(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.
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.
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.
Sir Richard Branson's Moroccan Retreat; bought in 1998 during one of his famous ballooning expeditions, Kasbah Tamadot is set at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains one hour's drive from Marrakech, Morocco. The enchanting Kasbah Tamadot hotel located in the High Atlas Mountains near Asni is a maze of serene courtyards, secret staircases and pristine gardens encased by an ancient wall. Mountain views are especially marvellous from the master suite, a scaled-down copy of the Kasbah itself.
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
Justin Yax ,
April 21, 2014
"Once again, a perfect trip. From Elizabeth's planning to Godfrey's guiding, we could not have asked for a more thorough and well planned safari. I can't wait to come back and do it again, this time with a Kilimanjaro climb added onto the trip!"
Nancy Frierson ,
April 21, 2014
"The entire trip was superb - all the transfers, the lodging and the food, the safari experience and the knowledgeable guides. The guide's ability to spot an animal and identify it at a great distance allowed us to see and photograph all the animals on our list and then some. The lodgings were even better than we had hoped and the staff could not possibly have been better. Our trip of a lifetime turned out to be just that."
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! 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 - the best gift of all!
Ebony Hoskins ,
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!"
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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