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DEAN45 May 28th, 2010 03:54 AM

Help my daugher is in Spain and wants a side trip to Morocco??
She is in Spain going to school and wants to go on a side trip to Morocco - would it be safe to go in a group? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

ira May 28th, 2010 04:12 AM

Hey Dean,

If you would tell us a few particulars, e.g. age, school, itinerary, we might be able to help.


bilboburgler May 28th, 2010 04:41 AM

Generally Morocco is pretty safe (since the secret police beat up the gangs). But seriously Ira is right ages etc count. Marakesh feels very safe to me, the airport is close to the city and she could stay in the medina in a restored hotel or in internaitonal type 10 mins walk from the centre

DEAN45 May 28th, 2010 05:53 AM

they are 21 - seniors in college - going with a group visiting
M'diq, Chefchouen, Tetouan and Tanger. It is 4 days. If you think it is ok - how to dress? can they go out at night if they are all together? What should they definitely not do - any help would be greatly appreciated! She is very Blonde!!!

kerouac May 28th, 2010 05:57 AM

Morocco is delightful and quite safe. It's a shame they have no plans for Marrakesh. Frankly, Tangiers is of little interest.

StCirq May 28th, 2010 06:14 AM

Your post reveals a lot of unwarranted apprehension. I would suggest first of all that you and your daughter read everything you can get your hands on about Morocco.

There is nothing unsafe about Morocco. It's a gorgeous country, with myriad cultural and historical offerings, not to mention incredibly nice people, fabulous food, and it's inexpensive. She would be fine with a group, or on her own. Not sure what you mean about being blonde - I'm blonde and have traveled there alone with no problems. Mohammed VI, the current king, has cracked down on the swarms of young boys who used to pester tourists, giving them alternative ways to make a bit of money, and it's not much of a problem anymore. And yes, the police are ever-present to keep locals from pestering tourists. In the absence of police, your daughter may be approached by "guides" offering services, but a firm "NO" or "imshee halick" will take care of that.

I would suggest what they NOT do is go to Tangier, which is the Tijuana of Morocco and not at ALL representative of the country, and where they likely will be pestered. Bypass it altogether. I would also suggest they go to Fez and Marrakech - not sure why they picked the places they did. A better selection would be Marrakech, Fez, Agadir, and Essouira, with a stop in the Atlas Mountains on the way.

They should dress as they normally do, unless normal for them is skimpy clothing that reveals lots of flesh. There's no reason to don djellabas or veils or do anything out of the ordinary - lots of Moroccan women wear jeans and heels and Western clothing (though in more rural areas they will dress more traditionally). When visiting mosques, they should be prepared to cover themselves, though, and be properly quiet and respectful.

Yes, of course they can go out at night. They won't find lots of Western-type bars, but there are plenty of cafés and restaurants with bars that are thoroughly enjoyable.

They should always drink bottled water.

I hope they have a marvelous trip. It's one of my favorite countries in the world.

elina May 28th, 2010 06:28 AM

I have been many times to Morocco, both by myself and with my husband. There nothing intimidating in Morocco. For example Agadir is a package tour destination (has been for 30 years) for European families. But I agree about Tangier, not a very good choice. My favourites are Marrakesh and Essouira. Lots of French expats in Marrakesh, at least it seemed so.

hsv May 28th, 2010 06:28 AM

She is 21 and needs permission to travel to a fairly well visited country - along with a group?
What would happen if you told her "no, don't go", because a bunch of complete strangers on the internet thinks so?

hsv May 28th, 2010 06:30 AM

Correction - the last sentence would be
What would happen if you told her "no, don't go because a bunch of complete strangers on the internet thinks so"?

DEAN45 May 28th, 2010 06:31 AM

I am sorry if I offended anyone - their professor also did not think it was the best idea. They did not pick the locations - it is with a tour company. I have never known anyone who has travelled there and have never heard anything I just did not know if it is safe for Americans and I truly do not mean to be an ugly American but I do feel ignorant when it comes to that part of the world. Again we just want them to learn about different cultures and experience everything they can but in a safe way!!! Thank you

hsv May 28th, 2010 06:46 AM

Why would you believe that you offended someone? So far you have got pretty good advice - and I just asked 2 (now 3) questions.

portuense May 28th, 2010 06:54 AM

above comments about tangiers - absolute bilge. it's a great city, with an inspiring cultural mix if you look properly. yes it's different from deep morocco but different is not worse or better

StCirq May 28th, 2010 06:54 AM

They should either plan the trip themselves and go on their own or pick another tour company. Their professor should educate himself, too.

Egbert May 28th, 2010 07:05 AM

When I lived in Seville I went to Morroco twice and my Spanish friends could not understand why I wanted to go to Morroco. I went to all of the towns you mentioned. My impression is that while you might not feel safe, it is a safe place. People only want to drag you to shops and cafes because they get a small commission. I would have no worries if she is going with a group. I have no desire to go back to those places though. I wanted to kiss the ground whenever I returned from Morroco. I agree that the only way to go to Morroco is to fly into Marrakesh, Atlas mtns., Essouira and fly back out.

DEAN45 May 28th, 2010 07:54 AM

Well - after the answer from hsv - you can see why i have apprehension - we have travelled all over and i have counted on these boards many times and to tell you the truth - the people have always given me great advice - actually i cannot think of a time when i have been steered wrong! I in return have always tried to give good advice when I have been asked and that is why I asked today - as you can see their are varied opinions. Her professor I am sure is just trying to do the resposible thing and to answer your question if someone did not think that it was safe and they had a legitimate reason I would have no problem telling her not to go!!! That being said I realize anything can happen anywhere!!!

kerouac May 28th, 2010 10:16 AM

It's true -- there's no need for a tour at all. They can fly or take a boat to Morocco and then buy bus or train tickets to various locations.

The professor seems to have very limited horizons.

Luisah May 28th, 2010 01:00 PM

I love Morocco and agree with the others; I think she and her friends need to do more research and change the cities. I can't imagine going to Morocco and skipping Fes and Marrakech. I haven't been to Agadir or Essouira, but have heard good things and will go someday. I think they could find a tour going to those cities if they feel intimidated going on their own.

If you could do a search for Morocco you will find trip reports that might be useful.

AtlTravelr May 28th, 2010 01:50 PM

My daughter went to Morocco for a week while she was studying abroad as well. She loved it - went with 2 other friends and she had the best time. I was also nervous about her going, especially when she told me she was going to do a night out in the desert on camels - someone she met through the hostel was organizing a trip. I told her that was the kind of thing she would have been better of NOT telling me about till she was back! But of course she did get back safely, she did have a wonderful time, thought the people were so friendly and loved the food. On the dress thing - my daughter bought a scarf for her head while she was there. She said she just felt better when she was out on her own in the markets, etc. - not for safety, just less conspicuous. And of course it makes for great travel photos!

flycatcher06 May 31st, 2010 06:42 AM

Thank you AtlTravelr - that made me feel better - The 3rd town in Tangiers and I think they picked these becasue it is a 4 day trip and they are taking the high speed ferry - my daughter is also looking forward to the camel on the beach!!!

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