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Morocco Itinerary

Dates September 8-25  2020  – 18 days

Trip highlights

  • Explore Essaouira, a former slave port transformed into a city of cafes and boutiques
  • Have tea with a Berber nomad family surrounded by the dunes of the Sahara
  • Explore the date palm, fig, olive and pomegranate plantations in the Ourika Valley
  • Mingle with the Koran readers, acrobats, Gnaoua musicians, fortune tellers, dervishes, trance healers, food stalls and sellers of fetishes in Marrakech’s Djemaa el Fna
  • Enjoy a Moroccan fusion-food lunch at Scorpion House overlooking the sacred town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun
  • Walk through the green ribbon of the Valley of the Roses, nestled within the ochre foothills of the Atlas Mountains
  • Drive through rust-coloured villages in the Ounila Valley
  • Visit the crumbling but still majestic kasbah of the El Glaoui family
  • Lunch at the sublime Secret Garden in Marrakesh
  • Shop for exotic souvenirs in the souks, with a visit to modern boutiques in Marrakech

DAY 1 ARRIVE CASABLANCA

Pass through immigration and baggage collection. A tour representative will be waiting when you exit the terminal, assist with baggage and transfer you to L’Iglesia, a small and charming hotel in the walled coastal town of El Jadida.

Dinner at the hotel.

Meals included: Dinner

DAY 2 EXPLORING EL JADIDA

A guided tour of this historic trading port, a low-key introduction to the wonders of Morocco.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 3 DRIVE TO FES

Depart El Jadida Morning tour of Hassan II Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques, with the tallest minaret of any mosque.

Depart for Fes.

Next three nights at Riad Laaroussa a luxury riad within the medina .

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4  FES

Half Day food tour in the Medina of Fes, a UNESCO World Heritage and car-free zone that has changed little over the centuries and the largest of any intact medina.

Free afternoon for further exploration, shopping, a hammam treatment or relaxation in the garden.

Meals included: Breakfast,Lunch

DAY 5 VOLUBILIS

Travel to the ancient ruins of Volubilis, an original Berber settlement colonised by the Romans and the southernmost outpost of their empire. Now an archaeological treasure chest with mosaics that hint at a leisured, wealthy society with a taste for the finer things in life.

Lunch at Scorpion House, a very special experience overlooking the town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, a sacred shrine where non-Muslims were once excluded after dark.

Time to explore the town before returning to Fes

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6 DRIVE TO THE SAHARA DUNES

A drive south through forests to the alpine village of Ifrane, across the Atlas Mountains and through the rugged beauty of the Ziz Valley, where the landscape gradually dries out as we approach the Sahara.

Overnight at Le Riad

Meals included: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 7 WITH THE BERBERS AMONG THE DUNES

Four-wheel drive visit to a family living a traditional nomadic life in the desert, followed by a visit to Khamlia Village to hear a performance of the trance-like Gnaoua music. Late afternoon one-hour camel ride OR four-wheel drive to our luxury tented desert camp. This is camping with a silk edge. Carpets on the floor, hot showers, flush toilets and a proper bed. A three-course dinner and music and drinks around the campfire.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8 KASBAHS AND PALMERIES

Sunrise camel ride across the dunes (about one hour), board our bus to visit the majestic Todgha Gorges with their palmeries and kasbahs, lunch at Ksar El Khorbat, a village once used as a setting for the TV mini-series, “The Bible”. Visit the local Berber Museum, continue along the Valley of the Roses to Skoura Oasis where we stay at L`Ma Lodge for the next three nights.

Meals included: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 9 SKOURA PALMERY

Walk in the irrigated palm grove of Skoura, where the agriculture has changed little for centuries, visit 16th century Kasbah Amridil. Optional activities in the afternoon include hiking, or relaxing around the pool.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 THE VALLEY OF THE ROSES

An easy hike in the Valley of the Roses, between 2-4 hours, we`ll lunch on the rooftop terrace at Gite d’Etape Tamaloutte.

There`s also a chance to do a cooking class here

Afternoon relax around the pool, or another walk around Skoura.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11 ACROSS THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

Drive to Ouarzazate and the postcard-perfect Ait Ben Haddou then along the incredible Ounila Valley where rust-coloured villages are set in a weathered gorge. Stop at Telouet to visit the one of the finest of all Moroccan palaces, the Kasbah of Thami El Glaoui, the former strongman and Pasha of Marrakesh. Next two nights at Kasbah Bab Ourika.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12 EXPLORING THE OURIKA VALLEY

Guided walk through the fig, pomegranate, olive and apple trees that line the Ourika Valley. Later, visit the colourful Anima Garden , billed as “One of the most imaginative gardens in the world”.

lunch at the garden`s cafe.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13 TO ESSAOUIRA

Drive to the former slave port and one-time European enclave of Essaouira via the Jarjeer Mule and Donkey Refuge, a rescue facility for working animals.

Afternoon stroll through the town and to the beach.

Next two nights at Villa Maroc

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14 ESSOUIRA

Early morning visit to the fishing port, where the fishermen will be unloading their catch. Guided tour of medina of this fascinating, pocket-sized city, which also has excellent shopping.

Lunch at one of the fish stalls near the quay. Free time in the afternoon for further exploration.

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 15 MARRAKECH

Drive to Marrakech, with lunch in the medina at Naranj, a fabulous Lebanese restaurant with a great rooftop, then we`ll walk across the great square of Marrakesh, Djemaa  el Fna, and through the souks to our riad La Maison Arabe for the next three nights  in the northern part of the medina

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 16  THE MAGIC AND MYSTERY OF MARRAKECH

Tour the medina, finish in the souks with lunch at The Secret Garden,  a green lung at the heart of the medina.

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 17  AN INCREDIBLE GARDEN, SHOPPING AND A FAREWELL DINNER

Jardin Majorelle, Yves St Laurent Museum (optional).

Afternoon at leisure with optional shopping tour, more time to explore the souks or relax at Maison Arabe. Tonight we’ll dine at + 61, a fabulous Australian owned restaurant in Gueliz

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 18 DEPARTURE

Transfers to airports at Casablanca or Marrakech.

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Dates

Sept 08 – Sept 25, 2020

 

What’s included

  • Safe and comfortable air conditioned vehicle
  • 17 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 12 Dinners
  • Airport transfers from Casablanca Airport to El Jadida and from Marrakech to Marrakech Airport
  • 17 nights hotels/riads (4 star) on a twin share basis
  • 1 night in desert camp on a twin share tent basis
  • English-speaking guide with the tour group at all times
  • All admission fees except for Yves St Laurent Museum (optional) and cooking class at Valley of the Roses ($45 per person)
  • All tips for porters, guides and restaurants where meals are included
  • Half-day guided city tours in El Jadida, Fes, Essaouira and Marrakech
  • Traditional Berber scarves for desert camel ride
  • Still water with meals and on the bus

 

What’s not included

  •  International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Medical treatment
  • Items of a personal nature – eg. laundry, alcohol and soft drinks, phone calls, spa treatments
  • Spending money
  • Final tip for guide and driver
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in the itinerary

 

 

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