MYSTICAL MOROCCO - 2014



Let TMT take you on a 12 day adventure to the mystical world of Morocco through encounters with the Sufi and Berber tribal peoples who's deep connection with spirit is joyfully expressed through drums and dance and where sacred music is the universal language of the Soul.


IMPORTANT TRIP UPDATES:
Save $100 with payment in full by March! Come to our free pre-trip video presentation and get together in February.



Take a timeless voyage to the rhythmic realms of the ancient ancestors and set sail on the vast silent dunes of the Sahara with Tribal Music Tours founder Steffi Buffington. TMT takes you into the mystical world of Morocco through encounters with the Sufi and Berber tribal peoples who's deep connection with spirit is set ablaze through rhythm and ritual.

"This photo was take an few trips back at a mock Gnawa wedding. I was dressed as a bride by local tribal women in a dressing ceremony before the ritual vows. Each woman got to "marry" and wear this. The pearls are real! It was an unforgettable night of henna hands, drums chants and dance in the tiled gardens of the medina." - Steffi Buffington

 



More Tour Highlights


  • Encounter the tribal musicians of the Jajouka, Gnawa, Issawa, Hamadsha and many more, with drum workshops with local master players along the way.
  • Travel with knowledgeable professional guides and teachers of Sufi wisdom and spiritual culture.
  • Take part in an all night trance dance ceremony deep within the Medina of Fez.
  • Experience the Rif Mountian villages where the musicians are magicians escorted by Jajouka tribe.
  • Shop the secret "Treasure Chest" of North Africa in the souks of Marrakesh for jewels,leather and textiles.
  • Take a guided camel trek at sunset for a Berber tent dinner under the stars of the Sahara
  • Explore the ancient ruins and temples of Voulubilis and the most holy city of Moulay Idris.


DAILY ITINERARY

May 13: New York – Casablanca
Depart for Morocco on an overnight flight from the USA. TMT is traveling Air France to Casablanca via Paris departing LAX

May 14: Casablanca
You will arrive the following morning at the Casablanca airport, where TMT staff will greet you and escort you to our seaside resort in the city of Casablanca.
A Welcoming dinner will be at Restaurant Zohor Downtown

May 15: Casablanca – Volubilis
After breakfast we will travel to Volubilis visiting on the way the beautiful vistas and small Berber villages. Visible for miles, Volubilis is a remarkable site, once the central location for the introduction of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the natives of Morocco. We can decompress from our travels at the peaceful Volubilis hotel, which overlooks a valley of the city's spectacular ancient ruins. We will take an afternoon walk through the first Islamic city in Morocco, Moulay Idriss, home to many Sufi Orders founded throughout the centuries. This tour will be our initial introduction to Moroccan society and spirituality as we explore the holy city's labyrinth-like streets and local markets. After dinner, we will attend a brief introductory session about Sufi music, followed by a rhythmic celebration hadra, after which you will return to your hotel early for a good night's sleep.

May 16: Volubilis – Moulay Idriss
We will spend your morning exploring Volubilis, the Roman capital of Northwestern Africa, complete with a guided meditation amidst the city's ruins at the Basilica. You can walk back to the hotel through an ancient olive grove, which Scorcese used for the film, Last Temptation of Christ. This will lead us up the hills to the sacred retreat caves of the Sufi masters that shaped the spiritual life of the Moroccan society. After walking in the footsteps of our ancestors, we will return for a Kabab lunch in the hotel gardens, with it's legendary view of the Roman ruins. Later there will be a drumming workshop including an introduction to the local trance dancers and drummers of the Hmadsha Sufi Order, who's haunting rhythms and chants are renowned throughout the Islamic world.

May 17: Volubilis – Fez
AM departure for Fez, where we will check into your hotel, a Moorish Riad in the Medina, and have lunch upon arrival. We will devote our afternoon to the exploration of Fez, with a historic tour including visits to the Mellah (the Jewish quarter), the King's palace, and the Bat'ha Museum of Moroccan Arts. Then we will drive to the Merinides hill to visit their necropolis where you will enjoy the best panoramic view on the Old walled Medina brimful with all its countless minarets to call for the prayers in a city that has responded to these calls for 12 centuries. We will leave our vehicle and enter a world that belongs to an ancient time and take short walk to El Ashabine square. from their we will wind our way to the souk el henna and the Mausoleum of Moulay Idris the founder of Fez next to that we will visit the Nejjarine square with its famous fountain. As we continue exploring the marvels of the Fez Medina we will see the dyers of silk and Foundouk Tetouani, a medieval warehouse were all kind of traditional products are traded. We will also visit the shrine of Sidi Ahmed Tijani and Foundouk Lihoudi, where a family will host us for a traditional meant tea in their home.
After dinner, the rhythms of the Issawa Sufi drummers will fill up the court yard of your Riad. Enjoy dancing and chanting in the ambiance of a family circle.

May 18: Fez – Zallagh
Free morning for more exploration of the ancient medina on you own. In the afternoon excursion we will travel outside Fez to the rural Mount Zallagh to visit the shrine of Sidi Ahmed el Barnoussi. There we will meet a local group of Tebbala from the neighboring village who will escort us by mule caravan with their drums and traditional oboes. We will make our way up through the almond and olive groves for an introduction to Jajouka rhythms, followed by an excursion to Mount Zallagh in the Riff Mountains. Afterward, we will join in a mint-tea party at the shrine of Sidi Ahmed el Barnoussi, a pilgrimage for Sufis from all over Morocco, as you watch the sun set over Fez. We will complete our day with dinner and dancing in a Moroccan restaurant with entertainment by Chaabi musicians.

May 19: Fez
We will devote our morning to shopping in the Medina, where we will find a variety of musical instruments, tribal jewelry and other artifacts. In the afternoon, we will have workshop about Gnawa rhythms rooted in Africa and Sub-Sahara trance rituals and customs. After dinner, you will return to the heart of the Medina to attend a real Jilala Ceremony, trance dancing, and a Henna ceremony at Dar El Haj Moorish palace. This will be a real night to remember!

May 20: Fez – Azrou – Midelt – Erfoud
AM depart Fez and venture into the Atlas Mountains. Passing by Imouzzer, with a break stop at the Suisse like town of Ifran, we come to the first real town of the Middle Atlas, Azrou. It is an important market center for the region's Berber tribes at a major junction of ancient mountain routes. Here we may encounter a nomadic family in its temporary encampment. Nomads are very hospitable people, whenever we encounter them we are all invited for a mint tea under their tents. At Midelt, the Middle Atlases give way to the High Atlas Mountains. We will stop in Midelt for lunch, enjoying the dramatic sights an local bazaar. Then on to Erfoud, one of the most delightful towns of the southern desert regions as it suddenly drops into the lush valley of Ziz, with verdant date palm groves and flowing streams.
Dinner at our kasbah hotel.

May 21: Merzouga Dunes – Rissani – Erfoud
You will have the morning leisure, followed by an excursion to the holy city of Rissani for lunch. Late afternoon will continue our journey by camel caravan to Erg Chebbi and watch the sun set behind the spectacular Merzouga dunes of the Sahara at our Berber tent encampment. Here we will have dinner with the Tuaregs, followed by the tribal Rokba Tagmount Dance around the campfires. Camping on the Dunes is available or a jeep ride back to the hotel for sleep.

May 22: Erfoud – Tinghir - Ouarzazate
Only fifteen kilometers from Tinghir, we will find the highest, narrowest gorges in the region: the Todras and travel through the Dades valley. We will depart Tinghir and journey through El Kelaa De Mgouna and Boumalne, exploring the Dades Valley as we continue onward to Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate is defined by one large Oasis that intercepts the flow of water between the Dades, the Draa valleys, and the majestic High Atlases. Dinner and accommodations will be provided in the Belere Hotel, followed by a visit to a local home where we will participate in a night of tribal music with Howara dancers.

May 23: Ouarzazate – Marrakech
We will depart in the morning for Marrakech, traveling via Taddart and the Tizin'Tishka Pass. The Pass, at an elevation of 11,000 feet, divides the mountains . We will arrive in Marrakech, the pink city, where southern tribesmen and Berber villagers bring their goods, spend their money, and find entertainment. We will have lunch at the hotel, followed by a visit to the bustling Jemaa El Fna Square, here we will discover the hidden shopping spots in the winding souks and market places, see snake charmers, get a fortune told and stop for a roof top tea . This evening will visit a local home, where we will enjoy dinner and the famous local Dekka musicians
and dancing.

May 24: Marrakech
We can devote the morning to discovering the many historical sites that Marrakech has to offer, followed by lunch at La Paix Restaurant, a French restaurant with an art deco theme. After lunch we will have a special tour of the eternally chic home and gardens of Yves St. Laurant or take free time for last minute shopping and packing. You will have a farewell dinner at a Jewish restaurant in the Mellah, followed by festivities complete with Andalusian and Sepherdic music.

May 25: Marrakech – Casablanca – New York
Early Am we will depart Marrakech and transfer Casablanca Airport for outbound flights

 

What is included:
• 11 nights' accommodations in hotels as indicated or similar
• Half board (breakfast and dinner daily)
• Land transportation in an air-conditioned four wheel drive vehicle
• Services of English-speaking guides and tour leaders
• Entrance fees to monuments and museums
• Musicians and performers
• Camp over the dunes + Camels Caravan
• Hotel taxes and service charges

Hotels used TBA:
• Volubilis: 2 nights
• Fez: 3 nights
• Erfoud: 1 night
• Ouarzazate: 1 night
• Marrakech: 2 nights
• Casablanca: 1 night


Price Includes
    • 11 nights' accommodations in hotels as indicated or similar
    • Half board (breakfast and dinner daily)
    • Land transportation in an air-conditioned four wheel drive vehicle
    • Services of English-speaking guides and tour leaders
    • Entrance fees to monuments and museums
    • Musicians and performers
    • Camp over the dunes + Camels Caravan
    • Hotel taxes and service charges
Extras

    • Single supplement or deluxe air conditioning upgrade $650
    • Tips and gratuities for drivers and guides.
    • Departure tax at the airport
    • Dinners, lunches and drinks not mentioned in itinerary. Budget $25 to $40 per day for meals.
    • A valid passport and due to the new security measures, your passport must be valid for 6 months AFTER YOU RETURN HOME or at least until 7/12/2015
    • A travelers packet will be sent to you when you have registered that will have all the detailed information you'll need.
    • Trip and medical insurance for your tour is your responsibility a must have. You must have proof of required shots needed.
    • Participation in the group program is not required but highly recommended.

    *Due to the nature of the tour please be aware that this itinerary is subject to change without notice at the discretion of the tour leader as unforeseen events and circumstances dictate. Every effort will be taken by TMT to keep the all the activities itinerary as planned.




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