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Magical Morocco OverviewFly direct to Marrakesh and travel northwards by rail with stays in Rabat, Fes and Tangier. Enjoy a mixture of guided medina sightseeing, leisure time and optional rail trips. Experience the modern high-speed service on the return journey to Marrakesh before a direct flight back to the UK.
Day 1 – Fly to Marrakesh
Afternoon departure from London Gatwick on a direct flight to Marrakesh, arriving in the evening for a 4-night stay. We have a transfer to our hotel.
Day 2 – Marrakesh Medina
"Medina" is the North African term for the old walled part of a town and this morning, we have a guided walking tour of Marrakesh's amazing medina. This beguiling labyrinth of alleyways, souks (markets) and workshops has changed little since the Middle Ages. The tour will not only inform us of its history, but also help you to orientate yourself ready for an afternoon of independent exploration. For those who prefer to put their feet up, our hotel has a sun terrace and pool.
Day 3 – Enchanting Essaouira
We escape the hustle and bustle today with a trip by coach to Essaouira, on the shores of the Atlantic. This strikingly picturesque 18th Century fort town boasts an attractive main square, a weather-beaten whitewashed medina, a busy working fishing port and a wide sweeping sandy bay. It has a relaxed and hassle-free atmosphere and is easily explored on foot.
Day 4 – At Leisure
Barter to your heart's content for goods in the souks or seek refuge in the serene 'Jardin Marjorelle'. This botanical garden is two and half acres of eye popping colour, shady lanes, burbling streams and exotic plants. It features a cubist villa and the Berber Museum, which is also well worth a visit. At least one evening in the city should be spent in the main square, Jemaa el Fna. There are stalls selling a wide range of foods, as well as entertainment in the form of snake charmers, story tellers, acrobats and dancers.
Day 5 – Rail to Fes
Transfer to the railway station for a full day's travel by rail today as we head north and then east to Fes. We take the slower trains so that we can sit back and enjoy the scenery en route. Travelling in first class, carriages are air-conditioned and comfortable. There is also a refreshment trolley on board. On arrival, we have a transfer to our Riad for the next 3 nights. A Riad is a traditional Moroccan luxury house or palace, with an interior courtyard.
Day 6 – Fes Medina
Our morning walking tour showcases the alluring charm of the medina, the colourful alleyways and souks and the rich tapestry of life that exists within its ancient walls. Gain access to ancient palaces and Islamic gardens and visit the most interesting ancient sites, venture into the depths of the tanneries, observe weavers at their loom and discover hidden workshops where generations of artisans ply their individual trades and adapt century old techniques to a modern market.
Day 7 – Medieval Taza by Rail
Taza is just over 2 hours away from Fes by rail. This scenic route has many steep gradients and follows a lake created by the Idriss I Dam. There is time for lunch and to climb up to the walled medina for panoramic views of the Rif to the north and the Middle Atlas to the south. Late afternoon train back to Fes for an evening arrival and a transfer back to the Riad.
Day 8 – Rail to Rabat
Transfer to the railway station for a rail journey of around 3 hours, to Kenitra on the coast and then to Rabat, our home for the next 3-nights. Our hotel here is an easy walk from the railway station.
Day 9 – Rabat City Tour
Morning of guided sightseeing which will include the 'Kasbah des Oudaias', Rabat's historic citadel, with its great monumental gate, Andalusian garden and scenic views over the river to Salé and out to the ocean. We also visit the intricately ornate Mausoleum of Mohammed V and Hassan Tower.
Day 10 – At Leisure
Enjoy the capital or venture further afield today. Optional trips by public transport include taking the train to Casablanca or the local tramway to Salé.
Day 11 – Rail to Tangier
Board a train to Tangier today, Morocco's most northern city and a lively port. Just 14km away from Europe, Tangier is a melting pot of cultures. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel for the next 2-nights.
Day 12 – Tangier Sights
We discover the fascinating history and vibrant culture of Tangier and take in the iconic sights of this ancient city on a morning tour. Explore the Hercules Caves and Cap Spartel, whose lighthouse guides ships through the treacherous Straits of Gibraltar. Wander through the narrow lanes of the old medina, an atmospheric labyrinth of craftsman’s shops, visit the Kasbah quarter, the famed Grand Socco and walk in the footsteps of its former residents – Matisse, Paul Bowles and William Burroughs.
Day 13 – High-Speed to Marrakesh
Transfer to the station for the new Al Boraq high-speed train to Casablanca and then onto Marrakesh for a 1-night stay.
Day 14 – Flight to London
Enjoy a leisurely morning before transferring to the airport. Lunchtime flight for a late afternoon arrival into London Gatwick.
Please note, we also hope to include a railway depot visit(s) on this tour. However, because of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions these have not been confirmed at the time of writing.
Every booking with our Moroccan partner generates a donation to a local charity at our destination.
- Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
- Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
- All rail travel as stated in first class with reserved seats
- Excursions as specified
- Transfers as specified
- Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local English speaking guides where specified