|Posted by Alecia Cohen on May 5, 2020 at 10:45 AM||comments (120)|
A Morocco Family Tour should rank high on your bucket list. Morocco is a family-friendly country that offers a wide range of activities and popular tours that makes for easy family travel with those who have children of varied ages. Morocco's sandy beaches and blue, jeweled coast stretch for miles across the country. Its mountain ranges in both the High and Middle Atlas are perfect for trekking by foot, exploring by a donkey, or settling down by a stream for a picnic lunch. Morocco's exotic medinas are a shopper’s paradise of colorful hand-made crafts and cuisine, such as Berber carpets, lanterns, baboosh slippers, textiles, caftan’s, teapots and sweets, all surrounded by stunning gardens and hidden alleys for the entire family to explore. Popular Morocco family tour activities range from hiking, trekking, a hot air balloon ride over the Atlas, sandboarding, quad riding, sand skiing, lunch with a Berber family, and exotic food tours, held in UNESCO Fes and Marrakech’s famous Djemaa El Fna Square at sunset. Families interested in historic activities can visit Morocco's spectacular Art and Photography museums, Andalusian and Moorish gardens, along with UNESCO Heritage sites, monuments, mosques, and Jewish Heritage Sites. Families traveling to Morocco are guaranteed a safe and enriching experience.
A 10-Day Family Tour tailor-made to include the vibrant and colorful city of Marrakech, the High Atlas Mountain region, camel riding, sandboarding, and quad riding in the Sahara Desert, along with visits to the UNESCO Heritage Site, Ait Ben Haddou, and the Atlas Film Studios. This tailor-made family vacation includes stays at traditional Morocco riads and guest houses that are quaint and filled with charm, serve excellent local cuisine, and offer a mix of courtyards, gardens, and some with a rural setting. Families can take a Hot Air Balloon Ride over the Atlas Mountains and sip tea and eat couscous with a Berber family. A family tour to Morocco would not be complete without a Marrakech food tasting tour at sunset in Djemaa el Fna Square. Tasting Moroccan delicacies in the back streets and seeing live snake charmers and monkeys plays into the hands of an exotic Medieval carnival. This 10-Day Morocco family tour is perfect for families who have children that are 9 years or older.
A-One week-long family vacation to Morocco for active family travel, designed for those looking for family fun in Marrakech's medina, visiting bustling souks and market places, majestic palaces along with hiking and zip lining across the Atlas Mountains. The highlight of this family tour is the camel trek in the Sahara Desert across the Erg Chebbi Dunes to an Oasis, music, and dinner Arabian Nights style by the campfire and an overnight in a Bedouin tent. A private henna party and lunch with a Berber family along with zellige tile design pottery making are also part of this Morocco family holiday adventure. This One-Week Morocco family tour is perfect for families who have children ranging from 6 years and are well-traveled.
Embarking on a 5-Day Sahara Desert Safari from Marrakech is the perfect family tour with those who have a limited amount of time as the result of school and holiday schedules. This Sahara Desert Safari Private Tour includes stays at stylish and Boutique Riads and Guest Houses, an overnight in a Luxury Desert Camp, time in the Skoura Palm Groves, Berber Villages, visits of Morocco's Historic Kasbahs, Camel Trekking in the Erg Chebbi Dunes and the option to Hike in the Dades Valley Region. Perfect for families seeking adventure from Marrakech.
Souks of Morocco
The Souks and markets are a major feature in Moroccan life and what better way to explore them to the fullest then on a 10-Day Family Adventure. Each of Morocco's Imperial cities has a special souk quarter. Villages in the countryside also have local souks which are usually held one day each week in an open field or outside the town's kasbah walls. Large cities like Marrakesh and Fès have labyrinths of individual souks (each filling a street or square that is devoted tone particular craft). On this Souks of Morocco Family Tour Adventure, you will explore the medinas of Marrakesh, Fès, Chefchaouen, and Ouarzazate. These Moroccan cities are famous for their beautiful souks that sell handicrafts and some of Morocco's best food delicacies. Our Souks of Morocco Family tour lays the ground for a food tasting in the souks that starts with dates, juices, fresh-baked bread's, honey's, olives, and for the adventurous foodie families sheep's head. The Souks offer up some of the best leatherware, locally made handicrafts, carpets, pottery, wood carvings, and traditional dress (djellabas). The Souks of Morocco Family Tour will provide an insider's view of where locals shop for fresh meat, vegetables, household goods, and other items that Americans for example, purchase at Wal-Mart or Target. In the countryside, families will visit weekly souks (markets) which will lend to a richer understanding of Morocco's Berbers and rural culture.
A 12 -Day Morocco Family Arabian Nights Tour to Morocco's Imperial Cities, the Sahara Desert, and the Atlantic Coast. Families seeking a fascinating and adventurous private tour for first-time travelers to Morocco will discover Casablana's Grand white mosque and basque in the Moroccan sun. This 1001 Arabian Nights tour will off complimentary visits to Coastal Rabat, a medina sunset walk, and a journey to Fes, one of the oldest medieval cities in the world. Families will venture in a 4x4 across the Middle Atlas Mountain region to the Sahara Desert to see glorious sunsets just before dusk as you camel trek through the Erg Chebbi Dunes, the highest and most golden in Morocco, overnight under the Moroccan stars. An off-road trip is part of this Morocco family adventure where you will discover the old road of the caravans via the 19th-century trade routes, walk through the mazes of beautiful Kasbahs, and take an excursion to the Valley of Roses and the Dades Gorge. This family tour would not be complete without one of the most important off-road trips in the country where you will visit the region of Bouthgrar and enjoy a tea ceremony with Nomads in caves. Your Sahara guide and Berber driver will be your private escort throughout this trip as your family becomes modern-day explorers in the South discovering the vast valley's palm groves, the medina's of Marrakech and the Atlantic Coastal town of Essaouira.
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on September 5, 2016 at 11:55 AM||comments (1)|
The city of Marrakech was Voted the World's Top Holiday Destination by TripAdvisor. Marrakech is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and is a three hour drive from High Atlas Mountains. The location of Marrakech makes it ideal for taking Sahara Desert Tours and Private Day Trips for travelers whose schedule allows for a limited time in the country. Ideally positioned an hour from Spain and three hours from Paris, the locale of Marrakech and its contrasting landscape has made it a top destination for Morocco Travelers. There are a vareity of Desert Adventure Tours to the Sahara from Marrakech to choose from. For travelers who have a liimited amount of time some options are a 3-Day, a 4-Day or a 5-Day Sahara Desert Tour. Visitors that have a longer timeframe can instead choose a Tailor Made Tour.
Our Top Recommendation for a 4-Day Sahara Desert Morocco Adventure Tour Itinerary is:
Day 1: Departure from Marrakech to Ouarzazate via the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass. Along the route you will see panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains as well as sights of fertile valleys, blue and red colored pise villages and other striking mineral environments. Visit Kasbah Telout, one of Morocco’s hidden jewels and a famous Kasbahs that is the origin of the Pacha Glaoui Family. Continue to the Skoura Palmeraie. Overnight in Skoura at a Charming Boutique Riad.
Day 2: Explore Skoura and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. Visit the Valley of Roses. Next, drive towards the Sahara Desert. Visit Erfoud, the capital of fossils. Tea in Mount Mgoun with Nomads. Continue to the Erg Chebbi Dunes. Trek by dromedary for 2 Hours before sunset. Arabian Nights dinner and couscous. Overnight in a Luxury Desert Camp.
Day 3: Travel by pise across the Sahara Desert. Continue the towards Rissani. Continue to Rissani for a breadbaking lesson on Madfouna. Next continue to a Berber Village. Sip Mint tea and eat Couscous with a Berber family. Next take the road to Ouarzazate. Overnight at a Charming Boutique Riad in Ouarzazate. Day
4: Travel to the Oasis of Fint. Visit this Oasis which is reached by off road pise. Then continue to visit the Atlas and Cinema Studios in Ouarzazate. Enjoy a guided historical tour of Ait Benhaddou. Located 32 km from Ouarzazate lies the picturesque village. Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here along with dozens of other Hollywood films. Many refer to Ouarzazate, as the Hollywood of Morocco. part of the village was rebuilt. After visiting Ait Benhaddou, return to Marrakech T
he 4-Day Top Sahara Desert Holiday Tour From Marrakech Includes: Transport in 4x4 Land Cruiser with an English, Multilingual Speaking Driver/ Guide Accommodations Daily at Charming Guest Houses Overnight in Luxury Desert Camp with Arabian Nights Dinner & Music Celebration Overnight with views of the Dades Valley Hiking Excursion to the Todra Gorge Sunset Camel Trek with Berber Camel Guide Lunch with a Berber Family Other Top Desert Tours Advetnure Tours from Marrakech: 3 Day Sahara Desert Tour from Marrakech 4 Day Sahara Desert Tour from Marrakech 5 Day Sahara Desert Tour from Mararkech
For more information on a Sahara Desert Safari or Desert Adventure 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 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 October 19, 2015 at 7:35 AM||comments (62)|
Journey beyond Marrakech for a New Years Luxury Desert Trip. Take the entire family on a Sahara Desert Safari to Morocco's Great South and experience the highlights of Morocco. Visit Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Lawrence of Arabia was Filmed Here. Explore Morocco’s natural wonder, the grand Dades Valley, sunset camel trek across the Erg Chebbi Dunes as an Arabian Nights Dinner and Berber Music at a Luxury Desert Camp awaits you. Go off road to Mount Mgoun and Sip Tea with Nomads. Have Lunch with a Berber Family in the Saghro Mountain Region and participate in a henna party designed just for you. A Morocco Desert Tour is not without adventure unless you discover the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs in Skoura and stay in boutique, Moroccan riads and guest houses. A Grand Sahara Desert adventure tour to Morocco awaits you. Travel Exploration's detailed experiential and family travel itineraries for visiting Morocco are outlined on our website and for desert adventurers who want to take a Sahara Desert Safari to Morocco for New Years our trip is featured here:
Morocco New Years Desert Trip: A Sahara Desert Safari for the entire Family: Day 1: Journey Beyond Marrakech via the Tizzin' Tichka Mountain pass to visit Kasbah Telouet - Kasbah of the Pasha Glaoui, and Ait Benhaddou Ksar before driving via the palmeraie to Skoura. Take the road to Ouarzazate. During your journey to Ouarzazate you will also pass the olive groves of the Oued Zat, as you ascend onto the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass Road. Built by the French in the 1920’s, the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass can be described as having mountainous barriers, Mediterranean and oceanic influences and desert borders. Along the route you will see panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains as well as sights of fertile valleys, blue and red colored pise villages and other striking mineral environments. En route stop for lunch and visit the 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. Have a complimentary tasting. This cooperative is run entirely by women. Go by piste to visit Kasbah Telout, one of Morocco’s hidden jewels and a famous Kasbahs that is the origin of the Pacha Glaoui Family. Kasbah Telout is hidden among a tiny road in a small village that is 20 minutes outside Tichka. Its history stands alone with its original zellij tile, authentic, preserved silks and grand remnants of the Glaoui family. Telouet was once an important stop on the Southern Caravan route for traders carrying spices, slaves and other commodities. Telouet’s Kasbah also known as Dar Glaoui once served as the royal headquarters and residence of the Glaoui tribe. Until Morocco’s independence in 1956, the Glaoui had power in the central Moroccan and French administration. Continue the road to Ouarzazate. Visit Aït Benhaddou Kasbah. Ait Benhaddou Kasbah is located 32 km from Ouarzazate. Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah; and for Jesus of Nazareth the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. Continue to Skoura, the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs. Overnight at a Boutique Riad in Skoura.
Day 2: Visit Skoura and the Palmerie of one-thousand Kasbahs before driving through the magnificent Valley of Roses onto the Dades Valley and Dades Gorge. Visit the Skoura palmeraie and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. The “Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs” and Skoura palmeraie is a fertile oasis lined with immense palm groves that provide great views of the Atlas Mountains alongside deserted landscapes. The palm groves were laid out in the 12th century by the Almohad sultan Yacoub el-Mansour and named after its original inhabitants, the Berbers of the Haskourene tribe. The most beautiful kasbahs in southern Morocco can be found here. Many of them are still partially inhabited. Continue towards the perfumed Valley of Roses, just north of El Kelaa Des Mgouna. On the way to the Valley of Roses, your driver will stop for you to view the Capp et Floral distillation factories laid out in the small Kasbah town that manufacture the entire nations products of eau de rose. The rose water and other products such as hand and body soaps, oil, crème perfume and dried flowers are for sale and also popular among Moroccans. The factories produce 3000-4000 petals a year. Visit Mount Mgougn and Sip Tea with Nomads in their rural cave. The Valley of Nomads is filled with cave dwellers who have lived in the Mgoun region for centuries. Your journey will then take you through the Dadès Valley, which covers 125 km between Ouarzazate and Boumalne du Dadès in the High Atlas Mountains. Overnight at a Boutique Guest House in the Dades Valley.
Day 3: Dades Valley morning exploration before visiting the the Todra Gorge and it's large canyon en route to the Erg Chebbi dunes located in the heart of the Merzouga Sahara Desert. Take the road to Merzouga. En route visit Erfoud, the capitol of fossils and the town of Rissani. Rissani is a Sahara desert town that is from the ancient Alawi Dynasty and the birthplace of King Mohammed VI, the current King of Morocco. Visit the old Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Sharif, the first King of the Alawi Dynasty. Next visit Maison Taureg House and then the old Ksar of Rissani. Continue to Khemlia where you will visit Sudanese- Berber Gnaoua Trance musicians, Moroccan village. The Musicians of Khemlia have been living in this remote village for a century and perform 100 year-old Gnaoua Trance music songs. Spend an hour listening to Gnaoua Trance music using old world instruments by these Sudanese Berber Musicians. Tea is served and then there is an option to explore their village. Arrive in Merzouga’s Erg Chebbi Dunes before sunset, and then go by dromedary at sunset into the Erg Chebbi Dunes to a bivouac camp. Your Tuareg guide will share some of the Sahara Deserts’ secrets. As you glide across humpback on these silent, mystical dunes there will be countless opportunities to photograph the endless rolling dunes. Arabian Nights Dinner and Spend the night in a Luxury Desert Camp.
Day 4: Merzouga Departure for Ait Ouzzine, Nkob Berber Village where you will enjoy lunch with a Berber family, participate in a private henna party and discover how traditional families live in this mountain and desert region. Aït Ouzzine, just minutes outside Nkob 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. This peaceful village is tucked away along an impressive desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani. Meet a local Berber family; partake in a cooking lesson of how to make traditional bread and a tajine. Explore and tour the village by foot. Walk in the green fields and see how the traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, livestock, and henna plants. Sip tea with the Berbers in the Saghro Mountains and enjoy a traditional Berber lunch. The menu will include a traditional meal of fresh baked bread with spices and a chicken and vegetable tajine or couscous and fresh local fruits for desert. After lunch, you can have your hands and feet painted with henna or your hair adorned with saffron by a local village artist and relaxes. Experience the tradition of Berber perfume made from musk and amber along with the villages own spices. End the afternoon in Ait Ouzzine with mint tea and almonds. Overnight at a Boutique Riad in Ouarzazate. Day
5: Drive from Ouarzazate via the Ounilla Valley and Tizzin' Tichka Pass back to Marrakech. Visit the Oasis of Fint passing the "Plateau de pierres". On this road you will find a shining Oasis of palms. Visit the Oasis of Fint that hovers under the Atlas Mountains. Journey on a one-hour walk inside the Oasis where you will have a cup of tea with the headmaster’s family Azziz Ouaziz and tour the surrounding area where date palm oases and dramatic desert scenery are king. Next journey to the Atlas Film Studios. The studios are flanked by Holly-wood style Egyptian figures and cover 30,000 sq. m of desert. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at The Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery. International blockbusters shot here in recent years include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawke Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara. Return to Marrakech. A Sahara Desert Safari New Years Trip for the entire family.
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on October 9, 2015 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
Morocco is the perfect family destination as it offers a unique blend of cultural and adventure experiences for families looking for an educational and active holiday. The combination of Morocco's grand Sahara Desert, old world souks, and mountain regions offer a pure and relaxed setting. On Travel Exploration Morocco's Family Adventure Tour you will visit luscious food markets and fanciful bazaars, zip line across Morocco's High Atlas, camel trek in the Sahara Desert, take a hot air balloon ride, learn how to make a Moroccan tajine and meet a Berber family. Moroccans are wonderful hosts and family oriented which makes the country ideal for family travel. Visitors who take their families to Morocco for an Adventure vacation with Travel Exploration always report back saying it was the best vacation ever! Morocco Family Adventure Vacations are ideal for parents who want to have the responsibility for planning a family holiday out of their hands to be passed along to a Morocco travel planner and agent who will take care of the details. At Travel Exploration you are guaranteed to receive a hand curated itinerary that is fit for the entire family.
Our family vacations to Morocco are private tours geared around each family's interests. A private, English Speaking driver is provided along with luxury transportation for the entire family in 4x4 land cruisers or other comfortable vehicle suitable for Imperial City and Desert travel. Each Morocco family tour also includes stays at boutique riads and hotels that are well appointed in the old cities, family friendly and ideal for travelers to Morocco in all seasons. Imagine a Morocco Private Tour where your entire family can have an authentic experience in their own private four wheel drive vehicle. Venture through the alleys of Morocco's ancient medinas (cities) surrounded by exotic smells of the spices, olives, food markets, fresh baked bread and the sound of the muezzin call each day at prayer time. Discover a Souk Tasting Tour in Fez where you will visit a bread oven, try honeys, juices, dried fruits, soups, meats and other exotic flavors found on the streets of Fes. Visit palaces and gardens set inside the walls of UNESCO Fes.
Quad bike across the Sahara Desert Camel Trek across the magnificent Erg Chebb Dunes in the heart of Merzouga, then overnight in a charming Berber Desert Camp with a 1001 Arabian Nights dinner fireside with drumming and desert music. Visit the Skoura Palmeraie and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. Explore Morocco's Oasis of Fint and have Tea at the Head Master's house just foot steps outside Ouarzazate, the Hollwood of Morocco. Take an adventure ride by piste to the Atlas Film Studios where Kundun, Kingdom of Heaven, Body of Lies, Cleopatra and the Game of Thrones were filmed. Dine on couscous and bread bake with a Berber family in the heart of the Draa Valley, known for over 45 qualities of date. Continue on to more popular regions through snow capped mountain passes. Walk in the footsteps of Morocco's ancestors to discover Ait Benhadd Ksar
Drift through the majestic Atlas Mountains and the Tizzin' Tichka Mountain Pass where Moroccan families Berber and Jewish have lived nestled in Kasbah fortresses and old Ksars for centuries. Then continue onto Marrakech for the a popular city experience and memorable part of a Family Adventure tour where you will witness an evening of acrobats and fire throwers at the medieval carnival in Djemaa El Fna Square under the Moroccan stars. Embark on Tasting all of Marrakech as you enjoy a five course traditional tasting menu guided by locals. End your visit on the Essaouira Coast which is full of blue washed color and seaside views. Horseback ride with views on the Atlantic and Portugese Ramparts.
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on August 31, 2015 at 5:25 PM||comments (1)|
Ouarzazate became famous when it’s nearby Kasbah; Aït Benhaddou appeared in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. This spellbinding quiet town is the perfect home base for exploring the southern region of Morocco which is comprised of ancient Kasbahs, the Dadès Valley, the Gorge of Todra, the Atlas Films Studios, the Skoura Palmeraie along with the Sahara Desert regions of Merzouga, Zagora and M’hamid / Erg Chigaga. On a private tour from Ouarzazate there are many site seeing opportunities ranging from visiting the historic Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Kasbah Taourirt, open air forts Atlas landscapes to the the Valley of Roses and Erg Chebbi Sand dunes.
Ouarzazate is often referred to as a city “without noise” and is a direct translation of its name. This dusty Sahara town has immense desert charm and is the Hollywood of Morocco. Ouarzazate’s unique combination arid and dry North African landscapes boast stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. Ouarzazate was once the leading administrative city in the region and was purely developed for this purpose by the French during colonization. As the region of the South expanded, Tinghir and Errachidia, became a provinces with Ouarzazate losing its name as a hub for administrative purposes.
“See Ouarzazate and die” are feelings often expressed by Moroccans with regards to this magical city that is the door to the Sahara desert. Located just four hours from Marrakesh, Ouarzazate is the main Berber city in the south. It is also known for its spectacular sunsets and dramatic mountain and desert scenery. Surrounded by breathtaking valleys, Ouarzazate was once crossing point for African traders seeking to reach northern cities in Morocco and Europe. During the French period, Ouarzazate expanded considerably as a garrison town and became the administrative centre of the Zagora region. As a diverse region Ouarzazate offers various site seeing opportunities ranging from the Atlas Film Studios, the CLA Film Studios, the Oasis of Fint, Ancient Ksars and Kasbahs along with Berber Villages.
What to Visit in the Region of Ouarzazate:
Atlas Film Studios/ The Oscar Film Studios are flanked by Holly-wood style Egyptian figures and cover 30,000 square meters of desert. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at The Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery. International blockbusters shot here in recent years include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawke Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara along with the series Game of Thrones. Most of the filming takes place in the desert in the south however you can view the Tibetan monastery featured in Scorese’s Kundan and an Egyptian temple from Cleopatra.
CLA Film Studios was established in 2004 in partnership with Dino de Laurentis, Cinectittà and Sanam Holding. CLA Studios is open daily to travelers visiting Ouarzazate and the ideal place to see a combination of costumes, props, film sets other movie items used in major independent films and television productions. CLA studios is surrounded by varied landscapes, from desert to oasis. Renowned directors like David Lean, Bernardo Bertolucci, Martin Scorsese, Ridlye or Oiliver Scott Stone, chose to film at CLA Studios for its location. Films and television series shot at CLA Studios range from Lawrence of Arabia, The Sheltering Sky, Black Hawk Down, Kundum, Gladiator, The Mummy 1 and 2, Alexander the Great, The Kingdom of Heaven, Sahara, Troy, Exorcist 1 and 2, Hidalgo and Babel.
Ancient Moroccan Ksars & Kasbahs Ait Benhaddou Ksar is located 32 km from Ouarzazate lies the picturesque village. Aït Benhaddou of Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss Massa Draa on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah; and for Jesus of Nazareth the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. In recent years more controlled restoration has been carried out under UNESCO auspices. Aït Benhaddou is one of many locations in this region used for shooting Hollywood films.
Kasbah Taouirt was was built by the Pasha Glaoui. Kasbah Taouirt’s location was strategic for trading routes and in the 1930’s when the Glaoui ruled the South it was then one of Morocco’s largest Kasbahs. Explore its nooks and crannies and discover some local female painters who sell their art inside as well as the many quality silver shops just steps outside the Kasbah. Kasbah Tifoultoute is an ancient Kasbah (fortress) in Ouarzazate located 8 kilometers West of the city. Kasbah Tifoultoute once belonged to the family of Thami El Glaoui, the Pasha of Marrakech. The kasbah of Tifoultoute served as decor for films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Jesus of Nazareth. There is a stunning view from the terrace of the Atlas Mountains.
Berber Villages: The Berbers are the original inhabitants of Morocco. The Berbers once occupied much of North Africa before they were persecuted and driven out or into the mountain ranges by the Arabs who came from Yemen in the 7th Century. One-third of Moroccans are Berber and live in the mountains, in villages within the Middle-Atlas and within remote areas of Morocco. Today, most Berbers understand and speak Arabic but their primary language is Berber. During a private tour to Morocco you can visit Berber villages in the High Atlas, the Middle Atlas or Anti-Atlas Mountain regions of Morocco. Within the Berber Villages you can visit old ksars, have lunch with a Berber family, and also learn about their village life. Ait Ouzine is a small village of 1200 inhabitants nestled within the Middle Atlas Mountains. Aït Ouzzine-Nkob 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. This peaceful village is tucked away along an impressive desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani. On a private tour, travelers can meet a local Berber family, sip tea in the Saghro Mountains, and dine on couscous.
Sahara Desert Regions: Merzouga is a small village in Southern Morocco which is home to the highest and most gold dunes called Erg Chebbi. Merzouga is located in the Moroccan Sahara Desert and has the largest underground natural body of water. It's Erg Chebbi dunes are the most visited by Moroccan tourists who want a majestic and authentic Sahara experience for camel trekking and desert camping. M’Hamid El Ghizlane is the last Oasis in the Great Sahara Desert and historically where caravans gathered before setting off on journeys to Timbuktu. M’Hamid is also referred to as Bounou which historically was a village of various Southern tribes such as the Ait Atta Berbers, Drawa and the Hassani. Zagora is referred to as the "direct door to the Sahara” since it is the last town before one reaches the heart of the Dunes of Tinfo, M’hamid and Erg Chegaga also known as Erg Chigaga. Erg Chegaga (Erg Chigaga) is one of the two major regions of dunes in the Sahara Desert, the other being Erg Chebbi of Merzouga. These dunes are located in the region referred to as the Sous-Mass- Draa and approximately 50 kilometers west of M'Hamid El Ghizlane and 98 kilometers south of Zaogra. Erg Chegaga remains virgin and an untouched region of Morocco and can be reached only by 4x4 land cruiser or camel trekking on a private tour to Morocco.
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on May 1, 2015 at 6:45 AM||comments (0)|
Although, compared to neighbouring Algeria, Morocco has only a fraction of the Great Sahara Desert within its territory, yet Morocco offers the safest and best-organized access to the Sahara of the whole of North Africa. Whether you want a quick glimpse of the magnificent dunes on camelback, the thrill of sand boarding down the dunes, an overnight experience under the vast starry skies in a nomad's tent, or a longer excursion to explore the expanse of the dune complex and the people who inhabit it, Morocco has it all. There is nowhere else where you could be in some of Africa's highest snow-tipped mountain ranges and in the depth of the sandy expanses of the desert in the same day. And your trip to Morocco’s Great Deserts will take you through centuries-old oases on route. Along the way, you will meet local nomads and villagers whose families have worked this land and survived its hardships for generations. Morocco lies on the northwesterly tip of the African continent with a long Atlantic coast. This coast runs approximately southwest to northeast. Almost parallel to the coast, behind the fertile plains of Morocco's principal rivers, are the Atlas Mountain ranges (from north to south, the Middle, High and Anti-Atlas). The Sahara desert begins in the foothills of these mountains on their eastern (interior) side. Sandwiched between the mountains and the Algerian border are the principle dune regions of Morocco. Further south, the Sahara meets the ocean where Sahara cities Laayoune and Ad Dakhla are known for their sandy dunes, unique flora, bird life and beaches.
Starting in the north, the most frequently visited dune network is at Erg Chebbi, near the towns of Rissani and Merzouga. Erg Chebbi's dunes are the largest in Morocco, with some reaching around 150m in height. They cover an area of 50km (31 miles) from north to south and are about 5-10 km (3-6 miles) across. This area is easily accessible from Fes (via the Middle Atlas). A longer drive from Marrakech, takes visitors via the spectacular Tiz n'Tichka pass and the city of Ouarzazate or the stunning Dades Valley. This accessibility and the size of the dunes have meant that the infrastructure around the dunes at Erg Chebbi is very well developed, both in terms of desert bivouacs, luxury desert camps and guesthouses and hotels. This is great for those visitors who want a convenient way to see the desert on a tight itinerary, but those with more time or who seek to explore the Sahara in greater depth may prefer a more remote destination. Further south, and also reached via Ouarzazate (but this time via the beautiful Drâa Valley and its date palm oases and ancient defensive kasbahs) are the desert areas around Zagora and M'Hamid. At Zagora, you can see the famous sign indicating "TOMBOUCTOU 52 JOURS," ("52 days to Timbuktu"), which gives an indication of the importance of the desert and this region in particular for the camel caravans and trade routes of the past. Today, Zagora is a popular starting point for trips on camelback into the Sahara. The landscape here is flatter, although there are dunes at Tinfo, and near the town agriculture is relatively well developed, giving a different desert experience. Erg L'Houdi (meaning the Dunes of the Jews) and Erg Ezahaar (the Screaming Dunes) are respectively one or four days' camel ride from M'Hamid, which is itself around 100km (60 miles) further along the Drâa Valley towards the Algerian border. The paved road ends here. M'Hamid feels much more like a nomadic outpost. Being much more remote, this area is considerably less visited and many of the local sites of interest, such as sacred springs, ancient zaouias (sites of religious pilgrimage in honour of saints) and local Berber and nomadic villages are more easily (and comfortably) accessed in a 4x4 vehicle with an experienced guide. Being such an important region for trade and artisans, the area between Zagora and M'Hamid features some interesting historical and cultural sites, such as the village of Amezrou - base of former Jewish silversmiths with an Ancient Jewish Mellah - and Tamagroute, with its pottery cooperative, zaouia and Koranic Library.
The last of the four main dune networks is Erg Chegaga, between M'Hamid, 50km (30 miles) west of the town towards the settlement of Foum Zguid. After Erg Chebbi, these are the second most popular dune destination. Erg Chegaga has the highest dunes in this southerly area, but they are still considerably lower than the dunes at Erg Chebbi to the north. A favourite activity is to scramble to the top of the dunes in time for sunrise over the Sahara. Running uphill on sand is not an easy task, so this is an activity for early risers only! Many visitors to Morocco manage to fit in an overnight stay under canvas or in a Kasbah-style hotel at one of the main dunes areas of Erg Chebbi or Erg Chegaga. However, for the more adventurous or those wishing really to escape the distractions of the modern world, the trip down to south to Morocco’s Great Deserts and also to M'Hamid and beyond is certainly worthwhile. For those with less time, however, the larger dunes still offer the chance to get away from it all. And while a journey on camelback is certainly not the most luxurious in terms of comfort, it is unlike anything else! Climb aboard the "ship of the desert" and image the great trains of camels, which once crossed this magnificent sandy expanse, transporting gold, silver, and salt across the African continent! Written by Lynn Sheppard Lynn Sheppard has lived in Essaouira, on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast for more than 2 years, supporting local non-profits, writing and becoming an expert on all things Swiri (ie. Essaouiran). She blogs at Maroc-phile.com and for other travel industry clients.
For more information about Morocco's Great Sahara Desert 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
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on March 13, 2014 at 8:00 AM||comments (3)|
Merzouga Sahara Desert Camp[/caption] Travelers to Morocco are guaranteed a once in a lifetime experience as they head off in the Morocco's Desert Dunes. Morocco's Merzouga's Erg Chebbi Dunes boasts a variety of unique flora and fauna to explore along with its Desert villages which can be explored by camel or 4x4 wheel drive. Morocco offers a wide range of desert camps however there are only a handful of Luxury Desert camps to be found. Each part of Morocco's great Sahara desert has a few Luxury Desert camps that offer a worthwhile stay. Available exclusively through Travel Exploration Morocco is a Sahara Desert Luxury Camp situated southeast of the village of Merzouga.
Located just one hour drive from the city of Erfoud, our Luxury camp is in the heart of the impressive Saharan sand dunes, away from the areas visited by tourists. Merzouga's leading Luxury Desert camp can be experienced on on a one night or two night basis. Travelers who wish to stay at a Merzouga Luxury Desert camp can experience a camel trek in the Erg Chebbi Dunes that lasts for thirty minutes to an hour, have a three course dinner with option of wine under the stars and then overnight in luxury bivouac tent reminiscent of colonial times. The luxury tented camp consists of large bedroom tents and a big restaurant tent. The bedroom tents offer hotel room comfort and can comfortably accommodate a king size bed, a spacious double bed, or three wide single beds. Ensuite facilities include hot shower, WC, and sink.
The restaurant tent has five tables, and offers traditional meals prepared by our chef, and served by candlelight. The Private Luxury camp in Merzouga’s Erg Chebbi Dunes will be the highlight of your Moroccan experience. What else could be more memorable than a night under the stars after a sunset camel ride and a dinner next to the fire camp while entertained by a local folkloric band? Our isolated luxury Sahara desert camp is far more exclusive and private than the larger communal camps in Erg Chebbi. Running water is available, and electricity is supplied by a small generator installed at a distance from the camp. The camp is fully covered by colorful Berber carpets and cushions. Arrival to our camp is via a short camel ride. A special welcome is organized for our guests with welcome drinks and a local folkloric band. Our luxury Sahara desert camp is an adventure not to be missed if you want to get the right feeling of nomadic and rural Morocco!
For More Information about Luxury Sahara Desert Camps in Merzouga & Desert 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 May 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM||comments (1)|
When visiting the Morocco Sahara desert or Merzouga, M'hamid or Zagora you will be offered the option of a standard or luxury tent. When you go on a camel trek or by a 4X4 in the Moroccan Sahara there are many options of places to stay. There is a wide range of Standard bivouac camps, several top end Luxury Bivouac Camps and also Luxury Guest Houses all worth while of consideration.
Depending on the amount of time you want to stay in the desert and your desire for privacy it may be worth your while considering a luxury tent or bivouac. There are a number of standing camps and the luxury ones are private, usually for two or more people with superior furnishing and bedding , showers and a toilet and a tent or area for relaxing. Meals are provided. If you plan a romantic night under the stars (there are special honeymoon tents) or you want to enjoy the desert in comfort, this is for you, but the experience comes at a price. The campsites which offer luxury tents include Le Belle Etoille, Travel Exploration Morocco, Assou, Les Nomade and Le Red Sand Luxury Desert Camp. At these Morocco Sahara Desert Luxury camps the tents have been designed by top French interior designers. They have 6 tents of around 30 square meters. Each tent has its own bathroom (hot/cold running water) and toilets. This is a permanent camp offering tailor made excursions for relaxing, or more adventurous desert tourism with various sporting activities.
The Erg Chigaga Luxury Camp, can accommodate 16 people in 8 tents. The tents are spacious (25 sq m) with the highest quality mattresses, linen and pillows, whilst each tent is equipped with ‘wall-to-wall rugs’, solar-powered lighting and handcrafted furniture. Each tent has en suite facilities. For those seeking privacy, the Erg Chigaga Luxury Camp has two private camps each situated within a 15-minute walk from the main camp. Each camp consists of two luxury en suite tents and a separate relaxing tent, nestled in the dunes.
For those that want a trip deep into the Sahara desert and to sleep in a different locations each night, they have a nomadic camp for camel treks of 3 and 4 days’ duration. These are also privately run trips, with each camp accommodating between 2 and 4 guests. The nomadic camps are 'semi-luxury', with a comfortable bed and fresh linen, private bathroom, Moroccan lounge and cold drinks.
The standard berber tent is simply a tent to sleep in for the night without any other facilities. These may be out in the desert but most are in regular camping sites which have shared facilities showers and toilets.
The standard camps are large and shared with other tourists who often stay in local hotels and visit the campsite for a night out in the desert with a meal and entertainment with traditional music and dancing which can go on late into the night.
You need to make quite certain about what services and excursions are offered including a luxury or standard tent, meals, availability of bottled water excursions by camel or 4X 4 and pick up and drop for your onward journey. All this should be agreed beforehand so ask your travel agent to agree the details. If you are agreeing a deal either with a tour company in Marrakech or actually at Merzouga you need to confirm all the details very carefully before you pay for the trip. You can also stay in a desert camp near Marrakech in the Agafay area an hour’s drive from Marrakech if you do not have time to visit the desert locations in Merzouga, Zagora or M’hamid.
|Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM||comments (62)|
Merzouga is a small dusty town in Morocco about 450 miles from Marrakech and close to the Algerian border. Ouarzazate is the closest large town. Merzouga is 50 km from the town of Erfoud and Rissani. It is the gateway to the Moroccan desert. Merzouga lies in the heart of of Erg Chebbi, a 50km long and 5km wide set of sand dunes that reach up to 350m. The landscape constantly changes with the wind sweeping the dunes into new formations and the sun changing the colour of the sand at different times of the day turning from pink to gold to red. The Erg Chebbi is like the great Ergs accross the border in Algeria. The largest dunes are near Merzouga and Hassi Labied. At night, you only have to walk a little wayout into the sand, away from the light, to appreciate the immensity and clarity of the desert sky and the brilliance of the stars.
Tourists come to Merzouga to go camel trekking and to experience the quiet stillness and immensityof the desert and the stars at night followed by the sunrise and sunset which is an amazing experience. Local berber tribesman can peform dances and their traditional music and tourists can spend the night in tented camping areas sampling traditional Moroccan cuisine and music by the camp fire. Make sure you get a turban before setting out into the desert as protection from the heat and the dust.Carry a water bottle and ensure you secure the best bargains for your trips into the desert and pay attention to what is and is not provided. Merzouga has a number of guest houses and riads if spending the night in a bivouac is not your choice. There are about 50 guest houses of varying categories along the sand dunes, and most of them own camels and can arrange for an extended trek, bird watching and other Sahara activities. Other activities include trips into the desert by4X4 ,quad biking,hot air ballooning and sand skiing. You can bird watch around the Dayet Srji where there is a lake with flamingos. The Dayet Srji is a salt water lake and offers excellent bird viewing with lots of Egrets, Storks and Shelducks. The summer months from June to September Merzouga can very hot during the day,, temperatures average around 115 Fahrenheit (45 C) during the summer and it's obviously very dry. Nights in the desert do get much colder however and you'll need a good jacket and pullover even if it is swelteringly hot during the day. If you do visit Merzouga during summer months find a hotel with a swimming pool.In March and April there are sandstorms as the Sirocco whips up. The best time to visit is from October to February.
By Colin Kilkelly