Monthly Archives: June 2010

Morocco Tour, Trade Bead & Moroccan Jewelry Treasure Hunting, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Khamsa (Hamsa) Necklace

Khamsa (Hamsa) Necklace

Morocco Tour: Trade Bead & Moroccan Jewelry Treasure Hunting Fall 2010 Itinerary
September 20th – October 3rd, 2010

Excitement awaits you on a Trade Bead & Moroccan Jewelry Treasure Hunting Tour Hosted by Travel Exploration and North African Jewelry Expert, Sarah Corbett. Come join us on a Morocco Tour Adventure that covers the Imperial City of Marrakech, the seaside artist colony of Essaouira and Southern Morocco’s hotspots: Tiznit, Taradount, Agdz, Zagora and Ouarzazate for bead making and treasure hunting for best antique amber and Berber silver jewelry in all of Morocco.

Travel Exploration specializes in tailor-made Morocco Tours with a distinctly authentic Moroccan flavor. Travel Exploration Morocco provides unique itineraries that offer an unparalleled diversity of travel and terrain through a people that are naturally hospitable, warm and friendly. You can count on Travel Exploration’s benefits of an Anglo-Moroccan partnership as you depart on a Trade Bead & Moroccan Jewelry Treasure Hunting Tour. This Morocco Tour is an exclusive of Travel Exploration and created by Director, Alecia Cohen & North African Jewelry Expert, Sarah Corbett.

Berber Woman Wearing Ait Serrouchen Necklace

Berber Woman Wearing Ait Serrouchen Necklace

SEPTEMBER: 20th – MARRAKECH ARRIVALS
►Airport arrivals, visit of Djemma El Fna Square and the Souks.

►Check into your Riad. Afternoon treasure hunting in the heart of Marrakech.

►Welcome dinner gathering at Le Maison Arabe – Moroccan food and Andalucian, Arabic music.

Spend the night at a 4 Star Riad in Marrakech.


SEPTEMBER 21st – MARRAKECH (GUIDED HISTORICAL TOUR)

►Breakfast at your Riad. Begin your one-day Historical Tour of Marrakech.

►Your introduction to Marrakech will begin in the new city, we will navigate our way to French, Gueliz and head to the Majorelle Gardens, a magical and lush small garden estate designed by Jacque Majorelle and maintained by Yves Saint Laurent. The Majorelle Garden is filled with colorful walkways, ponds, cactus and plants as well as a beautiful shop with hand-made goods. On our return to your hotel, we will pass by the La Mammounia Hotel Garden (where Alfred Hitchcock wrote the famous film The Birds).

►Visit the 19th Century Bahia Palace, originally built for Si Moussa, a former slave who became King Moulay Hassan’s chamberlain. The palace holds a courtyard and riads decorated with and the most beautiful carved stucco, Arabic architecture. Next visit the 16th Century Saadian Tombs and El Mansour mosque. Marrakech is a city of underground channels built by the architects from Cordoba, Spain to provide water for the town and Palmery.

►Next visit the old, Medina, the old quarter of the Marrakech. From here we will explore this historically charming area by foot. In Djemma el Fna, you will visit the famous 12th century Koutouba Mosque and its influential minaret.

►Your guide will lead you through the labyrinth streets and alleys of the Djemma. Enjoy aromatic smells, taste fresh squeezed orange juice and venture into the souks specializing in Berber carpets, silver jewelry, artisan workshops, handmade shoes and tanneries. Enjoy a three- course lunch consisting of fresh salad, tajine and fruit at one of Marrakech most delectable restaurants. Lunch after mid-day.

►Afternoon treasure hunting and jewelry shopping in the Souks of Marrakech.

Jewelry & Treasures of Marrakech Viewing of Tuareg Prize Collection:
Evening viewing of Moroccan Jewelry pieces at your Riad by a local Tuareg Trader in Marrakech. Enjoy a private two- hour viewing of fabulous beads, jewels and local silver pieces available for purchase and historical discussion about the origin and meaning of these pieces.

Spend the night at a 4 Star Riad in Marrakech.

Dar Tiskiwin Museum, Marrakech Morocco

Dar Tiskiwin Museum, Marrakech Morocco

SEPTEMBER 22nd – MARRAKECH – ESSAOUIRA

►Breakfast at your Riad in Marrakech.

►Next we will visit the Tiskiwin Museum, a private museum dedicated to popular arts & crafts, styled as a beautiful Spanish-Moroccan house, next door to Dar Si Said palace, a smaller version of the Bahia.

Tiskiwin Museum Lecture: You will have a first hand viewing of the Tiskiwin and listen to a one-hour lecture and exploration of its history, be shown its private bead and jewelry collection.

►Departure for Essaouira in the early afternoon. Lunch en route to Essaouria.

Take the road to visit the seaside port of Essaouira. The journey to this former Portuguese fishing village offers up only a few roadside towns and the occasional Berber village. In the ’60s and ’70s, Essaouira was a pitstop 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.”

►Witness the Argan goats in trees nestling in to eat away at the Argan nuts which are typically used in making Argan Oil, Butter and Cosmetics. Stop at Chichoa en route.

►Arrive in Essaouira. Check into your Hotel. 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 ramparts and the old medina. The medina of Essaouira (formerly “Mogador”) is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city, as an example of a late-18th century fortified town. Evening walk along the Ramparts by the sea.

►Dinner at Taros or El Mer, Essaouira’s top eats with sea views and fresh fish.

Spend the night at a 4 Star Hotel in Essaouira with views of the sea.


SEPTEMBER 23rd – ESSAOUIRA – AGADIR – TIZNIT

▶Rise, breakfast at your Hotel.

Bead & Jewelry Hunting in Essaouira:
Take time out in Essaouira’s old medina to visit the jewelry shops that specialize in antique Venetian beads, Berber Silver, Amber and Copal.

▶ Have lunch at the fish-grill cafes, with wooden tables and benches laid out overlooking the sea that was once- in the 19th century- the onlyMoroccan port south of Tangier. After lunch take a relaxing walk on the beach in Essaouira.

▶Depart Essaouira in mid afternoon and drive up the coast passing the seaside Berber city of Agadir with an evening arrival in Tiznit.

▶Dinner at your hotel in the center of Tiznit.

Spend the night at a 4 Star Hotel in Tiznit.

Bowel of Silver Moroccan Jewelry

Bowel of Silver Moroccan Jewelry

SEPTEMBER 24th: TIZNIT – TAROUDANT

Moroccan Jewelry & Antique Silver Treasure Hunting in Tiznit:

►Rise, have breakfast at your Hotel in Tiznit.

►Tiznit is a town in the southern Moroccan economic region of Sous-Massa- Draa founded in 1881 by the Sultan Hassan I. It has a population of approximately 50,000. Tiznit is well-known for its silver jewelry, daggers and sabres.

►Spend half-day visiting the Jewelry Souk in the center of Tiznit and a a journey to Bab Lakhmis Ait M’hamid where you will have access to and study the variety of kinds of Southen Moroccan and Mauranitian beads and jewelry. You will also be able to make purchases there to add to your collection.

►Have lunch near Tiznit 20 kilometers by the sea, then take the road to Taradount.

►Arrive in Taroudant. Arrive and check into your traditional Moroccan Riad in a bungalow, located inside an interior of a garden. Evening relaxation by the pool.

►Dinner and Spend the night at a 4 Star Riad in Taradount.

Ait Atta Headdress Pendant

Ait Atta Headdress Pendant

SEPTEMBER 25th: TIZNIT – TAROUDANT

►Rise, have breakfast at your Riad, then begin your exploration of Taroudaunt.

Taroudant is a Moroccan city located in the Souss Valley in the southern part of the country. It is situated east from Agadir on the road to Ouarzazate and south from Marrakech. It has the feel of a small fortified market town on some caravan route. It is also known for its local crafts like jewelry and carpets. Taroudant is often referred to as the “Grandmother of Marrakech” because it is a scaled down, slowed down town that resembles Marrakech with its surrounding ramparts. Unlike Marrakech, Taroudant contains almost the whole city within its walls.

►Visit the old medinas’ ramparts with a guided two-hour tour then spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the souk of Taradount and treasure hunting in its shops that are filled with antique silver, beads and shaded alleys occupied by gentle craftsman and shop owners.

►Dinner and Spend the night at a 4 Star Riad in Taradount.

Bead Making by Fire in Taradount

Bead Making by Fire in Taradount

SEPTEMBER 26th: TAROUDANT

►Rise, have breakfast at your Riad in Taradount then take the road to spend an entire day watching the Bead-making Process, rare demonstrations of Bead-making traditions. Lunch during your Bead-Making workshop.

View The Bead-Making Process:
View the bead-making process detail at the workshop where you can create your own jewelry from the beads that you have seen produced that day – which will be yours to keep as a souvenir of your visit. There will be access to a wide selection of beads available.

Bead Demonstration Of Rare Bead-making Traditions:
During your workshop you will have the opportunity to witness a demo of three different styles of bead making. Bead making enthusiasts will enjoy this demonstration as it will enable them to view how old traditions are still be practiced, produced and carried on in Morocco. Some of these traditions include utilizing couscous and other original Moroccan traditions to create beads. Travel Exploration Morocco was the first agency to record this “rare” bead-making process and your group will be second to experience it first hand.

►There will be an opportunity to also purchase beads and special silver and other Moroccan Jewelry during your Bead Making Workshop in Taroudant.

►Lunch in Taroudant at La Valla, a local restaurant in Taradount or at the Bead-Making workshop. After lunch continue Moroccan Bead and Jewelry Treasure Hunting or return to your Riad to relax for the evening.

►Dinner and Spend the night at a 4 Star Riad in Taradount.

El Haj Bead-making in Taradount

El Haj Bead-making in Taradount

SEPTEMBER 27th – TAROUDAUNT – TALIOUINE – AGDZ

Breakfast at your Riad. Then spend take the road to Agdz.

En route to Agdz, you will stop at the Taliouine Saffron Cooperative. Taliouine is the traditional area of cultivation of saffron in Morocco and has been for hundreds of years. The Taliouine Souktana cooperative is on the road to Taroudant, in the village of Taliouine, in the heart of Sirwa Mountains. The Taliouine Cooperative sells only a truly biological saffron, cultivated according the traditional ways, with natural fertilizers . The mountains dry climate is ideal for such a culture.

After visiting the Taliouine Saffron Cooperative , continue the road to Agdz.

Arrive in Agdz and visit a local, traditional Moroccan small shop that is famous for its antique beads such as amber, coral, copal and also offers up a fantastic array of antique silver Moroccan Jewelry. After treasure hunting in Agdz, continue the road to Agdz center.

Dinner and Spend the night at a beautiful 4 Star Kasbah Riad in Agdz.


SEPTEMBER 28th- AGDZ – AIT OUZZINE – ZAGORA

►Breakfast at your Riad. Take the road to visit the village of Ait Ouzzine.

Aït Ouzzine is a Berber village inhabited by over 300 families who live in beautifully painted crenulated kasbahs, with their own henna fields, water wells, livestock and gardens. This peaceful village is tucked away along an impressive desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani.

►Meet a local Berber family, partake in a cooking lesson of how to make traditional bread, couscous and a tajine.

►Then explore and tour the village by foot. Walk in the green fields and see how the traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, live stock, and henna plants.

Lunch will be served to you in Aït Ouzzine by a traditional Berber family. The menu will include a traditional meal of fresh baked bread with spices and a chicken and vegetable tajine and fresh local fruits for desert.

►After lunch, you can have your hands and feet painted with henna or your hair adorned with saffron by a local village artist and relax. Experience the tradition of Berber perfume made from musk and amber along with the villages own spices.

►End the afternoon in Ait Ouzzine with mint tea and almonds. Take the road back to Ouarzazate.

Dinner and Spend the night at a 4 Star Riad located within the Palmary of old Zagora.

Southern Cross, Mold in Amzrou, Zagora

Southern Cross, Mold in Amzrou, Zagora

SEPTEMBER 29th: ZAGORA – TAMAGROUTE – AMZROU – OUARZAZATE

►Breakfast at your Riad in the Zagora Sahara, then begin your visit of Zagora, a Saharan desert town in the southern Draa Valley. Zagora is favored by travelers for its desert dunes, palms, 45 varieties of dates and its Hollywood sunset mountain backdrops. Take the road by pise (windy road) to discover the land where caravans once transported sugar, tea, dates and other dry goods to Ouarzazate.

Explore the Tamegroute Pottery Cooperative:
Learn how the local, forest green, glazed pottery is made and fired using regional henna. The holy village of Tamegroute’s claim to fame through out history is the beautiful pottery created that has a glaze made of henna and is sun dried.

►You will enjoy a workshop lead by Tamagroute pottery masters whereby you will learn how the pottery unique to this region of Zagora is made. You will learn the history as well as their local techniques. An English translator will be provided along with all necessary materials for you to make your own Tamagroute pottery. Everything you make you will be able to keep.

►Visit the ancient Zaouia site and the Koranic library. Tamegroute has a Koranic Library that once held 40,000 volumes and theological college dating from the 11th century. The library contains a collection of illuminated Korans, the oldest of which are written on gazelle skins.

The Art of Silversmiths in Amzrou:

Next, visit the village of Amzrou, Zagora and it’s old Jewish Mellah. See how silversmiths work to make hand made silver fibulas and Southern Crosses. Watch how molds are made from scratch, then how the Sahara’s sand is used to bind the molds for creating jewelry. The silver smiths in Amzrou were taught their craft by the Jews who inhabited this village in the 1950’s. Before they fled to Israel, they left a long history of craftsmanship along with the land to continue their silver making jewelry tradition. There will be an opportunity for bead buying, silver buying and also for purchasing of old artifacts.

►View the old Mellah’s Museum and artifacts for viewing and for purchase. Amzrou and the old city boasts a private area filled with artifacts that are of Berber, Jewish and Arabic origin.

►After exploring Amzrou, take the road to Ouarzazte.

Spend the night in a 4 Star Charming Riad in Ouarzazate.

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Ouarzazate

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Ouarzazate

SEPTEMBER 30th: OUARZAZATE (GUIDED HISTORICAL TOUR & AFTERNOON SHOPPING)

►Rise early, breakfast at your Riad and then take the road to visit the Ouarzazate region and its famous Kasbahs.

►“See Ouarzazate and die” are feelings often expressed by Moroccans with regards to this magical city that is the door to the Sahara desert. Located just four hours from Marrakech, Ouarzazate is the main Berber city in the south known for its spectacular sunsets and dramatic mountain and desert scenery. Surrounded by breathtaking valleys, Ouarzazate was once crossing point for African traders seeking to reach northern cities in Morocco and Europe. During the French period, Ouarzazate expanded considerably as a garrison town and became the administrative centre of the Zagora region. Ouarzazate became famous when it’s nearby Kasbah; Aït Benhaddou appeared in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.

►Take the windy road by piste visit the Oasis of Fint passing the “Plateau de pierres“. Journey on a one-hour walk inside the Oasis where you will have a cup of tea with the headmasters family Azziz Ouaziz and tour the surrounding area where date palm oases and dramaticdesert scenery are king.

► Then take the road to Ait Benhaddou. Located 32 km from Ouarzazate lies the picturesque village. Aït Benhaddou of Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa Draa on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah; and for Jesus of Nazareth the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. In recent years more controlled restoration has been carried out under UNESCO auspices. Aït Benhaddou is one of many locations in this region used for shooting Hollywood films. Aït Benhaddou which once served as the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. Most of the town’s inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river; ten families however still live within the ksar.

►Your guide will lead you on a private tour through this Berber village of towered and crenulated Kasbahs that once guarded the lucrative caravan route through the Atlas Mountains. Explore the Kasbahs by foot with the option to ride a donkey across a river. Aït Benhaddou which once served as the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. Most of the town’s inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river; ten families however still live within the ksar.

►Enjoy lunch at a Kasbah that overlooks Ait Benhaddou. Next, visit Kasbah Taouirirt. Kasbah Taorirt was built by the Glaoui. Its location was strategic for trading routes and in the 1930’s when the Glaoui ruled the South it was then one of Morocco’s largest Kasbahs. Explore Kasbah Taouirirt’s nooks and crannies and discover some local female painters who sell their art inside as well as the many quality silver shops just steps outside the Kasbah.

►Spend the afternoon jewelry shopping in Ouarzazate. Discover treasure hunting in this calm, oasis of Southern Morocco that was originally an administrative center during the French Protectuate. Discover jewelry just outside Kasbah Taouirt and in the old market alongside the smells of Berber Amber and Musk.

SEPTEMBER 30th: OUARZAZATE (GUIDED HISTORICAL & AFTERNOON SHOPPING TOUR CONTINUED)

Dinner at La Kasbah Des Sables in Ouarzazate. Le Kasbah Des Sables is a gastronomic experience with a menu that combines the cuisine of Fes, Meknes, Tangier, Arab and Berber with first class fare. This restaurant offers a museum- quality atmosphere as its’ decor has been hand stitched together and is filled with Berber, Morocco traditional furniture and art that was hand crafted by local artisans in the Ouarzazate region. Each section of the restaurant offers an intimate environment and the opportunity to eat on tables that are hand painted and adorned with silver fibulas, Amber and other regional jewels.

Spend the night in a 4 Star Charming Riad in Ouarzazate.


OCTOBER 1st: OUARZAZATE – MARRAKECH
►Rise, have breakfast at your Riad and then take the road to Marrakech.

►During your journey to Marrakech you will also pass the olive groves of the Oued Zat, as you ascend onto the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass Road. Built by the French in the 1920’s, the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass can be described as having mountainous barriers, Mediterranean and oceanic influences and desert borders. long the route you will see panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains as well as sights of fertile valleys, blue and red colored pise villages and other striking mineral environments.

▶En route you will go by piste to visit Kasbah Telout, one of Morocco’s hidden jewels and a famous Kasbahs that is the origin of the Pacha Glaoui Family. Kasbah Telout is hidden among a tiny road in a small village that is 20 minutes outside Tichka. It’s history stands alone with its original zellij tile, authentic, preserved silks and grand remnants of the Glaou family. Unlike the other Kasbahs in Southern Morocco, Telout was occupied by the Glaoui’s instead of the slaves and has stunning views. This Kasbahs has yet to be coined a UNESCO World Heritage site and while it appears in parts to be in ruins on the exterior, its interior is one of true splendor.

►En route stop for lunch and visit the Argan Cooperative where Argan Oil, Butter and Cosmetics are made with the Argan nut by hand as Berber women crack the nuts and the grind them one by one. Have a complimentary tasting. This cooperative is run entirely by women. Lunch in the village of Tadart.

►Arrive in Marrakech. Evening Free.

►Spend the night at 4 Star Riad in Marrakech.

OCTOBER 2nd: MARRAKECH (SHOPPING DAY)

►Rise early, breakfast at your Riad. Free Day to Shop the Souks of Marrakech for the special Moroccan Beads and Jewelry you missed out on the first time around.

►Sarah Corbett is available by arrangement for morning shopping guidance.

Jewelry & Treasures of Marrakech Viewing:
Evening viewing of Moroccan Jewelry pieces at your Riad by a local Berber Trader in Marrakech. Enjoy a private two- hour viewing of fabulous beads, jewels and local silver pieces available for purchase and historical discussion about the origin and meaning of these pieces.

►Spend the night at 4 Star Riad in Marrakech.


OCTOBER 3rd: MARRAKECH MENARA AIRPORT DEPARTURES:

▶Breakfast at your Riad. Departure from Marrakech’s Menara Airport.

Sarah Corbett, North African Jewelry Expert & Alecia Cohen, Director Travel Exploration Morocco

Sarah Corbett, North African Jewelry Expert & Alecia Cohen, Director Travel Exploration Morocco

COST PER PERSON: 14 Days/ 13 Nights
$3,850 USA / 2,620 GBP / 3,115 EUROS/ 3,930 CAD

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: 14 Days/ 13 Nights
$1,050 USA /700 GBP /850 EUROS/ 1,070 CAD

For more information about a Morocco Tour or the Trade Bead & Moroccan Jewelry Treasure Hunting Itinerary

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Moroccan Coffee and Café Ambiance, Your Moroccan Travel Guide

A Café in Marrakesh, Morocco - Photo by Richard Mueller

Enjoying the ambiance in various Moroccan cities is partly what a trip to Morocco is all about. When traveling to Morocco, make sure to take time out to enjoy Moroccan coffee and the cafe ambiance that each city offers. Marrakech, Tangier, Essaouira and Agadir are known for having the most and the best cafe’s, the best variety of Moroccan Arabic coffee and are spacious, comfortable hotspots for people watching. Moroccan coffee is different from American coffee. The two most commonly-ordered types are black, served in a Moroccan tea glass, and coffee with milk, usually served in a cup, but sometimes in a tea glass.There are several types of coffee with milk.  The first is café cassé, which means black coffee broken with a little bit of milk.  The other common type is “café nss nss”  (no vowel in nss), which means half coffee (made with water) and half milk.

Café "nss nss"

The third type is café crème, which means a cup of hot milk to which instant Nescafé is added (but it is not made with cream, which was never available in Morocco until recently, but would never in any case be found in a café).

Enjoy Your Coffee on the Balcony at the Hotel Continental in Tangier, Morocco

Traditionally, mint tea has been the beverage of choice in Morocco. Some travel across the world just to sample authentic Moroccan tea in the land where its masterful preparation has become almost as much of an art-form as the Japanese tea ceremony. It is believed that tea was first introduced to Morocco in the 18th century, and began spreading through the country in the mid-1800s at the time the trade between the Maghreb and Europe started flourishing. It is reported that Sultan Moulay Ismail received many bags of tea and sugar as gifts and recompenses given by European envoys in order to release European prisoners. Moroccans quickly developed a fondness for the tea, but adapted it to their own ways by adding mint.

However, according to Euromonitor International, the amount of coffee consumption in Morocco has risen steadily among Moroccans, and has especially accelerated over the past few years.  An increasing number of cafés are opening all over Morocco.  Instant coffee, dominated by Nescafé is very popular in Moroccan homes.

A Café in Agadir, Morocco

Moroccans make several variations of coffee in their own homes which you might like to try in your home.

Nescafé Classic

(Note:  Moroccans who use instant coffee mostly use Nescafé Classic –no substitute, or other type of Nescafé tastes the same.  If you prefer, use freshly brewed strong, black coffee in place of Nescafé crystals.)

Cafés in Essaouira, Morocco

Version 1:  Daily Morning Coffee, with Simple Continental Breakfast


Heat two cups of milk until boiling.  Let cool one minute; remove skin.  Stir in two rounded teaspoons of Nescafé crystals (or freshly brewed strong black coffee) and sugar to taste.  Moroccans often serve morning coffee in two thermos pitchers, one with black coffee, the other with milk, so that each person can mix their coffee exactly as they like it.

Version 2:  Coffee Spiced with Whole Cloves

Heat two cups of milk, together with three whole cloves, until boiling.  Let cool one minute; remove skin; disgard cloves.  Stir in two rounded teaspoons of Nescafé crystals (or freshly-brewed coffee) and sugar to taste.

Version 3:  Coffee with Black Pepper

Heat two cups of milk until boiling.  Let cool one minute; remove skin. Add 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.  Stir in two rounded teaspoons of Nescafé crystals (or freshly-brewed coffee) and sugar to taste.

Version 4:  Coffee with Ras el Hanut

Ras el Hanut is a group of spices mixed together which translates as “top of the shop.”  It is used in a variety of Moroccan dishes.  Sometimes it can be purchased at Middle Eastern groceries, or better yet, on your own trip to Morocco!

If you do not have this spice mixture available, just  a pinch of a few spices can be substituted in your coffee.

Heat two cups of milk until boiling.  Let cool one minute; remove skin. Add 1/4 teaspoon of Ras El Hanout, OR a pinch of each of the followingground spices:  cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and black pepper.  Stir in two rounded teaspoons of Nescafé crystals (or freshly-brewed coffee) and sugar to taste.

Version 5:  Black Coffee with a Lemon Twist

Authentic version (probably imported to Morocco from France): To a cup of boiling water, add a rounded (or heaping, if stronger is preferred) teaspoon of Nescafé.  Or use freshly-brewed strong coffee.  Cut a 1/8-inch thick slice of lemon peel. Twist it for the oils to come out of the peel, and drop it into the coffee.  Add sugar if you like it.

Variation using Lemon Juice: Add a full tablespoon of lemon juice to strong black coffee. Add three+ tablespoons of sugar. Tastes a bit like strong, black coffee flavored with lemonade. (Note: Splenda might work, since it is made from real sugar– but aspartame products definitely taste really bad with lemon juice.) This variation is excellent, but I don’t make it often because of the amount of sugar required to balance the lemon juice. (Note that lemon juice doesn’t taste right in coffee unless real sugar is used.) An additional alternative is to use a bartender’s sweetened lemon-flavored syrup.

For more information about Morocco Travel and Morocco’s Cafe Scene

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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Cafe scene in Morocco, Cafe scene in Marrakech, Cafe scene in Tangier, Tangier, Agadir, Essaouira, Casablanca, Fes, Fez, Meknes, Marrakesh, Marrakech, Ouarzazate,  Moroccan coffee, authentic recipes for Moroccan coffee, Recipes for Arabic coffee, Recipes for Moroccan Coffee, Brochures Morocco, Holiday Travel in Morocco, Imperial Cities Tour Morocco,  Cafés in Morocco, Moroccan cafés, coffee in Morocco, Moroccan recipes with Nescafé, tea in Morocco, coffee culture in Morocco, café culture in Morocco, café au Maroc, Maroc, Morocco private tours, Morocco Holidays, Morocco Travel, Travel Exploration, Travel to Morocco

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Moroccan Tajine Recipe, Your Morocco Travel Guide


Moroccan Tajine

Moroccan Tajine

Tajines in Moroccan cuisine are slow-cooked stews braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce. They are traditionally cooked in the tajine pot, whose cover has a knob-like formation at its top to facilitate removal. While simmering, the cover can be lifted off without the aid of a mitten, enabling the cook to inspect the main ingredients, add vegetables, move things around, or add additional braising liquid. To learn how to make a Moroccan tajine first hand, consider taking A Taste of Morocco tour or a local cooking class from a chef at a cooking school or university closest to where you live.

Tajine or tagine is a type of dish found in the North African cuisines of Morocco, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. The traditional tajine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts; a base unit which is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that rests inside the base during cooking. The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving. The clay used to make a tajine comes from various regions in Morocco. Morocco’s Sahara Desert has orange colored clay as does the Ouarzazate region. Some of the best cooking tajines can be found in the Tizin’ Tichka pass and tajines for decorative purposed in the pottery capital, Safi.

Traditional Clay Tajine

Traditional Clay Tajine

Most tagines involve slow simmering of less-expensive meats. For example, the ideal cuts of lamb are the neck, shoulder or shank cooked until it is falling off the bone. Very few Moroccan tajines require initial browning; if there is to be browning it is invariably done after the lamb has been simmered and the flesh has become butter-tender and very moist. In order to accomplish this, the cooking liquid must contain some fat, which may be skimmed off later.

Moroccan tajines often combine lamb or chicken with a medley of ingredients or seasonings: olives, quinces, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, nuts, with fresh or preserved lemons, with or without honey, with or without a complexity of spices. Traditional spices that are used to flavour tajines include ground cinnamon, saffron, ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika, pepper, as well as the famous spice blend Ras el hanout. Some famous tajine dishes are mqualli or emshmel (both are pairings of chicken, olives and citrus fruits, though preparation methods differ), kefta (meatballs in an egg and tomato sauce), and mrouzia (lamb, raisins and almonds).

Other ingredients for a tajine include any product that braises well: fish, quail, pigeon, beef, root vegetables, legumes, even amber and aga wood. Modern recipes in the West include pot roasts, ossobuco, lamb shanks and turkey legs. Seasonings can be traditional Moroccan spices, French, Italian or suited to the dish.

Aluminum Modern Tajine

Aluminum Modern Tajine

Morocco, perhaps feeling pressure to catch up with Europe, is beginning to use the efficient pressure cooker to make tajines. Recently, European manufacturers have created tajines with heavy cast iron bottoms that can be fired on a stovetop at high heat. This permits browning meat and vegetables before cooking. While the similar Dutch oven and Sac spell (sach) (a cast iron pot with a tight cover) braises most efficiently in the oven, the tajine braises best on the stovetop.

Tajine makers, who want to remain loyal to the original cooking methods but save time, can still cook with saucepans and casseroles, but place them over gas versus a slow fire. Regardless of how you make tajine, you should make it with love and care as this will assure a delicious result. Also, keep in mind that it is difficult to make tajines for large groups because they don’t contain much more than sauce. As a result, a tajine is better prepared for your family or an intimate gathering of friends.

Tajines are a delicious meal if you enjoy exotic ingredients like lamb or chicken marinated in olive oil and garlic. (If you are vegetarian, you can request your tajine to be made without meat during your Moroccan travels). Meats are always first sautéed and then embellished with combinations of marinades including saffron, cumin, crushed red pepper, fresh coriander, parsley, chickpeas, and almonds. To be playful with the dishes, Moroccans sometimes add prunes, ginger, or hard boiled eggs. The standard dish will always include chicken, olives and salted lemons.

Some tricks to get your tajine like those of Moroccan mothers include using cooking butter (you can substitute for olive oil) and large quantities of chopped onions. Warm the onions until they reach their softest state; this will help the tajine sauce taste creamier. Adding a touch of honey is another secret.

Some differences in how tajines vary between regions include details of what spices, fats, and seasonal produce are used. Regardless of where your ingredients come from, one similarity throughout Morocco is that upon preparation, the tajine is commonly ate with couscous or thick wedges of freshly made hot bread used to scoop up the meat and vegetables.

Decorative Moroccan Tajine

Decorative Moroccan Tajine

MOROCCAN TAJINE RECIPES: The following are a few of the most popular tajine recipes to recreate at home.

Recipe: Beef Tajine with Almonds and Prunes

Ingredients:

3 Lb. beef

4.oz butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 large onions

1 teaspoon

salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 strip lemon peel

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 Ib dried prunes

1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron

blanched almonds

3 short cinnamon sticks

fresh water cress or mint

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Making a Beef Tajine with Almonds and Prunes:
Combine the oil and ground spices in a bow, then cut the beef into cubes, chop onions finely, and mix both into oil and spices. Let stand. Sear the meat lightly in butter, add any remaining marinade and enough water to cover-simmer until meat is tender while the meat is cooking, cover the prunes with boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes. Drain the prunes and cook them in a small amount of liquid from the meat. Add the lemon peel, cinnamon sticks, and half the sugar. Stir the remaining sugar into the meat. Arrange the meat, prunes, and their sauce on serving dish. Boil the remaining liquid from the meat rapidly to reduce it by half. Pour sauce over the meat and prunes. Garnish with almonds sautéed in a little butter and with watercress or mint. Serve with fresh bread, rice or couscous.

Chicken Olive and Preserved Lemon Tajine

Chicken Olive and Preserved Lemon Tajine

Recipe: Chicken Tajine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

Rock salt

1 whole large chicken, cut into 8 pieces

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon real saffron

Pinch fine salt

1/2 pound onions, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 pound gizzards, optional

1/4 pound chicken liver, optional

1/4 cup mixed olives, pitted

3 small preserved lemons

Making a Chicken Tajine with Olives and Preserved Lemons:
First rub the rock salt into the chicken pieces and then wash the chicken in the white wine vinegar and water. Leave for 10 minutes. Rinse and dry and place onto a clean plate. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, coriander, cinnamon, saffron, fine salt, 1/2 the onions, garlic, cumin, ginger, paprika, turmeric. Mix all these ingredients into the oil and crush the garlic and add a little water to make a paste. Roll the chicken pieces into the marinade and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. For cooking, use an earthenware tajine (traditional Moroccan dish) or a deep, heavy bottom casserole dish. Heat the dish up and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the hot dish. Drop in the chicken and pour over the excess marinade juices. Add the remaining onions, gizzards, chicken livers, olives, and chopped preserved lemons (no pulp). Cook on a gas or electric stove for 45 minutes – 1 Hour. Allow the tajine to have a slight burn on the inside bottom. Serve with fresh bread.

For more information about Moroccan Tajine recipes

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Things to Do in Ad Dakhla, Morocco, Your Morocco Travel Guide, Part II of II

Ad Dakhla Sahara Desert

Are you wondering what there is to see and do in Ad Dakhla, Morocco besides kitesurfing?

Dakhla also referred to as Ad Dakhla is a fishing and surfing paradise which was once the capital of the Spanish province of Rio de Oro. Dakhla or Ad Dakhla is one of the ultimate places to go where you can witness unspoiled Sahara Desert scenery.  Visiting Dakhla is ideal for Moroccan travelers who want to get away from the crowds and visit a place where it is still possible to see the authentic nomad lifestyle nearby. Another place in Morocco where it is possible to see the authentic Nomad lifestyle is in the Bouthgrar region near Mount Mgoun which is often referred to as the Valley of Nomads. The Valley of Nomads can be visited from en route from Ouarzazate when passing the Valley of Roses.

It is possible to fly to Dakhla however an overland trip in a 4×4 Landcruiser is ideal to get the real feel for the Western Sahara of Morocco. The road to Dakhla hugs the cool sea coast where there are some spectacular low cliffs that hang over the Atlantic Ocean.  Sometimes local fisherman live in huts on the cliffs.

Fishermen's Huts on Morocco's Southern Sahara Desert Coastline, photo by Mary Mimouna

If you can only visit the Sahara Desert in the summer, Dakhla is one of the ideal Sahara Desert tours, rather than the inland Sahara Desert of Merzouga, M’hamid or Zagora which do not have the advantage of the cool Atlantic ocean. It is possible to visit  Dakhla on your own or take a 4 x 4 private tour or luxury tour just south from Agadir or Laayoune, all the way to Dakhla.  The cold Canary Current off the coast means that the seacoast road (even in July and August) is quite cold most of the way (foggy in the mornings, and 75°F/25°C in the afternoons).

Atlantic Cliffs in the Moroccan Sahara, along the Seacoast Road to Ad Dakhla

In a couple of places, en route to Dakhla, the seacoast road juts inland, into a couple of Saharan towns, where the temperature can shoot up to 120°F/49°C.  But it only takes 30 minutes to drive in and out of these areas, and is a fascinating experience to see how quickly and dramatically the temperature changes just a few kilometers in from the seacoast.  It also makes clear why most of the road does hug the seacoast.  The hot inland excursions are a great reason to make your trip in a comfortable and air-conditioned 4 x 4 to Dakhla.

Driving down to Ad Dakhla, there are several great areas of sand dunes, between the road and the ocean which make great places to climb on.  They are close enough to the ocean to be cool in the mornings.

Climbing on Sand Dunes in Morocco's Western Sahara Desert, next to the Seacoast Road

Anyone with even a passing interest in geology will find the trip to Dakhla interesting.  Here we collected some naturally occurring gypsum crystals that we found ourselves in a place where we merely stopped to admire the scenery.

Driving down to Ad Dakhla, you are able to drive for great distances without finding any small towns, stores, gas stations, or other evidence of civilization.  When you finally arrive in  Dakhla, it feels like a secret still-undiscovered oasis.

Dakhla, has a population of 70,000 and is Morocco’s largest southern Sahara city.  Formerly known as Villa Cisneros (founded by Spanish settlers in 1502), Dakhla is located just north of the Tropic of Cancer, 550 kilometers south of Laayoune, and 1000 kilometers south of Agadir.

Ad Dakhla, Morocco - Now a city of 70,000

Tourists in Ad Dakhla can enjoy deep sea fishing, fishing from shore, windsurfing, camel riding, visiting an oyster farm (8 km outside of town), and kitesurfing, in addition to year-round sun.  Excursions to the famous White Dune in the Bay of Dakhla are popular, where sometimes pink flamingoes can be found.

Deep sea fisherman find that common fish of the area include chad, borinto, mullet, sea perch, marlin, tuna and swordfish.  The new port is now home to one of Morocco’s largest fishing fleets.

The Port in Ad Dakhla (1970's)

In Ad Dakhla itself, there is no beach (located in the lagoon about 25 km north of Dakhla, which you will see on the way in to town), but there is an oceanfront promenade.

Ad Dakhla, Morocco Waterfront Promenade

Ad Dakhla itself makes an interesting destination in the Moroccan Sahara for tourists who enjoy vast stretches of beach without crowds.  Dahkla is located on a pennisula, and while there are no beaches in the town, very interesting beaches are located in the inland lagoon of water, actually on your left side, which extends for 50 km as you approach Dakhla from the north.

The Lagoon, at Ad Dakhla, Morocco

These beaches are vast and shallow, where at high tide the water comes nearly to the road.  Yet, at low tide, you can walk out nearly a kilometer.

A wide range of migrating birds and other wildlife are all over the beach in Dakhla, looking for sand crabs and other delicious morsels to eat.  It’s an amazing experience to be able to walk on a vast nearly flat beach empty of humans, yet filled at times with a wide range of migrating birds and other wildlife, looking for sand crabs and other delicious morsels to eat. Occassionally you can find tracks through the wet sand of other small animals.  Dolphins can also frequently be seen in the Bay of Dakhla.

The town of Dakhla itself is a nice place to wander around.  The Catholic church (left) was built during colonial times.  A small souk is also interesting to visit.

The Souk in Ad Dakhla

If you happen to visit Ad Dakhla in February, you can attend their large music festival.

Ad Dakhla Music Festival

Many tourists going to Dakhla are particularly interested in taking an overnight excursion to the Mauritanian border, to take a look around Nouadibou, the Mauritanian town on the other side.  This can be done in a bus or in your luxury 4 x 4, but in either case, you need to go as part of the convoy which leaves about three times weekly from Dakhla.  (North of Dakhla, there is no need for a convoy.)

Nouadibou, Mauritanea - border town with southern Morocco

Part I – Ad Dakhla, Morocco – Best Kitesurfing in the World

For more information about what to see and do in Dakhla and Morocco’s Sahara Desert

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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Morocco Traditional Food, The World of Moroccan Cuisine, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan cuisine is the culinary star of North Africa. Imperial and trade influence has been filtered and blended into Morocco’s culture. Being at the crossroads of many civilizations, the cuisine of Morocco is a mélange of Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences.

Moroccan cooking is enhanced with fruits, dried and fresh — apricots, dates, figs, and raisins, to name a few. Lemons preserved in a salt-lemon juice mixture bring a unique face to many Moroccan chicken and pigeon dishes. Nuts are prominent; pine nuts, almonds, and pistachios show up in all sorts of unexpected places.

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan sweets are rich and dense confections of cinnamon, almond, and fruit perfumes that are rolled in filo dough, soaked in honey, and stirred into puddings. The cooks in the royal kitchens of Fes, Meknes, Marrakech, Rabat and Tetouan refined Moroccan cuisine over the centuries and created the basis for what is known as Moroccan cuisine today. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food.

While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron from Taliouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fes, are home-grown. Common spices include karfa (cinnamon), kamoun (cumin), kharkoum (turmeric), skingbir (ginger), libzar (pepper) , tahmira (paprika), anis seed, sesame seed, kasbour (coriander), maadnous (parsley), zaafrane beldi (saffron) and mint.

Moroccan Food

Moroccan Food

Traditional Food in Morocco is eaten at breakfast, lunh and dinner as well as on high holy holidays such as Ramadan and Eid El Kebir. The various types of Moroccan traditional cuisine include the Moroccan tajine and Moroccan couscous. Moroccans also have a penchant for fruit juice, Arabic coffee and mint tea along with their accompaniment of dates, nuts, deserts and pastries.

When taking a Moroccan holiday, make sure to expand your pallet by allowing yourself to enjoy a true a taste of Moroccan cuisine.

For more information about Morocco Traditional Food or A Taste of Morocco 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 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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Ad Dakhla Morocco – Best Kitesurfing in the World, Your Morocco Travel Guide (Part I of II)

Ad Dakhla Lagoon, in far Southern Morocco, next to the Tropic of Cancer

Dakhla or Ad Dakhla, Morocco is located on the southern Sahara desert coast of Morocco, just above the Tropic of Cancer and is one of the best locations in the world for kitesurfing.  Both the 2010 World Kitesurfing Championships and the 2009 Dakhla Kiteboard World Cup were held there. Dakhla has a 50-km flat-water shallow sand-basin lagoon, with perfect wind conditions, which is why it is so popular.

The Ad Dakhla Lagoon, at High Tide

The constant and strong northwesterly winds are caused by the  natural thermals rising from the desert and meeting the cold temperatures rising from the Canary current in the Atlantic Ocean next to Morocco.  The excellent winds ensure that a vast range of kitesurfing conditions are always available, and this is why Ad Dakhla is sought out by kiteboarders.

Kitesurfing lessons can be arranged in Dakhla for beginner and intermediate levels, for those who are interested.  It’s even exhilarating just to watch the kitesurfers, especially when they make dramatic jumps in the air.

So why does kiteboarder Johara Freedom Sykes-Davies enjoy Ad Dakhla, Morocco?  She says,”I love super flat spots to learn new freestyle tricks, it is so satisfying powering along a super slick lagoon and putting 100% into learning a new trick.”


Johara Freedom Sykes-Davies

Johara Freedom Sykes-Davies Kitesurfing in Ad Dakhla

Ad Dakhla is the ultimate in uncrowded desert scenery for serious kiteboarders and Morocco’s adventure travelers.

The Lagoon, at Ad Dakhla, Morocco

Where should luxury Sahara desert travelers not interested in camping stay in Dakhla?  Definitely at the Sahara Regency Hotel. Ad Dakhla is Morocco’s southernmost Atlantic city, with a  population of about 70,000.

View of Ad Dakhla, Morocco, from the Sahara Regency Hotel

Part II of this series will cover Dakhla activities for non-kiteboarders to see and do in Ad Dakhla.


For more information about Kitesurfing or a Morocco vacation in Dakhla

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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Beat the Heat in Morocco, Top Ten Morocco Travel Tips For Summer, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Men at Sunrise Wearing Djellabas

1.  Adopt a Moroccan schedule To Beat the Heat in Morocco During Summer & Other Seasons. Take advantage of the cool early morning hours in Morocco in Summer by taking a mid-moring snack and a late lunch about 1:00 PM.  Take a nap in your air-conditioned hotel room or traditional Moroccan Riad, or a dip in the pool.  Around 4 PM, have a snack, and head out again around 4:30-5:00 PM.  You won’t miss much, because Moroccans tend to lie low during this same time.  Enjoy yourself until dark, then head off for dinner around 8-9:00 PM.  Take advantage of the Moroccan night life during the cool evening hours if you’re staying in Imperial cities such as Marrakech, Essaouira or Casablanca, all which boast varied restaurants with Moroccan and International cuisine along with entertainment.

2. When going out in the morning during your Morocco Travel experience, make sure to apply sunscreen and consider wearing a hat (or hat alternative) and sunglasses (protects your eyes against cataracts).

3. If you find yourself out and about, getting overheated and exhausted, use your water bottle to wet down your face, neck, hairline, and even the top of your t-shirt or dress in the upper back, shoulder, and neck areas. You can even splash some water on your arms if necessary.

Don’t worry about looking silly–it’s far better to take care of your health when traveling in Summer in Morocco.  Even though you might not see them, plenty of Moroccans (especially men, or women when in their own homes) wet down their entire head and neck under a faucet if they feel severely overheated.

Under these circumstances, try also to get to a shaded area and sit down for a little while, even if you have to ask someone in a shop or elsewhere if you may use their stool to sit on.  Most are more than happy to oblige if they see you need help.

4.  Drink PLENTY of water. Doctors on the Moroccan radio have advised that this is the best way to avoid serious problems.  (The objective is to keep your blood thin through drinking, because dehydration is what actually leads to strokes or heart attacks in the heat.)

5. If you are not on a salt-restricted diet, enjoy the Moroccan olives! Ask your guide to take you on a visit to the olive souk, where you can purchase several varieties of olives (which don’t need to be refrigerated in your hotel room).  Enjoy these at your leisure.  While a bit of salt is quite helpful in preventing heat stroke in extremely hot weather, salt tablets are quite unnecesary if you like olives!

Olive souk in Morocco

6. If possible, doctors suggest spending at least a couple of hours per day in an air-conditioned location. Even short periods will give your body a break.  If you are unable to do so, don’t feel shy about wetting yourself down.  Your clothes will easily dry in 20-30 minutes.

In addition to your Riad or hotel in Morocco, air-conditioning is becoming more available now in some larger stores (supermarkets and malls).  These make a cooler place you can go for a break.

Fresh produce displayed inside an air-conditioned Acima Supermarket in Marrakesh

7. When stopping at small shops or cafés, they often DO have cold drinks.  But sometimes you have to especially ASK for them.  If they hand you an unopened bottle or can which is not cold, it never hurts to aks for one that is cold.  Sometimes they only give them to the people who ASK.  Moroccans nearly ALWAYS ask!

8. If you should ever find yourself in an out-of-the-way place that is just unbearable at night, one trick to help with this situation is to travel with a cheap (thin) bath towel. (Even a large hand towel will do.)  These can be easily purchased at any local souk.  Wet it down, wring it out, and lay it on top of your body in the bed.  If you have a fan to lie in front of, it will offer instant relief.  If you don’t have a fan, wave it back and forth in the air a few times; when you lay it on your body, it will feel cold.  This can give you some much-needed relief.

9. Remember the locals are better acclimated to the heat of summer and cold of winter, because their bodies have a chance to adjust gradually throughout the year.  If you spend a long time in Morocco, especially without air conditioning (or heat in winter), your body will adjust, too.  But most tourists are not here long enough for that to happen.  Most fly right in to the summer heat, are only here a short time, and need to be careful by following the above suggestions.

If you should ever need a doctor, generally your hotel desk or tour guide can help find you one quickly, who even speaks some English.

10. Low-lying and coastal regions (northern and western coasts) of Morocco, such as Agadir, Casablanca, Rabat, and Tangier often have moderate temperatures with humidity, but less of both than is found in the American South, or American East Coast.  Marrakesh, Fes, Ouarzazate, and other inland cities or southern areas tend to have dry, to very dry, heat, which is far easier to tolerate than humid heat.

So, to sum up, in very hot weather, avoid going out between 1 PM and 4 PM.  Rest in air-conditioning, if possible.  Drink plenty of water, and don’t hesitate to ask someone for a stool or chair to rest on if you become exhausted.  If you become overheated together with exhaustion, soak your head and shoulders in water —put your health before appearances.

For more information about a Morocco Travel Tips

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 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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