On arrival to Casablanca airport and after completing Immigration and custom formalities you will be met and transferred directly to your Hotel. Depends on arrival time we may include some activities like a drive to the truly magnificent Hassan II Mosque the second largest mosque in the Islamic world after the Masjid al- Haram in Mecca…Passing through the elegant residential district of Anfa, the original site of Casablanca, admire its green parks and Art Deco villas. Anfa hosted the Conference of Casablanca with President Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill, where the date of the Allied landings on the French coasts was fixed for the spring of 1944.
Check in & overnight at your hotel.
Dinner at Rick’s Café.
Enjoy Breakfast at the hotel.
Leave Casablanca for a short drive to Rabat.
Your guided sightseeing tour of Rabat, the political capital of Morocco and the fourth of the Imperial cities begins at the old Medina, the picturesque Kasbah (forth) of the Oudayas, and the Oudaya Gate (at the estuary facing the Barbary coast Corsair port of Sallee) with its Museums, built during the Almohads dynasty. Legend has it that jews came to salacolonia 5.C. before Carthage. In the day of Solomon, to purchse Gold. The Merinids built the well-preserved Hassan Tower and the Chellah in the 12th and 13th centuries. Walk into the mohamed V Mausoleum, the burial place of the present King’s father, in front of the Royal Palace.
Transfer to Fes via High way.
Check in & overnight at your hotel
Depart for full day sightseeing of Fez.
The oldest of the imperial cities, FEZ is arguably the symbolic heart of Morocco.
Founded shortly after the Arab swept across North Africa and Spain, it quickly became the religious and cultural centre of Morocco. Even on those periods when it was not the official capital of the whole country, Fez could not be ignored and never really ceased to be considered the northern capital. The Medina of Fez el-Bali (Old Fez) is the largest living medieval cities in the world and the most interesting in Morocco. With the exception of Marrakech, Cairo and Damascus, there is nothing remotely comparable anywhere else in the Arab world.
The narrow winding alleys and covered bazaars are crammed with every conceivable sort of craft workshop, restaurant, meat, fruit and vegetable market, mosque and medersas, as well as extensive dye pits and tanneries – a veritable assault on the senses as you squeeze past recalcitrant donkeys and submit to the sounds and smells of this jostling city.
During the tour, you will see the :
Qarawiyin Mosque/Medersa, the oldest university of the world, founded In 859 by Fatima Fihriya (a noble lady from an intellectual family of Fez ).
Borj Nord : built in 1582, this was the second of the Saadian fortresses designed as much to cover the city with a threatening field of fire as protect it. In 1964 it became a museum for arms and weapons.
The Mellah : The old Jewish quarters. There are few Jews left, but a legacy of jewellers’, brocade, balconies, small windows with their tracery of iron grille work, and an air of business gives the quarter something of its old distinctive atmosphere.
Bab Smarines : Restored in 1924, you pass through the glittering displays of the jewellers’ souk. The Bab Smarine used to separate the mellah from the Muslim quarters, and before that marked the southern entrance of the city.
Bab Boujloud : The Bab Boujloud is the main point of entry to Fez-el-Bali. For 500 years this area was a wasteland, caught between the cities of Fez Jdid and Fez-el-Bali, until it was developed in the 19th century by the Sultan Moulay Hassan into the three gardeng of Dar Batha, Boujloud and Dar Beida.
Dar Betha Museum : Through Bab Boujloud, and approximately 100 meters walk the palace of Dar Batha, a 19th century Hispano-Moorish set in lovely gardens and now a museum of Moroccan Arts and Handicrafts.
Zaouia Moulay Idriss II : Which holds the tomb of the saint Moulay Idriss II the founder of Fez, was rebuilt in 1437 ( outside view only).
Dinner at L’ambre Riad Fez
Leave Fes and take the road to Meknes.
Visit of Meknes, third of the Imperial Cities, built by the 17th century Sultan Moulay Ismael, contemporary of Louis XIV of France whose grandiose building schemes he imitated. Visit the monumental Bab El Mansour gateway, the Place LallaAdoua, the palace-tomb of Moulay Ismael (the only mosque in Morocco, after the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca which non-Muslims are allowed to enter), the ruins of the AgoudalBusin that were used to water the royal gardens and amuse the favorite concubines, the Moulay Ismail royal stables, granaries and House of Water (Dar El Ma) which were built in the 17th and 18th centuries to house, feed and water the sultan’s twelve thousand horses.
Les Celliers De Meknes winery Domain for tastings and lunch
Located few kilometers inlands from Meknes, in the foothills of the ATLAS Mountains, the region of Meknes, by virtue of its altitude, its amount of sunshine and its mild temperatures, is the favorite country for vineyards in Morocco.
Cradle of the Designation of Geographic Origin (AOG) areas of GUERROUANE, BENI M’TIR and of the Designation of Controlled Origin (AOC) area of “LES COTEAUX DE L’ATLAS”, this region concentrates today more than 60% of the Moroccan wine production. Therefore, it came naturally to LES CELLIERS DE MEKNES to settle in the heart of those vineyards.
Apart from controlling vineyards over almost 2000 hectares, managed by a team of professionals loving earth and their trade, LES CELLIERS DE MEKNES are the owners of winemaking equipment located in the center of the vineyards, combining together tradition and modernity. Last significant achievement of LES CELLIERS DE MEKNES has been creating the first Moroccan CHATEAU officially inaugurated in June 2004 CHATEAU ROSLANE.
With the introduction in Morocco of noble varieties of vine, like CABERNET SAUVIGNON, MERLOT, SYRAH or even CHARDONNAY, the use of oak barrels for ageing, and with the creation of the first and only Moroccan AOC, LES CELLIERS DE MEKNES were always eager to brandish with pride the colors of a long Moroccan wine tradition.
Continue our way to Volubilis Roman ruins and capital of the Roman Province of Mauritania and home of Sylene, daughter of Antony and Cleopatra who married the Berber King Juba II. Visit the Olive press, the House of Orpheus, the Basilica, the Baths of Gallienus, the Forum, the Triumphal Arch of Caracalla and the House of Venus. Leave Volubilis and drive through the Col of Zagota to arrive in Fes.
Breakfast at your hotel.
Climb the cedar covered slopes of the Middle Atlas Mountains to Imouzzer, dominating the plain of the river Sebou, through the hill station of Ifrane, in the lake district, the town of Azrou with its old Kasbah and handicraft center, over the pass of Zad (2178 meters), descending to Midelt, center of the lead mining center, over TiziN’Talghemt (1907 meters) trough the gorges of Ziz river to Errachidia. Continue on to arrive at the picturesque oasis of Erfoud situated amongst the impressive sand dunes of the sahara desert where you check-in for dinner & overnight at your hotel
Take the road to the town of Rissani. Visit the local souk and experience a lesson on making Madfouna the local stuffed pizza indigenous of the Sahara region.
Enjoy your Madfouna lunch at one of the local restaurants in Erfoud.
Leave Erfoud via Tinejdad, Tinerhir, with its huge Kasbah belonging to the ex-Glaoui, former Pasha of Marrakech, side excursion to the imposing Todra Gorges, along the famous “Route of 1000 Kasbah” to Boumalne, the center of the scent industry at El Kelaa des M’gouna, and along the valley of the river Dades with its many decorated Kasbah to arrive Ouarzazate.
After breakfast we set forth to visit the 18th century Kasbah of Taourirt in Ouarzazate, another of the Pacha’s fortresses. We continue on towards the north along the Oued Ouarzazate via the Assif Ounila Valley to the Kasbah at Tiffoultoute. Here we see the magnificently exotic Kasbah and Ksour of Aït Ben Haddou, a World Heritage Site. We will visit these various kasbahs, so closely knit that they appear to be one complete building up against the looming mountains. One of the more spectacular sights in the Atlas ranges is a kasbah once home to the Pasha’s employees. This kasbah controlled the route to Marrakech until the French blasted a road through the Tizi ’Tichka in the late 1920s.
Lunch at Kasbah ait ben haddou. Here you will taste the Moroccan Salade,Berber Omlette and Tagine with mixte vegetables.
From here we have a few photo stops at the top of the Tizin’Tichka (2260m) and Aït Ourir Taddert (1650m). We continue down across the Glaoua Plains and into Marrakech.
Marrakech : There’s only one world to define it: magical… There are a thousand legends which describe its history, which began in 1070 when the Saharan Almoravid Abu Baker, the leader of a powerful army, encamped in the plain of Haouz, at the base of the upper Atlas mountains. Marrakech, the capital of the south, has a mysterious and seductive air. Marrakech, a name with a magical sound that evokes palm groves and caravans, oriental markets and international spies, and duels to the death in an oasis of peace. Many are the roads which lead to Marrakech which make it a cross road from north to south and from east to west.
The Ramparts ( City Walls ) : The city walls of Marrakech, built in the XII century and subsequently destroyed and rebuilt, is about 15 kilometres long, reddish in colour and two meters thick. It has powerful ancient ramparts, various styles and many monumental doors, among which the Bab Aguenaou stands out for its magnificence. It dates back to the era of the Almoravids and leads to the quarter of the Kasbah.
The Koutoubia Mosque: The Koutoubia is one of the biggest mosques in the Western Muslim world. Its Hispano-Moorish style is of an apparent simplicity combined with discreet luxury. This masterpiece was built by the Almohads in one of its imperial cities. Today, it’s a starting point that’s not to be missed before heading out to explore the medina.
The minaret of the Koutoubia : It’s a square tower made of rose-colored sandstone ( 67.50 meters high, 12.50 meters wide ) adorned with a delicate sculptured decoration that seems just like lacework on stone. The minaret is topped by a lantern, decorated and square, as well as a ribbed cupola. The close proportion between the width and height of the minaret of the mosque bestows a perfect harmony to this masterpiece of Hispano-Moorish art which was taken as a model for the Giralda in Seville. According to a legend, the three orbs of golden copper which crown the cupola were made from the melted down jewellery of Yacoub-el-Mansour’s wife. Yacoub-el-Mansour completed the construction of the tower began by the sultan Abdel-Moumen. Another legend about the orbs says that they are guarded by genies (jin) and that terrible misfortunes will plague those who try to steal them. Koutoubia in Arabic means “the mosque of booksellers” because once, the surrounding shops were mostly dedicated to the sale of books and antique manuscripts ( XII -XIII centuries.). The first mosque, erected after 1147, was later destroyed because its orientation towards Mecca wasn’t correct. The foundation of the first mosque is still visible today. The construction of the current mosque, built according to the instructions of Abd el-Moumen, was completed in the same year construction started, in 1158, and ordered by Yacoub el-Mansour.
This splendid work of art is subdivided into 16 naves and a wider middle nave. Here, the luxurious almoravide ornamentation and the décor of Andalusian inspiration exalt the simplicity and pureness of its lines. The 11 stalactite cupolas, capitals and molded structures make the Koutoubia one of the finest examples of Almohade art.
This tour includes a visit to the aristocratic Bahia Palace (former home of a 19th century grand Vizir), shows us a lush Moorish-style gardening the courtyard of a large palace with beautifully painted residential rooms. The 14th century Medersa Ben Youssef and finally, a stroll through the souks of the Medina
The Souks (Bazaars)…: The souk of Marrakech is the vital heart of the medina, the old part of the city which dates back to the XII century. It is the place where age-old customs and traditions have been coming together since ancient times. Originally, souks were divided into various specific sectors with defined boundaries and with names that reflected the activities which took place there, but over time these boundaries gradually disappeared. The souk is a magical and fascinating place where it is customary to accept the tea that the vendor offers, just as how bargaining the price of any item for sale is all part of the game; a place where losing your way is a fun, yet never dangerous experience.
Djamaa El-Fna Square : It’s a large open space or rather, a big stage, vaguely triangular in shape, where you can see countless shows performed by jugglers, snake charmers, dancers and acrobats every day. Each one marks off his “halqa”, an imaginary circle blessed by a holy man, and presents his show. It’s a large square where fruit and spice merchants, basket-sellers and trinket vendors gather. Back to your hotel for the overnight.
Dinner with Show…… Restaurant
You will begin your day with an excursion to the Ourika Valley, where you will visit the traditional Berber Souk. This is a half day journey which will take you into the Atlas Mountains to see a vast array of vegetation, colored rock cliffs, mountains streams, Berber villages, and local mountain people.
A menu is entrusted to you, you have the ingredients (freshly returned from the garden), utensils and your apron is for you to cook!
The Chef will be there to advise and guide you in the preparation of dishes. You then write your menu and associate the finest ingredients!
Finally, it is around the table that each participant can enjoy and relish his masterpiece during Lunch.
Afternoon, options include: light hiking, & visit to a Berber house to learn about the Berber life and share a little cup of mint tea, Olive Oil, Black Olives and local bread Tanourt.
Late afternoon, back to Marrakech.
Enjoy Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning drive to Essaouira.
We drove on to a vineyard some 20km from Essaouira. Wine has a long history in Morocco, but large-scale cultivation only really arrived with the French colonists 100 years ago. This vineyard, Les Domaines du Val d’Argan, is the smallest in Morocco and the only one in the south. It was founded by a Frenchman 17 years ago. Today, he has about 35 hectares under vine, yielding well over 100,000 bottles a year. After a walk through the fields, we ate lunch at the bodega – the only one in Morocco (so far), with stunning views over the countryside. Sitting on the shaded terrace sipping a glass of cool white wine, overlooking the vines, I felt I was in the South of France rather than North Africa.
Early afternoon, we drive to Essaouira where our visit will begin inside the town walls where you will discover a charming provincial atmosphere and see the inlayers hard at work on their small furniture pieces which they encrust with wood and mother of pearl. The Scalla-the old cannon platform some of the cannons made in Seville in the 18th century are the finest workmanship ornamented with the crown of the king of Spain Philipe V and Charles III. Visit the residential neighborhood of Essaouira, the port area which is a real space to explore.
Check in & overnight at your hotel.
Enjoy Breakfast at the hotel.
Take road to Casablanca visiting Safi – walidia and eljadida.
Check in & overnight at your hotel.
After breakfast and check-out, you will meet your driver for your otransfer to the airport for your flight.