Morocco: Luxury & Private Safaris
Morocco is a country of many facets, reflecting its rich cultural heritage and long and colorful history. This predominantly Muslim country is renowned for delicious cuisine, beautiful architecture, exotic souks and a flourishing Berber culture. Geographically, Morocco is characterized by rugged mountains, fertile oases, ancient fortified port cities, and magnificent deserts. It is one of only three countries with both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and has long been a favorite destination for travelers.
Many flights arrive into Casablanca, which is home to the famous Hassan II Mosque and Rick’s Cafe (of movie fame), and serves well for a logistical overnight. Marrakech and Fez are much older cities and they, along with Rabat (the capital and home to several important historical sites), and Meknes are Morocco’s Imperial Cities. Upon entering Fez’s medina (old city), with its dark winding alleyways and ancient sounds and smells, one is transported back in time to its founding in the 9th century. In contrast, Marrakech’s bustling souks (markets) – where one can buy handwoven textiles, daily household goods, along with exotic spices – are very much operating in the moment for locals and visitors, though replete with historical influences. Luxury hotels with elegant courtyards, luxurious linens and modern hammams (bath houses) pamper the most discerning clientele. Traditional and fusion Moroccan cuisine have made restaurants in Morocco destinations for serious foodies. Similarly, for shoppers interested in art, textiles and unique housewares, the choices are endless from refined high-end specialty shops, to prowling open air markets. Top cultural sites include the tomb of Fez’s founder Moulay Idriss II, the medinas of Fez and Marrakech, Skoura’s iconic Kasbah Amridil, and the “blue city” of Chefchaouen. Further afield, the Atlas Mountains and the vast dunes of the Moroccan Sahara beckon those looking for “off the beaten path” experiences, perhaps astride a camel, or in the lush gardens of a beautiful fully inclusive destination hotel such as Dar Ahlam… travelers to Morocco really can “have it all”!
Secrets and Tips from our Experts
- A great local guide is invaluable, and essential in Fez
- Don’t miss the photography museum (Maison de la Photographie de Marrakech) and the Majorelle Garden
- Take a day trip to Meknès
- For a smaller city experience check out Essaouira on the coast (also a film site for Game of Thrones)
- Classic, riad-style hotels with an inner courtyard can be noisy if your room does not have air-conditioning – good to double-check.
Is Morocco the right destination for you?
Because Morocco is so diverse, it has a little something for everyone. The jet-set regularly hit the town in Marrakesh, while history, archaeology, and architecture buffs keep busy in cities like Fez and Meknès. Active travelers enjoy sandboarding or camelback safaris in the desert and hiking/camping in the Atlas Mountains. The more adventurous traveler will more fully appreciate all the area’s offerings. With a range of accommodation, from simple to extraordinary luxury, anyone with a taste for adventure and an eye for beauty, who appreciate experiencing new cultures, tastes, sights and sounds is sure to enjoy Morocco.
When to visit Morocco?
April through early June and September through November are much more comfortable in terms of temperatures, and there are fewer fellow tourists. June through August can be extremely hot, while the winter months are quite cold, especially in the Sahara and Atlas mountains.
How much should I budget for a trip to Morocco?
Morocco: Luxury & Private Safaris
Costs for food, accommodation, and travel in Morocco are fairly low by European or North American standards. If you eat local, use more basic hotels, and share expenses with another person, the price is reasonable. You could travel well on $300-$500 per person per night; however, with $700 – $1,000 per person per night, you would enjoy luxury and a truly exceptional, high-service experience.
Our favorite areas
Morocco is such an incredibly diverse country that we simply couldn’t pick just one or two areas. Marrakech is a bustling city with an ancient old town, which is endlessly interesting. Travelers, especially the French, head here to enjoy the sun, good food, and lovely people in an exotic, but comfortable and accommodating environment. Fez, on the other hand, feels much more authentic and is home to many fine artisans, making it a “must visit” city. The narrow alleys in the medina’s make you feel like you are in a time warp that has transported you to the Middle Ages! The Moroccan Sahara and the Atlas Mountains offer unprecedented beauty and encounters with the natural world. A stop in the Ouarzazate / Skoura region offers access to incredible architecture and the opportunity to visit a real oasis. Combining these areas creates the perfect journey, a complete and unforgettable picture of this incredibly exotic country.
What else should I know before traveling to Morocco?
- Morocco: Luxury & Private Safaris: People who want clean, orderly destinations that resemble home wouldn’t like Morocco. The sights, smells, and sounds of the Moroccan souks are infamously overwhelming (not to mention getting lost in the city’s winding passages); although a guide can be a lifesaver, particularly if you are unsure of your comfort level. Additionally, single female travelers may not want to explore Morocco alone, and cities, in particular, can be challenging for solo travelers. However, you can get around this by using our excellent local drivers and guides or doing some touring with groups that we can arrange for you.
Ways to experience Morocco
Experiencing Morocco is really all about appreciating the culture and traditions of this truly magical place. Don’t be afraid to be a tourist, particularly in Fez, where history smacks you in the face at every turn. Eat and drink your way through the medina in Marrakech, ask your guide lots of questions, and make a few memorable purchases – leather slippers perhaps, then have an amazing dinner at Le Jardin. You can day trip to a couple of the lesser-known imperial cities, such as Meknès, and travel to the iconic Sahara Desert (even if it’s just for a night!). We also recommend spending one or two nights in the Atlas Mountains hiking and experiencing the raw beauty of the landscape and the local Berber culture. A guided tour of the ancient agricultural workings of an oasis near Skoura is fascinating while exploring a compact town like Essaouira and the beach on your own is a nice way to end your journey.