View of Cádiz Cathedral, Spain
View of Cádiz Cathedral, Spain

Archaeological Tours

NEW FOR 2020 save $250

Northern Morocco & Southern Spain: Moors & Conquistadors


15 days From $9,620 $9,370

April 9 2020

2020 DEPARTURE - ADVERTISED PRICE INCLUDES $375 EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT

 

Morocco and Spain, two unique and vibrant countries that are separated by the strait of Gibraltar yet inextricably linked by a shared Phoenician, Medieval and Moorish past. What has resulted is a melting pot of architectural styles, culture and archaeological artifacts.

Discover Tangier, Europe’s gateway to Africa, and the beautiful hill town of Chefchouan, which is famous for its blue painted houses, located on the edge of the Rif Mountains. Then, we travel on to a range of stunning Andalusian cities that include the UNESCO-listed city of Córdoba, with its rich Moorish legacy and heady sounds of Flamenco that fill the air. In contrast, wander through marvelous Seville – a city that boasts a truly awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral. There is also the chance to explore Granada, where we can admire the magical Alhambra Palace. Finally, this tour will come to an end in cosmopolitan Madrid, a golden metropolis that is home to amazing art, rich culture and a strong culinary scene.

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
  •  Ferry
  •  Four enlightening evening lectures from your expert scholar
  •  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

Led by...

Dr Allen Fromherz

Dr Allen Fromherz

Dr. Fromherz is the director of the Middle East Studies Center and Professor of Mediterranean and Middle East History at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Book Now From $9,370 $9,620

Choose from these limited time special offer(s):

  • Full balance payment just $9,370

Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,500

Tour highlights:

  • Visit the mysterious and rarely visited site of Banasa (Iulia Valentia Banasa), founded by Augustus for the veterans of the battle of Actium
  • Tour Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic building in Europe and the third largest church in the world
  • Explore the beautiful hill town of Chefchouan, which is famous for its blue painted houses and is located on the edge of the Rif mountains
  • Discover Granada’s magnificent Alhambra Palace, an eternal and deserved love letter to Moorish culture
  • Savor the exclusive world of Bodegas Lustau in Jerez de la Frontera with a delicious sherry-tasting experience

Tour details

Dates April 9 2020 - April 23 2020
Duration 15 days
Cost Choose from these limited time special offer(s):
  • Full balance payment just $9,370 $9,620
Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,500 Balance due by January 16 2020
Activity Level Moderate
Tour code A20MMS

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

April 9 2020: Itinerary

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

Meals include: Dinner

Today we travel to Tangier, or Tingis in the ancient Punic language of the Carthaginians. Here we are treated to a special access tour of the American Legation Museum in Tangier. A part of AIMS (American Institute for Maghrib Studies), the Legation Museum was a gift from Morocco to the United States back in 1821. It also symbolizes the 1786 Treaty of Moroccan-American Friendship. Next, we enjoy a walking tour of Tangier Medina, a labyrinth of alleyways both commercial and residential, which are contained by the walls of a 15th-century Portuguese fortress.

All meals included

Known for its incredible blue streets and striking architecture of the Rif, we visit the city of Chefchaouen (the two-horned mountain) today. Here, we learn from local Rif mountain Berbers about their unique customs and practices. Afterwards, there will be time for shopping in the souk. On our way back to Tangier, we stop in the charming city of Akchour, where we can visit the famous waterfalls.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Today the ancient Phoenician, Berber and Roman site of Lixus – or Larache – reveals its secrets to us. It was known as the site of the Hesperides, the Garden of the Golden Apples, and is rarely visited today. Th e mysterious site of Banasa (Iulia Valentia Banasa) was founded here in far-away Mauretania by Augustus for the veterans of the battle of Actium. It is almost now completely abandoned, but still accessible to intrepid explorers. On our way back to Tangier we visit Asilah, one of the most charming ports situated on the Atlantic coast that dates back to the Phoenician period. More recently, it was used by King Sebastian in his ill-fated invasion of Morocco that ended in his mysterious “disappearance” in the late 16 century.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we head east to the city of Tétouan, which lies along the Martil Valley and is one of the two major ports of Morocco on the Mediterranean Sea. En route we stop at the ancient site of Tamuda, a garrison town and former Phoenician settlement. Many Andalusian migrants settled in Tétouan after being pushed out of Spain by the reconquista. We visit the Ethnographic museum and explore the souk before returning to Tangier for the final time.

All meals included

An early start sees us take a ferry across the straits of Gibraltar from Tangier to the Punta de Tarifa in Spain, the southernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula and Continental Europe. Th e coast of Morocco can be seen from this point. Next, we travel to Gibraltar (or Jabal Tariq) and visit the famous rock named after the Berber conqueror “Tariq”, taking a cable car to the top. Watch out for Barbary macaques, which occupy the summit and are rather mischievous!

All meals included

We head northwest along the Andalusian coast to Cádiz. Often known as the “oldest city in Spain”, Cádiz was founded by the Phoenicians 3,100 years ago. The Museum of Cádiz reveals the secrets of this ancient town and the street plan remains the same, although some of the plants were brought here by Columbus himself. We spend the afternoon at leisure, exploring this city, where the sound of flamenco hangs in the air.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Next, we head inland to the town of Seville. We stop in Jerez to taste its famous sherry and visit the famous stables of the Spanish Royal Horses – so prized that export of the horses was banned by royal decree in the 16th century. Th is afternoon, we visit Italica - the first Roman city in Hispania, founded by the Romans after their defeat of Carthaginians. Th is city is famed as being the birthplace of both Trajan and Hadrian, and its remains include elaborate mosaic floors and an amphitheater with space for up to 25,000 spectators.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Our first visit today is to the monumental Alcázar of Seville, former royal palace of Moorish kings. Originally established in the 11th century, its sprawling rooms and courtyards are still used by the Spanish royal family. Next, we tour Seville Cathedral. As well as being the largest Gothic building in Europe and the third largest church in the world, it is also the final resting place of Christopher Columbus and his son, Diego. Its bell tower, the Giralda, was converted from its previous incarnation as a minaret after Seville was taken by the Christians in the mid-13th century. Next, we visit the Archaeological Museum, home to many artifacts from Italica, as well as other Roman sites in the area. The museum also displays the El Carambolo treasure, almost three kilos of ancient gold jewelry and statues, including that of a Phoenician goddess.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

We bid farewell to Seville this morning and drive east to Córdoba. En route, we visit Medina Azahara, the ruins of a vast Moorish palace-city that once served as the de facto capital of Muslim Spain. Though it flourished for only 80 years during the 10th century, a romantic complex of decorated archways and halls remains, and this archaeological site is still revealing secrets about the life and legacy of the Umayyad Muslim rulers of Al-Andalus. Upon arrival in Córdoba, we visit the Mezquita, which was built by the Umayyad Caliphs over several centuries and shows the influence of Byzantine, Vandal, Muslim and Syrian styles.

All meals included

In Málaga, we visit the Alcazaba (Moorish Fortification) and the archaeological museum before enjoying an afternoon at leisure. This town, famed for being the birthplace of iconic artist Picasso, has undergone a transformation in recent years.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Our travels take us to gorgeous Granada today, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We devote most of today to the UNESCO-listed Alhambra Palace, a hilltop Moorish and Renaissance fantasy set against the backdrop of the Sierra Morena. A huge complex of carved ceilings, flawless courtyards and glorious gardens, it rightly draws in visitors from all corners of the globe. If time allows, we move on to Granada Cathedral, before walking around the Albaicin.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we depart Granada and make our way north. We arrive in Madrid in time for lunch and begin our adventures in Spain’s buzzing capital with a visit to the Museo del Prado, which exhibits renowned works by Goya, Velázquez, and many more.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Our final full day of the trip starts with an enlightening tour of the National Archaeology Museum. Within its collections are gathered artifacts from all over the country, including the renowned Dama de Elche, the most famous piece of Iberian art in existence. Little can compare to the intricacies of this limestone bust, which dates back to around the 4th-century BC. Many of the exhibits were removed from churches and monasteries and there are many ancient sacred artifacts as well. One of the most popular exhibits is an underground replica of the prehistoric cave paintings discovered in Altamira, Cantabria (in northern Spain, in 1868). For preservation reasons, access to the original is highly restricted. There are also numerous fine examples of Mudejar architecture built by Muslim craftsmen who remained after the Christian conquest of Spain. The afternoon is free for us to explore Madrid at our leisure, leaving plenty of time to go wherever our curiosity takes us. Marvel at Picasso’s Guernica at the Centro de Arte Reína Sofia, connect with 17th-century Spain in the Plaza Mayor, or wander the luxurious lawns of the Parque del Buen Retiro. We mark our last night with a delectable farewell dinner and drinks as a group.

All meals included

We transfer to the airport for our flights home or onward travel.

Meals include: Breakfast

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