|Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 16, 2017 at 1:35 PM||comments (6)|
With its grand boulevards and famed historic Art Deco Architecture, Casablanca is a popular city with a cornacopia of things to see and do. Whether you are a Morocco traveler, an expat living abroad or a local looking for discovery and adventure, Casablanca's breath of musuems, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, boutiques, pop-up shops and art galleries gurantee fun and fullfillment for people of all ages. Casablanca is the largest spraweling city in the Maghreb and in Africa with a majestic palm lined corniche and a Coastal Port that rivals others in Africa. Casablanca is also one of the most liberal and progressive cities in Morocco. Travelers seeking a Casablanca One-Day Tour for site seeing can start out with our recommended Five Places to go in Casablanca.
Five Places to Go in Casablanca Museum of Moroccan Judaism
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is a museum of history and ethnography, created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca is tucked into a residential neighborhood and holds a treasure trove with it being the Arab region’s only Jewish Museum. It uses world-class standards of conservation for its national and international collections. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization.
Anfa & La Corniche Founded by Berber fisherman in the 10th Century Anfa is the former name of Casablanca which underwent a change when the Portugese destroyed and rebuilt it, later calling the city Casa Branca. Today Anfa and the Cornice is a neighborood located on the Atlantic Ocean, West of the Hassan II Mosque. The palm lined corniche is perfect for travelers who want to have a coffee at a local cafe, people watch or stroll along the beachfront. In summer the Corniche is packed with local Moroccan family's who are there for a fresh water swim or want to picnic with friends.
Habous Quarter The Habous Quarter is often referred to as the "new medina and was built in 1930's by the French. For travelers looking to shop for handicrafts made in Morocco or to experience a local Olive Souk this is the place to do it on a one-day tour in Casablanca.
Villa Des Arts Built in 1934, Villa Des Arts in Casablanca is part of the ONA Foundation created to promote the contemporary arts. It's also one of the cities leading Art Deco historic buildings. Located near Parc De La Ligue Arabe this non profit museum features a wide array of contemporary Moroccan Artists.
Cocktails at Sky 28, The Kenzi Hotel Sky Bar The Kenzi Tower Hotel is home to one of Casablanca's best views at sunset. Their Sky 28 Bar boasts panoramic views of the Hassan II Mosque, the Corniche, Ana and the city center. Coctaials, Wine, Beer and horderves are available along with a gastronomic, French menu for those who are interested in dinner with a magnficent view of Casa at night.
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We offer Private Tours to Morocco for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Imperial Cities, the Great North to the Sahara Desert Region Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on March 23, 2017 at 8:55 AM||comments (0)|
One of the the must-do experiences during a Moroccan vacation is to spend the afternoon at leisure in a traditional Moroccan Hammam & Spa. For locals, the Hammam is a weekly must-do ritual.
Moroccan Hammam & Spas - An Insider Guide: What is a Moroccan Hammam?
A Morocccan Hammam is a traditional bath house which has been historically used for bathing. Each neighborhood in Morocco’s medinas (old cities) has a local hammam where men and women bathe separately; in separate spaces or during varied opening hours. Often centuries old, the Moroccan hammam maintains its importance within the community. Today, mid-range hammams are popular in modern Moroccan neighborhoods and, alike the community hammam in the medinas, are open for foreigners to visit. For a more upscale experience, there are private hammams that cater specifically to tourists along with luxury riads and boutique hotels that offer a combination of hammam and spa options with leading beauty brands.
What are the benefits of a Moroccan Hammam? Hydration, Relaxation, Smoother Skin and a local experience of how Moroccan men and women have pampred themselves for centuries.
What is the Moroccan Hammam Ritual?
The Moroccan hammam begins with a traditional ritual of glazing the body with – ghassoul, a natural clay extracted from the Atlas Mountains and blended with water to rid the skin of impurities. Then black soap, is applied on the body, made with olive oil and eucalyptus leaves softens the skin prior to a body scrub. The next phase is rose water, made from Atlas roses and used to calm the skin; and finally argan oil to moisturize the skin, are essential components of this important ritual. During the Hammam Ritual you will enjoy a series of rooms starting with a warm room, then a very hot room, a warm room, then end in a cold room.
Where to I find the best Hammams in Morocco?
Hammams and Luxury Spas are located throughout Moroco's Imperial Cities and Coastal Regions. We offer our Top 13 + List of the Best Hammams in Morocco that we recommend. Some are located in luxury, boutique riads while others are stand along special spots Moroccan run, where you wil find both
EXAMPLES OF A FEW OF THE TOP, RECOMMENDED HAMMAMS & SPAS IN MOROCCO
Bains du Marrakech A hammam and spa in the Kasbah district and perhaps one of the best-known privately-run hammams. Guests are treated with Les Bains du Marrakech’s own line of all-natural beauty products. Must be booked in advance. Address: 2 Derb Sedra, Bab Agnaou, Kasbah Phone: +212-524-38-14-28
Heritage Spa Located in the heart of the Marrakech Medina, Heritage Spa offers a tailor made, luxury Hammam and Spa experience. This professional spa specializes in the art of wellness. Heritage offers a wide variety of natural ingredients in their treatments. The ingredients they use are organic and originate from plant extracts, including fragrant oils and aromatic waters and soaps. Address: Arset Aouzai Rd Phone:+212-524384333
Nausikaa Hammam & Wellness Centre An up-market hammam in the new city, each guest has a area including basin to bath and scrub. Rose water is popular in the treatments so expect to leave feeling fresh. This Hammam is also a wellness centre with special seaweed therapies offered with trained staff from France. Address: Ave Bahnini, Rte Ain Smen
Themes De Moulay Yacoub Located about 21 kilometres from Fes and known for being a spa village, Moulay Yacoub is known for its sulphur-rich hot springs. For a more up-market experience, the Thermes de Moulay Yacoub provide luxury treatments known to treat respiratory and rheumatic health issues. Phone: +212-535-69-40-64
Gauthier Bain Turc With opening hours extending until 10 p.m. this up-market spa in the business district is popular with local professionals. Entrance provides access to the steam room and Jacuzzi Address: 25 Rue Jean Jaures Phone: +212-661-14-59-26
Azur Spa A spa in seaside Essaouira offering massage, hammam and beauty with argan products and local flower essences. Moroccan owned. Address: 15 rue Khalid Ben Walid Phone: +212-524-78-57-94
Ryad Lina, Luxury Boutique Riad & Spa This boutique riad has a traditional Moroccan Hammam and a Heated Pool. Available to travelers who stay at the riad and upon specially arrangements to those who stay at other properties. The Ryad Lina Luxury Hammam offers a traditional body scrub using authentic aromatic, spa products including black soap, rose and orange oil along with local herbs from the Rif Mountain region. Address: Hassan I Phone: +212-645-06-99-03
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on March 16, 2017 at 9:40 AM||comments (0)|
Morocco is an an exotic vacation destination. This North African country offers a rich variety of activities whether your interested in architecture, history, the arts, food, outdoor adventure sports or relaxation. There are a wealth of things to do for families on a vacation, couples traveling alone and also for independent visitors who tend to shy away from organized and private tours. With so many options it's hard to choose. Moroccan Guide books claim they know the Top 10 Best Things to Do in Morocco as do the variety of Morocco travel bloggers out there. Moroccan Tour Packages sometimes can equally be adept as they don't offer the off the beat activities that can make for the most memorable vacation. As natives of Morocco and the founders of Morocco Travel Blog, we offer intrepid travelers the idea Travelers Guide of Where to Eat, Shop and What to Do. As natives of Morocco and the founders of Morocco Travel Blog, we offer intrepid travelers the ideal Travelers Guide of Where to Eat, Shop and What to Do. Our list of 12 Things to do in Morocco guarantee an authentic Moroccan travel experience.
12 Things to Do - Quintessentially that have made our 2017 Bucketlist and are guaranteed to satisfy your wanderlust.
1. Souk Tasting, Fes Food Tour in the historic Fes medina. Old world delicacies at your fingertips when you embark on a food tour. Try traditional Moroccan street food including dried meats, milawi, harsha, briwats, spicy sardines, spicy potato cakes, soups, olives and more. Taste an array of delicious wild honeys, discuss their flavors and health-giving properties and find out why honey is so important in Moroccan cooking and Islamic culture.
2.Glamping in the Sahara Desert’s Erg Chebbi Dunes. Go on a Desert Adventure and Overnight in a Luxury Desert Camp in sand dunes far away from the touristic areas. Arabian Nights Dinner fireside is served as Berber drummers serinade you. Not to be missed.
3. Marrakech Street Food, Exotic eats down Marrakech’s Tangia Alley. Evening exploration and the highlights of Marrakech Street Food Tasting. Sip Tea as the sunsets over Djemaa El Fna Square. On this exclusive guided tour you will make your way through the backstreets and sample two types of slow cooked lamb, Tangia (a Marrakech specialty, traditional Moroccan salads, a mixture of street food dishes such as a grilled sardine sandwich, merguez, or kefta, Moroccan soup and doughnuts, fresh fruit smoothies, Moroccan pastries, roasted sheep head (optional) and for the more adventurous spleen sandwiches.
4. Kicking back in Coastal Essaouira, Beach bumming it by the Sea. Stroll down the Portugese Ramparts in Old Mogador. View the picturesque seagulls as they fly across this historic old city making their way like a private chartered flight back towards the beach. Kick back and lay low with a glass of gris, visit the historic Essaouira medina or bum it by the seas. Essaouira is the first calling for those who want some R&R or a visit to Morocco and it's also the perfect ending to a country wide private tour.
5. Wine & Cheese Tasting in Ounara, Essaouira. Just eight kilometers from Essaouira sits one of Morocco's finest wineries called Val d’Argan. This winery located in Ounara is the perfect pitstop en route to Essaouira on a one day excursion. The wine tasting can include a peppering of reds, rose, whites and Moroccan Gris, all consumed with local cheeses or the option of Moroccan lunch. After you've washed your pallet with some Moroccan wine, head to La Fromagerie for lunch. Owned by Souri native, Abderrazzak, La Fromagerie is a and farm to table restaurant with some of the best “cheese, cheese and more cheese.” The menu is prefixed unless you request a la carte. It consists of local organic wine and home made cheeses threaded through every dish served.
6. Sking in Ifrane, the little Switzerland of Morocco. A lesser known region in Morocco is Ifrane. Unlike any other town this small villagge is located in the Middle Atlas and is over 5,000 meters above sea level. Ifrane has a Swiss Alpine village feel to it and is the winter playground for wealthy Moroccans who are in search for winter and skiiing. Ifrane boasts lush, green cedear forrests in spring, summer and fall. Just outside are Berber villages and a Middle Atlas region that is rich agriculturally. The town also hosts students year round with it's famed Al Akhawayn University. Ifrane is an hour from Fes, a UNESCO Heritage sites and serves as the perfect excursion in summer and for skiiing in winter.
7. Exploration of Morocco's Covered Markets. Visit Spice Souks Craft makers. With centuries-old souks, authentic craftsmanship, and tiny workshops, the shopping scene offers both old and new. Moroccan crafts are a fundamental part of Moroccan life. There are covered markets to visit everywhere in Morocco from the historical medina's to the rural country side. Local markets (souks) in the countryside take place on every day of the week. Each region of the country has a local souk that helps supply the population with good. Some are covered markets while others are completely open air. Covered Markets offer the best insiders experience for intrepid travelers who want to see first hand how Moroccans shop. The covered markets in the medina also house charming cooperatives, some of which are run by women that produce, wood, metal, copper, wool, linen, stone, embroidery and clay into distinctly Moroccan products that have been made for centuries. The covered markets offer a perfect opportunity to Shop the Souks of Morocco in style.
8. The Ultimate Hammam experience. Discover a Moroccan bath house. A scrub with Moroccan salts and Rose water Massage is an essential part of any Morocco travel experience. Hammams have played an important role in Morocco serving as places of social gathering, ritual cleansing and with special customs attached to them. The majority of Moroccans visit a hammam at least once a week. Book a two hour appointment and request for both a Hammam and Massage combination option. Be prepared to be well scrubbed (in a hot room) on both sides of your body with a rough flat glove called a kiis. This is a culturally enriching experience.
9. Bread baking with a Berber Family. Meet a local Berber family in the village of Ait Ouzzine nestled between the Sahro and Tamlalt Moutnains. Sip tea with the Berbers and bread bake on volcanic rock. Make a rare speciality bread of the region called Bourafin which is a century-old tradition of gathering brush and rocks, then baking the bread in open mountain, fresh air on age old historic volcanic rock. Walk in the green fields and see how the traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, livestock, and henna plants.
10. A romantic Horse and Carriage ride through the ramparts of Marrakech. A fun way to visit the ramparts of Marrakech is through a Horse-drawn carriage. Through the red hamra city, visitors will see colored horse-drawn carriges in shades of chartruse, hot pink, lemon and orange. These carriges are referred to as calche's. There's nothing quite like taking a caleche ride in historic Marrakech medina as your driver summons the horse to turn down small alley's, navigate the souks, weave between old world palaces and gardens, and then sprints along beside motorcycles and new card into the ville nouvelle (new city). At sunset or even on a rare, rainy evening a calche ride will bring back memories of another century and how travelers once navigated Marrakech.
11. Take a road trip and Wander the Blue Washed City of Chefchaouen. Located in Morocco’s Rif, this small city is often referred to as the hidden jewel of the North. Chefchaouen was founded in 1947 by Moorish exilesfrom Spain. Its blue-glazed houses and buildings are a tradition that comes from the town's former Jewish population. Wandering around this blue washed city is one of the top things to do on a visit to Morocco. It offers an imaginary experience that makes you feel as if you are inside a magifcal story book from the 17th Century. Travelers can venture into the old Kasbah that faces the exterior of the city's walls, shop for handcrafts, taste fresh goat cheese and observe locals doing daily chores.
12. Indulge in ancient history by visting the Berber Museum in Marrakech. The intense blue house and studio of French artist Jacques Majorelle is now the Majorelle Gardens and the Berber Musuem. While visiting the Majorelle Gardens, a stunning botanical garden that became the Moroccan retreat and sanctuary for French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent, is on everyone's bucketlist we recommend highly not to miss the Berber Musuem. Formerly known as he Islamic Museum of Art, this new museum was renamed and launched with propert histoical provenance to honor the Berber people and their traditions. As the Berbers are the original inhabitants of Morocco and were driven in the mountains in te 7th Century by Arabs from Yemen, having as much of their history and costume on display pays a long standing homage essential to those discovering Moroccan history. With over 60o objects in the Berber Museum ranging from the Rif to the Sahara this offers vistors a compelling panorama on Berber culture. The renovation of the Berber Museum was carried out by Christophe Martin with museocologiest, Bjorn Dahlstrom. This is a must see piece of Marrakech for all travelers.
For More Information about Things to do in Morocco Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on March 15, 2017 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
Imagine your journey on a Morocco Private Tour. Imagine that you will be whisked away in a moment’s notice to drink wine with views of the Moroccan Coast, stay inland at a converted Palace with trickling fountains surrounded by the scent of rosewater and venture by 4x4 to a remote Desert Stone camp. Morocco’s Heritage and people lie at a crossroads where Moroccan Arabs, Berbers, Jews and Christians have lived together peacefully for centuries. The result is a country that is home to a rich Muslim and Jewish history where a unique blend of Arab, Andalusian, Berber Jewish and European traditions are alive and well. Morocco is known for it stunning cuisine and its people who are hospitable and kind.
A Morocco Private Tour offers travelers a fine balance of rural, and old world traditions combined with contemporary elegance. The sites we offer on our Top 10 Morocco Private Tour itineraries are the highlights of Moroccan cities and regions, but each region of Morocco can be developed into a special experience and our service is to curate a Private Tour to Morocco that resonates with you. Monuments and museums are a great starting place, but we encourage travelers to let us know what is relevant to them and then use our knowledge of Morocco to create an itinerary that will suit budget, time-frame, tastes, and interests. We will customize an inspirational private trip, show you Morocco’s best-kept secrets and arrange your stays at charming boutique riads and hotels.
Our tailor made private tours to Morocco include luxury transportation in a 4x4, accommodations at the Best Boutique Riads and Hotels, an English/ Multilingual Speaking Driver along with Licensed, expert Historical Guides. Whether you prefer Old cities, Roman ruins and the souks or the Sahara Desert, the High Atlas Mountains and natural wonders, we can tailor-make a tour based upon your personal interests.
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on December 26, 2016 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
Marrakech is home to several magnificent, must see Palaces located in the historic district, also referred to as the medina. When visiting Marrakech on a Private Tour to Morocco these Top Rated Palaces are historically significant and offer a window into the former lives of royalty who built and managed these century old lavish homes. The palaces of Marrakech are essentially riads (courtyard homes) based upon the concept of Roman villas with lush interior courtyards, ornate architecture, hand crafted cedar wood and painted ceilings and succulent gardens. Marrakech's palaces are typically surrounded by walls given this was a tradition of protection and to prevent those passing by from seeing inside. Many of the Marrakech palaces and riads have been been transformed into boutique hotels and guest houses. Several of the palaces such as the Bahia Palace, El Badi Palace, Dar Si Said Palace, are historic landmarks, that have remained open to the public as to visit on a Guided tour of Marrakech. These palaces are also used by art organizations such as the Marrakech Bienalle and the Marrakech International Film Festival for both public and private events.
The Bahia Palace was built at the end of 19th century by Si Moussa, grand vizier to the sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Abderahmane 1859 -1873, as his personal residence. The work on the palace was continued by his son Ba Ahmed who was grand vizier to Sultan Moulay Hassan and the powerful regent to the young sultan, Abdel Aziz. They brought craftsmen from Fes who created carved and painted and guided wooden ceilings and reception rooms and numerous courtyards. The haphazard warren of rooms is partly due the growing number of official wives and concubines with their children. The most imposing feature is the vast courtyard used for official occasions and decorated with a central basin. It leads onto to gardens and palm trees. When Ba Ahmed died all his possessions were seized by the sultan and the palace is completely empty of fixtures and fittings. The Bahia has an imposing entrance through the main gate, which is just up from the Jewish Mellah. It was the headquarters of the French military during the French Protectorate and the American novelist Edith Wharton stayed there as a guest of Marshal Lyautey in 1917. The Royal family still uses the Bahia palace for official occasions.
Ben Youssef Medersa
Visit the Ben Youssef Madrasa, an Islamic college in Marrakech, Morocco, named after the Almoravid sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (reigned 1106–1142), who expanded the city and its influence considerably. It is the largest Medrasa in all of Morocco.The college was founded during the period of the Marinid (14th century) by the Marinid sultan Abu al-Hassan and allied to the neighbouring Ben Youssef Mosque. The building of the madrasa was re-constructed by the Saadian Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib (1557–1574). In 1565 the works ordered by Abdallah al-Ghalib were finished, as confirmed by the inscription in the prayer room. Closed down in 1960, the building was refurbished and reopened to the public as a historical site in 1982.
El Badi Palace The El Badi Palace was built in the 16th century by the Saadian Sultan Ahmad al-Mansour following his victory over the Portuguese at the battle of the three Kings in 1578. This epoch making event changed the course of history as King Sebastian of Portugal and his allies were defeated and Portugal never again held sway in Morocco apart from a few costal outlets like El Jadida, Essaouira and Azemmour. The Sultanate of Morocco was at the pinnacle of its power. Portuguese ransoms and captured booty as well as Sub Saharan African gold and the sugar trade paid for the construction of the palace. Sultan Ahmad al-Mansour died shortly after the El Badi’s completion in 1603. He had asked his court jester what he thought of his palace and the jester replied that it would make a fine ruin. By 1690 this came to pass, as Sultan Moulay Ismail stripped the El Badi completely to adorn his palace in Meknes. What you see today is a mere shell but it does give a sense of the massive proportions involved along with sunken gardens and dungeons. As so often in Moroccan history buildings were destroyed by conquerors or successors building their own stately palaces. There are fine views from the towers of the Medina and the Atlas mountains. Storks nest on the ramparts as they do along the high walls of the Royal Palace adjoining it. The Marrakech Folklore Festival Son et Lumiere with Berber dances and music takes place in July in the grounds of the El Badi and its huge ramparts and walls provide an imposing historical venue. The El Badi Palace has a museum and exhibits of which includes and a 12th-century minbar that once stood inside the Marrakech Koutoubia Mosque. The Royal Palace, whose high walls and gates follow on from the El Badi, is also known as Dar el-Makhzen, is part of the imperial grandeur of Marrakech. It was built on the site of the Almohad Kasbah, by the Almohads in the 12th century and underwent changes by the Saadians in the 16th century and the Alaouites in the 17th century. It was one of the palaces owned by the Moroccan king, and the palace employed the most accomplished craftsmen in the city. The rooms are large, with unusually high ceilings for Marrakech, with zellij and cedar painted ceilings. At the entrance is an ancient pulley fastened to the ceiling.
Dar Si Said Palace & Museum of Moroccan Arts
Dar Si Said, also known as the Museum of Moroccan Arts, is located to the north of the Bahia Palace, right from the Rue Riad Ziroun el-Jedid. It was formerly the house of the brother of Bou-Ahmed, Sisi Said. The collection of the museum is considered to be one of the finest in Morocco, with jewelry from the High Atlas, the Anti Atlas and the extreme south; carpets from the Haouz and the High Atlas; oil lamps from Taroudant; blue pottery from Safi and green pottery from Tamgroute and leatherwork from Marrakesh. There is also a fine small garden laid out in classic Moroccan style but the glory of Dar Said is the carved and painted ceilings on the top floor which are the finest example of painted ceilings in Marrakech. Some of the wooden screens and frames were recovered from the El Badi palace. Today in the Middle East, Moroccan craftsmen are sought after as creators of Moroccan carved and painted ceilings in palaces and corporate headquarters. Their craftsmanship was displayed in the New York Metropolitan Museum exhibition “The Moroccan Court” in New York in 2011 and in the following year at the Shangri-La residence in Honolulu as part of a promotion for Moroccan business and cultural exchange between Morocco and Honolulu.
Dar Menebhi Palace The Dar Menebhi Palace close to the Medersa Ben Youssef was built at the end of the 19th century by Mehdi Menebhi. The palace was carefully restored by the Omar Benjelloun Foundation and converted into a museum in 1997. The house itself represents an example of classical Andalusian architecture, with fountains in the central courtyard, traditional seating areas, a hammam and intricate zellij tile work and carvings. The museum’s large atrium (originally a courtyard, now covered in glass and fabric) contains a very large centrally hung chandelier consisting of metal plates decorated with fine geometric and epigraphic cuttings. Several features of the original courtyard, including the floor-set basins and mosaics have been retained. The museum holds exhibits of both modern and traditional Moroccan art together with fine examples of pottery and ceramics from Fes and Moroccan Jewish, Berber and Arab cultures. Dar El Bacha The Dar El Bacha on the Rue Bab Doukala was the palace of the Pacha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui, who was Pacha from 1912-1956. He entertained the cream of western high society with parties at Dar El Bacha with Winston Churchill, Colette, Maurice Ravel, Charlie Chaplin and many others. As he collaborated with the French protectorate and contrived to remove Sultan Mohamed V into exile in Madagascar, he was and remains, unpopular to this day. Although Sultan and later King Mohamed V forgave him on his return from exile, all Thami’s properties were confiscated after his death in 1956. The Dar El Bacha is now a Royal Palace and a trade union federation occupies part of its imposing edifice. It was rumored that a museum was to open there but nothing has transpired. Many would like to visit this palace but it remains closed.
For more information about Marrakech's Palaces on a Guided Tour Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on December 8, 2016 at 8:25 AM||comments (0)|
For travelers interested in discovering Morocco's Imperial Cities and the Great Desert region, Travel Exploration offers Morocco Expert Tours that custom designed with the perfect amount of luxury and authenticity. Our Morocco Expert Tours are offered on a private basis and tailored for couples, families and small groups. Travelers will uncover the cultural diversity of contemporary Morocco on a Travel Exploration Morocco Luxury Tour and see the country through the eyes of locals. Our tours offer nothing less then the extraordinary including visits to breathtaking Architectural sites, Berber Villages, Jewish Heritage momuments, Majestic palaces, and Glorious houses of worship and opulent gardens.
As a traveler you will dine on exceptional cuisine and view traditional Moroccan crafts being made by local artisans and shop in enticing marketplaces. When you travel with us you will experience the authentic. At Travel Exploration Morocco our bespoke, luxury private tours itineraries are detailed. They are extensive in their coverage culled from our on the ground, expert team of licensed guides. Passionately designed and chosen by the directors each itineary includes a well balanced experience of Morocco whereby our travelers never spend more then 4-5 hours in a vehicle each day. Our staff is Moroccan, American and European which lays the ground for your insider travel experience. Our Multilingual Speaking Drivers fluent in English, Arabic, French and Berber are from Morocco’s Great South or the Marrakech region. Our drivers are deeply knowledgeable about the history and culture of Morocco. They will open your eyes and share information not found in travel books. You will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and ask them questions about aspects of Moroccan culture that is hard to access as an outsider on your own.
As Morocco Tour experts we offer stays at luxury boutique riads and hotels that are well apointed in the historic districts of each city. There’s no better place to take it all in then to stay at boutique hotels and luxurious, riads in Morocco. Riads also known for their elaborate courtyard gardens that are intimate spaces filled with lush, leafy green flora and fauna often centered around stone or marble fountain filled with rose petals. Most of Moroccan riads have courtyards or gardens where roses and oranges trees grow. A Moroccan riad experience should be part of every Morocco travelers’ vacation plan. Riads serve as the perfect escape to read a book, enjoy a typical Moroccan meal, a sunset cocktail or simply decompress and take in the sights and sounds of an exotic setting when traveling to Morocco. Our country side offering include private guests houses that have panoramic views and showcase gastronomic and farm to table Moroccan cuisine.
For your Sahara Desert adventure we offer a 1001 Arabian Nights experience, fireside with music under the stars. Our Luxury Desert Camp has inclusive access to Merzouga's Erg Chebbi Dunes and is private, for our travelers only. Our private Sahara Desert Luxury Camp is situated southeast of the village of Merzouga. Located just one-hour drive from the city of Erfoud. The Luxury Desert camp is in the heart of the impressive Saharan sand dunes, away from the areas visited by tourists. Hotel room comfort, traditional meals prepared by our Moroccan chef, and served by candlelight are just a snapshot of this once in a life time experience. Our luxury tours are affordable. While the rates we provide are not the least expensive, they are lower then agencies based in the USA and Europe, with an exceptional value. Travel Exploration Morocco private tours rate better then those offered in Conde Naste Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines for their inclusion of tax free travel, upgrades at boutique riads and hotels along with exclusive access to monuments, historic sites and rural kasbahs not offered otherwise.
Travel Exploration Morocco donates 5% of our proceeds to Berber Villages through our charity organization called Project Feed. We are an ASTA approved travel agency and has won several accolades for our travel expertise. Don't miss out on a luxury travel experience that goes beyond your wildest dreams. Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on December 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on November 5, 2016 at 5:55 PM||comments (0)|
Morocco is known for it's Jewish Heritage and the abundance of rich culture, artifacts and traditions left behind when the Jews fled Morocco in the 1960's. What remains is a rich catalog of Jewish life inclusive of architecture, monuments, zaouias, museums, mellahs, shrines and craft traditions that command great cultural significance. The collective history of Jews in Morocco is one that has a connective thread with the Berbers and Moroccan Arabs, dating back to the Spanish inquisition. Morocco's Museum of Moroccan Judaism (Jewish Museum) located in Casablanca is the keeper of some of this prized history. The Jewish Museum has an active roster of exhibitions, a permenant collection and Jewish library which make it an important part of Moroccan history available to Morocco travelers and Jewish travelers interested in understanding Morocco's Jewish past. Moroccan Jewish Heritage sites are well appointed in the Imperial Cities of Marrakech, Fes, Meknes and Coastal Essaouira making them key cities to visit when touring Morocco. The synagogues, mellahs and cemeteries in Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira in particular hold a special place in the hearts of many Moroccan Jews throughout the world. These cities and their Jewish mellahs are the former birth place of their ancestors. Many Jews that currently living in Israel, Canada and the United States are originally Moroccan by birth, and return on vacation to visit Jewish Heritage sites or as an homage to revisit their past home. Moroccan Jews traveling to Morocco often visit shrines or places they or their family once lived. Given the Museum of Moroccan JudaismCasablanca (Jewish Museum) is the only Jewish Museum in the Muslim world, those interested in exploring Morocco's Jewish Heritage should not miss a tour of its private collection.
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca was created by the foundation of Judeo-Moroccan Cultural Heritage in 1995 and opened its doors in 1997. The creation of a Jewish Museum in Casablanca attests to the plural identity of Morocco, a country revered for its tolerance, symbiosis and of harmonious coexistence between the Jewish and Muslim communities of the Moroccan people.
The Museum of the Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is the only Jewish Museum in North Africa and the Middle East. Its permanent collection, constantly enriched by new acquisitions, renders a few parts of the daily life of Moroccan Jews of different regions. The museum demonstrates the remarkable Jewish community and their high level of strata, wisdom and knowledge. The Jewish Museum houses, scriptures, objects of worship, tools of arts and crafts, old books and a history of the traditional costumes worn. These Jewish artifacts illuminate to Moroccan travelers how Jews lived. The artificats also show the connective cultural traditions between Jewish Moroccans and the Berbers. Many of the items featured in the Jewish Museum's jewelry and craft collection are tribal. Travelers will find similar tribal pieces in the Majorelle Gardens, Berber Museum.
About The Museum of Moroccan Judiasm in Casablanca:
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is a museum of history and ethnography, created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca is in a residential neighborhood called Oasis and holds a treasure trove with it being the Arab region’s only Jewish Museum. It uses world-class standards of conservation for its national and international collections. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization. The Director of the Jewish Museum is Zhor Rehihil, a Muslim woman, who has a PhD in Jewish Studies.
The Jewish Museum in Casablanca covers an area of 700 square meters, is the first of its kind in the Arab world. It consists of:
► A large multipurpose room, used for exhibitions of painting, photography and sculpture
► Three other rooms, with windows containing exhibits on religious and family life (oil lamps, Torahs, Chanukah lamps, clothing, marriage contracts (ketubot) Torah covers… and exhibits on work life;
► Two rooms displaying complete Moroccan synagogues;
► A document library, a video library and a photo library.
► The Museum offers guided visits, sponsors seminars and conferences on Jewish-Moroccan history and culture, and organizes video and slide presentations. On special request, it organizes group visits in Arabic, French, English or Spanish.
The collection of Museum of the Moroccan Judaism consists of Morocccan Judaica which consists of cultual objects and objects of worship of Moroccan tradition. The collection was culled from donations and research:
- Traditional Seating Area of old Synagogues
- Circumcision Chairs
- Moroccan Hannukkah, Menoarah Lamps
- Tora Orgnaments & Torah Covers
- covers of the Thora
- Jewish Cemetery Tombstones
- Jewih Prayer Books
- Ceremonial Bar-Mitvah objects
Where is the Moroccan Museum of Judaism (Jewish Musuem)located in Casablanca?
Jewish Museum Address & Contact:
Address: 81, Rue Chasseur Jules Gros, Oasis-Casablanca
Jewish Museum Casablanca, Opening Hours to the Public:
Monday - Friday: 10:00am - 5:00pm/ 6:00pm
Saturday - Closed for Shabbat
Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on October 17, 2016 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
The city of Fes, Morocco is a historic landmark and must see for those interested in Moroccan Jewish Heritage. On a guided Jewish Heritage Tour of Fes the magnetic culture of Moroccan Jewery will be revealed through the eyes of a local expert. Fes is the oldest contiguous free, working medina in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history of Moroccan Jewery of Fes is fascinating and engaging. Stories of the Fes Jewish Mellah are those of co-existence, culture, love and prosperity along with alienation which was followed by a severe population decline once Israel became a state.
On a guided Jewish Heritage Tour of Fes you will learn about the roots of Moroccan Jews and how a population that once reached 300,000 + gradually disappeared. You will go beyond what is written in guidebooks and history books to hear an insiders perspective about co-existence between Moroccan Arabs and Moroccan Jews, that once described the livelyhood of the Jewish Fes pre and post World War II. As recent as the 1940's there were still over 200,000 Jews in Morocco with the majority of the population residing in Fes.
The Moroccan city of Fes lays claim to once having the largest Jewish community in the entire Muslim world however fewer then 2500 remain in the country today. Those few are primarily living within a close knit community with their extended family in the Imperial city of Casablanca. Casablanca's Jewish community and culture remains small yet vibrant. The city of Casablanca has several working synaogogues, a community center, kosher butchers, kosher restaruants and is home to the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, lauded for being the only Jewish Museum in the Muslim world today.
The historic presence of Jewish Morocco runs through the veins of the country. The former Jewish population built synagogues, cemeteries, shrines and created prosperity and wealth within the Mellahs. The Jews of Fes were leaders in trade, the garment business, experts in agriculture and jewelry designers. Moroccan Jews for example were the creators of the ancient tradition of filagree jewelry made using gold and silver. This particular Moroccan tradition uses metalwork made with tiny threads that are twised together to form intricate and beautiful designs. Filagree jewelry often featured the Star of David, chamsas and other ornate symbols.
Although the Jews of Fes were confined to living in the walled Mellah it was done so for their protection and to the benefit of both royalty and the government. The Jewish Mellah of Fes and the mellahs in other Moroccan cities were located close to the Royal palace and the governor's residence. Many Jews were consultants for the King and also the government making their level of contribution and importance to Moroccan culture and society exceptional.
Since the exodus of Moroccan Jews when Israel became a state, many in Morocco claim the economy changed drastically as they took with them a great skillset, once shared with their Muslim breathren. While the Jews left land, shrines, cuisine traditions and businesses, among other riches, the Moroccan economy never recovered from the particular labor trends that helped maintain and enrich the country that were associated with the Jewish community.
In the North of Morocco, the city of of Tangier and the blue washed mountain town of Chefchaouen, once had a prominent community of Spanish Jews that resided there. Jews emigranted to Morocco during the Inquisition. Today there there are Moroccan, Jewish Heritage Sites in Casablanca, Marrakech, Zaogra, the Skoura palmeraie, Coastal Essaouira, the Ourika Valley and Ourigane National Park.
Most prominent though is the impact the Jewish community made within the social character of Fes.
FES JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR - MOROCCO PRIVATE TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Visit Ibn Danan Synagogue, a 17th Century Jewish landmark, Talmud Torah Synagogue, Talmud Torah and El Fassiyeen
Explore the Jewish Cemetery Museum and the Tomb of Solica
The Royal Palace and Stories of the Jewish Mellah The home of Maimonides and the Jewish Community Center Dinner at a Rabbi’s Home or Kosher Restaurant
Meet the Local Fes Jewish Community (Friday evenings)
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on October 9, 2016 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
Marrakech is the Paris of Morocco. Its lively dining scene makes it a stand out place for foodies. From local fare to the gastronomic table, I will take you on a culinary journey to charming cafes, local Moroccan eats to elegant restaurants. My list of suggested places to dine are bound to excite your palette and make you want to visit Morocco more than once. Chic and savory Moroccan cuisine is now at your fingertips with this 8 Best Restaurants short guide for foodies.
SALT Marrakech New on the scene is SALT, perfect for those who want to dive deep into Gastro-Moroccan cuisine. The nine-course menu offers exotic flavors and is a new way of cuisine expression for die-hard foodies. Many think Moroccan is all tajines and couscous. Not here! SALT goes the beat with its visiting chef in residency program. The menu serves up dishes such as pickled watermelon with toasted almonds and argan oil, prawn ceviche with Barbara fig dressing, cumin infused carrot bissara with crispy ouarqa, slow cooked lamb’s should with ras el hanout, prunes, apricots and coriander. A journey of exotic flavors will surround you when you dine being served by traditional Moroccan chefs. Located in one of Marrakech’s most beautiful boutique riads, Dar Les Cigognes, this nouvelle chic dining experience is not to be missed. Start with cocktails on the roof terrace or try some local Moroccan wines, Volubilis Cabernet and Medallion white are two that will wet your taste buds and that can be carried over and paired with dinner. Then finish off with one of SALT’S delectable deserts. Address: Berima Ground Floor، 108 Rue de Berima Phone: +212-524382740
Nomad The chic place to dine and be seen in Marrakech is NOMAD Cafe. This trendy restaurant has some of the most creative and distinct Moroccan modern dishes on the food scene. Tucked away in the medina, NOMAD café has views of the Rahba Kedima (Spice Market & Local Square). The restaurant has a nice mix of indoor and outdoor dining space with cozy indoor salons, rooftop terraces and a sun terrace as well. NOMAD’s menu items are a creative mix of Moroccan and Western dishes. The shaved cauliflower and fennel salad with fresh herbs and toasted almond is a must for vegetarians. The contemporary take on Moroccan bastilla, filled with spiced vegetables, local goat cheese and caramelized tomato comfit is second to none. Mains range from calamari served in a cumin infused sauce to marinated lamb served with olive and red pepper relish. For desert don’t miss the flourless saffron cake with caramelized orange zest and whipped cream, definitely a must! Address: Rahba Kadema Phone: +212-524381609
Café Clock Camel burger anyone? Owned by British foodie, Mike Richardson, this eclectic, local café is frequented by Moroccans and expats alike. With delicious fare that has a contemporary touch, the trend setting Café Clock offers Moroccan mint tea and homemade cakes, tasty falafel and hummus salad, almond milkshakes, crunchy salads and it’s star feature, camel burgers and fries. The Clock, as locals call it, also boasts a wonderful cooking school and weekly Hikayat performances, the traditional art of storytelling. There are rotating showcases of local Moroccan painters, calligraphers and graffiti artists. This café does a fabulous job in making sure your stomach is full while sharing the artisanal heritage of Marrakech. Address: Derb Chtouka Phone: +212- 524378367
Amal Women’s Training Center & Restaurant A non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged women has made its way to the Marrakech food scene. Amal “hope” in Arabic lives up to its name fully. Established by Nora Fitzgerald, Amal was conceived to train and serve underprivileged Moroccan women. The restaurant menu changes daily and offers a mix of traditional Moroccan and fusion dishes. Moroccan salads, briouattes, tagines, liver with pureed potatoes and fish dishes are just some of the dishes on their menu. Amal offers traditional couscous on Fridays, the day of prayer. Diners are seated in the outdoor garden or interior salon. Amal has made name for itself for being socially conscious and supporting women. Eating here is an ideal way to support women and include socially responsible travel in your journey. Address: Rue Allal Ben Ahmed Phone: +212-524446896
La Famille A hidden jewel located down a windy alley, just around the corner from the Dar Si Said Museum is the restaurant, La Famille. This unassuming eatery is the perfect place for a lazy Sunday brunch. Spread out on one of their wood tables and lean in to read your favorite magazine while you dine on their meat-free meals. On the menu, grilled vegetables plates, Moroccan couscous with cranberries and apricots, salads, flat breads and frothy cappuccinos. Surrounded by a rustic and charming Mediterranean garden diners can eat at tables or on low lounge chairs. La Famille also has a tiny boutique with local designers featured. Address: 42 Riad Zitoun Jdid Phone: +212-669041137
Chez Lamine, Mustapha This hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the Marrakech souks is the place to go for meat eaters. Owner Mustapha is a legend in the Marrakech’s Djemaa el Fna Food stalls. Wander down Djemma El Fna to Mechoui alley and you will find a stall lined with sheep’s heads and Tangia pots. Mustapha’s recommendation, the top specialty, is called a Tangia Marrakchia, which is slow cooked lamb in an earthen jar. The Tangia is cooked over night (24 hours) inside a local hammam (bathhouse). The process allows the succulent juices to culminate at the bottom of the earthen pot. Also known for the best mechoui (whole roasted lamb) in town, this local eatery is filled with Moroccan families, regulars and travelers alike. Mustapha has a sister branch located in the popular, new town of Gueliz where visitors can sit street side and mingle with the locals. Address: Souk Ablouh, 18-26 | Guéliz Rue Ibn Aicha N°26 Phone: +212-212661833805
La Crêperie de Marrakech If galettes and pancakes are what you fancy then don’t miss the Le Crêperie in Marrakech’s garden district, Gueliz. This is Breton gastronomy at its best. Offering a delicious selection of crepes, buckwheat and wheat pancakes topped with your favorite sweet, savory or tangy ingredient. Prepared daily by the chef and owner, Laurent from Breton and Touria, this tiny café is a true gem. The crepes have fresh, local farm to table ingredients. Tastefully made with richness diners can enjoy a dark chocolate crepe, Roquefort or Chorizo, honey, goat cheese and spinach or butter-sugar and Nutella to the subtle variation of Suzette with oranges. There are even options for a full menu that includes a side salad for those who want some greens along with their savory meal. The décor is also as lively as the cuisine with the resident Parrot who is there to greet those arriving and the collectors’ wall of Breton sardine boxes. Perfect for those with a sweet and spicy tooth on a sunny or even a cold winter day. Address: Rue du Capitaine Arrigui Phone: +212 661433272
Le Jardin If your inner compass calls for a day of R&R and International dining then make your way to Le Jardin for a late afternoon lunch. The Muezzin’s call is a far cry away from the oasis of calm at Le Jardin. This trendy restaurant is located in a garden setting offers fresh salads, sandwiches, burgers, tajines, couscous and a short wine list. A must try is their spiced Moroccan coffee or Avocado shake. What awaits you is a magnificent courtyard where you can lounge that is covered with emerald green Moroccan zellij tile, dry tolerant plants, hanging banana trees, birds and botanic flowers. It is the equivalent of dining at an arboretum. Outside dining is available on the terrace or ground floor where turtles scurry their way. Organic produce is sold downstairs in a small nook while the upstairs hosts the main boutique of French-Algerian fashion designer and tastemaker, Norya Ayon. Address: 32 Route Sidi Abdelaziz Phone: +212 5243-78295