The Imperial Cities have all gotten this title for being, at distinct times throughout the centuries, the capitals of the Kingdom of Morocco. Marrakech, Rabat, Meknes, and Fes were the cities where decisions made by the royal family cast the destiny of such a great country.
Our Imperial Cities Tours travel across the line of time. Set out to discover your very own Morocco. Go for in-depth explorations of the hidden medinas as you live the custom journey we have prepared just for you.
Observe the different eras unveiled in front of your eyes as you walk the ancient streets. Recognize the past of the rich Moroccan culture around you. Both in the heritage of long-lasting defensive and embellishing structures and in the lives of the welcoming people of Morocco going about their trades and daily activities.
Morocco Imperial Cities Tours highlights
We find inspiration in your specific interests and preferences to design luxury trips focused on revealing the secrets of the Imperial Cities of Morocco. We have been delightfully visiting them for so long. Now, it is the moment for you to feel enchanted with these once-in-a-lifetime fully customized vacations.
Be surprised and fascinated by the architectural and cultural wonders of the Imperial Cities as you go back to medieval Morocco in the ancient lively medinas. Enjoy top luxury experiences. Get a hands-on cooking class and rejoice with the delicacies you have learned to prepare.
Go on the ultimate road trip that takes you glamping in the Sahara and be one with the desert while in the total comfort of a luxury tent beneath the starriest sky. Fly above Morocco’s land, on a private jet or helicopter bird’s eye exclusive view of where you have already been or the next stage of your tour. Let go of all tensions on a traditional hammam Spa.
Wherever you find yourself in your Imperial Cities Tour in Morocco, as the sun goes down on the distant horizon or behind the cityscape, seek your most private and relaxing moments in luxurious historic palaces, Riads, villas, Kasbahs, and desert camps. This is how every single day in your life should end.
Sample History Tours
Moroccan Imperial Cities
Your Imperial Cities Tour may very well start in Rabat, Morocco’s present-day capital, right where the Bou Regreg River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Among several highlights, Rabat offers the 12th-century architecture of the iconic red sandstone Hassan Tower. It was supposed to be the minaret of an imagined mosque that was never completed. Nearby, the Mausoleum of Mohamed V protects the remains of the first monarch of Morocco after the country’s independence.
At the heart of Rabat, the Chellah Necropolis is a medieval fortified city whose grounds are perfect to wander while finding the differences between its Roman and Islamic ruins. Walking through the grand door into the Kasbah des Oudaias transports you to the original site of Rabat, today a peaceful residential area. At the Andalusian Gardens, the river and ocean breezes come together to refresh you in a serene space built by the French in the 20th century.
Fes, being the oldest of the Imperial Cities in Morocco, is a very special place. Its medina is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the world’s largest urban car-free areas. You will feel surprised each minute you spend inside.
The medina, often considered as Morocco’s cultural capital, is actually composed of two old quarters, Fes el Bali and Fes el Jdid, and the modern Ville Nouvelle (new town), built during the French colonial era (early to mid-20th century).
Roaming the winding narrow streets of Fes el Bali is like navigating a maze. The best way to do it is to get lost for a while. Shortly after, you will find one more souk where you can buy local products and watch the artisans at work. At some point, the Chouara tannery will be upon you to present you with the centuries-old ritual which will result in the fine leather shops nearby.
Since you decided to go on this Imperial Cities Tour and visit Fes to be surrounded by history, see the world’s oldest 9th-century Al Quaraouiyine University. Its Al Attarine Madrasa will be carved in your memories for the splendid, detailed tile and woodwork.
Heading further west, Fes el Jdid is the area where the legacy of the Jewish people in Morocco becomes clear, in Mellah, their old quarter and cemetery. Enjoy the amazing panoramic view over Fes from this vantage point.
Of all the Imperial cities of Morocco, Marrakech is the only one of Berber roots, rather than Arab. Once the capital of trading between the tribes of the Atlas Mountains and an important part of the Trans-Saharan trading route, it still is a prime economic center.
The souks (markets) in Marrakech are a sensory overload, different worlds historically divided, laid out, and named in accordance with the separate products being made and sold. The artisans are right there, perpetuating their legacy right in front of your eyes. Look for anything, you will find it: spices, perfumes, pottery, textiles, shoes, leather items, antiques, carpets, jewelry, mirrors, lamps, metal crafts, traditional Moroccan and Gnaoua musical instruments,…
One of the most famous landmarks of Marrakech is the Koutoubia Mosque, erected in the 12th century by the Almohads. Its tower was sculpted meticulously and is a fine example of a Moorish ornament. Behind the mosque, the Koutoubia gardens are where you will meet the locals going for a stroll or taking a break on the benches.
In the Kasbah realm, you will uncover three main features. The Saadian Tombs are a sumptuous complex built in the 16th century by the extravagant Saadian Sultan Ahmed Al Mansour Ed Dahbi.
The same ruler ordered the construction of the most impressive palace in the western location of the Muslim world, El Badi Palace. Its former glory is not as dramatic today but you can envision it, especially in the big courtyard and reflecting pools.
Still in the Kasbah, Bahia Palace is an astonishing building. The elaborate craftsmanship in the plasterwork, marquetry, and zouak (painted wood) is simply magnificent. You will remember it forever.
Out in Marrakesh’s Ville Nouvelle, the scenery changes completely. You enter a new century now, during the French protectorate over Morocco. The quarter offers a modern and progressive look to Marrakech, with a proper café culture, lush parks, an abundance of gourmet restaurants, and a flourishing contemporary art scene.
At Ville Nouvelle, the Majorelle Gardens are an absolute must. Imagine its Musée Berbère, showcasing artifacts from Morocco’s indigenous people inside a glowing-blue art deco building encircled by some sort of implausible forest, a desert covered in palm trees, and all types of cactuses, more than 300 plant species from five continents. You are probably doubting your imagination, it can only be painting a mirage-like scene. It’s not! You really have to be there to understand.
The heart of Marrakech is obviously bustling Jemaa el-Fna Square, most surely the setting to the end of your afternoon. Watch everything come alive around you. Dance to the sound of music. Listen to the storytellers. Watch the acrobats, the dancers, the snake charmers. Take your choice of delicious Moroccan food from some of the many stalls or take a step back to witness the extravaganza sitting at a relaxing café above the square while tasting your meal. Or perhaps a traditional fresh mint tea, evidently, one of many, many memories you will take home from Morocco.