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Moorish Delights of Andalusia & Morocco           

Sunday, 24 May- Thursday 11 June 2020

Once there was a paradise on earth- it was called Andalusia and grew from the interconnections of the Three Peoples of the Book.

Tracing this ideal our Moorish journey will unfold. First visiting the magnificent Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba and the Gardens of Paradise at The Alhambra, then boarding a ferry to cross the Straits of Gibraltar form Europe to Africa and winding our way through the magnificent landscapes of Morocco, busy souks and visiting artisan villages, sunset on the Sahara and cocktails in Casablanca are part of the mix.

Join us to experience life in the peaceful Atlas Mountains, poke around old Kasbahs, wander the covered markets and sit and learn from skilled women, sharing a moment of camaraderie.

If you like to read try these, they really set the scene
“A Handful of Honey” by Annie Hawes
“Leo of Africa” by Amin Maalouf
“Tales of the Alhambra” by Washington Irving.                                  “The Court of Lions” by Jane Johnson

All Creative Arts Safaris Tours are fully escorted, small group tours focusing on textiles, arts and culture and yummy local cuisine. We like to get our hands dirty doing things, taking workshops and exploring locations and culture, getting off the beaten track. Our friendly groups welcome women and men to join us and are good for solo travellers who do not want to go it alone

24 May to 11 June, 2020

Group Size 8-14 people.

Twin share basis -US$5350

Single Supplement- US$1250

Please send booking form and we will confirm availability and send payment link.

Don’t worry, you won’t have all the details, they can be added later via this same form.

Please take time to read the small print page on the website, sending a deposit constitutes your agreement with the tour conditions.

Payments

Option 1 – Bank Transfer We will send you bank details upon receipt of booking form.
Once deposit is received you are officially booked in.
Option 2 – PayPal Note PayPal payments have a fee of 8% added to cover PayPal fees.
We will raise a PayPal funds request upon receipt of your booking form.

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Questions – just ask.

Moorish Delights of Andalusia & Morocco 

Sunday 24 May to Thursday 11 June, 2020

Group Size 8-14 people.

Twin share basis -US$5350

Single Supplement- US$1250

Please send booking form and we will confirm availability and send payment link.

Day 1– Sunday, 24.5.20                                     Madrid

Madrid is rich with wonder and beauty; you might like to arrive a few days early to explore and take advantage of being here. People came from many directions last time– easiest if we meet at the hotel– will supply details upon booking, and I will send you a list of my favourite spots around our hotel.

Day 2-Mon, 25.5.20                       Madrid –Cordoba

An early start off to the high-speed train for Cordoba, arriving in the middle of the day we can drop our bags, have lunch and head to the Tower across the river- it houses a great museum of the story of Andalusia,

Later the fabulous Mesquita; originally? Roman mosaic under the floor, then a mosque which had a cathedral was built over it...this is the fabled building with a forest of striped arches, it showcases the beauty that can arise when Muslin and Christian culture intermingle. Later we will meet up at an open-air café for drinks and dinner, it is the perfect spot to watch the locals take their evening promenade...perhaps we will follow suit before we retire for the night. [Breakfast, dinner]

Day 3-Tues, 26.5.20                    Cordoba-Granada

If you like an early start it is lovely to wander the quiet streets before breakfast...a visit to Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, this peaceful Fort has a dreaded history to be told...later after we have seen it in daylight! Then travel via bus through the glorious countryside of olive groves, old castles and villages to Granada. We will wander down to the Capella Real, final resting place of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain then soak up the local vibe for the afternoon before gathering later in the evening to act like the locals, wandering the tapas bars for a snack, a glass of wine or two, listen to the music and have a good laugh!  [breakfast, tapas]

Day 4-Wed, 27.5.20                              Granada

The Alhambra! This palace complex was built in the Muslim style to reflect paradise; elegant buildings, intricate mosaics and gardens full of scented flowers and sparkling water features– it must come very close. Our day will pan out depending on entrance times allotted to us, then we can spend time soaking up its

beauty. In the evening, we are free to daydream and sample some of the lovely restaurants near our hotel [breakfast]

Day 5– Thurs, 28.5.20                                      Granada-Tarifa

So far, we have been travelling at a cracking pace, today we move onto the little seaside village of Tarifa via train, a much slower pace and our launching point for Africa and Morocco. Tarifa is the most southerly point in Europe; we will be able to walk out on a sand spit and have the Atlantic Ocean lapping on our right-hand side and the Mediterranean Sea on our left. Wander the old town and relax. Great place to sketch the view or just dream of Africa, we can see Morocco across the water. [breakfast, dinner]

Day 6– Fri, 29.5.20                           Tarifa-Chefchouen/ Morocco

An early ferry and we leave Europe behind and head to mystical Africa. Crossing the Straits of Gibraltar, we reach Morocco, landing at Tangiers we will be met by our Moroccan crew. Funny thing is we arrive before we leave Spain according to the clock. Climbing into our a/c vehicle we will wind our way up into the picturesque Rif Mountains and the quaint little village of Chefchouen, a perfect start to Moroccan life. [breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 7– Sat, 30.5.20                                                    Chefchouen/ Fez

Off to Fez today and along the way we will visit the fabulous Roman ruins at Volubilis, reaching our hotel later in the afternoon. [breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 8– Sun, 31.5.20        Fez

Fez or should I write FEZ! The oldest of the Imperial Cities, this ancient city has always been regarded as the religious and cultural centre of Morocco. Its 9th Century Old City- Fez el-Bali- is the oldest living, breathing, functioning Medieval Islamic city in the world.  Hicham [our man in Fez] will take us to the Medina today, and reveal such delights as the history of Fez, the tanneries and some of the wonderful monuments and souks will be uncovered. Lunch will be in the Medina...and an afternoon to explore together. [inc- breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 9–  Mon 1.6.20                                                       Fez

We will start the day with a calligraphy lesson, a fine introduction to much we see around us…. learn a few letters in Arabic, at least your name. Our enthusiastic hosts make this a fun exercise.  Rest of the day is free. There is a fabulous Haman if you would like a visit or dive into the souk again. [inc- breakfast]

Day 10– Tues 2.6.20                                                      Fez

Today we will visit Sefrou, an hour or so outside Fez and spend time with the women of the Golden Button Co-operative and learn how to make buttons ourselves. [breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 11– Wed 3.6.20                                   Fez-Erfoud

Breakfast early and then on the way over the mountains and a big drive through the truly magnificent scenery of the Middle Atlas Mountains and the Ziz River Valley to our staging post for the Sahara, Erfoud. [inc- breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 12– Thurs 4.6.20                                    Erfoud– Sahara

First we will head into Rissani and the busy local market, check out the donkey parking lot, the date market and other sights. Along the road to Merzouga and the Sahara is an informative museum and shop highlighting the wonderful fossils found in abundance in the area.

Sunset camel rides will be arranged from our doorstep- tonight we sleep at the foot of the dunes in a lovely Auberge.

[inc- breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 13–Fri 5.6.20                            Merzouga- Dades Gorge

We’ll head off to visit Todra Gorge after following the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. When you arrive, you will be gob-smacked at the sensational scenery but also might feel a touch of déjà-vu -this is quintessential adventure country from many an exciting movie- we just need whip cracking and fast-moving horses rushing by! Berber villages and palm trees dot the landscape. Home tonight will be high up in the Dades Valley [breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 14– Sat, 6.6.20                 Dades Gorge -Ait Ben Haddou

Slow start to the day….all local villages weave carpets…we can visit one up the road this morning and then wander down the valley where we hope to meet up with local artist Fatima Mellal if she is home. www.fatimamellal.net .

Roses have made El-Kelaa famous throughout the Middle East and we are passing through just at the start of rose season, should smell good as we head further down the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs through desert, past palm groves, oasis and ancient forts or Kasbahs. As we pass through Ouzazate we’ll spot where they made the movies Gladiator, Mummy I & II, Kingdom of Heaven and many others came to life. You might remember our village tonight from Gladiator.  [inc- breakfast, lunch, dinner]

Day 15-Sun, 7.6.20                     Ait Ben Haddou-Marrakech

This village has been seen in many a movie, sunrise is a magical time to wander down and cross the river to look around. Then off to Marrakech, we arrive in time to wander through the Djemma el-Fna before a fabulous dinner cooked by the ladies who run our riad. This amazing market place has been declared by UNESCO to be of world cultural importance for Oral Traditions and Performances. Keep a handful of coins in your pockets to give the many performers.  [inc- breakfast,  lunch, dinner]

Day 16- Mon 7.6.20                                        Marrakech

A wander through the souq to The Musée de Marrakech and Ben Youssef Medursa. After the early tantalizing meander through the souks, there is free time to explore before Djemma el-Fna starts to come alive- it is a great place to choose dinner from the hundreds of stalls or visit a nearby restaurant. If you would like a cooking class I can make you a booking at a fabulous women’s training programme [fee extra] or just run wild in the souk, it is fascinating. [inc- breakfast]

 

Day 17- Tue 9.6.20       Marrakech

The Maison Tiskiwin this morning– its fabulous collection tells the story of the Berber peoples from all around the Sahara [boy does it make you want to travel further!] and then we hope to join the women of Al Kawtar to sit and stitch …we’ll work on a small piece and spend time with this inspiring self-help group

The afternoon and evening are free to wander the area, we will meet to go out for dinner this evening.

[breakfast, dinner]

Day 18-Wed, 10.6.20           Marrakesh/Casablanca

An early visit to The Jardin Majorelle and associated museum before the crowds arrive and then head out to Casablanca. We’ll wander along the Corso this afternoon, view the Atlantic and have lunch.

Evening time we will head along to Rick’s Cafe for a drink...for those nostalgic about the movie Casablanca it is on the screen here in this elegant restaurant, a fitting setting for our farewell dinner [inc- breakfast, dinner]

Day 19- Thurs 11.6.20                             Casablanca / Home

Departing from Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca -we will organize airport transfers in time for your flights [inc- breakfast]

To Book Please use this Form

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  • We will meet at our hotel in Madrid
  • dropping to airport ANYTIME DAY OR NIGHT at completion of  the trip
  • accommodation on twin share basis [or choose single supplement]
  • group transport during trip- AC bus, ferry, train and camel.
  • all sightseeing and workshops listed in itinerary
  • breakfast and meals mentioned in itinerary

Shopping!!

-airfares

-visa

-travel insurance

-laundry

– meals not mentioned in itinerary

-drinks and bottled water

-gratuities/ tips