DAY 1 — Casablanca and Rabat (L)
9:30am Group pick-up at Casablanca airport, with second pick-up in Casablanca city for early arrivals. A driving tour of city highlights with an 11am visit of the Hassan II Mosque. (The program is based on arrivals by the direct Royal Air Maroc fights from
the US. Participants arriving a day earlier will be picked up at a hotel location in the city. Participants arriving later on Day 1 will be provided with the option of a prepaid private transfer or public transport to Rabat.)
12:15pm Lunch at Rick’s Café Casablanca.
Post-lunch A 11⁄2-hr transfer to Rabat, with expected arrival by 3pm. Hotel check-in.
4:00pm Walking tour of the Oudaya Kasbah, with explanations on the history of Rabat, its corsair days and the consequent first international recognition of the independence of the United States by Sultan Sidi Mohamed ben Abdellah. Also a stop at the Mohamed V Mausoleum. Dinner is on your own. Suggestions for restaurants in the vicinity of the hotel shall be provided.
HOTEL: Le Pietri Urban Hotel, 3 blocks from the train station and a block from the Museum of Contemporary Art (2 nights).
DAY 2 — Rabat (B,L,D)
8:30am Departure for the Chellah fortress to see its Roman remains and the intricate necropolis of the 14th-C. Merinid Dynasty. From there proceed to the Museum of History and Mediterranean Civilization and from there to the new Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, is a magnificent structure of neo-Moorish architecture.
12:30pm Seafood lunch at the Borj Eddar.
2:00pm A briefing on the current projects and goals of the Peace Corps in Morocco at their downtown offices (a different venue shall be offered for a larger group).
Post-meeting Free time to explore old Peace Corps haunts in Rabat.
7:30pm Welcome Moroccan dinner at Dar Zaki in the medina.
DAY 3 — Rabat and to Tangier (B,L,D)
9:00am Meeting at the US Embassy’s Public Affairs Section, for a presentation on Moroccan politics and international affairs by its Political Counselor and Cultural Affairs Officer.
10:30am Informational sessions by Professors at the Center for Cross Cultural Learning, as follows:
-10:30am–11:15am — “Sharia and Human Rights.” Tea/coffee break.
-11:30–12:15pm —“Political Developments in Morocco Post the Arab Spring”
-12:30 — Moroccan lunch at the CCCL
2:00pm Depart on the limited-access autoroute to Tangier (±3 hrs). Hotel check-in.
7:30pm Dinner at El Morocco club in the Tangier kasbah.
HOTEL: The centrally located, historic Hotel Rembrandt, fully refurbished in 2017 (2 nights).
DAY 4 — Tangier (B,L)
9:30am Departure for the American Legation, the sole building on the National Historic Register located outside of U.S. territories, which served as the Peace Corps training center until 1973. After a briefing from the Legation’s Director on the institute’s various outreach programs (women’s literacy, cultural exchange, etc.), tour the Legation Museum’s collections of art and historical documents with its Curator. From the Legation, proceed on a tour of the Kasbah, with its produce markets.
Noon Seafood lunch at the Saveur des Poissons, a simple “hole in the wall” that was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” segment on Tangier.
Post-lunch A short excursion to the Malabata Cape, for a panoramic view of Tangier and Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar. Return to Tangier, with the remainder of the day free for personal pursuits. Dinner is on your own to sample from the city’s vast array of eateries.
DAY 5 — Chefchaouen, Meknes (option Volubilis) and to Fes (B,L,D)
8:30am Departure for Chefchaouen (±2 hrs), with a walking tour on the cobblestone alleys of the old city and the Kasbah museum of local life upon arrival.
Noon Moroccan lunch at Casa Hassan in the old city.
Post-lunch Transfer via hilly farmland until Imperial City Meknes (±3 1⁄2 hrs), to see Sultan Moulay Ismaïl’s astounding granary (World Heritage Site), the Mansour Gate, Morocco’s largest, and the Dar Jamaï Museum of city crafts. (The ruins of World Heritage Site Volubilis, Rome’s commercial hub for the
region, renowned for its mosaics in situ, may be substituted for Meknes.)
7:30pm Moroccan dinner at the hotel.
HOTEL: Les Merinides, atop a hill overlooking the medina (2 nights).
DAY 6 — Fes (B,L)
8:30am Walking tour of 9th-C. “Old” Fes, with explanations on its culture and history, covering its Islamic shrines and former theological institutions, the Nejjarine Museum, and workshops for various crafts and goods in the area of the world’s oldest functioning university, the Qaraouïne. Moroccan lunch (included) during the visit. Expected end of tour around 3:00pm.
3:30pm Meeting with members of the Association Arouaba, to explore the social services they provide to the most vulnerable and overlooked segments of the city’s population, along with a discussion on policies of aid to the poor in the country from the points of view of government, NGOs and religious associations.
Dinner is on your own, with shuttle to the new city provided.
DAY 7 — Cedar Forests and the Sahara (B,L,D)
7:30am Departure South into the Middle Atlas via mountain station Ifrane, with a side trip into the heart of the last forest of giant Mediterranean cedars, where we should spot a band of the indigenous Barbary macaques.
Noon Estimated time of lunch at the Hotel Taddert near Midelt.
Post-lunch Continue South over the multi-hued expanses of the Eastern High Atlas until the desert regions, following the palm-filled valley of the Ziz to Arfoud. From there we follow a track into the Sahara until Merzouga, with estimated arrival around 6pm.
7:30pm Dinner at the hotel.
HOTEL: Riad Madu, an inn at the foot of the Erg Chebbi sea of dunes, with in-room bathrooms.