Posts Tagged ‘Todra Gorge’

A Family Friendly Adventure Vacation to Morocco

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
Family Adventure, Camel Trekking in the Sahara

Family Adventure, Camel Trekking in the Sahara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco is one of the leading holiday destinations for families who want to tour a country that offers a wide range of adventure activities. The country’s unique combination of urban cities, historic medinas, rural landscapes, mountain villages, a grand Sahara desert and sandy beaches make it family friendly vacation zone. Morocco’s tourism industry offers activtiies that are suitable for children of all ages. Family friendly Adventure Vacations and Holiday Tours to Morocco can be tailor made to accommodate outdoor or indoor activites. Families vacationing in Morocco are guaranteed a safe travel experience.

Morocco Family Vacation, Village Drum Session

Morocco Family Vacation, Village Drum Session

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco Family Adventure Vacation Tour – One Week Holiday Itineary at a Glance:

Day 1: Visit the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech. This colorful garden is like cotton candy for the entire family with its wide variety of flora and fauna. Explore the costumes in the Berber Musuem and learn how this mountain culture once lived. Visit the old medina’s ancient fortress walls, the souks, markets and climb the stairs of the Ben Youssef medersa. End the day with a visit to Djemma El Fna Square at Sunset and a Marrakech Food Tour where the entire family will have dinner on the road. Explore the backstreets of the Marrakech medina. Snack on Moroccan doughnuts, Harira soup with sweet dates, sip fresh fruit juices, sandwiches, visit a bread oven and consider the exotic tasting of Moroccan meats. Overnight in an Family friendly Moroccan Riad.

Day 2: Cook Up Morocco at a Kid Friendly Cooking Class where the entire family can make their own Berber Tajine. Guided by a Daada Chef you will visit the food marekts in the medina, learn how vegetables are bought and sold, explore the spice souks and then craft your own meal and then dine on it for lunch. End the day with a Kalech ride through the new cities garden district. Overnight in an Family friendly Moroccan Riad.

Day 3: Take the road to Morocco’s Great South. En route visit the Ounilla Valley and Kasbah Telouet, a famous Kasbah that was once the home of the Pacha Glaoui. Continue to Ouarzazate, the Hollywood of Morocco. Climb to the top of Ait Ben Haddou Ksar and have lunch with views of the old town. Visit the Hollywood Film Studios where famous movies such as Kundun, Body of Lies, Cleopatra and the Game of Thrones were filmed. Overnight in an Family friendly Moroccan Riad with views of Ait Ben Haddou.

Berber Village Lunch

Berber Village Lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4: Departure to the Sahara Desert. En Route visit the Draa Valley known for being crossed by pirates. Visit Agdz and the market of dates. Continue to the Berber Village of Ait Ouzzine. Nestled in the Saghro mountains is a Berber Village where you will learn how couscous is made, visit a working farm and have tea with a Berber family. Afternoon Family walk in the fields and see how the traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, livestock, and henna plants. Lunch will be served followed by a henna party for the entire family. Continue to the arid Sahara Desert. Sunset camel trek across the Erg Chebbi Dunes. Bonfire and 1001 Arabian Nights dinner for the entire family. Overnight in a Wild Desert Camp in the Sahara Desert.

Day 5: Sahara Desert Adventure activties will fill your morning. Quad bike across the Erg Chebbi’s grand sand dunes. Explore the flora and fauna on a desert walk with your Berber guide. Go off pise (windy road) to a children’s school in the heart of the Merzouga Desert. Visit a school, meet a local teacher and see how children learn in Morocco. Next stop, visit the Musicians of Khemlia, Gnaoua travelers who made their way to the Sahara Desert and never left. Tea and almonds will be served as you watch this family friendly Moroccan, Berber drumming performance by the Century old Gnaouan muscians. Continue to Rissani after and learn about the art of bread baking of Madfouna, a Moroccan pizza. Visit fossil stuios to see how objects of art are made. Then continue to the Todra Gorge. Overnight at the foot of the Todra Gorge.

Day 6: Visit the Todra Gorge’s grand canyon. Watch Berber women fetch water with their daughter with donkey’s by their side. Hike through the Todra Gorge, have lunch at the foot of the Gorge. Continue to the Dades Valley. Overnight at a Guest House with Views of the Dades Valley.

Day 7: Dades Valley Rise Early. Visit the Dades Gorge, the Monkey fingers and drive through the Dades Pins along limestone cliffs with uniquely shaped erosions and superb scenery. Continue to the Valley of Roses. Visit this fertile region known for the Rose Demascus. Option to continue to the Valley of Nomads and have tea with a Nomad Family en route to Skoura. Overnight in at Guest House in the Skoura Palmerie.

Skoura Palmeraie, Valley of 1000 Kasbahs

Skoura Palmeraie, Valley of 1000 Kasbahs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: Visit Skoura and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. Skoura is a fertile oasis lined with immense palm groves that provide great views of the Atlas Mountains. Explore this unqiue region that is filled with a vast palmerie and small ksars once inhabited by Jews. Continue to the region of Ouarzazate. Visit the Oasis of Fint and have tea at the Head masters house. Then take the road back to Marrakech.

For More Information about Morocco Family Friendly Vacations & 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.

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.

Morocco New Years Luxury Desert Trip

Monday, October 19th, 2015
Arabian Nights, Sahara Desert Safari Tour

Arabian Nights, Sahara Desert Safari Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey beyond Marrakech for a New Years Luxury Desert Trip. Take the entire family on a Sahara Desert Safari to Morocco’s Great South and experience the highlights of Morocco.  Visit Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Lawrence of Arabia was Filmed Here. Explore Morocco’s natural wonder, the grand Dades Valley, sunset camel trek across the Erg Chebbi Dunes as an Arabian Nights Dinner and Berber Music at a Luxury Desert Camp awaits you. Go off road to Mount Mgoun and Sip Tea with Nomads. Have Lunch with a Berber Family in the Saghro Mountain Region and participate in a henna party designed just for you. A Morocco Desert Tour is not without adventure unless you discover the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs in Skoura and stay in boutique, Moroccan riads and guest houses. A Grand Sahara Desert adventure tour to Morocco awaits you.

Travel Exploration’s detailed experiential and family travel itineraries for visiting Morocco are outlined on our website and for desert adventurers who want to take a Sahara Desert Safari to Morocco for New Years our trip is featured here:

Morocco Tea Ceremony, Merzouga Sahara Desert

Morocco Tea Ceremony, Merzouga Sahara Desert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco New Years Desert Trip: A Sahara Desert Safari for the entire Family:

Day 1: Journey Beyond Marrakech via the Tizzin’ Tichka Mountain pass to visit Kasbah Telouet – Kasbah of the Pasha Glaoui, and Ait Benhaddou Ksar before driving via the palmeraie to Skoura.
Take the road to Ouarzazate. During your journey to Ouarzazate you will also pass the olive groves of the Oued Zat, as you ascend onto the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass Road. Built by the French in the 1920’s, the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass can be described as having mountainous barriers, Mediterranean and oceanic influences and desert borders. Along the route you will see panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains as well as sights of fertile valleys, blue and red colored pise villages and other striking mineral environments.

En route stop for lunch and visit the Argan Cooperative where Argan Oil, Butter and Cosmetics are made with the Argan nut by hand as Berber women crack the nuts and the grind them one by one. Have a complimentary tasting. This cooperative is run entirely by women.

Go by piste to visit Kasbah Telout, one of Morocco’s hidden jewels and a famous Kasbahs that is the origin of the Pacha Glaoui Family. Kasbah Telout is hidden among a tiny road in a small village that is 20 minutes outside Tichka. Its history stands alone with its original zellij tile, authentic, preserved silks and grand remnants of the Glaoui family. 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. Continue the road to Ouarzazate. Visit Aït Benhaddou Kasbah. Ait Benhaddou Kasbah is located 32 km from Ouarzazate. 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. Continue to Skoura, the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs. Overnight at a Boutique Riad in Skoura.

Desert oasis with palm trees, Zagora, Draa valley

Desert oasis with palm trees, Zagora, Draa valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: Visit Skoura and the Palmerie of one-thousand Kasbahs before driving through the magnificent Valley of Roses onto the Dades Valley and Dades Gorge.
Visit the Skoura palmeraie and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. The “Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs” and Skoura palmeraie is a fertile oasis lined with immense palm groves that provide great views of the Atlas Mountains alongside deserted landscapes. The palm groves were laid out in the 12th century by the Almohad sultan Yacoub el-Mansour and named after its original inhabitants, the Berbers of the Haskourene tribe. The most beautiful kasbahs in southern Morocco can be found here. Many of them are still partially inhabited. Continue towards the perfumed Valley of Roses, just north of El Kelaa Des Mgouna. On the way to the Valley of Roses, your driver will stop for you to view the Capp et Floral distillation factories laid out in the small Kasbah town that manufacture the entire nations products of eau de rose. The rose water and other products such as hand and body soaps, oil, crème perfume and dried flowers are for sale and also popular among Moroccans. The factories produce 3000-4000 petals a year.

Visit Mount Mgougn and Sip Tea with Nomads in their rural cave. The Valley of Nomads is filled with cave dwellers who have lived in the Mgoun region for centuries. Your journey will then take you through the Dadès Valley, which covers 125 km between Ouarzazate and Boumalne du Dadès in the High Atlas Mountains. Overnight at a Boutique Guest House in the Dades Valley.

Khemlia Musicians, Merzouga Sahara Desert

Khemlia Musicians, Merzouga Sahara Desert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3: Dades Valley morning exploration before visiting the the Todra Gorge and it’s large canyon en route to the Erg Chebbi dunes located in the heart of the Merzouga Sahara Desert.

Take the road to Merzouga. En route visit Erfoud, the capitol of fossils and the town of Rissani. Rissani is a Sahara desert town that is from the ancient Alawi Dynasty and the birthplace of King Mohammed VI, the current King of Morocco. Visit the old Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Sharif, the first King of the Alawi Dynasty. Next visit Maison Taureg House and then the old Ksar of Rissani.
Continue to Khemlia where you will visit Sudanese- Berber Gnaoua Trance musicians, Moroccan village. The Musicians of Khemlia have been living in this remote village for a century and perform 100 year-old Gnaoua Trance music songs. Spend an hour listening to Gnaoua Trance music using old world instruments by these Sudanese Berber Musicians. Tea is served and then there is an option to explore their village.
Arrive in Merzouga’s Erg Chebbi Dunes before sunset, and then go by dromedary at sunset into the Erg Chebbi Dunes to a bivouac camp. Your Tuareg guide will share some of the Sahara Deserts’ secrets. As you glide across humpback on these silent, mystical dunes there will be countless opportunities to photograph the endless rolling dunes. Arabian Nights Dinner and Spend the night in a Luxury Desert Camp.

Day 4: Merzouga Departure for Ait Ouzzine, Nkob Berber Village where you will enjoy lunch with a Berber family, participate in a private henna party and discover how traditional families live in this mountain and desert region.

Aït Ouzzine, just minutes outside Nkob is a Berber village inhabited by over 300 families who live in beautifully painted crenulated Kasbahs, with their own henna fields, water wells, livestock and gardens. This peaceful village is tucked away along an impressive desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani. Meet a local Berber family; partake in a cooking lesson of how to make traditional bread and a tajine. Explore and tour the village by foot. Walk in the green fields and see how the traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, livestock, and henna plants.
Sip tea with the Berbers in the Saghro Mountains and enjoy a traditional Berber lunch. The menu will include a traditional meal of fresh baked bread with spices and a chicken and vegetable tajine or couscous and fresh local fruits for desert.

After lunch, you can have your hands and feet painted with henna or your hair adorned with saffron by a local village artist and relaxes. Experience the tradition of Berber perfume made from musk and amber along with the villages own spices. End the afternoon in Ait Ouzzine with mint tea and almonds. Overnight at a Boutique Riad in Ouarzazate.
Day 5: Drive from Ouarzazate via the Ounilla Valley and Tizzin’ Tichka Pass back to Marrakech.
Visit 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 headmaster’s family Azziz Ouaziz and tour the surrounding area where date palm oases and dramatic desert scenery are king.
Next journey to 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. Return to Marrakech.

A Sahara Desert Safari New Years Trip for the entire 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.

Discover the Diverse Region of Ouarzazate, Through Kasbahs, Berber Villages & Desert Road Trips

Monday, August 31st, 2015
Ouarzazate Region, Kasbah

Ouarzazate Region, Kasbah

Ouarzazate became famous when it’s nearby Kasbah; Aït Benhaddou appeared in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. This spellbinding quiet town is the perfect home base for exploring the southern region of Morocco which is comprised of ancient Kasbahs, the Dadès Valley, the Gorge of Todra, the Atlas Films Studios, the Skoura Palmeraie along with the Sahara Desert regions of Merzouga, Zagora and M’hamid / Erg Chigaga. On a private tour from Ouarzazate there are many site seeing opportunities ranging from visiting the historic Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Kasbah Taourirt, open air forts Atlas landscapes to the the Valley of Roses and Erg Chebbi Sand dunes.

Ouarzazate is often referred to as a city “without noise” and is a direct translation of its name. This dusty Sahara town has immense desert charm and is the Hollywood of Morocco. Ouarzazate’s unique combination arid and dry North African landscapes boast stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. Ouarzazate was once the leading administrative city in the region and was purely developed for this purpose by the French during colonization. As the region of the South expanded, Tinghir and Errachidia, became a provinces with Ouarzazate losing its name as a hub for administrative purposes.

“See Ouarzazate and die” are feelings often expressed by Moroccans with regards to this magical city that is the door to the Sahara desert. Located just four hours from Marrakesh, Ouarzazate is the main Berber city in the south. It is also known for its spectacular sunsets and dramatic mountain and desert scenery. Surrounded by breathtaking valleys, Ouarzazate was once crossing point for African traders seeking to reach northern cities in Morocco and Europe. During the French period, Ouarzazate expanded considerably as a garrison town and became the administrative centre of the Zagora region.

As a diverse region Ouarzazate offers various site seeing opportunities ranging from the Atlas Film Studios, the CLA Film Studios, the Oasis of Fint, Ancient Ksars and Kasbahs along with Berber Villages.

 

Kundun, Atlas Film Studios, Ouarzazate

Kundun, Atlas Film Studios, Ouarzazate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to Visit in the Region of Ouarzazate:

Atlas Film Studios/ The Oscar Film Studios are flanked by Holly-wood style Egyptian figures and cover 30,000 square meters 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 along with the series Game of Thrones. 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.

Cleopatra, Atlas Studios, Ouarzazate

Cleopatra, Atlas Studios, Ouarzazate

CLA Film Studios was established in 2004 in partnership with Dino de Laurentis, Cinectittà and Sanam Holding. CLA Studios is open daily to travelers visiting Ouarzazate and the ideal place to see a combination of costumes, props, film sets other movie items used in major independent films and television productions. CLA studios is surrounded by varied landscapes, from desert to oasis. Renowned directors like David Lean, Bernardo Bertolucci, Martin Scorsese, Ridlye or Oiliver Scott Stone, chose to film at CLA Studios for its location. Films and television series shot at CLA Studios range from Lawrence of Arabia, The Sheltering Sky, Black Hawk Down, Kundum, Gladiator, The Mummy 1 and 2, Alexander the Great, The Kingdom of Heaven, Sahara, Troy, Exorcist 1 and 2, Hidalgo and Babel.

Ancient Moroccan Ksars & Kasbahs

Ait Benhaddou Ksar is located 32 km from Ouarzazate lies the picturesque village. Aït Benhaddou of Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss Massa Draa 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.

Kasbah Taouirt was was built by the Pasha Glaoui. Kasbah Taouirt’s location was strategic for trading routes and in the 1930’s when the Glaoui ruled the South it was then one of Morocco’s largest Kasbahs. Explore its nooks and crannies and discover some local female painters who sell their art inside as well as the many quality silver shops just steps outside the Kasbah.

Kasbah Tifoultoute is an ancient Kasbah (fortress) in Ouarzazate located 8 kilometers West of the city. Kasbah Tifoultoute once belonged to the family of Thami El Glaoui, the Pasha of Marrakech. The kasbah of Tifoultoute served as decor for films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Jesus of Nazareth. There is a stunning view from the terrace of the Atlas Mountains.

Berber Villages:

The Berbers are the original inhabitants of Morocco. The Berbers once occupied much of North Africa before they were persecuted and driven out or into the mountain ranges by the Arabs who came from Yemen in the 7th Century. One-third of Moroccans are Berber and live in the mountains, in villages within the Middle-Atlas and within remote areas of Morocco. Today, most Berbers understand and speak Arabic but their primary language is Berber. During a private tour to Morocco you can visit Berber villages in the High Atlas, the Middle Atlas or Anti-Atlas Mountain regions of Morocco. Within the Berber Villages you can visit old ksars, have lunch with a Berber family, and also learn about their village life. Ait Ouzine is a small village of 1200 inhabitants nestled within the Middle Atlas Mountains. Aït Ouzzine-Nkob is a Berber village inhabited by over 300 families who live in beautifully painted crenulated kasbahs, with their own henna fields, water wells, livestock, and gardens. This peaceful village is tucked away along an impressive desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani. On a private tour, travelers can meet a local Berber family, sip tea in the Saghro Mountains, and dine on couscous.

Merzouga Erg Chebbi Dunes

Merzouga Erg Chebbi Dunes

Sahara Desert Regions:

Merzouga is a small village in Southern Morocco which is home to the highest and most gold dunes called Erg Chebbi. Merzouga is located in the Moroccan Sahara Desert and has the largest underground natural body of water. It’s Erg Chebbi dunes are the most visited by Moroccan tourists who want a majestic and authentic Sahara experience for camel trekking and desert camping.

M’Hamid El Ghizlane is the last Oasis in the Great Sahara Desert and historically where caravans gathered before setting off on journeys to Timbuktu. M’Hamid is also referred to as Bounou which historically was a village of various Southern tribes such as the Ait Atta Berbers, Drawa and the Hassani.

Zagora is referred to as the “direct door to the Sahara” since it is the last town before one reaches the heart of the Dunes of Tinfo, M’hamid and Erg Chegaga also known as Erg Chigaga.

Erg Chegaga (Erg Chigaga) is one of the two major regions of dunes in the Sahara Desert, the other being Erg Chebbi of Merzouga. These dunes are located in the region  referred to as the Sous-Mass- Draa and approximately 50 kilometers west of M’Hamid El Ghizlane and 98 kilometers south of Zaogra. Erg Chegaga remains virgin and an untouched region of Morocco and can be reached only by 4×4 land cruiser or camel trekking on a private tour to Morocco.

For More Information about Ouarzazate Travel and Regional Siteseeing

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.

Natural Wonders of Morocco, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Tizi-N-Test-Pass

The Tizi N’Test pass from Marrakech, Morocco to Taroudant leads you over the Middle Atlas, heartland of the Berber people, through hair raising hair pin bends at 2,092 meters overlooking valleys and gorges, small fields and mountain villages. It was here from Tin Mal, the site of the famous Berber mosque that the Almohads rose up and took Marrakech from the Almoravids in 1152.

This winding route is not a drive that is recommended to first timers and no one travels it at night. Nowadays the motorway from Marrakech to Agadir means that most of the commercial vehicles do not take the mountain pass which means less hair raising over taking, hoping that no one is coming round the corner. First timers are well advised to hire an experienced driver to travel in safety and enjoy the views which are amongst the best you will see in Morocco. The volcanic period centuries ago provided incredible geographical mountain features crowned now with a variety of greenery, trees and earthen berber villages.

The French administration completed the road in 1929 and it is a remarkable feat of civil engineering. It opened up a natural mountainous barrier which preserved Berber independence for centuries. When Sultan Moulay Hassan and his army tried to cross the Tizi ‘N Test pass in 1893 in a blizzard they were saved by the brothers Madani and Thami El Glaoui and the Sultan bestowed a Krupp cannon and regional powers on his saviors. It was a turning point in Moroccan history and Thami El Glaoui went on to be Pacha of Marrakech from 1893 to 1956. To travel this winding route is to understand the history of the Berbers as well as enjoying a fine adventure and some of the best views in Morocco.

Dades Gorge

The winter snow capped Atlas mountains towering over Marrakech are an unforgettable sight and the Ourika valley with its river and green pastures seen from the road snaking up from the road along the side of the valley is also one of the wonders of Morocco . You descend to the picturesque village of Ourika and go on up to the waterfalls of the Setti Fatma shrine and the stony river bed which leads on into the mountains.

You can ski in winter at nearby Oumkaimeden and view Mount Toubkal close up from the trekking station at Imlil. Trekking in the area or climbing Mount Toubkal is a great adventure and you can also enjoy the forests and mountain walks of Toubkal National Park which is nearly 250,000 acres in size, or take to a bicycle or mountain bike. It is rare to find such natural beauty and extensive adventure opportunities within easy reach of a major city like Marrakech.

On the eastern side of the Atlas Mountains is the Todra Gorge with its huge canyon which is an immense rock formation running seven miles through the mountains and an attraction for trekkers. You can also visit the Dades Gorge 100 kms north of Ouarzazate between the Middle and Anti Atlas. Besides being home to many ancient Kasbahs it is a site of remarkable beauty running alongside the Dades river.

South of Ouarzazate is the desert town of Merzouga and the Erg Chebbi which is one of Morocco’s two great erg’s, the other being being the Chighaga Erg near M’hamid. They are a mass of sand dunes which change their formation with the blowing of the wind so that they are never the same. They reach a height of up to 150 meters. Erg Chebbi spans 22 kilometers from north to south and up to 5-10 kilometers from east to west. This is a chance to experience the stillness and beauty of the real desert and to take a camel trek or a four wheel drive vehicle and sleep out under the stars in a desert camp.

Morocco has 3,500 miles of pristine unspoilt beaches stretching from the Dakhla in the South along the Atlantic coast through Agadir , Taghazout, Oualidia, Essaouira , and new resorts such as Lixus, Mazagan, Taghazout and Plage Blanche offering excellent opportunities for surfing. Morocco’s Mediterranean coast has beaches from Tangier and Asilah to Al Hoceima and the new resorts of Tamuda Bay and Saida. The Mediterranean beaches do not have the strong undercurrents present on the Atlantic coast and there is good scuba diving at Cabo Negro.

Morocco’s natural wonders also include a number of national parks and forests in both nortern and southern Morocco. Toubkal National Park is the oldest and largest. The others are found at Al Hoceima , Haut Atlas Oriental National Park, Ifrane, Merdja Zerka ,Souss Massa, Talassemtane and Tazekka National Park. These extensive cedar forests are home to wildlife such as golden jackal, red fox, leopard, barbary apes and extensive bird life. Morocco is home to important wet lands including Merja Zerga on the Atlantic coast which hosts 1,400 species of birds many of them migrating. Between 15,000 and 30,000 ducks are said to winter at the lagoon, and it regularly holds 50,000 to 100,000 waders including flamingos.

For More Information about Natural Wonders of 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.

Moroccan Seffa Medfouna Recipe, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Moroccan Seffa Dish

Seffa Medfouna is a famous Moroccan dish. When traveling to Morocco for a Cooking Vacation or to take a Moroccan Cooking Workshop Seffa Medfouna is one of the options that Moroccan travelers can learn to make.

Seffa Medfouna is made with crushed or fried almonds, cinnamon, raisins, fine vermicelli noodles and powdered sugar. Seffa Medfouna is typically served in Morocco before a meal. This light and tasty dish of Seffa Medfouna can also be made with beldi chicken, lamb or beef. When served with meat this traditional Moroccan dish can be used as a meal. Seffa Medfouna is made slightly different in each region of Morocco and its ingredients vary also by season.

Seffa Medfouna is a Moroccan favorite with some of the best found at Ines Guest House located in Tingerhir not far from the mouth of the Todra Gorge region of Southern Morocco.

Ingredients To Make Seffa Medfouna:
– 1 kg of fine vermicelli noodles
– 1/2 Moroccan cooking oil
– salt to taste
– water
– 150g of raisins
– 2 table spoons of butter
– 100g pouched, friend or crushed almonds
– powdered sugar
– cinnamon

How To Make Seffa Medfouna:

Step #1:  Boil 2 litres of water, with lemon juice, added into a large saucepan.

Step #2: Place fine vermicelli noodles into flat and large plate, with oil. Transfer them into a couscous steamer and cooking over moderate heat for approximately 20 minutes.

Step #3: Remove steamer and place the fine vermicelli noddles into a large place. Spray with 1 glass of salted water, mix well and run hands through to remove any knots that were created. For the second time, place the vermicelli noodles into a steamer. Repeat until the vermicelli noodles are completely cooked.

Step #4: Clean and rinse raisins. Add raisins to vermicelli prior to last steaming and cooking step.

Step #5: Place vermicelli into a flat large, round dish. Add two table spoons of butter, let it melt and mix.

Step 6: Scatter crushed or fried almonds, cinnamon and powered sugar on top of dish.

Moroccan Seffa Medfouna

Moroccan Seffa Medfouna is easy to make and can be learned at a cooking workshop on a  Moroccan Vacation or  at home on your own.

For more information about a Morocco Cooking Vacation or Making Seffa Medfouna

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 in the USA at 1 (800) 787-8806 or in Morocco 1 (212)618-88-26-81 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

 

Beat the Heat in Morocco, Top Ten Morocco Travel Tips For Summer, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Men at Sunrise Wearing Djellabas

1. Adopt a Moroccan schedule To Beat the Heat in Morocco During Summer & Other Seasons. Take advantage of the cool early morning hours in Morocco in Summer by taking a mid-moring snack and a late lunch about 1:00 PM. Take a nap in your air-conditioned hotel room or traditional Moroccan Riad, or a dip in the pool. Around 4 PM, have a snack, and head out again around 4:30-5:00 PM. You won’t miss much, because Moroccans tend to lie low during this same time. Enjoy yourself until dark, then head off for dinner around 8-9:00 PM. Take advantage of the Moroccan night life during the cool evening hours if you’re staying in Imperial cities such as Marrakech, Essaouira or Casablanca, all which boast varied restaurants with Moroccan and International cuisine along with entertainment.

2. When going out in the morning during your Morocco Travel experience, make sure to apply sunscreen and consider wearing a hat (or hat alternative) and sunglasses (protects your eyes against cataracts).

3. If you find yourself out and about, getting overheated and exhausted, use your water bottle to wet down your face, neck, hairline, and even the top of your t-shirt or dress in the upper back, shoulder, and neck areas. You can even splash some water on your arms if necessary.

Don’t worry about looking silly–it’s far better to take care of your health when traveling in Summer in Morocco. Even though you might not see them, plenty of Moroccans (especially men, or women when in their own homes) wet down their entire head and neck under a faucet if they feel severely overheated.

Under these circumstances, try also to get to a shaded area and sit down for a little while, even if you have to ask someone in a shop or elsewhere if you may use their stool to sit on. Most are more than happy to oblige if they see you need help.

4. Drink PLENTY of water. Doctors on the Moroccan radio have advised that this is the best way to avoid serious problems. (The objective is to keep your blood thin through drinking, because dehydration is what actually leads to strokes or heart attacks in the heat.)

5. If you are not on a salt-restricted diet, enjoy the Moroccan olives! Ask your guide to take you on a visit to the olive souk, where you can purchase several varieties of olives (which don’t need to be refrigerated in your hotel room). Enjoy these at your leisure. While a bit of salt is quite helpful in preventing heat stroke in extremely hot weather, salt tablets are quite unnecesary if you like olives!

Olive souk in Morocco

6. If possible, doctors suggest spending at least a couple of hours per day in an air-conditioned location. Even short periods will give your body a break. If you are unable to do so, don’t feel shy about wetting yourself down. Your clothes will easily dry in 20-30 minutes.

In addition to your Riad or hotel in Morocco, air-conditioning is becoming more available now in some larger stores (supermarkets and malls). These make a cooler place you can go for a break.

Fresh produce displayed inside an air-conditioned Acima Supermarket in Marrakesh

7. When stopping at small shops or cafés, they often DO have cold drinks. But sometimes you have to especially ASK for them. If they hand you an unopened bottle or can which is not cold, it never hurts to aks for one that is cold. Sometimes they only give them to the people who ASK. Moroccans nearly ALWAYS ask!

8. If you should ever find yourself in an out-of-the-way place that is just unbearable at night, one trick to help with this situation is to travel with a cheap (thin) bath towel. (Even a large hand towel will do.) These can be easily purchased at any local souk. Wet it down, wring it out, and lay it on top of your body in the bed. If you have a fan to lie in front of, it will offer instant relief. If you don’t have a fan, wave it back and forth in the air a few times; when you lay it on your body, it will feel cold. This can give you some much-needed relief.

9. Remember the locals are better acclimated to the heat of summer and cold of winter, because their bodies have a chance to adjust gradually throughout the year. If you spend a long time in Morocco, especially without air conditioning (or heat in winter), your body will adjust, too. But most tourists are not here long enough for that to happen. Most fly right in to the summer heat, are only here a short time, and need to be careful by following the above suggestions.

If you should ever need a doctor, generally your hotel desk or tour guide can help find you one quickly, who even speaks some English.

10. Low-lying and coastal regions (northern and western coasts) of Morocco, such as Agadir, Casablanca, Rabat, and Tangier often have moderate temperatures with humidity, but less of both than is found in the American South, or American East Coast. Marrakesh, Fes, Ouarzazate, and other inland cities or southern areas tend to have dry, to very dry, heat, which is far easier to tolerate than humid heat.

So, to sum up, in very hot weather, avoid going out between 1 PM and 4 PM. Rest in air-conditioning, if possible. Drink plenty of water, and don’t hesitate to ask someone for a stool or chair to rest on if you become exhausted. If you become overheated together with exhaustion, soak your head and shoulders in water —put your health before appearances.

For more information about a Morocco Travel Tips

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

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

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Morocco Travel Update: King Mohammed VI Travels to Ouarzazate & US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Travels to Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Morocco Travel Update: King Mohammed VI Travels to Ouarzazate & US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Travels to Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Morocco Travel News, King Mohammed VI of Morocco visited the Ouarzazate region today, passing through the main street, Rue Mohammed VI. The King was in the Saharian town of Errachidia prior to his arrival in Ouarzazate. King Mohammed VI of Morocco’s final destination for the day was his villa in The Royal Golf, juxtaposed near Lake El Mansour.

King-Mohammed-VI-Morocco

The Royal Golf borders Lake El Mansour, a lush, beautiful area just 20 kilometers outside Ouarzazate. Lake El Mansour is worth a visit on any Moroccan travelers vacation to the Ouarzazate region. There is a luxurious Moroccan modern Kasbah Hotel called the Royal Golf Sultana, owned by a lovely French couple (Veronique and her husband) who built this magnificent, palatial modern Kasbah overlooking Lake El Mansour. The Royal Golf Sultana is worth a one or two night stay during an Ouarzazate tour and an ideal place to relax.

Riad-Golf-Sultana

When traveling to the Ouarzazate region of Lake El Mansour one can feel like he/she is in Lugano on the Swiss, Italian border. Home to Ait Benhaddou Kasbah – a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Dades Valley, the Todra Gorge (Gorge of Todra), the Valley of Roses, the Skoura Palmary, and the Draa Valley by far any Moroccan traveler can discern that the Ouarzazate region offers many unlimited Morocco travel opportunities.

Kasbah-Ruins-Ait-Benhaddou-Morocco

This day in also marked another set of Moroccan travel news. America and Morocco continue their celebration in good historical relations with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s arrival in Marrakech, Morocco. Hillary Clinton’s visit to Marrakech, Morocco makes this visit to the Maghreb the final leg of her twelve-day North African peace effort tour. Hillary Clinton’s visit to Morocco is part of a diplomatic mission to relaunch the stalled Middle East peace process. Clinton’s visit to Marrakech includes a visit on both Monday and Tuesday with her Arab counterparts attending the sixth Forum for the Future, jointly organized by Morocco and Italy. Clinton travelled to Morocco on Sunday after talks in the Middle East with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The United States is pushing hard for both sides to resume peace negotiations, which were suspended after the Israeli offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in December 2008. The Middle East situation and furthering dialogue between the West and the Islamic world will be the two main themes at a dinner Forum on Monday evening. The Forum for the Future is a joint initiative between the Group of Eight industrial powers and some 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, along with the European Commission and the Arab League.

Ouarzazate-Day-Of King-Mohammed-VI-Arrival

Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea visited the Sahara region in March 2009 for weekend camel-riding trip in the Sahara desert.The legend of Hillary Clinton in Morocco is a long one and according to African Travel Magazine, Hillary Clinton’s family heritage is from Morocco.African Travel Magazine states, Hillary’s grandfather, a Moroccan Jew living in Rissani, married an American woman, and then immigrated to the U.S.A.”  According to the correspondent “Hillary Clinton visited her grandfather’s home in Rissani and along with Morocco’s King’s sister Lalla Myriem visited the Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Chérif – forbidden to non-Muslims.” “At the same time during this trip Hillary Clinton, she also visited her sister’s daughter who is married to a Berber tourist guide and lives in the Atlas Mountains.”

Camel-Trekking-in-Merzouga

Morocco and the United States have a long history of friendly relations. As a North African nation Morocco was one of the first states to seek diplomatic relations with America. In 1777, Sultan Sidi Muhammad Ben Abdullah, considered one of the most progressive of the Barbary leaders who ruled Morocco from 1757 to 1790, announced his desire for friendship with the United States. The Sultan’s overture was part of a new policy he was implementing as a result of his recognition of the need to establish peaceful relations with the Christian powers and his desire to establish trade as a basic source of revenue. Faced with serious economic and political difficulties, he was searching for a new method of governing which required changes in his economy. Instead of relying on a professional army to collect taxes and enforce his authority, he wanted to establish state-controlled maritime trade as a more reliable, and regular source of income, which would free him from dependency on the services of the standing army. The opening of his ports to the United States of America and other states was part of that new policy. The Sultan issued a declaration on December 20, 1777, announcing that all vessels sailing under the American flag could freely enter Moroccan ports. By issuing this declaration, Morocco became one of the first states to acknowledge publicly the independence of the American Republic.

King-Mohammed-V- Morocco

King Hassan II of Morocco, the father of King Mohammed VI has been considered by thousands of Israelis as “their” king. Many Moroccan Jews fled whom consider the king to be a direct descendent of the Muslim prophet Mohammad. 

 Hassan took power in 1961 after the death of his father, Mohammed V. When Hassan ascended to the throne, he was an unknown quantity with a reputation as a playboy. But ruling with a deft mixture of pro-Western democracy and traditional autocracy, he earned the respect of his people. He also survived several coup attempts.

Mohammed V was widely credited with having saved Morocco’s Jews from deportation during World War II, and Hassan continued the philo-Semitic policies of his father. Although there was an outbreak of anti-Jewish incidents following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the Jewish community was generally safe under the protection of both Mohammed V and Hassan II.

For more information about Morocco Travel to Ouarzazate

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside ResortsSahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806  or 1 (917)703-2078  and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today

Morocco Travel, Holiday Vacation to Morocco’s Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls- Your Morocco Travel Guide

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Morocco Travel, Holiday Vacation to Morocco’s Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls – Your Morocco Travel Guide

Morocco is a first class destination in North Africa for those who are interested in a Morocco Travel adventure. Morocco’s shear wealth of Kasbahs, Ruins and Waterfalls make it one of the most attractive places to vacation for a short break or long holiday. When traveling to Morocco for the first time, there are many options to consider such as a Morocco private tailor made tour, a group tour, budget Morocco travel or Morocco luxury travel. Whatever option you choose you are guaranteed to have a unique and majestic Moroccan adventure travel experience.

kasbah ruins in Morocco

Have you imagined Morocco as being a dream vacation or a once in a lifetime dream destination? If so, then now is the time to embark on a Morocco Travel experience! Many Americans who are interested in a Morocco Travel vacation do not realize that Morocco’s hub and economic capital, Casablanca, is only 7 ½ hours from New York City. The advantage of travel to Morocco by plan from New York City is you can start your Morocco Travel vacation in the evening, taking off from JFK airport directly from Terminal 1 and land in Casablanca, Morocco’s airport at Terminal 2 the next morning.

Woman-At-Cascades-D'Ouzoud-Waterfalls

The combination of ease of travel to Morocco by plane and the opportunity to visit special places in Morocco with varied landscapes from Kasbahs, to Ruins, and Waterfalls as well as the Sahara Desert, make Morocco a premier travel destination in North Africa. The best way to see Morocco is through a private tailor made tour. A private tailor made tour to Morocco will enable you to have a real Morocco Travel experience that allows you to engage “up close” with the people of Morocco.

Morocco’s rich heritage of Arabs and Berbers living side by side for hundreds of years with foreigners of all religions, races and creeds has enabled Morocco’s tourism industry to expand during the rent 10 years. Morocco now offers a wider array of travel opportunities for both the first time traveler to Morocco and those who have traveled to Morocco before.

Oum-er-Rbia-Waterfalls-Khenifra

A Holiday Vacation to Morocco’s Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls is an enchanting way to discover the Maghreb. In just 9 days and 8 nights you can experience a visit to Marrakech’s old city, the famous Djemma el Fna Square, the 12th century Koutouba Mosque, the Tiskwin Museum of Art, the Majorelle Garden and still have time for shopping for Berber carpets, silver jewelry in the old medina PLUS embark on an evening to the Chez Allez Fantasia show in Marrakech’s Palmary.

Majorelle-Garden-Marrakech

In addition to being able to visit Marrakech on your 9-day and 8 night Morocco adventure, private tailor made tour you can also see the Cascades D’Ouzoud Waterfalls, which is one of the most spectacular sites in Morocco. The Cascades D’Ouzoud is a plush green valley with beautiful waterfalls nestled inside, has a Berber village and Gorges.

The Cascades D’Ouzoud is just the beginning as your Morocco travel vacation will take you to Beni Mellal’s Aïn Asserdoun Springs (eyes of the mule) located in the Middle Atlas Mountains and the waterfalls of Oum er Rbia in the city of Khenifra.

Ait-Benhaddou-Kasbah-Ouarzazate

During your Morocco Travel journey you also visit the Ait Benhaddou (a UNESCO World Heritage site) Kasbah, Kasbah Taourirt and Tifoultoute located within the town of Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate is the door to the Sahara desert (translation “quiet”) and truly boasts some of the most beautiful Moroccan scenery of stained desert orange architecture and Atlas Mountain views. Many claim to “see Ouarzazate or die” as this Saharan Desert town is a simply breathtaking part of Southern Morocco. Ouarzazate is just 4 ½ hours from Marrakech and 2 hours from the Todra Gorge (Gorge of Todra) and will enable you to travel by 4×4 to visit the Gorge, the picturesque village of Tamtattouchte, Mount Mgoun and other areas connected to the Draa Valley.

On of the last stops on your Morocco tailor made tour after the Todra Gorge will be to return to Ouarzazate and explore the Atlas Film Studios where Hollywood’s most exciting films 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 Saharawere shot.

Volubilis Capitol

You will then end your Morocco Travel Tour of Kasbahs, Ruins and Waterfalls by taking the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass Road along the route from Ouarzazate to Marrakesh. On the return Morocco journey to Marrakesh you will see panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains as well as sights of fertile valleys, blue and red colored pise villages and other striking mineral environments. The higher up you drive you will notice the mountains becoming more rounded and the crops turning into bare red soil.  Whatever the season, a Morocco Travel vacation to Kasbahs, Ruins and Waterfalls is one of the best ways to discover the real Morocco.

For more information about Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls 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 & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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  and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Top 10 Places To Travel In Morocco

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Morocco is modern Muslim country in North Africa. It has a coast on the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco, also referred to as the Kingdom of Morocco, has international borders with Algeria to the east, Spain to the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders with two small Spanish cities, Ceuta and Melilla), and Mauritania to the south. For Westerners, Morocco holds an immediate and enduring fascination. Since it’s not possible to see everything on the first or even second trip we’ve selected The Top 10 Places To Travel To in Morocco  will give you a taste of the country’s highlights: outstanding natural wonders, spectacular cities, history, culture and breathtaking architecture. 

Djemma el Fna Square

Djemma el Fna

Beneath the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in the city center of Marrakesh lies Djemma el Fna, a famous UNESCO recognized city square, where you will discover a world of mysterious bazaars and a set amidst the ancient city walls of Marrakesh’s medina. Djemma el Fna is  a unique L- shaped square best described as a labyrinth of mazes. There are souks sprawling off the sides of crowed alleys that sell carpets, spices, metal and wood works and tourist trinkets. Marrakesh has been built around Djemma el Fna and is often referred to as the heart of Marrakesh. In the evening, snake charmers, fortune tellers, monkeys & musicians transform this city Center into a medieval circus.

Ergg Chebbi Dunes, The Moroccan Sahara

Ergg Chebbi

Moroccan legend says that the Erg Chebbi sand dunes were sent by God as a punishment for turning away a weary traveler from the desert. Moroccans believe that the dunes piled up outside Merzouga to teach them a lesson so that they would never refuse to help tired travelers ever again. The Erg Chebbi dunes at Merzouga are indisputably one of the greatest sights of Morocco. These giant hills of smooth sand line the Algerian border and are a must see for everyone.Today, arriving to the Erg Chebbi dunes of Merzouga is a breeze in comparison to decades prior; there are many options to take you there. The easiest way is by 4×4 land cruiser however for those who have time to explore the Sahara, camel trekking is also popular. The best way to travel is with a guide. If you choose to do so, you will be in expert hands and have the opportunity to cruise the dunes and areas surrounding them. When trekking by camel, you must allow a minimum of two weeks. 

Cascades d’Ouzoud Waterfalls
In the Middle Atlas, just hours away from the Imperial city of Marrakech, lies one of the most majestic waterfalls set among a Berber village within Morocco. Morocco’s famous waterfalls, Cascades d’Ouzoud
 are argued be the most photographic falls within this geographically lush green region. The falls are so beautiful that even a novice photographer can capture their essence. When it comes to the cascades, a picture is truly worth a thousand words and the falls appear at least as stunning in real life as in print. To experience the intrinsic beauty of Cascade d’Ouzoud you have to pass through the tiny Berber village of Ouzoud. The village is located eighteen kilometers from Marrakesh-Azilal road. Most travelers arrive by private 4×4 directly if on a tour. Another way to get to the falls is by shared taxi from Marrakech to Azilal and then transfer to another shared taxi to reach them. Other alternatives include renting a car for the day in Marrakesh or Beni Mellal. From Beni Mellal you can also take a bus to Azilal. The best time to capture the Cascades d’Ouzoud waterfalls is between mid to late afternoon. Often rainbows appear, making the waterfalls even more remarkable and providing photographers with magazine quality photos. To capture the widest rainbows head towards the bottom of the falls.


The Majorelle Garden 

The subtropical Majorelle Garden is located in the heart of Gueliz, Hivernage within the Imperial city of Marrakesh. It is one of the most delightful and stunning spots within this red walled city. To arrive at this meticulously designed botanical garden you must pass through Marrakesh’s medina filled with acres of olive groves and palms.  The Majorelle Garden (Jardin Majorelle) previously the Jardin Bou Saf, was designed by the French expatriate artist Jacques Majorelle in 1924. Jacques Majorelle was the son of the celebrated Art Nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nancy in 1901 and later in 1919 he went to Marrakesh, Morocco to recover from heart problems. He built the garden during those years using special colour of blue which he used extensively in the garden that is named after him, Majorelle Blue. Jacques Majorelle returned to France in 1962 after a car incident and died later that year of complications from his injuries. Even though Morocco is no longer under the French protectorate, this originally French creation is one of the most beloved areas in Morocco. 

Although the Majorelle Garden has existed in Morocco for decades, it was only made famous abroad when the Majorelle Garden’s former owner and care-taker, fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, featured it in the 1997 Chelsea Flower Show in London. Since this time, many have journeyed to Morocco just to see the Majorelle Garden.

The Todra Gorge

Todra

The Todra Gorge is a trench of gigantic rock walls that, change color and run through the High Atlas Mountains creating an absolutely magnificent spectacle. Many travelers visit the Todra Gorge  as they journey through the south on the ‘Road of One Thousand Kasbahs’, a route from Ouarzazate to Erfoud where these century old pisé fortifications remain. The mining town of Tinerhir is the base town for visiting the Todra Gorge. The Gorge is breathtaking and easy hike by foot with many places to stop to photograph along its well-maintained dirt road. Part of the spectacular scenery includes an opportunity to see how the local Berbers live as nomads; as they stroll through the gorges many winding roads hering their donkeys and camels.

 
Volubilis, Walili – Roman Ruins

There is no better proof that the Romans once occupied Morocco than the dramatic and breathtaking archaeological site of Volubilis  (Arabic, Walili) located thirty-three kilometers from Meknes in the Middle Atlas. The nearest town is Moulay Idriss, named after the great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The site, which has been recognized by UNESCO since 1997, became famous abroad when Martin Scorsese made it a feature location for his film, The Last Temptation of Christ. 
Volubilis is best described as a colony where Roman culture was made central to its inhabitants. Originally, the site was a Carthaginian settlement since the third century B.C.; however, the Roman Empire transformed the city into one of its administrative centers. The Romans transformed Volubilis into a typical city complete with mansions to house the Roman officials, a town center, a triumphal arc and temples devoted to the Roman gods. Christianity was the practiced religion and Latin was the spoken language by the Greeks, Jews and Syrians living in Volubilis. 

The Koutoubia Mosque 

marrakech-mosque-koutoubia

The Koutoubia Mosque, located in Marrakesh’s Djemaa el Fna Square, is a landmark and the largest mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco. The meaning of the word ‘mosque’ is the place where one bows down in a prayer. Consequentially, a mosque is center of religious life in Islam. Built during the Hispano-Moresque period, characteristic of simple yet masterful craftsmanship and luxury, The Koutoubia Mosque  is argued to be most beautiful and proportioned mosque in the world. The Koutoubia Mosque was completed under the reign of the Almohad dynasty Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184-1199) and was used as model for the Giralda of Seville then for the Hassan Tower of Rabat. The name is derived from the Arabic al-Koutoubiyyin for librarian, since it used to be surrounded by sellers of manuscripts. Koutoubia Mosque, is often referred to in literature as the “bookseller’s mosque” and was named after the souk of koutoubiyyin, where sellers of manuscripts in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries laid out books and scripts on stalls on front of the original mosque. 

 
Aït Benhaddou Kasbah

Casbah

Recognized as a UNESCO site, the Ksar Aït Benhaddou is one of the most beautiful in Morocco. This giant fortification, which is made up of six kasbahs and nearly fifty ksours (individual kasbahs), is a great example of pisé clay architecture. Aït Benhaddou sits amidst a valley near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, just thirty-two miles from Ouarzazate, the film capital of Morocco. Ouarzazate first came into the international spotlight with the Hollywood film Lawrence of Arabia; Aït Benhaddou  made a feature appearance in this film. 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. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery of Ouarzazate. International blockbusters shot there 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. 

 
Kasbah Taouirt
Nearby Ouarzazate, a small town at the crossroads of the Drâa, Dadés and Ziz valleys, stands Kasbah Taourirt. Kasbah Taourirt
 is one of the most impressive of its kind in Morocco. The town of Ouarzazate was made famous when the Hollywood film, Lawrence of Arabia, was filmed nearby at the ancient Berber village of Aït Benhaddou. This helped raise awareness for Kasbah Taourirt, a magnificent structure, built by the Glaoui. At one point in the 1930’s, Kasbah Taourirt was considered the largest Kasbah in Morocco and today is classified as a historical monument giving tribute to the Glaoui

 
The Dar Batha Museum of Fes
The Dar Batha Museum of Fes was originally a palace built in a Hispanic-Moorish design by Moulay Hassan at the end of the 19
th century. The palace belonged to the two Sultans Hassan I and Moulay Abdelaziz. In 1915 Dar Batha Palace took on the role of providing a home to Moroccan arts and was reinvented as the Dar Batha Museum  If you have an appreciation for art, craft and history, the Dar Batha Museum in Morocco is a must-see attraction. The Dar Batha Museum boasts some of Morocco’s most exquisite collections of antiques, astrolabes, aleju (Fes gold thread), traditional Fassie art works such as embroideries, zellige, sculpted works, jewelry, iron works, Korans, carpets and ceramics. 

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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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.