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Guaranteed departures: 8D Imperial cities of Morocco

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights – Departing Friday

The magic and mystique of Morocco come to life over eight fascinating days exploring the impressive imperial cities of north Africa’s last kingdom. Visit the awe-inspiring cities of Marrakech, Fez, Meknes, Rabat and Casablanca. Discover the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Volubilis and experience the rustic charms of market towns in the Atlas Mountains. Accommodation is in four-star hotels on a half-board basis with plenty of opportunities to savour the best in traditional Moroccan cuisine, including a spectacular dinner show in a historic palace in the Marrakech Medina.

DON'T MISS!

Sands of time: Located in a historic riad, the Maison de la Photographie has a collection of old photos of Marrakech and its people. The rooftop café boasts stunning views of the city and Atlases 

Captive eye: Since time immemorial, Moroccan women have used ground kohl stone as a mascara to highlight their dark eyes – keep an eye out in souks for this natural make-up

Snake charmed: The delicious dessert called m’hanncha – but popularly known as ‘Moroccan snake’ – is a filo pastry filled and sprinkled with almonds and pistachios 

A wide range of optional excursions and pre and post-programme extensions are available on request. Please ask tour designer Fatima Lahricha for rates and conditions

Route Highlights

  1. Marrakech
  2. Fez
  3. Meknes
  4. Casablanca
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Marrakech: Admire the famous Koutoubia Mosque, the beautiful Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs and Agdal Garden, and wander through the bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa market

Fez: See the magnificent Moulay Idriss Zaouia, enjoy lunch in the Medina, explore the historic Jewish quarter and take in the panoramic views from the Royal Palace and fortifications

Volubilis: Wander through the ruins of this ancient Roman city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Meknes: Behold the ancient city gates of Bab Mansour and Bab El-Khemis and the granaries of Moulay Ismail

Rabat: Discover the capital’s many attractions, including the Royal Palace, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the Hassan Tower and the Oudayas Gardens

Casablanca: Enjoy a tour of this cosmopolitan city and admire the magnificent Hassan II Mosque

Itinerary

DAY 1 // ARRIVE MARRAKECH

Check-in at hotel on arrival followed by dinner and lodging.

Overnight stay: 
Marrakech
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 2 // MARRAKECH

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before embarking on a visit of the top monuments charting the history of Marrakech. Admire the magnificent Koutoubia mosque, whose 70 metre-high minaret is the city’s most famous landmark. It dates from the late 12th century, when most of north Africa and the southern Iberian peninsula were part of the Almohad Empire. Behold the beautiful Bahia Palace with its exceptional cedar and marble decorations and discover the beautifully decorated Saadian Tombs before wandering in the shaded retreat that is the Agdal Gardens, where groves of citrus, fig, apricot and pomegranate trees are linked by paths lined by olive trees. After lunch, continue to the walled Medina and its maze of alleys and side streets. Browse the souks and admire the rich craftsmanship of their wares before arriving at Jemaa el-Fnaa square, the beating heart of Marrakech. Marvel at this bustling hive of activity as the sun sets over this vast space packed with stalls and heaving with snake charmers, Gnawa musicians and myriad colourful characters. Return to the hotel for dinner with a folkloric show. 

Overnight stay: 
Marrakech
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 3 // MARRAKECH – BENI-MELLAL – FEZ (550km – 7 hrs)

Bid farewell to Marrakech after breakfast at the hotel, driving along the foothill of the Atlas Mountains towards Beni-Mellal, stopping for lunch at Khenifra en route. Beni-Mellal is a busy agricultural hub situated at an altitude of 625 metres in the Middle Atlas range. Enjoy a brief tour of the city, admiring its top sight and attractions before continuing to Fez for check-in and dinner at the hotel.

Overnight stay: 
Fez
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 4 // FEZ

Breakfast at the hotel is followed by a day exploring the fascinating city of Fez. Boasting more than 12 centuries of history as well as a Medina, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the oldest university in the planet, Fez is multifarious city renowned for the splendour of its faded glory. The Medina, Fez el Bali, is a vast labyrinthine network of winding alleys hemmed in by ancient walls. Despite being car free, the bustle, noise, shouting, smell of tanned leather, delicate aroma of oriental perfumes, barbecues, sweet pastry all this is the imperial city create a sense of movement and vibrancy that draws you deep into its soul. Head to the Nejjarine fountain, the best-known of the Medina’s mosaic fountains, which is located in the traditional carpenters’ district, where the scent of cedar wood wafts in the air. The alleys are lined with places of study or prayers such as madrasas or the magnificent mausoleum of Moulay Idriss Zaouia; the most important saint’s shrine in Morocco. After lunch in the Medina, continue through the rustic narrow streets of the Mellah, the former Jewish district, and head to the outskirts to see the Royal Palace and to enjoy the extraordinary panoramic view of the whole city offered by the fortifications of the north. Return to the hotel for dinner. 

Overnight stay: 
Fez
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 5 // FEZ – VOLUBILIS – MOULAY IDRISS ZERHOUN – MEKNES (140km – 2.5 hrs)

Depart Fez after breakfast at the hotel, heading west to the ruins of the ancient city of Volubilis. Originally built by the Phoenicians, the city came into its own during the Roman Empire and the well-preserved Arch of Caracalla still stands, with a legible triumphal inscription boasting of victories in Britain and Germany among others. The remnants of a temple and basilica are also still visible as are number of magnificent mosaics, which hint at the wealth and opulence of Volubilis in its heyday. The tour continues through the cliffs, cascades and orchards towards the rocky outcrop crowned by the hilltop holy village of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, which is named after a great-grandson of the prophet Mohammed and who is credited with bringing Islam to Morocco. The village is also home to Morocco’s only cylindrical minaret. Continue to Meknes for a tour of this former imperial capital during the reign of Moulay Ismail in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Such was the grandeur of the city that he built, that Meknes became known as the ‘city of a hundred minarets’ and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the imposing city walls and the beautifully decorated gates of Bab Mansour and Bab El-Khemis; the vast El Hedhim Square, Dar El Ma souk, the granaries of Moulay Ismail and much more.

Overnight stay: 
Meknes
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 6 // MEKNES – RABAT – CASABLANCA (250km – 3 hrs)

Take to the road after breakfast at the hotel, driving through the picturesque vineyards of Sais en route to the capital, Rabat. Enjoy a guided panoramic tour of the city, seeing the Royal Palace, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the Hassan Tower before wandering through the Kasbah of the Oudayas to the explore its famous gardens. Enjoy lunch before departing the capital for Casablanca, a city whose name evokes Hollywood glamour but is in fact the kingdom’s commercial powerhouse. Discover the charms of this cosmopolitan coastal metropolis capital, seeing the elegant boulevards of the French colonial Ville Nouvelle and the majestic Hassan II mosque by the sea (exterior view). Continue to the hotel for check-in and dinner.

Overnight stay: 
Casablanca
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 7 // CASABLANCA – MARRAKECH (250km – 3 hrs)

After breakfast, depart for Marrakech. Check-in at hotel on arrival and head to the restaurant for lunch. Enjoy a free afternoon at leisure or avail of an optional excursion with supplement departing from Marrakech. Dinner is in an old palace in the Medina with a feast of traditional Moroccan dishes being complemented by a spectacular folkloric show featuring belly dancing. Return to the hotel.

Overnight stay: 
Marrakech
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 8 // MARRAKECH

Check out after breakfast at the hotel or opt for a longer stay by selecting one of our extensions.

Included

  • Tour guide: § Operated with French and English-speaking guide (Dutch on request) during the whole tour and with English and French speaking local guides
  • Accomodation: 07 nights’ accommodation on a half-board basis in 4* or 5* hotels local standard
  • Meals: 07 breakfasts, 06 lunches and 07 dinners, including a Moroccan dinner show in an old palace in the Marrakech medina 
  • Transport: Transfers during the tour
  • Entrance fees and activities: Admission to all museums and monuments mentioned in the itinerary
  • Others: Tips in hotels and restaurants

Not included

  • Visas and international flights, and airport taxes (clients pay direct)
  • Driver-guide gratuities
  • Personal travel, baggage and medical insurance
  • Telephone bill, laundry and any items of a personal nature such as drinks
  • Transfers from airport to hotel and vice versa