THE MERZOUGA DESERT PHOTO TOUR INCLUDES
MERZOUGA DESERT TOUR PROGRAMME
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN MARRAKECH
Transfers from the airport to the hotel "Riad Al Rimal". The hotel where we will be staying is located just off the famous Jemaa El Fna square. There will be a welcome evening organized and an introduction to the program of our stay together.
DAY 2: MARRAKECH TO OUARZAZATE
We will leave Marrakech after breakfast and travel to Ouarzazate through the Tichka mountains (part of the High Atlas which is the biggest mountains range in North Africa). This road offers a panoramic view of the Atlas chain that gives great opportunities for landscape pictures. After a 6 hours drive, just before arriving to Ouarzazate, we will visit the Unesco World Heritage site Ait Ben Haddou. Ouarzazate is also known as the “Hollywood of North Africa” as many famous films and series have their studios there such as Gladiator, the Prince of Arabia and more recently Games of Thrones and Prison Break. The town has a typical Arabic architecture. We will spend the night at the hotel "Riad Dar Bergui", a hotel with swimming pool.
DAY 3: OUARZAZATE TO THE GORGES OF DADES & TOUDRA
Early departure after breakfast we will make our way to the Gorges of Dades and Toudra. Our first stop will be Skoura, a small town surrounded by an impressive palm grove. Next, we will explore the gorges of Dades, a high rocky landscape surrounded by greenery and a refreshing stream “wadi Dadès”. The road viewed from above is narrow which makes it one of the most unusual roads and the rocks have taken original shapes with the time due to erosion so there will be plenty to photograph. We will continue the road to the Gorges of Toudra. There will also be various Kasbahs on the way to our hotel in Tineghir.
DAY 4: TINEGHIR, RISSANI & MERZOUGA DESERT
After breakfast, we will leave for Rissani where we will stroll through the souk narrow walks (spices, dates, and animals such as mules and sheep being the main attractions). Leaving Rissani, we start our track into Merzouga desert. This part of the Sahara desert is famous for its location at the foot of the Erg Chebbi Dunes. These photographic dunes, at sunrise or dusk, give the sand a fascinating range of colors. We will stay for the night in a hotel Kanz Erremal, facing the sand dunes and with a swimming pool.
DAY 5: INTO THE DUNES IN MERZOUGA DESERT
We will spend the 5th day in the Merzouga desert. We will have an early start of the day to photograph the dunes at sunrise. We will have time to rest, enjoy the summing pool and go camel riding into the dunes for sunset.
DAY 6: MERZOUGA DESERT TO MHAMID DESERT
After breakfast, we will go into the desert by 4x4 to visit the Erg Chigaga dunes and spend the day taking pictures of the dunes, vegetation, and sand. We will continue our way to the Desert of Mhamid where we will spend the night at The Dunes Blanches (a private desert camp). The silence of the desert and the unlimited landscape is a real peaceful delight. At night, the sky is spotted with stars and offers another type of amazing view.
DAY 7: MHAMID TO OUARZAZATE
On our return to Ouarzazate we will first stop in Zagora to look at the green pottery and ceramics, most of the time we can watch the making of the pottery and take photos. We will then visit the Kasbah Tamnougalt interesting for its architecture, it is also famous for its film-making (The Passion of Christ, Babel and The Prince of Persia). We will arrive in Ouarzazate for our evening meal and rest at the hotel Riad Dar Bergui.
DAY 8: AÏT BENHADDOU, KASBAH TELOUET, MARRAKECH
We will visit the Kasbah of Taourirt, a fortified city that was first built in the 18th century. Inside the Kasbah, we will be able to take photos of the architecture of the building, its wired frame windows and the mosaic and plastered walls decorations. Next to the Kasbah is a former Berber village that probably predates the Kasbah. It is still inhabited and the traditional life carries on, it will give us nice street photography opportunities. Our next excursion will be at the Fint Oasis, which is about 10 km from Ouarzazate. We will take photos as we will stand on a cliff overlooking the Oasis. Then, we will go to visit the film studios of the town and see some of the sceneries (such as the Castle built for Kingdom of Heaven and later used for Games of Thrones). The studios have been used for a century and hundreds of films have been shot in this region. We will depart for our flight to Marrakech late afternoon. It is a 30 minutes flight to spare us the 5 hours journey through Tichka which we would have already seen on the way from Marrakech to Ouarzazate on the second day. Night at the Riad Al Rimal in Marrakech.
DAY 9: DISCOVERING MARRAKECH
In the morning we will have breakfast at the famous Jemaa El Fnaa square followed with a walk around the Koutoubia Mosque and its garden which stand as an emblem to the city. We will then explore the Medina which includes a visit to the Photography Museum and a walk through the narrow streets of the Souk to discover various artisanal works. Another interest for us will be the Ben Youssef Medersa Koranic School that is also part of the Medina, this is the largest Koranic School in Morocco with a capacity of 900 students, its architecture and decoration will be our main focus.
DAY 10: DEPARTURE
After breakfast we will say our goodbyes and will provide airport transfer for you during the day.
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CANCELLATIONS / REFUND POLICY
We reserve the right to cancel groups with less than 2 participants. For International applicants, we are not responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses in case the workshop is cancelled. You will be given at least 2 weeks advance notice if this is the case. We highly recommend that you buy refundable tickets and/or travel insurance.
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