Morocco | Photo Stories

I had been wanting to visit Morocco for as far back as I can remember, and was awe-struck and inspired the moment I stepped from the plane. Morocco is one of the more politically stable nations of north Africa, and has enjoyed a thriving, well established tourist trade as far back as the 1930’s. Yet, in spite of the high tourism, for me at least, it still evokes a sense of other worldliness. It’s difficult to describe how the colours, textures, sights and smells exude such a sense of wonder.

Our journey through Morocco began in Marrakech. We would then venture to Essaouira, then through the High Atlas mountains to Aït-Ben-Haddou and the Sahara before returning to Marrakech. On our arrival we stayed at La Maison Arabe, a traditional Riad in the centre of old Marrakech, who’s past patrons include Sir Winston Churchill. I would have come to Marrakech just to stay at this hotel. The elegant, jewel coloured interior, intricate carvings and woodwork, central courtyard patios with ornate rose petals filled pools; and morning tea served in the most lavish silver-ware was like stepping back into a colonial past.

Ben Yousef Madrasa in the heart of old Marrakech – Founded in the 14th century the school is dedicated to the teachings of Islamic scriptures and laws.

The laid-back port city of Essaouira in whitewash and electric blue has been a mecca for bohos and artists since the 1960’s. The Alizés winds now attract a more energetic kite-surfing crowd.

Clinging to the mountain side, villages throughout the Atlas are camouflaged almost from view as we drive through the ever changing topography. Merchants can been seen along the mountain roads selling fruits, carpets and small volcanic rocks, which when opened reveal black or bright red crystals.

We pass numerous emerald green oases which offer relief and replenishment from the soaring desert heat.

Aït-Ben-Haddou sits on the old caravan route from the Sahara to Marrakesh, at the foothills of the High Atlas in the province of Quarzazate – the door to the desert.

We arrive at our camp as evening draws near. Gathering around the camp fire as darkness begins to fall, we are served delicious tagine and sweet mint tea. Musicians entertain us as we take in the star filled sky, the most stars I have ever seen in my life. At dawn, we ride camels through the dunes before making our way back to Marrakech.


Where to stay in Marrakech – La Maison Arabe Marrakech

Where to stay in Essaouira – Villa Maroc Essaouira


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