PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE ITINERARIES ARE SUGGESTIONS ONLY. ALL ITINERARIES CAN BE TAILORED TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL INTERESTS AND LENGTHENED OR SHORTENED TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS.
A FIRST-TIME TRIP TO PARIS (7 DAYS)
DAY ONE: Arrive Paris from your home city. You will be met at the airport by car and driver and taken to your hotel (5-Star, of course). Rest of day on your own to relax, unwind, take a walk, whatever you choose to do. Of course, dinner reservations can be arranged, if you’d like.
DAY TWO : Driver/guide will pick you up at your hotel after breakfast for your insider’s tour of the Cathedral of Notre Dame and La Sainte-Chapelle. And no waiting on lines! Stop for lunch to give your feet a rest and to nourish yourself for the afternoon’s activities. After lunch driver will take you to the Eiffel Tower where you will ascend to the top level for the most extraordinary views of Paris. (FYI: you may also want to go back one evening after dark for a bird’s eye view of the City of Lights.) Rest of afternoon free.
DAY THREE: Morning visit to the Louvre. Driver will pick you up at your hotel and your guide will accompany you for your tour of this world-famous museum. Stop for lunch. In the afternoon, driver and guide will take you to Giverny for your visit to Monet’s home and famous gardens. (April 1-October 31 only). After this visit, you will be returned to your hotel. Dinner on your own.
DAY FOUR: Day of leisure. Just some of the things that can be arranged for you: Shopping tour, spa services, hands-on cooking class, wine tasting, hair appointment, etc. Today would be a perfect day to stroll around the Jardins de Luxembourg, my personal favorite spot in all of Paris. This is an idyllic spot to just relax and enjoy the beauty of this magical place.
DAY FIVE : Visit to the Georges Pompidou Centre, home of the French National Museum of Modern Art and the Stravinsky Fountain which features 16 whimsical and water-spraying sculptures. The museum has one of the most important collections of modern art. Afterwards, walk around the neighborhood of the Pompidou Centre, called Beaubourg, where there is always so much going on. After stopping for lunch, head to the Marais district with its beautiful architecture and the Place des Vosges. This district is also home to one of the main Jewish communities in Paris, the Picasso Museum and the Hotel Carnavalet (the Paris Historical Museum). Afterwards, head back to your hotel on your own for a well-deserved rest.
DAY SIX: Your guide will pick you up at your hotel to take you to the Palais Royale. After you pass through the grounds, you can begin your walking tour of some of the famous Passages of Paris. The Passages are shopping arcades covered with glass roofs, many of which are beautifully decorated with mosaic floors, cast iron gates, marble pillars and ornate clocks. The Passages are home to numerous upscale, quirky, specialty shops and restaurants.
Stroll through some of these historic arcades where you can enjoy the architecture or browse the many boutiques and antique shops. After lunch, head to the Opera Garnier (with or without your guide) and take the tour of this famous and fabulous building. There’s also a museum with impressive displays of costumes, drawings and set models. Rest of afternoon on your own.
DAY SEVEN: Morning tour with driver and guide to the Palace of Versailles with its historic interiors and beautiful grounds and fountains. Return to Paris. Visit to the Arc de Triomphe. Go to the top for more wonderful views. After, have lunch at one of the well-known eateries on the Champs Elysees and then stroll its length where it ends at the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens. Rest of the day free to do anything that you feel you missed.
MOROCCO (10 Days)
DAY 1: Arrive in Casablanca from your home city. After clearing immigration, meet your guide and driver. Stop for some refreshment en route to the Hassan II Mosque. This is the second largest Mosque in the world. Its minaret is the tallest structure in Morocco. It has a spectacular location on a platform over the Atlantic.Ocean. After this visit continue on to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Overnight in Rabat at your deluxe hotel.
DAY 2: Your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel for sightseeing in Rabat. Places of interest include La Tour Hassan, the Royal Palace, the Kasbah des Oudaias, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the Medina (Rue des Consuls) and the Chellah (my personal favorite). This last is the old necropolis. Chellah is a really great place to take a walk and enjoy the nature and the views. Overnight in Rabat.
DAY 3: After breakfast, meet your guide and driver for the trip to Fes, a UNESCO World Heritage site. After checking in to your Riad, your guide will take you on a walking tour through the Medina. This is truly like going back in time. The paths in the Medina are all unpaved and deliveries to the various vendors in the souks are made by donkey. Overnight in Fes at one of the very deluxe Riads for a truly Moroccan experience.
DAY 4: Day trip to the ancient Roman ruins at Volubilis, a not-to-be missed visit, and the Imperial city of Meknes. Volubilis is the largest and best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco with many detailed and extraordinary mosaics. The visit there is usually combined with a visit to Moulay Idriss, considered the holiest town in Morocco. For those Moroccans who cannot afford to travel to Mecca, it is of equal merit to make a pilgrimage to Moulay Idriss five times in one’s life. Stop for lunch.
On to Meknes, enclosed by high walls and monumental gates. Its beautiful gates are considered to be among the most beautiful and among the best preserved in the Islamic world. Back to your Riad to rest up, visit the Riad’s spa for a revitalizing massage or for a treatment in the Hamman. Dinner on your own.
DAY 5: Back to the souks and the Medina. Here you should visit the famous tannery. Be warned, the smell is quite strong. However, this is a very interesting visit and at the end you can visit their shop and have some of the typical Moroccan slippers (called babouche) made up to size. You may also choose to visit a carpet vendor if you are interested in purchasing a genuine Moroccan rug. Stop for lunch in the Medina. Then off to see some of the principal sites in Fes. Overnight in Fes.
DAY 6: Day in Fes on your own to just wander and enjoy all Fes has to offer. Or you may want to take a cooking class, where you can go with the chef to buy the food in the souk and then go back to the class location to learn to cook some of the wonderful Moroccan dishes. Overnight in Fes.
DAY 7: Early departure via air (via Casablanca) to Marrakech. You will be escorted from the airport to your deluxe 5-Star hotel. Marrakech is liveliest city in Morocco and truly a feast for the senses. After settling in, meet your guide for a walking tour of the Medina.
If you are not too tired in the evening, a visit to the Djemaa el Fnaa, the largest square in Africa is a must. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Space (one of just two in the world). The Square truly comes alive at sunset with a myriad of street performers and food stalls. You can also enjoy the view from a rooftop café.
DAY 8: Continue your exploration of this fascinating city with your guide. Shop the souks. Each type of ware is situated in its own quarter. You can also see many of the artisans at work here. Lunch and afternoon at leisure. Perhaps you may want to just relax and enjoy the spa at your hotel. Or you may want some additional shopping time. Back to Djemaa el Fnaa in the evening or enjoy dinner at your hotel.
DAY 9: Today will be an all day trip to the High Atlas Mountains, the largest mountain chain in Africa. The highest peak is Mt. Toubkal at almost 14,000 feet. The mountains begin a short drive south of Marrakech. Stop for lunch at La Rosarie, an upscale lodge at the base of Mt. Toubkal. You may also want to explore the area on horseback, mule or on foot, with local guides. After returning to Marrakech, relax at your hotel before your farewell dinner. Reservations will be made for you at one of the top restaurants in the city.
DAY 10: After a leisurely breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.
OURZAZATE AND THE SAHARA:
DAY 1: Ourzazate is about a 5-hour drive from Marrakech It is the former outpost of the French Foreign Legion and the Hollywood of Morocco. A visit to a film studio is possible. After reaching Ourzazate you will drive a bit further to the Skoura Oasis and transfer to a Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel. You will have the afternoon to relax, enjoy its spa, before having a private dinner.
DAY 2: A full-day excursion to the Draa Valley, wonderful for hiking. Picnic lunch provided. Private dinner back at your Relais and Chateaux hotel. Alternately you can enjoy a full day of leisure at your hotel. Lunch and dinner will be provided.
DAY 3: After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the airport in Ourzazate where you will take a private plane to the airport in Er Rachidia. You will then be met by your driver who will take you to the Sahara where you will begin your 4×4 adventure. Shortly before sunset, your 4×4 will bring you to your private, deluxe desert encampment for dinner. From here, your camels await for a short trek up the dunes to watch the glorious sunset.
DAY 4: Wake up at the encampment. Climb the dune s to watch the sunrise from the east. Afterwards a simple breakfast will be prepared for you. Mid-morning departure for Er Rachidia airport and your onward flight home.
DAY 1: You will be transferred by car to this seaside town, a drive of about 2-1/2-3 hours. Check into your Relais & Chateaux hotel. You will be able to enjoy the rooftop terrace, heated pool, hamman, and spa facilities.
DAY 2: Day at leisure to wander around the blue and white Medina, a World Heritage site. Don’t miss the street of thuya workers. Thuya is a golden brown to red relatively rare wood which is figured with tightly clustered burls. This is a product unique to Morocco. Also see the oceanside ramparts and visit the many art galleries. Stop for lunch at one of the many seafood stands where the seafood is freshly caught. Dinner back at your hotel.
DAY 3: After breakfast at your hotel, transfer back to Marrakech for your flight home.