Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Heritage Tours’

Morocco’s Museum of Moroccan Judaism (Jewish Museum) in Casablanca

Monday, November 7th, 2016
Moroccan Jewish Woman, Historic Photograph, Tangier

Moroccan Jewish Woman, Historic Photograph, Tangier

Morocco is known for it’s Jewish Heritage and the abundance of rich culture, artifacts and traditions left behind when the Jews fled Morocco in the 1960’s. What remains is a rich catalog of Jewish life inclusive of architecture, monuments, zaouias, museums, mellahs, shrines and craft traditions that command great cultural significance. The collective history of Jews in Morocco is one that has a connective thread with the Berbers and Moroccan Arabs, dating back to the Spanish inquisition. Morocco’s Museum of Moroccan Judaism (Jewish Museum) located in Casablanca is the keeper of some of this prized history. The Jewish Museum has an active roster of exhibitions, a permenant collection and Jewish library which make it an important part of Moroccan history available to Morocco travelers and Jewish travelers interested in understanding Morocco’s Jewish past. Moroccan Jewish Heritage sites are well appointed in the Imperial Cities of Marrakech, Fes, Meknes and Coastal Essaouira making them key cities to visit when touring Morocco. The synagogues, mellahs and cemeteries in Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira in particular hold a special place in the hearts of many Moroccan Jews throughout the world. These cities and their Jewish mellahs are the former birth place of their ancestors. Many Jews that currently living in Israel, Canada and the United States are originally Moroccan by birth, and return on vacation to visit Jewish Heritage sites or as an homage to revisit their past home. Moroccan Jews traveling to Morocco often visit shrines or places they or their family once lived. Given the Museum of Moroccan JudaismCasablanca (Jewish Museum) is the only Jewish Museum in the Muslim world, those interested in exploring Morocco’s Jewish Heritage should not miss a tour of its private collection.

Jewish Museum, Historic Casablanca

Jewish Museum, Historic Casablanca

The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca was created by the foundation of Judeo-Moroccan Cultural Heritage in 1995 and opened its doors in 1997. The creation of a Jewish Museum in Casablanca attests to the plural identity of Morocco, a country revered for its tolerance, symbiosis and of harmonious coexistence between the Jewish and Muslim communities of the Moroccan people.

The Museum of the Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is the only Jewish Museum in North Africa and the Middle East. Its permanent collection, constantly enriched by new acquisitions, renders a few parts of the daily life of Moroccan Jews of different regions. The museum demonstrates the remarkable Jewish community and their high level of strata, wisdom and knowledge. The Jewish Museum houses, scriptures, objects of worship, tools of arts and crafts, old books and a history of the traditional costumes worn. These Jewish artifacts illuminate to Moroccan travelers how Jews lived. The artificats also show the connective cultural traditions between Jewish Moroccans and the Berbers. Many of the items featured in the Jewish Museum’s jewelry and craft collection are tribal. Travelers will find similar tribal pieces in the Majorelle Gardens, Berber Museum.

About The Museum of Moroccan Judiasm in Casablanca:
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is a museum of history and ethnography, created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca is in a residential neighborhood called Oasis and holds a treasure trove with it being the Arab region’s only Jewish Museum. It uses world-class standards of conservation for its national and international collections. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization. The Director of the Jewish Museum is Zhor Rehihil, a Muslim woman, who has a PhD in Jewish Studies.

Jewish Museum, Casablanca, Tora Ornaments

Jewish Museum, Casablanca, Tora Ornaments

The Jewish Museum in Casablanca covers an area of 700 square meters, is the first of its kind in the Arab world. It consists of:

► A large multipurpose room, used for exhibitions of painting, photography and sculpture
► Three other rooms, with windows containing exhibits on religious and family life (oil lamps, Torahs, Chanukah lamps, clothing, marriage contracts (ketubot) Torah covers… and exhibits on work life;
► Two rooms displaying complete Moroccan synagogues;
► A document library, a video library and a photo library.
► The Museum offers guided visits, sponsors seminars and conferences on Jewish-Moroccan history and culture, and organizes video and slide presentations. On special request, it organizes group visits in Arabic, French, English or Spanish.

Casablanca Jewish Museum, Silver Fibulas, Jewelry

Casablanca Jewish Museum, Silver Fibulas, Jewelry

The collection of Museum of the Moroccan Judaism consists of Morocccan Judaica which consists of cultual objects and objects of worship of Moroccan tradition. The collection was culled from donations and research:

– Traditional Seating Area of old Synagogues
– Circumcision Chairs
– Moroccan Hannukkah, Menoarah Lamps
– Tora Ornaments & Torah Covers
– covers of the Thora
– Jewish Cemetery Tombstones
– Jewih Prayer Books
– Ceremonial Bar-Mitvah objects

Where is the Moroccan Museum of Judaism (Jewish Museum)located in Casablanca?

Jewish Museum Address & Contact:
Address: 81, Rue Chasseur Jules Gros, Oasis-Casablanca
Phone: +212-5-22-99-49-40

Jewish Museum Casablanca, Opening Hours to the Public:
Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm/ 6:00pm
Saturday – Closed for Shabbat
Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm

For more information about Contemporary Jewish Life in Casablanca, Morocco or to take a Jewish Hertiage Tour

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

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

Fes Medina View, Jewish Mellah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Ibn Danan Synagogue, Jewish Fes

Ibn Danan Synagogue, Jewish Fes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Jewish Cemetery, Fes Medina

Jewish Cemetery, Fes Medina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Maimonides, Jewish Fes

Maimonides, Jewish Fes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

For more information about Jewish Heritage Tours of Fes

Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Top 10 Things To Do in Essaouira, Morocco Tour Guide

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Essaouira, Portuguese Ramparts

Essaouira, Portuguese Ramparts

Essaouira is the perfect excuse to head southwest of Marrakech to experience a one-of-a-kind coastal town in Morocco. Laid back with a hippy vibe, windswept Essaouira, also referred to as “old Mogador,” attracts the Bohemian types searching for an inspiring destination where a keen combination of savory cuisine, local markets, artisans and seaside walks can be found. For the last century, Essaouira has attracted artists, writers, architects, and surfers, those with wanderlust along with retirees who came for a stop over and decided to make it their home. This charmed Moroccan town is the ideal travel destination for independent travelers interested in discovering the insiders guide to coastal living or those who desire a private Morocco Tour.

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Essaouira’s medina is surrounded majestic stonewalls. Its tranquility, sandscapes and diverse population have made it a trendy summer getaway. In the ’60s and ’70s, Essaouira was a pit stop on the hippie trek from Marrakesh. Jimi Hendrix made the pilgrimage, as did Bob Marley and Cat Stevens. Essaouira was the inspiration for Hendrix’s song “Castles Made of Sand.” Home to some of Morocco’s best chefs, Essaouira’s unique combination of tasty local fare, fresh produce, and delightful markets created a Moroccan hub where foodies congregate.

Whether you are visiting Essaouira on a one-day trip from Marrakech or as part of a Private Tailor-Made Morocco Tour this ancient city and it’s white washed walls with painted cobalt blue shutters offers a wealth of history, old world architecture and culture that is not to be missed.

Essaouira’s History Says It All
The medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city, an example of a late-18th century fortified town. Essaouira’s history is a reminder of the times when Spain, Portugal and England fought to maintain control over its coasts. It has a typical Portuguese harbor that is a stunning example of Moorish and Portuguese architecture. Essaouira, originating from the Phoenician word Migdol meaning a “small fortress” was the first port in Morocco and once linked the country to the rest of the world. Since its foundation Essaouira has been known for its diverse ethnic groups of Amazighs, Arabs, Africans, and Europeans with a mix of Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Val D'Argan Vineyards, Essaouira

Val D’Argan Vineyards, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essaouira Things to Do – Top 10 and More…
The medina of Essaouira and its ramparts are the essential place to begin your exploration and as time allows an excursion to a local winery or a fromagerie is also highly recommended.

Visit Place Moulay Hassan Take a stroll along the town’s sunlit pedestrian main square, Place Prince Moulay el Hassan and the Skala du Port, the fishing harbor, offers breathtaking views of the Portuguese ramparts. Explore the Portuguese ramparts and the spice souk, dozens of boutiques selling silver jewelry and the medina’s clock tower.

Visit Orson Welles’ Square and memorial, designed by Samir Mustapha, one of the towns artists, which pays homage to Orson Welles filming of Othello in Essouaria.

Thuya Workshops Indigenous to Essaouira is the Moroccan thuya tree. Only in this coastal town can travelers visit Skala de la Ville, also known as the woodworker’s souks. Intricately designed thuya wood items can be found hand laid and inset ebony, walnut and citrus wood. There is a prior tradition of artists harvesting their own wood. Today this ancient tradition has been abandoned. Many artist cooperatives offer the option to design and command on order tables and other objects with thuya. Don’t miss out on seeing how these small treasures are made.

Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah Musuem
This local historical and craft museum contains a wide variety of carpets, textiles, clothing, jewelry, metalwork, woodwork and historic photos. It is one of the few museums in Essaouira and definitely worth a visit.
Address: ‪Street Rue Laalouj‬

French Institute Part of a network of 12 institutes under the umbrella of the French Institutes in Morocco. While the French institutes aims to promote French language and culture it also offers concerts, cultural events, debates and exhibitions along with other cultural events. All are free of charge.
Address: 9 rue Med Diouri, Derb Laalouj

 

La Fromagerie, Essaouira

La Fromagerie, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Attractions

Domaine Val d’Argan, Excursion to a Local Winery
In 1994 Charles Melia created this boutique winery using organic farming methods, just a few kilometers from Essaouira. The Val d’Argan wine tasting is a perfect afternoon excursion from Essaouira and consists of a combination of many elegant offerings. The wine tasting can include a peppering of reds, rose, whites and Moroccan Gris, all consumed with local cheeses or the option of Moroccan lunch. As the result of Val d’Argan, Southern Morocco offers a new vintage each year that make up the wide range created from The Gazelle of Mogador, El Mogador, the Val d’Argan and Orients of the Val d’Argan. Many of the wines made at Val d’Argan can be purchased and are also offered at local restaurants in Morocco. Book in advance!
Address: Ounagha Phone: +212 5247-83467

La Fromagerie
Located on Route Cotiere de Safi, just 8 kilometers from Essaouira is Abderrazzak Khoubbane’s La Fromagerie. It is one of two fromageries in Morocco, the other being in the rural region of Fes. True to its name Abderrazzak runs a and farm to table restaurant with some of the best “cheese, cheese and more cheese.” The menu is prefixed unless you request a la carte. It consists of local organic wine, home made lightly fried cheese for an appetizer with sides of minty fruit jellies, then a hardy vegetable fresh cheese salad along with a main of Moroccan grilled / smoked meat and upon request a vegetarian, cheese tajine. For desert, a wooden plank is served up with various types of goat, cow and camel cheese. More then a meal, this is an experience.
Address: R301, Phone: + 212 666-233534

Horseback Riding in Diabat or Essaouira Proper
For a side-excursion within Essaouira consider a visit at Ranch de Diabat, located in the small village Diabat. Ranch de Diabat arranges tours of high quality with camels or horses – and it can be for 2 hours or it can be for several days. If your preference is to stay in Essaouira proper consider Equivasion.
Address: Douar Diabat n°6 Phone: +212 662-297203

Cooking Class, Essaouira

Cooking Class, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking Class with a Local
Go local. Take a Cooking Class with Khadija’s Kuzina. Explore authentic Moroccan at a private, home cooking class in Essaouira. Learn how to make the most delicious meal you will have in Morocco. You will be met by your local chef and experience an overview of Moroccan cuisine. Enjoy a medina walk to discover the spice market, the fish monger and the various kinds of local fresh produce available. Enjoy a demonstration of how Moroccan bread is made. Moroccan Meal Description: 
Prepare two Moroccan cooked salads, chicken and lemon tajine with preserved lemons and olives or pastilla, and fruit salad or pastilla with milk for desert. Participate in a Moroccan tea ceremony. Dine on the mouth-watering lunch that you prepared.

Jewish Essaouira, Where to Daven
Essaouira’s population is approximately 70,000 with fewer then 25 Jews.
Visit the Essaouira Jewish Synagogue & Mellah: Jacky Kadoch is the president of Essaouira’s Jewish community. Rabbi Chaim Pinto, the synagogue of the revered Pinto is located in Essaouira’s medina within the Jewish Mellah. The building is an active synagogue, used when pilgrims or Jewish tour groups visit the city. The synagogue is on the second floor of a three-story, courtyard building inside the walls of the old city that also contained Rabbi Pinto’s home and office. Essaouira’s mellah covers over 10 percent of the town, but Jews constituted almost 40 percent of the population in the late 1880’s. Jewish stars on the doors to the mellah show the degree to which Jews were accepted in Essaouira, to the point that some of the richer Jews did not even live in the mellah. Commemorative plaques indicate the buildings in which synagogues were located. Former inhabitants of Essaouira, most of them Jewish, formed a committee to rehabilitate the town. An important member of the committee is King Hassan II’s Economic Advisor, Andre Azoulay. The Jewish cemetery, just outside the city gates, is extremely well kept. The hiloula of Chaim Pinto is held in September.” Rabbi Chaim Pinto is buried there.

Sunset Cocktails
Taros
A great place for a pre or post dinner drink and to dine with views near to the sea. It caters to an International audience and has a full bar. Taros offer simple yet very tasteful dishes in a nice ambiance. The library of books on art, the small boutique and quality of music make having a meal here one of the perfect experiences for Essaouira.
Address: Place Moulay Hassan Phone: 212-524 47 64 07

Palais Heure Bleue
L’Heure Bleue Palais is built into the medina walls. This luxury boutique hotels is an oasis of calm and their piano bar with wrap around courtyard or rooftop terrace are ideal for sunset cocktails.
Address:Rue In Battouta Phone:+212 5247-83434

Ocean Vagbond
The perfect place for sunset cocktails this boutique restaurant and bar is laid back and oh so chic. The décor offers up a friendly reminder of being in Montauk. The Vagabond has a full view of the Atlantic along with horseback riders, camel trekkers and surfers who frequent the area. There is a sister property in Dakhla for those interested in heading down south.
Phone: +212-524-78-39-3

Le Chalet de La Plage
An Essaouira landmark this restaurant is on the seafront overlooking the beach. Ask for the daily fresh catch or their speciality of oysters, sea urnchins, prawns, squid or lobster. Add this to the list for sunset coctails with unobstructed ocean views.
Address: Blvd. Mohammed V

Essaouira Coastal Dining

Essaouira Coastal Dining

Where to Eat

Umia
Ideally situated in Scala, the ramparts of Essaouira, Umia serves as the perfect stopover in the medina for lunch or dinner. The owner Bibi lends a hand to create unique dishes using local market products: Olive oils, Argan oil and Goat cheese. Umia’s cuisine can best be defined as an mélange of the large Mediterranean Basin: Greece, Lebanon, Morocco, Italy, but also the international gastronomy with French cuisine, Japanese or Asian. The Menu varies each week. You can anticipate full course size. From fillet of beef in crust of herbs laminated, Papillote of Saint Jacques crèmes to the coriander, the tajine of monkfish in the juice of bouillabaisse, the mouse of candied lamb, calamari stuffed with chorizo … It is impossible to leave Umia without desert as the Amlou ice cream with molten chocolate cake and thousand sheets pen-caramel salted butter is divine. 
Address: 26 rue Scala

One-Up
The Former owner of Villa Del’O, Caroline and her Scottish partner have teamed up and created one of Essaouira chicest restaurants with contemporary chic decor and cuisine that well deserves a gold star for this excellent Moroccan table. One Up is a beautiful loft space and also the former British Consultate. The menu is selective offering a combination of French bistro’s best from foie gras to salmon burger. Alike the decor the food is a work of art, made by a French chef with a wonderful twist. Exotic virgin cocktails are complimentary and the services is top notch. This is a relatively new restaurant and on the road to be one of Essaouira’s best. One Up to this new venture.
Address: 1 Rue Laalouj Phone: 212-24-470-21-03

O’Bleue Mogador
Inspired by the cuisine of the south, Serge Peuzin launches a new challenge with his O’Bleu Mogador. Master Chef since 1997, this chief Marseillais, has always been at the head of institutions of high quality. The culinary influences of Serge Peuzin come from Italy, Spain, Lebanon, and Morocco. An address that he wants cozy and friendly, with a leader who opens in front of you in an open kitchen, a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Bernadette, the wife of Serge, is part of the adventure and it is she who provides the reception of clients, manages the reservations and reign on the service in room. O’Blue Mogador’s, fusion cuisine is surprising and unprecedented – full of flavors and surprises, which often changes and over the seasons, products from the market, of the fishing and the terroir. “Small tajines, casseroles, casseroles and delicacies” are on the list.
Address: 23 Rue Coubhentour
/ Phone: 212-52-47-83-133

 

Fresh Catch, Sidi Kaouki, Essaouira

Fresh Catch, Sidi Kaouki, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Moette Et Les Dromadaires
Located in Sidi Kaouki, with stunning views of the Atlantic, this boutique restaurant by the sea offers up a corner of paradise in coastal Essaouira. La Mouette et les Dromadarires (The Seagull and Camels), offers a wide array of seafood options and is the perfect lunch spot on a sunny or wind swept day. Just 30 minutes from Essaouira you can dine on plates of seafood carpaccio, tartar, smoked, crunchy, crispy, or simply grilled seafood on the plancha. For those who prefer the meat, try the grilled lamb chops or salad voile along with a gastronomic terrine. Oysters from Dakhla and fresh lobster are available upon request. The décor features chic Moroccan lounges perfectly situated under a Berber tent and comfortable sofas along with tables and sunbeds. All food is organic. Reservations required in advance. Don’t miss this one!
Address: Plage de Sidi Kaouki Phone: +212-678 449 212

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

Cafe Nuss Nuss

Cafe Nuss Nuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast Cafes

Patisserie Chez Driss
Called “Driss” for short by locals, this landmark, well appointed café is near to the entrance of Hassan Square. Ideal for breakfast or an afternoon coffee they offer a wide array of delightful Moroccan and French pastries, the typical Moroccan “nous-nous” (half coffee, half milk) and breakfast breads. The atmosphere is full of native and local Essaouira artwork.
Address: 10 rue El Hajjali, Essaouira‬

Saha Kfe
Run by the owners of Villa Maroc, this calm and chic café offers hearty breakfasts, light snacks and delicious salads. Their specialty is homemade, fresh ginger lemonade. Located on the corner of place de l’horlodge.
Address: Rue Abdellah Chefchaouni

Le Simoun
This tea lounge is located inside a five-story converted riad that overlooks sea along the Skala wall. It’s laid back décor if teal blue accentuates the ocean and makes watching the seagulls that fly across in an eyes view picturesque. They offer wonderful deserts and coffees for those with a sweet tooth. With magnificent views of the sea from their second floor and terrace, there’s no need to go elsewhere.
Address: ‪Medina D’essaouira, Rue Sqala, ‬

Where to Shop, Essaouira

Where to Shop, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Shop
Essaouira is one of the best shopping destinations in Morocco for those looking to sample traditional goods at reasonable prices in a laid back atmosphere.

Historie de Filles
Essaouira’s leading concept store that has a unique blend of jewelry, clothing, decorative objects, and home design pieces with an east meets west trendy designs sensibility. The boutique also showcases hip brands such as Sissi Morocco, Moroccan Touch, Bakchic along with up and coming designers. The owners of Historie de Filles have a new space located just beside dedicated to the gastronomy of the kitchen. The items for sale range from utensils with the dishes of among Chabi chic, inspired by the traditional hand-painted terracotta of Safi.
Address: 1 rue Mohamed Ben Messaoud

Mashi Mushki
Meaning ‘no problem’ in Darija, Mashi Mushki is the place to stop for socially responsible shopping. This gallery/ shop sells a changing collection of jewelry, various handmade items including colorful scarves and the collection
of boucharouite carpets is quite extensive. And you can feel good about your shopping as 10% of the proceeds support Project 91, a UK-based charity that supports at-risk youth in Essaouira to improve their job and education prospects.
Address: 91 Rue Chbanat, Medina

Rafia Craft
Some of the best designed Rafia shoes and sandals woven with the doum palm can be found at this small, chic boutique located near Bab Marrakech in Essaouira. Rumor has it that the Italian designer, Salvatore Ferragamo teamed up with the owner long ago and uses this address and its rafia as inspiration and creation for some of his top end designs. Prices are higher then other local shops in town however the quality and comfort of Rafia Craft’s footware cannot be surpasses.
Addresss: 82 rue d’Agadir, Bab Marrakech

Le Comptoir by Madada
An upstairs boutique across from the beach in Essaouira that has the feeling of an Oriental bizarre with a design showroom. There is a fine mix of vintage, chic and nomadic objects for sale. Sober and elegant this is a creation Madada Mogador’s owner, Christine and her brother Pacha. There we learn the secrets of Moroccan specialties as the couscous, tagines the pastilla without forgetting the Moroccan pastries of course!
Address: 3 bis rue Youssef el Fassi 44 000 Essaouira
Phone: +212 524 47 55 12

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

Poupa Litza
Behind the unassuming door is a cavernous traditional douiria housing Litza Chemla’s line of handbags and accessories. Locally made by hand, the collection also sells in Europe. It’s worth a visit if only just to see the building
that houses the showroom and the wonderful boucherouite carpets that adorn the floor. The shop is closed from lunch daily from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Address: 135 bis av. Mohamed el Qouri, Medina
Phone: +212 524 78 35 65

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

Best Hammmam & Spas
One of the must-do experiences in coastal Essaouira is to spend a lazy afternoon at leisure in a traditional Moroccan Hammam. The Moroccan hammam begins with a traditional ritual of glazing the body with – ghassoul, a natural clay extracted from the Atlas Mountains, then black soap is applied on the body, made with local olive oil, prior to a body scrub with the final phase of rose or orange water sprayed lightly, made from the Atlas roses and used to calm the skin. Don’t miss out on a Hammam experience at one of these Essaouira Luxury Spas.

Azur Spa
A spa in seaside Essaouira offering massages, hammam and beauty with argan products and local flower essences. Moroccan owned.
Address: 15 rue Khalid Ben Walid 
Phone: +212-524-78-57-94

Spa Cocooning
A new luxury spa in Essaouira that offers massages, hammam treatments and beauty days with argan products and local flower essences.
Address: 2, Rue Mohamed Ben Masoud

Les Massages Berberes
As the name suggests, this place does massages using essential and local argan oils. Address: 135 Mohamed El Quorry (Bab Marrakech)
 Phone: +212-524-47-31-30

Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Festivals
Alizes Classical Music Festival Every year in April, the Moroccan port city of Essaouira holds one of its many annual festivals. The Spring Festival is called the “Printemps Musical des Alizés” (the Musical Springtime of the Trade Winds). As well as featuring international and Moroccan artists of classical music genres, the festival celebrates the coming of spring. The festival in Essaouira also coincides with the spring season of local religious festivals and pilgrimages of both the Muslim and Jewish faiths. In the local Moroccan Arabic dialect, such festivities are called moussem.

Gnaoua Festival The mysterious music of the Gnaouas celebrated each year in June at the Gnaoua Festival in Essaouira. The Gnaoua Festival attracts a cosmopolitan audience of festival-goers and offers a rich program, reaffirming its goal to emphasize the Gnaoua heritage in all its variety and to invite the best world and jazz artists to come and perform in the unique and magical town of Essaouira. This popular four-day festival features art exhibitions and Gnaoua style music. International musicians and groups from Tangier Marrakesh, and Essaouira perform their Gnaoua sounds at the Place Moulay Hassan and other spaces in the medina and outside its city walls such as Bab Doukkala, Bab Marrakech, Dar Souiri, Chez Kebin, Zaouia Gnaoua, Place Khayma and the Marche Aux Grain.

The Festival des Andalousies Atlantiques (Atlantic Andalucía Festival) This festival celebrates the shared Arabo-Andalusian heritage of Morocco and Spain. The intention of the festival is to encourage peaceful co existence and takes place each Septemberr or October in Essaouira.

For more information about Things to Do in Essaouira.

Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco – Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Visiting Morocco: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Visiting Morocco, Traditional Riad Guest House

Visiting Morocco, Traditional Riad Guest House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1: Visas are not required to enter Morocco and most Vaccinations are not necessary. If you are an American citizen, Canadian citizen or citizen of the European Union, Japan, Brazil or South Africa you can travel to Morocco visa free. To be on the safe side, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends travelers be up to date on the following vaccations: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and Rabies.

Cooking Class Morocco, Make a Tajine

Cooking Class Morocco, Make a Tajine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2: Morocco is home to some of the world’s best cuisine and considered the culinary start of North Africa. Morocco is the perfect place to take a food tour or a  cooking class to learn how some of it’s favorite dishes such as Moroccan tajine, couscous, bastilla (pastilla) and Berber breads are made.

#3: Morocco is only 7 1/2 hours from Europe. With its relative proximity to Europe and increasingly easy to access from international airports, Morocco has long attracted visitors from abroad. A large part of its charm is due to its historical significance as a cultural crossroads between Arabic, Middle-Eastern, African and European cultures and communities.

#4: The Best Place to Stay in Morocco is a Riad.  A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with a central courtyard restored to its original beauty. The word riad comes from the Arabic word for garden. As you tour with Morocco Traveler you will have the opportunity to stay in a variety of of riads ranging from renovated palaces to modernist kasbahs. A riad offers traditional accommodations for an authentic Moroccan journey.

#5: Wine is widely served and can be easily purchased in Morocco. While Morocco is a Muslim country it is a producer of its own award winning wines. Moroccan wine and beer can be enjoyed at riad, hotels and restaurants along with being widely purchased in small liquor stores and the larger French run grocery stores such as Carrefour. There is also a variety of European and South African wines available.

#6: Morocco dress attire for traveles is fairly liberal. During your visit to Morocco it is acceptable to wear most forms of clothing. Recommendations are to dress on the conservative side which indicates no shorts for men and women, low cut v-neck blouses or risque clothing. It is recommended for women to travel with a scarf for the sake of modesty and for both men and women to take off your shoes before entering someones home or a sacred space.

#7: Morocco is a cafe culture. All of the major cities, Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, Marrakech, Tangier and Essaouira have a repuation for having a popular cafe culutre. The new towns main boulevards are lined with cafes ranging from chic, to charming, boho to elegant and also the traditional “male cafes” frequented primarily by men, chatting or watching a food ball match. Cafe culutre in Morocco offers the opportunity to people watch and enjoy the local favorite “cafe nuss-nuss,” a small tea glass filled with half milk and have Arabic coffee.

#8: Mosques in Morocco are off limits to non-Muslims. Very few mosques in Morocco are open to non-Muslims enabling travelers to frequent the Hassan II mosque. The Hassan II Mosque’s, one of the world’s largest mosques, has a promontory that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Southern Morocco Region

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Southern Morocco Region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9: Don’t miss out on visiting Morocco’s Berber Villages and its natural wonders. Morocco is a vast country with 34 + million people. Make sure not to get stuck in large cities like Casablanca or Marrakech. Morocco offers so much more outside of its cities. Consider taking a private tour to Berber Villages, the Sahara Desert and exploring some of Morocco’s natural wonders such as the Dades Valley and Ait Benhaddou Kasbah. Southern Morocco is often referred to as the “real Morocco” and this region offers many site seeing opportunities for adventure travelers as does the North and the charming blue washed town of Chefchaouen.

 

 

Jewish Mellah

Jewish Mellah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#10: Morocco is safe for Jewish travelers and has a long standing history of Jewish Heritage. There are Jewish Heritage Sites in Casablanca, Meknes, Fes, Tangier, Marrakech, Essaouira and in the country side. Morocco lays claim to the only Jewish Museum in the Muslim worldMorocco’s history of Jewry and the co-mingling of Jews with Berbers and Arabs are a key factor in why Morocco is safe for Jewish Travelers today. Morocco is a country of Muslims, Jews and Christians. Jews first arrived in Morocco during pre-Christian times, accompanying the Phoenicians on their trade expeditions across the coast of Morocco.  In the countryside Jewish and Berber tribes tilled the soil side by side together for two thousand years speaking the Berber dialect. In the towns and cities  Jewish merchants and financiers were valued by successive Moroccan rulers who protected them.

For more information about Traveling to Morocco

Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Morocco, A Safe Place to Travel, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Morocco, A Safe Place to Travel

Morocco, A Safe Place to Travel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With its relative proximity to Europe and increasingly easy to access from international airports, Morocco has long attracted visitors from abroad. A large part of its charm is due to its historical significance as a cultural crossroads between Arabic, Middle-Eastern, African and European cultures and communities. Modern Morocco is developing fast and its cities rival any in Europe or North America for facilities, infrastructure and modern conveniences. In rural Morocco – in the plains, mountains and deserts – life continues as it has for centuries. This juxtaposition of traditional life and modernity, the familiar and the exotic, is as appealing today as when adventurers and discoverers passed through in bygone eras. Morocco is a safe place to travel and offers

The indigenous people of Morocco are the Berbers (also known as Amazigh, literally “free men”). They were the original inhabitants of the mountains and deserts. A little-known facet of Morocco’s history is where Berber and Jewish history and culture intertwine. There were several waves of Jewish immigration to North Africa, potentially beginning in the BCE period and certainly pre-dating the arrival of Islam from Arabia in the 7th century.

The result of such a long history of cohabitation and assimilation and integration of others’ cultural practices has created a modern Moroccan population which – at up to 50% Berber (the remainder being by large majority of Arab descent) is resilient to external shocks and reluctant to upset the balance of closely-knit communities.

As a result of this unique history and the careful political management by the constitutional monarch, King Mohammed VI, Morocco has not suffered the upheaval of Arab Spring-style uprisings, while its neighbors and allies have been shaken to the core. Tensions have been meticulously mitigated and complaints painstakingly investigated in order to avoid the social unrest which has rocked the region.

The modern monarch has also taken time to cultivate productive relationships with key Western powers. The relationship with the EU, including on some contentious issues such as immigration, trade and international security, is closer than it has ever been. The relationship with the USA is similar. Morocco was the first country to recognize US independence and – over 200 years later – Morocco remains a key ally in the strategic Middle East and North Africa region. These relationships and their importance to Moroccan economic and social stability are at least in part behind Morocco’s strenuous efforts to tackle international terrorism and religious extremism.

Keep Calm Travel to Morocco

Keep Calm Travel to Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, Morocco is one of the safest countries in Africa or the Middle East and North Africa region. You will be welcomed with a smile and great hospitality by virtual strangers. Enjoy your trip!

For more information about Morocco, A Safe Place to Travel 

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 offer Private 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.

Casablanca Port Tours, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015
Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When traveling to Morocco on a cruise ship there are many escorted, port tour excursion options. Casablanca has much to offer does its sister city Rabat. The best Casablanca port tours are those that include an English, Multilingual Speaking driver who is an expert on Casablanca and can serve as your guide for the day. Cruise ships that dock in Casablanca offer a full day at leisure for travelers who want to sightsee with others on board the ship or arrange for a private, escorted tour of Casablanca on their own.

There are many websites that offer valuable information for those interested in taking a private, Casablanca Tour or Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour such as Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic.

The Best Casablanca Port Tours are those that offer the highlights of the city along with options to visit the Grand White Hassan II Mosque, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism along with the Marche Centrale, the Medina, Corniche and Markets.

Casablanca Port Tours and Shore Excursions are the perfect opportunity to begin an exploration of Morocco. Our Casablanca Port Guide can offer ideas for how to spend your day on a Private Tour of Casablanca.

Hassan II Mosque Interior

Hassan II Mosque Interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casablanca Port Guide: Site seeing Recommendations on a Private Casablanca Tour

Visit the Port of Casablanca – a surprise for travelers along with the Corniche. Casablanca’s cornice is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and people watching at one of its charming, street side cafes.

Take a Private, Guided Tour of the Hassan II Mosque, the third largest in the world. The Hassan II Mosque sites on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the leading architectural splendors of Morocco. Renowned for it’s magnificent interior and roof that allows an open-air view of the sky, Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque is an architecture landmark designed by the architect Michel Pinseau. The mosque is situated on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor. The Hassan II Mosque can accommodate 25,000 worshipers on the interior and an additional 80,000 on the courtyard’s exterior facing the front of the mosque.

Visit the Notre Dame de Lourdes, a Roman Catholic cathedral and one of a kind in Casablanca. It was built in 1956 and has significant European influences. There are over 20,000 Catholics who are said to worship at the Notre Dame de Lourdes.

Casablanca Jewish Heritage, Temple Beth El

Casablanca Jewish Heritage, Temple Beth El

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore the Museum of Moroccan Judaism of history and ethnography, created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca is tucked into a residential neighborhood and holds a treasure trove with it being the Arab region’s only Jewish Museum. It uses world-class standards of conservation for its national and international collections. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca covers an area of 700 square meters and is the only Jewish Museum in the Muslim world.

Shop in Casablanca’s medina, at the souvenir market or explore the Habous Quarter with its attractive Islamic architecture. Discover Berber carpets, quality leather goods, crafts and ornately designed pottery, silver jewelry, and metal wares.

There is also an Exposition Nationale d’Artisanat located in the city center of Casablanca that offers excellent prefixed prices on carpets and other goods such as embroidered clothing and leather.

Rick's Cafe, Casablanca

Rick’s Cafe, Casablanca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casablanca is also known for it’s popular restaurants that offer Moroccan and International cuisine for all budgets. La Squala is perfect for those looking to dine on light fare in a traditional Moroccan setting with a garden and courtyard. This charming restaurant while touristic is located in an old fort within the city center. For those who are fans of the film, Casablanca, Rick’s Café is perfect fit  and designed by Bill Willis, a renowned Interior with a penchant for Moroccan architecture and 10001 Arabian Nights themes. For those looking for something charming and upscale with a sea view try La Mer or Cabistan on the Cornice.

For more information about Casablanca Shore Excursions or Casablanca One-day Tours 

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.

A Guide to Morocco’s Jewish Heritage Sites

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
Ibn Danon Synagogue, Fes

Ibn Danon Synagogue, Fes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco’s Jewish Heritage sites are some of the most widely visited in the world. When traveling to Morocco on a Private Jewish Heritage Tour sightseeing at Jewish formidable sites of historical prominence are important highlights not to be missed.  Moroccan Jewish Heritage sites consist of Synagogues, Cemeteries, Zaouias and Mellahs, all preserved respectively in the the former Jewish neighborhoods of the medinas. All Jewish Heritage sites in Morocco are either UNESCO World Heritage sites or protected by the Moroccan King and government. The Jewish Heritage sites in Morocco are regularly under renovation and preservation as to ensure they remain a part of Morocco’s Jewish Heritage.

Tomb of Solica, Fes Jewish Heritage Tour

Tomb of Solica, Fes Jewish Heritage Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some examples of the sites visited on a Jewish Heritage tour are  Jewish Synagogues: Temple Beth-El in Casablanca, Ibn Dannon Synagogue in Fes and The Lazama Synagogue in Marrakech. Guided by local experts on Jewish life, travelers will also visit the Jewish Mellah in Fes, famous for it’s sprawling out door terraces, the Jewish Mellah in Marrakech and two Jewish Cemeteries along with the Tomb of Solica in Fes. In Essaouira the renowned Chaim Pinto Synagogue is an important treasure along with the Slat Lkahal Synagogue, a former community synagogue, currently under a historic renovation. On a Jewish Heritage Tour Shabbat services at a synagogue and dinner at a Rabbi’s home can also be arranged to round out a private morocco travel experience.

Morocco is also home to the only Jewish museum in the Muslim World. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism is open daily six days a week with private appointments available during Sundays. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism was created by the Jewish community in Casablanca in 1997. It is a museum of both history and ethnography. Tucked away in a Casablanca neighborhood the Jewish Museum holds a treasure trove of collectables such as Hanukkah menorahs, oil lamps, marriage contracts and traditional costumes. It also has a library and video library.

Haim Pinto Synagogue, Essaouira Jewish Heritage Tour

Haim Pinto Synagogue, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The history of Moroccan Jews’ arrival dates back to pre Christian times as they accompanied the Phoenicians on their trade expeditions across Europe. Jews also joined the various waves of Muslims who escaped persecution during Christian contests of Southern Spain in 1492. Since the Arabic-Islamic colonization Morocco from the 7th century Muslims and Jews have coexisted peacefully together.

For more information about Moroccan Heritage Sites or a Jewish Heritage Tour

Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.