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“A glimpse of the real Morocco”

Ecotourisme et Randonnees
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Discover the Natural Environnement of Essaouira! You can discover the Argan Woods, the Thuya Forests, and the unimagined world of the Dunes… take mint tea in a berber village, and learn the secrets of a unique and irreplaceable ecosystem at your own pace. Our rangers will give you a guided tour and share their knowledge of the region, on nature trails.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

We booked a trip with Ecotourisme to learn about the Argan tree and the oil produced from its kernels. And in the process we got a glimpse of the rural landscape and reality. Our guide, Edouard Pottier was very knowledgeable about Moroccan culture as well as the Argan tree and the social and economic impact it has in Morocco. There are many woman cooperatives producing and selling Argan oil which helps empower women, providing an income for them and their families. We visited a cooperative and saw the traditional labour intensive method they use to extract the oil.

We went with two kids aged 9 and 12 who grumbled quite a bit about having to walk across the countryside, but despite their misgivings they seemed to have appreciated it. Edouard was very informative about the flora and fauna and made it interesting for them. Having mint tea and delicious homemade bread (with oil and honey) in a traditional Berber farm was a highlight and gave us an opportunity to see how things are done rurally.

We would definitely recommend one of these trips. We learned lots about Morocco and it's people during this half day trip.

1  Thank ParisFifi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 - 52 of 401 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2014

Had a great morning with Phillipe birding at a beautiful river just outside town. Rare sightings and his knowledgeable and tranquil presence made the trip perfect.

Thank Jana S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

Choice of half/full day walks, english/french guide, and various experiences available. Easy, flat walks in Argan forest, beach, country market and waterfall. I was surprised to even encounter fossils on the waterfall walk! The local guide Othman was very informative, and answered all of our questions about Moroccan culture, and the history of the area. Half day walk we had mint tea, flat bread with honey, olive oil, argan oil and almond paste in a Berber house. Full day walk we had lunch in a Berber house, and a demonstration of how to prepare mint tea.
Cannot recommend these walks enough - a must do activity if you in Essaouira for a few days.

1  Thank OZfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2013

It gets a bit boring in Essaouira after a visiting the media a few times or going to the beach. Consequently, getting out in the countryside on an ecotour excursion is a welcome change. Like other contributors, we had Otman as guide. I am not sure if there are others but we recommend you ask for Otman because he is knowledgeable, speaks excellent English and listens to what you say. He has a degree in geology but seems completely happy to meet people and show them the countryside that he obviously loves.
We took the trip to the argan plantations that includes a visit to a Berber market, a 16th sugar cane mill and a meal with a Berber family cooked in a solar oven.
You have to like desert scenery to appreciate the special beauty of such places. It is impressive to see old argan and olive trees thriving in the dry often bleak surroundings. The history and development of the argan industry along with the care of the trees is interesting.
The Berber market has very few tourists or goods for tourists. It is a market for the people who live in the region and depend on trading and finding things they need. If you don't do anything else, find a market away from the tourist medinas.
The very best tagine we had in Morocco was cooked by the young Berber woman in a solar oven. The house and surrounding land indicate that these folks are rich or poor but instead just an average family. You do not see much of the family but it is a nice break.
If you are interested in getting to know about the Moroccan people, how they live and to a degree how they think, take an ecotour with Otman.

1  Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

....we went on two half day walks...one entitled "riverbed" the other entitled "waterfall". I'm incredibly unhealthy and unfit and although the riverbed walk was described as very easy and for all abilities I was puffing, wheezing and struggling pretty hard about an hour in...however, despite the failings of an old body the walk was interesting and something a bit different to do rather than drink beer by the beach. The second walk to the waterfall was much more my speed and involved an incredibly beautiful walk along deserted beaches, up into the dunes and finishing in a berber household for some mint tea...my fave...and some bread with an array of dips...the peanut dip was special. Our guide on both days was a guy called Ottoman (not sure about the spelling so apologies if incorrect) who was incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about his country and spotted tortoises and chameleons lolling around in the bushes (the creatures, not Ottoman) as well as helping all members of the group. I would suggest emailing prior to arrival as we just rocked up hoping to get our pick of the trips on offer but a great many of them were already fully booked...really fancied the camel trek...other piece of info that might be useful is, as with the rest of Essaouira, only cash is accepted so come prepared...oine more thing is the location of the office if you visit...it's actually part of the restaurant La Decouverte which confused my mind...lastly definitely remember lots of water!!!!!!! enjoy!

Thank rose123bud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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