Morocco

This exotic North Africa destination attracts foodies, shoppers, history buffs and those interested in architecture and design.  Ride a camel through the desert at sunset, see where Ridley Scott filmed Gladiator, trek the High Atlas Mountains and experience the Berber culture.  Morocco's sensual vibrancy has inspired writers, painters, musicians and filmmakers during the last century.

Travel to Morocco to explore the ancient medinas with their twisted tangle of narrow streets and the bustling souks full of merchants displaying their wares.  Enjoy an authentic hammam treatment at one of the spas, stroll the beaches or take a cooking class to learn the secrets of Moroccan cuisine. 

Morocco's west coast is the Atlantic Ocean and on the northern border is the Mediterranean Sea, just 20 miles from the southern tip of Spain.  Slightly larger than California, Morocco offers everything from beaches and mountains to green oases in the desert and major cities to explore.

Morocco's origins are Berber, Arab and African, but you will find some of the best preserved Roman ruins here as well.  The current king, Mohammed VI, was born in 1963 and is popular for his modern outlook.  The official languages are Arabic and French, and Spanish is spoken in the north. English is spoken in the larger cities.

Morocco Spain Canary IslandsSpain Tangier Rabat Casablanca Oualidia Essaouria Agidar Taroudant Marrakech Skoura Ouarzazate Zagora Merzouga Erfoud Volubilis Fés Meknés Mediterranean Sea Atlantic Ocean Algeria Western Sahara Atlas Mountains
Morocco Highlights

Itineraries

Our Morocco itineraries are privately guided and can be custom-tailored for your interests and budget.  Consider including a cooking lesson, specialty shopping, hiking in the mountains, riding a camel at sunset in the desert or any number of activities on offer in Morocco.  Combining Morocco with Spain is highly recommended if you have the time!

A Thousand Kasbahs

Itinerary

Day 1: Marrakech
You will be met upon arrival at Marrakech Airport and transferred to the hotel. Just before sunset you will wander the bustling square of Place Djemaa el Fna where the acrobats, storytellers, musicians and snake-charmers are all on display in an effervescent display of the weird and wonderful. 
3 Nights in Marrakech

Day 2: Marrakech
Private guided tour of the city will include visits to the Bahia Palace, Saadien Tombs, the Jewish quarter (the Mellah) and into the labyrinthine alleyways of the Medina and its famous souks. 

Day 3               
This morning you will be taken by a horse-drawn carriage to the famous Majorelle Gardens and Museum of Berber Culture.  A private cooking class this afternoon will give you a chance to learn how to make some mouth-watering Moroccan dishes.

Day 4: High Atlas Mountains        
Head into the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains to Kasbah Tamadot, owned by Sir Richard Branson, with an afternoon of leisure to enjoy this gorgeous place.
2 Nights at Kasbah Tamadot

Day 5: Berber Village     
Privately guided trek to the small Berber village of Anraz.  Walk or ride your mule back and again enjoy the afternoon around the pool or perhaps a hammam treatment. 

Day 6: Skoura via Ouarazazate
Take the road over the High Atlas Mountains to Ouarzazate and Skoura, stopping at Ait Ben Haddou where the film Gladiator was made.  Arrive at the Oasis of Skoura in time for a late lunch and a relaxing afternoon enjoying the gardens and pool. 
2 Nights in Skoura

Day 7: Todra Gorge and Kalaat M’Gouna
Excursion to the Todra Gorge and Kalaat M’gouna, a region known for its perfumes and cosmetics made from rose water. 

Day 8: Mhamid via Agdz and Zagora
Agdz is where the beautiful Draa Valley begins.  Dinner under the stars tonight.
1 Night in Zagora

Day 9: Sahara Camp
Explore the local village with a Berber guide before setting off to our private desert camp. Ride a camel out to see the sunset over the dunes and enjoy a typical Berber feast with entertainment by folklore musicians.
1 Night in a Private tented luxury camp

Day 10: Taroudant      
Wake with the sunrise and set out for Taroudant, known as the mini Marrakech. 
2 Nights in Taroudant

Day 11: Taroudant
The well-preserved ramparts are encircled by olive and orange groves.  Enter the gates and you are in the land of “Arabian Nights.”  The souks offer a lot to see – brass and copper handicrafts, antique jewelry, pottery and spices.

Day 12: Essaouira
Stop for lunch in at a local Fromagerie for a cheese making workshop and wine tasting. Learn about Argan nut processing which is something Morocco is well-known for.  Arrive in Essaouria in time for a walk through the medina and port before watching the sunset from the roof at Taros Bar.
2 Nights in Essaouira

Day 13  Essaouira
With the gentlest of touches, Essaouira stirs awake the artist that slumbers within you. Wander through the narrow alleyways of the Medina to witness artisans at work making their wooden tables, boxes and sundry items in lemon or briar wood inlaid with mother of pearl.

Day 14
Depart Essaouria for Casablanca or Marrakech to begin your homeward journey.

Private Departures: 
This itinerary can be custom tailored for you with various accommodation choices and activities.

Exotic Morocco

Itinerary

Day 1: Casablanca
You will be met upon arrival at Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport and transferred by road to Rabat, Morocco’s seaside capital. Settle in at a magnificently restored family home with acres of luscious gardens and a heated pool. 
2 Nights in Rabat

Day 2: Rabat             
Rabat was first made a modern capital in 1912 by Morocco's French overlords and remained the nation's capital after independence in 1956, and the residence of the royal family. Today is a full-day tour of the city seeing the various styles of the Embassy buildings, the Royal Palace and the charming Oudayas Kasbah right on the water where the young artists hang out. Lunch will be at a local restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 3: Meknes/Volubilis/ Fès
This morning you depart for Fès the oldest cultural and spiritual imperial city of Morocco. Stop to visit the well-preserved Roman ruins of Volubilis where you will gaze upon the mosaics from the 1st century. Continue on to Meknes, an imperial city enclosed by walls which feature monumental gates. By late afternoon, you will arrive in Fès. 
2 Nights in Fès

Day 4: Fès
Founded in 807 AD, Fès quickly became the country’s religious and cultural center, shaped by each of the great dynasties and by its population’s roots in Muslim Spain and the Arab east. The oldest of the imperial cities, Fès measures the symbolic heartbeat of the country and is also considered the most complete medieval city of the Arab world.

Today is a full-day tour to explore the museums, Royal Palace and the UNESCO World Heritage medina. Enjoy a traditional glass of mint tea while learning all about the different types of carpets made here. Wander in amazement at the palaces, mosques and ancient madrasas (schools) like the University of Al-Karaouine, founded in 857 AD, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. 

Day 5: Marrakech
Depart early this morning for Marrakech traveling through the hilltop town of Ifrane, settled by the French in 1929. You may feel like you are in Switzerland!  Enjoy a picnic lunch in the heart of the Middle Atlas mountain scenery. Later this afternoon you'll arrive in Marrakech. 
3 Nights in Marrakech

Day 6
Marrakesh, considered by many to be the most fascinating city in North Africa, was founded on the crossroad of ancient caravan routes. Today is a full-day tour of the city, discovering all the delights including a visit to the Bahia Palace, the Saadien Tombs, and the Jewish quarter.  Stroll through the labyrinthine streets of the souk, teeming with herbalists and jewelers.  You will see everything from exquisitely embroidered shoes and belts to woodwork, brass and copper work, and beautiful kaftans ranging from the simple to the elaborate.

Just before sunset you can visit the bustling square of Place Jemaa El Fna, the famed fairground unfolding day after day with storytellers, fire eaters, snake charmers, acrobats, jugglers and many performers of every sort.

Day 7
This morning you may want to take a cooking class to learn how to make some mouth-watering Moroccan dishes.  Alternatively you could visit a hammam or we can arrange a privately guided shopping tour to the artisan workshops.

This afternoon you could take a horse-drawn carriage, or calèche to the famous Majorelle Gardens and the Museum of Berber Culture.  These colorful gardens surround the villa that was once the private home of painter Jacques Majorelle. They are full of cacti, bamboos and other exotic plants and were lovingly restored by the late Yves Saint Laurent.  

Day 8: Agafay Desert
This morning you will travel by 4x4 safari vehicle to an exclusive retreat in the desert, only 45 minutes outside Marrakech. La Pause is nestled in an oasis of olive trees and palms. Wander around this amazing eco-friendly oasis and relax by the pool for lunch. Later you will set off for the local Berber village where you will mount your dromedaries (camels) for the hour-long ride back to see the sunset. Dinner is served under the stars with entertainment by the fire. 
1 Night at La Pause in an en-suite tent (no electricity)

Day 9: High Atlas Mountains
Set off into foothills of the High Atlas Mountains near Mt. Toubkal National Park. Check into your mountain retreat and spend the afternoon at leisure or exploring. 
2 Nights in the Atlas Mountains

Day 10                     
Today you will set off with your Berber trekking guide for a half-day or full-day of hiking in the mountains. 

Day 11: Oualidia
Travel to the charming fishing village of Oualidia on the Atlantic coast. Oualidia is Morocco's answer to St Tropez!   The town is named after the Saadian Sultan el-Oualalid, who built the atmospherically crumbling Kasbah on the bluff overlooking the lagoon in 1634. Oualidia is famous for its oyster beds which produce about 200 tons of oysters annually.  Enjoy some while you are here! Stay at the splendid La Sultana, a luxury small hotel set in lush gardens with a wonderful spa, infinity pool and private beach. Have lunch on the terrace overlooking the lagoon and visit the spa this afternoon. 
2 Nights at La Sultana

Day 12
You may want to start the day with a stroll on the beach and through the gardens. Later this morning, depending on the tide, you will go by boat to the oyster farm. Have a barbecue lunch on the beach. This afternoon you can have a spa treatment or enjoy quiet time to catch up on your journal writing.

Day 13
Depart for Casablanca or Marrakech to begin your homeward journey

Private Departures:
This itinerary can be custom tailored for you for flexible dates, other accommodation choices and activities.

Imperial Cities

Itinerary

Day 1: Casablanca
You will be met upon arrival at Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport and transferred by road to Rabat, Morocco’s seaside capital. 
2 Nights in Rabat

Day 2:  Rabat
Today is a full-day tour of Rabat seeing the various styles of the Embassy buildings, the Royal Palace and the charming Oudayas Kasbah right on the water where the young artists hang out. Have lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 3: Meknes/Volubilis/ Fès
Depart for Fès the oldest cultural and spiritual imperial city of Morocco. Stop to visit the well-preserved Roman ruins of Volubilis where you will gaze upon the mosaics from the 1st century. Continue on to Meknes, an imperial city enclosed by walls which feature monumental gates. Meknes is encircled by the rich plains below the Middle Atlas Mountains where vineyards produce local wines made in the French method. By late afternoon, you will arrive in Fès and check in to your riad. 
2 Nights in Fès

Day 4: Fès
The oldest of the imperial cities, Fès measures the symbolic heartbeat of the country and is also considered the most complete medieval city of the Arab world.  Visit the Royal Palace and the UNESCO World Heritage medina. Don’t miss the 11th-century tanneries, the oldest in North Africa, where animal skins are treated and dyed before being sold and made into bags, jackets and belts. 

Day 5: Marrakech
Depart early this morning for Marrakech, a full day trip.  You will traveling through the scenic Middle Atlas Mountains and will make several stops to sightsee along the way.  Later this afternoon you will arrive in Marrakesh, considered by many to be the most fascinating city in North Africa. 
3 Nights in Marrakech

Day 6
Today is a full-day tour of the city, discovering all the delights including a visit to the Bahia Palace, the Saadien Tombs, and the Jewish quarter (known as the Mellah). Stroll through the labyrinthine streets of the souk, teeming with herbalists and jewelers. You will see everything from exquisitely embroidered shoes and belts to woodwork, brass and copper work, and beautiful kaftans ranging from the simple to the elaborate.

Later this evening you can visit the bustling square of Place Jemaa El Fna, the famed fairground unfolding day after day with storytellers, fire eaters, snake charmers, acrobats, jugglers and many performers of every sort

Day 7
This morning you may want to take a cooking class or go back to the souks to pick up some items you wish you would have gotten the other day!  Later you will be taken by a horse-drawn carriage, or calèche to the famous Majorelle Gardens. These colorful gardens surround the villa that was once the private home of painter Jacques Majorelle. They are full of cacti, bamboos and other exotic plants and were lovingly restored by the late Yves Saint Laurent. Don’t miss the Museum of Berber Culture.

Day 8
Depart for Casablanca or Marrakech in time to begin your homeward journey.

Private Departures:
This itinerary can be custom tailored for you for flexible dates, various accommodation choices and activities.

 

 

 

Northern Morocco & Southern Spain

Itinerary

Day 1: Casablanca & Rabat
You will be met on arrival at Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport and transferred by road to Rabat, Morocco’s seaside capital. Time permitting, your guide will take you to see the charming Kasbah des Oudayas where the young artists hang out, the Royal Palace, the Hassan Minaret and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. 
1 Night in Rabat

Day 2: Meknes/Volubilis/ Fès            
Depart early today for Fès the oldest cultural and spiritual imperial city of Morocco. Our first stop is Volubilis, the best preserved archaeological site in Morocco, where you will walk through the Roman ruins and gaze upon mosaics from the 1st century. Meknes is an imperial city nearby, enclosed by walls which feature monumental gates. Meknes is encircled by the rich plains below the Middle Atlas Mountains where vineyards produce local wines made in the French method. 
3 Nights in Fès           

Day 3: Fès                              
The oldest of the imperial cities, Fès measures the symbolic heartbeat of the country and is also considered the most complete medieval city of the Arab world.  Visit the Royal Palace and the UNESCO World Heritage medina. See the 11th-century tanneries, the oldest in North Africa, where animal skins are treated and dyed before being sold and made into bags, jackets and belts. Stop for a traditional glass of mint tea while learning all about the different types of carpets made here.

Day 4: Middle Atlas Mountains
Take an excursion today about an hour outside the city to Ifrane, where the King has his summer residence and the Al Akhawayn University opened in the mid-1990s. This is a bit like the Switzerland of Morocco and a great picnic lunch spot. Visit the lakes in this area and the potteries on the way back. 

Day 5: Chefchaouen & Tangier
Leave early for Tangier, stopping for lunch in Chefchaouen, a pretty town of white-washed houses with blue doors, set beneath the striking peaks of the Rif Mountains. Continuing to Tangier, a city bounded by the Rif Mountains, the calm waters of the Mediterranean and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The port city is the gateway from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean, and the closest port in Africa to Europe. 
2 Nights in Tangier

Day 6: Tangier
Explore Tangier, distinguished by its history and geographic position at the point where Europe and Africa meet. Visit the American Legation, which served as the US Consulate for 140 years, where you will see the galleries. Don’t miss the room devoted to the late novelist Paul Bowles. A visit to the Hercules Caves and Cap Spartal before lunch at the small fishing port of Asilah, an artist’s haven on the Atlantic Coast. 

Day 7: Tangier to Tarifa
You will be taken to the Tangier Port to board the ferry for the 40 minute ride to Tarifa. A 45-minute drive along the ‘Costa de la Luz’ takes you to the charming white-washed village of Vejer de la Frontera. 
2 Nights in Vejer

Day 8: Vejer
After a leisurely breakfast, your day begins with a trip to the village market for an introduction to Spanish and Andalusian ingredients.  After selecting freshest produce for today’s cooking class you continue to a private home for a guided olive oil tasting. After learning all sorts of tricks and techniques while you chop, season and taste, you will enjoy the fruits of your labor for lunch. No doubt a siesta is in order after you walk back to your hotel! 

Day 9: Medina Sidonia & Seville
Head to Medina Sidonia, a beautiful hilltop town before your behind-the-scenes visit to one of the most prestigious 'campos' (ranches) in Andalusia. This ranch is renowned for producing some of the best 'toros bravos', or brave fighting bulls, in the country.  Don’t worry; they will not be fighting today!  Learn why they form such an integral part of the Spanish culture, and see a live performance of classical and Andalusían dressage by some beautiful dancing horses too.  Continue on to Seville, the sophisticated capital of Andalusia. 
2 Nights in Seville

We will arrange for you be accompanied by a local culinary expert who will let you in on the secrets of doing the tapas bar crawl in Seville’s back streets. Rub shoulders with the locals in three or four intimate bars where you will sip sherry, taste the region’s best Jamón Ibérico and discover ‘pescaito' (fish expertly fried and mouth-wateringly delicious).  You’ll learn to ‘tapear’ like a local.

Day 10: Seville
Take a walking tour to visit the Royal Alcázar of Seville (palace of the Kings) which boasts the largest late-medieval garden in Europe.  Stroll through the cobble-stoned streets of the old Jewish quarter. Get ready to climb the ‘Giralda’ (tower) inside the Cathedral for the best views of Seville.  This is the third highest tower in the world, so don’t forget your camera. 

Day 11: Granada
This morning is left open for further exploration of Seville; the beautiful green oasis of the ‘Parque de María Luisa’ and the ‘Plaza de España’ are just a few suggestions. And shoppers know that Sevillanos are the most stylish of the Spaniards so those who are interested can check out the shops.

Granada, the birthplace of tapas in Spain and the last stronghold of the Moors during their almost 800 year reign in Spain, is your last stop.  During the ride you will pass through countless olive groves and almond orchards, not to mention all the little white-washed villages that dot the landscape. 
2 Nights in Granada

Day 12
Begin with a privately guided tour of the Alhambra, a UNESCO world heritage site which has been the subject of poems, songs, operas, books and films, and a glorious example of Moorish architecture. With as many myths and legends as there are arches and fountains, the Alhambra is enthralling and has the best view in Granada. 

This afternoon is yours to explore the cobblestone streets of the Albayzín. Lined with Moroccan tea houses and stalls selling everything from clothes and shoes to traditional tagines, you won’t be able to resist browsing and shopping. Or we can arrange a visit to a local 'hammam' (traditional Arabic bathhouse). You'll circulate between the cool, warm and hot baths before your massage. 

Day 13
Enjoy your last leisurely breakfast in Granada, before you’re driven to the airport for your onward journey.

Private Departures:
This itinerary can be custom tailored for you for flexible dates, various accommodation choices and activities.

Suggested Extensions:
Pre-Journey in Marrakech, Morocco

If you have not visited Marrakech, this is a great opportunity since you will be so close!  Contact us to design a 3 night/4 day extension beginning in Marrakech.

Post-Journey in Barcelona, Spain
We suggest adding on a 2 night/3day extension to Barcelona.  We will be happy to plan these days for you to suite your interests and travel preferences.

Accommodations

You can choose to stay in a simple riad in the medina; many of them have been lovingly restored.  Or opt for luxury hotels, palaces, mountain or coastal retreats, or maybe a few nights in a private tented camp in the desert.  There are many options and we look forward to seeing which are best for you.

Marrakech

Visitors to Marrakech, known as the “red city” will need several days to explore all that the city has to offer -- the medina and the labyrinthine streets of the souks, the famed Djemaa el Fna square, the Majorelle Gardens, the Museum of Berber Culture, Bahia Palace and the Saadien Tombs. 

Photo: La Maison Arabe

La Maison Arabe

Step behind the walls of the medina, and enjoy the luxury confines of Maison Arabe. The hotel has 26 rooms and suites, most with private terraces and fireplaces. Sample the local cuisine in one of three restaurants and have a drink in the piano bar.  Moroccan cuisine cooking classes are offered at the renowned school. Visit the spa providing traditional Moroccan treatments using locally produced products.  There is a heated pool in the garden and various sitting rooms throughout the hotel.

Photo: La Sultana

La Sultana

Situated in the heart of the golden triangle, next to Royal Palaces, the Bahia Palace and Djemaa El Fna square, La Sultana is a member of Small Luxury Hotels and of Great Hotels of the World. There are 28 rooms and suites, each with charming antique Moroccan furniture, original artwork from local artisans, fireplace, marble bathrooms, complimentary mini-bar, satellite TV, DVD/audio CD player and internet. Terrace dining provides panoramic views of the area. There is also a spa, heated swimming pool and cooking school.

Photo: Villa Des Orangers

Villa Des Orangers

Built in the 1930s the Villa des Orangers was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1998 combining tradition and refined décor.  Located near the Djemaa el Fna square, there are 27 rooms and suites. The first floor suites feature private terraces opening onto the media.  There is a large garden and terraces full of plants and orange trees. There are three swimming pools, one on the roof overlooking the Koutoubia Mosque and the Atlas Mountains.  The restaurant is directed by the young talented chef, Jean-Claude Olry, blending French, Mediterranean and Moroccan influences. Villa Des Orangers is part of the Relais & Châteaux collection.

Photo: Palais Khum

Palais Khum

Set in the exclusive antique and jewelry area on Dar El Bacha, Palais Khum is a luxury boutique hotel that has been carefully renovated in the Moroccan tradition. There are 11 rooms and suites, and a number of common areas to relax. The indoor, heated swimming pool can be enjoyed year-round. The hotel also features a variety of restaurant spaces including a lounge bar, a restaurant and Terrace Café Khum & Kremm, an Italian pastry café which opens out onto the infamous antique street of Dar El Bacha itself.

Photo: La Pause

La Pause, Agafay Desert

This eco-friendly retreat, located just 45 minutes outside Marrakech, is where the evenings are lit entirely by candlelight and lanterns.  Dinner is served under the stars with entertainment provided by the local Gnawas musicians. A variety of en-suite accommodations are scattered around the property. All are created with thick pisé (traditional mud & straw) walls sheltering guest from the sometimes harsh heat of the sun.  Daytime activities include relaxing by the pool, and setting off for the local Berber village to ride a camel out to see the sunset. 

Fès

Fès serves as a convenient base from which you can do excursions to the well-preserved Roman ruins of Volubilis, the imperial city of Meknes and the hilltop town of Moulay Idriss.  Plan at least one full day to explore Fès, considered the most complete medieval city of the Arab world. 

Photo: Palais Faraj

Palais Faraj

Majestically perched on a hill with breathtaking views of the medina, Palais Faraj is a 19th century palace designed by Jean-Baptiste Barian, an Arab Andalusia architecture specialist.  There are 25 suites of various sizes, all with Moroccan wood ceilings and private terraces overlooking the patio and pool.  All rooms are air-conditioned with heated bathroom floors in the winter, Wi-Fi throughout the palace, and easy car assess right to the front door. The rooftop bar and restaurant L’Amandier, serves a cuisine rich in flavours respecting the traditional Fassi cuisine.

Photo: Riad Fes

Riad Fès

This majestic palace is an authentic example of Hispanic-Moorish architecture, boasting four harmoniously styled patios and panoramic views of the magical spectacle of the sun rising over the medina and the Atlas mountains.  There are 15 rooms and suites, all with air-conditioning, satellite TV and DVD player, mini-bar and amenities like bathrobes, slippers and hairdryers.  The l’Ambre restaurant is open for daytime and evening dining.  The L’Alcazar Bar serves local and international teas and cocktails by the pool of the Andalusian Patio; and the Wine Bar features great wines from Morocco, France and the New World.  Riad Fès is a Relais & Châteaux property where tradition and contemporary conveniences are delightfully combined.

Photo: Ryad Salama

Ryad Salama

Built at the beginning of the last century by an aristocrat, this ryad has been completely restored. There are just six rooms and one suite, all overlooking the garden, and each luxuriously furnished with French antiques and Moroccan crafts.  Each has full bathroom with tub or shower and LCD flat screen TV.  Breakfast and dinner are served in the dining room or in the garden.

Photo: Palais Amani

Palais Amani

Pushing the huge cedar door open from the hustle and bustle of a narrow street in the medina takes you into the beautiful and fragrant interior garden of Palais Amani.  There are 17 rooms, a salon and library, rooftop bar, extensive terraces, traditional hammam and spa.  In 2018, the Palais Amani will offer a fully dedicated cooking school, new lounge areas on the rooftop bar, and yoga retreats.  This riad has been meticulously renovated with all the modern comforts you could want including air conditioning, Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs.   The kitchen serves first rate traditional Moroccan fare with a contemporary twist.

Photo: Riad Maison Bleue

Riad Maison Bleue

Located in one of the most historic quarters of the medina, guests open a door from the small street to find this 19th century wonder of Arab-Andalusian architecture. There are interconnecting courtyards, terraces and salons for guests to relax and have meals. The 13 en-suite rooms offer all the modern conveniences of air-conditioning, TV, internet and mini-bar. There is a swimming pool in one of the courtyards and the spa, hammam and fitness room on another level. The restaurant serves traditional home cooking. 

For families or friends traveling together, the Pavillon de l'Astrolabe offers private accommodation with four deluxe and one standard room around a courtyard with a central fountain and two Moorish salons.

Rabat & Casablanca

Most travelers arrive at Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport. If you arrive late or have an early morning departure, we suggest you overnight in Casablanca. Otherwise you can transfer to Rabat and begin your visit in Morocco's capital city. 

Photo: Villa Mandarine

Villa Mandarine, Rabat

The lush grounds of the Villa Mandarine feature700 orange trees and hundreds of flowering plants and bushes  providing a peaceful hideaway with the charm of an old family estate.  There are 31 rooms and five suites, all decorated with a blend of family heirlooms and Moroccan architectural elements. The art collection is displayed throughout the hotel. Each room has a terrace for guests to enjoy breakfast with a view. There is a large heated swimming pool in the garden and a full service spa. The gourmet restaurant is one of the best in town.

Photo: Sofitel Rabat

Sofitel Rabat Jardin Des Roses

This 5-star hotel sits in the heart of the city, close to the Royal Palace and Mausoleum of Mohammed V. There is a 17-acre Andalusian garden with thousands of roses and an orange grove.  For those with jet lag, there is 24-hour room service, a fitness center, outdoor swimming pool and expansive spa with a traditional hammam. The resort is a collaboration between a local architect and a French interior designer. There are 229 rooms of various categories with marble bathrooms and Nespresso machines for morning coffee.

Photo: Les Doge Hotel & Spa

Les Doge Hotel & Spa, Casablanca

Built in the 1930s this old private mansion is located in the Art Deco district and has been renovated with great care to preserve its architectural authenticity. The décor of each of the 16 rooms is inspired by an artist from the Deco era.  osephine Baker, Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplin and Scott Fitzgerald are some of the favorites.  The Le Veyre restaurant offers gastronomic French cuisine mixed with Moroccan accents.  This Relais & Chateaux property also offers a book-filled library, fitness center, and spa.

Atlas Mountians

Just one hour outside of Marrakech you will find yourself in the High Atlas Mountains near Toubkal National Park where you can hike or ride a mule up the slopes, visit a Berber village, or arrange a picnic and enjoy the breath-taking views.  Horseback riding and mountain biking can also be arranged.

Photo: Virgin Limited

Kasbah Tamadot, Asni

The award-winning Kasbah Tamadot was bought by Sir Richard Branson during one of his famous ballooning expeditions. The rooms and suites have been individually decorated to reflect the beautiful architecture of the building and feature antiques from all over the world. There are heated indoor and outdoor pools, a spa with hammam and sauna, a gym with a great view, tennis courts and indoor and outdoor bar and dining areas.  The cuisine is a mix of local and international offerings which feature homegrown herbs and vegetables from the gardens. The grounds are impeccably maintained and there is a wonderful gift shop stocked with crafts from area artisans. Your purchases support the Eve Branson Foundation and guests can visit villages to see the foundation’s work in action.

Photo: Domaine Malika

Domaine Malika, Ouirgane

This boutique hotel is nestled in a large valley abundant in pine trees and olives groves, surrounded by the peaks of the High Atlas Mountains bordering Toubkal National Park.  There are seven charming rooms and suites featuring fireplaces and terraces. The property can be rented out exclusively to groups needing accommodation for up to 17 guests. The chef provides a menu of traditional yet surprising cuisine featuring vegetables from the garden, fruit from the orchard and local products from the nearby souks. Cooking classes are also offered. There is also a traditional hammam and massages and other spa treatments are available for guests.

Photo: Kasbah Bab Ourika

Kasbah Bab Ourika

With 360 degree panoramic views, Kasbah Bab Ourika receives warm sunlight all day, ending in spectacular sunsets. There are 15 individually decorated rooms with their own terraces providing stunning views of the Atlas and the Valley of Ourika. The restaurant is supplied by the surrounding villages and the chef specializes in traditional Berber recipes as well as international cuisine. Unwind by the secluded swimming pool or enjoy Berber Village visits, gentle hikes and picnics in the area. Guided longer treks in the remote and unspoilt Salt National Park are available.

Photo: Kasbah du Toubkal

Kasbah du Toubkal

Set at almost 6,000 ft. above sea level, the Kasbah du Toubkal looks out over three major valleys carved from majestic rocky mountains rising to over 13,000 ft. high.  Reception is in Imlil and mules carry your luggage from there on the 15-minute walk to the Kasbah.  There are 14 comfortable en-suite rooms, three of which can be used as a private self-contained house. In addition, there are three family rooms.  Food is very simple Moroccan cuisine, with a set menu for lunch and dinner. Berber tradition dictates that no alcohol is served on the premise so BYOB. Activities include local village visits, walks for beginners and more advanced trekkers, night treks and camel-back ascents of Jbel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa.

Atlantic Coast

Tangier, distinguished by its history and geographic position at the point where Europe and Africa meet is a perfect one-night stop for those wanting to take the ferry to or from Spain.  Morocco’s southern Atlantic coast is a welcome change from the bustling cities. Visit here for laid back beach days, bird-watching, and fresh seafood.  Oualidia is the oyster capital of Morocco and Essaouira’s medina is a World Heritage Site.

Photo: Mo Hoffman

Nord Pinus, Tangier

This luxury riad rests on an antique Portuguese foundation built over the ancient Roman town of Tingis.  You can feel the history as you enter from Rue Riad Sultan. The extraordinary location provides a breathtaking view of Tarifa, the Spanish coast, the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean sea. There are just four suites, one double room and a Kasbah house. The furnishings are exquisite throughout.

Photo: La Tangerina

La Tangerina, Tangier

Sitting in the heart of the Kasbah on the highest peak, La Tangerina rooftop terrace has panoramic views across the straits of Gibraltar and the old Medina. There are 10 rooms of various sizes on four floors around a central enclosed courtyard. The rooms are simple with thoughtful features like fresh flowers and vintage radios. The staff is exceptionally accommodating.

Photo: La Sultana

La Sultana, Oualidia

La Sultana has a stunning spot overlooking the lagoon, sheltered by cliffs and bordered by green pastureland and saltwater marshes. There are 11 bedrooms, each with a private terrace and outdoor Jacuzzi. The large infinity swimming pool with loungers overlooks the beach and lagoon. At the heart of the hotel is the spa made of carved stone reaching up like an immense cathedral. Guests can enjoy the heated indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, aromatherapy area, hammam and massage rooms.  Meals are served inside, outside on the deck or on the beach. The ultimate luxury is a picnic on a hideaway beach.  Fresh seafood and local produce are always on the menu.

Photo: La Heure Bleue Palais

La Heure Bleue Palais, Essaouira

This traditional Moroccan riad sits in the heart of the medina.   Originally built in the 19th century, it was called “sleeping beauty” by the locals and over the years served as a private residence to wealthy merchants and an orphanage.   The rooms and suites have Moorish, Portuguese or English décor and open onto a courtyard with an ornate fountain. The hotel’s colonial-style bar presents a subdued ambiance with subtle lighting and plush English furniture. Guests can dine in the opulent, Moroccan-themed, gourmet restaurant, the courtyard patio, or the panoramic rooftop terrace. The spa offers a traditional Moroccan hammam and wellness treatments. The panoramic outdoor pool on the terrace overlooks the medina and the ocean. There is also a billiards room and home theatre.

Travel Information

When to go to Morocco
The beauty of Morocco is enjoyable all year round, depending on where you are going and what activities you are interested in.  Temperatures in Marrakech and Fès are most comfortable from April to June, and September through November.  Summer months can be very hot with daytime highs of 100F, but the Atlantic coastline is cooler with daytime temperatures between 75-80F.  Temperatures are hot and dry in the desert with cool nights.  Avoid the summer months for desert itineraries. From December to March the winter night lows are in the 40sF.  Snow can be found in the High Atlas Mountains.

Passport & Visa Requirements for Morocco
A valid passport is required to enter Morocco.  Visas are not required for U.S. citizens staying for less than 90 days. 

For further information: The Embassy of the Republic of Morocco in Washington, D.C. & U.S. State Department

Medical Information for Morocco
Before traveling to Africa, please consult with your physician. No mandatory vaccinations are required to visit Morocco. 

For further information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Morocco