From the cacophony of aromas, sights and sounds that is Fes, to the peace and tranquility of the blue mountain village of Chefchaouen; this tour of Northern Morocco makes a round trip from Tangier, just a short hop across The Strait of Gibraltar from Spain, staying in beautiful traditional riads with your own private driver and local guides; a perfect introduction to the magic and mystery of Morocco.
This holiday can start on any date you request (this tour is ideal to combine with travelling from/to Spain, crossing The Strait of Gibraltar by ferry) also there are flights in to Tangier, Fes or Rabat.
Day One - Arrive Tangier and transfer to your hotel for 1 night
Tangier has a history and atmosphere all of its own which stems from it being an international territory for a good part of the 20th Century; attracting many artists and writers lured by the promise of a free, cosmopolitan society in the Arab world.
Its main highlights include the busy Medina, the Kasbah with the former palace of the Sultan and its two main squares the Socco Grande and the famous Place de France.
For your first evening the best idea is to head down to the Café Paris in the Place de France a legendary café where an eclectic mix of locals and expats gather late afternoon and early evening to simply watch and be watched. During World War 2 when Tangier was an “International Zone” the café was a central base for agents and spies who would meet in Tangier to swap information and make deals.
Day Two - Transfer to Rabat for 1 night
Before leaving Tangier you will have a quick trip in the car to see the wind swept Atlantic beaches and visit the caves at the most north-westerly point of Africa, then following the coastline South until you arrive to Rabat.
Rabat is the administrative capital of Morocco and generally undiscovered as a tourist destination. However those who visit find a gem of a city with refreshing colonial architecture, palm lined boulevards and a quiet medina with an authentic feel that leads down to the sea.
More laid-back with far less hustle than Fes and Marrakesh; Rabat has a picturesque Kasbah with magnificent ocean views and here you can also see the actual palace of the King of Morocco and the minaret tower of the world’s second most important and historical mosque.
Day Three - Transfer to Fes for 2 nights
On your journey from Rabat to Fes you will first come across another of the Imperial capitals, Meknes. The city was the creation of Morocco’s most tyrannical ruler Sultan Moulan Ismail; built with over 20 gates, 50 palaces and about 45km of exterior walls.
After a tour and lunch in Meknes you will continue on to the Roman ruins of Volubilis which are a striking sight, visible for miles from the various bends in the approach road. This was Rome’s most remote base and all imperial roads stopped here. The ruins are exceptionally well maintained and are a stunning example of a complete Roman city.
Finally reaching your destination of Fes; the most ancient of all the Imperial capitals and the most complete medieval city in the Arab world. It is the spiritual home of Morocco and exists suspended somewhere between the middle ages and the modern world with nearly a quarter on the cities inhabitants still living in the extraordinary Medina.
Day Four - A complete personal tour of Fes
This morning your guide will escort you from your riad through the bustling medina of Fes. A twisting labyrinth of over 9000 tiny streets lined with ancient mosques with towering green-glazed minarets, universities, Islamic gardens, fountains and palaces.
The medina is a hive of activity where generations of artisans practice century old techniques within the busy modern market place.
This all can be overwhelming but with your guide you feel like a welcome guest as you chat with the loom ladies, take tea with the tailor and shake hands with the spice vendors.
You will be whisked like VIP’s to the back of a shop for a bird’s eye view over the ancient tanneries where dyers still wade barefoot in the mud pits dipping the animal hides into large cauldrons of pigment. Your visit will also include a guided tour of the Madrassa El Attarine; a 14th century Quran School – the communal areas are exquisitely decorated with cut plaster, carved cedar and mosaic tiles; a striking contrast to the austere student rooms above.
After lunch and further exploration, this afternoon you could try the relaxing Hammam baths in your hotel and later sit drinking mint tea on the roof terrace listening to the haunting sound of the call to prayer over the rooftops of Fes at dusk.
Day Five - Transfer to Chefchaouen in the Riff Mountains for 1 night
Today you head up in to the mountains to spend a night in Chefchaouen, rapidly becoming the most intriguing town in Morocco which nestles between two peaks of The Rif mountain range. This quirky town is known for its striking chalk washed blue buildings, with a labyrinth of narrow alley ways and dead ends, with steep cobbled streets lined with leather workers and weavers workshops; smelling of spice, incense; fresh oranges and sometimes “hashish” (but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s legal!!)
The medina is small and compact so perfect for some exploring alone; be sure to visit the 15th Century Kasbah fortress and dungeons located in the main square “Place Outa el Hammam” which was built to defend the town from invading Spaniards and Portuguese from across The Strait. Also the Spanish Mosque that is abandoned and therefore OK for non-Muslims to enter – this is a 45 minute hike from the town, walking past rivers where the local woman still wash clothes and on a fine day you will be rewarded with stunning views.
One of the best things about Chefchaouen is that its intimate size lets you fully experience the local daily life of Morocco – of course it’s all there in the larger cities but harder to spot in the mayhem of everything else. Here It’s easy to bath with the locals in the town’s Hammam and join in with their ancient cleaning ritual and also watch the comings and goings of the communal bread ovens where it is often the children’s job to go and fetch the bread from the ancient, olive wood kilns. It’s pretty standard to not have an oven in a Moroccan home but even the most wealthy families will prefer the tradition and the taste of the communal ones.
Situated in the Petite Socco, this beautiful, colorful guesthouse offers stunning views over the city and sea, the...
Your hotel in Rabat is a peaceful hideaway nestled within an orange grove surrounded by three acres of gardens. In this exclusive...
A carefully restored former palatial residence, beautifully decorated with wonderful craftsmanship and exquisite taste...
from 1495.50 Euros per person *
* This is the approximate price per person for the forthcoming season based on two people sharing a standard double room.
Please enquire for an exact quote for your required dates and particular room requirements.
So sorry I have not written sooner. My son and I continued traveling for another week after returning to the US and just now really had a chance to sit down to write you an email. Thank you sooooo much for what you did for us. We had an absolutely wonderful time. Everything went smoothly. All we had to do was show up. I could not have asked for more. We both love loved the hotels. So quaint and friendly. I just can't say enough good about the whole experience. It was ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!!!!!!! Again thank you so much.
I am emailing to thank you for arranging the holiday in Morocco for my husband and myself. It was a really lovely experience. Everything went like clockwork and the Riads we stayed in were gorgeous. Our driver through – Mustapha – was excellent; his driving was efficient and courteous – in fact to a large extent he made our holiday. I cannot recommend him too highly. My only complaint is that I bought so many Moroccan artefacts that we had to pay excess baggage on the return flight!! I sang your praises to friends and family when you arranged our car tour of Andalucia and I am doing the same about the arrangements in Morocco.
I don’t know how to thank you enough for what you did for me. My time in Andalucia and Morocco was probably the highlight of my life. All of your organization in terms of accommodation, travel arrangements and information was absolutely impeccable and made my time there so much more enjoyable. In Morocco the driver/guide was superb and I couldn’t have asked for someone better.
Thank you so much for all your help in arranging our tour of Morocco. It was an awesome experience. Our driver/guide Ibraham was wonderful. He explained so much to us about Morocco and was very patient and kind to us. It was obvious that he loves his country and wanted to share his knowledge about his country with us. He made our trip into a tremendous one! Again, thank you so much for organizing this tour for us. It was a vacation we will never forget!
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