If a taste of the exotic whets your photographic appetite then our Magical Morocco photography holiday is perfect for you. Busy souks with traders selling their traditional wares, desolate desert landscapes with camels and nomads and cities that are straight from the pages of ‘Arabian Nights’ are just some of the highlights…
Our Moroccan photography adventure begins in the capital, Rabat. Off the tourist trail for most visitors, the city has a relaxed and authentic feel, with wide palm-lined boulevards and impressive colonial architecture.
You’ll meet your photography leader and the rest of the group this evening for a brief chat about your tour.
After an early breakfast we head towards Morocco’s famed blue city of Chefchaouen, stopping half way at Ksar el-Kabir, site of the infamous 16th century ‘battle of the three kings’ which saw the Portuguese lose the majority of their nobility. We’ll arrive at Chefchaouen around lunchtime and start exploring after a bite to eat. The town is a labyrinth of small lanes and winding alleyways, its buildings are painted various shades of blue and its inhabitants mostly wear traditional dress. The atmosphere is sleepy and relaxed and it is incredibly photogenic, earning its reputation as a photographer’s dream.
We have a full day to explore this stunning location, capturing the winding lanes, local people, aging buildings and ornate arches that make it such a special place. We’ll visit the Andalucian influenced Medina with its red-tiled roofs atop bright blue buildings, and the town’s restored Kasbah in the busy Plaza Uta el-Hammam. We’ll also go out in to the nearby countryside of the Rif Mountains for some landscape photography and panoramic views of the town, capturing the city lights as dusk falls.
Today we move on to Fes, the 1,200 year old, fast-paced and exhilarating cultural centre of Morocco. On the way we’ll stop at El Wahda lake for some photographs of the picturesque landscape before continuing to Fes, arriving just before lunch. In the afternoon we dive straight into the action with a visit to the old medina area. Chaotic and busy, its narrow lanes and covered bazaars are bursting with colour and the smells of food stalls. We’ll see and photograph local craftsmen in their street-side workshops, beautiful mosques, varied and interesting architecture and the mules and their handlers that are the main form of transport in the old town. Our shots today are certain to be full of action and colour.
A long drive will take us away from the cities, through the mountains and into the North African desert, passing through Berber territory. Fiercely independent, the Berber culture is very different from that of their Arab neighbours, with a unique language and traditions. We’ll take the opportunity to stop at a Berber village, experience their famous hospitality and photograph them as they go about their daily lives. We’ll also make several stops to take advantage of the glorious and ever-changing countryside that we’ll be passing through, including the Tizi N’Tairhemt Camel Pass and the Gorge du Ziz. Finally, just before arriving to the desert settlement of Erfoud, we’ll visit Meskiisit Oasis, also know as the ‘Blue Spring’ which borders the arid desert plains.
Following the meandering Ziz River, we reach the settlement of Rissani and the start of the Sand Sea. Before entering the desert we’ll spend some time photographing the nearby mud brick ksour or fortified villages of the area. After lunch, we make our way to Merzouga, which lies on the edge of Erg Chebbi, an area of spectacular high dunes that are amongst some of Morocco’s most stunning natural landscapes. We’ll spend the afternoon exploring the area by foot and 4WD, seeking out the best view points to photograph the dunes, as well as camels and their riders. We’ll stay around until dusk when we’ll make sure we’re in a good spot for a spectacular sunset photo opportunity.
There are two options for the evening. You can either return to the hotel or you can join us camping out in the desert in a traditional Berber-style tent and a chance to try your hand at photographing the stars over the desert without any light pollution.
A later start this morning as we leave the desert behind and follow an ancient route along the southern slopes of the Atlas Mountains. After we’ve had our lunch and checked in at our hotel at Tinghir, we’ll begin photographing the towering vistas of the Todra Gorge and the winding course of the Todra River.
In the morning Berber women drive their goats through the narrow gorge, its dramatic ochre-coloured cliffs leaving just a narrow pass for the track on the river. We’ll follow their route, seeking out stunning views along the way and we’ll spend the morning making the most of the remarkable landscape and the photographic opportunities it offers.
After lunch we depart for Ouarzazate, making our first stop at El Kelaa des M’Gouna, famous for its roses, which bloom in huge numbers each spring. Driving on through the Dades Valley with its fertile oases, we enter the famous Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, where each of the mud and straw built oasis towns has their own distinctive character. We’ll stop at one or two of the most interesting, before continuing to our overnight stop at Ouarzazate.
We head out early to beat any crowds at Ait Ben Haddou. A fortified Berber settlement, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Morocco’s most picturesque settings. Its famous Kasbah has been the location of many film scenes including Jesus of Nazareth, Lawrence of Arabia and more recently, Game of Thrones. We’ll shoot the town from a distance in the early morning light before moving inside to photograph the ancient streets and the town’s people.
After lunch we continue to Marrakesh through the spectacular scenery of the High Atlas Mountains. We’ll cross the winding Tizi n’ Tichka pass, the highest in Morocco which is often snow covered during the winter months.
Marrakesh, known as the Red City, is busy, exciting and dripping with history. The Medina, or old town, is a cacophony of noise and colour and the spectacular Djemma-el-Fna is like a scene straight out of the pages of the Arabian Nights. We’ll spend the whole day taking advantage of the multitude of photographic opportunities including the wonderful jugglers, acrobats and snake charmers that ply their trade in the squares and streets, the local traders and craftsmen and their wares in the Souk, and the wonderful architecture and buildings that are around every corner.
In the evening we’ll enjoy a traditional belly dancer show with an exclusive opportunity to photograph the dancer beforehand.
Our tour ends in Marrakesh after breakfast
Our photography holidays and tours are designed to maximise the chances of getting great images by visiting photogenic sites at times that are good for photographing them. This generally means trying to avoid crowds and being out when the light is best, just after sunrise, and again in the late afternoon. Occasionally we’ll stay out after sunset or make use of clear night skies. The middle of the day is often reserved for lunch, free time, travelling, downloading images and relaxing. We try to make the most of each area we visit so there may a lot of distance covered and sometimes days can be long. Please read the itineraries carefully to get an idea of driving times and any particularly demanding days.
Our holidays are planned for dates when the weather is expected to be suitable for photography; however, with an ever more unpredictable climate there is always the possibility that we’ll experience poor conditions. In this case we’ll give what advice we can to help you get good results from your photography, and we may make changes to the tour to try to make the best of the situation.
The joining time is 18:00 on day 1 at the hotel reception, your photography leader will meet you there.
We can arrange transfers for you at the beginning and end of your tour at a cost of £49 each way.
It is condition of booking that you are covered by adequate travel insurance. If you are bringing expensive photography equipment we recommend that this is insured too.
The following photography equipment is recommended:
• DSLR or mirrorless camera
• Wide angle lens
• Mid range zoom
• ND filters
• Remote shutter release
• Sufficient memory cards and storage devices
You’ll need light casual clothes and comfortable shoes. Early mornings can be chilly so a sweater is recommended. A sun hat and some long sleeved items are a good idea to help protect your skin against the sun.
Rooming is based on a twin share basis. If 2 people book together, they will automatically be roomed together. Those travelling alone will be sharing with another single traveller of the same sex unless a single room has been booked. If you desire privacy, are a light sleeper or a loud snorer then we’d recommend you book a single room.
All accommodation is on bed and breakfast basis. You’ll need money to cover lunch, dinner and your drinks. As a rough guide we’d recommend that you allow around £15 – £25 per day.
Dates & Prices
|Fri 24 Mar 17||Sun 02 Apr 17||£799||Not yet on sale||Express interest|
|*Thu 23 Mar 17||Sun 02 Apr 17||£899||Not yet on sale||Express interest|
|Fri 13 Oct 17||Sun 22 Oct 17||£799||Not yet on sale||Express interest|
|*Thu 12 Oct 17||Sun 22 Oct 17||£899||Not yet on sale||Express interest|
|Fri 23 Mar 18||Sun 01 Apr 18||£799||Not yet on sale||Express interest|
|*Thu 22 Mar 18||Sun 01 Apr 18||£899||Not yet on sale||Express interest|
|Fri 12 Oct 18||Sun 21 Oct 18||£799||Not yet on sale||Express interest|
|*Thu 11 Oct 18||Sun 21 Oct 18||£899||Not yet on sale||Express interest|
|* Includes Tuition day at the beginning of your holiday|