Morocco Tours - Quality Private Excursions
Morocco Tour Information
We at Journey Beyond Travel get loads of questions all the time about Morocco. We try to keep this list updated so that you can get an understanding about how we run our Morocco tours and how you can best experience the country with our company. Please have a read through these as they may help you decide if we are the best tour operator for you. And, feel free to reach out and give us an email if you have any questions at all.
What kind of tours do you organize?
We at Journey Beyond Travel organize private and custom trips for travelers from all around the world. 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 with engaging guided visits where pertinent or necessary. So, you’ll get to explore on your own and have your driver or guide with you when needed.
What kind of transportation do you use on your trips?
We have new Hyundai H1 minivans that we use for most private trips we run. These vans hold up to four to five adults comfortably. Once a group size reaches six or more persons, we tend to use minibuses, which hold 12 to 17 persons comfortably. For more remote or rustic areas (and for certain itineraries), we have new Toyota Landcruiser 4x4s that we utilize on tour.
Is my driver also my guide?
We work a little differently than most other operators in Morocco. After years in the field, we have found a balance between driver and guides that we feel works well. Essentially, your driver is more than a driver. He is your tour host and confidant. And, we consider our drivers to be the best in the entire country. Many of them hold advanced English degrees. They are with you to keep you safe on the roads, answer cultural questions you might have, and to simply act as a key to the local culture and regions you’ll be visiting. Our guides are located in areas where you’ll need them most. In Fez and Marrakesh, you’ll have a certified city guide for at least one day to show you the ancient medinas. Then, in other areas, you’ll meet our local regional guides (who we call coordinators in some cases) who take you into their villages, share their homes, and enlighten you about their area in the country. This balance really means you have experts when needed and have time for independent exploration when possible and worthwhile.
Can I join a group tour of Morocco with you?
When we first started arranging Morocco tours, we did group trips. Now, however, we no longer offer departure dates for group excursions in Morocco. Every now and then we can pair a solo traveler up with another (and we encourage solo travelers to contact us), but it doesn’t work out that often. If you’d like to travel as a single traveler, it is possible, but can be expensive. We have plenty of solo travelers to Morocco traveling with us each year, so we are open to it if you are.
When is the best time to travel in Morocco?
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 (yet not as green) periods as well. The busiest times of year are during Easter week and the Christmas holidays (alongside the months of May and October). Other times to travel that aren’t as busy, yet still very worthwhile are the first two weeks of June and November. For any of the higher periods, we recommend arranging your Morocco tour at least three to six months ahead of time. During parts of the year, it can be difficult to cater to more last-minute requests, although we’ll try. And, we get questions about Ramadan travel in Morocco too. You can feel free to read our Morocco Ramadan article for more information about this period of travel. While many may suggest avoiding traveling during Ramadan, we actually offer a different perspective.
What is the weather like in Morocco?
Morocco is the cold country with the hot sun! That’s a mantra to live by when visiting. Weather for your trip with be determined mostly on the time of year you wish to visit. Just as varied as Morocco’s landscape is its climate. Temperatures along the coast range from 12c/54f to 25c/77f in the winter and summer, respectively. However, you can expect much hotter temperatures inland, and much colder temperatures in the High atlas and Middle atlas mountain ranges. While it is a relatively dry country, expect rain in the northern regions and snow in the mountains during the winter and early spring. Marrakesh is Morocco’s hottest city with temperatures that have reached as high as 54c/13f in the summer.
Should I purchase trip insurance for my Morocco trip?
In the world of modern travel, it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for your tour of Morocco. We suggest that you purchase cancellation, interruption, and medical insurance that will cover you in the case of an emergency while you are traveling. Once you’ve booked an excursion with our company, we’ll send you the details of some insurance providers that our past clients have recommended for their travels.
Where can I find a map of Morocco?
We at Journey Beyond Travel have lots of resources for you to read on our website. As you explore, we think you’ll find plenty of material to keep you reading ! As far as a map, we’ve developed our own map of Morocco that really highlights some of the best places to visit in the country. We use this illustration in our itinerary packets and on our website as a reference when chatting to travelers about their trip.
Where can I learn more about tourism in Morocco?
Glad you’ve asked! We have an in-depth piece on tourism in Morocco that we think you’ll enjoy. We try to cover all of the bases, from the main attractions, such as Marrakesh and Fez, to more off the beaten path areas that we might recommend to visit. See if your questions about Morocco tourism is answered here.
Is Morocco a safe country to travel?
Indeed. 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 explain a lot about this and various safety issues in our Morocco travel safety resource, which we think you’ll find thorough. You can also learn more about Morocco safety for US travelers, Canadian, Australian, and the UK from official governmental sites.
Do I need a visa to enter Morocco?
Well, it depends. Most foreign nationals entering 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. If you are from another country, you may very well need a visa. We have a Morocco visa resource on our website, but please check your local consulate for more information.
Do I need to tip in Morocco?
Morocco is actually a tipping country. Since travel is such a large part of Moroco’s economy, tipping has become a regular practice in the country. We provide you with what we consider the most thorough tipping chart for Morocco once you book a trip with our organization. For the rest, tipping 10% is common and definitely tip your driver if you are happy with his service.
Should I exchange money before arriving in Morocco?
While the Moroccan dirham is a closed currency, some people have found they can get dirham outside of the country. While this is fine, understand that you’ll be paying much more for the Moroccan dirham outside of Morocco. There are automatic bank machines (ATMs) everywhere in country and this is the best way to obtain Moroccan currency. We have a nice article about Morocco currency on our site where you can read more.
Where can I learn more about Morocco travel?
There are plenty of places to learn more about Morocco travel. We have a superb blog that we recommend you check out. You can also check out Wikipedia for some good reading. There is also Wiki Travel that you can use as a resource. For worthwhile sights, you cannot go wrong with some UNESCO sights. For travelers who want to join a group, there are companies offering budget and cheap group holidays, such as Intrepid, which often have decent pricing for singles. Understanding the difference between group travel and private, customized travel in Morocco is recommended. Feel free to contact us for any details as it may be worth the extra expenditure to have a highly personalized experience.
Some of our Favorite Morocco Tours
We’ve got some great trips we’ve developed over the years. These are some of our favorites. And, while many tour operators have similar routes, it’s really the inner-workings and attention to detail that truly matter and make our Morocco tours stand out.
This Morocco trip takes you on a classic route filled with hidden delights. We take you from Fez to the Sahara, and Marrakesh all with local encounters and village visits.
Our Wild Sahara is one of our favorite tours in Morocco that we’ve designed. For those who want to get off the beaten path, this is your pick! It’s a fun family tour as well!
Morocco Trip Testimonials
Read what our clients are saying about our tours. We work endlessly to ensure that those who travel to Morocco with our team have an unparalleled experience. Take a look at the reviews of our private trips. And, if you’d like to talk to one of our past travelers, just let us know!
“Journey Beyond Travel is an exceptional organization that has a deep passion for the people and experiences throughout Morocco. They work with friendly, competent, intelligent guides and drivers. I strongly recommend JBT for anyone who wants a fantastic Morocco tour!” –Danielle & Family, USA
“We would thoroughly recommend Journey Beyond Travel to any of our family or friends who are considering a tour to Morocco. Through the attention to detail, passion and professionalism displayed by their knowledgeable team, we had a wonderful experience!” –Diana & Margaret, Australia
“Journey Beyond Travel is an exceptional company that has a deep passion for the people and experiences throughout Morocco. They have friendly, competent, intelligent guides and drivers. I strongly recommend their Morocco tours for anyone bringing their family!” –Shumon & Family, India
Located in the North, Tangier (known also as Tangiers), is a port city worthy of exploration for those willing to delve deeper into its medina. A great spot to enter from Spain and carry on further afield.
The laid-back capital of Morocco is less discovered than other cities and is an up and coming destination for tourists seeking a fun medina, modern conveniences, and lots of sights, monuments, museums, and more.
One of Morocco's quaint mountain towns, Tafraoute (Tafraout) has an allure for travelers seeking to get off of the beaten path, explore Morocco's more hidden southern regions, and experience what many call the true "Berber Heartland."
Morocco Travel Information
We hope that as you prepare for your tour that you’ll be able to use our website as a handy reference. We’ve got all sorts of information to share here with you about the country. Enjoy learning and feel free to check out our blog for more information, articles, and videos to help you prepare for your travels through the Kingdom of Morocco. This information, among other details, will be sent to you in a packet before your trip with our tour company.
Introduction to Morocco
Morocco is a Constitutional Monarchy with King Mohammed VI 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.
For women, it is wise to dress modestly. Avoid wearing clothes that are too short, low-cut, tight or revealing. The literacy rate is under 50% for women, and overall unemployment is high. The educational system at present is still old-fashioned, out- dated, and conservative.
Morocco is a very male-dominated society. You will notice, especially in rural areas, men leading businesses and sitting at cafes while the women are working inside the home or on the field. Most of Morocco still lives in the countryside. Morocco is a liberal Muslim nation but is still conservative in certain regards. You will see many mosques and tall rectangular minarets in every village, town and city. The call to prayer can be heard 5 times a day, reminding practicing Muslims to pray. When passing by a mosque, be respectful. You can peer in, but do not go in. If prayer is in session, refrain from taking pictures.
Most Moroccan women do not wear the full black gown and veil. They either wear a long, colorful gown with a hood, called a djellaba, and a scarf covering their head, or western clothing. You will also see men wearing djellabas, but in more subdued colors. Family is very important to Moroccans and in most cases the main priority. Many families are big and include the extended family. The main married couple may have their own bedroom; otherwise, the whole family will sleep on the couches that line the living room.
Greetings are very important. Always say hello when entering and goodbye when leaving. It is considered rude if you don’t. Many Moroccans, especially in the countryside, do not like to be photographed, so ask permission before doing so.
Islam is the religion widely practiced in Morocco. It is a monotheistic religion based on the revelation and teachings of the prophet Mohammed. This formal religion dates back to the 7th century. Muslims believe that God revealed the holy book, the Qur’an, to Mohammed thereby completing the previous monotheistic faiths of Judaism and Christianity.
Ramadan is the Muslim holy month when all practicing Muslims must refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset. This observance is meant to purify the body and soul and remind Muslims of the plight of the poor. The fast is broken after the sunset prayer. At this time Muslims will break the fast by praying then having “ftor”, breakfast, with their family. The Islamic Calendar is a lunar-based one adopted by many Muslim nations. It is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian, solar-based calendar. In Morocco, the majority of things follow the Gregorian calendar.
Morocco Country Facts
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
Morocco’s landscape is as diverse as its cultural heritage and language. Much like California in the United States, Morocco has various mountains, desert regions, beaches, and forests. The north of the country (around Chefchaouen) is home to the Rif Mountains while the northern coast boasts a Mediterranean climate. The middle section of Morocco is home to the cedar forests of the Middle Atlas Mountains while the High Atlas Mountains are located south of Marrakesh and is home to the tallest peak in North Africa, Jbel (Mount) Toubkal (4068 meters). This region that acts as a borderland separating Morocco’s top from the Sahara Desert regions to the south. The topography helps make Morocco one of the most alluring countries in North Africa, something you’ll experience firsthand as you explore with our team.
Money & Shopping
You will be able to exchange money in most banks in the major cities and towns such as Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Erfoud, Ifrane, Meknes, Fez, and Tangier. Credit cards are not widely accepted, except at big hotels, major department stores & supermarkets, and some highly touristy shops. However, you will be able to extract funds with a Visa or MasterCard debit card from ATM machines located everywhere.Let your bank know you’ll be traveling and know your pin number. You will not be able to use traveler’s checks.
If you do go in to look and are interested in buying something, you MUST bargain. The starting price you are quoted will be doubled, tripled, or more. Be firm, but friendly; state your price and haggle. If you do not agree on a price, say thank you and walk out. You can shop around and compare prices, then go back if you want.
However, if you do bargain for an item and agree on a price, then decide not to buy it, you will offend many vendors. The best way to pay is in cash and in local currency in the shops. Very few places have credit card machines and many of the shop owners do not know how to use them so you may be billed multiple times for something you purchased using a credit card. There are ATMs (cash machines) around the entire country.
Internet, Phone, Post, and Health
All of the riads and hotels we use have WiFi available to clients at no additional cost. However, WiFi in each and every room is not guaranteed. Most often, WiFi is best in the public areas of a riad or hotel, such as in central courtyards. While the Internet in Morocco is readily available and reliable, it’s not always the case in every hotel. Traveling with your own laptop or tablet is recommended and is safe when stored in your room. Skype should work just fine for you if you’d like to make calls home.
Morocco uses a GSM network common in Europe and has very good coverage throughout the country. If you would like to use your phone abroad, contact your phone provider to ensure that your mobile phone will work in Morocco. If you have an unlocked smart phone, you can purchase a SIM card in Morocco for 20-50 dh and have a local Moroccan number which you can make calls on in country and receive calls on from abroad. We recommend Maroc Telecom for the best coverage and rates.
The country code of Morocco is +212 (00212). Morocco uses a 220-volt system with double pronged plugs common in Europe (namely France). Most personal electronic devices in the world (computers, tablets, and phones) are set up to accept 110-220 volts. Check your item before traveling.
Post offices can also be found in every major city or town, but are sometimes hard to find. Stamp prices are reasonable and you can send packages via regular or express mail. Vendors can and will ship items for you internationally and are accustomed at doing so.
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.
If you like reading stellar travel articles, visit our full blog for even more great expert information!
Start planning with our hand-illustrated Morocco map. We've labeled all of our favorite locations; from major cities to some hidden corners, you'll have a good idea of what is located where for your journey.
Morocco is a safe country to travel and has remained so throughout much strife in the region. Read about travel safety in Morocco to get a full picture of the safety country in North Africa.
Many travelers are drawn to Morocco for it's splendid ancient architecture. If you are an aficionado of architecture, read more in this in-depth analysis on our blog and enjoy more insight as you journey with our team.
Culture and etiquette play a big role in any country you'll visit. When traveling to Morocco, keep these pointers in mind to ensure smooth sailing on your trip through the country.
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Proud Members of ATTA
We are members of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, one of the most renowned travel organizations in the world. We represent some of the planet's top outfitters in Morocco.
Journey Beyond Travel works hard to ensure that each trip we do meets modern environmental standards. At the grass-root level we promote ecotourism projects throughout the country.
Focused on Sustainability
We promote sustainable and responsible travel in Morocco. Our niche of offering high-quality tours ensures low impact on the special places you'll visit with our team.