Archive for the ‘Travel to Morocco’ Category

Trekking in the Atlas Mountains and Kasbah Toubkal

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

 

Mountain Scenery, Kasbah Toubkal

Trekking and climbing in the Atlas Mountains and Toubkal National Park is increasingly popular,catering for all levels of fitness and available for  short trips or extended treks over a period of several days.It is an opportunity to see the Atlas mountains and its people, it is by far the most beautiful of Morocco’s diverse countryside, still largely unchanged from the time when it was remote and cut off from the ouside world.

Walking holidays in the Atlas mountains often feature climbingf Jebel Toubkal, at 4,165m, the highest mountain in North Africa. This does not require expert mountaineering skills but does require a higher level of fitness and  care should be taken when weather conditions turn difficult.The ascent during the end of the winter and spring (February/March) is more difficult. Crampons  are necessary to ascend through the snow and ice. Mount Toubkal can be climbedin two days, first day up to the refuge (around seven hours without mules), second day to the summit (around five hours) and back to Imlil (up to five hours). you can of course take longer.

Just up from Imilil is the Kasbah Toubkal which can be reached on foot or by mule. It is in an iydillic setting surrounded by moutains and with a view of Mount Toubkal.

Hollywood movie director, Martin Scorsese, found it an ideal location for Kundun his film about the Dalai Lama, when it was temporarily converted into a Tibetan monastery. The view from the terrace of Kasbah Toubkal is stunning surrounded by the mountain scenery and the silence.

The Kasbah Toubkal in its current form was recreated by Chris and Mike McHugo from the original rundown Kasbah owned by the local caid. Local workers from Imlil and surrounding villages built the Kasbah into an hotel   with fourteen rooms with ensuite bathrooms, including a three-bedroom family house and separate Berber Salons, which although can be used on a dormitory basisfor groups. there is a conference centre for study groups. The rooms simple yet comfortable, with berber  hand-woven carpets, blankets, intricate carved woodwork and traitional wooden ceilings.

The Kasbah is an ideal base for climbing Mount Toubkal and trekking in the area. There is also a hamam to relax in after a hard day’s trek.The Kasbah and its local staff who run it provide an excellent introduction into Berber culture and local life. Guides for climbing and trekking are available and they provide you with a metal stick with a spike at the end which helps as you climb the steep slopes and rocky ground of the valleys.

The Kasbah also has  the Azzaden trekking lodge,  a remote location on the outskirts of Ait Aissa in the heart of the High Atlas Mountains. It is close to a traditional village and has  solar-powered underfloor heating and spectacular views a day’s walk away. Kasbah Toubkal has become increasingly popular so they havedeveloped alternative accommodation at Dar Imlil which is five minutes from the centre of Imlil. It has 4 standard double ensuite rooms and 6 double/twin de luxe rooms.

Kasbah Toubkal is very much at the centre of local life contributing to schools and education forlocal women. ithas won numerous awards for sustainable and environmental tourism , involving the local community in all its activities and provding eemployment for the local community. italso plays an important role for raising funds for local education and child welfare.

Many groups climb Mount Toubkal to raise sponsorship for charities . The Kasbah Toubkal is also involved in promoting sporting activities such as cycling and mountain biking which are increasingly popularinthe Toubkal National Park.

There are guides and mules available   in Imlil the village which is the gateway to Mount Toubkal and the Toubkal National Park . Sturdy boots and warm clothing are essential. There are two stone-built refuges (old Neltner Refuge and new Refuge du Toubkal) that are often used as base camp at 3,207 m (10,522 ft).

There  a wide range of trekking holidays available in Morocco such as the desert range of the Jebel Sahro in the south, the best area for trekking in winter along with the Anti Atlas. The Central Atlas is home to Morocco’s second highest peak, Jebel Mgoun.Walking  through the  Atlas mountains from Mgoun to Toubkal, passing through rarely trekked areas, many tiny villages and across high plateau  and ancient and discovering ancient rock carvings in the Toubkal National Park is an unforgetable experience.

For more information about a Toubkal National Park or a Tour to High Atlas Toubkal

For More Information About Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate
Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Agadir One-Day Tours From The Port, With Your Morocco Tour Experts

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Agadir City Wall, Kasbah

The Port of Agadir is filled with various cruise ships that dock offering cruise critics and cruise ship travelers the opportunity to take in the sites and sounds of Agaidr on an Agadir One-day Tour. Two cruise ships that frequent the Agadir Port often are the Oceania Marina and the Oceania Riviera. These Mediterranean cruises stop in Monte Carlo, Naples, Casablanca along with other a select group of other Ports in the region. Most of the Mediterranean cruises offer Agadir One-day Tours and excursions for large groups. As a cruise ship traveler if you prefer not to participate in a large group then considering a private Agadir One-day Tour or Excursion with Morocco Travel Experts is a good choice. An Agadir One-day Tour offers the opportunity to discover the sites and sound of this Berber city with a private driver from Agadir and an English, Multilingual Speaking Licensed Guide from Agadir.

Agadir Port

Agadir, often referred to as the Cote D’Zur or Cannes of Morocco is one of the best resorts to enjoy Moroccan and international gastronomy. Agadir offers many activities such as, golf, sailing, tennis, horse and camel riding. Being the number one tourist resort in Morocco, Agadir offers a fantastic night life with the latest laser light show, night clubs,  discos and casinos. Another claim of this clean and modern city is the Timitar Music festival which takes place each July.

Agadir One-day Tour Itinerary

► Pick up at your Hotel or the Port in Agadir.

►Visit the Valley of the Birds. The Valley of the Birds has pleasant, lush vegetation that draws in birds throughout the year.  There is also a waterfall, zoo and aviary.

►Next, visit the old Kasbah on a hill 7km to the northwest of the town, commands good views over the port. It was built in 1540 by the Saadian Sultan Mohammed ech-Cheikh, and restored and regarrisoned in 1752 by the Alawite Sultan Moulay Abdallah, who was responsible for the demise of Agadir as a trade depot. Abandoned to the inhabitants of Agadir, the garrison provided housing for nearly 300 people, and traces of these dwellings can still be made out.

The grassy area below the kasbah, Ancienne Talborjt, covers the remains of Agadir’s medina and constitutes a mass grave for all those who died in the 1960 earthquake.

►The small Musée du Patrimoine Amazigh has an excellent display of Berber artefacts, especially strong on jewellery. Inspired by Bert Flint, the Dutch owner of the Maison Tiskiwin in Marrakesh, this is a great place to learn about the traditional life and culture of the Berber people of the region. A free guided tour can be arranged on request (a tip is welcome).

►Enjoy lunch at the Port or in one of Agadir’s beachside cafes with views of the sea. Other options are La Scalla, an upscale top notch seafood restaurant or Mauresque,  charming atmosphere and traditional Moroccan cuisine with an International flair.

► Head four kilometres south, on the Inezgane road, Coco Polizzi, a Rabat-born Italian architect, has created the La Médina d’Agadir, an idealised Berber village, built using traditional techniques and materials, with workshops for 30 independent artisans.

► If arrival on Thursdays, end your day with a visit of the Immozer. Return to your Cruise ship or Hotel.

For more information about Agadir Port Tours

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 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Travel Exploration Morocco TripAdvisor Winner Certificate of Excellence 2012

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours is a winner of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence aware for 2012. The Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award is a testament to Travel Exploration’s High Standards and Service provided for Morocco Tours. Trip Advisor has become the world’s largest travel site by recognizing the power of traveller feedback. Travel Exploration Morocco earned exceptional traveller ratings over the past year. The Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence honors businesses 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

The Trip Advisor award which is given to the most exceptional performers in Trip Advisor’s global business community, is a significant achievement deserving recognition of both travelers and staff. For more information about Travel Exploration Morocco’s Private Tours and Testimonials visit their online site at Travel Exploration or their Trip Advisor listing.

Travel Exploration Morocco is a full service travel agency with offices in New York, Marrakech and Ouarzazate. The owner of Travel Exploration is a former magazine publisher, music business executive who established Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours to show travelers the best of Morocco.

Travel Exploration is a Morocco Travel Agency and Tour Operator with offices in New York, Marrakech & Ouarzazate. Travel Exploration specializes in tailor made mid-range and luxury tours with a distinctly authentic Moroccan flavor. Our guests discover the best of Morocco with our experienced team of English, Multilingual speaking staff, drivers and expert licensed historical guides. Examples of customized tours and special packages are: Morocco’s Imperial Cities & Sacred Sites, Sahara Desert Tours, The Great South, Kasbahs & Waterfalls, Gardens of Morocco, Gardens of Marrakech, Just for Women by Women and Pottery & Zellij Tile Design. Travel Exploration is a member of ASTA – The American Association of Travel Agents.

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 (212) 618882681and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Moroccan Seffa Medfouna Recipe, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Moroccan Seffa Dish

Seffa Medfouna is a famous Moroccan dish. When traveling to Morocco for a Cooking Vacation or to take a Moroccan Cooking Workshop Seffa Medfouna is one of the options that Moroccan travelers can learn to make.

Seffa Medfouna is made with crushed or fried almonds, cinnamon, raisins, fine vermicelli noodles and powdered sugar. Seffa Medfouna is typically served in Morocco before a meal. This light and tasty dish of Seffa Medfouna can also be made with beldi chicken, lamb or beef. When served with meat this traditional Moroccan dish can be used as a meal. Seffa Medfouna is made slightly different in each region of Morocco and its ingredients vary also by season.

Seffa Medfouna is a Moroccan favorite with some of the best found at Ines Guest House located in Tingerhir not far from the mouth of the Todra Gorge region of Southern Morocco.

Ingredients To Make Seffa Medfouna:
– 1 kg of fine vermicelli noodles
– 1/2 Moroccan cooking oil
– salt to taste
– water
– 150g of raisins
– 2 table spoons of butter
– 100g pouched, friend or crushed almonds
– powdered sugar
– cinnamon

How To Make Seffa Medfouna:

Step #1:  Boil 2 litres of water, with lemon juice, added into a large saucepan.

Step #2: Place fine vermicelli noodles into flat and large plate, with oil. Transfer them into a couscous steamer and cooking over moderate heat for approximately 20 minutes.

Step #3: Remove steamer and place the fine vermicelli noddles into a large place. Spray with 1 glass of salted water, mix well and run hands through to remove any knots that were created. For the second time, place the vermicelli noodles into a steamer. Repeat until the vermicelli noodles are completely cooked.

Step #4: Clean and rinse raisins. Add raisins to vermicelli prior to last steaming and cooking step.

Step #5: Place vermicelli into a flat large, round dish. Add two table spoons of butter, let it melt and mix.

Step 6: Scatter crushed or fried almonds, cinnamon and powered sugar on top of dish.

Moroccan Seffa Medfouna

Moroccan Seffa Medfouna is easy to make and can be learned at a cooking workshop on a  Moroccan Vacation or  at home on your own.

For more information about a Morocco Cooking Vacation or Making Seffa Medfouna

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.

 

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

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Postcard

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Postcard

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

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

Princess Lalla Salma at Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Majorelle Gardens

Princess Lalla Salma at Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Majorelle Gardens

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

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Space

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Space

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

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

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Room, Christophe Martin Stage Designer

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Room, Christophe Martin Stage Designer

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

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Entrance

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Entrance

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

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Book

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Book

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

Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech

Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech

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

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech

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

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

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

For More Information about Marrakech Tours or the Majorelle Gardens

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Moroccan Cooking Classes, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Sunday, October 24th, 2010
Moroccan Cooking Class Chef

Moroccan Cooking Class Chef

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

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

Moroccan Spices

Moroccan Spices

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

Lahcen's Cooking Class, Spice Shopping Fes

Lahcen's Cooking Class, Spice Shopping Fes

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

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

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

Le Jardin Des La Medina Cooking Class, Marrakech

Le Jardin Des La Medina Cooking Class, Marrakech

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

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

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

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

Tajine La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

Tajine La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

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

Woman Making Pastilla

Woman Making Pastilla

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

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

Pigeon Pastilla

Pigeon Pastilla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Morocco Holiday Vacation Ideas, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Man Praying at Kairaouine Mosque Fes

Man Praying at Kairaouine Mosque Fes

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

Tomb of Koubba Lalla Zohra, Marrakech

Tomb of Koubba Lalla Zohra, Marrakech

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

Bahia Palace Marrakech, Koran Blessing

Bahia Palace Marrakech, Koran Blessing

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

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

Man Painting Pottery, Cooperative Fes

Man Painting Pottery, Cooperative Fes

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

Stables Meknes

Stables Meknes

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

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

Mount Mgoun Bouthgrar

Mount Mgoun Bouthgrar

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

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

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

Marrakech Tour- Gardens & Historical Sites

Fes Tour – Imperial City & Historical Sites

Ancient City of Volubilis & Meknes Tour

Merzouga Tour – Erg Chebbi Dunes

Valley of Nomads Tour – Mount Mgoun & Bouthgrar

Ouarzazate’s Ancient Kasbahs Tour

For more information about Morocco Holiday Vacations

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Portrait of Writer-Journalist John Gunther

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

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

Ouarzazate Main Square at Dusk

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

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

Modern Town of Ouarzazate

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

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Ouarzazate

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

Main street in Ouarzazate today

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

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Ramadan Ambiance in Morocco, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

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

Red Harira, Moroccan Soup

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

Shebakkia, a sticky-sweet Ramadan pastry

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

Sheep's Brains

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

Inside a Moroccan Supermarket

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

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

Corridor in the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

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

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

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

The Ablution Room in the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

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

For more information about Ramadan in Morocco

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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The Tchaba Tea House in Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Currant Dream Tea Served at Tchaba Tea House, in Marrakesh

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chamomile Breeze Tea at Tchaba Tea House, in Marrakesh

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

For more information about Marrakech

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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