MOROCCO IMPERIAL CITIES & SAHARA TOURS

This custom tour features your private guide, driver and deluxe vehicle. Discover the culture and cuisine of the city of Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Fes, Marrakech, and the Sahara desert including  Erfoud , Merzouga, and Ouarzazate.

 

 

 

 

Itinerary

DAY 1, CASABLANCA / RABAT  (70 Km)

Morning arrival and assistance by your host at Mohammed V Airport. transfer to the hotel then sightseeing tour of Casablanca. "Principal city in Morocco and capital in all but administration" Casablanca is now the largest port of the Maghreb - busier even than Marseille seaport, the city on which it was modeled by the French. Your visit will include the central market, the Habous district, the Royal Palace, the Mohamed V square, the residential area of Anfa and the Hassan II Mosque.

Optional sea food lunch at the Corniche in Ain Diab (coast line). Afternoon departure to Rabat, the capital of the nation. This city in many ways is what you would expect: elegant in its spacious European in self conscious in Its very civilized modern ways. Our visit begins in the Medina with the Kasbah of the Oudayas. Visit the venerated Mohamed V Mausoleum, the Hassan Tower, the Mosque, and the ramparts and walls of the Mechouar surrounding the Royal Palace. Overnight at your scheduled hotel in Rabat

DAY 2, RABAT / MEKNES / FES. ( 180 Km )

After breakfast, Departure to Meknes via Volubilis and Moulay Idris. his excursion embodies much of Morocco's early history - Volubilis as Its Roman provincial capital, Moulay Idris in the creation of the country's first Arab dynasty then continue to Fes .  Overnight at your scheduled hotel in Fes.

DAY 3, FES.

full-day tour of the city of Fes, The Holy City of Fes is a jewel of Spanish-Arabic civilization. Fes does not reveal its secrets easily. Secretive, shadowy, they need to be discovered little by little, with reverence. Only in this way can the splendors of Medrsa architecture be fully appreciated. Only in this way will the call of the medina tempt you. Bustling with artisans and merchants, its captivating sounds, fragrances and colors mesmerize the visitor with a constant swirl of activity. The city of Moulay Idriss 1st, sanctuary of human and moral sciences.

The great À Karaouiyne University bas for eleven centuries been a religions and intellectual center whose influence bas spread far beyond the Kingdom's boundaries.

In 789, a pick-axe of silver and gold -"fas" in Arabic - was presented to Idriss 1st to use in tracing the outlines of the city. Hence the name of the city, which lies at the far eastern end of the plain of Saïss, bordered to the south by the hills outlying the Atlas Mountains. Cradle of religions, cultural and artistic traditions, Fes, the double city, is the kingdom's spiritual capital. The Andalusia mosque, dating from the 9th century, and further embellished by successive rulers, is accessed through a mighty door of sculpted cedar. An imposing minaret decorated with green faiences crowns the Rsif Mosque. The Medersas around the Karaouiyne Mosque, former lodging houses for students coming from outside the city, attest the importance of its thousand years of history. In the Medina, a labyrinth of sloping, winding alleyways are crammed full of stalls and workshops. This is the famed Kissaria -the commercial center. A multitude of locally produced goods are on sale in this incredible maze-cotton fabric, silk, brocade work, slippers, and many more.

The craftsmen of the El Attarine souks offer the visitor a non-stop spectacle. For hundreds of years such work bas been regulated by traditional guilds, ensuring that its quality is worthy of the city. Each district has its own specialty : cobalt blue enameled pottery, carpets, wrought iron ... one looks on as the dyer stirs his yarns, steeped in their multitude of colors, as the tanner tramples his skins under an open sky -skins that the leather-worker will eventually adorn with fine gilt for book-binding . Leaving the souks through the Boujeloud gate  with its decoration of green and blue faiences, the riches contained in the wonderful Museum of Moroccan Art await one Optional lunch at the Medina and shopping in the afternoon. Overnight at your scheduled hotel in Fes

DAY 4, FES / AZROU /  MIDELT / ERFOUD. ( 421 Km)

After breakfast In the morning an enjoyable drive across The atlas maintains, the first hills you see of the Middle Atlas seem surprisingly un-Moroccan. There are evergreen pines. tall cedar trees on the peaks and poplars on the foot hills. The road across is almost ceremonial.

Azrou, the first real town of the Middle Atlas stands at a major junction of routes. It is an important market center, and has long held a strategic role in controlling the Berbers of the mountains.

Midelt: you have left the Middle Atlas behind. Suddenly, through the haze, appear the much greater peaks of the High Atlas rising sheer behind the town to a massive range, the Dgebel Ayashi at over 12000ft. The drama of that sight, tremendous in the clear, cool noon, is the most compelling reason to stop over for lunch. Overnight at your scheduled hotel in Erfoud.

DAY 5, ERFOUD / MERZOUGA.  ( 55 Km)

Morning at leisure, then depart to Merzouga,  one of the most pleasing of all southern routes, a dry, red band of desert, and then suddenly, a drop into the valley filled with date palm trees. Check in with the Touarge host, lunch and dinner and over night under nomad tents.

DAY 6, MERZOUGA / OUARZAZATE ( 143 Km)

An early wake up call for sunrise excursion to  Dunes.  An experience not to be missed is to watch the sun as it  rises from the top of the golden dunes,  a spectacular view of the Sahara which no words can describe. Back to the tent for special Breakfast with the Touargees people, then continue on to explore the holy ancient city of Rissani by your 4X4 Land Rover. Early afternoon depart to Tinghir ,The highest and the narrowest gorges in the region are Todra's, only 15 km from Tinghir. Traveling through the Dades valley in spring you will find the bloom of thousands of Persian roses - cultivated as hedgerows dividing the plots. Thousands of Kasbahs scattered along the Dades river through El Kalaa Del Mgouna and Boumaine. Lunch at a local restaurant located at the feet of cayons. Continuation to Ouarzazate.  Overnight at your scheduled hotel in Ouarzazate.

DAY 7, OUARZAZATE / ZAGORA / OUARZAZATE ( 171 Km)

1/ After early breakfast Today’s adventures include a day trip into  Zagora and surrounding regions you will have the chance to  view the  12th century vellum copies of the Koran and historical documents at one of the oldest library in Morocco. Optional lunch in Tamgroute. Return to Ouarzazate for the rest of the evening.

2/ After a relaxing breakfast,  visit to the carefully TAOURIRT KASBAH, where outstanding views of the fortified town and valley can be seen from the terrace. Overnight at your scheduled hotel in Ouarzazate.

DAY 8, OUARZAZATE/  MARRAKECH  ( 204 Km)

After breakfast, tour of Ouarzazate. Continue on to Marrakech with a visit to AIT BENHADDOU.  Overnight at your scheduled hotel  in Marrakech.

DAY 9, MARRAKECH

After breakfast, full-day tour of Marrakech. Historic visit of Marrakech will include the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flowers, reflecting the image of a beautiful Moorish construction built in 1866 for the dignitaries.

See glorious sunsets with the Atlas mountains as a backdrop. Also, the pool is a functional irrigation system to the surrounding areas. The tour will see several impressive sights: The Koutoubia Minaret (the twin tower of la Giralda in Sevilla, Spain), the Saadian tombs demonstrating Moorish architecture in its perfection. The tombs, consisting of splendid mausoleums built in the sixteenth century, were walled for some time, not to be discovered until 1917. Other sites include: the museum of Dar Si Said with the best display of Berber arts and crafts to be found; the remains of the Badii Palace, a historical monument chosen to host the annual National Festival of Popular Art, beginning the second Friday in June. The Bahia Palace still hosts dignitaries in the heart of the Mellah (Jewish quarter) today. Lunch at the hotel then a walk through the colorful souks of Marrakech in the afternoon. Conclude the day with a sunset drink overlooking the exciting Jamaa El Fna Square. Optional  dinner at "Chez Ali" under  Berber tents with fantasia show. Overnight at your scheduled hotel  in Marrakech.

DAY 10, MARRAKECH.

Morning devoted to discovering the rest of historical sights. Shopping Overnight at your scheduled hotel  in Marrakech.

DAY 11, MARRAKECH / AIRPORT :

End of 11 days tour: after breakfast depart to airport for your scheduled flight back home with a memorable trip of a life time

Imperial cities and Sahara tour 14 days  continues ...

DAY 11, MARRAKECH / OURIKA / MARRAKECH ( 50 Km)

Excursion to the Ourika Valley where we will visit Berber souks and Jewish Shrines. Lunch, then an afternoon of shopping. Return to Marrakech for overnight at your scheduled hotel  in Marrakech.

DAY 12, MARRAKECH / ESSAOUIRA: ( 176 Km)

Departure to Essaouira (Mogador),  a part from the immediate impact of sea air and the friendly animation of the town, the predominant images of Essaouira are of the Atlantic - of the rugged coast and offshore islands, the vast expense of empty sands trailing back along the promontory to the south, and the almost gothic scenery of the eighteen century fortifications. Lunch at Chalet de la Mer. Overnight at your scheduled hotel  in Essaouira.

DAY 13, ESSAOUIRA / EL JADIDA / CASABLANCA :  (359 Km)

After breakfast departure to Casablanca via El Jadida  stop at El Oualidia.   Relay and seafood lunch . Departure along the coastline to El Jadida - visit of the citadel. vestige of the Portuguese occupation during the 11th century. Continuation to Casablanca. Overnight at your scheduled hotel  in Casablanca.

DAY 14, CASABLANCA / AIRPORT MOHAMMED V :

Morning departure to Mohammed V Airport with a memorable trip of a life time

1/ Accommodations

a/ Accommodation in 4 * or 5* hotel hotels according to interest in travel.

by deluxe private Cars  with A/C and professional English speaking driver as a guide: for :02 people.
    b/ Transportation by a Siat mini Van or similar (06 seats) with A/C and professional English speaking driver as a guide, for : 03 - 05 people.

    c/Transportation by Mercedes van 308 ( 09 seats bus) with A/C and professional English speaking driver as a guide, - for : 06 - 08 people

    d/Transportation By Ford transit ( 12 seats) with A/ C and a professional English speaking driver as a guide for:  9 to 10 people.

    e/Camel trek  f/ 4X4 drive for the sunrise in Merzouga

Guides:

    a/local guides in each major city .

    b/ Entrance fee to all monuments.

Tips for luggage handling:

    a/ at the airport and hotels

Meals:

    a/ Half board; daily breakfast and choice in between lunch and dinner at the hotels, according to you program.

    d/Full board , breakfast, lunch and dinner  under tent in Merzouga.

Our full assistance :

All applicable taxes

" Not included unless if stated other ways"

1/ Air fare: Discounted air fares from all major cities in USA to Casablanca and beyond are available by request

    2/ travel insurance

    3 / Tips  : tips to guides and drivers, laundry, phone calls from the hotel, room service charges, and all other charges beyond our tour package.

MOROCCO IMPERIAL CITIES TOUR

An interesting tour with private guide,  and deluxe vehicle with English speaking  driver. Explore the Imperial cities  Rabat, Meknes, Fes, and Marrakech As important centers of trade and culture in the Middle Ages, Fes, Meknes, Marrakesh, and Rabat played decisive roles in the Imperial expansion, first of the Arabs, coming from Middle East, and later from Almohades and Berbers first inhabitants  of Morocc.

DAY 1, CASABLANCA
Morning arrival and assistance by your host at Mohammed V Airport. transfer to the hotel, dinner and over night.

DAY 2 CASABLANCA / RABAT: 90 Km
After breakfast , sightseeing tour of Casablanca. "Principal city in Morocco and capital in all but administration" Casablanca is now the largest port of the Maghreb - busier even than Marseille seaport, the city on which it was modeled by the French. Your visit will include the central market, the Habous district, the Royal Palace, the Mohamed V square, the residential area of Anfa and the Hassan II Mosque. Optional sea food lunch at the Corniche in Ain Diab (coast line).

Afternoon departure to Rabat, the capital of the nation. Check in at your hotel, optional Rabat by night, dinner and over night at the hotel

Day 3, RABAT / MEKNES / FES: 180 Km
After breakfast, quick visit the national capital, This city in many ways is what you would expect: elegant in its spacious European in self conscious in Its very civilized modern ways. Our visit begins in the Medina with the Kasbah of the Oudayas. Visit the venerated Mohamed V Mausoleum, the Hassan Tower, the Mosque, and the ramparts and walls of the Mechouar surrounding the Royal Palace. Departure to Meknes via Volubilis and Moulay Idris. This excursion embodies much of Morocco's early history - Volubilis as Its Roman provincial capital, Moulay Idris in the creation of the country's first Arab dynasty then continue to Fez . Dinner and overnight at your scheduled hotel.

DAY 4, FES:
After breakfast, full-day tour of the city of Fes, The Holy City of Fes is a jewel of Spanish-Arabic civilization. Fes does not reveal its secrets easily. Secretive, shadowy, they need to be discovered little by little, with reverence. Only in this way can the splendors of Medrsa architecture be fully appreciated. Only in this way will the call of the medina tempt you. Bustling with artisans and merchants, its captivating sounds, fragrances and colors mesmerize the visitor with a constant swirl of activity. The city of Moulay Idriss 1st, sanctuary of human and moral sciences. The great À Karaouiyne University bas for eleven centuries been a religions and intellectual center whose influence bas spread far beyond the Kingdom's boundaries. In 789, a pick-axe of silver and gold -"fas" in Arabic - was presented to Idriss 1st to use in tracing the outlines of the city. Hence the name of the city, which lies at the far eastern end of the plain of Saïss, bordered to the south by the hills outlying the Atlas Mountains. Cradle of religions, cultural and artistic traditions, Fes, the double city, is the kingdom's spiritual capital. The Andalusia mosque, dating from the 9th century, and further embellished by successive rulers, is accessed through a mighty door of sculpted cedar. An imposing minaret decorated with green faiences crowns the Rsif Mosque. The Medersas around the Karaouiyne Mosque, former lodging houses for students coming from outside the city, attest the importance of its thousand years of history. In the Medina, a labyrinth of sloping, winding alleyways are crammed full of stalls and workshops. This is the famed Kissaria -the commercial center. A multitude of locally produced goods are on sale in this incredible maze-cotton fabric, silk, brocade work, slippers, and many more.

The craftsmen of the El Attarine souks offer the visitor a non-stop spectacle. For hundreds of years such work bas been regulated by traditional guilds, ensuring that its quality is worthy of the city. Each district has its own specialty : cobalt blue enameled pottery, carpets, wrought iron ... one looks on as the dyer stirs his yarns, steeped in their multitude of colors, as the tanner tramples his skins under an open sky -skins that the leather-worker will eventually adorn with fine gilt for book-binding . Leaving the souks through the Boujeloud gate with its decoration of green and blue faiences, the riches contained in the wonderful Museum of Moroccan Art await one Optional lunch at the Medina and shopping in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel

Day 5: FES / BENI MELLAL / MARRAKECH (485 km)
After breakfast, departure to Marrakech passing by the ski resort of Ifrane, the village of Azrou, Famous for its handy-craft and the Cedar Woods of the Middle Atlas. Lunch in Beni Mellal, This famous Berber city is one  of the Agricultural centres of Morocco. Arrival to Marrakech in the late afternoon, check-in at the hotel. Optional dinner at a Typical Moroccan restaurant with orient show. Accommodation at the hotel.

DAY 6, MARRAKECH
After breakfast, full-day tour of Marrakech. Historic visit of Marrakech will include the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flowers, reflecting the image of a beautiful Moorish construction built in 1866 for the dignitaries. See glorious sunsets with the Atlas mountains as a backdrop. Also, the pool is a functional irrigation system to the surrounding areas. The tour will see several impressive sights: The Koutoubia Minaret (the twin tower of la Giralda in Sevilla, Spain), the Saadian tombs demonstrating Moorish architecture in its perfection. The tombs, consisting of splendid mausoleums built in the sixteenth century, were walled for some time, not to be discovered until 1917. Other sites include: the museum of Dar Si Said with the best display of Berber arts and crafts to be found; the remains of the Badii Palace, a historical monument chosen to host the annual National Festival of Popular Art, beginning the second Friday in June. The Bahia Palace still hosts dignitaries in the heart of the Mellah (Jewish quarter) today. Lunch at the hotel then a walk through the colorful souks of Marrakech in the afternoon. Conclude the day with a sunset drink overlooking the exciting Jamaa El Fna Square. Optional dinner at "Chez Ali" under Berber tents with fantasia show. Over night at the hotel.

DAY 7, MARRAKECH / CASABLANCA:
After breakfast, Morning at leisure, depart to Casablanca, Dinner and over night at your hotel

Day 8 Casablanca/ Airport
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight back home with a memorable trip of life time

Our services:

1/ Accommodation at first class hotels
2/ Transportation:
a/ Transportation by deluxe vehicle  with A/C according to the number of people traveling
3/ Guides:
A/local guides in each major city.
b/ Entrance fee to monuments.|
Tips for luggage handling:
a/ Only at the airport and hotels
4/ Meals:
a/  Daily; breakfast and choice in-between lunch or dinner.
5/ our full assistance:
6/ all applicable taxes

Not included unless if stated other ways"

1/ Discounted Air fares: Available by request
a/ Insurance:
CTT strongly recommends its clients to buy insurance.
b / Tips  to guides, drivers, laundry, phone calls , room service

 

FES FESTIVAL MILCHIL FESTIVAL

Her name was "Tislet", and his was "Isli". Their families were enemy Berber tribes from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Although they were lovers, in true Shakespearean tradition, their irate parents refused to allow them to marry. Their hearts were broken. To live apart was impossible.

Her name was "Tislet", and his was "Isli"

Their families were enemy Berber tribes from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Although they were lovers, in true Shakespearean tradition, their irate parents refused to allow them to marry. Their hearts were broken. To live apart was impossible. They sadly exchanged vows, then drowned themselves in two nearby lakes which now bear their names. Destiny wills that even in death, they are unable to unite. The imposing mountain seated between the two bodies of water acts as a guardian even as their spirits reach out for one another.

this act of desperation so devastated the hostile clans of the Berber "Ait Haddidou" that parents of this tribe thenceforth granted their children the right to choose their own marriage partners.

So unfold the story woven around the annual Berber Brides' Festival of Imilchil, held high in the lake plateau of the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco. Each year in September after the harvest, from every corner of the Ait Haddidou domain, come young men and women in search of a mate.

The moussem, or festival, occurs near Imilchil, at the site of the burial place of Sidi Mohamed El Maghani, the patron saint of the Ait Haddidou. Legend has it that the marriage which were blessed by this holy man were happy and long-lasting thus the reason for the arduous trek to this isolated area.

At one time, this was an exclusive "family affair", with members of some fifty tribes from the region converging on the otherwise barren plateau for a Berber version of the family reunion and wedding celebration combined

Now, those outsiders hardy enough to make the grueling trip are also welcome to participate in the festivities, the affairs become now an international attraction for tourists from all over the world.

Itinerary
Romance in Morocco

Day 1: Casablanca / Rabat

Morning arrival and assistance by our staff at Mohammed V Airport. Sightseeing tour of Casablanca. "Principal city in Morocco and capital in all but administration" Casablanca is now the largest port of the Maghreb - busier even than Marseille, the city on which it was modeled by the French. including visits to the central market, the Habous district, the Royal Palace, the Mohamed V square, the residential area of Anfa and the Hassan II Mosque. Sea food lunch at the Corniche in An Diab (coast line). Afternoon departure to Rabat, the capital of the nation. This city in many ways is what you would expect: elegant in its spacious European in self conscious in Its very civilized modern ways. Our visit begins in the Medina with the Kasbah of the Oudayas. Visit the venerated Mohamed V Mausoleum, the Hassan Tower, the Mosque, and the ramparts and walls of the Mechouar surrounding the Royal Palace. Dinner and over night at the hotel.

Romance in Morocco
Day 2: Rabat/ Volubilis/ Meknes/ Fes

Transfer to Fes via Volubilis, the Roman capital of Northwestern Africa. Lunch in the interesting city of Meknes. Afternoon arrival to Fes with sightseeing of the Ramparts, the Gates, the Borjs (forts) and the Andalous part. Dinner is at the hotel, orientation meeting to follow.

Romance in Morocco

Day 3: Fes

After breakfast, full-day tour of Fez, The most ancient of the imperial capitals, and the most complete medieval city of the Arab world. FES is unique. It is a place that stimulates your senses- with haunting and beautiful sounds, infinite visual details, and unfiltered odors - and it seems to exist suspended in time somewhere between the Middle Ages and the modern times. Besides its electricity it owes absolutely nothing to the west. As a spectacle, this is an entirely satisfying experience. Visit in the morning, optional lunch at the Medina and shopping in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel

Romance in Morocco

Day 4: Fes/ Azrou/ Ksiba

We will be traveling from Fes to Ksibah visiting the Middle Atlas Berber villages and natural sights. We will arrive to Tisi'n'Isly pass in mid-afternoon, a caravan of mules will take us up MtTarrirecht (3km) in the High Atlas to Imilchil where the Festival is taking place. A caidal tent is pitched beside the Chief of the tribe as an honor for us (the guests), also to enjoy all the ceremonies and the festival activities. Dinner is with the Berbers round a campfire. (Camping)

Romance in Morocco

Day 5: Imilchil

After breakfast we will take a mild hike to the breath taking plateau des lacs. We shall return to camp for lunch. Afternoon Will be devoted to the festival activities among the Berbers. (Camping)

Romance in Morocco

Day 6: Imilchil

After breakfast, we will take a morning walk in the mountains visiting the Berber nomads in their tents and sipping mint tea with them. Return to Imilchil for lunch. The afternoon is to share the happiness of the newly wed couples in a festive atmosphere with the indigenous Berber in their joyful chants and dances. Depart to Marrakech, dinner and over night at the hotel in Marrakech.

Romance in Morocco

Day 7 : Marrakech

After breakfast, full-day tour of Marrakech. Historic visit of Marrakech will include the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flowers, reflecting the image of a beautiful Moorish construction built in 1866 for the dignitaries. See glorious sunsets with the Atlas mountains as a backdrop. Also, the pool is a functional irrigation system to the surrounding areas. The tour will see several impressive sights: The Koutoubia Minaret (the twin tower of la Giralda in Sevilla, Spain), the Saadian tombs demonstrating Moorish architecture in its perfection. The tombs, consisting of splendid mausoleums built in the sixteenth century, were walled for some time, not to be discovered until 1917.
Other sites include: the museum of Dar Si Said with the best display of Berber arts and crafts to be found; the remains of the Badii Palace, a historical monument chosen to host the annual National Festival of Popular Art, beginning the second Friday in June. The Bahia Palace still hosts dignitaries in the heart of the Mellah (Jewish quarter) today. Lunch at the hotel then a walk through the colorful souks of Marrakech in the afternoon. Conclude the day with a sunset drink overlooking the exciting Jamaa El Fna Square. Hassan's complimentary dinner at "Chez Ali" under Berber tents with fantasia show. Over night at the hotel.

Romance in Morocco

Day 8: Marrakech / Essaouira:

Departure to Essaouira (Mogador), a part from the immediate impact of sea air and the friendly animation of the town, the predominant images of Essaouira are of the Atlantic - of the rugged coast and offshore islands, the vast expense of empty sands trailing back along the promontory to the south, and the almost gothic scenery of the eighteen century fortifications. Lunch at Chalet de la Mer. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel.

Romance in Morocco

Day 9: Essaouira / El Jadida / Casablanca:

After breakfast departure to Casablanca via El Jadida / stop at El Oualidia. Relay and seafood lunch . Departure along the coastline to El Jadida - visit of the citadel. vestige of the Portuguese occupation during the 11th century. Continuation to Casablanca. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel.

Romance in Morocco

Day 10: Casablanca / Airport Mohamed V :

Morning departure to Mohammed V Airport with a memorable trip of a life time.

MOROCCAN COOKING CLASSES

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food. The sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life There is a strong sense of family and tribe.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalizing fragrance, color and warmth. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

MINT TEA
The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Although it is said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, the truth behind the history of tea is the English who offloaded it in Tangier during the Crimean War. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

COUSCOUS
As the national dish, couscous has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina native to the region mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, it is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe couscous brings God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it.

BREAD
Bread or &#x20khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

PRESERVES
One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Moroccans developed the art of preserving using salt. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

BAGH'IR
For a delicious Morocco breakfast, try this yeasty semolina pancake with a distinctive honeycomb appearance. Serve with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

B’STILA
This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation.

The Moroccans eat three meals a day, the main meal being around mid-day.

Eating with your hands is a time-honoured tradition. Rule number one: eat with your right hand only, using the thumb and first two fingers. Using more is a sign of gluttony. The left hand may only be used for picking up bread or passing dishes on to other people. Never help yourself to bread, wait until it is given to you. If more than one person apportions the bread at the table, the house will be beset by quarrelling. Use the bread to mop up sauces and clean you plate. Do not lick your fingers until the end of the meal. In the meantime wipe them on the bread or a napkin, if you have to.

Washing is very important - clean your hands before every meal usually with rose or orange scented water.

When at home with a Moroccan family the women may not eat with the family, allowances are made when female visitors are there for lunch. The cook presents the lunch and leaves. The host will announce ‘Bismillah’ (the name of Allah), everyone echoes his salutation. Then eating commences.

If you are full, continue nibbling. If you stop the rest of the table will follow suit.

If offered a gift when invited into a Moroccan home do not refuse – it’s very uncouth to turn down a charitable moment. Be careful not to admire something in the house as they may give it to you to take away. This is the Arab fear of the ‘evil eye’ – the envied object is given away to deter jealousy.

In the same way do not refuse food when offered. The host will always offer food when you enter his home. Three glasses of mint tea and a meal is acceptable. The best portions will be served to you. If you don’t like it – just taste a little of it. At the end of a meal a significant portion of food must remain.

Honour the host. Conversation must be entertaining and praising of the food.

Planet Food: Morocco

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Casablanca Travel and Tours is a full-service travel agency dedicated to the idea that travel can and should open doors to new life experiences.  Whether we work with private travelers or large groups, we provide the highest level of customer satisfaction and value.

Our offices are located in Washington D.C., U.S.A., and Casablanca, Morocco. Because we are English-speaking natives of Morocco, our staff becomes your personal in-depth resource for knowledge about Moroccan culture and travel concerns you might have. [Read More]

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