- Delight in Andalusia's famous cuisine on a tapas tour
- See the highlights of Málaga and take a sunset cruise
- Enjoy the panoramic views from the clifftop town of Ronda
- See the best of Morocco's coast, from Tangier to Rabat
|Day 1||Arrive in Málaga (Spain), Tapas Tour||Málaga|
|Day 2||Málaga Guided Tour, Sunset Cruise||Málaga|
|Day 3||Transfer to Cádiz via Ronda||Cádiz|
|Day 4||Cádiz Free Day||Cádiz|
|Day 5||Transfer to Tangier (Morocco), Guided Tour||Tangier|
|Day 6||Day Trip to Tétouan||Tangier|
|Day 7||Transfer to Asilah, Optional Activities||Asilah|
|Day 8||Transfer to Rabat, Optional Activities||Rabat|
|Day 9||Transfer to Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque||Casablanca|
|Day 10||Depart Casablanca|
Day 1: Arrive in Málaga (Spain), Tapas Tour
Welcome to Spain! You'll arrive in the autonomous region of Andalusia, which is located at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. This area has a long and complex history, with a diverse culture formed over hundreds of years of Islamic conquest and Christian reconquest. This rich history is seen throughout the region in Andalusia's famous Moorish architecture, citadels, and palaces. Andalusia also happens to be the birthplace of Spain's famous tapas culture, which you'll discover right away when you touch down in the coastal city of Málaga.
Upon arrival, a driver will meet you for the transfer from the airport to your hotel in the city. After checking in, you'll head out to indulge in authentic Spanish tapas (literally "tops" or "caps"). These are small plates of food served in bars, bodegas, and restaurants, sometimes for free, accompanied by beer or wine. You can find variations in tapas culture throughout Spain, and Málaga is a great place to dive in.
During this tasty three-hour tapeo (tapas crawl), you'll stroll through historic districts in Malága, periodically stopping at various locales, from contemporary eateries to family-run bodegas. Throughout, your expert food guide will ensure you eat tapas like a local and pair them with the best wines.
Day 2: Málaga Guided Tour, Sunset Cruise
Wake up early and meet your guide for a walking tour of Málaga. During this 2.5-hour jaunt, you'll hit many of the city's highlights. These include the remodeled Port of Málaga (perfect for a waterfront stroll) and the 16th-century Málaga Cathedral, which features 131-foot (40 m) ceilings, 15 chapels, and church organs with over 4,000 pipes. As you go, your guide will help bring the city to life by revealing stories about Málaga's culture and history. Of course, you won't miss the famous Picasso Museum, which houses 200 works by the master of cubism, who is a native of the city.
Later in the afternoon, you'll head to the marina for a maritime adventure. Here, you'll hop aboard a catamaran and enjoy a scenic ride along the golden Andalusia coast. Feel the fresh sea breeze and watch the sun dip behind the mountains and ignite the sky in fiery shades of red and orange. As it does, toast the scene with a glass of Champagne before returning to port.
Day 3: Transfer to Cádiz via Ronda
After breakfast, you'll hop in the car for the ride east from Málaga to Cádiz, an ancient port city and capital of the Spanish province of the same name. The drive takes between two and three hours, but you'll break up the trip with a stop in the village of Ronda. Built astride a gorge carved by the Río Guadalevín and surrounded by the Serranía de Ronda mountains, Ernest Hemingway once said of this romantic village, "That is where you should go if you ever go to Spain on a honeymoon."
Ronda's also home to cultural significance, as this is where modern bullfighting was invented in the late 18th century. While on tour, you can visit a bullfighting museum in the Bullring of the Royal Cavalry of Ronda. Feel free to walk through Ronda's historic neighborhoods and across all three of the town's famed bridges, including Puente Nuevo, right above El Tajo Gorge.
After marveling at the landscapes and allowing plenty of time for photos, you'll hop back in the car for the final leg of the journey to Cádiz and check into your hotel.
Day 4: Cádiz Free Day
You have the whole day to enjoy a self-guided tour of Cádiz, one of the most historic cities in southern Spain and the site of the creation of Spain's first constitution. Passed in 1812 in the Church of Oratorio de San Felipe Neri, it established national sovereignty from France. You can also visit the nearby Plaza de San Antonio, a historic square where the charter was once read aloud.
If you're a foodie, make a beeline to the Mercado Central de Abastos. Dating to 1838, this is Spain's oldest indoor municipal market, featuring more than 150 stalls selling everything from tapas to fresh produce and seafood. Near the market is the Paseo Campo del Sur. On this waterfront promenade, you can enjoy views of the majestic twin bell towers comprising the 17th-century Catedral de Cádiz, which dominates the skyline.
In the evening, explore Cádiz's famous restaurant scene. Because this is a port city, expect great seafood. Sit down at waterfront restaurants once frequented by sailors and sample fresh fish and shellfish, like dorada (gilthead bream), sea bass, oysters, and crayfish. You definitely don't want to miss Cádiz's famous shrimp fritters.
Day 5: Transfer to Tangier (Morocco), Guided Tour
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
In the morning, you'll transfer an hour down the coast by private car to Tarifa, the southernmost town on the European continent. Here, you'll board a ferry, and then it's another hour's 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. Here, you'll find 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 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 6: Day Trip to Tétouan
Your driver will pick you up this morning for a 1.5-hour ride inland from Tangier and 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 7: Transfer to Asilah, Optional Activities
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 8: Transfer to Rabat, Optional Activities
After breakfast, 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 9: Transfer to Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque
In the morning, your driver will pick you up for the one-hour ride south along the coast to Casablanca. After checking into your hotel, you'll meet a local guide for a tour of the Hassan II Mosque. Sitting in a picturesque 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.