Morocco: From the Desert to the Sea

  • Note: This alumni adventure is cancelled.

  • September 2020

Morcco cover image

This tour has been cancelled for 2020. If you would like to be contacted if this tour is rescheduled, please call 800-811-7244 or email

The Trip

Join Carleton alumni, family and friends for a unique exploration of the history and culture of Morocco through its architecture, art, and natural surroundings in the company of Carleton Professor Emerita Dana Strand, a professional national guide/tour manager, and a small group of just 16 fellow Carls.

Travel through the magnificent landscapes that helped form the country’s ancient and modern cultures, from the wild Atlantic coast to the High Atlas Mountains, dense cedar forests, and vast Sahara Desert. It is a land of extraordinary contrasts, and on this custom-designed itinerary visiting all of the country’s best-known historic sites, including six that are inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Notably, Marrakech, one of Morocco’s most iconic cities (and where we will spend four nights), was designated the first ever “African Capital of Culture” for 2020, thanks to its architectural, artistic, and cultural legacy. During the tour, Professor Strand will offer several talks on topics such as cultural diversity in Morocco, North African literature, and French-Moroccan relations.

Highlights include:

Visits to all four of Morocco’s Imperial Cities: the vibrant medinas of 9th-century Fes and 11th-century Marrakech, the historic city of Meknes, and the stately modern capital and historic city of Rabat

Strolls through bustling casbahs, medinas, and souks, as well as the Jewish quarters (“mellahs”) of both Fes and Marrakech

Several fascinating museums, including Marrakech’s Dar Tiskwin Museum, exhibiting fine crafts from rural Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa, and the exquisite Museum of Berber Culture in Marrakech’s exotic Jardin Majorelle

Scenic excursions into the mountains and the desert, including a drive across the Atlas ranges from Fes to the edge of the Sahara, taking four-wheel-drive vehicles to the great Erg Chebbi Dunes, and a drive over the spectacular Tizi-n-Tichka Pass

A choice of optional excursions (additional cost) either to visit Essaouira, a former maritime fortress on the Atlantic that is now a contemporary art center, or to tour local food markets in old Marrakech to learn about spices and traditional foods

Delicious Moroccan and Continental cuisine, including a special dinner at a traditional villa in Salé, with opportunities to dine independently in Rabat, Fes, and Marrakech; plus carefully-chosen hotels in each location

An excellent touring pace, with four nights in Marrakech; three nights in Fes; two nights each in Rabat and Arfoud; and only two single-night hotel stays

This exclusive Carleton adventure is limited to only 16 participants.

Faculty Leader

Dana StrandDana Strand is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of French and the Humanities Emerita at Carleton College, where she taught courses on 20th- and 21st-century French and Francophone literature, with a special emphasis on North Africa. A member of the editorial board of the journal Contemporary French Civilization, she has published extensively on French and North African literature, culture, and film. The founding director of the European Studies concentration at Carleton, she also served on the Middle Eastern Studies Initiative. Dana has led student programs to Paris, southwestern France, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. In 2015, Dana and her husband, Steve, lectured on a Carleton-sponsored, small-ship cruise in the western Mediterranean; and they led Carleton tours of France and Spain in 2017 and 2019.

Tour Prices (per person)

14-16 participants double occupancy $6,695
12-13 participants double occupancy $6,995
Single Supplement (limited availability) $1,695

Single room supplement will be charged when requested for required. With fewer than 12 participants, a small group surcharge may be added. 


Wednesday, September 23, 2020: Depart Home
Thursday, September 24: Arrive Casablanca, Morocco | Transfer to hotel

Friday, September 25: Casablanca: Hassan II Mosque | Rabat walking tour | Welcome dinner
Saturday, September 26: Rabat: Archaeological Museum & Chellah Fortress | Salé walking tour | Rabat
Sunday, September 27: Volubilis | Meknes | Fes
Monday, September 28: Fes walking tour, part one
Tuesday, September 29: Fes walking tour, part two | PM at leisure
Wednesday, September 30: Atlas Mountains | Arfoud
Thursday, October 1: Sijilmassa | Ksar Oulad Abd al Halim | Erg Chebbi Dunes | Sahara at sunset | Arfoud
Friday, October 2: Todgha River Gorge | Tinghir | Ouarzazate
Saturday, October 3: Casbah of Aït ben Haddou | Marrakech city tour
Sunday, October 4: Marrakech walking tour, part one
Monday, October 5: Marrakech walking tour, part two | Farewell dinner
Tuesday, October 6: Marrakech at leisure OR optional excursion to Essaouira or optional culinary tour in Marrakech
Wednesday, October 7: Fly home 

Additional Information

To make a reservation or for more information please call 800-811-7244 or email Carleton College Alumni Adventures.

Download Full Brochure & Reservation Form for this Trip