Tinmel Mosque

Tinmel mosque, detail
Tinmel mosque, detail

The mosque of Tinmel stands isolated on the green valley N’Fis (High Atlas), where the yellow of the walls contrasts with the rough and arid mountain slopes. From the outside, the building does not reveal the inner architectural. Originally from the eleventh century, served later as a model to Koutubia Mosque in Marrakesh.

Currently only remains the ruins of their former glory, including the walls that surrounded the city and the Grand Mosque, archetype of the great mosques of the Almohads The model spread throughout the Maghreb over the following centuries.

Tinmel mosque, detail
Tinmel mosque, detail

The building occupies a rectangle of 48.1 meters per 43.6 m, which can be accessed by six side doors, arranged face to face. Four doors open onto the prayer room and two to the courtyard. The mosque has no roof today and two of the towers disappeared, but the mihrab (place of worship) and internal arches of complex pattern, is pretty much intact.
Geometric building standards as decorative elements are very elaborate, like in traditional Moroccan architecture

Tinmel mosque, detail
Tinmel mosque, detail

Something you must know:To visit the mosque, which is usually closed, you will have to search, at the village, for the key holder, which will make you a guided tour to the Tinmel Mosque.

The Tinmel Mosque, is applying for UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.

Essaouira, 5 reasons for a family trip

Essaouira (Arabic: الصويرة) is a destination for all ages. The windy city is a perfect compromise between the beach and adventure or culture and tranquility.

1- With mild weather throughout the year, its famous wind refreshes the heat of spring and summer, intense inside the country. The winter is mild and quiet, ideal for combining the pleasures of the sea with the cultural offerings of the city.

Essaouira's beach
Essaouira’s beach

2- A variety of accommodation for all tastes and prices, which may range from hostels, campsites, charming villas, traditional riads with personal and intimate atmosphere and luxury hotels offer high quality services.

Heure Bleue Palais – Relais & Châteaux
Heure Bleue Palais – Relais & Châteaux

3- Regardless your age or interests, Essaouira has several entertainment options. A walk in the Medina, at the beach, windsurfing or kite surfing for the adventurous or riding a horse or a camel. To the more traditional, a Moroccan cooking class, relax with a massage at a spa or enjoy a freshly caught fish.

Essaouira beach, dromedary tour
Essaouira beach, dromedary tour

4- In Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will find an unusual tranquility in a youthful environment. You will find typical products of Moroccan handicraft, but also other artists who exhibit and sell their works of art. Or you may simply accept the offer of mint tea and listening to the stories the elders have to tell.

An alley of the Medina of Essaouira
An alley in the Medina of Essaouira

5- For true lovers of the sea, you can not miss a visit to the walls of the old Portuguese fort, from where you can enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the Atlantic Ocean.

Essaouira, the old Portuguese fort walls
Essaouira, the old Portuguese fort walls

Something you must know: For traditional music lovers and world music, Essaouira organizes every year in May, the Gnaoa Music Festival, which brings to the city the best traditional sub-Saharan musicians and thousands of festival-goers, from all over the world.

 

Marrakesh, cuisine

According to the Business Insider magazine, Marrakech is the 11th city in the world with the best cuisine. A reward that comes, once again, distinguished the strengths of the Red City.

Lamb tagine, plums and sesame seeds
Lamb tagine, plums and sesame seeds

After the titles of “Best world Destination” or “Best destination in Africa”, Marrakech continues to accumulate the places of honor as it appears in the 11th position of the ranking of cities with the best food. The American news website Business Insider justifies this choice: “Marrakech combines the flavors of France, Africa and the Middle East.” The website also adds: “In the evening, tourists can afford the best food in beautiful and fancy restaurants.”

Bô Zin, Marrakesh restaurant
Bô Zin, Marrakesh restaurant

The prize list is dominated by Bangkok (Thailand), Barcelona (Spain) and Bologna (Italy)

Morocco, a country of contrasts #1

The diversity and contrast, make Morocco a single country. There is no doubt, Morocco has it all. The rich culture (a mixture of Arab, Berber and other African and European influences), ancient history (inhabited since the Paleolithic), and a varied geography (beaches, agricultural plains, mountains), and especially people and their ways of life. The best way to show you all this, is through images.

In the Atlas Mountains, there are several Berber villages. Snow-covered in winter, with some vegetation in the summer, the villages have simple houses built very close together, in community life itself. The Berber people leads a simple life in stone houses in the mountains, living from agriculture, bread baking in traditional ovens, the raising cattle and the manufacture and sale of honey, olive oil and ceramics.

Berber village in the Atlas Mountains
Berber village in the Atlas Mountains

Let yourself be charmed by the smiles and laughter of the locals, Berbers who still live an ancient lifestyle in a hierarchy that part of the male figure, responsible for their households, and descends to the woman, whose job is to take care of home and children.

Berber women doing the laundry in the river
Berber women doing the laundry in the river

But when we speak of Morocco, our imagination is filled with the Sahara desert, the nomadic people going through the immensity of the dunes on their camels caravans, living in search of water to quench their flocks.

Camel caravan in the Sahara desert
Camel caravan in the Sahara desert

Proving the geographic and cultural diversity of Morocco, we have the coastal city of Essaouira, with its unique Medina, UNESCO World Heritage, a fishing town on the Atlantic coast, famous for its windy beaches that receives windsurfing and kite lovers, coming from all over the world.

View of the Medina of Essaouira, within the walls of the old Portuguese fort.
View of the Medina of Essaouira, within the walls of the old Portuguese fort.

Celebritys in Morocco – Yves Saint-Laurent

YSL Marrakesh

Yves Saint-Laurent had an enduring love affair with Marrakech which began with his first trip in 1966 “When I discovered Marrakech, it was an extraordinary shock. The city taught me color”, he said.

YSL-8

According to Saint-Laurent’s life-long partner, Bergé, “When Yves Saint-Laurent and I arrived in Marrakech, we did not know that this city would pay such an important role in our lives, that we would by three houses here including that of Majorelle with its famous garden (Saint-Laurent’s ashes were scattered here after his death in 2008), or that Morocco would became our country of adoption, our second homeland.”

YSL Collections
YSL Collections

The legendary designer is famed for reinventing traditional Moroccan attire, such as the jellaba, the burnous and the tarbouch, creating new silhouettes worn by fashion’s most stylish women.

Something you must know: Majorelle’s gardens is one of the sites most visited in Morocco and is open to the public every day of the year, along with the Berber Museum where you can be introduced to berber culture, life traditions, berber jewelry and costumes.

Nomadic people, childhood

“There (in the desert) no one dreams of get to be, because everyone already is.”

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“I keep clearly the memories of my childhood: I wake up with the sun. Next to me are the goats of my father They give us milk and meat, we will conduct them where there is water and grass … So did my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my. father … and me. In the world there was nothing further, and I was very happy!

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… At the age of seven is already permitted to the child to move away from the camp to learn things that will be important in the desert: sniff the air, hear, learn how to look, learn to be guided by the sun and stars. And to let be led by the camel. If you lost yourself, the animal will take you where there is water.
There, everything is simple and profound. There are few things in the desert and each one, has great value.

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There, every little thing gives us happiness. We feel a great joy for the simple fact that we play, we are together! There, no one dreams of get to be, because everyone already is. ”

Excerpt from an interview to Moussa Ag Assarid, a Tuareg studying at a University in France, by Catalan’s journalist Victor M. Amela.

Medina of Fez

Medina
Medina

Medina of Fez, 1200 years
It is one of the oldest of Morocco’s imperial capitals and the largest and best preserved medieval city of the Arab world. In this tangle of streets at first sight disorganized, you will find a very active trade, mosques, running water fountains, the oldest university in the world, traditional architecture palaces, madrasas and craftsmen. And we will talk about all these things, here.

La Sultana Marrakesh

La Sultana, swimming pool
La Sultana, swimming pool

Between June 17 and August 30, book 4 nights and pay only 3 or book 7, pay only 5.
La Sultana Marrakesh – a true timeless Palace – is a worthy member of Small Luxury Hotels and Great Hotels of the World.

Terrace with a view
Terrace with a view

Located In the heart of the Medina of the imperial city of Marrakesh, near the historic Saadian tombs and within walking distance of the Royal Palace. With panoramic views over the famous Koutoubia Mosque, to the Atlas Mountains and with easy access to the Jamaa El Fna Square.

The restaurant of La Sultana offers a traditional Moroccan cuisine to reflect the flavors of the season, served either in the cosy atmosphere of the patio in the winter or on the rooftop overlooking the vibrant city and the snow capped mountains of the Atlas in the summer.

Cooking classes
Cooking classes

Something you must know: For the ultimate delight, La Sultana offers cooking lessons, delivering the secrets of Moroccan cuisine, every morning at 10h30am.

Riad El Fenn

800-600-riad-el-fenn

Combining grandeur and historic architecture with hideaway nooks, terraces and gardens, the hotel is just five minutes walk from the world-famous Djemaa el Fna square and the souk. It’s a place to kick back and enjoy the tranquility of an abundance of hidden spaces before stepping outside to soak up the atmosphere of a city that’s seduced everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Winston Churchill.