Best of Morocco - Insight Vacations

Best of Morocco (Winter 2017-18)

Duration: 11 days Visiting: Morocco

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Morocco is a colourful mix of Islamic, Arabic and African influences. Spain and France have also left their mark on this vibrant culture, making Morocco a great country to explore in every season.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Casablanca

    On arrival at Casablanca Airport, your transfers leave for your landmark city hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other, over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  3. Day 3

    Meknes and Fes

    A tour of the sights of Casablanca will show you the huge Hassan II Mosque – the largest in the country. The très chic seaside strip – known as the Corniche – stretches to the west, lined with trendy restaurants and cafes. Depart for the capital of Rabat to see the Royal Palace, Hassan Tower and visit one of the few holy places open to non-Muslims: the lavish Mausoleum of King Mohammed V – both an architectural marvel and a monument to a great ruler. Move on to Meknes, one of the kingdom’s great imperial cities dating back to the 11th century, its surroundings remaining unchanged for centuries. Stand before the Bab el-Mansour, the monumental entrance to the imperial city and focal point of Place El-Hedim. Continue to Fes and be treated to a superb Moroccan feast and traditional folklore show. In an ancient palace at the entrance to the Medina, a colourful array of meze plates, aromatic tagines, exotic fruits and wine will be laid before you, amid a carnival-like atmosphere of belly dancers, drums and authentic music. A truly unforgettable experience!

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Fes Sightseeing

    (Relaxed Start) Sightseeing with a Local Expert will show you the Medina – the walled city of hidden courtyards, mosques and workshops, the bazaar and one of the world's oldest universities. Learn about the ancient craft of carpet making, gain an insight into the motifs and colours used in the designs. Later you will witness the unique and age-old techniques of pottery and bread making.

  5. Day 5

    The Ziz Gorges to Erfoud

    Leave the bustle of the city behind and head for the spectacular snow-capped High Atlas Mountains. Pass through Ifrane before reaching the great cedar forests of Azrou. After your lunch at Midelt, continue up through the magnificent Ziz Gorges, past palm-fringed towns to Er Rachidia (built by the French at an important crossroads), your destination is Erfoud. In the evening, there is the option to meet the nomadic desert dwellers and marvel at the glorious Sahara sunset on a 4-wheel drive optional experience.

  6. Day 6

    Todra Gorge and Ouarzazate

    Venture towards the oasis of Tinehir before taking a detour to explore the Todra Gorge – the Grand Canyon of the Sahara. At Boumalne-du-Dades, encounter the dry, rugged Dades Valley, dotted with oases of figs, olives, date palms and castellated mud houses hugging the slopes. En-route, lunch is included. Stop for Berber tea at a traditional Nomad house. Your 'Road of a Thousand Kasbahs' concludes at Ouarzazate, film capital of Morocco, with everything from Lawrence of Arabia to Star Wars being filmed here.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    To Marrakesh

    (Relaxed Start) Get your cameras ready as you stop at the village of Aït Benhaddou, boasting one of Morocco’s finest kasbahs. Continue via the spectacular Tizi n’Tichka Pass, before descending past charming mountain villages, dense woods and green fields, to the ochre-coloured city of Marrakesh.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Marrakesh, Pearl of the South

    (Relaxed Start) Sightseeing starts in the bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa Square. After some time to watch the dancers, snake charmers, storytellers and acrobats, explore the Medina, seeing the Koutoubia Mosque, with a minaret that dominates the Marrakesh skyline. With your Local Expert, visit the Palais de la Bahia, built in the late 19th century and intended to be the greatest palace of its time. Then enjoy free time to visit a museum or haggle in the souqs. In the evening, you could take a charming horse and carriage ride to a vibrant restaurant on the main square, for a sumptuous selection of classic Moroccan dishes, and an ambient arabesque of twirling belly dancers with plates of lit candles on their heads.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Elegant Essaouira

    (Relaxed Start) Say goodbye to the snake charmers of Marrakesh and venture to the laid-back fishing town of Essaouira. After checking into your hotel, why not spend the afternoon navigating the narrow alleyways, exploring the busy fishing port or maybe just relaxing on the beach? In the evening, you could sample the local seafood and wine at a waterside restaurant?

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Return to Casablanca

    (Relaxed Start) Once you’ve experienced the traditional charms of the country, Casablanca is a fascinating place to return to, offering a unique insight into modern Morocco. At night, "of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world", there really is only one place to be. Join your Tour Director at Rick’s Café - recreated from the famous movie. Enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner including drinks and, no doubt, a rendition of ‘As Time Goes By’. 'Here’s looking at you kid!'

  11. Day 11

    Au revoir Casablanca

    Departure transfers arrive at Casablanca Airport at 05:00, 07:00, 10:00 and 12:00.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Fes: Your Local Expert, will show you hidden courtyards and mosques, the bazaar and one of the world's oldest universities.
  • Fes: Experience the expert techniques of local artisans as they create pottery and make bread (khobz).
  • Marrakesh: Built around a lovely inner garden, explore the Bahia Palace with a Local Expert and see glimpses of a Moroccan kingdom's former opulence.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rabat: Visit the Mohammed V Mausoleum, a masterpiece of traditional Moroccan art and one of the very few Islamic religious buildings open to non-Muslims.
  • Todra Gorge: Experience ‘the Grand Canyon of the Sahara' where the orange limestone splits into a 300 metre deep ravine.
  • Aït Benhaddou: Visit the Kasbah, a giant clay-earthen fortification and one of the best examples of South Moroccan architecture.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Casablanca: See the Hassan II Mosque, the largest in the country, on your sightseeing tour.
  • Rabat: See the Royal Palace and Hassan Tower.
  • Meknes: Admire the Bab el-Mansour Gate in the heart of the Medina.
  • Fes: Visit the walled Medina and shop for Moroccan carpets.
  • Dades Valley: See the castellated mud houses and oases.
  • Marrakesh: Watch the performers at Jemaa el-Fnaa Square. Explore the Medina and see the Koutoubia Minaret.
  • Scenic Drives: Ziz Gorges. View the spectacular scenery of the High and Middle Atlas Mountains. Tizi n' Tichka Pass.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Autumn: This is the perfect time to sample the local, freshly harvested dates. Enjoy a photo stop in Erfoud and witness the harvesting process.
  • Spring: In M'Gouna (on the way to Ouarzazate), as the roses blossom, sample fresh rose water. In Essaouira enjoy a unique photo stop of the goats climbing the Argan trees in search of food.
  • Fes: Join in the fun at a colourful Moroccan feast, complete with rhythmic music, writhing belly dancers and an array of local dishes and delicacies.
  • Dades Valley: Stop for a traditional Berber tea ceremony at a traditional Nomad house.
  • Casablanca: "You must remember this" ...a fabulous 4-course Celebration Dinner with drinks at Rick's Café, made famous by the 1942 film.
  • Included Quality Dining: 9 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 2 Lunches (L), 3 Three-course table d'hôte Dinners or Buffets (D) all with tea or coffee; plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Signature Evening (SE) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. Departures on tour for New Year's Eve will enjoy festive Highlight Dinners which will replace an included meal.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Casablanca: Mövenpick Hotel Casablanca is ideally located within a short walk to the Old Medina with comfortable, contemporary designed rooms
  • Casablanca: The monumental Grand Mogador City Centre is close to both the Old Medina and the harbour. Its modern design blends traditional architecture with luxury and art déco influences.
  • Fes: The Palais Medina and Spa Fes is a perfect alliance between tradition and modern luxury. The hotel offers exquisite rooms and is set in a 5-hectare Andalusian garden.
  • Erfoud: Kasbah Hotel Xaluca is located in Arfoud, a city known as 'the Door to the Desert'. The Kasbah is listed as unique in Morocco due to its distinctive characteristics. It was built with adobes, the traditional Moroccan building bricks, and it is a great place to relax and enjoy the moment.
  • Ouarzazate: The recently renovated Le Berbère Palace Hotel offers 5-star luxury suites to all guests, along with fine food and a delightful swimming pool.
  • Marrakesh: The luxurious Atlas Medina & Spa is set amid lush, picturesque gardens in central Marrakesh, the perfect location for exploring this fascinating city.
  • Essaouira: Located beachfront in Essaouira, the Atlas Essaouira hotel features two swimming pools, a fitness centre and a spa with hammam.

OUR FIVE-STAR SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Insight Tour Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat touring coach, with extended Business Class legroom and on-board restroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included; you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish - a local tidbit representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Complimentary airport transfers from/to Casablanca Airport are available at scheduled times only, on arrival and departure days. Should your flights not coincide with complimentary transfers, charged transfers are available on arrival and departure days, or when additional accommodation is booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Palais Medina and Spa Fez

Fez (Contemporary) - Morocco

The Palais Medina & Spa is set in a 5-hectare Andalusian garden, with the perfect alliance between tradition and modern luxury.

Xaluca Kasbah Erfoud

Erfoud (Scenic) - Morocco

Kasbah Hotel Xaluca is located in Arfoud, a city known as 'the Door to the Desert'. The Kasbah is listed as unique in Morocco due to its distinctive characteristics. It was built with adobes, the traditional Moroccan building bricks, and it is a great place to relax and enjoy the moment.

Le Berbre Palace Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate (Traditional) - Morocco

The recently renovated Le Berbère Palace Hotel offers 5-star luxury suites to all guests, along with fine food and a delightful swimming pool.

Atlas Medina and Spa Marrakesh

Marrakesh (Contemporary) - Morocco

The luxurious Atlas Medina & Spa is set amidst lush, picturesque gardens in central Marrakesh, the perfect location for exploring this fascinating city.

Atlas Essaouira Hotel Spa Essaouira

Essaourira (Contemporary) - Morocco

Located beachfront in Essaouira, the Atlas Essaouira & Spa features two swimming pools, a fitness centre and a spa with hammam.

Mvenpick HotelGrand Mogador City Centre Casablanca

Casablanca (Central) - Morocco

The monumental Grand Mogador City Centre is close to both the Old Medina and the harbour. Its modern design blends traditional architecture with luxury and art déco influences.

GUEST REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7369 reviews received during the past year.

  • 11 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary gave us a wide variety of experiences and locations.

    Service: Well organised ahead of departure. Tour director was very knowledgeable. A welcome letter when I arrived the day before the tour - due to flight schedules - would have been good with suggestions for spending an independent day in Casablanca.

  • 06 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: I was in Morocco 50 years ago and travelled over much of the same terrain - learned so much more this time with an excellent guide. Had not made it over the Atlas mountains previously and was much impressed with the countryside, views, and history.

    Service: I would certainly recommend them to our friends. Hotels were splendid and the bus was excellent - lots of windows, no obstructed views. Guide was terrific and very knowledgable.

  • 04 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was quite good if exceedingly full. There probably isn't a way around that last.

    Service: Staff conducting the tour in Morocco were excellent: tour director and bus driver. The tour director, Hassan, is exceptionally knowledgeable and very positive. What was particularly appreciated was that he took advantage of opportunities as they presented themselves: a Sunday market, a camel working an olive press, the availability of dates and clementines in the market. From my point of view, the less cookie cutter the facilities — hotels, restaurants — the better. But I'm sure that the tour is under pressure from customers who would prefer more from the other end.

  • 04 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Whirlwind tour of much of Morrocco - more than we would have seen on our own in so short a time. Wide variety of experiences, from country life to city markets, to belly dancers.

    Service: Marvellous guide - Hassem. Met and delivered us to and from airport, great luggage organization, all as promised and more.

  • 04 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Saw so much and more than expected. Very exhausting tour. More rest is recommended. Too many people in our group got sick. My opinion is immune systems were compromised due to lack of rest.

    Service: The tour and tour director far exceeded our expectations. Wonderful, but exhausting experience

  • 04 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: We saw the places most visited plus a couple of extra worthwhile places. The optional excursions were of interest, fairly priced, somewhat touristy--but we were tourists!

    Service: Well organized though would have appreciated a little guidiance about leaving from the airport at the end of the trip. Excellent guide.

  • 04 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good sites visited so I could get a good idea of the people, history, etc. of Morocco.

    Service: Took care of the little things I would not have thought of including baggage collection, wake up calls, etc. The Tour Guide was very helpful in getting me an adapter when mine died. He also was extremely helpful when my luggage was delayed & I chose to wait for it at the airport, missing the shuttles.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.