February 16-March 3, 2013
Join us for a journey to the fascinating Kingdom of Morocco.
Beginning in Casablanca, we’ll travel to the cities of Rabat, Meknès and Fèz before venturing into the eastern desert to visit the oases and kasbahs of Erfoud, Zagora, and Ouarzazate, ending in the famed city of Marrakech we'll be learning about the unique history and culture of Morocco every step of the way!
For 12 days you’ll traverse this exotic and extraordinary land on the western extremity of the Arab and Muslim world, immersing yourself in the sights, sounds, smells and sensations that can be found in only the most foreign lands.Explore the astonishingly rich architectural and cultural history of Morocco’s medieval cities, Berber Kasbahs and Islamic monuments. Ride with us into the stunning and beautiful arid desert landscapes of the Draa Valley and Merzouga.
Your journey ends with a flourish as we spend two nights in Madrid, Spain, on our way home. You will have a full day to explore the Spanish capital from your hotel right in the center of this beautiful city!
Feb 17: Casablanca
Arrival at Casablanca Mohamed V airport and transfer to the hotel.
Feb 18: Casablanca/Rabat
After breakfast enjoy a sightseeing tour of Casablanca, the business capital of the kingdom. You’ll see the Medina, Mohammed V square, United Nations Square, the Central Market, the Habbous quarter and the Royal Palace, with entrance into the fantastic Hassan II mosque.
After lunch depart for Rabat, the administrative capital of Morocco, with sightseeing of the “Imperial Garden City” with its main monuments: Oudayas Garden, Hassan Tower and Mausoleum. You’ll also see the ramparts and walls of the Mechouar which surround the Royal Palace.
Feb 19: Rabat/Meknès/Volubilis/Fèz
Today you’ll travel to the imperial city of Meknès for a tour of the “Moroccan Versailles” founded at the end of the 17th century by Moulay Ismail, a contemporary of Louis XIV; then it’s on to Volubilis for a tour of the Roman ruins before arriving in Fèz.
Feb 20: Fèz
After breakfast the whole day will be devoted to discovering the oldest of the Imperial Cities, Fèz; the symbolic heart of Morocco. We’ll explore the medieval medina—one of the largest living medieval cities in the world—to discover the famous souks where craftsmen still work in age-old oriental traditions, and visit Moulay Idriss Mausoleum and the Karaouine Mosque.
Feb 21: Fèz/Erfoud
This morning we depart for Erfoud through the beautiful Middle Atlas Mountains, with a stop in Azrou’s Berber village cooperative on our way to the fortified villages of Midelt, arriving in Erfoud in time for a drive into the desert to watch the sun set over the dunes at Merzouga.
Feb 22: Erfoud/Zagora
Today we’ll travel further into the desert via Tansikht and Alnif, on our way to the remote and picturesque Berber town of Zagora in the Draa Valley.
Feb 23: Zagora/Ouarzazate
After a tour of Zagora we depart for Ouarzazate along a magnificent desert route punctuated by the oases and kasbahs of the Draa Valley.
Feb 24: Ouarzazate
Today we’ll enjoy a full day excursion to the Todra Gorge.
Feb 25: Ouarzazate/Marrakech
Departing Ouarzazate we travel northwest towards the famed city of Marrakech, the second oldest imperial city in Morocco.
Feb 26: Marrakech
Spend an entire day devoted to exploring Marrakech, the “Pearl of the South,” the second oldest Imperial City in Morocco. We’ll visit the famous Saadian Tombs, Menara Gardens, Koutoubia mosque, Bahia Palace, and the famous Jemaa El Fna square.
Feb 27: Marrakech
Today you’ll take a full-day excursion to the beautiful seaside town of Essaouira, the center of the cabinet maker’s craft.
Feb 28: Marrakech
Your last day in Marrakech is completely unscheduled so that you can break away and explore this fascinating city to your heart’s delight.
March 1: Marrakech to Madrid
A direct flight to Madrid allows for a relaxed departure from Morocco, and you’ll spend two nights in the city center of the Spanish capital.
March 2: Madrid
Today is entirely your own. Your hotel is wonderfully located on Madrid’s Grand Via, within easy walking distance of the Royal Palace, the Prado Museum, and all of downtown Madrid’s major sights.
March 3: Madrid to USA
After breakfast we’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA.
As with all of our trips, everyone is welcome to join us. There will be the usual amount of tourist walking as we explore the markets, mosques and souks of the Moroccan cities; and the palaces and desert oases, too. An ability to maintain a group walking pace will be necessary for maximum enjoyment of this journey, but no extraordinary physical stamina will be required of anyone.
We will be staying in very nice, safe and comfortable hotels along the way, but please remember that you will be traveling in a foreign land and flexibility in the face of unfamiliar surroundings, services, customs, and cuisine will be a crucial asset to your enjoyment of the experience.
$4699 Includes roundtrip international airfare from Chicago and all other transportation, all lodging, daily breakfasts and many other meals, all entry fees, all transfers, all guides and services.
This price is based upon double occupancy; single supplement is $465 extra. Personal tips and drinks are extra.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies expects all participants on our international travel programs to obtain travel Insurance to cover medical emergency, medical evacuation, repatriation, trip cancellation, etc. You may obtain travel insurance from your own insurance provider, travel agents and/or online. A good place to begin an online search is Squaremouth.com which allows you to see many different policies from many different travel insurance companies.
To register, download and complete the registration form and mail it to:
Educational Travel Program
21 N Park St., 7th Floor
Madison, WI 53715
"Extremely – a well thought-out program with a native guide who really knows his country and all that is happening and ‘up-to-date’ information. This trip has spurred me on to study Turkey – purchased books, library work, etc. I felt that the level so reflects the people on the trip.”
“We wanted to go to Turkey primarily to learn about the current country, and to learn more about our own cultural and religious history. The trip was not a spa vacation. If it were so, we would not have gone.”
“Your tours are designed for those who share common interests and a love of learning.”
“This was the best historical trip we have ever done.”
“It’s difficult to imagine a trip that is more perfectly planned and executed.”
“The trip was a true bargain. There is no way that a few persons could attempt a trip of that magnitude physically or financially. Everything we experienced was spectacular.”
“Our guide had an impressive amount of knowledge to share – historical, religious, and cultural. The driver was friendly and very helpful.”
Your travel director
Doug Whittle, UW-Madison director of educational travel, has led programs to Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, Paris, and New York City. He's traveled independently in Asia, Africa, Europe, and throughout Central and North America. Doug also served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire. Before coming to UW-Madison, he spent a decade as professor of painting and printmaking at Converse College in South Carolina. His paintings and prints have appeared in museums and galleries from Richmond, Virginia to Krakow, Poland.