gardens of morocco tour

Gardens of Morocco Tour

TOURS

Gardens of Morocco Tour

Gardens of Morocco - Discover Moorish, Andalusian, Herbal & Medicinal Gardens 
Gardens of Morocco Private Tour Description: Discover the tradition and history of Moroccan Gardens on this special guided tour written by horticultural and garden enthusiasts. Journey through the Maghreb’s most private and public green spaces and places. Great pleasure of the senses will be experienced on this exotic 10-Day tour that includes Morocco’s Imperial Cities and rural regions.The Gardens of Morocco Tour is an ideal way to connect with fellow garden enthusiasts. Discover ancient cities led by licensed historical guides, gardens with expert Gardeners, Botanists, Nurserymen and Herbalists Morocco’s ancient culture is steeped in rich traditions not to be missed. 
Tour Name: Gardens of Morocco Private Tour 
 
Gardens of Morocco Private Tour Inclusions: Gardens of Morocco as described, Guided Site seeing Tours of Moorish, Andalusian, Herbalist and Mediciinal Gardens. Cultural  Activities, Transport in Luxury 4x4 or Viano. Multilingual Speaking Driver, Airport Transfers, Local Expert Historical Guides for Imperial City visits, Garden Specialist or Botanist at Select Locations, Admission Fees to Monuments and Attractions. Boutique Riads & Luxury Hotels.  12 Meals  
Tour Route: We recommend this itinerary start and end in Casablanca. In can be offered to start and end in Marrakech.
GARDENS OF MOROCCO - TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:
►Explore Exotic Gardens at Sidi Bouknadal in the Rabat Region
►Discover Andalusian Gardens at Kasbah Oudaia in Rabat & the Batha Garden & Museum on Fes
►Tour the Roman Ruins Garden at Volubilis 
►Visit the Native and Dry Tolaerant Nursery at Casa Botanica 
►Discover the Yves Saint Laurent, Majorelle Gardens and Le Jardin Secret in Marrakech
►Lunch at the Saffron Gardens in the Ourika Valley and Tour Herbal & Medicinal Gardens at the Nectarome Gardens
►Sunset Cocktails at the Landmark La Mamounia Hotel Gardens
►1 Night in the Imperial City of Rabat
►3 Nights in Fes - UNESCO World Heritage Site
►5 Nights in Marrakech, in the Paris of Morocco
 ►BookaMorocco Family Tour or call (800) 787-8806. Let us be your guide to Private Morocco Travel. 
TOUR ITINERARY: 
On this Gardens of Morocco Private Tour, you will visit breathtaking dry Tolerant gardens, Andalusian Gardens, Saffron Gardens, Oasis and Palmeraie Gardens. You will see traditional Moroccan crafts being made by local artisans and shop at the souks of enticing marketplaces. You will savor Morocco’s exquisite cuisine and indulge in elegant boutique riads and hotels on this magical journey.
Day 1:Casablanca Arrival, Tour the Grand Hassan II Mosque. Casablanca Arrival. Visit the Mosque of Hassan II. Casablanca is home to the Hassan II Mosque, designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is situated on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor with room for 25,000 worshippers. Its minaret is the world's tallest at 210 meters. It is an enormous architectural masterpiece and the second largest religious building in the world. Next stretch your legs and take a walk on the Coastal Corniche and enjoy a late Lunch with Guided Tour introduction at Rick's Cafe. Then transfer to the Imperial Citiy of Rabat.
Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Rabat.
Day 2:Rabat Guided Tour of Exotic & Kasbah Gardens, then take the road to Visit the Roman Ruined Gardens en route to Fes. During your morning tour, you will learn Rabat's history and enjoy its beautiful domes, minarets, wide avenues, and green spaces. Your guide will escort you on a walk around the picturesque Almohad northern walls of the Oudaïa Kasbah. The kasbah was built by Moulay Ismaïl from 1672-1727 to protect the city and is enclosed by ramparts dating from the Almohad period. Visit the Royal Palace and the Hassan tower which stands on the hill overlooking the Wadi Bou Regreg. It is a gigantic mosque, emblematic of Rabat and famous for its unfinished minaret where storks nest. 
Visit Kasbah Oudaia & Andalusian Gardens:
Tea and Pastries at Café Maure set on the grounds of the Kasbah Oudaia. Its location on a rocky outcrop high above the level of the river is an imposing site especially for the pirates of days gone by. When you enter the grounds of Oudaia you immediately notice the Andalusian influence. Everything here reminds one of Spain, walls uniformly covered with lime, blue everywhere, the cobbled streets, the massive doors to colored moldings and wrought iron. The formal structured Andalusian style gardens are bordered with red hibiscus, hedges, morning glories, brugmansias, date palms and orange trees with a long harbored walkway covered in grape vines. The Kasbah Oudaia is a beautiful and quiet residential area with its white and blue painted houses decorated with flowers. Kasbah Oudaia has become a haven for artists, attracted by the beauty of the site as much as by its soothing tranquility.
Lunch by the sea at in Rabat. 
Visit Sidi Bouknadal Exotic Gardens 
In 1951, Marcel François, a French horticultural engineer acquired 4 acres of flat and exposed land in Sale, Morocco. Ten years later he opened to the public his childhood dream, Bouknadel Exotic Gardens, a horticultural and artistic achievement, listed among the wonders of nature and now classified as a national cultural heritage site since 2003. The gardens are a composition of exuberant creativity and technical ability. Francois, traveled all over the world collecting plants as far away as China, South Asia, the Savannah, Congo, Japan, Brazil and Polynesia. He then set about duplicating these gardens at Sidi Bouknadal by incorporating landscape, habitat and climate in his plant compositions. The gardens are divided into three areas: a reception area, horticultural production area and finally, by far the most impressive, the garden area. All through the garden there are secret passages, an aviary, waterfalls, swamps, pools, fountains, bridges and walkways to lead you through the various gardens.
Visit the Roman Ruins of Volubilis. The breathtaking archaeological site of Volubilis, also referred to as Oualili, was once occupied by the Romans. Volubilis has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site and gained international acclaim when Martin Scorsese made it a feature location for his film, The Last Temptation of Christ. Discover the fascinating Roman ruins adorned with beautiful mosaics and colorful tiles depicting Roman mythology.   
Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Fes.
Day 3: Guided Tour of Fes Islamic & Andalusian Gardens 
"Fes Gardens are shaded with citrus trees and perfumed with orange blossom, blood-red roses and sweet-scented jasmine. Islamic gardens were designed with tranquillity, reflection and relaxation in mind, earthly paradises to inspire spiritualism, inner peace and unity,"  confirms The Guardian. On this guided garden tour you will learn about  ornamentation and decorative techniques used in Moroccan architecture, from floral motifs and geometry to ceramics and calligraphy, symbolic of the rich cultural heritage of the Islamic empire, as well as the mysteries behind the concept of charbagh, the four-part garden.
Batha Garden & Museum - The Musee Dar el-Batha offers up a great collection of pottery, leatherwork, wood, books and manuscripts from the nineteenth century centered around a green spacious courtyard. The Batha Andalusian Garden boasts a three-hundred year old Quercus Rotundifolia, Washington Fifera, Cycas Revolta and Moroccan fountains.The Batha Garden is a serene escape from the bustling medina in Fes. It is also utilized each June by the Fes Festival of Sacred World Music whereby various world music groups perform.
Jnane Sbil Gardens - Jnane Sbil Gardens were originally created by the Sultan Moulay Abdallah. Jnane Sbil encompasses 7.5 hectares and is located in the heart of city. It is one of the oldest gardens in Fes. Because of its historical importance, great care was taken to restore the garden to its original design and after four years of detailed restoration and renovation of the heirloom plants, the hydraulic systems and the famous waterwheel, the project was completed and re-opened in June 2010. 
Lunch at Le Jardin des Biehn - The Biehn are a French family who fell in love with the old medina of Fez and settled there 10 years ago. Together, they have restored with passion the summer palace of a Pacha, hidden in within a magnificent Andalusian garden. Michel was an antique dealer and brought to Fez his collections to decorate unexpectedly and with magic this charming hotel of real luxury. Catherine, his wife, is sophrologist and sees her patients in her office. Le Jardin des Biehn is scented by Isfahan roses, jasmin, orange blossom and bergamot. All around stands the summer palace of a Pasha : nine rooms and suites, a restaurant, a spa and an art gallery. It is a place of harmony and charm, of luxury and fantasy, of shadows and light passing through the palms, lulled by birdsong and the murmur of fountains. 
Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Fes.
Day 4: Guided Historical Tour of Fes
Begin your day with a walking tour of the Jewish Mellah, then continue to visit the following historical sites. Visit the following sites in the afternoon: Explore the Dyers souk of silk, wool and cotton, The Tannery. Weavers Cooperative, Mausoleum (Zaouia Sidi Ahmed Tijani), University of Kairouine, Mausolem  (Zaouia Moulay Idriss), Nejarine Square, The Bou Inania Meders and Dar al-Magna.
Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Fes.
Day 5: A Journey through the Middle Atlas to Passing Ifrane, known as “Little Switzerland,” Beni Melllah, en route to Marrakech
Take the road to Marrakech. Enroute to Marrakech, we will pass Ifrane, stopping to see the cedar tree forest and the local barbary monkeys. We will also pass the American- Moroccan University which was built by the Saudis. 
Ifrane National Park is in the Middle Atlas mountain range in Morocco.  It covers an area of around 500 km2 at altitudes between 1600-1900m. Much of the park is forested, with monumental cedar trees and mixed oak forests. It is one of the few remaining habitats for the Barbary macaque in the wild. The closest town to the Park is Azrou, a small Berber town in the Middle Atlas mountains, on the roads linking Fez to Marrakech and to the Sahara desert.
Pass Beni Mellal which is located at the foot of the Middle Atlas Moutains, Beni Mellal is on the edge of the great Tadla Plain where cereals are cultivated. The town has an interesting history of also being called Day and Kasba Belkouche and was inhabited by the Berbers and Jews before the arrival of Islam. In the 13th century Beni Mellal stood on the border between the kingdoms of Fes and Marrakech, which were the objects of dispute between the Merinid and Almohad dynasties. In 1680 Moulay Idriss built a kasbah in Beni Mellal. 
Day 6: Marrakech Cultural & Gardens Tour: The Moroccan Gardens of Yves Saint Laurent and Koutoubia, Historic Sites, Monuments, the Grand Medina and its Lively Souks 
Visit the Majorelle Gardens. 
The Majorelle Gardens, previously the Jardin Bou Saf, bears its name from its original creator, Jacques Majorelle, the French expatriate artist who was born in Nancy, France, in 1886. Jacques Majorelle was the son of the celebrated Art Nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle. In 1947, the son opened his gardens to the public and, during this time, also painted a magnificent ceiling at La Mamounia, a five-star hotel with exquisite gardens and the place where Alfred Hitchcock wrote The Birds. The atmosphere of the Majorelle Gardens evokes a sense of peace in a garden designed, composed and colored like a painting. Moorish and Art Deco inspired structures with their bold color palettes are assembled among a vast, opulent array of exotic plants and trees collected from the far reaches of the world. 
 
Yves Saint Laurent Museum: A museum entirely devoted to the work of the legendary fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent. The museum is situated on Rue Yves Saint Laurent and adjacent to the renowned Jardin Majorelle, spans over 4,000 m² and is more than just a museum.  
Berber Museum in Marrakech. Formerly known as the Islamic Museum of Art, this new museum was renamed and launched with proper historical provenance to honor the Berber people and their traditions.  With over 600 objects in the Berber Museum ranging from the Rif to the Sahara this offers vistors a compelling panorama on Berber culture.  
The Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens. TheKoutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech. The minaret was completed under the reign of the Almohad Caliph al-Mansur (1184-1199) and was used as the model for the Giralda of Seville and for Hassan II Tower in Rabat.  The name is derived from the Arabic al-Koutoubiyyin for librarian, since it used to be surrounded by sellers of manuscripts.  
Shop in the Old Spice Market. The Rahba Kedima is a colorful market filled with a wide array of typical Moroccan spices including cumin, cinnamon, saffron, dried pepper, and many more.
Visit El Bahia Palace. The El Bahia Palace in Marrakech is a beautiful building and an excellent example of Eastern Architecture from the 19th century and represents trends and standards of the wealthy who lived at that time. Craftsmen were brought from Fes to work on this monumental task which took approximately fifteen years to complete. 
Maison de La Photographie: 
A visit to Marrakech h is not complete without a visit to La Maison de la Photographie which is close to the Medersa Ben Youssef. Housed in a converted three story Foundak (the old inns and storage houses for camel trains coming to sell their wares in the souks) which Patrick Man’ach and his Moroccan business colleague Hamid Megrani converted in to a photographic gallery in 2009. There are photographs of Morocco from the 1860’s at the very dawn of photography when intrepid adventurers had to carry heavy equipment into what was still a largely closed country up until the 1950’s and Morocco’s independence in 1956.  
Le Jardin Secret: 
A charming garden well appointed in the Mouassine district of the Marrakech medina. The origins of the complex date back to the Saadian Dynasty, more than four hundred years ago. Rebuilt in the mid-Nineteenth century at the behest of an influential Caid of the Atlas Mountains, Le Jardin Secret has been the home of some of Morocco and Marrakech’s most important political figures.  
Menara Gardens (Marrakech)
In 1157 The Sultan Abdelmoumen Ibn Ali, of the Almohad Dynasty had a 100 hectare olive orchard planted in Marrakech along with a water basin to irrigate it. There are many myths about the Menara Gardens, some as lively as it was where the Sultans secret lovers stayed by night and in the morning light he through them into the water basin. 
Day 7: Marrakech Excursion to the Ourika Valley. Visit Nectarome Medicinal & Herbal Gardens and Saffron Gardens
Nectarome Medicinal & Herbal Gardens
Visit the Nectarome offers a wide range of activities that you can partake in from traditional breadmaking to Spa services and hearty meals. Guided tour of Nectarome Gardens. Nectarome specializes in the field of phyto aromatherapy and the distillation of aromatic plants that grow naturally in the wild or are organically cultivated. In the one hectare organic garden at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains in the Ourika Valley they grow more than 50 aromatic and medicinal plants for research, development and educational purposes. 
Lunch at Nectarome and continue your afternoon visit of the Gardens with an option for Medicinal SPA treatments.
Visit the Saffron Gardens 
Herbal Tea Tasting at the Saffron Gardens
A Moroccan Doctor founded the Saffon Gardens, a six-hectare project to grow saffron and exotic fruit. The area surrounding the saffron fields is a working farm with French goats for milk and many species of plants and trees.   
Day 8: Marrakech Excursion to Domaine de la Roserie & the Tinmal Mosque in the Heart of the Ourigane Valley
Nestled in the tranquil foothills of the High Atlas Mountains in the heart of the Toubkal National Park is the charming and quaint Berber village region of Ourigane. Ourigane boasts magnificent views of the High Atlas range along with out door activities ranging from hiking, walking, horse-riding and mountain biking.  
Arrive in the Ourigane and enjoy a two hour hike through Ourigane National Park.  
Lunch at Domain de la Roseraie in their Rose Garden. Explore the grounds of La Roserie, a working 60 acre farm and garden with a rich display of roses, mixed flower beds and fruit trees. Spend the afternoon in the gardens and, trekking to Berber villages.
Option to return to Marrakech or continue your visit to the Tin Mal Mosque. Tin Mal is 100 kms from Marrakech just past the village of Ijoukak on the road to Taroudant in the High Atlas Mountains. It was the spiritual home of the Almohads, who went on to  conquer Marrakech defeating the ruling Almoravids and then creating an empire that stretched from all of what we know as the Maghreb, southern Portugal and Spain and part of Africa. 
Day 9: Morning Visit to MOB Pepinere, then Abderrazzak Benchaabane’s Andalusian Garden & Cactus Garden, Shop the Souks,- Visit with Local Artisans, Sunset Cocktails at La Mamounia Gardens 
Next, visit MOB Pepinere in Marrakech.
The MOB Pepinere has 12 hectares whose 70 gardeners maintain and produce ornamental and fruit trees, herbs, cactus, shrubs, annual, perennials in 4 large and 9 small greenhouses as well as in ground planting. They have on site 3 specialists in plant id, insect control and trees as well as designers. Their specialty is propagating, producing over 50,000 plants a year of over 1000 species. 
Abderrazzak Benchaabane’s Andalusian Garden & Cactus Garden 
With its tiled steps and the Sahara area with its earthen piste wall calls one to come, rest and contemplate the serenity of this magical place.The cactus garden was planted 10 years ago with 40 kinds of cactus from Morocco, South Africa, USA, South America and Mexico.  All the locally grown cactus came from his mentor, a German engineer of Agriculture here in Morocco. Within the converted stables and piste buildings on the property Benchaabane houses his private collecxation “unknown” Moroccan artists from the 1970′sa workshop area for children, a private collection of his own photographs, paintings, photographs, calligraphy and sculptures along with the permanent collection of contemporary art from more than 50 Moroccan artists.  
Marrakech Artisans:
From the ancient, winding souks of the medina to the super-chic shops of Guéliz, Marrakech is a city of stark contrasts. Morocco has a rich history of craftsmanship led by artisans who are experts in designing hand made goods of Leather, Pottery (Ceramics), Moroccan carpets (Rugs), Silver Jewelry, Lighting and Mosaics. Explore Marrakech’s vibrant souks. Delve into the maze-like lanes of stalls with its vibrant colors & extraordinary handicrafts.  
Visit La Mamounia Gardens
Travel by horse and carriage to La Mamounia’s Landmark Gardens. Tea and garden tour of La Mamounia Gardens (if available). Located in the center of Marrakech and dating back to the 18th century, La Mamounia was originally a garden given to Prince Al Mamoun as a wedding gift from his father, the Sultan. The hotel opened in 1923 and soon drew an international elite, including Winston Churchill (for whom one of the bars is named). It reopened in 2009 after a lavish makeover by French architect Jacques Garcia. Built in 1929 this famous historical landmark hotel and gardens in the center of Marrakech is cared for by 40 gardeners who two times a year plant 60,000 annuals to enhance the grounds as well as maintain the immaculately mowed grass under the citrus and olive orchards, desert garden, rose garden and tropical garden as well as the many fountains.  
Day 10: Marrakech Departure to Meet Your Flight in Casablanca 
Driving from Marrakech’s Menara Airport to Meet Your flight  
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