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Marrakech Express

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Marrakech Express

offered by supplier M07207 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 14 - 16 people
Destination(s): Morocco  
Specialty Categories: Small group tour   Sightseeing  
Season: February - May
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 460 Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 480 Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Tour Highlights


•Travel with the locals - An exhilarating journey by train and bus to discover the highlights of Morocco
•Tangier - Morocco’s bustling port where the Mediterranen meets the Atlantic Ocean.
•Fes - The atmopsheric Medina also know as "Mecca of the West".
•Rabat - Morocco’s historic capital and the intriguing Kasbah des Ouidas.
•Marrakech - The enchanting ‘Red City’ and the vibrant Djemma-el-Fna Square.

1 Join tour Tangier

Out tour starts today in the vibrant city of Tangier. Depending on the schedule of your flights, you may be able to start exploring the city independently, before meeting your group and Tour Leader at the hotel.

Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: None

2 Optional guided tour of Tangier; bus to Chefchouan

Colonised by the Romans and Phoenicians, fought over by the Byzantines and the Visigoths and finally taken by the Arabs in the 8th century, Tangier has at heart always been Berber. Its turbulent history saw it become a pawn in the conflicts between the Portuguese, the British and the despotic Moulay Ismail, who finally saw it returned to Moroccan control at the end of the 17th century. This morning there will be an opportunity to explore something of the city with an optional tour of the Medina in the company of a local guide, before we board a public bus south, towards the dramatic setting of Chefchouan. Sandwiched between the Rif Mountains to the north and the Djebala Ranges to the south, the mountain stronghold of Chefchouan has always held sacred importance to the Muslims and, until early years of the 20th century, was considered off limits to any Christian outsiders. Isolated for generations and fiercely independent, Chefchouan was originally founded by the shereefian as a base from which to strike out at the European invaders, and for a good while it controlled much of the northwest corner of the region. It was not until 1920 that a force of Spanish soldiers finally ended the town’s Muslim hegemony (up until that point only three other westerners had ever visited the town – one was poisoned, another lasted an hour and the third, the journalist Walter Harris, escaped only by the skin of his teeth). Today the old town and the Medina still evoke the unique atmosphere of its Arabic and Jewish origins, with Chefchouan’s weavers and carpet makers still working to designs that have remained relatively unchanged for centuries, whilst the Kasbah is still reminiscent of the turbulent days of Moulay Ismail, the great Sultan whose reign heralded one of Morocco’s golden eras.
Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

3 Bus to Fes

Boarding another public bus this morning we continue our journey south, crossing through the Djebala Mountains and across what was once the old border separating the governed territories from the untamed wilderness. Our journey today takes us into Morocco’s cultural heartland to the city of Fes, probably the oldest of the imperial cities, whose fascinating history is rich with wars, murders and political intrigue. At the centre of Moroccan life for countless generations, Fes has played an important part in the country’s trade, culture, religion and politics, as well as being an important seat of scientific thought, for centuries. The nightlife is centred mainly around the Avenues Hassan II and Mohammed V in the new town, and with two nights here we have ample chance to experience the whole range of the city’s cultural attractions – both ancient and modern. There may be an opportunity today to enjoy a traditional Hammam visit (optional).
Overnight: Standard Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

4 In Fes

Taking in the mosques and souks of the Fes el Bali (Old Fes) on foot affords the ideal opportunity to explore the souks that line the backstreets of the town, wandering past aromatic spice stalls and taking in the opulent majesty of the 14th century Attarin Medersa, whose intricate decoration and elegant design makes it one of the city’s most captivating medieval colleges. One of the city’s most impressive monuments is the spectacular Medersa Bou Inania, the 14th century Merenid structure built by the Sultan Abou Inan, whose exquisite carvings and tilework is considered amongst the most exceptional examples of its kind anywhere in Morocco. The afternoon is then free to enjoy at your leisure what is in essence one of the most engaging, and certainly one of the most undiminished, medieval cities anywhere in the Arab world.
Overnight: Standard Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

5 Train to Rabat; optional city tour

Transferring to the railway station this morning we catch the morning train west towards the Atlantic Coast and the city of Rabat. The 3-hour journey should get us in to the city around lunchtime and, after we have transferred to the hotel and had a chance to freshen up, the afternoon affords an opportunity to join an optional guided tour of the city. Rabat was established as the capital of the French protectorate in 1912 and since independence has served as the capital of a modern Morocco. Rabat’s history stretches back as far as 8BC, when settlers arrived in what is now the Chellah area, a district that went on to become a prosperous Roman town, before being transformed by the Merinids into a cemetery. The tour will take in something of the city’s historic heart, exploring the area around the Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, before wandering through the engaging Kasbah des Oudaias, originally a fortified town that is now infused with a distinctly Andalucian flavour.
Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

6 Train to Marrakech; free afternoon

A morning train takes us south to Marrakech today, where we’ll have the better part of two days to explore a city that has for centuries been a meeting place for the mountain Berbers and the desert peoples of the south. Marrakech is a city like no other, boasting a staggering array of spectacular architecture and wonderful facades, a place where trade and barter amongst the colourful souks still renders its ancient heart a glittering cacophony of noise and colour. Founded by the Almoravids, the city began life as a fortified ksour, before a comprehensive building programme under Ali Ben Youssef saw the city blossom into an imperial capital. It was during the 12th century though that Marrakech enjoyed its golden age, when the Almohad dynasty took control and the city saw an influx of poets and scholars and its streets took on some of the grandeur that we see before us today. It was during this period that the great Koutoubia Mosque was built, but then centuries of war and turmoil followed and the city lost some of its imperial glamour. Since independence though the city has revived some of its old fortunes and today it is a vital trading centre and remains one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.
Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

7 AM optional walking tour; PM free

This morning there will be an opportunity to explore something of the rich heritage of Morocco’s fascinating ‘Red City’ with an optional sightseeing tour of the city’s old quarter. Like many North African towns, Marrakech is divided into two distinct parts, the Gueliz (the modern French-built city) and the Medina (the Old City) and journeying into this vibrant centre with a local guide affords a chance to discover some of its most enthralling sites. The city’s beating heart is the spectacular Djemma-el-Fna, a site not to be missed, where you will find the streets and alleys alive with storytellers and musicians, jugglers and acrobats, snake charmers and clowns. The dominating Koutoubia Minaret, the oldest of the Almohad towers, rises some 70 metres above the surrounding city and presents us with one of the blueprints for future Moroccan architectural design. After the tour the rest of the day is free to continue exploring this amazing city at your leisure. You can wander past vendors selling doughnuts and fried grasshoppers, enjoy the sounds and the smells of the exotic and meander through native markets where Muslim women, their hands and feet dyed with henna, call out to sell their wares.
Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

8 Tour ends Marrakech

Our tour ends today in Marrakech. Depending on the schedule of your flights, you may be able to spend additional time exploring Marrakech independantly and to buy the last souvenirs in the market. Please note that passengers on early morning flights cannot be guarenteed breakfast.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Included meals 7 0 0
Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Transport

Local bus, train and taxi.

Accommodation
5 nights Simple Hotel
2 nights Standard Hotel

Crew

Tour leader + optional local guides.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

prices based on double occupancy land only and vary on departure dates no air is included

Supplier Information
Location: Canada
Joined InfoHub: Feb 1999
Client Request Served: 1283

Escorted Tours and Cruises from anywhere to anywhere - Individuals and Groups - Personalized Service, Custom Tours, Vacation Planning Services. Specialities - Egypt, India, Jordan, UK and Atlantic Canada plus popular escorted tours and cruises Worldwide. - Egypt: Egypt in all its glory, Tours, Travel info, and much...

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