Spain and Morocco
October 8 - 23, 2023 (16 Days)
Roundtrip airfare ABQ to Madrid/Casablanca to ABQ (not including airline baggage or in-flight charges)
Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
14 nights’ lodging at excellent hotels
Baggage handling at hotels (for one piece)
Admission to all listed attractions
Your Professional English-speaking Spanish Tour Guide
All taxes and tips for included items (except hotel housekeeping)
$7,995 Double occupancy, per person
$8,995 Single occupancy
DEPOSIT: $250 per person now holds your place
FINAL PAYMENT DUE: June 6, 2023
None - Through June 6, 2023
$250 - June 7 - June 26, 2023
$4800 - June 27 - August 24, 2023
100% - after August 24, 2023
This fantastic Spain and Morocco tour focuses on the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula. There is ample time for in-depth sightseeing, and for visiting many of the area’s historic sites, including the Casa de Pilatos in Seville, with its splendid collection of Roman sculptures, and the Alhambra Complex in Granada. We enjoy a full day on our own at the Costa del Sol and a day-long excursion to Malaga. We'll spend meaningful time in Morocco visiting Tangier, Chefchaoen, Fes and Marrakech.
Included meals are denoted: Breakfast: B, Lunch: L, Dinner: D
DAY 1 - 2 D
We depart from the Sunport on our overnight flight to Madrid, where we transfer to our hotel of a short rest before our welcome dinner.
DAY 3 B, D
We take the high-speed train to Seville. We enjoy a locally guided tour of Sevilla this morning. After strolling through María Luisa Park, we visit the nearby Plaza de España, and other pavilions built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. The city also boasts the Alcázar, the oldest royal palace in Europe that is still in use. The highlight of the tour is the Sevilla Cathedral, the third-largest church in Europe and the largest Gothic church anywhere. The immense cathedral took over a century to build and is the burial site for Christopher Columbus. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the Barrio Santa Cruz, the former Jewish Quarter that is filled with narrow lanes, cafés, and small shops. This evening we experience a traditional Flamenco program with guitar playing, singing, and dancing.
DAY 4 B,D
After breakfast, we depart Sevilla. Our first stop is Córdoba where we tour the Mezquita, the great mosque that was begun in 785 and took two centuries to complete. With around 850 columns inside, it is considered one of the best examples of Muslim architecture in the West. The structure is also unique because set inside the labyrinth of horseshoe arches and beautiful mosaics is a cathedral that was added in the 16th century. Our guide also takes us through the Jewish quarter that is lined with towering walls, narrow streets, and buildings with ornate wrought ironwork. Afterwards, there is time to enjoy lunch and explore the cobbled alleyways before a short drive to Granada. Dinner tonight is at our hotel.
DAY 5 B,D
Our guided tour today focuses on the city’s other sights, including the Granada Cathedral, the second largest in Spain, the Royal Chapel, a lavish mausoleum with the tombs of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand, the Alcaicería, a former Moorish silk market that is now filled with tiny shops and restaurants, and The Albayzín, Spain’s best-preserved Moorish quarter. Later, we tour an olive oil estate and have the chance to sample some of the world's finest olive oil. This evening is a night out with Tapas!
DAY 6 B
This morning we tour the world-famous Alhambra, a magnificent Moorish fortress and palace that is one of Europe’s top tourist sights. Once the Moorish royal palace, the Palacios Nazaríes is filled with intricate patios, pools, arches, and extravagantly decorated ceilings. We also visit Charles V’s Palace and Alcazaba, the oldest part of the complex. Next, we walk to the nearby Generalife Gardens that were once used by the sultans as a summer palace retreat.
DAY 7 B, D
This morning we drive to Torremolinos, a small town located in Costa del Sol, a region in southern Spain that borders the Mediterranean Sea. En route we stop to explore Málaga, a port city on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol, known for its high-rise hotels and resorts jutting up from yellow-sand beaches. Looming over that modern skyline are the city’s massive hilltop citadels, the Alcazaba and ruined Gibralfaro, remnants of Moorish rule.
DAY 8 B
Southern Andalusia is known for its White Hill Towns and today we visit its jewel, Ronda. The town’s iconic bridge spans the 200-foot-wide gorge that divides the Moorish Quarter from the New Town. Ronda is said to be the home of modern-day bullfighting and our guide introduces us to the Real Maestranza bullring, one of the oldest and most picturesque in Spain. Other sights include the Santa Maria del Mayor Church, which stands on a site of a temple dedicated to Julius Caesar, and Casa de San Juan Bosco, a former private home that is known for its 19th-century tapestries, intricate walnut furniture and a garden with spectacular views of the town and the surrounding area. We return to Torremolinos and have time to shop before dinner at our hotel.
DAY 9 B,D
This morning, we transfer to Tarifa Port to take the ferry to Tangier. Upon arrival in
Tangier, we meet our Moroccan guide and transfer to our hotel. Dinner is at our hotel.
DAY 10 B,D
After breakfast we tour the city tour of Tangier. We stop first at the old town, known locally as “The medina.” We will visit the American legation, Dar El Oued Makhazen Kasbah, the Mendoubia Gardens, and the Grand and Petit Socco. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.
DAY 11 B,D
This morning we continue on to Chefchaouen, “the Blue City” with the most charming towns in Morocco. We tour the city of Chefchaouen starting with the kasbah of Chefchaouen. This kasbah dates to the early 18th century and was built by the legendary ruler Moulay Ismail (1645 – 1727). Next, we stop at Plaza Uta el-Hammam, the cobbled main square in town and where the striking 15th century Grand Mosque sits. In the afternoon we transfer to the UNESCO-sponsored Roman ruins in Volubilis, a Berber and Roman city partly excavated by the UNESCO. Volubilis was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania. The city was developed from the third century BC onward as an Amazigh, then proto-Carthaginian, and from the 1st century AD onward, the city grew rapidly under the Roman rule. Afterwards, we end our day in Fes where we have dinner.
DAY 12 B,D
Today begins with a guided city tour of the spiritual capital of Morocco, Fes. Our first stop of the morning is a visit to the entrance of the largest royal palace in Morocco. This palatial complex rests in the center of the Fes El-Jedid area and is surrounded by high walls with an intricate and elaborately decorated gateway that is permanently closed. The doors are bronze, but they shine like gold. Our next stop will be the old Medina (Fes el Bali). This medieval center of Fez has not changed for centuries. Its narrow alleys house hundreds of merchants and craftsmen selling a range of products such as dates, fish, spices, copper urns, musical instruments, etc. One of the most interesting sites in Fes is the leather tannery, which is the oldest in the world. The tannery dates back at least nine centuries. We visit Jamaa Al-Karaouine and a Medersa (Koranic school) as part of our tour of the city.
DAY 13 B,L
After breakfast we transfer to Marrakech, Paris of the Sahara as Winston Churchill once described it. The journey takes us through the Middle Atlas Mountains. We stop first in Ifrane, a charming town and ski resort. Ifrane is famous for its Alpine climate, European-style houses and its 1665 metres (5,460 ft) in elevation. The town experiences snow during winter months and a cool climate during summer. Ifrane is also the place where the lowest temperature was ever recorded in Africa, -24 °C in 1935. While in Ifrane, expect to find animals like the threatened Barbary Macaque and local tree species such as the native Atlas cedar, Scrub oak and the introduced London plane. We arrive at Beni Mellal, which is an important economic center in Morocco in the areas of petrochemical production, textile manufacturing as well as agriculture. We have lunch at a local restaurant before we continue on to Marrakech our home for the next two nights.
DAY 14 B
We take a guided city tour of Marrakech. Our morning begins with a visit to the Kotoubia Mosque. The mosque is the largest in Marrakech and one of the oldest in the world. The minaret, 77 meters (253 ft) in height, includes a spire and orbs. It was completed under the reign of the Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184 to 1199) and has inspired other buildings such as the Giralda of Seville and Hassan Tower of Rabat. Our next stop is the Bahia Palace, and the Saadian Tombs. The Saadian tombs date back from the time of the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603). The tombs were discovered in 1917 and were restored by the Beaux-arts service. The mausoleum comprises the interments of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty that originated in the valley of the Draa River.
Then we continue our tour with the world famous Jema El Fna Square where we will enjoy amazing performance of traditional activities by storytellers, snake charmers, peddlers of traditional medicines. Our last stop is the bustling souks in the old medina.
DAY 15 B, D
After breakfast we transfer to Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco and its largest city. Our orientation tour of Casablanca begins with a visit of Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in the country and the seventh largest in the world. We enjoy an afternoon promenade at Ain Diab Corniche, which is one of the city’s most fashionable districts than have time to explore on our own and relax before farewell dinner.
DAY 16 B
We transfer to the Casablanca airport for our flights home.
Itinerary and hotels subject to change