Posts Tagged ‘Marrakech’

Inspirational Summer Retreat at Marrakech’s Peacock Pavilions

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
Peacock Pavilion, Marrakech

Peacock Pavilion, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reconnect,Relax and Reawaken your wild at a one of Mararkech’s leading retreats from August 20 – 26, 2016 at Peacock Pavilions. Co-lead by Holistic Creative Coach, Marie Milligan and Yoga Teacher, Deborah Willimott, the Wild Women Do Morocco Retreat offers a sensory-Moroccan experience that includes daily Yoga, Creative Coaching, Memorable Dining, Wild Exploration, and a true sense of Sisterhood.

Where You Will Stay:
Peacock Pavilions – Located in the heart of a beautiful olive-grove, 20 minutes from Marrakech’s city center this boutique guest house boasts mountain-views, rose gardens, an outdoor pool, yoga pavilion, Arabian dining tent, ethnic art and textiles, and plenty of space for privacy or shared community. Designed by Maryam Montague, owner of Montague Living and Humanitarian, this Atlas Mountain retreat is the perfect place for discovery.

Peacock Pavilion, Yoga Tent, Marrakech

Peacock Pavilion, Yoga Tent, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Women Do proposes the Ideal 7-Day Marrakech Retreat Experience.

Their suggested Marrakech retreat menu brings the theme of Relax, Reconnect and Reawaken YOUR Wild alive. Always mindful of the weather and energy in the group, the Wild Women Do team bring flexibility into their menu whenever it is needed it most.

MARRAKECH- WILD WOMEN D0: 7 DAY INSPIRATIONAL RETREAT ITINERARY:

Day 1 (Saturday 20 August): Two pickups and transfers from Menara Airport. Check-in at Peacock Pavilions (PP) at 4pm. Welcome canapés and non-alco cocktails. Dinner at PP. Time to relax, switch off and explore the grounds.

Day 2 (Sunday 21 August): Introductory wellness ritual session (yoga, breathing and movement). Breakfast and lunch at PP. Creative Playshop. Free afternoon: optional relaxing Hammam spa experience or souk-shopping. Dinner at Le Jardin. Tour of the Medina, sensory-souks and hypnotic ancient and cultural Jemaa el-Fna food market and square.

Day 3 (Monday 22 August): Yoga class. Breakfast and lunch at PP. Creative Playshop. Free afternoon: relax on the grounds or take an optional cultural design visit –perhaps visit Jardin Majorelle, ride a camel near Menara, or explore Designers in the French Quarter of Gueliz. Dinner at PP. Optional movie-night in their starlit Outdoor Cinema.

Day 4 (Tuesday 23 August): Yoga class. Breakfast and lunch at PP. Creative Playshop. Free afternoon and evening: take time for you to relax by the pool and do nothing, or perhaps visit the iconic historical museums and palaces near the Medina. Optional dinner in Medina or at PP.

Day 5</strong> (Wednesday 24 August): Yoga class. Breakfast at PP. Travel to the Atlas Mountains with lunch in Kasbah du Toubkal, a National Geographic Unique Lodge. Guided wild trek visiting Targa Imoula, an ancient Berber village. Dinner at PP.

Day 6 (Thursday 25 August): Yoga class. Breakfast and lunch at PP. Creative Playshop. Free afternoon: optional time for us to complete anything that needs supported from our inner or outer journey. Celebratory Henna-Party with local henna artisan, canapés and non-alcoholic fresh cocktails, followed by our celebratory dinner at PP.

Day 7 (Friday 26 August): Breakfast at PP. Sisterhood accountability line. Farewells and checkout of Peacock Pavilions by 12pm. Group transfers to Airport (or why not extend your travel? See below for our exclusive travel deals).

10% of Peacock Pavilion’s profits from your retreat booking go to funding Project Soar. Set up by Maryam Montague, the project’s mission educates under-served girls and women in the local community with access to creativity, movement and art education to inspire their creative souls.

For More Information About Wild Women Do Summer Retreat in Mararkech Email Marie Milligan at mariemilligan@wildwomendo.co.uk

For more information about Things to do in Marrakech

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

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

Pure Life Experiences, Marrakech Luxury Travel Expo

Monday, September 14th, 2015
Pure Life Experiences, Palais Des Congres Marrakech

Pure Life Experiences, Palais Des Congres Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

PURE Life Experiences is one of the leading travel expositions for high-end and experiential travel that will take place in Marrakech from November 12th – 15th, 2015 at the Palais Des Congres.  PURE Marrakech has become one of the world’s leading, annual and exclusive conferences that caters to the top-end of the market. Travel agencies and up market, luxury suppliers attend to have the privledge to expand their network. The Founder of PURE Marrakech is Serge Dive.  His vision is that “Experiential Travel is a journey away from home, involving a truly memorable and powerful experience (active, cultural, natural, social or spiritual) that will enrich a person’s life and improve the way they connect with both loved ones and with the world.”

Founded in 2009 by Serge Dive and Sarah Ball Pure Life Experiences offers travel suppliers who attend the Marrakech expo a unique platform to sell high-end experiential travel in a changing marketplace where luxury consumers are looking for something different.

PURE Marrakech hand selects high-end travel agencies, along with other travel suppliers such as hotels and private travel designers with a global reputation who are capable of interested and capable to expand brands, innovative ideas and ethos to an exclusive market.

Some of the Morocco based list of attendees for 2015 ranges from agents and hotels such as Abercrombie and Kent to the Beldi group along with Ezzahra, Hotel Sahrai, Jnane Tamsa, Kasbah Toubkal, Merzouga Luxury Desert Camps, Palais Amani, Plan It Morocco and Taj Omaya.

The Palais Des Congres where Pure Marrakech takes place has become an in-demand destination among many event organisers who plan events in Marrakech. Other annual expos that use the Palais Des Congres are the Marrakech Film Festival and the Marrakech Design Expo. The interior space allows for seminars, conferences, indoor exhibitions, outdoor exhibitions and elegant rooms for parties. The venue holds thousands of different events every year including cultural, social and business events.

For more information about Pure Life Experiences

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 6 Best Views of Morocco, Morocco Tour Guide

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Morocco is such a photogenic country. The Best Times to Travel to Morocco and discover the 6 Best Views is spring and fall. The bright, Mediterranean sunshine makes for a special light, whether you are photographing deserts, mountains, cities, dunes or coastal scenery. The colors of the natural elements, the architecture and the handicrafts such as carpets, highly polished teapots, hand-stitched and embroidered leather babouches slippers or flowing caftans make for great subjects, as do the people and animals of Morocco. It’s best to always ask before taking someone’s picture and don’t be offended if they refuse given many Moroccans are modest and private. Morocco also has several stunning vistas which you will want to snap during your trip. Here is a lowdown of where to go to capture the six best views of Morocco.

Fes Medina View

Fes Medina View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fes

The ancient capital of Fes is such a dense, labyrinthine city that when you are in it, it is hard to imagine getting an overview of the place. To get the best view, it is necessary to climb above the hustle and bustle of street level, to get away from the jostle of the souk and rise above the walls. The best place to do this is actually outside the medina (old city) at Les Merinides Hotel. Situated on a hill overlooking the medina, this five-star hotel has three restaurants (La Kouba du Ciel on the top floor; L’Impérial French restaurant and La Terrasse de Fès at the poolside), all of which offer panoramic views of Old Fes.

Moulay Idriss View

Moulay Idriss View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moulay Idriss

The main draw of this most holy of Moroccan cities is the mausoleum of Idriss I, the founder of the Kingdom of Morocco and credited with the introduction of Islam to this north western corner of Africa. The mausoleum occupies a large footprint in the medina, but is not accessible to non-Muslims. However, it is still worthwhile stopping at Moulay Idriss and hiking up to the highest point in the medina to look down on the huge mausoleum complex with its mosaic patios and glazed green roofs. From here, it is also possible to see the full extent of the ruins of the Roman city at Volubilis, just a few miles away.

Mosque of Koutoubia Marrakech View

Mosque of Koutoubia Marrakech View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marrakech

The most special moment in Marrakech occurs just before dusk. Pick your spot on a roof terrace in one of the many cafes which surround Place Jmaa el Fna and watch the magic unfold. As the sun begins to set, the hawkers and street food vendors roll their mobile stalls onto the square to set up for the night. As the call to the sunset prayer sounds from the Koutoubia mosque’s minaret, the electric bulbs of the food stalls illuminate one by one, until the natural light has gone and the square is lit by hundreds of twinkling lights. Get to your chosen cafe early to secure a front-row seat and snap the sun setting behind the Koutoubia.

Portuguese Ramparts on Water, Essaouira

Portuguese Ramparts on Water, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essaouira

The classic picture of Essaouira, which you will find on postcards all over town, is shot through a round window in the fortifications (skala) of the port. Entrance is 10DH and as well as great views looking back to the white-washed medina, you will get an aerial view of the functioning port and the canons lining the crenulations, as well seeing swooping seagulls and the islands out in the bay. For the best sunset views, head to the medina skala, or one of the many bars and restaurants along the beachfront, and wait for the sun to sink into the Atlantic.

Dades Valley Pins

Dades Valley Pins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dades Gorge

The best views of the stunning Dades Gorge are from the Auberge Chez Pierre, in the gorge itself. The ochre and red landscapes are an essential sight on your route to Zagora. Even if a night at Chez Pierre isn’t on your itinerary, it is worth stopping for lunch or a drink on their terrace. The hotel is built in the traditional local style amid terraces of fruit trees, offering fantastic views of the surrounding gorge.

Sahara Caravan

Sahara Caravan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erg Chebbi Dunes

It is not always easy to get an accurate impression of the sheer size and majesty of the magnificent Erg Chebbi sand dunes. However, the Yasmina Hotel offers unbeatable views due to its sheer remoteness. It is located right on the edge of the dune complex and the slightly longer drive from all sense of civilization is worth it for the absolute peace and calm that gives visitors a true feeling of the vastness Great Sahara. The best views of the dunes are at sunrise and sunset. For this reason, you may not choose to sleep at Yasmina – many guests use it as a stopping point before heading into the dunes on camel-back for a night under the stars in tents.

This list is offers edited and subjective highlights of our favorite views. On your Morocco trip you will certainly experience many others, take many photos and create special memories for the years ahead.

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 the Best 6 Views and our Splendors of Morocco 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 World’s Top Holiday Destination by Trip Advisor

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Djemaa El Fna at night

Djemaa El Fna at night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The city of Marrakech has been voted the World’s Top Holiday Destination by Trip Advisor. Based upon travelers’ reviews compiled by Trip Advisor to choose the best world travel destination, Marrakech, Morocco came in on top in March 2015.

Marrakech is known as the “red city or Al Hamra,” a city in southwestern Morocco within the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Marrakech is the second largest city and administrative center in Morocco. Marrakech, guarantees an exciting holiday experience with it’s lively souks, majestic gardens, oriental palaces, markets, historic medina and Djemaa El Fan Square filled with snake charmers, entertainers and outdoor food stalls.

Marrakech is an hour from the High Atlas, three hours from the Atlantic Coast and five hours from the Sahara Desert region. Marrakech’s unique location makes it the premier city to visit on a Morocco Tour and also an ideal city for excursions for those travelers who want to take in the city for a week.

Some of the key hotspots not to be missed on a visit to Marrakech are the Majorelle Gardens, The Koutoubia Mosque, El Bahia Balance, Ben Youssef Medersa, the Saadian Tombs, the Spice Market and the ancient Jewish Mellah.

Followed by other vibrant cities such as Istanbul, Hanoi, Prague, London, England, Rome, Buenos Aires, Paris and Capetown Marrakech should be on every travelers bucket list.

For more information about Marrakech or a Marrakech Tour.

For more information about the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music 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.

ASTA Destination Expo, Marrakech, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Friday, December 19th, 2014
ASTA Destination Expo, Marrakech

ASTA Destination Expo, Marrakech

ASTA (American Association for Travel Agents) will host its first Expo in Marrakech, Morocco from February 26th – March 1st, 2015. The ASTA Expo is geared towards Morocco Travel Agents and dedicated to showcasing Morocco and teaching industry professionals how to sell Morocco as a destination. The ASTA Marrakech Expo will include various sessions that impart information on Morocco ranging from Cultural Tourism to Adventure Travel, the Unique Cuisine of Morocco to Panel Discussions on Luxury Travel.

Some of the speakers scheduled for the ASTA Estination Expo in Marrakech are: Driss Benhima, the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Royal Air Maroc Airlines, Abderrafia Zouitene, the CEO of the Moroccan National Tourist Office. There will also be a panel discussion featuring Ms. Fatima Zahra Mansouiri, the Mayor of Marrakech.

The ASTA Destination Expo will also offer Morocco site seeing opportunities for a fee along with a special events inclusive of a Dinner Fantasia Event. There are at present 42 exhibitors scheduled to attend.

For more information about the ASTA Destination Expo 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.

Souks Outside Marrakech, Your Morocco Guide

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Souk-Amiziz

By  visiting local souks outside Marrakech you can experience local Berber country life and absorb the character of the marketplaces where they meet each week. This is an important social occasion where local producers sell their wares including, fruit, vegetables and livestock. Merchants from Marrakech sell essentials such as: tea, coffee, sugar, packaged foods, cooking items, clothing and electronics. You can also come across carpets, jewelry and pottery generally cheaper than in Marrakech. There are many things available to buy from the souk: henna, spices, rugs, Berber slippers and sandals, pottery, Berber djellabahs for men, dresses for women and handmade wooden kitchen utensils.

Amizmiz has the best Berber souk  in the region on a Tuesday as well as sampling the local wares, it is a good starting off point for treks in the surrounding Atlas Mountains and meeting the Berbers in their home environment for mint tea and a meal served in their homes.

Set against the majestic backdrop of the High Atlas, the picturesque village of Tahanaout attracts visitors with its landscape and attractive sturdy Berber red clay buildings.  The village which is 30 km from Marrakech is surrounded by olive groves, orange  and lemon trees. Its souk is also held on a Tuesday. Pottery making and cooking demonstrations are on offer from the inhabitants of Tahanaout,  you  can learn how to make homemade bread, makoda, couscous and other traditional regional dishes.

There are good opportunities for bird watching whilst strolling along the riverbanks, where you can see  Moroccan wagtail, white stork and cattle egret. You can trek to the Ouirgane, N’Fis and Ourika Valleys and the waterfalls at Setti Fatma. You can also ride donkeys or hire a 4X4 cross country vehicle. If you want to stay in Tahanaout  you can book into the Terres d’Amanar an extensive eco lodge with gardens and stunning mountain views on the outskirts of the village. The Kasbah Angour is also nearby both establishments can arrange local tours including trekking on foot or by donkey and  4×4 overland vehicles for further afield .

Other centers for weekly souks include  Tnine Hem on Monday, Sidi Ghiat on Sunday and Aghmat with its ancient ruins on Friday. Asni  also has a large market on Saturday, Ijoukak on Wednesday and  Khemis Ouirgane on Thursday. Ouirgane itself is a delightful place to spend a few days for trekking and relaxation. It is close to the Tiz N’Test pass, Mount Toubkal, Toubkal National Park and the Tassa Ouirgane National Park. This is trekking and ecotourism country at its best. It is possible to travel around by 4×4 but if you are up to it by foot, donkey or horse is best. The air is clean the mountain scenery and the Takherkhoute forests are enchanting.

Chez Momo Ourigane

One of the of the best places to stay in Ouirgane is the idyllic Domaine de la Rosaraie, set in sixty acres of  parkland with a  large garden filled with roses .

Domaine Malika is new on the scene in Ourigane and for an upscale and chic mountain experience there is none better than the Domaine Malika. .

Chez Momo is a charming auberge, Moroccan country style home overlooking the High Atlas. They are also known for the excellent cuisine and elegant dinner setting. If staying in Ourigane dining at Chez Momo is a must.

Au Sanglier Qui Fume  has been in existence since 1945. It started by catering to Foreign Legion soldiers working on the bridge and acquired its distinctive name because it was used by wild boar hunters. Its restaurant has great character including the heads of wild boar hanging from the walls. The food is a blend of French and Moroccan cuisine. It remains a classical French establishment.

The Tassa Ouirgane National Park and the Toubkal National Park provide great trekking opportunities in amongst the valleys and local Berber villages hamlets and fields with the Atlas mountains towering above them. You can visit the salt mines at Marigha. Here the Berbers have been mining salt by their traditional method unchanged for centuries. They transport the salt by donkeys and sell it locally.

For more information about Souks and 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.

 

Getting to know Morocco for the First Time, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Gnaoua Musician, Marrakech

Morocco has a diverse and vibrant culture close to Europe just 13 km from the coast of Spain yet with growing ties with the Middle East where the oil rich Gulf countries are investing substantially in Morocco’s tourism industry.

Morocco also has close contacts with Africa. It is at the crossroads of many cultures absorbing  the  commercial dynamism of the West  in building its growing  tourism industry with  enhanced infrastructure such as  auto routes , trains, airports and ports whilst maintaining its  ancient traditions and  Arab and Berber culture. It still has an aura of ancient oriental mystery and originality whilst also being highly accessible and attractive to tourists.

Tourism has more than doubled since 2002, to nearly 10 million visitors in 2011.  Under the Vision 2020 Plan King Mohammed VI wants to increase the annual visitor numbers to 18 million by 2020. It is the only country in North Africa to have successfully maintained its tourism industry in the face of the global recession.

Morocco is a stable and peaceful country . It is the only country in North Africa to have enacted a new constitution in response to the  Arab Spring and King Mohammed VI remains central to the lives of his subjects.  It is important for tourists to respect Morocco’s traditions and culture.

Morocco is a Muslim country committed to allowing other religions to practice their religion freely , particularly Christianity and Judaism which are recognized as  religions of the book, to practice their religion freely. Morocco is a conservative society but its people are very welcoming, friendly and easy going. During Ramadan whilst you can always have a meal in restaurants in the tourist cities it is best not to eat and drink in public during day light hours as muslims cannot eat or drink or smoke until they break the fast when the sun goes down.

Moroccan men treat their café is their local club where they meet socialize and discuss business while drinking coffee or mint tea and watching the world pass by. If you buy pastries or cakes in a bakery it is ok to eat them in the café at no extra charge.

 

Royal Couscous with Raisins

Moroccan cuisine is renowned for its delicacy and abundance with traditional tangines, couscous, mechoui (lamb) salads and desserts and an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. In the main cities there are also French and european cuisines available, a multiple choice is available.

Most Mosques are closed to non believers however you can visit the impressive Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, the Berber mosque at Tin Mel outside Marrakech on the way to Ouarzazate, the former Islamic college the Medersa Ben Youssef in the Marrakech Medina and  the old Medersas in Fés Bali, the Bou Inania  and the El Attarine . These sites will give you some idea of the glories of Moroccan Islamic architecture.

Most Moroccans in the cities speak French as well as Arabic or the Moroccan dialect Darija. The French Protectorate was established in Morocco in 1912 and lasted until 1956.  French remains the language of business whereas Darija is spoken in the street and at home, Darija itself is a mixture of languages including French words and Moroccans happily switch from one language to another in conversation. Spanish is spoken in the north and south as there was also a Spanish protectorate. However there has been a marked increase in the number of young people speaking english as it is taught in schools. Those working in tourism will probably speak good english and the business centers of Casablanca and Tangiers  also has more english speakers.

On a first trip to Morocco it is important not to try to do too much in a limited amount of time. The ancient  Medinas  of Fes el Bali of Marrakech can be combined by other nearby locations in the case of Fes, the imperial city of Meknes and the ancient  roman ruins of Volubilis, or in the case of Marrakech, the nearby  fishing port and beach resort of Essaouira, no hassle and cheaper than Marrakech it is just  two hours drive away, Agadir can be combined with the Sous Draa valley with its Kasbahs  or the desert town of Ouarzazate. Further South  you can visit the desert at Merzouga and the Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Tangier can be combined with  trips to Tetouan and Chefchaouen Morocco’s blue and white town and the Rif mountains.

There is an infinite choice which is a tribute to Morocco’s development of its tourism industry and you should try to plan your trip with your travel agent.  On your first visit it is best  to avoid driving hire cars yourself as Moroccan traffic is very different from driving in Europe or  America. A car or 4X4  with a good Moroccan  driver is a better  bet or  you can  travel on Morocco’s ONCF railways  in first class airconditioned carriages.

Many tourists like to stay in small guest houses called Riads to be close to the ancient Medina which have been restored by local  berber craftsmen . Roof top views offer an insight in to the life of the Medina.

In Marrakech,  Vanessa Branson’s Riad El Fenn has prime views of the Koutoubia Mosque minaret lit up at night with a laser beam nearby , whilst  five-star La Sultana overlooks the Atlas Mountains.

Palais Faraj, Fes

In Fes  three riads are Dar Roumana, a traditional restored Anadlusian palace style Riad with library and Chef that specializes in Moroccan cuisine, Dar Roumana is well-located in the central medina, Riad Maison Bleue and Riad Fes are other luxury guesthouses comprising e beautifully restored riads. They both have a pool and Spa.

Others prefer  the many fine hotels in the modern part of town many of them from well known international hotel  with restaurants,  swimming pool and gym and there are a number in most cities. The choice is yours. The Accor group has Sofitel properties located in Casablanca, Fes and Marrakech, there is a Four Seasons in Marrakech and a new, modern boutique hotel in Fes called Palais Faraj.

When visiting the souks in Marrakech and Fes  for the first time you can pay an official tourism  guide from the government  ONMT tourist office who can help fend of hustlers and take you to shops of interest, although he may take a commission from the shop which will be added to the price you pay. You may want to memorise the Arabic phrase “La Shukran” , No thank you.

After the first visit when you know your way around in the souk and the maze of the medinas of Fes and Marrakech you can enjoy the adventure but be sure to keep to the side of the narrow streets and derbs, as the narrow alley ways are called, to avoid motor scooters and donkey carts who may cry “andak!” which means watch out.

For More Information about a Morocco Tour or traveling to Morocco for the first time. 

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.

Dakka Marrakchia Music Festival, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Friday, January 25th, 2013

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Marrakech has been celebrating the Marrakchia Music  festival since the Saadian dynasty in the 15th and early 16th century.It takes place in February each year and celebrates traditional music passed down by generations in honour of  the seven patron saints or ‘Sabaatou Rijal’ of Marrakech.

The seven saints of Marrakech were: Qadi Ayad, Imam El Jazouli, Imam Souhayli, Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, Sidi Abdelaziz Tabbaa, Sidi Abdellah El Gazouani and Abou El Abbas Essebti. To represent these seven saints, musicians from seven districts, the El Moukkaf quarter, Bin Laarassi, Bab D’Bagh, Derb Dabachi, Sabtiyyine, Cashbah and Ben Salah, take part in the festival. During the Dakka Marrakchia Festival ordinary locals, such as shopkeepers, artists and craftsmen, become the heart of the event, filling the air with traditional music choral chants and rhthyms.

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Groups of male musicians perform with percussion instruments and drums accompanied bychoral chants. Instruments include the lakrakash, taarija, naffar and tara.The Asdekaa Nakhil Association (their name means “Friends of the Marrakech Palm Tree”) organises the festival each year.

The followers of the Saint El Jazouli played an important role during the Saadian dynasty by establishing zaouias to give religious support to their cause the music reflects the fervour of those times as well as the traditions and civic pride of Marrakech.

For More Information About Marrakech Tous and the Marrakchia Music  festival
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 Excavation at Aghmat, Morocco’s Medieval Capital

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Aghmat Palace overview

The Medieval  site  of Aghmat can be found beside the modern village of Ghmat which is 30 km south east of Marrakech in the northern foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Professor Ron Messier, Professor Emeritus Middle Tenessee State University and Senior Lecturer in history at Vanderbilt University and his codirector Professor Abdallah Fili faculte des letters Universite d’El Jadida have been following a trail of gold a it was part of the camel caravan routes from sub-Saharan Africa through the ancient city of Sijilmassa which Ron Messier’s team excavated through to Morocco’s Medieval Capital, Aghmat. Coins minted in Sijilmassa have been  found in  an excavation in Jordan and Aghmat too minted coins for the Almoharavid empire which stretched into Spain.

The international archaeological program has been studying Aghmat Since June 2005 Medieval texts suggest  that Aghmat existed before advent of Islam in the 7th Century. It flourished under the Idrissids  in the 8th and 9th centuries and attained the rank of an Amazight city state in the late 10th Century. It became a capital under the Almoravid dynasty from 1056 to 1070 when the Almoravids moved their capital to Marrakech. Aghmat  gradually declined in competition to Marrakech.

Aghmat Hammam

It was an important city for routes through the Atlas Mountains on the trans Saharan trade and attracted scholars from Ifriqiyya (Tunisia) and Andalusia. The site contains the tombs the Andalusian kings al-Mu’tamid ibn Abbad of Seville and Abdallah ibn Bulukhin of Granada. Zaynab Nafzawiyya settled in Aghmat married three successive rulers,the independent Maghrawa emir and the first two Almoravid emirs.

Aghmat consisted of two towns Aghmat Ourika and Aghmat Haylana home to Bani Masmuda tribesmen. It was a rich city fully irrigated and minting gold currency for  the Almoravids.

 

The archaeological excavations have  so far revealed a hammam , a palace and a mosque.the archaeological process of discovery is aided by modern equipment which can identify the ancient foundations which are now under ground. Ancient texts also describe the city providing valuable clues. The excavations have been conducted to ensure preservation as well as revealing what was buried beneath the surface. The hammam, the first structure to be excavated is remarkably well preserved and fragile areas have been supported whilst respecting the original integrity of the building and its original materials. When Aghmat declined and the hammam fell out of use it began a second life as a pottery and the excavation discovered the potter’s  wheel. The palace was a typical Andalusian palace of the 14th Century and at the end of the 2011 excavation  a separate level revealed occupation from the 9th -12th Century under the Almoravids when Aghmat was their capital. The mosque which was  definitively confirmed during the 2011 excavation was founded by Wattas ibn Kardus in 859AD. There were several phases to its construction. It was found to have a moveable minbar on wooden rails  the only other of its kind was found in the mosque at the ancient city of  Sijilmassa.The team also found an Islamic inscription from the Koran as they did in Sijilmassa. The inscription reads “God is the light of the heavens and the earth”

Excavations at Aghmat

In April 2007 the Aghmat Foundation was founded by a group of patrons under the leadership of Moulay Abdellah Alaoui to provide financial support for further excavations and the construction of a museum for the artifacts that have been found and for conservation and preservations of the excavations.In 2009 a partnership agreement between the Aghmat Foundation and the Moroccan Ministryof Culture which delegates to the Foundation matters of managing archaeological research, conservation and protection of the excavated remains and  the opening of the site to the public.

It is easy to visit the site of Aghmat close to the village of Ghmat and the archeological work is a testimony to the close cooperation between the Moroccan Ministry Culture and The United States.

Excavation work continues each season and Professor Messier is working hard to achieve more sponsorship to support the continuing  discovery process,  which is more difficult since 2008  during the current economic downturn.

For more information about the Excavation at Aghmat, Marrakech Morocco 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 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
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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.