Morocco, Portugal & Spain
(20 Days / 19 Nights )
Morocco, Portugal and Spain in a row? You can’t ask for more in one vacation!
In this amazing tour, you will explore Morocco, which is a Holiday Paradise for any traveler thanks to the spectacular Atlas Mountains, the Berber (Amazigh) villages, the lush valleys and Oases, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and the huge Sahara Desert… Morocco is deeply rooted in history and its branches are widely open to the modern world. Morocco is one of the top travel destinations in the world, and being one of the three combined countries in this tour, Morocco will be a BONUS for your vacation…
Moving from Morocco to Portugal is a wonderful next step in your vacation. You will move to a country with a very rich history, being the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe. Portugal established the first global empire and part of Morocco, mainly the city of El Jadida historically known as Mazagão, was part of this empire. In fact, wherever you travel across the globe, you will most likely find a profound Portuguese cultural and architectural influence. Portugal is definitely a BIG PLUS to your wonderful vacation.
After Morocco and Portugal, you will crown your wonderful vacation with Spain. The same as Morocco and Portugal, Spain has a very rich history too. It is enough to mention that the country in the early modern became the world’s first global empire. As a result of this, Spanish nowadays is the world’s second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese, with more than 570 million Hispanophones. Spain shared a large part of its history with Morocco and North Africa in general. This shared history is refered to as Al-Andalus, or Andalusia. In fact, Spain has a lot to offer for your vacation…
Morocco, Portugal & Spain in one trip? What an offer!
Cities covered in this tour
Arrive at Casablanca airport; Meet and greet by your driver/guide and transfer to the hotel. Check in at the hotel. Enjoy the city tour of Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco and its largest city. Visit the famous Hassan II mosque, the landmark mark of the city with the tallest minaret in the world (210 metres (689 ft)). Stop next at Ain Diab Corniche, which is one of the city’s most fashionable districts. Complete the city tour with the visit of Mohammed V Square in the city center. Optional dinner. Overnight in Casablanca.
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to Rabat, the capital of Morocco and one of the Imperial Cities. Enjoy the city tour of Rabat. Visit the Kasbah of the Oudayas. This Kasbah was constructed during the realm of the Almohads dynasty (12th century). Stop next at Mohammed V Mausoleum, which is home to the tombs of the current king’s father and grandfather. Your last stop in Rabat is Hassan Tower, which is a minaret built in 1195. Transfer to Meknes, one of the oldest cities in the kingdom. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Visit Meknes which was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727), a contemporary of Louis XIV, before it was relocated to Marrakesh. Stop at the massive Bab El Mansour gate, which is the grandest of all imperial Moroccan gateways. Bab El Mansour gate was completed by Moulay Ismail’s son, Moulay Abdallah, in 1732. Stop next at Hri Souani, which is a complex of three different buildings built for granaries and stables. This amazing site has been used as a scene for many films, the most famous of which is probably “The Last Temptation of Christ” in 1988 by Martin Scorsese. Transfer to the UNESCO-sponsored Roman ruins in Volubilis, a Berber and Roman city partly excavated by the UNESCO. Volubilis was considered as the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania. The city was developed from the 3rd century BC onward as an Amazigh, then proto-Carthaginian, and from from the 1st century AD onward, the city grew rapidly under the Roman rule. Arrive to Fes, the spiritual capital of Morocco. Optional dinner. Overnight in Fes.
Breakfast in the hotel. Enjoy a guided full day city tour of Fes. Begin with the entrance to the largest royal palace in Morocco. Continue with a panoramic view of the ancient medina. Enjoy an authentic experience at the traditional ceramic crafts village of Fes after that. Your next stop is Fes El Bali, the ancient town or Medina, which is a medieval part of Fes that has not changed for centuries. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Visit the famous Al-Karaouine mosque, built by Fatima Al Fihria in 857. Al-Karaouine mosque became home to the University of Al-Karaouine, which is the first university in the world and the world’s foremost center of learning at the beginning of the second millennium. The university was built by Fatima Al Fihria in 859, and, since then, it has become one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world. In the medina, visit also a Merdersa, which is a Coranic school. Complete the city tour of Fes with the leather Souq and the oldest Leather Tannery in the world. The tannery dates back at least nine centuries. Optional dinner. Overnight in Fes.
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to the Sahara desert. The journey takes you through the Middle Atlas Mountains. Stop first in Ifrane, a charming town and ski resort. Ifrane is famous for its Alpine climate, European-style houses and its 1665 metres (5,460 ft) in elevation. The town experiences snow during winter months and a cool climate during summer. Ifrane is also the place where the lowest temperature was ever recorded in Africa, -24 °C in 1935. While in Ifrane, expect to find animals like the threatened Barbary Macaque and local tree species such as the native Atlas cedar, Scrub oak and the introduced London plane. Arrive at Midelt which serves as the commercial center of a large agricultural hinterland. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Transfer through many Amazigh (Berber) villages and along the Ziz valley to get to Erfoud. Enjoy a sunset camel ride to your charming desert camp by the dunes. Dinner in the Desert Camp. Overnight in Merzouga.
Breakfast in the camp. Optional 4×4 Jeep desert tour. Visit a Gnaoua village, locally called Al Khamlia. Meet some nomad families. Drive to Tinghir via Rissani and Tinjdad. Tinghir is a gorgeous 40km oasis, which boasts one of the largest palm groves in the country. Stop at the famous Todra Gorge, a 300m wall, carved deep into the High Atlas Mountains. Thanks to its robust rock sides with many uneven surfaces, Todra Gorge is popular among rock climbers. More than 150 routes rated French Grade 5+ to 8 have been bolted in the canyon. Todra Gorge was featured on the premiere of the United States reality show Expedition Impossible. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Leave Tinghir heading to Dades. The drive is spectacular, winding through stunning desert landscapes, villages with the expansive Jebel Sarhro lunar-scape. Dades is known as valley of figs. Dades valley featured prominently in a 2012 advertisement for the Cadillac CTS. Transfer to Ouarzazate. The drive is spectacular, with hundreds of Kasbahs lining the route. Stop first at Kelaat M’Gouna, a big town which is famous for cultivating roses. Expect to find many fine, rose-infused products there. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight in Ouarzazate.
Breakfast in the hotel. Enjoy the city tour of Ouarzazate, also known as “Morocco’s Hollywood”. Visit Taourirt Kasbah, which is considered one of the most beautiful kasbahs in Morocco. Next, visit the film studios where some of the most famous desert landscapes were and are still being shot. Leave Ouarzazate to the spectacular fortress of Ait Ben Haddou. The village is a great example of earthen clay architecture that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Ait Ben Haddou is an iconic landscape immortalized in such films as “The Man Who Would Be King (film) (1975)”, “Jesus of Nazareth (1977)”, “The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)”, “Gladiator (2000)”, “Son of God (film) (2014)”. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Transfer to Marrakech crossing the High Atlas Mountains. Optional dinner. Overnight in Marrakech.
Breakfast in the hotel. Enjoy a guided city tour of Marrakech. Stop first at the Koutoubia Mosque, which is an old monument built under the reign of the Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184 to 1199). This monument inspired other buildings such as the Giralda in Seville in Spain and the Hassan Tower in Rabat. Stop next at the Bahia Palace. This Palace was built in the late 19th century and was intended to capture the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan style. Stop next at the Saadian tombs, which is a site that dates back to the time of the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603). The tombs were discovered in 1917 and were restored by the Beaux-arts service. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Continue the tour with the world famous Jema El Fna Square where you will enjoy amazing performance of traditional activities by storytellers, snake charmers, peddlers of traditional medicines. Your last stop is the bustling souks in the old medina. Optional dinner. Overnight in Marrakech.
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to Marrakech airport for your departure flight to Lisbon. Arrival at Lisbon airport and transfer to the hotel in Lisbon. Rest of the day at leisure. Optional dinner. Overnight in Lisbon.
Breakfast in the hotel. Departure to the district of Castelo, to visit the Castle of São Jorge, located on the highest hill of Lisbon, one of the most emblematic monuments of the capital. Then we will descend the old district of Alfama, characterized by its white houses, labyrinthine streets, inner courtyards and dead ends. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we leave to Belém, where monuments referring to the Maritime Discovery era in the 15th and 16th centuries were erected, such as the Belém Tower, the Monument to the Discoveries and the Jerónimos Monastery. Visit to the National Coaches Museum, containing one of the most important and rich collections of coaches in the world. Return to the hotel. Optional dinner. Overnight in Lisbon.
Breakfast in the hotel. Departure from the hotel towards Sintra, a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover the charms and history of the town that enchanted kings and poets. Visit to the romantic National Pena Palace. If weather permits, we will then stop at the westernmost point of mainland Europe, Cabo da Roca. On the way to Cascais along the coast, be dazzled by the seascape. In Estoril, place where Ian Fleming got the idea for the James Bond character, we highlight the gardens of one of the largest Casinos in Europe. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Return to the hotel. Optional dinner. Overnight in Lisbon.
Breakfast in the hotel. Departure to the charming village of Óbidos. Travel back in time to this walled medieval town and admire its Gothic churches and narrow, winding streets. Continue to Batalha to visit the church of the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Proceed to Coimbra. Optional dinner. Overnight in Coimbra.
Breakfast in the hotel and check-out. Visit of Coimbra, the city of students, so called to host one of the first universities in Europe and the largest in the country. Stroll in the oldest part of Coimbra, made of narrow and steep streets that lead to the top of the hill. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Porto passing by Aveiro, the “Portuguese Venice”, crossed by the Ria de Aveiro, lagoon basin where the fresh waters of the Vouga river mix with the waters of the sea, navigable by the moliceiros, small colored boats. Optional dinner. Overnight in Porto.
Breakfast in the hotel. With a magnificent location near the mouth of the Douro and an architectonic ensemble of exceptional value, the historic center of Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 12th century Cathedral, the Stock Exchange Palace. Also discover other important places, such as the Lello Bookstore, the Majestic Café and the magnificent São Bento Station. Optional lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we leave in the direction of the Serralves Park which extends, from the House of Serralves, on 18 hectares which include gardens, forests, a rose garden and a romantic lake which are a real refuge for who wants to flee the confusion of the city. The day ends with a 50-minutes boat trip on the Douro river. Return to the hotel. Optional dinner. Overnight in Porto.
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to Porto airport for your departure flight to Barcelona. On arrival at Barcelona Airport, after completing Immigration and Customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your Hotel. Overnight in Barcelona.
In the morning we head to the stalls of Santa Catarina Market, a huge trove of local produce beneath a colourful, undulating roof, and hang out with the locals as they select the best produce that they’ll transform in to big weekend family meals. The city is famous for its architecture, from its impressive gothic main cathedral to the houses, concert halls, palaces and basilicas designed in the unique Catalan Modernista style. The master of this movement was Antonio Gaudi, whose eccentric creations are dotted all over the city. A visit to Gaudi’s masterpiece, the modern cathedral of La Sagrada Familia, is a must, Gaudi worked on this hugely ambitious project for decades until his death, and it remains in constant construction. For more insight into the artist himself, we head to the Gaudi House Museum inside Parc Guell, home to more colourful sculptures, including a long mosaic-covered bench overlooking the city, before taking in Gaudi Park. The remainder of the late afternoon and evening is at leisure. Overnight in Barcelona.
Today take the train to Madrid (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival, enjoy a picnic lunch in Madrid, Spain’s central capital, known for its elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks. It’s renowned for its rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum’s works by Goya, Velázquez and other Spanish masters. The heart of old Hapsburg Madrid is the portico-lined Plaza Mayor, and nearby is the baroque Royal Palace and Armoury, displaying historic weaponry. As this stylish, cosmopolitan city is also well known for world-class restaurants, shopping and night life, enjoy your free afternoon, perhaps visiting some of these wonders. Sports fans, if you’re lucky enough for your trip to fall on match day, you can don a white t-shirt and head to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to watch the mighty Real Madrid. You have two days in Madrid to soak it all in. At night, head out to Chueca, Plaza Dos de Mayo or Plaza Santa Ana, where the pulse of the city will lead you from bar to bar on a night out you are sure to remember.
Today we spend most of the day discovering Madrid. We start with walk along the Paseo del Arte, or Art Walk, for an expansive history of Western art. We discover modern Spanish masters, including Picasso and Dali, in the Museo Reina Sofia’s 20th century collection. before heading to the San Miguel Market to view fabulous local delicacies , perhaps dine here for a casual lunch and superb coffee. We then take a casual stroll exploring the narrow streets of Las Letras quarter ( Literary Quarter) The neighbourhood is formed by narrow streets which are either pedestrianized or with restricted access to traffic, and pleasant squares such as the Plaza de Santa Ana. This is an area where it is easy to find houses in which towering literary figures of the Spanish Golden Age such as Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Góngora and Cervantes lived and wrote. This is why on the cobbles of many of the streets you’ll find inscriptions and brief texts from the works of some of these writers. Another of the charms of the Las Letras quarter is its abundant offer of shops and businesses, which include everything from the most traditional establishments with centuries of history (such as cobblers, silversmiths and lute-makers) to modern avant-garde venues. You’ll also find numerous restaurant and pavement cafes where you can enjoy the gastronomy of Madrid and the popular Spanish custom of ‘going out for tapas’. A drive by Madrid’s famous monuments and soccer stadium completes our day of sightseeing before we enjoy an evening at leisure. Overnight in Madrid.
This morning you will be transferred to Granada- a 4 hour leisurely drive by coach. Take a walk around the old Arab quarter of the Albaicin, a labyrinth of crooked alleys, fountains, plazas and whitewashed houses, or the ‘Alcaiceria’ (old silk market area) and observe the craftworks on sale that include ceramics, marquetry and leather goods. If you’re feeling energetic, climb the steep streets up to the Mirador de San Nicolas for sunset views over the famous Alhambra. If you have time, perhaps check out the historic Renaissance Catedral and Capilla Real, or get geeky at the city’s extensive Science Park. Granada is the kind of city to leave your guidebook behind and trust your intuition. Discovering the narrow streets of Albaicin and the white-walled house garden of Realejo quarter may lead your adventurous spirit to find something that you have long been looking for. In the evening, perhaps head to one of the small flamenco taverns around the city and see how the art form here differs from Seville’s version or Optional excursion: look to catch a local flamenco show with dinner uniquely performed in an intimate cave setting. Overnight in Granada.
This morning, we will visit to Granada’s impressive Alhambra Palace, set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Discover this 11th-century marvel and its dominating red fortress towers, sumptuous palace decor, multitude of architectural styles and magnificent gardens. An entrance ticket is included in the trip and grants you the visit of Nasrid Palace and the Gardens. Audio guides in multiple languages are available on the day for EUR 4. The Alhambra was first built by the Moors as a fortress during the Muslim rule of Spain. A walk through the compound’s luxurious rooms and gardens gives you an idea of the decadent lifestyle of the Moorish kings. The Alhambra is made up of three parts: the Alcazaba, the 11th-century Muslim wing which features spectacular views from its towers; the Palacio Nazaries, the centre of the complex; and Generalife, the summer palace of the sultans. In the fternoon transfer to Madrid. Overnight in Madrid.
Transfer to Madrid airport for your departure flight.
No Surprises !