At the very heart of Morocco lies the enduring culture of the indigenous Amazigh (Berber) people (plural – Imazighen). Ancient traditions continue alongside the Arab Islamic overlay introduced in the 7th century and the various influences brought by the Phoenicians, the Romans, Portuguese, Spanish and most recently the French.
Renowned as proud and self reliant, famed for their warm hospitality, commitment to family and respect for tradition, the Imazighen continue to demonstrate their vibrant heritage through language, art, design and architecture.
Following the ancient trade routes across the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech to the Sahara, AMAZIGH CULTURE tours engage with this rich culture, shaped by history, the landscape, a nomadic lifestyle and a deep respect for the land that sustains them. Accommodation is provided in the most comfortable traditional Guesthouses, where we enjoy the extraordinary delights of Amazigh food and hospitality.
We explore the heritage, music, food and spirituality at a grassroots level, where traditional artisans continue to work in a way that challenges our notions of art as something separate from everyday life. Musicians by night become potters by day, while women’s cooperative ventures present a range of textile creations that meld age-old skills with new innovations.
Travelling over the famous Tizi n’Tichka Atlas Mountains pass, through traditional Amazigh villages and the famous Glaoui Kasbahs of Telouet and Ouarzazate, we explore to the world heritage site of Ait Benhaddou. Representing the finest examples of Moroccan artistry and steeped in a turbulent history these impressive mud fortifications make a popular backdrop for a thriving film industry.
Follow the oasis valleys south to the massive Erg Chebbi dunes at the gateway to the Sahara for an unforgettable desert experience. Encounter the extraordinary sense of space, silence, changing colour and light of the landscape and meet the inhabitants of this extreme environment including the Gnaoua musicians at the desert village of Khamlia.
The AMAZIGH CULTURE ‘immersion’ tours and Specialist Art Tours include visits to the imperial cities of Rabat, Fez and Marrakech, where the museums and palaces present fine collections of authentic Moroccan artefacts. In the heart of the old Medina in Fez the colourful souqs continue to trade in traditional crafts including leatherwork, metal, wood, ceramics, textiles and jewellery.
AMAZIGH CULTURE tours will suit individuals or groups. The ideal cultural immersion tour includes 14 nights from Marrakech to Rabat via the Atlas Mountains, Sahara and Fez. However, TAILOR MADE tours are available to suit a range of time frames and interests from 3-day ‘Lightning’ tours up to 21-day tours that include a longer retreat in one of the many inspirational locations that Morocco has to offer.