Tag Archives: Berber languages

Marrakech excursions

A day out in the country around Marrakech

Atlas berber village excursion near Marrakech

Some suggestions from our blog piece for a day’s excursion from Marrakech

  • Walking in the foothills of the countryside around Marrakech
  • A day in a kasbah
  • Berber farm near Marrakech
  • Country club
  • Artists’ retreat

– a nice change from the bustling city of Marrakech.

We will help you arrange your trips/excursions.

Saffron harvest on organic farm near Marrakesh

Extracting saffron Marrakech

Learn all about growing and harvesting saffron – the most expensive spice in the world.

Harvesting takes place through the month of November – take advantage of our 20% discount offer on our lovely suites in Riad Sapphire and Spa and enjoy some warm, sunny weather.

Have an interesting day out on an organic farm at the Paradis du Safran

Owner Saffron farm Marrakech

Moroccan folk art

Small museum showing artistic handwoven rugs

rag-rugs-Marrakech-museum

What fabulous news! The Medina now has a new place full of history and lovely things – the Boucharouite Museum, an initiative devoted to Moroccan folk art. The museum takes its name from the ‘boucharouite’ carpet, also known as the rag rug, which are made by women in remote villages throughout Morocco.

They are prominently on display at the museum, as are other items including Berber doors and photos.

Boucharouite has long been considered the ‘carpet of the poor’, but of course they are actually highly prized and come in many colours, shapes and materials and often carry the heavy weight of sentimental value.

This new small museum gives these wonderful pieces of folk art a home and a platform. Add it to your list of things to do in Marrakech this summer.

Museum Boucharouite. 40 Dhs entry, free for children under 16 years. Open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed Sunday and August. No website. Telephone: 0524 38 38 87 or email: museeboucharouite@gmail.com

Azbezt 107, derb El Cadi

40000 Marrakesh, Morocco

If arriving by taxi, ask for Ben Saleh

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Multi-media Marrakech

Marrakech_water seller_short film on Marrakech_Suki Mok

Travel and music go together. Just like a photograph brings back memories a song can take you back to a certain place too.

This week we stumbled upon a beautiful piece of film which we feel has successfully captured the essence of Marrakech. It has been created by Suki Mok, a talented musician, turned photographer.

Suki shot the short film on his Blackmagic camera and it has been set to a transporting piece of music by Jose Gonzalez – a song called ‘Step out’, which has an ethereal, travel vibe to it.

The film takes the audience through some of Morocco’s finest sights such as the Atlas Mountains, Berber villages, the Medina souks, Jardin Majorelle and the Koutoubia Minaret. All of these iconic sights were expertly captured on Suki’s first ever visit to Morocco, watching it is a bit like seeing the country through fresh eyes. Suki says of his journey:

“Just an hour’s drive away will take you to the stunning Atlas mountains, where the Berbers still live in villages untouched by modern society. The film is rich with new colours, patterns and faces with wholly unique stories – it was a truly unforgettable experience.”

So, sit back, relax and turn up your speakers…

To view video, see here: http://vimeo.com/87645206

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Terres D’Amanar – outside Marrakesh

terres d'amanar, marrakech

Just a 30 minute drive out of Marrakech takes you to the lively estate of Terres D’Amanar, located at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

A fine example of ecotourism and sustainable development in Morocco, Terres d’Amanar makes for a great, fun day out. Active types will enjoy the zip-wires, trekking, horse riding, climbing and mountain biking activities on offer, while more sedate activities include cookery and craft lessons. For all to enjoy there is a swimming pool and a library. Children love it here and Terres D’Amanar is popular with families.

The overall project has been overseen and designed by the local community who remain heavily involved. Seasonal food is prepared by Berber women from neighbouring areas and the staff come from nearby settlements too. Partnerships with local cooperatives mean that vegetables, craft products and raw building materials are all sourced locally as well – a creative and useful model that can serve as a blueprint for other businesses.

If you fancy overnighting, there are simple but clean and functional guestrooms available as well as large, comfortable tents for camping in the ‘nature village.’

www.terresdamanar.com

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Artisan-inspired handmade handbags – made for you in Marrakech

Adil Andaloussi maker of handmade bags Marrakech
Even if you’re in Marrakech just a few days, if you make your way to Adil Andaloussi’s place in Rue Riad Zitoun Jdid (New Olive Street), he can make you a genuine leather handbag using ancient techniques (as opposed to the machine-made ones in the souks).
Simple bags range from 200 dirhams and ones with more decoration or handwoven and sewn threads around the bag are from 300 dirhams and up.
Choukkara money bags traditionally used by Berber men are 500 dirhams. They are made from goat’s leather, which is thick and robust, but also very soft. The leather flap on the bag is decorated with handtooled leather designs or embroidered in delicate oriental designs with vibrantly-colored silk thread.

traditional fringed choukara bag, berber, Marrakesh
I can assure you that women would be equally happy having one over their shoulder.
You will see the different styles in his tiny retail space, clutch bags, pouch bags, evening bags …
So if you prefer not to wait, then you can choose from ready-mades ones on display.

Adil andaloussi's tiny store Marrakech medina
You can also check out his website: http://www.tamaroc.com/
Best starting point to find his small store is from the Bahia Palace – with the Palace on your right, keep walking straight. This is the rue riad Zitoun Jdid. He’s number 58.

Tel.: 06 38 88 69 32
58 Rue riad Zitoun Jdid
Marrakech medina

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Jarjeer Mules – great day trip near Marrakesh

donkeys in Marrakesh, children's activity, jarjeer

The Jarjeer project, a community set in six hectares of land in the foothills of the High Atlas, was developed by Charles Hantom and Susan Machin. The couple have close ties with the village of Oumnas and are active in promoting and helping to preserve Berber traditions. They also have a great deal of love and respect for animals and work tirelessly in looking after donkeys and cows.

A visit to Jarjeer is possible and as the project is located just 24 kms from Marrakech, this can make for a great day trip with a difference.

You can travel to the estate and take part in a cooking class, eat a delicious meal and meet the donkeys and cows – great for children. Here you can spend a pleasant afternoon learning all about the working life of donkeys – an important part of Moroccan culture.

People you might meet at the estate include Sade Brahim, a farrier (a specialist in equine hoof care), who lives in the village and was trained by SPANA in Casablanca. Other team members include Mohammed, the Head Muleteer who has overall responsibility for the animals and Abjelih, an experienced horse rider who is also a guide for walks around the surrounding countryside.

All proceeds from the sale of refreshments goes to the welfare and upkeep of the animals.

http://www.marrakechmules.com

 

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Go ‘off-road’

activities in Marrakech, cycling in Atlas mountains

Cyclists who like to go ‘off-road’ should look no further than AXS (www.argansports.com), a Marrakech-based bicycle company which offers touring, distribution, retail, and soon, a café. Ideal for ex-pats who are looking for an alternative way to explore Morocco, or for visitors who are keen for an adrenaline-filled trip.

Tours include the easy, beginner-level ‘Magical Marrakech’ tour, which is an hour and a half cycling past the King’s palace, the Medina and the Djeema-El-Fna where tour members stop to drink some of the best freshly-squeezed orange juice in the world.

Or, for something more adventurous, there’s the ‘intermediate to advanced’ graded full day tour of the Ouirgane Valley in the High Atlas Mountains. Two-wheels are a great way to get up close to Berber Villages and the tour focuses on “off-road” trails around Asni. Leg-wobbling maybe, but certainly spectacular!

Keep up with their blog here: http://blog.argansports.com/

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