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Morocco’s Imperial Cities

This sample itinerary can be tailored to you and your family’s precise requirements and interests. That is what the Morocco specialists at Pomegranate Travel excel at!

Indicative price guide

From $6,999 per person

Based on two people sharing a room and five star hotels.

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Morocco!

Casablanca

Arrive at Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca where you will be met by our VIP service and escorted through arrival procedures.

Casablanca is Morocco’s lively Atlantic-facing financial and trading centre and largest city. With its impressive Art Deco architecture, the oceanfront area of La Corniche with its café culture, and a bustling medina filled with specialist workshops, there is plenty here to explore. Accompanied by your private guide, visit the Hassan II Mosque, one of the only mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims in the form of group tours. Marvel at some of the most outstanding craftsmanship in Morocco as your guide explains the history of this enormous religious landmark jutting over the ocean. Time permitting, visit the Habous area (the “New Town”), where the 1920s Royal Palace and one of the city’s main souks are located. Finally, walk along the Corniche, where Casablanca is lit up in all its glory.

Following your Casablanca tour, a private transfer will take you to Rabat.

Day 2

Casablanca & Rabat

Casablanca, Rabat

Today’s tour is of Rabat, Morocco’s likeable, well-kept capital city on the Atlantic coast. With a convergence of contemporary architecture, colonial influence, the regal palace, and the charm of the ancient medina, Rabat is a diverse town with intriguing highlights. With your private guide, visit the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which holds the tombs of the Moroccan king and his sons, the late King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. Its white marble silhouette and pyramidal green tiled roof exemplify modern Alaouite architecture from the 16th to 19th centuries. You will also see the Hassan Tower, the last remaining sign of what was to be the largest mosque built in the Muslim world. Visit the expansive Royal Palace estate, which is like a city to itself, and journey back in time to Rabat’s historic medina and adjacent fort, the Kasbah of the Udayas with its delightful Andalusian Gardens and panoramic views across Rabat’s expansive Atlantic coast.

For later today, we have arranged an expert briefing where a member of our speaker’s bureau will set out for you the current state of affairs in Morocco, including questions around its political structures and methods of sharing power, in particular focusing on the concept of a constitutional monarchy and how it has brought stability to the country, including through the tumultuous time of the Arab Spring over a decade ago. We will touch on the diverse population, the key social and economic challenges for Morocco today, and Morocco’s role as a bridge between Europe and Africa. Our speakers are prominent journalists, risk analysts and think tank people, and offer deep expertise in their areas of knowledge. This will be a chance to step away from the medinas and romance of the past and probe deeply into the Morocco of today.

This evening we recommend a stroll along the marina with dinner at one of the restaurants there.

Day 3

Meknes, Voloubilis, Villa Hospitality

Meknes, Voloubilis, Idris Moulay

Journey to Fez via the imperial city of Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its ancient medina and royal palace remnants, which had its heyday under Sultan Moulay Ismail.  Accompanied by your private guide, visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, originally built as a mosque and showcasing the finest Islamic artisanship.  Other highlights (currently under renovation) include the Bab Mansour, a magnificent ornamental city gate, once the main entrance to the citadel, featuring intricate mosaic work and inscriptions, the enigmatic underground Qara Prison with its labyrinth of vaulted chambers, and the city’s Granary used as a great storehouse.

Your journey continues approximately 30km north of Meknes to the Roman ruins of Volubilis, the best-preserved archaeological site in Morocco, with a spectacular display of mosaic floors amongst its treasures. With your private guide, explore ancient houses with preserved mosaics, Galen’s Thermal Baths, the Triumphal Arch, the Capitol and the Basilica.

Onwards to Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, the site of the tomb of Idris I, regarded as the founder of the first Moroccan state, and the holiest city in Morocco. Enjoy a lunch at a beautiful private villa with inspiring views and delicious cuisine.

Continue to Fez, the spiritual capital of Morocco.

Day 4

Exploring Fez

Fez

The oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities and a source of great pride and historic preeminence, Fez is the cultural heartland of Morocco. Regarded as a city of intellectuals, its streets are full of madrasas (religious schools) and mosques amongst an impressive display of ceramics, leatherware, textiles and other artisanal workshops, and the University of Al-Karaouine is cited as being the oldest university in the world. Accompanied by your private guide, today’s full-day tour explores the heart of Fez’s UNESCO-listed medina, the largest in the Arab world. See the ornamented Blue Gate of Fez el Bali, walk its car-free streets, and take in the towering minarets, brightly-coloured souks, world famous tanneries, and sound of donkey carts as they rattle past. Visit Fez el Jdid and marvel at the Royal Palace and the Mellah, believed to have once housed 250,000 Jews. Finally, time allowing stop at a ceramics factory and see how traditional artisanship is reproduced, preserving ancient traditions for the modern world.

Fez has some lovely restaurants and excels at traditional Moroccan cuisine, we will be happy to recommend and book.

Day 5

Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen

Today’s journey takes us to the enchanting city of Chefchaouen. This is a longer drive, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic drive as we make our way to our destination.

Chefchaouen is a picture-perfect hillside town in northern Morocco, which sits against the backdrop of the Rif Mountains. Known for the blue-washed houses that adorn its medina, a maze of charming cobbled alleyways full of cafes and boutiques, Chefchaouen attracts visitors with its laidback, bohemian atmosphere and the shades of blue, from cerulean to indigo, that make it instantly recognisable. Today’s tour takes you strolling through this sublime, painted town with its Andalucian and Moroccan influences, where each twist and turn reveals another pretty arch, hand-carved door, winding staircase, or shade of blue contrasted by red roof tiles. Your private guide will point out the key features and explain the different theories behind using the colour blue. You’ll visit the main square, Uta El Hammam, perhaps stopping for a fresh Moroccan mint tea before walking around the restored kasbah. For those who love to show off their vacation pics, you’ll find a perfect backdrop here.

Day 6

Rif Mountains

Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen is perched against the backdrop of the Rif Mountains, Morocco’s most northern mountain range. This land is home to cedar forests, crystal-clear freshwater streams, wild lavender, and waterfalls. Fertile, verdant and flushed with plenty of rainfall, it remains largely unexplored by travellers but a paradise for anyone who loves walking in nature. Today, you’ll walk amongst the spectacular Rif Mountains, accompanied by your private guide, who’ll introduce you to its walking trails, waterfalls, and resident flora and fauna. There are plenty of hikes to choose from, varying in length, and you’ll also have the opportunity to visit the stunning Akchour waterfalls. This tranquil escape into the countryside provides an ideal contrast to the town’s lively atmosphere. The challenge level and duration of this hike will depend on your preferences and level of fitness.

Following you hike, you will return to Fes.

Day 7

Cooking workshop

Fez

Fez is considered to be Morocco’s food capital, showcasing some of the country’s most unique and memorable flavours. Consider this Moroccan fusion, where Berber, Arab and European influences collide, resulting in an explosion of tastes and aromas. Today’s inviting culinary experience takes you to the heart of Fassi cooking with a culinary workshop in a beautiful courtyard kitchen. Explore the roots of Moroccan flavours through Fez’s unique history, applying these concepts to modern-day cooking techniques. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, you’ll create a mouthwatering menu of Moroccan tapas or vegetarian dishes that combine tradition with the creativity of the modern kitchen. We can also arrange a pairing with local Moroccan wines, and for a longer experience consider adding in a pre workshop souk tour too!

After an enjoyable afternoon at leisure in the hotel, we will leave Fez behind and travel by internal flight to the captivating city of Marrakech.

Day 8

Marrakech Classics & Calligraphy Workshop

Marrakech

With its exotic heritage, fragranced gardens, labyrinthine medina, and flamboyant souks, Marrakech encapsulates the spirit of the Maghreb like no other city. With full flexibility, today’s privately guided half-day tour is an opportunity to explore Morocco’s “Ochre City”, taking in the sites that interest you most. Highlights include the main square, Djemaa el Fna, famed for its snake charmers, fortune tellers, musicians and dance troupes, and the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, a symbol of the city’s rich Islamic history. You might choose to explore the Jewish Quarter (Mellah), touching on the history of Jewish footprints in the region. Lovers of architecture (and beauty we might add!) won’t want to miss the resplendent palaces of Morocco, and will want to visit one of the 19th-century Bahia Palace, renowned for its zouak ceilings, or El Basha Palace or Dar Si Said (once reopened). Further treasures include the 16th-century Saadian Tombs within the royal kasbah, and Medersa Ben Youssef, perhaps the most exquisite example of Islamic architecture within a madrasa in Morocco. Whether you like to tour fast or slow, to focus on one topic or gain an overview, your private guide will tailor this tour to your specific interests.

Return to your beautiful hotel for some downtime, and then immerse yourself in the ancient art of handwriting at this delightful private Marrakesh calligraphy workshop, brought directly to you at your hotel. In Arabic, calligraphy is “chat Arabi,” which means the “Arabic line,” and it is concerned with respecting the exact shape and proportion of each letter. Morocco has its own distinct form, unique from other types found throughout the Arab world, and through calligraphy, we gain a greater understanding of its cultural and artistic heritage. Your teacher today is the best of the best – none other than a calligrapher to King Mohammed VI of Morocco and a passionate supporter of Moroccan arts. This memorable workshop introduces you to the wonderful world of Moroccan calligraphy, using traditional bamboo and ink to write Arabic letters and words.

This evening enjoy dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants, or alternatively allow us to recommend a city restaurant and book for you.

Day 9

Jardins Majorelle & Artisans

Marrakech

Created by French artist Jacques Majorelle, later purchased by Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech’s Jardin Majorelle is a magnificent 12-acre botanical garden in the heart of the city, with an enormous display of cactus trees, cypresses, towering banana palms and vibrant bougainvillaea surrounding a bright cobalt blue art deco studio, which houses the Musée Berbère (Berber Museum). Stroll along the peaceful shaded pathways and take in the scent of roses, jasmine and hibiscus while you learn about the history of the gardens and their 40-year creation by Jacques Majorelle. Visit the Berber Museum in Majorelle’s former painting studio, wander through its collection of Berber art, textiles and artefacts, and learn about North Africa’s first inhabitants’ history and rich cultural heritage.

Dive into Marrakech’s artisanal heritage with a private tour dedicated to the city’s craftsmanship. But first, your adventure begins at the heart of Moroccan life – the kitchen – where you’ll prepare a slow-cooked dish cherished by locals called tangia. This special recipe, steeped in legend and tradition, is unique to Marrakech and encapsulates its culinary spirit. Leaving your dish to cook slowly in its clay pot, set off to explore the city’s vibrant marketplaces, known locally as souks. In a zero-pressure environment, accompanied by an expert guide, delve into the wonderful world of Moroccan crafts.  Each experience is unique, but for example you might meet artisans of traditional tilework, brass etching, leatherwork and zaouak wood painting. This is a fully immersive tour where you’ll get to participate and create as you observe local craftsmen and gain insight into the city’s enduring cultural legacy.

Finally, return to the kitchen and sample your dish fresh from the oven!

Day 10

Day at leisure

Marrakech

Having now experienced the charm and wonder of Morocco we invite you to a day of total relaxation, where you can let it all sink in.  Your hotel has world class facilities for you to enjoy as you start to sift through the highlights of this expansive Morocco tour.

Day 11

Depart Morocco

Marrakech

You will be transferred by comfortable air-conditioned car to Marrakech Menara International Airport. Our VIP service will assist you with procedures. We wish you a safe and comfortable journey and trust you will be returning home with special memories.

Stay longer

Stay longer in the Atlas Mountains or heading out to the desert

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