Disappearing Morocco. Tour Version 2: Fez to Ouarzazate
9 days/8 nights in 2022
©Aussies In Morocco Tours™
The biggest differences between versions 1 and 2 are the starting destinations and that this version includes the long drive from Fez to Marrakech and a visit to the Arcadian river community near Ouzoud waterfalls.
Experience it now before it is gone tomorrow and the souks have been replaced by supermarkets.
In this tour we focus on what is unique and traditional about Morocco that is under threat from modernity. Maximum 6 people plus Cara and guide and drivers. Also available as a private tour, with or without a guide.
Group tour is offered during the
2022 October school holidays.
Prices in the table at the conclusion of this itinerary.
October 7 – 8
October 7: Fez (Friday)
Meals: Dinner (D)
Disappearing Morocco theme today: the artisanal skills in the decorative elements of traditional riads.
Arrive Fez. Airport pick up and dinner at the riad being Dar Seffarine which dates from the 15th century (or another traditional riad). Then enjoy dinner at the riad or close by.
October 8: Fez (Saturday)
Meals: Breakfast (B) Lunch (L) & D
Disappearing Morocco theme today: artisanal skills and old recipes no longer regularly cooked.
Go back to medieval times with a tour of the medina visiting various artisans whose skills are not always being passed onto the younger generation. Examples are a man in his nineties making objects out of animal bone and a master leatherworker who started his career as a youth in the tanneries at Fez; everything with him is handmade even the glue. Details of these artisans appear on our Client Resources page on our website, here, available to members only. Lunch in a home in the medina to sample some traditional recipes that are no longer commonly cooked. Afternoon is free. (If you want to extend the local tour to the afternoon this would be an optional extra not included in the tour price.) We conclude the day with dinner at a restaurant with traditional Moroccan food and entertainment.
Marrakech – Ourika – Marrakech
October 9 – 11
October 9: Marrakech (Sunday)
Meals: B & D
Disappearing Morocco theme today: Arcadia
Drive to Marrakech and on the way visit the Arcadian river community near the Ouzoud waterfalls.
A very long road trip. (See the map please.) If there’s time and the group is interested, we’ll visit a working water-mill used for grinding grain for the village. This tradition is disappearing, and it is linked to time-worn beliefs that moving water is thought to “cure bad luck” and overcome the “evil eye”. There is a local belief that unmarried girls should shower in this water to bring them husbands. Stay at Riad Houdou (or equivalent) in Marrakech. Dinner at the riad.
Notice the crate of drinks in the river to keep them cool? A duck and her ducklings swam past soon after this photo was taken. This is the river community near Ouzoud.
October 10: Marrakech (Monday)
Meals: B & D
Morning tour of the medina. An afternoon visit to Le Jardin Majorelle is optional and not part of the tour price. Otherwise afternoon free. Explore on your own or rest up for the guided night-market tour for dinner.
An apothecary’s wares. Apothecaries in Morocco face increasing competition and delegitimisation from modern pharmacies.
October 11: Marrakech – Ourika – Marrakech (Tuesday)
Meals: B & D
Disappearing Morocco theme today: village life, antiques, oral storytelling.
Day trip to Ourika to see a way of life in the Berber villages and antiques and other old things for sale at village markets. We will stop for lunch at some waterfalls. Then, back to Marrakech for the evening and dinner at Café Clock, a cultural hub, followed by some storytelling (in English of course), a once dying art traditional to Marrakech.
“The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco” is a good read if you are interested in the traditional tales of these oral storytellers.
October 12 – 13
October 12: Agdz (Wednesday)
Meals: B & D
Disappearing Morocco theme today: traditional accommodation and the rise of modern accommodation to replace it.
Travel south to Agdz. Stop off at a Women’s Cooperative to look at their rugs if anyone in the group wants to, otherwise we won’t. It is near Ait Ben Haddou an ancient hillside town that has UNESCO world heritage classification. Stay in an ancient Kasbah, Kasbah des Caids, not one of new ones made to look old that are popping up. Hopefully we will be able to listen to an energetic performance of traditional drum music. It is rather incredible! Unless you have a headache and then it is best avoided!
If Kasbah des Caids, which is around 500 years old and originally the domicile of a judge/tax collector of the region, is unavailable, we will stay at equivalent accommodation in the region.
Kasbahs dot the landscape in the south of Morocco – albeit with the occasional satellite dish or solar panel in evidence!
October 13: Agdz – Tamgroute, Zagora – Agdz (Thursday)
Meals: B L & D
Disappearing Morocco theme today: artisanal skills and slow-food cuisine.
Day trip to Tamgroute in Zagora to see an ancient style of green pottery, traditional silver Berber jewellery skills and the desert! Lunch with a local family, or enjoy a Berber pizza or a barbeque cooked by our guide! (He just doesn’t know that yet. Ha ha.) When visiting Zagora, we can show you the old Jewish neighbourhood if the group is interested, as well as the Koranic museum and its ancient manuscripts, if local circumstances permit.
Some Moroccan pottery workshops date back to the mid-1600s, with artisans still working with manual pottery wheels and then firing finished pieces in multi-chambered wood stoves.
For those of you who prefer it, you can instead spend the day at the Kasbah, taking a look around and participate in a cooking class (check you are interested in the style they are offering on the day). One of the disappearing styles of cuisine is slow-food cooking. It remains popular in many parts of Morocco (for now), but it is less adapted to the more frenetic lifestyles of Morocco’s rising middle class that is concentrated in particular around Casablanca and Rabat.
A tagine of stewed dried apricots and prunes with lamb is a traditional Moroccan dish.
October14 – 15
October 14: Ouarzazate (Friday)
Meals: B L & D
Disappearing Morocco theme today: the nomadic lifestyle.
Travel to Ouarzazate. Stay at Dar Kamar (or equivalent). Change to 4WDs. Visit the nomads off-road who live somewhere between the Valley of Roses and Boumalne Dades and eat Friday couscous lunch with them. More and more nomads are settling in villages so their children can be educated — it is a way of life that is disappearing in Morocco.
Please dress modestly for our lunch with the nomads, out of respect for them particularly the older members of the family. This means no shorts, short skirts, decolletage or bare arms.
If we have time and the inclination we will also visit the oasis at Skoura while based in Ouarzazate — approximately 40 minutes separate them.
October 15: Departure (Saturday)
Drop off at Ouarzazate Airport.
Please note that quoted prices do not include drinks, entrance fees to venues, meals not specified to be covered, airfares to and from Morocco, tips and personal expenses or anything else not specifically included. If we don’t mention something is covered by the tour fee, best to assume that it isn’t.
Your diary checklist
July 1, 2022:
For group tour: Pay $500.00 so that we can start to secure accommodation and guide. Refundable if the tour does not proceed and on no other basis.
Note: Private tour deposit date by arrangement.
July 31, 2022:
For group tour: Bookings close and full payment due, less any $500.00 already paid.
Note: all prices are shown in Australian dollars.