Highlights of Southern Spain & Morocco Trip Notes

Visit southern Spain and Morocco and explore the sights of Seville, become acquainted with Granada's eclectic air, marvel at Meknes and wander Marrakech's magical medinas.

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    • Explorer
    • Comfort
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There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later Highlights of Southern Spain & Morocco.
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Last Modified: 01 Oct 2014
Highlights of Southern Spain & Morocco
Trip code: ZBKS
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
Journey through Moorish mosques, Roman ruins, medieval Spanish cities and mystical Moroccan medinas on this incredible adventure through Morocco and southern Spain. Give in to Spain’s infectious lust for life and trawl back through the centuries at the Alhambra Palace, the magnificent Mosque of Hassan II and the bustling Djemaa el-Fna. Kick the heels up in heady Granada or kick back in rural Ronda, take to a quiet forest trail in Grazalema or the well-worn alleyways of Meknes, and feast on mouth-watering tapas and tajines all the way through. Spirited, scenic and subtle by turns, this is the perfect foray through two captivating countries.
This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures. Your group is therefore likely to be a mixture of Intrepid passengers and other like-minded international travellers.
Table of Contents
StyleTippingEmergency funds
ThemesDeparture taxVisas
MapImportant notesIssues on your trip
ItineraryGroup sizeWhat to take
Also available to purchaseYour fellow travellersHealth
We also recommendSingle travellersTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationResponsible Travel
Culture shock rating Meals introductionA couple of rules
Physical ratingMealsThe Intrepid Foundation
Included activitiesTransportResponsible Travel projects
Optional activitiesGroup leaderFeedback
Money ExchangeArrival complications
Spending moneyEmergency contact
Style
Comfort
  • Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!
Themes
Explorer
Map
Highlights of Southern Spain & Morocco
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Seville
Hola! Welcome to Spain.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. 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. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Take the opportunity to explore this most flamboyant of cities whose charms lie not only in its sights and sounds, but also with its culinary temptations. Seville has many World Heritage sites - Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower, sample Triana´s nightlife and dining options.
Our hotel is located in the heart of Barrio Santa Cruz - famous for its shady narrow laneways. Barrio de Santa Cruz was originally home to an active Jewish and Muslim community.
After our welcome meeting there is an orientation walk around the neighbourhood and an included dinner in a local restaurant, where we get to sample some of the local cuisine.
After breakfast this morning, we embark on a walking tour that will reveal to us many of Seville's finest sights. With the knowledge of our local leader to guide us, we explore the labyrinthine maze of narrow cobblestoned streets and sun-speckled squares in Barrio Santa Cruz and El Centro.
Situated on the banks of the Rio Guadalquivir, Seville has been inhabited since Roman times. before being conquered in turn by the Visigoths, Moors and lastly the Christians, who led by Fernando III, known as 'El Santo' (The Saint), captured the city in 1248. This cultural diversity is richly portrayed in Seville's architectural legacies to this day.
We visit to Seville's magnificent Alcazar Palace - one of the country’s most impressive and historic monuments, as well as the lovely botanical gardens in Maria Luisa Park and the incomparable Plaza de Espana.
This afternoon is at leisure to further explore. We highly recommend visiting Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower (entrance fees not included). Seville Cathedral is one of the largest in Europe and is home to Christopher Columbus’ elevated tomb. Tonight we can join the 'Sevillanos' and soak up the ambiance of the city as it comes alive after dark. ´Sevillanos´ dine late in general and perhaps you may wish to go to a flamenco show to round off the evening. Our guide will offer us some history of this unique dance style in the world of Spanish culture and musical heritage. Ole! (3-4 hrs walking)
Included Activities
  • Alcazar Palace
  • Botanical gardens
  • Guided walking tour in Seville
Optional Activities
  • Catedral de Sevilla & La Giralda - EUR8
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 3-4 Grazalema
Today we transfer to the beautiful Grazalema National Park and visit the splendid village of Zahara de la Sierra en route. (Drive time 1.5hrs). The spectacular location of this white-washed village, set as it is clinging to the edges of a dramatic mountain range, makes it visible for many kilometres and it has been called a 'Moorish Eagle's Nest'. Here we have a guide tour through the villages narrow alleyways and admire the view from the watch tower.
We will also visit ´Molino El Vinculo´, a traditional, family-run ‘cold’ olive oil mill for a demonstration and tasting. Andalucia is the world's largest producer of olive oil and the locals enjoy it with their breakfast, lunches and dinners! It is also the basis of Andalucia's most famous contribution to world gastronomy - gazpacho.
We then drive over the stunning ´Puerto de las Palomas´ (Dove Pass) road, high up in the 'sierras' to the actual village of Grazalema (30mins).
Before dinner we will have a guided orientation of the village to get a feel for this charming little place. (3-4 hrs village walking – hills/slopes)
The following day is a free day, if you wish.
Alternatively you have the option of taking a nature walk into the ancient forests and hilly landscapes of the Grazalema National Park. The walk is led by our tour leader and caters to both light walkers and those seeking a more adventurous day in this region that was frequented by Romans, Moors and Bandits in years gone past. This hike begins by exploring Grazalema's upper village streets onto a gently sloping path, leading us up to a lovely viewpoint. From here travellers can return to the hotel for a restful afternoon and wander around the village while others may wish to carry on and explore the verdant natural areas with our tour leader.
Please note that today’s walking distance and terrain is subject to group interest and weather. (4-6 hours hill walking)
Included Activities
  • Molino El Vinculo
  • Orientation walk of Grazalema
  • Zahara de la Sierra
Optional Activities
  • Nature walk in Grazalema National Park - Free
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 5 Ronda
After breakfast we depart Grazalema for Ronda (literally meaning 'surrounded by mountains'), where we enjoy a one-night stay in this wonderfully picturesque small town.
Ronda is one of Spain's oldest towns dating back to the 9th century BC, Ronda impresses with its dramatic location perched on an inland plateau at 744 metres. With links to the renowned writers such as Alexandre Dumas and Ernest Hemingway, it is an ideal place to gaze out from its elevated position across to the patchwork of fields and floodplains beneath.
We have a walking tour of the old and new quarter in the morning. (2-3hrs walking) In the afternoon there is free time to explore more of what Ronda has to offer. Take a walk into the picturesque gorge, a walk down a country path surrounding the town, museum visits or simply just enjoying the shopping and ambience.
This evening we regroup for dinner in one of the town´s lively local restaurants.
Included Activities
  • Orientation walk of Ronda
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 6 Granada
We travel on road by private minibus to Granada (3hrs). Along the way we enjoy views of Andalucia’s rich countryside. This fine city imbues the Islamic tradition and hints at the ghosts of a very different past like no other in Andalucia. It was the last Muslim-controlled city and fell to the Christians in 1492.
On arrival we walk in the historic Christian cathedral district and witness the Moorish influence first-hand.
This afternoon there is an opportunity to enjoy an optional self-guided tour of Granada Cathedral, visit the Royal Chapel which contains the tombs of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand from the early 16th century or wander through the ´Alcaiceria´ (old silk market area) and observe the craftworks on sale that include ceramics, marquetry and leather goods.
This evening our tour guide will take you on a tapa tour of the city through some of Granada’s lively squares beneath the Alhambra Palace, something that Granada knows how to do well like no other city in Spain. There are small flamenco taverns dotted around the city and if there are any programs or concerts on, we may need to pay a small cover fee to enter.
The following day we visit the Alhambra Palace. Dating back to the 11th century and taking its name from the Arabic for 'red castle,' the Alhambra will challenge your visual senses with so much to entice. The dominating red fortress towers, sumptuous palace decor, gardens of the 'Generalife' (literally meaning ‘architect's garden’) all set against the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains and compete for your eyes’ attention. Once inside the palace you are free to wander around and make your own discoveries.
This afternoon our tour leader also takes us today deeper into Granada’s Moorish ´Albaicin´ quarter and traditional tea houses area. The view from this area, across to the Alhambra Palace is not to be missed!
Tonight as it is our last night in the city, we dine in Granada in style and celebrate a week of Andalusian culture, countryside and experiences.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Itinerary
Included Activities
  • Alhambra Palace
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 Granada to Casablanca
Our time in Spain has come to end! We transfer by minibus to Malaga Airport (2hrs) where we say goodbye to our tour guide for our flight to Casablanca in Morocco. On arrival in Casablanca Airport we will be met by our new guide for the week who will let us know what time the welcome meeting will be.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Included Activities
  • Flight to Casablanca
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 9 Casablanca - Meknes
Today we visit the impressive Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca. Opened in 1993 and second only in size to the Great Mosque in Mecca. It can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and is one of the only religious sites open to non-Muslims.
We then drive to Rabat, the elegant capital of Morocco and our first imperial city. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating to the Almohad and Merenid dynasties and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now know as the Chellah, where we visit the remains of the citadel. We also see the vast minaret of the Hassan Mosque and explore the lovely walled quarter known as Kasbah des Oudaias.
In the late afternoon we continue to Meknes.
Included Activities
  • Chellah - Entrance - Rabat
  • Guided tour of Hassan II Mosque
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 10 Volubilis
Today we visit Volubilis, once a provincial Roman capital - a distant outpost of the empire. As we approach it, we can see it prominently sited along the edge of a high plateau. Today it is the most impressive Roman site in Morocco and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. We explore the many public buildings and at the House of Orpheus, we see several fine mosaic floors intact.
We travel back to Meknes to explore, the charming streets of the old medina are a perfect prelude to Fes. From the northern gate, Bab Berdaine, we walk to the shrine of Moulay Idriss, who in the 17th century turned Meknes from a provincial town to a spectacular imperial city. We visit the lovely Bou Inania Medresse (religious school) and after spending time exploring the old souk, we drive to Fes for the night.
Included Activities
  • Meknes - Guided walking tour
  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 11-12 Fes
Spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco, Fes is vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming - a visual and pungent assault on the senses. It is made up of three distinct cities, or quarters. We are based in the elegant 'Nouveau Ville', or New City, which has a distinctly French/European character.
Today we head into the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali - arguably the world's most fascinating and confounding old city. 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 also greatly renowned. It was to Fes that many of the Muslims (and Jews) expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella came in 1492. As we walk through the streets and alleyways, passing historic khans, medresses and dye-pits, it is not hard to imagine ourselves back in the Middle Ages. We spend our time exploring the old city, visiting the Belghazi Museum, Medresse el Attarine, the tanneries and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine - a beautifully restored 18th century inn.
Today we have free day in Fes. An opportunity to get lost in the crazy maze of streets. Or Fes el Jedid, meaning New City (but not to be confused with the Nouvelle Ville). Unlike Fes el Bali, which grew organically over the years, Fes el Jedid was an entirely planned city, built by the Merenids in the 13th and 14th centuries. The imposing gateway of Bab Boujeloud leads us into broad streets, where public and private gardens add a splash of colour to the surroundings. The tour leader will explain all options available to you for those who are wanting to go further afield.
Included Activities
  • Belghazi Museum - Entrance - Fes
  • Fondouk Nejjarine - Entrance - Fes
  • Guided walking tour Fes
  • Mederassa Bou Inania - Entrance - Fes
  • Medersa Attarine - Entrance - Fes
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 13-15 Marrakech
We board the train to Marrakech, via Casablanca. It's pretty much an all day affair, so ensure you have a good book with you. There's a food trolley service on board, offering a regular supply of snacks and drinks. On arrival in Marrakech we transfer to your beautiful traditional-style ‘riad hotel’, just a few minutes’ walk from Jemaa el Fna - the great square. This evening, why not head over to the square, one of the largest public spaces in the world and unique to Marrakech. Every night it comes alive with snake charmers, musicians, story tellers, fire eaters and hundreds of small outdoor restaurants. No need to ask anyone where it is, just follow the throng towards the smell of barbecued meats!
After breakfast we set off on a morning tour of the old medina. We visit the beautiful Bahia Palace, a splendid mansion built in 1866 for a former slave who had risen to a position of importance in the government of Moulay Hassan. We explore the tranquil inner courtyards, fragrant with orange blossom, and the many salons and chambers that make up this elegant home. We continue to the Marrakech Museum, itself a former palace which houses a fine collection of Moroccan art and sculpture, and then walk through the streets of the old medina as we make our way back to the Jemaa el Fna. The rest of the day is free to further explore or shop in the bazaar.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Included Activities
  • Guided walking tour around Marrakech
  • Palais Bahia
  • Photography Museum
Accommodation
Riad (2 nts)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • Highlights of Southern Spain & Morocco - Single Supplement (ZBKS)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Highlights of France (AMKF)
  • Italy Experience (ZMKF)
  • The Camino de Santiago Challenge (ZTXC)
Itinerary disclaimer
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. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
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.
Culture shock rating

At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
Physical rating

Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Optional activities
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only and are subject to availabilities. For our families we have priced an all inclusive package including entrance fees, transport and local guide where relevant to assist you with budgeting the exact amount required on tour. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. The optional activities listed in your itinerary are our recommendation guideline and have been checked locally.
The decision to partake in any activity not listed above is entirely at your own discretion and risk. If you do have any complaint about or problem with, any such optional activity your claim should be directed to the activity provider and not to us.
Money Exchange
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.
The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied.
You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning.
When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place.
Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.
You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%.
For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
MOROCCO
The official currency of Morocco is Dirham (MAD).
Moroccan Dirhams cannot be purchased outside of Morocco, but it is easy to get cash on arrival.
The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is by Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Check with your bank for information on international fees. There are now ATMs (which accept both Visa and MasterCard) throughout all Moroccan cities.
There are few problems changing money. There are many banks, all operating with equal exchange rates, and without commission. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange. Please note that Australian Dollars (AUD) are not accepted in Morocco.
Travellers' cheques are not recommended in Morocco. While some banks and 5 star hotels will change travellers' cheques this is rare and the process is very time consuming, and commissions can be high (up to 10%).
For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothing.
Spending money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest €1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers.
Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest MAD20-30 per person per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however MAD10 per person per day is generally appropriate.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline MAD30 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Important notes
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 2014:
In 2014 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from the 28th June through till the 27th 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, in early October 2014.
Group size
Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
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. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
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.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Accommodation
Hotel (12 nts), Riad (2 nts)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
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
14 Breakfasts, 4 Dinners
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.
Transport
Plane, Private Bus, Taxi
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. You can expect your Intrepid Food Adventures group leader to be passionate about the local food scene and keen to share their insider knowledge on the best authentic local food and drink experiences throughout your trip.
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.
Arrival complications
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the Joining Instructions section above for who to contact.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, again following the Joining Instructions in these trip notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on Tel: +49 (0) 8677 918 66 57. For further contact details please use the following page:
Emergency funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas
Visas for this trip can take many weeks to be issued so book early. The process can be quite complicated and you are urged to read the information provided carefully, as well as do your own research. The process of getting a visa can be further complicated if you are doing further travel before this trip, so we suggest booking this trip on its own, or doing it at the beginning of your broader travel plans.
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY):
Australia: No - Not required
Belgium: No - Not required
Canada: No - Not required
Germany: No - Not required
Ireland: No - Not required
Netherlands: No - Not required
New Zealand: No - Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: No - Not required
UK: No - Not required
USA: No - Not required
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
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 and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (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.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
Health
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
HENNA TATTOOS:
Henna tattoos are commonplace in Morocco. You should be aware that some henna tattoos contain the chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause a painful allergic reaction, including swelling and an itchy rash in some people.
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 group 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.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
When packing be aware that dress standards can be conservative in some parts of Africa. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no short shorts in culturally sensitive areas: Mosques, small villages, etc. We recommend a mixture of loose, lightweight clothing and warm clothing for the evenings. Topless sun bathing is unacceptable through out the whole of Africa.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Responsible Travel projects
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Morocco include:
* Project Handicapped Horizon has assisted with the rehabilitation, health and empowerment of more than 3,000 disabled people. With two major departments, one is dedicated to the design, building and fitting of prosthetic limbs and other orthotics, footwear and mobility aids. While the other focuses on training local artisans and selling their products.
Intrepid Travel also supports the following non-profit organisations:
* Kasbah Myriam is a carpet and embroidery workshop run by Franciscan nuns with the aim of providing sustainable employment and healthcare to local Berber women.
* The SPANA animal hospital in Marrakech cares for the health and welfare of donkeys, dogs and cats.
Feedback
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.