At the stage of planning our 10 days trip to Morocco next Dec, we re looking into hiring a local chauffeur..can any make a suggestions? any tip would be appreciated.
Morocco tours / chauffeur recommendations?
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Welcome to the RG Community. I am the moderator here so have edited the title of your question so people know what you’re asking for – hopefully that’ll get you some good responses.
In answer to your question: I travelled with Moroccan Nature Trails (www.moroccantrail.com) into the desert for a one night camping trip, our guide Mustapha was fantastic. He was really friendly and even after our tour he had tea with us at our hostel, recommended other places to go and restaurants to eat.
Hope this helps and happy travels!
We were fortunate to stay in the equivalent of five-star hotels. But they’re more elegant guest houses than hotels. While there are many Western-style hotels in Morocco, we opted to stay in dars and riads. A riad by definition, is a building that surrounds an inner courtyard. The courtyard usually has a pool or fountain and is a quiet refuge after a day in the souk. ‘Dar’ means house. They’re usually very small; the most rooms any of ours had were seven.
Our rooms were exquisite. The bathrooms were beautiful, usually decorated with beautiful ceramic tile. No detail was overlooked. All three of our riads/dars had rooftop terraces. The terrace of our riad in Marrakech offered a view of two stork nests. We spent a lot of time engrossed in the nesting culture of storks; it was fascinating.
The terrace of our dar in Fes overlooked the entire old medina and from the terrace of our dar in Tangier we were able to see the Rock of Gibraltar across the Mediterranean. Since the weather was warm and perfect throughout our stay, breakfast was served every morning on the terraces. Breakfast usually consisted of yogurt, fruit, wonderful Moroccan bread, crepes, fresh orange juice and coffee or tea.
The owners of two of the riads were French. The owner of the dar in Fes is American. She painstakingly restored every detail of it over a period of years and hired a young couple to manage it. All of them welcomed us as family visiting their house.
I found all three Riad And Morocco Excursions Company on Trip Advisor after a lot of searching and reading reviews. I’d highly recommend each one.
Marrakech – Riad Badi http://www.riadbadi.org/fr/
Fes – Dar Roumana http://www.darroumana.com/
Tangier – Dar Chams Tanja http://www.darchamstanja.com/
Morocco Excursions Company ( Morocco Tours and Desert Treks )
I and my friends had an amazing time in Morocco we used Hassan Mouhou from Morocco Excursions Company An experience we will never forget. It started with Ali (our tour guide) collecting us from our Riad in Marrakech on a rainy Tuesday. After that the whole experience just got better and better. Ali drove us through snow (It was February) over the Atlas Mountains and then down in between the High Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains. We stopped off wherever required, so had plenty of breaks at some really interesting places (one of my favorites is Ouarzazate). He knew all the right places to stop off at so we didn’t waste time seeing the best sights. After that we stayed at Dades Gorge in an interesting hotel. It was a freezing night outside, so be prepared to take warm clothing if you go in Winter (and want to go outside), however the huge fire they had in the restaurant was lovely. The next morning Ali greeted us to take us out to the desert. We drove to the top of Dades Gorge and then went out to another Gorge, which was equally stunning. Take a big memory stick in your camera, because you will use it!
I think the most amazing part was the actual time in the desert. Ali’s great fun, so with the 4×4 we took an offroad route to get to Merzouga quick. Great fun! After arriving at the hotel in Merzouga, which literally is on the edge of the desert, I met the famous Hassan. Hassan sat down and talked with us over a cup of tea. He made it quite clear that we don’t need to take the kitchen sink with us, since we were only going to spend the night in the desert (we were on the 3 day excursion), therefore we really just needed something warm to wear if we choose to venture outside, as well as something for bed. Even though you’re in the desert, the sand doesn’t stick to you, so it’s got little chance of making the tents dirty.
The camels are great fun to ride, and the man who walked our camels the one hour to get to the tents was probably one of the fittest guys I know. He’s Aziz and wears flip-flops to walk up and down sand dunes. Doing that for 5 minutes for me is exhausting (and I run marathons), yet Aziz is able to do this for hours on end…. With flip flops.
We arrived close to our tents in the desert and spent the sunset snowboarding down the dunes (absolutely terrific fun) as well as photographing the amazing sun set you see there. After sun set, Hassan lead us down the dune to our tents. The actual tent layout consists of about 7 tents, all big. One of the tents is for dinner and I think 4 are for the guys working there (5 star service!). I guess that leaves 3 for guests to sleep in.
Dinner was freshly cooked and served by Hassan’s team. It’s unbelievable to have such nice food all that way out in the desert, followed by everyone, including some of the guys who prepared dinner joining us to sing some Berber songs for us. There’s an abundance of drums, which Hassan and his friends are very good at playing. We had great fun, and it was an honour to hear some genuine Berber music played live for us. A really special evening!
The sleeping tent has candles and plenty of blankets. It was probably one of the deepest sleeps I’ve ever had. No problems with scorpions or any other creepy crawlies, since they don’t come out in winter. Also there’s a few cats around that deal with any nasties like that. It felt weird for me to go to sleep in bed without first having a shower (since we had just been snowboarding down sand dunes), but as I said, the sand doesn’t stick on anything, so you’re clean just by patting it off. It’s true what Hassan said, the sand’s clean.
All in all, we had an incredible time. We enjoyed every single day, both the excursion and the warm company that joined us. We thoroughly recommend Morocco Excursions, and will happily join Hassan and his guys again. – Absolutely loved every minute of it.
Here is pictures from our trip :http://conexaobrasilitalia.blogspot.de/2013/03/marrocos_27.html
I travelled with a girlfriend of mine for 11 days in Morocco, starting in Casablanca and ending in Tangier visiting the most interested places..
Our itinerary was:
1st day : Milan – Casablanca
2nd day: Casablanca – Rabat
3rd day: Rabat- Marrakech
4th day: Marrakech
5th day :Marrakech – Essaouira – Marrakech
6th day : Marrakech – Atlas moutains – Kasbah Aitbenhaddou – Ouarzazate – Dades Gorges
7th day : Dades Gorges – Todra Gorges – Merzouga – Camel trek for one night in desert
8th day : Merzouga – Errachidia- Medilt – Azrou – Fes
9th day : Fes
10th day: Fes – Chefchaouen
11th day: Chefchaouen – Tangier
Casablanca and Rabat :
Rabat’s medina is different to that of Fez and Marrakesh, which attracts more attention in the guidebooks.
The medina may not be as big or impressive as the medina’s of the other 2 cities, but the medina hugs the coast, making it very unique. There is also far less harassing and prices are lower here than the rest of Morocco. It’s the main attraction in Rabat, so if one visits it, the Medina is a must see!
I have visited many medinas and I found this one very disappointing. It was crowded, which is to be expected, with tiny alleys and shop keepers who either completely disinterested or overpowering. The goods were poor quality and very few were not imported. I found it quite sad really as it had an air of defeat about it unlike the vibrant, lively centres visited in other areas. I visited as a single woman and never felt intimidated or unsafe so that was a positive but fifteen minutes was enough and I felt pleased to escape. It’s all relative I know but to me this was a poor example of the vibrant and colourful medinas of Morocco.
Well, what can I say..just visited Marrakech and stayed within the Medina. It’s a rather smelly place, ranging from bad to good. Nice spices and soaps to the opposite extreme! I am in my 40s and felt quite safe in the city, but I can easily understand why you may not. There are many dark alleys and poorly lit areas. It is the sort of place to go for an experience but I certainly wouldn’t take children, elderly or disabled people . The place just isn’t equipped for it. Forget it if you are in a wheel chair.
We met an American family and the two children were quite distressed by the way they perceived the animals being treated. Thin donkeys, horses and cats.
I guess it could come across as being unfriendly but then why wouldn’t it when, to a local, every tourist he meets wants to screw him down to the last penny of profit! These people are the same as us, they want to make a living. Pay them what they ask and they might be friendlier. How would you fancy having to haggle for your wage every month?
It is a place that thankfully we can visit and return from and maybe think that our own place isn’t that bad after all lol
Atlas Mountains , Gorges & Oasis + Camel Trekking in Sahara Desert:
while we wanted to mainly backpack on our own through the country, we were very happy to have made the decision book a 3-day tour starting from Marrakech and ends in Fes
Having made a lot of research, I found that Hassan Mouhou from Morocco Excursions Company ( http://www.Morocco-Excursion.com ) were the most receptive to my emails. They required a 100Euro deposit through Western Union (Most companies in Morocco don’t accept credit cards) and the transfer went without problem.
Rashid (our driver) picked us up promptly at 8am in Marrakesh and made all the stops promised (and more) along the way. Because he is at our full disposition, we were able to ask him to make specific stops (such as stopping in non-touristy super market to stock up on drinks, or stopping for a special picture, etc). Rashid was very friendly, kind and knowledgeable. He answered all our questions and talked about his life, his childhood as well as Moroccan culture and history in general.
Hassan met us in the desert and took us in the desert. The camels were wonderful and the desert guides were very nice. We sand-surfed, had tea, dinner and they even played music for us. We proceeded to sleep under the stars in the middle of the desert (the tents were there, but the weather was nice and fresh, so we slept outside). We woke up before the sunrise and walked up the biggest dune to see the sunrise before returning to our hotel to get our bags and take a shower.
All the meals included were great; and the ones that weren’t included (lunches), we could ask our driver to stop somewhere else, if we didn’t like what they had.
Rachid is an excellent, careful, good driver with lots of charisma. We did Casablaca , Rabat…Essaouira, Marrkesh, Fes and Tagier on our own but saw so much more and learnt so much more than we could have seen those 3 days in the desert.
It includes A LOT of driving but it is absolutely worth every penny and the car is new and comfortable.
Here are some pictures from my girlfriends flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/elenale/sets/72157637559050673/
After our experience in Marrakech medina, this could be such a great place and is, I guess; if you can handled being constantly having people introduce themselves and explaining they are “not guides” but would like to show you around… that is around to their friends places of business where they get a commission. It was endless, people approaching constantly and not like the first, second or third polite “no”. – They then take offence and say something rather rude. If you do get to a place where you are interested in buying something be prepared to haggle big time, so do some price shopping as the same stuff is everywhere. We went during Ramadan, which may not be the best time to go as the natives are tired and hungry + thirsty. Some folks were nice and we bought a few unique items. Know that the Medina is a “maze” try and find a map or take your time. Do not allow yourselves to be “guided” and if you do, know who you are dealing with and set a price and time frame in advance.
All that said, it is well worth a visit. I would not consider this “child friendly” so I recommend adults only. So much walking and so crowded
One of the best parts of exploring a city is to get lost and just wander around. If you have a good sense of direction, you are never really lost. Get up early in the morning before people are out and about. Enter the medina and wander off into the side streets. The blue walls and walkways are a photographers dream.
When you get hungry, head back to the plaza where there are a bunch of cafes, specializing in a multiude of cuisines. For about $10.US you can have a three course meal.
The vendors are not too bad when they make contact, but a firm “no merci” does the trick if you are not interested. Be prepared to bargain and haggle, and walk away if the price isn’t worth it .
We used Royal Air Maroc ( http://www.royalairmaroc.com ) excellent food and crew very friendly. Excellent omelette for breakfast. New leather seats on both Boeing 767-300 from Casablanca and return on Boeing 737-800. I was surprised with their improvements….
Morocco is an amazing country and we hope to visit it at last once again.