MOROCCO: IMPERIAL CITIES
Over eight days, discover the full breadth of this diverse African country, exploring its historic cities and mountain villages. Explore exotic Morocco and dine in an authentic riad. Navigate Marrakech by horse-drawn carriage and sit down to a meal with a local Berber family in their hilltop villages beneath the Atlas Mountains. Spend three nights in fascinating, action-packed Marrakech and explore Meknes and Volubilis, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
• Discover the full breadth of this diverse African country, exploring its historic cities and mountain villages, and meeting its welcoming Berber people
• Spend three nights in fascinating, action-packed Marrakech
• Explore Meknes and Volubilis, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, to unveil Morocco's unique culture and past
• Experience Moroccan hospitality when you dine with a local family in their Marrakech home
• Get to know the local Berber people with a visit to their mountain village
• 16 meals, with 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners
• 7 nights in 4 or 5-star accommodations
• breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
• museum, city seeing tours, other entrance fees noted in itinerary
• transfers and guide services
• Tips and Gratuities
• Other services not listed in inclusions.
• Personal expenses of the guests
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DAY 1 | ARRIVE MOROCCO – CASABLANCA
Arrive in Casablanca and transfer to your hotel. Gather tonight for a special welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 2 | CASABLANCA – IMPERIAL MEKNES
Explore the towering Hassan II Mosque, a wildly intricate building that holds 25,000 worshipers; an additional 80,000 can be accommodated in the squares around it. Soaring above the ocean, its minaret stands as the tallest religious structure in the world. Stop at the city of Meknes. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the imperial cities of Morocco, it was built in the 17th century by the powerful sultan Moulay Ismail to rival the court of Louis XIV. At day’s end, arrive in the alluring city of Fez; find your boutique hotel just beyond the hustle and bustle on a scenic hilltop.
DAY 3 | FEZ – THE MEDIEVAL CITY
Step back in time into ancient and remarkably untouched Fez el-Bali (“Old Fez”), the cultural heart of Morocco. Wander among the 9,000 lanes, alleys and souks that comprise its old quarter, where locals conduct their day-to-day business. See an elaborate mosaic-tiled fountain in Nejjarine Square.
Later, discover Fez el-Jadid (“New Fez”), built in the 13th century. Fez el-Jadid is home to the Mellah, the old Jewish quarter, with its wrought-irondecorated windows and carved wood balconies. Tonight, dine at a traditional Moroccan riad with a special guest who shares insight into Moroccan life.
DAY 4 | RABAT – ROMAN RUINS OF VOLUBILIS
After breakfast, drive to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Enroute, explore Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Morocco’s largest and best-preserved Roman ruins with excellently preserved mosaics. Arriving in Rabat, explore the 12th-century Moorish Hassan Tower, the incomplete minaret of a great mosque. View the mausoleum of Mohamed V, founder of modern Morocco, and visit Oudaya Kasbah. Set on a bluff over the Atlantic, its gate is considered among the most beautiful in the Moorish world.
DAY 5 | MARRAKECH – THE “RED CITY”
Travel overland today to Marrakech, arriving in the afternoon. Considered the “Pearl of the South,” Marrakech was once the capital of an empire that stretched from Spain to Senegal, and is sometimes known as the “Red City” for the distinctive hues of its brick buildings.
DAY 6 | MARRAKECH – PALACES AND PERFORMERS
Discover Marrakech’s ancient medina, the old walled section of the city. Explore the Saadian Tombs displaying intricate stucco and Granada-style carvings, and the Dar Si Said (Museum of Moroccan Arts), a former palace. Continue to El Badi Palace and the 12th-century Koutoubia Minaret, the most perfect Islamic religious structure in North Africa. Stroll through Djemaa el-Fna square where fire-eaters, mime artists and street musicians perform. Return to your hotel by private horse-drawn carriage. This evening, enjoy a unique dining experience when you share a dinner with a local family.
DAY 7 | MARRAKECH – ATLAS MOUNTAINS
Today, choose to remain in Marrakech or enjoy a full-day excursion to the High Atlas Mountains. Visit a picturesque village at Imlil Valley, meeting with local Berbers and visiting them in their homes. Your farewell dinner tonight is held at a charming traditional riad.
DAY 8 | DEPART MARRAKECH
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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Prices are in USD per person, double occupancy. Supplements may apply over holidays, festivals and special events. Subject to availability. Airfare not included.
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