Morocco’s cities are the obvious draws. Marrakech and Fez are the places to explore the medieval alleys of ancient medinas, packed with donkeys, traders and the scents of Africa. Casablanca and Rabat are modern with elegant boulevards and a Gallic café culture, while Tangier and Agadir are sophisticated cities where the beach takes centre stage.
Drill down to the smaller towns and Morocco’s heritage is more distinct and accessible. Visit Chefchouan, in the north, where cornflower-blue houses sprawl on a fertile hillside, or the fortified coastal town of Essaouira, once a Portuguese outpost on Atlantic Africa. Inexpensive taxi rides reach stunning highlights, Roman columns preserved by the desert at Volubilis and mud-built forts towering over folding mountain landscapes.
Zoom in closer and be welcomed into village life: ride the waves in surf communities on the sunsoaked southern coast near Agadir, trek to Berber villages huddled against adobe castle walls in the Atlas Mountains and join nomads on camels to cross Saharan dunes.
At every level Moroccans are exceptionally hospitable: this is one country where you are likely to be invited into private homes and plied with sweet tea. Relax and complete your experience with a taste of Morocco; slow-cooked tagine, pastilla (pigeon pastry) or couscous are specialities.
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What vaccinations do I need for Morocco?
You should seek medical advice from your local health practitioner before travelling to Morocco and ensure that you receive all of the appropriate vaccinations. As a guide Tetanus and Hepatitis A are strongly recommended. For more information on health precautions for Morocco, check out the NHS Fit to Travel page or the CDC Traveler's Health page.
Safe eating while travelling in Morocco
Generally, it is best to avoid anything that might have been washed in tap water and drinks with ice in them and only eat fruit that you can peel. Stay away from street food that looks like it has been sitting in the sun for hours and be sure that if your food is meant to be hot, it is served piping hot. Busy restaurants are usually a good sign and will normally have good quality food that is not likely to make you sick. Anywhere that looks run-down or abnormally empty should be avoided.
Is Morocco a family-friendly holiday destination?
Morocco is a great place for the whole family with a host of experiences that appeal to all ages from camel trekking in the Sahara to enjoying the beaches along the Atlantic coast. We have three family tours which are suitable for children over 5 years of age, in addition to our Morocco with Teens tour which is suitable for parents with children aged 12 and above. On our standard group tours, we welcome teenagers who are 16 years or older, accompanied by a parent/guardian if under the age of 18. We also welcome children of all ages on our private tours and tailor-made holidays.
What is the currency in Morocco?
The currency of Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham. It is a restricted currency which means that it cannot be taken out of the country and is not available abroad. It is possible to buy and sell Dirham outside of Morocco but there is an import and export limit of 10,000DH. It is recommended that you withdraw Dirham from an ATM when you arrive at the airport rather than exchanging money before you arrive. Check OANDA for the latest exchange rates.
Pound Sterling, US Dollars and Euros can be exchanged in Morocco at various bureau de changes in major cities and towns, and most banks have ATMs. Please note that at this time it is still not possible to exchange Australian dollars whilst in Morocco. Credit cards are virtually useless outside main cities and towns. It's advisable to request bank notes in smaller denominations, as it can sometimes be hard to get change from large notes and smaller notes are handy for smaller purchases and gratuities.
Traveller's Cheques are not recommended as they're often difficult to exchange and incur high fees.
Camping in the Sahara
On our Morocco group tours a memorable night is spent at a remote Berber camp in the Sahara. This is a basic camp with a handful of communal tents, a toilet tent and an outside area for eating, there are no other facilities. Sleeping mats and blankets are provided. You can choose to either sleep under the stars (weather permitting) or inside the tent. The Berbers at the camp will provide an evening meal for you upon arrival.
It is also important to consider Islamic holidays when you travel to Morocco. The month of Ramadan involves strict fasting during the day, which can be a present an issue for transportation, but the parties at night can make up for the subdued days.
- Do not drink or eat in public during the holy month of Ramadan. Remember, many restaurants and cafes may be closed during the day.
- Fill your pockets with loose change as tipping is an important part of Moroccan life.
- Always check with your tour guide before you enter a mosque as most of them do not allow foreigners.
- Sample some delicious local cuisine such as couscous, kefta and tangine.
- Use your right hand when you eat or when you greet someone. Do not use your left hand especially when eating communal food.
- Bargain your way through souks as this is an intrinsic part of Moroccan culture.
- As a woman traveling alone, you can try to ignore unwanted public attention or threaten to call the police to ward off pesky teasers.
- Visit the ancient desert fortress city of Ben Haddou in Draa Valley that was used as a backdrop for legendary Hollywood movies like Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and Jewel of the Nile.
- Discover the hidden delights of a Bedouin camp in the deserts of Merzouga. Savor a magical sunset and dine under the stars while enjoying a musical performance by a local band.
- Explore hundreds of years of history as you tour the important imperial cities of Rabat, Fes, Marrakesh and Meknes.
- Get the perfect tan while sunbathing at the beach resorts of Agadir and Essaouira. Try kayaking, water boarding and windsurfing for water sports.
- Hike into the High Atlas Mountains, enjoy the lush forest area and the sight of Berber homes as you make your way towards the summit.
- Walk through cosmopolitan Casablanca, marveling at the stunning art deco buildings before heading to see the glory of the King Hussain II Mosque.
- Have a unique sensory experience in Fes, watching the dyeing skills of tanners on display as they use age old techniques to soak and dye skins.
- Feel the unique pulse of Africa in the mythical Djemaa el Fna square of Marrakesh where snake charmers, acrobats and story tellers breathe in the sweet aromas of spices wafting.