Escorted tours to Morocco
Language: Arabic and Berber
Currency: Morrocan Dirham
Time Zone: WET/GMT-1
Tipping: Sometimes 10% service is often included in the bill, so take a look and decide whether a tip is needed on top of this.
Morocco - an introduction
Morocco, located in North Africa, is known by many as the exotic gateway to the rest of Africa and is the place to come should you wish to experience a slice of African life without having to travel too far. Once you've had a taste of this magnificent country, it won't be long before it lures you back to experience further Morocco tours.
The landscape is as varied as the people who live here from the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert and the mighty peaks of the Atlas Mountains to the rugged yet stunning coastlines below. Watch as the Berbers, Arabs and Saharawis go about their daily lives. You'll be amazed as the nomadic 'blue men' brave the extreme heat of the desert, wearing traditional robes and turbans with a mobile phone glued to their ear – how diverse can you get? Take time to wander around colourful medinas where local merchants will try to sell you their wares from richly coloured carpets and rugs to the aroma of spices – don't be tempted to settle for their first offer, haggle a bit more and you're sure to get a bargain!
One place you should definitely visit during your tour of Morocco is the stunning resort of Essaouira with its artsy atmosphere and picturesque ramparts. The beaches here are stunning too although the strong winds and sea currents can make tanning or bathing a little difficult some times. The conditions however are perfect for kite-surfing or windsurfing should you feel the need. Travel to the tiny town of Diabat which has connections with Jimi Hendrix who once visited here. The town itself is a little empty and there are few attractions apart from the Hendrix ruin and Hendrix Café so only spend a short time here before returning to Essasouira via a romantic walk along the beach.
There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit when on your Morocco tour so make sure Fés and the Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakesh feature in your touring itinerary. You have to visit Fés on your tour as it has been classed as the largest living Islamic city in the world. Step into the Old Town and you'll face a myriad of winding alleyways leading to various mosques and medersas (theological colleges). Your senses too will be dazzled here by the wondrous sights, sounds and smells, where donkeys or mules are how the locals get around but you needn't travel far before coming across a mobile phone or satellite dish. Djemaa el-Fna is the other UNESCO site you must visit when touring Morocco as it is the main square of Marrakesh where everything happens from snake charmers trying to calm hissing cobras with their tuneful oboes to the infectious rhythm of the Gnaoua Musicians who for a few dirhams will happily encore till the sun rises again!
Other delights that await you on your tour of Morocco may feature the beautiful whitewashed colonial buildings of Casablanca where Humphrey Bogart once asked the piano-player to 'Play It Again Sam'. Admire the fascinating Roman mosaics and other ruins in Volubilis or visit the pink granite mountains in the Ameln Valley. Take to a horse-drawn carriage as you tour wonderful examples of fine imperial architecture in Meknés. Have fun in the vibrant nightlife of Tangier by be wary of the local hustlers. Get lost in the tempting souks of Marrakesh where you'll no doubt part with your Moroccan currency for a holiday bargain or watch flamingos take flight in Moulay Bousselham. You won't run out of things to do when touring Morocco that's for sure.
Holidays to Morocco tend to feature; return flights, transportation whilst in the resort, accommodation in good standard hotels, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so you get an insight into Moroccan life without revealing its entirety so you can always come back for more!
Things to do
From souks to sand dunes, Morocco is fairly diverse. Here are our must-see places to visit on an escorted tour:
Marrakech is a great place to visit, full of charm and history. The historic old town is a must-see while here to disappear into the many souks and alleyways which are lined with shops selling anything and everything. The bustling main square Djemaa El-Fna, is a great place to visit both day and night with food stalls, snake charmers, and musicians. Take in the various palaces, mosques, gardens and museums which adorn this culture-rich city.
This magnificent fortified town is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city and a great place to relax after the bustle of other Moroccan cities. As one of the major fishing harbours Essaouira offers the chance to sample some of the finest seafood in Morocco. Watch the fishermen bring their daily catches in to be whisked off to the shops, restaurants and nearby markets.
As Morocco's largest city there are plenty of things to see and do in this cosmopolitan city. Casablanca is a modern city but still retains it characteristic old town, where you can wander through the narrow lanes and streets of the medina and try to remember your way out. Hassan II Mosque is one of the main tourist attractions to visit, with incredible detail and beautiful mosaics. If you love shopping, don't miss Morocco Mall, one of the largest shopping centres in Africa.
Tips & Advice
The beauty of travelling in an escorted tour is that you'll be in the safest hands when it comes to holidaying in foreign lands. To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Morocco, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
When travelling to Morocco, ensure that you have adequate travel insurance arranged before you leave. It is also wise to have access to funds which will cover the cost of any medical treatment or repatriation you might need. Most tours offer the chance to purchase one-trip travel insurance at the time of booking.
Should you need to call for an ambulance in an emergency dial 150. If you get taken to a medical facility for additional medical treatment, it is best to ring your insurance company to inform them.
Henna tattoos are popular in Morocco, sometimes these can cause painful allergic reactions for some people. If you think your skin may react badly to these, it would be best to avoid getting Henna tattoos.
Violent crime isn't a major problem for Morocco, however there have been occasional incidences. Avoid unknown areas after dark and never carry large amounts of cash or valuables on you. It would be wise to leave any valuables in your hotel safe or perhaps leave them at home before you travel to Morocco.
As with most places, pickpocketing and bag snatching is common so do keep a watchful eye on your belongings. Be observant as to who is around you when using ATM machines as crime can occur in these areas.
Local Laws and Customs
Morocco is an Islamic country so it is important to respect all customs and traditions so as not to offend particularly, during Ramadan.
Women should always be careful when travelling alone, and should dress sensibly to avoid unwanted male attention. Wearing short skirts and strappy tops can be seen as 'provocative'.
In Morocco, same sex relationships are a criminal offence, sexual relations out of wedlock are also punishable by law.
As with everywhere, drug-related crimes are also severely punished.
British citizens do not need a visa to visit Morocco for tourist purposes for up to 3 months. When you enter the country your passport must be stamped.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you enter Morocco.
Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry and exit from Morocco as well as air side transit.
If you plan to bring prescription medication into Morocco, it is advised that you bring a copy of the prescription with you.
Any other nationality looking to visit Morocco must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
If you would like to find out more about Morocco before you visit, visit the official Tourist Board website, visitmorocco.com.