EXPERIENCE MOROCCO THROUGH THE UNIVERSAL HERITAGE OF MUSIC...
Travel to a destination to explore its music, why not! Taking this I would say a journey to explore Morocco through music is to dig deep into Moroccan culture. You will discover aspects of history as much as places that would be hard to explore any other ways in conventional travel, expressed poetically in the daily lives of Moroccans. Travel to explore One of the most important aspects of this culture which is music emphasized on every occasion in order to display thoughts and feelings that are impossible to put into words. This otherworldly journey will introduce you to a world filled with spirituality and beauty that transcends religion, as you absorb an atmosphere replete with authentic Moroccan music and culture.
This is a group tour to learn about music and celebrate events with locals. The musical essence of this journey will take you to a world of marvels and reflections impossible to experience otherwise. Become immersed in diverse types of music from Moroccan pop, known as Oughnia and Chaabi, to Sufi spiritual music of different paths expressed in chants of Samaa of the Tariqa Boutchichia or Tijani, or Shadhiliya Tariqa, to trance drumming of Dakka of Marrakech and invoking as in Issawa, Hmadcha, Jilala, Heddawa, Gnaoua and the music of many other Sufi orders in Fez and Marrakech.
Rai music, Reggada, and Jajouka have attracted even big stars of Western Pop music such as the Rolling Stones, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, the Doobie Brothers, Cat Stevens, Jimmy Hendrix, Peter Gabriel, Sting and many others. These artists and others have fused with or borrowed some rhythms and melodies from traditional Moroccan music. Come learn about the first structured written music, known as the Andalusian music (old Muslim Spain), that gave birth in 13 and 14th centuries to Classical Western and to the popular Flamenco and Fado in Spain and Portugal.
The Malhoun is a rhythmic prose in a very popular style, which originated in the 12th Century and has remained unique to Morocco, as a style that still does not exist anywhere else. Some of the Berber Tribal music is hard to trace back in time, as some rituals and beliefs in Morocco can go as far as the Neolithic time. Join us for this very informative palette of music that will enrich your repertoire and add to your knowledge of World Music! Learn about the history of some handmade musical instruments that exist only in a few western history books. We invite you to dance, share, participate and absorb a wide spectrum of indigenous Moroccan music.
This Morocco tour is a great introduction to the diverse landscapes this destination has to offer through walking, hiking, camping over the dunes in the Sahara Desert, as well as stays in deluxe hotels and riads in Fez and Marrakech.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
Once you land at the Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca, your guide will meet you at your arrival gate to take you immediately to check-in to your hotel. The remainder of the morning will be to relax and acclimate. In the afternoon, your guide will take you on a monumental tour exploring Casablanca, the largest port, and capital in all but administration. Next, you will visit the Habous quarter to be introduced to your first Spanish Moorish ambiance of a lively market in old Casablanca, then, of course, the Art Deco colonial downtown with the real flavor of the Mystic French connection.
Your guide will introduce you to La Corniche and Ain Diab shoreline. This will give you an idea of the creative architecture in neighborhoods of the well-off in Morocco, and also the inclusive resort of La Corniche. And of course, you will not miss the great mosque of Hassan II, the second largest mosque in the world. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner. HB
After breakfast you will travel to Volubilis visiting on the way the beautiful vistas and small Berber villages of Morocco. Visible for miles, Volubilis is a remarkable site, once the central location for the introduction of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the natives of Morocco. You will spend some time relaxing at the peaceful Volubilis hotel, which overlooks a valley of the city's ancient ruins. In the afternoon, you will walk through the first Islamic city in Morocco, Moulay Idriss, home to many Sufi Orders founded throughout the centuries. This tour will be your initial introduction to Moroccan society with regard to spirituality, as you explore the city's labyrinth-like streets and local markets. After dinner, you will attend a brief introductory session about Sufi music, followed by a rhythmic celebration hadra, after which you will return to your hotel early for a good night sleep. BB
In the morning, you will depart for Fez, where you will check into your hotel, a Moorish Riad in the Medina, and eat lunch upon arrival. You will devote your afternoon to the exploration of Fez, with a historic tour including visits to the Mellah (the oldest Jewish quarter is in Fez), the King's palace, and the Bat'ha Museum of Moroccan Arts. Then we will drive to the Merinides hill to visit their necropolis where you will enjoy the best panoramic view on the Old walled Medina of Fez brimful with all its countless minarets to call for the prayers in a city that has responded to these calls for 12 centuries. Drive down the hills to the gate of Bab Guissa north of Fez to leave your vehicle and enter a world that belongs to an ancient time. Fez has conserved its integrity to its existence and the Medina is still as it was centuries ago. Not even a bicycle is able to be used as a tool for transportation. Only donkeys, mules and horses are able to help to move all that the city produces and needs as supplies throughout the Medina of Fez. The first guilds you will immediately encounter are the cobblers, the saddlers, and blacksmiths interlaced by some caravansaries for tribesmen who come from the surrounding areas to trade and supply their needs. Down the hill to Juteya you will encounter all sorts of crafts but noticeably carpenters and leather workers as one of the traditional tanneries is not far. This walk will lead you to El Ashabine square with its different activities, from their we will wind our way to the Sgha square which will lead us to Attarine then souk el henna and the Mausoleum of Moulay Idris the founder of Fez next to it you will visit the Nejjarine square with its famous fountain, it guild of carpentry, the museum of folk arts at the Fondouk, the tannery and on to visit the great Mosque university of al Quarrawiyyine the land mark of Fez passing by the market of dried fruits, the Medersa Attarine to Sbetryyine book binders the Seffarine Square where the tapping of metalworkers on copper and Brass is still deafening the passersby as it was the case for centuries. You will break for lunch then continue exploring the marvels of Fez Medina. Initially, this will highlight the Dyers of silk and other yarns workshops, Foundouk Tetouani a medieval warehouse were all kind of traditional products are traded in the old fashion. Your discovery visit will proceed on to the shrine of Sidi Ahmed Tijani and up by foundouk Lihoudi where a family will host you for a traditional meant tea in their home in the Medina of Fez, the heartbeat of Morocco. After dinner in your hotel, the Ambiance of the Issawa Spiritual drummers will fill up the courtyard of your Riad. Enjoy dancing and chanting in the ambiance of a family circle. BB
You will have the morning at your leisure, free to do what you please. In the afternoon, you will take an excursion outside of Fez to the rural Mount Zalagh to visit the shrine of Sidi Ahmed el Barnoussi, an ideal place with a view to contemplation and meditation. For centuries people retreated in this Hill of serenity and peace. Mules will be at the at your disposal if you to ride up to the shrine. A local group of Tebbala from the neighboring village will escort you and entertain you with their drums and traditional oboes (Ghita). Dance your way up the almond and olive groves to attend an introduction to Jajouka rhythms and other traditions, followed by an excursion to Mount Zallagh in the Riff Mountains. You will meet a mule caravan, which will accompany as you explore the mountains. Afterward, you will enjoy a mint-tea party at the shrine of Sidi Ahmed el Barnoussi, a pilgrimage for Sufis from all over Morocco, as you watch the sunset over Fez. You will complete your day with dinner and dancing in a Moroccan restaurant with entertainment by Chaabi musicians. BB.
You will have the morning at your leisure, free to do what you please. In the afternoon, you will take an excursion outside of Fez to the rural Mount Zalagh to visit the shrine of Sidi Ahmed el Barnoussi, an ideal place with a view for contemplation and meditation. For centuries people retreated in this Hill of serenity and peace. Mules will be at the at your disposal if you to ride up to the shrine. A local group of Tebbala from the neighboring village will escort you and entertain you with their drums and traditional oboes (Ghita). Dance your way up the almond and olive groves to attend an introduction to Jajouka rhythms and other traditions, followed by an excursion to Mount Zallagh in the Riff Mountains. You will meet a mule caravan, which will accompany as you explore the mountains. Afterward, you will enjoy a mint-tea party at the shrine of Sidi Ahmed el Barnoussi, a pilgrimage for Sufis from all over Morocco, as you watch the sunset over Fez. You will complete your day with dinner and dancing in a Moroccan restaurant with entertainment by Chaabi musicians.
In the morning, you will leave Fez and venture into the Atlas Mountains. Your first experience with the Atlas Mountains will probably surprise you, since the hills of the Middle Atlas seem oddly un-Moroccan. Passing by Imouzzer, with a break stop at the Suisse like town of Ifran, you will soon come across the first real town of the Middle Atlas, Azrou, an important market center for the region Berber tribes that is located at a major junction of mountain routes. Your driver will take a little detour in the forest of cedar to introduce you one the oldest inhabitant of this region the Barbary apes. This may also coincide with the encounter of a nomadic family in its temporary encampment. Initially, nomads are very hospitable people, whenever we encounter them we are all invited at least for a mint tea under their tents. At Midelt, the Middle Atlases give way to the High Atlas Mountains, whose peaks are visible through the haze, soaring to over 12,000 feet. You will stop in Midelt for lunch, enjoying the dramatic sight before you. You will then continue to Erfoud, one of the most delightful southern regions consisting of a dry, red belt of desert with a sudden drop into the lush valley of Ziz, with copious date palm groves and flowing streams. You will conclude your day with dinner in your hotel. HB
You will have the morning at your leisure, followed by an excursion to the holy city of Rissani after lunch. You will then continue your journey to Erg Chebbi and watch the sun set behind the spectacular Merzouga dunes of the Sahara, a sight so beautiful that words cannot describe it. Afterward, you will have dinner with the Tuaregs, followed by the tribal Rokba Tagmount Dance. You will spend the night camping on the dunes. HB
Only fifteen kilometers from Tinghir, you will find the highest, narrowest gorges in the region: the Todras. You will then travel through the Dades valley, where you will find thousands of rose bushes acting as hedgerows to divide plots of land used for local produce. You will depart Tinghir and journey through El Kelaa De Mgouna and Boumalne, exploring the Dades Valley as you continue onward to Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate is defined by one large Oasis that intercepts the flow of water between the Dades, the Draa valleys, and the majestic High Atlas. Dinner and accommodations will be provided in the Belere Hotel, followed by a visit to a local home where you will enjoy a night of tribal music with Howara dancers. HB
You will depart in the morning for Marrakech, traveling via Taddart and the Tizi n Tishka Pass. The Pass, at an elevation of 11,000 feet, divides the mountains into two totally different aspects. The first side acts as a shield, protecting the hinterland from the Sahara harsh, dry climate. The second side is soft and evergreen, collecting moisture brought by the Gherbi winds from the Atlantic Ocean. You will arrive in Marrakech, a pleasure city where Southern tribesmen and Berber villagers bring their goods, spend their money, and find entertainment. For tourists, Marrakech is perpetually fascinating, sitting majestically before the soaring Atlas Mountains. You will have lunch at your hotel, followed by a visit to the bustling Jemaa El Fna Square. Afterward, you will visit a local home, where you will enjoy dinner, the local Kekka music, and the famous Gnawa music and dancing. BB
You will devote your morning to discovering the many historical sites that Marrakech has to offer, followed by lunch at La Paix Restaurant, a French restaurant with an art deco theme. You will have a farewell dinner at a Jewish restaurant in the Mellah, followed by festivities complete with Andalusian and Sepherdic music (Very different from Fez). Accommodations will be provided at the Hotel. BB
You will begin your day by traveling to Essaouira (Mogador), a picturesque city of Morocco with a rich history. With a fascinating antiquity, Essaouira was occupied by the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, supplied essential purple dyes to the Romans, absorbed the sophisticated Jewish arts of silversmith, and spent centuries as a Portuguese enclave. Despite the obvious influence of these civilizations, Essaouira has managed to remain a small, authentic Berber town in Morocco. Alive with the breath of fresh air provided by the Atlantic, Essaouira is a jewel nestled in the ragged Atlantic coast of Morocco, with a vast expanse of empty sands trailing back along the promontory towards the South. After an introductory tour, you will return to Marrakech for Farewell dinner in Firdous a typical Moroccan restaurant. HB
You will depart for Casablanca Airport in the morning where you will board your flight back home with a lifetime worth of memories packed neatly into your suitcase.
11 night accommodation in 4-star hotels
Breakfast and dinner as indicated in the itinerary
Land transportation in chauffeured vehicles throughout Morocco
Services of English-speaking guides in major Cities
Entrance fees to monuments and museums in Fez and Marrakech
Musicians performances and celebrations in Fez and elsewhere scheduled
Camp over the dunes + Camels Caravan
Hotel tax and service charges
Casablanca: 1 night, Suisse Hotel or similar
Volubilis: 1 night, Hotel Volubilis or similar
Fez: 3 nights, Hotel la Perle de la Medina or similar
We are always available to answer any question you might have about this tour in Morocco (what to wear, weather, security...) or customizing this tour just for you. Ultimately, this tour is musical expedition at the same a cultural discovery and an active overland tour. You can trek, visit historic highlights, shop for all authentic goods in Morocco, visit homes, and bedouin tents, indulge on best true moroccan cuisine and mostly play and dance to Moroccan music.