On arrival at Casablanca airport, you will be welcomed by your English speaking guide and driver, and transferred by an air conditioned car to Rabat. Depending on the time of your arrival in Casablanca, you may have first a panoramic visit of the city and Hassan II mosque, one of the jewels of modern architecture.
Legendary Cities & the South of Morocco (8 days)
Fès Le Nouveau, Morocco
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel for a morning guided tour of Rabat.
You will visit the Royal Palace and the wild gardens of the Chellah, a 14th-century Merinid necropolis. You'll walk in the Andalusian Gardens, within the walls of the kasbah of the Oudaya. Stop at the Hassan Tower, a huge unfinished minaret, built mostly at the end of the 12th century.
Continue to the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, sprawled over a wildflower-dotted hillside. Excavated by the French in 1915, these Roman ruins date back to the 3rd century AD and should not to be missed.
Then drive to the Imperial city of Meknes, known as the “Moroccan Versailles” and founded in the 17th century by King Moulay Ismail. Meknes is famous for its 25-milelong walls. There are numerous historic sites to see, and here we name but a few; the massive gate of Bab Mansour, the Bassin de L’Agda -l a massive 400m x 100m pool dating back some 300 years - and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, one of only three Moroccan shrines that non-Muslims can visit.
For lunch, we suggest stopping at one of the vineyards of the region. The wines produced in Meknes are delicious, and the best in the country.
Arrival in Fes in the afternoon.
Fès Le Nouveau, Morocco
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel for a full day guided tour of Fes.
Fes el Bali is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded in the 9th century and is home to the oldest university in the world. Fez reached its height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Merinids, when it replaced Marrakech as the capital of the kingdom. The urban fabric and the principal monuments in the medina – madrasas, fondouks, palaces, residences, mosques and fountains - date from this period. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fez has retained its status as the country's cultural and spiritual centre.
Artisan workshops in the medina are as active today as 100 years ago, and strongly contribute to the city’s industrial economy. Trades such as metal and leather working, ceramics, silk, tapestries, and sculpting are still practiced in these workshops. Original ramparts still protect the ancient city and its’ 9000 passageways and narrow streets.
Your tour will include the visit of:
The “nouvelle Ville” of Fez, or the new city, provides a startling contrast with Fès el Bali. Wide and elegant avenues are lined with numerous cafés and restaurants. The modern aspect of the new city highlights the economic differences of the suburbs and the city center.
This theological college, marked by its green tiled roof, is a prime example of Merinid architecture, and it's the most beautiful of Kairaounie University's residential colleges. Inside, elegant calligraphy graces the ceramic tile walls. The marble floors, sculpted cedar, and carved stucco walls—made with a concoction of plaster and egg white—have held up since this masterpiece Medersa was built in 1350. Since it is still in use, non-Muslims must depart during prayer time.
Constructed in 1913, this gate is about 1,000 years younger than the buildings behind it. It's
proof that age doesn't matter—the relatively youthful structure is the most strikingly beautiful entry point into the old city. Painted flowers and calligraphy embellish its outer blue ceramic tiles and, depending on one's interpretation, the green mosaic interior either represents peace or the official color of Islam. Stop by at sunset for some excellent photo opportunities.
The Splendid fountain at Place Nejjarine
The square, with its splendid and unusual fountain, takes its name from the Souk Nejjarine
(Carpenter’s Souk) which is situated behind a wooden door in a narrow street nearby.
This is the quarter where the Jews lived here and received protection from the sultan. The main street is especially interesting with its balconies and Art Deco zellij mosaic. Most Jews in Fez (around 300) now live in the Ville Nouvelle. Visit Ibn Danan, a recently restored 17th century synagogue.
Merchants selling the same sort of products are generally grouped together in their own “souk”. The tiny alleyways are crowded with diminute boutiques on both sides The henna and wood working souks are located in the Nejjarine neighborhood and the scent of cedar is everywhere. The main plaza is planted with trees and provides a shaded haven from the warm sun. Various natural products derived from henna are sold here. Nejjarine is also where the fabric dyers are located. You simply should not miss El Attarine, the spice souk. Without question, this souk is the most colourful in Fez.
Fès Le Nouveau, Morocco
Morning transfer to the town of Erfoud, a base from which to explore the vast dunes of Erg Chebbi. This is a spectacular drive through the cedar forests of the Middle Atlas to Midelt, and on across the Pass of the She-Camel, and through the Tunnel of the Legionnaires looking out over the valley of the Ziz to Errachadia.
Arrival to Erfoud in the afternoon, time to relax then heading in 4*4 towards the dunes of Merzouga. You will enjoy a short camel ride in order to witness the sunset from over the desert dunes, and be astounded by the peace and calm as well as the changing colours of the landscape. Continue by camel up to our luxurious encampment.
The dunes of Erg Chebbi are a strikingly strange natural formation. On the top of the flattest area you could imagine, suddenly a long mountain of sand rises. This mountain is surrounded by flat and desolate nature on all sides, and you could end up wondering if it really is real.
A night of folk entertainment and a wonderful dinner are awaiting you... Sleep under the stars.
Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco
Breakfast at the camp and continue to Ait ben Haddou, a UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful compounds in the South of Morocco. En route, visit Rissani, the holy city where Moulay Ali Cherif, ancestor of the Alaouite dynasty, is buried. Visit the ruins of Sijilmassa, a famous capital of the old caravan routes in the 8th century. Visit a Kasbah of the 17th century, and the Ksar Abbar ruins, which give us an opportunity to witness the lifestyle of the Berber village. Continue to Tineghir via the Tinjdad road and stop to view the Todgha canyons.
Arrival to Ait ben Haddou late afternoon.
Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco
Visit the old Kasbah of Taourirt and the Atlas Film Studios where many famous films have been made, in Ouarzazate. Have a walk in Aït Ben Haddou, where movies such as Gladiator and Jesus Of Nazareth were filmed. Continue to Marrakech through the dramatic Tizi n'Tichka mountain pass, the highest in North Africa, which crosses the High Atlas mountains.
Arrival in Marrakech in the afternoon.
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel for full day guided tour of Marrakech.
There are many historical places of interest to see including and the extraordinary Jemaa el-Fna, the main square in Marrakech. In the evenings, the square becomes a venue for alfresco eating and entertainment with troupes of costumed acrobats, storytellers, magicians, dancers, and semi-mystical Gnawa musicians. The souks offer a vast array of merchandise & offer an insight into a way of life unchanged in centuries.
The "new town" Guéliz, built by the French in the 1930's, is a total contrast to the Medina with its broad avenues, modern shops and cafés. The most visited site in Guéliz is the "Jardins Marjorelle" created by Yves St Laurent. A haven of peace set in an exotic garden.
Your sightseeing tour will include the following:
The Square, Jemaa el Fna
Jemaa el-Fna is the main open space in Marrakech, and as old as the city itself. Once the scene of public executions, it is now the city's cultural epicentre, thronged day and night with a carnival of local life, including snake charmers ; dentists; scribes; herbalists; and beggars. It was declared a 'oral' UNESCO Heritage Site (the first of its kind) as it is one of the last places on Earth were old medieval oral narratives are still being enacted.
The Saadian Tombs were only accessible via the mosque next door. However, in 1917 they were opened to the public and can now be accessed via a narrow passage that leads to an enclosed garden watched over by two mausoleums that include more than one hundred mosaic decorated tombs.
The centre piece of Marrakech is the square tower of the Koutoubia minaret, attached to the
Koutoubia Mosque, built in the late 12th century. It's not particularly high—about 250 feet—but it towers over the Medina thanks to a long-standing planning ordinance that forbids any other building in the old city to rise above it.
This 19th century palace is elaborate in its decoration and was built over a period seven years by Ba Ahmed, the son of the Grand Vizier Si Moussa. There are row after row of apartments—that once housed Ahmed's harem—a trapezoidal garden, a huge tiled courtyard, and many hidden treasures, both in the form of antique objects d'art and the palace's convergence of Andalusian and Moorish architecture.
The Koranic School Medersa Ben Youssef
Theological college founded by the Merenid Sultan Abu Hassan in the 14th century, and restored in 1564 by the Saadians who made it the largest theological college in the Maghreb, and a rival to the important Medersa Bou Inania in Fés.
At the heart of Marrakech, filling the alleys north of the central square, are the souks, mile after constricted mile of tiny, closet-sized emporia. The sheer number of shops is overwhelming—100 of them in 100 yards. Every section of the souk has its own specialty, with alleys devoted to everything from spices and ironwork to the ingredients necessary for casting magic spells.
At the time scheduled you'll be transferred to Marrakech Airport, in time for your check out procedures and your flight home. Bon Voyage!
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Terms & Conditions
DEPOSITS AND PAYMENTS
On confirmation of a trip, we require a non-refundable deposit amounting to 30% of the total Selling Price, the remaining balance being due 30 days before the start date of the trip.
Payments should normally be made by wire transfer or SWIFT to our bank account.
In the event of a last minute booking where a trip is due to start within 30 days, we require the total amount to be made in full and the payment should be by credit card. Due to Moroccan Currency Regulations we can only accept payment by Visa or MasterCard.
Our cancellation fees are as follows:
From confirmation to 30 days prior to arrival: 30%
From 29 to 15 days prior to arrival: 50%
From 14 to 6 days prior to arrival: 75%
5 days or less - No Show: 100%
Within 30 days of receiving written notification (by email) of a cancellation, any authorized
refunds will be processed. The refund will be in Euros (EUR) or British Pounds (GBP) and made
by wire transfer only.
Trip costs do not include items not specified in the itinerary. Although we will make every effort to
adhere to this itinerary, on rare occasions it may be necessary to make an adjustment to these
arrangements. Should such adjustment be necessary, a substitute will be offered when and where
In the event of war or terrorist activities threatened or actual, civil unrest, closures of airports or
seaports, industrial action threatened or any other event outside the control of Mountain Voyage
Morocco which causes either delays or extends the holiday or compels a change in the holiday
arrangements, Mountain Voyage Morocco cannot accept liability for any resulting loss, damage or
expense and any refund will be subject to deduction of reasonable expenses.
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