Ahh, Europe: the continent where you could eat pizza in Italy, relax on the beach in France and drink a beer in Germany… all in a day’s work. Unlike Europeans who have the luxury of hopping on a plane for an hour and being in a different country, we Australians must travel huge distances and do a lot of preparation for overseas trips. But once you’re in Europe, short getaways are easy, cheap and the destinations are endless. After enduring the 24-hour journey to Europe, you might as well spread your wings and explore its surroundings a little… after all, you’re already in the neighborhood.
Morocco is the Perfect Complement to a Bigger Europe Trip Why?
Because you’re already there and it’s so close
Did you know that at its closest point, Morocco and Europe are only separated by 14.3km? In fact, on a clear day, you can see Morocco from Spain and can travel there in as little as one hour by ferry. Cheap flights are available from almost all major European cities, and if you book in advance, you can find some real bargains. Some hotels, particularly in Spain, will even let you leave your luggage with them while you visit Morocco, giving you the freedom to take a small bag. This means you can travel light… or fill it with an abundance of bespoke Moroccan goods to bring home. Some of our favourites are genuine rose products, Moroccan hand-made jewelry, leather bags, and colourful, handwoven carpets.
Speaking of shopping, most things are much cheaper in Morocco compared to Europe (although your bargaining skills may influence prices somewhat). The shopping is unique so it can be tempting to buy more than will fit your suitcase. However, you may struggle to find anything similar in Europe, so we say go for it. If you find something extra special, you can easily use an international carrier such as DHL to ship your items back to Australia. Accommodation and cost of living are also considerably less in Morocco unless you want to go lux, in which case prices approach European ones. Aussies in Morocco Tours ™ has listed a range of commonly bought items and their general prices on its FAQ page.
Euros are accepted and people speak English
Because Morocco is so close to Europe, travel there is actually much simpler than you would imagine. Even though the currency is Moroccan Dirhams, Euros are widely accepted and while the official languages are Arabic, Berber, and French, many people also speak Spanish, and increasingly commonly (although not as widely), English.
It’s quite safe – no really
Any worthwhile adventure involves an element of risk. if you didn’t want to take any risks in life, you would never get out of bed! Nevertheless, Morocco is commonly reported as a safe country to travel to, provided you use a little common sense. Making sure you respect local customs, dress modestly, and stay away from drinking tap water is a good start. Of course, your security is further guaranteed if you travel with a guide from a reliable tour operator, especially for women. On top of this, respected guides and drivers can lead you away from dangerous places, offer advice about hidden local gems and inform you about Morocco’s customs and expectations. At Aussies in Morocco Tours™, we handpick our guides/drivers and the first criterion is trustworthiness. If you are interested in finding out more tips on staying safe in Morocco, you can find a more detailed post here.
It’s unique and there’s something for everyone
Do you want to explore the desert, shower under waterfalls, trek through forests or see goats and monkeys in trees? Maybe you would prefer to go shopping in bazaar markets, admire historic architecture, or treat your senses to rainbows of colourful spices. In Morocco, the possibilities are endless. If you are accompanied by our expert guides, these experiences will be greatly enriched through their familiarity and connection with the land.
Let’s say you visit the Erg Chebbi Dunes on one of our tours. Our Berber guide is a leader within his own community and expert of the desert. He knows exactly how to drive you safely through it, where to take you and the secrets behind what makes it so special. He has all the local connections that mean you won’t waste time trekking to attractions, only to be denied entry to – or a photo opportunity of – a place that you had been looking forward to exploring.
Moroccan tourist culture is quite attuned to western sensibilities
Moroccan attitudes to time are different compared to those of western society. The priorities and freneticism of our modern life can be somewhat foreign concepts to many Moroccans. This can be frustrating when western expectations like punctuality, promptness, and accommodation are important to you (sometimes you just need to use a western-style toilet!) Having said that, the desert tourist culture in particular and the Berber guides and drivers who come from that are well attuned to western tourist sensibilities and will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable.
Which tour is right for me?
Australians tend to travel overseas mostly in December, January, April, July, and September. Unless you are visiting Morocco in July, we would recommend one of our standard tours during these months. Because Morocco experiences extremely hot temperatures in July, we suggest you contact us about a bespoke tour that includes the coastal cities of Essaouria which is a former Portuguese port and home to many artists, Agadir which benefits from a year-round Mediterranean climate and the famous fishing village of Sidi Ifni. Another fabulous option is our Moroccan mountain and river tour, especially popular in summer due to the cooler climates at higher altitudes.
The time is now
Life is so short, and the world is only getting smaller. While it still remains very traditional and raw, Morocco isn’t exempt from the inevitable encroachment of modernity. Moroccan tourism is becoming increasingly regulated and the liberties a tourist currently enjoys there, like exploring wilderness areas freely, may not last forever. The time to visit Morocco is now. Book either a standard tour or a bespoke tour with us, and experience the real Morocco before traditional eateries morph into McDonald’s, spices are bought in shopping centers and cars replace camels.