Focused on the four Imperial capitals, this is a fascinating tour of Morocco’s history, mysteries, and monuments, from mesmerising Marrakech to fountains in fabulous Fez, ravishing Rabat, the current capital, and medieval Meknes, least known and less visited
Marrakech - 2 nights
Rabat - 1 night
Fez - 2 nights
Casablanca - 1 night
Marrakech - 1 night
Homing in on Morocco’s highlights, this tour includes visits to five UNESCO World Heritage sites. The first is the medieval medina of Marrakech, in its heyday the capital of an empire from Spain to Senegal, with eighteen souks, and 3,000 alleyways leading who-knows-where. From here we travel to Rabat, spreading from the banks of the Bou Regreg River to the Atlantic shore, its Kasbah a capsule of calm, its UNESCO listing covering both the Modern Capital and Heritage City. The Archaeological Site of Roman Volubilis is recognised as one of the richest sites of the period in North Africa, with evidence of several civilisations over the thousand years that the city was occupied; and we visit nearby Moulay Idriss, not yet listed but under consideration by UNESCO for its spiritual character and religious architecture. Our fourth site is the Medina of Fez, filled with 14th and 15th-century fountains, mosques and palaces, its labyrinthine lanes opening onto lovely squares; and the last on the list is uncrowded Meknes, where the magnificent Bab el Mansour gate leads into the walled medina, a blend of Islamic and Maghreb styles. The tour concludes in Casablanca, intriguing, if not as romantic as the Bogart/Bergman film suggests.
Jules Verne Sightseeing
5 UNESCO Heritage Sites
6 Lunches Included
Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport to Marrakech. Founded in the 11th century, with its fortunes made on trade in gold and ivory, the walled city lists twenty gates and 200 towers in its red ramparts. Transfer to the 4-star Le Meridien for a two-night stay.
Day 2 Experience this dizzying city, where souks are awash with spices, jewellery, and carpets; and mystics and Berber dancers draw the crowds to Djemaa el-Fna square. Our full day tour takes you to the Koutoubia Minaret, guarding Marrakech as it has done since the 12th century, soaring 77-metres high, and visible for miles around; see the serene side of the city with a visit to the two-acre botanical garden, Jardin Majorelle; and visit the beautiful, blue and white Bahia (‘Brilliance’) Palace; and the Dar Si Said Museum of Moroccan Arts, housed in a 19th-century medina mansion. (B, L)
Day 3 Travel to Imperial Rabat for a city tour which includes the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V and his two sons, just opposite the iconic, unmissable 12th-century Hassan Tower; the remains of Roman Sala Colonia, a medieval Muslim necropolis on the site of ancient ruins; and the Oudaya Kasbah, a ‘must do’ haven of tranquillity, with an Andalucian garden, flower-filled alleys, and ocean views. Overnight at the central 4-star Le Diwan Rabat-MGallery Hotel (or similar). (B, L)
Day 4 Visit the remarkable ruins of the 3rd-century BC Roman city of Volubilis; continue to the peaceful town of Moulay Idriss, a Muslim place of pilgrimage, cloaking two hills with whitewashed houses and a step-back-in-time tempo; and travel (3hrs) to Fez, its thousand years of history and enthralling architecture cementing the city’s reputation as Morocco’s cultural capital. Two nights at the 4-star Atlas Volubilis Hotel. (B, L)
Day 5 On a full day in Fez, tour the city ramparts, and visit the 14th-century Bou Inania Medersa and museum, where exhibits include fine ceramics and illuminated manuscripts. After lunch in the Fes el-Bali medina, explore its maze of souks, the largest in the world, bombarding the senses with the scents and colours of spicy food and local craft works; and view the Neijarin Fountain and the magnificently mosaicked ‘Attarine Medersa’ medieval Koranic school. (B, L)
Day 6 Drive to Moorish-style Meknes, with secret courtyards and ornate riads filling its atmospheric medina. In this less famous of the four imperial cities, tour the ruins of the huge Heri es Souani, the historic stables and granaries. Continue to Casablanca, Morocco’s largest and most liberal metropolis. Overnight at the 4-star Transatlantique Hotel. (B, L)
Day 7 A tour of the city includes a visit to the opulent Hassan II Mosque. The second largest in Africa and the 7th largest in the world, its intricately inlayed marble flooring, gilded cedar ceilings, exquisite mosaic tiling, and hand-carved wood and stonework create a masterpiece of Moroccan craftsmanship. Return to Marrakech and Le Meridien Hotel for overnight stay. (B, L)
Day 8 Transfer to Marrakech airport for your return flight. (B)
Exploring the medinas can be hectic and includes a couple of hours walking.
A 4-star hotel nestled in five and a half hectares of lush parkland, just minutes from the vibrant city center. Restaurant, bar, pool, gym, spa and WiFi (free). 277 air-conditioned rooms with safe, hairdryer, satellite TV and mini-bar.
A 4-star Hotel located next to the Palais Royal in Rabat city centre. Restaurant, bar, spa and WiFi (free). 94 air-conditioned rooms with safe, hairdryer, TV, mini-bar and tea/coffee making facilities.
A well located 4-star hotel on the most beautiful avenue of the city. Restaurants, bar, pool, spa with hammam and massage room. 126 air-conditioned rooms with WiFi (free), private facilities and hairdryer.
Set in the north of Meknes, the Transatlantique offers views of the Medina. Restaurant, bar, pool and WiFi (free). 80 air-conditioned rooms with safe, hairdryer and balcony.
per person in a twin/double room
Easyjet for Gatwick
per person in a twin/double room
Easyjet for Gatwick
Supplements per person
Single supplement £250
British Airways from Gatwick - On request
British Airways Club Europe - On request
Arrival or departure transfer add £15
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 7 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 6 lunches, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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