Morocco is located in the north western corner of the African continent. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and Algeria to the east and southeast.
With summer temperatures reaching well into the 30's, The distinct areas of Morocco make for differing climates across the country.
Marrakesh o A lovely, mature botanical garden, maintained by Yves Saint Laurent.
The most complete medieval city in the Arab world, Fes's labyrinthine streets hide away monuments and medersas (Islamic colleges), such as the Bou Inania Medersa.
Marrakesh o The symbol of Marrakesh, the Koutoubia's twelfth-century minaret is visible for miles around the city.
The old "International Port", sometime home of Bowles and Burroughs, has a seedy charm of its own.
Djemaa el Fna
Marrakesh o Musicians, acrobats and storytellers converge each night on the city's great square.
Arabic is the official language, while French is widely spoken, especially in the larger towns, though less so in rural areas. In the countryside areas to the south, Berber is generally spoken. English is usually spoken in tourist areas of the large cities.
Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
Moroccan Dirhams can only be obtained or exchanged within Morocco and should be exchanged at banks or an official bureaux de change only.
Please note that in rural areas and in markets or souks, it's often difficult to change large-denomination notes and it is always advisable to carry some small change.
220 volts AC, 50 cycles. An adaptor, generally 2-pronged, is necessary.
Morocco caters for a range of budgets. Eating out varies from the basic local dishes served from street stalls and small cafes and bistros to high-class restaurants.
Expect to pay around 30-50 dirhams for a basic meal, and up to 600 dirhams for a meal in a high-end restaurant. A litre bottle of water costs around 5 dirhams, while a bottle of local beer costs around the 5-6 dirhams.
Tipping is a widely accepted custom, and a tip of about 10% is customary in bars and restaurants.
Most towns feature markets selling fresh fruit, vegetables, spices, olives and craft items, as well as hypermarkets that are open 9am - 9pm seven days a week, and smaller grocers' shops and local supermarkets that are generally open 8am - 9pm each weekday, although they may close for a couple of hours in the middle if the day.
During Ramadan opening hours may vary.
Banking hours are usually:
8.15am - 12.15pm and 2.15 - 5.15pm Monday to Thursday
8.15 - 11.15am and 2.30 - 5.30pm on Fridays
9am - 1pm on Saturdays.
When visiting holy sites such as mosques, you may be required to observe customs such as covering your head, shoulders and legs. Please respect such local customs. Swim wear and other revealing clothes should be kept to the beach and by the pool.
Photography is acceptable in most areas, though you may be charged to take pictures in museums.
Lightweight clothing is recommended for days, when it can be very hot. Most of Morocco is subject to a desert climate, and the nights can be chilly. A pullover or jacket is recommended for evenings, especially in the winter.
Suitable clothing such as walking boots and a windproof jacket is recommended for touring itineraries. Waterproof clothing is advisable in the wet season, particularly in the mountains and on the coast.
Passports & Visas
A full 10-year passport with at least 6 months validity from the date of return is required for travel to Morocco for all British citizens. A visa is not required for British citizens (or EU Passport holders) for stays of up to 3 months, although you are strongly recommended to contact the Moroccan Embassy prior to making your booking on 020 7581 5001.
Most meals served in hotel main dining rooms are buffet-style. Guests staying on a half board basis should note that meals must be taken in the main dining room, although an allowance may be given against the half board charge if eating in the Hotel’s à la carte restaurant. Check with the hotel reception at the time of check-in for more details.
Photography is exceptable in most areas, though you may be charged to take pictures in museums. Cameras and video cameras may not be taken into temples, tombs and archaeological sites, or a charge may be levied. Before taking a photo of anyone, it is polite to first ask their permission. Please note mosques are generally closed to non-Muslims.
Festivals & holidays
During these times, resorts may be busier than usual and services may be reduced.
Muslim religious festivals may vary by one or two days. For further details, please contact the Moroccan Tourist Board.
Ramadan* 01 Aug - 29 Aug 2011
Eid Al Fitr** 30 Aug - 01 Sep 2011
Eid Al Adha* 16 - 19 Nov 2010
New Year (Hijri Day) 07 Dec 2010
Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday** 15 Feb 2011
*Dates of Ramadan and Eid Al Adha are confirmed only shortly beforehand and vary from year to year by one or two days. During Ramadan, the pace of life during daylight hours is slower and offices and shops keep shorter opening hours between sunrise and sunset. Hotels may limit facilities, and excursions and entertainment can sometimes be affected.
**These festivals are subject to change by one day before or one day after as the moon governs them.
MOROCCAN FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS
Labour Day 1 May (annual)
Oued Eddahab Allegiance Day 14 August (annual)
Anniversary of The King and the People's Revolution 20 August (annual)
King Mohammed's Birthday 21 August (annual)
Independence Day 18 November (annual)
Anniversary of the Green March 6 Nov (annual)
Restrictions may also apply on Public Holidays. Call Reservations for more information.