Maximizing my Morocco
How many days do we need to stay in Morocco if we want to include the Sahara Desert?
Every trip is different. We tend to recommend two nights in the desert. If you wish to see most of the highlights of Morocco, that typically means 11 or 12 days minimum. Many clients stay two weeks.
I keep hearing about riads. Should I stay in one?
Riads are small inns converted from historic mansions in the medina, each built around an open garden. Staying in one can be an experience that will be with you for the rest of your life. We work with those that are best able to meet the demands of our clients, while maintaining their authenticity. However, there are considerations: each room is different. Most rooms are quite narrow and long, and some, by the nature of the design, are on the dark side. Few riads have elevators. Yet the rewards are immense. You will never forget walking through the chaos of the medina down a small alley for your first time, opening an enormous 18th-century cedar door to find this oasis of calm. Surrounding the lush garden is a beautiful centuries-old Moroccan home that will be yours for the next few days. In a riad, one can feel the heartbeat of Morocco.
How do I get around Morocco?
Private car and driver. We use internal flights when we can, but often the hub-and-spoke connections through Casablanca leave much to be desired. The big advantage of being driven is that you get to see more of the truly stunning landscape.
Should I include the Sahara?
Is a Saharan encampment worth it?
The Sahara is one of the most incredible places in Morocco, and that is saying a lot. It does take time to get there, unless you have the budget for a private helicopter. There are some basic hotels at the dunes. Given the time of year, there is the option of spending the night at a private encampment. We offer the greatest luxury to be found in Morocco. The tents are comfortable and clean, but Morocco does not offer the level of luxury to be found in say, an upscale African Hemingway-style safari tent. In many ways, the simplicity of the setup is very fitting and enhances your experience.
How long does it take to drive to the Sahara?
Don’t think of the drive as a way to get from Point A to Point B. Traveling to the Sahara is a great road-trip through beautiful and diverse landscapes. Fes to the desert is one day (about seven hours plus stops) and the desert to Marrakech is two days (about six hours each day plus stops). If you have more time, there are some great places to break up the drive.
Nuts and Bolts
What is the best time to go to Morocco?
Generally speaking, spring or fall. Winter is very popular and the weather is often gorgeous, but it can vary. July and August can be hot. Ramadan moves about three weeks every year; ask us about travel during Ramadan if your dates coincide.
Do Moroccans speak English?
More and more people under 30 speak English. French is the most commonly spoken European language, and is very widespread. Learn a few words of Arabic before you go and you will have even more fun.
Should I be careful about photographing people in Morocco?
Yes, your guide will advise you about when and where and how it is appropriate. The rules are not always clear-cut.
Do I bargain?
We do. And, depending on where you are, it can be a lot of fun. We will give you our best tips and tricks.
If we are coming from Spain, should we use the ferry to Tangier?
Of course it’s completely up to you. The notion of traveling from Europe to Africa by ferry is certainly a romantic one. The reality is often different: it can often be chaotic and time-consuming. Sorry to be a wet blanket, but it is often just easier to fly.
Is a visa required?
United States passport holders do not need a visa. You will need six months remaining in your passport. If you are from another country, please ask.