Overview

The Atlantic coast of Morocco has been colorized by desert people, living on the cusp of the Sahara and the deep blue sea. The desert is salt and pepper – hues, not colors – and all that stark dryness ends abruptly in an ocean that is green and blue. Along that margin of coast, the Berbers and Bedouin moving north from deep in Africa bathe themselves in color – bags of cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and other colored spices in the Souk. Multi-colored shoes hanging from the walls of shops. Doors, windows, cars, clothing, jewelry: the Moroccan people colorize everything they put their hands and feet to, to make their presence known between the desert and the ocean. And that makes Morocco a target-rich environment for photographers in love with adventure, color, contrast, culture.

Course leader, Lucia Griggi fell in love with Morocco when she spent several years in a row there in the early 2000s – escaping the shady harsh Cornwall winters for the sunny shores of the North African desert. The ocean is as vibrant as the Souks. Men and women dressed in flowing robes lead camels draped in silver-mirrored blankets. Using thoroughly modern camera equipment, Lucia slowed herself down to match the daily ebb and flow of Moroccan life – beautiful, exotic, never changing and always changing. 

There is much to love and photograph along the Moroccan coast, and Lucia Griggi is leading nine-night and ten-day expeditions for photographers who want to improve their photography in this ancient, energized strip of coast between the Sahara and the Atlantic. 

The Moroccan Photography Expeditions will operate from Sol House Tagazout, the leading adventure camp and tour organization, operating out of their amazing eco -lodges in the village of Tagazhout. Morocco’s surf city is only 40 minutes from the international airport at Agadir, which itself is only two or three hours from most European cities. Short by hours but a world away in terms of time and culture. When you cross the strait of Gibraltar from Europe to Morocco, you pass into another culture – into another century. 

Sol House Tagazout is thoroughly modern in terms of organization, communication, safety and comfort, but also old school in hosting guests with traditional Moroccan courtesy, hospitality and comfort. From the security of Sol House Tagazout, Lucia will lead adventures by land and sea. 

The land adventures will venture over and through the Atlas Mountains to Marrakesh – still one of the most exotic cities in the world. Off-road toward the great dunes of Erg Chigaga to our comfortable desert camp. Opt to take a camel ride or climb to the top of the dunes for views of the vast Sahara. Enjoy a traditional dinner under the stars.

 

Itinerary

Itinerary – Ten days and nine nights.The following planned itinerary is flexible to allow for inclement weather, ocean conditions and spontaneous photographic opportunities. A photographer must always be ready for the unexpected.

Day 1 — Landing and Travel Day

Landing in the hustle and bustle of the city of Agadir from your international flight, Sol House Taghazout staff will meet guests for the 40-minute ground transportation from Agadir to Taghazout. After a day of travel, guests will love the comfort and relaxation of Sol House Taghazout. Some guests will sit down to a cup of mint tea and drink in this new environment. Others will be straight into the ocean situated straight in front of the eco-resort. That night there will be a dinner to introduce you to the wonders of Moroccan cuisine, but also Lucia Griggi and Younes Arabab from Sol House Taghazout - who will host the dinner.

Day 2 — Meet and Greet and Eat

In Arabic, they say: “Manage with bread and salted butter until God brings something to eat with it.” At Sol House Taghazout Allah is bountiful. Moroccan breakfasts are any combination of mint green tea with heaps of sugar, fresh bread loaded with olive oil, Argan oil, butter, smen (salted, fermented butter), amlou (toasted almonds, argan oil, honey), jam and honey. Or if you’re feeling Frenchy, café au lait with a dipping baguette or croissant. 

While you’re getting stuck into that, Lucia will present an overview of all the possible places to shoot by land and sea. She will discuss the weeks itinerary, take a look at the weather charts, look at maps and generally present the options of where to go, what to do and when to do it.

Lucia will also break out her photography kit, and ask adventurers to lay out their equipment to see who has what. Who needs what. Who has some modern high tech gizmo no one else has seen before.

Lucia and the staff at Sol House Taghazout can read the ocean the way Bedouin read clouds, look at weather patterns crossing the Sahara Desert and they will offer advice on where to go and what to shoot whilst on location. 

Most of the shooting will be done under pastel blue skies in the morning, and against fiery, spectacular sunsets in the evening. In between, some of the day will be dedicated to the Moroccan art of doing bugger all but drinking tea, hanging out, socializing, talking story, drinking more tea. So move slowly. It’s a Moroccan delight. 

Day 3 – Surf and Ocean Adventure

Early to bed and earlier to rise. Now that everyone has acclimated and has some idea of where they are, this day begins with an early breakfast, a check of the conditions out the window and that information will guide where adventurers go.

Tagazhout is about halfway between Agadir to the south and Tamri in the north.  The coastline is dry, rocky desert leading down to cliffs overlooking the sea.  

The harsh desert ends in a lot of surf-friendly geography on both sides of Tagazhout – long, sandy beaches, triangle reefs and those right points for which this stretch of coast is so famous.There are a dozen quality surf spots within easy range of Sol House Taghazout. This is where adventurers will have the chance to jump in the ocean and nourish their in -water surf photography skills. Whether experiencing ocean shooting for the first time or chasing a kitesurfer down the beach. The feeling of floating through the ocean whilst capturing these moments will leave you feeling free and inspired.  

Day 4/5 - Marrakech Express

The Moroccan city of Marrakech is about a four-hour drive from Tagazhout, through the Atlas Mountains and deep into the interior of Morocco.  For centuries, famous writers and musicians have challenged their skills to describe the exotic intrigue of Marrakech.

.Lucia and her adventurers will boldly drive into Marrakech and keep one eye and one hand on their equipment whilst getting jostled through the souks, photographing anything and everything and having a lifetime adventure. Marrakech is a long, overnight trip, but one the adventurers will never forget – because they will have taken 10,000 photos of it.

Day 6 /8 -Into the Wilderness

In Arabic, they say: “ In Morocco never be surprised. If you see a donkey flying, just say Allah is capable of anything.” That is to say: Anything is possible in Morocco, and that means there is always something to photograph.

This will be the wilderness part of the expedition and into the wild. Set off on 4x4s into the desert. Off-road toward the great Sahara Sand dunes to our comfortable desert camp. Opt to take a camel ride or climb to the top of the dunes for views of the vast Sahara. Enjoy a traditional dinner under the stars. Learn how to work with the stars in this extended night photography part of the course. This will be the most breathtaking part of the entire trip. 

Day 9 – Back to the Beach

Students who don’t run away with the Bedouin or become snake charmers in Marrakech will find themselves back on the coast – spinning with all they saw the day before.On your last full day in Morocco, eat and drink anything you haven’t tried yet, or indulge in what you like. If there is an oases or a surf spot or a souk or a mosque you haven’t shot yet and can’t leave home without – this is the day to focus and fire.

In Arabic, they say: “A teacher will appear when the student is ready.” After a week of non-stop clicking by land and sea, student’s tongues will be as full of stories as their hard drives are full of images. On this day, students will have the option to edit down their hundreds and thousands of images to the best of the best, work on their processing skills, and in the evening, Lucia will oversee a presentation of the best in anyone’s portfolio who is willing to show their work. In the evening, there will be a Final dinner at the Sol House Taghazout.

Day 10 — Transfers 

Departure day. Some adventurers will refuse to leave and threaten to jump the next camel train, or chain themselves to a fishing boat. Lucia will talk sense to these people and say goodbye to the rest – ending the adventure with advice on where to shoot next. Maybe one of Lucia’s workshops in Sri Lanka, or Norway which in their own ways are as exotic as Morocco. Sol House Taghazout staff will take students the forty minute drive to Agadir, and then it’s on a plane and back into the 21st Century.

 

Dates & Rates

Costs

$5800 

Prices are per person; price with accommodation is based on double occupancy. For a single room add $650

Includes accommodation (with en-suite, bed linen and full comforts), all meals and beverages, ground transfers and all guides. 

Excludes international airfares to Agadir, Morocco, travel visas (if required), insurance, tips and personal spending.