Imperial Cities and Desert
Imperial Cities and Desert
Imperial Cities and Desert

Imperial Cities and Desert

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Regular price
$3,650.00
Sale price
$3,650.00

early bird special: book and pay by 27 november 2018

From the Imperial cities to the grandeur of the Sahara Desert discover the vibrant mix of cultures and contrasts that is Morocco. This remarkable journey takes you from Casablanca to the Imperial city of Fez and then to the enchantments of Marrakech. Staying in Riad properties carefully selected for their charm and authenticity where possible you will be travelling with your own private driver. The ideal tour to discover the very best of this exceptional country and come back from your holiday with memories of a lifetime.

Private transportation and private sightseeing as per itinerary

  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Important Information

Day 1: Casablanca

Welcome to Morocco.

Morocco is a land so intrinsically beautiful and rich with heritage that the moment you step foot on it you feel completely transported to another time and place. The scenery varies from the pristine desert to the lush landscape of the Atlas Mountains in the south. A fascinating travel experience awaits...

On arrival into Casablanca you will be met after customs and immigration by a local operator and transferred to your hotel.

Refresh and depart for a half-day sightseeing tour of Casablanca, the business capital of Morocco. Visit the exterior of the great Hassan II Mosque Mohamed V Square United Nations Place central market the Habbous district which is filled with souks selling a variety of items including pastries olives fabric shoes and antique shops. Continue to the residential area of Anfa with its colourful WWII history before strolling along the Aïn Diab Coast dotted with restaurants.

Day 2: Casablanca – Meknes – Volubilis – Fez (B)

Today you will be transferred to Fez. En route stop for a short visit of the Imperial city of Meknes. Moulay Ismail made Meknes the capital city of Morocco during his reign around 1700. Visit his mausoleum and his stables built for over 12,000 horses. Later drive to the hillside settlement of Moulay Idriss one of the country's most important spiritual sites and a place of pilgrimage as it is the site of the tomb of Moulay Idriss a prominent Moroccan saint in the late 8th century. Continue to the World Heritage Site of Volubilis, the largest and best preserved Roman site in Morocco particularly famous for its superb mosaic floors. Arrive in Fez in the evening.

Day 3: Fez (B)

Depart for a full day sightseeing tour of Fez, the spiritual capital of Morocco. See the Medieval Medina, the Attarine or Bou Anania Medersa, the Nejjarine fountain, Moulay Idriss mausoleum, and the Karaouine Mosque (from outside). Afternoon visit of the souks.

Day 4: Fez – Midelt - Erfoud (Merzouga Dunes) (B D)

Early departure to Midelt via Azrou, a Berber village known for its handicraft. Continue via Midelt Ziz River and a series of fortified villages.
Upon arrival in Erfoud transfer in a 4WD vehicle to Merzouga Dunes, an impressive drifting chain of sand dunes that can reach 160m and seem to have escaped from the much larger dune field across the nearby border in Algeria. The Erg Dunes are a magical landscape and offer a scene of constant change as sunlight transforms them from pink to gold to red. Tonight depart for a 30 minute camel ride to admire the sunset and experience a dinner and night under Bedouin tents.

Overnight in La Belle Etoile fixed desert camp.

Please note that the desert camp offers simple Bedouin tented accommodation with basic shared facilities. This property has been selected for its location at the foot of the Merzouga Dunes allowing you to appreciate a desert night under the stars.

    Day 5: Erfoud - Todra Gorge and Dades Valley – Ouarzazate (B)

    This morning rise early to witness the spectacular sunrise over the dunes. Breakfast and departure to Tinghir via Rissani. Visit the ruins of Ksar Abbar and drive via the Tinjdad Road to the stunning Todra Gorge known with its many impressive canyons and escarpments. Continue via El Kelâa M’gouna and the Dades Valley. Arrive in Ouarzazate whose name is the Berber word for no noise”.

      Day 6: Ouarzazate - Ait Benhaddou - Marrakech (B)

      This morning visit the famous fortified Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site it has been the backdrop for many films. Then journey through breathtaking countryside via Tizi N'Tichka pass (2260m) the highest pass in North Africa. Discover a remarkable area characterized by the magnificence and beauty of its various landscapes. Arrive in Marrakech and transfer to your hotel.
       

      Day 7: Marrakech (B)

      The entire day will be spent visiting Marrakech, the second oldest imperial city known as the “Pearl of the South” with the Saâdian tombs, the Koutoubia Bahia Palace, and the Menara Gardens.
      In the afternoon visit of the souks, the winding little streets, and the Djemaâ El Fna place with its various and non-stop entertainment: storytellers, snake charmers, fire-eaters and more.

      Day 8: Marrakech (B)

      Day at leisure to further explore the fascinating city of Marrakech.

        Day 9: Marrakech – Departure (B)

        After breakfast transfer to Marrakech Airport for your onward flight.

          TOUR INCLUSIONS:

           

          • 1 night in Superior Tourist Class hotel in Casablanca
          • 6 nights in Special Category riads with private facilities
          • 1 night in a Desert Camp with shared facilities in Merzouga
          • Daily breakfast dinner at the Desert Camp in Merzouga
          • Private A/C transportation with English speaking driver at disposal during the whole tour.
          • 30 minute camel ride in Merzouga Dunes
          • Services of local English speaking guides in Casablanca Rabat Meknes Volubilis Fez Ouarzazate and Marrakech
          • Entrance fees to the monuments during the visits
          • Taxes and services

          TOUR EXCLUSIONS:

           

          • International airfares
          • Optional tours and excursions
          • Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
          • Porterage
          • Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
          • Personal Expenses
          • Departure taxes
          • Local Tourism Dirham tax (for Dubai only)
          • Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
          • Visas (unless specified)
          • Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above

          Accommodation based on the following or similar:

          Casablanca, 1 night:              Club Val d’Anfa hotel (Superior Tourist Class)
          Fez, 2 nights:                          Riad le Calife (Special Category historic riad)
          Merzouga Dunes, 1 night:      La Belle Etoile desert camp (Berber camp with shared facilities)
          Ouarzazate, 1 night:               Dar Daif (Special Category historic riad)
          Marrakech, 3 nights:               Riad Ayadina (Special Category historic riad)

          Ramadan
          During the Holy Month of Ramadan Muslims fast, abstaining from eating, drinking & smoking during daylight hours (approx. 7am-6.30pm). As a sign of respect, tourists should also try to refrain from these activities in public during the fasting hours. Restaurants and cafes in hotels will be open, however limited alcohol may be available over this time and is usually not served until after sunset and some riads and other locations may not serve alcohol at all during this period. In 2019, Ramadan should begin around 05 May. After 30 days, or on sighting the full moon, Eid Al Fitr is celebrated & most public and private institutions close for at least three days.  

          Riads
          Riads are traditional town houses typically build around an open courtyard. They offer a unique and authentic style of accommodation and usually feature less than 10 rooms. They are generally family-run properties with limited staff undertaking multiple roles and duties. Depending on their standard Riads may not offer all the facilities you would expect to find in a modern hotel. I.e. the Wi-Fi internet access may be limited, there may not be a lift and the breakfast is usually more limited in choices and does vary from Riad to Riad. But the unique and charming atmosphere and the location in the heart of the Medina make up for it. During the Ramadan period, services are more restricted in riads. If you prefer the full services offered by 5 star international hotels, please request an alternative itinerary on this basis.

          Private touring in Morocco
          On our private tours of Morocco, touring is by private air-conditioned car with a driver. Arabic and French are the main languages spoken in Morocco with English the 3rd and not often spoken language. Your driver will have some English capability, but is not a licensed professional guide and communication maybe basic at times.
          It is important that if you have any issues in communicating that you contact the local representative office.

          English speaking local guides will be organised by the driver in each city (as specified in your itinerary) in order to provide a more thorough commentary about the city they are a specialist of. Local guides will also help you should you require more information or recommendations on local restaurants or attractions. Please remember that Morocco is a large country and some days of touring will necessitate long periods of driving. There also may be times when, due to road conditions, the itinerary may vary slightly.  

          If you prefer the services of a full time guide who will accompany you throughout your private holiday, please request this option.  
          Morocco has a tradition of a multi course lunches, heavier and longer than what we are used to in New Zealand. If you prefer to have a lighter and quicker lunch, please ensure this is explained to your driver.

          Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable).   All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country.   Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions  page.

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