Don't have an Account? Sign up now.
Forgotten Password?
Log In
Save $1,000 per couple | $500 solo

The Magic of Morocco

8 days

Never more than 16 guests OR Travel Privately

Our Distinctive A+R Style

+ Specially-arranged VIP arrival services in Casablanca.
+ The finest native guides, special activities only possible with our small groups, and our luxury riad-stays make our tour one-of-a-kind.
+ Our unique dining experiences include Rick’s Café, a seaside lunch in Rabat, and dinner in a Marrakech palace.
+ Go off the beaten path to explore timeless Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains and the lovely Ourika Valley.
+ With 7 nights luxury hotel and riads; 16 meals with wine at lunch and dinner; comprehensive sightseeing; all transfers; internal flight; and all gratuities except Trip Leader.

Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites

Show all itinerary details

Upon arrival, our VIP Services include FastTrack Assistance through all immigration and customs formalities. Once through, we’ll take you to the Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche Hotel, close to the historic medina. Then join your guide to explore this vibrant city. Stand in Mohammed V Square, where French and Moroccan architectural styles blend harmoniously, and marvel at the glorious Hassan II Mosque; its stunning location on a platform that extends over the Atlantic Ocean is complemented by the soaring artistry of its design and the exquisite indigenous materials used in its construction – creamy marble from Agandir, Cedar wood from the Middle Atlas Mountains, and gleaming granite from Tafraoute.
 
If time permits visit the bustling Central Market, you’ll mingle with city residents who come daily to shop for fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables. Other vendors specialize in fine Moroccan goods that make excellent mementos and gifts, from leather slippers and lanterns to fragrant spices and Argan oil – the famous elixir used in moisturizers, shampoos and even food.
 
This evening, you’ll enjoy dinner, wine and cocktails at Rick’s Café, an evocative re-imagining of the classic Bogart film.  Meals D

Day
2

Onward to Rabat and Fès

Riad Fes, Morocco

Depart Casablanca and travel to Rabat c to explore the Oudayas Kasbah, a walled city within the city; founded in the 12th century, it’s still home to 2,000 of Rabat’s citizens. We’ll also see the splendid Mohamed V Mausoleum and marvel at the Hassan Tower, an unfinished but impressive minaret started nearly 1,000 years ago.
 
Sit down to a delightful lunch and then continue to Fès where you check in to the enchanting Riad Fès. Located in the medina in the heart of this ancient Imperial City, our luxury retreat evokes the elegance and romance of Morocco’s traditional courtyard palaces.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
3

Excursion to Meknes and Volubilis

Riad Fes, Morocco

Today’s excursion begins with a scenic drive to Meknes c, originally founded as military settlement before emerging as the capital of the Alaouite Dynasty. Renowned for its blending of Spanish and Moorish architectural styles of the 1600’s, Meknes is further distinguished by its high and thick walls - punctuated by gracefully arched gates. Chief among these is Bab Mansour, a magnificent gate with superb Zellij tilework, sturdy columns of fine Corinthian marble and an imposing door of wood and iron. You’ll also explore the ancient Jewish quarter and visit the Royal Stables, large enough to hold 12,000 Arabian horses; although the stables have fallen into an evocative state of disrepair, it offers further insight into the wealth and power wielded by Morocco’s ancient rulers. Continue to Moulay Idriss, a sacred hilltop city, and then explore the archaeological site of Volubilis c. With finely preserved ruins dating back 2,000 years, this remarkable ensemble of temples, baths, a basilica, brothels and finely preserved mosaic floors offers a unique look into the ancient history of Roman Africa. Return to Fès where the evening is free to relax, enjoy and dine at your leisure.  Meals B+L

Day
4

Immerse in the Imperial City of Fès

Riad Fes, Morocco

Founded in the 9th century, Fès c is the best preserved medieval city in North Africa. Home to one of the world’s oldest universities, it reached its peak of influence and glory in the 13th and 14th centuries when it replaced Marrakech as the capital of the Kingdom. Although the modern capital was transferred to Rabat nearly 100 years ago, Fès remains the cultural and spiritual heart of the country. Setting out with our engaging guide, today’s sightseeing includes the ancient Medina and two medieval institutions of learning. With their extravagant style, these Madrasas stand in striking contrast to the timeworn cobblestones and simple market stalls of the souks that surround them.
 
Carpenter’s Square, where artisans still chisel and sculpt indigenous cedar wood, you’ll admire the much-photographed Nejjarine Fountain, famed for its exquisite ceramic mosaics. Also on the day’s program is the Kairaouine Mosque with its graceful 1,000-foot minaret. Founded in the 9th century this is the second largest mosque in Morocco and home to one of the world’s oldest universities.  Meals B+L

After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll escort you to the airport for your included flight to Marrakech, where you’ll be escorted to the 5-star La Maison Arabe in the heart of the ancient medina. Take advantage of this privileged location to experience the exotic sights and sounds of Marrakech at your own pace; at dusk, the lively Djemaa El Fna Square is a fascinating place to be! Meals B+L

Day
6

Explore Imperial Marrakech

La Maison Arabe - Marrakech, Morocco

Today you’ll enjoy a comprehensive guided exploration of Marrakech c, founded 800 years ago by the Almoravid Dynasty. First you visit the lavishly decorated Saadian Tombs, dating to the late 16th century. The gravestones of these Saadian princes and members of the royal household are embellished simply and elegantly with colorful ceramic tiles, each with a short epitaph and a quote from the Qur’an. The next stop is the Dar Si Said Museum, where fine Moroccan art is exhibited in an exquisite former palace. Continue to the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and the lovely Bahia Palace, built in 1880.
 
Then experience the exotic atmosphere of the city’s famed souks; exploring with your guide through this labrynthine maze of shops and vendor stalls, you’ll emerge in lively Djemaa el Fna Square, undoubtedly the heart of the Marrakech medina. Next up, in contrast, is the tranquility of Le Jardin Majorelle – a botanical oasis of rare plants and vibrant blooms – created by a painter and more recently owned by the renowned designer Yves Saint-Laurent. On the roof top of Maison de la Photographie, you’ll enjoy afternoon tea as you take in the breathtaking views over the Marrakech medina.  Meals B+L

Day
7

Full-day excursion into the Ourika Valley

La Maison Arabe - Marrakech, Morocco

Leave behind the bustling pace of Marrakech and travel into a tranquil land of olive groves and citrus orchards. As the peaks of the Atlas Mountains draw near, you enter the timeless Ourika Valley. At an innovative Berber cooperative, you’ll observe and learn more about the production of Argan oil – highly prized for its hydrating and beautifying effects. The process from tree to oil is time consuming and done almost entirely by hand. Employing local women, this cooperative is an important community resource and promises an enlightening visit. Back in Marrakech, we’ll take you to Palais Soleiman for a wonderful dinner surrounded by the lavish décor of this erstwhile palace.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
8

Farewell to Morocco

We’ll take you to the airport for your onward flight.  Meals B
 

Extend Your Trip

Add the Sahara & Southern Morocco

4 days for $1,399

Discover this often overlooked but most rewarding region as you travel through the High Atlas Range to historic Ouarzazate and into the Sahara. Exploring scenic backroads, our easy-to-add adventure includes all transportation, two nights deluxe hotel, an overnight at our romantic desert encampment, 4 meals and in-depth sightseeing including the Todra Gorge and Route of 1,000 Casbahs.

Show all itinerary details

Day
1

Across the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech to Zagora

After breakfast and the conclusion of your Magic of Morocco tour, set out in a chauffeured Land Rover on a spectacularly scenic journey into the High Atlas Mountains. Cross the 7,400-foot Tichka Pass and visit the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. Rising out of the shimmering sands like a mirage, this dramatic Kasbah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been featured in more than 20 movies including Lawrence of Arabia, Jewel of the Nile and Gladiator. Travel on to historic Ouarzazate for lunch on your own and a guided tour of town. Your journey through Southern Morocco continues into the picturesque Drâa River Valley, a land of timeless villages and palm groves. Arrive in Zagora and check in to the Riad dar Sofian for a tranquil overnight. Meals B 

Day
2

Onward to Merzouga and into the Sahara!

The captivating pre-Saharan landscapes of the South are dotted with numerous Berber villages set against the rugged Sargho Mountains. Stop for lunch on your own in the quiet village of Tazzarine before continuing on to Merzouga, perched on the edge of the mighty Sahara Desert. Transfer to 4x4 vehicles and journey across the famed golden dunes of Erg Chebbi. Your destination is Erg Chebbi Luxury Desert Camp, an enchanting tented encampment set amidst the golden dunes of the vast Sahara. Enjoy a camel ride over the dunes, watch the sun set over the desert, and dine on fine Moroccan fare served under a canopy of desert stars. Later, before retiring to your private tent, enjoy Berber music and tales around the campfire. Meals B D 

Day
3

The Route of 1,000 Casbahs to Ouarzazate

Enjoy an early morning walk across the dunes to witness a spectacular sunrise over the Sahara. Depart camp after breakfast and travel via the small oasis town of Tinghir and through the magnificent Todra Gorges, where majestic canyon walls soar to 900 feet. Make your way through the equally picturesque Dades Canyon and then along the legendary Route of 1,000 Casbahs, an ancient caravan route dotted with these old fortified towns and even some 19th century single-family compounds built with the distinctive crenulated walls of a medieval casbah. Arrive in Ouarzazate and check in to the Riad Ksar Ighnda. Meals B

Day
4

Depart Ouarzazate

Transfer to the airport for your onward journey. Meals B 

Private Tour Add-Ons

Cairo

Our 4-day Cairo private tour includes a choice of 5-star hotels, daily breakfast, chauffeured airport transfers, and in-depth private car sightseeing with our engaging Egyptologist.

MapSearch

More Personal Space
+ Our Extra Care
 

  • Proper physical distancing with two seats to yourself on our large, luxury touring coaches
  • High-touch surfaces on coaches and private vehicles sanitized frequently throughout the day
  • Whisper Headsets when there are 5 or more guests
  • Dine at small, properly distanced tables, avoiding crowded large-capacity restaurants
  • Guides and staff will wear face masks when in close proximity to guests
  • Face coverings and sanitizer always available complimentary for our guests
>> Click Here to read all that we are doing so you can travel with More Space + Extra Care

Occupancy


Trip Type

previous next
  • Narrow your search by selecting a calendar date to the right

  • Oct

    2021
  • Feb

    2022
  • Mar

    2022
  • Apr

    2022
  • Sep

    2022
  • Oct

    2022
  • Feb

    2023
  • Mar

    2023
  • Apr

    2023
  • Narrow your search by selecting a calendar date to the left

DepartureReturnFromAvailability
29 October 202105 November 2021$4,599Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,599Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
25 February 202204 March 2022$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
25 March 202201 April 2022$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
08 April 202215 April 2022$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
22 April 202229 April 2022$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
16 September 202223 September 2022$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
23 September 202230 September 2022$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
14 October 202221 October 2022$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
21 October 202228 October 2022$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
28 October 202204 November 2022$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
24 February 202303 March 2023$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
24 March 202331 March 2023$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
07 April 202314 April 2023$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
21 April 202328 April 2023$4,799Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
The Romance of Morocco$4,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Take advantage of our Family & Friends offer and Save $100 per person anytime you book 4 or more people on the same A+R program.

Pay-In-Full

Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full within 7 days of booking and prior to the final payment date listed in our published terms and conditions.

A Taste of What You Can Expect

These videos, articles and podcasts will illuminate some of the enthralling experiences that await you on our intimate journey to Morocco. Drawn from respected independent sources, we’ve curated this multi-media collection to ignite your imagination. Inspiring as they are now on your screen, the things you see, read and hear will truly come to life when you travel with our expert native-born guides.

Our A+R Library


Passports + Visas
American citizens will need to present a valid passport upon entry into Morocco. Passports must be valid for six (6) months after the completion of your stay. Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your return to the U.S.  It is your sole responsibility to secure and/or pay for any and all visas (reciprocity fees, affidavits, immunizations, etc. that are required to be permitted entry into each destination). No visas are required for American citizens unless you are staying longer than 90 days. Visitors from countries other than the United States should check on their specific entry requirements with the nearest Moroccan consular office.

Visas and entry requirements can change without notice, so it is important that you check the U.S. State Department website well in advance of your travel date to ensure you procure the proper documentation for your travel. For up to date visa requirements US citizens should visit www.travel.state.gov.

Now is a good time to assemble and check your travel documents, then keep them together in a safe, accessible area of your home. If you keep your passport in a bank safe deposit, retrieve it now to avoid a last-minute rush, and double-check the expiration date!

Your Health
Recommended inoculations for travel may change and you should consult your practitioner for current recommendations before your upcoming journey. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all health entry requirements, obtain the recommended inoculations, take all recommended medication, and follow all medical advice in relation to your trip. Inoculation requirements can be found on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/. Also check the World Health Organization (WHO) website http://www.who.int/ith/en/ before you travel internationally.

Medical supplies, such as CPAP machines for sleep apnea can be brought as an additional carry-on with most airlines.  If you are traveling with a CPAP machine, please let us know in advance and consider bringing a backup battery in case of inconsistent electricity supply. Distilled water may be easily obtained in most destinations but all machines will work with filtered or bottled water in a pinch. Make sure you have all appropriate adaptors although newer machines have universal power supplies that can adapt to various voltage. Bring extra supplies (especially cushions) and pertinent replacement parts as repairing the machine while travelling may not be possible.

Physical Activity
Ancient sites worldwide were constructed well before building codes or the existence of safety and accessibility standards. And in order to maintain the architectural and historical integrity that attracts visitors in the first place, many of the sites have been intentionally left in their natural state. As such, you will encounter uneven terrain, irregular steps, and a lack of handrails, barriers, ramps and cautionary warning signs where you might expect them back home. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to take great care and caution when exploring these sites. Pay attention to all instructions and do not wander away from your guide, especially off designated paths into unmarked terrain. When exploring on your own, heed all regulations, be extra mindful of your surroundings and note any conditions that could increase the risks (poor visibility, wet slippery surfaces, etc).

For travelers with mobility issues or physical challenges, be prepared for less accessibility than we enjoy in the United States. Hotels may be limited in the provisions made for such travelers and some do not have elevators. Airports are not always fully equipped with modern jetways, and ramps for wheelchairs are often absent.

We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance for guests who need mobility assistance.  Nor can we ensure that local vehicles will be wheelchair-equipped. For these reasons, a qualified companion must accompany guests who need such assistance.
 
Physical limitations requiring special attention and/or equipment must be reported when making reservations. We will make reasonable attempts to accommodate special needs but cannot provide individual assistance.  Should issues become apparent on tour that impact other guests, we may require individual assistance be obtained or require the guest to return home early at the guest’s expense.  

Protecting Your Vacation
As you prepare and get excited for your upcoming journey, it’s not fun to think about what would happen if you had to cancel or interrupt your trip. The best way to eliminate that worry is with a good travel protection plan. Travel protection plans can help protect you in the event of loss of non-refundable trip deposits and payments that result from cancellation or trip interruption (due to a covered reason such as injury or illness before or during the trip). It also helps with reimbursement for medical emergency costs (including very costly medical evacuation costs), missed connections and baggage loss. There are many good plans out there, and we’re happy to offer a very comprehensive Travel Protection Plan - including “Cancel for Any Reason” benefits. You can find complete information online: alexanderroberts.com/insurance.aspx

Your International Flights
If you have not already made your international flight arrangements, you should consider taking advantage of our excellent relationships with outstanding international carriers including Lufthansa, British Airways, United Airlines and Emirates. We can book your air in Economy, Premium Economy or Business Class with advice on seat availability - and even advance seat assignments on many carriers and routes. Booking your international air with A+R will allow us to directly assist you with any flight disruptions, delays or cancellations while on-tour.

Personalized Service… Anytime you Need it!
If you have questions about your upcoming journey or wish to make any changes such as adding extra nights, special sightseeing or transfers, please call your travel agent. You can also contact our Concierge, Melanie Delworth, at 800-678-7942, Ext. 154. Or reach her by email at mdelworth@alexanderroberts.com.

For travel assistance during your journey, we’ve included our OnCall International service… It’s complimentary 24/7! Just call 888-771-8409…. Anytime, we’re here to assist you.

A Word about Hotels
As in other parts of the world, check-in time for most hotels is around 3:00PM and check-out time is typically 11AM. Should you arrive early to find that your room is not yet ready, the hotel will likely be more than happy to store your luggage securely for a few hours. That leaves you unencumbered to explore a bit at your own pace - or to relax with a cup of tea or coffee either in the lobby or at a nearby cafe.

Similarly, if you have a late departure flight, hotels will store your luggage after you’ve checked-out, leaving you unencumbered to explore and relax until it’s time to go to the airport. Depending upon how busy they are, hotels may allow you to occupy your room for another hour or two without charge; check with the front desk to determine if this is possible for your day of departure.

If early check-in or late check-out is required, advance arrangements can usually be confirmed for the cost of an additional night. Please notify us or your travel agent if you wish to confirm either.

Climate
Morocco boasts a comfortable climate year-round. However, it does rain more frequently in winter (December through March) than at other times of the year. In the summer, the weather is hot and dry.  Temperatures throughout the country can reach 100°F; in the Sahara they can be over 115°F.

Morocco Average High Temperature Chart (in °F)

City    
Jan    
Feb    
Mar    
Apr    
May    
Jun    
Jul    
Aug    
Sep    
Oct    
Nov    
Dec

Agadir    
70    
71    
73    
75    
76    
78    
85    
86    
80    
78    
76    
70

Casablanca    
63    
63    
66    
68    
72    
75    
81    
81    
80    
77    
68    
64

Essaouira    
64    
64    
64    
66    
68    
68    
72    
70    
70    
70    
68    
66

Fez    
61    
63    
66    
72    
79    
88    
97    
97    
90    
81    
66    
61

Marrakech    
70    
71    
73    
79    
84    
86    
92    
97    
88    
82    
75    
70

Meknes    
59    
61    
64    
70    
74    
84    
93    
93    
86    
79    
66    
61

Ouarzazate    
63    
67    
73    
80    
86    
96    
98    
99    
93    
80    
70    
62

Rabat    
63    
64    
66    
70    
73    
77    
82    
82    
81    
77    
68    
64

Safi    
64    
66    
68    
72    
77    
81    
86    
86    
82    
79    
70    
66

Low temperatures are about 15-20 degrees cooler than in the chart above.

The Lay of the Land
Situated on the far northwest coast of Africa just a short distance from Spain, Morocco is washed by the waters of the Atlantic as well as the Mediterranean. The coastline, dotted with historic towns established by merchants and colonists ranging from the Phoenicians 25 centuries ago to Europeans 5 centuries ago, soon gives way to sweeping interior plains and grasslands. As one approaches the magnificent Atlas Mountains in the center of the country, the topography shifts once again to stony deserts punctuated by ancient fortified towns and impressive Kasbahs. Traversing the Atlas range with its timeless valleys and mountain villages, you come finally to the vast expanse of desert that is the Sahara!

Transferring Between Cities
Drives between destinations within Morocco tend to be quite long due to the road infrastructure of this developing country. The speed limits tend do be slow and there are often unannounced construction closures. We make every attempt to arrive at your next destination efficiently and plan appropriate bathroom breaks but please be prepared for long journeys, especially when travelling to the Sahara.

On Faith and Religion
Islam is the predominant religion of Morocco, but fundamentalism is rare and Moroccans are very tolerant of other cultures, faiths and beliefs. In fact, you’ll probably notice that the country is quite secular in its dress and religious attitudes. Judaism prospered in the country for many centuries, and Morocco boasts many beautiful synagogues, some of which are remarkable for their architecture, age and preservation. Many cities including Fez have old Jewish Quarters that are fascinating places to explore. On a historic note, many Moroccan Jews immigrated to Israel in 1948 in response to newspaper ads that appeared throughout Moroccan cities offering land to settlers as Israel embarked on its nation-building campaign following independence. Vibrant Christian communities and churches can also be found in all of Morocco’s major cities.

Ramadan
Ramadan is the holy month during which the Islamic world commemorates the revelation of the Holy Quran and all Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk. In 2021 Ramadan begins at dusk on April 12th and continues for 30 days (it begins at dusk on April 2nd in 2022). Eating, drinking and smoking in public areas during daylight hours is strictly prohibited throughout this month. Alcohol is not served during daylight hours, but is available in licensed bars and restaurants after sunset for non-Muslims. All hotels we work with make concessions for visitors and keep a restaurant open during the day that is only available to resident guests. During Ramadan, live entertainment, loud music and dancing are prohibited and conservative dress is expected to be worn in public. Many shops and stores open for a few hours in the morning and then resume business after sunset, staying open until well after midnight. Sunset marks the breaking of the fast when families and friends get together to enjoy their Iftar (“breakfast” in Arabic). Large Iftar tents, where people come together to break the fast with water and dates, are a common sight. Most restaurants both within and outside hotels offer Iftar specials.

Money Matters
The Moroccan currency is the Dirham (MAD). The exchange rate is government-controlled and currency can not be taken out of the country; nor is the Dirham available abroad. Exchange rates can vary widely but one US dollar roughly equals about 10 Dirhams.

You can exchange money upon arrival at the airport as well as at most hotels and banks. Please note that these establishments will charge a fee to exchange cash and US bills must be in pristine condition and minted newer than 2013. Bills that are torn, worn or marked will be rejected. Your driver and guide will know where to get the best exchange rate.

 You will also find ATMs at banks in the larger cities. We recommend you change money only as you need it. Although you can change your Dirhams back into US dollars before you depart, it is limited to 50% of the entire amount you have exchanged during your stay. You may be required to show your exchange receipts in order to change your Dirhams back into US dollars, so be sure to save them every time you change money.

Mastercard and Visa credit cards are accepted in hotels, in most larger shops, in restaurants, at carpet stores and other locations frequented by international visitors. If you do not see your credit card’s logo on the establishment’s door, then be sure to ask if credit cards are accepted! (AMEX is not as widely accepted in Morocco) At many smaller shops and at the souks, you will need local currency to make your purchase.

We recommend that before you travel you inform both your bank and your credit card company which countries you will be visiting. It is also a good idea to inquire about fees for transactions abroad.

Tipping
Many of our guests find it helpful to have guidelines on whom and how much to tip, so we are pleased to provide this information:

For all of our Small Group and Private Journeys, we have included the gratuities for your drivers (sightseeing + transfers), baggage porters and the restaurant staff for all included meals. If you feel that their services are exceptional and go above-and-beyond, then feel free to tip additionally as you wish.

•    For our Small Group Trip Leader, we recommend that you tip $10 to $15 per person, per day.

•    For our Private Journeys we recommend $10 to $15 per person, per day for your Private Guide.

Although gratuities for these staff members are not included in your tour fare, please remember that such tips are always at your discretion. They are appreciated as recognition for excellent service, but whom and how much you tip is always up to you.

For meals and activities not included as part of your A+R itinerary, here are tipping guidelines in accordance with local practices:

•    Upscale restaurants: A service charge (5%-15%) is typically already included on the bill
•    Bell hops: 10-50Dirham ($2-$5 USD)
•    Taxi's: Tips are not expected by taxi drivers
•    Private Drivers: 20-50Dirham ($2-5$ USD) per trip
•    Spa services: add 10%-15%

We do recommend carrying some coins for small tipping of restroom attendants at public bathrooms.

For any gratuities, we suggest you tip in the local currency. But if you only have US Dollars, they will be graciously accepted.

Electricity
Electric current is 127V or 220V AC at 50 Hz and most outlets support two round-pin plugs. An adapter plug and a converter may be necessary to charge your electronic devices, and are usually available from the front desk. For more information on plugs and sockets, review the information at:
www.iec.ch/worldplugs/map.htm.

Internet and Phone Calls
If you plan to bring your cell phone when you travel, please check with your carrier to ensure that your plan covers international calls and/or mobile data from the countries you will visit on your trip and whether there may be money saving plans available from your carrier that can be arranged in advance. Alternatively, local prepaid SIM cards for your phone are usually available at the airport where you arrive and can be used to tap into local service providers. Wi-fi is available at all hotels either complimentary or for a fee; you can find Wi-Fi information on your itinerary and hotel list, or check with the front desk upon check in regarding access details.

 If making an international call from your hotel room, please check the rates first.  Hotels often contract with outside companies to provide direct-dial telephone services for guests calling overseas from their rooms, and the rates can be unexpectedly high.

The dialing code for Morocco is +212; you’ll need to prefix the local number with this dialing code when calling from outside of Morocco.

Is the Water Safe to Drink?
We recommend that you do not drink the tap water in Morocco and avoid ice cubes. Bottled water is readily available.

Meal Time!
The opportunity to sample and explore local cuisine in-depth will certainly be among the highlights of your journey. Moroccan dishes are rich with flavors, aromas and colors. The food is inexpensive by world standards and the quality is overall outstanding. Morocco is an agricultural country that produces excellent produce and fruit, including oranges that are exported throughout Europe and which you can sample fresh-squeezed from juice vendors in the street cafes.

Couscous is a traditional Berber dish of semolina that is most often served with a delicious stew of meat and vegetables. Tagine, another Moroccan favorite, is most often made from chicken or lamb. This richly flavored, casserole-type dish is prepared in an earthenware pot with olives and savory herbs including ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and saffron. Nuts and dried fruits are also often used in many tagine recipes. For dessert, you can enjoy cakes and flaky pastries flavored with honey, sesame seeds, almonds and raisins. Mint tea is the traditional after-meal accompaniment.

Morocco’s Famous Souks + Markets
The souks of Morocco, especially in Fez and Marrakech, are world-renowned for one simple reason: the shopping opportunities they present are probably the most exciting you will encounter anywhere in the world! These vast, colorful, timeless and bustling open-air markets offer a dizzying array of goods, from the pedestrian to the exotic, and the souks are roughly divided into areas based upon the products sold. Pottery, textiles, leather goods, wooden ware, rugs and spices are among the items which are locally made and most sought after by international visitors.

Many of these items are crafted on-site in the souks, providing visitors with the chance to observe skilled artisans at work. The dyers markets, where local wool is dyed and prepared for weaving, are especially intriguing and fun to observe; brilliantly colored and suspended to dry, the wool offers amazing photo opportunities.

Keep in mind that bargaining is a time-honored tradition and vendors will expect you to participate. Keep your sense of humor and persevere, and it won’t be unusual if you end up paying one quarter to half of the initial asking price. A wide variety of rugs in all sizes and styles from plush to flat-woven kilims will certainly catch your eye and provide a great opportunity to sharpen your bartering skills.

Enjoy your shopping, but keep a few precautions in mind… We recommend that you avoid items that are presented as antiques or even as ancient artifacts. Often, they’re anything but old! In addition, the export of genuine antiques is strictly controlled so that cultural treasures do not leave the country. Animal skins and items made from bird feathers, bone and horn could come from endangered species and should also be avoided. Buy only from reputable shops and if you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to ask your hotel concierge or our guide for advice. Should you purchase a larger item which the seller agrees to ship, we recommend that you take a picture of the item and make sure you have all the bills as well as the seller’s address and phone number – should the need arise for you to contact the shop upon your return home.

Sahara Desert
If you have booked an itinerary that includes the Sahara, your itinerary includes a unique trek off-the-beaten-track through the “pre-Sahara,” a rarely visited region dotted with small Berber villages that still show vestiges of 18th century culture. You’ll enjoy the sand dunes of Merzouga, the canyons of Todgha, and finish your journey on the Route of 1,000 Casbahs. Surrounded by the golden dunes of Erg Chebbi, La Belle Etoile is an inviting retreat in the heart of the desert. Cozy tented accommodations have a separate private shower and toilet, and are comfortably appointed with Moroccan textiles, simple furnishings, a welcoming bed and the warm glow of lamps.  A delicious meal under a star-filled desert sky and entertainment around a campfire promise an unforgettable night in the Sahara.  Due to the nature of this adventure itinerary, please be prepared for extensive travel each day, sometimes on unpaved roads.  

Local Time
The local time in Morocco is 6 hours ahead of New York (GMT+1)

Conversing with the Locals
Arabic is the official language of Morocco; French is also widely spoken. Berber is spoken in the rural areas, particularly in the Atlas Mountains and in the South. As a traveler, you’ll find that at least some English is spoken in the souks of major cities, at many restaurants and shops and at all of the hotels where you will be staying.

Practicing your high school French before you travel or carrying a French phrase book may prove helpful during your journey. On the whole, however, you’ll find that the Moroccan people are very warm and friendly and will endeavor to help you with a smile in any way they can. Rarely will you ever feel intimidated by a language barrier.

A Note about Traveling with Minors
Many countries currently require documentary evidence of a relationship between minors traveling with an adult. Although Morocco is not one of them, we strongly recommend that parents traveling alone with a minor carry a notarized letter from the absent parent authorizing the trip, regardless of whether the parent is married or divorced. Never-married parents, parents whose spouse has died, and parents who have been granted sole legal custody of children are encouraged to carry notarized proof of their status, including death certificate where appropriate. Grandparents traveling with grandchildren and adults traveling with children who are not their own should carry letters of authorization from both parents of the children. It is wise to also carry the child’s birth certificate with the original seal. Please visit the state department’s website travel.state.gov if you plan to travel with a minor.   

Packing Advice to Get You Started
Lightweight clothes that layer well and protect you from the sun are advisable. A sweater or jacket is good to have as the evenings are cool, especially in the desert. A raincoat or windbreaker with a hood is handy should the weather suddenly get wet.

Comfortable footwear is a must, especially in the souks (markets) and small villages. Dining is not dressy so a tie or evening clothes are not necessary. Morocco is conservative so out of respect for the local culture, we advise you not to wear shorts on visits to places of worship. It is customary for women to cover their shoulders (and sometimes, their heads) when visiting a mosque. Scarves are available at the major mosques for this purpose but it’s handy to keep one with you.

Consider an Easy-to-carry Traveling Bag
It’s good to have a small bag to carry your daytime needs with you while traveling; a backpack is used by many travelers for this purpose. A water bottle is always handy to have in your traveling pack.

The Essentials
Hotels are well-equipped with tissues and toilet paper; however, small packets of facial tissues and a small bottle of hand-sanitizer can be handy for use in public bathrooms. Your hotel will provide fine amenities, including soap and shampoo, but pack your own if you use particular brands. Please bring your own lotions, contact lens solutions, cosmetics and feminine hygiene products. Bring extra prescriptions (packed partially in your hand luggage) as well as cold medicine, aspirin and cures for intestinal troubles. You should also bring a good sunblock lotion with you since high temperatures can intensify the impact of the sun. We recommend 30+ SPF. Please also pack insect repellent, especially if you’re traveling to the Sahara.

Seeing + Capturing your Experiences
Make a complete check of your camera equipment before you leave and make sure you have replacement or rechargeable batteries and additional memory cards. It’s also a good idea to bring a pair of binoculars and a waterproof flashlight can also come in handy. Please note that drones are illegal in Morocco.

Camera drones are not allowed for use on our tours as they can detract from the experiences of your fellow travelers. If, however you plan to bring a drone for use in your free time, please pay close attention to the local aviation laws.  Most historic sites and national parks explicitly prohibit the use of personal drones, so it is your own responsibility to acquire any necessary permission and adhere to local laws should you plan on traveling with a drone.  

On-Tour Hunger Pangs
High-protein snacks are good for both the air trip as well as for your activities while traveling: nuts, raisins, granola bars and peanut butter are popular with many of our travelers. If you drink decaffeinated coffee, this is a good item to bring along as it may not always be available. Powdered milk or coffee creamer is also recommended for those who like them, and sugar substitutes are not always available.

A Few Final Tips
Some handy items we recommend include: an extra pair of glasses, a bottle opener and an English/French dictionary.

Reminders about your Baggage
 Baggage restrictions vary by airline, and we ask you to review the airlines on your itinerary and review baggage restrictions on their website to determine the maximum number of bags and weights that are allowed.  In Economy, passengers are limited to one bag.  Keep in mind that the flights that are included on your tour are in Economy and are limited to one checked bag with weight limits.  So when packing for your trip, consider the bag and weight restrictions on all of your flights, not just your international arrangements.

Most airlines charge travelers for additional bags and excess weight so we advise you to pack as lightly as possible. Most of our hotels offer laundry services.

TSA Packing Tips
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) publishes a comprehensive list of items that are Permitted and Prohibited in carry-on and checked baggage. You can find the complete list online at https://www.tsa.gov/travel.

For vacation travelers, the important thing to remember is that only one small bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes can be in your carry-on bag when you pass through security. Each item is limited to 3.4 ounces (100ml) - and all containers must fit inside a clear, 1-quart sized, zip-top bag. If you have containers that are larger than 3.4 ounces, they must go inside your checked baggage.

Medications, baby formula/food and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding the 3.4-ounce limit, and they do not have to be in a zip-lock bag. You should declare these items at the checkpoint, and keep in mind that TSA Officers may need to inspect them.

Other Recommendations:

•    Jewelry, cash, tablet devices and laptops should be in your carry-on baggage. Tape your business card to the bottom of your laptop for easy identification if it gets separated for inspection.
•    Avoid accessories and jewelry that contain metal as they may set off the metal detector at the check point. This saves having to take them off and put them back on as you pass through security.
•    Wear slip-on shoes that can be easily removed and placed on the conveyor built to be x-rayed at the security check-point.
•    If you wish to place a lock on your checked luggage, it must be of a make and model approved by the TSA.
•    Do not pack wrapped gifts and do not bring wrap gifts to the security check point.

A Few Words about Safety + Security
Traveling abroad is no different than visiting a new city in the United States: use common sense precautions to safeguard your person and your possessions at all times. Remember to wash your hands frequently and use hand-sanitizer. Moroccan streets are very safe to walk any time of day or night as the vigilance of the police and the severity of Islamic prosecutions represent an effective deterrent. Be aware of your environment, especially in very crowded areas such as the souks and very touristy places like Marrakech’s Djemaa el Fna Square.
•    Do not go out and about with your passport unless specifically instructed to do so by your local guides.
•    Keep your extra cash and passport in the in-room safe of your hotel. In the few instances where they are not available, then store these items in the safety deposit box at the front desk.
•    Always make a copy of your passport, credit cards and e-tickets and keep them separate from the originals so that they can be more readily replaced if lost or stolen. Leave extra copies with someone at home who you can reach while traveling. Or consider scanning these documents and emailing them to an address that you can access while abroad.
•    If you don’t already own one, consider investing in a money belt that can be concealed under your clothing. This is a good place to keep the cash and credit cards that you need for personal expenses while sightseeing, shopping and touring.
•    Do not display large amounts of cash in public. Carry your purse with the strap across your chest, not dangling from your shoulder or arm.

These measures will save you countless time and trouble should your credit cards, airline tickets or passport be lost or stolen.  

 
Some Helpful Web Links

U.S. Department of State
www.travel.state.gov
Travel documents and tips; State Department Travel announcements; Consular Information for countries you will visit
 
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
General health information for travelers and health information on specific destinations

Transportation Security Administration
www.tsa.gov (select Traveler Information)
Tips for travelers going through security at the airport

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
www.cbp.gov (select Travel)
Helpful information for returning U.S. citizens travelling abroad

Calling the U.S. from Abroad
www.att.com/traveler
AT&T’s USADirect service offers convenient telephone access to the U.S. from around the world

Currency Converter
www.oanda.com/currency/converter

Alexander+Roberts
www.alexanderroberts.com
For information about your tour: itinerary, customer reviews, visas, Travel Protection Plan, payment and cancellation details