For many travelers “of a certain age,” Morocco holds a distinct appeal. By this time in a traveler’s life, the bustling boulevards of Paris and sun-soaked beaches of Hawaii are staid, almost dull. Morocco, in contrast, is something different, something alive and vibrant and full of new sights, sounds and smells to experience. Of course, it helps that Morocco does have its own bustling boulevards and sun-soaked beaches. But what is it like traveling to Morocco for this age group?
This is a good question with no easy answer. Over the last twelve years, Journey Beyond Travel has been helping travelers of all age groups, backgrounds and ability levels discover this country on their own terms. Here is what we’ve learned:
Senior Travel in Morocco: The Culture
Morocco is a country that still has a profound respect for its elders. This carries over to visitors from other countries, as well. Well traveled, adventurous travelers of a certain age will feel right at home in Morocco, particularly in the smaller towns and villages. The culture of the Moroccan cities is much like city culture everywhere with lots of people hurrying to get nowhere fast, particularly in the newer parts of the city. In the older parts of the city, the medinas, you’ll feel much of that “small town Morocco” cultural aspect of engagement.
Senior Travel in Morocco: Medications
If you take medication or supplements, be sure to bring enough for the length of your stay. It’s very smart to budget for 3 more days, in case of any delays at the airport. It should go without saying that you cannot guarantee prescriptions filled while in Morocco.
However, it can also be extremely helpful to know the French equivalent of the generic medicine (unbranded) before you arrive. Coupled with your doctor’s prescription, you can likely track down your medicine or supplement at a local pharmacy or notify a doctor if need be. You should also talk to your doctor at home about your trip and any dietary restrictions you should be aware of. For instance, if you’re taking an ACE inhibitor, you will want to stay away from bananas.
Senior Travel in Morocco: Other Health Concerns
Travelers diarrhea is a real concern for most travelers to Morocco. It helps to stick to fully cooked foods, particularly salads. Consider packing some loperamide (Imodium A-D) just in case you are struck with diarrhea and make sure to hydrate.
Otherwise, take care to protect yourself from the hot sun. You will want to apply liberal doses of sunscreen, even on days where the sun isn’t that bright, especially if you are in the mountains. It is often said that “Morocco is a cold land with a hot sun.” Light fitting shirts to cover your arms and a hat will do wonders.
Senior Travel in Morocco: Mobility Issues
Morocco is not a wheelchair-friendly country. It lacks much of the infrastructure required for the mobility impaired. It is very much a country to experience on your two feet, whether it’s trekking through the High Atlas. wondering the medieval medina of Fez or even checking into your local riad. If you do have challenges with mobility, make sure to note this with all of your accommodations. Forgive the shameless plus, but this is where traveling with a tour outfit like Journey Beyond Travel can really help out. We’ll be able to describe to you the experiences you can have, no matter what challenges you face, with expert guidance for everything from accommodations to how to get around the old cities.
Senior Travel in Morocco: General Safety
Morocco is safer than any North American city. There is a distinct lack of gun violence of any sort. In larger cities, you might find yourself to be more of a target for pickpockets and purse snatchers, so take care to keep your important documents on your body. It’s a neat trick to leave the sign on the door of your hotel to “do not disturb.” This can ward off potential intruders in your hotel room. Other than this sort of thievery (and the notoriously bad drivers), you don’t have much to worry about.
About the Author
Written by Morocco expert, award-winning author and photographer Lucas Peters. He has spent over a decade traveling Morocco. He is the writer and photographer of the popular guidebook Moon Morocco. He lives in Tangier with his wife and son.