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Morocco Tours

Travel to Morocco to explore a fascinating culture of exquisite urban Andalusian and powerful desert architecture and extraordinary social and religious life – and gardening traditions – across Morocco’s fertile coastal plane, high Atlas Mountains, and pre-Saharan desert oases.

Morocco’s rich African and Arab cultures combine in a unique identity showing remarkable continuity with the past that has been dominated by Arab and Berber dynasties. Morocco has breathtakingly beautiful and varied landscapes, from its fertile coastal plain and Atlas Mountains to the pre-Sahara. In the north and on the coastal plain are Mediterranean-influenced towns, Tangier and Chefchaouen, and the imperial Islamic cities of Meknes and Fes. Marrakesh, Morocco’s pink southern capital, reflects the heavy influence of sub-Saharan Africa. The port of Essaouira has fine, white mosques, shrines and houses. In Fes’ crowded souqs, selling diverse wares from fine copper to carved wood, textiles, ceramics and carpets, you pass from teaming narrow streets with diverse sounds and smells into the quietude of beautiful Andalucian style Marinid madrasas and funduks (caravanserai), exquisitely decorated with ceramic tiles (zelliges), intricate plasterwork and sculpted cedar wood. South of the Atlas Mountains, in the pre-Saharan oasis valleys of the Ziz, Tudgha, and Dra’a rivers, are mudbrick towns and villages like Sijilmasa, Tinghir, Ouarzazate and Tamgrut, staging posts in the medieval trans-Saharan trade that are still repositories of traditional Berber culture and architecture. The vast, open vistas of the pre-Sahara and Atlas Mountains seem unpopulated until you enter a crowded, verdant oasis in which every inch of arable land is cultivated, where donkeys carry huge loads of hay, dates, grain or wood. Urbanites of Fes whose families have inhabited its old medina for centuries, likewise contrast to sub-Saharan Africans whose forebears were brought to oases like Erfoud as slaves.

Morocco’s unique and diverse environments bear a dynamic relationship to the country’s gardening traditions, from Andalusian urban courtyard gardens to date plantations and palmeraies in the desert and around Marrakesh, and gardens and plantations in the High Atlas Mountains. These traditions have inspired European expatriates to create ecologically sustainable desert gardens, whilst in cosmopolitan Tangiers there are wonderful expatriate houses and gardens and in Marrakesh Yves Saint Laurent’s and Pierre Bergé’s extraordinary garden in which verdant plants contrast with vivid blue buildings.