Ancient Granaries: Saffron Fills the Senses (Part IV)

Morocco's Red Gold: Ancient Granaries

“Morocco, though it is visited by thousands of tourists every year, remains an unknown country – the greater part of it as uncharted to the European or American visitor as was Tibet a hundred years ago.”                            Gavin Maxwell, Lords of the Atlas, 2000.

The Ancient Granaries of Taliouine from Journey Beyond Travel on Vimeo.

Maxwell may have been writing almost two decades ago, early in the rise of google maps, satellite technology and the age of snap-happy travellers capturing selfies across the globe, but the quotation above still rings true. With so much of Morocco’s tourism being directed towards the Imperial cities and luxury riads of Fez and Marrakesh, many of the Maghreb’s treasures remain undiscovered by most or simply forgotten by all. (more…)

8 Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel to Morocco

Eco-Friendly Travel in Morocco

Eco-friendly travel and sustainable travel are the newest buzzwords in the global tourism industry – and rightly so. Traveling has enormous impacts on our carbon footprint. Everything from the CO2 emissions of airplanes to the waste of plastic in hotels means the tourism industry can end up affecting our climate system disproportionally. Today, many travelers are looking for ways to minimize their carbon footprint while jet setting across the world. The good news is the travel industry has taken note and is adopting newer and more eco-friendlier ways of doing business.

(more…)

Scenes from the Sahara

The Moroccan Sahara

The expanse of the Sahara desert which stretches across Morocco is divided into two main regions; the Erg (dunes) Chebbi and the Erg Chigaga. Both provide the spectacle of rolling, velvet sand dunes for as far as the eye can see, with the mountains of Algeria as a backdrop when looking east. Whether you decide to visit the Chigaga or the Chebbi dunes, you will enjoy beautiful camel treks, serene sunsets treks and stunning star lit nights, but each region had it’s own unique charm.

It can also be guaranteed that your journey from the Imperial cities of Fez or Marrakesh will take you through significant changes in landscape before you hit the dunes themselves; over mountains, barren rocky plateaus and lush oasis valleys. The route from Fez to Merzouga will take you over the green and fertile Middle Atlas mountains and alongside the Ziz Valley palmeries, while Marrakesh to Chigaga will take you over the High Atlas and through the Draa Valley palmeries. 

(more…)

The Gardens of Marrakesh

Gardens of Marrakesh

The hustle and bustle of Marrakesh is exciting, but can become overwhelming. One of the key secrets to enjoying an extended time in the Red City is by taking short breaks in the many gardens and parks across the city. Not only are they places worth visiting as a stand alone reason to go, they will provide moments to take a breath and get back to nature after trawling the shops and souks. Many of the gardens are free or only 10 dirham making it easy to pop into a park or garden for a short amount of time and chill out. If you find yourself needing to escape the madness of the medina, be sure to head to one of these gardens to refresh your spirits. (more…)

In Pictures: The Kelaat Mgouna Rose Festival

Kelaat Maagouna Rose Festival Morocco

Every year thousands of people gather in Kelaat Mgouna, a small city between Ouarzazate and the Sahara Desert to witness the roses bring the valley to life. With the Rose Festival of Kelaat Mgouna having drawn to an end for this year, we thought we’d share a visual insight into some of the faces and scenes behind the celebration. While we wish we could tell you exactly when the festival will be next year there’s no way to tell. It’s based on when the roses come into full bloom and can be anywhere from mid-April to mid-May. 

(more…)

Saffron Fills the Senses: Part Three

Moroccan Saffron Part Three

In parts one and two of our story unfolding saffron in Morocco we took you on a journey discovering Talouine, the city that is the heart of Moroccan saffron. From there we showcased the people behind the production and harvest of this precious crop. Today, you will see how saffron is separated and sold. Saffron farming truly is a labor of love that requires patience and accuracy – it is the most expensive spice in the world after all!

(more…)