Hello there! I’m bringing this site out of retirement for a brief period of time (maybe… we’ll see how much I enjoy this thing called blogging). I wanted to inform a widespread of people on Morocco… a beautiful country in the north of Africa. While I was doing research I found lots of information on safety and what to wear, etc… however, little to no information on Sahara tours being booked through a hostel (which is how I wanted to go about booking ours) and also suggested routes/time it takes to travel.
Alas, here I am… informing the masses of this beautiful, diverse, and unique country.
*Let’s be honest, I just wanted a chance to share more photos. 😉
I’ll break it into parts for a bit easier reading and go by our step by step with cities. If there’s anything I don’t cover because let’s be honest I don’t do this often (or ever). Please just ask and I’ll add it! 🙂
We flew into Marrakech as we knew we wanted to spend at least a few days there. We stayed at Equity Point Hostel (link here) and that’s where we chose to book our Sahara desert tour. We opted for the 3 day, 2 night tour after learning that the 2 day, 1 night tour goes to a different desert – the Zagora desert. We DID NOT want to miss out on seeing the gorgeous Merzouga desert which is part of the Sahara desert so we opted for an extra night. We spent $75 US Dollars on the tour – it included: transportation, the hotel for the 1st night, and the 2nd night accomodation which could be in a tent or to sleep outside under the stars. We slept under the stars on a mattress with loads of blankets because… hell, why not?! You also would make specific stops along the way as it is a very long time spent in a van. I honestly lost track of how much time we spent driving because lets be honest it’s just a part of traveling and you lose track of time. It also included breakfast and supper (just not lunch, tips, and the cost of the entrance fee to the Ait Ben Haddou village). All in all – for the experience it was a really damn good deal.
**A tip I wish our hostel would have told us** You can continue onto Fès after the Sahara desert. You will have to pay an additional cost of transportation, but if you are already planning on going to Fès, it will save you a load of time. Make sure to enquire about this while booking, otherwise they may not mention it.
Stop 3) Fès
After the Sahara desert we went back to Marrakech since we had already booked a night stay back at our previous hostel and also the van to Fès was completely full. We ventured the long way back (about 10-11 hours) rested up, showered, and got the morning train to Fès (a 7 hour train). Our accommodation got a bit mixed up and I didn’t specifically love anywhere that we stayed while we were in Fès so I won’t share those accommodation locations unless you really wanna know, then just message me.
We scheduled a tour with a guide for just 5 Euros each person and he took us around the medina of Fès and explained the different sections and gave us a bit of a history lesson into the medina. He also brought us to my favorite medersa (school). We were able to view the tannery and see inside a rug makers home and how they go about making the rugs. All in all a very good experience!
**Tip** If you are continuing on to Chefchaouen – you MUST book your bus tickets atleast a day in advance, maybe even several days in advance if it’s high season** Our hostel owner fortunately told us this so we were able to get one of the last spots on the bus the next day.
Stop 4) Chefchaouen
We took the 10:30 a.m. bus from Fès to Chefchaouen. It was about 5 hours long since you go up in the windy mountains and will make a couple stops. I highly recommend a front seat if you get car sick at all. *ahem, me*
The blue city, as it is better known, was beautiful, quaint and much cheaper than we were expecting. The food was cheaper overall here than we had found in both Marrakech and Fes. Generally speaking, everything was around $3 here where it was always around $5-$7 in other places (unless, of course, you went out of your way to find something cheaper). We stayed in Casa Amina which was a nice family owned house turned hostel. They were super friendly and helpful which is probably why I loved it so much… they also had a fantastic rooftop view. I would, however, admit that their photos made the place look better than it was… however, all in all it was a cheap and nice place to stay.
Stop 5) Rabat
We took a morning bus from Chefchaouen to Rabat since there was only one bus the whole day. It was a 4 hour bus journey and after we arrived we went straight to the airport since we were flying out that evening. We didn’t see any other parts of the city as the cost of taxi’s were much more expensive. Rabat is a big business center since it’s the capital of Morocco. If I could do things differently I would have tried to have us fly out of Casablanca instead as I would have loved to have seen the grand mosque there. However, the $25 Ryanair flight from Rabat was pretty nice too! 🙂
We spent 10 days total in Morocco and I could have honestly spent more time there. The mint tea is plentiful so make sure to take advantage of that. You will eat lots of tagines, couscous, bread and olives! Be respectful of the culture and dress appropriately. Moroccan’s really don’t like their pictures taken so be aware you may get shouted at. Everyone speaks both French and Arabic, however a lot of people also speak a bit of English. Lastly, enjoy it! If you’re an experienced traveller you’ll be absolutely fine understanding the general safety precautions. If you’re a first time traveler – stay away from the henna ladies (unless, of course, you’d like a henna) and don’t let anyone give you directions unless they can be trusted. I always download an offline map and pin where my hostel or location is ahead of time – your phone will still pick up where you are even if you’re in airplane mode. If you have any other questions – please shoot me a message! I’d love to help answer them! 🙂