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Save $600 per couple | $300 solo

The Magic of Morocco

8 days

Never more than 16 guests OR Travel Privately

Overall Rating
based on 37 Reviews

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Our Distinctive A+R Style

+ Specially-arranged VIP arrival services in Casablanca.
+ The finest native guides, special activities only possible with our small groups, and our luxury riad-stays make our tour one-of-a-kind.
+ Our unique dining experiences include Rick’s Café, a seaside lunch in Rabat, and dinner in a Marrakech palace.
+ Go off the beaten path to explore timeless Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains and the lovely Ourika Valley.
+ With 7 nights luxury hotel and riads; 16 meals with wine at lunch and dinner; comprehensive sightseeing; all transfers; internal flight; and all gratuities except Trip Leader.

Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites

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Upon arrival, our VIP Services include FastTrack Assistance through all immigration and customs formalities. Once through, we’ll take you to the Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche Hotel, 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 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

Riad Fes, Morocco

Depart Casablanca and travel to Rabat c 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 and Volubilis

Riad Fes, Morocco

Today’s excursion begins with a scenic drive to Meknes c, 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 c. With finely preserved ruins dating back 2,000 years, 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

Riad Fes, Morocco

Founded in the 9th century, Fès c 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.
 
Carpenter’s Square, where 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

After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll escort you to the airport for your included flight to Marrakech, where you’ll be escorted to the 5-star La Maison Arabe in the heart of the ancient medina. Take advantage of this privileged location to experience the exotic sights and sounds of Marrakech at your own pace; at dusk, the lively Djemaa El Fna Square is a fascinating place to be! Meals B+L

Day
6

Explore Imperial Marrakech

La Maison Arabe - Marrakech, Morocco

Today you’ll enjoy a comprehensive guided exploration of Marrakech c, 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, where fine Moroccan art is 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
1

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
2

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
3

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 Riad Ksar Ighnda.

Day
4

Depart Ouarzazate

Transfer to the airport for your onward journey. Meals B 

Private Tour Add-Ons

Cairo

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

Victoria Falls

Our 3-day Private Tour includes your choice of resort hotel or luxury camp, daily breakfast, guided sightseeing and roundtrip airport transfers

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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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A Taste of What You Can Expect

These videos, articles and podcasts will illuminate some of the enthralling experiences that await you on our intimate journey to Morocco. Drawn from respected independent sources, we’ve curated this multi-media collection to ignite your imagination. Inspiring as they are now on your screen, the things you see, read and hear will truly come to life when you travel with our expert native-born guides.

Our A+R Library

About Your Journey... Morocco

According to legend it was Hercules who created Morocco when he opened the Strait of Gibraltar. Legend or not, the earliest traces of humankind there date back more 300,000 years. Today, modern Morocco has an incomparable historical heritage, magnificent archaeological ruins and spectacular cities full of hidden treasures and surprising delights at every turn. You’ll experience this exotic land, submerge yourself in the history and culture and sample the marriage of aromas, tastes and traditions that are found in the delightful Moroccan cuisine. Above all, you’ll meet the people of Morocco who are eager to welcome you with outstretched arms and a friendly smile, and to show you the magic that is Morocco. We know that you will enjoy the experience.  

A Word about Hotels
As in other parts of the world, check-in time for most hotels is around 3:00PM and check-out time is typically 11AM. If your flight arrives early, and your room is not ready, you can usually store your luggage with the hotel and step out to explore a bit at your own pace or relax with a cup of tea or coffee in the lobby.  

If early check-in is absolutely required, advance arrangements can usually be confirmed for the cost of an additional night.

Similarly, if you have a late departure flight, hotels will store your luggage after you’ve checked-out, leaving you unencumbered to explore and relax until it’s time to go to the airport. Depending upon how busy they are, hotels may allow you to occupy your room for another hour or two without charge; check with the front desk to determine if this is possible for your day of departure. If a late check-out is absolutely required, advance arrangements can be confirmed for an extra cost.  

Please notify your travel agent or Alexander+Roberts if you wish to confirm either early check-in or late check-out.

Climate
Morocco boasts a comfortable climate year-round. However, it does rain more frequently in winter (December through March) than at other times of the year. In the summer, the weather is hot and dry.  Temperatures throughout the country can reach 100°F; in the Sahara they can be over 115°F.

The Lay of the Land
Situated on the far northwest coast of Africa just a short distance from Spain, Morocco is washed by the waters of the Atlantic as well as the Mediterranean. The coastline, dotted with historic towns established by merchants and colonists ranging from the Phoenicians 25 centuries ago to Europeans 5 centuries ago, soon gives way to sweeping interior plains and grasslands. As one approaches the magnificent Atlas Mountains in the center of the country, the topography shifts once again to stony deserts punctuated by ancient fortified towns and impressive Kasbahs. Traversing the Atlas range with its timeless valleys and mountain villages, you come finally to the vast expanse of desert that is the Sahara!

Transferring Between Cities
Drives between destinations within Morocco tend to be quite long due to the road infrastructure of this developing country. The speed limits tend do be slow and there are often unannounced construction closures. We make every attempt to arrive at your next destination efficiently and plan appropriate bathroom breaks but please be prepared for long journeys, especially when travelling to the Sahara.

On Faith and Religion
Islam is the predominant religion of Morocco, but fundamentalism is rare and Moroccans are very tolerant of other cultures, faiths and beliefs. In fact, you’ll probably notice that the country is quite secular in its dress and religious attitudes. Judaism prospered in the country for many centuries, and Morocco boasts many beautiful synagogues, some of which are remarkable for their architecture, age and preservation. Many cities including Fez have old Jewish Quarters that are fascinating places to explore. On a historic note, many Moroccan Jews immigrated to Israel in 1948 in response to newspaper ads that appeared throughout Moroccan cities offering land to settlers as Israel embarked on its nation-building campaign following independence. Vibrant Christian communities and churches can also be found in all of Morocco’s major cities.

Money Matters
The Moroccan currency is the Dirham (MAD). The exchange rate is government-controlled and currency can not be taken out of the country; nor is the Dirham available abroad. Exchange rates can vary widely but one US dollar roughly equals about 10 Dirhams.

You can exchange money upon arrival at the airport as well as at most hotels and banks. Please note that these establishments will charge a fee to exchange cash and US bills must be in pristine condition and minted newer than 2013. Bills that are torn, worn or marked will be rejected. Your driver and guide will know where to get the best exchange rate.

You will also find ATMs at banks in the larger cities. We recommend you change money only as you need it. Although you can change your Dirhams back into US dollars before you depart, it is limited to 50% of the entire amount you have exchanged during your stay. You may be required to show your exchange receipts in order to change your Dirhams back into US dollars, so be sure to save them every time you change money.

Mastercard and Visa credit cards are accepted in hotels, in most larger shops, in restaurants, at carpet stores and other locations frequented by international visitors. If you do not see your credit card’s logo on the establishment’s door, then be sure to ask if credit cards are accepted! (AMEX is not as widely accepted in Morocco) At many smaller shops and at the souks, you will need local currency to make your purchase.

We recommend that before you travel you inform both your bank and your credit card company which countries you will be visiting. It is also a good idea to inquire about fees for transactions abroad.

Is the Water Safe to Drink?
We recommend that you do not drink the tap water in Morocco and avoid ice cubes. Bottled water is readily available.

Meal Time!
The opportunity to sample and explore local cuisine in-depth will certainly be among the highlights of your journey. Moroccan dishes are rich with flavors, aromas and colors. The food is inexpensive by world standards and the quality is overall outstanding. Morocco is an agricultural country that produces excellent produce and fruit, including oranges that are exported throughout Europe and which you can sample fresh-squeezed from juice vendors in the street cafes.

Couscous is a traditional Berber dish of semolina that is most often served with a delicious stew of meat and vegetables. Tagine, another Moroccan favorite, is most often made from chicken or lamb. This richly flavored, casserole-type dish is prepared in an earthenware pot with olives and savory herbs including ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and saffron. Nuts and dried fruits are also often used in many tagine recipes. For dessert, you can enjoy cakes and flaky pastries flavored with honey, sesame seeds, almonds and raisins. Mint tea is the traditional after-meal accompaniment.

Morocco’s Famous Souks + Markets
The souks of Morocco, especially in Fez and Marrakech, are world-renowned for one simple reason: the shopping opportunities they present are probably the most exciting you will encounter anywhere in the world! These vast, colorful, timeless and bustling open-air markets offer a dizzying array of goods, from the pedestrian to the exotic, and the souks are roughly divided into areas based upon the products sold. Pottery, textiles, leather goods, wooden ware, rugs and spices are among the items which are locally made and most sought after by international visitors.

Many of these items are crafted on-site in the souks, providing visitors with the chance to observe skilled artisans at work. The dyers markets, where local wool is dyed and prepared for weaving, are especially intriguing and fun to observe; brilliantly colored and suspended to dry, the wool offers amazing photo opportunities.

Keep in mind that bargaining is a time-honored tradition and vendors will expect you to participate. Keep your sense of humor and persevere, and it won’t be unusual if you end up paying one quarter to half of the initial asking price. A wide variety of rugs in all sizes and styles from plush to flat-woven kilims will certainly catch your eye and provide a great opportunity to sharpen your bartering skills.

Enjoy your shopping, but keep a few precautions in mind… We recommend that you avoid items that are presented as antiques or even as ancient artifacts. Often, they’re anything but old! In addition, the export of genuine antiques is strictly controlled so that cultural treasures do not leave the country. Animal skins and items made from bird feathers, bone and horn could come from endangered species and should also be avoided. Buy only from reputable shops and if you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to ask your hotel concierge or our guide for advice. Should you purchase a larger item which the seller agrees to ship, we recommend that you take a picture of the item and make sure you have all the bills as well as the seller’s address and phone number – should the need arise for you to contact the shop upon your return home.

Sahara Desert
If you have booked an itinerary that includes the Sahara, your itinerary includes a unique trek off-the-beaten-track through the “pre-Sahara,” a rarely visited region dotted with small Berber villages that still show vestiges of 18th century culture. You’ll enjoy the sand dunes of Merzouga, the canyons of Todgha, and finish your journey on the Route of 1,000 Casbahs. Surrounded by the golden dunes of Erg Chebbi, La Belle Etoile is an inviting retreat in the heart of the desert. Cozy tented accommodations have a separate private shower and toilet, and are comfortably appointed with Moroccan textiles, simple furnishings, a welcoming bed and the warm glow of lamps.  A delicious meal under a star-filled desert sky and entertainment around a campfire promise an unforgettable night in the Sahara.  Due to the nature of this adventure itinerary, please be prepared for extensive travel each day, sometimes on unpaved roads.  

Time
The local time in Morocco is 6 hours ahead of New York (GMT+1)

Conversing with the Locals
Arabic is the official language of Morocco; French is also widely spoken. Berber is spoken in the rural areas, particularly in the Atlas Mountains and in the South. As a traveler, you’ll find that at least some English is spoken in the souks of major cities, at many restaurants and shops and at all of the hotels where you will be staying.

Practicing your high school French before you travel or carrying a French phrase book may prove helpful during your journey. On the whole, however, you’ll find that the Moroccan people are very warm and friendly and will endeavor to help you with a smile in any way they can. Rarely will you ever feel intimidated by a language barrier.

Ramadan
Ramadan is the holy month during which the Islamic world commemorates the revelation of the Holy Quran and all Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk. In 2019 Ramadan begins at dusk on May 5th and continues for 30 days (it begins at dusk on April 23 in 2020). Eating, drinking and smoking in public areas during daylight hours is strictly prohibited throughout this month. Alcohol is not served during daylight hours, but is available in licensed bars and restaurants after sunset for non-Muslims. All hotels we work with make concessions for visitors and keep a restaurant open during the day that is only available to resident guests. During Ramadan, live entertainment, loud music and dancing are prohibited and conservative dress is expected to be worn in public. Many shops and stores open for a few hours in the morning and then resume business after sunset, staying open until well after midnight. Sunset marks the breaking of the fast when families and friends get together to enjoy their Iftar (“breakfast” in Arabic). Large Iftar tents, where people come together to break the fast with water and dates, are a common sight. Most restaurants both within and outside hotels offer Iftar specials.