Mystical Marrakech Overland Adventure (Double)
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2 Days/ 1 Night
Day 1 (L/D)
Leave the ship and begin the approximately 3½-hour road journey to Marrakech.
Approaching Marrakech, you'll glimpse the reddish-brown ramparts that encircle a large part of the city -- one of its premier sights. Enter through one of the imposing gates and discover the Pink City, with lunch at a traditional Moroccan restaurant at the heart of the Medina.
In the afternoon, a guided tour takes you to one of the most impressive building in Marrakech -- the Dar el Bacha Museum in the center of the Old Town. The museum is one of the most beautiful palaces of the Ocher City. Established in the early 20th century, Dar el Bacha was the residence of Thami El Glaoui -- the man appointed Pasha of Marrakech in 1912.
Next, your guide leads you on a stroll through the medina (Old Town). Its narrow alleys are filled with the aroma of exotic spices and an endless variety of shops, selling everything from carpets to old books and antiques.
At the heart of Marrakech is the famous Djemaa el Fna Square, whose fame is based on its charm rather than its beauty. Something is always happening here -- there is an almost-tangible atmosphere. It is where people meet in the daytime, but the square really comes to life in the evening when musicians, acrobats, snake-charmers, vendors and storytellers entertain an appreciative audience. Spend some time at leisure here.
Head to the hotel to check in and freshen up. Transfer to a local authentic restaurant for a sumptuous Moroccan dinner. Overnight in Marrakech.
Day 2 (B/L)
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and set out for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. You'll travel alongside the magnificent ramparts of the city.
You're headed to the Majorelle Garden. Lovely shaded grounds, graced by exotic trees and plants combined with the appeal of the museum, make the Majorelle Garden a favorite destination for visitors and locals alike. The gardens were once the home and haven of the garden's namesake -- French painter Jacques Majorelle, who was born in 1886 and settled in Marrakech in 1924. Here, he created a serene retreat with a stunning home, spacious work studio and vast garden in which he could indulge his botanical interests by growing plants and trees from around the world. The property was later sold to Yves Saint-Laurent, the famous couturier, and Pierre Berge.
Next, visit the Dar el Bahia Palace. Built by the Grand Vizier Ba Ahmed, this grand residence is a warren of close, intimate rooms, beautifully adorned with unique mosaics and ceiling decorations, and edged by small gardens and courtyards. Highlights of your palace exploration include an introduction to the magnificent council chamber, the central, marble-paved courtyard, and the apartments of the Sultan's favorite concubine.
You will also admire cultural treasures such as the Koutoubia Mosque, which for centuries dominated the skyline of Marrakech. Indeed, the historic mosque is the tallest in Marrakech. Completed in 1199, the building boasts a famous minaret that was used as a model for Giralda of Seville and the Hassan Tower of Rabat. Spend some time at Koutoubia Mosque contemplating its decorative flourishes and interesting past before you enjoy lunch at Dar Rhizlane Restaurant.
All too soon, it's time to set off on the approximately four-hour drive by air-conditioned motorcoach to Casablanca, where you will head to the pier and re-board the ship.
Monuments and shops are closed on holidays. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Shade is limited; please dress accordingly. Bring water and a hat and wear sunscreen. Daytime temperatures are high. Bring along local currency (for shopping). Do not take photos of military personnel without their consent. Mind your belongings at all times, particularly at tourist points of interest or in crowded places. Important: It is each guest's sole responsibility to obtain (before traveling) any visas, vaccinations and/or tourist cards that are required for participating in overland or overnight tours, unless noted otherwise in the description. Please be aware that you may need a visa for any and/or all countries that you will depart from and travel through as part of your overland adventure or overnight tour, and for the country in which you will re-join the ship.