|Posted by Alecia Cohen on December 22, 2019 at 12:10 PM||comments (0)|
Long before Michale Curtiz’s iconic 1942 film, Casablanca became a box office smash, Casablanca, the city served as an important business and commercial center. The Portuguese used the ruins of Anfa to build a military fortress in 1515. The town that grew up around it was called Casa Branca, meaning "white house" in Portuguese. Today locals refer to the bustling and cosmopolitan port city as Casa.
When the Tangier Med port became crowned the Mediterranean’s largest, Casablanca was even recognized as North Africa’s top entrepot. Beyond its importance as the leading financial capital, Casablanca is also known for its strength in the arts. France and Morocco's artistic and intellectual circles were primarily privy to this burgeoning community. Renown artists such as Moroccan modern painter Mohamed Melehi- recognized who linked Bauhauism to Islamic art- have long made an impact on the city. Melehi, alongside his innovative “Casablanca School” peers like Farid Belkahia, Mohammed Chabâa, Bert Flint and Toni Maraini influenced post-colonial art during the 1960s in both Casablanca and beyond. The city's artistic and cultural history created a foundation that continues to attract innovative designers, filmmakers, artists, photographers, and musicians.
Casablanca's trendsetting and liberating ambiance is woven into the fabric of everyday life. Gradually the city has had a ripple effect and eyes around the world are tuning into Casablanca's art and culture scene. This shift was particularly evident in 2019 when several airports in key cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Beijing, and Miami added direct routes to Casablanca. Now that traveling to Casablanca can be done with ease, the city’s top restaurants, nightlife, shopping venues, artisanal craft markets, the medina and music festivals are in high demand.
Casablanca offers a wide range of dining experiences coupled with live music. Nightlife can be found in elegant restaurants, jazz bars, clubs and upscale hotel settings located around the United Nations Square and on the Corniche. The Corniche is well-appointed near Casablanca’s business district and frequented by the fashionable Ain Diab neighborhood crowd. It is also considered one of the city’s green areas. Casablanca’s most popular French restaurants, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, and bars that boast wrap-around terraces and stunning ocean views are woven into the streets on the corniche.
8 Places to Go for Casablanca Nightlife are Le Petit Rocher, Bodega, Rick's Cafe, Sky 28, Cabestan, Le Kimmyz, Les Jardin del Opera, and Le Casablanca Bar and Lounge.
Le Petit Rocha, Casablanca[/caption]
1. Le Petit Rocher- founded in 1932, the Little Rock House is a renovated waterside bistro cottage that once served as a lighthouse. Its history includes hosting performances of talented musicians during the 80s and 90s. Today the restaurant stands as a cultural institution that has endured several, stylistic makeovers. In spite of this, it has stayed true to its musical roots. Over the past decade, Le Petit Rocher has been reimagined into an elegant and contemporary space with coastal views. In keeping with the past, it is also one of Casablanca's top choices for an evening of tasty food and lively music. In 2000, Little Rock focused on recreating a menu for the senses. Today it serves fresh seafood, inclusive of seafood platters, paella, and other fresh catch of the day. Le Petit Rocher is an ideal spot where locals and travelers can enjoy cocktails, music and ocean views.
Address: Small Rock Complex, Boulevard de la Corniche, Casablanca
2. Bodega- located near Boulevard Mohammed V Art Deco, in the heart of Casablanca's Art Deco district, La Bodega is a hybrid tapas bar-restaurant. It is the perfect destination for those interested in listening to everything from salsa to Arabic pop. The restaurant offers a fusion of both French and Spanish cuisine. La Bodega’s innovative tapa style menu is curated by Chef Jilali and serves up Andalusian and Catalan inspired charcuterie, seafood, and mixed grill. Beyond its savory delights, La Bodega's wine list is extensive and is especially enjoyed when the restaurant transforms from a rustic and cozy space into a saucy Jazz Club. Every Tuesday night, the club hosts a jazz and blues band with musicians who play music inspired by Paris’ top Jazz venues.
Address: 129 Boulevard Ben Abdellah, Casablanca 20250
3. Rick’s Cafe- this romantic restaurant and piano bar was inspired by the 1942 film Casablanca made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Since it’s 2004 opening, the restaurant has set a high bar for dinner and jazzy evenings in Casablanca. From Tuesday to Sunday, Issam Chabaa plays classic French, Spanish and Brazilian songs on the piano and American favorites like Summertime, The Lady is a Tramp, and Blue Moon. Sundays, in particular, are programmed to host jazz sessions for local and amateur jazz musicians living in Casablanca or passing through. In addition to its superior entertainment, the two-floor romantic eatery is distinguished by its decor. Curved arches, a sculpted rooftop bar, balconies, balustrades, stenciled brass lighting, and an authentic 1930’s piano have thoughtfully been added to transport clients into the ’40s and ’50s. Among the menu items are fresh fish entrees like sole meuniere or richer selections like steak or foie gras and goat cheese salad. Rick’s Cafe was established by the former Kathy Kriger, who was an American diplomat in Morocco. Once a traditional Moroccan home in the 1930s, Rick's Cafe is located on the edge of the medina, near the port, facing the Hassan II Mosque.
Address: 248 Boulevard Sour Jdid, Casablanca 20250
4. Skybar 28- is well-appointed at the top of the five-star 28 stories B-Twin Center, Kenzi Tower Hotel It is considered the top destination for visitors to Casablanca who is in search of cocktails and dinner with a view. The luxurious hotel tower was designed by the internationally renowned architect Ricardo Bofill who thoughtfully opened up the restaurant to profit from the Atlantic Ocean views. The Art deco themed penthouse bar has an intimate lounge setting and subdued lighting. Skybar 28 is the perfect setting for an evening of classy tapas, wine, and live music after a day of exploring Casablanca. For travelers who want to indulge in some light pre-cocktail activities, the Kenzi Tower location is also home to Casablanca’s trendiest shopping district.
Address: Kenzi Tower Hotel، Boulevard Mohamed Zerktouni, Casablanca 20100
5. Cabestan- created in 1927, this trendy, upscale seafood restaurant offers some of the most spectacular views of the Casablanca rocky coast. A favorite of artists, designers, politicians, and businessmen Cabestan is the place to be post-sunset. Designers Sophia Sebti and Yachar Bouhaya created three elegant spaces that have become the choice destination for those who desire an evening of fine bistro cuisine accompanied by music and an exceptional ambiance. In addition to the stunning sea views, Cabestan’s menu, created by Chef Fabien Caboy, is the reason it continues to buzz. Menu favorites include Mediterranean tapa dishes, fresh oysters from Dakhla, and herb-infused linguini and clams pasta. On some nights, top names from Morocco’s electronic music scene can be spotted here.
Address: Phare d'El hank، 90 Boulevard de la Corniche, Casablanca 20000
Phone: : +212 05223-91190
6. Le Kimmyz - is a lively French bistro with a high-quality gastronomy menu and extraordinary wine selection. Depending on the day of the week, the restaurant’s funky decor transforms from being a Parisian style musical brasserie into an upscale sports bar. Regardless of the day you choose to dine, the food and wine always hit the mark and the atmosphere never ceases to entertain.
Address: Rue Najib Mahfoud, Casablanca 20000
Phone: +212 5222-77297
Le Jardin de Opera, Casablanca[/caption]
7. Le Jardin del Opera- is a chic brasserie situated across from the Grand Casablanca Theatre. It is defined by Casablancans and travelers to Morocco by its French heritage, culinary menu and inspired “garden opera setting”. Le Jardin’s concepts are executed by restaurant head Farid Al Achbili and director Joël Boivert. The menu has been set to meet a high standard with its offer of exotic yet simple cuisine. Dining choices are comprised of original recipes that respect fresh ingredients of the season. Le Jardin del Opera's foie gras with Moroccan white wine pairing is not to be missed. Evenings at this boutique venue are festive with music and ideal for close friends, and romantic tête-à-têtes.
Address: 37, Rue El Houcine Ben Ali, City Park Center
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8. Le Casablanca Lounge Bar - is situated inside Le Casablanca Hotel, a luxurious property in the exclusive Anfa neighborhood. This trendy lounge, Art Deco bar immerses visitors in a world of glamour. It offers a warm and relaxed atmosphere to appreciate a wide range of signature cocktails, aperitifs, wines, and champagnes.
The cocktail bar is staged in a harmonious space of high ceilings, chandeliers, luxurious red and black velvet sofas, marquetry furniture, haute couture beveled mirrors, and accented handmade stucco lace. This timeless and classy ambiance is woven into every detail and space of the hotel. Taste of refinement and elegance can be found at Le Casablanca's terrace while sipping a glass of champagne. Live music and piano performance are offered, accompanied by a professional singer.
Address: Le Casablanca Hôtel 19, Moulay Rachid
Telephone: +212 522 649 797
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 16, 2017 at 1:35 PM||comments (8)|
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 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 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 August 5, 2016 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
If you are thinking about a short an overseas adventure travel experience and not sure just where to go, Morocco should deifnitely be on your bucketlist. Consider spending One Week in Morocco to satisfy your wanderlust. Morocco is just an hour from Spain, a few hours from France, Italy and the UK. Morocco has much to offer ranging from historic sites, beaches, the great Sahara, farm-to-table cuisine and excellent local wines. Stroll through ancient city sites, take a Fes Food Tour, trek by camel with your Berber guide in the Sahara, bake bread with the Berbers or just soak up the sun at one of Marrakech's gorgeous boutique riads. You cannot go wrong with whatever you choose on a private Morocco tour and are guaranteed one week of culture and excitement.
Here's How to Spend One Week in Morocco on a Private Tour: This Morocco Tailor-Made Tour offers a unique mix of history, culture, Berber villages and vibrant landscapes.Explore Morocco's souks, spice markets, ancient mosaics and the Sahara in just one week.
ONE-WEEK IN MOROCCO, PRIVATE TOUR - TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:
Day 1: Casablanca Arrival. Visit the Mosque of Hassan II. Casablanca is home to the Hassan II Mosque, designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is situated on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor with room for 25,000 worshippers. It is an enormous architectural masterpiece and the second largest religious building in the world. Take the road to the Visit the Imperial Rabat en route to Fes. Discover beautiful domes, minarets, wide avenues,and green spaces. Your guide will escort you on a walk around the picturesque Almohad northern walls of the Oudaïa Kasbah. Explore the gardens nearby and visit the Palace of Rabat and visit the Necropolis at Chellah/Kasbah of Chellah. Next stop, the Holy City of Moulay Idriss. Overnight Fes.
Day 2: Start early and take a Guided Fes Historical Tour. Visit Islamic Architecture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Historic Monuments, Jewish Heritage (Synagogue and Mellah), Craft Making and Shopping in the Souks. Overnight Fes. Visit the following sites in the afternoon: The Tannery Weavers Cooperative Mausoleum (Zaouia Sidi Ahmed Tijani) University of Kairouine Mausolem (Zaouia Moulay Idriss) Nejarine Square
Day 3: Morning Fez Food Tour – a Culinary Experience in the Backstreets of Fes You will visit at least three different food souks, allowing the chance to try traditional Moroccan street food including dried meats, milawi, harsha, briwats, spicy sardines, spicy potato cakes, soups, honey's olives, and more. This Food Tour is both vegetarian and Kosher friendly. Afternoon, visit Majestic Palaces, Andalusian Gardens and the Batha Garden and Musuem. Overnight Fes.
Day 4: Journey through the Middle Atlas to the Sahara Desert, Passing Ifrane, known as “Little Switzerland,” Midelt, Erfoud (the Capital of Fossils), and Rissani, Arriving in Merzouga for a Sunset Guided Camel Trek and Arabian Nights in the Great Sahara Desert. Visit the Musicians of Khemlia in Merzouga, a century-old Gnaoua group that performs ancient trance music. Arrive in Merzouga before sunset and then go by dromedary camel 45-60 minutes, at sunset, into the Erg Chebbi Dunes. 10001 Arabian Desert Glamping experience. Overnight Sahara Desert.
Day 5: Sahara Desert Exploration by pise. Departure from the Region to the Saghro Mountains for Lunch in a Berber Village Enroute to Skoura. Aït Ouzzine is a Berber Village inhabited by over 300 families who live in beautifully painted crenulated kasbahs, with their own henna fields, water wells, livestock, and gardens. Meet a local Berber family, sip tea in the Sagro Mountains, and dine on couscous. Henna Party option before driving through the Draa Valley to Skoura. Overnight Skoura Palmeraie.
Day 6: Visit the Adobe Village of Ait Benhaddou, Passing via the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass to Marrakech. Visit Ait Benhaddou Kasbah. 32 km from Ouarzazate lies the picturesque village of Aït Benhaddou,situated in Souss Massa Draa on a hill along the Ouarazazate River. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah; for Jesus of Nazareth, the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. Visit an argan cooperative where argan oil, butter, and cosmetics are made with the argan nut by hand as Berber women crack the nuts and the grind them one by one. Overnight Marrakech.
Day 7: Marrakech Guided Historical Tour: The Moroccan Gardens of Yves Saint Laurent and Koutoubia, Historic Sites: Bahia Palace and the Saadian Tombs Monuments, the Grand Medina and its Lively Souks. Stop for lunch at Cafe Clock, the medina's hot lunch spot with Bo-ho chick design. Evening Tasting Marrakech Food Tour – Discover Djemaa El Fna at Sunset. Get ready for an evening of excitement in the Djemaa El Fna! Your personal guide who will take you on authentic culinary journey of local Moroccan cuisine. Indulge in a a five-course dinner tasting local street food. Tasting Marrakech offers you the opportunity to sample dishes you may not have the opportunity to try before such as a local Marrakchi specialty meat dish, a soup accompanied by a sweet treat, and more! Between courses and after dinner you will take in this world-famous square and its lively entertainment that crosses your path from Gnaoua musicians, to snake charmers, fortune tellers, acrobats, Hadous drummers and the like. Overnight Marrakech.
Day 8: Marrakech Morning at Leisure. There’s no better place to take it all in then at your Boutique Riad. Indulge in a local Moroccan Hammam/Spa Treatmentor enjoy your courtyard garden. Afternoon Visit to Amal Center, a cooperative run by women. Dine on Couscous before you depart for Casablanca.
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on August 2, 2016 at 7:25 AM||comments (0)|
Morocco’s history of Jewry and the co-mingling of Jews with Berbers and Arabs are a key factor in why Morocco is a perfect choice for Jewish Travelers to take a Jewish Heritage Tour today. The cultural diversity of contemporary Morocco reflects its historic vantage point as a gateway to Europe and the world. Morocco’s Jewish Heritage offers visitors an encounter with ancient historic traditions, customs, architecture, monuments and sites that have permeated Moroccan society for centuries. Visitng Morocco and its historic Jewish Heritage Sites will be a once in a lifetime experience so you will want to make it memorable. Planning a Tailor Made Jewish Heritage Tour requires doing some reserach and selecting a Morocco Travel Agent that specializeds in Jewish travel expeirences.
Tips for Planning a Tailor Made Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour are:
#1: Where To Go in Morocco: Choosing which Jewish Heritage Tour to take in Morocco can be daunting. For this reason we recomend you decide first on the timeframe you have to travel for your Morocco holiday. Morocco is spread out and while the majority of Jewish Heritage sites are located in the Imperial Cities of Fes, Meknes and Mararkech there are magnficent Jewish historic sites worth seeing in Essaouira, Ourigane and Azan. Make Sure to Stay at Least 8 Days. The two options most travelers consider are either an 8-Day Imperial Cities Jewish Heritage Tour or a 10-Day Jewels of Jewish Heritage Tour. These are purely focused Jewish Heritage Sites and for those travelers interested in combining Moroccan historic and cultural sites along with a camel trek in the Sahara Desert, a longer Tailor Made Jewish Tour is recommended.
Choosing which Jewish Heritage Tour to take in Morocco can be daunting. For this reason we recomend you decide first on the total timeframe you have to travel for your Morocco holiday. Morocco is spread out and while the majority of Jewish Heritage sites are located in the Imperial Cities of Fes, Meknes and Mararkech there are magnficent Jewish historic sites worth seeing in Essaouira, Ourigane and Azan. The two options most travelers consider are either an 8-Day Imperial Cities Jewish Heritage Tour or a 10-Day Jewels of Jewish Heritage Tour. These are purely focused on Jewish Heritage and for those travelers interested in combining cultural sites and a camel trek in the Sahara an 11-12 Day Tailor Made tour is then recommended. #2: Selecting a Jewish Travel Agent: The first step is to select an agent based in Morocco who has a deep Knowledge of both Moroccan and Jewish Hertiage. Consider Alecia Cohen. She is a Morocco travel designer and expert on Jewish Heritage. Alecia offers extensive personalized planning services for Jewish travelers interested in Morocco's historic sites which serve as a detailed guide for each traveler in discovering the best of Jewish Morocco. By learning about your individual interests, Alecia Cohen will make travel recommendations inclusive of cultural and educational activities that will create a lifetime memorable experience. Alecia Cohen will design your Jewish Heritage Tour step by step with you. She ensures that travelers to Morocco will have the opportunity to experience a real connection to the local Jewish commmunity, attend synagogue services, participate in private tours of Jewish sites and dine on Kosher and traditional Moroccan cuisine. As someone who lives, Morocco and has a passion for the people and the culture, Alecia Cohen guarantees Jewish travelers a unique tailor made Jewish Heritage tour itinerary that is stand out.
#3: How to Travel with the Experts: Local Historical Guides Verse National Jewish Historical Guide. There are two types of Historical Guides in Morocco, both authorized by the Ministry of Tourism that are a good fit for a Tailor made Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour. Local Licensed, Historical Guides: Morocco Jewish experts located in each city that have a license to host private couples, families and groups only in the city where they have obtained their license. National Licensed Guides: Morocco Jewish experts that have a National License and are authorized to tour the entire country of Morocco with private couples, families, and groups. #4: Kosher or Vegetarian Cuisine: As a Jewish traveler you have the option of a Kosher meals or Vegetarian cuisine depending on your level of strictness with kashrut. Kosher fare can be provided via private Jewish caterer where by you the cuisine will be delivered to your riad or hotel daily. A private Kosher Chef is also available at some hotels with advance arrangements. There is Kosher fare available at Kosher restaurants in Casablanca and Fes. The other offered is is Vegetarian cuisine which can be easily accommodated at all riads, hotels and restaurants.
#5: Where you will Stay - Accommodations at Boutique Riads & Hotels: Morocco is known for having some of the best boutique riads and hotels. Many offer an Arabian Nights sensibility. Riads are restored palace style accommodations with courtyards, fountains, lush gardens and traditional Moroccan tilework. Staying in the medinas at Boutique Riads (old cities) will allow better access to Jewish Heritage Sites. If you keep Shabbat then for some cities we will recommend staying in the ville nouvelle (new city) as this will enable you to be in closer walking distance to the Moroccan synagogues. #6: Travel Budget: Travel Exploration Morocco's Jewish Heritage Tour rates are based upon the itinerary we customize with you, the number of travelers and the complete Morocco Tour ameniteis such as a private driver, licensed expert historical guides, boutique accommodations, meals and other fees. For this reason pricing for Travel Exploration's Jewish Heritage tours can be obtained by contacting a us directly.
#7: Understanding the Jewish Heritage Sites & Moroccan Historic Sites Your Morocco Tour Will Include: The sites you will visit can be customized. For Jewish Heritage Tours they primiarly range from Synagogues to Cemeteries, Gardens, the old Mellahs along with Zaouias and Tombs in each Imperial City and the rural regions. Jewish Heritage Tours can be tailor made to include Moroccan historic sites of great important such as the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the Mausolum of Kings and Kasbah Oudaya in Rabat, the Universities and Mosques of UNESCO Fes, the Majorelle Gardens and Souks of Marrakech, along with a visit to Berber Villages and a Camel Trek in the Sahara Desert. Some of the Jewish Heritage Sites you can anticipate visiting on a Tailor Made Jewish Heritage Tour are: Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca, Synagogue in Casablanca: Beth El, Synagogue in Meknes: Talmud Torah, Synagogues in Fes: Ibn Danen, Slat Alfassiyine, Synagogues in Marrakech: Slat Al Azama, Synagogue in Seffrou: Bet Em Habanim, The 700 Year Old Adobe Synagogue in Arazan, Synagogues in Essaoura: Slat Lkahal, Simon Attias, Synagogues in Tangier: Mishe Nahon, Jewish Mellahs in Meknes, Fes, Seffrou & Marrakech, Jewish Cemeteries in Fes, Marrakech & Essaouira
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 26, 2016 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
Marrakech also known at Marrakesh is one of the most cosmpopolitan cities in Morocco. The name Marrakech originates from the Amazigh (Berber) words mur (n) akush, which means "Land of God." It is the third largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca and Rabat, and lies near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. It is a few hours from the foot of the Sahara Desert. Its location and contrasting landscape has made it an enviable destination in Morocco plus the perfect city to utilize as a based for discovering cities outside Marrakech. The Top 5 tours from Marrakech offer a Morocco Traveler a brief get away from the bustling medina.
Top 5 Tours From Marrakech:
Cascades D'Ouzoud Waterfalls - Discover Waterfalls, Swim and Enjoy Lunch in a Traditional Berber Village. Located in a lush valley, in a friendly Berber village are the three beautiful tiered waterfalls of Ouzoud dropping 110m into the river below. Take a hike along the river up to the caves and gorges of Oued el-Abid, or stay close by the falls and enjoy the natural scenery. In the summer time, enjoy a picnic and mingle with Marrakshis that frequent this peaceful area on the weekends.Enjoy a local riverboat as you cruise across the river. This is our Top Tour from Marrakech selected for adventure travelers who want a combination of hiking, swimming and village exploration.
Essaouira Coastal Tour - Journey and Discover the seaside resort town of Essaouira on this One Day Tour from Marrakesh. En route enjoy lunch at a local fromagerie and wine tasting at one of Morocco's leading wineries in the Valley of Essaouira. Explore the thuya wood workers, the artisans boutiques, old Portuguese Ramparts and charming medina in Essaouira. End the day dining on fresh fish at the port or a local restaurant such as Umia or One-Up, Essaouira's chicest eats. This is our Top Tour from Marrakech selected for foodies and those who want a laid back excursion in a small coastal town.
High Atlas Mountains Tour - Journey and discover Imlil Village & High Atlas Toubkal on this One Day Tour from Marrakesh. En route stop at a Berber home for tea and bread, followed by a visit to a traditional village and farm. Explore a local souk and hike in the Toubkal mountain region, the second highest next to Kilamnajaro. Enjoy lunch at Richard Branson's Kasbah Tamadot or at a local hideaway, Kasbah Toubkal that boasts majestic views of the High Atlas. This is our Top Tour from Marrakech selected for active travelers who want a combination of adventure and exploration of local culture.
Ourika Valley Tour - Discover the Ourika Valley on this One Day Tour from Marrakesh. Moving through the valley you will visit Setti Fatma’s Waterfalls, a favorite weekend resort of many Moroccans appreciated for its beautiful streams and waterfalls. Enjoy views of high green terraces, Atlas peaks, villages in the rocky foothills from the seven waterfalls that surround the village. Trek along the pretty trails and, climb the walls to see rock carvings. Lunch near the Setti Fatma Cascades in a traditional Moroccan restaurant, or have a picnic. This is our Top Tour from Marrakech selected for active travelers who want a combination of adventure and exploration through Berber Villages.
Ourigane Valley Tour - Discover the Berber Valley of Ourigane, the Tinmel Mosque and charming villages on this One Day Tour from Marrakech. Nestled in the tranquil foothills of the High Atlas Mountains in the heart of the Toubkal National Park is the charming and quaint Berber village region of Ourigane. Ourigane boasts magnificent views of the High Atlas range along with out door activities ranging from hiking, walking, horse-riding and mountain biking. A wide variety of birdlife awaits you. Located on the valley floor of the Oued ‘River’ Nfis, Ourigane is situated 1,000 meters above sea level. Visit the Tinmel Mosque and if time allows the ancient Jewish Zaouia.
For more information about Tours from Marrakech 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 April 17, 2016 at 12:00 AM||comments (1)|
If you want discover the interior of Morocco with other kindred female spirits then consider visiting Morocco on a private tour crafted Just For Women. Morocco Traveler has launched a comprehensive tour that offers women travelers an enchanting journey to experience to Morocco's Imperial Cities and the great South along with the the coastal region of Essaouira. Our Just For Women Tours are an intimate group of 8-10 travelers and hand curated with the option to explore Morocco for 10, 12 or 14 Days. Morocco’s heritage offers women travelers an encounter with an exotic society, new customs, an incomparable cuisine, and a shopper’s paradise of magnificent markets.
On Morocco Traveler's Just For Women Tour, you will Roam Like Royalty Through Morocco’s Imperial Cities. This Boutique Tour is created for women by women to experience the wonders of Morocco. We’ll visit breathtaking architectural sites, majestic palaces, glorious houses of worship, opulent gardens, see traditional Moroccan crafts being made by local artisans, and shop a dazzling array of unique and enticing marketplaces. We’ll enjoy exquisite cuisine and elegant accommodations all along the way of this magical voyage. Included in the Just For Women itinerary is a henna party and a ceramics workshop in Fes, an Exotic Cooking Workshop, a Hot Air Balloon ride over Marrakesh’s Atlas Mountains, Camel Trekking on the Beach in Essaouira, Spas and Hammams, Visits to Women's Cooperatives, Wine Tastings, and more from our Morocco Travel Experts. All overnights at luxurious riads & boutique hotels.
Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
The medieval medina of Fes
Fes Food Tour Private
Henna Party Arabian Nights Dinner in the Sahara
Spa indulgence in Marrakech
Cooking class in Marrakech
Moroccan Tea Ceremony
Yves St. Laurent’s Garden in Marrakech
Wine & Cheese Tasting in
Essaouira Optional 5 day extension package to the Sahara Desert
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 9, 2016 at 6:55 AM||comments (0)|
The best way to see Morocco is with a Moroccan Guide. Exploring Morocco with expert licensed Moroccan guides who will help you navigate Morocco's old medina Andalusian gardens, vibrant souks, monuments, and mosques enables you to experience an insiders view of the country. Having an experienced Moroccan guide during a tailor-made Morocco Tour is key to discovering the best Morocco has to offer. Hiring licensed historical guides who are multilingual is essential. Making sure your historical guide is fluent in English, Arabic, Berber, and French will make for a more rewarding trip to Morocco. If you are considering visiting the Imperial Cities along with the great South and Sahara Desert region a Berber guide will enhance your experience given the people in the rural regions in between and the South speak primarily Berber. While Moroccan Arabic and French are spoken widely in the Imperial Cities, the main langugage in Morocco's South, Desert region and rural Berber Villages is Berber, also referred to as Tamazight. If you are visiting Morocco and your native language is not English or French then locating a expert, licensed Moroccan guide that is fluent in your langugage such as Russian, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese is important. Travel agencies that offer private tours are the ideal place to inquire about licensed Moroccan Guides that are multi-lingual. The best expert, licensed historical guides in Morocco offer insight about Moroccan history, culture, local sites, and monuments. A professional licensed, expert historical guide is also a good listener and capable of answering almost any questions about Morocco that you may have. Licensed Morocco historical guides also carry an official license that looks similar to a drivers license. All official licensed guides authorized to enter the old medinas of Morocco and take trips with guests must receive an official license from the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism. As an independent traveler if you book a Moroccan Guide on your own and not through a Moroccan travel agency, it's best to ask for the license number or official identity card of your guide.
There are Two Types of Historical Guides in Morocco Moroccan Historical Guides are delineated by two different descriptions and authorizations by the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism.
#1: National Licensed Guides in Morocco
#2: Local, Licensed Guides in Morocco National Guides have a National License and are authorized to tour the entire country of Morocco with private couples, families, and groups. Local Morocco Historical Guides have a license to host private couples, families and groups only in the city where they have obtained their license. For this reason, reputable travel agencies offer local licensed, expert guides for private couples, families, and small groups to enable them to complement their tour with an expert, licensed tourism driver to reduce costs. For larger tours, Moroccan travel agencies use National Licensed Guides. Private Tours can opt for a National Licensed Guide upon request if they are interested in having a National Guide accompany them for the entire Morocco tour. Whether you are planning a trip to Morocco on your own as an independent travelers or planning a tailor-made-tour through a travel agency the key part of your tour is to make sure you are going to be hosted by a multi-lingual licesned Moroccan Guide as to guarantee you have a trip of a lifetime.
For more information about Tours to Morocco with a Licensed Guide 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