Morocco Travel Tips – Guidance for Your Morocco Tour
Health in Morocco:
Morocco one of the few countries in Africa where it is not necessary to get vaccinations in order to travel. Nevertheless, if you have not received Typhoid or Hepatitis A shot in the past, it is advisable to get them. Please also inquire with your doctor to make sure you are up to date with your polio and tetanus vaccines. If you are from a country where cholera is prevalent, an anti- cholera vaccination certificate may be required. Morocco is a country where your health is not in danger when you travel. As long as you follow Morocco Travel Tips with regards to traveling safely in our About Morocco section the worst you can anticipate experiencing is an upset stomach or dryness, due to weather conditions, if you have sensitive skin.
Best Time to Travel to Morocco:
Morocco is situated on the far northwestern corner of Africa and has an expansive shoreline that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to Gibraltar. When planning a trip to Morocco ideally the best season to visit is spring or fall. Spring (April and May) and Fall (September and October) are perhaps the best overall time to take a Morocco Tour. Morocco has over 300 days of sunshine. During the peak summer months (June – Mid-September) it can get particularly hot. Temperatures in summer can reach as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. As a dry and temperate climate Morocco experiences very little humidity making the heat less intense. Moroccans typically take vacation time during summer months and typically head for the coast where it is cooler.
Winters in Morocco (Mid-November – February) are typically mild and temperatures can reach down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In Morocco it often snows lighting during winter in some regions. The High Atlas region receives allot of snow therefore it is the perfect destination for skiing and enjoying other winter sports.
Morocco has a summer climate in the south and in the mountains, as well as on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. Winter can be perfect by day in the south, though desert nights can get very cold. If you’re planning to hike in the mountains, it’s best to keep to the months from April to October unless you have some experience in snow conditions.
Follow the Morocco Travel Tips with regards to the Best Time to Travel for more details.
Ramadan in Morocco:
Ramadan, considered as the most important holiday in Islam, happens on the ninth month of the twelve-month lunar calendar followed in Islam. During Ramadan all Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for one month, only eating after sundown. Non-Muslims are not expected to observe Ramadan, but should be sensitive about not breaking the fast in public. As a Morocco Traveler it is important to respect those fasting and make best efforts to not eat in public places such as city and medina streets. Dining in touristic restaurants and those open to Westerners is advised. Drinking water and other beverages in public is also not advised for reasons of respect. If you are visiting Morocco during the summer, which is the warmest season, it is advised to make best efforts to drink water and beverages discretely.
Follow the Morocco Travel Tips with regards to the Ramadan for more details.
Culture & Etiquette in Morocco:
Moroccans in general are hospitable people. The Heritage of Moroccan people stemming from colonization and tourism has resulted in an open minded and easy going population. The country’s official religion and the majority of Moroccans are Muslims. The culture is made up of a combination of Berber and Arab, Moroccans who live peacefully together alongside a large expatriate population. The majority of Moroccan women wear a headscarf and very few wear a veil. It is recommended when traveling to Morocco to air on the conservative side and dress modestly. Wearing skimpy clothing, kissing and cuddling in public is not recommended and can be seen as a form of disrespect.
Dress in Morocco:
Visitors to Morocco are often surprised about the range of ways that Moroccan women dress. Most dress modestly, in keeping with Islamic custom, many wearing the jellaba (a hooded, ankle length robe) and headscarf. In cities, many wear Western dress with or without a headscarf. You will see few burqas of the type associated with the Gulf region or Afghanistan. In order to avoid stares or unwanted attention, it is best for visitors also to dress modestly. Keep your swimwear for the beach and always cover at least your shoulders. Women will find their visit much more pleasant if they also avoid revealing necklines and cover up down to the knees. A scarf or pashmina is also handy for moments when you feel the need to conceal your head or shoulders from unwanted stares, the hot sun or over-zealous aircon. In the evenings in the winter months (and even more so in the mountains or the desert), sunny days become chilly nights and you will need to bring a sweater or even a jacket.
Passport in Morocco:
Make sure that as a traveler to Morocco you have a passport that will be valid for a further 6 months after you enter Morocco. We advise that you also carry an original or photocopy of your identification card or driver’s license. Passports can be renewed at your local consulate or passport office.
Safety in Morocco:
Morocco overall is a safe place to travel.
Gratuity in Morocco:
Gratuity is a gift of money that is granted for service or a show of appreciate given without claim or demand. Gratuity is one of the best ways you can demonstrate appreciation for the services provided to others. Gratuity is part of Moroccan culture and appreciated by those providing a service. During a Morocco Tour what is generally recommended is to provide gratuity at restaurants, at Boutique Hotels and Riads, to drivers, licensed historical guides and also women servicing at public restrooms. It is a considerate way to thank those providing a service to you as a traveler. Our recommended gratuity is outlined below.
Restaurants: 10% of the Total Bill
Restrooms: 5 Dirham Coin (0.70 Cents)
Licensed Historical Guides: $35 – $60 Per Person/ Per Day
Drivers: $25 – $35 Per Person/ Per Day
Morocco Private Tour: The total gratuity offered to those hosting you on a private or group tour should be approximately 10% of the rate paid to your Morocco Travel Agency.
Exchanging Money in Morocco:
Moroccan Dirhams are necessary to travel in Morocco. US Dollars and Euros are widely accepted in major hotels, but only very occasionally by shopkeepers. Otherwise, we recommended that you carry Moroccan Dirhams.
The Bureaux de Change can be found in most Moroccan banks, major hotels, airports, and ports. Most currencies are accepted, including US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds, however others, including the Australian Dollar, are not accepted. Check with your consulate or local bank to see if your currency is accepted for exchange in Morocco.
ATM machines are the quickest and easiest way to obtain Moroccan Dirhams. ATM’s accept most major debit and credit cards. Depending on your bank, you may be able to withdraw up to 4,000 Dirhams (about $500 US Dollars) per day. Contact your bank for your daily withdrawal limits.
BMCE and Credit du Maroc (CDM) do offer cash advances on Visa and MasterCard, however this process may take several hours to complete and is also quite costly.
Exchange your cash when you arrive at the airport bank exchange, or use local banks and currency exchanges in the cities and medinas as you travel. The majority of cities have banks where you can obtain money 24 hours a day from your bankcard or credit card. Bank exchanges are also located near banks and most currencies are accepted with favorable exchange rates available. Use ATM machines at the airport and in metropolitan areas and medinas, but they are rare in rural areas. When traveling outside of the cities be prepared to have enough cash, as ATM machines are not always an option.
Water in Morocco:
Drink only bottled water when in Morocco and avoid ice cubes made from tap water. Be sure to brush your teeth with bottled water, too.
Street Food in Morocco:
Moroccan street food is safe to eat provided that the meat is fully cooked and vegetables and fruits are peeled.
Foods to Avoid in Morocco:
Do not drink the tap water while in Morocco and avoid ice cubes made from tap water. Be sure to brush your teeth with bottled water, too.
Doctors in Morocco:
You can find doctors in the major cities in both the public and private sector. Please consider acquiring traveler’s insurance for your trip if your regular health insurance does not cover you overseas.
Climate in Morocco:
Morocco has a Mediterranean climate along the coast, with more extreme temperatures and weather in the mountains and desert. Temperatures are high in the summer, mild in the spring and fall, and cool in the winter.
Photographing in Morocco:
Most Moroccan do not enjoy being photographed by strangers. Some have recognized that travelers like to capture the different, exotic and attractive aspects of Moroccan life on film and will sell the right to photograph them. It is your choice whether you go along with this. In any case, try to be discrete in your photography (a phone camera is much less obvious than a large SLR) and ask if you would like to take a direct portrait. Don’t be surprised if your request is refused, and if so, please respect this decision. At times people will request for a small fee such as 10 Moroccan Dirhams ($1.00) if you want an up close photograph. It is best to request permission before taking a photograph. Given Morocco is a moderate, Muslim country, women in particular within rural communities and many in cities do not like to be photographed. For the best results when traveling to Morocco whether you are a novice or a professional photographer it is best to ask your subject first or have your private guide assist.
Drinking in Morocco:
Alcohol in Morocco is available in the majority of touristic restaurants, and also in local bars. Wine and beer can be easily purchased at supermarkets.
Although most Moroccans claim they do not drink alcohol due to religious prohibitions both locals and foreigners consume much of the country’s production of wine and beer. Morocco provides a home to groups of ex-patriots and foreigners from France, England, America, Spain, Germany and Italy who enjoy healthy alcohol consumption.
The most popular beers made and consumed in Morocco are Casablanca and Special.
Morocco has been a leading wine producer for several years and its bold red and white grapes have become popular among the French, Americans and within Modern Moroccan households. When the French colonized Morocco, like the Romans centuries before them, they realized Morocco’s possibility of being a wine country. The French developed Meknès, a Moroccan imperial city, into a wine region. Today 30,000 acres of land in Morocco contribute to wine production and Morocco sells over 40 million bottles within Morocco and abroad. Moroccan wine is in a state of revival and wine producers are taking advantage of the country’s sunny, mild temperate climate, and high altitudes.
Follow the Morocco Travel Tips with regards to the Wine and Beer for more details.