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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Private Sahara sunset excursion and camel ride on the dunes
  • Visits to five UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Ancient ruins of Volubilis
  • Scenic “Route of a Thousand Kasbahs”
  • Dramatic Todra Gorge and Atlas Mountain scenery
  • Kasbah of Ait ben-Haddou
  • Fez touring
  • Marrakech’s medina and Djemaa el Fna Square
  • Storied Casablanca and Hassan II mosque
  • Outstanding accommodations
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Casablanca, Morocco

Day 2: Arrive Casablanca/Rabat Upon arrival this afternoon in Casablanca, the commercial center of Morocco, we transfer by coach to Rabat and our hotel located near famed Hassan Tower. We have time to relax and refresh before dinner tonight at the hotel. D

Day 3: Rabat One of Morocco’s four ancient capitals, or imperial cities, Rabat is again the ­country’s capital, at once historic and contemporary, as we discover on today’s tour. We visit the fortified Kasbah of the Oudaias, the peaceful Andalusian Gardens, and the necropolis of Chellah, built on ancient Roman ruins. Then we cross the river to Sale for lunch in a private home followed by a visit to the new Mohammed VI contemporary art museum and a walk through the medina. We return to our hotel late afternoon; tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner of traditional Moroccan fare at acclaimed Dinarjat in Rabat’s Old Town. B,L,D

Day 4: Rabat/Meknes/Volubilis/Fez This ­morning we depart Rabat for Fez, stopping along the way in Meknes, Morocco’s youngest imperial city (and UNESCO World Heritage site). We visit the Bab el Mansour gateway and the ruins of the imper­ial stables before lunch in a local restaurant. Then we continue on to the ancient Roman ruins at the UNESCO site of Volubilis, known for its intricate and colorful mosaics. Late afternoon we reach Fez and our elegant hotel adjacent to the medina, another UNESCO World Heritage site. B,L,D

Day 5: Fez Today we explore Morocco’s oldest imperial city, considered the “Athens of Africa” for its wealth of cultural, educational, and religious institutions. We begin with a comfortable walk through the Fez medina, where we see some hidden treasures, including the Blue Gate, the most picturesque of the Old City’s historic gates; the medieval school of Bouanania; the 12th-century home of Jewish scholar Maimonides; and the authentic food market. We also visit the traditional quarter where we watch artisans craft the acclaimed Fez pottery and ceramics. After lunch together in the medina, we tour the old Mellah (Jewish quarter) and its 17th-century synagogue and the royal gates. B,L,D

Day 6: Fez Today’s touring features the Museum of Fez, housing traditional arts. Then we embark on a walking tour of the medina focusing on the artisans’ quarters, the 14th-century Koranic schools, and Al Karaouine, the medieval theological university. The remainder of the afternoon is free for independent exploration and lunch on our own. Tonight, we enjoy a private dinner at an intimate family-run riad in Fez. B,D

Day 7: Fez/Midelt/Erfoud Traveling inland today, we cross the fertile plains beyond Fez and continue through the Middle Atlas mountain range. We stop in the small town of Midelt for lunch. Continuing on we cross the Ziz River, passing rows of sky-scraping palm trees and fortified villages before reaching our kasbah-style hotel in Erfoud late in the day. Dinner tonight is at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 8: Erfoud/Rissani/Merzouga This morning we visit the city of Rissani, with its 18th-century ksar, a virtually impenetrable warren of alleys. We enjoy a tour highlight this afternoon as we set out on a sunset excursion to the breathtakingly beautiful sand dunes at Merzouga on the edge of the Sahara. In the enormous silence we watch the sun set over the desert as we take a camel ride along the erg. Following this experience, we’ll have dinner together in this desert setting before returning to our hotel tonight. B,L,D

Day 9: Erfoud/Tinehir/Todra Gorge/Ouarzazate Our destination today is in the snow-topped High Atlas. The day features one beautiful scene after another, including the village of Tinehir, a stunning mountain oasis rising on a series of riverside terraces lush with palm trees; and the spectacular 984-foot Todra Gorge, home to a variety of rare bird and plant species. Following lunch here we visit El Kelaa des Mgouna, known for its roses, then set out on the fabled “Route of a Thousand Kasbahs” ancient caravan route, a region of fortresses with elaborately decorated façades. Late afternoon we reach the town of Ouarzazate (the “door of the desert”) where we spend the night. B,L,D

Day 10: Ouarzazate/Ait ben-Haddou/Marrakech En route to Marrakech today, we stop first at uninhab­ited Ait ben-Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of southern Morocco’s most scenic villages that is often used as a location for fashion and film shoots. Its old section consists of deep red kasbahs packed together so tightly they appear to be a single unit. Then as we begin our descent from the High Atlas, we pass through typical villages with fortified walls and stone houses with earthen roofs. In Tizi N’Tichka, we traverse the Pass of the Pastures (alt. 7,415 feet), where life is much as it was centuries ago: shepherds bring their flocks to the high pastures every summer, then return with them to their villages in autumn. We arrive in Marrakech late this afternoon and dine tonight at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 11: Marrakech Once the capital of southern Morocco, the imperial city of Marrakech is an allur­ing oasis with a temperate climate, distinct charm, and fascinating sights. Our day-long tour includes the beautifully proportioned Koutoubia Mosque with its distinctive 282-foot minaret visible from miles away; the lovely Andalusian-style El Bahia Palace (part of which is still used by the royal family); and the ruins of 16th-century Palais El Badii. After lunch at our hotel, mid-afternoon we embark on a walk­ing tour of the medina, ending at Djemaa el Fna Squ­are, a UNESCO site and the heart of Marrakech, crowded with snake charm­ers, ­entertainers, story­tellers, musicians, barbers, and sellers of fruit, water, and spices. Dinner tonight is on our own in this exotic city. B,L

Day 12: Marrakech This morning we travel by horse-drawn carriage from Menara Park to Majorelle Gardens, a private botanical garden with some 15 species of birds native to North Africa and known for its cobalt blue accents. Following a tour of the gardens we visit the newly renovated Berber Museum here, with art and artifacts reflecting Berber culture in Morocco. The afternoon is at leisure before dinner tonight at a local restaurant in the city’s Old Town. B,D

Day 13: Marrakech/Casablanca We leave Marra­kech this morning by coach for storied Casablanca, Morocco’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. After a brief orientation tour of the city, we visit the magnificent Hassan II Mosque, Morocco’s only functioning mosque open to non-Muslims. Sitting on the Atlantic shoreline, the mosque boasts a prayer hall the size of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral. Tonight we celebrate our Moroccan adventure at a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 14: Depart for U.S. After breakfast this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S. B

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 12 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class hotels
  • 31 meals: 12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 11 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2018/2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

2018

Nov 16
Dec 7

2018
Oct 26 

2019
Jan 11
Jan 22

2018
Sep 7, 14
Sep 28
Oct 5, 9
Oct 12, 16

2019
Feb 8
Feb 22

2019

Mar 8
Mar 12
Mar 22

Boston, New York,
Washington, DC
$4,479$4,679$4,879$4,979
Atlanta, Chicago$4,679$4,879$5,079$5,179
Baltimore, Charlotte,
Detroit, Los Angeles,
Miami, Philadelphia
$4,779$4,979$5,179$5,279
Cinc, Cleve, Dallas,
Denver, Hou, Minn,
Orlando, Phoenix,
Port (OR), San Fran,
Seattle, Tampa
$4,879$5,079$5,279$5,379

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $684, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,195 Nov, Dec; $1,395 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2018/2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,795 per person; Premium Economy – $1,195 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    La Tour Hassan, Rabat / Days 2-3 / Superior First Class

    Dating to 1914, the 140-room La Tour Hassan represents Rabat’s last surviving hotel to be constructed using traditional Moorish-Andalusian design. The citadel-style hotel stands inside a fortress wall at the center of the city and features three restaurants, one bar, Internet access, laundry service, fitness center with Jacuzzi, sauna, solarium, and outdoor pool. Air-conditioned rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Hotel Sahrai, Fez / Days 4-6 / Deluxe

    Opened in 2014, Hotel Sahrai is a contemporary hotel located on the southern hills overlooking the Fez medina, and a short drive from this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed to resemble the architectural layout of the medina, the 50-room boutique hotel features a restaurant and bar, fitness center, Jacuzzi, spa with massage treatments, sauna, steam room, outdoor pool, tennis court, terrace, and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms offer private bath with hair dryer, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Le Palais du Desert, Erfoud / Days 7-8 / First Class

    Set on the outskirts of the city of Erfoud, this 44-room kasbah-style hotel offers a traditional Moroccan desert setting surrounding a courtyard.  The hotel features two restaurants and bar, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, laundry/dry cleaning services, full spa, health center, and an outdoor swimming pool.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone. Please note that, while this hotel represents the best of accommodations in this somewhat remote region, you may find the level of quality and service here somewhat lower than at other sites on your tour.

    Le Berbere Palace, Ouarzazate / Day 9 / Superior First Class

    A traditional Moroccan-style hotel, the Berbere Palace offers guests a host of contemporary amenities including two restaurants, two bars, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, fitness center, swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, tennis courts, terraced garden, and library. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Sofitel Marrakech, Marrakech / Days 10-12 / Deluxe

    Sitting on the edge of the city at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains and within easy reach of the Medina and Jamma el Fna Square, the Sofitel boasts three restaurants and a bar; Internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; ATM; fitness center with gym, Jacuzzi, sauna, and solarium; Turkish bath; and two outdoor pools. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, terrace or balcony, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Hyatt Regency Casablanca, Casablanca / Day 13 / Deluxe

    This 255-room hotel is conveniently situated in the center of Casablanca in United Nations Square, close to the Old Medina, Habous Quarter, and the central market. The hotel has multiple restaurants and lounges; spa; fitness center with sauna, steam room, and massage treatments; unheated outdoor swimming pool; squash courts and beach volleyball court; boutiques; and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, phone, and internet access.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Tour Directors for this Journey
Seddik Aassim

“Seddik handled the entire tour with tremendous professionalism. He handled every situation with a warm smile and a calm and kind demeanor. The extent of his knowledge blew us away. He is a treasure!!”
Jeanne & Todd Russell
Carson City, NM

Fattah Bouchekhbat

“Fattah was an excellent guide. He is dignified while being warm and friendly – extremely knowledgeable and truly enjoys the people he is with.”
Linda Rathkopf
Brooklyn, NY

Mohamed Dahouas

“Mohamed was truly wonderful. He helped guests with problems, was always available with information, and went above and beyond in service. The best.”
Sheila Gitelson & Bill Silverman
Silver Spring, MD

Nabil Ezzaouaoui

“Nabil is a topnotch tour director! His patience, knowledge, and caring nature contributed significantly to our fabulous tour.”
Larry Meyers & Linda Wornock
Hilton Head Island, NC

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Peter Mayne
A Year in Marrakesh
This brilliantly entertaining, insightful classic account of Marrakesh captures the rhythm and spirit of life in the alleyways of the Medina in the 1950s.

Fatima Mernissi
Dreams of Trespass, Tales of a Harem Girlhood
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.

Jillian York
Culture Smart! Morocco
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.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Morocco
Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact guide introduces Morocco’s history, culture and attractions.

Michelin Travel Publications
Morocco Map
A road map featuring city and town plans at a scale of 1:1,000,000. Two sides. 28 x 36 inches.

Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet Moroccan Arabic Phrasebook
This handy phrasebook includes pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary.

Paula Wolfert
The Food of Morocco
A Mediterranean cuisine icon brings a lifetime of experience and taste to this gorgeously illustrated cookbook and cultural guide.

Claudia Roden (Introduction), Madame Guinaudeau
Traditional Moroccan Cooking, Recipes from Fez
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.

Susan Gilson Miller
A History of Modern Morocco
Miller puts the history of Morocco from 1830-2000 into a global context in this incisive, readable survey.

Barnaby Rogerson
A Traveller’s History of North Africa
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.

Karen Armstrong
Islam, A Short History
Armstrong brings authority and experience to this vivid, clear-headed survey of the history and impact of Islam, from the birth of Mohammad to present-day challenges.

Marvine Howe
Morocco, The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges
A penetrating look at political, social and cultural life in Morocco under King Mohammed V, by a former New York Times correspondent.

Iain Finlayson
Tangier, City of the Dream
An elegant and scathingly honest history of Tangier’s golden age (1920s-1950s). In crisp prose and witty vignettes, Finlayson lays bare Tangier’s vices, virtues and the exploits of famous visitors including: Beat poets, heirs and heiresses, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote.

Walter Denny
How to Read Islamic Carpets
A handy, instructive guide to judging Persian rugs’ quality, origin and level of craftsmanship, useful for travelers, students, professionals and collectors alike.

Achva Benzinberg Stein
Morocco Courtyards and Gardens
Splendid color photographs and aerial views of the palaces, mosques and signature walled gardens of Fez, Marrakech and Rabat.

Suzanna Clarke
A House in Fez
Clarke’s poignant, gorgeously illustrated, tale of restoring Riad Zany, a traditional courtyard house in the heart of the ancient city.

Tahir Shah
In Arabian Nights, A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams
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.

Edith Wharton
In Morocco
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 with emphasis on the cities of Rabat, Fez and Marrakech.

Gavin Maxwell
Lords of the Atlas
A classic account of the tribal warlords of the Atlas Mountains – and of life in French colonial Morocco. A rousing tale and excellent introduction to Marrakech.

William Langewiesche
Sahara Unveiled
Traveling across the Sahara from Algiers to Dakar, Langeweische has written an uncommonly good memoir of the desert, with meditations on its history, inhabitants and allure.

Paul Bowles
The Spider’s House
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.

Barnaby Rogerson (Editor), Stephen Lavington
Marrakesh, Through Writers’ Eyes
A choice collection of travel writing on the Red City by 40 luminaries, including George Orwell, Winston Churchill, Gavin Maxwell and Peter Mayne.

Paul Bowles
The Sheltering Sky
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.

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