Things To Do In Essaouira, Best of Morocco Travel Guide

June 28th, 2016
Essaouira, Portuguese Ramparts

Essaouira, Portuguese Ramparts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essaouira is the perfect excuse to head southwest of Marrakech to experience a one-of-a-kind coastal town in Morocco. Laid back with a hippy vibe, windswept Essaouira, also referred to as “old Mogador,” attracts the Bohemian types searching for an inspiring destination where a keen combination of savory cuisine, local markets, artisans and seaside walks can be found. For the last century, Essaouira has attracted artists, writers, architects, and surfers, those with wanderlust along with retirees who came for a stop over and decided to make it their home. This charmed Moroccan town is the ideal travel destination to independent travelers interested in discovering the insiders guide to coastal living.

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Essaouira’s medina is surrounded majestic stonewalls. Its tranquility, sandscapes and diverse population have made it a trendy summer getaway. In the ’60s and ’70s, Essaouira was a pit stop on the hippie trek from Marrakesh. Jimi Hendrix made the pilgrimage, as did Bob Marley and Cat Stevens. Essaouira was the inspiration for Hendrix’s song “Castles Made of Sand.” Home to some of Morocco’s best chefs, Essaouira’s unique combination of tasty local fare, fresh produce, and delightful markets created a Moroccan hub where foodies congregate.

Whether you are visiting Essaouira on a one-day trip from Marrakech or as part of a Private Tailor-Made Morocco Tour this ancient city and it’s white washed walls with painted cobalt blue shutters offers a wealth of history, old world architecture and culture that is not to be missed.

Essaouira’s History Says It All
The medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city, an example of a late-18th century fortified town. Essaouira’s history is a reminder of the times when Spain, Portugal and England fought to maintain control over its coasts. It has a typical Portuguese harbor that is a stunning example of Moorish and Portuguese architecture. Essaouira, originating from the Phoenician word Migdol meaning a “small fortress” was the first port in Morocco and once linked the country to the rest of the world. Since its foundation Essaouira has been known for its diverse ethnic groups of Amazighs, Arabs, Africans, and Europeans with a mix of Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Val D'Argan Vineyards, Essaouira

Val D’Argan Vineyards, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essaouira Things to Do
The medina of Essaouira and its ramparts are the essential place to begin your exploration and as time allows an excursion to a local winery or a fromagerie is also highly recommended.

Visit Place Moulay Hassan Take a stroll along the town’s sunlit pedestrian main square, Place Prince Moulay el Hassan and the Skala du Port, the fishing harbor, offers breathtaking views of the Portuguese ramparts. Explore the Portuguese ramparts and the spice souk, dozens of boutiques selling silver jewelry and the medina’s clock tower.

Visit Orson Welles’ Square and memorial, designed by Samir Mustapha, one of the towns artists, which pays homage to Orson Welles filming of Othello in Essouaria.

Thuya Workshops Indigenous to Essaouira is the Moroccan thuya tree. Only in this coastal town can travelers visit Skala de la Ville, also known as the woodworker’s souks. Intricately designed thuya wood items can be found hand laid and inset ebony, walnut and citrus wood. There is a prior tradition of artists harvesting their own wood. Today this ancient tradition has been abandoned. Many artist cooperatives offer the option to design and command on order tables and other objects with thuya. Don’t miss out on seeing how these small treasures are made.

Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah Musuem
This local historical and craft museum contains a wide variety of carpets, textiles, clothing, jewelry, metalwork, woodwork and historic photos. It is one of the few museums in Essaouira and definitely worth a visit.
Address: ‪Street Rue Laalouj‬

French Institute Part of a network of 12 institutes under the umbrella of the French Institutes in Morocco. While the French institutes aims to promote French language and culture it also offers concerts, cultural events, debates and exhibitions along with other cultural events. All are free of charge.
Address: 9 rue Med Diouri, Derb Laalouj

La Fromagerie, Essaouira

La Fromagerie, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Attractions

Domaine Val d’Argan, Excursion to a Local Winery
In 1994 Charles Melia created this boutique winery using organic farming methods, just a few kilometers from Essaouira. The Val d’Argan wine tasting is a perfect afternoon excursion from Essaouira and consists of a combination of many elegant offerings. The wine tasting can include a peppering of reds, rose, whites and Moroccan Gris, all consumed with local cheeses or the option of Moroccan lunch. As the result of Val d’Argan, Southern Morocco offers a new vintage each year that make up the wide range created from The Gazelle of Mogador, El Mogador, the Val d’Argan and Orients of the Val d’Argan. Many of the wines made at Val d’Argan can be purchased and are also offered at local restaurants in Morocco. Book in advance!
Address: Ounagha Phone: +212 5247-83467

La Fromagerie
Located on Route Cotiere de Safi, just 8 kilometers from Essaouira is Abderrazzak Khoubbane’s La Fromagerie. It is one of two fromageries in Morocco, the other being in the rural region of Fes. True to its name Abderrazzak runs a and farm to table restaurant with some of the best “cheese, cheese and more cheese.” The menu is prefixed unless you request a la carte. It consists of local organic wine, home made lightly fried cheese for an appetizer with sides of minty fruit jellies, then a hardy vegetable fresh cheese salad along with a main of Moroccan grilled / smoked meat and upon request a vegetarian, cheese tajine. For desert, a wooden plank is served up with various types of goat, cow and camel cheese. More then a meal, this is an experience.
Address: R301, Phone: + 212 666-233534

Horseback Riding in Diabat or Essaouira Proper
For a side-excursion within Essaouira consider a visit at Ranch de Diabat, located in the small village Diabat. Ranch de Diabat arranges tours of high quality with camels or horses – and it can be for 2 hours or it can be for several days. If your preference is to stay in Essaouira proper consider Equivasion.
Address: Douar Diabat n°6 Phone: +212 662-297203

Cooking Class, Essaouira

Cooking Class, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking Class with a Local
Go local. Explore authentic Moroccan at a private, home cooking class in Essaouira. Learn how to make the most delicious meal you will have in Morocco. You will be met by your local chef and experience an overview of Moroccan cuisine. Enjoy a medina walk to discover the spice market, the fish monger and the various kinds of local fresh produce available. Enjoy a demonstration of how Moroccan bread is made. Moroccan Meal Description: 
Prepare two Moroccan cooked salads, chicken and lemon tajine with preserved lemons and olives or pastilla, and fruit salad or pastilla with milk for desert. Participate in a Moroccan tea ceremony. Dine on the mouth-watering lunch that you prepared.

Jewish Essaouira, Where to Daven
Essaouira’s population is approximately 70,000 with fewer then 25 Jews.
Visit the Essaouira Jewish Synagogue & Mellah: Jacky Kadoch is the president of Essaouira’s Jewish community. Rabbi Chaim Pinto, the synagogue of the revered Pinto is located in Essaouira’s medina within the Jewish Mellah. The building is an active synagogue, used when pilgrims or Jewish tour groups visit the city. The synagogue is on the second floor of a three-story, courtyard building inside the walls of the old city that also contained Rabbi Pinto’s home and office. Essaouira’s mellah covers over 10 percent of the town, but Jews constituted almost 40 percent of the population in the late 1880’s. Jewish stars on the doors to the mellah show the degree to which Jews were accepted in Essaouira, to the point that some of the richer Jews did not even live in the mellah. Commemorative plaques indicate the buildings in which synagogues were located. Former inhabitants of Essaouira, most of them Jewish, formed a committee to rehabilitate the town. An important member of the committee is King Hassan II’s Economic Advisor, Andre Azoulay. The Jewish cemetery, just outside the city gates, is extremely well kept. The hiloula of Chaim Pinto is held in September.” Rabbi Chaim Pinto is buried there.

Sunset Cocktails
Taros
A great place for a pre or post dinner drink and to dine with views near to the sea. It caters to an International audience and has a full bar. Taros offer simple yet very tasteful dishes in a nice ambiance. The library of books on art, the small boutique and quality of music make having a meal here one of the perfect experiences for Essaouira.
Address: Place Moulay Hassan Phone: 212-524 47 64 07

Palais Heure Bleue
L’Heure Bleue Palais is built into the medina walls. This luxury boutique hotels is an oasis of calm and their piano bar with wrap around courtyard or rooftop terrace are ideal for sunset cocktails.
Address:Rue In Battouta Phone:+212 5247-83434

Ocean Vagbond
The perfect place for sunset cocktails this boutique restaurant and bar is laid back and oh so chic. The décor offers up a friendly reminder of being in Montauk. The Vagabond has a full view of the Atlantic along with horseback riders, camel trekkers and surfers who frequent the area. There is a sister property in Dakhla for those interested in heading down south.
Phone: +212-524-78-39-3

Le Chalet de La Plage
An Essaouira landmark this restaurant is on the seafront overlooking the beach. Ask for the daily fresh catch or their speciality of oysters, sea urnchins, prawns, squid or lobster. Add this to the list for sunset coctails with unobstructed ocean views.
Address: Blvd. Mohammed V

Essaouira Coastal Dining

Essaouira Coastal Dining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Eat

Umia
Ideally situated in Scala, the ramparts of Essaouira, Umia serves as the perfect stopover in the medina for lunch or dinner. The owner Bibi lends a hand to create unique dishes using local market products: Olive oils, Argan oil and Goat cheese. Umia’s cuisine can best be defined as an mélange of the large Mediterranean Basin: Greece, Lebanon, Morocco, Italy, but also the international gastronomy with French cuisine, Japanese or Asian. The Menu varies each week. You can anticipate full course size. From fillet of beef in crust of herbs laminated, Papillote of Saint Jacques crèmes to the coriander, the tajine of monkfish in the juice of bouillabaisse, the mouse of candied lamb, calamari stuffed with chorizo … It is impossible to leave Umia without desert as the Amlou ice cream with molten chocolate cake and thousand sheets pen-caramel salted butter is divine. 
Address: 26 rue Scala

One-Up
The Former owner of Villa Del’O, Caroline and her Scottish partner have teamed up and created one of Essaouira chicest restaurants with contemporary chic decor and cuisine that well deserves a gold star for this excellent Moroccan table. One Up is a beautiful loft space and also the former British Consultate. The menu is selective offering a combination of French bistro’s best from foie gras to salmon burger. Alike the decor the food is a work of art, made by a French chef with a wonderful twist. Exotic virgin cocktails are complimentary and the services is top notch. This is a relatively new restaurant and on the road to be one of Essaouira’s best. One Up to this new venture.
Address: 1 Rue Laalouj Phone: 212-24-470-21-03

O’Bleue Mogador
Inspired by the cuisine of the south, Serge Peuzin launches a new challenge with his O’Bleu Mogador. Master Chef since 1997, this chief Marseillais, has always been at the head of institutions of high quality. The culinary influences of Serge Peuzin come from Italy, Spain, Lebanon, and Morocco. An address that he wants cozy and friendly, with a leader who opens in front of you in an open kitchen, a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Bernadette, the wife of Serge, is part of the adventure and it is she who provides the reception of clients, manages the reservations and reign on the service in room. O’Blue Mogador’s, fusion cuisine is surprising and unprecedented – full of flavors and surprises, which often changes and over the seasons, products from the market, of the fishing and the terroir. “Small tajines, casseroles, casseroles and delicacies” are on the list.
Address: 23 Rue Coubhentour
/ Phone: 212-52-47-83-133

Fresh Catch, Sidi Kaouki, Essaouira

Fresh Catch, Sidi Kaouki, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Moette Et Les Dromadaires
Located in Sidi Kaouki, with stunning views of the Atlantic, this boutique restaurant by the sea offers up a corner of paradise in coastal Essaouira. La Mouette et les Dromadarires (The Seagull and Camels), offers a wide array of seafood options and is the perfect lunch spot on a sunny or wind swept day. Just 30 minutes from Essaouira you can dine on plates of seafood carpaccio, tartar, smoked, crunchy, crispy, or simply grilled seafood on the plancha. For those who prefer the meat, try the grilled lamb chops or salad voile along with a gastronomic terrine. Oysters from Dakhla and fresh lobster are available upon request. The décor features chic Moroccan lounges perfectly situated under a Berber tent and comfortable sofas along with tables and sunbeds. All food is organic. Reservations required in advance. Don’t miss this one!
Address: Plage de Sidi Kaouki Phone: +212-678 449 212

Cafe Nuss Nuss

Cafe Nuss Nuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast Cafes

Patisserie Chez Driss
Called “Driss” for short by locals, this landmark, well appointed café is near to the entrance of Hassan Square. Ideal for breakfast or an afternoon coffee they offer a wide array of delightful Moroccan and French pastries, the typical Moroccan “nous-nous” (half coffee, half milk) and breakfast breads. The atmosphere is full of native and local Essaouira artwork.
Address: 10 rue El Hajjali, Essaouira‬

Saha Kfe
Run by the owners of Villa Maroc, this calm and chic café offers hearty breakfasts, light snacks and delicious salads. Their specialty is homemade, fresh ginger lemonade. Located on the corner of place de l’horlodge.
Address: Rue Abdellah Chefchaouni

Le Simoun
This tea lounge is located inside a five-story converted riad that overlooks sea along the Skala wall. It’s laid back décor if teal blue accentuates the ocean and makes watching the seagulls that fly across in an eyes view picturesque. They offer wonderful deserts and coffees for those with a sweet tooth. With magnificent views of the sea from their second floor and terrace, there’s no need to go elsewhere.
Address: ‪Medina D’essaouira, Rue Sqala, ‬

Where to Shop, Essaouira

Where to Shop, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Shop
Essaouira is one of the best shopping destinations in Morocco for those looking to sample traditional goods at reasonable prices in a laid back atmosphere.

Historie de Filles
Essaouira’s leading concept store that has a unique blend of jewelry, clothing, decorative objects, and home design pieces with an east meets west trendy designs sensibility. The boutique also showcases hip brands such as Sissi Morocco, Moroccan Touch, Bakchic along with up and coming designers. The owners of Historie de Filles have a new space located just beside dedicated to the gastronomy of the kitchen. The items for sale range from utensils with the dishes of among Chabi chic, inspired by the traditional hand-painted terracotta of Safi.
Address: 1 rue Mohamed Ben Messaoud

Mashi Mushki
Meaning ‘no problem’ in Darija, Mashi Mushki is the place to stop for socially responsible shopping. This gallery/ shop sells a changing collection of jewelry, various handmade items including colorful scarves and the collection
of boucharouite carpets is quite extensive. And you can feel good about your shopping as 10% of the proceeds support Project 91, a UK-based charity that supports at-risk youth in Essaouira to improve their job and education prospects.
Address: 91 Rue Chbanat, Medina

Rafia Craft
Some of the best designed Rafia shoes and sandals woven with the doum palm can be found at this small, chic boutique located near Bab Marrakech in Essaouira. Rumor has it that the Italian designer, Salvatore Ferragamo teamed up with the owner long ago and uses this address and its rafia as inspiration and creation for some of his top end designs. Prices are higher then other local shops in town however the quality and comfort of Rafia Craft’s footware cannot be surpasses.
Addresss: 82 rue d’Agadir, Bab Marrakech

Le Comptoir by Madada
An upstairs boutique across from the beach in Essaouira that has the feeling of an Oriental bizarre with a design showroom. There is a fine mix of vintage, chic and nomadic objects for sale. Sober and elegant this is a creation Madada Mogador’s owner, Christine and her brother Pacha. There we learn the secrets of Moroccan specialties as the couscous, tagines the pastilla without forgetting the Moroccan pastries of course!
Address: 3 bis rue Youssef el Fassi 44 000 Essaouira
Phone: +212 524 47 55 12

Poupa Litza
Behind the unassuming door is a cavernous traditional douiria housing Litza Chemla’s line of handbags and accessories. Locally made by hand, the collection also sells in Europe. It’s worth a visit if only just to see the building
that houses the showroom and the wonderful boucherouite carpets that adorn the floor. The shop is closed from lunch daily from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Address: 135 bis av. Mohamed el Qouri, Medina
Phone: +212 524 78 35 65

Best Hammmam & Spas
One of the must-do experiences in coastal Essaouira is to spend a lazy afternoon at leisure in a traditional Moroccan Hammam. The Moroccan hammam begins with a traditional ritual of glazing the body with – ghassoul, a natural clay extracted from the Atlas Mountains, then black soap is applied on the body, made with local olive oil, prior to a body scrub with the final phase of rose or orange water sprayed lightly, made from the Atlas roses and used to calm the skin. Don’t miss out on a Hammam experience at one of these Essaouira Luxury Spas.

Azur Spa
A spa in seaside Essaouira offering massages, hammam and beauty with argan products and local flower essences. Moroccan owned.
Address: 15 rue Khalid Ben Walid 
Phone: +212-524-78-57-94

Spa Cocooning
A new luxury spa in Essaouira that offers massages, hammam treatments and beauty days with argan products and local flower essences.
Address: 2, Rue Mohamed Ben Masoud

Les Massages Berberes
As the name suggests, this place does massages using essential and local argan oils. Address: 135 Mohamed El Quorry (Bab Marrakech)
 Phone: +212-524-47-31-30

19th Annual Gnaoua Festival, Essaouira

19th Annual Gnaoua Festival, Essaouira

Music Festivals
Alizes Classical Music Festival Every year in April, the Moroccan port city of Essaouira holds one of its many annual festivals. The Spring Festival is called the “Printemps Musical des Alizés” (the Musical Springtime of the Trade Winds). As well as featuring international and Moroccan artists of classical music genres, the festival celebrates the coming of spring. The festival in Essaouira also coincides with the spring season of local religious festivals and pilgrimages of both the Muslim and Jewish faiths. In the local Moroccan Arabic dialect, such festivities are called moussem.

Gnaoua Festival The mysterious music of the Gnaouas celebrated each year in June at the Gnaoua Festival in Essaouira. The Gnaoua Festival attracts a cosmopolitan audience of festival-goers and offers a rich program, reaffirming its goal to emphasize the Gnaoua heritage in all its variety and to invite the best world and jazz artists to come and perform in the unique and magical town of Essaouira. This popular four-day festival features art exhibitions and Gnaoua style music. International musicians and groups from Tangier Marrakesh, and Essaouira perform their Gnaoua sounds at the Place Moulay Hassan and other spaces in the medina and outside its city walls such as Bab Doukkala, Bab Marrakech, Dar Souiri, Chez Kebin, Zaouia Gnaoua, Place Khayma and the Marche Aux Grain.

The Festival des Andalousies Atlantiques (Atlantic Andalucía Festival) This festival celebrates the shared Arabo-Andalusian heritage of Morocco and Spain. The intention of the festival is to encourage peaceful co existence and takes place each Septemberr or October in Essaouira.

A Tribute to Jean Luc-Manaud at Essaouira’s French Institute

June 19th, 2016
Jean-Luc Manaud, Photographer

Jean-Luc Manaud, Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the spring and summer of 1995 the writer and filmmaker Pierre Guicheney, the ethnologist Viviana Paquew and photographer Jean-Luc Manaud produced for the French edition of Geo Magazine a report on Gnawa and Aissawa rituals and pilgrimages in Marrakech, Meknes, Moulay Brahim, and Tamesloht. Jean-Luc Manaud brought back exceptional images from the immersion.

The French Institute in Essaouira is featuring a comprehensive exhbition and homage to Manaud from May 12 to through July 23, 2016 called “7 Colors of Jean-Luc Manaud.” The exhbition is comprised of two levels of photographs that are mounted on the historic walls of an 18th Century building that the French Institute in Essaouira occupies on Rue Laaloug. There is also a complimentary documentary by Pierre Guicheney Le bal des génies (1998) that is being screened during this exhibition.

Jean-Luc Manaud-Photographer of Ritual & Aissawa in Morocco

Jean-Luc Manaud-Photographer of Ritual & Aissawa in Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc Manaud was born in the southern city of Gafsa in Tunisia. Manaud was a regular contributor to Le Figaro Magazine and Géo, touring the world of guerillas from Eritrea to Cambodia.

In the early years of 2000, Manaud began painting on Polaroids, writing travel and children’s books combining calligraphy, drawing, cut-outs and photographs. Manaud passed away in 2015. The exhibition at the French Institute in Essaouira is a tribute to his works of Art, made in Morocco.

For more information about Essaouira Art Tours.

Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Top 5 Tours From Marrakech, Your Morocco Tour Guide

April 26th, 2016
Marrakech Tours

Marrakech Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Cascades Ouzoud Tour

Cascades Ouzoud Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Tour

Essaouira Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

19th Annual Gnaoua Music Festival May 12th – 15th, 2016

April 22nd, 2016
Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco announces the 19th Gnaoua Festival which will take place in the Coastal town of Essaouira from May 12th – 15th, 2016. This annual festival will feature artists from around the world along with Gnaoua Maalem greats. The Gnaoua Festival is sponsored by Maroc Telecom, Sidi Ali, Bankque Populaire, Oulmes and several other Moroccan companies. The Gnaoua Festival is the voice of a tradition, memory and music. Nineteen years ago, a team of local Souri’s started an event, 100% Moroccan which enabled the Gnaoua Maalems to usher in a new chapter of their life.

Maalem Mahmoud Guinea

Maalem Mahmoud Guinea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once called, Mogador and the Port of Timbuktu, Essaouira continues to host this annual fetival that has received international acclaim. The unique combination of International stars, Jazz greats and traditional Gnaouas makes it one of a kind. Tributes to this years annual festival will be made to Maalem Mahmoud Guinea and the great Doudou Ndiaye Rose, magician of the Senegalese drum. Mahmoud Guinia was a Moroccan Gnawa musician, singer and guembri player, who was traditionally regarded as a Maâllem, i.e. master.

Doudou Ndiaye Rose

Doudou Ndiaye Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doudou Ndiaye Rose was a Senegalese drummer, composer and band leader, and was the recognized modern master of Senegal’s traditional drum, the sabar. He recorded for both domestic and foreign labels, and collaborated with numerous western musicians.

There will be a combination of residences, early evening and late night Concerts along with conference style meet ups, all Gnaoua and Souri style.

Below is an up close view at the 19th Annual Gnaoua Festival’s line up and artist program.

Artist Line Up – Essaouira 19th Gnaoua Festival

From the USA:
Randy Weston: Africa
Jamaaladeen Tacuma: Groove
Christian Scott: Hewho youth to jazz
Jeff Ballard Trio
Blitz The Ambassador
Hassan Hakmoun: International Gnaoui

From EUROPE:
Las Migas: Flamenco witha female fusion tone
Jaba & Friends: Roots & reggae

From AFRICA:
Hoba Hoba Spirit: The Moroccan music phenomenon event!
Mohamed Derham
N3rdistan: Rock, rap and Arabic poetry!
Songhoy Blues:the quiet force of Timbuktu
DoudouN’diaye Rose family:Tribute to mathematician of the Drum!
Mehdi Nassouli: The Hajhouj conquering the world
RachidaTalal,The pearl of the South
Oudaden, rebirth of Amazigh music
3ADA Swiria
Issaoua of Fez
Hmadcha

Festival Stars from MOROCCO
Festival stars: Maalemsfrom all over Morocco
(Casablanca, Marrakech, Essaouira, Meknes, Rabat, Ksar El Kebir)
MAALEM HAMID EL KASRI: The Santana of the Gnaouis
MAALEM ABDELLAH AKHARRAZ: Worthy successor of the Guinea heritage
MAALEM ABDESSLAM ALIKANE: Themaalem of maalems
MAALEM HASSAN BOUSSOU: The prodigal son
MAALEM OMAR HAYAT: For love of Reggae
MAALEM ABDELKEBIR MERCHANE, The Gnaoui with silver hands
MAALEM MOHAMED KOUYOU, The most American of maalems!
MAALEM MAHJOUB KHELMOUS, The magician of the guembri
MAALEM MOKHTAR GUINEA:Tagnaouite running in his blood
MAALEM SAID OUGHESSAL:A Hispanic breeze blowing on Gnaoua
MAALEM ABDENBI EL GUEDARI: An electro Gnaoui
MAALEM MUSTAPHA BAQBOU:The hippy Maalem
MAALEM SEDDIK BOUNHAR:The passionate Gnaoui who has travelled the world
MAALEM AHMED BAQBOU: The gnaoui prince of the ochre-colored city
MAALEM Said BOULHIMAS: Maalemin spite of himself
MAALEM ALLAL SOUDANI: Ancestral Gnaoui
MAALEM SAID BOURKI: Faithful to tradition
MAALEM ABDELKADER AMLIL:The Gnaouibluesman
MAALEM ABDENBI EL MEKNASSI:“ ElMeknassi”
MAALEM RACHID EL HAMZAOUI:Gnaoui Ghiwani

The Official Festival Program – Essaouira 19th Gnaoua Festival

May 12th, 2016
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Time: 8:30pm – Opening Concert
Artist Line Up: Doudou N’Diaye Rose Percussions Orchestra and Enfants Guinea and Rachida Talal

Time: 9:35pm – Concert
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist Line Up: Jeff Ballard Trio

Time: 10:45pm – Concert Fusion
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist Line Up: Jeff Ballard Trio and Maalem Mohamed Kouyou

May 13th, 2016
Place: Zaouia Disna Bilal
Artist Line Up: Maalem Allal et Najib Soudani and Maalem Said Boulhimas and Maalem Said El Bourki

Time: 11:00pm
Place: Dar Loubane
Artist Line Up: Anciens Gnaoua

Time: 12:00am
Place: Dar Loubane
Artist Line Up: Maalem Seddik Bounhar

Time: 12:05am – Residence
Place: Dar Loubane
Artist Line Up: Songhoy Blues and Maalem Abdeslam Alikane

May 14th, 2016
Time: 8:00pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Maalem Abdellah Akharaz

Time: 8:05pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Movie Projection – Maalem Mahmoud Guinea

Time: 9:15pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: La Releve Gnaoua and Musiciens de Doudou N’Diaye Rose

Time: 10:40pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Christian Scott

Time: 12:00pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Maalem Hamid El Kasri

Time: 11:00pm
Place: Dar Loubane
Arist: Maalem Abdenbi El Meknassi

Time: 12:00pm
Place: Dar Loubane
Artist: Maalem Rachid El Hamzaoui

Time: 8:30pm
Place: Scene de la Plage
Arist: Khalid Amrhoche, Khalid Lzoubaz, La Releve Gnaoua, Mohamed Bomzor

Time: 9:35pm
Place: Scene de la Plage
Artist: Songhoy Blues

Time: 11:30pm
Place: Scene de la Plage
Arist: N3Rdistan

Time: 11:50pm
Place: Scene de la Plage
Artist: Maalem Mustapha Baqbou

Time: 11:00pm
Place: Borj Bab Marrakech
Artist: Maalem Abdenbi El Guedari

Time: 11:00pm
Place: Zaouia Issaoua
Place: Tarifa de Safi

Time: 12:00am
Place: Zaouia Issaoua
Artist: Maalem Mahjoub Khalmouss

May 15th, 2016
Time: 5:00pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Oudaden

Time: 6:00pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Maalem Mustapah Baqubou, Mohamed Derham, Nabil Khalidi, Omar Sayed

 

For more information about Essaouira or the Gnaoua Festival

Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Just For Women, Morocco Private Group Tours

April 16th, 2016
Just for Women, Morocco Private Tour

Just for Women, Morocco Private Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Women's Argan Cooperative

Women’s Argan Cooperative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Women's Cooking Class

Women’s Cooking Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
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 Breadbaking
Moroccan Tea Ceremony
Yves St. Laurent’s Garden in Marrakech
Wine & Cheese Tasting in Essaouira
Optional 5 day extension package to the Sahara Desert

 

For more information Just for Women Tours to Morocco

Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Inspirational Summer Retreat at Marrakech’s Peacock Pavilions

April 13th, 2016
Peacock Pavilion, Marrakech

Peacock Pavilion, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reconnect,Relax and Reawaken your wild at a one of Mararkech’s leading retreats from August 20 – 26, 2016 at Peacock Pavilions. Co-lead by Holistic Creative Coach, Marie Milligan and Yoga Teacher, Deborah Willimott, the Wild Women Do Morocco Retreat offers a sensory-Moroccan experience that includes daily Yoga, Creative Coaching, Memorable Dining, Wild Exploration, and a true sense of Sisterhood.

Where You Will Stay:
Peacock Pavilions – Located in the heart of a beautiful olive-grove, 20 minutes from Marrakech’s city center this boutique guest house boasts mountain-views, rose gardens, an outdoor pool, yoga pavilion, Arabian dining tent, ethnic art and textiles, and plenty of space for privacy or shared community. Designed by Maryam Montague, owner of Montague Living and Humanitarian, this Atlas Mountain retreat is the perfect place for discovery.

Peacock Pavilion, Yoga Tent, Marrakech

Peacock Pavilion, Yoga Tent, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Women Do proposes the Ideal 7-Day Marrakech Retreat Experience.

Their suggested Marrakech retreat menu brings the theme of Relax, Reconnect and Reawaken YOUR Wild alive. Always mindful of the weather and energy in the group, the Wild Women Do team bring flexibility into their menu whenever it is needed it most.

MARRAKECH- WILD WOMEN D0: 7 DAY INSPIRATIONAL RETREAT ITINERARY:

Day 1 (Saturday 20 August): Two pickups and transfers from Menara Airport. Check-in at Peacock Pavilions (PP) at 4pm. Welcome canapés and non-alco cocktails. Dinner at PP. Time to relax, switch off and explore the grounds.

Day 2 (Sunday 21 August): Introductory wellness ritual session (yoga, breathing and movement). Breakfast and lunch at PP. Creative Playshop. Free afternoon: optional relaxing Hammam spa experience or souk-shopping. Dinner at Le Jardin. Tour of the Medina, sensory-souks and hypnotic ancient and cultural Jemaa el-Fna food market and square.

Day 3 (Monday 22 August): Yoga class. Breakfast and lunch at PP. Creative Playshop. Free afternoon: relax on the grounds or take an optional cultural design visit –perhaps visit Jardin Majorelle, ride a camel near Menara, or explore Designers in the French Quarter of Gueliz. Dinner at PP. Optional movie-night in their starlit Outdoor Cinema.

Day 4 (Tuesday 23 August): Yoga class. Breakfast and lunch at PP. Creative Playshop. Free afternoon and evening: take time for you to relax by the pool and do nothing, or perhaps visit the iconic historical museums and palaces near the Medina. Optional dinner in Medina or at PP.

Day 5</strong> (Wednesday 24 August): Yoga class. Breakfast at PP. Travel to the Atlas Mountains with lunch in Kasbah du Toubkal, a National Geographic Unique Lodge. Guided wild trek visiting Targa Imoula, an ancient Berber village. Dinner at PP.

Day 6 (Thursday 25 August): Yoga class. Breakfast and lunch at PP. Creative Playshop. Free afternoon: optional time for us to complete anything that needs supported from our inner or outer journey. Celebratory Henna-Party with local henna artisan, canapés and non-alcoholic fresh cocktails, followed by our celebratory dinner at PP.

Day 7 (Friday 26 August): Breakfast at PP. Sisterhood accountability line. Farewells and checkout of Peacock Pavilions by 12pm. Group transfers to Airport (or why not extend your travel? See below for our exclusive travel deals).

10% of Peacock Pavilion’s profits from your retreat booking go to funding Project Soar. Set up by Maryam Montague, the project’s mission educates under-served girls and women in the local community with access to creativity, movement and art education to inspire their creative souls.

For More Information About Wild Women Do Summer Retreat in Mararkech Email Marie Milligan at mariemilligan@wildwomendo.co.uk

For more information about Things to do in 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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Things to Do in Marrakech, Gueliz: Shop, Art, Eat

April 12th, 2016

 

Maison Lab, Marrakesh

Maison Lab, Marrakesh

Most visitors to Marrakesh head straight to the medina and its old world souks for excitment. Those who are in the know make a b-line for the French “new town”, known to locals as Guéliz. Guéliz is home to the Yves Saint Laurent Majorlle Gardens, La Mamounia Hotel, where Alfred Hitchcock wrote “The Birds” along with some of Marrakech’s chic addresses for eating out, shopping and gallery hopping. Named as the leading travel destination in North Africa by Trip Advisor and now on many travelers bucketlist, Marrakesh lives up to its name with streetlined cafes on glorious boulevards dotted with palm trees, an outdoor flower market, beautiful parks with dry tolerant plants and some of the world’s most delcious street food. Marrakech also boasts annual cultural events such as the Art Biennalle, the Marrakesh Film Festival and has a host of action packed nightclubs,restuarants and hotels with appeal to both young and older travelers.

WHERE TO SHOP IN GUELIZ, MARRAKESH

MAISON LAB
Marrakech’s leading contemporary home design shop located in the heart of Guéliz. Created by acclaimed New York interior designer, Marin Raffone, maisonLAB brims with modern objects and furnishings that reflect Raffone’s appreciation for the places he calls home (New York City and Marrakech). The chic double-height space features objects culled from around the world: bed/bath and other linens, tabletop, kitchen and utility, office, travel and personal items. All items are custom designed using local artisans with a high level of sophistication. Address: 44 Rue Tarik Bnou Ziad, Magasin No. 1 Phone: +212 524 43 39 36

MOOR
Owned by fashion designer Yann Dobry of Akbar Delights in the medina, Moor features a selection of upscale Moroccan couture. Using the finest artisans and materials, Moor is known for its embroidered silk, cotton and linen tunics. The cool and calm colors throughout the shop create a relaxed shopping experience. Look up or even just on the walls – the décor, a selection of Moroccan home wares sourced from around the Kingdom, is also available!
Address: 7 Rue des Vieux Marrakchis , Guéliz 
Phone: +212-0524-45-82-74

LALLA
The boutique and workshop of French designer, Lalla is one of our favorite stops along Rue de la Liberte. Colourful leathers
and funky accents are used to create one of a kind functional women’s handbags in a variety of sizes and shapes. Fringed handbags for a day out line the selves alongside a carryall big enough to take to work and even for the weekend. The accessories here are also fabulous with our favorites being the colorful and textured necklaces, the perfect addition to any outfit. Address: 5 Rue de la Liberte, Gueliz 
Phone: +212-661-47-72-28

33 MAJORELLE

With two levels of design, fashion and accessories created by Moroccan and international designers, as well as the traditional Moroccan goodies like the green pottery from southern Morocco and a selection of funky babouche, this is the shop for trendy souvenirs and gifts. Like a high-end department store, new designers are exposed with the collectionc hanging regularly, giving this concept store the leading edge on the latest trends. A small gallery is attached and features a changing art exhibit. The location is perfect – across from Majorelle Gardens. 
Address: 33 Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Gueliz 
Phone: 212-524-31-41-95

Kechmara, Marrakesh

Kechmara, Marrakesh

WHERE TO EAT IN GUELIZ, MARRAKESH

KECHMARA
For restaurants with dishes diverging from traditional Moroccan cuisine, head to the Ville Nouvelle, where many establishments serve lighter fare. Kechmara offers tasty sandwiches and salads in a sleek white-and-chrome dining room with a rooftop terrace. Live music plays every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, and the restaurant often hosts exhibits of art and photography.
Address: 3 De Rue La Libertie
Phone: 212-524-42-25-32

AL FASSIA
Once you pass the traditionally dressed doormen, this place is all-female and is run like a family kitchen. Set up by the well-known Chab family 20 years ago, this popular restaurant is now successfully managed by Myra Chab as a cooperative. A variety of Moroccan dishes are available, including specialties that require a day’s notice such as the dalaa mbakhra (steamed lamb shoulder) and chaâra medfouna (steamed vermicelli garnished with pigeon). The tagines and couscous here go against the grain in both ingredients and size. Chicken with caramelized pumpkin and lamb with eggplant are just two of the 13 tagine choices, and you’re served a portion that you might actually be able to finish. The desserts are delicious, so leave space for some seffa couscous in butter, sugar, milk, and cinnamon.
Address: Aguedal & Gueliz
Phone Gueliz: + 212-524-434-060

David Bloch Gallery, Marrakesh

David Bloch Gallery, Marrakesh

WHERE TO GALLERY HOP IN GUELIZ MARRAKESH

DAVID BLOCH GALLERY
A leading gallery in Mararkechs new town, Gueliz that features a wide range of contemporary art. This loft-style gallery show cases sculpture, paintings and photography. Some well known artists that have been featured at David Bloch Gallery are world renown photographer, Steven McCurry, Graffiti artist Vincent Abadie Hafez and Mohamed Boustane, painter of technique of Arabic lettering.
Address: Rue des Vieux Marrakechis Phone: +212-524457595

MATISSE GALLERY
Located in the charming Passage Ghandouri, this Marrakech well known and trendie gallery is named after Henry Matisse. The galllery features works by Mahi Binebine, and henna paintings evoking Berber baraka (blessings) by Farid Belkahia along with the Moroccan artists Nourredine Chater, Mohamed Melehi, Hassan Hajjaj and Hassan El Glaoui. The artists show cased at Matisse Gallery are a combination of young, old and new on the Moroccan art scene.
Address: 61 Rue de Yougoslavie, N° 43 Passage Ghandouri Phone: +212-524448326

GALLERIE 127
This gallery is for photographer lovers and a must visit. Gallerie 127 features the world of up-and-coming photographers that from Morocco and abroad. Owned and curated by Nathalie Locatelli, the gallery is wonderfully positioned on Mohammed V in central Gueliz. The loft-like space features wonderful architectural details and is located in an Art Deco building.
Address: 127, Avenue Mohammed V, 2ème étage Phone: +212-524432667

For more information about Things to do in 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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Moroccan Guides, The Best Way to See Morocco on a Private Tour

April 9th, 2016
Moroccan Guided Tour

Moroccan Guided Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Travel Exploration Moroccan Guided Tour

Travel Exploration Moroccan Guided Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Top End Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour

April 8th, 2016
Temple Beth-El Casablanca, Jewish Heritage Tour

Temple Beth-El Casablanca, Jewish Heritage Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. Travelers visiting Morocco on a limited timeframe during a journey at sea, have the option to enjoy a  Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour. For those interested in the history of Moroccan Jewry the perfect way to discover Morocco is on a shore excursion from the Casablanca Port.

During a Casablanca Private Jewish Heritage Tour travelers will visit Casablanca’s Sacred Sites, Jewish Monuments, and the Jewish Quarter along with all of the highlights of old Casablanca. Some of the sites visited during a top end Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour are Temple Beth-El, the Jewish Mellah, Casablanca’s Musuem of Moroccan Judaism and the opportunity to enjoy Kosher fare for lunch at a Kosher restaurant in Casablanca or the Jewish Club.

Casablanca, Jewish Heritage Tour

Casablanca, Jewish Heritage Tour

 

A Top End Jewish Heritage Tour of Casablanca Itinerary:

  • Morning departure from your hotel or the Port in Casablanca.
  • Casablanca is more affectionately known as Casa by the locals. The biggest city in the Maghreb, Casablanca is the heart of Moroccan business. Enjoy Casablanca’s vibrant new town, visit the old medina, lounge at beach clubs, and dine at seafood restaurants along the Corniche.
  • Casablancaʼs 4,500 Jews now live mostly outside the mellah and worship in over 30 synagogues around the city. Throughout Casablanca you can find kosher restaurants, Jewish community centers, and Jewish schools.
  • Start the Jewish Heritage Day Tour with visits to Casablanca’s Jewish Sacred sites, then continue on to see the highlights of old Casablanca. The synagogues, cemeteries, monuments, and communal institutions of Casablanca demonstrate the importance of the city to the Jewish community during the twentieth century.
  • Visit Temple Beth-El, the Jewish Synagogue in Casablanca. Beth-El, is considered the centerpiece of a once vibrant Jewish community. The Synagogue has remarkable stained glass windows and many artistic elements.
  • Visit the old Jewish Mellah of Casablanca. While Jews no longer live in the mellah, kosher butchers can still be found in the old market. The Jewish cemetery in the mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew, and Spanish. Once a year, Casablancans celebrate a hiloula, or prayer festival, at the tomb of the Jewish saint, Eliahou.
  • Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca, 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 Museum holds the treasures of the Arab regionʼs only Jewish Museum. Using world-class standards of conservation for the collections, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic, and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions, and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization.
  • The Jewish Museum in Casablanca exhibits paintings, photography, and sculpture by Jewish-Moroccan artists. There are permanent exhibitions on Jewish religious and family life. Jewish-Moroccan artifacts like oil lamps, Torahs, Chanukah lamps, clothing, Jewish marriage contracts (ketubot), and Torah covers are also on display, as well as rooms depicting a complete Moroccan Jewish Synagogue. For research purposes the Museum houses a document research library, a video library, and a photo library.
  • The Museum offers guided visits, seminars, and conferences on Jewish-Moroccan history and culture. On special request, it organizes group visits in Arabic, French, English, or Spanish.
  • Visit Casablanca’s Jewish Cemetery. The Jewish Cemetery in the mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew, and Spanish. Once a year, Casablancans celebrate a hiloula, or prayer festival, at the tomb of the Jewish saint, Eliahou.
  • Visit Casablanca’s Jewish Club. Option, if time allows.
  • Lunch Options: Kosher Food in Casablanca, Seafood, or Moroccan Fare.
  • Kosher Jewish Lunch: Cercle de L’Alliance is a central Casablancan Jewish hangout and social spot with a cafe, a small bar, and a restaurant with great appetizers and an outstanding menu.
  • E.J.J. A vegetarian restaurant that serves delicious fresh pizzas, pastas, and salads.
  • La Truffe A fantastic kosher restaurant located in downtown Casablanca across from the medina.
  • Seafood Seafood restaurants along the Corniche, El Mer, or Rick’s Cafe.
  • After lunch visit 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. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 meters. It is an enormous architectural masterpiece and the second largest religious building in the world. On Fridays, the Mosque of Hassan II is open to non-Muslims. The Mosque of Hassan II’s promontory offers lovely views overlooking Casa in the residential Anfa quarter.
  • Visit Ville Novuelle.
  • Visit the famous clock tower, Art Deco buildings, and the eleven-story Moretti apartment block on Boulevard Mohmmed V. Visit the famous residential blocks of the Glaoui, the Bessonneau, and the Asayag. Stroll the labyrinth of narrow streets lined with jewelers and artisanal shops. See La Squala, the fortified 18th century wall of the city. Visit the nearby shrine and tomb of Sidi Allal el-Kairouant, Casablanca’s patron saint.

For more information about a Casablanca Jewish Heritage 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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Visiting Morocco: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

March 31st, 2016
Visiting Morocco, Traditional Riad Guest House

Visiting Morocco, Traditional Riad Guest House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1: Visas are not required to enter Morocco and most Vaccinations are not necessary. If you are an American citizen, Canadian citizen or citizen of the European Union, Japan, Brazil or South Africa you can travel to Morocco visa free. To be on the safe side, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends travelers be up to date on the following vaccations: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and Rabies.

Cooking Class Morocco, Make a Tajine

Cooking Class Morocco, Make a Tajine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2: Morocco is home to some of the world’s best cuisine and considered the culinary start of North Africa. Morocco is the perfect place to take a food tour or a  cooking class to learn how some of it’s favorite dishes such as Moroccan tajine, couscous, bastilla (pastilla) and Berber breads are made.

#3: Morocco is only 7 1/2 hours from Europe. With its relative proximity to Europe and increasingly easy to access from international airports, Morocco has long attracted visitors from abroad. A large part of its charm is due to its historical significance as a cultural crossroads between Arabic, Middle-Eastern, African and European cultures and communities.

#4: The Best Place to Stay in Morocco is a Riad.  A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with a central courtyard restored to its original beauty. The word riad comes from the Arabic word for garden. As you tour with Morocco Traveler you will have the opportunity to stay in a variety of of riads ranging from renovated palaces to modernist kasbahs. A riad offers traditional accommodations for an authentic Moroccan journey.

#5: Wine is widely served and can be easily purchased in Morocco. While Morocco is a Muslim country it is a producer of its own award winning wines. Moroccan wine and beer can be enjoyed at riad, hotels and restaurants along with being widely purchased in small liquor stores and the larger French run grocery stores such as Carrefour. There is also a variety of European and South African wines available.

#6: Morocco dress attire for traveles is fairly liberal. During your visit to Morocco it is acceptable to wear most forms of clothing. Recommendations are to dress on the conservative side which indicates no shorts for men and women, low cut v-neck blouses or risque clothing. It is recommended for women to travel with a scarf for the sake of modesty and for both men and women to take off your shoes before entering someones home or a sacred space.

#7: Morocco is a cafe culture. All of the major cities, Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, Marrakech, Tangier and Essaouira have a repuation for having a popular cafe culutre. The new towns main boulevards are lined with cafes ranging from chic, to charming, boho to elegant and also the traditional “male cafes” frequented primarily by men, chatting or watching a food ball match. Cafe culutre in Morocco offers the opportunity to people watch and enjoy the local favorite “cafe nuss-nuss,” a small tea glass filled with half milk and have Arabic coffee.

#8: Mosques in Morocco are off limits to non-Muslims. Very few mosques in Morocco are open to non-Muslims enabling travelers to frequent the Hassan II mosque. The Hassan II Mosque’s, one of the world’s largest mosques, has a promontory that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Southern Morocco Region

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Southern Morocco Region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9: Don’t miss out on visiting Morocco’s Berber Villages and its natural wonders. Morocco is a vast country with 34 + million people. Make sure not to get stuck in large cities like Casablanca or Marrakech. Morocco offers so much more outside of its cities. Consider taking a private tour to Berber Villages, the Sahara Desert and exploring some of Morocco’s natural wonders such as the Dades Valley and Ait Benhaddou Kasbah. Southern Morocco is often referred to as the “real Morocco” and this region offers many site seeing opportunities for adventure travelers as does the North and the charming blue washed town of Chefchaouen.

 

 

Jewish Mellah

Jewish Mellah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#10: Morocco is safe for Jewish travelers and has a long standing history of Jewish Heritage. There are Jewish Heritage Sites in Casablanca, Meknes, Fes, Tangier, Marrakech, Essaouira and in the country side. Morocco lays claim to the only Jewish Museum in the Muslim worldMorocco’s history of Jewry and the co-mingling of Jews with Berbers and Arabs are a key factor in why Morocco is safe for Jewish Travelers today. Morocco is a country of Muslims, Jews and Christians. Jews first arrived in Morocco during pre-Christian times, accompanying the Phoenicians on their trade expeditions across the coast of Morocco.  In the countryside Jewish and Berber tribes tilled the soil side by side together for two thousand years speaking the Berber dialect. In the towns and cities  Jewish merchants and financiers were valued by successive Moroccan rulers who protected them.

For more information about Traveling to Morocco

Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.