No, we don’t provide travel insurance or international flights. Please make sure you are adequately covered by comprehensive travel insurance which must include cover for medical emergencies and the cost of rescue/evacuation by helicopter. It is your responsibility to check that all adventure sports (i.e. including but not limited to camel-back trekking, desert trekking by foot, mountain trekking at altitude by foot, horse-riding, mule-riding, water-sports) to be undertaken on your tour are covered by your policy.
You can book your air travel independently of your booking with us, it is thus subject to the terms and conditions of the relevant airline. We accept no liability for this element of your tour.
Morocco is situated in the far north-west of Africa, and its name in Arabic (“al-Maghreb”) literally means “the West”. The country is just 13km from Spain separated by the Street of Gibraltar. Its neighbor on the east is Algeria, in the south its disputed region of Western Sahara borders on Mauritania. Morocco has 3500 km of coastline with the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, which offers a great opportunity for hiking along its shores and charming coastal towns, such as Essaouira, Asilah and Oualidia. The country is divided in two, north-east to south-west, by the Atlas Mountain ranges (Middle, High, Anti), and in the north the Rif Mountains drop off in the crystal clear Mediterranean.
The city where we are based is Marrakech, and as the southern-most of the four Imperial Cities (together with Fes, Meknes and Rabat in the North), it is ideally located to get into the great outdoors; 1hr to the Atlas, 3hr to the beach, 5hr to the start of the pre-Saharan oases, and 7hr to the Saharaitself!
You can book one of our exemplary tour itineraries, day excursions, or tailor made tours by contacting us via phone, email or our contact form on the website. After we confirm the availability of your tour to you (in writing) we ask you to pay a non-refundable 25% deposit of the total tour cost to finalize your booking.
We send you the details on how to pay this deposit and the rest of the balance by email. We generally give you the flexibility to either pre-pay the rest of the balance by bank transfer within two weeks prior to the start of your tour, or settle it in cash by paying the final balance to your driver / guide on the first morning of your tour. Please let us know what you prefer upon booking and we can agree an arrangement.
In case of cancellation, we wish to receive a written notification from you. Your cancellation is effective on the date we receive your notification. The following charges are applicable upon cancellation:
- cancellation 30 days or more before start date – loss of 25% deposit;
- cancellation between 29 and 10 days before start date – 75% of total tour cost;
- cancellation less than 10 days before start date – 100% of total tour cost.
Cancellation charges may be covered by your insurance policy, you can check this with your insurance provider.
Tipping is entirely discretionary, but is a very welcome and appreciated way for our guides, drivers, cooks etc. to support their incomes. We generally leave it up to you and your satisfaction with our services, although if preferred, we can include tipping in your tour quote so you don’t have to worry about that during your trip.
A small tip at the hotels, desert camp (for the camel drivers) and when you are hosted by a local family will be highly appreciated. In cafes, it’s usual to round the bill up or to leave a few coins for your waiter. In restaurants, 10% of the bill is about right.
The preferred currency to use for all purchases is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). We recommend that you simply use an ATM on arrival (at the airport or in town), or change USD, GBP or Euro at a bureau de change. There will be ATMs in towns on tour (e.g. Casablanca, Marrakech, Fes, Ouarzazate, but also smaller rural towns generally have at least one ATM). Your guide will always assist you with this or notify you in time in case there will be no ATMs for one or more days on route.
You shouldn’t need to carry large amounts of cash with you (just to cover lunch, drinks, souvenirs, etc). Credit cards may be used in the riads/hotels, upscale restaurants/bars and large shops. Rural shops, cafes, and guest-houses will only accept cash.
Approx. exchange rates are £1 : 13.8 MAD and €1 : 11 MAD.
Bottles of water (1.5l) cost around 6-10dh, small coffee or mint tea around 12-15dh, short taxi ride in Marrakech no more than 15dh, lunch/snack around 80dh each in the main square of Marrakech, lunch on tour no more than 100dh each (with a drink).
There are currently no official requirements for travellers to have specific inoculations before arrival but we recommend that you be up-to-date with jabs for hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus, and polio. Malaria prophylaxis is not necessary.
There is no official dress code in Morocco, although it will be highly appreciated by the local population in rural areas and some cities that you cover up a bit, especially when you are a guest in someone’s home. This means you wear sleeves over the elbow and longer pants (this is also the case for men). Of course this is entirely discretionary.
In summer months, we recommend you wear light and comfortable clothing as temperatures can rise up to 45 Celsius in Marrakech and the southern regions. In winter, it can be pretty chilly during the evenings and especially in the mountainous areas, so bring a warm (fleece) vest / sweater for the nights and colder days! Weather conditions can differ a lot during your tour as you will travel through different landscapes, altitudes and climates.
Yes, all our guides are certified mountain and/or city guides and our drivers are certified as well, with many years of experience in tourism. There are many faux-guides working in the field, but you are sure in booking with us to get a fully qualified, experienced and trustful guide!
In the souks of bigger cities such as Marrakech and Fes – when shopping for souvenirs, homewares, items of clothing, etc., – do expect to have to haggle over the price: this is perfectly normal and all part of an elaborate bargaining game between you and the shop-keeper! Have a price in mind before you start the negotiations and try to keep to it. Don’t forget, you can always walk away from the negotiation at any time (this often helps the shop-keeper come round to your price!).
Commission shops are all over Morocco, and if you are buying something in the company of your guide he might receive a commission as this is common practice in Morocco. However, our guides never oblige or encourage people to buy something and don’t stop at a particular shop just to make you buy. If you are looking for something specific, your guide can recommend you places to go to or can take you there.
Alcohol is easily purchased in shops and hotels in bigger cities and towns such as Marrakech, Casablanca and Fes. Most restaurants / bars will also be able to serve you alcohol.
As Morocco is one of the largest producers of Kif in the world, you may be offered drugs especially when traveling the northern regions. Please bear in mind drugs are illegal to use or posses in Morocco and our team cannot be held accountable in any way for the use or possession of drugs during your tour.
Novels and Literature
- Tahir Shah. The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca (2006).
- Tahir Shah. In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams (2007).
- Esther Freud. Hidious Kinky (1992).
- Paul Bowles. The Spider’s House (1955).
- Gavin Maxwell. Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua 1853-1956 (1966).
- Edith Warton. In Morocco (1919).
- Mohamed Choukri. For Bread Alone (1973).
- Peter Mayne. A Year in Marrakech.
- Michael Palin. Sahara.
- Leila Alami. Secret Son.
- Jeffrey Tayler. Valley of the Casbahs.
History, Politics, Anthropology and Photography
- David Crawford. Encountering Morocco. Fieldwork and Cultural Understanding (2013).
- Bart Deseyn and David Crawford. Nostalgia for the Present. Ethnography and Photography in a Moroccan Berber Village (2014).
- Bart Deseyn. Amazigh. De berbers en hun habitat in zuidelijk Marokko/ Habitats et habitants berberes au sud du Maroc (in Dutch/French).
- Steven Adolf. Marokko Achter De Schermen (2005) (in Dutch).
Islam and the Middle East and North Africa region
- Reza Aslan. No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam (2005).
- Paul Danahar. The New Middle East: The World after the Arab Spring (2013).
Cooking and Interior
- Angelika Tasschen, ed. Morocco Style (Icons) (2004).
- Claudia Roden. Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon (2006).
- Marcel van Silfhout and Yassine Nassir. Kookkaravaan. Smaakroute door Marokko (2011) (in Dutch).
- Sophia and Rob Palmer. Colour of Maroc (Uit Marokko in Dutch) (2014).
- Hideous Kinky with Kate Winslet. A must-watch about an English hippy woman and her two children traveling through Morocco in the ‘70s.
- Horses of God by lauded director Nabil Ayouch (2012). An interesting and fantasticly done movie by Ayouch about life in the Casablanca slums and the men who committed the 2003 Casablanca bombings.
- La Source des Femmes (2011): a drama/comedy film depicting life in a North African Berber village where the women go on strike because they have to fetch water from a well far away.
- Gladiator by Ridley Scott. A few scenes depicting a Roman settlement in Northern Africa are shot in the famous village of Ait ben Haddou, where many other movies were also shot such as Kingdom of Heaven and Lawrence of Arabia. If this village is on your journey through Morocco, make sure to watch Gladiator as you will recognize much!
- Babel (2006): in which Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett play a couple traveling through Morocco, and Blanchett gets shot by mistake. Beautiful images of Southern Morocco, Saghru region.