The NEW Sea to Sahara Tour
Designed and Accompanied by Anna Kwiecinska
18 DAYS, 6 - 23 OCTOBER 2020
Cost AU $4949 twin share / single supplement AU$1449 (Land Only)
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT available til 15 MARCH save 5%
ONLY 12 PLACES AVAILABLE
This is my classic Sea to Sahara Tour which now takes you from Casablanca on the Atlantic cosSea to Sahara
WHO WILL THIS TOUR SUIT?
This tour is perfect for those who don’t mind a reasonable pace of walking on full day tours, with some hilly places and mountainous trekking possibilities. The tour starts and ends in Casablanca ond.
I can assist you with hotel bookings and other aspects pre-and post- tour.
CASABLANCA – TANGIER (2) – via MEKNES and VOLUBILIS – FEZ (3) – MERZOUGA (2) – TINEGHIR (1) – SKOURA OASIS (2) – MT TOUBKAL NATURE RESERVE (2) – ESSAOUIRA (2) – MARRAKECH (3)
17 nights' accommodation in authentic and historic luxury accommodation throughout including a fabulous tented camp in the Sahara Desert
17 breakfasts / 7 lunches / 7 dinner
Luxury 18-seater bus with bottled water provided daily
20 Entrances to monuments and events
Fully guided throughout plus specialist city guides
Music Concerts and Desert Astronomer Hands-on Lecture
Quick checklist of included highlights
Telescope tour of the Saharan skies with an international astronomer in our tented camp in the Sahara
Berber musicians to entertain you by the campfire in the Saharan dunes
Private dinner in a beautiful traditional riad Fez with classic, live oud concert performance
A caravanserai concert in a private riad the medina of Marrakech by Gnaoua musicians from the Sudan and Mali.
An illuminating 2-hour guided walk through the only permanent oasis in Morocco
Guided walk through the ancient frontier town of Tineghir where Jewish communities flourished
A unique invitation to the home of a bibliophile photographer in Fes for a unique view into his collection and daily life
Private shopping possibilities in Fez for leather goods – no hassle, no obligation – just a relaxed opportunity to browse and have bespoke articles made for you to be ready by the end of the tour
A day in the dunes with your own camel - ride for as long as you like - this is your day in the Sahara!
Be invited to enjoy lunch at the home of an artist in the desert and see how life could be if you chose to live here as an ex-pat!
Guided two-hour trek in the Mt Toubkal National Park (or if you'd rather a mule ride ... that's a choice too!)
Special Dining Events and Accommodation Highlights
Apart from spending months in Fez in 2018 and several months there in 2017 studying Arabic languarge, I've spent many visits discovering wonderful places to stay and dine – not just for great food, but ambience, service and personality– these are my recommendations. Some of the restaurants are included, some are optional* but highly recommended as unique experiences
What you read in the description to follow is just a small taste of the richness, diversity, expertise and sense of discivery that is encompassed in this very special tour. Please dont hesitate to contact me for further details
Surely one of the most legendary cities in the world. Pre-tour night
Colonial Art Deco architecture, a little worn at the edges, the Hassan II mosque, poised on the edge of the Atlantic - the second largest mosque in the world, and a vibrant corniche. You'll spend the morning here before starting our journey along the Atlantic coast to Tangier
This is an exotic place to start your journey, so choose your own hotel here or allow me to book you into my favourite 5-start luxury hotel in the heart of the city.
*If you arrive into Casablanca early enough on the pre-tour day, I’d love you to join me for drinks and dinner at the famous Rick’s Café by the sea.
Northern most tip of Africa where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean (2 nights)
The legendary port city on the edge of the world where you stay for 2 nights in a luxury Heritage Hotel perched high above the historic medinas, in the same hotel that Matisse immortalised in his famous window views of Tangier. Our whole-day walking tour here on Day 2 is a superbly in-depth experience from the Jewish synagogues near the Socco Chico, to the winding alleyways of the kasbah. I have many reading recommendations to get you in the mood for Tangier ...
* I’d strongly recommend dining on your first night in Tangier at my favourite palatial restaurant in the kasbah, with panoramic views of the Atlantic and Mediterranean from the same fabulous balcony.
*Our second night in Tangier? Where else, with all that history we now understand, but to walk into the famous literary world of The Old Mountain and dine in incomparable style t in this absolutely unique place on the planet.
… and breakfasts each morning with the same view that Matisse immortalised.
VOLUBILIS and MEKNES to FES
3 Imperial cities from the 7th to 17th Centuries (3 nights)
En route to Fes, you'll explore the ancient Roman City of Volubilis, precursor to Fes' establishment, and the 17th imperial city of Meknes before arriving for 3 nights in magnificent Fes, a C.7th World Heritage medina city where medieval Arabic culture still thrives. You’ll spend 3 nights in a riad lovingly restored by a passionate Frenchman – so you know the food will be marvellous! With fine terrace views to the Merenid tombs this off-the-beaten-track location is perfect to escape the clamour of the heart of the medina. Amongst the 9400 tiny alleyways within medieval walls you'll find the oldest university in the world, the extraordinary dyeling vats, the age-old arts of fine leather working, filigree cutting, and superb architecture.
*Dine at an exquisitely restored riad with a private classical oud performance to entertain you in the style of days of old.
* enjoy lunch at a hidden garden paradise
Explore the beautifully situated ancient Roman city of Volubilis and the Imperial city of Meknes as you move from Tangier to Fes.
SAHARAN SAND DUNES
Erfoud, Rissani and Merzouga (2 nights, 1 under canvas)
Cross the Middle Atlas and descend into the vast Saharan desert where splendid golden dunes, Berber nomads and 2 nights beneath that 'Sheltering Sky' made so famous by Paul Bowles.
Your gorgeously exotic time here includes a night under canvas in a luxury tented camp - a camel ride away from town. Most tours offer you a 20-minute camel ride - but on this journey you’ll leave for an extended ride on the second morning to take you from your beautiful desert auberge to your camp – and you have the all the time in the world to savour this unique experience. This is not a day to be rushed.
You’re invited to enjoy Berber pizza by the dunes in a wonderful home built by an English artist out here after a morning exploring the timeless Risanni markets with their dates, spices and desert wares - and the 'mule car park' (below).
On your second night, under canvas, you’ll enjoy campfire dining, live music on Berber rugs and a fascinating astronomer's lecture explaining the Berber peoples' conception of the night sky.
A secretive hideaway off the beaten track (1 night)
Most travellers make a quick call into the Todra Gorge, take a picture, turn around and head back to a pretty ordinary hotel somewhere on a the main road. Well, we’re going to keep going, deeper and deeper into the gorge, to spend the night at one of the most unique places you could imagine. I’m not saying more, as I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but everything, including the cuisine, with dinner provided, is wonderful here!
Our day has been passed driving along the Ante Atlas, stopping at El Khorbatt before a walking tour this afternoon in the ancient frontier town of Tineghir, where gold trading flourished and desert and mountain cultures met.
Along the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs (2 nights)
Morocco's only permanent oasis creates an Eden of date palms and fruit trees and for two nights you'll stay in a traditional fortress-style kasbah built by the traditional owner of this extensive garden property. Luxuriously set around a lovely pool setting and parterre gardens, this peaceful haven is the perfect place to rest, restore and rejuvenate, and perhaps enjoy a traditional Moroccan hammam or spa.
Impressive cuisine - both dinners are provided here - an excellent wine list and a guided oasis walk are highlights of this off-the -beaten-track destination.
MT.TOUBKAL HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS via AIT BEN HADDOU
spend 2 nights at this World Class eco lodge. This is a new addition to this classic tour
A stunning location in completely unspoiled nature, in the shadow of Mt Toubkal, Africa’s second highest peak,
This rare find is listed by the National Geographic organisation as one of the world's most unique lodges.
Perched high above the village blow on a promontory which gives you spectacular views, you’ll have two nights in this classy lodge where trekking to remote Berber villages is offered as part of your tour, and optional mule riding is available. All meals are provided here, and there's opportunities for rug shopping at local cooperatives for the real thing!
Spend 2 nights here in a fabulous sea-side location within the World Heritage medina
Immortalised by Jimi Hendrix but famed for centuries before that as a Portuguese sea port of significance, the C.16th medina of Essaouira is a relaxed and laid back place to shop, eat and take in the sea air in a leisurely way.
Famed for sardines, salt and raffia, Essaouira offers the freshest seafood imaginable – it’s a must for lunch after our walking through the port and medina, and I have a delicious surprise for you for dinner.
The red city of the desert now a caravanserai for modern times with everything you can imagine – 3 nights.
You’ll stay in a artfully-restored authentic riad in the heart of the medina with good food a highlight here. Two full days of expert guided tours, with museums - including the Jardin Majorelle and thr stunning new Yves St Laurent museums, a concert, dining and shopping to delight all the senses.
*A world of choice awaits you in this most exotic of destinations, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy my recommendation for lunch - The Guardian newspaper listed it as one of Marrakech’s best ten finds!
*what would a stay in Marrakech be without drinks at the jazzy piano bar of one of finest hotels in the world? … a great way to bring our tour to a splendid and fitting close.