What is the best season for travel in Morocco?
Morocco is perfect for travel all year long! Given the country’s geographic variety, there is always a region where the climate is mild. We can recommend the best destination for you based on the weather and your travel dates.
In winter, you’ll want to head south to the desert. Nights can be chilly but during the day you’ll enjoy the sun and blue skies bereft of clouds. In summer, the Atlantic coast is generally balmy and it is the best season for treks in the Atlas. At over 1800m in altitude freshness is a safe bet! That being said, nothing is stopping you from discovering the Moroccan desert as long as you choose the right accommodation and can adapt to the heat.
Can I head south in the summer?
Nothing stands in the way of exploring Southern Morocco even in July and August as long as you can adapt to the heat and you choose the right accommodation. How to: an afternoon nap in an air-conditioned room or in the shade by the pool, an air conditioned car and a schedule allowing you to take advantage of the more temperate mornings and evenings.
The most important thing is to bring a pair of sunglasses, a hat, or even better a cheiche (nomadic headscarf) and to stay hydrated…You’ll be able to buy bottled quality mineral water everywhere you go in Morocco (Sidi Ali and Sidi Harazem are two popular brands).
One small inconvenience: you’ll have to bring empty bottles back to the city with you as adequate waste handling is still uncertain in rural areas…
The imperial cities should be visited from September to June as the summer months are often torrid, especially in Fes and Marrakech. The heat is dry however, and is bearable as long as you can adapt and stay indoors in the hotter afternoon hours.
Is the desert for everyone?
Unequivocally yes! Southern Morocco is easy to get to and even as you feel totally lost in the Sahara, civilization is never far away! Our bivouacs are organized to be comfortable and well equipped. Our guides are all accredited professionals who are there to support you and insure optimal security. If you’re looking for more sophistication in the desert, try our charming campsites!
How difficult is a hike in the Atlas?
As difficult as you want it to be! There are hikes of every difficulty level so there will certainly be one right for you from breezy strolls to intensive but invigorating treks. All you need to do is ask! Our mountain and desert guides are all officially recognized by the Moroccan Ministry of tourism, and know how to adapt itineraries to suit any walker’s needs. We can even organize your stay in comfortable intimate accommodations and from here you can hike the surrounding area every day at your leisure.
Do I need a local guide?
To go on a walking tour in the mountains and desert, an accredited guide is necessary. And for visits of the medinas of bigger cities they are highly recommended. Especially in Fes and Marrakesh, a guide will enhance your cultural and historic understanding with their knowledge, guide you through the mazes of narrow roads to make sure you don’t miss any of the main attractions and protect you from tourist hassling. A bit of advice: make sure your guide sports the badge that official guides are required to wear and that it is real.
Even though nobody likes them, the risk of running into vipers, scorpions and other scary creatures is minimal. In the winter in the Sahara they are asleep waiting for the heat, and in the Atlas, they can not stand the cold winters. If an encounter does happen, we have the pharmaceutical implements necessary to deal with it.
But, just to be sure, it’s best to follow these simple rules while staying in the Sahara:
> Do not walk around barefoot.
> Don’t leave your clothes or shoes outdoors for the night (and if you do, make sure to give them a good shake before putting them on in the morning!)
> Only unravel your sleeping bag right before getting in it.
> Set up your bivouac for the night far from bushes and rock piles.
> Lift rocks and pebbles with caution!
When to go hiking?
You can go hiking all year long. Morocco is an ideal country whose landscapes and climate lend themselves well to the sport. From May to September head to the Atlas. The rest of the year, the Sahara is your oyster! In any case, we won’t organize a trek in poor conditions, either because of the heat (Sahara) or the cold (Atlas).
Telephone, internet, GPS?
Phone coverage is almost total over all of Morocco even in the Atlas’ most isolated valleys. Even the service in the Saharan zone is growing every day.
Most city accommodations offer solid Wi-Fi connections.
GPS coverage in Morocco is expanding gradually. It will help you get around the roads of great open spaces, but don’t count on it to find your way in Fes’ medina!
We want to ski, ride horses, mountain bike, play golf, go quad biking?
No problem! We can organise almost any activity for you. Even if you don’t see something offered on our site, we can help put your plans in action…we especially like handing the crazy ones! Contact us!
What about Moroccan food?
Its delicious of course!
Moroccan cuisine is known throughout the word: meat tagines, vegetables, couscous, gazelle horns and other pastries are cooked both at home and in fancy restaurants! And what is there to say about Moroccan mint tea, more of a symbol of goodwill and sharing than a drink!
Fes is the Morocco’s culinary capital: it’s where you’ll find the best traditional recipes: almond and pigeon pastillas, dried apricot or prune tagines…
Test out the wonderful street food: snails, bissara (fava bean soup), or barley soup are perfect for satisfying little hungers while exploring the medina.
Can you see everything in Morocco?
Yes, almost…the only sites off limits to visitors are places of worship. Hubert Lyautey, Marshal of France at the time of its protectorate, forbade access to mosques and places of worship to non-Muslims. This rule has remained in place since.
There is one exception, and not a small one! The spectacular Hassan II mosque in Casablanca should not be missed! You should meanwhile avoid holy days (Fridays) and religious ceremonies (ramadan, Eid al-Adha, etc)
Can we learn to prepare Moroccan food?
Many riads now offer culinary workshops to their clients. Traditional cooks affectionately called “dadas” are eager to share their know-how with travellers. You may yet have the pleasure of feasting upon the product of your own labours and sharing it with your loved ones!
We can reserve a cooking class for you in a stunning setting in the medina.
How to haggle in Morocco ?
Bartering is an art practiced by all Moroccans with no exceptions! At first a little mind boggling for foreigners, it is essential for shoppping in the souks…
The Golden Rule: never go over the price you are willing to pay. The first price is always given by the merchant based on his first impression of you and what you’ll be able to afford!
Assigning a standard fair price is difficult without regional context. To help, here is an idea of reasonable prices (varying depending on quality, the material, the workmanship…):
> Babouches (oriental slippers): from 70 to 200 dhs.
> Jewellery: will depend on the weight and market trends.
> Rugs: from 700 dhs to 2000 dhs per square metre.
> Spices : from 30 dhs (paprika) to 50/60 dhs per kilogram (cumin, cinnamon, ginger). The most expensive: saffron (10 dhs per gram) and the mix Ras El hanout (150 dhs per kilogram).
What should I bring back from Morocco?
The range and quality of Moroccan handicrafts are incredible.
The best rule to follow is to always buy artisanal objects in the place where it is made. Forget about the Argan oil in a “cooperative” in the Atlas for example…it is well-known that argan trees only grow along the Atlantic coast from Essaouira to Agadir.
The most beautiful copper comes from Fes, thuja is sculpted in Essaouira, the best babouches (oriental slippers) are in Fes and Marrakech. Silver working is the speciality of Tiznit and Essaouira. Marrakech is where you’ll find the most fragrant spices. When it comes to rugs, the finest are from Rabat. In Marrakech, however, you will find beautiful Kilims.