10 Photographic Expedition through Morocco March 7, 2020 to March 16, 2020

Guided by a National Geographic Photographer along with the TV Travel Host & Director of the TV Travel Show Great Escapes, Kevin Michael Schmitz, along with an expert on the ground local photographer guide in Morocco.  

Fall under Morocco's spell on this exotic private tour of Fes, Marrakech, the High Atlas Mountains & Casablanca. Stroll through bazaars, visit a Berber village, tour ancient harems, picnic in the mountains & more. Morocco has fascinated Westerners for centuries, and its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage make it a perfect tailor-made destination for even the most experienced traveler. From winding narrow alleyways through bustling medinas, to the towering cliff faces of the Atlas Mountains, your customized journey will dazzle you with some of the world’s most incredible sights and sounds. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fez with your private vehicle and guide and visit the many blacksmithing, leather working, silk and tapestry workshops that have been in existence for over 100 years. As you make your way to Marrakech, explore the rugged terrain of the Middle Atlas Mountain range and stop in at the Berber village of Immouzer de Kandar. Explore Marrakech’s 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, the El-Bahia Palace, and the famous Saadian Tombs. Experience an off-road adventure through the Atlas mountain range to one of the highest perched villages clinging to the mountainside. In the evenings, relax in a mixture of dazzling riads and fine hotels that offer extraordinary surroundings and Moroccan charms. Kensington Tours offers local support in each region you visit, another reason we deliver unbeatable value. Enjoy a personalized photographic vacation experience of a lifetime!!! Relax during your trip with our 24/7 concierge service and support and expert local guides!

Day 1: Sat, March 07, 2020 - Casablanca

Upon arrival into Casablanca, you will be met on the tarmac by a local representative and escorted through Customs and Immigration, avoiding any queues along the way. Our local guide concierge will provide you with your travel documents and go over the itinerary in great detail.  You will be privately transferred from Casablanca's international airport by an English-speaking driver to your luxurious accommodations at the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca.  Relax and enjoy the ancient city in luxury!

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca

Day 2: Sun, March 08, 2020 - Casablanca, Fes

An English-speaking driver will transfer you from Casablanca to Fes. Along the way, enjoy some touring including a visit to the impressive Hassan II Mosque, the second largest mosque in the world after the Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia (direct payment for the entrance). Continue to the diplomatic and administrative capital of Morocco, Rabat. Visit the Royal Palace, the wild gardens of the Chellah, a 14th-century Merinid necropolis, and walk through the Andalusian Gardens within the walls of the Kasbah of the Oudaya. Visit the Hassan Tower, a huge unfinished minaret, built mostly at the end of the 12th century. Next, travel to the city of Meknes, the famed Ismailia capital known for its 24-mile (40-kilometer) long walls and numerous gates. Next, visit Bab Mansour, an impressive and elaborately decorated gateway that is today a popular arts and crafts galleria. Interestingly, the marble columns seen here were taken from the nearby Roman city of Volubilis. Next, visit the historic Royal stables, the amazing artisan markets and the popular Jewish quarter. Before arriving in Fes, stop in Volubilis and the holy city of Moulay Idriss to take in the fascinating history and scenery. Upon arrival into Fes, you will be delivered to your hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Sahrai

Day 3: Mon, May 09, 2020 - Fes

A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 9am. Explore the cultural and spiritual center of Morocco during this full day tour of Fes. Also known as Fes el Bali, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded in the 9th century, and is home to the world's oldest university. The city of Fes reached its true economic and cultural height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Merinids, when it replaced Marrakech as the capital of the kingdom. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fes has retained its status as the country's Artisan centre. Artisan workshops in the medina are as active today as they were 100 years ago, and strongly contribute to the city’s industrial economy. Trades such as blacksmithing, leather working, ceramics, silk, tapestries, and sculpting are still practiced in these workshops today. The original ramparts still protect this ancient city and its estimated 9000 narrow passageways and bustling streets.

Accommodation: Hotel Sahrai

Day 4: Tue, March 10, 2020 - Fes, Marrakech

Travel in a privately driven vehicle from Fes to Marrakech, making a lunch stop en-route. Explore the rugged terrain of the Middle Atlas Mountain range, boasting towering cliff faces, and incredible passes. Drive by the scenic Berber villages of Immouzer de Kandar and the university town of Ifrane for a glimpse into rural living in Morocco. Explore the Kasbah of Ras El Ain and mingle among the merchants to find the perfect gift. The approximate travel time is seven hours and 30 minutes.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Marrakech

Day 5: Wed, March 11, 2020 - Marrakech

A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.

Your tour usually starts at the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. This mosque's beautiful minaret dominates the skyline of Marrakech and can be seen from almost every approach to the city thanks to a long-standing planning ordinance that forbids any other building in the old city to rise above the height of a palm tree. You will also visit the El-Bahia Palace.  This 19th century palace is elaborate in its decoration and was built over a period of seven years for Ba Ahmed, the son of the Grand Vizier Si Moussa. There are row after row of apartments—that once housed Ahmed's harem—a trapezoidal garden, a huge tiled courtyard, and many hidden treasures, both in the form of antique objects d'art and the palace's convergence of Andalusian and Moorish architecture. One of most visited sites in Morocco is the Saadian Tombs, which were only accessible via the mosque next door. However, in 1917 they were opened to the public and can now be accessed via a narrow passage that leads to an enclosed garden watched over by two mausoleums that include more than one hundred mosaic-decorated tombs. The Koranic School Medersa Ben Youssef is a Theological college founded by the Merenid Sultan Abu Hassan in the 14th century.  It was restored in 1564 by the Saadians who made it the largest theological college in the Maghreb and a rival to the important Medersa Bou Inania in Fés.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Marrakech

Day 6: Thu, March 12, 2020 - Marrakech

A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.

After breakfast, your guide will meet you and drive to the coastal city of Essaouira, found roughly two hours and 30 minutes from Marrakech. Upon arrival, embark on a tour of this charming whitewashed town, learning of its roots as Phoenician trading post, its prosperity during the Roman era - due in large to the Tyrian purple colour that locals extracted from shellfish – and strategic importance during Portuguese rule. In the lively port area, tour through colorful souks, explore centuries-old ramparts, and discover the wares of master craftsmen who typically create their goods using local Thuya wood. At midday, break for lunch (not included) at the location of your choice; the fish stalls near the port are highly recommended, as fresh-caught fish are prepared on-site, cooked to order. Following lunch, you will enjoy time at leisure to continue your exploration of this lovely city, and in the early afternoon, begin the return journey to your hotel in Marrakech.

Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Marrakech

Day 7: Fri, May 13, 2020 - Marrakech, High Atlas Mountain, High Atlas Mountains

A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Marrakech and the High Atlas Mountain region. The approximate travel time is one hour.

Formerly the summer house of a feudal caïd (local baron), Kasbah Toubkal has been restored using traditional Berber techniques by the inhabitants of the surrounding villages. Located on the slopes of Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains known as the "roof of North Africa", Kasbah Toubkal is surrounded by vast spaces, plateaus, plantations, cliffs, a lake, waterfalls, deep ravines, overlooking three valleys with a superb panoramic view

The walking in this region is fantastic. There are some fabulous walks from the Kasbah which can be tailor-made to suit your interests and fitness level (from 45 min walks to 7 hour treks with a private mountain guide). You can also choose to do 4X4 excursions, Horse or Mule Treks, Mountain Biking or choose to just relax at this fantastic property. Explore Imlil, a picturesque mountain village in the heart of the sublime Toubkal National Park just minutes from the Kasbah. Explore on your own or join our National Geographic photographer for a photographic experience of a lifetime!

Accommodation: Kasbah Tamadot

Day 8: Sat, March 14, 2020 - High Atlas Mountains

Prepare for a day of exploration and cultural enrichment as you head out aboard a 4-wheel-drive vehicle into the picturesque surroundings of the High Atlas Mountains Ranges accompanied by a local expert guide. Depart in the morning from Asni to the hamlet if Imlil where the off-road adventure begins. Enjoy the view as you'll be driven along the serpentine, non-graveled roads to one of the highest perched villages of the range, some 2000 feet high.  En-route, marvel at the many terrace-lined towns and small mud-brick houses.  Make a stop along the way to the local old hydraulic and olive press which to this day is still in use.  A visit to the Takherkhort Reserve is also scheduled where you can enjoy a walk through native flora and fauna, stopping along the way to take some photos of the Barbary sheep and the over 150 species of birdlife. Upon arrival to the Mountain Lodge you will feel the greatest sense of homeliness and comfort by the welcoming scent of freshly baked bread, as the local woman demonstrate Berber hospitality at its finest.  As the ancient oven continues to bake, you will be seated on a panoramic terrace and served local delicacies and of course some of that freshly baked bread as you admire the almost surreal surroundings. From here, you will be driven to the town of Tahanoute, a picturesque village set among a variety of olive groves, and citrus trees for an opportunity to admire the red clay structures built according traditional Berber construction techniques. A local resident will prepare a home-cooked meal for your enjoyment, with a special "table-setting" atop their roof.  This opportunity allows you to experience the everyday life of these mountain people.

Accommodation: Kasbah Tamadot

Day 9: Sun, March 15, 2020 - High Atlas Mountains, Casablanca

A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer from the High Atlas Mountain region to Casablanca. The approximate travel time is four hours.

A modern city and the trade capital of Morocco, Casablanca is a magnificent mix of modernism and tradition. It is the largest metropolitan city in the Maghreb and is characterized by elegant buildings, great avenues and unique architectural art forms and Moorish finishing featured throughout the numerous domes and columns. This booming cosmopolitan city is characterized  by the King Hassan II mosque located by the sea and featuring a 200 meter minaret that dominates the city's landscape. The Mosque is open to non-Muslims with daily shared tours highlighting it's impressive modern interior.  Again, a driver and guide is at your disposal and will provide insight into the best this city has to offer. Entrance to the Mosque is included.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca

Day 10: Mon, March 16, 2020 - Casablanca

You will be privately transferred between your hotel and Casablanca's international airport by an English-speaking driver. Approximate travel time is about an hour to the Casablanca Airport.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)

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