Guides can be helpful when navigating the medina's serpentine streets. They can point out little-known landmarks and help you understand the city's complicated history. You are best off booking a licensed guide through a tour company, and your hotel's staff will be able to suggest one to suit your interests. Although guides can be very knowledgeable about the city, don't rely on them for shopping. Store owners will inflate prices in order to give the guides kickbacks. The going rate for a city guide is 300 DH for a half day, 500 DH for a full day.
If you want a top-notch private guide for Marrakesh, you can't beat English-speaking Mohammed Lahcen. Having grown up in the valley, his knowledge of the region is unsurpassed. Likewise, the amiable Said el-Fougasse has encyclopedic knowledge of Marrakesh's secret treasures and Moroccan history, and he is a qualified guide for both city and nationwide destinations. Legendes Evasions is a highly respected local agency that runs chauffeured vehicle tours to some of the Berber villages around Marrakesh. Sahara Expedition is a budget agency that runs daily excursions and tours throughout the region, including Ourika Valley and Essaouira day trips as well as three-day sprints to the desert at Zagora and Merzouga. SheherazadVentures is an English-Moroccan company with an ethical conscience; based in Marrakesh, the company organizes tailor-made cultural trips to the Sahara, working in partnership with nomads from the region. The Conseil Regional du Tourisme office near the Koutoubia Mosque has maps, brochures, and general tourist information for Marrakesh and the surrounding area.
Brigade Touristique (Tourist Police) (Pl. Djemâa el Fna, Marrakesh. 0524/38–46–01.)
Conseil Régional du Tourisme. The tourist office near the Koutoubia Mosque has maps, brochures, and general tourist information for Marrakesh and the surrounding area. Pl. Ibn Youssef Tachfine, off Av. Hommane el Fatouakia, Medina, Marrakesh. 0524/38–52–61. Oct.–Apr., weekdays 8:30–noon and 3–6:30; May–Sept., weekdays 9–3.
Legendes Evasions. This highly respected local agency runs chauffeured vehicle tours to some of the Berber villages around Marrakesh. Day trips start at around 2,200 DH for up to four people per car. Galerie Elite, 212, av. Mohammed V, 1st fl., Guéliz, Marrakesh. 0524/33–24–83. www.legendesevasions.com.
Mohammed Lahcen. If you want a top-notch private guide for Marrakesh, you can't beat English-speaking Mohammed Lahcen. The going rate for a city guide is 300 DH for a half day, 600 DH for a full day. 0661/20–06–39. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office National Marocain du Tourisme (Pl. Abdel Moumen Ben Ali, Av. Mohammed V and Rue Yougoslavie, opposite Les Negoçiants café, Guéliz, Marrakesh. 0524/43–61–31. Weekdays 8:30–4:30.)
Sahara Expedition. This budget agency runs daily group excursions and tours throughout the region, including Ourika Valley and Essaouira. Three-day sprints via minibus to the Sahara desert at Merzouga start from 1,000 DH per person with very basic hotels. 22, bd. Mohammed Zerktouni, Guéliz, Marrakesh. 0524/42–97–47. www.saharaexpe.ma.
Said el-Fagousse. The amiable Said el-Fagousse has encyclopedic knowledge of Marrakesh’s secret treasures and Moroccan history. Originating from the desert village of M'Haimd el Ghizalne, he is a qualified guide for both city and nationwide destinations. His rates are 400 DH for a half day, 700 DH for a full day. 0662/02–47–04. email@example.com.
SheherazadVentures. This Marrakesh-based English-Moroccan company organizes private tailored tours with a cultural focus. They're specialists in Sahara experiences (think 4X4s and camel trekking), active day excursions from Marrakesh, and national tours. Rates start around 1,000 DH per day depending on group size, accommodation, and length of tour. Appt. 55, Residence Ali (C), Av. Mohammed VI, near Café Cesar, Guéliz, Marrakesh. 0615/64–79–18. www.sheherazadventures.com.