Road Scholar : Home
Morocco: Melting Pot of Cultures

Program Number: 7158RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/28/2015 - 3/16/2015; 4/11/2015 - 4/27/2015; 10/3/2015 - 10/19/2015; 10/24/2015 - 11/9/2015;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Morocco
Price starting at: $4,972.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 38; 15 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Centuries of living mere miles from Europe and the Iberian Peninsula impressed upon the indigenous Berber people of northern Africa the imprint of a long parade of invaders, settlers and colonists. The result is today’s Morocco, a modern nation where a blend of Arabic, Berber and European heritage infuses every souk, square, medina and oasis.




Highlights

• Watch the sun set over the desert, then enjoy traditional Moroccan music under the stars.
• Enjoy hands-on lessons in the techniques and flavors of Moroccan cooking.
• Discuss the issues facing modern Morocco at schools and nongovernmental organizations.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven, hilly and sandy terrain.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Rabat, 3 nights; coach to Chefchaouen, 2 nights; coach to Fes, 3 nights; coach to Erfoud, 1 nights; 4x4 vehicles to Merzouga, 1 night; coach to Ouarzazate, 1 night; coach to Marrakech, 3 nights; coach to Casablanca, 1 night; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Rabat
3 nights

Learn about daily life in Morocco, from religion to politics to clothing, as you explore the capital. Experience Moroccan cooking and attend two musical performances.



Coach to Chefchaouen
2 nights

Journey to the fortified coastal town of Asilah and examine its famous murals. Explore Chefchaouen, famous for its lovely blue-rinsed buildings, a tradition begun by the town’s Jewish community during medieval times.



Coach to Fes
3 nights

Visit Ouazzane, a place of great spiritual meaning for both Sufism and Judaism. Local experts lead you through the narrow streets of Fes for an authentic experience of the oldest Islamic city. Find the Madrasa Bou Inania, the tanneries and the Qaraouyine Mosque, built by a woman in the 9th century.



Coach to Erfoud
1 night
4x4 vehicle to Merzouga
1 night
Coach to Ouarzazate
1 night

Journey into the Middle Atlas Mountains to learn about the Berbers and other nomadic people of the region. Experience the desert souk of Rissani, once a major caravan center. Visit the historic oasis of Tafilalt, known for its luscious dates. Board 4x4 vehicles to venture into the dunes of Merzouga and take a sunset camel ride. Take in the spectacular scenery around you as you travel the “road of 1,000 kasbahs” to the desert city of Ouarzazate.



Coach to Marrakech
3 nights
Coach to Casablanca
1 night
Departure

Visit the magnificent palace Kasbah Glaoui. An expert-led field trip through the “Red City” of Marrakech includes Jemaa el-Fnaa, a huge market square bustling with acrobats, storytellers, dancers and musicians. Complete your adventure in cosmopolitan Casablanca, where you discover the majestic, seaside Hassan II Mosque.




Morocco

Hemmed in by northern Africa and the dunes of the Sahara and mere miles from Mediterranean Europe, Morocco sports a strong indigenous Berber culture laced with centuries of influence by Jews, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and others. These strains of culture can be seen in the mosques and souks of Marrakech, the Jewish enclaves of Casablanca and the Berber villages of the High Atlas mountain range that forms the backbone of this colorful modern nation.



Accommodations
Rabat: Four-star hotel in city center. Chefchaouen: Hotel in the medina. Fes: Historic five-star hotel in the Moorish style. Erfoud: Kasbah-style desert hotel. Merzouga: Comfortable tents in beautiful desert setting. Ouarzazate: Centrally located hotel. Marrakech: Four-star hotel in the medina. Casablanca: Centrally located hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Golden Tulip Farah Rabat
  Rabat, Morocco 3 nights
   Riad Chaouen
  Chefchaouen, Morocco 2 nights
   Sofitel Hotel Palais Jamai Fez
  Fes, Morocco 3 nights
   Chergui Kasbah Hotel
  Erfoud, Morocco 1 night
   Nomadic Tents
  Merzouga, Morocco 1 night
   HOTEL IBIS MOUSSAFIR OUARZAZATE
  Ouarzazate, Morocco 1 night
   Hotel Atlas Medina
  Marrakech, Morocco 3 nights
   Ibis Casa City Center
  Casablanca, Morocco 1 night
 Hotel Golden Tulip Farah Rabat
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: Located at only 15 minutes from the Rabat-Sale international airport and literally located right next to it are two of the most recognized monuments within our fascinating Kingdom, the Hassan Tower, and the mausoleum of the late King Mohamed V
  Contact info: Place Sidi Makhlouf
Rabat,  10000 Morocco
phone: +212 37 23 74 00
web: www.goldentulipfarahrabat.com
  Room amenities: Cable TV, direct phone line, air-conditioning, mini-bar, hair dryer, Wi-Fi, and Safety deposit box
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Piano bar, Wi-Fi Internet access , laundry and pressing service, safe deposit box at reception, currency exchange, Business center, Fitness center
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: EUR 165.57* As of Jan 2012, the rates published on the hotel's website for a Standard room (1 single bed) is MAD 1,336.00 (EUR 120.48) per room, per night and for the Executive room (1 double bed) MAD 1,836.00 (EUR 165.57) per room, per night. Breakfast excluded. (Tax and service charges included). * Rates subject to change
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Riad Chaouen
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Overlooking the beautiful mountainous town of Chefchaouen (or Chaouen), Hotel Riad Chaouen is the unique hotel of its standing in town, with a fantastic panoramic view of the surrounding area. Renovated in 2006, it features an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness area, a hammam and a Jacuzzi.
  Contact info: Rue Sidi Abdelhamid
Chefchaouen,   Morocco
phone: +(212) 39 98 60 02
web: www.hotelsatlas.com/confort-chaouen-1.htm
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, iron, direct phone line, air-conditioner, mini-bar, cable television, room service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Sofitel Hotel Palais Jamai Fez
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Palais Jamai is a palace built in 1879 in the finest Moorish style and was the home of the Grand Vizir of Jamaï. Surrounded by superb gardens and located close to the El Karayouine University, this architectural gem towers above the Fez Medina wich is on UNES CO World Heritage List.
  Contact info: Bab Guissa
Fez , 3000,   Morocco
phone: +011-212- 5 35 63 43 31
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, iron, phone and radio in bathroom, A/C, safe deposit, minibar, cable TV, room service.
  Facility amenities: The Hotel Palais Jamai offers three restaurants with Moroccan specialities, international and French cuisine. Piano bar, five meeting rooms, swimming pool, tennis court, sauna and fitness centre, hammam, Jacuzzi, sauna, outdoor heated and unheated pools, gift shop, a boutique, a hair dresser, a beautician, and Internet access. A golf course is nearby.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Chergui Kasbah Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is newly built in Kasbah style (old fortresses of the south of Morocco); its architecture is a unique feature, the decoration and the Hammam are unique features of the hotel
  Contact info: Route de Errachidia, km 5,5, Erfoud
Erfoud,   Morocco
phone: +212 5 35 57 8504
  Room amenities: Guestrooms are double occupancy and have private bathrooms, air conditioning, TV, direct dial phone and mini bar, hair dryer. large rooms
  Facility amenities: AC, cable TV, mini bar and telephone, hair dryer Hammam, swimming pool, massage cabins, Moroccan and European restaurant All rooms are on the first floor
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Nomadic Tents
Type: Tents
  Description: Evening, dinner and private live musical performance in the camps; night under nomadic comfortable tents in double and single accommodation as requested for the whole program. The experience is unique in the setting of tents, the natural environment, the meeting with the locals and the magical rhythms of the gnaoua genre inspired from Sub-Saharan origins. An optional camel ride, at extra cost on site and upon request, is also available. And hopefully a nice sunset and sunrise to all...
  Contact info: desert of Hassi labiad – Merzouga
Hassia Labiad,   Morocco
phone: +011212 5 35 57 70 37
  Facility amenities: Restrooms available outside of tents are on site for that night, but nature is also nice to be used at times... Nice beds, warm blankets, electricity available in and outside of tents, safety by the presence of local staff.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: Western toilets are available on site.

 HOTEL IBIS MOUSSAFIR OUARZAZATE
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Ibis Moussafir Ouarzazate hotel is located in the center of Ouarzazate close to the desert and 10 minutes from the airport. Each of the hotel's 104 rooms is fully equipped with satellite TV, free Wi-Fi Internet access, air conditioning and direct telephone line.
  Contact info: Avenue Moulay Rachid
Ouarzazate,  45000 Morocco
phone: +011212 5 24 89 91 10
web: www.ibishotel.com/gb/hotel-6231-ibis-moussafir-ouarzazate/index.shtml
  Room amenities: Airconditioning, Cable / Satellite TV, Operator wake up call, Shower
  Facility amenities: 104 rooms fully equipped with satellite TV, free Wi-Fi Internet access, air conditioning and direct telephone line. FOOD & DRINK 24/24H: serving hot dishes and cold snacks Bar open from 10 AM to 11 PM The Ibis breakfast is an 'all-you-can-eat buffet' served between 6.30 and 10 am, combining all the elements of a traditional continental breakfast.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Atlas Medina
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: Atlas Medina & Spa is surrounded by a 12 acre garden in the heart of Marrakech’s Hivernage Square. It offers rooms with private bathrooms, a spa and free parking. .
  Contact info: Avenue Hassan 1er - Marrakech- Maroc
Marrakech, MO  Morocco
phone: +212 5 24 33 99 99
web: www.hotelsatlas.com
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, heating, bed Twin bed Separable, Bathroom, Toilet .
  Facility amenities: Facility Amenities : The Hotel Atlas medina offers rooms all equipped with a direct Dial Telephone, TV gives access to satellite channels. A refrigerator. The air-conditioned rooms at Atlas Medina & Spa come with a TV and private bathroom. Some rooms have a terrace overlooking the pool or garden and all rooms have free Wi-Fi internet Reception open 24 hours on 24, Concierge services, Currency exchange,Wireless Internet Access,library, air conditioning Guests have access to Atlas Medina’s swimming pools and garden with palm trees, as well as spa access available for an additional fee. A fitness center is also offered at the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Ibis Casa City Center
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Ibis Moussafir Casablance City Center hotel is a newly opened hotel in the heart of Casablanca. Its unique features are it proximity to the old medina, and its location by the main train station in Casablanca casa-Port. Its is also located 30 minutes away from Mohamed V airport and is a short distance from the sea shore, the old downtown, business district, Hassan II mosque, shopping centers, musems and the port
  Contact info: Angle rue Zaid Ouhmad
Casablanca,   Morocco
phone: +212 22 466560
  Facility amenities: air conditioning, cable TV, direct dial phone, hair dryer, wake-up call, mini-bar, safety deposit box, voice mail, and offers non-smoking rooms. The hotel offers internet wi-fi connection, a nice restaurant, a bar and offers a 24-hour service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: US$ 100 rate subject to change
  Check out time: 11:30 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Start time 3:00pm Hotel Check-In Time. 5:00pm Meet in hotel lobby for the Orientation session for the program and Overview of Morocco at the Center for Cross Cultural Learning You will be staying at Hotel Golden Tulip Farah Rabat that night.
  End of Program:
A group transfer is scheduled to the Casablanca Airport at 6:30 AM You will be staying at Ibis Casa City Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. U.S. and Canadian Citizens need a passport to travel to Morocco that must be valid for 6 months beyond duration of stay.No visa is required for American and Canadian tourists traveling to Morocco for fewer than 90 days.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rabat
  Transportation to site: From Casablanca to Rabat: If your flight arrives into Casablanca rather than Rabat, you have three options for transferring to Rabat to the first program site: Take a Grand Taxi from the airport (white Mercedes taxis can be found directly outside the airport). This is the most expensive option, running approximately 600 to 700 MAD, US$80 to US$90. Take a train from the Casablanca airport into the center of Rabat (the Rabat-Ville stop). There are 2 train stations in Casablanca: Casa Voyageurs and Casa Port. Both provide service to Rabat; however Casa Voyageurs is connected to the airport. From the Rabat-Ville stop, the taxi cost is approximately 10-20 Dirhams (roughly US$3) to the Hotel. Train tickets from Casa Voyageurs are approx: US$9 for first class or US$7 for second class. The train stops running at 10:30 pm. Please note that you can pay your train tickets only in Moroccan Dirhams and in cash. The third option is that you ask the Center for Cross Cultural Learning to send a car with a driver to meet you at the airport. If you would like to take advantage of this transfer option, you should let Road Scholar know right away. We will need your complete flight information and will confirm the price at the time of reservation. Please expect to pay directly the CCCL GL on the first day of the program. You will be given a receipt for this transfer From Rabat Sale Airport: The CCCL offers the option of arranging a car transfer through a private transportation agency for 400 MAD (taxes included). You could pay the CCCL directly and get a receipt - Grand Taxis are easily available and the cost is usually 150 to 200 MAD. The CCCL does not reserve taxis neither negotiate the price. You are responsible of paying directly the taxi driver
  From End of Program
  Location:  Casablanca
  Transportation from site: You could take the train from Casa Port Train Station (located behind the Ibis Casa City Center) to the Mohammed V Casablanca airport. For more information on prices and scheduled departures, please check the following website: www.oncf.ma - Grand Taxis are easily available and the cost is usually 150 MAD
Elevation Note: 7200'

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overnight in Transit
(Saturday, April 11)
   
 Depart From: International flight to Morocco

Day 2: Welcome to Morocco
(Sunday, April 12)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival to Rabat Sale Airport and Meet the group leader. Check in at the hotel Orientation Session: Morocco 101
 Evening: Bus leaves for Hotel
   
Accommodations: Hotel Golden Tulip Farah Rabat

Day 3: Islam, Rabat's History, and Cultural Diversity
(Monday, April 13)

Note: All the lectures are going to be in a conference room with air-conditioning, the lectures last for about 1:30 with a break of 20 minutes coffee break. The tour of Rabat I is going to be on the bus the whole time.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Bus Tour: Daily Life in Rabat Lecture: Moroccan Politics
 Lunch: Lunch at the Center
 Afternoon: Lecture: the Veil in Islam and women issues The Veil in Islam has always been intriguing to both Muslims and non-Muslims. One finds a wide diversity in the definitions of the veil and its religious and social significance. This lecture aims at helping us understand this diversity and provides the social, historical and religious contexts of the veil in Islam. Lecture: Moroccan Costumes This session's objective is to clarify the different head covering and dresses that women wear in different regions of Morocco, depending on the tribes they belong to, depending on their interpretation of the religion, and depending on the situation they are in.Costumes of Morocco will be presented in this session in a fashion show format. Samples of Moroccan costumes, for both men and women, representing different regions, will be displayed. These costumes include the traditional outdoor dress in both rural and urban areas, as well as the fancy outfits worn on special occasions.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Center
 Evening: Musical Performance: Traditional Moroccan Music
   
Accommodations: Hotel Golden Tulip Farah Rabat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:
(Tuesday, April 14)

Note: All the lectures are going to be in a conference room with air-conditioning, the lectures last for about 1:30 with a break of 20 minutes coffee break.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Visit Chellah, Hassan Tower and the Oudaya Gardens
 Lunch: Lunch with the group
 Afternoon: Lecture: Arab spring and Social Movements in Morocco Experiential Session: Hands-on sessions in traditional Moroccan cooking. At the time of micro-waves, frozen food, and processed food, at the time also of working women and tight daily schedule, Moroccan families or more exactly Moroccan women, still spend a lot of time in preparing their meals. Making Couscous is time consuming and the process is so complicated that the woman's skill is evaluated with how delicious her couscous is! In this experiential session, the process of preparing couscous will be demonstrated and explained. The different recipes of couscous will also be uncovered to show the variety and the different uses of spices, meat, vegetables, and sauces, the combination of sweet and salty, the social importance and the symbolism of couscous in Moroccan culture
 Dinner: Dinner wth the group
 Evening: Musical Performance: Andalusian Music Musical performance prepared for this with readings of Arabic poetry reflecting the Andalusian heritage in Morocco
   
Accommodations: Hotel Golden Tulip Farah Rabat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:
(Wednesday, April 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Departure to Chefchaouen Via Assila Field trip: The Murals of Asilah
 Lunch: Lunch with the group
 Afternoon: Continue the drive to Chefchouen Lecture entitled “Issues and Opportunities in Northern Morocco” that will cover Drug Plantation and Business, and Illegal Migration.
 Dinner: Dinner with group
   
Accommodations: Riad Chaouen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:
(Thursday, April 16)

Note: The city of Chefchaouen is located on hills. The field trip through the town is 3 hours with 20 min stops at the different sites. Participants can be transferred back to the hotel at any point during the field trip if desired.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Guided visit of the Medina Explore the town of Chefchaouen which is famous for its blue-rinsed houses and buildings, a tradition that comes from the town's former Jewish population. It offers many native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool garments and woven blankets. The goat cheese native to the area is also popular here
 Lunch: Lunch at the Local restaurant in Chefchaouen
 Afternoon: Group discussion
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Riad Chaouen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7:
(Friday, April 17)

Note: The drives between each of the cities are 1.5 hours in duration with a rest stop between each city. In Ouezzane, choose between walking on an uneven terrain or getting a ride to the private home where lunch will take place.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Bus leaves Chefchaouen for Fes via Ouazzane En route to Fez, stop in Ouezzane. A town north of Fez, Ouezzane is considered a holy city by Morocco's Jewish population, and is a popular destination for those wishing to venerate the tombs of several Moroccan saints known in Berber Marabouts. Take a field trip to a typical rural weekly market and an excursion to The Mosque of Moulay Abdellah Cherif. Bus Lecture: Health care system in Morocco
 Lunch: Lunch with the group in a private house in Ouazzane
 Afternoon: Lecture: Sufism in Islam Religion in Morocco is a combination of both Knowledge and Popular Culture. Knowledge is based on the written texts and belief in popular culture is a more concrete entity that is expressed through rituals and practices that are sometimes unique to Morocco. Our visits to the sanctuary towns such as Chefchaouen, Ouezzane, Mouley Idriss and Fes will highlight the idea of spirituality, Sufism, Moroccan mysticism and sainthood, and the concept of Maraboutism in Morocco. Resume the trip to Fes Field Trip: Farming and Agriculture Check in at the Hotel
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
   
Accommodations: Sofitel Hotel Palais Jamai Fez
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8:
(Saturday, April 18)

Note: The field trip through Fes is 5.5 hours in duration including several stops and lunch in between. Participants can be transferred back to the hotel at any point during the field trip if desired.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Guided Visit: Daily Life in the Old Medina of Fes Local guides of the city of Fes will accompany the group through the narrow streets and alleys of Fes. Our senses will be challenged through the smells, sights and the sounds of the oldest Islamic city. Fes displays its beauty to the visitors through its Arab and Islamic architecture. We will explore different monuments such as the Medersa, the Foundouq museum, the tanneries and will walk by the mausoleum where the founder of the first Islamic dynasty is buried as well as the Qaraouyine Mosque built by a woman in the 9th century
 Lunch: Lunch in the heart of the medina in a local Moroccan restaurant.
 Afternoon: Resume the tour of Fes Coach back to the hotel followed by free time.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Sofitel Hotel Palais Jamai Fez
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9:
(Sunday, April 19)

Note: The visit to Volibulis is two hours in length. The bus will be parked within a 15 minute walking distance from the site and participants can return to it at any time



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Bus leaves for Volubulis Bus lecture: Educational System in Morocco Guided Visit: The Roman Ruins of Volubilis where you will have time to visit these Roman Ruins. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Volubilis features the best preserved Roman Ruins in North Africa. Archaeological evidence suggests initial settlement occurring in 40 AD upon a pre-existing Carthaginian site dating back to 3rd century BC. Eventually, Volubilis emerged as the administrative center in Roman Africa until an earthquake compelled its residents to abandon the city in the late 4th century AD. Since 2000, archaeological excavations have been carried out by the University College, London and the Moroccan Institut National des Sciences de l'Archeogie et du Patrimoine.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Moulay Idriss.
 Afternoon: Guided Visit: Moulay Ismail Mosque, the Granary and Mansour Gate Coach back to Fes
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Sofitel Hotel Palais Jamai Fez
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10:
(Monday, April 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Bus leaves to Erfoud via Errachidia Bus Lecture: Amazighi Issues
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant - Midelt
 Afternoon: Resume trip Erfoud Bus Lecture: Nomads and semi-Nomads Check in Hotel Chergui Orientation to the Desert Experience
 Dinner: Dinner at the Hotel
   
Accommodations: Chergui Kasbah Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11:
(Tuesday, April 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Bus leaves for Rissani Field Trip: The souk of Rissani, Field Trip: Ksour of Tafilalt, the medieval city and the largest Saharan oasis of Morocco.The oasis comprises the fortified villages of Erfoud, Arab Sebbah du Ziz, Rissani, Seffalat, Aoufous, and Jorf, together with palm groves stretching 30 miles (50 km) along the Wadi Ziz. Tafilalt is noted for its dates, most of which it exports. Architecture in the Desert Lecture: The Nomads of Morocco
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant- Rissani
 Afternoon: Board 4-wheel drive vehicles for excursion to the dunes of Merzouga This afternoon board 4-wheel-drive vehicles for an excursion to the dunes of Merzouga. Then, visit an NGO in the desert village of Hassi Labied and meet its members; children & women benefiting from literacy classes and more. Also learn about irrigation systems in the desert. Take a camel ride to the top of the dunes to enjoy the sunset.
 Dinner: Dinner in the tent camp
 Evening: Musical Performance; Gnawa of Khamlia. Watch a performance of Sub-Saharan Moroccan music and dance called Gnawa of Khamlia. Gnawa or Gnaoua refers to both a style of music that fuses classical Islamic Sufism with Pre-Islamic traditions, and an ethnic group/religious order partly descended from former slaves. Characterized by deep low toned sinter melodies, call and response singing, hand clapping and cymbals, Gnawa music strives to evoke a deep hypnotic trance, often aimed at frightening off evil spirits.
   
Accommodations: Nomadic Tents
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12:
(Wednesday, April 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Take Jeeps to Erfoud Bus leaves to Ouarzazate via Tinjdad and Tinghir Field trip: Oasis and Palm Trees
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant - Todgha Gorges
 Afternoon: Bus lecture: Human rights violations and Truth and Reconciliation process in Morocco History of Human rights in Morocco Resume trip to Ouarzazate Continue to Ouarzazate, on the bus learn about the western Sahara. Then, drive through the Road of 1000 Kasbahs and stop at Kalaa M'Gouna (The Roses Valley). Upon arrival in Ouarzazate, check into the hotel. Check in at the Hotel
 Dinner: Dinner at the Hotel
   
Accommodations: HOTEL IBIS MOUSSAFIR OUARZAZATE
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13:
(Thursday, April 23)

Note: The drive to Marrakech will cross the high Atlas Mountains in which part of this drive will be at an elevation of 7,200 ft.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Guided Visit to Kasbah Glaoui Take an excursion to the Kasbah Glaoui , Palace of the last ruling family of southern Morocco, led by a native guide. Then depart for Marrakech Bus Lecture: Sahara Issues Resume trip to Marrakech
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in the highest pass in Morocco.
 Afternoon: Resume trip to Marrakech
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
   
Accommodations: Hotel Atlas Medina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14:
(Friday, April 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Orientation field trip through Marrakech. Known as the Red City and an important former imperial city, it lies at the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Marrakech has the largest traditional market in Morocco and also has one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Djemaa el Fna. The square bustles with acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, dancers, and musicians. By night food stalls open in the square turning it into a huge busy open-air restaurant. Guided Visit of Marrakech, Koutoubia Mosque, El-Bahia palace and Ben-Youssef Mederssa
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Free time in Jamaa Lafna, the Open Outdoor Theatre
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Hotel Atlas Medina
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 15:
(Saturday, April 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Departure to the Boulouane village
 Lunch: Lunch and open group discussion with the villagers
 Afternoon: Tea ceremony Optional walk in the village Departure for Marrakech
 Dinner: Dinner with the group.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Atlas Medina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16:
(Sunday, April 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Bus leaves for Casablanca Check in at the Hotel
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant- Casablanca
 Afternoon: Guided visit of Casablanca (Hassan II Mosque) Questions and Answers Program Wrap-up session
 Dinner: Farewell dinner
   
Accommodations: Ibis Casa City Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17:
(Monday, April 27)
   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast
 Morning: Depart for Mohamed V airport
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Street in Marrakech, A Personal View of Urban Women in Morocco


Author: Elizabeth Warnock Fernea


Description: Fernea's account of her unpredictable journey though the private and public world's of a traditional Muslim city includes marvelous descriptions of daily life in and around the medina in Marrakech.



A Traveller's History of North Africa


Author: Barnaby Rogerson


Description: Wide-ranging, accessible and effectively condensed, this brief history marches confidently through the centuries, covering key events and personalities in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria to 1999.



A Year in Marrakesh


Author: Peter Mayne


Description: This brilliantly entertaining, insightful classic account of Marrakesh captures the rhythm and spirit of life in the alleyways of the Medina in the 1950s.



Cadogan Guide Marrakesh, Fez and Rabat


Author: Barnaby Rogerson


Description: This personal, comprehensive handbook combines Rogerson's insightful cultural and historical background with his savvy practical information and recommendations on what to see and where to stay and eat.



Culture Smart! Morocco


Author: Jillian York


Description: History, religion, daily life, food, health and safety are all covered in this accessible pocket guide to Moroccan customs, etiquette and culture, by an author who lives and teaches there.



Dreams of Trespass, Tales of a Harem Girlhood


Author: Fatima Mernissi


Description: This captivating memoir by one of Morocco’s most outspoken women opens, "I was born in a harem in 1940 in Fez, a ninth-century Moroccan city." Mernissi captures not only the spirit of the place, but also the hierarchy and decorum of a Muslim family compound.



Eyewitness Guide Morocco


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact guide introduces Morocco's history, culture and attractions.



In Arabian Nights, A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams


Author: Tahir Shah


Description: Shah (The Caliph's House) weaves his own family tradition of storytelling with commentary on Moroccan spiritual traditions, culture and history in this account of his adopted home on the sea in Casablanca.



In Morocco


Author: Edith Wharton


Description: Wharton's enjoyable account of her month-long journey through Morocco after WWI captures the landscapes, architecture and many aspects of Muslim culture and history, and especially the cities of Rabat, Fez and Marrakech.



Islam, A Short History


Author: Karen Armstrong


Description: Armstrong brings authority and experience to this vivid, clear-headed survey of the history and impact of Islam from the birth of Muhammad to present-day challenges. The best short introduction to the subject.



Living in Morocco


Author: Stoeltie, Barbara and Rene


Description: From exquisite rugs and textiles to vibrant mosaics, courtyards and homes, this gorgeous photographic collection celebrates the beauty and allure of Morocco's architecture, with a particular focus on interiors.



Living in Morocco


Author: Stoeltie, Barbara and Rene


Description: From exquisite rugs and textiles to vibrant mosaics, courtyards and homes, this gorgeous photographic collection celebrates the beauty and allure of Morocco's architecture, with a particular focus on interiors.



Lonely Planet Fez Encounter


Author: Virginia Maxwell


Description: A lively shirt pocket guide to the imperial city.



Lonely Planet Moroccan Arabic Phrasebook


Author: Dan Bacon


Description: This handy phrasebook includes pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary.



Lords of the Atlas


Author: Gavin Maxwell


Description: Set in the medieval city of Marrakech and the majestic kasbahs of the High Atlas mountains, this rousing history vividly portrays life in French colonial Morocco. Maxwell (Ring of Bright Water) follows the fate of the despotic Glaoui clan from 1893 to independence.



Marrakesh & Northern Morocco Map


Author: ITMB


Description: Featuring a detailed walking map of the Medina and surrounding New Town on one side and a map of Northern Morocco at 1:740,000 on the reverse. With insets of Rabat and Tangier.



Marrakesh, Through Writers' Eyes


Author: Barnaby Rogerson (Editor), Stephen Lavington


Description: A choice collection of travel writing on the Red City by 40 luminaries, including George Orwell, Winston Churchill, Gavin Maxwell and Peter Mayne.



Morocco Courtyards and Gardens


Author: Achva Benzinberg Stein


Description: Splendid color photographs and aerial views of the palaces, mosques, and signature walled gardens of Fez, Marrakech, and Rabat.



Morocco Map


Author: Michelin Travel Publications


Description: An excellent road map in the Michelin style, featuring city and town plans and a full place name index.



Morocco, The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges


Author: Marvine Howe


Description: A penetrating look at political, social and cultural life in Morocco under King Mohammed V, by a former New York Times correspondent.



Morocco, The Traveller's Companion


Author: Margar Bidwell (Editor)


Description: Pepys, Defoe, Twain, Orwell and Wharton, as well as famous Muslim travelers such as Leo Africanus and a host of others -- merchants, sailors, consuls and scholars-- are all included.



Shopping in Marrakech


Author: Susan Simon


Description: Divided into seven separate walks through shopping areas, this small, handy guide with excellent maps is extremely helpful for navigating the labyrinthine mazes of Marrakech and its markets.



The Caliph's House, A Year in Casablanca


Author: Tahir Shah


Description: Shah is a marvelous storyteller, weaving Moroccan customs and history with deft portraits of neighbors, craftsmen and others in this entertaining tale of the transformation of a crumbling palace in Casablanca.



The Food of Morocco


Author: Paula Wolfert


Description: A Mediterranean cuisine icon brings a lifetime of experience and taste to this gorgeously illustrated cookbook and cultural guide.



The Land of an African Sultan, Travels in Morocco


Author: Walter Harris


Description: This classic by the intrepid Walter Harris, the Times correspondent in Tangiers from the 1890s to 1933, takes in the artists and eccentrics of Tangier, the darkness and decadence of the sultan's court In Marrakech, celebrated Fez, marvels of the High Atlas -- and his remarkable ride, in disguise, to Sheshouan -- the second of only three Christians ever to enter the Berber town.



The Sheltering Sky


Author: Paul Bowles


Description: Bowles' most famous work, by turns stark and transcendent, is a tale of three people whose lives unravel in the desert of North Africa. Originally published in 1949.



The Spider's House


Author: Paul Bowles


Description: Set in Fez during a 1954 nationalist uprising, this richly descriptive novel may be the most evocative of Bowles' many works set in Morocco. Originally published in 1955.



The Voices of Marrakesh, A Record of a Visit


Author: Elias Canetti


Description: Canetti portrays the people and life of the city's bazaars, cafes, and streets in a series of acutely observed essays, including vivid sketches of the storytellers in the Djema el Fna, the everpresent beggars and rituals of Moroccan family life in the 1950s. Canetti is particularly good on the Marrakesh Mellah, the old but then still living Jewish quarter.



Traditional Moroccan Cooking, Recipes from Fez


Author: Claudia Roden (Introduction), Madame Guinaudeau


Description: First published in 1958, Madame Guinaudeau’s charming guide to Moroccan cuisine explores the rich culinary traditions of Fez with anecdotes, recipes, drawings and chapters on everything from choosing spices and preserving lemons to The Art of Making and Drinking Tea.





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