Posts Tagged ‘Tours to Morocco’

Top 10 Things To Do in Essaouira, Morocco Tour Guide

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Essaouira, Portuguese Ramparts

Essaouira, Portuguese Ramparts

Essaouira is the perfect excuse to head southwest of Marrakech to experience a one-of-a-kind coastal town in Morocco. Laid back with a hippy vibe, windswept Essaouira, also referred to as “old Mogador,” attracts the Bohemian types searching for an inspiring destination where a keen combination of savory cuisine, local markets, artisans and seaside walks can be found. For the last century, Essaouira has attracted artists, writers, architects, and surfers, those with wanderlust along with retirees who came for a stop over and decided to make it their home. This charmed Moroccan town is the ideal travel destination for independent travelers interested in discovering the insiders guide to coastal living or those who desire a private Morocco Tour.

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Essaouira’s medina is surrounded majestic stonewalls. Its tranquility, sandscapes and diverse population have made it a trendy summer getaway. In the ’60s and ’70s, Essaouira was a pit stop on the hippie trek from Marrakesh. Jimi Hendrix made the pilgrimage, as did Bob Marley and Cat Stevens. Essaouira was the inspiration for Hendrix’s song “Castles Made of Sand.” Home to some of Morocco’s best chefs, Essaouira’s unique combination of tasty local fare, fresh produce, and delightful markets created a Moroccan hub where foodies congregate.

Whether you are visiting Essaouira on a one-day trip from Marrakech or as part of a Private Tailor-Made Morocco Tour this ancient city and it’s white washed walls with painted cobalt blue shutters offers a wealth of history, old world architecture and culture that is not to be missed.

Essaouira’s History Says It All
The medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city, an example of a late-18th century fortified town. Essaouira’s history is a reminder of the times when Spain, Portugal and England fought to maintain control over its coasts. It has a typical Portuguese harbor that is a stunning example of Moorish and Portuguese architecture. Essaouira, originating from the Phoenician word Migdol meaning a “small fortress” was the first port in Morocco and once linked the country to the rest of the world. Since its foundation Essaouira has been known for its diverse ethnic groups of Amazighs, Arabs, Africans, and Europeans with a mix of Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Val D'Argan Vineyards, Essaouira

Val D’Argan Vineyards, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essaouira Things to Do – Top 10 and More…
The medina of Essaouira and its ramparts are the essential place to begin your exploration and as time allows an excursion to a local winery or a fromagerie is also highly recommended.

Visit Place Moulay Hassan Take a stroll along the town’s sunlit pedestrian main square, Place Prince Moulay el Hassan and the Skala du Port, the fishing harbor, offers breathtaking views of the Portuguese ramparts. Explore the Portuguese ramparts and the spice souk, dozens of boutiques selling silver jewelry and the medina’s clock tower.

Visit Orson Welles’ Square and memorial, designed by Samir Mustapha, one of the towns artists, which pays homage to Orson Welles filming of Othello in Essouaria.

Thuya Workshops Indigenous to Essaouira is the Moroccan thuya tree. Only in this coastal town can travelers visit Skala de la Ville, also known as the woodworker’s souks. Intricately designed thuya wood items can be found hand laid and inset ebony, walnut and citrus wood. There is a prior tradition of artists harvesting their own wood. Today this ancient tradition has been abandoned. Many artist cooperatives offer the option to design and command on order tables and other objects with thuya. Don’t miss out on seeing how these small treasures are made.

Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah Musuem
This local historical and craft museum contains a wide variety of carpets, textiles, clothing, jewelry, metalwork, woodwork and historic photos. It is one of the few museums in Essaouira and definitely worth a visit.
Address: ‪Street Rue Laalouj‬

French Institute Part of a network of 12 institutes under the umbrella of the French Institutes in Morocco. While the French institutes aims to promote French language and culture it also offers concerts, cultural events, debates and exhibitions along with other cultural events. All are free of charge.
Address: 9 rue Med Diouri, Derb Laalouj

 

La Fromagerie, Essaouira

La Fromagerie, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Attractions

Domaine Val d’Argan, Excursion to a Local Winery
In 1994 Charles Melia created this boutique winery using organic farming methods, just a few kilometers from Essaouira. The Val d’Argan wine tasting is a perfect afternoon excursion from Essaouira and consists of a combination of many elegant offerings. The wine tasting can include a peppering of reds, rose, whites and Moroccan Gris, all consumed with local cheeses or the option of Moroccan lunch. As the result of Val d’Argan, Southern Morocco offers a new vintage each year that make up the wide range created from The Gazelle of Mogador, El Mogador, the Val d’Argan and Orients of the Val d’Argan. Many of the wines made at Val d’Argan can be purchased and are also offered at local restaurants in Morocco. Book in advance!
Address: Ounagha Phone: +212 5247-83467

La Fromagerie
Located on Route Cotiere de Safi, just 8 kilometers from Essaouira is Abderrazzak Khoubbane’s La Fromagerie. It is one of two fromageries in Morocco, the other being in the rural region of Fes. True to its name Abderrazzak runs a and farm to table restaurant with some of the best “cheese, cheese and more cheese.” The menu is prefixed unless you request a la carte. It consists of local organic wine, home made lightly fried cheese for an appetizer with sides of minty fruit jellies, then a hardy vegetable fresh cheese salad along with a main of Moroccan grilled / smoked meat and upon request a vegetarian, cheese tajine. For desert, a wooden plank is served up with various types of goat, cow and camel cheese. More then a meal, this is an experience.
Address: R301, Phone: + 212 666-233534

Horseback Riding in Diabat or Essaouira Proper
For a side-excursion within Essaouira consider a visit at Ranch de Diabat, located in the small village Diabat. Ranch de Diabat arranges tours of high quality with camels or horses – and it can be for 2 hours or it can be for several days. If your preference is to stay in Essaouira proper consider Equivasion.
Address: Douar Diabat n°6 Phone: +212 662-297203

Cooking Class, Essaouira

Cooking Class, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking Class with a Local
Go local. Take a Cooking Class with Khadija’s Kuzina. Explore authentic Moroccan at a private, home cooking class in Essaouira. Learn how to make the most delicious meal you will have in Morocco. You will be met by your local chef and experience an overview of Moroccan cuisine. Enjoy a medina walk to discover the spice market, the fish monger and the various kinds of local fresh produce available. Enjoy a demonstration of how Moroccan bread is made. Moroccan Meal Description: 
Prepare two Moroccan cooked salads, chicken and lemon tajine with preserved lemons and olives or pastilla, and fruit salad or pastilla with milk for desert. Participate in a Moroccan tea ceremony. Dine on the mouth-watering lunch that you prepared.

Jewish Essaouira, Where to Daven
Essaouira’s population is approximately 70,000 with fewer then 25 Jews.
Visit the Essaouira Jewish Synagogue & Mellah: Jacky Kadoch is the president of Essaouira’s Jewish community. Rabbi Chaim Pinto, the synagogue of the revered Pinto is located in Essaouira’s medina within the Jewish Mellah. The building is an active synagogue, used when pilgrims or Jewish tour groups visit the city. The synagogue is on the second floor of a three-story, courtyard building inside the walls of the old city that also contained Rabbi Pinto’s home and office. Essaouira’s mellah covers over 10 percent of the town, but Jews constituted almost 40 percent of the population in the late 1880’s. Jewish stars on the doors to the mellah show the degree to which Jews were accepted in Essaouira, to the point that some of the richer Jews did not even live in the mellah. Commemorative plaques indicate the buildings in which synagogues were located. Former inhabitants of Essaouira, most of them Jewish, formed a committee to rehabilitate the town. An important member of the committee is King Hassan II’s Economic Advisor, Andre Azoulay. The Jewish cemetery, just outside the city gates, is extremely well kept. The hiloula of Chaim Pinto is held in September.” Rabbi Chaim Pinto is buried there.

Sunset Cocktails
Taros
A great place for a pre or post dinner drink and to dine with views near to the sea. It caters to an International audience and has a full bar. Taros offer simple yet very tasteful dishes in a nice ambiance. The library of books on art, the small boutique and quality of music make having a meal here one of the perfect experiences for Essaouira.
Address: Place Moulay Hassan Phone: 212-524 47 64 07

Palais Heure Bleue
L’Heure Bleue Palais is built into the medina walls. This luxury boutique hotels is an oasis of calm and their piano bar with wrap around courtyard or rooftop terrace are ideal for sunset cocktails.
Address:Rue In Battouta Phone:+212 5247-83434

Ocean Vagbond
The perfect place for sunset cocktails this boutique restaurant and bar is laid back and oh so chic. The décor offers up a friendly reminder of being in Montauk. The Vagabond has a full view of the Atlantic along with horseback riders, camel trekkers and surfers who frequent the area. There is a sister property in Dakhla for those interested in heading down south.
Phone: +212-524-78-39-3

Le Chalet de La Plage
An Essaouira landmark this restaurant is on the seafront overlooking the beach. Ask for the daily fresh catch or their speciality of oysters, sea urnchins, prawns, squid or lobster. Add this to the list for sunset coctails with unobstructed ocean views.
Address: Blvd. Mohammed V

Essaouira Coastal Dining

Essaouira Coastal Dining

Where to Eat

Umia
Ideally situated in Scala, the ramparts of Essaouira, Umia serves as the perfect stopover in the medina for lunch or dinner. The owner Bibi lends a hand to create unique dishes using local market products: Olive oils, Argan oil and Goat cheese. Umia’s cuisine can best be defined as an mélange of the large Mediterranean Basin: Greece, Lebanon, Morocco, Italy, but also the international gastronomy with French cuisine, Japanese or Asian. The Menu varies each week. You can anticipate full course size. From fillet of beef in crust of herbs laminated, Papillote of Saint Jacques crèmes to the coriander, the tajine of monkfish in the juice of bouillabaisse, the mouse of candied lamb, calamari stuffed with chorizo … It is impossible to leave Umia without desert as the Amlou ice cream with molten chocolate cake and thousand sheets pen-caramel salted butter is divine. 
Address: 26 rue Scala

One-Up
The Former owner of Villa Del’O, Caroline and her Scottish partner have teamed up and created one of Essaouira chicest restaurants with contemporary chic decor and cuisine that well deserves a gold star for this excellent Moroccan table. One Up is a beautiful loft space and also the former British Consultate. The menu is selective offering a combination of French bistro’s best from foie gras to salmon burger. Alike the decor the food is a work of art, made by a French chef with a wonderful twist. Exotic virgin cocktails are complimentary and the services is top notch. This is a relatively new restaurant and on the road to be one of Essaouira’s best. One Up to this new venture.
Address: 1 Rue Laalouj Phone: 212-24-470-21-03

O’Bleue Mogador
Inspired by the cuisine of the south, Serge Peuzin launches a new challenge with his O’Bleu Mogador. Master Chef since 1997, this chief Marseillais, has always been at the head of institutions of high quality. The culinary influences of Serge Peuzin come from Italy, Spain, Lebanon, and Morocco. An address that he wants cozy and friendly, with a leader who opens in front of you in an open kitchen, a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Bernadette, the wife of Serge, is part of the adventure and it is she who provides the reception of clients, manages the reservations and reign on the service in room. O’Blue Mogador’s, fusion cuisine is surprising and unprecedented – full of flavors and surprises, which often changes and over the seasons, products from the market, of the fishing and the terroir. “Small tajines, casseroles, casseroles and delicacies” are on the list.
Address: 23 Rue Coubhentour
/ Phone: 212-52-47-83-133

 

Fresh Catch, Sidi Kaouki, Essaouira

Fresh Catch, Sidi Kaouki, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Moette Et Les Dromadaires
Located in Sidi Kaouki, with stunning views of the Atlantic, this boutique restaurant by the sea offers up a corner of paradise in coastal Essaouira. La Mouette et les Dromadarires (The Seagull and Camels), offers a wide array of seafood options and is the perfect lunch spot on a sunny or wind swept day. Just 30 minutes from Essaouira you can dine on plates of seafood carpaccio, tartar, smoked, crunchy, crispy, or simply grilled seafood on the plancha. For those who prefer the meat, try the grilled lamb chops or salad voile along with a gastronomic terrine. Oysters from Dakhla and fresh lobster are available upon request. The décor features chic Moroccan lounges perfectly situated under a Berber tent and comfortable sofas along with tables and sunbeds. All food is organic. Reservations required in advance. Don’t miss this one!
Address: Plage de Sidi Kaouki Phone: +212-678 449 212

Chez Miloud
Known by locals as the best place to eat Msimen, a flaky pancake and Harira Soup, Chez Miloud is a must dine while in this coastal town. Owned and run by locals.

Cafe Nuss Nuss

Cafe Nuss Nuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast Cafes

Patisserie Chez Driss
Called “Driss” for short by locals, this landmark, well appointed café is near to the entrance of Hassan Square. Ideal for breakfast or an afternoon coffee they offer a wide array of delightful Moroccan and French pastries, the typical Moroccan “nous-nous” (half coffee, half milk) and breakfast breads. The atmosphere is full of native and local Essaouira artwork.
Address: 10 rue El Hajjali, Essaouira‬

Saha Kfe
Run by the owners of Villa Maroc, this calm and chic café offers hearty breakfasts, light snacks and delicious salads. Their specialty is homemade, fresh ginger lemonade. Located on the corner of place de l’horlodge.
Address: Rue Abdellah Chefchaouni

Le Simoun
This tea lounge is located inside a five-story converted riad that overlooks sea along the Skala wall. It’s laid back décor if teal blue accentuates the ocean and makes watching the seagulls that fly across in an eyes view picturesque. They offer wonderful deserts and coffees for those with a sweet tooth. With magnificent views of the sea from their second floor and terrace, there’s no need to go elsewhere.
Address: ‪Medina D’essaouira, Rue Sqala, ‬

Where to Shop, Essaouira

Where to Shop, Essaouira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Shop
Essaouira is one of the best shopping destinations in Morocco for those looking to sample traditional goods at reasonable prices in a laid back atmosphere.

Historie de Filles
Essaouira’s leading concept store that has a unique blend of jewelry, clothing, decorative objects, and home design pieces with an east meets west trendy designs sensibility. The boutique also showcases hip brands such as Sissi Morocco, Moroccan Touch, Bakchic along with up and coming designers. The owners of Historie de Filles have a new space located just beside dedicated to the gastronomy of the kitchen. The items for sale range from utensils with the dishes of among Chabi chic, inspired by the traditional hand-painted terracotta of Safi.
Address: 1 rue Mohamed Ben Messaoud

Mashi Mushki
Meaning ‘no problem’ in Darija, Mashi Mushki is the place to stop for socially responsible shopping. This gallery/ shop sells a changing collection of jewelry, various handmade items including colorful scarves and the collection
of boucharouite carpets is quite extensive. And you can feel good about your shopping as 10% of the proceeds support Project 91, a UK-based charity that supports at-risk youth in Essaouira to improve their job and education prospects.
Address: 91 Rue Chbanat, Medina

Rafia Craft
Some of the best designed Rafia shoes and sandals woven with the doum palm can be found at this small, chic boutique located near Bab Marrakech in Essaouira. Rumor has it that the Italian designer, Salvatore Ferragamo teamed up with the owner long ago and uses this address and its rafia as inspiration and creation for some of his top end designs. Prices are higher then other local shops in town however the quality and comfort of Rafia Craft’s footware cannot be surpasses.
Addresss: 82 rue d’Agadir, Bab Marrakech

Le Comptoir by Madada
An upstairs boutique across from the beach in Essaouira that has the feeling of an Oriental bizarre with a design showroom. There is a fine mix of vintage, chic and nomadic objects for sale. Sober and elegant this is a creation Madada Mogador’s owner, Christine and her brother Pacha. There we learn the secrets of Moroccan specialties as the couscous, tagines the pastilla without forgetting the Moroccan pastries of course!
Address: 3 bis rue Youssef el Fassi 44 000 Essaouira
Phone: +212 524 47 55 12

Galerie AIDA
Joseph Sebag, many refer to as one of the last remaining Jews of Essaouira owns a charming bric-a-brac store located under the ramparts. It is filled with a melange items such as antique, silver Berber and Jewish jewelry, exotic dagers, other Souri finds along with English and French books. Sebag is worth meeting as he carries a wealth of Essaouira’s Jewish History with him.
Address: 2 rue de la Skala
Phone: +212-524-47–62–90

Poupa Litza
Behind the unassuming door is a cavernous traditional douiria housing Litza Chemla’s line of handbags and accessories. Locally made by hand, the collection also sells in Europe. It’s worth a visit if only just to see the building
that houses the showroom and the wonderful boucherouite carpets that adorn the floor. The shop is closed from lunch daily from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Address: 135 bis av. Mohamed el Qouri, Medina
Phone: +212 524 78 35 65

Joutiya Market
Essaouira’s Sunday flea market filled with second-hand items, antique treasures and junk stalls. With views of the Coast this market where a rare gem can be found also has Native Swiri Artists that feature there naïve creations of art in self-decorated houses and small buildings.

Best Hammmam & Spas
One of the must-do experiences in coastal Essaouira is to spend a lazy afternoon at leisure in a traditional Moroccan Hammam. The Moroccan hammam begins with a traditional ritual of glazing the body with – ghassoul, a natural clay extracted from the Atlas Mountains, then black soap is applied on the body, made with local olive oil, prior to a body scrub with the final phase of rose or orange water sprayed lightly, made from the Atlas roses and used to calm the skin. Don’t miss out on a Hammam experience at one of these Essaouira Luxury Spas.

Azur Spa
A spa in seaside Essaouira offering massages, hammam and beauty with argan products and local flower essences. Moroccan owned.
Address: 15 rue Khalid Ben Walid 
Phone: +212-524-78-57-94

Spa Cocooning
A new luxury spa in Essaouira that offers massages, hammam treatments and beauty days with argan products and local flower essences.
Address: 2, Rue Mohamed Ben Masoud

Les Massages Berberes
As the name suggests, this place does massages using essential and local argan oils. Address: 135 Mohamed El Quorry (Bab Marrakech)
 Phone: +212-524-47-31-30

Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Festivals
Alizes Classical Music Festival Every year in April, the Moroccan port city of Essaouira holds one of its many annual festivals. The Spring Festival is called the “Printemps Musical des Alizés” (the Musical Springtime of the Trade Winds). As well as featuring international and Moroccan artists of classical music genres, the festival celebrates the coming of spring. The festival in Essaouira also coincides with the spring season of local religious festivals and pilgrimages of both the Muslim and Jewish faiths. In the local Moroccan Arabic dialect, such festivities are called moussem.

Gnaoua Festival The mysterious music of the Gnaouas celebrated each year in June at the Gnaoua Festival in Essaouira. The Gnaoua Festival attracts a cosmopolitan audience of festival-goers and offers a rich program, reaffirming its goal to emphasize the Gnaoua heritage in all its variety and to invite the best world and jazz artists to come and perform in the unique and magical town of Essaouira. This popular four-day festival features art exhibitions and Gnaoua style music. International musicians and groups from Tangier Marrakesh, and Essaouira perform their Gnaoua sounds at the Place Moulay Hassan and other spaces in the medina and outside its city walls such as Bab Doukkala, Bab Marrakech, Dar Souiri, Chez Kebin, Zaouia Gnaoua, Place Khayma and the Marche Aux Grain.

The Festival des Andalousies Atlantiques (Atlantic Andalucía Festival) This festival celebrates the shared Arabo-Andalusian heritage of Morocco and Spain. The intention of the festival is to encourage peaceful co existence and takes place each Septemberr or October in Essaouira.

For more information about Things to Do in Essaouira.

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19th Annual Gnaoua Music Festival May 12th – 15th, 2016

Friday, April 22nd, 2016
Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

Gnaoua Festival 19th Annual Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco announces the 19th Gnaoua Festival which will take place in the Coastal town of Essaouira from May 12th – 15th, 2016. This annual festival will feature artists from around the world along with Gnaoua Maalem greats. The Gnaoua Festival is sponsored by Maroc Telecom, Sidi Ali, Bankque Populaire, Oulmes and several other Moroccan companies. The Gnaoua Festival is the voice of a tradition, memory and music. Nineteen years ago, a team of local Souri’s started an event, 100% Moroccan which enabled the Gnaoua Maalems to usher in a new chapter of their life.

Maalem Mahmoud Guinea

Maalem Mahmoud Guinea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once called, Mogador and the Port of Timbuktu, Essaouira continues to host this annual fetival that has received international acclaim. The unique combination of International stars, Jazz greats and traditional Gnaouas makes it one of a kind. Tributes to this years annual festival will be made to Maalem Mahmoud Guinea and the great Doudou Ndiaye Rose, magician of the Senegalese drum. Mahmoud Guinia was a Moroccan Gnawa musician, singer and guembri player, who was traditionally regarded as a Maâllem, i.e. master.

Doudou Ndiaye Rose

Doudou Ndiaye Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doudou Ndiaye Rose was a Senegalese drummer, composer and band leader, and was the recognized modern master of Senegal’s traditional drum, the sabar. He recorded for both domestic and foreign labels, and collaborated with numerous western musicians.

There will be a combination of residences, early evening and late night Concerts along with conference style meet ups, all Gnaoua and Souri style.

Below is an up close view at the 19th Annual Gnaoua Festival’s line up and artist program.

Artist Line Up – Essaouira 19th Gnaoua Festival

From the USA:
Randy Weston: Africa
Jamaaladeen Tacuma: Groove
Christian Scott: Hewho youth to jazz
Jeff Ballard Trio
Blitz The Ambassador
Hassan Hakmoun: International Gnaoui

From EUROPE:
Las Migas: Flamenco witha female fusion tone
Jaba & Friends: Roots & reggae

From AFRICA:
Hoba Hoba Spirit: The Moroccan music phenomenon event!
Mohamed Derham
N3rdistan: Rock, rap and Arabic poetry!
Songhoy Blues:the quiet force of Timbuktu
DoudouN’diaye Rose family:Tribute to mathematician of the Drum!
Mehdi Nassouli: The Hajhouj conquering the world
RachidaTalal,The pearl of the South
Oudaden, rebirth of Amazigh music
3ADA Swiria
Issaoua of Fez
Hmadcha

Festival Stars from MOROCCO
Festival stars: Maalemsfrom all over Morocco
(Casablanca, Marrakech, Essaouira, Meknes, Rabat, Ksar El Kebir)
MAALEM HAMID EL KASRI: The Santana of the Gnaouis
MAALEM ABDELLAH AKHARRAZ: Worthy successor of the Guinea heritage
MAALEM ABDESSLAM ALIKANE: Themaalem of maalems
MAALEM HASSAN BOUSSOU: The prodigal son
MAALEM OMAR HAYAT: For love of Reggae
MAALEM ABDELKEBIR MERCHANE, The Gnaoui with silver hands
MAALEM MOHAMED KOUYOU, The most American of maalems!
MAALEM MAHJOUB KHELMOUS, The magician of the guembri
MAALEM MOKHTAR GUINEA:Tagnaouite running in his blood
MAALEM SAID OUGHESSAL:A Hispanic breeze blowing on Gnaoua
MAALEM ABDENBI EL GUEDARI: An electro Gnaoui
MAALEM MUSTAPHA BAQBOU:The hippy Maalem
MAALEM SEDDIK BOUNHAR:The passionate Gnaoui who has travelled the world
MAALEM AHMED BAQBOU: The gnaoui prince of the ochre-colored city
MAALEM Said BOULHIMAS: Maalemin spite of himself
MAALEM ALLAL SOUDANI: Ancestral Gnaoui
MAALEM SAID BOURKI: Faithful to tradition
MAALEM ABDELKADER AMLIL:The Gnaouibluesman
MAALEM ABDENBI EL MEKNASSI:“ ElMeknassi”
MAALEM RACHID EL HAMZAOUI:Gnaoui Ghiwani

The Official Festival Program – Essaouira 19th Gnaoua Festival

May 12th, 2016
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Time: 8:30pm – Opening Concert
Artist Line Up: Doudou N’Diaye Rose Percussions Orchestra and Enfants Guinea and Rachida Talal

Time: 9:35pm – Concert
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist Line Up: Jeff Ballard Trio

Time: 10:45pm – Concert Fusion
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist Line Up: Jeff Ballard Trio and Maalem Mohamed Kouyou

May 13th, 2016
Place: Zaouia Disna Bilal
Artist Line Up: Maalem Allal et Najib Soudani and Maalem Said Boulhimas and Maalem Said El Bourki

Time: 11:00pm
Place: Dar Loubane
Artist Line Up: Anciens Gnaoua

Time: 12:00am
Place: Dar Loubane
Artist Line Up: Maalem Seddik Bounhar

Time: 12:05am – Residence
Place: Dar Loubane
Artist Line Up: Songhoy Blues and Maalem Abdeslam Alikane

May 14th, 2016
Time: 8:00pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Maalem Abdellah Akharaz

Time: 8:05pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Movie Projection – Maalem Mahmoud Guinea

Time: 9:15pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: La Releve Gnaoua and Musiciens de Doudou N’Diaye Rose

Time: 10:40pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Christian Scott

Time: 12:00pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Maalem Hamid El Kasri

Time: 11:00pm
Place: Dar Loubane
Arist: Maalem Abdenbi El Meknassi

Time: 12:00pm
Place: Dar Loubane
Artist: Maalem Rachid El Hamzaoui

Time: 8:30pm
Place: Scene de la Plage
Arist: Khalid Amrhoche, Khalid Lzoubaz, La Releve Gnaoua, Mohamed Bomzor

Time: 9:35pm
Place: Scene de la Plage
Artist: Songhoy Blues

Time: 11:30pm
Place: Scene de la Plage
Arist: N3Rdistan

Time: 11:50pm
Place: Scene de la Plage
Artist: Maalem Mustapha Baqbou

Time: 11:00pm
Place: Borj Bab Marrakech
Artist: Maalem Abdenbi El Guedari

Time: 11:00pm
Place: Zaouia Issaoua
Place: Tarifa de Safi

Time: 12:00am
Place: Zaouia Issaoua
Artist: Maalem Mahjoub Khalmouss

May 15th, 2016
Time: 5:00pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Oudaden

Time: 6:00pm
Place: Place Moulay Hassan
Artist: Maalem Mustapah Baqubou, Mohamed Derham, Nabil Khalidi, Omar Sayed

 

For more information about Essaouira or the Gnaoua Festival

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.

Moroccan Guides, The Best Way to See Morocco on a Private Tour

Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Moroccan Guided Tour

Moroccan Guided Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best way to see Morocco is with a Moroccan Guide. Exploring Morocco with expert licensed Moroccan guides who will help you navigate Morocco’s old medina Andalusian gardens, vibrant souks, monuments, and mosques enables you to experience an insiders view of the country. Having an experienced Moroccan guide during a tailor-made Morocco Tour is key to discovering the best Morocco has to offer.

Hiring licensed historical guides who are multilingual is essential. Making sure your historical guide is fluent in English, Arabic, Berber, and French will make for a more rewarding trip to Morocco. If you are considering visiting the Imperial Cities along with the great South and Sahara Desert region a Berber guide will enhance your experience given the people in the rural regions in between and the South speak primarily Berber. While Moroccan Arabic and French are spoken widely in the Imperial Cities, the main langugage in Morocco’s South, Desert region and rural Berber Villages is Berber, also referred to as Tamazight. If you are visiting Morocco and your native language is not English or French  then locating a  expert, licensed Moroccan guide that is fluent in your langugage such as Russian, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese is important. Travel agencies that offer private tours are the ideal place to inquire about licensed Moroccan Guides that are multi-lingual.

The best expert, licensed historical guides in Morocco offer insight about Moroccan history, culture, local sites, and monuments. A professional licensed, expert historical guide is also a good listener and capable of answering almost any questions about Morocco that you may have.

Licensed Morocco historical guides also carry an official license that looks similar to a drivers license. All official licensed guides authorized to enter the old medinas of Morocco and take trips with guests must receive an official license from the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism. As an independent traveler if you book a Moroccan Guide on your own and not through a Moroccan travel agency, it’s best to ask for the license number or official identity card of your guide.

Travel Exploration Moroccan Guided Tour

Travel Exploration Moroccan Guided Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are Two Types of Historical Guides in Morocco

Moroccan Historical Guides are delineated by two different descriptions and authorizations by the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism.

#1: National Licensed Guides in Morocco

#2: Local, Licensed Guides in Morocco

National Guides have a National License and are authorized to tour the entire country of Morocco with private couples, families, and groups. Local Morocco Historical Guides have a license to host private couples, families and groups only in the city where they have obtained their license.

For this reason, reputable travel agencies offer local licensed, expert guides for private couples, families, and small groups to enable them to complement their tour with an expert, licensed tourism driver to reduce costs.

For larger tours, Moroccan travel agencies use National Licensed Guides. Private Tours can opt for a National Licensed Guide upon request if they are interested in having a National Guide accompany them for the entire Morocco tour.

Whether you are planning a trip to Morocco on your own as an independent travelers or planning a tailor-made-tour  through a travel agency the key part of your tour is to make sure you are going to be hosted by a multi-lingual licesned Moroccan Guide as to guarantee you have a trip of a lifetime.

For more information about Tours to Morocco with a Licensed Guide

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.

Top End Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour

Friday, April 8th, 2016
Temple Beth-El Casablanca, Jewish Heritage Tour

Temple Beth-El Casablanca, Jewish Heritage Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cultural diversity of contemporary Morocco reflects its historic vantage point as a gateway to Europe and the world. Morocco’s Jewish Heritage offers visitors an encounter with ancient historic traditions, customs, architecture, monuments and sites that have permeated Moroccan society for centuries. Travelers visiting Morocco on a limited timeframe during a journey at sea, have the option to enjoy a  Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour. For those interested in the history of Moroccan Jewry the perfect way to discover Morocco is on a shore excursion from the Casablanca Port.

During a Casablanca Private Jewish Heritage Tour travelers will visit Casablanca’s Sacred Sites, Jewish Monuments, and the Jewish Quarter along with all of the highlights of old Casablanca. Some of the sites visited during a top end Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour are Temple Beth-El, the Jewish Mellah, Casablanca’s Musuem of Moroccan Judaism and the opportunity to enjoy Kosher fare for lunch at a Kosher restaurant in Casablanca or the Jewish Club.

Casablanca, Jewish Heritage Tour

Casablanca, Jewish Heritage Tour

 

A Top End Jewish Heritage Tour of Casablanca Itinerary:

  • Morning departure from your hotel or the Port in Casablanca.
  • Casablanca is more affectionately known as Casa by the locals. The biggest city in the Maghreb, Casablanca is the heart of Moroccan business. Enjoy Casablanca’s vibrant new town, visit the old medina, lounge at beach clubs, and dine at seafood restaurants along the Corniche.
  • Casablancaʼs 4,500 Jews now live mostly outside the mellah and worship in over 30 synagogues around the city. Throughout Casablanca you can find kosher restaurants, Jewish community centers, and Jewish schools.
  • Start the Jewish Heritage Day Tour with visits to Casablanca’s Jewish Sacred sites, then continue on to see the highlights of old Casablanca. The synagogues, cemeteries, monuments, and communal institutions of Casablanca demonstrate the importance of the city to the Jewish community during the twentieth century.
  • Visit Temple Beth-El, the Jewish Synagogue in Casablanca. Beth-El, is considered the centerpiece of a once vibrant Jewish community. The Synagogue has remarkable stained glass windows and many artistic elements.
  • Visit the old Jewish Mellah of Casablanca. While Jews no longer live in the mellah, kosher butchers can still be found in the old market. The Jewish cemetery in the mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew, and Spanish. Once a year, Casablancans celebrate a hiloula, or prayer festival, at the tomb of the Jewish saint, Eliahou.
  • Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca, a museum of history and ethnography created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. The Museum holds the treasures of the Arab regionʼs only Jewish Museum. Using world-class standards of conservation for the collections, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic, and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions, and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization.
  • The Jewish Museum in Casablanca exhibits paintings, photography, and sculpture by Jewish-Moroccan artists. There are permanent exhibitions on Jewish religious and family life. Jewish-Moroccan artifacts like oil lamps, Torahs, Chanukah lamps, clothing, Jewish marriage contracts (ketubot), and Torah covers are also on display, as well as rooms depicting a complete Moroccan Jewish Synagogue. For research purposes the Museum houses a document research library, a video library, and a photo library.
  • The Museum offers guided visits, seminars, and conferences on Jewish-Moroccan history and culture. On special request, it organizes group visits in Arabic, French, English, or Spanish.
  • Visit Casablanca’s Jewish Cemetery. The Jewish Cemetery in the mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew, and Spanish. Once a year, Casablancans celebrate a hiloula, or prayer festival, at the tomb of the Jewish saint, Eliahou.
  • Visit Casablanca’s Jewish Club. Option, if time allows.
  • Lunch Options: Kosher Food in Casablanca, Seafood, or Moroccan Fare.
  • Kosher Jewish Lunch: Cercle de L’Alliance is a central Casablancan Jewish hangout and social spot with a cafe, a small bar, and a restaurant with great appetizers and an outstanding menu.
  • E.J.J. A vegetarian restaurant that serves delicious fresh pizzas, pastas, and salads.
  • La Truffe A fantastic kosher restaurant located in downtown Casablanca across from the medina.
  • Seafood Seafood restaurants along the Corniche, El Mer, or Rick’s Cafe.
  • After lunch visit Hassan II Mosque designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is situated on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor with room for 25,000 worshippers. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 meters. It is an enormous architectural masterpiece and the second largest religious building in the world. On Fridays, the Mosque of Hassan II is open to non-Muslims. The Mosque of Hassan II’s promontory offers lovely views overlooking Casa in the residential Anfa quarter.
  • Visit Ville Novuelle.
  • Visit the famous clock tower, Art Deco buildings, and the eleven-story Moretti apartment block on Boulevard Mohmmed V. Visit the famous residential blocks of the Glaoui, the Bessonneau, and the Asayag. Stroll the labyrinth of narrow streets lined with jewelers and artisanal shops. See La Squala, the fortified 18th century wall of the city. Visit the nearby shrine and tomb of Sidi Allal el-Kairouant, Casablanca’s patron saint.

For more information about a Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour

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

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

Heritage Tours, History and Stories of Jewish Morocco

Monday, March 28th, 2016
Seffrou Jewish Mellah, Heritage Tours

Seffrou Jewish Mellah, Heritage Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco is a melting pot of Islamic and Jewish culture. Heritage Tours that are composed of Morocco’s grand history tell an important story about Jewish Morocco.  Jewish Heritage Tours are comprised of a mixture of historic site seeing, shared experiences with the local community, prayer, guided visits to  ancient landmarks, Moroccan Zaouias and delving into a country and a people that are hosptiable and kind.

Morocco’s history of Jewry and the co-mingling of Jews with Berbers and Arabs are a key factor in why Morocco is ideal for Jewish Travelers today. Morocco is a country of Muslims, Jews and Christians. Jews first arrived in Morocco during pre-Christian times, accompanying the Phoenicians on their trade expeditions across the coast of Morocco. In the countryside Jewish and Berber tribes tilled the soil side by side together for two thousand years speaking the Berber dialect. In the towns and cities Jewish merchants and financiers were valued by successive Moroccan rulers who protected them.
Today, a journey through Morocco’s most private Jewish and public heritage sites offers places sacred spaces to discover that have left an indelible mark on Moroccan Jewry. Expert licensed Historical guides will impart history and information in great detail that tells a story of Moroccan Jewish culture and heritage. The history and stories of Jewish Morocco lie within the anicent cities (medinas) along with Berber rural regions. These guided story tellers are what keep those memories alive today.
Travel Exploration, Jewish Heritage Tours

Travel Exploration, Jewish Heritage Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewish Heritage Tours – The Stories of Morocco Reside Within

Casablanca Jewish Heritage Sites:

The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is a museum of history and ethnography, created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca is tucked into a residential neighborhood and holds a treasure trove with it being the Arab region’s only Jewish Museum. It uses world-class standards of conservation for its national and international collections. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization.

Casablanca’s Jewish Cemetery: 
The Jewish cemetery in the mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew and Spanish. Once a year, Casablancans celebrate a hiloula, or prayer festival, at the tomb of the Jewish saint, Eliahou.

Temple Beth-El: the Jewish Synagogue in Casablanca. Beth-El, is considered the center piece of a once vibrant Jewish community. Its stained glass windows and other artistic elements, is what attracts tourists to this synagogue.

The Jewish mellah of Casablanca is young by Moroccan standards, not much more than a century old. It assaults the senses in the evening, with a sea of women in brightly colored djellabahs carrying and selling fruit and vegetables throughout the cramped, narrow streets.  While Jews no longer live in the mellah, kosher butchers are found in the old market, next to other butchers selling horse meat. The Jewish cemetery in the mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew and Spanish. Once a year, Casablancans celebrate a hiloula, or prayer festival, at the tomb of the Jewish saint, Eliahou.

Fes Jewish Heritage Sites:

The Jewish Mellah: In contrast with the young Mellah of Casablanca, the mellah of Fes is over 650 years old. This picturesque neighborhood adjoins the royal palace, noted for its recently constructed bright brass doors. Jews took shelter in this palace during the 1912 pogrom.

The Jewish Cemetery: The nearby cemetery contains the tombs of more Jewish saints than any other cemetery in Morocco. One of the more important saints is Lalla Solica, who was killed for refusing to convert to Islam.  This woman was born in Tangier in 1817. At the age of 16, she was courted by a Muslim man, but refused to marry him.

Maimonides: Throughout the old city of Fes, there are traces of ancient Jewish life, including the home of Maimonides, who lived in the city from 1159-1165. Suffering from the persecutions of the Almohad dynasty, Maimonides emigrated to escape forced conversion.

The Danan Synagogue: The Danan  synagogue was once only one of several inside the walls of Fes, and not the most elaborate. It is entered through a simple doorway indistinguishable from the doors of nearby houses. The door leads immediately to a short flight of stairs that lead into the high, rectangular space of the synagogue. The construction is masonry coated with plaster. The wooden ceiling is beamed and painted. The room is lit by small windows high in the walls. Photos taken in 1954 show a ceiling hung with numerous memorial lamps, now vanished. The walls are wainscotted with blue figured Moroccan tiles. The large Torah Art, a cupboard filling the width of an entire wall, is made of carved wood. The wall above is decorated with intricately carved plaster work. Opposite the Torah Ark is a raised alcove, separated from the main prayer space by a wooden screen elaborately carved with a series

Meknes Jewish Heritage Sites:
The Talmud Torah Synagogue was built in 1930. This is the last remaining synagogue in Meknes, often referred to as the Moroccan Versailles, home of the former Sultan’s palace and grounds.

Marrakech Jewish Heritage Sites:
The Marrakech Synagogue in the Jewish Mellah was created in 1558. The Jewish community enjoyed autonomy even though Jews weren’t allowed to own any property outside the Mellah and controlled the sugar trade. There are approximately 250 Jews still living in Marrakech, and most live outside the Medina. The Mellah area is now almost completely Muslim.

Jewish Synagogue, Marrakech

Jewish Synagogue, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essaouira Jewish Heritage Sites:

The Essaouira Jewish Cemetery: Essaouira was founded in 1765. The oldest tombs date from 1776. Contrary to Jewish tradition and Mosaic Law, the tombs are sculptured with very marked human forms. These anthropomorphic tombstones sometimes bear epigraphic inscriptions and sometimes none. The monolithic tombstones are carved out of marine sandstone. This kind of tombstone can be found in other Moroccan towns located mainly on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. In some towns such as Xauen (Tetouan) certain tombs have been dated to the 16th century. Inscriptions are in Hebrew and French. The local Jewish community owns the site. The sea is adjacent to the cemetery.

The Essaouira Mellah covers over 10 percent of the town, but Jews constituted almost 40 percent of the population in the late 1880’s. Jewish stars on the doors to the mellah show the degree to which Jews were accepted in Essaouira, to the point that some of the richer Jews did not even live in the mellah. Commemorative plaques indicate the buildings in which synagogues were located. Former inhabitants of Essaouira, most of them Jewish, formed a committee to rehabilitate the town. An important member of the committee is King Hassan II’s Economic Advisor, Andre Azoulay. The Jewish cemetery, just outside the city gates, is extremely well kept. The hiloula of Chaim Pinto is held in September.” Rabbi Chaim Pinto is buried there.

Jewish Zaouia – Sacred Space:
In Ourigane there is the Jewish, Berber Shrine of Rabbi Mordekhai & Rabbi Abraham Ben Hammou. In Ourigane, just outside the National Park, is an old Jewish Zaouia (shrine of Rabbi Mordekhai and Rabbi Abraham Ben Hammou. There is an old dirt road that leads to a compound of buildings enclosed by a gate, overshadowed by mountains and built on rocky terrain in the village of Ouirgane. Inside the shrine are three different tombs, leaving the precise burial spot of Rabbi Haim Ben Diwan in doubt — befitting the mysterious circumstances of his death.

For more information about Jewish Heritage 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.

Five Signs You’ve Fallen in Love with Morocco

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

 

Sahara Desert Morocco Travel

Sahara Desert Morocco Travel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Moroccan Market Places

Moroccan Market Places

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Moroccan Food and Drink

Moroccan Food and Drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Ouarzazate Region

Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Ouarzazate Region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Written by Jess 

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

For more information about Things to do in Morocco

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

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

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

Marrakech Guided Tours, Private Site seeing Adventures

Monday, December 7th, 2015
Marrakech,Snowcapped Atlas Mountains

Marrakech,Snowcapped Atlas Mountains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marrakech, a Berber city, located just outside the snow capped Atlas Mountains, has become one of the leading destinations for Morocco travelers during the past decade. Travelers from the USA, Europe, Russia and Brazil continue to place Marrakech on their bucket list. Marrakech is leading a style revolution for Moroccan travelers with it’s fabulous mix of of old world souks, monuments, mosques, Jewish Heritage Sites, Art Deco architecture, evening Food tours and upmarket Moroccan cuisine. The best way to discover Marrakech’s hidden jewels is to take  a private Marrakech Guided Tour.

A Marrakech Guided Day Tour will give you the opportunity to discover the main sites of Marrakech along with off the beat places. On a Guided Marrakech Site seeing Tour travelers will discover the interiors of the souks that are filled with bustling and delightful food markets, the local bread oven, artisan workshops, majestic gardens along with the glorious Ben Youssef Medersa. All sites are well appointed within Marrakech medina with the famous Majorelle Gardens just footsteps outside.

A Guided Site seeing Tour of Marrakech also includes an in depth visit to Marrakech’s historical Jewish quarters which consists of the Jewish Mellah, the Jewish Cemetery and the Marrakech Lazema Synagogue. On special request dinner with the Rabbi or Shabbat catered dinner can be arranged.

Djemaa El Fna at night

Djemaa El Fna at night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guided Marrakech Day Tours all end with a visit to Djemma el Fna square just before sunset. Djemaa el Fna Square is best described as an L-shaped square that is 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. Locals also frequent the square where the evenings deliver storytellers, Gnaoua musicians and drummers, snake charmers, jugglers, acrobats and the evening food market. A typical Moroccan experience includes a visit to the evening food stalls grilling meat on braziers, smoking fish, and selling exotic Moroccan foods. If you want a quick treat you can try Morocco’s popular stewed snails. Grab a tooth pick and dig in. Feeling especially brave? Try some stuffed spleen or a sheep’s head showing the eyes. Wash it down with Khendenjal, a spicy nut-based aphrodisiac. With its wild and colorful characters, Djemaa el Fna will stop at nothing short of bedazzling and astounding you. At night, the air fills with aromatic smoke fumes lingering off the delicious delicacies sold in the streets and the sounds of Moroccan music.

Marrakech Guided Tour, Ben Youssef Medersa

Marrakech Guided Tour, Ben Youssef Medersa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marrakech Guided Tour City Highlights: Site seeing with a Marrakech Guide
The Yves Saint Laurent, Majorelle Gardens & Berber Museum
Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens
El Bahia Palace
Saadian Tombs
Ben Youssef Medersa
El Badi Palace
Museum of Photographie
Marrakech Museum
Djemaa el Fna Square
Marrakech Souks – Bread Oven, Local Hammam, Neighborhoods, Artisan Workshops, Spice Souks, Olive Market, Local Bucher and Fruit and Vegetable Sellers, Date Market, Main Kisseria
Jewish Mellah, Jewish Synagogue and Jewish Cemetery

For more information about A Private Cooking Vacation to 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 offer Private 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, A Safe Place to Travel, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Morocco, A Safe Place to Travel

Morocco, A Safe Place to Travel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With its relative proximity to Europe and increasingly easy to access from international airports, Morocco has long attracted visitors from abroad. A large part of its charm is due to its historical significance as a cultural crossroads between Arabic, Middle-Eastern, African and European cultures and communities. Modern Morocco is developing fast and its cities rival any in Europe or North America for facilities, infrastructure and modern conveniences. In rural Morocco – in the plains, mountains and deserts – life continues as it has for centuries. This juxtaposition of traditional life and modernity, the familiar and the exotic, is as appealing today as when adventurers and discoverers passed through in bygone eras. Morocco is a safe place to travel and offers

The indigenous people of Morocco are the Berbers (also known as Amazigh, literally “free men”). They were the original inhabitants of the mountains and deserts. A little-known facet of Morocco’s history is where Berber and Jewish history and culture intertwine. There were several waves of Jewish immigration to North Africa, potentially beginning in the BCE period and certainly pre-dating the arrival of Islam from Arabia in the 7th century.

The result of such a long history of cohabitation and assimilation and integration of others’ cultural practices has created a modern Moroccan population which – at up to 50% Berber (the remainder being by large majority of Arab descent) is resilient to external shocks and reluctant to upset the balance of closely-knit communities.

As a result of this unique history and the careful political management by the constitutional monarch, King Mohammed VI, Morocco has not suffered the upheaval of Arab Spring-style uprisings, while its neighbors and allies have been shaken to the core. Tensions have been meticulously mitigated and complaints painstakingly investigated in order to avoid the social unrest which has rocked the region.

The modern monarch has also taken time to cultivate productive relationships with key Western powers. The relationship with the EU, including on some contentious issues such as immigration, trade and international security, is closer than it has ever been. The relationship with the USA is similar. Morocco was the first country to recognize US independence and – over 200 years later – Morocco remains a key ally in the strategic Middle East and North Africa region. These relationships and their importance to Moroccan economic and social stability are at least in part behind Morocco’s strenuous efforts to tackle international terrorism and religious extremism.

Keep Calm Travel to Morocco

Keep Calm Travel to Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, Morocco is one of the safest countries in Africa or the Middle East and North Africa region. You will be welcomed with a smile and great hospitality by virtual strangers. Enjoy your trip!

For more information about Morocco, A Safe Place to Travel 

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 offer Private 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.

Essaouira’s 12th Annual Andalusian Atlantic Music Festival 2015

Friday, October 23rd, 2015
12th Annual Essaouira Andalusian Festival

12th Annual Essaouira Andalusian Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each year Essaouira hosts the Andalusian Atlantic Music Festival (The Festival des Andalousies Atlantique) which pays homage to great musicians and the Andalusian legacy of hispano-Moroccan traditions in the Magreb. Celebrating the friendship and shared history between Spain and Morocco the 12th Annual Andalusian Festival of Essaouira will take place from October 29th – 31st, 2015.

Founded in 1992 by Mr. Andre Azoulay, a Senior adviser to King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the Andalusian Atlantic Music Festival celebrates the diverse heritage of Moroccans and the town of Essaouira’s historical co existence of Jews, Berbers, Spaniards, Muslims and Christians who  contributed in weaving together a multicultural and rich artistic coastal town.

The  12th Andalusian Atlantic Music Festival features concerts along with round table discussions and debates led by academics and professionals in the artistic field as to contribute the importance of cultural diversity.

Compania de Danza Flamenco, 12th Annual Essaouira Andalusian Festival

Compania de Danza Flamenco, 12th Annual Essaouira Andalusian Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The schedule for Essaouira 12th Andalusian Atlantic Music Festival from October 29th – 31st, 2015 is featured here:

Thursday, October 29, 2015
Salle Omnisport
21h: Compania de Danza Flamenca, a spectacle of Flamenco Dance and Music
22h: Joseph and Daniel Afriat, Jacob “Coco ” Tordjman, Abdelhak El Kaabe Is and Houssam Guinea, a concert of the Intimate connection between Jews and Muslims

Friday, October 30, 2015
Dar Souiri
10h: Projection of the court-feature film “Ya lhmama” (the dove) a collaboration with the pianist Amit Hai Cohen
10h30 : Forum: “An Essaouira Culture Banquet of sharing ”
15 h30 : Concert with Moroccan singer, Benjamin Bouzaglo
16h30 : The Orchestra of Rachid Ouchehad and the brothers Abdellaoui, a concert of Chgouri after midnight featuring Spiritual Music

Hall Omnisport
21h: Malhoun Music Conservatory and Andalusian Musical interpretations by Nabyla Maan Zaineb Afailal and Amine Debbi and musicians
21h50 : Concert with the Singer, Sanaa Marahati. It will resume the works of popular Salim Halali with the Orchestra Shabab Alwatan Organization Al Andalous

Benjamin Bouzaglo, 12th Annual Essaouira Andalusian Festival

Benjamin Bouzaglo, 12th Annual Essaouira Andalusian Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, October 31, 2015
Hotel Mgallery the Medina
10h Projection of the film “Aida” of Driss Mrini on the relationship Judeo-Muslim connections in Morocco.

Dar Souiri
16h: Innovative Concert for new arrangements and the traditional repertoire of Arabo-andalusian music
17h: Concert with the female ensemble Tangerois Arij after midnight: a concert of Spiritual Music

Hall Omnisport
21h: Festival finale with the Orchestra Shabab Al Watan Organization Al Andalous, and the voice of Benjamin Bouzaglo, brothers Afriat and Jacob Tordjman. They will be joined by Sanaa Marahati and Zainab Afailal for the final concert

For more information about the 12th Andalusian Atlantic Music Festival or Essaouira Private Tours 

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.

Pure Life Experiences, Marrakech Luxury Travel Expo

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

Pure Life Experiences, Palais Des Congres Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about Pure Life Experiences

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

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