Bread & Morocco, A Love Affair

August 24th, 2016
Bread baking in the Sahara, Photograph by Amanda Mouttaki

Bread baking in the Sahara, Photograph by Amanda Mouttaki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The children of him who has wheat in his house should not beg of his neighbor.

Manage with bread and salted butter until God brings something to eat with it.

There is no hunger but the hunger of wheat.

~ Moroccan Proverbs

There are plenty of things you will not find on a typical Moroccan table such as silverware, water glasses and individual plates. However there’s one thing you will always find, and that is a hearty basket of bread. As age-old Moroccan proverbs illustrate, Moroccan bread is a vital part of the diet and culture. Morocco’s terrain is dry and the land is harsh geographically. Bread is the one food that binds people together at a meal and can be made relatively inexpensively with few ingredients. Wheat can be kept and used over time when fresh ingredients are more difficult to come by. Dry bread provides sustenance for a population that today still remains semi-nomadic.

Visit any village in Morocco during the wheat harvest season and you will see women in colorful attire across the fields sifting kernels of wheat in woven baskets, removing the bits that are inedible before grinding to flour. Families work together in unison within the fields collecting the grain. Not a single kernel is wasted. The grain is sold and traded among families across rural regions as well as being kept until the next harvest. Moroccan bread is a prized food.

In urban areas of Morocco where there are no family plots to tend Moroccans make bread in their home or purchase ready-made bread. The varieties of breads that Moroccan families can purchase are many ranging from typical white to grain, sesame with anise and barley. As the result of Moroccan subsidies bread is affordable to all.

How Bread Is Made Across Morocco:
Across Morocco there are several ways of making Moroccan bread and also many varieties of preparation. In the Sahara Desert region, the traditional way of baking is to build a hot fire on top of the sand and then bury the bread once it is hot enough. Another Southern bread baking tradition indigenous to the Draa Valley, Saghro region is to bake bread stuffed with fat, spices and herbs directly on volcanic rock, which produces a pizza-like thick doughy bread called bourafin. In the mountains an oven resembling a tandoori oven is used, the dough stuck to the sides of the clay oven and baked over fire to produce a charred loaf of tafernout.

In the north of Morocco kalinti is a bread made with chickpea flour. There are also several iterations of stovetop breads like msemmen, harsha, and batbout. In Moroccan cities the practice of bread baking is gradually dying out as the result of ready-made bread and a generation of new working class that has no time to bake. Bringing the daily bread (khobz) to the traditional oven was once a central part of life.

Moroccan Breads, Photograph by Amanda Mouttaki

Moroccan Breads, Photograph by Amanda Mouttaki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In traditional Moroccan homes women kneed their dough in the morning; flattening it into characteristic round loaves and covering it with a cotton cloth. Then, they placed it onto a tray or wooden board and either give it to one of their children to drop off on the way to school or leave it outside the door. A neighbor or another person passing by who saw the tray instinctively pick it up and drops it off at the oven. At lunch it was picked up and paid for, each loaf a flat rate. In the ovens, dozens of loaves at a time are baked. The baker always knew which bread belongs to which tray and family. The baker was also the eyes and ears of the community through his close, daily interaction with the neighbors. He could tell how well off a family was, how often they had company, and more based on passing words when coming in or the bread itself. When an engagement was in the works, the baker was often consulted for inside information on the prospective bride or groom’s family.

Bread is the utensil used to eat. It’s broken off (never cut with a knife) and used to scoop up tajines, soak up sauces, and savor soups. It’s drizzled with olive oil and served alongside a hot cup of tea for breakfast or stuffed with tuna or boiled eggs for a snack or late night meal. When there’s little else in the cupboards there’s bread to tide over an empty stomach.

Bread is held in very high esteem in Morocco. It is never thrown in the garbage and the first reaction when dropped on the floor is to immediately pick it up and kiss it. The very basic ingredients in Moroccan bread mean that within a day or at most two it is dry. Dishes like treda make use of bread that’s stale. It’s shredded and put in the bottom of a plate and then topped with spiced lentils, sauce, and chicken if available.

To dispose of bread scraps that cannot be salvaged the garbage is not an option. They’re put in a bag separate from the other waste and when collected set aside by the garbage man. It’s then fed to animals or used as compost.

The sacredness and special place bread holds in the Moroccan culture and home is not without challenges. Those who struggle with illnesses like celiac disease face an uphill battle. For many Moroccans it’s unfathomable that bread could make someone violently ill. For visitors this can be a difficult bridge to cross.

Every culture has a particular food item that serves as a staple and the Moroccan love affair with bread remains a steadfast part of the Moroccan culinary tradition.

For more How to Make a Tajine or A Taste of Morocco Food Tour Morocco Food Tour

Amanda Mouttaki is a food and travel writer and blogger, with an expertise on Moroccan culinary traditions and food culture. Her passion is uncovering the stories behind traditional cultures and food around the world. She lives in Marrakech, Morocco with her family.

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.

Marrakech Day Trips, Morocco Atlas & Coastal Excursions

August 8th, 2016

Ourka-Valley-Day-Trips-From-Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bustling red terracota colored city of Marrakech is dotted with magnificent views of the High Atlas Mountains and surrounded by lush valley’s and a desert-like palmeraie. Marrakech is the perfect city to use as a base for Day Trips. Often referred to as the Paris of Morocco, the city of Marrakech is well appointed in Morocco’s south. Mararkech is just three hours from Morocco’s Atlantic coast and the Essaouira Medina, an hour from the Ourika Valley and a full days drive from the Sahara Desert. Consider taking a one week holiday in Marrakech as to allow for these various Moroccan Day Trips.

Ourika Valley & Ait Ashok
A favorite weekend getaway for Marrakech’s is the Ourika Valley. This quaint region is appeciated by locals for its valley’s, streams and the seven Setti Fatma waterfalls. Ourika is perfect for long walks, hiking, visiting a Berber villages and is filled with palm tree plantations, fruit trees, tiny hamlets, summer homes and road side cafes. Travelers can enjoy tea and break bread with a Berber family on this day trip from Marrakech.

For those looking to experience off the beaten path Ourika consider exploring the charming Berber vilage of Ait Ashok. Nestled in a secret location inside the Ourika Valley and not frequented by many travelers, it offers unforgettable views, authentic encounters, and an unclose experience to meet local villagers of of Tizi Oucheg.

Ourigane Valley
Nestled in the High Atlas Mountains of Toubkal National Park, this region is a must see for travelers interested in a low key, non touristic day trip from Marrakech. Ourigane Valley is ideal for relaxing and hiking. It’s various flora and fauna makes for the idea location to sip mint tea with a view. The Ourigane VAlley also home to one of Morocco’s oldest Jewish Zaouia sites, the shrine of Rabbi Abraham Ben Hammou. Ourigane boasts fresh Atlas air and small properties for longer stays such as the classic La Roseraie famous for it’s 30 hectares of rose gardens and stables and the new, contemporary Hotel L’Amandier.

High Atlas Toubkal

High Atlas Toubkal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Atlas Toubkal & Imlil
The High Atlas Toubkal Mountains are the second highest in Africa second to Kilamanjaro and the highest peak in North Africa. Toubkal and the village of Imlil offer scenic activities for hikers on a day trip from Mararkech. A day hike at Mount Toubkal allows for trekkers to explore the region’s varied peaks and have lunch in a Berber village or at Kasbah Toubkal with views. The village of Imlil is small and windy with local shops selling Berrber silver jewelry and Moroccan goods. Filled with street cafes and guests houses, Imlil is a good refuge for hikers.

Ouzoud Waterfalls

Ouzoud Waterfalls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cascades D’Ouzoud Waterfalls
The Ouzoud falls, just a few hours from Marrakech boasts three tiered beautiful waterfalls and a lush valley. Ouzoud offers many trekking options. Visitors can take a wooden paddle boat trip at the bottom of the falls or a cold dip in the falls which makes for a charmed experience. Outdoor cafe stands conjure up the atmosphere with fresh cold orange juice and Moroccan snacks. A favorite of Marrakechi’s, picnicing at Ouzoud is also popular in spring and summer months. For Morocco travelers who have more then a day trip from Marrakech available, an overnight stay can be arranged at a Berber guest house. The Berber guest houses in Ouzoud are secluded with spectacular views, local cuisine and Moroccan hospitlaity.

Oukaïmeden
Oukaïmeden is Africa’s highest peak for skiiing and a Morocco premiere ski resort. Oukaïmeden village is perched on Jebel Attar and just an hour from Marrakech. Adventure seekers and skiiers can enjoy Oukaïmeden’s windy slopes and chair lift to ferry them across the Atlas. Local cuisine is available at many of the Ski houses nearby, year round. Off season Oukaïmeden makes for the pefect getaway given its cooler temperatures and remote Atlas Mountain scenery. The region of Oukaïmeden is also known for its history of prehistoric rock carvings. The local musuem in Oukaïmeden provides more information on this and visitors can also explore with their Moroccan guide to discover rock carvings in the surrounding area.

Essaouira Medina

Essaouira Medina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essaouira Medina
This former Portuguese fished village once called Mogador is just three hours from Marrakech located on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast. Essaouira has lovely white washed and blue-shuttered houses that create a scenic backdrop of coastal romance. Essaouira’s seaside medival medina offers mouth watering seafood, thuya workshops and art galleries. A hippy colony with chic restaurants that cater to foodies, Essaouira is ideal for contemporary gastro-fare and a great place to enjoy sunset cocktails. The Essaouira medina is only 8 kilometers from the Ounara winery and a Frommagerie where travelers can learn cheese making or enjoy a five course menu of cheese inspired dishes. The Essaouira medina as a Morocccan day trip from Marrakech is a layed back option for couples, small groups and families.

For More Information about Day Trips from Mararkech and Morocco Day Trips

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.

How to Buy a Tajine to Take Home From Morocco

July 31st, 2016
Tajines, Morocco Photograph by Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki

Tajines, Morocco Photograph by Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A souvenir at the top of your list when visiting Morocco is most likely an is an authentic Moroccan tajine. That is until you discover how many different options exist for purchase. It can quickly become overwhelming and frustrating. We recommend that you do a little bit of research ahead of time so the experience will be much smoother.

When you first begin to look have an idea in mind of the size tajine you would like. Typically, they are categorized by the number of people they will serve. A small tajine in Morocco is used to serve 1-2 people, a medium for 3-4 and a large for 6+ people.

Cooking Tajines
There are two types of cooking tajines; glazed and unglazed. You will be able to tell a tajine is for cooking in because it will not be painted. It may have decorative etching into the clay but that is the only decoration. A glazed tajine has a shiny appearance and unglazed looks like natural clay material. Different cooks like different types of finishes. Either type may or may not have a small hole at the top of the cone. You shouldn’t worry if you see it – or if you don’t, it’s just a different style.

A glazed tajine is good for the cook who might worry about burning food inside. They clean easier and are more forgiving. Unglazed tajines take a little longer to “break in” and food burns quicker if it gets too hot. Many professional cooks swear by unglazed clay. They also develop a flavor with time.

Decorative Tajines
The other type of tajine you will see in the Moroccan souks are highly decorated with paint. These tajines are not made to or meant to be cooked in. Food is cooked separately and then transferred to the decorative tajine. You should always ask when you’re looking at a tajine if it can or cannot be cooked in just to make sure.

Caring for a Tajine
Once you’ve chosen your tajine and taken it home it’s time to get it ready. Unglazed tajines need the most preparation. They should be first rubbed with olive oil and then submerged in water for at least 24 hours. Let the tajine dry completely (another 24 hours) before using. Gazed tajines can also be pre-soaked but it’s not always necessary – ask the vendor when purchasing what they would recommend as it can vary.

To cook with a tajine always use low heat on a stovetop. You can cook on an electric or gas stove top or oven. If you’re using an electric oven you will need to put a diffuser between the tajine and the coils. They can be purchased online and from many shops in Morocco inexpensively. Be sure to check the water levels in your tajine so that it doesn’t get too low. A dry tajine will crack if there isn’t liquid and it gets too hot.

You should never wash your tajine (especially unglazed) with soap. The clay of the tajine is very porous and the soap will soak into the clay and can leave a funny taste. Instead soak in hot water, and use a coarse scrub brush or steel wool to remove any food stuck to the surface.

There is a learning curve to using a tajine so don’t get discouraged if the first few times it doesn’t work out, but once you’ve mastered it you’ll be ready to make another trip to Morocco for more tajines to stock your kitchen!

For more information about How to Make a Tajine or A Taste of Morocco Food Tour

Amanda Mouttaki is a food and travel writer and blogger, with an expertise on Moroccan culinary traditions and food culture. Her passion is uncovering the stories behind traditional cultures and food around the world. She lives in Marrakech, Morocco with her family.

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.

10 Experiences on a Tailor Made Morocco Tour

July 27th, 2016
Moroccan Handicrafts, Shop the Souks

Moroccan Handicrafts, Shop the Souks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore Morocco on tailor-made Private Tour. With the ability to fully customize, a Morocco Tour, a tailor-made experience delivers an authentic, private travel opportunity for couples, families and the indepdentent traveler. A tailor-made Private Tour also offers the flexibility to engage with locals, discover exotic foods, visit hertiage UNESCO Heritage sites, camp in the Moroccan Sahara Desert and stay at charming boutique riads and hotels.

10 Experiences A Tailor-Made Morocco Tour Offers:

#1. Visit Fes, A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Fes is the fourth largest city in Morocco and also known as one of the ancient imperial cities. It is separated into three parts, Fès el Bali (the old, walled city), Fès -Jdid (new Fes, home of the Mellah), and the Ville Nouvelle (the French-created, newest section of Fes. The Medina of Fes el Bali is believed to be the largest contiguous car-free urban area in the world.

#2. Take a Cooking Class with Daada Chef
Cooking Classes are conducted by a dada (traditional Moroccan cook) or a chef from and held at a kitchen in the medina or in a palmeraie garden setting. Classes are a total of 4 hours with an option of an add on of wines tasting accompaniment. At a typical half-day cooking class, travelers can learn to prepare an appetizer and a main dish, or a main dish and desert.

#3. Journey on a Food Tasting Tour
A Food Tour is a special opportunity to go deep in the heart of the a Moroccan medina and discover local delicacies. Food Tours are offered in both Fes and Marrakech, led by locals and serve as a replacement for lunch or dinner.

#4. Arabian Night Camping & Camel Trekking in the Sahara Desert
Camping in the Sahara Desert and taking a Moroccan Camel trek is the perfect to travel the south. Nomadic villages can be explored along with Kasbahs that are situated in palm groves, surrounding valleys, mountainous landscapes, gorges and sandy Saharan dunes.

#5. Casablanca’s Art Deco Tour of Architectural Sites
Casablanca is one of the most famous cities visited by first time travelers to Morocco and well known for the Hassan II Mosque. Lesser known are its’ Art Deco Architecture and Sites. Casablanca has long history of engaging architects who once built Anfa’s grandest buildings that have typical Deco features of wrought ironwork, vasilating arches and colored, stained glass in geomteric shapes. Visiting the Art Deco Historic sites of Casablanca is a rewarding and way to discoer the past.

#6. Breadbaking with the Berbers
Meet a local Berber family, partake in a cooking lesson of how to make traditional bread. Berber bread is baked in clay ovens or on volcanic rock and stuffed with a variety of local spices made from fresh, dried and smoked ingredients.

#7. Travel Morocco in a Private 4×4 Land Cruiser
Traveling by luxury, 4×4 Land Cruiser across Morocco will enable you to cover a vast amount terrain in the most enjoyable and relaxing way. This way of traveling is highly recommended to first time travelers to Morocco and also to those who want an intimate, personal experience that is seamless from beginning to end.

Boutique Riads & Hotels in Morocco, Photo of Riad Noir D'Ivoire by Elan Fleisher

Boutique Riads & Hotels in Morocco, Photo of Riad Noir D’Ivoire by Elan Fleisher

#8. Stays at Charming Boutique Riads & Hotels
Riads are restored palace style accommodations with courtyards, lush gardens, and traditional zellij tile work. Morocco is known for having the best, luxury riads that offer an Arabian Nights sensibility. The Best Riads can be found in Morocco’s old medinas. Riads offer a combination of traditional and modern decor with excellent service, luxury traveler amenities and local Moroccan cuisine.

#9. Visit The Roman Ruins of Volubilis
Volubilis also referred to by Moroccans as Walili (Arabic) was the administrative center of the province in Roman Africa called Mauretania Tingitana. The Mauritanian capital, founded in the 3rd century B.C., became an important outpost of the Roman Empire and was graced with many fine buildings. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the late fourth century AD and later reoccupied in the sixth century, under the Abbasids. Extensive remains survived and create now what is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Morocco.

 

#10. Shop in Morocco’s Souks for Handmade Crafts
Souks and markets are a major feature in Moroccan life, and among the country’s greatest attractions for Moroccan travelers. Each town has its special souk quarter, large cities like Fes and Marrakech have labyrinths of individual souks (each filling a street or square and devoted tone particular craft), and in the countryside there are hundreds of weekly souks, on a different day in each village of the region.

What Is Included In a Tailor-Made Private Tour
A tailor-made private tour includes luxury transportation in a 4×4, Viano or Minibus, accommodations at Boutique Riads and Hotels, a Multilingual Speaking Driver that is fluent in English, Arabic, French and Berber along with Licensed, expert Historical Guides. Whether you prefer Old cities, Roman ruins and the souks or the Sahara Desert, the High Atlas Mountains and natural wonders, a tailor-made tour will be customied to your personal interests.

For More Information or to Find Out More About Tailor Made Private 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.

12 Things to Do in Morocco with Kids

July 20th, 2016
12 Things to do with Morocco with Kids

12 Things to do with Morocco with Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco is a family friendly country and the perfect choice for travelers with kids. Whether you are planning Morocco vacation as a younger family or traveling with older children Morocco has a wealth of adventure activities and things to do with kids. There are many exciting activities that serve as family tour essentials on a private tour not to be missed. Moroccans love children and much of the culture revolves around family. Children are welcome in Morocco and treated well and with much personal interest. It is common for Moroccans to admire children, offer compliments and engage warmly with families. The unique combination of Morocco’s rural landscapes paried with the old world medinas (cities) and mix of exotic cuisine make Morocco a magical place to take a Family Adventure vacation.

 

12 Things to Do in Morocco with Kids:

Camel Trek Acorss the Moroccan Sahara Desert
Camel Trekking offers a unique way to travel Morocco’s great south. Families can explore nomadic villages and Kasbahs situated in palm groves, surrounding valleys, mountainous landscapes, gorges and the grand Sahara Desert Dunes. Camel trekking is an inspirational family adventure that shows how Moroccans traveled through the desert for decades and centuries before. Trek to an Oasis or camel trek at sunset before overnighting in a desert camp in the heart of the dunes.

Explore Moroccan cuisine on a Food Tour
Food Tours serve as an opportunity for families to discover local Moroccan cuisine. Venture on a guided, private Food Tour of Marrakech’s Djemma El Fna Square. Discover the best local eats such as exotic snail soup, sheepshead and sip Mint tea. A Fes Food Tour hosted by a local is also a perfect family activity for kids. Your local Moroccan Food Tour guide will share traditional cooking methods by taking you to visit a furnatchi where the water for the communal bath house ‘hammam’ is also heated, and a 400 year old ‘furan’ or communal oven and bakery. Look no further as the world of spices and their uses and the secrets will be in your hands. Explore the spice market and the male-oriented domain of the tea den under the guidance of a culinary leader and story-teller. Learn to bake bread in the 400-year old community oven with the baker overseeing your hands-on efforts. Take your hot bread to the honey souk to try it with 8 artisanal wild honeys, aged butter or khlia, spicy dried beef. Food tours are created for foodies and those who have the penchant for the exotic, you may try cooking ‘on-street’. Shop and fill up a terracotta urn ‘tanjia’ to have embedded in the hot ashes of the furnachi for a rich and spicy Moroccan casserole, followed by a succulent tasting.

Hike the High Atlas
Hiking in Morocco is an essential family activity. With the High Atlas Mountains and located just an hour from Marrakech, families can trek through Berber Villages, overnight at a refuge and dine at a local family, Berber barbecue.

Djemaa El Fna Square

Djemaa El Fna Square

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Djemaa El Fna Square
Djemaa El Fna Square is said to be the heart and soul of Marrakech. At the signal of sunset, this mysterious and mesmerizing place truly comes alive. Snake charmers fiddle flirtatiously with their cobras, fire swallowers eat fire, storytellers entertain big crowds, fortune tellers mesmerize tourists with tall tales and the rhythms of African and Arabic sounds hypnotize the crowds amongst the colorful clouds of cooking smoke decorating the air with mingled aromas of mint, cilantro, cumin, and turmeric. The square is transformed into a magical medieval styled circus.

Attend a Fantasia Horse Spectacle
Experience a traditional Fantasia at the Chez Ali Equestiran Show in Marrakech. A Fantasia is an equestiran horse show, with entertainment, with Berber song, dance and fireworks that can be enjoed with a Moroccan meal of miswhi (Moroccan roasted lamb) and couscous.

Get Lost in Morocco’s old medinas with a Local Guide
Morocco’s medinas )ancient cities) have narrow alleys, each leading to hidden architectural jewels and unique Moroccan historical sites. Morocco’s medinas are traditional living quarters of the local population that has within them neighborhoods which allow self sufficiency such as a mosuqe, water fountain, bread oven, vegetable souk and butcher. Medinas also have magnficient boutique riads and hotels, opulent gardens, restaurants and are home to wonderful fruit and vegetable souks, handy crafts, woodworkers, desginers and bakers.

Quad Ride Across the Sahara Desert Dunes
Quad riding in Morocco is ideal for families looking for adventure or those who want to experience rural terrain. Morocco offers dense desert trails, wild beaches and dunes that you can fly across during your Quad biking session. Quad bike across the Sahara Desert in Merzouga’s Erg Chebbi Dunes, M’hamid El Ghizlane’s Dunes or Erg Chegaga’s Dunes.

Take a Cooking Class with a Daada Chef
Cooking Classes are conducted by a dada (traditional Moroccan cook) or a chef from and held at a kitchen in the medina, rural or in a palmeraie garden setting. Family Moroccan Cooking Classes are a total of 4 hours with an option of an add on of wines tasting accompaniment. At the end of each class, families can dine on the meal they have prepared. At a typical half-day cooking class, families will prepare an appetizer and a main dish, or a main dish and dessert.

Fly Over the Hot Atlas in a Hot Air Balloon
Hot Air Balloon Over the Atlas at sunrise with views of Marrakech. Enjoy a 1-Hour balloon flight, then receive your souvenier flight certificate. Included in the kid friendly adventure for families is a 4×4 Land rover excursion through local Berber villages to a private tent where breakfast is served along with a visit to a Berber house and camel trek across the Marrakech palmeraie.

Zipline Through the Atlas

Zipline Through the Atlas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zipline Through the High Atlas
Zip Lining across the High Atlas can easily be incorporated as a one or two day excursion from Marrakech. The estate Travel Exploration works with is a grand example of ecotourism in Morocco done at its best suitable for families with kids. Take in the breathtaking famous 700-foot gorge and tree-to-tree zip-lining. Morocco adventure travelers can also cross the Tyrol suspension and tight-rope bridges, hike and trek on foot, horse or mule, participate in Berber bowling, archery, falconry and polo on mule-back. To top this off there are Berber weaving demonstrations along with Moroccan cuisine and tea-making workshops.

 

Vist A Water Park
Oasaria Water Park serves as the perfect day excursion for families planning to visit Morocco in summer. This water park features multiple slides, a wave pool, a lazy river & kids’ splash areas.

Lunch with a Berber Family

Lunch with a Berber Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sip Tea with a Berber Family
Meet a local Berber family, sip tea in the Sagro Mountains, and dine on couscous. Then 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. After lunch, you can have your hands and feet painted with henna or your hair adorned with saffron by a local village artist and relax. Experience the tradition of Berber perfume made from musk and amber along with the villages own spices.

For More Information about Things to Do with Kids in Morocco or a Private, Morocco Family 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.

Top 10 Things To Do in Essaouira, Morocco Tour Guide

July 18th, 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 for independent travelers interested in discovering the insiders guide to coastal living or those who desire a private Morocco Tour.

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 – Top 10 and More…
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. Take a Cooking Class with Khadija’s Kuzina. 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

Chez Miloud
Known by locals as the best place to eat Msimen, a flaky pancake and Harira Soup, Chez Miloud is a must dine while in this coastal town. Owned and run by locals.

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

Galerie AIDA
Joseph Sebag, many refer to as one of the last remaining Jews of Essaouira owns a charming bric-a-brac store located under the ramparts. It is filled with a melange items such as antique, silver Berber and Jewish jewelry, exotic dagers, other Souri finds along with English and French books. Sebag is worth meeting as he carries a wealth of Essaouira’s Jewish History with him.
Address: 2 rue de la Skala
Phone: +212-524-47–62–90

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

Joutiya Market
Essaouira’s Sunday flea market filled with second-hand items, antique treasures and junk stalls. With views of the Coast this market where a rare gem can be found also has Native Swiri Artists that feature there naïve creations of art in self-decorated houses and small buildings.

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

Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

For more information about Things to Do in Essaouira.

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.

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.