An Imperial Tour of Madrid, Marrakech and Fes

A 10 day trip to Morocco & Spain 
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Palaces embody majestic grandeur as antique fountains trickle in the courtyards of aristocratic mountains while spice stands fill narrow lanes of old towns with exotic aromas. The shine of stately histories emanates from preserved architecture and continued traditions around Madrid, Marrakech, and Fes while the Medinas shimmer with thick, antique walls. Your customizable tour of Spain and Morocco will lead you on an immersive discovery of regal estates and ruins connected to Imperial Rome and the former North African dynasties.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat, Fes

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Madrid – Arrive in Spain’s Bustling and Exciting Capital City of Madrid

The passion of Madrid pours into the daily lives of locals, from art to music and gastronomy to architecture to bring a lively energy, captivating ambiance, and unforgettable culture. Your flight will land at Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport, where your private transfer will greet you upon your arrival. Trees shade the walkways along the main boulevard of the Gran Via as upscale boutique shops provide lavish window displays beneath the Beaux-Arts architecture. Take a moment to settle into the comforts of your luxurious and centrally located accommodation before venturing out to explore the enchanting city streets.

You will begin in the Mercado de San Miguel as the central market boasts colorful produce and an immediate connection to the cosmopolitan culture of Madrid informed by the rich Spanish tradition. The vaulted wrought-iron ceiling contains the simmering aromas of sizzling onions and garlic, leading to the light scent of oranges and lemons along the produce aisles. Plump grapes promise sweet and juicy bites while pastry display cases feature macaroons and creamy, formed custards. For a perfect introduction into Spanish culture, you can partake in a cooking class and learn how for over 100 years the marketplace has been an established part of the city.

What’s Included: accommodation, airport transfer, tour

Day 2: Madrid – Enjoy a Full Day In-Depth Guided Tour of Madrid’s Monuments

In the morning, the cafes around the Plaza Espana will set out their tables and chairs as the aroma of espresso lingers beneath the 18th-century arcades. The cobblestones glint beneath the rosy hues of the palace facades, and your guide will greet you at your hotel after breakfast to lead you through the monuments of Spain’s capital and the Imperial history of the fascinating city. The neo-classical Alcala Gate was originally constructed in the 18th century to a height of nearly 64 feet tall, and two smaller rectangular passageways frame the three large archways as reliefs and capitals decorate the structure beneath the adorning lion’s heads.

The doorways celebrated the arrival of King Charles III who would pass beneath the allegorical figures of Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude. The Royal Palace at the heart of the city represents the grandeur, prestige, and wealth of the monarch on an estate spanning nearly 1.5 million-square-feet. The filigree along the Prince’s Gate reminds you of the décor embellishing the Alcala Gate. The splendor of the palace demands your attention with a grand stairway crafted out a single block of marble. The sunlight pours through the window and glints against the stone stairs set beneath a heavenly fresco blanketing the towering ceiling.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Madrid – Delight in a Full Day Excursion to the Medieval Streets of Toledo

The city of Toledo remains a masterpiece of preservation on the banks of the Tajo River. In the Middle Ages, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities coexisted and collaborated to create a cultural fusion. After breakfast, your guide will greet you at the hotel and lead you outside of Madrid for a full day tour of Toledo. You can hear the waters as they brush past the pebbled riverbanks as you pass over the Alcantara Bridge. The 13th-century Moorish structure offers views to the palace and the streets of town against the foreground of an 18th-century Baroque gateway.

The Bisagra Gate embodies the remains of the Moorish town walls with Islamic architectural elements, from the horseshoe arches with bordering pointed archways added for symmetry. King Alfonso VI entered the city through the gate in the 11th century, and today the city fills with the aroma of rich stone and subtle hints of the cypress and olive trees on the outskirts of the riverbanks. Your guide will take you to the Alcazar, which continues to stand watch over the city atop the hill. The old Moorish fortress was erected over an earlier Roman fort. The Roman ruins add an extra layer of prestige and allure to the grand history of the city as crenelated walls, and four corner towers were added in the 16th-century under the reign of Emperor Charles V.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Madrid – Discover the Preserved Architecture of Avila and Segovia

The Roman Empire expanded across Europe in a way that the world had never before seen, leaving remains of their existence discovered beneath the contemporary world. Segovia is a town that has preserved the living history and contains inspiring architecture. Romanesque churches and majestic monasteries add to the rich cultural heritage that surrounds the town that was founded by the Romans in 80 BC, and a portion of the Roman aqueduct continues to run through the heart of the cityscape.

167 arches contain more than 20,000 granite blocks and carry water more than 10 miles from Acebeda River to the valley floor and reach a maximum height of 90 feet. The aroma of chocolate drifts out of the confectionaries in town, accompanied by the sweet scent of marzipan. Cafes serve the buttery pastries dusted with sugar as you look out at the Alcazar crowns the craggy hilltop that looks like a fairytale castle with its turreted towers. The structure was erected in the 12th-century as an impenetrable fortress after the Moorish occupation, serving King Alfonso VIII.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Marrakech – Arrive in the Lifestyle of Marrakech with a Cooking Class

The grandeur of the past emanates from one of Madrid’s oldest cafes first opened in the 1930s. The streets of Madrid return to life in the morning light, and the aroma of traditional, rich espresso drifts through the doors as your private transfer will greet you in the hotel lobby after breakfast and escorts you to the airport for your flight to Marrakech, Morocco.

The city embodies the traditional culture of the country in the vibrant streets of the Medina. The souks fill with colorful sacks of exotic spices and cafes serve mint tea drizzled with honey. Leather workers dye garments and tinker with purses as shoe stands present elaborate babouche, Moroccan slippers. Your private transfer will meet you at Marrakesh Menara Airport and escort you into the Medina to settle into the comforts of your riad. The streets of the Medina are a fabulous labyrinth bordered by stone homes that have been decorated with archways and firm, textured doors. In the afternoon, you will meet your guide for an introductory cooking course into Moroccan flavors and bring your first experience with local culture through diverse flavors.

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

Day 6: Marrakech – Relish a Full Day Guided Cultural Tour of Marrakech

The life of the city returns to Djemaa el Fna Square with storytellers and snake charmers performing in the light of the morning. The rooftop cafes that look over the cobbled plaza fill with the scent of steeping mint tea and semolina pancakes drizzled with honey. Your guide will greet you in the lobby of the riad as the scent of paprika and cinnamon drifts from the spice stalls in the souk, accompanied by the aroma of rosewater from the perfumeries. Children kick soccer balls against the thick walls in the small open plazas of the Medina, and after traversing the narrow cobbled lanes of the maze-like historical center, you will soon reach the Saadian Tombs.

The elaborate mausoleum was built in the 16th century to intern nearly 60 members of the Saadi Dynasty within three rooms. Colorful tiles and Arabic script decorate the walls, and a vaulted ceiling adorns the Room of the 12 Columns, known for the stunning pillars crafted out of marble. Delicate latticework adds lightness to the décor and contrasts with the heavy marble. Continue to the Bahia Palace where the 19th-century architecture continues to capture people’s attention through a mixture of grace and prestige.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Casablanca – Travel to Cosmopolitan Casablanca for a Half-Day Tour

In the morning, the sounds of the souk return to the streets of the Medina. Vendors selling polished brass and silver framed lights or teapots call out to passersby. The scents of coriander and cumin float beneath the aroma of steeping mint tea. Your private transfer will greet you at your hotel and escort you away from the enchanting Djemaa el Fna Square to reach the city of Casablanca. Palm trees line the wide boulevards and the Atlantic Ocean laps against the rugged shoreline beneath the Corniche, the city’s popular seaside promenade.

Boutique art galleries present vibrant window displays of contemporary Islamic art and old men enjoy sitting in the hidden cafes to play dominoes amongst the aroma of strong Turkish coffee. Chic restaurants overlook the shoreline, and your guide will lead you to the grounds of Hassan II Mosque. The glamorous edifice was erected in the early 1990s and adheres to the historical traditions of Islamic architecture. The minaret soars to a height of 690 feet tall and casts a shadow over the walkway. The aroma of the sea drifts through the air, and you can hear the water that splashes against the rocks beside the mosque. Horseshoe arches and intricate patterns adorn the walls that lead to the main prayer gallery that is decorated with dark wood. 

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

Day 8: Fes – Visit the Capital City of Rabat en route to Imperial Fes

The city of Rabat effortlessly blends the chic ambiance of a contemporary capital with the luster of historical architecture that dates back to the 12th century. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel in Casablanca and escort you to the streets of Morocco’s capital city. Palm trees shade the wide boulevards that lead to the pristine central beach, and the Kasbah evokes a decadent past with thick walls and cobbled walkways that lead to the entry gate of the citadel. The gateway was constructed in the 1190s and face the heart of the city.

The narrow streets have rows of whitewashed houses first erected by Muslims as they fled from Spain during the reunification. The elevated streets offer a view to the riverbanks and the ocean shores along the Semaphore Platform, a plaza situated atop the highest point in the Kasbah. The oldest mosque in the city is located near the plaza and was built in the 10th century and renovated in the 18th century. The roots of the city’s past are on display in the Chellah, where the elements of Phoenicians remains were found on the slopes of the Bou Regreg River, giving way to the Romans in the 1st century AD. 

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

Day 9: Fes – Indulge in the Historical Architecture and Vibrant Culture of Fes

More than 9,000 narrow lanes twist and turn along the Medina of Fes to create the labyrinthine ambiance that fascinates any visitors to the city. Your guide will meet you in a charming riad located at the heart of the maze-like Old City. The aromas of mint tea carry through the souk until overtaken by the scent of the vanilla and coriander that emanate from the spice shops. Sunlight glints off of the brass and copper light fixtures are embellished with stained glass features. Ornate balconies adorn the buildings in the former Jewish quarter known as the Mellah.

The scent of argon oil drifts out of a herb shop filled with tonics made from recipes passed down through the generations. Leather shops border the famous tanneries as crafters work at purses, shoes, and belts while tanners work on dying the material in different shades using the traditional pool that has been used for over three centuries. You can view the work through the shops and will notice the way the tanners gently place the leather into the dyes and try to ensure equal colors across the material.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Fes – Depart for Home

The morning call to prayer echoes through the streets and over the rooftops of the city. Locals venture to the Hammam bathhouse, a public bath filled with relaxing steam at the heart of the Medina as leather vendors return to their trade, along with the spice merchants and herb purveyors. At breakfast, you will find the aroma of honey accompanying your semi-sweet semolina pancakes. Your private transfer will meet 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 

$2,320
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.