Morocco:  Gardens, Culture & Cuisine
A Pacific Horticulture Society tour
May 9-17, 2014   *   Escorted by Katherine Greenberg
Join Pacific Horticulture for a magical tour of Morocco! This tour offers
a unique opportunity to experience the best of Morocco with exceptional
guides and private visits.  Discover the imperial cities of Morocco –
Rabat, Meknes, Fes, and Marrakech – and travel back in time with visits
to the ancient Roman city of Volubilis, the medina of Fes, and villages in
the Atlas Mountains. We will experience the fascinating culture of
Morocco through its gardens, workshops devoted to Moroccan arts,
and visits to private homes. Our itinerary also includes a visit to a
winery near Fes, and an ethno-botanical adventure in Marrakech.
This tour will be escorted by Katherine Greenberg, a past president
of Pacific Horticulture Society.
Limited to 18 guests, 1 single room available.  To make a reservation, please
scroll to the bottom of this page.
                                                                                                                     photo by Jeffrey Bale

Friday, May 9   USA/Canada to Casablanca, Morocco
Saturday, May 10   Rabat (D)
Independent arrivals to the stately capital city of Rabat, with time to relax. Meet  at the hotel for a welcome drink in the
late afternoon, followed by dinner in the hotel’s lovely restaurant.   Private transfers shall be provided between the
Casablanca airport and the hotel in Rabat.  For those who may wish to arrive a day earlier and spend the night in
Casablanca, a group transfer shall be provided today from Casablanca’s Hyatt Regency to Rabat.   Hotel Villa
Mandarine, the city’s premier boutique hotel, located in the Agdal diplomatic enclave beyond town, with each room
opening up to a lush inner garden and an acclaimed restaurant (2 nights).

Sunday, May 11   Rabat (B,L)
In the morning enjoy a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone alleyways of the millennium-old Oudaya Casbah, a
former lair of Barbary Coast corsairs, with its Andalusian garden and the National Museum of Jewelry. We then
proceed to the country’s sole archaeological museum, renowned for its prehistoric and Roman collections.  Enjoy a
private lunch at the Center for Cross-Cultural Learning in a former mansion inside the old city, where we may chat with
the Center’s staff about a variety of topics on Moroccan culture, politics, and daily life.  After lunch we proceed to the
Chellah fortress, with its Roman relics and the intricate necropolis of the 14th century Merinid Dynasty, set amid exotic
vegetation. Next, a stop at the ornate mausoleum to modern Morocco’s “father” Mohamed V, set on the grounds of a
ruined mosque that was meant to have been the world’s largest in the 12th Century. Return to the hotel, evening free.

Monday, May 12   Meknes, Chateau Roslane, Volubilis, Fes (B,L,D)  
An early departure to the former Imperial City of Meknes, the capital of
illustrious 17th – 18th century Sultan Moulay Ismail to see the
astounding granary he built to feed the city’s population and his 12,000
horses, a World Heritage Site.  We also stop at Ismail’s mausoleum
and admire the Mansour Gate, Morocco’s largest.  Midday we venture
south to the Chateau Roslane, the main production facility of Celliers
de Meknes, Morocco’s largest winery. There we enjoy a tour of the
winery, followed by a tasting of their wines and a private lunch.  After
lunch we visit the vast ruins of Volubilis, Rome’s commercial capital
for the region up to the 3rd century. It is renowned for its numerous
mosaics still in situ. The last leg of the journey brings us to fabled Fes,
Morocco’s 1,200 year-old spiritual capital. We will enjoy a special dinner in the Fassia room of the hotel’s original
palace wing.  Hotel Palais Jamai, the sole full-service hotel within the old city, built upon a former vizier’s palace, with
terraced gardens (2 nights in deluxe Medina-view rooms).

Tuesday, May 13   Fes (B,L,D)
We will enjoy a full-day exploration of Fes, a World Heritage Site that is considered the last true example of a typical
medieval Arab city. Begin with 9th century “old” Fes, following its labyrinthine alleys to the Attarine Medersa, the highest
artistic achievement of the 14th century Merinid Dynasty, the mausoleum to city founder Idriss II, the picturesque
leather tannery, the restored 17th century Nejjarine caravanserai, now a superb museum of everything wood. We will
also visit the bazaars around the world’s oldest functioning university, the Qarawine.   We will enjoy a lunch of local
specialties within the medina at Palais Medina.  After lunch we continue to 14th century “new” Fes to see its Boujeloud
“Blue” Gate and the Bou Inania Medersa, another Merinid jewel. End the day at the workshops for pottery and zellige
tile mosaic, a Fesi specialty.  Our dinner this evening will be at Maison Bleue, one of Morocco’s most esteemed
traditional restaurants

Wednesday, May 14   Middle Atlas Mountains, Marrakech (B,L,D)
This morning we depart Fes to drive over the Middle Atlas range to Marrakech through mountain station Ifrane, site of
Africa’s most prestigious university. We will stop in the midst of the last forest of giant Atlas cedars, where we may see
a band of the indigenous Barbary macaques. Then we drive through small hamlets across the vast Tadla plains, one
the Kingdom’s prime “bread baskets”, which we follow to Marrakech for an early evening arrival. Lunch en route in
Zayane Berber center Khenifra at the Hotel de France. A Moroccan dinner awaits us at the Hotel Dar Rhizlane.  Dar
Rhizlane is an elegant deluxe boutique hotel located in the residential Hivernage section next to the medina (3 nights).

Thursday, May 15   Marrakech, High Atlas Mountains (B,L)
The day begins with a presentation on the history of Marrakech by the Kouotoubia
minaret. The late 12th century Koutoubia, the symbol of the city, is a “reference”
of world Islamic art. Built under the Almohad Berber dynasty on the site of the
1070 foundation of the city, it is the “sister” to the minaret in Rabat and Seville’s
Giralda tower, built at the same time by the Almohads. The Koutoubia is
surrounded by gardens, renowned for their variety of roses. From there we
proceed to visit the Bahia palace, a prime example of Moorish-Andalusian
architecture. It is a perfect example of the transition from tradition to modernity
in Moroccan architecture at the turn of the 19th century. The ceiling décor is the
finest to be seen in Morocco and the garden patios are rooted in tradition. We
end the morning with the Saadian Tombs, the last window left into the splendor
of early 17th century Moroccan interior art.  For lunch we head to the palm groves
outside the city to Jnane Tamsna, a little paradise of tranquility and the private
home of Meryanne and Gary Martin, an ethnobotanist. Gary will give us a tour of
his garden and tell us about the edible plants he cultivates there. Jnane Tamsna
is featured in Gardens of Marrakesh, by Angelica Gray.  Then Gary will accompany
us on an afternoon excursion to a valley of the High Atlas Mountains, with its
orchards and Berber villages. He will talk to us about the Morocco programs he                   
photo by Jeffrey Bale
spearheads as Director of the Global Diversity Foundation, and we will visit a village project that he is coordinating
with a focus on plants native to Morocco and their uses.  We return to Marrakech in the early evening for dinner on your

Friday, May 16   Marrakech (B,L,D)
This morning we enter Marrakech’s bazaars, the largest in Morocco. We start out crossing residential quarters of the
old city, with their traditional public bakeries and steam baths, to the Ben Youssef Medersa, the largest of the
theological schools built by the Merinids, recently restored to its original splendor. Next door we stop at the Museum of
Marrakech, with its eclectic collection of crafts and contemporary art, housed in a former caid’s palace. Then we amble
amid the alleyways of the souq, observing the workshops of Moroccan arts and passing through stalls displaying a
myriad of crafts. We exit this maze at the tumultuous Jemaa el Fna square, the vibrant heart of the old city.  We then
drive to the new city, first for a light lunch outdoors at the Rotisserie de la Paix. From there we reach the former home
and garden of the French painter Jacques Majorelle, who found in Morocco the ideal light, color, and exoticism to suit
his interest in painting. In the 1920’s he ventured from Marrakech into the High Atlas Mountains, painting their villages
and tribesmen. French Governor Lyautey gave him a large orchard in what was then the outskirts of Marrakech, where
Majorelle imported plants from all over the world to create a private paradise. The garden was meticulously restored to
its original beauty and color by the late Yves St. Laurent. Majorelle’s original home within the garden is now the unique
Museum of Berber Culture.  The late afternoon is free for personal pursuits in Marrakech. Our farewell dinner will be at
Dar Moha, formerly a private home in the medina.

Saturday, May 17   Marrakech to USA/Canada
Private transfers shall be provided to Marrakech airport for your outbound flights.  Additional time in Morocco, either for
shopping and relaxing or for further exploration of the country, may be arranged upon individual requests.

Special Information about this tour, please click Here

Based on a minimum of 14 guests: $5390.00 per person for members of Pacific Horticulture Society, $5440 for non-
members.  Single supplement:  $1298.00

•        7 nights select accommodations, all rooms fully en suite
•        All hotel taxes and service charges
•        7  breakfasts,  6 lunches, 5 dinners , 1 welcome reception
•        Deluxe private coaches and top drivers
•        English speaking local guides in Morocco
•        All sightseeing and entrances as per the itinerary
•        Airport transfers
•        Deluxe portfolio of documents
•        Escorted by Katherine Greenberg.
•        Donation of $250 to PHS for members, $300 non-members
•        Donation of $100 to the Global Diversity Fund

•        Airfare
•        Travel insurance
•        Passports

To make a reservation, please Register Online, or submit a Printed Booking Form

To print the complete itinerary, please click Here

For more information, please contact:
Sterling Tours, Ltd            
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262    
San Diego, CA 92106      Tel: 619 299-3010     800-976-9497
sterling tours, ltd