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Mystical Morocco - 11 Days

Mystical Morocco

DESTINATION: Morocco, Africa  DATES: November 15th to 25th, 2019

VISITING: Casablanca, Meknes, Fes, Erfoud, Merzouga, Tinghir, Dades & Todra Gorges, Quarzazate, Marrakech

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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Sightseeing tour of Casablanca City
  • Enriching Lives Exclusive – Giving Back with Visit to Sidi Bernoussi Orphanage
  • Dinner at the mythical Rick’s Café saloon
  • Visit to the imperial city of Meknes and Volubilis city, one of Morocco’s best-preserved Roman ruins
  • Tour of Medieval and Modern Fez
  • Pottery workshop in Fes
  • Welcome dinner at a Moroccan family house
  • Travel to Erfoud via the Mountains of the middle Atlas passing by Ifrane (the “Moroccan Switzerland”)
  • Stay at Luxury Desert Camp includes authentic Moroccan dinner under the stars and breakfast in the morning
  • Sunset camel ride
  • Sunrise Sahara desert safari
  • En route visit of Ouarzazate includes stop at Kasbah Taourirt and UNESCO-restored Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou
  • Full day tour of Marrakech, visits to Yves Saint Laurent museum, Majorelle gardens, souks and squares
  • Lunch at Association Amal: a Marrakech-based non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women
  • Authentic Moroccan cooking class
  • Moroccan Hammam & massage (45 min Hamman + 45 min massage) in Marrakech
  • Dinner at Palais Jad Mahal
 

Day 1
Friday 15th Nov 2019 Canada / Casablanca On Board

You will board your flight today, to Casablanca.

Day 2
Saturday 16th Nov 2019 Arrive Casablanca Flight: To be advised

Welcome to the Kingdom Of Morocco!

After clearing the immigration, collect your luggage and proceed towards exit gate, where our local representative will be waiting to welcome and transfer to your hotel.

Casablanca is Morocco's chief port and one of the largest financial centers on the continent, located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest city in Morocco. Casablanca is also the most cosmopolitan of Morocco's cities, with nightclubs, fast food chains and high end boutiques.

The modern city of Casablanca was founded by Berber fishermen in the 10th Century BC and was subsequently used by the Phoenicians, Romans, and the Merenids as a strategic port called Anfa. The Portuguese destroyed it and rebuilt it under the name Casa Branca, only to abandon it after an earthquake in 1755. The Moroccan sultan rebuilt the city as Daru l-Badya and it was given its current name of Casablanca by Spanish traders who established trading bases there. The French occupied the city in 1907, establishing it as a protectorate in 1912 and starting construction of the ville nouvelle, however it gained independence with the rest of the country in 1956.

Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Overnight: Hotel Kenzi Basma or similar

A stay at Kenzi Basma Hotel places you in the heart of Casablanca, walking distance from Place Mohammed V and United Nations Square. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Parc de la Ligue Arabe and Cathedrale Sacre Coeur. All rooms are well-equipped with the latest technology and outstanding comfort, always customizing service to guests requirements. Just a few meters from the Hotel, you will find one of Casablanca's liveliest districts, surrounded by museums, the Church of the Sacred Heart, restaurants, cafes and a multitude of shops, handicraft and trinkets or designer mall coexist side by side in this city of distinct contrasts. All rooms have a work space with broadband high-speed Internet connection, excellent equipment and amenities, personalized service tailor made to guests needs.

Meals: Dinner

Day 3
Sunday 17th Nov 2019 Casablanca

Breakfast at the hotel.

Depart for a sightseeing tour of Casablanca City and visit:

Habous Quarter: Casablanca’s Habous Quarter was built by the French during the 1930s in order to solve the housing crisis, meaning that today, the district possesses strong European influences intertwined with traditional Moroccan riads and hamams. This beautiful mix of architecture makes the Habous Quarter a fantastic area to wander around and simply admire the alternative views.

Hassan II Mosque: Designed by French architect Michel Pinseau, construction of the Hassan II Mosque began in July 1986 on land reclaimed from a run-down area near the sea. The goal for completion of the mosque was King Hassan II's 60th birthday in 1989, but it finished only on August 30, 1993.

The project is estimated to have cost as much as $800 million, funds that were remarkably raised entirely from public subscription.

Nearly all the materials of the Hassan II Mosque are from Morocco, with the sole exceptions of the imported white granite columns and glass chandeliers (from Murano, near Venice). The marble is from Agandir, the cedar wood is from the Middle Atlas and the granite comes from Tafraoute.

Mohamed V Place: At the heart of the modern city, Mohammed V Square, designed by architect Joseph Marrast, is a worthy representative of Moroccan Art Deco architecture. It brings together several administrative buildings erected after the First World War, including the Consulate of France, the courthouse, the prefecture, the central post office, and the bank of Morocco, which sits harmoniously along a side of the square. Time seems to have stopped in this ‘arena' of elegance, whose facades reflect harmony and attention to detail.

Lunch shall be provided at a local, seafood restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Enriching Lives Exclusive: In the afternoon, visit Sidi Bernoussi Orphanage: The charitable association, Sidi Bernoussi is a social organization created in 1986 to manage the social welfare establishment DAR ALATFAL which was named Social Complex Prince Sidi Mohamed. The initiative to build this orphanage for boys was based on the lack of childcare facilities for orphans or abandoned children.

The Charitable Association of Sidi Bernoussi has had the following mission since its creation:

  • To welcome and protect children in precarious situations, including orphans and abandoned children residing in Casablanca, with a priority given to children residing in the Prefecture of Sidi Bernoussi.
  • To offer these children facilities where they are provided with accommodation, food, care & a decent upbringing.
  • To educate them in order to prepare them for social and professional integration and help them become autonomous and balanced adults.

How can you provide help?

If you are an individual, you can:

  • Make personal donations.
  • Sponsor children through a monthly donation.
  • Become a member of the Association. The membership fee is of 1000 dirhams.
  • Contribute by helping the residents if you have an independent profession, particularly in the field of education (psychologist, speech therapist, etc.).

If you are a company, you can:

  • Contribute to the budget of the functioning of the Association by sending.
  • Fees to the association's accountant.
  • Choose to finance specific educational projects.
  • Choose to finance infrastructure works, etc.

Stop for Dinner at Rick’s café:

Rick's Cafe, the mythical saloon from the 1942 film "Casablanca" has finally been transformed from celluloid to wood, glass and plaster. Set in an old courtyard-style mansion, built against the walls of the Old Medina of Casablanca, the restaurant - piano bar is filled with architectural and decorative details reminiscent of the film - curved arches, a sculpted bar, balconies, balustrades as well as dramatic beaded and stenciled brass lighting and plants that cast luminous shadows on white walls.

Overnight: Hotel Kenzi Basma

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4
Monday 18th Nov 2019 Casablanca / Meknes / Fes (300 kms / 4 Hours by road)

Breakfast at your hotel, followed by check-out & depart for Fes, with en route visit of Meknes and Volubilis:

Meknes: one of the four imperial cities in Morocco, although the smallest one but definitely deserving a visit. This scenic hilltop city has plenty to offer the curious visitor, from intricate gates to marvellous museums and mausoleums.

Meknes is made up of the old (medina) and the new (ville nouvelle); two distinct centres, less than three miles apart but harnessing quite different vibes. The medina holds the city’s historic sights and sought-after romantic flavor; at its heart is the 12th century Grand Mosque (although this is closed to non-Muslims), while teahouses in secret courtyards, ornate riads, and the odd hard-working donkey add to the atmosphere.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to Volubilis city of Roman ruins.

Volubilis City: one of Morocco’s best-preserved Roman ruins on a fertile plain surrounded by wheat fields. While the city continued to grow well into the second and third centuries AD when the majority of the buildings still visible, were built, it is believed that the 42-hectare walled city was once home to 20,000 residents. With wealth generated from local olive production, many grand residences, complete with stunning mosaic tile work, were constructed (and still visible and intact to this day despite being open to the elements) as were public hammams, triumphal arches, and parliament buildings. The Romans withdrew in 285 AD, although the local Syrian, Jew, Berber, and Greek populations continued to speak the local language of Latin.

Continue on to FES & check-in at your hotel, where the rest of the day is at leisure.

Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Overnight: Menzeh Zalagh Fes (4*) or similar

Built the shortly after the second world war, in 1942, hotel ZALAGH is an integral part of the "memory" of Fès. Appearing in international architecture magazines, it was the only one with such quality and its comfort. It was par excellence the Hotel in vogue in Fès. Very renowned, welcoming businessmen and "travellers" of all horizons, Group ZALAGH had the honor to host the Kings of Morocco His HIGHNESS MOHAMED V and His HIGHNESS HASSAN II, bringing it an aura of glory. The rooms have been refurbished to modern décor & the hotel also has lush gardens with an outdoor swimming pool, a hammam and a beauty salon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5
Tuesday 19th Nov 2019 Fes

Breakfast at the hotel.

This morning your tour guide shall bring you six centuries back into history:

When you stroll beneath the ornate city gate of Bab Boujeloud, you are seemingly transported 1,000 years back in time. The bustling cafés and outdoor markets quickly give way to quiet narrow streets with a mud brick corridors of the medieval city. This is the oldest part of Fez, Fez el-Bali, and it is the world’s largest car-free urban space as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you walk through Fez el-Bali, you are literally walking through 1,300 years of Moroccan heritage. Ancients mosques and medersas (Islamic schools) are dotted through this labyrinthine city.

Besides the labyrinthine Fez el-Bali, there are two other parts to the city: Fez el-Jdid (the “new part of the city”, which is still a few hundred years old) and Ville Nouvelle (French for new city, constructed under the French Protectorate era in the first half of the 20th century). Though most of the activities and sites of interest to travelers is in the old city, many travelers do find themselves venturing into Fez el-Jdid to visit the Jewish Quarter & Batha Museum (special arrangements to visit interior of this spectacular privately-owned 18th century Riad - traditional Islamic courtyard house- once one of the wealthiest mansions in Fes).

Lunch at leisure (own expense)

Visit and enjoy a Pottery Workshop

Welcome dinner at a Moroccan family house - It is not only dinner but a complete immersion into the Moroccan culture and family life. A perfect chance to interact with locals and experience a truly unique evening hosted by a Moroccan family.

Overnight: Menzeh Zalagh Fes

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6
Wednesday 20th Nov 2019 Fes / Erfoud / Merzouga (500 kms / 7 hours)

Breakfast at your hotel

Departure to Erfoud via the Mountains of the middle Atlas passing by Ifrane (the “Moroccan Switzerland”).

Ifrane was built during the French protectorate by the French as a hill station or “home away from home”. Not only were buildings designed in a similar style to French Alpine villages but plants and trees were also imported to give the city a European feel. The name however is taken from the local Amazigh language Tamazight and means caves.

Continue onto Midelt where you will have a break for lunch at leisure (own expense), before continuing on to Erfoud via the Ziz Gorges and Errachidia.

Arrive into Erfoud, the largest oasis in all of Morocco, a region famous for its almost one million date palm trees. Continue on to your desert accommodation by 4X4 vehicles.

Check-in at your tented camp.

Overnight: Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp

Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp is your special home in Morocco. It demands nothing much of you, but to relax and gaze at the ever-changing colors of the desert. Situated in the quiet and idyllic sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, located an hour and half drive from Erfoud. This private camp offers spacious luxury tents with a sense of comfort and prestige. Enjoy your special night under the stars at this beautiful Oasis in a premium tented camp. Experience a camel ride at sunset in the most enchanting Sahara Desert. Your desert experience includes an authentic Moroccan dinner under the stars and breakfast in the morning

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7
Thursday 21st Nov 2019 Merzouga / Tinghir / Dades & Todra Gorges / Ouarzazate (300 Km /5 hours)

Rise and shine early this morning, to board your safari vehicles to watch the sunrise over the Sahara desert.

Return back to your camp for breakfast.

You will proceed in your four wheel drive vehicles back to Erfoud. Your regular transport will further take you through Tinghir, the scenic Todra Gorges, wonderfully sculpted by Mother Nature. Hugging the lush river bed are many of Morocco’s most scenic kasbahs and ksours.

Lunch would be at your own expense.

Continue to Ouarzazate and check-in at your hotel.

Dinner & Overnight: Berbere Palace (5*)

Ouarzazate isn’t only the ‘gateway to southern Morocco’, it’s also home to Atlas Studios, which are very popular with Hollywood film directors – hence the nickname ‘Ozzywood’. And when the A-listers are in town, this large, five-star residence is where they stay. Built glamorously on a high perch in the style of a kasbah (fort), it combines facilities with high-quality service, plus plenty of authentic Berber materials, crafts and artefacts. The studios themselves are nearby, as is, just outside town, Kasbah de Taourirt – one of the fairest forts of them all.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8
Friday 22nd Nov 2019 Ouarzazate / Marrakech (250 km /4 hours)

Breakfast at your hotel

09:00 AM: Check-out & departure for Marrakech, with en route visit of Ouarzazate to include:

Kasbah Taourirt: a citadel set against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains. As far as fortifications are concerned in Morocco, this is one of the most impressive of its kind. With almost 300 rooms and a true maze of passageways, steps, and key lock doors, it’s easy to feel lost within this immense structure that only connects to the outside world through a narrow entrance doorway. Originally built in the 19th century, the Taourirt Kasbah was owned by the el Glaoui clan, a family that had a powerful stronghold of one of Morocco’s most significant southern caravan routes to West Africa.

UNESCO-restored Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou: The Ksar is located in the Ouarzazate province along the old caravan trade route between Marrakech and the Sahara. The Ksar consists of a group of buildings built entirely of local organic material, and covered by a rich red mud plaster. According to local belief, the Ksar was founded in 757 A.D. by Ben-Haddou, whose tomb is said to lie somewhere behind the city.

Continue on to Marrakech & check-in at your boutique hotel.

Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Overnight: Hivernage Hotel & Spa

This luxurious spa hotel is housed in a modern Marrakech building, in the heart of the city. A renovation has given the interiors here an attractive nip and tuck, breathing a stylish new life into Hivernage Hotel & Spa. Just a short walk from the Jamaa el Fna, this getaway makes an ideal base from which to explore the winding market streets of the old city. You may go strolling among the souks, visiting museums or gazing over palaces and enjoy the hotel’s spa, where and massage facilities are available. There’s also a restaurant and bar, serving international and Moroccan cuisine.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9
Saturday 23rd Nov 2019 Marrakech

Breakfast at your hotel & proceed for a full day tour of Marrakech.

Yves Saint Laurent Museum: A museum entirely devoted to the work of the legendary fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent. The new building, situated on Rue Yves Saint Laurent and adjacent to the renowned Jardin Majorelle, spans over 4,000 m² and is more than just a museum. It features a 400 m² permanent exhibition space where the work of Yves Saint Laurent shall be presented in a scenography by Christophe Martin; a 150 m² space for temporary exhibitions, a 130-seat auditorium, a boutique and bookshop, a café-restaurant, as well as a research library comprising 5,000 volumes.

Majorelle Gardens: This famous garden was created by the orientalist painter Jacques Majorelle. The garden hosts more than 15 bird species endemic to North Africa and has an amazing collection of cacti. Since 1980, the garden has been owned by Yves Saint-Laurent.

Lunch at Association Amal: a Marrakech-based non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women through restaurant training and job placement. Amal’s goal is personal transformation through job and life skills development for their trainees, a stepping stone to economic and social stability. Their program offers women from disadvantaged backgrounds a platform where they can enhance their capacities and learn new skills. Amal’s customers and clients are a key source of financial support for the training programs Amal runs. When you sit down to an incredible lunch in their restaurant in Gueliz you are making a difference in the lives of the women they train. Continue on with the rest of the visit:

Souks: It is a riot of colour, noise and activity; a wealthy storehouse of all the treasures of this vast and varied country. You will find all the silver merchants in one corner, all the gold merchants in another, and rows of stalls selling exclusively leatherwork, copper goods or jewellery. The real fascination is to watch the craftsmen at work, gilding on leather, or inlaying with enamel the sheaths of ornate silver daggers, hammering out copper, embroidering silks or smoothing out the surface of cedar wood table.

The Jemaa El-Fnaa Square: The name literally translates to the Assembly of Death. It is taken to refer to the custom of displaying the heads of vanquished rebels or criminals, since the square is known to be a place of public execution even up to the last century. Then it has been a centre for public meetings and even riots. It isn’t until late afternoon that the square really gets going. At dusk, as in France and Spain, people come out for an early evening promenade (especially in Rue Bab Agnaou), and the square gradually fills until it becomes a whole carnival of storytellers, acrobats, musicians and entertainers.

Dinner at Palais Jad Mahal:The American architect Stewart Church, who during the twenty years that he lived in India, imagined the sophisticated place, a subtle mixture of Indian and Moroccan architectures. Exotic, colonial decoration made of woodwork and noble materials, is declined into thousand colors. The ceilings hand painted, the ground in tinted cement, the net curtains of the terrace roof play with the breeze, the basins and fountains provides a magical atmosphere to the Palais.

Overnight: Hivernage Hotel & Spa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10
Sunday 24th Nov 2019 Marrakech (Moroccan cooking)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Depart to experience authentic Moroccan cooking in the heart of Marrakech’s medina, following a traditional Moroccan welcome at the door; meet the chef, who is ready to teach you all there is to know about cooking local recipes and to do the bread in a Moroccan traditional oven. It is the best way to learn to cook typical and real Moroccan cuisine. A must do activity, as described by those who have experienced it.

Savor what you have cooked for lunch.

Hammam & Massage: After the cooking class and nice lunch, your afternoon will be to enjoy the Hammam & Massage at Les Bains de Marrakech (45 min. Hammam + 45 min massage).

The hammam consists in three rooms with different temperature and a vestiaire.

Moroccan ladies provide a relaxing peeling (massage + gommage) to all participants and also a demonstration of the bath ceremony.

After this relaxing and healthy bath, a refreshing drink or mist tea will be served.

LES BAINS DE MARRAKECH provide products that are 100% homemade & natural:

• Bathrobe & towels

• Sleepers

• Kessage glove

• Black soap

• Ghassoul body mask

• Shampoo & shower

• Tea, water, fruit juice & pastries

Evening would be devoted for shopping or simply relaxing.

Dinner is at leisure (at your own expense).

Overnight: Hivernage Hotel & Spa

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 11
Monday 25th Nov 2019 Depart Marrakech

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today you will check-out & shall be transferred to the Marrakesh Menara Airport, for your return flight back to Canada.

Meals: Breakfast

Note:

  • Airport check in for international flight, is 3 hours prior to departure
  • Driving distance/time is approx., which is subject to road conditions/traffic

  • The images used in the itinerary are used at random, for illustration only

  • Hotel check in time 15:00 hrs/check out 12:00 hrs

The Tour Cost Includes:

  • Accommodation for 9 nights including daily breakfast, at the suggested hotels or similar
  • English speaking guide
  • Mini coach, with driver for all transfers & sightseeing
  • Porterage at airports and hotels
  • Pottery workshop in Fes
  • 4X4 safari vehicles for the desert camp
  • Sunset camel ride at the desert camp
  • Hammam & massage in Marrakech
  • Applicable entrance fee for monuments listed in the itinerary
  • 2 small bottles of mineral water per person, per day in the tour bus
  • Fixed menu meals, only as specified in the itinerary (8 dinners, including one at a local family home & 3 lunches, including one followed by the cooking class)
  • Enriching Lives Exclusive – Giving Back with Visit to Sidi Bernoussi Orphanage

The Tour Cost Does Not Include:

  • International Airfare and taxes
  • Meals which are not mentioned in the itinerary, including breakfast on the day of arrival
  • International air & travel /medical insurance
  • Excess baggage charges, if levied by the airlines
  • Beverages during all meals, which shall have to be settled directly, upon consumption
  • Tips /gratuities to guides /drivers /room service
  • Any expense of personal nature, like laundry, room service orders, telephone calls made from the hotel’s phone line
  • Any other services which are not mentioned in the inclusions

LAND ONLY COSTS: (International Airfare Available Upon Request)

Per person on double occupancy: CAD $3850

Single supplement: CAD $995

Minimum passengers: 15 / Maximum passengers: 20

Deposit: $300 at time of booking

Balance due: 90 days prior to departure date


***All pricing is in Canadian dollars***

Cancellation Penalties and all other important information please refer to our:

Terms and Conditions

Guaranteed Room mate Match Program: If you don’t have a travelling companion, WOW will match you up with a suitable roommate. We guarantee this match program.

Accommodations: Superior First Class hotels in central areas (where applicable).

More inclusions: meals, unique experiences and a personalized host who will pamper you and look after every detail.

Service as it should be: let us cater to the details that make for your fabulous adventures.

Hotels used (or similar):
LOCATION: ACCOMMODATION: CATEGORY: DURATION:
CASABLANCA Hotel Kenzi Basma Superior First Class 2 Nights
FES Menzeh Zalagh Fes Superior First Class 2 Nights
MERZOUGA Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp Superior First Class 1 Night
OUARZAZATE Berbere Palace Superior First Class 1 Night
MARRAKECH Hivernage Hotel & Spa Superior First Class 3 Nights

Trip Facts

  • Morocco, Africa
  • Casablanca, Meknes, Fes, Erfoud, Merzouga, Tinghir, Dades & Todra Gorges, Quarzazate, Marrakech
  • Saturday Oct 12th 2019
  • Daily breakfast, 4 lunches, 8 dinners
  • 9 Nights per Hotels Mentioned or similar

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