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About your trip
This epic, 12-day charts the vibrant transition from Mediterranean Europe to North Africa, via a flurry of bustling cities brimming with sights, smells and sounds. We’ll start in Madrid for a royal exploration of the capital, before keeping things distinguished in Córdoba’s one-of-a-kind mosque-cathedral. Seville is our last Spanish stop – expect flamenco dancers and world-beating cuisine. Then it’s time to hop across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco, the gateway to Africa. See Tangier, get lost in the romance of Casablanca, experience the spiritual heartland of Fes and, last but definitely not least, we end our rail adventure with a deep dive into the myriad wonders of Marrakech.
- Marvel at the splendour of Madrid’s Royal Palace
- Visit Córdoba’s incredible Mezquita, a uniquely historic mosque and cathedral
- Watch a fiery flamenco live show in the heart of its homeland in Seville
- Experience the sheer wonder of Casablanca’s stunning Mosque of Hassan II
- Tuck into an authentic Moroccan home-cooked meal
- Journey through time along the ancient streets of Fes
- See the sights of Marrakech on an expert-led tour of the medina
- Dine with a view of the bustling market square of Jemaa el Fna
Welcome to the Spanish capital! Our starting point for this epic journey through the heartlands of Spain and the pulsating cities of Morocco. Check-in to the hotel and enjoy Madrid’s elegant boulevards and expansive parks until 6pm, when the trip kicks off with a welcome meeting led by our Local Insider, swiftly followed by a group dinner where you can break the ice and get to know your companions for the next 11 days.
Today is when we really get to know Madrid, and our local expert will help you do just that on a morning walking tour of the city – there’s so much to take in, so be sure to fill up on Spanish pastries at breakfast. Enlightened with a new understanding of the city, it’s time for a break – perhaps time to ask our Local Insider for lunch recommendations? The afternoon is set aside for a visit to the majestic Royal Palace of Madrid. An entry ticket to this scenery-stealing Baroque masterpiece is included in the trip, so you can visit solo or with others. The rest of the day is all yours – we recommend gorging on tapas and Rioja, followed perhaps by dancing the night away in Gran Via, one of Europe’s most pulse-racing party districts.
Get to breakfast early this morning ahead of our first train journey together – destination: Córdoba. This ancient Andalusian city is one of Europe’s true architectural gems, and stands today as the best representation of Spain’s multicultural history, with Muslim, Jewish and Christian influences everywhere from the buildings to the cuisine and local culture. The best example of this is Mezquita, a rare site that has been used as both a mosque and a cathedral over the centuries. The uniqueness of its place in history is matched only by the sheer beauty of the architecture, and entrance to this man-made wonder is included in your afternoon walking tour of the city. Once the city’s charming quarters and hidden corners have been thoroughly explored you’ll be ready for the group dinner at an atmospheric local restaurant – more Rioja, anyone?
Our Andalusian adventure continues with a short hop on the train to Seville, loved for its cultural vitality and blend of modern and ancient architecture. You’ll have free time to explore Southern Spain’s largest city in the day – perhaps a gentle stroll around Parque de María Luisa? Today’s main event, however, is centred around Seville’s most famous export – the art of flamenco. You’ll have the unforgettable opportunity to see a live flamenco show in the city where it feels most at home – the fiery, flamboyant, joyous show that awaits is the perfect reflection of this city’s larger-than-life personality.
Day two in Seville will show you the fiery underbelly that gave birth to flamenco, starting with a guided walking tour in the morning. Marvel at the narrow streets and hidden squares that emerge populated with vibrant orange trees and flower-adorned patios, before a visit to the Alcazar in the afternoon. This grand royal palace is yet another champion of Spanish architecture, but it’s the gorgeous garden terraces that we find most magical. Your final evening in the Andalusian capital is to be spent at your leisure – how about a night of eats and treats on the bustling street of San Jacinto? You’ll want to make the most of this city’s incredible food culture before calling it a night.
We cross continents today, swapping trains for a ferry as we make the short journey across the Mediterranean to the port town of Tangier. This coastal town is the gateway to Africa, and your home for the night. Our Local Insider will greet you at the port and take you to your hotel. Once settled we’ll stroll to a cafe for a refreshing glass of sweet mint tea, and later on there’ll be a welcome to Morocco group dinner in a lovely local restaurant.
You can guess where we end up today, but this morning is dedicated to getting to know Tangier with a guided tour to the town’s most significant spots. In the afternoon we take a scenic rail journey down to Casablanca on the western coastline. After check-in you’ll have time to refresh before meeting for another dinner at a local restaurant – we can’t promise it’ll be managed by Humphrey Bogart though, sorry!
Today’s star is the Mosque of Hassan II, one of the world’s largest places of Islamic worship, and certainly one of the most awe-inspiring. From the tip of its 210m tall minaret to the opulence of the mirror-like marble walls, this place is an architectural feat. Built partly on land, partly jutting out over the Atlantic, you’ll see the ocean flowing below thanks to hypnotic glass-flooring. Or look up and marvel at the retractable roof that creates an open courtyard for worship. You’ll enjoy a guided tour of the complex, which is a rare privilege since many sites like this are shut to non-Muslims, so be sure to dress appropriately – covering the knees and upper arms is recommended. In the afternoon it’s time to hit the tracks to Fes, check into our hotel for the night and, after a refresh, tuck into an authentic home-cooked meal with the group.
The old city, Fes el Bali, is one of the most evocative urban areas on the planet. A walk through town here is like a journey through time. Mazy alleyways are populated by passing donkeys piled high with goods for the souk, where the senses tingle with the smell of spice and the sound of squawking chickens. Browse endless stalls loaded with fruits, herbs and soups, stroll past dye-pits and explore ancient libraries and mosques, stood here since medieval times when the city was a hub for education and culture. Your guided tour will also take you to Medersa Bou Inania, a beautiful 650-year-old educational institution regarded as a shining star of Marinid architecture, and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th century inn. You’ll return to the hotel late in the afternoon, with the rest of the day to be spent at your leisure.
Be sure to eat well at breakfast in Fes ahead of one more train journey to our final destination, the storied city of Marrakech. After checking into a boutique hotel you’ll have some time to relax or stretch your legs before spending an evening of exploration in Jemaa el Fna, perhaps the most iconic market square in the world. It truly comes alive at night, as darkness falls and the place is lit up by the atmospheric stalls of the street food bazaar. Henna-painters, performers and storytellers set the scene, but it’s the Moroccan delicacies that steal the show. Tuck into famous Moroccan pastries, washed down with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, before heading to a perfectly-placed rooftop restaurant overlooking the square for a spot of evening tea.
Join our Local Insider in the morning for a guided tour of the old medina, where bustling souks are interspersed with orange-blossom courtyards and secret alleyways waiting to be explored. It’s easy to get lost, so you’ll be grateful for our guide, who can expertly navigate our route to Bahia Palace, a splendid mansion with epic mosaics, tranquil gardens and stained-glass windows. Next stop is the Saadian Tombs; an extravagant complex, peppered with gold and Italian marble, that lay hidden for almost 300 years. Stop off at Koutoubia Mosque, with its skyline-adorning minaret, before heading back to Jemaa el Fna. You’ll have some free time to explore – visit the tropical gardens of French painter Jacques Majorelle, see the ruins of Palais Badi or work on your haggling skills on a shopping venture through the medina. Before you know it the final evening is upon us, so we’ll gather together one last time for a farewell dinner in one of the many great restaurants lining the square.
Our trip ends after breakfast, so say your final goodbyes as the group goes its separate ways. We’ll transfer you to the airport, unless of course, your adventures aren’t finished yet?
- 11 nights accommodation
- 10 breakfasts
- Five dinners
- Welcome meeting and dinner with Local Insider
- Guided walking tour of Madrid and self-guided visit of the Royal Palace
- Train from Madrid to Córdoba
- Guided tour of Córdoba, including entry to the Mezquita
- Train from Córdoba to Seville
- Flamenco show in Seville
- Guided walking tour of Seville and self-guided visit of the Alcazar
- Ground transfer from Seville to Tarifa
- Ferry from Tarifa to Tangier
- Walk to a local cafe for Mint tea
- Guided tour of Tangier
- Train from Tangier to Casablanca
- Guided Tour of Hassan II Mosque
- Train from Casablanca to Fes
- Guided walking tour of Fes, including Fondouk Nejjarine and Medersa Bou Inania
- Tasting trail in the old Medina
- Train from Fes to Marrakech
- Guided walking tour of Marrakech, including Bahia Palace and Saadian Tombs
- Farewell dinner
- Departure transfer to Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK)
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Airport transfers (unless otherwise stated in the Included Activities section above)
Catalonia Atocha (or similar)
This beautiful neoclassical hotel in the heart of Madrid is perfectly placed for sightseeing in the city centre and easy access to the train station. Rooms are crisp and modern and the gastrobar will keep you well fed, but the star of the show is without doubt the spectacular outdoor terrace, fit with Jacuzzi, fanned sun loungers and stunning views of the city.
Soho Boutique Cordoba (or similar)
This tastefully designed boutique hotel is a refreshing slice of modernity near the old city of Cordoba’s train station. Rooms and lobbies are stylish and contemporary, with little pops of colour and decor flourishes, giving the place a light and airy feel. The highlight is a shimmering rooftop pool overlooking the city.
Catalonia Santa Justa (or similar)
The Catalonia offers everything you could possibly need during a stay in Seville. Fitness heads can go for a morning workout in the gym, while sleepy heads will never want to get out of the extra comfy beds. Pamperers will enjoy the onsite spa facilities, foodies can tuck into flamenquines in the gastrobar, and sunbathers will love the rooftop terrace, pool and solarium.
Palais Zahia (or similar)
One step into this hotel and you’ll understand why they call it Palais. The luscious rugs, the spectacular chandelier, the artfully designed banisters… it’s all there to make you feel instantly special, but it’s also a product of the ancient Petit Socco district it calls home. This area has been a gathering place and a cultural melting pot for centuries and Palais Zahia aims to keep that tradition alive.
Gray Hotel (or similar)
This hotel, just two kilometers from Mosque of Hassan II, is a relaxing base for any trip to Casablanca. It overlooks the Triangle d'Or district, where luxury boutique shops gather in their masses, so a spot of shopping is always on the cards. Alternatively, if you’re in need of some pure relaxation, you can treat yourself to a wide range of treatments in the hotel spa.
Palais Houyam (or similar)
You can’t come to Morocco without experiencing a traditional riad stay, and where better to embrace tradition than in one of the country’s most historic cities? From the patios, the outdoor garden space and the pool, to the authentic decor, traditional hammam and locally-sourced Moroccan cuisine, this place is a real slice of immersive Moroccan hospitality.
2 Ciels (or similar)
This luxury boutique hotel and spa, within walking distance of Jemaa el Fna, is a chic oasis amid the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. Art Deco stylings are given a classic Moroccan handicraft touch, while local natural products are at the forefront in the luxurious spa. Patron De La Mer is one of the city’s finest seafood restaurants, and Lola Sky Lounge is a stunning rooftop tapas bar with great food and panoramic views of Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains.
The safety and wellbeing of all travellers is our top priority. To help us ensure this, please refer to this checklist:
- Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- You must be aged 25 years or over to join this trip.
- Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
- We won't charge you extra if you travel alone – you'll be allocated a twin room with another traveller of the same gender.
- To upgrade to a private room, share a room with a friend, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team
- Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
- Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
If you cancel 56 days or more before your scheduled departure date, you will receive a 100% refund. Otherwise, the total cost of your trip is:
- 100% payable if you cancel 29 days or less before your departure date.
- 50% payable if you cancel between 30 - 55 days before your departure date.
Please note you can only book this trip in advance up to 14 days before the departure date. After this time the trip may be booked on request.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.