Archive for the ‘Morocco Travel’ Category

Morocco Jewish Trips, Remarkable Places and Historical Sites

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

Ibn Danan Synagogue, Fes

Morocco is steeped in Jewish Heritage and Culture. The country has a remarkable history of Jewish life that sets it apart from other Muslim nations. If you are Jewish and interested in touring Morocco you are guaranteed to discover ancient traditions and old-world customs that have permeated Moroccan Jewish society for centuries. Morocco’s key Jewish Heritage sites are located throughout the country’s Imperial Cities and rural regions. The sheer number of Jewish sites is staggering.

“ Moroccan society is partly built on Jewish culture, a culture deeply rooted in three millennia of history,” André Azoulay, Senior Adviser to King Mohammed VI of Morocco

As a Jewish traveler, you can explore synagogues, cemeteries, holy zaouias, monuments, and historic homes. Morocco’s most remarkable places and historical sites are centered around the Jewish Mellah in Casablanca, Tangier, Fes, Marrakech, and Essaouira. The countryside offers additional fascinating Jewish sites of pilgrimage that are frequented by Israeli’s in particular and Moroccan Jews living abroad. They come to visit holy zaouias of celebrated former Rabbi’s (Saints) who were once honored by their local communities.

Morocco also has intimate Jewish community with strong ties, connecting with them is part of enriching the travel experience. The largest Jewish community that is thriving today is in Casablanca.  Over 3,000 Casablanca Jews live outside the Mellah in the European city, where they worship in over 30 synagogues, eat in kosher restaurants, entertain themselves in community centers, and attend Jewish schools and social service centers. They worship at Temple Beth El, the largest synagogue and an important community center. There is a smaller, yet lively, Jewish community in Fes and Marrakech. Sharing a traditional Sephardic meal on Shabbat at the Kosher Club in Casablanca, or a Kosher restaurant in Fes or Marrakech will offer a glimpse into Jewish life today.

Each of Morocco’s Jewish quarters (Mellah) are comprised of historic Jewish architecture and monuments. The Mellah is home to synagogues and cemeteries surrounded by local markets and city life. Today the Moroccan Mellah is inhabited primarily by Muslim families who relocated there when Jews migrated to Israel in 1948. The Jews who left Morocco did so in hope of a more prosperous life and to be surrounded by their brethren after World War II.  Jewish sites in Morocco are protected by the Moroccan Kingdom and open daily for visitors.

Ancient Tombs, Miaara Jewish Cemetery, Marrakech

Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour: Remarkable Places & Sites You Will Visit:

• Temple Beth- El, Casablanca
• Museum of Moroccan Judaism, Casablanca
• Ibn Danan Synagogue & Jewish Mellah, Fes
• Jewish Cemetery & Tomb of Solica, Fes
• Maimonides Home, Fes
• Jewish Mellah, Cemetery & Lazama Synagogue, Marrakech
• New Jewish Synagogue, Ville Nouvelle Marrakech
• Jewish Mellah, Cemetery & Miaara Cemetery, Marrakech
• Chaim Pinto Synagogue,  Essaouira
• Jewish Mellah, Cemetery & Zaouia’s Sahara Desert Region

 Visiting Morocco offers a rare glimpse into peaceful Jewish-Muslim coexistence.

Jewish Mellah, Fes Rue des Merinides (Derb El Mellah)

The historic Jewish Mellah in each Imperial City stands with grace next to sultanate palaces; fine jewelers display their wares next to vivacious spice vendors and synagogues lie hidden behind doorways on every street. If you look carefully can find Stars of David etched above doorframes.

Jewish culture has been interwoven throughout Morocco for centuries. It is believed that Jews settled in Morocco prior to the destruction of the first Temple Mount. A Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour provides an in-depth exploration of Jewish culture and its vast history from the time of the Philistines to the 21st Century.

Touring Morocco and its historic Jewish Heritage Sites is something every Jew should consider.

Touring Morocco and its historic Jewish Heritage Sites is something every Jew should consider. Morocco’s unique history of Jewry and the co-mingling of Jews with Berbers and Arabs is what makes the country safe to visit and an icon of peace for the entire Muslim world. The climate and culture of Morocco with its keen mix of Jewish, Berber and Arabe traditions, UNESCO Heritage sites and cities, a magnificent coast, Moorish architecture, glorious markets, and food tourism make it an ideal vacation destination.

Traditional Moroccan Jewish Meal

Should you embark on a private, guided Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour, you can anticipate hearing Stories of the Mellah, learning about Morocco’s Sephardic Jewish traditions and discovering the hidden jewels of Morocco’s Jewish past.  With the only Jewish Museum in the Islamic world and history of religious tolerance, visiting Morocco offers a rare glimpse into peaceful Jewish-Muslim coexistence.

The Ultimate Gluten Free Morocco Guide

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Gluten Free Bakery, Gourmand, Marrakech

With over nine types of bread gracing Morocco’s kitchen tables and bread serving as the main staple of the Moroccan diet, gluten free travelers may feel overwhelmed. Bread is eaten in every meal whether it is to scoop up a Moroccan tagine, a tangia or vegetable salads. The good news is that Morocco now has many new, gluten-free options of where to eat and shop. Green markets, vegetarian and bio restaurants along with gluten-free pastry bakeries can be found in the trend-setting city of Marrakech and on the Coast of Casablanca and Essaouira. Travelers who are gluten and plan on visiting Morocco can use our trusted Gluten Free Morocco Guide.

How to Dine Gluten Free in Morocco

One way to be certain that you can eat gluten-free in Morocco is to choose a self-catering option for your trip. Travelers can stay in a riad where you have access to a private chef or the kitchen staff to prepare a gluten free meal. The classics such as Moroccan harira soup often along with bastille (pigeon pie) contain wheat flour however riads have chefs who are well trained and can make almost any dish without wheat or gluten.   

Moroccan cuisine that is suitable or travelers on a gluten free diet includes lentil (aâdis) or bean (loubia)hotpots (often found at workers cafes and truck stops), and roasted or grilled meats or fish. The latter is typically served with sautéed vegetables and rice (with meats) or a classic Moroccan salad (diced tomato, onion, and cucumber) with fish.

In the larger Imperial Cities gluten, free travelers will be able to access gluten free bread in French Style bakeries as well as gluten-free staples such as oat flakes (porridge), corn chips, rice crackers and other imported goods that are sold in most large supermarkets. If you are in search of gluten-free grains such as quinoa or buckwheat we recommend a visit to one of the local green markets. Part of the excitement of traveling in Morocco is shopping in the souks, where you will find an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, meats and fish for a fraction of the price in the United States or Europe.

Since Morocco has a long Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline fresh seafood in small cities such as Essaouira, Agadir and Oualidia is available. Many of the smaller restaurants owned and run by chefs tend to be more accommodating to gluten free travelers. In the larger cities such as Marrakech and Casablanca, you will find more international cuisine options such as Asian food with its basis in rice, and crêpes from Brittany made from gluten-free, buckwheat flour.

With the rise of diabetes and weight in Morocco, many people today are choosing to eat gluten-free or reduce bread consumption altogether. Consumer trends in health and wellness are on the rise in Morocco. Gluten free, vegetarian, bio, socially conscious and health-minded shops, bakeries and cafes have burst onto the dining scene offering gluten-free travelers more options than ever before.

Gluten Free in Marrakech: Restaurants, Cafes & Green Markets

Ayaso

Ayaso is a bio store that serves 100% organic farm to table vegetarian cuisine. Their menu includes juices, herbal teas, soups, and gluten-free options. Diners eat surrounded by their African art inspired concept store. This bio store has everything for the gluten-free traveler ranging from a wide array of grains, cereals and snacks. Ayaso also has an open door policy to anyone who would like to host health or community building workshops. Ayaso’s owner, Monika El Baroudi carries and ethos and says, “Ayaso offers a clean menu using simple ingredients because that is what we believe is best for the body and mind. Our aim is to make our food and products accessible to as many people as possible.” Ayaso works with local farms and is highly selective in sourcing ingredients. They are particularly proud of their thyme and argan oil products, which come from Kasbah Demante Cooperative in the Atlas Mountains and Toudarte Cooperative.   Address: 6 Boulevard Mohamed Zerktouni

Gaia Vegetarian Restaurant, Marrakech

 

Gaia

Located in the heart of Art Deco, Gueliz, Gaia is a vegetarian restaurant that serves delightful French and Moroccan inspired cuisine. They offer an assortment of gluten-free and vegan dining options with extensive revitalizing juice and tea menu. Gaia takes great pride in presentation. Their dishes are served on ecological kitchenware and the décor is tastefully donned in eco style. All details are considered when ingredients grace the plates at Gaia. They are currently working on expanding their location to a farm in the nearby outskirts of Marrakech. Address: 100 Rue Mohammed el Beqal

 

Slow Concept Store

Around the corner from the famous Grand Cafe de Le Poste, the Slow Concept Store is an undiscovered gem. The two-story villa hosts six elegantly curated rooms showcasing a collection of beldi crockery, ceramics, and furniture made by local artisans. Downstairs you will find a lovely garden cafe offering vegetarian and gluten-free options. Address:76 Boulevard el Mansour Eddahbi

Earth Cafe

Located inside an old riad in the Medina, Earth cafe was the first vegan, vegetarian, and organic cafe to open in Morocco. The seasonal ingredients on the rotating menu all come from the restaurant’s personal farm in the Haouz Valley, near the Atlas Mountains. Cafe-goers generally rave about how simple yet innovative the menu is; Earth Cafe’s chef is Mr. Barakut Naim who incorporates into the menu his years working as a chef in Australia and South East Asia. The space is very cozy and charming.   Address:ue Riad Zitoun el Kdim

Green Village Bio Shop

Recently opened in January 2019, Green Village bio market is the new kid on the block in Marrakech’s Gueliz neighborhood. Green Village has two other successful locations, one in Casablanca and the other in Rabat. All three bio markets sell farm, fresh vegetables, meat, cheeses, and gluten-free foods. They also have a well-stocked assortment of grains, teas, and nutritional supplements and skincare products. Address: 13, Capitaine Arrigui, Gueliz

Bazar Gourmand

Bazar Gourmand is a gourmet food store located in the heart of Guéliz, Bazar Gourmand offers a wide selection of products for gourmets. Gourmand was designed to cater to locals. It offers a variety of cheeses, cold meats, fresh pasta, soups, sauces, salads, sandwiches. The delicatessen has homemade jams, organic chocolates, pastries, spices, honey, olive oils, and gluten-free couscous. Bazar Gourmand offers a rotating menu and has a full pastry bakery corner with organic and gluten-free products along with a dining area to taste the good dishes of Chef Antoine!  The bakery and cafe serve seasonal items. All the breads are made on the premise. “Our eggs and produce both come from local farms in Marrakech”, says Yann, Bazar’s manager. Gluten conscious travelers will also be happy to hear their chocolate chip cookies, fanciers, brownies, and some bread loaves are gluten-free. They also sell duck breast, foie gras, smoked salmon, local honey and argan oil, homemade pesto, and blends of fresh herbal and lemon detox juices.Bazar Gourmand’s décor is a keen mix of both traditional and contemporary architecture. Diners can enjoy the café’s Art Deco-inspired sea green and African yellow colored sofas while sipping tea from their fully stocked Tchaba tea bar or on their patio.   Address:24 rue Moulay Ali

Pharmacie l’Unité

Situated footsteps near the main flower market in Gueliz, Pharmacy L’Unite is the leading homeopathic pharmacy in the city and region. Although slightly on the pricey side, they are boutique and a very reliable source for high-quality homeopathic medicine and hard-to-find superfoods, skincare products and therapeutic grade essential oils. The owner, Dr. Raj offers homeopathic consultations. Book in advance. Address:Avenue Hassan II

Marrakech Organics

Located in the lush Ourika Valley in the outskirts of Marrakech, this organic farm is host to an ecological training center as well as permaculture and sustainability workshops. The owner Omar Hajji and his wife Kenza Isnasni run the farm and supply their produce to many of the biological shops in Marrakech. You can visit the farm in person to purchase some of their high-quality products like cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, black olives, organic fruits and vegetables, and medicinal plants.   Address: Route de l’Ourika, Km 25

Farmer’s Market

There are multiple farmer’s markets happening during different days of the week in and around Marrakech. On early Tuesday mornings, you will find some organic farmer’s stands in front of Gueliz’s Trattoria and on Saturdays both Terre d Eveil in Targa and the Bio Farm in Mokhtar along route de Amzmiz.  

Holistic Center Terre de Eveil

This holistic center, located 6 kilometers outside of Marrakech is dedicated to all things involving healthy and well-being. Terre de Eveil has a tearoom, a bookstore and menu includes a juice bar and a vegetarian, raw, and sprouted health food corner. Throughout the week you can also enjoy workshops, conferences, meditations, and other mind holistic activities.

Triskala Vegetarian Restaurant, Essaouira

Gluten Free in Essaouira: Restaurants, Cafes & Green Markets

Triskala Café Restaurant

Located footsteps from the Essaouira seawall in the historic medina, Triskala is a cozy cafe serving a 100% natural and organic menu. This cozy restaurant is perfect for vegetarians and pescatarians alike. In the mornings, homemade fresh fruit juices are available to start the day and in the evenings, dinner near a warm fireplace accompanied by jazz music soundtracks in the background.  Address:58 Rue Touahen  

La Fromagerie

For travelers who like to go off the beaten track and enjoy the feeling of French countryside, La Fromagerie is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch or an afternoon lunch soiree with friends.

Set in a charming, beldi style garden surrounded by flowers, outdoor picnic tables, and camels used for cheese making, La Frommagerie is an ideal place to get away for some self-indulgence. Either come alone with a good book, enjoy a glass of wine and a cheese board with 5 types of goat, camel and other exotic cheeses. The three-course menu at La Frommagerie is inclusive of a salad, tagine, méchoui, and cheese.  Address:  Douar Larabe Costal Road to Safi

Little Breizh

Little Breizh is a Brittany inspired creperie located in the Ville nouvelle (new town) of Essaouria. It is co-owned by a husband and wife team whose story began in Paris and took them back to Morocco. All ingredients are carefully selected, gluten-free and many are organic. The menu offers an extensive range of savory and sweet buckwheat crepes that could easily rival any of the best creperies in France. Breizinis also great spot to enjoy a high-quality burger or a delicious smoothie. Address: 260 Boulevard du 11 Janvier

Yoo Healthy Food Juice Bar 

Yoo is a charming little cafe that has a sleek and clean atmosphere and serves your health in a glass or on a platter. It was the first restaurant in Essaouria to offer fresh, natural, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Their menu is famous for its fresh, local, and organic ingredients, which they use in their colorful veggie juices, smoothies, healthy salads, paninis, frozen yogurts, and breakfast dishes. The owners are French and friendly and most people who visit once usually return for more!  Address: 8A Rue Ibn Roch, Essaouira 44000, Morocco

Lalla Abouch Arganic Farm

Located in the countryside of Essaouira Lalla Abouch Arganic Farm hosts a beautiful garden filled with a variety of herbs, vegetables, and grains used in their couscous and homemade bread. All ingredients are sourced from neighboring villages and local cooperatives. All the foods you will taste at the farm are organic with plenty of gluten-free options.Lalla Abouch Arganic Farm is also the ideal place to learn about the manual extracting process of Argan oil and how to shop for only the purest quality. Address: 1 Douar Ait Ahmed

Bbio Organic Farm, Essaouira

Bbio Organic Farm

Bbio Organic Farm is an organic farm where you can shop for homemade organic seasonal veggies, fruits and eggs along with free range, beldi corn-fed chicken. Also on offer is the local catch of the day, argan oil and honey. The owner, Khaled has a special option of a Berber style picnic basket which includes everything you need for a Moroccan Berber brunch. “ All the work is done by hand. No chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used; only manure, algae, and other natural and local products, says Khaled  Address: Rue Ibn Khaldoun Essaouira

Sunday Farmers Market, The Souk of Had Draa  

The Sunday Farmer’s market at Had Draa is the largest in the Essaouira region. Anticipate having an insider, one-of-a-kind experience meeting local traders, butchers and livestock farmers from the surrounding countryside and region. They come to sell their produce in the small stalls. A range of food and local products are offered such as Berber home-baked bread, argan oils, cheese, camel meat, teas, kitchenware, and other artisan products.

Pharmacie Mellah Kdim

Located adjacent to the market within the medina, Mellah Kdim Pharmacie is one of the best in Morocco. The pharmacists are knowledgeable in homeopathic medicine and can recommend one of the store’s whole food supplements to match your needs. They also stock a great supply of therapeutic grade essential oils. Other products of interest here are the local honey and organic cosmetic and skincare products.
Address: 122 avenue sidi Mohammed ben abdellah

Tamouziga Organic Shop medina

Right in the center of the Ben Youssef and La Kasbah medina mosques is the Tamouziga Organic Shop. This boutique specializes in argan oil and other natural products like  homemade jams, honey,  gourmet soaps, natural perfumes, and aromatherapy.  Address: 12 Rue Attarine

Organic Kitchen Restaurant, Casablanca

Gluten Free in Casablanca: Restaurants, Cafes & Green Markets

Veggie

A bio and natural fast food chain highly recommended by travelers for the best falafels in Morocco. Veggie is a vegetarian cafe offering a relaxing and celiac friendly place that offers a short break from the medina. All ingredients in the salads, fresh juices, and veggie burgers are rigorously selected and come from local farms in the region.  Address: 2 Rue Theophile

Organic Kitchen

Organic Kitchen is a beautiful bio café with a Mediterranean Moroccan fusion kitchen. Quickly the location has turned into a hotspot for those who are gluten free conscious.  All ingredients come from organic or sustainable farming. They select their preferred suppliers and cook their vegan and gluten-free dishes with respect and love.  Address: 6-8 Rue Ahmed El Mokri

Lily’s

Voted best new Asian restaurant in 2005 by Food and Wine Magazine, Lily’s with its three large interior spaces and harmonious zen influences is thought of as a scenography where architecture and landscape mix. The Vietnamese and Asian fusion menu offers delicious gluten-free options such as Vietnamese spring rolls, dim sum, fish, and edamame. Lunch is accompanied by some of the best ocean views that are sought after in the city of Casablanca. Address: 92, boulevard de la Corniche – El Hank lighthouse

Grand Marché Bio Green Village Triangle d’Or

Green Village is one of the largest markets for food in Morocco. It is a small chain with sister stores in both Rabat and Marrakech. Green Village carries gluten-free products, farm fresh items, and other local goods. Guaranteed to always be well stocked their wide range of produce and goods are nothing less than impressive. Address: Boulevard Aïn Taoujtate

Bioshop Casablanca

Bioshop Casablanca, is just around the corner from Villa des Arts. IT is one of the best-stocked bio shops in Morocco. They sell top quality spices, teas, farm fresh yogurts, gluten-free snacks, and local products from Casablanca’s farms, Bioshop is a clean, sleek, and popular organic market gem.   Address:4, rue Aknoul (Derrière Lycée Lyautey)

Epicerie Verte Casablanca, Market

Epicerie Verte

Located near the port of Casablanca is Epicerie Verte. This grocery green marketplace is the perfect place to shop for gluten-free snacks and other organic products. They specialize in teas, coffees, drinks, pickled veggies, superfoods, supplements, and skincare products for face and hair. Their marketplace model and products are focused on sustainable development.  Address: Casa Marina Business Center, Tour Crystal 1, 10ème étage.

9 Morocco Family Vacation Ideas

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Ouarzazate

Morocco is the ideal destination for a summer vacation if you are searching for a one-of-a-kind travel experience for the entire family. If you are the household trip planner, then you have the option of embarking on a Morocco Family Tour  tailor-made to include exploration of various cities and region of the country along with family-friendly activities or to attempt a self-guided option by 4×4 on your own.

Morocco’s location at the northernmost point of Africa makes it an easy introduction into the African continent and its diverse climate allows travelers options to experience a range of activities year-round. It is possible to ski and head to the beach all in the same day. Our Summertime Travel Guide introduces 9 of the Best Vacation Ideas for Families.

Morocco has sixteen regions and is divided into sixty provinces. Each destination offers to inspire family-friendly touring activities ranging from food and market tours to cooking classes, handicraft design, hiking, trekking, camel trekking, quad riding, sand skiing, and a hot air balloon ride over the High Atlas. Morocco’s sandy beaches, blue jeweled coast, desert dunes, mountain ranges, and historic cities provide families traveling to Morocco an enriching experience.

Sahara Desert, Erg Chebbi Dunes, Merzouga

The 9 Best Morocco Family Vacation Ideas Perfect for Summer Travel

1. Sahara Desert Family Adventure

The Sahara Desert offers families an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Families who would like to visit the Sahara Desert are advised to start their journey from Marrakech and allow for a minimum of a 4-day timeframe. The ideal family road trip to the Sahara starting and ending in the city of Marrakech will allow for travel down south via the Tizi n’Tichkapassing the geologic region of the Ounila Valley.

The route to Morocco’s desert region is one of the most arresting with its panoramic views of the High Atlas, Berber villages and fertile valleys. A cinematographer’s dream, the earth-toned, rust-colored pise villages dot the landscape and create shadowlike images in the High Atlas. Families interested in sightseeing en route to the Sahara desert should not miss out on a visit to Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ait Benhaddou is coveted by film directors around the world. Exploring the Ksar of Ait Benhaddou, the Pacha Glaoui’s Kasbah of Telouet, and the Skoura palmeraie is part of a once in a lifetime family adventure to Morocco’s south. Also recommended for kids and film buffs are the CLA Studio and Cinema museum where sets from various movies such as Kundun and the Last Temptation of Christ are kept.

During your Sahara Desert Family Adventure, you will also pass through the Draa Valley, the Todra Gorge and make a local stop to have lunch with a Berber family. For family’s who are interested in intensive hiking and magnificent scenery extending your trip to 5 days and carving out time to visit the Dades Valley and Gorge is highly recommended.  A Just before you reach the Sahara there’s also the opportunity to visit the town of Rissani and learn how their local Berber pizza, called Madfouna is made. A final pitstop for tea at Khemlia’s Berber village where you can experience Gnaoua trance music in the heart of Merzouga is a must do activity perfect for the entire family.

A direct drive to the Sahara Desert from Marrakech exceeds 9 hours, therefore we recommend a family trip that is not less than 4 Days/ 3 Nights. A Sahara Desert Family Adventure can be broken up as to allow for overnight stays in Ouarzazate, the Skoura palmeraie and the long-awaited 1001 Arabian nights desert experience in a luxury camp.

Breadbaking, Ait Ouzzine Village

2. Ait Ouzzine Berber Village Discovery 

If departing from Marrakech, you can drive along the desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani and enter the region of N’kob and Aït Ouzzine where you discover a local Berber village and enjoy time with a local family. The peaceful village of Ait Ouzzine is inhabited by over 300 families living in historic kasbahs. Each family maintains its own wheat, alfalfa and henna fields, water wells, livestock, and gardens. During your visit of Ait Ouzzine Berber Village, you will also have the option to partake in cooking lessons on how to make a Berber tajine and learn to bake traditional mountain bread. Exploration of Ait Ouzzine’s green fields and to learn how the Berbers use their botanical gardens, livestock, and henna plants are just a hint of the unique experiences that await you.

Interested in experiencing a traditional Moroccan beauty treatment? Then have your hands and feet painted with henna by a local village artist; they will adorn your hair with saffron. Take your beauty experience a step further and participate in being doused with Berber perfume: musk, amber, and the village’s own spices are the classic ingredients. Your afternoon will end with mint tea, almonds, then return to your hotel Ouarzazate in time to catch the African yellow sunset.

Oaseria Watertheme Park Marrakech

3. Marrakech’s Oasiria Water Theme Park

Marrakech is well positioned for day trips and that makes it a favorite city to base yourself and explore Morocco, however, summertime is hot. Escape the Red City’s heat in Oasiria, an Aquatic Park located in the outskirts of Marrakech. Oasiria has numerous slides at varying speeds and lengths, perfect for both children and adults. There is also an on-site fitness club and Africa’s first aqua rock climbing wall where your fall is designed to drop you into a giant swimming pool. Post workout, stroll through Oaseria’s 10-hectare garden and explore olive tree orchards and 500 species of botanical and medicinal plants. For lunch or dinner choose between one of the four open terrace restaurants. The menus offer family friend options ranging from burgers to pizza along with salads and a local daily tajine.

Bird Watching, Oualidia

4. Coastal Bliss & Bird Watch in Oualidia at a Lagoon

A recommended 2-3 day excursion from Marrakech for families in search of coastal bliss and bird watching is the Oualidia lagoon. Oualidia is located between the beach town of El Jadida and fisherman’s port of Safi. The region of Oualidia is also an important ecological location and an excellent choice for serious bird watchers or nature lovers. Oualidia is loved by in-the-know expats and Moroccans for its natural beaches, marshes, and wetlands. Bird lovers can look forward to spotting curlews, flamingos, sandpipers, plovers, Little Grebe, Oystercatcher, the Black-winged Stilt, the Yellow-legged Seagull, Grey Plovern, the Greenshank Curle and other migrating birds. The area has a temperate year-round climate. The best time for bird watching is in spring or summer.

An added bonus of visiting Oualidia in the summertime is that it is an off the beaten track location. Summers are not as crowded compared to the other beach towns like Essaouira and El Jadida. Oualdida offers a low key, relaxing environment and is a great place to unwind with a book, hike along cliff paths and deserted grottoes, or kayak around the lagoon. Stay for an afternoon or spend the night at the on-site at the 5-star boutique hotel La Sultana Oualidia or Hippocampe Hotel. Regardless of if you are in town for a day or overnight, don’t miss out on dining at Ostrea II, a seafood restaurant that offers the region’s specialty, oysters, crab and lobster along with other local catch of the day.

Trekking, Dades Valley & Gorge

5. Trek across the Dades Valley & Gorge or Explore by Car

Morocco is a country with varied terrain. A trek across the Dades Valley & Gorge is recommended for active families who are fit and would like to experience rocky terrain along with spectacular geologic views. A trek throughout the region of the Dades Valley will take you through a region that boasts limestone cliffs with uniquely shaped erosions and superb scenery. Depending on the season you will trek across fertile fields, riverbanks and see several fortified ksours. At the bottom of Gorge of Boumalne Dadès there are ruined hilltop Kasbahs and valley floor gardens.

For families who want to explore the Dades Valley region by car, the start is in Ouarzazate.  This route will take families through Skoura, a 12th-century fertile oasis designed by lmohad Sultan Yacoub el-Mansour. It is lined with immense palm groves and offers great views of the Atlas Mountains and deserted landscapes, and you will see Todra Gorge, a gigantic rock famous for the ability to change colors without sunlight.

By car, you would continue passing through the Valley of Roses, also known for its annual rose festival. The first festival started when the French brought over the Damask rose. Nowadays there are Capp et Florale distillation factories laid out in the small Kasbah town, they manufacture the entire nations products of Eau de rose.  After shopping, the scenic road awaits you. Other highlights of the car trip into the Dades Gorge Valley include seeing the Dades River and Imini River; they flow from the High Atlas Mountains southeastward to Tagounit and from Tagounit mostly westwards to the Atlantic Ocean. There are also guest houses en route where you can eat and enjoy views of the Dades Gorge.

6. Excursion to Ait Ashok, Ourika Valley’s Hidden Berber Village

The Berber Village of Ait Ashok is the perfect day trip from Marrakech for families looking to hike and picnic. Ait Ashok is one of the top hiking and picnic destination for active families. The Ouirka Valley can get crowded with tourists during peak season, but the charming Berber village Ait Ashok, is a secret gem where a peaceful hike can be enjoyed year round. This secret paradise has unforgettable views of the Atlas Mountains and small farming villages. Trekkers can have lunch with a local Berber family in an auberge with views. Depending on the time of year, you will see harvests of walnuts, almonds, apples, and other fruits.

Craft Workshops, Fes

7. Craft making in Fes: Leatherwork, Bookbinding, Brass Design, Drum Making

Morocco’s souk culture will expand your definition of what it means to shop. All of Morocco’s imperial cities and even villages have souks specializing in something. Souks are sectioned off into quarters and you can buy everything from sheepskin, leather goods, groceries at the outdoor food market, exotic spices, rugs, textiles to make your own garments, essential oils at pharmacies and everything in between; the most famous souk is in Fes, the fourth largest of Morocco’s cities.

Visitors from around the world come to explore the labyrinth-like medina of Fes and witness the famous Dyer’s market, Tannery, and the Weaver’s Cooperative. All three areas have preserved the traditional methods of making their crafts. At the Dyer’s market, families can see the century-old vats that have been used to soak animal skins and produce luxury goods. The Tannery continues to produce some of the best leather work in Morocco, and the Weavers specialize in making the finest silk fabrics for Jellabas. Local purchases for the entire family can be made along with special orders if you are interested in leather jackets or other goods.

The art of Moroccan Craftmaking in Fes is available to families interested in participating in a workshop. Local craft making workshops offer 4-hour hands-on sessions whereby children can learn how to emboss leather, bookbinding, make a brass tray or an African drum. An example of a family friendly workshop highly recommended is to learn how to make a leather bound journal. This type of workshop will cover the techniques of crafting your very own Leather journal – complete with long stitches and a variety of Manila papers!  The workshop will guide you through the step-by-step technique to craft your own handmade leather journal with long stitches. Materials, such as leather, thread, paper, and others, will be provided on the day of the workshop. This workshop also provides techniques on chiseling and stamping on leather to create unique covers for sketches or notebooks.

8. Fes Festival of Sacred World Music

For the past twenty-four years, the Fes Festival of Sacred Music has contributed to maintaining a dialogue with the sacred through its most famous forum and highlighting of arts and music. The 10-day festival is held in mid-summer annually and aims to bring together scholars, artists, musicians, families, Moroccans, and visitors from abroad. With roots in spiritual values, the festival serves as an anchoring ground to teach people to learn to appreciate different cultures and communicate better with one another.

In addition to bringing attention to various cultures, the Fes Festival has been a wonderful tool in raising awareness for Moroccan culture. During the day, visitors can explore Fes’ medina, souk, and mosques or take part in seminars or round table discussions covering the festival theme. In the afternoon, evening, and late night, there are concerts given by performers arriving from every angle of the globe. These musicians help celebrate the musical spectrum of European classical, Sufi ritual songs, trance music, Arab-Andalusian rhythms, a Bulgarian orthodox choir, Hindustani chants, Celtic sacred music, Christian Gospel, Swedish chamber choir, Pakistani Qawwali incantations, Egyptian madhi odes, flamenco-style Christian saeta, ancient Indian gwalior chants and Turkish whirling dervishes.

Ever since its inception, this event has witnessed growing success. In 2001, the UNO declared the Festival as one of the most outstanding events that are contributing to the dialogue of civilizations.

The Blue City, Chefchaouen

9. Explore Chefchaouen, the Storybook Blue City

Exploring Morocco on a family adventure would not be complete without visiting the Storybook Blue City Chefchaouen. Set in the northernmost point of Morocco, Chefchaouen is in-between Tetouan – Morocco’s Little Jerusalem – and the Rif Mountains. Chefchaouen is famous for its blue-painted houses and local goat cheese. Historically, the town’s former population was Jewish. After the Spanish Reconquista of medieval times, many Jews sought refuge in this mountain city. Chefchaouen was also used as a fortress by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight off the invading Portuguese who were entering Morocco from the North in 1920; the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco. Families interested in Spanish history will enjoy learning about Andalucia’s connection with this part of Morocco.

Beyond Chefchaouen’s charming architecture, the town is ideal for a low key hike, to kick back and read a book, and shop for native handicrafts that are unique to this Northern Moroccan town. Chefchaouen offers a nice array of locally woven items such as wool blankets made with the regional colors of red, white and blue. You can also find local artisans who sell hand-painted furniture, local pottery made with terracotta and antique jewelry. Chefvhaouen’s name means “look at the horns”, referring to the shapes of the mountain tops that tower over the town and look like the two horns (chaoua) of a goat. Not surprisingly goats are in abundance in this area and the cheese native to Chefchaouen is said to be some of the tastiest in all of Morocco.

For more information about Popular Family Tours or  Things to do With Kids in Essaouira

How to Spend 24 Hours Discovering Tangier

Thursday, April 4th, 2019


Tangier, referred to as “The Bride of the North” has long been a romantic haven frequented by artists, beat poets and writers who arrived on North African shores from the 1920’s – 1960’s seeking an exotic adventure in this “international zone.”  Tangier’s allure during the 20th Century was its liberal lifestyle that allowed people to reinvent themselves. Tangier intern became a seductress: whereby booze, drugs and parties ruled during the free zone period. Notable visitors who came to this Moroccan enclave include Paul Bowles, Matisse, Malcolm Forbes, Pierre Loti, Van Dongen, Paul Morand, William Burroughs, Delacroix, and Van Dongen. Tangier was a place where people could rub shoulders with Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Gertrude Stein.

Although the Sultan of Morocco continued to have sovereignty over Tangier and the Moroccan people, the city developed a reputation famous for being a melting pot. Over a 32 year period, it became a city tolerant of all cultures, religions and lifestyles. Tangier continued to attract a host of prominent Europeans and American artists, writers, musicians, poets, billionaires, filmmakers and celebrities, all who produced art in its honor. In 1956, the city became part of the newly independent Kingdom of Morocco.

 

American Legation Museum, Tangier

One could easily spend a week in Tangier. If you only have 24 Hours in Tangier, the best way to navigate this white city and discover the Bride of the North can be found here.

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Morning Stroll along Boulevard Mohammed VI

Rise early and go for a stroll or jog along Boulevard Mohammed VI. From the Corniche Gardens, you can take in a wide view of the port and a magnificent view of the ancient city walls.; across from lookout point at Muraille de Tanger. Mohammed VI Boulevard is lined with Moroccan cafes that offer views of the Atlantic Coast’s turquoise blue waters. New on the block is the Tanja Marina Bay, a long strip perched with cafes and restaurants built near the port area. The French Cafe Paul and La Table du Marche are two options for breakfast perfect spots if you want something modern. If you prefer the tradition of a long-standing Tangier breakfast visit Cafe de Paris, once frequented by Paul Bowles, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Tennessee Williams. Other local options are Le Salon Bleu or Le Nebab located in the Kasbah.

Librairie des Colonnes, Tangier

10:00 AM: Soak Up Literature At Librairie des Colonnes

Morning inspiration can be found at the famous landmark bookshop Librairie des Colonnes with wonderful architecture. Librairie des Colonnes is a Tangier institution that offers a wide selection of books, with a healthy English language section. There are book readings, events and author signings that take place here weekly. Once a favorite stomping ground of the legendary Paul Bowles, Jean Genet, Samuel Becket, and William Burroughs, this one-of-a-kind bookshop should be on your bucket list.

11:00 AM: Visit the American Legion Museum

Your entry into the Tangier Kasbah will start at Cafe Seoul, a local coffee shop along Mohammed VI Avenue. The spot is located inside a row of buildings with architecture dating back to the French, Italian, and Portuguese periods. A short walk away is the American Legation Museum. The American Legation Museum in Tangier is the United States oldest diplomatic building in the world. It houses an extensive collection of artworks, maps, a library, and a research center specializing in North African and Arabic studies. There are also three rooms dedicated to Paul Bowles. Historically, the building is important because it was a gift to the United States from Sultan Moulay Slimane 150 years ago. Its interior is an interesting blend of early-nineteenth-century furnishings mixed with Moorish arches, fountains, gardens, ornate zellij tile work, and finely-crafted period photographs. During the Jacksonian period, many diplomats stayed at the Legation building when visiting Tangier. The institute often organizes book readings, musical concerts, and other events. The public is free to use the research facilities with advanced reservation. An interesting piece of history many visitors are surprised to learn is that Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States in 1777. Entrance to the museum is 20 Dirhams ($2.00)

12:00 PM: The Grand Socco & Cinema Rif

Not far from the American Legion Museum is the Grand Socco, a souq and the official entrance to the medina. The Grand Socco is filled with interesting historical mentions. It was once the home to the Mendoub, a representative of the Sultan.  At the top of the Grand Socco lies the Art Deco Cinema Rif Theatre which offers two main screens and plays mainstream and indie films with subtitles. Today the Cinema Rif also serves as a cultural center attracting students, writers, and curious travelers with its free WIFI, hot beverages, and art house coffee talk. On Thursdays and Sundays, the Grand Socco is also the spot to find the farmer’s market. Djebelli villagers come into the city from surrounding regions and bring fresh goat cheeses, organic fruits, vegetables, and farm fresh eggs.

Le Saveur de Poisson, Tangier

1:00 PM: Lunch at Le Saveur de Poisson

Located on the north hill of the Grand Socco is Le Saveur de Poisson one of Tangier’s most sought after restaurants that serves a mix of fresh seafood and unique homemade dishes infused with herbs. Graciously featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Series, Episode #5 on Tangier, is owner and chef, Chez Mohammed. Chez Mohammed heralds from the region of Al Hoceima in Morocco’s North. Bourdain chats up Mohammed and takes viewers through an unforgettable foodie journey in this episode. No reservations are accepted at Le Saveur. Arrive hungry and promptly as lunch service is at 1:00pm and dinner service at 7:00 pm daily. The menu is set at 200 Dirhams ($25.00 P/P) and varies based upon season. Chez Mohammed preps his special stews and juices in a small back room, the size of a closet, which can be frequented by visitors who dare to ask. A typical four-course meal includes Moroccan fresh baked bread, local olives, toasted nuts,  pomegranate, and raspberry fruit juice, followed by a fragrant white fish tagine, grilled sole served along shark skewers and for dessert fresh fruit topped with local honey, pine nuts and barley.

Las Chicas, Concept Store, Design & Fashion, Tangier

2:00 PM: Explore & Shop the Ancient Medina – The Kasbah

An essential part of any trip to Morocco is getting lost in the walled cities (historic medinas). The 14th-century medina in Tangier is a cornucopia of traditions self-contained by its 15th Century Portuguese walls. Its labyrinth of alleys run the entire city, each offering a glimpse of local life. Rue Sebou and Rue des Almohades are a shopper’s paradise for those interested in purchasing traditional Moroccan goods. They are filled with stalls selling artisanal goods such as leather, caftans, baboosh, silver teapots and glasses and sweets. To shop for modern goods, visit the streets around the Kasbah.

Design Concept stores such as La Chicas and Rumi 1436 offer a new take on Moorish Design. Las Chicas showcases Modern Moroccan fashion and decor offering a keen mix of cushions, lanterns infused Moroccan oil and tasseled goods. Rumi 1436 specializes in natural candles made with organic soy wax and Moroccan tea sets composed of silver and glassware.

For handmade luxury goods visit Laure Welfling’s Boho inspired boutique where you can find embroidered caftans, hand stitched and sequined overcoats. Their line of ready-to-wear for men and women has been created using a mixture of fabrics and styles with a luxurious and sophisticated fashion approach. Every year a collection of unique pieces, entirely handmade, is designed between Paris and Tangier.

Not to be missed for those looking to shop for a Berber carpet is Coin de L’Art Berber, which offers an extensive collection of rugs including those from the Middle and High Atlas regions, made by Saharan and southern Berber tribes. There is also a collection of doors, locks, windows, and boxes from southern Morocco and the Sahara.

4:00 PM: Tea Time at Cafe Hafa

At 4:00pm, make your way over to Cafe Hafa. It’s tea time at this multi-leveled blue walled cafe, where the best views of the Bay of Tangier can be found. Sip your Mint tea with camera in hand. Opened in 1921 Cafe Hafa retained its 1920’s style exterior decor. Beat Generation writers like Paul Bowles, William Burroughs and musicians like the Beatles and Rolling Stones frequented Cafe Hafa famous for serving Moroccan mint tea. It’s also the perfect place to light up and enjoy kif overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Today, Cafe Hafa is still popular with celebrities.

5:00 PM: Visit the Kasbah Museum

Next visit the Kasbah Museum. Formerly known as the Sultan’s Royal Palace of Dar El Makhzen, the Kasbah Museum focuses on the history of how Tangier is linked with Europe. It also displays archaeological artifacts from the Northern Morocco region. The permanent exhibition is divided into three parts, the seigneurial residence with garden and outbuildings (al-dar al-kabira), the first-floor apartment (dwirat qubbat sidi-al-bukhari) and the ceremonial room known as the treasure room (bit al-mal). Architectural characteristics of the residence include a large courtyard paved with zellij (small tiles), a water fountain, portico columns decorated with crescent moons, and zellij panels in the North and South wings. There are also two main rooms with trademark muqarnas (honeycomb-work) featured inside an ornate wooden dome with repetitive epigraphic and geometric motifs.

6:30 PM: Wind Down at Les Fils du Détroit

After a long day of exploration rest your feet at the 15m square musical home of Les Fils du Détroit.  The group is now managed by a local architect however has been rocking the Kasbah for over four decades. The native Moroccan men don’t ask for an entrance fee, rather they serve you mint tea and hold live jam sessions out of sheer pleasure. Listeners are in awe of how a violin, a Middle Eastern oud (borrowed from Andalusian music in Morocco,) and a darbouka, a single head drum, can blend together so well.

8:00 PM: Dinner at The Morocco Club

Set at the top of the Kasbah, The Morocco Club is a historic house turned restaurant and piano bar. It was built by Stuart Church and designed by Vincent Coppe and Oscar Badjii. All three men loved Tangier and left an artistic impact on the city. The restaurant, with its sophisticated charm and decor, looks like a scene you might find in the American series, Mad Men. The upstairs Piano Bar has served its international menu to talented artists like Jazz4Joy, Camélia Jordana, Donia Berriri and L-initiale trio; after dinner head downstairs to the cocktail bar and enjoy live music; the DJ plays into the late-night hours.

Where to Stay in Marrakech, Boutique & Chic 8 Top Riads

Sunday, May 13th, 2018
Ryad Dyor, Marrakech

Ryad Dyor, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moroccan Riads are the ideal place to stay when visiting Morocco. Tucked away from bustling city life, Riads serve as the perfect escape to read a book, enjoy a typical Moroccan meal, a sunset cocktail or simply decompress and take in the sights and sounds of an exotic setting. The majority of Boutique Riads in Morocco are centuries old and have been restored by talented Moroccan artisans. Each property differs with some having Andalusian, Moorish or Spanish architecture. The traditional décor, made up of intricate hand-made zellij tilework, tadelakt walled interiors and draped terraces offer an Arabian Nights sensibility.  With more then 1,000 traditional riad homes in Marrakech’s ancient medina, we’ve narrowed it down to the “Best 8 Marrakech Riads Marrakech Riads” that are well appointed with beautiful rooftop terraces, excellent cuisine and priced just right for almost any traveler who wants to splurge on a little bit of luxury.

Ryad Dyor
A luxury riad located in the Riad Larouss region of the medina. Owned by two designers, one Dutch and the other Spanish, this boutique hotel is a standout place to stay in the Marrakech. medina. Modern design meets Moroccan flair: a chic riad with lamplit courtyards, roof terrace and cool, understated décor. Ryad Dyor is converted from a pair of riads, whose 2 shady courts lead into each other, one with an ornately tiled fountain, the other with a rose-petalled splash pool. Copper lanterns, Balinese mirrors, egg-smooth tadelakt bathtubs surround guests. On the roof, under a loggia hung with gauzy textiles, the manager knows just when to offer cocktails or mint tea to guests lazing in the afternoon sunshine. The laid-back atmosphere – everyone is made to feel at home, nothing is too much trouble – will delight couples seeking both style and substance on a long weekend break or some post-trek pampering.
Property Amenities: Plunge pool, terrace, traditional hammam/spa, gourmet restaurant, wifi, laundry services
Driba Jdida, Sidi Ben Slimane, + 212-5243-75980

Riad De Tarabel
Riad de Tarabel is a luxurious boutique hotel in an old colonial mansion in the heart of the old medina of Marrakech. With ten rooms, including three suites this boutique property is a mixture of Colonial and French design. Riad de Tarabel was built in the 19thCentury and renovated in 2006. Each room is individually designed with true elegance that combines family heirlooms with contemporary pieces creating a French, colonial-feel. All of their Junior Suites have clawfoot baths and one has a fireplace. Some have open bath facilities.
Property Amenities: Rooftop plunge pool, Hammam, Dining area with restaurant, Wifi, Laundry
Derb Sraghna, Dar El Bahca, +212- 661-989782

Riad Tarabel, Marrakech

Riad Tarabel, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riad 72
Wrapped around a central courtyard brimming with banana trees, Riad 72 is a chic, well-appointed riad in the Marrakech medina. The elegantly decorated salon has an intricately carved ceiling, and gently lit by beautiful copper lanterns. The courtyard is flanked with large banana trees. Featuring classic Moroccan furnishings with contemporary flair, this boutique property also has a cuisine menu with Ottlolenghi inspired recipes.
Property Amenities: Terraces, panoramic garden, traditional hammam/spa, restaurant, balconies, wifi, laundry services
72 Arset Azwel, Bab Doukkala, +05243-87629

Riad Idra
Riad Idra is an elegant, contemporary, Moroccan, riad located in the Dar El Bacha region of the Marrakech medina. Riad Idra is a luxurious cocoon shielded from the commotion of the ochre city and a well-hidden jewel. A house full of light the intimate courtyard offers an outlet to the world of sight and sound for a magical stay.
Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Rooftop terrace Wifi
105 Derb Tizougarine, Dar El Bacha, +212-5243-91776

Riad Jaaneman
An elegant boutique riad in the bohemian heart of the Marrakech medina Riad Jaaneman is a refined oasis of urbane flamboyance and sophistication. Just a stone’s throw away from the timeless bustle of the souks and the vibrant rhythms of the city, Jaaneman defined is classical style meets eclectic harmony. Originating from an Indian word that literally means ‘Soul of Me’, “Jaaneman”  translates into ‘My love’ or ‘darling’. With 5 originally decorated suites, each boasts cutting-edge design reminiscent of art deco and a feeling of the Orient. Luxurious bed linens and artisanal soaps are just a few of the luxury amenities travelers can anticipate.
Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Rooftop terrace, Wifi
12 Rue Dar Sraghna, Dar el Bacha, +212-5243-82164

Riad Dar Darma, Marrakech

Riad Dar Darma, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dar Darma

A haven of calm in the Marrakech, medina, Dar Darma has been awarded a place on the Conde Naste gold list of Hotel in 2017. This traditional riad of 6 Suites, Dar Darma offers privacy, traditional Moroccan hospitality in a relaxed, atmosphere. The terraces have sweeping views that stretch from the Medina rooftops and the Koutoubia Mosque to the Atlas Mountains. The shady lounges, the swimming pool and a little basin offer the perfect place to cool off in the hot summer months Darma’s Moroccan lounge, the hall of arches and the fireplace lounge looks out onto a shady patio and are ideal places to relax, read, listen to music and enjoy dishes made by their traditional Moroccan chef.
Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Dipping pool, Rooftop terrace, Wifi
11/12 Derb Tarik Sidi Bouharba, +212-5243-76657

Riad Joya
Crafted with care by Italian art director and owner, Umberto Branchini, Riad Joya provides a high-octane dose of Milanese chic amid the medina’s dusty lanes. Sumptuous suites, as well as a lovely plunge pool, and a cracking rooftop bar. Riad Joya is an elegant boutique hotel of timeless beauty and seductive atmosphere well appointed in the Marrakech medina.  The overall atmosphere is of an elegant private house where understated luxury fuses with eclectic style and bespoke service and attention.
Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Rooftop terrace, Wifi
Derb El Hammam,+ 212- 5243-91624/ +212-5 24 38 50 55  

Riad Dar Mo’Da

A charming boutique, riad, Dar Mo’da is located in the Mouassine, historic quarter of the Marrakech medina, just minutes from Djemma El Fna square. This traditional Moroccan home has been restored impeccably. Dar Mo’Da’s wall to wall, white, clean lines and cool atmosphere coupled with traditional Moroccan, Syrian and Italian designer pieces, make it a one-of-a-kind place to stay. Guests can relax in the welcoming courtyard featuring a dipping pool or in the adjacent lounges and dining room. Dar Mo’da has four exclusive suites whose décor combine the magic of the orient and the comforts of the west. The roof terrace offers breathtaking views of the city and nearby Koutoubia mosque with the backdrop of the Atlas mountains and beyond.
Property Amenities: Spa/Traditional Hammam, Dipping pool, Rooftop terrace, Wifi
182 rue el Moussine, Moussine+212- 524 442819 

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For More Information about Travel Exploration’s Boutique & Chic Marrakech Riads

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.

Historic Tangier, Jewish Heritage Tour, A Guided Port Excursion

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018
Tangier Jewish Heritage Tour, Nahon Synagogue

Tangier Jewish Heritage Tour, Nahon Synagogue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tangier the capital of the Tétouan Region has a rich Jewish history due to the historical presence of many civilizations and cultures that conquered this area from the 5th century BC. Visiting the Jewish Heritage sites of Tangier on a private one-day tour can serve as a rewarding way to discover Tangier and the Jewish History of Morocco. Whether you are visiting Tangier while at Port for a Shore Excursion or desire a Guided Experience from your hotel, there’s much to see in this cosmopolitan Moroccan city many often refer to as the “Bride of the North.”

Tangier Jewish Cemetery

Tangier Jewish Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historic Tangier, Jewish Heritage Tour, A Guided Experience:

Tangier Arrival. Pick Up at Tangier Med Ferry Port, Airport or at your Hotel. On this On this Tangier Jewish Heritage Tour you will start your morning off visiting Tangier’s Jewish Sacred sites and then continue seeing the highlights of old Tangier. Visit the Moshe Nahon Synagogue in Tangier. Next Visit Chaar Rafael Synagogue. Chaar Rafael is one of the last surviving synagogues and remnants of Jewish Heritage in Tangier. Explore the Jewish Cemetery and the continue onwards to other non-Jewish sites.
Explore the vantage point of the Colline de Bella-Vista. Then, drive to see the Grand Socco, a popular nighttime square close to the Mosque of Sidi Bou Abib and the link between Ville Nouvelle and the medina. Visit the American Legation Museum, located in the oldest American consulate in continuous use. Next, visit the old medina, enter the medina at Rue Es-Siaghinie, the busiest part of this Roman medina lined with cafes and bazaars, a Spanish church, jewelers’ shops and an arts center displaying works depicting Tangier’s social history. Walk Petit Socco which was once the heart of the medina where businessmen and bankers frequented cafes, hotels, casinos and cabarets that have relocated to Ville Nouvelle.
Lunch Suggestions: El Morocco Club or Le Saveur du Poisson or Traditional Moroccan lunch in the city center
Explore the Caves of Hercules (Grottos) and Cap Spartel, a majestic part of Tangier and one not often seen by those passing through. In the late afternoon, take a break and experience Tangier’s cafe scene at the Cafe de Paris, a popular meeting place for Tangier residents, a former favorite of Paul Bowles and other famous foreigners.
Cafe Hafa, Tangier

Cafe Hafa, Tangier

End the tea at Cafe Hafa with a cup of steaming hot Mint Tea. Moroccan Cafe Hafa, is a white-washed restaurant with a terrace and gardens that overlook Gibraltar –perfect at sunset and a former writing spot for Paul Bowles.
Paul Bowles achieved critical and popular acclaim with the publication of his first novel The Sheltering Sky, in 1949 set in French North Africa. The Sheltering Sky was later filmed in 1990 by Bernardo Bertolucci. The film was shot in Morocco’s cities of Tangier and Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate. The Sheltering Sky tells a dangerous and erotic journey of an American artist couple, Port and Kit Mores, and their aimless travels through Africa in search of new experiences.
In 1947 Paul Bowles settled in Tangier, Morocco, and his wife, Jane Bowles followed in 1948. Paul Bowles produced numerous musical scores, four novels, more than sixty short stories, many travel pieces and dozens of translations of stories by Moroccan storytellers.
Transfer to the Port or your Hotel. Your Travel Exploration Tour ends here.

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.

Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours, Trip Advisor Winner 2017

Saturday, January 13th, 2018
Visit Morocco With Travel Exploration Private Tours

Visit Morocco With Travel Exploration Private Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TripAdvisor has awarded Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours the 2017 Certificate of Excellence. This celebratory achievement is the result of Travel Exploration’s  exceptional reviews from Morocco travelers who have shared their experiences on TripAdvisor’s website. The Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award is a testament to Travel Exploration’s High Standards and Service provided for couples, family, and small groups tours who have visited Morocco with Travel Exploration.  The Travel Exploraiton Morocco Private Tours Certificate of Excellents awarded by Trip Advisor  is given annually to exceptional travel agents and Morocco tour operators. TripAdvisor places a spotlight on businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers.

 

Travel Exploration specializes in private, hand curated tours to Morocco. The comapny also offers Jewish Heritage Private Tours to Morocco with Kosher Options along with Family Tours, Food & Cuisine Tours in addition to off the beat travel in Morocco’s great south. With offices in, Marrakech and Ouarzazate, the company offers on the ground full services inclusive of private, luxury transportation, local guided site seeing tours, stays at luxury riads and options for the active travelers.

Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours, Alecia Cohen

Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours, Alecia Cohen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Exploration, Morocco Private Tours is femaled owned by Alecia Cohen,  a former magazine publisher, of Global Rhythm magazine and an executive who established Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours with her Berber partner to show travelers the best of Morocco. Inspired by her passion for Morocco’s combination of natural wonders, Imperial cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Berber villages, she delights in organizing comprehensive and personally curated original travel itineraries for cultured and educated travelers.

Mrs. Cohen  has lectured at the World Bank on Culture & Sustainable Development in Africa and has been featured in various print and television venues, including CNN Financial News, Entrepreneurial Edge, Crain’s, Entrepreneur, and The World.

Morocco's Great Kasbahs

Morocco’s Great Kasbahs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Exploration is also proud to share that we have a not for profit company located in Morocco that offers 5% of our annual proceeds to Berber villages. Project Feed Morocco is a Not-for-profit charity organization that helps feed those in need within Southern Morocco’s Berber Villages & Nomad Families. To date Project Feed has been the charity arm of Travel Exploration. Travel Exploration began by donating 5% of our annual profits to Berber villages through supplying couscous, olive oil and sugar to those in need. To date we’ve fed over 1000 families.

With Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours guests visit Arabo Andalous architectural sites in the Imperial Cities, majestic palaces, glorious houses of worship, opulent gardens and a breathtaking Sahara desert. You will taste Moroccan hospitality in Berber Villages and enjoy exquisite cuisine and elegant accommodations.

Our team of expert, licensed Multi-lingual guides and drivers will set in motion a memorable journey. As a member of the American Association of Travel Agents, Travel Exploration takes pride in our impeccable service and reputation. The company also donates 5% of all proceeds to Berber Villages through our charity Project Feed.

For More Information about Travel Exploration Morocco’s Private 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.

Essaouira’s 14th Annual Andalusian Music Festival

Sunday, October 29th, 2017
Essaouira Program Poster

Essaouira Program Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Held yearly in October for the past 14 years, this year’s Andalusia-Atlantic festival is the 14th edition and takes place from Thursday October 26th – 29th, 2017 on the Coast of Morocco.

The Atlantic Andalusia Festival highlights the Andalusian musical heritage of the Spanish-Moroccan cradle. It is the perfect fall event for all music officiados and those with a penchant for the coastal town of Essaouira.

The Andalousia-Atlantic festival is one of three of Essaouira’s most important cultural events.  The Andalousia-Atlantic festival together with the Gnaoua Festival & World Music festival along with the Printemps Musicale festival make Essaouira one of Morocco’s liveliest places to visit.

The Andalusia-Atlantic festival pays homage to the shared Arabo-Andalusian heritage of Morocco and Spain.  As a coastal town on the Atlantic that has tourists visiting year round, Essaouira historically has been known for it’s openness, the arts and for it’s fresh seafood.

Often referred to as an artist colony with a strong alize, Essaouira boasts a wide variety of music festivals and artists both Moroccan and foreign who live there year round.

The Andalusia-Atlantic festival concerts are free free with limited seating. Seminars, discussions and workshops on various cultural subjects are held and offer a stimulating and engaging atmosphere for those interested in topics related to music and culture.

 

 

14th Annual Andalusian Festival

14th Annual Andalusian Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights of the 14th Andalusia-Atlantic festival is the 14th festival are, an opening concert featuring Abderrahim Souiri, and Rabbi Haim Louk, one of the leading icons of Judeo-Andalusian music. These two outstanding musicians will be accompanied by Mohamed Larbi Temsamani’s tetanus orchestra led by the great master Mohamed Amine El Akrami.

This series of 4-day concerts the concerts will also feature pieces of popular Moroccan repertoire, such as chaâbi, chgouri and melhoun revisited by Raymonde El Bidaouia, flamenco. Distinguished guest, Mercedes Ruiz, elected in 2015 flamenco star dancer in Spain will perform accompanied by her musicians and singers.

Another highlight of this edition is the unpublished duo of Rabbi David Menahem, a homecoming for him, and Palestinian singer Loubna Salama, who is coming to Morocco for the first time. Musicians from other regions of Eastern Europe will also be featured such as the Czech group Letajici Rabin, Yiddish, Klezmer and Gypsy music.

A Designers Guided Tour of Marrakech, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Saturday, September 16th, 2017
Marrakech Design Tour

Marrakech Design Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marrakech has long been sought after by designers for its’ style, beauty and sophistication. A Designers Guided Tour of Marrakech is the is a must do activity for Interior Designers, Artists, Architects and Fashion Designers looking inspiration, sourcing and networking opportunities within the Marrakech design community. A Marrakech Design Tour will help lay the groundwork for design professionals who are interested in engaging with local artisans, Marrakech designers and sourcing Moroccan Handmade crafts.

There are a host of well known expat artists and creative types who have made their business or home in Marrakech and in Morocco. French artistic genius, Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent did so in the 1960’s and the result is a collective of three incredible projects, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, the Majorelle Gardens and Berber Museum. Prolific writers such as Paul Bowles, William Burroughs made Tangier their home while French painters Eugene Delacroix and Henry Matisse also spent significant time there.

 

Yahya Marrakech Designer

Yahya Marrakech Designer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today there are a host of new designers on Marrakech’s doorstep who are paving the way in the contemporary design scene. From the latest design trends in Moroccan fashion to innovative Moroccan crafts local artists both expatriates and native Moroccans are making a name for themselves . Designer  wares can be seen at Pop Up Shops and Marrakech concept stores across the Marrakech Medina and the new town, Gueliz. There are a wealth of new carpet and weaving cooperatives, Moroccan owned, in rural regions to explore

Norya Ayron Marrakech Designer

Norya Ayron Marrakech Designer

The new town of Gueliz and it’s world-renowned Yves Saint Laurent Museum, the Majorelle Gardens and the Berber Museum are just a starting point for Interior Designers and Artists. Those who want to explore all that Marrakech has to offer should consider a Marrakech Design Tour led by a local.
On a Mararkech Design Tour, Interior Designers and Artists can visit Marrakech’s most sought after chic boutiques and concepts stores in Gueliz. This new town’s mix of Colonial and Historic, Art Deco architecture make it perfect for exploring.
Yves-Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech

Yves-Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things To Do On A Marrakech Design Tour Overview:

Explore the new city of Gueliz and it’s world-renowned Yves Saint Laurent Museum, the Majorelle Gardens and the Berber Museum.

Visit Marrakech’s most sought after chic boutiques and concepts stores in Gueliz.
Learn about Sidi Ghanem, the Marrakech Industrial zone, where contemporary artists and designers have their workshops and showrooms.
Sip mint tea and engage with Moroccan and International Designers who have made Marrakech’s, Historic Medina their home.
Take a road trip just 30 kilometers outside of Marrakech to a rural village where weaving and embroidery cooperatives are located.

For More Information about A Designers Guided Tour of 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.

Top 10 Marrakech Lunch Spots, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Sunday, May 14th, 2017
Marrakech Restaurants, Perfect for Lunch

Marrakech Restaurants, Perfect for Lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marrakech is home to some of the most interesting restaurants in Morocco. From Moroccan Traditional Fare served streetside to Contemporary French cuisine served on Moroccan salon style seating, Italian Trattoria’s, local Crèperie’s by the dozen, Asian Fusion, Riad three-course dining along with a variety of eats in Djemaa El Fna Square. There’s some place for everyone to dine for lunch in Marrakech regardless of budget or taste.  There are so many Marrakech restaurants, new and old, that one could spend weeks dining out and just touch the surface of the local food scene. We’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 of the Best Lunch Spots in Marrakech that offer travelers a keen variety of cuisine from the Chic and Savory t0 the Hip and Traditional.

Top 10 of the Best Lunch Spots in Marrakech

Le Petit Conichon

A new address in Marrakech, this chic, Gueliz lunch spot is the place to go for those looking for aftternoon or evening bistro fare with a French touch. The lunch menu is offered on three courses, pre fixed with option to have a la carte. Waiters present the daily fare without printed menu or pricing. Decor is retro chic. Designer papered walls with zig zag blue and white floors lend to a crisp and unique dining environment. Try the crab and eggplant terraine coupled with seabass ceviche or baked fish with wild rice.

Address: 27 Rue Moulay Ali
Phone: +212-524421251

Le Petit Cornichon, Marrakech

Le Petit Cornichon, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Fenn
This well appointed trendy, Bo-Ho, Luxury boutique hotel in the Medina is the place to be seen in Marrakech. A Branson address and host to the ultra cool, visiting for lunch, a swim and a stop to explore their new home and fashion boutique guarantees an fun filled afternoon outing. The El Fenn terrace restaurant has views of the historic medina and a pre-fixed lunch menu is offered daily. The several-course menu always includes what’s in season. Typical dishes served for lunch are vegetarian salads accompanied by a variety of fresh breads, vegetarian quiche, grilled chicken or fish with a sorbet and lively garnish for desert. El Fenn’s lunch menu is one of the few in town that is perfect for those on who preefer a vegetarian and gluten free diet.

Address: Derb Moulay Abduallah Ben Hezzian
Phone: 
+212-52444210
 

Royal Mansour
An extraordinary dining experience of French, Moroccan gatronomy for discerning foodies. Built into the historic medina walls, this Marrakech luxurious hotel has become a landmark for those interested in classic elegance. The Royal Mansour chef’s table has one of Morocco’s best, created by renowned Michelin 3-star, French Chef Yannick Alleno. Starters, main courses and deserts are beauituflly presented and retain glorious flavors and spices of the Magherb.

Address: Rue Abou Abbas el sebti
Phone: +212-529808080

Amal Center, Marrakech Restaurant

Amal Center, Marrakech Restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amal Center
For those looking to dine on local Moroccan fare in a cozy atmosphere look no further then the Amal Womens Center & Moroccan restaurant. This non-profit organization empowers disadvantaged women by training them in modern cuisine. Amal Center is the perfect go to place for afternoon lunch whether you want a simple tajine or several courses. You will be served a Moroccan traditional cuine by women with home made pastries to round out the meal. Amal Center also offers cooking workshops and is ideal for those who want to venture on a walk from their riad in the medina to discover the Ville Nouvelle (new town), Gueliz.

Address: Rue Allal Ben Ahmed
Phone: +212-524446896

La Familie
La Familie is a lush, laid back garden and patio restaurant that offers Mediteranean fusion style cuisine. Afternoon grazers who want a slow food experience or to curl up in a lounge chair and sip tea with a magazine in hand will feel comfortable at this boutique out door restaruant located in the heart of the Marrakech Medina. The lunch menu at La Familie changes daily basis – main courses include a variety of salads, home made pasta dishes with a side of couscous. There is also a variety of fruit juices offered. Everything on the menu is made  with organic, fresh produce. While the Muezzin call can be heard five times a day and break the calm at this little Oasis, it’s a must eat when in Marrakech during afternoons given it’s only open for lunch.

Address: 42 Riad Zitoun Jdid
Phone: +212-669041137

Cafe Clock, Marrakech

Cafe Clock, Marrakech

Cafe Clock
Cafe Clock is the resident cafe in the Marrakech Medina and the most sought after address for local Moroccans, expats and travelers who want to try a camel burger surrounded by local art. The Clock as locals call it is run by British, Expat, Mike Richards, known for his freindly character and as being  highly distinguised in the local community. Richards helped to bring back the Moroccan tradition of hikaya, story telling in Djemaa El Fna Square. Cafe Clock is accessible to locals and also offers weekly performances by local musicians. This highly original cultural centre offers a contemporary menu that features original dishes such as goat cheese, quiche, falafel and hummus with mint and carrot dressing along with grilled sandwiches, delicious cakes, tarts and a home made iced-mint green tea that is a must have. Don’t miss lunching at Cafe Clock in Marrakech. If you do, then make sure it’s included on your bucket list at in Fes or Chefchaouen.

Address: Derb Chtouka
Phone: +212- 524378367

 Kechburger

The perfect place for a quick, cheap lunch expereince in Marrakech for those longing to take a break from tajine and couscous when on vacation. For travelers who want to forgo a heavy tajine or French fare, a hearty burger is the perfect choice. Kech burger serves hamburgers, chicken and fish burgers with fries. A side of slaw is available on request. For fast food lovers this particular place beats the local McDonalds both burger and price wise.

Address: 39 Rue Mohammed el Beqal, Marrakech, Morocco
Phone: 0524448589

La Crèperie
A Marrakech landmark, owned by a Breton native that offers a delicious selection of crepes made with buckwheat garnished with a savory or sweet topping. Roquefort, Spinach or chorizo, or the emblematic butter-sugar and Nutella to the subtle variation of suzette oranges. Perfect for those with a savory or sweet tooth. Best crepes in town.
Address: Rue du Capitaine Arrigui
Phone: 
+212 661433272

Le Cantine Parisienne
French owned, this Marrakech chic bistro is headed by the young chef Faisal Zahraoui and deserves a big applause for his solid “Cantine.” A perfect lunch can be savored by choosing artichoke carpaccio, the dazzling veal medallion with porcini mushrooms and a chocolate delicacy for desert.

Address: Rue Ibn Hanabal
Phone: 212-524458565

L’Atlelier Cuisine

A must dining experience for travelers and expats looking for homemade organic cuisine perfect for lunch or early dinner before sunset. This petit restaurant, French owned with a Spanish chef,  has both outdoor and indoor seating with a view of the Hart Gardens. L’Atlelier s a wide serves array of hearty salads which can serve as a meal, along with organic chicken, meats such as lamb or duck and fish dishes not to mention many delicious deserts. Their three-course fixed price menu’s consist of salad, main and desert. One of the favored ones is Fava bean soup, Chicken confite with lemons and herbes, accompanied by lemon and ginger creme brulee for desert, topped off with an espresso and home made chocolate chip mini cookie. Don’t miss out on this local dining experience.

Address: 8 Rue Oued El Makhazine
Phone: 212–66194373

 For More Information about Marrakech Tours and Restaurants

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.