Itinerary & Rates

Fes Festival of World Sacred Music Tour

Fes, Meknes, Sefrou, Marrakech, Essaouira and Casablanca
May 12-25, 2017
Costs:

Tour Fee: $3,195.00

What is included:

  • Accommodation in riads and hotels, with breakfasts
  • Concert tickets, and passes to the World Sacred Music Festival & Fes Colloquium
  • Lectures with Steve Scholl on Sufism and Morocco
  • Desert Journey: A day and night in the Sahara Desert including camel trek deep into the dunes for an overnight camp in bedouin tents
  • Special sessions with Sufi teachers, a walking tour of Fes El-Bali, and a special tour of Jewish Fes
  • Costs for guides and entrance to museums and historical sites that are part of the group’s activities
  • Ground transportation via 1st class trains or coaches for trips to Meknes, Sefrou, and transportation to Marrakech, Essaouira and Casablanca

Not included:

  • Travel and health/accident insurance
  • Lunch and dinner meals
  • Fees for guides you use while on your own
  • Entrance fees to baths and museums during your free time
  • Personal expenses such as phone calls, purchase of Moroccan goods, etc.
  • Tips to the tour guide and driver
  • Taxis or other transportation to get around Fes, Marrakech, and Essaouira on your free time.

Cost per person based on double occupancy:

Single Supplement: $500.00

Itinerary

(Note: Our itinerary is not fixed in stone. We may chance upon unique opportunities or be required to shift our schedule as circumstances arise. This is one of the exciting dimensions to travel in Morocco. Shift happens! and as a small group we will go with the flow as it moves with us.

Days 1-2: Departure from US and Arrival in Casablanca, Morocco

Friday-Saturday, May 12-13
Travelers will depart on or before May 12, 2017and arrive into Morocco by May 13th. Steve will be in Morocco to meet people at the Casablanca airport upon their arrival. We will take a small charter bus to Fes, about a 3-hour trip. Once we settle into our riad (like a B&B), we will meet for orientation with Steve and take a walking tour of our quarter of Fes el-Bali. This evening will be our first concert at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music.

Day 3: Fes, Festival of World Sacred Music

Sunday, May 14
Morning breakfast at our hotel is followed by free time or attendance at the Fes Colloquium that takes place every morning of the first 5 days of the festival. This gathering of scholars, activists, mystics, politicians, musicians, poets and writers is an integral aspect of the World Sacred Music Festival program. Sessions are held at the Batha Museum and involve festival musicians. Simultaneous translations are available through headphones. The Colloquium lectures allow us a chance to meet people from around the world in a stimulating environment of global dialogue. After lunch, we will do a group walking tour of Fes El Bali with a local guide. This is a fun and highly informative way to learn about the remarkable city of Fes and get oriented to its maze of narrow streets and neighborhoods. Tonight we will have a group dinner courtesy of Imagine Adventures.

The day’s opportuniies
9:00 am – Fes Forum
1:00 pm – Group walking tour of Fes El Bali with local guide
4:30 pm: Afternoon intimate concert at Batha Museum
6:30 pm: Open concert in the City at Bab Boujeloud.
8:30 pm: Evening headline concert at Bab Makina
Midnight: Sufi Nights concert held a short walk from Bab Makina at Dar Tazi

Days 4: Fes, Festival of World Sacred Music

Monday, May 15
Enjoy breakfast at our hotel and a morning lecture Steve on “The Way of the Sufis”, an introduction to Islamic mysticism with special reference to Moroccan Sufism. Then you can join the Fes Forum or venture out to explore Fes on your own or with friends from our group. In the afternoon, Steve will lead those of us interested in visiting a hammam to experience the baths of Fes.

9:00 am – Fes Forum
4:30 pm: Afternoon intimate concert at Batha Museum
6:30 pm: Open concert in the City at Bab Boujeloud.
8:30 pm: Evening headline concert at Bab Makina
Midnight: Sufi Nights concert held a short walk from Bab Makina at Dar Tazi.

Day 5: Fes, Jewish Heritage and Festival of World Sacred Music

Tuesday, May 16
Enjoy breakfast at our hotel. Then you can join the Fes Colloquium or venture out to explore Fes on your own or with friends from our group. In the afternoon, we will explore the Jewish heritage of Fes visiting the Jewish quarter and the magnificent Jewish museum in of Fes el-Jadid.

4:30 pm: Afternoon intimate concert at Batha Museum
6:30 pm: Open concert in the City at Bab Boujeloud.
8:30 pm: Evening headline concert at Bab Makina
Midnight: Sufi Nights concert held a short walk from Bab Makina at Dar Tazi.

Day 6: Fes-Volubulis-Meknes and Festival of World Sacred Music

Wednesday, May 17
Breakfast at our hotel precedes an orientation with Steve for today’s journey to the imperial city of Meknes, the sacred city of Moulay Idris, and the Roman ruins of Volubulis. An ancient Roman capital of Northwestern Africa, Volubulis is a two-hour drive from Fes. Time permitting, we will pay a short visit to shrine city of Moulay Idris, the cradle of Moroccan Sufism (shrine is not open to non-Muslims). We will stop in Meknes for lunch and a 2-hour walk through its historic palace grounds and medina. Meknes is a wonderful place to explore and shop for textiles and other Moroccan goods in the souk (market). We depart Meknes by 3 pm and will be back in Fes in time to attend the evening concerts.

8:30 pm: Evening headline concert at Bab Makina
Midnight: Sufi Nights concert held a short walk from Bab Makina at Dar Tazi.

Day 7: Last Day in Fes
Thursday, May 18

Final day for music and walking tours. We will all attend the midnight Sufi concert and then board our charter bus at 1:30 am for the long ride over the Atlas Mountains to reach the Sahara Desert.

Day 8-9, : Merzouga and Camel Trek into the Sahara
Friday-Saturday, May 19-20

We will arrive at Merzouga and the Sahara Desert early in the morning. We will be transported to an auberge (hotel) on the edge of the Sahara dunes where we will have breakfast and rest. In the early afternoon we will mount our camels in a small caravan and trek into a bedouin encampment deep into the dunes. We will spend the evening and night there led by our bedouin guides. We will rise early to trek out on Sunday and after breakfast get back into our charter bus for the trip back over the Atlas Mountains.

Day 10: Ouarzazate, Land of the Kabahs.
Sunday, May 21

We will spend the night in this High Atlas Mountain town and visit the local Kasbah. The town square is a lively evening setting for strolling and shopping. After breakfast the next day we will visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Benhoudou, a well preserved ksar (fortified city), location site of films such as “Gladiator,” “Jesus of Nazareth,” and “The Man Who Would Be King.”

Day 11: On to Essaouira
Monday, May 22

Essaouira is an 18th-century fortified port city with beaches to the north and south. Here we will have a chance to relax, hit the beach, and enjoy this incredibly beautiful home to some of the most talented artisans in Morocco. Essaouira is where Orson Wells filmed his screen version of Othello and the city has been a favorite haunt of musicians from around the world.

Day 12: Essaouira to Marrakech
Tuesday, May 23

Breakfast and check-out from the riad. And then on the bus for the 2.5 hour ride to Marrakech. We’ll check into our Marrakech riad and begin exploring the Red City. Steve will lead a walking introduction to the medina of Marrakech and the famed great square, Djema el-Fna, home to storytellers, snake charmers, musicians, dancers, comedians, and fortune tellers. Marrakech is a treat. It is more laid back and cosmopolitan than Fes. Nearby are the Saadian Tombs and Bahia Palace, that will be part of our walking tour.

Day 13: Marrakech
Wednesday, May 24
Our last full day in Morocco. We will begin our day with breakfast at the hotel and further exploration of the old medina. In the afternoon will visit the famed Marjolle Gardens in the VIlle Nouvelle. A final group dinner at Steve’s favorite Marrakech restaurant.

Day 14: Homeward Bound
Thursday, May 25
As our schedules require, we board bus or taxis to the Marrakech airport for our departures home.

Note About Booking Airline Travel:

When booking your airline tickets, you will want to fly into the Casablanca Muhammad V airport (Code: CMN). Your departure airport will be at Marrakech (Code: RAK). We strongly recommend that you schedule travel to arrive in Casablanca on the morning of May 12. If you have any questions about booking your flights, please contact Steve and he can assist you.

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