(Tangier, Fes, Marrakech)
The best of Southern Spain mixed in with the highlights of Morocco - fabulous! Discover the magnificence of Southern Spain; Andalusia, with its two sparkling jewels -Seville and Granada. Nowhere else in Europe is the Moorish influence so present in the cities architecture and ingrained in its everyday living. Cosmopolitan Seville has it all, from the grand, formal gardens of the Maria Luisa, to the Albazin castle in the gothic quarter. Life seems to literally breathe in the streets. Granada, with its stately palace surveying the city below is and forever will be majestic. Immerse yourself fully in the culture as you enjoy a wonderful flamenco show accompanied by a dinner of regional tapas. Continue by ferry on to Morocco. A sun drenched land of sea and sand, blazing desert and cool Atlas mountain passes, Morocco has fascinated travelers for centuries. Blending the European influence of the Moors with the nomadic Berber caravans, the country combines unique food, architecture and history. Explore Casablanca, the UNESCO world heritage city of Fes, and the exotic matchless bazaar of Marrakech. An extraordinary journey through time. Morocco promises to delight and amaze.
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Hotel Palacio de Villapanes is a 5 star hotel in Seville. The decor reflects Seville's culture and tradition, and each of the 50 elegant rooms has its own personality, combining the original architectural with the latest technology. The restaurant offers exquisite cuisine of Andalusia, and the bar pays tribute to wine and tapas in Seville. A gorgeous hotel for a luxurious stay.
Embark on a Seville walking tour with your own private guide to check out the most important landmarks of the city. You will see La Torre del Oro (The Golden Tower), a Moorish-built tower dating from 1222, which formed part of the old defensive wall that protected the old city. You will also see Triana (this Gypsy district is the home of flamenco), Santa Cruz (the Old Jewish Quarter and a labyrinth of tiny alleys with white houses with traditional Moorish courtyards), Reales Alcazares (a Moorish palace-fortress which originally dates back to 913AD and has been the residence of various kings and boasts impressive gardens and fountains) and The Cathedral and Giralda, originally a 12th Century mosque, of which only the minaret (La Giralda) and the orange tree courtyard now remain. The cathedral is also Europe's second largest. If you have a particular interest in bullfighting, we can substitute some of the above for a visit to the Real Maestranza (The Maestranza Bullring). Built between 1767 and 1880 this famous bullring houses a museum dedicated to the world of bull fighting. No entrance fees included.
Enjoy a breathtaking evening at El Arenal watching a fantastic performance of Flamenco. Located in the center of Seville (next door to the Bullring La Maestranza), El Arenal offers both regulars and tourists a unique and friendly atmosphere. Singers, Guitarists and Dancers share the experience to make you feel the art of "Flamenco". They will introduce you to various flamenco styles through song, guitar and dance. You will also have the opportunity to taste the Spanish and local cuisine for dinner while you enjoy a glass of wine and mineral water.
Meet your driver for a private train station transfer.
Enjoy your train ride from Seville to Granada. The train ride takes approximately three hours.
Enjoy a guided exploration of the Albaicín, the old Moorish quarter of Granada with your private English-speaking guide. You will be shown how this medieval Islamic city has kept its identity into the modern age, as your guide explains its history and character in anecdotal style. As you walk through its cat’s cradle of twisting alleyways, you will come across stunning views of the city, the majestic Alhambra palaces and, beyond, the often snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada. You will pass by churches built on the sites of mosques, stroll underneath the walls of the scented gardens of carmens, and stop in squares to take in the slow rhythms of daily life in this most traditional and yet singular neighborhood. A stop for refreshments in a cafe or bar is included.
Restored 14th century Moresque house and convent located in the historical centre of Granada, 1 kilometre from the Alhambra. Air-conditioned rooms are stylishly decorated with high ceilings and wooden floors; all have free minibars and Internet. Enjoy complimentary refreshments in the palatial courtyard before heading to the gym or relaxing in the sauna and hammam.
Enjoy a private tour with a local guide as you visit the UNESCO world heritage site of the Alhambra palace and gardens. On a rocky hill, on the banks of the River Darro, protected by mountains and amongst the eldest quarter in the city, the Alhambra rises up like an imposing castle with its distinctive reddish stone in its ramparts that prevent the outside world from seeing the delicate beauty enclosed within. Originally designed as a military area, the Alhambra became the residence of royalty and the court of Granada in the middle of XIII century. The complex of monuments has also an independent palace opposite the Alhambra; The Generalife, which is surrounded by orchards and beautiful gardens which you will also visit. (Tour includes entrance into the palace).
Please note that this tour does not include transfers to or from the Palace. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you will transfer by local taxi (payable by you locally). At the end of your tour, you can either choose to walk back down the hill to explore the city, or return by taxi, (again payable by you locally). If you prefer us to arrange private transfers let us know.
There is a wide range of optional active activities that you can add to your tour; consider any of the following: a Granada Countryside Walk, a guided Wine Stroll, a Bike Tour around the Sierra Nevada mountain range or Horseback riding. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if any of these are of interest.
Enjoy navigating the custom of tapas with a local expert. Going out for drinks and tapas – or “tapeando” – is an event enjoyed throughout Spain, and everywhere has its local variations. The frustration that many visitors experience is that this can mean never quite knowing the “rules of the game”, and a feeling that the authentic bars and tapas are eluding them. A local resident guide will steer you away from the comfortable but bland, sit-down options and take you into the places where locals go, jostling at the bar for elbow-room, and sampling some great dishes amid a lively atmosphere. There is an option to sample vegetarian tapas if requested. (Includes drinks & tapas in three different bars). (Vegetarian on request).
Meet your driver for a private transfer from Granada to Algeciras.
Enjoy the short (35 minute) ferry ride between Algeciras in Spain to Tangier in the Northern part of Morocco.
A private vehicle with driver is made available for usage today.
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 Fes in a private vehicle with an English speaking driver. On route, enjoy some brief touring including a visit to the beautiful city of Chefchaouen. Located in the mountainous massif, Chefchaouen is the last rampart before the Mediterranean Sea and the Iberian Peninsula. Chefchaouen is famed for its busy Medina, white-washed houses with blue turquoise doors, wrought iron windows and tile covered roofs.
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.
Enjoy the picturesque scenery, as a privately driven vehicle with English speaking guide accompany this tour that explores the local vineyards and wine manufacturers throughout the verdant countryside just outside of Fes. Journey through the foothills and valleys that are nestled between the Rif and the Middle Atlas mountain ranges, an area considered off the beaten path and rarely visited by tourists. Visit one the country's leading vineyards, owned by two French wine connoisseurs whose credentials include some very successful Bordeaux-production in their native France. Explore the vineyard and see just how they produce some truly world-class Moroccan labels, as well as some award-winning olive oil. Enjoy a traditional Moroccan lunch at the vineyard, whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Enjoy an afternoon’s guided tour of the labyrinthine souks of the city. Amongst the many shops and stalls are artisans’ workshops and studios where traditional skills, passed down by the Moorish émigrés from Andalucia, are still practised by master craftsmen. Trades such as metal and leather working, ceramics, silk, tapestry, and sculpting remain current. Highlights of the tour will be observing the vast tanneries from a family home for this unique view, and the spice souk, El Attarine, without doubt the most vibrant in Fes. The henna and wood working souks are located in the Nejjarine neighborhood and the scent of cedar wood is noticeable. The main plaza is planted with trees and provides a shaded haven from the warm sun. Various natural products derived from henna are sold here. Nejjarine is also where the fabric dyers are located; wool and cotton are treated and you can see the colours used floating along the streets after the rinsing.
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 hours.
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.
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.
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.
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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