ANCIENT MARRAKECH & SOUTHERN MOROCCO

 

The Expedition Includes:

  • Historic Sites & Cities
  • Waterfall Hike
  • Camping
  • 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.

Important Themes:

  • 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.

Overnight: Marrakech

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.

Important Themes:

  • Market culture: a history of trade and trade routes in Morocco
  • Local artisans: preserving tradition
  • The confluence of cultures in Morocco

Overnight: Marrakech

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.

Important Themes:

  • Habitats and species of the Atlas mountains
  • Traditional Moroccan cuisine
  • Service work: Leaving a positive trace

Overnight: Marrakech

 

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.

Important Themes:

  • 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.

Important Themes:

  • 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.

Important Themes:

  • Geologic setting of Morocco
  • Cultural variations across the country
  • Western and Arabic world view

Overnight: Ouarzazate

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.

Important Themes:

  • Arabic art
  • Comparing cities: Marrakech and Essaouira
  • Trade Routes: Africa to Europe, impact on cuisine, culture, and economies

Overnight: Essaouira

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.

Important themes:

  • Traditional economies
  • Natural resources and triple bottom line sustainability
  • Globalization and local impacts

Overnight: Marrakech

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.

Important Themes:

  • 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?

Crawford Hill (Chill)

Crawford Hill (Chill)

Co-owner, Chill Expeditions

Crawford Hill (Chill), CEO and Head Expedition Guide has been guiding wilderness expeditions since 1974. Chill’s goal in all his educational efforts was simply to give his students pause about why they do what they do.

Audrey Ziomek

Audrey Ziomek

Operations Manager at Chill Expeditions

Audrey believes that educational expeditions that expand perspectives and challenge students can be life-changing experiences.

MIKE BUDD

MIKE BUDD

EXPEDITION DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR at Chill Expeditions

As a husband, father, coach, and athlete, Mike is in perpetual motion. He will, however, pause for sushi, bacon, fried plantains, mint chocolate chip ice cream and a pint of Guinness.

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