A Morocco Tour Experience
Morocco is one of the top trending destinations for 2017 – it’s no wonder why with the country being so vibrant! All the alluring Instagram posts of the endless souks & architecture, convinced me to add Morocco and this tour to my trip itinerary.
SPONSORED: Please note that I received this 2 day tour in exchange for social media promotion + the cost of petrol/transport. All opinions are my own and I’m very honest with reviews & experiences! I only want to share ethical experiences with you lovely folks. You can ask me for my Yelp & TripAdvisor accounts – I swear!
Arriving in Marrakech in the afternoon – two team members, Ismail and Youseff from Morocco Sand & Sea Tours picked my partner & myself up from Marrakech Menara Airport. We were so grateful since it can definitely be overwhelming with all the taxi drivers trying to give you a ride as you arrive + the blast of dry desert heat. I highly recommend that if you book a stay at a Riad, hostel, or hotel, you try and get a reasonable airport transfer (€15-20).
We arrived in the Marrakech Medina where we stayed at Riad Vanilla Sma, an amazing Riad down just a few alleyways away from Jemaa el-Fnaa square. Although I wish I remembered her name, the owner was the best! She sat us down with some Moroccan mint tea (yum!!) and treats in order to share incredibly detailed directions on a map, safety tips, and of course – sightseeing and food recommendations.
We managed to walk around the square and souk after dinner, mentally calculating what souvenirs we should attempt to haggle for – after getting back from our 2 day tour that started the following morning.
The first actual Moroccan tour stop was actually an organic and natural argan oil co-operative run by all and only Moroccan women. I loved this place. I enjoyed meeting the hard-working women who helped produce the oil that’s in so many of our beauty products, since argan trees axtre unique to Morocco. Um hello… Moroccanoil anyone? I left with a small spray bottle of argan oil to treat myself. Our guide Ismail suggested that we stick to ethical co-operatives since those are monitored by the government, as diluted faux argan oil has been springing up around the souks.
I really loved the drive because we saw so much wild variations of Morocco’s terrain.
Our next major Moroccan tour stop was UNESCO World Heritage Site – Ait Ben Haddou. The ksar of Ait Ben Haddou is dated to around 757AD! The fact that many movies and shows have been filmed in Ait Ben Haddou and the general Ouarzazate region blew my mind. I can see why Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Gladiator have picked the area for their sets since it’s seriously ethereal. Just standing in the area transports you to an age – where traders’ caravans were wandering in the desert.
*cue Daenerys Targaryen vibes*
After exploring Ait Ben Haddou on our Moroccan Tour we made it back into our SUV and continued the drive. Just two hours away is Zagora – a major town that is one gateway to the Sahara desert and where Ismail treated us to some beautiful fabric for scarves. After picking up some big bottles of water, we drove into the desert for our camel pick-up point!
Have you ever ridden a horse? Riding a camel was similar to that I suppose – except that our camels were MASSIVE (mine in particular) and I feel silly that my legs were seriously sore after it haha!! I swear mine was like a Clydesdale horse… We made it to our camp after about an hour long camel trek.
While the camels got to rest in their little sand pen overnight – so did we at our desert camp.
Night two in Morocco was dream-like. After a long and only twice perilous drive (thank you Ismail for keeping us safe!) from Marrakech to Zagora, a night in the desert camp was surreal and honestly so relaxing. I laid on some Moroccan cushions and enjoyed the cool breeze while staring up at the stars – the same ones you don’t see often because of light pollution in Los Angeles. When we woke up at dawn the next morning, we had a delicious breakfast waiting for us and rode the camels back to where we could get picked up by our private tour SUV.
After the eight hour drive back through Tizi n’Tichka Pass and the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech, Ismail continued to be a great guide/driver and offered us so many restaurant and sightseeing recommendations! So thankful we got to take this tour with Morocco Sand Sea Tours, it really offered us so much to see when we were on a tight timeline. I’d really love to go back and take one of their longer tours! Overall – it was a thumbs up experience from me!