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7-days /6-nights tour in March 2025

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Patterns connect and patterns direct.

In the desert of southeast Morocco, patterns are ubiquitous – their elements are signposts of a cultural cosmology.

Discover and explore these desert configurations.

Look for patterns in the night skies.
Examine animal tracks in the sand at sunrise and the strikingly similar design motifs on the facades of traditional Amazigh buildings
Discover the symbols in carpet weavings.
Appreciate the intricacies of Amazigh women’s facial tattoos,
the complexity of zouaq painting
and the design aspects of an Andalusian garden.

Please note this tour is early Spring, time of rebirth and renewal and during the holy month of Ramadan.

BOOKINGS CLOSE July 31, 2024, but


DAY 1 – March 12: Casablanca > Agdz (Wednesday).
Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L),Dinner (D)

From Casablanca airport you will need to book and fly to Ouarzazate with Royal Air Maroc – probably arriving in the very early hours of the morning – where the tour will begin at pick-up. You’ll stay at a Swiss French-Moroccan owned and managed Kasbah or equivalent, in the Agdz region. A quiet day to settle in, eat a late, leisurely breakfast, go for a walk at sunset in the Palmerie. Later that evening, we will enjoy a welcome dinner together.

Mosaic-embellished petrol station in southeast Morocco

Mosaic-embellished petrol station in southeast Morocco


DAY 2 – March 13: Zagora > desert camp (Thursday).
Meals: B, L & D

After breakfast, we’ll drive 90 minutes to Zagora and take a leisurely walk in downtown Zagora taking in the underground community, the local pottery works, the Koranic manuscripts museum and the façade of the associated mausoleum with its magnificent patterns of mosaics. We will have a BBQ lunch together, under an acacia tree.

BBQ lunch being prepared for clients under an acacia tree at Zagora, with a strange addition found there, in the foreground.

BBQ lunch being prepared for clients under an acacia tree at Zagora, with a strange addition found there, in the foreground.

The Mausoleum at Zagora with its richly decorative facade and a local with a matching shirt standing in front of it. © A. Navakas, with thanks.

Usually for star gazing, the new moon is required to minimise the effect of moonlight on the activity. Tonight however, it is the full moon, but it is also a total lunar eclipse in Morocco, in the early hours of 14 March 2025, lasting according to information available to us, approximately 6 hours. Thus tonight or more accurately in the early hours of tomorrow, we will see this eclipse and the stars of the northern hemisphere, through a telescope. We’ll be staying and dining at a camp near Zagora where the Berbers (or Amazigh as they now prefer to be called), in our camp, will share stories about the canopy of stars above you. The next morning, at sunrise, you’ll be shown how to identify animal tracks left in the sand overnight, near the camp.

Animal tracks in the early morning around the camp. © A. Navakas, with thanks.


DAY 3 – March 14: Desert camp > Zagora > Erfoud (Friday a holy day)
Meals: B, L, D.

This morning, after breakfast at the camp, we will arrange for a Kasbah in the area to provide us with the opportunity for a shower and a tea. We will arrange a packed lunch from our hosts, too. It is about a 3.5 hours’ drive via the Jbel (“Mountain” in Arabic) Saghro range. We are likely to stop somewhere in the mountains to eat our lunch. We later arrive at Erfoud, the date and fossil capital of Morocco. Although the annual date festival is later in the year (October), dates are an important part of Moroccan life and cuisine all year round, and a special choice in Ramadan.

In Erfoud, we’ll stay at La Rose du Desert (or equivalent) and dine there together, tonight. Maybe, those who are interested can also make a short visit to the fossil museum, close by to our auberge.

Children playing under a light, on dark, in a ksar at Erfoud

Children playing under a light, on dark, in a ksar at Erfoud


DAY 4 – March 15: Erfoud > Rissani > Erfoud (Saturday)
Meals: B, D

Today we go to Rissani, once a significant meeting point for caravans from the north carrying leather goods and jewellery from Fez, as well as strange objects from faraway lands that had arrived via the seaports, and other items (and slaves), and salt, from the south. It is likely these caravans were how the significant Arab population at Rissani and nearby Erfoud came to this part of Morocco – from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq. Even today, while there are also Arab nomads along with their Amazigh nomad cousins, Arabs more usually carry on traditional merchant-type activities.

While we are in this area, we’ll have someone to ask about the symbols woven into Amazigh rugs we’ll see in the markets (and have an opportunity to buy if you want). Or perhaps, if it can be arranged, we will visit some women weavers to have the opportunity to buy direct.

Women are the traditional carpet weavers. This photo was taken by a client. © A. Navakas, with thanks.

Women are the traditional carpet weavers. This photo was taken by a client. © A. Navakas, with thanks.

We’ll have lunch at the markets, probably fresh turkey meat bought and cooked for us in one of the market alleyways. Then we’ll visit one of the old ksars to see traditional Amazigh markings on its facade. The fading interior is also replete with symbolism in its ornamentation (for example, on the wooden ceilings). We can also look forward to a glass of tea hosted by an elderly lady bearing the traditional Amazigh tattoos on her face.  Our guide will explain the different facial tattoos at the most appropriate time. As these might have references to tribal affiliations, family, puberty and social status, some tact and respect are needed. These tattoos are usually applied at puberty, so expect tattoos on a mature lady’s face to be somewhat faded and sometimes almost indiscernible to the naked eye.

We return to our hotel in Erfoud for dinner.

Patterns on the facade of the Mausoleum of the Founder of the Alouite Dynasty, at Rissani.

DAY 5 – March 16: Erfoud > Casablanca (Sunday)
Meals: Packed lunch (provided by our Erfoud hotel)

We leave very early in the morning for Errachidia airport – about one hour’s drive – for the flight to Casablanca, where we will catch the train (not a bullet train) to Marrakech. The management of the riad where will be staying (to be confirmed) will organise pick-up from the train station around mid-afternoon. Our riad will have traditional mosaics and decorative plaster work, which is in keeping with our patterns theme.

The evening will be free for you to explore Marrakech’s restaurant scene at night, if you wish.

DAY 6 – March 17: (Monday)
Meals: B L & D

After breakfast we’ll have a morning class of Zouaq painting at the artisanal workshop of a Mallam (or master) of this artisanal skill. (Clients can access more information about him in the Client Resources part of our website.) We’ll then lunch at the Marrakech Henna Art Cafe with an opportunity to have henna tattoos in an ethical environment for those who want one (or more). A guide will take us on a tour of a picturesque Andalusian garden and we end the day with a wonderful evening food tour that will be along the lines of a traditional Itfar or “breaking of the (Ramadan) fast” dinner, at sunset. As it is Ramadan, some flexibility may be required tonight, and indeed generally on this tour. However the shorter hours of daylight at this time of the year, will be to our advantage too.

Pomegranate juice for sale in the Marrakech medina.

Pomegranate juice for sale in the Marrakech medina.

DAY 7 – March 18: (Tuesday)
Meals: B

After breakfast you’ll be dropped off at Marrakech Menara airport, or Marrakech train station if you prefer.

PLEASE NOTE that quoted prices do not include drinks, meals not specified to be covered, airfares to, from and within Morocco, some tips and any personal expenses, or anything else not specifically included. It will also be much easier and cheaper for you to book and pay for the flight from Errachidia to Casablanca on Day 5. Group members all need to be on the same flight, so touch base with us about this before you book the flight to ensure coordination. We can explain more about this at the time of your enquiry, upon request.

The Draa Valley at Agdz, where we stay at the beginning of this tour.

The Draa Valley at Agdz, where we are staying early on in this tour.

Your Diary Checklist

July 31, 2024: Bookings close. However it is first in first served and to get on the list you need to have paid at least the deposit. 
July 31, 2024:

40% deposit received by AIMT™

($2,250 twin/double share & $2,500 single price), but also, see above.

January 31, 2025: Final payment received by AIMT™


Note: all prices are shown in Australian dollars

Desert Patterns tour
March 12 -18 2025
Twin or double share Single

TOTAL $5,625 each $6,250 each

Remember: to enquire about doing a version of this anytime as a private tour, please contact AIMTours™ at

CONSIDER combining this tour with one of the others we have on offer.
Or, you could arrange for a private tour
to see other places of interest before or after
Think about making the most of your time here.


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Aussies in Morocco Tours