MonRiad, completely refurbished and opened in May 2010, maintains the traditional architecture and design of the typical moroccan houses, the white of the walls in “tedelakt” and the “majorelle” blue of the tiles are only an example of the unique charm this place can offer.

mercredi 29 juin 2011

Excursion Over Morocco with Amiratourisme

Amira Tourisme is a society specialised in the promotion and organisation of trips across Morocco.It was born from the idea of two italian sisters who, after years of studying and working in the tourism industry and, after having travelled around the world as two tireless pilgrims, have been blown away by the beauty of Morocco. Their experience brought them, together with the collaboration of competent guides and skilled moroccan drivers, to start up a tourist transport society to introduce the best of this fantastic country.

In order to satisfy at best your requirements, our staff can communicate in five languages. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact us for any queries.
Rely upon the experience of Amira Tourisme… our only objective is to offer you an unforgettable holiday!

Manuela and Barbara 
                                                                             Desert Trip

Kasbah Ait Benhaddou

                                                                 Waterfalls of Ouzoud

                   Check our New website and many more Excursion over Morocco 

Check latest deals with: http://www.amiratourisme.com/inglese/index_en.html


Morocco is in many ways a country apart. It nestles on the northwestern tip of Africa, separated from the rest of the continent by the towering Atlas Mountains and by the Sahara itself. Its climate, geography, and history are all more closely related to the Mediterranean than to the rest of Africa, and for this reason visitors are often struck by the odd sensation of having not quite reached Africa in Morocco. In the north, its fine beaches, lush highland valleys, and evocative old cities reinforce this impression. Yet, as one moves south and east, into and over the starkly beautiful ranges of the Atlases, Morocco's Mediterranean character melts away like a mirage. The Sahara stretches out to the horizon, and forbidding kasbahs stare.

 Location, Geography, and Climate
 Morocco is situated on the extreme northwestern corner of Africa and is bordered by Mauritania and Algeria, both to the south and east. 
 Morocco's varied geography includes no less than four separate mountain ranges, in addition to lush river valleys, beautiful sandy coasts, and wide expanses of desert. The three most prominent mountain ranges, which run parallel to each other from the southwest to the northeast, are the Middle Atlas, the High Atlas, and the Anti-Atlas. The ascent of the country's highest peak, Jebel Toukbal (13,665 ft./4,165 m.), is a spectacular and not particularly difficult High Atlastrek. The Moroccan coastline, which fronts onto both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, offers plenty of great beaches as well as a number of fascinating old coastal cities. In the southeast, Morocco's mountain ranges yield inexorably to the desolate expanse of the Sahara. The rivers that flow down this side of the High Atlas support long, narrow, and lush river valleys that resemble linear oases.

 The climate in Morocco is reliably dry, although small amounts of rain do fall between November and March. Temperature varies considerably by season and locale. While the southern and southeastern desert regions can reach extremely high temperatures during the hot summer months, the higher altitudes of the mountains are cool in summer evenings and freezing in winter. Most travellers find the early summer months to be the most comfortable time to visit, as rain is not a threat and temperatures are warm during the day and pleasantly cool at night.

History & Culture

 Morocco's history began with the Berbers, the aboriginal people who have inhabited the country since the end of the 2nd millennium BC Rome extended its rule over the area after defeating Carthage in 146 BC, and testimony to its presence still exists in the fine Roman ruins at Volubilis. As Rome fell into decline Morocco was invaded first by the Vandals and then, in the 7th century, by the Arabs. Although external Arab rule lasted little more than a century, the arrival of Islam proved to be a permanent addition to Moroccan culture. In the ensuing centuries a series of ruling dynasties came to power, including the Idrissids, the Almoravids, and the Almohads, but none seemed capable of long maintaining the critical support of the Berber leaders.
 By the 15th century Spain and Portugal began to intrude into Morocco, after having expelled the Moors from their own lands. Although Morocco successfully repulsed these invasions, the tide of European imperialism eventually proved too great. By the middle of the 19th century Morocco's strategic importance had become evident to all of the European powers, and they engaged in a protracted struggle for possession of the country. Finally, in 1911, France was formally acknowledged as protector of the greater part of the country, with Spain receiving a number of isolated locales. French rule came to an end in 1953, although its cultural influence on Morocco remains strongly in evidence. Today the country is ruled by King Mohammed VI. He appears to be leading Morocco toward both long-term stability and a greater degree of economic prosperity. 
land of spice-scented mystery and medieval kasbahs, Morocco puts your senses on high alert. The country is a magic carpet ride of extremes, from the searing Sahara to the snow-dusted High Atlas Mountains; from Marrakech's thronging medinas to petal-strewn serenity in a Fez riad. It's a place where spirituality rises with the first adhan (call to prayer), where cities are urban labyrinths and where runaway donkeys rule the souks. Bring a sense of adventure, a talent for haggling and patience for the long, bumpy but thrilling ride.
Ancient and modern collide in the tree-fringed boulevards of the European-flavored capital, Rabat. Trace the Atlantic coast north to Tangier for colorful street life and glimpses of Spain. Head south to bustling Art Deco port and silver-screen legend Casablanca. The symmetry of Hassan II, the largest mosque outside Mecca, is breathtaking. Inland, the imperial cities of Marrakech and Fez whisk you back to the Middle Ages, where donkey carts rattle down the streets of walled medinas.
With snow, the Sahara and everything in between, it's no wonder Morocco is synonymous with outdoor adventure. Hike the color-changing peaks, mudbuilt kasbahs and time-locked Berber villages of the High Atlas Mountains. An old caravan route leads to the enigmatic fortified city Aït Benhaddou, of Lawrence of Arabia fame, which glows red at dusk. In winter, take to the slopes of Oukaïmeden, Africa's highest ski resort (2,600m). Ride the rippling dunes of Saharan Morocco by 4x4 or camel hump.
Spain is sometimes glimpsed from the coves along the northern Mediterranean coast, backed by the snow-capped Rif Mountains. Pummelled by Atlantic surf, the west coast takes you to Casablanca's cafe-lined Corniche and Agadir's ever-popular sweep of golden sand. Today there are more wave-crazy surfers than hippies in Taghazout and whitewashed Essaouira. In the latter, ride a camel along the beach as the setting sun silhouettes Borj el-Berod, the sinking ruins said to have inspired Jimi Hendrix's Castles Made of Sand.

jeudi 23 juin 2011

Group Organising

These pictures have been taken before we organize a dinner with a group in may....

vendredi 3 juin 2011


riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. The word riad comes from the Arabian term for garden, "ryad".  The ancient Roman city of Volubilis provides a reference for the beginnings of riad architecture during the rule of the Idrisid Dynasty. An important design concern was Islamic notions of privacy for women inside residential gardens.
When the Almoravids conquered Spain in the 11th century they sent Muslim, Christian and Jewish artisans from Spain to Morocco to work on monuments.
The riads were inward focused, which allowed for family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco. This inward focus was expressed in the central location of most of the interior gardens and courtyards and the lack of large windows on the exterior clay or mud brick walls. This design principle found support in Islamic notions of privacy, and hijab for women. Entrance to these houses is a major transitional experience and encourages reflection because all of the rooms open into the central atrium space. In the central garden of traditional riads there are often four orange or lemon trees and possibly a fountain. The walls of the riads are adorned with tadelakt plaster and zellige tiles, usually with Arabic calligraphy, with quotes from the Quran.
The style of these riads has changed over the years, but the basic form is still used in designs today. Recently there has been a surge in interest in this form of house after a new vogue of renovation in towns such as Marrakech and Essaouira where many of these often-crumbling buildings have been restored to their former glory. Many riads are now used as hotels or restaurants.

Source: Wikipedia---Pictures Below and after

La Medina (Old City in arab)

Founded during the 11th century, the Medina of Marrakech stretches on more than 600 hectares.
The Medina is the historical town centre of Marrakech, and is one of the most typical features of the Red City. Its originality comes directly from the fact that it was built on a site completely devoid of human settlements. The architects of the city could therefore rely on all the necessary space needed to build houses and infrastructure of exceptional size. A building philosophy that lasted centuries and that mainly explains the fact that the Medina of Marrakech now stretches on more than 600 hectares (1 482,63 acres), making it the biggest in Morocco.

Originally, the Medina was just a military camp and a market. The founders of the City quickly felt the need to establish symbols of law and order. After erecting some earth walls, they had a vast mosque built with all the necessary services surrounding it. Some of the original architectural features can still be seen around the Ben Youssef mosque and it'sMederssa in the middle of the Medina, and specifically in the Qoubba almohavides. During the 12th century, the city was extended South East with the construction of the military and administrative quarter of the Kasbah. During this period, the City walls were extended and fortified in order to defend Marrakech against the attacks of Berber mountain tribes.

A forteresses of 19 km
After centuries of extension, the Medina found its current layout during the 19th century. It is defended by a 19 km long wall whose height varies from 8 to 10 meters and that comprises more than 200 defensive towers. Entirely built with red earth, these walls gave Marrakech its surname: “the red city”.
While doing a tour of the walls, one can only be attracted towards the remarkable features of some of the city gates, that for some date back to the 12th century. The gates of Babe r Robb and Bab Agnaou, both built by the Almohads, are a splendid legacy of the defensive architecture of that period.
A striving city
Nowadays, the Medina remains an important residential and commercial area of Marrakech. It has the highest population density of the city and is still an important production centre for handicrafts where more than 40 000 craftsmen work and sell there goods in the world famous suuqs.
Although this quarter has not yet lost it soul, it is currently experiencing an important sociological mutation of its inhabitants. The rich Moroccans have left the popular quarters decades ago, in favour of the suburb that are considered more comfortable, and the current craze for the riads – the traditional Moroccan houses – is driving the less wealthy to sell their home to foreigners seeking a taste of oriental “art de vivre”.

Things to see in the Medina
Koutoubia mosque
El Bahia palace
Djemaâ el fna square
El Badi palace
Ben Youssef Mederssa
Qoubba almohavides
- Suuqs of Marrakech
- Dar si Said Museum
- Marrakech Museum
Saadian tombs

jeudi 2 juin 2011


Marrakesh was founded in 1071-72 by Youssef ben Tachfin on the site of the camp where Abou Bekr had left him in charge. From that point forward, Marrakesh was no longer an occasional stopping place for the Almoravids. It became the true capital of these conquering nomads who succeeded in stretching their empire from the Sahara to the Ebro and from the Atlantic to Kabylia.
Marrakesh remained a political, economic and cultural centre for a long period. Its influence was felt throughout the western Muslim world, from North Africa to Andalusia. It has several impressive monuments dating from that period: the Koutoubiya Mosque, the Kasbah, the battlements, monumental doors, gardens, etc. Later architectural jewels include the Bandiâ Palace, the Ben Youssef Madrasa, the Saadian Tombs, several great residences and Place Jamaâ El Fna, a veritable open-air theatre.