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