Travel from Marrakech to Barcelona and discover the highlights of Morocco and Spain

Travel through Morocco and Spain. From the splendidly chaotic medina of Marrakech, through the ancient city of Seville, to the artistic streets of Barcelona, come and explore the great Moorish metropolises of Morocco and Spain. Step back in time as you wander down medieval alleyways and through crumbling Roman ruins. From spectacular sunsets to exotic spice-filled souqs - with a good dose of tapas and flamenco in between - discover age-old cultures and bright, new beginnings on this exotic adventure.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Marrakech, Morocco
Finish
Barcelona, Spain
Countries
Morocco, Spain
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
XMSO
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Indulge your senses in the chaotic, colourful souqs of Marrakech. Dine on tagine and couscous in Marrakesh’s biggest outdoor food market and enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in the Djemaa el-Fna square

  • Experience medieval Morocco in the city of Fes. Follow a local guide through the tangled streets of the medina and snap a photo of the city's famous tannery

  • The sacred mountain village of Moulay Idriss holds a special place in the hearts of the Moroccan people. Spend the night with a local family in a traditional house and enjoy some delicious home-cooked cuisine

  • Admire the Moorish architecture of Casablanca. The city's grand Mosque of Hassan II is one of the most impressive temples in Morocco

  • Get lost in Granada's charming Albaizin, a World Heritage-listed Moorish neighbourhood, before visiting the famous hilltop fortress of the Alhambra across the river

  • Dine and dance in vibrant Madrid, exploring its character-filled neighbourhoods and world-class art museums

  • The cosmopolitan city of Barcelona pulses with culture, art and an outstanding drinking and dining scene. Discover the eccentric modernist architecture of Antonio Gaudi, who made Barcelona his artistic playground. The unfinished masterpiece of La Sagrada Familia is particularly mind-blowing

Is this trip right for you?

  • On Day 4 of the trip, you'll embark on a full-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.

  • On Day 7 of the trip, you'll cross the Strait of Gibraltar from Tangier to Tarifa by ferry. If you suffer from motion sickness, take some medicines but remember, it’s a short trip only.

  • The weather in Morocco can be extreme. Summer temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, especially for those who aren't accustomed to the heat, so please consider what time of year you travel carefully. If you do travel in the warmer months then pack layers to cover you from the sun, bring the necessary sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. European trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning. Toilets are always available. Some of the trains have snack bars (or vending machines) and power points next to the seats but that cannot be guaranteed on every journey. Trains in Morocco are also well equipped, but may be busier, especially around school holidays which can make it difficult to move around the busy train much. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Please note that you will have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, and also up or down few flights of stairs as unfortunately some of the stations may not have lifts. Make sure the luggage doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the trip notes.

  • In 2017, Ramadan will take place from 27 May to 24 June. 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.

  • As Morocco has a tipping culture, travellers are expected to tip small amounts for most services, so please be prepared. The tipping section on our Trip Notes and your leader will help to provide you with some suggestions as to what amounts are appropriate.

  • Although you shouldn’t expect any aggressive selling techniques in Morocco, please be aware that you may be approached by shop owners and street vendors offering their goods to you on regular occasions.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting today at 6pm, where you'll meet your fellow travellers and group leader – check Intrepid Note at the reception to confirm the time. 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 have these on hand. Marrakech is a feast for the senses. After the meeting you have the option to join your leader and the rest of the group for a dinner. Later on why not go on a jaunt to Djemaa el Fna, the square in the centre of the Medina. Huge crowds converge at night to see singers, drummers, dancers, fortune tellers, jugglers and even old medicine men and dentists come together in what has been called the 'greatest spectacle on earth'.

Notes: Consider arriving a few days early into Marrakech to explore this vibrant city. Wander through the maze of souqs in the Medina, each devoted to a different trade, admire the outside view of the Koutoubia Mosque and its famous minaret, or discover the tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). Perhaps check out the architecture of the Palais Bahia, the ruins of the Palais Badi, or the recently uncovered Saadian tombs in the Medina.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Saadian Tombs - MAD10
  • Marrakech - Palais Bahia - MAD10
  • Palais Badi - MAD10
  • Marjorelle Gardens - MAD70
  • Medersa Ben Youssef - MAD40
  • Museum of Marrakech - MAD40
  • Hamam (public baths) - MAD250
  • Photography Museum - MAD40
  • Urban Adventures - A Taste Of Marrakech - MAD509
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today take a three-hour train to Casablanca, where you'll have a free day to explore. Modelled after Marseille in France, this bustling port city is now the economic capital of Morocco. A pleasant way to spend the day is to wander the old medina and city walls, before jumping in a taxi to the Quartiers des Habous, the city's new medina. Perhaps enjoy a Moroccan coffee and practice your bargaining skills in the surrounding souqs. Casablanca is particularly famous for its Hassan II Mosque. Completed in 1993, the mosque was the late king's most ambitious project and his legacy to the city. The huge building is part on land and part on sea, and in one area water can be seen through a glass floor. It can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and the main roof is retractable to create an open courtyard – its 200 metre-high minaret is also the tallest in the world. You can take a 45-minute guided tour of the mosque. Afterwards, a walk along the Corniche, watching the locals play football on the beach, or taking it easy with a glass of sweet mint tea in one of the many great cafes is a great way to finish the day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Villa des Arts - art gallery & museum - Free
  • Jewish Museum - MAD40
  • Casablanca - Guided Tour of Hassan II Mosque - MAD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take a morning one-hour train to the historical town of Rabat. Rabat's history is long and colourful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan parliament. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now known as the Chellah. Store your luggage and spend a few hours strolling through the city's old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Continue on to Fes by train (approximately 3 hours), where you'll spend the rest of the afternoon free to relax or explore this spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco. Vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses – Fes also has a huge, well-preserved medieval old city that’s the mother of all medinas.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rabat orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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. 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. Visit 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 ceramic factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a delicious dinner of Moroccan specialities like harira (chickpea soup) and chicken-stuffed pastilla with couscous.

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.
In addition, please note that if you are not interested in shopping experience, you need to advise your tour leader about it beforehand. It is possible for you to have a free time during the tour, however, it will be impossible to set a meeting point inside the medina due to the fact it is so complicated to navigate. If you decide to leave the group you will only be able to meet back with them in your hotel in Fes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided walking tour Fes
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Transfer by taxi today to take a guided tour of the nearby archaeological site of Volubilis (approximately 1.5 hours). World Heritage-listed Volubilis was once a provincial Roman capital, a distant outpost of the empire, and the remains make an undeniably impressive sight. When it was damaged by an earthquake in the 18th century, much of the marble was taken for construction in nearby Meknes. Upon arrival, take a tour around the ruins with a local guide. Please remember to pack drinking water, hat, sunglasses and sun cream for this tour as it may get hot and you will be exposed to the sun. And, of course, don’t forget to take your camera as the town is filled with fantastic mosaics along the Decumanus Maximus, many of which remain intact. If you’re lucky, you may spot storks nesting on the ruins of this once important Roman settlement. After time spent imagining Volubulis as the bustling city it once was, make the short journey to the sacred pilgrimage village of Moulay Idriss. Explore the delightful medina of this ancient town, and see where the faithful pay homage to Morocco's founding father of Islam at an 8th-century mausoleum. At sunset, see great views over the plains of Volubilis below. Your accommodation for the night is in a guesthouse run by a local family.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a five-hour train north to Tangier, place of strategic importance to the Mediterranean and the gateway to Africa. Once a hotspot for artists, secret agents and millionaires, Tangier has been going through something of a renaissance of late thanks to the arrival of a new monarch in Morocco in 1999. Mohammed VI of Morocco and his forward-thinking ideas about commerce and tourism has suddenly woke up the community to the potential of this city. Today, the city's medina and kasbah are well worth exploring, as are the cafes and patisseries around the Place de la France in the Ville Nouvelle. Perhaps visit the American Legation Museum, the former palace of Dar el-Makhzen or the Caves of Hercules. The recently reconstructed beach promenade is lined with great restaurants and trendy clubs, where you can unwind and take in the charms of the city. Perhaps enjoy a fresh seafood dinner by the port this evening. You’ll spend a night in Tangier before leaving Africa behind and hoping over top pain tomorrow morning.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • American Legation Museum - MAD20
  • Museum Dar El Mekhzen - MAD20
  • The Caves of Hercules - MAD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar and land in Europe at Tarifa (approximately 1 hour). From here travel by bus to the vibrant Spanish city of Seville (approximately 3.5 hours). If the legends are to be believed, Seville was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilisation. To the Romans it was Hispalis, to the Moorsm Isbiliya. After the Christian reconquest, it became thought of as the portal to the 'New World', and is today the capital of Andalucia and the largest city in southern Spain. Known for its important monuments and fascinating history, Seville is universally famous for being a joyous town. Sevillians are well known for their wit and sparkle, and the city itself is striking for its vitality and flamboyance – the city of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro. Seville is also famous for its oranges, tapas and flamenco, all three of which are ingrained in the fabric of the city and its proud people. As the rest of the day is free for you to explore, why not go and experience it all in person. Barrio Santa Cruz, with its multicultural history, is a great place to start. This shaded warren was designed in medieval times to provide refuge from the great Andalusian heat.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day to discover Seville. Checking out the world's largest Gothic cathedral is a must. You can also the climb the cathedral's adjoining Moorish tower, known as La Giralda. While you might have to line up, it's well worth it for the views over the city. Visit the magnificent Alcazar, a complex of palaces used by Moorish and Christian rulers through the ages. Wander through the fragrant gardens and examine the Moorish and Mudejar architecture. If you feel like an injection of culture, explore Seville's Museum of Fine Arts or the Archaeological Museum, or head to the Real Maestranza Bullring museum for an insight into the Spanish tradition of bull fighting. As Seville is the tapas capital of Spain, be sure to sample some of the tasty treats on offer in one of the city's many tapas bars. In the evening, catch a local flamenco performance with the group (included). Charged with emotion and drama, this is a real highlight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Flamenco performance
Optional Activities
  • Guided tour of Seville including Alcazar Seville - EUR13
  • Catedral and Giralda Tower - EUR8
  • Museum of Fine Arts - EUR2
  • Casa de Pilatos - EUR8
  • Archeological Museum - EUR3
  • Art and Popular Customs Museum - EUR2
  • Real Maestranza Bullring - EUR7
  • Santa Paula Convent - EUR3
  • Indias Archive - Free
  • Andalusian Contemporary Art Centre - EUR3
  • Torre del Oro - EUR3
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take a train to Granada today (approximately 2.5 hours). Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada is packed with Moorish architecture, great tapas bars and natural beauty. Take a walk around the old Arab quarter of the Albaicin, a labyrinth of crooked alleys, fountains, plazas and whitewashed houses, or the 'Alcaiceria' (old silk market area) and observe the craftworks on sale that include ceramics, marquetry and leather goods. If you're feeling energetic, climb the steep streets up to the Mirador de San Nicolas for sunset views over the famous Alhambra. If you have time, perhaps check out the historic Renaissance Catedral and Capilla Real, or get geeky at the city's extensive Science Park. Granada is the kind of city to leave your guidebook behind and trust your intuition. Discovering the narrow streets of Albaicin and the white-walled house garden of Realejo quarter may lead your adventurous spirit to find something that you have long been looking for. In the evening, perhaps head to one of the small flamenco taverns around the city and see how the art form here differs from Seville's version.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
The focus of today will be a visit to Granada's impressive Alhambra Palace, set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Discover this 11th-century marvel and its dominating red fortress towers, sumptuous palace decor, multitude of architectural styles and magnificent gardens. An entrance ticket is included in the trip and grants you the visit of Nasrid Palace and the Gardens. The Alhambra was first built by the Moors as a fortress during the Muslim rule of Spain. A walk through the compound's luxurious rooms and gardens gives you an idea of the decadent lifestyle of the Moorish kings. Main parts of Alhambra are: the Alcazaba, the 11th-century Muslim wing which features spectacular views from its towers; the Palacio Nazaries, the centre of the complex; and Generalife, the summer palace of the sultans. This evening perhaps take yourself on a tapa tour of the city, through some of Granada’s lively squares beneath the Palace. Granada does this style of food like no other city in Spain.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Alhambra entrance
Optional Activities
  • Science Park Planetarium - EUR2
  • Science Park - EUR7
  • Catedral de Granada - EUR4
  • Jose Guerrero Centre - Free
  • Mirador de San Nicolas - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Granada and travel by local bus to Madrid (approximately 5 hours). Enjoy a picnic lunch in Madrid, Spain's central capital, known for its elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks. It’s renowned for its rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum’s works by Goya, Velázquez and other Spanish masters. The heart of old Hapsburg Madrid is the portico-lined Plaza Mayor, and nearby is the baroque Royal Palace and Armoury, displaying historic weaponry. As this stylish, cosmopolitan city is also well known for world-class restaurants, shopping and nightlife, enjoy your free afternoon, perhaps visiting some of these wonders. Sports fans, if you're lucky enough for your trip to fall on match day, you can don a white t-shirt and head to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to watch the mighty Real Madrid. You have two days in Madrid to soak it all in. At night, head out to Chueca, Plaza Dos de Mayo or Plaza Santa Ana, where the pulse of the city will lead you from bar to bar on a night out you are sure to remember.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Picnic Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Spend a day discovering Madrid in your own time. 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, home to one of the world's finest collections of European art from the 12th to 19th centuries. Discover modern Spanish masters, including Picasso and Dali, in the Museo Reina Sofia's 20th century collection. Finish at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which displays eight centuries of European painting. Take a break in the Real Jardin Botanico, a garden wonderland dating from the 18th century. Maybe simply people watch while you enjoy a coffee in one of the atmospheric streets and squares around the famous Plaza Mayor. You could also join an Urban Adventure to get a deeper insight into the city through its food and its markets. Take a tapas adventure and taste your way to the heart of the capital, or discover some of the local neighbourhoods, strolling though the area where the city was founded, through multicultural districts, and visit local food markets to taste local produce and see how the people of Madrid shop. Tonight it’s surely time for the Madrileños staple of tapas and Rioja wine.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Real Jardín Botánico - EUR4
  • Museo Reina Sofia - EUR8
  • Museo del Prado - EUR15
  • Abono Paseo del Arte (3 museum combo voucher) - EUR27
  • Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - EUR12
  • Madrid Tapas Adventure - Urban Adventure - EUR82
  • Markets of Madrid - Urban Adventure - EUR47
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today take the train to Barcelona (approximately 2.5 hours). Barcelona's quirky character and fabulous Catalan cuisine mixes seamlessly with a groundbreaking art scene, Gothic architecture, superb dining and a non-stop nightlife, making it a city you won't soon forget. In the afternoon, there are plenty of options to keep you busy. Wander the labyrinthine streets of the old Gothic Quarter and navigate your way through the throngs of tourists along La Rambla, Barcelona's famous tree-lined boulevard. Perhaps pay a visit to the Picasso Museum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia or the Museum of City History to brush up on your local knowledge. Take the funicular to the top of Montjuic or Tibidabo for panoramic views of Barcelona and the harbour. The heart of Catalonia prides itself as a gastronomic centre and so this evening perhaps head out to taste the reputation for yourself. Take a tapas crawl through rustic Catalan dishes in the funky neighbourhood of El Born. Try traditional satisfying bites likes croquettes, fresh anchovy fillets lightly pickled in vinegar with salt and garlic or chargrilled aubergines with peppers and onions.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you are free to partake in some of the optional activities on offer in Barcelona. In the morning perhaps head to the stalls of Santa Catarina Market, a huge trove of local produce beneath a colourful, undulating roof, and hang out with the locals as they select the best produce that they’ll transform in to big weekend family meals. The city is famous for its architecture, from its impressive gothic main cathedral to the houses, concert halls, palaces and basilicas designed in the unique Catalan Modernista style. The master of this movement was Antonio Gaudi, who's eccentric creations are dotted all over the city. A visit to Gaudi's masterpiece, the modern basilica of La Sagrada Familia, is a must, even if it's just to see the outside. Gaudi worked on this hugely ambitious project for decades until his death, and it remains in constant construction. Perhaps check out the Neo-Gothic mansion of Guell Palace, or the wave-inspired structure of Casa Batlo. For more insight into the artist himself, head to the Gaudi House Museum inside Parc Guell, home to more colourful sculptures, including a long mosaic-covered bench overlooking the city. For something a little different, perhaps have a poke around the Old Santa Creu Hospital. For your final night, perhaps finish the day with a sip of red wine from a porro – a traditional glass pitcher.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Guell Palace - EUR12
  • La Sagrada Familia - Barcelona - EUR15
  • Cathedral visit - EUR6
  • Andean-Amazonian Ethnographic Museum - Free
  • Casa Batllo - EUR22
  • Old Santa Creu Hospital - EUR10
  • Picasso Museum - EUR14
  • National Art Museum of Catalonia - EUR12
  • Museum of City History - EUR7
  • Museum of Gaudi - EUR6
  • Barcelona Tapas Tour - EUR69
  • Snapshots of Barcelona - EUR47
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today your adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Bus, Metro, Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi, Train, Ferry and Tram

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night), Hotel (13 nights)

Included activities

  • Rabat orientation walk
  • Guided walking tour Fes
  • Entrance and guided tour Volubilis
  • Flamenco performance
  • Alhambra entrance
  • Picnic Lunch

Dates & availability

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Important notes

A Single Supplement is available on this trip.

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.

Essential trip information

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Reviews

Our Marrakech to Barcelona trips score an average of 4.86 out of 5 based on 7 reviews in the last year.

Marrakech to Barcelona, September 2017

Ann Ward

Marrakech to Barcelona, July 2017

Gail Hawking