Imperial Cities Casablanca WSPI070316AATR

Imperial Cities Casablanca

Four cities, which were the capital cities of Morocco during different periods provide a journey through the history. Marrakech, Fes, Meknes and Rabat, the four imperial cities open a treasure of knowledge about the past when you enjoy the pleasure of the contemporary world.

Day 1: Casablanca : Arrive in Morocco’s largest city, where you are met by representative and transferred to your hotel. Originally settled by the Berbers in the seventh century, the port city is a timeless blend of ancient traditions, French-inspired architecture and modern-day hustle and bustle. Overnight stay in Casablanca.

Day 2 : Casablanca-Meknes-Volubilis-Fez : Start the day by exploring Casablanca’s most important site, the Hassan II Mosque. Its minaret is the tallest religious structure in the world. Afterward, drive to the city of Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the seventeenth century by the powerful sultan Moulay Ismail to rival the court of French contemporary Louis XIV. Following lunch, your sightseeing continues to Volubilis, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Morocco’s largest and most well-preserved Roman ruins. With its soaring arches and basilicas, Volubilis’ skyline is peppered with examples of Roman architecture-though its greatest treasures are the excellently preserved mosaic floors. At day’s end, arrive in Fez. Overnight stay in Fez.

Day 3 : Fez : Spend the day today discovering Fez. Step back in time to the Middle Ages as you visit one of the most ancient and untouched city neighborhoods in the world, Fez el-Bali (“Old Fez”), the cultural heart of Morocco. Take in the sights and sounds of locals conducting their day to day business and merchants selling spices & goods. After lunch, discover Fez el-Jedid (“New Fez”), home to the Mellah, the old Jewish quarter, which boasts traditional Jewish architecture of wrought iron–decorated windows and splendid carved wood balconies. Overnight stay in Fez.

Day 4 : Fez-Rabat : After breakfast, drive to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. After settling in to your hotel, set off to explore the city’s highlights, including its superbly preserved Moorish relics, such as the twelfth-century Hassan Tower, the incomplete minaret of a great mosque built by Yacoub el-Mansour. View the mausoleum of Mohamed V & visit Oudaya Kasbah. Note the kasbah’s gate, one of the most beautiful surviving ones in the Moorish world. Beyond the city walls are the remains of the ancient city of Sala. Overnight stay in Rabat.

Day 5 : Rabat – Marrakech : This morning, drive to Marrakech. Known as the “Red City” or “Pink City” due to the distinctive hue of the local earth used in the construction of its many brick buildings, Marrakech is a city of labyrinthine alleyways, secluded palaces, museums, mosques and markets. Overnight stay in Marrakech.

Day 6 : Marrakech : Spend the day discovering mysterious, glorious Marrakech, starting at its ancient medina, the old walled section of the city. Visits include the Saadian Tombs, displaying intricate stucco and Granada-style carvings; the Dar Si Said, one of the most beautiful palaces and the home to the Museum of Moroccan Arts and Crafts; and the Bahia Palace, the residence of the grand vizier Si Ahmed Ben Moussa. Stop at the twelfth-century Koutoubia Mosque, with a minaret considered the most perfect Islamic religious structure in North Africa. Afterward, stroll through the labyrinthine souks and the fabled Djemaa el-Fna square, with its fire-eaters, mimes, snake charmers and street musicians performing at every turn. Overnight stay in Marrakech.

Day 7 : Marrakech : Continue exploring Marrakech, starting by visiting the beautiful gardens dotting the city. One of the most lovely are the Menara Gardens, which date to the twelfth century and are set among extensive orchards and olive groves. From here, continue to Majorelle Garden. The rest of your day is at leisure, perhaps for last-minute shopping or sightseeing at your own pace. Overnight stay in Marrakech.

Day 8 : Marrakech Departure : After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your international flight.

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