Morocco is an onslaught for the senses – mysterious, enchanting, colourful, and delicious. I have toured across his lands many times. With each and every visit there are always new treasures that tantalise my appetite for more.
My Latest Moroccan Expedition
The experience I shared with a group of adventurous foodies on my first ever Moroccan culinary tour in October 2019, was no exception, Morocco was just as magical as ever. The plan was to take my group off the beaten track so they could experience things they might otherwise not, taking them a little bit out of their comfort zone for 9 nights and 10 days, and with an average steps-per-day of almost 10,000 on most days, we were almost constantly on the move. I promised the group a taste of Morocco which would leave them wanting more and, with thanks to the help of many, I definitely succeeded!
Morocco Travel Tips
These are my travel tips from our tour across Morocco’s magical Imperial Cities. I hope this encourages you to discover this incredible country for yourself.
We arrived from Spain by ferry into Tangiers in the north for the first 2 nights. After which we jumped onto the brand new high speed train to Rabat for 2 nights. Then onto Fez by minibus where we spent 3 nights. We flew from Fez to Marrakech for our final 2 nights.
Random useful facts for your holiday to Morocco
- If you are leaving from Spain, it’s important to note that the ferries from Tarifa arrive into Tangiers city port but the ferries from Algeciras arrive into Tangiers Med port which is one hour outside the city.
- Tangiers is the fastest growing city in Morocco. Millions of Dihram has been poured into developing a marina to rival anything on Spain’s Costa del Sol. Saudi Arabian billionaires are buying mansions to escape their Middle Eastern summer heat. The new city is vast but the medina and kasbah remain unchanged, only re-vamped.
- Fez can be tricky to navigate and doesn’t suit all travellers. It’s the oldest and largest Médina in the world, no motorised traffic is allowed within the 9,000 + alleyways, some as narrow as 18 cms. If your accommodation is not close by one of the gates, you might have a walk for up to 25 minutes to get to your riad. Every riad has a man with a trolly for luggage so you can arrange with your riad to be met upon your arrival. Fez is built on a hill so it’s worth considering which restaurants you are going to dine at so you can plan the walking.
- A riad is an old Moroccan home in the medina or kasbah with a courtyard., many now converted into hotels. The courtyard can represent an oasis and normally contains a water feature or plunge pool, plants, flowers, a fruit tree – a haven for happy birds. A riad offers calm from the life of the hectic medina beyond the front door. Everything is on the inside of any Moroccan riad so there will be no big windows on the outside, only small windows to let in air and to stop the heat of the day entering. All big windows are internal, onto the courtyard, for the ultimate in privacy.
- Considering the above, the darkness of bedrooms in some riads doesn’t work for everyone. I personally love the snugness but if awaking with lots of natural light is your thing, you’re best to aim for a more modern hotel.
- Marrakesh’s medina shopping is 75% tacky. Head to the new city and that’s where you’ll find the stylish artisanal.
- Public transport runs like clockwork. All train journeys and flights we took departed on the dot.
- Morocco is investing heavily in high-speed trains and their first one runs between Tangiers and Rabat, cutting the journey time in half.
- Patience is required – Morocco has a long way to go regarding plastic.
- Moroccan wine is fab. Gris (ultra pale rose) is unique to Morocco and delicious. All alcohol & wine is expensive. Paying more for a bottle of wine is not necessarily a sign of quality. The wine production of Morocco is in the area of Meknes.
- Wine can only be purchased at Carrefour supermarkets and at airports when you arrive – 1 bottle per passport.
- Many riads & restaurants don’t offer any alcohol so it’s worth checking if you can bring your own should you wish to dine with wine.
- Expect to pay a lot for wine in any restaurant. The cheapest bottle will be approx 25€
- Everyone in any medina is busy with a task. Collecting plastic bottles, boiling bones to make breakfast soup, beating brass to make lamps or cleaning shoes in the streets. It’s a hive of activity with so much going on.
- The produce in markets is amazing; huge bunches of fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits – all seasonal.
- The food isn’t necessarily spicy. Always ask for harissa to add some heat.
- After about day 5 days, you will be craving something other than tagine.
- Sometimes the best Moroccan home cooking can be found in your riads, prepared by the breakfast chefs but you must book dinner in the morning so the shopping can be done.
- When Moroccans go out to eat, because home cooking is so good, why would they eat it when out? You will likely find them in restaurants other than Moroccan.
- Street food can be great. Some of the best food can be found in holes in the wall. If locals are eating from there, be reassured that you can too.
I will be repeating this tour in October 2020 so if this whets your appetite, please contact me to register your interest.