Blue & Brown Morocco
Duration: 7 days
Highlights: Explore the blue city of Chefchaouen, featured as one of the places to visit in 2016 by Conde Nast Travel. Then, your journey will bring you back in time, you will wonder in the labyrinthine 9th century medina of Fes.
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Day 1 - Arrival Casablanca and transfer to Chefchaouen
Marhaba! This is the traditional greeting used in Morocco, which conveys the meaning of a warm hello and welcome.
Today your flight arrives into Casablanca. After clearing customs and immigration procedures, you are met by our representative. Transfer directly to Chefchaouen, a picturesque village nestled in the Rif Mountains and well known for its blue painted walls and mesmerising alleyways. Chefchaouen is ideal for those wanting to discover the north Moroccan culture in a calm getaway.
Day 2 - Discover Chefchaouen
Begin your day by exploring the narrow, blue alleyways of this mountain village. Get your camera ready, as its gorgeous colours offer the perfect setting for lovers of photography. Founded in 1471, Chefchaouen served as a Moorish fortress for exiles from Spain. Since the 60’s Chaouen, as it is usually called, has been attracting travellers from all over, including many celebrities. In 2011, Giorgio Armani filmed a TV commercial in Chaouen.
Nowadays, Chefchaouen is a rich cultural tapestry of Berber tribespeople, Muslims and Jews, along with descendants of the Moorish exiles from Spain who lived there in the 1400s. Berber tribespeople can be seen wearing distinctive cotton clothing paired with woven hats that are decorated with brightly coloured threads.
Explore the medina, the Place Mohamed V Park and admire the beautiful view of the village from a terrace.
Day 3 - Excursion to Tangier
Depart this morning for an excursion to the famous city of Tangier, the port city on the Strait of Gibraltar.
In Tangier, hear stories of famous foreigners living in Morocco. After WWII, the city became an International Zone that attracted eccentric foreigners, artists, spies and hippies. Tangier inspired the work of Henri Matisse, Paul Bowls, Eugene de la Croix and also welcomed parties of Barbara Hutton and Malcolm Forbes.
Explore the Kasbah, the Petit Socco and the impressive Grand Socco (officially renamed Pl du 9 Avril 1947). Admire a pleasant square with a central fountain, which serves as the hinge between the two sides of town and the postcard entrance to the medina.
You also visit the American Legation, the first building located on a foreign land but considered as part of the United States of America.
Day 4 - Chefchaouen to Fes
Enjoy your morning at leisure and then depart in the afternoon for Fes, the cultural heart of Morocco. Founded in the 8th century, it is home to several famed historical monuments. The Karaouine, is the oldest, still-functioning universities in the world.
Day 5 - Explore Fes
Take a step back in time to the Middle Ages this morning as you explore Fes El Bali, the largest living medieval medina-city. Explore some of the 9,000 narrow lanes, alleys and souks that make-up the labyrinth of this city’s old quarter.
In the neighbouring building is the Attarine Medersa (Koranic college), a jewel of Hispano-Moorish architecture, built in the 14th century.
Your tour also includes a visit to the Nejjarine Square, with its beautiful fountain, made up of mosaics and elaborate tile-work. The nearby Fondouq (Caravanserai) is now converted into a museum of carpentry artefacts.
Finally, visit Fes El Jedid (New Fes), built by the Merinid Dynasty in the 13th century. Here you see the Royal Palace, mosques, medersas, souks and the city wall. Most notably, Fes El Jedid is home to the Mellah, the old Jewish quarter, which provides an interesting insight into Jewish architecture.
Day 6 - Fes to Rabat via Volubilis & Meknes
Depart overland this morning to Volubilis (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), home to the largest and most well-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. With its triumphal arches, basilicas and capitols, the Volubilis skyline is peppered with examples of Roman architecture.
From here it is on to Meknes (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), one of the Imperial Cities of Morocco. In Meknes, the impressive monuments recall the splendour of a city first built in the 17th century by the powerful sultan Moulay Ismail to rival the court of his contemporary, Louis XIV of France.
Lunch can be enjoyed in a lovely restaurant in Meknes (payable locally).
At the conclusion of your sightseeing, you are transferred to Rabat, the capital of the kingdom.
Day 7 - Explore Rabat & depart from Casablanca
Embark on a city tour today which highlights Rabat’s cultural influences and the superbly preserved relics of its Moorish past.
Rabat’s most famous site is the 12th Century Hassan Tower, an excellent example of the gorgeous Moorish style with its incomplete minaret of the great mosque built by Yacoub al-Mansour.
Located alongside is the mausoleum dedicated to Mohamed V, the founder of modern Morocco and the grandfather of the current king.
You also pay a visit to the Oudaya Kasbah which is built on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Its gate is one of the most beautiful surviving in the Moorish world and within its walls you can explore a delightful craft museum housed in a former palace.
After your tour, you are transferred to Casablanca, for your departure flight.