We at Global Morocco Exploration offer private customized for travelers from all around the globe. Each tour we design alongside you is highly personalized to fit your travel dates, preferences, and travel style. Our trips are quite flexible and are built around the experiences you wish to have. We work hard to balance your time to include independent exploration and guided visits where pertinent or essential. So, you’ll get to explore on your own and have your driver or guide with you when needed.
We use new Hyundai H1 minivans that hold up five adults comfortably. When a a group size is more than six persons, we tend to use minibuses, which hold 12 to 17 persons comfortably. When the group size is two to three we use new Toyota Landcruiser 4x4
Traveling by luxury, 4x4 Land Cruiser across Morocco will enable you to cover a vast amount terrain in the most enjoyable and relaxing way. This way of traveling is highly recommended to first time travelers to Morocco and also to those who want an intimate, personal experience that is seamless from beginning to end on a private Morocco Tour.
4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser is the right choice if you’re looking for a private tour that gives you the opportunity to explore the hidden landscapes of Morocco: the magnificent Atlas Mountains, oases, date palms and several century old Kasbah villages through the exciting rocky pistes and the steep Erg Chebbi sand dunes of Merzourga. The 4x4 will amaze you with its power to make an impressively smooth trip and protect you from sand storms or scorching heat; when traveling in summer.
Our drivers are the perfect balance between driver and guides. They are your tour host and confidant. Many of them hold advanced English, French and Spanish degrees. They are responsible for your safety and act as a key to the local culture and regions you’ll be visiting. They are located throughout Morocco. While visiting Moroccan cities you’ll have certified city guides for at least one day to show you the ancient medinas. In other areas, you’ll meet our local regional guides who take you into their villages, share their homes, and provides you with information about their area in the country.
The climate in Morocco varies wildly according to the season and area of travel. In the lowlands, the cooler months from October to April are popular among visitors. This time of year, is pleasantly warm to hot (around 30°C) during the day and cool to cold (around 15°C) at night. Winter in the higher regions often brings snow and can therefore get seriously cold, particularly at night. Tourists flock to the coastline from June to September for fun in the sun, with warm mostly rain-free days. Further inland it can get hot and rain is rare. Thus, the best time to travel in Morocco is whenever you get the chance!
In reality, the best times to visit the country is in March, April, and May. Otherwise, September and October tend to be amazing periods as well. The high seasons are during Easter week and the Christmas holidays along May and October. Other times that are not as busy, but worthwhile are the first two weeks of June and November. For higher season, we recommend arranging your Morocco tour at least three to six months ahead of time as it can be difficult to cater to last-minute requests.
Morocco Travel during Ramadan.
A lot of traveler wonders about how is traveling to Morocco during Ramadan. While many operators suggest that restaurants and shops are closed and may suggest avoiding traveling during Morocco, we offer a different perspective.
Global Morocco Exploration takes the health and safety of its travelers seriously and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. Actually, Morocco is a very safe country to travel. And, it’s regarded as one of the most stable countries in North Africa and the Middle East. We recommend that all travelers check with their government or national travel advisory organization for the latest information before departure.
Public hospitals, private clinics, pharmacies and dentists are located in every city and town. Hospitals and some clinics are open 24 hours and 7 days a week, as are certain pharmacies. When looking for a pharmacy, look for the white sign with a green crescent moon on it. You can buy prescription medications as well as motion-sickness medicine without a doctor’s note. The price of medicine is inexpensive.
Most foreign travelers visiting Morocco do not need a visa. If you are an American, Canadian, Australian/New Zealand, or European passport holder, you will not need a visa. Malaysians, Singaporeans, and some passport holders from Hong Kong do not either for stays up to 90 days. If you are from South Africa, the visa is required in advance. In general, visa processing can take approximately 20 working days.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information.
While tipping isn't mandatory in Morocco, tips are very welcomed and has become a regular practice showing how generous you are. Rounding up the bill and leaving spare change at restaurants and cafes is generally standard practice. For the rest, tipping 10% is common and definitely tip your driver and guide if you are happy with their service.
Morocco's cities have internet access available in internet cafes and hotel lobbies. In some cases, free Wi-Fi can be accessed in public places. While it is not easy to find internet access in rural areas, a smartphone with the proper plan will access the internet almost everywhere.
Cell phone in Morocco
Cell phone coverage is good in Moroccan urban areas as well in rural areas. Having a Moroccan SIM card is easier and make easier to use. The country code of Morocco is +212. Morocco uses a 220-volt system with double pronged plugs common in Europe.
Morocco's toilets are a mixture of modern flushable toilets and squat toilets, so be prepared to encounter both. Carry your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these may not always be provided though it is rare.
While tap water is perfectly fine for Moroccans, we highly recommend not drink it and take care not to even brush your teeth with the tap water. Water is treated at certain locations in Morocco, but as a precaution bottled water is advised and will be provided.
Major credit cards are accepted by most large shops, hotels and restaurants, although smaller vendors and market stalls often only accept cash.
ATM access in Morocco
ATMs are easily found in the large cities and airports, although are less common in rural and remote areas. When travelling out of the city, be prepared by having enough cash, as ATMs aren't always an option.
Exchange your cash when you arrive at the airport bank exchange or use local banks and currency exchanges in the cities and medinas as you travel.
In Morocco, you will find both modern flushable toilets and Turkish toilets. On our tours, we do our best to frequent the former kind.
• Royal Air Maroc
• American Airlines
• Delta Airlines
• Iberia Airlines
• Atlas Blue Airlines
At the present moment Global Morocco Exploration accept bank transfer and cash. As a local company, payment with international credits cards is not possible.
Global Morocco Exploration requires a 50% nonrefundable deposit for a formal reservation and the 50% remaining payment 60 days prior to travel. For one day tour deposit, full payment is required upon booking.
• 4 and 5 Star Hotels in Morocco
While both 4 and 5-star hotels and Riads are exquisite, the 5-star rating brings a higher level of extra amenities.
• Riads in Morocco
A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with a central courtyard restored to its original beauty. The word Riad comes from the Arabic word for garden. As you tour with Global Morocco Exploration you will stay in a variety of Riads ranging from renovated palaces to modernist Kasbahs. It is an experience unique to Morocco that you shouldn’t miss
Insurance is absolutely needed to your trip to Morocco. All passengers travelling with Global Morocco Exploration are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. We suggest that you purchase cancellation, interruption, and medical insurance that will cover you in the case of an emergency while you are traveling
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. Its King Mohammed VI has been in power since 1999. With the monarchy come heightened security and various branches of royal, military, tourism and local police. In general, Morocco is a very safe country to travel. Morocco’s population is about 33.8 million and of 446,550 km2 area. Morocco has been ruled by various dynasties. The most prominent ones are Almoravid and Almohad Berber dynasty, covering parts of Spain and Northwestern Africa. Islam was brought to Morocco by Idris I who established the first Islamic dynasty in 788. The Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, and Morocco remained the only North African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite dynasty is the current ruling dynasty since 1631. In 1912, Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an international zone in Tangier, and reclaimed its independence in 1956
The culture of Morocco reflects the Berber and Arab influences represented by its population. It has developed over centuries of various influences. Modern Morocco is a charming blend of Berber, Mediterranean, Andalusian and African traditions, which are manifested in the cuisine, clothing, music, language, customs and lifestyle. As an Islamic country, most Moroccans are Muslim. Nevertheless, Judaism and Christianity coexist too.
Most of Moroccan society can be considered traditional, with respect for elders, connection to family and supporting the poor hallmarks of everyday life for many Moroccans. Hospitality is another important element of society, with warmly welcoming people into your home a time-honored tradition and social responsibility that dates back centuries
Morocco has been inhabited for centuries with various civilizations that has shaped its rich history and culture. The history of Morocco dates back to the prehistoric era. It has evolved with rise and fall of many dynasties starting with the Phoenicians who entered Morocco via the Mediterranean in the 6th century BC, to the Roman influence of 40 AD and the formation of Islamic Morocco in the years after.
Morocco has reached its height under the Berber Dynasties of the 11th and 12th centuries the Almoravids, Almohad, Marinids and Wattasids. Morocco later fell to Arab tribes in 1559. The current royal family are descendants of the Alaouite Dynasty who have largely ruled since the 1600s, despite enduring a few crises in the 18th and 19th centuries, mainly in relation to European influence in the area and surrounding countries
In 1912 Morocco was under the French protectorate with Spain being allocated control of parts of Morocco, mainly in the north and south. The Moroccans, unhappy with European control, attempted to establish a separatist republic in 1921 leading to increased political tensions. Mohamed the V negotiated reforms and restoration of independence in 1955. By 1956, France had abandoned its protectorate of Morocco and in 1957, Mohammed V became king. In 1961, Hassan II assumed the title of King of Morocco and continued to rule until his death in 1999. His son, Mohammed VI, took over the mantle of king in 1999, and continues to rule today
Morocco is located in North Africa. It has a coast by the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Spain to the north, Algeria to the east, and Mauritania to the south. It has best of many worlds within its boundaries. From the sunny beaches of the coast to sands of the mighty Sahara and the snowy peaks of the High Atlas and Rif Mountains. Morocco has great variety in landscapes and terrain. This combination of desert, woodlands, forest, mountain and plains ensure a wide diversity of flora and fauna within the country.
Morocco has one of the oldest trade cultures in the world. You will find handcrafts shops lined up in most of the old medinas. Souks also provide wide range of goods. To experience brilliant bargains, exciting finds and a dose of history visit the Souks (Local markets). Among the things you can buy in Morocco
1. Silver Jewelry: necklaces and patterned earrings can all be found for great prices, especially if you're willing to bargain.
2. Tea Sets: silver tea pot and some delicate tea glasses. Morocco's silversmiths have this ancient art running through their veins, with centuries of craftsmanship being passed from generation to generation.
3. Leather: Handcrafted hand bags, wallets, belts and purses can be found in almost every Souk around the country.
4. Berber rugs: handwoven traditional Berber Moroccan rugs are a fascinating piece of art.
OFFICIAL NAME: Kingdom of Morocco
CAPITAL CITY: Rabat
GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
RULER: King Mohammed VI
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION: Northwest Africa; borders Algeria & Mauritania
GEOGRAPHY: Mountains, Desert, Beaches, Forests, Oases, Gorges, Plains, Valleys
BODIES OF WATER: Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Strait of Gibraltar
POPULATION: ~ 40 million Moroccans, Abroad: 3 to 4 million
AREA: 446,550 sq km / 172,000 sq miles (about the size of California)
COASTLINE: 1835 km / 1140 miles
LANGUAGES: Arabic, 3 Dialects of Amazigh (Berber), French, Spanish, English, German
ETHNICITY: Arab, Berber, Andalusian, Sub-Saharan African
RELIGION: Sunni Muslim (99%); Christian (0.8%); Jewish (0.2%)
LITERACY RATE: 52% Unemployment Rate: 7.7 to 15%
CURRENCY: Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
ANNUAL PER CAPITA GNP: $2000 to $4100
ARABLE LAND: 20%
IRRIGATED ARABLE LAND: 5%
AGRICULTURE: Wheat, barley, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, citrus fruits, olives; livestock
NATURAL RESOURCES: Phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt
INDUSTRIES: Textiles, tourism, food processing, phosphate, construction
NUMBER OF TOURISTS IN 2014: 10+ million
LARGEST CITIES: Casablanca (4 million); Rabat (2 million)
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC
TELEPHONE COUNTRY CODE: +212
CLIMATE: Coast: mild & humid; South + Inland: hot & dry; Mountains: cold & snowy Average Winter Temp: 18°C/64°F; Average Summer Temp: 33°C/91°F
HOTTEST CITY: Marrakesh
COLDEST CITY: Ifrane
BEST TIMES TO VISIT: September through October; March through May
MOROCCAN PEOPLE: Social, friendly, hospitable, generous, easy-going, genuine
• 11 Jan Thu Independence Manifesto Day
• 1 May Tue Labour Day
• 15 Jun Fri Eid al-Fitr
• 30 Jul Mon Throne Day
• 14 Aug Tue Oued Ed-Dahab Day
• 20 Aug Mon Revolution Day
• 21 Aug Tue Eid al-Adha
• 21 Aug Tue Youth Day
• 11 Sep Tue Islamic New Year
• 6 Nov Tue Green March Day
• 18 Nov Sun Independence Day
• 20 Nov Tue Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
The Books to Read before you visit Morocco offer an insight into the country's history, culture and traditions. Global Morocco Exploration List is a recommendation for your Morocco adventure.
1. Travels with a Tangerine Tim Makintosh-Smith
2. A House in Fez Suzanna Clarke
3. The Caliph's House Tahir Shah
4. Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits Laila Lalami
5. Allah's Garden Thomas Hollowell
6. Beyond the Veil : Fatima Mernisi
Things just happen in Marrakech. One moment you're sitting down to a camel burger, the next you're chatting to a snake charmer. The labyrinthine markets are the perfect place to lose yourself but find a Moroccan memento or three.
The endless dunes of the Sahara will call to your inner explorer. Jump on a camel and start riding out over the sandy waves. At sunset the desert glows rich and red and at night the stars turn the sky crystal.
The name 'Essaouira' means image, appropriate since its charm is undeniable. Within the stone ramparts you'll find art galleries, wood workshops and whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters. Portuguese, British and Jewish influences all mingle in this artist's town.
Fes is the cultural heart of Morocco and home to some of its most iconic sights. Feel every sense come alive in the medina. Shops, dye pits and mosques all vie for space and you're as likely to see a donkey as a car.
Chefchaouen called the blue city because it’s filled with buildings in various shades of blue. Located in northwest Morocco, Chefchaouen is close to Tangier, making it a popular tourist destination. It’s popular with shoppers who can find Moroccan handicrafts, such as woven blankets, not found elsewhere in the country. Goat cheese also is popular.
Asilah has a glorious history that dates back to when it was a trade center for the Phoenicians in 1500 BC. In the 19th and 20th centuries, pirates used it as a base of operations. Fortifications from these bygone eras remain, surrounding the restored medina. Asilah is located on Morocco’s north coast about 30 km (20 miles) from Tangier. It’s a hot summer spot for Moroccans; travelers who want to avoid crowds had best visit in spring or fall. Whitewashed buildings complete the picturesque scene. It has a good selection of budget hotels and restaurants, and a growing art scene. About 2.5 km (1.5 miles) south of Asilah lies Paradise beach, a wonderful wide stretch of sand, popular with locals and tourists
Situated on Morocco’s Atlantic coastline, Essaouira is one of the nation’s most popular beach destinations. White-washed homes sporting cobalt blue shutters provide a scenic backdrop for breezy seaside adventures, which include kitesurfing and windsurfing. The city’s medina features crafts made using centuries-old techniques, including thuya wood carving and cabinet making. Essaouira, formerly called Mogador, is a natural port. It’s been prized as such since the 1st century, when the protected bay provided anchorage for Romans trading for the purpura shells.
Rabat, located on the Moroccan coast, is the country’s capital and a top tourist destination – CNN named it one of the top travel destinations of 2013. The new portion of the city is pleasant, with wide boulevards and outdoor cafes. Most travelers will gravitate to the old town, or medina, with its fortified walls. Here, they can shop for carpets and leather, while soaking in the atmosphere of another culture. Also worth seeing is the Kasbah des Oudaias that sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean
Meknes is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco and its name and fame are closely linked to that of Sultan Moulay Ismail. The sultan turned Meknes into an impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surrounded by high walls with great gates. While Meknes is an imperial city with a lot of historical monuments and natural sites it is also the nearest city to the Roman ruins of Volubilis.
High Atlas Mountains
The mountains are best explored at the ground level by foot or bicycle. Travel through Berber villages, up along crop terraces, down through lush valleys and past orchards, goats and Moroccan rural life. The seriously fit can tackle Mount Toubkal for incredible views.
This is a rock climber's heaven, or the ideal place for beginners to get a taste. It's a tight squeeze in some places but a sparkling river, the odd palmeraie, Berber villages and high cliff walls make it worth breathing in for.
The small Medina of ancient Moulay Idriss was once forbidden to non-Muslims. Now it is a pleasure to explore as the faithful gather to pay homage to the founding father of Islam in Morocco at the 8th-century mausoleum.
Perfectly preserved, this is one of Morocco's most picturesque kasbahs. Centuries ago it was a stop for caravans as they carried salt across the Sahara. Today, it is inhabited only by a handful of families and the odd film crew.
The very name conjures up images of war-time romance. But the real romance of Casablanca must be its French influences and the beautiful Hassan II mosque, the largest in Morocco.
Do some time travel and visit the ancient hilltop city of Volubilis, one of the Roman Empire's most remote bases. The ruins here are beautifully preserved and it's easy to believe you've stepped into the 2nd or 3rd century.
Apart from beautiful coastlines and the scorching North African sun, Morocco offers up a huge selection of different musical genres. Indeed Morocco cultural diversity and rich history makes of it an exceptional country. There are several festivals held during year around to enjoy while visiting Morocco. From Berber tribal traditions, to music festivals and contemporary art exhibitions.
We can organize Morocco Music Festivals Private Tours around these events. Some of the festival timing is related to the harvest. Hence the exact date can be known for sure a month before.
The Festival of World Sacred Music, gathers musicians, scholars and art enthusiasts from all over the world. The week-long event features free concerts, a film festival and a forum where debates are held. The Festival features wide range of global musicians. its 24th edition is on 22-30 June 2018.
The Gnaoua World Music Festival is a great festival for people looking to know Morocco’s multicultural past. This festival is held in the charming seaside town of Essaouira in the last week of June every year. The festival celebrates the Gnaoua people and their ancestral contribution to the world. Thousands of people join the festival to watch dance and musical shows. It witnesses a massive participation from international musicians and lasts about three days. This event focuses on hundreds of artists from various parts of the globe, a great mix of different styles of music
The Merzouga World Music Festival takes place among the majestic dunes of Erg Chebbi under the blue sky and sun, an ideal setting to highlight the natural wealth of the region. This unique festival is place of cultural exchange, featuring artists, dancers and musicians from all the world.
The Imilchil Marriage Festival is celebrated each year in September in an open space Moussem. It has special significance to the surrounding tribes, Aït Sokham , Aït Bouguamaz and the Ait Hadiddou tribe. This festival is also known as September Romance where hundreds of young girls and boys celebrate their marriage.
The Festival of Roses is one of the sweetest celebrations in Morocco, devoted to honoring the season’s rose harvest. It is held in early May in El Kelaa M’Gouna, a town also called the Valley of Roses located in Dades Valley. It is here that Morocco produces the majority of its rose water, a staple in Middle Eastern cooking. Along the narrow streets of the souk in El Kelaa M’Gouna, you’ll find delicious food stalls, Berber dancers and singers, and even a parade of floats. The date of the festival depends on the collection of roses, exact date can be known one month before the festival.
Allow us to be your local guide in Morocco and we will do our best to plan a unique and individual Morocco Tour for you, where your voyage will be an remarkable adventure.
One of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savoring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world
Moroccan cuisine is one of the great cuisines of the world. Moroccan cooking abounds with subtle spices and intriguing flavor combinations influenced by Andalusian Spain, Arabia and France, Morocco’s cuisine is a delicious combination of mouthwatering flavors that make it unique.
Sample the aromatic and spicy food of North Africa by taking our Food Private Tour to Morocco, a vibrant country with strong traditions and a diverse landscape of bustling cities, mountain ranges and arid deserts.
These slow-cooked stews are synonymous with Moroccan cooking. Chicken, olive and citrus is a well-known favorite, but there are endless variations using different meats, vegetables and seasonings. Tagines can be seen bubbling away at every roadside café, are found in top notch restaurants and in every home, and are always served with bread.
Fish with Sharmoula
With its long Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, Morocco boasts a rich array of fish dishes. Chermoula is a combination of herbs and spices used as a marinade before grilling over coals, and as a dipping sauce
During the holy month of Ramadan, the fast is broken at sunset each day with a steaming bowl of harira soup. Rich with tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas and lamb, it is finished off with a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped coriander, and served with a sticky sweet pretzel called chebakkiya.
Seksu’ or couscous is a fine wheat pasta traditionally rolled by hand. It is steamed over a stew of meat and vegetables. To serve, the meat is covered by a pyramid of couscous, the vegetables are pressed into the sides and the sauce served separately. Often served with vegetables and meat, regional varieties sometimes also include everything from sweet raisins to spicy harissa or smoky almonds.
This very special pie represents the pinnacle of exquisite Fassi (from Fez) cuisine. Layers of a paper-thin pastry coddle a blend of pigeon meat, almonds and eggs spiced with saffron, cinnamon and fresh coriander, the whole dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon.
Morocco has an amazing array of fruit available in the markets, shops and juice bars. Choose from bananas, mangoes, oranges, avocados or peaches - eat fresh or get them whipped up in a juice.
While travelling through Morocco you'll probably drink more sweet mint tea than ever before. Offered as a gesture of hospitality when visiting someone's home or shop, it's considered impolite to refuse, so accept graciously
Global Morocco Exploration is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behavior, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling
1. Be considerate of Morocco’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
11. Ramadan is the fasting month for all Muslims. During this month no food, drink or smoking is permitted during daylight hours. While non-Muslims aren't expected to fast, it's recommended to try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours
Morocco is a gem of breathtaking landscapes, lively colors, and astonishing variety, all of which comes through in its art. Moroccan handicrafts are as varied and exceptional as the country itself. Traditional artisans still ply their trade in small workshops and community cooperatives.
Blending Arab, Berber, Jewish and Andalusian traditions, the ancestral know-how of Moroccan artisans has been praised for centuries. In every Moroccan medina you encounter shops of textiles, spices, wood furniture, rugs, and jewelry. Morocco has been known for centuries for its craftsmen, sell leather goods and carpets, shoes, and even spices of the highest quality.
There are authentic treasures of handicrafts throughout the country. Morocco’s souks and bazaars h old many workshops that are worth visiting.
Here’s a guide to Morocco’s best arts and crafts, including where to find them, and what to look for in terms of quality and style.
Carpets are Morocco’s most famous textile. It includes designs inspired by Arab or Turkish motifs, as well as traditional Berber thick pile rugs that keep out the cold. In addition to colorful flat-weave kelims. Each carpet is a unique piece reflecting tribal history, with geometric patterns based on themes such as the Tree of Life. They are normally made from a mix of handwoven wool silk and cactus fibers and colored with natural dyes.
Berber jewelry is created by artisans from the south of Morocco. It is usually made from silver or bronze and depicts geometric and floral designs. It plays an important role in everyday life. It is still an important part of a bride’s dowry in traditional areas. Berber jewelry is found in souks in Tiznit or Taroudant, and jewelry shops in Fez and most of Moroccan old medina shops.
Wood Carving – This is where Essaouira truly shines. While wood carvers ply their trade throughout Morocco, there is something special to be said about the wood Thuya found only on the south coast, and locals have been making good use of it for centuries. From larger chess boards and plates, to small boxes and children’s toys, sculptors have perfected the technique of drawing the beautiful from the seemingly mundane, and few visitors leave without at least a small trinket to remind them of the relaxed Moroccan sea coast.
Metalwork is another magic medium of the Moroccan artisan. Copper and brass items include trays with ornate hammered designs, wrought-iron and pierced lanterns, mirror frames, and tables with hand-carved zellige-tile inlaid tops. You can also acquire custom-made, contemporary designer furniture which you can find in the ironworkers’ souk in Marrakech.
Moroccan leatherwork is famous for its high quality. In Fes and Chefchaouen you can find attractive various items including poofs, leather jackets, boxes, book covers, briefcases, satchels and bags.
Moroccan pottery can vary wildly from place to place, but a few cities have truly put their mark on the ceramics trade. Safi is perhaps the most notable ceramic city, with large markets dedicated to their sale as well as a wide variety of shops and styles. Safi also offers a more relaxed atmosphere for shopping, and since the pottery is made onsite, you’re often dealing with the very men who created the plate in your hands. Outside Zagora, Tamegroute is known for its unique green-glaze pottery.
All this is to say nothing of the natural oils and dyes, knitwear, cooking supplies, tapestry, leather and innumerable other finds you’ll come across as you wander through the souks. Like so much in Morocco, you’ll get the most from your market day with an open mind and a little curiosity. Be prepared to take your time, and be open to whatever strikes your fancy!
Zellige: the art of handmade Moroccan tile
Inspired by Roman and Byzantine mosaics, Moroccan zellige first made its appearance in the 10th century and evolved during the Merenid Dynasty. Originally used to illustrate luxury and sophistication in the homes of wealthy art patrons, zellige tilework remains the hallmark of Moroccan architecture and design. Zellige craftsmanship can be found gracing floors, walls, columns, staircases, fountains, hammams and swimming pools throughout Morocco: not only in historical palaces such as Dar Batha in Fes, Bahia Palace in Marrakech, and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail in Meknes, but also in more modern structures such as Riads and restaurants. Zellige is a key design element in the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.
In preparation for your Moroccan adventure, the following is a list of things to consider packing that will make your trip as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Global Morocco Exploration documents List
- Visas – if needed for the trip
- Vaccination records
- Flight tickets or e-ticket
- Voucher for trip confirmation
- Travel insurance – insurer details, policy number and your emergency contact number (24 hours). All this applies even if you’re traveling via credit card insurance
- Country information including the most recent trip notes
- International driving license – in case you plan on hiring a car
- Driving license
- Credit Cards
- Currency – To exchange for Moroccan currency upon arrival. The Moroccan Dirham is not available to be exchanged outside of Morocco.
- Spare set of passport photos
- Photocopies of vital documents – keep these separately (one at home and a copy emailed to yourself)
Global Morocco Exploration Luggage list
- A daypack for water and a camera.
- Padlocks and keys
- small backpack
- Soft luggage,
- bag with wheels and straps or backpack
Global Morocco Exploration Medicines list
It is recommended that you come prepared with a personal medical kit.
• Antibiotic cream & disinfectant for scrapes and cuts
• Disposable antibacterial wipes or cleanser
• Motion sickness medicine
• Cold medicines: decongestant, antihistamine, cough syrup
• Aspirin, Tylenol, or other pain relievers
• Anti-diarrheal medication
• Hydrocortisone cream
• Insect repellent
• Iodine purifying tablets
• Re-hydration tablets
• Sunscreen – SPF 30 +
• Sunglasses, prescription glasses, contact lenses, and solution
Global Morocco Exploration Electronics kit
- Extra Batteries
- Phone and phone Charger for electronics and electrical outlet adapters
- Adapters for world plugs
- All cords
- Camera and film – film is available in Morocco, but expensive.
- Video camera
- Extra batteries
- Travel alarm
- Small flashlight
- Kindle – check out our recommended reads!
For Your Cash / Money
- Trip Kitty; in cash
- Pouch or money belt
- Money, cash or credit cards
Global Morocco Exploration list if Going Camping
- Travel pillow
- Inner sleep sheet
- Head torch or lamp
- Personal mattress or thermarest
- Warm sleeping bag that accommodates you well for at least 3 of the 4 seasons.
- Ground sheet/polythene sheet; if you prefer sleeping under the open sky
Global Morocco Exploration List For Wet / Rainy Weather Conditions
- Small umbrella
- Waterproof bags; rain protection while walking
- Waterproof trousers
- Rain coat
- Windproof and waterproof jacket
Global Morocco Exploration Slumber / Sleep Gear
- Eye mask
- Ear plugs
- Night clothes or sleepwear
Global Morocco Exploration Personal Items and Toiletries
- Bathing towel
- Small mirror
- Shaving equipment
- Small sewing kit including safety pins
- Feminine hygiene products
- Hair brush
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Tooth brush and tooth paste
Since Islam is the majority religion in the country of Morocco, people tend to be modest, though not as conservative as many Islamic nations. Moroccans are very kind, hospitable and welcoming of tourists. You won’t be required by any means to conform to these cultural norms or religious ideas of modesty, but we do advise our clients to be respectful of the culture to get most of it. The following recommendations are not meant to be restrictive, rather it will help you fit into the surrounding and avoid hassle as you travel.
Cultural Dress outline for Women
Most Moroccan women tend to wear tops with sleeves past their elbows. Tops are also usually long and loose. Many women cover their head or wear their hair back instead of wearing it loose. Younger women tend to dress more “modern” with jeans and long shirts, while older women tend to wear the traditional djellaba and headscarf. Moroccan women do wear makeup, so wearing makeup is not a problem. Stay away from excessively flashing jewelry, not only to find in culturally, but also to maximize safety.
Cultural Dress Outline for Men
Older men in Morocco will still wear the djellaba, but most younger men are moving towards business casual dress when they are out in public. Most Moroccan adult men wear shorts in summer. You might also see young men or boys wearing shorts. But in general, long pants are most common. Moroccan old men also usually wear collared shirts whereas young man may wear sleeveless T-shirts.
In fact, there isn’t much restrictions on man dress as it is the case with women.
Global Morocco Exploration Clothing tips
Coverage is key when it comes to respecting the culture in a predominantly Muslim country like Morocco. Not only it is respectful to their customs, but it will also help you blend in more with the locals. Clothing should be loose, light and breathable (fabrics like linen and cotton are ideal) as well as modest (covering the shoulders, knees and cleavage for the ladies).
Recommendations for Girls
• Flowing skirts, at least knee-length
• T Shirts or thicker strapped tanks
• Sleeveless dresses and shirts paired with cardigans, scarves or open-front sweaters
• Scarves and shawls to cover up more if necessary (i.e. When entering a mosque, you may be asked to cover your head)
Recommendations for Guys
• The knee and shoulder rules apply to guys too, so be sure to pack:
• Shorts at or below the knee
• T-shirts and button ups
• Light and loose pants (cargo, linen etc.)
• Bathing suit to cool down in the pool or seaside
If you’re stressing about not having enough to wear, don’t! One of the best things to do in Morocco is barter at the souks, and you’ll find a million clothing options that’ll make fab souvenirs from your trip, and perfect additions to your wardrobe while you’re there. Look out for some of our favorites, such as:
• Djellabas/ caftans (long beautiful robes / dresses for men and women)
• Leather slippers and shoes
• Harem pants