Footsteps of Hercules, Shadow of Rome - 7 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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Your adventure into antiquity starts in Fez, 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 arizing from the ether.  Hundreds of thousands of people pulsing through the narrow streets with not a vehicle in sight.

After arriving at the Fez Airport, you’ll check into the Riad el Yacout upon your arrival to 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

Before sunrise, the call of over a hundred muezzin in Fez fills the morning stillness as your day starts with breakfast in the courtyard of the Riad El Yacout before being met by your guide.  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 is THE place for shopping for traditional crafts. Around every corner, another market appears. The cacophony of the metalworkers as they hand hammer and carve brass and bronze. The rhythmic ticking of the weavers, the sweet smell of cedar from the woodworkers. And of course, the overpowering aroma of the tannery as they produce the finest Moroccan leather.

Almost as a respite from the overload on the senses, your guide will take you to the historical and cultural sites of Fez. Sites of history, culture, and faith lay waiting for your visit.

After the tour, the rest of the day is yours.  If you’re adventurous, head back into the Medina, or stay at the Riad, swim in the pool, or enjoy an afternoon relaxing.

After 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. As you walk the streets and enter the shops and homes, you can still almost hear their voices in the wind. Explore on your own, or upgrade to a guided tour.

After 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 pirate 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.

Enjoy breakfast at the Raid before meeting the driver for the 4.5-hour drive north 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 the provincial capital Colonia Iulia Tingi. Conquered by the Vandals, it was briefly restored to Byzantine control before the Muslim conquest of North Africa.

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 lime-coated houses from the days of Delacroix or Matisse. While strolling the city, stop by the American Legation, the first US Embassy overseas (now a museum), then to 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.

Have breakfast and checkout of the Riad for your next day of adventure. From Tangier, you’ll travel west for 30 minutes to Cap Spartal National Park.

Located where the Atlantic meets the Medeterian, its rocky coast is a serene site. From there, it’s a short drive to the Caves of Hercules for a brief visit and walk the tunnels carved out by the Phoenicians.

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

Your driver will then take you west 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 current ruling dynasty.

A 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 mostly an artist settlement. As you stroll, keep an eye out for the entrance into the gardens in the center of the Kasbah.

After a full day of travel and touring,  you’ll check into your hotel for the night.

Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast in Rabat before starting the day.  Check out of the hotel and meet your driver and head to Chella.

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 from the 2nd century remained linked to the Roman Empire, with a Roman military unit that remained 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.

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.

After exploring the museum, your driver will take you one hour south to Casablanca where you’ll check into your hotel for the evening.

After breakfast, your driver will take you to the Casablanca Airport for your departure.

Breakfast

Includes

Includes

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

Excludes

  • Flights
  • Tips
  • Porterage
  • Meals not list

Starting on February 7, 2022, international flights to Morocco will be allowed to resume and travelers, under certain conditions, will have access to Moroccan territory if they have a vaccination pass and a negative PCR test at least 48 hours before the date of entry to Moroccan territory.

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

Passengers travelling to Morocco must present a vaccination pass and a negative PCR test result less than 48 hours old before boarding the plane.

It should be noted that all vaccine passes issued by other countries are accepted as long as they are valid in their country of emission.

Before boarding, passengers must present a health form, duly completed including the passengers address and two telephone numbers to locate them during their stay.

Upon arrival at airports, they will be screened by rapid tests. Random PCR tests will also be conducted for several groups of travelers and results will be communicated at a later date.

Within 48 hours of entering the country, some travelers will be required to take an additional test at the hotel or residence center.

If the tests are positive, other preventive measures will be implemented.

What measures are implemented in case of positive cases?

There are two types of positive cases: normal cases and difficult and critical cases. The people who are positive after their arrival with normal diagnosis will have to observe a sanitary confinement in their place of residence with a careful follow-up. As for difficult cases, they will be taken care of in hospitals, public or private, according to the national protocol in application.

What are the entry requirements to Morocco for children?

There are no entry requirements for children under 6 years of age. For children between 6 and 18 years old, the only requirement is a negative PCR test less than 48 hours old, in addition to a rapid antigen test on arrival.

For children under the age of 12, there are no exit requirements. For children between 12 and 18 years old, a vaccination pass is required. Over 18 years old, they must refer to the protocol defined for adults.

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, Air Transport 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. When they reopen, temperature will be 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.

If you decide to travel by car, wearing a mask becomes mandatory if you are accompanied.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Group Discount Available
From $935.00
per Adult

Trip Facts

  • Fez (FEZ)
  • Casablanca (CMN)
  • Private transportation in chauffeured sedan or van (depending on group size)
  • Private tours for groups of 2 to 6 (contact us for larger groups)
  • Jr. Suite rooms, double occupancy
  • 7 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.