_________________________________________________________________________“I highly recommend moving Morocco up to the top of your travel dance card.”
Alecia Cohen and our driver Tajar Najoui are the best. I am so thankful we booked our trip with them! I admit to being reluctant to go on this trip and also confess to being out of my normal comfort zone in just considering such a trip, but I was thrilled at the wonder of it all. Our trip exceeded all expectations and has become the trip of our lifetime! The people are warm and friendly and we felt very safe the entire time. It was fascinating to talk with Tahar about the current political situation in Africa and to learn of his experiences in Morocco. He answered our questions with patience and thoughtfulness and he was flexible and accommodating. The places we stayed overnight were great and Alecia’s attention to details made the trip easy and an overall joy. The guides were most knowledgeable and they knew their subject areas well. It was nice to meet various guides as opposed to one guide for an entire trip. I normally don’t write reviews like this but the trip was so wonderful that I wanted to write something but superlatives don’t do the trip justice. One must go and experience Morocco to really appreciate its wonders (similar to how I could not explain a bite of chocolate cake to you, you have to taste it to understand). Post trip impressions:”Morocco to me has been a country of contrasts and extremes. The topography starting with Casablanca by the sea, the high Atlas mountains and the Sahara desert on the other side. Frigid mountain temps and welcomed cold mountain air. People in the mountains are completely shut off in winter. Opulent kasbahs and palaces on one hand and people living off the land in tents like they have for thousands of years with their sheep and goats on the roof or in an adjacent room. Only some women in cities deliver babies in hospitals, everyone else delivers at home. Nomads still wander from place to place depending on the weather. People practice using tools and methods used for centuries. So little has changed yet so much has changed. Moroccans embrace modernity in terms of cell phones but many people still have donkeys or camels as their only mode of transport other than their two feet. Villages often have no roads, just foot paths. It truly has been a trip back in time. Every city/town neighborhood seems to be filled with houses in various stages of construction because you build what you can afford and then stop until you can afford to build more. Morocco serves as the nexus between Europe and Africa and those influences plus the influence of its many conquerors over history make for some amazing combinations of food and architecture. As the western most Muslim/Arabic country the people are amazingly tolerant and welcoming. My sense of their religion is one of appreciation and respect as they respect everyone. The historical influence of the Jews, who left in 1956, is still felt. There is no such thing as a weight limit on a truck other than if it tips over its too much…we saw many trucks loaded to the gills and just prayed they wouldn’t fall on us. We have eaten street food for 5 dollars roasted lamb chops and ate at a 2 star Michelin rated French restaurant last night. Peace and serene quiet atop 1700 meter mountains and cacophany in the city squares… extremes that I will continue to savor as I remember this trip of a lifetime.” Everything we saw was very different than US but amazing in its own right. For example, we spent one day in the Fes medina, a series of 9600 tiny streets that sit behind a fortress wall with houses built starting in 1200. The people who live and work there use tools and practices that are hundreds of years old too. We saw ancient tannery practices where men stomp hides in vats like Italians stomp grapes. Occupations and goods are grouped in souks and bargaining is an art form. The whole day was a true step back in time…utterly amazing! in contrast the new part of Fes is built to resemble the Champs-Élysées in Paris. I highly recommend moving Morocco up to the top of your travel dance card.
Visited September 2013
We have recently returned from a great 10 day trip through Morocco from Chefchaouen to Marrakech. Our driver, Mustafa, was professional, a very safe driver, punctual and a great tour guide. The trip went very smoothly. We stayed in beautiful riads in Fes, Ouarzazate and Marrakech. We had the opportunity to experience a dromedary ride at sunset, a night in a Berber tent, and a sunrise ride. This is a well run company and we would not hesitate to recommend it to other travelers.
Visited September 2013
My husband and I just returned from a phenomenal trip to Morocco organized by Alecia Cohen.We are seasoned,independant and intrepid travellers but we knew we needed the expert guidance of a professional and thankfully we chose Travel Exploration Morocco based on the reviews of other Tripadvisor contributors. Alecia Cohen absolutely exceeded our expectations in terms of professionalism and knowledge about Morocco.As an American living in Marrakech for the last 10 years,she knows the pulse of Morocco but also understands perfectly what a western client is expecting in terms of comfort and safety as well as compatability with a driver/guide that you will be spending many days with. We were very fortunate to have had Karim as that very special person to look after us for 12 wonderful days.Karim is a warm,engaging,extremely bright individual and we could not have ever felt safer or more comfortable than when we were with him.From the moment he met us at the airport we knew we had the right match for our great journey in Morocco.He is an expert driver in a country that requires skill,precision and knowledge of other drivers habits.Avoiding donkey pulled carts travelling alongside huge trucks on highways takes a person that is nonplused by anything that’s in his way.He made it all seem so easy.He was our family and guardian angel in Morocco. Alecia was a joy to work with and from my first contact with her I knew I had the right person to organize this trip.I had already booked flights to Morocco and she worked around that seamlessly by asking a few questions about ourselves,our travel style,what we enjoy on our travels and she coordinated a perfect trip.What impressed me the most about Alecia was that she responded to any questions I had within a few hours with detailed answers so that I was perfectly clear about any situation I threw at her.As I expressed an interest in going to the desert,possibly overnighting in a tented camp,she convinced me that I would be extremely comfortable in the luxury Bivouac that she uses and she was quite right.The highlight had to be when we drove into the desert in the very comfortable Land Cruiser that we had for the entire trip and there waiting for us were our 2 camels and camel guide who took us for a great ride to see the sunset on the top of a dune and then led us to this Arabian Nights camp that was straight out of central casting.And to complete the fantasy,the local musicians were already playing beautiful music as we rode in and dismounted.We were entertained,wined and dined and treated like royalty.It could not have been more magical.There was only one other couple there as this is an intimate camp but with full private facilities. The riads and restaurants that Alecia recommended were superb.They were charming, intimate,where we always received warm welcomes and all had pools so that we could relax a bit with a drink and a swim after an adventurous day out. The local guides we had in Fez and Marrakech were also superb,with impeccable language skills and knowlege of customs,religion and history as did Karim who is also a licensed guide and gave us an intimate and though knowlegde of Morocco and guided us through smaller towns and occasionally hooked us up with a guide on a spontaneous half hour stop to see a souk that few travellers would go or into a remote kasbah.He seemed to have a LIttle Black Book of special guides on speed dial.Everyone was always on time and waiting for us so that no time was wasted. Through Alecia and Karim we saw the passion they have for Morocco and they instilled in us that same passion and for that we are forever grateful.We hope to come back to Morocco and it would be our pleasure to work with Alecia and Karim again.
Visited October 2013
“The most fabulous trip”
We can’t thank Alecia enough for planning the most amazing adventure to Morocco. Our driver, Tahar, was truly wonderful, it was such a joy to spend 11 days with him. We had so many incredible experiences each and everyday, meeting local people, exploring souks, visiting ancient sites, watching the stars in the desert, and then relaxing at night in the most gorgeous riads. We are already planning our next trip to Morocco. It is truly an enchanting country filled with the most lovely people, and beautiful sites. We never hire tour companies but I unequivocally recommend Travel Exploration and Alecia and Tahar, they are truly the best. Amy T.
Visited September 2013
We wish to recommend Travel Exploration Morocco for an amazingly well orchestrated “5 Day Great Sahara Tour”. The Sahara dunes on a camel with music under incredible stars was magical. Our driver, Lahcen, was well organized and knowledgeable about his country as well as being a very good, safe driver. The accomodations were excellent — our favorite was Ksar Ighnda in Ait Ben Haddou– due to the setting and the exquisite French food. The meal at Alicia’s family in the south was an insight into the true Moroccan family life. Although there did need to be a fair amount of driving on mountain roads, the beautiful scenery made up for it. The many different coloured soils and interesting geology were only second to the fascinating cultural and friendly people of Morocco. On the negative side, the souks in Marrakech were a bit frustrating as there were no prices and it was difficult to have any idea of were to start barganing. The plastic garbage and lack of recycling was disappointing. Overall, it was a great trip and Travel Exploration and Lahcen did an amazing job. Kathy and Glen
Visited September 2013
“Trip of a lifetime made possible by Travel Exploration”
We researched a few travel companies before deciding to book our Moroccan trip with Travel Exploration. The company already had a good reputation before we spoke to Alecia, but the two main reasons we chose go to with Travel Exploration were Alecia’s attention to detail, and her deep understanding of what Morocco had to offer in terms of historic and cultural diversity. Alecia bent over backwards to meet our needs: she accommodated every small detail we requested and even arranged our trip-planning phone calls to comply with our schedule even though it was very late in the evening (Moroccan time) during her holiday season. Planning our 11-day Moroccan adventure was easy and fun only because of Alecia. We had knowledgeable guides in each city we visited and a private driver for the duration. He picked us up at the airport, circumnavigated the entire country (Rabat, Chefchaouen, Fes/Meknes/Villobous, Merzouga, Ouezerzate, Marakech) and then dropped us off at the airport at 4:30 am the day we left. Your driver will be with you for the lion’s share of your trip and, understandably, we were apprehensive about this: what if our personalities weren’t a match? Our concerns were allayed within our first minutes on the road: Ismail was amazing. He has 20 years of experience and his English is excellent (and, I can only assume, his French, Arabic and Berber are as well). He is insightful and knowledgeable about Moroccan culture. Ismail taught us the Arabic we needed to get by and continually brought new perspectives the areas we visited: our questions were unending and his patience was limitless. We cannot speak highly enough of Ismail, who started off as our driver and quickly became our friend, and we would whole-heartedly recommend him as a guide through the beautiful country of Morocco. His guidance made our trip amazing.
_________________________________________________________________________“A Great Family Experience”
We recently returned from 11 days in Morocco with our two teenaged sons. We are not sure where to begin in expressing just how impressed we are with the entire experience. From the initial communication, to meeting our driver Houssain in Casablanca, our amazing accommodations, the sights, the sounds, the food…..everything was just about as perfect as it could be. Who knew that Morocco was such a wonderfully diverse country, with such friendly, beautiful people? You should be very proud of the tours that you organize as ours was awesome. We felt very privileged to have such knowledgeable private guides to help us in discovering each city and site. Our guides were so accommodating of all of our many questions. They were extremely professional, we can’t stop raving about all of them. We especially liked Azzadine (sp?) in Fez. Not only was he extremely knowledgeable, he wasn’t afraid to share his opinions about religion, politics etc. We had some wonderful discussions with him. Overall, we can’t believe how much we learned about Moroccan history, culture, religion and even a little Berber, and Arabic thrown in too! Most of all, we feel like we have a new family member in Houssain. He was gracious, flexible, and always friendly. We could not have asked for a better person to guide us on our discovery of this beautiful land. We enjoyed hearing about his family and especially meeting some of his seven sisters, his mother, and various nieces and nephews. He always had a smile and no request was a problem, from arranging for us to go to a traditional hammam, to changing up the itinerary when we were too tired to drive any further, and even finding out from Alecia where we could have sushi in Marrakech (a little bit surreal but lots of fun!) We truly miss him. We would like to share with you one of our favourite moments from the trip. It occurred as we were leaving the tent after visiting and having mint tea with a lovely Berber nomad family. Our 16 year old son Graydon turned to us and said “Wow! What a beautiful home.” He got it. Home isn’t about having a grandiose place in which to live, rather its about a feeling of love and belonging. That’s what we hope traveling will do for our children – open their minds and hearts to a different way of life, a different culture, and to embrace, not judge, other people not only for their differences but also for our similarities. On the entire trip we always felt safe and welcomed wherever we were. By taking a private tour such as we did, we were able to avoid most of the “touristy” restaurants and we feel that our culinary experiences were about as authentic as we could get. Travelling in August in Morocco is admittedly very hot. It was fine but you do need to account for this. Bottled drinking water was easy to find but next time time I will take some rehydration powder or tablets such as Gatorade or Nuun. I would highly encourage ANYONE to travel here, it was the perfect way to expose our children to a different culture/religion/way of life. Book with Alecia at Travel-Exploration and you will have a magnificent trip!!
Visited August 2013
“Seamless precision in trip planning”
Alecia planned the most amazingly seamless Moroccan trip for us.From the initial email and phone conversations to the airport pickup and exquisite Riad in Marrakech ,then out to the Sahara and back.Every component was well thought out and executed perfectly.Our driver Tahar was the sweetest ,most thoughtful man,a real pleasure to be around., our Marrakech guide Karim was what my daughters called the perfect boyfriend…. Took us to all the shops ,waited patiently and carried all our parcels.From my point of view he took us all over town,into so many interesting sites,with a very expansive knowledge.of each one.interactive history lessons. One of the impressive features of Alecia’s tour was the way it all flowed,everyone always on time,tickets purchased ahead of so no waiting in line,and the car magically appearing just when you wanted it…..always with lots of cold water available, choice of Riads were beautiful, well located and restored with exquisite detail.A real highlight was having lunch with the Berber family, to actually see how people live in different cultures and countries is always so interesting,so to go in their house was a real treat. Also as a woman travelling with her daughters,we always felt safe.Both Tahar and Karim really took care of us ,we were never harassed or pestered by vendors , I cannot recommend Alecia’s company highly enough,and I would travel with her again anytime Thank you Alecia, Tahar and Karim Sincerely M Campbell Vancouver
Visited August 2013
My husband and I recently returned from a 9-day holiday in Morocco organised by Alecia at Travel Exploration. We had left our plans to the last minute and I was worried about hotel and guide availability. Alecia was nonplussed by our disorganisation and dealt with all of our flight changes with ease. She responded to my emails immediately and customized a trip to suit our interests. Alecia also organised our hotel bookings and was even able to find me a riad with a gym when I told her that I was a gym junkie! It seems that no request is too hard for Alecia to accommodate. The guides that Alecia arranged for us in Fez, Marrakech and Essouira were knowledgeable and spoke English well. Our driver, Ismael, was particularly fantastic. He was with us the entire trip and we became fast friends from the moment he met us at the airport. Knowledgeable about the history and politics of Morocco as well as the country’s geography, Ismael offered us keen insight into Moroccan culture and the rich diversity of Muslim and Berber influences. Our trip would not have been the same without him. Alecia’s restaurant recommendations were spot on. She was able to steer us away from the tourist traps and towards Morocco’s best restaurants, mixing traditional Moroccan homestyle fare with high-end fusion restaurants. With only 9 days, we did not have time to get to the Sahara. When we return to Morocco (soon, I hope), I will not hesitate to get in touch with Alecia and have her arrange that trip. For anyone planning a trip to Morocco, I would highly recommend getting in touch with Alecia to help with the planning.
_________________________________________________________________________“2 weeks in Morocco – in good hands”
I contacted Alecia after spending weeks trying to plan a trip to Morocco on my own and feeling confused and uncertain where to visit, for how long, and what to see. Immediately she made me feel comfortable. Her enthusiasm, kindness, confidence, patience, and professionalism during our initial phone conversation, and then her immediate comprehensive follow-up email with itinerary and lots of explanation was so appreciated it sealed the deal. It’s a bit scary leaving your plans to a thrid party, but after we spoke, we knew we were in good hands. Her practical knowledge of the country and her honest responses to our questions was exactly the advice we wanted. She always responded within hours. We had a magical and exotic 2-week journey through Morocco. Our driver, Tahar, was friendly, funny, outgoing and caring. We could tell that he wanted us to love the country as much as he does, because not only did he share his life experiences along the way, and take us to have tea and treats with his family, but he often stopped to get us treats like apricots and cactus fruit, or to pick almonds with women in a small village. And the local guides that were pre-arranged at each city were top-notch, highly educated and extremely informative. While there were a few glitches along the way, Tahar was always there to take care of any problems, and Alecia was only a phone call away. We highly recommended planning your trip with Alecia Cohen at Travel Exploration Morocco.
“Our exciting Moroccan Odyssey with Travel Exploration”
We had considered several other tour companies before being recommended by our friends, two sisters, who had gone alone on a trip with Travel Exploration some four months previously. From the start, Alecia was responsive to all our requirements and built up a comprehensive itinerary for our 8 day trip that met and exceeded our expectations. Being based in the tourist capital, Marrakesh also gives the company an edge as they are familiar with the changing tourist scene. As four of us were travelling together, we had a comfortable Land Cruiser 4 WD which was able to take us off-piste to visit exciting places such as nomads’ caves and to enjoy the picturesque scenery in the High Atlas mountains. The riads we stayed in were very charming and comfortable with a few having swimming pools, one set into the side of a steep mountain. It was so lovely to be able to cool off after a long day’s drive, especially in the July heat. All the hosts at the riads were very welcoming and accommodating of our needs and food requirements. At Ait Benhaddou we enjoyed having mint tea at the home of an engaging Berber guide who had played as an extra in the film ‘Gladiator’ and was friends with the actor Russell Crowe. He even had pretend sword fights with us in his house. Of course, much of the success of the trip was dependent on our accomplished and knowledgeable driver Mustapha, who, besides being a good driver, organised all the local guides such that they were always there to greet us when we arrived at each location and the riads that we were staying at were always expecting us, such that our arrivals were always efficiently handled. This included taking care of our excessive luggage gathered along the way on our 4 week European trip prior to Morocco. All the local guides were excellent, giving us a good understanding of the area, history and culture. The camel guides were also wonderful, one of them being such an excellent photographer, handling a number of our cameras including a complex SLR camera, that captured the magic of the Sahara at sunset. Mustapha also had an interesting collection of music that we were able to copy so as to relive the magic of the trip from Marrakesh, through the Dades and Todra Gorges, to Erg Chebbi, the Sahara dunes, Fes, the blue city of Chefchaouen (one of our favorite places), Tangiers, and ending up with a memorable last dinner at Rick’s Cafe at Casablanca. We would definitely use Travel Exploration again, if we are so fortunate to have the chance to visit Morocco again. Thank you Alecia and Mustapha for such an exotic, interesting and enjoyable holiday!
Travel Exploration Morocco organized a wonderful week-long trip for our 5-person 3-generation group. It was terrific in every way! Our driver was extremely kind, reliable, fun, informative and helpful. Also, he was flexible and could accommodate our occasional “Oh, why don’t we do x!” requests. We had local guides in all the towns and cities to which we travelled. They were knowledgeable and their information and insights added a great deal to our understanding of what we were seeing and its cultural context. The riads in which we stayed could not have been more charming and comfortable and the fact that they were in the medinas made us feel that we were enjoying a “truer” experience than we could have gotten otherwise. It was a fabulous trip all the way around. We’re already talking about what we should do on our next trip to Morocco – of course in the care of Travel Exploration Morocco!
_________________________________________________________________________“Trip Of A Lifetime!”
Alecia planned a magical 17-day trip for my husband, myself and our 20 year old son, which took in both the Fes and Essaouira Musical Festivals. In each place we stayed: Rabat, Fes, Merzouga’s Erg Chebbi Dunes (in tents that had every luxury and comfort you could imagine!), Nkob, Dades Valley, Ouarzazate, Marrakech and Essaouira, the accommodations were extraordinary. All unique and representative of the best of Moroccan culture, design, food, and service. Alecia also took great care in planning each stop as we drove from location to location–one of our favorite being the Berber village of Ait Ouzzine, where we spent time with a warm and welcoming Berber family who cooked us a meal I am still dreaming about. We wanted a trip that would immerse us in Moroccan culture and this was all we could have asked for. Our lovely driver Hossaine (we miss you!!!) who was with us throughout, knew us well, and we often made impromptu stops. For example, at local markets, or tea in a cave with a Nomadic family in Bouthgrar’s Valley of Nomads, or stopped to listen to Gnaoua Trance Music. There was never a dull moment! Our lunches as we travelled, were amazing as well–Hossaine knew these great local places en route–grills on the side of the road which had the most delicious fresh-that-day lamb and tangines. Although each place was where the local people ate, I never had a worry about cleanliness. We remained happy and healthy throughout. Our whole family are real “foodies” and each meal was memorable–Alecia recommended wonderful places in Fes, Marrakech and Essouaria–as well as a food tour in Fes–and my list of great places seems endless! In Rabat, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira, Alecia also arranged for private guides to show us the historical sights: the Mosque of Hassan II, the necropolis and Kasbah at Chellah in Rabat; the Jewish Mellah, Souk and Tannery, and the Bou Inania Medersa in Fes; the Saadian Tombs, Majorelle Gardens and Souk in Marrakech; and the UNESCO World Heritage Mogador(Medina) of Essaouira. Each guide was a historian and very engaging. I was sorry when each tour came to an end! There is so much more I could say–there are wonderful things to purchase if you choose(I did!) such as Rose products in the Valley of Roses and Argan Oil products at a cooperative run by Berber women. Morocco is a wonderful, breath-takingly beautiful, diverse, progressive, hospitable country. There is no question that we are want to return. Bravo, Alecia, for giving us the opportunity to get a feel for the real Morocco which we must return to and get to know even better!!! I must also add, that at this point, our trips have to be amazing for our 20-year old to agree to travel with us. He is pre-med and wants very much to become part of Doctors Without Borders. He’s a great traveler but will only join us on trips that provide immersion into a country’s culture. At no time was there a single complaint–only a desire to return to Morocco to volunteer! Bravo, again, Alecia!
_________________________________________________________________________“Alecia and Kareem were great”
We travelled to Morocco in June with a family group that included my four children ( age 13 through 21) my sister and my parents (age 83). With an ages ranging from 13 to 83 it was a challenging group to plan for but Alecia did a great job designing an itinerary and handling all the complicated,shifting travel details. Throughout the planning process, Alecia never failed to get back to us within the hour, which kept things moving so that we could complete our travel details before all the hotels were booked up. Because of her deep local experience she found us wonderful hotels inspite of the short lead time. It was really a pleasure to work with Alecia in all respects. Although, in the past we have normally travelled independently, Alecia recommended that we hire a national guide to accompany us through out our trip. The guide she selected , Kareem , was a real treasure. In addition to being very knowledgeable, he was very aware of the varied and shifting needs of the group and would adjust our itinerary accordingly on a daily basis. He double checked all of the details to assure that everything went off without a hitch. At the end of the trip he was not just our guide, but our friend, genuinely concerned about our well being. I think that Morocco, especially with Alecia handling all the details, makes a very good exotic family vacation. Only 5 times zones from New York, it is a relatively short trip. The people in Morocco are exceptionally friendly and welcoming. Having previously been to other Islamic countries in north Africa and the Middle East (Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Isreal, Syria, Mali, Niger, Burkina Fasso and Turkey), we think Morocco is possibly the best place in the Arab world for a fun and interesting family vacation. Our itinerary included Marakech, Skoura, lunch with a Berber family, Erg Chebbi desert tent stay, Fes, Volubilis, Meknes , and Rabat. It was a lot of ground to cover in 10 days, the itinerary would have involved less driving if we had left out the Sahara stop, but I think all of our party agreed that the journey to the edge of the Sahara desert was worth it. Thanks to Alecia and Kareem for a wonderful trip.
“Could not have been better!”
When planning a 9 day trip to Morocco, (2 adults and our 19 year old daughter) all we knew was that we wanted to go to Fes, Marrakech and the Sahara. We organised our own time in Fes and Marrakech but contacted Alecia Cohen at Travel Exploration Morocco to help organise an itinerary from Fes, to the Sahara and finish at Marrakech. We used her service for a 4 day and 3 night tour. IT WAS AMAZING for many reasons: 1. Our guide , Mustapha, was wonderful. He was a great driver and could negotiate all the crazy driving around us, so we felt very safe. We were driven in a very comfortable, air conditioned 4WD. Mustapha gave us information on all the local culture and history, he was our interpreter and was flexible about the intinerary . He was there to make our tour as good as it could be and he did it very well. Nothing we requested was ever a problem for Mustapha. He was very proud of Morocco and wanted to share his love for the country with us. 2. The accommodation: The accommodation Alecia organised for us was fantastic. Our own private bivouac in the desert, a beautiful kasbah/riad and another evening in a boutique hotel set into the cliff face of the Dades Valley. 3. The itinerary. Alecia organised an itinerary that showed the contrasting but beautiful Moroccan countryside and this in itself was a highlight. We had a fantastic lunch with a very welcoming Berber family and communicated by a mixture of spanish/Italian/French/english and Berber….there were many laughs!! We drank tea with a Nomad…and it was a fascinating to see how Nomads live…a bit different to Australian suburban life! 4. The Sahara- This was a lifetime highlight, riding by camel over the dunes and watching the sunset………I will never forget this. In Marrakech we asked Alecia to organise 2x 1/2 day tours and this was also very good. One day we went through the souks /Museum of Marrakech and Madrasa Ben Youssef, all in the medina, then the second day went to the Marjorelle Gardens (beautiful and tranquil) and Menora gardens (not as beautiful as the Marjorelle gardens) , Saadian tombs and the Bahia Palace. I can thoroughly recommend Travel Exploration Morocco for a fulfilling Moroccan experience.
_________________________________________________________________________“Customized Tours of Morocco”
We used travel Exploration in July 2012 to develop a customized 12 day itinerary to get a insiders cultural experience of Morocco. In each city we visited, we had local guides who were well versed in the history of each region and exposed us to the indigenous Berber culture. Our experiences ranged from having tea with Berber family to exploring the sights and sounds of the Medinas of Marrakech and Fes to exploring the desert regions near Merzouga and Ouarzazate. Our driver also gave us a lot of insight into the Berber traditions and customs and allowed us the freedom to tweak our itinerary to spend more time at certain sites that captivated our interest. Overall, the team at Travel Explorations was able to provide us a in-depth first rate experience of Morocco that we will always treasure.
My husband and I returned a week ago from a fabulous 9 day tour of Morocco. Alecia Cohen from Travel Exploration planned our itinerary. From the moment we were met at the airport by our driver Ismail, we felt welcomed, comfortable, and cared for. Having a driver took all the stress out of traveling. He was more than a driver, he was a pleasure to be with, a wonderful man, and we will miss him. The itinerary provided a great variety of experiences of the culture, the topography, the history and the beauty of the country. Because of the diversity in Morocco, there’s something for everyone. One of the most memorable experiences was going to the desert, riding the camels on the dunes to the bivouac tent, and watching the sunrise. We loved exploring the medinas, and staying at the riads. The staff at the riads were extremely friendly and helpful. You can stay at a hotel anywhere in the world, but staying at a riad is not to be missed. A few other experiences of special note were the lunch in the home of a Berber family, the exquisite beauty of the Marjarelle Gardens, the guided tour of the fossil factory, and the Kasbah where Hollywood films were made. In short, this was a vacation that will long be remembered. We recommend Travel Exploration Morocco and Alecia without reserve. We return with an abundance of amazing memories and beautiful photos to preserve those memories.
_________________________________________________________________________“8 magical days in Morocco!”
We just returned from 8 magical days where we toured the southern part of Morocco with an insiders prospective organized impeccably by Travel Exploration. The trip was well planned yet fluid and easily adaptable to our needs and desires as they spontaneously arised. On top of all this, the remarkable personal connection we had with our driver made the experience truly exceptional.
We knew all along that Morocco would be a magical place. We just didn’t know how magical it would be! As experienced as we are with booking our own tours and accommodations without travel agents, we also had the good sense to get some expert assistance for our Moroccan adventure. The first question was which one to choose. Our decision to go with Travel Exploration came down to two factors: First, Alecia at Travel Exploration “got” us. She was able to put together the custom itinerary that best reflected our needs and wishes for the kinds of experiences we desired. Through an iterative process, she went the extra mile to understand how we travel and what types of things ring our bell – as opposed to trying to figure out which pre-existing package we should fit into. Second, as a huge bonus to us, her package was easily the most affordable of the ones we had solicited. Every tourist is different so it’s possible that other tour operators will do a better job of meeting the needs of other groups. And other tour operators may be able to squeeze some values into their packages. We got both, so that was good, but the real difference is the quality of our package from the moment we cleared immigration control in Marrakech and started our journey. From arrival to departure, everything was first rate and all transitions were smooth. Our driver, Ibrahim, who greeted us with a clean, comfortable and nicely-outfitted Toyota Prado, was excellent in terms of his service, his professionalism, his driving skills, his negotiating skills. He was our champion throughout the country. Your driver will be the linchpin of your visit. Travel Exploration’s drivers work exclusively for the agency — so they stop when you wish and not to take care of their personal business (such as buying a goat that he puts into the car with you — which is what happened to some friends of ours who didn’t use a tour organizer and chose to hire their driver from their hotel instead). And given some of the roads and heights you may encounter, safety is an important consideration. What’s safe in one culture may not be considered safe in others. As much as we like adventure and embracing the local culture and customs, we don’t want those experiences when it comes to safety choices on the road. We appreciated that Ibrahim was all about safety on our terms. Along the way we also had site-specific guides from time-to-time and each and every one of them would get 5 stars (or circles, for Trip Advisor) if I were to rate them separately. The accommodations (which I am reviewing separately) were top-end — yet not in the way that some top-end accommodations detach you from your locale. These were authentically Moroccan accommodations, usually with a socially- or environmentally-friendly focus that isn’t always easy to stumble upon in Morocco. Throughout our visit, we knew that our tour operator was just a phone call away, in country (although that was simply “peace of mind” that we never needed to call on). I am tempted here to review our itinerary — as it was truly magical for all of us, including my teen daughter who was skeptical of our destination choice. I won’t do that because my itinerary shouldn’t be your itinerary. You should have Alecia figure out what suits the needs of your party and have confidence that you’ll experience Morocco your way, not the way that suited us best. I will add a few items of note to get the most of your experience: the overnight stay in the desert bivouac was a highlight. We arrived late because we chose to spend more time that afternoon with the family of our driver — arguably THE highlight for us. We were supposed to have a sunset camel ride to the bivouac and the sun set as we mounted the camels. A traveler could feel disappointed because the itinerary called for a sunset ride and now we were going to miss out on it. Instead we had a different experience — we had a moonlit ride! And then we had rain — yes, rain — which was spectacular. The morning ride back was exactly as billed and we filled our cameras’ memory cards with those photos. So the lesson here is that (at least with Travel Exploration) you can control your itinerary (within a broad, but reasonable spectrum) and not be a slave to it. And even if you veer off the itinerary to the point where you think you may regret having missed out on something special — be prepared to embrace a different experience that will be equally special. We made several detours and diversions along the way — always with spectacular results because we were not controlled by the itinerary. I would recommend that you contact Travel Exploration BEFORE booking your flights. We didn’t do this. We are American ex-pats living in France so we could have flown into any city in Morocco and departed from a different city without having to pay a premium airfare. In a way, because our flights had been booked, we slapped handcuffs on the tour operators we contacted in terms of our route through the country and in terms of the time-frame to take it all in. This simply means that we’ll be going back to see more of this magical land and we’ll be once again turning to Alecia and Travel Exploration to ensure that the second voyage is every bit as spectacular as our first one was. I would also consider obtaining a short-term supply of Moroccan dhiram (their currency) in advance of your visit or make sure you got some at a bank after leaving the airport. The problem is that you’re bound to get paper money — and I’m convinced that having lots of coins on hand enhances the Moroccan experience. The problem is that the ATMs don’t dispense coins. And outside of the cities both banks and ATMS are difficult to find. The chief reason you want paper money is that tipping is constant (as is token charity — particularly if you photograph people and not just the surprisingly lush Moroccan landscapes and beautiful architecture). There were too many times during the trip that I regretted running out of funds or not having coins to give an appropriate tip — which led to my giving out unreasonably large tips with paper money denominations or not tipping at the time of the service. Our driver helped us out by advancing us some money or just giving out tips on our behalf from the coins he kept in the vehicle — and that was nice but I disliked imposing on him. So I would make it a priority to stop at the first chance after landing in Morocco in order to get funds and then, by prior arrangement (if this is possible — I don’t know), I would request in advance that the driver provide me with a sum (say 500 dhiram) in coins that I’d pay for with the paper money dhiram I would draw from the ATM. (For some tips, like guides, paper money will be appropriate, so you’ll need to withdraw more than 500 dhiram when you stop. The 500 dhiram is specifically for coins.) On a more general note, as ex-pats in France, we have an absurd amount of time to travel with the vast number of French holidays and worker vacation days, and we have been exploiting this opportunity to the fullest for the past five years. Morocco seems to be under-visited (at least within our expanded Anglophone ex-pat community) despite the French history and the ability to communicate in either French or English with nearly everyone as well as its proximity to France. I’m astonished at how few of us ex-pats have made this voyage. For business reasons, we’ve been to other locations in northern Africa, from Cairo to Tunis, and while those destinations might not be practical for family tourism until later, Morocco should be a high-priority destination because it is safe and very hospitable for Americans and other Anglophones. The opportunities to see Arab and Berber culture in the Muslim world are shrinking. This is the place to see it and to take your children to see it. Now is the time.
_________________________________________________________________________“Memorable, marvelous Morocco”
In only a few days, Alecia was able to fill us with the sights, sounds, and history of Morocco. This is a destination not to be overlooked. Staying within the medina filled us with the culture of the area. Our guides, especially Azadin, were top notch. The riads were beautiful and staff couldn’t have been nicer. Our thanks to Alecia and all her staff for making this a memorable stay.
We were two couples traveling together on a 5 day post trip after a trip to Portugal. Thank you Alecia for arranging such a great Moroccan holiday for us! Everything was perfect , our Riads were beautiful and we loved being welcomed with that famous mint tea and Moroccan cookies at each one. Words can not adequately describe our feelings about Jamal, our amazing driver, and our local guides – we LOVED them. From the minute Jamal met us at the airport with his winning smile and calming nature, we knew we were in good hands. He took care of every little detail for us – from making sure we knew what to order in a restaurant , to helping us with currency exchange and ensuring that we bought the proper medicine in a pharmacy. He is very knowledgeable about his country and we enjoyed sharing his love for it. He was such a pleasure to be with, I would go so far as to say, he really made our trip! His driving was impeccable whether in the “crazy” cities or the beautiful country side. The vehicle (equivalent to a Land Cruiser) was perfectly comfortable for the four of us and we enjoyed all of the space. The local guides were fabulous, we enjoyed all of them – they were so knowledgeable, informative and engaging – we learned so much from them all, Zubeeta, Rashida, and Assidine ( forgive my spelling) – Fabulous! All of the stops you planned for us, were perfect – the gardens, the herbalist, the synagogues, the Medinas the Mellahs, the gov’t run craft schools where we witnessed the apprentices learning their craft. the argan co-op, the Hassan II Mosque – there are too many to mention all of them! If I were to say anything negative about the trip, it would be that we were a little ambitious in what we wanted to cover – the long drive from Marrakesh to Fes was a long day in the car, especially after driving to Essaouira the day before, although the drive through the middle atlas mountains was beautiful. Seeing all of the Berber villages was fascinating and the scenery was gorgeous. Of course, the negatives belong to us, as we really wanted to squeeze all of this in and you accommodated us perfectly! If you are considering a trip to Morocco, call Alecia Cohen. We checked the rest and ended up with the best!
“TRAVEL EXPLORATION MOROCCO IS REALLY GREAT!!!”
We just returned from a fantastic 14 day fully guided trip with Travel Exploration Morocco! Alecia took care of the entire planning and kept us busy seeing wonderful sites, towns and acient medinas, with wonderful accomodations. Karem, our guide and driver, taught us so much about the culture, religion and politics in Morocco which made it even more rewarding. Moroccans feel very close to us in the United States and were very warm and friendly, where ever we went. We highly recommend Alecia and her company and staff for a truly exciting trip!
Although only a very short trip, 3 days, we managed to see and learn enough without being overloaded or driving too much. Our driver, Ishmael, was great and on those roads I felt safe at all times. Alecia’s assistance was just what we needed and our trip took into account of individual requirements. I would recommend Travel Exploration and will use them next time when we have much longer to explore.
“Fantastic and memorable holiday”
My husband and I have just returned from a truly wonderful 9 day holiday to Morocco that was organised and designed by Alecia Cohen from Travel Exploration Morocco. From the moment I first enquired to the completion of the holiday, the service and assistance we received were exemplary. This was our first time to Morocco and having now been we most definitely wish to return. Our driver Rostom Badrane was wonderful and contibuted greatly to us having a marvellous holiday. Not only was his driving fantastic but his suggestions and recommendations were first class and he had clearly identified quickly where our interests were. Many thanks to Rostom for being so generous with his information and ideas that enhanced our trip greatly. We were welcomed everywhere we went and have learnt so much about the country, its history and culture thanks to the wonderful guides employed by Alecia. A special mention must go to Azzardine our guide in Fes, who showed us so much and who is a wonderful ambassador for both his home and his religion. We felt as if we were leaving a dear friend at the end of the day.We have travelled the world extensively and have never used an agency before so it was with some trepidation that we did so on this occasion. Having done so there is no doubt that we could not have achieved such a diverse and marvellous trip if we had organised it ourselve and so I would highly recommend Travel Exploration Morocco for anyone planning to visit this extraordinary country. Thank you once again Alecia and all your staff.
My mother, sister and I traveled throughout Morocco for 7 days and had the most unbelievable experience thanks to Alecia and Travel Exploration Morocco. She was able to create a personalized tour for us where we visited Rabat, Meknes, Fes and Marrakesh. Our driver Ishmael and tour guides in each city were kind, knowledgeable and took us to the hidden gems in each city. We especially loved our tour guide in Fes, his name was Hakeem. He was born and raised in Fes and had so much pride, love and knowledge of his city/country. There were so many highlights on our trip but if I had to narrow it down, I would say visiting Fes and the Atlas Mountains outside Marrakesh were our favorites. Although we traveled a lot in the short time we were there it was totally worth it and didn’t feel extremely rushed. My only suggestion would be to maybe go for 8 -10 days instead of 7. Alecia was extremely helpful and always available, we ran into so flight issues which caused us to tweak our tour. Overall Travel Exploration Morocco provided us with a true authentic Moroccan adventure and the trip of a lifetime. I would definitely use this company again and hope to visit Morocco in the near future.
My husband and I have traveled extensively to far-flung places and have always done all of the planning ourselves. That said, we were thrilled that we used Alecia’s company, Travel Exploration Morocco to plan our 12 day trip this past April, 2013. Doing so made our trip that much more extraordinary. Here is why: Alecia hires driver guides who are articulate in multiple languages, incredibly knowledgeable and totally tuned to their clients’ needs. Our driver, Moustafa, has a vast knowledge of his country and its cultural heritage, all of which he was delighted to share with us. He is a great driver, has a wonderful sense of humor, and a terrific CD collection! We spent our 12 days blissfully relaxed as we drove to and from the desert, the Dades Gorges, in and around Fes, Marrakech and Essouara. And throughout our drives, as we were seeing the gorgeous vistas, we were happily learning about Morocco and the Berber culture from Moustafa. At each destination, Travel Exploration Morocco provided absolutely top-notch guides who are multi-lingual. Each of our guides were totally tuned into our interests and happily answered our many questions. Alecia’s itinerary was specifically tailored to our interests, time frame, and budget. During the planning process, she responded promptly to all of our emails. Alecia’s choice of riads were perfect and was yet another example of her attentiveness to our requests. Her welcoming email packet with helpful hints and restaurant recommendations was just one example of Alecia’s all-encompassing professionalism. Alecia and the people who work with her are passionate about Morocco and it shows. It is clear to us that booking a vacation with Alecia Cohen’s Travel Exploration Morocco will ensure a carefree, enjoyable trip to this beautiful and most-welcoming country.
We spent 13 days traveling throughout the country, and were very pleased with Alecia Cohen’s attentiveness, knowledge of the country, and accessibility. She was always available to help us tweak our tour. And our driver, Tahar, was a sweetheart and wonderful company throughout. The highlight of our trip was the bivouac in the desert — definitely a must for any visit to the country.
“Quick in organizing and proposing a journey”
Reviewed April 30, 2013
It was a plasure to wok with Alecia and they provided us, 43 MBA students, with a great service and organisation, we will repeat next year for sure.
Alecia with Travel Exploration arranged our 5 day, 4 night April trip to Morocco for myself and my two daughters (20 and 22 years old). I was very impressed with her commitment to customer service and satisfaction. I provided Alecia with a list of the items that were important to us and she planned our trip from there. She also provided our driver with notes on what we were interested in seeing or purchasing so he could plan the best places to stop. As well as putting together a great itinerary, she was very quick to answer my many questions about Morocco. Brahim, our driver and guide, is a very nice young man. He enthusiastically answered all questions about his country and life in Morocco. We enjoyed watching Brahim interact with people everywhere we stopped. What warm, affectionate, fun loving people. His choices for places to stop for meals, refreshments, rest breaks were great. My daughters and I felt very pampered and spoiled by the level of accommodation proved by Alecia. The rooms were absolutely beautiful, service outstanding, and food amazing. One activity that Alecia arranged was lunch in a village with a Berber family. This was my daughters’ favorite activity in Morocco. Very few of the family we joined for lunch spoke English, but words were not necessary to communicate the warmth and friendliness of the family. Alecia provided local guides for the night in the desert as well as historical sites visited. All of whom were a wealth of information. I highly recommend Alecia’s services if you are considering a trip to Morocco. There is no way we could have experienced as much of this country without her assistance. We really appreciated letting Alecia know what type of trip we were looking for and having her provide the itinerary. She gave us the best possible trip in the short time we had. If and when I go back to Morocco, I will definitely be booking through Alecia again.
Visited April 2013
“ Top End Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour” A group of us decided to take a Casablanca Jewish Heritage tour during our port stop in Casablanca for the day. Our group of Belgian, British, American and other foreigners were debating whether we should take the budget tour offered by the cruise ship or try a private tour operator. I discovered Travel Exploration’s Jewish Heritage tour online and was impressed with it. We took a leap of faith with Travel Exploration and could not have been happier. Delivered was a top notch Jewish Heritage tour mixed with the history and sites of Casablanca along with a proficient, excellent English fluent speaking driver / guide. Our guide was not only clearly from Casablanca but also knowledgeable about the city’s wealth of Jewish history. Our visit not only included sites such as Temple Beth-El and the Museum of Moroccan Judaism but also lunch at Rick’s Cafe. We appreciated being able to experience Casablanca’s Jewish culture while also seeing other sites such as the Hassan II Mosque and Habous market. I highly recommend Travel Exploration. We are already planning our visit for 2013 to take their Morocco Discovery tour.
– CLAIRE MARC GROUP – (BRUSSELS, BELGUIM) CASABALNCA JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR – MAY 2012
“Excellent Service” We just return from a 6-day Sahara Desert Region trip in Morocco. We usually make all of our travel arrangements by ourselves without the help of a travel agency but since Morocco is so different than Europe and South America, we decided to use a travel agent to help us organize our tour. Thru the internet we found Travel Exploration and we decided to us them based on the excellent reviews that this company had. Well, all the reviews were on target as we had a memorable experience thanks to Alecia (owner of travel explorations). Alecia arrange for us the Riads (hotels), Car, Tours in the cities, a driver and the Sahara excursion. All the riads that she reserve for us were excellent, comfortable and beautiful, Moroccan style which was exactly what we wanted. I only stay in 4 to 5 stars hotels as I like comfort and clean hotels. Travel Exploration also booked a tour for us to spend one night in the Sahara Desert under tents but the tour that Alecia reserve for us was a 5 star tent tour. We slept inside tents that had nice clean beds, the campament also had a bathroom, and a camp fire during the night, great Moroccan meal, all of it was excellent. Then we also hired a private driver thru Alecia, Hossaine, to drive us around Morocco and we were picked up in a new Toyota Land Cruiser, with air condition and the driver is one of the nicest person I have ever met, he was energetic, easy going, honest and very respectful, he did everything within his powers to make sure we were happy. We will never forget Hossaine. Thanks to Travel Exploration we were able to enjoy Morocco at its best. I have travel extensively thru Europe, Asia and South America and Morocco is a country that is necessary to contact a reputable travel agent to arrange for the hotels, car, driver, excursions, etc, as it is a very distinctive culture and there are not many good riads(hotels) nor restaurants outside the main cities of Marrakesh and Fes and not all the roads have pavement. Also, not many speak English or Spanish. So it is essential to go around the country with someone that knows the roads, the culture, the riads, etc. Thank you Alecia for all your patience with us and for all the great things you did for us. Thanks to you our trip was a success and we will never forget your agency.
– ALINE JIDY GROUP – (MIAMI FLORIDA) MOROCCO’S GREAT SOUTH – MAY 2012
“Casablanca to Marrakech, life changing experience.” Morocco is the most diverse country side from camel riding and camping in the Sahara desert, the mind blowing medina of Fes, Moroccan Switzerland in Ifrane, Moroccan Hollywood in Ouzarzazate, the beautiful seaside and quad bike riding in Essaouira and the hectic and exciting sites of Marrakech. This private tour was the best experience of our lives. The Riads we were given were luxurious and romantic and not costly for a young just married couple. Our tour guide made our experience hassel free and so much fun and the Organiser and owner of the tour company Catered to our every need. This is a must do experience. There is no better way to see this beautiful country. We just wish we had more time to continue the journey.
– DANNII BERKO – (AUSTRALIA) IMPERIAL CITIES & SEASIDE MOROCCO – APRIL 2012
Best Private Tour I have Ever Taken. Travel Exploration Morocco Knows Their Stuff! From the first time I read Travel Exploration’s Just for Women program I knew the tour was for me. I wanted to take a grand tour of Morocco with my friends for a reasonable price yet have a bit of luxury. After several email correspondences with Alecia whereby she provided prompt answers and options we made a decision and were off to Morocco. Upon our arrival we were greeted in Casablanca with a beautiful welcome package and a friendly driver who spoke perfect English. He remained our confidant for the entire tour. Our tour took us through Morocco’s Imperial Cities and thanks to choosing a tour operator who clearly knows their stuff we had an authentic experience visiting a Berber village. We baked bread in the Saghro mountains and had our hands beautifully hennaed. We absolutely loved the charming bivouac in the Sahara and the well appointed camel trek that took us on a route pass Nomads in the Sahara’s dunes. All of the historical guides were extremely knowledgeable and patient with our penchant for asking questions about Morocco’s Jewish Heritage and the culture of women.
All of the Riads Alecia choose for our group were spot on with our taste and to our surprise perfectly located. We had heard about how difficult it can be to navigate some of Morocco’s old cities and were so happy that we were well taken care of and got to stay in prime locations. Most memorable are Riad Myra in Fes, an incredible restored palace and Le Jardin De Medina in Marrakech. Since we were traveling with a group of women having the right traditional Moroccan Hammam experience and dining out was important. I cannot speak highly enough about the kind of service this travel agency provides and I recommend using them. I wish they would expand so I could use them for my next overseas adventure. It’s the first time I went on a group tour that was organized and where a genuine effort was made to not just make us feel like another tourist. Simply incredible experience!
– KRISTIN L – (NEW YORK, NY) JUST FOR WOMEN TOUR – MARCH 2012
Despite the short time available (I was in a cruise trip to the Mediterranean), the One-Day tour to Casablanca organized by Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tours was absolutely amazing!! The places we visited were fantastic, the restaurant where we had a wonderful tagine and also the tradition and delicious couscous, was a unique experience. And, of course, the driver/guide was superb. He was very thoughtful, attentive and explained very well and very comprehensible all the history behind the places he led us to visit.??In short, it was a very impressive experience which we intend to repeat with Travel Exploration when we have the chance to get back to Morocco to visit other wonderful places like, Fes, Rabat, Marrakesh, etc.??Special thanks to Alecia Cohen, for her kindness and attention!!
– EDUARDO SOUZA – (BRAZIL) CASABLANCA ONE-DAY TOUR – FEBRUARY 2012
I knew from the moment that Alecia Cohen answered my first email inquiry that we would be listened to and cared for… and she delivered. My husband and I could take just a week away form work and knew that we would only be able to sample the treasures of Morocco. Alicia gave us excellent choices, and knowing that we liked to pack things in, we did. We were met at the airport in Marrakech by both our wonderful driver, Hossaine Amiri and also our delightful and erudite Marrakesh guide, Abdullah Rahmane. Marrakech can be chaotic and confusing, but we felt looked after the entire time. (We did become quite lost one night on our own…but they had carefully given us the bearings to find our way home…. and we did even in the dark, dark medina! ) Abdullah gave us a really good introduction to the complex history, politics and treasures of Morocco. Without that, the trip would still have been fun, but far less meaningful. He really knows his stuff!
We stayed at the wonderful Riad Palais Sebban in the medina. It was beautiful, mysterious and maze like. Our suite was stunning, and while located overlooking the pool and courtyard, we felt the tremendous luxury of quiet and space in gorgeous surroundings. We managed several trips into Berber country in the High Atlas. In the first place, we had a lovely fellow, Jamal, take us up to the waterfalls. It is high and the air thin, but he was very patient. If I had known how rugged it was, I would have worn boots…but i had, cleverly, removed them from my suitcase. Not to worry, Jamal practically carried me several times to keep my feet dry. What a gentleman. My husband and I were impressed by the dignity and pride displayed by the Berber people. We were welcomed into a home for tea and a treat..and even got to spend a bit of time with the family donkey and cow. The next day we headed to Imlil, stopping along the way at Richard Branson’s place. Over the top to be sure, and what a setting!
In Imlil, we again went climbing with another great young man- a new father, and very kind and loved his stories about life in the mountains. It isn’t easy!…but they seem genuinely happy. It was , again, a wonderful, stark, and dramatic landscape made special by the people. One special thing to note: somehow they all knew of my interest in plants and went out of their way to tell me about the herbs and flowers (lovely early spring!) and to point out interesting trees and how they are used. They also knew of Richard’s interest in architecture- and took us to many significant spots, particularly in Marrakesh.??My overall impression is that while were felt cared for and all the details were very smooth and organized, it was done out of a genuine desire to make us happy while sharing with us the treasures that are the people, places and sensory delights of their homeland.??
Can’t wait to go again..and explore farther with Travel Exploration.
– MR. RICHARD & MRS. ALICE FARLEY – (PHILADELPHIA, PA) MARRAKECH REGIONAL EXPLORATION OF ART, ARCHITECTURE & NATURE – FEBRUARY 2012
Filming With Travel Exploration was top-notch. We filmed part of our television series about Moroccan cooking with the help of Travel Exploration and were extremely impressed by their professionalism and helpfulness. The whole experience, from their help with research to their assistance on the ground during filming, was flawless. ??We have nothing but good things to say about Travel Exploration. Responsible, intelligent, enlightening and sympathetic, both towards it’s customers and the local communities which it so imaginatively engages. Whilst the landscape and culture they introduced us to were truly mesmerising, it was the personal touches and the warmth of welcome that enchanted us all. This is a company that really cares. How utterly refreshing!
– ALAISTER BLANE – (LONDON, UK) SWEET PRODUCTIONS / BRITISH FOOD NETWORK– FEBRUARY 2012
A real gem of a tour group… I wish more existed like this! Alecia and her team made our Morocco honeymoon a wonderful experience with a real personal touch. Alecia is amazing and it was hard to imagine organising a whole trip by email but she does it well. She is very organised and replies quickly plus makes sure you stay in the nicest and safest possible places. Plus she was always available to make sure every part of your trip went well. Thank you! We definitely would recommend this tour group to others!
– MR. & MRS. STEVE GOOD – (LONDON, UK) SAHARA DESERT SAFARI HONEYMOON TOUR– JANUARY 2012
Couldn’t Imagine doing it better! With some trepidation, as Morocco was a complete unknown to us, (and, as well, we had never used a travel service before), I booked a 12-day tour for our family of three. It could not have turned out better. Aside from the tour itself being exactly right for us, the hotels were gorgeous and their staffs very hospitable. The Riad Myra in Fes and Palais Sabban in Marrakesh were particularly charming. Additionally, even before our tour began, Alecia Cohen, the owner of Travel Exploration, had arranged for a driver meet us at the airport and found us a hotel in Casablanca so we could have a day or so to recuperate before beginning the tour. This was quite a blessing as we had been travelling for over 36 hours straight and our flight to Casablanca delayed for a couple of hours as well, so we were pretty well shot by the time we landed. The driver Redwan had waited anyway and efficiently and cheerfully chauffeured us through amazing Casa rush hour traffic to our hotel. ?Throughout the actual 12-day tour, our driver for that period, Hossaine, was excellent company. He was completely accessible as far as answering questions regarding Moroccan customs, religion, and culture, and finally, was a very skilled driver to boot. Alecia was also extremely solicitous and checked in with us frequently throughout the trip. And finally, the guides she selected for us were enthusiastic, fluent in English, and each seemed to have an encyclopedic knowledge of their country and culture, as well as having a sense of humor. In Fes we were lucky to be accompanied by Aazdine, in Volubilis by Abdelhai, and in Meknes by Abdulatif. ?So, unless you are already familiar with Morocco and its culture, it would be well worth your time and money to travel with Travel Exploration personnel and rely on their expertise.
– THE GARY FAMILY – (SANTA BARBARA, CA) MAJESTIC MOROCCO 12-DAY IMPERIAL CITIES & SAHARA TOUR– JANUARY 2012
Despite I am Moroccan and have been to Southern Morocco many times; this time, with Travel Exploration Morocco, I felt like it was the first time. Me and my friends got the most perfect program one could have to discover the beauty of this region of Morocco.? But hey! This doesn’t have to do with simple planning/booking, this has to do with dedication and full attention we had, either when planning with Travel Exploration Morocco the program or during the trip. ?Alecia was vey touching with her caring attention and professionalism, answering each email within the next 2 hours and informing us of each detail, going further beyond our expectations. She also supported us in choosing an accommodation in Marrakesh, earlier to our desert program. Management took over during the trip and was calling twice daily to check we are satisfied with the program and services. Our lunch with his family in Amazigh village got me have tears in the eyes, with the touching and loving manners I got from them and the best couscous I tasted. God bless them all.?Moustafa, our driver, was very caring, while being very pofessional, he genuinly shared with us his love for the region and exciting stories of its history (for instance, the kasbahs history and organisation mode). Morocco is the world concentration of Amazigh, Muslim, Jewish and Nomad cultures together, beautifully preserved and respected by everyone. In our Sahara Desert tour program, we got the chance to discover this, along with the richest natural composition, including valleys, mountains, cuts, oasis and desert.
– ILHAM L – (CASABLANCA, MOROCCO) SAHARA DESERT NEW YEARS SAFARI– JANUARY 2012
Breath taking experience that will have your appreciate many little things in life! I visited the Marrakech’sfamous sites and enjoyed taking pictures of the art galleries and architecture. Nothing can match the experience of walking through the souks and window- shopping looking onto the fine craftsmanship created by the Moroccan people.
The Travel Exploration tour guide, Rachid, was very helpful and experienced. My day trip to the Ourika Valleywas AMAZING. My driver and host Hossaine was just magnificent as was the hiking guide. I simply loved the whole Ourika Valley experience as I am really into Mother Nature.
Overall, I loved the whole Marrakech regional visit and would definitely make the trip again. I recommend anyone to book with Travel Exploration Private Tours simply to avoid the big tour crowds of people which many times takes away from what you want to do and the timings of it. This agency also has an art for choosing Riads as they booked me into a restored palace where I received an amazing Spa treatment. I just can’t say enough about the service and experience. I am very glad I made the choice to visit Marrakech. Thank you Travel Exploration Team!!
– JUNIOR – (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) MARRAKECH REGION TRIP– DECEMBER 2011
We had an excellent time on our Casablanca Jewish Heritage tour. The organization from our arrival by cruiseship at the Port with your designated historical guide Bush-I was perfect and fit our schedule. Thank you and Travel Exploration for making these special arrangements to accommodate our interests in Jewish heritage sites.
– IRWIN HARRIS – (AUSTIN, TEXAS) CASABLANCA JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR – DECEMBER 2011
Thank you Alecia once again for making me look so good. Just returned home from a tour organized and hosted by Alecia Cohen! She hit a home run once again. This time I had New York Times, best selling author, Caroline Myss and 60 adult students. Each day was perfection to say the least. Thank you Alecia once again for making me look so good!
Alecia Cohen produces first class programs and tours and there’s no one who I trust more when it comes to ensuring that all aspects of an event are handled in the most efficient way possible. Alecia`s accessibility, accountability and dedication to the needs of the attendees/guests are her cornerstones. Upholding the importance of relationships with others above all else, her ability to create trust and community is unparalleled. I would jump at the opportunity to take part in any experience Alecia creates!
– DAVID SMITH – SMITH EVENTS (CHICAGO, IL) – 11 DAY/ 11 NIGHT SACRED SPACES OF MOROCCO TOUR – OCTOBER 2011
“Wonderful exposure to Morocco’s finest.” Alecia Cohen and Hossaine Amiri were fantastic ambassadors to the wonderful world of Morocco. I traveled on a tour hosted by Caroline Myss, so the focus was on “Sacred Spaces.” There were 47 of us, but it felt like the tour was made just for me. On logistical aspects: hotels were well situated and comfortable; buses new and drivers experienced and friendly. On experiential perspective: wonderful guides arranged (both national and local) enjoyed discourse on historical and social information about their heritage and country. They also enjoyed conversation about their families and their lives as they dined with us throughout the tour – giving us the feeling of a true personal experience in Morocco. The tour offered traditional sites, but was sprinkled with experiences off the beaten path or expectations. Alecia and Hossaine constantly added energy and personal touches as they remembered each guest by name and accommodated personal requests without skipping a beat for the interest of the tour as a whole. I truly feel as though I’ve got friends in Morocco and will always have a tether to the spirit of Morocco through what Travel Exploration exposed to me through their graciousness. I don’t typically travel in large, arranged tours, but this was defiantly a highlight experience.
TILLY – (ATLANTA, GEORGIA) CAROLINE MYSS – SACRED SPACES OF MOROCCO – OCTOBER 201
It would be hard to imagine a tour so beautifully organized. Hotels, drivers, tour guides, museums, meals and shopping expeditions were all excellent. I saw numerous examples of Alecia very competently handling the many issues and needs that unexpectedly come up with a large tour. I had one of these issues myself as my baggage got damaged in flight and she provided me with a new one. Her love for Morocco and its people is evident in her rapport with her “team”. I especially appreciated her choices of women cooperatives and speakers both to see and hear that Moroccan women are respected and happy. Each day was a new adventure and the whole experience is now a warm memory – as warm as the people and the weather of this lovely country. Thank you Alecia, for putting your heart in what you do!
– MARILYN – (EURIKA, CALIFORNIA) – 11 DAY/ 11 NIGHT SACRED SPACES OF MOROCCO TOUR – OCTOBER 2011
Thanks Travel Exploration for “A Magical, Mystical, Mesmerizing, Memorable 5 Star Adventure.” Travel Exploration is no ordinary company. The journey across Morocco’s Imperial Cities will remain for me wonderful memories to treasure. Our tour included very knowledgeable and experienced, warm and friendly guides whose love and reverence for this country was evident and just, what a rich and warm, mystical, magical country Morocco is. The best part of all for us was knowing we were completely taken of by Travel Exploration’s Owner Alecia Cohen and Director of Transport, Hossaine Amiri, who carefully hand selected every hotel, restaurant, Shopping tour, sightseeing location and every detail in our itinerary just the way we wanted, in fact far exceeding what we could have hoped would be a best case scenario. Travel Exploration has first hand knowledge of every unique and treasured nook and cranny of one ancient city after another. This tour was an intimate, colorful and majestic crossing through Morocco. This company really has perfected their offerings, hand crafting the perfect experience you want from travel and exploration.
– JUDITH LAILOR – (NEW YORK) SACRED SPACES OF MOROCCO WITH CAROLINE MYSS – OCTOBER 2011
My immediate reaction to touring Morocco was to the kindness and friendliness of the Moroccan people and expertise of Travel Exploration. The people, rich or poor exuded a type of warmth that is not often experienced in the West so spontaneously. Spending four nights in Fes gave me the opportunity to hear the Islamic chanting of the Muezzin call at 5am each day. I began to look forward to it each morning before sunrise and even felt comforted by it. This is rather unusual reaction to Islam for a person from the West, you might think. My strongest intellectual reaction came from being “tutored” by one Travel Exploration’s Historical Guides who in particular was so knowledgeable and articulate he caught my attention. Travel Exploration’s guides offer a complete historical aspect with an in depth explanation of each city / region along with a human narrative that gives reverence and meaning to the country. The soul of the people came alive to me!It occurred to me a few days before the end of the Sacred Spaces, Caroline Myss tour that I had been “rubbing shoulders” with Islam all these days. I thought about how people from my country would benefit traveling in Morocco as for me, I will be forever changed.
– ALCIE EICHORN – (CITY HERE) SACRED SPACES OF MOROCCO WITH CAROLINE MYSS – OCTOBER 2011
We recently returned from 2 weeks in Morocco on our honeymoon booked through Travel Exploration Morocco. I cannot tell you what a fantastic trip they put together…starting in Marrakech, traveling to Ourzazate, Erfoud, Merzouga, Ait Ouzzine, Tarodaunt…and winding up in Essaouira on the coast for a few relaxing days at the end. Alecia Cohen and her team are incredibly knowledgeable and as accommodating as anyone could ever be, and all of the Riads and historical guides they arranged for us throughout our stay were superb. And such great people! We highly recommend a trip with them. Thanks for creating “The Perfect Honeymoon” just for us!
– BILL GOABLE & DENISE SPAMINATO – (LOS ANGELES, CA) MARRAKECH & SOUTHERN MOROCCO REGIONAL TOUR – SEPTEMBER 2011
Thank you Travel Exploration for an “Experience of a Lifetime.” I want to thank you for creating this memorable, magical 4 Day-Sahara Desert Tour for my family and me. Our driver/guide, Tahar, became more like a family member than just a guide. The trip was perfect in every way! We were very well taken care of. The accommondations, sights along the way, the local food, and visiting a family in a local Berber village for lunch, was one of the highlights. The family was so welcoming, warm and loving. The couscous that they prepared was delicious! The experience of the camel trek was fabulous. We were very comfortable and enjoyed every minute of it! Watching the sunrise over the desert was an experience of a lifetime. I highly recommend Alecia Cohen and Travel Exploration Morocco.
– JOAN C – (CUPERTINO, CA) SAHARA DESERT REGIONAL TOUR – SEPTEMBER 2011
Dear Travel Exploration,
Thank you for organizing our Imperial City and Sahara Desert trip. Our experience in Morocco could not have been better and the services your agency provided were perfect! Our driver was super nice and took excellent care of us. All of the siteseeng was amazing and we really liked eating at some of Morocco’s best restaurants. Le Comptoir in Marrakech was the best meal we had during our trip. Our favorite place was the Cascades D’Ouzoud Waterfalls. The cities we liked most were Marrakech and Fes. Riad Palais Sebban was a stand out as was Dar Chamaa.
– RODRIGO HIRSCH & FRIENDS – (BRAZIL) IMPERIAL CITIES & SAHARA DESERT TOUR – AUGUST 2011
The Casablanca one-day tour with our group of 10 people was excellent as expected. Your expert guide Mohammed seems to know everyone in Casablanca. You are the only one I will call for any future one-day trips because you are so reliable.
– ROGER BABICK – MASTER PROVISIONS (KENTUCKY) CASBLANCA TOUR – JUNE 2011
I spent 10 days in Morocco in May for a trip of a lifetime. I’ve been to over 45 countries in my twenty years of travel and have avoided organized tours. However something called me to take a chance and I’m so glad I did. A perfect hostess and Direcotr, Alecia Cohen chose incredibly beautiful and comfortable riads, amazing restaurants — both the food and the atmosphere — and sites selected were top notch. The side excursions made the trip all the more special and I could tell how much the agency understood that getting of the beaten path is paramount to a “life-changing” type of trip. The agency’s and guides personal connection with locals everywhere was icing on the cake. These are the memories I always hold closest to my heart – genuine experiences and hospitality like nowhere else. I couldn’t recommend more Alecia Cohen or Travel Exploration highly. Whatever you do…don’t visit Morocco without Travel Exploration.
– SHANA DRESSLER – (BROOKYLYN, NEW YORK) SAHARA DESERT REGION TRIP – MAY 2011
Alecia heads up an excellent company, Travel Exploration Morocco. They provide an authentic experience including off-the-beaten track destinations filled with cultural allure.
– IRIS BROOKS – (NEW YORK) SAHARA DESERT REGION TRIP – MAY 2011
Thank you and Travel Exploration Morocco for such an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime, National Geographic vacation. Words cannot express how special this trip was. I would rate the overall tour experience with Travel Exploration Morocco a perfect 10, “Blue Ribbon.” All of our tour guides were brilliant historians, our driver, Tahar, was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and the riads were so perfectly charming and intimate. The Sahara Desert, without a doubt, will remain the strongest memory of them all. Camel trekking through the desert and sleeping in a bivouac tent goes down as one of the coolest things I’ve been fortunate enough to do in my life. I’m sad I only had 12 days. I’m already excited about the next trip I plan to take to Morocco. I’ll definitely come to you to plan it for me in the future.
– DANIELLA CIOCCA (NEW YORK CITY) MAJESTIC MOROCCO 12-DAY TOUR – MAY 2011
The Morocco Tour that I attended in your special group was the best-organized tour that I’ve ever taken. The wedding was the most unique, extravagant and memorable affair I’ve ever witnessed. I loved every day of the tour-especially passing through such breathtaking terrain and diverse regions of Morocco. The highlights for me were the Sahara Desert experience, the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, visiting Berber nomads and the tour of the Jewish quarter in Fes. Every day brought unparalleled sights, sounds, smells and tastes and awe of all the architectural marvels and works of great artisan-ship in Morocco. Our driver Tahar was so much more than just our driver. He became a friend whose warmth, kindness, knowledge and accommodating nature made our trip effortless and pleasurable every step of the way. The Riads you chose for our tour were incredible with the Riad in Fes being the most majestic and authentic. I felt like a Moroccan royal. What a treat.
– ANNA STROUT (NEW YORK CITY) MAJESTIC MOROCCO 12-DAY TOUR – MAY 2011
I’m still talking about the opportunity you offered as an American to attend your magnificent Berber, Moroccan wedding ceremony to my friends on my Sahara Desert region tour. Thank you again for the hospitality. Your Moroccan family friends are great people. My overall experience in Morocco was quite positive. The vast plateaus, deep valleys in the Draa Valley and canyons were simply wonderful. The mountaintops eroded by the wind and rain, the continuous change in trees and plants, the palms plantations, the food, particularly the fresh vegetables and the sophisticated different spices, the road side animals- the donkeys and the dromedaries are truly memorable.
The Berber villages and their different arts and traditions, including the music, the costumes, hand woven carpets, henna tattoos on the hands and feet along with jewelry were breathtaking stopping points.
Certainly the Berber architecture of the High Atlas- the building of dry stone or earth and the seaside town of Essaouira along with the shopping in Marrakech came in top on my list.
I enjoyed spending a night under the stars with an almost full moon in the Sahara Desert. My driver was excellent and I appreciate Travel Exploration’s no smoking policy. His driving very prudent and never over the speeding limit.
Thank you for everything,
– SERGIO GINALDI (ITALY) SAHARA DESERT REGION TOUR – MAY 2011
Our trip was wonderful, especially traveling through the Berber country in Southern Morocco and its villages. The sandstorm in the Merzouga Sahara desert was certainly an interesting addition to the sunset camel trek. We definitely got our money’s worth out of the blue turban headwear you presented as a gift!
The people in Morocco are so wonderful, and it is a very special addition to the tour that
Travel Exploration arranges whereby travelers have lunch with a Berber family between Merzouga and Ouarzazate.
The three day Sahara tour was the most memorable of our trip.
Thank you again for everything. W had a wonderful time and would most certainly recommend your services to many others!
– DAVE THOMPSON & AMY PAWLE (OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA) SAHARA DESERT REGION TOUR – APRIL 2011
We loved our trip! Just wanted to let you know that we really had a great time on your Merzouga Sahara Desert Regional tour. Our driver and guide Youssef was fabulous. I think we really lucked out with the weather. I’ve been camping a great deal, particularly in Sierra, Nevada and I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many stars as I did the night we spend in the Erg Chebbi Dunes in Merzouga.
Thanks very much for the extra efforts with the vegetarian food. I was taken care of at every meal.
All of the places we stayed were very good and had their own unique charm.
– MATT HABER & JANE DIAMOND (OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA) SAHARA DESERT REGION TOUR – APRIL 2011
I am writing to you from under the palms by the pool in Ourazazate at our Riad, where we have spent the entire day relaxing and napping. Our new friend here Hamid has been awaiting and meeting our every need and perceived desire. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy we are with Travel Exploration, and our driver Houssain Amiri along with and everyone here in morocco.
This experience is a once in a lifetime! I continue to think of different trips I could offer my group and other ways in which I could promote you and Travel Exploration.
I truly would like to have more people experience this amazing country, in the way that Travel Exploration’s itinerary, historical guides and your driver has shared it with us.
When I first began to talk with you regarding possibly using your company, I liked you right away. As I learn more about you during the trip, I am ever more impressed with your talents and the love in your heart for the people here. I hope we will have a long relationship.
Just a short thank you note to you today, to boost your spirits while we are on tour!
– LINDA BELLENGI (NORTH CAROLINA) IMPERIAL CITY, SAHARA DESERT & SEASIDE TOUR – MARCH 2011
I want to thank you for booking an amazing one-day Casablanca Tour and Rabat Tour. Our tour guide, Abdulhak went above and beyond any expectations we had. My family and myself are very delighted with the Moroccan experience!
– ESMERALDA ESCARENO RABAT ONE-DAY TOUR – MARCH 2011
I enjoyed my Sahara tour specifically the camel trek. However spending time in the Berber Village of Ait Ouzzine with a traditional Moroccan family was the highlight. I enjoyed the experience of seeing how a village works, learning how to make a tajine, and eating couscous with them. I will remember this for a very long time.
My friend and I felt safe traveling in Morocco and found the people helpful and relaxed. The accommodations and food arranged for us by Travel Exploration were simply great.
– JUDITH DE WAARDT & FRIEND (NETHERLANDS) SAHARA DESERT REGION TOUR – MARCH 2011
To say we had “a” highlight of our Morocco vacation does not do justice to the great time we had everywhere. Travel Exploration’s “on the ground” knowledge of the country highlighted the differences between North and South and gave us a very good idea of the history, art and culture of Morocco. Our Morocco trip was “perfect” and I could have never done it on my own.
Morocco is a country that makes it easy to forget things “back home” and live in a dream world of history, romance and intrigue. The architecture, the clothing and traditions lend themselves to this. We loved the Riads, the traditional décor and could have stayed much longer. The landscapes outside the cities, the rolling hills and earth toned colored villages were a beautiful contrast to Morocco’s palmeries. It is an agriculturally rich country. Fresh, locally grown, produce such as tomatoes and olives along with figs and prunes surrounded us, which we never eat at home.
The artisan visits in Fes were definitely a wonderful experience. We also loved our stay in Zagora where we visited the market, arranged for a bike trip and a walking tour through the Palmary. There were so many more great experiences like lunch at Chez Jacob and the Bivouac on the edge of the M’hamid Sahara Desert. Fes was our favorite city. We love that it has been able to maintain originality and tradition while making it easy and comfortable to access. The fact that we could view the city from the rooftop of our Riad in the middle of the medina at sunset and see the lights of the city on the hills surrounding us was amazing. The ability to get around the whole city and the highlights of the medina was greatly enhanced by Hossaine Amiri, our driver and the convenience of being in a 4×4.
Our historical guide Asdine in Fez was very informative and we wish we had the “cliff notes” of the story behind Fez and it’s people. Our accommodations were really good. Staff was cordial and friendly, especially the young kids at Riad Dar Chamaa. Our favorite Riad was Riad La Roussa in Fez that boasts tasteful Morocco interiors, narrow stairs, secret hallways and a beautiful center garden. In a country where the food is not that diverse, their kitchen is a focus and the meals there were great. They even invited us to go shopping at the souk market for dinner, which is a must! We really liked the “African” influence of Riad Lamane in Zagora on our way to the Sahara Desert. We were particularly happy with the bivouac in M’hamid. He gave us a tour of his village and the ecological aspects of what they are doing to preserve the desert. The service was simply great everywhere. We really enjoyed our time with driver and Hossaine Amiri. We particularly liked the fact that our historical guides were willing to engage in dialog on religion and tradition. The schedule of our Travel Exploration tour was well paced. The Imperial Cities tour was very well laid out and we tried to absorb all of the information from the guides.
It was very interesting to see Morocco, its people and their culture changing with the landscape as our route took us south and over the mountains closer to the desert. Ultimately, the nights became a focus for their quiet and brightly lit huge starry skies. We have never seen the Milky Way that bright. We would have loved to linger longer and explore “off the path” but home duties called. I guess the huge number of pictures we took will have to suffice for a while.
– PHIL & SHARON DE BRUYN (CALIFORNIA) IMPERIAL CITY & SAHARA DESERT TOUR – FEBRUARY 2011
I wanted to let you know that we completely enjoyed our Casablanca tour. Travel Exploration’s host and historical guide, Abdelhadi, was perfect for our group of six persons. He was welcoming, funny, informative and well spoken. His English was excellent. We could not have had a better guide, a better day or comfortable vehicle to for our tour.
Thank you very much. I will be sure to recommend both Travel Exploration and Abdel.
– CATHERINE CURRAN (GEORGIA) CASABLANCA ONE-DAY TOUR – JANUARY 2011
– BOBBY & SHAMEEM (LONDON & MALAYSIA) – 3 DAY MERZOUGA SAHARA DESERT TOUR, BERBER VILLAGE & KASBAHS DECEMBER 2010
We were really blown away by our day trip to Imlil. Our drive to the base of Toubkal took us through varied and dramatic terrain that was completely different from the previous day’s journey to the Cascades D’Ouzoud Waterfalls. Our hike up was rigorous but definitely worthwhile once we reached rooftop of the highest house in the town. The meal we were served on the rooftop was, hands down, the best meal we ate during our 3-week Moroccan trip. The backdrop of Toubkal was picture perfect and we were at such a remarkable altitude, that it felt like we were on top of the world. Assuming you’re in good enough physical shape, I would recommend this trip to anyone willing to work a bit for an extraordinary view (and meal) amidst a breathtaking landscape.
We were thoroughly impressed by our driver Hakim Janah and found his liberal and progressive attitude refreshing. In addition to being punctual, reliable and thoroughly professional, our conversations gave us good insight into what it means to be an educated professional working in a developing nation like Morocco.
We found Travel Exploration to provide a convenient, easy and thoroughly enjoyable means by which to see some of the less frequently traveled-to spots in Morocco. Our drivers/guides were reliable, professional, and thoroughly accommodating and went way out of their way to make our day trips as memorable and relaxing as possible.
Hope your new year is off to a good start.
– EMILY HARRISON (NEW YORK, NY) CASACADES D’OUZOUD WATERFALLS & HIGH ATLAS IMLIL TOUKBAL TOUR- DECEMBER 2010
I wanted to take a quick moment and thank you for having so thoughtfully planned and organized what was truly an exceptional trip for all of us to Morocco. We are deeply appreciative.
Please know that it was a pleasure working with you to create what has already become a memorable holiday for all of us. You and your very competent staff more than made us feel welcomed. Thank you for having responded to all our needs, for dinner, and for the very thoughtful gift basket as well as a myriad of other little things that didn’t go unnoticed.
Thank you too for introducing us to Hossaine Amiri. Not only was he a great driver and guide but we quickly came to feel that we had made a new friend, one who was concerned both for our safety as well as our comfort.
Our daughter hopes to return to Morocco as I believe we expressed to you. Should she return as I hope she will, I will contact you as I will of course want to visit her. We’d both like to spend a few more days in Essaouira. Here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year and we are looking forward to seeing you once again!
All the best,
– GAIL LANDRY & FAMILY (MAINE) – 12 DAY IMPERIAL CITIES, SAHARA DESERT, BERBER VILLAGE SEASIDE TOUR DECEMBER 2010
We had a wonderful time in Morocco and have described it to family and friends as a real adventure. Travel Exploration’s Majestic Morocco itinerary took us to many different places with varied experiences covering Morocco’s Imperial Cities to the Sahara Desert. While we found the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca and Morocco’s Imperial cities and natural wonders to be most impressive, we were most fascinated by the local culture in the city streets and souks. We found the Moroccan souks fascinating in Fes and one of our favorite places was the Batha Museum, which was beautifully designed. The Danan Synagogue in the old Jewish Mellah in Fes was wonderful to experience and the view of the city from the rooftop was spectacular.
We enjoyed the Roman ruins at Volubilis and our guide was very enthusiastic, however what is most memorable from that day was the miles of olive trees and some of the most beautiful farmlands that I have ever seen. My husband Jerry’s favorite place was the grain store stables in Meknes.
The camel ride into the Erg Chebbi Dunes was a once in a lifetime experience! Our guide was exceptionally caring and did his most to make us comfortable. I wish that you could have seen Jerry teaching him to sing “Deep in the Heart of Texas” when he brought out his drums after dinner. The lunch the following day with a Moroccan family was wonderful. They were most hospitable and kind.
Marrakech was a very different experience for us and quite a contrast to Fes. One of our favorite places was the Majorelle Gardens and we enjoyed it so much that we returned there the following day. Plants are very important in my life, and I grow many of the specimens I saw at the Majorelle Gardens collection on a smaller scale which left me with great inspiration. We ended every day at the Djemaa El Fna Square in Marrakech and enjoyed having dinner in the open-air white awning food stalls in the middle of the square. We dined on grilled chicken, lamb, vegetables and terrific salads. The waiters were so friendly and helpful and they couldn’t do enough for us.
One of our best historical guides was Hicham Chakir in Fes. He is very knowledgeable and presented everything very well. As for favorite Riads, Riad Myra in Fes topped them all.
We feel that we were very fortunate to have Tahar as our driver. He is a most responsible and respectful person. We always felt that he was looking after us and wanted to make this the best possible experience for us. We were so happy to be able to visit his beautiful home and to meet his daughter and received a box of delicious cookies from his wife. In talking to him, it was evident that we share so many of the same family values.
Essaouira was a special part of our trip as it was important for us to see a plaque in Rabbi Sherwin Wine’s memory, who we knew so well from our synagogue in Michigan. We were thankful that Travel Exploration arranged for us to meet Joseph Sebag who owns the Galerie Aida in Essaouira and is the head of the Jewish community. He had spoken with Rabbi Sherwin many times when he was there. He had in his possession the plaque that had fallen off the wall of the cemetery. He promised that it would be reinstalled and has emailed us photographs of its completion.
Our best regards,
– JUDITH & JERRY PRIMAK (DETROIT, MICHIGAN) – IMPERIAL CITIES, SAHARA DESERT & ESSAOUIRA TOUR – NOVEMBER 2010
Thanks for a wonderful trip to Morocco. My Partner and I are so glad we planned our itinerary with you because we truly feel we could not have made better use of our 10 Day Morocco vacation. We especially enjoyed the Riads you selected and the Sahara desert excursion! Our driver Hossaine Amiri was wonderful – so kind and considerate throughout the entire trip.
All of the historical guides were well qualified and professional, and wanted our input on what we preferred to see and do, which we appreciated. It was truly a pleasure to meet you and your team, and we look forward to another trip to Morocco.
– FRITZ KROLL & MIKE SYKORA (MINNEAPOLIS, MN) IMPERIAL CITIES, SAHARA DESERT & ESSAOUIRA TOUR – NOVEMBER 2010
We just returned to the USA, and I wanted to thank-you and our guide Redouane for the wonderful tour in Casablanca. It was perfect, especially the tour of the Hassan II Mosque. Redouane was very knowledgeable, and answered all our questions. It was our pleasure to share the one day excursion in Casablanca with Redouanne and to have him as our guide.
– LAURA SAHER (SAN ANTONIO, TX) – CASABLANCA ONE-DAY TOUR – NOVEMBER 2010
Thank you and Travel Exploration for a fascinating two-week tour of Morocco. We loved its complex cultural and historical legacy, the warmth and sophistication of its people, and the beauty and diversity of its natural environment.
Our driver, Tahar Najoui, couldn’t have been more accommodating. In Marrakech, for example, driving by the municipal courthouse, we expressed a desire to visit. We were admitted without a problem but also once inside, we met a number of fellow attorneys who were delighted to show us around the courtrooms and to introduce us to several other Moroccan lawyers. It was one of the highlights of our Morocco vacation.
In Casablanca before our departure we went to visit the only Jewish museum in the Arab world, “The Museum of Moroccan Judiasm.” It was a pleasure to visit this small gem on the outskirts of the city.
We will always remember Morocco. Our guides in Fes and Essaouira were outstanding. The latter, we learned, is one of the few accredited female guides in Morocco. Our female guide Rachida is Essaouira was charming, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and sophisticated, not to mention a creator of made-to-order djellabas as well!
In Imlil, the High Atlas Mountains of Djbel Toukbal, our hiking guide was a delightful young man from a nearby village, who led us on an easy hike to the magnificent Kasbah du Toubkal with its gorgeous views.
Other highlights of our Morocco vacation: the 10th century feel of the Fes medina and its long, winding, covered souks; the overwhelming silence of the Sahara desert at night as we slept under the stars after chatting with a family from Latvia who shared our camp; sharing tea with a nomad family in a cave in the Valley of Nomads, Bouthgrar in remote countryside; meeting Hossaine Amiri’s extended family, who hosted a delicious lunch for us in their beautiful house in the Berber village Ait Ouzzine; trying to learn Berber and Arabic phrases from ever-patient Tahar; purchasing a Berber rug with Alecia in Essaouria and having tea with the young salesman afterwards in his family’s shop; getting lost in the Fes medina; driving the hairpin turns of the spectacular Dades Valley and Dades Gorge; buying fresh orange juice in the great Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakech; exploring the half-ruined kasbahs that dots the Moroccan landscape; bargaining with a devout young slipper salesman in the Fes souk after he had returned from prayers in the nearby mosque; hearing the imams’ calls to prayer; taking in the ocean views from our riad in the magical city of Essaouria; admiring a thousand years of exquisite Moroccan calligraphy on tombs, palaces, mosques and religious schools.
Special thanks to you, Alecia Cohen and to Houssaine Amiri at Travel Exploration for hosting us at that elegant Moroccan restaurant, Al Fassia and for arranging our stays at magnificent Riads in Fes, Marrakech, Ouarzazate and Essaouira.
We would recommend Travel Exploration to anyone who is considering a trip to Morocco.
– ED HUDDLESON & ANDRA OAKES (WASHINGTON D.C.) – MAJESTIC MOROCCO 2 WEEK TOUR – OCTOBER 2010
We thank you again for all your diligent efforts toward making our trip to Morocco a reality. We found the tripexotic, rewarding, and fascinating. You did a great job delivering a fine experience.
We were really impressed with the topographic variation in the landscape as we moved around the country. The architecture of the medersas and palaces were truly incredible. The stucco calligraphic work and ceiling treatments were astonishing. We truly enjoyed experiencing the cultural and architectural differences as we moved from destination to destination and were also impressed by the variation of the country along the “grand clockwise” route. We enjoyed the visit with the nomad family in Mount Mgoun’s Bouthgrar and liked the meandering through the souks.
The cities we found most fascinating were Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira. Fes reminded us distinctly of Hanoi, the spiritual and intellectual capital of Vietnam and Marrakech reminded us of Saigon, the cosmopolitan city south of Vietnam. We found the Ziz Valley and the Dades Valley to be quiet beautiful and resembling the American southwest. The Sahara had very impressive escarpments and colors as well as unending expanses.
One of our best guides was Hicham Chakir in Fes because of his depth of knowledge and command of the English language. Our driver, Hossaine Amiri was also quite good and very accommodating. One of our most memorable experiences was dinner at Le Kasbah D’Sable in Ouarzazate. It was truly outstanding in terms of food and ambiance plus a great Travel Exploration recommendation.
Le Maison Bleue’s traditional feast in Fes was also quite spectacular. The red and white wines were excellent along with the Oud player and Gnaoua Musicians. Marrakech’s restaurant Dar Marjana was another outstanding dining experience. Another traditional Moroccan meal, many salads, pastilla (pigeon), tajine (lamb and chicken), oranges and bstilla with milk for dessert. Great entertainment as well!
Excellent and well-organized vacation.
– LARRY & JUDITH GINSBERG (CALIFORNIA) – MAJESTIC MOROCCO 2 WEEK TOUR- SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 2010
My husband and I had a fabulous trip to Morocco and we thank you so much for arranging our driver, Ismail Ait Brahim and our guides in Fes and Marrakech. From day one, arriving at the airport in Casablanca, through our stay in Fes , Marrakech and Essaouira, we felt looked after, safe, and learned so much about this beautiful country from the great guides you provided. We feel fortunate to have found Travel Exploration online. Our search for drivers and guides was the last piece of our trip planning and we had hit a brick wall. Alecia responded immediately to my email and came to our rescue with a quote, a driver and 2 guides with a suggested itinerary.
Not only did we have a wonderful driver, we also made stops to cities, Rabat, Volubilus and others that we never would have seen, had we not found Travel Exploration. Our drive through the Middle Atlas to Marrakech was spectacular.
We made friends in Morocco and hope to return; probably to the desert this time, although we would also return to Marrakech and Essaouira. We look forward to our return!
Thank you for making the trip special.
– LYNN & IAN JEFFERSON (SAN FRANCISCO, CA) IMPERIAL CITIES TOUR – SEPTEMBER 2010
Dear Alecia Cohen
I enjoyed my Morocco one-day excursion to the Ourika Valley and the Morocco vacation was a different kind of holiday than usual. It was important for my husband as we visited the Maghreb so my husband could reconnect with his Moroccan roots.
The driver / guide provided by Travel Exploration Morocco spoke perfect English, was very nice, helpful and friendly as he stopped at every point that was necessary and let us take pictures. He offered us the best of service. I would return to Morocco again through Travel Exploration.
Kind Regards, Elaine Ohayon
– ELAINE O’HAYON (COLORADO, USA) OURIKA VALLEY TOUR – SEPTEMBER 2010
Thanks for organizing a summer Sahara trip for my sister and I to Zagora. We especially enjoyed meeting our driver, Hossaine Amiri’s traditional Moroccan family for lunch. This was wonderful!! Meeting Hossaine’s family, with such hospitality, particularly during Ramadan was a memorable afternoon. They had such a beautiful Kasbah for a family home and it helped us better understand the Berber culture and traditions through the context of seeing where Hossaine lived.
I have traveled to many places in my life and met many people. Never have I met anyone as kind and attentive as was Hossaine Amiri. As our driver and guide in the Sahara region of Morocco, he took his time in showing us various sites and places in the Draa Valley and seemed to enjoy himself while doing so. The Draa Valley was so different and beautiful then some of the other places in the world we have traveled.
When we reached the M’Hamid Sahara Desert, my sister had trouble adjusting to the isolation and heat, to which Hossaine Amiri was very kind and supportive and encouraging. I treasure our new friendship!
We felt safe and on the move, knowing where we were at all times, and appreciative that Mr. Amiri was fine with our drinking and eating, despite it being Ramadan. He really went out of his way for us, and showed us what a magnificent land Morocco is.
– NICK WINDSOR & SISTER, (UK) SAHARA – DRAA VALLEY TOUR – AUGUST 2010
We have just returned from our wonderful family vacation in Morocco where we visited the Imperial Cities, theSahara Desert and the village of Ait Ouzzine. First of all I would like to say thank you , to Hossaine Amiri and our National Guide, Mohammed. We spent in Morocco the best holiday we have ever had!
It was a really very, very amazing experience, to get in touch with the face of Morocco that surely is out of the main touristic trends and it gave us the evidence of the true Moroccan/ Berber lifestyle. We were impressed with the very simple and warm relations that we interchanged with the people and with the simplicity and warmth of the people as well. We had a very positive feeling of friendliness and authenticity….
Passing from the calm of the Sahara Desert to chaotic Marrakesh was also a grand experience of the contrast between the life style of the Sahara countryside and the modern city lifestyle, which is similar to the one, we experience in Italy everyday.
One of the aspects we were very impressed was the relations our family had with Hossaine Amiri and our National Guide Mohammed from Fes. We quickly familiarized ourselves with them in just a few days and we felt to have extended our small family to a wider one! They were very warm and kind. They treated us not as tourists, but as friends of their family. The historical explanation they provided us was fascinating and always very clear. They also always answered questions that peaked our curiosity or interest.
The time we spent in Morocco was like a flash… as our entire family was disappointed to leave, and we are definitely thinking to come back in the future! From my wife and my daughters, I send you a big thank you for the excellent tour and also for the small presents Travel Exploration gave them. This added a touch of attention and care that we appreciated very much.
Technically speaking all the services we received were completely satisfying and first class; the arrangements in the various Riads were perfect. If you asked me a score I would give your agency 100% and say the best was Riad Myra in Fes, then Le Petit Riad in Ouarzazate, the Guest House in Merzouga and the charming Riad in Marrakesh. All were excellent. The transportation in the 4×4 was wonderful and the style of our National Guide Mohammed and of Hossaine Amiri was excellent. Thanks for all your attention… if in the future we will get a new opportunity to come in Morocco, we will be sure to get in touch with Travel Exploration Morocco.
– MICHELE FUCITO & FAMILY, (ITALY) – IMPERIAL CITIES & SAHARA TOUR – AUGUST 2010
For months we had been planning a trip to Morocco and Spain. A week before our departure for Casablanca, our plans fell apart leaving us with no guide and no direction in Morocco. Not being particularly intrepid travelers, we were in a panic and even considered changing our airline tickets to skip Morocco altogether. Fortunately, we discovered Travel Exploration. In just two days, Alecia Cohen put together an itinerary for us that included Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Fes, Volubilis, and Tangier. With knowledgeable guides at each city, beautiful accommodations such as Riad Myra in Fes, and a most excellent driver and friend, Hakim Janah, our experience was amazing! Alecia not only salvaged our vacation but provided us with a Moroccan adventure we will always treasure.
– SHAN WATKINS & DAVE NORWOOD, (COLORADO, USA) IMPERIAL CITIES TOUR – JUNE 2010
Dear Travel Exploration,
My boyfriend and I visited Marrakesh for the first time in June 2010 and chose Travel Exploration Morocco for our one-day trip to Cascades D’Ouzoud Waterfalls. The guide that Travel Exploration Morocco provided spoke perfect English and we got along on really well with him. Our guide was very informative and shared details with us about the history of Morocco, the Cascades D’Ouzoud Waterfalls and loads of little things about Marrakesh that only a local would know. The Cascades D’Ouzoud Waterfalls were beautiful and our English speaking hiking guide was also knowledgeable. Our hiking guide took us on a trek around the waterfalls and we crossed the river on a small boat where jumped into the cool water and had a lovely swim below the waterfalls. We finished our trip with dinner with a fantastic view of the Cascades D’Ouzoud Waterfalls, which were quite beautiful.
Our guide was kind enough to show us his personal photos on his laptop that included pictures of the SaharaDesert, inside mosques and his family home, which served as a real insight into Moroccan life. We now have loads of ideas of what to don on future trips to Morocco.
– GEMMA MORGAN, (ENGLAND- UK) – CASCADES D’OUZOUD WATERFALLS TOUR – JUNE 2010
Travel Exploration’s Antique Trade Bead and Moroccan Jewelry Treasure Hunting Tour is one of the most exciting and fulfilling travel experiences of my life. I am an ardent ethnic jewelry collector who has visited Morocco before on tours that left me no time to engage in my obsession. The Antique Trade Bead and Moroccan Jewelry Treasure Hunting tour provided us with time to make precious purchases, time to learn about North African jewelry and other crafts, along with ample time to explore Morocco’s wonderful Kasbahs and the souks of southern Morocco. Southern Morocco is a place where I had never visited before but surely shall visit again.
Our host, Sarah Corbett of Vividtrading, was warm, personable and extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of North African and Moroccan ethnic beads and jewelry. I was so happy to meet her and explore Marrakech, Tiznit and Taroudant with her guidance. Sarah Corbett offered invaluable advice about a variety of aspects of purchasing beads and Moroccan Jewelry that I never considered before.
Sarah Corbett opened avenues of jewelry collecting which would be impossible on any other tour. I loved the accommodations that Travel Exploration Morocco chose such as the Riads in Marrakesh, its winding and mysterious alleys, and the wonderful treasures that lay behind the doors of the good jewelry stores.
Travel Exploration’s driver, Mr. Hossaine Amiri, is a true treasure, an expert driver with a wealth of knowledge about Morocco and its historical and architectural treasures. I personally received a lot of help from all of the participants of this tour when my luggage was lost at the beginning of the trip and when I almost missed my plane at the end of the trip — none of these incidences were the fault of the agency but both were taken seriously and addressed with real compassion and commitment — this just does not happen with other tours.
This Morocco tour was a last minute decision on my part as I had already visited Morocco six months prior. I am so glad I made the decision to go on this Morocco tour as it has greatly enhanced by life –with a treasure trove of knowledge about beads and jewelry and very warm feelings about Morocco. I enjoyed myself so much that I would definitely sign up for this tour again!
– PATRICIA DEANY (MARYLAND, USA) – 14 DAY BEAD YOUR WAY THROUGH MOROCCO TRADE BEAD & JEWELRY TREASURE HUNTING TOUR – MAY 2010
Dear Travel Exploration Morocco,
We’ve been back in the “real world” for about a month and a half now. It’s taken that long to come back down to earth after our 12-day tour of Morocco. I still don’t think we’ve quite absorbed it all yet. We are so glad we booked our tour with Travel Exploration Morocco. You did a great job of making all the arrangements and answering our many questions!
Morocco is a beautiful and fascinating country, and we loved the sights, colors, textures and smells that enveloped us. But the very best part of our trip – the thing that made it extra special – was our driver, Hakim. In addition to being an expert driver and knowledgeable guide, he was friendly, patient and a lot of fun. He took very good care of us, and we felt like family by the end of the tour.
All of the guides you lined up for us for the various cities and historical sites – Fes, Meknes, Volubilus andMarrakech — were knowledgeable and entertaining. And everyone was right on schedule. The itinerary was well planned, yet we were often offered flexibility in when we wanted to start our day or what order we wanted to see things in. The Morocco tour was full of activities, but we never felt rushed. The Riads you booked for us were outstanding. We loved them all … the elegance of Riad Myra in Fes, the casual comfort of Riad Dar Milouada in Marrakech (loved the turtles living in the open-air courtyard) and the lovely La Petite Riad in Ouarzazate. The people at all of them treated us like royalty.
Since our driver, Hakim, is from Ouarzazate, he was the perfect guide for that area. Our camel ride and spending the night in a tent in the Sahara (oh my god – the stars!!) will be something we will never forget.
We are clay artists, so we chose the Morocco Pottery and Zellij Tile Design Tour. It was fascinating to see how the artisans use ancient, traditional techniques to create beautiful work. We appreciated the individual attention we were given.
We would highly recommend Travel Exploration to anyone interested in getting up close and personal with Morocco.
– JANA & BENJAMIN JOHN (LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY) – MOROCCO POTTERY & ZELLIJ TILE DESIGN TOUR –APRIL 2010
Oh wow! My husband and I mostly enjoyed the flavor of the wonderful sights and sounds to which we were exposed in Morocco through Travel Exploration. Our incredible photos reflect a world where old and new are juxtaposed next to each other. We loved all of the cities we visited, Marrakesh, Fes, Meknes and Toukbal. We really became enticed by Marrakech as the gateway to the Sahara. Our hope is to return and explore Southern Morocco’s Ouarzazate and Zagora region in the future.
The Riad we stayed at in Fes, Riad Myra, was authentic with incredible zellij tile. Riad Myra had a homey feel and gave us the sense that we were being transported to another world. It was well located, comfortable and the perfect way to start our Morocco tour and adventure.
The Riad we stayed at in Marrakesh, La Maison Arabe was incredible and a full service, luxury Riad with all to the amenities one could hope for such as wonderful service and an ambiance of understated elegance. Our room was delightful, modern and overlooked the courtyard and rooftops across the old Marrakesh medina. It was pure pleasure. We shared a delicious meal at La Maison Arabe and connected with the manager at the hotel who made our stay even more memorable by gifting us champagne and cake for our anniversary. We felt pampered by a wonderful staff at La Maison Arabe and we made good use of the hotel facilities and the hammam, which was simply special. I even took a cooking class which Travel Exploration arranged at La Maison Arabe and it proved to be much fun and I learned a few wonderful secrets about cooking a tajine.
Travel Exploration was responsive when we had a luggage issue. One of our fondest memories was meeting a family in the crowded Djemma El Fna Square in Marrakesh while standing in a line three-deep for dinner: hands- only fish/fries/aubergine meal that was one of the best, most fun shared meals we ever had! We were invited to share tea with a Moroccan family the next day and the genuine warmth of the family was quite touching.
Our historical guides in Marrakesh, Fes and Meknes were overall quite informative but honestly, our best guide was our driver, Hossaine Amiri, who initiated us into the generous world of the simple and cordial people called Berbers. Our guides provided us with a historical overview especially in Fez where the artistic and political soul of the country seems to emanate from.
Travel Exploration’s private Morocco tour was terrific. As I continued to talk about our trip more to friends and family, I realize the impact on the view of Morocco that Hossaine Amiri, our driver instilled within us and the time you took, Alecia to show us around Marrakech’s Garden Distrcit, Gueliz. It really made a difference.
– SHARMAN SPECTOR & GARY ANGEL (SAN FRANDISCO, CALIFORNIA) – 10 DAY IMPERIAL CITIES & TOUKBAL TOUR –APRIL 2010
We have been home for 2 weeks from our Travel Exploration Morocco Private Tour and would to share some thoughts about our phenomenal trip to Morocco. Alecia Cohen did a wonderful job in making the arrangements for our 10 Ten Day Private Morocco Tour. Ms. Cohen’s responsiveness to our many emails and questions involved in the planning process of our trip was excellent. The Riads Ms. Cohen hand- selected for us were wonderful and Travel Exploration’s Historical Guides were simply wonderful. All of the guides demonstrated great historic knowledge and the driver that was assigned by Travel Exploration for our tour was simply the best.
Morocco was a wonderful country to visit. From the sand dunes of the Sahara to the snow capped mountains of the High Atlas and the variety in between (lush valleys, rushing waters, deep canyons, arid desert, beautiful rock formations, and lush palm trees oases). Morocco is a land full of contrasts – all easily seen in 10 days. There were many contrasts that struck me as wonderful from the ancient medinas (old cities) in Marrakech and Fes as well as the Kasbahs in Ouarzazate alongside the modern movie making industry there. The day we spent driving through the Ourika Valley and climbing to the Setti Fatima, Seven Water Falls was special as was the memorable day we spent at the Roman Ruins at Volubilis and the Imperial Cities of Meknes.
Besides our wonderful, wonderful driver, Ismail (Smain), the employees of the Riads and the Guesthouses were kind and friendly. Those at Riad Myra in Fes truly spoiled us. We can heartily recommend Travel Exploration Morocco! We would be happy to talk at length (or briefly) to anyone who would like to contact us who is planning on booking a tour.
– BERNICE & JOEL BRESLAU (CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND, USA) – 10 DAY PRIVATE MOROCCO TOUR – APRIL 2010
We want to thank you again for your time and patience with regards to planning our Morocco tour. It was a great vacation! Morocco is a beautiful country with a unique and vibrant culture that one must experience first hand to appreciate.
Although we found Marrakech to be a little overwhelming at first, we quickly grew accustomed to the “chaos”. Not only were we no longer awakened by the daybreak morning call to prayer (or as Kaleia, our daughter said, “Mama, the camels are crying!”), we actually looked forward to hearing the chanting and missed it when we returned home.
The drivers Travel Exploration Morocco provided were all excellent and professional. They were. Hossaine Amiri, our first driver, we especially liked, and are thankful for his patience.
The Riad Travel Exploration chose in Marrakech, Palais Sebban was gorgeous! The service was fantastic as well. This was our heavenly retreat after a busy day of touring. The restaurant at Palais Sebban was also quite good. The spa services were a nice treat as well.
The Marrakech Historical Guide provided by Travel Exploration was extremely kind, friendly, patient and very knowledgeable.
Our local hiking guide in the High Atlas Mountains of Toukbal (Imlil) was also kind as he went out of his ay to cater to our daughter Kaleia – which we greatly appreciated. For example he caught a baby goat for Kaleia to pet and carried her across the mountains during the rougher parts of our hike.
Our guide in Essaouira was very sweet. She too was very knowledgeable.
As for the various Morocco excursions, .we would rate them, as being equal, since the scenery was very similar…. and I must say BREATHTAKING!!!! We really enjoyed the hiking in Imlil, but the experience of going through the Monday souk in the Ourika Valley was something we will never forget.
We appreciated the side trip to Richard Branson’s 5 Star Luxury Hotel, Riad Tamadot since we are fans. Finally, it was really nice of you to go out of your way to meet us and the gifts were a lovely surprise.
In the past 2 years we have visited 10 different countries, and we both agree that our Morocco Tour will definitely go down as being one of the most memorable trips of our lives!!!!
We just may take you up on your offer of coming back when Kaleia is older for a visit to Southern Morocco and the Sahara Desert region (inshallah).
Thanking you sincerely once more for everything,
Hugs & kisses,
Domenic, Chantal & Kaleia (…and mother-in-law)
– DOMENIC, CHANTAL & KELEIA (GERMANY) –MOROCCO TOUR, IMPERIAL CITIES, OURIKA & HIGH ATLAS TOUKBAL – MARCH 2010
Dear Alecia Cohen,
We’re just back from our wonderful one-day tour in Casablanca! We had an enjoyable tour and found theCasablanca historical guide that you chose for us, Redouane Farhanered to be exceptionally knowledgeable about Casablanca and Morocco’s history, charming, and a man with a great command of the English language. I would certainly recommend him to anyone. Thanks for your help in putting this together for us!
– ANN SIEGEL CASABLANCA TOUR (USA) ONE-DAY CASABLANCA TOUR – MARCH 2010
Thanks you so much Travel Exploration Morocco for organizing a tour to the Ourika Valley for me. It was simply great. Hossaine Amiri the assigned driver was was safe and pleasant. We had interesting conversations about life in Morocco. I truly enjoyed my hike up to the Ourika Valley’s Setti Fatima waterfalls and went beyond to the next level with the help of my sturdy young guide Jamal. All in all it was a great day. You run a good business and I’ll be pleased to recommend Travel Exploration Morocco to others. My husband was understandably envious of my Ourika Valley Tour and we are considering planning a longer holiday in the future. Hossaine Amiri informed me about some of the longer Morocco holiday and vacation tours that Travel Exploration Moroccooffers and they sound fantastic. Something for us to consider in the future.
– Kate Farnsworth (USA) – OURIKA VALLEY TOUR – March 2010
Dear Travel Exploration Morocco,
Our Casablanca tour guide was EXECELLENT!! He spoke perfect English and was an expert on the history of both Casablanca and Morocco. He knew exactly where to take us, what monuments and special places would make our one-day Casablanca tour perfect. We would definitely use the services of your company again.
– STEVEN BUCHER (CALIFORNIA) ONE-DAY CASABLANCA TOUR – FEBRUARY 2010
We returned home safely in early April from our long overseas vacation. Our relaxed stay in Spain was a good contrast from our excursions in Egypt and Morocco. Travel Exploration’s personnel and services were excellent. Hakim, our driver was especially flexible and accommodating to our requests and needs. We also truly enjoyed the Riad you choose for us in Marrakech and the birthday dinner celebration for my wife Liliane. The guide you hand selected for us in Fes was exceptional. We will have fond memories of our visit to Morocco. Perhaps we can return and see the Sahara Desert and your town, Ouarzazate which we hear, is lovely.Thanks again Travel Exploration Morocco for the special considerations on Liliane’s birthday. She appreciates the candle and wonderful Rose Oil.
– JACK & LILIANE SCHUTZ (USA) 8 DAYS IMPERIAL CITIES TOUR, FEBRUARY 2010
I came to Morocco with an expectation of surrounding myself with marvelous traditions of color pattern and decoration, but my experience, thanks to Travel Exploration Morocco, was more profound than I could ever have imagined. I was immersed in the life and culture of the Moroccan people in a deep and meaningful way.
I visited Moroccan Berber families and met a range of generous, friendly people that shared their lifestyles with me. I was amazed by the warmth of the people in Southern Morocco, the intricate architecture and decoration of the great cities, the rich and diverse countryside. The carefully selected guides in Marrakech, Fes, Ouarzazateand Meknes Travel Exploration Morocco chose made every visit a unique learning experience. This was all in addition to a carefully designed itinerary that allowed me to visit craftsmen in their workspaces and see the designers that create all elements of Morocco’s rich culture, from weavers, to dyers, silversmiths to potters.
This culminated in my two days working in the Pottery Cooperative in Fes where I had the opportunity to paint plates and design zellij mosaics. Here I realized that even the tiniest piece of tile in a great architectural zellij mural has been carefully crafted and touched by the hands of many talented artisans. This Pottery & Zellij Tile Design Tour hosted by Travel Exploration Morocco has been a gift that enriched my life on a personal level, broadened my worldview and contributed greatly to my future work in the art studio. Thank you for your generosity and friendship Alecia Cohen and Hossaine Amiri. I miss you already.
– ESME THOMPSON, PAINTER & PROFESSOR OF STUDIO ART, CUSTOMIZED POTTERY & ZELLIJ DESIGN MOROCCO TOUR (NEW HAMPSHIRE, VERMONT) – JANUARY 2010
I think about the Morocco trip you arranged for my family and my dear friend, Esme Thomspons’ daily and always feel like you and Hossaine Amiri deserve huge hugs and thanks for all that you did. Only the tips of my thumbs reveal stains of henna. The rest is grown out. I am saddened to think that much time has passed.
I will start working with my University in the fall when I return from this year of sabbatical. I would really love to take a group of students on a pottery and other crafts tour of Morocco…with you at the helm of course.
We enjoy the Berber carpets we purchased from Zagora everyday and all of the other Moroccan crafts and gems. The rose oil from El Kelaa Des Mgouna (The Valley of Roses) is one of the nicest things we purchased. The scent or roses takes me back or Morocco each time I wear it. I do need to say the face scrubber you purchased for me in the local Moroccan souk has given me a new complexion all together. I can hardly believe it. My biggest fear is wearing out the three scrubbers I have. Hopefully they will last until I come back for more.
Thank you for being so up-front and personal on our Morocco Tour.
Dizzy was talking about those delicious cookies you treated us to. He remembered you calling them “Sweets”! He had never heard someone call a cookie a sweet before. It is funny what people remember from a trip. All of it was simply fabulous!
I would recommend Travel Exploration Morocco’s tours to anyone and everyone. I am so glad we had you and Hossaine Amiri leading our way through the Maghreb. The trip wouldn’t have been as great without the comfort of having Hossaine Amiri with us the entire time. Both of you took such good care of us and treated us like family. Every detail was managed with great consideration and respect for both the natives and us as visitors/ guests. You made us feel like honored guests in your country, the Maghreb. I think of it as yours too Alecia even though you are American.
I am so glad to hear you are using the plates Esme and I made at the Fes Pottery Cooperative.
Thank you again for all. Much Love.
– LIZ QUACKENBUSH, PROFESSOR OF ART, ARTIST, POTTERY DESIGNER – CUSTOMIZED POTTERY & ZELLIJ DESIGN MOROCCO TOUR (NEW HAMPSHIRE, VERMONT) JANUARY 2010
– JAMES P. SALL & ELSA VIVERO (LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA) CUSTOMIZED PRIVATE MOROCCO ADVENTURE- DECEMBER 2009
Our desert expedition was fabulous! Our driver, Hossaine Amiri, arrived promptly at our hotel, Le Tourmaline, and our group piled into his luxurious 4X4 land cruiser heading south from Ouarzazate to a desert encampment in the M’hamid Sahara. En route, we stopped in Draa Valley’s city of Zagora to tour the ancient Zaouia and the Koranic Bibliotheque’s library of manuscripts, dating back as far as the 16th century. We also had the opportunity to tour Tamagroute, a pottery cooperative with professional demonstrations of Zagora’s local pottery tradition, which is famous throughout Morocco for producing forest green ceramic pottery that is made from henna.
We explored a date palm oasis, watching farmers till the soil and women carry firewood in bundles on their heads as they have done for centuries. We arrived at the virtual “end of the road” in the M’hamid Sahara for a spectacular sunset camel trek across the dunes to our bivouac. Our Berber bivouac (tent encampment) in the Sahara dunes was simply fabulous. The bivouac was extremely comfortable, the food high quality and delicious. Of course, the night sky in the Sahara desert is crowded with millions of stars. In the morning, we greeted the sun walking on across M’hamid’s lush Sahara dunes; the sand was fine as talcum powder.
– FREYA ELLINWOOD (NEW YORK CITY) PRIVATE MOROCCO TRAVEL- M’HAMID SAHARA DESERT TOUR – NOVEMBER 2009
– REBECCA ANDERSON (ENGLAND) PRIVATE MOROCCO SAHARA TOUR – APRIL 2009
– MRS. JOANNA CUEVAS INGRAM (SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA) PRVIATE MOROCCO TOUR- CUSTOMIZED TRIP – JUNE 2009
– JENNY PEACOCK and CHRIS HAYWARD (AUSTRALIA) MOROCCO SAHARA DRAA VALLEY CUSTOMIZED TOUR – DECEMBER 2008