Morocco Photo

Sample itinerary for you to consider...


DAY 01     USA – OVERNIGHT FLIGHT TO EUROPE

Overnight flight connecting in Europe for flight to Casablanca. Meals aloft.

DAY 02     CASABLANCA

Transfer to your flight to Casablanca. Upon arrival at Casablanca airport, you will be met by our representative and driven to your hotel. Meals on own.

HOTEL HYATT REGENCY CASABLANCA    


Morocco photos

DAY 03     CASABLANCA – FES

And the journey begins! Meet your private guide in hotel lobby and drive approximately 3 1/2 hrs to fascinating Fes, the oldest intact Islamic city in the world. En route you will have a brief introduction to Morocco and the tour.

Founded in 909 AD, Fes is a World Heritage Site and the intellectual, spiritual, and gastronomic capital of today's Morocco. After lunch, enjoy an orientation drive around the city. We check into our charming classic riad (literally 'garden' in Arabic), a beautifully renovated former private home built around a courtyard; it will give you a feeling of how some traditional Fes families still live today.

An hour drive out of Fes takes us through fertile fields of wheat and olive trees into the Middle Atlas Mountains. Our destination is the tiny village of Ben Smim. There will be carding and spinning demonstrations by local women, plus an exhibit of rugs made in this village. We'll take a delightful 45 minute walk, on an unpaved path, through the beautiful countryside, past orchards and fields, wildflowers in bloom, sheep and goats watching us from a hill, and arrive at the farmhouse of local friends, who have made us a delicious lunch. We can talk about their trials and successes in selling their traditional weavings.

After lunch with the family, we return to the town center and visit a small co-op where women produce excellent herbal products from the local lavender, roses and thyme, creating soaps, lotions and dried herbs for cooking.

HOTEL RIAD SALAM FES    BL

Morocco photos

DAY 04     FES

We visit a pottery workshop for demonstrations of how the famous Fes pottery and mosaics are created; purchases may be made, and shipping can be arranged.

Returning to the medina, we'll visit the tanneries, where men toil in the colorful vats of dyes as in ancient times. Strolling the narrow streets, we pass traditional textiles hung on the walls, to tempt us into shops. We'll hear the clacking of floor looms before we see the men working them, producing beautiful scarves and cloth which can be purchased at excellent prices (think gifts!). A visit to the last working drawloom in Fes is the afternoon highlight. The drawloom was the predecessor of the Jacquard loom, and is programmed like a computer. Lunch will be in the medina in one of the marvelous local restaurants. Dinner on own.

HOTEL RIAD SALAM FES     BL

Morocco photos

DAY 05     FES

Continuing our sightseeing in this mystical city, we learn each neighborhood has a mosque, a pubic bath house (hammam), a fountain, a bakery and a Koranic school for young children – we'll see it all, including kids playing in the narrow streets and women in their djellabas (long robes) shopping for ingredients for the next meal. A visit to the 14th century Attarine medersa reveals beautiful mosaics, carved wood and plasterwork. In a rug shop, your guide will discuss the different kinds of Moroccan rugs from each region of the country, showing several samples of each; if you might want to buy one, bring color samples and measurements, useful here or in other rug shops we'll visit later in the trip. After a delicious lunch in the medina, you have the rest of the afternoon free. Dinner on own.

HOTEL RIAD SALAM FES     BL

DAY 06     FES – SEFROU – FES

This morning we drive about an hour to the small town of Sefrou, where our friend runs a women's co-op that makes djellaba fabric, scarves and rugs. Her specialty is needle-weaving buttons used on robes and made into jewelry; some of you may have seen her displaying the jewelry at the Folk Art Market in Santa Fe. We will have an opportunity to try these techniques ourselves. She is one of the few people in Morocco currently using natural dyes. She will demonstrate her techniques, show us local plants and the colors they produce. You can learn more about her work with women and girls at their co-op. Lunch will be prepared for us and we continue the interesting dialogue which always ensues about our different cultures, education, health... and whatever else you, or they, may want to ask. We return to Fes, and enjoy dinner on our own.

HOTEL RIAD SALAM FES     BL

Morocco photos

DAY 07     FES – MARRAKECH

We bid farewell to Fes and begin the approximately 7 hour drive south to Marrakech along the northern edge of the Atlas Mountains, with several stops for lavatories and lunch. The road goes through an interesting and varied landscape, passing hills, fields being harvested, and villages where we can glimpse a bit of everyday life. Late in the day we arrive in this world famous city, often called "Marrakech the Red" due to the soft red color of almost all the buildings. With its backdrop of the High Atlas Mountains, often snow-covered, it is a stunning setting. Time permitting, we'll stroll through the famous Jma el F'naa Square with its snake charmers, whirling dervishes, acrobats, musicians, purveyors of herbs to cure your ills... and so much more! We check into our hotel and have dinner there.

HOTEL JARDINS DE L´AGDAL     BLD

Morocco photos

DAY 08     MARRAKECH

After breakfast, we begin our day with a visit to the exquisite Majorelle Gardens, purchased and renovated by the late French couturier Yves St. Laurent. While there we'll also visit the new Berber Arts Museum, featuring artifacts, clothing, jewelry and rugs from different Berber groups. Then we'll spend the entire day strolling through the medina, so different from that of Fes. It is still filled with artisan stalls, antique shops, cafes, etc. but has a flavor all its own. Lunch will be in the medina. Dinner is on our own.

HOTEL JARDINS DE L´AGDAL     BLD

DAY 09     MARRAKECH

Today is free for you to explore the streets and markets on your own. You might want to take this opportunity to relax at the hotel pool, or have a traditional hammam (steam bath) and massage, or to have your hands decorated with henna. Lunch and dinner are on our own OR we can arrange an optional cooking class with a famous chef in his beautiful organic garden outside Marrakech; this late afternoon activity will include dinner at $110 pp including transportation. Past clients have raved that it was one of the highlights of the trip!

HOTEL JARDINS DE L´AGDAL     B

DAY 10     MARRAKECH – CASABLANCA

We have an early morning departure for the 3 1/2 hour drive to Casablanca to catch our flights back to the U.S. OR join us on the extension to delightful Essaouira.     B

Morocco photos

 


 

OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO ESSAOUIRA

DAY 10     MARRAKECH – ESSAOUIRA

After bidding farewell to the group going home, a 3 1/2 hr. drive takes us west to Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. En route we stop to visit a women's argan oil co-op, producing products from this indigenous nut. Long known as Mogador, from the Phoenician word migdal, or lookout tower, Essaouira has been home to Phoenicians, Romans, Portuguese, and a large Jewish population, including the father of Benjamin Disraeli. The Romans were interested in the purple dye extracted from local shellfish. Pliny the Elder wrote of the dye's power to pacify the gods, and describes its use with gold in ceremonial dress reserved for the use of royalty. Essaouira is also the location where Orson Welles' "Othello" was filmed, and has long been a destination for artists and musicians from all over the world.

You may enjoy a delicious seafood lunch along the oceanfront, where you may see windsurfers enjoying the waves. Essaouira is charming: a clear blue sky accents the white shops and houses; motorized traffic in not permitted in most of the narrow streets. We'll stroll through town and along the colorful harbor, stopping to admire the plethora of crafts spilling out of tiny shops and the many art galleries. Lunch & dinner on own.

HOTEL DAR L'OUSSIA     B

Morocco photos

DAY 11     ESSAOUIRA

After breakfast in the charming tiled courtyard, with roses climbing up three stories, you have the whole day to explore. You can get up early and watch the fishing boats come in, have coffee or mint tea in the squares to watch the world pass by, lunch on fresh seafood in one of the many open air restaurants near the harbor, shop in the stalls and stores offering clothing of the local swiri cloth that drapes beautifully, handmade slippers, antiques, jewelry, rugs, paintings, CDs with all kinds of music – or perhaps stroll through the small souk and admire the beautiful displays of spices and fish fresh from the port. Photo opportunities abound! If you're a cat lover, this is the place for you, especially at the fish market. You might enjoy visiting a silver jewelry workshop and a thuya wood (unique burled wood indigenous to this area) workshop with your guide, and still with plenty of free time afterwards. Lunch and dinner on your own.

HOTEL DAR L'OUSSIA     B

DAY 12     ESSAOUIRA – CASABLANCA

After breakfast, we leave this charming town and drive north along the coast towards Casablanca. We stop for lunch at a delightful restaurant on the beach. The colorful garden is worth the stop, and a wonderful spot for a group photo! We arrive in Casablanca late afternoon, allowing time for last minute organizing and packing. Lunch and dinner on own.

HOTEL HYATT REGENCY     B

DAY 13     CASABLANCA – USA

This morning we leave the hotel and transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S., taking with us memories and new friendships that will last a lifetime.   B



Please note: Changes in content, pacing, hotels, etc., may occur due to circumstances beyond our control. Be assured we strive to make necessary changes equal or superior to original plans.



FITNESS AND HEALTH:

The trip is not strenuous, and anyone who is reasonably fit and in good health should be able to participate. The international flight from JFK/New York City is six-and-a-half hours. Some days the group will spend several hours in a vehicle traveling between destinations. Rest stops and photo stops are planned approximately every two hours. You may need to walk up to 3 miles some days, over cobblestone streets and uneven dirt paths; some hotels and the tanneries require climbing steep stairs.

The maximum altitude you will reach on this trip is about 10,000 feet above sea level, while crossing over the mountains. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in this trip, please contact us for more information. We rely on you to correctly assess and inform Noble Journeys of your health and physical abilities, and to confirm you have not recently been treated for, nor are aware of, any physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard to yourself, or a hazard or inconvenience to other tour participants. The tour operator and/or tour leader has the right to decline any person as a member of the tour, and to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time. (See Assumption of Risk in the Conditions & Responsibilities attached to the Reservation Form.)

Travel Insured InternationalINSURANCE: You should also be aware that medical services or facilities may not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication. It is strongly recommended that each traveler be covered by trip cancellation, interruption, medical and emergency evacuation insurance. Noble Journeys recommends, but is not responsible for, insurance through Travel Insured International.

PRICES BASED ON CURRENCY EXCHANGE

12/07/2017



Textile Arts in Morocco: Main Page

Inside Morocco

Morocco Travel Tips

Home