Posts Tagged ‘Travel Exploration’

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.

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.

5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel to Morocco & Abroad

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

Talassemtane Morocco-National Park Chefchaouen

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sawadi Eco Lodge, Skoura

Sawadi Eco Lodge, Skoura

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

Frequent places outside the norm.

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

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

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

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

Morocco Green Travel

Morocco Green Travel

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

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

Travel lighter.

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

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

Ditch the water bottles.

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

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

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

Bon voyage vert!

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

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

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

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

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.