Morocco 2019
Family Edition

Helpful tips for our trip!


Preparation

Make sure your passports are up to date, and expire 6 months or more after our trip. (legal requirement for travel to Morocco)
No visas are required for Morocco.
No immunizations are required for Morocco. Many people like to get flu shots before international travel, though.
If you plan on using your phone, get on an international plan.
There is an “immigration form” that you need to fill out. I will email it to all of you beforehand. It’s easier to fill it out before you are bleary eyed from travel.
Many Moroccans will want to use WhatsApp with us - our drivers, tour guides, riad hosts etc. It’s also a free and easy way to keep in touch with each other. I’ve got it already. If you want to have it, it’s best to get it while still in Wifi at home.
Alert your credit cards and bank that you plan on international travel.


Packing

We are packing for several micro-climates, so you’ll want to bring layers.
In Marrakech it may be quite warm during the day. Average high 90, average low 66, but generally ranging from the 70s - 80s. Both our riads in Marrakech have small plunge pools, where you can plunge in all the way, or just cool off your feet. Bring a bathing suit!
In Imlil, we are at the base of a 14,000 foot mountain. It’s more likely to average in the 70s there, and be cooler at night.
Pack layers.
We are traveling in a more conservative country. When outside of our riad, skirts or pants that are longer than knee length, and tops that cover the shoulders and cleavage are most comfortable for our hosts, and for us.
Most women don’t wear hijab (head scarf) in the cities, but some do. Out in the villages many more women will cover their hair. We are not expected to at all. In travel like this I usually carry a light weight shawl / scarf with me just in case I get cold, or we go into a Mosque.
We’ll be walking! Bring comfortable shoes. The days are usually quite sunny, and high SPF sunscreen is difficult to find in Morocco. Bring sunscreen. You may want to bring a wide brim hat and sunglasses if you really like sun protection. Bring your usual prescriptions, if you have any.
Their pharmacies do not require doctor prescriptions.
We’ll be out and about a lot. Bring a refillable water bottle with you to fill in places that have filtered water. Otherwise buy sealed bottled water. Standard procedure for this sort of travel.
Athena, you and I might be hiking in and around the village when Imp and Ian are on the hike. If you prefer hiking boots, you might like to bring them. We’re not doing difficult or technical hikes, so sneakers will be fine. A small day pack / camelback pack might come in handy. I always have a small first aid kit with me on these things. When we hike I’ll be hiring a licensed guide via our riad.


Currency

The Moroccan Dirham is approximately 1/10 of the US dollar.
Arrive with American cash, and exchange some of your spending money at the airport after going through customs.
Many places do not accept credit card.
Tips are an important thing in Morocco!
In the cities, you’ll even tip a bathroom attendant who will hand you a square or two of toilet paper. I recommend you bring wipes as well. Bring lots of wipes!
Much of their plumbing is old. Even wipes that say they are flushable are not.
A driver will be waiting with our names to take us to Riad Dar Dalkoum.
Athena, I’ll arrange the same for you on your travel date.


Riad Dar Dialkoum

Marrakech - Sept 12 - 17

Our host Muriel is incredibly warm and helpful. She’s a French ex-pat, and happily answers all questions. As in, allow at least 10 minutes to talk with her each time. ;) … update. They are under new ownership.
Breakfast is included each morning.
This riad has two courtyards, two levels of rooms, salons and terraces. The bathrooms are tedalakt, with is a beautifully smooth and waterproof Moroccan plaster.
Options for this time period include a cooking class, a hammam visit, learning the souks, visiting historic sites, The Secret Garden, Les Jardins Majorelle and The Berber Museum and more.
We’ll be deciding that as we get closer.
Wifi is free. You’ll be able to check in with folks at home, and do some work, if you need.
The website was showing it was sold out, but I was able to secure a third room! We have rooms Aicha, Hannah and Malika. They are all in the second courtyard, which offers more privacy. Malika is on the ground floor.

Atlas Mountains

We’ll all be heading out to the Atlas Mountains Sept 17. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Marrakech to the foot of Mount Toubkal.
Hikers will depart from Riad Atlas Prestige, and those us of not ascending Mount Toubkal will settle in there for a few days.
Ian, I forwarded you the hike itinerary via email.


Riad Atlas Prestige

Sept 17 - 20

A small village riad with beautiful views of the countryside and Mount Toubkal.
The accommodations are cozy and not fancy. The bathrooms are European wet-room style.
I’ll arrange a driver for Athena to get back to the Marrakech airport Sept 19.
Our days there can include walks in the village in the mornings, and optional regional hikes in the afternoons.
We’ll get guides for all of these.
Our riad provides breakfast and has a restaurant available for lunch or dinner. Meals are simple, fresh and from local farms.
Hikes often can include a packed lunch, depending upon how long we go for. There is a walnut tree forest.
The village has a rug shop with great prices. Our riad features a lot of locally hand made decor.
Part of this riad has free wifi. I’m not sure which part.

Back to Marrakech!

Back to Marrakech on Sept 20! Karen leaves Sept 22.
More historic sites to see! More souks! Hammam! etc.


Riad M’Boja Chez Ali Baba

Sept 20 - 27

A Moroccan family owned Riad.
Breakfast included. Rooftop terrace and plunge pool available.
This riad is near Bab Doukkola, and a short walk to the back ends of the souks.