• Cait

Steal My Vacation: Morocco Highlights in 8 Days

Woohoo! Welcome to my latest and greatest #StealMyVacation post! If you didn’t know this about me, I spend a LOT of time planning my trips from scratch, and I usually get asked for my itineraries. So, I started this series with my trip to #Thailand, then followed up with #Italy and #Indonesia.


This time, I will be taking you to sunny #Morocco on my favorite continent of Africa. This #itinerary is a little different because I did not do this on my own. Adnan, director of Treasures of Tangiers, was recommended to us by a friend and really made this trip special. In this itinerary, I will outline our activities, lodging, and route—much of which you can replicate yourself. But many of the special, authentic moments were compliments of Adnan, who is also incredibly knowledgeable of his home country.


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Where possible, I will give you details to help you plan your own trip, but I will also call out which experiences were made possible only by Adnan. It is totally up to you which you prefer—and I think there is value to either option!


If you want to check out our #video recap, just scroll to the bottom!


A note on personal travel style


Obviously, everyone travels differently. I always like to give a disclaimer on my own personal travel style before you decide to steal my vacation.


I typically like active trips with some adventure thrown in. I run the gamut on lodging preferences—from luxury Balinese villas to campervans in the remote South American pampa. I either leave detailed reviews on my TripAdvisor page or will leave reviews within my itinerary, if appropriate.


Another important detail to note is that I do not typically like guided tours. I prefer to travel at my own pace and discover things in my own way. However, I also appreciate the fact that there are times a private guide can be very beneficial (notice I said private—I’m almost never into the big tour buses). If you are crunched for time and want to cover a lot of ground, having a personal guide and driver is ESSENTIAL. If you want access to private, or more authentic, experiences, a local can really make a difference. However, it still feels guided, so if you really hate being hand-held, it may not be for you.


THIS ITINERARY IS PERFECT FOR:

-First time visitors to Morocco

-If you have a short amount of time to visit the country, and you want to see more than just Marrakech

-People who don’t mind limited down time. We were up early every day.

-Culture and art lovers

-If you want to do a little bit of everything

-You don’t mind missing out on the beach/coast or hiking in the mountains (which I would have loved to do, but the mountains would be more of a second visit type of thing)


When to travel to Morocco:


We went to Morocco in March, which was a perfect time! I am always an advocate of traveling during the shoulder season (March/April or September/October) for fewer crowds and better weather. We visited the desert, but not the beach or the mountains, which meant March was a perfect time. It was a little chilly in some cities, so I brought a light jacket. But in other cities (and the desert, obviously), it could be very warm during the day.


Some notes on Morocco:


Morocco is a very safe country. I have my own personal opinions on what constitutes safety and why so many people are nervous to travel (mostly that it’s probably more dangerous driving a car in the US and we have our own share of safety concerns). But Morocco is fairly progressive and very welcoming to foreign travelers. I was traveling with two men, so I never had to fend off any unwanted advances, but ladies traveling solo may want to be extra aware of their surroundings (as always).


I was also a little surprised how much tipping was expected in Morocco. Our currency goes very far in the country, so I didn’t mind, but it is just something to keep in mind!


Whew! Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive in to the fun stuff!



MARRAKECH


Marrakech is The Spot that people visit when they go to Morocco. It is lively, iconic, and hectic. You can easily get lost in the winding streets of the Medina and drink mint tea to your heart’s content (seriously, you are going to drink so much mint tea in Morocco!).


Some people can get overwhelmed in Marrakech, especially when you visit the souks. I would recommend a nice riad to serve as your oasis from the hubbub.


Day 1


Arrival


We arrived into Morocco from #Paris very late. Our riad (a traditional Moroccan home converted into a hotel) was in the middle of the old city. It is easy to get lost in the old city and GPS does not work very well. Plus, the streets are cobblestone and difficult to navigate with luggage. There are plenty of porters who are willing to load your bags onto a hand cart. But this was one example where Adnan was super helpful—we could “ooh” and “ahh” while he led us to our riad.


Check-in


Check in to Riad dar Alfarah


Honestly, there are SO MANY CHOICES for riads throughout Morocco, so I really don’t see how you can go wrong. I loved this Riad because Adnan arranged for us to have the largest room on the rooftop terrace. Everywhere we stayed throughout our trip had the greatest hospitality. There are probably hundreds of blogs written about the best riads in Morocco, so I won’t go into too much detail here. We loved every place we stayed, but we didn’t spend too much time in the riads because we were so busy. They were all moderately priced (usually less than $100) and beautiful. There are definitely more luxurious riads, if that is your thing.


Explore


Head over to Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech’s largest outdoor marketplace.We didn’t make any purchases at this market, since we had planned to visit artisanal co-ops later in the trip.

Note: Even with a local guide, we were surprised how persistent the salespeople were. Do not take anybody’s photo or they will demand payment, and may follow you until they get something. Plus, it is kind of rude.