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North Morocco Adventure

Trip type: 
Cultural
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 
12
Avg user rating: 
Awaiting reviews
Africa, Morocco | 10 days
Trip code: 
XMSB
New
What's included: 

Transport - Train, Bus, Public bus, Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Minibus

Accommodation - Hotel (7 nts), Guesthouse (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)

Meals - 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches

Trip Highlights: 
Buzzing Casablanca
Mighty Rif Mountains
Picturesque Chefchaouen
Magical Marrakech
see full itinerary >>

Trip Highlights: 
Buzzing Casablanca
Mighty Rif Mountains
Picturesque Chefchaouen
Magical Marrakech
see full itinerary >>
What's included: 

Transport - Train, Bus, Public bus, Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Minibus

Accommodation - Hotel (7 nts), Guesthouse (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)

Meals - 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches

Trip Overview: 

From buzzing Casablanca you travel north to visit the sacred hilltop town of Moulay Idriss and glimpse a very traditional Morrocan life. The idyllic mountain town of Chefchaouen is perfect for relaxation and soaking up views of the mighty Rif Mountains. Finally an overnight train journey from coastal Tangier takes you south to enjoy all the delights of magical Marrakech.

Itinerary: 
Day
1-2

Casablanca

Fly to Casablanca. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 2.  We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Modelled after Marseille in France, the bustling port city of Casablanca is now the undisputed economic capital of Morocco, with one of Africa's largest ports. The architectural style of the city is curious - famous for its art deco French-colonial buildings and Mauresque governmental institutions, an old medina and the phenomenal modern-day masterpiece, the Hassan II Mosque.

A pleasant way to spend the day exploring Casablanca is to wander the old medina and the city walls, then jump in a taxi to visit the Quartiers des Habous - the new medina full of shaded squares and narrow streets, lined with arcades that lead from one souk to another. This is a great place to enjoy a Moroccan coffee and maybe start improving your bargaining skills. Finish the day with a walk along the Corniche, watching the locals enjoy sunset football on the beach.

There's no free time included in Casablanca on this trip so if you want to explore the city or visit the highly recommended Hassan II Mosque we suggest you book an additional night or two of accommodation before the trips starts.

Optional Activities

  • Jewish Museum - MAD20
  • Villa des Arts - art gallery & museum - Free
  • Guided tour of Hassan II Mosque - MAD120

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nts)

Day
3

Rabat/Moulay Idriss

Take an early morning train to Rabat (approx 1 hr).

Rabat's history is long and colourful: Roman settlements, pirates, the unfinished but towering 12th-century Hassan Tower and more recently its position as the modern political capital.

Store your luggage and spend a few hours strolling through the city's old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy the view over the Atlantic Ocean.

Continue on to Meknes by train (approx 3 hrs).

Transfer by taxi through gorgeous rural countryside to the sacred pilgrimage village of Moulay Idriss (approx 45 mins).

The small medina of ancient Moulay Idriss is a pleasure to explore as the faithful gather to pay homage to the founding father of Islam in Morocco at the 8th-century mausoleum. This charming town is superb come sunset with views over the plains of Volubilis below.

Your accommodation is a guesthouse/homestay where a local family will take delight in providing the hospitality. Bathroom facilities are shared and rooming may be triple or quad share.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 nt)

Day
4-5

Volubilis/Fes

Volubilis was one of the Roman Empire's most remote bases, which remained affluent until the 8th century. The main structures remained intact until they were damaged by an earthquake in the 18th century, after which much of the marble was taken for construction in nearby Meknes.

A local guide will take you on a walk back in time as you explore this ancient hilltop city.

Return to Meknes, where you have a few hours to explore the main sights of the city.

Meknes was once an imperial city of Morocco and the capital of one of its most colourful eras, when the Sultan Moulay Ismail (a contemporary of Louis XIV) set out to build his own version of Versailles, constructing walls, gates and over 50 palaces with an unstoppable labour force of over 25,000 slaves.

The adventurous may want to try a camel burger for lunch at a local restaurant in the medina.

Travel by train to Fes (approx 1 hr)

Fes is the most complete medieval city in the Arab world. The most ancient of Morocco's imperial cities, it exists suspended in time.

Descending into the labyrinthine alleyways of the Medina is like taking a giant step back to the Middle Ages. Preserved by the French for its historical value, this preservation also led to the decline of the city's importance, as both government and financial centres were set up elsewhere in the country. With the Jewish population moving away in 1956, and too many rural poor moving in for it to handle, this ancient centre of learning is only a shell of what it used to be. Still, it remains a fascinating living museum where getting lost is half the fun.

Take a guided walk to discover the treasures of the Medina, a living monument to an ancient past and still very much alive with the many craftsmen, markets, tanneries, ceramics and mosques. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the city's most beautiful buildings which has recently been restored and is now open for visits.

You'll also visit the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramic factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way.

The afternoon is free to get lost in the maze of streets and alleys, take a photo outside the Royal Palace or visit the nearby hills for incredible views.

Included Activities

  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
  • Guided walking tour Fes

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nts)

Day
6-8

Chefchaouen/Tangier

Take a local bus to the charming isolated town of Chefchaouen (approx 4 hrs).

Set against a gorgeous wide valley and surrounded by the stunning Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen may take you by surprise. Its medina has been lovingly cared for with striking blue and whitewashed houses, sloping red-tiled roofs and superb artistic doorways protecting the secrets of its curious inhabitants. Much of Chefchaouen was recreated by Andalusian refugees escaping the Reconquistia and you could be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere in the hills of Spain when exploring its cobblestone streets. It's an evocative atmosphere and a wonderful place to reduce the pace and enjoy the romantic and somewhat bohemian ambience.

You have a free day to explore Chefchaouen.

Take a local bus to the coastal town of Tangier (approx 3 hrs).

Make a short visit to Tangier town and its recently redeveloped promenade. You can enjoy a fresh fish dinner by the port.

Board an overnight sleeper train bound for Marrakech.

Optional Activities

  • Walking tour with local guide - MAD300
  • Picnic lunch for hike - MAD70
  • Kasbah (closed on Tuesdays) - MAD20
  • Medina visit with local guide - MAD300
  • Hamam (public baths) - MAD100
  • Henna tattooing - MAD50
  • American Legation Museum - Free
  • Museum Dar El Mekhzen - MAD20
  • The Caves of Hercules - MAD25

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nts), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)

Day
9

Marrakech

Arrive early in Marrakech. The rest of day is free to explore.

Marrakech is a feast for the senses. You will be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens.

Explore the amazing Medina and the seemingly endless mosaic of souqs. Each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. A wander amongst them is a sensory delight.

The monuments of Marrakech are numerous and range from the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its superb minaret - famous throughout the Islamic world and the 'sister' to the Giralda in far-away Seville, to the lesser-known tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). There's the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, and the ruins of the Palais Badi, reputedly one of the most beautiful palaces in the world in its time. The Saadian tombs are a recently uncovered gem of the Medina. All of the above can be a challenge to locate, but that's all part of the experience of exploring the phenomenal medinas of Morocco.

Join the thronging crowds and enjoy dinner at the infamous Djemaa el Fna - the ultimate el fresco experience. This is undoubtedly an unforgettable farewell to bustling Marrakech where you can wander though the singers, drummers, dancers, snake charmers, fortune tellers, tooth pullers, storytellers, jugglers and even old medicine men, who all make up what has been dubbed the 'greatest spectacle on earth'.

Optional Activities

  • Koutoubia Mosque and minaret - Free
  • Marjorelle Gardens - MAD50
  • Palais Bahia - MAD10
  • Palais Badi - MAD10
  • Saadien Tombs - MAD10
  • Medersa Ben Youssef - MAD40
  • Museum of Marrakech - MAD40
  • Hamam (public baths) - MAD250
  • Photography Museum - MAD40

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

Day
10

Tour ends

Your adventure ends today and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home to London.

 

Mighty Rif MountainsLeaving behind you the buzzing streets of Casablanca you visit the sacred hilltop town of Moulay Idriss once forbidden to non-muslims you glimpse a very traditional way of life here. Then you head further north into the mighty Rif Moutains. The petty mountain town of Chefchaouen with its blue houses nestles between peaks affording great views and a relaxing atmosphere.

Magic of Marrakech Finally an overnight train journey takes you to magical Marrakech where you can shop for bargains in the lively souks and discover the colourful main square, the Djemaa el-Fna, which comes to life at sunset with food stalls, snake charmers, jugglers, musicians and acrobats. 

Our North Morocco Adventure trip is just one of our many Morocco tours. To find out more visit our Morocco holidays page