Posts Tagged ‘Marrakech Tour’

Storytelling in Morocco, Preserving the Art of Hikayat

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
Storytellers of Morocco, Photograph by Soufiane Bouhali

Storytellers of Morocco, Photograph by Soufiane Bouhali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storytelling is experiencing a revival in many Western countries right now, but the tradition of oral storytelling, or hikayat, in Morocco is almost 1,000 years old. Morocco has a strongly oral culture – everything from recipes to stories to legal agreements have been passed down from generation to generation in the absence of the means to record such information and against the backdrop of widespread illiteracy. In the past, storytellers travelled around to perform in public places and at community events and palace celebrations. They were not only a form of entertainment – they were also used by the authorities to pass information and moral messages. In today’s era of satellite TV and the internet, storytelling is a dying art. Although visitors to Marrakech may find the odd storyteller on Place Jmaa el Fna, the crowd around them is smaller than ever and because the stories are told in Arabic or a Berber dialect, the performers cannot attract the support of foreign tourists.

 

Storytellers of Morocco

Storytellers of Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, Cafe Clock in the Kasbah district of Marrakech is the perhaps unlikely bastion of this oral tradition. Both the cross-cultural cafe, with modern graffiti on the walls and the best camel burger in town on the menu, and the storytelling program based there, were developed by Mike Richardson, the cafe’s British owner. Since December 2013, even before the second branch of Cafe Clock officially opened its doors in Marrakech that March (the first is in Fez), a group of young, enthusiastic Moroccans had gravitated around master storyteller, ‘Haj’ Ahmed Ezzarghani. Since then, they have been working hard to preserve the storytelling tradition and bring the old stories and fables to a wider audience. Haj collected stories during his work as a travelling salesman and performed them in the turbulent 1950s outside Bab Boujloud in Fez.

Haj meets with his young apprentices three times per week at Cafe Clock. At the first meeting, Haj recounts a story, which the apprentices translate into English and practice. The next time they meet, they perform the story in English and Arabic for the group. Haj doesn’t understand much English, so the young storytellers help each other out and he critiques the theatricality of their performance. On the third meeting, they perform the story for the Cafe Clock audience.

Storytellers of Morocco Jawad ElBied

Storytellers of Morocco Jawad ElBied

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a core of four apprentice storytellers, who are all students of English in Marrakech. Jawad Elbied, 24, is just finishing his English degree with a dissertation in Moroccan Storytelling. He says: “Storytelling has a special value in Moroccan society, but young kids today don’t know the stories – they are only interested in the internet and YouTube. Haj reminds me of my grandfather and his generation. He reminds us of our origins.” It is clear that storytelling has benefitted Jawad and his fellow apprentices. He speaks confidently and eloquently in English and twice a week he does so before a large crowd at Cafe Clock. Furthermore, through the Hikayat Program, which is in the process of becoming a non-profit association in Morocco, he has had the opportunity to travel around Morocco and even to Iran to share the stories and teach them to others. The storytellers have also appeared on the UK’s Channel 4 and on Al Jazeera.

“The value of stories is that they enable the audience to create their own film; to imagine the characters and the action in their own way,” Jawad explains. “We need to reach out to new audiences by being creative and offering attractive stories.” Through the association, the storytellers hope to use modern technology to diffuse the stories and record them for future generations.

If you would like to hear the stories, they are performed on Monday and Thursday evenings at 7pm Cafe Clock Marrakech. As well hearing the apprentices in English, visitors also have the opportunity to see Haj in action. Even for those who don’t understand Arabic, his performance is a piece of theatre, a relic of a bygone era brought to life and definitely worth seeing! The Storytelling Program has also been extended to Cafe Clock in Fez, where a group of apprentices works with a local master storyteller. The Hikayat Morocco group is also available for performances and workshops and can be contacted via Cafe Clock or via their own website Hikayat Morocco.

Recommended Reading: The Last Storytellers, Richard Hamilton

For more information about Storytelling at Café Clock

Written by Lynn Sheppard 

Lynn Sheppard has lived in Essaouira, on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast for more than 2 years, supporting local non-profits, writing and becoming an expert on all things Swiri (ie. Essaouiran). She blogs at Maroc-phile.com and for other travel industry clients.

For more information about Storytelling in Morocco or the Art of Hikayat on a Marrakech 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.

Tasting Marrakech, An Urban Food Tour

Friday, June 12th, 2015
Tasting Marrakech Djema-Fna Square

Tasting Marrakech Djema-Fna Square

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experience the famous Djemaa el Fna at sunset on this authentic Food Tour, Tasting Marrakech. Get ready for an evening of Tasting Marrakech in the Djemaa El Fna Square lead by a licensed guide and special host who will take you on an authentic culinary journey of local Moroccan cuisine. Experience a five-course dinner tasting local street food.

Your tour will start with an evening welcome drink as the sunsets over the Koutoubia Mosque. As smoke rises from the grills below and the call to prayer sounds out throughout the medina the fun has just begun. Tasting Marrakech offers you the opportunity to sample dishes you may not have the opportunity to try before such as a local Marrakchi specialty meat dish, a soup accompanied by a sweet treat, and more! Between courses and after dinner you will take in this world-famous square and its lively entertainment that crosses your path from Gnaoua musicians, to snake charmers, fortune tellers, acrobats, Hadous drummers and the like.

Guests will have the option to shop the Souks of Morocco for spices, olives and harisa while wandering through the olive market, and perhaps even sampling a few varieties. End the night at a popular brasserie overlooking the Djemaa El Fna Square.

Tasting Marrakech Food Tour

Tasting Marrakech Food Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tasting Marrakech – An Urban Food Adventure

You might try head of sheep or snail soup, along with boiled eggs and stuffed breads, simmering hot mint tea or a local sweet. Rest assured Tasting Marrakech will be a memorable dinner in the Djemaa and leave you speaking about your experience for years to come. This Food Tour is for “foodies” and can be tailored to vegetarians and also those with celiac.

Marrakech Food Tour Highlights:

Taste a tanjia, a slow-cooked beef/lamb dish

Dine with the locals at the most popular food stall in the market

Try a bowl of harira soup with a sweet chebakya

Five-course tasting menu, and welcome tea

For More Information about the Tasting Marrakech Food Tour

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.

10 Great Things to Do in Marrakech, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Marrakech Atlas Mountain Views

Morocco’s “Red Hamra” city of Marrakech is an icon for travelers to Morocco. A visit to this North African country’s hotspot of Marrakech is a must. Morocco is exotic and the penchant of every travelers dream is to visit Marrakech. Marrakech offers landscapes to indulge in along with a bustling medinas and Berber villages just minutes outside. Here are Ten Great things to do in Marrakech.

1. Touch the Heart of the Atlas

The  view of the Atlas Mountains  and its snow capped peaks is one of Marrakech’s glories and can be viewed from many part’s of the city, looking far closer  than 4 kms away. One of the best locations is the terrace of the Hotel Renaissance where you can sip a drink during the day or at sundown as the white peaks go pink .Churchill and Roosevelt savoured the moment,Churchill telling his friend at the end of the Casablanca conference :”You cannot come all this way to North Africa without seeing Marrakech. Let us spend two days there. I must be with you when you see the sun set on the Atlas Mountains.”

Marrakech Caleche Ride

2. Romantic Trip by Horse Drawn Caleche

Take a romantic trip round Marrakech’s ancient ramparts in a horse drawn caleche . It is also an excellent way to get to know the city at a sedate pace instead of roaring around in a taxi. Make sure you agree the price before hand !

3. Indulge & Shop the Marrakech Souks

The fabled souks of Marrakech are a  vibrant riot of colour  as  they display their riches crafted by its artisans , carpets, kelims jewelry, jellabas and caftans, dressess ,shirts and tunics,wooden bowls, ornate boxes and chess sets an, leather bags and jackets and lamps, as the crowds pass through  and salesman vie to attract attention and haggle over prices. Serious shoppers should be armed with a notebook, a calculator and time for tea and haggling when visiting the Grande Souk. when visiting the Souk several hours is the minimum for any shopping expedition. You can choose your vendor on your own or with a guide. Marrakech’s medina and its grande souk stocks the city’s treasure of handicrafts. If you’re willing to haggle then a deal can be had. If you are not a haggler then simply enjoy the spectacle and visit the Ensemble d’Artisansale, a craftsmen’s cooperative on the Avenue Mohammed V offers fixed price  goods in a charming and unpressurised  atmosphere. It’s also a good place to check out prices before plunging into the souk nd.you can also watch the craftsmen at work.Wander the timeless streets of the medina and be seduced by its ancient medieval mystique.

4. Be a Sultan for a Day – Explore the Great Medersa Ben Youssef

The Medersa Ben Youssef was an Islamic college in Marrakech named after named after the Almoravid Sultan Ali ibn Youssef who reigned from 1106–1142. Wonder at the glory of the golden age of islamic architecture in the central courtyard and walk through the maze of  130 student cells in this Medieval centre of learning.

5. Stepback in time at La Maison de la Photographie

La Maison de la Photographie is a photographic treasure trove of Morocco and Moroccans from the 1870’s to just before independence in 1956.  to the gallery in a converted three floor foundak which houses a collection of photograhps of Morocco from the 1860’s and the very earliest days of photography to 1956 on the eve of Morocco’s independence. Over 5,000 photographs and glass prints of Morocco were brought from France to Marrakech by Patrick Man’ach and he and his assistants give a guided tour of this unique record of Morocco as it was.There is a video room with footage of Berber tribes dancing in the 1950’s At the end of the tour you can mount the terrace for a fine view of the Medina.

6. Overnight in an Ancient Riad in Marrakech – Palace Sytle

Stay in a Riad in Marrakech’s medina and enjoy life in the ancient medina .Riad’s are individually  richly decorated by local craftsmen and give you the opportunity to stay in an intimate atmosphere as an alternative to a hotel outside the Medina.. Many Riads offer cookery classes so that you can learn how to create your own Moroccan cuisine and riad owners can advise you where to go for  local bargains in the souk.

7. Stroll Marrakech’s Exotic Gardens & Lush Parks

The Abdelsalem Park with its high palm trees, greenery and shrouded walks is one of these off the busy Avenue Mohammed V, it is a haven of  much needed tranquility after a few hours of frenetic shopping in the souk   . Other famous parks are the Aguedal and the Menara with its large water tank and famous Pavilion. The El Harti Park off the Place 16 November is a delightful park with a play area for children with two large stone dinasours. The famous exotic and colourful  Majorelle gardens once owned by Yves St Laurent are on the Boulevard Zerktouni.

8. Paradise at the Bahia Palace – Walk in the footsteps of the Vizir Si Moussa

The Bahia Palace was the 19 th century residence of the vizir Si moussa and his son who succeeded him, Ba Ahmed and has a remarkable maze of rooms and gardens there is even an ornate parade ground.The American novelist Edith Wharton stayed there in1917 when she was a guest of Marshal Lyautey after the First World War and it was te French army headquarters in Marrakech and she wrote a vivid description in her book “In Morocco”. Go back in time in a Vizir’s palace.

 

Moroccan Hammam

9. Go local – Visit an Authentic Moroccan Hammam for a traditional Scrub

Visit a Moroccan hammam to soak in the heat, be scrubbed and massaged with Argan, Orange and Rose oils to take away your aches and pains. Experience traditional beauty treatments of a gromage and sip tea by a delightful fountain. Marrakech has some of the most charming and authentic traditional Hammam’s in Morocco.

10.  Splurge and Dine out at Marrakech’s Finest that is run by women

Splurge on  one superb Moroccan meal at Al Fassia restaurant  on Boulevard Zerktouni in the Gueliz staffed by women it is still the  place to sample the very best in Moroccan cuisine  with  a selection of salades and  traditional tangines  and couscous washed down with fine Moroccan wine.

For More Information on Great things to do in Marrakech or a Marrakech Tour 

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.

Marrakech Voted Best African Destination, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
YouTube Preview Image

The “red hamra” city of Marrakech has been sited as the best African Destination of the Year by the 19th World Travel Awards. The winners of the “World Travel Awards” are chosen by travel agents around the world. The World Travel Awards gives agents the opportunity to select leading travel destinations. Marrakech is the first Moroccan city to win the this title. Other cities that were nominated were Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg (South Africa), along with Luxor (Egypt), Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Victoria Falls (Zambia).

Mosque of Koutoubia, Marrakech

Following in the foot steps of Trip AdvisorMarrakech was  also selected as the sixth best destination in 2012. Trip Advisor, the leading review website is used by various kinds of travelers from around the world. Those looking for affordable luxury private tour to Marrakech (Morocco) and other leading destinations value Trip Advisor’s multitude of first unbiased reviews. When looking for the perfect  hotel,  restaurant, local activities or tours within a country like Morocco Trip Advisor serves as the perfect outlet for information

Marrakech has a reputation for being fashionable and has long drawn tastemakers ranging from designers, to actors, models, writers and foreigners looking to explore’s this cosmopolitan city that is surrounded by the majestic Atlas Mountains. From Marrakech’s stunning palaces, gardens, mosques, restaurants and nightclubs it serves as the perfect place to start any Morocco Tour.

For more information about a Marrakech Tour 

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.

The Maison de la Photographie Marrakech, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Maison de la Photographie Marrakech Medina

No visit to Marrakech is complete without a visit to La Maison de la Photographie which is close to the Medersa Ben Youssef. Just pass by the door of the Medersa and through the  arch across the street and follow the road round passing on your way restaurant Foundak  (an excellent place for lunch or dinner) on your left, a school on your right and shortly afterwards you will find La Maison de la Photographie on your left. It is truly one of the wonders of Marrakech.

Housed in a converted three storey Foundak (the old inns and storage houses for camel trains coming to sell their wares in the souks) which Patrick Man’ach and his Moroccan business colleague Hamid Megrani  converted in to a photographic gallery in 2009. There are photographs of Morocco from the 1860’s at the very dawn of photography when intrepid adventurers had to carry heavy equipment into what was still a largely closed country up until the 1950’s and Morocco’s independence in 1956. Early photographers such as Scotsmen George Washington Wilson and James Valentine, took posed pictures for what became the first postcards from Morocco. the Spanish Carvilla and many others like the images of Gabriel Veyre, partner of the brothers “Lumière” – inventors of photography in 1839. During his Moroccan period, the photographer immortalized Sultan Moulay Abdel Aziz, taught him photography, and created a coluorful photographic record portraying three decades.

Maison de la Photographie Marrakech Medina

Starting in Tangier these photographers gradually began to visit Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains taking pictures of street scenes and then capturing the diversity of Morocco’s Arab, Jewish and Berber inhabitants . There are very few photographic collections as rich as that of Maison de la Photographie which houses 4,500 photographs and 800 of the original glass plates by early photographers. A full reference library is on site and researchers and students interested in Moroccan history are welcome.

The exhibitions are arranged on three floors, with large size portraits and scenes from the 1860’s and 70’s to the early20th Century and the late 1950’s. The third floor has a vido room showing the films of Daniel Chicault who took his cine camera to the Atlas Mountains to film in colour unique dance scenes  and  the village life of the Berber tribes in 1956 and 1957. These are of immense anthropological importance and  they give  us a unique chance to appreciate the wonderful berber tribal heritage much of which is sadly vanishing. By appreciating Morocco’s past we can understand and appreciate its rich cultural heritage.  To crown the visit you can climb the steps to the terrace which has one of the best panoramic views of the medina around as it is one of the highest buildings in the area.

The Maison de la Photographie is the most orignial concepts to have been created in Marrakech in the last few years. Many hotels have bought the photographs which now grace many hotel rooms and La Maison de la Photographie works on exhibitions with most of the leading  cultural institutions in Marrakech including the Institut Francais and the Riad Denise Masson to name but two.

The new exhibition in the Maison de la Photographie is called: ” Trésors Photographiques du Maroc ” (Photographic treasures of Morocco) : the exhibition of original prints which covers the period 1870-1950 and shows the diversity of the Moroccan population: Arabs,Berbers, Muslims and Jewish people and the splendor of the  Mediterranean, Atlantic and Saharian countrysides.

Most of the photographers came from Europe, and in the 1870’s, stayed in Tangier, an international city, where legations, soldiers, traders, adventurers, artists, located their activities. With the colonial period, called  the French Protectorate, photographers ventured further towards the South: Marrakesh became a winter resort, and many started to venture in the Atlas, like the painter Majorelle who owned the Majorelle and its gardens in Gueliz  on the Boulevard Zerktouni which houses a museum for Majorelle’s paintings and a museum created by Pierre Berget with the Haute Couture of Yves Saint Laurent.

In the Thirties, a group of photographers under the name of  Studio Souissi, recorded  all aspects of local life. Muller’s exceptional photographs, a donation of his daughter Ana Muller, are exhibited permanently.

Visitors can view documentaries by Daniel Chicault, from 1957, on the Berbers of the High Atlas and from the panoramic terrace, a view on the Atlas and the medina of Marrakesh.

The entrance charge of 40 dirhams includes a conducted tour and and details about the photographers . the staff are english speaking and  Patrick Man’ach is on hand to share information and advice. Visitors can buy prints of the photographs on view in the shop at the entrance.

Maison De La Photographie Marrakech Entrance Tiled Sign

Maison de la Photographie, Marrakech
Open everyday 9.30 am – 7pm
46 rue Ahal Fès
05-24 -38-57 21 or +212-5-24-38-57-21

Written by Colin Kilkelly

For more information about The Maison de la Photographie Marrakech or a Marrakech 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 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.
The Maison de la Photographie Marrakech, Patrick Man’ach, Marrakech Museums, Marrakech Private Tours, Marrakech Tour, Morocco Travel, Casablanca Travel, Travel Exploration Morocco

Fantasia in Marrakech at Chez Ali, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Chez Ali Kasbah in Palmerie, Marrakech

Fantasia in Marrakech at Chez Ali is a spectacular way to see Marrakech by night. This Equestrian dinner and Moroccan music show in the Palmerie of Marrakech, Morocco an homage and touristic replication of the traditional Meknes Fantasia. At Chez Ali in Marrakech, a Moroccan dinner is served with a traditional starter of Harira, with a main course of Mechoui and couscous, all under caidal “tents”. The dinner is complimented by Berber folklore and a wide range of musical styles from Berber groups, Chabbi musicians, Moroccan Rap and Gnaoua. Attendees will see jugglers. the flying carpet, belly dancing and finally the Fantasia show.

Chez Ali Equestrian Horse Show, Marrakech

Originating from the region of Meknes Morocco, Fantasia is a war ceremony that consists of opposing groups of horsemen, each representing the best rides of its tribe. The performance is inspired from historical wartime attacks of Berber and desert knights. Today, Fantasia is considered as a cultural art and a form of martial art; it also symbolizes a strong relationship between the man and the horse, as well as an attachment to tradition.

Each region in Morocco has one or several fantasia groups, called serba, totaling thousands of horse riders nationwide. Performances are usually during local seasonal, cultural or religious festivals, also called mousseum, which translates to “season” in Arabic. This traditional equestrian performance practiced during cultural festivals in Morocco. Fantasia is not the original name as the actual traditional term used is “Game of gunpowder”.

Chez Ali Singers, Marrakech

Fantasia in its pure form consists of a group of horse riders, wearing traditional clothes and charging along a straight path at the same speed so as to form a line, at the end of the ride (about two hundred meters) all riders fire into the sky using old gunpowder guns. The difficulty of the performance is synchronization during the acceleration and especially during firing so that one single shot is heard. The horse is referred to as fantasia horse.

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

Chez Ali, Chez Ali Marrakech, Marrakech tour, Fantasia, Fantasia Meknes, Equestrian Horse Show, Marrakech by night, Berber music, Chabbi Music, Moroccan Rap, Gnaoua Music, Berber Folklore, Morocco Tours, Morocco Holidays, Morocco Travel, Travel Exploration, Travel to Morocco

La Mamounia Hotel, a Marrakech Institution of Luxury & Flair, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Friday, August 12th, 2011

La Mamounia Hotel, Arched Doorway to Suite

La Mamounia is a legendary property in Marrarkech, Morocco that radiates with class, tradition and beauty. It is said that stepping into Le Mamounia is akin to a setting of 1001 Arabian Nights. La Mamounia Hotel is a Marrakech institution of Luxury and Flair. Originally the Marrakech palace of a crown prince of Morocco it was converted by the French administration into a hotel in 1923. Named for its 200-year old gardens, which were given as an 18th century wedding gift to Prince Moulay Mamoun by his father, the gardens cover nearly 20 acres and display an incredible variety of flowers and trees.

La Mamounia Hotel, Sculpture

La Mamounia was designed in 1922 by the architects Prost and Marchisio. They combined traditional Moroccan designs with the popular Art Deco look of the 1920’s. Winston Churchill called it, “the most lovely spot in the whole world.” He spent many winters at La Mamounia painting the Atlas Mountains and surrounding countryside.

It earned its fame from the day it opened and is considered one of Morocco’s most famous hotels. Situated on the edge of the walls of the old city of Marrakech La Mamounia is where Alfred Hitchcock wrote the movie “The Birds.” Churchill painted from his balcony and declared it “loveliest spot on earth.” Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt came to La Mamounia when they met for the Casablanca Conference in 1943, and were said to have grappled with their responsibilities from the roof of the hotel while gazing out at the snow-covered mountains and terra cotta walls of the old city. The suite where Churchill often stayed was renamed in his honor. Other politicians who have enjoyed stays at the hotel include Ronnie and Nancy Reagan, Charles de Gaulle, and Nelson Mandela.

La Mamounia Hotel, View of Salon de The (Tea Room)

During the 1900’s, an era known for early travel in Morocco La Mamounia garnered attention for not just being a hotel but a way of life, where a small exclusive community of ex-pats, colonial rulers and adventurers would sip Scotch in the hotel’s gardens.

The most recent renovation by French Designer Jacques Garcia began in 2006 and took 3 years to complete. Garcia married his fondness for detail using velvet upholstery in jewel-like hues, dramatic color and romantic low lighting to compliment the Moroccan sun along with black and white tiled courtyard. The results are a flawless redesigned hotel that has kept the flavor, charm and architecture of the historical Mamounia with addition of a Moroccan modern flavor.

La Mamounia Hotel, Pool

La Mamounia offers top end services from four elegant restaurants with top cuisine to stunning lounges, a luxury spa, heated pool and on site shopping options of high end goods.

Restaurants La Mamounia
Le Morocain – serving Moroccan local cuisine
Le Francais –  French cuisine, Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato
Don Alfonso’s L’Italien – Italian cuisine
Le Pavillion – International cuisine

Bars & Lounges
Le Bar Pavilion de la Piscine – designed in tribute to the Menara basin
Le Bar Churchill –  named after its most famous guest, Winston Churchill
Le Bar Italien – beautiful outdoor terrace and international wine list
Le Bar Marocain – rooftop lounge

Facilities
Outdoor ozone heated swimming pool set amongst the Mamounia’s lovely gardens
Two clay tennis courts
A fitness pavillion
Large spa offering a wide range of treatments
Three championship golf courses
Riding stables – outside the property

Accommodation at La Mamounia:

The Riads
Three Riads set amongst the heart of La Mamounia’s wonderful gardens, each having 700 sq. meters of space to provide 3 bedrooms with excellent bathrooms, a large dining room and private pool on a terrace.

Superior suites
Seven Signature suites each individually themed with original and unique Moroccan-style décor – The Churchill, The Majorelle, Koutoubia, Baldaquin, Marquetrie and The Al Mamoun.

Suites
The Suites (64 in total) have views over the elaborate gardens, the Atlas Mountains or the Koutoubia mosque. There is a large lounge, and king size beds in the bedrooms. An executive suite offers a terrace and bathroom with separate shower and bath.

The Moroccan suites have been decorated by local artisans. Four Prestige suites on the middle floors look over the gardens, their 100 sq. meters include 2 living rooms with dining and seating areas and a walk-in wardrobe.

13 Classic Rooms
Comfortable and located between ground and first floor, looking over the city and gardens. 19 Superior rooms on the second to fourth floors display vibrant colors of Moroccan styling and look over the Hivernage. Deluxe rooms (104) are decorated with wood, leather, stucco and moucharabieh and have views of the Koutobia, park or the Atlas Mountains.

For more information about La Mamounia or a Marrakech 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 ofMarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

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

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Moroccan Wedding Traditions, Join A Moroccan Wedding Tour, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Musicians Moroccan Wedding

Every country has it’s own wedding culture. Traditions and ceremonies differ in each part of the world and Morocco is no exception. Moroccan weddings are a 24-hour affair and more. Just as in the west, every Moroccan wedding is different, and families from different regions whether it be cities or villages try to make their children’s weddings unique. There are a few common themes and events that occur over the course of a wedding, and knowing what to expect if you attend one is important. Morocco boasts rich wedding traditions and customs that vary by region, city and village however most have commonalities that range from unique and colorful clothing, a traditional henna party and serving special salads, meat and couscous to their guests.

Women Dancing at Moroccan Wedding

The traditional Moroccan Wedding boasts an elaborate and meaningful process. The Moroccan wedding process can take up to seven days and there are many pre-wedding ceremonies that take place before the actual wedding. With its rich cultural heritage Morocco is a place to visit for vacation if you have the opportunity to attend a Moroccan Wedding or Moroccan Wedding Tour.

Once a date has been set for a Moroccan wedding, the preparations begin. Before the wedding day, the bride is taken by female family members to a hammam. Older married woman, female friends and relatives beautify her.

What follows is the elaborate decoration and dressing of the bride in a traditional wedding caftan in the colors of the city or village – tradition. The bride is then decorated with heavy silver jewelry (in modern day often 24 carat gold given by the groom to the bride), unqiue family air looms such as a tasfift (which is word on the head) a fibula set which is worn across the brides chest among other old pieces. The brides eyes are darkened with kohl which appears a bit like thick dark eyeliner.

Henna Hand

Then a Henna (beberiska ceremony) begins whereby the brides hands and feet of the bride and her party are painted with henna. The bride’s designs are always the most intricate and the various floral and geometric designs are worn to bring good luck and increase fertility.

The grooms name is often hidden in the henna designs. The brides and the grooms female family relatives will then take the opportunity to discuss the ‘secrets’ of marriage”.

In some ceremonies the bride is placed behind a curtain to symbolize her change of lifestyle. In more remote village and areas of Morocco this kind of ceremony would take place before the actual wedding.

Moroccan Couscous

During this preparation families and friends together prepare traditional foods such as tajines made of sheep, beef and goat and couscous along with the ceremonial meal of taraoit which is eaten the next day. There is often a separate men’s dinner that takes place a day or two before the wedding event.

The wedding then begins with a joyous celebration in evening with various kinds of Moroccan music and dancing that often lasts all night long.

In Berber, Moroccan Weddings there is Ahwash dancing and Hadous drumming along with other festivities and traditions such as the bride riding a mule around the village which in modern day is often replaced with a car. In Arab, Moroccan weddings, the bride would be lifted up on a circular cushion or table and the groom on the shoulders of his friends. The Imlilchil Marraige Festival is another example of a long standing tradition in Southern Morocco with a festive celebration that takes place each September.

Ahwash Berber Women Dancing

Ahwash is exclusively village music that has been unchanged for centuries performed at weddings and on special occasion. Ahwash musical texts emphasize the submission of the individual to the community. Typically, it consists of two large choruses engaging in call-and-response vocals, accompanied by instrumentalists and dancers. Since this music requires anywhere from 20 to 150 participants, it is not easily portable and so rarelyheard in the cities.

Haddous drumming is a traditional type of drumming that is played on special occasions, ceremonies and weddings. Hadous tradition uses a hand drum made of animal skin. Women and men move together forming a line or circle, then play and sing in unison.

Caftan Design

The Moroccan Wedding tradition also has a long heritage of ceremonial caftans that are traditionally hand made by a local tailor however in modern day, many brides are buying them in shops. Hand-made caftans are typically designed with the shared ideas and traditions of the family tradition with input from the local tailor. The caftans sometimes have intricate embroidery which is done locally or instead shipped off to the town of Fes which is famous for it’s ancient traditions of caftan embroidery, skuli hand made belts and shoes.

AIT ATTA BERBER MOROCCAN WEDDING TOUR:

MAY 12th: OUARZAZATE ARRIVAL – EVENING

►Arrive at Ouarzazte’s Airport. Transfer to your Charming Riad or Hotel.

►Dinner and Spend the night at a charming Riad or Hotel in Ouarzazate.

MAY 13th: OUARZAZATE – SKOURA – VALLEY OF ROSES – BOUTHGRAR – VALLEY OF NOMADS – BOUMALNE DADES VALLEY & GORGE

►Breakfast at your Riad. Take the road to visit the Amerdihl Kasbah in Skoura and pass the Skoura Palmary. Continue the road to the perfumed Valley of Roses, just north of El Kelaa Des Mgouna. On the way to the Valley of Roses, your driver will stop for you to view the Capp et Florale shops and rose gardens in the small kasbah town that manufacture the entire nations products of eau de rose. The rose water and other products such as hand and body soaps, oil, crème perfume and dried flowers are for sale and also popular among Moroccans. The factories produce 3000-4000 petals a year. With ten tons of petals required to produce a few liters of precious oil, the harvest is understandably a labor of love and the culminating festivities of the annual Rose Festival are all the livelier for it.

►In the Valley of Roses will find miles of pink, small Persian roses-cultivated as hedgerows dividing the plots of land. In spring, you can buy a garland of fragrant roses from one of the Berber children who line the route. Continue the road to Bouthgrar, the Valley of Nomads and the Dades Valley.

►Go by pise (windy road) to visit the breakthtaking Valley of Nomads. Located in Bouthgrar is the Valley of Nomads, a beautiful 10 kilometer valley where Nomads live in caves that are surrounded by Mount Mgoun. Mount Mgoun is the second highest mountain in Morocco and boasts extraordinary views. Have tea with a Nomad family. Your journey will then take you through the Dades Valey which covers 125 km between Ouarzazate and Boumalne du Dadès in the High Atlas Mountains.

►Once you reach Boumalne at first sight you notice the limestone cliffs with uniquely shaped erosions and superb scenery and the valley’s pise. Driving along you will pass flower filled fields, fertile fields, riverbanks and several fortified ksours. At the bottom of Gorge of Boumalne Dadès.

►Lunch will be served at a nearby guesthouse with local Moroccan fare and a panoramic view. Relax and sip mint tea while gazing at the impressive valley.

Dinner Option: La Kasbah Des Sables in Ouarzazate. Le Kasbah Des Sables is a gastronomic experience with a menu that combines the cuisine of Fes, Meknes, Tangier, Arab and Berber with 5 class fare. This restaurant offers a museum- quality atmosphere as its’ decor has been hand stitched together and is filled with Berber, Morocco traditional furniture and art that was hand crafted by local artisans in the Ouarzazate region. Each section of the restaurant offers an intimate environment and the opportunity to eat on tables that are hand painted and adorned with silver fibulas, Amber and other regional jewels.

►Dinner & Spend the night at 4 or 5 Star Riad in Ouarzazate.

MAY 14th: WEDDING DAY – OUARZAZATE – AGDZ – KASBAH TAMNOGAULT – AIT OUZZINE

HENNA PARTY – WEDDING CEREMONY – DINNER FEAST & MOROCCAN MUSIC ALL NIGHT LONG

►Breakfast at your Riad.

9:00am: Departure from Ouarzazate to Agdz to Hammam.

10:30am: Visit to traditional Hammam Bath. Enjoy a 90 minute rendezvous with the bride and groom at a traditional bath house.

1:00pm: Lunch at Chez Yacoub in Kasbah Tamnougalt. Lunch at this 17th Century Kasbah in the Draa Valley. Enjoy a Moroccan tajine in this restored kasbah after the Hammmam experience.

3:00pm: Henna Party will take place in Ait Ouzzine family home. Attend the Henna Party for the bride in Ait Ouzzine Village.

5:00pm: Check into your Kasbah Hotel in N’kob. Relax, dress up and prepare for wedding dinner feast and evening celebration.

7:30pm- 10:00pm: Wedding Ceremony, Dinner Feast and Music festivities.

10:00pm- 3:00am: Evening of live music from the Souss Valley, Valley of Roses, Traditional Berber Hadous Drummers and Ahawash Dancing.

Ahwash Dancing & Singing: Ahwash is exclusively village music that has been unchanged for centuries performed at weddings and on special occasion. Ahwash musical texts emphasize the submission of the individual to the community. Typically, it consists of two large choruses engaging in call-and-response vocals, accompanied by instrumentalists and dancers. Since this music requires anywhere from 20 to 150 participants, it is not easily portable and so rarelyheard in the cities.

Hadous Drumming: Haddous drumming is a traditional type of drumming that is played on special occasions, ceremonies and weddings. Hadous tradition uses a hand drum made of animal skin. Women and men move together forming a line or circle, then play and sing in unison.

Spend the night at Charming Riad in N’kob Village

MAY 15th: WEDDING DAY – AIT OUZZINE – ALNIF -RISSANI – MERZOUGA

CEREMONIAL VISIT – LUNCH IN AIT OUZZINE- SUNRISE CAMEL TREK – 1001 NIGHTS DINNER

11:00am – 2:00pm: Morning Ceremonial visit of Ait Ouzzine village whereby almonds are cast to children for good luck and the bride rides a mule three times around the village to celebrate the consummation of her marriage. Celebrate with the as she wears her Moroccan, modern white and gold bridal caftan and enjoy time with family and friends.

2:00pm: Lunch in Ait Ouzzine.

4:00pm: Departure to Merzouga. Take the road to Merzouga passing the Sahara Desert town of Rissani and Alnif. Go by pise into the Sahara Desert as the sunsets to discover the rocky and majestic Erg Chebbi Golden Dunes.

7:00pm: Dinner and Music along with a 1001 Nights Arabic Feast under the Sahara Desert Stars.

►Spend the night in Merzouga’s Sahara Desert at Le Belle Etoile. Options to stay in a Luxury bivouac tent or guests house at the foot of the Erg Chebbi Dunes.

MAY 16th: MERZOUGA -RISSANI – ERFOUD – TODRA GORGE – OUARZAZATE

Sunrise camel trek before dawn into the Erg Chebbi Dunes. Explore the flora and fauna of the Sahara Desert.

►Take the road to Rissani, a Sahara desert town that is from the ancient Alawi Dynasty and the birthplace of King Mohammed VI, the current King of Morocco. Visit the old Mausolem of Moulay Ali Sharif, the first King of the Alawi Dynasty. Next visit Maison Taureg House and then the old Ksar of Rissani. Continue the road to Erfoud.

►Arrive in Erfoud, the capital of fossils in mid-afternoon. Lunch in Erfoud.

►Visit Royal Palace gate; the panoramic view from the top of the Borj-Est that rises 935 metres (3067 feet) above the city; Fossil sites in Carriere des Fossiles and the Maadid Ksar.

►Erfoud is a city located in south-east Morocco. Although many ancient fortified villages have existed in the region for several centuries Erfoud was built up by the French troops after the victory of Tafilalet Battle, that took place between 1916 and 1932. Erfoud is a very active city, full of commerce, restaurants and street cafés, hotels, banks and handicraft and souvenir shops.

►While maintaining its name as a modern Moroccan Sahara Desert town, it still preserves a certain authenticity of an true Arab city with an impressively “wild” market and gorgeous surrounding landscapes filled of oases, dunes and rocky mountains.

►Erfoud is a cinema hub for many movie directors. Some well known films had several scenes shot in Erfoud, some include names as Prince of Persia 2010 by Director Dick Richards; March or Die 1977 by Director Dick Richards; The Mummy 1999 by Director Stephen Sommers.

►In the mid – afternoon take the road to the Todra Gorge. The Gorge extends from the village of Tamtatoucheto Tinerhir. The Todra, with cliffs rising dramatically up to 300m on each side of a narrow corridor, make up some of the most impressive cliffs and are by far, the highest in Morocco.

►Lunch in the Todra Gorge.

► The Todra Gorge is a spectacle with its gigantic rock walls changing color to create magical effects with the sunlight. In the morning, when the sun permeates through the bottom of the gorge, the rock changes from pink rose to deep ochre gradually throughout the rest of the day.

Dinner & Spend the night at charming Riad in Ouarzazte.

MAY 17th: OUARZAZATE DEPARTURE

►Breakfast at your Riad or Hotel in Ouarzazate.

Departure from Ouarzazate’s Airport.

For more information about Morocco Tours or attending a Moroccan Wedding

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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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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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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