Tag Archives: Camel Trekking

Family Adventure Vacations to Morocco

Morocco Family Adventure Tour, Sahara Desert

Morocco Family Adventure Tour, Sahara Desert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco is the perfect family destination as it offers a unique blend of cultural and adventure experiences for families looking for an educational and active holiday. The combination of Morocco’s grand Sahara Desert, old world souks, and mountain regions offer a pure and relaxed setting. On Travel Exploration Morocco’s Family Adventure Tour you will visit luscious food markets and fanciful bazaars, zip line across Morocco’s High Atlas, camel trek in the Sahara Desert, take a hot air balloon ride, learn how to make a Moroccan tajine and meet a Berber family. Moroccans are wonderful hosts and family oriented which makes the country ideal for family travel.

Visitors who take their families to Morocco for an Adventure vacation with Travel Exploration always report back saying it was the best vacation ever! Morocco Family Adventure Vacations are ideal for parents who want to have the responsibility for planning a family holiday out of their hands to be passed along to a Morocco travel planner and agent who will take care of the details. At Travel Exploration you are guaranteed to receive a hand curated itinerary that is fit for the entire family.

Morocco Family Tour, Kasbahs

Morocco Family Tour, Kasbahs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our family vacations to Morocco are private tours geared around each family’s interests. A private, English Speaking driver is provided along with luxury transportation for the entire family in 4×4 land cruisers or other comfortable vehicle suitable for Imperial City and Desert travel. Each Morocco family tour also includes stays at boutique riads and hotels that are well appointed in the old cities, family friendly and ideal for travelers to Morocco in all seasons.

Imagine a Morocco Private Tour where your entire family can have an authentic experience in their own private four wheel drive vehicle. Venture through the alleys of Morocco’s ancient medinas (cities) surrounded by exotic smells of the spices, olives, food markets, fresh baked bread and the sound of the muezzin call each day at prayer time. Discover a Souk Tasting Tour in Fez where you will visit a bread oven, try honeys, juices, dried fruits, soups, meats and other exotic flavors found on the streets of Fes. Visit palaces and gardens set inside the walls of UNESCO Fes.

Morocco Family Tour, Quad Biking

Morocco Family Tour, Quad Biking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quad bike across the Sahara Desert Camel Trek across the magnificent Erg Chebb Dunes in the heart of Merzouga, then overnight in a charming Berber Desert Camp with a 1001 Arabian Nights dinner fireside with drumming and desert music. Visit the Skoura Palmeraie and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. Explore Morocco’s Oasis of Fint and have Tea at the Head Master’s house just foot steps outside Ouarzazate, the Hollwood of Morocco. Take an adventure ride by piste to the Atlas Film Studios where Kundun, Kingdom of Heaven, Body of Lies, Cleopatra and the Game of Thrones were filmed. Dine on couscous and bread bake with a Berber family in the heart of the Draa Valley, known for over 45 qualities of date. Continue on to more popular regions through snow capped mountain passes. Walk in the footsteps of Morocco’s ancestors to discover Ait Benhadd Ksar.

Morocco Family Tour, Valley of Roses and Skoura

Morocco Family Tour, Valley of Roses and Skoura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drift through the majestic Atlas Mountains and the Tizzin’ Tichka Mountain Pass where Moroccan families Berber and Jewish have lived nestled in Kasbah fortresses and old Ksars for centuries. Then continue onto Marrakech for the a popular city experience and memorable part of a Family Adventure tour where you will witness an evening of acrobats and fire throwers at the medieval carnival in Djemaa El Fna Square under the Moroccan stars. Embark on Tasting all of Marrakech as you enjoy a five course traditional tasting menu guided by locals. End your visit on the Essaouira Coast which is full of blue washed color and seaside views. Horseback ride with views on the Atlantic and Portugese Ramparts.

A Morocco Family Adventure Vacation is the idea tour for families of all ages and sizes. Take an Unforgettable Family Tour to Morocco with Travel Exploration this season.

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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Morocco Family Tours Morocco, From Tweens to Teens

Family Tour Travel Exploration Camel Trekking

Family Tour Travel Exploration Camel Trekking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco is a captivating travel destination for families with children of all ages ranging from tweens to teens.  Morocco’s temperate climate allows for a variety of family activities and cultural experiences  that are a good fit year round. On a private tour to Morocco families can participate in adventure activities such as zip lining across the Atlas Mountains, hiking in valleys and gorges, quad riding in the Sahara and camel trekking across the desert dunes. Moroccans love children and are family oriented. A family vacation to Morocco is not complete without an up close cultural exchange in a Berber village that comprises of a bread baking, a hands on cooking class of how to make a tajine along with a henna party.

Activities on a Morocco family tour can be customized to a families needs based upon their preference of very active to moderately active and the age of their children. Natural wonders indigenous to Morocco such as the Merzouga Sahara Desert, the Todra Gorge and Dades Valley also offer an outlet for active family travelers. Camel trekking across the Merzouga Sahara Desert and hiking surrounded by panoramic views of Morocco’s Gorges and Valleys are for active family travel.

Chez Ali Fantasia, Family Tours Morocco

Chez Ali Fantasia, Family Tours Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco is the ideal family vacation destination. With it’s wide range of cultural and adventure activities families’ traveling with children of all ages are guaranteed to have a lifetime memorable experience. Travel Exploration’s Family Adventure Tour takes families to a magical world of vibrant and colorful souks, Kasbahs an, mountains and rural villages. Each day is filled with siteseeing and adventure holiday activities ranging from ziplining to camel trekking, bread baking to a traditional Fantasia horse show.

FAMILY ADVENTURE TOUR HIGHLIGHTS 
Zip line across the Atlas Mountains
Camel Trek in the Sahara Desert
Hot Air Balloon over Marrakech
Bread bake with a Berber Family in the Saghro Mountains
Attend a traditional Fantasia Horseshow in the Marrakech palmeraie

For More Information about Travel Exploration’s Private Family Tours to Morocco

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

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

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How Does the Ramadan Fast Affect Tourists in Morocco? Your Morocco Travel Guide

Men At Prayer During Ramadan

How does the Ramadan fast affect tourists traveling to the Imperial Cities, the Sahara Desert and other regions of Morocco during this high holy holiday? Can tourists eat or drink in public during Ramadan?  This article should clear up the confusion on this issue for tourists, to explain the most polite solutions for tourist behavior at this time, and to assure tourists that there is no problem with them visiting Morocco during Ramadan.

Because the Islamic calendar is lunar, holidays such as Ramadan advance by approximately ten days with each subsequent year.  This means that Ramadan makes a cycle through the entire calendar of twelve months each twenty-some years.  This year, Ramadan started on August 12th, 2010 in Morocco.  The fast presently starts in Morocco at approximately 4:30 AM, and ends in the evening at approximately 7:30 PM.

Islamic Lunar Calendar

Tourists in Morocco during Ramadan often hear that some people are not required to fast because of sickness, or health conditions such as diabetes, as well as women having their menstration.  But non-Muslim tourists are often confused about the polite way to behave with Muslims during Ramadan; what tourists are permitted to do, or not do; and tourists wonder which stories they hear are true, or not true.

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca Morocco

Morocco’s Ramadan Law:

It IS actually true that Morocco’s laws prohibit “a person commonly known to be Muslim” from “violating the fast in a public place during Ramadan.”  It is called the Ramadan Law, and is under Article 222 of the Moroccan Penal Code.  (This law also applies to Muslim tourists coming from known Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, if they were to flaunt the fast in public.)   The penalties are from one to six months in prison and a fine of up to approximately 100 Euros.  The law states that the only Muslims who are exempt from this requirement are children, the elderly, the sick;  and pregnant, lactating or menstruating women.

Sometimes one can read about small protests that take place in Morocco against this law.  The truth is, while this law is on the books, people are rarely prosecuted.  Usually, if there is a token protest, the police do their best to try to prevent the protesters from arriving at the protest location, instead of arresting them.

Remember, it is NOT forbidden by law  to EAT during Ramadan (even though it IS socially unacceptable for Muslims who should be fasting), which means that Muslims who decide not to fast in their own homes will incur no penalties (other than sin against God).  The law is very specific saying that Muslims “shall not violate the fast in a PUBLIC place.”  Keeping the fast is difficult, and becomes much more difficult if people actively break it in front of others who are fasting.  Therefore, the reason for this law is two-fold:  to make it easier for those who are fasting, as well as to both teach the young, and communicate the idea to all Muslims that breaking the fast is most definitely not socially acceptable.  This goes right along with several other laws in Morocco which prohibit certain behavior IN PUBLIC PLACES by Muslims (discussed below).

The whole key here is PUBLIC PLACE.  Let’s explore what this means.

Women Shopping During Ramadan

Those Excused from Fasting:

Children are not required to fast at all, although older children (8-12) might be encouraged to try it on a couple of special days during the month.  But no child is FORCED to fast those days.  Those who do usually try hard to get through the day because it gives them the feeling of being “grown up.”  They see the adults doing it, and they want to be part of that adult world, to feel respected and admired for doing so.

Younger children would never be encouraged to fast, even on those one or two special days.  They are still growing and Islam clearly recognizes that fasting is not good for their growing bodies.  If you go to a semi-private location, such as a swimming pool at a private club, you will find all the Muslim mothers feeding their children during the day, and no one objects to this.  But they are not eating out on the public street.  Muslim mothers certainly feed their children at home during the day, as well.

The elderly DO fast.  Elderly people fast unless they are in extremely poor health.  In many cases, doctors even advise them not to fast, but many of them do it anyway.  They do it because they feel there is moral value in fasting, and in many cases, it is a case of self-respect.  Some very elderly or infirm people give up fasting, but very rarely.

Sick (or injured) people are not to fast.  The question becomes how sick or injured one must be.  If blood comes out of one’sbody, such as if someone cuts themself in the kitchen with a knife accidentally, that would invalidate their fast for that day.  But the question is how much.  Suppose a man gets a tiny knick from his razor, is that enough to invalidate the fast?  Supposedly not.  But since that becomes questionable depending upon the size of the knick, many Muslim men shave in the evening during Ramadan, just in case.

People with serious health conditions such as diabetes can fast and are encouraged to do so if their illness is not severe and they have it properly under control.  Those with more advanced or severe diabetes are often told by doctors that they should not fast, yet some of them do anyway.  It seems to be a question of pride (or even showing off to others that they “can” do it) and maintaining respect both in their own eyes and from others, particularly if they are not old.  Some diabetics insist on fasting and even fall into comas because of it, yet continue to fast anyway.  Most Muslims, if questioned about these people insist that they most definitely should not be fasting.

People who are just a little bit sick (a light cold, headache, even sore throat, or ear infection) still have to fast.  If someone had a fever, they would be excused from fasting.  Malingering, when someone is just very slightly ill or not feeling their best is definitely not an acceptable excuse.

Pregnant women are not supposed to fast, but in fact, many do.  This is because pregnant women are supposed to make up the fasting days later in the year on their own.  The explanation given by some Moroccan women for fasting while pregnant is that, “I would not be able to make up all those days on my own.”  However, this behavior is most definitley not condoned by Islam.

Lactating women are not supposed to fast either, and are also required to make up the days on their own.

Menstruating women are not required to fast.  Most women find these days a welcome break during the middle of fasting.  However, if they are working in a company with mixed Moroccan and foreign workers, they will not join others in the lunchroom who are not fasting, even if they themselves are eating during those days; instead they wait, and eat at home.  The reason is interesting.  They say that if a man at their workplace sees them eating, he will know it is their time of the month.  They say they don’t like their male co-workers knowing this personal information!  Therefore, they don’t eat at work.  They must also make up those fasting days later in the year.

There is one guide book about Morocco which says something which is completely wrong. It says that in the days before Ramadan, you start to see some of the women and older people fasting a few days before Ramadan, in order to “practice” and be habituated  when Ramadan starts.  This reasoning is wrong.  What IS correct is that they are making up missed days from the year before, as those days need to be completely made up before the new Ramadan fast begins (or they are answerable to God for each day not made up).  Some elderly people could be making up days they missed.  A few, extremely devout people do fast a few extra days, as they feel they will earn “extra points” with God for doing a few extra days of fasting.

Ladies in Djemaa El Fna Square, Ramadan

About Public Spaces in Morocco:

The Ramadan Law is not the only law relating to public space in Morocco.

A similar law (and similarly confusing to many tourists) is about alcohol.   In places like Agadir on the boardwalk next to the beach, or in bars located in other cities, there is sometimes an outdoor section where clients can sit and order drinks.  In some locations, tourists can order a beer or glass of wine and drink it while seated in the outdoor section.  While Muslims can also order a beer or glass of wine (except during Ramadan or other Muslim holdiays when it is strictly prohibited), they must sit inside to drink it.  Those Muslims who are sitting outside are only drinking coffee or other non-alcoholic drinks.

Is this hypocrisy?  Most tourists think so.  However, Moroccans feel it is proper because being a Muslim country it is more offensive to Muslims in the street to see other Muslims consuming alcohol than it is for them to see non-Muslims consuming it.  It is a bit like vulgar words being bleeped out on broadcast American TV.  Everyone knows they are saying vulgar words, but at least Americans don’t have to hear those words.  It’s a similar situation.  Muslims in the street know that others are inside consuming alcohol, but at least they don’t have to see other Muslims doing it.

The Ramadan Law has a similar reasoning.  People can eat if they want to, but if you’re Muslim, you are just forbidden from doing so in PUBLIC.

Chebekia Moroccan Pastry Eaten At Ramadan

A Guide for Tourist Behavior During Ramadan:

Understanding these factors, what should non-Muslim tourists do?  Out of respect, they should follow similar behavior as Muslims who would be diabetic, or ill, or pregnant.

These Muslims would eat at home.  If they were sick while out somewhere, yet needed to eat or drink, they would go in a private place where no one would see them (a few people might go into a restroom if there were no other place, but only as a last resort).  Very few restaurants would be open during the day, but tourists would find a few, primarily in hotels.  Both Muslims and tourists could buy water at a shop, but should not just open it and drink it in front of everyone.  Instead, they should find a place to drink privately, not in public.  (One Moroccan Muslim man was attacked in Fes two years ago by civilian vigilantes for drinking water in the medina street, arrested, and subsequently released when his family proved he was diabetic.  But it’s clear he was pushing the boundaries of acceptable behavior, and would have known it.  He could easily have explained in advance he was diabetic, and asked anyone if there was a private place where he could sip his water.)  So this is no reason for tourists to be alarmed.

If a tourist and were openly eating and drinking during Ramadan, people would most likely just give him dirty looks, understanding that he was a tourist.  But the polite and respectful thing to do would be for him to eat and drink well before going out.  It is advisable for tourists to take water in their bag, by all means, but just find a private place to drink it.  If a tourist needs to eat, he / she shouldn’t do it in public.  It’s perfectly acceptable for tourists to eat in any restaurant you find that is open, and these are most likely to be found in hotels or known tourist locations.

Harira & Dates, Breafkast (L'Ftour) Ramadan

Ramadan can actually be a very interesting time to visit a Muslim country.  After dark, families go out late, and plenty of interesting things go on until quite late in the evening.  Just be considerate of people during this month.  The Ramadan Law is actually just asking (and ensuring) that Muslims also continue to treat each other respectfully.

For more information about traveling to Morocco’s Imperial Cities or Sahara Desert During Ramadan

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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Exploring Moroccan Kasbahs In Ouarzazate, Kasbah Taourirt & Ait Benhaddou, Former Residences of Pasha Glaoui, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Kasbah Taourirt, Ouarzazate City Center

For anyone interested in touring Morocco’s kasbahs or ksars, I highly recommend starting with Kasbah Taourirt, the Pasha Glaoui’s former palace in Ouarzazate. Its location was strategic for trading routes and in the 1930’s when the Glaoui ruled the South was then considered one of Morocco’s largest Kasbahs. As a Moroccan traveler you can explore its nooks and crannies to discover its history and often local female painters who sell their art inside as well as the many quality silver shops just steps outside the Kasbah.

Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Ouarzazate, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The word kasbah has two meanings. The first meaning of a kasbah is a fortified village, such as the mountain village of Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  In some cases, the word is used to describe the old medina quarter of ancient cities throughout the Middle East and North Africa, such as in Algiers.  Kasbahs are essentially attached earthen houses that were built and coexist in a sprawling pattern, which also contain structures for other uses such as bath houses or granaries.  Built out of adobe (mud and straw), they were usually situated on a mountain hillside to make defense easier.

A Kasbah Taourirt window, as viewed from the inside: wide inside, and very narrow to the outside, to keep arrows out.

The second meaning of a kasbah, which refers to that  of Kasbah Taourirt in Ouarzazate, was a place for the local caid (leader) to live which demonstrated a sign of wealth, and also as a place for defense when the city was under attack.  In this case,Kasbah Taourirt once served the dual purpose of being both an administrative center, as well as a fort.

For this reason, kasbahs were generally built with high walls and either no windows, or very narrow windows to keep out arrow attacks.

Kasbahs in southern Morocco are generally built on a rock base.  Rammed earth is used for the load-bearing walls, which are usually about two feet (60 cm) thick.

Construction of rammed earth walls by traditional methods

Lighter-weight adobe is used on the top story for ornamental work.

Kasbashs are generally started on a rectangular pattern, three stories high, with a tower rising from each corner.  Off of that, with time, the kasbah expands with additional rooms and passageways being built in a twisting, turning pattern, without any organized plan.  This is the beauty of exploring a kasbah, that one never knows whether around the next corner it will turn, or twist, or go up or down.

Kasbah Taourirt at Night

Kasbah Taourirt, located in the center of Ouarzazate, a Southern Sahara city and often referred to as “the door to the desrt” is one of the first kasbahs worth visiting on a Sahara Tour.  Kasbah Taouirt’s impeccable exterior architechture offers a good understanding of how kasbahs were constructed centuries ago and will enable you to have a better appreciation when you visit other kasbahs in Morocco such as Ait Benhaddou Kasbah and Kasbah Telout.

A passageway in Kasbah Taourirt

When visiting Kasbah Taourirt, make sure to have your Morocco Travel Agency provide a historical guide so that you are able to ask questions about the history of the era, construction and be guided throughout it’s maze like interior walls.

Pasha Glaoui–was once known as one of the richest men in the world.  Today some of his former residences are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Much of the Kasbahs in the Southern region of Morocco have been restored and while not to their original grandor can lay claim to being simply magnificent.  Most of the rooms Kasbah Taourirt are very plain however its interior architecture and exterior are majestic.  The fun in exploring any ancient Kasbah comes from wandering through the maze of passageways.  Kasbah Taourirt, like Glaoui’s other kasbahs, consists of approximately 300 rooms, and was built to house up to 1,000 slave sand family members.  According to a historical guide who mans the front entrance, Glaoui had four official wives and 20 legitimate children.  He also had 14 concubines and a total of 60 children all together.  Included in the kasbah rooms were  stables and garrisons, public reception and ceremonial rooms, domestic living quarters, as well as school rooms for the children.

Kasbah Taourirt Ceiling in an Official Reception Room

Many interesting architectural features can be found inside the Kasbah Taourirt.  Traditional dyes were used to color in the ceilings tiles that include saffron for the yellow, henna for the red, mint for the green, indigo for the blue, and kohl made from crushed galena (lead ore) for the black.  Other ceilings are made out of decorative thatched palm fronds and bamboo, which in some cases are painted, in others, plastered over.

Candle ledges, each about one meter high, in Kasbah Taourirt

In the photo above, it appears that windows might have been closed up, but this is not the case.  Found throughout the kasbah, these were ledges made for candles.

Kasbah Taourirt - one of the few decorated rooms

Many famous films include scenes that were filmed in Kasbah Taourirt.  Some are: Lawrence of Arabia; The Harem; Diamond of the Nile with Michael Douglas; Rules of Engagement; Prince of Persia; Terres du Lumieres; The Mummy; Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité; and Tés au Sahara (Italian).

When visiting the Ouarzazate, region, make sure to begin your tour at Kasbah Taourirt before exploring Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO world heritage site as this will give you a head start and background of appreciation that you can bring along during your Kasbah tour.

For more information about a Kasbahs, Waterfalls & Ruins 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 toda

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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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Scenes From the Filming of Sex and the City 2 in Morocco, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Sex & The City Stars in Morocco Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis Sex in the City 2

Step into the world of the Arabian Nights with New Line Cinema’s Sex in the City 2, a fabulous wish-fulfillment movie for women, filmed in Morocco, and opening in theaters on May 28, 2010. Indeed Sex in the City has left New York for majestic Morocco. Spectacular photographs from its North African set will leave an impression on viewers of this sequel film.  Filmed in the Souks of Marrakech, actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon were spotted pounding their heals through Marrakesh’s Djemaa El Fna Square, according to the UK Daily Mail Online.

Writer/director/producer Michael Patrick King  says, “I wanted the audience to have a big, fun vacation with the girls on the screen.”  The essence of the movie is for the girls to spend one decadent week in Abu Dhabi, with all expenses paid.  Since the movie could not actually be filmed in Abu Dhabi, it was filmed in Morocco.

Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis Sex in the City 2

Filmed in Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Merzouga and Agadir, in a world of luxury, private servants, lavish rooms, and nonstop costume changes, viewers are transported into the fantasy life of Abu Dhabi.  The cosume budget for the film was $10 million.

Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, and Cynthia Nixon filming in Merzouga, Morocco

Five weeks were spent filming in Morocco.  The desert scenes were filmed on the same stretch of sand where Lawrence of Arabia was shot in the Souss-Massa-Draâ near the Ouarzazate River and Ait Benhaddou.

Mandarian Oriental Hotel Luxury Entrance, Marrakesh

Mandarin Oriental in Marrakesh

The set for the hotel scenes and room suites of Abu Dhabi was actually the Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma hotel in the Palmarie of Marrakesh.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Room in Marrakesh

Rooms in the Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma hotel in the Palmarie of Marrakesh are lavishly decorated with rich colors and this 5 Star Luxury Resort boasts a melange of traditional and Moroccan Decor.

Internationally renowned film stars featured in Sex in the City 2 include its original cast of Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw), Kim Catrall  (Samantha Jones), Kristin Davie (Charlotte York-Goldenblatt), Cynthia Nixon (Miranda Hobbes), John Corbett (Aidan Shaw), Chris Noth (Mr. Big), David Eigenberg (Steve Brady), Evan Handler (Harry Goldenblatt), Jason Lewis (Smith Jerrod), Willie Garson (Stanford Blatch), Mario Cantone (Anthony Marantino), Alice Eve (nanny), with special appearances by Liza Minnelli and Penélope Cruz.

If you are interested in experiencing the dunes of the Sahara, luxurious camping in the desert, luxurious hotels, and the souks of Morocco, contact Travel Exploration for your own private tour.

For more information about Moroccan Sex in the City 2 in Morocco or a Private 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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Short Breaks & Excursions to Morocco’s Sahara Desert, Your Morocco Travel Guide

The Sahara Desert is one of the top Morocco travel destinations for westerners.  If you are traveling to Morocco for the holiday season or for a long needed vacation, a short break or excursion to Morocco’s Sahara Desert should be top on your list! Here is a list of the 5 most important things to consider when traveling to the Sahara plus an overview of various Moroccan tour itineraries to the Sahara Desert.

The Top 5 Things To Consider When Planning Your Sahara Desert Short Break or Excursion:

#1: Morocco’s Sahara Desert is wide and vast. When traveling by 4×4 in Morocco on a Sahara Desert Trek make sure to give yourself at least 4 days from Marrakech or Fes to guarantee a full Sahara experience. If you are willing to begin your Sahara Desert tour from Ouarzazate then a 2 or 3 Days Sahara adventure is plenty of time.

#2: There are three parts of the Sahara Desert that are most traveled by westerners for a Sahara Desert excursion or short break. The Top Sahara destinations and dunes are:

–       Merzouga (Erg Chebbi Dunes)

–       M’hamid (Erg Chegaga Dunes)

–       Zagora (Dunes of Tinfo)

#3: The best time to travel Morocco’s Sahara Desert is in spring or fall. The season of spring when it is best to travel in Morocco’s Sahara begins on or around March 10th – May 15th and the season of fall when it is best to travel Morocco’s Sahara begins on or around September 15th – October 31st. The best months to travel to Morocco’s Sahara in each season depends on the annual weather forecast. Traveling off season in the Sahara such as in the months of winter, summer, spending Christmas in the Sahara Desert or New Years Eve in a bivouac in the Sahara are definite options but require additional travel gear and patience with Morocco’s summer heat and winter’s cooler weather.

#4: Morocco’s Sahara Desert requires minimal travel gear regardless of the season. Listed below is a recommended short list of what to bring when traveling to Morocco’s Sahara region of Merzouga, M’hamid or Zagora. For a fully detailed list of Morocco Travel Gear

–       Brimmed hat, Visor, Hat, or Headscarf

–       Windbreaker or warm sweater for cooler months and evening weather when the Sahara Desert cools off

–       Travel Footwear: broken in sneakers or hiking shoes, sandals, socks

–       Sunscreen (SPF 30 + )

–       Sunglasses

–       Camera & Electronic Gear for Sahara photography

–       Personal Identification (Passport, Drivers license or Visa

–       Moroccan Dirhams (you can request Moroccan currency (the dirham) when you arrive or your Travel Exploration Morocco guide can assist with this.

#5: Morocco boasts three fabulous parts of the Sahara. These Saharan destinations are Merzouga, M’hamid and Zagora. All three destinations offer a unique Sahara Desert experience by camel trek or in 4×4.  For the die hard Sahara Desert fans, a visit to M’hamid’s Erg Chegaga Dunes which are the furthest point in the Sahara and align the border of Algeria are a must see. For a Sahara Desert adventure to the most majestic and golden dunes visit the Erg Chebbi Dunes in Merzouga which are the most popular and will not disappoint. For those who want a Sahara Desert adventure that will enable you to see slightly smaller dunes and a thriving Sahara town, its pottery cooperative, Tamagroute and a spiritual Zaouia site then choose Zagora.

Various Moroccan Sahara Tour Itineraries:

–      Sahara Desert Tours & Sahara Excursions from Marrakech

–       Sahara Desert Tours & Sahara Excursions from Fes

–      Sahara Desert Tours & Sahara Excursions from Ouarzazate

For More information about Sahara Desert Short Breaks & Excursions to Morocco on Travel Exploration

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.

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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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