Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Architecture alhambra-Spain-2044399_P

Spain and Morocco: Shared Histories, Complementary Cultures

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
89%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
15 days
From: $ 4,899 $ 327 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Experts discuss the blend of cultures that define and complement Spain and Morocco.
  • Discover the 12th-century Moroccan city of Fes on an expert-led field trip.
  • Enjoy performances of traditional music presented with the English translation of the lyrics

Short Description

Journey to the ancient lands of Spain and Morocco, two countries bound by many centuries of history reflected in their modern cultures. Immerse yourself in the varied influences of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in both lands. With special insight, local experts highlight the cities of Madrid, Sevilla, Fes, and Rabat to identify Spain and Morocco’s deep roots in tradition and faith — from medieval times to today.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Madrid
End City Rabat

Trip Includes

  • 13 nights of accommodations
  • 8 expert-led lectures
  • 16 expert-led field trips
  • 3 hands-on experiences
  • 4 performances
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes

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Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Evening: International flight to Spain.

Day 2: Arrival Madrid and orientation, Madrid

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel H10 Puerta de Alcala

Morning: Arrive at Madrid airport and transfer to hotel. Check-in to your room and rest before lunch.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel restaurant.

Afternoon: Orientation and city walk in Madrid followed by a welcome reception at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 3: Day trip to Toledo and expert lecture, Madrid

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Hotel H10 Puerta de Alcala

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Explore the medieval capital of Toledo with in-depth visits to the Cathedral, Mosque and the Synagogue/Sephardic Museum. We will also see El Greco's famous Count of Orgaz painting at the Santo Tomé Church.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Toledo.

Afternoon: Upon our return to Madrid, we'll continue the study of the different religious groups that have coexisted throughout history in Spain with a lecture on "The Three Cultures of Al-Andalus".

Dinner: With recommendations from your Group Leader, you'll explore Madrid to find a yummy tapas place to eat out on your own.

Day 4: Travel to Granada/Olive Oil Museum

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Comfort Dauro II

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Morning departure from Madrid to Granada. We will stop at an olive oil museum in the town of Baeza to learn about the history and production of this important Spanish export.

Lunch: Lunch at the olive mill's hacienda.

Afternoon: We continue on towards Granada, arrival and check-in at the hotel. Orientation and walk around the hotel neighborhood.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 5: Albaycin/Alhambra, Granada

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Comfort Dauro II

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: A morning walking tour of the Albaycin neighborhood where Moorish Spain comes alive in the streets of Granada.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel restaurant.

Afternoon: Afternoon guided tour of the Alhambra palace and Generalife gardens, the vestige of the last Islamic kingdoms in Spain.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 6: Córdoba/Travel to Seville

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Inglaterra

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Depart Granada for Seville, stopping in Córdoba, the crossroads of civilizations, and mainstay of Islamic and Jewish heritage in Spain. Visit the Great Mosque of Córdoba and take a visit to the Jewish quarter, where we will see a monument to the great philosopher Maimónides. Enjoy a Sephardic musical performance at Casa de la Sefarad across from the synagogue.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Córdoba.

Afternoon: Afternoon arrival in Seville and orientation walk.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 7: The Alcazar and Flamenco, Seville

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Inglaterra

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Explore the Alcázar - Seville's Royal palace and heritage of Muslim and Christian architects and artisans, as well as the Jewish Quarter.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel restaurant.

Afternoon: Meet with local Sevillanos at the Center for Cross-Cultural Study's headquarters for a workshop on flamenco, accompanied by tapas, conversation and laughter.

Dinner: Tapas dinner with Flamenco workshop.

Day 8: The rich religious heritage of Seville

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Inglaterra

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Morning lectures on "Sephardic Spain" and "Spain Today"

Lunch: On-site staff will give you suggestions for enjoying a tapas dinner on your own.

Afternoon: We set out with a local historian to the Santa María de la Sede Cathedral, the third largest Gothic cathedral in the world. There was a great mosque on this site that was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1401. After Seville was recaptured from the Moors in the Reconquista, and the victorious Christians decided to replace the mosque with a cathedral so grand, they said, “those who see it built will think we were mad.” The gigantic altarpiece was the lifelong work of a single man. It is, in fact, the largest Gothic cathedral in Europe, made possible by riches coming in to Spain from the New World. Completed in just 104 years, embellishments and further enhancements continued into the 20th century.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 9: Ferry to Tangier/Chefchaouen

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Riad Dar Chaouen

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Depart from Seville to the port of Tarifa via ferry for Tangier. It is about a 35-minute ferry ride. Arrival in Tangier and have a welcome lunch and program orientation

Lunch: Orientation: Overview of Morocco and Program.

Afternoon: .After lunch, continue by coach with en-route lectures covering "Northern Issues". Afternoon arrival in Chechaouen, Blue City of the Hills in the heart of the Rif mountains.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 10: Chefchaouen's ancient Medina

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Riad Dar Chaouen

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Morning guided tour of the Medina of Chefchaouen, the city center that still preserves its roots as a marketplace and center of activity.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant. Musical Performance: Sufi Music by Local Women

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Chefchaouen, which was built by Moulay Ismail in the 1600s as an Arab fortress and later served as a Spanish prison

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 11: Travel to Fes and an afternoon in Ouezzane, Fes

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Merinides

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Morning check-out of the hotel and departure for Fes. En route, bus lecture "Health Care System in Morocco”. Afterwards we will visit the sanctuary town of Ouezzane

Lunch: Lunch in Ouezzane.

Afternoon: After lunch, we depart for Fes. Bus lecture "Agriculture in Morocco". Upon arrival, check-in at hotel and orientation.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 12: Historic Fes and the contemporary population, Fes

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Merinides

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Guided tour of the Medina of Fes, a city of three centuries: 9th, 14th and 20th.

Lunch: Lunch will be at a restaurant in the old Medina of Fes.

Afternoon: After finishing up our tour of Fes, we'll meet with a group of Fes university students students for a group discussion

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 13: Travel to Rabat

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Cantor Hotel Terminus

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Check-out of hotel and depart by bus for Rabat via Meknes. On the way, bus Lecture on “Educational System". Guided Tour of the 17th Century City of Meknes.

Lunch: Lunch at a traditional riad in Meknes.

Afternoon: Afternoon lecture on "Moroccan Architecture". Resume trip to Rabat.

Dinner: Dinner at the Center for Cross Cultural Learning.

Day 14: A day in Rabat

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Cantor Hotel Terminus

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Lectures on "Architecture in Morocco" and "Moroccan Politics and the Arab Spring".

Lunch: Lunch with Moroccan families.

Afternoon: Afternoon guided visit to Hassan Tower and Chellah Roman Ruins.

Dinner: Dinner at the Center for Cross Cultural Learning's headquarters.

Evening: Musical Performance: "Andalusian Music"

Day 15: Program Concludes

Meals: Breakfast

In Flight

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Morning departures and return flights from Rabat airport.

Availability

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Price From $ 4,899
Price Per Day: $ 327 per day
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Stride Featured in

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38 Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings

89%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 31
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 2
Value
4.6
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.4
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.4

Spain and Morocco: Shared Histories, Complementary Cultures

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Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Best trip I ever took!

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
Read more

Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Thank you Road Scholar

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
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Thank you Road Scholar!

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Fabulous!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 24

Accomodations

Hotel H10 Puerta de Alcala: 2 nights  Madrid

Located in the lovely Salamanca neighborhood of Madrid, close to Retiro Park and the Serrano and Velazquez shopping districts.

 

Hotel Comfort Dauro II: 2 nights  Granada

Located in the monumental center of Granada.

 

Hotel Inglaterra: 3 nights  Seville

Located in Plaza Nueva, central to all of Seville's major monuments.

 

Riad Dar Chaouen: 2 nights  Chefchaouen

Riad dar Chaouen is Located across the mountains and water sources in the center of the city of Chefchaouen. its guests with its privileged location in the city and its striking architecture. For relaxation Dar Echaouen from its terrace offers panoramic views of the Medina of Chefchaouen, the river and mountains.

 

Hotel Merinides: 2 nights  Fes

Located on the heights of the oldest city Fes, the Merinides Hotel is a few minutes walking distance from the Merinides dynasty tombs and other main sites to be visited during the program. Its proximity to Al Karaouiyine Mosque, Dar Batha Museum, the Andalusians mosque and the Thermal baths of Moulay Yacoub contribute to make of Merinides Hotel an address of charm for a stay for discovering and relaxation.

 

Cantor Hotel Terminus: 2 nights  Rabat

The Cantor Hotel Terminus is a century-old hotel known as the Terminus. An architectural marvel constructed in 1902; the building was the first hotel to be built in Rabat. Completely renovated, the Art Deco character of the building has been showcased alongside a touch of modernity that was brought to the interior design, offering a product where comfort, luxury and quality of service come together to make sure that your stay and your events at the Cantor Hotel Terminus are unforgettable experiences…

Guides

Francisco Garcia

Paco Garcia was born in Madrid and received his B.A. in history from The Complutense University in Madrid. He then continued his studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D., specializing in Medieval history, and also lectured there. He spent all of 1997 at the University of California at Berkeley on a Fulbright Investigative Scholarship. In 2011, Paco journeyed to Japan for a role as a visiting professor. He is presently a professor at St. Louis University, Madrid Campus. Being an expert on the history of Spain, he shares his passion and enthusiasm in his lectures.

Trip ID#:

SpaAndRoa

Meals Included:

13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches and 11 Dinners

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