I had vague notions of what our travel to Morocco would be like having designed the group's day by day itinerary with my reputable ground operations. But as with most travelers, felt both curious and a bit on edge of traveling to a Muslim country. Not only was Morocco far more than I and any of us expected in terms of feeling the friendliness of the Moroccans but I could relax my 'travel guard' after a few days of seeing the locals reaction to Americans. All of us felt very comfortable walking the streets of the ancient cities and small villages that were on our itinerary. Every day included at least one pleasant surprise in regard to food, sightseeing, or accommodations and ALL of us had to pull out that extra suitcase to pack away our newly found Moroccan purchases!
Flying into Casablanca gets you to some of the better sights faster than by ferry from Europe or flights into Tangier. We entered into the country from the US with nonstop flights from Washington, DC. The only negative about the flight was that surprisingly, #Royalairmaroc , does not accommodate for the Islamic absolutions that occur periodically throughout the day so the restroom floors, sinks, etc are wet and littered with wet and dry towels as custom requires washing of feet, hands, and face prior to prayers which take place before bedtime and prior to breakfast. Avoiding seats near the rear of the aircraft is recommended by buying their 'economy comfort' which is nothing more than buying a better placement of a seat. Fellow coach class seat mates tended to be both friendly and accommodating to strangers. Business class was not an option for us since #Royalairmaroc has no relationship with United, American, or Delta which many in our group would have used points to upgrade.
Cities of Interest:
Casablanca- the movie may have been romantic but unless you are interested in the largest mosque or Jewish history, the airport coming and going is the only site to you need to see if your vacation time is limited. I would highly suggest using Rabat, the capitol of Morocco or Fez, another imperial city as your first or last night's stay instead to gain more time for sightseeing. Having said that, a private transfer from Marrakech to the Casablanca airport is approximately three hours away.
Fez - The beautiful capital is worth a few nights stay and is generally the departure point for private jets and land travel arrangements to the Sahara Desert. (Stay no less than 2 nights to really capture the flavor).
Marrekech - Possibly the culinary heart of Morocco with thousands of food stalls in the ancient (3rd century Medina). Allow at least three full days to visit the gardens, Medina, and more
Off the beaten track locations:
Oasis accommodations - several to choose from all 1st class - luxury worth staying 2 - 4 nights.
Sahara Desert - luxury tents with private bathrooms... make sure you add that camel arrival at sunset
Want to learn more? Our blog continues next week with more pictures and more insights!