On the Trail of the Moors in Spain and Morocco
A cross-continental journey through history
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Private cultural, historical and culinary tours in Spain and Morocco
- Private transfers, flights and ferry
- Airport and border assistance
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Begin with two nights in the Spanish capital, Madrid, for an introduction to the nation’s history, wine and food, before venturing south into what was once the heart of Muslim, Al-Andalus, for over seven centuries. Walk the streets of sunny Seville, see its beautiful palaces and indulge in more tapas, then visit Cordoba, once the most learned cultural centre in Europe, to wander between the columns of the iconic Mosque–Cathedral, a great mosque that was turned into a Catholic cathedral.
Close by is Granada, the last bastion of the Moors in Spain before the Reconquista, which is home to their greatest architectural and artistic achievement on the Iberian Peninsula, the stunning Alhambra citadel and Generalife Gardens. Spend two final days in Spain relaxing on the beaches of the aptly named Costa del Sol, then cross the Strait of Gibraltar for the Moroccan chapter of your adventure.
After a night in the storied city of Tangier, the Gateway to Africa, head south through the mountains and the beautiful blue-washed town of Chefchaouen to the maze-like medina of Fes, a richly atmospheric place that’s like stepping back in time.
Explore the Roman ruins at Volubilis before reaching your final city, Marrakesh. You’ll be shown around its famous souks, sample delicious street food, oasis-like riads and hidden palaces, even taking to the streets aboard a vintage motorbike and sidecar to see the palm groves and Berber villages outside the medina.
Example Trip Itinerary
Meet and greet at Madrid airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Madrid
Accommodation in Madrid
- 78 rooms and suites
One of Madrid’s newest boutique hotels, set among noble residences and grand embassies, the Hotel Urso has quickly become one of the hottest and trendiest places to lay your head. Housed in an early 20th-century palace, its neoclassical style gives off an air of sophistication, while its well-appointed interiors are comfortable and stylish. Its six categories of guest rooms and suites, range in size, bed type and views, yet all feature contemporary Scandi-chic-style décor and calming tones. Wake up to breakfast each morning in the light-filled conservatory, decorated in Oriental-inspired 18th century wallpaper and bamboo plants. When you’re ready to head out and explore, you’ll find sites such as the Madrid History Museum, the National Museum of Romanticism and the vast Retiro Park, located close by. Wind down after your day in the plush wood-panelled spa, offering a variety of massages and specialised skincare treatments. And when you’re fully relaxed, head to the sleek Urso Bar for cocktails and gourmet Spanish tapas, made from ingredients sourced at the local Mercado de Barceló. The hotel restaurant, ½ Ración, which means ‘half portion’ offers cuisine based on the traditional Madridian food.
- 125 rooms
- Sunday brunch
Nestled in the heart of Madrid on Calle Barquillo, the Only You Boutique Hotel is a stylish and modern boutique hotel. Just moments from Paseo de Recoletos and the Chueca neighbourhood, you’re ideally situated to explore all this great city has to offer. A former 19th century palace, the hotel has been redesigned using a clean blue and white palette. That’s not to say it has forgotten its roots with traditional azulejo tiles dotted around and maps of old Madrid adorning the walls. High ceilings, huge potted trees in the lounge and rooms flooded with light make Only You a wonderful space in which to relax. The hotel has 125 rooms, individually designed with some featuring terraces that look out over the rooftops of Madrid. Guests are encouraged to make use of the public spaces and with a sophisticated bar and restaurant, often filled with locals, it’s easy to see why. The cocktail bar is located in the old library and the drinks list certainly makes for good reading. Food lovers won’t be left disappointed with a menu that adds a modern twist to Classic Spanish dishes.
- 85 rooms and suites
Madrid is not short of beautiful architecture and the Palacio de Tepa, housed in a former 19th century palace, is the perfect way to experience a little of the city’s history. The hotel is located in the heart of Madrid, in the Barrio de la Tatras district. Just a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Puerto del Sol, the royal palace, cathedral, the city’s museums and galleries and it’s also well positioned for Madrid’s city centre nightlife. Charming spacious rooms come with high ceilings and large windows creating a bright and airy space, with some featuring balconies that overlook the Plaza del Angel. Enjoy a true taste of the Mediterranean in the bright and airy restaurant, where the menu is a celebration of Spain’s rich culinary heritage.
The Spanish capital is bursting with life and passion and through its well planned streets course Madrilenos, the city's inhabitants who really know how to live
Madrid is a powerhouse of culture, and no trip here could miss a tour of the the Golden Triangle of Art, encompassing the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Music is also an important feature and the city marches to the beat of flamenco, jazz and live music of all kinds. And don't forget that Madrid serves some of the most delicious tapas that there is.
Your host will take will take you to enjoy the flavours of Madrid, visiting different taverns across La Latina District, such as Casa Lucas, one of the best places in Madrid to taste good selection of wines and tapas.
Visit the places that best represent the old essence of the capital of Spain, such as the Royal Palace – home to paintings by Velazquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco and Caravaggio – the Royal Theatre, the old City Hall and the Plaza Mayor.
Spain's main art museum, the Prado has one of the greatest collections of European art in the world, with around 9,000 paintings by artists such as Bosch, Titian and Rubens. Built under the instruction of King Carlos III, the museum opened in 1819 and was intended to provide Madrid with an outstanding painting gallery, large enough to match those opening at the time in Europe. Recently the prestigious Spanish architect, Rafael Moneo, has enlarged the old building by adding a new wing with additional rooms and a fantastic XVth century cloister.
Private transfer to Madrid Atocha railway station
Train from Madrid to Seville
Private transfer to your hotel in Seville
Accommodation in Seville
- 41 rooms
- Azahar Restaurant
- Roof terrace and swimming pool
- Pool bar
Located in Seville’s magical, historic centre, this four-star hotel showcases the city’s traditional Andalusian architecture in all its glory. Set around an old cobbled neighbourhood patio, dating back to the 18th century, it features romantic wrap-around balconies, regal stone pillars, and the bright yellow and blue colours that the city is so famous for. The 41 rooms are minimalistic, full of clean lines and pastel shades, yet still manage to retain that true rustic Andalusian vibe with the old wood-beamed ceilings and colonial-style furniture. There are plenty of communal spaces to relax in too, including the hotel’s sunny central courtyard or up in the chill-out space on the rooftop terrace with a small swimming pool, where you can watch the sunset over the famous La Giralda – the Moorish minaret of the city’s cathedral. And by night, dine under the stars at the Azahar Restaurant, serving up classic Andalusian cuisine. With historic and cultural landmarks such as the Flamenco Dance Museum, the Cathedral and the Real Alcazar Moorish palace, all located within walking distance, it’s an ideal place from which to discover this enchanting and romantic city.
- 60 rooms and suites
- Three restaurants
- Rooftop terrace
- Outdoor pool
Seville is one of Spain’s most interesting and beautiful cities, and the EME Catedral Hotel is perfectly located to experience it. The hotel sits in the heart of the Santa Cruz district with the huge and impressive Cathedral and Giralda Tower on your doorstep. The restoration of 14 typically Sevillian houses from the 16th century have resulted in a boutique hotel which honours the city’s history while providing everything you would expect from a modern luxury hotel. There are 60 rooms and suites, some with exposed brick walls and floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies overlooking the streets below. Gaze out across the rooftops and spires of the city’s many churches from the rooftop terrace which also features an outdoor pool. There are three restaurants to choose from serving tasty Mediterranean dishes, as well as a swanky cocktail bar and lounge.
- 151 guestrooms including 19 suites
- Two restaurants including a tapas bar by Michelin-starred chef
- Lobby bar with piano
- Fitness room
Steeped in history, the Hotel Alfonso XIII was constructed by order of the King as luxury lodging for the international VIPs attending the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. This grand structure quickly became an emblem of the city centre and has been continuously used as a hotel until the present day, although Franco’s regime necessitated a name change to the Andalusian Palace while under his rule. To this day, you’ll find that it is the city centre’s only true, luxury property. Typically Andalusian in style, the hotel expresses the region’s mixed Moorish and Castilian founding influences with authentic and detailed features. Each of its 151 bedrooms including its 19 suites are unique in design, falling into three style categories: Andalusian, Moorish, and Castilian. Alongside its exalted, majestic architecture, Hotel Alfonso XIII is also notable for its large pool, which sits amidst lush gardens. This makes it a rare urban sanctuary and one of the only locations where being in Seville during the heat of high summer will be thoroughly enjoyable. By the pool you’ll find an al fresco restaurant that turns itself into a twinkling vision after dark and serves Spanish and international delicacies. You can also eat in the sumptuously-tiled gallery surrounding an arched interior courtyard where you can take your breakfast and coffee. If you fancy something truly epicurean, the atmospheric Ena tapas bar is manned by Michelin-starred chef Carles Abellán of Barcelona. Afterwards, discuss the highlights of your meal to the accompaniment of live piano music at Bar Americano. In terms of location, you’ll find that you really couldn’t be better placed to discover Seville. Hotel Alfonso XIII sits right on the edge of the old – pedestrianised – quarter, meaning that you can benefit from arriving to the hotel by car and walking five minutes to outstanding historic sites such as the Cathedral de Seville, the Alcazar, Puente de S. Telmo, and Plaza de Espana.
The jewel in the Moorish Caliphate of Cordoba and the capital of the most powerful Castilian Kingdom, Seville has been left with eye-popping architecture and majestic grace. While Seville reached its peak in the 17th century and then suffered terribly in the Spanish Civil War, today it has resurrected itself as the capital and largest city of Andalusia. You'll need to spend a few days here at least to experience the true essence of Spanish grandeur.
Meet your local host for a horse drawn carriage ride of the promenade, then visit the remains of the Ibero-Americain exposition of 1929 and San Telmo Palace. Walk through Maria Luisa Park, Exhibition Casino and Real Pavilion, Plaza de España and Santa Cruz Quarter, meeting local people and visiting markets before an informal tapas dinner sampling local dishes.
Discover the tapas world capital in this exclusive route and taste the most delightful bites of Seville, accompanied by expert gastronomy guide who knows all the best spots.
Enjoy a walking tour through Barrio de Santa Cruz, Seville's oldest quarter, learning about its history from the Roman times right up until the present day. You'll visit the cathedral which sits on the site of the Great Mosque of the 12th century; the only part of this that remains is the minaret, now known as the Giralda Tower. The Royal Alcazar was the site of the marriage between Carlos V and Isabel of Portugal and is centred around two courtyards. The Ambassador's Hall is beautifully decorated with plasterwork and tiles, while the top floor is accessed by a 16th century staircase featuring paintings by Roelas and Madrazo. The pretty gardens reflect the passing of historical periods and are a lush hideaway filled with pomegranate, orange and palm trees.
Private transfer from Seville to Cordoba
Cordoba is perhaps Spain’s most handsome city, an historic centre of culture and lasting testament to a golden age of religious tolerance during its time as a caliphate. King Ferdinand III then claimed the city for Castile during the Spanish Reconquista, bequeathing it its gothic and renaissance finery. Visit today, and you'll find Cordoba's grand past beautifully reflected in the city's magnificent architecture. During your tour, explore the Moorish, Jewish and Christian quarters including the Alcazar with its beautiful gardens. You'll also discover Roman remains and the famous Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral.
Private transfer to Granada
Accommodation in Granada
- 42 rooms
Granada is a city steeped in history, but this hasn’t stopped it embracing modern Spanish culture with aplomb. The blend of old and new is what makes a stay at the Hospes Palacio de los Patos so special. The hotel is split across two buildings, one a renovated 19th century palace and the other a striking modern construction. The interior is bright and airy, and rooms in the older part of the hotel contain beautiful features such as plasterwork ceilings, Doric columns and friezes. After a day of exploring, you’ll relish the opportunity to relax and unwind in the spa which features Turkish baths, a sauna and thermal pool. Sightseeing can build up quite the appetite so enjoy some traditional Spanish tapas or dishes inspired by the city’s Moorish past in the hotel’s restaurant. No trip to Granada would be complete without visiting the majestic Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th century. Be sure to also stop by the Granada Cathedral and the Alcazaba, a wonderfully preserved Moorish fortress.
- 75 rooms and suites
- Sauna and Turkish bath
Granada is a city with more than its fair share of beautiful buildings and stunning architecture. The luxurious AC Palacio de Santa Paula occupies the former Santa Paula Convent which has been lovingly restored to offer guests a relaxing retreat bursting with character. The hotel is centred around a beautiful courtyard with elegant stone arches and palm trees, the delicate tinkling of the fountain in the background. It also houses the tombs of the nuns from the convent. Admire it from the wraparound balcony on the first floor, complete with 16th century frescos, or sink into one of the chairs and enjoy it illuminated at night. Fusing old and new, the hotel has managed to retain its charm and authenticity while allowing guests to enjoy all the comforts of a modern hotel. There are 75 rooms and suites, some with exposed brick walls and views over the courtyard. The restaurant occupies the former convent library and the menu makes for good reading, fusing traditional Andalusian flavours with more modern culinary concepts. The courtyard is the perfect setting for a glass of wine and nibbles. You’re ideally situated on the Gran Via de Colon, one of the main avenues in Granada’s old quarter. The cathedral and archeological museum are on your doorstep and the majestic Alhambra is within walking distance.
Seville's brooding Andalusian sister sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Iberian Peninsula's highest massif. Renowned as the last stronghold of the Moors who were driven out of Western Europe in the 15th century, it's here that you'll best discover Andalusia's splendid Arabic architectural heritage including the beautiful Alhambra Palace.
The lavish Alhambra is Granada's most visited site. Once a palace and fortress for the city's Muslim rulers, the Alhambra means ‘red fort' and is named after the red clay used in its construction in the mid-13th century. The Generalife was the country residence of the Nasrid king and the recreational courtyard and its beautiful gardens sit on the slopes of the Cerro del Sol, offering spectacular views.
Gain an insight into the legendary home of Flamenco in Granada with this combination of a short guided walking tour of the Sacromonte, light pre-show tapas dinner in a traditional neighborhood local, and tickets for a lively flamenco dance in the unique setting of an old theatre cave house together with your host.
Private transfer to your hotel on the Costa del Sol
Costa del Sol
Accommodation in Costa del Sol
- 37 rooms, 78 suites and 15 villas
- Three swimming pools
- Nine bars and restaurants
- Beach club
- Equestrian centre
- Gold course
The undisputed grande dame of southern Spain, this iconic resort sprawls along a prime patch of the ‘Golden Mile’, a stretch of beautiful beach between Marbella’s Old Town and Puerto Banus’s yachts. Built in 1954 by a prince as the Costa del Sol’s first luxury hotel, it soon attracted the likes of Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant and Laurence Olivier, and has lost none of its glamorous lustre since. There are 37 guestrooms and 78 elegant suites scattered throughout acres of jasmine-scented gardens with outdoor terrace overlooking the glorious gardens or views out to sea. There are also 14 two-, three- and five-bedroom villas, some with private pools, and the illustrious six-bedroom Villa Del Mar. Choose from nine bars and restaurants including an opulent Champagne bar, lavish buffet at the legendary Beach Club, romantic grill restaurant and a trendy café. There’s also impressive tennis courts, three swimming pools, a modern Thalasso Spa, a Dave Thomas designed golf course, equestrian centre, superb kids’ club and a luxury shopping gallery. In short, facilities that rank it among the best in the world.
- 67 suites
- Private villas available
- Three restaurants, including Michelin starred Kabuki Raw
- Championship golf course and Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy
- Three swimming pools
- Tennis courts
Hotel Finca Cortesin is a grand retreat inspired by traditional Andalusian architecture, with big, bright rooms and airy courtyards of palatial proportions, all accented with antiques and materials from Spain, Portugal, Morocco that give a timeless feel. The hotel has 67 large, luminous and exquisitely designed suites with lofty high ceilings. No two are alike and some have a small pool on their terrace. There are also fully serviced private villas available. This is all set among acres of manicured gardens in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja a little west of Marbella, with sweeping views down to the Mediterranean and surrounding countryside. You’ll also find three huge pools, tennis courts, fine spa and, to top it off, one of Spain’s best golf courses. The private beach club’s infinity pool, beach-side restaurant and sun loungers are just five minutes away. Dining is a treat here too. All day venue El Jardín is the relaxed venue for Spanish cuisine while Michelin-starred Kabuki Raw combines Japanese traditions with Mediterranean ingredients to form fabulous evening meals. Italian eatery Don Giovanni is open for dinner in the summer only. You can also eat at the golf club house and with bars and drink spaces throughout, you’re never too far away from a cocktail.
Enjoy some time at leisure, relaxing exploring the sandy beaches, glamorous harbours and rustic interior of Andalusia's Costa del Sol, a sun-soaked stretch of sandy coastline punctuated by Marbella and the glamourous Puerto Banus Marina, as well a number of sleepier fishing villages and low-key retreats.
Private transfer to Tarifa
Take the fast ferry across the narrow Strait of Gibraltar to Tangier in Morocco.
Private transfer from the port to your hotel in Tangier
Accommodation in Tangier
The singular work of its French owner, Anne Igou, the Nord Pinus is a stylishly restored 18th century palace with hand picked antiques, Indian silks, Cordoban leather and copper beds making it the chicest place to stay Tangier’s kasbah. There are six chic guestrooms and suites, some with views out to both the coast of Spain on one side and the Moroccan mountains on the other, the former city governor’s residence making the most of its position at the highest point of the old town. It’s restaurant and bar, located on a panoramic terrace, are fine places to watch the sunset over the Atlantic while enjoying fish fresh from the markets below.
Morocco’s northernmost city, looking out across the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain, Tangier is a place with a fascinating history. Known as ‘The Door of Africa’, it has changed hands dozens of times, from the ancient Carthaginians, Roman Empire and early Islamic caliphate, to Portuguese and Spanish rule, and the 20th century when it became an International Zone and an infamous hive of spies and international espionage.
It’s also long been a favourite of artists, a multicultural melange of Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities along with a stream of immigrants from Europe and Africa, attracting painters such as Delacroix and Matisse, as well as being a favourite haunt of Beat writers Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.
Today, now firmly a part of Morocco, it’s a thriving city that still retains its bohemian heart in the old Kasbah where you’ll find bustling marketplaces, informal dining venues and occasional views across to Europe which is just a minutes away by ferry.
Head out to discover the city of Tangier. Walk in the footsteps of the Beat Generation, from the Socco squares to the Hotel Continental, stopping at the American Legation Museum (gifted to the US in 1821 as the the first piece of American real estate abroad, and today the only US National Historic Landmark on foreign soil) and legendary libraries on the way.
Head to the emblematic Café Hafa for a Moroccan mint tea and the sea views from its cliffside perch. Seemingly unchanged since opening in 1921, it has remained a perennial stop for writers, artists and musicians for almost a century.
Just inland from Tangiers surrounded by the rugged Rif Mountains, the blue-washed walls and alleys of Chefchaouen make for one of the most photogenic spots in Morocco. The old kasbah dates back to the 15th century and is a rich mix of both local and Andalusian heritage thanks to the many Moors and Jews who settled here from Spain after the Reconquista. It is a great place in which to relax and wonder around seeking out unique handicrafts and pretty mosques along the alleyways emanating from the central Plaza Uta el-Hammam.
Accommodation in Fes
- 30 rooms and suites
- Rooftop bar
- Swimming pool
- Hamman spa
At the edge of the medina, the Riad Fes is a Relais & Châteaux property with a traditional feel, blending Andalusian, Moroccan and modern décor in a way that reflects the city’s heritage and its current. Four communal patios are distinctly styled in traditional, Moorish, Baroque, and contemporary finishes with colonnaded arcades, stylish pools, zellige tiles and fine stuccowork. Around these, find 30 rooms and suites – the largest of which are positively palatial – refined Moroccan food in L’Ambre Restaurant, hammams, lounges, a wine bar and a library. Up on the rooftop, enjoy fabulous panoramic views of the medina and mountains beyond with a drink from the bar in hand, a most spectacular scene at sunset.
- Seven suites
- Hammam and spa
- Roof terrace
Once a sumptuous harem as part of a palatial 17th century complex of riads, the Karawan Riad was restored over a decade to recapture its former atmosphere with the help of local artisans and their traditional skills. Among the most lavish offerings in the medina, all seven romantic suites are unique with unique furniture, antique textiles and original art works along with vast beds, exquisite bed linens and a number of discrete modern touches like underfloor heating and air conditioning. The riad is centre around the courtyard, off which you can find the restaurant, library and Ottoman-style hamman spa. Tea here is a delightful affair thanks to a very talented pastry chef, and you can enjoy meals and drinks either down in the dining room, salon or up on the roof terrace.
- 15 rooms and suites
- Rooftop bar
- Cookery school
The Palais Amani is a charming riad set just inside the medina, close to the Tannery Quarter, owned by a British-Moroccan couple. Just 15 rooms are found around a beautiful central courtyard garden. Given the property’s historic nature, each is unique, some with beds on mezzanines, salons and dressing rooms. The Palais Amani’s restaurant, the Market Moroccan, serves a monthly changing three-course bistro menu of healthy dishes reflecting the abundance of seasonal produce from the markets just outside, the secrets of which you can learn in fabulous the Amani Cookery Workshop. A bar with 360-degree views sits atop the riad. There is a hamman spa and massages can take place in rooms overlooking the garden or in a tented pergola which also can be found up on the roof terrace.
- 50 rooms
- Two restaurants
- Rooftop bar and swimming pool
- Givenchy spa and traditional hammam
On the site of a former colonial palace with views taking in the old medina, the Hotel Sahrai is a strikingly modern take on Moroccan architecture. Great arches, mirroring the former façade, shade colonnaded pathways that lead into lush atriums and to 50 stylish rooms and suites, some of which have their own private terrace area. There are two restaurants – Relais de Paris, with a menu of French brasserie favorites, and Amaraz, which serves traditional Moroccan in a simple yet sophisticating setting. Up on the rooftop, find a wonderful swimming pool and hip bar. The hotel is also home to a Givenchy spa and gym.
The city of Fes, Morocco’s second largest, is considered to be its cultural and religious capital and often referred to as the Mecca of the West. Divided into three districts, the oldest and most fascinating is Fes el Bali. Founded in the 9th century, venturing through its vast gates into the medina is like stepping back in time. It’s dense maze of some 9000 alleys are plied by donkeys and hand-pulled carts (said to be the largest car-free urban area in the world), with narrow passageways leading through beautiful squares, into the middle of a spice-scented food market or to a dead end and the ruins of an abandoned house. Head up to a rooftop terrace to really appreciate the maelstrom at street level.
The fresh air of the public Jnan Sbil Gardens connects the old medina to Fes el Jdid, or ‘New Fez’, the 13th century extension which contains the vast Royal Palace and the Mellah which was once home to some 250,000 Jews, many immigrants from Spain. Built by the French at the beginning of the 20th century, the Ville Nouvelle is the third and most modern of Fes’ districts.
Fes, Morocco’s ancient of imperial capital, is the most complete medieval city of the Islamic world, and a guided walk around its incredible medina is the best way to soak up its timeless atmosphere without fear of getting lost amid the maze. Spend today with your guide seeking out historical highlights, markets and more.
Follow your guide to Fes' old Jewish neighbourhood, the Mellah. Created in 1438 as an area for their protection, Jews in the city, many immigrating from Spain after the Reconquista, were relocated to a site known as al-Mallah, 'the saline area'. Situated near the royal palace in order to protect its inhabitants due to their vital role in the local economy, it was initially a quarter of large and beautiful dwellings with street facing windows and balconies - in contrast to the riad courtyards in the rest of the medina - with its own synagogues, fountains, markets and burial grounds. 'Mellah' later came to designate segregated Jewish quarters in other Moroccan cities and with growing populations and persecution, they became ghettos. Though European colonisation in the 19th and early 20th century brought new opportunities, most Morocco Jews moved to Israel, France and the Americas after the 1950s. Today, the Mellah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and many buildings of interest have been restored which you'll explore with your guide, learning all about this area's rich history.
Drive through miles of vineyards and olive groves to Volubilis, a partly excavated and remarkably preserved Roman city. Built in a fertile agricultural area, it developed from the 3rd century BC onward as a Phoenician, then proto-Carthaginian, settlement before being the capital of the kingdom of Mauretania. Through olives and wine, it prospered under Roman rule from the 1st century AD and gained a number of major public buildings and fine town-houses with large mosaic floors. Falling to local tribes in 285, it remained habited for another seven centuries as a Latinised Christian community, then as an early Islamic settlement. By the 11th century Volubilis had been abandoned after the seat of power was relocated to Fes.
Private transfer to Fes airport
Flight from Fes to Marrakesh
Private transfer to your hotel
Accommodation in Marrakesh
- 27 rooms and suites
- Two heated swimming pools
- Hamman and spa
- Cigar cellar
Behind a modest facade close to the Koutoubia Mosque and bustling Jemaa El Fna Square, what was once a grand private riad has been transformed into a sanctuary of a luxury hotel. The Villa des Orangers is an elegant place, with 27 rooms and suites arranged around three garden patios, fragrant with citrus tree accompanied by the sounds of songbirds and tricking fountains. Décor is palatial, with fine fabrics, intricate stuccowork, carved wood and antiques. Most of the rooms have their own balconies or terraces, with the ‘Private Riad’ enjoying two bedrooms, solarium, plunge pool and its own private entrance. A sparkling swimming pool sits at the heart of the property (a can be found on the rooftop overlooking second rooftop overlooking the Koutoubia and Atlas Mountains), next to which is the excellent Mediterranean restaurant. Other spots to relax include fire-warmed lounges, a cigar cellar, an impressive hammam and a spa.
- 28 rooms and suites
- Swimming pool
- Spa and sauna
Inside the walls of Marrakesh’s medina, across the road from the Saadian and short walk from the buzz of Jemaa El Fna square, La Sultana is an intimate luxury hotel made up of a five 19th century riads, each delicately resorted to retain its elegant charm and a palpable sense of history. Maze-like alleys ways lead to sprawling corridors, hidden chambers and peaceful courtyards. There are 28 rooms and suites, each uniquely designed but with a traditional theme of hand carved woods, rich fabrics, antique furniture, fireplaces and sculpted ceilings. La Sultana’s restaurant offers delicate Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine with tasting menus served in the cosy patio during the winter or up on the rooftop terrace with fabulous city views, as well as lighter lunches. Cooking classes are held every morning. There’s also a courtyard swimming pool and a sumptuous vaulted spa with two hammans, jacuzzi, sauna, baths, open air massage booths and a rich selection of natural local products.
- 209 rooms and suites
- Four restaurants
- Five bars
- Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
- Clay tennis court
- Organic garden
- Fitness centre
In an enviable location close to Marrakesh’s medina and Jemaa el Fna square, in the middle of beautiful royal gardens from which it takes its name, La Mamounia is an icon of luxury and Moroccan hospitality. For almost a century, the landmark hotel has attracted dignified clientele from around the globe, being a firm favourite of Winston Churchill (who has both a suite and bar named in his honour) and Hollywood stars, as well being where James Stewart and Doris Day stay in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’. While countless other luxury hotels have opened in Marrakesh since 1923, La Mamounia has confidently remained one of the finest establishments in the city with modern yet considerate updates under notable architects to its palatial Deco-Moroccan interiors, world class chefs and timeless service. There are 136 rooms, 71 suites and three private three-bedroom riads. The higher the floor, the better the view over the medina or gardens, especially from those with private balconies. The style is unashamedly Moroccan, with dazzling tiles, intricate stuccowork and sumptuous fabrics. Four acclaimed restaurants include the slightly formal Le Français, L’Italien and fabulous Le Marocain, each serving modern takes on national cuisine, as well as the relaxed Pool Pavilion, the spot for breakfast and lunch buffets as well as a famous Sunday brunch. There are also four bars and a pastry shop which sits the edge of the park. Another highlight here is the expansive spa, with traditional hammams, heated pool, and numerous booths to indulge in all-natural products made from Moroccan argon oil, ghassoul, saffron and more.
With its rich atmosphere, fascinating history and rich Berber culture, the city of Marrakesh encapsulates what draws people from around the world to Morocco. Near one thousand year old red walls surround the historic medina, with monumental gates leading through to a warren of winding alleys. It’s here you’ll find Marrakesh’s vibrant souks, markets and artisan workshops selling fragrant spices, leather-ware, jewellery, Berber carpets, spices, fabrics, lamps, pottery and more. The centrepiece is Jemaa el-Fnaa, a bustling market place square that hosts storytellers, musicians and performers in what is an unforgettable nightly spectacle.
One the other side of the walls is the rest of the city, known as the Gueliz. The lavish El Badi, Bahia and Royal Palaces flank the kasbah, each wonderful examples of Berber design and craft. Also out here are wonderful gardens such as Yves Saint Lauren’s Jardin Majorelle and the sprawling Menara gardens set against the Atlas Mountains.
Meet your local guide and head to the magical medina of Marrakech. Reach the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square to really feel the oriental wonders of this place. Your guide will awaken your five senses during this tour as you stop at the tastiest food stalls, visit olive and nut souks and sample local specialties. Moreover you will see various artists ranging from snake charmers to acrobats.
Your private guide will show you around some of Marrakesh's historic highlights in the medina, the old fortified city which is ringed by some 19km (12 miles) of walls and monumental gates which date back to the 12th century. The entirety of the old town is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as narrow streets, riads and bazaars, the walls encompass grand palaces, gardens, mosques, bustling squares, tombs and museums including Bahia Palace, the Saadian tombs, the Medersa ben Youssef, and the ever-present Koutoubia Mosque, whose minaret will always help you to find the right direction.
Private transfer to Marrakesh Airport
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On the Trail of the Moors in Spain and Morocco
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