Day 1: New York – Casablanca. Your flight will depart John F. Kennedy Airport in New York at 7:10 pm, and will arrive at Casablanca’s Mohamed V Airport at 6:45 the next morning. Dinner and breakfast will be served during the flight.
Day 2: Casablanca – Rabat. After your flight arrives, you will meet your host at the airport and travel directly to Rabat, Morocco’s capital city. With a history that spans both centuries and dynasties, Rabat has accumulated a variety of architectural styles that represent its remarkable legacy. You will spend your afternoon visiting some of Rabat’s many landmarks, including the Mellah (Jewish quarter), the Mohamed V mausoleum, the Oudaya Kasbah, and the Andalous gardens, followed by dinner at the Hotel Chellah.
Day 3: Volubilis – Meknes – Fez. Your day will be spent en route to Fez, with stops in Volubilis, the Roman capital of Northwestern Africa, and Meknes, where you will visit the acclaimed citadel of Moulay Idris. Hidden in the hinterland and surrounded by centuries-old olive groves that have supplied the country with oils since Punic times, Moulay Idris was founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idris Al Akbar, the grandson of the Prophet Mohamed. It is the cradle of Sufism to Moroccan society and is considered the first Islamic city for the premier Arab dynasty, and has become the destination for those who don’t have the means to make the pilgrimage to Mekkah for the Hajj Duty. You will continue traveling through the region until you reach Fez, where you will visit the ramparts, the gates, and the Borjes (Moorish Forts). Afterward, you will end your day with dinner at your hotel.
Day 4: Fez. You will begin your day with a colorful Mediterranean breakfast buffet, followed by a guided historic tour of Fez, featuring the Mellah, the King’s palace, and a walking tour of the world’s largest and most authentic Medina. A walled city with a maze of twisting alleys and blind turns, the Medina has mosques, shrines, fountains, workshops, and markets that go far beyond the scope of one’s imagination. After lunch in a typical Moroccan restaurant, you will spend the remainder of your afternoon exploring and shopping, followed by dinner at your hotel. In the evening, you will attend the Festival’s Grand Opening.
Day 5: Fez – Moulay Yacob. In the morning, there will be an optional trip to the hot springs of Moulay Yacob. Located in a small, charming Berber village at the foothills of the Rif Mountains, the springs are notorious for their healing powers. You will return to Fez for the afternoon concerts, followed by dinner at your hotel and the Festival’s evening events.
Day 6: Fez – Sidi Ahmed Al Barnoussi – Fez. Your morning will be spent on an excursion to the Rif Mountains, where you will visit the Sidi Ahmed al Barnoussi shrine and enjoy a picnic lunch over the red poppy fields with local scribes and a typical couscous meal. The Jajouka musicians and dancers will enchant you with haunting sounds of their oboes and drums – a ceremony that you will treasure for the rest of your life. After lunch, you will return to Fez for the afternoon Festival activities, dinner, and evening events.
Day 7: Fez. You will have the entire morning at your leisure, free to do whatever you please. In the afternoon, you will attend the afternoon concerts, followed by dinner and the Festival’s evening events.
Day 8: Fez. Your morning will be spent at your leisure, and after lunch, you will journey to go to the afternoon concert at Dar Batha. The evening concerts will be at Bab Makina.
Day 9: Fez. In the early morning, you will enjoy a sunrise Sufi ceremony offered over the Merinides dynasty necropolis looking East for a dramatic sunrise over the sleeping giant of the 9th century Medina. Return to the Medina for breakfast and relax. Amn excursion to Sidi Harazem thermal springs is offered in the afternoon. Evening festival concert.
Day 10: Fez – Sefrou – B’Halil – Fez. Your day will include an optional day trip to the ancient Jewish city of Sefrou. Predating Fez by a thousand years, Sefrou once played a vital role as the last stop for the sub-Saharan caravans transporting goods to the European markets. There, you will visit the shrine of Sidi Lahcen Al Yussi, a venerated Sufi master who was considered the guardian of Sefrou. In addition, you will visit the mausoleums of other Rabbis, as well as the city’s synagogues. On your return trip to Fez, you will visit the ancient Christian village of B’Halil, which is known for its distinctive troglodyte dwellings. Upon your arrival at Fez, you will attend the Festival’s evening events.
Day 11: Fez. In the morning, you will attend a lecture, followed by the Festival’s afternoon events at the Dar Batha museum, dinner, and the evening Festival events at Bab Makina, the court of the King’s palace.
Day 12: Fez. You will spend your morning visiting the Andalucian part of the Medina, where you will learn the history of the settler Moors, who arrived from Spain during the 13th century. The Festival’s afternoon concerts with take place at Dar Batha, followed by dinner and the Festival’s closing ceremony.
Day 13: Fez – Khenifra – Marrakech. In the morning, you will depart for Marrakech via Azrou and Khenifra. As you travel across the Middle Atlas Mountains, you will visit Berber villages and wards, experience many scenic views, and explore some traditional markets. You will have lunch in Khenifra, and will find dinner and accommodations available at your hotel in Marrakech.
Day 14: Marrakech. Your guide and driver will assist you in your exploration of the marvelous city of Marrakech. You will visit the historic Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flower beds, which reflects the image of a beautiful Moorish edifice. The construction was built in 1866 so that the dignitaries might enjoy the country’s glorious sunsets, the snow-capped Atlas Mountains providing an ethereal backdrop. The pool itself is an innovative, functional irrigation system, built in an architectural style adapted to desert life.
Your tour will also include visits to several notorious monuments, including the Koutoubia Minaret, and the Saadian tombs, which represent Moorish architecture at its finest. The tombs, which include several sixteenth century mausoleums, lay undiscovered behind walls until 1917. You will conclude your day with a drink at sunset, overlooking the bustling Jamaa El Fna square.
Day 15: Marrakech – Casablanca – New York. You will catch a 6:45am flight transferring you from Marrakech to Casablanca Airport, where you will board your plane to New York at 11:20 am, accompanied by memories that will last you a lifetime.
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