Morocco vacation, central highlights

“Take a couple of weeks to drive or be driven from Marrakech and over the High Atlas Mountains prior to heading for the coast via Morocco's lesser-visited central interior.”

Highlights

Marrakech | High Atlas Mountains | Tichka Pass | traditional kasbahs | Skoura | Dades and Draa valleys | Tizi n'Outfi Pass | Ouzoud waterfalls | Imi n'Ifri natural bridge | Safi | Essaouira |

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Although this is a tailor-made vacation we encourage customers to consider the smaller-scale properties on offer, particularly those with good eco credentials. This includes most riads and the Kasbah Timdaf near Demnate.

During the vacation, where possible, all sightseeing tours include walking between sites to avoid lots of short drives which are most harmful in terms of pollution. We ask all our customers to respect the environment. Litter, in particular, is damaging to the fragile urban and coastal ecosystems and we encourage people to take their litter home. All our trips are tailor made for individuals to minimise the impact of large groups on traditional communities so that interaction can be more personal and respectful.

To ensure the best possible service to our customers we engage services that make as low an impact as possible on the environment and local culture, whilst helping to generate long term employment and benefits for local people. Raising awareness of the culture, politics and economy of areas visited encourages responsible tourism practice and indirectly aides the preservation of the Kingdom's most precious resources. We take our responsibilities to the environment seriously and strive to make improvements where we can; there is always more work to be done but little by little one travels far. We have a policy of always using local suppliers wherever we can, so as to bring as much income to the local area as possible

As a company we employ responsible policies such as recycling paper, ink cartridges, glass and cardboard; we minimise the use of electricity and conducting the vast majority of our correspondence and promotion via the internet and email, minimizing the amount of paper used for our activities. We also compost waste in our company garden.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

All our guides and drivers in Morocco are local people. We believe that it is vital to work with local operators for our tours, firstly as they will be able to offer an insight into the local people and their culture and history; secondly to enable any profits to be ploughed back into the community. We have worked with our local Morocco agency for many years and have a well established and excellent relationship. We firmly believe in paying fairly for their services and that of the guides.

Traveling with one of our excellent English-speaking drivers allows you to experience much more of the country and its people. Your driver will gladly discuss both your daily schedule and general matters about Morocco and the places you pass; he can suggest great places to eat traditional cuisine, bring to your attention projects which help local communities, particularly in rural areas; he will also arrange local guides or co-ordinate any itinerary of pre-booked sightseeing.

All our vacations are based on individuals or a small group - we feel that this offers a more personal experience and therefore minimises the impact. Most of the riads we use are locally owned or are partnerships with a European owner and a Moroccan National. All staff members at these properties are local and all food and materials are sourced locally. Your visit will give you a taste of the incredible hospitality of Morocco as well as contributing indirectly to the local economy.

Local staff are also encouraged to undertake courses as and when applicable. e.g. The Mule Care Initiative Workshops held on the 1st and 2nd March in Imlil, sponsored by Expedition Providers Association & The Donkey Sanctuary.

Through our long term partnerships in Morocco we have been able to support and encourage volunteering for local causes such as conservation projects. For example, the Berber Cultural Center in the village of Imi'n tahnoute, Association des Bassins d’Imlil for the Protection & Sustainable Development of the Valley Populations around Imlil & the Toubkal National Park, Solidarity & Preservation of Cultural Heritage in the village of Demnate. We also facilitated the opportunity for our local staff to support an initiative alongside Elaine Moran, a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Demnate. Elaine has the funding to provide materials to repair and maintain pathways but needs manual labour and transportation for work crew which is where our partner agency can help.

Our partner agency in Morocco regularly donates money to local causes. This is done on a case by case basis and is generally not by making monetary donations to large organisations but more by assisting local people/families at times of need. e.g. providing a sheep to a family who cannot afford one at the time of Eid El Kebir, purchasing flight tickets to enable a student to attend study placement awarded overseas, paying for medical treatment or prescription medication, purchasing clothing for a person to attend interviews and obtain employment, offering temporary accommodation/purchasing meals for the homeless as well as initiatives for staff welfare and contributions to local animal and childrens’ charities.

Climate

1 Reviews of Morocco vacation, central highlights

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 20 Nov 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Traveling over the High Atlas - Tiz-n-tichka pass. The Majorelle (blue) garden in Marrakech (Yves St Laurent). The world's biggest solar thermal energy station (Noor near Ouarzazate). Huge spaces and vistas. Geology ( volcanic and sedementary rocks) eg walking under enormous natural bridge near Demnate

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Morocco is a v big country and we probably travelled too far - even though we had 2 weeks. If we go back we will go in the spring with more flowers and birds to be seen. If you want to go to museums, check carefully whether they are open - because guides do not always tell you. We missed 3 v nice museums which were closed for renovation despite google showing them as open. Our guides clearly knew, but did not pass on this information. Guides add 30% to the cost of any purchase - so go without one. People, apart from guides and stall holders, were friendly, genuine and helpful. Most people spoke English or French so simple communication was seldom a problem, but be very clear about what you want to do and see as the guides/drivers 'know' what tourists like.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I don't think our vacation was carbon neutral. We stayed in 2/7 hotels that claimed to be eco-friendly. One used water treatment and had safe water so avoided use of plastic bottles. We helped local people by employing guides, driver and buying local products.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent generally but sad to see that many parts of Morocco were covered in rubbish - along the roads we travelled. No actions yet about rubbish collection, let alone recycling.

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