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Magnificent Morocco and Moorish Spain

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4.3 stars(6 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover the charms of these two nations

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
13 days From £3,295 per person

2022 Tour code: MAG22

About the tour

Take a magnificent adventure along the path of the ancient Moors, from the shores of seductive Spain to the magic of Morocco. Discover the architecture of Barcelona and the golden city of Seville before crossing the Strait of Gibraltar for a taste of Marrakech with an authentic cooking class and a riad experience.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Barcelona

At London St Pancras, we board the Eurostar to Paris, continuing by rail to Barcelona for two nights.

Includes
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Barcelona

We get to know Barcelona today, setting out on a guided tour of capital of Catalonia. Sat on the shores of the Mediterranean, we soak up the unique culture of this corner of southern Spain, visiting Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece built in his distinctive Catalan modernism style and featuring enormous towers and intricate carvings. We also take stroll down Las Ramblas, the city's main thoroughfare and home to a number of lively street performers, pavement cafés and market stalls. You afternoon is free to continue exploring and you may like to stop by the remarkable Picasso Museum in Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, or sample some of the region's famous cuisine at one of the many al fresco eateries.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Seville

We catch the train to Seville for a two-night stay and, on arrival, you have a free afternoon. You may wish to visit the Triana Quarter, on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, which boasts an exciting Flamenco heritage and a characterful market. Seville also reputedly has the largest number of tapas bars in the world, over 1,000 at the last count, so afterwards, why not take a well-earned rest with a few sharing plates of local specialities and a glass of the popular orange wine?

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – City tour of Seville

We embark on a city tour, seeing the UNESCO-listed Alcázar Palace, the magnificent Gothic cathedral, which is the final resting place of Christopher Columbus and is lavishly decorated in gold. It also boasts a Renaissance-style bell tower, La Giralda, repurposed from the original minaret of the mosque that stood here centuries ago and offering panoramic views across the city and surrounding area. This superb complex of patios and halls combines several different architectural styles, from Mudéjar to Gothic, with the Palace of King Pedro I at its heart. The gardens here are a lovely sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and are well laid out with fountains and pools interspersed with formal lawns and flowerbeds. We also spend time at Plaza de España to admire the beautiful buildings, fountains and tiled alcoves created for the 1929 'Fair of the Americas'.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 – Casablanca

Heading to Algeciras by coach, we travel by ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar before continuing to Casablanca for the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Discovering Casablanca and Rabat

The setting of the Oscar-winning film of the same name, we tour Casablanca with a local guide who reveals to us the modern face of Morocco, a glittering mass of pale towers which stretch out across the 'White City'. We also explore the city's ancient past, admiring the Hassan II Mosque and striking Place Mohamed V ahead of a traditional lunch at a nearby restaurant. Our afternoon takes us to Rabat for a guided tour, where we wander the impressive boulevards and dazzling, palm-tree lined seafront before seeing the Medina, full of atmospheric sights, tastes and smells as well as important religious buildings. Later, we catch the train to Fez, our base for the next three nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – Fez

Fez, with its thriving Medina and ancient city walls, is a delight to discover on our guided tour today. Visiting some of the local markets, home to thriving spice and gift stalls and mint tea cafés, there are a dazzling array of wares to choose from, including intricate jewellery, silk djellabas and clay tagines. One of the oldest cities in Morocco, founded in around 809AD, Fez is a historic treasure trove that we begin to uncover with stops at the Great Gateway of the Royal Palace, the fascinating Kasbah des Chrardas fortifications and a local establishment for lunch. This evening, dinner is served at Le Palais Medina where we also enjoy a traditional dance performance.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – Meknes and Volubilis

We make our way to the nearby city of Meknes, one of Morocco's four Imperial cities. The high city walls here hide an intricate tapestry of striking architecture, inspired by both Islamic traditions and European fashions, and our tour reveals many fine examples of both, such as the Palace of Moulay Ismael and the Bab El Mansour gateway. After lunch, we visit the ruins of Volubilis. Originally a Berber city taken over by Roman invaders, Volubilis swiftly grew under their rule to become one of Morocco's proto-capitals before being abandoned for the new city of Fez. These days, the spectacle of ancient Roman arches, ionic columns and swirling mosaics are an almost haunting spectacle set against the dusty plains.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 – Marrakech

Travelling through the mountains by rail, we disembark in Marrakech, transferring to our hotel for four nights. Known as the Ochre City, stepping out into the labyrinthine streets of Marrakech reveals a city drenched in colour, from the pale peach of the townhouses to the reds, golds, blues and greens of the spice stalls. The enchanting sounds of city life constantly hover above the rooftops, seeping down into the enormous market squares which are particularly evocative at night, lit up against the darkness that casts a glow on the performers, merchants and citizens who earn their living here.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – Exploring Marrakech

The intricate beauty of Marrakech is revealed to us on a sightseeing tour. We see the commanding presence of the Koutoubia Minaret gazing down over verdant gardens, the 19th-century Bahia Palace and the magnificent Djemaa el-Fnaa market place. Along the way, our senses are flooded by the hubbub of the souks and the enticing smells of delicious street food. This evening, dinner is served at a local restaurant and accompanied by a folklore show.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 – A riad experience

Following a leisurely morning, we visit a traditional riad, a Moroccan house built around a lush courtyard. Some of the most opulent and lavish properties in the city, we learn about what life would have been like here for the inhabitants over the centuries while marvelling at the extravagant tiling, water features and luscious plant life that characterise these types of buildings. We also sample some local pastries and enjoy an expert talk about the history of the house.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 12 - The Atlas Mountains

We head into the awe-inspiring Atlas Mountains, stopping along the way for an authentic cooking class amid stunning scenery. Guided by an experienced chef, we try our hand at creating some of Morocco's best-loved dishes, such as a sweet and spicy tagine, ahead of a delicious al fresco lunch of traditional foods. Continuing into Berber country, a destination still occupied by tribes who have lived here for thousands of years, we see the old stone and mud houses which still populate the valleys, and, high above, the caps of the Atlas Mountains dusted with snow. We journey past the Gorge of Oued Ourika, following the path of the Atlas' rivers, to visit a traditional Berber home and share some mint tea.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13 - Marrakech and London

Checking out of our hotel, we transfer to the airport for a direct flight to London Gatwick. On arrival, your tour comes to an end.

Please note: you will need to take your luggage back to the UK with you on your flight, as opposed to it travelling via our luggage transfer service.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera

Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera, Barcelona

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Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel, Casablanca

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Marriott Jnan Palace Hotel, Fez

Marriott Jnan Palace Hotel, Fez

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Es Saadi Gardens & Resort, Marrakech

Es Saadi Gardens & Resort, Marrakech

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Casa Romana Hotel Boutique

Casa Romana Hotel Boutique, Seville

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Trains

AVE
Eurostar
TGV
TGV Morocco

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Flight upgrades
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 6 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (2)
  2. 4 stars
    (4)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mr R Sherriff

4 stars

Submitted 17 Oct 2017

It was a good experience with less rail travel than advertised and a somewhat over rigorous schedule for such an age group. Best local guide ever (Aziz).

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs H Godwin

4 stars

Submitted 16 Oct 2017

Good organisation, excellent guide and information, 1excellent hotel and 2 good hotels.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr J Adamson

4 stars

Submitted 25 Apr 2017

An excellent tour marred only by a poor information pack.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs G Davies

4 stars

Submitted 24 Apr 2017

The tour guide was magnificent and had much knowledge of the sights we visited and was ready to answer questions. Also very caring in his protection of the group. This made the holiday. As the same can not be said for the tour manager and the confusing admin. Letters received just before departure

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr J Worswick

5 stars

Submitted 24 Apr 2017

A brilliant tour, everything was as described in the brochure or better. The local guide (Aziz) was brilliant, and the group gelled pretty well. Just an excellent holiday

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr S Clapperton

5 stars

Submitted 24 Apr 2017

There was only one hotel which wasn't quite up to GRL Standard the Hotel Farah. Apart from that all went extremely well, or put it down as an experience.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to our 2022 summer rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe.

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Magnificent Morocco and Moorish Spain

Discover the charms of these two nations

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Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Luke Simpson
Luke
Helen Laverack
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