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Morocco Pottery & Zellij Tile Design Tour
Twelve Day Morocco Pottery & Zellij Tile Design Tour
Duration: 9:00am – 6:00pm Daily
Morocco Travel: In Luxury 4x4
English, French Speaking Driver, Guide
Starting & Finishing Point: Casablanca – Marrakech
THE ART OF POTTERY & ZELLIJ DESIGN
Travel Morocco’s Pottery & Zellij Circuit Through Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech and Zagora. Travel to Morocco and where you will discover and learn how to cook make Moroccan traditional pottery and zellij with some of the masters. Enjoy pottery and zellij workshops, 4 excursions, typical daily Moroccan breakfasts and submerge yourself in the colourful art of pottery and zellij design.
DAY 1: CASSABLANCA
▶ Pick up from Casablanca airport and transport to your hotel where you will check in. Have breakfast at your hotel, relax and settle in for 2 hours. Begin your tour of the city at mid-day.
▶ Start your visit at the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world that stands besides the sea and boasts stunning views along with breathtaking arches and zellij tiled walls, floors and fountains.
▶ Lunch at Casa’s port, the Corniche with a wide open view of the Atlantic Ocean.
▶ After lunch visit the famous residential blocks: the Glaoui, the Bessonneau
and the Asayag. The Boulevard links Place des Nationes with the railway station and is the gateway to the central market. Next visit the squala, a fortiﬁed 18th century bastion. Visit the nearby shrine containing the tomb of Sidi Allal el-Kairouant, Casa’s first patron saint and the Hassan Mosque.
▶End the day with a visit to The Parc de la Ligue Arabe (formally called Lyautey) which is the city's largest public park. On its edge is situated the Cathedrale du Sacré Coeur, which is disused, but is a splendid example of Mauresque architecture.
▶Return to your hotel to relax and have dinner.
▶Optional nightcap at Rick’s Cafe.
▶Spend the night in Casablanca.
DAY 2: CASSABLANCA- FES
▶Breakfast at your hotel and early morning departure to Fes. Stop en route to have maloui and fresh Arabic Coffee.
▶Have lunch on the road to Fes.
▶Visit the Roman Ruins of Volubilis /Walili.
▶Arrive in Fes mid afternoon and check in at your riad in the old medina that is covered from floor to ceiling with old Fassis zellij tile. Rest for one-hour before a half-day tour of the medina.
▶ We will visit the following places:
The workshop specializes in weaving the ﬁnest jellaba fabric, made of silk
and wool threads imported from Italy. The shop also makes a offers some of the best Moroccan gourmet food in Fes; a complete zellij tiled dining area and traditional music.
▶Berber Carpet Demonstration:
The Famous Exhibition of Antique and Modern Carpets is one of the places in Fès el Bali where you can see a Berber carpet demonstration. You will be offered mint tea and follow your guide up a coil of stairs to a small area to watch carpets being made by young girls who come from the mountains to show tourists how Berber carpets are made.
▶Shopping in the Medina: We will visit the baboosh souk where they sell beautiful hand made shoes, caftans, pottery, local Fassis crafts and fabric. If time allows we will then go to a local hammam, bathhouse before turning into your hotel to relax before dinner.
▶Return to your riad to freshen up and then venture to Palais de Medina for dinner. Palais de Medina is a palace restaurant that was built in 1356 and once inhabited by several families. Fully restored it now some of the best Moroccan gourmet food in Fes; a complete zellij tiled dining area inside and also a terrace along with traditional Moroccan music and belly dancing. Dinner will include an extravaganza of mezas (small plates of food) common among Fassis tradition. The mezas that are often brought to your table prior to the large mid-day meal will be several of these: Choukchouka salad, Zaalouk salad, Carrots with Cumin Seed, raisin and orange salad, Cold radish, orange, and Fennel Salad. The mezas are traditionally followed by the main meal, which will include the option of: Lamb, Prune, and Date Tajine, a Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons or a Vegetable Tajine. For desert you will be served with fruit/ or local Moroccan pastries along with Mint Tea.
▶ Spend the night in Fes.
DAY 3: FES
▶Rise early, have breakfast and begin your ﬁrst day at the zellij cooperative workshop. You will enjoy a workshop lead by zellij masters whereby you will learn how to make and paint the zellij unique to Fes. You will learn the history as well as their local techniques. An English translator will be provided along with materials for you to make your own pottery. Everything you make you will be able to keep. Spend the day learning the traditions of Fes zellij tile making.
▶ After the zellij workshop, have dinner and relax at your riad.
▶ Spend the night in Fes.
DAY 4: FES
▶Rise early, have breakfast and begin your day at the pottery cooperative workshop. Spend the day learning the traditions of Fes pottery making until early afternoon.
▶ After the pottery workshop, have dinner and relax at your riad.
▶ Spend the night in Fes.
DAY 5: FES (Guided Tour)
▶Rise early, have breakfast and begin your day touring the old Fes medina and its rich UNESCO World Heritage and religious sites:
▶Medersa Bou Inania:
An (Islamic school) founded by Abu Inan Faris that is highly decorated from ﬂoor to ceiling. The medersa is one of the few religious places in Morocco that is accessible to non-Islamic tourists.
Morocco’s second largest mosque was built by Fatima in 857. The Kairaouine Mosque became the home of the West's ﬁrst university and the world's foremost center of learning at the beginning of the second millennium.
▶University of Al- Karaouine:
Founded in 859, this university is one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world and is considered the oldest continuously operating institution of higher learning in the world.
▶Enjoy dinner in the Ville Nouvelle (new city) of Fes or at your riad.
▶Spend the night in Fes.
DAY 6: FES - MARRAKECH
▶Rise early, have breakfast and begin your journey to Marrakech.
▶Stop for lunch on the road to Marrakech.
▶Arrive in Marrakech, check in at your hotel and visit Djema El Fna Square.
▶Dinner in Djema El Fna Square -Beneath the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in the city center of Marrakech lies Djemma el Fna, a famous UNESCO recognized city square, where you will discover a world of mysterious bazaars and a set amidst the ancient city walls of Marrakech’s medina. Djemma El Fna is a unique L- shaped square best described as a labyrinth of mazes. In the evening, snake charmers, fortunetellers, monkeys & musicians transform this city Center into a medieval circus.
▶Return to your riad. Spend the night in Marrakech
DAY 7: MARRAKECH
▶Rise early, have breakfast and begin your one-day tour of Marrakech.
▶First we will travel to the new city, French, Gueliz also referred to as the garden district and the home of Morocco's Majorelle Gardens. The Majorelle Gardens are a lush, garden estate designed by Jacque Majorelle and maintained by Yves Saint Laurent. The Majorelle Garden is ﬁlled with colorful walkways, ponds, cactus and plants as well as a beautiful shop with hand-made goods.
▶Next we will drive to the Lower Medina to explore more of Marrakech’s secrets: El Mansour mosque, the sixteenth century Saadian Tombs and El Badhi palace.
▶Continue your visit in the old medina to see the metal workers and then to the Marrakech Modern Museum.
▶Enjoy a lunch at one of Marrakech’s most delectable restaurants and then complete the tour shopping in the heart of Marrakech’s souk and explore local crafts from cactus silk blankets, to hand made pottery, fabrics, and other local crafts.
▶Have dinner at Le Marrakeshi that boasts beautiful zellij tile work with a stunning view of the Djemma.
▶Spend the night in Marrakech
DAY 8: MARRAKECH - ZAGORA
▶Rise early, take the road to Zagora.
▶During your journey to Southern Morocco you will also
pass the olive groves of the Oued Zat, as you ascend onto the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass Road. Built by the French in the 1920’s, the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass can be described as having mountainous barriers, Mediterranean and oceanic
nuances and desert borders.
►Enroute we will visit the Argan Cooperative to see how argan oil, argan nut butter and cosmetics are made from the argan nut. Enjoy a tasting session.
▶For lunch we will stop in the village of Tadart where you will dine in a local restaurant with incredible views and enjoy a vegetarian, beef or sheep tajine made with fresh local olive oil.
▶Arrive in Zagora, enjoy dinner, a swim and spend the night in a lush riad filled with palms and typical Saharian zellij tile that is specific to Zagora.
DAY 9: ZAGORA – N’KOB
▶Rise early, have breakfast.
▶Take a camel excursion across the Dunes of Tinfo. At the end of the main road you will ﬁnd the famous road sign to Timbuktu that reads “52 jours” – 52 hours by camel.
▶Visit the Koranic library and the old Zaouia.
▶Break for lunch.
▶Next visit the Tamegroute pottery cooperative and spend half of the day learning how the local, forest green, glazed pottery is made and ﬁred using regional henna. You will enjoy a workshop lead by Tamagroute pottery masters whereby you will learn how the pottery unique to this region of Zagora is made. You will learn the history as well as their local techniques. An English translator will be provided along with all necessary materials for you to make your own Tamagroute pottery. Everything you make you will be able to keep.
▶Depart Zagora and drive to the Berber village of N’kob.
▶Have dinner and spend the night in a riad that boasts beautiful gardens and a view of the Ait Ouzzine village.
DAY 10: N’KOB - OUARZAZATE
▶Rise and have breakfast. Then visit the Berber village of Ait Ouzzine.
►Enjoy having your hands and feet painted with henna and saffron placed in your hair, an ancient Berber tradition.
►Have lunch in the village. Dine on fresh baked bread from an earthen over, a tajine and couscous. Then, explore the villages gardens, palmary, henna fields and its water irrigation system. See how a local family lives.
►Depart N’kob in the late afternoon and drive to Ouarzazate.
►Visit the local massage house to get a massage with rose, almond or argan oil.
►Spend the night in Ouarzazate.
DAY 11: OUARZAZATE - MARRAKECH
▶Rise early, have breakfast and take the road to Marrakech.
►Enroute we will visit the picturesque village of Aït Benhaddou, which is, located 32 km from Ouarzazate. Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah; and for Jesus of Nazareth the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. In recent years more controlled restoration has been carried out under UNESCO auspices. Aït Benhaddou is one of many locations in this region used for shooting Hollywood films.
►Your guide will lead you on a private tour through this Berber village of towered and crenulated Kasbahs that once guarded the lucrative caravan route through the Atlas Mountains. Explore the Kasbahs by foot with the option to ride a donkey across a river. Aït Benhaddou which once served as the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. Most of the town's inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river; ten families however still live within the ksar. Aït Benhaddou was once a significant stop for traders carrying gold, salt and slaves along the famous Southern Caravan route moving through the Sahara.
►Have lunch in Ait Benhaddou and then take the road to Marrakech.
►Arrive in Marrakech, dinner at your riad. Spend the night in Marrakech.
DAY 12: MARRAKECH
▶Departure early morning at Marrakech’s Menara airport.