An Exploration of Local Life, Culture, and Textiles.
Sunday, April 21 – Sunday, May 5 2019
Day 1 MARRAKECH
Marhaba! Welcome to Morocco! We’ll start off our trip and textile tour with a Welcome Meeting this afternoon at 5pm. After getting familiar with one another and preparing for our time together, we’ll head out on a walk to explore the neighborhood and have dinner in the famous Djemaa El Fna night market.
Day 2 MARRAKECH
This morning we’ll visit the stunning Majorelle Garden and museum depicting many beautiful traditional Moroccan textiles and jewelry. This afternoon we visit a designer known for her beautiful wedding and party dress designs. We’ll enjoy a private presentation in her shop where we’ll learn about these exquisite gowns and have the opportunity to order something for ourselves.
Day 3 SKOURA
Today we journey through the High Atlas Mountains, stopping to visit a UNESCO World Heritage kasbah on the way. We’ll cross the highest pass in Morocco and stay in a cozy guest house along the Route of the Kasbahs this evening.
Day 4 SAHARA DESERT CAMP
Head deeper into the changing desert landscape, passing through the arid, rocky desert known as thehammada. Tonight we store our luggage at a desert hotel before mounting camels to ride through red Sahara dunes to our campsite. A traditional Saharan tagine and maybe some drumming lull us to sleep under the spectacular starry sky.
Day 5 AOUFOUS
Enjoy a leisurely morning in the desert and a peek at the Thursday market before heading to Aoufous, a village nestled in one of the largest palm oases in North Africa. Here we’ll settle in for the next few days, as we learn what it’s like to be a Berber weaver in the south of Morocco! This afternoon we’ll learn how our looms are set up so we can get a fresh start in the morning.
Days 6-8 WEAVING WORKSHOP
Mornings and afternoons will be dedicated to learning how to weave with the ladies of the house and creating your own small tapestry to take home. Optional activities will be available such as learning to cook Berber pizza, getting traditional henna, guided walking through the palm oasis or dancing to local music with the family.
Day 9 DRIVE TO FES
Say goodbye to our hosts and depart bright and early for Fes. Our journey today takes us through the Middle Atlas mountains and more beautiful and varied landscapes. Upon arrival, check into a traditionally restored riad overlooking the chaotic medina, home to some of the oldest mosques, universities and Quranic schools in the world. Many charming choices for dinner abound in the medina.
Day 10 FES
Soak up the sights and sounds of the Fes medina with a guided tour then visit the original Bencherif fabric store, where all their traditional fabrics are made on hand-operated looms. These handmade fabrics will be available for purchase. Enjoy a free evening for fine dining, drinks on the terrace, or time off to relax!
Day 11 FES FREE DAY
Today is free to pick your pleasure! Meander the medina on your own; catch up on reading at our riad; take a day trip to the nearby Roman ruins; venture north to the beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen (full day).
Day 12 SEFROU/CASABLANCA
Depart Fes today for Sefrou, a town famous for its cherry trees, to visit a nearby women’s cooperative and participate in a button-making workshop. Learn how to make the beautiful buttons the region is famous for and enjoy lunch with a local family. Then continue on to Casablanca for a free evening to see the Hassan II Mosque, stroll the ocean boardwalk and enjoy an evening out in the big city.
Day 13 FABRIC FACTORY/ESSAOUIRA
Morning visit to the factory of one of the oldest fabric producers in Morocco. Meet members of the family, sift through their beautiful fabric and go behind the scenes to see how it’s all made. Fabric and other items available for purchase and can be shipped if necessary. After our visit we begin our descent southward and to the enchanting seaside town of Essaouira. Tonight we can have dinner at one of the city’s charming spots and hopefully catch some live music as well!
Day 14 ESSAOUIRA
Get oriented to the easy-to-navigate medina then the day is free to sip coffee on the plaza, walk along the beach or bargain for colorful artisan goods like thuya woodwork, leather and silver jewelry. An optional body scrub at a local hammam (traditional steam bath) is the perfect end to our journey. Tonight, experience the sacred trance music of the region on a special Gnawa Music tour and goodbye dinner.
Day 15 DEPARTURE DAY
Goodbye Morocco! Early risers can check out the local joutiya, or flea market, before heading out of town. Departure transfers to the Marrakech Airport, Essaouira Airport or Casablanca will be arranged ahead of time or, consider staying on to relax and reflect on our journey–Essaouira’s peaceful seaside setting is perfect for it!
We will be hosting an informational meeting with our guide Summer Davis of Reflections Travel later this year. Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information on this incredible adventure and textile tour of Morocco!