Exploring the Golden Triangle of Andalucia & Wonders of Morocco Tour

A 12 day trip to Morocco & Spain 
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Discover the wealth of the sultans and the splendors of Catholic monarchs on your custom tailored itinerary of Spain and Morocco. See the preserved integrity of the Moorish architecture in Spain and the pure culture of Morocco’s renowned Medinas. Listen to the legends of Jamaa el Fna Square in Marrakech and then wander along the marble plazas at the Alhambra in Granada. Bask in the beauty of the Sahara’s rolling sand dunes and then let the rhythm of the flamenco enchant you. From the simple flavors in mint tea to the historical blends of culture in Andalucia, you will relish in the pleasures of the infinite majesty found in Spain and Morocco. 

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
spain seville plaza de espana
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Marrakech, Dades Valley, Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, Erg Chebbi, Todra Gorge, Midelt, Ifrane, Ziz Valley, Fez

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Seville – Arrive in Seville for an Evening of Tapas and Flamenco

The Andalusian city of Seville casts a captivating spell with cobblestone lanes that are nestled between the old whitewashed homes as pedestrian-friendly promenades are shaded by towering palm trees. Antique street lamps continue to line the street amidst the clopping sound of horse drawn carriages around the central plaza. The Moorish past emanates from the remnants of a once great mosque as blossoming orange trees fill the air with a refreshing zesty citrus. Your flight will land at Seville Airport, where your private transfer will greet you upon arrival to make your way to the comforts of your luxurious hotel. You can take some time to enjoy the view and settle into the beauty of the city before partaking in a flamenco show in the evening.

Flamenco embodies the history and the passion of Seville wrapped in the combination of movement and music. The guitarist will strum and fill the renovated gallery with song. The traditional architecture of the building provides a perfect ambiance in which to view the performance, and the sweet, fruity flavor of your sangria layers the evening with perfect tastes. The dancer lifts her traditional ruffled skirt to show her feet as she stomps on the wooden stage. The sound will reverberate through the room, and then the elegant steps will heighten, alternating between taps and stamps, while a percussionist will clap his hands to the beat of the dancer, accompanied by the stimulating speed of the guitarist.    

What’s Included: accommodation, airport transfer, dinner

Day 2: Seville – Explore the Preserved Treasures of Old Town on a Guided Tour 

The beautiful city of Seville fills with the aroma of oranges in the morning as the scent fades beneath the aroma of cinnamon-sugar dusted churros. Your guide will greet you in your hotel lobby after breakfast eager to lead you on a full day tour of the antique city. Giralda Tower acts as a beacon at the heart of the city center that stands nearly 400 feet tall. What once stood as a minaret to the great mosque now acts as a bell tower to the stunning Seville Cathedral, but retains elements of its Moorish past. Pass through the Patio of Orange Trees and touch your fingers to the green leaves and bright fruits before reaching the main portal.

An octagonal fountain trickles at the heart of the plaza, which once was used for ceremonial washings before entering the mosque. The proportions of the nave are striking as the aroma of myrrh sweeps through the five aisles that reach nearly 385 feet long and 250 feet across. The Gothic interior contains a masterpiece of woodcarving that depicts 45 separate scenes from the life of the Virgin and Jesus. Outside of the Cathedral, you can walk among the medieval lanes of the former Jewish quarter, burrowed between the Cathedral and the Moorish fortress was known as the Alcazar. Flowerpots adorn the second-story windows as the painted door frames burst colorfully from the surrounding whitewashed walls.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Cordoba – Travel to Cordoba for a Half-Day Tour around the Great Mosque

In the morning, the aroma of delicious espresso emanates over the streets as the sunlight washes over the 16th-century replica of Pontius Pilot’s estate, which once served as the residence of the Medinaceli Dukes. After breakfast, your private transfer will collect you at your hotel and escort you to Cordoba, a city that proudly displays its history as the center of art, architecture, and academia in the 10th century.

Patios all around are painted with bright reds, blues, and yellows that stand out beautifully from the whitewashed walls of the surrounding homes. The cobbled lanes in the former Jewish Quarter create a majestic labyrinth that leads to charming public plazas. The scent of tomato soup emanates from the tavernas, accompanied by the aroma of Pastel Cordobés, a delicate pastry stuffed with citrus cream. After settling into your hotel, you will follow your guide to the grounds of La Mezquita, the Great Mosque, a masterpiece of Moorish architecture that was built in the 8th century and remains one of the most coveted pieces of Islamic architecture in Spain.

The scent of citrus-zest fills the Patio of Oranges as geometric shapes adorn the doorway that opens to the main prayer hall. The interior is breathtaking, decorated with more than 850 columns that support the graceful archways. The marble and jasper stones glint in the natural light that pours through the windows amongst the red and white stripes that adorn the pillars. The mosque was converted into a Cathedral in the 16th century but maintains the framework from the original edifice.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Granada – Transfer to Granada to Discover the Captivating City at Leisure

The morning light will wash over the golden hues of the Castle of the Christina Monarchs. The 13th-century structure features defensive walls that date back to the Moorish era. Trees and exotic plants decorate the courtyard, and the Hall of Mosaics has incredible displays of historical artwork, including a selection of Roman mosaics. Your private transfer will greet you at your hotel after breakfast and escort you through the maze-like streets of Granada. The Alhambra crowns Sabikah Hill while the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains border the streets to the south.

The city was the mystical capital of the Moorish kings until the 15th century, with the combination of Jewish, Gypsy, and Islamic customs influencing the Catholic tradition over time. The Old Arab Quarter stretches over the slopes of Sacromonte as cypress and sycamore trees add greenery to the whitewashed walls and preserved ramparts that wrap around the district. The Capilla Real strikes a deep impression with a dome that reaches nearly 155 feet tall. Colorful light from the stained-glass windows sweeps across the late Gothic architectural style. The interior contains aromas of frankincense that linger over the Tomb of Ferdinand and Isabella. The Carrara marble glints in the natural light, calling attention to its grandeur with the former monarchs forever resting amongst the detailed carvings of lions, cherubs, and pomegranates. In the evening, you can venture out into the labyrinthine streets of the city with your guide to sample the renowned tapas of the city’s most-famous local retreats.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Granada – Traverse the Splendid Grounds of the Alhambra with your Guide

Relics of the past continue to adorn the streets and skyline of Granada, bringing an antique ambiance that spreads from the remnants of the traditional Arab baths to the golden walls of the 16th-century Monasterio de la Cartuja. Your guide will greet you in the morning and lead you to the incredible walls of the Alhambra. Cypress and oak trees overtake the hillside that leads upwards to the plateau. You will have a view of the winding cobbled streets of Granada’s center and the stunning Sierra Nevada peaks. The preserved grounds of the Alhambra offer a glimpse into the prominence of the Moorish culture in Spain, from the thriving artistry to creative architecture.

As you arrive on the palace grounds, you feel as though you have been transported you to the 14th century, on which the remaining edifice was erected over the former Roman fornications and a 9th-century fortress. Your body will tingle with excitement as you make your way through the stories that are contained in the walls. Green pools in the courtyard reflect the manicured hedges and the budding roses in the garden as palm trees shade the walkways that are decorated with geometric patterns. At the Patio of Lions, you will find 124 columns bordering an arcade as the marble patio brings your eye to the fountain that is supported by 12 lions, each marking an hour of the day.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Marrakech – Arrive in Marrakech for a Day at your Leisure

In the morning, your mind will still be on the ornate stucco decorations that adorned the ceiling in the Dome of the Hall of the Two Sisters. The honeycomb texture that looked like stalactite vaulting inside an ancient cave was reflected in the marble flooring, and the beauty was striking. At breakfast, you will enjoy the aroma of fresh oranges that drifts through the city, accentuated by a pastry stuffed with a citrus cream in the bakery stalls. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to Federico Garcia Lorca Airport for your flight to Marrakech, Morocco.

The promises of Moroccan culture in the vibrant city of Marrakech will fascinate you. The Medina, known as the old city, erupts with museums and spice markets, maze-like lanes and towering minarets that are blocked by antique homes. Palm trees shade the plazas and shoe stores hang traditional leather slippers on their doorways to entice passersby. Your flight will land at Marrakesh Menara Airport, where your private transfer will greet you upon arrival. Your five-star hotel is situated in a riad, a traditional Moroccan palace where a refreshing reflective pool fills the courtyard beneath the decorative filigree and lattice arches along the halls.

Your accommodation offers the charm of authentic antique Morocco with the luxuries of contemporary comfort. In the evening, you will make your way to Jamaa El Fna Square, the heart of the bustling culture of the city. Snake charmers perform in the open plaza as the square fills with the aroma of fresh watermelon and meat cooking over an open grill. Storytellers enchant passersby with tales of the city and legends known to locals as horses trot through the cobbled plaza while you sit at a rooftop café to look over the captivating nightly activity. 

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Marrakech – Enjoy the Cultural and Culinary Pleasures of Marrakech 

At breakfast, the scent of mint tea and honey fills the dining room, accompanied by a semolina pancake and plump grapes. Vendors in the Souk return to their stalls and shops in the drifting light of the morning. The aromas of red pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon amble along the cobblestone lanes of the Medina as you wander. Perfume shops offer pleasant fragrances hinted with rosewater and tanners work their leather-goods to create lavish coats, shoes, and belts. Your guide will lead you on a private tour through the renowned 11th-century Medina, and you could easily spend an entire day amongst the enchanting aromas and vibrant daily life of the old city.

Continue to the Ali ben Youssef Madrasa, a 14th-century theological school decorated with ornate zellige walls, stucco archways, and windows adorned with cedar. The beauty of the architecture brings a serene effect perfect for studying, along with contributing to a sense of wonder beneath the stalactite ceilings. The Saadian Tombs glisten with Carrara marble and honeycomb plasterwork gilded with gold. Poetic Arabic verse decorates the walls of the tomb of Al-Monsour’s mother, connecting the splendor of words with the artistry of the architecture.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Dades Valley – Visit the Kasbahs of Ait Benhaddou and Ouarzazate

In the morning, the aroma of mint tea fills the dining room as the bright colors of berries and grapes accompany the tart flavor of fresh yogurt. You can hear the activity of the Medina returning as vendors call to passersby and horses traipse through the Jamaa el Fna Square. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel after breakfast and escort you east through the High Atlas Mountains to reach the renowned Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, en route to the Dades Valley. The rustic golden hues of the former trade route town continue to blend into the desert landscape.

Sporadic dry brush borders the walls along the outer reaches of the merchant homes. The earthen clay architecture helped to keep inhabitants cool in the summer heat and warm in the winter cold. The steps that lead to the hilltop are long and thin, and the town fills with the scent of the baked earth while a small stream runs alongside the edges of the merchant homes. You can wander through the remaining high towers of the former castle for views of the Saharan landscape and the rooftops of Ait Benhaddou below. Continue to the Dades Valley where camels graze on the verdant grasses of the oasis beneath the soaring date palms and fig trees.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Erg Chebbi – Travel the Todra Gorge to View the Sand Dunes at Erg Chebbi

The aroma of fresh mint tea follows you through the landscape of Morocco, and the refreshing and comforting scent contains hints of honey and sugar that fill the air. The greenery of the oasis outside of your accommodation is an attractive image amidst the surrounding rugged cliffs and desert plains. After a breakfast of semolina pancakes dressed with butter and honey, you will make your way through the Todra Gorge to Erfoud, known as the Gate of the Sahara. The golden desert hues glow in the sunlight as the city center remains active throughout the day, with the aisles of the central market bustling with locals and visitors.

The scent of fresh spices ranging from ginger to cardamom drifts through the market. You will continue into the desert to reach the unforgettable landscape of the sand dunes known as Erg Chebbi. Enjoy a camel ride out into the rolling sandy hills and sway with each step the camel takes, giving new meaning to the “Ship of the Desert.” The sun will begin to set and cast shades of intense reds and oranges over the golden desert. The dunes cover more than 30 miles and can reach a height of nearly 500 feet, looking most like burning waves that spread across the landscape.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Fez – Explore the Ziz Valley and Ifrane, en route to Fez

At sunrise, you will wake to see the Sahara Desert as it turns from white sand to golden. The eastern horizon fills with layers of purple, pink, and yellow as the aroma of honey and mint tea emanates from the nearby fire as the returning sunlight peels away the pristine starlight. After breakfast, you will return to Erfoud and leave behind the seemingly endless expanse of the Sahara Desert. Your private transfer will escort you through the Ziz Valley, winding up the switchback roads for views to the date palms and grasses of the Ziz Oasis.

You will soon reach Ifrane, a town often referred to as Switzerland in Morocco, due to the alpine ambiance at an elevation of more than 5,400 feet. Cedar and oak forests border the streets of the serene town that boasts the title of Africa’s coldest city. A ski resort beckons to locals and visitors alike in the winter with the summer months calling to those eager to view the preserved 1920s French architecture. Trees line the curved streets and are interlaced with parks and chalet-style homes. Barbary macaques linger in the treetops and make their homes in the forest. Their yellowish-brown fur contrasts the lush trees as they grow to nearly 22 inches tall and weigh more than 18 pounds. 

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 11: Fez – Relish a Full Day Guided Tour of the Former Imperial City of Fez

At breakfast, the dining room of your luxury riad will fill with the aroma of soft cheeses, fresh olives, and semolina pancakes dressed with honey. Your guide will greet you in your hotel lobby eager to lead you on an immersive tour of Fez, a city that was established as the Imperial capital of the Idris dynasty in the 8th century.  The Medina continues to promote the captivating daily life of the city as it was nearly 1,300 years ago. Canopies shade the cobbled walkways amongst vendors that offer brass and silver teapots or candleholders while the aroma of dried chili peppers and paprika drift through the air. The old streets weave into a bewildering labyrinth that eventually leads to the entrance of Bab Bou Jeloud.

The sunlight will wash over the gateway that shimmers against the blue tiles. The structure was built in the early 20th century to mark the entrance into the Old City. Three symmetrical horseshoe arches stand amongst the calligraphic and floral embellishments as the sounds of the Souk fill with leather workers tinkering to create shoes and bags while tanners shuffle purposely in the background. The view to the tanneries provides you with an active image of how tanners treat and dye the leathers in the various sized pools that fill the square and are bordered by shops.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 12: Fez – Depart for Home

In the morning, you will find the sweet and soothing aroma of mint tea drizzled with honey filling the air. The scent has now become familiar, and will always remind you of your time spent in Morocco as you enjoyed everything from the jugglers in Marrakech to the sand dunes in the Sahara. You will take your time to savor the fresh yogurt and fruits at breakfast as the sunlight washes over the green tiles that adorn the minaret of Madrasa Bou Inania. The stores in the Souk return to their bustling nature as vendors fill the lanes with perfumes, spices, and oils. Your private transfer will greet you at your hotel when you are ready and escort you to Fes-Saïss Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$2,785
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.