Traveler, photographer and somewhat blogger
Manager of FREE WALKING TOUR
In this article, we will check the aspects that influence the organization and completion of each step when you make plan of travel to Morocco.
Morocco is the westernmost country in the Arab world, stretching between the Algerian border from the east, Mauritania from the south, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco’s strategic position at the geopolitical level has always given it importance among nations throughout history; from there that passing between the cities the visitor finds vestiges of the old empires and a culture of the present that highlights a wide variety of traditions and aspects.
Since the annals of history, Morocco has opted for the Muslim religion, or rather it has been conquered very early by the first’s Caliphate. That said, it is understood that in the country there is a certain inclination towards how religion is applied in everyday life, at home or on the street.
Despite what has been said before, in Morocco there were Jewish ghettos or communities since before the 7th century but with more numbers after the ninth century.
Christians also lived together during and after the Spanish and French occupations.
The result is a peaceful coexistence between religions that is based on respect.
The country’s history goes back to migrations well back in time from parts of Africa and Asia, although the country took weight after the emergence of the Muslim religion and the arrival of the Arabs to establish first the wilaya and then the kingdom. It should be noted that the map of the country changed over time and came to absorb entire African countries in some epoch of the history.
After independence the case of Western Sahara has been created, although historically it has no fundamental basis, but is based on movement supported by the outside that try to give it legitimacy, which many can disagree with, but if we go back to the map of the country before the Spanish occupation that area was part of Morocco.
The basic or official language is Arabic, although there is a common dialect (a derivative of Arabic with touches and words in Spanish or French plus words of unknown origin or berber) that is understood among the vast majority of the population and then there are several dialects such as Tamazight or Tarifit among several.
Generally, there are always people who understand and speak English, French and Spanish in almost every corner of the country. Although sometimes it’s hard to find them.
Today, flights to Morocco have fallen in prices that sometimes cost cheaper than regional buses from countries like Spain, but there are other means, for example, the most commonly used are boats between Spain and Tangier, for example, they have a certain taste of adventure and some romantic feeling.
In recent years, the services in ports and airports has made great leaps, has been greatly modernized, although there is always some trace of the old authoritarian mentality on the part of some officials, but this should not worry anyone if it has everything legal. Queue, seal passport, come out with a smile and if you are asked to pass the bags through the detector, do it with a smile and see you later.
Here the adventure begins, and it depends how you organized it, you can have one result or another. Let’s not forget that we’re in the country that couldn’t get on the first world yet.
Perfect, the person who is in charge of the service awaits you, which by the way compared to transfers in Europe is very cheap.
You go out and you come out with taxis that drivers sometimes look like in battle, you’ll hear they’re already fighting to take you, they usually have a tail and order, but a Western tourist is an opportunity. You’ve already traveled to the third world and you know how the subject goes and you control it well. No problems, there is official rate that is never respected, so you will know how to handle it.
It’s your first time in the third world, the screams of the drivers have made you see that you are in a lot of trouble, and there you go up to the first without even asking, it charges you three times price or more since you have not controlled the situation.
There are cops out there and they helped you do things moderately well.
Which option would you choose? Me, the first, tranquility, comfort and a person who speaks my language.
Don’t panic, traffic rules are made to pass the test in general, the disorder gives a different taste of life in third world countries; disconnects you from the boredom of the rules.
Put on your seat belt, luckily if you are on a pre-contracted professional transfer surely there will be the blissful belt, if you climb one of those other taxis (2-3) there is 50% that the belt has problems or not even all its parts exist.
Enjoy your first hours in the country, every minute will seem magical, people, streets, animals and nature. Everything mixes together to form a set that makes you forget your home.
When you travel to Morocco, you have to take this part into account, your trip may become a nightmare full of tears and episodes of anguish if you have done things wrong, it is wrong to believe only the beautiful pictures of the internet, the poetic description that the advertiser put online.
You found the word hostel in the heart of the city and 5 minutes from all the tourist places of the city, it is a perfect location that saves me the walk, error, the cities are not so big and in none you will have to walk much to get to the points of interest. But it turns out the hostel is a living nightmare. Bathroom and shower shared with God knows who, total absence of hygiene and I do not tell you the atmosphere prevailing at night. You have simply entered the worst category in the world, if in developed countries the hostel is an option that you try to avoid then imagine what it will be like in a third world country. (When you travel to Morocco, this option is the least recommended)
2-star hotels, as you can spend a few nights, but forget about comfort or optimal service, it is better to settle for a minimum service. But hopefully you’ll have a shower and a private bathroom. We are talking very close but very close to the hostel.
3-4 stars you are already entering the comfort phase. There are some that are good and others bad, do not trust the internet comments, almost most are premeditated. Creating an account on TripAdvisor is a child thing and isn’t difficult for other platforms.
One of the most popular low-cost options, old family homes converted into hostels, but there are some that can be compared to 4-star hotels in which they refer to cleanliness and service, but some not all.
Luxury hotels we leave them without comments as to have the stars there is a lot of control.
Now yes, if you have contacted a local guide, ask him by email about the accommodation options that fit your budget, you will surely avoid the worst options, the guide will have you as if he were a friend during the tours and will not advise something that will regret when he sees your face and your reaction. That’s why we always recommend checking these details before you travel, a few minutes to write an email can save your entire vacation.
We all want to have our freedom when a peron travel anywhere, but not to make the trip the worst experience; worth preventing.
A free tour or a low-cost private tour is a way to discover the cities in the most enjoyable and fun way. But let’s look at the cases.
When you travel to Morocco and you move by your own at 100%.
You leave the hotel and you are in a country that does not speak your language, and those who understand you; are studying, working or too busy to spend a lot of time explaining to you, yes, there is a lot of kindness in people and they will help you as they can with their explanations, but most of time not enough. First you will get lost in the alleys for long hours, you will reach markets and points of interest, but do not know the details that surround you, although you carry a map and Google in your hand are not of much help in the mazes of medinas and Kasbahs..
The worst part is, out of bad luck, some bastard takes your cell phone out of your hand and disappear. You try to buy something and you don’t know the value of things. Anyway, countless situations that will turn your day into a nightmare without even leaving the core of the city, you return to the accommodation after getting lost again on the way back with a feeling that doesn’t get as expected.
Without a local guide you need more time and resources to see few areas of the cities.
You have a reserved tour, it is ideal, you will not need map or search engines; there is a well-established itinerary with detailed explanations of each point and the whole time you spend listening, watching, taking photos and videos. You finish the tour in 3-4 hours and you have already seen the whole center and you already get better to go back to walk knowing the corners that you liked the most where they are. The next day you already have another more specific tour with new experiences; outside the center, delving into the true life of the country, with local guide and safe transportation. What you pay for the tour is an investment in your time.
The trip in full costs without a tour or a guide of 1000 €.
While with the guide and tour it costs 1300 €.
Without a guide you will see the center with no information. We will score for each emblematic place 10 points and for the information that corresponds to it we will give 5 points, security, guidance and time that is saved 3 points.
Without a guide you will be able to see 10 points of interest, after returning home and see google photos of the city where you’ve been you think, I’ve probably been in other city, because these places I’ve never seen.
With guide at least you will see twice or more (We speak about 2 or 3 days), but we will only do it at 20 emblematic places.
Let make some mathematic:
No guide 10 x 10 = 100
With guide ( 10 + 5 + 3 ) x 20 = 360
In our trips we will discover the places among many things, we will then give the price that it cost to see each place of interest:
1000 € / 100 points x 10 places = 100 €
1300 € / 360 points x 20 places = 72 €
Explaining it simply, the traveler saves 28 euros per place visited. Although the overall costs do not change, but the value given to the sites discovered or visited changes radically. In other way, if hiring guide, but wanting to see only 10 sights; you will need fewer days of stay which results in less expense. 50% accommodation and 50% local guide.
The traveler in this case can give value to the time or the places of interest.
If you walk alone in the cities, there is 70% of probability that nothing negative will happen; apart from what was mentioned before (the value of the points visited and the value of time). But there is a 30% that some incident turns the vacation into a nightmare. Loss of documents, mobile phone, camera or entire backpack, whether due to theft or carelessness. And back to the saying, prevention is better than cure, why take risk with Murphy’s law. But apart from cases of theft or loss, imagine that you get lost in the evening and it turns out that you are far from your accommodation and there is no one who can take you back, many circumstances and situations that make the holidays turn into a nightmare.
If you go with a local guide, he or she would first advise you what to bring and what is not necessary. Second; being accompanied by a local guide, he or she knows every corner of the city and its risks. The guide’s advice and warnings are worth gold. In addition to this, the simple fact that there is a certified guide accompanying tourists gives a security since any bad person will not approach knowing that the guide will recognize local people and in case of any problem the guide will resolve the issue with the authorities in the fastest and safest way.
The value of this security makes the entire trip invaluable.
Having said all this, when you travel to Morocco in general there is a lot of security and many corners to discover. With or without a guide, one can travel knowing what they are looking for and giving value to them.
From our platform we recommend that you always have a part of the trip or completely organized with local guides wherever you go and not only in Morocco.
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Traveler, photographer and somewhat blogger
Manager of FREE WALKING TOUR
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