Archive for the ‘Morocco Private Tours’ Category

History & Stories of the Fes Jewish Mellah, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Monday, October 17th, 2016
Fes Medina View, Jewish Mellah

Fes Medina View, Jewish Mellah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The city of Fes, Morocco is a historic landmark and must see for those interested in Moroccan Jewish Heritage. On a guided Jewish Heritage Tour of Fes the magnetic culture of Moroccan Jewery will be revealed through the eyes of a local expert. Fes is the oldest contiguous free, working medina in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history of Moroccan Jewery of Fes is fascinating and engaging. Stories of the Fes Jewish Mellah are those of co-existance, culture, love and prosperity along with alienation which was followed by a severe population decline once Israel became a state.

On a guided Jewish Heritage Tour of Fes you will learn about the roots of Moroccan Jews and how a population that once reached 300,000 + gradually disappeared. You will go beyond what is written in guidebooks and history books to hear an insiders perspective about co-existence between Moroccan Arabs and Moroccan Jews, that once described the livelyhood of Jewish Fes pre and post World War II.

Ibn Danan Synagogue, Jewish Fes

Ibn Danan Synagogue, Jewish Fes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As recent as the 1940’s there were still over 200,000 Jews in Morocco with the majority of the population residing in Fes. The Moroccan city of Fes lays claim to once having the largest Jewish community in the entire Muslim world however fewer then 2500 remain in the country today. Those few are primarily living within a close knit community with their extended family in the Imperial city of Casablanca. Casablanca’s Jewish community and culture remains small yet vibrant. The city of Casablanca has several working synagogues, a community center, kosher butchers, kosher restaurants and is home to the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, lauded for being the only Jewish museum in the Muslim world today.

The historic presence of Jewish Morocco runs through the veins of the country. The former Jewish population built synagogues, cemeteries, shrines and created prosperity and wealth within the Mellahs. The Jews of Fes were leaders in trade, the garment business, experts in agriculture and jewelry designers. Moroccan Jews for example were the creators of the ancient tradition of filagree jewelry made using gold and silver. This particular Moroccan tradition uses metalwork made with tiny threads that are twised together to form intricate and beautiful designs. Filagree jewelry often featured the Star of David, chamsas and other ornate symbols.

Although the Jews of Fes were confined to living in the walled Mellah it was done so for their protection and to the benefit of both royalty and the government. The Jewish Mellah of Fes and the mellahs in other Moroccan cities were located close to the Royal palace and the governor’s residence. Many Jews were consultants for the King and also the government, making their level of contribution and importance to Moroccan culture and society exceptional.

Jewish Cemetery, Fes Medina

Jewish Cemetery, Fes Medina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the exodus of Moroccan Jews when Israel became a state, many in Morocco claim the economy changed drastically as they took with them a great skillset, once shared with their Muslim breathren. While the Jews left land, shrines, cuisine traditions and businesses, among other riches, the Moroccan economy never recovered from the particular labor trends that helped maintain and enrich the country that were associated with the Jewish community.

In the North of Morocco, the city of of Tangier and the blue washed mountain town of Chefchaouen, once had a prominent community of Spanish Jews that resided there. Jews emigranted to Morocco during the Inquisition. Today there there are Moroccan, Jewish Heritage Sites in Casablanca, Marrakech, Zaogra, the Skoura palmeraie, Coastal Essaouira, the Ourika Valley and Ourigane National Park.

Most prominent though is the impact the Jewish community made within the social character of Fes.

Maimonides, Jewish Fes

Maimonides, Jewish Fes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FES JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR – MOROCCO PRIVATE TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Visit Ibn Danan Synagogue, a 17th Century Jewish landmark, Talmud Torah Synagogue, Talmud Torah and El Fassiyeen
Explore the Jewish Cemetery Museum and the Tomb of Solica
The Royal Palace and Stories of the Jewish Mellah
The home of Maimonides and the Fes Jewish Community Center
Dinner at a Rabbi’s Home or Kosher Restaurant.
Meet the Local Fes Jewish Community (Friday evenings)

For more information about Jewish Heritage Tours of Fes

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.

Natural Wonders of Morocco, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Tizi-N-Test-Pass

The Tizi N’Test pass from Marrakech, Morocco to Taroudant leads you over the Middle Atlas, heartland of the Berber people, through hair raising hair pin bends at 2,092 meters overlooking valleys and gorges, small fields and mountain villages. It was here from Tin Mal, the site of the famous Berber mosque that the Almohads rose up and took Marrakech from the Almoravids in 1152.

This winding route is not a drive that is recommended to first timers and no one travels it at night. Nowadays the motorway from Marrakech to Agadir means that most of the commercial vehicles do not take the mountain pass which means less hair raising over taking, hoping that no one is coming round the corner. First timers are well advised to hire an experienced driver to travel in safety and enjoy the views which are amongst the best you will see in Morocco. The volcanic period centuries ago provided incredible geographical mountain features crowned now with a variety of greenery, trees and earthen berber villages.

The French administration completed the road in 1929 and it is a remarkable feat of civil engineering. It opened up a natural mountainous barrier which preserved Berber independence for centuries. When Sultan Moulay Hassan and his army tried to cross the Tizi ‘N Test pass in 1893 in a blizzard they were saved by the brothers Madani and Thami El Glaoui and the Sultan bestowed a Krupp cannon and regional powers on his saviors. It was a turning point in Moroccan history and Thami El Glaoui went on to be Pacha of Marrakech from 1893 to 1956. To travel this winding route is to understand the history of the Berbers as well as enjoying a fine adventure and some of the best views in Morocco.

Dades Gorge

The winter snow capped Atlas mountains towering over Marrakech are an unforgettable sight and the Ourika valley with its river and green pastures seen from the road snaking up from the road along the side of the valley is also one of the wonders of Morocco . You descend to the picturesque village of Ourika and go on up to the waterfalls of the Setti Fatma shrine and the stony river bed which leads on into the mountains.

You can ski in winter at nearby Oumkaimeden and view Mount Toubkal close up from the trekking station at Imlil. Trekking in the area or climbing Mount Toubkal is a great adventure and you can also enjoy the forests and mountain walks of Toubkal National Park which is nearly 250,000 acres in size, or take to a bicycle or mountain bike. It is rare to find such natural beauty and extensive adventure opportunities within easy reach of a major city like Marrakech.

On the eastern side of the Atlas Mountains is the Todra Gorge with its huge canyon which is an immense rock formation running seven miles through the mountains and an attraction for trekkers. You can also visit the Dades Gorge 100 kms north of Ouarzazate between the Middle and Anti Atlas. Besides being home to many ancient Kasbahs it is a site of remarkable beauty running alongside the Dades river.

South of Ouarzazate is the desert town of Merzouga and the Erg Chebbi which is one of Morocco’s two great erg’s, the other being being the Chighaga Erg near M’hamid. They are a mass of sand dunes which change their formation with the blowing of the wind so that they are never the same. They reach a height of up to 150 meters. Erg Chebbi spans 22 kilometers from north to south and up to 5-10 kilometers from east to west. This is a chance to experience the stillness and beauty of the real desert and to take a camel trek or a four wheel drive vehicle and sleep out under the stars in a desert camp.

Morocco has 3,500 miles of pristine unspoilt beaches stretching from the Dakhla in the South along the Atlantic coast through Agadir , Taghazout, Oualidia, Essaouira , and new resorts such as Lixus, Mazagan, Taghazout and Plage Blanche offering excellent opportunities for surfing. Morocco’s Mediterranean coast has beaches from Tangier and Asilah to Al Hoceima and the new resorts of Tamuda Bay and Saida. The Mediterranean beaches do not have the strong undercurrents present on the Atlantic coast and there is good scuba diving at Cabo Negro.

Morocco’s natural wonders also include a number of national parks and forests in both nortern and southern Morocco. Toubkal National Park is the oldest and largest. The others are found at Al Hoceima , Haut Atlas Oriental National Park, Ifrane, Merdja Zerka ,Souss Massa, Talassemtane and Tazekka National Park. These extensive cedar forests are home to wildlife such as golden jackal, red fox, leopard, barbary apes and extensive bird life. Morocco is home to important wet lands including Merja Zerga on the Atlantic coast which hosts 1,400 species of birds many of them migrating. Between 15,000 and 30,000 ducks are said to winter at the lagoon, and it regularly holds 50,000 to 100,000 waders including flamingos.

For More Information about Natural Wonders of Morocco

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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.

Pianist Pnina Becher, A Classical Morocco Tour, 4 Imperial Cities, 4 Wine Tasting Events, 4 Sonatas

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Pnina Becher On Piano

Journey across Morocco with Bach, Scarlatti & Chopin – Piano Reserva With Pnina Becher. Join Pnina Bechers A Moroccan Musical Soire Spring 2013. Travel Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Feast on Sumptuous Cuisine & Indulge in 4 Wine Tasting Events  while listening to Musical Soirées in unprecedented and charming Moroccan settings.

A Moroccan Musical Soirée is a 10 Days/ 9 Nights Morocco Tour designed for the sophisticated, cultured traveler drawn to discover exotic cities.  Accompanied by evenings of charmed and powerful classical music performances and four wine tasting events this boutique Morocco Journey offers a once in a lifetime experience.  This unique Morocco Tour created by Travel Exploration Morocco and Aviv Productions takes Classical Music out of its traditional context.

 

Kasbah, Marrakech La Maison Arabe

March 3rd – 12th, 2013: A Musical Moroccan Soire Tour Itinerary 

Your very private party in Morocco awaits you
A spiced infused night cap…..Milk and pettit-fours…..Hot chocolate a la Morocco and fragrant bed time tea.

Reserve Space Today. Call 1800-787-8806 or +212-618-88-26-81

 

Rick's Cafe, Casablanca

March 3rd: Casablanca Arrival & Historical Tour
Arrival at Casablanca Mohammed V Airport Early AM. Start your day with a visit to Casablanca’s Sacred Sites.
►Visit the Mosque of Hassan II.
►Next visit Casablanca’s Cathédrale Sacré-Coeur.
►Lunch in Casablanca seaside by the corniche.
►Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism.
►Dinner at Rick’s Cafe  (Wine Not Included.)
Spend the night at the 5 Star Hotel in Casablanca.
(Breakfast & Dinner Included.)

MARCH 4th:  Casablanca – Guided Meknes Historical Tour – Volubilis Guided Historical Tour – Fes
(Driving Time: 2 Hours)

►Breakfast at your Hotel in Casablanca. Then take the road to Meknes.
►Begin your visit at the 18th Century Meknes Palace built by Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdallah.
►Enter Place El-Hedime (Square of Ruins) which links the medina and the kasbah.
►Visit the Musée Dar Jamaï, a museum showing modern Moroccan arts, woodwork, ceramics, carpets, costumes, jewelryand metalwork.
►Explore the Bou Inania Medersa’s beautiful Koranic school established by the Merinids in the 14th century. Visit the Grand Mosque, the Thursday Gate (Bab El-Khemis) and Horse Stables.
►Lunch in Meknes. Visit a Winery in Meknes.
►Then take the road to explore the breathtaking archaeological site of Volubilis (Walili).
►Once occupied by the Romans, Volubilis has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site and gained international acclaim when Martin Scorsese made it a feature location for his film, The Last Temptation of Christ.
Begin your visit by discovering the fascinating Roman ruins adorned with beautiful mosaics and colorful tiles depicting Roman mythology.
►Enjoy tea at the small café that sits just below the Volubilis ruins. Next explore the open-air museum with remains of altars, sculptural fragments and colorful mosaics. Take the road to Fes.
Spend the night at the 5 Star Luxury Riad in Fes.
(Breakfast Included. Lunch & Dinner Not Included.)

 

Piano, Riad Fes

March 5th: Fes Guided Historical Tour (Jewish Heritage Sites of Fes & UNESCO Monuments)
►Breakfast at your Riad in Fes.
►Visit 14th Century Palace Gates of the King and The Royal Palace in Fes.
►Jewish Mellah –  The Mellah is a Jewish quarter located in the old cities of Morocco with a walled boundary.
►Ibn Danan Jewish Synagogue
►Jewish Cemetery & Tomb of Solica
►Walk through one of the oldest and most beautiful preserved Jewish streets in Morocco from the time of the inquisition.
►Rcife – Enter the medina from a “bab” or region of the old medina, Fes el Bali known as Rcife which is the heart of manufacturing of all Fassis goods.
►Dyers souk of silk, wool and cotton
►Seffraine Square – Place el-Seffarine
►The Tannery
► Lunch at a Traditional Moroccan Restaurant  in Fes- 5 Course Meal
► The Bou Inania Medersa
► Pottery & Zellij Tile Cooperative
►Dinner at your Riad or one of Fes Best Restaurants

Domenico Scarlatti

PERFORMANCE 1 -PIANO RESERVA: A SCARLATTI SOIREE, PART I
Music by Domenico Scarlatti Part I – Wine Tasting Event & Appetizers 

Dinner in Fes. Your Riad or one of Fes Best Restaurants.
►Spend the night at the 5 Star Luxury Riad in Fes.
(Breakfast Included. Lunch & Dinner Not Included.)

Jnane Sbil Gardens, Fes

March 6th: Fes  – Jnan S’bil Gardens – Sidi Harazam – Moulay Yacoub Or Private Jewish Heritage Tour
►Rise, have breakfast at your Riad. Stroll the Jnan S’bil Gardens.
►Visit the Fes Pottery Cooperative where you can view how the Fasis pottery and zellij tile are made by hand.
►Afternoon Free. Sidi Harzaem or Moulay Yacoub Spa Visit Option.

PERFORMANCE 2 -PIANO RESERVA: A SCARLATTI SOIREE, PART II
Music by Domenico Scarlatti Part II – Wine Tasting Event & Appetizers

Dinner in Fes. Your Riad or one of Fes Best Restaurants.
►Spend the night at the 5 Star Luxury Riad in Fes.
(Breakfast Included. Lunch & Dinner Not Included.)

March 7th: Fes – Ifrane – Azro – Beni Mellal –
►Breakfast at your Riad.
►En route to Marrakech visit Ifrane, “little Switzerland.” Tea and Pastries surrounded by Moroccan architecture and orange grooves.
►Lunch in Beni Mellal.
►Continue the road and arrive in Marrakech in the early evening.
►Check into your Riad that is centrally located, explore the Djemma El Fna Square on your own.
Dinner in Marrakech. Your Riad or one of Marrakech Best Restaurants.
►Spend the night at the 5 Star Luxury Riad in Marrakech.
(Breakfast Included. Lunch & Dinner Not Included.)

 

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech

March 8th: Marrakech Guided Historical Tour
►Breakfast at your Riad. Visit the following sites during a Marrakech Guided Historical Tour.
The Majorelle Gardens – The Majorelle Garden is a twelve acre botanical garden. Previously the Jardin Bou Saf, it bears its name from its original creator, Jacques Majorelle, the French expatriate artist who was born in Nancy France in 1886. The garden has been open to the public since 1947. Since 1980 the garden has been owned by Yves Saint- Laurent and Pierre Berge.
►The Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens – The largest mosque in Marrakech, Morocco.  The name is derived from the Arabic al-Koutoubiyyin for librarian, since it used to be surrounded by sellers of manuscripts. It is considered the ultimate structure of its kind.
►The Saadian Tombs – The Saadian tombs in Marrakech date back from the time of the sultan Ahmad al -Mansur. The tombs were only recently discovered (in 1917) and were restored by the Beaux-arts service.
►El Bahia Palace – The El Bahia Palace in Marrakech is a beautiful building and an excellent example of Eastern Architecture from the 19th century that represents trends and standards of the wealthy who lived at that time.
►The Jewish Mellah – Founded in 1558 by Moulay Abdallah, the Mellah district was designated as the Jewish quarter in Marrakech. At the time of the Spanish religious wars, Jewish refugees were escaping the country, and were offered this little piece of security by the Sultan.
►The Old Spice Market – The Rahba Kedima is a colorful market filled with a wide array of spices from Cumin, Cinnamon, Saffron, Dried Pepper and more.
Maison Tiskiwin Musuem –  This museum belonged to Mr. Bert Flint who was a collector of local Marrakech art. The museum is open to the public and the travelers and exhibits basket works, jewelry, textiles and many other things. An excellent compilation of Moroccan art and artifacts is housed in the Maison Tiskiwin museum.
Dinner in Marrakech. Your Riad or one of Marrakech Best Restaurants.
►Spend the night at the 5 Star Luxury Riad in Marrakech.
(Breakfast Included. Lunch & Dinner Not Included.)

March 9th: Marrakech Guided Garden Visit or Cooking Class Option
►Rise, have breakfast at your Riad
►Morning Option: Attend a cooking lesson using Moroccan Spices & Moroccan Tajine  from 10:00am – 2:00pm.
►Visit Marrakech’s Menara Gardens. Have a leisurely walk through the gardens. The Menara Gardens are located to the west of Marrakech at the gates of the Atlas Mountains.

►Next, head to The Mamounia Hotel & Gardens for Tea & Lunch. La Mamounia is where Alfred Hitchcock wrote the movie “The Birds.”
►After lunch at La Mamounia spend the day exploring Marrakech on your own or with your guide shopping in the Djemma.

J.S. Bach

PERFORMANCE 3 -PIANO RESERVA: A LATE NIGHT CAP WITH J.S. BACH – PART III
Music by J.S. Bach – Spiced infused night cap, milk and pettit-fours…Hot Chocolate a la Morocco and fragrant bedtime tea.
Dinner in Marrakech. Your Riad or one of Marrakech Best Restaurants.
►Spend the night at the 5 Star Luxury Riad in Marrakech.
(Breakfast Included. Lunch & Dinner Not Included.)

March 10th: Marrakech – Ourika Valley Excursion
►Breakfast at your Riad. Explore Marrakech on your own or visit the Ourika Valley’s Setti Fatima’s Seven Waterfalls. ►Take a day off from the “red hamra” city and head southeast of Marrakech. Visit the Souk Tnine de L’orika, the gateway to the pleasant Ourika Valley.
►The souk, located near a picturesque zaouia with a rock drop background, has the largest souk of the valley every Monday. Your driver will stop and browse at local crafts and other Moroccan treasures.
►Visit the Setti Fatma 7 Waterfalls, a favorite weekend resort of many Marrakshis that is appreciated for its beautiful streams and falls. Hike in Ourika.
►Have lunch near the Setti Fatma Cascades in a traditional Moroccan restaurant or have a picnic near the lake.

Chopin

PERFORMANCE 4 -PIANO RESERVA: A CHOPIN SOIREE – PART IV
Music by Chopin – Wine Tasting & Appetizers 

Dinner in Marrakech. Your Riad or one of Marrakech Best Restaurants.
►Spend the night at the 5 Star Luxury Riad in Marrakech.
(Breakfast Included. Lunch & Dinner Not Included.)

 

Seaside Essaouira

MARCH 11th: Marrakech – Essaouira Guided Historical Tour
► Rise, breakfast at your Riad. Then take the road to visit the seaside port of Essaouira.
►The journey to this former Portuguese fishing village offers up only a few roadside towns and the occasional Berber village.
►In the ’60s and ’70s, Essaouira was a pitstop 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”.
► Visit this sea-side medieval town that boasts lovely white-washed and blue-shuttered houses, colonnades, thuya wood workshops, art galleries and mouthwatering seafood.
► 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 ramparts and the spice and jewelry souks of the medina. Your guide will take you to the old Jewish Mellah and explain the entire history of Essaouira.
► The medina of Essaouira (formerly “Mogador”) is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city, as an example of a late-18th century fortified town.
► Have lunch at the fish-grill cafes, with wooden tables and benches laid out overlooking the sea.
► After lunch 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. 
Dinner in Marrakech. Your Riad or one of Marrakech Best Restaurants.
►Spend the night at the 5 Star Luxury Riad in Marrakech.
(Breakfast Included. Lunch & Dinner Not Included.)

MARCH 12th: Marrakech – Casablanca Deprature
►Breakfast at your Riad, then take the road to Casablanca. Departure from Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport.

Included: A Moroccan Tour – A Musical Morocan Soire

Private Driver For 10 Days – Mercedes Luxury Minibus
Licensed National, English Speaking Historical Guide For Your Entire Tour In: Casablanca, Fes, Volubilis, Meknes, Marrakech, Essaouira
Appetizers, Wine & Piano Provided at Riad Fes in Main Salon (2 Nights)
Appetizers, Wine & Piano Provided by La Maison Arabe at Kasbah
(2 Nights)
Wine for Performances: Varied Red/ Wine/ Moroccan
9 Nights in 5 Star – Luxury Moroccan Riads & Hotels: 1 Night at 5 Star Hotel Casablanca, 3 Nights at Luxury Moroccan Riad in Fes, 5 Nights at Luxury Moroccan Riad in Marrakech
Museum & Monument Entrance Fees

MEALS: 10 Total: Gourmet Buffet Breakfast at your Riad Everyday, Welcome Dinner at Rick’s Café in Casablanca , Appetizers to Accompany all performances, Breakfast & Tea Time at La Maison Arabe

Not Included:
Lunch & Dinner (except where noted)
Beverages (bottled water, soda, alcohol)
Gratuity to Your Driver/ Guide
Services on days or evenings at leisure

Program Subject to Change based upon Availability & Artistic Preferences 

Reserve Space Today. Call 1800-787-8806 or +212-618-88-26-81

For More Information About Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel ExplorationTravel 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) 618882681and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Morocco Tour, A Musical Morocco Tour, Wine Tasting Events Morocco, Pnina Becher in Morocco, Pianist Pnina Becher, Pnina Becher, Piano Scarlatti, Piano Reserva, Pnina Becher Music and Wine, Pnina Becher music, Pnina Becher Goldberg Variations, Domenico Scarlatti, Chopin. J.S. Bach, Pnina Becher 2&3, Morocco Travel, Tours to Morocco, Morocco, Travel Exploration Morocco

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition at Majorelle Gardens In Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Postcard

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Postcard

Forty-four fashion creations that demonstrate Yves Saint Laurent’s love of Morocco are currently being showcased at the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech from November 27th, 2010 – March 18th, 2011. This exhibition at the Majorelle Gardens brings to life haute couture designs inspired by the country he loved.

Princess Lalla Salma attended the inauguration ceremony of the ‘Yves Saint Laurent and Morocco’ exhibition that was organized under the patronage of King Mohammed VI. The Princess visited the different shelves and areas of this state of the art exhibition that is sumptuously accessorized and accompanied by a series of pictures documents and sketches.

Princess Lalla Salma at Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Majorelle Gardens

Princess Lalla Salma at Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Majorelle Gardens

The Yves Saint Laurent exhibition presents a very-well designed interior of a Moroccan house. It includes reinterpretations by Saint Laurent of caftans (traditional clothes for women), Capes, Sarouels with Moroccan embroideries (traditional trousers for men) and soft furnishings.

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Space

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Space

Cloaks, embroideries, Turkish trousers, head coverings and flowing Moroccan style gowns; the creations on show make explicit reference to the Moroccan clothing tradition that inspired Yves Saint-Laurent. Their colors also evoke those admired by the artist in Marrakech: the orange of saffron, the blue of the Majorelle Gardens, and the violet of the bougainvillea. “This city led me to color,” Saint- Laurent often said.

The exhibition’s curator, the designer’s partner and collaborator Pierre Bergé, views this exhibition as a “tribute from Yves Saint Laurent to the inhabitants of Morocco, to the sky of Marrakech and its light.” The couple bought three houses there, including the one in Majorelle that now houses the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint-Laurent Foundation.

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Room, Christophe Martin Stage Designer

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Room, Christophe Martin Stage Designer

A dark, starlit room within the exhibition space that showcases Yves Saint Laurent’s pieces has a mirrored ceiling from top to bottom and creates an ambiance of luster. Christophe Martin the stage designer takes the visitor outside the house into nature in this room called “Color.” Another area dubbed “Ideal Africa” houses timeless items made of surprising substances mainly wooden beads mica and raffia.

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Entrance

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Entrance

Every footstep throughout the exhibition space, beginning with the entrance, makes one forget time and space encouraging the opportunity to get lost into a dreamland of wonder and color. While the exhibition does lack  a detailed descriptive time line next to each piece and a detailed overview of Saint Laurent’s life and history in Morocco, none the less the inspiration of his work shines through.  Some may equivocate this showing as an art- fashion installation rather then an actual exhibition as a result of its intense usage of free form set design, color and space that is of perfect elegance and scale.

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Book

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Book

A book of the exhibition, “Yves Saint Laurent, Une Passion Marocaine” with a symbolic snake bracing the cover, created  by the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent foundation is available for sale and its contents are as beautifully created as is his designer clothing.

Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech

Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech

Yves Saint Laurent’s passion for Morocco dates back to his arrival in Marrakech in 1966. From that day onwards he considered Morocco his second home.  It was Morocco where he first came across the magic of color and he reclaimed “when I discovered Marrakech, it was an extraordinary shock. The city taught me color.” In 1980 Saint-Laurent purchased The Majorelle Garden that was threatened with destruction and together they restored and saved it from ruin.

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech

The Majorelle Garden, previously the Jardin Bou Saf, bears its name from its original creator, Jacques Majorelle, the French expatriate artist who was born in Nancy France in 1886. Jacques Majorelle was the son of the celebrated Art Nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle. In 1947 he opened his gardens to the public and during this time also painted a magnificent ceiling space at La Mamounia, a five-star hotel with gardens and the place where Alfred Hitchcock wrote, “The Birds.”

Jacques Majorelle studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nancy in 1901 and later in 1919 he went to Marrakech, Morocco to recover from heart problems. He built the garden during those years using special color of blue which he used extensively in the garden that is named after him, Majorelle Blue. Jacques Majorelle returned to France in 1962 after a car incident and died later that year of complications from his injuries. As a collector of unique plants from five continents Jacque Majorelle left to Saint Laurent one of the more unique collections of flore and fauna of this era as well as a place of inspiration and contemplation. Even though Morocco is no longer under the French protectorate, this originally French creation is one of the most beloved areas in Morocco.

The power of the blue Majorelle is long lived and permeates the essence of what it means to live and see color in Marrakech.

For More Information about Marrakech Tours or the Majorelle Gardens

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Moroccan Cooking Classes, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Sunday, October 24th, 2010
Moroccan Cooking Class Chef

Moroccan Cooking Class Chef

If you’re planning a Morocco vacation one of the best ways to discover the culture of the Maghreb is to taking a cooking class or a private, cooking course in Morocco’s Imperial Cities of Marrakech and Fes or consider a Moroccan culinary tourMarrakech and Fes offer some of the Morocco’s best cooking classes as a result of their subculture and history of fine cuisine alongside being able to lay claim to some of the best restaurants in Morocco.

A Morocco cooking class usually starts with a comprehensive introduction that highlights the importance of cooking in Moroccan society, and reviews the variety of recipes created by dadas (traditional woman cooks) over the centuries for special occasions such as marriages, holidays such as Ramadan, Eid El Kebir, Moroccan baptisms, and circumcisions.

Moroccan Spices

Moroccan Spices

Before taking a cooking class in Morocco most leading chefs will take you on a tour of the Marrakech or Fes medina on a tour and in search of the most favored spices that are used in Morocco cooking. During your medina tour you will discover spices such as fresh cumin, ginger, wild saffron grown from the Moroccan city of Talouine, indigenous sea salt from the Souss region of Agadir and pepper.

Lahcen's Cooking Class, Spice Shopping Fes

Lahcen's Cooking Class, Spice Shopping Fes

The core spices used in Moroccan cuisine include ginger, saffron, Cumin, ras el hanout (a mixture of up to 35 different spices and a famous Moroccan must in any kitchen), as well as salt and pepper. Olive oil, of which there is an abundance in Morocco, is also an essential ingredient in the local cuisine, as well as ghi (a kind of aged butter).

Most Moroccan recipes use parsley and coriander. Other important herbs such as thyme, oregano, bay leaf, rosemary and basil, are used depending on the recipe being prepared.

Traditionally, Moroccan homes used charcoal and clay pots to cook tajines or couscous. Modern Moroccan homes of course use the same gas or electric ranges found in European or American homes.

Le Jardin Des La Medina Cooking Class, Marrakech

Le Jardin Des La Medina Cooking Class, Marrakech

The cooking workshops at in Marrakech at famous five star Riads such as Le Maison Arabe and Le Jardin Des La Medina are conducted using modern equipment, so that the participants can easily prepare the dishes they have learned once they have returned to their own countries. A typical Moroccan cooking class lasts approximately 3-4 hours depending on the dish of choice you have chosen to make.

The same goes for the top cooking classes in Fes at Lahcen’s Moroccan Cooking class and culinary tour which is acclaimed by the New York Times and also at Café Clock

Before beginning your Moroccan cooking workshop, your chef will first offer an an overview of the most traditional recipes such as pastilla, couscous, and the broad variety of tajines (stews usually made with lamb or chicken), while reviewing some of the basic pillars of Moroccan cuisine.

Then the class will begin and take you away on a Moroccan adventure that will fill tempt your pallet.

Tajine La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

Tajine La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

Moroccan cooking Techniques for a typical tajine recipe calls for searing the meat, softening the onions, bringing to a boil and allowing to slowly simmer. This results in a reduced, thick sauce.

Woman Making Pastilla

Woman Making Pastilla

Techniques for pastilla and couscous will also be reviewed. Finally, before the practical part of the cooking class begins, you will be acquainted with the recipe of the day, whether it’s a chicken tajine with olives and preserved lemons, couscous or pastilla, and review the various vegetables and ingredients that will be used.

Most Moroccan cooking classes are structured around easy-to- make traditional recipes. Each participant has his or her own workstation and equipment, and follows step-by-step the preparing of that day’s dish. In a typical workshop or Moroccan cooking class you will learn how to make a main course as well as a Moroccan appetizer or salad (for example, eggplant or roasted green peppers with tomatoes).

Pigeon Pastilla

Pigeon Pastilla

When the class has finished, you will be able to savor the result of your labor by enjoying the meal you’ve prepared, in the cool shade of an olive or fig tree or in a special part of the Riad where you have taken your Moroccan cooking class.

Listed below are sample offerings that La Maison Arabe in Marrakech has as options of what you learn to cook during your Moroccan cuisine adventure. These recipes duplicated by other cooking classes in Morocco using their own chef’s unique style:

Briouate class:
-Assortment of Moroccan briouates (turnovers) – cheese, chicken ground meat, vegetables and seafood

Pastilla class (choice of):
– Chicken with almonds
– Seafood
– Vegetables

Tajine class (choice of):
– Chicken tajine with lemon and olives
– Chicken tajine M’derbel (stewed tomatoes with cinnamon and
sesame seeds).
-Chicken tajine with almonds and boiled eggs
-Lamb tajine with dates and almonds
– Lamb tajine with figs and walnuts
– Beef or lamb tajine Makfoul (steamed tomatoes with small
onions)
– Lamb tajine with prunes and apricots

Couscous class (choice of):
– Chicken or lamb with caramelized onions
– Chicken or lamb with seven vegetables

For more information about Moroccan Cooking Classes or a Morocco Culinary Tour

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Morocco Holiday Vacation Ideas, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Man Praying at Kairaouine Mosque Fes

Man Praying at Kairaouine Mosque Fes

Some of the best Morocco Holiday Vacations are those spent on an unwieldy adventure. Travel Exploration Morocco offers many holiday vacation opportunities that range from ancient Imperial city tours to majestic nights in the Sahara Desert Tours, a regional visit of Southern Morocco’s Valley of Nomads, Mount Mgoun and Draa Valley region along with customized cuisine tours and private dining experiences at some of Morocco’s best restaurants. Planning a Morocco Holiday Vacation for the Christmas or New Years is easy when using the private Morocco tour services of a Morocco travel agency.

Tomb of Koubba Lalla Zohra, Marrakech

Tomb of Koubba Lalla Zohra, Marrakech

Booking a private Morocco Holiday Vacation offers the option of spending your journey in a 4×4 land cruiser traveling across Morocco. Morocco is known for its incredible topography and variation of landscapes that take a Moroccan traveler on a unique adventure. The architecture of Morocco’s medersas and places are incredible.

Bahia Palace Marrakech, Koran Blessing

Bahia Palace Marrakech, Koran Blessing

The calligraphic work and ceiling treatments throughout Morocco’s palaces and Kasbahs is astonishing. A Morocco Holiday Vacation offers families and small groups a cultural experience as one moves from region to region using Travel Exploration’s well designed grand clockwise travel route beginning in Casablanca and ending in the seaside artist colony of Essaouira.

It is recommended to being a Morocco Holiday in Casablanca which boasts the incredible Hassan II Mosque to the Imperial City of Fes prized for it’s intellectual history, the old medina Fes El Bali whereby you see traditional craftsmanship of old techniques such as pottery, zellij tile and metal smithing.

Man Painting Pottery, Cooperative Fes

Man Painting Pottery, Cooperative Fes

There’s nothing quite like continuing a Moroccan vacation discovering the ancient ruins of Volubilis and the city of Meknes’ Moulay Ismail Mausoleum where the former Hassan II’s Berber wife has been laid to rest along with the Meknes Thursday Gate Bab El Khemis and the city’s tradition of weaving, created by Franciscan Nuns.

Stables Meknes

Stables Meknes

Any complete Morocco Holiday also offers a magical journey through the Merzouga Sahara Desert’s Erg Chebbi Dunes, the region of Bouthgrar’s Valley of Nomads and a special lunch experience with a Moroccan family in the village of Ait Ouzzine, N’kob.

An overnight stay in Ouarzazate, the door to the Sahara and region of Morocco’s ancient Kasbahs is also a highlight that is not to be missed on any Morocco vacation. Visiting Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Kasbah Taouirit, and the Telouet Kasbah in the Tizzin’ Tichka Pass engages once in an adventure and historical overview of the Pasha Glaoui who once ruled Southern Morocco.

Mount Mgoun Bouthgrar

Mount Mgoun Bouthgrar

Breathtaking landscapes and variation in topography at the Todra Gorge and Dades Valley are also not to be missed on any true Morocco adventure. Discovering the region of Bouthgrar and the Valley of Nomads where one can have tea with Noamd family and explore their history of living in ancient caves is second to none in the category of a life time memorable vacation.

Exploring the city of Marrakech’s Majorelle Gardens, La Mamounia Hotel’s Gardens, the Menara Gardens and the Agadal Gardens alongside a visit of the Bahia Palace and seaside Essaouira cannot be topped. A grand ending to any Morocco Holiday is a visit to the seaside artist colony of Essaouria where some of the best seafood can be had complimented by charming walks in the old medina, in it’s Portuguese Port and also chatting with local Essaouira shop keepers where imported Berber rugs from the Middle and High Atlas region can be purchasing for reasoable prices.

If you’re considering a Morocco Holiday Vacation then any of the following cities are the top places to visit.

Marrakech Tour- Gardens & Historical Sites

Fes Tour – Imperial City & Historical Sites

Ancient City of Volubilis & Meknes Tour

Merzouga Tour – Erg Chebbi Dunes

Valley of Nomads Tour – Mount Mgoun & Bouthgrar

Ouarzazate’s Ancient Kasbahs Tour

For more information about Morocco Holiday Vacations

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Ouarzazate Then & Now, A Growing Berber City in Southern Morocco, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Portrait of Writer-Journalist John Gunther

Ouarzazate has one main street, about fifty yards long, and two thousand people, of whom two hundred are French.  The temperature can reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. ”  So says world-renowned journalist John Gunther in 1952, of his visit to Ouarzazate, during the reign of the Pasha Glaoui, whose honored guest he was.

“The sight I enjoyed most,” he says, “next to the kasbahs, was the general store, run by a Greek.  It resembles closely the general store in Twin Corners, Montana, or Greensboro, Vermont.  The frigidaire has cold beer, ham is sliced by a machine made in Toledo, and you can buy anything from a can of sardines to a monkey wrench.”

Ouarzazate Main Square at Dusk

“From Ouarzazate, two roads stretch out which are among the most interesting in all Africa, one going southeast to Zagora, along the celebrated Valley of the Draa, the other projecting eastward through an equally celebrated valley, that of the Dades, which is solid with crumbling kasbahs.  We chose the latter.  Five minutes after we were on the road, it became clear to us–if we needed to know it–that indeed Africa is a continent of contrasts.  We passed first a long line of camions (heavy trucks) carrying manganese, and then a stately camel caravan.”

Ouarzazate today has grown into a city of over 60,000. One of the most popular places to go at dusk is Place Al Mohadine which is home to Ouarzazate’s largest, local outdoor market that sells everything from spices to rose water and a charming cafe named Habous.

Modern Town of Ouarzazate

Inhabited by Berbers, in the past Ouarzazate was a point for African traders passing in and out of Morocco.  During the French era, it was a garrison town.  Ouarzazate today is the center of the Moroccan film industry,  and the starting point for most Sahara Desert tours, as well as being the closest city to the kasbah Ait Benhaddou.

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Ouarzazate

Some famous films that were shot at Ait Benhaddou Kasbah include the Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara.

Main street in Ouarzazate today

For more information about Ouarzazate Tours or to Contact a Ouarzazate Travel Agency

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Ramadan Ambiance in Morocco, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Ramadan in Morocco and other Islamic countries is an unusual time when in addition to heightened spirituality, a special atmosphere permeates the culture unlike the rest of the year.  This is even more true when the month falls outside of the school year, as most of it does this year, 2010.  Normal schedules are completely turned around during Ramadan, and people enjoy special foods and family celebration.

Red Harira, Moroccan Soup

A typical Ramadan evening in Morocco and other Islamic countries, breakfast or “Laftour” is served after sunset and consists of red or white harira, hard-boiled eggs sprinkled with salt and cumin, a sticky-sweet pastry called shebakkia, dates, freshly-squeezed orange juice, coffee with milk, and often milkshakes made with both avocado and banana.

Shebakkia, a sticky-sweet Ramadan pastry

Sometimes in the evening, some of the more unusual Moroccan specialties are consumed, such as cooked lamb’s feet, sheep’s brains, or even cow’s head.

Sheep's Brains

Most people in Morocco and other Islamic countries go out late in the evening during Ramadan and stay out at night much later than normal.  (This is because the three meals of daytime are eaten at night, and the third meal falls about 4 AM.) The streets can be more crowded at midnight than during the daytime rush hours.  Many stores and restaurants open up in the evening and stay open until after midnight.  Some restaurants stay open until 3 AM.

Inside a Moroccan Supermarket

Because of staying up so late, many housewives will go to bed around 5-6 AM, and get up again around 10-11 AM.  It will be too hot at that time (over 100°F/37°C) to go out shopping, so they will prepare foods for the evening from what is available at home.  Around 3-5 PM, most people will rest or sleep.  After the evening breafast around 7:00 PM, most people rest or sleep another two hours, then get up for the evening.  Many housewives and families will go shopping in the supermarkets between 10PM and Midnight.  Others just go out  because it’s cooler than the daytime, and because everybody else is out.

People who pray have a much more rigorous schedule for getting up, and may need to shower for religious reasons before 10 AM, as well as keeping to rigorous prayer schedules.

Corridor in the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

The fast currently starts about 4:30 AM and finishes around 7:00 PM.  So now that most students have not yet started back to school (mid-September in Morocco), most are staying up all night until about 5-6 AM, and sleeping late until 3-4 in the afternoon.  This is not really a recommended practice, as it shortens the hours of fasting, but it is not absolutely forbidden.  Correctly, a person should get up by 11:00 at the latest.  However, even for those who do get up, many of them are resting or sleeping several of those hours, but later in the afternoon.

For those who do have regular working hours, the hours of work are generally considerably shortened.  Schools open 60-90 minutes later than normal (9:30 -10:00 AM), and instead of closing for lunch, work straight through to an earlier closing time (2:30 – 3:00 PM).  Businesses often work 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, or from 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM.

The last ten days of Ramadan are a very special time, because it is when the Koran was revealed.

The Ablution Room in the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Some people even go to the mosque and pray all night for all of the last ten nights, since no one is sure of the one actual night during that period when the Koran was revealed.  This practice is called Itiqaf, and is also felt to offer worshipers protection against excessive socializing, sleeping and talking, and turn worshipers’ attention toward Allah.

For more information about Ramadan in Morocco

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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The Tchaba Tea House in Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Currant Dream Tea Served at Tchaba Tea House, in Marrakesh

An unusual tea house in Marrakech is nestled between the Hivernage cafés, across from the Palais de Congrés on Avenue Mohamed VI. They specialize in designer teas, which you can enjoy in designer surroundings in this Moroccan Imperial city.

The Tchaba Tea Company was founded in the United Arab Emirates to bring high-quality health teas to the tea-drinking population. First in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the company has now opened a tea salon in Marrakech.

Tchaba Marrakech - Set of Table and Chairs, Carved from Tree Roots

Teas are presented to customers using tiny hourglasses of colored sand, each color being used depending upon which type of tea is being served.

Over 50 different kinds of teas, manufactured in Morocco and shipped all over the world, are displayed and sold in the tea shop. Each tea bag is made from silk, and contains only the finest tea leaves, herbs, fruits, and spices.

Both of the teas we had (above and below) cost 35 Moroccan dirhams each (about $4 USD).

Chamomile Breeze Tea at Tchaba Tea House, in Marrakesh

Teas are served either at tables and chairs, or on lovely glass display tables as you sit on white sofas. Customers are served tea in glass teacups, from a glass teapot on a special warming stand, with accompanying sweet biscuits.

For more information about Marrakech

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Chefchaouen, Holidays in the Rif Mountains of Morocco, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Thursday, August 19th, 2010
Woman Walking in Chefchaouen

Woman Walking in Chefchaouen

Isolated in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is one of Morocco’s hidden treasures. Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier and Tetouan making it the perfect Rif Mountain holiday adventure. The city was founded in 1471, as a small fortress which still exists to this day, by Moorish exiles from Spain ed by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Radhed El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. Chefchaouen was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times.

Chefchaouen at Sunset

Chefchaouen at Sunset

This small mountain village sweeps you away into a state of calm with its color scheme that embraces every imaginable shade of blue and is the perfect place to spend a holiday in the Rif Mountains. Bold splashes of cobalt, turquoise, teal, white and starlit blue surround each corner and cobbled alley. Dreamlike and peaceful during the day this blue and white washed city has breathtaking sunsets and offers up a variety of charming Riads, outdoor restaurants with views of the Rif Mountains and is the perfect two or three day excursion from Tangier or Fes.

Chefchaouen Rif Mountain View

Chefchaouen Rif Mountain View

Chefchaouen offers plenty of time to explore its laid-back Medina (old city), drink mint tea or freshly squeezed orange juice, and watch the world go by from one of the cafes in the main square.  Chefchaouen is also a great place for long walks, treks and hikes. Trekking in the Rif Mountains is different then trekking in the High Atlas Mountains of Toukbal for example because the altitudes are lower in the Rif and the mountain ranges tend to be longer and wider with less steep, making it accessible for Moroccan travelers of all ages.

Kasbah in Chefchaouen

Kasbah in Chefchaouen

Must-see destinations include the Central Mosque and the wonderful Kasbah in Chefchaouen, built by the legendary ruler Moulay Ismail near Place Outa el Hammam in the early 18th century. The Kasbah encloses a quiet garden and houses a small museum of ancient pottery and photographs of the traditional dress of Berber tribes. 

Although this lovely haven of Chefchaouen is located just a couple hundred kilometers from the European border, until 1920 Chefchaouen received only three European guests. It was founded in the 15th century and populated by Jewish and Muslim refugees from the Inquisition in Spain and remained an isolated city until the early 20th century.

Chefchaouen Arched Doorway

Chefchaouen Arched Doorway

Chefchaouen has preserved a way of life that flourished in Moorish Spain more than 500 years ago. While the locals are far more reserved then those in larger cities, they are quite friendly and warm. Chefchaouen is one of the main producers of cannabis in Morocco, and the weed is sold all over town. It is essentially legal and smoked by many of the locals, which helps account for this village’s slow pace. It is an intrinsic part of the city life and sold together with herbs, spices and vegetables in the local markets.

Colored Pigment for Sale In Winding Streets of Chaouen

Colored Pigment for Sale In Winding Streets of Chaouen

During a four-day trip from Fes Moroccan travelers explore the Medina in great detail. The entire Medina comes alive in the evening when everybody is shopping or selling goods in the narrow winding streets. On a leisurely stroll throughout the Medina the first thing that can catch anyone’s eyes are the man selling pigment in shades of blue, yellow, pink and orange. The pigment is the same that is used on the walls of the city.

There are shoe cobblers hand making the white and yellow fine leather pointed slippers  (baboosh) worn by the locals along with many beautiful jalabbas sewn with finely embroidered seams and carpenters carving tables and chairs made of fragrant cedar wood. Also available are beautifully hand painted crafts in Chefchaouen such as mirrors with inlaid flowers and a wide variety of furniture displaying delicate Islamic designs. 

One of the most intimate things to do in Chefchaouen is to drop in on a local Berber weaver at his loom and watch while he produces a local style of red and white blankets.

Chefchaouen Wash Basin For Women, Reminiscent Japanese Rock Garden

Chefchaouen Wash Basin For Women, Reminiscent Japanese Rock Garden

If Moroccan travelers continue their exploration to the bottom of the hill in Chefchaouen, they will find women washing laundry in an area that resembles a Japanese garden filled with a variety of stones as well as miniature white open structures surrounded by a number of wide stairs that leads to a dam. 

For a panoramic view, you can hike to the top of Chefchaouen and, as you glide along the small streets, peer downward in search of the stone-carved Hand of Fatima that seems to reappear again and again throughout this blue city.

For more information about traveling to Chefchaouen

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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