On this voyage of imperial cities, white hilltowns and idyllic islands, you will embark from Malaga, Spain. Explore Granada and the utterly magnificent Alhambra. Continue to Gibraltar, one of the worldÂ’s great landmarks of the sea. Cross the Strait of Gibraltar and sail for the Moroccan town of Tangier, where a vibrant new artistic culture is emerging in the Arabic, French, and bohemian alleyways. Explore the grand city of Rabat, MoroccoÂ’s capital, where kings still reign, and admire the glorious architecture and exotic atmosphere in fabled El Jadida and Marrakech. In magnificent Agadir, on an excursion to the Atlas Mountains, youÂ’ll have the opportunity to visit a local home and enjoy tea and a taste of the locally produced Argan Oil. In the Canary Islands, Â“the land of eternal spring,Â” a highlight is the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on Lanzarote Island.
Day 1: USA
Fly from the U.S. to Malaga, Spain.
Day 2: Malaga, Spain / Embark
Arrive in Malaga and transfer to Callisto. Stay overnight aboard Callisto, docked in port.
Day 3: Malaga / Granada, Spain
From Malaga, travel to Granada, site of the celebrated Alhambra, the palace-fortress of the 13th-century Nasrid Sultans, rulers of the last Moorish kingdom in Spain. With its splendid palaces, fragrant gardens, and spacious courtyards, the Alhambra represents the brilliance of Moorish culture, art, and architecture. Also, visit the 16th-century Cathedral, with its ornate Royal Chapel.
Day 4: Gibraltar
Gibraltar is one of the worldÂ’s great sea landmarks that has guided mariners for centuries. During your stay here, you will explore Casares, a typical Andalusian Â“White Town,Â” set on a hillside below a castle. Wander around the twisting lanes, enjoying views from the Alcazar, the ruins of a Moorish castle. You will ascend to the top of the Rock and visit Saint MichaelÂ’s Cave, the upper Galleries, and the Gibraltar Museum. Other sites include NelsonÂ’s Anchorage and GibraltarÂ’s famed tailless monkeys.
Day 5: Tangier, Morocco
Founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century B.C., Tangier was subsequently held by the Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, and Visigoths, followed by the Arabs in 709, who used it as the base for their invasion of Spain. Spend the afternoon exploring the medina, a classic Moroccan town of narrow alleyways and stepped passages, dominated by its old citadel, or kasbah. Also, visit the Dar el Makhzen, the former palace of the sultans, now a museum of antiquities and crafts, and the Old American Legation, a former palace given to the U.S. government in 1777 to house AmericaÂ’s first embassy (Morocco was the first overseas country to recognize the independent United States).
Day 6: Casablanca / Rabat, Morocco
From Casablanca, drive to Rabat, MoroccoÂ’s elegant capital. Tour its medina, home to colorful souks; the Chellah Citadel, which contains the royal tombs; and the Kasbah des Oudaias, the evocative quarter of the old Almohad, Merenid, and Andalusian towns.
Day 7: Jorf-Lasfar, Morocco
Explore El Jadida, whose old Medina has a distinct Portuguese flavor from the town being held for over 250 years by Portugal. Nearby is the walled city of Azemmour, another Portuguese stronghold.
Day 8: Marrakech / Safi, Morocco
From Safi, drive to fabled Marrakech, one of MoroccoÂ’s Imperial Capitals, founded in the 11th century and set among gardens and palm groves. Your exploration includes the 12th-century Koutoubia Minaret; the Bahia Palace; the Ben Youssef Medressa; the Jewish Quarter; and Djemaa el-Fna, the cityÂ’s central square at the heart of the medina. There will also be the opportunity to walk through MarrakechÂ’s colorful souks.
Days 9-10: Taroudant or Imouzzer / Agadir, Morocco
Built around a sweeping bay, Agadir was first colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century and was captured by the Saadians in the 1500s. From Agadir, enjoy a choice of excursions. On the first, drive through the fertile Souss Valley southeast of Agadir to reach the imperial city of Taroudant, once the capital of the Saadian dynasty and now famous for its stately red ocher ramparts. Ascend the city walls and enjoy a relaxed walking tour of the cityÂ’s medina, including the souks around Assarag and Tamaklotte Squares. Alternatively, visit Imouzzer des Ida Oudatane, an extremely scenic area of the Atlas Mountains northeast of Agadir. The surrounding valleys harbor several Berber villages, nestled deep in picturesque gorges, and are accessible only by jeep, which all offer an authentic glimpse of traditional Berber life. After a beautiful drive, along which you will stop for photo opportunities, visit a home in one of the villages for tea and a taste of the locally-produced Argan Oil. Return to Agadir as the sun sets over Â“Paradise Valley.Â”
Day 11: Canary Islands, Spain
Call at Arrecife, designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and one of the seven islands of the Canary Archipelago. From Arrecife, visit the National Park of Timanfaya, whose landscape has been shaped by volcanic activity and which is renowned for its distinctive plant species. En route to the park, pass small villages of red-tiled houses that exist in bright contrast to the ash-covered mountains.
Day 12: Las Palmas / Disembark / USA
Disembark in Las Palmas and transfer to the airport for return flights to the U.S.