October 1, 2013
Marrakech Express - EEME
15 days: London to Marrakech
Orientation walk of Paris, Barcelona, Seville, Granada and Chefchaouen, guided visit of the Alhambra, visit to Parc Güell, and option of evening tapas and wine bar stroll.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and G Adventures. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
VALIDITY: Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013
Day 1 London
Please note the trip departs London in the evening of Day 1, so it is imperative you arrive on time for departure soon after the 6pm Welcome Meeting. Please ensure you allow plenty of time for your journey to London to allow for any possible delays.
Day 2-3 Paris (1L)
Board an overnight train on Day 3 to Barcelona.
Day 4-6 Barcelona
Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city, but it is the capital when it comes to fashion, architecture, food and music. Known worldwide for its dynamic atmosphere and exciting style, Barcelona never disappoints. There is plenty of history too: visit the old Gothic Quarter with its maze of dark streets, historic cathedral, medieval buildings, bars and cafes. Stroll the Rambla, a large tree-lined pedestrian boulevard perfect for people-watching and window shopping, ending at the harbourfront facing the Mediterranean Sea.
Make sure to view Gaudi’s most famous life work, the cathedral La Sagrada Familia, an inspiring yet bizarre testament to the artist’s unique vision. Find some quiet time away from it all with a visit to the imaginative Park Güell to stroll the tree-lined paths and admire more of Gaudi’s creative genius at play.
Find time to tour the beautiful Palau Musica, built between 1905 and 1908 as a home for catalan music, as it is full of light and of colour. For nightlife, the highest concentration of beautiful young locals dancing, both in the bars and on the street, can be found near the intersection of Santaló and Mariano Cubi streets. Here you can always find good music, good drinks and lots of fun. Another good nightlife spot for meeting the fashionable locals of Barcelona is on the Plaza Francesc Maciá.
Overnight train to Granada on Day 6.
Day 7-8 Granada/Seville
The Alhambra is divided into three sections: the Alcazaba, the Palacio Nazaries and Generalife. The Alcazaba is the Alhambra's Muslim 11th century wing, offering spectacular views of the city from the tops of its towers. The Palacio Nazaries is the center of the Alhambra, and is most famous for its detailed works and gardens. The Generalife was the summer palace of the sultans. We include a full guided visit of the Alhambra to help you make the most of this truly memorable experience.
Granada, however, has so much more to offer than the Alhambra, magnificent as it is. Take a wander through the whitewashed historic quarter of the Albaicin, with its narrow lanes and fantastic views back to the Alhambra - this is a great place to go for sunset. A trip to Granada wouldn't be the same without a night on the town, the city is filled with trendy tapas bars and has a lively music scene.
Travel to Seville on Day 8, one of the most colourful and exciting cities in Spain. We spend our time here exploring Muslim monuments, parks and gardens at our leisure, getting a feeling of Seville's energetic pulse while savouring some tapas at the city's many bars and cafés. This evening we will head out to an evening flamenco performance.
After your CEO has taken you on a short orientation walk to get your bearings, you will have time to take in all this great city has to offer. Be sure to explore the wonderful interiors and gardens of the Alcázar, a magnificent palace dating from Moorish times. During Seville’s warm summer nights (until mid-September) you can enjoy a series of concerts in the beautiful setting of the Reales Alcazares. The true heart of Seville lies in the Santa Cruz quarter a charming area with its winding alleys, picturesque lime-washed houses,flowery patios and small squares.
Seville is home to the world’s largest gothic cathedral. The climb to the adjoining tower, known as La Giralda, is well worth the effort for the great views of the city. The 76m Giralda was constructed by the Moors as a mosque between 1184 and 1197; after the reconquest Christians fitted the minaret with its bell tower in 1568.
Other attractions include the Museo Arqueológico, the Casa de Pilates and the Parque de María Luisa, which has a maze of paths, garden beds, pretty little patios, fountains and shaded lawns.
Day 9-10 Chefchaouen
Cut into the sides of two mountains, Chefchaouen is a vista of blue and white lime-washed houses huddled into narrow alleyways. On of the most rewarding things to do is to simply relax on the terrace of a cafe in the central medina, where you can enjoy the ambience of this charming town.
The djellaba, the traditional hooded garment worn by the men and women of North Africa, was created here. Chefchaouen is a great place to check out many of Morocco's ancient crafts. Visit one of the many traditional oil mills, a weaving workshop, basket-making and its pottery.
You may like take part in a pottery workshop and create your own masterpiece. Don't miss a visit to one of the village's unusual communal attics or the chance to sample the local goats' milk cottage cheese. Yum!
Day 11-12 Fes
When in Morocco, it is also all about the food. Fes is known for its extravaganzas of mezas (small plates of food) common among Fassis tradition. Mezas may include such delights as: choukchouka salad, zaalouk salad, carrots with cumin seed, raisin and orange salad, cold radish, orange, and fennel salad—don't miss trying a few.
There's plenty of time to take a side trip to some of the other worthwhile sights in the area, too.
The charming town of Meknes, another of Morocco's Imperial Cities, is a short day trip from Fes where you can explore the old palace and granaries or try out your tastebuds on a camel burger!
The spectacular Roman ruins of Volubilis can also be found just a short ride away, either en route to or from Meknes. This sprawling and well preserved site evokes images of Romans lounging in bath houses or feasting under the cyprus trees.
We will be staying in the the new city of Fes, built by the French during their Protectorate of Morocco. This area has the feel of a French provincial town, with its cafés, restaurants and wide boulevards. Head off for a Moroccan feast at one of the many restaurants and finish off the night with some famous Moroccan mint tea and a shisha!
Approx travel time: 4 hrs (public bus)
Day 13 Casablanca
Day 14 Marrakech
As the day progresses the snake charmers are replaced by Chleuh dancing-boys, story-tellers, magicians, and peddlers of traditional medicines. As the sun sets, the square fills with dozens of food-stalls, packed with locals and the entertaining chefs and waiters. Grab a spot on a bench with the other diners and try the Tanjia (slow cooked lamb), Harira soup, grilled seafood, famous Moroccan couscous, tajine, snails or even sheep’s head for the truly adventurous, and wash it all down with some spiced tea.
To really get a taste of everyday life in Marrakech, head into the maze of tiny streets and alleyways of the ancient medina. Tourists and locals alike will find everything they desire in the souks, whether it’s spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or famous Moroccan lanterns, the selection here is exhaustive, and don’t forget to bargain, it's definitely part of the fun!!!
For history and architecture buffs Marrakech is sure to dazzle. The Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs, Ben Youseff Medersa and Almovid Koubba are all easy to get to and well worth a visit. Once you’ve tired yourself out, relax at one of the tea houses around the square, indulging in the ubiquitous sweet mint tea, watching the hustle and bustle from your shady spot.
Day 15 Marrakech
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
2. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.
3. Itinerary pace. This is a very fast paced itinerary which covers lots of ground. While this is great as it allows us to see a huge amount in the available time, it also means some early starts, some long drives in the mini van and less free time than many other G Adventures. We feel that if you enter this trip with this knowledge and expectation, you will appreciate even more the variety of locations we are able to include in this itinerary.
4. Transport in Morocco. We use a 16-seater minivan. With a full group every seat will be used. The legroom in the minivan is possibly smaller than you may be used to and taller passengers may find space a little cramped. It is important to be aware that as it is not a legal requirement in buses in Morocco, your vehicle may not be equipped with seat belts.
5. Weather: Please note that Morocco can be both very hot during the day in summer months and cold at night in the mountains in autumn, early spring and winter. Summer months, from April to September are very hot throughout Morocco. Winter months November to March can be cool to cold, especially in the Atlas Mountains, with high probability of snowfall. Please bring appropriate clothing for the months in which you are travelling. Bedding is provided in the desert camp, but in winter months if you feel the cold you may wish to bring a sleeping bag too.
6. Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between July 10 to August 10, 2013. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day.
Group Leader Description
Group Size Notes
While in Morocco:
Breakfasts on tour
Many breakfasts are included as part of your tour.
Moroccan breakfasts tend to be different from your usual cereal and toast morning fare – most will be very simple - a croissant or sweet roll with jam and instant coffee and some hotels will have buffets where you will have more variety.
While you are experiencing what a Moroccan family would eat, some travellers do find the provided breakfasts a bit “bread heavy” and enjoy buying fruit the day before to supplement their breakfast.
Lunches and dinners
Moroccan cuisine is world famous and your CEO will be taking the chance to show you the best of it.
Staples include cous cous, a type of grain topped with stew, tagine which is actually the name of the pot this tasty dish is cooked in, and brochette, bbq skewers of meat. These meals will generally cost between 45- 70 MAD depending on the type of restaurant and which part of the country you are in.
Other tastes not to be missed include pastilla, a sweet pasty with a savoury filling which is traditionally pigeon and harira, a delicious soup based on chick peas and filling enough when teamed with fresh bread to be a whole lunch. If you are heading to the coast the fresh seafood cooked at one of the local markets is a must eat!
Morocco's fresh orange juice is highly recommended and you should not leave without trying a glass. The brave can try the tiny snails which are perhaps the local's favourite snack but you might prefer a cone of piping hot bite-size fried cake donuts.
About our Transportation
My Own Room
On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations.
Some accommodation on this tour is multi-share. This may involve 3-4 group members sharing and even (on rare occasions) dormitory style rooms for the whole group. The majority of accommodation will have shared bathroom facilities. Expect to walk with your luggage for short distances (20-30 minutes max) between the transport and hotels/hostels. Pack light!
Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8am - 8pm)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
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Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
What to Take
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (See also "What to Take" and "Local Dress" sections of this dossier)
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.
For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.
Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.
A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Europe or North Africa - check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros and cards is best.
Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Morocco has a strong tipping culture - it is customary and even expected to tip small service providers such as restaurant and bar waiters, hotel staff, reception, cleaning personnel, bell boys, taxis and van drivers. Tips are regarded as an essential means of supplementing income for those working in the tourism industry.
Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.
Eiffel Tower - €8-€13
Louvre Museum - €9
Musee d'Orsay - €8
Palace of Versailles - €13.5
Palace of Versailles Gardens - free
Arc de Triomphe - €9
Catacombs - €7
Notre Dame towers -€8
Centre Pompidou - €12
Napoleon's Tomb - €8
Sainte Chapelle and Conciergerie - €7.5
Picasso Museum - €6.5
Rodin Museum - €6
Da Vinci Code walking tour - €20
Bike Tour - €24
Hop on/off Tourist Bus - 20 Euros
Parc Guell - Free
Sagrada Familia - 11 Euros (additional €4 for guided tour)
Palau Musica- 12 Euros
Bike tour - 24 Euros
Barcelona Football Club - 8.50 Euros (museum only), 13 Euros (museum & tour)
Picasso Museum - 9 Euros
Cathedral - €4
Royal Chapel - €3.50
Real Alcázar - €8
Cathedral and Giralda - €8
Climb the "Setas" - €2
Bull Ring and Bull Fighting Museum - €7
Arab Baths (Hammam) - €28
Guided day tour in Fes
23 euro (250 dirhams) Includes: guide, transport
Traditional Moroccan 3 course dinner with folklore entertainment, in an old former palace in the medina - Dh300
Medersa bou inania – Dh10
Medersa el Attarine - Dh10
Dar batha museum (Wed to Mon) - Dh10
Belghazi museum - Dh20
Train to Meknes from Fes - Dh35
Taxi to Volubilis from Meknes - approx Dh350
Entrance fees Volubilis - Dh20
Local guide Volubilis - Dh 150
Hassan II Mosque (Sat to Thurs) 9, 10, 11 and 2pm – Dh120
Villa de Arts (Tues to Sat) – free
Jewish Museum (Mon to Fri) - Dh30
Guided tour of Marrakech : Price: 15 euro per person (165 dirhams)Includes: guide, transport from hotel to medina
Traditional Hammam (steam bath) including massage – Dh 300
Moroccan 3 course dinner and folklore entertainment in a traditional restaurant overlooking the famous Djemma el Fna Square - Dh 400
Ali Ben Youssef Medersa - Dh 40
Koubba Ba’adiyn - Dh 40
Museum of Marrakech - Dh 40
El Badi Palace - Dh10
Saadian Tombs - Dh10
Bahia Palace - Dh10
Dar si Said - Dh10
Majorelle and Museum of Islamic Art - Dh 30
Bicycle hire – Dh 70–100 per day
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
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