DETAILED ITINERARY | MAIN TRIP                                                                        

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Depart Home

Depart the U.S. on your overnight flight/s to Morocco


Friday, October 25

Arrive Fes, Morocco

  1. Arrive in Fes and transfer on arrival to our boutique hotel in the heart of the medina for three nights: the Algila Fes.

  2. Join your fellow travelers and photography instructor, David Wells, for welcome drinks and an orientation at the hotel.

ALGILA FES


Saturday, October 26

FES: Fes El-Bali & the Ancient Medina

  1. Walk in the morning to catch the soft light as the medina—a late riser—slowly begins to come alive.

  2. We’ll then begin our exploration of fascinating Fes, said to be the most complete medieval city of the Arab world, still retaining the look and feel of the era.  Following a panoramic view of the city, our expert guide will lead us head first into a sense-stimulating walk through the oldest part of the medina—across food and spice markets, handicraft quarters, auction markets and colorful souks.  As we navigate the maze of narrow lanes, we’ll take our time to savor fantastic photography opportunities, including stops at the ancient tanneries, the Attarine Medersa, and by the ancient Kairouine Mosque. A fine lunch will be served at a restaurant in the medina.

  3. Gather for dinner tonight at a magical restaurant a short walk from the hotel, with an opportunity to practice night street photography en route.

(B, L, D) | ALGILA FES


Sunday, October 27

FES: Fes El-Jdid | Lunch with local family 

  1. Set out at dawn this morning for photos in beautiful morning light.

  2. Continue for a visit in of Fes El Jdid (“new Fes,” dating from the 14th-century)—including a view of the Royal Palace and a stroll in the Jewish Quarter (mellah)—and then to the family home of a local merchant for lunch and a photo shoot.

  3. Following our in-home visit, we’ll continue on to a pottery/mosaic workshop to meet local artisans and learn about the production of traditional Moroccan tiles.

  4. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to explore and/or work on photos. Tonight’s dinner is intentionally independent; join us at a recommended restaurant, or dine on your own

(B, L) | ALGILA FES

See more Morocco images in our Gallery here.

FES

Monday, October 28

Fes | JOURNEY SOUTH THROUGH THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS | Erfoud

  1. Depart south this morning towards the Sahara Desert via the Atlas Mountains together with David, Temu, and our expert Moroccan guide. On our beautiful journey we’ll pass a remarkable diversity of landscapes.

  2. We begin with a short stop in Ifrane— a charming ski resort reminiscent of the Swiss Alps—accessible by road though one of the most fertile and well-cultivated valleys in Morocco.

  3. Continue for lunch at Midelt, at an altitude of 5,000 ft.

  4. Drive on through magnificent cedar, pine, and oak forests to reach the Saharan plateau before ascending up to the High Atlas for exceptional views of date palm valleys, fortified mud-brick villages, and varied geological formations.  

  5. En route, observe lifestyles unchanged for centuries: nomadic shepherds living in black tents and moving seasonally between mountain and desert with their herds of goat and sheep. 

  6. In the last leg of the journey, pass through Tafilalet country, home of the current royal family, and follow the legendary Ziz valley along a deep canyon down to Erfoud, gateway to the Sahara and our home for the night.

(B, L, D) | KASBAH HOTEL CHERGUI


Tuesday, October 29

ERFOUD | TISSERDMINE OASIS | SAHARA DESERT

  1. After breakfast, transfer to 4x4s for a thrilling ride into the Sahara Desert towards the massive dune field of Erg Chebbi, where a sublime sunset excursion in the dunes awaits this afternoon. 

  2. As we approach the dunes, visit a family of nomads living in the desert, and continue on to the Tisserdmine Oasis for a private BBQ lunch under the shadow of palm trees (one of several oases in the area where films have been shot).

  3. Sunset camel ride in the dunes with stops to capture amazing photographs of the shifting sands in the late afternoon light.

  4. Arrive at our private luxury desert camp at dusk, welcomed by local Gnawa musicians who will celebrate with us throughout the evening.

  5. Special Dinner in our private desert camp.

  6. Stargazing, star photography and “light painting” session after dinner.

(B, L, D) | PRIVATE DESERT CAMP

Wednesday, October 30

SAHARA DESERT | TODRA GORGE | DADES VALLEY

  1. Early risers can watch and photograph the sunrise over the sand dunes before breakfast.

  2. After driving out of the dunes by 4X4, continue by bus through a desert of stones and lunar landscapes towards the magnificent Todra Valley, passing beautiful green oases inhabited for millennia en route. 

  3. At Todra, take in impressive views on a walk along a narrow canyon, and see its oasis as well as the old fortified villages in the valley.

  4. Continue to Dades to explore and photograph its imposing gorges and sheer rock formations.

  5. Evening recap, dinner, and overnight at the Xaluca Dades Hotel.

(B, L, D) | XALUCA DADES


Thursday, October 31

DADES VALLEY | SKOURA OASIS | AIT BEN HADDOU

  1. After several action-packed days, enjoy a morning at leisure.  Sleep in, relax, and/or use this time to download and sort through photos, meet one-on-one with David, etc.

  2. Around midday, set off westward towards the beautiful Skoura Oasis, where a Berber family will graciously welcome us into their humble home for lunch (and wonderful photography opportunities!).

  3. Continue in the afternoon across a spectacular barren region—where many movies have been filmed—to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Ben Haddou, one of the most beautiful displays of Berber architecture. Explore the impressive 11th-century Kasbah, and enjoy time to photograph this wonderful place in late afternoon light.

  4. Dinner and overnight at beautiful Ksar Ighnda hotel, a short drive from the site.

(B, L, D) | KSAR IGHNDA


Friday, November 1

Ait Ben Haddou | ATLAS MOUNTAINS CROSSING | MARRAKECH

  1. Cross the beautiful High Atlas Mountains this morning, through stretches of desert and farmlands, passing picturesque rock formations and remains of historical Kasbahs en route. The road zigzags higher to Tizi N’tichka pass (7500 ft), snow covered in winter, and then descends into cultivated terraces of pine and oak forests as it leads towards Marrakech.  We’ll make several photo stops and have lunch en route or on arrival. 

  2. Early to mid-afternoon arrival in Marrakech, for check-in at our hotel for the last three nights: Dar Silsila.

  3. In the late afternoon, those interested can join Temu and David for our first walk into magical Djemma el Fna Square at sunset, precisely when it comes alive with snake charmers, dancers, story tellers, food vendors, musicians, and more.

(B, L) |  DAR SILSILA

MOUNTAINS & DESERT

Saturday, November 2

MARRAKECH

  1. Optional sunrise walk in the medina, followed by one-on-one time with David through breakfast and mid-morning.

  2. Our excursion today will feature Marrakech’s ancient medina, including a guided walk through its dizzying lanes, artisan areas, souks, and the excellent Photography Museum—where we hope to meet the Director and also enjoy lunch on its breezy terrace (which has one of the best views in the city). 

  3. After lunch, join the Museum’s director for a visit to an amazing 15th-century apartment he recently restored in the medina.

  4. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore independently.  Those interested can join us on our second photography outing into the magical central Square at sunset. 

  5. An optional night photography walk will be offered in the medina. 

(B, L) | DAR SILSILA


Sunday, November 3

MARRAKECH

  1. Morning excursion to visit and photograph some of Marrakech’s most important monuments, including the Bahia Palace (before crowds arrive) and the 11th-century Koutoubia mosque.

  2. After a visit and demonstration at a local spice shop, the remainder of the day is officially at leisure. Nonetheless, you may join a number of options in the afternoon, such as:

  3. A visit to Yves St. Laurent’s beautiful Majorelle Gardens followed by lunch at the nice on-site cafe.

  4. A “shopping expedition” in the souks.

  5. A relaxing afternoon massage/hammam at a highly-rated spa in Marrakech.

  6. Or, simply more independent time to explore and photograph in the souks. 

  7. Enjoy a special final dinner tonight at a beautiful locale near the hotel.

(B, D) |  DAR SILSILA


Monday, November 4

Marrakech | Fly Home

  1. Morning transfer to the Marrakech airport for flights back home.

MARRAKECH

Limited to 12 participants

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MOROCCO: A Visual Feast                                                               
Photography Workshop & Journey from the Imperial Cities to the Sahara  |  October 24-November 4, 2019Morocco.html

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