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Morocco Odyssey

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,498

FIRST-CLASS | SMALL GROUP: Embark on an immersive small group journey through the heart of Morocco, exploring its cities, majestic landscapes, and captivating culture. Venturing to Rabat, Meknes, Fes, Marrakech, the Sahara Desert, and the High Atlas Mountains, you’ll enjoy hands-on experiences, including a sunrise camel ride in the desert, a visit with a Berber family, and many culinary delights.


This 12-day Moroccan small group vacation includes intimate experiences and unique cultural encounters as you journey across this North African nation. Begin in romantic Casablanca, where the old French quarter of Habous and the massive Hassan II Mosque give you a perfect introduction to the grandeur of Moroccan architecture. In Rabat, discover one of the finest kasbahs in the nation and iconic Hassan Tower before you settle into a riad for the night, a traditional Moroccan inn known for its lovely architecture and inner courtyard. After a stop in the remarkable Roman ruins of Volubilis, start your journey through the imperial cities of Morocco. First up is Meknes, an opulent city built in the 17th century to rival the decadence of King Louis XIV’s Versailles. You’ll see the Bab Mansour gateway, perhaps the most notable gate in the nation, before you continue to Fes to explore some of the 9,000 narrow lanes and alleys of Fes El Balil, learn about the Jewish heritage of New Fes, and visit a local tannery in the leather souk to learn to craft your own leather.

Bid the cities farewell as you journey into the Sahara Desert, stopping in the alpine resort town of Ifrane and Erfoud, the gateway to the Sahara, before you reach your desert camp for the night. Rise at dawn to ride a camel before you head into the High Atlas Mountains to see the 985 ft (300 m) high walls of Todra Gorge and visit the rose town of El Kelaa M’Gouna. Enjoy a touch of Hollywood glamour in Ouarzazate, home to Ait Ben Haddou fortress, known for its appearances in Gladiator, Game of Thrones, and other popular movies and TV shows. Then cross the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech, the definitive imperial city of Morocco. Explore the mosques, ancient landmarks, palaces, and squares of the Red City before you recharge in a hammam, a traditional Moroccan spa. Detour into the nearby valleys of Imlil and Ourika to learn about the traditions of the Indigenous Berber people. A Berber cooking experience reveals the secrets of Berber flavours, while a wine tasting showcases Moroccan viticulture. Swing by the port city of Essaouira, known for its iconic blue fishing boats, before returning to Marrakech for a free day before wrapping up your small group trip to Morocco.


 

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Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,498

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Casablanca

Upon arrival at Mohammed V International Airport, proceed through customs and immigrations. Once you exit through the arrivals area you will be met by Goway's local representative holding a signboard with your name on it and then transferred to your hotel.

This evening wenoy a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: New Hotel Piscine Wellness & Spa

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 2

Casablanca to Rabat - The Imperial City

Explore Morocco's largest metropolis and industrial hub this morning. Visit the old French quarter of Habous, see the beaches lapped by green-blue water, and an interior visit to Hassan II Mosque. The mosque is among the largest in the world with its minaret, the tallest religious structure in the world. It can house as many as 25,000 worshipers! Have lunch at a restaurant in Casablanca and then drive to Rabat.

In Rabat, have a brief tour visiting the capital’s most famous site, the 12th-century Hassan Tower. Alongside is the Mausoleum dedicated to Mohamed V, the grandfather of the current king. You’ll also visit the Kasbah of the Udayas, which was built on a cliff overlooking the city and Atlantic Ocean. Its gate is one of the most beautiful illustrations of Moorish architecture. Within its walls, you'll discover a wonderful Moroccan garden, with melodious fountains and sweet-smelling orange trees. After the tour, continue to your hotel, a traditional Moroccan Riad, a boutique property. Riad’s are located in the old cities of Morocco and are built with an indoor courtyard or garden, they were typically residential homes and palaces. We’ll have dinner at a local restaurant tonight. 

Accommodation: Riad Zyo

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 3

Ancient Marvels of Volubilis and Meknes

After breakfast, drive to the ancient Roman city of Volubilis to explore its stunning ruins, impressive stone arches and columns, some tumbled down and others still standing tall. Only about half of the 40 hectares of this UNESCO World Heritage site have been excavated. Here you will also see the decorative tile mosaics depicting mythological beings. So many of these tiles are still in place!

Then we drive to Meknes for lunch. Meknes is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the imperial cities of Morocco. Its impressive monuments recall the splendor of this fortified city, first built in the 17th century by the powerful sultan Moulay Ismail, to rival the court of his contemporary, the Sun King Louis XIV of France. You’ll get to see the monumental Bab Mansour gateway - considered one of the finest great gates of Morocco, the king's tomb that sits at the heart of what remains of the original imperial city, flanked by the almighty royal granary. Continue to your hotel in Fes for some time to refresh before dinner at a restaurant.

Accommodation: Barcelo Medina

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Day 4

Enchanting Fes and Pottery Making Workshop

Take a step back in time into the Middle Ages with a visit of one of the most imperial, timeless, and untouched cities in the world, the cultural heart of Morocco, Fes El Bali (Old Fes). Explore some of the 9,000 narrow lanes and alleys in the souks (open air markets) that make-up the labyrinth of the city's old quarter, originally founded in the 8th century. The Imperial capital was a renowned medieval learning center, and at its heart still remains the Karaouine, one of the oldest, still functioning universities in the world. Nearby is the Attarine Medersa (Koranic college), a jewel of Hispano-Moorish architecture, built in the 14th century. Then you’ll visit the Nejjarine Square, with its beautiful fountain, a mosaic of elaborate tilework. Stop at a restaurant for lunch.

After lunch we visit New Fes, built in the 13th century with its Royal Palace, mosques, madrasas (Koranic schools), souks and city walls. Most notably, the Jewish quarter provides an interesting insight into Jewish architecture. The wrought iron decorated windows and splendid carved wood balconies of the old mansions are particularly outstanding.

One of the most interesting sites in Fes is the leather souk with the oldest leather tannery in the world. The tannery dates back nine centuries. After the tannery visit, you will be introduced to the world of Moroccan pottery and ceramic with a local professional craftsman. For this pottery workshop, the teacher will show you the tools and supplies, and will give a short history on how this craft has been carried out in Fes. You’ll be divided in small groups depending on your knowledge level and experience. Raise your sleeves, put on an apron, and start your own project! 

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 5

Fes to the Sahara Desert - Sand Dunes Adventure

Leaving Fes this morning, we drive through the Middle Atlas into the South with a break in the quiet French built alpine resort town of Ifrane. We continue our journey while we enjoy the views of verdant cedar forests, volcanic mountains, wind-swept plains, spectacular gorges, and stony desert. Continue to Midelt, which serves as the commercial center of a large agricultural hinterland. It is also one of Morocco's principal cities for the mining industry.

You will have lunch in Midelt before continuing your journey along the marvelous oasis of the Ziz Valley before arriving in Erfoud, port of entry to the Saharan dunes, located at the southern end of the Ziz Oasis. Known as the “the Gate of Sahara Desert”, Erfoud was built by the French around 1920 as an outpost and foreign legion stronghold. This frontier town on the Algerian border has a definite wild west feel to it (in this case, Wild South). Fossilized bathtubs and moist-sweet dates are its current claims to fame. Then travel overland to Merzouga, the heart of the desert, and surf the sandy sea on a powerful Land Rover.

Dinner and overnight at your Desert Camp nestled in the dunes. Enjoy stargazing and sitting by the campfire this evening. 

Accommodation: Madu Camp

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 6

Sahara Desert to the scenic Todra Gorge, Dades and Ouarzazate

Take an early morning sunrise camel ride along the golden sand dunes in Merzouga. Return to your camp for breakfast and then drive to Tinghir. Tinghir is a gorgeous 40 km oasis, which boasts one of the largest palm groves in the country. Enjoy walking at the famous Todra Gorge, a 300 m wall, carved deep into the High Atlas Mountains.

Leave Tinghir heading to Dades and its charming valley. Stop there to take pictures then continue along to El Kelaâ M’Gouna, a large village famous for cultivating roses. Expect to find many fine, rose-infused products there. Continue to Ouarzazate, also known as the “Hollywood” of Morocco for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Oscar Hotel

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 7

Ouarzazate to Aït Ben Haddou and Marrakech

This morning we’ll visit the city of Ouarzazate, beginning with the Taourirt Kasbah that is considered one of the most beautiful Kasbahs in the country, and the Film Studios (this visit is optional) where some of the most famous desert landscapes are being shot.

Continue to the spectacular fortress of Aït Ben Haddou, the iconic landscape immortalized in films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, Game of Thrones and others. Leave Aït Ben Haddou crossing the High Atlas Mountains via the magnificent TizIn Tichka Pass (2,262m) to Marrakech, another incredibly scenic drive.

Accommodation: Longue Vie Hotel

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration5 Nights
Day 8

Ancient Marrakech and Hammam Experience

After breakfast, the “Red City '' welcomes you with its majesty filled with palaces, gardens, markets, and mosques! We first see the Koutoubia Mosque with its 282ft minaret, an architectural landmark dating back to the late 12th century. Continue to the 19th century stunning Bahia Palace and discover the intricate work done by the local artisans to decorate this splendid home. The building includes one hundred and fifty rooms, countless courtyards and interior gardens, labyrinthic corridors, a Koranic school, hammams, a harem, and stables. From there we will start exploring artisan quarters and the colorful Souks to intermingle with the real life of Marrakech people.

Stop for lunch at a restaurant in the medina. After lunch, continue to Dar El Bacha Museum of Confluences. Built in 1910, it was the residence of Thami El Glaoui, named Pasha of Marrakech by Sultan Moulay Youssef in 1912. It is one of the medina's finest examples of Riad architecture, dripping with Moroccan Zellige (colorful geometric tilework), intricate white plasterwork, and heavy carved cedar-wood lintels. Then we visit Jemaa El F’na, an openair square surrounded by restaurants, stands and public buildings. It provides various forms of entertainment with fortune tellers, henna artists, fire eaters, story tellers, musicians and acrobats.

The tour will end in the early evening and then we’ll go for a traditional hammam. A hammam is a traditional Moroccan Spa, a place where space and time speak an ancient language. You will be immersed in total relaxation listening to your own body in reconciliation with yourself in an atmosphere filled with water, oils, essences, and perfumes. Enjoy a 30-min. scrub done by expert hands with black soap or soothing spices eliminating toxins from your body. After the Hammam, sway to the massage room where you will experience a 30-min. traditional Moroccan massage to eliminate tensions and gain energy and vitality. Tea is served in a relaxing room before you leave. Back to your hotel to get ready for our group dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Berbers, Atlas Mountains and Moroccan Cuisine Cooking Experience

Get ready for a trek and a rich program in Amazigh (Berber) landscapes. You’ll drive to the valley of Imlil, a region famous for its fruit trees (apples, walnuts, almonds, peaches, etc.) and a favorite hitching post for mountain trekkers. Start your walk from the village, then switch to a mule (optional) pulled by its owner to ride to the hilltop where you’ll be greeted by a local family and invited into their home to share a traditional lunch served with bread and mint tea. Enjoy the opportunity to talk with the family, immersing yourselves in their fascinating way of life.

After lunch, transfer to the Ourika Valley where a gastronomic cooking experience awaits. The cooking class takes place on the terrasse of a modern Berber-style villa, in a spectacular setting with the Atlas Mountains in the background. A 3-stars New York Times Chef will greet you on their property where you will discover the secrets of Moroccan cuisine. The food you prepared will be served for dinner with a glass of wine. This activity includes a tour of the property, picking of fresh produce from the garden if the season permits, a traditional welcome tea session, a bread making demonstration done by a native Berber woman, and the preparation of a Moroccan dish. While the food is cooking, you are welcome to jump in the pool -if season permits! Return to your hotel in the evening. 

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

Wine Tasting and the Coastal Charms of Essaouira

Take a full day excursion to Essaouira, a charming and exotic seaside town on the Atlantic coast. En route to Essaouira, explore the world of Moroccan wine with a visit of the winery Val d'Argan. You'll find the French winemaker Charles Melia and his beautiful vineyard, an ideal lunch spot. Upon arrival, you'll enjoy a tour of the vineyard and impressive facilities where Charles and his crew produce five ranges of wine: red, white, rosé, gris, and the most recent orange. Learn about the different kinds of grapes, what it's like to grow vines in Morocco, and how the production process works. Then, use your newfound knowledge to pair wines with delicious local food served on the patio.

After lunch and a short drive, visit an argan oil cooperative where you’ll observe how it is made. The demand for this product has increased significantly due to its use in both cosmetics and western cuisine. Then continue to Essaouira, with its beautiful, fortified walls and busy fishing harbor, it is known as the “Windy City of Africa” and has preserved a truly Moroccan charm. You’ll walk along the city walls north of Moulay Hassan Square and Skala de la Ville where you will enjoy an unmatched view of the city’s port and its beautiful collection of bright blue fishing boats. Explore the Medina where artists continue to display their crafts just as they have done for centuries, and where merchants in the many souks have plenty to offer, including spices, fine woodcrafts, and jewelry. Return to Marrakech. 

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 11

Marrakech at leisure

Enjoy a day at leisure in Marrakech to lounge by the pool or go shopping in the souks. We suggest a visit to the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.

Tonight we have our group farewell dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 12

Marrakech departure

Today is at leisure until your transfer to the international airport in Marrakech for your departure flight. 

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES AND PRICES:

DEPARTURE DATES
2024

 US $
Per Person

CA $
Per Person

25 May $4,498 $5,995
15 June $4,498 $5,995
29 June $4,498 $5,995
13 July $4,498 $5,995
28 September $4,498 $5,995
19 October $4,498 $5,995


PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Private arrival and departure airport transfers (arrive Casablanca / depart Marrakech)
  • 1 night in premium accommodation in Casablanca
  • 1 night in moderate Riad accommodation in Rabat
  • 2 nights in premium accommodation in Fes
  • 1 night in premium accommodation in Merzouga
  • 1 night in premium accommodation in Ouarzazate
  • 5 nights in premium accommodations in Marrakech
  • Services of a full-time tour director/guide for the duration of the trip
  • Small Group Touring (max 12 guests) including:
    • Pottery marking workshop in Fes
    • 4x4 transfer to the desert camp
    • Camel ride in the desert
    • Traditional Hamman and massage in Marrakech
    • Excursion to Imlil including lunch with a local family
    • Cooking class and dinner in the Ourika Valley
    • Excursion to Essaouira including winery visit with wine tasting and visit to an argan oil cooperative
    • Guided sightseeing tours in Casablanca, Rabat, Volubilis, Fes and Marrakech
    • Group transfers by bus between all destinations
    • Entrance fees for sites mentioned on the itinerary
  • Breakfast daily (excluding Day 1), 7 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Soft drinks included with lunches and dinners
  • Tips for driver and guides
  • Hotel porterage

EXCLUDES:

  • International airfare
  • Visa fees
  • Other beverages during included lunches and dinners
  • Other meals
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

*Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.


19 Oct 2024
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