Before departure to Morocco

L ‘equipment

Comfortable good walking shoes, sleeping bag, rather sporty or loose and comfortable clothes, sweaters and anoraks: the temperature differences between day and night can be important, especially in winter (November, December, January).

Headgear: the chèche (turban), ideal to protect your head, neck and shoulders from the sun, but also sandstorms or a hat, hat or scarf.

Flashlight (or front), wet wipes, sunglasses, Swiss knife (attention in the plane, to be put in the hold !), matches, and personal pharmacy.

 Weather

 The best time to travel is from September to April. In the summer, the climate is very hot and dry. from November to February, you should take winter clothes, a good duveté jacket, and a good sleeping bag because nights can be very cold even if the temperatures during the day are very pleasant.

temperature table in degrees Celsius at Zagora and Ouarzazate:

Ouarzazate Zagora
January 17.3 21.2
February 19.7 22.9
mars 23 26
April 26.9 30.2
m=May 30.8 34.5
June 36 39.8
July 39.4 43.6
August 38.4 42.5
sept 33.3 36.4
october 27 30.6
november 21.4 25.5
december 16.7 21.1

 L’eau :

water is drinkable in most cities but we recommend you drink bottled mineral water or bring micropur tablets.

The amount of mineral water is controlled at the departure of the caravans in Zagora by the staff of Karim Sahara Services.

Generally, 1.5 to 3 litres of water per person per day is required from November to February and 3 to 5 litres per day for the rest of the year.

Nomadic tea : the best way to fight against dehydration and thirst, it will be offered by our guide throughout the stay in the desert. Its beneficial effect is superior to that of mineral water. Feel free to drink it when it’s available

 Passeport
A valid passport valid for at least three months after the date of entry into moroccan territory is necessary. Now, minors must also have an individual passport, regardless of age. However, if your child is under 15 years of age and your passport was issued before June 12, 2006, this registration is valid.

Visa
No visa is required for nationals from Europe and America, for a stay of less than three months. However, check with the Moroccan consulate in your country of residence.

Health
The main problem in Morocco is related to the consumption of water or vegetables. It will take a few days to adjust your body, but this time often corresponds to the time of your trip ! Always be careful what you drink or eat. If you are staying in a hotel, it is best to drink bottled water by requiring that the bottle be opened in front of you. If you are going on a trek, your pharmacy can provide you with water-purifying tablets to put in your bottles.

Moroccan pharmacists are competent and well supplied with medicines, do not hesitate to take advice from them. If you have a serious problem, contact the embassy for advice on a suitable treatment center.

Take with you : antiseptics, fevers and headaches tablets, sunscreen, insecticide, medicine for stomach problems and dehydration, especially if you are going to the south of the country.

Medicines: (aspirin, bandages, bandages, disinfectant, antibiotics, anti-diarrheal, laxatives, serum, mosquito repellent, sun protection, cocoa butter) as well as medicines specific to your particular treatments.
Vaccins
Vaccination certificates are not required for travellers from Europe and the Americas. If you go to a big tourist town like Agadir, Rabat or Casablanca, you have very little chance of getting sick, hygiene being relatively good.

For travel across the country, it is best to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, cholera, tetanus and typhoid fever. This is only a precaution because these diseases are very rare. Plan your vaccinations several weeks before departure.

Luggage
For clothing, know that the nights are cool in the desert and in the mountains. Make sure to adapt your style of clothing to the place you are going : cleavages, dresses and short skirts are possible in a seaside hotel, but certainly not in very conservative villages.

Douanes
Customs requirements: adults can import 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 400 g of tobacco, one litre of wine and one litre of strong alcohol. It is forbidden to import or export dirhams, the national currency. Remember to change only what is necessary.

Insurance

Before leaving, it may be wise to purchase insurance to cover repatriation and medical expenses in case of problems. Some bank cards include repatriation insurance. Check with your bank. You can also purchase your plane ticket with insurance.

Clothing tips
Wear light clothing and a sweater for spring, summer and fall evenings. In winter, mid-season clothes and warm jacket are required. Shorts and miniskirts should be avoided. A hat can be useful. If you are travelling in or south of Morocco, bring light clothing for the day and warm clothing for the night. It is advisable to avoid wearing anything bold or that could be considered provocative.

How to get there

Morocco is very close to Europe. Only 14 kilometres separate it from Spain by the Strait of Gibraltar. You can therefore travel to Morocco by any means possible and imaginable.

By plane :
Morocco has 12 international airports: Agadir, Al Hoceima, Casablanca, Dakhla, Fes, Laayoune, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Oujda, Rabat-Salé, Tangier and Tetouan.

By car, train and boat:
To drive to Morocco, direction Algeciras in Spain. Car, motorbike, coach or sleeper train takes you there. Then cross the strait of Gibraltar by car ferry to Tangier (2h30) or Ceuta (1h30). Also, departure from Sète (France) to Tanger (the trip takes 36 hours) and from Almeria to Nador or Melilla

ONCE THERE

The currency
The currency of Morocco is the dirham (MAD) which is divided into 100 cents. As a precaution, only go to authorized banks or institutions that will issue you an essential voucher to convert, at the end of your stay, your dirhams into currency of your country. Banks and major cities have cash dispensers, so you can get cash with your credit card. The approximate price of euro / dirham 1 Dirham = € 0.0885 1= 11.20 Moroccan Dirhams (MAD)

Customs
Morocco is an Islamic country. Religious traditions and Customs must be respected. Mosques are forbidden to non-Muslims except the Great Mosque of Casablanca. Do not discuss matters of a political or religious nature. Don’t criticize the king or the royal family. Clothing should be sober (pants and skirts below the knee for women). No topless sunbathing at the beach, nudism is forbidden. If your host is taking off his shoes, you should do the same. Moroccans are friendly and sociable. A few words in Arabic will earn you astonished smiles and extra attentions. The practice of tips is widespread in Morocco, think to protect yourself from coins. In restaurants, the rule is 10%. Don’t forget hotel and train doormen, toilet guards, taxi drivers, museum guards, parking guards, etc.

Holidays
Two calendars are used: the Gregorian calendar of 365 days and the Muslim lunar calendar of 354 days. Depending on their nature, public holidays are set on either one. The holy month of ramadan follows the muslim calendar. Here are some official non-religious festivals with fixed dates:

  • 1 January : New Year’s day
  • 1 may: Labour Day
  • 9 July:Youth Day
  • 30 July: Feast of the throne (coronation of Mohammed VI))
  • 14 August : Reunification Oued Eddahab
  • 20 August : Anniversary of the revolution of the King and the people
  • 6 november: Green March festival
  • 18 november: Independence Day

No entry

Access to the prayer hall of Moroccan mosques is forbidden to non-Muslims. However, you can have a look inside the most remarkable religious buildings, including the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, The Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat and the Moulay Ismail shrine in Meknes.

Opening hours

Most offices open from 8: 30 a.m. to 12: 00 p.m. and from 2: 30 p.m. to 6: 30 p.m., with a longer break on Friday for the noon prayer. In the new towns, shops usually close from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. museums have variable hours, but there is no time limit.generally they close for lunch break.

Car rental

Rental companies fight over customers. The age required to rent a car is 21, sometimes 25. The most convenient method of payment is the credit card, which will save you from advancing a large deposit. Some companies accept the pick-up and delivery of the car in different cities.

Medias
Moroccan daily newspapers appear in Arabic, French and Spanish. You’ll find them in the big cities. Moroccan television broadcasts in Arabic and French. Hotels often relay French, Italian, German and English programmes via satellite.

Photographie
It is forbidden to photograph military zones, ports and airports and some museums. Before taking a picture of a person, don’t forget to ask their opinion. You will find pictures in cities and resorts if you use a silver camera, but stocks sometimes suffer from heat and light.

Security
Morocco is perhaps the safest country on the African continent in terms of security. The Moroccan authorities have made a lot of efforts to secure and supervise tourism in the country with a clear concern to pull quality up. A special tourism police force has therefore been created.

Theft has declined sharply in a few years, but do not expose your valuables ostentatiously, hang your bags and cameras well when there are crowds. In the hotel, keep your room tightly closed and do not leave valuables visible.

Some basic tips : don’t try the devil by showing off bundles of bills or wearing showy jewels. Your valuables will find their place in the hotel safe. Watch out for pickpockets in the crowded markets and train stations.

The safety of people is not a major problem. However, avoid very poor neighbourhoods, especially if you are alone. Likewise, do not get lost in the alleys of the medinas in the night, especially in Tangier.

Police
The municipal police regulate traffic and inform tourists with kindness and helpfulness. National Security combats urban crime and monitors major roads. The gendarmerie, which is responsible for security, can also set up roadblocks in areas at risk. In case of an emergency, call 19 or 112 from your mobile in all parts of the country.

Emergency numbers

Police: dial 19 from a landline phone, 112 from your mobile

Gendarmerie (out of town): 177

Firefighter : 15

Post and telecommunications

Coin and card phones are available at train and bus stations, cafes and other public places. You can also call from your hotel. Mobile phone networks work well in major cities and tourist areas.

For your mail, you will find postage stamps in post offices and kiosks. To speed up the delivery of your mail, use post office mailboxes. Attention to the schedules of the post offices: from Monday to Saturday from 08: 30 to 14: 00.

Telephone dialing

To call Morocco

  • To a fixed phone: dial + 212 5 followed by 8 digits
  • To a mobile phone: dial + 212 6 followed by 8 digits

To call from Morocco

  • To a fixed phone: dial 0 5 followed by 8 digits
  • To a mobile phone: dial 0 6 followed by 8 digits
  • More information on the site of Maroc Telecom

Local time

Morocco lives all year round at GMT, one hour less than Paris in winter and two hours less in summer.

Toilet
If you can, choose the restrooms in luxury hotels. Public washrooms are available at airports, train stations, restaurants and cafes. Discerning travellers will take their toilet paper with them.

Voltage
The 220 V is the standard, installed in hotels. However, some cities are still equipped with 110 V.

TRANSPORT AND TRAFFIC

Road traffic

The general state of roads is good in Morocco, the motorway network is expanding, around major cities like Casablanca. However, driving habits prevent you from letting go of your attention. Speed is limited to 40 km / h in the city and 100 km / h on the road.

The signage is bilingual Arabic-French. The main roads have pleasant, shaded rest areas. You will find many petrol stations in the city and in the suburbs, but don’t forget to fill up before any excursion in the desert.

In the interior of the country, weather conditions are a source of danger. In the mountains and in the desert, snow drifts can block mountain roads from November to April. In heavy rain, roads can be flooded. Attention to persons travelling without special signs, cattle who can use the road around a turn.

Luxury air-conditioned buses travel between major cities; regional buses are slower and less comfortable.

Train
All major Moroccan cities are served by train. The busiest network is the High-Speed Shuttle Trains between Casablanca and Rabat. The main lines of the country depart from Casablanca.

Bus
The companies CTM and Supratours the subsidiary of ONCF (the National Railway Office) provide connections between most cities and towns in the country. In the bus stations, there are also private buses provide regular trips between cities.

Taxis
Big cities have their classic taxis. There are other types of taxis in Morocco. The “great taxis” go from one city to another. Small taxis, with rooftop gallery, take one to three passengers for urban trips. For longer distances or excursions, the large group taxi is a solution, it is usually spacious, but do not forget to negotiate the price of the race.

Airport
The main airport of Morocco is Casablanca, Mohammed V Airport. second in importance, Agadir airport also provides direct connections with several European capitals, such as those of Rabat, Marrakech, Tangier and Ouarzazate. Royal Air Maroc’s domestic flights connect towns and cities to the south of the country.

IN CASE OF PROBLEMS

If you are not satisfied
If you think you’ve been tricked by a Salesman in a souk, it’s unfortunately too late to recover anything. The best is to negotiate beforehand the price of a good or a service, the negotiation is part of the Moroccan culture. The price initially charged is therefore often too high, it is the norm. In hotels and restaurants, ask to speak to the manager if you are not satisfied with the service.

The harassment of the faux-guides

A sign warns you in most tourist offices : unapproved guides or uncontrolled elements will probably offer you city tours, and it is strongly advised not to use their services. These “fake guides” are a real problem on all tourist sites. Refuse their services with a smile. Most of the time, they just want to take you to merchants where they will receive a commission in case of sale. Stand firm and give them a minimum of attention. If they don’t give up, let them know you’re not buying anything. If you are lost in a souk, ask a child to bring you back.

The Ministry of Tourism has planned to organize patrols to contain the non-certified fallers and other guides. These patrols will assist tourists, especially in imperial cities.

Junkies
Morocco is experiencing a paradoxical situation with regard to cannabis. A historical privilege allows the Rif region to cultivate it, but it is strictly forbidden to sell, buy or consume it throughout the country. Even by taste of experience, do not buy cannabis on the street : some traffickers are known to also be informants, and penalties can be considerable. And don’t try to cross borders with canabis, the risks are real and important.

Medical problem on the spot
The most common health problems are diarrhea, respiratory infections, and skin diseases. Some insects can transmit diseases that can develop after returning. In addition, insect bites can become superinfected, and you will have to be careful of the small bobs. The best way to do it is to dress properly. Do not hesitate to ask a pharmacist for advice and in case of serious problems, contact your embassy.

Distances between cities

Find the distance in kilometers between the main cities of Morocco: Agadir, Casablanca, Essaouira, Fez, Marrakech, Meknès, Ouarzazate, Oujda, Rabat, Tanger, Tetouan.

Agadir
Casablanca 530
Essaouira 190 350
Fez 780 250 660
Marrakech 260 240 175 485
Meknes 730 200 550 50 460
Ouarzazate 400 440 375 590 200 590
Oujda 1125 595 945 345 820 390 860
Rabat 600 70 420 180 310 130 510 520
Tangier 880 355 705 345 600 270 800 685 280
Tetouan 890 370 720 275 760 260 865 570 300 60
Agadir Casablanca Essaouira Fez Marrakech Meknes Ouarzazate Oujda Rabat Tangier Tétouan