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Gate1 Morocco Vacation and demographics of group-travel

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Jul 31st, 2013, 08:35 AM
  #1
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Gate1 Morocco Vacation and demographics of group-travel

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone has ever utilized Gate1 at all, or even more helpful, specifically for travel in Morocco. Our 8 day trip will include 1 day in Rabat, 2 days in Fes, 2 days in Marrakech, and 1 day in Morocco. The price is perfect for us and my friend and I are less concerned with staying in a 5 star hotel (we realize it is a budget travel company) than actually the group dynamics. My friend said that she thinks it will be all senior-citizens, aged 60 older. I was hoping that the tour groups were diverse in age and country make-up, so curious to hear about anyone's experiences with Gate1's tour groups since it seems we will be spending a significant amount of time with one another city to city. If you also had general feelings about your trip to Morocco please reply with that as well. Lastly, if we should look somewhere elsewhere that might be more appropriate for our age group, those tips are appreciated too! Thanks for any help you can give!
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Jul 31st, 2013, 08:51 AM
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My first trip to Morocco was with a group and guide and, while I enjoyed the trip, I wasn't thrilled with going in a group. It was likely a bit more upscale than Gate 1 and the good part was that it included off the beaten path locations that I don't see on the itinerary above.

What I realized on that trip was that Morocco is an easy place to navigate on one's own and that's what I've done on all my trips back. Given all the locations you mention (except the unidentified last "Morocco") it would be a VERY easy trip to do without the tour company, if those are your first choices. If they aren't exciting to you in particular you could add other more interesting stops without sacrificing the ease of travel.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 07:35 AM
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Thanks! Care to mention what company you used for your group and guide? Sorry, I inadvertently put Morocco instead of Casablanca (for the 1 day in ____ part) which I don't really want to spend a lot of time in since I've heard it' s pretty industrial and not a ton to do there.

I think for my first trip I'm just trying to do some highlights but going off the beaten path a bit would be great so thanks for the tip that individual travel is easy to do.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 08:39 AM
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"I think for my first trip I'm just trying to do some highlights but going off the beaten path a bit would be great so thanks for the tip that individual travel is easy to do."

It sounds like maybe I wasn't clear on the part about "off the beaten path". If "highlights" is what you want it's easy to do independently. For "off the beaten path" a tour might work better if your time is limited. Getting away from cities and into the countryside always takes longer using public transport, travel between major cities is easier to do on your own.

I don't think you'd be interested in the company I used if you want a younger group. There were about 10 of us, but over 50. It was a very active tour, not geriatric in the slightest, if that's your impression of "senior citizens". Look for "activity level" rather than worrying about the ages of your fellow travelers. A higher activity level will limit the participants to those who want some adventure. Couch potatoes come in all ages. The company was Elder Treks, a Canadian company.
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Aug 3rd, 2013, 08:40 AM
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I went to Morocco with Intrepid, which tends to have mexed age groups. However, it was a teo week trip and I took it because it made it easier to get to the desert and the gotges. For you want the train system, or grand taxis, should work fine. Just remember to BARGAIN with the taxi drivers, and don't use those right outside bus and train stations. I would add a day for Essaouira.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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Essaoura is too far out of the way the main stops on most itineraries. Besides depending on time of year, weather on the coast can be very questionnable.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 02:17 PM
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Essaouria is an easy day trip or overnight from Marrakech. IMO most itineraries allow too much time for Marrakech.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 03:11 PM
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"Essaoura is too far out of the way the main stops on most itineraries."

I'm not sure what this means. If by "main stops" you mean the usual tourist-filled haunts of the package tours then good. Essaouira is easy to get to by comfortable bus or grand taxi and is a charming place for a couple of days on the coast and a relief from even my favorite cities. There are accommodations for every budget, the people are friendly, food is terrific and offers specialties not available in other places and is certainly worth the minimal detour. But part of the charm may be that enough agree with sandi to make it a relaxed and quiet getaway. I should just shut up and leave it that way.
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