Palaces, Kasbahs and Nomads - a Taste of Moroccan Daily Life.
This special tour lets you feel the magic of Morocco. It starts in Marrakech, the Ochre City and ends in Casablanca, the cosmopolitan and modern city. You will explore the 4 imperial cities, travel through history in Ait Ben Haddaou and join the caravan in Merzouga. You will explore one of the most diverse countries in Africa, meet local people, cook a Moroccan dish in a beautiful former Riad in the Medina of Fes with a renowned local chef, share a meal with a Moroccan family, ride your camel in the dunes, and dance with nomads. Your tour also includes a night in the desert in a traditional Berber camp. Come and explore all Morocco has to offer on this journey through a beautiful and unique Country.
Day 1: September 2: Arrive - MARRAKECH. Upon arrival at the Marrakech Menara airport (RAK), you will be met and transferred to your riad. Time permitting, take a panoramic walking tour of Marrakech, including the famed, lively Jmaa Lfma Square. Dar Justo Hotel 4* Welcome dinner tonight to meet your fellow travelers and guide for the week. (D)
Day 2: September 3: MARRAKECH - Today you will explore Marrakech (the Ochre City). Tour the Majorelle Garden, and see the beautiful villa of the French painter Majorelle, owned by Yves St Laurent. Head to the Koutoubia Mosque, the city landmark, before continuing to the Medina to see other jewels of the city: Bahia Palace and Marrakech Museum, two beautiful palaces which represent the Age of Gold of the city and the power of the Moroccan empires (Almohades and Almoravides). A tour of “Le Musée de la Photographie” will reveal a different aspect of the Moroccan melting pot through artworks. Continue to Jemaa Lfna Square (classified by UNESCO as a Human Heritage site). This open air theater gathers different every- day artists: magicians, story tellers, snake charmers, dancers and folkloric music groups. Local Moroccan dinner tonight (B, L, D)
Day 4: September 4: MARRAKECH – AIT BEN HADDOU– BOUMALNE - Breakfast at your riad and then a drive to the desert. Cross the High Atlas Mountains via Tichka Pass, the highest pass in North Africa. Arrive at Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah, a conglomeration of Kasbahs which is another Moroccan Human Heritage site (UNESCO). The location has been used for many film scenes - Star Wars and the first episode of Game of Thrones. After lunch, continue to Ouarzazate to visit Kasbah Taourirt before heading to Boumalne, passing through Skoura palm grove and Kelaa Megouna village. This road, called the 1000 Kasbahs Road, follows the beautiful Dades river through the Valley of Roses. Dinner and overnight in a beautiful Kasbah overlooking the valley in Boumalne. Kasbah Tizzarouine (B, L, D)
Day 5: September 5: BOUMALNE-TODGHA-ERFOUD - After breakfast, enjoy the beauty of the scenery in Dades Valley before driving to Todgha Gorges. Visit the rock cathedral before lunch. Visit the khettaras in Jorf before continuing to Erfoud in the oasis of southern Morocco. Kasbah Chergui 4* hotel (Kasbah Style) (B, L, D)
Day 6: September 6: ERFOUD – RISSANI – MERZOUGA - Departure to explore Rissani, a capital of several dynasties during the Middle Ages. Known as the cradle of the Alaouite dynasty, it houses the Mausoleum of Mly Ali Chérif, the founder of this dynasty, and a ksar nearby. We will continue to Kasr Al Fida and later on, will arrive at the Merzouga dunes. A 4WD Safari will take you to the majestic dunes of Erg Chebbi to visit some desert nomads. Arrival at our tented desert camp and then enjoy a Camel ride through the dunes. Enjoy a special dinner in the camp, followed by a Gnawa Khamlia performance and dance. Deluxe Berber Camp for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 7: September 7: MERZOUGA – MIDELT – FEZ - Admire the beauty of the sunrise after a camel ride to the sand dunes for the best view of this most breathtaking sunrise in the middle of the desert. Enjoy breakfast at the camp before we drive on the Sultan Road to Fez, the spiritual city of Morocco. See the beautiful palm grove of Ziz en route, and stop in Midelt for lunch. Overnight in your riad in Fez. the riad Dar Bensouda (B, L, D)
Day 8: September 8: FEZ - Cooking Class - Your Morocco tour package includes a special treat, a traditional cooking workshop in Fez, considered the capital of Morocco's fine and delicate cuisine. Begin with a grocery trip to the local souk, where you will buy fresh ingredients and spices. The cooking lesson takes place at a Riad, a traditional Moroccan home, which has been restored to a beautiful guest house. You will learn from a renowned chef who has been at the helm of the kitchens of some of Fez' best restaurants. We will enjoy our lunch after the workshop we just prepared. In the afternoon, explore the spiritual city with your guide, including a visit to Al Quaraouyine, the oldest university in the world. Your Moroccan tour package will also include the modern city of Fez, including a drive on Hassan Second Boulevard and a visit to a pottery factory. There is something very unique about seeing firsthand how the beautiful pottery is made. This time honored tradition of painting by hand is truly a site not to be missed. Transfer to a local house for a special dinner with a local family. You will have the opportunity to meet with your hosts and discuss Moroccan daily life. Return to your riad for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 8: September 9: FEZ- MEKNES – MLY IDRISS – VOLUBILIS – RABAT - Depart Fez for the imperial city, Meknes, pausing en route to visit the Roman ruins at Volubilis in Meknes, visit the Mansour Gate, the Granaries, and Souani basin. After lunch, drive on to Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. A panoramic tour will take you to Hassan Tour and Mausoleum, the Oudayas Garden and Kasbah, the parliament and Mohamed V Boulevard. We will dine at an outside restaurant for a special farewell dinner. Soundouss hote (B, L, D)
Day 10: September 10: Departure Day - Drive to the Casablanca airport (CMN) for your flight home. Flights need to be booked after 1:00 PM (B)
Cost: $2100.00 based on Double Occupancy. (Roommates can be provided)
Single Supplement $465.00
SAVE 3% on tour cost if you pay full amount via check or ACH transfer
Booking/final payment deadline is 60 days prior to departure.
8 nights’ hotel with taxes
7 lunches including 1cooking class
8 Dinners including one Home Hosted dinner
Entrance fees to all sites visited as per itinerary
Local Tour Guide and driver
Private transfers to all included sites and cities visited
1 bottle of water per day per person during transfers
Camel Ride in the desert
4WD Safari in the desert
Arrival and departure airport transfers
Airfare - Arrival into (RAK) Departure from (CMN)
Meals not listed in itinerary
Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks with meals
Room charges such as calls, mini bar, laundry, room service.
All personal expenses
Gratuities for driver and guide
Optional Pre nights in Marrakech
Entry Requirements: Visitors from the US, Canada and UK need a valid passport, Visas are not required for Americans or Canadians visiting for less than 3 months. If you are a citizen of another E.U. country, you do not need a passport, only an identity card. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date you intend to leave the European Union. Make sure you check your passport expiry date at least 2 months prior to travel. Before traveling abroad it's a good idea to make two photocopies of your passport, driver's license and credit cards. Leave one copy at home with a friend or family member and another bring with you.
Time Zone: Morocco is on Greenwich Mean Time year-round, which is 4 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the U.S. During daylight saving time Morocco is 5 hours ahead of EST.
Weather: The weather varies by area and can range from the low 90's to the low 80's for day and low 60's for the evenings.
Currency: The national currency is the Dirham (DH, Dh, or MAD). Dirhams cannot be exchanged or purchased outside of Morocco. Keep in mind that most banks impose a fee every time a card is used at another bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions ($3 - $5) so try and withdraw as few times as possible. Credit cards are accepted by most shops and restaurants however check with your credit card company regarding foreign exchange fees. You will also have a better chance making deals at local shops if paying with cash.
Electricity: Electricity is generally reliable and available throughout Morocco, barring obvious places such as the top of Jebel Toubkal or in the dunes of central Morocco. Moroccan power points accept the European two-pin plug only, and run on a 220V/55Hz current.
Taxes/VAT: The main indirect tax in Morocco is a value-added tax (VAT), the standard rate is 20% with rates of between 7% and 14% included in the cost of basic goods and services, including those offered in all restaurants and hotels. A recently introduced Tourist Promotion Tax (TPT) is added onto the cost of your accommodations.
Health: The one health issue that could arise is traveler's diarrhea, sometimes called "Morocco belly." Increasing your daily intake of water is the most effective way to keep Morocco belly at bay. Bottled water is readily available and recommended. Traveler's diarrhea can be a result of dehydration. No vaccinations are required to enter Morocco, but as with all exotic destinations, it's always wise to be up-to-date with your tetanus, hepatitis and typhoid vaccines.
Activity Level: This trip has a fairly limited activity level however at each stop we will be walking quite a bit. To be able to fully enjoy the tour and participate in scheduled activities, you need to be able to walk, at a leisurely pace, up to 3 or 4 or so miles on some days. You should be able to stand unassisted for up to 30 minutes at times during the tours. You will need be able to keep up with the group without any assistance. At times you will need manage your own luggage. This trip is pretty easy for the average person however if you can't or choose not to participate in certain activities this is at your own discretion. However it cannot affect the groups participation nor can any tours or activities or refunds be offered or changed due to an individual not being able or not wanting to participate.
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