We Love —
- Imperial cities & Marvellous Blue Chefchaouen will take you to the 4 Imperial Cities of Morocco’s former empire in a wonderful 7-day tour
- Beginning in Casablanca to see its landmarks before heading to Rabat, the modern capital, and then continuing to the medieval city of Fez with it many fascinating ruins and historical sites
- You'll also get to explore the enchanting Marrakech - the perfect ending to this fabulous trip!
Book Now, Pay Later —
Booking 35 days in advance and spending over £500 per person? No need to pay in full today! Just select the 30% deposit option on our payment page (terms & conditions apply)
Your Itinerary —
On arrival in Casablanca Mohamed V Airport & after clearing immigration and customs, you will be met by your English-speaking driver just outside of the airport terminal.
Welcome to the economic capital of Morocco, founded during the 10th Century when Berber fishermen settled. Prior to that, the Phoenicians used the inlets during the 7th Century BC, and the Romans in 15BC (a Roman gallery and silver treasure as found & now in the national bank). The city’s history is very colourful, battles between the Ommiad and Idrissids tribes, then the Almoravides. In 1770, the sultan Moulay Ben Abdallah built a mosque, religious centres within the city walls, and renamed it Dar El Beida (the White House). The city acquired its Spanish name Casa Blanca in 1781 when Mohamed III granted the Spanish permission to export corn, & from then on the port regained its importance as a trading centre for wool, cerals & tea. When Morocco became a French protectorate in 1912, General Lyautey decided to turn Casablanca into the country’s economic capital & it is the largest city in the Maghreb.
In 1943, Churchill & Roosevelt met in the prestigious & residential district of Anfa district to plan the Allied landings in Normandy & Sicily (the Spanish secret service had been informed about this meeting in Casablanca but assumed it was at the White House in Washington!)
Your driver will take you through some intense traffic to your hotel, the Hotel Club Val d’Anfa, located between the sea and Anfa mount, enjoying an ideal situation at only 5 minutes from the city centre. This hotel offers majestic and well-kept spaces directly inspired by Amazigh art. It has a bar, a Moroccan restaurant, a bistrot the Blue Lagoon international restaurant with ocean view, and a Spa.
Dinner & overnight in the hotel.
08h30: After breakfast in the Blue Lagoon, you will meet your driver, and go for the first guided visit inside the magnificent Hassan II Mosque, built during the reign of the late King Hassan II, and it is the North African equivalent of the Statue of Liberty. It is built right on the ocean, and the laser beam from its 200M minaret is visible up to 35Km away. The entire structure covers a total area of 22 000 M2, the prayer hall accommodates 25 000 worshippers, with space for a further 80 000 pilgrims on its esplanade. It has a cultural centre, library, museum & Koranic schools. It was opened to the public since 1994 and the only Mosque where non-Muslims can enter. Its walls are covered with finely sculpture plasterwork and zellige, its granite pillars support capitals & arches decorated with stalactites & carved cedarwood cupolas. This visit is one of your highlights of the tour.
Your driver will take you on an orientation tour of Casablanca, driving along the Corniche, where the Casaouis take their evening stroll. Driving past the Ibn Saud Saudi Foundation, private beaches, hotels and some excellent French & seafood restaurants. He will also point out Rick’s Café, with its memorabilia of the cult movie Casablanca, past the Anfa district then returning to the hustle and bustle of this busy city, via the League of Arab States Park, the Notre Dame de Lourdes church, and the United Nations Square.
Time to leave the economic capital for the official administrative capital of Morocco, the royal city of Rabat. Again, the history is very rich, from the 3rd Century when the Phoenicians settled, then the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Almohades, the Merinides & the Alaouite dynasties. This is the city visited by the world’s heads of state & royalty. You will drive past the Kasbah of the Oudayas, standing on the south bank of the Bou Regreg estuary, with its monumental archway, from the 12th century.
Time to stop for a visit to the Mohamed V Mausoleum, commemorating the sultan who enabled Morocco to achieve its independence. It was built by a Vietnamese architect along the lines of traditional royal necropolises. It is built on a plinth, flight of steps leading up to the koubba, where a gallery-cum-balcony looks on to the impressive burial chamber containing the tombs of the Kings Mohamed V and his son Hassan II. The mausoleum is guarded 24/7 by the royal guard, wearing the flowing red & white burnous, carrying their ceremonial rifles. Opposite, on the same esplanade is the Hassan Tower, or the unfinished mosque, its minaret remarkable for the beauty and simplicity of its latticework decoration.
Check-in to the Riad Zaitouna – a favourite in Chaouen due to its great location in the medina. Each room at this guest house is air conditioned and is equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, en suite bathroom (bath or shower). Dinner tonight is in the riad – you must try the local speciality of goat’s cheese!
Then take a stroll in its charming tree-lined square, bordered by several small cafés & restaurants.
Breakfast in the riad, and then departure for the Ras Elma spring, passing by oil and watermills. Carry on to the wonderful Akchour cascades, consisting of a lower waterfall and a much taller upper waterfall as well as a handful of other modest waterfalls and cascades sharing the same stream as the main waterfalls. Hiker’s paradise, to read the Bridge of God, an impressively tall natural bridge.
Your driver will prepare a small picnic to taste or stop in one of the small cafés en route.
Return to the Riad for dinner.
After breakfast in the riad, it’s time to check out, and leave for Fes via Ouezzane (Village of the Hill of Myrtles), standing on the slope of the Jebel Bou Hellal, planted with varieties of olive & fruit trees. It is an important religious centre, and pilgrimage to the descendants of the Prophet & also for Moroccan Jews, coming in their thousands each year to pay homage at the tomb of Rabbi Ba Amrane, an 18th century miracle worker (buried 7kms from the town).
The road continues to Fes, via Volubilis, founded in pre-Roman times, and one of the capitals of King Juba II of Mauretania, its remains bearing witness to the grandeur of his former residences. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, Volubilis developed a flourishing trade in oil, corn & wild animals such as lions, panthers and elephants. The Roman site was inhabited during the Neolithic period & occupied by the Carthaginians, and then the Romans. You will be guided during the visit to learn about the history, and marvel at the paved mosaics from the Houses of Orpheus, Dionysus, Ephebus, Venus, the marble Triumphal Arch built in honour of the Emperor Caracalla, and the Basilica of Volubilis, with its four rows of columns and three naves, which served as a trading centre, lawcourt and meeting place.
Continue to Fes & on arrival, free time for lunch. Before arriving in the medina to check-in at Dar Anebar, you will drive around the exterior ramparts for an amazing panoramic view of the city.
Into the medina, and through the labyrinth of alleyways, then, when walking through the front door you will find yourself standing in the midst of an architectural masterpiece, the Dar Anebar. The Glazed tiles, zelliges underline the entrance arches & add to the beauty and refinement of the courtyard & its fountain.
A Fassi-Moroccan dinner in the riad.
Breakfast in the riad, and your Fez guide will greet you and start the tour of the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities, and its religious, intellectual and cultural capital, founded by Idriss I. The city was also led by the Almoravides, the Almohades and the Merinides dynasties until its decline that was hastened by the rise of the new Wattasid dynasty in 1471, the arrival of the Andalous Jews & Muslims in 1492 & indirectly by the arrival of the Portuguese in the Atlantic ports. The Saadians captured Fes in 1549, when the capital was transferred to Marrakech. Fes, however, maintained its influence. In 1912 the Treaty of Fes was signed, making Morocco a French protectorate, and the ancient city managed to coexist happily with its modern counterpart, losing none of its ancient charm and character.
Today, comfortable shoes are a must, to explore the largest medina in the Maghreb, once subdivided into twenty smaller medinas. The French General Lyautey prohibited the construction of new buildings within the old town. The endless labyrinth of Fes El Bali’s dark, narrow streets, conceal as many as a thousand ‘derbs’ (blind alleys). In 1976 UNESCO declared the medina one of the world’s cultural treasures. The palaces, mosques, medersat, zaouias and fountains of Fes El Bali are among the most beautiful in Morocco. You will enter the Medersa Bou Inania, the largest Koranic school in Fes, and admire its splendid stucco work, bronze, marble & onyx decorations, all classic Merinide architectural features. Not to be missed is the Place Nejjarine, with its splendid and unusual fountain, the kissaria (embroidery, silks & brocade market), passing by the Kairouyine Mosque & the colourful tanner’s quarter. Clusters of stone vats filled with red, yellow & brown dyes, skins hanging everywhere, drying in the sun.
During the visit, your guide will introduce you to one or the medina’s restaurants, the Clock Café, to taste maybe a tagine or even a camelburger and fries!
In the evening, dinner is included in a local Fassi restaurant, the Dar El Ghalia, to taste more specialities from.
Breakfast is taken in the riad, then your driver will come to collect you and leave for the health resort of Ifrane, its huddle of identical chalets with their pink-tiled roofs and tiny gardens, giving a distinct ‘Swiss’ appearance.
The road continues to the most beautiful and best preserved of Morocco’s cedar forests and Azrou. It’s original inhabitants, the Amazir, had their own language & syntax, and Azrou became an important Berber centre, having the first Moroccan school teaching the chleuch dialect. Today, the economic life of the town is monopolised by the Riffians – ironworking, wood sculpture, weaving & many crafts centres. A refreshment stop here in one of the local cafés.
Continue south to the agricultural town of Beni Mellal, at the foot of Jebel Tassemit, its ramparts built in 1688 by Moulay Ismail, built within a huge orchard of orange, fig and olive trees, irrigated by the Bin el Ouidane dam. Free time for lunch before the last lap to the Pearl of the South – the unforgettable Marrakech.
Marrakech, known as the “Pearl of the South” is an imperial city whose quality is to be found in the beauty of its monuments, its geographical location at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains, in the good life of his palm, in excitement of the medina and the richness of its souks.
Check in to the chic Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa, located in near the Agdal gardens. It has 2 restaurants, an outdoor pool, fitness centre & spa. All rooms have deep soaking tubs, balconies, Tv & free wifi.
Pre-dinner drinks are available in the Barrakech bar, & dinner will be in the Lateral restaurant.
Breakfast in the hotel & meet your Marrakchi guide to discover the souks & medina – very different to those of Fes. Driving past the city’s landmark – the impressive Koutoubia mosque and minaret, towering over the town & a masterpiece of Hispano-Moresque art, similar to the Giralda of Seville.
Into the souks, an intricate maze of narrow streets, protected from the sun by slatted awnings. Your guide will escort you through each and every souk, basketwork, dried fruit & spices, on to the clothes & brightly coloured materials – on to the Rahba Kedima square where a slave market used to be held until 1912 – here you will see the wooldyers and the Berber herbal apothecaries – selling every type of medicinal cure, as well as freshly ground spices. This souk leads into the Rabia souk, or Berber carpet souk. On through the El Kebir souk (leather goods), forking into the ironwork souk, leading to the jeweller’s souk and kissaria. You will visit a traditional baker, to marvel at how they bake the flatbread in the ovens in a hole in the wall! Then, a stop at the Ben Youssef Medersa, once the largest Koranic university in the Maghreb. Leaving the medersa, follow the narrow streets to the monumental fountain with Kufic inscriptions. Leading into the Place Djemaa El Fnaa Square – to compare the daily activities (shops, workshops, fruit & spice sellers, watersellers & barbers) – because you will return this evening after an afternoon to rest by the pool or maybe go shopping.
Just before the sun sets, your driver will pick you up and take you back to the Djemaa El Fnaa Square, to board your horse & carriage – to clip clop through the square. This is the heartbeat of Marrakech, as the sun goes down behind the Koutoubia, the Marrakchis come out to mingle, gathering and dispersing around the street performers with the fluidity of smoke. In the evening come the Gnaou dancers, musicians, story-tellers, snake & scorpion charmers and entertainers. It is the noise, the smell, the colours – this is the real Morocco! Whether you love it or not, you will never forget this experience. Your carriage will take you past the world famous Mamounia (where Sir Winston Churchill used to paint his landscapes), the illuminated ramparts and fountains, to the Riad Zaid a traditional home, for your farewell Moroccan barbeque & salads on the terrace overlooking the noise and craziness of the medina of the red city.
Your driver will take you back to the Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa after dinner.
Day 8: Departure
Breakfast at the hotel & depending on the time of your flight, time to relax before being driven to Marrakech airport.
Please note: the cancellation terms differ to those outlined in our terms and conditions and may result in 100% loss in the event of cancellation.
Your Hotels —
Just for you: Welcome mint tea & Moroccan pastries upon arrival at each Hotel/Riad
All rooms sleep up to
Located between the sea and Anfa mount, this hotel enjoys an ideal position just 5 minutes from the city centre. Interiors showcase local Amazigh art. There is a bar, a Moroccan restaurant, a bistro with ocean view, and a lovely Spa.
This traditionally styled riad offers modern amenities for the connected traveler, such as free wifi, air conditioned bedrooms and flat screen TVs in the bedrooms.
There is a 24-hour front desk, a pretty courtyard area and a terrace or balcony on some rooms.
Located in the Quarawiyine area, this authentic Riad is ideally located to explore the Medina.
It offers air-conditioned guest rooms with free breakfast and free Wi-Fi.
The Dar Anebar’s restaurant provides traditional Moroccan cuisine, served in the open living-rooms surrounding the large patio, with trees and a central fountain.
Guests can also enjoy mint tea at the bar, or on the roof terrace overlooking the Medina.
Just for you: Free access to the fitness centre and a 10% discount on spa treatments.
Situated in the Agdal district near the gorgeous gardens, this hotel gazes out towards the Oukaïmeden mountains - an enchanting setting that will immerse you in an authentic atmosphere.
Inside, you'll discover a large swimming pool, sumptuous rooms, a delicious restaurant and a spa.
At the end of the day, relax at the bar where you can make your way through an eclectic cocktail menu in a refined atmosphere.
Please note: Ramadan will commence from 26/05 till 24/06. During this time, facilities/services may be limited and the consumption/purchase of alcohol may not be permitted.
Your Journey —
Flights: The flights included are with either a scheduled or no frills airline and are subject to live availability and prices can change. You can choose your preferred departure times during the booking process. Please select your flight options carefully as departure and arrival airports may differ.
Transfers: Private transfers are included as per itinerary.
Casablanca airport to Val d'Anfa hotel club : 40 minutes / 35km
Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa to Marrakech airport: 15 minutes / 7km