Should I pre-book a tour or find one when I get to Marrakech?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jun 21, 2012 5:43 PM Last Post By: Ellenhk
Jun 16, 2012 2:06 AM
Should I pre-book a tour or find one when I get to Marrakech?A friend and I are interested in doing a 4-5 day tour from Marrakech to Fes (via Erg Chebbi and Todra gorge) in July and we are wondering whether to book online with a tour company or get recommendations from our Riad when we arrive.
Is it normally cheaper to book in person?
If not, what are some reliable tour companies we can get in contact with?
It is our first time travelling to Morocco. Any advice would be appreciated.
Edited by: jkim
Jun 16, 2012 2:37 AM
1Some people (me included) prefer to self drive and this is relatively easy in Morocco, once you get clear of Marrakech,
Some tour companies are cheap and you get what you pay for. Some are expensive but unfortunately no better than the cheap ones. The trick is to find a reasonable (not ultra cheap) company that provides a good service.
Jun 16, 2012 3:15 AM
All good advice above.
Driving in Morocco is fine and I think would be more fun as you can take your time wherever you wish.
Be aware there are many police roadblocks on the outskirts and outside the main cities, which you must stop for. This can be quite intimidating for first time travellers in the country. You must have all your papers in order. A little French or Arabic language skill helps also. You will need dirhams for the toll roads and nerves of steel if you drive in the big cities. I wouldn't recommend this AT ALL.
As far as booking tours goes, there are reputable companies on line . The choice is yours really. You may or may not get a better price in Marrakech. Only Allah knows concerning such matters in Morocco!
Enjoy your trip! Either way I know you will. It's a wonderful country.
Edited by: ethelfleda
Jun 16, 2012 7:07 AM
3..... jkim, as this is your first post and your first trip to Morocco, I'll go over some old stuff.
When in July will you be in Morocco.
July and August are not the best time to be in the Desert, it can be too hot.
The Holy Month of Ramadan begins 20th.July, research how it might affect your trip.
Getting advice at a good Riad is better way to do it, wait until you are there, then make a judgement on the weather, try to see and meet the tour guys to get a sense of whether they are honest or likeable, try to get a glimpse of the vehicles.
By waiting, if its too hot you can do something else.
Only if your enjoy the experience will you get value for money, if your miserable its a waste of money and time.
If you have more questions, post again.
Jun 16, 2012 7:29 AM
Jun 16, 2012 11:26 AM
5P.S. If you decide to take a tour company, make agree with them to not take you to shops around the way, it can get pretty wearisome in the end. But it can be rushed anyway while if you go alone, you can stay exactly where you wish, eat or drink were you wish, sleep also where you wish. When I am traveling I prefer always to go self, have good guidebook and map and run.
Jun 16, 2012 2:57 PM
6Some people (me included) prefer to hire a car/driver when travelling in Morocco. This allows me the flexibility with the itinerary and to choose my own accommodation etc. Sure, it's not the cheapest way to travel but it is very leisurely and convenient. The roads are fine for driving on your own but it is still more relaxing to be able to concentrate on the sights rather than the driving.
I have participated in this forum for some time now, much longer as a looker than a contributor and I am yet to see a legitimate post about a negative experience with a tour company on this forum. There are many good reviews of tours and tour companies on trip advisor. Most people in Morocco are good genuine people just trying to make a living.
I am happy to provide the name of the company I use in Morocco if you want to PM me. Or ask your accommodation for recommendations.
Jun 16, 2012 3:15 PM
I would agree with Rachel re hiring a car & driver.
The roads in Morocco are not such that the driver can bowl along taking in the scenery & sometimes the signage leaves more than a little to be desired.
It is now really hot in Marrakech with no breeze, so bear that in mind when planning how long to stay.I have to say I don't find the heat in the desert as untenable as that in town- maybe because in the Marrakech medina there is no real way for the heat to escape
If you can possibly avoid the Ramadan dates, do yourself a favour & do so.
Like Rachel, I can give you the contact details of a good, English speaking driver, who is based in Marrakech if you would like to send me a personal message.
What ever you do, make sure you are in an airconditioned vehicle!
Edited by: Truman13
Jun 16, 2012 3:32 PM
Jun 17, 2012 1:44 AM
9I am agree. moroccotraveler, I saw self strange reviews from some tour in Casablanca or something like that. At the same day so many reviews was written, strange. All almost with the same style.
Your comment, Rachel "but it is still more relaxing to be able to concentrate on the sights rather than the driving" is maybe right, but, at finish, you not know where you are. You are sitting, looking, but lost then orientation where you are, if you understand what I mean now. And it can be so relaxing that to end you fall asleep :)
That happened not only to me, I was sitting, looking and suddenly, I was lost can I say.
Jun 17, 2012 10:43 AM
10I literally just did this trip, the op direction a few days ago. We did with a driver and it was fantastic. Had thought about renting a car ourselves, which could have been fine in countryside as people say but, if freedom is the big benefit of this, you have this with the driver, he took us when and where we wanted and was great at suggesting great places to stay and eat along the way. I must say it costed a bit more, we paid 1400 duh per day but, car was wonderful, driver was lovely, he handled everything for us, we just sat back, relaxed. Was nice not thinking about if we were going in the right way, no wasted time, reckon we would have needed alot of extra time on our own, no time wasted finding places and sights in towns. Also as mentioned above, there are all those things like road blocks, how all the parking and all sorts of payments and rules seemed to come up constantly. Everyone is different but I agree with Rachel and others, driver was a great way to go, money well spent. Our driver was organized through a recommendation, I don't think you'd save a huge amount by waiting till here and it is was nice to have it organized beforehand so we didn't have to deal with it all here, just on our way at the time we wanted and from our door.
If you were using a driver, I would ask one of the people here who have had a good experience with a good car and driver and contact and organize before, just to have that monkey off your back. Maroctraveler is right about avoiding Ramadan and....the heat, it was rough enough a few days ago in merzouga, it was hot, hate to think what July will be like- yikes!
Jun 21, 2012 5:43 PM
11Could you send me the name and contact number of the driver you used in Marrakech? Thanks!
(4 star Hotel)
From US$78.60 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$72.10 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$397.72 per night