Thursday, August 25, 2011

MOROCCO

GENERAL
Tours
Heritage Tours Private Travel – 121 West 27th Street, Suite 1201; 800-378-4555; heritagetoursonline.com; operated by Joel Zack; can arrange tours throughout country; can focus on Jewish heritage.

Villa Rentals
Habibi Homes – habibihomes.com; 011-212-011-409-984 or 323-906-9556.
Homelidays – homelidays.com.
Morocco Villas – 011-212-052-294-2525; villasofmorocco.com.
Unique Properties – 27 Old Gloucester Street (London, UK); 011-40-020-7788-7815; cedricreversade.com; ask for information about Atlas House, in rural village Ouarzazate; 5 acres, pool.



ASILAH
Hotels
Hotel Patio de la Luna – 12 Plaza de Zelaka (outside Medina); 011-212-039-416-074; patiodelaluna.com; patiodelaluna.com; tiny courtyard and simple, tiled rooms.

Restaurants
Casa Garcia – 51 Rue Moulay Hassan Ben el Mehdi (town center); 011-212-039-417-465; Spanish food; good paella.
Casa Pepe – 8 Plaza de Zelaka (town center); 011-212-039-417-295; black-tied waiters at slightly more formal, fresh seafood establishment.

Shopping
Alkamra – 10-12 Rue de Commerce; 011-212-039-416-288; 1-of-kind antiques, including jewelry and paintings.
Aplanos Art Gallery – 89 Rue Tijara; 011-212-039-417-486; aplanosart.blogspot.com; old maps and works on paper.
Hakim Gallery – 14 Sidi Benaissa; 011-212-061-799-535; local artists.
Tienda de Velas Bellas – Calle Sid M Barek; beautiful slippers.



ASNI
Hotels
Kasbah Tamadot – BP 67; 011-212-052-436-8200, 212-994-3070 or 877-577-8777; kasbahtamadot.virgin.com; Richard Branson’s lavish hideaway; fireside bar, pool bar, and rooftop bar; best rooms (all good) are Aman (deluxe suite with pool), Jacaranda (gorgeous ceiling and terrace), Master Suite (“mini-Kasbah,” occupying 2 floors), and Tazart (carved wood ceiling and stunning green bathroom).



ATLAS MOUNTAINS
Hotels
L’Amandier Marigha – L’Amandier Plateau (Ouirgane Valley); lamandierhotel; bougainvillea-filled gardens & olive groves, with dramatic views over Toubkai National Park; 22 rooms & 6 suites.

Sights & Sites
Toubkai National Park – Imlil (near Marrakech); morocco.com/national-parks; among most spectacular places on earth; most treks start in Imlil village; entire area blanketed with all types of trees.



AZROU – 17 km past Ifrane; beautiful Berber mountain town (view on road between Azrou and Ifrane spectacular); good for buying carpets; some good restaurants; near Azrou are cedar forests where can see wild Barbary apes.



CASABLANCA
Restaurants
Kiotori – 8 Rue Commissaire Ladeuil; 011-212-022-471-668; kiotori.com; Japanese; modern and deco.



DAKHLA
Hotels
Calipau Sahara – Avenue El Walaa, km 5; 011-212-066-119-1634; dakhla-hotel-sahara.com.



DAR IMLIL
Hotels
Riad Dar Imlil – Village Center; 011-212-052-448-4917; darimlil.com; guest house 1 hour by taxi from Marrakech; worth special visit.



ESSAOUIRA
Bars & Nightclubs
Salon Anglais – 2 Rue Ibn Batouta (Bab Marrakech, at Heure Bleue Palais); 011-212-052-478-3434; heure-bleue.com; Out of Africa meets gentleman’s club; cocktails, leather chesterfields, live music.

Hotels
Heure Bleue Palais – 2 Rue Ibn Batouta (Bab Marrakech); 011-212-052-478-3434; heure-bleue.com; rooftop pool and palm-fringed courtyard.

Sights & Sites
Coopérative Féminine d’Argane El Kheir – Douar Ezzaouia; 011-212-05-2479-0110; provides work to local women by producing argan oil, native to Morocco.
Seafood Stalls – lining town’s quay.



FEZ (includes Meknes, Moulay Idriss & Volubilis)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Cafe Kortoba – Derb Boutouil (Fez al Bali, near Kairaouine Mosque); institution; when you’re tired of walking, great (albeit small) place to sit for cake, coffee, ice cream, mint tea, or orange juice; people-watching.

Bars & Nightclubs
Golden Bar – 16-18 Quartier Ziat (Derb Bensouda, at Palais Faraj); 011-212-053-563-8941; palaisfaraj.com; overlooks medina rooftops.

Hotels
Hotel Le Jardin des Biehn – 13 Akbat Sbaa (Douh); 011-212-066-464-7679; jardindesbiehn.com; welcomes hotel guests with gallery space, hammam, and large Andalusian-style garden; 5 suites, 4 rooms.
Palais Faraj Suites & Spa – 16-18 Quartier Ziat (Derb Bensouda); 011-212-053-563-8941; palaisfaraj.com; zellij-tiling and intricate plasterwork, set off with cedar, marble, etc.; bar overlooks medina rooftops.
Riad Fes – 5 Derb Ben Slimane (Zerbtana); 011-212-053-574-1012; riadfes.com; new meets old world; parts date back to 18th Century; renovation, however, is starkly modern; sleek pool and glass bar.
Riad Idrissy – 13 Derb Idrissy (Sieje, Sidi Ahmed Chaoui); 011-212-064-919-1410; riadidrissy.com; 4 charming suites, each air-conditioned (3 doubles and 1 room with 2 singles & sofa bed); bathrooms have rain showers, mist-free mirrors, heated towel rails, towels, and local products; complimentary WiFi throughout but no telephone or television; breakfast can be taken anywhere within the house or garden.
Riad Myra – 13 Rue Salaj (Batha); 011-212-053-563-8282; riadmyra.com; surrounds central courtyard with ornate archways, intricate stuccowork, colorful zellijs (mosaics), and towering cedar wood doors; luxurious rooms and suites, sumptuously decorated with colorful drapes and brocades with combination of traditional Moroccan and English antique furniture.
Riad Numero 9 – 9 Derb el Masid (Fez); 011-212-053-563-4045; riad9.com; located in Fez’ medieval, UNESCO-protected medina; peaceful and tranquil; carefully restored; Asian, English, and French antiques harmoniously cohabit; 2 ground floor salons, Japanese sunken dining area in central courtyard, panoramic terrace with complete kitchen, and individual bedrooms where one can lounge or dine.
Sofitel Palais Jamai Fes – Bab Guissa; 011-212-053-563-4331; sofitel.com; built in 1879 in Moorish style; Grand Vizir of Jamai’s residence; international, French, and Moroccan restaurants; spa; piano bar; swimming pool; and tennis court.

Restaurants
Chalet du Lac – Dayet Aoua; 011-212-055-663-270 or 011-212-055-663-197; sometimes open only on weekends; attractive French-run chalet sitting on lake’s northern shore; great splurge for lunch, followed by walk around lake; also has reasonable rooms.
Café La Noria – 43 Derb Btatna (El-Jdid, Parc Bab Boujeloud); 011-212-072-421-699; good people-watching.
Dar el Ghalia – 15 Ross Rhi; 011-212-035-634-167; dar-el-ghalia.com; 18th Century palace; traditional Moroccan food; sometimes only serves hotel guests so call ahead.
Fez Cafe – 13 Akbat Sbaa (Douh, at Hotel Le Jardin des Biehn); 011-212-066-464-7679; jardindesbiehn.com; Mediterrannean bistro.
Kiotori – 12 Rue Ahmed Chaouki; 011-212-035-651-700; kiotori.com; Japanese with sushi; modern and deco.
La Maison Bleue – 2 Place de Batha; 011-212-35-636-052; maisonbleue.com; traditional Moroccan cuisine in sublime setting circa 1915; high ceilings and intricately carved stucco and cedar walls surround central patios and fountains; rooftop terrace; try chwa’k dar, Fassi beef tagine.
Restaurant Numero 7 – 7 Zkak Rouah; 011-212-679-442-522; focuses on clean, pan-Mediterranean cuisine influenced by Moroccan market offerings.
Le Palais de Fes – 15 Rue Makhfia Er’cif (a Cote du Cinema Amal); 011-212-535-761-590; palaisdesfes.com; spacious patios and great views; modern Moroccan cuisine in traditional setting, off Medina.
Palais Jamais – Bab Guissa (at ancient Medina gate); 011-212-535-634-331; sofitel.com; Moroccan; only open in evening.
Riad Sheherazade – 23 Arsat Bennis; fes-riadsheherazade.com; 011-212-535-741-642; modern Moroccan food in 19th Century setting.
Ruined Garden – 15 Derb Idrissy; 011-212-649-191-410; riadidrissy.com; locally inspired lunch dishes, afternoon tea, and traditional, spit-roasted mechwi lamb suppers.

Services
Mernissi Hammam – Talaa Seghira (Bab Boujeloud); among most beautiful and cleanest hammams, although not very old; if possible, go with Moroccan friend, because need certain paraphernalia and need to follow rules to avoid offense.

Shopping
Coin Berbere – 67 Talaa Kebira (Haddadine, Medina); 011-212-053-563-6946; antiques; shop trio owned by Bouzidi-Idrissi family; largest stocks seriously good antique ceramics, doors, embroidery, and furniture; across street is carpet shop with antique and new carpets made by various Berber tribes; next door to that is good jewelry, mostly coral and silver.
Dar al Tiraz – 011-212-065-523-8135; contact@dar-al-tiraz.com or dar-al-tiraz.com; by appointment only; master silk-weaver’s son, Hassan Sy Kabil (and wife, Isabelle Riaboff), now runs studio specializing in age-old techniques; hand-produced, intricately colored and patterned lampas fabrics.

Sights & Sites
Andalus Mosque – Rue Nekhaline (Fez al Bali); built in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri’s sister, Mariam (Fatima al-Fihri erected Kairaouine Mosque on river’s other side 2 years earlier with inherited family wealth); gate was built by Almohads in 12th Century; grand carved doors on north entrance, domed Zenet minaret, and detailed cedarwood carvings in eaves (resemble those in Fondouk Nejjarine).
Arms Museum of Borj Nord – Avenue des Merinides; 011-212-056-45-241; maroc.net/museums/fez2.html; 16th Century fortress housing large antique arms collection; also, wonderful Medina view.
Attarine Medersa – Boutouil Kairouine (Fez al Bali, near Kairaouine Mosque); fez.net/medersa-attarine; early 14th Century (1325) medersa; not open to non-believers but can look from outside; Merenid building is smaller than Bou Inania, but better zellij; panels at prayer room entrance as fine as best in Alhambra.
Azrou – 17 km past Ifrane; beautiful Berber mountain town (view on road between Azrou and Ifrane spectacular); good for buying carpets; some good restaurants; near Azrou are cedar forests where can see wild Barbary apes.
Bab al Guissa – Medina (Qarawiyyin Quarter); 12th Century Almohad structure; name (Bab al-Guissa) carries city’s governor’s name (at time); arched stone gate is topped with green, narrow tile cornice on city side; angular shape and upper level terrace designed for defense, providing those within city with space from which to fend off enemy forces before they penetrated city; city’s current fortifications date to Almoravid era in which old fortifications that divided Fez into 2 sections (Qarawiyah and Andalusiyya) destroyed; Almoravids unite 2 sections within single fortification; Almohads (1130-1269), destroy and then rebuild these ramparts; Marinid sultans (1196-1549) complete fortifications and restore gate after creating new city section, Fez al-Jdid.
Bab Boujloud – Talaa Kebira (Medina); monumental blue and green zellij; built in 1913 with original gate next to it (original gate built with indirect entrance to prevent battering rams and huge bolt on newer gate is on outside because, during Protectorate, gate closed at night and locked from outside).
Belghazi Museum – 19 Derb Ghorba; 011-212-053-5674-1178; museumbelghazi.com; private museum; collection almost rivals that of Batha Museum; 17th Century palace in which it is housed provides appropriate backdrop for exquisite carpets, jewelry, weapons and wedding chests (much of which actually for sale).
Bou Inania Medersa – entrances on Talaa Kibera & Talaa Seghira (Fez al Bali); green-tile tower; generally considered most beautiful Kairaouine University 14th Century residential college; built by Abou Inan, 1st Merenid Dynasty ruler; among Morocco’s most important buildings; outside walls restored with traditional medluk (lime and sand); also make sure to see Water Clock (on Talaa Kibeera), restored (note: only 6 of original 12 bronze bowls still exist and are in storage).
Bou Jeloud Gardens – Avenue Moulay Hassan (Fez El-Jdid); 18th Century gardens (also known as Jnane Sbil) 1st open to public in 19th Century; ornamental plantings, orange trees, and seats along Oued Fez tributary banks.
Chrabliyine Mosque – Talaa Kibera (Medina); 14th Century Merenid mosque; among Fez’s most beautiful minarets; note beautifully carved wood above mosque’s entrance and monumental washroom across street from main entrance; name means “street of slipper makers.”
Cherratin Medersa – Derb Zaouia; 17th Century structure is city’s largest madrasa; only one not Marinid foundation; commissioned by ‘Alawi Sultan Rashid; housed up to 150 students, whose rooms are unusual for being configured around small interior courtyards rather than main courtyard (as in majority madrasas in Maghrib); translates decorative motifs and materials from Nasrid palace architecture into religious setting; carved stucco ornament enframed by rectangular panels on piers and walls; carved window fittings and wooden balustrades form central courtyard’s main decorative elements; contrast between courtyard’s sumptuous ornament and spartan student accommodations reflect buildings’ multiple functions.
Dar Adiyel – Rue Sidi Ahmed Chaoui (Wad Rashasha); 011-212-053-562-3993; 17th Century house originally, Fez governor’s home, then Fez’ 1st bank, then traditional Moroccan crafts museum, then Andalousian music conservatory; beautifully restored and is again traditional music. Conservatory; small “donation” appreciated.
Dar Batha Museum – Rue de la Musee Batha; 011-212-053-5663-4116; maroc.net/museums/fez1.html; housed in wonderful 19th Century summer palace, converted to museum in 1916; excellent collection traditional Moroccan arts and crafts; artifacts include fine sculpted plaster, woodcarving, and zellij, much from city’s decaying or ruined medersas; also has some antique instruments, colorful Berber carpets, and fine Fassi embroidery.
Fes el Bali – medieval Medina; make sure to see Bab Bou Jeloud.
Fez Fortification Walls – drive around ramparts from Palais Jamai to Bab al Fatouh; date to 11th-13th Centuries.
Fundoq Tetouanien (Tastawniyine) – Derb Boutouil (Fez al Bali, near Kairaouine Mosque); 14th Century fundoq; beautiful main door and carved ceiling in entrance (among Medina’s most beautiful carved wood examples); in poor repair.
Glaoui Palace – 1 Derb el-Hamiya (Medina Ziat); 011-212-067-366-828; among city’s most impressive residences; 150 year-old palace (17 houses, cemetery, garages, gardens (2), hammam, mausoleum, Quranic school, and stables); privately owned by El-Glaoui family but can make appointment to view with Abdou (phone after midday); he appreciates tips.
Ibn Danan Synagogue – Rue de Djaj (Fez El-Jdid, off Rue des Mérinides); bh.org.il/Communities/Synagogue/Fez.asp; dates from 17th Century; once only one of several inside Fes’ walls (and not most elaborate); enter through simple doorway, indistinguishable from nearby houses’ doors; leads immediately to short flight stairs that lead into synagogue’s high, rectangular space; masonry coated with plaster; wooden ceiling is beamed and painted; walls wainscotted with blue-figured, Moroccan tiles; large Torah Ark (entire wall) made of carved wood; wooden bimah topped by wrought iron canopy, Islamic-style arches, and floral forms, culminating in crown; early restoration took place in 1870s.
Karaouine Library – Seffarine Square; 011-212-053-564-2123; enssup.gov.ma; currently being restored.
Kairaouine Mosque & University – Medina (Fez al Bali); 011-212-053-564-2123; enssup.gov.ma; Morocco’s most important mosque and world’s oldest (or 2nd oldest) university; built in 862, originally for refugees from Kairawan (Tunisia); best view is from main entrance, from which can see pavilions to far right, based on those in Alhambra’s Court of Lions; continue around mosque perimeter past Seffarine Square, superb 12th Century bronze doors.
Medersa Mesbahia – Medina (Fez al Bali, to left of Kairaouine Mosque & University); beautiful, Merenid medersa, now closed (and in need of restoration); amazing carved beams at entrance.
Mellah – Jewish Quarter in Fez since Merenid period; main street especially interesting with Art Deco zellij mosaics and balconies.
Moulay Idriss Zaouia – Boutouil Kairaouine (off Rue Mjadliyin); mosque/shrine/tomb/shrine; non-Muslims can’t enter, but can look inside from doors; walk all around because on outside there's some of best zellij in Fez; souk around Zaouia also very interesting; note wooden beams across area entrances around Moulay Idriss (they once delimited sacred precinct beyond which Christians, donkeys, and Jews not allowed.
Moulay Idriss – ancient town and pilgrimage site named after Moulay Idris I.
Nejjarine Museum of Wood Arts & Crafts – Plaza Nejjarine (Fez al Bali); 011-212-053-574-0580; fezcity.com/nejjarine-museum-of-wood-arts-and-crafts.html; 18th Century fundoq (caravanserai); beautifully restored, housing fine traditional woodworking collection.
Palais Mnebhi – 15 Rue Souiket Ben Safi (Talaa Sghira); 011-212-053-563-3893; grand 19th Century house; onetime residence for defense and finance minister, and, later, of General Lyautey, at Protectorate’s beginning; now carpet shop and restaurant; well worth visit; plaster and zellij in 2 main salons excellent.
Dar el Makhzen (Royal Palace) – Fez el Jdid; 80 hectare compound includes beautiful gardens, mosques, and ancient Madrassa whose origin can be traced back to 14th Century; general public barred from entering but impressive sight from outside; Dal el Qimma, palace in Royal Palace, renowned for beautifully painted ceilings and intricate mosaic works; still serves as king’s residence when he visits this area; innumerable valuable artifacts from all over Morocco (Rabat carpets, pottery, silk fabrics, firearms, and ancient manuscripts); houses life-sized model Carthaginian tomb and also pristine necropolis.
Seffarine Square – picturesque square next to mosque, where brass and copper objects made; here, also, Seffarine Medersa (Fez’ oldest, 1280) entrance.
Sehrij Medersa – Derb Yasmina (Andalusian Quarter); wonderful 14th Century medersa; main courtyard only may be visited.
Souk al Henna – Fez al Bali; former 13th Century psychiatric hospital; square is now beautiful souk selling henna and pottery.
Tanneries – Medina; where leather dyed and tanned for 100s years; beautiful, disturbing, interesting, and smelly.
Volubilis – near Moulay Idriss (30 kms north of Meknes, not far from Fez); whc.unesco.org/en/list/836; Roman ruins with remarkable mosaic floors.
Zaouiya of Sidi Ahmed al-Tijani – Fez el Jdid; 18th Century mosque and tomb of important Sufi shaykh.



IMMOUZER – between Azrou and Ifrane; small Berber town; nice for coffee or lunch on way to Azrou.



MOULAY YACOUB
Services
Moulay Yacoub Thermal Station – BP 2426 (20 kms from Fez); 011-212-053-569-4064; moulayyacoub.com; hot springs.



OUALIDIA
Hotels
L’Hippocampe – Oualidia Plage; 011-212-066-851-8349 or 011-44-020-8816-7065; hipmorocco.com; affordable and charming.
La Sultana – 3 Parc a Huitre; 011-212-023-366-595; lasultanaoualidia.com; elegant and gorgeous; must be seen.

Restaurants
L’Ostrea – 7 Coquillages (at Parc a Huitre); 011-212-023-366-453; good oysters.



OUNAGHA
Restaurants
Le Val D’Argan Restaurant – Ounagha km 35; 011-212-05-2478-3467; valdargan.com; restaurant at innovative winery; panoramic view over olive trees & vineyard.
Sights & Sites
Domaine du Val D’Argan – Ounagha km 35; 011-212-05-2478-3467; valdargan.com; vineyard established by Charles Melia, experienced winemaker of Rhone River valley in France; 128 acres, 100 of which are under cultivation; 1st Moroccan vineyard to be run organically; tastings & tours arranged in Arabic, English & French.



OUARZAZATE
Hotels
Dar Ahlam – Casbah Madihi (Palmerai de Skoura); 011-212-045-441-679; maisonsdesreves.com; Skoura oasis shelters 19th Century Kasbah; very private setting boasting suites and villas; vast, uncluttered spaces with mud-brick floors and adobe walls; Moroccan-inspired cuisine served wherever guests like; several terraces and gardens; swimming pool, hamman, and Jacuzzis in riad.



RABAT
Restaurants
Kiotori – Mega Mall; 011-212-037-570-357; kiotori.com; Japanese; modern and deco.



SEFROU – 30 km from Fez; Berber town with pleasant medina and mellah.



TANGIER
Bars & Nightclubs
Café Hafa – Avenue Mohammed Tazi; noted cafe located along cliff top overlooking Tangier Bay; opened in 1921; has retained its 1920s décor; visited by numerous writers and singers, from Paul Bowles and William Burroughs to Beatles and Rolling Stones; known for its mint tea, Tangier special brew.
La Fabrique – 1-7 Rue d’Angleterre (Residence Salima); 011-212-053-937-4057; bar-lounge.
Le Mirage – Les Grottes d’Hercule (Route de Cap Spartel); 011-212-039-333-332.

Hotels
Dar Nour – 20 Rue Gourna (Kasbah); 011-212-066-211-2724; darnour.com; sea view; lovely.
Hotel Nord-Pinus Tanger – 11 Rue du Riad Sultan; 011-212-061-228-140; nord-pinus-tanger.com; arguably most luxurious riad in Casbah; 1 double room and 4 suites, each richly detailed with Fez tiles, painted leather doors, and 4-poster brass beds; includes airport transfers and breakfast (and one other meal).
Hotel El Minzah – Rue de la Liberte 85; 011-212-039-333-444; elminzah.com; little faded but still good, with garden, pool, and spa.
Riad Tanja – Rue de Portugal (Escaliers Americains); 011-212-053-933-3538; riadtanja.com; beautiful, traditional house turned into hotel and restaurant.
La Tangerina – 19 Rue du Riad Sultan (Casbah); 011-212-039-947-731; latangerina.com; 10-room riad hotel with small hammam run by friendly, English-speaking couple.
La Villa Josephine – 231 Route de la Montagne; 011-212-039-334-535; villajosephine-tanger.com; in exclusive area below Tangier where King Mohammed VI’s palace is located; 10 intimate suites; gardens and pool with expansive bay views.

Restaurants
Café Central – Petit Socco (Medina); faded coffee house; place for people-watching.
Café Hafa – Rue Hafa; fabled, beat hangout.
Chellah Beach Club – Avenue Mohammed VI (opposite Avenue Beethoven); 011-212-053-932-5068.
Darna Women’s Community Center – Rue Jules Cot (Grand Socco); 011-212-039-947-065; darnamaroc.org; simple café with courtyard that is both affordable and fashionable.
El Dorado – 21 Rue Allal Ben Abdellah; 011-212-039-943-353; classic; Moroccan-Spanish food.
La Fabrique – 1-7 Rue d’Angleterre (Residence Salima); 011-212-053-937-4057; tangierlife.com/restaurant-la-fabrique; French-Moroccan.
Les Insolites – 28 Rue Khalid Ibn Oualid; 011-212-064-689-0001.
L’Ocean Restaurant & Beach Club – Plage Sidi Kacem; 011-212-053-933-8137; tangierlife.com/locean; bistro on beach outside of town; fresh fish served on terrace; worth special trip.
Restaurant Populaire Saveur – 2 Escalier Waller; 011-212-039-336-326; happy and reliable place for generous plates of Moroccan seafood.
Riad Tanja Hotel – Rue de Portugal (Escaliers Americains); 011-212-039-333-538; riadtanja.com; modern Moroccan cuisine; order monkfish pastille.
La Salon Bleu – Place du Casbah (enter at 71 Rue Amrah); 011-212-065-432-7618; limited selection; Spanish headlands view.

Shopping
Boutique Majid – 66 Rue les Almouhades; 011-212-039-938-892; boutiquemajid.com; 3-story treasure trove; Moroccan jewelry, handwoven Berber rugs; and African textiles.
Libraire des Colonnes – 54 Boulevard Pasteur; 011-212-053-993-6955; librairie-des-colonnes.com; iconic bookstore; English, French, and Spanish.
Laure Welfling – 3 Place de la Casbah; 011-212-039-932-083; boho-chic shop overlooking Place de la Casbah; handbags and ceramic plates.

Sights & Sites
Asilah – town near Tangier; where ferry from Spain crosses at Gibralter Strait; city’s medina is former Aga Khan Award for Architecture winner.
American Legation Museum – 8 Zankat America; 011-212-053-993-5317; America’s 1st overseas’ consulate; now museum.
Cinematheque de Tanger – Place du 9 Avril; 011-212-053-993-4683; cinemathequedetanger.com; newly renovated.



TAROUDANNT
Hotels
Dar Al Hossoun – few 100 meters of old ramparts; 011-212-06-6502-8274; alhossoun.com; eco-friendly guesthouse & property surrounded by 100 acre olive grove; exquisite, contemporary gardens designed by world renowned landscape architects, Eric Ossart and Arnaud Mauriere, are among most beautiful of Mediterranean basin area; contemporary estate constructed entirely by local builders & craftmen with natural materials using ancestral techniques; property comprised of 2 separate structures & landscapes: Al Hossoun & Al Borj, which can be occupied together or separately.
Dar Zahia – 175 Derb Chrif; 011-33-06-2265-5267; darzahia-taroudant.com; nestled in blind alley to dead end; inspired by traditional Amazigh houses; built in earth (mud); thick adobe walls shelter lush garden; few minutes walk from souks; 4 rooms, 2 on ground floor open onto garden & form comfortable suites with en-suite showers; other 2 rooms are upstairs & overlook garden from private terraces; they share shower topped by traditional clay brick dome, inlaid with blue glass cabochons that filter light; bathroom walls covered with white silk tadelakt; all our rooms have double bed & dresser; wifi; rooftop terrace open to sky.
La Gazelle d’Or – Route d’Amezgrou; 011-212-052-885-2039 or 011-212-052-885-2048; gazelledor.com; set in estate filled with bougainvillea and orange groves; where socialites and statesmen come to unwind; spa.



TAZA – east of Fez; where Gouffre du Friouato, North Africa’s deepest cavern, located; pleasant town.

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