14596
Spain/Morocco
Spain and Morocco: Shared Histories, Complementary Cultures
Discover Spain and Morocco and the important sites that bind these two lands as you hear engaging lectures, enjoy expert-led excursions and revel in traditional music performances.
Rating (5)
Program No. 14596RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
5,099
Flights start at
900
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15 days
14 nights
33 meals
13 B 9 L 11 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Rabat, Orientation, Intro to Morocco, Welcome Dinner
Rabat
D
Cantor Hotel Terminus

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 2:30 p.m.

Afternoon: Upon arrival, check into the hotel and have some time to refresh before beginning with Orientation.The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We’ll then make our way over to the Center for Cross Cultural Learning (CCCL) with our Group Leader for an informative introductory lecture, which will provide us with an overview of Morocco.

Dinner: At the Center for Cross Cultural Learning (CCCL), we’ll have plated meals with coffee, tea, water.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Cultural Lectures, Rabat Field Trip, Andalusian Music
Rabat
B,L,D
Cantor Hotel Terminus

Activity note: Getting on/off a private bus; driving less than 1 hour total for the day. Walking approx. 1 mile; up to 1 hour; uneven terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll pick from a variety of choices at the breakfast buffet, plus juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Our next lecture at the CCCL will focus on the women’s issues and the role of the veil in Islam. An intriguing subject to both Muslims and non-Muslims, one may find a wide variability in the definitions of the veil, its subtleties, and its religious and social significance. The founder of the CCCL will aim at helping us to understand this diversity by providing some social, historical and religious context to the veil in Islam. After a break for refreshments, we’ll continue our lecture series with a fashionshowduring which we’ll be able totry on Moroccan traditional dresseswith accompanying commentary. We will see examples of casual and more elegant formal clothing representing a multitude of different regions for both men and women, including rural and urban areas. This will help us to understand how different head coverings and dresses that women wear in different regions of Morocco can represent what tribe they belong to, how they interpret aspects of their religion, and disclose their marital status. We’ll then set out on a walk in the old city of Rabat to our lunch location, during which we’ll learn about greetings, food manners, and family life.

Lunch: In the homes of local families, we’ll be invited to enjoy will a plated meal with tea, water.

Afternoon: Led by a local expert, we’ll drive to Hassan Tower and Mohamed V Mausoleum, where we’ll learn about the different epochs of the city of Rabat since these major edifices were built in the 12th century by the Almohades. Back at the CCCL, we’ll hear from an expert political scientist about Moroccan politics, including a focus on the roles of the king, political parties, and the government itself.

Dinner: CCCL plated meal.

Evening: At the CCCL hall, we’ll be treated to a special performance by a local group specializing in Andalusian music accompanied by readings of Arabic poetry to reflect the Andalusian heritage in Morocco. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
4
To Fes, Granaries of Meknes, Riad, Moroccan Architecture
Fes
B,L,D
Hotel Les Merinides

Activity note: Driving approximately 182 miles; about 3 hours total, with stops. Walking approx. 2 miles throughout the day; possibly somewhat crowded at the medina, some uneven terrain and a few steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of thehotel, we’ll begin our transfer to Fesvia private bus, but not without a stop en route in Meknes where we will explore some parts of the 17th century city with a local expert both on foot and byprivate bus. We’ll learn how MoulayIsmail made Meknes a prosperous city in the 17th century using different techniques in construction, preserving grain and training hundreds of horses.

Lunch: In a traditional Riad, or a traditional Moroccan house with an interior courtyard, in Meknes we will enjoy a plated meal including coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: At the Riad, we’ll enjoy an afternoon lecture on Moroccan architecturegiven by a professor of visual art at Moulay Ismail University. Resuming our transfer to Fes, we’ll have an en route lecture focused on Morocco’s educational system given by our Group Leader. Upon arrival in Fes, we’ll check into the hotel with some time to relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll enjoy a tasty buffet meal with water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Historic Fes, Contemporary Population, Meet Fes U. Students
Fes
B,L,D
Hotel Les Merinides

Activity note: Driving approx. 10 miles; less than 1 hour. Walking about 2 miles throughout the day; approx. 3 hours; uneven terrain, small crowded alleyways.

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll enjoy a buffet breakfast including coffee, tea, juice, water.

Morning: Setting out on foot with our Group Leader and a local expert, we’ll explorethe Medina of Fes, a city of three centuries: 9th, 14th and 20th. As we go, we’ll learn about different sections of the old Medina extending from the 9th century, focus how Judaism has played a significant role in establishing general Moroccan identity, and take in the amazing architecture of the Medina. We will visit the food market, the tanneries, a Koranic school (Medressa), and see the Al Quaraouiyine mosque/university, which was founded in 877 and helped to solidify the city’s status as an intellectual center of Morocco.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the old Medina of Fes, we’ll have plated meals with tea, water; other non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After finishing up our exploration of Fes, we'll meet with a group of Fes university students for a group discussion at a Riad in the Medina.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
6
Travel to Chefchaouen, Farming & Health Care, Ouezzane
Chefchaouen
B,L,D
Riad Dar Chaouen

Activity note: Driving approximately 125 miles total; about 5 hours throughout the day, with stops; 3 hours before lunch and 2 hours after. Walking about 2 miles in Ouazzane; up to 1 hour; some uneven terrain. A shuttle is available.

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll start our transfer to Chefchaouen. En route, we’ll have a lecture on the private bus about farming in Morocco. We’ll then stop for a visit in the sanctuary town of Ouezzane where our Group Leader will shed light on the history of the city as a spiritual destination for a lot of Moroccan Muslims and Jews who consider the founders of the city to be their Sheikhs (spiritual leaders). We see the Jewish quarter, the main Mausoleum, and wander through its non-touristy neighborhoods.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Ouezzane, we’ll have a plated meal including coffee, tea, water; other beverages for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll then continue our transfer to Chefchaouen, during which, we’ll hear a lecture focused on the health care system in Morocco. Upon arrival, we’ll check in at the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Chefchaouen’s Medina, Free Time
Chefchaouen
B,L,D
Riad Dar Chaouen

Activity note: Walking approximately 3 miles; about 3 hours; uneven terrace, many steps, leisurely pace, with several stops to rest.

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Morning: We’ll begin with an expert-led walking field trip of the Medina of Chefchaouen, the city center that still preserves its roots as a marketplace and center of activity. On our walk, wewill have the chance to learn about the history of the blue and white city and also focus on gender dynamics in the town. Continuing, we’ll visit the Kasbah, which has been sheltering the city for several decades, interact with locals, and enjoy glasses of mint tea in the main plaza.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with water included; other non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After our meal, we’ll also be treated to a musical performance of Sufi music given by local women. Next, enjoy the remainder of the afternoon on your own for independent exploration in Chefchaouen, which was built by Moulay Ismail in the 1600s as an Arab fortress and later served as a Spanish prison.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
8
Travel & Introduction to Seville
Seville
B,L,D
Hotel NH Plaza de Armas

Activity note: Driving approximately 200 miles total throughout the day; about 5 hours combined – Drive from Chefchaouen to Tangier is about 70 miles; approx. 3 hours; winding road. Ferry ride is about 20 miles; less than 1 hour. Drive from Tarifa to Seville is about 128 miles; approx. 2 hours. Be sure to have passports accessible for border crossing. Minimal walking.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll transfer via private bus to Tangier via the coastal road. Along the way, we’ll listen to onboard lectures covering some of Morocco’s northern issues including illegal immigration and the smuggling of substances from the cannabis plantation enclaves. As we discuss these subjects, we’ll also learn what procedures the Moroccan state is taking to decrease these issues.

Lunch: At hotel Almohades in Tangier, we’ll have a plated lunch with water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll then walk to the dock to board the ferry for transfer to Tarifa, Spain, where we’ll meet our Spanish Group Leader and, upon arrival, board a private bus for transfer to Seville where we will check into our accommodations. Gathering in the hotel, we’ll review the itinerary and logistics for our time in Spain, as well as have an overall check-in as a group before going on a walk to familiarize us with the neighborhood.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated dinner with one beverage included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Spain Today, Alcázar, Jewish Quarter, Flamenco Show
Seville
B,L,D
Hotel NH Plaza de Armas

Activity note: Walking approximately 4 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets. Comfortable and sturdy footwear recommended.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet meal with coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will then be joined at CCCS headquarters by a local expert on Spanish culture who will give a presentation on contemporary Spain. With an official expert of the facility, we will explore the Alcázar, Seville's royal palace and the heritage of Muslim and Christian architects and artisans. Continuing, we’ll also visit the Jewish Quarter with our expert.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated lunch with one beverage included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll walk to the local “tablao” and see flamenco come alive at an intimate show.

Dinner: At a restaurant close to the Flamenco show, we’ll enjoy delicious plated meals, including two beverage selections; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Sephardic Spain, Seville´s Catedhral, Tapas with Locals
Seville
B,D
Hotel NH Plaza de Armas

Activity note: Walking approximately 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets. Comfortable and sturdy footwear recommended.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: At CCCS headquarters, we will hear a lecture on Sephardic Spain from a local expert and learn about the timeline of Jewish history in Spain, from their first presence in the 6th Century until their eventual expulsion in the 15th Century during the Spanish Inquisition. Setting out on foot with a local historian, we will take a field trip to Santa María de la Sede Cathedral, the third largest Gothic cathedral in the world. This Catedral de Sevilla stands where there was once a great mosque that was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1401. After Seville was recaptured from the Moors in the Reconquista, and the victorious Christians decided to replace the mosque with a cathedral so grand, they said, “Those who see it built will think we were mad.” The gigantic altarpiece was the lifelong work of a single man. It is, in fact, the largest Gothic cathedral in Europe, made possible by riches coming in to Spain from the New World. Completed in just 104 years, embellishments and further enhancements continued into the 20th century.

Lunch: On your own to explore the local cuisine.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At the Center for Cross-Cultural Study, CCCS, headquarters in Seville, housed in an 18th Century mansion, we’ll meet with local Sevillanos who participate in a language exchange program for a tapas dinner, conversation and laughter. Unlimited wine, beer, juice, soft drinks, water are included.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
11
To Granada via Córdoba, Sephardic Music, Olive Tree Museum
Granada
B,L,D
Dauro II

Activity note: Driving about 150 miles (250 km) to Granada; approx. 2.5 hours depending on traffic. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets. Comfortable and sturdy footwear recommended.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll begin our transferto Granada, but not before stopping in Córdoba, the crossroads of civilizations, and mainstay of Islamic and Jewish heritage in Spain. While here, we’ll enjoy expert-led explorations of the Great Mosque and Cathedral, and pass by one of the last-standing ancient synagogues in Spain. We’ll stroll through the geranium-filled Juderia, once Cordoba's Jewish Quarter, and site of a monument to the famous philosopher Maimonides. Next, at Casa de la Sefarad across from the synagogue, we’ll enjoy a Sephardic musical performance.

Lunch: At a typical restaurant in Córdoba, we’ll have plated meals with one beverage selection included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After these visits, the Group Leader takes us to a traditional Guitar Maker to see authentic Spanish guitar manufacturing. Then we’ll board our private bus and continue to Granada. After completing our transfer to Granada, we’ll check into the hotel with some time to freshen up before dinner and go on a walk together to get familiar with the neighborhood.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll have plated meals, including one beverage selection; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Alhambra,Albayzin, Lecture on Three cultures of Al-Andalus
Granada
B,L
Dauro II

Activity note: Driving approximately 19 miles; about 30 minutes. Walking up to 5 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets, hilly roads. Comfortable and sturdy footwear recommended.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a tasty breakfast buffet, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: With a local expert, we’ll travel via private bus and spend the morning at the magnificent Alhambra Palace overlooking Granada.The Alhambra was built as a fort around 889 CE. It gradually fell into ruins and was transformed in the 11th century by the Moorish emir/sultan of Granada into a palace. Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds.” It later became a royal residence of the Nasrid dynasty but was eventually abandoned after the Christian re-conquest. Finally, it was “rediscovered” in the 19th century and restorations began. Today, it is one of the world’s most significant examples of Islamic art in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next, we explore the adjacent Generalife, the summer palace and private retreat of the emirs/sultans. This was where the ruler escaped official court life and its burdens, to relax and reflect amid exceptional gardens.

Lunch: At a local restaurant we’ll have plated meals with one beverage selection included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Then we will gather for a lecture given by a local expert on the three cultures of Al-Andalus: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Later, we will take a private bus to the neighborhood of Albayzin for an expert-led walking field trip through this Moorish neighborhood as we learn about its history. We’ll conclude our walk at the Mirador San Nicolas, overlooking the Alhambra, to view the sunset.

Dinner: On your own to explore the local cuisine.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
13
Transfer to Madrid, City Walk
Madrid
B,D
Nh Zurbano

Activity note: Driving about 260 miles (419 km) to Madrid; approx. 4.5 hours depending on traffic. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets, hills. Comfortable and sturdy footwear recommended.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After our check-out of the hotel, we’ll transfer via bus to Madrid.En route, we will stop near the town of Baeza to explore the Olive Tree Culture Museum, situated in a protected environment called Complejo Natural de La Laguna (Natural Complex of The Lake). We will learn from an expert, about the history and production of this important Spanish export from ancient times to the contemporary era and taste the liquid gold. In the long garden, we will see varieties of olive trees from different Mediterranean countries. Afterwards, we’ll board our private bus and continue to Madrid with stops to stretch our legs with stops periodically to stretch our legs. Upon arrival, we’ll check into the hotel.

Lunch: On your own. We will stop at a service area on route

Afternoon: After check into our accommodations. We’ll then set out with our Group Leader for a walking exploration of the area around the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, with delicious plated meals with one included beverage choices: wine, beer, soft drink, water; Other beverages are available for purchase

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Toledo Day Trip, Prado Museum
Madrid
B
Nh Zurbano

Activity note: Driving approx. 45 miles to Toledo, one way; approx. 1 hour. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets and many hills. Comfortable and sturdy footwear recommended.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a breakfast buffet, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Departing from the hotel via private bus, we will embark on a full-day field trip to explore some of the most important sites in medieval Toledo with its heritage of three co-existing cultures: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. The approach to this historic “World Heritage” city provides breathtaking panoramic views. As the UNESCO inscription states, Toledo’s 2,000 years of history encompass its successive identities as a Roman municipium, capital city of the kingdom of the Visigoths, a fortress of the Emirate of Cordoba, an outpost of the Christian kingdoms fighting the Moors, and temporary seat of supreme Spanish power. After the Reconquista, remarkable Jewish religious monuments were built at the same time as churches. Once we arrive, a local expert will lead us on a walk through the old walled city including stops at the Cathedral, the Sephardic Jewish Museum, and the Museo Santo Tomé with its paintings by El Greco. Toledo Cathedral, one of Europe’s greatest Gothic structures, was built on the site of the Great Mosque of Toledo that was previously built on the site of a Visigothic church. The Sephardic Museum — Museo Sephardí — preserves the legacy of Spanish-Jewish and Sephardic culture.Housed in a 14th Century building that was once the Sinagoga del Tránsito, it was founded by the Jewish treasurer to the king of Castile. Over the centuries, it sheltered Jewish artisans, Moorish master builders, and Christian craftsmen. The Church of Santo Tomé, founded in the 12th Century, was rebuilt in the 14th Century thanks to the generosity of Don Gonzalo Ruíz, Lord Orgaz, whose burial became the subject of El Greco’s most famous painting that hangs in the chapel.

Lunch: On your own to explore the local fare. The Group Leader will be happy to offer recommendations.

Afternoon: We’ll then return to Madrid where upon arrival we will go for an on-site art history class with a local expert at the Prado. The Museo Nacional del Prado is one of the world’s leading art museums. The superb royal collection was assembled by Hapsburg and Bourbon Spanish monarchs from the 16th to early 19th centuries. The museum opened to the public in 1819 and has collected thousands of paintings since as well as a large number of sculptures, prints, and drawings. Among the masterpieces are works by Bosch, Dürer, El Greco, Goya, Mantegna, Raphael, Rubens, Titian, Tintoretto, Van Eyck, Velásquez, and many more. Nine new galleries have been added since 1950. The Prado has become a prized destination on the “bucket list” of art lovers. The remainder of the day will be free for you to see and do whatever you wish independently.

Dinner: On your own to explore the local fare. The Group Leader will be happy to offer recommendations.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
15
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out at 12:00 Noon. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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