One word to describe the medina in Marrakech would be "intoxicating". The uniqueness of this country lies in it's culture with its' vibrant atmosphere consuming your every step with the colours, aromas, sounds and fantastic food. Come join us at dusk in the Djeema El Fna when it comes alive. Sleep under the star in the Sahara at our desert encampment or just chill out at one of our favourite riads.
Merhaba! Welcome to Morocco! On arrival in the country's capital you'll be transferred to our starting hotel. This evening, let's get this tour started with welcome drinks, dinner and introductions galore as we get acquainted with the rest of the group.
A trip to Casablanca wouldn't be complete without visiting one of the only mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims: the Hassan II Mosque. A relative newcomer (it was completed in 1993) this mosque is amongst the largest mosques in the world (the sheer scale of the courtyard is jaw-dropping) and the finest artisans from across the country were commissioned to carry out the intricate detailing on everything from glass to woodwork and marble. We leave Casablanca and head to Morocco's capital city, Rabat. We'll search for lunch down narrow streets lined with whitewashed walls that open out to a breath-taking vista over the ocean before transferring to Chefchaouen this afternoon.
Chefchaouen (or just Chaouen to those in the know) is a little blue village nestled in the Riff Mountains of Northern Morocco. A photographers dream, we dare you not to spend your time here madly snapping every scene you encounter! But before the photo-frenzy begins, let's start our morning taking in the spectacular scenery with a trek to 'God's Bridge", a striking natural rock bridge sitting pretty 25m above the river Oued Farda. Once we've worked up an appetite we'll enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to town to wander the narrow streets of the laid-back medina.
Our first stop this morning is the imperial city of Meknes, a city that reached its' pinnacle during the 17th century when Sultan Moulay Ismail set out to make the city the equal of its' European counterpart, Versailles (not that you'll see too many similarities today though!). Later we'll visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Volubilis, considered to be the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco and home to some stunning mosaics before making our way to Fes.
The city of Fes is, in our opinion, like no other city on earth. The more-than-9000 streets make this medina the largest living Islamic medieval city in the world and as you step through the main gate into the old city you'll feel as though you've stepped back in time.
A long day on the bus today as we travel across the Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara.
We'll jump in 4WDs this morning for our jeep safari through the dunes. The dunes of Erg Chebbi certainly look divine, rising up to 160m and glowing rose-gold, then orange and finally pink-and-purple as the light changes. After lunch we'll make our way to the Ksar el Khorbat, where you will have the unique opportunity to spend the night within the walls of the city.
This morning we have a wonderful opportunity to learn a little bit more about the local Berber culture with a walk through a small village in the Dades Valley, accompanied by our local guide. Later, take in the spectacular limestone cliffs of Todra Gorge before arriving in the movie capital of Morocco, Ouarzazate, where we'll visit the film studios where blockbusters like "Gladiator" and "Game of Thrones" were filmed.
The World Heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou has certainly starred in a few of Hollywood's blockbusters. This morning we'll explore the narrow streets of this ancient fortified city, climbing steadily to reach the top for magnificent views of the surrounding palmeraie and the unforgiving hammada (stony desert). Later, we'll begin our journey across the high Atlas mountains as we make our way to Marrakech where, this evening, we'll get our first introduction to the spectacle that is the Djemaa el Fna (main square).
A full day today of exploring the narrow, maze-like streets as we visit the myriad treasures of the Marrakech medina including the Saadian Tombs and the Ali ben Youssef Medersa. Tonight is the night to experience for yourself the street-eats, the snake charmers, the story tellers that fill the square as we enjoy dinner at one of the food stalls in the centre of the Djemaa el Fna.
For all of the foodies on-tour: today is your day! This morning we will visit an organic farm in a small village out side of Marrakech where we will be taught the techniques of the Moroccan kitchen. All produce is produced on site or in the local village and the farm is an oasis so tranquil you probably won't want to leave! For those that are able to tear themselves away, there are roof-top drink waiting for you on a terrace overlooking the Atlantic ocean in our home for the next two nights, Essaouira.
The destination of choice for musoes for decades (Jimi Hendrix was a big fan!), Essaouira oozes seaside cool with a laidback charm that is echoed by a relaxed live music scene and trendy boutiques with local clothing and home ware labels. The medina here is as cruisey as they come, with all of the tourist trinkets you need before you go home but none of the hassle.
A relaxed start this morning before making our way north to Casablanca. We'll stop for lunch by the golden sands and crescent-shaped lagoon of Oualidia - the perfect backdrop for a sumptuous seafood feast. This evening we'll say goodbye with a bang as we toast our trip and enjoy one of Casablanca's best restaurants.
All good things must come to an end (damn it!) so it's time to say au revoir, for now at least.