Departure from JFK with AIR FRANCE flight # AF023 leaving at 4:35 PM from terminal 1. Checking at Air France counter should be no later than 2:00PM
Connection at CDG airport, Paris with AIR FRANCE flight # 1896 leaving at 7:10 AM and arriving Casablanca at 10:20 AM
Assistance on arrival. Meet your coach and guide.
Brief orientation tour of Casablanca, the business capital of the country: Mohamed V Square, The United Nations Square, the Mahkama (Morrocan Law Court), the Habbous Quarter, Notre Dame de Lourdes Church and the outside view of Hassan II Mosque.
Continue towards Rabat. (55 miles, a little over 1 hour drive). Check-in at hotel for 1 night.
Afternoon visit of Rabat, the administrative capital of Morocco; it is known as the “IMperial Garden City”. Your tour includes Hassan Tower, the Royal Palace from outside only, Mohammed V Mausoleum, Chellah and the Kasbah of Oudayas,
Welcome group dinner.
Morning drive to Volubilis (120 miles / 2 ½ hour drive).
Visit the Roman city founded in the 3rd c BCE. Volubilis was an outpost of the Roman occupation. Many of the remains are showing a large mixture of Mediterranean civilizations including Libyan, Moor, Punic and Arab-islamic cultures.
Proceed to Meknes, the Moroccan Versailles (22 miles, 45 minutes drive)
Meknes became capital when the legendary ruler Moulay Ismail, a contemporary of Louis XIV, chose the place for his capital in the 17th c. Among its treasures you will find Bab Mansour, a huge gate with arches and mosaic tiling which leads into the former imperial city and inside the city is the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. The remparts with bastions and towers. are pierced by 20 fortified gates, El Hedim Place is a large area giving access to the souks. At dusk, a vast market comes to life with merchants. storytellers, acrobats, fire eaters and other performers filling the place to entertain the crowd.
Proceed to Fez (40 miles, 1 hour drive) and check-in at your hotel for 2 nights.
Full day visit of Fez, the oldest of the Imperial Cities
Since 1981, Fes Medina is listed as part of the Universal Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Surrounded by 15 miles of walls, it has the largest medina in the Arab world. Inside you will find 176 mosques, 83 mausoleums, 11 madrasas, 40 Hammams and no less than 9500 homes. Blocks of walls are hiding magnificent palaces and gardens. Stucco, carved cedar, zelliges and arcades, wrought iron gates, marble fountains, sculptured wrought iron galleries are endless decorations of many monuments and residences. Passed the austere gate of the houses you will find the jealousy kept treasures of the habitations. Many buildings date from the Marinid dynasty and survived the centuries.The Mellah, or Jewish community date from the 16th c. and the houses differ as they look on the outside. The main monument of Fes is the Royal Palace setting on a vast esplanade. Walking around, you will see all sorts of craftsmanship which have been passed from father to son: carpenters, boilermakers, coppersmiths. You cannot miss the renown tanners working standing up in the ciment vats where the pelt of leathers are dyed.
Last but not least are the thermal springs and the hammams for your health and beauty plus the special delicious fassi cuisine, such as the Khli”i considered the favorite dish of people in Fes or the Bastilla which is served in Fassi home to welcome guests.
Continue to discover and explore the famous souks where craftsmen still labour in the age old oriental traditions
Transfer to airport for an afternoon flight to Marrakech.
Upon arrival transfer to the Agaray Desert by jeep to experience a night in the rocky desert, Tonight, you will ride a camel at sunset, dine under the stars and sleep under a comfortable tent to live as a “Bedouin”.
Return to Marrakech in the morning the fourth and most exciting of the Imperial Cities. Check-in at your hotel for 4 nights (check-in time is at 2:00 PM)
Start the visit of this legendary city: the Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret, the Menara Garden, the Palaces, the Medina and the souks.
Evening walk to the extraordinary Place Jemaa El Fna
Sparkling with life, Marrakesh is unique. Its luxurious palaces and trendy hotels have attracted artists and celebrities for decades. It is a “People” place where “People” love to return.
The Koutoubia is the symbol of the city; built by the Almohads it’s just majestuous.
Jemaa el Fna Square is spectacular. Meeting point between performers and spectators the entertainment is an experience like never seen before. It is listed as Oral & Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Storytellers, fortune tellers, acrobats, serpent charmers are joining the famous Gnaouas dancers and musicians who are performing African ancient spiritual songs and poems. The Ben Youssef Madrasah is a work of art made of marble, stucco, tiles and cedar wood. The Museum of Marrakech has taken place in the well restored MeNebhi Palace and shows of contemporary art and cultural heritage are exhibited.
Full day excursion to the Atlas Mountains. You’ll leave the city to go to Tahanoute and visit the Tuesday local souk. Then, passing through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains you will reach Tassa Ouirgane where you will have lunch in a Berbere family home, enjoying their local tagine or couscous and their warm hospitality. You will see how they prepare mint tea and tanourt, the local bread.
After lunch you will have a choice:
• either take a mule ride with muleteer, to go down to Marigha (supplement of $30 applies and must be booked ahead), or•
• explore the village before going down by car to Marigha
From Marigha, we’ll drive to Aguergour to a nice Kasbah restaurant to enjoy a sunset tea with a great view over the Aguergour Valley.
Return to Marrakech around 8 or 8:30 PM
The visit of Marrakech continue in the morning: the 14th c. Saadian’s Tombs are a Royal Necropolis with Italian marble columns and a carved cedarwood dome; and the “Palace of Beauty”, Bahia Palace, from the 19th c., remarkable for its architecture, its fountains and shady courtyards.
Afternoon at leisure or optional cooking class for those who wish to learn some of the famous recipes of the delicious Moroccan cuisine. Reservations must be made in advance: supplement $70
This morning will allow more visits to some of the hidden treasures of the “Red City”, Lose yourself in the maze of the souks among perfumes and colors like nowhere else in the world. Visit Dar El Said Museum, the Majorelle Gardens and Yves Saint Laurent Museum.
Afternoon at leisure for more shopping or a nice spa treatment or a hammam.
Morning at leisure until it is time for your transfer to the airport. Check in is around 11:00AM. Air France flight AF#1077 leaves at 1:35PM for CDG, Paris, connecting with flight AF#008 departing 6:10 PM and arriving at JFK at 8:50PM