Ruins of the roman basilica of Volubilis
Ruins of the roman basilica of Volubilis

Archaeological Tours

NEW FOR 2020

Morocco: The Gateway to Africa

Morocco truly is a land of contrasts, where rolling fertile plains disappear into the beauty of the empty Sahara and the endless Atlantic coastline confronts the rugged snowcapped Atlas Mountains. As we journey through the great Roman and Islamic cities, and the remote kasbahs and ksour, we will study Morocco’s 6,000 years of archaeology, art, and architecture. We will benefit from the rich cultural heritage and the fascinating traditions forged from the heritage of the Berbers, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Portuguese, French and even Spanish, all of whom have called this California-sized country home.

The tour emphasizes medieval Islamic Morocco and the Imperial Cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fes and Marrakech, from which the Moroccans ruled an area that stretched from Spain to Timbuktu. We will also enjoy many other aspects of this enchanting country, including modern mosques, desert dunes, awe-inspiring canyons, the most beautiful handicrafts displayed in sumptuous bazaars, and, everywhere we stop, superb Moroccan cuisine.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  Local transport & private transfer to/from airport and group hotel
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team
  •  Three lectures from your expert scholar

Full Price
$6,750

Today's Price
$6,650

Saving
$100

Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,300

Tour highlights:

  • Discover Morocco’s ancient links with Rome at the ruined site of Volubilis, which was a thriving city 2,000 years ago
  • Wander through Rabat’s dazzling Kasbah des Oudaias, with its truly stunning Atlantic views
  • Enjoy the wonderfully atmospheric setting of the sprawling medieval medina at Fes
  • Revel in opportunities to sample delicious North African cuisine and to shop for handicrafts in ancient souks
  • Travel across the majestic Atlas mountains, taking in the ever-changing scenery along the way

Tour details

Dates March 28 2020 - April 9 2020
Duration 13 days
Cost
Full Price
$6,750
Today's Price
$6,650
Saving
$100
Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,300 Balance due by January 4 2020
Activity Level
Tour code A20MOR

Book Now or call 866-740-5130 if you have any questions

March 28 2020: Itinerary

We arrive into Casablanca, Morocco’s largest and most modern city, and check in to our hotel. Tonight, we come together for an introductory lecture and a welcome dinner.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Hyatt Regency Casablanca

This morning, we leisurely make our way to Morocco’s enchanting capital city of Rabat. We begin our touring with a visit to the local archaeological museum. Opened in 1932, this great museum contains a wealth of artifacts that tell the stories of Morocco’s fascinating past. From prehistoric and pre-Islamic collections, to Roman and Hellenistic exhibits, we can enjoy a range of history here. The city’s important Islamic monuments are also ours to discover today. We will see the walls and splendid gateway of Oudaias Kasbah, which were built during the reign of Yacoub el Mansour (1185–99), the Royal Palace (Mechouar), the Mohammed V Mausoleum, Hassan’s Tower (originally the minaret of a large mosque) and, finally, the Chellah necropolis.

All meals included

Hotel: La Tour Hassan Palace, Rabat

Today we travel to the Roman site of Volubilis. Dating from 25 CE, this royal residence and capital of Mauritania Tingitana is one of Morocco’s most ancient cities. The city prospered under the Romans, eventually reaching 15,000 inhabitants. However, by the time Moulay Idriss I arrived, the Romans had withdrawn and the city was eventually abandoned. En route to Meknes, we visit Moulay Idriss, perched on top of a great massif. This little holy city is venerated as the burial place of the founder of Islam in Morocco and is the fifth holiest city in Islam. Our touring of the imperial city of Meknes will include Bab el Mansour Gate and El Hedim Square, the gateway of Berrima. Lastly, we visit the 19th century palace and museum, Dar Jamai, which showcases a host of traditional textiles and authentic crafts, and is set among lush gardens. From here, we make the short, one-hour drive to Fes, the most ancient and picturesque of the imperial cities on the north-South caravan route.

All meals included

Hotel: La Tour Hassan Palace, Rabat

This morning, we begin our touring of Fes, considered to be the intellectual, political, and cultural center of the country. We spend the day exploring the medieval medina, with its narrow streets and tiled fountains at every corner. The medina is divided into Fes el Bali, the original city, and Fes el Jdid, a 13th century addition that houses the former Jewish quarter and the Royal Palace. Touring will take us into both sections and will include Bab Bou Jeloud, the monumental gateway to the medina; the Al-Attarine Madrasa, known for its delicate decoration and fine tiles; the recently restored 18th century Nejjarine Funduk; and the lavishly decorated Bou Inania Madrasa, built between 1350 and 1356 by Sultan Abou Inan as both an educational institute and as a congregational mosque. We will also visit the Dar Batha Museum, home to artifacts retrieved from ruined buildings of historic significance in the medina of Fes.

All meals included

Hotel: Les Mérinides, Fes

We spend the day at leisure. You might want to try your hand at some bartering, or perhaps enjoy the local culture and gastronomy at one of Fes’ teahouses.

Meals include: Breakfast

Hotel: Les Mérinides, Fes

Today we depart for the Sahara. Our journey takes us through the Middle Atlas Mountains, and past the mountain station of Irfrane, the site of Africa’s most esteemed international university. We continue to Erfoud, the gateway to the Sahara. We arrive in time for sunset among the impressive and vast sand dunes; a beautiful site.

All meals included

Hotel: Hôtel Palais du Désert & Spa, Erfoud

A short drive through oases and palm groves watered by the Ziz River brings us to Sijilmasa. Sacked several times by the Almoravids and Almohades, it remained an important trading center until the Middle Ages.

All meals included

Hotel: Hôtel Palais du Désert & Spa, Erfoud

Our drive to Ouarzazate takes us through the spectacular Todra Gorge, which has been compared to the Grand Canyon. Following the Dades River, we continue along the Kasbah Trail, the landscape dotted with ksour (fortified villages), protected by their red or yellow walls, and the villages of the Draoua people. We will spend the next two nights in Ouarzazate.

All meals included

Hotel: Berbère Palace, Ouarzazate

Today’s excursion brings us to Ait Benhaddou, considered by many to be the most beautiful village in the region. Ait Benhaddou is a fortified ksour built around several decorated kasbahs. It is perched on a steep mountain slope and has been partially rebuilt by UNESCO. We will have an opportunity to explore the village and visit a family in their traditional home, and then we stop for tea at Tiffeltout – a Glaoui kasbah – before returning to Ouarzazate. There will be time to explore the town before having dinner at our hotel.

All meals included

Hotel: Berbère Palace, Ouarzazate

Our drive today is through the High Atlas via the Tizi n’Tichka Pass, which, at an altitude of 7,415 feet, provides a sensational visual experience. Shortly after our arrival into Marrakech, we can take a leisurely stroll through its medina. The architecture here is simply spellbinding and examples of the keyhole arch can be seen around every corner. Wandering around the medina is a truly sensory experience and it will introduce us to eclectic modes of transport, delicious regional produce, and incredibly vibrant colors.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa

Today, we tour the city’s historic sites, which offer prime examples of Moorish-Andalusian architecture. Touring includes the great Mosque of Koutoubia, which is also Marrakech’s largest, and the tomb of the Saadian kings, one of Morocco’s best-preserved and elaborate resting places. Next, we visit Ben Youssef Madrasa, which was once an Islamic college for students with a keen interest in the sciences and theology. We also see the ruined Al-Badi Palace, the Dar Si Said Museum, the Almoravid Qubbah, the Majorelle Gardens, and the Museum of Islamic Art. Later, we can enjoy our surroundings at leisure with some free time in the afternoon.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa

Some well-deserved free time is ours today, which we can use to explore independently or to simply relax. Alternatively, an optional excursion to Essaouira is available to anyone who is interested.

All meals included

Hotel: Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa

We transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or for onward travel. Those who are linking with our Northern Morocco and Southern Spain tour will be transferred over to our hotel, which is located in Casablanca.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

March 28 2020: Additional Info

March 28 2020: Accommodation

Located a 3-minute walk from the Casablanca's old Medina and markets, Hyatt Regency Casablanca features an outdoor swimming pool, 5 restaurants and a spa and wellness centre with sauna, Hammam, and beauty treatments.

Provided with free Wi-Fi, all of the air-conditioned rooms and suites at Hyatt Regency Casablanca are overlooking the medina or Hassan II mosque. They are equipped with an LCD TV, minibar and free toiletries. A safe, telephone and private bathroom are also available.

You can have a glass of wine or a cigar at the Cafe M or the Living Room. Buffet breakfast is served at the Bissat restaurant while continental dishes are proposed at Les Bougainvillees during the summer season. Live music and shows are organised at the Dar Beida, one of the on-site restaurants.

Located in Rabat city center, this prestigious hotel is built in a typical Moorish-Andalusian style. It offers luxury air-conditioned rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and a fully equipped wellness center.

Rooms at the La Tour Hassan Palace combine traditional materials with modern comforts. They feature spacious bathrooms with bathtub, hairdryer and bathrobes. They are also equipped with satellite TV and Wi-Fi access.

La Tour Hassan Palace has no less than 3 restaurants serving gourmet and traditional Moroccan cuisine. You can also relax on the outdoor terrace, or have a glass of champagne at the Piano Bar de la Tour. The VIP lounge bar is also at your disposal for clubbing.

By the pool, you will find the wellness center offering gymnasium, hammam, sauna, hot tub, as well as beauty center where to enjoy massages, beauty treatment and hairdressing center. All of the services supervised by professionals.

Perched on the hills of Fez, Les Mérinides hotel invites you to explore the historical wonders of a city full of heritage. It features a terrace with swimming pool and rooms with free WiFi.

The air-conditioned rooms are decorated in light tones using high quality materials, such as glass and wood. They are equipped with amenities including satellite TV and minibar.

The hotel has 3 restaurants. A Moroccan restaurant is located on the third floor, with views of the the Medina and offers a combination of Moroccan and international cuisine served in a refined atmosphere. 

Situated in the oasis of Erfoud in southern Morocco, the Palais du Desert & Spa is a luxurious property located in the suburbs of the town, close to the palm grove and Zerktouni mosque. The hotel was built in 2014 and is renowned for its Moroccan architecture. 

The hotel consists of two restaurants, one serving traditional Moroccan cuisine and the other, International. It also has a spa and wellness center, as well as a conference room and an outdoor swimming pool.

Located in Ouarzazate town center, the Berbère Palace is just 5 minutes drive from the famous Kasbah de Taourirt. It offers an outdoor swimming pool and a Spa centre with a hammam, sauna and hot tub.

Each room and suite at Berbère Palace is air conditioned and equipped with free Wi-Fi access and satellite TV. Rooms also have en suite facilities and a private balcony or terrace.

The Berbere features 4 restaurants that serve French, Italian, Asian and traditional Moroccan cuisine. Breakfast is served on the terrace and guests can enjoy a cocktail at the piano bar.

Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa offers luxurious accommodation 900 yards from Jamaâ El Fna Square. It features a spa, 3 swimming pools and 3 restaurants and bars.

The luxury guest rooms and suites at the Sofitel Marrakech offer a private balcony overlooking the mountains or gardens. All are contemporary in style with modern furnishings and some have a separate lounge.

Gourmet, olive oil-inspired and healthy spa dishes are served in the hotel’s several restaurants. L’Orangerie features a terrace overlooking the Atlas Mountains and Darkum bar serves international teas.

Additional facilities include a fitness center and for a supplement, a spa with an indoor pool, hammam and hot tub. The hotel also has Wi-Fi throughout and a 24-hour reception with a currency exchange service.

March 28 2020: Enquiries

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