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Moroccan Mint Tea Traditions, The Secret Ingredients, Tips & Recipe

Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 18, 2019 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Morocco’s tradition of tea dates back to the 12th century BC. There are various theories on the origin of tea in the Maghreb. Some say the Berbers (Amazigh) imported tea from Asia, while others believe that Queen Anne Stuart of Great Britain introduced tea to the Moroccan Sultan as a ploy to release British prisoners.

Moroccan mint tea, referred to as “Berber Whiskey” or Maghrebi Mint Tea is one of the pillars of Moroccan culture. In Morocco tea is sipped all hours of the day. When Moroccans welcome guests to their homes they sip tea, when they celebrate a birth or wedding ceremony or death, they sip tea and when they share meals together they sip tea. Tea is sipped slowly 20 or even 30 times a day in Morocco! When a glass of tea is offered, it is a cultural taboo to refuse. Declining an offer of Moroccan tea  is considered impolite given many consider it part of a bonding experience. While there are many stories of tea told throughout Morocco, one shared consensus is, the ritual of Moroccan tea is an art. “Tea in Morocco, is not just about boiling the water and adding mint, it is ceremonial art, a ritual for us, similar to the Chinese and Japanese” says Saoud, teacher and host of La Maison Arabe's tea ceremony. Souad leads a tea ceremony that is part of La Maison Arabe’s daily cooking classes offered. Tucked away into a well-manicured alley with palm trees, out of sight from the bustling Marrakech medina, sits the exquisitely designed boutique hotel. La Maison Arabe. All La Maison Arabe cooking classes are led by a Dada Chef and a host offers first hand insights about Moroccan Tea traditions. Each class includes a traditional tea ceremony. Moroccan tea has medicinal and beauty benefits. Herbal teas are made from Morocco’s diverse kingdom of organic plants. There are more than 4,200 species which have been identified as endemic and 400 are classified as products for medicinal or aromatic use. Moroccan tea traditions are passed from generation to generation. The ritual of Moroccan tea can be observed in a private home, by participating in a cooking class or in the souks.   If you ask a Moroccan about memories of their childhood, they will often share an image of their mother in the kitchen, blending together an herbal mint tea to ward off a cold or improve a family member’s digestion.

There are 3 principal ingredients in nearly every cup of Moroccan tea. They are Gun Powder, Beetroot Sugar and Spearmint. 

#1: Gunpower:Considering how frequently Moroccan mint tea is consumed, many people are surprised to learn that tea is not grown in Morocco. Tea used by Moroccans is imported from China. The base of Moroccan mint tea is gunpowder, which closely resembles actual gunpowder and looks similar to rolled up pellets. While gunpowder is the equivalent to green tea, it tastes significantly stronger than the type of green tea most people are familiar with. When blended with Moroccan herbs or fresh mint, gunpowder’s bold and smoky taste lends a unique flavor to the tea itself. #2: Beetroot:Another important ingredient in Moroccan tea is sugar, however, not just any sugar. Moroccan’s use a few wedges of healthy Beetroot sugar to enhance the flavor of their tea. Beetroot sugar is grown in Morocco, comes from the beetroot vegetable which is packed with minerals and vitamins. Sipping tea in Morocco without Beetroot or Cane sugar is rare. However, as the result of foreign influence and diabetes more Moroccans are drinking tea today with less or no additional sugar. Moroccan tea without sugar tends to be more pungent and stronger in taste. The combination of gunpowder and mint without sugar cause the tea to take on a bitter flavor. #3: Spearmint:There are several different kinds of mint grown in Morocco, however, the consistent choice is spearmint. Spearmint has a clear, pungent, and mild aroma, making it the traditional choice used in Moroccan mint tea culture.

 

Medicinal Benefits of Moroccan Tea:There are many types teas that are consumed in Morocco. Traditional Moroccan Mint Tea typically sipped with no other ingredients. However, those who prefer to use tea for health benefits in Morocco often infuse their tea with aromatic plants and herbs. Some of the aromatic plants and herbs added to Moroccan mint tea are dried flowers, such as rose petals along with lemon peel, orange peel and orange blossom water.

 Moroccan Mint Tea – Secret Ingredients - Herbs & Spices Used in Moroccan Tea:Moroccan Mint Tea – Secret Ingredients - Herbs & Spices Used in Moroccan Tea:
  • Peppermint -  slightly different properties than spearmint, the most relied on mint; it aids digestion.
  • Bergamot  - relaxing and aromatic.
  • Lemon balm - an anti-anxiety and aids in sleep
  • Absinth – perfect for winter, supports the gallbladder, and the pancreas
  • Sage - assists in digestion and boosts memory
  • Saffron - warms the body and regulates hormones
  • Tea with orange blossom - aromatic and used on special occasions
  • Lemon Verbena – relaxing and fresh sensation.
  • Thyme - helps clear unhealthy bacteria, repair gut lining and decrease inflammation
  • Geranium - flowery taste in the mint tea and is relaxing

Moroccan mint tea contributes to good health. People who live in deserts or oasis’ like Morocco, drink hot tea year-round including summertime! Consuming hot beverages cools the body down and the combination of  also Moroccan tea has many powerful ingredients like antioxidants, properties to boost endurance, aid in digestion, increase mental performance, inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus, and even clear up skin disorders. The antioxidants in Moroccan tea help boost endurance, protect against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

 

How to Make Moroccan Tea: • Place two teaspoons of gunpowder green tea into a traditional Moroccan tea pot.  Next, add a handful of fresh mint tea • Add your choice of herbs and a little bit of beetroot sugar (up to 4 chunks) •Pour boiling water and sugar and let it simmer for few minutes. • Then pour out the water and reserve the liquid in a glass. •Add a little boiling water to swish in the teapot again. This second rinse will take away the bitterness and the color of the tea will get darker than before. • Discard the second glass, only the first extraction of tea will be used. • To mix all the ingredients together, just pour the tea into a glass and return it to the tea pot. It is important to never stir the mixture with a spoon or the herbs may burn. Repeat this process two or three times for best results. • Serving Moroccan Tea. When serving Moroccan tea, it is important to use a Moroccan tea port and hold the handle from high above as this will help oxygenate the tea and keep the tea foam on the top of the glass. The pouring of the tea from a teapot with a long-curved spout is done from a height of at least twelve inches, causing the foam to form on the surface of the tea. For more information about the Secret Traditions of Moroccan Tea & Food Traditions in Morocco

The Ultimate Guide to Gluten Free Dining

Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 18, 2019 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

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With over nine types of bread gracing Morocco’s kitchen tables and bread serving as the main staple of the Moroccan diet, gluten free travelers may feel overwhelmed. Bread is eaten in every meal whether it is to scoop up a Moroccan tagine, a tangia or vegetable salads. The good news is that Morocco now has many new, gluten-free options of where to eat and shop. Green markets, vegetarian and bio restaurants along with gluten-free pastry bakeries can be found in the trend-setting city of Marrakech and on the Coast of Casablanca and Essaouira. Travelers who are gluten and plan on visiting Morocco can use our trusted Gluten Free Morocco Guide.

How to Dine Gluten Free in Morocco One way to be certain that you can eat gluten-free in Morocco is to choose a self-catering option for your trip. Travelers can stay in a riad where you have access to a private chef or the kitchen staff to prepare a gluten free meal. The classics such as Moroccan harira soup often along with bastille (pigeon pie) contain wheat flour however riads have chefs who are well trained and can make almost any dish without wheat or gluten.    Moroccan cuisine that is suitable or travelers on a gluten free diet includes lentil (aâdis) or bean (loubia)hotpots (often found at workers cafes and truck stops), and roasted or grilled meats or fish. The latter is typically served with sautéed vegetables and rice (with meats) or a classic Moroccan salad (diced tomato, onion, and cucumber) with fish. In the larger Imperial Cities gluten, free travelers will be able to access gluten free bread in French Style bakeries as well as gluten-free staples such as oat flakes (porridge), corn chips, rice crackers and other imported goods that are sold in most large supermarkets. If you are in search of gluten-free grains such as quinoa or buckwheat we recommend a visit to one of the local green markets. Part of the excitement of traveling in Morocco is shopping in the souks, where you will find an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, meats and fish for a fraction of the price in the United States or Europe. Since Morocco has a long Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline fresh seafood in small cities such as Essaouira, Agadir and Oualidia is available. Many of the smaller restaurants owned and run by chefs tend to be more accommodating to gluten free travelers. In the larger cities such as Marrakech and Casablanca, you will find more international cuisine options such as Asian food with its basis in rice, and crêpes from Brittany made from gluten-free, buckwheat flour. With the rise of diabetes and weight in Morocco, many people today are choosing to eat gluten-free or reduce bread consumption altogether. Consumer trends in health and wellness are on the rise in Morocco. Gluten free, vegetarian, bio, socially conscious and health-minded shops, bakeries and cafes have burst onto the dining scene offering gluten-free travelers more options than ever before.

luten Free in Marrakech: Restaurants, Cafes & Green Markets Ayaso Ayaso is a bio store that serves 100% organic farm to table vegetarian cuisine. Their menu includes juices, herbal teas, soups, and gluten-free options. Diners eat surrounded by their African art inspired concept store. This bio store has everything for the gluten-free traveler ranging from a wide array of grains, cereals and snacks. Ayaso also has an open door policy to anyone who would like to host health or community building workshops. Ayaso’s owner, Monika El Baroudi carries and ethos and says, “Ayaso offers a clean menu using simple ingredients because that is what we believe is best for the body and mind. Our aim is to make our food and products accessible to as many people as possible.” Ayaso works with local farms and is highly selective in sourcing ingredients. They are particularly proud of their thyme and argan oil products, which come from Kasbah Demante Cooperative in the Atlas Mountains and Toudarte Cooperative.   Address: 6 Boulevard Mohamed Zerktouni

Gaia Located in the heart of Art Deco, Gueliz, Gaia is a vegetarian restaurant that serves delightful French and Moroccan inspired cuisine. They offer an assortment of gluten-free and vegan dining options with extensive revitalizing juice and tea menu. Gaia takes great pride in presentation. Their dishes are served on ecological kitchenware and the décor is tastefully donned in eco style. All details are considered when ingredients grace the plates at Gaia. They are currently working on expanding their location to a farm in the nearby outskirts of Marrakech. Address: 100 Rue Mohammed el Beqal  

Slow Concept Store Around the corner from the famous Grand Cafe de Le Poste, the Slow Concept Store is an undiscovered gem. The two-story villa hosts six elegantly curated rooms showcasing a collection of beldi crockery, ceramics, and furniture made by local artisans. Downstairs you will find a lovely garden cafe offering vegetarian and gluten-free options. Address:76 Boulevard el Mansour Eddahbi

Earth Cafe Located inside an old riad in the Medina, Earth cafe was the first vegan, vegetarian, and organic cafe to open in Morocco. The seasonal ingredients on the rotating menu all come from the restaurant’s personal farm in the Haouz Valley, near the Atlas Mountains. Cafe-goers generally rave about how simple yet innovative the menu is; Earth Cafe’s chef is Mr. Barakut Naim who incorporates into the menu his years working as a chef in Australia and South East Asia. The space is very cozy and charming.   Address:ue Riad Zitoun el Kdim

Green Village Bio Shop Recently opened in January 2019, Green Village bio market is the new kid on the block in Marrakech’s Gueliz neighborhood. Green Village has two other successful locations, one in Casablanca and the other in Rabat. All three bio markets sell farm, fresh vegetables, meat, cheeses, and gluten-free foods. They also have a well-stocked assortment of grains, teas, and nutritional supplements and skincare products. Address: 13, Capitaine Arrigui, Gueliz

Bazar Gourmand Bazar Gourmand is a gourmet food store located in the heart of Guéliz, Bazar Gourmand offers a wide selection of products for gourmets. Gourmand was designed to cater to locals. It offers a variety of cheeses, cold meats, fresh pasta, soups, sauces, salads, sandwiches. The delicatessen has homemade jams, organic chocolates, pastries, spices, honey, olive oils, and gluten-free couscous. Bazar Gourmand offers a rotating menu and has a full pastry bakery corner with organic and gluten-free products along with a dining area to taste the good dishes of Chef Antoine!  The bakery and cafe serve seasonal items. All the breads are made on the premise. “Our eggs and produce both come from local farms in Marrakech”, says Yann, Bazar’s manager. Gluten conscious travelers will also be happy to hear their chocolate chip cookies, fanciers, brownies, and some bread loaves are gluten-free. They also sell duck breast, foie gras, smoked salmon, local honey and argan oil, homemade pesto, and blends of fresh herbal and lemon detox juices.Bazar Gourmand’s décor is a keen mix of both traditional and contemporary architecture. Diners can enjoy the café’s Art Deco-inspired sea green and African yellow colored sofas while sipping tea from their fully stocked Tchaba tea bar or on their patio.   Address:24 rue Moulay Ali

Pharmacie l’Unité Situated footsteps near the main flower market in Gueliz, Pharmacy L’Unite is the leading homeopathic pharmacy in the city and region. Although slightly on the pricey side, they are boutique and a very reliable source for high-quality homeopathic medicine and hard-to-find superfoods, skincare products and therapeutic grade essential oils. The owner, Dr. Raj offers homeopathic consultations. Book in advance. Address:Avenue Hassan II

Marrakech Organics Located in the lush Ourika Valley in the outskirts of Marrakech, this organic farm is host to an ecological training center as well as permaculture and sustainability workshops. The owner Omar Hajji and his wife Kenza Isnasni run the farm and supply their produce to many of the biological shops in Marrakech. You can visit the farm in person to purchase some of their high-quality products like cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, black olives, organic fruits and vegetables, and medicinal plants. Address: Route de l’Ourika, Km 25

Farmer’s Market There are multiple farmer’s markets happening during different days of the week in and around Marrakech. On early Tuesday mornings, you will find some organic farmer’s stands in front of Gueliz’s Trattoria and on Saturdays both Terre d Eveil in Targa and the Bio Farm in Mokhtar along route de Amzmiz.  

Holistic Center Terre de Eveil This holistic center, located 6 kilometers outside of Marrakech is dedicated to all things involving healthy and well-being. Terre de Eveil has a tearoom, a bookstore and menu includes a juice bar and a vegetarian, raw, and sprouted health food corner. Throughout the week you can also enjoy workshops, conferences, meditations, and other mind holistic activities.

 

Gluten Free in Essaouira: Restaurants, Cafes & Green Markets Triskala Café Restaurant Located footsteps from the Essaouira seawall in the historic medina, Triskala is a cozy cafe serving a 100% natural and organic menu. This cozy restaurant is perfect for vegetarians and pescatarians alike. In the mornings, homemade fresh fruit juices are available to start the day and in the evenings, dinner near a warm fireplace accompanied by jazz music soundtracks in the background.  Address:58 Rue Touahen  

La Fromagerie For travelers who like to go off the beaten track and enjoy the feeling of French countryside, La Fromagerie is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch or an afternoon lunch soiree with friends. Set in a charming, beldi style garden surrounded by flowers, outdoor picnic tables, and camels used for cheese making, La Frommagerie is an ideal place to get away for some self-indulgence. Either come alone with a good book, enjoy a glass of wine and a cheese board with 5 types of goat, camel and other exotic cheeses. The three-course menu at La Frommagerie is inclusive of a salad, tagine, méchoui, and cheese.  Address:  Douar Larabe Costal Road to Safi

Little Breizh Little Breizh is a Brittany inspired creperie located in the Ville nouvelle (new town) of Essaouria. It is co-owned by a husband and wife team whose story began in Paris and took them back to Morocco. All ingredients are carefully selected, gluten-free and many are organic. The menu offers an extensive range of savory and sweet buckwheat crepes that could easily rival any of the best creperies in France. Breizinis also great spot to enjoy a high-quality burger or a delicious smoothie. Address: 260 Boulevard du 11 Janvier Yoo

Healthy Food Juice Bar  Yoo is a charming little cafe that has a sleek and clean atmosphere and serves your health in a glass or on a platter. It was the first restaurant in Essaouria to offer fresh, natural, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Their menu is famous for its fresh, local, and organic ingredients, which they use in their colorful veggie juices, smoothies, healthy salads, paninis, frozen yogurts, and breakfast dishes. The owners are French and friendly and most people who visit once usually return for more!  Address: 8A Rue Ibn Roch, Essaouira 44000, Morocco

Lalla Abouch Arganic Farm Located in the countryside of Essaouira Lalla Abouch Arganic Farm hosts a beautiful garden filled with a variety of herbs, vegetables, and grains used in their couscous and homemade bread. All ingredients are sourced from neighboring villages and local cooperatives. All the foods you will taste at the farm are organic with plenty of gluten-free options.Lalla Abouch Arganic Farm is also the ideal place to learn about the manual extracting process of Argan oil and how to shop for only the purest quality. Address: 1 Douar Ait Ahmed

Bbio Organic Farm Bbio Organic Farm is an organic farm where you can shop for homemade organic seasonal veggies, fruits and eggs along with free range, beldi corn-fed chicken. Also on offer is the local catch of the day, argan oil and honey. The owner, Khaled has a special option of a Berber style picnic basket which includes everything you need for a Moroccan Berber brunch. “ All the work is done by hand. No chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used; only manure, algae, and other natural and local products, says Khaled  Address: Rue Ibn Khaldoun Essaouira

Sunday Farmers Market, The Souk of Had Draa The Sunday Farmer’s market at Had Draa is the largest in the Essaouira region. Anticipate having an insider, one-of-a-kind experience meeting local traders, butchers and livestock farmers from the surrounding countryside and region. They come to sell their produce in the small stalls. A range of food and local products are offered such as Berber home-baked bread, argan oils, cheese, camel meat, teas, kitchenware, and other artisan products.

Pharmacie Mellah Kdim Located adjacent to the market within the medina, Mellah Kdim Pharmacie is one of the best in Morocco. The pharmacists are knowledgeable in homeopathic medicine and can recommend one of the store’s whole food supplements to match your needs. They also stock a great supply of therapeutic grade essential oils. Other products of interest here are the local honey and organic cosmetic and skincare products. Address: 122 avenue sidi Mohammed ben abdellah

Tamouziga Organic Shop medina Right in the center of the Ben Youssef and La Kasbah medina mosques is the Tamouziga Organic Shop. This boutique specializes in argan oil and other natural products like homemade jams, honey,  gourmet soaps, natural perfumes, and aromatherapy.  Address: 12 Rue Attarine

Gluten Free in Casablanca: Restaurants, Cafes & Green Markets Veggie A bio and natural fast food chain highly recommended by travelers for the best falafels in Morocco. Veggie is a vegetarian cafe offering a relaxing and celiac friendly place that offers a short break from the medina. All ingredients in the salads, fresh juices, and veggie burgers are rigorously selected and come from local farms in the region.  Address: 2 Rue Theophile

Organic Kitchen Organic Kitchen is a beautiful bio café with a Mediterranean Moroccan fusion kitchen. Quickly the location has turned into a hotspot for those who are gluten free conscious.  All ingredients come from organic or sustainable farming. They select their preferred suppliers and cook their vegan and gluten-free dishes with respect and love.  Address: 6-8 Rue Ahmed El Mokri

Lily’s Voted best new Asian restaurant in 2005 by Food and Wine Magazine, Lily’s with its three large interior spaces and harmonious zen influences is thought of as a scenography where architecture and landscape mix. The Vietnamese and Asian fusion menu offers delicious gluten-free options such as Vietnamese spring rolls, dim sum, fish, and edamame. Lunch is accompanied by some of the best ocean views that are sought after in the city of Casablanca. Address: 92, boulevard de la Corniche - El Hank lighthouse

Grand Marché Bio Green Village Triangle d'Or Green Village is one of the largest markets for food in Morocco. It is a small chain with sister stores in both Rabat and Marrakech. Green Village carries gluten-free products, farm fresh items, and other local goods. Guaranteed to always be well stocked their wide range of produce and goods are nothing less than impressive. Address: Boulevard Aïn Taoujtate

Bioshop Casablanca Bioshop Casablanca, is just around the corner from Villa des Arts. IT is one of the best-stocked bio shops in Morocco. They sell top quality spices, teas, farm fresh yogurts, gluten-free snacks, and local products from Casablanca’s farms, Bioshop is a clean, sleek, and popular organic market gem.   Address:4, rue Aknoul (Derrière Lycée Lyautey)

Epicerie Verte Located near the port of Casablanca is Epicerie Verte. This grocery green marketplace is the perfect place to shop for gluten-free snacks and other organic products. They specialize in teas, coffees, drinks, pickled veggies, superfoods, supplements, and skincare products for face and hair. Their marketplace model and products are focused on sustainable development.  Address: Casa Marina Business Center, Tour Crystal 1, 10ème étage.

Family Vacation Ideas Perfect for Summer Travel

Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 18, 2019 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (1)

Morocco is the ideal destination for a summer vacation if you are searching for a one-of-a-kind travel experience for the entire family. If you are the household trip planner, then you have the option of embarking on a Morocco Family Tour tailor-made to include exploration of various cities and region of the country along with family-friendly activities or to attempt a self-guided option by 4x4 on your own. Morocco’s location at the northernmost point of Africa makes it an easy introduction into the African continent and its diverse climate allows travelers options to experience a range of activities year-round. It is possible to ski and head to the beach all in the same day.

Our Summertime Travel Guide introduces 9 of the Best Vacation Ideas for Families. Morocco has sixteen regions and is divided into sixty provinces. Each destination offers to inspire family-friendly touring activities ranging from food and market tours to cooking classes, handicraft design, hiking, trekking, camel trekking, quad riding, sand skiing, and a hot air balloon ride over the High Atlas. Morocco’s sandy beaches, blue jeweled coast, desert dunes, mountain ranges, and historic cities provide families traveling to Morocco an enriching experience.

Merzouga[/caption] The 9 Best Morocco Family Vacation Ideas Perfect for Summer Travel

1. Sahara Desert Family Adventure The Sahara Desert offers families an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Families who would like to visit the Sahara Desert are advised to start their journey from Marrakech and allow for a minimum of a 4-day timeframe. The ideal family road trip to the Sahara starting and ending in the city of Marrakech will allow for travel down south via the Tizi n'Tichkapassing the geologic region of the Ounila Valley. The route to Morocco’s desert region is one of the most arresting with its panoramic views of the High Atlas, Berber villages and fertile valleys.

A cinematographer’s dream, the earth-toned, rust-colored pise villages dot the landscape and create shadowlike images in the High Atlas. Families interested in sightseeing en route to the Sahara desert should not miss out on a visit to Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ait Benhaddou is coveted by film directors around the world. Exploring the Ksar of Ait Benhaddou, the Pacha Glaoui’s Kasbah of Telouet, and the Skoura palmeraie is part of a once in a lifetime family adventure to Morocco’s south. Also recommended for kids and film buffs are the CLA Studio and Cinema museum where sets from various movies such as Kundun and the Last Temptation of Christ are kept.

During your Sahara Desert Family Adventure, you will also pass through the Draa Valley, the Todra Gorge and make a local stop to have lunch with a Berber family. For family's who are interested in intensive hiking and magnificent scenery extending your trip to 5 days and carving out time to visit the Dades Valley and Gorge is highly recommended.  A Just before you reach the Sahara there's also the opportunity to visit the town of Rissani and learn how their local Berber pizza, called Madfouna is made. A final pitstop for tea at Khemlia's Berber village where you can experience Gnaoua trance music in the heart of Merzouga is a must do activity perfect for the entire family. A direct drive to the Sahara Desert from Marrakech exceeds 9 hours, therefore we recommend a family trip that is not less than 4 Days/ 3 Nights. A Sahara Desert Family Adventure can be broken up as to allow for overnight stays in Ouarzazate, the Skoura palmeraie and the long-awaited 1001 Arabian nights desert experience in a luxury camp.

2. Ait Ouzzine Berber Village Discovery  If departing from Marrakech, you can drive along the desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani and enter the region of N'kob and Aït Ouzzine where you discover a local Berber village and enjoy time with a local family. The peaceful village of Ait Ouzzine is inhabited by over 300 families living in historic kasbahs. Each family maintains its own wheat, alfalfa and henna fields, water wells, livestock, and gardens. During your visit of Ait Ouzzine Berber Village, you will also have the option to partake in cooking lessons on how to make a Berber tajine and learn to bake traditional mountain bread. Exploration of Ait Ouzzine's green fields and to learn how the Berbers use their botanical gardens, livestock, and henna plants are just a hint of the unique experiences that await you. Interested in experiencing a traditional Moroccan beauty treatment? Then have your hands and feet painted with henna by a local village artist; they will adorn your hair with saffron. Take your beauty experience a step further and participate in being doused with Berber perfume: musk, amber, and the village's own spices are the classic ingredients. Your afternoon will end with mint tea, almonds, then return to your hotel Ouarzazate in time to catch the African yellow sunset.

3. Marrakech’s Oasiria Water Theme Park Marrakech is well positioned for day trips and that makes it a favorite city to base yourself and explore Morocco, however, summertime is hot. Escape the Red City’s heat in Oasiria, an Aquatic Park located in the outskirts of Marrakech. Oasiria has numerous slides at varying speeds and lengths, perfect for both children and adults. There is also an on-site fitness club and Africa's first aqua rock climbing wall where your fall is designed to drop you into a giant swimming pool. Post workout, stroll through Oaseria's 10-hectare garden and explore olive tree orchards and 500 species of botanical and medicinal plants. For lunch or dinner choose between one of the four open terrace restaurants. The menus offer family friend options ranging from burgers to pizza along with salads and a local daily tajine.

4. Coastal Bliss & Bird Watch in Oualidia at a Lagoon A recommended 2-3 day excursion from Marrakech for families in search of coastal bliss and bird watching is the Oualidia lagoon. Oualidia is located between the beach town of El Jadida and fisherman's port of Safi. The region of Oualidia is also an important ecological location and an excellent choice for serious bird watchers or nature lovers.

Oualidia is loved by in-the-know expats and Moroccans for its natural beaches, marshes, and wetlands. Bird lovers can look forward to spotting curlews, flamingos, sandpipers, plovers, Little Grebe, Oystercatcher, the Black-winged Stilt, the Yellow-legged Seagull, Grey Plovern, the Greenshank Curle and other migrating birds. The area has a temperate year-round climate. The best time for bird watching is in spring or summer. An added bonus of visiting Oualidia in the summertime is that it is an off the beaten track location. Summers are not as crowded compared to the other beach towns like Essaouira and El Jadida. Oualdida offers a low key, relaxing environment and is a great place to unwind with a book, hike along cliff paths and deserted grottoes, or kayak around the lagoon. Stay for an afternoon or spend the night at the on-site at the 5-star boutique hotel La Sultana Oualidia or Hippocampe Hotel. Regardless of if you are in town for a day or overnight, don't miss out on dining at Ostrea II, a seafood restaurant that offers the region's specialty, oysters, crab and lobster along with other local catch of the day.

 

5. Trek across the Dades Valley & Gorge or Explore by Car Morocco is a country with varied terrain. A trek across the Dades Valley & Gorge is recommended for active families who are fit and would like to experience rocky terrain along with spectacular geologic views. A trek throughout the region of the Dades Valley will take you through a region that boasts limestone cliffs with uniquely shaped erosions and superb scenery. Depending on the season you will trek across fertile fields, riverbanks and see several fortified ksours.

At the bottom of Gorge of Boumalne Dadès there are ruined hilltop Kasbahs and valley floor gardens. For families who want to explore the Dades Valley region by car, the start is in Ouarzazate.  This route will take families through Skoura, a 12th-century fertile oasis designed by lmohad Sultan Yacoub el-Mansour. It is lined with immense palm groves and offers great views of the Atlas Mountains and deserted landscapes, and you will see Todra Gorge, a gigantic rock famous for the ability to change colors without sunlight. By car, you would continue passing through the Valley of Roses, also known for its annual rose festival. The first festival started when the French brought over the Damask rose. Nowadays there are Capp et Florale distillation factories laid out in the small Kasbah town, they manufacture the entire nations products of Eau de rose.  After shopping, the scenic road awaits you. Other highlights of the car trip into the Dades Gorge Valley include seeing the Dades River and Imini River; they flow from the High Atlas Mountains southeastward to Tagounit and from Tagounit mostly westwards to the Atlantic Ocean. There are also guest houses en route where you can eat and enjoy views of the Dades Gorge.

6. Excursion to Ait Ashok, Ourika Valley's Hidden Berber Village The Berber Village of Ait Ashok is the perfect day trip from Marrakech for families looking to hike and picnic. Ait Ashok is one of the top hiking and picnic destination for active families. The Ouirka Valley can get crowded with tourists during peak season, but the charming Berber village Ait Ashok, is a secret gem where a peaceful hike can be enjoyed year round. This secret paradise has unforgettable views of the Atlas Mountains and small farming villages. Trekkers can have lunch with a local Berber family in an auberge with views. Depending on the time of year, you will see harvests of walnuts, almonds, apples, and other fruits.  

7. Craft making in Fes: Leatherwork, Bookbinding, Brass Design, Drum Making Morocco’s souk culture will expand your definition of what it means to shop. All of Morocco’s imperial cities and even villages have souks specializing in something. Souks are sectioned off into quarters and you can buy everything from sheepskin, leather goods, groceries at the outdoor food market, exotic spices, rugs, textiles to make your own garments, essential oils at pharmacies and everything in between; the most famous souk is in Fes, the fourth largest of Morocco's cities. Visitors from around the world come to explore the labyrinth-like medina of Fes and witness the famous Dyer's market, Tannery, and the Weaver's Cooperative. All three areas have preserved the traditional methods of making their crafts. At the Dyer's market, families can see the century-old vats that have been used to soak animal skins and produce luxury goods.

The Tannery continues to produce some of the best leather work in Morocco, and the Weavers specialize in making the finest silk fabrics for Jellabas. Local purchases for the entire family can be made along with special orders if you are interested in leather jackets or other goods. The art of Moroccan Craftmaking in Fes is available to families interested in participating in a workshop. Local craft making workshops offer 4-hour hands-on sessions whereby children can learn how to emboss leather, bookbinding, make a brass tray or an African drum. An example of a family friendly workshop highly recommended is to learn how to make a leather bound journal. This type of workshop will cover the techniques of crafting your very own Leather journal – complete with long stitches and a variety of Manila papers!  The workshop will guide you through the step-by-step technique to craft your own handmade leather journal with long stitches. Materials, such as leather, thread, paper, and others, will be provided on the day of the workshop. This workshop also provides techniques on chiseling and stamping on leather to create unique covers for sketches or notebooks.

8. Fes Festival of Sacred World Music For the past twenty-four years, the Fes Festival of Sacred Music has contributed to maintaining a dialogue with the sacred through its most famous forum and highlighting of arts and music. The 10-day festival is held in mid-summer annually and aims to bring together scholars, artists, musicians, families, Moroccans, and visitors from abroad. With roots in spiritual values, the festival serves as an anchoring ground to teach people to learn to appreciate different cultures and communicate better with one another. In addition to bringing attention to various cultures, the Fes Festival has been a wonderful tool in raising awareness for Moroccan culture.

During the day, visitors can explore Fes’ medina, souk, and mosques or take part in seminars or round table discussions covering the festival theme. In the afternoon, evening, and late night, there are concerts given by performers arriving from every angle of the globe. These musicians help celebrate the musical spectrum of European classical, Sufi ritual songs, trance music, Arab-Andalusian rhythms, a Bulgarian orthodox choir, Hindustani chants, Celtic sacred music, Christian Gospel, Swedish chamber choir, Pakistani Qawwali incantations, Egyptian madhi odes, flamenco-style Christian saeta, ancient Indian gwalior chants and Turkish whirling dervishes. Ever since its inception, this event has witnessed growing success. In 2001, the UNO declared the Festival as one of the most outstanding events that are contributing to the dialogue of civilizations.

9. Explore Chefchaouen, the Storybook Blue City Exploring Morocco on a family adventure would not be complete without visiting the Storybook Blue City Chefchaouen. Set in the northernmost point of Morocco, Chefchaouen is in-between Tetouan - Morocco’s Little Jerusalem - and the Rif Mountains. Chefchaouen is famous for its blue-painted houses and local goat cheese. Historically, the town's former population was Jewish. After the Spanish Reconquista of medieval times, many Jews sought refuge in this mountain city. Chefchaouen was also used as a fortress by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight off the invading Portuguese who were entering Morocco from the North in 1920; the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco. Families interested in Spanish history will enjoy learning about Andalucia’s connection with this part of Morocco. Beyond Chefchaouen’s charming architecture, the town is ideal for a low key hike, to kick back and read a book, and shop for native handicrafts that are unique to this Northern Moroccan town. Chefchaouen offers a nice array of locally woven items such as wool blankets made with the regional colors of red, white and blue. You can also find local artisans who sell hand-painted furniture, local pottery made with terracotta and antique jewelry. Chefvhaouen’s name means "look at the horns”, referring to the shapes of the mountain tops that tower over the town and look like the two horns (chaoua) of a goat. Not surprisingly goats are in abundance in this area and the cheese native to Chefchaouen is said to be some of the tastiest in all of Morocco.

For more information about Popular Family Tours or  Things to do With Kids in Essaouira

24 Hours in Tangier

Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 3, 2019 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (5)

 

Tangier, referred to as “The Bride of the North” has long been a romantic haven frequented by artists, beat poets and writers who arrived on North African shores from the 1920’s - 1960’s seeking an exotic adventure in this “international zone.” Tangier’s allure during the 20th Century was its liberal lifestyle that allowed people to reinvent themselves. Tangier intern became a seductress: whereby booze, drugs and parties ruled during the free zone period. Notable visitors who came to this Moroccan enclave include Paul Bowles, Matisse, Malcolm Forbes, Pierre Loti, Van Dongen, Paul Morand, William Burroughs, Delacroix, and Van Dongen. Tangier was a place where people could rub shoulders with Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Gertrude Stein. Although the Sultan of Morocco continued to have sovereignty over Tangier and the Moroccan people, the city developed a reputation famous for being a melting pot. Over a 32 year period, it became a city tolerant of all cultures, religions and lifestyles. Tangier continued to attract a host of prominent Europeans and American artists, writers, musicians, poets, billionaires, filmmakers and celebrities, all who produced art in its honor. In 1956, the city became part of the newly independent Kingdom of Morocco.

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Surrounded by the Rif mountains and a Mediterranean Coast Tangier sits at the northern tip of Africa and is just 40 minutes by ferry from Tarifa, Spain. The new, modern city boasts a bustling port that has become a hub for International trade. Some of the world’s largest cruise ships dock here yet offer travelers only 24 Hours in Tangier. The Tangier of 2019 has a cleaned-up image and is part of the Regional Council of Tourism (RCT) Tangier- Tetuoan-Al Hoceima project. RCT's aim is to keep the region clean, modernize the city and encourage a new age of tourism. There is a variety of natural environments surrounding Tangier which make it an ideal place for hiking, fishing, and water sports. What remains, is the essence of Tangier in keeping with its past, as a culture and literary hub of Morocco. Tangier continues to inspire gallery openings and young designers come to start fashion lines, boutiques and concept stores. The city's vibrant art scene also encourages filmmakers with its annual International Film Festival and musicians with the Tan Jazz Festival that takes place each September. The Tangier of today is safe and easy to visit. At King Mohammed VI’s request tourists are not permitted to be pestered. This makes walking aroundTangier’s old city “The Kasbahs,” monuments, museums and boutiques, all the more enjoyable.

One could easily spend a week in Tangier. If you only have 24 Hours in Tangier, the best way to navigate this white city and discover the Bride of the North can be found here.

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Morning Stroll along Boulevard Mohammed VI Rise early and go for a stroll or jog along Boulevard Mohammed VI. From the Corniche Gardens, you can take in a wide view of the port and a magnificent view of the ancient city walls.; across from lookout point at Muraille de Tanger. Mohammed VI Boulevard is lined with Moroccan cafes that offer views of the Atlantic Coast’s turquoise blue waters. New on the block is the Tanja Marina Bay, a long strip perched with cafes and restaurants built near the port area. The French Cafe Paul and La Table du Marche are two options for breakfast perfect spots if you want something modern. If you prefer the tradition of a long-standing Tangier breakfast visit Cafe de Paris, once frequented by Paul Bowles, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Tennessee Williams. Other local options are Le Salon Bleu or Le Nebab located in the Kasbah.

10:00 AM: Soak Up Literature At Librairie des Colonnes Morning inspiration can be found at the famous landmark bookshop Librairie des Colonnes with wonderful architecture. Librairie des Colonnes is a Tangier institution that offers a wide selection of books, with a healthy English language section. There are book readings, events and author signings that take place here weekly. Once a favorite stomping ground of the legendary Paul Bowles, Jean Genet, Samuel Becket, and William Burroughs, this one-of-a-kind bookshop should be on your bucket list.

11:00 AM: Visit the American Legion Museum Your entry into the Tangier Kasbah will start at Cafe Seoul, a local coffee shop along Mohammed VI Avenue. The spot is located inside a row of buildings with architecture dating back to the French, Italian, and Portuguese periods. A short walk away is the American Legation Museum. The American Legation Museum in Tangier is the United States oldest diplomatic building in the world. It houses an extensive collection of artworks, maps, a library, and a research center specializing in North African and Arabic studies. There are also three rooms dedicated to Paul Bowles. Historically, the building is important because it was a gift to the United States from Sultan Moulay Slimane 150 years ago. Its interior is an interesting blend of early-nineteenth-century furnishings mixed with Moorish arches, fountains, gardens, ornate zellij tile work, and finely-crafted period photographs. During the Jacksonian period, many diplomats stayed at the Legation building when visiting Tangier. The institute often organizes book readings, musical concerts, and other events. The public is free to use the research facilities with advanced reservation. An interesting piece of history many visitors are surprised to learn is that Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States in 1777. Entrance to the museum is 20 Dirhams ($2.00)

12:00 PM: The Grand Socco & Cinema Rif Not far from the American Legion Museum is the Grand Socco, a souq and the official entrance to the medina. The Grand Socco is filled with interesting historical mentions. It was once the home to the Mendoub, a representative of the Sultan. At the top of the Grand Socco lies the Art Deco Cinema Rif Theatre which offers two main screens and plays mainstream and indie films with subtitles. Today the Cinema Rif also serves as a cultural center attracting students, writers, and curious travelers with its free WIFI, hot beverages, and art house coffee talk. On Thursdays and Sundays, the Grand Socco is also the spot to find the farmer’s market. Djebelli villagers come into the city from surrounding regions and bring fresh goat cheeses, organic fruits, vegetables, and farm fresh eggs.

1:00 PM: Lunch at Le Saveur de Poisson Located on the north hill of the Grand Socco is Le Saveur de Poisson one of Tangier’s most sought after restaurants that serves a mix of fresh seafood and unique homemade dishes infused with herbs. Graciously featured in Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown Series, Episode #5 on Tangier, is owner and chef, Chez Mohammed. Chez Mohammed heralds from the region of Al Hoceima in Morocco's North. Bourdain chats up Mohammed and takes viewers through an unforgettable foodie journey in this episode. No reservations are accepted at Le Saveur. Arrive hungry and promptly as lunch service is at 1:00pm and dinner service at 7:00 pm daily. The menu is set at 200 Dirhams ($25.00 P/P) and varies based upon season. Chez Mohammed preps his special stews and juices in a small back room, the size of a closet, which can be frequented by visitors who dare to ask. A typical four-course meal includes Moroccan fresh baked bread, local olives, toasted nuts, pomegranate, and raspberry fruit juice, followed by a fragrant white fish tagine, grilled sole served along shark skewers and for dessert fresh fruit topped with local honey, pine nuts and barley

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2:00 PM: Explore & Shop the Ancient Medina - The Kasbah An essential part of any trip to Morocco is getting lost in the walled cities (historic medinas). The 14th-century medina in Tangier is a cornucopia of traditions self-contained by its 15th Century Portuguese walls. Its labyrinth of alleys run the entire city, each offering a glimpse of local life. Rue Sebou and Rue des Almohades are a shopper’s paradise for those interested in purchasing traditional Moroccan goods. They are filled with stalls selling artisanal goods such as leather, caftans, baboosh, silver teapots and glasses and sweets. To shop for modern goods, visit the streets around the Kasbah. Design Concept stores such as La Chicas and Rumi 1436 offer a new take on Moorish Design. Las Chicas showcases Modern Moroccan fashion and decor offering a keen mix of cushions, lanterns infused Moroccan oil and tasseled goods. Rumi 1436 specializes in natural candles made with organic soy wax and Moroccan tea sets composed of silver and glassware. For handmade luxury goods visit Laure Welfling’s Boho inspired boutique where you can find embroidered caftans, hand stitched and sequined overcoats. Their line of ready-to-wear for men and women has been created using a mixture of fabrics and styles with a luxurious and sophisticated fashion approach. Every year a collection of unique pieces, entirely handmade, is designed between Paris and Tangier. Not to be missed for those looking to shop for a Berber carpet is Coin de L’Art Berber, which offers an extensive collection of rugs including those from the Middle and High Atlas regions, made by Saharan and southern Berber tribes. There is also a collection of doors, locks, windows, and boxes from southern Morocco and the Sahara.

4:00 PM: Tea Time at Cafe Hafa At 4:00pm, make your way over to Cafe Hafa. It’s tea time at this multi-leveled blue walled cafe, where the best views of the Bay of Tangier can be found. Sip your Mint tea with camera in hand. Opened in 1921 Cafe Hafa retained its 1920’s style exterior decor. Beat Generation writers like Paul Bowles, William Burroughs and musicians like the Beatles and Rolling Stones frequented Cafe Hafa famous for serving Moroccan mint tea. It’s also the perfect place to light up and enjoy kif overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Today, Cafe Hafa is still popular with celebrities.

5:00 PM: Visit the Kasbah Museum Next visit the Kasbah Museum. Formerly known as the Sultan's Royal Palace of Dar El Makhzen, the Kasbah Museum focuses on the history of how Tangier is linked with Europe. It also displays archaeological artifacts from the Northern Morocco region. The permanent exhibition is divided into three parts, the seigneurial residence with garden and outbuildings (al-dar al-kabira), the first-floor apartment (dwirat qubbat sidi-al-bukhari) and the ceremonial room known as the treasure room (bit al-mal). Architectural characteristics of the residence include a large courtyard paved with zellij (small tiles), a water fountain, portico columns decorated with crescent moons, and zellij panels in the North and South wings. There are also two main rooms with trademark muqarnas (honeycomb-work) featured inside an ornate wooden dome with repetitive epigraphic and geometric motifs.

6:30 PM: Wind Down at Les Fils du Détroit After a long day of exploration rest your feet at the 15m square musical home of Les Fils du Détroit. The group is now managed by a local architect however has been rocking the Kasbah for over four decades. The native Moroccan men don’t ask for an entrance fee, rather they serve you mint tea and hold live jam sessions out of sheer pleasure. Listeners are in awe of how a violin, a Middle Eastern oud (borrowed from Andalusian music in Morocco,) and a darbouka, a single head drum, can blend together so well.

8:00 PM: Dinner at The Morocco Club Set at the top of the Kasbah, The Morocco Club is a historic house turned restaurant and piano bar. It was built by Stuart Church and designed by Vincent Coppe and Oscar Badjii. All three men loved Tangier and left an artistic impact on the city. The restaurant, with its sophisticated charm and decor, looks like a scene you might find in the American series, Mad Men. The upstairs Piano Bar has served its international menu to talented artists like Jazz4Joy, Camélia Jordana, Donia Berriri and L-initiale trio; after dinner head downstairs to the cocktail bar and enjoy live music; the DJ plays into the late-night hours.

Morocco Discovery Tour, A Moroccan Jewish Odyssey

Posted by Alecia Cohen on November 2, 2018 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Moroccan Jewish Odyssey Tour, Fes Cemetery Morocco’s unique history of Jewry and the co-mingling of Jews with Berbers and Arabs are a key factor in why Morocco is a safe today and continues to be a perfect choice for travelers interested in discovering Morocco's rich Jewish Heritage. The cultural diversity of contemporary Morocco reflects its historic vantage point as a gateway to Europe and the world. Moarocco’s Jewish Heritage sites and holy spaces offer visitors an encounter with ancient traditions, old world customs, architecture, monuments and sites that have permeated Moroccan society for centuries.

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Lazema Synagogue, Marrakech For couples and families interested in traveling to Morocco for an educational cultural vacation we recommend our Moroccan Jewish Odyssey Tour. On a Moroccan Jewish Odyssey tour you can expect to experience dramatic contrasts they encounter Morocco's Jewish Heritage sites in the Imperial Cities and magnficient landscapes as you cross the High Atlas region. This once-in-a- lifetime comprehensive Jewish Cultural Tour will take you on a journey to unexpectd places. Explore sacred Jewish sites in Medieval ciites, hear Stories of the Mellah, Discover the Roman Ruins of Volubilis and an endless Sahara Desert. On this Moroccan Jewish Odyssey Tour you will visit colorful souks, Kasbahs and ksars and Sip Tea with a Berber family who has historic Jewish roots.

Ibn Danan Synagogue, Fes Travelers on a Moroccan Jewish Odyssey tour will disocver sacred Jewish sites in Medieval ciites, hear Stories of the Mellah, visit the Roman Ruins of Volubilis and traverse an endless Sahara Desert. On this Moroccan Jewish Odyssey Tour you will visit colorful souks, Kasbahs and ksars and Sip Tea with a Berber family who has historic Jewish roots. Travel Exploation's Guided Jewish Hertiage Tours offer an insiders experience for travelers to engage with the local Jewish community, experience the remarkable and traverse the country from the mountains to sea coast.

MOROCCAN JEWISH ODYSSEY TOUR - TRIP HIGHLIGHTS - 11 DAYS

► Visit Temple Beth- El Synagogue & Explore Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca

► Discover the Jewish Mellah of Rabat & birthplace of an 18th Century scholar and Kabbalist in Sale

► Attend Shabbat Services a in Fes ► Dinner at a Rabbi’s Home or Kosher Restaurant

► Witness a private exterior view of the former home of Maimonidies in Fes

► Afternoon Excursion to Seffrou once referred to as the “Little Jerusalem”

► Up Close Meeting with Local Jewish Community in Morocco

► Historic Sites of Jewish Heritage in Fes, Meknes, Seffrou and Marrakech

► Overnight in the Sahara Desert under the Morocan Stars ► Discover the province of Tinerhir and it’s rare Jewish past ► Visit Tiliit the 15th Century ancient city of Jews in the Dades Valley region

► Explore Coastal Essaouira, an artist enclave and one of the first Jewish Ports in Morocco

► Visit the Tomb of Rabbi Shlomo & the Setti Fatima 7 Waterfalls in the Ourika Valley

► Stays at the Best Boutique Riads and Hotels in Morocco

For more information about Moroccan Jewish Heritage Tours  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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara 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.

Best Riads Marrakech, Where to Stay Boutique & Chic

Posted by Alecia Cohen on May 14, 2018 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (1)
Moroccan Riads are the ideal place to stay when visiting Morocco. Tucked away from bustling city life, 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. The majority of Boutique Riads in Morocco are centuries old and have been restored by talented Moroccan artisans. Each property differs with some having Andalusian, Moorish or Spanish architecture. The traditional décor, made up of intricate hand-made zellij tilework, tadelakt walled interiors and draped terraces offer an Arabian Nights sensibility.  With more then 1,000 traditional riad homes in Marrakech's ancient medina, we've narrowed it down to the "Best 8 Marrakech Riads Marrakech Riads" that are well appointed with beautiful rooftop terraces, excellent cuisine and priced just right for almost any traveler who wants to splurge on a little bit of luxury.

Ennafora Suite at Ryad Dyor, Marrakech[/caption] Ryad Dyor A luxury riad located in the Riad Larouss region of the medina. Owned by two designers, one Dutch and the other Spanish, this boutique hotel is a standout place to stay in the Marrakech. medina. Modern design meets Moroccan flair: a chic riad with lamplit courtyards, roof terrace and cool, understated décor. Ryad Dyor is converted from a pair of riads, whose 2 shady courts lead into each other, one with an ornately tiled fountain, the other with a rose-petalled splash pool. Copper lanterns, Balinese mirrors, egg-smooth tadelakt bathtubs surround guests. On the roof, under a loggia hung with gauzy textiles, the manager knows just when to offer cocktails or mint tea to guests lazing in the afternoon sunshine. The laid-back atmosphere - everyone is made to feel at home, nothing is too much trouble - will delight couples seeking both style and substance on a long weekend break or some post-trek pampering. Property Amenities: Plunge pool, terrace, traditional hammam/spa, gourmet restaurant, wifi, laundry services Driba Jdida, Sidi Ben Slimane, + 212-5243-75980

Riad De Tarabel Riad de Tarabel is a luxurious boutique hotel in an old colonial mansion in the heart of the old medina of Marrakech. With ten rooms, including three suites this boutique property is a mixture of Colonial and French design. Riad de Tarabel was built in the 19thCentury and renovated in 2006. Each room is individually designed with true elegance that combines family heirlooms with contemporary pieces creating a French, colonial-feel. All of their Junior Suites have clawfoot baths and one has a fireplace. Some have open bath facilities. Property Amenities: Rooftop plunge pool, Hammam, Dining area with restaurant, Wifi, Laundry Derb Sraghna, Dar El Bahca, +212- 661-989782

 

Riad 72 Wrapped around a central courtyard brimming with banana trees, Riad 72 is a chic, well-appointed riad in the Marrakech medina. The elegantly decorated salon has an intricately carved ceiling, and gently lit by beautiful copper lanterns. The courtyard is flanked with large banana trees. Featuring classic Moroccan furnishings with contemporary flair, this boutique property also has a cuisine menu with Ottlolenghi inspired recipes. Property Amenities: Terraces, panoramic garden, traditional hammam/spa, restaurant, balconies, wifi, laundry services 72 Arset Azwel, Bab Doukkala, +05243-87629

 

Riad Idra Riad Idra is an elegant, contemporary, Moroccan, riad located in the Dar El Bacha region of the Marrakech medina. Riad Idra is a luxurious cocoon shielded from the commotion of the ochre city and a well-hidden jewel. A house full of light the intimate courtyard offers an outlet to the world of sight and sound for a magical stay. Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Rooftop terrace Wifi 105 Derb Tizougarine, Dar El Bacha, +212-5243-91776

Riad Jaaneman An elegant boutique riad in the bohemian heart of the Marrakech medina Riad Jaaneman is a refined oasis of urbane flamboyance and sophistication. Just a stone’s throw away from the timeless bustle of the souks and the vibrant rhythms of the city, Jaaneman defined is classical style meets eclectic harmony. Originating from an Indian word that literally means ‘Soul of Me’, "Jaaneman"  translates into ‘My love’ or ‘darling’. With 5 originally decorated suites, each boasts cutting-edge design reminiscent of art deco and a feeling of the Orient. Luxurious bed linens and artisanal soaps are just a few of the luxury amenities travelers can anticipate. Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Rooftop terrace, Wifi 12 Rue Dar Sraghna, Dar el Bacha, +212-5243-82164

 

Dar Darma A haven of calm in the Marrakech, medina, Dar Darma has been awarded a place on the Conde Naste gold list of Hotel in 2017. This traditional riad of 6 Suites, Dar Darma offers privacy, traditional Moroccan hospitality in a relaxed, atmosphere. The terraces have sweeping views that stretch from the Medina rooftops and the Koutoubia Mosque to the Atlas Mountains. The shady lounges, the swimming pool and a little basin offer the perfect place to cool off in the hot summer months Darma’s Moroccan lounge, the hall of arches and the fireplace lounge looks out onto a shady patio and are ideal places to relax, read, listen to music and enjoy dishes made by their traditional Moroccan chef. Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Dipping pool, Rooftop terrace, Wifi 11/12 Derb Tarik Sidi Bouharba, +212-5243-76657   

 

Riad Joya Crafted with care by Italian art director and owner, Umberto Branchini, Riad Joya provides a high-octane dose of Milanese chic amid the medina’s dusty lanes. Sumptuous suites, as well as a lovely plunge pool, and a cracking rooftop bar. Riad Joya is an elegant boutique hotel of timeless beauty and seductive atmosphere well appointed in the Marrakech medina.  The overall atmosphere is of an elegant private house where understated luxury fuses with eclectic style and bespoke service and attention. Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Rooftop terrace, Wifi Derb El Hammam,+ 212- 5243-91624/ +212-5 24 38 50 55    

 

Riad Dar Mo'Da A charming boutique, riad, Dar Mo'da is located in the Mouassine, historic quarter of the Marrakech medina, just minutes from Djemma El Fna square. This traditional Moroccan home has been restored impeccably. Dar Mo’Da’s wall to wall, white, clean lines and cool atmosphere coupled with traditional Moroccan, Syrian and Italian designer pieces, make it a one-of-a-kind place to stay. Guests can relax in the welcoming courtyard featuring a dipping pool or in the adjacent lounges and dining room. Dar Mo’da has four exclusive suites whose décor combine the magic of the orient and the comforts of the west. The roof terrace offers breathtaking views of the city and nearby Koutoubia mosque with the backdrop of the Atlas mountains and beyond. Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Dipping pool, Rooftop terrace, Wifi 182 rue el Moussine, Moussine+212- 524 442819 

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Art Deco Gueliz, Architectural Walking Tours

Posted by Alecia Cohen on May 11, 2018 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Cine-Palace, Gueliz

A great way to discover the Moroccan city of Marrakech is through a Guided walking tour of its Art Deco Architecture in the new city of Gueliz. You can spend an afternoon gallery hopping, shopping at designer boutiques and eat your way through Marrakech's, trendsetting new town. As one of the most sought-after Colonial cities in Morocco, Gueliz is all the rave. Morocco’s Colonial history and the beginning of Art Deco Gueliz dates back to 1912 when an agreement was signed with France, called “Protectorat.” A French army general and colonial administrator named Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey had the vision to modernize Morocco with the preservation of its cultural traditions and local customs. Lyautey created the Ville Nouvelle (new town) Gueliz, originating from the French word Église, which means church. Gueliz was the first town to be built outside the Marrakech medina with views of the Atlas Mountains and a referendum requiring no building to stand beyond 3 stories high or the equivalent of a palm tree.

Avenue Mohammed V (Former avenue Mangin 1930) Gueliz

First built as a military camp, Gueliz was small and occupied primarily by the French. This French quarter grew rapidly and architects embraced Parisian Art Deco by creating large avenues, bustling cafes and theatres, along with charming villas and a central market. Gueliz was designed by French architect, Henri Prost. Its original main tree-lined avenue was called Avenue de France. Today Avenue de France has been renamed Boulevard Mohammed VI and is filled with modern office buildings, banks, boutiques that are surrounded by magnificent Art Deco facades that remain from the city’s colonial past. Travelers and locals frequent Boulevard Mohammed VI for evening walks and picnics, sipping Moroccan tea at its sprawling cafes on sunlit terraces and to shop at luxury boutiques as they take in the glorious flora and fauna in full bloom year round. One of the Art Deco highlights of Gueliz is the Church of Holy Saints-Martyrs, built in 1928 and inaugurated in December 1931. It was also designed by the architect and urban planner French Henri Prost and commission Marshal Lyautey,

Le Petit Cornichon, Gueliz, Marrakech

Art Deco Guide to Gueliz, Marrakech's Trend-Setting New Town- Art Deco Buildings,  Art, Shopping & Eating

A city that has long been the home of jet-setters, fashion designers, hippies and artists, today, Gueliz is all the rave. Bustling with chic restaurants and celebrity chefs, designer boutiques, concept stores and art galleries, Gueliz is one of Morocco’s most sought-after city's for its nightlife, shopping and Art Deco facades.

What to See: Art Deco Facades, Sites & Gardens Gueliz Church of Holy Saints-Martyrs - Built in 1928, designed by the architect and urban planner French Henri Prost this was the only church in Gueliz at the time. Cine-Palace - Built in 1926, this cinema is a replica of  Cinema Eden in La Ciota France. Dilapidated it's charming facade and open air theatre, in ruin,  is a memory of an Art Deco past.

The Villa Bel Air - Located on the Avenue Hassan II, is one of the few villas in Gueliz that has not been affected by new construction.

Comptoir des Mines Galerie – Founded by Art Holding Morocco, this new gallery is a contemporary art space located in an Art Deco building that was once a mining company. Recently renovated into an Art Gallery, Comptoir de Mines features Contemporary Moroccan Art.

Comptoir des Mines Galerie – Founded by Art Holding Morocco, this new, chic gallerie is a contemporary art space located in an Art Deco building that was once a mining company. Recently renovated into an Art Gallery, Comptoir de Mines features Contemporary Moroccan Art.

Jardin Majorelle - This is the former Art Deco home, with Moorish charm, of Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge. It houses a fashion designer’s collection of decorative arts and artworks by Jack Majorelle with rotating exhibitions. The Majorelle Gardens has burbling streams and pools filled with water lilies and lotus flowers and is painted with vibrant primary colors, with an intense blue the Jacque Majorelle saw in the Atlas Mountains.

The Renaissance Hotel - Located in Gueliz The Renaissance is a Marrakech institution. This historic hotel was built by the French architect, Henri Prost. The hotel has preserved its façade which was built in 1952.

La Mamounia Hotel & Gardens- Perfect for afternoon tea, sunset cocktails or pool lunch, this Art Deco historic hotel  is where Alfred Hitchcock wrote the movie The Birds. It is situated on the edge of the walls of the old city of Marrakech and is named for its 200-year-old gardens, which were given as an 18th Century wedding gift to Prince Moulay Mamoun by his father.

Jnane El Harti (Harti Gardens) - A creation of the urban garden Jnane El Harti dates back to the end of the 1930s.  Translated as "janân al-harthî", which means, "Gardens of my plowed earth" this garden was originally created to produce food. The current Jnane El Harti occupies six hectares is decorated with wooden benches and maintains a sprawling cactus garden, a restaurant with views of the garden and a sports hall. Perfectly representative of East and West, the Harti Gardens is a mixed space of Mediterranean vegetation with olive, citrus and ficus surrounded by European lawns, shrubs, palms and cactus.

Where to Shop in Gueliz: Designer Boutiques & Concept Stores 33 Majorelle -
  With two levels of design, fashion and accessories created by Moroccan and international designers, as well as the traditional Moroccan goodies like the green pottery from southern Morocco and a selection of funky babouche, this is the shop for trendy souvenirs and gifts. Like a high-end department store, new designers are exposed with a collection hanging regularly, giving this concept store the leading edge on the latest trends. A small gallery is attached and features a changing art exhibit. The location is perfect – across from Majorelle Gardens. 
Address: 33 Rue Yves Saint Laurent

Majorelle Gardens Boutique -
 Easy to find and with a friendly owner Toufik, this is one of the best up-market boutiques for fine Moroccan fashion with a Western twist. Using the finest silks, Toufik creates a stunning collection of kaftans, velvet vests, and cotton tunics are part of the collection that changes regularly. But if you don’t see exactly what you are looking for, custom orders are possible and take up to two weeks.
Address: 9-11 Soukiat Laksour

MOOR
  - Owned by fashion designer Yann Dobry of Akbar Delights in the medina, Moor features a selection of upscale Moroccan couture. Using the finest artisans and materials, Moor is known for its embroidered silk, cotton and linen tunics. The cool and calm colors throughout the shop create a relaxed shopping experience. Look up or even just on the walls – the décor, a selection of Moroccan home wares sourced from around the Kingdom, is also available! 
Address: 7 Rue des Vieux Marrakchis , Guéliz

Yahya Creation 
-  If the patterns created by Moroccan lampshades and lanterns peak your interest in taking a fine lantern or lampshade home with you, be sure to stop by Yahya Rouach’s showroom. Clients including Harrods and Neiman Marcus have been known to stop by to commission orders. Yahya’s pieces are unique and one-of-a-kind. His pieces light up various areas of the Royal
 Mansour hotel and other boutique raids in Marrakech.  
Address: 49 passage Ghandouri, Rue de Yougoslavie, Guéliz

Where to Eat in Gueliz: Trend-Setting Restaurants & Classic Art Deco Cafe's Grand Cafe La Poste  - Gueliz's chic Brasserie which has kept the charm of the time Liautey is part of the history of Marrakech. La Poste has a 1930's ambiance with a grand staircase and cozy upstairs large nook with a fireplace along with chic dark spaces reminiscent of the days at Parisian literary cafes. This traditional Brasserie's menu makes it perfect place for brunch, cocktails or an evening meal. Address: Avenue Imam Malik, Gueliz

Le Petit Cornichon - A one-of-a-kind bistronomique culinary experience in the heart of Gueliz with an excellent wine list. The menu is lovingly created by resident manager, Erwann Lance. Lance has several Michelin restaurants in Paris and New York. He also the former head of dining at the Royal Mansour, in Marrakech. Le Petit Cornichon is one of the hottest tables in town and serves up some of Marrakech's most delightful French cuisine with a twist. Each dish is full of local flavor and stylishly presented on plate. The weekend's three-course tasting menu including fois gras is a must. The wine list offers local Moroccan wine traditionally not found in other restaurants along with a large selection of exceptional international wines. Address: 27, Rue Moulay Ali, Gueliz

Baromètre Marrakech - A new chic address in Gueliz, Baromètre is a type of underground culinary lab where Mediterranean fusion tapas and contemporary fare are served alongside exotic cocktails. The food is beyond delicious therefore make sure to leave space for more the one dish.  Be prepared for a speakeasy, mysterious atmosphere that is perfect for the food enthusiast.  Address: Rue Moulay Ali Gueliz | Résidence Al houda, Gueliz

Cafe Les Negociant - A landmark cafe in the center of Gueliz. Built in 1919, this is one of the city's historic "man cafe's" and a meeting place for a morning traditional Moroccan nous-nous or mint tea.  Cafe Les Negociant has been refurbished in keeping with it's Art Deco architecture. Address: 110 Mohammed V, Gueliz

Pâtisserie Amandine - Perfect for a late afternoon hot chocolate or cappuccino. Amandine offers  wide range of French pastries, Moroccan cookies and one of the best mille-feuille in town. It's macarons in rainbow colors, zesty lemon tarts and delightful, raspberry panna cotta pots should be on every foodie's bucketlist. Address: 177 Rue Mohammed Al Béqal, Gueiz

For More Information about Gueliz Art Deco or visit my Instagram Feed

Five Places to Go in Casablanca, Morocco

Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 16, 2017 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (7)


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.

An Insiders Guide to Moroccan Hammams & Spas, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Posted by Alecia Cohen on March 23, 2017 at 8:55 AM Comments 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

Top 12 Things to do in Morocco

Posted by Alecia Cohen on March 16, 2017 at 9:40 AM Comments 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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara 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.

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