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Moroccan Allure

Package Includes

  • Small groups of 10-18 travelers guaranteed
  • Round trip international flights NYC-Casablanca
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 12 nights in First Class accommodations that evoke the local character
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers and sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • 32 meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches & 9 dinners (including a home hosted dinner, and welcome & farewell dinners)
  • Bottled water during sightseeing excursions. Bottled water, coffee, and tea with all meals. Beer and wine included with dinner except on day 4
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features

Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size of 10-18 travelers, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • Explore the remarkably preserved Volubilis, once a major African outpost of the Roman Empire
  • Watch how leather is cut and dyed at the Chouwara Tannery
  • Join a Fez family for a dinner of home-cooked fare in their dining room
  • Meet the women of the Argan Oil Cooperative and see how they extract nutritive oil from this nut
  • Camp in the Sahara under an endless canopy of desert stars
  • Visit a facility in the rose-blanketed Dades Valley to see how rose water is made
  • Explore Ait Benhaddou, an ancient desert village on an old caravan route
  • Marvel at the circus atmosphere of Marrakesh’s Djemaa el Fna Square, bustling with acrobats, performers, and snake charmers
  • Sample the vintages at the Val d’Argan Winery
  • Stroll the inviting medina in seaside Essaouira, bustling with crafts shops and fish mongers

Also Available


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    DAY 1, Saturday - Depart the USA
    Depart the USA for Morocco. Your overnight flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for the journey

    DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive Casablanca/Transfer to Rabat
    Arrive in Casablanca this morning. We will return to see more this legendary city at tour’s end. For now, we transfer to Rabat, a heady swirl of color, culture, and history. After lunch at the hotel, spend the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a welcome briefing. Following the orientation, we enter the medina for our welcome dinner at a local restaurant
    Overnight: Villa Mandarine, Rabat
    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 3, Monday - Explore Volubilis & Meknes/Overland to Fez
    After breakfast, we tour the capital. Begin with a drive past the beautifully tiled entrance to the Royal Palace, followed by a stop at Bab Rouah, or the city’s “Gate of the Winds,” so called because it’s been battered by Atlantic winds since its construction in 1197. We visit Hassan Tower, part of an unfinished mosque started by a 12th-century caliph. At the incredibly preserved Kasbah of the Udayas, we explore the fortress and take a shady stroll in the French-colonial Andalusian gardens. End our day at Chellah, the necropolis and ruins of an ancient Roman outpost. Next, we drive inland to Fez. Along the way, we stop to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Volubilis, the once-bustling city and African administrative center of the Roman Empire. The site also has vestiges of the Berber civilization that took the city from Rome in AD 270. We continue to Meknes and view the Bab Mansour gate, beautifully patterned with zellij mosaics. After lunch in the city, we continue to Fez, arriving in time for dinner at a nearby restaurant
    Overnight: La Perle de la Medina, Fez
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 4, Tuesday - Tour Fez /Enjoy Home Hosted Dinner
    We explore the sprawling medina of Fez by foot this morning. It’s said that this is the world’s largest car-free urban area; undistracted by traffic, you’re sure to agree that strolling here is a feast for the senses. We’ll enter via the Bab Boujloud, or “Blue Gate” and visit the famed Al-Bou Inania madrasa. Then, stop at the Chouwara Tannery to see how leather is cut and dyed using traditional techniques. At the Nejjarine Museum, browse the collection of wooden arts and crafts, then view copper craftsmen at work in Seffarine Square. Our tour ends at Karaouine Mosque and University, the oldest continuously functioning university in the world, founded in the year 859. After lunch in the medina, our guide leads us through the Jewish Quarter, or mellah, built in 1438. By the end of our walk, we’ll be at the King’s Palace. This evening, we’re the guests of a local Fez family for dinner. Over typical Moroccan, home-prepared food, we’ll connect with our hosts
    Overnight: La Perle de la Medina, Fez
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 5, Wednesday - Cross Middle Atlas Mountains/Drive to Erfoud
    Today is a thrilling adventure into Morocco’s Middle Atlas Mountains. We begin with a stop in Ifran, a Moroccan ski resort. Then ascend scenic roads past pine groves and giant cedar trees. Midmorning, we cross the 6,000-foot pass and continue west toward the great Sahara. We have lunch in the village of Midelt. As we approach Erfoud, we have views of the remarkable Ziz Gorges and vast valleys
    Overnight: Kasbah Xaluca Maadid, Erfoud
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 6, Thursday - Experience Rissani/Off-Road to Sahara Camp
    This morning, we explore the small city of Rissani on the edge of the Sahara. In this former caravan center, we wander its lively souk, and visit an 18th-century ksar. Then, stop to discover the ancient ruins of Sijilmasa on the River Ziz, once a bustling Berber city and medieval trade depot. We’ll pause to visit a local bread shop, where we’ll witness and sample an ancient culinary art. After lunch at our hotel, we journey into the Sahara Desert, stopping en route to share tea with some welcoming locals in a Berber tent. Later, settle in to our Sahara camp, where dunes rise and fall around us and we feel the adventuresome spirit of explorers of old. We witness an incredible sunset here and enjoy traditional music under a canopy of stars
    Overnight: Bivouac La Belle Etoile, Sahara Tented Camps
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 7, Friday - Explore Desert & Todra Gorge/Overland to Ait Ben Haddou
    We awake amidst the silence of the desert this morning. Morocco’s natural beauty continues to astound us today. After breakfast, we leave our camp and make our way to the lovely oasis of Tinghir for lunch. But the real attraction here is the spectacular Todra Gorge, a deep ravine carved by the Todra River over millennia. There’ll be time to marvel at this sight before we continue to the Dades Valley, where roses bloom in profusion in springtime. The locals make good use of the prolific flower by producing rose water here. Dinner tonight is at our Ait Ben Haddou hotel
    Overnight: Riad Ksar Ighnda, Ait Ben Haddou
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 8, Saturday - Visit Ait Ben Haddou/Travel to Marrakesh
    Enjoy a leisurely morning. Perhaps start your day relaxing by the pool. Explore the neighborhood by foot. Or cover more ground, riding into the village on a bicycle borrowed from our hotel. Late this morning, we take time to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, a ksar – or fortified city – along a former caravan route. This is the true Morocco: a village that seem to rise from the sands. Its desert-dusted Kasbahs and maze-like warrens are sure to enthrall you. After lunch, we make our way to the magical city of Marrakesh
    Overnight: Riad Karmela, Marrakesh
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 9, Sunday - Tour Marrakesh/Experience Djemaa el Fna Square
    Discover historic, exotic Marrakesh today, the “City of Ochre.” We begin at the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, its minaret still topped with four copper globes. Then, explore the ruins of El Badi Palace, where 360 rooms were once adorned with Italian marble and Sudanese gold. For a more recent archaeological find, we’ll see the richy decorated tombs of the Saadi dynasty. We pause for lunch in the medina, then venture out to the lush Palm Grove and Menara Gardens, two lovely oases watched over by the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. We end our thrilling day in a thrilling spot: the famed Djemaa el Fna square, a dazzling display of acrobats, story tellers, and snake charmers. Take your time and absorb this vibrant kaleidoscope of culture, torn from the pages of Ali Baba
    Overnight: Riad Karmela, Marrakesh
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 10, Monday - Explore Marrakesh at Leisure
    Take today to revisit some favorite spots from yesterday’s tour. Or explore on your own with guidance from your Tour Leader. This evening, get the details about henna painting during a talk and demonstration. We dine out a local restaurant tonight
    Overnight: Riad Karmela, Marrakesh
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    DAY 11, Tuesday - Visit Winery & Argan Oil Cooperative/Travel to Essaouira
    We have a leisurely morning before departing Marrakesh. You might be surprised to learn today that Morocco produces wine. But the proof is in the grapes of the Val d’Argan Winery. The owners invite us to stroll the vineyards, then we’ll sample some of their vintages and stay for lunch. Later, we stop at the Argan Oil Womens Cooperative to learn how this skin-nutrifying elixir is extracted from the argan nut. We arrive in Essaouira in time for dinner on your own
    Overnight: Hotel Dar L’Oussia, Essaouira
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 12, Wednesday - Discover Essaouira/Gnawa Performance
    Seaside Essaouira has grown into an artist’s enclave over the years, and this makes for a fascinating mix of ancient and modern sensibilities. We’ll introduce you to its culture with a stroll through the vibrant medina and its bustling fish market. After a seafood lunch, the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore its inviting ancient streets. This evening, we learn about traditional music during a talk with a local expert, followed by a Gnawa performance and dance
    Overnight: Hotel Dar L’Oussia, Essaouira
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 13, Thursday - Travel to Casablanca/Enjoy City Tour
    Transfer to Casablanca today, stopping en route for a light lunch in a local restaurant. Upon arrival, we see the fabled city’s important sights, including the Mohammed V Square, the city’s administrative seat. Next, marvel at the massive Hassan II Mosque, dramatically perched on a promontory on the Atlantic. Its indoor and outdoor space can accommodate 105,000 worshippers. In the Habous district, we peruse the market and admire the exterior of the Royal Palace. Tonight, we’ve selected a special venue for our farewell dinner
    Overnight: Kenzi Tower Hotel, Casablanca
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 14, Friday - Depart for the USA
    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home
    Meals: Breakfast

    Dates & PricesLand OnlyAir & Land
    Dates & PricesLand Only
    Dates & PricesAir & Land
     
    This package is currently unavailable. Please check back later or call Discovery Tours for more information.

    Click a date to book online.

    *Not Included:
    Prices do not include optional tours and gratuities for guides/tour managers. Land only prices do not include arrival/departure transfers


    Additional Information:
    Passengers arriving to Casablanca on Day 2 should select flights that arrive no later than 11:30 am. Transfers to Rabat will depart at approximately 12:30 pm. Rabat is approximately a 1.5 hour drive from the Casablanca airport.

    Sep 21 departure will be accommodated at the Les Merinides in Fez. Triple Rooms will be accommodated in a Single Room & Twin Room.

    Due to limited space on the small jeeps used to travel from Erfoud to overnight stay in the desert, only one small piece of luggage per passenger is permitted. Additional luggage will be stored overnight at the Erfoud Hotel and returned back on Day 8. Luggage should be locked and valuables left overnight in the hotel safe. Please pack a small overnight bag.

    Entry Requirements:
    Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.


    Is This Trip Right for You?

    This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day, and we spend 2-3 hours on our feet during tours. The pace is fast, with 5 one-night stays, 2 two-nights stays, and 1 three-night stay. Three days require long transfers by shuttle bus. Some of our tours require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes or steps. We have many early mornings. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions.

     
    Getting Ready to GoAbout Your FlightsArrival and DepartureAccommodationsAt Your Destination


    Know Before You Go
    Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
    Getting Ready to Go
    Passports and Visas
    It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has unstamped visa pages.

    Trip Preparation
    A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver’s license) are in order and that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. As for the liquid containers, we suggest that you squeeze out excess air from those containers and place into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

    Cell Phones & Calling Cards
    You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. U.S. service is dominated by the CDMA technology standard, while most of the world uses the incompatible GSM standard. Some U.S. providers do offer GSM, but you may incur high international roaming fees. With GSM, however, you can often choose to have your phone unlocked and then add a local SIM card for lower fees. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally.

    When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel’s reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges.

    Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
    When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code + destination Country Code + Phone Number.
    For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If the international number you wish to call starts with a 0 (zero), you must drop this starting digit when dialing the number.

    Wireless Internet Access
    Passengers traveling with WiFi enabled devices (such as a personal computer, smartphone, tablet, or digital audio player) may be able to connect to the internet via a wireless network access point (or hotspot). WiFi access in hotels and/or cruise lines often involves a fee which, in some cases, can be very expensive. Availability of WiFi varies by country, hotel and/or cruise line. Even if WiFi is available, signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Internet availability on cruises is unpredictable due to the ship frequently changing locations while sailing through multiple countries. Passengers requiring internet access may seek out internet cafes or may be able to locate free WiFi hotspots such as libraries or coffee shops. Hotspots can often be located and planned in advance via an online search. Planning ahead may help avoid unnecessary fees.

    Staying Healthy While Traveling
    All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal health-care provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or theWorld Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

    There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

    • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
    • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
    • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
    • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
    • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellant (for both active and warm destinations).
    • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


    Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

    Climate & Clothing
    Morocco - Spring and Autumn: 55–75°F; Summer: 65–95°F; Winter: 45–65°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops). In summer, bring a hat and sunscreen.

    Morocco Average Temperatures: http://www.gate1travel.com/weather/mediterranean/default.aspx#morocco-weather