Hints & Tips
- Travel Advice for Morocco
At Rediscover the World we believe in providing our clients with the best service and key to the enjoyment of any holiday in our opinion is the balanced and up-to-date information offered by the tour operator. We are confident that the items detailed below when taken in conjunction with a reputable and reliable guide book will enhance your holiday experience as well as ensuring you receive the very best service from Morocco Rediscovered in the UK and in Morocco.
Whilst all flight-inclusive or tour clients will receive a complimentary guide book from Rediscover the World we also recommend two other 'chunkier' guide books to complement your reading.
1. Footprint Handbook - Morocco.
Our favourite 'chunky' guide book - covers everything.
(also available in Marrakech & High Atlas edition).
2. Everyman Guide - Morocco - full colour guide with lots of great background reading as well as detailed diagrams on natural Morocco, architecture, crafts, etc. Encyclopaedic style.
3. Time Out - "Marrakech, Essaouira and the High Atlas" - very detailed concentrating on Marrakech but has a good synopsis of other key destinations throughout Morocco. Good colour maps and lots of detail on places to stay and eat as well as art, style and entertainment.
Maps for Driving and Trekking
A very useful and highly recommended on-line store selling maps of all kinds including many trekking maps unavailable elsewhere in the UK is:
Arriving in Morocco
Arrival by international flight into any one of Morocco's 14 major airports or by sea into Tangier requires the same minimal formalities outlined below:
A full 10 year passport is required with 6 months remaining validity. It may be wise to have a photocopy of the important page(s) to carry around with you as ID should be presented on request and therefore carried at all times.
Most nationals will not require a visa to visit Morocco, however, en route you will be presented with a landing card. On arrival in Morocco you will be required to hand over this completed card with your passport at immigration for a FREE one month entry stamp - click below to check an example to ensure there is no confusion in the translation:
For nationals requiring a visa, this can be done at a reasonable speed direct with Moroccan Embassy in London; we will provide proof of return travel and holiday booking, by fax if necessary, direct to the embassy, to complete your application successfully.
Moroccan Embassy: 0207 581 5001 (10:00 - 13:00 weekdays ONLY).
It is illegal to import or export Moroccan currency so we advise using the following methods:
1. ATMs are installed in most towns so this is a secure and cost-effective way to retrieve money from your bank account or credit card (usually up to maximum of 2000 dhs) - please check costs involved with your bank or card issuer; we have had plenty of reports of some credit card issuers using poor exchange rates on both purchases and cash advances, best stick to debit cards if possible or .....
2. UK Sterling cash (or US Dollars or Euros), if you are happy with the security of taking cash, are perfect as you can change into local currency when you wish at any hotel, airport or bureau de change. The exchange rate is fairly fixed and commission rates low or non-existent.
3. Credit cards are relatively widely accepted, even in some shops in the souks, particularly for carpets, however, it is advisable to have cash for petrol/diesel.
4. Travellers cheques are costly and time-consuming to acquire and, apart from the added security, are not particularly useful in Morocco.
NB: keep your exchange receipts to change money back into Sterling (if available) at the airport for your return journey, useful but also technically compulsory.
Morocco is on GMT for most of the year. Clocks do go forward by one hour for a few months each summer but there is no fixed start date for this as it depends on Ramadan.
Rediscover the World Insurance
Insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for travellers to Morocco and ours represents good value for money, we also offer annual policies.
Other Customs Matters
Arriving with your own vehicle you must have Green Card insurance. If you have a trailer or caravan a relevant customs certificate must be completed. No vehicle can remain beyond 6 months and must never be left behind in Morocco.
Alcohol imports are limited to 1 bottle each of wine AND spirits or 3 bottles of wine and tobacco limits are 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 400g of tobacco per adult. No limit on import of foreign currency.
Any large, valuable items may be stamped in your passport and must be with you on your departure.
No inoculations are compulsory for Morocco, however it is always advisable to be up-to-date with Tetanus and Polio and possibly Typhoid and Cholera; many agencies also recommend the Hepatitis A vaccination for travellers, which can last up to 10yrs with a booster jab.
NO Malaria treatment is necessary, although mosquito repellants for your hotel room and body are sensible precautions against general bite-related infections.
Bottled water (still and gaseous) is easily and cheaply available so we recommend sticking to this for all drinking and also for cleaning teeth - it is said that, of the two main brands, Sidi Ali is lighter on the stomach than Sidi Harazem which has a higher mineral content, although there is now a wider range of waters to choose from. In some areas it may also be prudent to avoid ice cubes, lettuce and rice that isn't freshly boiled. Street food such as that in the Djemma el Fna in Marrakech can be considered reasonably safe to eat once you are sure it has been cooked through and consider the usual rules of hygiene.
Rediscover the World Vouchers
For all reservations at hotels, riads and apartments we will supply a pre-paid voucher, guaranteed by our local agency, Complete Tours. All reservations are made in your name and for Rediscover the World. Occasionally, some of the smaller hotels may have the reservation located under Complete Tours as they pay the invoices on our behalf. This also applies to car hire and excursions; transfers though do not require a voucher as these are stated on your itinerary and the various hotel vouchers. These vouchers are sent with your final paperwork and are enclosed with the Rediscover leaflet.
If we have arranged private transfers these will be operated by a trusted taxi driver or one of our agency drivers in an agency vehicle, e.g mini-bus (depending on availability, terrain and number of people). Arrival transfer drivers/representatives will have one of our full colour 'Rediscover the World' boards held up for your attention at ports and airports. Times and further details of onward and departure transfers will be reconfirmed to you by our local representatives.
Our local office will also reconfirm your flight if booked through Rediscover the World, however, you can always provide your details to our representative if you require similar assistance with your own flights.
In addition to your printed itinerary we will also supply, where necessary, the contact details and directions for each hotel or excursion you have reserved to avoid unnecessary frustration trying to locate them, particularly at the end of a long day's drive. Contact us if you feel extra information is required.
Morocco Rediscovered has negotiated a great deal for our clients on the insurance for car hire - all cars now have an additional excess waiver built into the price so there are no costs involved in the case of any accident or incident (usual exceptions apply, e.g. driving whilst under the influence of alcohol, etc.).
Private English-Speaking Driver Service:
If you would prefer not to drive or wish to enjoy the scenery as you pass through this fantastic country then we can offer you a private driver. The driver will be English-speaking and will be able to assist with any local sightseeing, e.g. arranging a local, official guide for historic monuments, etc. (Entrance fees to National Monuments and local guide charges apply in some places). You would need to bear in mind the size of your party (including luggage) plus the driver when choosing a suitable rental vehicle and, of course, you would be responsible for payment of fuel as usual.
Private Driver/Guide Service:
We can also offer a fully qualified National Guide who will drive and provide a full guide service as if you were on one of our tours.
Private Driver Service:
If you require just a driver (or are fluent in Arabic or French) then we are able to provide a driver at a reduced rate.
In Marrakech and Agadir we have a full representative service provided by our local agency; these 'reps' are a mixture of UK and Moroccan nationals and all are experienced in the travel industry. In other locations we will alert you to a local contact or they will visit or call you at your hotel to ensure that you have settled in. All our local representatives are able to provide recommendations, general advice and offer excursions - the full programme for Marrakech and Agadir is actually on our web site, linked from the relevant hotel section of each destination. NB: we also provide a 24hr emergency telephone number for your convenience and assistance outside normal office hours. All contact details are contained on your vouchers and printed itineraries.
|Dinner reservations and Golf
We are quite happy to make dinner reservations on your behalf, particularly for clients in Marrakech (e.g. Dar Yacout). We do not make a charge for this and our local representative will be happy to arrange taxi(s) for you. This is also applicable to golf tee-off times at all major courses; we will advise the approximate costs at the time of reservation but all fees must be settled directly at the club.
Naturally, this service is only available to those who have booked their holiday with Rediscover the World.
Buying from shops whilst you are with a guide is useful when you don't know the cost of things or wish to consult on quality and materials. To set the record straight, ALL guides will take a commission from your purchases from the shop but if you use him or her wisely and haggle hard then the guide's commission, paid by the shop, is not an issue. Remember tour guides in the UK take commissions from distilleries and woollen mills in Scotland as well as many shops and tea rooms on traditional tourist routes so the practice is 'normal' and not Moroccan 'corruption' that some people or guide books may lead you to believe.
We are asked this all the time - "How do I haggle successfully?" - the truth is that there is no formula as such but you should have in your mind what something is worth to you, how much you are prepared to spend and what your bottom line is. Use techniques such as finding small faults with the item(s), suggesting you saw something cheaper or better quality elsewhere and walking away feigning indifference; as a general rule be tough and confident but polite rather than timid or rude.
Great reading on this and all matters relating to living in Marrakech can be found in, 'The Voices of Marrakech' by Elias Canetti.
Morocco has a very varied climate ranging as it does from the Mediterranean in the north to the Sahara in the south, however, the general 'holiday' seasons run as follows:
High Season - March, April, May, September & October - perfect warm temperatures (25 to 35 degrees Celsius) in the south, very little chance of rain and warm evenings.
Low Season (winter) - Mid November to Mid February - mostly warm (15 to 25 degrees Celcius), can be very chilly in evenings and it may rain but rarely for long periods.
Low Season (summer) - June, July and August - can be very hot in Marrakech and south (up to 45 degrees Celsius), more pleasant in mountains and on coast. We would suggest afternoons by pool or a siesta and make use of long days for sightseeing early and late and enjoy long warm evenings.
More detailed objective and statistical information can be found on the BBC Weather pages at:
220 volts in most hotels, some older ones may still have 110 volts - best to check. Continental type adapters will be required for UK visitors.
Secular Holidays are - January 1st (New Year's Day), January 11th, May 1st (International Labour Day), July 30th (Coronation Day), Aug 14th (Allegiance Day), August 20th and 21st, November 6th (Green March Day) and November 18th (Independence Day). Then there are the festivities associated with the Islamic (Lunar) Calendar which vary from year to year; back through the Gregorian (Solar) Calendar by 11 days approx. each year.
Ramadan - 2012 - 20th July - 20th Aug / 2013 - 9th July to 9th Aug / 2012 - 28th June - 28th July
Aid el Khebir - 2012 - 26th October / 2013 - 15th October / 2014 - 4th October
Moharran (New Year) - 2012 - 16th Novemer / 2013 - 5th November / 2014 - 25th October
Mouloud (Prophet Mohammed's birthday) - 2012 - 29th Jan / 2013 - 18th Jan / 2014 - 7th Jan
Moroccan National Tourist Office
205 Regent Street, London - W1R 7DE
(0207) 437 0073
British Embassy in Morocco
B.P. 45, 17, Av. de la Tour Hassan, Rabat
Tel: 053 772 9696 / fax: 053 770 4531
Embassy of Morocco
49, Queen's Gate Gardens - SW7 5NE
(0207) 581 5001
- please call or email for a full quote - all our holidays are tailor-made.