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Morocco - any tips?

Me and a fellow Charlton fan will be heading out to Morocco on Monday for 17 days, and are just looking for any advice on what we should do and anything to watch out for. As Lifers seem to generally be pretty well travelled, I thought this would be the perfect place to find some helpful advice! We will be visiting Marrakesh, Essaioura, Merzouga, Chefchaouen and Fez, so if anyone has any particular knowledge of what is fun/interesting but also worth being wary of, that would be great. We're both 19, so would be up for active stuff but are also interested in any cultural things.



  • vffvff
    edited August 2014
    Its bleedin' hot. Be up and around early or late on when the heat drops. Stay out of the sun and heat in the middle of the day.

    (Visited Marrakesh and Casablanca).
  • I went there on a school trip 2 years ago and loved it. We started in Marrakesh and visited the souks which is slightly different to Woolwich market, there are lots of performers and people trying to force their monkeys (which are wearing nappies) on you to charge for a photo. Nothing there has a set price so haggle to your heart's content.
    Then we travelled across to Mount Toubkal (not sure on spelling) and stayed in the casbah hotel (which the clash sang about). There are stunning views and the Berber people there are so friendly and welcoming. On the way from Marrakesh to the casbah we went through oases where there are tours on how they collect the dates etc. There are lots of kids that beg at these kind of places and try and gift you 'presents' like animals made from palm leaves but they will expect money in return. You can also see how towns cope with the desert. There are also a lot of unfinished buildings dotted all around not really a tourist attraction but some of them are interesting and the stories behind them are as well.
    On the way back from the mountains we took a camel ride into the desert and camped there for the night before playing a football match that the school arranged against people from a local town the next day. Then we headed back to Marrakesh, we went to the Prince's palace which had a large lake full of fish.

    This is just some of the stuff we did so it might be possible to arrange some stuff like this, I hope it helps. There is such a vast amount of different terrains and so you can go from palm trees, to desert, to mountain, to city. There is lots to see and do so I hope you enjoy it!
  • Get the stall/shops to wrap the goods you've bought in front of your eyes!
  • Don't buy any carpets.
  • Oggy Red said:

    Don't buy any carpets.

    Or any camels.
  • Just had a check on the weather for Marrakesh and it's due to be 39C even at 10pm, when we arrive. I'd anticipated heat during the middle of the day, but wasn't expecting it at that time of night!
  • Go see Lee Murray say I said hi and ask.if he needs anything
  • Just had a check on the weather for Marrakesh and it's due to be 39C even at 10pm, when we arrive. I'd anticipated heat during the middle of the day, but wasn't expecting it at that time of night!

    Bollocks to that.
  • Shame you are not going to Agadir, one of the best beaches I have ever seen. Friendly people
  • Yeah, try Magaluf.
  • Sponsored links:

  • Take with you a good helping of "patience of a saint"
  • have pm'd you.
  • vffvff
    edited August 2014

    Just had a check on the weather for Marrakesh and it's due to be 39C even at 10pm, when we arrive. I'd anticipated heat during the middle of the day, but wasn't expecting it at that time of night!

    The closer you are to the coast the cooler it is. When you go further in, there is a marked rise in temperature. Marrakesh is especially hot. The heat is like a wall. It is a different type of heat to UK humidity. You have to respect that kind of heat / sun, and follow the rhythm of the locals. Nothing much happens between 11am and 4pm, particularly when it is very hot. It is only crazy tourists who wander around in the middle of the day. Chill out in these times, by the pool, air conditioning or sleep. Save your energy for later when the temperature is a bit easier to cope with.

    You'll have a great holiday, I'm sure.

    Oh, and unless you have got an exceptionally sweet tooth (eg 6 sugars in your tea), stay away from the mint tea which has a tonne of sugar in it.
  • Marrakesh - stay in a central riad with a pool, I stayed at a great one a few years ago, I'll dig out the details.
    You could head into the mountains for cooler weather, but beach is obvious choice.
  • Has anyone travelled round the country by bus? That's what our plan is, but I have read numerous conflicting reports on the standard of bus travel. Some say that AC is widely available and bus is a clean and comfortable way to travel round the country, whereas others are less complimentary, stating poor driving is common and AC is a bit hit and miss.
  • Hi Valley Fred

    My main man Jonny Average lived there for six years and I asked him to write this for you I hope it is helpful-we used the buses there travelling about they were ok I will ask Jon to offer an opinion-here is Jons Morocco:

    Firstly I would head to Agadir, where you will find guaranteed sun sand and fun, a town built solely for tourists really, and a nice introduction to Moroccan life, where the tourist is protected a little from the culture shock of being hassled by Moroccan ingenuity.
    There, if the season is underway you could watch the mighty Hassani, in the shape of HUSA Agadir; maybe in the old stadium in the centre of town, or maybe in the new stadium slightly out of town where Bayern Munich played in the world club cup last season.

    Around Agadir there is Tagahzout, a surfing town, very laid back indeed!!! There is also Paradise Valley where a crystal clear stream runs through a valley and the tiny fish will exfoliate your feet for free. In the mountains there is Immouzer and a waterfall, where people dive from it into the pool for money.

    Then I would take a breeze along the coast to Essaouira. A town with a maze of streets with rooftop bars and quirky accomodation and music and art coming at you from all angles. The battlements have been much used in many a Holywood film. Seafood is a speciality.

    Then head to Marakech for its crazy maelstrom of Moroccan life, it may be to much for some but you must go to the Jab Al Fna square where everything goes on, snake charming, whirling dervishes, acrobatics and more.

    Casablanca is where all the work gets done, but you might find the streets awash with Raja Casablanca supporters if they are playing, although Agadir are the King's team Raja are the Man United of Morocco, loved and despised equally for their wealth and success.

    Its difficult to find out when games are played in Morocco, but if ever you see a crowd of young Oiks gathering around the stadium then a game will be imminent.

    In all of Morocco, try the food, talk to the people, they are quick to laugh, they are generally an honest bunch, taking more pride in talking you out of your money or pressuring you into a sale rather than stealing it from you.

    After Casa, there is the capital Rabat, modern and stylish, then Fez a beautiful rolling city built on hills and lush valleys. Al Jadida on the coast just qualifies as a resort, and Asilah just south of Tangier is a hippy paradise on the coast. Tangier is a big bustling coastal port.

    Other options include Ouazazarte, which is the gateway to the Sahara, and trips into it are available, in 4x4 or on a more traditional ship of the desert. There is a film studio there too, and the castle from the film Kingdom of Heaven still sits in the desert.

    Whatever you do embrace the country for all its madness and it will embrace you back.

  • Went there 30 years ago, loved it. Was bloody hot though.
  • Marakesh was stunning, very good from a historic perspective. I'd checkout the tombs and the old palace, both were stunning. Eat in the square at some point too.

    The people? I would go back alone as I was constantly tense from looking out for my girlfriend, I dare say I'd also feel protective over friends too. That's just me though.

    Unfortunately the people are very much constantly out looking for a quick sell, and you could easily find yourself getting conned out of some cash. The usual friendship bracelets scams etc.

    When the locals try and give you the hard sell, if you can't ignore them then TRY and respond in their language. (I know no French; but a few pleasantries in Arabic (MSA))

    Whenever I tried "Laa. Shukhran" the locals* would laugh, see I made a bit of effort, ask about London and wish me a good trip. In comparison, when other Brits just said "no" repeatedly they would get an even harder sell...

    Try and walk down from the Medina to Le Ville Noux; the new town. It's a fairly long road but a pleasant walk, and a little surreal to come from an ancient town that appeared poverty stricken and was very clearly religious, just to come to a very modern town with a burger king, KFC, McDonald's and shopping center...

    *generally women it must be said, the men didn't seem to partake in these particular games. The men seemed to work the shops whilst the women worked on the streets.
  • Hi-here is the advice from my man Jonny Average re the Buses in Morocco-have fun mate

    Buses in Morocco can vary a great deal as there are many different companies competing. The best is probably Supratours, and then CMT. they are all of a good standard and safe, supratours even have a VIP service.

    Prices are around 100 dirham (£8) Marakech to Agadir 3 hours.

    At bus stations there will be lots of touts trying to sell tickets, If you can find the Supratours office in a city then buy the ticket there, then the touts will leave you alone at the station.
  • Cheers for the help Milne! Gonna be spending 35-40 hours on buses in total, so hoping they're not too painful!
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