10,000 Minutes of Morocco
Morocco in 8 days? Oh yes you Moroc-can. Do your best Bogart impression in Casablanca, then train it to Meknes and do your best Roman soldier impression in Volubilis. The medinas of Fes and Marrakech could well be the world’s funnest place in which to get hopelessly and utterly lost.
No amount of giggling or wriggling will deter the women of a Moroccan hammam. Like a cross between your grandma and a WWF wrestler, they’ll clamp you down and scrub til your skin is smoother than George Clooney drinking a single malt scotch.
Day 1 - Casablanca
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with the hotel reception or the hotels noticeboard for confirmation of where and when this meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early, so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please contact the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your trip leader.
If arriving earlier, you will have a chance to explore Casablanca - the largest city in Morocco. Modelled after Marseille in France, this bustling port city is now also the undisputed economic capital of Morocco and one of Africa's largest ports. The architectural style of the city is eclectic, combining Art Deco French colonial buildings and Mauresque (Moorish) government institutions with an old medina and the city's modern-day landmark - the Hassan II Mosque.
A pleasant way to spend the day exploring Casablanca is to wander around the Old Medina and city walls, then jump in a taxi and visit the Quartiers des Habous - the new medina full of shaded squares, narrow streets and lined with arcades that lead from one souk to another. This is a great place to enjoy a Moroccan coffee and maybe start working on your bargaining skills. Finish the day with a walk along the Corniche and watch the locals enjoy games of football on the beach during sunset.Hotel Transatlantique or similar
Day 2 - Casablanca - Meknes - Moulay Idriss
After breakfast we can make a quick visit to the impressive Hassan II Mosque, built in 1993 by a team of over 6000 craftsmen. Located on the shores of the city it is an imposing edifice and one of the few mosques in Morocco that foreigners are allowed to enter.
Later we make our way to the station where we catch the local train to Meknes, a journey of about four hours. Meknes was once an imperial city of Morocco and the capital of one of its most colourful eras, when the Sultan Moulay Ismail (a contemporary of Louis XIV) set out to build his own version of Versailles, constructing walls, gates and over 50 palaces with an unstoppable labour force of over 25,000 slaves.
Pop over to the whitewashed village of Moulay Idriss to stay with a local family.Breakfast
Day 3 - Meknes - Fes
Morning visit to Volubilis in the valley below Moulay Idriss.See Roman ruins etc, but a real highlight is the iconic shot of storks nesting on top of the Roman columns.
Volubilis was one of the Roman empire's most remote bases, which remained affluent until the 8th century. The main structures remained intact until they were damaged by an earthquake in the 18th century, after which much of the marble was taken for construction in nearby Meknes.
Back to Meknes for a walk with local guide.
Travel by train from Meknes to Fes (40 min).
Descending into the labyrinthine alleyways of the medina is like taking a giant step back to the Middle Ages. Preserved by the French for its historical value, this preservation also led to the decline of the city's importance, as both government and financial centres were set up elsewhere in the country. With the Jewish population moving away in 1956, and too many rural poor moving in for it to handle, this ancient centre of learning is only a shell of what it used to be. Still, it remains a fascinating living museum where getting lost is half the fun.Breakfast
Day 4 - Fes
Start the day right with a krachel, bghrir or croissant from the bakery washed down with a milky Moroccan coffee. Take a tour of the carpet workshops and get your bearings in the medina, maybe grab some of the world's best pottery to take home.
Have a full day of touring Fes.
Visit pottery and carpet workshops before exploring the medina on foot with local guide.
Main highlights are Musee Belghazi and Funduq Nejjarine.
An orientation walk of Fes around the medina uncovers a living monument to an ancient past and a place still very much alive with the many craftsmen, markets, tanneries, ceramics and mosques. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the city's most beautiful buildings which has recently been restored and is now open to visitors.
We'll also visit the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramic factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way.Breakfast
Day 5 - Fes-Marrakech
Train from Fes to Marrakech via Casablanca. We like trains. Hopefully you do too. If you're travelling during Ramadan don't forget to bring your own snack cos the snack cart will be non-existent. All other times, feel free to order to your heart's content.
One of the main attractions of Marrakech is Jemaa el Fna, where we find fire-eaters, fortune-tellers, actors, musicians and all manner of hawkers. In the centre of this vast throng are hundreds of foodstalls selling hot tagine, spicy dips and numerous other tasty dishes.Hotel Corail or similarBreakfast
Day 6-8 - Marrakech
Stroll the streets of the old medina, Djemaa el Fna. It's been named a world heritage site, which is due to a combination of its age, its cultural significance and the fact that it's continually in use. In other words, it's the architectural equivalent of Morgan Freeman.
Explore Marrakech with a local guide who will show bus the Bahia Palace, medersas and museums and the Djemaa el Fna.Marrakech is lovely city, with palm-lined streets, earthy colours and the Atlas Mountains rising in the distance. There is much to see and do and after our orientation walk, when we are then free to explore the souks and alleyways that lead off to the north of Jemaa el Fna.
Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens.
The other monuments of Marrakech are numerous and range from the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its superb minaret - famous throughout the Islamic world and the 'sister' to the Giralda in far-away Seville, to the lesser-known tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). There's the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, and the ruins of the Palais Badi, reputedly one of the most beautiful palaces in the world in its time. The Saadian tombs are a recently uncovered gem of the Medina. All of the above can be a challenge to locate, but that's all part of the experience of exploring the phenomenal medinas of Morocco.
Marrakech is home to a seemingly endless mosaic of souqs. Each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. More free time in Marrkech, during which you may shop 'til you drop. Or drink mint tea 'til you drop. Not literally, of course.
Free time to shop til you drop. Must-have Moroccan buys include pointy-toed slippers, jelabas, cushions and tajines.
Your trip ends after breakfast on Day 8. Check-out time is usually around 12 noon and you are free to leave at any time.
Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Marrakech.Hotel Corail or similarBreakfast
What to Know
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 15 Mar 2015 - 22 Mar 2015 Available US $590 Book Now 05 Apr 2015 - 12 Apr 2015 Available US $660 Book Now 26 Apr 2015 - 03 May 2015 Available US $660 Book Now 17 May 2015 - 24 May 2015 Available US $660 Book Now 07 Jun 2015 - 14 Jun 2015 Available US $685 Book Now 21 Jun 2015 - 28 Jun 2015 Available US $685 Book Now 16 Aug 2015 - 23 Aug 2015 Available US $710 Book Now 13 Sep 2015 - 20 Sep 2015 Available US $710 Book Now 20 Sep 2015 - 27 Sep 2015 Available US $710 Book Now 11 Oct 2015 - 18 Oct 2015 Available US $680 Book Now 01 Nov 2015 - 08 Nov 2015 Available US $655 Book Now 27 Dec 2015 - 03 Jan 2016 Available US $655 Book Now 13 Mar 2016 - 20 Mar 2016 Available US $655 Book Now 03 Apr 2016 - 10 Apr 2016 Available US $655 Book Now 24 Apr 2016 - 01 May 2016 Available US $655 Book Now 15 May 2016 - 22 May 2016 Available US $655 Book Now 05 Jun 2016 - 12 Jun 2016 Available US $680 Book Now 19 Jun 2016 - 26 Jun 2016 Available US $680 Book Now 14 Aug 2016 - 21 Aug 2016 Available US $705 Book Now 11 Sep 2016 - 18 Sep 2016 Available US $705 Book Now 18 Sep 2016 - 25 Sep 2016 Available US $705 Book Now 09 Oct 2016 - 16 Oct 2016 Available US $680 Book Now 30 Oct 2016 - 06 Nov 2016 Available US $655 Book Now 25 Dec 2016 - 01 Jan 2017 Available US $655 Book Now
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
10,000 Minutes of Morocco
Mohini - Australia, 23 Sep, 2012
Being two girls in Morocco, we thought it would be a better idea to do a tour. So I think the tour was a great way to meet other people and we did not have to worry about organising transport or accommodation as this was all done for us. We wanted to make a few changes to our itinerary and out tour leaders were very helpful in making that happen and explaining to us all the options we had! IT was great and everything worked out very well. Thank you Gecko.
10,000 Minutes of Morocco
Rebecca - United Kingdom, 15 Jan, 2012
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What to know
Entrance fees are not included, you pay these as you go along.