Day 1: Arrival at the airport of Marrakech – Marrakech at leisure
At the terminal keep your eyes open for the Best Travel sign, as we pick you up from the airport and take you to our hotel. Optional dinner together is available to get to know your travel mates better. (HB)
Day 2: Marrakesh sightseeing
After a morning at leisure, experience the hustle and bustle of Marrakech on a half day walking city tour. Visit the dramatic Almohades Koutoubia Minaret and admire the 14th-century Ben Youssef Medersa. Explore the colourful and aromatic souks of Marrakech, winding through the maze of narrow alleyways. The tour finishes in the famous UNESCO recognized Djemâa el Fna Square, where you can discover mysterious bazaars that sell hand-made rugs, spices and souvenirs. Keep a look out for snake charmers, musicians and fortune-tellers as you wonder through the crowds. Later, enjoy optional authentic Moroccan cuisine with a dinner and Live Show! Be entertained by the African folklore dancers, the tray dance and of course the exotic belly dance and savour a selection of Moroccan salads, tagine and couscous. Overnight in Marrakech (BB)
Day 3: Marrakesh – Tizi n’Tichka – hight Atlas mounts – Ait Benhaddou – Ouarzazate
After breakfast we depart for Quarzazate through the Atlas mountains, offering beautiful mountainous landscapes and many small villages along the way, on the way we’ll visit Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the background to many famous movies including Gladiator this kasbah is a must see.Then we’ll continue to the Moroccon Holywood, Ouarzazate for optional visit of cinema studios, Taourirt Kasbah, and the cinematographic museum. Overnight in Ouarzazate. (HB)
Day 4: Ouarzazate – Skoura – Roses valley – Boutaghrar – Dades valley
Morning departure from the bustling city of the South. to the Toudra Gorge, passing the Oasis of Skoura, where numerous ancient kasbahs, some sadly in ruins, stand amongst the palm trees. From here, our route takes us through Kela’a M’gouna, the Valley of Roses, we stop to see cosmetic articles locally-made from the valley’s abundant roses. These products are well-known throughout Morocco and are highly valued. We drive off-road to along the Boutghrar piste to visit Berber nomads in their caves and partake in a glass of tea with them the, after which there is time for a stroll alongside the river before continuing to the Todra Gorge for the third night. Overnight in Dades valley (HB)
Day 5: Dades Valley – Todra gorges – Rissani – Ziz Oases – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi dunes
Drive through the Road of A Thousand Kasbahs, passing the village of Tinghir. Arrive at the Todra Gorge, we offer an optional 1-2 hour trek through the villages of this charming area, passing fields cultivated by the Berber women, with the peaks of the High Atlas as a fitting backdrop. Back on the desert road, journey to Merzouga, via Erfoud and Rissani. Arriving before sunset, set off by camel into the Erg Chebbi Dunes for an unforgettable night in a Berber tent. Enjoy dinner under a sky full of stars, accompanied by the rhythm of drums and songs of the Berbers and original Touaregs of southern Morocco. (HB)
Day 6: Merzouga Culture and traditions – Tea with Nomads!
Today we visit Khamlia, a small village in the Sahara where Gnawa music originated. Close by is Dayet Srji salt lake. Dayet Srji is a bird lover’s paradise and at different times of the year is a resting point for many migrating birds including flamingos. This afternoon we pack our camels to head to our Berer tent under the stars. We time our departure so we can see the sunset in its full glory and continue on to our berber camp in the desert. An evening of music and sumptuous dinner will be a wonderful end to the day. (HB)
Day 7: Merzouga – Erfoud – Ziz Oases – Midelt – Azrou – Ifran – Fes
After breakfast, we will drive retracing your steps through Erfoud to the dramatic Ziz Gorge, a spectacular gash in the hills that surround Ziz oases, the largest oases in Morocco. The region is dotted with deserted kasbahs, palm trees and mud-brick villages creating a photographer’s paradise. Lunch in Midelt, approached through a bleak plain of scrub and desert. The dramatic peaks of the High Atlas, rising behind the town, provide a spectacular background. The wilderness you cross is incredibly diverse and can vary from rocky, sun-baked plains, to cedar-clad mountains and deep canyons providing spectacular views as you head across the scenery changes around you. In the hills south of Azrou you may be lucky to spot a troupe of Barbary Apes; in fact not a true ape but a species of Macaque monkey. We head on to Ifran, the Switzerland of Morocco.. Having crossed the plains you come to the evocative city of Fes, the cultural capital, is one of the most complete medieval Islamic cities in the world. Our guide will make sure you reach your Riad. (BB)
Day 8: Fes Guided Sightseeing Tour
After a breakfast your day will begin at the Merenid Tombs of Fès, next, stop at the Musée des Armes, a fortress that once protected Fes. Today it is possible to see a display of 8,000 pieces of artillery from Makina, the arsenal built by Moulay Hassan. We enter the Fes -el Bali, best characterized as a sea of rooftops embellished with minarets and domes, is too narrow for cars. Aside from walking, donkeys and mules are still an option transport to travel within the cities old walls. Make your way to the Karaouiyine Mosque, one of the oldest in the world and functioned as the first university in Morocco. After your visit, continue along the streets which will lead you to some of Fes’ most important buildings including Dar el- Magana, a fourteenth century water clock and Zaouia el Tijaniya. We will also stop to visit the Ech Cherabliyine Mosque (Mosque of the Slipper makers) then browse the souks selling henna, slippers, caftans, silks, jewelry and spices. Into the UNESCO recognized site, Fondouk el- Najjarine. Within the foundouk’s three floors is the Musée de Bois, which displays carved doors from the Bou Inania Medersa. Stop for lunch within the medina at one of the fine Moroccan palace-restaurants that serves an extravaganza of mezas (small plates of food) common among Fassis tradition. After lunch you will visit the Musée Dar el- Batha to view the great collection of pottery, leather-work, wood, books and manuscripts from the nineteenth century. Then enter Bab el Ftouh, the “Gateway of the Aperture” to explore the Andalusian quarter, a residential part of the medina laced with monuments. Our last part of the tour will take you into the Fès el Jedid, a kasbah which functioned as Morocco’s administrative center until 1912. Explore the royal palace and many interesting quarters including the Moulay Abdalllah Quarter, the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) and a little farther down south lies Ville Nouvelle (The New Quarter). (BB)
Day 9: Fes – Volubilis – Moulay Idriss – Meknes – Rabat
After a traditional Moroccan breakfast, we leave Fes to explore the breathtaking archaeological site of Volubilis (Walili), an open air museum with remains of altars, sculptural fragments and colorful mosaics. Once occupied by the Romans, Volubilis has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site and gained international acclaim when Martin Scorsese made it a feature location for his film, The Last Temptation of Christ. The driver will take you briefly through the city of Moulay Idriss. We continue to Rabat with a stop at Meknes or “the Moroccan Versailles”, which was founded at the end of the 17th century by Moulay Ismail. Highlights will include Bab Mansour, the triumphal arch standing at eight meter long arch, the intricately patterned triumphal arch is argued to be the most beautiful in Morocco. Pass under the arches framed by protruding towers and enter Place El-Hedime (Square of Ruins). Then visite the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. Featuring a suite of three rooms, twelve columns and a sanctuary hosting the sultan, the tombs are reminiscent of the Saadian Tombs in Marrakesh. Next, drive to see Koubba el-Khayatine and Habs Qara, an imperial pavilion that once received diplomats who came to negotiate the ransom of Christian prisoners. Behind the pavilion is Habs Qara, a former Christian prison. Continue on to see Dar el Makhzen, the “Palace of Labyrinths” and then to Bassin de l’Aguedal, a water tank built to supply water to the palace and imperial city. Departure to Rabat. Overnight in a Rabat. (BB)
Day 10: Rabat – Casablanca – Marrakech
After breakfast before leaving, you will whisked deeply into the history of Rabat, the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco. Your guide will escort you on a walk around the picturesque Almohad northern walls of the Oudaïa Kasbah, then continue to the Hassan tower, which stands on the hill overlooking the Wadi Bou Regreg. It is a gigantic mosque, emblematic of Rabat and famous for its unfinished minaret where storks nest. Next door, visit the beautiful Mausoleum of Mohammed V decorated with stained glass windows, white marble and a wrought-iron entryway with a stairway leading to an impressive dome. We leave to Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco. Prior to returning to Marrakesh, we will visit the exterior of the Hassan II Great Mosque, one of the Islamic world’s greatest monuments. Overnight in a riad in Marrakech. (BB)
NB: Instead, you can end in Casablanca airport if you don’t want to head back to Marrakech.
Day 11: Marrakech at leisure – Transfer to the airport
Today we will try to benefit our time as much as we can, wander around Marrakech souks to get some souvenirs for friends…, then transfer to the Marrakech Menara airport in for your departure flight. (BB)
• Transportation / Fuel / Driver : 11 days Air-conditioned 4WD vehicle(s), mini bus or motorcoach.
• Guidance: Services of a qualified fluent multi-language guide.
• Comprehensive sightseeing including guidance.
• 9 nights Accommodation in well recommended hotels / Kasbahs / Riads.
• One night in a Traditional Berber Tents (HB).
• Camel Ride (Camel per each individual)
• Breakfast and dinner daily
• Sand boarding (Free & Optional)
• Traditional Music live show
• Drinks and personal items
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