Need help planning trip to Morocco in late March

Jan 13th, 2007, 04:57 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 144
Need help planning trip to Morocco in late March

Hi-my husband and I want to go to Morocco in March. This is an exotic destination as we usually go to Paris, London, etc. We would like to see the desert, get off the beaten path, and experience local food/culture. Should we go on an organized tour? Should we say we are Canadian rather than Americans. I have heard that blondes attract a lot of attention, I'm a little concerned about that. Is it safe? I haven't planned a thing and would appreciate any input.
Jenski is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 06:32 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 118
We just returned from Morocco and found it to be safe (including for Americans) exotic and truly a feast for the eyes. If you are willing to spend the money, you can have a very memorable trip to the "off the beaten track places" by hiring a car and guide. (Read my recent post "Morocco trip report". My husband and i have travelled widely through many countries but found that Morocco (at least on a first trip) would not have been managable on our own (we speak neither arabic nor French) Our guide took us to locations we would not have visited on our own especially since we wanted to cover a lot of ground in a short time (10 days). Being on your own attracts some attention (no matter which nationality you are) mainly because someone is trying to sell you something. With a guide you are left alone.

To begin planning the trip, I suggest you read lots of posts on what can be done on a trip to Morocco. Once you have an idea about which areas of this beautiful country you want to visit you can start planning.

Feel free to ask more questions.
monsoon99 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 08:20 PM
  #3  
jgg
 
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We are going to Morocco in late March as well, and like you consider it to be fairly exotic as we have only been to Paris, London and Italy before. We will be in Marakkech on our own, and then have booked the rest of the trip with Blue Men of Morocco (www.bluemenofmorocco.com) for the desert and Fez. Since there are four of us, it will be a private tour.

I have read most of the posts on here and Trip Advisor and people say that the Moroccans are extremely friendly and enjoy having Americans there so I wouldn't be too concerned about that.
jgg is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 01:08 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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My husband and I spent 2 weeks in Morocco on our honeymoon and loved it. The people are very friendly and we at no time felt threatened or uncomfortable. I would recommend that you not wear shorts, short skirts or tank tops as this is considered disrespectful. I saw several tour groups where the women were dressed this way, and unless you want to get unwelcome stares, its best to cover yourself. Linen comes into great use on a trip like this!

We had a tour guide and we would have been miserable without him! We have been to more "exotic" places without guides, but we felt like we needed one in Morocco, expecially since we speak neither French nor Arabic. If I can find the name of the tour company, I will post it on this thread.

I hope you love your time in Morocco!
sir911 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 03:04 PM
  #5  
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I would love any recommendations you might have. Flights are a little higher than I was expecting ($1300) but I haven't spent much time looking around. What can we expect to spend on a nice hotel? Not looking for the Ritz, but want something upscale that is more Moroccan than a western style hotel.
Jenski is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 09:59 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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I have not been there but interviewed someone on Morocco within the last year. he and his wife did not go as part of a tour and said they felt very safe.

Chris Christensen
Amateur Traveler podcast (and radio show)
chris2x is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 05:49 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 141
I also don't think you need to go as part of a tour. If you have only been to major European destinations, even the major stops of Morocco will be exotic enough to feel like you're off the beaten track. It's so easy to lose yourself ni the winding streets and find an untouched little neighborhood. I think you'll be fine on your own, and maybe get guides from the tourist office on a day-to-day basis as you need them.

An easy and really beautiful off-the beaten-track thing to do is to take the scenic route between Fez and Marrakesh. There is a stop at some beautiful waterfalls called the Cascades d'Ouzoude, that is really worth it. You also pass really untouristy villages and a gorgeous dam. The only tourists I saw that day were a few intrepid French people.

You won't need a guide in Marrakesh, but you should ask for one just for your first day in Fez. You can arrange 2-3 day trips to the desert while in Marrakesh (your hotel can arrange it, or you can go through numerous travel agencies in town). They'll get you to the edge of the Sahara and then have camels or jeeps for you to ride, and then a tent for you to sleep in overnight.

As for flights and hotels, I think Royal Air Maroc has a sale on the JFK-Casa flight in the spring, so keep checking the website. I think you should be able to stay in a nice medina riad in Fez or Marrakesh for $150 a night, most likely even less.
Felly is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 07:01 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Americans are welcomed in Morocco in the same way as any other nationality. There is no need to feel at all threatened. As far as dress is concerned, there is no need to cover up, just don't strut around the souk bearing everything you have, if you don't want unnecessary attention.
bibble40 is offline  

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