Go beyond a simple vacation as you uncover Spain and Morocco's culture, history, and coastlines. This three-week sojourn kicks off in Barcelona, a global destination for foodies and holidaymakers, and continues with beach time and off-road adventures in Menorca. After hitting the highlights in Seville and Valencia, you'll travel next door to Morocco for epic outings along the coast and in the bazaars of Marrakesh.


  • See the highlights of Barcelona and go on a tapas tour
  • Go sailing in Menorca and relax on white-sand beaches
  • Watch flamenco in Seville and take a wine tour in Valencia
  • Tour scenic coastal cities in Morocco, like Tangier and Rabat
  • Browse the markets and bazaars of Marrakesh

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Barcelona, Tapas Tour Barcelona
Day 2 Barcelona Guided Tour & Sunset Cruise Barcelona
Day 3 Day Trip to Costa Brava & Boat Tour Barcelona
Day 4 Fly to Menorca, Beach Day Menorca
Day 5 Menorca 4WD Driving Tour Menorca
Day 6 Hidden Menorca by Sailboat Menorca
Day 7 Explore Menorca's Beaches Menorca
Day 8 Fly to Valencia, Wine & Tapas Tour Valencia
Day 9 Beach Day & Albufera Cruise Valencia
Day 10 Transfer to Seville, Flamenco Show Seville
Day 11 Seville Guided Tour Seville
Day 12 Transfer to Tangier, Guided Tour Tangier
Day 13 Day Trip to Tétouan Tangier
Day 14 Transfer to Asilah, Optional Activities Asilah
Day 15 Transfer to Rabat, Optional Activities Rabat
Day 16 Transfer to Essaouira, Stop in Azemmour Essaouira
Day 17 Off-Road Adventure in Essaouira Essaouira
Day 18 Transfer to Marrakesh, Street Food Tour Marrakesh
Day 19 Marrakesh Guided Tour Marrakesh
Day 20 Transfer to Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque Casablanca
Day 21 Depart Casablanca  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona, Tapas Tour

Tapas in Spain are a defining cultural institution 

Welcome to Spain! More a collection of semi-autonomous regions than one homogenous country, this wonderland on the Iberian Peninsula boasts thousands of years of rich history. Its diverse culture is defined by the various groups that have settled here since antiquity, from the Phoenicians to the Romans to the Moors. You'll arrive in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, one of the most famous regions of the country and a cultural hotbed unto itself.

When you arrive at the airport, a driver will be waiting to pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in the city. Then, in the early evening, you'll head right back out to experience the city's culture in the most delicious way possible: on a tapas tour. Tapas (literally "tops" or "caps" are small plates of food served in bars, bodegas, and restaurants, sometimes for free. While they originated in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, you find tapas bars everywhere—especially in Barcelona.

During the tour, your guide will lead you to some of the trendiest and most historic neighborhoods in the city, like the Gothic Quarter. There, you'll learn to order and eat tapas like a local. Along with learning a bit about regional history and culture, your guide will also recommend the best beers and wines to pair with your small plates. 

Day 2: Barcelona Guided Tour & Sunset Cruise

La Sagrada Familia
See La Sagrada Família, arguably Barcelona's most iconic landmark

In the morning, you'll meet your personal guide and embark on a guided walking tour of Barcelona. One highlight is a stop at the city's greatest monument, La Sagrada Família, a spectacular Roman Catholic church and UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. During this half-day excursion, you'll see some of the city's most emblematic spots and hidden corners while learning about Gaudí and his iconic masterpiece, which is technically still under construction.

In the early evening, after some time to relax and settle in, head out on a two-hour sunset cruise along Barcelona's stunning golden coast. Relax amid the sight of the sun gilding Barcelona's skyline as you nibble on an assortment of olives and fine cheeses while sipping on Spanish cava. Complimenting the experience will be the live musicians on hand to serenade you with classical guitar music. At the end of the tour, you'll return to your hotel and will have the evening free to enjoy Barcelona's famed nightlife.

Day 3: Day Trip to Costa Brava & Boat Tour

Visit romantic and historic towns on the Costa Brava, like 

After breakfast, you'll leave on a full-day trip to the famous Costa Brava. This beautiful stretch of the Mediterranean north of Barcelona runs 125 miles (200 km) up the coast amid pine forests and golden beaches. Once you reach the postcard town of Lloret, you'll leave the car and board a boat for a scenic cruise along what is considered one of the most beautiful coastal regions in the country.

On this small-group tour, you'll travel a few miles, stopping at hidden coves and inlets to enjoy a swim. The final destination is Tossa de Mar, another stunning coastal village with a crescent beach. At the end of the day, you'll return to Barcelona.

Day 4: Fly to Menorca, Beach Day

Cala Macarelleta is one of the most famous beaches in Menorca

In the morning, you'll transfer to the airport in Barcelona and catch a one-hour flight to Menorca, one of the four major islands in the Balearic archipelago. On this gorgeous limestone island, you'll find incredible stretches of white sand next to crystal-clear turquoise waters. Also along the coast are dramatic cliffs, capes, coves, and forests. Though smaller than its famous neighbor Mallorca, the island of Menorca has over 100 beaches to enjoy.  

Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel in the capital of Mahón, located on the island's east side. Then you'll have the rest of the day free. If you'd like, you can head right to the beaches and Cala Macarelleta, a stretch of sand fronted by crystalline waters. There's also shallow Platja des Grau, a beach perfect for families. You can also stroll along the scenic waterfront at Cala Escorxada or enjoy the amenities at Cala Mesquida, which offers services like lifeguards, bathrooms, and restaurants.

Day 5: Menorca 4WD Driving Tour

Hop in a vehicle and travel to lesser-visited corners of Menorca
After breakfast, hop in a 4WD vehicle and go off-roading in search of the lesser-visited gems of this island, which is a biosphere reserve. Led by an expert guide, you'll travel along dirt tracks to some of Menorca's most picturesque locales. As you travel around to secret coves and beaches, you can marvel at the scenery, which includes towering cliffs and gorges. During the trip, your guide will recount fascinating info about the island's culture and history. You'll even get to stop to pet Menorcan horses and go swimming. After a full day of crisscrossing the island, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 6: Explore Hidden Menorca by Sailboat

Goodbye, Menorca
Sail around to secluded coves and bays in Menorca
Get ready for another island adventure—this time by boat. In the morning, you'll transfer to the port in the north-coast village of Fornells and board a catamaran for a small-group sailing excursion. During this full-day tour, you'll sail to draw-droppingly beautiful beaches and marine reserves on your way to Menorca's most remote and inaccessible areas. Lunch will be served on board, and, of course, there will be plenty of stops for swimming and snorkeling

Day 7: Explore the Beaches of Menorca

Cala en Turqueta is one of the gems of Menorca's south side
Today is yours to relax at famous beaches like Cala Macarelleta and Cala Escorxada. Or, you can travel around the island to stake out other equally beautiful stretches of sand. Popular options include visiting the secluded Cala Pregonda, a jewel in the north of the island; embarking on a rigorous hike to the magnificent cove Casa Pilar; or venturing to Cala en Turqueta, the pearl of Menorca's south.

Day 8: Fly to Valencia, Wine & Tapas Tour

Sample some of Valencia's famous fare, like paella, on a tapas tour

Say your goodbyes to Menorca today and catch a one-hour flight back to the mainland and Valencia, the capital of the province of the same name. This coastal city is the perfect mix of old and new Spain. On the one hand, its historic center features landmarks like the 13th-century Cathedral, while a little way south, the City of Arts and Sciences wows visitors with its futuristic structures that include a planetarium and oceanarium. Valencia is also the birthplace of one of Spain's most iconic foods: paella.

Upon arrival, a driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Then you'll head out for another delicious food tour—this time to sample the wine and tapas around Valencia. This city is famous for its regional wines, and your expert guide will introduce you to some of the best varietals on a stop at a wine/gourmet food shop for a tasting. Afterward, you'll head to a tavern in the heart of the Old Town to finish the 2.5-hour tour with even more wine and tapas. 

Day 9: Beach Day & Albufera Cruise

Cruise along the protected wetlands in Valencia's Albufera Natural Park
Plan your trip to Morocco
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Today is all about total relaxation amid and around the water. In the morning, you can head over to Playa de la Malvarrosa, the main beach in Valencia. It is wide and inviting, stretching for almost a mile, with golden sands and reasonably clear waters. There's also a wide promenade lined with restaurants, cafés, and shops.

After some time at the beach, you'll transfer to the port and board a boat for a 2.5-hour to Albufera Natural Park. Located near the Valencia city center, this 81-square-mile (210 sq km) protected wetland is composed mainly of a freshwater lagoon and estuary on the Gulf of Valencia. The natural biodiversity of the reserve allows a great variety of flora and fauna to thrive and be observed year-round. During the ride, you'll pass rice fields and reed beds, and you might spot exotic birds like terns, kingfishers, and even flamingoes.

Also during the excursion, your guide will offer a glimpse into how the local fishermen and rice growers have traditionally worked in these wetlands for hundreds of years. Capping the experience is an optional lunch or dinner after your boat trip at one of the best local restaurants. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 10: Transfer to Seville, Flamenco Show

A live performance at the Museo del Baile Flamenco in Seville
See a live performance of authentic flamenco at a tablao in Seville

In the morning, you'll transfer to the station and board a train for the five-hour southeast to Seville, the capital of Spain's southern Andalusia region. Known for its Moorish history and mind-blowing tapas scene, Seville epitomizes Andalusia's rich culture and beauty. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel in the city.

In the evening, you'll experience one of Spain's premier cultural offerings: flamenco. This musical style enjoys a rich heritage that dates back to the ninth century when the music and dances of immigrants in Andalusia mixed with the cultures of local Moors and Jews. Over the centuries, the intermingling of these influences synthesized to produce the style of flamenco that has come to define Spanish folkloric music today.

Your show will take place in one of the city's most famous tablaos—venues specifically designed to host flamenco performances. So sit down, grab a sangria, and enjoy an unforgettable evening of passionate dance accompanied by boot-heel percussion and plaintive, passionate guitar notes.

Day 11: Seville Guided Tour

Take a guided walk around Seville and see landmarks like the Cathedral

Meet your guide after breakfast for a walking tour to see famous landmarks and learn about Seville's 2,000-year history. You'll visit the 15th-century Seville Cathedral, home to the tomb of Christopher Columbus. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the largest Gothic church in the world, and an awe-inspiring testament to pious grandiosity. You'll also see La Giralda, the cathedral's looming bell tower. There's a stylistic difference between the two structures, as the 12th-century pillar was initially built as a minaret for the Great Mosque back when the Moors ruled Andalusia.

You'll then walk the fashionable Santa Cruz neighborhood: once the Jewish Quarter in the city, today it's a colorful and well-preserved part of the historic center, with many cafés and tapas bars—the perfect excuse to take a break and enjoy some small plates and local wine. You can also visit markets and local shops where artisans produce intricate silverwork and elegant garment embroidery.

Another highlight of the tour is a visit to the Alcazar. Seville's Royal Palace actually began life as a Moorish fort in the 10th century. Comprised of an entire group of palace buildings and expansive gardens, this magnificent estate is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an awe-inspiring synthesis of Christian and Muslim culture.

Day 12: Transfer to Tangier, Guided Tour

Explore the highlights of Tangier from the coast to the colorful neighborhoods

The next phase of your adventure begins today as you transfer a little over two hours by car to Tarifa, the southernmost point in Europe. Here, you'll board a ferry for the hour ride across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. You'll arrive in Tangier, a dynamic coastal city that's at once bohemian and modern, North African and European. It's filled with everything that defines Morocco—with a dash of French and Spanish culture. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel. Later, meet your personal guide for a tour of the city.

During this three-hour walk, you'll visit historic city districts like the kasbah (fortress) and medina (walled old town). You'll also see highlights like the 17th-century Sultan's Palace, now a museum featuring a vast collection of antiquities from throughout Moroccan history. Continue strolling through the narrow lanes leading to Bab Bhar (Gate to the Sea), which offers fantastic views of the Strait of Gibraltar, the Iberian Peninsula, the port of Tangier, and the Ville Nouvelle (New Town).

Throughout the tour, your guide will lead you to hidden corners of the city filled with tiny restaurants, textile studios, communal ovens, and other cultural gems far off the tourist trail. By the end of the experience, you'll begin to understand the city like a local.

Day 13: Day Trip to Tétouan

Take a day trip to the "white dove" of Morocco

Your driver will pick you up this morning for a 1.5-hour ride across the Tingitan Peninsula to Tétouan. This jewel of a city sits at the foot of the Rif mountains amid fruit orchards near the Mediterranean coast. It's known as the "white dove of Morocco" due to its whitewashed buildings. Many of these Moorish homes still belong to aristocratic families who are descendants of those expelled from Muslim-controlled Spain after the Christian Reconquista of the 15th century.

On a full-day tour, your guide will lead you to the major highlights. It starts with visiting landmarks like the 19th-century Great Mosque and the ancient Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site that looks like it hasn't changed in several centuries. After strolling Hassan II Square, you'll tour the Royal Palace, a 19th-century building that's a residence of the Moroccan monarchy.

After a lunch of traditional Moroccan fare, you'll continue down the winding streets, visiting the Mellah (historic Jewish quarter), Berber market, and the Andalusian sector. End the day with a visit to Tétouan Archaeology Museum, which features curated exhibits of Roman relics, artifacts, and mosaics from Lixus, an ancient Phoenician city. Afterward, you'll return to Tangier.

Day 14: Transfer to Asilah, Optional Activities

Take a stroll along the ancient coastal ramparts in Asilah

In the morning, you'll leave Tangier by private car and journey down the Atlantic coast to Asilah. This charming coastal city boasts a rich history with Portuguese colonial influences best exemplified by its 15th-century defensive walls. The drive there only takes about 45 minutes, but you'll take a detour to visit incredible landmarks.

You'll stop a few miles outside of Tangier at the famous Caves of Hercules. This dramatic cavern complex is part human-made and part natural. It's said that the ancient Phoenicians carved its dramatic opening overlooking the sea, and local legend states that the Greek god Hercules once took a rest here between his famous exploits.

After the caves, continue on to Asilah. Once you've checked into your hotel, explore this artsy beach town on a self-guided tour. You'll find the best street art in the city adorning the walls in the Old Town. Also, you should explore the historic ramparts. The Portuguese built many of these defensive walls, which remain intact today. And if you're traveling in the spring, the city comes alive with various festivals and cultural moussems (holiday celebrations), which are fun to watch.

Day 15: Transfer to Rabat, Optional Activities

Tour the Kasbah, Rabat's most famous landmark 

Meet your driver for the two-hour ride down the Atlantic coast to Rabat. This dynamic city is filled with rich history, as seen in its many Islamic and French colonial landmarks. It's also one of Morocco's four famous Imperial Cities—places that were the country's capital at one time or another. Since 1956, that capital has been Rabat. 

Upon arrival, you'll check into your hotel. Then, you can head out and explore on a self-guided tour. Start at the Royal Palace of Rabat and the medieval fortification of the Chellah Necropolis, where you can wander the Roman and Islamic ruins. Stroll through the medina to Hassan Tower, a 12th-century minaret. Across from it, you'll find the Mausoleum of Mohamed V. It contains the tombs of the Moroccan king Mohamed V (who died in 1961) and his two sons.

Throughout the walk, stop at the souks to browse local goods such as rugs, spices, slippers, jewelry, leather, and more—remember that bartering is part of the fun! If you like, head over to the Andalusian Gardens, a tranquil green oasis where you can sit down and relax. There are walking paths here amid green terraces filled with exotic plants, flowers, and fruit trees reminiscent of the famous gardens at the Alhambra in southern Spain. Finish the tour at the 12th-century Kasbah of the Udayas, home to the city's oldest mosque and one of a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Rabat.

Day 16: Transfer to Essaouira, Stop in Azemmour

Travel to  Essaouira via the Atlantic Coast & Portuguese Ports
Get to know the laid-back, artistic coastal city of Essaouira

Hop back in the car today and continue down the coast to the charming city of Essaouira. It takes over five hours to get there, but your driver will break up the long trip with stops at other seaside gems. First up is Azemmour. This small city has inspired many Moroccan artists over the decades, some of whom have made their home here. On a walk, get inspired by Azemmour's crumbling 16th-century medina, which is squeezed between the Oum Er-Rbia (Mother of Spring River) and the ocean.

Your next stop will be the city of El Jadida, a city famous for its Portuguese-colonial fortress and cistern underground water storage system. You can spend some time here walking the ramparts and visiting the 16th-century Church of the Assumption. Afterward, you'll arrive in Essaouira and check into your hotel. Then you can head out and explore. This city was founded in the 18th century by Sultan Mohammed III as a strategic port and fortress, and its rich history is reflected in its well-preserved medina, historic buildings, and defensive walls.

Day 17: Off-Road Adventure in Essaouira

Riding Quads/ATVs on the Dunes
Head outside Essaouira for an off-road adventure over Morocco's sand dunes
It's time for an adventure, as this morning, you'll head outside the city and hit the dunes on a quad/ATV vehicle. After meeting with your guide, learn a few basic techniques and receive your equipment. Then, after practicing a bit, you'll zip off along the sand. Not only is this a fun ride, but it's also scenic as you'll drive along Essaouira's stunning beaches and shrubland. There will be opportunities to stop at several viewpoints to snap pics of the coastal desert landscapes. After the ride, you'll return to Essaouira.

Day 18: Transfer to Marrakesh, Street Food Tour

Sample traditional Moroccan fare in Marrakesh, like tajine (stew)

Leave the coast behind on today's three-hour transfer inland to Marrakesh. As you travel across the rolling plains, keep your eyes peeled for the region's famous tree-climbing goats. Eventually, you'll arrive in Marrakesh and check into your accommodation. Known as the "Red City," Marrakesh is one of four historic Imperial Cities that once were Morocco's capital.

In the afternoon, you'll meet a local expert guide and venture out to discover the flavors of Morocco on a food tour. On this curated culinary adventure, you and your guide will visit some of the most authentic local spots around the city. You'll go to souks and try street-food staples like pastilla (chicken pie) and msemen (Moroccan square pancakes). You might also stop at a family-run restaurant for a tajine, a slow-cooked traditional stew in an earthenware pot. Know that all dishes you eat here are Moroccan mom-approved. 

Day 19: Marrakesh Guided Tour

Shopping in the Souks of Marrakech
Browse the souks of Marrakesh and learn the art of haggling

Lace up your comfortable walking shoes, meet a local guide, and embark on a half-day tour around the city. It begins in popular areas like bustling Jemaa el-Fna, the main square in the city's medina. Nearby is the iconic Koutoubia Mosque, which dates to 1147. Just south of it is the kasbah, home to historic landmarks like the Saadien Tombs, Bahia Palace, and the Jewish Quarter.

Throughout the tour, you'll browse the souks and vendors in the merchant districts. You'll also visit Marrakesh's famous tanneries. The city is known for its leather goods; local families have been plying this trade since the 11th century. Another fun stop is at Majorelle Garden, which French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent once owned. You can wander around this 2-acre (1 ha) garden filled with subtropical plants, bamboo, lilies, and palms. At the end of the tour, return to your hotel for some rest before exploring on your own.

Day 20: Transfer to Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque

Sunset at the Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca
Sunset at the Hassan II Mosque, which features the world's largest minaret

In the morning, your driver will pick you up for the 2.5-hour ride north to the coast and Casablanca. After checking into your hotel, you'll meet a local guide for a tour of the Hassan II Mosque. Sitting in an idyllic location on the ocean, its 690-foot (210 m) minaret is the tallest in the world. Even more unique is that this mosque is one of the few in the country where non-Muslims are permitted to enter.

As you walk up to the mosque, admire the impressive exterior and towering minaret. Once inside, your guide will point out the features of the ornate interior, such as its millions of intricate mosaic tiles. This lavish interior blends wood, marble, and carved stone with arched and ornamented ceilings. The roof is covered with emerald green tiles, and at night, the mosque glows orange, illuminated by lights that reflect on the ocean waves. Artisans from across Morocco contributed to this superb architectural masterpiece.

Day 21: Depart Casablanca

Late afternoon in the coastal city of Essaouira
Unfortunately, you've reached the end of the trail. In the morning, you'll meet your driver and transfer to the airport in Casablanca to catch your flight home. Ma'a salama!

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