My post last month gave a summary of where we went on our guided trip to Morocco with TDActive. If you are planning a trip there, make sure to spend a night in the desert, go to Casablanca and Fez and visit The Atlas Mountains. And stay in a riad, a traditional house (or former palace) with an internal garden or courtyard.
I think that when you are planning to visit places like Morocco, it makes sense to go with a tour company. Contrary to what you might think, the trips are actually fun and you can meet interesting people. We were in a group of 20 and were among the oldest.
You know that if anything happens you are looked after. Booking individual elements of a trip like ours means you have to sort out any problems, such as unforeseen changes to transport and accommodation arrangements, for yourself.
You feel safe, because when in a group with a guide you are never hassled (never follow a local who offers to give you directions)
You see so much more, because you can listen and look as your guide points out sights.
You learn about the history, the culture, the current political situation, facts about the economy etc. from your guides who are living there.
We have always had top-class guides with TDactive and Travel Department who also hire local expert guides too, who all speak good English, are highly-educated and are excellent communicators.
We had excellent food, but even wonderful lamb, chicken, or vegetarian tagines can become a bit monotonous.
Kebabs, tasty soups, lovely salads (all with cooked vegetables) were also constant on the menus. Graham particularly liked their very sweet desserts.
Be warned that it is not easy to get alcoholic drink in some of the out-of-the-way places and not all of the hotels have bars. A good idea is to buy a bottle of your favourite tipple at the airport before flying out.
The Dirham is the local currency and you can get approximately 10 dirhams to 1 euro which makes conversion in your head very simple.
My advice is that you change your money at the airport, because you get the best rate there. We flew into Marrakesh and the money exchange is just after you exit passport control. The airport makes a real statement with its futuristic design.
If possible, get some change into smaller denominations as shops or restaurants never seemed to have any, so you end up paying more than you intended.
Also, ATMs were difficult enough to find.
Spend all your money before you return to the airport…the prices there are ridiculous (a packet of dates, for instance, was €28) and in any case you are not supposed to take dirhams out of the country.
WHAT TO WEAR
Morocco can be very hot during the summer months and while we were there in November, the weather was mixed. We had sunshine mostly, but also some rain. A light, warm jacket was essential.
Whatever the weather, you must remember that Morocco is predominantly a Muslim country and it is important to dress conservatively, unless you are in a resort. If you want to avoid unwanted attention and staring, cover up.
I found long, loose shirts were very useful; maxi dresses also worked for me, topped with a kimono.
And the most important item is a scarf or two. I wore a warmer scarf as a wrap when it was cooler, to cover my arms and on my head in the desert (see below):
The men wore shorts on occasion, but mostly long trousers.
WHAT TO BRING
- International travel adapter
- Comfortable footwear for walking
- A bigger case if you want to buy leather bags etc.
- Small rucksack for camera, sunscreen water etc.
Happy holidaying in 2020. Thanks for reading.