Sun, Jan 27 | Marrakesh

Morocco: Morocco Journey Photographic Adventure

Join on this incredible nine-day photographic adventure that gives back to local and indigenous peoples of magical Morocco as we make our way into the culture and history of the Berbers… offering an ideal introduction to the rich history and culture of the country.
Registration is Closed

Time & Location

Jan 27, 2019, 8:00 AM – Feb 04, 2019, 1:00 AM
Marrakesh, Marrakesh, Morocco

About The Event

The culture of the Berbers in northern Africa dates back as many as 5,000 years. Discover their enduring legacy on this 9-day adventure into Morocco’s rich cultural heritage. From atop towering Moroccan dunes, peer across the sands to watch the sun rise over another North African day. Experience such highlights during a nine-day adventure to the country’s top spots. Discover the fresh cedar forests of the Atlas Mountains, meander the winding lanes of old Marrakech, and ride into the desert on a 4x4. Meet musicians, Berbers, and artisans, and soak up the exotic beauty of Morocco.

Being partnered with National Geographic Journeys for these trips means:

  • Carbon offset – your trip is supplementing reforestation, protecting wildlife and carbon-neutral projects in all of the countries we go to.
  • Reinvesting in the people – each restaurant we eat at, tour provider we use, hotel we rest our head is locally owned and run by a family working just as hard as we are to be there.
  • You are on a first of its kind and exclusive National Geographic Journeys Photographic Tour to take you into these areas with myself as your photographic guide and instructor. This has never been done before.
  • Unique interaction with local experts for incredible learning opportunities.
  • Insider access to people or projects supported by National Geographic Journeys.
  • Culturally immersive time and opportunities to forge true, human connections.
  • Skilled Chief Experience Officers (CEOs).
  • Freedom and independence for those seeking the freedom to roam but within the structure and security of a small group.
  • Traveling with fellow photographers who are curious and seek genuine cultural immersion without sacrificing comfort.

IS THIS TOUR FOR ME?

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOURNEYS & JOSEPH ROYBAL PHOTOGRAPHY DIFFERENCE

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort

PHYSICAL RATING: 2 – LIGHT

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

TRIP TYPE: SMALL GROUP

Small group experience; Max 12

DURATION: 9 days

START/FINISH CITY: Casablanca to Marrakech

AGE REQUIREMENT: 12+

WHAT'S INCLUDED

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Sahara Dunes & Culture Excursion, Merzouga

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Moroccan Foodie Experience, Marrakech

Humanity for Good: Meknes Community Lunch, Meknès. Arrival transfer. Guided city tour of Meknes including the ancient granaries and stables of Moulay Ismail and Bab Mansour. Guided visit to Volubilis. Guided walking tour of the Fes medina including Medersa Bou Inanya and tanneries. Visit Taourirt Kasbah and Aït Ben Haddou. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM MOROCCO: Morocco Journey

Roam ancient markets, Ride into the desert on a 4x4, Peer out over the Atlas Mountains, Take part in a Marrakech cooking class.

MOROCCAN FOODIE EXPERIENCE

In the heart of bustling Marrakech, visit a historic riad for a hands-on cooking class led by a renowned Moroccan chef. Learn some techniques of this unforgettable national cuisine and prepare lunch as a group, which we’ll then sit down to eat.

VOLUBILIS GUIDED TOUR

Listen to a certified local guide explain life in the Roman Empire at this UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the impressive, well-preserved Roman ruins.

ITINERARY

DAY 0 - ARRIVAL DAY - Optional

Saturday, January 26

Fly to Casablanca (overnight flight from U.S.)

Note: Participants may arrive and depart Morocco whenever they wish, but must be present in Casablanca the afternoon of January 27th to be at welcome dinner that evening. This trip does not spend any time in Casablanca - FYI. Arriving a day or two early to explore this beautiful city is recommended.

DAY 1

Sunday, January 27

Arrive CASABLANCA

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. We will all sit down to a welcome meeting at 18:00h

Please note that this tour does not spend any time in Casablanca.

You may wish to come a day early in order to explore Casablanca, and take some time to see its medina, beachfront, and classic examples of Art Deco architecture.

Be sure to also visit the spectacular Hassan II Mosque. Entrance is only permitted via guided tours, which operate from Saturday to Thursday (closed Fridays) at 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, and 14:00. These times are subject to change (particularly around Ramadan), please double check times with your hotel. Tickets can be purchased at the mosque.

In the evening, there will be a brief meeting where we will all meet other fellow group members to go over the details of the tour taking place at 18:00h. Afterwards, we will go out for a welcome dinner in a nearby local restaurant - Optional.

Meals included: None

Sleep: Kenzi Basma Hotel (or similar)

DAY 2

Monday, January 28

CASABLANCA/FES

Drive to the imperial city of Meknes for a guided tour of some of its fascinating sites. Continue on to the ruins of Volubilis, the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. After the ruins it’s off to Fes!

Meknes is one of the four Imperial cities and its name and fame are closely linked to that of the Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made Meknes the centre of his empire and built many of the monuments that remain today.

Continue through the rolling hills to the Roman ruins of Volubilis, the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. Once an important Roman town situated near the westernmost border of Roman conquests, Volubilis was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

Photographic Component: We will spend the day working on photographic techniques that range from quick street-style shooting that is also responsible and respectful to the people as well as how to capture compelling imagery in the ruins.

Continue to Fes to spend the night. Stay in the the new city of Fes, built by the French during their Protectorate of Morocco.

This first day will be all about getting acquainted with the group, meeting new friends and experiencing sights, sounds and smells entirely new to you with the goal of capturing this with your lens.

Meals included: Breakfast

Sleep: Fes; Pickalbatros Roybal Mirage (or similar)

DAY 3

Tuesday, January 29

FES

Step back in time and embark on a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Medina. Explore winding lanes and alleys, visit the many artisans, tanneries, and shops with an expert local guide. After, enjoy a traditional tagine lunch at a cooperative that benefits rural Moroccan women and children. This evening, opt to have dinner and entertainment at a historic Riad that has been converted into a spectacular restaurant. You will not only enjoy a delicious meal of local specialties, but also an evening of singing, music, and belly dancing.

FOR GOOD: MEKNES COMMUNITY LUNCH

Enjoy a traditional lunch that benefits rural Moroccan women and children. This lunch program provides access to education opportunities and healthcare services. The proceeds from this lunch program help support vocational training for rural women, allowing them to support their families and children. Enjoy a traditional home-cooked Moroccan meal and learn a bit of Arabic while you meet some of the women that are part of this program.

Photographic Component: We will spend the day furthering our techniques practiced and learned the first day of the trip with incredible opportunities to capture spices and food, life of the Medina in the wandering streets. It will be a day packed with photographic opportunities!

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

Sleep: Fes; Pickalbatros Roybal Mirage (or similar)

DAY 4

Wednesday, January 30

FES/MERZOUGA

Travel through the Middle Atlas mountains to the Sahara Desert, overnighting in a kasbah-style desert hotel at the edge of the dunes.

Start early and watch the scenery of this diverse country change while travelling over the Middle Atlas mountains. Pass through cedar forests and the ski area of Ifrane into the desert regions. Drive by the vast palm groves of the Ziz Valley and right up to the majestic Saharan sand dunes. Keep your eyes open for a glimpse of Barbary apes en route.

Photographic Component: Today will be a transition from street and travel style photography to more landscape photography where we will be working more with our tripods, filters and various lenses to capture these incredible scenes. We will may be able to slip into the dunes after sunset to capture the stars as they hover above these majestic formations. We will aim for sunrise in the dunes capturing the sun rising into the sky changing the sand from a lightish brown to brilliant orangish-red.

Spend the night in a comfortable Kasbah-style desert hotel at the edge of the dunes.

Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner

Sleep: Merzouga; Nassar Palace (or similar)

DAY 5

Thursday, January 31

MERZOUGA/TINGHIR

Explore the Sahara on a thrilling 4x4 dunes tour. Visit the village of Khamliya where you will meet Gnaoua musicians and learn about the history of their music in the Sahara before enjoying a performance. Depart back through the desert and visit local Nomads to learn about nomadic life and share in some mint tea in one of their homes. Return to our Auberge then transfer to Tineghir for the evening.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOURNEYS EXCLUSIVE; Sahara Dunes & Culture Excursion

View the golden dunes of the Sahara desert on a 4x4 excursion. Watch the dunes as the colours creep across the landscape. Climb to the top of a dune and take in the view of the seemingly endless sea of sand. Continue on to the village of Khamliya where we meet Gnaoua musicians and learn about the history of Gnaoua music in the Sahara and enjoy a performance by these talented artists. Depart back through the desert region and visit local Berbers living in the area, learning about their way of life and sharing in some mint tea in one of the homes.

Photographic Component: Today we will continue with landscape photography where we will continue working more with our tripods, filters and various lenses to capture these incredible scenes.

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

Sleep: Tinghir; Hotel Tomboctou (or similar)

DAY 6

Friday, February 1

TINGHIR/OUARZAZATE

Visit Dades Valley then continue along the “Route of 1,000 Kasbahs” with an included visit to Kasbah Taourit. Opt to visit a Berber herbalist in Ouarzazate.

Start the morning with a visit to the Dades Gorge with its unusual natural rock formations and stunning scenery. Continue with a scenic drive along the "Route of a 1000 Kasbahs", passing by many of the mud-brick fortresses and abandoned villages. We'll visit the Taourirt Kasbah, a palace built in the 19th century for the relatives and servants of the ruling el Glaoui family. Originally, the Kasbah had hundreds of rooms and riads, but now the structure is partially destroyed. UNESCO has helped with the restoration of the Kasbah, allowing travellers to wander through the halls and rooms. It feels like you’ve stepped back in time.

After lunch continue to Ouarzazate, a former Foreign Legion stronghold. In Ouarzazate opt to visit a Berber herbalist and find out about the traditional medicines and cooking spices of the Berber people.

Photographic Component: Today we will have a blend of street/travel and landscape style photography as we travel throughout the gorgeous and rugged countryside and then transition to food and people portraits.

Meals included: Breakfast

Sleep: Ouarzazate; Berbere Palace (or similar)

DAY 7

Saturday, February 2

OUARZAZATE/MARRAKECH

Visit Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage site, then continue to Marrakech. Take some free time to wander this incredible city. Opt to take a historical tour, visit the Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs, or wander the souks and shops.

Continue on to the village of Aït Benhaddou. During your visit to the Kasbah, lose yourself in the narrow, winding passageways and feel the magical atmosphere of this incredible structure.

Travel to Marrakech through the Tizi n’Tichka pass at 2200m in the High Atlas Mountains. Travel along winding mountain roads with breathtaking views from the highest peaks of Morocco.

Photographic Component: Marrakech is one of my favorites! Street photography abounds with people, food, spices, LIFE! We will capture it all and get lost in the Medina wandering the streets, sampling street vendor food and enjoying this vibrant city.

Meals included: Breakfast

Sleep: Marrakech; Dellarosa Hotel and Suites (or similar)

DAY 8

Sunday, February 3

MARRAKECH

Visit a historic Riad for a hands-on cooking class from a master Moroccan chef, and enjoy the lunch that you have prepared. Later this afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Marrakech or visit the bustling markets.

Later this afternoon enjoy free time to explore the fascinating city of Marrakech and dive into the labyrinthine souks. Travellers and locals alike find everything they desire here. Whether it’s spices, traditional jalabas and slippers, or famous Moroccan lanterns, the selection here is exhaustive. Don’t forget to bargain; that’s definitely part of the fun. Opt to indulge in the chaos of the famous Djemaa el Fna square to watch acrobats and fortune tellers plying their trade.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Moroccan Foodie Experience

With its unusual combination of cultures – Berber, French, Jewish, Andalucian – Morocco is known for some incredible flavours that visitors talk about (and miss) long after they return home. In the heart of bustling Marrakech, visit a historic riad for a hands-on cooking class led by a renowned Moroccan chef who will discuss key ingredients and techniques. From rolling traditional semolina to measuring out spices for a mind-blowing tagine, learn the culinary tricks of a master while preparing lunch as a group, which we’ll all sit down to eat (and marvel at).

Photographic Component: Today will be a bit more focused on the experiences of the trip; however we will still be working with our cameras capturing images to last.

Meals included: Breakfast I Lunch

Sleep: Marrakech; Dellarosa Hotel and Suites (or similar)

DAY 9

Monday, February 4

MARRAKECH

Depart at any time or stay and continue the adventure! If you would like to extend your stay please let us know and we will be more than happy to help accommodate this request.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS ADVENTURE:

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Sahara Dunes & Culture Excursion, Merzouga
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Moroccan Foodie Experience, Marrakech
  • Humanity for Good: Meknes Community Lunch, Meknes
  • Arrival transfer
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Meals: 14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners (allow $255-335 for meals not included)
  • Tour the city of Meknes and ruins at Volubilis
  • Guided walking tour of Fes medina
  • Visit the ancient kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou
  • Sahara Desert excursion by 4×4
  • Explorethe Draa region
  • All transportation between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Pack n Go travel insurance (trip cancellation coverage available at additional cost)
  • Daily photographic workshops by yours truly, Joseph Roybal
  • National Geographic Journeys Chief Exeperience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides

MEALS - Partial

Eating is a big part of traveling. Traveling with National Geographic Journeys, you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world.

Generally, all meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Breakfasts on tour

All breakfasts are included as part of your tour. Moroccan breakfasts tend to be different from your usual cereal and toast morning fare – most will be very simple – a croissant or sweet roll with jam and instant coffee and some hotels will have buffets where you will have more variety. While you are experiencing what a Moroccan family would eat, some travellers do find the provided breakfasts a bit “bread heavy” and enjoy buying fruit the day before to supplement their breakfast.

Lunches and dinners

Moroccan cuisine is world famous and your CEO will be taking the chance to show you the best of it. Staples include cous cous, a type of grain topped with stew, tagine which is actually the name of the pot this tasty dish is cooked in, and brochette, bbq skewers of meat. These meals will generally cost between 45- 70 MAD depending on the type of restaurant and which part of the country you are in. Other tastes not to be missed include pastilla, a sweet pasty with a savoury filling which is traditionally pigeon and harira, a delicious soup based on chick peas and filling enough when teamed with fresh bread to be a whole lunch. If you are heading to the coast the fresh seafood cooked at one of the local markets is a must eat!

Snacks

Morocco’s fresh orange juice is highly recommended and you should not leave without trying a glass. The brave can try the tiny snails which are perhaps the local’s favourite snack but you might prefer a cone of piping hot bite-size fried cake donuts.

TRANSPORT

Private air conditioned minivan, walking, 4×4

ACCOMMODATION

On this trip we will stay in comfortable local hotels. Rooms will be on a twin-share basis unless you have booked our My Own Room service. You can expect the rooms to have air-conditioning, private bathrooms and breakfast will be included daily. Some hotels may also have swimming pools and/or other recreational facilities.

Where a town has both an ancient medina and a "ville nouvelle" we generally stay in the ville nouvelle, both because the standard of hotels is higher, and because travellers (especially women) often find the medinas at night a little confronting.

Please note that Morocco is a developing country and as such the infrastructure is not as reliable as you would expect at home. Expect quirky plumbing and the odd cold shower!

Trip cost: $3,299 per person, double occupancy (round-trip international airfare from the U.S. to Casablanca and returning from Marrakech additional). Please get in touch to find out more.

*Valid passport for six months beyond return date required*

Registration is Closed

Share This Event

  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

PLEASE JOIN MY MAILING LIST FOR UPDATES AND INSIDER TIPS!

© 2018 Joseph Roybal Photography

Denver, CO.