The Moorish Kingdom
from Seville to Marrakech

Al-Andalus

TWO CONTINENTS. ONE FASCINATING HERITAGE.
Seville | Cordoba | Tarifa | Tangier | Casablanca | Marrakech

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Epic 14-day journey
Travel from Europe to African in style and comfort
First-class travel in direct trains
Four-star boutique hotels
VIP arrival service with private guides and drivers
Privately guided city walks
Flights from and to London included.
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Only £ 3800*
*per person when two travelling together

Al-andalus-map

This is a journey between two continents, between Europe and Africa, from some of Spain’s most beloved cities to one of North Africa’s most fascinating destinations. Yet, it is also a journey to two countries that may be continents apart, but clearly also are made from the same cloth. Southern Spain’s Andalusia and Northern Africa’s Morocco have a shared heritage that goes 1400 years back into time. Whether you are walking down an alley in Cordoba or Tangier, or visiting a church in Seville or mosque in Casablanca, you are never in doubt of this kinship.

From Seville to Marrakech

A journey to one of the world's greatest cities

For seven centuries, Andalusia was part of a huge North African empire that included modern-day Morocco. Under the Caliphate, al-Andalus became one of Europe’s leading cultural and economic centres, and Cordoba was the largest and most prosperous city on the continent. When the Christian Spanish kingdoms reconquered Al-Andalus, they discovered and translated the libraries left behind by Arab philosophers and scientists, helping kickstarting the Renaissance, the golden age of European art and architecture. Meanwhile, as Muslims and Jews fled from the Christians to Morocco, they brought with them aesthetics, music and poetry from Al-Andalus that had a lasting impact on Moroccan culture.

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Moroccos’s and Spain’s shared culture
and history is evident everywhere, both
in Andalusia and in Marrakech
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Today, this shared culture and history is evident everywhere in Andalusia. The grand cathedrals of Seville and Cordoba are clearly old mosques (indeed, the latter is regarded as one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the world).

This epic journey will take you from Seville, Cordoba and Tarifa to Tangier, Casablanca and Marrakech. In each city, local insiders will invite you on private city walks and introduce you to narrow alleys, local squares, and hidden gems where the fascinating and authentic flavours of the Empire of the Moors come alive.

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This is a rail journey in great style
with direct first-class travel only
and high-speed trains in both
Andalusia and Morocco
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It is a journey that probably sounds adventurous to the extent of being rough and dusty, but the truly astounding thing that unites these two ancient regions is that they both boast some of the fastest and most modern trains on their respective continents. While you may not be surprised to travel in great speed and comfort in Andalusia, your stylish first-class seat on the high-speed TGV from Tangier to Casablanca will probably be more of a revelation.

Indeed, this entire rail vacation is more comfortable than most would have thought possible. You only travel on direct trains, always in first-class comfort, and never for more than a few hours at a time. Whenever you arrive at a new station, a private guide stands ready on the platform to welcome you and escort you to the waiting chauffeured car. Moments later, you are checked-in to a carefully curated four-star boutique hotel that embodies the history of your destination.

The journey

14 days | Seville | Cordoba | Tarifa | Tangier | Casablanca | Marrakech
Including flights London–Seville and Marrakech–London
Only £3800 per person when two travelling together

14-day journey from Seville to Marrakech. Direct trains only in first class (and a one-hour fast-ferry from Tarifa to Tangier).  VIP arrival service with private guides and chauffeurs awaiting you at every train station. Accommodation at four-star boutique hotels. Flights from London to Seville and from Marrakech to London. Departure every day.

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Day 1
London – Seville

Arrive at Seville on your included flight from London. At the airport, a chauffeur will be waiting to drive you to your four-star boutique hotel. In the afternoon, a local insider will invite you on a privately guided city walk, giving you a personal and authentic introduction to her city.

Included flight from London
Chauffeured car to your hotel
Privately guided city walk by local insider
Day 2
Seville

Seville is not a big town, but its historical riches and everyday pleasures are enormous. This was the port from which Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors set off for the New World, and the resulting wealth is evident everywhere.

Columbus’ tomb is here, and may even contain his corpse, although the jury is still out on that. Even if it’s just his brother, the church is a must-see: Not only the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, but originally a mosque from Moorish times. Climb the church tower / minaret for stunning views over the beautiful city.

You can see the beautifully decorated, narrow streets of the Barrio Santa Cruz far below, and once back a ground level, you should certainly explore this maze of old Jewish buildings and enchanting squares. The old town is also where you find the breathtaking Alcázar Palace. Like the cathedral it has both a Muslim and Christian past, and the result is something straight out of the Arabian Nights – or maybe Game of Thrones, which used the palace as a set.

The gothic cathedral, the Alcázar Palace, the old town.
Day 3
Seville – Cordoba

Welcome onboard Spain’s flagship high-speed train. They have recently opened up the rail system to low-cost operators, but with Silver Tray you only travel on the flag carrier, and always first-class. So, sit back in your spacious and comfortable seat and enjoy the fast journey.

Upon arrival you will be met by your private guide who will escort you to your waiting chauffeured car and join you for the ride to your four-star hotel.

Then, she will invite you on a privately guided two-hour city walk. As a local insider, they have an excellent idea of what to show you. But remember: This your private guide, so feel free to mention anything you would like to experience on the walk.

 

 

Spain's flagship high-speed service
VIP arrival service with private guide and driver
Privately guided city walk with local insider
Day 4
Cordoba

Welcome to Europe’s biggest and most cultured city. Well, she used to be. Back in the day, like a millennium ago, Córdoba was the most worldly and sophisticated place you could possibly hope to visit. Today, Córdoba is remains one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in all of Andalusia.

Córdoba has two strong claims to fame. One is the old town. And by old we mean downright medieval with winding, stone-paved lanes. On your private walking tour, Silver Tray’s local insider will ignore the gaudy touristy area and instead take you to the authentic neighbourhoods where the true treasures are: Wrought-iron balconies and lamps, overhanging trees, golden-stone buildings, and every few minutes yet another quaint little hidden plaza.

The other great claim to fame is one of the world’s greatest Islamic buildings, and one of the most beautiful structures you’ll ever see. The Mezquita is serene and mesmerising. A glorious mosque that was the pride of the entire Islamic world, until the Spanish started using the mosque as a cathedral. Enter and stand in awe as 850 red and white columns rise before you.

One of the finest cities in Andalusia
The glorious Mezquita mosque / cathedral
Day 5
Cordoba – Tarifa

Today is the most scenic rail journey of the entire vacation. When the train has passed Ronda, it enters an amazingly scening landscape of gorges, mountains and rivers. Built by the British military in the 19th century as a getaway from their garrison in Gibraltar, it remains a major feat of engineering.

You will be met by your driver at the line’s terminus in Algeciras and driven to your hotel in much more charming Tarifa 25 minutes away.

One of the finest cities in Andalusia
The glorious Mezquita mosque / cathedral
Day 6
Tarifa

Tarifa is both very old and very cool. Old, because it takes its name after Tarif ibn Malik who led a Muslim raid here in 710. This is the last stop in Europe before Morocco, and it feels more North African than most Andalusian towns. Walk through one of the medieval gates in the city wall and you’ll find yourself in a maze of whitewashed houses and pretty squares. Tarifa is a small town, but it is still easy to get wonderfully lost here.

Tarifa is also cool. This is probably the top kite surfing destination in Europe because of the winds that usually hit the town’s beautiful beaches. The result is an interesting blend of traditional Andalusian charm and laid-back surfing vibe, with great nightlife, many cafés, and a bohemian crowd.

Charming and historic Andalusian town with great beaches
Day 7
Tarifa – Tangier

Your Silver Tray guide will escort you from your hotel in the old city centre to the ferry terminal where you board the catamaran express service to Africa. It’s a quick ride, and you will probably spend a fair chunk of it queuing for the onboard passport inspection.

As you step ashore in Tangier, a private guide will meet you and escort you by chauffeured car to your hotel. Arriving in Africa is rarely that easy.

VIP departure and arrival service with private guides
Day 8
Tangier

Around 100 years ago, Tangier was a semi-independent city-state that attracted a wild crowd of socialites, artists, and the occasional spy. It was probably more exciting than any city in Europe. Later, the city went into a long and steep decline and acquired a reputation for being seedy and dangerous. This is no longer justified. Tangier today is a fascinating, multicultural melting-pot that is both interesting, relaxing, and safe.

Visit the city’s beautiful main mosque to get an idea of Tangier’s rich and varied history. During the fifth century, this was the site of a Roman temple. Then it was, in turn, converted into a catholic cathedral, a mosque, a church, and finally back into a mosque. Tangier is that kind of city.

Take a walk down the narrow streets in the maze-like medina that may feel a little claustrophobic but is also clean and pleasant with houses with white and blue walls and beautiful little hidden squares.

A fascinating and beautiful multicultural melting-pot
Day 9
Tangier – Casablanca

Your train today is known as the Al Boraq – the pride of Moroccan railways, and the first and only high-speed train in Africa. It is based on a French TGV, and the only real difference is the dark red velour upholstery on the first-class seats that lends a distinctly Moroccan ambiance to the spacious and comfortable cabin. You travel on a dedicated high-speed line for much of the way, with speeds through the desert landscape at up to 180 mph. The train has an elegant café car where you can buy refreshments and snacks and mingle with the locals.

When you arrive at Casablanca, your personal Silver Tray guide stands ready to escort you to the waiting chauffeured car that will take you to your perfectly located four-star boutique hotel. Then, your guide will invite you on an insider’s walking tour of Casablanca.

Direct TGV high-speed train
Café car on serving drinks and snacks
VIP arrival service with private guide and driver
Privately guided city walk with local insider
Day 10
Casablanca

Casablanca is the modern soul of Morocco. This is the real face of Morocco today, where ambitious young professionals come to make their move. Casablanca is not as overtly charming or beautiful as Marrakech, but it is a fascinating and sophisticated city. The centre has many handsome Moorish buildings that combine French-colonial style with traditional Moroccan design. The medina, in contrast, is both poorer and more authentic than in Marrakech, offering a splendid walking tour for the intrepid.

Amongst the must-see sights here are the architectural masterpiece of the new and enormous Hassan II mosque. Non-Muslim visitors are allowed on guided tours. A more touristy – but still interesting – activity is cocktails at Rick’s Café, a beautiful piano bar that is based on its fictional counterpart in the Bogart movie.

A fascinating city in its own right
Day 11
Casablanca – Marrakech

Your driver will take you to the railway station for the three-hour journey almost straight south on a comfortable intercity train. When you arrive at Marrakech, you will be welcomed by a private Silver Tray guide who will escort you to the waiting car and take you to a charming and perfectly located boutique hotel. The, she will invite you on a privately guided city walk, giving you a personal and authentic introduction to her city.

Direct intercity train
VIP arrival service with private guide and driver
Privately guided city walk with local insider
Day 12 & 13
Marrakech

Marrakech is one of the world’s great cities. Founded a millennium ago as an important trading hub for caravans arriving from beyond the desert, the Red City is an intoxicating blend of old traditions and creative vibes. Marrakech is full of Berber, Arabic, and French influences, a place where Europe meets Africa and the Middle East. Its hectic souks are lined with rows of oranges, olives, and fragrant spices. The local cuisine is sensational. Located on the edge of the Sahara Desert, and with the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains rising above the pink palaces, this is an unforgettable place to visit. Just imagine: You arrived here by rail.

 

One of the world's greatest cities
Day 14
Marrakech – London

Four-star boutique hotels

Stay in charming, comfortable and centrally located four-star boutique hotels carefully curated by Silver Tray. Breakfast is included, as are transfers between the train station and the hotel.

Your trains

Silver Tray has curated Europe's best trains and finest routes for you. See a few of the trains you will experience on this journey.

AVE

Welcome onboard Spain’s flagship high-speed train. They have recently opened up the rail system to low-cost operators, but with Silver Tray you only travel on the flag carrier, and always first-class. So, sit back in your spacious and comfortable seat and enjoy the fast journey.

Your Silver Tray service includes

First class rail travel on direct Trains
  • + First class rail travel
  • + High-speed trains and Intercity trains
  • + Direct trains only
  • + Flights from London to Seville and Marrakech  to London
Private city walks
  • + Two-hour city walks by local insiders.
  • + Fully customizable experiences
  • + Insider advice about local restaurants and hidden gems
Four-star boutique hotels
  • + Four-star boutique hotels
  • + Highly rated and carefully selected
  • + Perfectly located in city centers
  • + Breakfast included
Travel in style and comfort
  • + Private guide waiting at your train car upon arrival
  • + Private transfer to hotel (where necessary)
  • + Private transfer from hotel to train station upon departure
Sorry, this is not included
  • – Food and drinks other than breakfast
  • – Catering on trains, unless specified
  • – Local excursions
  • – other than complimentary city walks

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