Railway tour of Morocco

“Let the rhythm of the riads guide you on a fascinating train journey from Marrakech to Rabat to Fez with numerous optional activities and excursions to enjoy along the way.”

Highlights

Fez | Marrakech | Rabat | scenic train journeys | Optional activities include: cooking classes, hiking excursions, train rides to Meknes, drives into the High Atlas Mountains and day trips to Essaouira |

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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

Responsible tourism: Railway tour of Morocco

Environment

Naturally, the major benefit to the environment of this tour is the use of trains to get between the main cities on the tour. Morocco has invested a lot in upgrading its railway network to offer low carbon travel for its growing population. Where possible all tours include walking between sites.

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

We ask all our customers to respect the environment. Litter, in particular, is damaging to the fragile urban 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.

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

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.

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 in Marrakech and elsewhere 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.

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.

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.

2 Reviews of Railway tour of Morocco

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 11 Nov 2018 by

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


For me the guided tour around the souk in Fez, for Emily the road trip through the beautiful mountains from Fez to Volubilis.

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


Book guided tours and trips, we gained so much more information and discovered places we would not have found on our own in the time available. Sadly, be prepared for very heavy rain, which we had on Tuesday and Thursday, plus lighter rain on Sunday and Wednesday. On the former two days both our good quality waterproofs and Emily's trainers were completely soaked and we were 'grounded' for the rest of those days drying them and were unable to do any sightseeing in Rabat.

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


Yes, we used local guides, drivers and shops, and tried to eat local produce. We made a point of buying most of our souvenirs in Government or community-supported enterprises, three women's projects and a male apprentice training scheme. When we visited the Marrakech Museum of Water Civilisation our guide had not been there before and learned facts which he would be able to pass on to other tourists.

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


We enjoyed the beauty and history of the country and found local people extremely helpful and friendly. We liked Marrakech and the Riad Manager could not have been more helpful. The evening tagines were delicious! We loved Fez and would like to return. Everything went well except for our time in Rabat, where firstly there was no guide or taxi at the station so we had to hire one; secondly our self-appointed guide to the Riad got lost and had to make three
phone calls to them; eventually we arrived at the Riad Kalaa at the address on our paperwork to be told we were not staying there. We were taken to Riad Kalaa 2, but then told we were not booked in there either. After perhaps half an hour we were taken to Riad Dar Dar where we were made very welcome, a delicious meal prepared and we were helped to dry our clothes. I asked the manager to phone the local agent, Lesley Sanchez to tell her where we were, so that our driver the next morning would arrive on time with our train tickets. However the poor, elderly, man arrived almost 15 minutes late and breathless, having run from Riad Kalaa. However we were in plenty of time for the train and all went well from then on. All guides and drivers were very knowledgeable, spoke good or excellent English and were very friendly and courteous. All vehicles were clean and well-maintained.

Reviewed on 29 Nov 2017 by

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


For us, it was probably being able to stay in the sort of places that brought us into immediate contact with genuine Moroccans! Also the friendliness of the people and experiencing the diametric contrast in culture was great.

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


Obviously the basics like remembering to take your own paracetamol, ammonium(or whatever you use) etc. However I think a main tip whilst you are there .... you will be warned about those who will try to 'fleece' you, take you places and charge for it, etc, BUT - we encountered many who were just wanting to say hello, point us somewhere, steer us clear of a donkey and cart etc. So do not assume that everyone who approaches you is doing so with evil intent! Just be wise. Also, learning a few basic words of Arabic helps things along. If you need a special diet, be very clear about that. For GF people, I would suggest taking your own bread or bread substitute.

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


Hopefully, yes. Our guides were local, the Riads (like a small guesthouse) where we stayed were locally run and staffed. We tended to shop away from any major shopping areas. You get used to bargaining for things and must appreciate that it is part of the culture there.

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


Simply as a really good experience. There were some blips, but these were dealt with helpfully.

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