Paris to Marrakech Trip Notes

Paris to Marrakech

Last Modified: 06 Apr 2016
Paris to Marrakech
Trip code: AMSBC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Tour France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco on an incredible adventure from Paris to Marrakech. Travel from romantic Paris, over the sun-soaked Iberian Peninsula and into the mesmerising markets of Marrakech. Cycle through wildflowers in the Loire Valley in France, experience the electric atmosphere of Spain and breeze through Portugal for red wine and piri-piri en route to Africa, where the adventure concludes in mysterious Morocco.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesJoining point description
ThemesGroup sizeJoining point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Your fellow travellersFinish point
Why we love itAccommodationFinish point description
MapMeals introductionFinishing point instructions
ItineraryMealsEmergency contact
Itinerary disclaimerMoney mattersWhat to take
Physical ratingGroup leaderClimate and seasonal information
Included activitiesJoining pointTravel insurance
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- - In Sarlat, the group will take a kayaking trip, which is a great way to discover the area. To participate, you'll need to be comfortable with canoeing on calm water. The activity will be supervised by your tour leader, but if you wish to skip it and do something else instead, there are other optional activities to choose form. These can be organised locally, so please speak to your leader at the beginning of the trip.
- - In Tours, the group will take a bike ride to the beautiful gardens of Chateau Villandry. To do this, you'll need to be comfortable with cycling for about 30 kilometres at an easy pace on flat ground. If you'd like to skip this activity and organise an alternative mode of transport, please speak to your leader at the start of the trip.
- - If you want to hike through the Pyrenees mountains, you'll need to be fairly fit and healthy, and will need to bring sufficient footwear and clothing. If you don't want to hike, you're welcome to simply relax and take in the breathtaking scenery.
- - The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning, toilets, and a snack bar (or vending machine). Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the trip notes.
- - As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags or cases at home and bring a backpack instead.
- - Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
- - As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.
- - As you will have the opportunity to visit several mosques on this trip, especially in Morocco, please ensure you cover your legs, shoulders and chest and show the appropriate respect. It's a good idea to bring a light scarf to cover your skin as needed.
- - In 2016, Ramadan will take place from 7 June to 6 July. This is the holiest month of the year for Muslims around the world. Many festivals are marked as Islamic Holidays, which may cause some disturbance to your travels around this time. Some regular services may not be available or open during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars. Please consider your travel arrangements carefully.
- - In Fes, you'll head out on a day tour around the amazing medieval Medina. While you'll be on your feet for at least five to six hours, this is one of the highlights of Morocco and well worth any weariness at the end of the long day.
Why we love it
- - Be romanced by Paris, the City of Love. The Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees are unforgettable when lit up at night
- - Enjoy a day of cycling through the Loire Valley, and tour the exquisite 16th-century ornamental gardens of the Chateau Villandry
- - There's nothing like tasting wine from the source. Visit one of the many wineries in Bordeaux to gain insight into the wine-making process
- - Canoe down a calm river in the unspoiled Dordogne region of southwestern France
- - Hike through the forests and slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains. This mighty range separates the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europe
- - Experience the Basque way of life on the sandy shores of San Sebastian. Indulge at the local pintos bars and throw yourself into northern Spanish nightlife
- - The Art Walk in Madrid is every art lover's dream. In one small stretch you can browse the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Reina Sofia and the Prado, one of the world's most celebrated galleries
- - Wander around Salamanca's Plaza Mayor at night, lit up to reveal its intricate architecture
- - Sample the culinary delights and contrasts of Spain, Portugal and Morocco - three countries that are celebrated around the world for their cuisine
- - The Algarve in Portugal is the perfect middle point of the trip. Soak up the sun on the coast's gorgeous beaches, walk across rocky cliff tops, explore remote coves and enjoy a sunset over the Atlantic Ocean
- - Relive a glorious medieval past in Fes city. While many tourists get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the medina, you'll have a local guide to show you the way
- - Where else would you find drummers, dancers, snake charmers, fortune tellers, jugglers and old medicine men in one place? Marrakech is the perfect place to share a final group meal and stock up on treasures in the city's colourful souqs
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Paris
Bonjour! Welcome to Paris. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting which is usually around 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you have all these to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, get out and explore this 'City of Light'. Perhaps go for a wander around the Champs-Elysees, the student-filled Latin Quarter and the bohemian Montmartre. This will give you a good feel for the city. Arriving earlier to see Paris' iconic sights is highly recommended.
Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the meeting. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Eiffel Tower - EUR17
  • Louvre Museum - EUR15
  • Musee d'Orsay - EUR14
  • Palace of Versailles - EUR15
  • Palace of Versailles gardens - Free
  • Paradis Latin cabaret show - EUR65
  • Arc de Triomphe - EUR12
  • Catacombs - EUR10
  • Centre Pompidou - EUR14
  • Napoleon's tomb - EUR10
  • Notre Dame Towers - EUR8
  • Picasso Museum - EUR11
  • Rodin Museum - EUR10
  • Sainte Chapelle & Conciergerie - EUR15
  • Da Vinci Code walking tour - EUR25
  • Fat Tires bike tour - EUR32
  • Urban Adventures - Secret Paris: Cheese, Art, and Local Life - EUR49
  • Urban Adventures - Experience Bohemian Paris - EUR49
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Tours
    Say au revoir to Paris this morning and travel by train to Tours (approximately 3 hours). On arrival, the day is yours to spend as you please. This city is based on the lower reaches of the River Loire. Being a crucial frontier between northern and southern France, it held many feudal strongholds, country seats and even some of the posh playhouses of many of the French nobles. You'll soon see why the city of Tours is acclaimed as a town of art and history. Explore the narrow streets, the outdoor cafes and bars in the main square, and the Rue Colbert and Rue Grand Marche, lined with half-timbered houses. This is also a great place for a tipple, as the city is well known for its wines. If you have the time, a hot air balloon ride (at extra cost) is one of the highlights of the visit to Tours.
    Included Activities
    • Chateaux Villandry & Gardens
    • Cycling tour
      Optional Activities
      • Cathedrale St-Gatien - Free
      • Hot air balloon - EUR250
      • Musee des Beaux-Arts - EUR5
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Day 3 Tours
        There are many ways to discover the beauty of Loire Valley, but cycling is perhaps best for exploring this rolling countryside and its historic chateaux. Enjoy a day's cycling and tour the Chateau Villandry, which has a beautiful ornamental garden dating back to the 16th century. This is where French and English kings used to discuss peace. It was brought to today's shape by Joachim Carvallo in the 20th century. You'll see just by looking at it what an enormous amount of money and time it took. It's known to many as one of the most beautiful set of gardens in the world. In the late afternoon or early evening, the rest of your day is then free.
        Notes: The cycling trip is a mostly flat 35 kilometres, but you will need appropriate footwear (no flip-flops) to cycle in. Bring a day pack for your essentials such as water, sunglasses, sun cream and a camera.
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Day 4 Dordogne Region
        Journey south by train to the small medieval town of Sarlat, located in the Dordogne region (approximately 6 hours). This is a great area to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life, known for its rich cuisine and prehistoric history. Time seems to have stood still in Sarat-la-Caneda itself, with a slow winding river and a town so impeccably preserved that it still resembles its 14th-century state. On arrival, check into your hotel and use your free time getting to know the town. Try to make time to visit La Roque’s magnificent Troglodyte Fort, as it looks like something out of Middle-earth. Or simply enjoy the atmosphere of Sarlat by sitting in one of the roadside cafes and watching locals going about their everyday tasks.
        Included Activities
        • Canoeing - Sarlat
          Optional Activities
          • Gabarre tour - EUR8
          • Domme Caves - EUR9
          • Bike hire per day - EUR22
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Day 5 Dordogne Region
            Today's a fun, active day. Head out on the Dordogne River, where you'll paddle a canoe down the river for around 15 kilometres. This is a picturesque setting, and you'll be able to take in sights such as the gorgeous Chateau de Beynac. It sits atop a limestone cliff, dominating the townscape and north bank of the Dordogne River. Another option for later in the day is to hire a bike, which is the ideal way to get around in this pretty region. Check with your leader for timings, though, as often it may be difficult to fit both canoeing and cycling on the same day. The evening is yours to spend as you please.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Day 6 Bordeaux
            Travel by train to the capital of the Gascony region, Bordeaux (approximately 3 hours). On arrival, drop your luggage off at the hotel and start to get a feel for the place. Famed for its wine, this region has some fascinating history, and most of the architecture visible today in Bordeaux dates from the 18th century (which is considered its golden age). Perhaps scale the Gothic bell tower of the Tour Pey-Berland for great views of the city. Visit famous Cathédrale St-André, as well as its many fine and contemporary art museums and 18th- and 19th-century mansions. Public gardens line the curving river quays, and grand Place de la Bourse opens to the water, with the Three Graces fountain at its centre. The rest of your day is then free to do as you wish.
            Included Activities
            • Wine tasting Bordeaux
              Optional Activities
              • Musee des Beaux-Arts - EUR4
              • Pey Berland Tower - Cathedale St Andre - EUR6
              • CAPC Musee d'Art Contemporain - EUR5
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Day 7
                Today you will find out for yourself why Bordeaux wines are so popular all over the globe. Venture out on a day tour to a nearby vineyard for a tasting of some of the region's vintages. Perfect your palate as you're taken through some of France's most celebrated grapes. In the evening, enjoy some free time. Perhaps pop out for dinner with the group to spoil your taste buds even more. Bordeaux has a long list of excellent places to dine. Ask your leader for the best recommendation; or, if you’re adventurous, take a chance on one that looks promising.
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Day 8 Pyrenees
                Travel by train and bus to the French Pyrenees and the spa town of Bagneres de Luchon (approximately 6 hours). The French Pyrenees stretch from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and form a natural 450-kilometre barrier between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe. As well as their spectacular natural beauty, they are also famous for their thermal springs; curistes (those seeking a cure) have been coming here for centuries. Luchon is one of the spa towns, and a great base for exploring the surrounding trails. There won't be too much time to explore today, so perhaps take a brief walk around town before you head out for dinner.
                Included Activities
                • Hiking in the Pyrenees
                  Day 9 Pyrenees
                  Today is another active day. Kick things off nice and early as you take to the hills for a day of hiking in the Pyrenees. Be prepared for some steep ascents through the forest. You'll arrive at a fantastic vantage. If the weather is clear, you'll see some incredible mountainous vistas from up here. These surrounds are well and truly alpine, so try not to forget your camera! The terrain can be quite unpredictable, so remember to bring appropriate footwear. Sturdy trainers or light hiking boots will suffice. Pack your waterproof items, plenty of water, and energy bar or two so you can be in peak condition to enjoy the beautiful hills.
                  Day 10 San Sebastian
                  Take a private transfer across the border to Spain and continue to the coastal town of San Sebastian (approximately 5 hours). With its family friendly beaches, innovative gastronomy and vibrant old city, San Sebastian is an ideal place to take it easy. Stroll along the promenade, shop, feast on pintxos (Basque-style tapas) or simply laze on the sand and soak up the sun. If you’re up for a different perspective of La Concha (the most central beach), climb or catch a cable car to Monte Igueldo. The panoramic views form the summit makes one feel like a hawk.
                  Optional Activities
                  • Grab Your Pintxo - EUR65
                  • St. James Way Adventure - EUR55
                  • Aquarium - EUR13
                  • Catedral del Buen Pastor - Free
                  • Guggenheim Museum - EUR13
                  • Monte Igueldo Cable Car - San Sebastian - EUR3
                  • San Telmo Museum - EUR6
                    Day 11 San Sebastian
                    You have a full day to explore San Sebastian today. Perhaps catch the one-hour local bus to Bilbao. If you do decide to head there, the world-famous and architecturally sublime Guggenheim Museum is well worth your time. If you have enough time in the afternoon, the San Telmo Museum displays a good collection of history, art and photography of the Basque country. Otherwise, San Sebastian has still plenty on offer. An interesting thing to see is the well-known Aquarium, which is proud to be the first natural science museum founded in Spain. Since opening in 1928 it has hosted 12 million visitors, and though it has undergone some remodelling over the years its original character and principles has remained true. In the evening, it might be a good idea to enjoy one more night of tapas in San Sebastian.
                    Day 12 Segovia
                    Say goodbye to San Sebastian and head to the remarkable walled town of Segovia. You'll get there by train and bus (approximately 5.5 hours). There's plenty to do and see in this town, which is located in the heart of mountainous Castile. There's stunning scenery, twisting alleyways and delicious local cuisine, not to mention the world's highest concentration of Romanesque churches. Check out the aqueduct – the largest and best-preserved of its kind. For something different, there are two rivers bordering the medieval walls, and an extensive green belt park with miles of shaded walks. Enjoy your evening relaxing and taking in the atmosphere.
                    Included Activities
                    • Alcazar Segovia
                      Optional Activities
                      • Casa de los Picos - Free
                      • City walls - EUR2
                      • Esteban Vicente Museum - EUR3
                      • Segovia Fortress - EUR5
                      • Segovia Museum - EUR2
                      • Zuloaga Museum - EUR2
                        Day 13 Segovia
                        Today you'll take a sightseeing walk of the World Heritage-listed old town, visiting the spectacular fortified castle of Alcazar. As an inspiration to the iconic Walt Disney structure, this is where Queen Isabel met with Columbus before he set sail on the epic journey that led to the discovery of the Americas. Alcazar rises out on a rocky crag above the river and, due to its interesting shape, looks a bit like the bow of a ship. You'll have plenty of time to explore this most distinctive Spanish landmark, so make sure you take comfortable footwear for your walk. Rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax.
                        Day 14 Madrid
                        Journey by train to Madrid this morning (approximately 1 hour). On arrival, perhaps while away the hours on the Paseo del Arte (Art Walk) for a panoramic perspective of western art history. Perhaps wander through the pristine gardens of Real Jardin Botanico and then delve deeper into the art of the city at Museo Reina Sofia and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Sports fans, if you're lucky enough for your trip to fall on match day, you can don a white t-shirt and head to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to watch the mighty Real Madrid.
                        Optional Activities
                        • Abono Paseo del Arte (3 museum combo voucher) - EUR27
                        • Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - EUR12
                        • Museo del Prado - EUR14
                        • Real Jardín Botánico - EUR4
                        • Museo Reina Sofia - EUR8
                          Accommodation
                          Hotel (1 nt)
                          Day 15 Madrid
                          With incredible restaurants, art galleries, shopping and nightlife on offer, Madrid is a truly world-class city that exudes confidence and style through every pore.
                          While away hours on the Paseo del Arte, or Art Walk, for a panoramic perspective of Western art history. Start with the Museo del Prado, one of the world's finest collections of European art from the 12th-19th centuries and an unmissable stop on any art tour. Discover modern Spanish masters, including Picasso and Dali, in the Museo Reina Sofia's 20th century collection. Finish with the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which spans eight centuries of European painting.
                          Accommodation
                          Hotel (1 nt)
                          Day 16 Salamanca
                          Say farewell to Madrid this morning and head north-west by bus to the historical university town of Salamanca (approximately 3.5 hours).
                          Situated amongst beautiful pastures and rolling green hills on Spain's northern plateau, the rose-hued medieval town of Salamanca is great to explore on foot. Your leader will take you on an orientation walk on arrival, where you can explore the central Plaza Mayor and discover the historic stone buildings that the city is known for. Plaza Mayor is a true centre of local life. Not only is it architecturally unique, but it thrives with activity as locals meet and take coffee, tapas or cocktails on the square.
                          The rest of your afternoon and evening is then free to do as you wish.
                          Included Activities
                          • Orientation walk
                            Optional Activities
                            • Cathedrals rooftop - EUR4
                            • Art Nouveau & Art Deco Museum - EUR4
                            • Bullfighting Museum - EUR3
                            • Unamuno House Museum - EUR4
                            • New Cathedral- free during mass - Free
                            • Old Cathedral - EUR5
                            • University of Salamanca - EUR10
                            • Casa de Las Conchas - Free
                              Accommodation
                              Hotel (1 nt)
                              Day 17 Coimbra
                              Head further west by bus today and cross the border into Portugal to the laidback city of Coimbra, which should take around five hours. Coimbra will be our base for next two nights.
                              On arrival, your leader will escort you on a walk to help you orientate yourself in the maze of alleyways of this riverfront city, that used to be Portugal’s capital back in time. Half the fun of Coimbra is wandering and exploring, so use your free time getting to know the city. Coimbra features typical white stone with several excellent examples of colourful azulejos tiling. Some of the historical buildings were originally built in the 12th century (cathedral Sé Velha), and you can find some of the Portugal's best examples of Romanesque churches and elegant museums here. Famous baroque library, the Biblioteca Joanina, and its 18th-century bell tower are highlights.
                              Included Activities
                              • Orientation walk
                              • Fado performance
                                Optional Activities
                                • Boat tour - EUR7
                                • Cathedrals - EUR3
                                • Conimbriga ruins - EUR5
                                • Portugal Dos Pequenitos - EUR10
                                • University of Coimbra - EUR9
                                  Accommodation
                                  Hotel (1 nt)
                                  Day 18 Coimbra
                                  Enjoy a free day of exploration in Coimbra today, before witnessing a traditional Fado performance in the splendour of a lovely old chapel (held daily in the centre of the old town). Commonly regarded as a form of song that can really be about anything, but must follow a certain structure, Fado is in popular belief a song mixed from mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor.
                                  In your free time, perhaps head out into the countryside in search of ancient Roman ruins, which takes around 30 minutes by bus. The ruins of Conimbriga are rich in mosaics and a great insight into ancient Roman life. There are several options to return, including a three kilometre walk through the countryside to the unspoiled rural town of Condeixa (optional). If you have time, you can take a short boat tour to take in the view of Coimbra from a different angle.
                                  Accommodation
                                  Hotel (1 nt)
                                  Day 19 Lisbon
                                  Today, jump on a train for around three and a half hours through the countryside of central Portugal to Lisbon. As one of Europe's most pleasant and affordable capital cities, Lisbon combines the best elements of Portuguese life, offering fantastic architecture, a multicultural population, delicious seafood and non-stop nightlife.
                                  On arrival to the city, head out on an orientation walk of Lisbon to find your feet. Your afternoon and evening is then free, so perhaps head to the grand Naval Museum for an insight into the history of Portuguese navigation or just simply enjoy yourself sitting back in one of many outdoors restaurants and cafes. Watching the life go by is certainly a good way to relax in Lisbon.
                                  Included Activities
                                  • Orientation Walk
                                  • Citadel
                                    Optional Activities
                                    • National Art Museum - EUR6
                                    • Folk Art Museum - EUR3
                                    • Gulbenkian Museum - EUR5
                                    • Sintra Day Trip - Lisbon - EUR10
                                    • Castelo dos Mouros - Entrance - Sintra - EUR8
                                    • Palacio da Pena - Sintra - EUR14
                                    • Palacio Real - Sintra - EUR10
                                    • Puppet Museum - EUR5
                                    • Fado Show with Dinner - EUR25
                                    • Naval Museum - EUR4
                                    • Oceanarium - EUR16
                                      Day 20 Lisbon
                                      Today we explore the treasures of Lisbon, located on the banks of the Tagus (Tejo) River and truly one of Europe’s great cities. Much of Lisbon’s character and charm lies in its beautiful renovated buildings, grand boulevards and impressive castles and churches. Head out this morning on an included visit to the medieval citadel in the city centre of Lisbon. The city swarms with endless angular white houses and buildings with distinct red terracotta rooftops. From the citadel, this makes a contrasting panorama when viewed against the deep blue of the sky and ocean.
                                      In your free time, perhaps take a day trip into the mountainous region of Sintra, just 45 mins away by train. This area offers great walking, stunning cliff-top palaces and unique Moorish architecture.
                                      Day 21 The Algarve
                                      Take a long bus journey of around five hours today to the southern coastline of Portugal, the Algarve. Known for its fertile plains, rich with orange and olive groves, fig trees, almonds and maize fields, this region is perfect to explore on foot. Our base is Olhao, the Algarve’s biggest fishing port, with an active waterfront and bustling lanes in its old quarters.
                                      Check in to your accommodation on arrival and then use your free time getting to know the area's long, picturesque beaches. In the evening, perhaps try Olhao’s famous fish restaurants.
                                      Included Activities
                                      • Algarve beach excursion
                                        Accommodation
                                        Hotel (1 nt)
                                        Day 22 The Algarve
                                        This morning, venture out on an included beach excursion with the rest of the group. Sandy beach islands can be reached by boats used by local people on daily basis to provide goods for those who live away from the coastline. While on the excursion, visit some of the Algarve's lesser known areas with great walking paths and golden sandy beaches. Soak up the laid back atmosphere before getting back to Olhao. With a historical old town and ideal location for stunning sunsets, the town offers a more relaxed pace of life. Perhaps use your free time in the evening trying some true Portuguese fare.
                                        Accommodation
                                        Hotel (1 nt)
                                        Day 23 Jerez
                                        Leave Portugal for the hills of Andalucia today, travelling by bus to the traditional and historic town of Jerez de la Frontera (approximately seven hours). With its ancient Alcazar (Moorish fortress), eclectic cathedral and huge selection of high quality tapas bars, Jerez is an undiscovered jewel in the heart of Andalucia. The name ‘Jerez’ is derived from Arabic and has now become synonymous with the English word ‘sherry’, the city’s most famous export. Jerez is equally famous for its fine horses as well as Flamenco music and dance.
                                        Once settled into your accommodation, enjoy a bodega tour and sample some of the sherries on offer. The rest of your evening is then free to do as you wish.
                                        Included Activities
                                        • Bodega tour and sherry tasting
                                          Optional Activities
                                          • Moorish baths - EUR25
                                          • Alcazar - EUR5
                                            Accommodation
                                            Hotel (1 nt)
                                            Day 24 Chefchaouen
                                            Today will be a long day of travel, as you leave Spain behind and head to Morocco. Travel by bus to the port town of Algeciras, which should take around three hours. Here you'll find spectacular views of the Rock of Gibraltar, before boarding a ferry to cross the straits to the city of Tangier (approximately 1.5 hours). After leaving the ferry jump on a bus for around three hours to Chefchaouen, which is in the centre of a mountainous agricultural region. There won't be too much time to explore Chefchaouen today, so perhaps settle into your hotel and relax before your walking tour tomorrow.
                                            Included Activities
                                            • Walking tour with local guide
                                              Optional Activities
                                              • Hamam (public baths) - MAD150
                                              • Henna tattooing - MAD50
                                                Accommodation
                                                Hotel (1 nt)
                                                Day 25 Chefchaouen
                                                Meet your local guide early in the day to explore the maze of streets in the beautiful blue and whitewashed Chefchaouen.
                                                Chefchaouen, or otherwise a ‘blue city’ is arguably one of the prettiest places in Morocco. Set against a wide valley and surrounded by the stunning Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen may take you by surprise. Its medina has been lovingly cared for with striking blue and whitewashed houses, red-tiled roofs and artistic doorways. Much of Chefchaouen was recreated by Andalusian refugees escaping the Reconquistia, so you might feel like you're still in the hills of Spain while exploring its streets. Learn about general life in a small Moroccan community, visit a communal bakery, watch local women do their laundry and walk up to a former church for a great view over the town that's nestled between two mountain peaks. As a popular shopping destination for handicrafts, carpets, blankets or woolen garments, you may also see the artisans at work. Possibly relax after your walking tour in a traditional Moroccan hammam.
                                                Accommodation
                                                Hotel (1 nt)
                                                Day 26 Fes
                                                Say farewell to Chefchaouen today and take a public bus for around five hours to Fes.
                                                Your day is free once you arrive, so perhaps get your bearings of the most complete medieval city in the Arab world. The adventurous may want to try a camel burger for dinner at a local restaurant in the medina. In the evening why not head off to enjoy a dinner of Moroccan specialities like harira (chickpea soup) and chicken-stuffed pastilla with couscous. You may also head to the Palais Jamai for a drink. Watching the sunset over the Medina while a dozen prayer calls vie for attention is an experience you'll likely remember for a long time.
                                                Included Activities
                                                • Guided walking tour Fes
                                                  Day 27 Fes
                                                  Today take a guided walk around Fes. Discover the labyrinth of the Medina, known locally as Fes el Bali, a living monument to an ancient past and still very much alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries and mosques. Medieval Fes was one of the world's great centres of education and culture: both Islamic and Jewish. Its religious institutions and its libraries are legendary. Its mosques are of great renown. And it was to Fes that many of the Muslims (and Jews) expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella came in 1492. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the city's most beautiful buildings which has recently been restored and is now open to tourists. You'll also visit the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramic factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. After the tour, the afternoon is free to get lost in the city's maze of streets and alleys, take a photo outside the Royal Palace or visit the nearby hills for incredible views.
                                                  Please note that today’s experience will include shopping in carefully selected places. As the receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry, Intrepid has established a centralised system of receiving and distributing payments from these recommended suppliers. For more information, please refer to ‘Important Notes’ section or talk to your Tour leader on the ground.
                                                  Day 28 Marrakech
                                                  Travel by train this morning to Marrakech, which will take around eight hours. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens.On arrival, head out on an included tour to see the Koutoubia Mosque and its minaret - famous throughout the world as one of the greatest minarets and the 'sister' to the Giralda in Seville. Please note it is impossible for non-Muslims to enter the minaret, and we will only visit its beautiful surroundings. If you have time, explore the ruins of Palais Badi and comb the spectacular Djemaa el-Fna bazaar. Perhaps head out for a final dinner with the group in the evening.
                                                  Notes: As there's not much time spent in Marrakech, we recommend booking an extra few nights accommodation so you can fully explore this amazing city. Our reservations team will be happy to help (subject to availability).
                                                  Included Activities
                                                  • Koutoubia Mosque and minaret
                                                    Optional Activities
                                                    • Saadien Tombs - MAD10
                                                    • Palais Badi - MAD10
                                                    • Palais Bahia - MAD10
                                                    • Henna tattooing - MAD50
                                                    • Hamam (public baths) - MAD250
                                                    • A Taste Of Marrakech - MAD450
                                                    • Tajine cooking class - MAD546
                                                    • Cascades d'Ouzoud day tour - MAD2207
                                                    • Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa - MAD650
                                                    • Ourika Valley day tour - MAD1817
                                                    • Oukaimeden day tour - MAD1882
                                                    • Asni & Ourigane with lunch - MAD1806
                                                    • Heart of the Atlas Mountains cycling day tour - MAD900
                                                    • Medina, Palace and Tombs half day tour - MAD325
                                                    • Quad Biking the Rock Desert & Palmgrove - MAD660
                                                    • Quad biking Barrage Lalla Takerkoust - MAD1320
                                                    • Palmery cycling tour - MAD300
                                                    • Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour - MAD300
                                                    • Imlil & Aroumd day tour - MAD1817
                                                    • Essaouira Food & Culture day trip - MAD840
                                                      Day 29 Marrakech
                                                      Your Paris to Marrakech adventure ends this morning. There are no activities planned for the final day and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                                                      Itinerary disclaimer
                                                      ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
                                                      Physical rating

                                                      Included activities
                                                      Chateaux Villandry & Gardens
                                                      Cycling tour
                                                      Canoeing - Sarlat
                                                      Wine tasting Bordeaux
                                                      Hiking in the Pyrenees
                                                      Alcazar Segovia
                                                      Orientation walk
                                                      Fado performance
                                                      Orientation Walk
                                                      Citadel
                                                      Algarve beach excursion
                                                      Bodega tour and sherry tasting
                                                      Walking tour with local guide
                                                      Guided walking tour Fes
                                                      Koutoubia Mosque and minaret
                                                      Important notes
                                                      A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.

                                                      Group size
                                                      Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                                                      Your fellow travellers
                                                      GROUP TRAVEL
                                                      As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                                                      SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                                                      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                                                      Accommodation
                                                      Hotel (17nt)
                                                      Meals introduction
                                                      While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
                                                      Meals
                                                      No meals included
                                                      Money matters
                                                      SPENDING MONEY
                                                      When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                                                      Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

                                                      EMERGENCY FUNDS
                                                      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
                                                      Group leader
                                                      All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                                                      Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                                                      Joining point
                                                      Hotel Des Arts - Bastille
                                                      2 Rue Godefroy Cavaignac
                                                      Paris
                                                      FRANCE
                                                      Phone: 33 143797257
                                                      Fax: 33 143790660
                                                      Joining point description
                                                      Hotel des Arts is a small boutique-style property ideally located in the district of la Bastille.

                                                      Rooms offer a safe, free WiFi, direct dial telephone, satellite TV and a small en-suite bathroom.

                                                      The hotel also offers a 24hr front desk, elevator and luggage storage facilities.
                                                      Joining point instructions
                                                      Take the metro to Charonne, line 9. Take the rue de Charonne exit. Walk down the street with the green boulanger and red Brasserie L’ngenu on either corner. Walk 250 metres to Rue Godefroy Cavaignac on your right. Hotel des Arts is the first building on the right.

                                                      Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name at the arrivals hall.
                                                      In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: + 33 (0)6 15 035 427
                                                      Finish point
                                                      Hotel Le Caspien
                                                      12, rue Loubnane
                                                      Marrakech
                                                      MOROCCO
                                                      Phone: 212 524422282
                                                      Finish point description
                                                      Centrally located in the Gueliz district 5mins walk from Avenue Mohammed V, the Caspien hotel has 40 rooms all with en-suite bathrooms, A/C, TV, telephones. The hotel has a small swimming pool and 2 restaurants.
                                                      www.lecaspien-hotel.com
                                                      Finishing point instructions
                                                      Marrakech Menara Airport is approx. 5km from the city centre. Petite taxis (small cars which are light brown in colour) can easily be hailed from the street, or ask the hotel to assist. Negotiate the fare before getting in and aim to pay no more than 100MAD (150MAD at night).

                                                      Pre booked departure transfer to the airport:
                                                      If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be collected from your hotel 3 hours prior to your flight.
                                                      Please reconfirm your departure transfers with your tour leader.

                                                      In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you not find the driver please contact travel company on the emergency phone numbers: +212 6 61 24 31 06 and +212 6 66 19 27 66 Or Peak Number : 212 (0) 66192 2693


                                                      Departure from Casablanca:
                                                      For those of you that are flying out of Casablanca: Trains from Marrakech to Casablanca, depart on the hour every 2 hours between 4:45am and 8:45pm and cost EUR8 for 2nd class and EUR12 for 1st class. The trip is scheduled to take 3 hours & 10 minutes and is subject to frequent delays.

                                                      From Casablanca Voyageurs Station, trains run to the Casablanca airport every two hours at 13 mins past the hour between 03h13 and 22h13. From Casa L’oasis (first station in Casablanca), trains run to the airport every two hours at 20 mins past the hour between 03h20 and 22h20. The trip takes 35 minutes.
                                                      Check the useful website (in French) for more information - www.oncf.ma

                                                      Alternatively, from Casablanca city the 25km taxi ride to the Casablanca airport costs MAD250 (EUR25)

                                                      Please note that private transfer from Marrakech hotel to Casablanca airport are available for sale.

                                                      Emergency contact
                                                      In the case of a genuine crisis, emergency or logistical issues, our local operator, PEAK DMC Europe, can be reached on the following number: +49 8677 918 66 57.

                                                      Peak Marrakech: +49 867 791 866 57

                                                      Peak Marrakech: +49 8677 9186 657
                                                      What to take
                                                      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

                                                      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

                                                      Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

                                                      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf
                                                      Climate and seasonal information
                                                      SPANISH SIESTA:
                                                      Please note that shops, attractions, sights and businesses may be closed for up to 5 hours in the middle of the day for siesta time. This gives the locals time to escape the heat and spend time with their families, eat a large lunch or simply sleep through the most uncomfortable time of day. This means of course that people work later into the evening and dinner time can seem quite late: 9.30pm is not uncommon for family dinner time.

                                                      One of the great things about our trips is that we encourage every member of the group to spend time interacting with local people. In order to best be able to do this in Spain, we recommend that you try to do as the locals do - avoid the heat of the day, and stay out later at night.

                                                      RAMADAN, EID UL-FITR and EID UL ADHA FESTIVAL 2016:
                                                      In 2016 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 06 June through till 05 July, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken.
                                                      Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it is a period of National holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be effected.
                                                      Eid ul Adha occurs approximately 2 months after Edi ul- Fitr, on 10 and 11 September 2016.
                                                      Travel insurance
                                                      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                                                      When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                                                      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                                                      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

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