You will not be surprised to hear that I have deferred my Moroccan trip until next year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). As soon as I have the new dates I will let you know.
Spring 2021 – I will be returning to Morocco to run my second photography workshop. This time the trip will be split between the city of Marrakech and the tranquil village of Imlil, nestled in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. There will be something different to photograph everyday: from ancient palaces and secret alleyways to snake charmers and travelling musicians to the panorama of the mountains. I look forward to seeing all your images.
For the first three days we will be staying in the old Medina of Marrakech where we will explore the labyrinth of souks, visit some of the historic palaces, tombs and famous gardens while absorbing the sights, sounds and smells of this magical city. From the hustle and bustle of old Marrakech we will travel to the peace and calm of countryside. We will spend a day, or longer, trekking in the mountains, yet there will be ample time to saunter around Imil and get to know the village. When I went on a recce at the beginning of April, the cherry trees where in full flower, the apple blossom was about to open. Plus, the peaks were still capped with snow.
Dates: Spring 2021
Duration: Seven days and six nights
Where you’ll stay: MARRAKECH: 2021 Three nights at Les Trois Mages a short walk from the vibrant square of Jemaa el Fna the hub of the old city. http://lestroismages.com
IMLIL: 2021 Three nights at Dar Imlil with views of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa: https://www.dar-imlil.com
The cost: The price per person for the workshop is £1,150.00
The price includes:Photographic tuition, accommodation and breakfast, 5 evening meals and one lunch, entrance charges, transport during the workshop and transfers to and from the airport.
Travel: You will need to book your own flights to Marrakech.
Fitness:We will be walking a lot with cameras through out the trip and our day in the Atlas Mountains will involve a certain amount of hill trekking at a high altitude so you need to be relatively fit.
I shall be at Marrakech Airport to meet you and take you into the old city. We will be staying at Les Trois Mages, a friendly, traditional Moroccan Riad where we will have dinner on two evenings. There will be time to unpack and settle in before we meander through the narrow lanes to the Koutoubia Mosque and the Jemaa el Fna. Here we will watch the light fade over the square while it transformed and comes to life, filling up with street entertainers, jugglers, musicians, storytellers and chefs arrive to set up their night time stalls for the evening visitors.
After a leisurely breakfast we will visit the Le Jardin Secret, to photograph the exotic and Islamic garden before the light gets too harsh. From there we will go a traditional riad that has been thoughtfully restored and is now home to the Musée de Mouassine. In the afternoon we will cross the medina, taking photos on the way on to visit the Bahia Palace with it’s famous marbled courtyard and amazing floor to ceiling decorations.
An early start, before breakfast, to explore some of the city as it begins to wake up, the traders arrive and begin to set up for the day. Later in the morning we go to the Ben Youssef Medera, A Koranic learning centre founded six centuries ago. A photography workshop would not be complete with a trip to the nearby Maison de la Photographie, which houses a collection of vintage Moroccan photos dating from 1870 to 1950s. The afternoon is free. In the evening we will all meet up to review pictures and have supper at Les Trois Mages.
Be prepared for another early start to get to the Jardin Marjorelle for opening time. This cobalt blue villa and stunning botanical gardens was restored and gifted to Marrakech by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, to save it from property developers. Early afternoon we will leave the hubbub of Marrakech and drive to Imlil, a small mountain village surrounded by walnut and fruit trees. We will be staying at Dar Imlil, a luxury guesthouse near the river for the rest of the trip and where we will have dinner at the riad every evening. There will be time for a short walk around the village with its breathtaking views of Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak in The Atlas Mountains.
Pack a reliable pair of walking boots and a warm, windproof jacket, as most of the day we will be out, trekking in the mountains with our guide and it can get quite chilly. There will be plenty opportunities to stop and take pictures and we will break for lunch, which is included. By the end of March the cherry blossom should be in full bloom and the trees will be just about coming into leaf. In the evening we will review the pictures you have taken throughout the day.
There will be an opportunity to go on a two hour trek in the morning and still have plenty of time to spend photographing in and around Imlil and capture the essence of the essence of village and some of the details that you might have missed on the first afternoon.
In the morning, your flights permitting, we’ll have a look at all your favourite images taken during the week, before heading off to Marrakech airport and home with a camera full of wonderful photographs and a head full of memories. The itinerary may be subject to alteration. I have factored in plenty of free time and we may also be able to return to previous locations if people wish.