Nestling into the Moroccan Winter

Winter is a time for getting cozy all over the world, and Morocco is no exception. Thousands of white storks have crossed over the Strait of Gibraltar to settle into their large nests on tops of Mosques – or perched atop the ancient Roman columns of Volubilis near Meknes, Morocco. This is also a time when nomads have led their flocks of sheep and goats to the warmer terrain of the south to find wild thyme and other vegetation to eat, and to avoid the blankets of snow in the north.

White StorkAlmond BlossomsBrahim and Sarah on a hike

In the villages of the High Atlas Mountains in the south, these winter months are the perfect time for weaving thick striped blankets called ahandir, and plush, bright carpets called tazarbit. It’s a time for drinking hot, flavorful soup, aharira, for breakfast, and gathering with family as the sun goes down in the late afternoon. With such an intimate relationship to the land and the climate, the tone is the village is of rest and reflection.

I remember my first winter in Morocco as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In a small village outside of Azrou in northern Morocco, I would huddle around the wood stove in the living room with my host family, all piled under blankets, and drinking steaming hot mint tea. I laugh as I think of our clothes hanging from every odd hook throughout the room. We would wash clothes at the river, but they would frozen if we left them outside overnight, so we’d bring them inside, allowing them to quickly dry from the warmth of the fire.

Soon enough the seasons will change, and Ainabi Tours will travel to Morocco for our June 2013 Tour.  Then, we will enjoy sunny beaches, fertile fields, and bustling cities. To find out more about Morocco, and how you can join us to experience its incredible terrain and generous people, visit our Ainabi Tours 2013 Registration page.

Ainabi Tours is a family run project offering annual semi-private tours to Morocco, as well as tour planning throughout the year. Directed by Brahim Ainabi, a native of the Dades Gorge, and his wife, Sarah Young, a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, Ainabi Tours specializes in tours of southern Morocco, from the beaches of Essaouira to the deserts of Merzouga. Brahim and Sarah are dedicated to providing well-organized, custom-designed tours that offer a balance of popular tourist attractions with activities in local communities.  For our June 2013 Tour, we are excited to be partnering with our friend, Ann Robideaux, a world traveler who has organized numerous trips abroad and has lived and worked around the world.

Ainabi Tours Announces Summer 2013 Moroccan Tour!

Ainabi Tours Offers Semi-Private Tour to Morocco:
June 21-June 30, 2013

Casablanca – Marrakesh – Essaouira – Ouarzazate – Dades Gorge

Join us for a gorgeous vacation – but don’t expect an ordinary tour. While Ainabi Tours will guide you to popular tourist sites and provide all the amenities needed for a relaxing vacation, we will also delve below the surface to learn about life in the “real” Morocco. With such a rich culture and hospitable people, this is a journey worth taking! You’ll be invited to meet Moroccan families, taste local flavors and experience Moroccan customs first-hand. This semi-private tour, with a maximum of 9 guests, will truly be a memorable and personalized vacation. A treasure not to be missed!

Wendy in Marrakesh

Spend 10 days as a Moroccan!

2 nights along the Essaouira coast
1 night in the desert of Ouarzazate
3 nights of village life in Ait Ouffi
3 nights in colorful Marrakesh
1 day at the port of Casablanca

Here’s what’s included:
* Car transfers between tour destinations with reliable drivers
* All hotel accommodations (with hot water and Western toilets)
* Breakfast each day
* 3 group dinners
* Welcome meeting to get you acquainted with local customs
* Evenings of dance and music
* Moroccan mint tea at a local home
* Visit to a local women’s weaving association
* Opportunities for souvenir shopping & dining out
* Outings to see historical & cultural sites
* Traditional henna tattoo (if desired)
* Hiking opportunities

Interested in visiting the Sahara dunes in addition to this itinerary?
You can! Ask for details.

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Meet Ainabi Tours’ organizers and leaders:

Hailing from Morocco, Brahim Ainabi grew up in the small rural village of Ait Ouffi in the beautiful High Atlas region of southern Morocco. His family has been in the hospitality business for over four decades. Whether it’s the city routes or the treks off the beaten path, Brahim is an excellent navigator, often putting travelers at ease. And when he says, “Welcome to our home. It’s yours now.” – He means it!

Sarah Young, originally from Beloit, Wisconsin, found her way to Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer. She went there with altruistic goals of righting the ails of this “developing nation,” and learned instead that Morocco had so much to offer and to teach her. She quickly fell in love with Moroccan culture – and with Brahim! They were married in a traditional Berber ceremony, surrounded by family and friends.

In 2010, Sarah and Brahim relocated to New York City. They travel to Morocco every year and love to share the unique local culture – and their lifelong home – with others.

Friend of Sarah and Brahim, Ann Robideaux is a world traveler who has organized numerous trips abroad and has lived and worked around the world. Together, they are covering all the bases to ensure that you have an enjoyable and safe journey.

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Reserve your spot by December 1, 2013 for our Early Bird discount!
Sign up with a friend for $100 off each.

Early Bird: $1515 (reserve by Dec. 1)
After Dec. 1: $1595
30% deposit due at time of reservation.
Full balance due May 1, 2012

Airfare not included. Must arrive in Casablanca by 12pm on June 21, 2014.

For more information – and to reserve your spot:
Contact Sarah Young at sarah@flyingart.net or (608) 346-9237.

Get through winter with dreams of the Moroccan sun!

Ainabi Tours is headed to Morocco for a three-week stay from June 1-30, 2013 (Dates may very slightly.)  We’d love for you to join us!  Whether you’d prefer a 10-day, two-week or full three-week stay, we can design a trip to suit you.  For more information on itinerary and prices, contact Sarah Young at sarah@flyingart.net. Spaces are limited, so please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in this – or future – trips.

One must-see stop on our itinerary will be Restaurant Riad Bleu Afriqua in the Dades Gorge. We are excited to see it’s review in Lonely Planet’s Morocco Guide 2011. June is the perfect time for a meal like the one described. Delicious!



“Marhaba” means Welcome

Thank you for visiting this new site for Ainabi Tours.  As we continue to develop the site, you should know that we’re also continually developing ways that we can help you have a safe and relaxing vacation in Morocco.  We are not a corporate-run tour agency.  We are a local family with a lot of experience working with visitors from all over the world.  We’ve been gathering lessons learned and bits of wisdom that we hope to pass along to you.

We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to contact us if you are considering a visit to Morocco.  It sometimes can be difficult to weigh through the many guidebooks or to try to navigate which tour groups and guides are trustworthy and from whom you should shy away.  We’re happy to share our perspective with you in hopes of setting your mind at ease while developing an itinerary that suits you.

Trek Ssalama,

Ainabi Tours

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