Morocco in May
Bernie Abromaitis, one of our Merit Travel consultants from British Columbia travelled to Morocco in May 2017. We’ve asked her a few quick questions about her Moroccan experience.
How did you get to Morocco and who did you travel with? I travelled with Exodus Travels. They offer a range of active tours including cycling, hiking, culture and wildlife, which take you off the beaten path – there’s bound to be an itinerary that appeals to you. The highlights of the Exodus Travels itinerary were riding camels in the desert and sleeping under the stars (fantastic!), then hiking in the Atlas Mountains and riding mules there. And of course bargaining in the souk markets.
What photo sums up your experience? Riding camels – the quintessential thing to do in the desert…
What was your favourite meal or most interesting meal? A chicken tajine dish. We went to the market and picked out our LIVE chickens and vegetables, then prepared everything fresh. Truly a hands-on meal to remember.
Why should I book a trip to Morocco? Morocco has both North African, Berber and European cultural influences – the latter mainly due to its proximity, and history with the French and Spanish. The food is fantastic, the colours and scents are exotic and exciting – one impromptu event was a morning sunrise photo shoot in the Sahara dunes and we also dressed up in traditional clothing and did a photo shoot! How cool is that?!
What should I know before I go? Before going I was worried about scorpions, snakes and creepy crawlies in the Sahara desert. But this wasn’t a problem, we slept on proper beds off the ground set up for us outside so we could sleep under the stars. The sun can be quite strong so bring high SPF sun lotion for your face, hands and feet.
Dress modestly for both cultural reasons and to protect yourself from the sun. Light and loose-fitting clothing is most comfortable. Far outside the cities women may need to cover their heads. Camel riding is quite an experience – you feel quite high off the ground on a slow moving lolling animal, like a slow electric bull.
Was there any place you wish you could have spent more time? The time was well apportioned to give us the maximum range of cultural experiences in the country. A day longer would be very welcome in the Atlas mountains.
A chance to rest and rejuvenate after the camel and mule riding and to enjoy the cooler, refreshing temperatures after the desert. It got up to 44+’C one day, so the Atlas mountains were a very refreshing welcome.
What was an activity you’d recommend for visitors We experienced a traditional hamam (sauna/spa). We were washed and scrubbed clean the way it’s been done there for centuries. A great idea after the desert!
Then we had a home visit with traditional snacks and drinks. Our host’s young grandson played games with us, he was cute as a button! We had fun trying to communicate and ask questions and had some good laughs over the yummy treats.
As noted earlier, camel and mule riding were at the top of my highlights as was an outdoor meal and sleeping under the stars. I could barely make out the constellations because of so many other stars competing for attention. The milky way seemed so close and colourful with its multitude of stars and nebulas.
What type of person would love this destination? An active person who wants to engage in the culture and history – to interact rather than watch passively. We got right into the heart of the places we visited.
Is Morocco somewhere I’d go alone, with my partner, with my kids or with my Grandma?
I highly recommend going with a small group (such as Exodus) as one would get so much more out of it than trying to do it alone – the history, the culture, the meanings – well worth it. It’s an excellent destination for solo travellers or couples as well because the small groups will give you a chance to meet people and to share memories with afterwards.
Depending on the itinerary, it would be good for all ages, suitable for family trips with kids and adult groups both young and young-at-heart.
Is there something you would do differently if you visited Morocco again? I would add a day trip to Essaouira on the coast. Everyone who has gone there raved about how great it is – the markets, the ocean, the seafood.
It would be a great addition to highlight even more contrast from the desert to the sea.
When is it best to visit Morocco? I would recommend spring or autumn/fall to avoid the severe heat of summer and the freezing cold of winter. The desert does not retain heat at night so the temperatures fluctuate and it would be more comfortable in the spring or autumn/fall.
What was the WOW factor you experienced in Morocco?
Definitely sleeping under the stars. The whole day was a wow – riding the camels, having a traditional Berber meal outside, and evening musical entertainment by a campfire. The locals played music and we got up and danced – in the Sahara desert! Then the musical instruments were passed around for us to try. Great interactive fun.
I’d love to tell you more about any of my experiences above and send you there to experience it for yourself! Contact me for any questions you have about Morocco! You can reach Bernie on 778-372-1000 x 7337 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2, 2017