The Imperial Capitals
7 nights / 8 days
Day 1 : Casablanca
– On arrival, meet & greet by your English speaking professional local tour escort and private transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Casablanca.
Day 2 : Casablanca / Rabat
– Morning tour of the port city of Casablanca, Morocco’s largest metropolis.Visit the Hassan II Grand Mosque, the highlight of Casablanca. Its minaret is the tallest religious structure in the world. On to Anfa residential district, before proceeding to the the Habbous Quarter and the old Mahkama law court, blending traditional domestic architecture. Early afternoon depart Casablanca for Rabat via the main highway linking these two major cities. Upon arrival, visit Rabat’s cultural highlights : The Hassan Tower, an excellent example of the gorgeous Mauresque style and the nearby mausoleum dedicated to Mohamed V, the founder of modern Morocco. We will also visit the Oudaya Kasbah with its stunning Andalusian gardens and the Archaeological museum housing roman relics to Fez. Overnight in Rabat.
Day 3 : Rabat / Meknes / Fez
– This morning we will travel to Meknes, one of the Imperial capitals of Morocco. See the city’s impressive monuments : Bab Mansour gateway, one of the finest of the great gates of Morocco, The Granaries and the Royal Stables, and Moulay Ismail’s Mausoleum, one of the few shrines that can be visited by non-muslims. On to Volubilis, the largest and most well preserved Roman site in Morocco with its Triumphal Arches, Basilicas and Capitols. The greatest treasures of Volubilis are the superb mosaic floors, excellently preserved and left in situ. Arrive in Fez in the afternoon. Overnight in Fes.
Day 4 : Fez
– After breakfast, we will discover the secrets of the medieval medina-city of Fez El Bali, founded in the 8 th. century. At its heart lies the Karaouine, one of the oldest still functioning university. Nextdoor is the Attarine Medersa (Koranic college), a jewel of Hispano-Moorish architecture. We will also visit the Nejjarine Square and its beautiful fountain and the nearby Fondouq (Caravanserail), now converted to a museum of carpentry artefacts. In the afternoon, we will visit Dar Batha, the museum of Moroccan Arts, housing historical and artistic collections of wood carvings, embroidery, tribal carpets and ceramics. Continue on to Fez El Jedid (New Fez). Most notably, it is home to the Royal Palace and the Mellah, the old Jewish quarter, providing an interesting insight into the Jewish architecture. The medieval Medina is a UNESCO world heritage site. Overnight in Fes.
Day 5 : Fez / Marrakech
– After breakfast, we will journey into the cedar forested Middle Atlas, North Africa’s greatest mountain range. We will be crossing Berber villages of Azrou and Khenifra en route to Beni Mellal situated in the heart of the fertile Tadla Plain. The latter part of the journey sees the road descend from the Atlas Mountains further south and down into the Haouz Plain, before reaching Marrakech. Overnight in Marrakech.
Day 6 : Marrakech
– This morning, we will discover the city’s architectural attractions situated inside the Medina : The Koutoubia minaret, the most perfect Islamic religious structure in North Africa. The Saadian Mausoleum displaying high level of decoration, using traditional stucco and Granada-style carving, typical of classical Moroccan buildings. The Bahia Palace, a masterpiece of domestic architecture and Dar Si Said one of the most beautiful palaces, now home to the museum of Moroccan Arts and Crafts. In the afternoon, we will visit the labyrinthine souks in the old town. We will explore colourful alleys and small squares, home to stalls and ateliers devoted to specific crafts. In the early evening, we will head to Djemaa El Fna, the city’s main square and the beating heart of Marrakech, where mime artists and street musicians perform at every turn. Overnight in Marrakech.
Day 7 : Marrakech
– We will spend this morning visiting the beautiful gardens which are dotted around the city : The Menara gardens, set in an extensive olive grove with its huge pool and fabulous view of the Atlas Mountains, The Jardin Majorelle designed by the French artist Jacques Majorelle. This garden is a fabulous tropical paradise, surrounded by vivid cobalt blue buildings with verdant exotic groves, Lily-covered pools, and sculptural cactuses. The afternoon is at leisure to continue your exploration of Marrakech. Overnight in Marrakech.
Day 8 : Marrakech – departure
– After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Marrakech airport for your onward flight.