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Stunning Spain by Train & the Magic of Morocco

Visiting: Dubai, Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, Tarifa, Tangier, Chaouen, Meknes, Volubilis, Fes, Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech


Ladies! Immerse yourself in the diverse Spanish culture, cuisine and shopping before exploring the magic of Morocco. Join this small group ladies-only tour with a maximum of 10 travellers.

 

Itinerary

Sat, 9 Mar - Dubai

Today we depart from our NZ domestic point for Dubai flying Emirates Airlines.

Sun, 10 Mar - Dubai

0525 Arrive in Dubai by flight

On arrival at Dubai  Airport, after completing Immigration and Customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your Hotel.

Enjoy a day of relaxing leisure or optional sightseeing upon our arrival on Sunday morning . Explore the Dubai markets, take in a city of Merchants City tour or ride the dunes 4WD style with a desert dinner under the stars. A host of options to consider or watch the world go by at one Dubai’s many exclusive mall experiences before retiring for the evening.

Your accommodation in Dubai is for 01 night.

Mon, 11 Mar - Barcelona

After breakfast at an appointed time we will be transferred to Dubai International Airport for our flight to Barcelona  EK185 Departing  0750

1225 Arrive in Barcelona by flight

On arrival at Barcelona Airport, after completing Immigration and Customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your Hotel.

Your accommodation in Barcelona is for 03 nights in Hotel Colonial including breakfast

Barcelona's quirky character and fabulous Catalan cuisine mixes seamlessly with a groundbreaking art scene, Gothic architecture, superb dining and a non-stop nightlife, making it a city you won't soon forget.

There are plenty of options to keep you busy. Wander the labyrinthine streets of the old Gothic Quarter and navigate your way through the throngs of tourists along La Rambla, Barcelona's famous tree-lined boulevard. Perhaps pay a visit to the Picasso Museum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia or the Museum of City History to brush up on your local knowledge. Take the funicular to the top of Montjuic or Tibidabo for panoramic views of Barcelona and the harbour. The heart of Catalonia prides itself as a gastronomic centre and so this evening perhaps head out to taste the reputation for you. Take a tapas crawl through rustic Catalan dishes in the funky neighbourhood of El Born.

Tue, 12 Mar - Barcelona (B)

In the morning we head to the stalls of Santa Catarina Market, a huge trove of local produce beneath a colourful, undulating roof, and hang out with the locals as they select the best produce that they’ll transform in to big weekend family meals. The city is famous for its architecture, from its impressive gothic main cathedral to the houses, concert halls, palaces and basilicas designed in the unique Catalan Modernista style. The master of this movement was Antonio Gaudi, whose eccentric creations are dotted all over the city.

A visit to Gaudi's masterpiece, the modern cathedral of La Sagrada Familia, is a must, Gaudi worked on this hugely ambitious project for decades until his death, and it remains in constant construction. For more insight into the artist himself, we head to the Gaudi House Museum inside Parc Guell, home to more colourful sculptures, including a long mosaic-covered bench overlooking the city, before taking in Gaudi Park.

The remainder of the late afternoon and evening is at leisure.

Wed, 13 Mar - Barcelona (B)

Full day is at leisure.

Continue to explore all that Barcelona has to offer- maybe take in some shopping perhaps exploring an outlet shopping village such as LA Roca Village.

Thu, 14 Mar - Barcelona - Madrid (B/L)

Today take the train to Madrid (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival, enjoy a picnic lunch in Madrid, Spain's central capital, known for its elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks. It’s renowned for its rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum’s works by Goya, Velázquez and other Spanish masters. The heart of old Hapsburg Madrid is the portico-lined Plaza Mayor, and nearby is the baroque Royal Palace and Armoury, displaying historic weaponry.

As this stylish, cosmopolitan city is also well known for world-class restaurants, shopping and night life, enjoy your free afternoon, perhaps visiting some of these wonders. Sports fans, if you're lucky enough for your trip to fall on match day, you can don a white t-shirt and head to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to watch the mighty Real Madrid. You have two days in Madrid to soak it all in. At night, head out to Chueca, Plaza Dos de Mayo or Plaza Santa Ana, where the pulse of the city will lead you from bar to bar on a night out you are sure to remember.

Your accommodation in Madrid is for 03 nights in Hotel Princesa by Marriot including breakfast.

Fri, 15 Mar - Madrid (B)

Today we spend most of the day discovering Madrid. We start with walk along the Paseo del Arte, or Art Walk, for an expansive history of Western art. We discover modern Spanish masters, including Picasso and Dali, in the Museo Reina Sofia's 20th century collection. before heading to the San Miguel Market to view  fabulous local delicacies , perhaps dine here for a casual lunch and superb coffee.

We then take a casual stroll exploring the narrow streets of Las Letras quarter ( Literary Quarter) The neighbourhood is formed by narrow streets which are either pedestrianized or with restricted access to traffic, and pleasant squares such as the Plaza de Santa Ana. This is an area where it is easy to find houses in which towering literary figures of the Spanish Golden Age such as Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Góngora and Cervantes lived and wrote. This is why on the cobbles of many of the streets you'll find inscriptions and brief texts from the works of some of these writers. Another of the charms of the Las Letras quarter is its abundant offer of shops and businesses, which include everything from the most traditional establishments with centuries of history (such as cobblers, silversmiths and lute-makers) to modern avant-garde venues. You'll also find numerous restaurant and pavement cafes where you can enjoy the gastronomy of Madrid and the popular Spanish custom of 'going out for tapas'.

A drive by Madrid’s famous monuments and soccer stadium completes our day of sightseeing before we enjoy an evening at leisure.

Sat, 16 Mar - Madrid (B)

Full day is at leisure

Optional Toledo excursion by road:
Travel to Toledo, which was the capital of the Spanish Empire before Madrid, a guided tour will take you through the immaculately preserved medieval streets of the Unesco World Heritage Site old town. Surrounded by ancient walls, the city boasts a stunning Gothic cathedral that is considered the finest in Spain. Toledo is also famous for its damascening decorative designs. Visit the Cathedral and the Santo Tome.

Alternative excursion : Keen for some outlet shopping? Explore the outer shopping district of Getafe Madrid’s outlet shopping for brands such as Levi’s, Reebok, Mango and more.

Sun, 17 Mar - Madrid - Granada (B)     

This morning you will be transferred to Granada- a 4 hour leisurely drive by coach.

Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada is packed with Moorish architecture, great tapas bars and natural beauty.

Take a walk around the old Arab quarter of the Albaicin, a labyrinth of crooked alleys, fountains, plazas and whitewashed houses, or the 'Alcaiceria' (old silk market area) and observe the craftworks on sale that include ceramics, marquetry and leather goods. If you're feeling energetic, climb the steep streets up to the Mirador de San Nicolas for sunset views over the famous Alhambra. If you have time, perhaps check out the historic Renaissance Catedral and Capilla Real, or get geeky at the city's extensive Science Park. Granada is the kind of city to leave your guidebook behind and trust your intuition.

Discovering the narrow streets of Albaicin and the white-walled house garden of Realejo quarter may lead your adventurous spirit to find something that you have long been looking for.
In the evening, perhaps head to one of the small flamenco taverns around the city and see how the art form here differs from Seville's version or
Optional excursion : look to catch a local flamenco show with dinner uniquely performed in an intimate cave setting.


Your accommodation in Granada is for 02 nights in Hotel Macia Real de la Alhambra including breakfast

Mon, 18 Mar - Granada (B)

This morning, we will visit to Granada's impressive Alhambra Palace, set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Discover this 11th-century marvel and its dominating red fortress towers, sumptuous palace decor, multitude of architectural styles and magnificent gardens. An entrance ticket is included in the trip and grants you the visit of Nasrid Palace and the Gardens. Audio guides in multiple languages are available on the day for EUR 4.

The Alhambra was first built by the Moors as a fortress during the Muslim rule of Spain. A walk through the compound's luxurious rooms and gardens gives you an idea of the decadent lifestyle of the Moorish kings. The Alhambra is made up of three parts: the Alcazaba, the 11th-century Muslim wing which features spectacular views from its towers; the Palacio Nazaries, the centre of the complex; and Generalife, the summer palace of the sultans.

Afternoon is at leisure

Tue, 19 Mar - Granada - Seville (B)     

Today, morning you will be transferred to Seville by train. Upon arrival we are greeted by our guide and transferred to our  Hotel.

Your accommodation in Seville is for 02 nights in Hotel Melia Lebreros including breakfast

Rest of the day is at leisure

Wed, 20 Mar - Seville (B)

This morning we proceed to discover Seville. Checking out the world's largest Gothic cathedral is a must.

You can also the climb the cathedral's adjoining Moorish tower, known as La Giralda. While you might have to line up, it's well worth it for the views over the city. Visit the magnificent Alcazar, a complex of palaces used by Moorish and Christian rulers through the ages. Wander through the fragrant gardens and examine the Moorish and Mudejar architecture. If you feel like an injection of culture, explore Seville's Museum of Fine Arts or the Archaeological Museum, or head to the Real Maestranza Bullring for insight into the Spanish tradition of bull fighting. As Seville is the tapas capital of Spain, be sure to sample some of the tasty treats on offer in one of the city's many tapas bars.

Thu, 21 Mar -  Seville – Tarifa – Tangier - Chaouen (B)

Today at an appointed time, you will be transferred to Tarifa Port for your Ferry to Tangier

TBA        Depart from Tarifa by Ferry
TBA        Arrive in Tangier

On arrival at Tangier Port, you will be met and taken for a short orientation tour of Tangier City. Thereafter you will be transferred to your Hotel in Chaouen - located across a small river Chaouen is  known for the striking, blue-washed buildings of its old town. Leather and weaving workshops line its steep cobbled lanes. In the shady main square of Place Outa el Hammam is the red-walled Kasbah, a 15th-century fortress and dungeon, and Chefchouen Ethnographic Museum. The octagonal minaret of the Great Mosque rises nearby.
        
Your accommodation in Chaouen is for 02 nights in Hotel Dar Yakout including breakfast

Fri, 22 Mar - Chaouen (B)

Full day is at leisure to acquaint the local hospitality of (Chef) Chaouen.
Perhaps explore the gallery , the markets of the square or relax and take in the wonders of the blue walled town.

Sat, 23 Mar - Chaouen – Meknes – Fes (B)

This morning continue to Meknes which was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727), before it was relocated to Marrakesh. Proceed for city tour of Meknes, which includes the massive Bab El Mansour gate. The city tour of Meknes will include also the Harri Souani stables, the medina ramparts, and the entrance to the Royal Palace.

Afterwards, you will be transferred to Fes.

Your accommodation in Fes is for 02 nights in Hotel Bercelo Fes including breakfast

Sun, 24 Mar - Fes (B)

This morning enjoy a guided city tour of the spiritual capital of Morocco, Fes. The first stop of the morning is a visit to the entrance of the largest royal palace in Morocco. This palatial complex rests in the center of the Fes El-Jedid area and is surrounded by high walls with an intricate and elaborately decorated gateway that is permanently closed. The doors are bronze but they shine like gold. The next stop will be the old Medina (Fes el Bali). This medieval centre of Fez has not changed for centuries. Its narrow alleys house hundreds of merchants and craftsmen selling a range of products such as dates, fish, spices, copper urns, musical instruments, etc. One of the most interesting sites in Fes is the leather tannery, which is the oldest in the world. The tannery dates back at least nine centuries. Visit Jamaa Al-Karaouine and a Medersa (Koranic school) to complete the city tour of Fes.

Mon, 25 Mar - Fes – Rabat – Casablanca (B)

This morning start the city tour of Rabat with the Kasbah of the Udayas. The kasbah of the Udayas is a fortification constructed on a hill, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This Kasbah was constructed during the realm of the Almohads. Continue to Mohammed V Mausoleum. This mausoleum is home the tombs of the current king's grandfather, King Mohammed V, and his two sons King Hassan II and Prince Moulay Abdellah. Inside the Mausoleum, mosaics rise from the marble floor to a ceiling of gold leaf and hand-carved cedar wood, while the three ground-floor tombs are carved from white onyx. Next to the Mausoleum, stop at Hassan Tower, which is the towering minaret of the Hassan Mosque. The construction of the site began in 1195. The reminiscents are part of one of the oldest mosques left in existence.

Thereafter transfer to Casablanca.
Your accommodation in Casablanca is for 01 night in Hotel Kenzi Basma including breakfast   

Late afternoon, take a short  orientation tour of Casablanca. Begin with an outside visit of Hassan II mosque, the largest mosque in the country and the 7th largest in the world. Continue to Ain Diab Corniche for a pleasant stroll along the coast. Your last stop is Mohammed V Square in the city center.

Optional Excursion: Subject to availability we will look to book a table at Ricks Café for dinner , enjoy the ambience replicated from the movie Casablanca.

Tue, 26 Mar - Casablanca – Marrakech (B)

Today you will be transferred to Marrakech. Upon arrival, transfer to Hotel for check-in

Your accommodation in Marrakech is for 03 nights in Hotel Opera Plaza including breakfast
 
Rest of the day is at leisure.

Wed, 27 Mar - Marrakech (B)

This morning enjoy the guided city tour of Marrakech. The morning begins with a visit to the Kotoubia Mosque. The mosque is the largest in Marrakech and one of the oldest in the world. The minaret, 77 metres (253 ft) in height, includes a spire and orbs. It was completed under the reign of the Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184 to 1199), and has inspired other buildings such as the Giralda of Seville and Hassan Tower of Rabat. Continue to the world-famous Jemaa el Fna Square, which houses arrays of food, snake charmers, local musicians, fortune-tellers, etc. There’s nowhere on earth like the Jemaa el Fna, the square at the heart of old Marrakesh.
Your next stop is the Bahia Palace, and the Saadian Tombs. The Saadian tombs date back from the time of the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603). The tombs were discovered in 1917 and were restored by the Beaux-arts service. The mausoleum comprises the interments of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty that originated in the valley of the Draa River.

Thu, 28 Mar - Marrakech (B)

Full day is at leisure

Fri, 29 Mar - Marrakech (B)     

Today at an appointed time, you will be collected from your Hotel and transferred to Airport for your flight

Depart from Marrakech by flight onward to Casablanca for our Emirates flight EK752 departing at 2.15 PM via Dubai to NZ.
A short transit stop in a Dubai Hotel will be necessary before boarding EK448  direct to Auckland

Arrival into Auckland 11.20 AM – we then board our domestic flights to NZ home destination.

 

 

 

- Single supplement price available from $2100 per person

- Not included: Visas for non-NZ passport holders, travel insurance, some meals, optional excursions (available at an additional cost), tipping kitty

Travel Dates

For travel 9 Mar 2019 - 31 Mar 2019

*per person share twin

23 Days From

$12,900*

Includes

  • Domestic and International flights
  • All transfers coach, rail and ferry
  • Sights and meals as indicated on the itinerary

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