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Mesmerizing Morocco


  • Casablanca, Morocco
  • Rabat
  • Marakech

One of Goway’s “hot” new group destinations, Morocco is a country like no other. Home of the legendary “Rick’s Café” from the movie Casablanca, Morocco is a land of kaleidoscopic contrasts that will surprise and enthrall us with its ever-changing landscapes, mysterious souks and medinas and the fascinating mix of Islamic and French influences. Our suggested in-depth cultural tour of Morocco will immerse us into the day to day rhythms of life including delving into its Islamic traditions, culinary delights and handicraft making. There are few places in the world that can better the memorable and varied tourist attractions of this vast and unspoiled land. The magnificent Sahara Desert, the rugged Atlas Mountains and the glorious beaches combined with sophisticated accommodation and the vibrant mix of cultures, should compel the group traveler to put Morocco at the top of their “must see” group destination list.


 

Day 1

Arrive in Casablanca

Welcome to glorious Morocco! We will be met and transferred to our hotel for a free afternoon. This evening, we depart our hotel for our welcome dinner at Rick’s Café. 

Casablanca, or Casa as the locals call it, is the largest and most populated city in Morocco. It is also the busiest port, and its economic and industrial capital, accounting for more than half of the country’s industrial output. The atmosphere is more cosmopolitan than in other parts of the country, with Western dress and fashions predominating. With Art Deco architecture dating back to the French protectorate, this beautiful city features several historical monuments, including the second largest mosque after Mecca. 

Overnight: Novotel Casablanca City Center (1 night) 

Meal Plan Dinner
Day 2

Morning sightseeing tour in Casablanca

Afternoon travel overland to Rabat, 98 KM, 1 hour
Visit the Chellah on arrival in Rabat  

Casablanca’s Art Deco buildings are some of the best preserved in the country. The unusual blend of Parisian Art Deco with local Moroccan craftsmanship serves as a visual reminder of the Protectorate era. 

After a leisure breakfast, we start our half day city tour at Hassan II Mosque, the second largest mosque in the world accommodating up to 25,000 people inside and 80,000 more outside. Designed by French architect Michel Pinseau, the mosque took 6 years and more than 6,000 craftsmen to build and is one of the world’s most high-tech, with heated flooring, a retractable roof, and a section of clear-glass flooring – for worshippers to see God’s water below. From here, we explore some of the Casablanca’s Art Deco buildings before traveling north along the coastline to Rabat, the capital of the kingdom.  After lunch (on own account) we explore the pleasant and tranquil Chellah, both a Roman ruin and Islamic burial place atop the ancient Roman town of Sala Colonia. Tonight we enjoy a special local flavour dinner at a local restaurant: Le Dhow. 

Capital of the nation since 1912, Rabat is considered Morocco's most conservative city. The nation's capital displays a civilized orderliness more akin to Europe, with its citizens quietly going about their business, void of the frantic pace experienced in many other African and Arabic capitals. Rabat has been the nation's capital since the beginning of the protectorate era in 1912, the French preferring its coastal, defendable location to the then-nationalistic capital of Fes. Prior to this, the city's fortunes ebbed and flowed with that of the Oued Bou Regreg ("Father of Reflection" river), which separates Rabat from its historical sister city and now southern suburb, Salé.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Mercure Sheherazade

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    Mercure Sheherazade



    The Mercure Sheherazade Rabat is Located in the city center, in the residential of Hassan. To 5 min of the principal historic monuments and districts businesses, with 15 min of the Royal golf course and airport. The hotel features comfortable and functional accommodations. The 77 ...

    The Mercure Sheherazade Rabat is Located in the city center, in the residential of Hassan. To 5 min of the principal historic monuments and districts businesses, with 15 min of the Royal golf course and airport. The hotel features comfortable and functional accommodations. The 77 guestrooms are stylish and modern.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Currency Exchange
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Parking
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

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Day 3

Rabat - Fez

Just east of Rabat stands the white marble Hassan Tower and Mausoleum of Mohammed V and Hassan II, one of the greatest monuments of modern Morocco designed by a Vietnamese architect and built between 1962 and 1966. After a brief visit here, we proceed east to Kasbah des Oudaya, a fortified medieval city featuring narrow streets, blue and white houses, and walls with hanging flowers. The history of the Kasbah is the early history of Rabat. Built on high ground over the mouth of the Bou Regreg River and the Atlantic, it occupied the oldest part of the city, the site of the original ribat commands magnificent views over the river and ocean from its cliff-top perch. After exploring the tranquil alleys and whitewashed houses, we travel to Fez, check in to our hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

As one of the best preserved medieval Islamic cities in the world and the oldest of Morocco’s four imperial cities, Fez is mysterious, mesmerizing and sometimes overwhelming. It is the Arab capital of Morocco and an ancient center of learning, culture, and craftsmanship. Within the walls of its medina lies the world’s largest intact medieval city. More than 9,500 narrow streets and dim alleyways wind endlessly up and down, around and around crammed with an active population of 100,000, music, noise and smells. 

Our accommodation for the next 3 nights is in one of Morocco’s historic Riads (mansion) with all the luxurious ambience and décor of a bygone era. Riad Fes is renowned for its luxury, impeccable service and fine restaurant. Its new Andalous pavilion and lounge have brought an even more vibrant edge to Fez’s most stylish Riad. 

 

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Riad Fes

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  • Riad Fes



    Riad Fes is renowned for its luxury, impeccable service and fine restaurant. Restored to its original glory, Riad Fes - Relais and Chateaux is located in the heart of the ancient city of Fez. It has succeeded in combining refinement with inspiration and invites you ...

    Riad Fes is renowned for its luxury, impeccable service and fine restaurant.

    Restored to its original glory, Riad Fes - Relais and Chateaux is located in the heart of the ancient city of Fez. It has succeeded in combining refinement with inspiration and invites you to relax and enjoy your stay in a serene atmosphere with decor reminiscent of Arabian Nights. Riad Fes provides guests with the opportunity to travel back in time and enjoy the splendour and authenticity of the lifestyle of Fassi nobility. The prestigious history and refined civilization of this Imperial city is reflected in the Spanish Moorish architecture and attention to detail seen in the decor.

    With spectacular views of the Medina and the Atlas Mountains, Riad Fes - Relais and Chateaux is ideal for those travelling for business or pleasure.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Lounge(s)
    • Massage Treatments
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Spa

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Day 4

Old and New Fez

The most ancient of the Imperial capitals and the most complete medieval city of the Arab world, FES stimulates all the senses: a barrage of haunting and beautiful sounds, infinite visual details and unfiltered odours. It has the French-built Ville Nouvelle of other Moroccan cities – familiar and modern in looks and urban life – but a quarter or so of Fes's 800,000 inhabitants continue to live in the extraordinary Medina-city of Fes el Bali, which owes little to the West besides electricity and tourists.  

When Fez was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980, the organization’s Director General described the city as a “single example of what men, moved by the same faith and the same ideal, and coming together from different horizons, have been able to achieve.”  

To start our full day walking tour of Fez, we set out to a hill for a panoramic view of the city. Next we head to Fez el-Bali (Old Fez) and visit Kairaouine Mosque and University, one of the world’s largest mosques and possibly oldest university. Afterwards we head to Chaouwara Tanneries, one of the city’s most iconic sights (and smells). From here we proceed to New Fez and explore the Mellah, the former Jewish quarter and have a view of the Royal Palace. Our last stop is at a pottery workshop, where we learn about the famous Moroccan pottery. We travel back to our hotel at the end of the tour.  

 

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Day Excursion to Meknes & Volubilis

We depart with our guide for a full day excursion by coach to Meknes and Volubilis. 

Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Volubilis was the capital of the Roman province of Mauritania and is well known for its best preserved archaeological site in Morocco. The Roman ruins provide a rare connection to the sensibilities of the Roman colonists who lived here 2,000 years ago.

After exploring the Roman ruins in Volubilis, we travel to Meknes, one of Morocco's most authentic and fascinating cities, outstanding for its imposing walls, architectural Royal Granaries, symmetrical Bab Mansour, and spectacular palaces.  On arrival, we first visit the Harri Souani (the Royal Granaries), which were designed to store grain as feed for the 10,000 horses in the royal stables. We then explore Bab Mansour and see the most beautiful gate in North Africa. After some free time at the medina, we travel back to Faz.   

We enjoy dinner with belly dancing performance at Restaurant AI Fassia.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 6

Travel overland to Erfoud

Morocco commands the northwestern corner of Africa. Rugged, purple-hued mountains rise gradually from the scrubby Atlantic and Mediterranean seashores, reaching snow-tipped heights of over 13,000 feet before falling away to sun-glazed sand and rock desert to the south. The three range of the Atlas – the Rif, the High Atlas, and the Anti-Atlas – cut across the country east to west for 1,000 miles. The most beautiful and accessible of the ranges is the High Atlas, whose stack upon stack of pink and mauve peaks culminate in the spectacular crown of Jebl Toukbal. 

Leaving Fez this morning, we drive through the Middle Atlas into the south with a break in the quiet French built alpine resort town of Ifrance. After lunch at a local restaurant (on own account), we continue our journey while we enjoy the views of verdant cedar forests, volcanic mountains, wind-swept plains, spectacular gorges, and stony desert. We travel along the marvelous oasis of the Ziz Valley before arriving at our hotel in Erfoud. Tonight we have a buffet dinner in the hotel. 

Erfoud is the port of entry to the Saharan dunes and sits at the southern end of the Ziz Oasis. Known by the name of “the Gate of Sahara Desert”, it was built new by the French around 1920’s as a French administrative outpost and Foreign Legion stronghold. This frontier town on the Algerian border has a definite Wild West (in this case, Wild South) feel to it. Fossilized bathtubs and moist, sweet dates are its current claims to fame, though it was once the end of the road. 

Overnight: Xaluca Maddih (1 night) 

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7

Erfoud to Merzouga by 4 WD Land Rovers

We travel overland to Merzouga, the heart of the desert, and serf the sandy sea on a powerful 4 WD Land Rover. On arrival, we enjoy a camel trek that leads us to the top of a golden sand dune. We close our evening with a buffet dinner. After dinner, we retreat to our own private tent decked with hand-woven rugs, plush cushions and comfortable beds. For assured convenience, bathroom facilities are located adjacent to our tent. 

Overnight: Bivouac Belle Etoile (1 night) 

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 8

Merzouga to Tinghir via Rissani and Tinjdad

After experiencing the beauty of Sahara, we leave the world’s largest desert behind and continue our journey to the town of Tinghir via Rissani and Tinjdad. Enroute, we explore the Todra Gorge for a rare experience of one of the country’s greatest natural wonders with its dramatic 300-meter-high-limestone walls carved deep into the High Atlas Mountains. We will also visit a fossils factory today. Enjoy a buffet dinner at our hotel.

Situated on the east site of the High Atlas Mountains, the is recognized as one of the world’s most spectacular canyons. Here, both the Todra and Dades Rives have carved out cliff-sided canyons on their final 25 mile stretch through the mains, leaving behind this series of reliefs and etches in the rock. The Todra is the name of the last 600 meters of the canyons. In places, this gorge measures just 33 feet across, but the cliffs are more than 500 feet tall on either side.  

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Saghrou

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    Hotel Saghrou



    Views of the Toghda Gorges or the Kasbah are featured in the rooms at Hotel Saghro. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a coffee shop and a bar in a location just 15 km from the famous gorges. A minibar, satellite TV and air conditioning ...

    Views of the Toghda Gorges or the Kasbah are featured in the rooms at Hotel Saghro. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a coffee shop and a bar in a location just 15 km from the famous gorges.

    A minibar, satellite TV and air conditioning are standard facilities in the rooms at Hotel Saghro. All rooms are individually decorated in a Moroccan style and some have a private balcony.

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Day 9

Tinghir to Ouarzazate via Kelaat M’Gouna

Tinghir is a big oasis of more than 40 kms, very rich with most sorts of fruits, thousands of palm trees, olives and much more. Before heading to Tinghir this morning, we take a leisure walk through the old mud houses, making our way wandering for some time in the very green oasis. We then continue our journey to Dades and visit its valley. Enroute we will make a short break at Kelaat M’Gouna, a town well-known for cultivating roses. During the Festival of the Roses in May, the roses are processed into rosewater and sold through the Islamic world. We arrive at our hotel in Ouarzazate late this afternoon and enjoy a buffet dinner at the hotel. 

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Dar Chamaa

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    Dar Chamaa



    Dar Chamaa is situated in the Ouarzazate Palm Grove with views of the Atlas Mountains. It has an outdoor swimming pool with a terrace area that is surrounded by sun loungers and palm trees. The hotel is 15 minutes from Ouarzazate Airport and 3 km ...

    Dar Chamaa is situated in the Ouarzazate Palm Grove with views of the Atlas Mountains. It has an outdoor swimming pool with a terrace area that is surrounded by sun loungers and palm trees. The hotel is 15 minutes from Ouarzazate Airport and 3 km to the city center. For guests arriving by car, free private parking is available on site.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Conference Facilities
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant
    • Swimming Pool

    More Details

Day 10

Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech

Ouarzazate (war-zazat), which means “no noise” in (the Berber) Tamazight language, was once a very quiet place and an isolated military outpost during the years of the French protectorate. Today it is Morocco’s Hollywood, thanks to the Moroccan film industry, which have built quite a resume providing convincingly exotic backdrops for movies supposedly set in Tibet, ancient Rome, Somalia and Egypt. 

We begin our full day tour of Quarzazate at Kasbah Taourirt, the oldest and finest building in Ouarzazate with its fine artisan traditions in ceramics and carpet making. Next we pay a visit to Atlas Film Corporation Studios for a guided tour of Morocco’s Hollywood. From here we proceed to Ait Benhadddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most spectacular towns with some of the world’s most decorative kasbahs seeming to defy gravity as they cling to the steep slopes. 

We travel to Marrakech over the spectacular mountain road of the High A tlas, crossing the mountains, valley landscapes, and small Berber villages. Upon arrival, we check in to our hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Enjoy a Moroccan style dinner at a local restaurant followed by an evening visit to the Djemaa el Fna Square. 

Resting in the shadow of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakech, known as the “Red City” for its rose-tinted buildings, is probably the most exotic in Morocco. It is the meeting place of cultures and continents and was the first capital of a united Morocco. It is both African and Arab, modern and traditional, oriental and European. Ever since it became a trading and resting place on the ancient caravan routes from Timbuktu, the city has barely paused for breath. 

Like all Moroccan cities, Marrakesh is a town of two halves: the ancient walled Medina, founded by Sultan Youssef Ben Tachfine in the Middle Ages, and the colonial Ville Nouvelle, built by the French in the mid-twentieth century. Each has its own delights – the Medina with its ancient palaces and mansions, labyrinthine souks and deeply traditional way of life, and the Ville Nouvelle with its pavement cafés, trendy boutiques, gardens and boulevards.

Our hotel tonight is another of Morocco’s famous riads. Just inside the Medina walls, close to the entrance into the city at Bab (Gate) Doukkala lays the enchanting Riad Moucharabieh.  Although just a stone-throw from the one of the busiest trading alleys in the Medina, once inside the atmosphere is incredibly calm and tranquil. With beautiful courtyards, gurgling fountains, lovely roof terraces, authentic architecture and décor, and friendly, attentive staff, you can be excused for forgetting you are in the midst of one of the most hectic cities in the world!

Accommodation: Riad Moucharaheih

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Day 11

Sightseeing tour in Marrakech

Our full day explorations of Marrakesh will be on food and by horse-drawn carriages. We start at Djemaa el Fna, the central square and Marrakesh’s heartbeat surrounded by bazaars, mosques, terraced cafes, snake charmers, fire eaters, and fortune-tellers. After the visit, we stop at the Koutoubia Minaret, the oldest of the three great Almohad towers, and the Bahia Palace, a marvelous display of painted wood, ceramics, and symmetrical gardens. We then proceed to Saadian Tombs followed by a walk through the old medina and the labyrinth of souks. At around 5:00, we travel back to our hotel. Enjoy a special local flavour dinner with performance at Fantazia Marrakech.  

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 12

Marrakech – Free Day, Farewell Dinner

Enjoy a free day at leisure to relax in Marrakech and wander on your own. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 13

Fly Home

We will be transferred to the airport to connect with our flights home.

Meal Plan Breakfast

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