…and other useful information
1. Before you book
Q 1.1 - How much does it cost?
The final price of your Morocco adventure holiday will depend upon several factors:
- the number of people sharing the vehicle (max 5 recommended in a 4x4)
- type of vehicle (4x4 or minibus)
- the comfort category and type of accommodation you choose
- which meals are to be included
- the number of rooms required e.g. single occupancy or double/twin
- the start point and end point of the tour (it is more expensive to start in one city and end on another)
- extra adventure activities you want to include
- time of year
As a rough price indicator you can expect to budget from around €100 per person per day for a private Tailor-Made tour with a mix of good 3-star/4-star boutique accommodation (half-board), private 4x4 vehicle, professional driver, fuel costs and English-speaking tour assistant*. This is based on a tour of 5 days/4 nights for a group of 4 people.
WE WILL ALWAYS CONFIRM A FINAL PRICE BEFORE BOOKING AND WE WILL ALWAYS WORK TO MEET YOUR HOLIDAY BUDGET IF POSSIBLE
* In order to assure your personal safety at all times while travelling, we are one of the only tour companies who insist on providing BOTH an English-speaking tour assistant/leader AND a dedicated driver for our private clients (even groups as small as 2 people). This means that the driver is focused solely on delivering you safely to your destination, while your tour assistant/leader takes care of your needs and questions.
Our private Day Tours start from €80 per person (based on 2 people sharing and excluding any activities. local guides or meals)
Q 1.2 - Do you get value for money?
Certainly, yes! We hand-pick only high-quality accommodation; we use authorised licensed National guides as well as reliable and honest local tour assistants/tour leaders; we use safe, professional, courteous drivers and fully authorised tourism transport vehicles. We go the extra mile to ensure your comfort, safety and hassle-free enjoyment. From the moment you first make an enquiry, right through the booking process, right through the holiday and with post-tour follow up, our objective is 100% customer service and satisfaction at the right price.
Your final quotation will show EVERYTHING that is included or excluded, before you send your deposit. There are NO nasty surprises, hidden extras or local payments to be made.
We don’t deny that you may find cheaper Morocco tours offered on the internet. However, we know you always get what you pay for in the end. We do not want our clients to be merely ‘content’ with their tour—a holiday trip to Morocco may only happen once in a lifetime—so for us as well as you, it has to be a fantastic experience! We do not cut corners to achieve this.
Our prices are also set at a level whereby we can pay fair prices or daily wages to our suppliers, hoteliers and ground crew. This is part of our ethos for responsible travel. Our prices also reflect that we are a legitimate limited company, with share capital, paying tax in Morocco and paying Social Security stamps for employees.
Q 1.3 - When do you run your Morocco tours?
- We operate 365 days of the year for private tours and excursions. For Morocco tours visiting the Sahara desert and southern regions we recommend travelling only between September to end of May. However, we can adapt itineraries to suit any time frame.
- The dates available for our suggested Morocco adventure itineraries are indicated in each Tour page.
- If you wish to travel in Morocco on any given date, please contact us and we will advise if it is possible or indeed we will work out a tour programme that is best suited to the climate and destinations required at that time of year.
- Morocco’s geography is such that a countrywide tour may mean you will pass through many different climates within a few days - coastal, mountain, desert, interior. We can advise on what route or season is best for you.
- For some of our Special-Interest Holidays, there are open group dates once per year, but otherwise the holiday can be booked as a private group reservation at any time of year upon request.
Q 1.4 - Is Morocco a safe holiday destination?
Despite all the turbulence across Northern Africa and the Middle East in recent years following the ‘Arab Spring’, the Kingdom of Morocco has remained unscathed and continues to remain a safe and stable country with a booming tourism sector.
In fact, during 2014, the American Institute of Economics and Peace, ranked Morocco No. 1 in terms of their ‘Global Peace Index’ which was a survey applied to the Maghreb and other North African countries including other popular tourist destinations Tunisia and Egypt.
"the Kingdom has also distanced itself as being among the countries of the region the least impacted by the plague of terrorism". - IEC
In the main tourism destinations and resorts there is a strong security and police presence, as well as special undercover Tourist Police Brigade.
As in all cities in the world, common sense prevails and tourists should be aware of pickpockets and other opportunistic crime - especially in crowded places or during festivals. Also it is wise to avoid walking alone late in the evening or in dark, quiet areas of the cities and medinas. We suggest you take a taxi to your door if possible.
Remember Morocco is still a developing country with a high level of poverty - although in the cities you may see people with luxury cars and all the trappings of wealth, there is a larger section of the population living on the bread line. Do not put temptation in their way by showing off expensive gadgets, jewellery or cash. Keep small change handy just for tips, taxis and suchlike so that you do not need to extract your wallet too often.
To keep up to date with any official advice regarding Morocco as a Safe Holiday Destination we recommend you check with your own Embassy’s Foreign Travel Advice before booking.
Q 1.5 - Is Morocco a good place for families with children?
Absolutely! Not only are there really fascinating sights and activities for kids such as snake-charmers, mule-rides, sand-boarding in the Sahara, camel-rides, beaches, surfing lessons, maze-like medinas etc., but the Moroccan people in general love children and you will receive a warm welcome.
You will probably find that by taking the kids with you as you haggle your way through the souks you end up being greeted with a broad smile and probably getting a better price for your souvenirs!
Our local guides and drivers nearly all have families of their own and they are great with young travellers. Kids simply adore them! Here’s what one client had to say"
“All our family enjoyed our trip, and interestingly the one who appeared to have enjoyed the most was my 4-year-old little daughter. She really liked being with Hamid all the time (poor Hamid, he helped us carrying her over his shoulder many many times…), she enjoyed the singing around the fire at night in the camp with the Arab / Berber guys (she was singing and dancing with them and playing the drums), and she LOVED to ride the camels and get down from the dunes in the sandboard. The smile on her face was priceless…I never imagined how much she would enjoy. I truly hope she doesn’t forget that." Sergio Fontes & Family (2013)
We can also make sure that hotels provide baby cots, or adjoining rooms. On request we can also ensure that your 4x4 tour vehicle has a baby seat or child seat/booster seat fitted.
When it comes to meals, most of our riads and hotels in the cities can rustle up a kid-friendly option if non-Moroccan food is required. This needs to be requested in advance. In the modern parts of cities and in touristic restaurants then finding Western-style food is not a problem.
Q 1.6 - Where will we be staying during our Morocco holiday?
When you book a Morocco adventure holiday with SheherazadVentures you have a choice of where to stay. You also can choose from 3-star, 4-star or luxury equivalents.
In rural, remote regions we opt for small locally-owned guest-houses or small boutique hotels with loads of character. We endeavour to support local businesses and where possible, Moroccan owned businesses.
In some cities there will be traditional riads as well as larger modern hotels also available. In our itineraries we indicate what options are available in each destination. We can also discuss with you your particular requirements during the design stage of your holiday itinerary.
In the Sahara you can stay in either standard bivouac camp or luxury desert camp.
- See Accommodation for further information.
Q 1.7 - How will we be travelling around the country?
For groups of up to 5 people on our adventure tours or excursions you travel in a 4x4 vehicle, authorised and insured for tourism. Typically this is a Toyota Landcruiser Prado (pictured) or similar.
For larger groups, transport can be either in a fleet of 4x4s or in a minibus. This will depend on the terrain being covered as some off-road sections are accessible only to 4x4 vehicle.
In the Sahara desert, some travelling by camel may be required to reach more remote camps.
On some occasions, at a few of our rural guesthouses in remote Berber mountain villages, if there is no road access right to the door of the hotel, then clients will walk the last few metres of the journey and mules/porters will carry the baggage.
- You will have a dedicated professional driver whose job is to get you safely to each destination AND in addition we provide an English-speaking tour assistant to help with any questions, cultural issues, check-ins, meals or visits.
Q 1.8 - What happens if I have to cancel my booking? Do you give any refunds?
In the event you have to cancel your trip, please contact us immediately. You will forfeit your non-refundable Booking Deposit (25%), but depending on the time-frame we may be able to refund some of the remaining cost.
We strongly advise you to take out Travel Insurance to prevent any financial loss if you have to cancel for any reason, or if you fail to make the start of your trip due to other unforseen circumstances.
- See Terms and Conditions for details of our Cancellation Policy.
Q 1.9 - If I am travelling alone can I join a group to share costs?
Our tours are Private Morocco Adventure Tours and are therefore not open for other individuals to join. Each is tailored and booked especially for each client.
- We do however, run an annual Photography Holiday (October) and a Pottery-Making Holiday (May) which are open groups for single travellers to join.
Q 1.10 - I cannot find a tour that exactly matches what I want. Can you offer us a customised trip?
Certainly, yes! Tell us how you imagine your dream tour of Morocco and we’ll set it up to meet your expectations and more…
- See Tailor-made Tours for more information.
Q 1.11 - What should I do next?
Once you have decided which tour or combination of tours you are interested in, you then contact us and we do any fine-tuning necessary to reach your desired trip and to match your budget.
Once the final itinerary is agreed between us, through a series of e-mail communications, then you pay a Non-Refundable Booking Deposit. We issue you with an invoice for this and the full amount, together with the agreed itinerary.
Once the Booking Deposit is received, then the tour booking is confirmed and at this point we start making the necessary reservations and arrangements for you.
See Booking Process for further details.
- See Payment Options for details of how to make Payment of the Deposit and the Balance Amount
2. Before you travel
Q 2.1 - Do I need a passport or visa?
EU citizens, Australian, Canadian and US citizens do not need a visa to enter Morocco for holiday purposes. You can remain in the country for up to 90 days as a tourist. Travellers of other nationalities should check with their nearest Moroccan Embassy.
Passports must be valid for at least six months after the end of holiday and have at least two blank pages available. Children travelling on their parents’ passports must have a recent photograph affixed to the passport
Keep your passport with you at all times while travelling as there are many police checks on national roads and you will also need your passport when checking in to hotels.
- See Visas and Passports for more information
Q 2.2 - Do I need travel insurance?
Adequate and valid travel insurance is a MUST. We stipulate that all clients are required to purchase adequate comprehensive travel insurance to cover accidental death, accidental injuries, medical expenses, illness (including any related to pre-existing medical conditions), emergency repatriation (helicopter or air ambulance where it is available). We also recommend obtaining insurance to cover cancellations, curtailment, loss of luggage and/or personal belongings such as cameras, passports and valuables.
When in Morocco you should carry a document/ proof of your insurance to join our trips. Your safety is our priority. You will need to have details of your Policy with you at all times, together with an Emergency Contact telephone for next-of-kin in case of any serious accident or situation.
Remember that some of the acitivites you are undertaking might be outisde of normal holiday cover - e.g. camel-trekking, quad-biking, recreational activities.
- We do our best to make your stay a safe one and alert you to any dangers, but SheherazadVentures s.a.r.l., it’s staff, or it’s agents are not liable for any personal accidents, injuries claims or loss of property whether experienced through services and activities organised by us, or delivered by one of our transport, accommodation or activity suppliers.
As a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association we recommend World Nomads for obtaining a suitable insurance policy.
Q 2.3 - What should I pack?
Nearly everybody who books a trip to Morocco with us asks us "What should I pack?" Here’s our advice:
For private tours in 4x4 vehicle your main suitcase will usually be stowed on the roof-rack and not be easily accessible until night-time. It is advisable to carry a small day-pack for getting at essential gear e.g. wallets, camera, scarf, passport, sun-block and bottled water.
Here’s a list of things recommended to bring with you on our adventure tours:
- Long sleeved tops/shirts
- T-shirts (not vest tops)
- Comfortable loose trousers/tracksuit bottoms
- Long shorts
- Skirts/dresses (below knee length)
- Water/windproof jacket (summer)/ski-jacket/warm coat (winter)
- Shawl/headscarf (for women)
- Walking boots or trainers
- Walking sandals
- Swimsuit (for hotel pools)
- Smart/casual ‘going-out’ outfit if staying in upmarket hotels/riads
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Towel and flannel (standard desert camps will not supply towels)
- Torch (for desert camping)
- Power plug adaptor (European style sockets)
- Eco-friendly toiletries as much as possible
- Eco-friendly wet-wipes
- Personal medical kit and any prescription medications
- Watch or Mobile phone
- Camera and film/memory cards
- Zip-lock plastic bags for keeping sand out of valuable/cosmetics/lenses etc
- Spectacles (even for wearers of contact lenses in case of sandstorms)
- Sun hat (summer)/ Woolly hat (winter)
- Day-pack/small ruck-sack
Q 2.4 - Do I need any vaccinations?
No compulsory vaccinations are required to enter Morocco. However, it is always wise to be up-to-date with your immunisation status for tetanus, polio, diphtheria, typhoid, rabies and hepatitis A. If in doubt, check with your doctor before travelling.
Q 2.5 - How much spending money will I need?
As a general guideline, assuming you have modest tastes and are not wanting to consume a lot of wine or spirits, then budget for around 500dh spending money per person per day when you are touring. You will need cash.
As most of our tours include breakfast and evening dinner, then your 500dh should cover you for the following daily personal expenses:
- bottled water - 3litres per day recommended = 20dh
- soft drinks/teas/coffees - approx 10-15dh each
- simple lunch = 100dh
- snacks = 50dh
- 1/2 bottle of wine/2 beers = 80-100dh
- tips = 50dh
- entrance fees for sites = 50dh
If you wish to buy a lot of souvenirs such as ceramics, antiques, carpets, textiles, fashion, leather, jewellery and artefacts then the sky is the limit! This is where your haggling skills come in to play…
Q 2.6 - What will the weather be like?
They say Morocco is a cold country with a hot sun. In winter this is especially evident as daytime temperatures can be in the mid 20’s C, but dip as low as 5 degrees at night, with a chilling bite to the air in the shade.
The rainy season is from end of November to the end of January. During this time there is likely to be a lot of snowfall at high altitudes in the Atlas Mountains. The Sahara desert at this time of year can have pleasant daytime temperatures, but dip to freezing temperatures at night.
Mid-summer is ideal for the Atlantic Coast of Morocco and the Northern regions. It is also a good time for heading into the Atlas Mountains.
- See Morocco Weather and Climate for further details.
Q 2.7 - Do you cater for special diets e.g. vegetarians, vegans, coeliacs, diabetics etc.
When you book your Morocco adventure holiday with SheherazadVentures you will be sent a detailed Booking Form on which to alert us to any special dietary needs or allergies in advance.
With advance notice we can usually get our accommodation partners to prepare a vegetarian evening meal.
For coeliacs, dairy-free diets, wheat-free diets, diabetics, kosher diets, vegans etc we will do our best to cater for you, but this may not be possible in rural areas where the daily menu choice is dictated by the produce available at the local market. We ask you to bring with you any supplements you may require.
Moroccan traditional cooking is largely built around meat, poultry, seasonal vegetables, couscous, fruit, salad, nuts and a lot of bread. In coastal areas and in the main cities, fresh fish and seafood is also available.
- See Moroccan cuisine for further information on what to expect at mealtimes.
Q 2.8 - Will you meet us at the airport when we arrive?
If you are arriving in Morocco and immediately starting your holiday arrangements with us, then we will be very happy to meet and greet you at the airport. We then transfer you to the hotel or riad that we have booked for you.
- If you have booked your own accommodation in Morocco and intend to start travelling with us a few days later, then we meet you at your riad or hotel on the morning that your tour starts. Your hotel may be able to arrange an airport pick-up for you instead.
Q 2.9 - Can you provide a car seat for small children?
Yes, we can. With advance notice we can arrange for either a baby seat or a child/booster seat to be fitted inside the 4x4 vehicle that you will be using for your tour.
3. While you are travelling
Q 3.1 - Who should we tip and how much?
Tipping is customary in Morocco and is relied upon by drivers, guides, hotel staff, restaurant/café staff and porters etc. in order to supplement their often very low wages. (Around €200 per month).
Not leaving a tip of any sort is considered very impolite, however, we recommend tipping only if you have received satisfactory service and that you tip generously for excellent service.
In restaurants and cafes you tip your server as you pay the bill. As a guideline tip 10% of the total bill in cafés and restaurants.
In hotels you leave your tip usually in a ‘tips’ box at reception on check-out. We will advise you on this when your Morocco adventure tour itinerary is confirmed.
For tipping related to guides, tour assistants, drivers and tour staff that we are providing as part of your holiday, we will advise you how much we recommend to pay to each, and when to pay it, when your booking is confirmed. The information will be on your final itinerary. document.
- A daily tips budget of about 100dh per person per day should be sufficient to cover all these elements (depending on number of people travelling together)
Q 3.2 - Can I change my itinerary during the tour?
In brief, no. Once your final itinerary is confirmed and the Booking Deposit has been paid, then the hotel accommodations and other services will have been fixed. The activities, guides, drivers and vehicles are all booked in advance of your arrival.
Once you are on route, the driver and tour assistant will be working to this itinerary. Daily hotels and destinations cannot be changed as this would knock the rest of the tour out of alignment.
However, if there are additional activities you would like to include along the way, and there is sufficient time, then we would endeavour to include these.
If additional days are required after the end of your scheduled tour, this also can be arranged with at least 48hrs notice.
- A tour itinerary will only be changed during your tour under exceptional circumstances where local conditions, climate or circumstances beyond our control force us to make necessary changes.
Q 3.3 - What happens if I get sick or for some reason cannot continue the tour?
If you have to curtail your tour due to extreme sickness or another emergency which means you are absolutely unable to complete the planned itinerary, we must be notified immediately by your tour assistant with details of the circumstances.
No refunds will be offered and you would have to make a claim from your own Travel Insurance policy. We will provide an invoice for any extra charges incurred and paid for.
We will discuss with you the best plan and time frame for returning to a hotel in a city close to your departure airport. The costs of additional hotels will have to be paid directly buy the client. If there are any additional costs regarding transportation we will advise you.
If only one individual member of your party wishes to leave the tour due to illness, then we will endeavour to provide you with the necessary assistance to help you, including finding hotels and hire of transportation. The costs will have to be paid for in cash to the appointed driver or tour assistant. There may also be a service charge.
If you need to be hospitalised, we recommend you return to Marrakech, Rabat or Casablanca where there are high-quality international clinics.
If you have to curtail your tour for any other emergency we will endeavour to get you back to the scheduled start or finishing point. There will be no refunds for unused parts of the tour/hotels etc. Any additional hotel charges, transport and a service charge will have to be paid for directly.
- In both cases of extreme illness or other emergency a service charge may apply (in addition to hotel and transport costs).
Q 3.4 - Can I drink the local water?
- We recommend that you only drink bottled water during your Morocco adventure holiday. In summer make sure to carry at least 3 x 1.5 litre bottles with you per day. If travelling into the Sahara or remote regions make sure to stock up in advance. Buy enough bottles to see you through till you reach the next village with a shop. Your tour assistant will advise you on this.