Join me on a two-week photography tour and expedition to Morocco.
One more time I’ll be leading a tour in Morocco for a group of 10 as part of one the upcoming Digital Photo Mentor tours. Pricing and complete information can be found here.
Morocco’s mix of traditional and modern strikes the perfect balance between the intensely exotic and comfortingly familiar. From Casablanca on the coast to the snow-capped Atlas mountains, and to the Sahara desert, join me for 14 days of adventure as we make our way through Morocco. The rich music, aromatic spices, and culture all come to life in this exotic land.
This adventure is designed to guide you to the most stunning locations. The tour is open to all levels of photographic skills, from beginner to experienced. However, there will be no formal workshops or critiques. We will share knowledge and skills along the way, in the spirit of true adventurers.
Day 1: Casablanca
Upon arrival in Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, you will be met and transferred by van to your Casablanca hotel, where you will check in and relax for the afternoon. The group will have a welcome meeting and orientation before you head out to dinner at a local restaurant for some traditional Moroccan cuisine.
Day 2: Casablanca
In the morning, you will have a visit to the Hassan II Mosque then take a walk around the city to capture some of the art deco buildings and local food markets. After lunch is an optional photo lesson and image review time with the tour leader. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.
Day 3: Rabat/Chefchaouen
After breakfast, we will leave Casablanca and head towards Chefchaouen, the famous blue city of Morocco in the Rif Mountains. On route, you will stop at Rabat, the capital city and residence of the King, where you can capture some great shots of the La Tour Hassan Tower and Mausoleum, we will also visit the Chellah (ancient ruins of a fortified city and opportunity to photograph stork nests). Upon arrival in Chefchaouen, you will check into the Riad Charifa and have an early dinner. After dinner, you have the option of some night photography with your tour leader. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.
Day 4: Chefchaouen
After breakfast, you will have a tour of this “cool” blue town, tucked away in the mountains. You will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Rif Mountains. Perfect for photography, this blue city offers every shade of blue. As you wander the streets of “Chaouen,” you’ll find ample opportunities to capture the vibrant colors and textures of this wonderful town. We’ll have an early dinner and afterward, will take a walk up onto the surrounding mountainside where you can photograph this whitewashed town nestled in the hills at dusk. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.
Day 5: Chefcahouen/Fes
After breakfast, you will head towards Fes, the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco. Upon arrival in Fes, you will go directly to the potters. This fascinating visit will allow you to get a picture of how this handicraft has existed for hundreds of years. After checking in, you will some time for possible image review or Q&A with the tour leader. You will have a wonderful traditional dinner in the Riad.
Day 6: Fes
After breakfast, you will begin your guided tour of the Medina (with over 9500 alleyways), one of the world’s largest walled cities. You will explore the narrow streets lined with fresh fruit and mounds of spices, the tanneries, and the artisans of Fes. For lunch, you will eat in traditional restaurants in the heart of the medina. After lunch, you will have some time to explore the Galawi Palace in our own private time (we will have a model dressed in traditional clothes to pose for us as well). This ancient palace is turning to ruins but offers a wonderful look at the architecture of Morocco, and is a photographer’s paradise. In the late afternoon, you will have some free time to relax before dinner out and sunset from a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the city.
Day 7: Fes
You will have a relaxed breakfast before you have an opportunity to visit the Jewish quarter. The group will have lunch at the Boujloud square. In the afternoon, we will have some optional activities like a shopping trip (carpets, linens, silver works) or more free time to shoot photos in the medina (a guide will be provided so you don’t get lost).
Day 8: Fes/Erfoud/Sahara
After an early breakfast you will begin your ascent across the Middle Atlas Mountains. Most of the day will be spent winding your way through the beautiful forests, jagged rock faces, and Berber villages as you cross the Atlas Mountains and begin to descend towards the Sahara Desert. Halfway, you will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, famous for its fossils and rocks. In the afternoon, you will make your way down along the Ziz River Valley. Upon arrival in Erfoud, you will jump into the 4x4s and head out to our auberge. Sunrise and sunset at the dunes is well worth the visit. We will arrange for a camel caravan on the dunes for the anticipated sunset pictures.
Day 9: Sahara Desert
Don’t miss the sunrise on the dunes. In the morning, you will have an optional ATV ride around the dunes and a visit to the nomadic Berber villages. Listen to some of their music while you get some people photos. For those looking for adventure and some deep desert shots, you will set off by camel for a 2-hour trek out to the oasis where you will spend the night in Berber tents (dinner is included, served under the stars). A chance for night photography under the stars in the desert is magical!
Day 10: Sahara/Dades
After breakfast, you will return by camel to the 4x4s and head back to Erfoud. From Erfoud, you set out behind the High Atlas Mountains on route to the Dades Gorges. The picturesque river valleys make for a beautiful journey towards the southeast of Morocco. You will stay the night at Dades before you cross the High Atlas Mountains. Dinner will be served at the hotel.
Day 11: Dades/Ouarzazate
We set off early toward Ouarzazate, the movie capital of Morocco. We’ll stop for an optional visit to a Kasbah, movie museum, or you can wander and take photos on your own. You’ll check in to the hotel early, after which you can do a hammam, swim, or even get a massage (extra fees apply). If you like, we can arrange a sunset shoot overlooking the Ait Benhaddou Kasbah.
Day 12: Ait Ben Haddou/Marrakesh
Before the town fully awakens, we walk up Ait Benhaddou in the early morning light. In actuality, this setting has been used for more films than any other location in Morocco including; Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, and more recently The Gladiator. From there we will head off towards Marrakech over the High Atlas Mountains, with a stop to see an Argan co-op where the ladies make this sought after oil. Take some time enjoying this beautiful landscape. You will check into your riad and then head out to the famous Djemaa el-Fna square. This is one of the center attractions of Marrakech. Coming alive at night with the local storytellers, entertainers, and mouth-watering barbecue pits, the square is well worth a visit. A quiet cup of tea on the terrace of an adjacent café provides a spectacular aerial view of the bustling square at sunset. Dinner will be in the square at the food stalls for the more adventurous (or at the cafe for those less inclined).
Day 13: Marrakesh
After breakfast, the group will have a guided tour of Marrakech, the southern pearl of Morocco. You will discover the Majorelle Garden and many other hidden treasures. After lunch, you will continue with the tour on to the Djemaa el-Fna square and souk where you will have free time to wander and shop for exotic things to take home. Our final dinner will be served at the Ryad.
Day 14: Travel Home
Your car awaits to take you to the Marrakech airport and transfers to your home country.
Or you can choose to stay on a few more days in Marrakech and join me for an extension to the coastal town of Essaouira.
Some of the wonderful photos and possibilities are featured in the following video from the 2016 and 2017 tours: