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Morocco

4 2018 Trips | Apr - May - Oct - NOV

From the Medinas to the Mountains

Consider the sights and sounds of Morocco. Bustling souks. Daily calls to prayer. Hot desert sun. Cold mountain snow. Brilliant blue ocean.  Morocco sits at the crossroads between Europe and Africa with a rich history and culture.  Add in Peace Corps service by more than 4,800 Volunteers dating back to 1963 in education and youth development.  Absorb this amazing diversity of experiences with our unique Peace Corps perspective.

 
 

 
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Morocco

Interested in exploring Morocco? A Next Step Travel trip might be ideal for you! With walks of medinas and souks to spending the night by the desert dunes, this will be a bucket list experience.  Travel in the company of Morocco RPCVs and others from across the Peace Corps world.  Meet with serving PCVs and Peace Corps Morocco staff

Trip Highlights

  • Walk the medinas and souks of Fes, Meknes and Marrakesh
  • Wander through Ait Ben Haddou, the UNESCO World Heritage site (and site for so many famous films)
  • Learn about local industries with visits to a women's coop, Berber villages and artisan factories
  • Spend a night by the desert dunes
  • Drive an ancient caravan route across the High Atlas Mountains
  • Travel in the company of a Morocco RPCV and other RPCVs from across the Peace Corps world and meet with serving PCVs and Peace Corps Morocco staff

Note: NST’s tour of Morocco requires travelers to be in good physical shape and health. See “Physical Level” below for more information.

INSTITUTIONS AND GUESTS MIGHT INCLUDE

  • US Embassy in Morocco
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • The Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (MACECE)
  • Morocco Exchange with staff in Rabat, Fes and Marrakesh
  • DARNA women’s center in Tangier
  • High Atlas Foundation (HAF) in Marrakesh
  • CorpsAfrica in Morocco volunteers
  • American Language Centers (ALC) in Rabat, Tangier Tetouan, Meknes, Fes, or Marrakech
  • American Schools in Rabat, Tangier, Fes or Marrakech
  • American Fulbright and Boren Fellows in Morocco and returned Moroccan Fulbright Fellows

ACCOMMODATIONS

Prices are based on the sharing of rooms and single members of the group will be put together by same gender in a twin room with 2 separate beds. If you wish to have a private room to yourself, there is a single supplement available for $320.

PHYSICAL LEVEL

NST’s tour of Morocco requires travelers to be in good physical shape and health. The tour may involve: long days (usually 8+ hours), a substantial amount of walking (often 3 miles or more per day, sometimes up and down hills and steps and on uneven surfaces), carrying luggage up and down staircases (sometimes several flights of stairs, for this reason it is recommended to pack light), being in the sun in potentially hot temperatures, long journeys by bus, and other similarly challenging scenarios. If you have questions or concerns, please email us at NST@peacecorpsconnect.org so we can help determine if the trip is appropriate for you.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • All confirmations in the program
  • Double room accommodations in 3 to 4 star hotel (single supplement: $320)
  • Two to three meals a day, as indicated
  • Transportation by private, air-conditioned motor coach as well as transfers for group as appropriate
  • English speaking guide/interpreter to accompany during the whole touring period
  • Admission and fees to museums and program activities
  • Peace Corps Volunteers, Peace Corps staff or other guest speakers at many dinners

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfares, international and domestic.
  • Travel/health insurance (recommended)
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls and laundry

CANCELLATION POLICY

$100 of your initial payment is non-refundable. Additional refunds are based on land cost per person at the time KLA (the trip provider) receives written notice that a client must cancel the client’s trip. The following details the non-refundable schedule:

  • 120 to 90 days prior to departure: $150
  • 89 to 60 days prior to departure: $400
  • 59 to 30 days prior to departure: 50% of land cost
  • 29 days or less prior to departure: 100% of land cost.

All notices shall be sent to and received at kristylarson@hotmail.com.

 
Morocco Reservation
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Morocco Reservation
250.00
Dates:
Quantity:
Purchase Reservation

base TRIP PRICE - $2750.00 (Single Supplement: $320)

Optional extension: $950-1,300* (single supplement: $125)

trip size: maximum of 15

* Price dependent on # of travelers

This purchase and the associated trip is made available via a close partnership with Kristy of Morocco–an RPCV run tour operator.

Reservation fee will be credited towards full ticket.

 
 

Itinerary

DAY 1

Potential arrivals in Casablanca. Pick up at the CMN airport for morning arrivals. Meet other clients at a specific location in Casablanca. Tour the spectacular location of the Hassan II Mosque. Drive to Rabat. Other clients can meet at the Hotel Lutece. Optional tour to the medina. Dinner at Hotel Lutece. Optional visits from the Peace Corps staff. D

DAY 2

After breakfast and further meetings with the Peace Corps staff, we will drive north to Asilah for lunch. (Drive= 2 hrs. 10 min.) Lunch at a local restaurant for paella! Tour of Asilah's charming medina. Drive to Tangier. HB (half board) at the famed Hotel Continental. B, L, D

DAY 3

After breakfast, tour Tangier, beginning with the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies. Tour the Grand Socco, Petit Socco, and the medina. Lunch is free. Optional trip to the Caves of Hercules in the afternoon. Dinner at Hotel Continental. B, D

DAY 4

Drive to the lovely blue mountain village of Chefchaouen. Tour of the amazing medina--white or blue washed houses and intricate Andalusian architecture. Lunch in the main square, Place Outa el Hammam. Drive to Volubilis. Tour the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Short visit to the holy village of Moulay Idriss. Drive to Meknes. HB at Riad D'Or. This is a museum of a riad, deep in the medina. Dinner may include Moroccan English teachers or American students from the university exchange programs of Meknes. B, L, D

DAY 5

Tour the medina of Meknes, visiting Bab Mansour and the great granary, Heri es-Souani. Lunch in the medina at Collier de la Columbe. Potential visit to the American Language Center. Drive to Fes. HB at the Hotel Zalagh in the Ville Nouvelle. Dinner may include other current PCV's. B, L, D.

DAY 6

Tour of Fes. Visit Fes from above at the Borg to receive a fabulous over all view. Tour the famed pottery factories, the Jewish Quarter, and Fes El Bali, a walking museum!! Lunch at a palace in the medina. Visit the tanneries, the Zaouia of Moulay Idriss and the Qarawiyyin Mosque. HB at Hotel Zalagh. B, L, D

DAY 7

Drive south to the Sahara and over the Middle Atlas Mountains, through Ifrane, the location of Akhawayn University. We continue on through the cedar forest and spend lunch at the Hotel Ayachi in Midelt. Then on over the High Atlas and through the Ziz Valley Oasis where we will optionally have a walk through the oasis to a ksar, a walled village. We will continue on to Erg Chebbi in the Sahara and will stay at the foot of the sand dunes at Riad Mamouche. B, L, D.. Dinner at the riad.

DAY 8

Today we spend a relaxing day in the Sahara--riding a camel, walking through the dunes or relaxing by the pool. HB Riad Mamouche. B, D.

DAY 9

After breakfast, we leave the Sahara behind and drive through Rissani, the birth place of the Alaouite Dynasty--and northward through the palmed Ziz Valley Oasis to Erfoud. Here we will visit a fossil factory where marbleized ammonite and orthoceras fossils are carved into bowls and tables. Heading next in a north westerly direction, we will tour a Berber museum in Tinjedad and then enjoy a tajine lunch. We will take an optional drive up the Todra Gorge, watching Berber women harvesting their crops, as they have for centuries. We will be staying at the lovely Riad des Vielles Charrues in the scenic Dades Valley.. Dinner at the riad. B,L,D

DAY 10

Drive to El Kelaa Mgouna, land of the roses, where local Berbers sell olive oil and rose petals. We will continue westward along the "Land of the Kasbahs". Take a walk through the Skoura Oasis and visit the Amerhidil Kasbah. Lunch will be at Chez Talout which has a stupendous view of the oasis. Drive through Ouarzazate, film capital of Morocco and then on to Ait Ben Haddou, UNESCO World Heritage site. Our stay will be at the gorgeous Riad Ksar Ighnda. Dinner at the riad. B,L,D

DAY 11

Optional walk through fields being harvested by Berber ladies, to Ait Ben Haddou. Tour the UNESCO site. Drive up an old caravan route passing mud bricked villages and crumbling kasbahs and over the High Atlas Mountains to a Berber truck stop in Taddert. Tajine lunch! Drive down the High Atlas to Marrakech. Stay at Villa El Gada and the Hotel Toulousain. Dinner will be at the Toulousain with potential visits from RPCVs and the American School. B, L, D

DAY 12

Tour Marrakech, including the Saadian Tombs, Djemaa El Fna, the Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia.. In the souks watch the artisans work at their leather crafts. Lunch in Gueliz at the Amal Woman's Center. Visit the Majorelle Gardens and the Yves St. Laurent Berber Museum. Dinner with potential guests from the High Atlas Foundation. B, L, D

DAY 13

Drive to Essaouira. Tour the medina and port. Lunch is free. Optionally, visit Fatima, my student during the Peace Corps. She was trained by Peace Corps as a teacher for disabled children... We will meet her and her family and perhaps have our hands hennaed.. We will be staying in the center of the medina at Riad Al Madina and enjoy dinner with a visit from a Peace Corps Volunteer. B & D

DAY 14

Transfer to Casablanca after breakfast. B Optional post trip to the Berber Anti Atlas will begin this same day...

Optional 1 week extension trip

DAY 15

We will spend an additional day in gorgeous Essaouira. Our morning will begin with a walk along the moon-shaped beach leading to the palace ruins of Dar Sultan, Jimi Hendrix's past abode. Lunch will be at the Chalet, the best fish in town, and the view of the bay cannot be beat! In the afternoon, we will further explore the fascinating medina. (B & L) Riad Al Madina.

DAY 16

We leave charming Essaouira behind and head southward to the Atlantic coast, taking walks along enchanted beaches and passing through argan forests. Arriving on the outskirts of Agadir, we find ourselves passing into a different time with the beach capital of Morocco. Soon after we find ourselves in Taroudant, a walled bustling pink city, a mini Marrakech. For the next two nights, we will be staying at a pasha's farm, just outside of Taroudant. From this beautiful old style farm, we will swim in the spacious pool where with magnificent views of the High Atlas Mountains. (B & D) La Tour de Toile.

DAY 17

After a luxurious breakfast in the gardens we will explore the souks and city of Taroudant, and later return to the hotel for a refreshing dip in the pool. Dinner will be at a small garden restaurant. (B & D) La Tour de Toile.

DAY 18

Today we leave behind our Pasha's palace and the city of Taroudant to head high into the Anti Atlas Mountains, the ancient remote kingdoms of the tribal Berbers. On the tip tops of the rough mountains, we will see ancient buildings which were the treasure trove fortresses of the tribes. We will return to a time long forgotten and to a wonder of incredible landscapes. Arriving in Tafraout, we'll find ourselves surrounded by palms, almond trees, high mountains, exotic boulder formations, and see lovely ladies walking silently about dressed in their wrapped robes. (B & D) Hotel Les Amandiers.

DAY 19

After enjoying breakfast from the amazing view of our hotel, on a hill overlooking the pink village and jagged mountain range, we will visit the local weekly vegetable souk. Next, we will tour a magnificent gorge, Ait Mansour, truly a paradise, hidden among palms, almonds, and villages built into the cliffs. On the trek back to Tafraout we will tour the "Painted Rocks" located on a surreal landscape of sculptured giant rocks! (B & D) Hotel Les Amandiers.

DAY 20

We will drive down the Anti-Atlas Mountains toward the Atlantic to the town of Tiznit, known for its Berber silver work and its delicious mint for tea. Again, we will skirt the beaches of the Atlantic from Aglou to Sidi Ifni, a port that was not relinquished by the Spanish until 1969. In the late afternoon, we will tour the bustling Tiznit silver souks, and enjoy watching the women shop in their gauzy multi-colored wraps. (B & D) Hotel Al Amal.

DAY 21

Drive northward across a sandy desert terrain to the oasis riverbed of Massa and then over the High Atlas Mountains to arrive in Marrakech in the afternoon. Dinner at an Italian restaurant in Gueliz. (B & D) Hotel Toulousain.

DAY 22

Depart Morocco via air from Marrakech or from Casablanca after a train ride

A Note on the Final Itinerary:

Itineraries and pricing are subject to change. This particular tour has been designed with specific events in mind, and schedules and availabilities may change in coming months. If any activity or person that is advertised is missed or not available, it will be replaced with an activity or person of equal interest and value.  A final itinerary and briefing packet will be ready two weeks before the trip.