Custom Solo Tours Morocco

Perched on the coast of North Africa, Morocco is bordered by the pristine waters of the Mediterranean. From legendary Marrakech to the fortified shores of Essaouira, much of this vibrant nation remains a mystery to the outside world.

Home to a diverse melting pot of civilisations and stunning scenery, Morocco is a modern society with ancient influences. The country’s storied history and carefully preserved cultural heritage have made it a popular destination for travellers in search of adventure.

Places to Visit and Things to Do

Morocco’s landscape is made up of bustling cities, rugged mountain ranges and sub-Saharan deserts. Whether you want to explore medieval metropolises, go shopping in the country’s fabled marketplaces or relax with a cocktail in an urban bar, this nation offers a unique blend of contemporary and historical attractions.


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Highlighted Destinations

Marrakech

Steeped in tradition, Marrakech is teeming with culture and unfathomable amounts of inspiration. One of the delights of this destination is its labyrinth alleyways, which visitors can spend hours exploring.

If you have enough time, why not take a half-day photography tour through Marrakech? Not only will this improve your photography skills – it’s also one of the best ways to capture images of the traditional Moroccan markets, known as souks, which line the streets of the city.

Imlil

Tucked away in the Atlas Mountains, Imlil is the centre of Morocco’s mountain tourism. To experience the ultimate in luxurious accommodation, visitors can stay in the famous Kasbah du Toubkal, a luxury eco lodge (we like to call it our very own Shangri-La).

The peace and quiet of the mountains and authentic Berber culture and hospitality make staying in this region a magical experience (the Berbers are an ethic group indigenous to North Africa). You can also do some trekking while in Imlil.

Tangiers

Known as the gateway to Africa, Tangiers never ceases to captivate tourists with its mix of African, European, Berber and Arab cultures. Located on the Strait of Gibraltar, wandering around this port city is an essential experience. It doesn’t matter if you want to spend your time sipping locally grown mint tea at one of the local cafés or lying on the beach – this is a place where one should spend their time luxuriously.

Essaouira

No wonder Jimmy Hendrix loved this place. Local markets and seafood are two things that we love to devour and explore when travelling and the Essaouira medina with its’ vibrant colours, sounds and smells won’t let you down.The city is an eclectic blend of many elements from eighteenth century fortifications embracing a quintessentially Moroccan city with a history that goes far back. Essaouira's waterfront locale and laid back attitude make it the perfect place to spend a couple of day soaking up the atmosphere of this mellow, relaxed coastal town.

Chefchaouen

With its blue-washed houses and charming cobbled streets, there’s a photo opportunity around every corner in Chefchaouen. Filled with lively souks, this city is a dream for adventurers and wanderers alike. Vendors can be found all over the local medina, pushing a colourful array of goods, including leather products, carpets and traditional woven blankets. When compared to the sights and sounds of Marrakech, Chefchaouen is a calmer, more tranquil destination – but there’s still plenty to see and do.

Merzouga

Situated in the Sahara desert, the town of Merzouga is surrounded by sand dunes. Camel rides are one of the most popular activities in this region, offering travellers a unique way to see the sights. With nothing ahead but vast golden spaces, you can settle into the steady rhythm of the camel’s step and enjoy the sound of its hooves on the sand as you trek across the Sahara. Following that spectacular nomadic experience, be sure to visit the big dunes in the Erg Chebi Desert. Upon arrival, you can settle straight into your luxury desert encampment.

Oualidia

Overlooking a truly magnificent coastal lagoon the small sleepy village of Oualidia could arguably be one of the most picturesque places in Morocco. It is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy some of the best seafood this region has to offer.

Ouarzazate

Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones, Gladiator, you name it they have all been filmed here in pursuit of that mud turret cityscape. If your inner child needs waking up and you want to feel like Indiana Jones or Russell Crowe then this is the place to visit. Ait ben Haddou will give you a taste of what a true old Moroccan kasbah looks like. Make sure you see either sunrise or sunset from the top of the Kasbah you will not be disappointed.

Gypsian Nitty Gritty on Morocco

How safe is Morocco for travelling

The ‘Islamic’ label accorded by certain media outlets to the kind of global terrorism that the world is currently facing has had an adverse effect against certain nations that are as safe, if not safer, than the West and who have enjoy a social stability that would be judged as enviable even to Western standards. These nations have been unjustly labelled as dangerous to various degrees in the minds of some travellers without any objective reason for it just on the grounds of their religion or cultural background.

Morocco’s secular, non-religious, and Western lifestyles are visible in all major Moroccan cities. For example, a percentage of Moroccans consume every year hundreds of millions of litres of locally and legally produced wine and beer, whilst the rest adhere to the Islamic ban against alcohol. But both groups behave on the understanding that freedom is the most valued gift from God and that one has no right to interfere in the freedom of others.

We think in addressing the question of travelling to a Muslim country such as Morocco the attitude of locals towards the presence of foreigners in their land is key and a reliable indicator of how things stand with regards to terrorism. In Moroccan culture, the laws of hospitality are sacred to the point that a host is held responsible by the rest of the community for the life and welfare of his guest regardless of the guests’ race or beliefs. Moroccans regard travellers and foreign residents as guests in their country and for this, every honourable Moroccan takes the safety of travellers as a point of personal honour.

The number of Westerners living in Morocco is huge - some 87,000 were estimated in 2014.

Tensions between the different faiths are non-existent in the country. Jews and Christians are free to pursue their beliefs and live in peace with their Muslim neighbours. There are even local Jewish saints that are also revered by Muslims. The only Jewish Museum in the whole of the Arab world is located in Casablanca, and the Jewish quarters and synagogues in the main Moroccan cities are currently being renovated with public funds.

Look at the number of cases of profanation of Jewish cemeteries in the country over the last, let's say, twenty years: ZERO.

You may be surprised to know that Morocco is the only country in the world that acknowledges, in its Constitution, its Jewish heritage as co-substantial part of its national identity. It was also the first country in the world to acknowledge the independence of the United States of America, back in 1777 - yes; Morocco is America's oldest ally.

In November 2015 in an official statement, Morocco was described by the British Foreign Office as ‘one of the safest countries in the world to travel to’. Very recently France’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spoke in the same sense, adding that, in any case, Morocco was currently ‘the only safe North African country to visit. Morocco has been, indeed, the only country in the Middle East/North Africa region to avoid coming under a terrorist attack last year. The current level of alert for Morocco is lower than that accorded to countries such as Spain, France, or the UK. Not equal, not higher but lower.

In Morocco, gun crime is unheard of; the mere possession of a gun carries an automatic sentence of 25 years in jail. Put it this way: the number of casualties by mass shooting in Morocco over the last several years is ZERO. Compare this to the shooting incidents that plague US with regularity, for instance. Statistically, Morocco is much safer than any American or European big city and definitely one is much, much more likely to die in a shooting in the USA than in Morocco, where access to firearms is restricted to the police forces and the army only, and members of these bodies must account for every single bullet shot. Yet travellers cancel their trip to Morocco on the grounds of safety!

Embracing Moroccan Culture

We think that local interaction is one of the best experiences you can have in a new country and what better way to interact than by speaking the local lingo! Although the official languages of Morocco are Maghreb Arabic and Berber (Amazigh), many Moroccans (particularly in cities and tourist centres) will speak to you in French. Below are some phrases in Arabic/Berber to get you on your way.

Hello – Salam Aleikum
Hell (response) – Wa aleikum salam
Goodbye – Ma’salama (A) / Lahanik (B)
How are you? – Keef halak (A) / Labess (B)
Good, thanks – Bekheer (A) / Labess (B) Al Hamdullah
Thank you very much - Shukran (bzzaf)
Please – Aafak
Excuse Me – SmaH liya
No problem – mashi moshkil
I want – Bghrit (A) / Reekh (B)
One – Wahed (A) / Itjane (B)
Two – Jooj (A) / Sanne (B)
Three – Tlata (A & B)
I don’t understand – Ma Fhemtsh
Yes / No – Aiwa/La’
Let’s Go – Yalla!


The Taste Test

TAGINES
No Moroccan menu would be complete without the ubiquitous tagine, that famous Maghreb staple, a mouthwatering stew slow cooked until the meat is so tender it’s practically begging to be eaten. Don’t be fooled into thinking that tagines are just for the tourists, nope, sit down for lunch with any Moroccan and you’ll soon realise that tagines are approached with something nearing religious devotion and across the country debates rage as to the appropriate thickness of the lemon rind and the exact brininess of the olives. Below are the three most common tagines. Don’t stop now, make sure you try them all!

Chicken with preserved lemon and olives - zesty in flavour and velvety in texture.

Lamb with prunes and almonds - the meat simply slides off the bone into a delicious saffron and onion sauce

Kefta (meatballs) in a rich tomato sauce with just a hint of heat from the spices and topped with a sizzling egg - this one is definitely our favourite!

COUSCOUS
Forget about that yellow stuff in a box that you add boiling water to and serve. Once you’ve tasted real Moroccan couscous (or seksu in Berber) you’ll never be able to look at the 3 minute variety the same way again. Moroccan couscous is a fine, pale, grain-sized, hand-rolled pasta lightly steamed in an aromatic broth until fluffy. It is traditionally enjoyed on Fridays when many people have the day or the afternoon off after prayers and it takes hours to prepare. Regional varieties abound but all are served with a selection of vegtables and/or meat or fish in a delicately flavoured reduction of stock and spices.

PASTILLA
One of our favourite Moroccan dishes, a dish that has stayed with us long after that first trip to Morocco, is pastilla (bastilla) – a flaky, almondy, savoury-sweet concoction that tastes so good you’ll want to go back for seconds (or maybe thirds). Traditionally, pastilla was made with squab or pigeon slow-cooked with Moroccan herbs and spices, surrounded by toasted and ground almonds, encased in a flaky phyllo-like pastry and topped with a dusting of cinnamon and icing sugar. Due to lack of availability, or perhaps just ever-changing tastes, chicken is now more often than not the meat of choice for this delicious offering however we have had equally delicious fish pastilla as well as a light and lovely dessert variation too. Yum!

STREET FOOD
So you’re wandering the streets of Marrakech (and wandering is hard work!) and you’re feeling peckish. Just a bit further down the narrow street you’re on, a sidewalk kiosk catches your eye. It might be the ‘Snak’ written on the awning above or (more likely) it is the throng of locals surrounding the kiosk that draws your attention. Intrigued (and getting hungrier by the minute), you check out where that delicious aroma is coming from....

Brochettes - lamb, chicken or kefta (meatball) shish kebabs lightly rubbed with salt and spices, grilled on a skewer and served with hot khoobz (Moroccan flat bread) and harissa (capsicum-pepper sauce)

Merguez - hot, spicy and delicious, these lamb sausages are perfect to stave off the midday munchies.

Schwarma - known as donner kebab in other parts of the world, compressed lamb or chicken cooked on a revolving skewer, then thinly sliced and served in flat bread with tahina (sesame paste) or yoghurt and often with onions, salad, harissa and, of course, a pinch of sumac.