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The Magic of Morocco (2019 Itinerary)

8 days

Never more than 16 guests OR Travel Privately

Overall Rating
based on 35 Reviews

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Our Distinctive A+R Style

+ Indulge in the elegance and luxury of two of Morocco’s finest riads; these stylish courtyard hotels evoke the country’s rich history and tradition.
+ Special dining experiences include Rick’s Café, a seaside lunch in Rabat, a traditional meal in a highland town and dinner in a Marrakech palace.
+ Delight in a traditional Moroccan tea service as you take in the fine views over the colorful Marrakech medina from the roof of the Maison de la Photographie.
+ Go off the beaten path to explore timeless Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains and the lovely Ourika Valley.

Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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Upon arrival, you’ll be met and escorted to the Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche Hotel. Our luxury hotel enjoys a privileged city-center location close to the historic medina. Then join your guide to explore this vibrant city. Stand in Mohammed V Square, where French and Moroccan architectural styles blend harmoniously, and marvel at the glorious Hassan II Mosque; its stunning location built on a platform that extends over the Atlantic Ocean is complemented by the soaring artistry of its design and the exquisite indigenous materials used in its construction – creamy marble from Agandir, Cedar wood from the Middle Atlas Mountains, and gleaming granite from Tafraoute.
 
If time permits visit the bustling Central Market, you’ll mingle with city residents who come daily to shop for fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables. Other vendors specialize in fine Moroccan goods that make excellent mementos and gifts, from leather slippers and lanterns to fragrant spices and Argan oil – the famous elixir used in moisturizers, shampoos and even food.
 
This evening, you’ll enjoy dinner, wine and cocktails at Rick’s Café, an evocative re-imagining of the classic Bogart film.
Meals D

 

Day
2

Onward to Rabat and Fès c

Riad Fes, Morocco

Depart Casablanca and travel to Rabat to explore the Oudayas Kasbah, a walled city within the city; founded in the 12th century, it’s still home to 2,000 of Rabat’s citizens. We’ll also see the splendid Mohamed V Mausoleum and marvel at the Hassan Tower, an unfinished but impressive minaret started nearly 1,000 years ago.
 
Sit down to a delightful lunch and then continue to Fès where you check in to the enchanting Riad Fès. Located in the medina in the heart of this ancient Imperial City, our luxury retreat evokes the elegance and romance of Morocco’s traditional courtyard palaces.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
3

Excursion to Meknes c and Volubilis c

Riad Fes, Morocco

Today’s excursion begins with a scenic drive to Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was originally founded as military settlement before emerging as the capital of the Alaouite Dynasty. Renowned for its blending of Spanish and Moorish architectural styles of the 1600’s, Meknes is further distinguished by its high and thick walls - punctuated by gracefully arched gates. Chief among these is Bab Mansour, a magnificent gate with superb Zellij tilework, sturdy columns of fine Corinthian marble and an imposing door of wood and iron. You’ll also explore the ancient Jewish quarter and visit the Royal Stables, large enough to hold 12,000 Arabian horses; although the stables have fallen into an evocative state of disrepair, it offers further insight into the wealth and power wielded by Morocco’s ancient rulers.
 
Continue to Moulay Idriss, a sacred hilltop city, and then explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. With finely preserved ruins dating back to the 3rd century, this remarkable ensemble of temples, baths, a basilica, brothels and finely preserved mosaic floors offers a unique look into the ancient history of Roman Africa. Return to Fès where the evening is free to relax, enjoy and dine at your leisure.  Meals B+L
 

Day
4

Immerse in the Imperial City of Fès c

Riad Fes, Morocco

Founded in the 9th century, this is the best preserved medieval city in North Africa. Home to one of the world’s oldest universities, it reached its peak of influence and glory in the 13th and 14th centuries when it replaced Marrakech as the capital of the Kingdom. Although the modern capital was transferred to Rabat nearly 100 years ago, Fès remains the cultural and spiritual heart of the country.
 
Setting out with our engaging guide, today’s sightseeing includes the ancient Medina and two medieval institutions of learning. With their extravagant style, these Madrasas stand in striking contrast to the timeworn cobblestones and simple market stalls of the souks that surround them.
 
In el-Nejjarine (Carpenter’s Square), where skilled artisans still chisel and sculpt indigenous cedar wood, you’ll admire the much-photographed Nejjarine Fountain, famed for its exquisite ceramic mosaics. Also on the day’s program is the Kairaouine Mosque with its graceful 1,000-foot minaret. Founded in the 9th century this is the second largest mosque in Morocco and home to one of the world’s oldest universities.  Meals B+L
 
 

Day
5

Into the Middle Atlas Mountains

La Maison Arabe - Marrakech, Morocco

Leaving Fès behind this morning, you’ll journey into the undulating hills and fragrant Cedar forests of the Middle Atlas Range – a favorite habitat of Barbary macaques. Passing through Ifrane, you might be surprised by its distinctly Alpine feel. Fondly referred to as the Switzerland of Morocco, this charming town was built by the French in the 1930’s.
 
Continue to Immouzer du Kandar, a friendly Berber community surrounded by rugged gorges and wooded hills, and onward to the laid-back market town of Azrou. Stop for a lunch in Beni Mellal, a bustling highland town, and journey onward to Marrakech. On arrival, check in to La Maison Arabe and enjoy the rest of your evening at leisure. You can relax at here at this intimate luxury riad, enjoying the tranquility of its garden patios. Or take advantage of our location in the heart of the medina and venture forth to explore a bit at your own pace. Meals B+L
 

Day
6

Explore Imperial Marrakech c

La Maison Arabe - Marrakech, Morocco

Today you’ll enjoy a comprehensive guided exploration of this marvelous city, founded 800 years ago by the Almoravid Dynasty. First you visit the lavishly decorated Saadian Tombs, dating to the late 16th century. The gravestones of these Saadian princes and members of the royal household are embellished simply and elegantly with colorful ceramic tiles, each with a short epitaph and a quote from the Qur’an. The next stop is the Dar Si Said Museum, an unparalleled collection of Moroccan art exhibited in an exquisite former palace. Continue to the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and the lovely Bahia Palace, built in 1880.
 
Then experience the exotic atmosphere of the city’s famed souks; exploring with your guide through this labrynthine maze of shops and vendor stalls, you’ll emerge in lively Djemaa el Fna Square, undoubtedly the heart of the Marrakech medina. Next up, in contrast, is the tranquility of Le Jardin Majorelle – a botanical oasis of rare plants and vibrant blooms – created by a painter and more recently owned by the renowned designer Yves Saint-Laurent. On the roof top of Maison de la Photographie, you’ll enjoy afternoon tea as you take in the breathtaking views over the Marrakech medina.  Meals B+L
 

Day
7

Full-day excursion into the Ourika Valley

La Maison Arabe - Marrakech, Morocco

Leave behind the bustling pace of Marrakech and travel into a tranquil land of olive groves and citrus orchards. As the peaks of the Atlas Mountains draw near, you enter the timeless Ourika Valley. At an innovative Berber cooperative, you’ll observe and learn more about the production of Argan oil – highly prized for its hydrating and beautifying effects. The process from tree to oil is time consuming and done almost entirely by hand. Employing local women, this cooperative is an important community resource and promises an enlightening visit.
 
Back in Marrakech, we’ll take you to Palais Soleiman for a wonderful dinner surrounded by the lavish décor of this erstwhile palace.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
8

Farewell to Morocco

We’ll take you to the airport for your onward flight.
Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Add the Sahara & Southern Morocco

4 days for $1,399

Discover this often overlooked but most rewarding region as you travel through the High Atlas Range to historic Ouarzazate and into the Sahara. Exploring scenic backroads, our easy-to-add adventure includes all transportation, two nights deluxe hotel, an overnight at our romantic desert encampment, 4 meals and in-depth sightseeing including the Todra Gorge and Route of 1,000 Casbahs.

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Day
8

Across the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech to Zagora

After breakfast and the conclusion of your Magic of Morocco tour, set out in a chauffeured Land Rover on a spectacularly scenic journey into the High Atlas Mountains. Cross the 7,400-foot Tichka Pass and visit the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. Rising out of the shimmering sands like a mirage, this dramatic Kasbah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been featured in more than 20 movies including Lawrence of Arabia, Jewel of the Nile and Gladiator. Travel on to historic Ouarzazate for lunch on your own and a guided tour of town. Your journey through Southern Morocco continues into the picturesque Drâa River Valley, a land of timeless villages and palm groves. Arrive in Zagora and check in to the Riad dar Sofian for a tranquil overnight. Meals B 

Day
9

Onward to Merzouga and into the Sahara!

The captivating pre-Saharan landscapes of the South are dotted with numerous Berber villages set against the rugged Sargho Mountains. Stop for lunch on your own in the quiet village of Tazzarine before continuing on to Merzouga, perched on the edge of the mighty Sahara Desert. Transfer to 4x4 vehicles and journey across the famed golden dunes of Erg Chebbi. Your destination is Erg Chebbi Luxury Desert Camp, an enchanting tented encampment set amidst the golden dunes of the vast Sahara. Enjoy a camel ride over the dunes, watch the sun set over the desert, and dine on fine Moroccan fare served under a canopy of desert stars. Later, before retiring to your private tent, enjoy Berber music and tales around the campfire. Meals B D 

Day
10

The Route of 1,000 Casbahs to Ouarzazate

Enjoy an early morning walk across the dunes to witness a spectacular sunrise over the Sahara. Depart camp after breakfast and travel via the small oasis town of Tinghir and through the magnificent Todra Gorges, where majestic canyon walls soar to 900 feet. Make your way through the equally picturesque Dades Canyon and then along the legendary Route of 1,000 Casbahs, an ancient caravan route dotted with these old fortified towns and even some 19th century single-family compounds built with the distinctive crenulated walls of a medieval casbah. Arrive in Ouarzazate and check in to the deluxe Sultana Royal Hotel.

Day
11

Depart Ouarzazate

Transfer to the airport for your onward journey. Meals B 

Private Tour Add-Ons

Cairo

Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package includes a choice of 5-star hotels, daily breakfast, chauffeured airport transfers, and in-depth private car sightseeing with our engaging Egyptologist

Johannesburg

Our 3-day FreeStyle Travel package includes 2 nights in your choice of hotel, daily breakfast, chauffeured airport transfers and privately guided sightseeing,

Victoria Falls

Our 3-day FreeStyle Travel package includes your choice of hotel, daily breakfast, guided sightseeing and roundtrip airport transfers

Morocco MapSearch

Save $2,000 Per Couple/$1,000 Solo  

On our Nov 4, 2019 reverse itinerary.
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Pay-In-Full

Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
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Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Book Your Air

Ask about international air service, including business class. See your travel agent or call us for current international airfare associated with this program. We offer both economy and business class fares. Prices are in U.S. currency and are per person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted. Availability is limited.

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