Frequently Asked Questions
Will I need a VISA to enter Morocco? :
If you are a citizen of the United States or Canada, you will not need a visa to come to Morocco. All other clients should consult the Moroccan Embassy or Consulate in their countries or you may refer to the following website which is for the General Moroccan Consulate in New York : www.moroccanconsulate.com/visa.cfm .
Is safe to travel in Morocco? :
Yes, it is very safe, Morocco is the embodiment of one of the safest countries in the world, thanks to the combination of the country where the crime rate is very low and its government that is always proactive in protecting their guests and locals.
Travel Documentation to bring :
You are responsible for ensuring that you have a valid international passport with a minimum 6 (six) months’ validity . It is the sole responsibility of the tour participant to ensure that all passport and visa requirements are met prior departure.
Do I need travel insurance in Morocco? :
Travel insurance should be obtained before leaving your country of origin. We never force anyone to purchase it however. Local hospitals have limited diagnostic capability. Foreign clinics can be expensive, evacuation can cost thousands, luggage can disappear, so insurance is a good idea.
What is Moroccan currency? :
The Moroccan currency called the DIRHAM. Rates vary little between banks, but some banks charge a fee for currency exchanges which can add up to a considerable sum with the smaller denominations Major credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels and all big shops. ATM cards can be used in many cities even in the south. Travelers cheques are not widely accepted in Morocco and they can be difficult to cash or exchange. But only for a very limited amount. Use a money belt for all your valuable papers, checks, passport and credit cards.
Would it be wise to bring some sort of remedy for stomach discomfort? :
Yes. While the food in general and municipal water supplies in Morocco are perfectly safe, one never knows how your body’s system will react to new and unusual foods or different water supplies. Therefore, it is always wise to keep with you some sort of stomach remedy such as Pepto-Bismol, Imodium AD, etc. at all times.
What is the food like? :
In a word, delicious. Salads are lovely; fresh, succulent vegetables served with light vinaigrette on the side. Harira is the Moroccan word for a thick vegetable soup. A particularly delicious one contains a bread dumpling. Main courses are usually one of the following: grilled meat on skewers often served with French fries; couscous, either vegetarian or meat with vegetables; and Tagine, the Moroccan stew, usually meat, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and spices. Moroccan cooks use a mélange of spices such as cumin, turmeric, paprika, saffron and pepper for a subtly flavored cuisine. In the Sahara you can find ‘Berber pizza’. This is a double crusted pie filled with meat, hard boiled eggs, almonds and spices. Sometimes rather peppery, Berber pizza is best eaten with glass after glass of hot, sweet, mint tea.
Every seaport has freshly caught fish prepared by the fishermen on or near the piers. Do not miss this treat! Fresh fruit is served for dessert; pomegranates, melons, bananas, apples, oranges and dates all produced in Morocco and all bursting with flavor. One ongoing benefit of the French occupation are the fresh baguettes available nearly everywhere. Pastries both French and Moroccan are available in the many bakeries.
IS IT SAFE? What about women traveling alone? :
The Hollywood fantasy of the a guttural whisper of “Come wiz me to ze Kasbah” is just that a fantasy. Just as in the west, a person’s demeanor conveys a message. Purposeful, confident behavior does tend to discourage unwanted comments. Some young women who were traveling alone, riding the bus and having a budget of only a few dollars per day for accommodations, said that the harassment consisted of wanting to chat her up, giving her compliments such as telling her how many camels she is worth, or remarking on her beauty.
It wasn’t so much what was said, but the fact that the western women couldn’t have a moment’s peace. When one fellow stopped, another soon took his place. According to these women, the way to avoid unwelcome intrusions on buses etc. is to sit with some older women.
What clothing and special items should I bring? :
Daytime temperatures can be quite warm. You will need comfortable, loose, cool clothing. Evenings can be cool. Bring a jacket or light weight cover up. Most hotel rooms will have air conditioning, but not all. Desert temperatures fluctuate from cold at night to very hot in the day, but you will need to be covered to prevent sunburn. If you are sleeping in a tent, we will provide extra blankets.
Bring sunglasses and head covering. Sunscreen may be purchased once you arrive. Bring comfortable shoes for walking. Moroccans value modesty. Please respect the culture and do not wear clothing that exposes a lot of skin. Long sleeves and long pants or skirts are appropriate for most places you visit. We will visit both of the historical mosques that allow visitors.
How should I behave? :
It is the Clients’ responsibility to ensure that he and the members of his Party do not behave in a way which causes offence or danger to others or which risks damage to property belonging to others. In such circumstances all suppliers (e.g. hotel managers) and the Company have the right to terminate arrangements made on the Clients’ behalf, in which case the Company’s responsibility to the Client ceases immediately. Therefore, the Company will not be liable for any refunds, payment of compensation or reimbursement of any cost or expenses incurred as a result. Further, the Client will be liable to reimburse the Company for any expenses whatsoever that it incurs as a result of such behaviour.
Who should I tip? :
It is customary to tip for good service in Morocco, as you would at home. Tourism is a key pillar in Morocco’s economy, and many people depend on tips to supplement their wages, but you should not feel pressured to tip anyone if you are not satisfied with the service you have received.
Drivers cannot legally act as a guide in the cities i.e. Marrakech and Fes etc. where we hire in local City Guides licensed by the Ministry of Tourism for walking tours. Your driver can however accompany you outside of the vehicle in the countryside i.e. on a tour between Marrakech and Fes. In the desert we hire in a local Camel Guide who best knows how to look after camels and the ways of the desert.
When there is a natural break in a tour i.e. free day(s) in Marrakech or elsewhere with no vehicle and driver, we do not guarantee the same driver after the break. Similarly we do not guarantee the same driver for airport transfers.
Wearing seat belts is compulsory in Morocco and for your safety you should use them. If you choose not to wear them, and the police stop the vehicle, you will be asked to pay the fine in fairness to the driver.
Will my laptop work in Morocco? :
Laptops and electronics from USA or Europe will usually work in Morocco, assuming to have access to an electric plug adapter, European French adapter, this one can be purchased in all major electronics stores.
Will I have internet access in Morocco? :
Internet cafes are widely popular in Morocco, making it easy for visitors to access the internet. Internet Café’s generally open early and close late, and usually charge approximately 3-5 Dirhams per hour. Many hotels also offer wireless access.
How Do I Secure My Booking? :
In order to begin the booking process, Atlas Trekking requires a deposit of 30% from the total amount. Once we have received this deposit, we begin the booking of the hotels and transportation and all tour details.
The remaining balance can be paid to your driver upon pick up from your Hotel/Riad/airport .
How Do You Accept Payment? :
We accept payment by bank transfer. We will provide you all payment information once you decided to secure your booking. If you choose the bank transfer payment method, please note that you will be asked to send us by email a copy of the transfer receipt.
What is included in the tour? :
Tours include lodging, breakfast, lunch & dinner as mentioned in the itinerary, tour transportation in comfortable vehicles, airport transport, all applicable attraction and entry fees, and liability insurance in Morocco. Your tour guide is also your driver, and there are also “official” guides in Fez and Marrakech.
What is Not included in the tour? :
Not included are tips, beverages, lunches & dinners as mentioned in the itinerary, optional excursions, air travel, air travel insurance & tips.