My first visit to Morocco was at the young age of 18 as a high school graduation gift to myself.
As a young child, I had an interest in diverse cultures, a result of my addiction to National Geographic, even before being to read.
Fast forward many more decades and I continually look forward to my visits to Morocco, as it opened up so many doors for me in understanding the Arab world, learning the language, appreciating the culture and of course, enjoying the cuisine!
I hope you can join me this June 2020, as I lead a very special tour to Morocco. For those flying out of Philadelphia, they can join the inaugural flight by an American carrier going non-stop to Morocco, as American Airlines begins their non-stop Philly Casablanca flight.*
Non-stops are also offered from JFK, Many other gateways offer smooth connections, as well.*
Day 1, Thursday, June 4 – Flight Casablanca
This evening, you depart the US for Casablanca, arriving the next day in Casablanca. Non-stop flights are available from Philadelphia and JFK. Connecting flights from other cities are available.
Day 2, Friday, June 5 – Rabat
Upon arrival this morning in Casablanca, we will be met by our Moroccan guide and depart for Morocco’s capital, Rabat. This morning, after having an opportunity to check into our hotel, we will be touring Rabat, including a visit to the 12th century Hassan Tower, where we learn about the reign of the Almohad dynasty. We will also visit King Mohammed V’s Mausoleum and the Oudaya Gardens. Dinner and overnight in Rabat. (L, D)
Day 3, Saturday, June 6 – Rabat/Chefchaouen
This morning we depart Rabat and drive to Chefchaouen, a wonderful escape nestled in the Rif Mountains, known for the blue found throughout the exteriors of homes. Chefchaouen was where many Muslims and Jews settled following their expulsion from Spain at the end of the 15th century. The architecture resembles the Andalusian style, as well as the color. We will have an opportunity to explore the town’s center, including the medina and the Quartier al-Andalus. Dinner and overnight in Chefchaouen. (B, L, D)
Day 4, Sunday, June 7 – Chefchaouen/Volubilis/Meknes/Fez
This morning we depart Chefchaouen and head south and east to Volubilis, the largest Roman site in Morocco. We will have the opportunity to tour portions of this site.
From Volubilis, we drive to Meknes, one of Morocco’s four “Imperial Cities”. In addition to having lunch in an old palace, we will tour Meknes, with the opportunity to visit the Grand Mosque, Bou Inania Medersa, and Musee Dar Jamaii.
From Meknes, we drive to Fez, a medieval city and another of Morocco’s four Imperial Cities. We will enjoy dinner and overnight in Fez. (B, L, D)
Day 5, Monday, June 8 – Fez
Your day will be devoted to the visit of Fez. Walking through the maze of alleyways, a walk that is only suitable for hearty and healthy walkers, we will see the ancient medina filled with narrow passage ways that limit transportation to animal pulled vehicles.
Fez once had a sizeable Jewish community. While in Fez, we will see the old Jewish quarter, the mellah, including the 17th century Ibn Danan synagogue, and the King’s Palace, one of the most sumptuous complexes in Morocco, as well as a tannery. Leather is treated and dyed for use in Morocco’s many leather products, from shoes, belts, bags and more. Lunch will be in a local restaurant in the medina. Dinner tonight will be independent, with dining suggestions being provided. Overnight in Fez. (B, L)
Day 6, Tuesday, June 9 – Fez to Merzouga
This morning we depart Fez for a trip taking us through the Alpine Mountains of eastern Morocco, via the ski village of Ifrane, eventually arriving to the desert encampment of Merzouga. We will stay in tents, each with its own electricity and ensuite bathrooms. Dinner and overnight in Merzouga tented camp.
(B, L, D)
Day 7, Wednesday, June 10 – More of the Desert Environs with Merzouga to Skoura
Your travel today continues through the southern oases region of Morocco, where winding roads, gorges, and beautiful kasbahs will fill our day. The kasbahs were fortresses providing protection from invading tribes, with numerous kasbahs in the region. Once in Skoura, our base will be one of the beautiful kasbahs of Skoura. Overnight in Skoura. (B, L, D)
Day 8, Friday, June 11 – Marrakech
Today’s travel continues through the desert oases region, with beautiful scenery and desert landscapes. We arrive in Marrakech late in the day. If Fez seemed exotic, Marrakech evokes yet another type of exoticism, set against the backdrop of the desert terrain and beautiful palm trees and gardens. Dinner and overnight in Marrakech. (B, L, D)
Day 9, Saturday, June 12 – Marrakech
Today is a day devoted to exploring Marrakech and its sites. You will also have some independent time this afternoon to explore the maze of the Marrakech market, where one can find everything from leather, jewelry, textiles, and rugs, to the most exotic of foods. We will have the opportunity to visit one of the city’s herbalists who still practices dispensing the natural remedies to many ailments that the West treats with modern medicinal products.
Tonight, you will have the opportunity to explore the many dining options of Marrakech, from the street food and outside dining of the Jma el Fna, to the many restaurants that are continually being written up in travel, food and design magazines. You can also make a return visit to the famous Djema Fna, Morocco’s central square that turns into a circus-type atmosphere at night with crowds coming to the market to listen to the variety of local musicians, enjoying the many food stalls and the exotic atmosphere that has carried on for generations in Marrakech, including snake charmers. Dining options to be provided. Overnight in Marrakech. (B, L)
Day 10, Sunday, June 13 – Essaouira
This morning we depart Marrakech and drive to the port city of Essaouira, also known by the name of Mogador, a Portuguese name which came from the 16th-century development that started with the Portuguese King, Manuel I. A charming windswept town of narrow streets with sheltered houses, many of which have been purchased and renovated by foreigners who have fallen under the enchanting spell of Essaouira. We will have time to do a walking tour of the town, as well as having some free time for you to explore.
Overnight in Essaouira. (B, L, D)
Day 11, Monday, June 14 – Essarouia/Casablanca
This morning we drive to Casablanca, stopping en route at a winery, one of Morocco’s numerous wineries in the region. Following lunch, we continue on to Casablanca, where upon arrival we tour the Hassan II mosque, the largest mosque in the world outside Mecca (the only Moroccan Mosque that can be visited by non-Muslims).
Dinner and overnight in Casablanca. (B, L, D)
Day 12, Tuesday, June 15 – Casablanca
This morning our touring of Casablanca continues…
Casablanca is the home to the majority
of Morocco’s Jewish community. Prior to 1948, the Jewish community
numbered nearly 300,000, the largest in the Arab world. Following the
establishment of the state of Israel, there were several waves of
emigrants leaving Morocco, primarily for Israel and France. Today,
Morocco is still home to the Arab world’s largest Jewish community,
though the numbers are significantly less, estimated to be approximately
3,500, the majority of whom reside in Casablanca.
We will visit the Morocco Museum of Jewish History, the only Jewish museum in the Arab world.
Our “farewell dinner” will be in a special restaurant.
Overnight in Casablanca. (B, D)
Day 13, Monday, June 16 – Departure
This morning we transfer to the airport for your departure flights from Casablanca back to the US. (B)
Rabat: Villa Mandarine
A very special boutique property!
Chefchouen: Dar Chouen
A special “riad”, one of many throughout Morocco.
Fez: Riad Fes
A Relais-Chateau located in the heart of the Fez medina, this is special in atmosphere, property, and service.
Merzouga: Desert Luxury camp
Tented accommodations with ensuite bathrooms and electricity, a wonderful way to go “glamping”!
Skoura: Kasbah ben Damiette
A former kasbah situated within the palmerie, providing yet another desert experience with traditional Moroccan ambiance.
Marrakech: La Sultana
Luxury and history come together in this very special riad.
Essaouira: Palais Heure Bleue
Another member of the Relais & Chateaux group, this historic house provides luxury and personal service.
Casablanca: Hyatt Regency
Located in the heart of Casablanca, this deluxe hotel with beautiful Moroccan interiors provides the five-star service and accommodations known by the Hyatt Regency brand.
$???? per person. No Single Supplement!
Meals as indicated on itinerary (B, L, D)
Gratuities to guide and driver
Personal expenses (alcohol, souvenirs, etc.)