Morocco The Imperial Treasures Tour

TOUR STARTS FROM THE COSTA DEL SOL (SPAIN)
Cross the Strait of Gibraltar and explore Morocco’s incredible imperial cities of Marrakech, Fes, Meknes and Rabat on this 7-day tour from the Costa del Sol. Visit royal palaces, historic monuments and many more of the country’s amazing sights.

At a GlanceMorocco The Imperial Cities tour view of the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. interior and exterior
Sun   To Tarifa for ferry crossing to Morocco. Overnight in Fes
Mon  Full day tour of Old and New Fes
Tue   Travel alongside the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech
Wed  Morning tour of Marrakech. Afternoon free
Thu   Day at leisure for personal exploration of Marrakech
Fri     Leave for Casablanca (City tour). Overnight in Rabat
Sat   To Tangier for ferry crossing. Tour ends at Costa del Sol.

The historical and cultural wonders of Morocco are waiting on this journey to some of the kingdom’s most legendary cities. From the cosmopolitan centers of Casablanca and Fes to historic Marrakech. This 7-day tour gives you a deep new insight into the country.

The Imperial Cities

The cities of Fez, Meknes, Marrakesh and Rabat. They are collectively known as the imperial cities, and have all, at some point in Morocco’s history, been the capital; Rabat is the current holder. The oldest is Fez, first established as capital in the ninth century under Sultan Idriss II, a great-great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. After the fall of his dynasty, the Almoravides took over, and Marrakesh became their capital; but Fez remained an important city, and has been capital twice since under different rulers. The Almohads took control in the 12th century and built a new city, Rabat, as their capital; this was replaced, during the rule of Morocco’s notorious sultan, Moulay Ismael, by Meknes. Rabat again became capital under the French protectorate, which began in 1912, and retained the title after independence.

Fez

Fez. The most exciting of the imperial cities is built on a grand scale. It has surrounding walls that extend for nearly 10 miles. The best views over the city are from the Merenid tombs on the north side. Fez is really three towns in one. The core is Fez el Bali, the medieval city, or medina, where half the population of the city still lives; most visitors concentrate on the sights and streets here. Next is Fez el Jedid, the new city (although new in Fez means late-13th century) where you’ll find the Mellah, or old Jewish quarter. Most visitors sensibly ignore the third part, the modern ville nouvelle, built by the French during the Protectorate.

None of the mosques is open to non-Muslim visitors, although it is worth looking through the entrance of the Zaouia Moulay Idriss at the tomb of the city’s founder. There are many lovely buildings in Fez, especially the Medersa, or religious college, Bou Inania, an ancient and incredibly ornate courtyard, surrounded by the very plain cells once used by the students.

The newly opened Belghazi museum is also worth seeing; its treasures are all exhibited in a 17th-century riad, or town house built around a courtyard garden. But the main attraction for most visitors is the medina, with its narrow alleys. Horses and donkeys have right of way here, as they deliver supplies to the little shops in the souk. These are side by side with the essentials of everyday life: every district has its own bathhouse, bake house, knife-sharpener and so on. The whole medina is a maze, in which getting lost is (usually) part of the fun.

Meknes

Meknes, a much more relaxed place than Fez. The main focus of interest is not the medina but the 17th-century imperial headquarters of Moulay Ismael. This is a fortified city-within-a-city containing several palaces, mosques, dungeons and gardens. The highlights are the dungeons; the royal stables containing grain silos that used to hold enough food for the populace for a year, as well as stabling for 12,000 horses; and the Moulay Ismael Mausoleum, one of very few holy places that non-Muslims are allowed to enter. You will find another in Rabat: the Mausoleum of Mohammed V.

Marrakesh

In Marrakesh, apart from the obvious sights – the square, the souks and the Koutoubia tower – many of the highlights are hidden away. These include the Saadian tombs, the mausoleum of 66 kings from the Saadian dynasty; the Koubba el Baadiyin, one of the oldest buildings in the city, which is believed to have covered the ablutions pool next to the mosque; and the magnificent Ibn Youssef Medersa, the largest in Morocco. The Bahia Palace was built in the Alhambran style by a slave who managed to become wealthy and powerful. Despite being empty of furniture, it is a wonderful example of 19th-century architecture on a grand scale, as is the nearby Dar El Said, a former palace that is now a museum.

Marrakesh is also famous for its gardens, the finest of which are the Jardins Majorelle, created by a French painter and now owned by Yves Saint-Laurent.

Rabat

Rabat has a long history, and ancient and modern have been sensitively blended together. This is particularly noticeable in the way Rabat’s two most famous landmarks have been combined. The Hassan Tower was built by Yacoub el Mansour – also responsible for the Giralda in Seville, as well as the Koutoubia minaret in Marrakesh. The tower was originally part of a mosque, built at the end of the 12th century; the stumps of the mosque’s columns are all that now remain. At the far end of this site has been added the second main sight, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, grandfather of the present king.

At first, many Rabat residents were outraged at this combination of old and new; but the mosque incorporates many of the same motifs that were used in the old tower, and the craftsmanship in the modern building is exquisite. Another ancient corner of Rabat that is worth exploring is the kasbah, or fortification, overlooking the coast, and completely different in feel from the rest of the city. It consists of vast ramparts, which enclose a huddle of small, blue and white, flat-roofed houses that look more Andalusian than Moroccan.

Additional information

Hotel Rating3 Star, 4 Star
1

Sunday

Costa del Sol – Tangier – Fes:
* Morning departure to Algeciras or Tarifa to board the ferry crossing the Strait of Gibraltar towards Africa.
* We arrive in Morocco and after clearing customs we continue by motorcoach to the old city of Fes.
* Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Fes.
2

Monday

Fes:
* Half board (2 meals)
* Breakfast at your hotel in Fes.
* We go on a morning city sightseeing tour of Fes; visiting the Medersa; the first university of the Islamic world; the old Casbah and its narrow streets; quarter of tanners; the fountain Najerine; the great Medina which is considered as a World Heritage site.
* The afternoon is at your leaisure to explore more of the city of Fes.
* Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Fes.
3

Tuesday

Fes – Meknes – Marrakech :
* Breakfast at your hotel in Fes.
* After breakfast we depart for Meknes.
* Panoramic sightseeing tour of this old walled imperial city; with the beautiful gate Bab El Mansour.
* We continue through the Mid-Atlas mountains towards Marrakech.
* Arrive in Marrakech and check in to your hotel.
* Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Marrakech.
4

Wednesday

Marrakech:
* Half board (2 meals).
* Breakfast at your hotel in Marrakech.
* We go on a morning city sightseeing tour visiting the Summer Royal Bay Palace; Tombs Saadi; the Koutoubia Tower and the famous Djemaa el Fna Square of great and exotic activity.
* The afternoon is at your leisure to continue discovering this exciting city by your own.
* Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Marrakech.
5

Thursday

Marrakech – Casablanca – Rabat :
* Breakfast at your hotel in Marrakech.
* We then depart for Casablanca.
* We will have a panoramic rolling tour of this cosmopolitan city.
* In the afternoon we continue on to Rabat; capital of the Kingdom of Morocco.
* Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Rabat.
6

Friday

Rabat – Tangier:
* Breakfast at your hotel in Rabat.
* We go on a sightseeing tour visiting the outside of Royal Palace; official residence of the King; Bab El Mansour and the Hassan Tower.
* After the visit we depart for Tangier; with a panoramic rolling tour before arriving at the hotel.
* Arrive in Tangier and check in to your hotel.
* Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Tangier.
7

Saturday

Tangier – Costa del Sol:
* Breakfast at your hotel in Tangier.
* We then depart to board the ferry and cross back over the Strait of Gibraltar towards Spain.
* We arrive at the Costa del Sol.
* You will be dropped off at your selected hotel.
* Our services end at your drop off.
* Thank you for choosing Azure Travel for your Morocco/Spain experience. We thank you for your patronage & look forward to serving you again in the near future.

* Transportation by de luxe motor-coaches, with air conditioning, panoramic windows, and maximum comfort and safety.
* Experienced multilingual and English speaking tour conductors during the tours help you with your room accommodations and assure you of a pleasant vacation.
* Local sightseeing tours as indicated, with expert local guides and entrance fees to the monuments.
* Accommodations in selected hotels.
* The professional support of all our team at your service.
* Transportation of one baggage per person.
* Meal plan as per itinerary.

Tour departs from the Costa Del Sol in Spain

Departures : Sundays all year

City Hotel Class
Fes Menzeh Zalagh Tourist
  Royal Mirage First
Marrakech Atlas Asni Tourist
  Atlas Medina First
Rabat Helnan Tourist
  Golden Tulip Farah First

* Passengers are required to clear customs with their own luggage.
* Only one piece of luggage allowed per person.
* Passport details are required 72 hours in advance to departure.
* The portion of Morocco can be modified without substantial variation of services
* Seasonal Supplements for : Easter 2017 and for  July, August, September and October 2017

DEPARTURES: Sundays all year.

Tour Departs from the Costa Del Sol in Spain

* The above rate is LAND ONLY, and EXCLUDES ALL INTERNATIONAL and DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
* Seasonal Supplements for : Easter 2017 and for  July, August, September and October 2017
* Rates valid at time of quoting, and all subject to any exchange rate fluctuations, airlines and supplier rate changes and fuel levies.
DEPARTURES: Sundays all year.

Tour Departs from the Costa Del Sol in Spain

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Morocco Hassan II Mosque Casablanca
Morocco Ferry from Tarifa to Tangier
Morocco elevated view of the tanner quarter in Fes
Morocco view of the Saadian Tombs
Morocco Nejjerine fountain in Fes showing intricate mosaic work
Morocco Mausoluem of Mohammed V Rabat
Morocco Interioir of Mausoluem of Mohammed V Rabat
Morocco Hassan Tower Rabat
Morocco Hassan II Mosque Casablanca
Morocco Bab Bou Jeloud gate in Fes
Morocco Djemaa El Fna Square Marrakech