7158
Morocco
Morocco: Melting Pot of Cultures
Discover the vibrant culture of Morocco as you get hands-on with cooking classes, meet local artists, explore stunning landscapes and learn the complex story of this ancient land.
Rating (4.9)
Program No. 7158RJ
Length
17 days
Starts at
4,499
Flights start at
875
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17 days
16 nights
38 meals
15 B 13 L 10 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Welcome and Introduction to Morocco
Rabat
Cantor Hotel Terminus

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

DAY
3
Islam, Rabat's History, and Cultural Diversity
Rabat
B,L,D
Cantor Hotel Terminus

Activity 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

DAY
4
Landmarks, Moroccan Politics, and Music
Rabat
B,L,D
Cantor Hotel Terminus

Activity 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

DAY
5
Arts in the North and Daily life in the Rif Mountains
Chefchaouen
B,L,D
Riad Chaouen

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

DAY
6
Chefchaouen: the Blue Pearl City From 1471
Chefchaouen
B,L
Riad Chaouen

Activity 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

DAY
7
Sufism in Morocco
Fes
B,L,D
Hotel Merinides

Activity 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

DAY
8
Fes, 12 Centuries of Urban Life
Fes
B,L
Hotel Merinides

Activity 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

DAY
9
Roman Heritage of Morocco
Fes
B,L
Hotel Merinides

Activity 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

DAY
10
Middle Atlas Mountains and Sahara Lifestyle
Erfoud
B,L,D
Chergui Kasbah Hotel

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

DAY
11
Nomads of the Sahara
Merzouga
B,L,D
Nomadic Tents

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.

DAY
12
Architecture and Human Rights Issues in Morocco
Ouarzazate
B,L,D
HOTEL IBIS MOUSSAFIR OUARZAZATE

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

DAY
13
Berber life in The High Atlas Mountains
Marrakech
B,L,D
Hotel Atlas Medina

Activity 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

DAY
14
Marrakech: Authenticity and Modernity
Marrakech
B
Hotel Atlas Medina

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

DAY
15
A day with Berber Women of the high Atlas Mountains
Marrakech
B,L,D
Hotel Atlas Medina

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.

DAY
16
Casablanca Between Myths and Reality
Casablanca
B,L,D
Ibis Casa City Center

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

DAY
17
Program Concludes
Casablanca
B

Breakfast: Early breakfast

Morning: Depart for Mohamed V airport