Morocco Tour & Workshop 2017

Oct 29 to Nov 10

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Introduction

Morocco is a dream location for many photographers, with its rich culture, colorful architecture and evocative desert landscape. Tokyo based photographer Martin Bailey is making his first trip there from October 29 until November 10, 2017, and you are invited. In the capable hands of our professional driver and guide, we will experience Morocco at her best, with plenty of time to photograph each of our locations at the same time as fully experiencing the culture of this idillic north-western-most African kingdom.

Itinerary

You’ll be provided with more details in our tour guidebook after you reserve your place, but here is an outline of our itinerary during our Moroccan photography adventure.

Oct 29: Day 1 – Casablanca Arrival

Upon arrival in Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, you will be met and transferred to your Casablanca hotel, where you will check in. Around 4:00 pm, the group will gather for an introductory meeting with Martin and our guide. You will head out to capture the impressive Hassan II mosque on the Atlantic coast.

Oct 30: Day 2 – Casablanca / Rabat / Chefchaouen

After breakfast, we leave towards Chefchaouen, the famous blue city of Morocco in the Rif Mountains. On route, we will stop at Rabat, the capital city and residence of the King, for lunch and a time to enjoy the beautiful coastal city. We’ll visit the King’s Palace, the La Tour Hassan, Mausoleum, and more.

After lunch, we will conclude the drive to Chefchaouen. The small blue city of Chefchaouen is a photographer’s paradise. This is perhaps Morocco’s most peaceful town. Tucked away in the Rif Mountains, this is the perfect setting to capture the blue and white houses hidden in the medina.

Oct 31: Day 3 – Chefchaouen

After breakfast, we will have a tour of the cool blue town. Perfect for photography, the city offers every shade of blue. We’ll keep our eyes out for the unique doors, potted plants and handy-­crafts as we wander through the blue town.

Blue City - Photo used with Permission from Travel Partner
Blue City - Photo used with Permission from Travel Partner

Nov 1: Day 4 – Chefchaouen / Volubilis / Meknes / Fes

Before breakfast, we can optionally climb up the edge of the mountain for a beautiful shot of this small Berber town.

After breakfast, we will set out to the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis. We will spend the morning exploring the 2000 year old ruins and get a glimpse of life during the Roman Empire. Lunch will be taken in Meknes one of Morocco’s Imperial cities.  In the afternoon we will head off to Fes, the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco. The Fes medina is over 1200 years old; a labyrinth of over 9000 alleys. As the sun descends over the medina we’ll capture the ramparts of Fes and the ancient city.

Nov 2: Day 5 – Fes

At sunrise, we’ll photograph the ancient city from a beautiful overlook. After breakfast we will begin your guided tour of the medina, one of the worlds largest walled in cities. You will explore the narrow streets lined with fresh fruit, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets and many other art objects of Morocco. For lunch, you will eat in traditional restaurant in the heart of the medina. A few other highlights will be the Bounania Medersa, tanneries and potters.

 

Nov 3: Day 6 – Fes / Midelt / Ziz River Valley / Erfoud

After an early breakfast, we will begin our ascent across the Middle Atlas Mountains. Most of the day will be spent winding your way through the beautiful forests, jagged rock faces and Berber villages as we cross the Atlas Mountains and begin to descend towards the Sahara Desert. High in the mountains, we will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, famous for its fossils and rocks. In the afternoon, we will make our way down along the Ziz River Valley. Our final destination will be the small desert town of Erfoud.

Nov 4: Day 7 – Erfoud & Rissani / Erg Chebbi

After breakfast we will set out to explore the small town and also visit the nearby town of Rissani, known for its fossil museum and animal souq. A week into the tour, if you’d just like to simply relax at the hotel for the morning, that’s an option too. We will enjoy a casual lunch in Rissani, after which off-road vehicles will arrive to escort us out to the dunes. The route passes different features of the desert: reg (rocky desert), hammada (stony desert), oases, and erg (sand dunes). Upon our arrival at the camp, we will have time to relax and prepare for sunset on the dunes. There will be enough time to explore the dunes with its very special sand patterns that offer unique photo opportunities.

Nov 5: Day 8 – Erg Chebbi Dunes

Early morning, we can enjoy a sunrise and the soft morning light in the dunes before returning to the camp for breakfast. The Erg Chebbi are the largest dunes in the Moroccan Sahara. This is a mesmerizing place, where we can really feel the overwhelming tranquillity and expanse of the desert. Today, we will explore the area in off-road vehicles. You will seek out the most pristine dunes to photograph. Camels and a couple of camel train leaders will be available to act as models during this time.

 

Morocco - Used with permission from travel partner
Morocco - Used with permission from travel partner

Nov 6: Day 9 – Erg Chebbi / Erfoud / Todra & Dades Gorges / Ouarzazate

Early risers can watch the sunrise from a high dune and experience the soft light of the new day. After breakfast, we will head back to Erfoud and then on to Ouarzazate via the Todra Gorges, Dades Valley, and Skoura palmeraies. We will then head out to the Kasbah Ait Benhaddou where we will be ready for the sunset and sunrise.  In typical Moroccan fashion, the true treasures must be searched out and discovered, usually off the beaten track. This setting has been used for more films than any other location in Morocco, including, Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, and The Gladiator.

Nov 7: Day 10 – Ait Benhaddou / Marrakech

After breakfast, we will head off towards Marrakech over the High Atlas Mountains, and take some time to enjoy the beautiful landscape. Once in Marrakech, we will check into our hotel and then head off to the Djemaa el-Fna, the center square of the medina. The famous Djemaa el-Fna is one of the center attractions of Marrakech.  Coming alive at night with the local storytellers, entertainers, and mouth-watering barbecue pits, the square is well worth a visit.  A quiet cup of tea on the terrace of an adjacent café provides a spectacular aerial view of the bustling square.

Nov 8: Day 11 – Marrakech

After breakfast, we will have a guided tour of Marrakech, the southern pearl of Morocco. We will discover the Palace of the Bahia, the Saadian Tombs, and many other treasures. After lunch, we will continue on to the magnificent Koutoubia Mosque and the famous Djemaa el-Fna. In the evening, we’ll capture the sites from a rooftop view.

Nov 9: Day 12 – Marrakech / El Jadida / Casablanca

After breakfast, we will have some time to enjoy Marrakech. After lunch, we will set off to the coastal city of El Jadida, and visit the Portuguese cistern and the fortress before ending in Casablanca.

Nov 10: Day 13 – Casablanca Departure

After breakfast we will be transferred to the airport for departure.

Additional Information

Accommodation & Meals

We stay in four-star hotels throughout the tour, with great food, sometimes eating in local restaurants. We’ll note if you have our any food preferences (allergies, vegetarian etc.) and make changes as possible to suit your needs.

What is included in the Package?

  • All accommodation and meals during your tour
  • A bus with driver (and lots of luggage space) to transport us safely and comfortably around Morocco for the entire trip
  • A tour guide from our tour partner travels with us throughout to ensure that logistics run smoothly
  • Martin Bailey is on-hand the entire time to give advice on the creative and technical aspects of photography

What is NOT included in the Package?

  • Any international flights and accommodation costs en route to and from Morocco
  • Beverages or additional items ordered during meals
  • Tips for meals, guide and driver

Guidebook PDF

Shortly after you sign up, you will receive a PDF document to help you with your preparations. This includes a detailed itinerary, details on recommended camera gear and other local information to make your tour as enjoyable and productive as possible.

Cost & Reservation

The cost for the tour is $5,250 (US$) per person for a shared or double room. If you will be traveling alone a single supplement of $920 (US$) is payable. Note that we will not pair up solo travelers, so if you come as a single, the single supplement is required.

The tour requires a minimum of eight (8) participants to go ahead. We will keep you informed of booking progress, and a final decision regarding the tour will be made by July 23. Should the tour not go ahead, you will receive a full refund of your deposit. Please ensure that the tour has reached the minimum number of participants before you purchase any flights that require cancellations fees.

[UPDATE: We have reached the number required for the tour to go ahead. If you would like to join us, we have a few more rooms held until August 24, so please book before then.]

Cancellation Policy/Fees

Reservation Fee / Deposit – If you decide to cancel up to 90 days before the start of the tour, your reservation fee will be refunded if we are able to back-fill your place. If you cancel within 90 days of the start of the tour, we cannot refund your deposit (see notes below)

Tour Fees / Balance – If you cancel your reservation the following charges will be payable, in addition to any forfeited deposit as outlined above.

  • If you cancel more than 91 days before the start of the tour your balance will be refunded in full
  • From 46 to 90 days before the start of the tour, you will be refunded 75% of your balance
  • From 31 to 45 days before the start of the tour, you will be refunded 50% of your balance
  • From 30 to 0 (zero) days before the start of the trip no refund is available

Notes on Cancellation Fees and Notification Timing

  • Any transfer charges and transaction fees incurred on accepting and/or refunding any payments will be deducted from any refund amounts due
  • The number of days to tour start are calculated from 9am Japan Standard Time. Email received after 6pm JST on the previous day will be calculated from 9am JST the following day.

 

A Word on Insurance

Our Tour Operator carries standard insurance necessary by law but you are strongly advised to arrange the following insurance:

Travel Insurance — If you fall sick or have an accident during the course of the trip, you will miss part of your tour, and possibly incur hospital fees and other expenses that can mount up. We strongly advise you to take out travel insurance for yourself for the entire length of the trip in advance of departure
Cancellation Insurance — This is often included in your Travel Insurance, but if for any reason you have to cancel your tour, cancellation insurance can help you recuperate your costs
Note that travel and cancellation insurance often has to be purchased within 10 days of booking the tour or less. Please check on this as soon as you book.
Camera Equipment Insurance — We also suggest that you insure your photography equipment and belongings if not included in your home or travel insurance. If you already have your gear insured, double check that you are covered for international travel too, if you are visiting Japan from another country

Reservation and Balance Payment Buttons

To book your place on this tour, pay the deposit using the button below.

Note that our system manages inventory, so if you can select the number of places required, these places are available to book.

NOTE: The balance payment is payable 90 days before the start date of the tour. Please use the balance payment option above to start the payment process.

Any Questions?

If you are interested in coming along but want more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to seeing you in Morocco!

— Martin Bailey

 

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