Splendors of Morocco

Explore this land of dramatic contrasts, from vast deserts and snowcapped mountains to ancient ruins and colorful souks.

Starting at: $5,579 * Including airfare, airline taxes & departure fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Morocco  Smithsonian travelers relax on the sand dunes. Credit: Amy Kotkin  Kasbah Aït Ben Haddou  Decorative Moroccan archway  A colorful Moroccan <i>souk</i>

Tour Details



This was an amazing trip to an exotic land. The Sahara alone is worth the trip, but to see Fez and the mountains on the same trip, in the same country is amazing. Truly a sublime experience that I will always treasure. 

Melanie P.

Our trip wasn't a "trip" rather, it was an experience! Every logistical detail was attended to with complete professionalism. The quality of our accommodation, travel, and restaurants as well as entertainment and education was unrivaled. I have told all my friends how impressed I was with this experience! 

Kristina P.


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David Conrad

David Conrad

Nov 7 - 20, 2015

David Conrad’s Africa experience began in Nigeria (1964-66), Ethiopia (1968), North Africa (Morocco to Egypt 1969) and an overland crossing of the Sahara Desert for a year in Mali (1975-76).  David holds a Ph.D. in African History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and is Professor Emeritus of History, State University of New York at Oswego. David has received major grants from the Fulbright Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Specializing in Medieval States and Islamic influence in the Western Sahara and Sudan, oral tradition and indigenous religion, David regularly returns to his research villages in West Africa.  Since 1991 David has made over twenty-five trips to Africa, and in the past six years he has lectured in twenty-one countries from Tanzania to South Africa, and Namibia to Morocco. In 2008 he appeared in Travels to the Edge with Art Wolfe (PBS) and in The Discovery Channel’s The Lost Gold of Timbuktu.

Among his books are A State of Intrigue, Epic Ancestors of the Sunjata Era, Somono Bala of the Upper Niger, Sunjata: A West African Epic, and the prize-winning Empires of Medieval West Africa.

William Lawrence

William Lawrence

Feb 5 - 18, 2016

William A. Lawrence is Visiting Professor at George Washington University's Elliott School and at University of Stirling (Scotland). He is also Director of Middle East and North Africa programs at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy and a fellow at the Tangiers American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies. Dr. Lawrence has over thirty years experience working on North Africa and has lived in the region for twelve years, six of them in Morocco. Based there from 2011 to 2013, he directed International Crisis Group’s North Africa project. Previously, he served as senior advisor for global engagement at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International and Scientific Affairs, where he advised the White House on outreach to the Muslim world. To that end, he co-created the U.S. Science Envoy Program, the Global Innovation Through Science and Technology Program, and the Maghreb Digital Library and assisted with the creation of the Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation, and Research and the Rabat Technopolis. In 2008-9, he was named Goldman Sachs Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University. He has also taught at Georgetown University, Tufts University, AMIDEAST/Mohamed V University (Rabat) and Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakech) and has lectured on North African history, politics, and culture at over 100 universities worldwide. Dr. Lawrence has appeared regularly on BBC radio and television, NPR, Voice of America, France 24 (French and English), Al Jazeera, and over three-dozen other Asian and North African TV and radio stations. He is one author of Morocco: Crossroads of Time and of After the Uprisings: Political Transition in Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen and has published analysis in Foreign Policy, the Guardian, Figaro, Slate Afrique, Jeune Afrique, Al-Hayat and Sharq al-Awsat (the two leading Arabic language dailies) and with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the World Music Institute, and the Oriental Institute at Oxford University. He co-wrote and co-produced the film Marrakech Inshallah funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and co-created five other documentary films and 14 albums of North African music, including the first internationally released Arab rap song. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Tufts University’s Fletcher School and first and second cycle degrees in history from the Sorbonne in Paris. A former Morocco Peace Corps volunteer, Dr. Lawrence speaks French and Moroccan Arabic fluently.

Ron Messier

Ron Messier

Apr 8 - 21, 2016

Ronald A. Messier is Professor Emeritus in History at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where he taught Islamic history and historical archaeology from 1972 to 2004 and was director of the Honors Program from 1982 to 1992.  From 1992 to 2004, he was also adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University, and full time Senior Lecturer from 2004 to 2008.  He received his MA and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan.  He is president of the advisory board for the Atlantic Institute of Tennessee.  His teaching and research focus on Islam and the history and archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa.  From 1987 to 1998, he directed the excavation of the ancient city of Sijilmasa in Morocco, famous for its gold trade and its contacts with Timbuktu. In recognition of that work, he received MTSU's prestigious Outstanding Research Award in 1997.  He is currently directing an archaeology project at Aghmat, near Marrakech, Morocco.  He has published over two dozen articles, co-edited a book entitled Jihad and its Times.  His recent publications include, The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad, and Jesus, One Man Two Faiths: a Dialogue between Christians and Muslims. His book The Last Civilized Place: Sijilmasa and it’s Saharan Destiny published by the University of Texas Press, will appear in May of 2015. He has won several teaching awards including the CASE Tennessee Professor of the Year Award for 1993.  Since 1992, he has been the lecturer for over forty study tours including twelve tours to Morocco, five to Israel, five to Spain, three to Syria and Jordan, three to Egypt, three to Tunisia, three to Turkey, one to Oman in the Persian Gulf, and two to Mali and Timbuktu.