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Exotic Morocco: A Culinary Expedition in Fes & Marrakech

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Priced From
$4,498 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

An Exotic Journey to Fes and Marrakech

This rich itinerary will traverse cities with their own sense of place and unique cuisine. Fes is a timeless medina or 'old city' and an Arab locus of commerce, religion and art during the Middle Ages. It has beckoning spice markets and famous tagines. The Rose City' of Marrakech, with its African frontier-like spirit and legendary Djemaa el Fna or 'Square of the Dead' is a place where food and juice stalls share the electric space with acrobats, story-tellers, and musicians. This experiential insider's culinary expedition will include cooking instruction in Fes and Marrakech with accomplished local chefs and cooks--and memorable visits to the various souqs (markets) to select ingredients for that day's preparation. Your sampling of the country's diverse local fare is assured both through cooking classes and the myriad of opportunities that may beckon you during your tour. Guided tours of select sites (including UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and exclusive audiences with local Moroccan experts who will share their perspective on topics such as Islam, Sufism, gender issues, and/or Berber-Sahara culture, will layer your culinary expedition with invaluable cultural context. And there will be ample leisure time for shopping, relaxation and more eating (prepare for much hospitable sampling!), or wandering the medinas of these two cities aimlessly, awaiting a new discovery around that next serpentine alley. The late King Hassan II described Morocco's complexity and essence best: "Rooted in Africa, watered by Islam, and rustled by the winds of Europe." Your palate and impressions will not be the same.

Exotic Morocco: A Culinary Expedition in Fes & Marrakech

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Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ
VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
Please note: Our tours are designed with flexible itineraries to accommodate seasonality and desired dates of travel.
6 Nights Deluxe Accommodations
Transfers from Fes Airport
Welcome Dinners in Each City
Daily Breakfast
Guided Tour of Fes Old Town Medina
Market Foodie Tour & Cooking Class
Tea with Moroccan Cultural Experts
Tours of Volubilis, Winery, & Lunch
1st Class Train from Fes to Marrakech
Cultural Foodie Tour of Marrakech
Tour of Djemaa El Fna
Moroccan Cooking Class in Marrakech
Transfers to Marrakech Airport
While our tours are designed as soft adventure experiences, walking, climbing stairs, and in rare cases mild hiking may be required. If you have mobility issues, you should speak with one of our culinary travel specialists to determine if this tour is appropriate for your situation.
AVAILABLE DATES
Year-Round Based on Your Schedule
SAMPLE ITINERARY
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
(click item for details)
Day 1
Fes Arrival | Local Orientation | “The House of Pomegranate” Dinner Your arrival in Fes will be greeted by a driver at the airport, who will take you to Ain Azlitan, one of the medina gates. Vehicles are not allowed within the medina (technically, its narrow passages are wide enough only for a whirlwind of pedestrians, mopeds, pushcarts, and donkeys--keep your head on a swivel around blind corners!) amplifying its mystique and medieval air. No need to feel intimidated, as a porter from Dar Roumana, “House of Pomegranate”, will greet you and your luggage at the gate. You will be adhering to the words of the late Paul Bowles, celebrated American author and longtime Morocco resident: “Each time I go to a place I have not seen before, I hope it will be as different as possible from the places I already know.” Shortly after your arrival and refreshing, in order to provide some cultural color to your epicurean tour, a local expert on Islam will have the pleasure of meeting you at your Dar to offer an informal introduction to Islam’s history in Morocco. Your welcome dinner set in the courtyard or roof terrace, and flecked by Moroccan lanterns -- with a hint of the Medina's frenzy outside its calm cocoon -- will elevate your appreciation of Moroccan cuisine.
Day 2
Morning Breakfast Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast as you await the day’s activities. The hotel serves a full international breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items, served either in your room or the shaded courtyard.
Market Foodie Tour | Cooking Class at Café Clock | Lunch Your culinary lesson begins by choosing your three-course menu. Charming, enthusiastic, English-speaking Chef Souad will guide you in choosing between an array of salads (maybe Zaalouk-- fresh aubergines crushed with spices...or Khizou M’shrmel, marinated carrot salad) or soups (perhaps classic Harira, a traditional hearty Moroccan soup); then you will select a main course--possibly Sekshou Sbea‘ khdari (couscous with seven vegetables, the traditional family meal served on Fridays, a holy day) or the Fes-famous Tagine djaj m’kalli (chicken with preserved lemons and olives); then conclude with a sweet innovation like Ghriba bel ‘Asal (honey Fassi macaroons). Then it’s off to the souqs with Souad for selecting (and bargaining! for) the best, freshest ingredients before putting your culinary skills to the Fassi test. You will ace the techniques, fathom the tapestry of flavors, and savor your hand-crafted lunch.
Guided Market Tour of Fes’ Old Town Medina Ahh, the sensory deluge and serpentine alleyways of the Fes medina. Morocco’s heart and soul...and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s free time to enjoy, before the guided tour. You’ll visit the various Souks: Spice market; Carpentry; Henna; Traditional/herbal medicines, and the famous honeycombed tanneries with its unmistakable scent. Get lost in the narrow maze, embracing the fragrances of orange blossoms and cumin, absorbing the sound waves of metalworkers hammering copper trays, donkeys braying, and children at-play. Be amazed by this living museum and become a part of its fabric for a fleeting moment. Returning to your Dar, where, from its terrace overlooking its labyrinths, as you experience the dusk call-to-prayer, you’ll have stepped back in time and realize you’re diving deep into this unique culture.
Day 3
Morning Breakfast Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast as you await the day’s activities. The hotel serves a full international breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items, served either in your room or the shaded courtyard.
Guided Tours of Volubilis | Roman Picnic Lunch | Olive Oil Tasting You’ll visit the impressive, well-preserved Roman ruins of Volubilis--another UNESCO World Heritage Site--once a thriving city of 20,000 set in a lovely valley scattered with olive and almond trees. Recline on Moroccan Kilms while sampling traditional Roman recipes that relied on exclusively local ingredients such as olive oil, wine, soft fresh cheese, game birds, hearty fruits such as pears and melons, honey, and fresh herbs. The picnic will include 3 vegetable/legume/fruit dishes, one meat, and one dessert, as well as a selection of olives and bread. A bottle of refreshing Moroccan Gris wine will add an iota of Bacchus to the moment. Learn about the methods of harvesting and pressing the olives to create the dark and fruity oil that is the base of culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic tradition countrywide. Return by private car to Dar Roumana, and the host there will be happy to provide dinner recommendations for your independent evening.
Day 4
Morning Breakfast Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast as you await the day’s activities. The hotel serves a full international breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items, served either in your room or the shaded courtyard.
First Class Rail to Marrakech | Lunch Equipped with a packed lunch provided by Dar Roumana and with 1st class tickets in-hand, you will be guided out of Fes’ medina one last time where a car and driver will transfer you to the Fes train station for the 10:50 AM departure, arriving into Marrakech at 6:05 PM. Enjoy the atmosphere of the train, the human scenes and landscapes outside your window, the new “friends” you will make on this passage, enjoy a light lunch and indulge in a nap. Upon arrival in Marrakech, you will be met by another car/driver who will transfer you to one of the medina’s gates (Bab Ksour, in this instance), similar to your arrival into Fes’ medina. At Bab Ksour, a porter from Riad L'Orangeraie will meet you, take your luggage, and guide you to your delightful, hidden oasis after a 5-minute stroll.
Welcome Dinner in Marrakech at Riad L’Orangeraie Shall you dine on the terrace with the ambient, mysterious hum of the Djemaa el Fna in the background? Or perhaps poolside, its siren song beckoning you for a plunge après dessert? Maybe dinner in the courtyard with the riad’s murmuring fountain striking that right romantic chord? Whatever your choice, your welcome-to-Marrakech dinner at “Chez Nous” will be special under the orchestration of Riad L’Orangeraie’s Chef Nadia. The timely bounty of the souqs will dictate tonight’s discoveries, climaxing with a local Marrakechi specialty, Tanjia Marrakchia: a crockpot stew of seasoned lamb or beef and vegetables slow-cooked 6-12 hours (traditionally amidst the coals of the local hammam)...as with tagines, tanjia is both the name of the clay cooking urn and the dish; dessert may comprise mouth-watering almond Moroccan pastries or an indulgent pastilla with almonds and milk.
Day 5
Morning Breakfast Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast as you await the day’s activities. The hotel serves a full international breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items, served either in your room or the shaded courtyard.
Guided Foodie and Cultural Tour of Marrakech’s Medina By now, you’ve discerned that this second-largest city of Morocco pulsates with the possible. Stylish, ambient, and notably African, your guided tour of its medina (another UNESCO World Heritage Site) will include the primary source of its energy, the Djemaa el Fna (“Assembly of the Dead”)--an open square where musicians, peddlers, merchants, snake-charmers, fortune-tellers, acrobats, and rows of food stalls will overwhelm you. You’ll visit other historical treasures, including: the landmark Koutoubia Minaret; the Ben Youssef Medersa with its exquisite architectural details; the lavish 16th century Saadian Tombs; and the glorious 19th century Bahia Palace. You’ll certainly traverse the medina’s various souqs, mint tea will be had, and soon enough you’ll be haggling for a Berber rug, tagine vessel, and/or pointed leather slippers known as babouche. Lunch will be on your own at a recommended café.
Tea with a Local Expert on Amazigh (Berber) Culture An expert on local culture will have the pleasure of meeting you at your Dar (or at a cafe) and offering an informal introduction to one of the three great monotheistic faiths. Learn about Islam’s history in Morocco, the religion’s five pillars, contemporary issues, and its unique practice in Morocco--most notably the custom of venerating marabouts, or saints. Also learn of Morocco’s unique Sufi tradition which stands in stark contrast to the more orthodox religions practiced elsewhere, such as in Saudi Arabia, the faith’s birthplace. Even over tea, any perception of a monolithic Islam will likely change.... and herein lies the magic of travel.
Day 6
Morning Breakfast Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast as you await the day’s activities. The hotel serves a full international breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items, served either in your room or the shaded courtyard.
Marrakech Hands-On Cooking, Garden Tour and Lunch For your final culinary instruction, you will arrive in the heart of Marrakech’s “Palmeraie”, a district characterized by greenery, dreamy palm groves--and quiet. Here, at Jnane Tamsna, a 9 acre garden estate, you will learn yet more secrets of Moroccan cuisine by preparing a traditional meal. Begin by sipping a glass of mint tea, made with aromatic herbs that you will harvest from the organic gardens. In the Jnane Tamsna teaching kitchen you’ll meet the lovely English speaking chef Bahija–who has appeared on TV culinary programs in France and the United States–and delve into an interactive experience of preparing her classic appetizers, main courses and desserts. The course can be tailored to suit your now-refined interests. You’ll be served the lunch you have prepared and enjoy a guided tour of the diverse orchard gardens which supply the kitchen with a spectacular array of organic fruits and vegetables.
Guided Nighttime Foodie Tour of Djemaa El Fna | Dinner A guided insider's four course dinner tour of the carnival that is Djemaa el Fna at night. You will be met at the riad by your guides then reeled into the teeming square by the drumbeats that only Africa can deliver. All senses will reawaken as you dine with the locals at the most popular food stalls in the market, visit olive and nut souqs, and sample local specialties which may include: Marrakchi speciality of tanjia, a slow-cooked beef dish; mechoui (spit-roasted lamb); chicken kebabs; and even a bowl of harira soup with a sweet chebakya. With your appetites satisfied, soak up the inimitable night-time ambiance in the famous square: storytellers, acrobats, snake-charmers, belly dancers, fortune-tellers, musicians circulate.
Day 7
Morning Breakfast Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast as you await the day’s activities. The hotel serves a full international breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items, served either in your room or the shaded courtyard.
Check-Out and Departure | Transfers to Marrakech Airport Riad L’Orangeraie will arrange for your transfer to the Marrakech airport, signaling the conclusion of your Moroccan culinary expedition. You’ve experienced but a mere fraction of this alluring country, so if you wish to return and explore other regions (the High Atlas Mountains… The Sahara Desert...the Spanish-influenced north and Mediterranean shore...the southern Atlantic coastline) and their cuisine, we will be glad to extend this tour or customize a future adventure.This experience is provided in partnership with Get Global Expeditions (GGEx), the adult travel line of Global Learning Across Borders (Global LAB). Photos provided courtesy of Alex Safos, GGEx.
Riad L'Orangeraie
Riad L'Orangeraie in Marrakech, restored to its original grandeur by two passionate French brothers, is an ancient traditional Moroccan 'riad' residence, which has been transformed into a delightful boutique hotel, harmoniously combining old traditions with the expectation of the contemporary world. Escape to an exclusive oasis of peace and perfection. Enjoy Alfresco dining on the roof top terrace and experience an unparalleled concierge service which will cater to your every request. The central location of our riad affords its guests easy access to all that Marrakesh can offer, harmoniously balanced with the calm and serenity within the Riad.
Dar Roumana
Dar Roumana,"The House of Pomegranate", framed by lush olive groves and ancient ruins of the medina walls invites you to experience the richness and comfort of a traditional Fassi guesthouse. Relax with a book and a glass of Moroccan mint tea on the spacious sun-drenched roof terrace with a spectacular view of the entire medina and Atlas Mountains. Each room contains the work of local artisans: original mosaic tile floors, intricate carved plaster, rich cedar ceiling and doors, and hand-crafted furnishings. Although traditional in character, all modern upgrades to rooms include private bath, with bathrobes, toiletries and personal safe deposit boxes. The rooms do not feature TV's or telephones, which might detract from the tranquility and traditional nature of life in the medina. A big part of the Dar Roumana is the food. French chef and owner Vincent Bonnin was classically trained in France and learned the ropes in Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. Menus change daily to reflect the seasons and the freshest findings of the morning market. Breakfast daily includes an array of freshly baked breads and pastries, coffee and tea, freshly squeezed juices, fruit salad, home made preserves, yoghurt and eggs to order. Breakfast may be enjoyed in your room, in the shaded courtyard or on the roof terrace.
Fes, MorroccoMarrakech, Morocco
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Currency is being quoted?
The Currency Code is listed directly after the published amount. If it states USD, then the quoted price is in United States Dollars. If it states CAD, then the quoted price is in Canadian Dollars. If it states EUR, then the quoted price is in European Union Dollars…etc. However, please note that all charges are processed in USD, and Epitourean’s Merchant Bank automatically calculates the currency conversion on the day of the charge.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Is a Deposit required to book a tour or getaway?
Yes. We require a 30% refundable deposit for all our domestic (USA and Canada) getaways and tours, and a 50% refundable deposit for international destinations outside of the USA and Canada. Reservations made for destinations within the USA and Canada must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure. Reservations made for destinations outside of the USA and Canada must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or customerservice@epitourean.com to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Generally, you may cancel any tour or getaway package within 30 days of making a reservation, and receive a full refund of any deposit or payments made, as long as the cancellation is made at least 31 days in advance of departure for domestic tours or 61 days in advance of departure for international tours. Cancellations made after 30 days incur a 10% cancellation fee (10% of the deposit amount paid, not the full price of the tour package). Cancellations made 30 days or less in advance of departure for domestic packages (60 days or less for international packages) cannot be refunded due to loss of inventory.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Are Transfers included in the Itinerary?
Round-trip transfers from the airport or train station are normally included in our international tours. Transfers to the destination (for both international and domestic tours) are not included in the tour price. Please see the Sample Itinerary. If it mentions that transfers are included, then yes, transfers are included at no additional cost.
What meals and excursions are included in the tour?
The Sample Itinerary should be your reference. If the meal or excursion is described in the Sample Itinerary, then it is included at no additional charge. For those days where it expressly notes Free time, then any optional activities you elect to participate in might have an additional cost. In addition, if the itinerary states "evening on your own," it would imply that you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant of your own choosing, and at your own expense. If you have any question about inclusions, please submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button under the price section.
Is it possible to book pre or post tours or stays through Edible Destinations?
Yes, we often do have optional 2 and 3 night excursions that are priced separately from the tour. We can also assist with pre and post night stays in a hotel if you choose to come in early before the tour starts, or stay on after a tour ends. The price of those hotel stays are not included in the price of the tour, but we would be happy to provide a quote. Simply ask your Culinary Travel Specialist, or submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button.
Are Guide or Host Gratuities included in the price of the tour?
Since tipping guidelines and customs vary widely between countries, we do not include gratuities in the price of the tour. Your Culinary Travel Specialist can provide you with recommendations. But the general rule is to tip modestly when you are pleased with a guide’s services, either at the end of the tour, or at the conclusion of a specialty day excursion where you will only be with that guide (or chef) on that day.
Should we plan on any personal expenses during the tour?
All lodging, meals, transfers, classes and excursions mentioned in the Sample Itinerary and Vacation Highlights are included in the price of the tour. However, we highly recommend taking local currency for purchasing personal items, souvenirs, tipping, etc. You can either get the local currency at an airport exchange service, ATM or from your local bank prior to travel. However, you should note that many hosted destinations do not accept credit cards for personal purchases.
Do you recommend Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 06-0248. The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
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