Dr. Runoko Rashidi’s Southern Morocco Tour Visiting: Casablanca, Marrakech, Ouarzazote, Zagora, Erfoud, Rassani & Merzouga
October 21 – 30, 2017
Cost: $3399.00 (Dbl) $3899.00 (Sgl)
What is included in the cost:
- Round Trip Economy Air from JFK
- 4 Star Hotel Accommodations (3 Nights Marrakech, 2 Nights in Ouarzazote, 1 Night in Zagora/Erfoud/Merzouga/Casablanca
- 2 Meals per day
- All ground transportation on tours
- Services of English Speaking Guide
- Tours as indicated in Slide Show
- Baggage Porterage
What is not included in the cost:
- Items of a personal nature
- Passport Fees
- Gratuities and/or tips to housekeeping, drivers or guides
- Travel Insurance (highly Recommended)
- Note: Visas are not required for US Citizens
- Pricing subject to any unexpected increases in 2017.
Southern Morocco Itinerary
Day 1 – Saturday, October 21st: Arrival to Casablanca airport Upon arrival at Casablanca airport, you will be met by your tour leader after clearing immigration and customs and drive to Marrakech. After checking in and if time permitting, you will be taken for an orientation tour ending with a walk in the square of which the city is so famed: Jemaa El Fna where hundreds of locals and tourists come to spend the end of the day watching jugglers, dancers, fortune tellers, story tellers and traditional musicians. Dinner & Overnight Meridien N’fis D
Day 2 – Sunday, October 22nd: Marrakech After breakfast, you will be guided through the “Hidden sides of Marrakech” where we will admire the architectural beauty of Medersa Ben Youssef, a medieval theological school dating back to the 16th century as well the oldest building in the city called the Koubba of the Almoravids, a dynasty who ruled in the 12th century. From there we will start exploring artisan quarters and the colourful Souks to interact with the real life of Marrakech people. In the afternoon, stand by the Koutoubia Mosque with its 282 ft minaret, an architectural landmark dating back to the late 12th century. We will then enter the Kasbah from Bab Agnaou gate to visit the historical and beautifully ornate Saadian necropolis of the 16th century. Our walk through the 12th century Kasbah and its food market, bakeries and narrow alleyways will lead us to the Badii Palace built in the 16th century. Here we will admire the marvelous pulpit of the Koutoubia mosque made in 1137 in the city of Cordoba by the best cabinet making artisans of that time. We will end our exploration with a stroll inside the Jewish quarter and visit the historical synagogue built in 1492 by Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain. Dinner tonight will be at Dar Moha Overnight Meridien N’fis B . D
Day 3 – Monday, October 23rd: Marrakech – Ouarzazate After breakfast, we drive to Ouarzazate, the country that played the most important political rule in the south of Morocco being the home of the powerful Berber tribe of the Glaoua family. Upon arrival to Ouarzazate we will go for a guided visit of the Kasbah Taourirt which was the capital of this local and powerful family in the early 20th century when the French foreign legion built their base here and see some of the film studios where a great number of international productions have been realized. Overnight Kenzi Azghor B. D
Day 4 – Tuesday, October 24th: Ouarzazate – Zagora After Breakfast, drive south to Zagora across the Anti Atlas Mountains and their amazing geological formations. Go as high as 5000 ft on the pass of Tizi n’Tinifift before you drive down to the Draa River, a Saharan river that starts from these mountains and has given life to a huge oasis about 200 kilometres at the foothill of the Anti Atlas Mountains. This Valley has been for many years coveted by the nomads. All along, several palm groves will bring their shades between Kasbahs and ksours dotted with fields of corn, barley, vegetables and henna plantations. This is an interesting region as far as the population is concerned as it is a mixture of dark people of sub Saharan origins, local Berber and Arabs from the north. Overnight Riad Lamane B . D
Day 5 – Wednesday, October 25th: Zagora – Erfoud After breakfast, Leave Zagora across the huge and beautiful oasis of the Draa valley and start a long journey across the Reg Desert of Jebel Saghro, passing by different nomadic and semi nomadic tribes coasting the southern side of the Anti-Atlas Mountains. This is the desert area crossed each year by the famous “Sand Marathon” or the “Paris – Dakar” ralley. Overnight Palais du desert B.D
Day 6 – Thursday, October 26th: Erfoud – Rissani – Merzouga Leave the hotel and cross the luxuriant oasis of Tafilalet to Rissani where you will see entering the town the remains of the old caravan center in medieval times named Sijilmassa. Rissani is made of a great number of Ksars which are fortified villages where you often find a palace as the home of the chief of the clan. Start the visit with Ksar El Fida an its local museum, ksar Ouled Abdelhalim and the remains of the 18th century palace which is still inhabited by one of the descendants of the prince before you go for a stroll in the traditional Souks of Rissani. In the afternoon, visit the fossilized marble factory in ERFOUD. These fossils are unique to this region and are about 360 Million years old. From Erfoud take 4X4 Vehicles and drive south across the desert to the spectacular Saharan sand dunes where a little caravan of camels will be waiting for you to give you a ride across the dunes to watch an memorable sunset. After admiring a beautiful sunset from the top of the dunes, return to Erfoud Overnight Palais du Desert B . D
Day 7 – Friday , October 27th: Erfoud – Todra gorges – Skoura – Ouarzazate After breakfast leave Erfoud and bound for Ouarzazate in the snow-topped High Atlas Mountains, passing one scene of natural beauty after another. Our first stop is in Tineghir, a stunning mountain oasis rising on a series of lush riverside produce gardens accented by palm trees and dominated by ornate clay villages. Here we visit 984-foot Todra Gorge, home to a variety of rare plant and bird species. After enjoying lunch here, we begin our journey along the “Route of a Thousand Kasbahs,” a region of fortresses with elaborately decorated façades. We continue on through “Valley of the Roses” and El Kelaa M’gouna, Morocco’s “rose capital,” before arriving to Ouarzazate . Overnight Kenzi Azghor B . L . D
Day 8 – Saturday , October 28th: Ouarzazate – Ait Benhaddou – Marrakech This morning you will start your visit with the village of Ait Ben Haddou. Here you will discover one of the most beautiful pages of the Berber architecture that the UNESCO is trying to preserve. The beauty of the whole area has attracted many film producers who made here over the last few years films such as Kingdom of Heaven, Gladiator, Babel… Take time to visit this unique village and visit one the latest Berber families still living there. Continue in the road zigzags higher to Tizi Ntichka pass (7500 ft) which is snow covered in winter time. After the pass, the road descends and offers totally different scenery of pine and oak forests through cultivated terraces to Marrakech. After a break I n the hotel, take the horse carriage and head to the famous Yacout Restaurant Overnight Meridien N’fis B . L. D
Day 9 – Sunday , October 29th: Marrakech – Casablanca We leave Marrakech this morning for a drive to Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, combining French and Moroccan influences. After a break for lunch on the promenade along the seaside, we will go to visit the Grand Mosque of Hassan II, the world’s third largest Islamic house of worship, with a 656-foot minaret and a prayer hall three times the size of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The mosque boasts an equally stunning setting on the banks of the Atlantic shoreline. It is also Morocco’s only functioning mosque that is open to non-Muslims and our tour affords us the opportunity to see the palatial interior with its polished marble floor, Venetian chandeliers, and Moorish arches with 70 cedar-paneled cupolas. From there we will continue to discover other highlights of the city such as the church of Casablanca with its marvelous stained glass work and the Habous Quarter (“New Medina”), with its neo moorish architectural style. Dinner tonight at Rick’s Cafe Overnight Kenzi Tower B. D
Day 10 – Monday, October 30th: Departure After breakfast, transfer to Casablanca Airport for the return flight with the fondest of memories.
Deposits Required: $600.00 per person (non refundable).
Cancellation policies and payment schedule will be available upon request. For applications contact: email@example.com. Kola Nut Travel is a full service travel agency providing travel since 1986. We can be contacted at (310) 674-0291 Ext. 2. CST: 1020447-10.