After arriving in Tangier, meet your driver for a private transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to rest or explore your surroundings. This evening, with recommendations from your hotel, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Moroccan cuisine combines spices, herbs, and fresh ingredients, including tajine, (a North African stew made with stewed meat and vegetables), and couscous. Although a Muslim country, Morocco produces quality wines that one can order in most restaurants, including their excellent reds.
After breakfast, your local guide will meet you at the hotel for a panoramic drive through the city, including the French quarter, the Spanish quarter, and even an American Quarter called "small California". You will pass the horse riding school, the oldest golf course in Africa, The Christian cemetery, even a cat and dog cemetery. The drive will continue up the mountain passing several palaces before arriving at Cap Spartel light house, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. Then an exhilarating drive along the Atlantic coast where you'll have the opportunity to ride camels. You'll return to the city and have a walking tour to discover the cultural part of Tangier, the old Medina (the famous Kasbah). Your next stop is the former Sultan's Palace (Dar el-Makhzen), located at one of the highest points of the city, overlooking the Medina and the Strait of Gibraltar. Afterwards, a stroll through the Medina will give you a good feel for life in the city, both past and present. The tour continues past the Grand Socco and Petit Socco where a number of small hotels had accommodated famous artists and writers such as Matisse, Camille Saint Saens, and Paul Bowles. Following the tour, you'll make the 2 hour drive to the famous blue village of Chefchaouen.
(Breakfast, Tangier; Accommodations, Chefchaouen)
Today is at your leisure to explore the "Blue Pearl" on your own. The northern Rif mountain city of Chefchaouen is incredibly picturesque, with its rich blue buildings. Simply wander the winding streets and alleyways of the medina and you will soon leave the tourist crowds behind. A gentle 20-minute walk up to the Spanish mosque provides a fantastic view over the city. At the bottom of the medina is the shady main square, Outa el Hammam; and nearby, the red-walled Kasbah, a 15th-century fortress and dungeon. You'll find a range of restaurants and cafés, as well as leather, carpentry, and textile shops. Time permitting, visit one of the Moroccan hammams which are similar to the public Turkish bathhouses. During your visit, your skin and hair will be deeply cleansed and nourished, using only natural products (like clay, rose petals, argan oil). Some hotels will also offer a similar spa treatment. Later in the afternoon, you'll have a private transfer to your hotel in Fez.
(Breakfast, Chefchaouen; Accommodations, Fez)
After breakfast, meet your guide for a private tour of this historical city. You'll learn about the history of Morocco and how people from different origins, religions and cultures settled this region. This cultural visit will begin in the El Jid, the beautifully built Jewish quarter, which stands next to the 14th century Royal Palace. This is the famous Mellah, where you'll admire a fine example of old Spanish-Moorish architecture, and the Jewish cemetery with tombs going back to the early history of Fez. You will have access to the recently restored synagogue of Aben Danan, built in the 17th century, and learn about the history of Judaism in this area. The tour continues past Quaraouiyine University; the oldest existing university in the world.
Pass through one of the main gates of the city, reaching the lush, historical gardens of Jnan Sbil, replete with eucalyptus, weeping willows, and citrus trees. You'll visit the 19th century Royal Palace. Founded in 1915, it's the oldest museum of Moroccan traditional arts. Then drive along the beautifully restored ramparts before stopping to enjoy the stunning view of the city from the hilltops. Before returning to your hotel, enjoy a stop at a pottery making village, where this ancestral fine craft is still practiced.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Fez)
Meeting your private guide, you'll drive across the Saiss plain to Meknes: a medieval city rebuilt by King Moulay Ismail in the 17th century. On this tour you will visit various monuments, including the El Heri Souani stables; a vast, cathedral-like home for the sultan's 12,000 horses. Other attractions include the mausoleum of Moulay Ismail with its harmonious Moorish design, and Bab El Mansour gate, the most beautiful in North Africa, with an amazing arrangement of tile work. At the end of your visit take a walk to El Hdim square and visit its food market and the museum Dar Jamal. Take a break from the tour to stop at a cafe for their famous tea: an infusion of geranium, verbena and mint.
In the early afternoon, you'll head north towards the mountains of Zerhoun to visit Moulay Idriss, the holiest town for the Muslims in Morocco, where the first King is buried. After that, you'll have a walking tour of Volubilis, a partly excavated Roman and Berber city, built over two thousand years ago when this part of the country was a Roman province. Their footprints are still visible, as you gaze at one of the most beautiful collections of mosaics, which have remained at the original site since their discovery in the early 20th Century. Late in the afternoon, return to Fez via the village of Zgouta for another view of this scenic countryside.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Fez)
After breakfast, meet your driver for a private transfer to the Fez Airport for your return home or on to your next Avanti Destination!