Madrid to Marrakech Trip Notes

Madrid to Marrakech

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017


Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016
Madrid to Marrakech
Trip code: ZMSH
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Enjoy a first-hand experience of Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan lifestyles. Travelling from Madrid to Marrakech, immerse yourself in the history of each destination, exploring ancient cultures through art, design, language and religion, meeting charismatic locals along the way. From fine Spanish cuisine and awesome shopping in Madrid to idyllic Algarve beaches and Islamic architecture in Morocco, this tour has been designed to pique your curiosity and allow a discovery of the mysteries concealed within each region. Experience a collision of old and new, European and African, and be dazzled by the vibrancy of this corner of the world. TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017: From the 1st of January 2017 this trip will have an improved itinerary. As we always strive to improve our product, and we do listen to our travellers, we have decided to incorporate the following changes: D 8 The Algarve – we will take out the included boat trip in order to give travellers a chance to go on optional Algarve day trip. It was indicated to us that some travellers would prefer a relaxing day on the coast and some would like to travel out to discover Algarve further. D9 Algarve to Seville to Tarifa – We will not travel to Jerez any more, but on the way out from Algarve we will spent almost full day discovering very interesting Seville, with included Tapas crawl. We will then travel further to Tarifa for overnight stop. This way, we will discover new places such as Seville and Tarifa (although in Tarifa we will only have limited time), and thon the following day when we will travel to Morocco, the distance to cover will be much shorter, making the day more enjoyable.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinish point description
ThemesAccommodation NotesFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionEmergency contact
Why we love itMealsVisas
MapTransportWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderHealth
Physical ratingSafetyTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining pointA couple of rules
Important notesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- 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 twin-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.
- Non-muslims will not be able to visit a single mosque in Morocco during this trip. However the recommended dress code does apply; 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.
- Be aware that cats are very common in Morocco. Especially in the mountain village of Chefchaouen. Bring antihistamines if necessary.
- 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.
- On Day 13, you'll head out on a day tour around the amazing medieval Medina of Fes. 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
- 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
- Make the most of your time in Lisbon. This city has so many sights on offer; beautiful museums, monuments and parks, as well as its famous trams, bars and restaurants.
- The Algarve in Portugal is the perfect middle point of the trip. Buy some fresh local produce in the morning market to enjoy while soaking up the sun on Culatra island’s gorgeous beaches. In the evening enjoy a sunset over the Atlantic Ocean from our accommodations roof top terrace.
- Back in Spain you will be introduced to the southern style of life with flamenco, tapas and siestas. Be inspired to join the local families walking down the streets at night in their beautiful outfits.
- Feel adventurous as you cross the straight of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco, leaving Europe behind for Africa.
- Land softly in Chefchaouen, our first stop in Morocco. Wake up to the call for prayer, enjoy local fresh produce breakfast and head out to explore this beautiful blue mountain village on foot.
- 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 Madrid
Welcome to Madrid, Spain. The sassy central capital is known for its elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks, but it also pulsates with energy, and is without doubt a vibrant city. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at around 7pm – double check with reception to confirm the time and place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance, passport details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). As there's limited time for sightseeing in Madrid, we recommend arriving a few days early to explore. Perhaps while away the hours along the Paseo del Arte, or Art Walk, for an expansive history of Western art. Start with the Museo del Prado, then discover modern Spanish masters, including Picasso and Dali, in the Museo Reina Sofia. Finish at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which displays eight centuries of European painting. After the welcome meeting, perhaps get into the mind of a Madrileño with some tapas and Rioja.
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 2 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 beautiful Renaissance and baroque architecture of the historic stone buildings that the city is known for. Plaza Mayor is a true centre of local life, perhaps the most perfect city square in Spain. Not only is it architecturally unique, but it also 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. You can admire the intricate detail of the Casa de Las Conchas, or ‘House of the Shells’, see the contrasting Old and New Cathedrals, and climb to the top to get a view across the terracotta-coloured rooftops. Thanks to the large student population the town has a vibrant nightlife, so maybe soak up the buzzing vibe tonight.
    Included Activities
    • Salamanca - 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 3 Coimbra
        Head further west by bus today and cross the border into Portugal to the laidback city of Coimbra (approximately 5 hours). Coimbra will be your base for next two nights. Sitting dignified on the banks of the River Mondego, Coimbra was once the capital of the county, and its royal heritage can be felt in its ancient streets and buildings. On arrival, your leader will escort you on a walk to help you orientate yourself in the maze of alleyways of this riverfront city. Half the fun of Coimbra is wandering and exploring, so use your free time getting to know the city. Coimbra features typical white stone buildings with several excellent examples of colourful azulejos tiling. Some of the historical structures were originally built in the 12th century (like the Cathedral Sé Velha), and you can find some of the Portugal's best examples of Romanesque churches and elegant museums here. The University of Coimbra – the oldest in Portugal – and the famous baroque library, the Biblioteca Joanina, with its 18th-century bell tower, are highlights.
        Included Activities
        • Orientation walk
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 4 Coimbra
          Enjoy a free day of exploration in Coimbra before witnessing a traditional Fado performance in the splendour of a lovely old chapel (held daily in the centre of the old town). Fado songs must follow a particular structure, and though this traditional music can really be about anything, it popularly features mournful tunes with lyrics about the sea or the life of the poor. In Coimbra, male university students would often serenade their sweethearts with this music, with songs here tending to be literary translations or follow themes students can relate to. 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 well-preserved mosaics and offer 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.
          Included Activities
          • Fado performance
            Optional Activities
            • Boat tour - EUR7
            • Cathedrals - EUR3
            • Conimbriga ruins - EUR5
            • Portugal Dos Pequenitos - EUR10
            • University of Coimbra - EUR9
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 5 Lisbon
              Today, jump on a train through the countryside of central Portugal to Lisbon (approximately 3.5 hours). 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, city located on the banks of the Tagus (Tejo) River. Much of Lisbon’s character and charm lies in its beautiful renovated buildings, grand boulevards and impressive castles and churches. On the orientation walk of this truly one of Europe’s great cities, you will visit the medieval citadel in the city centre of Lisbon. Citadel of Sao Jorge Castle dates back to Moorish times and sits on the highest point of the Old Town. Look down on a city swarming 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. Your afternoon and evening is then free, so perhaps see quirky pieces in the Folk Art Museum, or head to the grand Naval Museum for an insight into the history of Portuguese navigation. You can roam through the charming narrow streets of local neighbourhoods and see local life play out. A visit to the symbolic Lisbon Cathedral Belem Tower (a wonderful building originally designed as a lighthouse) is recommended, as is the vast, spectacular Monastery of the Jeronimos. Maybe simply sit back in one of many outdoors restaurants and cafes – watching the life go by is definitely one of the best ways to relax in Lisbon. Barrio Alto is the place to head to check out the nightlife.
              Included Activities
              • Lisbon - Orientation Walk
              • Citadel
                Optional Activities
                • National Art Museum - EUR6
                • Folk Art Museum - EUR3
                • Gulbenkian Museum - EUR5
                • Puppet Museum - EUR5
                • Naval Museum - EUR4
                • Fado Show with Dinner - EUR25
                • Oceanarium - EUR16
                  Accommodation
                  Pension (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 6 Lisbon
                  Today is free for you to explore more of Lisbon, or maybe take a 45 minute train ride out to the mountainous region of Sintra, an absolute jewel of Portugal. This area offers great walking, stunning cliff-top palaces and unique Moorish architecture. The 8th century Castle of the Moors looks down on the old town, and the views from the battlements across the Serra de Sintra mountain range are stunning.
                  Optional Activities
                  • Palacio Real - Sintra - EUR10
                  • Palacio da Pena - Sintra - EUR14
                  • Sintra Day Trip - Lisbon - EUR10
                  • Castelo dos Mouros - Entrance - Sintra - EUR8
                    Accommodation
                    Pension (1 nt)
                    Day 7 The Algarve
                    Take a long bus journey of around 5 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. Your base is Olhao, the Algarve’s biggest fishing port, with an active waterfront, Moorish buildings and bustling lanes in its old quarters that have a North African feel. Check in to your accommodation on arrival and then use the rest of the evening getting to know the place; you can wander the city centre and get a great view of the town from the church bell tower, perhaps try Olhao’s famous fish restaurants, or stroll along the coastal road Rua 5 de Outubro, the eastern Algarve’s food mile, filled with delicious and authentic local flavours.
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Day 8 The Algarve
                    This morning, venture out on an included beach excursion with the rest of the group. Sandy beach islands can be reached by the boats that are used by local people on a 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 vast swathes of golden sandy beaches. Head towards the Ria Formosa Nature Reserves, a beautiful landscape of canals, salt pans, lagoons and sand banks, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a series of barrier islands. One of these is Ilha de Culatra, where you can wander along a series of boardwalks, leading away from the fishermen’s settlements, and cross over dunes and lagoons to beaches that are so long that they disappear into the heat haze of the horizon. Soak up the laid back atmosphere of this place, a deserted expanses of shimmering white sand dunes and the glistening ocean, disturbed only by the occasional cry of a seagull. After a peaceful day of either relaxation or walking, return 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 to try some true Portuguese fare.
                    Included Activities
                    • Algarve beach excursion
                      Accommodation
                      Hotel (1 nt)
                      Day 9 Jerez
                      Leave Portugal and return to Spain, heading for the hills of Andalucía today, travelling by bus to the traditional and historic town of Jerez de la Frontera (approximately 7 hours). With its ancient Alcazar (Moorish fortress), eclectic cathedral, cobbled alleys, plazas, baroque churches, and huge selection of high quality tapas bars, Jerez is an undiscovered jewel in the heart of Andalucía. 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, Flamenco music and dance. Once settled into your accommodation, why not head into the Moorish baths to see classic Arabic tiling, or discover the concentration of tapas bars east from Calle Larga to Barrio San Miguel (Ruta de los Tabancos), then catch a flurry of flamenco in the tight confines of a small bar.
                      Included Activities
                      • Bodega tour and sherry tasting
                        Optional Activities
                        • Moorish baths - EUR25
                        • Alcazar - EUR5
                          Accommodation
                          Hotel (1 nt)
                          Day 10 Chefchaouen
                          Today will be a long day of travel, as you leave Spain behind and head to Morocco. To raise the spirits for that, we will head out on a bodega tour and sample some of the finniest Sherries on offer. Travel by bus to the port town of Algecira (approximately 3 hours). Here you'll enjoy spectacular views of the Rock of Gibraltar, then catch another bus to Tarifa while enjoying the view of hills covered with windmills and possibly the African coastline in the background and finally board 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 a sleepy mountain town peppered with blue-washed buildings and ambient restaurants – Chefchaouen, which is in the centre of a mountainous agricultural region. There may not be much time to explore this rural retreat by the time your arrive today, but you might just have time to look over the architecture of the 15th-century Grand Mosque and the medina, the walled fortress of the Kasbah, and maybe tuck into some popular local goats’ cheese or a tagine tonight, before settling into your hotel and relax before your walking tour tomorrow.
                          Accommodation
                          Hotel (1 nt)
                          Day 11 Chefchaouen
                          Meet your local guide early in the day to explore the maze of streets in Chefchaouen. The ‘blue city’ is arguably one of the prettiest places in Morocco. Set against a wide valley and nestled between two peaks in 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, and it's filled with handircrafts, while the main square has shops selling woven goods and small sweets. 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.
                          Included Activities
                          • Walking tour with local guide
                            Optional Activities
                            • Hammam (public baths) - MAD150
                            • Henna tattooing - MAD50
                              Accommodation
                              Hotel (1 nt)
                              Meals
                              1 breakfast
                              Day 12 Fes
                              Say farewell to Chefchaouen today and take a public bus for around five hours to the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco. Arrive in the city of Fes and step back in time at a medieval medina thick with exotic smells, tastes and sounds. Vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses – Fes is the mother of all medinas. Maybe fuel explorations of this imperial city with a glass of mint tea and some sweet Moroccan dates. 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 melodic prayer calls vie for attention is an experience you'll likely remember for a long time.
                              Accommodation
                              Hotel (1 nt)
                              Meals
                              1 breakfast
                              Day 13 Fes
                              Take a guided group walking tour of the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali. Step back into the Middle Ages in the labyrinth of the Medina, which is alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries and mosques. Pass donkeys piled high with goods (this is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world) and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. 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. 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. Pass the Belghazi Museum, Medresse el Attarine and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. You'll also see the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramics factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. After the tour, the afternoon is free for you to enjoy as you please.

                              Notes: 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.
                              Included Activities
                              • Guided walking tour Fes
                                Accommodation
                                Hotel (1 nt)
                                Meals
                                1 breakfast
                                Day 14 Marrakech
                                Travel by train this morning to Marrakech (approximately 8 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 not possible for non-Muslims to enter the minaret, and you will only visit its beautiful surroundings. If you have time, explore the ruins of Palais Badi, once one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, or comb the spectacular bazaar, where every step to a new souq brings a new smell, a new sight or a new gift to buy. Perhaps end you adventure with dinner with the group in the unique great square of Djemma el Fna. When night falls, it transforms into a hive of activity. Snake-charmers, henna-painters, performers and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies.
                                Optional Activities
                                • Saadien Tombs - MAD10
                                • Palais Badi - MAD10
                                • Palais Bahia - MAD10
                                • Henna tattooing - MAD50
                                • Hamam (public baths) - MAD250
                                  Accommodation
                                  Hotel (1 nt)
                                  Meals
                                  1 breakfast
                                  Day 15 Marrakech
                                  Your Madrid 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. 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).
                                  Optional Activities
                                  • A Taste Of Marrakech - MAD509
                                  • Tajine cooking class - MAD546
                                  • Cascades d'Ouzoud day tour - MAD2207
                                  • Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa - MAD750
                                  • 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 - MAD1650
                                  • Palmery cycling tour - MAD350
                                  • Magical Marrakech City Cycling Tour - MAD350
                                  • Imlil & Aroumd day tour - MAD1817
                                  • Essaouira Food & Culture day trip - MAD840
                                    Meals
                                    1 breakfast
                                    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.

                                    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. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

                                    BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE: To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.
                                    Physical rating

                                    Included activities
                                    Salamanca - Orientation walk
                                    Orientation walk
                                    Fado performance
                                    Lisbon - Orientation Walk
                                    Citadel
                                    Algarve beach excursion
                                    Bodega tour and sherry tasting
                                    Walking tour with local guide
                                    Guided walking tour Fes
                                    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.

                                    A single supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
                                    The price of the Single Supplement includes all nights of this tour.
                                    Accommodation
                                    Hotel (12nt), Pension (2nt)
                                    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.

                                    HEATING:
                                    Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It's also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers, which are a pleasure for most of the year. Air-conditioning systems (if available) don't always function.

                                    FACILITIES
                                    Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.
                                    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.

                                    Mealtimes in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 21:00 and 21.30. Local people would often spend more time on dining, which means it isn’t unusual to finish off the meal at 11pm or later.

                                    Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost only about £4. In main towns it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal and French wine will cost anything from £20 upwards. Generally dinner is likely to cost between £5-10 depending on what you drink - so an estimate for food would be about £15 a day. Local beers, wines and soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices, but you can pay UK prices or more for imported alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening.

                                    Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian cous cous and tajine or omelettes. This is particularly the case during the more rural or trekking sections of the trip.

                                    Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform the Intrepid office prior to the trip. If you have a specific medical/dietary need (i.e. coeliac or vegan) you may find it helpful to bring some items of food with you from home.
                                    Meals
                                    8 breakfasts
                                    Transport
                                    Bus, Ferry, Metro, Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi, Train

                                    TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
                                    Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
                                    Money matters
                                    The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of some areas of the Moroccan tourism industry. In an effort to best control and monitor shopping in Fes with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences based on positive feedbacks from our previous travellers. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.

                                    Intrepid have set up a centralised system of receiving a small amount per group from these recommended suppliers, of which are then distributed between the Intrepid Foundation, towards local Responsible Travel projects, traveller information packs, and leader incentives. Further details of these arrangements can be provided by your group leader on request.

                                    While Intrepid endeavours to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality and offer an 'experience' in terms of explanations and cultural exchanges, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of each individual products. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

                                    In Morocco some services and products are not a fixed price which means that your bartering skills will be tested from hiring taxis to buying a souvenir in the Medina. This can be challenging for those who have not experienced this before. Often the best approach is to smile and have fun as this is an entrenched part of Moroccan culture.

                                    Many travellers when coming to Morocco are interested in purchasing a carpet - they are colourful, good quality and inexpensive when compared to home. However, be aware that Moroccan carpet salesmen are experts in their field and unwary shoppers can end up paying more than they bargained for. If you are interested in purchasing carpets talk with you group leader about bargaining tactics.

                                    The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, 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:
                                    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).

                                    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: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. 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. You may also 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. 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.

                                    MOROCCO:
                                    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.

                                    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

                                    PRICES IN MOROCCO:
                                    Morocco is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. With drinks, tipping and of course - shopping, it can all add up. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Morocco to be a budget destination.

                                    BARGAINING:
                                    In Morocco some services and products are not a fixed price which means that your bartering skills will be tested from hiring taxis to buying a souvenir in the Medina. This can be challenging for travellers who have not experienced this before. Ask your leaders for advice when you arrive however the best approach is to smile and have fun as this is an entrenched part of Moroccan culture.

                                    DEPARTURE TAX
                                    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

                                    Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.

                                    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:
                                    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
                                    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.
                                    Safety
                                    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                                    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                                    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                                    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

                                    FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                                    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                                    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
                                    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                                    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                                    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                                    Please note that the Madrid metro is particularly notorious for pickpockets, and travellers with backpacks or suitcases are indeed a target. Please ensure you are careful with your valuables on the metro.

                                    SCAMS:
                                    When walking through touristy areas of cities you may be approached by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or take you to a local spice shop. They will either ask to be your local guide for the day or expect money when you arrive at your destination. Please note these people are not registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you (or 'la Shukran') should suffice.

                                    MOROCCAN TAGINES:
                                    Moroccan ceramic tagines bought in the souks or other shops in Morocco may contain high levels of lead. We strongly recommend you have any tagine you buy in Morocco tested before cooking with it or buy for decorative purposes only.
                                    Joining point
                                    Gran Legazpi Hotel
                                    71, Paseo de la Chopera
                                    Madrid
                                    28045
                                    SPAIN
                                    Phone: 34 914023280
                                    Joining point description
                                    The Gran Legazpi Hotel is a centrally located modern hotel, offering fully equipped rooms with the latest amenities. The hotel is located next to the emblematic Plaza de Legazpi, making it close to Madrid's shopping, cultural and financial centre
                                    Joining point instructions
                                    Madrid International Airport Barajas (MAD) is located within the city limits, 9kms from the CBD. Options for arrival transport include:

                                    By TAXI
                                    Metered taxis are available in taxi ranks outside any of the main terminal exits. Expect to pay around 20--25 EUR plus an additional charge for each bag. Journey time is 20-25 mins.

                                    By TRAIN:
                                    From the airport take metro line 8 from Nuevos Ministerios and then metro line 6 (circular line clockwise) to Legazpi. The hotel is just off the plaza next to the Gas Station - Respos.
                                    Journey time is approx 30 minutes and tickets are EUR3 for a one way journey available from ticket machines.

                                    Please note that the metro line from the Madrid airport to the city centre is particularly notorious for pickpockets, and travellers with backpacks or suitcases are indeed a target. Please ensure you are careful with your valuables on the metro.


                                    Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport:
                                    You will be met on arrival by your transfer driver who will be holding a board with your name or Intrepid's logo in the arrivals hall.
                                    In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact to the emergency +34 91 7477 570

                                    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 or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on the number listed below:

                                    For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                                    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.

                                    PEAK Europe & Morocco: 212 661922693 (Morocco) and +49 867 791 866 57 (Europe)
                                    Visas
                                    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                                    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

                                    MOROCCO:
                                    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 (in general, visa processing can take approximately 20 working days)
                                    Switzerland: No - Not required
                                    UK: No - Not required
                                    USA: No - Not required

                                    Those who do not require visas to visit Morocco as a tourist, are stamped in on arrival for 3 months.
                                    What to take
                                    PACKING
                                    On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. 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 to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. 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.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                                    CLIMATE & CLOTHING:
                                    Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. Summer (approx June to September) can be very hot everywhere we travel & winter (approx November to February) can be very cold. It's recommended to bring a good sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter.

                                    TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
                                    It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

                                    LUGGAGE STORAGE
                                    Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.

                                    WATER BOTTLE
                                    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

                                    On some of our trips in Europe it is possible to purchase responsibly sourced reusable water bottles. Thirty per cent of the cost of each bottle is donated to the Intrepid Foundation, specifically to the Support to Life project, which offers humanitarian assistance to Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Please ask your leader for further information regarding this initiative and the availability of the bottles.
                                    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.

                                    COMMISSION:
                                    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. In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedbacks from our previous travellers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.
                                    Intrepid have set up a centralised system of receiving payments from these recommended suppliers, of which are then distributed towards local Responsible Travel projects (such as 'say no to plastic' cotton bags for our travellers and drinking water refilling stations), traveller information packs, and leader bonuses. Further details of these arrangements can be provided by your group leader on request.
                                    While Intrepid endeavors to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

                                    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.

                                    CLIMATE:
                                    Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather.
                                    Winter (approx November to March) can be very cold. Particularly in the mountains or near the desert, night temperatures can drop to 5 degrees Celsius or less. Even in the hot months out in the desert it can get cold at night. It is recommended to bring a good sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter. Some of our guesthouses / hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It is also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers.

                                    Summer (approx May to September) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning. A hat is essential.
                                    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 Travel 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.
                                    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
                                    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 group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                                    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                                    Responsible Travel
                                    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                                    DRESS CODE
                                    In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

                                    Morocco can be considered a liberal Muslim country as many Moroccan women do not wear headscarves. However, Morocco is very conservative when compared with standards you may be accustomed to at home and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders, cleavage and knees should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts (men and women), low-cut tops, and showing midriff is not recommended as it will restrict your entry into buildings of a religious nature and family homes, and is considered disrespectful to the local culture. Long, light-coloured, lightweight sleeved shirts, trousers and skirts are respectful, cover your body, keep you cool in the heat and protect you from the harsh sun.

                                    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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                                    http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                                    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.
                                    www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/horizon-association/

                                    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.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback