Morocco Textile Tour with Yvette Crossley
Join Personal Travel Management's and textile enthusiast, Yvette Crossley May 27 - June 12, 2022 as she escorts a small group throughout Morocco.
This trip is for all textile enthusiasts! Come and experience the ancient cities and beautiful landscapes of Morocco whilest supporting the women of Morocco. For the weaver and spinner, there is a hands on workshop carding and spinning camel and goat hair and then weaving on a traditional desert loom; for the knitter, there is the unusual cactus silk dyed in vibrant hues.
For needle crafts, there is a workshop to learn how to make needle-weaving buttons used on djellabas and unique to Morocco as well as a workshop to learn Moroccan embroidery techniques and for the quilter, there are endless quilt ideas through the textiles and mosaics you’ll see throughout the country; In Essaouira. there is an opportunity to learn tapestry crotchet which is the method used to make the colourful hats that men wear in Morocco.
Hands-on experiences and demonstrations:
Natural dyeing demonstration
Workshop carding and spinning camel and goat wool, then weaving on a traditional desert loom
Moroccan embroidery workshop
Needle weaving button workshop
Basket weaving workshop
Tapestry crochet workshop
Tagine cooking class
17 days / 16 night tour: Visiting a weavers co-op, pottery co-op and the tanneries in Fes
Interacting and supporting various women’s co- operatives throughout Morocco
Experience the sunset and sunrise over the Erg Chebbi dunes
See the dramatic landscape of the Todra Gorge
Visit the Valley of the Roses and Kelaa M’gouna
Visit the ancient Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, where Indiana Jones, Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia were filmed.
Take a horse drawn calesh to Majorelle Gardens; see the private collection of Yves St. Laurent North African textiles, jewelry and carpets at the Berber Arts Museum
Visit the seaside fortress of Essaouira
Experience the bustling Djemaa el Fna with it’s sing- ers, drummers, dancers & snake charmers
Explore and shop in the famous Fes & Marrakech medinas—bring an extra suitcase or bag!
Many interactions with the people of Morocco.
FRIDAY, MAY 27th CASABLANCA
Arrive into Casablanca International airport and transfer to hotel. This evening, meet your fellow textile enthusiasts and guide at an orientation meeting and discuss the customs of Morocco and the schedule for the next few days.
SATURDAY, MAY 28th CASABLANCA / FES (B / L / D)
Enjoy a wonderful Moroccan breakfast at hotel Check out of the hotel and get started on your adventure. Visit the Hassan II Mosque, the 3rd largest mosque in the world. It can accommodate 25,000 worshippers inside, 80,000 in the courtyard and has the world’s largest minaret. Depart Casablanca and drive northeast to the cultural capital of Fes. Along the way, stop in Rabat and go for a short walk through the medina and enjoy lunch in a seaside restaurant. Continue the drive to Fes through picturesque rolling hills of olive groves and small villages. Upon arrival into Fes, we will hire carts to take our bags to our riad located in the Old Medina. Dinner at the riad and remainder of evening time to relax and enjoy the medina sites from the riad rooftop.
SUNDAY, MAY 29th FES (B / L / D)
After an early breakfast, depart the riad on a walking tour of the medina. Walk through a part of the medina where the locals live as we make our way to the famous Fes tanneries and the dyers souk. There will be time for pictures & shopping. Continue walking through the narrow passages as we explore the thousand year old medina. See brass workshops and coppersmiths, producing pieces much as they have for many genera- tions. Visit the Medrassa Bouaanania, one of the few religious places in Morocco that is accessible for non–Islamic visitors. Lunch will be at a restaurant in the medina.
In the afternoon, visit the Weaver’s co-operative. This workshop specializes in weaving the finest djellaba fabric either with silk, wool or locally spun and textured wool thread called hubba. Learn how to tie a Berber turbin.
This co-operative also produces vibrant coloured blankets & scarves, which make excel- lent gifts. Time permitting, we’ll have a Berber carpet demonstration to learn about the various types of carpets that are made in Morocco as we sip on mint tea. Late afternoon back to our riad for dinner and a relaxing evening.
MONDAY, MAY 30th FES (B / L)
Today, visit a pottery and Zelij tile co-operative and watch zelij mfasters as they use old techniques to create masterpieces. Zelij is the craft of taking fragments of glazed terracotta tiles which are manually cut and assembled into intricate designs. Zelij is used throughout Morocco to adorn buildings and homes. Afterwards, return to the medina to see more artisans. We’ll see women creating the famous “Fes” embroidery and visit the leather auction. Time permitting, go to a local leather auction.
Late in the afternoon, return to our riad for a relaxing evening and dinner at your leisure.
TUESDAY, MAY 31st FES (B / L / D)
This morning. drive to a town outside of Fes where we will have a hands-on work- shops and a natural dyeing demonstration. We will spend the day with a group of ladies who create some of the finest djellaba buttons in the country. The goal of the cooperative is to empower the women in the region to venture out from their tradition- al domestic role by teaching them skills in weavng, dyeing and by holding literacy classes. Our workshops here and any purchases you make, directly assist the co-op to continue their outreach to the women in their community. After lunch with the women, learn about natural dyes made from local plants and the colours that they produce. There will be time to speak with the women and learn about their culture, education or any other topic that you wish.
In the late afternoon, drive back to Fes with new found skills and friendships. Dinner will be in a restaurant overlooking Fes. Overnight Fes
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1ST FES / MERZOUGA (B / L / D )
After breakfast, say good-bye to Fes and drive south, climbing the cedar covered slopes of the Middle Atlas Mountains. This is home to the Barbary monkeys, North Africa’s only monkey. This is also the land of the fiercely independent Berbers whose different way of life is lost to the rest of North Africa and whose music, dance, language and religion are much different from their Arab neighbours. Follow the path of Tizi N Talghemt (neck of the Camel -1907m) and enjoy a beautiful view of the red mountains.
Continue past the garrison town of Errachidia and the picturesque oasis of Er- foud. (Lunch en route) Rissani marks the end of the vegetation belt before the dunes of the sand sea begin. Spend the night at the settlement of Merzuga, which lies on the edge of the Erg Chebbi, an area of high dunes that are one of Morocco’s most spectacular natural landscapes. Dinner at hotel
THURSDAY, JUNE 2ND MERZOUGA / ERG CHEBBI (B / L / D )
This morning have a hands-on textile workshop with local women who will demonstrate carding and spinning of camel and goat wool. We will then learn how to use these fibers to weave on a traditional desert loom. Time for lunch. Afterwards, have a hands on embroidery workshop and learn Moroc- can techniques with traditional Berber designs using brightly coloured wools.
In the late afternoon, choose between a 4-wheel drive vehicle or riding a camel through the dunes of Erg Chebbi (1 1/2 hr camel ride). The word “erg” is Arabic for great sand dune area and the Erg Chebbi is a vast sea of shifting wind-swept sand that is formed into picturesque undulating crests and valleys. On the east side of the dunes, we will meet 4 x 4’s that will take us further into the desert to our luxury tents. Tonight, dinner will be in the desert.
Overnight luxury tents
FRIDAY, JUNE 3RD MERZOUGA / TODRA GORGE / SKOURA
(B / L / D)
This morning, get up early to watch the sunrise over the desert. After break- fast, make our way back to Merzouga via 4-wheel drive vehicles. Leave the desert behind and head towards the mountains again. Follow the ancient route along the southern slopes of the Atlas Mountains. At the town of Tinehir, see the famous lush palmeries that line the banks of the nearby Todra River. Take a side trip to see the dramatic ochre-coloured, sheer rock walls of the Todra Gorge. Continue driving along the famous “Route of a thousand Kasbahs” through the Dades Valley to Skoura (lunch en route).
Dinner and evening at our riad.
SATURDAY, JUNE 4TH SKOURA (B / L / D)
Today, walk to a village from our riad. Here we will spend most of the day. You’ll see a local potter make his creations right from making the clay, to spinning his home made wheel to where he bakes his finished items. After- wards, we’ll go to the ladies co-operative where we will spend the rest of the morning. This co-operative weaves various types of carpets and other use- ful items, does different types of embroidery and has recently learned bas- ketweaving. We’ll have lunch with the ladies and then spend part of the afternoon in their co-operative.
In the latter part of the afternoon, visit Kasbah Amerhidie before going back to the riad for dinner and a relaxing evening.
SUNDAY, JUNE 5TH SKOURA (B / L / D)
Today, meet with a local artisan and have a hands-on basket-weaving workshop using local date palm leaves. We will also visit a new wom- en’s co-operative close to our riad.
Spend part of the afternoon, relaxing at the riad. Later in the afternoon, drive to El Kelaa des M-Gouna and the Valley of the Roses, Stop at one of the local distilleries that produce rose water used to make hand and body soaps, oil and crème perfume. Dinner in Kelaa Mgouna
MONDAY, JUNE 6TH SKOURA / AIT BENHADDOU / ESSAOUIRA ( B / L / D)
Depart Skoura and drive to Ouarzazate, nicknamed the “door to the desert” . This is a popular area for film making and movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladia- tor, Kingdom of Heaven and King of Persia were filmed in this region. At one time, this was a strategic location controlled by the Glaoui for the Saharan Caravan route to West Africa. Also visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait BenHaddou, a fortified city made of clay and a popular destination for Hollywood films.
Time for lunch before continuing drive to Essaouira. Upon our arrival into Essaouira, our luggage will be loaded into carts and we will walk to our riad located within the me- dina. Dinner at riad.
TUESDAY, JUNE 7TH ESSAOUIRA (B / D)
Morning walking tour of the medina. Get acquainted with the relatively small medina (when compared to Fes or Marrakech). Visit a silver jewelry workshop as well as the wood co-op where woodworkers work with thuya wood. (this co-op is the best place in Morocco to purchase wood products).
The afternoon will be yours to explore the medina or walk along the wind swept beaches. For dinner, you’ll visit a local cooking school for a cooking lesson.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8TH ESSAOUIRA
Today is entirely on your own to meander through the medina, enjoy a hammam or take a walk on the beach. Overnight Essaouira
THURSDAY, JUNE 9TH ESSAOUIRA / MARRAKECH (B / L / D)
This morning, have a hands-on workshop to learn tapestry crocheting. This is the method used to make the colourful hats that many Morocco men wear. Time for lunch before we say good bye to Essaouira and drive to Marrakech. En route, stop and visit a women’s aragan oil co-operative which produces many foods and cosmetics from this indigenous nut.
Upon arrival, check into Riad and have dinner.
FRIDAY, JUNE 10TH MARRAKECH (B / L / D)
This morning will be a feast for your senses as we start our first full day in Marra- kech by visiting the Bahia Palace. Visit the Tiskiwin Museum which houses a collection of carpets, textiles, clothing, jewelry basketwork and handicrafts from from North Africa.
Also visit the Dar Si Said Museum, known as the Museum of Moroccan Arts. Continue to explore the medina and visit the dyers and weav- ers souks. Lunch will be at a restaurant located within the medina.
The afternoon will be yours to explore the souks. Dinner will be at a local restaurant.
SATURDAY, JUNE 11TH MARRAKECH (B / L / D )
Today, experience a different mode of transportation. We’ll hop into our horse drawn caleshes and be driven to Majorelle Gardens and walk amongst the exotic bamboo, cactus and palms from around the world. Located in the gardens is the Islamic Art Museum featuring North African textiles, jewelry, carpets and other Islamic treasures. We’ll get back into our caleshes and go the the Djemaa el Fna Square.
Lunch will be together. The remainder of the afternoon will be free time. Tonight, we’ll have a special farewell dinner.
SUNDAY, JUNE 12TH MARRAKECH (B)
Today, it is time to say good-bye to Morocco. Meet in the lobby this morning for the transfer from Marrakech to Casablanca Airport. There will be a stop en route for lunch.
Afternoon flights from Casablanca onwards. (Group transfer is for any flights booked to depart Casablanca after 3:00PM. Any flights departing earlier than 3:00pm will incur a separate airport transfer cost.)
TOUR COST: CAD$5995.00 — Land Only
Tour cost is per person, twin share (maximum 12 participants) Single supplement cost is $1325.00, based on availability at time of reservation.
1 night Casablanca, Hotel Idou Anfa
4 nights Fes, Riad Salam Fes
1 night Merzouga, Auberge Tombouctou
1 night Erg Chebbi Luxury Camp
3 nights Skoura, Kasbah Ait Ben Hada
3 nights Essaouira, Riad Mimouna
3 nights Marrakech, Riad Berta (accommodation may change to similar properties)
Natural dyeing workshop / demonstration
Carding and spinning camel and goat wool / weaving on desert loom
Moroccan embroidery workshop
Needle weaving button workshop
Basket weaving workshop
Tapestry crochet workshop
Tagine cooking class / Moroccan mint tea lesson
Services & Entrances:
Tour escort from Personal Travel Management
Qualified English speaking guide for 17 days
English speaking local city guides
Casablanca—Hassan II Mosque
Fes— Medrassa Bouaanaia
Skoura –Kasbah Amredil
Ouarzazate— Ait Benhaddou
Berber Arts Museum
Private air-conditioned mini bus
Group arrival and departure transfers
Horse drawn caleshes to Majorelle Gardens
Camel ride or 4 wheel drive vehicle in Erg Chebbi
Mineral water with meals
One bottle of water per person per day while on vehicles.
Flights / transportation to Morocco
Soft drinks or alcoholic beverages
Items of a personal nature
Anything not listed under the inclusions
Tipping is a very important part of Moroccan society and will be discussed at the group meeting on the first night in Casablanca. A tipping kitty will be established at that time for the porters, hotel staff, guides and the principle tour guide and driver. Your tour host will oversee the tip kitty.
We highly recommend that you purchase full travel insurance coverage (medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage, baggage delay, etc. ) for the tour package and airline tickets. Please speak with us to discuss your insurance needs.
2 lunches, 2 dinners
Fitness & Health:
The trip is not strenuous and anyone is who is reasonably fit and in good health should be able to participate. There will be a fair amount of walking in the medinas over cobblestone streets and uneven dirt paths. During the walking tours, there will be frequent stops. The tanneries and some riads require climbing steep stairs.
Arrival in Casablanca should be no later than 5:00pm on Friday, May 27, 2022 in order to be transferred to our hotel in time for the evening orientation meeting. It is highly recommended to arrive a day early to recover from jetlag. Return flights need to depart Casablanca after 3:00pm on Sunday, June 12th, 2022 Any flight departing before this time will result in additional transfer fees.
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