Frequently Asked Questions
If you have never been to Morocco before, your first time can be a bit overwhelming or even confusing. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that many visitors have in order to help you prepare for your trip. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
Morocco has some of the most beautiful riads, hotels and luxury glamping tents in the world. In fact, one of it’s famous hotels, La Mamounia, was named Best Hotel in the World at the 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards.
You may be surprised to find that affordable luxury tours are possible with Love of Morocco, depending on the time of you you wish to travel, your group size, and the category and type of accommodations you are interested in. If you let the tour company know your budget, they can create the best tour in your price range that will fit your expectations.
Before you begin planning your trip, be sure you know what the various types of accommodations are in Morocco. It may be possible for you to stay in different types of accommodation on the same tour.
For example, you might be able to get a stunning, deluxe suite at a gorgeous hotel the first night you arrive, but switch to a standard room at a perfect riad for a few days, then have a fancy glamping experience in The Sahara Desert, before spending a night at an exquisite palace or kasbah for your last night.
Whether you’re more drawn to a trendy, world-class 5 star hotel or beach resort like Sofitel in Agadir, a kasbah oasis in the desert, or a palace fit for royalty, we know which places will feature private bathrooms, restaurants, swimming pools, spas and hammans. We have hand picked the places that go above and beyond the basics and offer the type of VIP and luxury service and hospitality you deserve.
Riads are more like guesthouses, but with the most incredible Moroccan architecture, and most are designed to have several floors of beautiful rooms that can all overlook the courtyard gardens below. Usually there is a small pool or jacuzzi in the middle of the courtyard, and tables and chairs for dining, (some with restaurants) and of course, surrounded by lush plants and trees. Riads have rooftop terraces where people can sunbathe, relax, or dine.
There are plenty of 3-5 star hotels in Morocco, including well known chains. Most have pools, spa’s and hammams, restaurants and bars.
If you’re seeking the most romantic options, kasbahs are majestic castle like structures that will make you feel like royalty. These palatial clay buildings are unique, and mostly located in the Southern, Berber regions where you will be able to relax along your journey to the Sahara Desert.
All along the coast of Agadir, you’ll find the most lovely resorts. With swimming pools, mini golf courses, and sprawling buffets with endless selections, resorts in Morocco are a popular choice for locals and travelers, from super low budget, to the more luxurious Sofitel type of client.
Don’t mistakenly assume that staying at a palace is only for the rich and famous or VIP celebrities. In Morocco, you’ll find quite a few options, even for princesses who can only splurge $100 a night to live out her fairy-tale fantasy. But it can be done indeed. Click here for one of my favorite places in Marrakech.
The are many different types of traditional caidal tents in the desert, from simple structures, to more elaborate, highly luxurious pavilions. Inside you’ll often find exquisite carpets or thick, plush rugs, and at more upscale camps, hand-carved, bamboo beds, and en suite bathrooms with hot and cold water, and beautiful hand painted tiles and vanities. Tents often have small, individual lounge areas outside with overstuffed pillows and sofas. At night, tents in the camp are connected by rows of glowing lanterns, and most have a large cauldron with a fire in the center where nomads gather to play drums and sing traditional songs.
While Morocco is not a dry country, it is sometimes not as easily available, but if you ask your hotel staff, they will know where to direct you.
There are several wineries and breweries in Morocco, as well.
Alcohol can be found at many restaurants in Morocco. However, it is pricey, and not served at all hotels, so if you enjoy your wine be sure to visit a supermarket and purchase some as soon as you arrive, especially if you’ll be visiting during Ramadan.
If you’re going on a desert tour double check that you will be allowed to bring your own with you to drink at the camp. Some camps will sell alcohol, but not all.
Morocco has many ex pats and visitors from France who demand high quality wine, so you will find alcohol in bars, clubs and some restaurants, but also for sale in grocery stores like Carrefour.
Best Time to Travel
Morocco is a perfect destination all year long!
The country’s weather varies in different regions depending on the season, however there is always a region where the climate is mild. We can recommend the best destination for you based on the interests, time of year, and your travel dates.
In winter, the desert can be an amazing palce to visit. Nights can be chilly but during the day you’ll enjoy the sun and blue skies. Most luxury camps will provide extra blankets (and some have portable heaters) if necessary, and hot water.
During the summer the Atlantic coast is quite lovely, and perfect for trekking in the Atlas.
However, regardless of the temperature, many desert camps can adjust to the weather, and help you feel comfortable no matter what.
Cell Phones/ WIFI
There are many internet cafes in Morocco. Many riads, hotels, cafes and restaurants offer free WIFI.
Keyboards in Morocco use the French layout for keys, which is not QWERTY and can be very slow to use. If you touch type you can change the keyboard setting to English, but please remember to change it back for local users.
Morocco has generally good mobile coverage and has roaming agreements with mobile phone companies, although roaming charges are relatively high.
The cheapest way to make calls using your cell phone is to buy a SIM card which are extremely affordable. However, many people now use WhatsApp for free calls worldwide, and you can easily make calls where Wifi is available.
Many visitors fall in love with the local cuisine. If you’d like to learn how to make some of the delicious dishes you try, consider taking a cooking class.
Many riads now offer culinary workshops to their clients. Traditional cooks affectionately called “dadas” are eager to share their know-how with travellers.
We can organize a cooking class for you with a well-known chef in a stunning setting in the medina, or at your riad.
ls payment for my tour safe?
Yes- Wanderlusty Tours is very particular about the local tour guides, drivers, and staff we work with. We want our customers to feel safe, comfortable, relaxed, and well looked after.
Yes – If you pay by credit card
If you pay by credit card for your holiday (spending between £100 and £30,000) your payments are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This means that if the services you buy are not delivered, you can claim your money back from your credit card company. This does not apply to most debit card payments.
Yes – If you have holiday cancellation insurance
Our Terms and Conditions require you to have travel insurance, and we strongly recommend cancellation insurance which will protect you against instances outside of your or our control (like flight cancellations, etc).
We want you to be happy. Ecstically happy. Thrilled beyond belief. It is our mission to make sure you have the most amazing, unforgettable trip of a lifetime so that you not only have memories to make you smile for years to come, but so that you will also rave about us to your friends and family.
Providing you with an amazing experience is not just what we do as travel experts; it brings us immense joy to show you the paradise we have found in our own travels. We are passionate about sharing this joy with you!
Morocco is a land of festivals and every region plans its own.
A few of the more popular festivals are:
> Chefchaouen: Andalusian Music Festival sometime in July.
> Essaouira: World Music Festival, June.
> Fes: Festival of World Sacred Music, June.
–Festival of Art, Song and Traditional Dance, July
-International Film Festival, December
– Tangier :Jazz Festival, September.
Besides these festivals, many “moussems” are organized in every region. These celebrations involve dances, fantasias and chants. Women and men wear their best dress for these annual festivals often linked to the harvest or local legend:
> In May: Moussem of Roses in Kelaa M’Gouna in the Dades Valley, the appropriately named Valley of Roses. It celebrates Morocco’s famous and very fragrant little rose. On the agenda: folklore, artisanal exhibits, and the election of that year’s « Miss Rose”.
> In June: Cherry Moussem at Sefrou: for the three days the festival lasts, sports tournaments, a fantasia, a night-time lantern procession and, of course, the election of « Miss Cerisette”.
> In October: The Date Moussem at Erfoud. The date harvest is an occasion to celebrate with friends and family and many colours!
> In September: Engagement Moussem at Imilchil: This little High Atlas village north west of Errachidia retains an ancestral tradition: the region’s young couples get married every year during the moussem. This custom is born of legend: a romantic saga between two Berbers Issli and Tisslit from different warring tribes. For three days young women looking for husbands dance for hours wearing their best attire.
How do you get to Morocco?
Morocco has many International Airports:
- Mohamed V Casablanca (CMN)
- Menara Airport in Marrakech (RAK)
- Agadir (AGA)
- Tangier (TNG)
- Flying into another airport in Morocco? Just let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate you!
Visitors from America can only take a direct flight into Casablanca (CMN), but there is usually a brief stopover and quick flight to Marrakech (or other cities). Wherever you arrive, we can have your driver meet you and take you safely to your riad or hotel and answer any questions you have.
How to Get to Morocco
Morocco is a popular and exotic place to visit on the north coast of Africa, so there are many flights from Europe, other places in Africa, the Middle East, and several cities in the United States.
Popular cities for visitors to explore include Marrakech, Agadir, Essaouira, Fez, Rabat, Casablanca, and Tangier.
There are also ferries from the southern coast of Spain across the Mediterranean Sea to Tangier on the northern coast of Morocco. For most visitors, only a passport is needed to enter Morocco.
What airlines fly to Morocco?
Most major airlines operate service to/from Morocco. Popular airlines include:
Royal Air Maroc: Operates direct flights from New York, Paris, Madrid, London and Most other European destinations.
Iberia: Operates direct flights from Spain
Air France: Operates direct flights from France
British Airways: Operates direct flights from England
Ryan Air: Prominent discount airline offers flights to major Morocco cities from multiple European destinations.
Moroccan food varies, combining traditional dishes from Arab, African, Berber, Jewish and French foods.
Moroccan chefs enjoy preparing healthy dishes using a distinctive blend of fresh produce and spices, and herbs. Morocco’s cuisine reflects the extensive range of home produced ingredients and reflects the culture of Morocco.
Tagines, meals cooked in large clay pots shaped like cones, can be vegetarean or contain meat, are are mildly spiced dishes similar to beef stew. Salads are tasty and abundant as there are plenty of locally grown fresh fruits and veggies, including dates, figs, avocaddos, and plenty of spices, herbs and infused oils. Round Moroccan flat bread is served with every meal, and cous cous is a special treat.
Moroccan mint tea is more of a symbol of friendship and sharing than merely a beverage.
Fes is considered Morocco’s culinary capital: it’s where you’ll find the best traditional delicacies like almond and pigeon pastillas, dried apricot or prune tagines, and hairia soup. But you can find delicious, tasy meals almost anywhere in Morocco.
Test out the wonderful street food, such as grilled eggplant, snails, and sheep’s brains while exploring the medina.
Mint tea is served everywhere, and fresh orange and other juices and bottled water is widely available. Tap water is cities and towns is chlorinated and generally considered safe to drink but in rural areas it is inadvisable to drink tap water.
Seafood can be more difficult to find in some areas, but common along the coastal Atlantic towns.
For picky children (and adults) you can find burgers, fries, pizza and spaghetti in many restaurants, and sushi connoisuers will be thrilled to find that there are a few good options in bigger cities.
If you fall in love with Moroccan food as many visitors do, consider taking a cooking class. Let us know and we will help to organize one for you.
* If you have special dietary restrictions, or you are vegetarian, gluten free, lactose intolerant, or have any allergies, just let us know. We will do our best to accommodate you.
Getting Around Morocco
Getting to Riads
While there are no mandatory vaccinations for visitors to Morocco, you should always check with your doctor before traveling, and visit NHS travel advice (polio, typhoid and hepatitis A are advised) for more suggestions.
There are large modern hospitals in the major cities likeAgadir and Marrakech, and small hospitals and health care centers in towns like Essaouira.There are also plenty of pharmacies.
Malaria exists but only in rural areas of Chefchaouen Province, where there is a very limited risk; here insect protection measures should be taken.
Food at most restaurants is generally safe to eat, but be aware that local street vendors and carts may not be monitored as closely.
Many people feel that tap water is safe, but bottled water is extremely inexpensive and worth the peace of mind.
The sun can be deceptively stong in Morocco, so be sure to bring sun screen and wear hats and appropriate clothing.
While English is widely spoken throughout Morocco, perticularly in tourist areas and major cities, most locals speak Arabic, French, or Darija, and knowing a few phrases or greetings can make your visit much more enjoyable as locals love when visitors make an attempt to learn the language.
Staff in most riads and hotels, and at some tour companies are multi-lingual and speak English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Darija (Berber).
Although the Euro and the US Dollar are accepted in certain tourist areas, the Moroccan Dirham is the local currency.
Dirham (MAD) can be obtained from bureau de changes in airports, major banks and hotels, or from ATM cash machines which are widely available in major towns and cities and will take most credit and debit cards. Some bureau de changes outside of Morocco also now offer Dirham, but they tend to offer poor rates of exchange.
Using a debit card at an ATM is often the easiest and cheapest method. However, inform your bank before you travel to stop them from declining any transaction as an anti-fraud measure.
Be aware that there will be a limit on the maximum amount of money you are allowed to withdraw each day.
Ramadan is practised by all Moroccan Muslims. It is illegla for Moroccans to break the Ramadan fast between sunrise and sundown.
The basic rules: from sunrise to sunset you can neither drink, eat or smoke. During this period of fasting, it is important to respect the population by not consuming food, beverages or cigarettes in public during the day. More conservative attire is suggested during this sacred month as well.
During Ramadan, the country’s daily rhythm is a bit different: having stayed up later than usual, locals will generally sleep in a bit. The day goes by in slow motion until the middle of the afternoon when locals go to the souks to buy all the ingredients for the night’s meal.
An hour before the sun sets, the cities are suddenly deserted…All their inhabitants are at home preparing to break their fast. This first meal of the day is called “Ftour”. The fast is broken with a harira, a rich soup of lentils, meat, tomatoes and coriander, chebakiyas (lacy honey cookies), hard-boiled eggs, fruit juice, milk and dates.
The real dinner only comes a few hours later: salads, tagines, and dessert.
How does all this affect travellers?
The souks, like most shops open late, but also close later.
There are sometimes arguments as people are cranky due to the lack of sleep, hydration, and for smokers, nicotine. Something else that many do not talk about but has a huge effect on locals; they’re not allowed to have sex with their spouses between sunrise and sunset, either. So, have some empathy!
As a general rule, tourists and most non-Muslim Moroccans will not be affected: they are allowed to eat and drink normally. In hotels there is no difference except perhaps employees will appear more sluggish than usual.
Some hotels, riads, retaurants and cafes offer traditional Ftours, so take advantage of it when you can.
Otherwise, there is nothing more enjoyable than breaking the fast with the Moroccans themselves in a little café: tea, harira, chebakiya, hard boiled eggs, and often you will be served freshly squeezed orange or mango juice.
Romance/ Dating/ Sex
“Is Morocco safe for tourists?” is a common question for first time visitors.
Safety is why Morocco is a popular destination in North Africa, as crimes committed against tourists are extremely low (and severely punished by Moroccan law). However, you should always check your state department website before traveling to any country, and to register with your embassy on arrival when possible.
US Embassy in Morocco:
The vast majority of visitors find Morocco to be a hospitable and friendly country, which is why thousands and thousands of tourists flock to Morocco every year.
Morocco is an Islamic country, however, the vast majority of Moroccans are non-denominational Muslims, unlike some countries which are divided by inter-sect differences.
While articles are often published in the western press regarding fundamentalism in Islam across the world and the dangers to westerners, most often they are referring to extreme Muslim fundamentalists and radicals. Rarely will you encounter a Moroccan with those beliefs. In fact, Morocco is known to have some of the frinedliest, most hospitable people in the world.
In spite of this, one can never promise an absolute guarantee of safety to visitors to any country. Unfortunately unrest affects many countries across the world – from London and New York to Bali and Peru. Casablanca was hit by suicide bomb attacks in May 2003 and Marrakech hit by a bomb in April 2011, and two women were murdered in an individual attack in 2018 while hiking alone in the mountains.
Morocco is an amazing place to visit (or live) but, as in any country in any part of the world, it is important that visitors take normal precautions, the same way you would at home.
Rarely do you hear news of violent crimes toward visitors, however, like in many cities there are pickpockets or con artists, so visitors are advised to keep valuables safe, especially in crowded areas. Carry your backpack or purse in front of you when possible. And solo travelers, especially women, should try to always walk with others in more secluded areas at night.
Scorpions & Snakes
Scorpions & Snakes
The risk of encountering scorpions and snakes is unlikely.
In the winter in the Sahara and in the Atlas, they are not likely to be around because they dislike the cold. If an incident does occur, we are prepared and have the knowledge necessary to deal with these issues.
But, just to be sure, it’s best to follow these simple rules while on a tour:
Do not walk around barefoot.
Don’t leave your clothes or shoes outdoors for the night.
Unroll and shake out your sleeping bag and clothes/ shoes right before going to bed or getting dressed.
Lift rocks and pebbles with caution.
Wandering through the souks and markets is one of the most popular activities for tourists because shopping can be incredibly fun (and super cheap) for visitors!
Most Moroccan produced goods are remarkably good value, at least if you’re willing to have fun haggling for them.
Typical Moroccan crafts and items include ornate jewelry, leather sandals, bags and jackets, multicolored, hand woven and weaved carpets, and various food stuffs, particularly argan oil, dates, walnuts, almonds, and spices.
Haggling is an art form, and if done right can be fun for both parties. Remember that Moroccans earn much less than visitors from places like America and Europe, so while it’s lovely to get a good bargain, remember that entire families are often supported on a very meager income. It’s fine to check prices and to negotiate, but often times the first asking price is already pretty cheap, so make sure your shopping experience is fun and fair for both parties.
To help, here is an idea of reasonable prices (varying depending on quality, the material, the workmanship…):
Babouches (oriental slippers): from 70 to 200 dhs.
Jewellery: will depend on the weight and material.
Rugs: from 700 dhs to 2000 dhs per square metre.
Spices : from 30 dhs (paprika) to 50/60 dhs per kilogram (cumin, cinnamon, ginger). Saffron (10 dhs per gram)
The best rule to follow is to always buy artisanal objects in the place where it is made. Forget about the Argan oil in a “cooperative” in the Atlas. Argan trees only grow along the Atlantic coast from Essaouira to Agadir.
The most beautiful copper comes from Fes, thuja is sculpted in Essaouira, the best babouches (oriental slippers) are in Fes and Marrakech. Silver is from Tiznit and Essaouira. Marrakech is where you’ll find the most fragrant spices. When it comes to rugs, the finest are from Rabat. In Marrakech, however, you will find beautiful Kilims.
Solo Female Travelers
– Many people in the tourism industry depend on tips as a major part of their income. Therefore, tipping is considered customary in Morocco.
Tours : What to Expect on a Desert Tour
Typical Tour Scams
Wanderlusty Tours requires all clients to have travel insurance coverage.
Accidents, medical emergencies or other problems can occur unepectedly and the resulting costs can be significant. Travel insurance is there for your peace of mind in case something goes wrong, and it should cover any activities that you are planning to participate in.
For suggestions on which company to use and to find quotes on prices, we have provided you with a list of reliable agencies here.
A return ticket and a passport with a minimum of 3 months validity beyond the duration of your stay are required by all.
A valid passport is the only accepted form of ID for entry into Morocco.
Visas are not required for residents from these countries:
Great Britian, European Union (EU), Australia, New Zealand, Canadian, USA and Japanese nationals for stays of up to three months. For all other passport nationals, please check with the Moroccan Embassy.
Once you land in Morocco, you’ll be required to fill out a landing card with an address of residence/ hotel or riad during your stay in Morocco.
Wanderlusty Tour Details & Information
How does a reservation with Wanderlusty Tours work?
You will fill out an enquiry including as many details and specificity about your trip as possible.
Email is best, however, you should also feel free to ring us on WhatsApp or on the telephone if you prefer.
Once the details of your trip are solidified and agreed upon, we will send you a detailed quote with your itinerary and prices. If approve of it, we will send you a bill and you will make a deposit of 30 % of the total cost of the trip (see: terms & conditions).
The rest of the payment is due 30 days prior to your departure, either via secure online payment Paypal or bank transfer. For last minute reservations (less than a month before the trip), the entire cost of the trip is due upon reservation.
Before your arrival, we will send you your travel folder by mail. It will include your accommodation vouchers, unless you purchased a circuit and are meeting your guide at the airport. He will then hand over all your travel documents in person.
During my trip:
During your stay in Morocco, you’ll have a telephone number that you can call us on 24/7. In the even that you misplace your accommodation vouchers, all you need to do is contact us as soon as possible on this number. If one of your services doesn’t correspond to the service you paid for, you can also contact us on this number so that we can get in touch with our suppliers.
Know that we will be by your side, discreet but available the entire time you are in Morocco.
After my Trip:
We welcome all feedback and value it as a resource to help us improve upon our services. We want to be the best, period.
We will do our best to resolve any problems or issues immediately, however, we will investigate all requests for compensation resulting from dissatisfaction as long as we receive them shortly after the trip.
However, we fully expect that you will be beyond satisfied, and hope you return to see us year after year!
We would love to have you share some of the pictures you took during your trip on our Facebook page!
What are Wanderlusty Tours cancellation fees?
In the case of a cancellation, the following fees are applied:
> 21 days or more until the departure date: 25% of the trip’s total cost
> Between 20 and 10 days until the departure date: 50% of the trip’s total cost
> Between 9 and 2 days until the departure date: 80% of the trip’s total cost
> Less than 48 hours from the departure date: no refund possible
All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing (e-mail, letter or fax) with acknowledgment of receipt.
Meanwhile, know that in the event of a major disruption of your travel plans (international context, a political situation, a serious meteorological event…) we will do all that we can to minimize and even cancel these fees.
Is Payment with my Credit Card secure?
Yes, in order to offer our clients a reliable and widely recognized method of payment, we accept most major credit cards and Paypal.
Can you insure us?
We do not sell travel insurance, however, we have a list of reliable companies that we share with out clients. Insurance is a requirement for all our guests on our tours.
For vehicle rental, the insurance is automatically included in the rental price.
The weather in Morocco is one of the reasons visitors flock here! It is mostly pleasant; hot and dry during most of the year, but when the summer becomes too hot, or the snowy mountain peaks are too cold, one can easily travel a short distance to another part of the country where they will find a dramatic difference more to their liking.
July and August can be quite hot in places like Marrakech, far from the mountains, however, many people simply visit beach towns like Agadir or Essaouira during summer.
Be aware that while the winter months can feel absolutely perfect during the day, it can get quite chilly at night, so carry a jacket or sweater.
The Atlantic coastal region, including Essaouira, has the most consistently warm temperatures throughout the year, without the summer peaks. Marrakech, Fez and Ouarzazate can get very hot during summer months. Taroudant in the south is the warmest place in between October and April. Ouarzazate and the desert are best visited in the spring and autumn to avoid extremes. It is extremely rare to see rain during May-Sept in the lowlands.
What to Pack
Sandals/ Flip Flops
Summer clothes- April to October
Jacket- December to February because evenings, nights and mornings can be cold, especially in the north, the mountains and the desert.
Sun tan/ after-sun lotion
Hat/ scarf, however, there are plenty of amazing scarves to buy in Morocco
Camera, (spare) camera batteries
Copies of passport and travel insurance (keep separately from the originals), also email yourself copies
What to Wear for Women (& Men, too)
While you are allowed to wear what you want, travelers who make an attempt to adhere to local customs with regard to appropriate attire will find that mutual respect goes a long way.
Morocco is an Islamic country, therefore we advise visitors to cover legs, chest and arms (for both men and women). In the major cities long shorts and T-shirts may be worn, and head scarfs for women are common but again, not required (except in & near mosques).
Can you wear super short shorts, mini skirts and low cut tops? Can men go without a shirt when it’s an especially hot day? Surprisingly, there are some tourists who do. But as visitors in any country, it is much more respectful and considerate to adhere to their customs.
Although the dress code is much more relaxed now, especially in common beach towns like Essaouira, please understand that it is offensive and disrespectful to be dressed in an overly provocative way. It is fine to wear shorts/swimwear at beaches, or hotel pools, but otherwise think of the type of attire you might wear at a church service to know what is appropriate.
During the summer when it can be really hot, try to wear light cotton sun dresses, and loose shirts and pants. Linen clothes are also great for helping you stay cool.
Please note that during Ramadan it is especially important to remember that this is a holy month for locals.