Photographic Journey, Morocco

April 29th - May 8th, 2017

At first glance, it would appear that Morocco’s northwest corner has everything a traveler could want. Bordered on one side by sweeping expanses of near-deserted coastline washed by both Atlantic and Mediterranean waters, and on the other by the wild, rugged Rif mountain range that defines the physical boundary between Europe and Africa, this part of the country is home to a number of ancient, walled Medinas that remain mainly remote, off the beaten path, and begging to be explored.

 

DAY 1 - 29 APR

Welcome to Morocco! Arrive into Med V airport in Casablanca (international flight cost not included) and to be quoted separately). Upon arrival, your driver will collect you to bring you to your hotel for check-in where you can refresh, recharge and join your leading photographer for drinks and orientation. Irina will give a short lecture and a Q&A session on photography tips while traveling.

The Barceló Casablanca Hotel is situated in the centre of Casablanca, on Bulevard D'Anfa, one of the most modern areas of this Moroccan city. The recently built hotel is an excellent option both for business trips as well as enjoying a leisure trip and relishing a pleasant stay in Morocco. It is situated 25 kilometres from Mohamed V International Airport and it has 5 fully equipped function rooms for meetings, events and conferences. The hotel offers free Internet service in all rooms and has a cyber corner for guests. Stay in the hotel rooms with fabulous views of the Hassan II mosque. The a-la-carte restaurant Tubkal offers a selection of Moroccan and Spanish cuisine accompanied by a carefully selected wine list. The Anfa Tea House offers the country's best tea accompanied by a select array of local pastries.

 

Overnight Barcelo Casablanca - Double room, breakfast included


DAY 2 - 30 Apr

Sunrise shoot before breakfast: wake up very early to join the group for some stunning picture taking opportunities during the magic hour. Have your tripod at the “ready” J.

After your breakfast, check out & explore this sprawling urban paradise, with enormous photographic opportunities. Still enchanting Rabat; stroll through its maze of streets, where modern and ancient structures reside side-by-side. In the heart of the city stands the Tour Hassan, the last vestige of an unfinished mosque. Behind its marble columns, the Mohammed V Mausoleum engenders solemn respect and serene contemplation. Today we will focus on photographing architecture (and/or other travel related details) while having discussions on composition, lighting and mood.

Visit the Kasbah des Oudayas; a Kasbah constructed by the Almohads in the 12th century. Drive to the Royal City of Meknes, the megalomaniacal creation of Moulay Ismail. The city had over 50 palaces, with almost 18 miles of walls and 20 gates. Visit Moulay Ismail Mausoleum and the horse- breeding Center at Haras with its superb Berber and Arabian horses. Continue to the extensive Roman ruins of Volubilis, before you drive to FEZ, Morocco’s spiritual Capital.

Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at Ramada Fes . In the heart of Fes, 5 minutes from the train station and 25 minutes from the airport, the 5-star hotel Ramada Fes is in a luxurious and elegant setting. Hotel Ramada Fes offers 133 rooms and suites with thoughtful decoration combining authentic features with modern facilities. For your relaxation, the hotel offers a swimming pool, a spa and a gym. It is the perfect choice for a trip combining sightseeing and relaxation or golf. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the entire hotel. Discover the cultural and spiritual capital city of Morocco. After a day of sightseeing, have dinner in one of the four restaurants in the hotel before having a last drink in the bar or an exciting night in the nightclub.

Overnight Ramada Fes - Double room, breakfast included


DAY 3 - 01 May

Today, you’ll begin very early before sunrise with a panoramic view to shoot from the Southern or Northern Fortresses which were built in the late 16th Century by the Saadian Dynasty. After which, you’ll enter one of Fez-el-Bali’s fourteen gates which is like stepping back a thousand years into maze of history, architecture and intrigue.

Winding narrow lined with tiny workshops of 30,000 craftsmen. Visit the Kairaouine Mosque, one of the oldest universities in the world, and the 14th-century Medersa Bou Inania. 

Practice shooting with creative use of patterns, angles and perspective.

At Dar Batha Museum, see the finest examples of local arts and crafts. You’ll conclude the walk at the Merinid Tombs- located on a hill just above the bustling city of Fez. The best time to head up to the ruins of the Merenid Tombs is at the end of the day where you’ll be able to watch the sunset on the ancient medina of Fez and enjoy a spectacular view of the city’s lights, while being immersed in the echo of prayer calls. 

Don’t forget your tripod for practicing creative techniques with low light photography and slow shutter.

In the evening, you will enjoy dinner at a local traditional Moroccan restaurant.

Overnight Ramada Fes- Double room, breakfast included


DAY 4 - 02 May

Before sunrise join the group for some more “magic hour” photography. Have your tripod with you.

After check out, your transfer will collect you for your departure to Erfoud via the mountains and the cedar woods of the middle Atlas passing by Ifrane, a charming ski resort and Azrou, an important handicraft centre.

Stop in Midelt for lunch at your own expense.

Continuation to Erfoud via Errachidia and the Ziz Valley, then drive in the desert until Merzouga, where you will check in and overnight at an incredible desert camp. Prior to that however, you will stop at an optimal location before the sunset to be able to capture the views in beautiful light.


The immense oasis of Erfoud is geographically rich, and amazingly beautiful. It is one of the last cities just before the desert and the starting point of interesting excursions. The property is set upon a spectacular area of dunes, surrounded by small oases which are fantastic for viewing the sunrise or sunset. Here at Palais du Desert one can take in the night in a traditional tent in the heart of the dunes, experiencing the sensations of nomadic life.

Overnight Palais du Desert- Double tent, breakfast and dinner included.

 


DAY 5 - 03 May

Wake up very early morning today to capture the sunrise over the sandy-dunes of Merzouga (possibility to have a camel ride in the dunes) Back to Erfoud by 4x4, meet your driver and departure to Rissani the holy city where Moulay Ali Cherif, ancestor of the Alaouite dynasty is buried. Visit of the Kasbah built in 17th century and the Ksar Abbar ruins. Time permitting - photo session there, we will practice some portraiture techniques and lighting. Continuation to Tinghir via the Tinjdad road.
 
Visit of the magnificent Todra canyons with rocks reaching 250 m of altitude. Lunch at your own account in a local restaurant located in the Center of Todra gorges. Ever thought that you can capture your simplest food in the most beautiful ways? We will play with that a lot on this trip.  Afterwards, continue towards Dades Valley roses and the roads of thousands of Kasbahs to reach Ouarzazate where you will check into your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.

Hôtel Karam Palace is just a 9-minute drive from Ouarzazate Airport and features a traditional Moroccan décor. An outdoor swimming pool, a garden and a patio with a fountain are provided. The air-conditioned guest rooms at the Hôtel Karam Palace are simply decorated and include a flat- screen TV with satellite channels. They each have a private bathroom with free toiletries. Moroccan dishes can be served in the dining area upon request and a continental breakfast is served daily. The property can help organize camel riding, trekking and excursions in the surrounding area.  Weather permitting – night sky and/or low light photography session.

Overnight Karam Palace - Double room, breakfast included


DAY 6 - 04 May

Early photo shoot at sunrise. Obviously.

Today after checkout, you will be collected by your transfer driver who will take you to Marrakech via the Tichka Passes which stand 2500 meters high, offering an impressive landscape to photograph in the heart of the Atlas Mountains.

Once in Marrakech, you will enjoy free time on your own for your photographic opportunities. Leading photographer will organize talks/sessions/reviews based on group’s interests. Join the group or enjoy the city on your own.
The Atlas Medina & Spa is surrounded by a 12 acre garden in the heart of Marrakech’s Hivernage Square. It offers rooms with private bathrooms, and a spa. The air-conditioned rooms at Atlas Medina & Spa come with a TV and private bathroom. Some rooms have a terrace overlooking the pool or garden and all rooms have free Wi-Fi internet.

Guests have access to Atlas Medina’s swimming pools and garden with palm trees, as well as spa access available for an additional fee. A fitness center is also offered at the hotel.

Overnight Medina & Spa Hotel- Double room, breakfast included.


DAY 7 - 05 May

Today is a full day dedicated to visiting & exploring Marrakech. The magic of Marrakech has a lot to do with its setting. It lies at the foot of the High Atlas, on an ancient trade route through the Sahara. You can feel the energy of Africa in the Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech's main square. For almost a thousand years the square has played host to a nightly carnival of singers, tumblers, sorcerers, herbalists, story-tellers and snake charmers.

Then there are the souks, miles of labyrinthine passageways, illuminated by shafts of sunlight, watching cloth dyers, wood carvers, jewelry-makers, leather workers and blacksmiths at work. An amazing & rich source for your photography.

Today begins very early before sunrise in the Palm Grove area of Marrakech where you’ll capture gorgeous photos, and immediately after, you’ll head to the market for beautiful shots of the medina souks and monuments.
This evening, the best place for sunset photos is the roof terrace of Café Glacier located in the Jemaa el Fna Square.

Enjoy dinner at a trendy Lounge restaurant with belly dancing show – Jad Mahal.
Overnight Medina & Spa Hotel- Double room, breakfast included

 


DAY 8 - 6 May

Experience the day entirely at leisure in Marrakech to explore and capture photos as you wish. Overnight Medina & Spa Hotel- Double room, breakfast included


DAY 9 - 7 May

Bid Marrakech farewell as you are driven back to Casablanca where you will tour the awesome Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in Morocco. Feast on delectable French cuisine during your farewell dinner tonight at Rick’s Café, a replica of the café in the film Casablanca, owned by an American.

Overnight Barcelo Casablanca- Double room, breakfast included.


DAY 10 - 8 May

Today after check out, your driver will collect you to bring you to the airport in Casablanca for your international flight home (international flight cost not included and to be quoted separately)

 


COST PER PERSON- US $ 4999 per person, double occupancy – including land program outlined above. International airfare is not included and to be booked separately. No space is currently being held- rates and availability subject to change and not guaranteed until time of booking.

INCLUSIONS

  • Airport transfers as listed

  • Accommodations as listed including breakfast(except the camp & Ouarzazate hotel where dinners are included)

  • 3 Dinners at gastronomic restaurants- 1 in Fez, 1 in Marrakech and 1 in Casablanca excluding beverages as listed

  • Transportation in Deluxe Minibus-14 seats, air conditioned vehicle including all transfers and visits indicated in the above program

  • Round trip transfer by 4x4 to your camp in Merzouga

  • English speaking driver

  • English speaking photography instructor/guide

  • English speaking local guides for the visits and sightseeing tours indicated in the itinerary

  • Touring as listed, plus entrance fees indicated in program

  • Tips for luggage porters at hotels

     

NOT INCLUDED

  • Any other activities not mentioned above
  • Accommodations
  • International airfares and domestic airfares not mentioned in program Visa fees
  • Insurance- we strongly recommend all travelers purchase insurance
  • All items of personal nature e.g. telephone call bills, fax/email bills etc
  • Tipping
  • Beverages as indicated
  • International flight, airport and departure taxes
  • Any other item(s) not included in our itinerary
  • Unforeseen Government tax increment
  • Up to 4% fee if paying by credit card

IMPORTANT NOTE

All hotels are subject to availability and can be substituted for similar hotels. Not responsible for errors or omissions in the content of this proposal- all touring elements and hotels are subject to change and subject to availability. Pricing on request