Highlights of the Imperial Cities

Tour Hassan, Rabat

(7 nights/8 days)
Discover the magic of Morocco ‘s Imperial Cities, both old and new. With labyrinthine medina (old walled towns), bustling souks (markets), unique architecture, ancient traditions & fine aromatic cuisine, you’ll be charmed and inspired. This journey will take you from the busy commercial centre of Casablanca to Morocco ‘s capital, Rabat ; and on to the smallest of the imperial cities, Meknes. After discovering a little of Morocco ‘s Roman history with a visit to the ruins of Volubilis, you’ll then have plenty of time to explore Morocco ‘s spiritual capital, Fes. With its winding alleys full of craftsmen, great mosques, ancient koranic schools, and the old working tanneries, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into another era. No journey in Morocco is complete without visiting the great city of Marrakech, with its red-walled medina that centres on the great square of Djemaa el Fna. Here the city comes alive well into the night with food stalls and performers to dazzle you.

Starts Casablanca / Ends Marrakech

Day 1. Casablanca

  • Transfer from Casablanca Airport to a hotel in the centre of this large North African city, a busy commercial centre with many parks and terraces. You should not miss the Hassan II mosque, believed to be the largest in the world after Mecca. Hotel. (No meals included)

Day 2. Rabat

  • Today we have a short journey to Morocco ‘s capital, Rabat. This busy political centre has a mix of the old and new – wide, tree-lined boulevards in the new town lead to the narrow bustling alleys of the old medina. You have the day to explore – visit the Tour Hassan and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V; the Kasbah Oudaias, dominating the estuary entrance and used to defend the city against pirates; the Chellah, a 13 th century necropolis that also encloses the remains of the ancient Roman City of Sala Colonia. In the evening you might like to relax in a boulevard café and sip mint tea while watching the nightly promenade. Hotel. (B)

Day 3. Meknes

  • We continue to Meknes, the smallest and friendliest of the five imperial cities of Morocco. The drive to Meknes will take over three hours and you will be amazed at the difference in atmosphere you will experience. The old part of Meknes is beautiful and has a feel of the oriental and the Mediterranean at the same time. The immense city walls and gates lead the visitors’ imagination into times long gone. The labyrinth of alleys and market stands is a joy to any visitor and the friendly inhabitants will gladly show you the products they are selling, like spices, olives, pottery, copperware or carpets. Hotel. (B)

Day 4. Volubilis – Moulay Idriss – Fes

  • On your way to Fes you will first make an excursion to nearby Volubilis, the remains of a Roman city, and Moulay Idriss, the burial place of the founder of Morocco ‘s first imperial dynasty. For Moroccans it is a place of pilgrimage. Through beautiful hilly scenery you will reach the deeply religious city of Fes. Once one of the most important places of scholarship in the world, containing within its walls the bastion of Islamic teaching. A tour of the souks and inner quarters of the city can only be made when accompanied by a certified local guide. But once you are in the bowels of the 1200 year old city, you will get the real ‘1001 nights’ feeling by glimpses of beauty and whiffs of perfume mixed with the smell of donkey dung. Fes deeply impresses its visitors and is an experience not to be missed. Hotel. (B)

Day 5. Fes

  • On this free day you can visit the old medina with a guide. A sight-seeing tour takes up to 5 hours. With its winding alleys full of craftsmen, great mosques, ancient koranic schools, and the old working tanneries, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into another era. Your guide can show you the way to a traditional Moroccan restaurant where you can take lunch. In the afternoon you will have time to go shopping in the old town for the treasures hidden in old stores or to enjoy watching the crowd in the modern part of town with its many terraces. Another option is an excursion with your minibus to Sefrou in the Middle Atlas, 30 km from Fes. Hotel. (B)

Day 6. Marrakech

  • You head south via a winding route that takes you through the pine forests of the Middle Atlas to Beni Mellal, the centre of a huge agricultural area. From here you will be able to see the High Atlas Mountains in the distance, as you make your way to your final destination – Marrakech, the exotic ochre coloured city that is the imperial city of the south. Your hotel is located near the Djemaa-el-Fna Square, the vibrant heart of the city. The activities on the square are continually changing – you’ll see snake charmers, musicians, acrobats and storytellers. In the evening open food-stalls are set up with delicious kebabs and salads. Your senses will be reeling in the narrow streets of the medieval medina. Fully loaded donkeys walk back and forth through the narrow streets, which smell of herbs, leather and meat stalls. You will be overwhelmed by the exuberant mix of colourful carpets, fruits, herbs and dyed skeins of wool. In the courtyards the tanners are busy working. Small gateways provide an entrance to the beautifully constructed and decorated sultan’s tombs, old palaces and Koranic schools. You have two days to explore. Hotel. (B)

Day 7. Marrakech

  • You have full day to explore this vibrant city. Hotel. (B)

Day 8. Departure

  • Transfer to Marrakech airport for your onward flight. (B)

Best season: possible all year

Extend your stay
You might like to extend your visit to Morocco by adding a stay in the High Atlas Mountains for a glimpse of mountain Berber life; or spending a few days on the Atlantic Coast at the old Portuguese fishing port of Essaouira.

You could combine this tour with one of our trekking trips to give you a truly adventurous Moroccan experience. See our ‘High Atlas Discovery’ tour, ‘Saghro Traverse’ tour or ‘Southern Desert Trek’ tour.

Prices per person:

based on a party of 2
based on a party of 3
based on a party of 4

Single supplement:
For parties with an uneven number of persons, a single room at hotels will be necessary and a single supplement will be charged.

Prices will includes:

  • Meals as indicated in itinerary: B – Breakfast, D – Dinner
  • All transportation by minibus with an English speaking driver; arrival transfer in Casablanca and departure transfer in Marrakech
  • 7 Nights accommodation in tourist-class hotels on twin shared basis

Remarks:

  • Special rates apply for larger groups
  • Accommodation is in well-situated tourist-class hotels. Rooms are equipped with a bathroom.

Upgrade your stay:
Should you wish to upgrade the hotels and accommodation for your trip, we have a selection of traditional-styled riad and kasbah hotels that can fit with this itinerary. In some places you also have the choice of deluxe or luxury accommodation. Please enquire for a tour price with a different standard of accommodation.

Price Excludes:

  • Flights, visas, airport taxes
  • Other meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Tips, drinks, laundry, souvenirs and other personal expenditure
  • Entrance fees, local guides
  • Personal travel insurance

For prices please contact us.


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