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Morocco reminds me of the blue alleys, the lovely Moroccan tea – especially after a day of shoot, the narrow and meandering lanes, the beautiful Moroccan people in their long and colourful robes and their amazing traditions. Moroccan architecture is fascinating and is often considered a foundation for some of the most revered Architectural splendours across the world.
I also cherish the whole experience of being inside one of the most beautiful part of the great Sahara Desert where we would shoot the caravans passing by from a distance. The people are amazing to be photographed, the arches, the domes, the markets and their food. In fact, everything around the Moroccan people I find so photogenic and fascinating.
- And, for my photographers, I do not think it will be any different.
Lead photographer: Mr Swarup Chatterjee
An internationally acclaimed Indian photographer with winning credentials from The Armoury Show, New York; Christie's, London; McCann, Singapore; GQ and Donald Schneider Studios, Berlin.
Introduction to Casablanca is incomplete without exploring it's chief landmark, The Hassan II Mosque. The mosque’s minaret at 689 feet (210 m) high is the world’s tallest and In terms of covered area, the Hassan II Mosque is the largest in the world and has space for 80,000 worshippers.
Take an early morning one-hour train to the historical town of Rabat. Rabat's history is long and colorful, having been host to Roman settlements, pirates and more recently the Moroccan Parliament. It contains numerous fine Arab monuments, some dating from the 10th to 15th century Almohad and Merenid dynasties, and others that are far older. The earliest known settlement is Sala, occupying an area now known as the Challah. Store your luggage and spend a few hours strolling through the city's old quarter, then walk up to Kasbah des Oudaias and enjoy views over the Atlantic Ocean. Afterwards, continue to Meknes on a three-hour train. The imperial city of Meknes was built when Sultan Moulay Ismail (a contemporary of Louis XIV) set out to create his own version of Versailles, using over 25,000 slaves to construct walls, gates and over 50 palaces.
Fes is the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco; vibrant, noisy, fascinating and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses – with a huge, well-preserved medieval old city that’s the mother of all medinas. Take a guided group walking tour of the old city, known locally as Fes el Bali. Step back into the Middle Ages in the labyrinth of the Medina, which is alive with craftsmen, markets, tanneries, and mosques. Pass donkeys piled high with goods (this is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world) and explore the specialty sections that divide the souk. Look out for the Medersa Bou Inania, one of the city's most beautiful buildings, which has recently been restored and is now open to tourists. Visit the Belghazi Museum, Medresse el Attarine and the splendid Funduk Nejjarine, a beautifully restored 18th-century inn. You'll also see the famous tannery, known for the iconic view overlooking its dye pits, and a ceramics factory where you can see potters working in the traditional way. Top it all off with an exquisite sunset over the Medina while a dozen prayer calls vie for attention is an experience you'll likely remember for a long time.
With a backdrop of the orange-colored Erg Chebbi sand dunes, the charming Saharan village of Merzouga feels wonderfully isolated, like the modern world has left it behind. Mount on a camel back and venture into the desert. The Erg Chebbi dunes are the most stunning in the country and an essential part of any visit to Morocco. Located at the end of a sealed road and just 20 kilometers from the Algerian border, this really feels like frontier country. Spend the night in a desert camp under the stars. Our local friends will prepare a hearty feast, so all you need to do is sit back and relax.
Explore the Todra Valley through a guided hike through the gorge and over a nearby mountain pass. There are a couple of circuits to choose from, but the most popular choice and the one we recommend is a 10-kilometre circuit that will take about four hours. Simply lounging by the hotel pool with views over the lush palmeries and soaring cliff faces is also a great way to spend your day here.
Centuries ago, Ait Benhaddou was an important stop for caravans carrying salt across the Sahara. Today its grand kasbah, a fine example of clay architecture, has been listed as a World Heritage site. In the late afternoon, why not enjoy a cooking demonstration to learn the secrets behind Morocco's most famous cuisine: couscous and tagine.
An ancient, exotic city wrapped in European modernity, Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colors of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens. When night falls on this square it transforms into a hive of activity. Henna-painters, performers, and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies, including snail soup! Perhaps enjoy a bite of famous Moroccan pastries with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and then maybe finish your day with a cup of tea on one of the roof-top restaurants overlooking the square.