ANCIENT MARRAKECH & SOUTHERN MOROCCO
The Expedition Includes:
- Historic Sites & Cities
- Waterfall Hike
- Camel Riding
- Community Service
- Cultural Immersion
- Sahara Desert Ecosystem
- Argan Oil Cooperative Practices
* We can make adjustments to this itinerary based on your specific interests, timeline, and budget.
* Do not hesitate to ask questions and request a customized itinerary.
DAY 1. WELCOME TO MOROCCO!
Students will be challenged to take charge of their experience over the next 9 days in Morocco, encouraged to engage in active learning and personal growth, and to have open minds to make the most of this incredible opportunity.
Arrival to Marrakech. Transfer to your hotel, Orientation on immersion and local culture before we enjoy a traditional Moroccan lunch, This afternoon we visit the old Medina, relax, indulge in local sweet delicacies with a mint tea and absorb the culture.
- Your guides will introduce the Story Approach and the teaching themes that will cohesively link together the incredible wealth of information you will learn on the trip.
- Your group will be introduced to the Expedition Mentality, our nuanced strategy for creating the strongest possible group culture.
- Our first nightly circle and bandana ceremony will reinforce the Expedition Mentality and set the tone for the best possible experiential learning trip.
DAY 2. EXPLORING MARRAKECH
We explore this incredible city as we learn about its mix of cultures and fascinating history
Today we dive into Marrakech- we start with an exploration of the Tanneries, with an overwhelming smell, it’s wonderful to watch workers as they hand dye material in preparation for trade in the city. Spend some time on Jemaa el-Fnaa square, with snake charmers, henna tattoo artists and much more. Enjoy a traditional lunch before we explore markets and Kasbah in the afternoon.
- Market culture: a history of trade and trade routes in Morocco
- Local artisans: preserving tradition
- The confluence of cultures in Morocco
DAY 3. NATURAL RESOURCES
Discover the stunning environment of the Atlas Mountains and how we can help in conservation efforts
Today we take a spectacular hike to the Waterfalls of Ouzoud. Along the way, we enjoy local tagines cooked for us on the trail before we lend our hand to leave a positive trace with a plastic recollection and clean-up in this beautiful reserve.
- Habitats and species of the Atlas mountains
- Traditional Moroccan cuisine
- Service work: Leaving a positive trace
DAY 4. TOWARD THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS
Explore how environment shapes culture and traditional lifestyles
Today we cross the Atlas mountain through dirt roads, valleys, passes, gorges, dunes, and picturesque villages as we discover this unique country.
Bright and early you will set off towards the Atlas, stopping on the way at Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, a magnificent fortified city made of adobe, where numerous films have been (Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, etc.). We continue to Dades Valley where we spend the night.
- History and settlement patterns of Morocco over the last 3000 years
- Music, entertainment, and arts
- Power structures: then and now
Overnight: Dades Valley
DAY 5. BERBER LIFESTYLES: SAHARA DESERT
We dive into Berber culture with an unforgettable desert experience
Today we head towards Merzouga, driving by Berber villages scattered along the way. We’ll pass through Erfoud, the Oasis of Tafilalt and finally make it to Merzouga. After lunch explore the spectacular Merzouga Desert on a camel. Visit nomad hamlets, the oasis and ride along the famous Erg Chebbi dunes. Head towards the heart of the dunes to watch the sunset and spend a night in a Berber tent and dine a Tagine in the middle of the desert.
- Nomadic life: Berber traditions & history
- Environment shaping culture
- Desert ecology
Overnight: Sahara Desert
DAY 6. GEOLOGIC WONDERS
We study the geology of this area and its impact on trade, settlement, and habitats
Wake up early and hike on top of a dune to witness a breath-taking sunrise. Afterward, climb back on a camel and return to Merzouga. On our way to Ouarzazate, we will pass by the Todgha Gorge, in the Dades Valley, situated in the center of the High Atlas Mountains, before finally, reaching Ouarzazate.
- Geologic setting of Morocco
- Cultural variations across the country
- Western and Arabic world view
DAY 7. MOUNTAINS TO THE COAST
Compare unique regional differences across Morocco as we discover this coastal village
We enjoy the morning exploring Ouarzazate, a traditional commerce post. This afternoon, we get a new perspective as we head to the coastal town of Essaouira. Dinner and overnight by the Atlantic Coast.
- Arabic art
- Comparing cities: Marrakech and Essaouira
- Trade Routes: Africa to Europe, impact on cuisine, culture, and economies
DAY 8. LOCAL ENTERPRISES: ESSAOUIRA
Today we support local microenterprise and learn about small businesses in Essaouira
Today we explore Essaouira, visiting the fish market to understand this traditional livelihood. We then visit a female-run Argan Oil cooperative. Learn about Argan Oil, “the white gold” and meet the local women who ply this unique trade.
At night we make our way back to Marrakech for dinner and overnight.
- Traditional economies
- Natural resources and triple bottom line sustainability
- Globalization and local impacts
DAY 9. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Reflect on our experience and connect it to our lives back at home.
On our last full day in Morocco, we explore Marrakech, visiting the Medina and world-famous market and putting together all the elements of our experience. Tonight, we enjoy our final dinner and reflection.
- How do we now understand Morocco?
- Connecting all we have seen, done, and learned
- Putting it all together: What will you take back from your experience
DAY 10. HOME WITH INSPIRATION!
Today we head home, filled with inspiration, understanding, and memories to last a lifetime from our Moroccan Expedition!
Why settle for less?
CULTURAL IMMERSION & NATURAL WONDERS This Expedition Includes: Hiking Spanish Classes Flamenco Dancing Biology Workshop Beach Time Nature Walks Homestays Intercultural Exchange with Families Historic Sites & Cities * The following is a sample...
ECOLOGY AND CULTURE OF THE SOUTHWEST DESERT The Expedition includes: Nature Walks Astronomy Observatory Visit Bird Watching International Biosphere Reserve Visit Museum Visits Politics in context Hiking Camping Canoe Tour Community Service &...
Explore Ireland. Each day of our itinerary is highlighted by people, places, and themes that will be an important part of your trip. These unique stories about involvement with important ecological, social, cultural, and economic issues are told in context, allowing students to make meaningful connections and reach deeper levels of understanding.
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