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TREASURES OF MOROCCO Small Group Escorted Tour * AAA Affordable Luxury * 9 Days Dive into the medieval souks of the Imperial cities. Pause to sample the fragrant delights of a family-owned bakery and dine on authentic regional cuisine in the country’s finest restaurants... We’ve captured all the magic Morocco has to offer, from the Atlas Mountains, across the desert and along the Route of 1,000 Casbahs. Engaging Experiences… Only for AAA Members! • Savor the finest Moroccan cuisine and wine… We’ve arranged a private lunch and wine tasting with a master vintner in ancient Meknes. • Ride a camel over the golden dunes of the Sahara to witness a spectacular desert sunset. • Delve into the bustling souks of the Marrakech Medina with your guide and get a taste of local life as you refresh with tea and sample the freshly baked goods of a local family. • Feel the sensual evening rhythms of Marrakech all around as you travel by carriage to dine in a centuries-old palace. 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites With all this included… Luxury and deluxe hotels, your choice of a hotel suite in Merzouga or our deluxe tented camp in the desert, 18 meals, in-depth small group sightseeing, special AAA private events, luggage handling, all on-tour transportation and our comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Your Magical Journey… Day 1 – Arrive Casablanca, Morocco Check in to the Hyatt Regency and refresh before setting out with your guide to discover the highlight’s of Morocco’s largest city. You’ll start along the harbor and continue on to see the bustling Central Market. After exploring the arcades and shops of the new medina, you’ll tour the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest and most beautiful in the world. Its stunning location – built on a platform that extends over the Atlantic Ocean – is complemented by the soaring artistry of its design and the exquisite indigenous materials used in its construction – creamy marble from Agandir, Cedar wood from the Middle Atlas Mountains, and gleaming granite from Tafraoute. Only the white granite columns and Murano glass chandeliers were imported. Gather with fellow travelers this evening and dine at La Mer, selected for its fine cuisine and superb location overlooking the ocean. Meals D Day 2 – From Casablanca to the Imperial Cities This morning you journey to Meknes , one of Morocco’s four Imperial Cities. Founded in the 11th century as a military stronghold, Meknes became a capital under Sultan Moulay Ismail and remains to this day an impressive city of the Spanish-Moorish style. Tour a regional vineyard here and sample several Moroccan wines before sitting down to lunch with the vintner. Continue to medieval Fez and settle in to your inviting guestroom at the Sofitel Palais Jamai, set in an erstwhile palace overlooking the medina. Meals B,L,D Day 3 – Discover Fez Founded in the 9th century, this is the best-preserved medieval city in North Africa. Home to one of the world’s oldest universities, it reached its peak of influence and glory in the 13th and 14th centuries when it replaced Marrakech as the capital of the Kingdom. Although the modern capital was transferred to Rabat nearly 100 years ago, Fez remains the cultural and spiritual heart of the country. On today’s in depth sightseeing tour, you’ll walk the medina, explore the historic Jewish Quarter, meander in the artisans’ district and admire the mosaics of the Nejjarine Fountain. Tonight, a Henna tattoo artist demonstrates this ancient tradition. Meals B,D Day 4 – Into the Sahara... The Dunes of Merzouga After an early breakfast, you embark on a scenic drive into the Middle Atlas Mountains, a region of cedar forests, peaceful valleys, and sweeping mountain vistas. Stop for lunch in Midelt, a peaceful farming town in the high plains. In the afternoon you arrive in Merzouga, perched on the edge of the mighty Sahara desert. Transfer to 4x4 vehicles and journey across the famed golden dunes of Erg Chebbi. Climb aboard a camel to ride across the dunes, watch the sun set over the desert, and then enjoy your choice of overnight accommodations… After your sunset camel ride, you can choose to continue onward across the desert sands to La Belle Etoile, our enchanting tented encampment set amidst the golden dunes of the Sahara. Settle in to your inviting tent - beautifully appointed with private en suite bath, Moroccan textiles, cozy furnishings, a welcoming bed and the warm glow of brass lamps. Then join your fellow guests to dine on fine Moroccan fare served under a canopy of desert stars. Later before retiring to your private tent, enjoy Berber music and tales around the campfire. The next morning, arise early for an unforgettable sunrise over the Saharan dunes and a traditional Berber breakfast at camp. Then travel back to Merzouga to continue with your fellow AAA Travelers for the journey along the Route of 1,000 Casbahs toward Ouarzazate If you prefer, you can return to Merzouga after the sunset camel ride where dinner and a deluxe suite await you at the charming Hotel Xaluca Kasbah Tombouctou. After breakfast the following morning, fellow AAA travelers returning from their desert overnight will join you for the day’s journey along the Route of 1,000 Casbahs. Meals B,L,D Day 5 – Along the Route of 1,000 Casbahs to Ouarzazate This morning’s journey transports you toward the snow-topped High Atlas Mountains. You’ll stop in the small oasis town of Tinehir and continue onward through the Todra Gorges, with majestic canyon walls that soar 900 feet. Traveling through the equally scenic Dades Valley brings you to El Kelaa and the Route of One Thousand Casbahs, an ancient caravan route dotted with these old fortified towns and even some 19th century single-family compounds built with the distinctive crenulated walls of a medieval casbah. Continue on to Ouarzazate where you’ll enjoy dinner and restful overnight at the lovely Berbère Palace Hotel. Meals B,D Day 6 – Across the Tichka Pass to Marrakech Your morning visit through the casbah reveals why this town has been the setting for so many films, including The Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia. Experience Ouarzazate’s captivating beauty and then depart across the 7,400-foot Tichka Pass to Marrakech, where you check in to the inviting Riad Slitine. This traditional courtyard hotel is set in a beautifully restored 18th-century city estate located just a short stroll from lively Djemaa el Fna Square, bustling in the early evening with food vendors, merchants and city residents out for a stroll. Meals B,D Day 7 – Palaces and Gardens in Marrakech Today you’ll enjoy a comprehensive guided exploration of this marvelous city, founded 800 years ago by the Almoravides Dynasty. First you visit the lavishly decorated Saadian Tombs, dating to the late 16th century. The gravestones of these Saadian princes and members of the royal household are embellished simply and elegantly with colorful ceramic tiles, each with a short epitaph and a quote from the Qur’an. The next stop is the Dar Si Said Museum, an unparalleled collection of Moroccan art exhibited in an exquisite former palace. Continue to the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and the lovely Bahia Palace, built in 1880. Then you’ll immerse in the exotic atmosphere of the city’s famed souks; follow your guide into this fascinating maze of shops and vendor stalls. Refresh with a cup of tea and fresh baked pastries from a generations-old, family-run bakery. Continuing along, you’ll emerge in lively Djemaa el Fna Square, undoubtedly the heart of the Marrakech medina . Tonight, you’ll enjoy the finest of Moroccan cuisine at Palais Soleiman, an elegant restaurant set in a 19th century palace. Meals B,D Day 8 – Dive into Marrakech… Dine in a Palace! Enjoy a day at leisure to explore and shop at your own pace. This evening, immerse in the timeless rhythms of Morocco as you travel by horse-drawn carriage to dine at Dar Fez, a true Marrakech classic. Meals B,D Day 9 – Marrakech Departure Your magical journey ends this morning. Meals B Your extraordinary hotels, a desert camp... and a traditional riad Hyatt Regency Hotel, Casablanca Perfectly located In the heart of the city, the luxurious Hyatt Regency offers traditional Moroccan hospitality and 21st century comfort just a short stroll from the sea front promenade. Sofitel Palais Jamai, Fez Built in fine Moorish style for the Grand Vizier of Jamai, the luxury Sofitel is an historic landmark surrounded by lovely gardens overlooking the ancient medina of this Imperial city. La Belle Etoile – Tented Camping in the Sahara Travel by camel across the Sahara... Our private tents with en suite bath are beautifully appointed. Le Berbère Palace Hotel, Ouarzazate This charming deluxe hotel is built in the style of a casbah, with jasmine scented pathways and date palms set against an impressive architectural backdrop of traditional Berber styling. Riad Slitine, Marrakech In the heart of the Medina, this elegant retreat is set in four beautifully restored 18th century homes. Delight in its original architecture and courtyard gardens of rose, palm and orange. Each guestroom is uniquely styled with fine hardwood furnishings, rugs and colorful Moroccan textiles. Per Person Arrival Casablanca Depart Marrakech Double January 29, 2011 February 6, 2011 $3,599 February 26, 2011 March 6, 2011 $3,599 March 19, 2011 March 27, 2011 $3,599 April 16, 2011 April 24, 2011 $3,599 May 14, 2011 May 22, 2011 $3,599 September 10, 2011 September 18, 2011 $3,599 January 9, 2011 January 17, 2011 $3,599 January 28, 2012 February 5, 2012 $3,599 February 25, 2012 March 4, 2012 $3,599 March 17, 2012 March 25, 2012 $3,599 April 14, 2012 April 22, 2012 $3,599 Call your AAA Travel Professional for international economy or business airfare, which includes arrival and departure transfers. Prices are per person, double. Our Travel Insurance cost of $153 per person is included, but purchase is not mandatory and the policy can be optionally deducted from your trip cost at the time of final payment. We can arrange convenient air services for this tour aboard Royal Air Maroc. Solo travelers save $200 off their next trip.
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