Posts Tagged ‘Henna’

24 Hours in Marrakech, Travel Tips On What To See & Where to Eat, Morocco Travel Guide

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Mosque of Koutoubia & Tomb of Koubba Lalla Zohra, Marrakech

If you’re traveling to Morocco and only have 24 Hours in Marrakech then visiting Marrakech’s lush gardens, spectacular palaces, historical sites, the hippest shops and eating at the hot spots are a must.  In 24 hours you can see the best of Marrakesh knowing exactly what places to visit, sites to see and where to eat. Start your a one-day Marrakech tour around the “red hamra” city bright an early with a visit to the Majorelle Gardens. Next, head to the Koutoubia Mosque and then to the El Bahia Palace. The breathtaking architecture of the El Bahia Palace offers an excellent architecture lesson as it was once home to a harem and has some of the best Moroccan painted ceilings, ceramics and a wonderful garden. Continue your walk through the medina visiting the Kisseria.

Discover colorful baboosh (shoes), caftans (traditional Moroccan clothing), pottery and other local Marrakesh crafts. Learn the art of the bargain. Shop the souks of Marrakech and their vast labyrinth of narrow streets. In the center of the old Marrakesh medina you will see artisans making rugs on looms and hammering away creating iron lanterns. Make sure to stock up on spices, buy silver jewelry and cactus silk scarves.

Shopping Marrakech, Susan Simon

If you’re not quiet sure how to navigate the souks of Marrakech then bring along Susan Simon’s, Shopping in Marrakech which will persuade even the non-shopper to head out for a day in the souks. It’s colorful photographs and insights are not to be missed.

Jewelry Shop, Marrakech

After your saunter through Marrakech’s souks, you will be left with great thirst and a pallet that is ready for an afternoon dining experience in the old city. Wander over to the Djemaa El Fna Square and enjoy a freshly squeezed orange juice at one of the orange juice stands. Haggle for a bit to get the best price for some dates and nuts, a great snack in the square. Then head to the Moussaine for some Berber jewelry and silver shopping and then onto an old narrow street that will take you down back into the Spice Market or back to the center square.

Terraces Des Spices, Marrakech

Dine at one of the local restaurants in the old medina of Marrakesh such as Le Terrasses des Spices or Earth Café where you can dine under the Marrakech sun or in a tiny nook within the old city with delightful food and views.

Now it’s time to head to the new town of Gueliz. Popular during the French Protectorate and now a place that an mélange of foreigners and well do to Moroccans live, Gueliz is a hot spot for some of the more Modern Moroccan shopping choices. Visit Rue de la Libertie or Rue de Mauritanie where you can shop for the most up to date contemporary modern Moroccan goods. Make sure to stop at one of the local cafes in Gueliz for a café nus-nus (half coffee, half milk) or mint tea along with a French pastry.

Some top shops to visit and places to explore:

#1: Kaiki: Hand made artistic gifts ranging from Berber dolls, to hand painted tea glasses and dishes, embroidered goods and jewelry

#2: Intensite Nomade: Trendy caftans

#3: Attika Chaussures – well made women’s and men’s shoes, fashionable, all ages

#4: Scenes de Lin: Hand embroidered Linens

#5: Place Vendome: Beautiful leather goods for men and women, high quality, fashionable

#6: L’Orientaliste: Moroccan pottery, tea glasses, prints, paintings, lanterns and much more

#7: Darkoum: Three levels of African and Indian furnishings, fabrics, carpets, and artifacts. An interior design paradise featuring Moroccan, Indian and Pakistani merchandise.

#8: Jeff de Bruges: The best chocolates in town

#9: Al Jawda: Coffee, tea and pastries

#10: Tin Mel: Antique carpets and furniture

Hammam Ziani, Marrakech

Complete your mini shopping excursion to Gueliz, then head to Hammam Ziani where you can have a traditional Moroccan scrub, a massage with rose or orange oil and a fully body mask for just under $40.00 USA/ 35 Euros.

After a visit at Hammam Ziani, watch the sunset in the old medina for an early evening drink at Café Arabe. Enjoy drinks and appetizers then prepare yourself for a Moroccan feast at Le Marrakech or Le Comptoir Darna where you are guaranteed a great dinner accompanied by belly dancing.

Djemaa El Fna Square, Marrakech

Dine the night away until just before mid night, then head to Djemaa El Fna Square where you can see an old medieval style carnival take place with snake charmers, acrobats and monkeys. Have your fortune told and get your hands hennaed in the old square that is the heartbeat of Marrakesh.

End your 24 hours in Marrakesh with a horse and buggy ride across Rue Mohammed VI late in the night.  Watch the stars and think about when you’ll return for your next Morocco tour adventure.

For more information about a Marrakech Tour

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, 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.

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Moroccan Wedding Tour- A Travler’s Must See

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009


Berber Wedding Imichil

The entire village seems to be buzzing with excitement as you follow your friend Fatima through the narrow winding roads and towards the beating drums that are getting louder with every step. Finally, as you turn the last corner you find yourself in front of a huge tent, brightly lit from the inside with lanterns and candles and filled with the sounds of people singing, dancing, and drums playing. Fatima grabs your hand and pulls you through the crowd and into the tent and you can’t help but to gasp in amazement. The inside of the tent has been swathed in silks of every imaginable shade of red, pink, and orange, from the ceilings hang ornate lanterns with flickering candles that seem to bring the very tent to life, silk and velvet cushions line the floor around tables piled with enough food to satisfy a king. Platters piled high with lamb, chicken, and vegetable kabobs, huge bowls overflowing with pungent saffron couscous, large steaming tagines full of chicken and lamb stews, and large plates piled high with honey covered dates and sticky pastries. Fatima looks at you and gives you a knowing smile, she told you Moroccan weddings were impressive, and this, she had explained, was only the last of a whole week of festivities and celebrations…


Traditional Moroccan weddings are elaborate and often quite expensive celebrations that typically begin seven days before the actual wedding ceremony. According to tradition, the parents of the groom would choose a bride for their son and would send a dowry to the bride in the form of household items and furniture. If the groom’s parents were very wealthy they might also send gold jewelry, cloth, and perfume to the bride.


Five days before the wedding ceremony the Furniture Party ceremony takes place. This “party” focuses on preparing the bride and groom’s new home. Members of the bride’s party, primarily women, deliver handmade blankets, a mattress, carpets, Moroccan couches and other necessary furniture.


Before the final Henna or Beberiska ceremony, the bride is given a milk bath by her nagaffa, or female attendants, in order to purify her. These female attendants are usually older married women, female friends, and relatives. After the bath the bride’s nagaffa help to beautify the bride by dressing her in an elaborately decorated kaftan, adorning her with jewels, and darkening her eyes with kohl, which is like a thick dark eyeliner.


Once the bride has been beautified her and her nagaffa take part in the Beberiska ceremony the night before the wedding. The hands and feet of the bride and her party are painted with henna to ward off illness and the evil eye. The bride’s henna is usually more elaborate and certain shapes and symbols meant to ward off the evil eye, bring good luck, and increase fertility are drawn. After the henna has been completed the older married women take the bride off to the side and explain to her the “secrets” of marriage.


After all of the pre-wedding ceremonies have been completed the female relatives and friends of the bride gather to prepare an extensive feast for the wedding day, enough food is always made to compensate for any unexpected guests who may arrive. Traditionally, the bride and groom would celebrate the marriage in separate places before the groom, accompanied by singing and dancing male friends and relatives would make his way to his bride. The groom would then be lifted up onto the shoulders of his friends, the bride would be lifted on a circular cushion or table, and they would both be carried to the bridal chamber for some private time. The two would then journey to their new home together and the bride would circle her home three times before finally stepping inside with her new husband.


While many of the old traditions are held sacred and still respected in Morocco some traditions, such as the milk bath and furniture party, are rarely followed in more modern areas. Despite the changes over time Moroccan weddings are still a festivity full of food, drumming, dancing, and merriment.


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