Maximize Morocco in 5 Days
After our epic trip to Jordan and Israel, we still had a good 6 days until we had to fly out of Madrid. We decided to be crazy and squeeze in an extra country and check out Morocco while we had the chance! I was hoping 5 days would be enough (it wasn’t), but we definitely maximized our time as best we could. After asking around and researching, we chose Marrakech pretty easily. 5 days would have been fine I think, but flying in and out of Casablanca cost us a lot of train time that could have otherwise been spent further exploring Marrakech by day. For more information about the train, check out my other blog post about how to navigate the train from Casablanca to Marrakech.
We stayed in the Dar Tasnime hotel, which I HIGHLY recommend (we booked through booking.com). I have never stayed in a hotel before that I felt so strongly that I must tell everyone about. It was immaculately clean, so detailed with traditional Moroccon style decor, and the included breakfast was the best traditional Moroccan breakfasts of all the hotels we stayed in! The owner was so thorough and hospitable, welcoming us with delicious mint tea, providing us with a detailed map of the city and recommendations for places to see and eat. We really just wish we spent more time in Marrakech just to hang out with him and eat more breakfast!
In between our stay at Dar Tasnime, we took a 3 day tour that got us to see everything that we really wanted to see. We checked out the legendary Ben Haddou and took pictures and relished in being in the same location as our favorite Game of Thrones characters, we got to take a dip in Tohdra Gorge and explore a traditional Berber village, and BEST OF ALL we camped in the Sahara outside Merzouga. We trekked a full hour long trek out to our campsite on a camel! On the way in we stopped for the sunset, and on the way back we stopped for sunrise. We lucked out with an almost full moon, and since it was so hot we slept on a mattress outside of our tent, under Saharan moonlight. It was perfect. I do highly recommend the tour for seeing all of the sites in record time, but I will warn you that it involves loads of time riding in a van. The van-bus was air conditioned but out there in the Saharan heat, it is hard for any AC to make a difference. The hotel stays were decent with good food.
We booked our tour through igomorocco.com and paid $208 for two for this whole tour. It included the transportation, 2 hotel stays, camping, and breakfast and dinner with each accommodation. We tipped the driver afterward and provided small tips for various tour guides along the way. It was a super affordable and time saving trip for seeing a large area of Morocco.
So Morocco is one of those places that you are going to want to buy everything. From shoes, to perfumes, gemstones and minerals, sunglasses, bags, traditional clothing, teapots and glasses, scarves, argan oil, spices-- you name it, it is there and it is being sold for a great price. It is one of those destinations that you will want to bring an extra duffel bag for bringing home souvenirs. Definitely bargain, you can easily get things down to half price!