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Magnificent Morocco and Moorish Spain

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13 days From £3,795 £3,595 per person
4.4 stars(24 reviews)
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A wonderful adventure, from Catalonia & Moorish Spain to Morocco’s fascinating cities, travelling overland by rail all the way, then flying home.

Save up to £400

Save up to £400 per booking on July-October 2024 holidays, when you book by 29th February 2024.

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Save up to £200pp

Save up to £200pp on selected 2024 last-minute holidays, when you book by 29th February 2024.

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Mobility Rating 3

2024 Tour code: MAG24

About the tour

Follow the path of the ancient Moors, from the vibrant shores of Spain to magical Morocco on this outstanding overland adventure. Discover the diverse architecture of Barcelona, including Gaudí's fantastical church, and the enchanting Andalucían city of Seville before crossing the Strait of Gibraltar to experience Morocco's vibrant flavours in the cities of Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Meknes and Marrakech, visiting a Berber village and the enchanting Roman ruins of Volubilis.

Unforgettable experiences

Experience the time-honoured traditions and rituals of Morocco
Experience the time-honoured traditions and rituals of Morocco
Take part in a cooking class, and visiting an authentic Berber Village. Make and taste dishes including an oven-baked tagine, at a Riad in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, and share a glass of mint tea and Moroccan flatbread in a Berber village, learning about the people who live there.
Tour Spain’s fascinating cities of Barcelona, the Catalan capital and Seville, once the capital of Moorish Spain.
Tour Spain’s fascinating cities of Barcelona, the Catalan capital and Seville, once the capital of Moorish Spain.
Explore each city on a guided tour, by coach and on foot, seeing Gaudí’s astonishing Sagrada Familia church and Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. See Seville’s cathedral and its iconic tower ‘La Giralda’, discover the vibrant streets of the Santa Cruz district, and tour the beautiful Real Alcázar (Royal Palace) and its breathtaking gardens.
Discover Morocco’s four Imperial Cities
Discover Morocco’s four Imperial Cities
Discover Rabat, Fez, Meknes, Marrakech and the modern ‘white city’ of Casablanca on guided city tours, being introduced to the magnificent highlights and historic monuments of each destination by knowledgeable, local guides.
Discover the noble Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Discover the noble Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The remains of the ancient city of Volubilis is one of Morocco’s most important and best-preserved archaeological sites. Set in a fertile plain, Volubilis was originally a Berber city, before being taken over by Roman invaders – we visit the site on a guided tour.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – From London to Barcelona by First Class rail

Our holiday starts at London St Pancras where we meet our Tour Manager and group, ready to board the Eurostar to Paris. We travel in spacious Standard Premier Class with a light meal served at our seats. In the French capital we continue by First Class rail to Barcelona where we arrive this evening, around the time locals head out to dinner. Enroute, you may like to enjoy a meal from the catering facilities of our train, or you are free to dine out independently on arrival. With two nights to explore, we check into our stylish 4-star hotel in the Modernist district, close to the city's most fashionable shopping street, the central Plaza Cataluña and a stone's throw from the atmospheric Gothic Quarter.

Includes
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – An introduction to Barcelona and time to explore at leisure

Today we join our group at our hotel before setting out by coach on a panoramic sightseeing and walking tour of the buzzing city of Barcelona. The city has a fascinating mix of architecture and a laid-back coastal ambience, and we soak up its unique culture with commentary from our local guide. Our first stop is the extraordinary Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece - inspired by his deep faith and intricate natural forms - a fantastic creation of intricate towers carved from Montjuïc stone, similar to sandstone. From the church we stroll down Las Ramblas, known for its colourful street performers, musicians, pavement cafés and market stalls.

Your afternoon is free to continue exploring and you may like to visit the excellent Picasso Museum in the Gothic Quarter. Or maybe enjoy a plate or two of Catalan tapas at one of the many al fresco eateries or at a beach café on the seafront. It's impossible to visit Barcelona and not fall under the spell of Gaudí - and not far from our hotel are two of his distinctive buildings, Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. You could also visit Park Güell, another wonderful Gaudí creation, with colourful mosaic sculptures - set high above the city, this park has open spaces and fabulous views. Another expansive park on a hill above the city is Montjüic, where you'll find the Montjüic Castle with a fabulous look out point at the Parc del Mirador, and a botanical garden.

This evening we dine together in an interesting historic restaurant, actually set within another wonderful Gaudí building, close to our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Arrival in Seville, free time and dinner with our group

This morning we travel in Comfort Class (the local equivalent of First Class) on the high-speed rail service from Barcelona to the flamboyant city of Seville. Arriving this afternoon, we are transferred by coach to our hotel in the Old Town where we check in for two nights.

You are free to explore Seville at your own pace this afternoon, and our central location means that many of the city's landmarks are within easy walking distance. To find out where our tour will take us tomorrow, please read ahead to Day 4. You could wander into the lively Santa Cruz district for a late lunch, this historic quarter has an enticing array of tapas restaurants.

One of the city's landmarks is the Torre del Oro, a striking golden tower, next to the Guadalquivir River, where you might enjoy an afternoon walk. Or maybe visit Seville's Fine Art Museum, known as El Museo de Bellas Artes, one of Spain's top art museums. Housed in a palace which was also a convent, its walls feature significant Spanish artists from Spain's 'Golden Age' in the 17th Century.

There's time to relax at the swimming pool and rooftop terrace of our hotel before we dine locally this evening. Our restaurant tonight is Spain's most ancient and characterful tapas bar. Open since 1760, this establishment knows all there is to know about tapas, and is highly-rated.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – A guided city tour of Seville: the Gothic cathedral, Royal Palace and gardens

This morning we're taken on a guided walking tour of Seville. Walking through the historic Santa Cruz district, we see the magnificent Gothic cathedral, where the remains of Christopher Columbus are interred. The cathedral's Renaissance-style bell tower, La Giralda, was repurposed from the original minaret of the mosque that once stood here, and offers panoramic views across the city.

Our tour continues to the delightful Real Alcázar, or Royal Palace, whose interiors are a combination of Moorish, Mudéjar and Christian architecture with elaborate patios, decorative windows and geometric tiles. The palace gardens are a delightful place to relax, with ancient water features and shady seating next to cooling fountains, where peacocks wander among the trailing greenery and fragrant orange trees.

After our tour we visit two local restaurants to enjoy an 'introduction to tapas' experience with a local guide which includes a tapa and drink at each place. The rest of your afternoon is free to continue exploring at your own pace. One option is to return to the cathedral to climb up the walkway of La Giralda, to experience the views - the tower is believed to have been designed to allow the Sultan to be taken to the very top on horseback, so there are no stairs.

Another emblematic site of Seville is the wrought iron Triana Bridge, also known as Isabel II Bridge, which crosses the river to the district of Triana, a neighbourhood known for its gypsy community and flamenco tradition. You could watch a flamenco performance here in a local peña (a meeting place for flamenco singers, musicians and dancers) or see one of several shows put on for tourists in the Old Town. In summer the Royal Palace hosts outdoor musical events in the gardens each evening. Tonight is another chance to dine independently and there is an excellent choice of restaurants in the area around our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 – Ferry to Tangiers, high-speed rail to Casablanca, Morocco’s gleaming ‘White City’

After breakfast this morning we are taken by coach to the port of Algeciras where we travel by ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to the city of Tangiers, in Morocco.

Please note, our luggage travels with us on the coach and is transferred for us onto the ferry, however - due to customs procedures - there may be a need for us to take charge of our bags during the ferry journey.

On arrival in Tangiers, we are transferred to the railway station to continue on the sleek Al Boraq - Africa's first high-speed train - to Casablanca for the night. This impressive rail line opened in 2018 and follows the Atlantic coast from Tangiers down to Casablanca. On arrival in Morocco's most modern city we check into our elegant 5-star hotel for the night, situated close to the Old Medina, then enjoy a three course dinner at our hotel. The hotel has a rooftop terrace with great views of the city skyline.

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

This morning we take a coach tour of 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 the Palace Mohammed V before enjoying a traditional lunch at a nearby restaurant.

After lunch we continue by coach to Rabat for a guided tour, where we wander the impressive boulevards and dazzling, palm-tree lined seafront before seeing the Old Medina and Kasbah, full of atmospheric sights, sounds and aromas, then on to the monumental Oudaya Gate and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. We continue our journey in First Class seats on the regular rail service to Fez, our next fascinating Moroccan destination. On arrival this evening we have a short coach transfer to our stunning 5-star hotel, where we have dinner and spend the next three nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – Exploring the ancient city of Fez, dinner and traditional dance show in the Medina

This morning we set out by coach with a local guide to explore the fascinating city of Fez. Known for its thriving Medina and ancient city walls, this promises to be a vibrant and enchanting day. One of Morocco's oldest cities, founded in the 10th Century BC by Berber fishermen, Fez is a historic treasure trove. We discover architectural and cultural landmarks, including the Great Gateway of the Royal Palace, the 17th century fortifications at Kasbah Cherarda, the Karaouyine Mosque and University, the beautiful tiled Nejjarine Fountain, and the ancient gateway of Bab Boujloud.

We stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Our tour continues to the aromatic spice market, and buzzing souks of the Medina where we encounter a delightful jumble of gift stalls and mint tea cafés, with a dazzling selection of wares including intricate jewellery, colourful silk djellabas and earthy clay tagines.

We return to our hotel this evening, then are taken by coach the short distance into the Medina, where we are served dinner at Le Palais Medina while watching a traditional folk dance performance.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – The Imperial city of Meknes and ancient remains of Volubilis

Setting out by coach from our hotel in Fez with our local guide, today we travel to the nearby city of Meknes. The high city walls hide an intricate tapestry of striking architecture, inspired by both Islamic traditions and European styles, and our tour reveals many fine examples of both, such as the Palace of Moulay Ismael and the Bab El Mansour gateway. We also see the nostalgic ruins of Agoudal Busin, including the Royal Gardens, and the Royal Stables.

After lunch at a restaurant in the French Quarter of Meknes, our tour continues to one of Morocco's most important and best-preserved archaeological sites - the remains of the ancient city of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. Set in a fertile plain, Volubilis was originally a Berber city, before being taken over by Roman invaders. The city grew under their rule to become one of Morocco's proto-capitals before being abandoned for the new centre of Fez. As we walk through the impressive site we see Roman ruins featuring beautiful mosaics, an olive press, basilica, baths, temples and arches. The spectacle of ancient Roman arches, ionic columns and swirling mosaics are a haunting sight, set against the gentle plains.

We return to our hotel in Fez where the rest of your day and evening is free. You may like to spend time at the hotel's beautiful outdoor pool, before enjoying an evening in Fez, independently.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 – Arrival in the captivating city of Marrakech

This morning we are transferred to the train station in Fez to join the local rail service to Marrakech, travelling in First Class. After journeying through the foothills of the Atlas mountains by rail, we arrive in the vibrant city this afternoon, within easy walking distance to our delightful 4-star hotel surrounded by an oasis of parkland. We check in for the next four nights, with time to settle in and maybe take a first look around this exciting city, before a 3-course dinner at our hotel.

Known as the Red City, due to its reddish-pink hued buildings and ten miles of red sandstone walls which surround Marrakech, the city's bustling streets are drenched in colour - from the pale peach, soft orange and ochres of townhouses to the dazzling reds, golds, blues and greens of the souks. With the magical backdrop of the Atlas mountains ever present, the enchanting sounds of city life hover above the rooftops, rising from the central market square of Djemaa El F'na, which at night is like an evocative film set - lit up and casting a glow on the street performers, snake charmers, and persuasive stallholders who earn their living here.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – Exploring Marrakech on a guided tour, dinner and folklore show

After breakfast we're joined by a local guide for a sightseeing tour of this entrancing city, by coach and on foot. We drive past the red sandstone ramparts of the city, on wide roads which are used by a variety of vehicles: luxury limousines to mopeds, bicycles to donkey carts. We visit one of the city's most famous landmarks, the towering 12th century Koutoubia Mosque with its prominent minaret that can be seen from every corner of Marrakech - you may be lucky to hear the muezzin's 'call to prayer', a hypnotic sound that floats over the entire Medina. Koutoubia is the Arabic word for booksellers and it's curious to imagine a thriving book trade, right outside the mosque, as far back as the 12th century. Interestingly, La Giralda minaret in Seville was modelled on this one, around the same time in history.

We see the secret tombs of the Saadian Dynasty's ornate and extravagant mausoleum, then visit the ornamental Menara Gardens, the 19th Century Bahia Palace, and the Ben Youssef Madrasa - an Islamic college. Finally we are lured into the sensational souks of Djemaa El F'na Square where our tour ends and we are free for the rest of the afternoon. The square is the heartbeat of the city, and our senses are flooded by frenzied bartering (regarded as a sport by some!), high-pitched whistles and rhythmical drums, smoke drifting from open fires and the enticing smells of street food. Besides the allure of snake charmers and nomadic musicians, we may find ourselves drawn in to a crowd surrounding a storyteller. The charming tradition of oral storytelling has survived centuries in Marrakech and is still thriving today.

This evening we enjoy an experience that is always popular with our customers - a traditional Moroccan dinner at a local restaurant, accompanied by a folklore show.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 – An excursion into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, and visit to Berber family

We head into the foothills of the entrancing Atlas Mountains on a scenic drive to discover Berber country, an ancient semi-desert landscape, still occupied by the same tribes who have lived here for thousands of years. Making occasional photo stops, we see the old stone and mud houses which still populate the valleys, and, above us, the snow-dusted caps of the Atlas Mountains. We pass the Gorge of Oued Ourika which follows the path of the Atlas' rivers, where we visit a traditional Berber House for a refreshing glass of Moroccan mint tea and traditional flat bread, known as tannour.

Our excursion continues to a Riad, where we enjoy an authentic cooking class amid stunning scenery. Guided by an experienced chef, we create one of Morocco's best-loved dishes, a sweet and spicy tagine, then we enjoy a delicious al fresco lunch of traditional foods. After lunch we return to our luxurious hotel and the rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to spend as you wish. After a busy day, you may enjoy some time relaxing in the peaceful gardens, at the sumptuous hotel spa or swimming pool. Dining options include our hotel's restaurant, or plenty of others to choose from in the Medina.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 12 – A final day to continue sightseeing in marvellous Marrakech

Today is our last day in Marrakech, but we have a day ahead of us to make the most of this enchanting city. There are several more interesting sights you may like to experience. The first is the stunning Majorelle Gardens, a fantasy world of cobalt blue and terracotta buildings, palm trees and water features, once the home of the designer Yves St Laurent.

In the Medina, Musee Tiskiwin is a small, private museum, housed in a traditional riad, which tells the stories of the culture and life of indigenous Berber people. The museum also covers the history of Marrakech itself. Another fascinating museum to visit, in the Saadian Quarter, is the Musee de la Musique, featuring instruments and displays about the history of music in Marrakech. The reception of the museum is a lovely example of Arab-Andalucian architecture.

This evening we enjoy a final dinner at our beautiful 5-star hotel, your chance to enjoy fine cuisine and perhaps to share a drink before or after with new friends.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 – Homeward Bound

After a leisurely morning, either to do any last-minute exploring or to relax at our wonderful hotel in Marrakech, we are transferred to the airport by coach, for our direct flight to London Gatwick. Your holiday may be over but the memories of your experiences in Spain and Morocco will remain.

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 Gracia

Hotel Catalonia Gracia, 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

Flight upgrades
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 24 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (11)
  2. 4 stars
    (11)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

J Steventon

4 stars

Submitted 30 Sep 2023

Extremely well organised with an outstanding tour leader and very good tour guides. A little more free time would have been nice but tours were full of interest. Disappointed with upgrade options and courier service best avoided.

Collected by Trustpilot

Him

4 stars

Submitted 30 Sep 2023

Usual high quality product from GRJ and their Tour Leaders. Only gripe is the lack of attention to menus - the company should really make more effort to co-ordinate the menu planning - and avoid repetitious menus. And, as in Marrakech, have the menus printed for the assistance of their guests.

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Mrs R H

5 stars

Submitted 09 Jul 2023

This was a well planned holiday. All the tour guides were good and informative. Every hotel was comfortable with very tasty breakfasts, having a good range of food. We enjoyed the opportunity of having some dinners and a lunch organised to be in local restaurants. The ferry across to Morocco was a great experience as we passed by Gibraltar en route to Tangier. The places in Morocco that we visited were a good cross-section of local life although the size of our coach prevented us from travelling to the lower part of the Atlas hills. The heat was too great, June was bad choice for this holiday as we were exhausted most days.

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WILLIAM MCFADYEN

4 stars

Submitted 08 Jul 2023

Interesting tour taking in new cultures and experiences. Comfortable hotels , fine foods and amazing sights.

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Lynnz

5 stars

Submitted 15 Jun 2023

Wonderful mix of cultures and cuisine from Spain and Morocco. Excellent guides and exciting train experiences.

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G Whittaker

3 stars

Submitted 15 Jun 2023

Great experience but with problems.

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