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explore Morocco

CASABLANCA  |  RABAT  |  CHEFCHAOUEN  |  MEKNES  |  FES  |  MARRAKESH

With a $500 Deposit

AUGUST 21 - 28, 2022

Explore the magnificent royal cities and beautiful sites of Morocco, a country that formed part of the medieval Islamic West along with Al-Andalus (modern Spain and Portugal). The North African country has coastlines along the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans, fertile agricultural zones and mountain ranges, and includes part of the Sahara desert. Its people represent a mix of Berber (Amazigh) and Arab cultures, along with French and European influences from the colonial era. Starting from the nation’s most populated city Casablanca and passing through the capital Rabat, our tour will include a stay in the blue mountain village of Chefchaouen. We will give special attention to Fes, with its incomparable madina, and Marrakesh, an oasis that features numerous souks and street food stalls. Shop for ceramics, leather works, Berber carpets, and other handmade goods. Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, try unique cuisines, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes that will transport you to another world.

Itinerary in MOROCCO

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TOURS

Bayan has been offering faculty-led tours to world heritage destinations since 2017, with previous tours to Southern Spain, Malaysia & Singapore, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now in 2022, we are excited to be able to renew our line-up of tours we had hoped to offer in 2020, but were interrupted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Our hope is that with appropriate precautions, we can once again venture forth and explore various regions of the globe and be enriched by new religious and cultural experiences.

 

WHY JOIN A BAYAN TOUR?

Tours offered by Bayan cater to the diverse interests and needs of families, while offering an exceptional educational and cultural program. Each tour is led by one or more faculty members who provide daily background lectures and insights about the historical and contemporary contexts. Local guides are utilized as well at various points in time. The itinerary is crafted by experienced personnel to maximize your enjoyment and satisfaction. While the scheduled program is robust, ample time is provided to explore on your own, shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs, and enjoy some leisure activities. Bayan’s tour group size is generally kept to 20-30 participants.

MOROCCO TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Casablanca

  • Hassan II Mosque

  • City tour

 

Rabat

  • Tour Hassan

  • Mausoleum of Muhammad V

  • Kasbah des Oudayas

 

Chefchaouen

  • Kasbah

  • Town Square

Meknes

  • Bab al-Mansour

  • Imperial granaries and horse stables

 

Fes

  • Panoramic city view

  • Al-Qarawiyyin masjid

  • Madrasa Al-Attarine

  • Souks of the old madina

  • Handicraft workshops

 

Marrakesh

  • Koutoubia Mosque

  • Souks of the old madina

  • Djemaa El Fna public square

 

Along with visiting these sites, we will encounter the people and make friendships, sample various cuisines, appreciate cultural programs, and enjoy the natural landscapes that we pass through.

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TOUR INFORMATION

Tour Pricing 

All pricing is double-occupancy.

 

Adult                              $2,195

Additional Adult          $1,995

Minors (8-17)               $1,495

 

Single supplement:       $250

Land Package Inclusions

  • Airport transfers in Morocco

  • 7 nights hotel (4* in most cases)

  • Ground transportation  by private A/C coach

  • Entrance fees for sites

  • Breakfast + lunch or dinner (2 meals/day)

  • Gratuities for group transport, meals, activities

  • Daily lectures/discussions with readings/handouts

 

exclusions

  • International airfare to Morocco (budget about $1,400 round-trip per person from US gateways) and applicable baggage fees

  • Tourist visa if required (US and EU citizens do not need a visa)

  • Travel insurance

  • Covid-19 testing costs (if required for entry or return to country of origin)

  • Additional meals/beverages, personal items

  • Hotel incidental charges, hotel porters and other individualized services

International Travel Arrangements

 

Booking Your Flights

Numerous airlines provide service to Morocco, including Royal Air Maroc. Participants joining only the Morocco tour should book flights to arrive in Casablanca (CMN) on Sunday, August 21 and depart from Casablanca (CMN) on Sunday, August 28. This is a round-trip booking. Participants who wish to remain in Morocco after the tour concludes should make whatever arrangements they deem appropriate for departure date and location.

 

Participants intending to join the Morocco tour following the Spain tour should book their return flight from Casablanca (CMN) rather than Malaga. This is a “multi-city” booking, rather than round-trip.  A separate booking for transportation between Spain and Morocco on Sunday, August 21 will be handled by Bayan Tours, and is included in the tour price.

Once you’ve paid your deposit to Bayan Tours, you should book your flights as soon as possible to obtain better pricing. You can use your own travel agent or check airline websites and other booking sites and select the flight legs that are best for you, taking into consideration any layovers you may wish to arrange.

Arriving to Morocco

Travelers from the US should depart from their origin city on Saturday, August 20 to reach Casablanca on Sunday, August 21. Travelers from other origin points should also plan to arrive in Casablanca on August 21. You can plan your travel to add extra days in transit before reaching Casablanca, but the transfer from airport to hotel is only available to those arriving on August 21. The tour program will officially start at 5:00pm on August 21 with a group orientation meeting in the Casablanca hotel.

 

Departing from Morocco

On Sunday, August 28, participants will be provided transportation from the hotel to the Casablanca airport for flights to the US directly or through other transit points (ex. Madrid, London, Paris, etc.). Those planning to stay longer in Morocco should make their own arrangements for further lodging, transportation, and departure.

HOTELS

Our tour group will stay at the following hotels, or ones of comparable quality:

 

  • Casablanca: Hotel Sofitel (1 night)

  • Chefchaouen: Dar Echchaouen (1 night)

  • Fes: Royal Mirage (2 nights)

  • Marrakesh: Hotel Opera Plaza (2 nights)

  • Casablanca: Hotel Sofitel (1 night)

With a $500 Deposit

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  • Who is leading the tour?
    Bayan’s vice president and professor Munir Shaikh will be the faculty escort for the tour. He holds an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in the history of Islamic Iberia (Al-Andalus), and certificates from academic programs in Morocco, Egypt and Spain. He has lived for periods of time in Spain (and Morocco), and is conversant in Spanish. He has taught academic courses on Islamic Spain, Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history, and led world heritage tours in various countries, including seven previous excursions in Southern Spain.
  • What is the expected group size?
    Bayan’s tours are focused on providing a well-rounded experience featuring scholarly knowledge, cultural exposure, recreational activities, and free time. Most tour groups are multi-generational and diverse in nature. In addition to historical and contemporary sites of interest, the itinerary includes visits to mosques and other places of worship to accommodate the religious needs of group members. Our group size tends to be in the range of 30-40 participants from North America and beyond. Participants are able to get to know one another and develop bonds of friendship and camaraderie that can last a lifetime. By participating in a tour, you are helping sustain and advance Bayan’s mission as a non-profit educational institution.
  • When is the registration deadline?
    We are accepting registrations for the tour until March 31, in order to reserve seats on a train, book sufficient hotel rooms, procure entrance tickets to monuments, and ensure other details. You must pay a refundable deposit of $500 per traveler. Deposits are partially refundable through February 15, 2024, however, a cancellation charge of $ 100 per traveler will apply for any cancellation requested 24 hours after time of booking. For other important terms and conditions, please click here. After payment of your deposit, you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance for your party, reflecting any applicable discounts. The balance payment is due no later than April 15, 2024.
  • Is a visa required for U.S. citizens to enter Spain?
    Bayan’s tours are open to participants who wish to join from anywhere in the world. However, the majority of participants tend to be from the United States. US passport holders do not need to obtain a visa to enter Spain for tourism. This is true for nationals of many other countries as well. However, non-US passport holders are encouraged to check requirements for their nationality and obtain a visa if required.
  • How physically demanding is the tour?
    Our group will be transported from city to city in a luxury air-conditioned tourist bus. However, in each city, since we will be in the historical centers where buses can't go, we will use the metro or other local public transportation, and occasional taxis, to get around. Even so, there will be a significant amount of walking on most days, on slight inclines and steps. The streets at times will have cobblestones. The walking distances involved at any given time can range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile between rest points. The guides will take into account the differing abilities and health conditions of group members and regulate the pace and intensity of the tour accordingly. Nonetheless, participants should expect to walk roughly 12,000 steps each day (about 6 miles in aggregate) during the first few days of the program, and perhaps 8,000 steps per day during the latter portion of the itinerary. This tour may not be suitable for those with knee, hip or foot pain that could be aggravated by the amount of walking involved. Ideally, all participants should prepare for the tour by walking at least 5,000 steps per day in the weeks leading up to the tour.
  • What type of food will we have on the tour?
    Spain’s food is a mix of Mediterranean and local traditions. Some dishes, such as paella, reveal their roots in Arab/Muslim cuisines. While the types of vegetarian options have grown in recent years in Spain, most local meat dishes feature pork (we will be sure to avoid any foods prepared with pork or alcohol). During the tour, we will dine at restaurants that serve zabiha halal foods, or at places that offer seafood and vegetarian options. You can expect meals to include Middle Eastern, Turkish and Moroccan dishes at restaurants run by local Muslims, and Italian and other types of dishes more generally. You’ll have the option of sampling various suitable tapas (small dishes) that are routinely consumed in neighborhood establishments..
  • Will you provide more information about the daily schedule and other details?
    Yes, all participants who have completed their full payment will receive a detailed information packet that includes descriptions of the cities and sites to be visited, the daily schedule, currency exchange, local prayer times, electrical adapters, weather, what to pack, and more.
  • What precautions are you taking with regard to COVID-19?
    We encourage participants to be fully vaccinated with at least one booster shot for all who are eligible to receive these shots. Travelers may visit Spain for tourism, but must provide either a certificate proving full vaccination, a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen), or a certificate of recovery. Travelers can enter using the EU Digital Covid Certificate or its equivalents. We do not expect to mandate masking during the tour, but we encourage masking whenever possible and according to each individual’s comfort level. For example, when shopping in crowded areas, it would be best to wear a mask. General sanitary practices should be maintained at all times, such as washing hands with soap, using sanitizing gels and wipes, and maintaining a reasonable distance between individuals.
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