A few months ago I travelled to Morocco for a repeat trip, to see parts of the country I had not seen before, and to experience the country while staying in higher end hotels.
Here are eight things I learned on my Moroccan adventure travel holiday.
On Friday suqs are closed
The tour I was on was a Premium Adventure organized by Intrepid Travel. While overall a great tour, there was one drawback. This particular tour had us tour Fes on a Friday, when all the suqs are closed. Suqs, the covered markets in the old part of town, are of course one of the main reasons you travel to Morocco. Lesson learned, pick a tour that has you elsewhere, in the Sahara perhaps, on Fridays, when closed-up shops do not matter.
Perhaps hard to believe for a desert country in Africa, but during the winter, Morocco can get cold. It is not uncommon for snow to close the passes through the High Atlas. Between November and March temperatures in the Sahara can dip to the single digits. During that time, bring a warm jacket and a toque.
Bring a scarf
While Morocco is one of the more liberal Muslim countries, there are places where covering up is appreciated or even required: think rural villages and mosques. In the desert, where the sun can be fierce and nights cold, a scarf can function as a sunscreen as well as keep you warm. And should you hit blowing sand, a scarf can keep it out of your mouth and nose.
Have a Hammam
One of the highlights of a trip to Morocco for many is having a traditional bath, a hammam. Essentially a hammam is a place where you get scrubbed from head to toe in a very warm room. You can go to a public one, which are single-gender, or you can have one in your hotel, which is basically like a spa treatment.
Dark desert nights
If you can time it, arrive in the Sahara during a new moon. The stars are something else in this very dry part of the country and assuring there is no moon will enhance your star-gazing experience
Mind the sun
When you are travelling by vehicle, think about where you sit. Sitting on the sunny side of the vehicle during the heat of the day can get very uncomfortable, even with the air-conditoning on full.
In a desert country like Morocco you will need to drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated. What's more, the dry winds can easily crack lips and skin and make your hair feel like rope. Bring skin moisturizer, lip balm and conditioner to keep feeling fresh.
If you are like most travellers you will bring several electronic devices with you. I was forever short on electric outlets in my room and at times they were in places I didn't think to look (like above the bathroom door, inside the bathroom). A splitter plug will allow you to charge multiple devices through one outlet.
You can read the full no-holds-barred review of the tour here.