The Wonders of Morocco

October 15 - October 27, 2024

ITINERARY

DAY 01: 15 OCT ARRIVAL IN CASABLANCA

  • Welcome to Morocco. Upon arrival in Casablanca, proceed through customs and immigration formalities. After collecting your luggage you will be met by our representative who will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel (45 m driving distance depending on the traffic.
  • Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Overnight: Hotel Barcelo Anfa Casablanca 5*

DAY 02: 16 OCT CASABLANCA

  • Breakfast at your hotel
  • Today you will visit the Hassan II Mosque. It is the largest mosque in the country and the seventh largest in the world. The Minaret is the highest in the world and a master piece of modern Muslim architecture.
    • The drive continues to the United Nations Square: where you will see the stunning neo Moorish monuments and buildings.
    • The introductory tour continues with a drive to Anfa and AinDiab.Anfa, is a beautiful area of lavish villas and gardens and is often described as Morocco’s Beverly Hills. Anfa leads to the highly popular seaside resort of AînDiab famous for its beaches, terrace cafes, restaurants and nightlife.
  • Lunch is enjoyed at a seafood restaurant along the Atlantic Coast.
  • Return to the hotel for some relaxation.
  • Welcome cocktails followed by Welcome dinner at Rick’s Café. Set in an old courtyard-style mansion built against the walls of the Old Medina of Casablanca, the restaurant and piano bar is filled with architectural and decorative details reminiscent of the film Casablanca.
  • Overnight: Hotel Barcelo Anfa Casablanca 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 03: 17 OCT CASABLANCA – RABAT 80 KMS – 1 HOUR

  • After breakfast, depart overland towards Rabat, driving along the main highway which links these two major cities. On arrival enjoy a city tour which highlights Rabat’s cultural influences and the superbly preserved relics of its Moorish past.
    • Rabat’s most famous site is the 12th centuryHassan Tower (an excellent example of the gorgeous Moroccan style artwork), and the incomplete Minaret of the great mosque built at the same period. Located alongside is the Mausoleum dedicated to Mohamed V, the grandfather of the current king. It commemorates the sultan who enabled Morocco to achieve independence. It was built between 1961 and 1969 by the Vietnamese architect VO TOAN along the lines of traditional royal necropolises.
  • You’ll also enjoy a visit to: Kasbah of the Udayas which was built on a cliff overlooking the city and the Atlantic Ocean. Its gate is one of the most beautiful illustrations of the Moorish architecture. Within its walls, you’ll discover a wonderful Moroccan garden with melodious fountains and sweet-smelling orange trees. The Oudayas, originally from Arabia, arrived in Morocco in the 13th century.
  • Bank of Morocco, Musée de la Poste and the cathédrale Saint -Pierre.
  • MuséeArchéologie, which houses the most extensive collection of archeological artifacts.
  • Enjoy lunch at Le Dhow. (A dhow is a traditional Arab Wooden Boat).
    Docked at the foot of the Kasbah Oudayas, The Dhow is a unique restaurant. The menu is refined and perpetually in motion. The lounge is a wholesome place, with décor that is both vintage and warm.
  • Seminar 3 pm to 6 pm.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
  • Overnight: Sofitel Rabat Jardins des Roses Hotel 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 04:18 OCT RABAT – FES 200KMS 3 HOURS

  • After breakfast depart for Fes with a stop in Meknes and Volubilis.
    • In Meknes visit the Bab el-Mansour a huge ceremonial entrance to the Kasbah of Sultan Moulay Ismail. It was built in the late 17th Century. It is well known for its original green and white tiles, marble columns and inscriptions from the Quran along the top.
  • Enjoy lunch enroute.
  • Continue to Volubilisa UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of Morocco’s best-preserved Roman ruins located between the Imperial Cities of Fes and Meknes. Volubilis was considered the administrative center of the kingdom of Mauretania and also one of the most remote cities within the Roman Empire.
  • Continue to Fes arriving in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the Riad.
  • Overnight: RiadFes www.riadfes.com
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 05: 19 OCT FEZ – CITY TOUR

  • Today you take a step back in time into the Middle Age with the visit of one of the most imperial, timeless, and untouched cities in the world, the cultural heart of Morocco, Fez El Bali (Old Fez). Enjoy exploring some of the 9,000 narrow lanes and alleys in the souks (open air markets) that make-up the labyrinth of the city’s old quarter, originally founded in the 8th century. The Imperial capital was a renowned medieval learning center, and at its heart still remains the Karaouine, one of the oldest, still functioning universities in the world. Nearby is the Attarine Medersa (Koranic college), a jewel of Hispano-Moorish architecture, built in the 14th century. The tour also includes Nejjarine Square, with its beautiful fountain, a mosaic of elaborate tile work. The medieval Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • After lunch at a local restaurant visit of Fez Jdid, the newest part of the city and its chic cafes and
    tree-lined avenues that provides a stark contrast to the Medina; the modern flip side to
    the ancient city.
  • Return to tour hotel. Dinner tonight at Riad Maison Bleu.
  • Overnight: Riad Fes
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 06: 20 OCT FEZ – DAY AT LEISURE

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Day at leisure for shopping or relaxing by the pool
  • Seminar 9am to 1 pm – 4 hours
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Seminar 2 pm to 6 pm – 4 hours
  • Dinner at Maison Blanche.
  • Overnight: Riad Fes
  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 07: 21 OCT FEZ – IFRANE – MIDELT – ERFOUD – MERZOUGA 480 KMS-7HRS

  • This morning, depart for Fez. Pass through many amazing cities and villages, the first of which is Ifrane, nicknamed The Switzerland of Morocco. It is a charming ski town filled with European-style chalets. Continue to Midelt, which serves as the commercial center of a large agricultural hinterland. It is also one of Morocco’s principal cities for the mining of several minerals.
  • Enjoy a light lunch in Midelt, before you continue your journey to Erfoud.
  • In Erfoud you will change vehicles and head to Merzouga in 4 x 4 jeeps. A short distance away you will disembark your vehicles and enjoy a Camel Ride to our Desert Camp.
  • Check into your luxury desert camp and enjoy a traditional dinner.
  • Overnight: Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp www.merzougaluxurydesertcamps.com
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 08:22 OCT ERFOUD–TINGHIR – TODRA GORGES – OUARZAZATE – 300KMS – 4HRS

  • Early wake-up call to visit one of the most spectacular sand dunes where you spend some time watching the sunrise. Then, return to your camp for breakfast.
  • Return to Erfoud by 4 x 4 vehicle and then continue the journey. On the way to Tinghir, stop at the Todra Gorges, the highest and narrowest gorges in Morocco situated on the East side of the High Atlas mountains and recognized around the world as one of the most spectacular canyons.
    • Here, both the Todra and Dades Rivers have carved out cliff-sided canyons on their final 25-mile stretch through the mountains, leaving behind a series of reliefs and etches in the rock. Todra is the name of the last 600 meters of the canyon. In places, this gorge measures just 10 meters wide, but the cliffs are more than 160 meters tall on either side! The river has since dried up, leaving only the imagination to picture the powerful natural forces that once carved this region.
  • The drive continues to Ouarzazate with a lunch stop enroute.
  • On arrival check into our hotel. Dinner at hotel.
  • Overnight: Berber Palace www.hotel-berbereplace.com
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9:23 OCT OUARZAZATE– MARRAKECH – 250KMS 4HRS

  • After breakfast, visit of some of the most spectacular Kasbahs.
    • Kasbah Taourirt, one of the most beautiful kasbahs in Morocco. It served as a stronghold of the Glaoui chiefs in the 1930s. It sheltered the members of the dynasty of Glaoui and their many servants. In recent years UNESCO undertook the restoration of whole sections of the building.
  • Atlas Studio: Outside town, Atlas Film Studios where movies and scenes from movies and TV shows were filmed, such as: Gladiator, the Mummy, Game of Thrones and Jewell of the Nile.
  • Ait Ben Haddou is a massive fortification made up of six Kasbahs all protected by UNESCO. You can wander around in its maze of winding streets until reaching a fortified granary at the top which provides an amazing view of the valley.
  • Lunch overlooking the Kasbah AitBenhaddou.
  • Continue to the drive to Marrakech. We leave Ouarzazate, crossing the High Atlas Mountains via the magnificent Tizin Tichka Mountain pass to Marrakech, your home for the next five nights.
  • Overnight: Les Jardins de La Koutoubia
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: 24 OCT MARRAKECH – FULL DAY CITY TOUR

  • After breakfast set out on a full day of sightseeing in Marrakech. Today you visit:
  • The Koutoubia Mosque: One of the best examples of the Hispano-Moresque art, which combines simplicity with superb craftsmanship and restrained luxury. With its minaret rising 252 feet into the sky, it is certainly one of the most impressive sights in Marrakech. Local laws restrict any new building projects from exceeding the height of the minaret, providing a focal point for all to enjoy.
  • Saadian Tombs: A series of sepulchers and mausoleums that house the remains of important figures from the Saadi Dynasty which ruled Morocco from 1549 to 1659.The tombs were discovered in 1917 and are known for their beautiful decorations.
  • El Bahia Palace: Standing in a 2-acre garden, is a haphazard arrangement of secret luxury apartments opening onto inner courtyards. Court within court, gardens and more gardens, reception halls, private apartments, slaves’ quarters, baths in vaulted crypts, the labyrinth of passages and rooms stretches away over several acres.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant and then continue the city tour to include:
  • The Souks: It is a hive of activity, a mix of color, noise and a variety of treasures of this vast and varied country. You will find all the silver merchants in one corner, all the gold merchants in another and rows of stalls selling exclusively leatherwork or copper goods or jewellery. The real fascination is to watch the craftsmen at work, gilding on leather, or inlaying with enamel the sheaths of ornate silver daggers, hammering out copper, embroidering silks or smoothing out the surface of a cedar wood table.
  • The Djemaa El Fna square: The name literally translated is the Mosque or Assembly of Death. It is taken to refer to the custom of displaying the heads of vanquished rebels or criminals, since the square is known to be a place of public execution even up to the last century. Then it has been a centre for public meetings and even riots. Today it provides constant ever-changing entertainment, which reaches its climax at sunset and continues late at night. It is a square where a real image and the charm of Moroccan folklore is operating: story tellers, snake charmers, acrobats and folkloric bands.
  • Dinner at Yacout:The Yacout is a landmark of Marrakech. The décor is enchanting with its private rooms and breath-taking panoramic view from the terrace overlooking the medina and the Koutoubia Mosque of Marrakech. Enjoy a welcome cocktail before you have a traditional Moroccan Dinner in one of the magnificent rooms.
  • Overnight: Les Jardins de La Koutoubia
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: 25 OCT MARRAKECH

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • This morning a visit to numerous interesting museums:
  • Majorelle Gardens & its Berber Museum:The garden was created in the 1920s by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, with marble pools, raised pathways, banana trees, groves of bamboo, coconut palms and bougainvilleas. Perhaps unsurprisingly as the garden was designed by a painter, it is composed and colored like a painting.
  • Yves Saint Laurent Museum: A museum entirely devoted to the work of the legendary fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent. The new building, situated on Rue Yves Saint Laurent and adjacent to the renowned JardinMajorelle, spans over 4,000m² and is more than just a museum. It features a 400m² permanent exhibition space where the work of Yves Saint Laurent will be presented in a scenography by Christophe Martin and a 150m² space for temporary exhibitions.
  • Lunch on your own today and afternoon at leisure.
  • This evening enjoy dinner with a Moroccan Family. It is not only dinner, but a complete immersion into the Moroccan culture and family life. A perfect chance to interact with locals and experience a truly unique evening hosted by a Moroccan family.
  • Overnight: Les Jardins de La Koutoubia
  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 12: 26 OCT MARRAKECH – COOKING CLASS AND HAMMAM EXPERIENCE

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Today you get to cook Moroccan food at Lotus Chef located in the heart of the Medina.
  • We start with a theoretical part that contains:
    • A tea ceremony, an introduction about Moroccan cuisine and a brief idea about the most used spices in Moroccan cuisine.
    • Visit to a Moroccan local bakery (except Friday )
    • Then we move to the practical part that contains:
    • Moroccan bread, aberber vegetable tagine and dessert as a demonstration
    • A Chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives plus two Moroccan salads as hands on.
    • After cooking, enjoy all what you have prepared, and you get your DIPLOMA.
  • OPTIONAL: This afternoon enjoy a Traditional Hammam and Massage
    • The Hammam is a must-do activity in Morocco. Historically, the Hammam was a public bathhouse for the locals to clean off the dirt and grime invariably accumulated after traveling through the desert. Today, the Hammam still serves this purpose for the locals, but is brought to a higher level for the tourists. In the Hammam, you’ll have a complete relaxation experience within an authentic oriental décor filled with water, oils, essences and perfumes. Enjoy a 30-minute scrub with black soap or soothing spices eliminating toxins from your body. After the Hammam a 30-min. traditional Moroccan massage to eliminate tensions and gain energy and vitality.
  • Return to the hotel to freshen up before attending a farewell dinner with entertainment at JadMahal. JadMahal is a colourful, festive venue that includes a restaurant, bar and stage for shows. It has an interesting décor that combines both Indian and Moroccan influences. The food is inspired from French, Moroccan, European, Asian and the Middle East. Entertainment is provided as you enjoy your farewell dinner in Morocco.
  • Overnight: Les Jardins de La Koutoubia
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: 27 OCT DEPART MARRAKECH FLIGHT (NOT INCLUDED)

  • After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for your homebound journey.
  • Meals: Breakfast
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