London to Marrakech Express
Day 1 London
On Day 1 we meet in London at 6pm and make our way by train to Paris (please refer to joining instructions for more information on where to meet). Please note the trip departs London in the evening of Day 1, so it is imperative you arrive on time for departure soon after the 6pm Welcome Meeting. Please ensure you allow plenty of time for your journey to London to allow for any possible delays.
Day 2-3 Paris (1L)
After an orientation walk with your CEO on Day 2, we will enjoy a picnic opposite the Eiffel Tower. Then you are free to explore on your own to discover the “je ne sais quoi” of the City of Lights. Paris has something for everyone and you can use your days here to explore the outstanding museums and churches, float down the Seine on a river cruise or people watch at one of the charming cafés. Wander the streets, watch life go by from one of the many cafés and be sure to hit up the nightlife in the evening.
Day 4-6 Barcelona
Transfer to the airport for a quick flight to Spain. After checking into the hotel, enjoy an orientation walk of Barcelona including the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas. Opt to visit Parc Güell and go for an evening tapas and wine bar stroll. Free time to visit the Sagrada Familia and other Gaudí masterpieces or the museums of Montjuïc and Barceloneta. Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city, but it is the capital when it comes to fashion, architecture, food and music. Known worldwide for its dynamic atmosphere and exciting style, Barcelona never disappoints. There is plenty of history too: visit the old Gothic Quarter with its maze of dark streets, historic cathedral, medieval buildings, bars and cafes. Stroll the Rambla, a large tree-lined pedestrian boulevard perfect for people-watching and window shopping, ending at the harbourfront facing the Mediterranean Sea. Make sure to view Gaudi’s most famous life work, the cathedral La Sagrada Familia, an inspiring yet bizarre testament to the artist’s unique vision. Find some quiet time away from it all with a visit to the imaginative Park Güell to stroll the tree-lined paths and admire more of Gaudi’s creative genius at play. Find time to tour the beautiful Palau Musica, built between 1905 and 1908 as a home for catalan music, as it is full of light and of colour. For nightlife, the highest concentration of beautiful young locals dancing, both in the bars and on the street, can be found near the intersection of Santaló and Mariano Cubi streets. Here you can always find good music, good drinks and lots of fun. Another good nightlife spot for meeting the fashionable locals of Barcelona is on the Plaza Francesc Maciá. Overnight bus to Granada on Day 6.
Day 7 Granada
Orientation walking tour of Granada and guided visit of the Alhambra, one of the greatest accomplishments of Islamic art and architecture, and the highlight of the trip for most visitors. During the Muslim rule of Spain, Granada was one of the region’s most regal cities. The greatest Muslim legacy in Europe, the Alhambra, is located in Granada. The Alhambra has captured the imagination of visitors for years, and much has been recorded about the history and purpose of this area. No amount of reading or study can truly prepare you for your first visit—it is simply breathtaking. The Alhambra is divided into three sections: the Alcazaba, the Palacio Nazaries and Generalife. The Alcazaba is the Alhambra's Muslim 11th century wing, offering spectacular views of the city from the tops of its towers. The Palacio Nazaries is the center of the Alhambra, and is most famous for its detailed works and gardens. The Generalife was the summer palace of the sultans. We include a full guided visit of the Alhambra to help you make the most of this truly memorable experience. Granada, however, has so much more to offer than the Alhambra, magnificent as it is. Take a wander through the whitewashed historic quarter of the Albaicin, with its narrow lanes and fantastic views back to the Alhambra - this is a great place to go for sunset. A trip to Granada wouldn't be the same without a night on the town, the city is filled with trendy tapas bars and has a lively music scene.
Day 8 Seville
Travel to Seville on Day 8, one of the most colourful and exciting cities in Spain. We spend our time here exploring Muslim monuments, parks and gardens at our leisure, getting a feeling of Seville's energetic pulse while savouring some tapas at the city's many bars and cafés. This evening we will head out to an evening flamenco performance. After your CEO has taken you on a short orientation walk to get your bearings, you will have time to take in all this great city has to offer. Be sure to explore the wonderful interiors and gardens of the Alcázar, a magnificent palace dating from Moorish times. During Seville’s warm summer nights (until mid-September) you can enjoy a series of concerts in the beautiful setting of the Reales Alcazares. The true heart of Seville lies in the Santa Cruz quarter a charming area with its winding alleys, picturesque lime-washed houses,flowery patios and small squares. Seville is home to the world’s largest gothic cathedral. The climb to the adjoining tower, known as La Giralda, is well worth the effort for the great views of the city. The 76m Giralda was constructed by the Moors as a mosque between 1184 and 1197; after the reconquest Christians fitted the minaret with its bell tower in 1568. Other attractions include the Museo Arqueológico, the Casa de Pilates and the Parque de María Luisa, which has a maze of paths, garden beds, pretty little patios, fountains and shaded lawns.
Day 9-10 Chefchaouen
Ferry over to Morocco, then enjoy an orientation tour of the city. Afterwards, you're free to explore Chefchaouen where you can discover its hidden charms and soak up some if its Andalucian heritage. Cut into the sides of two mountains, Chefchaouen is a vista of blue and white lime-washed houses huddled into narrow alleyways. One of the most rewarding things to do is to simply relax on the terrace of a cafe in the central medina, where you can enjoy the ambience of this charming town. The djellaba, the traditional hooded garment worn by the men and women of North Africa, was created here. Chefchaouen is a great place to check out many of Morocco's ancient crafts. Visit one of the many traditional oil mills, a weaving workshop, basket-making and its pottery. You may like take part in a pottery workshop and create your own masterpiece. Don't miss a visit to one of the village's unusual communal attics or the chance to sample the local goats' milk cottage cheese. Yum!
Day 11-12 Fes
Transfer by bus to the town of Fes. Start exploring in the ancient labyrinth of the medina and if you find your way out you can head to the leather tanneries and dye pits. The whole medina itself will whisk you back in time as you wander the alleyways which have barely changed in appearance since medieval times. When in Morocco, it is also all about the food. Fes is known for its extravaganzas of mezas (small plates of food) common among Fassis tradition. Mezas may include such delights as: choukchouka salad, zaalouk salad, carrots with cumin seed, raisin and orange salad, cold radish, orange, and fennel salad—don't miss trying a few. There's plenty of time to take a side trip to some of the other worthwhile sights in the area, too. The charming town of Meknes, another of Morocco's Imperial Cities, is a short day trip from Fes where you can explore the old palace and granaries or try out your tastebuds on a camel burger! The spectacular Roman ruins of Volubilis can also be found just a short ride away, either en route to or from Meknes. This sprawling and well preserved site evokes images of Romans lounging in bath houses or feasting under the cyprus trees. We will be staying in the the new city of Fes, built by the French during their Protectorate of Morocco. This area has the feel of a French provincial town, with its cafés, restaurants and wide boulevards. Head off for a Moroccan feast at one of the many restaurants and finish off the night with some famous Moroccan mint tea and a shisha! Approx travel time: 4 hrs (public bus)
Day 13 Casablanca
Step back in time in the Old Medina, admire the spectacular Hassan II Mosque (second largest in the world after Mecca!), explore the art deco quarter or lounge on Casablanca's long sandy beach.
Day 14 Marrakech
A great place to start your exploration of Marrakech is Djemaa el Fna square, the heart of Marrakech, that changes its offerings throughout the day. In the morning you’ll wander past the fresh orange juice stalls, water sellers in colourful costumes with traditional leather water bags and brass cups, and snake charmers reminiscent of an era past. As the day progresses the snake charmers are replaced by Chleuh dancing-boys, story-tellers, magicians, and peddlers of traditional medicines. As the sun sets, the square fills with dozens of food-stalls, packed with locals and the entertaining chefs and waiters. Grab a spot on a bench with the other diners and try the Tanjia (slow cooked lamb), Harira soup, grilled seafood, famous Moroccan couscous, tajine, snails or even sheep’s head for the truly adventurous, and wash it all down with some spiced tea. To really get a taste of everyday life in Marrakech, head into the maze of tiny streets and alleyways of the ancient medina. Tourists and locals alike will find everything they desire in the souks, whether it’s spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or famous Moroccan lanterns, the selection here is exhaustive, and don’t forget to bargain, it's definitely part of the fun!!! For history and architecture buffs Marrakech is sure to dazzle. The Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs, Ben Youseff Medersa and Almovid Koubba are all easy to get to and well worth a visit. Once you’ve tired yourself out, relax at one of the tea houses around the square, indulging in the ubiquitous sweet mint tea, watching the hustle and bustle from your shady spot.
Day 15 Marrakech
Depart at any time.