Morocco: Imperial Cities
Day 1 : Arrival in Casablanca. Arrival and Begin your trip with a visit to the Mosque Hassan II (interiors closed on Fridays), dramatically situated at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The mosque was built by the late King Hassan II at the end of his 40 year reign. This outstanding edifice is larger than Saint Peter’s in Rome and capable of holding 80,000 worshippers. Other highlights of your tour of Casablanca include the monumental colonial architecture of Place Mohamed V, the French-built Quartier of Habbous, the gates of Royal Palace, and the Marabout of Sidi Abderrahman (a holy shrine built on a rocky outcropping in the Atlantic Ocean that draws women from all over Morocco in search of miracles). Check in and overnight in Casablanca
Day 2: Casablanca – Fes Casablanca – Fes (294 km). Breakfast. Drive to the extensive Roman ruins at Volubulis (about 1 hour) and tour the capital of the ancient Roman province of Mauritania. Volubulis has some outstanding mosaics still located in situ. After completing your tour of the ruins, make a brief stop at nearby Moulay Idriss, the holiest Muslim site in Morocco. At its center lies the tomb (zaouia) of the man who brought Islam to Morocco twelve centuries ago. Next, visit imperial Meknes. Its spectacular city gates are among the finest in the Arab world. Here, also, is the tomb of the once-feared Moulay Ismail, who modeled his capital of Meknes in the image of Versailles. Other sites of interest are the underground granaries and the vast imperial stables, which once held 12,000 horses. Overnight in Fes
Day 3: Fes After your breakfast. Your driver will pick you up and you will start your sightseeing in the amazing Fes city. Today you will step back in time to the 8th century when you visit Fes EL Bali, The largest living medieval medina with more than 80 thousand houses (shops) and also the cultural heart of Morocco. It believed to be the biggest car-free urban area in the world and this medieval medina also known as UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the neighboring building is the Attarine Medersa (Koranic college), a jewel of Hispano-Moorish architecture, built in the 14th Century.
Your sightseeing also includes a visit to the Nejjarine Square, Fondouq (Caravanserai), Dar Batha and the Museum of Moroccan Arts. Continue your visit to Fez El Jedid (New Fez), built in the 13th Century. Here you will see the Royal Palace, mosques, medersas (schools), souks and the city wall. Overnight in Fes
Day 4: Fes–Rabat Fes – Rabat (207 km). Breakfast. When you are ready, you will head on to Rabat. Upon arriving to Rabat, your tour begins at the ancient necropolis of Chellah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A thriving city for nearly 1,000 years, Chellah’s ruins date from the Roman through the Islamic periods. They are a special favorite of bird-watchers. Visit the picturesque, labyrinthine Kasbah des Oudayas overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the lovely gardens outside the Kasbah. If time allows, visit the compound of the Royal Palace – assuming that King Mohamed VI is not in residence. End your visit, at the majestic Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohamed V. Check in in Rabat and overnight
Day 5: Rabat – Marrakech Rabat-Marrakech (324 Km). Your driver will pick you up and head on to Marrakech through agricultural parts of Morocco. Upon arriving in Marrakech, you are walking in the legendary Jamaa El Fna square where you will watch snake charmers, fortune tellers, acrobats, fire eaters, and musicians perform in harmony. Time permitting, you can enjoy a cup of mint tea in the roof top terrace of Café de France overlooking the hectic square. Upon arriving in Marrakech, you are walking in the legendary Jamaa El Fna square where you will watch snake charmers, fortune tellers, acrobats, fire eaters, and musicians perform in harmony. Check in in Marrakech and overnight
Day 6: Marrakech. Breakfast. Enjoy a full-day tour with your expert guide, private driver and vehicle. Marrakech is recognized as one of the world’s great cities. With the design flair of Paris, the ethnic diversity of New York, and a history to rival any city in Europe, Marrakech is above all a city of heart and soul – a city of sunlight on rough pink walls, of fragrant, richly-hued spices, and of rose petals floating in slowly trickling fountains. Begin your exploration by the defining landmark of Marrakech is the 12th century tiled minaret of the Koutoubia mosque, the ideal place to begin your journey into this entrancing city. From here, you will begin to explore the ancient pink-walled medina.
Visit the medieval Medersa ben Youssef (Koranic university) – one of the finest Islamic monuments in North Africa. Architecture aficionados will enjoy the delicate dome of the 12th century Koubba. Explore the colorful souks (marketplaces) of Marrakech. Each trade −spices, carpets, jewelry, enamel, copper brass, and cedar −is situated in its unique quarter. You might see villagers bringing in their hand-made rugs to sell to the merchants, or you may observe artisans hand-tooling crafts the way it has been done for centuries.
Day 7: Marrakech. Day at leisure
Day 8: Marrakech – Mohammed V International Airport Marrakech – Mohammed V International Airport 222km Breakfast and head to CMN airport for your flight.