Monthly Archives: December 2010

Top 10 Things To Do in Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Djemaa El Fna Square at Night, Marrakech

Things to do in Marrakech. The Top 10 Things to do in Marrakech, Morocco is a hot list of activities and experiences that one can do alone, with their spouse or friends and family in this majestic “red hamra” city. The most popular activities typically included spending time in and around Marrakech along with a brief departure for a High Atlas Tour or a Sahara Tour.

Cooking Class at Le Maison Arabe, Marrakech

The top 10 activities in Marrakech are Tajine Cooking Classes in Marrakech, City Sightseeing tours with a private historical guide to visit 17th Century Palaces, gardens, mosques and museums, camel trekking to Sahara desert of Morocco, attend the Chez Ali Equestrian Horse and Moroccan Music show, visit Djemaa El Fna Square at night for a Medieval Carnival experience, shopping in the old medina for Moroccan crafts, head to Gueliz – the new town for pastries and tea, take a walking tour of La Mamounia Gardens, visit the Majorelle Gardens enjoy a Marrakech Spa or local Hammam for a traditional scrub down.

M'hamid Sahara Desert

Top 10 Things To Do in Marrakech:

  1. Take a Moroccan Tajine Cooking Class
  2. Site Seeing Tour with a Private Historical Guide of 17th Century Palaces, gardens, mosques and museums
  3. Camel Trekking to the Sahara Desert of Morocco
  4. Attend the Chez Ali Equestrian Horse & Moroccan Music Show
  5. Visit Djemaa El Fna Square at night for a Medival carnival experience
  6. Shopping in the old medina for Moroccan crafts
  7. Head to Gueliz, the new town for pastries and tea
  8. Take a walking tour of the La Mamounia Gardens
  9. Visit the Majorelle Gardens
  10. Enjoy a Marrakech Spa or local Hammam for a traditional scrub down

For more information about  the Top 10 Things To Do in Marrakech and Marrakech Tours

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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Top 10 Reasons To Visit Morocco, Your Morocco Travel Guide


Map of Morocco

Give us 10 Days and we will give you 10 Reasons  to Visit Morocco. A Trip to Morocco will offer a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed! Morocco is a moderate Muslim country in North Africa known for it’s fascinating Imperial Cities, its majestic Sahara Desert, Berber villages, waterfalls, ancient Kasbahs and charming seaside towns. From region to region any Moroccan traveler will be stunned by Morocco’s varied landscapes, its souks, gardens, monuments, mosques, palaces and vibrant street life. Morocco is also a country known for it’s fantastic food and aromatic spices.

Palace in Rabat

Morocco’s origins as a tribal country  is what makes it both a special and different destination to travel to then  other North African nations. Morocco’s unique history of Arab and Berber inhabitants that have live peacefully together and have mixed with foreigners for centuries make it a one of a kind place to visit.

Terraces Des Spices, Cuisine of Marrakech

From north to south and east to west any Moroccan traveler will find a wide range of variation in landscapes, terrain, exotic food traditions, local crafts and beautiful people whose faces are glow happily in so many lovely shades of brown. Morocco is a place that many foreign travelers have dreamed about visiting but hesitate to do so because of their uncertainty about the country’s offerings. Make no mistake as Morocco and its Imperial city of Marrakech are on the hot list of American celebrity. Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano have houses in the “red hamra” city and Rapper P. Diddy recently flew in his A-list friends to party in Marrakech.  The Woolworth’s heiress Barbara Hutton, American expatriate author Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and even Tennessee Williams have all traveled and lived in Morocco during their lifetime.

La Mamounia Hotel, Marrakech

The Mamounia seems to have had great appeal for foreigners during the past century as not long after Alfred Hitchcock checked in to film The Man Who Knew Too Much (in which James Stewart and Doris Day occupy room 414) Marrakech became a hot spot during that era. The A-list of names in the hotel’s livre d’or is impressive, from Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper and Erich von Stroheim (in town to film Morocco ) through Tony Curtis, Charlton Heston and Omar Sharif to Sylvester Stallone and Kate Winslet, plus sundry royalty and heads of state. Ethnicity and color have long proved a draw for the fashion crowd. First into the souk was Yves Saint Laurent and partner Pierre Berg who bought their first home along with the Majorelle Gardens in 1967.  Jean Paul Gaultier set a collection in Marrakech’s ancient Medina, while Gucci’s Tom Ford has been spotted truffling through the souks for prizes.

Berber Girl, Nomad in Bouthgrar's Valley of Nomads

For those who have ever considered taking a private Morocco Tour or a Morocco vacation here are the Top 10 Reasons to Visit Morocco in hope that those reading this article will feel excited and comfortable enough to to pack their bags and head out for an unforgettable  Morocco adventure.

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Morocco:

1. Wander through 17th Century Palaces in Morocco’s Imperial Cities.

2. Visit sacred spaces, mosques, sites and gardens in Morocco.

3. Go off road, by pise to discover the unique flora and fauna in the Sahara Desert, the Draa Valley’s old African trade routes and Berber Villages.

4. Camel trek at sunset across the Erg Chebbi’s Golden Dunes in Merzouga with a Tuareg guide.

5. Sip mint-tea at midnight under the Moroccan stars and in caves with Nomads in Bouthgrar’s Valley of Nomads.

6. Explore Ancient Kasbahs where American directors of cinema shot our movie industries top films:  Lawrence of Arabia, Cleopartra, Kundun, Body of Lies and Babel.

7. Dine on fresh fish seaside at the Portuguese Port in the coastal artist colony of Essaouira.

8. Savor the taste of Moroccan cuisine – salads, tajines, couscous and pigeon pie – all known for their spices of cumin, saffron and cinnamon.

9. Shop the souks and buy directly from potters, wood workers, metal smiths, painters and traditional craftsmen.

10. Come face to face with snake charmers and acrobats in Marrakech’s Djemaa El Fna Square.

For more information about  New Years Even in the Sahara Desert Morocco Tours

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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New Years Eve in The Sahara Desert, Your Morocco Tour Guide


Sahara Desert at Sunset

New Years Eve in the Sahara Desert is the one of the best ways to experience Morocco and ring in the New Year. Travel Exploration’s 3 Day, 4 Day and 5 Day New Years Sahara Desert Tours depart from Marrakech, Fes and Ouarzazate daily during the holiday season. There’s nothing more charming then sitting around a campfire with family and friends in the Sahara on New Years Eve after you’ve taken a camel trek across the golden dunes and watched the majestic sunset.

NEW YEARS EVE SAHARA TOUR FROM MARRAKECH
On a New Years Eve Sahara Tour from Marrakech, you will cross the High Atlas and travel along the Draa Valley to Mhamid’s Erg Chegaga Dunes or use the same road and instead take the fork that leads to the direction of  the Erg Chebbi Dunes in Merouga. Once in the Sahara Desert region you will leave the paved road and continue into the Sahara dunes by pise (windy road) to reach your desert camp.

NEW YEARS EVE SAHARA TOUR FROM FES
On a New Years Eve Sahara Tour from Fes you will pass the villages of Midelt (often referred to as the capital of apples), Ifrane, known as “the little Switzerland” for it’s skiing and houses that have pointed roofs peas, later arriving in the Sahara Desert just before dusk.

NEW YEARS EVE SAHARA TOUR FROM OUARZAZATE
On a New Years journey from Ouarzazate to the Sahara Desert you will visit Ait Benhaddou Kasbah then backtrack to pass the the sleepy town of Skoura, El Kellet Des Mgouna , this regions capital of Roses and the vast Draa Valley with its volcanic rock and breathtaking views. You will arrive in the Sahara Desert before the sunsets and camel trek to your camp.

All Sahara Desert tours on New Years Eve include full transport in a 4×4 land cruiser for your Morocco adventure along with an Arabian nights evening dinner and Sahara music fireside. Ending your night sleeping under the Moroccan stars is something not to be missed. Some New Years Eve Sahara tours also include the option to have lunch with a Moroccan family or a visit to the Todra Gorge.

For more information about  New Years Even in the Sahara Desert Morocco Tours

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 Travel Blog & Morocco Blogs Nominated for 2011 Bombies, Your Morocco Travel Guide Morocco

Morocco Travel Blog Nominated For the "Morocco Blogs Bombies 2011"

Morocco Travel Blog, A Sensual Journey Into Morocco has been nominated for Best of Morocco Blogs 2011. The first annual Best of Morocco Blog Awards (aka The Bombies) were a huge success in 2010 with more than 1500 votes cast, major media attention around the world, and major prizes donated by Morocco Blogs generous sponsors. Morocco Travel Blog is proud to be a part of this literary and Internet effort to expand Morocco Blog contents and information about the country on the Internet. Morocco Blogs will begin the voting process on January 7th, 2011 and the nominations will be closed a few days prior.

Morocco Travel Blog was created in December 2008 by Alecia Cohen, a Moroccan Travel Specialist and former magazine publisher at Zenbu Media and of Global Rhythm magazine in the United States. Moroccco Travel Blog seeks to cover a wide variety of travel stories and culture ranging from Moroccan history, Moroccan culture, up and coming events, Morocco Tour ideas along with the Best Restaurants in Morocco and Best Riads in Morocco. A Sensual Journey to Morocco through stories and photographs is what Morocco Travel Blog is all about.

With so many new travel blogs on the frontier and blog software available to enhance blogs, what is still lacking are travel blogs that are written not only with passion, but those that include journalistic and photographic expertise on Morocco travel, the culture and its people.

Morocco Travel Blog seeks not only to offer an authentic reading and visual online experience but to take its readership into another world where they can instantly become an arm chair traveler on a Moroccan Adventure to the Sahara, an exploration to Morocco’s Imperial Cities or journey into the lives of Nomads in Berber Villages within the Middle Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco. Morocco Travel Blog is the perfect read for those who are interested and passionate about the Maghreb.

Morocco Travel Blog would like to offer Congratulations and support to the winners and nominees of the 2010 Bombies. The following is the complete list of nominees in the order that they finished. Morocco Travel Blog was so pleased to be nominated in 2010 and 2011.

Category: Best Overall Morocco Blog
The View From Fez WINNER
Evelyn in Morocco
Ibn Ibn Batutta
760 Days in Morocco
Eat Bees Blog Braveheart Does the Maghreb
My Marrakesh Culture Vultures Fez
Everything Morocco
Cat in Rabat Dar Mystere

Category: Best Personal Morocco Blog
Pres du Puis WINNER
Evelyn in Morocco
The Good Life in Morocco
My Marrakesh Vie Au Maroc
Reflections and Experiences in Al Maghreb al AqsaThe Magic of My Universe OC Lynn in Morocco
Dar Mystere
The Struggling Travel Writer

Category: Best Morocco Culture Blog
Culture Vultures Fez WINNER
Morocco Time Moroccan Design
Fez Travel Guide Bissaha
Sou Sou Kitchen
Marrakech Xanthe Pat
Llala Lydia
Max’s Kitchen

Category: Best Morocco News Blog
The View from Fez WINNER
Morocco Times Blog
A Moroccan About the World About him
Eat Bees Blog Maghreb Voices

Category: Best Morocco Travel Blog
The Elephant Cloud WINNER
Morocco Travel Blog
The Elephant Cloud
Morocco A Go-Go
Donniell heads to Morocco
Travels with Kylie
Ben in Morocco
Oh Hey I’m in Morocco
Hey Morocco

For more information about Morocco Travel Blog or Morocco Blogs

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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North African Trade Bead & Antique Ethnic Jewelry Treasure Hunting Tour In Morocco With Sarah Corbett, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Moroccan Bowl of Jewelry

Join Host & North African Jewelry Expert, Sarah Corbett on this Moroccan Jewelry & Treasure Hunting Tour – A Travel Exploration Morocco Exclusive For Spring 2011

Bead Your Way Through Morocco, Travel Exploration’s Moroccan Jewelry & Bead Treasure Hunting Tour presents it’s Spring, April 2011 Morocco travel itinerary that will take place from April 4th, – 18th, 2011. Bead Your Way Through Morocco will take Moroccan antique and trade bead enthusiasts along with Moroccan jewelry collectors through a variety of Southern Moroccan cities, Saharan Desert Towns, the Seaside city of Essaouira and the Imperial city of Marrakech.

Travel Exploration Morocco has teamed up with Tribal Jewelry expert Sarah Corbett to offer an exciting and enthralling Moroccan Jewelry and Bead Treasure Hunting Tour to the Maghreb. This 15 Day/ 14 Night Moroccan Jewelry & Bead Tour will enable Moroccan jewelry and bead enthusiasts to explore Morocco’s hidden treasures with a focus on antique Moroccan silver and trade beads. The first North African Trade Bead & Antique Ethnic Jewelry Tour took place in September 2010 and was a great success.

Travel Exploration specializes in tailor-made Tours to Morocco 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.

On this tour you will visit Marrakech, the Seaside town of Essaouira, Tiznint,  Taradount then head to the Agdz, Ait Ouzzine, Zagora, Ouarzazate. At Travel Exploration we guarantee you will discover the best of Morocco.

Khamsa (Hamsa) Necklace

APRIL 4th – CASABLANCA & MARRAKECH ARRIVALS

Airport arrivals with the option to fly into Casablanca or Marrakech.  Those who fly into Casablanca will have a visit of the Hassan II Mosque and then take the road to Marrakech.

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

►Welcome dinner gathering at your Riad or Al Fassia in Aguedal.

Spend the night at a 4 Star Riad in Marrakech.

Riad Palais Sebban, Marrakech Morocco

APRIL 5TH- MARRAKECH (GUIDED HALF- DAY HISTORICAL TOUR & TREASURE HUNTING)

►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. 

Bahia Palace Arabic Writing, Koran Blessing, Marrakech

►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.

Essaouira, Boats by the Portuguese Ramparts

APRIL 6TH – 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.

APRIL 7TH – 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 only Moroccan

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.

Bead Making in Taradount, Morocco

APRIL 8TH:  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.

Silver Bead Making, Taradount Morocco

APRIL 9TH:  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 in Taradount

APRIL 10TH: 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.

El Haj Bead Making in Taradount

►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.

Metal Smithing in Taradount, Morocco

APRIL 11th – 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.

Henna Hands, Ait Ouzzine, N'kob

APRIL 12th- 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

APRIL 13th:  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 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.

Mubarak in Agdz, Treasure Hunting in Morocco

►After exploring Amzrou, take the road to Ouarzazte. En route to Ouarzazate, stop in Agdz for treasure hunting with Mubarak, a genteel man who has an antique Berber trading shop of hidden jewels nestled within the tiny town of Agdz on one of it’s main streets.

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

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Ouarzazate

APRIL 14TH: 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 dramatic desert 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 Moroocco. 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.

Le Kasbah D'Sable Restaurant, Ouarzazate

APRIL 15th: 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.

APRIL 16TH:  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.

APRIL 17TH: 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.

APRIL18TH: MARRAKECH MENARA AIRPORT DEPARTURES:

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

________________________________________________________

Sarah Corbett and Alecia Cohen

COST PER PERSON: $4,050 USA / 2,590 GBP / 3,050 EUROS/ 4,125 CAD

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $950 USA /610 GBP /715 EUROS/970CAD

Prices are Subject to Change based upon Moroccan  and American Exchange Rates. Current pricing is based upon minimum of 8.0 MAD to 1 USA Dollar.

For more information about Trade Bead Tours & Treasure Hunting For Jewelry in Morocco

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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Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition at Majorelle Gardens In Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide


Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Postcard

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Postcard

Forty-four fashion creations that demonstrate Yves Saint Laurent’s love of Morocco are currently being showcased at the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech from November 27th, 2010 – March 18th, 2011. This exhibition at the Majorelle Gardens brings to life haute couture designs inspired by the country he loved.

Princess Lalla Salma attended the inauguration ceremony of the ‘Yves Saint Laurent and Morocco’ exhibition that was organized under the patronage of King Mohammed VI. The Princess visited the different shelves and areas of this state of the art exhibition that is sumptuously accessorized and accompanied by a series of pictures documents and sketches.

Princess Lalla Salma at Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Majorelle Gardens

Princess Lalla Salma at Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Majorelle Gardens

The Yves Saint Laurent exhibition presents a very-well designed interior of a Moroccan house. It includes reinterpretations by Saint Laurent of caftans (traditional clothes for women), Capes, Sarouels with Moroccan embroideries (traditional trousers for men) and soft furnishings.

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Space

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Space

Cloaks, embroideries, Turkish trousers, head coverings and flowing Moroccan style gowns; the creations on show make explicit reference to the Moroccan clothing tradition that inspired Yves Saint-Laurent. Their colors also evoke those admired by the artist in Marrakech: the orange of saffron, the blue of the Majorelle Gardens, and the violet of the bougainvillea. “This city led me to color,” Saint- Laurent often said.

The exhibition’s curator, the designer’s partner and collaborator Pierre Bergé, views this exhibition as a “tribute from Yves Saint Laurent to the inhabitants of Morocco, to the sky of Marrakech and its light.” The couple bought three houses there, including the one in Majorelle that now houses the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint-Laurent Foundation.

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Room, Christophe Martin Stage Designer

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Room, Christophe Martin Stage Designer

A dark, starlit room within the exhibition space that showcases Yves Saint Laurent’s pieces has a mirrored ceiling from top to bottom and creates an ambiance of luster. Christophe Martin the stage designer takes the visitor outside the house into nature in this room called “Color.” Another area dubbed “Ideal Africa” houses timeless items made of surprising substances mainly wooden beads mica and raffia.

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Entrance

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Entrance

Every footstep throughout the exhibition space, beginning with the entrance, makes one forget time and space encouraging the opportunity to get lost into a dreamland of wonder and color. While the exhibition does lack  a detailed descriptive time line next to each piece and a detailed overview of Saint Laurent’s life and history in Morocco, none the less the inspiration of his work shines through.  Some may equivocate this showing as an art- fashion installation rather then an actual exhibition as a result of its intense usage of free form set design, color and space that is of perfect elegance and scale.

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Book

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition Book

A book of the exhibition, “Yves Saint Laurent, Une Passion Marocaine” with a symbolic snake bracing the cover, created  by the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent foundation is available for sale and its contents are as beautifully created as is his designer clothing.

Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech

Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech

Yves Saint Laurent’s passion for Morocco dates back to his arrival in Marrakech in 1966. From that day onwards he considered Morocco his second home.  It was Morocco where he first came across the magic of color and he reclaimed “when I discovered Marrakech, it was an extraordinary shock. The city taught me color.” In 1980 Saint-Laurent purchased The Majorelle Garden that was threatened with destruction and together they restored and saved it from ruin.

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech

Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech

The Majorelle Garden, previously the Jardin Bou Saf, bears its name from its original creator, Jacques Majorelle, the French expatriate artist who was born in Nancy France in 1886. Jacques Majorelle was the son of the celebrated Art Nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle. In 1947 he opened his gardens to the public and during this time also painted a magnificent ceiling space at La Mamounia, a five-star hotel with gardens and the place where Alfred Hitchcock wrote, “The Birds.”

Jacques Majorelle studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nancy in 1901 and later in 1919 he went to Marrakech, Morocco to recover from heart problems. He built the garden during those years using special color of blue which he used extensively in the garden that is named after him, Majorelle Blue. Jacques Majorelle returned to France in 1962 after a car incident and died later that year of complications from his injuries. As a collector of unique plants from five continents Jacque Majorelle left to Saint Laurent one of the more unique collections of flore and fauna of this era as well as a place of inspiration and contemplation. Even though Morocco is no longer under the French protectorate, this originally French creation is one of the most beloved areas in Morocco.

The power of the blue Majorelle is long lived and permeates the essence of what it means to live and see color in Marrakech.

For More Information about Marrakech Tours or the Majorelle Gardens

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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