MOROCCO THE COUNTRY
Do you have any material to help me learn more about Morocco?
We recommend this documentary: Morocco Documentary (YouTube)
What is the culture like in Morocco?
The culture of Morocco reflects strong Berber, African, Arabic, Jewish and small splashes of French and Spanish influences. Moroccan culture is a blend of ethnic tradition and religion. The majority of the population is Berber and Arabic. Berber influence is most prominent in the way of life of the Moroccan people. Although Moroccan cuisine differs from one region to another, the spices utilized are mainly Berber. Music is characterized by several traditional instruments mainly of the Arab and Amazigh origin but Morocco is also home to Andalusian classical music, common throughout North Africa. One of the things you will find is that Morocco has no shortage in rich culture that you will have an opportunity to learn from and greatly enjoy!
Do you have any tips for interacting with the Moroccan people?
Gardner Tours is committed to traveling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It’s important to remember that what may be acceptable behavior, dress, and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep the following in mind while on your tour, but know that if you get them wrong, they are overly graceful towards foreigners:
- Be considerate of Morocco’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, even if you don’t think it’s a valued custom where you are.
- Learn some local language and don’t be afraid to use it – simple greetings will help break the ice.
- Greet Moroccans with a handshake, but don’t be surprised if a person of the same sex greets you with two kisses, beginning with the left cheek. In greetings between a man and a woman, the woman should extend her hand first if she wants to be greeted – if she does not do this, a man should bow his head in greeting.
- Any gesture made in Morocco should be done with your right hand because the left hand is considered unclean.
- Public displays of affection in Morocco should be kept to a minimum, as Morocco is a largely conservative culture.
- Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
- Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
- When in the community, please refrain from giving gifts or tips without speaking to your guide first.
Can I build my own Custom Morocco Tour?
At this moment, we do not allow the option to build a Custom Morocco Tour, however, check back in the future and we might have more options.
Will a Gardner Tours representative accompany me from my home country to Morocco and back?
No, it’s not necessary to be accompanied by a Gardner Tours representative if you have proper documents in possession. The way Gardner Tours operates is that you book with us and we will serve you while you are in Morocco. In some cases, detailed on each tour page, you may be picked up at the airport (multi-day tours) or you may be met by your guide at a predetermined location (day tours, etc).
Do I really need a guide while traveling in Morocco?
Not necessarily, but it is highly recommended as a tour guide can be very resourceful. A tour guide can provide cultural insight and help you navigate the land, as well as assist you with any changes, needs, or last minute issues that you may encounter while in Morocco. Our guided tours are also amazing because our guides are trusted and ensure that you are well taken care of in numerous ways such as refusing to let you be taken advantage of by locals when you are purchasing souvenirs, arranging transportation (on all excursions or tours with Gardner Tours, you will never have to worry about bartering for transportation because all of our prices are pre-set with our trusted partners), etc.
Nonetheless, we understand that you may choose to travel Morocco without a guide. If you choose to do so, please use wisdom in your travels, do your research, and be sure to browse any excursions and day tours that we may offer, because we guarantee that we can increase your travel satisfaction and safety by serving you.
How will I find my tour guide?
You will find the location to meet your guide under “Beginning Location” on each tour page and also in your tour documents that you receive via email after booking. Also, you will be informed of your guide’s name, information, and you may also view their photo on our About page so you know who to look for.
VISAS & REQUIREMENTS
What documents do I need to travel to Morocco?
You will need a valid Passport with at least six months before expiration and a Moroccan Customs Form, which you will receive and fill out on your flight. There will be no entry or exit tax. Most countries are not required to have a visa to enter Morocco, but to confirm, please check iVisa.com.
How do I apply for a passport?
If you are a US citizen, please find our blog on how to apply for a passport. If you are a citizen of another country, please consult the process of your home country.
Is there an entry or exit tax for traveling to Morocco?
There is no entry or exit tax for Morocco.
How long can I stay in Morocco as a tourist?
You may stay in Morocco as a tourist up to a length of 90 days.
What is included and not included in the cost of a tour?
Some of our tours include and exclude different amenities, so please refer to the details found on each tour page.
Do I get a better price per person if I'm booking for more than one person?
Yes, the more persons in your booking, the better price you get, to the point it doesn’t affect operating costs. However, you must book all of those persons under the same booking in order to receive our tier pricing discounts. On each tour page, you may select a booking package with varying costs per person, and if your group is larger than the options viewed, please contact us using the form just below the booking sidebar.
Do you offer large group booking prices?
We are happy to offer large group pricing for groups larger than 15 persons. We have smoothly served groups of up to 26 people in the past, so your group will not be too much for us to handle. Please contact us for special group pricing.
MONEY IN MOROCCO
Where can I exchange money for my tour in Morocco?
We recommend exchanging currency with your home bank before departure or at any airport, including upon your arrival at the airport in Morocco. We suggest that you do not use Travelers Checks because they are not insured and may not be accepted. That being said, be aware of what is “Included” and “Not Included” in your excursion or tour and know that it is essential to travel with enough cash for your entire stay in Morocco.
How much spending money should I bring to Morocco?
How much money you bring depends entirely on your personal spending habits and financial situation. However, if possible, we recommend to budget at least $50 per day. Being that our tours include almost everything you need while in Morocco, this amount of cash may cover lunches (about $5-$15 on average depending on your choices), alcoholic drinks (about $3-$8 on average), guide tips, souvenirs, or any other item/service you may want to purchase in your travels. You’ll probably want to budget more if you’re considering buying gifts such as textiles, ceramics, or large wooden items that may need to be shipped. To help you formulate a budget, we provide a page with numerous examples of what items cost in Morocco. This information will be shared with you in your booking confirmation email.
What is the currency in Morocco?
Morocco’s currency is called Dirham. The abbreviation is MAD or DH.
Can I convert Moroccan Dirham back to my currency before returning home?
Yes, you may do so at the airport, but keep in mind that a conversion fee may apply.
Can I use my debit card, credit card, or traveler’s checks in Morocco?
Debit and credit cards are widely accepted in Morocco, but we recommend you plan on preparing to use cash in most locations, as many local artisans and street vendors will only accept cash. If you plan for cash, spending money will be a breeze for you. Nonetheless, please budget according to your spending habits. Traveler’s Checks may also be difficult to cash while in Morocco, so we do not recommend them.
What is ATM access like in Morocco?
ATMs are accessible in large cities like Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat, or Meknes, and even in smaller cities with a large amount of tourists, but they are rare/non-existent in other rural parts of Morocco. Please note that ATMs do have withdrawal limits and the limits depend on the bank. The limits tend to be around 2,000 Dirham with a maximum of 4,000 Dirham per day (about $200-$400 USD) per day, that’s why we recommend you exchanging at your home bank or bringing cash with you to exchange upon arrival. Again, please do not not arrive in Morocco fully relying on your debit or credit cards, because you could leave quite disappointed.
Is tipping custom in Morocco? / Is tipping included in my tour? / How much is proper custom to tip?
Considering that the average Moroccan monthly salary is probably quite lower than your home country, tipping is appreciated. Outside of dinners, other tips are not included in the tour price and tipping is entirely at your discretion. The magic number for tipping in Morocco is 10%. In this case, it is a great idea to carry coins or small bills with you each day for tips. If you are unsure if you should tip or how much you should tip, you may ask your tour guide and they will guide you in the right direction.
Tip Recommendations: Meals: 10%, Transportation: $1 to $2, Bellhops: $2 to $3, Restrooms: .50¢ to $1, Entertainment: $1 to $2
When will I receive my fully detailed itinerary?
You may view a daily itinerary by clicking on the “Itinerary” tab on each tour page, but you will receive a fully detailed itinerary (including suggested times to help with structure) directly after booking.
What will my tour look like?
Gardner Tours heightens the traveler’s experience of each culture and country by intimately inviting them into the stories and lives of its people and history via our trusted partnerships. We best connect our travelers to the country’s past, present, and future via storytelling and exercise each of their senses to give each traveler the best possible experience of a country while allowing them to dip their toes in relaxation and comfort all at the same time.
Please view the “Itinerary” tab on each tour page to get more details for your chosen tour. If you do desire, you are free to adjust your itinerary at any time, but before you get too carried away, see the “Included” and “Not Included” sections and the “Itinerary” tab on each tour page for more understanding on exactly what your tour will look like. Remember, all itineraries are flexible and modifiable. This is your holiday and Gardner Tours is here to serve you and deliver the best experience for you and your travel companions.
What will my accommodations be like on my tour?
We utilize hand-picked accommodations in central locations of interest with our trusted partners to ensure that we deliver you the most comfortable and accommodating experience of Morocco. Your accommodations will be at authorized Moroccan BnBs (Riads) or hotels that are equipped with air-conditioners as well as private bathrooms. Each of our accommodation partners provide private rooms and can occupy up to two persons per room with the occasional exception. If you desire to share a room with your travel companion(s), or desire three or more persons per room, please specify in the details of your booking. If you would like to upgrade your housing, please contact us.
Can I upgrade the accommodations for my tour?
Yes. If you desire to upgrade the accommodations for your tour, please contact us in advance and we will make the necessary adjustments for you after additional payments have been received. Our accommodation upgrades are a minimum addition of $100 per room per night unless otherwise communicated by a Gardner Tours representative.
I am traveling with my family. Can we all stay in one room?
If you desire your family to sleep in one room during your travels, please note that in the comments section of your booking, as we are glad to accommodate your request and know that if you make this request, we will do everything we can to accommodate it to your expectations.
Can I book additional nights of accommodations before or after my tour?
Yes, in most cases we can arrange additional accommodations at the beginning or ending location of your tour. Please contact us directly to arrange an extended stay. Please note that extra accommodations must be booked 30 days prior to your departure.
How do I get to Morocco?
You may get to Morocco either on an international flight or by land from a neighboring country. The international airports in Morocco are as easily navigable as any other international terminal around the world.
How far is it from the airport to my accommodations?
It depends on the location of your accommodations. Typically from the Mohammed V. International Airport in Casablanca it’s approximately 30 to 45 minutes via car. From the Marrakesh Menara Airport Airport in Marrakech it’s approximately 10 to 20 minutes via car.
What is the average pricing of taxis and transfers in Morocco?
The good news is that all Gardner Tours excursions and tours include pre-reserved transportation and you will never have to barter for or arrange any transportation unless you choose to venture out on your own. If you choose to do so, depending on where you go, pricing varies. A typical one-way trip within a city may range between $3 and $10.
Can I use Global Entry in Morocco?
Global Entry is not yet accepted in Morocco, but you may use it at airports on all other connecting flights.
Is the food in Morocco safe to eat?
Of course, and not only is it safe to eat but it is delicious! Gardner Tours only partners with restaurants that are known for great hygiene in the way they prepare their foods, but also unique touches to ensure their food and service is above and beyond that of other restaurants. We guarantee that you will greatly enjoy each one of our restaurant selections!
Is it safe to eat food from street vendors in Morocco?
It is not recommended to eat food from the street vendors due to hygiene reasons, but if you choose to do so, you are at your own risk. However, your tour guide can recommend on site accordingly.
What are some common foods found in Morocco?
Expect to see, smell and taste more spices your senses have ever experienced! The infinite flavor combinations will leave you wanting more. Most traditional foods in Moroccan cuisine are tajin, couscous, bastilla, teas, dates, and many more. Of course, their main dishes include the normal varieties of chicken, fish, beef, and seafood. In general, Morocco has a great and tasty variety in their cuisine with most restaurants in the cities offering international cuisine as well.
Is the water safe to drink in Morocco?
It is best to drink bottled water while in Morocco. You will find that both still and sparkling water are available for your purchase at almost any location. Water is purified in the BnBs, hotels, and restaurants, and it is ok to drink beverages with ice wherever we take you on the tour. It is not necessary to use bottled water to brush your teeth, but if you prefer, it is always best to be safe rather than sorry. Salads and fruits are also acceptable to eat at all included or recommended restaurants.
I am vegan/vegetarian/allergy-prone and have special dietary needs. What is the best way to ensure I will not ingest something I shouldn’t?
We recommend to advise Gardner Tours in advance so that all parties involved (your guide, restaurants, accommodations, etc) are conveniently informed on your dietary needs or restrictions. Also, we recommend that you always remind your tour guide to advise each restaurant on this issue. We will do our best to ensure that your dietary needs or restrictions are taken care of, yet please remember that in some destinations, not all menu items are available at all times and Gardner Tours can not be responsible for these inconsistencies.
MORROCAN CUSTOMS & GOODS
Do I need to declare how much personal money I am bringing into Morocco?
There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency you can bring into Morocco.
Can I bring goods back from Morocco to my home country?
Yes. But before returning home with a mass amount of goods, we advise contacting your home country’s customs officials to ensure you’re able to import certain items into your home country, as each country may differ. Many Moroccan vendors also offer shipping on their goods to your home country, especially if you are purchasing large items.
What are typical souvenirs to purchase in Morocco?
Morocco is known for its shopping and high-quality souvenirs and textiles, so look closely and you’ll find lots of unique souvenirs to take home as a reminder of your holiday. The most popular souvenir items are: oils, spices, leather goods, textiles, ceramics, carpets, rugs, etc.
Before returning home with a mass amount of goods, we advise contacting your home country’s customs officials to ensure you’re able to import certain items into your home country, as each country may differ.
What will it cost for a…?
To help you budget the proper amount of spending cash for the items not included in your tour, we have compiled a list of items and services and how much each generally cost. This information will be shared with you in your booking confirmation email.
ELECTRONICS & INTERNET
Is internet access available in Morocco?
Yes, Wi-Fi is available throughout most of Morocco.
Will my cell phone work in Morocco?
Yes, most cell phone companies offer service in Morocco. To ensure you receive the access you desire, we recommend contacting your service provider before your arrival in Morocco. Calls and texts can be very expensive and we want to ensure that you are up-to-date on what your company provides and of their rates before your travels. Even if you don’t plan to use your phone while on your tour, and you are a map-lover, we recommend downloading the Maps.me application and the Morocco map on your smartphone before departure. Maps.me is an offline map system that works wonderfully in Morocco!
What is the electric current and outlet used in Morocco?
Electric Current: Morocco uses type C & E electric outlets. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type E is the plug which has two round pins and a hole for the socket’s male earthing pin. Morocco typically uses 220V and 50Hz. Please refer to your home country outlet type to determine if you need electrical adapters or possibly a converter. Note: Usually phone and computer chargers have a current converter in them, where other electronics like curling irons, straighteners, and hair dryers may not.. It is advisable to bring a converter, if your electronics are not travel-ready (105-240V).
Outlet: Type C (Europe) & Type E (Europe) outlets are used.
SAFETY & EMERGENCIES
Is Morocco safe?
Though Morocco is generally a very safe place to travel, it is always wise to watch your belongings and beware of pick-pocketers. We recommend leaving your valuables, including your passport and visa, locked in your room at your accommodations and only carry what you need for each day. Having a TSA-approved lock for your luggage is alway recommended for international travel. Note: You do not need to carry your passport everywhere with you; a copy of the passport should suffice for ID purposes. You will, however, need your passport for the exchanging of currency.
For more information on how Gardner Tours helps ensure your safety, visit our Safety Guidelines page.
Do I need to purchase travel insurance prior to arriving in Morocco?
All passengers traveling with Gardner Tours are required to purchase travel insurance before the beginning of your tour. Ensure that you have travel insurance that includes coverage for all activities featured as part of your tour. If you have an existing travel insurance policy, please take a few moments to ensure it is up to date, and cover is adequate for your chosen destination and activity. Due to the varying nature, availability, and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information and/or to purchase your travel insurance, please visit Allianz. Should you chose not to purchase travel insurance, know that Gardner Tours is in no way responsible for your decision.
What vaccinations do I need for traveling to Morocco?
We are not doctors and have little medical training, so we are not qualified from a medical perspective to say that you should or should not get certain shots. We suggest that you determine which shots you may need by visiting the CDC website or consulting your local travel health specialist and reviewing their recommendations based on your chosen location. It is simply your choice on whether or not to receive all the recommended immunizations.
COVID vaccine or vaccination certificates are not required to enter Morocco. However, if you’re fully vaccinated, you won’t need to present a negative COVID test upon entry.
Who do I contact in case of an emergency in Morocco?
Safety is our utmost concern for all of our travelers, therefore each Gardner Tours guide will be equipped with the proper safety information (phone numbers, addresses, etc) as they serve you during your tour, should an issue arise. Your guide will have embassy information, emergency information, and are currently advised on proper procedures.
If you have an emergency and you are a US Citizen or resident, you may contact the US Embassy. Otherwise, please contact your corresponding embassy or consulate. If you need to call the police or for any emergency, you will dial 110 or 120 from a local telephone. Otherwise, as in the USA, you can also dial 911 for any emergency. Note: You may not find an English-speaking person that answers, so, if possible, we suggest speaking with your tour guide or host before making any calls. Also, your hosts are usually well connected in their areas and might be able to assist before emergency lines.
U.S. Embassy contact information:
Address: U.S. Embassy Rabat, Km 5.7, Avenue Mohamed VI, Souissi, Rabat 10170, Morocco
Phone: +212 (0) 537 637 200
Hours: Monday through Thursday 8:00AM–5:00PM & Friday 8:00AM–12:30PM (closed on U.S. and Moroccan Holidays)
Emergencies/After Hours: Call +212 (0) 522 642 099 during hours or +212 (0) 661 131 939 after hours. Office locations, phone numbers, and fees for this company can be found on their website.
We suggest printing the above info as well as a list of emergency numbers and addresses to have in case of an emergency.
WHEN TO GO & WEATHER
When is the best time to visit Morocco?
High-season is during Autumn (September-November) or early spring (March-April) and it is the best time to visit Morocco. However, if you are okay with a little more extreme temperatures (scorching day sand cold nights) and the occasional short shower, other times of the year are great as well. We tend to book quickly in the high-season, so we advise to book well in advance.
What is the weather like in Morocco?
Morocco offers a diverse climate. The country gets plenty of sun all year round. The northern and coastal areas have a Mediterranean climate with 86°F summers. Spring and autumn are warm and pleasant times to visit. Winters rarely get cold with temperatures around 68°F, but November to March has the most rain. Inland and in the south the climate gets more extreme. Close to the Sahara it’s scorching in summer (sometimes up to 120ºF of dry heat) and winter nights get surprisingly cold.
What public holidays are celebrated in Morocco?
- 1 January – New Year Holiday
- 11 January – Anniversary of the Independence Manifesto
- 1 May – Labor Day
- 2 May – Eid al-Fitr
- 9-11 June – Eid al-Adha
- 29-30 June – Islamic New Year
- 30 July – Throne Day
- 14 August – Oued Ed-Dahab Day
- 20 August – Revolution Day
- 21 August – Birthday of King Mohammed VI and Youth Day
- 7-9 October – Mawlid
- 6 November – Green March Day
- 18 November – Independence Day of Morocco
What time zone is Morocco in?
WHAT TO PACK
What is the most appropriate type of luggage to bring?
We strongly recommend bringing a backpack or a medium carry-on size bag, as large suitcases can be cumbersome and difficult to store in cars or under seats, etc. Keep in mind that you may have to carry your luggage up and down staircases. Suitcases with wheels may not work well on dirt or cobblestone roads.
What should I pack for my Morocco Tour?
Depending on the length of your stay and the weather, we may recommend a few different variations of items. However, after you book your tour with Gardner Tours, you will be provided a detailed, seasonal packing list with our best suggestions on size of luggage, the proper clothing to bring, what additional items are important to pack, and also items not to pack.
Nonetheless, considering the more than often warm weather, we recommend comfortable and lightweight clothing and shoes. The style in Morocco for both men and women is colorful clothing, often displaying a confident and bold appearance. In the cooler months, we recommend, especially if you are cold-natured, to bring a light sweater or jacket. During the rainy season, a light waterproof jacket is recommended. More formal clothing is required for mosques, theaters, concert halls, and formal venues.
Can I bring materials to give away to people I meet on my tour?
Small amounts of items are acceptable to bring in while visiting Morocco. Bring limited quantities of small items because too many of one-single item may cause delays upon entry. If you bring gifts, out of honor for those people you may meet, please inform your tour guide and they will be able to advise you as to whom/where and when you can distribute them most conveniently.
You are free to bring what you please (please use wisdom), but if you desire, we recommend utilizing the ongoing relationships that our guides and Gardner Tours already has to distribute any gifts. With any questions or concerns, please contact us.
I have more questions. Can I contact you to discuss a few things?
Absolutely! Please contact us! We are happy to help!
Also, don’t forget to look at the FAQs specific to your chosen destination. Those pages have more specific information tailored to each destination and they may answer your questions.