Tag Archives: Erg Chebbi Dunes

Morocco New Years Luxury Desert Trip

Arabian Nights, Skoura Palmeraie

Arabian Nights, Skoura Palmeraie

Journey beyond Marrakech for a New Years Luxury Desert Trip. Take the entire family on a Sahara Desert Safari to Morocco’s Great South and experience the highlights of Morocco. Visit Ait Benhaddou Ksar, Lawrence of Arabia was Filmed Here. Explore Morocco’s natural wonder, the grand Dades Valley, sunset camel trek across the Erg Chebbi Dunes as an Arabian Nights Dinner and Berber Music at a Luxury Desert Camp awaits you. Go off road to Mount Mgoun and Sip Tea with Nomads. Have Lunch with a Berber Family in the Saghro Mountain Region and participate in a henna party designed just for you. A Morocco Desert Tour is not without adventure unless you discover the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs in Skoura and stay in boutique, Moroccan riads and guest houses. A Grand Sahara Desert adventure tour to Morocco awaits you.

Travel Exploration’s detailed experiential and family travel itineraries for visiting Morocco are outlined on our website and for desert adventurers who want to take a Sahara Desert Safari to Morocco for New Years our trip is featured here:

Morocco Tea Ceremony, Sahara Desert

Morocco Tea Ceremony, Sahara Desert

Morocco New Years Desert Trip: A Sahara Desert Safari for the entire Family:

Day 1: Journey Beyond Marrakech via the Tizzin’ Tichka Mountain pass to visit Kasbah Telouet – Kasbah of the Pasha Glaoui, and Ait Benhaddou Ksar before driving via the palmeraie to Skoura.
Take the road to Ouarzazate. During your journey to Ouarzazate 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. Along 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 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.

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. Its history stands alone with its original zellij tile, authentic, preserved silks and grand remnants of the Glaoui family. Telouet was once an important stop on the Southern Caravan route for traders carrying spices, slaves and other commodities. Telouet’s Kasbah also known as Dar Glaoui once served as the royal headquarters and residence of the Glaoui tribe. Until Morocco’s independence in 1956, the Glaoui had power in the central Moroccan and French administration. Continue the road to Ouarzazate. Visit Aït Benhaddou Kasbah. Ait Benhaddou Kasbah is located 32 km from Ouarzazate. Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ 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. Continue to Skoura, the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs. Overnight at a Boutique Riad in Skoura.

Desert oasis with palm trees - Zagora - Draa valley - Morocco

Desert oasis with palm trees – Zagora – Draa valley – Morocco

Day 2: Visit Skoura and the Palmerie of one-thousand Kasbahs before driving through the magnificent Valley of Roses onto the Dades Valley and Dades Gorge.
Visit the Skoura palmeraie and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. The “Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs” and Skoura palmeraie is a fertile oasis lined with immense palm groves that provide great views of the Atlas Mountains alongside deserted landscapes. The palm groves were laid out in the 12th century by the Almohad sultan Yacoub el-Mansour and named after its original inhabitants, the Berbers of the Haskourene tribe. The most beautiful kasbahs in southern Morocco can be found here. Many of them are still partially inhabited. Continue towards the perfumed Valley of Roses, just north of El Kelaa Des Mgouna. On the way to the Valley of Roses, your driver will stop for you to view the Capp et Floral distillation factories laid out in the small Kasbah town that manufacture the entire nations products of eau de rose. The rose water and other products such as hand and body soaps, oil, crème perfume and dried flowers are for sale and also popular among Moroccans. The factories produce 3000-4000 petals a year.

Visit Mount Mgougn and Sip Tea with Nomads in their rural cave. The Valley of Nomads is filled with cave dwellers who have lived in the Mgoun region for centuries. Your journey will then take you through the Dadès Valley, which covers 125 km between Ouarzazate and Boumalne du Dadès in the High Atlas Mountains. Overnight at a Boutique Guest House in the Dades Valley.

Khemlia Musicians, Merzouga Sahara Desert

Khemlia Musicians, Merzouga Sahara Desert

Day 3: Dades Valley morning exploration before visiting the the Todra Gorge and it’s large canyon en route to the Erg Chebbi dunes located in the heart of the Merzouga Sahara Desert.

Take the road to Merzouga. En route visit Erfoud, the capitol of fossils and the town of Rissani. Rissani is a Sahara desert town that is from the ancient Alawi Dynasty and the birthplace of King Mohammed VI, the current King of Morocco. Visit the old Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Sharif, the first King of the Alawi Dynasty. Next visit Maison Taureg House and then the old Ksar of Rissani.
Continue to Khemlia where you will visit Sudanese- Berber Gnaoua Trance musicians, Moroccan village. The Musicians of Khemlia have been living in this remote village for a century and perform 100 year-old Gnaoua Trance music songs. Spend an hour listening to Gnaoua Trance music using old world instruments by these Sudanese Berber Musicians. Tea is served and then there is an option to explore their village.
Arrive in Merzouga’s Erg Chebbi Dunes before sunset, and then go by dromedary at sunset into the Erg Chebbi Dunes to a bivouac camp. Your Tuareg guide will share some of the Sahara Deserts’ secrets. As you glide across humpback on these silent, mystical dunes there will be countless opportunities to photograph the endless rolling dunes. Arabian Nights Dinner and Spend the night in a Luxury Desert Camp.

Day 4: Merzouga Departure for Ait Ouzzine, Nkob Berber Village where you will enjoy lunch with a Berber family, participate in a private henna party and discover how traditional families live in this mountain and desert region.

Aït Ouzzine, just minutes outside Nkob 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 and a tajine. Explore and tour the village by foot. Walk in the green fields and see how the traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, livestock, and henna plants.
Sip tea with the Berbers in the Saghro Mountains and enjoy a traditional Berber lunch. The menu will include a traditional meal of fresh baked bread with spices and a chicken and vegetable tajine or couscous 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 relaxes. 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. Overnight at a Boutique Riad in Ouarzazate.
Day 5: Drive from Ouarzazate via the Ounilla Valley and Tizzin’ Tichka Pass back to Marrakech.
Visit the Oasis of Fint passing the “Plateau de pierres”. On this road you will find a shining Oasis of palms. Visit the Oasis of Fint that hovers under the Atlas Mountains. Journey on a one-hour walk inside the Oasis where you will have a cup of tea with the headmaster’s family Azziz Ouaziz and tour the surrounding area where date palm oases and dramatic desert scenery are king.
Next journey to the Atlas Film Studios. The studios are flanked by Holly-wood style Egyptian figures and cover 30,000 sq. m of desert. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at The Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery. International blockbusters shot here in recent years include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawke Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara. Return to Marrakech.

A Sahara Desert Safari New Years Trip for the entire family.

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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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 Sahara Desert Camps, Standard or Luxury Bivouac

Sahara Desert Luxury Bivouac Camp

When visiting the  Morocco Sahara desert or Merzouga, M’hamid or Zagora you will be offered the option of a standard or luxury tent. When you go on a camel trek or by a 4X4 in the Moroccan Sahara there are many options of places to stay. There is a wide range of Standard bivouac camps, several top end Luxury Bivouac Camps and also Luxury Guest Houses all worth while of consideration.

Depending on the amount of time you want to stay in the desert and your desire for privacy it may be worth your while considering a luxury tent or bivouac. There are a number of standing camps and the luxury ones are private, usually for two  or more people with superior furnishing and bedding , showers and a toilet and a tent or area  for relaxing. Meals are provided. If you plan a romantic night under the stars (there are special honeymoon tents) or you want to enjoy the desert in comfort, this is for you, but the experience comes at a price. The campsites which offer luxury tents include  Le Belle Etoille, Travel Exploration Morocco, Assou, Les Nomade and Le Red Sand Luxury Desert Camp. At these Morocco Sahara Desert Luxury camps the tents have been designed by top French interior designers. They have 6 tents of around 30 square meters. Each tent has its own bathroom (hot/cold running water) and toilets. This is a permanent camp offering tailor made excursions for relaxing, or more adventurous desert tourism with various sporting activities.

 The  Erg Chigaga Luxury Camp, can accommodate 16 people in 8 tents. The tents are spacious (25 sq m) with the highest quality mattresses, linen and pillows, whilst each tent is equipped with ‘wall-to-wall rugs’, solar-powered lighting and handcrafted furniture. Each tent has en suite facilities. For those seeking privacy, the Erg Chigaga Luxury Camp has two private camps each situated within a 15-minute walk from the main camp. Each camp consists of two luxury en suite tents and a separate relaxing tent, nestled in the dunes.

 For those that want a trip deep into the Sahara desert and to sleep in a different locations each night, they have a nomadic camp for camel treks of 3 and 4 days’ duration. These are also privately run trips, with each camp accommodating between 2 and 4 guests. The nomadic camps are ‘semi-luxury’, with a comfortable bed and fresh linen, private bathroom, Moroccan lounge and cold drinks.

Sahara Desert Morocco Standard Bivouac Camp

The standard  berber tent  is simply a tent  to sleep in for the night without any other facilities. These may be out in the desert but most are in regular camping sites which have shared facilities showers and toilets.

The standard camps are large and shared with other tourists who often stay in local hotels and visit the campsite for a night out in the desert with a meal and entertainment with traditional music and dancing  which can go on late into the night.

You need to make quite certain about  what services  and excursions are offered  including a luxury or standard tent, meals, availability of bottled water  excursions  by camel or 4X 4 and pick up and drop for your onward journey.  All this should be agreed beforehand so ask your travel agent to agree the details. If you are agreeing a deal either with a tour company in Marrakech or actually at Merzouga you need to confirm all the details very carefully before you pay for the trip. You can also stay in a desert camp near Marrakech in the Agafay area an hour’s drive from Marrakech if you do not have time to visit  the desert locations in Merzouga, Zagora or M’hamid.

For More Information on Morocco Sahara Desert Tours & Luxury Bivouac Camps

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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Merzouga Gateway to Morocco’s Sahara Desert, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Merzouga, Morocco

Merzouga, Morocco

Merzouga is a small dusty town in Morocco about 450 miles from Marrakech and close to the Algerian border. Ouarzazate is the closest large town. Merzouga is 50 km from the town of Erfoud and Rissani. It is the gateway to the Moroccan desert.

Merzouga lies in the heart of of Erg Chebbi, a 50km long and 5km wide set of sand dunes that reach up to 350m. The landscape constantly changes with the wind sweeping the dunes into new formations and the sun changing the colour of the sand at different times of the day turning from pink to gold to red. The Erg Chebbi is like the great Ergs accross the border in Algeria. The largest dunes are near Merzouga and Hassi Labied. At night, you only have to walk a little wayout into the sand, away from the light, to appreciate the immensity and clarity of the desert sky and the brilliance of the stars.

Merzouga, Sahara Desert Bivouac

Merzouga, Sahara Desert Bivouac

Tourists come to Merzouga to go camel trekking and to experience the quiet stillness and immensityof the desert and the stars at night followed by the sunrise and sunset which is an amazing experience. Local berber tribesman can peform dances and their traditional music and tourists can spend the night in tented camping areas sampling traditional Moroccan cuisine and music by the camp fire.

Make sure you get a turban before setting out into the desert as protection from the heat and the dust.Carry a water bottle and ensure you secure the best bargains for your trips into the desert and pay attention to what is and is not provided.

Merzouga has a number of guest houses and riads if spending the night in a bivouac is not your choice. There are about 50 guest houses of varying categories along the sand dunes, and most of them own camels and can arrange for an extended trek, bird watching and other Sahara activities.

Other activities include trips into the desert by4X4 ,quad biking,hot air ballooning and sand skiing. You can bird watch around the Dayet Srji where there is a lake with flamingos. The Dayet Srji is a salt water lake and offers excellent bird viewing with lots of Egrets, Storks and Shelducks.

The summer months from June to September Merzouga can very hot during the day,, temperatures average around 115 Fahrenheit (45 C) during the summer and it’s obviously very dry. Nights in the desert do get much colder however and you’ll need a good jacket and pullover even if it is swelteringly hot during the day. If you do visit Merzouga during summer months find a hotel with a swimming pool.In March and April there are sandstorms as the Sirocco whips up. The best time to visit is from October to February.

For More Information on a Merzouga Sahara Desert 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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New Years Desert Trips in Morocco, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Camel Trek New Years Merzouga Sahara Desert

Celebrate New Years in Morocco’s Sahara Desert with the trip of a lifetime. Sahara Desert New Years Tours in Morocco are the perfect way to discover the Deep South’s Berber Villages, the Skoura palmeraie and its Valley of one-thousand kasbahs, UNESCO World Heritage Site Ait Benhaddou, the Dades Valley and Morocco’s Erg Chebbi Dunes. New Years Desert Tours can be tailor made for couples, families and groups to include a 3 Day Desert Trip, 4 Day Desert Trip or a 5 Day Desert Trip or 6 Day Desert Trip.

All Sahara Desert New Years Tours include transport in 4×4 land cruiser, an English speaking multilingual driver/ guide, option of charming 4 or 4/5 Star Riads in the palmerie of Skoura, Riad in Ouarzazate, a Riad Spa in the Dades Gorge and a luxury Sahara Desert bivouac in the Erg Chebbi Dunes. Sunset and sunrise camel treks are accompanied by a three-course New Years Eve feast and festivities in the Moroccan Sahara desert’s Erg Chebbi Dunes with traditional Gnaoua music to compliment. New Years Desert Tours also include the option to go off the beaten track to dine with a Berber family for lunch in the middle of the Atlas mountains or visit ancient rock carvings in Tazarine.

New Years Sahara Desert Feast at Bivouac

Spending New Years Eve in Morocco’s Sahara Desert is a treat for any Moroccan traveler. The highlights of Merzouga’s Erg Chebbi Dunes, their unique flora and fauna and the charm of a desert adventure should not be missed.

Sahara Desert Bivouac Erg Chebb Dunes Merzouga

4 Days New Years Desert Tour From Marrakech

 ▪   December 30th– 8:00am Departure from Marrakech and cross the High Atlas Mountain traveling through the Tizzin’ Tichka Pass. Stop to visit Kasbah Telouet, a local Argan Cooperative run by women. Arrive in Ouarzazate at sunset. Dinner and Overnight at a 4 Star Charming Riad with views of the Atlas Mountains.

▪  December 31st – 9:00am – Departure from your Riad to visit Skoura, the Amerdihl Kasbah. Take the valley of one thousand Kasbahs and the Skoura palmary through the Valley of Roses also known as El Kelaa Des Mgouna. Optino to have lunch in the Valley and then continue the road to Erfoud. Discover Erfoud, famous for fossils, the Sahara Desert town of Rissani. Continue the road to the Erg Chebbi Dunes. Sunset camel trek into the Sahara Desert. New Years Celebration Feast at your bivouac camp deep in the Sahara Dunes under the midnight stars.

▪  January 1st – 9:00am – Sunrise camel trek and breakfast in the Sahara. Discover its windy roads by 4×4. Take the road back to Ouarzazate. En route to Ouarzazate, go by Alnif and have lunch of couscous in a traditional Moroccan village with a Berber family or take the road through Tinerhir past the Todra Gorge and onto Ouarzaz.ate. Dinner and Overnight at a 4 Star Charming Riad in Ouarzazate with views of the Atlas Mountains.

– January 2nd – 9:00am – Breakfast at your Riad. Visit the Oasis of Fint. Tea ceremony and fresh baked bread with Azziz. Continue the road to Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Go for a short hike and have Lunch with views of this ancient Kasbah. Continue the road through the Ounila Valley back to Marrakech.

5 Days New Years Desert Tour From Marrakech

 ▪   December 30th– 8:00am Departure from Marrakech and cross the High Atlas Mountain traveling through the Tizzin’ Tichka Pass. Stop to visit Kasbah Telouet, a local Argan Cooperative run by women. Arrive in Ouarzazate at sunset. Dinner and Overnight at a 4 Star Charming Riad with views of the Atlas Mountains.

▪  December 31st – 9:00am – Departure from your Riad to visit Skoura, the Amerdihl Kasbah. Take the valley of one thousand Kasbahs and the Skoura palmary through the Valley of Roses also known as El Kelaa Des Mgouna. Optino to have lunch in the Valley and then continue the road to Erfoud. Discover Erfoud, famous for fossils, the Sahara Desert town of Rissani. Continue the road to the Erg Chebbi Dunes. Sunset camel trek into the Sahara Desert. New Years Celebration Feast at your bivouac camp deep in the Sahara Dunes under the midnight stars.

▪  January 1st – 9:00am – Sunrise camel trek and breakfast in the Sahara. Discover its windy roads by 4×4. Take the road back to Ouarzazate. En route to Ouarzazate, go by Alnif and have lunch of couscous in a traditional Moroccan village with a Berber family or take the road through Tinerhir past the Todra Gorge and onto Ouarzazate. Dinner and Overnight at a 4 Star Charming Riad in Ouarzazate with views of the Atlas Mountains.

– January 2nd – 9:00am – Breakfast at your Riad. Visit the Valley of Nomads and have Tea with a Nomad family. Continue the road via the Dades Valley. Explore this region’s Dades Gorge and narrow road. Hike or walk the Dades Valley. Nightcap in Ouarzazte at a charming Riad Kasbah restaurant. ODinner and Overnight at a 4 Star Charming Riad in Ouarzazate with views of the Atlas Mountains.

– January 3rd – 9:00am – Breakfast at your Riad. Visit the Oasis of Fint. Tea ceremony and fresh baked bread with Azziz. Continue the road to Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Go for a short hike and have Lunch with views of this ancient Kasbah. Continue the road through the Ounila Valley back to Marrakech.

Sahara Desert New Years Eve Dinner Feast & Festivities

  • Welcome with Moroccan mint tea, dates and almonds
  • Bon fire – Gnaoua Musicians of Khemlia, Drumming and Dancing
  • Dinner in an Arabian nights style Berber tent
  • Moroccan Harira soup
  • Mechoui (roasted lamb)
  • Royal Couscous
  • Fruit or Pastry Dessert

Included in New Years Desert Trip in Morocco

  • 4×4 Land Cruiser, English, Multilingual Speaking Driver/ Guide
  • Accommodations in Ouarzazate with breakfast and dinner
  • Overnight in Luxury Bivouac encampment – Berber tent in the Erg Chebbi Dunes, Merzouga with breakfast and New Year’s Eve Dinner & Music Celebration
  • Overnight option in the in Dades Valley or Todra Gorge
  • Sunset Camel Trek & Camel Trekking Guide
  • Extended Desert Trip: Lunch with a Berber Family

For more information about New Years Tours or Desert Trips 

For More Information About Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit 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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Moroccan Food & A Menu for Moroccan Appetite, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Moroccan couscous with raisins

Moroccan food is considered some of the best in the world. The easiest way to discover the true flavors of Moroccan cuisine are to take a Moroccan cooking class or explore various restaurants in Morocco’s Imperial Cities such as Marrakech, Fes, Rabat or Essaouira on a Morocco tour. Another way to discover authentic Moroccan cuisine is to dine with a local family in a Berber Village. Berber villages are known for their unique fare as result that their main staples in making Moroccan traditional cuisine such as couscous are grown locally in their fields alongside special herbs which allows for amazingly tasteful food. Moroccan recipes such as baking bread by fire and a tajine on starlit night can be learning on a Sahara desert tour to the Erg Chebbi Dunes of Merzouga whereby your camel trekking guide takes you off on a journey into the vast dunes to a Sahara camp at sunset to learn the secrets of the Sahara. To fully enjoy a Moroccan meal one must arrive with an empty stomach and then fully prepare themselves for a three or four-course Moroccan feast. As the French proverb says, “Appetite comes with eating; the more one has, the more one would have” so make sure to visit Morocco with an open palate and a big appetite!

Moroccan carrot salad

This menu and choice will give you a real taste of Moroccan food. Many variations are available.

  • Lamb Chops/Lamb burgers/Steak, Pork Chops/ Chicken Thighs
  • Carrot Salad
  • Couscous with raisins
  • Macerated Oranges

Lamb Chops/Lamb burgers/Steak, Pork Chops/ Chicken Thighs

Season the meat with salt, pepper, cumin and a touch of cinnamon (or salt pepper and ras al hanout, if you have it). If you can let is sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so, do so. Bring the meat to room temp (20 min) before cooking as desired.

Carrot Salad

Cook cleaned and sliced carrots as usual (in small amount of cold water, bring to the boil, simmer until tender, appr. 6-8 minutes). Drain. In bowl add carrots, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, lemon juice or vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil and chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or at room temp.

Couscous with Raisins

Cook couscous with small handful raisins according to package. Fluff with fork. Add lemon juice, cooked chickpeas (from the can), chopped herbs such as cilantro, parsley or mint, salt & pepper to taste. Serve hot or room temp.

Macerated Oranges

Peel oranges. Either slice or segment (supreme) oranges in a bowl. Add cinnamon, sugar or honey and ½ teaspoon rose or orange flower water. Let stand in refrigerator one hour. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Happy Cooking!

By Freya Ellinwood, Morocco Travel Writer

For more information about Moroccan Food and Recipes or a 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 ExplorationTravel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Moroccan Food, Moroccan recipes, Moroccan menu, Marrakech, Fes, Rabat, Essaouira, Berber Village, Sahara Tour, Erg Chebbi Dunes, Merzouga, Couscous, Moroccan couscous with raisins, Moroccan carrot salad, Macerated oranges, Morocco Holidays, Morocco Travel, Travel Exploration, Travel to Morocco

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Fes, Morocco World Music Festival Tour Package, With Travel Exploration, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Fes Festival Musician

Travel Exploration & Authentic Asia Present The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music & Morocco Cultural Tour – Hosted by Music Expert, Joel Davis

This 13 Day/ 12 Night Morocco Fes Music Festival Tour will offer a celebratory opportunity for those who are passionate about Sacred World Music to enrich their palate with a variety of international sounds ranging from Andalusian Classical music to African, Asian, Moroccan Sufi and more while taking a journey across Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Majestic Landscapes, the Sahara Desert and Valley’s. This all inclusive 13 Day/12 Night Morocco Private group tour guarantees combined 4/5 Star accommodations at charming Riads and luxury Moroccan hotels and properties, private transport, historical guides, museum and monument entrance fees along with tickets to the Fes Festival of Sacred World Music.  Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to travel to Fes, Morocco and other regions such as Marrakech, Ouarzazate and the Sahara Desert with a music guide and historical guides who will bring depth and understanding to the meaning of Morocco’s music and vast cultural traditions.

View of Fes El Bali, Old Medina & UNESCO World Heritage Site

Fes is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest world medina (old city) in the world. Come join our private group and participate in seeing renowned musicians from all over the world gather in Fes — Morocco’s spiritual capital. Travel Exploration’s private tour package includes a music guide, historical guides, daily sight-seeing tours in air-conditioned luxury minibuses or 4×4 land cruiser with multi-lingual speaking drivers that are fluent in English, Arabic, French and Berber. Also included are tickets to the Fes Festival performances in Morocco’s holy city of Fes. For more information on the 17th Edition of the Fes Festival World Sacred Music program.

Fes Festival Whirling Dervishes

Artists from around the world flock to Morocco’s spiritual capital during the annual Fez Sacred Music Festival. The top music artists from Middle Eastern and Western religious communities gather in Fez for a week of concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and intellectual and artistic exchanges. Performances have included the Sufi Whirling Dervishes of Turkey, Berber trance music, Arab-Andalusian music, Hindustani chants, Celtic sacred music, Christian Gospel, flamenco, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Morocco, with French classical musicians always proving popular. There has also been Sufi artists from India and Pakistan, Japanese drumming bands and a group of vocalists from Mali.

The Ablution Room in the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

 

DAY 1:  CASABLANCA ARRIVAL – RABAT- FES

Arrival at Casablanca International Airport.

►Have breakfast upon arrival, then visit the Mosque of Hassan II. Casablanca is home to the Hassan II Mosque, designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is situated on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor with room for 25,000 worshippers.Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 meters. It is an enormous architectural masterpiece and the second largest religious building in the world. On Fridays, the Mosque of Hassan II is open to non-Muslims.The Mosque of Hassan II’s promontory offers lovely views overlooking Casa in the residential Afna quarter.

►After visiting the Hassan II Mosque, take the road to Rabat for a half-day tour of this Imperial City.

►During your half-day tour you will learn Rabat’s history and enjoy its beautiful domes, minarets, wide avenues and green spaces. Your guide will escort you on a walk around the picturesque Almohad northern walls of the Oudaïa Kasbah. The kasbah was built by Moulay Ismaïl from 1672-1727 to protect the city and is enclosed by ramparts dating from the Almohad period. Visit Bab Oudaïa, a monumental gate and example of Almohad military architecture. See the Musée de Oudaïa, Moulay Ismaïl’s palace exhibiting collections of Moroccan folk art. Before moving on to city medina, relax in the Moorish style Andalusian garden.

►Visit the Royal Palace, the Hassan Tower which stands on the hill overlooking the Wadi Bou Regreg. It is a gigantic mosque, emblematic of Rabat and famous for its unfinished minaret where storks nest.

►Next door, visit the beautiful Mausoleum of Mohammed V decorated with stained glass windows, white marbleand a wrought-iron entryway with a stairway leading to an impressive dome.

►Lunch in Rabat, by the Sea.

►Explore the gardens nearby and visit the Palace of Rabat and visit the Necropolis at Chellah/ Kasbah of Chellah.

►Dinner & Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Fes.

Moulay Idriss Mosque Fes

 

DAY 2:  FES (GUIDED HISTORICAL TOUR)

►After breakfast your day will begin at the Merenid Tombs of Fès.

►Next, stop at the Musée des Armes, a fortress that once protected Fès. Today it is possible to see a display of 8,000 pieces of artillery from Makina, the arsenal built by Moulay Hassan I.

►Enter the Fès el- Bali through the symmetrical horse shoe arches at Bab Boujeloud (The Blue Gate). Fès -el Bali, best characterized as a sea of rooftops embellished with minarets and domes, is too narrow for cars. Aside from walking, donkeys and mules are still the best way to travel within the cities old walls.

►Upon entering Rue Talaa Kebira, the main street in the medina, you will see lines of shops covered by canopies. Make your way to the Karaouiyine Mosque. Located in the Karaouiyine quarter, the Mosque is one of the oldest in the world and functioned as the first university in Morocco. After your visit, continue along the streets which will lead you to some of Fes’ most important buildings including Dar el- Magana, a fourteenth century water clock and Zaouia el Tijaniya, containing the tomb of Ahmed el Tijani, who spread his infamous doctrine Tariqq el- Tijaniya (The Way) throughout Morocco.

►We will also stop to visit the Ech Cherabliyine Mosque (Mosque of the Slipper makers) then browse the souks selling henna, slippers, caftans, silks, jewelry and spices.

►Next onto the UNESCO recognized site, Fondouk el- Najjarine. Within the foundouk’s three floors is the Musée de Bois, which displays carved doors from the Bou Inania Medersa.

►Stop for lunch within the medina at one of the fine Moroccan palace-restaurants that serves an extravaganza of mezas for lunch.

►After lunch we will visit the Musée Dar el- Batha to view the great collection of pottery, leather-work, wood, books and manuscripts from the nineteenth century.

►Next, enter Bab el Ftouh, the “Gateway of the Aperture” to explore the Andalusian quarter, a residential part of the medina laced with monuments. Our last part of the tour will take you into the Fès el Jedid, a kasbah which functioned as Morocco’s administrative center until 1912. Explore the royal palace and many interesting quarters including the Moulay Abdalllah Quarter, the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) and a little farther down south lies Ville Nouvelle (The New Quarter).

Within the Fes medina, we will the following historical sites:

Medersa Bou Inania: An (Islamic school) founded by Abu Inan Faris that is highly decorated from floor to ceiling. The medersa is one of the few religious places in Morocco that is accessible to non-Islamic tourists.

Kairaouine Mosque: Morocco’s second largest mosque was built by Fatima in 857. The Kairaouine Mosque became the home of the West’s first university and the world’s foremost center of learning at the beginning of the second millennium.

University of Al-Karaouine: Founded in 859, this university is one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world and is considered the oldest continuously operating institution of higher learning in the world.

Zaouia Moulay Idriss II: A zaouia (shrine) dedicated to and the tomb of Moulay Idriss II, who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828 and founded the city of Fès for the second time in 810.

Dar Batha: A Hispano-Moorish palace dating from the end of the 19th century that houses admirable collections of traditional art from Fès.

Weavers Cooperative: We will also visit the Weavers Cooperative located in a residential neighborhood off a main shopping street. The workshop specializes in weaving the finest jellaba fabric, made of silk and wool threads imported from Italy. The shop also makes a quality jellaba fabric from locally spun, textured wool thread called hubba -sometimes referred to as couscous, because it’s nubby texture resembles Morocco’s national semolina dish of the same name.

Tanneries: The Chourara or the Tanner’s Quarters is the most lively and picturesque souks in Fès. The Tanneries are often located near watercourses like the Wadi Fès and at a distance from residential areas due to the strongly unpleasant smells they produce.

Carpet Demonstration: Antique and Modern Carpets is one of the places in Fès el Bali where you can see a Berber carpet demonstration. You will be offered mint tea and follow your guide up a coil of stairs to a small area to watch carpets being made by young girls who come from the mountains to show tourists how Berber carpets are made.

Dyers Market: The dyers market, located along Rue de Teinturies, is the best place to see the dying vats which have been used for centuries to soak the skins of sheep, goat, cows and camels after they have their hair and flesh removed is best seen from the neighboring terraces. You will see many tanned hides colored with natural pigments ranging from shades of brown, black, turquoise fuchsia, yellow and orange.

Potter’s Cooperative: You will also visit the Potter’s Cooperative. Also known as Place el-Seffarine, this kisseria is the most important center for the production Fasiss style ceramics, brass-ware and silverware in Morocco.

►Welcome Dinner at Le Maison Bleue,  an exotic and fine Fasis restaurant in the Old Medina with a quaint show of Gnaoua Music as you dine.

First night- showcase of the Fes Festival of Sacred Music’s sites and sounds at the Bab Makina in Fes.

►Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Fes.

DAY 3:  FES – MEKNES – VOLUBILIS

►Breakfast at your Hotel in Fes. Then take the road to Meknes.

►Arrive in Meknes. Begin your visit at the 18th Century Palace built by Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdallah.

►Then pass through the triumphal arch. Standing at sixteen meters high with an eight meter long arch, the intricately patterned triumphal arch is argued to be the most beautiful in Morocco. Enter Place El-Hedime (Square of Ruins) which links the medina and the kasbah. The square is lined with modern residential buildings and a covered food souk (market).

►We will stop and visit the Musée Dar Jamaï, a museum showing modern Moroccan arts, woodwork, ceramics, carpets, costumes, jewelryand metalwork. The sophisticated building was once a palace incorporating a mosque, menzah (pavilion), courtyard, kitchen and hammam.

►Next we will visit the Bou Inania Medersa to explore the beautiful Koranic school established by the Merinids in the 14th century. Opposite of the Medersa, see the Grand Mosque.

►Among the most impressive elements of this imperial city is the grand gate named after the architect, El-Mansour, a Christian renegade who converted to Islam. The design of the gate plays with Almohad patterns. It has zellij mosaics of excellent quality. The marble columns were taken from the Roman ruins of Volubilis.

►Lunch in Meknes.

►After visiting Meknes, take the road to explore the breathtaking archaeological site of Volubilis (Walili). Once occupied by the Romans, Volubilis has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site and gained international acclaim when Martin Scorsese made it a feature location for his film, The Last Temptation of Christ.

►Begin your visit by discovering the fascinating Roman ruins adorned with beautiful mosaics and colorful tiles depicting Roman mythology. The ruins are spread out across several acres and what remains visible is several fragments of wall, parts of massive columns, the capitol, the basilica and a triumphal arch. The ruins reveal how the Roman Empire transformed the original Carthaginian settlement into a typical Roman city complete with mansions, a town center, a triumphal arc and temples devoted to the Roman gods.

►Enjoy tea at the small café that sits just below the Volubilis ruins. Next explore the open-air museum with remains of altars, sculptural fragments and colorful mosaics.

►Commence your visit in Volubilis, then take the road to Fes.  Arrrive in the evening.

Second night- showcase of the Fes Festival of Sacred Music’s sites and sounds at the Bab Makina in Fes.

►Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Fes.

Fes Batha Museum

 

DAY 4:  FES (FASIS POTTERY COOPERATIVE, SIDI HARAZEM SPA & FREE EXPLORATION)

►Rise, have breakfast at your Riad, then stroll the Jnan S’bil Garden, a popular botanical garden in Fes where locals frequent for morning and afternoon walks, to read a book or relax. Jnan S’bil Garden has been closed for several years for a reservation and it is re-opening spring 2010.

►Next, visit Fes’ renown Pottery Cooperative where you can view how the Fasis pottery and zellij tile are made by hand. Tour the cooperative to see how the various artisans work using the ancient Fasis techniques that are unique to this Imperial city and region. Participate if you wish by throwing a pot or starting to make your own zellij tile. See the works of the artisans which are available for purchase as well.

►After visiting the Fasis Pottery Cooperative enjoy the rest of the afternoon visiting other sites on your own or exploring the old Fes medina cobble stoned streets or consider a visit to a Spa just outside of Fes.

►Fes, is believed to be the world’s largest contiguous car-free urban area and you will be able to roam free, only having to move aside for the donkeys that will need to pass bringing goods across from place to place.

►If roaming around Fes on your own is not of interest, then take the road to visit Sidi Harazem, a Spa and green area just outside of Fes which contains hot water springs that are rich in magnesium. The benefits of these curative waters may be enjoyed at the health spa.There is also an ancient sacred pool surrounded by eucalyptus, palm and pink laurel trees.

►The other option is to visit Moulay Yacoub an old French, style Spa with thermal stations, cold dipping pool along with rock hot saunas and steam rooms. Compliment your visit with an old world, French- Moroccan massage with rose, orange or jasmine oil, receiving a treatment from head to toe.

►Dinner options are at your Riad, in the Ville Nouvelle (new city), Le Palais D’Medina or Le Maison Bleue.

Third night- showcase of the Fes Festival of Sacred Music’s sites and sounds at the Bab Makina in Fes.

►Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Fes.

DAY 5:  FES – ZIZ VALLEY – IFRANE- MERZOUGA

►Rise, have breakfast at your Riad. Then take the road to Merzouga. Enroute to Merzouga, we will pass Ifrane, stopping to see the cedar tree forrest and the local barbary monkeys.  We will also pass the American- Moroccan University which was built by the Saudi’s.

▶ We will have lunch during our journey in the Ziz Valley or at another local town en route to the Sahara desert. We will continue the road to Merzouga and arrive before sunset.

▶Arrive in Merzouga before sunset, then go by dromedary camel for 45 minutes- one-hour, at sunset into the Erg Chebbi Dunes to camp overnight luxury Biouvac tent at an oasis.  Your Tuareg guide will share some of the Sahara Deserts’ secrets. As you glide across humpback on these silent, mystical dunes there will be countless opportunities to photograph the endless rolling dunes.

Dinner & Spend the night at a Charming Bivouac near an Oasis within the Erg Chebbi Dunes of Merzouga’s Sahara Desert with traditional Entertainment in a Majestic 1001 Nights Tent. – Guest House Option Available For Those Who Prefer.

DAY 6: MERZOUGA – RISSANI- ERFOUD -N’KOB -OUARZAZATE

▶Rise, have breakfast and take a sunrise trek back to Merzouga center. Enjoy the flora and fauna that is unique to the Sahara. Then take the road to visit the Saharan Desert towns of Rissani and the capital of fossils, Erfoud. Visit the old ksars and then continue the road to the village of Ait Ouzzine, located in N’kob which is nestled within the Middle Atlas Mountains.

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.

Lunch will be served to you in Aït Ouzzine by a traditional Berber, Moroccan 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 through the Draa Valley back to Ouarzazate before sunset.

►The Draa Valley is the road of the old caravans that were once traveled to transport dates and other good from the Draa Region to Marrakech. Arrive and have dinner at your Riad.

►Dinner & Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Ouarzazate.

DAY 7: OUARZAZATE ANCIENT KASBAHS

►Breakfast at your Riad.    “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 Marrakesh, 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;  Ait Benhaddou in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.

► Visit the Oasis of Fint, the Atlas Film Studios, Aït Benhaddou & Kasbah Taouirt.

► Take the road to the Oasis of Fint that hovers under the Atlas Mountains. 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.

► After visiting the Oasis of Fint we will take the road to the Atas Film Studios. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at The Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery. International blockbusters shot here in recent years include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawke Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara.

► Next visit Aït Benhaddou. Aït Benhaddou is located 32 km from Ouarzazate lies the picturesque village. Aït Benhaddou of Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ 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. This Berber village of towered and crenulated Kasbahs that once guarded the lucrative caravan route through the Atlas Mountains. 

Lunch on a terrace with clear views of Aït Benhaddou and enjoy a traditional Moroccan or Moroccan salada and a hearty tajine.

► End the day with a short visit to Kasbah Taouirt which was was built by the Pasha Glaoui. Kasbah Taouirt’s 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 its 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.

►Dinner & Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Ouarzazate.

DAY 8: OUARZAZATE – BOUTHGRAR (VALLEY OF NOMADS), VALLEY OF ROSES,  BOUMALNE DADES VALLEY & GORGE – SKOURA

►Breakfast at your Riad. Take the road to visit Bouthgrar, the Valley of Nomads and the Dades Valley.

►Begin your visit at the breakthtaking Valley of Nomads Located in Bouthgrar is the Valley of Nomads, a beautiful 10 kilometer valley where Nomads live in caves that are surrounded by Mount Mgoun. Mount Mgoun is the second highest mountain in Morocco and boasts extraordinery views. Have tea with a Nomad family.  See first hand where they make their own carpets and co exist in Bouthgrar with other Nomad families.

►Your journey will then take you through the Dadès Valley which covers 125 km between Ouarzazate and Boumalne du Dadès in the High Atlas Mountains.

►Once you reach Boumalne at first sight you notice the limestone cliffs with uniquely shaped erosions and superb scenery and the valley’s pise (windy roads). Driving along you will pass flower filled fields, fertile fields, riverbanks and several fortified ksours. At the bottom of Gorge of Boumalne Dadès there are ruined hilltop Kasbahs and valley floor gardens.

►Lunch will be served at a nearby guesthouse that offers local Moroccan fare and a panoramic view. Relax and sip mint tea while gazing at the impressive valley view.

►Dinner & Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Ouarzazate.

DAY 9: OUARZAZATE – MARRAKECH

►Rise early, breakfast at your Riad and then take the road to Marrakech.

▶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 spelndor.

Lunch in the Tizzin Tichkas Pass f 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. Dinner at your Riad or in the heart of Djemma El Fna Square.

►Dinner & Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Marrakech.

DAY 10:  MARRAKECH (GUIDED HISTORICAL TOUR)

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

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

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

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

►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.

►Next we will visit the Museum of Marrakech, a Contemporary Moroccan Art Museum or Tiskiwin, 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.

►Evening free to explore Marrakech on your own.  Your private driver will be available to escort you to a variety of restaurants we recommend.

►Dinner at your Riad or one of Marrakech’s fabulous restaurants, Le Marrakechi, Le Fonduk or Le Comptoir Darna.

►Dinner & Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Marrakech.

DAY 11: MARRAKECH – FREE DAY or OURIKA VALLEY SETTI FATIMA WATERFALLS VISIT

Breakfast at your Riad. Visit the Ourika Valley’s Setti Fatima Waterfalls or spend the day exploring on your own in the Marrakech medina.

Attend the CHEZ ALI FANTASIA, Equestrian & Moroccan Music show. Three Course Dinner served on site in Marrakech’s lush palmary. Return to your Riad for the evening. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a traditional Fantasia unless you visit Meknes during the Fantasia Festival.

►Dinner & Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Marrakech.

DAY 12: MARRAKECH – ESSAOUIRA (GUIDED HISTORICAL TOUR)

► Rise, breakfast at your Riad. Then 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”.

► Visit this sea-side medieval town that boasts lovely white-washed and blue-shuttered houses, colonnades, thuya wood workshops, art galleries and mouthwatering seafood.  Once called Mogador by European sailors and traders, Essaouria is known for its annual Gnaoua Music Festival that attracts 300,000+ people in June. It also has an expansive beach for surfing called Plage de Safi.  The medina of Essaouira (formerly “Mogador”) is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city, as an example of a late-18th century fortified town.

► 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 spice and jewelry souks of the medina. Your guide will take you to the old Jewish Mellah and explain the entire history of Essaouira.

► 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 visit Orson Welles’ Square and memorial, designed by Samir Mustapha, one of the towns artists, which pays homage to Orson Welles filming of Othello in EssouariaEssaouira’s history is a reminder of the times when Spain, Portugal and England fought to maintain control over its coasts. It has a typical Portuguese harbor that is a stunning example of Moorish and Portuguese architecture.

►Dinner & Spend the night at a 4 Star Charming Riad or Hotel in Marrakech.

DAY 13: MARRAKECH – CASABLANCA

►Breakfast at your Hotel. Departure at Casablanca’s International Airport.

Fes Festival Tour Rate: $4,480 Per Person (Double Occupancy Preferred, Not Required)

All Inclusive, Private Group Transport in Luxury Minibus or 4×4 Land cruiser, 4/5 Accommodations, licensed historical guides, some meals, museum and monument entrances fees, tickets to the Fes Festival of Sacred World Music

For more information about the Fes, Morocco Tour Package and the World Sacred Music Festival

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.

Fes Music Festival Tour, Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, Fes Music Festival, Fes, 17th Edition Fes Festival, Dar Tazi, Batha Museum, Bab al Makina, Fes Festival Concert, Fes Festival in the City, Kairouine Mosque Fes, Moulay Idriss Mosque Fes, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Sahara Desert, Erg Chebbi Dunes,  Morocco Holidays, Morocco Travel, Travel Exploration, Travel to Morocco

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