(Fes, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, Essaouira, Casablanca)
As you walk through the crisp night air, you notice the absolute stillness around you, while millions of shimmering stars awaken in the immeasurable heavens above. You enter your tent and the warm amber glow of antique lanterns lights the dozens of luxurious tapestries that line the walls and floor. You slip into bed, surrounded by the finest linens, and dream a dream not quite as enchanting as your current reality.
Step into the pages of a Conde Naste spread on this exclusive journey through the glorious highlights of Morocco. Experience resplendent Casablanca, with its Art Deco buildings and palm-lined avenues studded with charming cafes; be seduced by the labyrinthine medina of Imperial Fez and visit its many souks, monuments and palaces; and try to hold onto reality in Marrakech where snake charmers and speeding donkey carts are part of the mundane. From refined riads tucked away on charming cobbled streets, to premium tented desert camps under skies of dazzling stars, our exclusive accommodations offer luxury and sophistication. Private chauffeured vehicles and expert local guides will be happily at your service all throughout your journey.
Enjoy a tour of Fez and visit the many artisan shops that line its 9000 narrow passageways and bustling streets. Set out on a rugged adventure in your own 4X4 vehicle towards the dunes of Erg Chebbi, possibly the largest dunes in the Sahara desert, for a memorable camel ride, then watch the sun set over the red earth from your dreamy tented camp. Make your way to marvelous Marrakech and tour the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, the El-Bahia Palace, and the famous Saadian Tombs. Enjoy a private tour of Essaouira, one of the most picturesque towns in the country, before venturing toward the modern and beautiful city of Casablanca. A stunning mélange of elegant buildings, grand avenues and Moorish flourishes, Casablanca’s many highlights, such as King Hassan II mosque and the Jewish Historical Museum, are not to be missed. This exclusive adventure through one of Africa’s jewels is one you’ll never forget.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Upon arrival into Morocco, you will be met at the door of the plane and escorted through Customs and Immigration avoiding any queues.
Upon arrival to Mohammed V Airport in Casablanca, be welcomed by an English speaking guide before being transferred to your hotel in Fes. 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 the diplomatic and administrative capital of Morocco, Rabat. Visit the Royal Palace, the wild gardens of the Chellah, the 4th-century Merinid necropolis, and a walk in the Andalusia Gardens which rest within the walls of the Kasbah of the Oudaya. Enjoy a stop at the Hassan Tower, a huge unfinished minaret, built mostly at the end of the 12th century. The tour is complete upon arrival to the hotel in Fes.
Riad Fes is located in the heart of the ancient city of Fez. The Relais et Châteaux Riad Fes has succeeded in combining refinement with inspiration and invites you to relax and enjoy your stay in a serene atmosphere. The prestigious history and refined civilization of this Imperial city is reflected in the Spanish Moorish architecture and attention to detail seen in the décor. Its opened Andalous pavilion, in a simpler and contemporary style and its new baroco-andalous pavilion come to complete the traditional patio with a style even more contemporary and purified, to the full satisfaction of the guests who wish to spend some time in the middle of an oasis of harmony, comfort and luxury
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.
Today you will explore the Imperial City of Meknes along with the Roman city of Volubilis. In antiquity, Volubilis was an important Roman town situated near the westernmost border of Roman conquests. It was built on the site of a previous Carthaginian settlement from the third century BC. Volubilis was the administrative center of the province in Roman Africa called Mauretania Tingitana. The fertile lands of the province produced many commodities such as grain and olive oil, which were exported to Rome, contributing to the province's wealth and prosperity. Then you'll discover the Imperial city of Meknes known as the “Moroccan Versailles”. Meknes was founded in the 17th century by King Moulay Ismail. It is famous for its 25-mile-long walls. Return to Fez later this afternoon.
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!
Kensington Tours presents La Belle Etoile Luxury Camp, located an hour and half drive from Erfoud. 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.
A 4x4 vehicle will transfer you back to Erfoud where your private vehicle awaits for your onward journey.
Travel today between Erfoud and Ouarzazate with private vehicle and english speaking driver. En-route, stop in the Dades Gorge, Todra Gorge's more beautiful, and older sister. These gorges are located just southwest of Tinerhir and some 110 km (65 miles) from Ouarzazate. In the latter winter, the Dades River flows and in mid-spring through early summer gives the valley an unprecedented amount of greenery. In the valleys along the Dades Gorge, you’ll notice more argan (nut) trees more than the palmeries that surround the Todra Gorge. When you arrive at the top of the gorges, you will notice the temperatures will be cooler, the views amazing, and the people delightful. Northwest of Rissani and Northeast of Ouarzazate, just up the road from Tinerhir are the Todra Gorges. 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 Quarzazate, 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. Originating from melt water high up in the snowfields of the Haute Atlas, the river Dadès cuts a steep gorge, known as the Dadès Gorge, at Aït Oudinar and Aït Ali. From here, it flows across the broad Dadès Valley in a south-westerly direction towards Quarzazate. Before reaching Ouarzazate, you will make a stop in Skoura - one of Morocco’s beautiful oases. Skoura offers weary travellers a chance to rest their feet and enjoy the abundance of nature. At first glance from the road, it resembles a sort of thin, long, oasis but if you explore inland it's large and impressive. Continue to your lodging in the Ouarzazate area.
Dinner not included in tour price.
At the gates of the desert, this magnificent hotel invites you to explore a captivating region, to relax and wonder in another world as you escape beneath jasmin and roses. Designed as a traditional Moroccan village in the desert, the Berbere Palace is situated in the tourist area of Ouarzazate. The hotel provides 232 rooms to guests with a wonderful breakfast buffet and restaurants featuring both continental cuisine and local. The town is home to Atlas Studios, where all the major Moroccan and international filmmaking takes place. For those who want to get outside and explore the exotic sands of this area, make a trip to the desert and watch the sun set over the dunes. Later, return to this oasis and relax in the luxury of fresh gardens and sparkling skies.
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.
La Sultana "Marrakech" is situated in the heart of the golden triangle, at the entry of the Imperial City’s walls, just next to the Royal Palaces, to the Bahia Palace and to the famous Jemma El Fna place, where erudites, architects and artists from all epochs set up sumptuous houses, mosques and gardens.
After breakfast you will be met at your hotel and taken on a full day guided tour of Marrakech. Your tour usually starts at the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque but you can discuss all of the options with your guide. The mosques 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 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.
Your driver will meet you at your hotel and drive you to Tamadot which is about an hour from Marrakech. On the way, you'll make a brief stop at the Berber villages of Tahanoute and continue to the village of Asni before arriving at Tamadot. The Kasbah Tamadot is located on the outskirts of Asni, a small Berber village where the road branches off to Imlil and the Toubkal Massif. The Kasbah Tamadot was seen by Sir Richard’s mother who realized the potential for creating a unique environment and after a very painstaking period of renovation, Tamadot was born. It offers stunning views of the mountains and valleys, including a Berber village hugging the opposite bank of the river. The “Kanoun” restaurant at Tamadot (named after the traditional Berber bread oven) features an outdoor terrace and roof top for dining on warmer days or inside when cooler. Tamadot also has an excellent wine list. After lunch at The Kasbah Tamadot, your guide will take you to explore the mountains by foot.
Sleep in this morning and relax at your hotel.
Travel in a privately driven vehicle, with an English speaking driver between Marrakech and Essaouira. The approximate travel time is 2 hours.
The Palace Heure Bleue is a sumptuous 19th century residence deserving of Essaouira's rich past, on the crossroads of the African, European and Arabic civilisations. Situated in the Essaouira port, overlooking the new town, the medina, and its walls; the former palace falls under the exclusive family of “Relais and Chateaux” hotels, designed to meet the standards of French living. With 35 rooms, this private getaway is ideally located near the beach, where a multitude of facilities exist for the active guest. The restaurants offer authentic fusions of preparations passed down over the years. With the history of colonisation of Morocco, and this village in particular, have created a culinary explosion of an eclectic sort. Some choose to spend their time at the resort dining, while others take advantage of the library, spa, and nearby marketplace. The Palais' very ambiance warmly welcomes you for an exceptional stay.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal today.
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.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Essaouira and Casablanca. The approximate travel time is 5 hours.
A modern city and the trade capital of Morocco, Casablanca is a magnificent mix of modernism and tradition. It is the largest metropolitan city in the Maghreb and is characterised by elegant buildings, great avenues and unique architectural art forms and Moorish finishing's featured throughout the numerous domes and columns. This booming cosmopolitan city is characterized by the King Hassan II mosque located by the sea and featuring a 200 meter minaret that dominates the city's landscape. The Mosque is open to non muslims as a daily shared tour which highlights it's impressive modern interior. Then drive to visit the Jewish Historical Museum of Morocco in the Oasis area of Casablanca. Again, a driver and guide is at your disposal and will provide insight into the best this city has to offer.
“Le Doge” takes the place of a unique vintage town house built in the thirties by an Italian contractor. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, in a restful Art Deco neighborhood of Casablanca. This Art Deco building has been renovated with keeping in mind the preservation of safeguarding of its architecture and special features. The elegance of the decor and period style produces a setting of exceptional quality.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between the airport and Casablanca.
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."
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!"
July 26, 2013
"Our family of 6 traveled to Morocco for a 9 day Imperial cities discovery, I was absolutely amazing. Our guide Lahcen Zaaim was the best guide we have EVER had and we have traveled to many countries. There was not one subject that he was not knowledgeable about. He made the trip sooooo memorable. He was so flexible and when he picked us up in the mornings to head out, he was talking nonstop to tell us soo much about everything we were seeing. There was soooo much to see in Morocco and he made sure we saw it all.. He truly has a gift in the touring business, you feel as if your leaving your best friend when the trip is over. When we got to the airport in casablanca, he spotted us before we saw him and of course, we asked him, how did you recognize us? He even went as far as to get the King of Moroccos artist to meet us at our riad the night before we left to return home late to do our names in moroccan arabic to frame, They were beautiful, He showed us a picture of the Kings Face he had done for the Palace! Lily Baffour from Kensington planned our trip and she was amazing, planning everything as she thought we would like based on what I told her. She did an Outstanding job and literally sent our Iteniaries by next day air in a beautifully done spiral bound personally book for each family that was going on the trip, SOOOOOO IMPRESSED and she even got the guide we requested!!!! I cant say enough about this trip and Kensington, we will definitely use again!!! We experienced a VERY different culture in going to Morocco and thats what we wanted, a Very different exotic trip and thats what we got!!!! Again our accomodations we Top Notch, staying in the TRuly authenic Riads, they were SOOOOO Luxurious, Plan on taking another suitcase or buying one there because you will buy more things to bring home than any other trip because of all the Handicrafts there, especially in Fes!!!
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