Spain and Morocco vacation

“A 14 day small group tour exploring the legacy of the Moorish Empire through visits to some of Spain and Morocco’s top attractions. ”

Highlights

Madrid | Granada | Seville | Tarifa | Chefchaouen | Moulay Idriss | Volubilis | Meknès | Fès | Bin Louidane | Marrakech

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Responsible tourism

Spain and Morocco vacation

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

We spend five nights in riads and two nights in a mountain gite. Our local operators generally prefer to select accommodation which is locally owned in order to support smaller businesses and their employees. This ensures that most income generated is reinvested into the area and the community. By spending the part of the trip camping, we also reduce our carbon footprint and effect on the environment. Where meals are supplied, seasonal, fresh food is used wherever possible. Most vegetables come from the region of Sous; meat is locally supplied by butchers and fruits can be found at markets or farms in the countryside. The main Moroccan dishes most people are familiar with are couscous, meat and vegetable tagines, fish chermoula and bocadillos, which are available from street stalls almost everywhere.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip, we will spend most nights in locally owned hotels as well as a night in a local guesthouse in Moulay Idriss Village, where we get to share a delicious home cooked meal with a family. All of the accommodations selected have to sign a contract with our local operator to acknowledge their policies, guidelines and code of conduct to further encourage them to run their business in a more responsible and sustainable manner. Where meals are provided, ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible. Otherwise, our local guides are always able to suggest local traditional restaurants to let clients experience the local way of life and also bring economic benefits to the community.

Local Crafts and Culture:
We will visit a number of cultural and historical sites in both Countries. During our time in Spain, our stay in Granada allows clients to visit the UNESCO listed Alhambra Palace built by the Moors in 13th century at the height of their power in Spain. When in Morocco, we visit the country’s famous blue city – Chefchaouen as well as the lesser known Moulay Idriss a holy hill top town once closed to non-Muslims. In Fez we visit the world famous souq and tanneries where clients are encouraged to haggle for souvenirs, many of which are made by the stall owner themselves. This includes leather goods, soft furnishings and jewellery. Another cultural highlight is Marrakech, where clients are encouraged to take a ride in a traditional Caliche, or to visit the world renowned Marjorelle gardens. In the evening, the Djemma el Fna central square comes alive with musicians, snake charmers, traveling acrobats and food stalls. This is the perfect opportunity to interact with local people, purchase locally produced handicrafts and to support small street vendors by trying authentic food.

Community:
In Morocco, we work in conjunction with Baraka Community Partnerships, where we sponsored the development of a small village called Tijhza for many years with a variety of projects. These include supplying a pipeline system and water tower to the village and a toilet block for the school. Thanks to our volunteer groups, Tijhza now also has electricity and an annual medical clinic, which has had a hugely positive effect on the welfare of the village. More recently, we have achieved our aim of building a Hammam to alleviate some of the hygiene issues in the area and to provide a sustainable source income for many inhabitants. Unfortunately, devastating storms struck in November 2014, leaving much of the village severely damaged. We were able to raise emergency funding to provide supplies and to re-build many of the homes affected.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.

Waste:
The issue of plastics is especially important in Morocco where all clients are strongly discouraged from buying bottled water. The Moroccan government banned the use of plastic bags in 2016, which has helped reduced waste significantly across the country. So be sure to take a small shopping bag into the souq, some shop keeps might still offer tourists plastic bags, however it should be noted that taking those is an offence.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

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