Moroccan Discovery

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OCT. 24 - NOV. 6, 2015 $4,195
Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Sahara Desert, Ouarzazate, Marrakech
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Moroccan Discovery

OCT. 24 - NOV. 6, 2015
Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Sahara Desert, Ouarzazate, Marrakech

Morocco — a land of dramatic contrasts — invites with its ancient ruins, sacred mosques, lush desert oases, imposing kasbahs, spirited souks and villages where life proceeds much as it has for centuries. Visit five UNESCO World Heritage sites on this 14-day tour including Meknes, Morocco’s youngest imperial city, Volubulis, with its ancient Roman ruins, and Fez, prized for its cultural, religious and educational institutions. Follow a fabled ancient caravan route in the snowtopped High Atlas Mountains, see spectacular Todra Gorge and travel to the fortified city of Aït Benhaddou. Spend three nights in alluring Marrakech and enjoy a walking tour of the medina before concluding in storied Casablanca.

Cost: $4,195
Odysseys Unlimited, Inc.
Activity Level: Active
COVID-19 Information:
  • Private Sahara sunset excursion and camel ride on the dunes
  • Visits to five UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fez, Marrakech
  • Ancient ruins of Volubilis
  • Dramatic Todra Gorge
  • Kasbah of Ait ben-Haddou
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Marrakech’s medina and Djemaa el Fna Square
  • Storied Casablanca and Hassan II mosque
  • Spectacular Atlas Mountain scenery
Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (4.4 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • It was so easy to get to know everyone. Seeing how different things were made was enlightening."
    Laurie Koerner and Alice Martinez, Travelers
  • We found a whole new world in the old world. UCLA Alumni Travel finds the best trips with the best values which make them our number one travel provider. We always return home with cherished memories."
    Standley Claussen ’56, C.R.S.S. ’58, M.A. ’60 and Janice Claussen, Travelers

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Itinerary
2015-10-morocco-map

DAY 1 | Oct. 24. Depart U.S. for Casablanca, Morocco
This evening, you depart the U.S. for Morocco with a connecting flight to Casablanca.

DAY 2 | Oct. 25. Casablanca/Rabat
We arrive this afternoon in Casablanca, Morocco’s chief port, economic capital, and largest city. You’ll meet your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director at the airport then transfer by coach to Rabat. After checking in at our elegant, well-located hotel near famed Hassan Tower, we have a short time to rest and refresh ourselves before this evening’s activities. Tonight you’ll meet your fellow travelers over a welcome dinner at Dinarjat, an acclaimed restaurant in Rabat’s Old Town serving traditional Moroccan fare. (D)

DAY 3 | Oct. 26. Rabat
One of Morocco’s four ancient capitals, or imperial cities, Rabat is again the country’s capital, at once historic and contemporary as we discover on today’s tour. We visit the fortified Kasbah of the Oudaias, the peaceful Andalusian Gardens, and the necropolis of Chellah, built on ancient Roman ruins. Then we cross the river to Sale for lunch in a private home followed by a visit to Rabat’s newly opened Museum of Contemporary Art and a walk through the medina. Late afternoon we return to our hotel, where we enjoy dinner tonight. (B, L, D)

DAY 4 | Oct. 27. Rabat/Meknes/Volubilis/Fez
This morning we depart Rabat for Fez, stopping along the way in Meknes, Morocco’s youngest imperial city (and UNESCO World Heritage site). We visit the Bab el Mansour gateway and the ruins of the imperial stables before lunch in a local restaurant. Then we continue on to the ancient Roman ruins at the UNESCO site of Volubilis, known for its intricate and colorful mosaics. Late afternoon we reach Fez and our elegant hotel overlooking the medina, another UNESCO World Heritage site. (B, L, D)

DAY 5 | Oct. 28. Fez
Today we explore Morocco’s oldest imperial city, considered the “Athens of Africa” for its wealth of cultural, educational, and religious institutions. We begin with a walking tour of Fez’s fascinating medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, focusing on the artisans’ quarters, the 14th-century Koranic schools, and Al Karaouine, the medieval theological university. We return to the hotel for lunch and some time at leisure then mid-afternoon tour the old mellah (Jewish quarter) and its 17th-century synagogue, the royal gates, and the Museum of Fez. Tonight we enjoy a private dinner at an intimate family-run riad in Fez. (B, L,D)

DAY 6 | Oct. 29. Fez
This morning we return to Fez’s medina to see the picturesque Blue Gate and a visit to a medieval school dating back to the 14th century. We also stop at the renowned pottery factories. The remainder of the afternoon is free for independent exploration. (B, D)

DAY 7 | Oct. 30. Fez/Midelt/Erfoud
Traveling inland today, we cross the fertile plains beyond Fez and continue through the Middle Atlas mountain range. We stop in the small town of Midelt for lunch. Continuing on we cross the Ziz River, passing rows of sky-scraping palm trees and fortified villages before reaching our kasbah-style hotel in Erfoud late in the day. Dinner tonight is at our hotel. (B, L, D)

DAY 8 | Oct. 31. Erfoud/Rissani/Merzouga
This morning we visit the city of Rissani on the edge of the Sahara and formerly the last staging post on the southern caravan route. Once the seat of the Alawite dynasty, Rissani boasts some striking architecture with its 18th-century ksar, a virtually impenetrable warren of alleys. We enjoy a tour highlight this afternoon as we set out on a sunset excursion to the breathtakingly beautiful sand dunes at Merzouga on the edge of the Sahara. In the enormous silence we watch the sun set over the desert as we take a camel ride along the erg, Morocco’s only Saharan dunes. Following this experience we return to our hotel, where we dine together tonight. (B, L, D)

DAY 9 | Nov. 1. Erfoud/Tinehir/Todra Gorges/Ouarzazate
Our destination today is in the snow-topped High Atlas. The day features one beautiful scene after another, including the village of Tinehir, a stunning mountain oasis rising on a series of riverside terraces lush with palm trees; and the spectacular 984-foot Todra Gorge. Following lunch here we visit El Kelaa des Mgouna, known for its roses, then set out on the fabled “Route of a Thousand Kasbahs” ancient caravan route, a region of fortresses with elaborately decorated façades. Late afternoon we reach the town of Ouarzazate (the “door of the desert”) where we spend the night. (B, L, D)

DAY 10 | Nov. 2. Ouarzazate/Ait Ben-Haddou/Marrakech
En route to Marrakech today, we stop first at uninhabited Ait Ben-Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of southern Morocco’s most scenic villages that is often used as a location for fashion and film shoots. Its old section consists of deep red kasbahs packed together so tightly they appear to be a single unit. Then as we begin our descent from the High Atlas, we pass through typical villages with fortified walls and stone houses with earthen roofs. In Tizi N’Tichka, we traverse the Pass of the Pastures (alt. 7,415 feet), where life is much as it was centuries ago: shepherds bring their flocks to the high pastures every summer, then return with them to their villages in autumn. We arrive in Marrakech late this afternoon and dine tonight at our hotel. (B, L, D)

DAY 11 | Nov. 3. Marrakech
Once the capital of southern Morocco, the imperial city of Marrakech is an alluring oasis with a temperate climate, distinct charm, and fascinating sights. Our day-long tour includes the beautifully proportioned Koutoubia Mosque with its distinctive 282-foot minaret visible from miles away; the lovely Andalusian-style El Bahia Palace (part of which is still used by the royal family); and the ruins of 16th-century Palais El Badii. After lunch at our hotel, mid-afternoon we embark on a walking tour of the medina, ending at Djemaa el Fna Square, a UNESCO site and the heart of Marrakech, crowded with snake charmers, entertainers, storytellers, musicians, barbers, and sellers of fruit, water, and spices. Dinner tonight is on our own in this exotic city. (B, L)

DAY 12 | Nov. 4. Marrakech
This morning we travel by horse-drawn carriage from Menara Park to Majorelle Gardens, a private botanical garden with some 15 species of birds native to North Africa and known for its cobalt blue accents. Following a tour of the gardens we visit the newly renovated Berber Museum there, with art and artifacts reflecting Berber culture in Morocco. The afternoon is at leisure before dinner tonight at a local restaurant in the city’s Old Town. (B, D)

DAY 13 | Nov. 5. Marrakech/Casablanca
We leave Marrakech this morning by coach for storied Casablanca, Morocco’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. After a brief orientation tour of the city, we visit the magnificent Hassan II Mosque, Morocco’s only functioning mosque open to non-Muslims. Tonight we celebrate our Moroccan adventure at a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 14 | Nov. 6. Depart for U.S.
After breakfast this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S. (B)

 

Accommodations

2015-10-morocco-h-hassanLa Tour Hassan
Rabat, Morocco
Day 2-3

2015-10-morocco-h-sahrai

Hotel Sahrai
Fez, Morocco
Day 4-6

2015-10-morocco-h-palais

Le Palais du Desert
Erfoud, Morocco
Day 7-8

2015-10-morocco-h-berbere

Le Berbere Palace
Ouarzazate, Morocco
Day 9

2015-10-morocco-h-sofitel

Sofitel Marrakech
Marrakech, Morocco
Day 10-12

2015-10-morocco-h-hyatt

Hyatt Regency Casablanca
Casablanca, Morocco
Day 13

Pricing

Pricing: $4,195 (land only, transfers not included)

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (4.4 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • It was so easy to get to know everyone. Seeing how different things were made was enlightening."
    Laurie Koerner and Alice Martinez, Travelers
  • We found a whole new world in the old world. UCLA Alumni Travel finds the best trips with the best values which make them our number one travel provider. We always return home with cherished memories."
    Standley Claussen ’56, C.R.S.S. ’58, M.A. ’60 and Janice Claussen, Travelers

Book this Tour

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How to Book

STEP 1
Download the tour Reservation Form here. This tour is booked quickly, so sign up early to reserve space.

STEP 2
Enclose a check or provide credit card information for $500 per person, per tour, as a deposit for the selected tour. Make check payable to Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. Deposits are provisional and fully refundable pending your acceptance of final brochure terms.

STEP 3
Mail completed reservation form and your deposit to:
UCLA Alumni Association
Attn: Alumni Travel
James West Alumni Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1397

A brochure will be mailed to you as soon as it is available.

Terms & Conditions

Written cancellations from time of booking up to 90 days prior to departure will be assessed a minimum administrative fee of approximately $250; within 90 days of departure, refunds vary according to the policies of each tour operator. Please read the cancellation clauses contained within the brochure for this tour carefully.

CST 2077973-40

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover the possibility of trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses and baggage loss incurred while traveling. All confirmed passengers will receive travel insurance information in your confirmation packet. It’s one of our many membership benefits! For information about travel insurance, visit alumni.ucla.edu/travel-insurance. Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, terrorist incidents and travel supplier financial insolvencies will be provided if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of your trip deposit. Please read the insurance brochure carefully.

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (4.4 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • It was so easy to get to know everyone. Seeing how different things were made was enlightening."
    Laurie Koerner and Alice Martinez, Travelers
  • We found a whole new world in the old world. UCLA Alumni Travel finds the best trips with the best values which make them our number one travel provider. We always return home with cherished memories."
    Standley Claussen ’56, C.R.S.S. ’58, M.A. ’60 and Janice Claussen, Travelers