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Anyone used Gate 1 Travel in Morocco?

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Hi, my friend & I were thinking of doing a quick week in Morocco in May. We were planning on booking it ourselves, but the flights & hotels were quickly adding up! We found a "8 Day Affordable Morocco Tour" thru Gate 1 travel that is a pretty good deal. I would love some feedback if anyone has gone on this tour.....

What is the size of the tour group?
What is the bus situation like - I'm not particularly a fan of long driving trips... Did it feel like you were on the bus the whole time? Did it go thru lots of curvy roads? Did it stop semi-frequently?
Did your trip feel rushed?

Also, for other travelers regarding food/drink - I assume to only drink bottled water? I was in Mexico a couple years ago & got sick from drinking a soda with ice, so now I'm paranoid! Lol. Anything else to avoid?

Thanks!

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    We just returned from Morocco. We were on a Gate 1 Discovery Tour. It was the best tour we have ever taken. This was our 4th tour with Gate 1. We traveled with people whom had travel with Gate 1 ten times. Every single trip went flawless.They do such a good job it was almost scarey! The Discovery tours are small groups so you have plenty of room on the bus. The food was excellent and all included. The boutique hotels we stayed in were homes that had been converted into small hotels. Our guide was one of the best guides we have ever had. We are already booking our next year’s trip. We cannot wait for our next Gate 1 Discovery Tour.

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    kimesd sounds like the Gate 1 spokesperson. hahaha. I have never been on the tours. I saw many different tour buses parked in Meknes when I was there. The buses looked nice from the outside, like charter buses here in the USA. Saw many European travelers. One was a tour group, with the guide explaining things along the way. I don't know what he was saying because it wasn't English. Maybe make sure it is an English speaking tour group. hahaha. I did a 3 hour tour in Amsterdam once. It was great. A lot of people are not fond of tours and would rather do it alone. Maybe if you do enough research on your own before you go. Other people only do the tours. My opinion it would be great to do a tour the first trip and if you want to go to Morocco again try on your own. If the guide is Moroccan hopefully he will show you some places and facts that usual tourists don't know. If you are a group of women, I would do the Gate 1 tour.

    My husband lives there so I have been a few times visiting. We have only gone to a few small touristy cities. In his small interior cities (Tiflet and Khemisset) most of the business signs are in Arabic and some also in French. There are very few street signs. I did not pay attention much when I was in Rabat, Fes and Meknes. I do remember thinking how do the tourists know how to find these places.

    I just looked at the Gate 1 tour info. I would do it in a heartbeat. It looks like you will have some time to explore on your own. So look at some guide books, and even look at Google Earth or Google Maps to look at the areas and pictures. In Fes I would do the guided tour. If not, about 1/2 way to 3/4 of the way down the medina (I don't know if there was more than 1 route) on the right side and I think up a little alley there is a shop with leather goods. It wasn't easy to spot. Inside there were purses and bags on the first level and shirts and jackets on the second level. When we walked by a young boy pulled us in. Then they had my husband take me up to the top. Past the second level was a winding staircase that led up the roof and over looked the tannery, and had a good view. Very nice people. They turned on a fan for me because it was a hot day. There may be many of these shops and tanneries there. Remember that sometimes shops are closed while the shopkeeper goes to prayer.

    Like Mexico, you have to haggle with the little shops over price, especially since you are not Moroccan.

    Travel preparations: get your vaccines. Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, typhoid (see the CDC website). Even though you will only be there a week, bring antibiotics for traveler's diarrhea just in case. Bring Imodium AD and sun block.

    Yes, while there drink only bottled water or soda. I didn't see any ice, but no ice. If you have any fresh fruits or vegetables make sure you wash it with really good (some people use the iodine drops) and that the whatever you cut it with is washed good. Try not to touch the skin and then the inside (like a banana). Their little mini marts or cafes usually have banana or avocado juice (more like a smoothie). I don't know how they are prepared, but I get them anyway because they are so good. They say to avoid "street vendors" late at night because of meat possibly being left out all day. I don't see how that is any worse than a small restaurant/cafe. The stree vendors there are not even on the street or out of a cart. They are in a building right off the street. We have had kofta late at night. They always cook it to order anyway. Kofta is seasoned ground beef topped with tomatoes and onions cooked over charcoal and is usually served with french fries. Sooo yummy.

    Carry little packs of kleenex and hand sanitizer with you everywhere. Most of the tourist areas will have sit down toilets (verses their hole in the floor toilets), but they usually will be missing TP, soap or paper towels, or all three. You can always buy kleenex there at their little mini marts (look for a coke sign) or even at stalls in the medinas.

    Sorry that this is long winded, and I probably didn't say much more than you already know from previous travel experience.

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    Oh, I feel silly. I just realized that you were planning on going in May, which is already passed. Well, hopefully anyone else finds this useful.

    I hope you went and had a good time!

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