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1001 Arabian Nights Morocco

Duration of this Trip 11 Days Priced From $4,780 per person

Pack your bags and prepare for a 1001 Arabian Nights Adventure to Morocco’s Imperial Cities & The Deep South. Prepare yourself for 12 Days of Bliss. Visit Imperial Rabat, UNESCO Fes, the Roman Ruins of Volubilis along with ancient Ksars and Kasbahs. Silk Road Treasure Tours guarantees an exotic interlude in your busy schedule when you commit to a trip to Morocco. Imagine a journey where you can wander through Andalusian Gardens, Majestic Palaces, Covered markets, Palmeries and Valleys hands free on your own private, curated tour. Enjoy stays at charming boutique riads and hotels, Camel Trek through the Sahara Desert and Overnight in a Luxury Desert Camp. Morocco is the perfect destination for couples and families who want to enhance their global vision of the world. You can anticipate lifetime memorable travel experience with Silk Road Treasure Tours!  A friendly destination with a people who are hospitable and kind, Morocco should be on everyone’s bucket list. Well appointed at the tip of North Africa, just an 1 hour from Spain and 7 ½ hours from New York city, Morocco guarantees an amazing experience for intrepid and luxury travelers. A former colony of France, Portugal and Spain, Morocco remains a hidden jewel with its exotic cuisine and majestic landscapes comprised mountains, rivers, gorges, valleys, desert and farmland. Moroccan cuisine is the culinary star of North Africa. Imperial and trade influence has been filtered and blended into Morocco's culture. Being at the crossroads of many civilizations, the cuisine and architecture of Morocco is a mélange of Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences. Travel to Morocco with Silk Road Treasure tours and indulge in the glory of your own private tailor made tour.

At a Glance

Duration

11 Days

Priced From

$4,780 per person

Departures

  • April 1st – 12th, 2016
  • April 15th – 15th 2016
  • May 1st – 12th, 2016
  • May 15th – 15th 2016
  • September 21-October 2, 2016
  • October 6-17, 2016

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Casablanca
  • Day 2-4: Rabat Rise-Fes
  • Day 5: Fes-Ifrane-Midelt
  • Day 6:  Merzouga Rise-Sahara Desert
  • Day 7-9: Merzouga Rise-Skoura - Dades Valley - Ait Benhaddou Kasbah – Telouet – Kasbah Telouet- Marrakech
  • Day 10: Marrakech
  • Day 11: Marrakech – Casablanca Departure.

Itinerary

Day 1: Casablanca

Visit the Mosque of Hassan II. Casablanca is home to the Hassan II Mosque, designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is situated on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor with room for 25,000 worshippers. Its minaret is the world's tallest at 210 meters. It is an enormous architectural masterpiece and the second largest religious building in the world. On Fridays, the Mosque of Hassan II is open to non-Muslims. The Mosque of Hassan II's promontory offers lovely views overlooking Casablanca in the residential Afna quarter.
Overnight Rabat.

Day 2: Imperial Rabat, Meknes, and the Roman Ruins of Volubilis

During your morning tour, you will learn Rabat's history and enjoy its beautiful domes, minarets, wide avenues, and green spaces. Your guide will escort you on a walk around the picturesque Almohad northern walls of the Oudaïa Kasbah.  Next take the road to Meknes. On arrival, enjoy a panoramic view of Meknes which includes a splendid look at the old Islamic medina with its numerous tall and soaring minarets. Explore the Old Medina and Bab el-Khemis. A Jewish past still echos at every corner. Continue to the Royal Stables and Agdal Reservoir. The Royal Stables and Agdal Reservoir were built by Moulay Ismail along with the immense granaries.  The Royal Stables are an amazing site, as this massive stable yard was constructed to comfortably house no less that twelve thousand royal horses.   Visit the Roman Ruins of Volubilis. The breathtaking archaeological site of Volubilis, also referred to as Oualili, was once occupied by the Romans. Volubilis has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site and gained international acclaim when Martin Scorsese made it a feature location for his film, The Last Temptation of Christ.  
Overnight in Fes.

Day 3:  Fes Historical Tour

Begin your day in Fès, the oldest working medina in the world that many refer to as a living museum.  Visit The 14th Century Palace Gates of the King. The Royal Palace in Fes is one of the oldest (14th Century) and largest in Morocco. Next visit the Jewish Mellah, the name of a Jewish quarters located in the old cities of Morocco, usually with a walled boundary.  Tour the sacred site that many women are especially fond of: the Jewish Cemetery and Tomb of Solica. Visit the Ibn Danan Jewish Synagogue and Explore
Explore the Dyers souk of silk, wool and cotton. The dyers market, located along Rue de Teinturies, is the best place to see the dying vats which have been used for centuries to soak the skins of sheep, goat, cows, and camels after they have had the hair removed. You will see many tanned hides colored with natural pigments ranging from shades of brown, black, turquoise, fuchsia, yellow, and orange. Visit the following sites in the afternoon: The Tannery, Weavers Cooperative, Mausoleum (Zaouia Sidi Ahmed Tijani), University of Kairouine – 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. Mausolem  (Zaouia Moulay Idriss) and Nejarine Square  
Overnight Fes.

Wednesday March 23rd TOKYO

Meet your guide at 9:30AM in the hotel lobby on your way to a most unique destination.Visit the beautifully restored Yasuda Residence, a lovingly restored former baronial mansion in the classic Japanese architectural style. Having survived both the massive earthquake of 1923 and the fire bombing of WWII, the home narrowly escaped demolition to make way for modern construction. A wonderful way to peek at a nearly forgotten Tokyo in a traditional neighborhood.
Many craftspeople who are keeping traditional techniques alive also reside in this area. Also worth a visit is the massive Nezu Jinja (shrine), once the largest in Tokyo, with it's own Noh stage, a tunnel of vermillion torii to stroll through,
 
Option: End the afternoon with a visit to a phenomenal bonsai museum and garden. With hundreds of trees in a beautiful setting, this is a gem.
 
Return to your hotel to freshen up and then head out to a pre-dinner sake experience with our local English-speaking sake expert. Learn about the process of making sake and then sample a variety of the best.
Dinner.   Overnight: Peninsula

Day 4: Fez Food Tour

Morning Fez Food Tour – a Culinary Experience in the Backstreets of Fes
You will visit at least three different food souks, allowing the chance to try traditional Moroccan street food including dried meats, milawi, harsha, briwats, spicy sardines, spicy potato cakes, soups, olives, and more. At the honey souk,  you will be able to taste an array of delicious wild honeys, discuss their flavors and health-giving properties, and find out why honey is so important in Moroccan cooking and Islamic culture. Investigate traditional cooking methods by visiting a furnatchi, where the water for the communal bathhouse (“hammam”) is also heated, and a 400-year-old “furan” (a communal oven and bakery). Discover the world of spices and their uses, plus the secrets of the male-oriented tea den under the  guidance of a culinary leader and story-teller. Learn to bake bread in the 400-year-old firan with the baker overseeing your hands-on efforts. Take your hot bread to the honey souk to try it with 8 artisanal wild honeys, aged butter or khlia, or spicy dried beef. You might try cooking “on the street”. Shop and fill up a terracotta urn (“tanjia”) to have it buried in the hot ashes of the furnachi for a rich and spicy Moroccan casserole.
Afternoon at Leisure or Visit Majestic Palaces and Andalusian Gardens
Overnight Fes.

Day 5:  A Journey through the Middle Atlas

A Journey through the Middle Atlas to the Sahara Desert, Passing Ifrane, known as “Little Switzerland,” Midelt, Erfoud (the Capital of Fossils), and Rissani, Arriving in Merzouga for a Sunset Guided Camel Trek and Arabian Nights in the Great Sahara Desert. Take the road to Merzouga. Enroute to Merzouga, we will pass Ifrane, stopping to see the cedar tree forest and the local barbary monkeys.  We will also pass the American- Moroccan University which was built by the Saudis.  We will have lunch during our journey in the Ziz Valley or at another local town en route to the Sahara Desert. We will continue along the road to Merzouga and arrive before sunset.  Visit the Musicians of Khemlia in Merzouga, a century-old Gnaoua group that performs ancient trance music. Tea and nuts will be served (if time allows on this day or the following day). Arrive in Merzouga before sunset and then go by dromedary camel 45-60 minutes, at sunset, into the Erg Chebbi Dunes to camp overnight in our luxury biouvac tent at an oasis.  Your Tuareg guide will share some of the Sahara Desert’s secrets. As you glide humpback on these silent, mystical dunes, there will be countless opportunities to photograph the endless rolling desert.   
Overnight in a luxury bivouac in Merzouga.

Day 6:  Sahara Desert Visit

Sahara Desert Visit and then Departure from the Region to the Saghro Mountains for Lunch in a Berber Village Enroute to Skoura. Walk the desert dunes and explore on your own in and around Merzouga. Take the road to se Merzouga’s Sahara by piste. Enjoy the flora and fauna that is unique to the Sahara. Then visit the Saharan Desert towns of Rissani and the capital of fossils, Erfoud. Visit the old ksars and then continue the road to the village of Ait Ouzzine, located in N’kob, which is nestled within the Middle Atlas Mountains. Aït Ouzzine is a Berber village inhabited by over 300 families who live in beautifully painted crenulated kasbahs, with their own henna fields, water wells, livestock, and gardens. This peaceful village is tucked away along an impressive desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani. Meet a local Berber family, sip tea in the Sagro Mountains, and dine on couscous. Then explore and tour the village by foot. Walk in the green fields and see how the traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, livestock, and henna plants.
Drive through the Draa Valley back to Ouarzazate or the Skoura Palmeraie before sunset.  The Draa Valley is the road of the old caravans that once traveled to transport dates and other goods from the Draa Region to Marrakech.  
Overnight Skoura.

Day 7:  Ouarzazate, Skoura, Excursion to the Dades Valley

Visit Skoura and its “Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs.” Skoura is a fertile oasis lined with immense palm groves that provide great views of the Atlas Mountains alongside desert landscapes. It is renowned for the cultivation of roses. The palm groves were laid out in the 12th century by the Almohad sultan Yacoub el-Mansour and named after its original inhabitants, the Berbers of the Haskourene tribe. The most beautiful kasbahs in southern Morocco can be found here. Many of them are still partially inhabited. Most impressive in Skoura are the many kasbahs that ripple through its dry rocky oasis.   Continue towards the perfumed Valley of Roses, just north of El Kelaa Des Mgouna.  aYour journey will then take you through the Dadès Valley which covers 125 km between Ouarzazate and Boumalne du Dadès in the High Atlas Mountains. Once you reach Boumalne, at first sight you notice the limestone cliffs with uniquely shaped erosions and superb scenery and the valley’s pise (windy roads). Driving along you will pass acres of flowers, fertile fields, riverbanks, and several fortified ksours. At the bottom of Gorge of Boumalne Dadès, there are ruined hilltop Kasbahs and valley floor gardens.  
Overnight Skoura.

Day 8: Skoura: Visit the Adobe Village of Ait Benhaddou

Visit Ait Benhaddou Kasbah. 32 km from Ouarzazate lies the picturesque village of Aït Benhaddou, situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah; for Jesus of Nazareth, the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. In recent years, more controlled restoration has been carried out under UNESCO auspices. Aït Benhaddou is one of many locations in this region used for shooting Hollywood films. Aït Benhaddou once served as the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. Your guide will lead you on a private tour through this Berber village of towered and crenulated Kasbahs that once guarded the lucrative caravan route through the Atlas Mountains. After visiting Ait Benhaddou, continue the road to Marrakech.  
Overnight Marrakech.

Day 9: Marrakech Historical Tour

The Moroccan Gardens of Yves Saint Laurent and Koutoubia, Historic Sites, Monuments, the Grand Medina and its Lively Souks
Visit the Majorelle Gardens. The Majorelle Gardens, previously the Jardin Bou Saf, bears its name from its original creator, Jacques Majorelle, the French expatriate artist who was born in Nancy, France, in 1886. Jacques Majorelle was the son of the celebrated Art Nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle. In 1947, the son opened his gardens to the public and, during this time, also painted a magnificent ceiling at La Mamounia, a five-star hotel with exquisite gardens and the place where Alfred Hitchcock wrote The Birds. As a collector of unique plants from five continents, Majorelle left to Yves Saint Laurent one of the more unique collections of flora and fauna of this era as well as a place of inspiration and contemplation. Even though Morocco is no longer under the French protectorate, this original French creation is one of the most beloved areas in Morocco.  See the Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens,  Shop in the Old Spice Market, explore the  El Bahia Palace and the The Saadian tombs   soldiers and servants.
Overnight Marrakech.

Day 10: Marrakech Cooking Class and Afternoon Visit to La Mamounia Gardens

The workshops are conducted by a dada (traditional Moroccan cook) or a chef from La Maison Arabe’s Moroccan restaurant and are held at the hotel. Small groups of no more than 10 participants work alongside a translator (Arabic/English/French), working with easy-to-use modern equipment found in everyday kitchens. At the end of each workshop, participants dine on the meal they have prepared. At a typical half-day workshop, one learns to prepare an appetizer and a main dish or a main dish and dessert.   Afternoon at Leisure – Option to Visit La Mamounia Gardens or Le Museum Photographie. Evening – Visit Djemaa El Fna Square for an evening of adventure at dusk.  Beneath the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in the city center of Marrakech lies Djemaa el Fna, a famous UNESCO-recognized city square. As the sun sets, the real excitement starts. Enjoy a bowl of steamed snails in a local spice broth or, for the adventurous, sheep’s head. Enjoy the nightlife of Gnaoua trance-healers, Andalous musicians, and exotic snake charmers. Easily, this mysterious place can be compared to a land of Arabian fantasies. With its wild and colorful characters, Djemaa el Fna will bedazzle and astound you.

Day 11Marrakech Excursion to the High Atlas Toubkal Region

After breakfast at your Riad, depart Marrakech by 4x4 and head south toward
Imlil. Imlil is a small, peaceful village in the high Atlas Mountains of
Morocco. Option for a 2-3 hour hike in the Atlas. Enjoy afternoon tea on the terrace or inside this tiny, charming  interior space- that boasts breathtaking views of Toukbal and the  surrounding old village kasbahs. Lunch on Kasbah Toukbal’s terrace with its magnificent views of Toukbal, just a 10 minute short walk past the tarmac road.  
Overnight Marrakech.

Day 12: Marrakech – Casablanca Departures

Driving time for Casablanca departures 3 hours; for Marrakech departures 1 hour

Land Tour Costs

From $4,780 for 6-10 travelers

Single Supplement

not available

Scheduled Departures

  • April 1st – 12th, 2016
  • April 15th – 15th 2016
  • May 1st – 12th, 2016
  • May 15th – 15th 2016
  • September 21-October 2, 2016
  • October 6-17, 2016

Trip Highlights

  • Tour the Grand white Mosque in Casablanca
  • Explore breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage sites, majestic palaces,  glorious houses of worship, and visit the Roman ruins at Volubilis and Ait Benhaddou’s adobe village
  • Learn how to make a tajine and other Moroccan specialties in a hands-on, half-day cooking class up with a “dada” chef
  • Shop for rugs, leather, and other Moroccan specialties at shops vetted by us for quality and value
  • Sip mint tea and eat couscous and kebabs at a lunch with a Berber family in the High Atlas Mountains
  • Indulge in a special gastronomic welcome dinner
  • Enjoy the secrets of Moroccan cuisine on a guided Fes food tour
  • Experience the spectacular natural beauty of Morocco in its mountains, desert, and coast
  • Overnight in a luxury desert camp in the Sahara Desert
  • Discover the Skoura Palmeraie and Valley of 1000 Kasbahs
  • Enjoy Marrakech, the Paris of Morocco

 

Visited Countries

Morocco

Visited Cities & Places

Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis, Fes, Merzouga, Rissani, Skoura, Marrakech

Suggested Extensions

Treasures of Turkey

Reading Lists

HISTORY   
Morocco That Was – By  Water Harris
Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua  –  By Gavin Maxwell

FICTION & NON- FICTION  
In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams – By Tahir Shah
The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca – By Tahir Shah
The Spiders House – By Paul Bowles
The Sheltering Sky – By Paul Bowles (Book & Film)
The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco –  By Richard Hamilton

MOROCCAN MUSIC
Andalusian Music from Fes By Abdelkrim Rais
Jilala: Sufi Trance Music from Morocco By Jilala
Berber Blues By Cherifa
The Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar
Baptism of Solitude – By Paul Bowles and Bill Laswell (Spoken Word)
Arabic Groove – Putumayo World Music
Rough Guide to North African Café
Rough Guide to Arabic Café

FILMS SHOT IN MOROCCO
Othello (Orson Welles)
The Man Who Knew Too Much, starring (James Stewart)
Lawrence of Arabia, starred Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif
The Jewel of the Nile directed by Lewis Teague, starred Michael Douglas
Kundun directed by Martin Scorsese
Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, starred Russell Crowe

What's Included

  • Ground Transportation - Private, English Speaking Driver /Multilingual in English, Arabic, French, Berber
  • Transport in Luxury 4x4 Land Cruiser or H-1 for Imperial City & Desert Travel
  • Licensed, Expert Local Historical Guides – Experts in History, Culture, Architecture, Religion, Art & Gardens
  • Local Site seeing Tours/ Historical Guides in Rabat, Fes, Volubilis, Marrakech, & Kasbah Guides
  • All Monument & Palace Entrance Fees
  • Camel Trek & Camel Trekking Guide
  • Accommodations As Agreed Luxury Bivouac in Sahara Desert Camp
  • Water & Cooler in Vehicle/ Welcome Basket
  • Dinner Reservations & Concierge Services/ Upon Request
  • Meals As Agreed: Breakfast Daily, Lunch with a Berber Family or at the foot of the Todra Gorge, Dinner at your Guest House in Skoura, Dinner in the Sahara Desert
  • Fes Souk Tasting Tour
  • Cooking Class in Marrakech with a Daada Chef

What's Not Included

  • International Flights
  • Charges in hotels for additional services
  • Meals unless otherwise noted
  • Beverages
  • Purchases
  • Gratuity

Visited Countries

Morocco

Visited Cities & Places

Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis, Fes, Merzouga, Rissani, Skoura, Marrakech

Suggested Extentions

Treasures of Turkey

Reading Lists

HISTORY   
Morocco That Was – By  Water Harris
Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua  –  By Gavin Maxwell

FICTION & NON- FICTION  
In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams – By Tahir Shah
The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca – By Tahir Shah
The Spiders House – By Paul Bowles
The Sheltering Sky – By Paul Bowles (Book & Film)
The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco –  By Richard Hamilton

MOROCCAN MUSIC
Andalusian Music from Fes By Abdelkrim Rais
Jilala: Sufi Trance Music from Morocco By Jilala
Berber Blues By Cherifa
The Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar
Baptism of Solitude – By Paul Bowles and Bill Laswell (Spoken Word)
Arabic Groove – Putumayo World Music
Rough Guide to North African Café
Rough Guide to Arabic Café

FILMS SHOT IN MOROCCO
Othello (Orson Welles)
The Man Who Knew Too Much, starring (James Stewart)
Lawrence of Arabia, starred Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif
The Jewel of the Nile directed by Lewis Teague, starred Michael Douglas
Kundun directed by Martin Scorsese
Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, starred Russell Crowe

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10001 Arabian Nights Morocco Tour

An 12 day tour available as scheduled group tour.

Scheduled Departures

  • April 1st – 12th, 2016
  • April 15th – 15th 2016
  • May 1st – 12th, 2016
  • May 15th – 15th 2016
  • September 21-October 2, 2016
  • October 6-17, 2016

Land Tour Costs

From $4,780 for 6-10 travelers

Single Supplement

not available
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