Posts Tagged ‘Travel to Morocco’

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

The Moroccan Music Scene, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Traditional Musicians Gnaoua

On Marrakech’s Jemma el Fna Square amongst  the orange juice stalls and story tellers you will find stalls with  CD’s  testifying to the popularity and importance of Morocco’s contemporary music scene which began with the accession of King Mohammed VI in 1999 when greater liberalization of musical genre  especially for young people  who sought music which reflected  their aspirations was gradually phased in and supported with musical festivals organized with royal support and sponsorship like the  annual Mazawine Music Festival in Rabat, The Gnawa  Festival in Essaouria and the World Sacred Music Festival in Fez.  Moroccan TV and radio channels also play an important role with live performances. Young musicians are encouraged to perform and Morocco which has successfully fused elements of its ancient Berber musical traditions with modern music such as Chaabi, Hiphop and Rai and Rap.

This has not been without controversy with orthodox Islamic opinion and 14 young members of a heavy metal band were arrested for making “satanic music”, though they were eventually released. Rap stars who make sensitive political comments are sometimes imprisoned. Members of the Islamic led PJD government have also criticized music festivals for corrupting Moroccan youth but generally Morocco’s spirit of compromise wins through despite the tensions affecting the region. Indeed you can see and hear moveable cassette vendors with their barrows playing religious music with other wares for sale on the main Avenue Mohammed V in Marrakech’s  ville nouvelle, Gueliz.

Traditional Berber folk village music called Ahwash, is very much alive and is on display in July each year at the National Festival of Popular Arts at the Badii Palace in Marrakech.  The music performed by professional musicians called Raiss includes comedy and dances in their performances.

Master Musicians of Jajouka

Two famous traditional musical bands are Bachir Attar’s  Master Musicians of Jajouka who originally met with Brian Jones and the Rolling Stones in 1969 and recorded with them. Their music celebrates the pagan rites centered on the figure of Boujeloud who has been likened to Pan. They perform regular concerts  in Morocco and abroad including the United States and Germany playing with international musicians. They recently featured in Anthony Bourdain’s  “Parts Unknown “  program on CNN. The other traditional band is the Daqqa of Marrakech who perform a ritual dance for the religious festival of Ashura.

Chabbi Musicians

Chaabi is a popular music descended from Moroccan folk music. Originally performed in markets, it is now performed during celebrations or meetings. Chaabi songs end with a swift rhythmic section and syncopated clapping. Modern instruments like electric guitars and buzuks are also used as well as lutes and a drum.

Andalusian classical music called Al Ala was brought to Morocco following the Reconquista in Spain when Muslims and Jews were forced to leave. It is an urban form of music which is highly popular and performed with large orchestras frequently on TV and radio.  Jewish musicians had a profound influence on Al Ala.

Gnawa was  brought to Morocco by Sub-Saharan Africans and later became part of the Moroccan tradition. Much of the modern fusion draws on Gnawa and the annual Essaouira Gnawa Festival is now broadening its musical performances to include a more contemporary repertoire.

Classical Malhun  music which translates as “gift” or “inspiration” is Arabic in origin and is derived from  Sufi inspired Arabic Andalusian poetry.

Sufi Brotherhoods (tarikas) are widespread in Morocco, and music is an integral part of their spiritual tradition. The purpose is to induce a trance state which inspires mystical ecstasy. Leading  Sufi Brotherhoods include the Derkoua, Hamadasha, Aissoua and the Jilala.

Modern music includes Rai which is associated with Algeria in the international music scene, but Morocco has produced its own stars lincluding Cheb Mimoun and Hanino. Other genre include Hiphop, Electronica and Fusion, which draws on Gnawa,  Jazz and heavy metal. Casablanca is a major center for contemporary Moroccan music.

Pirating remains a concern for Moroccan musicians as it is difficult to establish copyright for music performances and CD’s, although Morocco has an intellectual property rights law. In Marrakech an English music producer Nick Wilde set up Marrakchi Records a record label, music publishing and artist management  company to support young Moroccan musicians. Marrakchi Records provides a management service for Moroccan musicians and promotes them thus helping to establish them in the fast moving contemporary Moroccan music scene. It covers all genres from Rock, Hiphop, Electronic,   gnawa ,  blues and African music. Artists who have successfully produced albums with Marrakchi Records include Caravane, Blue Medina, DJ Haze, Mwanssa, Chaabi and Nisrine.

By Colin Kilkelly

For More Information about a Marrakech Tour and the Marrakech Music Scene

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.

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Ourika Valley’s Nectarome Products and the Moroccan art of body care

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Argan Nut, Morocco

In the village of Tnine in the Ourika valley Nectarome has an organic garden with aromatic plants and medicinal herbs where their products are created and a shop selling a range of soaps, shampoos aroma therapy and massage oils. There are also several outlets in Marrakech and Casablanca. The company has a team of experts in essential oils and pharmacy.

Nectarome combines ancient Moroccan traditional cosmetic formulas with the modern aromatherapy using essential oils and phytotherapy techniques for natural body and wellness treatments, with massage with oils. The famous Argan blended with other essential oils with moisturizing properties and essences such as almond or sesame oil. A range of soothing body lotions including rose,green tea and neroli (orange blossom) are available at their  Ourika valley location.

Argan, Product of Well Being

The soaps are based on essential oils such as Argan, Almond, Nigella and Ghassoul in addition to various glycerine soaps, Verbena, grape fruit, orange blossom, Amber, Musk and Rose. There are also liquid soaps such as cedar and orange.

Rose water and orange blossom water are used for toning and regenerating skin and perfuming the body and clothes. Face masks can help smooth wrinkles and anti aging with honey and essential oils and a gelling mask, natural clay face masks and cleansing masks.

There is a range of natural bath oils with eucalyptus and rosemary which helps to tone and relax the skin. Bath salts help to detoxify and purify the skin. Natural shampoos without chemical additives benefit the hair and scalp and treat dry or oily hair. Nectarome products also include shower gels in rosemary of bitter orange and a range of natural scents such as mint, tangerine and cinnamon.

The famous ancient black soap called beldi, is a mixture of olive and argan oil water and salt and is used in the massage to prepare the body for scrubbing and removing dead skin with a special horse hair glove.

Ghassoul, is a typical Moroccan clay, it is a deposit in the region of Fes . This clay is used in Morocco, mainly by women since the 12th century as a shampoo and skin cleanser.

Nectarome also provides natural henna recommended for skin infections and eczema, with restorative properties for skin and hair as well as decorating the hands and feet in traditional berber style. Nectarone cautions against henna with chemical additives which can be harmful to the skin.

For More Information on Nectarome in the Ourika Valley

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.

Taroudant, Mini-Marrakech & Walled Berber City, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Tarodaunt Walled City

If you want a relaxing stay in an authentic walled Berber town look no further than the medieval town of Taroudant. It lies beside the High Atlas mountains in the Sous Valley in the southern part of Morocco and it has retained its authentic Berber character and roots. Taroudant is well placed as a base for exploring the region  to the east of  Agadir  and its beaches, it is on the road to Ouarzazate and the Sahara desert and adrive over the dramatic Tizi n’Test pass to Marrakech.

It is said to resemble a smaller version of Marrakech with its walls and ramparts surrounding the city. For a very short time Tarodaunt was indeed the capital of the Saadian dynasty  used as a base for attacking the Portuguese in Agadir. The Saadians then moved to Marrakech. Taroudant saw its golden age during the reign of Mohammed ash-Sheikh who constructed the city walls and built the great mosque and its minaret in 1528. Taroudant unlike the imperial cities of Fes, Marrakech and Meknes does not have a ville nouvelle, a modern part of town, which greatly adds to its authentic ancient atmosphere and charm. It has a population of around 70,000 but retains its small market town character.

Taroudant remains a traditional Berber fortified  town enclosed by its ramparts which are the best preserved in Morocco, nearly 6 kilometres long with bastions and nine gates that still remain intact. A perfect way to see the town walls is to take a horse drawn caleche or hire a bicycle. It was an important staging and trading post on the ancient camel trading route and there is still a small tannery outside the ramparts selling products made from camel hide such as leather bags,sandals and belts. The town is well known for its quality leather products.

Its souks are welcoming and relaxed and excellent value for discerning shoppers, especially for local crafts and Berber and Tuareg jewellery, for which it is renowned. Prices here are significantly less than in the big cities like Marrakec and Fes. There are souks near each of the two main squares, Assarag and Talmoklate.

There is also a weekly souk outside the city walls, near the new university district. Taroudant has always benefited from the diverse agricultural produce from the Souss  and remains a local market town  .The Berber market, called Jnane al-Jaami, sells spices and dried fruits but mostly clothes and household goods. The Arab souk, however, specialises in handicrafts such as terracotta, wrought iron, pottery, brass and copper, leather and carpets, rugs and jewellery. It is a place to gain a real insight into Morocco’s everyday culture and environment.

It has a very equitable climate in winter and in summer it is cooled by the current from the Canaries. It is therefore no surprise that Taroudant is home to some of the best hotels in the south of Morocco; they include the the exclusive haunt of the rich and famous, the Hotel Gazelle D’Or, which began as hunting lodge for a French baron in the 1920’s and was converted into a hotel after the  Second World War, it has superb grounds. Other well known hotels include the Dar Zitoun and the Hotel Palais Salam and there is a full range of hotel accommodation in town. The Riad al Hossoun also comes highly recommended and has a superb garden and views of the Atlas Mountains.

Activities outside Taroudant include visiting Berber villages in the foot hills of the High Atlas and Anti Atlas mountains and the Oases and experiencing the wild life and birds in the Souss Massa National Park The village of Tioute 36 kms from Taroudant has a Kasbah on a hill which has been partly converted into a restaurant area with a pool which is alluring in the summer heat. The ancient fortified village of Freija is 11 km from Taroudant also has a Kasbah, now the Riad Freija.

For More Information on a Tarodaunt Tour 

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

Dakka Marrakchia Music Festival, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Friday, January 25th, 2013

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Marrakech has been celebrating the Marrakchia Music  festival since the Saadian dynasty in the 15th and early 16th century.It takes place in February each year and celebrates traditional music passed down by generations in honour of  the seven patron saints or ‘Sabaatou Rijal’ of Marrakech.

The seven saints of Marrakech were: Qadi Ayad, Imam El Jazouli, Imam Souhayli, Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, Sidi Abdelaziz Tabbaa, Sidi Abdellah El Gazouani and Abou El Abbas Essebti. To represent these seven saints, musicians from seven districts, the El Moukkaf quarter, Bin Laarassi, Bab D’Bagh, Derb Dabachi, Sabtiyyine, Cashbah and Ben Salah, take part in the festival. During the Dakka Marrakchia Festival ordinary locals, such as shopkeepers, artists and craftsmen, become the heart of the event, filling the air with traditional music choral chants and rhthyms.

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Groups of male musicians perform with percussion instruments and drums accompanied bychoral chants. Instruments include the lakrakash, taarija, naffar and tara.The Asdekaa Nakhil Association (their name means “Friends of the Marrakech Palm Tree”) organises the festival each year.

The followers of the Saint El Jazouli played an important role during the Saadian dynasty by establishing zaouias to give religious support to their cause the music reflects the fervour of those times as well as the traditions and civic pride of Marrakech.

For More Information About Marrakech Tous and the Marrakchia Music  festival
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.

The Excavation at Aghmat, Morocco’s Medieval Capital

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Aghmat Palace overview

The Medieval  site  of Aghmat can be found beside the modern village of Ghmat which is 30 km south east of Marrakech in the northern foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Professor Ron Messier, Professor Emeritus Middle Tenessee State University and Senior Lecturer in history at Vanderbilt University and his codirector Professor Abdallah Fili faculte des letters Universite d’El Jadida have been following a trail of gold a it was part of the camel caravan routes from sub-Saharan Africa through the ancient city of Sijilmassa which Ron Messier’s team excavated through to Morocco’s Medieval Capital, Aghmat. Coins minted in Sijilmassa have been  found in  an excavation in Jordan and Aghmat too minted coins for the Almoharavid empire which stretched into Spain.

The international archaeological program has been studying Aghmat Since June 2005 Medieval texts suggest  that Aghmat existed before advent of Islam in the 7th Century. It flourished under the Idrissids  in the 8th and 9th centuries and attained the rank of an Amazight city state in the late 10th Century. It became a capital under the Almoravid dynasty from 1056 to 1070 when the Almoravids moved their capital to Marrakech. Aghmat  gradually declined in competition to Marrakech.

Aghmat Hammam

It was an important city for routes through the Atlas Mountains on the trans Saharan trade and attracted scholars from Ifriqiyya (Tunisia) and Andalusia. The site contains the tombs the Andalusian kings al-Mu’tamid ibn Abbad of Seville and Abdallah ibn Bulukhin of Granada. Zaynab Nafzawiyya settled in Aghmat married three successive rulers,the independent Maghrawa emir and the first two Almoravid emirs.

Aghmat consisted of two towns Aghmat Ourika and Aghmat Haylana home to Bani Masmuda tribesmen. It was a rich city fully irrigated and minting gold currency for  the Almoravids.

 

The archaeological excavations have  so far revealed a hammam , a palace and a mosque.the archaeological process of discovery is aided by modern equipment which can identify the ancient foundations which are now under ground. Ancient texts also describe the city providing valuable clues. The excavations have been conducted to ensure preservation as well as revealing what was buried beneath the surface. The hammam, the first structure to be excavated is remarkably well preserved and fragile areas have been supported whilst respecting the original integrity of the building and its original materials. When Aghmat declined and the hammam fell out of use it began a second life as a pottery and the excavation discovered the potter’s  wheel. The palace was a typical Andalusian palace of the 14th Century and at the end of the 2011 excavation  a separate level revealed occupation from the 9th -12th Century under the Almoravids when Aghmat was their capital. The mosque which was  definitively confirmed during the 2011 excavation was founded by Wattas ibn Kardus in 859AD. There were several phases to its construction. It was found to have a moveable minbar on wooden rails  the only other of its kind was found in the mosque at the ancient city of  Sijilmassa.The team also found an Islamic inscription from the Koran as they did in Sijilmassa. The inscription reads “God is the light of the heavens and the earth”

Excavations at Aghmat

In April 2007 the Aghmat Foundation was founded by a group of patrons under the leadership of Moulay Abdellah Alaoui to provide financial support for further excavations and the construction of a museum for the artifacts that have been found and for conservation and preservations of the excavations.In 2009 a partnership agreement between the Aghmat Foundation and the Moroccan Ministryof Culture which delegates to the Foundation matters of managing archaeological research, conservation and protection of the excavated remains and  the opening of the site to the public.

It is easy to visit the site of Aghmat close to the village of Ghmat and the archeological work is a testimony to the close cooperation between the Moroccan Ministry Culture and The United States.

Excavation work continues each season and Professor Messier is working hard to achieve more sponsorship to support the continuing  discovery process,  which is more difficult since 2008  during the current economic downturn.

For more information about the Excavation at Aghmat, Marrakech Morocco or a Marrakech Tour 

For More Information About Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit 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.

Luxury Hotels of Morocco, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Majestic Riad Fes

Morocco is moderate, Muslim country located in North Africa that is rich in history, steeped in culture, exotic cuisine and natural wonders. When traveling to Morocco there are many luxury hotels to stay at during a Morocco Tour. First in Morocco are its Luxury Riads that offer amenities on par with a luxury hotel. Morocco’s Riads boast beautiful courtyards and incredible architecture. Staying at a luxury Riad in Morocco can offer a top quality experience, equivalent to a luxury hotel.

The word Riad comes from the Arabian term for garden “ryad.” Travel in Morocco is not complete without a luxury Riad experience. Whether you are taking a Morocco Tour to the Imperial Cities, Old Medinas, the Sahara Desert, the Ouarzazate region or the Atlas Mountains there are countless opportunities to stay at luxury hotels and riads in Morocco

Luxury Hotels in Morocco can be found in all Moroccan Cities and in rural areas of the Moroccan country side.

Some of the Best Luxury Hotels of Morocco are Riads:

Magnificent Riad Kniza, Courtyard

Marrakech Luxury Hotels

Riad Kniza
 Dating from the 18th century, Riad Kniza is a luxury Riad in Marrakech located in heart of the medina not far from the top Marrakech sites, monuments, mosques and gardens. This top end Riad has traditional Moroccan furniture and décor with luxurious bathrooms and a beautiful roof terrace for evening tea or dining. Riad Kniza offers Wifi and has a host of other amenities including a swimming pool, spa and wellness center. Riad Kniza is an idea place to stay for those interested in an authentic luxury Riad experience and one that is complimented by beautiful architecture and traditional Fes Moroccan fabrics.

Riad Les Jardin De La Medina
Les Jardins de la Medina is a stunning luxury Marrakech Riad that combines modern amenities with Modern Moroccan décor. Located in Kasbah, a quiet region of the old Marrakech Medina, Les Jardin boats lush gardens with old palms, orange, olive and jacaranda trees. The food is fresh and service impeccable. This quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech is the perfect place to stay on a Morocco Tour.

Sultana Marrakech
Riad Le Sultana is one of Marrakech’s hidden jewels for luxury accommodations. Located near the Saadisn tombs, Sultana is comprised of five separate Riads that have been elegantly pieced together with open-air patios and expansive, charming roof terraces with palms and Marrakech orange trees. Sultana is a sophisticated Riad and has successfully created an ambiance that is serene with it’s tasteful mélange of European décor and furniture complimented by Moroccan fabric and tilework using traditional craftsmanship. The staff matches the environment offering a perfect lusury Moroccan Riad experience.

Fes Luxury Hotels

Riad Fes
Riad Fes is in the Medina’s Batha region of Fes. This Riad offers and idea mix of Moroccan traditional architecture with a tasteful and luxurious modern touch. Originally a Moroccan Riad that lacked a modern setting, Riad Fes’ owners set out to expand Riad Fes whereby to offer a unique mix of the traditional with ultra modern. New additions to this luxury Riad in Fes are a swimming pool surrounded by a garden terrace, chic European outdoor furniture and a modern Spa along with a wing of newly designed rooms. Every room in Riad Fes also offers en-suite bathrooms with air conditioning/ heating and a full mini bar. Riad Fes is a 1st category Riad within the luxury offerings in Fes when it comes to living up to the Relais Cheateaux name.

Riad Myra
Riad Myra is one of the last true architectural gems where guests can stay in Fes. This first class Fassis Riad  has stunning Andalusian architecture and a magnificent courtyard surrounded by greenery and an old world fountain. Owned by the Chab family (owners of Al Fassia Restaurants in Marrakech and Bled Al Fassia) Riad Myra is the best remaining example of a traditional, three floor authentic family ryad – home -that was originally restored with care by the best zellij tile masters and top cedar carvers in Fes. Each of Riad Myra’s suites and rooms are ornately arranged with four poster beds, a Moroccan salon and en suite bathrooms along with antique fixtures complimented by modern amenities for complete comfort. Suites and rooms at the Riad are also decorated with traditional French armoires and desks with brass lighting fixtures made for a Queen. Upon arrival guests receive Fes pastries, water and a fruit basket that will last their entire stay.  A night or two or even three or four at Riad Myra will take anyone back into a one-thousand-and one-nights 18th Century Arabian fantasy. Riad Myra’s rich, elegant Fassis fabrics used in its dining room, library and luxurious rooms and suites are lush.  Riad Myra also has authentic paintings that surround it’s Riad walls and can easily lay claim to offering some of the best cuisine at any Riad in Fes. Myra does it best with their dinner arrangement of original Fes cuisine including a meza of salads, option of chick and lemon or for vegetarians an artichoke tajine with orange canelle with cinnamon for desert. To boot this Riad has an attentive staff that caters to guest needs and a concierge that dresses in traditional Fassis wears with pointy yellow baboosh. For an authentic 1st star  experience of luxury comfort and cuisine Riad Myra is the place to stay in Fes.

Palais Ferraj
Palais Ferraj is a new luxury Hotel and the first of its kind in Fes. Located in the Bab Ziat district and just a 10 minute walk from the Blue Gate in Fes. When entering Palais Ferraj one is reminded of being in an Arab-Moorish palace. Much of the decor is distinctly modern with fabrics imported from France and Italy. Palais Ferraj has one of the best views in Fes from it’s stunning bar- restaurant and visit for an elegant Moroccan dinner. For those looking to stay in Fes in luxury hotel and not be in the heart of the medina Palais Ferraj offers the best of all worlds. At Palais Ferraj there are no standard rooms as the starting accommodation is a Junior Suite. All Junior Suites and other Suites in this luxury hotel boast Moroccan Zellij tile work, a mini bar, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and private bathrooms fit for the Pacha. At Palais Ferraj you can consider shopping until you drop in Fes as each room also features an impeccably designed closet with space to stay for a week or more. Palais Ferraj also offers an outdoor pool, Moroccan Hammam, Luxury Spa facilities and massage treatments utilizing Morocco’s best rose, argan and other oils.

Stunning Kasbah Riad Ksar Ighnda

Ksar Ighnda
Riad Ksar Ighnda is located jut footsteps from the UENSCO World Heritage site, Ait Benhaddou and 25 minutes from Ouarzazate’s city center. Riad Ksar Ignda overlooks the Atlas Mountains and has terraces views of Ait Benhaddou. This 5 Star Luxury riad offers a modern setting combined with traditional Moroccan architecture and Berber textiles. Ksar Ighnda blends perfectly with the Ouarzazate Sahara region environment. Bedrooms are spacious, with en suite private bathrooms, air conditioning, heating, satellite TV, DVD/ CD player and mini bar. Ksar Ighnda offers meals made with local produce and has a swimming pool and a Moroccan Spa (Hammam) and Jacuzzi. This Riad is the top place to stay in the Ouarzazate region and an ideal spot for those who want to spend a few days down time during a journey in the midst of peace and nature.

Riad Temple Des Arts
Temple Des Arts is a 5-star luxury Riad is conveniently located in the heart of Ouarzazate, just 25 minutes from Ait Benhaddou. This uniquely designed Luxury Riad with a film theme decor is on par with a luxury hotel offering standard rooms and suites in a quiet setting with complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen TV’s. Hotel Riad Le Temple Des Arts features an outdoor pool, a spa and wellness center along with a traditional Moroccan Hammam. Traditional decor combines unique elements of painted walls with Moroccan tradition, Buddha statues and slick marble bathrooms. Most of the rooms have a balcony that overlooks the garden or swimming pool. Hotel Temple Des Arts offers gourmet meals and is the most suitable Riad in Ouarzazate for those who want luxury amenities in a unique setting yet don’t want to stay at a local Southern Morocco Guest House.

Dades Valley Luxury Hotels

Xaluca Kasbah & Spa – Dades Valley & Erfoud
Xaluca Kasbah & Spa is a luxury hotel in Southern Morocco with views of the Dades Valley
. It’s sister property located in Erfoud offers similar luxuries however lacks the view being it is located in a Sahara Desert town which is referred to as “The Door to the Desert.” Xaluca Dades Valley has African decor, a Moroccan Spa, *Hammam, swimming pool, bar and one of the best buffet’s in the region. Xaluca Dades Valley is set within the Tinerhir provence and is the best place to stay for a wide range of amenities, location and excellent staff service in the region.

Casablanca Luxury Hotel

Elegant Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche

Sofitel Blanche Casablanca
Sofitel Blanche Casablanca is a new five star luxurious hotel located just foot steps from the train station, the Habous market and the Casablanca Medina. Sofitel Blanche Casablanca is the ideal place to stay during a one-day Casablanca tour or on a visit to Morocco when needing to overnight in Casablanca. The rooms combine luxury modern comforts with Moroccan decor. One of the Sofitel Blancha Casablanca suites has impeccable views of the Hassan II Mosque and boasts glass windows that offer some of the best views in Casablanca. Wifi is available throughout this upscale luxury Moroccan Hotel property and the breakfast buffet is fit for a King and Queen.

For more information about Luxury Riads in Morocco or a Morocco Tour 

For More Information About Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit 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.

Morocco’s Tin Mal Mosque and the Gandoufa Valley,Your Morocco Tour Guide

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Tin Mal Mosque High Atlas Mountains

Tin Mal is 100 kms from Marrakech  just past the village of Ijoukak on the road to Taroudant in the High Atlas Mountains. It was the spiritual home of the Almohads, who went on to  conquer Marrakech defeating the ruling Almoravids and then creating an empire that stretched  from all of what we know as the Maghreb, southern Portugal and Spain and part of Africa.

It began when Ibn Toumert of the Masmoudi tribe established the mosque at Tin Mal with a fortified town, called a ribat, in 1122. He proclaimed himself the Mahdi and established a strict and puritanical rule over his followers. All you see today is the imposing mosque which was rebuilt by Ibn Toumert’s successor, Abd el Mumin who went on to take Marrakech in 1148. It has been recently restored. It is one of only two mosques that non muslims can enter in Morocco, the other being the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.

Tin Mal Mosque Arches

The mosque is high up in a striking position over looking the river N’Fis andbears witness to the fervour of the Almohads with high walls and strong towers. It has been recently renovated and is one of the most memorable sites of historical significance in Morocco. There is a small museum housing architectural fragments. The mosque maybe closed on Fridays when the villagers of Tin Mal come to pray. In former times the mosque would have covered in white plaster and true to its founder’s puritanical ideals is free from the decorative features  normally found in Moroccan mosques.

The prototype for Tin Mal was the Great Mosque at Taza (near Fès), also built by Abd el Mumin. The Koutoubia at Marrakech  (the Almohad capital as of 1148) was in turn modelled on it. Tin Mal was the starting point of the Almohad dynasty which lasted till 1269. In 1276 the Merinds stormed Tin Mal leaving only the mosque standing killing the entire population. It remained the heartland of the Almohads and its rulers would come in pilgrimage to visit the tombs of their predecessors and pray at the mosque. It is a place to soak up the atmosphere of a movement and dynasty which saw the beginning of the Morocco we know today.

Further on from Ijoukak,Tagountafte, Souk Lara and Ikhfe N’Boul is the remains of the kasbah of the once-powerful caid of the Goundafa  tribe. The Gandoufa vied with the Glaoua and the M’Touga tribes for control of the Atlas Mountains at the end of the 19th century. The Gandoufa Kasbahs  which are now in ruins controlled the entry to the valley. Si Taieb Gandoufa succeded as caid in 1883 and fought other tribes with his army of 5,000 tribes men to increase his territory. In 1906 rival tribes plundered the N’fis valley and burned his Kasbah , Talat –n-Yakoub, whilst the caid was away in Fes.

However in 1912 the Kasbahs of Azemmour and Aguergour were returned to him and the French gave him money and weapons to conquer the Sous valley. He captured Taraoudannt  in 1913 amd was appointed Pasha of Tiznit. He retired to his mountain kasbahs in 1924 where he died at the age of 65. The French left it to leaders like Si Taieb Gandoufa and Thami al Glaoui Pasha of Marrakech to secure the south of Morocco during the protectorate and the ruins of their Kasbahs are their memorial and the relics of the last bastions of feudalism in Morocco.

For more information about visiting Tin Mal & The Gandoufa Valley Marrakech

For More Information About Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate
Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Casablanca Excursion With Morocco Experts, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca Excursion

Each month the Port of Casablanca is filled with various cruise ships that dock offering cruise critics and cruise ship travelers the opportunity to take in the sites and sounds of Casablanca. Casablanca is known for the Hassan II Mosque, 1920’s classic Art Deco Architecture, the Museum of Moroccan Judaism and the famous hot spot Rick’s Cafe. The city of Casablanca is the perfect place to take a Casablanca Excursion with Morocco Travel Experts.

Two cruise ships that frequent the Casablanca Port often are the Oceania Marina and the Oceania Riviera. These Mediterranean cruises stop in Monte Carlo, Naples, Casablanca along with other a select group of other Ports in the region. Most of the Mediterranean cruises offer Casablanca excursions for large groups. As a cruise ship traveler if you prefer not to participate in a large group then considering a private Casablanca Excursion with Morocco Experts is a good choice.

A Casablanca Excursion with Morocco Experts that takes you on a private tour through Casablanca’s historic sites, monuments, the Corniche, shops and markets is the ideal way to see Casablanca in a day. A private Casablanca Excursion offers both value and ease of travel.

The Casablanca Port is located in the center of Morocco and is one of the most enticing sights available for those looking for a one-day Casablanca excursion. Various places to visit on a Casablanca Excursion with Morocco Experts are the Hassan II Mosque which is the largest in the world, the Corniche, the Notre Dame De Lordes Cathedral and then opt for the Museum of Moroccan Judaism or Temple Beth-El.

On a Casablanca excursion with Morocco Experts be sure to take time out to shops in the city stalls of the old medina and the Habous Market. Fine Arabic carpets and the best copper and brass goods can be found on a Casablanca excursion.

The Exposition Nationale d’Artisanat offers superb carpets, quality leather goods and craft ware that are worth purchasing. Moroccan painted pottery, belts made of leather, embroidered clothing and handmade jewelry are other things which you can find there on a Casablanca excursion.

For lunch during a Casablanca Excursion don’t miss out on the famous Rick’s Cafe or if you are on a budget check out La Cigale or Snack Amine. For desert those on a Casablanca Excursion can visit Benis Patisserie is known for its delightful pastries. It is said to be one of the best.

For more information about a Casablanca Excursion with Morocco Experts 

For More Information About Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel 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) 618882681and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.
Casablanca, Casablanca Excursion, Casablanca Travel, Casablanca Morocco Expert, Casablanca Port Tours, Morocco Travel, Travel to Morocco, Travel Exploration

Jewish Heritage Tours Casablanca,Your Morocco Travel Guide

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Temple Beth-El, Casablanca

Casablanca is respectively admired for its longstanding Jewish Heritage. Casablanca is the perfect place to take a Jewish Heritage Tour. The Jewish community in Casablanca, Morocco has a strong history  that has survived along with it’s synagogues, cemeteries, monuments and shrines. When visiting Casablanca a Jewish Heritage tour from the Port or from your hotel offers insight into the ties of the historic Jewish community and what remains today.

The 4,500 Casablancan Jews in Casablanca live outside the mellah in the European city, where they worship in over 30 synagogues, eat in kosher restaurants, entertain themselves in community centers, and attend Jewish schools and social service centers. Jewish Casablancans worship at Temple Beth El, the largest synagogue and an important community center, seating 500 persons. The Jewish community of Casablanca also contributed to the construction of the Hassan II Mosque, the second largest in the world. On a Jewish Heritage Tour it is possible to visit the Muslim shine of Sidi Belyout.  Some Jews visit annually the Muslim shrine of Sidi Belyout, Casablanca’s patron saint. Many Jews of Casablanca celebrate the hiloula of the saint Yahia Lakhdar in Ben Ahmed, about an hour south of Casablanca near the town of Settat.

Jewish Cemetery, Casablanca

On a Jewish Heritage  Tour you will start your morning off visiting Casablanca’s Jewish Sacred sites and then continue seeing the highlights of old Casablanca. The synagogues, cemeteries, monuments and communal institutions of Casablanca show how important the city has been to the Jewish community during the twentieth century.

Temple Beth-El:
Visit 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.

Casablanca Jewish Syngagogue

Jewish Mellah: 
The 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.

Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judiasm in Casablanca. 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.

Museum of Moroccan Judiasm, Casablanca

The Jewish Heritage tour includes a visit of the Jewish Museum in Casablanca also referred to as the Museum of Moroccan Judaism which covers an area of 700 square meters, is the first of its kind in the Arab world. It consists of:

– A large multipurpose room, used for exhibitions of painting, photography and sculpture
– Three other rooms, with windows containing exhibits on religious and family life (oil lamps, Torahs, Chanukah lamps, clothing, marriage contracts (ketubot) Torah covers…pastedGraphic.pdf and exhibits on work life;
– Two rooms displaying complete Moroccan synagogues;
– A document library, a video library and a photo library.
– The Museum offers guided visits, sponsors seminars and conferences on Jewish-Moroccan history and culture, and organizes video and slide presentations. On special request, it organizes group visits in Arabic, French, English or Spanish.

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.

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 one of the centers/buildings where Jews from Casablanca hang around. The bottom floor/lobby is where people sit around, smoke cigars or cigarettes and socialize. You will also find a small bar and a mid size restaurant on the same floor with great appetizers and outstanding food

– D.E.J. J. is a restaurant that primarily serves dairy, pizzas, salads and pastas. Meat is not served here.

– La Truffe offers skewered chicken accompanied with sides of bread, salad, olives and pickles. It is the most reasonably priced kosher restaurant located in the downtown area of Casablanca across from the medina.

Searfood or International Fare:
An international seafood restaurant by Casa’s port, the Corniche, or reknowned seafood haunt, El Mer or Rick’s Cafe– a famous Piano Bar run by an American and named after the Movie “Casablanca.”.

Hassan II Mosque:
After lunch visit the Mosque of Hassan II. Casablanca is home to the 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. Next visit the Hassan II Mosque.The Mosque of Hassan II’s promontory offers lovely views overlooking Casa in the residential Afna quarter.

Casablanca Habous Market & Cooperatives:
– End the day with a visit to Casablanca’s Habous Market and Local Casablanca cooperatives. Shop and Explore local crafts and wood work traditions, leather and carpets.

For more information about an Casablanca Tour

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial Cities,Seaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of Morocco,Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best ofMarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

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