(Fes, Marrakech, High Atlas Mountain)
Book any custom Kensington itinerary to Africa between May 28 – August 31, 2014 for travel in 2014 - 2015 & you’ll be entered to win this luxurious 8 day private guided tour of Morocco for you & a companion worth up to $15,000.* One ballot will be awarded for every $5,000 sold in Africa.
Pull back the veil of this exotic land as you explore the bustling streets, sun-drenched bazaars, soaring peaks and palm fringed oases of Morocco on this opulent 5* luxury tour led by an expert private guide. Soar over the High Atlas Mountains in a hot air balloon, ride camels through the desert, travel back in time in mystical Marrakech and journey to the spiritual center of Fez. Learn the art of cooking tagine at a culinary class, sip mint tea with locals at a Berber village, relax during a private horse drawn carriage ride through the Gardens of Majorelle, follow in the footsteps of sultans in ancient harams and lose yourself in a labyrinth of vibrant souks. Perfect your luxurious Arabian experience with stays in a collection of the most extravagant hotels Morocco has to offer, Riad Fes, La Sultana and of course the renowned Kasbah Tamadot. Asa lama lakum!
Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by our local representative.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Casablanca 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.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 9am. Please note that this is a walking tour. Transportation is not included. 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.
Travel in a privately driven vehicle from Fes to Marrakech, making a lunch stop en-route. Explore the rugged terrain of the Middle Atlas Mountain range, boasting towering cliff faces, and incredible passes. Drive by the scenic berber villages of Immouzer de Kandar and the university town of Ifrane for a glimpse into rural living in Morocco. Explore the Kasbah of Ras El Ain and mingle amongst the merchants to find the perfect gift. The approximate travel time is 7.5 hours.
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 is a Theological college founded by the Merenid Sultan Abu Hassan in the 14th century. It was 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.
The legendary restaurant at La Maison Arabe today offers cooking workshops designed for the amateur and professional alike. The workshops are conducted by a dada (traditional Moroccan cook) or a chef from our Moroccan restaurant, and are held either at the hotel or at the Kasbah of our Country Club. Small groups of maximum 8-10 participants work alongside a translator (Arabic/English/French), using easy-to-use modern equipment found in everyday kitchens. At the end of each workshop, participants dine on the meal they have prepared. At a typical half-day workshop, one learns to prepare an appetizer and a main dish, or a main dish and dessert.
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 twelfth century. At the edge of the 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 that surround the gardens. Stroll through the Jardin Majorelle; first cultivated in 1924, the garden is now a psychedelic desert mirage of 300 plant species from five continents
Enjoy some spectacular panoramic viewing around Marrakech during this hot-air ballooning excursion. In the early morning hours, hop in a private vehicle and depart towards flat terrain of the Marrakech countryside. The large empty landscapes surrounding Marrakech provide the ideal launching location for hot-air ballooning. Upon arrival into the launch zone, notice the ballooning staff, prep the balloon for flight, carefully examining the balloon structure for safety, as a safety training briefing will is provided to each traveller before take-off. Feel the sense of freedom as the balloon takes off and gently glides over the diverse, picturesque Moroccan landscapes. Float across the Moroccan skies for roughly 15 to 25 kilometers before touching back down at the launch zone. Re-board the vehicle and head back to Marrakech stopping on the way for some home baked bread and mint tea.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Marrakech and the High Atlas Mountain region. The approximate travel time is 1 hour.
The High Atlas Mountain region boasts a wide variety of trekking possibilities, and is suitable for visitors of all ages. For those unable to meet the physical demands of trekking with equipment, mule support for transporting bags or travellers is provided, and is included in the tour cost. An experienced guide will accompany each trek, and will provide historical information about the area`s visited. During the trek, a picnic lunch is provided. Minimum two people for hiking activity.
The High Atlas Mountain region boasts a wide variety of trekking possibilities, and is suitable for visitors of all ages. For those unable to meet the physical demands of trekking with equipment, mule support for transporting bags or travellers can be provided. An experienced guide will accompany each trek, and will provide historical information about the area`s visited. During the trek, a picnic lunch is provided. Minimum two people for hiking activity.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Marrakech and Casablanca. The approximate travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Riad Fes is located in the heart of the ancient city of Fez. It 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. It’s opened Andalous pavilion, 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. The Riad Fez is 25 minutes away from Fez International Airport and 3 hours by car from Casablanca, Riad Fes is ideally situated at the heart of the medina and in close proximity to its historic monuments.
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 erudite, architects and artists from all epochs set up opulent houses, mosques and gardens. Three years of work in partnership with the historical monuments and an exceptional décor led to the birth of a unique luxurious hotel: La Sultana – a real timeless palace – worthy member of Small Luxury Hotels and of Great Hotels of the World. In every riad, live again the old palaces’ atmosphere and appreciate the tradition of the last centuries in a luxurious residence. The central open-air patio is a classic architectural feature of all Moroccan residences, from which guests can savor fragrant oriental afternoon teas or saunter through to the holistic Spa to enjoy one of the magnificent Hammam treatments or balneotherapy bath offered by this exceptional luxury hotel.
Situated in the spectacular Atlas Mountain in Morocco, the award-winning Kasbah Tamadot was brought by Sir Richard Branson during one of his famous ballooning expeditions. At Kasbah Tamadot emphasis is given on complete luxury and pure relaxation in breath-taking surroundings. The enchanting Kasbah Tamadot is a perfect blend of tranquil courtyards and pristine gardens encased by ancient walls. Each of the rooms and suites is individually decorated to reflect the beautiful architecture of the building and valuable antiques from all over the world. The property also features a stunning infinity pool, multiple Jacuzzi, plentiful sun-decks, tennis court, and a luxurious spa with full-fledged amenities. The grandeur architecture, opulent furnishings, warm and welcoming Berber staff makes this place truly magical.
May 11, 2015
"We were a group of 5 to Morocco. We were impressed at how seamless our private guided tour went. Accommodations were five star, the choice of family run hotels, beautifully appointed with Moroccan furnishings and large breakfasts, contributed to our experience. Our guide, Ishmail and driver, Abdul, made us feel like family. Ishmail showed off his country with pride, listened to our needs and was flexible to our style and speed of travel. We couldn't be happier with our Kensington experience beginning with the pre-planning in the US with Lily Baffour. Thank you very much for a memorable experience! "
May 12, 2015
"Our guide, Chakim, was fantastic, and our driver was excellent. We were very pleased with our accommodations. Only negative comments would be the villa in Essaouira (room, food, service not good although people very nice), and, while probably not an issue for other travelers, we were disappointed that we could not relax over a glass of wine at the end of our journey because Hotel Le Doge did not offer alcoholic beverages. We are currently scheduled with Kensington Tours for India in November and we are now planning on scheduling with Kensington for all our trips - right now that would be Thailand to Mynamar, and Egypt with Dubai extension. We are extremely happy with Kensington Tours and their travel agents. We would recommend Lily Balfour to anyone. "
April 08, 2015
"Kensington and its partners did not miss a single deadline, appointment or function to our total satisfaction. The result, no stress and total enjoyment."
April 08, 2015
"Christine was absolutely superb both in helping us frame and develop a custom tour as well as in constant follow up until we left. Inevitably things will change on the ground when trips are planned in advance and Christine was consistently on top of the changes and advised us accordingly. As first time travelers to Kenya and Tanzania Christine's advice and guidance was simply excellent. Rose, in Kensington's Nairobi office was likewise superb. Totally responsive to our needs, she helped make a few final adjustments while we were there. Once again, an exceptional experience made possible by Kensington."
Sachi Gowda ,
December 15, 2014
"We are extremely happy with your service from beginning to end and we had very a memorable trip."
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 15, 2014
"Christine, our family trip was ALL we wanted it to be. The hotel accommodations in the cities were GREAT. We needed to make some room assignment adjustments but that's to be expected with a large family with children and same names.
I don't know where/how ya'll got those guides but...KEEP'EM! In both Cape Town and Joberg the guys knew their cities and environs excellently. Their English was very good...so good in fact that several got the sarcasm and even joked some. I do apologize if we over-tipped. I relied on each family to tip their own driver but, I wasn't sure of their "sense of what was right" so I followed up with something for each.
Simbavati was "PERFECT". As much as Glenda and I really liked Ngala, I do not think they could have handled a family as well...UNLESS, they had accommodations we did not see.
Please rest assured when ever I plan to travel on a multi-dimensional trip in the future, for sure with a group, or maybe just Glenda and I, I'll be calling Kensington... Christine and Donna specifically. And most definitely, anytime I can recommend a travel professional, your company and you two will be mentioned by name!
Thank you again Christine...you presented us the exact trip we dreamed about for our family and your folks on the ground made it happen! I sincerely hope you, Donna and everyone else involved have a most Blessed Christmas and a wonderful, successful New Year!"
Bruce Lundstrom ,
December 15, 2014
"Morocco has a lot to offer. Food, historic sites, craftsmen (rugs, jewelry, ceramics, furniture, etc.), natural beauty, roads and infrastructure, and a reasonably safe environment. Both Guide (Abdel) and Driver were excellent. Service-oriented, timely and easy going. Abdel was not afraid to speak his mind, offer suggestions and give us feedback on ideas. We enjoyed their company."
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
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