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Voyages to Antiquity: Spain and Morocco, Ancient Neighbors

Program Number: 21663RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/22/2015 - 11/6/2015; 10/23/2016 - 11/7/2016; 11/4/2016 - 11/19/2016;
Duration: 15 nights
Location: Spain/Morocco
Price starting at: $5,295.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 35; 14 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

The Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain and Morocco, is just nine miles across at its narrowest point. So it comes as no surprise that these two countries’ histories and cultures are closely tied together. Learn about these ancient neighbors as you explore Roman ruins, Moorish palaces and exotic medina quarters.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day and standing for up to four hours per day. Some uneven terrain, hills and steep stairs without railings at historic sites.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Madrid (Spain), 2 nights; Seville, 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 3 nights; Marrakesh (Morocco), 1 night; aboard ship, 1 night; Fez, 1 night; aboard ship, 3 nights; Málaga (Spain), 1 night.

Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Days 2-3: Arrival Madrid (Spain):

Begin your adventure in Spain’s cosmopolitan capital. Discover the sprawling Plaza Mayor, the bustling Puerta del Sol, the extraordinary Prado Museum and more. Savor two staples of Spanish culture: a tapas dinner and a flamenco show. Lodging: Centrally located, 4-star hotel.

Days 4-6: Train to Seville / embark Aegean Odyssey:

A high-speed train zips you 300 miles to the Andalusian capital in 2.5 hours. Experience the city’s imposing Gothic Cathedral and the Moorish Alcázar palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a field trip to Córdoba to find the Great Mosque-Cathedral and the old Jewish quarter. Lodging: Stylish, centrally located hotel.

Days 7-8: Guadalquivir River / Jerez:

Sail down the Guadalquivir and into the Atlantic. A shore excursion to Jerez includes a tasting of Sherry, the fortified wine named after the city.

Days 9-10: Casablanca (Morocco) / disembark / coach to Marrakesh / coach to Casablanca to reembark:

Visit the seaside Hassan II Mosque, featuring the world’s tallest minaret. Continue to Marrakesh for an overnight stay. Explore the Old Medina with its orange-red walls, the open-air Berber market and Bahia Palace’s wonderful gardens. En route back to the ship, discover the Portuguese colonial city of El Jadida. Lodging: 5-star luxury hotel.

Days 11-13: Casablanca / disembark / coach to Fez via Rabat / coach to Tangier to reembark:

After a night onboard, depart for another overnight excursion. Explore Rabat including the Kasbah of the Udayas and the ancient Roman necropolis of Chellah. Continue to the well-preserved site of Volubilis, an outpost of the Roman Empire. Experience the medieval medina of Fez with its palaces, fountains and the world’s oldest university. Reunite with the ship in Tangier, where you visit Cape Spartel - Africa's most north-western point - and the city's colorful markets. Lodging: 5-star luxury hotel.

Days 14-16: Málaga (Spain) / disembark / departure:

Journey through Andalusian countryside to the Alhambra, an opulent palace-fortress built by the Moors. Stroll through its gardens and examine its exquisite interiors. In Málaga, one of the world’s oldest cities, discover ruins spanning the Roman, Arab and Christian eras including the palatial Alcazaba citadel. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.

Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium-class ship especially rebuilt for sailing along shallow coastlines, among remote islands and into small, uncrowded harbors that larger ocean liners can’t reach. Public areas include several gourmet restaurants, library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Eleni Petroutsou

Born in Athens, Eleni Petroutsou has always been intrigued by the wider world — in school, she learned English, Italian, German and some Spanish. After studying archaeology and history at university, she graduated from the State School of Tour Guides. Her 36 years of experience as a group leader have taken her to Asia, the Middle East and beyond. She says leading Road Scholar programs gives her “the opportunity to share my knowledge with well-traveled, educated, polite and interesting people!”
Meals and Lodgings
   Meliá Galgos
  Madrid, Spain 2 nights
   Meliá Sevilla
  Seville, Spain 2 nights
   Aegean Odyssey
  Seville, Spain
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea
Cádiz, Spain
3 nights
   Sofitel Palais Imperial
  Marrakesh, Morocco 1 night
   Aegean Odyssey
  Casablanca, Morocco 1 night
   Sofitel Fès Palais Jamaï
  Fez, Morocco 1 night
   Aegean Odyssey
  Tangier, Morocco
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea
Málaga, Spain
3 nights
   Hotel AC Málaga Palacio
  Málaga, Spain 1 night
 Meliá Galgos
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the chic Barrio Salamanca, close to the main Paseo de la Castellana, the Meliá Galgos is a recently renovated 4-star hotel. It is surrounded by a wide variety of restaurants, cafés and shops, and there are two metro stations nearby providing easy access to all areas of the city.
  Contact info: Calle de Claudio Coello, 139
28006 Madrid,   Spain
phone: +34 915 62 66 00
  Room amenities: Each room has a full bathroom with a make-up mirror, toiletries set, and a hairdryer, flat screen television, telephone, pillow menu, safe box, minibar, and complimentary WiFi.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers 24-hour reception, lobby, bar, two restaurants, fitness center with sauna, hot tub and steam room, small roof terrace, meeting rooms and business facilities with printers (for a fee), complimentary WiFi, and air-conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Meliá Sevilla
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of Seville opposite the Parque de Maria Luisa and Plaza España and very close to the University (Old Tobacco Factory), the Alcazar, the Barrio de Santa Cruz district, the Cathedral and the Archive of the Indies, the new Meliá Sevilla is the perfect choice for your business and leisure trips, thanks to its excellent location in the city centre, its fully equipped and comfortable facilities and the quality of its services.
  Contact info: Dr. Pedro de Castro, 1
Seville 41004,   Spain
phone: +34 95 4421511
  Room amenities: Each room has 24 hour room service, individually controlled air conditioning, luxury bedding, satellite television, telephone, free high speed WiFi Internet, mini bar, laundry service, an iron and ironing board (on request), safe box, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers 24-hour front desk service, two restaurants and a bar, lobby, free high speed WiFi Internet, laundry service, outdoor pool with poolside bar, spa and gym, and a lounge.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge or enjoy an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop. Internet: The ship has an Internet center (open 24 hours) and WiFi is available in the reception area. Fees begin at 10mb for $45. As a rough guide you could send around 200 standard emails with no attachments for $45. However, if you start adding medium size web standard photographs (not hi res), each one would be about 1.5mb. There are no refunds for unused capacity. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of satellite connectivity on board a ship, the internet connection is slow, erratic and may be unavailable at times.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Sofitel Palais Imperial
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: Moorish magnificence melts to French indulgence in this 5-star luxury Marrakech hotel. Set in lush fountained gardens of fragrant herbs, bougainvilleas and a palm-ringed pool, the palace is impressive in its majesty. Marble columns soar to sculpted ceilings, traditional zellige tiles and the deep reds and browns of oriental tapestries induce a sense of atmosphere.
  Contact info: Rue Harroun
Errachid Hivernage
40000 - MARRAKECH,   Morocco
phone: +212 524 425600
  Room amenities: Each room has cable/satellite TV, WiFi (for a fee), minibar, mineral water, safe, 24-hour room service, air conditioning, an iron and a hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a several bars and restaurants, two outdoor swimming pools, fitness center, sauna, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, laundry services, currency exchange, gift shop, art gallery, cash machine, WiFi throughout the hotel (for a fee), and a business center with printers.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Sofitel Fès Palais Jamaï
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Sofitel Fès Palais Jamaï is a unique hotel which blends Moorish architecture and French sophistication. In a sublime 1879 palace, this 5-star Fes hotel is located in the heart of the immense landscaped gardens that dominate the medina. The luxurious architecture and Moroccan decor with stained glass windows, lanterns, tiles and woodwork, make each of the 142 rooms distinctive. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the gardens, ramparts and the medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  Contact info: Bab Guissa
30000 - FES,   Morocco
phone: +212 535 634331
  Room amenities: Each room has cable/satellite TV, WIFI (for a fee), minibar, safe, 24-hour room service, air conditioning and a hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a bar with views of the medina and gardens, restaurant, fitness center, sauna, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, tennis court, outdoor heated pool, laundry services, currency exchange, gift shop, wireless Internet throughout the hotel (for a fee), and a business center with printers.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel AC Málaga Palacio
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Modern 4-star hotel located close to the old town of Málaga, and within walking distance of the sea.
  Contact info: Calle Cortina del Muelle, 1
29015 Málaga,   Spain
phone: +34 952 21 51 85
  Room amenities: Each room has a plasma TV with cable and video on-demand, alarm clock, telephone and WiFi (for a fee), minibar, 24-hour room service, air conditioning and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers two restaurants, a bar, lounge, meeting rooms, business center with computers and printers (for a fee), WiFi throughout the hotel (for a fee), fitness center, laundry services and air conditioning. The rooftop outdoor pool offer magnificent views of the area.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Madrid, Spain. Meet at 5:00 PM in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Meliá Galgos that night.
  End of Program:
Málaga, Spain. The program will end after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Hotel AC Málaga Palacio the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Madrid
  Transportation to site: A taxi from the airport to central Madrid costs 30 Euro. Alternatively, take the Metro Line 8 from the airport to Nuevos Minsterios station. From Nuevos Ministerios, the Meliá Galgos hotel is a 10 minute taxi ride, costing approx. 10 Euros. Tickets can be purchased at the station and cost 5 Euro.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Málaga
  Transportation from site: A taxi from the hotel to the airport costs approx. 22-28 Euros.
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: Departures
(Thursday, October 22)
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Friday, October 23)
 Afternoon: Arrival at Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD). Meet group outside of customs and transfer to the hotel. Welcome Orientation at 5:00 PM in hotel lobby.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Meliá Galgos
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Madrid, Spain
(Saturday, October 24)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Morning panoramic sightseeing visit of Madrid including Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid's chic modern district, the Paseo del Prado, also known as the Triangle of Art, the Plaza de Cibeles and Town Hall, La Gran Vía, Madrid's theatre district, and Almudena Cathedral.

Next, visit the Prado Museum which holds one of the world's finest collections of European art. The magnificent building, conceived and designed in 1785, first housed the collection of the Spanish crown. It opened to the public as Spain’s national art museum in 1819. With thousands upon thousands of paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings, other works and historic documents, only a small portion of these vast collections are on display at any given time. Highlights include masterpieces of the French, German, and Italian schools, early Flemish works, and the finest collection of works by Spanish grand masters such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, and many more. One of the most famous paintings in the museum is “Las Meninas” -- the family of King Felipe IV -- by Velázquez.
 Lunch: Free time for lunch; perhaps explore local fare in Old Madrid at the San Miguel Market.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon or an optional walking excursion with your Group Leader to the majestic 17th century Plaza Major with its three-story residences and statue of Felipe III. Next, on to Puerta del Sol, one of the most well known landmarks in Madrid. Originally named for the gate in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century, now the city's busiest plaza and the center of the Spanish road system, from which all distances are measured.
 Dinner: Enjoy an introduction to Flamenco with a brief lecture and demonstration followed by a tapas dinner and a Flamenco show.
Accommodations: Meliá Galgos
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Train to Seville, Spain
(Sunday, October 25)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning transfer we transfer to Madrid's Atocha station to board a high-speed train to Seville. The roughly 300 mile journey takes approximately 2 1/2 hours.
 Lunch: Lunch in the hotel upon arrival.
 Afternoon: Check-in to hotel and enjoy some time for relaxing before heading out with your Group Leader to explore nearby Maria Luisa Park and the impressive Plaza de España, built for the World Expo in 1929, and a fine example of typical Sevillan architecture and incorporating traditional Andalucían ceramic tile.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Meliá Sevilla
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Seville, Spain / Córdoba
(Monday, October 26)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy the rolling plains of the Andalucían countryside during this morning's transfer to Córdoba. Today's full-day field trip will include the Mezquita, a medieval Islamic mosque that was converted into a Catholic cathedral. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. Next, explore Córdoba's Jewish quarter where this population flourished between from the 10th century until their expulsion from Spain in 1492. Its historic synagogue built in Mudéjar style is a memorial to the nearly 500 years of peaceful coexistence of Christians, Jews and Muslims in this city. There will also be time to visit the Alcázar, formerly a Visigoth fortress, then the Umayyads and much later – after its expansion – it served as one of the primary residences of Isabel I and Ferdinand II.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Visit Viana Palace, formerly housing nobility and now a National Historic Monument. It is oft referred to as the Museum of the Patios, for its twelve separate 'patios' or garden rooms, each with their own unique design. There will be some free time after this visit for independent exploration of Córdoba before meeting the coach for the transfer back to Seville.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own upon return to Sevilla.
Accommodations: Meliá Sevilla
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Seville, Spain / embark the Aegean Odyssey
(Tuesday, October 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Explore Seville's oldest neighborhood, the Barrio Santa Cruz. Meander its labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys that open onto beautiful plazas. During medieval times, this neighborhood was the Jewish quarter and it is home to many of Seville's oldest churches. Visit its cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral – and the third largest church – in the world. In 1898 it became the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. Next, visit the spectacular moorish Alcázar Royal Palace and gardens -- the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. Originally a fort built by the Almohad Dynasty it is one of the best remaining examples of Mudéjar architecture.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: After lunch, embark the Aegean Odyssey. Meet in the "Observation Lounge" at 5:00 PM for a brief orientation to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Seville, Spain / cruise the Guadalquivir River
(Wednesday, October 28)

Note: Due to tides, the ship might need to sail in the morning, in which case there will be no free time in Seville.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Free time for independent exploration of Seville.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Cruise the Guadalquivir River, the second longest river with its entire length in Spain.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Arrive to Cádiz in the evening.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Cádiz, Spain
(Thursday, October 29)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Visit Cádiz, Europe’s oldest continually in habited settlement. For over 4,000 years, Cádiz has been a bridge between Europe and Africa and its influence has been felt far and wide. During a coach excursion through the old city, you’ll see its 18th-century baroque cathedral and the Plaza España. From the port of Cádiz, it is about 1/2 hour to Andalucía's 5th largest city: Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez is the world capital of sherry and the city where flamenco singing began. Enjoy a sherry tasting at a local bodega and learn about the manufacture of this celebrated fortified wine.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Relax poolside and enjoy the refreshing ocean air as the ship sails for Casablanca.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Prepare bag for an overnight stay tomorrow evening in Marrakesch.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Casablanca, Morocco / Marrakesh, Morocco
(Friday, October 30)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The ship arrives in Casablanca in early morning. Disembark ship with a packed bag for an overnight stay in Marrakesh. The journey by motorcoach is approximately 3 hours.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore Marrakesh, Morocco’s 4th largest city. Located at the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, the historic wealth of the city is manifested in its mansions and palaces. Visit the medina, the old fortified city whose fortifications – 12 miles of orange-red walls – give the city its nickname “Red City.” Marrakesh is home to Morocco’s largest Berber market, or souk, and the vendors and craft people employed by these traditional open-air markets, of which there are 18 throughout the city, represent a huge portion of the city’s tourism-fueled economy.

Walking excursion of Marrakesh will include the 14th-century Ben Youssef Medrassa, once the largest koranic school in Morocco now a historical site. From here, walk the kasbah (fortress) and Bahia Palace with its Moorish garden, finishing the walk in the famous Djemma el Fna Square.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Overnight in the luxurious Sofitel Palais Imperial Hotel.
Accommodations: Sofitel Palais Imperial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Marrakesh, Morocco / El Jadida, Morocco
(Saturday, October 31)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Upon check-out, coach to El Jadida, formerly known as Magazan, or Margazão by the Portuguese occupiers who controlled this territory from 1502 until 1769. Its architecture is unique in its synthesizing of European and Moroccan influences, for which it has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 2004.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in El Jadida.
 Afternoon: Before returning to the ship in Casablanca for an overnight, visit Hassan II Mosque, built partially on land and partially over the Atlantic Ocean. Able to accommodate 25,000 inside and an additional 80,000 in its courtyard; it is the largest mosque in North Africa, the third largest in the world, and its minaret is the world’s tallest.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: The ship overnights onboard in Casablanca. Refresh overnight bag for tomorrow evening's stay in Fes.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Rabat, Morocco / Fez, Morocco
(Sunday, November 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark ship with a packed bag for an overnight stay in Fez. Begin the day with an hour's drive along the Atlantic Coast to Rabat, situated at the mouth of Bou Regreg River. From the Kasbah of the Udayas, built during the reign of the Almohads, and now a residential district, to its abandoned Hassan Tower, Rabat is a rich cultural and historical center. Explore Chellah, an Almohad necropolis located on the site of the ancient Roman city known as Sala Colonia. This site is the most ancient human settlement on the mouth of the Bou Regreg River and excavations have revealed a Roman forum as well as a paved road which is consistent with an important port city.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Rabat.
 Afternoon: Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Volubilis, a partly excavated Roman city located between Rabat and Fez which flourished in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD before falling to local tribesmen around 185. Arrive to the hotel in the late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Overnight in the beautiful Sofitel Fès Palais Jamaï.
Accommodations: Sofitel Fès Palais Jamaï
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Fez / Coach to Tangier to reembark Aegean Odyssey
(Monday, November 2)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: With is UNESCO-listed souks and 14th century religious schools, Fez is a medieval marvel. Stroll through Bab bou Jeoud, "the Blue Gate", one of the main gates to Fes el Bali, home to the world's oldest university, and believed to be the largest car-free urban area in the world. Admire the splendid fountain at Place Nejjarine, the ancient rampart, and the beautiful front entrance of the Royal Palace.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Fez.
 Afternoon: After lunch coach to Tangier to reembark the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: The ship will overnight in Tangier. Attend a shipboard guest lecture
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Tangier, Morocco
(Tuesday, November 3)

Note: Approximately 90 minutes of walking over various terrains; up and down steep hills with many steps.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning discover Tangier, a city founded by Carthaginian colonists in the early 5th century BC. Visit Cape Spartel, the most north-western point of mainland Africa. Below is the cave of Hercules (currently closed for renovation); legend has it that Hercules slept in this cave before performing his 11th labor. Enjoy the colorful markets of Tangier's old town and the ocean view from the kasbah.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Tangier or to relax on board.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Málaga, Spain. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Málaga, Spain
(Wednesday, November 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a coach ride through the Andalucían countryside from the port of Málaga to Granada. Here you will experience the majesty of the Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace. It is the most renowned building of the Andalusian Islamic historical legacy. Together with the adjoining gardens and orchards of El Generalife, this remarkable site is considered an architectural culmination of Nasrid art undertaken in the 13th and 14th centuries and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1984.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continuation of the full-day excursion to Granada.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: The ship will overnight in Málaga. Free evening to prepare belongings for disembarkation.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Disembark / Málaga, Spain
(Thursday, November 5)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Following disembarkation, explore Málaga, a city whose history, spanning some 2,800 years, is one of the oldest in the world. Rich in archeological remains and monuments from its Phoenician, Roman, Arabic, and Christian eras, they city itself seems a museum. Visit the Alcazaba Fortress, a palatial citadel overlooking the port built in the early 11th century by the Hammudid dynasty. Explore Gibralfero Castle constructed by Yusuf I at the beginning of the 14th century.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Check-in to the hotel for an overnight stay. There is free time for independent exploration perhaps to visit the Picasso Museum home to over 200 works by the artist born in this city.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner.
Accommodations: Hotel AC Málaga Palacio
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: Departures
(Friday, November 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to the Málaga–Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) for departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Madrid Buen Retiro Park
Stroll amidst this 350-acre spread of gardens, sculptures, and fountains not far from Madrid's city center. Begun as a monastery in the early 1500s, it came under the domain of the Royal Family when the Spanish court was moved to Madrid in 1561. It became a public park in 1868 and has been a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike ever since.
  Reina Sofia Museum
Affectionately referred to as the 'MoMa of Madrid' and housed in a former hospital, this museum houses a vast collection of contemporary and modern art. Many pieces of its permanent collection were transferred from the Prado, including Picasso's "Guernica," arguably one of the most important paintings of the 20th century. For additional information, visit
  The Prado Museum
The collection of this world-famous museum was assembled by the Habsburg and Bourbon Spanish monarchs from the 16th to early 19th centuries. It has since been enhanced by works received from churches and convents, and by nine new galleries since 1950, including the Casón del Buen Retiro exhibition of 19th century art. For additional information, visit
  Málaga Picasso Museum
The 16th-century Palacio de Buenavista houses a wide range of the artist's works. Born in Málaga in 1881, Pablo Picasso desired a collection of his work to be on permanent display in the city. Rotating temporary exhibits of contemporary artists are also on display. For additional information, visit
  Seville La Macarena neighborhood
Visit La Macarena, one of Seville's five neighborhoods and named for the Basilica which houses the 17th-century statue of Our Lady of Hope Macarena. The largest intact sections of the Almohad city walls can be found in La Macarena spanning from the two old city gates. Stroll Feria street and explore its market, the oldest in Seville.
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 History of Modern Morocco

Author: Susan Gilson Miller

Description: Miller puts the history of Morocco from 1830-2000 into a global context in this incisive, readable survey.

A Traveller's Companion To Madrid

Author: Hugh Thomas (Editor)

Description: This spritely anthology of eyewitness accounts -- in diaries, letters, memoirs and novels -- covers palaces and neighborhoods, customs, manners and morals of the city, revealing its geography, history and spirit.

A Traveller's History of Spain

Author: Juan Lalaguna

Description: A swift survey from prehistory through the Romans, Goths and Moors to the present.

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.

Eyewitness Guide Morocco

Author: Eyewitness Guides

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

Eyewitness Guide Spain

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: This superb, colorful guide covering all of Spain features bright photography, dozens of maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.

Ghosts of Spain

Author: Giles Tremlett

Description: Tremlett captures the Spanish character, history and modern politics in this masterful portrait, interweaving the story of his love for the country (where he has lived for 20 years) with interviews, anecdotes and observation.

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.

Madrid, The History

Author: Jules Stewart

Description: Jules Stewart sketches the history of a beloved city from Mayrit to Madrid, the Bourbons, Franco and beyond. With suggested whirlwind itinerary for Madrid in Two Days (and Nights).

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.

Only in Spain, A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir About Food, Flamenco and Falling in Love

Author: Nellie Bennett

Description: In this exuberant memoir, an enthusiastic young Australian discovers a passion for Spanish culture (especially flamenco) as she explores Seville and Madrid.

Spain & Portugal Adventure Map

Author: National Geographic

Description: A colorful, shaded relief map.

Spain, The Root and the Flower

Author: John A. Crow

Description: Take this book with you to Spain: it's an absorbing, well-written account of Spanish cultural history from prehistory to the Romans, Jews, Moors, Golden Age and on to Franco and his legacy in modern Spain.

The Alhambra

Author: Robert Irwin

Description: Irwin's brief, indispensable guide introduces the stunning Moorish palace and fortress complex, revealing its mysteries, myths and significance with wit and insight.

The Caliph's House, A Year in Casablanca

Author: Tahir Shah

Description: A great storyteller, of Afghan descent and English-raised, Shah leads us through Moroccan society and culture with deft portraits of ordinary neighbors and craftsmen as he and his wife transform a crumbling palace in old Casablanca.

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 based in Morocco. Originally published in 1955.

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