IMPERIAL CITIES & THE ROAD OF THE KASBAHS
Morocco is a country of vivid colours, towering gorges, sweeping sand dunes and bustling, atmospheric cities – and you’ll see it all on this fantastic tour.
• Casablanca tour • See the Roman ruins of Volubilis • Sunset 4-wheel drive into the desert • Marrakech city tour • Moroccan folklore show & dinner in berber tents. • Essaouria visit • Travel through Todgha Gorge & the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs • Dinner in a traditional Moroccan riad • Visit to Rabat • Guided tour of Meknes –the ‘Moroccan Versailles’ • Sightseeing tour of Fes & the medina • Visit to Ait Benhadou Kasbah • Enjoy learning about Moroccan cuisine when you attend a cooking class
• Just You Tour Manager as your host & Specialist Local Guide
• Free schedules group transfers are available on arrival and departure from Marrakech T1, other transportation & porterage
• 10 nights in 3 & 4 star hotels
•21 include meals: 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners including a welcome & farewell dinner & drinks
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DAY 1 Marrakech
Make your own way to Marrakech where you can meet us for the scheduled group transfers to your overnight hotel. This evening, get to know your fellow travellers over dinner at a local restaurant. Your first taste of Moroccan culture comes as you’re entertained by a belly dancer.
DAY 2 Casablanca
After breakfast, we’ll head to the city of Casablanca. Our motorcoach tour will take in the medina – the old walled town – and the magnificent Hassan II Mosque. We’ll also see the vast United Nations Square, the art deco-inspired Mohammed V Square, the imposing Royal Palace, central market and the Habous quarter, with its French colonial buildings.
DAY 3 RABAT - MEKNES - FES
Rabat, known as the ‘imperial garden city’ of Morocco, is our first stop today. Your tour includes the Oudayas gardens, the 12th century Hassan Tower – the minaret of an incomplete mosque – and the mausoleum of Mohammed V. We’ll continue to Meknes, the ‘Moroccan Versailles’, which was founded at the end of the 17th century by Moulay Ismail, a contemporary of Louis XIV. Here you’ll find the splendid 18th century Bab Mansour, the towering ornamental gate to the city. The nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis await this afternoon, with ancient bathhouses, mosaic flooring and towering marble pillars. Towards the end the day, we travel to Fes, where we’ll have dinner in a traditional Moroccan residence – a riad – for an authentic experience.
DAY 4 FES
We set off on a guided walking tour of UNESCO-listed Fes this morning. Admire ancient buildings, dating back to the 9th century, and explore the winding lanes, alleys, tanneries and artisan shops that make up one of the world’s largest medinas. A highlight is the view of the famous Fes tannery from the balcony of a leather shop, where you can observe the men hard at work treating and dyeing the different hides.
DAY 5 ERFOUD
We're going to hit the road early this morning, as the spectacular scenery of the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert await us on this long and equally rewarding journey. En route we head into the cooler mountain climate passing through Berber villages known for their handicrafts. We'll continue along the Ziz Valley, a spectacular route offering wonderful views of the Atlas Mountains and vast palm groves wedged between the ancient cliffs and gorges. We'll travel onwards to Erfoud, where we'll spend the night in a comfortable kasbah-style hotel on the edge of the magnificent rose-gold Saharan dunes. Tonight, a spectacular desert sunset beckons as we travel by 4x4s into the desert to watch the sun go down over this stunning landscape.
DAY 6 OUARZAZATE
This morning we'll head to the heart of the Atlas Mountains and see the Todgha Gorge, with its steep canyon walls towering up to 400 metres high. We then follow in the footsteps of the sultans as we travel along the famous Route of a Thousand Kasbahs, where the series of imposing ancient ruined fortresses almost resemble sandcastles in the distance. We will also travel through Kelaa M'gouna or Roses Valley. Here, the local Berber population grow Damask roses on the slopes of the mountains, and you'll see thousands of small pink flowers carpeting the landscape.
Finally, we drive to the former Foreign Legion outpost of Ouarzazate, often known as 'Ouallywood' because of its starring role as the exotic backdrop in so many well-known movies. Here, you can visit Taourirt Kasbah, an ancient citadel with almost 300 rooms.
DAY 7 AIT BENHADOU KASBAH - MARRAKECH
Our day begins as we visit the Ait Benhadou Kasbah, the most spectacular fortress in the south of Morocco. Used as a backdrop in films such as 'Lawrence of Arabia' and classified by UNESCO as one of the cultural treasures of the world, the buildings making up the Kasbah are studded with crenulated towers and decorated with ornate geometrical motifs – it's a sight not to be missed. We will then make our way back to Marrakech.
DAY 8 MARRAKECH
Today we'll head off on a tour of Marrakech's main sights. We'll visit the beautiful Bahia Palace, which showcases 19th century Islamic and Moroccan architectural styles and boasts 160 lavishly decorated rooms. No visit to Marrakech is complete without experiencing the famous Djemaa El Fna Square, and there will be time at leisure to wander the labyrinth of colourful souks and see snake charmers and fortune-tellers entertaining the thronging crowds. Amongst the hundreds of stalls here you can barter for anything from traditional carpets and hand-crafted pottery to glistening jewellery and equally colourful spices.
DAY 9 ESSAOUIRA
We'll make our way to Essaouira today. Formerly known as Mogador, this small town on the Atlantic coast is home to a long, sandy beach, wide boulevards and an atmospheric medina, all enclosed by 18th century honey-hued ramparts. There are plenty of restaurants here serving fresh seafood, so why not head out to explore with your fellow travellers, and enjoy lunch before we return to Marrakech this evening.
DAY 10 MARRAKECH
We’ll learn the intricacies of traditional cooking this morning at a hands-on cookery class with a master Moroccan chef. With its unusual combination of cultures – Berber, French, Jewish, Andalucian – Morocco is known for some incredible flavours. In the heart of Marrakech, our chef will discuss key ingredients and techniques. From rolling traditional semolina to measuring out spices for a mind-blowing tagine, we’ll learn the culinary tricks of the trade, while preparing lunch. Then we’ll all sit down to eat the fruits of our labour! Next we will visit the Majorelle Gardens, a green oasis a world away from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, before we gather together for a special night of entertainment. We will dine under the stars in Berber tents as we feast on Moroccan cuisine and enjoy a folklore show.
DAY 11 MARRAKECH - DEPARTURE
Your tour comes to an end today.
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