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$970 (p/p)

Imperial Cities Tour

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Imperial Cities OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

8 days

Marrakech to Marrakech

From

$970 (p/p)

Country(ies): Morocco

Tour type: Shoestring

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 45

Accommodation: 4-star hotels

Meals:

Transport: A/C minibus/coach

Highlights: Marrakech medina, Djemaa El Fna square & city tour; Essaouira harbour; El Jadida; Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca; Rabat old town, royal palace & Hassan Tower Mosque; Walled city of Meknes; Roman ruins at Volubolis; Fes medina & city tour

This budget Morocco tour, starting and finishing in Marrakech, provides a fantastic introduction to Morocco's Imperial Cities, with busy Medinas and amazing historic sites to explore and great opportunities to try local Moroccan cuisine.

We start by heading to the Atlantic Coast and the town of Essaouira, famous for its ancient port, arts and crafts, windsurfing and bohemian atmosphere. From here we follow the coast north past El Jadida to Casablanca where we'll visit the unique Habous District, the Royal Palace, Mohamed V Square, the Anfa district and the huge Hassan II Mosque. Our next stop is the old Imperial City of Meknes with its huge ramparts, follwed by the holy city of Moulay Idriss and the amazing ruins at the ancient Roman city of Volubilis before we arrive at the the 1200-year-old city of Fes to explore its famous Medina. We'll also take you to Rabat for a tour of the old city including visits to the Royal Palace before heading back to Marrakech. 

We then have two full days in Marrakech with one full day's tour to explore the iconic Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia palace, several other sites and the lively souks around the Djemaa El Fna square, which is home to many different types of traders and entertainers at night, giving you a real taste of Moroccan cuisine and culture. You then have a free day to explore the medina further, visit the beautiful Majorelle Gardens, take a spectacular hot air balloon flight, or to head into the Atlas mountains to see the beautiful Ourika Valley. 

Accommodation is in 4 star hotels, an upgrade available to a higher Superior level on request staying in 5-star hotels. Our Morocco on a Shoestring tour is a similar version of this tour, starting and finishing in Casablanca but missing out Essaouira. 

Private tour option

If our scheduled departure dates don't work for you, or you would prefer not to travel with a group, then we can also run this tour privately for you and customise the itinerary and accommodation to suit your personal requirements. Please contact us for more information and prices.

ITINERARY

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Day 1:   Arrive into Marrakech. Transfer to hotel

On your arrival in Marrakech airport (RAK) our representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in, relax after your flight, and have a first look around. Extra nights before the tour starts are available on request.

If you arrive early enough, you can head into Marrakech's famous Djemaa el Fna Square for a first taste of Moroccan food at one of the main street stalls, while watching the many street performers and salesmen offering their wares.

OVERNIGHT:

Marrakech hotel

MEALS:

Dinner

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Marrakech - pre-tour
Single room supplement (MOSHIC)
Superior level hotel upgrade (MOSHDS)
Full board supplement (Imperial Cities)


Day 2:   Essaouira, El Jadadia & Oualidia

We leave Marrakech early today and head to the Atlantic coast and the harbour town of Essaouira. This important trading town was built on the site of a sixteenth-century Portuguese fortress, but was originally settled by the Phoenecians in the 5th century BC as they recognised the value of its harbour and fresh water. Essaouira still has a well preserved port area, and more recently is well known for its artisan industries, art galleries, and the Gnaoua and World Music Festival which is held in the summer. It was also very popular during the height of the hippy movement with rock stars such as Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa visiting, and still has a very bohemian feel today. 
After an optional seafood lunch available with the full board package, we head up along the Atlantic coast towards Casablanca. Along the way we'll stop at Oualidia and El Jadida (previously known as Mazagon) where you can visit the Portugese Cistern. 

OVERNIGHT:

Casablanca hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Full board supplement (Imperial Cities)


Day 3:   Casablanca, Meknes and Volubolis

After breakfast we'll have a short visit of Morocco's economic capital, seeing the Bahous district, the Royal Palace, Mohamed V square, tand he residential area of Anfa. We'll also see the outside of the huge Hassan II Mosque, the largest in Morocco, which has a dramatic location right on the edge of the sea. Next, we drive to the Imperial City of Meknes. Formerly the capital of Morocco during the reign of Moulay Ismail, he transformed the town, constructing intricate gateways, beautiful gardens and at 40m the largest ramparts in the country. We'll see the Jewish Quarter, Royal Stables and the famous Bab Mansour gate. Our next photo stop is the holy city of Moulay Idriss which we pass through on our way to the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. Recently listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and dating back as far as AD40, Volubilis is home to some of the most impressive Roman ruins in North Africa. We finish the day with a short drive to the mediaeval city of Fez.

OVERNIGHT:

Fez hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Full board supplement (Imperial Cities)


Day 4:   Full day in Fes

Over 1200 years old, the city of Fes is fascinating place to spend a day exploring. We'll delve into the history of the city with a tour encompassing the outside of the Moulay Idrss mausoleum and Karaouine Mosque, the Royal Palace, Attarine or Bou Anania Medersa and the Nejjarine fountain. We'll also explore Fes's famous Medina, with many of its narrow streets only wide enough for donkeys and bikes to transport goods in and out. We'll see the dye pits and tanneries as well as numerous craft shops, mosques, cafes and markets. 

OVERNIGHT:

Fes hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Full board supplement (Imperial Cities)


Day 5:   Explore Rabat, then on to Marrakech

We reluctantly leave Fes behind this morning and head back to the Atlantic Coast and the Imperial City of Rabat, Morocco's administrative capital. We'll see the Royal Palace (Mechouar, the Mohamed V Mausoleum and Hassan Tower Mosque, as well as the Oudayas Garden and Kasbah. After an optional seafood lunch (full board package) we'll continue on the highway back to Marrakech.

OVERNIGHT:

Marrakech hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Full board supplement (Imperial Cities)


Day 6:   Full day tour of Marrakech

We'll spend the whole day today exploring the exotic city of Marrakech, Morocco's second oldest Imperial City, also known as the 'ochre city'. Our tour will include the iconic Koutoubia Mosque, home to the minaret which has become a symbol of the city, the Menara Garden, Saadian Tombs, Dar Si Said Museum and the Bahia Palace. After lunch at the hotel we'll head back out and explore the busy souks and handicraft quarters before the tour finishes at the famous Djemaa El Fna square. It's well worth eating out near the square or returning later in the evening as it really comes to life at night when it is packed with street food stalls, musicians and entertainers - one of Morocco's highlights.

OVERNIGHT:

Marrakech hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

Full board supplement (Imperial Cities)


Day 7:   Marrakech, free time & optional tours

Your full day is free today to head back into the centre of Marrakech and do some final sightseeing and shopping in the souqs. You could also visit the beautiful Majorelle Garden with its French-influenced architecture and colour schemes, excellent cactus and palm collection, and intriguing history through its connection with the iconic French designer Yves Saint Laurent. The museum at the gardens also displays some of his works of art and Berber heritage collection. Options are also available this morning to take a spectacular early morning hot air balloon flight. Alternatively you could take a day trip to the beautiful Ourika Valley into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

OVERNIGHT:

Marrakech hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Marrakech hot air balloon flight
Ourika Valley day trip


Day 8:   Departure from Marrakech

You have some free time in Marrakech today until you are transferred to the airport for departure.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Marrakech - post-tour


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Included:
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • All transport and transfers
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • English speaking tour leader and local guides.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (half board)
  • Sightseeing tours & visits as detailed in the itinerary
  • Entrances fees to monuments visited
  • Luggage porterage & tips at hotels
  • VAT & local hotel taxes

Excluded:
  • International flights
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for guide & driver
  • Any other items not mentioned above
Notes:

Hotel Gala Dinners
Many of Morocco's higher level hotels arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening of New Year's Eve. Payment for these is compulsory whether you attend or not and is included in our tour prices.

Related Tours

If you are looking for a tour and not finding what you are looking for, have a look at our best other related tours to check out for your travel plans. At Encounters Travel, we offer a variety of tours to suit your needs. So sit back, relax, and let us help you plan the perfect getaway.

Dates and Prices

This tour is also available for booking privately for travel anytime through the year, and we can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.

Start Date
End Date
Price (P/P)
Offer price
Note

26th of Aug 2022

2nd of Sep 2022

$970.00

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9th of Sep 2022

16th of Sep 2022

$970.00

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23rd of Sep 2022

30th of Sep 2022

$970.00

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7th of Oct 2022

14th of Oct 2022

$995.00

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21st of Oct 2022

28th of Oct 2022

$995.00

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4th of Nov 2022

11th of Nov 2022

$1040.00

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18th of Nov 2022

25th of Nov 2022

$1040.00

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2nd of Dec 2022

9th of Dec 2022

$1040.00

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23rd of Dec 2022

30th of Dec 2022

$1140.00

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30th of Dec 2022

6th of Jan 2023

$1280.00

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13th of Jan 2023

20th of Jan 2023

$1040.00

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27th of Jan 2023

3rd of Feb 2023

$1040.00

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10th of Feb 2023

17th of Feb 2023

$1040.00

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24th of Feb 2023

3rd of Mar 2023

$1095.00

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10th of Mar 2023

17th of Mar 2023

$1125.00

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24th of Mar 2023

31st of Mar 2023

$1125.00

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7th of Apr 2023

14th of Apr 2023

$1125.00

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21st of Apr 2023

28th of Apr 2023

$1125.00

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5th of May 2023

12th of May 2023

$1125.00

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19th of May 2023

26th of May 2023

$1125.00

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2nd of Jun 2023

9th of Jun 2023

$1095.00

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16th of Jun 2023

23rd of Jun 2023

$1095.00

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30th of Jun 2023

7th of Jul 2023

$1095.00

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14th of Jul 2023

21st of Jul 2023

$1095.00

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28th of Jul 2023

4th of Aug 2023

$1095.00

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11th of Aug 2023

18th of Aug 2023

$1095.00

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25th of Aug 2023

1st of Sep 2023

$1095.00

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8th of Sep 2023

15th of Sep 2023

$1095.00

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22nd of Sep 2023

29th of Sep 2023

$1095.00

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6th of Oct 2023

13th of Oct 2023

$1125.00

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20th of Oct 2023

27th of Oct 2023

$1125.00

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3rd of Nov 2023

10th of Nov 2023

$1070.00

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17th of Nov 2023

24th of Nov 2023

$1070.00

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1st of Dec 2023

8th of Dec 2023

$1070.00

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15th of Dec 2023

22nd of Dec 2023

$1070.00

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22nd of Dec 2023

29th of Dec 2023

$1140.00

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29th of Dec 2023

5th of Jan 2024

$1325.00

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Accomodation

The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.

Hotel Atlas Asni

Hotel Atlas Asni

Marrakech

Local rating

Our rating

 Hotel Atlas Asni Hotel Atlas Asni

Set in a garden lined with palm trees, this 4-star hotel is 1.9 miles from Jamaâ El Fna Square. It offers an outdoor pool, a fitness centre and a spa.

The air-conditioned guest rooms are equipped with a TV and have views of the garden or the swimming pool. Each spacious room features Moroccan decorations. All rooms have a marble bathroom.

A buffet breakfast is served every morning at Atlas Asni. Guests can enjoy a drink in the hotel bar or use the free Wi-Fi access in the lounge.

The spa at the 4-star hotel Atlas Asni includes a sauna and hammam. Massages are available upon request.

Set in a garden lined with palm trees, this 4-star hotel is 1.9 miles from Jamaâ El Fna Square. It offers an outdoor pool, a fitness centre and a spa.

The air-conditioned guest rooms are equipped with a TV and have views of the garden or the swimming pool. Each spacious room features Moroccan decorations. All rooms have a marble bathroom.

A buffet breakfast is served every morning at Atlas Asni. Guests can enjoy a drink in the hotel bar or use the free Wi-Fi access in the lounge.

The spa at the 4-star hotel Atlas Asni includes a sauna and hammam. Massages are available upon request.

Menzeh Zalagh Hotel

Menzeh Zalagh Hotel

Fez

Local rating

Our rating

 Menzeh Zalagh Hotel Menzeh Zalagh Hotel

Options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you‘re visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Marrakech hot air balloon flight

From $240*

Marrakech hot air balloon flight

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


The hot air balloon tour lasts about 4 hours, with the flight itself lasting about 1 hour. You start very early in the morning (around 05.30-06.30) with a pick up from your hotel and a drive in a comfortable 4WD vehicle to the take-off site just outside the city. Once the balloon is prepared and ready, you take off and float across the beautiful Moroccan scenery. Depending on the weather and the day's selected take off and landing sites, you'll see different Berber villages, the outskirts of the city, small oases, and terraced irrigated fields as well as the distant High Atlas mountains. A chase vehicle follows you on the ground, in constant contact by radio with the balloon. After landing you rejoin the vehicle and drive back to Marrakesh, stopping for tea and a snack at some of the Berber villages you've passed over.

You get back to your hotel in Marrakesh around midday.

Note - this flight is subject to weather conditions - a refund will be provided if it is not able to go ahead. 

Ourika Valley day trip

From $70*

Ourika Valley day trip

Min numbers: 2 *Based on 2 person/s


Situated at the base of the famous Oukaimeden ski station, the lush Ourika valley slowly rises up to the foothills of the High Atlas mountains. This beautiful valley is home to many traditional Berber villages and its rushing river is dotted along its route by many cafes and restaurants popular with locals escaping for the day from Marrakech. Ourika is also famous for its local pottery. As well as driving through the valley, you'll have time for a walk to see the many waterfalls, and to have lunch by the river (not included). 

Extra day in Marrakech - post-tour

From $60*

Extra day in Marrakech - post-tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability) on a bed & breakfast basis. Your airport departure transfer is not included and will be charged as an additional supplement if required based on the number of people in your party. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Single room supplement (MOSHIC)

From $210*

Single room supplement (MOSHIC)

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 1 person/s


This tour is based on twin-share accommodation, with single bookers paired up with another traveller of the same sex in the group. If the final group make-up means that no room share is available, you do not need to pay this supplement. However, if you would like to guarantee yourself a single room throughout the tour, then please add this option to your booking.

Note: Single supplement prices may vary seasonally.

Superior level hotel upgrade (MOSHIC)

From $325*

Superior level hotel upgrade (MOSHIC)

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option upgrades the hotels used on the tour from the local 4-star level to standard 5-star hotels. These are good comfortable hotels with extensive ameneties, but are not the top of the 5-star range. Single travellers will need to pay the main tour single supplement plus an additional supplement to cover the extra cost of single rooms in the upgraded hotels. 
Typical hotels used for this upgrade are given below, though these may be substituted for similar properties on some dates:

  • Marrakech (4 nights) - Kenzi Rose Garden or Adam Park or Mogador Menara
  • Casablanca (1 nights) - Movenpick or Palace d'Anfa or Grand Mogador city centre
  • Fes (2 nights) - Palais Medina & Spa or Marriott or Heritage boutique

 

Full board supplement (Imperial Cities)

From $170*

Full board supplement (Imperial Cities)

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 1 person/s


This option adds 5 lunches and one dinner to the tour to cover all your meals. These include two seafood lunches in Rabat and Essaouira, lunch in a traditional restaurant in the Fes medina. The dinner is in Marrakech and also includes a Moroccan show that evening. If you don't add this option, for practical reasons and time constraints during some of the journeys, you may need to eat lunch at some of the same restaurants as those adding the option, but pay locally.

Extra day in Marrakech - pre-tour

From $60*

Extra day in Marrakech - pre-tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability), staying on a bed & breakfast basis. Your airport arrival transfer is not included and will be charged as an additional supplement if required based on the number of people in your party. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Tour Notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

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  1. Accommodation

We use good quality hotels rated at the Moroccan 4-star level on this tour. Local star ratings may vary slightly from international standards, but we have selected some of the better 4 star hotels available in each location. Accommodation is based on double or twin en-suite rooms with air conditioning. All couples will have a private double room. An upgrade to a higher Superior level staying in standard 5-star hotels is available on request - please check the Options section. If some people take up this upgrade there will be two hotel pick-ups and drop-offs each day, though we do aim to use hotels as close together as possible to minimise any extra travelling time.

Please check the Single Room Supplement option for details on room sharing options and charges for solo travellers on this tour.


  2. Transport

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you're really experiencing the country you're travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. The terrain and public transport options in Morocco mean that we use private AC minibuses or coaches throughout this tour, subject to the final size of the group.


  3. Transfers

Our Morocco tours include a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in Casablanca/Marrakech airports (depending on the exact itinerary), your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers.

Your airport transfers are only included in our tour prices on the first and last day of the set tour itinerary. We will be happy to arrange transfers on any additional days if you book your hotel room with us. If you make your own arrangements for additional accommodation at either the beginning or the end of the tour then you will need to arrange your own airport transfers on these days.

On our Shoestring group tours we do offer optional hotel upgrades. This may mean that additional pick-up and drop-offs are required each day. We do endeavour to ensure that all hotels used are close to each other and to streamline and time arrangements to limit any extra driving time as much as possible.


  4. International Flights

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from.

Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour. Airport transfers on any days before or after the main tour will incur a supplement. Our Morocco tours either start/finish in Marrakech (RAK) or Casablanca (CMN) airports.

Some packages on our website are sold as flight inclusive and in this event you will see the departure airport listed on the Dates & Prices section. Airlines may vary on these packages, and baggage fees may be subject to an extra fee. Where these are shown on our website, prices are correct at the time of quoting, but are subject to continued availability of the fare used. Prices will be reconfirmed at the time of booking, and we will also provide the flight times and airline details before tickets are issued. 
Flight inclusive prices are based on the cheapest Economy ticket class available which is generally non-refundable and non-changeable unless the flight is cancelled for reasons such as Covid-19, in which case the airlines are more flexible. More flexible ticket options, as well as Premium Economy and Business Class tickets are available on request for an additional supplement. Any changes made to flight inclusive bookings will be subject to the airline rules on your ticket. 

Check in times for international flights to Morocco are generally 2 or 3 hours before departure depending on the airline - we recommend you aim to get to the airport 3 hours before departure to allow for any delays en-route and in passing through security checks. Online check in is available with most airlines from 24 hours before departure, though low-cost airlines may allow this straight after booking. Seat selection can be done at the point of checking in, either online or at the airport, or by calling the airline direct.

We do also sometimes advertise flight inclusive packages from selected airports. 


  5. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

On our Shoestring tours we allow for larger groups than our other trips, and while the average group size tends to be around 8-12 people, this tour can run with a maximum of 45 travellers on a large coach (this will be reduced according to the local regulations as part of our Safer Encounters scheme).  We may also share this departure with travellers booking through other operators so you may join with travellers booking with different companies and from different countries. This can make for some really interesting groups and new people to meet.

The minimum number of travellers required for the tour to run is 2.

The tour is led by a qualified, dual-lingual guide and a driver. This allows for explanations to be given in two languages to accommodated both English speakers and travellers with another first language. Specialist local guides may also be used in some locations to provide more site specific information. 

At Encounters Travel we aim to only use local Moroccan guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing and many people rate our Moroccan guides as one of the highlights of their tour.


  6. Entrance Fees

The tour price includes entrance fees to all the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary.  You will need to cover the cost of entrance to any other extra sites that you may wish to visit.


  7. Tipping

Tipping and Haggling is an accepted and usual part of life in Morocco and other countries in the region. Wages for service staff are very low and tips are a necessary supplement to meagre incomes. If you are visiting from a country where this is not the case, then we have given some guidelines below which will hopefully prove helpful. .

Tipping Kitty
On our Small Group Tours we implement a Tipping Kitty for your convenience and to remove the hassle of being asked for tips by main people you may come across during the tour. This kitty will be collected in US Dollars cash at the start of the tour, and administred by your tour guide. You may ask for information on who they are tipping along the way if you wish as often they will do it out of sight for politeness. However, the tipping kitty amount covers people like hotel porters, hotel waiters, local guides for city tours, airport drivers, Berber camel herders and restaurant tips.It does not cover your main tour guide. 
Please check the 'Not Included' section of the tour notes for details of the tipping kitty amount for your tour. This amount is payable per person (for adults only - children on family tours do not need to pay it). 
This tipping kitty system works well on small group style tours. However, due to the different numbers of people travelling, we do not use it on our Shoestring or Private/Tailor-made tours. 

Other tips
Your main tour guide is not included in our Tipping Kitty. On group tours we suggest you budget around USD 2-4 per person per day to cover the main guide's tip, subject to your personal budget, and your satisfaction with the level of service provided. On private/tailor-made tours we recommend you budget a bit higher. 
Throughout your trip you may at times also have a local guide in addition to your main guide. These are covered in the Tipping Kitty on our small group tours, but on other tours we suggest budgetting around USD2-3 per per day. The same applies to drivers on our Shoestring and Private/Tailor-made tours. 
In local markets, and basic restaurants you can leave the loose change. For more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of the bill. 

Haggling
Haggling is a traditional necessity, so never pay too much regard to initial prices. Instead fix an item's value in your mind then negotiate towards it unhurriedly (Moroccans never rush their bargaining), and don't be afraid to simply walk away if the price isn't right. However, if you do mention a price, then you should be prepared to pay it or risk causing offence. 


  8. Health and Vaccinations

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

South Africa: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Namibia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Botswana: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted or travelled through an infected area.
Zimbabwe: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Zambia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Malawi: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Tanzania: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Kenya: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Uganda: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Sudan: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area. A certificate may also be required for those departing Sudan.
Morocco: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria not normally present. Yellow Fever certificate not required.

The above information can change at short notice. For up to date health information & vaccination requirements we recommend that you contact your medical practitioner or a travel clinic.

Malaria: Vaccinations are not available against Malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. You should avoid mosquito bites by covering up bare skin with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers and applying insect repellents to exposed skin. When necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquitoes are most active during and after sunset. You should consult with your GP/medical practitioner/travel clinic about the most appropriate malaria prophylactic medication to take for the regions you are visiting.

Yellow Fever: This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes that bite during the day. A Yellow Fever Certificate of vacinnation is often required as a condition of entry depending on which country you are arriving from, or that you have travelled or transitted through recently (including connecting flights with stopovers of over 12 hours). You can view this US CDC information about where the virus is present and follow the links to further information detailing which countries need you to have a Yellow Fever vaccination as part of their entry requirements. Please ensure you have this certificate organised in advance and with you and to hand during the trip.

Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.
If you are travelling on an Overland tour or your trip includes wildlife safaris then please bear in mind that you may be travelling on bumpy roads and/or rough ground for several hours at a time. This can be very uncomfortable or painful if you have a bad back, and make such conditions worse. Please contact us if you have any concerns.


  9. Passports and Visas

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities. We recommend that you contact your closest Moroccan consulate or embassy for current information for your nationality.

Currently, many nationalities (including USA, Canada, UK, European, Australian, New Zealand) do not need to obtain a visa to enter Morocco as long as your stay is for less than 3 months. Other nationalities should check with their local consulate.


  10. Time
The time in Morocco is the same as GMT (plus 0 hours). Daylight saving adjustments are generally applied between the end of March and the end of October, making the time GBP plus 1 hour. During this period the time may revert back to GMT during Ramadan. Exact dates vary from year to year and sometimes the changes may be scrapped altogether.

  11. Voltage

Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C/E). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don't have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already. If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.


  12. Money

The local currency in Morocco is the Dirham.  We recommend you bring some cash in a hard currency (US Dollars, GB Pounds, Euros) and a good ATM card. Most major currencies can be converted at most banks, but it's not wise to carry too much.  Euros and US Dollars are welcomed more than GB Pounds. Travellers cheques are not easily exchanged. It can be awkward outside of Marrakech to find an ATM machine that takes your card as many Moroccan banks have ATMs that only work with Moroccan cards.  Don't put your card in an ATM unless you see the symbol that matches your card on the machine, as you might lose your card! We also suggest trying to avoid using Post Office ATMs.  In some smaller towns there are no ATMs that take foreign cards, so be sure you get enough cash to carry you until the next major city. BCM seems to be the best bank, accepting foreign cards in most of their ATMs. 

While in Morocco you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs, tips and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Moroccan Dirham. It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.


  13. What to take

Luggage: Small or medium sized suitcases, rucksacks or fabric holdalls are all fine to bring with you to Morocco. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will often be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips - you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.

Luggage limits: There is no luggage limit for this tour. However, most airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 25kg for your hold luggage and between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage. Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport.

Clothing: The Moroccan climate varies according to season and region. The coast has a warm, Mediterranean climate tempered on the eastern coast by southwest trade winds. Inland areas have a hotter, drier, continental climate. In the south of the country, the weather is very hot and dry throughout most of the year, though temperatures can drop dramatically at night, especially in desert and mountains and in the months of December and January. Rain falls from November to March in coastal areas, and the rest of the country is mostly dry with high temperatures in summer and a cooler climate in the mountains. Marrakech and Agadir enjoy an average temperature of 21°C (70ºF) in the winter. So, depending the time of year you are visiting you should pack for both hot and cooler conditions. Modesty rates highly in Morocco, especially for women, so to respect the local culture & people, please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not revealing. Shorts (not hot-pants) are OK in tourist sites, as are T-shirts, but these should not show too much bare flesh (we suggest that your shoulders should remain covered). In the centre of towns and cities outside tourist areas, and when visiting any mosques, legs and arms should be covered.

Other items: If your tour includes a Berber desert camp then all bedding is provided. However, as sand has a nasty habit of getting everywhere, for comfort, we recommend bringing a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner all year round, and a light sleeping bag in the winter months (November to February) when it can get very cold in the desert. We also recommend you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.


  14. Dates & Prices

We run regular small-group departures on this tour starting on Fridays throughout the year. All departures are guaranteed to run if a minimum of 2 travellers is reached. Please check the website for the most up-to-date prices and any special offers. Discounts may also be available if there are 4 or more people booking together - please contact us for details. 


  15. Booking & Payment

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.


  16. Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.

If your tour includes car hire, ior if you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.

Covid-19
Before purchasing any travel insurance, please check the coverage provided for situations related to Covid-19, and for the rules about government travel advice. Your normal policy may not be suitable. Details about our own policies cover levels are given on our website


  17. Financial Security

We are a UK registered company and are committed to providing our customers with financial protection to provide peace of mind and to allow you to book with confidence.
We have therefore partnered with Trust My Travel Ltd., which provides financial protection services to over 2000 partners around the world. Funds paid to us by our customers are protected via an Insurance policy held by Trust My Travel. Each traveller and the description of services sold is declared against Trust My Travel’s insurance policy directly against our financial failure. In the event of our insolvency, you will be refunded for any unfulfilled products and/or repatriation to the UK (where applicable). Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.


  18. Responsible Tourism

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don't prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn't make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don't expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don't worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don't waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don't litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you're travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It's important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).


  19. Follow Us Online

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')


  20. Before you travel

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Travel Aware' campaign

Reviews

POSTS FROM OUR BLOG Imperial Cities

Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.

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Best time to visit Morocco

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Morocco is right on the doorstep of Europe. In fact, it's so close that you could hop on an hour-long ferry ride from Spain and you'll reach the Moroccan shoreline.

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Finding Magic in Morocco

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I was nervous about meeting new people and traveling to Morocco - a country I considered to bit an exotic location.

 

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Morocco Travel Guide

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A land of history, tradition and trading, Morocco has long-since captured the imagination of intrepid travellers looking to explore the myths and legends of the great Sahara Desert and the imposing Atlas Mountain range.