Archive for the ‘Tours to Morocco’ Category

Fez Travel Guide, Where to Eat, Sleep & Stay

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Fez el Bali was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981. Built during the Idrisid dynasty (789 – 808 AD), the ancient walled city of Fez is one of the oldest in the world. Fez was designed on a slope using historic traditions of Islamic architecture to prevent rainwater from flooding it. The sprawling medina boasts over eight kilometers of city walls and is one of the planet’s largest, urban contiguous free zones. Fez has an estimated population of 200,000. Each living area of Fez affords its inhabitants with a mosque, Koranic school, a fountain, hammam, and a traditional bread oven.

The ancient walled city of Fez is one of the oldest in the world.

Fez el  Bali is referred to as the intellectual and spiritual capital of Fez and Morocco. The city has a rich history which includes being twice the capital of Morocco. When Idris ibn Abdallah acquired Fes in 789, he made it Morocco’s most important city.

Refugees from Cordoba, Spain, and later Kairouan (Tunisia) shaped the look of present-day Fez El Bali. A Tunisian refugee is even credited with building the University of Al Quaraouiyine. Dating back to 859 CE, it is recognized as the world’s oldest university and one of the finest examples of Islamic design.

Fez el Bali is known for its extraordinary Islamic design and architecture. Andalusian gardens and museums, lively souks and markets, two leather tanneries, madrasas, and other spiritual centers.

Our Fez Insider’s Guide Fez Insiders Guide offers travel tips and secrets of the ancient medina.

Bab Boujloud Gate, Fez

Bab Boujloud Gate, Fez

Exploring Fes el Bali’s 10,000 Unnamed Alley’s

Part of exploring Fez el Bali is getting lost in its 10,000 unnamed alleys which lead to new discoveries of the city’s gates, citadels, and landmarks; to relive the history of the city.

Under the rule of the Almoravids, Fez was divided into two cities. Abdallah’s son used the Fes River as a city border, destroyed many buildings in Fes el Bali, eventually moving Morocco’s capital to Marrakech. It stayed this way until 1276 when Fes’ second district, Fes Jdid, was created, reunited Fez, and returned it to its former capital status. There are 13 gates divided between the two medinas. Hammad Berrada is the author of a book published in Morocco in 2004, Fez From Bab to Bab: Walks in the Medina which lays out paths for travelers to discover all 13 gates.

The Blue Gate (Bab Bou Jeloud) is located inside the old part of the Fez Medina and the main entrance to the city. Built in 1913, during the beginning of the French protectorate, it is the first entrance after the Fez El Jdid and served as an extension of the ancient UNESCO certified walls. Bab Bou Jeloud can be recognized from afar with its mesmerizing, blue mosaic zellige tiles and hidden underneath its arch, are green mosaics, a famous Fassie green color of which is revealed upon entering the city of Fez. Bab Bou Jelad’s triple-arched gates lead onto the popular Talaa Kebira, from which many cafes, shops, and prominent architectural buildings can be accessed.

From Bab to Bab

From Bab Bou Jeloud, the Blue Gate, the perimeter of Fez El Bali runs west towards Bab Chorba. The ancient Kasbah wall moves along route 501 – from where the Marinid tombs can be accessed – snakes around Bab Guissa and El Jamai Place, where it turns onto Tour de Fes N road and wraps the Jnane Bou Taa area, past Bab Khouka where it turns southwest into the Quartier des Potiers. Fes el Bali continues along N6, passing the Bab Ftouah region, crossing the Oued El Mehraz then maneuvering into the prestigious Palais Faraj Hotel, then the Batha area, until reaching the Blue Gate again.

Zaouida Moulay Idriss, Fez

Zaouida Moulay Idriss, Fez

Sacred Sites in Fez Not to Miss

Zaouia Moulay Idriss – wedged between Souk Attarine and the Nejjarine Square, the 10th-century Zaouia houses the tomb of Fes’ founding father, Moulay Idriss II (793 – 828). The mausoleum is part of a religious Islamic school that spreads over 2,548 m2. Although the entrance is forbidden to non-muslim visitors, travelers can stop to admire the exquisitely carved cedar wood ceiling. There are seven doors, and the one with women entering into the mosque courtyard houses the tomb of Moulay Idriss.

Marinid Tombs – these tombs date back to the 14th century during the reign of the Marinid dynasty. The hill they sit on is known as al-Qula, or the “Hill of the Marinids” and offers some of the best panoramic views of Fez el Bali.

University Al Qarawiyyin Mosque & University – many Muslim students from Morocco, West Africa, Muslim Central Asia, and even parts of Andalucia Spain attend this University. Founded in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri , the daughter of a Tunisian refugee, the University was introduced into Morocco‘s university system in 1963. Quaraouiyine University focuses its studies on Islam, legal sciences, and classical Arabic. The school attracts visitors from around the world for its extraordinary Islamic architecture. University Al Qarawiyyin is one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world and is considered the oldest continuously operating institution of higher learning.

Mosque and Zaoui Sheikh Ahmad al-Tijani –  an 18th-century mosque and religious school dedicated to Sheikh Ahmad al-Tijani. It sits in the Al Blida neighborhood and is distinguished by its ornamental facades and turquoise colored minaret. Located close to the Al Qarawiyyin Mosque & University, this sacred space contains the tomb of an 18th century Sufi Shaykh, founder of the Tijaniyya order. The Zaouia presents a street facade highly ornamented with carved wood, stucco, and glazed tile.

Madrasa El Bouanania Fes – renovated in the 18th century by Sultan Moulay Slimane who is known for ending piracy on Morocco’s coasts, the madrasa gained the status of a Grand Mosque and educational center. It became one of Morocco’s most important religious centers. In the 20th century, a major restoration combining wood and tile decoration has made it one of the most extraordinary places to see examples of Islamic architecture. It is the only madrasa in Fes with a minaret and one of the few religious places that allow entrance to non-Muslims. Opposite the Madrasa is Dar al Magana, a wall with a hydraulic water clock.

Dar al Magna Clock Tower, Fez

Dar al Magna Clock Tower, Fez

Dar al-Magana – the clock house was built by Marinid Sultan Abu Inan Faris in 1357 to communicate the correct times of prayers to the Muezzin. It has 12 doors behind which are 12 brass bowls. Historically, a door would open on the hour and a metal ball would drop into the brass bowl. Since 2004, the bowls have been removed and the clock has been put under reconstruction by ADER, part of the major Fes Medina renovation initiated by King Mohammed VI.

Al-Attarine Madrasa – The 14th-century al-Attarine Madrasa “ of the perfume makers” is the setting for a historic perfume and spice market. The interior of the madrasa is composed of a courtyard surrounded by the finest examples of traditional Marinid craftsmanship. Visitors are advised to pay attention to the exquisite details on the floors and walls.

The Fes Jewish Mellah and it’s Fortified Gateway

The Jewish Mellah is the name of the Jewish quarters in Fes. They are surrounded by a wall and fortified gateway. Located near the royal residences, this enabled its inhabitants to be protected from the wrath of the Muslim populace. The Fes Mellah was once solely inhabited by Jews. This was the first Mellah in Morocco and originated in 1438. In the early 14th century, it was founded by the Merinids.  In contrast with the young Mellah of Casablanca, the Mellah of Fes is over 650 years old. This picturesque neighborhood adjoins the royal palace, noted for its recently constructed bright brass doors. The Ibn Danan Synagogue is one of the oldest and most intact synagogues in Morocco. This synagogue, located in the heart of the Mellah (Jewish quarter), is a rare survivor of a pivotal time in Moroccan Jewish history.

The Jewish Cemetery of Fes is nearby and contains the tombs of more Jewish saints than any other cemetery in Morocco. One of the more important saints is Solica, who was killed for refusing to convert to Islam.  Just footsteps from Cafe Clock is the former home of Maimonides is located in Fes, a simple trace of ancient Jewish life. Maimonides lived in Fes from 11599-1165,
Art Naji, Fez

Art Naji, Fez

Discover Traditional Crafts of Fes 

Embroidery Cooperative – watch Fassie women utilize mathematical calculations and geometric shapes to create beautiful patterns on fabric. In this area, seventy-nine-year-old Abdelkader Ouazzani is the last brocade master in Fes, Morocco. Brocading is a 13th-century art learned from the Merinid Sultans era. On a private tour, you can watch Ouazzani puppeteer the orchestra of thread.

Pottery Cooperative – Fes is famous for it’s enameled polychrome blue-green ceramics decorated with geometric motifs and floral patterns. This style of pottery was developed in the eleventh century under the Almohad dynasty. The Potter’s Quarter (Ain Nkobi) is located on Sidi Harazem road, near the clay quarries in Ain Nokbi; the area is just outside the medina due to the smoke from the kilns.

TanneriesFes has two tanneries where you can witness the historic tradition of leather dying. Chouara Tannery is the larger more popular tannery and located by the far north end of the Oued Bou Khrareb River. Of the two tanneries, Sidi Moussa is lesser-known, however as it is less visited, offering a more intimate experience. It is advisable to visit either location in the morning to experience the leather process.

Where to Eat in Fez

The Ruined Garden – Robert Johnstone, has created a beautiful garden in the ruin at Riad Idrissy which was once a merchant’s house. Johnstone describes it as “half garden, half allotment.” In it, he grows gardenias, a jacaranda, papyrus, and a mix of edibles that are used in the riad’s kitchen, such as verbena, mint, chilies, sorrel, rosemary, parsley and tomatoes. The Ruined Garden Garden is also a cafe and restaurant that serves local Moroccan cuisine with a modern flair. Specialties include couscous appetizer (seffa),  harira soup, lamb tajine, and chicken bastilla.
Address:5 Derb Idrissy Sidi Ahmed Chaoui Medina 30110، Siaj, Fes Phone: +212-649-191410   

Cafe Clock –   established in 2006 by Mike Richardson with the aim of promoting cross-cultural exchanges and giving back to the local community. Cafe Clock is known for its camel burgers whose purchase yields a 1% donation to select Moroccan charities along with its reasonably priced menu of Moroccan and vegetarian fare. Cafe Clock offers cooking classes and weekly storytelling along with traditional live music. Cafe Clock as three locations, Fez el Bali, the Marrakech Medina and the Blue Pearl, Chefcahouen.
Address: 7 Derb el Magana Phone: +212-5356-37855  

Nur, Fez

Nur, Fez

Nur – named the World’s Best Moroccan Restaurant in 2017, this gastronomic restaurant is located in a small refurbished riad. Nur is Chef Najat Kaanache’s tribute to the proud cultural and agricultural diversity of Morocco. She affectionately refers to her country as “the mouth of Europe”, forged through its unique confluence of colonial cultures. Najat offers innovative flavors of the Middle Atlas through a creative lens. The tasting menu at Nur draws from the rich and flavorful cuisine of the Middle East. The dining room at Nur has a chic contemporary feel, but the design elements actually date back to Byzantine times, simultaneously offering a sanctuary and time capsule. For approximately 2 1/2 hours, and through about 10 creations, Chef Najat invites you to experience a brave new Morocco. Each morning the team sources the best available produce from within the Medina and constructs a largely improvisational menu around the seasonal seafood and offerings from our local, specialty purveyors.  Address: 7 Zkak Rouah, Medina, Fes  Phone: +212-694-277849

Restaurant Riad Nejjarine – Dating back to the 1800s, the Riad serves authentic Moroccan fare where diners eat surrounded by majestic Arab-Andalucian architecture. Their dishes feature the famous Fassie pigeon pastilla, tagines, and prunes with meat. The cuisine is refined offering gastronomic Moroccan tables which have become original Fez benchmarks all over Morocco. Address: 20 Lablida Sagha, Fès Phone: +212 =212-5356-34106

Dar Roumana – Dine in a traditional Moroccan riad framed by lush olive groves and the ancient medina walls. Head Chef Younes Idrissi’s dishes are made using local produce to reflect the seasons of the Fes Medina. Sunset cocktails on the roof terrace are recommended. Address: Rue Roumana Phone: +212-553741737

Riad Fez, Relais Chateaux

Riad Fez, Relais Chateaux

Where to Stay in Fez

Riad Fes  – is a Relais & Châteaux property owned by Moroccan architect and one of the most sought after places to stay in Fes. It is decorated in the traditional style of Fes with the keen combination of Baroque and Moorish design in its four courtyards. The terrace at Riad Fes is lined with Atlas Mountain views. There are a wine bar and an onsite on-site gastronomic restaurant famous for fusing Mediterranean and local flavors. It is conveniently located near the Palais Royal and the Batha Museum and gardens. A stay at Riad Fes will allow you to travel back in time and enjoy the splendor of the lifestyle of Fassi nobility. The garden offers moments of freshness under the shade of orange, lemon and bay trees.

Address: 5 Derb Zerbtana, Fès Phone: +212-5357-41206

Dar Roumana    “ house of the pomegranate,” dates back to the late 1800s when it was built by the Arfaouis, a family of olive merchants. Until it was renovated in 2002 and became Dar Roumana, it was home to livestock. The owner Jen, was the first American to open a riad in Fes. The traditional Fassie home has a terrace with views of the medina and notable architecture with stained. Framed by lush olive groves and the ancient ruins of the medina walls, Dar Roumana invites you to experience the richness and comfort of a traditional Fassi guesthouse. Relax with a book and a glass of Moroccan mint tea on the spacious sun-drenched roof terrace with a spectacular view of the entire medina and Atlas Mountains.  After dinner prepared by their Cordon Bleu chef, retire to the library for a fire-side game of chess or choose a movie from our video and DVD collection. Each of Dar Romana’s suites contains the work of local artisans: original mosaic tile floors, intricately carved plaster, rich cedar ceilings and doors, and hand-crafted furnishings. Address: Rue Roumana Phone: +212-553741737

Dar Roumana, Fez

Dar Roumana, Fez

Le Jardin des Biehn – formerly the house of a Pacha, this luxurious riad was restored by a French family ten years ago. It is set in a peaceful garden with aromatic herbs and surrounded by palm and olive trees. The riad has a cafe and restaurant that overlooks the garden along with a boutique filled with textiles and exotic items from India and the Far East.
Address:13 Akbat Sbaa Douh, Fes Phone: +212-535741036

Palais Amani – Palais Amani is a fourteen bedroomed opulent Riad in Fes provides refined dining and spacious accommodation. With a salon and library, a rooftop bar, extensive terraces, a traditional hammam and spa, impeccable service, and all of this close to the Golden Triangle in the ancient medina in Fez. Traditional Moroccan breakfast is served to guests in the dining room or on the dining terrace overlooking the Riad’s central garden. At lunch and dinner time Palais Amani offer a cosmopolitan a la Carte menu for light or more elaborate meal.
Address: 12 Derb El Miter، Fes Phone +212-5356-33209

Karawan Riad this 17th-century riad is located in the Andalous quarter of the Fez Medina. It is one of the most lavish boutique hotels with an open-air courtyard perfect for cocktails on a starry night. Karawan Riad has seven chic suites decorated with Islamic and Moroccan furniture. Texture, motif, and artifacts makeup, unique hand curated interiors at this one-of-a-kind Fes Riad. It is the ideal place to stay for architecture buffs. All Suites are lavishly decorated with Moroccan and Islamic furniture. The Leelah hammam offers delightful scrubs, with the option of rose or oranger water and a spice bath. Trickling fountains are surrounded by flora and fauna for cozy dinners that of local Fes cuisine offered up by Chef Outhmane. This boutique riad has the amenities of a hotel and design that sings the name of Architectural Digest.
Address:
21 Derb Ourbia Makhfiya، Fes  Phone +212-5356-37878

Each one of Palais Faraj’ suites was designed in compliance with this distinguished art of secret alchemy.

Palais Faraj – Palais Faraj is a boutique hotel with a spectacular panoramic view of the Fes Medina. Designed by the famous architect and interior designer Jean-Baptiste Barian, Palais Faraj boasts stunning Arab Andalusia architecture with magnificent arches, columns and moucharabiehs, carved wood, plaster and brass, stucco laces, marble floors, and sacred geometry wall Zellig tilework. Each one of the 25 suites was designed in compliance with this distinguished art of secret alchemy and then outfitted with the latest luxury facilities. Address: Derb Ziat, Fes Phone +212-5356-35356

Abdelkader Ouazzani Brocade Master, Fez

Abdelkader Ouazzani Brocade Master, Fez

Shopping Secrets of the Fes Medina Reveal Morocco’s Last Brocade Master & the Ancient Art of Comb Making

Abdelkader Ouazzani – Seventy-nine-year-old Abdelkader Ouazzani is the last brocade master in Fes. Brocading is an artistic profession requiring the participation of the entire body; feet glide over the wooden pedals and arms and shoulders are engaged in a manner that looks like a conductor puppeteering an orchestra. Brocading is a process requiring deep concentration, meticulousness, and know-how; the original teachers were from the 13th century Merinid Sultans era. Ouzzani works on a commission basis only for the elite in Morocco. His rare, complex fabrics cost in the range of $500 – $600 per meter to make.

Mohamed Saili – Sadly, the art of comb making is a dying trade and Mr. Saili is one of only few craftsmen still alive. Once seated on the ground, Mr. Saili uses his feet to chisel the tines of the fine combs made from horns to perfection. It’s an absolutely fascinating process to watch and a unique souvenir to take home from your travels to Fes!
 Address: 39 Rue Mechatine

Serghini Poterie –  
Master artisan Moulay Ahmed Serghini is of a big deal on the Moroccan pottery scene – his work has been displayed at 
the British Museum and he has three workshops throughout the Kingdom. Tajines, vases, tableware, and even decorative pieces are all hand-made and using traditional Fasis methods from start to finish. It’s best to stop by the workshop to see the artisans at work before visiting the showroom. The entire process from raw clay to the finished product can be viewed on the property. Ready to ship at a moment’s notice, Serghini makes Fassis creations available worldwide.
Address: 32 Ain Nokbi
Phone: +212-661-63-07-58 or +212-535-76-16-29

Morocco Jewish Heritage Tours, Remarkable Sites to Visit

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020
Iban Danan Synagogue, Fes

Iban 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 an 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) is 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.

Miaara Jewish Cemetery, Fes

Miaara Jewish Cemetery, Fes

Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour: Remarkable Places & Sites to 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

Jewish Mellah, Marrakech Spice Market

Jewish Mellah, Marrakech Spice Market

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

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 Arab traditions, UNESCO Heritage sites and cities, a magnificent coast, Moorish architecture, glorious markets, and food tourism make it an ideal vacation destination.

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.

5 Top Morocco Family Tours

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020
Morocco Family Tour

Morocco Family Tour

A Morocco Family Tour should rank high on your bucket list. Morocco is a family-friendly country that offers a wide range of activities and popular tours that makes for easy family travel with those who have children of varied ages. Morocco’s sandy beaches and blue, jeweled coast stretch for miles across the country. Its mountain ranges in both the High and Middle Atlas are perfect for trekking by foot, exploring by a donkey, or settling down by a stream for a picnic lunch. Morocco’s exotic medinas are a shopper’s paradise of colorful hand-made crafts and cuisine, such as Berber carpets, lanterns, baboosh slippers, textiles, caftan’s, teapots and sweets, all surrounded by stunning gardens and hidden alleys for the entire family to explore. Popular Morocco family tour activities range from hiking, trekking, a hot air balloon ride over the Atlas, sandboarding, quad riding, sand skiing, lunch with a Berber family, and exotic food tours, held in UNESCO Fes and Marrakech’s famous Djemaa El Fna Square at sunset. Families interested in historic activities can visit Morocco’s spectacular Art and Photography museums, Andalusian and Moorish gardens, along with UNESCO Heritage sites, monuments, mosques, and Jewish Heritage Sites. Families traveling to Morocco are guaranteed a safe and enriching experience.

5 Family  Morocco Tours – Popular Vacation Itineraries, for the Best Family Vacation

Family Adventures in Morocco

A 10-Day Family Tour tailor-made to include the vibrant and colorful city of Marrakech,  the High Atlas Mountain region, camel riding, sandboarding, and quad riding in the Sahara Desert, along with visits to the UNESCO Heritage Site, Ait Ben Haddou, and the Atlas Film Studios. This tailor-made family vacation includes stays at traditional Morocco riads and guest houses that are quaint and filled with charm, serve excellent local cuisine, and offer a mix of courtyards, gardens, and some with a rural setting. Families can take a Hot Air Balloon Ride over the Atlas Mountains and sip tea and eat couscous with a Berber family. A family tour to Morocco would not be complete without a Marrakech food tasting tour at sunset in Djemaa el Fna Square. Tasting Moroccan delicacies in the back streets and seeing live snake charmers and monkeys plays into the hands of an exotic Medieval carnival. This 10-Day Morocco family tour is perfect for families who have children that are 9 years or older.

One-Week Morocco Family Tour

A-One week-long family vacation to Morocco for active family travel, designed for those looking for family fun in Marrakech’s medina, visiting bustling souks and market places, majestic palaces along with hiking and zip lining across the Atlas Mountains. The highlight of this family tour is the camel trek in the Sahara Desert across the Erg Chebbi Dunes to an Oasis, music, and dinner Arabian Nights style by the campfire and an overnight in a Bedouin tent. A private henna party and lunch with a Berber family along with zellige tile design pottery making are also part of this Morocco family holiday adventure. This One-Week Morocco family tour is perfect for families who have children ranging from 6 years and are well-traveled.

Sahara Desert Family Safari, Morocco

Sahara Desert Family Safari, Morocco

Sahara Desert Safari Family Tour

Embarking on a 5-Day Sahara Desert Safari from Marrakech is the perfect family tour with those who have a limited amount of time as the result of school and holiday schedules.  This Sahara Desert Safari Private Tour includes stays at stylish and Boutique  Riads and Guest Houses, an overnight in a Luxury Desert Camp, time in the Skoura Palm Groves, Berber Villages, visits of Morocco’s Historic Kasbahs, Camel Trekking in the Erg Chebbi Dunes and the option to Hike in the Dades Valley Region. Perfect for families seeking adventure from Marrakech.

Souks of Morocco  

The Souks and markets are a major feature in Moroccan life and what better way to explore them to the fullest then on a 10-Day Family Adventure. Each of Morocco’s Imperial cities has a special souk quarter. Villages in the countryside also have local souks which are usually held one day each week in an open field or outside the town’s kasbah walls. Large cities like Marrakesh and Fès have labyrinths of individual souks (each filling a street or square that is devoted tone particular craft).  On this Souks of Morocco Family Tour Adventure, you will explore the medinas of Marrakesh, Fès, Chefchaouen, and Ouarzazate. These Moroccan cities are famous for their beautiful souks that sell handicrafts and some of Morocco’s best food delicacies. Our Souks of Morocco Family tour lays the ground for a food tasting in the souks that starts with dates, juices, fresh-baked bread’s, honey’s, olives, and for the adventurous foodie families sheep’s head. The Souks offer up some of the best leatherware, locally made handicrafts, carpets, pottery, wood carvings, and traditional dress (djellabas). The Souks of Morocco Family Tour will provide an insider’s view of where locals shop for fresh meat, vegetables, household goods, and other items that Americans for example, purchase at Wal-Mart or Target. In the countryside, families will visit weekly souks (markets) which will lend to a richer understanding of Morocco’s Berbers and rural culture.

1001 Arabian Nights


A 12 -Day Morocco Family Arabian Nights Tour to Morocco’s Imperial Cities, the Sahara Desert, and the Atlantic Coast. Families seeking a fascinating and adventurous private tour for first-time travelers to Morocco will discover Casablana’s Grand white mosque and basque in the Moroccan sun. This 1001 Arabian Nights tour will off complimentary visits to Coastal Rabat, a medina sunset walk, and a  journey to Fes, one of the oldest medieval cities in the world. Families will venture in a 4×4  across the Middle Atlas Mountain region to the Sahara Desert to see glorious sunsets just before dusk as you camel trek through the Erg Chebbi Dunes, the highest and most golden in Morocco, overnight under the Moroccan stars. An off-road trip is part of this Morocco family adventure where you will discover the old road of the caravans via the 19th-century trade routes, walk through the mazes of beautiful Kasbahs, and take an excursion to the Valley of Roses and the Dades Gorge. This family tour would not be complete without one of the most important off-road trips in the country where you will visit the region of Bouthgrar and enjoy a tea ceremony with Nomads in caves. Your Sahara guide and Berber driver will be your private escort throughout this trip as your family becomes modern-day explorers in the South discovering the vast valley’s palm groves, the medina’s of Marrakech and the Atlantic Coastal town of Essaouira.

The 7 Gates of Tétouan, Morocco

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Tetouan is a small city in northern Morocco with a unique heritage of Andalusian and Arab cultures making this green and whitewashed city one of the jewels of Morocco. Situated in the middle of a belt of orchards that contain orange, pomegranate, almond, and cypress trees, Tetouan is picturesquely perched on the northern slope of a fertile valley down which flows the Martil river with Tetouan harbor at its mouth. The streets in Tetouan are wide and straight and many of the houses belong to aristocratic families, descendants of those expelled from Al-Andalus by the Spanish Reconquista. These houses boast marble fountains, orange groves exquisitely carved and painted ceilings in Hispano-Moresque designs, similar to those in the Alhambra in Granada. This charming northern region of Morocco is a melting pot of culture. The Medina of Tétouan is surrounded by a historic wall of approximately 5 km in length and accessed by means of seven gates.

The 7 Gates of Tetouan Bab Okla Tetouan has 7 famous gates, most notable of which is Bab Okla. The attractive gate is the main access point into the medina and is the most photographed. Bab Okla is a convenient entry into Royal Palace at Place Hassan II, the tannery, the Ethnographic Museum, and Ecole des arts et métier de Tetouan. The school is the only arts center in Morocco where students can get a diploma. Tetouan is not advertised for being an arts center however, it is possible to take an art tour of the local crafts industry. Bab Okla is also a gate for history buffs. Not far from the doorway is the entrance into the Souika, the oldest part of the Medina, where General Franco lived. Also nearby is the 12th century, Lalla Fariya Mosque, the oldest mosque in the city. Bab Jiaf Bab Jifaf, referred to as the Door of Remains, is a historical stop made on many Jewish Heritage Tours of Morocco. Jewish funeral processions have passed through this gateway to access to the Jewish cemetery. It also has the nickname of La Puerta de Alfonso, referencing the Spanish king who led the Moors out of Andalucia.

Bab Mkabar Bab M’Kabar, another beautiful doorway into Tetouan’s medina is an area filled with the traditional Moroccan foods. Upon entering you will smell bread, spices, and see Moroccan cheeses and other typical items of the north. The gateway is a good starting position for visiting the sanctuary of Sidi Ali Baraka, a mosque built by Ahmed El Caid in the 18th century. Not far from Bab Mkabar is also the El Fouki Souk which connects with the Feddane square and Royal Palace. Feddane square is a relaxing plaza from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the white washed medina. In the plaza, the Cafe Granda is an Andalusian restaurant loved for its family-friendly atmosphere. People watch with a  coffee or enjoy some Spanish style food. There is a large space for children to run around and the restaurant is also frequented by locals watching the football games.

Bab Mkabar Another leading gateway into the medina is Bab al Rouah. From this square, there is easy access to the Ghersa-el-Kebira Square, a hub for fabrics, clothes, and other hidden treasures; textile shops and jewelry boutiques can be discovered at Souk El Hout. Bring your fabrics to a Moroccan tailor and see them transformed into decorative gowns or traditional Moroccan kaftans. Bab Rmouz Bab Rmouz, a gateway located near the tower surrounding the medina is an off the beaten track gate. It has historical significance as a 16th-century icon and is connected to the original Andalusian Aromouz family as well as the Spanish Kingdom ruled in the time of by Fernando and Isabella. The Riad Dar Achaach, located along the Rue Torreta – near the green mountains of Tetouan – is an ideal place to stay if you want to learn more about Spanish influence in Tetouan. The riad is owned by a family with a long history of governing Tetouan as well as other cities throughout Morocco. Before heading for the mountains, however, be sure to stop in at the Tetouan Center of Modern Art. Close to Bab Rmouz,  the museum has no entrance fees and displays a collection of paintings from the 1940s mixed with traditional realism. Next, to the museum, you can purchase artisan work at fair prices at the Ensemble Artisanal cooperative.

Bab Saida is nicknamed by Spaniards as Puerta de San Fernand in honor of St. Fernando’s efforts to take Seville away from the Moors.  The door has further historical significance for being tied with the Saeid of Egypt, who lived and died in Tetouan and is buried near the door. Bab Saida, as well as Bab Jifaf, are two gates that can be used to exit the medina.

Mohammed V Avenue Just outside of the 7 gates, is Mohammed V Avenue. Pedestrians strolling along Tetouan’s most Spanish Avenue sometimes forget they are in Morocco. The Andalusian whitewashed cobblestone streets architecturally mirror of you will find in the Spanish Granda or Cadiz. Leaving from the direction of the Royal Palace and heading towards the Church, you will pass by several hotels, restaurants, book shops, and cafes with Spanish names. These include the Pension Esparanza and Hotel Bilboa. The Restaurante El Reducto, Blanco Riad, and Restinga restaurant are ideal dining experiences to experience a taste of Spain in Morocco. For something small, you will see cafes advertising tapas. Enjoy patatas bravas, pulpo asado, or grab a bocadilla off the street. For dessert try a cake from the pasteleria across from the Spanish consulate. At night, catch a movie at Cinema Espanol or check for an exhibition at the Institute Cervantes, Tetouan’s cultural center.

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

Travel Exploration Trip Advisor Winner 2016 – Morocco Private Tours

Monday, November 14th, 2016
Dades, Valley, Morocco

Dades, Valley, Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours has been awarded the Trip Advisor 2016 Certificate of Excellence.

The Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award is a testament to Travel Exploration’s High Standards and Service provided for Morocco Tours. The Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence honors Moroccan Travel Agents and Tour companies that consistently earn top ratings from Trip Advisor travellers. With a perfect rating of 5.0 Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours has earned a place among the very best.

This achievement is a direct result of Travel Exploration’s consistent great reviews from Morocco travelers who have shared their experiences on Trip Advisor’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 Trip Advisor award 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.

As a potential Morocco Traveler you can read what travelers who have visited Morocco with Travel Exploration Morocco’s Private Tours say on our Testimonials Trip Advisor page.

For More Information About Travel Tips Before You Go to Morocco or To Receive an Itinerary & Quotation, Visit our BOOK A TOUR page. We are an ASTA Certified Agency.

Travel Tips Before You Go: Morocco Private Tour & Boutique Travel Experiences – From Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours:

1. Make sure to Book Direct with Travel Exploration. Request a package that is inclusive of a Private, Mutlilingual Speaking Driver, Boutique Riads and Local Historical Guides. Ask for their hand selected options that have been curated by the owner. Our team of expert, licensed Multi-lingual guides and drivers will set in motion a memorable journey.

2. Research the tour offerings online as taking a Morocco Private Tour requires reserach and some planning on your own. Know what you want and decide whether you want an Imperial Cities or Imperial Cities and Sahara Desert Tour. Don’t miss out on the country wide site seeing options that are provided with the 1001 Arabian Nights 12 Day Tour, the Majestic Moroccco 2 Week Tour or if time is limited the One Week in Morocco Tour.

3. Take advantage of being able to book a Morocco Private Tour through a female owned company. Support a woman owned business. The owner of Travel Exploration, Alecia Cohen, is female, and 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. 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.

4. Splurge when traveling to Morocco. Stay at Morocccan Riads, Moroccan Boutique Hotels and a Luxury Desert Camp. Don’t miss out on unique opportunities to take a Food Tasting Tour in Fes or Marrakech, a cooking class with a Daada Chef or cruise across the Sahara Dunes on a Quad. The extra spending you invest in on local activites will ensure a richer travel experience.

5. Ask about Restaurant, Shopping and Spa Recommendations. Travel Exploration has their finger on the pulse of all things Moroccan. They can arrange for local lunches with families in Berber villages, a special dinner where you can dine on the best, Moroccan cuisine with locals, or visit up market restaurants where you have an exclusive invite to a Moroccan wine bar. Shop locally or at upmarket boutiques and enjoy a wide range of Moroccan and Hammam/ Spa experiences. Travel Exploration has Insider Guides to Morocco Travel only available to those who book with them.

Morocco has much to offer with it’s wide range of Travel Experiences for Couples, Indipendent Travelers, Families and those interested in visiting for their Honeymoon.

For More Information about Travel Exploration Morocco’s Private Tours to Morocco

Morocco Tours For Women, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Fes Henna Party, Morocco Just For Women Tour

Morocco is a woman’s paradise for culture, food and magnificent markets. Want to discover Morocco’s Sacred Spaces, Imperial Cities, Ancient Kasbahs and Berber villages with other likeminded women? Visit Morocco! Join our Just for Women Tours or let us create a tailor-made group journey of your own. Cook, bellydance, trek the Sahara and attend a henna party. Travel Exploration’s Morocco tours for women offer a combination of luxury and adventure. Trip prices to Morocco include a FREE cooking class or balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains.

Your trip leader our Just for Women Tour will be a MoroccoTravel Specialist who has lived and traveled in Morocco for 12+ years. Morocco Tours for Women offer a greater way to discover Morocco through their unique and up close experiences with the people and the culture. Morocco Tours for Women also enable group and single travelers to visit Morocco anytime of year and with any budget. Luxury and adventure are affordable with Travel Exploration’s Just for Women Morocco Tour.

Women Painting, Fes, Morocco

Roam Like Royalty Through Morocco’s Imperial Cities was created for women by women to experience the wonders that Morocco offers. We’ll visit breathtaking architectural sites, majestic palaces, glorious houses of worship, opulent gardens, see traditional Moroccan crafts being made by local artisans, and shop a dazzling array of unique and enticing marketplaces. And we’ll enjoy exquisite cuisine and elegant accommodations all along the way of this magical voyage. Included in the Just For Women itinerary is a henna party and a ceramics workshop in Fes, an exotic cooking workshop in two Imperial Cities, a Hot Air Balloon ride over Marrakech’s Atlas Mountains, Camel Trekking in the Palmeraie of Marrakech, Spa time, Visits at women’s cooperatives, a wine tasting and more. Our group will rise and overnight at charming Riads & boutique hotels.

Cooking Class, Fes

MOROCCO TOURS FOR WOMEN: 10 DAYS/ 9 NIGHTS  (MOROCCO JUST FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN)

Day 1: Casablanca: Visit the Hassan II Mosque, Kasbah Ouadia, Tea & Pastries at Cafe Maure, the Royal Palace & Hassan Tower. Lunch in Rabat by the sea. Visit the Kasbah of Chellah. Welcome Dinner. Overnight at a charming Riad in Fes with opulent gardens, tile work fit for a queen.

Day 2: Fes:Visit the Sacred Tomb of Solica, the Weavers Cooperative. Workshops at the Women’s Embroidery Cooperative and Pottery Cooperative in Fes. Site seeing with a private expert guide of Fes. Lunch at the tiled Nejjarine Riad Palace. Overnight in Fes.

Day 3: Fes: Traditional Fes Cooking Class, Learn how to make a three-course meal, dine on it for lunch. Henna party. Dinner at Le Maison Bleue in Fes. Overnight in Fes.

Day 4: Fes t0 Marrakech: Visit Fes, Immozer, Azro and Beni Mellal. Stop to see the Cedar Forrest, the Barbary Monkeys. Tea & Pastries in Ifrane. Welcome Dinner upon arrival in Marrakech. Overnight in a luxurious Riad with an interior palmerie in the heart of the Marrakech medina.

Al Fassia, Marrakech

Day 5: Marrakech: Visit Marrakech’s most spectacular gardens, shop the souks. Site seeing with a private, expert guide at the Bahia Palace, Museum of Marrakech the Spice Market and gallery visits. Dinner at Al Fassia, a restaurant owned and run by women. Overnight in Marrakech.

Day 6: Marrakech: Marrakech cooking class option – local cuisine of Marrakech. Visit the Mosque of Koutoubia’s Gardens. Shopping and exploration in the new town of Gueliz, Marrakech. Dinner with a Marrakechi family or at the colonial revival charming restaurant, Cafe La Poste. Overnight in Marrakech.

Day 7: Marrakech: Marrakech Ballooning over the Atlas Mountains.1 Hour flight in front of the High Atlas Mountains. Souvenir flight certificate. Traditional breakfast served in a tent. Visit to a local Berber House.Landrover excursion. Camel ride in the Palmerie of Marrakech. Afternoon Spa time for a gromage and massage.

Day 8: Marrakech – Essaouira:  Visit Essaouira. En route take time out to explore a local Argan cooperative to see how Argan oil, Argan butter and cosmetics are made from the Argan nut. Wine & Cheese tasting in the countryside of Essaouira. Dinner by the sea. Overnight at a charming Riad in Essaouira with spectacular seaside views.

Day 9: Essaouira:  Visit Essaouira with a private guided tour. Explore the old mellah, ancient doors and their brass and hand carved knockers. Visit a Moroccan Patisserie Cooperative run by women that referred to Association Feminine de Bienfaisance el Khier. AFBK is an organization providing help for women and children with social difficulties. Return to Marrakech at sunset. Farewell Dinner. Overnight in Marrakech.

Day 10: Marrakech- Casablanca: Marrakech & Casablanca Departures.

Baking Bread with the Berbers, Sahara Region

Sahara & Berber Village Extension Option Morocco Tours For Women:Extend the tour for a visit of Morocco’s Sahara Desert & Berber Villages. Continue the Morocco Tour for Women with exploration of ancient Kasbahs, hiking in and around the Todra Gorge, bake bread with the Berbers, Sunset Camel Trek & Overnight in a bivaouc in the Sahara Desert. Visit a Nomad family. Discover Morocco’s deep south.

INCLUDED: Private Luxury Transport, Accommodations at 4 Star Riads & Boutique Hotels, Gourmet Breakfast Daily, National Historical & Local Licensed Expert Guides, Henna Party in Fes, Pottery Workshop in Fes, Cooking Workshop in Fes and Cooking Workshop in Marrakech, Hot Air Balloon Over the Atlas , Bellydancing Lessons, Wine & Cheese Tasting in Essaouira Winery, Museum & Monument Fees.
CHARMING 4/5 STAR ACCOMMODATIONS: Fes: Riad Fes, Riad Myra or Riad Laaroussa, Marrakech: Le Jardin De La Medina, Riad Palais Sebban. Essouira: Riad Palais Des Ramparts, Villa Du Maroc.
NOT INCLUDED:  Lunch & Dinner Daily (Except where noted in Tour Program), Beverages, Services on days or time at leisure, Gratuity.
For more information about a Morocco Just For Women Tour & Morocco Tours
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 in the USA at 1 (800) 787-8806 or in Morocco 1 (212)618-88-26-81 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Marrakech Spa, Les Bains De Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Marrakech Spa, Hammam, Le Bains De Marrakech

A leading Marrakech Spa, Les Bains De Marrakech offers Marrakech travelers the optimum wellness experience. For expats living in Marrakech, Morocco or those traveling to the Imperial City on a Marrakech holiday, Le Bains is the place to go. Les Bains de Marrakech is an elegant spa, occupying  half of an old Riad in the southern Kasbah quarter of the Marrakech Medina. Les Bains de Marrakech is located in the Kasbah district, just five minutes from the Koutoubia mosque and Jemaa el Fna. Les Bains De Marrakech offers a full range of treatments, from water draining massage to shiatsu, plus gommage (loofah scrub) and body exfoliating cleaning in a traditional hammam. Combining the most ancient beauty rituals with modern techniques.

Les Bains de Marrakech offers Spa goers the opportunity to discover a world of fitness and well-being provided by competent professionals. Formulas using Argan Oil, Rose water and other secret ingredients combine different treatment sessions and massages, exfoliation, steam or ritual oriental that recharge energy.  For a full treatment at Les Bains De Marrakech, plan on spending approximately $70 for a 45-minute gommage plus an hourlong massage. In the world of upscale Spas, Les Bains De Marrakech offers a great deal for the price.

Marrakech Spa, Le Bains De Marrakech Relaxation Room

Unlike some other local hammams in Marrakech, Les Bains de Marrakesh is very Westernized and the staff guides the uninitiated through the process (steam, cold-water rinse, perhaps more steam, another rinse before the gommage; then a massage; and lots of time to cool down with a glass of mint tea). Reservations at Les Bains De Marrakech are a must and should be made as far in advance as possible with this popular Spa retreat center.

For more information about Les Bains De Marrakech or a Marrakech Tour 

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 in the USA at 1 (800) 787-8806 or in Morocco 1 (212)618-88-26-81 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

 

Moroccan Preserved Lemons, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Saturday, May 15th, 2010
Preserved Lemons in Moroccan Souk
Preserved lemons are a staple in Moroccan cuisine and are added to slow cooking tagines, stews, and soups for a wonderful tangy lemon flavor that can not be duplicated with fresh lemons. In Morocco, these lemons can be bought individually at a souk, or marketplace, and are very easy to find given their importance in Moroccan dishes. Outside of Morocco these lemons may be found in Middle Eastern or international markets but are so easy to make many cooks decide to prepare their own preserved lemons at home.

The ingredients for Moroccan preserved lemons are extremely simple, all you need are whole fresh lemons, sea salt, lemon juice, and, in some recipes, vegetable oil. There is also the option of adding additional spices to make the preserved lemons more suitable for sweet or savory dishes. Cinnamon sticks are a common spice that is added for lemons that are going to be used in sweet dishes and pepper or bay leaves are added for lemons that are going to be used in savory tagine dishes.

Moroccan Chicken & Preserved Lemon Tajine

The pickling process takes about one month and the preserved lemons will be good to use for up to six months. A simple clean jar is sufficient to pickle the lemons in but it is suggested that if you are not planning on refrigerating the lemons that you use a proper sterilized canning jar.

Moroccan Preserved Lemons Jarring Process

To Make Moroccan Preserved Lemons

– Cut off both rounded ends of the lemon and make two deep cuts lengthwise downwards, careful not to cut all the way through, so that the lemon has been incised with an X.

– Stuff the salt down into the cuts using about 1 tablespoon per lemon. If available use Moroccan sea salt for a finer taste.

– Pack the lemons tightly into the jar, pushing them to the bottom, and cover with lemon juice and any additional spices you choose to include. Some recipes call for topping the jar with vegetable oil.

-Leave the jar closed for one month, checking every couple of days to make sure the Moroccan lemons are fully submerged in juice.

– After one month the Moroccan preserved lemons are ready, the pulp and skins will have become soft and silken and can both be used in cooking recipes. Some people use the juice as well but this is often too salty. Rinse the lemons in water before using to wash away the extra salt and then add to any slow-cooking meat or vegetable tagine dish.

For more information about Moroccan Preserved Lemons and a Taste of Morocco 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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Visiting Saltworks in the Moroccan Sahara Desert, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Saturday, May 15th, 2010
Standing in a Pile of Salt

Saltworks in Morocco are interesting places to visit.  They can be found along the Atlantic Coast of Morocco, in the Moroccan Sahara Desert.  This one was south of Merlift, between Sidi Ifni and Tarfaya.  Others can be found south of Tan-Tan Plage and Laayoune, all the way to Dakhla.  To reach these locations, one must drive considerably south of Agadir.

Road off the escarpment to the salt flats
Road off the escarpment to the salt flats

It’s highly advisable to have a four-wheel drive vehicle, although the descent/ascent back up can be managed in some cars with an experienced driver.

Standing in a thin layer of dried salt

A number of shallow pan areas such as the one above are bulldozed out, surrounded by by earthen walls up to a meter high.  The ocean water is let in, such as up to 20 cm (10 inches), then closed off so that the ocean water is trapped.  The water is left to evaporate.  Once fully evaporated, it looks just like this.  This salt was about one centimeter thick (one-half inch), waiting to be bulldozed up into a pile the size of the top photo in this post.

Most Moroccan salt comes in square or rectangular plastic bags, tends to be a bit wet, and contains a bit of fine sand.  Moroccan cooks don’t notice this small amount of sand, but if you take a heaping tablespoon of salt and dissolve it in a glass of water, you can see the small grains of sand drop to the bottom.  Seeing how and where the Moroccan salt is collected explains why it is usually a bit damp in the plastic bag, and why it contains small bits of sand.

Moroccan saltworks can be very interesting places to visit during your Moroccan Sahara Desert Tour.

For more information about traveling to Morocco and visiting saltworks as part of a tour to the Agadir region

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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