Traveling to Morocco
I decided that for my birthday I wanted to go to Morocco! I had some friends in town so I needed to plan an itinerary for a group of 7. Let me tell you – 4 days was not enough and if I had more time, I would’ve definitely stayed for at least a week.
Hotel: Mabrouk Riad & Spa – $60/night
LetsTravelMoroccoTours.com set everything up for me so big special thank to Abdou! I told him I had 4 days and he carefully planned each day for me so I could maximize my experience. Zakaria – our driver was amazing as well. He was so patient when I had to make a ton of bathroom stops and he had a great sense of humor.
- Bring a car charger for your phone and auxiliary cable. Some of the tours require long drives and when going through the desert. Make sure to have music on your phone if you don’t have Spotify.
- Pack light and bring a jacket (It can get cold in the desert at night time) If you are doing a camel ride, try and pack everything in a backpack.
- When you land at the airport, you will have to fill out these forms. They do NOT hand it out on the airplane. Get two copies because you will need one will you depart the country.
- Upon arriving at RAK (Marrakech) airport, the ladies in the magenta shirt pass out free SIM cards by INWI. This sim card is not the best so when you get a chance, you can buy a SIM card by Maroc Telecom for about 20 dirhams.
- When exchanging your money, make sure to get a lot of small bills
- Bathroom – Tip 1 dirham. Most bathrooms don’t have toilet paper
- It’s hard to find alcohol – not all restaurants have liquor license and NO drinking in public.
- If you’re going with your significant other, holding hands is okay but no kisses or pecks in public.
- Be careful of children begging for money (They are pickpocketers as well and if you give them money, you’re encouraging that bad habit while they’re supposed to be in school)
- Always wear your seatbelts in the car – there are random police checkpoints for seatbelt checks
- Have asthma? Bring your inhaler because there’s a lot of pollution in the populated areas with all the motorcycles
- We had the same food almost everyday – cous cous, tajine, meat skewers – we got so sick of it we were dying for something different!!!
Day 1 – Tour of the city
Mohammad was our tour guide through the city and thank god he was with us. Walking through the square can be quite intimidating and people are really aggressive. There are people with monkeys and snakes, ladies trying to draw henna tattoo on you – you just have to be nice and say no thank you. If you do want to take a picture with the snake or monkey, always ask how much first (should be $1) I made a mistake of taking pictures first and then the guy tried to hustle me for $10. No way Jose! Mohammad came to my rescue.
The market is huge! Try to bargain at least 50% and at night time, it’s like a whole other world. Watch out for bikes and motorcycles in the small alley ways.
Day 2 – Ouzod Waterfalls
It’s a 3 hour drive from Marrakech. In October, the water is really cold so I don’t suggest swimming in it. I did the hike in sandals but tennis shoes are suggested. No need for a waterproof bag or anything – just make sure to bring small change for the raft ride, peanuts for the monkeys, food, and to tip the tour guide.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Idris. He was funny and was really nice when we asked him to take a million pictures for us. It’s a fairly easy hike down with some scenic stops. For 20 dirham per person, your group can get on a raft and someone will take you right up to the waterfalls. Just pay after.
Then the hike back up, our guide took us to the area where the monkeys were. They’re not on chains nor are they really aggressive. There are locals selling peanuts so grab some and then tip them $1-$2 after.
Then for 100 dirhams per person, we ate at this restaurant up the trail – Appetizer, entree and drink – great deal!
Day 3 – Sunset Camel Ride & Overnight Camp In Zagora
This was a 7 hour drive from Marrakech to Zagora Desert but of course we made several stops along the way. One of the stops where they sell the Argan oil – you can buy your head wrap (scarf) for the camel ride. I was able to bargain it down to 80 dirhams.
The camel ride was the highlight of my trip! (They’re actually called Dromedary because it has 1 hump…but everyone calls it camel because it’s easier to say) It was about a 45 minute ride to camp. All tents are set up – we had a tent with 2 full beds. There are normal bathrooms and showers available!
They sell bottles of wine for 15€. At the camp we experienced live music and dancing and of course…more Moroccan food.
Day 4 – Zagora Desert Sunrise and our Journey Back Home
We woke up at 7:00 am and hiked up the hill to watch the beautiful sunrise. After that, a quick breakfast at the camp and then our 7 hour drive back home and to the airport. There were some stops along the way and we decided not to drop by the Kasbah because we were running a little late.
Overall an amazing experience! I hope to return to Morocco to check out the Blue City and Casablanca.
Contact Abdou to help plan your trip: firstname.lastname@example.org