Thinking of Morocco conjures up these exotic images of stunning palaces, intricate designs, colorful kaftans, palm trees & of-course camels! And Morocco does not disappoint! This blog post is our attempt at convincing you why Morocco should be your next travel destination!
We’ve extensively traveled Europe so far (well, we’d like to think so ;)) and after a while all the cathedrals and churches and “old towns” start to merge with one another. But so far, Morocco has definitely stood out as unique - both in terms of natural landscapes and the local culture.
Itinerary - 6 days
Day 1 - Land into Marrakech - Explore the town.
Day 2 - Head towards Atlas Mountains, Merzouga & Aït Benhaddou
Day 3 - Dadas Gorge - Head towards the Sahara Desert
Day 4 - Sahara Desert Luxury Camp (best part of our tour!!!!)
Day 5 - Head back towards Marrakech via Todra Gorge
Day 6 - Chill in Marrakech during the day - fly back home in the evening.
Pro tip: We did this trip over the Easter long weekend thus only taking an additional 2 days off work since Friday & Monday are public holidays anyway! :)
Can we drive or should we go with a tour?
Although feasible to do this via self-drive, and as much as we advocate exploring a country by yourself and a car - we highly recommend going with a tour option for Morocco. It isn’t as safe as driving around Europe. If you have a group, there are plenty of tour options that customize the tours according to what you want to see, number of days you have as well as style of traveling.
We chose to go with a private tour option from Sahara Morocco Tours where we were basically given a car & a driver for our disposal for 6 days. There was a rough itinerary planned but it was flexible enough to amend early morning start timings and time spent at each location.
The tour took care of accommodation (3-5 stars), breakfast & dinners + the car, petrol & driver - a bargain for £300 per person (for the entire 6 days).
What currency is used in Morocco?
Morocco uses both Euros and Moroccon Dirham (MAD).
If you are trying to covert GBP to MAD, it's best to do this at Marrakech airport after you land. Monzo / Revolut gives us a great exchange rate, so we ended up just withdrawing MAD from the ATMs. Euros are also used in places but usually at an unfavorable exchange rate. We recommend converting to MAD in bulk for the week and using that throughout your trip.
Rough costs for 6 days
~ €300 per person for the tour
~ €150 per person for 2 nights stay in a Riad (prior and after your tour)
~ €25 per person for lunch (breakfast & dinners are included in the tour)
~ €100 miscellaneous drinks / shopping / tips if needed
Day 1 & 6 Marrakech (without the tour)
After a really early 6am flight from London, we landed into Marrakech exhausted and sleepy. However, the second we stepped foot outside the airport, we were refreshed by the warm air and sun on our faces! We hadn’t been to a warm country since July! With smiles beaming, we took off our layers and headed to our Riad.
Where to stay in Marrakech:
There are plenty of accommodation options however we HIGHLY recommend staying at a Riad (a large traditional home with a courtyard / swimming pool in the middle of the home). We chose Riad Baba Ali and we were in for a treat. Photos don't do justice to just how beautiful this home! The host is a sweet french lady who took great care of us. We chose to have lunch at the Riad, which she made fresh for us as we ordered! Just what we needed after a tiring early flight.
What to do in Marrakech:
Marrakech has a lot to offer! Try bargaining for souvenirs at Jemaa el Fnaa exploring its labyrinth of traditional souks or head to the Koutoubia Mosque Marrakech's most famous landmark or if you are curious enough - try a local Hammam experience. We had never been to one before, and didn't know what to expect! You are taken in to a chamber - naked - while a local Moroccan lady gives you a deep exfoliation & massage. An amazing relaxing experience but if you aren't comfortable with being naked in front of a stranger - perhaps give it a miss. ;)
Spoil yourself at La Mamounia
Have a drink or a spa experience at Morocco's most prestigious hotel known for its opulence, and grandeur. You'll step into the most elegant interiors you've ever seen, strolling past magnificent gardens, marble sculptures and velvet armchairs. Be ready to pay a hefty price tag (compared to the local prices outside) for food & drinks (and make sure you book prior).
On the tour: Atlas Mountains, Todra Gorge, Dades Valley, & Camel rides & Camping in the middle of Sahara Dessert.
The tour takes us through a whirlwind of different landscapes and sceneries. From breathtaking gorges to dry arid deserts, from waking up to early morning sun over a valley to sleeping under the stars in the Sahara.. we had an absolute wonderful time exploring Morocco and all that it has to offer.
Highlight of the trip:
It has got to be the Berber luxury camp in the middle of the Sahara Desert. It was unimaginable to be treated with such luxury in the midst of sand dunes and open nothingness. On our camels we rode to our luxury camp and as the sun set, we were greeted with traditional Moroccon dances and fresh Moroccan tea. After a quick refresh in our glorious opulent tents (with ornate beds and intricate details), we were whisked away to a large tent serving freshly made dinner and drinks. On our request, they had also organised a Shisha for us underneath the North African stars. A truly unforgettable night followed by a spectacular wake up to the sun rising over the dunes :)
One of our closest friends (one of my bridesmaid) celebrated her 30th birthday at the Sahara desert camp - what an absolutely amazing way to welcome your thirties.
Overall, we think it was definitely a trip of a lifetime. So unique and incredibly culture rich - nothing like we've ever seen before. We highly recommend and thank the Sahara Moroccan Tours for giving us treasured memories that we will never ever forget.
Hopefully after reading our blog post, you can add Morocco to your bucket list! :) Let us know if you'd like any tips and any more suggestions.
Have you already been? Share your photos with us and we may feature them our Instagram :) <3
Love - V & S