Madrid to Marrakech

Trip Code: ZMSH

Why we love it

Wander around Salamanca's Plaza Mayor at night, lit up to reveal its intricate architecture, Fado is an emotional form of Portuguese music which often expresses the hard realities of the daily life, balancing both resignation and hopefulness. Enjoy unforgettable Fado performance in Coimbra., Make the most of your time in Lisbon. This city has so many sights on offer; beautiful museums, monuments and parks, as well as its famous trams, bars and restaurants., The Algarve in Portugal is the perfect middle point of the trip. Buy some fresh local produce in the morning market to enjoy while soaking up the sun on gorgeous beaches. In the evening enjoy a sunset over the Atlantic Ocean from our accommodations roof top terrace., Feel adventurous as you cross the strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco, leaving Europe behind for Africa. Land softly in Chefchaouen, our first stop in Morocco. Wake up to the call for prayer, enjoy local fresh produce breakfast and head out to explore this beautiful blue mountain village on foot., Relive a glorious medieval past in Fes city. While many tourists get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the medina, you'll have a local guide to show you the way, Where else would you find drummers, dancers, fortune tellers, jugglers and old medicine men in one place? Marrakech is the perfect place to share a final group meal and stock up on treasures in the city's colourful souqs

Is this trip right for me?

Please note that the European part of the trip will be led by a European leader, while the Moroccan part will be led by one of our experienced local Moroccan leaders. The changeover will take place upon arrival at the port of Tangier in Morocco from where the European leader will return to Spain.

Both Coimbra and Lisbon are hilly cities with a lot of steps to conquer and sometimes rather steep steps if you want to make the most out of your time and experience here.

Summer temperatures can be extreme in Spain, Portugal and Morocco (over 40°C), so it’s important to use sun protection, wear breathable layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Many hotels in Europe have fans, not air-conditioning. In contrast, this trip also has departures during the winter months (mid-October to mid-March). This is the perfect time to see the highlights of Spain, Portugal and Morocco without any of the crowds, however the weather during this time of year is unpredictable, and possibly cold and rainy. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

Hotels in Europe and Morocco often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together and, by some standards, are considered rather small. We have sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may be different to western standards.

In Morocco non-Muslims are barred from visiting the inside of mosques. However while visiting the grounds of a mosque the recommended dress code still does apply; please ensure you cover your legs, shoulders and chest and show the appropriate respect. It's a good idea to bring a light scarf to cover your skin as needed.

In 2022, Ramadan will take place from 2 April to 1 May. Travelling during this holy month can be a rewarding cultural experience. However, some regular services may not be available during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider your travel arrangements carefully before booking travel for this period

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 09 (Tarifa) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. In order for our local operator to be able to buy ferry tickets we need your passport details. Please advise these at least 6 weeks prior to the trip's departure.
3. On this trip there is limited time in Madrid and in Marrakech at the start and end of the trip respectively. If you would like to explore these amazing cities in depth we recommend you book additional nights before and/or after the trip. Your booking agent will be happy to book additional services for you (subject to availability).
4. The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry. In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedback from our previous travellers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time. Intrepid have set up a centralised system of receiving payments from these recommended suppliers, which are then distributed towards local Responsible Travel projects (such as 'say no to plastic' cotton bags for our travellers and drinking water refilling stations), traveller information packs, and leader bonuses. Further details of these arrangements can be provided by your group leader on request. While Intrepid endeavors to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

What to bring/pack

PACKING
On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., DRONES IN MOROCCO
Please note that drones are not permitted to enter or be used in Morocco, neither for personal nor professional/commercial use.

Physical rating

 
2

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

Joining your group

Gran Legazpi Hotel, Paseo de la Chopera 71, Madrid, SPAIN, Phone: +34 915396600

The Gran Legazpi Hotel is located in the Legazpi neighbourhood of Madrid, next to the emblematic Plaza de Legazpi, close to Madrid's shopping, cultural and financial centre. It is situated on Metro line 3, with a ride into the centre of Madrid taking approximately 15 minutes. The Gran Legazpi is a modern hotel, offering fully equipped rooms with the latest amenities.

Joining instructions

Madrid International Airport Barajas (airport code MAD) is located within the city limits, just 9km from the city centre. From the airport take metro line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios metro station and then metro line 6 (circular line clockwise) to Legazpi metro station. Alternatively metered taxis are available in taxi ranks outside any of the main terminal exits. Please note that the metro line from the airport to the city centre is particularly notorious for pickpockets, and travellers with backpacks or suitcases are indeed a target. Please ensure you are careful with your valuables on the metro.

Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +34 657 547 304

Finishing your trip

Les Trois Palmiers Hotel, 18 Rue Loubnane, Gueliz, Marrakech, 40000, MOROCCO, Phone: +212 524457801

Hotel Les Trois Palmiers has 50 rooms equipped with TV, air-conditioning, phone and Wi-Fi. The hotel is in Marrakech's new town of Gueliz surrounded by plenty of restaurants, cafes and shopping options. Other hotel facilities include a restaurant and pool. It takes only a few minutes by taxi to reach the Old Medina and gardens.

If you have a confirmed departure transfer your leader will advise your pick up time the day before your trip ends. If your driver has not arrived within 30 minutes of the scheduled pick up time, or your departing flight is cancelled or changed, please contact the transfer operator directly: +212 0661243106 and +212 0666192766.

Taxi fare from your hotel to the airport will cost approximately MAD100 - MAD200 to prebook. If hailing a taxi on the street, the price should be agreed before entering the vehicle. Please ask your leader or hotel staff for assistance in arranging a taxi.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 10

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

MEAL TIMES IN SPAIN
Please note that meal times in Spain are later than in many other countries. Dinner is usually served between 8pm and 10pm. While this takes some getting used to it is a great way to observe Spanish food culture.

VEGETARIANS
Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

BREAKFASTS
There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

FOOD IN MOROCCO
Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent, though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced - kebab and bread can be found virtually everywhere. In main towns it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants. Soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices, but generally speaking alcohol is not widely available in Morocco due to cultural and religious reasons. Still, in some hotels and restaurants you will be able to purchase beer, wine and spirits, but you can expect to pay western prices or more for imported alcohol. Please be aware of local laws, believes and traditions, and be very sensitive and respectful when consuming alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening. Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian dishes. Couscous, vegetable tajine or omelettes are your best bet. This is particularly the case in the rural parts of this itinerary. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform us prior to the trip.

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

SHOULDER SEASON
In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

WINTER
The winter months in Europe are usually quite cold and possibly snowy. Temperatures can drop to freezing or below, and snowfalls are common, especially at higher altitudes. You will need to be prepared to travel in varying temperatures and snow. Extra layers, a warm jacket, hat, gloves and good footwear are a must.

SPANISH SIESTA
Please note that shops, attractions, sights and businesses may be closed for up to 5 hours in the middle of the day for siesta time. This gives the locals time to escape the heat and spend time with their families, eat a large lunch or simply sleep through the most uncomfortable time of day. This means of course that people work later into the evening and dinner time can seem quite late: 9.30pm is not uncommon for family dinner time. One of the great things about our trips is that we encourage every member of the group to spend time interacting with local people. In order to best be able to do this in Spain, we recommend that you try to do as the locals do - avoid the heat of the day, and stay out later at night.

EID AL-ADHA
Eid Al-Adha (Sacrifice Feast) will take place in Morocco 19 - 23 July 2021 and 9 - 13 July 2022. This festival honours the sacrifice Abraham made of his own son. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one-third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the remaining third is retained by the family. Please expect delays or complete suspension of public services during that time which may be disruptive to the trip schedule. For some, it may also be disturbing to see animals being sacrificed, as this can take place in public.

HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAIN PASSES
On this trip, you will cross the High Atlas Mountains through the impressive Tizi n’Tichka pass that rises to the altitude of 2,260 metres above sea level (7,415 ft). It is a great mountain road with breathtaking views. During the winter months (November to March) this part of Morocco can be hit by heavy snowfalls and it is possible for Tizi n’Tichka to become impassable. This usually lasts only for a day until authorities have a chance to clear the road. In the event of a snowstorm, your itinerary may be required to change. This is dealt with on the ground and depending on the situation we may re-route your itinerary or reverse it.

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 22 March - 20 April 2023 and 10 March to 08 April 2024, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above.

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8677 9186 657

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

FACILITIES
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.

LONG TRAVEL DAYS
On this trip there are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. High passes, windy roads and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. On some travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort. The best parts about all of these long drives are the spectacular views and fun stops en route.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT
On some stretches we use public transport in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Be it a train or a public bus, remember that the best part of it is the possibility to interact with local people travelling along with you.


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