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Guaranteed departures: 8D Imperial cities of Morocco

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights – Departing Saturday

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, Fès, 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 choice hotels on a half or full-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. Casablanca
  2. Fès
  3. Meknes
  4. Marrakech
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

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

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

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

Fès: 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

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

Itinerary

DAY 1 // ARRIVE MARRAKECH

Check in at the hotel on arrival in Marrakech followed by dinner and lodging. If your incoming flight arrives to Agadir, on arrival at the airport, take a three-hour transfer to Marrakech where you spend the first night (transfer not included). If your incoming flight arrives to Casablanca, spend the first night here and meet up with the group upon their arrival tomorrow (supplement for hotel, dinner included, transfer airport to hotel not included).

Overnight stay: 
Marrakech
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 2 // MARRAKECH – CASABLANCA (250km – 3 hrs)

After breakfast at the hotel, we depart to Casablanca where we will enjoy a tasty lunch on arrival. Travellers arriving to the Casablanca airport today are welcomed in time for an optional lunch to join the tour. After lunch, visit the economic capital of Morocco on a guided panoramic tour featuring the central market, the charming Habous district, the Royal Palace, Mohamed V square, the residential area of ​​Anfa and the exterior of the majestic Hassan II mosque located by the sea and the Corniche, the coastal walkway of Casablanca

Overnight stay: 
Casablanca
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 3 // CASABLANCA – RABAT – MEKNÈS – VOLUBILIS – FÈS (355km – 5 hrs)

Start the day with breakfast at the hotel followed by departure towards Rabat, the capital city of the country. Here, enjoy a guided panoramic tour of the Royal Palace (Mechouar), the Kasbah of Oudayas, Mausoleum Mohamed V and the Hassan Tower. Have lunch (optional) and then continue to Meknès 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. Continue on, passing by the ruins of the ancient Phoenician city of Volubilis (entrance not included). Continue the drive passing the holy city of Moulay Idriss, arriving to Fès afterwards.

Overnight stay: 
Fès
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 4 // FÈS

Breakfast at the hotel is followed by a day exploring the fascinating city of Fès. 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, Fès is multifarious city renowned for the splendour of its faded glory. The Medina, Fes 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 of these elements in this imperial city create a sense of movement and vibrancy that draws you deep into its soul. Visit the interior of the Bou Inania or Attarine madrasah (depending on availability) which both showcase exquisite central courts. Then see the Quaraouiyine Mosque as well as 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 madrasahs or the magnificent mausoleum of Moulay Idriss Zaouia; the most important saint’s shrine in Morocco. After lunch in the Medina (optional), 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: 
Fès
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 5 // FÈS – BENI-MELLAL – MARRAKECH (550km – 7 hrs)

Depart Fès after breakfast at the hotel, heading southwest towards Marrakech. Today’s road journey provides an enormous range of landscapes and allows for enticing photo stops as we drive along the foothill of the Atlas Mountains. Pass the mountain town of Ifrane (1,650m altitude), the Berber villages of Azrou and Khenifra, making a stop in Beni-Mellal for lunch (optional). Belonging to beautiful orange groves and olive groves, the town of Beni-Mellal is a rendezvous for nature and mountain lovers and adventure seekers. Arrive in Marrakech and check in to your hotel.

Overnight stay: 
Marrakech
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 6 // 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 northern 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 in the hotel, 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. Also, enjoy a visit to a Moroccan herbalist where you can purchase quality herbal products and remedies, a traditional way for curing and/or improving ailments. Return to the hotel for dinner with a folkloric show in an old palace in the Medina of Marrakech (optional).

Overnight stay: 
Marrakech
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 7 // MARRAKECH

Breakfast at the hotel is followed by a day at leisure to explore Marrakech as you wish. Perhaps take part in one or more of our recommended optional excursions. Lunch on your own.

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

Check out after breakfast at the hotel or opt for a longer stay by selecting one of our extensions, such as an extended stay in Marrakech or a beach extension in the lovely seaside town of Agadir. 

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 or full-board basis in selected 3*, 4* or 5* hotels local standard
  • Meals: Half-board option: 07 breakfasts and 06 dinners, lunch Day 06 at the hotel (dinner not included Day 06) / Full-board option: 07 breakfasts, 05 lunches, 07 dinners including a Moroccan dinner show (lunch on Day 07 not included)
  • Transport: Transfers during the tour in air-conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees and activities: Admission to all museums and monuments mentioned in the itinerary: panoramic tour of Casablanca with visit exterior of Mosquee Hassan II, panoramic tour of Rabat, the Kasbah Oudayas, panoramic tour of Meknès: Dar el Ma, visit of the granaries of Moulay Ismail; Bou Inania or Attarine madrasah in Fès, exterior visit of Quaraouiyine Mosque, Royal Palace exterior; Koutoubia mosque exterior, Bahia Palace, Saadian tombs, Agdal Gardens, Medina and Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakech
  • 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