Highlights of your excursion on this program include:
You’ll stroll though the labyrinth of ninth-century Fes and explore the oldest Islamic city in the country. Fes’s thousands of alleyways are too narrow for cars, making it one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world. Here, you’ll explore shops and stalls selling dates, fragrant spices, and fresh cuts of meat, as well as mosques and madrasas (Islamic schools). One of the highlights is the open air tannery with its enormous stone pits used for centuries to dye animal skins.
Known for its imperial past, Meknes boasts a number of 17th century historic sites and is mostly off the tourist map. You’ll take in remnants of its former glory including Bab Mansour, a huge arched gate with colorful mosaic tiling, and the Mausoleum of Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made the city his capital and the founder of the present dynasty.
These partly excavated Roman ruins between Fes and Meknes are the best preserved in the country. Volubilis was part of the administrative center of the Kingdom of Mauretania and was one of the most remote outposts in the Roman empire. You’ll see remains of ancient mosaics, archways, an olive press and hammam (traditional baths).
In Ouezzane, you’ll experience simple traditional village life in contrast to the urban experience of life in the capital. The excursion includes a short homestay with a family in a village near Ouezzane. You’ll participate in a community project with a local NGO, a group discussion with villagers, and a hiking activity to explore the natural richness of the region.
Chefchaouen, also known as Chaouen, is a tranquil town in the Rif Mountains. On your own, you’ll explore its old town with its striking blue-washed buildings where you can meander along steep cobblestone paths leading to traditional weaving and leather workshops. Take a rest in a shady square or kick back with a glass of mint tea and watch the cats wander the streets.