Morocco Photo Expedition Tour: Casablanca, Marrakech, Sahara & Atlas Mountains

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Total Trip:

10 Days
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Countries Visited:

Morocco
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Places Visited:

Fes, Volubilis, Meknes, Marrakech, Merzouga, Erfoud, Rissani, Ouarzazate, Boumalne Dades, Dades Gorge, Aït Ben Haddou, Casablanca
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Berber families travel along mountainous trails. The sunset casts the desert dunes into a blaze of color. Adobe villages offer insight into historic architecture. Roman ruins rise over mountain plateaus and rose plantations sweep across oases. You have your camera ready to capture the splendor of Morocco on this Morocco photography tour to Casablanca, Marrakech, the Sahara and the Atlas Mountains. Your custom tailored tour is designed with picture perfect moments in mind. Whether an experienced

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

Picturing Casablanca

Casablanca is a striking main gateway into Morocco. The city bolsters modern vigor and energy with classic architecture. The past is simultaneously present in the stunning Art Nouveau structures that harken back to French colonialism, and yet absent in the modern chic restaurants of the seaside Corniche, the beachfront district filled with lavish luxury hotels and elegant beach clubs. Your private transfer greets you at the airport before escorting you to a hotel located in the heart of the city. Palm trees line the wide avenues in the city center. The soft breeze carries the scent of the Atlantic Ocean.

The sounds of the city are vivacious. Art galleries showcase local and international artists in floor to ceiling display windows lining the Rue Jaafer el Barmaki Avenue. Your Morocco itinerary begins with your guide meeting you at your hotel and eagerly taking you out to the city streets, venturing to the Hassan II Mosque. The sunlight reflects off of the azure water. The minaret stands nearly 690 feet tall, making it the world’s tallest. It is easy to see the majesty in the mosque’s architectural design and its setting on the coastline. The current brushes the water against the rock-lined shores. One of the most elegant elements of the mosque is the prayer room floor that is made of glass. When worshippers kneel, they face the gentle turquoise of the Atlantic.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Dinner

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Day 2

Capturing the “Pearl of the South”

In the morning, you can hear the rhythmic and almost songlike sounds of the Call to Prayer emanating from the Hassan II Mosque’s minaret. The graceful voice blends into the waves. The aroma of fresh, rich coffee drifts out of cafes. Locals begin to fill up café tables, sipping their mint tea and eating harcha, a pan-fried semolina flatbread. After breakfast, your guide and private transfer meets you in the hotel lobby. The day is already filled with picture perfect moments of people chatting, eating, and strolling underneath the dangling fringe of the towering palm trees.

When you reach Marrakech, the differences between the historic city and the commercial streets of Casablanca are immediately apparent. The old streets of the Medina hold an Old World charm. The ochre color of the city shimmers in front of snowcapped High Atlas Mountains. The culture embodies the enchanting images of stories, such as 1,001 Nights. Your guide leads you along the labyrinthine alleyways of the Medina, the Old City.

Market stalls display stacked conical spices. The aroma of cardamom lifts from the display and the bright yellow of turmeric shines like gold. The median was founded in the 11th-century and maintains and Andalusian atmosphere. Cream-colored stone lines the streets and archways. The minaret of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque rises over the historic walls. It is hard not to photograph every step you take in a city that encapsulates Morocco’s captivating culture.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 3

Beyond the Camera Lens

When you wake up, you find the scent of green tea steeped with za’atar. The black licorice quality adds an enticing herbaceousness to the day’s beginning. After breakfast, your guide meets you in the lobby and leads you through the city once more. Beyond the winding streets of the Medina is the Majorelle Garden, a collection of more than 300 lush tropical plants, cacti, palms, and ferns that once belonged to French painter Jacques Majorelle, followed by celebrated designer Yves St. Laurent.

The gardens provide a stunning combination of rural and urban life bordered by the cobalt blue home. Lily pads float on the pond at the center of the gardens. The tranquil surroundings offer you a chance to absorb and capture the scenery at your leisure. The home combines Berber culture with the French colonial perspective. Inside the home, you find a black octagonal chamber encircled in mirrors. The room houses a display of collected enameled jewels. The jewels reflect the desert sky at night, imitating the stars.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 4

Panorama of the Past

At breakfast, you clasp the refreshingly hot cup of mint tea, this time mixed with the slightly sweet and smoky herb of saffron. The brightness awakens the senses, helping you start another day in the riveting world of Morocco. After breakfast, you set out for the east, leaving the sensational streets of Marrakech’s Medina behind. On the rugged mountain road twisting and turning through Tichka Pass, you board 4x4s that take you to the extraordinary seat of the former power in the region, the Kasbah of Telouet.

The fortress was once the residence of the Glaoui tribe, but has been used in numerous films, including “Gladiator,” starring Russell Crowe. The rustic red and gold sand encircles the former trading post. The reception rooms on the second floor now hold the remaining link to the residence’s elegance. The salons had zellij designs and ceilings decorated with painted cedar. A maze of hallways, locked doors, and barely hidden passageways continues to obscure the true scale of the complex. The bright green tiles decorating the rooftop create an enduring impression when bathed in sunlight.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 5

The Lens of Nature’s Wonders

The sunrise casts the desert landscape in pink before returning the adobe residences to their red hue and the nearby mountains to a lingering gold. After breakfast, you make your way onto the legendary Road of 1,000 Kasbahs. The landscape ranges from desert brush to lush oases clad with waving palms, flush with the scent of dates. Nomadic Berber families venture along the rocky crags of the mountains and cliffs residing in hidden caves. The switchback roads take you along the red and white striped earthen walls.

The Dades River feeds the lush valley cast in the shade by the surrounding desert rocks and eventually touches to Imini River to form the Draa River, Morocco’s longest waterway of 680 miles. The sun provides ample light to capture the brilliance of the landscape. The town of Boumalne Dades stands on the upper reaches of the Dades Valley at 4,921 feet above sea level. The oasis shines the brightest olive you have ever seen. The buildings ascend the foothills and brush up against the edge of the trees, taking in the fragrant aroma of the greenery. When the camels stroll on the opposite ridge, you bring out your camera to remember the majesty of the moment.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 6

Roses and Camel Caravans

In the morning, the aroma of roses overtakes the earthen scent of the encircling mountains. The Valley of Roses is at the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains and stretches for more than 18 miles. The canyon shines ochre and the valley blossoms with rose petals between the birch trees and sprouting alfalfa. Pickers set out into the plantations before sunrise harvesting the budding blossoms to ensure each blossom retains its maximum olfactory quality. You can’t help but photograph the image of pickers gathering the roses underneath the orchard canopy.

You can hear the nearby river flowing against the pebbled banks adding to the spectacle of the moment. Once in the town of Rissani, you glimpse into what was once a popular stop for camel caravans, decorated with brightly painted ceramics and market stalls wrapped in hand-woven rugs. The town’s desert culture remains, acting as a stop for local Berbers and travelers following the ancient route through the desert. In the evening, you arrive at your Berber camp located near the famous Saharan sand dunes with the sounds of Berber folk music echoing in the night.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 7

Desert Dunes to Cedar Forest

Before sunrise, you find yourself wide awake and walking along the illustrious sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. When the sunlight rises over the horizon, the vast desert begins to burn with orange and pink before settling in shimmering golden hues. You seize the chance and photograph the effect of the light on the mountains of sand. After breakfast, you wave goodbye to the local Berbers you met and make your way west towards Fes.

When you pass through the high-mountain plains, you stop in the alpine town of Azrou, which stands at a crossroads between the Middle Atlas and High Atlas mountains. Azrou is located at an altitude of 4,101 feet above sea level encircled by green oak and cedar trees. Hardscrabble cliffs turn into rolling mountain peaks. In the heart of town, red-tiled roofs top European style homes. The forests fill the town with verdant aromas and also house troops of Barbary apes. Although the apes are endangered, they often sit near the side of the road and linger outside campsites. Their brown fur is noticeable against the verdant leaves of the cedar trees. The culture and landscape combine for an opportunity to view the uniqueness of Morocco.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 8

Intricacies of Fes

In the morning, the exotic atmosphere of Fes brims around Medina. The keyhole gateway of Bab Bou Jeloud frames the old city. The Call to Prayer echoes along the narrow alleyways. Few cities are as photogenic as Fes in cultural and artistic beauty. The years continue to shine through the architecture and craftsmanship dating back to the 8th-century. Your guide meets you in the hotel lobby after breakfast and escorts you through the meandering streets and vibrant heritage Fes has cradled for over a millennium. At Carpenters’ Square you come across the Nejjarine Fountain decorated with lavish mosaic work. The water trickles against the background of chisels and saws carving cedar to tinker furniture and statues.

The Old City holds wonders around every corner including the tanneries, which have remained similar to their original form for over 600 years. The aroma of leather drifts from the square and courses down the street. Various pigments fill the honeycombed network of stones. The dyes cast shades of color onto the workers’ arms and legs. Your guide leads you onto the surrounding rooftops for the best view, looking down into the terraces of stonework where the workers dip and dye the leather, encircled by artisan shops sewing jackets, shoes, wallets, and belts. The mixture of shade and light creates the perfect photo opportunity overlooking the tanneries.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 9

Portrait of the Roman World

After breakfast, you grab your camera and set out to the hilltop home of the Roman ruins of Volubilis. The city was founded on a fertile plain in the 3rd-century BC. Pillars and Roman archways continue to stand against the vast prairie leading to the distant mountains. The aroma of stone and grass drifts along the old, cobbled road. Wildflowers blossom between the stones.

The area offers you remarkable freedom to snap photos of the Roman city, the lingering olive presses, and the House of Orpheus. The House contains the finest and largest preserved mosaics depicting Orpheus playing the flute.  A dolphin mosaic decorates the former dining room. The bathhouse showcases the underground heating system that operated around 2,000 years ago to create thermal baths and a steam room. The sun washes over the landscape and offers you plenty of contrasting light to take the best photos.

When the sun hangs high overhead, you notice that the columns along the ceremonial road known as Decumanus Maximus, cast shadows like sundials. The pathway leads to a series of houses, including the House of Columns, which when seen from the proper angle, frames the mountains in the background.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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Day 10

Snapshot Morocco

In the morning, you can hear the sizzling sounds of fresh bell peppers and onion hitting the frying pan with eggs and cheese. The aroma of green tea and lemon filter through the streets. The marketplace opens to an active, jovial call of vendors and locals. The daily life of Fes continues without delay with the same enthusiasm as the previous day, as in the days, years, and centuries before.

Soon your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you to the Fes-Saïss Airport. Before you leave Morocco, you may want to stroll the meandering alleyways one more time and take in the classic, inspiring culture of the city.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Photograph the layers of color cast over the Sahara Desert sand dunes on a remarkable camel safari
  • Capture the particular angle at which the light alters the colors of the clay walls at the hilltop village of Aït Ben Haddou
  • Witness the radiant culture of Marrakech on a guided tour where the images of snake charmers, story tellers, and entertainers come to life
  • Discover the historic charms of the tanneries and the Old City of Fes
  • Experience the diverse landscape of olive groves, cedar forests, mountain plateaus, rugged peaks, and sand dunes through a camera lens  
  • View and experience Berber culture in the Sahara, and across Dades Gorge, including the traditional Berber hospitality
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Detailed Description

Photographs do not just capture an image but capture a moment. When you look back at a photo you have taken; you can remember the scent of the ocean or the sounds of a baseball game. Your 10-day Morocco photography tour to Casablanca, Marrakech, the Sahara and the Atlas Mountains takes you on an adventure to remember. Every photograph you take will change the image from a picture to a memory, enabling you to recall the aromas, sounds, textures, and tastes that accompanied each moment. Your photographic discoveries of Morocco begin with your arrival in Casablanca.

The city of Casablanca, known as the commercial capital of the country, is filled with a modern ambiance overlaying the historic heart. Your private transfer meets you at Mohammed V International Airport and escorts you into the heart of the city to your hotel. Your guide greets you and takes you on a vibrant introductory tour of Casablanca with your camera ready.

The following morning, your guide meets you at the hotel and takes you through the elegant neighborhood of Anfa before departing for the spectacular streets of Marrakech. You follow your guide on a picturesque tour of the culture and architecture of the city’s Medina. Another day in the enchanting city of Marrakech takes you to photogenic Majorelle Garden and the Ben Youssef Madrassa. A scenic drive out of the city brings you to the town of Telouet and the remains of the antique Kasbah of Glaoui before reaching Aït Bend Haddou and Ouarzazate.

In the morning light, you wander through the architectural marvels of Ouarzazate and venture on the Road of 1,000 Kasbahs to a small town nestled in the craggy scenery known as Boumalne Dades. You take in the every-day life of the local villages. In Erfoud, you meet your 4x4 transfer, which takes you deeper into the desert landscape stopping in the marketplace of Rissani where olive groves and ceramics brighten the cityscape. You saddle your camel and venture into the Sahara for a night under the stars at a Berber camp situated on captivating sand dunes. Enjoy the sunrise, with or without your camera present, before heading to the desert town of Merzouga and onward to the alpine city of Azrou.

Once in Fez, you settle for the evening in the celebrated imperial city. Your guide meets you in the morning and leads you on a photogenic tour of the city, taking in the spirit of Morocco layered in history. A full day excursion provides you the opportunity to photograph the former capital of Morocco, Meknes and the Roman ruins of Volubilis before returning to Fes for the evening. On your final morning in Fes, your private transfer meets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to the Fes-Saïss Airport for your flight home.

For more itinerary options, you may want to browse the Morocco travel reviews section on Zicasso.

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Starting Price

$2245 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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