Join FAMTrips.travel and DMC Toudgha Voyages for a 10-night diverse and exotic itinerary through Morocco. This itinerary includes the most sought after tourism sites and excursions, as well as four and five star properties throughout the program, including a deluxe tented camp for a night in the Sahara Desert during your stay! Morocco is deeply rooted in history and its branches are widely open to the modern world. It is truly an inspiring destination thanks to its amazing geography, great history and a very diverse population. The country is situated on the extreme northwest corner of North Africa. It is bordered by Mauritania and Algeria both to the south and east, the Mediterranean Sea and Spain in the northern zone and the Atlantic Ocean in the western zone. Well known for its Atlas Mountains, vast Sahara desert and its large valleys and oases, Morocco is one of the rarest countries in which you can experience contrastive, yet very amazing landscapes in one single trip. Join FAMTrips.travel for their first exclusive Morocco fam!
DAY 1 – Casablanca
As you arrive at Casablanca airport, you will be met by your group escort for one of the two group transfers that are included. Based upon your flight arrival time, we can also arrange optional arrival transfers for you. You will be transferred to your first of many 5 Star hotels, the Kenzi Tower. This evening your included dinner is to be hosted at the famous “Rick’s Café restaurant,” designed to recreate the bar made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the classic movie, Casablanca. Developed by Kathy Kriger, a former American diplomat in Morocco, the restaurant is housed in a traditional Moroccan grand mansion with a central courtyard or a Riad, built in 1930. You might get a bit nostalgic as you hear the 1930’s piano play “As Time Goes By” for us! Overnight in Casablanca.
DAY 2 – Casablanca-Rabat-Tangier
After breakfast in the hotel, we will enjoy the city tour of Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco and its largest city. It begins with the visit of Hassan II mosque, the largest mosque in the country and one of the largest mosques in the world. We continue to Ain Diab Corniche for a pleasant stroll along the coast and next stop is Mohammed V Square in the city center. We transfer to Rabat, the capital of Morocco and one of the Imperial Cities. Enjoy the city tour of Rabat with the Kasbah of the Udayas. This kasbah is a fortification constructed on a hill, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Kasbah of the Udayas was constructed during the realm of the Almohads. The city tour continues with Mohammed V Mausoleum. This Mausoleum is home to the tombs of the current king’s father and grandfather. Next to the Mausoleum, we stop at Hassan Tower, which is the towering minaret of the Hassan Mosque. The construction of the site began in 1195. Included is lunch at local favorite Dar Naji – Moroccan Restaurant. The group will transfer to Tangier, the pearl of the north of Morocco and its main gate to Europe. Buffet dinner is also included in the hotel Movenpick Tanger. Overnight in Tangier.
DAY 3 – Tangier-Chefchauoen
After breakfast in the hotel we depart for the city tour of Tangier, stopping first at the old town, locally called “the medina”. Visit the American legation, the first American public property outside the United States. It commemorates the historic cultural and diplomatic relations between the United States and the Kingdom of Morocco.
We also visit Dar El Oued Makhazen Kasbah, the Mendoubia Gardens, and the Grand and Petit Socco. Afterwards we transfer to Cape Spartel, the meeting point of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Cape Spartel was known to the Greeks and Romans as the “Cape of the Vines”. There we visit the Cave of Hercules, which is Africa’s most north-westerly promontory with a strange sea window shaped like a map of Africa. Next we transfer to Chefchauoen, “The Blue City” and one of the most charming towns in Morocco. Lunch is included at the local restaurant Chez Hicham. You will enjoy the city tour of Chefchauoen. Start your tour with the kasbah of Chefchauoen. This kasbah belongs to the early 18th century, and was built by the legendary ruler Moulay Ismail (1645 – 1727. Stop next at Plaza Uta el-Hammam, which is the cobbled main square in town and where the striking 15th centure Gran Mosque sits. We will check in to our Hotel, Riad Hicham (http://riadhicham.com/en/about-us/) and dinner is on your own this evening. In Chefchauoen, you will find a wide choice of restaurants at Place Outa el Hammam, not far from our hotel. Overnight in Chefchauoen at wonderful Riad Hicham which is just steps away from Plaza Uta Hammam, the main square and one of the oldest places in the city. Since our riad is situated near the renowned Casbah and in the heart of “the medina,” it is an ideal point to visit the city.
DAY 4 – Chefchauoen-Volubilis-Meknes-Fes
After breakfast in the hotel, we will transfer to the UNESCO-sponsored Roman ruins in Volubilis, a Berber and Roman city partly excavated by the UNESCO. Volubilis was considered as the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania. The city was developed from the 3rd century BC onward as an Amazigh, then proto-Carthaginian, and from from the 1st century AD onward, the city grew rapidly under the Roman rule. We continue to Meknes, the “Moroccan Versailles” and one of the oldest cities in the kingdom.
Enjoy your included lunch at the local Restaurant Collier de la Colombe in Meknes ( or similar). Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727), a contemporary of Louis XIV, before it was relocated to Marrakesh. We will later stop at the massive Bab El Mansour gate, which is the grandest of all imperial Moroccan gateways. Bab El Mansour gate was completed by Moulay Ismail’s son, Moulay Abdallah, in 1732. We also visit next at Hri Souani, which is a complex of three different buildings built for granaries and stables. This amazing site has been used as a scene for many films, the most famous of which is probably “The Last Temptation of Christ” in 1988 by Martin Scorsese. We arrive to Fes, the spiritual capital of Morocco and enjoy a buffet dinner at our hotel, the Palais Medina & Spa.
Overnight in Fes.
DAY 5 – Fes and City Tour
After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy the guided city tour of Fes as we begin with the entrance to the largest royal palace in Morocco and continue with a panoramic view of the ancient “medina” or old town, as they call it. Enjoy an authentic experience at the traditional ceramic crafts village of Fes after that. Your next stop is Fes El Bali, the ancient town or Medina, which is a medieval part of Fes that has not changed for centuries. Together we enjoy lunch at local Restaurante Nejjarine (or similar.)
Later we will visit the famous Al-Karaouine mosque, built by Fatima Al Fihria in 857. Al-Karaouine mosque became home to the University of Al-Karaouine, which is the first university in the world and the world’s foremost center of learning at the beginning of the second millennium. The university was built by Fatima Al Fihria in 859, and, since then, it has become one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world. In the medina, visit also a Merdersa, which is a Coranic school. Complete the city tour of Fes with the leather Souq and the oldest Leather Tannery in the world. The tannery dates back at least nine centuries. Dinner is on your own this evening and we may suggest an optional dinner at the restaurant Al Fassia where you can enjoy local entertainment, as well. ( More details on that to follow!) Overnight in Fes.
DAY 6 – Fes-Ifrane-Midelt-Erfoud-Merzouga
After breakfast in the hotel, we transfer to the Sahara desert. The journey takes you through the Middle Atlas Mountains, stopping first in Ifrane, a charming town and ski resort. Ifrane is famous for its Alpine climate, European-style houses and its 1665 metres (5,460 ft) in elevation. The town experiences snow during winter months and a cool climate during summer. Ifrane is also the place where the lowest temperature was ever recorded in Africa, -24 °C in 1935. While in Ifrane, expect to find animals like the threatened Barbary Macaque and local tree species such as the native Atlas cedar, Scrub oak and the introduced London plane. We arrive at Midelt where we will stop for lunch at Kasbah Asma. After lunch, we transfer through many Amazigh (Berber) villages and along the Ziz valley to get to Erfoud. And finally we transfer to Merzouga, which is the heart of the desert. This evening we enjoy a sunset camel ride to one of the deluxe tented desert camps located in the dunes of Merzouga.
We will enjoy dinner in this exotic “desert camp” and overnight in Merzouga.
DAY 7 – Merzouga-Tinghir-Dades
After breakfast in the camp, we enjoy a 4×4 Jeep desert tour. We will visit a Gnaoua village, locally called Al Khamlia and meet some nomad families.
Later we drive to Tinghir via Rissani and Tinjdad. Tinghir is a gorgeous 40km oasis, which boasts one of the largest palm groves in the country, stopping at the famous Todra Gorge, a 300m wall, carved deep into the High Atlas Mountains. Thanks to its robust rock sides with many uneven surfaces, Todra Gorge is popular among rock climbers. More than 150 routes rated French Grade 5+ to 8 have been bolted in the canyon. Todra Gorge was featured on the premiere of the United States reality show Expedition Impossible. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Yassmina or similar. Later we leave Tinghir heading to Dades. The drive is spectacular, winding through stunning desert landscapes, villages with the expansive Jebel Sarhro lunar-scape. Dades is known as valley of figs. Dades valley featured prominently in a 2012 advertisement for the Cadillac CTS. We will have buffet dinner in our hotel, Xaluca Dades and overnight in Dades.
DAY 8 – Dades-Ouarzazate-Ait Ben Haddou-Marrakech
After breakfast in the hotel, we transfer to Ouarzazate. The drive is spectacular, with hundreds of Kasbahs lining the route. Stop first at Kelaat M’Gouna, a big town which is famous for cultivating roses. Expect to find many fine, rose-infused products there. Later we arrive at Ouarzazate, also known as “Morocco’s Hollywood”. Visit Taourirt Kasbah, which is considered one of the most beautiful kasbahs in Morocco and next, we visit the film studios where some of the most famous desert landscapes were and are still being shot. We depart Ouarzazate to visit the spectacular fortress of Ait Ben Haddou. The village is a great example of earthen clay architecture that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Ait Ben Haddou is an iconic landscape immortalized in such films as “The Man Who Would Be King (film) (1975)”, “Jesus of Nazareth (1977)”, “The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)”, “Gladiator (2000)”, “Son of God (film) (2014)”, ect. Included also is lunch at local restaurant, Ksar Ighanda or similar.
Then later we transfer to Marrakech crossing the High Atlas Mountains. Dinner will again be offered at our hotel. Overnight in Marrakech at the Atlas Medina & Spa, a luxurious hotel set in the Hivernage Square in Marrakech. Centrally situated, the hotel is in a perfect location for exploring this fascinating city.
DAY 9 – Marrakech City Tour
After breakfast in the hotel we enjoy a guided city tour of Marrakech, “Paris of the Sahara” and Winston Churchill once described it. We stop first at the Koutoubia Mosque, which is an old monument built under the reign of the Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184 to 1199). This monument inspired other buildings such as the Giralda in Seville in Spain and the Hassan Tower in Rabat. Next stop is the Bahia Palace. This Palace was built in the late 19th century and was intended to capture the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan style. Visit Madrasa Ben Youssef after that. This Coranic school is named after the Almoravid Sultan Ali Ibn Yusuf (reigned 1106–1142). Madrasa Ben Youssef is the largest in all of Morocco. We will visit the Saadian tombs, which is a site that dates back to the time of the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603). The tombs were discovered in 1917 and were restored by the Beaux-arts service. Lunch is included for our group at a local restaurant and we continue the tour with the world famous Jema El Fna Square where you will enjoy amazing performance of traditional activities by storytellers, snake charmers, peddlers of traditional medicines. Your last stop is the bustling souks in the old medina. Dinner is on your own this evening and you might find yourself in one of so many amazing dining establishments in the old town “medina” area. Getting a bit lost in Marrakech could help you discover the dynamic food scene that North Africa’s “Red City” has created! In fact, you might want to go with some of your new friends to experience a unique dinner spot called the Budha Bar Marrakech! Our hotel, The Atlas Medina & Spa also features the “Daniel Jouvance” which is a luxury wellness center. You may want to opt to relax, enjoy a spa treatment, and enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the hotel’s two fabulous swimming pools before heading back to Casablanca tomorrow!
DAY 10 – Marrakech- Casablanca
After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy most of the day at leisure in Marrakech while exploring this fascinating city.
In the afternoon we transfer to Casablanca. Tonight you may just choose to dine in the hotel Kenzi Tower, on your own, as you prepare for your departure back to the US or you might have to make one last stop at “Rick’s Café” to reminisce and hear them play that favorite tune one more time, “As Time Goes By.”
Overnight in Casablanca.
DAY 11 – Depart Casablanca
Breakfast in the hotel.
Transfer to Casablanca airport for your departure flight.
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