MOROCCO GRAND TOUR
April 10 to April 23, 2019
"We were surprised by how secure we felt while travelling in Morocco. The Moroccan people were very friendly and welcoming. The Landscape is stunning from desert dunes to luxurious vegetation in the Atlas Mountains.
We loved to stay in the Riads they were comfortable and the service impeccable. Jean you are a person very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and full of resources. We appreciated your team who went out of their way to help all of us. Thank you Jean for this wonderful trip."
Rodney Anderson & Claude Lacasse, 2015
"Jean, thanks for a great trip to Morocco. Janice and I enjoyed the opportunity to experience the hotels built on the riad principle of the interior-oriented building with the full-height atrium. Each offered its own surprise as one passed from a nondescript street to a beautiful interior. The Berber camps offered another, vastly different way of life, and were fascinating as well.
Morocco was full of new sights, sounds, and tastes, and we enjoyed them all. The desert camp was, of course, a highlight…experiencing the dunes of the Sahara made for unforgettable memories.
Your limitless depth of knowledge on every aspect of the entire trip always adds greatly to the value of your trips…we will look forward to the next adventure! Thanks again."
Bill and Janice Zoller. Their second trip with me.
I wanted to let you know that our trip to Morocco was fascinating! As always, you out did yourself. The trip was well organized, educational, interesting and varied.
Thank you very much for everything you did and looking forward to the next one.
Jacqueline Albarran. Their second trip with me
This African nation has gotten a bad rap in recent years. Some have labeled Morocco dangerous for solo female travelers, and others have raised a red flag about petty theft. But the truth is street harassment and pick-pocketing can happen just about anywhere you go to varying degrees.To put it into perspective, Morocco has been declared a
Level 1 risk by the U.S. State Department, basically, as safe as you can get. To call Morocco dangerous would be an exaggeration. And to call it exotic would be an understatement. Morocco is widely considered the most outlandishly gorgeous country in all of Africa. On a trip here, you can tour the Sahara desert, browse the outdoor markets of Marrakesh and Casablanca, dine on meals cooked in clay, and Instagram your heart out in the blue-painted city of Chefchaouen...and that's just for starters. Even your accommodations are bound to be breathtaking, not to mention shockingly affordable - Kristine Solomon - The Reader's Digest - 4/11/2018
DAY 1: April 10: Fly to Morocco (airfare not included)
Casablanca, Morocco, is the International Airport when flying from the USA. There are direct flights from New York and Montreal on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Royal Air Maroc. If you fly any other way you will have to change flights in Europe with about 30 choices of airports having direct connections to Casablanca. The airfare is not included. You return flight will be from Casablanca.
DAY 2: April 11: Casablanca / Rabat (D1)
After you leave the custom area at the Casablanca Aiport, our driver will take you to the hotel in Rabat, the Moroccan Capital. Later we will all meet for a drink prior to go to dinner together.
Overnight in Rabat. Dinner with the group.
DAY 3: April 12: Rabat /Chefchaouen (B1-L1-D2)
After breakfast, a morning tour in Rabat will include the Kasbah of the Oudayas, the Royal Palace within the walls of the Mechouar, Hassan Tower, and Mohammed V Mausoleum, the city’s invariable symbol magnificently situated on the crest of a hill.
After lunch with the group, we will drive to the fabulous and famous BLUE City of Chefchaouen in the Rif Moutains.
Overnight in Chefchaouen - Lunch, Dinner with the group.
DAY 4: April 13: Chefchaouen/Fez (B2-L2-D3)
After breakfast and another look at the Blue city, we drive to Roman ruins of Volubilis, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania built in the 3rd century BC.
Then we drive to Fes.
Overnight in Fes - Lunch, Dinner with the group.
DAY 5: April 14: Fes (B3-L3)
After breakfast sightseeing tour of Fez, oldest of the Morocco Imperial Cities, founded in 790 A.D. This city is the spiritual, cultural, and educational center of the country and renowned for its traditional crafts. This morning will include the monuments and historical sites such as the Karaouine University and Mosque, considered by the Guinness World Records as well as UNESCO as the oldest continuously operating, degree-granting university in the world. Interestingly, though students at the university must be both Muslim and male to attend, the original establishment was founded in 859 by a woman named Fatima al-Fihri. Al-Fihri migrated with her family from the Tunisian city of Kairouan (the namesake of the mosque and university) to Fes, Morocco. She proceeded to spend all of her family inheritance on constructing a mosque for her community with an associated school, known as a madrasa. iAt the center of the square stands the Nejjarine fountain, decorated with tiles, and considered to be the finest examples of geometric ornamentation in the city.
We will have lunch together before visiting the ancient Dyers Tannery - Then we will meet artisans who precisely cut tiles with a hammer into very small geometric pieces, to assemble them into intricate wall panels, fountains, table tops and potteries.
Overnight in Fez - Lunch with the group
DAY 6: April 15: Fez / Ifran / Midelt / Erfoud /Merzouga (B4-L4-D4)
After breakfast, departure for Erfoud via the mountains and the cedar woods of the middle Atlas passing by passing through the Berber villages and towns of Imouzzer, Azrou and Ifran a charming ski resort well-known for its wood carving. It is said that Ifran was the capital of a Jewish Kingdom in the distant past.
We stop in the small town Midelt for lunch and continuation to Erfoud via Errachidia and the Ziz valley dotted with palm trees, which are the source for the yearly date Festival in Erfoud.
We are coming across a totally different face of the country, where there are huge sand dunes in Merzouga, the Saharan dune field closest to Europe. It is where we will be taking 4X4 SUVs to reach our camp where we will spend the night. Each couple or single person has a private tent with a real bathroom with toilet a vanity and a shower. You can sit and gaze at the barren beauty of the huge dunes while having a glass of wine. Then we will ride on dromedaries to go up one of the dune to admire a fantastic sunset. Back we will have dinner and after that we should sit out to admire the eight sky in the desert, which is something really fabulous.
Overnight under tent, each with a private bath . Dinner with the group.
We will spend the day in the Sahara, visiting small village and a family of nomads who lives in their tented camp.
Overnight under tent. Lunch, Dinner with the group.
DAY 7: April 16: Erfoud/ Rissani / Tinghir/Ouarzazate (B5-L5-D5)
After a breathtaking view of the sunrise, we leave the camp and we are going visit the nearby city of Rissani, the holy city where Moulay Ali Cherif, ancestor of the Alaouite dynasty is buried. Then we continue on to the ruins of 17th-century Ksar Abbar fortress. Continuing South to the "Land of a Thousand Kasbahs" where many Kasbahs, once the fortified houses of Berber warlords, are still seen, some crumbling and some still inhabited by Berber families The day features one beautiful scene after another, including the village of Tinghir, a stunning mountain oasis rising on a series of river-side terraces lush with palm trees; and the spectacular Todra Gorge from its plunging depths to its 1000 foot high cliffs. Following lunch, continue to Tineghir and visit its Mellah gateway and the ancient and colorful Jewish quarter, and then we visit Kelaa Magouna, known for its roses, and then continue to Ouarzazate a desert outpost in the Southern Kasbah, offering an old town with its maze of narrow streets and a new town, we reach the city of Ouarzazate in late afternoon.
Near Ouarzazate, famous as a filming location for Hollywood blockbusters like "Lawrence of Arabia, Patton, Gladiator and Games of Throne," the soon to be the world's largest concentrated solar power plant, will produce enough energy to power over one million homes by 2018 and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 760,000 tons per year, according to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) finance group.
Overnight in Ouarzazate - Lunch, Dinner with the group.
DAY 8: April 17: Ouarzazate/ Marrakesh (B6-L6-D6)
In the morning on our way to Marrakech we stop to look at the movie studios of Ouazazate. Then on to Kasbah Tourirt, the old Glaoui Palace then we head off towards Ait ben-Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Southern Morocco's most interesting and scenic villages. Then as we begin our descent from the High Atlas mountains we pass through typical villages with fortified walls and stone houses with earthen roofs. In Tichka, we traverse the Pass of the Pastures (alt 7,415 feet), where life is much as it was centuries ago…arriving in Marrakesh late afternoon. You will be transferred to your hotel where you will be given time to settle in and freshen up.
In the evening take an orientation tour with your driver/guide, also witness the carnivalesque public square Djemaa el-Fna come alive at sunset, before going to dinner withe the group.
Overnight in Marrakesh - Lunch, Dinner with the group.
Day 9: April 18: Marrakesh (B7-L7)
After breakfast, a sightseeing tour of this beautiful city includes:
The Menara Gardens, built in the 12th century, are surrounded by a picture perfect background of the Atlas Mountains and lovely groves of olives. On Wednesday - Saturday, the garden is a city highlight as its pool area gets overtaken with acrobats, dancers and fireworks. In summer, the Menara has several drink stalls. The name menara derives from the pavilion with its small green pyramid roof (menzeh). The pavilion was built during the 16th century surrounding an artificial lake - the point of confluence of a canal system - used to irrigate the surrounding gardens and orchards.
16th century Saadian Tombs, the Museum of Moroccan Arts, the famous Koutoubia Minaret and the magnificent Bahia Palace. After lunch, we continue to Djemaa-el-Fna Square, the heart of Marrakesh.
Overnight in Marrakesh - Lunch with the group
Day 10: April 19: Marrakesh (B8)
Today we will visit Marrakesh's famous gardens:
The Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh is one of the most visited sites in Morocco. It took French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) forty years of passion and dedication to create this enchanting garden in the heart of the “Ochre City”. Located in the heart of Gueliz, Hivernage within the Imperial city of Marrakesh. It is one of the most delightful and stunning spots within this red walled city. To arrive at this meticulously designed botanical garden you must pass through Marrakesh's medina filled with acres of olive groves and palms. Majorelle Blue. Jacques Majorelle returned to France in 1962 after a car incident and died later that year of complications from his injuries.
Afternoon free at leisure or going with Jean to discover, the newly opened Yves-Saint-Laurent Museum, then a little gem of an almost undiscovered garden and some small museum with interesting artifacts telling us more about the Berbers of Morocco.
Overnight in Marrakech
DAY 11: April 20: Marrrakech /Essaouira (B9-L8-D7)
After breakfast, departure to Essaouira the most charming and attractive coastal town, This is the charm with its blue and white, art galleries, wood workshops, fishermen and colorful boats all enclosed by ancient red walls. Essaouira is the city that mystically fascinates the Artists, the authors and the musicians from all over the world, The city is facing a group of rocky islands and is surrounded by an stretch of sandy beaches and dunes.
Overnight in Essaouira - Lunch, Dinner with the group.
DAY 12: April 21: Essaouira (B10)
visit of Morocco's most charming and attractive coastal tow with the "castle" after the Jimi Hendrix song "Castles in the Sand." Everything in the small center is easy walking and streets are very clean. The center melts into the sea on a beach just on the outside of its old gate. Many tourists are attracted by the wind, good for surfing, and has become internationally famous for its contests and has brought windsurfers from all over the world.
Overnight in Essaouira
DAY13: April 22: Essaouira / El Jadida / Casablanca (B11-L9-D8)
After breakfast, departure to Casablanca We will follow the road that parallels the Atlantic Coast. We will make a stop at Safi, city which was Portuguese and later the residence of the French Consul in Morocco. Today it is a fishing port and a city known for its ceramics. Continuation by the Coastal road and its splendid sights. Stop at Oualidia city for lunch. Then we will have a short visit of El Jadida city, called Mazagan which is famous for its resort beach. via El Jadida, the medieval city occupied by Portuguese in 1506, proclaimed world heritage of UNESCO in 2004.This city keeps the print of its Portuguese roots.
Overnight in Casablanca - Lunch, Farewell dinner with the Group
DAY 14: April 23: Casablanca Airport (B12)
Breakfast at hotel. You will be driven to the airport.
8 to 14 participants
Those airlines fly INTO and OUT of Casablanca
TAP Air Portugal
- Royal Air Maroc has
Direct flights from NY & Montreal
1 night in Rabat.
1 night in Chefchaouen
2 nights in Fez.
1 night under a luxury tent in the desert
1 night in Ouarzazate
3 nights in Marrakesh
2 nights in Essaouira
1 night in Casablanca
12 breakfasts - 9 lunches - 8 dinners
Entrance fees to all sites visited, included some visited at the spur of a moment
Private guides. Our own mini-bus.
Maps - Tax - Gratuities. Pick-up and drop-off at airport
Medical and Accident insurance
$ 6150.00 per person in double occupancy
$ 7450.00 for one person in single occupancy