I discovered Marrakesh and Central Morocco via a small group organized tour with Nomadic Tours. Here is my detailed review: itinerary, guide, accomodation, food etc.
Be aware though that to be able to see so many different sceneries, we have to spend alot of time on the road. I don’t mind because I love just admiring every detail I can through the windows but I know some might find this frustrating on a holiday.
My only frustration about the itinerary is how rushed we were in the desert once the sun was just above the horizon. I was still taking pictures of the camels in the sun and was planning to turn around to take great shots of the dunes with the intensity of the morning sun rays on them but they were already climbing on the camels to move on. This is quite hard to take good pictures on the back of a camel and I would have appreciated 10 more minutes before leaving.
Almost all the places we visited on the tour are described on my Destination guide to Morocco.
The minibus was in very good condition and the driver was cleaning it very regularly. From what I have seen most tour companies use the same type of minibus. Our driver was quite good, very reasonable and with a soft way of driving.
However, I have to say that the seats were not made at all for people with large body feature. If you want to attach your seatbelt, it gets quite uncomfortable with the buckle stuck on your thighs.
The other ‘not so good’ feature of the bus is that the windows are slightly too low to get an excellent view.
We had air conditioning in the minibus and everyone was able to adjust the orientation or close the fan above them. We just had to turn off the air conditioning when climbing up the High Atlas mountains.
So in general, this was positive.
Considering the price of the tour, I was quite satisfied with the hotels. They had a lot of charm. My least favorite was actually the one in Marrakech, but it was OK and only 20 min walk from the square.
Rooms were big enough and beds were OK although sometimes hard and sometimes soft… The only little thing is that some of the hotels do not seem to know that white vinegar can do wonders on shower heads… some of the showers could get the whole bathroom wet…
Here are some examples of the accommodation during our organized small group tour:
In the desert, we had big tents available. All of us decided to take our mattresses out to sleep under the stars. They had also blankets. Do not forget that it can get cold during the night! No showers there. However there were toilets.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
I really enjoyed food during the whole trip: we had different kinds of tajine, couscous, Berber omelet, Berber pizza… and some nice fruits. Breakfast was also great with bread, eggs, crepes and all and sometimesfreshly squeezed juice
… yeah! I was just disappointed with 2 breakfasts but it was because the other ones were so great.
I really enjoyed food during the whole trip: we had different kinds of tajine, couscous, Berber omelet, Berber pizza… and some nice fruits. Breakfast was also great with bread, eggs, crepes and all and sometimes freshy squeez juice.... yeah! I was just disappointed with 2 breakfasts but it was because the other ones were so great.
There were no beverage included. Even bottled water during meals are not included. But we had plenty of stops to purchase water at better price that in the hotel (for shops count 5 – 7 dirhams for 1.5L and at the hotel 10-15 dirhams).
Regarding alcohol, be aware that in a lot of place they do not sell alcohol. And in some hotels (including the one in Marrakech), you are not allowed to drink alcohol in the common parts.
I must admit that during the starting meeting on the Saturday evening during which our guide Mustafa introduced himself and the week ahead, I got a little worried.
But I am happy to report that I have been proven wrong. Mustafa was a very good guide, being with us enough but not too much, very knowledgeable and always focusing on our satisfaction.
I was particularly impressed when he took back our purchases from the cooperative and clarified things with them. Not all guides would have taken the time to do it.
To finish I would like to talk about my tour group.This is one of the reason I love small group tours, you get to meet great people. This time was no exception and it was a great week: a lot of vibrant discussions and a lot of good laughs!
Little note: it seems that the checklist provided by Oasis overland is a general one for several countries and requires mosquitoes nets and vaccination which are not necessary for Morocco.
Any question? Don't hesitate to leave a comment