Your holiday summary
|Price range||From £1145|
|Travel partner||Travel Editions|
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- Return scheduled flights with British Airways from London Gatwick to Marrakech
- 8 nights' accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at 4-star hotels, based on shared occupancy of a twin room
- Five dinners
- One picnic lunch
- Transfers, entrance fees and full touring itinerary
- English speaking tour manager throughout
- Single room supplement
- Holiday insurance
- Meals other than those stated
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
- Porterage and gratuities
Day 2: Today we will have a full day city tour of Marrakech, the most famous city in Morocco. Most of the city architectural attractions are inside the Medina, the old walled section of the town. Built in the 12th century, the Koutoubia minaret is the most perfect Islamic religious structure in North Africa. This famous landmark dominates the local skyline and can easily be spotted from all of Marrakech. Other highlights include Saadian Tombs, hidden away behind high walls, the Mausoleum which displays a very high level of decoration using traditional stucco and delicate Granada-style carving, typical of classical Moroccan buildings. The Bahia Palace is a masterpiece of domestic architecture which gives a good idea of how the privileged lived in the 19th century in the Imperial city. The use of marble, stucco and mosaics predominates in the apartments, opening on to courtyards filled with fountains and plant life. In the afternoon we visit the labyrinthine souks in the old town, a maze of colourful alleys and small squares which are home to a bewildering array of stalls and ateliers devoted to specific crafts. As evening approaches, we head to Djemaa El Fna, the city's main square which has become the beating heart of Marrakech where fire-eaters, mime artists, snake-charmers and street musicians perform at every turn.
Day 3: Free day at leisure in Marrakech.
Day 4: Depart Marrakech and transfer by coach to Essaouira (approx. 2.5 hours) and check-in to the Atlas Essaouira & Spa Hotel for 2-nights. Rest of the afternoon to spend at your leisure. Dinner will be included at the hotel this evening.
Day 5: Free day at leisure in Essaouira. The lovely 18th century town of Essaouira, enclosed by impressive Medieval-esque battlements, sits on a naturally protected bay approximately 200 kilometres from Marrakech. Essaouira boasts a UNESCO-listed medina, a prime example of a late 18th century fortified town, and it is within these walls, amongst the narrow, atmospheric streets, that you'll find numerous cabinet making and wood-carving workshops, a practice that has been carried out here for centuries. With its mild climate, wide stretch of beach and laid-back atmosphere, Essaouira is the perfect place to spend some time relaxing.
Day 6: Depart Essaouira and transfer by coach to the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains (approx. 3 hours) and check-in to the Domaine de la Roseraie Hotel for 3-night stay. The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities. Dinner will be included at the hotel this evening. The High Atlas is North Africa's mightiest mountain range but manages to maintain an air of intrigue and tradition along with its natural beauty. Forming a barrier between Morocco's northern plains and the Sahara, the region is home, as it has been for centuries, to the Berber people, with traditional mud-thatched villages dotted throughout breath-taking and isolated mountain valleys.
Day 7: Today we will have a tour of the local Berber villages on foot (approx. 5 hour walk). We will depart the hotel and cross a juniper forest to get to the Torort Berber village located at the foot of Toubkal National Park. Through this walking route, we will get close to Berber communities and explore their way of life and see them working in fields and herding their goats and sheep. Continue through olive groves and the terraced farms to the pretty village of Anraz at 1000m altitude, we will have a brief visit of the former Jewish quarter before enjoying a picnic lunch by the Azadene River. In the afternoon, walk along the Azadene River to Wirgane centre and continue back to the hotel. Dinner will be included at the hotel this evening.
Day 8: Our visits today will take us through the N'Fiss long gorges and outstanding landscapes punctuated by numerous entrenched Berber villages that often top terraced farmlands. We will visit Talat N'Yacoub, a little town which was the birth place of the 12th century Almohad dynasty, and the Tin Mal Mosque that preceded in time the marvellous Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech. Following an escorted visit of the detailed stucco patterns of niches and domes of the interior of the mosque we will walk to a village nearby for tea with the locals. After sharing tea with the local Berbers we will return to the hotel. Dinner will be included at the hotel this evening.
Day 9: Transfer from the hotel to Marrakech Airport for return flight to the UK.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion
Located on the northern edge of town, the 4-star Tichka Hotel offers two restaurants, bar, fitness centre, swimming pool set in well-tended gardens and a hammam with massage and gommage treatments available. Bedrooms all have en-suite facilities with air-conditioning, TV, telephone, minibar and safety deposit box.
Atlas Essaouira & Spa Hotel, Essaouira
Located on the seafront with stunning views, the 4-star Atlas Essaouira & Spa Hotel offers three restaurants with one on the beach, two bars, gym, swimming pool and spa offering traditional hammams. Bedrooms all have en-suite facilities, TV, telephone, minibar, and have either a view of the ocean or the gardens.
Domaine de la Roseraie, Ouirgane Valley
Based in the heart of Berber country among the tranquil foothills of the Atlas Mountains at an altitude of 1000m, the 4-star Domaine de la Roseraie is set in the middle of sixty acres of natural parkland and offers a restaurant where dinner will be served each evening, three swimming pools, spa, and tennis courts. Bedrooms all have en-suite facilities and modern amenities including TV, telephone, minibar and hairdryer while still preserving the rustic Berber spirit.
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