Posts Tagged ‘Moroccan Handicrafts’

How to Buy a Tajine to Take Home From Morocco

Sunday, July 31st, 2016
Tajines, Morocco Photograph by Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki

Tajines, Morocco Photograph by Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A souvenir at the top of your list when visiting Morocco is most likely an is an authentic Moroccan tajine. That is until you discover how many different options exist for purchase. It can quickly become overwhelming and frustrating. We recommend that you do a little bit of research ahead of time so the experience will be much smoother.

When you first begin to look have an idea in mind of the size tajine you would like. Typically, they are categorized by the number of people they will serve. A small tajine in Morocco is used to serve 1-2 people, a medium for 3-4 and a large for 6+ people.

Cooking Tajines
There are two types of cooking tajines; glazed and unglazed. You will be able to tell a tajine is for cooking in because it will not be painted. It may have decorative etching into the clay but that is the only decoration. A glazed tajine has a shiny appearance and unglazed looks like natural clay material. Different cooks like different types of finishes. Either type may or may not have a small hole at the top of the cone. You shouldn’t worry if you see it – or if you don’t, it’s just a different style.

A glazed tajine is good for the cook who might worry about burning food inside. They clean easier and are more forgiving. Unglazed tajines take a little longer to “break in” and food burns quicker if it gets too hot. Many professional cooks swear by unglazed clay. They also develop a flavor with time.

Decorative Tajines
The other type of tajine you will see in the Moroccan souks are highly decorated with paint. These tajines are not made to or meant to be cooked in. Food is cooked separately and then transferred to the decorative tajine. You should always ask when you’re looking at a tajine if it can or cannot be cooked in just to make sure.

Caring for a Tajine
Once you’ve chosen your tajine and taken it home it’s time to get it ready. Unglazed tajines need the most preparation. They should be first rubbed with olive oil and then submerged in water for at least 24 hours. Let the tajine dry completely (another 24 hours) before using. Gazed tajines can also be pre-soaked but it’s not always necessary – ask the vendor when purchasing what they would recommend as it can vary.

To cook with a tajine always use low heat on a stovetop. You can cook on an electric or gas stove top or oven. If you’re using an electric oven you will need to put a diffuser between the tajine and the coils. They can be purchased online and from many shops in Morocco inexpensively. Be sure to check the water levels in your tajine so that it doesn’t get too low. A dry tajine will crack if there isn’t liquid and it gets too hot.

You should never wash your tajine (especially unglazed) with soap. The clay of the tajine is very porous and the soap will soak into the clay and can leave a funny taste. Instead soak in hot water, and use a coarse scrub brush or steel wool to remove any food stuck to the surface.

There is a learning curve to using a tajine so don’t get discouraged if the first few times it doesn’t work out, but once you’ve mastered it you’ll be ready to make another trip to Morocco for more tajines to stock your kitchen!

For more information about How to Make a Tajine or A Taste of Morocco Food Tour

For more information about how to buy a tajine on a Morocco Private Tour

Amanda Mouttaki is a food and travel writer and blogger, with an expertise on Moroccan culinary traditions and food culture. Her passion is uncovering the stories behind traditional cultures and food around the world. She lives in Marrakech, Morocco with her family.

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.

10 Experiences on a Tailor Made Morocco Tour

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
Moroccan Handicrafts, Shop the Souks

Moroccan Handicrafts, Shop the Souks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore Morocco on tailor-made Private Tour. With the ability to fully customize, a Morocco Tour, a tailor-made experience delivers an authentic, private travel opportunity for couples, families and the indepdentent traveler. A tailor-made Private Tour also offers the flexibility to engage with locals, discover exotic foods, visit hertiage UNESCO Heritage sites, camp in the Moroccan Sahara Desert and stay at charming boutique riads and hotels.

10 Experiences A Tailor-Made Morocco Tour Offers:

#1. Visit Fes, A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Fes is the fourth largest city in Morocco and also known as one of the ancient imperial cities. It is separated into three parts, Fès el Bali (the old, walled city), Fès -Jdid (new Fes, home of the Mellah), and the Ville Nouvelle (the French-created, newest section of Fes. The Medina of Fes el Bali is believed to be the largest contiguous car-free urban area in the world.

#2. Take a Cooking Class with Daada Chef
Cooking Classes are conducted by a dada (traditional Moroccan cook) or a chef from and held at a kitchen in the medina or in a palmeraie garden setting. Classes are a total of 4 hours with an option of an add on of wines tasting accompaniment. At a typical half-day cooking class, travelers can learn to prepare an appetizer and a main dish, or a main dish and desert.

#3. Journey on a Food Tasting Tour
A Food Tour is a special opportunity to go deep in the heart of the a Moroccan medina and discover local delicacies. Food Tours are offered in both Fes and Marrakech, led by locals and serve as a replacement for lunch or dinner.

#4. Arabian Night Camping & Camel Trekking in the Sahara Desert
Camping in the Sahara Desert and taking a Moroccan Camel trek is the perfect to travel the south. Nomadic villages can be explored along with Kasbahs that are situated in palm groves, surrounding valleys, mountainous landscapes, gorges and sandy Saharan dunes.

#5. Casablanca’s Art Deco Tour of Architectural Sites
Casablanca is one of the most famous cities visited by first time travelers to Morocco and well known for the Hassan II Mosque. Lesser known are its’ Art Deco Architecture and Sites. Casablanca has long history of engaging architects who once built Anfa’s grandest buildings that have typical Deco features of wrought ironwork, vasilating arches and colored, stained glass in geomteric shapes. Visiting the Art Deco Historic sites of Casablanca is a rewarding and way to discoer the past.

#6. Breadbaking with the Berbers
Meet a local Berber family, partake in a cooking lesson of how to make traditional bread. Berber bread is baked in clay ovens or on volcanic rock and stuffed with a variety of local spices made from fresh, dried and smoked ingredients.

#7. Travel Morocco in a Private 4×4 Land Cruiser
Traveling by luxury, 4×4 Land Cruiser across Morocco will enable you to cover a vast amount terrain in the most enjoyable and relaxing way. This way of traveling is highly recommended to first time travelers to Morocco and also to those who want an intimate, personal experience that is seamless from beginning to end.

Boutique Riads & Hotels in Morocco, Photo of Riad Noir D'Ivoire by Elan Fleisher

Boutique Riads & Hotels in Morocco, Photo of Riad Noir D’Ivoire by Elan Fleisher

#8. Stays at Charming Boutique Riads & Hotels
Riads are restored palace style accommodations with courtyards, lush gardens, and traditional zellij tile work. Morocco is known for having the best, luxury riads that offer an Arabian Nights sensibility. The Best Riads can be found in Morocco’s old medinas. Riads offer a combination of traditional and modern decor with excellent service, luxury traveler amenities and local Moroccan cuisine.

#9. Visit The Roman Ruins of Volubilis
Volubilis also referred to by Moroccans as Walili (Arabic) was the administrative center of the province in Roman Africa called Mauretania Tingitana. The Mauritanian capital, founded in the 3rd century B.C., became an important outpost of the Roman Empire and was graced with many fine buildings. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the late fourth century AD and later reoccupied in the sixth century, under the Abbasids. Extensive remains survived and create now what is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Morocco.

 

#10. Shop in Morocco’s Souks for Handmade Crafts
Souks and markets are a major feature in Moroccan life, and among the country’s greatest attractions for Moroccan travelers. Each town has its special souk quarter, large cities like Fes and Marrakech have labyrinths of individual souks (each filling a street or square and devoted tone particular craft), and in the countryside there are hundreds of weekly souks, on a different day in each village of the region.

What Is Included In a Tailor-Made Private Tour
A tailor-made private tour includes luxury transportation in a 4×4, Viano or Minibus, accommodations at Boutique Riads and Hotels, a Multilingual Speaking Driver that is fluent in English, Arabic, French and Berber along with Licensed, expert Historical Guides. Whether you prefer Old cities, Roman ruins and the souks or the Sahara Desert, the High Atlas Mountains and natural wonders, a tailor-made tour will be customied to your personal interests.

For More Information or to Find Out More About Tailor Made Private Tours

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.

Things to Do in Marrakech, Gueliz: Shop, Art, Eat

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

 

Maison Lab, Marrakesh

Maison Lab, Marrakesh

Most visitors to Marrakesh head straight to the medina and its old world souks for excitment. Those who are in the know make a b-line for the French “new town”, known to locals as Guéliz. Guéliz is home to the Yves Saint Laurent Majorlle Gardens, La Mamounia Hotel, where Alfred Hitchcock wrote “The Birds” along with some of Marrakech’s chic addresses for eating out, shopping and gallery hopping. Named as the leading travel destination in North Africa by Trip Advisor and now on many travelers bucketlist, Marrakesh lives up to its name with streetlined cafes on glorious boulevards dotted with palm trees, an outdoor flower market, beautiful parks with dry tolerant plants and some of the world’s most delcious street food. Marrakech also boasts annual cultural events such as the Art Biennalle, the Marrakesh Film Festival and has a host of action packed nightclubs,restuarants and hotels with appeal to both young and older travelers.

WHERE TO SHOP IN GUELIZ, MARRAKESH

MAISON LAB
Marrakech’s leading contemporary home design shop located in the heart of Guéliz. Created by acclaimed New York interior designer, Marin Raffone, maisonLAB brims with modern objects and furnishings that reflect Raffone’s appreciation for the places he calls home (New York City and Marrakech). The chic double-height space features objects culled from around the world: bed/bath and other linens, tabletop, kitchen and utility, office, travel and personal items. All items are custom designed using local artisans with a high level of sophistication. Address: 44 Rue Tarik Bnou Ziad, Magasin No. 1 Phone: +212 524 43 39 36

MOOR
Owned by fashion designer Yann Dobry of Akbar Delights in the medina, Moor features a selection of upscale Moroccan couture. Using the finest artisans and materials, Moor is known for its embroidered silk, cotton and linen tunics. The cool and calm colors throughout the shop create a relaxed shopping experience. Look up or even just on the walls – the décor, a selection of Moroccan home wares sourced from around the Kingdom, is also available!
Address: 7 Rue des Vieux Marrakchis , Guéliz 
Phone: +212-0524-45-82-74

LALLA
The boutique and workshop of French designer, Lalla is one of our favorite stops along Rue de la Liberte. Colourful leathers
and funky accents are used to create one of a kind functional women’s handbags in a variety of sizes and shapes. Fringed handbags for a day out line the selves alongside a carryall big enough to take to work and even for the weekend. The accessories here are also fabulous with our favorites being the colorful and textured necklaces, the perfect addition to any outfit. Address: 5 Rue de la Liberte, Gueliz 
Phone: +212-661-47-72-28

33 MAJORELLE

With two levels of design, fashion and accessories created by Moroccan and international designers, as well as the traditional Moroccan goodies like the green pottery from southern Morocco and a selection of funky babouche, this is the shop for trendy souvenirs and gifts. Like a high-end department store, new designers are exposed with the collectionc hanging regularly, giving this concept store the leading edge on the latest trends. A small gallery is attached and features a changing art exhibit. The location is perfect – across from Majorelle Gardens. 
Address: 33 Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Gueliz 
Phone: 212-524-31-41-95

Kechmara, Marrakesh

Kechmara, Marrakesh

WHERE TO EAT IN GUELIZ, MARRAKESH

KECHMARA
For restaurants with dishes diverging from traditional Moroccan cuisine, head to the Ville Nouvelle, where many establishments serve lighter fare. Kechmara offers tasty sandwiches and salads in a sleek white-and-chrome dining room with a rooftop terrace. Live music plays every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, and the restaurant often hosts exhibits of art and photography.
Address: 3 De Rue La Libertie
Phone: 212-524-42-25-32

AL FASSIA
Once you pass the traditionally dressed doormen, this place is all-female and is run like a family kitchen. Set up by the well-known Chab family 20 years ago, this popular restaurant is now successfully managed by Myra Chab as a cooperative. A variety of Moroccan dishes are available, including specialties that require a day’s notice such as the dalaa mbakhra (steamed lamb shoulder) and chaâra medfouna (steamed vermicelli garnished with pigeon). The tagines and couscous here go against the grain in both ingredients and size. Chicken with caramelized pumpkin and lamb with eggplant are just two of the 13 tagine choices, and you’re served a portion that you might actually be able to finish. The desserts are delicious, so leave space for some seffa couscous in butter, sugar, milk, and cinnamon.
Address: Aguedal & Gueliz
Phone Gueliz: + 212-524-434-060

David Bloch Gallery, Marrakesh

David Bloch Gallery, Marrakesh

WHERE TO GALLERY HOP IN GUELIZ MARRAKESH

DAVID BLOCH GALLERY
A leading gallery in Mararkechs new town, Gueliz that features a wide range of contemporary art. This loft-style gallery show cases sculpture, paintings and photography. Some well known artists that have been featured at David Bloch Gallery are world renown photographer, Steven McCurry, Graffiti artist Vincent Abadie Hafez and Mohamed Boustane, painter of technique of Arabic lettering.
Address: Rue des Vieux Marrakechis Phone: +212-524457595

MATISSE GALLERY
Located in the charming Passage Ghandouri, this Marrakech well known and trendie gallery is named after Henry Matisse. The galllery features works by Mahi Binebine, and henna paintings evoking Berber baraka (blessings) by Farid Belkahia along with the Moroccan artists Nourredine Chater, Mohamed Melehi, Hassan Hajjaj and Hassan El Glaoui. The artists show cased at Matisse Gallery are a combination of young, old and new on the Moroccan art scene.
Address: 61 Rue de Yougoslavie, N° 43 Passage Ghandouri Phone: +212-524448326

GALLERIE 127
This gallery is for photographer lovers and a must visit. Gallerie 127 features the world of up-and-coming photographers that from Morocco and abroad. Owned and curated by Nathalie Locatelli, the gallery is wonderfully positioned on Mohammed V in central Gueliz. The loft-like space features wonderful architectural details and is located in an Art Deco building.
Address: 127, Avenue Mohammed V, 2ème étage Phone: +212-524432667

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.

5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel to Morocco & Abroad

Thursday, March 17th, 2016
Talassemtane Morocco-National Park Chefchaouen

Talassemtane Morocco-National Park Chefchaouen

Do you dream of taking a vacation to a place where there are wide open spaces? Magnificent desert landscapes, rocky gorges, ancient kasbahs sprawled across a mountain backdrop and bustling old cities? Are you also a nut for keeping conservation on your mind, being careful and conscious of the way you’re affecting the environment? Then countries like Morocco should be on your bucket list and there are plenty of ways to travel that don’t include messing up the planet (or at least having a lesser effect on it). They are all perfect for incorporating into your next great Moroccan or other travel adventure.

Whether you’re into green living at home or are just interested in the ways you can make this world a more sustainable, beautiful place, check out my tips for staying eco friendly on the road–you might be surprised how easy (and bespoke, and luxurious as well) it is to make yourself a travelling friend of the planet in particular when visiting Morocco.

Try a boutique riad, that is eco conscious, a work stay or eco lodge instead of a regular 5 star hotel.

There’s more to being environmentally friendly when you’re travelling abroad then having the maids not clean your room, or reusing your towel for your entire stay (although these are both good things!). If you really want to make a change in the way you travel, there’s two really great options that put the carbon emissions of staying in a resort or taking a cruise, and those options are work stays and ecolodges.

Spending a week in a riad in one of Morocco’s old cities offers the opportunity to know your host, be eco conscious and have the services along with comfortable amenities needed for your trip, whether it is a private tour or independent travel experience.

Work stays may be something you associate with a gap year or something students do as a study abroad program, but there are options available for people of all ages, and most of them are tamer than the Peace Corps. Try programs like the ones found on GoEco.org, you could be rehabilitating elephants in Thailand, providing medical assistance in Cambodia, helping out conservation efforts in the Great Barrier Reef or assisting with farms in Berber Villages in Morocco. Now what sounds cooler than that?

Sawadi Eco Lodge, Skoura

Sawadi Eco Lodge, Skoura

And ecolodges are no work and all play, just check out L’MaLodge, Les Jardins Des Skoura or in the Skoura Palmerie or Sawadi, a guest house located on an organic farm. The small, sleepy town of Skoura has a big market Souk every Monday and a small group of administrative buildings. Most impressive in Skoura are the many kasbahs that ripple through its dry rocky oasis. Skoura is referred to as the “Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs.” With the Valley of Almonds and Dades Valley nearby there are plenty of one-day excursions from Skoura. The eco lodges there serve organic cuisine from their gardens which guarantees a farm to table experience and all products used on their premises are bio/ organic.

Frequent places outside the norm.

New York City, London, Paris, Tokyo, Casablanca are all wonderful, destination hotspot cities, but once you get into them, the places that are really interesting are East End, Montmartre Shimokitazawa and Marrakech. Located in the same places as these hotshot places like Time Square, The London Eye, The Eiffel Tower, Majorelle Gardens and more, it’s the smaller, micro-communities within the big cities where you’ll want to grab a pint, shop for goodies, or book a reservation for dinner.

It’s not just because these places are outside the tourist bubble (though that’s a really great reason to stay away from them), but it’s because you’re putting money into the communities that support these bigger, larger-than-life tourist city centres and you’re getting a real look at how the people who live there, are actually living their lives. Perspective is pretty green, which leads me to my next point…

Buy only local, handmade gifts. Ditto for food and drink.

One of the greatest things about vacationing in general and in particular in Morocco, is going to a place and getting something handmade by artisans who live there; the wooden Kokeshi dolls show hundreds of years of folk art technique, Moroccan rugs show hundreds of hours of labor, and handmade leather sandals from Greek trace back before democracy. A shot glass isn’t going to get the same story.

Morocco Green Travel

Morocco Green Travel

When you buy cheap trinkets made in other countries and imported for the benefit of tourists, you undercut the local economy, driving down living wages, and making it harder for local producers to keep up. When it comes to tourist gifts, you’re also trading a silly shirt for something that was made with cultural consciousness and care; it’s just a better rule to shop and eat with the locals, it helps sustain their culture and keep your travel destination exactly how it is for years to come.

And please, for all that is wonderful in the world, don’t buy cheap electronics! Electronics overseas can be malfunctioning, made under terrible working conditions, headed for a giant, unhealthy dump, or are even potentially stolen (if it has an iCloud lock on it, you know it belonged to someone else first) and no one should go on vacation for an Android. Buy food, buy art, buy small doodads but never technology. Save those purchases for home.

Travel lighter.

Seems easy right, to take off the poundage when you’re travelling? Maybe not, but every pound counts, especially when you’re jetting all over the world. One of the best ways to cut down on excess weight is to just pare down to the essentials. Don’t take “what if” accessories, additional clothes for weather that is unlikely to happen; if it’s summer, no need to take a parka, although raingear is always a good idea.

Need help trying to figure out what to leave and what to take? Map out your itinerary, and consider what’s practical for your trip. A couple pair of shoes, interchangeable separates, and at least one nice outfit is a great place to start. If you’re still stumped, go through Travel Exploration’s A-Z packing guide for inspiration.

Ditch the water bottles.

There are very few things that everyone considers unanimously bad for the environment as water bottles (carbon emissions is just one of them). From containing dangerous chemicals to taking forever to decompose, water bottles are just about the worst thing that can end up in a landfill or in the ocean, choking the life out of an ecosystem somewhere.

How do you get away from this while travelling? There’s a couple of options. First, reuse the same water bottle over and over again if you have to; stop buying water in restaurants unless it’s tap (worried about clean water? take a purifying device or tablets along with you). Second, get a good water bottle that you can carry with you wherever your feet might take you. Avex Brazos is a good bet (it’s BPA-free plastic), as are the Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vaccum (great for insulation, keeps cold cold and hot hot), and the popular, cheap favorite, Naigene.

Looking for more ways to make an impact around the planet and in Morocco during your visit or are you interested in sharing some of your green tips for travelling abroad? Leave a comment at the end of the article and I’ll try it out in my new travel routine. We’re always looking for better ways to connect with local communities and be a service -so please feel free to share your ideas with Morocco Travel Blog!

Bon voyage vert!

By Claire Lovesti – a self-confessed travel nut, traveling around the world since her mum farewelled her in a teary goodbye. For more information on Claire’s adventures through 48 cities in 26 countries on 4 continents you can read her blog at Traveltio.com

For more information about Eco-Friendly Travel and Tours to Morocco

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

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

The Moroccan Art Scene, Post Independence Moroccan Artists

Friday, January 15th, 2016
Hassan Hajjaj, Marrakech Artist

Hassan Hajjaj, Marrakech Artist

 

 

 

 

 

The Moroccan  Contemporary Art Scene, post-independence, is much sought after and has gained popularity over the recent years given its varied mix of forward thinking and experimental painters, sculptors, fashion designers, and craftsmen. Morocco’s contemporary art scene had a boost with the opening of some significant public-funded and private galleries as well as some key exhibitions showcasing Moroccan modern art abroad. Although foreign and diaspora collectors have always been important, Nadia Echiguer, Director of UK-based art dealers, Moroccan Fine Art, explains the role of a developing economy in the promotion and sale of contemporary artwork in Morocco itself. “Before, only private and public institutions were buying artworks. The trend has changed as private Moroccan collectors are showing a keen interest in art,” thanks to a booming economy that has seen an increase in the size and the wealth of the Moroccan middle class.

Mohammed Melehi, Asiliah

Mohammed Melehi, Asiliah

 

 

 

 

 

Reflecting the increasing domestic interest in contemporary art, two large projects opened in Rabat and Marrakech. The MMVI Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art opened in Rabat, in October 2014 with an exhibition of over 400 works by more than 150 Moroccan artists, entitled “1914-2014: One hundred years of creation.” Over in Marrakech, seen by many as a more creative centre compared to Rabat, the Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts (MMP+) opened in September 2013 in temporary accommodation at the Badii Palace. A purpose-built venue designed by British architect Sir David Chipperfield is due to open in 2016, the same year as the 6th Marrakech Biennale (24 February – 8 May 2016).

Fatima Ettalbi, Essaouira Artists

Fatima Ettalbi, Essaouira Artists

 

 

 

 

 

Following Moroccan independence in 1956, many artists and intellectuals sought to claim a modern Moroccan cultural identity to banish the euro-centrism of the French colonial power or an orientalist over-emphasis on the naive or folkloric aspects of Moroccan art. At the same time, many artists could not and would not deny the influence of these more traditional arts and crafts on their work. As the swinging 60s drew on into the 1970s, despite the former colonial experience, there was much intellectual and artistic interchange between Morocco and Europe, in particular France. In addition, Moroccan artists exchanged ideas and philosophies with visiting Beat Poets (for example, in Tangiers) and international musicians and artists who passed through the country (including the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and others). Slowly, however, Moroccan artists developed an “exploratory intuition” according to Moroccan philosopher El Jabri and a “modernity” in the Moroccan artistic experience was born.

Myriam Mourabit, Casablanca Artist

Myriam Mourabit, Casablanca Artist

 

 

 

 

During the 1980s, these issues of collective identity became less evident as Moroccan artists gained the confidence to forge their own styles and open their horizons beyond questions of a Moroccan or Arab style. At the same time, they left behind occidental models and themes and began to explore their creativity as individuals. This desire to carve one’s own niche as an artist, one who happens to be Moroccan, characterized strongly the closing decades of the 20th century.

Today, at the start of the 21st century, many young Moroccan artists are experimenting with new twists on old techniques and traditions against the backdrop of greater use of modern communications technology. Key themes in this era reflect the realities of modern life for young Moroccans: immigration, globalization, urbanization and the cultural references of the past.

The Moroccan art scene has a number of key creative centers. Many artists have emerged from the large conurbations of Casablanca or Marrakech or the traditional heartland of Moroccan crafts, Fes. However, Tetouan – with its Institute of Fine Arts – and Essaouira – with its nexus of auto-didactic artists are two particular poles.

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 Moroccan Art Scene or a Morocco Art Private 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.

Five Signs You’ve Fallen in Love with Morocco

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

 

Sahara Desert Morocco Travel

Sahara Desert Morocco Travel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco is a country a person can easily fall in love with, whether you’re on a travel adventure for a short trip or you’re lucky enough to stay longer. Morocco is an amazing country, no matter where you visit—bustling Marrakech, scenic Chefchaouen, historic Fez, the grand Sahara and all points in between. Beginning with the sights, sounds, tastes and the exotic scents, there’s plenty in Morocco to experience that you will not want to leave behind. From the Atlas Mountains to the Atlantic Coast and from the Great Sahara to Marrakech there are many things to see and do in Morocco.

Moroccan Market Places

Moroccan Market Places

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Signs that you have fallen in love with Morocco are:

#1: The Magical Colors of Morocco that you just cannot seem to get out of your head: There’s color everywhere in Morocco. Wander through the busy medinas and markets places, and take in the kaleidoscopic array of goods for sale. Watch the sky turn countless shades of color during a desert sunset before it fades to a million stars at night under the Arabian sky. Get lost in the myriad of colors found in the patterns of Moroccan zellij tile that decorate Moroccan palaces and mosques. Take a trip to the blue washed city of Chefchaouen with its maze of tiny streets, hidden alleys, and indigo blue houses perched atop the old city. You’re sure to return home feeling as though everywhere else pales in comparison to a Morocco adventure.

Moroccan Food and Drink

Moroccan Food and Drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2: Your Moroccan cookbook has become your best friend. In Marrakech, Fes and other Moroccan cities, you are simply spoiled for choice when it comes to food. There are plenty of offerings from around the world. What really shines though is the Moroccan food and drink—from a warm bowl of B’ssara (a flavorful broad bean soup) at breakfast to sugary mint tea in the afternoon with freshly made Msemen, a Moroccan flatbread. You know that Moroccan food goes far beyond the popular couscous, but a good couscous dish never hurts to dine on either, particularly on Fridays, the Moroccan day of prayer.

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3: You can’t stop talking about the incredible experiences you had on your trip. Morocco has it all, from sandy deserts, rocky landscapes, and an impressive Atlas Mountains to sweeping Mediterranean beaches along with ancient cities. There are plenty of things to do in Morocco and you made a point of experiencing many of them. Whether you took a camel ride and camped out under the stars, did some trekking in the Atlas mountains, spent your time tanning on the beaches of Essaouira, visited a traditional Berber village or whatever else— you know your friends are jealous and with good reason. When you’re not regaling them with stories of your trip, you’re looking back through your photos for the ten-thousandth time to reminisce, trying to convince them to visit Morocco.

Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Ouarzazate Region

Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Ouarzazate Region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4: You know there’s no place on earth that’s quite the same, as Morocco. Medieval Europe had its forts, but nothing quite like the ksars, or fortified cities, that you find in Southern Morocco. Aït Benhaddou is, the most famous ksar, having been featured in Game of Thrones, Gladiator among other blockbuster films and television series. There’s plenty of history throughout the country to immerse yourself in whether you are visiting on a family Morocco adventure, a honeymoon or with friends. Up close encounters such as having tea with Nomad families, in remote mountain regions, and the traveling by 4×4 through the Old Road of the Caravans evokes 1001 Arabian nights romantic fantasies of life on the road. From the old world marketplaces in small desert towns to the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, one finds themselves steeped in a richness and depth of an old world culture. There’s no place on earth that’s quite like Morocco. Visit Morocco and you will never feel the same again!

#5: You’re already planning your return trip to Morocco. Chances are, that first trip you took to Morocco wasn’t enough and neither was the second, the third or the fourth. Maybe you’re still waking up to the phantom sound of prayer-calls before dawn or images of desert sky and sweeping Sahara sand dunes just will not leave your mind’s eye. Whatever it is, Morocco has pulled you in and now has a place in your heart.

Have you been to Morocco? What’s your favorite memory from your trip? Share your stories and tips in the Comments!

Written by Jess 

Jess travel writer who loves global adventures. She has been traveling for close to a decade nd has no plans to stop anytime soon! Jess fell in love with Morocco from her first visit and hopes you will fall in love with the beautiful country too.

For more information about Things to do in Morocco

For those who have fallen in love with Morocco come Honeymoon in Morocco

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.