Essential Morocco

Trip Code: XMYM

Why we love it

Don't get in a hoof when you're offered a camel burger in Meknes – it’s a local delicacy! And like all good food in the medina, this unusual lunch is cooked before your eyes at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant., Prepare for the best mint tea of your life on a visit to the Tawesna teahouse. This experience is more than just a cuppa, it’s about discovering a culture, sharing a true moment and contributing to the economic inclusion of women – be part of it!, It's easy to get lost in a labyrinth (think less David Bowie film, more medieval maze), especially when there are enticing distractions at every turn. Never fear, your local guide knows the city of Fes like a lifelong friend., Who knows where the best street food is in Marrakech? Those who know the streets of Marrakech best. Venture out for some street food tasting in the maze of Marrakech streets with a local expert., Barbecue meats are the absolute best. Stop by the local barbecues on road from Ait Benhaddou to Marrakech for mouth-watering kefta and veggies, then wash it all down with a local drink!

Is this trip right for me?

This is a trip designed for travellers aged 18 to 29 – full of fun, flexibility and plenty of free time to explore at your own pace.

In a full-day tour around the Medina of Fes (Day 4), you'll be on your feet for a good five to six hours. Keep in mind that this is one of the highlights of Morocco and well worth the exertion!

The camel trek through the Sahara (Day 6) is an amazing way to experience the desert, but it may be painful on your backside. If you'd prefer, it's possible to walk alongside the caravan on the sand for about an hour (walk isn't too demanding, you'll be fine with basic level of fitness).

The Todra Gorge visit (Day 7) takes you to a remote area of Morocco. It is an amazing place to discover on foot, but to do so you'll need a moderate level of fitness and suitable footwear and clothing. If trekking isn’t your thing, have no fear, as there are plenty of other activities to do in the valley.

The weather in Morocco can be extreme. Summer temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, especially if you're not used to the heat. If you do travel in the warmer months, bring the necessary sun protection and drink plenty of water. At night the temperature can really drop, so bring your warm clothes. Camping can be especially cold at the start and end of the season. Even in the warmer months the temperature can be low in the mountains.

In 2022, Ramadan will take place from 2 April to 1 May. Travelling during this holy month can be a rewarding cultural experience, however some regular services may not be available during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider your travel arrangements carefully before booking travel for this period.

Although you shouldn’t expect any aggressive selling techniques in Morocco, please be aware that you may be approached regularly by shop owners and street vendors.

We've sourced our accommodation carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may be different from western standards.

Important information

1. How to endear yourself to the locals: don’t pose for photos where the holiest of holy people pray. If you want to take a photo of people, always ask - they may say no, so respect that. Even if it’s hot, cover your shoulders, knees and hair. Don’t shake someone’s hand or eat with your left hand - this is the one you use to wipe your butt.
2. Morocco is the land of legendary hospitality, so mind your manners. You'll need a scarf to cover your shoulders and be prepared to take off your shoes if you enter someone's home (plan ahead and wear clean socks).
3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 6 (Desert Camp) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. Please also note that there is a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability, please speak to your booking agent for further information.
4. The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry. In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedbacks from our previous travelers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group leader will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.
Intrepid have set up a centralized system of receiving payments from these recommended suppliers, of which are then distributed towards local Responsible Travel projects (such as 'say no to plastic' cotton bags for our travelers and drinking water refilling stations), traveler information packs, and leader bonuses. Further details of these arrangements can be provided by your group leader on request.
While Intrepid endeavors to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travelers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveler is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., Remember - the lighter you travel the better! A soft-sided duffel bag is the ideal form of luggage. It is recommended that you keep your luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option, but preferably one without a frame. Many hotels used in Europe do not have lifts, so you must be able to carry your own luggage.

Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.
- Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
- Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
- Spare passport photos
- Money: cash/credit card/debit card
- Money belt and small padlocks
- Small first-aid kit
- Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
- Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
- Electrical adapter plug
- Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
- Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
- Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
- Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
- Refillable water bottle
- Phrase book
- Warm clothes/fleece - when travelling in cooler climates
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
- Camera
- Swimwear

CLOTHING
We operate trips in Europe in spring, summer and the start of autumn. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place also depending on the time of year. Remember that quality rain gear is essential for any destination - you’ll enjoy your holiday to the fullest if you’re prepared for all kinds of weather! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.

FOOTWEAR
If you are purchasing new footwear for your trip we recommend that you undertake some walking before-hand to ensure that they are comfortable and are the correct size. In any event we advise some preparatory walking before you commence your trip., DRONES IN MOROCCO
Please note that drones are not permitted to enter or be used in Morocco, neither for personal nor professional/commercial use.

Physical rating

 
2

Although the trip is graded easy, the walk on Day 7 is approximately 10 km. There are other walks, like Midelt and dune climbing, and in addition a lot of walking around the cities and towns. The walking is not extreme by any means, but we recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes.

Joining your group

Moroccan House Hotel Casablanca, 3, Rue Mohamed SMIHA, Cote Avenue des FAR Centre-ville, Casablanca, MOROCCO, Phone: +212 522543566

Moroccan House Casablanca is centrally located right near Place Zellaga. The hotel consists of 46 rooms all with en-suite bathrooms, A/C, telephone & TV. With three restaurants serving Moroccan and International cuisine, there is also internet access available

Joining instructions

Please make sure that you provide your flight details no later than 14 days before departure to book your arrival transfer with us. For your confirmed arrival transfer, you’ll be met outside your arrival terminal (1 or 2) at Casablanca Airport (CMN) by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign. The driver will wait a maximum of one hour from the time the plane lands. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +212 0661553407 or +212 0667295363.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport to your hotel. The price should be agreed before entering the vehicle and should be approximately MAD250 during daylight hours and MAD300 at night.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Amalou, 156 Avenue Abdelkrim Khattabi Gueliz, Gueliz, 40 000 Marrakech, Morocco, Marrakech, MOROCCO, Phone: +212 524422356

Hotel Amalou is centrally located in the Gueliz district. The property is 4 km from Bahia Palace and 1 km from Conference Palace. There are 59 rooms all with en suite bathrooms, air conditioning and TV. Wi-Fi is available in public areas. Outdoor swimming pool is available to hotel guests.

If you have a confirmed departure transfer your leader will advise your pick up time the day before your trip ends. If your driver has not arrived within 30 minutes of the scheduled pick up time, or your departing flight is cancelled or changed, please contact the transfer operator directly: +212 0661243106 and +212 0666192766.

Taxi fare from your hotel to the airport will cost approximately MAD100 - MAD200 to prebook. If hailing a taxi on the street, the price should be agreed before entering the vehicle. Please ask your leader or hotel staff for assistance in arranging a taxi.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 10

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 3

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost only about MAD 30. In main towns, it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal and French wine will cost anything from MAD 220 upwards. Generally, dinner is likely to cost between MAD 80-120 depending on what you drink - so an estimate for food would be about MAD 150-200 a day. Soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices, but generally speaking, alcohol is not widely available in Morocco due for cultural and religious reasons. Still, in some hotels and restaurants, you will be able to purchase beer, wine and spirits, but you will pay foreign prices or more for imported alcohol. Please be aware of local laws, believes and traditions, and be very sensitive and respectful while consuming alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening. Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian couscous and tajine or omelets. This is particularly the case in rural parts of this itinerary. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform us prior to the trip. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

Climate & seasonal information

WEATHER IN MOROCCO
As a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. Winter (November to March) can be very cold, particularly in the mountains and the desert, with overnight temperatures dropping to 5 degrees Celsius or below. Even in summer the desert gets cold at night. It is recommended to bring a sleeping bag, thermals, a scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter.  Please be prepared for cold showers.

Summer (May to September) can be very hot everywhere, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. 

Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating or air conditioning as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It is also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which are limited in some places.

EID AL-ADHA
Eid Al-Adha (Sacrifice Feast) will take place in Morocco 19 - 23 July 2021 and 9 - 13 July 2022. This festival honours the sacrifice Abraham made of his own son. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one-third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the remaining third is retained by the family. Please expect delays or complete suspension of public services during that time which may be disruptive to the trip schedule. For some, it may also be disturbing to see animals being sacrificed, as this can take place in public.

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 22 March - 20 April 2023 and 10 March to 08 April 2024, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +212 661 922 693

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels or hostels in line with the Intrepid style of travel. Yes, we do cool, mostly central and often very original accommodation in Morocco, but remember, occasionally we are not in the right centre of action, which means you may need to hop on a public transport to get to the city centre (or grab a lovely old Merc taxi – plenty of them around). Please note that service and accommodation in Morocco is not quite the same standard you are used to. Your accommodation will not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. In fact, on Intrepid trips you may sometimes share your room with more than one person. But that certainly isn’t the rule.

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

HEATING
Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It's also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers, which are a pleasure for most of the year. Air-conditioning systems (if available) don't always function.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

Transportation

There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. High passes, windy roads and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort. The best part about all of these long drives are the spectacular views and fun stops en route such as mountain passes, kasbahs, palmeries, sand dunes, goats up trees etc.
We also use public transport in Morocco. Be it a train or a public bus, remember that the best part of it is the possibility to interact with local people traveling along with you.


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