Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome - 6 Days

Overview

Classical antiquity left its mark on Morocco in mythology and history. You’ll travel the route of Hercules 11th labor, from the Pillars of Hercules (Straight of Gibraltar), where he destroyed a mountain and joined the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Then the Caves of Hercules, where he stayed on the way to the Garden of Hesperides (Lixus). Past the mythology, you’ll visit the city of Tingis (Tangier) and ruins of the Roman cities of Volubilis, Lixus, and Chella.

Highlights

  • Roman ruins of Volubilis
  • Roman ruins of Linxus
  • Roman ruins of Chella
  • Pillars of Hercules
  • Cave of Hercules
  • Tour of Fez and Meknes
  • Rabat Museum of History and Civilizations

Itinerary

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Erg Chebbi - Middle Atlas - Fez - Essential Morocco tour -6Your adventure into antiquity begins on your arrival in Fez. They say that Marrakech is the beating heart of Morocco, always alive and moving, but Fez is the soul of Morocco. Above the valley, looking down into the Medina, this old city of 200,000 looks dead and lifeless, only springing to life when you enter like spirits arising from the ether. Hundreds of thousands of people pulsing through the narrow streets with no vehicles in sight.Erg Chebbi - Middle Atlas - Fez - Essential Morocco tour -2

After a long day of traveling, you’ll check into the Riad el Yacout upon arriving in Fez. The moment you walk in the door, the luxury embraces you like an old friend. You’ll have dinner and the rest of the evening on your own.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 2 :
Fez

Fez - Essential Morocco tour -1Before sunrise, the call of over a hundred muezzin in Fez fills the morning stillness. Your day starts with breakfast in the courtyard of the Riad El Yacout before being met by your guide. Then, for the next 5 hours, you’ll be taken on a walking tour of the Fez Medina.

One of the largest labyrinth cities in the world, the Fez Medina is a riddle waiting to be solved. Its narrow streets and alleys twisting and turning through thousands of years of history.

Fez - Essential Morocco tour -2Fez is THE place for shopping for traditional crafts. Around every corner, another market appears. The cacophony of the metalworkers echoes off the narrow streets as they hand hammer and carve brass and bronze. The rhythmic ticking of the weavers working their looms adds to the sound, and the sweet smell of cedar from the woodworkers fills the air. And, of course, the overpowering aroma of the tannery as they produce the finest Moroccan leather.

The Medina of Fez is an epicurean delight. Instead of stopping for a sit-down lunch, enjoy a Taste of Fez (included). During the city tour, your guide will ensure you can stop and sample the local street food of Fez, making the city a roving buffet.

Fez - Essential Morocco tour -3Almost as a respite from the overload of the senses, your guide will take you to Fez’s historical and cultural sites. These bastions of history and faith are islands of reflection in the turbulent sea of daily life in the Fez medina.

Fez - Essential Morocco tour -4After the tour, take some time to relax at the Riad, have dinner, and get ready for your Ghost Tour of Fez. In 2.5 hours, you’ll see this ancient city like never before.

After the Ghost Tour, you’ll return to the Riad for the night.

Fez - Volubilis - Meknes - Fez - Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -1After breakfast, you’ll join your driver for a 1.5-hour drive west, arriving at the Roman ruins of Volubilis.

Originally founded in the 3rd century BC, Volubilis became a vital outpost of the Roman Empire.  As the centuries passed and the world changed, Volubilis became the ruins you see today. When you walk the streets and enter the ruins of shops and homes, you can still almost hear their voices in the wind. Explore on your own, or upgrade to a guided tour.

Fez - Volubilis - Meknes - Fez - Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -2After Volubilis, it’s a short drive to the Imperial City of Meknes.  Your self-guided tours include the massive Heri es Souani granary and stables, the Prison de Kara where Barbary Pirates would keep their Christian prisoners, and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail.

After the tours, you’ll be brought back to Fez, and the rest of the day is yours.

Fez - Tangier Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -1Enjoy an early breakfast at the Raid before meeting the driver for the 5-hour drive north to Cap Spartel.

Fez - Tangier Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -2Located on the Straights of Gibraltar with Europe looming on the horizon only 8 miles away, Cap Spartel is the meeting of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Oceans. The first stop is the Caves of Hercules, where mythological Hercules slept before his 11th labor to get golden apples from the Hesperides Garden. Then to the Cap Spartel lighthouse (the oldest in Morocco) with its breathtaking views.

The journey continues to the Roman City of Tingis (now Tangier). Named for a daughter of the titan Atlas, Tingis was first settled by Carthaginians, then controlled by the Roman-allied kings of Mauretania before coming under Roman rule in the 1st century BC as the provincial capital Colonia Iulia Tingi. Conquered by the Vandals, it was briefly restored to Byzantine control before the Muslim conquest of North Africa.

Fez - Tangier Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -3
Ruines de Tingis by Rais67

Little is left of Tangiers Classical past, most notably the Punic necropolis just west of the Kasbah. Other artifacts are consigned to the Museum of the Kasbah while the Classical city lays buried under the streets of White City with its lime-coated houses from the days of Delacroix or Matisse.

Fez - Tangier Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -4

Modern Tangier became the playground of the rich and famous, authors, artists, and even spies. After checking into the Riad, the afternoon is yours to enjoy on your own. Stop by the American Legation, the first US Embassy overseas (now a museum), then stroll the high walls of the Kasbah into the alleys of the Grand Socco market. A little farther away, visit the “Sultan’s Palace,” a museum of Moroccan arts. Tangier is also renowned for the Spanish influence on its culture, starting with the arena that stands on the Plaza de Torros and the 1913 Cervantes Theatre.

Tangier - Linux - Rabat - Casablanca Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -1Have breakfast and check out of the Riad for your next day of adventure.

Your driver meets you, and your journey turns south for 1 hour before stopping at the Roman ruins of Linxus (the mythological garden of the Hesperides) for a self-guided tour of the city and the remains of its coliseum. If you enjoy seafood, we’d recommend a stop or lunch at the village of Larache nearby.

Tangier - Linux - Rabat - Casablanca Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -2Your driver will then take you southwest for 2 hours to Rabat, the bustling, modern capital of Morocco, where you’ll see the ruins of the Hassan Tower and the magnificent Royal Tombs. Guarded by smartly dressed honor guards, the ornate tombs are the resting place of the currently ruling dynasty.

Tangier - Linux - Rabat - Casablanca Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -3A short drive away, nestled high on the bluff overlooking the Sale River, is the pirate fortress Kasbah of the Udayas. Once the fortress of the Barbary Coast pirates, it’s now primarily an artist settlement. As you stroll, keep an eye out for the entrance into the gardens in the center of the Kasbah.

Tangier - Linux - Rabat - Casablanca Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -4
Véronique Dauge © UNESCO

Now known as Chella, the Roman city of Sala Colonia (built near the Phoenician settlement on Shalat) was a substantial port city connected by roads to other Roman settlements throughout Morocco. The city became a center of Christianity in the 2nd century. It remained linked to the Roman Empire, with a Roman military unit remaining there until the end of the 5th century. Now located on the edge of the diplomatic quarter of Rabat, the ruins include a decumanus maximus, a forum, and a triumphal arch.

Time allowing, after Chella, your driver will take you to the Rabat Museum of History and Civilizations. The Museum is dedicated exclusively to archaeological collections, in chronological order, beginning with prehistory, then the Punic period, the Roman era, and ending with the Islamic era.

From Rabat, it’s a 1-hour drive to Casablanca, where you’ll check into your hotel for the night.

Airport - Casablancaa Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome tour -1Enjoy your last breakfast in Morocco and an easy start to the day.  Check out of the hotel and meet your driver for a sightseeing drive in Casablanca.  The colonial Frech colonial and Art Deco district are just the start before moving on to the magnificent Hassan II Mosque for a tour (closed on Fridays).  After the tour, the driver will take you to the Casablanca airport for your flight out.

Breakfast

Includes

Includes

  • All transfers
  • All accommodations
  • Meals as listed
  • Guided tours and admissions as listed

Excludes

  • Flights
  • Tips
  • Porterage
  • Meals not listed

Riad El Yacout, FezRaid El Yacout ratings and reviews

Truly one of the best finds in all of Morocco, the Riad el Yacout is a sprawling boutique hotel comprising several centuries-old buildings.  Take a refreshing dip in the pool, head to the terrace, or just explore and relax.

.Accommodation at  Raid El Yacout in Morocco's Fez -2 Accommodation at  Raid El Yacout in Morocco's Fez -3


La Tangerina, TangierRiad La Tangerina ratings and reviews

The La Tangerina is the embodiment of Tangier. A mix of Morocco and turn of the century European empires and tourism, the La Tangerina is an elegant time machine with a view across the Straights of Gibraltar from the terrace.

Accommodation at Riad La Tangerina Morocco's Tangier -1Accommodation at Riad La Tangerina in Morocco's Tangier -2


Club Val d’Anfa, CasablancaClub Val d'Anfa Hotel ratings and reviews

Located in the entertainment district of Anfa, the resort hotel Club Val d’Anfa is as modern as the city of Casablanca, offering all the amenities and comforts you’d want.

Accommodation at Club Val d'Anfa Hotel in Morocco's Casablanca -2 Accommodation at Club Val d'Anfa Hotel in Morocco's Casablanca -3

The Kingdom of Morocco has reopened its sea and air borders and travelers, under certain conditions, can access Moroccan territory if they have a valid vaccination passport or a negative PCR test.

What are the steps to be taken by travelers to come to morocco?

Travelers wishing to travel to Morocco, by any means, must present a health form, to be downloaded online before boarding, duly completed. It is also distributed on board the airport or ship.

They must also present a valid vaccination passport or a negative PCR test result less than 72 hours old.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from all requirements.

What does a valid vaccination passport mean?

A valid vaccine passport means receipt of three doses or, failing that, two doses with a delay in the administration of the second dose not exceeding 4 months.

For the J&J vaccine, a single dose is equivalent to 2 doses of the other vaccines.

What about travelers in transit?

The above entry requirements do not apply to travelers in transit to Morocco. They are required to comply with the health requirements of their final destination country. It is the sole responsibility of travelers to inform themselves and comply with the health requirements of the countries of departure, transit and destination.

What is the covid-19 health situation in morocco?

For more information on the covid-19 health situation in Morocco, click on the following link : http://www.covidmaroc.ma/

What are the sanitary measures to be respected?

As part of the fight against the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, Morocco ensures the application of health measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for safety and health of everyone.

For your safety and safety of others during your stay in Morocco, it is necessary to:

  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap or a hydro-alcoholic solution.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a single-use handkerchief and dispose of it in a garbage can.
  • Maintain a distance of 1.5m with your interlocutor.
  • Avoid hand gestures, hugs and kisses and make sure the mask is worn.
  • Take all precautions when going out.

Useful numbers during your stay

During your stay, you must adopt barrier gestures to protect yourself and others. However, once you arrive in Morocco, several numbers are available to citizens and travelers for advice, assistance, security and emergency.

A list of embassies and consulates in Morocco is also at your disposal for any information, request for documents or to benefit from consular services.

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Stay safely in morocco

It is best to find out about the restrictions in each country before planning your trip.

Find below the measures adopted by the tourist services in Morocco and intended to guarantee you a nice stay:

Cafés and restaurants

Cafes and restaurants are open while respecting some sanitary measures. You must always wear your mask at the entrance and every time you get up to move around. At the entrance, your temperature is checked, and you are invited to disinfect your hands. To ensure the safety of all clients, the entrance and exit routes are separate.

Beaches, resorts and wellness centers

Private bathing establishments are open (Hammams, Gyms, and Covered Swimming Pools). The general health protocol being followed, body temperature is checked at the entrance and hand disinfection is required. In the case of the wellness centers, the entry and exit routes are separated. Respect of social distancing is recommended, and the wearing of masks is mandatory in common areas. In order to fully enjoy these activities, it is advisable to follow all the guidelines mentioned at the reception area of these establishments and to inquire in advance by telephone. Public beaches are open.

Hotels and accommodation facilities

A reservation is mandatory to fully enjoy your stay in hotels, resorts, riads and all classified accommodation structures. To ensure the health and safety of all travelers, the Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts and Social Economy grants the “Welcome Safely” certification testifying to the compliance of these tourist accommodation establishments with the control protocols of Covid-19 in Morocco.

Within these establishments, the wearing of a mask is mandatory in the reception rooms, the restaurant areas and any other common room. It should also be noted that body temperature is taken upon entry and hand disinfection may also be required. The respect of social distancing measures and hygiene rules is also required.

Museums and cultural sites

Museums and cultural places are currently open. At the entrance, temperature is checked, followed by hand disinfection. As the entrance and exit routes are separated, the safety distance will have to be respected in case of waiting. Inside these establishments, it would be preferable to avoid touching objects and to follow the indicated and signaled routes. Wearing a mask is mandatory.

Cinemas and theatres

Cinemas and theaters are open. All arrangements will be made to protect your health and safety: a marked and indicated route, a temperature reading at the entrance, hand disinfection and numbered and separate seats to keep a safe distance. It should be noted that wearing a mask is mandatory to attend shows in cinemas and theaters.

Natural parks, green spaces and playgrounds

In playgrounds, green spaces and public nature parks, regular disinfection of your hands is recommended. Wearing a mask is mandatory. A physical distance of at least one meter is recommended. In private areas, a temperature reading, and hand disinfection is mandatory at the entrance, as well as the wearing of a mask.

Shops and commercial activities

In shops, boutiques, shopping malls and local stores, it is mandatory to wear your mask to protect yourself and others. It is brought to your attention that at the entrance of each store, sanitizers are available to customers, as well as thermal scanners for checking body temperature. As the number of customers is limited in these areas, it is compulsory to respect the safety distance in queuing.

Tourist guides

Tour guides will be provided with a hygiene kit and disinfected audio equipment before and after each visit. Wearing a mask is obligatory during the entire visit. It is mandatory to respect the rules of social distancing and to disinfect your hands after each contact.

Means of transport

To move freely in Morocco, several means of transportation are available: cabs, buses, streetcars, trains, coaches and rental cars.

To ensure your safety on public transportation, it is mandatory to wear a mask, maintain a safe distance from other passengers, and sit in the seats reserved for you.

Group Discount Available
From $925.00
per Adult

Trip Facts

  • On demand
  • Fully customizable
  • Fez (FEZ)
  • Casablanca (CMN)
  • Private transportation in chauffeured sedan or van (depending on group size)
  • No need for WiFi hopping or buying a new SIM card, your transportation has unlimited on-board WiFi
  • Private tours for groups of 2 to 6 (contact us for larger groups)
  • Jr. Suite rooms, double occupancy
  • 6 breakfasts, 1 dinners
  • Private guided tours be led by an English speaking professional guide. Admissions included
  • Indulge in local delicacies as you explore the city with your guide. A city wide roving buffet that can easily replace a sit-down lunch.
  • Night tour of the Fez medina with the abandoned Glaoui Palace complex, execution square, and the slave market.