“Wonderful 19 Days!”

We had wonderful 19 days with Ali [our driver] on the Experience It tour. You folks set up the most interesting itinerary, with excellent, comfortable accommodation in traditional dars and riads.

We always felt safe on the road with Ali, with his skilled driving and knowledge of the roads, facilities, and conditions in the country. He, unfailingly, took care of all the communication to ensure our dietary and other needs were met at restaurants and riads. He ensured we were welcomed at each place and felt comfortable. This was important to us as 71 year old travellers.

We appreciated all the excellent guides. Especially, we enjoyed having the women guides; Amina in Chefchaouen, Fatima in Fes, and Saida in Marrakech. Rashid in Volubilis and Jehlil in Essaioura were both excellent and very knowledgeable, as well. Of course, Ali’s driving inside these towns to enable extended tours was crucial.

It was very interesting to talk with Ali in the car, as he was driving, and we learned a lot about Morocco and Moroccan culture from him.

Our favourite places and experiences were:

*****Chefchaouen: Casa Sabila was such a friendly place, small attractive room, but great view over the street and mountains and lovely breakfast on the terrace

-Walking around the blue lanes and stairways.

-*****Wonderful multi course dinner with the chef at his home: that was so delicious!

Thank you so much for arranging that.

Volubilis, with guide, Rashid

Fes: spectacular, luxurious Riad Myra with friendly staff and good food.

Walking tour with Fatima, around the medina and souk, with Ali’s driving, as well. 

-*** delicious home cooked dinner at Dar D’or, with welcoming Mohammed and family

Interesting drive past Amazirht encampments and sheep herds to Zaida village, I think it was, where Ali and John had sheep ribs and I had chicken in a restaurant, with no other western tourists. 

*******Merzouga and beautiful Riad Madhu, with its garden, pool and delicious food.

-Chaalia village and seeing the group play Gnaoua music.

******Sahara Desert, especially the unforgettable camel ride in the sand dunes with young Ibrahim.

-Sahara Desert camp was lovely, quiet, where we could see sunset and sunrise, have a wonderful dinner with other travellers, and listen to drumming and singing under the stars.

*******Skoura: L’Ma Lodge was exquisite, peaceful, with its garden, pool, authentic carpets and art and friendly, welcoming owner, Vanessa, and other friendly staff.

We really needed a rest there, the food was good and this place was perfect.

Ait Ben Haddouh: climbing up to the top even though there were lots of tourists, and visiting the woman living in the walls, who made carpets. If there had been a shorter day and more time, I might have stayed longer to visit with her.

The High Atlas road was so spectacular and exciting. It was also potentially treacherous and Ali did an excellent job driving there.

Marrakech:

Ali did well to arrange to get us to our riad, considering the road closures.

Massimo and his wife gave us a warm welcome at Riad Les Clos des Artes, as well as a good introduction to Marrakech and we had an interesting talk with them about their travels.

We loved the excellent Italian restaurant, Pepe Nero, nearby.

Saida gave us an informative walking tour around the soukh.

Ali also took us to Trattorria in Gueliz district. He is really amazing at driving in those busy chaotic streets!

On to more of the good things:

*****We loved the drive to Ouirgane area in the Atlas Mountains and the lovely Domaine Malika, with its friendly staff, beautiful art, garden, pool, and good food. The cross country hike through forests and red gulleys the next day to Anraz village, with lunch there, was such an unforgettable experience. 

Essaouira: at Dar Maya, friendly staff, good food

– very interesting walking tour with history expert, Jehlil, around the relaxed medina (compared to Marrakech!), with exquisite hand made crafts, jewellery, carpets, and art.

-sea food lunch by the beach

-walk to the old port to see fish for sale and fishermen

The Casablanca Hotel was fine, comfortable, with pretty good food. 

It was reassuring that Ali was there to pick us up on arrival at the airport, although he had to wait a long time for us to emerge, due to customs hold ups. He was always reliable, there at agreed times, and worked hard to ensure we had the best trip possible.

Brenda.

(September/October of 2019)

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