for yourself it’s easy to see why!
🚀 Getting There: If you have been travelling via public transport up till this point, from here on you’ll be travelling by bus. The bus from Fes to Chefchaouen is best made with CTM and you can book your tickets online. Travel time by car is 3 hours 40 minutes, or bus just over 4 hours.
💎 Where to Stay: Riad La Santa but read our post below for more accommodation options.
⚡️ Things to do in Chefchaouen:
- We suggest a relaxing day exploring the blue streets of the medina
- Walk to the Spanish Monastery in the afternoon to catch the late afternoon light and sunset
- A day trip to God’s Bridge in the Rif Mountains is definitely worth your time
Tangier: Days 10 – 12
The last stop on the itinerary is Tangier! There is plenty to see and do in and around the Medina area.
🚀 Getting There: Back on the bus from Chefchaouen to Tangier with CTM, travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes. By car the travel time is shorter, only 2 hours.
💎 Where to Stay: Kasbah Rose is a super little mid-range option for couples and families. Once again we have more options in our guide below.
⚡️ Things to do in Tangier:
- The Grand Socco and Cinema Rif
- Saint Andrew’s Church
- The Kasbah – where you’ll find the Ibn Batutta Museum, Kasbah Museum & Contemporary Art Museum
- The Phoenician Tombs
- Take a glass or two of mint tea at Cafe Hafa
- Go shopping in the Medina!
- Take a day trip to Cape Spartel and Hercules Cave
Adjusting the 12 Day Itinerary of North Morocco
Our itinerary to 12 days in North Morocco is great for customising. For example if you drop Casablanca or Rabat from the itinerary, you’ll have more days to explore in these other smaller mountain villages and destinations. Below we share a few options to consider.
Optional: Overnight from Fes to the Sahara Desert
From Fes it’s possible to add a one or two night tour of Merzouga and the Sahara desert. Keeping in mind this will be a long journey as travel time from Fes to Merzouga is more than 7 hours one way.
Add-On: Itinerary of Central Morocco
If you want to experience Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains AND the desert, then this 10 day itinerary through Central Morocco is worth looking at.
Add-On: Itinerary of Atlantic Coast
Surfers and beach lovers listen up, this one is for you. Make this tour in reverse and add-on our 8 day itinerary to the south, for Morocco’s best surf spots and beaches.
Recommended Guided Tours of Central Morocco
Take the trouble out of organising your own tour and have one organised for you. Sometimes it’s just nice to relax knowing that your travel is all taken care of, particularly in a new destination. We understand that and have found a couple of great options for you.
🔜 Coming soon! We are currently narrowing down the best tour and itinerary for 12 days in North Morocco. We have something in the pipeline, so check back soon.
More Morocco Itineraries
As we mentioned above we have 4 other travel itineraries for Morocco. What are you waiting for, go take a look! Or jump to our master Morocco Itinerary and travel guide, and get planning your epic Morocco holiday.
- 8 days – Atlantic Coast of Morocco Itinerary – Surf and Beaches
- 10 days – Central Morocco Itinerary – Sahara, Mountains and Valleys
- 14 days – The First Timer’s Itinerary to Morocco
- 1 month – Road Trip & Itinerary of Morocco
We now travel full-time and have plenty more itineraries and guides to share on all the destinations we visit. Sign up to follow our journey! (And don’t worry we won’t spam you with unnecessary emails.)
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