Itinerary and Post Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1. Potential arrivals in Casablanca.  Pick up at the CMN airport for morning arrivals.  Meet other clients at a specific location in Casablanca.  Tour the spectacular location of the Hassan II Mosque.  Drive to Rabat.  Other clients can meet at the Hotel Lutece.  Optional tour to the medina.  Dinner at Hotel Lutece. Optional visits from the Peace Corps staff.  D

Day 2. After breakfast and further meetings with the Peace Corps staff, we will drive north to Asilah for lunch. (Drive= 2 hrs. 10 min.)  Lunch at a local restaurant for paella!  Tour of Asilah’s charming medina.  Drive to Tangier.  HB (half board) at the famed Hotel Continental. B, L, D

Day 3. After breakfast, tour Tangier, beginning with the American Legation.  Tour the Grand Socco, Petit Socco, and the medina.  Lunch is free. Optional trip to the Caves of Hercules in the afternoon.  Dinner at Hotel Continental. B, D

Day 4.  Drive to the lovely blue mountain village of Chefchaouen.  Tour of the amazing medina–white or blue washed houses and intricate Andalusian architecture.  Lunch in the main square, Place Outa el Hammam.  Drive to Volubilis.  Tour the Roman ruins of Volubilis.  Short visit to the holy village of Moulay Idriss.  Drive to Meknes.  HB at Riad D’Or.  This is a museum of a riad, deep in the medina.  Dinner may include Moroccan English teachers or American students from the university exchange programs of Meknes. B, L, D

Day 5. Tour the medina of Meknes, visiting Bab Mansour and the great granary, Heri es-Souani.  Lunch in the medina at Collier de la Columbe.  Potential visit to the American Language Center.   Drive to Fes.  HB at the Hotel Zalagh in the Ville Nouvelle.  Dinner may include other current PCV’s.  B, L, D.

Day 6. Tour of Fes.  Visit Fes from above at the Borg to receive a fabulous over all view.  Tour the famed pottery factories, the Jewish Quarter, and Fes El Bali, a walking museum!!  Lunch at a palace in the medina.  Visit the tanneries, the Zaouia of Moulay Idriss and the Qarawiyyin Mosque.  HB at Hotel Zalagh.  B, L, D

Day 7.  Drive south to the Sahara and over the Middle atlas Mountains, through Ifrane, the location of Akhawayn University.   We continue on through the cedar forest and spend lunch at the hotel Ayachi in Midelt.  Then on over the High Atlas and through the Ziz Valley Oasis where we will optionally have a walk through the oasis to a ksar, a walled village.  We will continue on to Erg Chebbi in the Sahara and will stay at the foot of the sand dunes at Riad Mamouche. B, L, D.  Dinner at the riad.

Day 8.  Today we spend a relaxing day in the Sahara–riding a camel, walking through the dunes or relaxing by the pool. HB  Riad Mamouche. B, D.

Day 9.   After breakfast, we leave the Sahara behind and drive through Rissani, the birth place of the Alaouite Dynasty–and northward through the palmed Ziz Valley Oasis to Erfoud.  Here we will visit a fossil factory where marbleized ammonite and orthoceras fossils are carved into bowls and tables.  Heading next in a north westerly direction, we will tour a Berber museum in Tinjedad and then enjoy a tajine lunch.  We will take an optional drive up the Todra Gorge, watching Berber women harvesting their crops, as they have for centuries.  We will be staying at the lovely Riad des Vielles Charrues in the scenic Dades Valley.  Dinner at the riad.  B,L,D

Day 10.  Drive to El Kelaa Mgouna, land of the roses, where local Berbers sell rose oil and rose petals.  We will continue westward along the “Land of the Kasbahs”.  Take a walk through the Skoura Oasis and visit the Amerhidil Kasbah.  Lunch will be at Chez Talout which has a stupendous view of the oasis.  Drive through Ouarzazate, film capital of Morocco ad then on to Ait Ben Haddou, UNESCO World Heritage site.  Our stay will be at the gorgeous Riad ksar Ighnda.  Dinner at the riad.  B,L,D

Day 11.  Optional walk through fields being harvested by Berber ladies, to Ait Ben Haddou.  Tour the UNESCO site.  Drive up an old caravan route passing mud bricked villages and crumbling kasbahs and over the High Atlas Mountains to a Berber truck stop in Taddert.  Tajine lunch!  Drive down the High Atlas to Marrakech.  Stay at Villa El Gada and the Hotel Toulousain.  Dinner will be at the Toulousain with potential visits from RPCVs and the American School.  B, L, D

Day 12.  Tour Marrakech, including the Saadian Tombs, Djemaa El Fna, the Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia..  In the souks watch the astisans work at their leather crafts.  Lunch in Gueliz at the Amal Woman’s Center.   Visit the Majorelle Gardens and the Yves St. Laurent Berber Museum.  Dinner with potential guests from the High Atlas Foundation.  B, L, D

Day 13.  Drive to Essaouira.  Tour the medina and port.  Lunch is free.  Optionally, visit Fatima, my student during the Peace Corps.  She was trained by Peace Corps as a teacher for disabled children…  We will meet her and her family and perhaps have our hands hennaed..  We will be staying in the center of the medina at Riad Al Madina and enjoy dinner with a visit from a Peace Corps Volunteer. B & D

Day 14. Transfer to Casablanca after breakfast.  B

Optional Post Trip to the Berber Anti Atlas will begin this same day. . .

Exploring the Anti Atlas Berbers – Post Trip (7 days)

Day 1. We will be spending the Saturday in Essaouira, after the main tour group leaves for Casablanca. We will explore the lovely crescent beach and perhaps the decaying castle of a past sultan where Jimi Hendrix was known to camp out.  In the afternoon we will continue discovering this marvelous medina!

Day 2. The following day, leaving Essaouira, we will drive through Berber villages, visiting a local souk and then drive along the fabulous Atlantic!!  We will pass through the modern beach city of Agadir and head eastward to the ancient pink walled city of Taroudant.  Here we will be staying at a farm for two nights and where we enjoy fabulous family homemade cuisine.  We explore Taroudant , the ancient city which is especially known for silver Berber jewelry!!

Day 3. An adventurous day will be ahead, driving through a remote untouched area by civilization in the Anti Atlas Mountains. Our drive will take us through stone and mudbricked villages guarded by ancient watchtowers and treasure fortresses!

Day 4-5. We will arrive in the village of Tafraout, magnificently situated among almond trees, palms and giant boulders. We will spend two days here visiting paradise/like valleys and gorges and watch the women dressed in their traditional dress as they have for centuries.

Day 6. Next we drive down the Anti Atlas to Tiznit, to the silver and mint (for tea), capital of Morocco.  We will explore the nearby beaches and then the fabulous silver market, passing local women in their colorful gauze like wraps.

Day 7. We travel to Marrakech where we will spend the final night.

Departure after breakfast.