(13 Days – Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Casablanca, Fez, Rabat, High Atlas Mountains, Essaouira, Marrakesh
This exclusive, in-depth private arts and crafts tour of Morocco gives travellers the chance to meet local artisans, learn about traditional artistic practices, and shop for a wonderfully diverse array of traditional Moroccan crafts such as beautiful woven carpets, fine leather goods, intricate marquetry, elegant metalwork and high-quality ceramics.
Begin in Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, with a visit to the impressive Hassan II Mosque, a showpiece of Moroccan craftsmanship on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Also visit local museums and galleries that support the city’s thriving contemporary arts scene.
Continue to Fez, the intellectual and religious heart of Morocco. During private touring, explore Fez el-Bali (“Old Fez”) and its medieval medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site crammed with narrow streets, tiny squares and busy workshops. Meet local artisans who specialize in geometric zellij tilework and mosaics, and see leather artisans working at the city’s renowned open-air tanneries. During a private calligraphy workshop, learn to write the graceful, flowing lines of Arabic script. If desired, spend a day touring major Roman ruins at Volubilis and the former imperial capital of Meknes, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites with unique design elements. 3 h 15 min(289 km)
Continue to Rabat, Morocco’s sophisticated seaside capital. Stroll through the beautiful Andalusian Gardens, and visit the landmark Kasbah of the Udayas, which perches on a hill above a scenic estuary. Also see French colonial architecture, and shop for some of Morocco’s best carpets in the souk (market). 2 h 15 min(207 km)
Continue to the High Atlas Mountains and Kasbah Tamadot, one of Morocco’s most acclaimed luxury resorts. Designed like a traditional Moroccan fort, the hillside resort has beautiful grounds and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. During your stay, enjoy private visits to local Berber villages and markets, as well as a meeting with a Berber women’s weaving cooperative. Also take a workshop with a master potter to learn how Morocco’s distinctive conical tagine cookware and earthenware serving dishes are created. 4 h 26 min(377 km)
Spend the next two nights in Essaouira, a whitewashed port and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Atlantic coast. En route, visit an argan oil producer, and learn about the unique process for creating this treasured local product. During private touring in Essaouira, explore the impressive fortifications and medina, and sample fresh seafood at stalls lining the port. Also meet with a wood craftsman to see how local thuya wood is transformed into unique marquetry boxes and other decorative objects. 3 h 26 min(230 km)
Conclude with four nights in Marrakesh, a beautiful city of pink buildings, bustling souks, and upscale shops and restaurants. During private touring, explore exquisite Moorish gardens and architectural highlights such as Jardin Majorelle, Jardin Menara, the Palmeraie and the Bahia Palace. Enjoy classes focused on traditional Moroccan stucco work, mosaics, and dyeing and weaving. See important historic monuments and districts, including the Jewish quarter, Koutoubia Mosque, and Ali ben Youssef Mosque and Medersa. If desired, also visit museums such as the Dar Si Said Museum of Moroccan Arts. 2 h 43 min(184 km)
Take an insider tour of the vast souks where shops offer local products such as argan oil, Berber carpets and Moroccan slippers. Also visit the spice souks, which are stocked with locally harvested saffron, cumin and other ingredients, and learn about traditional plant-based medicine from a local herbalist.
Relax with a glass of Moroccan mint tea at one of our favorite spots, and enjoy reservations at elegant restaurants in restored ryads (guesthouses). One night, explore Djemaa el-Fna, the city’s lively main square, which transforms each evening into a multisensory pageant of energetic street performances and tantalizing food stalls.
Throughout the tour, there will be opportunities to visit Morocco’s best insider craft ateliers to shop for one-of-a-kind finds such as boucherouite rugs made of colorful textile scraps, leather pouf ottomans in rich colors, babouche leather slippers and brass lanterns incised with arabesque motifs.