Posts Tagged ‘Morocco Travel Exploration’

Colorful Chefchaouen, Morocco’s Idyllic Escape, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Chefchaouen, Blue and White Washed City

Chefchaouen lies inland from Tangier and Tetouan. Chefchaouen is a unique Moroccan city known for its blue and white washed medina walls that surround it. Filled with old world charm, a walk through Chefchaouen’s blue alleys  evokes being in a magical story book, similar to Aladdin and the magic lamp from One Thousand and One Nights. An early morning stroll through Chefchaouen’s  winding streets is a great to discover this Riffian town famous for fresh goat cheese, local crafts and peaceful setting.

Chefchaouen was originally a small fortress town founded by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to resist the Portuguese expansion in Morocco. Built up by Jewish and Muslim occupants in 1471 Chefchaouen served as a refuge for those who fled Andalusia following the Reconquista led by the Catholic King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

When Spanish troops occupied Chefchaouen, or Chaouen,as the locals call it, in 1920 as part of the Spanish Protectorate in the north of Morocco, they found the population still speaking an archaic form of Catalan which they had brought with them centuries before. It was a closed city to Europeans until 1920 and was only visited in disguise at the risk of a european’s life. Charles de Foucauld and Walter Harris were amongst only 3 foreign visitors. Chefchaouen was returned to Morocco on its achieving independence in 1956.

Chefchaouen’s medina is a delightfully picturesque maze of streets and derbs leading to the Outa el-Hammam square and the restored kasbah. The grand 15th century Tarik Ben Ziad mosque has an octagonal minaret which was inspired by the Torre de Oro in Seville. It is part of the Andalusian influence on architecture found in the kasbah and its gardens in the heart of the medina. There is also a ruined Spanish replica of a mosque.

Chefchaouen Artisan

Chefchaouen’s main square in the medina is lined with cafes, craftsman, artists and weavers. Tourists can also visit the Kasbah near Plaza Outa el Hammam and the museum in the medina. Chefchaouen’s Kasbah was built by the legendary ruler Moulay Ismail and is surrounded by gardens. Inside the Kasbah, there is also a museum containing antique weapons, musical instruments, berber artifacts and photographs of the old medina. The town boasts a number of excellent restaurants as well as some many charming Moroccan Riads and boutique hotels.

Morocco travelers can visit souks where they can find local products which are special to the region such as woven wool garments and blankets ,carpets, djellabahs, wooden furniture, pottery and artifacts .

View of Chefchaouen

View of Chefchaouen

The area around Chefchaouen is a hashish and cannabis growing region as it is the only crop that can be grown in the mountainous region. This may also partly account for the relaxed ambiance and you may well be offered some of the local product but smoking cannabis remains illegal, so tourists must avoid it as Moroccan laws are very strict and the penalties severe.

The name “Chaouen” refers to the mountain which dominates the town and is said to resemble the horns of a goat. Climbing one of the surrounding mountains and trekking in the hills is a popular excursion. You can visit the Talassemtane Park and climb the region’s highest mountain Jebel Lakraa at 2,159 meters or visit the Bouhachem Park. For the adventurous there is the Kef Toghobeit Cave, nearly four kilometres long and over 700 metres deep, one of the deepest caves in Africa. There is also the Achkour cascade (waterfalls) and a natural bridge called locally “the Bridge of God” to visit.

Chefchaouen is a delightful and relaxing excursion from Fes and also a great place to visit on a Morocco tour en route from Rabat to Fes.

For More Information about a Chefchaouen 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.

 

 

 

Riads and Guest Houses in Taroudant

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Dar Al Houssoun, Taroduant

Lying at the foot of the Atlas Mountains and blessed by the gulf stream from the Canaries which makes for an equitable climate in winter and a cool temperature in summer, Taroudant, with its fertile gardens and palm trees, is an ideal place for a restful holiday. Tarodaunt is just one hour from seaside Agadir and 8 hours from the Sahara Desert region.

It has historic crenellated  16th century ramparts  similar to Marrakech  but without the crowds and frenetic souks and the ville nouvelle. Taroudant  is a town mainly located within its ancient walls and its souks  are in the two main squares, Assarag and Talmoklate. There is also a weekly souk outside the city walls, near the future university but there is none of the  commercialism  common in the larger cities. It has the tranquil air of a small market town and its souks offer attractive handicrafts which are much less costly than in Marrakech or Fes, including intricate berber  jewelry , terracotta, wrought iron, pottery, brass and copper, leather, carpets and  rugs. It is possible and safe to explore the town and its 6 km of walls and ramparts by bicycle.

Taroudant has long been the resort for royalty and the jet set seeking a rest at the  Gazelle D’Or, a former hunting lodge turned  exclusive hotel. with delightful gardens and bungalows. There are however, also many other accommodation alternatives including a number of riads and guesthouses which offer a range of attractive accommodation options.

Riad Dar Hida, Flower Detail

Riad Hida is near the village of Souss. It has 14 rooms and has an outdoor pool with a furnished terrace and a Moroccan style garden. All the air-conditioned rooms at the Riad Hida are decorated in a traditional Moroccan style. They are equipped with a private terrace and a bathroom. Some rooms have a seating area. Riad Hida’s restaurant serves traditional Moroccan cuisine. Guests can enjoy a drink in the bar or on the sun terrace. There is a palm tree garden with fountains for guests to relax in. Riad Hida provides free parking. It is 30 km from the south of the  Anti Atlas and 45 km from Taroudant. This majestic Riad is a former residence of the Pasha Glaoui.

Dar al Hossoun  is a traditionally built riad, with rammed earth, close to the ramparts and has extensive  botanical gardens containing  more than 900 different species of plants collected from all over the world by landscape architects, Eric Ossart and Arnaud Mauriere. The property is divided into two, the Al Hossoun and Al Borj. Two swimming pools, a Spa with beauty treatments and massage and two hammams provide plenty of scope for rejuvenation and carefree relaxation.  There are a number of suites and rooms to choose from. The management can arrange local trips and visits to the souks as well as riding, golf, hiking and tennis.

Dar Zahia is a traditionally built four-bedroom guesthouse. Its clay walls reflect the medina’s historic architectural style, and its patio is brimming with lush jasmine plants. It is a haven of peace in the midst of the medina and close   to the souks. Dar Zahia can arrange hiking or horseback riding excursions, or you can visit the nearby Turkish baths.

Aziyade 358 Jnan si Moussa ,Derb Akka  . Sip traditional Moroccan mint tea on the pink clay balconies here while taking in the Atlas mountain ranges. This small hotel  of 3 rooms is only a few miles from the city’s markets, where guests can shop for local foods and crafts.

Riad Tafilag is a traditional eight room riad located between the ramparts and the Medina. It has a swimming pool and panoramic terraces with tents. Riad Tafilag offers rooms with a private terrace and free Wi-Fi.The rooms are decorated with sculptures and Moroccan textiles. They are all air conditioned and some rooms and suites have access to the patio. Breakfast is served daily and can be taken on one of the four terraces. The riad also has a restaurant with a fireplace which serves traditional Moroccan cuisine.

You can enjoy a traditional steam bath heated by a wood fire and a range of massages. Guests also have access to a large living room with satellite TV. Riad Tafilag is also close to the Assarag and Talmoklate squares and the souks. Bicycles are available free of charge.

Riad Ain Khadra , Douar Ain El M’Diour. This riad has eight  rooms.Located a 10-minute drive from the centre of Taroudant.  Riad Ain Khadra offers a terrace with sun beds, an outdoor swimming pool and a spa, where you can enjoy the hammam, massages and body treatments. It provides guest rooms and suites, each traditionally decorated with warm colors. All of the rooms are heated and air-conditioned, and feature a private bathroom with a shower. Some of the rooms also have a seating area. A typical Moroccan breakfast is included at Riad Ain Khadra and dinners with local specialities are also available. Meals are served in the dining room, on the patio, on the terrace or by the pool.

The riad has free Wi-Fi in public areas. Transfers and excursions can be organized, with an extra cost. Free private parking is also possible on site and the palm grove of Tioute is 35 km away.

Palais Oumensour , Borj Oumensour, Toudjent. Palais Oumensour is a 10-minute walk from the old Medina and the souks, and has a swimming pool in its garden, a terrace and a traditionally-decorated lounge with a TV corner and a library. The rooms and the suite at Palais Oumensour are air-conditioned and feature a view of the patio or the terrace. The private bathroom is fitted with a shower and includes a hairdryer. There are two superior suites and 4 junior rooms.

A traditional breakfast is served every morning. Moroccan cuisine is available in the dining area which features a view of the Atlas Mountains. Other facilities are beauty and massage treatments, a steam bath and a hot tub, available at a surcharge. There is free Wi-Fi access in the public areas.

Riad Jnane Ines, Douar Ain Lamdiour. It  has eleven rooms and a large garden with an outdoor pool and lemon trees, this beautiful riad features a wellness centre featuring a jacuzzi, a hammam and massages are available on request. Guests can also relax on deckchairs by the pool.

The riad offers typical Moroccan-style suites, some of them with a terrace. All of the spacious suites at Jnane Ines are air conditioned and equipped with a minibar and a private bathroom with bathtub. One of them has a panoramic view of Taroudant and a jacuzzi. Riad Jnane Ines’s restaurant provides daily breakfast and traditional cuisine from southern Morocco. Meals can be enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the pool.

The wellness centre has a jacuzzi, a hammam and massages are available on request. The reception is open 24 hours and Jnane Ines provides free Wi-FI access in all public areas, including the common living room with couches. Free private parking is possible on site.

Dar Fatima,Tasoukt Tighzifn, is a traditional Morrocan guesthouse and  has 7 rooms. It is located in the heart of Taroudant’s Medina district. It features a hammam and a large patio with a fountain. The guest rooms at Dar Fatima all have private bathrooms and are decorated in a traditional style. Each is equipped with free Wi-Fi access. The guesthouse has a large lounge area, which has a TV with satellite channels and a fireplace. Guests can enjoy Morrocan specialities for lunch and dinner, along with a daily breakfast. Dar Fatima is just a few steps from the souks. The guesthouse provides a shuttle service to Agadir city centre on request, which is an hour away. An airport shuttle service is also available.

Riad Taroudant has  16 Berber-style air conditioned rooms,  with en-suite bathrooms. It is located in the midst of the Derb J’did quarter and offers guests a swimming pool for summer as well as open fireplaces for colder winter evenings, a sun-drenched roof terrace and a traditional Moroccan restaurant serving tagines, salads, couscous and kebabs.

Riad Maia,12 Tassoukt Ighezifen. Riad Maïa has 3 guest rooms with an en-suite bathroom and 2 patios. Relax on the Riad’s terraces before indulging in a traditional massage. Moroccan cuisine courses can be booked directly at the Riad. Riad Maïa’s management can help organise excursions and 4 wheel drive trips to Marrakech or Ouarzazate.

 Hotel Dar Zitoune,Boutarialt El Barrania, Taroudant, is an environmentally conscious riad with 20 air conditioned Berber bungalows and suites with safety deposit box and bathroom. Beauty and body care services are available and guests can also relax in the outdoor swimming pool or heated hot tub. The restaurant offers a fusion of Moroccan and European cuisine which can also be served on the terrace or in the lounge bar. Dar Zitoune has a peaceful garden setting, just a few miles away from Taroudant.

For More Information on Riads and Guest Houses in Tarodaunt 

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.

Casablanca Tour of Derb Ghallef, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Derb Ghallef, Casablanca Flea Market

One of Morocco’s little known city sites where old world tradition and modern technology meet hand in hand is Casablanca’s Derb Ghallef. Derb Ghallef in Casablanca is worth visiting on a one-day Casablanca Tour. Derb Ghallef is essentially an enormous flea market and the center of distribution for black market goods and services in Casablanca, Morocco. The noise and bustle of the auction block, the bargain prices of the flea market and its goods are defining features of today’s Derb Ghallef. There is no better way to see a live flea market on a Casablanca Tour then Derb Ghallef.

Casablanca’s Derb Ghallef is a world renown microcosm for how informal markets function in developing economies. The Derb Ghallef has over 2,000 outlets that are located in narrow alleyway and looks like a shantytown. Most of the stores in Casablanca’s Derb Ghallef occupy not much more then 12 square meters, and are made of tin, zinc and wood.

 

Casablanca Tour Derb Ghallef Visit

Casablanca’s Derb Ghallef even has a mosque with a its minaret made from green-painted cardboard and found materials. Derb Ghallef is not even o the electrical grid so to speak yet it generates over 140 million USA Dollars annually.

The history behind Casablanca’s Derb Ghallef is nothing less then fascinating. Derb Ghallef began in the 1920’s as a shantytown near the center of Casablanca, as a result of rural migration and an increasing birth rate in the region.

Subsequent to a welder accidentally burning down the area in the 1950’s, Casablanca’s Derb Ghallef resettled at a nearby site, where they created a flea-market and auction house for used goods.

Derb Ghallef has no land rights and is not an authorized site of business. It has been a controversial place for decades that has breaded ground for corrupt officials to take advantage of the proceeds.

In late 1982 a suspicious fire was set and the merchants had to set up in a nearby space and have remained their since. There are several advantages of shopping at Derb Ghallef on a one-day Casablanca Tour. The market is a one-stop shopping destination like Wal-Mart or Carrefour with unique Moroccan resold goods

The merchants of Derb Ghallef have created a nexus of commercial and technological innovation and a paradise of smuggled, pirated, and counterfeit goods.

For more information about Casablanca’s Derb Ghallef or a Casablanca 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 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 (212) 618882681and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Absolute Morocco, Visit the Imperial Cities of Marrakech, Fes, Meknes & Ancient Kasbahs in Ouarzazate – Your Morocco Travel Guide

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Absolute Morocco, Visit the Imperial Cities of Marrakech, Fes, Meknes & Ancient Kasbahs in Ouarzazate – Your Morocco Travel Guide

Absolute Morocco is the most exciting tour (Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806) to take for first time travelers to Morocco. Absolute Morocco takes you on an entertaining, fascinating and exotic journey to Morocco’s Imperial Cities of Marrakech, Fes and Meknes while including a visit to other historic cities such as Volubilis and Ouarzazate. When traveling on the Absolute Morocco tour you will visit the Berber capital of Ouarzazate, often referred to as “the door to the desert” and the Hollywood of Morocco. Ouarzazate is where famous directors and films have been shot such as Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Martin Scorsese’s Kundun,, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great and Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. Ouarzazate also lays claim to one of Morocco’s oldest Kasbahs, Ait Benhaddou.

Roman ruins of Volubilis an archaeological site near to Meknes The Majorelle Garden in Marrakech
The Atlas Film Studios in Ouarzazate The Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech

The Absolute Morocco Tour also offers travelers the opportunity to discover the famed city of Marrakech’s Majorelle Gardens, Koutoubia Mosque, Djemma El Fna Square and even see Chez Allez, a live Fantasia horse and Moroccan music dinner show located in the palmery of Marrakech.

One of the highlights of the Absolute Morocco tour is the journey you will experience when visiting the old world Medina of Fes, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Imperial city of Meknes. Meknes is known for its traditional architecture, old stables, mosques, its claim as the wine production capital of Morocco. Meknes boasts beautiful vineyards and is also nearby to the Roman Ruins of Volubilis, (Walili).

Absolute Morocco is one of the few tours to Morocco that offers a 9 day vacation to the Maghreb that never leaves you feeling rushed. You are guaranteed to have a full Moroccan travel experience and discover some of the best Moroccan food while traveling hands free with your own English speaking driver and guide. With Absolute Morocco you are guaranteed to discover the best on this tailor-made Moroccan tour.

Berber woman making Argan Oil at an Argan Cooperative The entrance to the Majorelle Garden Islamic Art Museum in Marrakech
Bab Boujoloud The Blue entrance Gate of the Old Fes Medina Fantasia Horse back equestrian performance in Meknes

9 Day Tour: Absolute Morocco – The Imperial Cities of Marrakech, Fes , Meknes, Volubilis & Ouarzazate – [Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]
Duration: 9:00am – 6:00pm Daily

Inclusion: Luxury Toyota 4×4
English, French Speaking Driver, Guide

Starting & Finishing Point: Airport in Marrakech

ITINERARY

DAY 1: MARRAKECH
►Arrive in Marrakech, your driver will pick you up at Marrakech’s Menara Airport and transport to your riad or hotel.

►In the late afternoon your introduction to Marrakech will begin by traveling outside the Medina, the old quarter of Marrakech. Visit the Djemma el Fna, Square a UNESCO world heritage site. Stroll Djemma’s labyrinth like streets where snake charmers fiddle flirtatiously with their cobras, fire swallowers eat fire, storytellers entertain big crowds, fortune tellers mesmerize Moroccan travelers with stories and the rhythms of African and Arabic sounds hypnotize the crowds. Return to your hotel to rest and prepare for next day’s journey.

►Dinner at one of Marrakech’s most spectacular restaurants which overlooks Djema El Fna Square. Spend the night in Marrakech.

DAY 2: GUIDED TOUR OF MARRAKECH SITES & GARDENS
►After breakfast begin your tour of Marrakech. Travel Morocco’s “Red City” or Al Hamra, “located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

►Your tour of Marrakech will first take you to the Majorelle Garden. The exotic floral paradise was built by Jacques Majorelle to complement his Moorish Villa designed with zellij tilework covering the front door and blue-green and dark red tones decorating the interior. Today the garden surrounds the home with colorful flowers like yucca, bougainvillea, bamboo, laurel, geraniums, hibiscus, cypresses, 400 varieties of palm trees and 1,800 species ofcactus.

►After visiting the Majorelle Garden, we will explore the Bahaia Palace. Built by two grand vizers, Si Moussa and Ba Ahmed, the palace complex is made up of two separate parts that are distinguished by the different needs of the rulers.

[Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

 

►Next, we will drive to the Lower Medina to explore more of Marrakech’s secrets: El Mansour mosque, where you will see the sixteenth century Saadian Tombs with its stark towers and also visit the 16th century El Badhi palace.

►En route we will travel to Djemma el Fna, the center and symbol of Marrakech.
We will stop to visit the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. Strolling through the labyrinth streets, you will recognize the Koutoubia Mosque by its influential minaret. The Mosque is one of the largest in the Muslim world and served as a model for the Giralda in Seville as well as theHassan II tower in Rabat.

►Marrakech is admired by Moroccan travelers for its history of being a city of underground channels built by the architects from Cordoba, Spain. These channels provided water for the town and Palmery.

►Lunch in the city center of Marrakech.

►From here we will explore the old quarter of Marrakech by foot and browse the souks, considered to be the most fascinating among Moroccan travelers. The souks are lined with fresh fruit, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets, jewelry, Moroccan slippers and tanneries.

►Return to your riad to relax. Dinner at the Chez Allez Fantasia Horse and dinner show in Marrakech’s palmery. Spend the night in Marrakech.

DAY 3: MARRAKECH – FES
►After breakfast, tour the La Mamonia Garden, the only remains of 18th century Alouite residence of Sidi Mohammed. The La Mamonia Garden, spans over thirty-two acres and is filled with olive trees. It boasts a newly, modern renovation. Surrounding the garden is La Mamonia Hotel, an Art Deco and Moorish style residence where many famous people including Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon and Orson Welles have stayed. It is at this famous hotel where Alfred Hitchcock wrote “The Birds”, in 1963.

►After visiting the La Mamonia Hotel & Gardens, take the road to Fes.

[Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

►Arrive in Fes, dinner at a Fassis traditional restaurant that boasts delicious food and traditional entertainment. Spend the night in Fes.

DAY 4: FES – EL FES BALI GUIDED TOUR
►After a breakfast at your riad, begin your exploration of Fès at the Merinid Tombs. Standing among olive trees and blue agaves, the 16th century elegant ruins of marble and epitaphs face a breathtaking view of the Fès.

► Next, enter the Fès el- Bali through the symmetrical horse shoe arches at Bab Boujeloud ,The Blue Gate. Fès-el Bali, best characterized as a sea of rooftops embellished with minarets and domes, is too narrow for cars. Aside from walking, donkeys and mules are still the best way to travel within the cities old walls. Inside we will visit the UNESCO recognized site, Fondouk el- Najjarine. Within the foundouk’s three floors is the Musée de Bois, which displays carved doors from the Bou Inania Medersa.

►Next, enter Bab el F-touh, the “Gateway of the Aperture” to explore the Andalusian quarter, a residential part of the medina laced with monuments. Experience the El- Sahrij Medersa and theMausoleum of Sidi Bou Ghaleb.

► Visit Fès el Jedid, a kasbah which functioned as Morocco’s administrative center until 1912. Explore the royal palace and many interesting quarters including the Moulay Abdalllah Quarter and the Mellah (Jewish Quarter).

►Stop for lunch within the medina at one of the fine Moroccan palace-restaurants that serve an extravaganza of mezas (small plates of food) common among Fassis tradition. The mezas that are often brought to your table prior to the large mid-day meal will be several of these: Choukchouka salad, Zaalouk salad, Carrots with Cumin Seed, raisin and orange salad, Cold radish, orange, and Fennel Salad. The mezas are traditionally followed by the main meal which will include the option of a Tagine or couscous. For desert you will be served with fruit/ or local Moroccan pastries along with Mint Tea.

►After lunch explore the souks in the old Medina El Fès Bali. Every souk is reflected in the value of the items sold to all Moroccan travelers. The layout of the souk is a complex network of streets selling luxury goods like fine silks and brocades, high quality kaftans and jewelry. There are also souks like the El-Attarine Souk selling spices, a slipper souk and a henna souk, which is set in a shaded area planted with arbuses.

Visit the following ancient sites in Fes: [Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

►Medersa Bou Inania: An (Islamic school) founded by Abu Inan Faris that is highly decorated from floor to ceiling. The medersa is one of the few religious places in Morocco that is accessible to non-Islamic tourists.

►Kairaouine Mosque: Morocco’s second largest mosque was built by Fatima in 857. The Kairaouine Mosque became the home of the West’s first university and the world’s foremost center of learning at the beginning of the second millennium.

►Medersa el Attarin: A (Koranic school) that was named for local spice merchants known as attar. Founded by Sultan Abou Saïd in the 14th century as a students’ dormitory, it is attached to the Kairaouine Mosque.

►Zaouia Moulay Idriss II: A zaouia (shrine) dedicated to and the tomb of Moulay Idriss II, who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828 and founded the city of Fès for the second time in 810.

►Dar Batha: A Hispano-Moorish palace dating from the end of the 19th century that houses admirable collections of traditional art from Fès.

►Weavers Cooperative: The workshop specializes in weaving the finest Moroccan jellaba fabric, made of silk and wool threads imported from Italy.

►Berber Carpet Demonstration:The Famous Exhibition of Antique and Modern Carpets is one of the places in Fès el Bali where Moroccan travelers can see a Berber carpet demonstration.

►Tanneries: The Chourara or the Tanner’s Quarters is the most lively and picturesque souks in Fès.

►Dyers Market: The dyers market, located along Rue de Teinturies, is the best place to see the dying vats which have been used for centuries to soak the skins of sheep, goat, cows and camels after they have their hair and flesh removed is best seen from the neighboring terraces.

►Potter’s Cooperative: Also known as Place el-Seffarine, this kisseria is the most important center for the production Fasiss style ceramics, brass-ware and silverware in Morocco.

► Enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the medina which boasts incredible views of the old Fes or at your riad and then prepare for next day’s journey.

[Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

DAY 5: VOLUBILIS & MEKNES GUIDED TOUR
►After a traditional Moroccan breakfast travel on an excursion outside of Fès to explore the breathtaking archaeological site of Volubilis (Walili) and the Imperial city of Meknes.

►Once occupied by the Romans, Volubilis has been recognized by UNESCO as aworld heritage site and gained international acclaim when Martin Scorsese made it a feature location for his film, The Last Temptation of Christ.

[Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

►Begin your visit by discovering the fascinating Roman ruins adorned with beautiful mosaics and colorful tiles depicting Roman mythology. The ruins are spread out across several acres and what remains visible is several fragments of wall, parts of massive columns, the capitol, the basilica and a triumphal arch.

►You can view how the Roman Empire transformed the original Carthaginian settlement into a typical Roman city complete with mansions, a town center, a triumphal arc and temples devoted to the Roman gods. Volubilis once functioned as a final stop of the Roman imperial roads that went acrossFrance, Spain, down Morocco’s northern city of Tangier and eventually into Volubilis.

►Next explore the open air museum with remains of altars, sculptural fragments and colorful mosaics.

► Take the road to Meknes. Lunch in Meknes and then begin your historical tour of this Imperial City. Pass under the arches framed by protruding towers and enter Place El-Hedime (Square of Ruins) which links the medina and the kasbah. The square is lined with modern residential buildings and a covered food souk (market).

►We will stop and visit the Musée Dar Jamaï, a museum showing modern Moroccan arts, woodwork, ceramics, carpets, costumes, jewelry and metalwork. The sophisticated building was once a palace incorporating a mosque, menzah (pavilion), courtyard, kitchen and hammam. Be sure to look for these as well as an Andalusian garden planted with cypresses. Moving along, stop by Bou Inania Medersa to explore the beautiful Koranic school established by the Merinids in the 14th century. Opposite of the Medersa, see the Grand Mosque.

[Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

►Browse Rue de Souks, a street filled with hardware merchants (akarir), corn chandlers (bezzazine) and metalsmiths (haddadin). Visit the En-Nejjarine Mosque, a 12th century Almohad built structure.

►Among the most impressive elements of this imperial city is the grand gate named after the architect, El-Mansour, a Christian renegade who converted to Islam. It was completed 5 years after Moulay Ismail’s death, in 1732. The design of the gate plays with Almohad patterns. It has zellij mosaics of excellent quality. The marble columns were taken from the Roman ruins of Volubilis.

►Visit the palaces and mosques located within the heart of Ksar Dar el-Kebira, the heart of the Imperial city.

►Next,continue on to see Dar el Makhzen, the “Palace of Labyrinths” and then to Bassin de l’Aguedal, a water tank built to supply water to the palace and imperial city. Before returning to Fès, we will visit the well known Haras de Meknès, the largest national stud that can accommodate up to two-hundred and thirty one horses. It’s the home of noble Arabian and Berber Horses. Created in 1912, Haras de Meknès promotes the best breeds of horses to be used during a fantasia or competitive horse races.

►Return to Fes, dinner in the Ville Nouvelle, (new city). Spend the night in Fes.

DAY 6: FES – OUARZAZATE

►Rise early, breakfast at your riad and take the road to Ouarzazate.

[Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

►Lunch en route. Arrive in Ouarzazate, check into your riad and relax. Then visit Spices Maria where you have the option to get a late afternoon massage. Dinner at your riad. Spend the night in Ouarzazate.

DAY 7: OUARZAZATE GUIDED TOUR

►After breakfast at your hotel, we will depart Ouarzazate and take the pise (windy road) towards the Oasis of Fint passing the “Plateau de pierres”. On this road you will find a shining Oasis of palms.

►Visit the Oasis of Fint that hovers under the Atlas Mountains. Journey on a one-hour walk inside the Oasis where you will have a cup of tea with the headmasters family Azziz Ouaziz and tour the surrounding area where date palm oases and dramatic desert scenery are king.

►After visiting the Oasis of Fint we will take the road to Kasbah Tifoultoute which stands majestically on the banks of Oued Tifoultoute. From a distance this old Kasbah is impressive with its castle-like architecture. In the 1960’s the Kasbah was converted into a hotel for the cast of Lawrence of Arabia. Tour the Kasbah and have lunch at its restaurant which is known for delicious mint and herb teas. See panoramic views from the rooftop.

►Lunch in Ouarzazate at a Kasbah restaurant that overlooks the old city.

[Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

►Next, visit the Telouet was once an important stop on the Southern Caravan route for traders carrying spices, slaves and other commodities. Telouet’s Kasbah also known as Dar Glaoui once served as the royal headquarters and residence of the Glaoui tribe. Until Morocco’s independence in 1956, the Glaoui had power in the central Moroccan and French administration.

►Today the Telouet Kasbah’s earth toned, dark red walls are crumbling, however, the dramatic history of its former residents makes it a favorite visit of many. After over half a century of decay this kasbah’s interior still stands out with its painted salon walls, the bright Zellij (tiles) and labyrinth of locked doors with dangling silver knockers. The kasbah boasts iron window grilles and finely carved ceilings decorated in a painterly fashion using Safron and Henna. All of the rooms that still remain include the harem, the kitchens, the cinema and roof top view which is a risky trek but enables you look down upon some of the old courts. After perusing the unbelievable myriad of connecting passages, trek up the nearby ornate central hill and see the astonishing panoramic view of this masterpiece born from quasi-medieval power created in the 20th century.

►After breakfast at your hotel, we will depart Ouarzazate and take the pise (windy road) towards the Oasis of Fint passing the “Plateau de pierres”. On this road you will find a shining Oasis of palms.

►Visit the Oasis of Fint that hovers under the Atlas Mountains. Journey on a one-hour walk inside the Oasis where you will have a cup of tea with the headmasters family Azziz Ouaziz and tour the surrounding area where date palm oases and dramatic desert scenery are king.

►After visiting the Oasis of Fint we will take the road to Kasbah Tifoultoute which stands majestically on the banks of Oued Tifoultoute. From a distance this old Kasbah is impressive with its castle-like architecture. In the 1960’s the Kasbah was converted into a hotel for the cast of Lawrence of Arabia. Tour the Kasbah and have lunch at its restaurant which is known for delicious mint and herb teas. See panoramic views from the rooftop.

►After lunch, visit the Atlas Film Studios. The studios are flanked by Holly-wood style Egyptian figures and cover 30,000 sq m of desert. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at The Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery. International blockbusters shot here in recent years include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawke Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara. Most of the filming takes place in the desert in the south however you can view the Tibetan monastery featured in Scorese’s Kundan and an Egyptian temple from Cleopatra.

►Return to your riad, have dinner. Spend the night in Ouarzazate.

[Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

DAY 8: OUARZAZATE – MARRAKECH
►Breakfast at your riad or at a local pâtisserie and then begin your one-day excursion to the Atlas Film Studios &
Aït Benhaddou.

►Visit at the Atlas Film Studios. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at The Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery. International blockbusters shot here in recent years include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawke Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara.

► Located 32 km from Ouarzazate lies the picturesque village. Aït Benhaddou of Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah; and for Jesus of Nazareth the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. In recent years more controlled restoration has been carried out under UNESCO auspices. Aït Benhaddou is one of many locations in this region used for shooting Hollywood films.

►Your guide will lead you on a private tour through this Berber village of towered and crenulated Kasbahs that once guarded the lucrative caravan route through the Atlas Mountains. Explore the Kasbahs by foot with the option to ride a donkey across a river.

►Your guide will share the fascinating history of Aït Benhaddou which once served as the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. Most of the town’s inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river; ten families however still live within the ksar. Aït Benhaddou was once a significant stop for traders carrying gold, salt and slaves along the famous Southern Caravan route moving through the Sahara.

►For lunch, relax on a terrace with clear views of Aït Benhaddouand enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal of mfouar (steamed wheat), Takila (a Berber tajine), couscous and fruit. After lunch, browse the village shops.

►Take the road back to Marrkakech. En route visit the Argan Cooperative in the High Atlas Tichka Mountains and see how Berber women make Argan oil, Argan butter and cosmetics from the Argan nut. Have tea with a Berber family.

►Arrive in Marrakech, dinner at your riad. Spend the night in Marrakech.

[Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806]

DAY 9: MARRAKECH
►Departure from Marrakech’s Menara Airport.

More information about Absolute Morocco on Morocco Travel Exploration

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit 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.

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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! Google on call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 or (212) 661-4898-960 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Travel to Marrakech the Paris of Morocco – Your Morocco Travel Guide

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Travel to Marrakech the Paris of Morocco – Your Morocco Travel Guide

Marrakech is the Paris of Morocco and known as the “red city” or Al Hamra. As the capital of tourism, Marrakech is Morocco’s leading Imperial city and one of the most exciting cities to travel to on vacation. The heart of Marrakech is the best place to begin your tour with its souks, lush gardens, historical monuments, museums, palaces, sacred tombs and snake charmers. Marrakech also offers some of the best shopping in Morocco at its souks located within the old medina. As a Moroccan traveler a visit to Marrakech is a must. Make sure to allow yourself a minimum of two-days and spend at least one with a Morocco Travel licensed guide.

Djema Fna Square at Night in Marrakech Morocco

Djema Fna Square at Night in Marrakech Morocco

 Travel Exploration Morocco’s Top 10 Sites to visit on Your Marrakech Vacation.

1. Djemaa El Fna Square
2. Koutoubia Minaret & Koutoubia Gardens
3. El Bahia Place
4. The Majorelle Gardens
5. The Sadian Tombs
6. The Menara Gardens
7. The Sadian Tombs
8. The Marrakech Medina
9. The Old Jewish Mellah
10. Ben Youssef Mederssa

 

More information about Marrakech Tours on Morocco Travel Exploration

 

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit 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.

 

Marrakech Morocco Travel, Marrakech Travel Exploration, Marrakech Travel Tour, Morocco Travel, Morocco Travel Tours, Discover Morocco, Morocco Travel Exploration

 

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! Google on call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 or (212) 661-4898-960 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.