Medinas and Minarets: Morocco
October 31 — November 10, 2022

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Introduction

“Traveling . . . gives you home in a thousand strange places, then leaves you a stranger in your own land.” So wrote Ibn Battuta, the 14th-century world explorer. Nowhere is this more apt than in his homeland of Morocco. Here, the sights, sounds, colors, smells, tastes, and otherworldliness of its landscape stretches from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and from the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert, filling your senses with wonder. We invite you to join us as we savor the cultural, historical, and artistic diversity of Morocco.

We’ll begin our journey in Rabat, Morocco’s capital and home to world-renowned architecture, gardens, and museums. Chellah, considered the most hauntingly beautiful ruins in Morocco, will be among the highlights here. In Fes, we’ll stroll through the oldest covered souk in the world, a market labyrinth selling fruits and spices, vibrantly decorated ceramics, textiles, and leather goods. Here, the intimacy of Fes’ narrow cobblestone lanes conveys the impression that visitors are very much a part of the community. Marrakech lays out its magic carpet for us to worlds we thought were lost. Djemaa el-Fna square comes alive in the evening with snake charmers and monkey handlers, acrobats, storytellers, musicians, and medicine men. It is the fabled city’s social heart, where every evening is festive, glamorous, and exotic.

An optional three-night desert extension features a luxury camp in the Merzouga Dunes of the Sahara Desert. Here, we’ll enjoy a sunset camel ride and a lamp-lit feast accompanied with traditional Moroccan Gnaoua musicians. As the sun rises over the dunes, we’ll awaken to a lavish breakfast and a day’s journey to the red-walled city of Ouarzazate for a final night in Morocco.

With five-star boutique hotels throughout, we promise you Moroccan memories that will linger long after you’ve returned home.
Warmest regards,

Rob Fure, Director
The W&L Traveller

Moroccan Highlights

  • Witness the excitement of Marrakech’s Djemaa el-Fna, the most famous square in Africa
  • See a traditional Sufi performance while dining on a couscous dinner at a local home
  • Visit Rabat’s famous Chellah, the most hauntingly beautiful ruins in Morocco
  • Explore Marrakech’s Old Kasbah and ancient Jewish Quarter
  • Take a half-day cooking class with Chef Tarik in his eco-farm
  • Enjoy unique 5-star hotels to enhance your experience in Morocco
  • Tour the ANIMA Garden created by electric Austrian Andre Heller
  • Start a morning with a horse carriage ride around Yves St. Laurent’s Majorelle Gardens
  • Be pampered by VIP fast-track arrival & departure services
  • Extend your journey with a three-night Desert Glamping experience in the Sahara

Washington and Lee University Morocco October 31 — November 10, 2022 Itinerary

MONDAY, OCTOBER 31: DEPART USA EN ROUTE

Depart on your overnight flight to Casablanca or Rabat.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1: ARRIVE CASABLANCA / RABAT HÔTEL LA TOUR HASSAN

Upon arrival into Casablanca Airport, meet and transfer to your hotel in Rabat. Get to know your travel companions at an evening welcome cocktail reception at the hotel. (R)

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2: RABAT HÔTEL LA TOUR HASSAN

Your exploration of Morocco’s capital city starts at the Hassan Tower, a 12th-century minaret of an unfinished mosque. Continue to the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the colorful Kasbah of the Udayas with its lovely Andalusian Garden and the hauntingly beautiful ruins of Chellah. Also included is a visit to the new Mohammed VI Museum of Moder n & Contemporary Art. (B,L)

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3: RABAT / FES PALAIS AMANI

The drive to Fes stops en route at Morocco’s finest Roman ruins, Volubilis, whose temple remnants and mosaics sit above the rolling countryside. The old Imperial city of Meknes, also known as the Moroccan Versailles, boasts a grand gateway, Bab el-Mansour, main square, ancient horse stables and the exquisitely decorated Tomb of Sultan Moulay Ismail. (B,L)

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4: FES PALAIS AMANI

Today is a full-day walking tour of the old city of Fes – down narrow cobbled streets filled with ancient mosques and towering green-glazed minarets. Visit the Royal Palace gates, Bab Boujloud (the city gate) and explore the medina and its artisan workshops. In the evening a Sufi performance and traditional couscous dinner at a local home is a perfect end to your day. (B,L,D)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5: FES PALAIS AMANI BLEUE

A second full day in Fes starts with a visit to the ancient Jewish Quarter, the Mellah, and its Ibn Danan Synagogue. The Dar Batha Museum features its collection of traditional art from Fes including a zellij workshop where mosaic tiles and masterpieces are made. From the height of the Merenid Tombs, excellent panoramas of the city and its surroundings unfo ld. (B,L)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6: FES / MARRAKECH ES SAADI PALACE

Take free time this morning for some independent exploration. Transfer to the Fes airport for your flight to Marrakech. Upon arrival, meet and transfer to your hotel in the old medina. This evening head to the frenetic Djemaa el-Fna, the most famous square in Africa, with snake charmers, storytellers, acrobats, medicine men and m usicians – it all comes gloriously alive in the evenings! (B,L)

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7: MARRAKECH ES SAADI PALACE

In a full-day guided walking tour, visit the magnificently decorated 16th-century Saadian Tombs that were sealed off from view for 250 years until rediscovered by aerial photography in 1917. Roam through the old Kasbah and the Jewish Quarter. See the exquisite Bahia Palace with its incredible zellij tile work and carved cedar ceilings. After viewing the tallest structure in the Marrakech medina, the beautiful Koutoubia Mosque, a sumptuous lunch is ready for you in the medina. The balance of the afternoon is free for you to wind your way through the endless souks – shopping, haggling, a nd breathing in the marvelous sights and scents. (B,L)

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8: MARRAKECH ES SAADI PALACE

Begin today with a short morning drive to a traditional Berber hamlet in the Amizmiz Valley and Chef Tarik’s eco-farm. Select ingredients from the organic garden to prepare your lunch in a hands-on cooking class. A walk around the local village lets you visit a Berber home and share a mint tea with a local family before sitting down to the fruits of your culinary labor. A visit to the imaginative ANIMA Garden, created by eclectic Austrian André Heller, follows lunch. Stroll the fragrant paths of the garden art gallery featuring one-of-a-kind installations from around the world and a view of the often snow-capped Mount Toubkal. Return to Marrakech for an evening at leisure. (B,L)

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9: MARRAKECH ES SAADI PALACE

Your final full day in Morocco starts with a morning horse carriage garden ride around the city ramparts to the 12th-century Menara Gardens, with its pavilion and reflecting pool. At Yves St. Laurent’s lovely Majorelle Gardens, designed in 1924 by French landscape painter Jacque Majorelle, tour the Berber Museum and the YSL Museum, exhibiting masterpieces of couture, accessories, sketches and photographs spanning the late designer’s career. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to explore or do any final shopping. Tonight say goodbye to your new friends at a Farewell Dinner and make plans for your next Washington and Lee adventure. (B,L,D)

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10: MARRAKECH / DEPARTURE EN ROUTE

Transfer to Marrakech Airport for your return flight home. (B)

Morocco Desert Glamping Extensions
November 10 – 13, 2022

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10: MARRAKECH / SKOURA CHEZ PIERRE

The drive to the date palm oasis of Skoura via Tizi n’Tichka (the “Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs”), at the highest pass in the Atlas Mountains, is filled with breathtakingly beautiful scenery. En route, a stop gives you time to visit at the UNESCO World Heritage site Aït Ben Haddou, the world’ s most photogenic ksar, or walled village. (B,L,D)

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11: SKOURA / MERZOUGA DUNES DESERT LUXURY CAMP

Morning drive to Erfoud, gateway to the Moroccan Sahara, from where you set out in 4x4 vehicles to reach your desert camp. A sunset camel ride in the Merzouga Dunes is the quintessential North African desert experience. From your gently swaying mount, the red sand dunes roll out in all directions. During dinner by flickering lamplight, local Gnaoua musicians serenade you. Sleep deeply under the endless blanket of stars at your luxury desert camp in the dunes. (B,L,D)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12: MERZOUGA DUNES / OUARZAZATE OZ PALACE

Sunrise in the dunes is a spectacular sight, followed by a breakfast feast at camp. Depart the Sahara for the drive to Ouarzazate with a stop en route at the dramatic Todra Gorge for lunch. Continue to your hotel for your last nigh t in Morocco. (B,L,D)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13: OUARZAZATE / CASABLANCA EN ROUTE

Transfer to Ouarzazate Airport for your morning flight to Casablanca, connecting with your international flight to the USA. (B)

Cost of Adventure

  • Morocco Program: $5,995 per person double occupancy
    • Single Supplement: $1,995
  • Desert Glamping Exention: $2,395 per person double occupancy
    • Single Supplement: $995
  • Estimated International Airfare from Dulles International Airport
    • Business Class (Main Program): from $4,950
    • Business Class (with Extension): from $5,115
    • Economy Class (Main Program): from $1,320
    • Economy Class (with Extension): from $1,430
    • Please note: Airfares quoted are based on current fares and subject to increase prior to ticketing
Included in your program are:
  • Accommodations in hotels as indicated with full breakfast daily • Internal one-way flight from Fes to Marrakech economy class
  • All tours mentioned in program on a private basis with a DAI premium-selected guide • All entrance fees for included touring
  • All transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles, including bottled water • Soft drinks, bottled water, coffee & tea included with all meals
  • Welcome & Farewell Dinners including ½ bottle of wine or local beer per person • Gratuities for guides, drivers, restaurant service for included meals and porterage • Meet & greet services at all airports for arrivals and departures
  • Meals as indicated by (B), (B,L), (B,L,D): B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Not Included are:
  • Entrance visas and departure taxes as required
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Meals not indicated
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, WiFi/internet, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (unless indicated otherwise), incidental expenses at hotel, etc. 
  • International airfare from USA to Morocco and return
Payment Schedule:

A deposit of $1,500 per person is required at the time of booking. Deposits are payable by personal check or credit card. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Rates & Fares:

All rates shown are accurate at the time of publication and are subject to change. All prices are based upon foreign exchange rates the company feels will be in effect at the time of departure. These prices are subject to change resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates.

Refunds & Cancellations:

All cancellations must be in writing. The per person cancellation charges are:

  • More than 180 days prior to departure: No charge / Full refund
  • 179-90 days prior to departure: 50% of deposit
  • 89-60 days prior to departure: 50% of tour price
  • 59-30 days prior to departure: 75% of tour price
  • Less than 30 days prior to departure: 100% of tour price

TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

For additional information, please call the Office of Lifelong Learning 504.458.8723.
To register online, please visit lifelong.wlu.edu/morocco. DAI will contact you within
48 hours to confirm your reservation and process your credit card payment. If you prefer
to pay by check, please make payable to Destinations & Adventures and mail to:
OFFICE OF LIFELONG LEARNING / WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY
204 WEST WASHINGTON STREET • LEXINGTON, VA 24450