October 31 - Nov 12, 2021
Optional Essaouira Nov 12-15/Atlas Mtns Nov 12 - 14
Arts, Crafts, Textiles, and Desert Culture
Journey deep into a magical country of shifting sands, centuries of history, and a passionate craftspeople. Visit six UNESCO heritage sites. You won't want to miss this one.
“To visit Morocco is still like turning the pages of some illuminated Persian manuscript all embroidered with bright shapes and subtle lines.” – Edith Wharton
13 Days in depth exploration, optional 3-4 days Essaouira or Atlas Mtns.
Stunning landscapes and unique lifestyles are a given in this endlessly fascinating country.
We will explore fabled royal cities, charming mountain towns, the Sahara Desert, Atlas Mountains, and the chic that is Marrakech. If that isn’t enough, we will go deeper by camping with Berbers in the desert, and meeting with, and working alongside, artisans who craft exquisitely with their hands and hearts. Hands on workshops with women who have found their voice and vocation. With options for branching out later, this trip promises to make your “best-ever” list.
• Intimate exploration of Morocco’s royal cities
• Luxury accommodations in 4-5* heritage riads
• Sahara luxury camp stay
• Majorelle Gardens
• Medina tours with expert guides
• Lecture by professor of Women Studies, Univ. of Meknes
• Sefrou rock caves
• Hassan II and Katoubia Mosques
• Zellige demo
• Berber weaving demonstration and workshop
• 2 hands on textile workshops with women socio-preneurs
• Route of 1000 Kasbahs
• Jemaa el Fna, Marrakech
Cost: USD 3930 pp double occupancy/add USD 1200 for own room (min. 12 pax)
Optional: Essaouira/Atlas Mtns trekking - please enquire
Read about Moroccan "whisky", communal ovens, and the call to heed in a souk.
From our blog Sensational, sensorial Morocco
Accolades: "Having a lovely time in Morocco – especially experiences off the beaten track . . . spectacular! Thank you, Dana, for introducing me to this trip.” – Susan Brown, Houston. Trip report: click.
Watch Shila's talk on Zellige and tour info preview.
Explore the walled cities of Fes, Marrakech, Meknes, and Rabat. We will walk the liveliest alleyways and visit generational artisans in their workshops. Wander in search of painted plates, rugs, or a pair of exquisite earrings. Expert guides . . . but you'll also have plenty of time to explore on your own and hear the ancient echoes.
As we head south past Erfoud, the landscape changes dramatically. Fantastical rock formations cut deep by once mighty rivers are dotted by kasbahs, former Tuareg trade strongholds, which seem to rise straight out from the desert. These astonishing, awe-inspiring vistas will help you understand how travellers fall in love with Morocco.
Foray into desert
Nothing compares to the romance of striking out "Lawrence style" into the Sahara, on camels* to luxury amidst the dunes. Sip cocktails while the sun sets. Glamp under the desert stars to the thrum of Tuareg rhythms and wake up to a plein-air breakfast as the sun rises. Unforgettable!
Material Culture - Arts and Crafts
Moroccan tile mosaic is called zellige. It will delight your eyes at every turn. Tiny ceramic pieces are moulded and fired, and then painstakingly set into panels that line walls, houses, fountains, tables . . . in fact, anything and everything, The craftsmanship is astonishing. We will visit workshops of zellige as well as pottery, woodworking, and leather.
Amazigh (Berber) rugs
The Amazigh excel at rugs used to line tents in the desert. Over the centuries their work has fuelled the dreams of carpet collectors. We will travel deep into the Sahara to meet and work alongside them, and admire their art. En route, we will stop at verdant palmyras, dramatic rock formations and tiny desert villages
Hands on workshops
Women won greater rights between 2004-14. Since then women entrepreneurs have blossomed to form social co-operatives around textile and culinary arts. We will take in two hands on workshops in cherry-button making and Fasi embroidery with women victims of Thalidomide.
Pampering in Riads
When each slumber is straight out of the Arabian Nights, only the most enchanting riads will do. Bejewelled with zellige, dotted with fountains and courtyards, you won't want to leave the accommodations we have lined up. A highlight in themselves.
As if Morocco's royal cities and the desert aren't enough of a draw, the food will keep you coming back for more. Fresh produce meets spices in tajines to create tantalising magic for your palate. Shop the souks for your own spice stash to bring home after taking in a cooking class or two in our riads.
our guests say it best
Combines unparalleled access with social responsibility and cultural sensitivity to achieve everything one could hope for in a specialty group tour: a creatively curated itinerary, meticulous planning, flawless execution and wonderful travel companions.
“Given the chance would I travel with Shila again? Yes. She is a hands on operator, with a sense of humour and is always respectful.
Very accommodating for those would like to pursue special interest and to then rejoin the group.”
“Shila’s boundless energy and commitment created lifelong memories. Attention to details, deep dive into culture, accommodations so beautiful they were highlights in their own right. I'd travel again with E.Y.H.O. Tours in a heartbeat”