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Private Moroccan North Tour:
it's not a simple trip but a real experience
It is in the North of Morocco that the Mediterranean Sea marries the Atlantic Ocean, but nobody knows how to say where finishes Europe and where begins
Africa and the legend does not say that it is here that Hercule having dug the Strait of Gibraltar would have based in these rocky cavities before achieving the eleventh of twelve works: the picking of the golden apples of the garden of Hesperides?
To this day, Tangier, Chefchaouen and the rest of the North of Morocco continue to immortalize their myth of refuge for spies, writers, poets and artists of any edge as well as other ghosts who always haunt places: Alexandre Dumas, Truman Capote, Jean Genet, Joseph Kessel, Paul Morand, Tennessee Williams … Writers' endless list which gives to the North of Morocco and to the city of Tangier a mysterious halo. Led by Paul Bowles, the artists of the Beat Generation stayed in Tangier from 1950s.
For your peace of mind You can reserve your journey by paying only 10 % to confirm your reservation, the remainder upon your arrival in cash and in currencies
ITINERARY: Private Tour
DAY 1: CASABLANCA arrival
Arrival at Casablanca airport, welcoming by your Guide and transfer at your hotel accommodation in hotel 4*
For those looking for a taste of old Hollywood glamour, a optional trip to Rick’s Café is a must. This beautiful bar and restaurant was inspired by the Rick’s Café from the film Casablanca and the décor does its best to live up to it. Serving American, French and Moroccan food, head along on a Sunday to enjoy the evening jazz session and pop up to the 1st film for a free screening of the legendary film. You don’t meet SAM the pianist but certainly you listen the famous song “As time goes by”
Day 2: CASABLANCA / RABAT
After de breakfast, this morning we visit the richly decorated Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest religious building in the world after the mosque in Mecca, it would comfortably fit Rome’s St Peter’s inside.
The statistics are staggering: it is over 200 meters long, 100 meters wide, 65 meters wide, has the tallest Minaret in the world at 210 meters and can accommodate 25,000 worshippers, plus an impossible to imagine 80,000 outside. 35,000 master craftsmen labored night and day to create this exquisite masterpiece. You enter through one of the huge bronze or titanium doors decorated with traditional inscriptions, but the real draw is inside. Onyx columns, marble of every imaginable shade, intricate stucco work, a remarkable carved cedar roof, huge expenses of elaborate ceramics combine with fine metalwork and flamboyant Venetian glassware to create at once a harmonious and yet astonishing Moroccan architectural masterpiece.
After we visit Mohammed V place, United Nations place, law court, the prefecture, central post office and la corniche where you can a optional lunch then departure for Rabat city
We visit Rabat, the first of the Imperial Cities where we see the city’s Medina and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. Guarded by two mounted, traditionally robed spear-carrying ‘lancers’, it is built in traditional style, the grandfather and father of the present king are buried here and its contemporary mosaics and spiral designs make a fascinating comparison with the adjacent Hassan Mosque, a wonder of the medieval Moorish world with its great minaret left unfinished when its founder died in 1199. If completed it would have been the largest building in the world at that time. The harbor is full of traditional fishing boats and on the opposite river bank is Sale, Rabat’s twin city where Robinson Crusoe was enslaved before his final escape to Brazil. night at hotel or Riad
Day 3: RABAT /ASILAH / TANGIER
Departure from Rabat via Asilah city to Tangier, a Moroccan port city with unique character. Heading north, you will enjoy views of the sea and deserted beaches that stretch to infinity. The road will be laced with ancient and interesting places to stop in such as the tropical gardens of Sidi Bouknadel, an exotic bird sanctuary in Mehdya and the European styled town of Kenitra, a port area whose land has been transformed by irrigation and is now one of Morocco’s major agricultural areas specializing in rice, sugar beet, cotton and citrus fruits. Nearby Kenitra, we can also stop in Thamusida to view the Roman baths on the banks of Wadi Sebou.
For lunch we will stop in the charming coastal town of Moulay Bousselham, whose beach is one of the most quaint and beautiful in Morocco. Moulay Bousselham is frequented by Moroccans in summer and is less touristic then other seaside towns Then continue to Asilah is a fortified town on the northwest tip of the Atlantic coast of Morocco, about 31 km from Tangier. Its ramparts and gate works remain fully intact.
Asilah is an artists' town famous for its medina, its ramparts and its very lively cultural life.
Its history dates back to 1500 B.C., when the Phoenicians used it as a base for trade. The Portugueses conquered the city in 1474, but Johan III later decided to abandon it because of an economic crisis in 1549.
In 1692, the town was taken by the Moroccans under the leadership of Moulay Ismail. Asilah served then as a base for pirates in the 19th and 20th centuries, and in 1829, the Austrians punitively bombarded the city due to Moroccan piracy.
From 1912-1956, it was part of Spanish Morocco. A major plan to restore the town was undertaken in 1978.
It is now a popular seaside resort, with modern holiday apartment complexes on the coast road leading to the town from Tangier. It hosts annual music and arts festivals, including a mural-painting festival. The best paintings remain on the Medina walls for the following years. Arrive at your destination, Tangier. In Tangier, you will be transported to your hotel
Day 4: TANGIER / TETOUAN / CHEFCHAOUEN
Tangier sits at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltarwhere the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel. This beautiful city, only 35 minutes from Spain, has a hugely multicultural society, predominantly Muslim, but with small Christian, and Jewish communities who express tolerance for one another. In the 1950's, Tangier was a place --and, sometimes a refuge-- for many artists and writers from America and Europe. This port city that is shaped by the sea has attracted famous writers including Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. Writers of the “Beat Generation” who visited or lived in Tangier include Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Brion Gysin, who was also a painter. Notable artists who lived and painted here were Eugene Delacroix and Henri Matisse. From 1932 until its incorporation into Morocco in 1956, Tangier was an international city, under control of a committee of 30 nations. This was an era that was characterised by financial fraud, espionage, large-scale smuggling and outrageous sexual license by wealthy and eccentric expatriates.
After breakfast, your official tour of Tangier will begin. You will start your day with a city overview at the vantage point of the Colline de Bella-Vista. Then, drive to see the Grand Succo, a popular nighttime square close to the Mosque of Sidi Bou Abib and the link between Ville Nouvelle and the medina.
Enter the medina at Rue Es-Siaghine, the busiest part of this Roman medina lined with cafes and bazars, a Spanish church, jewelers’ shops and an arts center displaying works depicting Tangier’s social history. Walk Petit Socco which was once the heart of the medina where businessmen and bankers frequented cafes, hotels, casinos and cabarets that have relocated to Ville Nouvelle. Move on to visit the Grand Mosque, built on the site of a Portuguese cathedral. Walking north, you will then visit the kasbah decorated with mosaics, ornamental stucco and woodcarving.
Next to the Kasbah you will walk the ramparts and take a short break to relax by the breathtaking view of the port. Explore the Museum de Carmen-Mac Caen exhibiting a collection of works by Picasso, Max Ernst and Georges Braque.
Have a traditional Moroccan lunch in the city center then explore Quarter du Marshan, once an attractive residential area west of the Kasbah. Next, visit the Anglican church of St. Andrew built to cater to Tangier’s growing British population. After, make a stop to appreciate fine works of art at the Museum d’ Art showcasing contemporary Moroccan paintings. After departure for Tetouan city. After visiting Tetouan city, continuation to Chefchaouen city.
Continue the road until you arrive in the region of the Rif Mountains which is the heart and location of the quiet blue and white washed city of Chefchaouen. Arrival, and time at disposal, and overnight at hotel or Guest house
Chefchaouen is a popular tourist destination given its proximity to Tangier and the Spanish border. Chefchaouen is a quaint place to hike, relaxing shop. It offers many native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool garments and woven blankets. The goat cheese native to the area is also popular. The countryside around Chefchaouen has a reputation for being a prolific source of marijuana and the region is one of the main producers of cannabis in Morocco. Hashish is subsequently sold all over town,(is prohibited by law)
DAY 5: CHEFCHAOUEN / FES
Start your tour with the kasbah museum in the medina. The kasbah of Chefchaouen belongs to the early 18th century, and was built by the legendary ruler Moulay Ismail. It is fairly simple without architectural surprises however it is surrounded by gardens on the interior and exterior. Inside the Kasbah, you can visit the ethnographic museum containing antique weapons, musical instruments, and photographs of the old town.Step onto the museum’s roof and take pictures of a panoramic view of the Hispanic flavored town lined with blue and white washed houses, tiny balconies, tiled roofs and patios embellished with citrus trees. Next, visit the cobbled main square, Plaza Uta el- Hammam and where the striking 15th century Grand Mosque sits. The Mosque and its nearby buildings were built by Jewish refugees, who alongside Muslims escaped the Spanish persecution to Chefchaouen. Until the Spanish arrived in the 1920’s the town remained isolated and with the exception of three western men who snuck in.
Try fresh goat cheese salad, a local Rif specialty, chicken pastilla or a lamb tajine with prunes. For dessert sit outside by the mulberry trees of Plaza Uta el- Hammam and enjoy local sweets from one of the cafes or browse the small shops famous for selling woven rugs, blankets and woolen goods. After lunch, departure for Fès city, arrival, and overnight at hotel
Day 6: FES / MEKNES
After breakfast the rest of the day will be devoted to discovering Fez, the oldest of the imperial cities, home to the world’s first university dating from the 9th century and one of the most complete medieval cities in existence. Surrounded by huge defensive walls, it seems suspended in a time warp, somewhere between the Middle-Ages and the modern. But it’s more than that, it is a living city almost devoid of tourists, where whilst wandering amongst its amazing 9,000 tiny streets you experience its noisy hawkers selling everything from colorful vegetables, to delicious middle eastern pastries flavored with cinnamon and honey. Mind your backs for the passing of the only transport-mule or donkey! The haunting sound of the call to prayer resonates over the traditional rooftops whilst skilled artisans noisily beat metal into pans and intricate metal-ware as they have for centuries. . Visit of the medieval Medina. You will also explore the famous souks where craftsmen still labor in the age-old oriental tradition.. Continue sightseeing in the afternoon
Within the medina, we will the following historical sites:
►Medersa Bou Inania: An (Islamic school) founded by Abu Inan Faris that is highly decorated from floor to ceiling. The medersa is one of the few religious places in Morocco that is accessible to non-Islamic tourists.
►Karaouine Mosque: Morocco’s second largest mosque was built by Fatima in 857. The Karaouine Mosque became the home of the West's first university and the world's foremost center of learning at the beginning of the second millennium.
►University of Al-Karaouine: Founded in 859, this university is one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world and is considered the oldest continuously operating institution of higher learning in the world.
►Medersa el Attarin: A (Koranic school) that was named for local spice merchants known as attar. Founded by Sultan Abou Saïd in the 14th century as a students' dormitory, it is attached to the Kairaouine Mosque.
►Zaouia Moulay Idriss II: A zaouia (shrine) dedicated to and the tomb of Moulay Idriss II, who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828 and founded the city of Fès for the second time in 810.
►Dar Batha: A Hispano-Moorish palace dating from the end of the 19th century that houses admirable collections of traditional art from Fès. Departure for Meknes city, arrival, and overnight at hotel
Day 7 : MEKNES / VOLUBILIS / CASABLANCA
After breakfast, visit to MEKNES, the 16th century capital whose ruler, Moulay Ismail, modeled himself on France’s ‘Sun King’, Louis XIV. After plundering his entire country he opened his amazing palace decorated with the most intricate colorful stucco work, huge beautifully detailed bronze doors and stunning mosaics " Additional sightseeing includes Bab El Mansour, considered as the finest gateway in Morocco First we will pass through the triumphal arch. Standing at sixteen meters high with an eight meter long arch, the intricately patterned triumphal arch is argued to be the most beautiful in Morocco. Enter Place El-Hedime (Square of Ruins) which links the medina and the kasbah. The square is lined with modern residential buildings and a covered food souk (market).
Via Moulay Idriss, we visit nearby Volubilis, the westernmost outpost of the Roman Empire. Wonderfully isolated, set amongst gorgeous rolling hills and olive groves, it is a haunting sight, silent and almost ghost-like. Here our guided tour will ensure you appreciate Volubilis’s historic importance and its stunning mosaics:
The Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stretched out over 40 hectares, are the most well preserved ruins in Morocco.The Romans began building the city of Volubilis around 40AD in order to keep control of this North African region which was successively occupied by the Greeks, Berbers, Jews and the Carthaginian merchants. In the second and third centuries, the region began to develop more rapidly when the Romans began cultivating grain. The victory Arch, facing the main route and built in 217 in honor of the Roman emperor Caracalla, formally had a bronze chariot
After Lunch departure for Casablanca. Afternoon in, time at disposal, and overnight. (B,D)
Day 8: Airport Casablanca Transfer
Who is used to travelling, knows that it arrives always one moment when it is necessary to leave: Paulo Coelho
After breakfast, and according to flight hours, free time then transfer to the Casablanca airport Mohammed V Assistance for the registration formalities.
Prices: per person in double room,
The prices include:
Airport private Transfers roundtrip
7 nights in 4* hotels or charming Riad
Guided visit and entrance fees
Local private guides
Transport in private car or minivan whit private driver
Price: Private tour in private car by private driver, private local guide tour very personalized: minimum of participants:2
If 2 person: 1300,00€/ person
If 4 person: 1200,00€/ person
If 6 person: 1100,00€/ person
Tour In 5* hotels & luxury Riads: 2959,00€/person in B.B.
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