The Best of Morocco
|Resort:||The Best of Morocco|
A feast for the senses
Bursting with colour and intrigue, Morocco offers a taste of the exotic. This immersive tour takes you on a journey from Tangier in the North, along the coast to the capital, Rabat, before heading inland to the ancient capital of Fes. After exploring cosmopolitan Casablanca, travel through desert plains into the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, before completing your tour in atmospheric Marrakesh. Step into shaded souks and inhale the scent of sandalwood and spices; discover the homeland of the ancient Berber people; and marvel at the intricate architecture of the endless madrases, mausoleums and mosques.
Excursions and visits
Day 1 UK to Tangier
Fly to Tangier and transfer to the locally rated 4-starKenzi Solazur Hotel(4Q) where youll stay overnight. On the way to the hotel youll have the opportunity to visit the Grand Socco in the heart of the city. Once a bustling marketplace, this cafe-lined plaza joins new Tangier with the historic medina quarter.
Look forward to dinner and a welcome drink this evening, where you can get to know your fellow travellers. D
Day 2 Tangier to Rabat
Drive to the northwestern coast this morning, travelling through the Cap Spartel Nature Reserve to the Caves of Hercules. According to myth, Hercules slept in the caves on his way to steal three golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides, the 11th of the 12 Labours of Hercules. Continue down the Atlantic coast to the beautiful fishing town of Asilah for a guided walking tour in the ancient Kasbah.
Arriving in Rabat, youll have free time for lunch, then spend the afternoon admiring the citys incredible architecture. See the 17th century royal palace and its Andalusian-style garden, the medieval Hassan Tower and the mausoleum to Mohammed V. Stay overnight at the locally rated 4-starBeler Hotel(4Q). B, D
Day 3 Rabat to Fes
After breakfast, begin your journey inland, first heading to the Roman city of Volubilis, the best preserved archaeological site in Morocco.
Admire the beautiful preserved mosaic floors, then continue to the Imperial city of Meknes. As the capital from 1672 to 1727 under Sultan Moulay Ismail, UNESCO-listed Meknes saw much investment, with numerous monuments, gardens, gates and mosques constructed during his reign. Take a tour of the Royal Stables, once home to 12,000 of Moulay Ismails beloved horses, and the neighbouring granary, which could store enough grain to feed the horses for 20 years!
Continue to Fes for a two night stay at the locally rated 4-starHotel Atlas Saiss Fs(4Q). B, D
Day 4 Fes
Considered Morocco’s spiritual and religious centre, Fes is also one of Moroccos most authentic, least changed cities and one of the most complete medieval cities of the Arab world.
Join a full day guided tour taking in the magnificent ancient madrasas, or Islamic colleges, the intricate mosaic tile work of the Nejjarine fountain, and Al Qarawiyyin Mosque and University, considered the oldest university in the world. After free time for lunch, continue to the medieval medina, a walled labyrinth of winding alleyways, packed with artisans and merchants. Admire the iconic Bab Boujeloud, known as the Blue Gate of Fes, which greets visitors entering the medina.
Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. B, D
Day 5 Fes to Casablanca
Today, make the return journey to the coast, continuing south to Casablanca, Moroccos largest city and most significant port. The city seamlessly blends European, African and Arabian cultures together to give it a unique appeal.
Check into the locally rated 4-starHotel Odyssee Center Hotel(3Q), and spend the afternoon at leisure. B, D
Day 6 Casablanca
This morning, join a guided tour of the city, starting at the Hassan II Mosque where you can venture inside with a specialist guide.
Built in 1989, Moroccos largest mosque features the worlds second-tallest minaret, measuring 688 feet in height. With capacity for 25,000 worshippers, the mosques interior demonstrates the finest elements of Moroccan craftsmanship, including hand-carved stone, marble flooring and gilded ceilings. Next, wander through the souks of the Habous Quarter, the new medina, originally built by the French in the 1930s to solve a housing crisis. Here you can buy everything from slippers to shaggy rugs, and spices to olives.
Travel back to the hotel through the city centre, with its wide, modern, palm-lined avenues, past the Square of Mohammed V and Casablanca Cathedral. A light lunch is included at the hotel, and you can enjoy the afternoon at leisure. This evening, look forward to dinner at the famous Ricks Cafe, designed to replicate the iconic bar in the classic film, Casablanca. B, L, D
Day 7 Casablanca to Ouirgane
Journey south, crossing the Haouz plains, and passing North Africas highest mountain, Toubkal Massif, as you head towards the High Atlas Mountains.
Stay two nights at the locally rated 4-starDomaine de la Roseraie Resort and Spa(4Q) in the small town of Ouirgane. B, D
Day 8 Ouirgane
Embark on a full day trekking in the Tassa Ouirgane National Park.
This remote part of Morocco in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains offers the chance to experience the beautiful scenery of the region without the strenuous mountain ascents. Trek over easy terrain through orchards and arable landscape, dotted with remote Berber villages, following the river at the foot of the valley, stopping for a picnic lunch with a panoramic vista of national park and the High Atlas peaks in the distance.
Return to the hotel for the remainder of the afternoon and dinner. B, L, D
Day 9 Ouirgane to Marrakesh
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and the morning to relax, before making the short journey north to Marrakesh.
The city is a feast for the senses, from the narrow streets and bustling souks of its famous Medina a UNESCO World Heritage Site to the artisans, colours and textures that fill its streets and squares. Check into the locally rated 5-starPalm Plaza Hotel and Spa(4Q), where youll have free time for lunch.
This afternoon, join a guided walking tour through the medina and souks to Jemaa el-Fna, the citys main square, which is filled with exotic sights and sounds. Here fortune tellers, snake charmers, musicians, acrobats and poets entertain the crowds late into the evening. Return to the hotel for dinner. B, D
Day 10 Marrakesh
Spend a full day exploring Marrakeshs top attractions on a guided tour.
Begin at the Koutoubia Mosque, one of the oldest mosque on the western Museum world, with its dramatic 75 metre-high minaret which soars above the city. Continue to Jardin Majorelle, Moroccos most popular tourist attraction. The enchanting gardens were originally created by French painter, Jacques Majorelle, and have since been enhanced by Yves Saint Laurent following his purchase of the gardens in the 1980s. Meander through the oasis of paths lined with exotic flora, then continue to the Menara botanical gardens where youll have free time for lunch.
This afternoon, continue touring the city, taking in Dar El Bacha, an ornate palace housing the Museum of Confluences, and the Bahia Palace and Gardens, an artistic masterpiece designed to capture the essence of Islamic and Moroccan styles.
Return to the hotel for dinner. B, D
Day 11 Marrakesh
Enjoy your final day in Marrakesh at leisure.
Your guide is on hand and can help suggest local attraction worth visiting, such as the Yves Saint Laurent Museum or the Perfume Museum. Alternatively, you might simply like to spend the day relaxing by the pool at the hotel.
Look forward to a spectacular farewell dinner this evening at Chez Ali, where youll enjoy a traditional Moroccan tagine accompanied by performances of folk music, fireworks, acrobatics and horsemanship. B, D
Day 12 Marrakesh to UK
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B