South Morocco Discovery
Date of tour: 10 – 19 April 2018
We had decided that we definitely wanted to visit Morocco. Now we had to choose how we were going to visit. Should we try to book everything ourselves, or opt for a guided tour?
After lots of research, reading travel guides and figuring out the best places to visit in Morocco, we decided to go for Intrepid Travel’s South Morocco Discovery Tour.
We made the right decision; we loved every second of the trip. We’re even considering doing the same tour again!
Check out our full review of the tour below.
Every stop on the itinerary was fantastic. The areas we visited were varied, but all equally stunning. The variation in landscapes kept the tour interesting throughout. There were snow-capped mountains, massive sand dunes, ancient ruins, a desert oasis, and more. It was a great combination of the well-known iconic locations and villages off the beaten track. There is no way we could have booked the same tour by ourselves.
The pacing of the tour was good too; it felt like we spent the right amount of time in each place. We certainly could have stayed longer in some of the places, but wouldn’t have wanted to miss anywhere. It was the perfect itinerary for a 10 day trip.
Every place we stayed in was superb. The riads had a traditional Moroccan design, with intricate detailing that puts Western decor to shame. Some of the hotels were pretty luxurious too. The one in Taroudannt in particular had amazingly picturesque gardens and a swimming pool.
The two highlights for us were the homestay in the High Atlas Mountains and the camp in the Sahara Desert. Both were wonderful and unique, and if we had tried to book a similar trip through Morocco ourselves we are sure that our experiences wouldn’t have been the same.
We travelled in April, and it did get pretty cold on some nights. However, we were always provided with plenty of extra blankets and slept comfortably every night.
For the majority of the tour we were in a private minibus, which was an excellent way to travel. It meant that we could stop when we wanted to admire the views or get coffee. We could also leave our belongings on the bus. The driver was great, and kept us comfortable and safe on the roads.
On the occasions that we did get public transport, it was hassle-free. Intrepid arranges everything, so there is no need to look at confusing maps or timetables.
A word of warning: the 4x4s that drive you to the desert camp are a bumpy ride. It’s a unique and thrilling experience, but you will get thrown around a little. It would be wise to take some medication if you experience travel sickness.
The food in Morocco is delicious, although slightly repetitive. Expect to eat lots of bread and pancakes and drink lots of deliciously sweet Moroccan mint tea. There were plenty of opportunities to try the various traditional Moroccan food the country is famous for. There were tagines, couscous, Berber omelettes, Moroccan soups and salads, Msemen, and more.
Our leader was Hmad, and he was truly fantastic. Without a doubt, he is one of the reasons we enjoyed the tour as much as we did. He was friendly and knowledgeable, and he made us feel safe in his company.
He spoke excellent English as well as several other languages. English is not widely spoken in Morocco. Having Hmad there to translate and communicate with service staff, shopkeepers, and other locals was invaluable.
He was also happy to talk about difficult subjects with us, such as religion and politics. It was our first time to a Muslim country, and neither of us had ever had the opportunity to speak so openly with a Muslim about their beliefs, values, and culture before. It was truly fascinating and enlightening, and we will never forget our conversations. Learning about and understanding other cultures is one of the main reasons we love to travel.
Having done some extra research, it seems that all of the Intrepid tour leaders are excellent. Hmad explained that their abilities are rigorously tested before employment, so you should be well looked after no matter who you get.
This was our first time travelling as part of a group, and we were initially a little nervous. However, we quickly realised that we needn’t have been. Everyone was open and friendly, and there was a diverse mix of ages and backgrounds. You quickly make friends spending so much time in each other’s company. We definitely hope to stay in touch!
Value for money.
We paid just under £600 each for the trip. This included all accommodation, transport, and some of the meals (although not flights to and from Marrakesh). We were extremely happy with the value provided. It would have cost us the same amount (if not more) trying to book everything ourselves, so to have the added benefit of a tour leader to deal with everything for us was great.
We thoroughly enjoyed the South Morocco Discovery tour, and would not hesitate to recommend it. Kayla and I both agree that it was the best trip we have been on so far. In fact, we are desperate to go back to Morocco, and when we do, we will consider doing the same tour again. If anyone wants to join us, let us know!
If you have any other questions about the trip (or want to see a thousand more photos), let us know in the comments or send us a message and we will gladly help out.