Traveling the World with The Tropical Travelers: Exotic Morocco
When you think of Morocco, what comes to mind? “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine,” better known as the famous Rick’s Café from Casablanca? Amazing markets, exotic food, stunning, colorful mosaics, scorching deserts? Recently, Vacation Specialist, Kristy Hall and her family went on a Moroccan adventure to Marrakech, Essaouira and Casablanca. Here is her account of the exotic African kingdom.
Offering heart-pounding adventures, luxurious retreats, rich culture, and the most amazing shopping ever, Morocco does not disappoint. Located in North Africa on the borders of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the exotic Kingdom of Morocco boasts Arabian, Berber and European cultural influences. Accommodations and services are decidedly European but are combined with a non-western cultural feel. Locals native to this area are Berbers and speak the Berber language. Most everyone also speaks French as this area of the country has a very strong French influence from past colonization. The mix of nomadic Berber culture and French architecture and food make it a perfect spot for travelers looking for something a little different but with familiar strains.
The Moroccan climate is dry and mild in the winter, spring and fall, but very hot in the summer! March and April are best months to visit. Although road conditions are safe and very good it is best for first time visitors to hire a car and driver to take you between Moroccan cities. The service is reasonably affordable and provides the visitor more time to take in the scenery and relax.
We were four families traveling together with a mix of 7 adults and 6 children, ages 6-9. Morocco is very kid-friendly and safe. The kids loved the more active camel and quad rides and even got into the shopping spirit! I will never ever forget the image of six children rolling around on beautiful Moroccan carpets as the adults negotiated their rug purchases. The store staff couldn’t have been more welcoming – encouraging the kids to take their shoes off and play while the parents leisurely drank mint tea and admired the hand-woven patterns.
Marrakech and Casablanca are larger cities with lots to see and do but there are lots of off the beaten quieter locations like Essaouira which is located on the Atlantic coast. In Marrakech, we stayed at the Pullman Resort & Spa – a European all-inclusive hotel with a beautiful pool and comprehensive kids club. In Essaouira we stayed at a villa resort called Le Domaine de L’Arganaerie – perfect for families and groups – a little outside of town but on beautiful grounds with a heated pool and lots of room for kids to run around safely. In Casablanca we stayed at The Sofitel Tour Blanche – a luxury hotel well-located in the city. Gorgeous rooms with stunning views of the city and coast line.
Shopping is a must in Marrakech – carpets, leather, brass and of course Morocco’s famous argan oil are readily available in most any shopping district (also known as a souk). For the more adventurous spirits, camel rides, a trip into the dunes by quad and fine dining complete with a raucous belly dancing show are all must do’s! Visiting a hamam (spa) and getting a traditional Moroccan body scrub is also an unforgettable way to relax and recharge.
Moroccan cuisine is heavenly – a unique mix of French and middle-eastern flavors. I especially enjoyed wonderful lemon chicken tagines with couscous as well as a variety of lamb kebabs and rich deserts. The fresh-squeezed orange juice was a delight each morning and I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of very good local wines. We definitely ate well on this vacation.
Featuring ancient cities, modern metropolises, gorgeous coastal resorts, and remote towns, Morocco is an exotic adventure that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Let me help you plan your next getaway. Where in the world do you want to go? Contact me at Kristy.Hall@TheTropicalTravelers.com or 610.296.6363 ext. 101 to start planning.