Women travelers in Morocco

Mar 23rd, 2005, 09:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Women travelers in Morocco

My sister and I are planning a trip to Morocco. We're both young (mid-20s), but are experienced travelers. Anyone have tips for a safe and pleasant trip? I've been told that young single women are subject to constant harassment and unwelcome attention by men.

Also, we're flying into and out of Madrid. Does anyone know of any cheap flights between Spain and Morocco? I'm not even sure where to begin looking.
Coribecca is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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Buy the Lonely Planet guide to Morocco and go to the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree posting boards where you will find more than enough information on Morocco- on the Africa Branch
Mar 27th, 2005, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I'm a little older than you but I did get some stares, probably due to my blonde hair/blue eyes. This made me very uneasy on the first day, but I got used to it and wasn't bothered any more. More about the blonde hair later.

There was one hotel manager who asked me for a date. He wasn't overly pushy, and took no for an answer when I declined. Then one day I was on a guided tour of Fez. The tour guide overheard that I work for a University and presumed I was a teacher. (I'm not) He approached me privately and told me that he has 3 wives and 8 children and he is looking for a 4th wife who is a teacher so she can home school the children. I had a bad feeling about where this was going, so I cut him off and told him I am not a teacher. Right away he lost interest.

If you have blonde hair, don't be surprised if people want to touch it. When I was in the marketplace in Marrakech, a woman kept coming up behind me and stroking my hair. At first I thought she was trying to pick my pocket, but I later found out that people who don't often see blonde hair will sometimes want to touch it. I guess there's no crime in this, but it was a little creepy.

I think you'll be OK, just use some basic caution and common sense.
P_M is offline  
Mar 27th, 2005, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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You might also think about buying the book "Culture Shock: Morocco" for useful advice and insight into Moroccan culture and customs, and check out journeywoman.com for more practical advice.

I'm going to Morocco later this spring. I'm planning to be fairly careful with my wardrobe - no shorts or short skirts; loose trousers and long skirts instead; apparently Moroccans consider tshirt-type fabric and knit tops to be the equivalent of underwear, so I'll be taking a few lightweight, long or 3/4 length sleeve loose-fitting button-up shirts with me (they'll probably be more comfortable anyway). I'll also take a couple of lightweight pashminas (I travel with them anyway), but I'll use them in Morocco to cover my neck, arms (and head) when it seems appropriate to do so.

One suggestion I read in a book was a tip from a young woman travelling with her sister in Morocco. She found that the phrase "Please leave my sister and me alone. Please respect us." worked wonders. The magic words seemed to be "respect" and "sister" because they appealed to the Moroccans' sense of honour and the value they attach to family.
Kate_W is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Coribecca!!I think Morocco becomes more and more safer than before,the most worth visting places are guarded by the police,otherwise Morroccans are so friendly and kind.We did enjoy talking and we did learn a lot of their culture.Hope that you will enjoy your trip.As your guide book will helps you a lot.
akiko is offline  
Jul 24th, 2005, 09:43 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13
I would contact the following tour guide. I went solo to Morocco and he was my tour guide. I felt completely safe and he was very knowledgeble. It was the best trip I have ever taken.

If you like, contact him...hope this helps...

His name is Omar Chouiyakh
email: [email protected]
ECS is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 04:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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The place of the female in the country you are visiting will depend on the degree to which Muslim Sharia Law operates,whereas in some North African countries like Morocco attitudes are more relaxed.Aside from the religious if you are blonde you might also like to take precautions so as not to warrant increased attention. This is purely because native females will generally be dark-haired: wearing a hat or perhaps dying your hair are measures to lower your profile.On a sexual note, you need to be careful not to be misinterpreted. A simple ‘western’ gesture such fixing the gaze of a man and smiling could be seen as a sexual advancement.
Natalisu is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 05:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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From what I understand, dress and attitudes vary depending on where you are.
For example, in Casablanca, the attitude tends to be more liberal and you see plenty of women in western dress, without headscarves, etc.
We noticed a big difference going from Casa to Marrakech, where the local women were more conservatively/ traditionally dressed.
If you really want to blend in, you could always buy yourselves a djellaba each (long, hooded robe) as the majority of people in Marrakech seemed to be wearing them.

Kate's advice is good - I wore similar things in Marrakech (although I was with my husband so I didn't get any unwanted attention from men). Loose trousers and lightweight, longsleeved shirts, plus a pashmina type scarf in my bag "just in case". I did notice that the female tourists wandering round in shorts or sundresses definitely got more than their fair share of male attention/hassle.
hanl is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Hi Coribecca,

so did you and your sister make it to morocco ok? what is your route traveling from Madrid to Morocco? how many days were you there? did you join any tour from madrid or you are on your own?

i will have similar trip in Nov., 2 young female and would to hear your experience and stories.

lin0825 is offline  

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