Overall it was a fabulous trip. It was adventurous at times (for example, the drive over the Tizi-n-Tichka pass) but generally hassle free and comfortable thanks to the planning and service provided by the travel team. Having talked to others who have traveled in Morocco, including friends who speak Arabic and French, I thought it would be more difficult for us (who only really spoke English) to navigate the country. I'm sure it would have been had it not been for this travel company- but with them, it was easy. I'd be remiss not to single out our trip manager/driver. He was a gracious host and guide for us all around the country. Think personal concierge service at a fancy resort - he was always there for us and went above and beyond to make our trip amazing, including helping me plan something special for my wife's birthday which fell during our trip. Equally importantly, given the amount of time we spent driving around the country, we really enjoyed talking with our driver about all aspects of life in Morocco. There was great attention to detail - lovely welcome gifts, water bottles/tissues in the car, wifi in the car, etc.
Highlights included staying at riads in Rabat, Fes and Marrakech (the ones that our travel company selected for us were each unique and beautiful), the tour of the Roman ruins at Volubilis, the tasting tour in the Fes medina (definitely not for the more squeamish American eater but very delicious), the sunset camel ride in the sand dunes near Merzougha, looking at the countless stars above the sand dunes before the moon rose, the wonderful Moroccan dinner in Rabat, the fabulous dinner at Chez Pierre (where our travel company treated my wife on her birthday to a delicious cake and bottle of wine), and the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech. But really, those are only some of the memories. We had a hard time not *constantly* taking pictures everywhere we went!
Having traveled quite a lot, I feel fairly confident saying that almost every trip could have been improved with the benefit of hindsight. This one was definitely worthy of 5 stars, but with that being said, here are my thoughts on what we would have liked to have done differently or that could have been improved: Our travel company did a great job communicating with us regarding the planning of trip, but it would have been nice to get a somewhat more detailed itinerary before hand. It was really great that much of the trip was flexible, and we could work out details each day with our personal trip manager/driver, but I think if we'd seen more detailed indications of timing (e.g., when we'd need to leave a city, when we'd arrive, when a tour would start/how long it typically lasts) we might have made some adjustments to our itinerary. We knew we were going with an action-packed schedule to make the most of our time, but we wish that we had built in more free time to relax at the riads. We ended up skipping the Moroccan cooking class our last day in Marrakech because we realized we hadn't really spent any time relaxing in the nice Moroccan weather on a riad terrace and that sounded much better at the time than spending our afternoon in a kitchen. The city tours with local guides were OK, but in my opinion the local guides were a little uneven, with some being better than others. (The guides for Volubilis and the tasting tour of Fes were standouts.) I wish we'd gone to more interesting places for lunch in Fes and Marrakech, rather than the touristy places that our guides took us to. I suppose we could've pushed for that, but I would suggest that the travel company suggest that as part of the planning process (even if the meals are not included).
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
Thanks a lot for the great feedback. We've taken your remarks into account and have started providing more detailed recommended start times to our guests. We've also identified better restaurants where you can stop as part of the guided visits in Marrakech and Fes. Thanks again and we're glad you had a great time with us in Morocco!
-Your travel team
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