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Review: Splendours of Morocco

Escorted Tour - Coach

Splendid Morocco

  • By SilverTraveller at36ubl

    4 reviews

  • Feb 2013
  • Wife

140 people found this review helpful

A tour that really lived up to its description; mosques, synagogues, palaces, ancient ruins, medians, souks, beautiful gardens and street entertainers… all packed in to seven days. With all this and so much more to see in Morocco, we opted for tour extensions to Essaouira and the Atlas mountains.

Like most travellers, back home, we tend to look back and pick our tour highlights. This time it hasn’t been easy.

The Hassan 11 mosque is a fabulous building, its sheer size and the opulent beauty of its décor. But the tiny Aben Danan synagogue in Fez too had a beauty of its own.

The hustle and bustle of the souks in Fez and Marrakech are fascinating but so too are the Chellah Necropolis and the Roman remains at Volubulis where peace reigns.

Other highlights included visiting a traditional Berber house and taking tea with the family. As with most Moroccan families the men folk were only seen briefly looking after the animals. Granny was in charge of showing us how to make traditional mint tea, while her daughters and granddaughters baked bread and served it warm with the most delicious honey and argan oil. I’m sure this is one of the stops that the tour guide sources and we were made to feel like special guests and not a tourist group. There was no charge but our guide suggested we might like to give Granny 10 dirham’s each, a bargain for 80p.

We then travelled on to the Ourika valley in the low Atlas Mountains; who would believe that such a tranquil place existed just 30 kilometres from Marrakech. Our visit was on a beautiful spring day early in March and lunch was taken on a sunny terrace gazing at the distant snow capped mountains; bliss.

Our first extension took us to Essaouira, a delightful little seaside town with much to offer and lots of little bars where you can stop to refresh yourself and just sit and look and watch the world go by. Without the hassle of Marrakech, once you have walked the town twice the shop owners greet you as friends and offer tea without the pressure of trying to sell.

This is a sales approach that we British appreciate and of course has us delving into our purses because “he’s such a nice man”. Essaouira is a paradise if you like to beach walk as the sandy beach goes on and on, we even had a paddle; perfect.

We then travelled by taxi to the Kasbah Du Toubkal in the High Atlas. We had been told the last fifteen minutes of this journey would need to be on foot but nothing prepared us for this steep climb over rocky terrain, our luggage travelled by itself on a mule that had made the sure footed journey many times.

At Kasbah Du Toubkal guests experience the true hospitality and friendship of the Moroccan people. The service is discreet and thoughtful, nothing too much trouble, just ask. The hot water bottle slipped into our bed whilst we enjoyed our evening meal was a real treat.

After a delicious breakfast we were ready to tackle a trek. The Kasbah arranged a local guide and two or three hours slipped past. After which it was a traditional hamman and relax before dinner in the candlelit lounge. It’s times such as this you realise that three days is not enough.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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