Validity: February to December 2017
In the red city of Marrakesh, step back in time as you wander through the Jemaa-el-Fna, a square and exotic bizarre offering some of the greatest open-air entertainment. Listen to the storytellers—an integral part of the culture—and browse for handicrafts. It’s not hard to imagine what it was like in the past, a time when caravans loaded their camels with food and goods to sell at the markets. In Fez, take an optional tour to see the ancient medina. Founded in the 9th century, it is one of the largest medieval cities in the world and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll through its souks (markets) and alleys, which are virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages.
Arrive in Casablanca, Morocco.
Check into your hotel. Later, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Casablanca – Rabat – Meknes – Fez
A short ride along the coast to Rabat, once a lair of the corsairs and now the country’s capital. Sightseeing includes the Royal Palace, Hassan Tower, and the Kasbah of Oudayas. You are reminded of the time when Morocco was the Roman province of Mauretania as you visit the fine ROMAN RELICS OF CHELLAH and its GARDENS. Continue to Meknes—during your guided tour, see its monumental gates, mosque, palace, and miles of protective walls. Visit its ROYAL STABLES, originally built to house 12.000 of the royal horses. Travel east towards Fez, Morocco’s most enchanting city.
At leisure in ancient Fez, which occupies a position of outstanding scenic beauty. Visit the exotic ancient Medina on the optional sightseeing tour, a maze of narrow, bustling streets and alleys that are home to colorful souks.
Fez – Ifrane – Erfoud.
Travel today into the very heart of Morocco. Stop in the quiet, French-built alpine mountain resort of Ifrane. Verdant cedar forests give way to volcanic mountains and wind-swept plains as you motor across the Middle Atlas range. Pass fortified mud-and-straw villages and descend into the spectacular ZIZ GORGES. Afterwards, the landscape becomes progressively more arid and you enter a stony desert. Approaching Erfoud, an unexpected and breathtaking surprise: the peaceful oasis of the Ziz Valley.
The best choice today is an included excursion to Rissani to see the MAUSOLEUM OF MOULAY ALI SHARIF, the first ruler of the Alaouite Dynasty. This evening, enjoy an optional excursion in the desert.
Erfoud – The Road of a Thousand Kasbahs – Ouarzazate.
Enjoy the drive through the eastern slopes of the Atlas Mountains and arrive at the Tinerhir oasis with its green valley of palms and local villages. On to the impressive Todra Gorge, then along the Dades Valley to the film capital of Morocco, Ouarzazate.
Ouarzazate – Aït Benhaddou – Tizi – n - Tichka Pass – Marrakesh.
Enjoy an orientation drive this morning in Ouarzazate, famous for its film studios, and a visit of the KASBAH DE TAOURIRT. Next, to AÏT BENHADDOU, a kasbah famous as a film location for Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. Pass through picturesque villages surrounded by craggy mountains towards 7,414-foot-high Tizi-n-Tichka Pass in the heart of the High Atlas Mountains. Each new twist in the road leads to a different, more dramatic landscape. Leaving the pass behind, the landscape gradually changes to a tapestry of red ochre. Enter the gates of the red-colored imperial city of Marrakesh, justly reputed the most fascinating of all Moroccan cities. An optional evening excursion is a fitting way to end the day.
The included city sightseeing with a Local Guide starts with an orientation drive followed by a walk through the ancient quarters to the fascinating JEMAA-EL-FNA SQUARE and its exotic bazaar, BAHIA PALACE, and SAADIAN TOMBS. You’ll really feel as if you’ve stopped the march of time.
Marrakesh – Casablanca.
Leave Morocco’s magical city of Marrakesh for the journey back to Casablanca. In the afternoon, see the sights in the company of a Local Guide
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.