Morocco cultural holiday
Description of Morocco cultural holiday
This ten day Morocco cultural holiday begins and ends in the legendary imperial city of Marrakech. In between, travellers will be enjoy a cultural tour of Morocco that includes the medieval walled city of Fes, the Roman ruins of Volubilis and the sacred hilltop town of Moulay Idriss, as well as time spent enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the mighty Atlas Mountains.
These ten days will prove to be a real cultural eye opener. You’ll visit mosques and markets, kasbahs and souks, and spend time with nomadic herders, women’s co-operatives and Berber communities, sharing a lunch of home-cooked couscous with a family in Moulay Idriss.
You’ll stay in small, locally run hotels and you’ll travel with a small group of like minded travellers and will have expert guides to show you what's what along the way.
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This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleLocal Craft and Culture:
During the trip, we will visit Fez, an intellectual and religious centre of Morocco. There, our city guide walks us through different sections of the souk and the tanneries. Outside the medina we also visit the Jewish District, the exterior of the Royal Palace and the potteries where famous mosaic tables are made from the grey clay of the Rif Mountains. Another cultural highlight is Marrakech, where clients are encouraged to haggle for souvenirs, take a ride in a traditional Caliche, or to visit the world renowned Marjorelle gardens. In the evening, the Djemma el Fna central square comes alive with musicians, snake charmers, travelling acrobats and food stalls. This is the perfect opportunity to interact with local people, purchase locally produced handicrafts and to support small street vendors by trying authentic food.
Passing through Berber villages up in the High Atlas Mountains, hiring local guides, staying in local gites and using markets and mule transport has a positive impact on the local economy. There are also opportunities for us to stop at women’s co-operatives in the south east of the Atlas and in the Essaouira region. These co-operatives help local women to be more independent and take care of their children- especially if they are in difficult family situations. Stops can also be made at a care centre for those with disabilities, which aim to teach handicrafts skills and sell souvenirs.
In conjunction with Baraka Community Partnerships, we have sponsored the development of a small village called Tijhza for many years with a variety of projects. These include supplying a pipeline system and water tower to the village and a toilet block for the school. Thanks to our volunteer groups, Tijhza now also has electricity and an annual medical clinic, which has had a hugely positive effect on the welfare of the village. More recently, we have achieved our aim of building a Hammam to alleviate some of the hygiene issues in the area and to provide a sustainable source income for many inhabitants. Unfortunately, devastating storms struck in November 2014, leaving much of the village severely damaged. We were able to raise emergency funding to provide supplies and to re-build many of the homes affected.
Accommodation and Meals:
Our local operators generally prefer to select accommodation which is locally owned in order to support smaller businesses and their employees. This ensures that most income generated is reinvested into the area and the community.
Where meals are supplied, seasonal, fresh food is used wherever possible. Most vegetables come from the region of Sous; meat is locally supplied by butchers and fruits can be found at markets or farms in the countryside. The main Moroccan dishes most people are familiar with are couscous, meat and vegetable tagines, fish chermoula and bocadillos, which are available from street stalls almost everywhere.