Photography & Cookery Holiday Essaouira


  • Stay in a traditional Moroccan Riad beautifully decorated with roof terrace
  • Intensive photography tuition in varied, vibrant locations
  • Includes two fun and informal Moroccan cookery classes
£1175 pp
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What you'll do


– You’ll be collected from the airport and transferred to your accommodation in Essaouira
– You will have time to settle into your luxurious Moroccan Riad and soak up the atmosphere

– The riad of Maison du Sud is located 300m from the sea
– It’s a beautifully restored 18th-century hotel in the heart of the bustling medina
– Decorated in a tasteful Moorish style with modern comforts
– There are many quiet salons to relax in plus two large rooftop terraces where you can enjoy breakfast or a mint tea
– WiFi is provided on the ground floor
– All rooms are en-suite

Medina tour & cooking workshop

– Your day starts at 9.30am after breakfast with an introduction to Moroccan spices in Essaouira’s traditional medina
– Afterwards you’ll depart for a countryside trip for your first cooking workshop: lunch will take place at the hosts kitchen in the countryside after the lesson


Walking shoot of Essaouira

– Your photography course starts at 10am after breakfast with a wander around the beautiful town of Essaouira, the home of your photography tutor and famous the world over
– Essaouira has stunning architecture, fishing ports and labyrinths of Souks and bustling markets
– In your first day you’ll have 2 workshops on camera fundamentals workshop (camera controls, exposure – ISO, shutter speed, aperture and histograms)
– In the evening, you will have the chance to review and get feedback on your initial images as a group before having free time to dine where you choose


Abstract workshop

– The focus of today’s tuition will be on 2 abstract workshops in the medina and port, focussing mostly on using depth of field
– You will also benefit from a one-to-one feedback during the day to assess your progress, providing feedback on your images and taking your understanding a step further


Reportage photography & portrait workshop

– Today will be given to exploring reportage photography and the art of photographing people at a local Berber market 25 minutes from Essaouira
– A different market to day 2 and more ideally suited to photography, you can also explore the Argan forest nearby
– Afterwards you’ll also have a portrait workshop photographing ladies producing Argan oil
– Your second cooking class takes place shortly after lunch followed by your transfer back to medina in the early evening


Essaouira off the beaten track

– Following breakfast your photography tuition will start at the Riad, with a review of the previous day’s images followed by today’s workshop which will be based on documentary style photography with a guided tutor led tour of the port
– After lunch there is a short trip outside the medina to see another side of Essaouira away from the tourist trail
– A group image review will be a chance to see where how you have progressed during the week and to showcase your work to rest of the group
– As on previous days you will have the evening free to dine as you wish


Practice skills & free time

– You will also have free time to practice your photography before lunch (lunch is at an extra cost)
– You will have the afternoon to photograph or relax independently and your tutor Darren has a host of suggestions of what to do in your free time
– Depending on how much energy you have you can perhaps try horse riding, a spot of shopping, visit a hamman, exploring the locals arts scene by visiting the galleries, take a music class in bongo drums, see how local silver and wood products are made and more or if you prefer, just relax on the beach



– Before lunch you will check out of the Riad in time to be taken to the airport for your return flight

What's included


  • 7 nights accommodation in a Moroccan Riad
  • Single travellers will have a private single room with NO additional single supplements
  • 5 photography sessions on days 3, 4, 5 & 6
  • A review of your images on two evenings with your tutor
  • Photography activities include, photographing people, sunset photography, a traditional fishing port, a UNESCO medina and a visit into the countryside and an Argan oil production cooperative
  • Cooking workshops on days 2 & 5
  • 2 cooking classes on the afternoons of days 2 & 5 lasting between 4-5 hours for each lesson
  • Cooking classes include a visit to a local market, cooking lesson and eating
  • All transport to photography and cooking sessions
  • All breakfasts
  • 2 lunches as part of your 2 cooking classes
  • Other lunches are taken out on location and are not included in the price (but should be inexpensive)
  • Your course will start on day 2, the day after your arrival
  • A return airport transfer to and from the Riad from Essaouira and Marrakech airport (with pick-up tailored for between 6-8pm for Marrakech airport, a supplement applies for arrivals and departures outside of these times)
Your local host


British photography tutor Darren has been a photographer and filmmaker for over 25 years. With over 25 years’ experience working as a professional photographer, Darren has taught photography at all levels from beginners to degree level with a Masters in Photography and Filmmaking himself. Darren’s passion and understanding will help you experience true Moroccan culture through a lens and with 1 photography instructor to a maximum of 6 students, you’ll be assured personal attention.

As a result of his frequent visits to Essaouira since the early 90s, Darren completed his own film set in Essaouira based on Gnawa music and the international music festival. He is now based in Morocco, where he lives with his Moroccan wife, Naima.

If you are looking for a photography holiday with a difference, you can also take part in Moroccan cookery classes during your stay, taught by Naima, who grew up in Essaouira. Naima has an extensive knowledge of local Moroccan cuisine and traditional methods of cooking to produce delicious authentic dishes using local spices and ingredients. She is also keen to pass on her family’s recipes!

Darren image


This holiday is set in bustling Essaouira, on Morocco’s Atlantic coast just 2.5 hours from Marrakech. Essaouira is a safe and friendly coastal city with a small town feel.

You’ll stay in an enchanting boutique Riad in the centre, which is just 300m from the beach and in the heart of the Medina. The sunny roof terrace providing the perfect place to sit back and relax with a Moroccan mint tea. Many facilities nearby include outdoor markets, restaurants and cafes.

Please note that prices for the holidays do not include flights. We recommend using to check flights.

Nearest airports:
Essaouira or Marrakech (2 hours 30 mins drive away from Essaouira)

Airport transfers:
From Essaouira: please note that return transfers to and from Essaouira are included in the price at any time.


Great location, both for the variety of photo opportunities and hanging out and be on holiday!

A Line Christensen

This was a wonderful tour. Educational and enjoyable. Many thanks!

C Schwartz


Who is it suitable for?

- Photography is suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced
- Minimum age 18
- The aim of this holiday for beginners is to learn more about their cameras and how to take better photographs
- The course is mainly focused on digital SLR photography and we strongly recommend you bring your own DSLR camera with you
- If you do not have a DSLR, there is a digital SLR with a 18-250mm lens available at the school for hire which costs £65 for the week (to be paid locally); please contact us in advance of booking to check availability to reserve hire of the school’s camera
- If you would like advice on which DSLR camera to buy before your holiday, your tutor will be happy to advise once the holiday has been confirmed

- Cooking lessons are suitable for all levels from complete beginners to competent cooks looking to gain an insight into local country style cooking
- Your hosts are British and Moroccan and all classes are taught in English

I'm travelling solo - can I join?

- This photography and cookery holiday makes a great singles holiday as there are no single supplements
- Courses have a maximum of 6 people in each group, singles are very welcome as you'll meet others with a passion for photography and cooking and the course is very sociable
- Essaouira is very relaxed and welcoming town with a great Bohemian feel because of its music and art scene
- The majority of people who take these courses are solo travellers and everyone loves the location and the social aspect of this course

When can I start?

- Photography and cooking courses start on selected Saturdays throughout the year

What should I bring?

- Bring your own digital camera (with manual), charger, memory cards, tripod, filters and flash if you have them
- Point and shoot if you have one
- You may be able to hire the digital SLR at the school but please enquire about availability before you book
- Please bring suitable footwear for walking as you will be spending a lot of time exploring the different areas

Are meals included?

- All breakfasts are included
- Vegetarians can be catered for (please put this in the special requests box when booking)
- Lunches are included as part of your 2 cooking workshop days
- Lunches on non-cookery days are not included for the remaining days but are typically inexpensive in Morocco and your group usually eats lunch together
- Your hosts will be able to advise you on the best places to eat out

Are transfers offered from other airports?

Marrakech: return transfers from Marrakech Airport are included in the price if your arrival and departure times are as follows:

Arrival - pick up between approximately 6pm and 8pm from the airport

Departure - drop off arriving at the airport at approximately 6pm and 8pm

Please note that in the event of small group numbers, participants may be expected to share transfers from Marrakech which may mean arriving at the airport in good time for the flight.

Any arrivals or departures outside these times are charged at £65.

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