(Rabat, Tangier, Chefchaouen, Fes, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, Essaouira)
Premium tour with a private guide and vehicle featuring the famous Riads of Morocco. Morocco has fascinated travelers for centuries. Morocco takes visitors back to a slower time of mint tea in cool courtyards and sun-drenched bazaars selling everything from hand-knotted carpets to brass platters the size of a cartwheel. A walk down almost any street puts you in the center of a story straight from the Thousand and One Nights…but with 21st-century comforts around every corner. Explore the Imperial cities of Rabat Fez and Meknes before heading south to have a night in the desert in your own private camp. You'll explore the cityby foot in with your private guide who will unlock all of the secrets of this magical city for you. Rounding off this trip you'll spend 2 nights in the magical city of Marrakech which is the perfect end to this incredible journey.
Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by our local representative.
Upon arrival to the airport in Casablanca, be welcomed and assisted through customs & immigrations before being transferred to Rabat. En route you will visit the impressive Hassan II Mosque, the second largest mosque in the world after Mecca in Saudi Arabia (direct payment for the entrance). Continue to visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca, that museum, which covers an area of 700 square meters, is the first of its kind in the Arab world. It consists of created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. It uses world-class standards of conservation for its national and international collections. Drive to Rabat and continue on to Sale, the twin city of Rabat and the birthplace of Rabbi Hayyim Ben Moses Attar, the famous 18th century scholar and cabbalist, known throughout the Jewish world for his bible commentary, the "Or Ha-Hayyim", the famous rabbi, Raphael Encaoua is buried in the Sale cemetery, before being transferred to the hotel.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
The Riad Kalaa is a Kasbah which dates back to the Almoravide dynasty was built in 1815, in the heart of the ramparts of the medina and only a few steps away from the ocean. The hotel has undergone a thorough and lengthy restoration, using artisan workmanship traditional to Morocco. The architecture of the riad is quite unique, with nooks and crannies, terraces, alcoves and salons, ensuring intimacy and a cozy, harmonious and restful ambiance for all the guests.
Travel today between Rabat and Tangier in a private vehicle with an English speaking driver, stopping en-route for some touring around the diplomatic and administrative capital of Morocco, Rabat. Visit the Royal Palace, the wild gardens of the Chellah, a 14th-century Merinid necropolis and a walk through the Andalusian Gardens, within the walls of the Kasbah of the Oudaya. Visit the Hassan Tower, a huge unfinished minaret, built mostly at the end of the 12th century, an architectural wonder worth seeing. Upon arrival into Tangier a transfer to hotel is provided.
Enjoy a city tour of Tangier and its surroundings, including the Spartel Cape and the Hercules Caves. Marvel at the picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean and the famed Strait of Gibraltar, a perfect photo opportunity. Mingle through the Kasbah district located next to the port, before heading towards the old Medina. Visit some of the many shops that line the streets of the Medina and find the perfect handicraft, gift, or memory for yourself or your loved ones. Pass the Grand Sacco and the Mendoubia Park believed to contain the fossil remains of some truly ancient creatures, including some Dragon bones. Next, visit the Petit Sacco with its multitudes of boutique hotels and riads. This historically location has hosted a variety of famous artists including Matisse, Camille Saint Saens, Paul Bowles.
Situated on the Straits of Gibraltar, where Europe and Africa almost touch, El Minzah is a haven of peace and tranquility. During your stay you can relax in the luxuriant gardens, nestled within beds of roses and giant geraniums, lilies, hibiscus and countless exotic plants. The immaculate lawns are shaded by palm, orange and eucalyptus trees. The hotel’s 140 charming rooms are furnished with polished woods and brass, with ornaments and pictures setting off the grandeur of the hotel. Enjoy dinner outdoors in the courtyard or in one of the other restaurants or bars; sit back and enjoy great food, ambiance, and live entertainment. Built in a Spanish Moorish style, El Minzah boasts stunning views over the Bay of Tangier, the Straits of Gibraltar and the Rif Mountains.
Travel today between Tangier and Chefchaouen by private vehicle and english speaking driver.
Travel in a privately driven vehicle to explore the city of Chefchaouen. This beautiful city is located on the Rift of the mountainous region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Iberian Peninsula. Chefchaouen is known worldwide for its Medina of shady alleys, whitewashed houses with blue turquoise doors, wrought iron windows and colorful tile covered roofs. The souks are decorated with their traditionally dressed inhabitants boasting their straw hats.
Situated in front of the Medina of Chefchaouen, in the Mountain & near of the River “Ras El Ma”. Dar Echchaouen is a beautiful guest house; witch is the ideal place to relax and to discover the city of Chefchaouen. The house offers 12 rooms and suites decorated with the pure local tradition; each one of the suites is equipped with Chimney, private bath room, air condition, heating. For your well being the “Dar Echaouen” has a terrace with a splendid view over the old Medina of Chefchaouen, the Mountains & the river of “Ras El Ma”.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Chefchaouen and Fes. During the transfer, enjoy some brief touring stops including a visit to Meknes, the famed Ismailia capital known for its 40 km long walls and numerous gates. Next, visit Bab Mansour, the Royal stables, the amazing markets and also the popular Jewish quarter. Before arriving in Fes, explore the ruins of the ancient city of Volubilis and the holy city of Moulay Idriss. Upon arrival into Fes, a hotel drop-off is provided.
Riad La Maison Bleue is located in one of the most historic quarters of the Fès Medina. A mysterious door off a laneway opens to reveal a wonder of Arabo-Andalusian architecture. La Maison Bleue was built as a family palace in 1915 by Sidi Mohammed El Abbadi, a famous judge and astrologer of the times. Enter the mysterious inner courtyards and lifestyle of the city of Fès, jewel of the Arab world, where blue zellij mosaics, finely carved cedar-wood doors, stained glass windows with wrought iron grilles and stucco cornices come together in refined harmony. You will find the house a haven of peace in the heart of the bustling Medina.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.
Explore the cultural and spiritual center of Morocco during this full day tour of Fes. Also known as Fes el Bali, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded in the 9th century, and is home to the world's oldest university. The city of Fes reached its true economic and cultural height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Merinids, when it replaced Marrakech as the capital of the kingdom. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fes has retained its status as the country's Artisan centre. Artisan workshops in the medina are as active today as they were 100 years ago, and strongly contribute to the city’s industrial economy. Trades such as blacksmithing, leather working, ceramics, silk, tapestries, and sculpting are still practiced in these workshops today. The original ramparts still protect this ancient city and its estimated 9000 narrow passageways and bustling streets.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Fes and Erfoud. Travel through the scenic cedar forest and across the Middle Atlas Mountain range to Midelt, where a lunch break is scheduled. Continue onwards towards Erfoud through the Ziz Gorge passing en-route the ancient, holy city of Rissani and the ruins of Sijilmassa, a once capital stopping locale for the old caravan routings of the 8th century. The approximate travel time is 7 hours.
Enjoy a traditional Moroccan lunch at the hotel Taddarte in Midelt.
A 4x4 vehicle will be waiting for you to continue your adventure by heading towards the dunes of Erg Chebbi, possibly the largest dunes in the Sahara desert. The dunes of Erg Chebbi are a strikingly strange natural formation. On the top of the flattest area you could imagine, suddenly a long mountain of sand rises. This mountain is surrounded by flat and desolate nature on all sides, and you could end up wondering if it really is real. But so it is, even if its existence is so weird that it has given rise to legends and myths among the locals. Upon arrival at the camp you will witness the sunset from over the desert dunes and be astounded by the peace and calm as well as the changing colours of the landscape. If you're up to it you can also ride a camel!
Enjoy your special night under the stars at this beautiful Oasis in a premium tented camp. Experience a camel ride at sunset and sunrise from the top of the dunes. Your desert experience includes an authentic Moroccan dinner under the stars and breakfast in the morning.
Travel today between Erfoud and Ouarzazate with private vehicle and driver. En-route, stop in the Dades Gorge located just southwest of Tinerhir and some 110 km (65 miles) from Ouarzazate. Experience the unbelievable glory of the massive canyon walls reaching some 300 meters (900 feet) high and continuing for some 100 meters (300 feet). A little north-east of the southern city of Ouarzazate, lies the Dadès Valley-stretching out between the peaks of the High Atlas and the Jbel Sarhro mountain range. Known as 'The Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs', it is the most prominent of the oasis valleys that dominate southern Morocco. Before reaching Ouarzazate, you will make a stop in Skoura - one of Morocco’s beautiful oases. Skoura offers travellers a chance to rest their weary feet and enjoy the abundance of nature. At first glance from the road, it resembles a sort of thin, long, oasis. However once you get off the road you discover that Skoura in Morocco is very large and that what appeared to be a line of trees is actually a flourishing oasis. Continue to your lodging in the Ouarzazate area.
On the edge of the desert at Ouarzazate where the stunning light shines on a setting of natural beauty, Hotel Riad Ksar Ighnda opens its doors for you onto the Atlas Mountains: a rendez-vous for discerning lovers of luxurious sensations and relaxation.
A private vehicle with an English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.
Relax as a private vehicle with English speaking driver provides a transfer towards Marrakech, for a visit to the village of Ait Ben Haddou. Located approximately 60 kilometers from Skoura this fortified village (or ksar) is ideally positioned along a once frequented, ancient caravan route linking the Sahara and Marrakech. Ait Ben Haddou has been used in numerous Hollywood film productions for its distinctive architecture. In 1987 this famed location was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next, travel to the village of Telouet, located approximately 1 hour north of Ait Ben Haddou. Telouet hosts one of the area's most recognized structures, the palace of the 'Lord of the Atlas.' This palace was the residence of the once Vizier of Marrakech, back in the early 20th Century. An evocative relic of the time when the Glaoui clan ruled over the Atlas and Marrakech, the palace was the family’s Headquarters and was situated in a dramatic location, on a broad mountain valley, providing sweeping views of the peaks on all sides. Continue from here back onto the main road back to Marrakech, crossing on the dramatic Tizi n'Tichka passage through the High Atlas Mountains range on the way. Whilst passing take time to notice the many beautifully-terraced valleys and adobe villages perched precipitously on the hillsides.
Travel today between Ouarzazate and Marrakech in a private vehicle with an English speaking driver. The route through Ouarzazate to Marrakech offers wonderful photo opportunities including views of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Aït Ben Haddou, where movies such as Gladiator and Jesus Of Nazareth were filmed, and the dramatic Tizi n'Tichka mountain pass.
Enjoy an afternoon guided tour by horse drawn carriage through the Gardens of Majorelle, a property acquired in 1922 by the painter Jacques Majorelle. In 1980 the ownership of the garden changed and now belongs to the families of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. Also enjoy a brief tour of the Gardens of Menara. This garden area extends over a hundred hectares and has in its center an immense pool dating from the XIIth century. At the edge of water, amongst the various plants and olive trees is a small Saadien house which over the last century has been rebuilt and renovated back to its original beauty. Enjoy the remainder of the evening exploring the nearby monuments which surround the gardens.
La Maison Arabe, a legendary hotel located in the romantic medina of Marrakech, includes 26 rooms and suites, three restaurants, a swimming pool, spa and cooking school.
Your tour usually starts at the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. This mosque's beautiful minaret dominates the skyline of Marrakech and can be seen from almost every approach to the city thanks to a long-standing planning ordinance that forbids any other building in the old city to rise above the height of a palm tree. You will also visit the El-Bahia Palace, this 19th century palace is elaborate in its decoration and was built over a period of seven years for Ba Ahmed, the son of the Grand Vizier Si Moussa. There are row after row of apartments—that once housed Ahmed's harem—a trapezoidal garden, a huge tiled courtyard, and many hidden treasures, both in the form of antique objects d'art and the palace's convergence of Andalusian and Moorish architecture. One of most visited sites in Morocco is the Saadian Tombs which were only accessible via the mosque next door. However, in 1917 they were opened to the public and can now be accessed via a narrow passage that leads to an enclosed garden watched over by two mausoleums that include more than one hundred mosaic decorated tombs. The Koranic School Medersa Ben Youssef which is a Theological college founded by the Merenid Sultan Abu Hassan in the 14th century, and restored in 1564 by the Saadians who made it the largest theological college in the Maghreb and a rival to the important Medersa Bou Inania in Fés.
Morning excursion to the High Atlas Mountains and Kasbah du Toubkal. Head south from Marrakech along the hairpin bends which eventually leads to one of only two passes through the High Atlas Mountains. Perhaps make a brief stop at the Berber villages of Tahanoute or Asni and continue to the village of Imlil, where you will take a ten minute walk up to Kasbah du Toubkal. Mules will be available if you prefer to ride! Situated on a hilltop with commanding views of the surrounding valley, the Kasbah du Toubkal was built as a summer palace for the Pasha El Glaoui. It is now a wonderful place to experience Berber hospitality and a great base from which to explore the High Atlas. Enjoy a traditional Berber lunch on the terrace overlooking the snow-capped peaks or a picnic lunch on the trail. You may wish to take a stroll to a nearby Berber village, where an invitation to share mint tea with the locals can be arranged. Kasbah du Toubkal has been heavily involved in sharing its prosperity with the local mountain villages, sponsoring much-needed health and educational projects. Back to Marrakech at your leisure and the remainder of the day is free for more exploration of Marrakech.
Travel in a privately driven vehicle, with an English speaking driver between Marrakech and Essaouira. The approximate travel time is 2.5 hours.
Enjoy a private tour of Essaouira, one of the most picturesque towns in the country. You will dive into it's history and see how as an original Phoenician trading post, it prospered during the Roman era as citizens extracted the Tyrian purple colour from a local shellfish. Explore the fortifications that ring the city were built by the Portuguese and is inherent to the charm of Essaouira. You will have time to see the other attractions including the port, where a daily supply of fresh fish can be found, and the tremendous beach that stretches away to the south. The easy-going nature of the town, the medina, the dramatic fortifications and the beach, have created a bohemian atmosphere quite different from the rest of the country. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to your hotel in Essaouira.
At the edge of the ramparts, Dar L'Oussia stands as a sentry scanning the horizon. With warm hospitality, attentive and discreet service, Dar L'Oussia welcomes guests to its 24 rooms and suites decorated in traditional elegance. The Riad also offers a traditional hammam and a small spa with massage. This hotel lounges in the sun offering gorgeous views of the bay, the sea, the port and the Medina. It is the perfect place to unwind in this beautiful town.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal today.
Essaouira offers a great variety of optional activities. Choose between mountain biking, hiking, horseback, fishing, sailing, surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, camel rides, visits to vineyards, trekking, visits to Argan oil production, rural tourism.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Essaouira and Casablanca. The approximate travel time is 6 hours.
Depart from Casablanca International airport - end of itinerary.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! I seriously doubt that two other people could have made this trip as fantastic and special as they did! Within days, it was like 4 friends were traveling together through the country.
Ismail did the tour in English and Spanish for us to ensure that we fully understood everything we saw and experienced. His passion for his country and culture was incredible and we learned an astounding amount about Moroccan history, food, agriculture, business, religion, fashion, and people. Through his shared knowledge, we have a deep love and appreciation of Morocco that we have would not have had otherwise.
We were so happy with all of the amazing places Ismail took us which included the common tourist spots but also a ton of local places tourist never experience. We were exceedingly thrilled and it enriched our vacation beyond any expectations. Ismail even helped us get jobs in Morocco; I kissed snakes and Armando worked in a public bakery. ;-) (see the pics)
We are also aware that we would not have experienced 10% of what we did had we done this trip alone or been on a large bus tour. Clearly, you have given us a wonderful gift of special memories, which we will never forget. We both want to return to see the north and of course we want to have Ismail and Said with us.
Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - which is the best gift of all!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Avi J. Moskovitz & Armando Silva
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
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