Monthly Archives: March 2013

Denise Masson, “The Lady of Marrakech”, Your Morocco Tour Guide

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Denise Masson, Photo: My Abdallah Alaoui

Denise Masson was not only a leading Islamic scholar of Marrakech, she was “La Dame de Marrakech” par excellence .. a woman who celebrated the medina where she lived and continues to be part of the memory of this city and Morocco.

Denise Masson wrote her famous interpretation of the Koran which must be hailed as one of the best interpretations of the Koran in French, published in 1967 by Gallimard.

The Riad Denise Masson, where she studied Islam, and was  honoured by her neighbourhood, was bequeathed to the French Institute of Marrakech to host people or events aimed  at dialogue between the three religions of the Book.

To pay tribute to her, and on the occasion of 110 anniversary of her birth (August 5, 1901) and the anniversary of her death  at 93  on 10 November 1994, a ceremony was organised on 10 November 2011,  at the  European cemetery in Marrakech, Guéliz.

On this occasion prayers were said from the three religions of the Book, in the presence of the Consul General of France in Marrakech, Chantal Chauvin, Bahija Simou (speecj in Arabic), Francois-Xavier Tillette (Project Manager for the Sub-Directorate North Africa, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs), Dominique Lemaistre (Director of Sponsorship at the Fondation de France) and Guerric Masson (great-nephew and biographer Denise Masson).

Denise Masson was the most erudite and well known  Islamic scholar of her time,  known for translating the Koran into French. Writer, musician, protagonist of the dialogue of cultures of the Euro-Maghreb and  the three monotheistic religions ,  She chose to leave the riad to France and to be buried in Morocco, a country she always loved and where she rests peace.

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Riad Denise Masson Photo: Abdelghani Tayyibi

The famous Denise Masson riad, located at Bab Doukkala in the old medina of Marrakech, is open to the public for greater cultural and artistic development of this specific place.

For More Information on Denise Masson and a Marrakech Tour 

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

Marrakech Atlas Mountain Views

Morocco’s “Red Hamra” city of Marrakech is an icon for travelers to Morocco. A visit to this North African country’s hotspot of Marrakech is a must. Morocco is exotic and the penchant of every travelers dream is to visit Marrakech. Marrakech offers landscapes to indulge in along with a bustling medinas and Berber villages just minutes outside. Here are Ten Great things to do in Marrakech.

1. Touch the Heart of the Atlas

The  view of the Atlas Mountains  and its snow capped peaks is one of Marrakech’s glories and can be viewed from many part’s of the city, looking far closer  than 4 kms away. One of the best locations is the terrace of the Hotel Renaissance where you can sip a drink during the day or at sundown as the white peaks go pink .Churchill and Roosevelt savoured the moment,Churchill telling his friend at the end of the Casablanca conference :”You cannot come all this way to North Africa without seeing Marrakech. Let us spend two days there. I must be with you when you see the sun set on the Atlas Mountains.”

Marrakech Caleche Ride

2. Romantic Trip by Horse Drawn Caleche

Take a romantic trip round Marrakech’s ancient ramparts in a horse drawn caleche . It is also an excellent way to get to know the city at a sedate pace instead of roaring around in a taxi. Make sure you agree the price before hand !

3. Indulge & Shop the Marrakech Souks

The fabled souks of Marrakech are a  vibrant riot of colour  as  they display their riches crafted by its artisans , carpets, kelims jewelry, jellabas and caftans, dressess ,shirts and tunics,wooden bowls, ornate boxes and chess sets an, leather bags and jackets and lamps, as the crowds pass through  and salesman vie to attract attention and haggle over prices. Serious shoppers should be armed with a notebook, a calculator and time for tea and haggling when visiting the Grande Souk. when visiting the Souk several hours is the minimum for any shopping expedition. You can choose your vendor on your own or with a guide. Marrakech’s medina and its grande souk stocks the city’s treasure of handicrafts. If you’re willing to haggle then a deal can be had. If you are not a haggler then simply enjoy the spectacle and visit the Ensemble d’Artisansale, a craftsmen’s cooperative on the Avenue Mohammed V offers fixed price  goods in a charming and unpressurised  atmosphere. It’s also a good place to check out prices before plunging into the souk nd.you can also watch the craftsmen at work.Wander the timeless streets of the medina and be seduced by its ancient medieval mystique.

4. Be a Sultan for a Day – Explore the Great Medersa Ben Youssef

The Medersa Ben Youssef was an Islamic college in Marrakech named after named after the Almoravid Sultan Ali ibn Youssef who reigned from 1106–1142. Wonder at the glory of the golden age of islamic architecture in the central courtyard and walk through the maze of  130 student cells in this Medieval centre of learning.

5. Stepback in time at La Maison de la Photographie

La Maison de la Photographie is a photographic treasure trove of Morocco and Moroccans from the 1870’s to just before independence in 1956.  to the gallery in a converted three floor foundak which houses a collection of photograhps of Morocco from the 1860’s and the very earliest days of photography to 1956 on the eve of Morocco’s independence. Over 5,000 photographs and glass prints of Morocco were brought from France to Marrakech by Patrick Man’ach and he and his assistants give a guided tour of this unique record of Morocco as it was.There is a video room with footage of Berber tribes dancing in the 1950’s At the end of the tour you can mount the terrace for a fine view of the Medina.

6. Overnight in an Ancient Riad in Marrakech – Palace Sytle

Stay in a Riad in Marrakech’s medina and enjoy life in the ancient medina .Riad’s are individually  richly decorated by local craftsmen and give you the opportunity to stay in an intimate atmosphere as an alternative to a hotel outside the Medina.. Many Riads offer cookery classes so that you can learn how to create your own Moroccan cuisine and riad owners can advise you where to go for  local bargains in the souk.

7. Stroll Marrakech’s Exotic Gardens & Lush Parks

The Abdelsalem Park with its high palm trees, greenery and shrouded walks is one of these off the busy Avenue Mohammed V, it is a haven of  much needed tranquility after a few hours of frenetic shopping in the souk   . Other famous parks are the Aguedal and the Menara with its large water tank and famous Pavilion. The El Harti Park off the Place 16 November is a delightful park with a play area for children with two large stone dinasours. The famous exotic and colourful  Majorelle gardens once owned by Yves St Laurent are on the Boulevard Zerktouni.

8. Paradise at the Bahia Palace – Walk in the footsteps of the Vizir Si Moussa

The Bahia Palace was the 19 th century residence of the vizir Si moussa and his son who succeeded him, Ba Ahmed and has a remarkable maze of rooms and gardens there is even an ornate parade ground.The American novelist Edith Wharton stayed there in1917 when she was a guest of Marshal Lyautey after the First World War and it was te French army headquarters in Marrakech and she wrote a vivid description in her book “In Morocco”. Go back in time in a Vizir’s palace.

 

Moroccan Hammam

9. Go local – Visit an Authentic Moroccan Hammam for a traditional Scrub

Visit a Moroccan hammam to soak in the heat, be scrubbed and massaged with Argan, Orange and Rose oils to take away your aches and pains. Experience traditional beauty treatments of a gromage and sip tea by a delightful fountain. Marrakech has some of the most charming and authentic traditional Hammam’s in Morocco.

10.  Splurge and Dine out at Marrakech’s Finest that is run by women

Splurge on  one superb Moroccan meal at Al Fassia restaurant  on Boulevard Zerktouni in the Gueliz staffed by women it is still the  place to sample the very best in Moroccan cuisine  with  a selection of salades and  traditional tangines  and couscous washed down with fine Moroccan wine.

For More Information on Great things to do in Marrakech or a Marrakech Tour 

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

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Moroccan Mountain Hotels & Eco Lodges, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Kasbah Toubkal, Morocco

There are a number of Eco lodges (Atlas Mountain Hotels) in Morocco which offer travelers the opportunity  to  escape the urban environment and enjoy the beauty  of its countryside and the rural communities. The Kasbah Toubkal at Imilil  60 km from Marrakech is one of the most famous. A converted Kasbah, it sits on a hill and is a ten minute walk from the village. Kasbah Toubkal surrounded by the mountains and a blissful Mountain Hotel worth more then a one night stay. It serves as a lodge for those planning to climb Mount Toubkal but it is also a brilliant getaway. Sitting on the terrace looking out at the surrounding countryside while at Kasbah Toubkal is a stunning  experience.

There is also a mountain lodge, gitabpe, run by Kasbah Toubkal for those who want to stay further up in the mountains. The Kasbah or gitape is run by locals from the village and a proportion  of the money earned goes to the village to support education and health services. The Kasbah is very much part of  the local life and provides much needed employment. The  Kasbah is run on sustainable lines and isa centre for many many activities such as biking as well as mountainerring and trekking. It recently sponsored a rubbish collection day clearing the approaches of Mount Toubkal from accumulated rubbish that had built up over the years.

Atlas Kasbah Agadir, Ecolodge

The Atlas Kasbah near Agadir in the foothills of the Anti-Atlas mountains  is an Eco lodge that also offers a taste of Berber life and is surrounded by varied and beautiful Moroccan landscapes .It  is high on a hill with a panoramic view of the countryside. The 11-bedroom lodge uses solar power for 80% of its energy, has solar-heated showers, a chlorine-free pool and a herb and vegetable garden. As well as views of the Atlas mountains there is the opportunity to meet the local Berber  communities  in the surrounding countryside. Members of the local community work at the lodge and cook traditional tagines and other dishes.

The village of Tanefeest and the Atlas Kasbah lie in the Souss-Massa-Drâa region in the Unesco argan tree biosphere reserve and it is possible to visit an Argan oil factory and watch the production process. Further afield there are a number of day trips to the ancient town of Taroudant and the  beaches along the coast from Agadir.

Dar Ksar Shama, Agdz

Dar Ksar Shama, Adgz Ecolodge

Also in the South of Morocco is Ksar Shama in the village of  Ouirgane with 20 rooms in 15 acres of land. Ouirgane is close to the Atlas mountains and is a haven of peace and tranquility with many routes in the beautiful  scenary which allows trekkers to wander amongst the local communities and the Toubkal National Park.

The Eco Lodge dar Itrane at  Douar Imelghas two hours drive from Azilal  and four hours from Marrakech in the heart of the  of the beautiful Ait Bougmez valley in the High Atlas mountains.Dar Itrane is a 17-room-cultural ecolodge dedicated to the promotion and protection of the Berber Culture in the High Atlas of Morocco at an altitude of 1850m/6000 ft, close to the MGoun Mountains Range.The lodge is traditionally built  and blends with the local houses of the Bougmez valleyand has a library dedicated to Berber culture. It is an environment friendly building with waste management and water consumption management. At an altitude of 1,800m (6,000 feet), Dar Itrane and the Bougmez Valley enjoy a fine climate, allowing journeys almost all year round. There is a traditional Hammam  and comfortable living rooms, patios, and roof terraces offering a excellent views over the valley.

Going further south there are a number of Eco lodges in the desert and Oases. These include Oasis Bab el Oued in Agdz in the Draa Valley Palm groves witht 5 rooms at the heart of a palmgrove with a an organic orchard and a garden of aromatic and medicinal plants . Activites such as hiking, mule treks and mountain biking are on offer.

Close by is Kasbah Timidarte . This is a pilot project for rural tourism located 15km from Agdz in the Draa Valley. The Kasbah has been restored with respect to local tradition to be transformed into a guesthouse.

The Ksar El Khorbat, Tinejad is near the Todra Gorges It is guest house with a museum, and a workshop for craft women. it is a model of ecotourism in Morocco and is a fully restored adobe kasbah.

For More Information on Morocco’s Mountain Hotels in Toubkal & Ecolodges 

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

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Hiking the Ourika Valley, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Ourika Valley View

The Ourika valley is 30 km from Marrakech and is one of the best places to visit in Morocco for hiking in the Atlas Mountains and seeing its unique countryside. Getting there by grand taxi of bus or one of the many tourist travel companies is easy. The valley starts at Souk Tnine de l’Ourika leading on to the village of Arhbalou then on to Tazzidfount leading up to the trekking area of Adrar Yagour which has prehistoric rock carvings. trekking further afield ahould be undertaken with a guide,equipment and proper planning.

Trekking is easily arranged in the Ourika Valley, and can be anything from a day’s walk into the foothills to a trek lasting several days. It is unsurpasssed for natural beauty and its terraced hillsides lead off into a world of adventure amongst the local villages of mud bricked walls. There are numerous walking trails weaving their way through the valley.Trekking in the valley can involve a variety of activities including rock climbing, birdwatching and mountain biking which is especially popular on the roads through the forests of the Toubkal Natural Park.

The ruins of the kasbah Dar Caid Ouiriki the origninal house of the Caid of Ourika across the valley from the souk of Tninede l’Ourika at the entrance of the valley beckon as a first trek among the poplar trees and weeping willows and the lush green fields and farms.

Bab Ourika, Ourika Valley

There are again numerous expeditions that you can enjoy walking from the Kasbah Bab Ourika, which is amongst the best accommodation in the area from short strolls through villages and aromatic gardens to longer hikes taking in forests and rivers.There are numerous expeditions that you can enjoy walking from the Kasbah Bab Ourika, which is the amongst the best accommodation in the area from short strolls through villages and gardens to longer hikes taking in forests, rivers and waterfalls. During the hot summers in Marrakech the valley is an escape to the cooler environs of the Ourika river andthe surrounding hillsides and mountains. The fields and livestock provide a living for their families and the trekker can experience their daily lives walking alongside donkeys and carts, with little children playing in the fields.

To trek and absorb the imposing majesty of the surrounding mountains Setti Fatma 20 kms upthe valley is the gateway to the mountain ranges. There is an important four day moussem festival in August in Setti Fatma which is a very colourful and lively event with its souks selling traditional fare. Passing by the shrine and the waterfalls you can walk out on the stone tracks amongst the mountains of the High Atlas.The summit of Jebel Toubkal(4,167 metres) the highest peak in North Africa towers above the valley.It is possible to trek to Mount Toubkal via Setti Fatma to Timichi and Oumkaimeden, it takes about 5 hours.The more usual appraoch to Jebel Toubkal is via Asni. Othertreks from Setti Fatma include Adrar Meltzen via Tourcht and the Oued Zat region by the Tizi n’Tilst. There are numerous trekking routes but these are quite arduous and trekkers should be fit and accompnied by a guide.These include the Taska n’Zat-Arjout peaks and the Tizi Tzarzit.

The chance to meet the mountain people in their enchanting rural communities adds to the experience which can be experienced during a day trip from Marrakech.

The ski resort of Oukaimeden is the other main tourism location in the Ourika valley. On a good day the views over the plains surrounding Marrakech can be stunning.The resort has a number of ski slopes and hotels.The period for sking is February to April. There are walking trails from Oumkaimeden but these should only be attempted during the summer season because of snowfalls in winter. The three hour trek to Tachddirt is relatively easy. The world of the mountainpeople and their villages is a complete contrast to the life of the cites and villages of the plains.

For More Information on Hiking in the Ourika Valley  

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

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Moroccan Wine & Vineyards, Wine & Food Tasting Morocco Tour

Chateau Roslane wines

Chateau Roslane wines

Wine production in Morocco is believed to have been introduced by Phoenician settlers, and was definitely established in the era of Ancient Rome. Large-scale wine production with extensive vineyards was introduced into Morocco by the French during the protectorate as it was in Algeria and Tunisia. Today’s regions in Morocco that have become famous for wine are Meknes, Casablanca and Essaouira.

 At Morocco’s independence in 1956, there were 55,000 hectares (140,000 acres) of vineyards. Although much of the French wine expertise left when Morocco became independent, the wine trade continued to be significant into the 1960s Moroccan winwas used for blending with French wines until the European Community introduced  import quotas in 1967 which led to significant reductions in previous  wine exports. From 1973-1984, the vast majority of the vineyards were also taken over by the Moroccan state and wine production declined. In the 1990’s KingHassan II sought to revive investment from French wine growers principally from Bordeaux.

In the 1990s, during the rule of Hassan II, the Moroccan wine production started to improve due to foreign (primarily French) investment and know-how. This was achieved by offering foreign wine companies the possibility for long-term lease of vineyards from the state agricultural company SODEA. Several large Bordeaux-based wine companies, including Groupe Castel, William Pitters and Taillan, entered into such partnerships, which have been quite successful in reviving the Moroccan wine industry.

The traditional red grapes planted in Morocco are Carignan (which once dominated), Cinsaut (almost 40 per cent in 2005), Alicante, and Grenache. Plantations of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah have increased rapidly, and together make up around 15 per cent. Traditional white grape varieties include Clairette and Muscat. There has also been smaller experimentations with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.

 Morocco sets itself apart from other countries in North Africa because of its potential for producing high quality wines due to its location. Benefiting from the cooling breeze from the Atlantic Ocean and nested at the bottom of the Atlas Mountains, Moroccan vineyards have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years.

When Morocco became a protectorate of France in 1912, the French found its fertile soil, especially in the Meknes region of the Middle Atlas Mountains, an ideal spot in which to build a formidable wine industry. Morocco is now producing high quality wines for export. The majority of wine exports go to France and other European destionations but the wine importing company Exotic Imports is beginning to make inroads into the American market, particularly Colorado.

Thalvin’s vineyards are located in Zenata, the coastal region of Morocco. Enhanced by the warm rays of the Moroccan sun, the constitution of its soil, the use of sustainable farming methods and the handpicking of the grapes. The resulting traditional winemaking approach has led to the creation of the best of Moroccan wines, and provide a diverse range of wines, each created with a stylistic approach, unique blends and settled notes. Retaining indigenous varietals such as Faranah, and introducing others such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

One of the best regions for making wine in Morocco is the Ouled Thaleb Estate, situated 20 miles northeast of Casablanca, which clearly demonstrates a similarity with the soil of Bordeaux and particularly, the Medoc region. The soil consists of sandy shale and gravel sand, and like the Medoc region, the estate is in close proximity to the sea. Located on the Ben-Slimane plateau, it faces the Atlantic Ocean and is swept by west winds which leave their maritime influence on the region.

 Thalvin, in partnership with landowners in Rommani, a region of rolling hills situated at the base of the Atlas Mountains (at an altitude of 2000 feet), have planted vines where the black soil, its chalky clay subsoil and the emerging rock supply the very particular qualities desired for the making of quality wines. Grapes are hand picked and there is no use of herbicide or fungicide, so technically these grapes are grown organically. The wine industry in Morocco employs about 10,000 people and supplies about 40 million bottles of Moroccan wine per year.

Morocco is one of  the largest wine producers in the islamic world.The industry brings the state millions in sales and taxes Up till now the majority of wine sales have been in Morocco which is of course a muslim country and it’s no secret that many Moroccans enjoy wine as well as Morocco’s growing number of tourists. As an islamic party now leads the government and a stricter interpretation of islam is gaining ground the future for Moroccan wines may well be more directd towards export and the tourism industry inthe future.

 Chateau Roslane, Vineyards

Chateau Roslane, Vineyards

The Celliers de Meknes owned by Mr Brahim Zniber now cultivates 2,100 hectares (5,189 acres) of vineyards, bottling anything from entry-level table wine to homemade champagne and even a high-end claret, Chateau Roslane, aged in a vaulted cellar packed with oak barrels imported from France. The winery now dwarfs virtually any other producer in Europe.Cradle of the Designation of Geographic Origin (AOG) the areas of Guerrouane, Beni M’tir  and of the Designation of Controlled Origin (AOC) area of “Les Coteaux De l’Atlas”, this region concentrates today more than 60% of the Moroccan wine production.  Les Celliers De Meknes is  in the heart of these vineyards.Les Celliers de Meknes has created the first Moroccan Chateau officially inaugurated in June 2004.

Wine aged in oak casks

Wine aged in oak casks

Wine tasting visits  can be arranged to the vineyards of  Chateau Roslane with Les Celliers Meknes.Chateau Roslan is in the only AOC region (AOC coteauxd’Atlas) in Morocco and creates wines of varying quality and price. The Chateau is immaculate, and has beautifully manicured gardens with traditional fountains. Chateau Roslan produces the premier “Cru” White and Red and other premium wines.

Volubilia is a small vineyard of 63 hectares, and wine tasting visits can also be arranged. It produces wines which are highly scored and probably the best in the area.

For More Information Wine Tour in Morocco and the Meknes Winery 

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

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Kelaa M’gouna, A Town of Roses & Home to Morocco’s Rose Festival, Your Morocco Tour Guide

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Valley of the Roses

At the small town of  El Kelaa M’Gouna (also referred to as the Valley of Roses) in the aSouth of Morocco, a 140km  East of Ouarzazate, in the heart of Dades Valley one can see the manual harvest of  Damas roses and the Rose Festival in May each year.

There is a thriving local industry distilling rose water, introduced by the French in the 1930’s and  cosmetic products such as soaps, gels, creams, sprays and oils and dried rosebuds these can be bought on site.The buds are dried for use in cosmetics, home decoration and cooking, while the petals are distilled into rose water and, ultimately, rose oil, a key ingredient in many  perfumes. Distillation is made in two factories in the Valley of Roses area and in April and May it is possible to visit Kelaâ’s factory, set up in a former kasbah.In Kelaâ Des Mgouna , Morocco there is also a dagger factory, in the mellah, where the Jewish craft is perpetuated, with handles and sheaths made in cedar wood or in camel bones, ornate with silver, and fixed on blades coming from another small village a few kilometres away.

3472924-rose_Queen_and_Princesses_El_Kelaa_des_Mgouna

Rose Festival

The distillation plants work with 3,000-4,000 tonnes of petals a year. With ten tons of petals required to produce a few liters of precious oil, the harvest is extensive culminating in the annual Rose Festival each year in May when El Kelaa MGouna becomes a colourful centre of berber dancing and music with stalls of  local crafts and products for sale. A festival queen is chosen from a parade of brightly coloured floats which is a highlight of the event.

Driving across the desert from Ouarzazate you come across El Kelaa MGouna and shortly afterwards you arrive at the Valley of the Roses.The greenryof the M’Goun wadi, is a sharp contrast to the desert scenery on the way from Ouarzazate.The river is hidden by a dense patchwork of palms, olive and fig trees, pink roses and swathes of red poppies. The  turrets of kasbahs in a remote village cn be seen with the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in the background.Also well worth a visit is nearby Skoura which has old kasbahs and mellahs with impressive gardens.

The fresh mountain air has a hint of fresh roses which provides opportunities  for walks and hiking and a long drive through the Hdida Valley to the plateau of Imi-n-Louh. There are a number of ruined kasbahs to explore and many opportunities to meet the local communities. The Damascene roses were said to have been introduced into the valleyin the tenth century by Morocans returning from Mecca.They grow in profusion in pinks and reds throughout the valley and in the hedgrows. In the Spring you can buy a garland of roses from one of the local children who line the route.

vallee des roses

Via Boumane to the Dades Gorge.

The Dades Gorge in the valley of the roses and the Todra Gorge provide some of the most spectacular scenery in the south of Morocco. The Dades Gorge runs along the Dades River valley separating the Atlas Mountains from the Anti Atlas.  The Gorge is best known for its scenary stunning scenery and the Kasbahs overlooking the river below.

Gravity defying rock stacks in all shades of red dominate the skyline with deep gullies created by the persistent action of weathering and the river. After exploring the gorge, if you have a guide who knows the area it is possibble to venture deeper into the surrounding country side of the Anti Atlas. Some of the piste roads that lead off this are spectacular and properly remote and well worth taking a little more time to explore either by 4×4 or using a private tented camp as a base for exploring on foot.Continuing west  brings the traveller Erfoud, a small town that for many acts as the entry point for Morocco’s western desert, the Erg Chebi.  The dunes in this region are the main attraction and well worth visiting and climbing and Merzouga is close by.

For More Information About Morocco’s Rose Festival and Tours

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

 

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