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10 Day Imperial Cities History Immersion

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Volubilis_CityLife
Rabat_CityLife
Meknes_CityLife
Marrakech_CityLife
Fes_CityLife
Chefchaouen_CityLife

10 Days/9 Nights of Morocco's Imperial Cities

Discover the history of Morocco’s ruling families with visits to the cities that served as the seat of power from the first dynasty in Fes to the current capital of Rabat. Includes visits to the 4 major imperial cities: Marrakech, Fes, Meknes, and Rabat. You'll also visit Morocco's Blue Pearl, Chefchaouen, and the laid back beach city of Essaouira. If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life and have a passion for history, this is for you!


 

Trip Summary

2018 Dates and Prices
  • March 3 – 12:
    $1660 USD Per Person
    $350 USD Single Supplement
  • May 19 – 28:
    $1826 USD Per Person
    $385 USD Single Supplement
  • June 30 – July 9:
    $1660 USD Per Person
    $350 USD Single Supplement
  • September 1 – 10:
    $1826 USD Per Person
    $385 USD Single Supplement
  • November 17 – 26:
    $1660 USD Per Person
    $350 USD Single Supplement
Daily Itinerary
  • Day 1: Welcome to Morocco (Marrakech)
  • Day 2: Marrakech
  • Day 3: Marrakech – Fes
  • Day 4: Fes
  • Day 5: Fes – Volubilis – Meknes
  • Day 6: Meknes – Chefchaouen
  • Day 7: Chefchaouen – Rabat
  • Day 8: Rabat – Essaouira
  • Day 9: Essaouira
  • Day 10: Transfer to Marrakech (Departure)
Includes
  • Ground Transfers to/from Airport (Marrakech)
  • Private Transportation
  • English Speaking Driver/Guide
  • Guided tour of Marrakech
  • Guided Tour of Fes
  • Guided Tour of Volubilis
  • Guided Tour of Meknes
  • All Entrance Fees
  • 9 Nights of Accommodations
  • 9 Breakfasts
Excludes
  • Airfare to/from Morocco
  • Meals other than specified
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Personal Expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Marrakech
Welcome to Morocco! Tour will start in your riad in Marrakech (details provided upon booking). You can arrive any time, as today will be a day of leisure to recover from your travels and prepare for the journey ahead. In the evening, there will be a tour meeting and an opportunity for you to meet your fellow adventurers.

Airport transfers can be arranged by request and are complementary from Marrakech. Transfers from airport in Casablanca can be arranged for an additional fee.

Day 2: Marrakech Immersion!
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast today, you will meet your local city guide for a tour of Marrakech. Your tour will include visits to the old Ben Youssef Madrasa, El Badi Palace, the Saadian Tombs, and the beautiful Koutoubia Mosque. After you’ve visited these monuments, your guide will escort you to the souks of Marrakech to see how artisans still use traditional methods for their handicrafts today. Your tour will end in the famed square of Jemaa El F’na. This is the busiest square in all of Africa and it only comes alive after dark. You’ll have free time to watch the action from a cafe terrace or wade into the sea of excitement to experience the sights, sounds, and even smells of Marrakech.  Your riad is located less than a minute away from the square, so when you’ve had your fill you can head back to relax for the evening.  

Day 3: Marrakech to Fes
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast you will be transferred to the imperial city of Fes. This will be kind of a long day of driving, but there will be plenty of stops for tea and photographs along the way. You’ll arrive in Fes in time for dinner and will be free to explore a little on your own after checking into you Riad for the night.

Day 4: Fes Immersion!
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today, following breakfast, you will spend the day with a local city guide exploring the city of Fez. The tour will take you into the medina of Fez through Bab Boujloud (the Blue Gate), where you will discover the ancient streets and neighborhoods, as well as Al-Qarawaiyin University Founded in 864 AD and still in operation today, it holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest continually operated university in the world. After discovering all that the Medina has to offer, you will be taken to get a high up panoramic view of the old city before returning to your riad for the evening.

Day 5: Fes – Volubilis – Meknes
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, you will head to the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Before the Romans came, Volubilis was an Amazigh city known as Oulili (pronounced wa-lee-lee) which dates back to the 3rd century B.C. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in the 18th century and subsequently further damaged by Moulay Ismail’s architects (who used pieces to build the gates of the city of Meknes), it is still “an exceptionally well preserved example of a large Roman colonial town on the fringes of the Empire”, according to the UNESCO World Heritage listing. The city was reclaimed by the local Amazigh tribes around 235 AD and it was near here in the 8th Century that Idriss I established the first dynasty of the Kingdom of Morocco. After a guided tour of Volubilis, you will visit the nearby sacred city of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun which is home to the Idriss I’s tomb. After visiting here, you will continue on to Meknes, another Imperial city. Your visit will begin by entering the old medina through the beautiful gate of Bab Mansour, which incorporates marble pillars that were moved from the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Once inside the medina, you will visit the tomb of Sultan Moulay Ismail. It was under his ruler’s reign from 1672 to 1727 that Meknes served its time as the capital of Morocco. Next you will visit the impressive Agdal reservoir (built under the reign of Moulay Ismail) and Heri es-Souani, a former granary and stable that lay alongside the reservoir. After exploring these sites, you will have free time in El-Hadim Square before retiring back to your riad for the night.

Day 6: Meknes - Chefchaouen
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, you will head to the picturesque village of Chefchaouen, nestled in the Rif Mountains. You’ll arrive by lunch and have the rest of the afternoon to visit and explore the Blue Pearl of Morocco.

Day 7: Chefchaouen – Rabat
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast today, you will head down the coast to the current capital of Rabat. Here you will visit the ruins of the Roman town of Sala Colonia (also known as Chellah) which was settled in 40 AD. Next you will venture into the walls of the Kasbah of the Udayas to stroll through its narrow blue and white streets and explore the old Medina. You’ll also see Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. After your visit, you’ll have free time to explore on your own.

Day8: Rabat - Essaouira
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast today, you’ll head down the scenic coastline of Morocco to the walled city of Essaouira. Along the way, you’ll visit the former Portuguese stronghold of El Jadida and idyllic beach towns like Oulidia. Once you arrive to Essaouira, you’ll check into your riad and then have the rest of the evening free to explore this picturesque seaside city on your own.

Day 9: Essaouira Immersion!
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today, you’ll have all day free to explore the medina and nearby beach of Essaouira on your own. Pick out your lunch from the fresh catch of the day, enjoy street performers, discover the many artists that call Essaouira home, or just while your day away at one of the many cafes watching the people come and go.

Day 10: Transfer to Marrakech and Bon Voyage!
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, you’ll head back to Marrakech. Along the way, you’ll stop to visit a local argan oil cooperative to see how this “liquid gold” is produced with the help of local goats. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the goats in action in the Argan tree groves. You’ll arrive at the airport in Marrakech by 1 PM.

If your flight leaves earlier than 3 PM, let us know and we will arrange a transfer for you. Transfers to Casablanca airport can be arranged upon request for an additional fee.


Accommodations

Whenever possible, we prefer to use locally owned and operated accommodations that are hand picked by us.  The following list represents our preferred accommodations for this tour, but these may change depending on the group size and availability.  Substitute accommodations will be at least the same level of comfort as the ones listed below. 

 

Marrakech: Riad Mabrouk

This fabulous riad will be your meeting point for this tour.  Located in the medina and a 1 minute walk from Jemaa El F'na, this traditional guest house boasts amazing views of Marrakech from its rooftop terrace.  The rooftop terrace is also where you'll find a dipping pool -- perfect for cooling off after a long day of discovering Morocco.  No need to save leg power to climb steps -- the newly installed elevator will make getting to the terrace and your room a breeze.   Speaking of your room, the guest rooms all have air conditioning, a safe, a minibar, and a television.  The en suite bathrooms are furnished with toiletries and hair dryers.  And since there is free wifi, you'll be able to post all of your photos of magical Marrakech.

There We love staying here.  The rooms are spacious and comfortable and the service for our adventurers is impeccable.  It is the perfect place to start your Morocco Immersion!

Fes: Riad Al-Makan

Your immersion into the history of Fes will be complete when you return to this 17th century traditional riad.  Ideally situated inside the medina near the famous Blue Gate, this gorgeous riad serves as your home base for exploring the winding alleys of this ancient city.  And don't worry... you will be able to enjoy the traditional Moroccan features from hand-carved wood and plaster to mosaic tiles without giving up modern conveniences like air conditioning, en suite bathrooms, and free wifi!  The riad also features a sun terrace with breathtaking views of the city.

Meknes: Riad D'or

This fabulous riad is located in the heart of the UNESCO designated medina of Meknes.  Originally built in 1791, this recently renovated riad maintains its traditional charm and provides comfortable rooms with en suite bathrooms and free wifi.  The riad terrace offers a perfect place to relax with a rooftop pool and a panoramic view of the city.

Chefchaouen: Hotel Al-Khalifa

This boutique hotel situated on a hill just outside of the medina offers panoramic views of this beautiful small city.  Just a 10 minute walk from the main square, this warm and friendly guest house provides an excellent base for your Chefchaouen explorations.  And, like all of our accommodations, the rooms are clean and comfortable and include en suite bathrooms and air conditioning. Free wifi is also available here.  

Rabat: Hotel des Oudaias

This charming hotel originally opened in 1918 as L’Hôtel des Oudaias dit Transatlantique and is itself immersed in the history of the current capital city of Rabat.  Hotel amenities include free wifi and air conditioning.  The en suite bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers, bathrobes, and even slippers.  Situated just a couple of blocks away from the Kasbah of the Udayas with many shops and restaurants within walking distance, the terrace boasts amazing views of the Kasbah, the ocean, and the Bou Regreg River.  The interior with its mix of traditional Moroccan and French aesthetic won't disappoint either.  

Essaouira: Riad Ben Atar

Located in the heart of the medina, this traditional Moroccan riad is just a short walk away from both the beach and the shops of the medina.  The rooftop terrace furnishes a place to relax and enjoy the breeze with spectacular views of the medina and the sea.  The comfortable rooms are a great place to unwind after a day of exploring.  Rooms are equipped with en suite bathrooms and televisions and there is free wifi that is accessible throughout the riad.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some frequently asked questions about this tour and visiting Morocco. If you don't see the answer to your question, feel free to give us a call or contact us using the form below.

 

Where should I meet the tour group on arrival day?

The tour meeting point is Riad Mabrouk in Marrakech.They will be expecting your arrival. We will meet on the rooftop terrace at 7 PM on your arrival day to answer any questions and give you a chance to meet your fellow adventurers. Just look for the Morocco Immersion Sign.

Note: The meeting time may change depending on the arrival time of the majority of the participants. You will receive more details prior to your tour start date.

What time should I arrive on the first day?

You can arrive any time on Day 1, as there are no set activities until the tour meeting at 7 PM (19:00) on the rooftop terrace at Riad Mabrouk in Marrakech. If you will be arriving later than 7 PM, just let us know.

Remember when you are booking your flights that most flights depart in the evening and arrive the following morning. Double check your flight to be sure that the arrival date is the same as the Tour Start Date.
Where and what time does this tour end?

This tour will end at the Marrakech (RAK) airport. The estimated arrival time is 1 PM (13:00).

When selecting your departing flight,be sure to allow time for check in and security. Departing flights should be after 4 PM (16:00)
Which airport should I fly in and out of?

This tour will start and end in Marrakech which makes the Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK) the ideal place to fly in an out of. We will also provide complementary ground transfers to/from this airport.

If you prefer to fly into Casablanca, we can arrange ground transfers for an additional fee (per transfer).

What if I want to stay in Marrakech an extra night before or after my tour?

No problem. Just select the appropriate option when booking. If you would like a single room, be sure to add the single supplement.

Will ground transfers to and from the airport be provided?

We are pleased to provide complementary ground transfers to/from the Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK). We will ask for your flight information during the pre-Adventure registration process (after booking).

Ground transfers to/from the airport in Casablanca are available upon request for an additional fee. Contact us for more information.

What is the minimum number of Adventurers for this tour?

We will operate the tour as long as we have a minimum of 2 participants.

What is the maximum number of Adventurers for this tour?

Maximum: 16 PAX. We are not a “big bus” tour operator and prefer to keep our group tours small so that you can truly experience Morocco’s rich culture and way of life.

What if I have a large group that would like to do this tour?

Contact us! Groups of 10 or more qualify for special discounts and groups of 17 or more can be accommodated as a private tour (again for special pricing).

I'm ready to go! How do I book this adventure?

Simply follow this book now link. We request a 30% deposit at the time of booking. The balance is due prior to the Tour Start Date.

After you book, you will be contacted by the Morocco Immersion Adventure Organizer who will guide you through the pre-Adventure registration process, keep you updated on any tour changes, and answer any questions you might have.

What if I book and then the tour does not get the minimum number of Adventurers?

If we must cancel the tour due to a lack of participants, we will give you the following options:

  • Switch to a different tour.
  • Convert your tour to a private tour for an additional fee.
  • Refund 100% of your deposit and any other additional payments made to us.
We will not refund any loss not paid to us such as airfare change or cancellation costs. For that reason, we STRONGLY recommend the purchase of travel insurance.
What if I need to cancel after I have booked?

If you cancel 36 days prior to your Tour Start Date, we will refund 80% of your tour deposit and 100% of any additional monies paid to us.  Cancelling 35 or fewer days prior to your Tour Start Date will result in 100% loss of your deposit, but any additional monies paid to us will be refunded.  No monies will be refunded by us for no shows or trip interruptions.  Our complete cancellation policy can be found in our terms and conditions.

If you must cancel for any reason, please contact us as soon as possible.

Is travel insurance required?

No, it is not require, but we strongly recommend it to cover any losses due to trip cancellation or interruption.  Travel insurance that includes medical evacuation is also advised as some areas of Morocco are remote and may lack proper medical facilities.  Please be sure to thoroughly review our terms and conditions.

I am a solo traveler, but would like to share a room. Can you help me find a roommate?

Yes!  We will help you with that during the pre-Adventure registration process.

Will I need any vaccinations to travel to Morocco?

No vaccinations are required for travel to Morocco; however, it is generally advised that you be up to date on your normal vaccinations and consider vaccinations for Hep A and Typhoid to prevent food borne pathogens. For more information, you should contact a travel clinic or review the CDC guidelines for travel to the area.

Do I need a Visa to travel to Morocco?

US Passport holders currently do not need a visa to travel to Morocco for a duration of less than 3 months for tourism purposes.  If you do require a visa, you are responsible for acquiring it.

It is your responsibility to acquire and bring required travel documents such as passport and visa (if applicable).  Be sure to put that on your packing list!  
More Questions?

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