Posts Tagged ‘Travel Exploration’

Must See, Top Rated Palaces in Marrakech, Your Morocco Private Tour Guide

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Must See, Top Rated Places and Palace in Marrakech offers the perfect Insiders Guide to travelers who are visiting Morocco on a Private Tour. Don’t miss out on some of Marrakech’s Best places that range for Palaces to ancient Mosques. Known for it’s magnificent palaces and old world decor designed by the Moors with Andalusian flavor, Marrakech is a must on every travelers bucketlist.

Marrakech is home to several magnificent, must see Palaces located in the historic district, also referred to as the medina. When visiting Marrakech on a Private Tour to Morocco these Top Rated Palaces are historically significant and offer a window into the former lives of royalty who built and managed these century old lavish homes. The palaces of Marrakech are essentially riads (courtyard homes) based upon the concept of Roman villas with lush interior courtyards, ornate architecture, hand crafted cedar wood and painted ceilings and succulent gardens. Marrakech’s palaces are typically surrounded by walls given this was a tradition of protection and to prevent those passing by from seeing inside. Many of the Marrakech palaces and riads have been been transformed into boutique hotels and guest houses.

Several of the palaces such as the Bahia Palace, El Badi Palace, Dar Si Said Palace, are historic landmarks, that have remained open to the public as to visit on a Guided tour of Marrakech. These palaces are also used by art organizations such as the Marrakech Bienalle and the Marrakech International Film Festival for both public and private events.

Bahia Palace, Marrakech

Bahia Palace, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bahia Palace

The Bahia Palace was built at the end of 19th century by Si Moussa, grand vizier to the sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Abderahmane 1859 -1873, as his personal residence. The work on the palace was continued by his son Ba Ahmed who was grand vizier to Sultan Moulay Hassan and the powerful regent to the young sultan, Abdel Aziz. They brought craftsmen from Fes who created carved and painted and guided wooden ceilings and reception rooms and numerous courtyards. The haphazard warren of rooms is partly due the growing number of official wives and concubines with their children. The most imposing feature is the vast courtyard used for official occasions and decorated with a central basin. It leads onto to gardens and palm trees. When Ba Ahmed died all his possessions were seized by the sultan and the palace is completely empty of fixtures and fittings. The Bahia has an imposing entrance through the main gate, which is just up from the Jewish Mellah. It was the headquarters of the French military during the French Protectorate and the American novelist Edith Wharton stayed there as a guest of Marshal Lyautey in 1917. The Royal family still uses the Bahia palace for official occasions.

Ben Youssef Medersa, Marrakech

Ben Youssef Medersa, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Youssef Medersa

Visit the Ben Youssef Madrasa, an Islamic college in Marrakech, Morocco, named after the Almoravid sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (reigned 1106–1142), who expanded the city and its influence considerably. It is the largest Medrasa in all of Morocco.The college was founded during the period of the Marinid (14th century) by the Marinid sultan Abu al-Hassan and allied to the neighbouring Ben Youssef Mosque. The building of the madrasa was re-constructed by the Saadian Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib (1557–1574). In 1565 the works ordered by Abdallah al-Ghalib were finished, as confirmed by the inscription in the prayer room. Closed down in 1960, the building was refurbished and reopened to the public as a historical site in 1982.

El Badi Palace, Marrakech

El Badi Palace, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Badi Palace

The El Badi Palace was built in the 16th century by the Saadian Sultan Ahmad al-Mansour following his victory over the Portuguese at the battle of the three Kings in 1578. This epoch making event changed the course of history as King Sebastian of Portugal and his allies were defeated and Portugal never again held sway in Morocco apart from a few costal outlets like El Jadida, Essaouira and Azemmour. The Sultanate of Morocco was at the pinnacle of its power. Portuguese ransoms and captured booty as well as Sub Saharan African gold and the sugar trade paid for the construction of the palace.
Sultan Ahmad al-Mansour died shortly after the El Badi’s completion in 1603. He had asked his court jester what he thought of his palace and the jester replied that it would make a fine ruin. By 1690 this came to pass, as Sultan Moulay Ismail stripped the El Badi completely to adorn his palace in Meknes. What you see today is a mere shell but it does give a sense of the massive proportions involved along with sunken gardens and dungeons. As so often in Moroccan history buildings were destroyed by conquerors or successors building their own stately palaces. There are fine views from the towers of the Medina and the Atlas mountains. Storks nest on the ramparts as they do along the high walls of the Royal Palace adjoining it. The Marrakech Folklore Festival Son et Lumiere with Berber dances and music takes place in July in the grounds of the El Badi and its huge ramparts and walls provide an imposing historical venue. The El Badi Palace has a museum and exhibits of which includes and a 12th-century minbar that once stood inside the Marrakech Koutoubia Mosque.

The Royal Palace, whose high walls and gates follow on from the El Badi, is also known as Dar el-Makhzen, is part of the imperial grandeur of Marrakech. It was built on the site of the Almohad Kasbah, by the Almohads in the 12th century and underwent changes by the Saadians in the 16th century and the Alaouites in the 17th century. It was one of the palaces owned by the Moroccan king, and the palace employed the most accomplished craftsmen in the city. The rooms are large, with unusually high ceilings for Marrakech, with zellij and cedar painted ceilings. At the entrance is an ancient pulley fastened to the ceiling.

Dar Si Said Palace & Museum of Arts, Marrakech

Dar Si Said Palace & Museum of Arts, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dar Si Said Palace & Museum of Moroccan Arts

Dar Si Said, also known as the Museum of Moroccan Arts, is located to the north of the Bahia Palace, right from the Rue Riad Ziroun el-Jedid. It was formerly the house of the brother of Bou-Ahmed, Sisi Said. The collection of the museum is considered to be one of the finest in Morocco, with jewelry from the High Atlas, the Anti Atlas and the extreme south; carpets from the Haouz and the High Atlas; oil lamps from Taroudant; blue pottery from Safi and green pottery from Tamgroute and leatherwork from Marrakesh. There is also a fine small garden laid out in classic Moroccan style but the glory of Dar Said is the carved and painted ceilings on the top floor which are the finest example of painted ceilings in Marrakech. Some of the wooden screens and frames were recovered from the El Badi palace. Today in the Middle East, Moroccan craftsmen are sought after as creators of Moroccan carved and painted ceilings in palaces and corporate headquarters. Their craftsmanship was displayed in the New York Metropolitan Museum exhibition “The Moroccan Court” in New York in 2011 and in the following year at the Shangri-La residence in Honolulu as part of a promotion for Moroccan business and cultural exchange between Morocco and Honolulu.

Dar Menebhi Palace, Marrakech

Dar Menebhi Palace, Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dar Menebhi Palace

The Dar Menebhi Palace close to the Medersa Ben Youssef was built at the end of the 19th century by Mehdi Menebhi. The palace was carefully restored by the Omar Benjelloun Foundation and converted into a museum in 1997. The house itself represents an example of classical Andalusian architecture, with fountains in the central courtyard, traditional seating areas, a hammam and intricate zellij tile work and carvings. The museum’s large atrium (originally a courtyard, now covered in glass and fabric) contains a very large centrally hung chandelier consisting of metal plates decorated with fine geometric and epigraphic cuttings. Several features of the original courtyard, including the floor-set basins and mosaics have been retained. The museum holds exhibits of both modern and traditional Moroccan art together with fine examples of pottery and ceramics from Fes and Moroccan Jewish, Berber and Arab cultures.
Dar El Bacha

The Dar El Bacha on the Rue Bab Doukala was the palace of the Pacha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui, who was Pacha from 1912-1956. He entertained the cream of western high society with parties at Dar El Bacha with Winston Churchill, Colette, Maurice Ravel, Charlie Chaplin and many others. As he collaborated with the French protectorate and contrived to remove Sultan Mohamed V into exile in Madagascar, he was and remains, unpopular to this day. Although Sultan and later King Mohamed V forgave him on his return from exile, all Thami’s properties were confiscated after his death in 1956. The Dar El Bacha is now a Royal Palace and a trade union federation occupies part of its imposing edifice. It was rumored that a museum was to open there but nothing has transpired. Many would like to visit this palace but it remains closed.

For more information about Marrakech’s Palaces on a Guided 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.

Travel Exploration Morocco donates 5% of our proceeds to Berber Villages through our charity organization called Project Feed. We are an ASTA approved travel agency and has won several accolades for our travel expertise.

Morocco Expert Tours, Tailor Made Luxury Experiences

Thursday, December 8th, 2016
Morocco Luxury Riad, Dar Hassoun, Tarodaunt

Morocco Luxury Riad, Dar Hassoun, Tarodaunt

For travelers interested in discovering Morocco’s Imperial Cities and the Great Desert region, Travel Exploration offers Morocco Expert Tours that custom designed with the perfect amount of luxury and authenticity. Our Morocco Expert Tours are offered on a private basis and tailored for couples, families and small groups.

Travelers will uncover the cultural diversity of contemporary Morocco on a Travel Exploration Morocco Luxury Tour and see the country through the eyes of locals. Our tours offer nothing less then the extraordinary including visits to breathtaking Architectural sites, Berber Villages, Jewish Heritage momuments, Majestic palaces, and Glorious houses of worship and opulent gardens. As a traveler you will dine on exceptional cuisine and view traditional Moroccan crafts being made by local artisans and shop in enticing marketplaces.

When you travel with us you will experience the authentic. At Travel Exploration Morocco our bespoke, luxury private tours itineraries are detailed. They are extensive in their coverage culled from our on the ground, expert team of licensed guides. Passionately designed and chosen by the directors each itineary includes a well balanced experience of Morocco whereby our travelers never spend more then 4-5 hours in a vehicle each day. Our staff is Moroccan, American and European which lays the ground for your insider travel experience. Our Multilingual Speaking Drivers fluent in English, Arabic, French and Berber are from Morocco’s Great South or the Marrakech region. Our drivers are deeply knowledgeable about the history and culture of Morocco. They will open your eyes and share information not found in travel books. You will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and ask them questions about aspects of Moroccan culture that is hard to access as an outsider on your own.

Morocco Luxury Guesthouse, Skoura Palmeraie

Morocco Luxury Guesthouse, Skoura Palmeraie

As Morocco Tour experts we offer stays at luxury boutique riads and hotels that are well apointed in the historic districts of each city. There’s no better place to take it all in then to stay at boutique hotels and luxurious, riads in Morocco. Riads also known for their elaborate courtyard gardens that are intimate spaces filled with lush, leafy green flora and fauna often centered around stone or marble fountain filled with rose petals. Most of Moroccan riads have courtyards or gardens where roses and oranges trees grow. A Moroccan riad experience should be part of every Morocco travelers’ vacation plan. Riads serve as the perfect escape to read a book, enjoy a typical Moroccan meal, a sunset cocktail or simply decompress and take in the sights and sounds of an exotic setting when traveling to Morocco. Our country side offering include private guests houses that have panoramic views and showcase gastronomic and farm to table Moroccan cuisine.

Morocco Luxury Desert Camp, Erg Chebbi Dunes

Morocco Luxury Desert Camp, Erg Chebbi Dunes

For your Sahara Desert adventure we offer a 1001 Arabian Nights experience, fireside with music under the stars. Our Luxury Desert Camp has inclusive access to Merzouga’s Erg Chebbi Dunes and is private, for our travelers only. Our private Sahara Desert Luxury Camp is situated southeast of the village of Merzouga. Located just one-hour drive from the city of Erfoud. The Luxury Desert camp is in the heart of the impressive Saharan sand dunes, away from the areas visited by tourists. Hotel room comfort, traditional meals prepared by our Moroccan chef, and served by candlelight are just a snapshot of this once in a life time experience.

Our luxury tours are affordable. While the rates we provide are not the least expensive, they are lower then agencies based in the USA and Europe, with an exceptional value. Travel Exploration Morocco private tours rate better then those offered in Conde Naste Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines for their inclusion of tax free travel, upgrades at boutique riads and hotels along with exclusive access to monuments, historic sites and rural kasbahs not offered otherwise.

Travel Exploration Morocco donates 5% of our proceeds to Berber Villages through our charity organization called Project Feed. We are an ASTA approved travel agency and has won several accolades for our travel expertise.

Don’t miss out on a luxury travel experience that goes beyond your wildest dreams.

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.

Travel Exploration Trip Advisor Winner 2016 – Morocco Private Tours

Monday, November 14th, 2016
Dades, Valley, Morocco

Dades, Valley, Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours has been awarded the Trip Advisor 2016 Certificate of Excellence.

The Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award is a testament to Travel Exploration’s High Standards and Service provided for Morocco Tours. The Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence honors Moroccan Travel Agents and Tour companies that consistently earn top ratings from Trip Advisor travellers. With a perfect rating of 5.0 Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours has earned a place among the very best.

This achievement is a direct result of Travel Exploration’s consistent great reviews from Morocco travelers who have shared their experiences on Trip Advisor’s website. The Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award is a testament to Travel Exploration’s High Standards and Service provided for couples, family, and small groups tours who have visited Morocco with Travel Exploration. The Trip Advisor award is given annually to exceptional travel agents and Morocco tour operators. TripAdvisor places a spotlight on businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers.

As a potential Morocco Traveler you can read what travelers who have visited Morocco with Travel Exploration Morocco’s Private Tours say on our Testimonials Trip Advisor page.

For More Information About Travel Tips Before You Go to Morocco or To Receive an Itinerary & Quotation, Visit our BOOK A TOUR page. We are an ASTA Certified Agency.

Travel Tips Before You Go: Morocco Private Tour & Boutique Travel Experiences – From Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours:

1. Make sure to Book Direct with Travel Exploration. Request a package that is inclusive of a Private, Mutlilingual Speaking Driver, Boutique Riads and Local Historical Guides. Ask for their hand selected options that have been curated by the owner. Our team of expert, licensed Multi-lingual guides and drivers will set in motion a memorable journey.

2. Research the tour offerings online as taking a Morocco Private Tour requires reserach and some planning on your own. Know what you want and decide whether you want an Imperial Cities or Imperial Cities and Sahara Desert Tour. Don’t miss out on the country wide site seeing options that are provided with the 1001 Arabian Nights 12 Day Tour, the Majestic Moroccco 2 Week Tour or if time is limited the One Week in Morocco Tour.

3. Take advantage of being able to book a Morocco Private Tour through a female owned company. Support a woman owned business. The owner of Travel Exploration, Alecia Cohen, is female, and a former magazine publisher, of Global Rhythm magazine and an executive who established Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours with her Berber partner to show travelers the best of Morocco. Mrs. Cohen has lectured at the World Bank on Culture & Sustainable Development in Africa and has been featured in various print and television venues, including CNN Financial News, Entrepreneurial Edge, Crain’s, Entrepreneur, and The World.

4. Splurge when traveling to Morocco. Stay at Morocccan Riads, Moroccan Boutique Hotels and a Luxury Desert Camp. Don’t miss out on unique opportunities to take a Food Tasting Tour in Fes or Marrakech, a cooking class with a Daada Chef or cruise across the Sahara Dunes on a Quad. The extra spending you invest in on local activites will ensure a richer travel experience.

5. Ask about Restaurant, Shopping and Spa Recommendations. Travel Exploration has their finger on the pulse of all things Moroccan. They can arrange for local lunches with families in Berber villages, a special dinner where you can dine on the best, Moroccan cuisine with locals, or visit up market restaurants where you have an exclusive invite to a Moroccan wine bar. Shop locally or at upmarket boutiques and enjoy a wide range of Moroccan and Hammam/ Spa experiences. Travel Exploration has Insider Guides to Morocco Travel only available to those who book with them.

Morocco has much to offer with it’s wide range of Travel Experiences for Couples, Indipendent Travelers, Families and those interested in visiting for their Honeymoon.

For More Information about Travel Exploration Morocco’s Private Tours to Morocco

History & Stories of the Fes Jewish Mellah, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Monday, October 17th, 2016
Fes Medina View, Jewish Mellah

Fes Medina View, Jewish Mellah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The city of Fes, Morocco is a historic landmark and must see for those interested in Moroccan Jewish Heritage. On a guided Jewish Heritage Tour of Fes the magnetic culture of Moroccan Jewery will be revealed through the eyes of a local expert. Fes is the oldest contiguous free, working medina in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history of Moroccan Jewery of Fes is fascinating and engaging. Stories of the Fes Jewish Mellah are those of co-existance, culture, love and prosperity along with alienation which was followed by a severe population decline once Israel became a state.

On a guided Jewish Heritage Tour of Fes you will learn about the roots of Moroccan Jews and how a population that once reached 300,000 + gradually disappeared. You will go beyond what is written in guidebooks and history books to hear an insiders perspective about co-existence between Moroccan Arabs and Moroccan Jews, that once described the livelyhood of Jewish Fes pre and post World War II.

Ibn Danan Synagogue, Jewish Fes

Ibn Danan Synagogue, Jewish Fes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As recent as the 1940’s there were still over 200,000 Jews in Morocco with the majority of the population residing in Fes. The Moroccan city of Fes lays claim to once having the largest Jewish community in the entire Muslim world however fewer then 2500 remain in the country today. Those few are primarily living within a close knit community with their extended family in the Imperial city of Casablanca. Casablanca’s Jewish community and culture remains small yet vibrant. The city of Casablanca has several working synagogues, a community center, kosher butchers, kosher restaurants and is home to the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, lauded for being the only Jewish museum in the Muslim world today.

The historic presence of Jewish Morocco runs through the veins of the country. The former Jewish population built synagogues, cemeteries, shrines and created prosperity and wealth within the Mellahs. The Jews of Fes were leaders in trade, the garment business, experts in agriculture and jewelry designers. Moroccan Jews for example were the creators of the ancient tradition of filagree jewelry made using gold and silver. This particular Moroccan tradition uses metalwork made with tiny threads that are twised together to form intricate and beautiful designs. Filagree jewelry often featured the Star of David, chamsas and other ornate symbols.

Although the Jews of Fes were confined to living in the walled Mellah it was done so for their protection and to the benefit of both royalty and the government. The Jewish Mellah of Fes and the mellahs in other Moroccan cities were located close to the Royal palace and the governor’s residence. Many Jews were consultants for the King and also the government, making their level of contribution and importance to Moroccan culture and society exceptional.

Jewish Cemetery, Fes Medina

Jewish Cemetery, Fes Medina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the exodus of Moroccan Jews when Israel became a state, many in Morocco claim the economy changed drastically as they took with them a great skillset, once shared with their Muslim breathren. While the Jews left land, shrines, cuisine traditions and businesses, among other riches, the Moroccan economy never recovered from the particular labor trends that helped maintain and enrich the country that were associated with the Jewish community.

In the North of Morocco, the city of of Tangier and the blue washed mountain town of Chefchaouen, once had a prominent community of Spanish Jews that resided there. Jews emigranted to Morocco during the Inquisition. Today there there are Moroccan, Jewish Heritage Sites in Casablanca, Marrakech, Zaogra, the Skoura palmeraie, Coastal Essaouira, the Ourika Valley and Ourigane National Park.

Most prominent though is the impact the Jewish community made within the social character of Fes.

Maimonides, Jewish Fes

Maimonides, Jewish Fes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FES JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR – MOROCCO PRIVATE TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Visit Ibn Danan Synagogue, a 17th Century Jewish landmark, Talmud Torah Synagogue, Talmud Torah and El Fassiyeen
Explore the Jewish Cemetery Museum and the Tomb of Solica
The Royal Palace and Stories of the Jewish Mellah
The home of Maimonides and the Fes Jewish Community Center
Dinner at a Rabbi’s Home or Kosher Restaurant.
Meet the Local Fes Jewish Community (Friday evenings)

For more information about Jewish Heritage Tours of Fes

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.

8 Top Restaurants in Marrakech, Chic and Savory Dining

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Marrakech is the Paris of Morocco. Its lively dining scene makes it a stand out place for foodies. From local fare to the gastronomic table, I will take you on a culinary journey to charming cafes, local Moroccan eats to elegant restaurants. My list of suggested places to dine are bound to excite your palette and make you want to visit Morocco more than once. Chic and savory Moroccan cuisine is now at your fingertips with this 8 Best Restaurants short guide for foodies.

SALT Restaurant, Gastronomic Cuisine

SALT Restaurant, Gastronomic Cuisine

SALT Marrakech
New on the scene is SALT, perfect for those who want to dive deep into Gastro-Moroccan cuisine. The nine-course menu offers exotic flavors and is a new way of cuisine expression for die-hard foodies. Many think Moroccan is all tajines and couscous. Not here! SALT goes the beat with its visiting chef in residency program. The menu serves up dishes such as pickled watermelon with toasted almonds and argan oil, prawn ceviche with Barbara fig dressing, cumin infused carrot bissara with crispy ouarqa, slow cooked lamb’s should with ras el hanout, prunes, apricots and coriander. A journey of exotic flavors will surround you when you dine being served by traditional Moroccan chefs. Located in one of Marrakech’s most beautiful boutique riads, Dar Les Cigognes, this nouvelle chic dining experience is not to be missed. Start with cocktails on the roof terrace or try some local Moroccan wines, Volubilis Cabernet and Medallion white are two that will wet your taste buds and that can be carried over and paired with dinner. Then finish off with one of SALT’S delectable deserts.
Address: Berima Ground Floor، 108 Rue de Berima
Phone: +212-524382740

Nomad Cafe, Saffron Cake with Carmel Sauce

Nomad Cafe, Saffron Cake with Carmel Sauce

Nomad
The chic place to dine and be seen in Marrakech is NOMAD Cafe. This trendy restaurant has some of the most creative and distinct Moroccan modern dishes on the food scene. Tucked away in the medina, NOMAD café has views of the Rahba Kedima (Spice Market & Local Square). The restaurant has a nice mix of indoor and outdoor dining space with cozy indoor salons, rooftop terraces and a sun terrace as well. NOMAD’s menu items are a creative mix of Moroccan and Western dishes. The shaved cauliflower and fennel salad with fresh herbs and toasted almond is a must for vegetarians. The contemporary take on Moroccan bastilla, filled with spiced vegetables, local goat cheese and caramelized tomato comfit is second to none. Mains range from calamari served in a cumin infused sauce to marinated lamb served with olive and red pepper relish. For desert don’t miss the flourless saffron cake with caramelized orange zest and whipped cream, definitely a must!
Address: Rahba Kadema
Phone: +212-524381609

Cafe Clock, Camel Burger

Cafe Clock, Camel Burger

Café Clock
Camel burger anyone? Owned by British foodie, Mike Richardson, this eclectic, local café is frequented by Moroccans and expats alike. With delicious fare that has a contemporary touch, the trend setting Café Clock offers Moroccan mint tea and homemade cakes, tasty falafel and hummus salad, almond milkshakes, crunchy salads and it’s star feature, camel burgers and fries. The Clock, as locals call it, also boasts a wonderful cooking school and weekly Hikayat performances, the traditional art of storytelling. There are rotating showcases of local Moroccan painters, calligraphers and graffiti artists. This café does a fabulous job in making sure your stomach is full while sharing the artisanal heritage of Marrakech.
Address: Derb Chtouka Phone: +212- 524378367

Amal Women’s Training Center & Restaurant
A non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged women has made its way to the Marrakech food scene. Amal “hope” in Arabic lives up to its name fully. Established by Nora Fitzgerald, Amal was conceived to train and serve underprivileged Moroccan women. The restaurant menu changes daily and offers a mix of traditional Moroccan and fusion dishes. Moroccan salads, briouattes, tagines, liver with pureed potatoes and fish dishes are just some of the dishes on their menu. Amal offers traditional couscous on Fridays, the day of prayer. Diners are seated in the outdoor garden or interior salon. Amal has made name for itself for being socially conscious and supporting women. Eating here is an ideal way to support women and include socially responsible travel in your journey.
Address: Rue Allal Ben Ahmed
Phone: +212-524446896

La Famille
A hidden jewel located down a windy alley, just around the corner from the Dar Si Said Museum is the restaurant, La Famille. This unassuming eatery is the perfect place for a lazy Sunday brunch. Spread out on one of their wood tables and lean in to read your favorite magazine while you dine on their meat-free meals. On the menu, grilled vegetables plates, Moroccan couscous with cranberries and apricots, salads, flat breads and frothy cappuccinos. Surrounded by a rustic and charming Mediterranean garden diners can eat at tables or on low lounge chairs. La Famille also has a tiny boutique with local designers featured.
Address: 42 Riad Zitoun Jdid
Phone: +212-669041137

Chez Lamine, Mustapha -Tangia for Foodies

Chez Lamine, Mustapha -Tangia for Foodies

Chez Lamine, Mustapha
This hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the Marrakech souks is the place to go for meat eaters. Owner Mustapha is a legend in the Marrakech’s Djemaa el Fna Food stalls. Wander down Djemma El Fna to Mechoui alley and you will find a stall lined with sheep’s heads and Tangia pots. Mustapha’s recommendation, the top specialty, is called a Tangia Marrakchia, which is slow cooked lamb in an earthen jar. The Tangia is cooked over night (24 hours) inside a local hammam (bathhouse). The process allows the succulent juices to culminate at the bottom of the earthen pot. Also known for the best mechoui (whole roasted lamb) in town, this local eatery is filled with Moroccan families, regulars and travelers alike. Mustapha has a sister branch located in the popular, new town of Gueliz where visitors can sit street side and mingle with the locals.
Address: Souk Ablouh, 18-26 | Guéliz Rue Ibn Aicha N°26
Phone: +212-212661833805

La Crêperie de Marrakech
If galettes and pancakes are what you fancy then don’t miss the Le Crêperie in Marrakech’s garden district, Gueliz. This is Breton gastronomy at its best. Offering a delicious selection of crepes, buckwheat and wheat pancakes topped with your favorite sweet, savory or tangy ingredient. Prepared daily by the chef and owner, Laurent from Breton and Touria, this tiny café is a true gem. The crepes have fresh, local farm to table ingredients. Tastefully made with richness diners can enjoy a dark chocolate crepe, Roquefort or Chorizo, honey, goat cheese and spinach or butter-sugar and Nutella to the subtle variation of Suzette with oranges. There are even options for a full menu that includes a side salad for those who want some greens along with their savory meal. The décor is also as lively as the cuisine with the resident Parrot who is there to greet those arriving and the collectors’ wall of Breton sardine boxes. Perfect for those with a sweet and spicy tooth on a sunny or even a cold winter day.
Address: Rue du Capitaine Arrigui
Phone: +212 661433272

Le Jardin, Garden Restaurant in Marrakech

Le Jardin, Garden Restaurant in Marrakech

Le Jardin
If your inner compass calls for a day of R&R and International dining then make your way to Le Jardin for a late afternoon lunch. The Muezzin’s call is a far cry away from the oasis of calm at Le Jardin. This trendy restaurant is located in a garden setting offers fresh salads, sandwiches, burgers, tajines, couscous and a short wine list. A must try is their spiced Moroccan coffee or Avocado shake. What awaits you is a magnificent courtyard where you can lounge that is covered with emerald green Moroccan zellij tile, dry tolerant plants, hanging banana trees, birds and botanic flowers. It is the equivalent of dining at an arboretum. Outside dining is available on the terrace or ground floor where turtles scurry their way. Organic produce is sold downstairs in a small nook while the upstairs hosts the main boutique of French-Algerian fashion designer and tastemaker, Norya Ayon.
Address: 32 Route Sidi Abdelaziz
Phone: +212 5243-78295

Marrakech For Foodies – A Guided Food Tasting Tour

For more information about Where to Eat in Marrakech or a Guided Historical 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.

Marrakech Day Trips, Morocco Atlas & Coastal Excursions

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Ourka-Valley-Day-Trips-From-Marrakech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bustling red terracota colored city of Marrakech is dotted with magnificent views of the High Atlas Mountains and surrounded by lush valley’s and a desert-like palmeraie. Marrakech is the perfect city to use as a base for Day Trips. Often referred to as the Paris of Morocco, the city of Marrakech is well appointed in Morocco’s south. Mararkech is just three hours from Morocco’s Atlantic coast and the Essaouira Medina, an hour from the Ourika Valley and a full days drive from the Sahara Desert. Consider taking a one week holiday in Marrakech as to allow for these various Moroccan Day Trips.

Ourika Valley & Ait Ashok
A favorite weekend getaway for Marrakech’s is the Ourika Valley. This quaint region is appeciated by locals for its valley’s, streams and the seven Setti Fatma waterfalls. Ourika is perfect for long walks, hiking, visiting a Berber villages and is filled with palm tree plantations, fruit trees, tiny hamlets, summer homes and road side cafes. Travelers can enjoy tea and break bread with a Berber family on this day trip from Marrakech.

For those looking to experience off the beaten path Ourika consider exploring the charming Berber vilage of Ait Ashok. Nestled in a secret location inside the Ourika Valley and not frequented by many travelers, it offers unforgettable views, authentic encounters, and an unclose experience to meet local villagers of of Tizi Oucheg.

Ourigane Valley
Nestled in the High Atlas Mountains of Toubkal National Park, this region is a must see for travelers interested in a low key, non touristic day trip from Marrakech. Ourigane Valley is ideal for relaxing and hiking. It’s various flora and fauna makes for the idea location to sip mint tea with a view. The Ourigane VAlley also home to one of Morocco’s oldest Jewish Zaouia sites, the shrine of Rabbi Abraham Ben Hammou. Ourigane boasts fresh Atlas air and small properties for longer stays such as the classic La Roseraie famous for it’s 30 hectares of rose gardens and stables and the new, contemporary Hotel L’Amandier.

High Atlas Toubkal

High Atlas Toubkal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Atlas Toubkal & Imlil
The High Atlas Toubkal Mountains are the second highest in Africa second to Kilamanjaro and the highest peak in North Africa. Toubkal and the village of Imlil offer scenic activities for hikers on a day trip from Mararkech. A day hike at Mount Toubkal allows for trekkers to explore the region’s varied peaks and have lunch in a Berber village or at Kasbah Toubkal with views. The village of Imlil is small and windy with local shops selling Berrber silver jewelry and Moroccan goods. Filled with street cafes and guests houses, Imlil is a good refuge for hikers.

Ouzoud Waterfalls

Ouzoud Waterfalls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cascades D’Ouzoud Waterfalls
The Ouzoud falls, just a few hours from Marrakech boasts three tiered beautiful waterfalls and a lush valley. Ouzoud offers many trekking options. Visitors can take a wooden paddle boat trip at the bottom of the falls or a cold dip in the falls which makes for a charmed experience. Outdoor cafe stands conjure up the atmosphere with fresh cold orange juice and Moroccan snacks. A favorite of Marrakechi’s, picnicing at Ouzoud is also popular in spring and summer months. For Morocco travelers who have more then a day trip from Marrakech available, an overnight stay can be arranged at a Berber guest house. The Berber guest houses in Ouzoud are secluded with spectacular views, local cuisine and Moroccan hospitlaity.

Oukaïmeden
Oukaïmeden is Africa’s highest peak for skiiing and a Morocco premiere ski resort. Oukaïmeden village is perched on Jebel Attar and just an hour from Marrakech. Adventure seekers and skiiers can enjoy Oukaïmeden’s windy slopes and chair lift to ferry them across the Atlas. Local cuisine is available at many of the Ski houses nearby, year round. Off season Oukaïmeden makes for the pefect getaway given its cooler temperatures and remote Atlas Mountain scenery. The region of Oukaïmeden is also known for its history of prehistoric rock carvings. The local musuem in Oukaïmeden provides more information on this and visitors can also explore with their Moroccan guide to discover rock carvings in the surrounding area.

Essaouira Medina

Essaouira Medina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essaouira Medina
This former Portuguese fished village once called Mogador is just three hours from Marrakech located on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast. Essaouira has lovely white washed and blue-shuttered houses that create a scenic backdrop of coastal romance. Essaouira’s seaside medival medina offers mouth watering seafood, thuya workshops and art galleries. A hippy colony with chic restaurants that cater to foodies, Essaouira is ideal for contemporary gastro-fare and a great place to enjoy sunset cocktails. The Essaouira medina is only 8 kilometers from the Ounara winery and a Frommagerie where travelers can learn cheese making or enjoy a five course menu of cheese inspired dishes. The Essaouira medina as a Morocccan day trip from Marrakech is a layed back option for couples, small groups and families.

For More Information about Day Trips from Mararkech and Morocco Day Trips

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

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

10 Experiences on a Tailor Made Morocco Tour

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

Moroccan Handicrafts, Shop the Souks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

10 Experiences A Tailor-Made Morocco Tour Offers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

A Tribute to Jean Luc-Manaud at Essaouira’s French Institute

Sunday, June 19th, 2016
Jean-Luc Manaud, Photographer

Jean-Luc Manaud, Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the spring and summer of 1995 the writer and filmmaker Pierre Guicheney, the ethnologist Viviana Paquew and photographer Jean-Luc Manaud produced for the French edition of Geo Magazine a report on Gnawa and Aissawa rituals and pilgrimages in Marrakech, Meknes, Moulay Brahim, and Tamesloht. Jean-Luc Manaud brought back exceptional images from the immersion.

The French Institute in Essaouira is featuring a comprehensive exhbition and homage to Manaud from May 12 to through July 23, 2016 called “7 Colors of Jean-Luc Manaud.” The exhbition is comprised of two levels of photographs that are mounted on the historic walls of an 18th Century building that the French Institute in Essaouira occupies on Rue Laaloug. There is also a complimentary documentary by Pierre Guicheney Le bal des génies (1998) that is being screened during this exhibition.

Jean-Luc Manaud-Photographer of Ritual & Aissawa in Morocco

Jean-Luc Manaud-Photographer of Ritual & Aissawa in Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc Manaud was born in the southern city of Gafsa in Tunisia. Manaud was a regular contributor to Le Figaro Magazine and Géo, touring the world of guerillas from Eritrea to Cambodia.

In the early years of 2000, Manaud began painting on Polaroids, writing travel and children’s books combining calligraphy, drawing, cut-outs and photographs. Manaud passed away in 2015. The exhibition at the French Institute in Essaouira is a tribute to his works of Art, made in Morocco.

For more information about Essaouira Art 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.

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.