MOROCCOS’ ROYAL CITIES AND THE RIF BERBER
Duration 12 days
Arrival at the airport – we bring you to your Riad in the medina where you stay for three nights. Marrakech is the city of oriental magic: Sightseeing of the Koutoubia mosque, the Saadian Tombs and the Majorelle Gardens. Highlight will be the Medina with its colourful daily life and the market place „Djema el Fna”, where bargainers, storytellers, water-sellers and snake-charmers get together. Three over-night stays in a charming, traditional Riad in the Medina.
Casablanca – Rabat
Passing Casablanca with a short visit of the Hassan II. mosque, which is one of the largest mosques in the world. The minaret is with 210 meters height the current highest minaret and the tallest religious building in the world.
Late we head to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. In Rabat we visit the Hassan tower signifying the recent town’s landmark, as well as the king’s palace and the mausoleum of Mohammed V. Further highlights are the Meridian Tombs known as the Chellah, next to the residence of Moulay Ismail and the Souk el Ghezel square, which was formerly the trading centre and slave marketplace. Over-night stay in a traditional Riad in the Medina.
Before travelling to Asilah we visit in Rabat the Kasbah of Oudaїa set on the rocks, covering a small palace, a mosque and a magical garden. The Moors brought over the art of horticulture from Spain to Morocco, hence these gardens recently are called the „Andalusian Gardens“.
In the afternoon we arrive at the picturesque small harbor town Asilah. The wonderful Asilah Medina with its artistic painted facades, relics of the Portuguese fort and sand beaches invite you to wonder around. In August the annual international culture festival of Asilah attracts a large attendance in the domestic and foreign country. Over-night stay in a traditional Riad.
Tanger – Chefchaouen
In the harbor city Tanger, also known as the gate to Africa, we visit the old Medina and enjoy the oriental atmosphere. Later in Chefchaouen we find a treasure of the Andalusian-Arabic Medinas in Morocco for its old town’s maze of tiny streets and the blue-white colored house facades. Over-night stay in a traditional Riad.
Moulay Idriss – Volubilis
The following three nights we stay in Moulay Idriss in the former house of a Caid. Moulay Idriss is a holy, terrace-shaped town which could be visited only during daytime by the “faithless” until 2005. We stroll around the ancient town, having dinner in Dar Akrab, the new restaurant of the founder of Café Clock in Fes and Marrakech.
The next day we hike around the stunning landscape following the pine ridge down to the ruins of Volubilis. Volubilis was known in the ancient world as an important Roman city on the Western side of the Roman sovereignty.
This day we spend the whole time for a visit of Meknes. We go to see the mausoleum of Sultan Moulay Ismail, the architect of Meknes’ glory days and the king’s tomb flanked by Bab el-Mansour. In the Medina we find three sets of fortifications, ingeniously incorporated into the city’s road networks making it clear how important this city once was. We bring the day to an end at el-Hedim square, a popular meeting point of locals and tourists, where the jugglers or musicians mingle in the evening. Over-night stay in Moulay Idriss.
Fez is the oldest but most modern royal city in Morocco and is the intellectual centre of the country. Fes-el-Bali was built in the 9th century and houses most of the historic sites in the old Medina, where you can’t find your way without a guide. The most important buildings are the Koranic School Medersa Bou Inania, the palace Dar Jamai as well as the old town gates. Two over-night stays in a traditional riad in the Medina – before we bring you to the airport to fly back home.