After breakfast you will be whisked away to Rabat in a 4×4. Rabat has a population 2 million, is a main university town and the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, Rabat’sbedroom community. Rabat and Salé maintain important textile, food processing and construction industries; some are from sweatshop labor by major multinational corporations. The tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat the second most important city in the country after the larger and more economically significant Casablanca.
During your one-day 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 the reign of the Almohads from 1121-1269 to protect the city and is enclosed by ramparts dating from the Almohad period. Visit Bab Oudaïa, a monumental gate and example of Almohad military architecture. See the Musee de Oudaïa, Moulay Ismaïl’s palace exhibiting collections of Moroccan folk art. Before moving on to city medina, relax in the Moorish styleAndalusian garden.
In the medina, your guide will take you through the labyrinth of souks and artisan shops. Visit Place Souk el- Ghezel (the Wool Market Square) where Christian prisoners were once sold as slaves. On Thursdays there is a carpet auction. Take note of the ornamental motifs and moldings arranged on the doors of the residential area. Walk the famous and lively Rue des Consuls where foreign consuls were once obliged to live. Browse shops selling clothes, shoes, food and other crafts. South of the Rue Souk visit the Mellah, the Jewish quarter. For lunch, settle on traditional Moroccan food in one of the restaurants within the medina.
Next, continue to 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. Next door, visit the beautiful Mausoleum of Mohammed V decorated with stained glass windows, white marble and a wrought-iron entryway with a stairway leading to an impressive dome. Also on the list is Ville Nouvelle. The new town has wide boulevards, open green spaces and avenues lined with residential blocks, a railroad, the Bank of Morocco, Musée de la Poste and the cathédrale Saint-Pierre.
Prior to returning to Casablanca, you will visit the Musée Archéologie, which houses the most extensive collection of archeological artifacts and the unbelievably beautiful Necropolis at Chellah. In the necropolis are vestiges of the Roman town of Sala.