Day 1 - Friday, April 06:
Evening departure on scheduled flight to Casablanca via Montreal. Full inflight services including dinner, breakfast and entertainment provided.
Day 2 - Saturday, April 07:
We’ll meet at the airport in Casablanca and transfer by private coach to Marrakech. After checking into Dar Cigognes, we’ll have a short rest and then a leisurely walk to the Jemaa el Fna for our first glimpse of the acrobats, snake charmers, storytellers, fortune tellers and vendors who inhabit the famous square. We’ll return to Dar Cigognes for a glass of wine before our welcome dinner at Restaurant Salt and orientation.
Day 3 - Sunday, April 08:
After breakfast on the terrace we’ll be met by our guide for a cultural and historical walking tour in the medina. Among the areas we’ll visit are: Place Jemaa el-Fna, the Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadian Tombs, the Bahia Palace, the Mellah (the Jewish Quarter) and the souks, stopping to watch local craftsmen ply their traditional trades. We’ll stop midway through to enjoy lunch in a café overlooking the medina. We’ll return to the riad for a short rest before leaving for dinner at Dar Cherifa.
Day 4 - Monday, April 09:
Today at leisure, with an optional trip to the Jardin Marjorelle, a beautiful botanical garden not far from the hustle and bustle of the medina. The garden was designed by French artist, Jacques Marjorelle and later owned by Yves St. Laurent who is buried there. The garden houses a Berber museum that we could visit. Lunch today will be on your own. Today is a chance to take in the sites we’ve missed, visit artisans, return to the souk to shop for souvenirs, take photographs, visit the hamman or take a cooking class at the hotel. We’ll meet for dinner at the Marrakechi Cafe overlooking the Jemaa el Fna and after dinner have a last chance to join the snake charmers and storytellers! You’ll notice that all the storytellers – and all of those listening to their stories – are men. And, perhaps you’ll think that the potions they sell might be connected to those stories!
Day 5 - Tuesday, April 10:
This morning after breakfast we’ll meet our guide and driver and transfer by private coach to the high Atlas Mountains. We’ll do a little easy hiking, stopping to enjoy the splendid panoramas. Mid way through the day, we’ll have lunch with a Berber family beginning with a traditional tea ceremony. We’ll learn a little about Berber cuisine and it’s influence on foods throughout Morocco. Another short hike and we’ll be on our way back to Marrakech. Tonight before dinner at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a wine tasting – including six of Morocco’s best wines. Overnight at Dar Cigognes.
Day 6 - Wednesday, April 11:
After breakfast we’ll transfer by private coach to Dar Seffarine in Fes. After check in, we’ll have time for a rest, a walk in the souks and a glass of wine on the magnificent terrace overlooking the entire medina before dinner with hosts Kate and Alaa.
Day 7 - Thursday, April 12:
Our guide, Idriss will meet us after breakfast and lead us through the labyrinth of Fes el Bali (Old Fes) where we'll learn a little of the history of the city, tour the souks, see the mosques, medersas and museums that are central to life in the medina, and visit the famous leather tanneries. Talaa Kebira, the main street of Fes el Bali is little more than a narrow crowded alleyway consisting of both commercial and residential areas and is the heart of the city. We’ll have to be vigilant and ready to hop to one side to avoid the heavily-laden mules (and sometimes horses) carrying goods across the city. We'll return home for a short rest before leaving for dinner at La Maison Bleue.
Day 8 - Friday, April 13:
After breakfast this morning we’ll travel by private coach for a full day tour of Volubilus and Meknes. These two places embody much of Morocco’s early history. Volubilus was the Roman Empire’s most remote base and here we’ll find the most impressive Roman site in Morocco. In Meknes, one of the four imperial cities of Morocco we'll see some of the extraordinary monuments created during the time of Moulay Ismail who reigned from 1672-1727. In the 55 years of his reign, Meknes grew from a provincial centre to a spectacular capital with twenty gates, over fifty palaces and 45km of exterior walls. We’ll visit many historic landmarks as well as the medina and enjoy lunch in Meknes. We’ll return to Dar S for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 - Saturday, April 14:
After breakfast this morning we’ll have the morning at leisure. We’ll meet for lunch and then be met by Idriss for a walking tour of Fes el Jedid (New Fes). Here we’ll visit the Royal Palace where the king resides when visiting Fes. From there we’ll cross into the ‘mellah’ (the Jewish Quarter) to visit the Ben Danan synagogue (now a museum) and the Jewish Cemetery. We’ll return back to the riad and relax on the terrace before dinner with Kate and Alaa and other visitors to the Dar.
Day 10 - Sunday, April 15:
This morning after breakfast you can enjoy your last day in Fes at leisure. There are a myriad of activities available to you - head out to the souks to shop, take a cooking class, take photographs, visit local craftsmen, get scrubbed at a hammam, head up to the terrace with a book or do some combination of activities. It might also be a time to visit the third distinct area of the city. Ville Nouvelle is a modern, European style city founded by the French during their protectorate. Fes is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, filled with wonder people and places. Dinner and overnight at Dar Seffarine. Lunch today on your own.
Day 11 - Monday, April 16:
After breakfast this morning we’ll travel by private coach to Tangier, with lunch en route. We’ll arrive in time for dinner and overnight at Dar Souran.
Day 12 - Tuesday, April 17:
After breakfast this morning we'll meet our guide for a tour of the city. For the first half of the 20th century, Tangier was an international city – home to writers and artists – from Henri Matisse to Paul Bowles. It was during her years in Tangier that cookbook author, Paula Wolfert developed her love of and expertise in Moroccan food. We’ll travel by coach to the ‘suburbs’ of Tangier to see the vacation homes of kings and princes, then stop by the sea to visit Hercules Cave and take in spectacular sights including Gibraltor. On our return to the medina we’ll visit the Jewish synagogue and the Museum of Moroccan Arts. We’ll return to the riad for a rest before dinner and overnight at Dar Souran.
Day 13 - Wednesday, April 18:
After breakfast we’ll travel to Rabat - the capital of Morocco and one of four Imperial Cities. We’ll explore the Mechouar (the ramparts and walls surrounding the Royal Palace), the majestic Mohammed V Mausoleum, the Hassan Tower and the Oudaya Kasbar, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean – and home to Moroccan artisan galleries. Dinner and overnight at the Dar El Kebira.
Day 14 - Thursday, April 19:
We’ll have a late breakfast before being picked up and travelling to the Ouleb Thaleb Winery in Ben Slimane (about an hour’s drive) for a wine tasting and a leisurely lunch among the vines! We’ll return to Rabat and have time to spend in the souks before dinner. The souk in Rabat is very laid back and fun to wander. Dinner TBA.
Day 15 - Friday, April 20:
After breakfast we’ll travel to Casablanca for our last day in Morocco. We’ll visit the Hassan II mosque and then go on to the Jewish Museum. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism is the only Jewish Museum in the Arab world and presents religious ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the daily life of Jews in Morocco. Two complete Moroccan synagogues are displayed. Dinner and overnight in Casablanca.
Day 16 - Saturday, April 21:
After breakfast we’ll depart for the airport for our return trip home.