Experience It Tours worked tirelessly with us to schedule our dream trip to Morocco and our expectations were met and exceeded. Thanks to Bethany and Ruth in the US, Jill in Morocco, and the entire EIT family.
Drivers and Guides:
Our tour drivers, Mohammed and Hatim, guides Lofti in Chefchaouen and Hassane in Fez, were delightful, accommodating to our specific interests and were professional and knowledgeable. Our plan included a self guided tour of Chefchaouen, however, when we realized the size of the town, we wished for a guide. Mohammed was able to make arrangements for an excellent guide (Lofti) at the last minute. Mohammed was also instrumental in securing our excellent guide in Fez, Hassane. The pace of the tour, information and history provided and assistance with everything from photos to securing those special items to take home were all exceptional. He also introduced us to lunch at Restaurant Nejjarine. It was the best Moroccan meal of our trip. Everything was delicious, but the Chicken Pastilla was a dish from heaven. Lunch at Restaurant Nejjarine is not to be missed. Driver Hatim was generous and attentive. One morning he brought us delicious pomegranates – Moroccan pomegranates are very very sweet, unlike those found in the US. Another day he brought tom toms and a tambourine after I had been unsuccessful the previous day in locating a souvenir for a child. The instruments were like the ones we saw played by Moroccan children in the streets in Marrakech. It was perfect and very thoughtful.
Accommodations arranged in Riads in Rabat, Riad The Repose; in Chefchaouen, Dar Meziana; in Fez, Dar Al Madina Al Kadima; and in Marrakech, Riad Boussa, were an exotic and cultural addition to the trip, and we highly recommend that experience. They were half board and included breakfast and dinner. Riad The Repose (Jan) and Riad Boussa (Brigitte) are owner hosted small riads that gave us the feeling of being guests in their homes. It was lovely. The service and food were exceptional.
Our tour included primarily historic sites in Rabat, Meknes and Volubilis. Chefchaoeun (The Blue City) was added at our special request. Although it is a bit out of the way, we wouldn’t have traded seeing it for anything. We started our tour early in the morning while the streets were still empty. It was enchanting. Down every pathway is a view worthy of a water color painting. It is a working village and more beautiful than we had imagined, a hidden diamond. The walled cities of Fez and Marrakech are like stepping back in history, filled with artisans, wares, merchants, cafes, song and dance and food – definitely bucket list stops. We also chose to visit the Atlas Mountains, specifically the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO site, as well as to see the Berber villages tucked away on the mountains. ur drivers thoughtfully advised us that this would be a very long day from Marrakech and return. They were right, but we were not disappointed and were happy that we had the experience.
US Traveler Tip:
One traveler took US dollars to exchange at the bank in Casablanca airport. One traveler used ATM withdrawal for Moroccan Dirhams. Our experience was that ATMs limit withdrawals to 2000 dirhams per day, which is about $200 USD. The ATM got 5 visits for sufficient Moroccan currency throughout the trip. Even though the credit card had no foreign transaction fee, the fee per withdrawal was $10 USD, or a $50 charge, 5%. Just an FYI.
(September / 2017)