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TAPAS AND TAGINES

Spain and Morocco Small Group Tour

Morocco & Spain Tour

Embarking on a Southern Spain and Morocco tour is an extraordinary way to immerse yourself in the perfect blend of two vibrant cultures. These neighbouring countries offer a unique experience that showcases the rich history, stunning landscape and distinctive traditions of each destination. Our Morocco and Spain tours include 13 different destinations that offer you the diverse experiences, historic sites and cuisines of both countries. Spain’s rich history and architectural wonders are waiting to be explored, while a journey to Morocco transports individuals to a country of exotic sights, culture and flavours. The opportunity to explore the Moorish influences and then witness their origins firsthand is truly the most captivating part of our Morocco and Spain tours. In addition to our Southern Spain and Morocco tours, Gypsian Boutique Tours also offer separate tours to Morocco and tours to Southern Spain for people to enjoy. You can read more about the culture, cuisine and itinerary below to find out if this journey is for you!

 

Tapas And Tagines Tour

Come with Gypsian Tours and discover the labyrinthine alleyways of the ancient medinas of Fez and Marrakech, the bright blue houses and red-tiled roofs of charming Chefchaouen, follow the Moorish vibe into the picturesque villages of Andalucia, gaze in awe at the pinnacle of Islamic architecture the Alhambra and of course delight in the culinary discoveries of tagines and tapas as we explore the sensory delights of Morocco and Southern Spain.

Upcoming Tour Dates

9 - 26 August 2023

AUD $9576 per person twin share

AUD $1,450.00 Single Sup

Gypsian Boutique Tours offers customizable packages to suit all your travel needs. No matter what type of trip you’re looking for, we work hard to make it happen. Explore our list of specials and get in touch to start planning your next great getaway. We also offer custom private Spain tours if you're looking for a unique experience!

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Marrakech

Our tour commences this evening amongst the snake charmers, musicians, street performers and henna artists in the quintessential Moroccan city, Marrakech. After our welcome meeting we will head to one of our favourite restaurants where you will be introduced to the delicious flavours of North African cuisine in an elaborate Moroccan banquet.

DAY 2

Marrakech

This morning we will explore the myriad treasures of the Marrakech medina including the once majestic Palais el-Badi (it's name means "the Incomparable"!), the Saadian Tombs, originally the final resting place of the descendants of the Prophet Mohammed and the Ali ben Youssef Medersa which marks the intellectual and religious heart of the medina. Keep an eye out today for the rich Andaloucian decoration that we will witness time and again throughout our journey north. This afternoon, why not shop for trinkets in the souk or perhaps enjoy the delights of a traditional hammam (bath).

DAY 3

Marrakech - Essaouira

Today we’ll visit a small village on the outskirts of Marrakech where we’ll meet an extraordinary chef who will teach us all the secrets of the Moroccan kitchen including how to cook some of the delicious fare we’ll be eating throughout our trip. After all this hard work, it’s time to devour the fruits of our labours! This afternoon we make our way to the seaside town of Essaouira

DAY 4

Essaouira

The destination of choice for musos for decades (Jimi Hendrix was a big fan!), Essaouira oozes seaside cool with a laid-back charm that is echoed by a relaxed live music scene and trendy boutiques with local clothing and homeware labels. Originally an 18th century port town, Essaouiras’ waterfront locale and laid-back attitude make it the perfect place to spend a day soaking up the atmosphere and strolling the picture-postcard ramparts and shopping for souvenirs in the laid-back souk. This afternoon why not enjoy a stroll along the soft sandy  beach before settling in for cocktails from the rooftop bar with the best view in town as the sun sets into the Atlantic Ocean.

DAY 5

Essaouira - Casablanca

Today we head north to Casablanca via the stunning seaside town of Oualidia. With its’ golden sands and gorgeous crescent-shaped lagoon, this is sure to be an experience you won’t easily forget! With a population of 4 million Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city and also its’ most modern. Once we’ve settled into our hotel there is the opportunity to stroll the Corniche and perhaps enjoy a drink as the sun sets over the Atlantic. This evening it’s a blast from the past with the option to head to Rick’s Café of ‘Casablanca’ (the movie) fame where, as we enjoy dinner, we’ll ask the pianist to ‘play it again for me, Sam’.

DAY 6

Casablanca - Rabat - Fes

A trip to Casablanca wouldn't be complete without visiting one of the only mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims: the Hassan II Mosque. A relative new-comer (it was completed in 1993), this mosque is amongst the largest mosques in the world (the sheer scale of the courtyard is jaw-dropping) and the finest artisans from across the country were commissioned to carry out the intricate detailing on everything from glass to woodwork and marble. Later, we head to Morocco's capital city, Rabat. We'll search for lunch down narrow streets lined with white-washed walls that open out to a breathtaking vista over the ocean. Free time to explore the laid-back souqs and stalls before making our way to Fes, our home for the next three nights.

DAY 7

Fes

The imperial city of Fes is, in our opinion, like no other city on earth. The medina is the largest living Islamic medieval city in the world and as you step through Bab Bou J'loud (the main gate into the old city) you'll feel as though you've stepped back in time. Amongst the more than 10,000 streets you'll find all you could ever want and more: silver and coppersmiths moulding metal into submission, tanneries producing butter-soft leather (don't worry, we've brought the mint to mask the smell), weavers, artisans, food stalls, everything. This evening we'll dine in a converted riad.

DAY 8

Fes - Meknes - Volubilis - Fes

Fertile plains abundant with cereals, olives, citrus fruit and wine encircle the city of Meknes, which reached its pinnacle during the 17th century when Sultan Moulay Ismail set out to make Meknes the equal of its' European counterpart, Versailles. Moulay Ismail claimed a pedigree that reportedly traced back to the Prophet Mohammed and was rumoured to have fathered over 800 children! We'll visit the granaries that stabled the Sultan's 12,000 horses before we head to a local winery where we will enjoy lunch and some wine tasting. From here we will visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Volubilis, considered to be the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco and home to a number of stunning mosaics. From Volubilis it is a short ride back to Fes.

DAY 9

Fes - Chefchaouen

A leisurely start today, as we make our way from Fes to the picturesque town of Chefchaouen. The town is located beneath the raw peaks of the Rif Mountains (in fact "Chefchaouen" literally means "look at the peaks") and it is here that you will notice an unmistakably Spanish influence. This afternoon we will explore the delightful medina with it"s blue-white walls and terracotta tiles - small and uncrowded it is easy to explore before we head back to the hotel for dinner.

DAY 10

Chefchaouen

Today is a day to be as active or as relaxed as you want to be! There's the option this morning to go for a fairly easy walk to the falls of Ras el-Maa and the ruined Spanish Mosque where you will find some of the most spectacular views of the town below. Alternately you may wish to take it easy, strolling the narrow streets, shopping for last minute souvenirs or just lounging by the pool and soaking up the sun.

DAY 11

Chefchaouen - Tangier - Seville

An early departure this morning as we make our way to Tangier in time to catch our ferry to the Spanish port of Tarifa. Once on Spanish soil we will make our way to the town of Vejer de la Frontera for lunch before making our way to Seville. The charming town of Cadiz has narrow cobbled streets opening onto small squares and open-air restaurants. Here we can spoil ourselves by indulging in tapas and saffron infused paella, perhaps washed down with a glass of chilled sangria. From Cadiz it is a short drive to Seville, capital of Andalusia and our home for the next two nights.

DAY 12

Seville

eville, a city that has as much soul as it does beauty, is a feisty assortment of matadors (bull fighters) and cantadors (flamenco singers), monuments, fine art, endless festivals and one of the world's greatest Gothic Cathedrals (St Mary of the See). Stand beneath the Giralda, the beautiful minaret that is all that remains of the original mosque before the Cathedral took it's place, listen to the anguished notes as a cantador summons something deep, dark and soulful and relive the history of many generations of caliphs and kings at the Alcazar, Seville's answer to Granada's Alhambra.

DAY 13

Seville - Ronda - Granada

This morning we say "Adios" to Seville as we make our way to one of our favourite meals on tour.  Today we'll visit a very special winery, it used to be a monastery before being converted into a very small scale, boutique production.  We'll enjoy a home cooked lunch so good that you may never want to say goodbye to this spot overlooking the vines!  After lunch we'll stop in the beautiful town of Ronda, which is known for its breathtaking views and deep gorge.  Take the opportunity to walk over the bridge - but with its 100m drop, don't look down!  We will end the day in Granada where you will have a chance to take a relaxed evening stroll before dinner.

DAY 14

Granada

Granada is a sun-bleached city of labyrinthine streets and shady Moroccan tearooms, a place that is traditionally conservative but exhibits a liberal dose of bohemian counterculture. Conquered by Muslim forces in 711 and falling to the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabella) in 1492, Granada was at one time one of the richest cities in Europe. Indeed, the Alhambra, or 'red castle' was the very symbol of this wealth and as one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture, is today still the stuff of fairytales. Marvel at the intricate medieval inscriptions of poetry and verses from the Koran before relaxing in the extensive gardens. This afternoon we have a walking tour of the Albaicin district, the old Moorish quarter across the river Darro from the Alhambra - a fascinating place!

DAY 15

Granada - Zuheros - Cordoba

A leisurely start this morning as after we make our way to Cordoba, stopping en route in the picturesque Zuheros. Stark white and scrupulously devoid of any decoration save their wrought iron window grills and potted red geraniums, this is the very definition of a pueblo blanco or "White Town". The town is also renowned for its cheese production which uses milk from locally bred goats. Mid-afternoon we will make our way to Cordoba, our home for the next two nights.

DAY 16

Cordoba

This morning we'll journey a short way outside the city to the Madinat al Zahra, the remains of the sumptuous palace and city constructed by Caliph Abd al-Rahman III.  The centerpiece of the city of Cordoba is the gigantic Mezquita, which we will visit this afternoon.  Originally built as a mosque in 785, it saw the addition of a gothic church planted right in its centre during the 16th century making this architectural anomaly one of the only places you can take Mass within a mosque!  During your free time this evening, why not follow in the footsteps of the medieval Cordobians and indulge in the beautifully renovated Hammam Banos Arabes, the Arab (or Turkish) Bathhouse.

DAY 17

Cordoba - Madrid

Today we leave Cordoba and make our way on the high-speed train to Madrid. Spain's capital throbs with a palpable energy, a city full to the brim with astonishing art galleries, fine terrazas (cafes or bars with outdoor tables) and baroque architecture. This evening we will savour our last dinner together as a group before perhaps indulging in one of Madrid's specialties - chocolate con churros (deep fried doughnut strips dipped in hot chocolate)  yum!

DAY 18

Madrid - Departure Day

Today we say farewell to new friends as our tour concludes after breakfast.

What's Included

Accommodation

17 nights twin share accommodation with private facilities in boutique or special class accomodation

Transport

In a private, air-conditioned minibus

Included Meals

17 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 7 Dinners

Transfers

Arrival Menara International Airport Marrakech Departure Barajas International Airport Madrid

Tour Leader

Services of an experienced Australian Tour Leader

Local Guides

Services of professional English-speaking local guide/s

Entrance Fees

To all sites listed in the itinerary

Organic Cooking Workshop

Full day cooking workshop at an organic farm in a small village outside Marrakech

What's Not Included?

  • International flight

  • Insurance

  • Visas and  Departure taxes

  • Tips and gratuities for driver and guide

  • Meals other than those specified in the itinerary 

  • Fees for optional activities

  • Drinks and Items of a personal nature

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Embracing the Cuisine and Culture of Southern Spain

A World of Endless Travel Possibilities

Cuisine 

Morocco

Moroccan cuisine has a diversity of influences from Berbers, Arabs, Moors, Jewish Moors and let's not forget the Ottoman Empire. The cuisine of the Berbers still exist today with dishes such as couscous and tagines, the Arabs bringing spices, nuts and many varieties of dried fruits, the Moors bringing olives and citrus whilst the Jewish Moors introduced preserving techniques such as preserved lemons and pickles with the Ottoman Empire introducing kebabs. Over time dishes have been perfected to blend each of these distinct tastes varying with the season, region and the market. Spices such as dried ginger, cumin, turmeric are found in most kitchens in Morocco and these are used in almost every tagine or couscous. Bread made from durum wheat, barley or rye flour is an essential part of any Moroccan meal and used to soak up sauces and pick food from communal dishes. On our cultural tour of Morocco you will experience Morocco's famous Pastilla. This unusual dish (and one of our personal favourites!) combines pigeon, roasted almonds, sugar, cinnamon, eggs, all wrapped up in a pie then sprinkled with icing sugar. Moroccan patisseries, pancakes drizzled with honey, cakes made with almonds and raisins all accompanied by the Morocco's famous mint tea.

Spanish

The history of Spanish cuisine is quite rich and varied as it has been influenced by many different cultures.  The ancient Romans and Greeks were among the first to introduce their culinary traditions to the area, which were then adopted and adapted by the Moors who ruled the Iberian Peninsula for centuries. This resulted in a unique mix of flavours, ingredients and cooking techniques that are still seen in Spanish cuisine today. Paella is the best known example of the Moorish influence as it combines rice, meat, and vegetables in a single dish. Other iconic dishes include Gazpacho, a cold soup made with tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil, and Jamón Serrano, a cured ham that is a staple in Spanish cuisine. Their cuisine has also been shaped by the country’s colonial history with many dishes inspired by the flavours of Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean.   The most noticeable feature of Spanish cuisine is that it focuses on freshness, regional dishes, and seafood and produce.

Highlights of our Tapas and Tagine Tour

Madrid

Madrid is one of the world’s most vibrant and seductive cities. It is a city with a charming and infectious atmosphere that you can immediately sense, feel a part of and enjoy. A city that takes unabashed pleasure in its past traditions, it is proud to display a wealth of cultural treasures and architectural glories. Each neighbourhood has a flavour all of its' own and the city wonderfully juxtaposes its' grandeur – elegant marble statues, spectacular fountains, the awe-inspiring Royal Palace – with lively bohemian districts, where funky restaurants and cafes are sprouting up between old established local favourites. 

Barcelona

With its' enchanting Gothic quarter, lively cosmopolitan streets, spectacular modern structures, relentless creative spirit and cutting edge cuisine, Barcelona makes a fascinating place to visit.

Gaudi is the essence of Barcelona; the Sagrada Familia is the city’s icon and his other fantastical works – Parc Guell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló – continue to be the inspiration for today’s designers. 

Seville

Captivating and beautiful the capital of Andalucia intoxicates and excites. It is the city of flamenco, bulls, Carmen and Don Juan; its history and culture give rise to pride, tradition, passion and joy.

Granada

People come to Granada from all over the world to see and visit one of the world’s most stunning monuments, the Alhambra. Dominating the skyline above the city, this Moorish palace was the jewel in the crown of Moorish kingdom in Spain. With its spectacular location, high on a hill top with the Sierra Nevada mountains rising in the background, the Alhambra is highly impressive from afar. Once within its walls, there are so many delights to revel in but recommended with an expert guide. The ornately decorated Casa Real, the intricately adorned chambers, the leafy gardens of the Generalife and the old walls of the fortress Alcazaba are just some of the treasures within.

Cordoba

While the rest of Europe was languishing during the Dark Ages, southern Spain, al-Andalus, thrived. Its scholars – Christian, Muslim and Jew – created a society that became the safeguard of Greek and Roman learning. As capital of el-Andalus until its fall in 1236, Cordoba was a city of half a million people, with thousands of mosques and the first street-lighting in Europe. Students and merchants flocked to Cordoba from all over Europe, Africa and even Asia. Its libraries boasted hundreds of thousands of volumes, its palaces and baths were renowned for their opulence and its luxury goods were coveted all over Europe.

Ronda

The town has an incredibly scenic location, set amid the mountains, and its' Moorish and Christian legacy mean that it has a wealth of history and culture packed into its' tight narrow streets, as well as Spain’s second-oldest bull ring and a well-preserved Islamic bath-house dating back to the 13th century. There are fantastic food options in the area and the wine scene is one of the hottest in Spain right now, 

Marrakech
One of the delights of Marrakech is the joy of wandering around aimlessly through the labyrinth alleys and medina of this quintessential city. It is a city teeming with culture and unfathomable amounts of inspiration. If you have the time why not take a half day photography tour and not only improve your skills but get those hard to get shots.

Imlil
Tucked away in the Atlas Mountains is the quaint village of Imlil and the famous Kasbah du Toubkal (we like to call it our own piece of Shangri-La). The peace and quiet in the High Atlas and at the Kasbah is hard to imagine and the genuine nature of the "staff folklore" is a magical experience. It certainly is a tribute to Berber culture and hospitality. Why not do some trekking while you are there.

Essaouira
No wonder Jimmy Hendrix loved this place. Local markets and seafood are two things that we love to devour and explore when travelling and the Essaouira medina with its’ vibrant colours, sounds and smells won’t let you down. The city is an eclectic blend of many elements from eighteenth century fortifications embracing a quintessentially Moroccan city with a history that goes far back. Essaouira's waterfront locale and laid back attitude make it the perfect place to spend a couple of day soaking up the atmosphere of this mellow, relaxed coastal town.

Chefchaouen
You will feel anything but “blue” when you visit this town with its’ blue washed houses, narrow cobbled streets there is a photo to be taken around every corner. Loose yourself as you explore the maze of narrow streets, ideal for meandering and getting lost in this magical city. This city is a dream for the adventurous and the wanderer with vendors peddling a colourful array of goods from leather products, carpets to the traditional woven blankets. The old medina is certainly a calming place when compared to the sights and sounds of Marrakech.

Merzouga
With nothing ahead but vast golden spaces, settle into the steady rhythm of the camel's step and enjoy the sound of hooves on the sand as you trek across the Sahara. For that spectacular nomadic experience enjoy friendly Berber hospitality in the middle of the big dunes of the Erg Chebi Desert. Your luxury desert encampment awaits you!

Oualidia
Overlooking a truly magnificent coastal lagoon the small sleepy village of Oualidia could arguably be one of the most picturesque places in Morocco. It is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy some of the best seafood this region has to offer.

Ouarzazate
Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones, Gladiator, you name it they have all been filmed here in pursuit of that mud turret cityscape. If your inner child needs waking up and you want to feel like Indiana Jones or Russell Crowe then this is the place to visit. Ait ben Haddou will give you a taste of what a true old Moroccan kasbah looks like. Make sure you see either sunrise or sunset from the top of the Kasbah you will not be disappointed.

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