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8 DaysPhoto

Dec 23: Arrive Casablanca / Rabat (57 miles) (LD)
Morning arrival to Casablanca, Morocco and proceed on sightseeing tour of “The White City”. Drive through the wide avenues and walk through the narrow streets of the Medina. Also visit United Nations Square, Habous district, Hassan II Mosque (outside) and Corniche Boulevard. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Casablanca before our afternoon journey to Rabat. Get together for a welcome dinner at the hotel this evening.

Overnight at the Sofitel Jardins des Roses.

Dec 24: Rabat (BLD)
Enjoy a city tour of Rabat visiting the Kasbah of Oudayas, Hassan Tower, the minaret of the great mosque, Mohammed V Mausoleum, the Medina, the Royal Palace, the city gates and Chellah Necropolis.
Enjoy a special Christmas Eve Gala Dinner at the hotel.
Optional Christmas Eve Mass at the local cathedral.

Overnight at the Sofitel Jardins des Roses.

Dec 25: Rabat / Meknes / Fes (128 miles) (BL)
After breakfast, we will proceed to Fes via Meknes and Volubilis. Meknes became the capital of Morocco in 1672 during the reign of Moulay Ismail, a contemporary of the French King Louis XIV, whom he emulated by building a huge palace, nicknamed the "Versailles of Morocco". Unfortunately, the Lisbon earth-quake of 1755 destroyed most of it. The remains are the ramparts, the majestic Bab El Mansour gate and some of the stables that used to house thousands of horses.

After the tour of Meknes, proceed to the well preserved Roman ruins of Volubilis from which the lions came for Roman Gladiator fights. From Volubilis, view the holy city of Moulay Idriss, which holds the tomb of Moulay Idriss, the great grandson of the Prophet Mohamed and the founder of Islam in Morocco. His shrine is a pilgrimage site for Muslims from all over the world. Continue to Fes.

Overnight at the Hotel Sahrai.

Dec 26: Fes (BD)
After breakfast, our English speaking tour guide will take us on a tour of the medina (old city). The Fes medina is a World Heritage Site. Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 14th century. The principal monuments in the medina - palaces, residences, mosques and fountains - date from this period. Walking through one of its gates takes you to the middle ages. We take a tour behind the gates: including the University Karaouine one of the oldest universities in the world founded in 859 by a woman.

You will also see the fountain Nejjarine and, at its far end, the Fondouk el-Nejjarine with its richly decorated facade, probably built in the 17th century and recently converted into a Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts. Then the Medersa Bou Inania (former Koranic school from 14c. The medresa is one of the few religious buildings open to non-Muslims. We continue to the tanneries, unchanged since medieval times.
This afternoon explore the souks in the old Medina. The souk is a complex network of streets selling luxury goods like fine silks and brocades, high quality kaftans and jewelry. There are also souks selling spices, a slipper souk and a henna souk, plus leather and ceramics areas. We spend the afternoon shopping in the souks, accompanied by our guide. Non shoppers will have cameras ready. (Try on some henna lipstick!) Listen to the muezzins call to prayer from the roof of our hotel at sunset, unforgettable sounds and sights.
This evening enjoy a dinner with entertainment (wedding ceremony) at Palais Medina Restaurant.

Overnight at the Hotel Sahrai.

Dec 27: Fes / Marrakech (324 miles) (BL)
After breakfast, depart for Marrakech via the Middle Atlas mountains. Dress comfortably as it is a long drive. You will be driving through picturesque pine forest scenery that will make you think more of Switzerland than Morocco. You will see Ifrane, a very popular ski and summer resort among Moroccans. Lunch stop in Beni-Mellal. Early evening arrival in Marrakech.

Overnight at the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa.

Dec 28: Marrakech (BLD)
After breakfast, our English speaking local guide will take us on a Historical city tour of Marrakech to discover its rich Jewish Heritage along with some other historical monuments of the city known as the “Pink Pearl of the South”.
Visit the former and current synagogues within the Mellah near which we will also find an original Jewish cemetery, several centuries old. The cemetery is now below ground-level, completely covered, and hidden by a second "generation" (level) of graves. The current cemetery, at ground level, dates back about 200 to 300 years.
The city tour also includes The Koutoubia Minaret completed in the 10th century, a replica of the Hassan Tower in Rabat and the Giralda in Seville and the Saadian Tombs which date to the 14th century, sixty members of that dynasty are buried there. The pavilion at the Menara Gardens was built in the 12th century and used as a summer residence by the Sultan. The Palais Bahia is a private palace built at the end of the 19th century. The rooms are decorated with stunning Islamic patterns and painted carved cedar wood ceilings. We will also visit a Berber Pharmacy.

Today we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the medina.

In the afternoon we take a horse-drawn carriage ride to the beautiful "Les Jardins Majorelle". It is a botanical garden created by Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s; the plants are imported from around the world and highlighted by structures painted brilliant cobalt known as the "Majorelle Blue". The gardens were owned by the French couturier Yves Saint Laurent who died in 2008 and whose ashes are scattered in the gardens. Here we will enjoy mint tea and henna painting.
Then, visit Djma-el-Fna Square, the beating heart of Marrakesh, where after sunset the fortune tellers, acrobats, vendors, snake charmers and magicians put on a never-ending show.
Tonight enjoy dinner with a folklore show at “Fantasia Chez Ali”. Typical Moroccan cuisine served family style in a casually opulent atmosphere with continuous music and local entertainment including an amazing equestrian show, belly dancer, and lots of fun …

Overnight at the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa.

Dec 29: Marrakech (B)
Enjoy a full day visiting different art and design galleries and boutiques with contemporary and antique art available for purchase. We will also explore authentic Moroccan handicraft bazaars and souks. In the late evening we will re-visit Jema el Fna square to enjoy the local entertainment.

Optional Experience:
In the afternoon, we will be driven to the cooking class at the Riad La Maison Arabe.
The class beings at 3:00pm, and upon completion at 7:00pm, enjoy the authentic Moroccan dish you have prepared for dinner.

Overnight at the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa.

Dec 30: Depart Marrakesh (B)
Transfer to the airport for your departing flight.

OPTIONAL SAHARA DESERT EXTENSION:

Dec 30: Marrakech / Ait Benhaddou / Ouarzazate / Dades Gorges / Boumalen Dades (BD)
Morning pick up from your hotel and departure through the Atlas Mountains and its highest pass Tizin Tichka (7,400 ft). Ouarzazate was built in 1928 and is now, among other things, the starting point for trips into Southern Morocco. However this stop over town is now a destination in its own. The magnificent Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou proves this point. Unesco has recognized this district with its ochre adobe buildings as a World Heritage of Humanity Site. Several famous movies were shot there such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator and many more. Another attraction is Kasbah Taourirt. It was built in the 19th century and reached the height of importance during the 1930s. continue to Dades Gorges then stop at Kella M’gouna known for the production of cosmetic products using the extract of the locally grown roses for a visit then to Boumalen Dades for dinner and overnight a typical hotel.

Overnight at the Xaluca Dades.

Dec 31: Boumalen Dades / Tinghir / Todra Gorges / Erfoud / Merzouga (BD)
Visit the city of Boumalen Dades to see the beautiful Kasbahs with a panoramic view of the valley, the mountains beyond and Departure towards Erfoud. Continue towards Tinghir and the Todra Gorge, 980 ft high and one of the most impressive Moroccan sites. The Todra Gorge is one of the premier climbing and trekking destinations in Morocco. Continue to Erfoud.

Overnight at the Bivouac (Deluxe Tent with en suite bathroom).

Jan 1: Merzouza / Erfoud / Tazzarine / Agdz / Ouarzazate (BD)
Depart towards Ouarzazate via Tazarine and Draa Valley. Drive northwest to Ouarzazate by crossing the volcanic Atlas Mountains.

Overnight at the Berbere Palace.

Jan 2: Depart Ouarzazate (B)
Early morning breakfast and transfer to the airport for your departing flight.

2016-17
Morocco Package (Dec 23 to 30, 2016)  
 
Small Group Limited Rooms  
Based on 12 passengers  
Land price based on double occupancy: $2,995 per person
Based on minimum 10 pax  
Land price based on double occupancy: $3,195
Optional Single Room Supplement: $1,250 per person
 
Optional Cooking Class: $95 per person  
   
Optional Sahara Desert Extension (Dec 30, 2016 to Jan 2, 2017) - based on 6 passengers
Land price based on double occupancy: $1,250 per person
Optional Single Room Supplement: $200 per person
   
Included Features:
  • Accommodation & Meals - as per itinerary outline
  • Transportation in private bus (12 pax = 16 seater bus / 18 pax = 40 seater bus)
  • Sightseeing w/ entrance fees - as per itinerary
  • 2 bottles of water per person per day in the bus
  • Porterage for airport/hotel arrival/ departure
Not included
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Tours not mentioned
  • International Air & Airport taxes..
  • Tipping/gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone, laundry, beverages
  • Any items not listed above.
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