Our FAM trip to Morocco was one of the best experiences a travel professional could have. Wanderlust Voyages, expertly created the experience of a lifetime. We traveled across much of the Moroccan landscape and it was beautiful. From snow-covered mountains to forests with monkeys and the dunes of the Sahara, we saw it all. Along the way, we stopped in quaint towns, cosmopolitan cities, nomadic villages and slept overnight on the sands of the Sahara.
Morocco has many surprises to share. First and foremost, the country is heavily influenced by the French. While the official language is Berber, you'll hear locals speaking in French and Arabic. Being an Islamic country, you'll notice women in traditional dress. Clients traveling to Morocco have so much to experience. The adventure lovers can find amazing landscapes to hike, sandboard down the dunes of the Sahara or ride a quad or dune buggy over the dunes. For the wellness traveler, there are spas that provide the ultimate escape. Spend a few nights at the winery, Chateau Roslane. The culinary experience there is over the top. The food is delicious and looks like a work of art. For the luxury traveler, a private riad is in order. Royal Mansour is the perfect place to have some private time in your 3-story riad. If your client loves horses, Selman Marrakech will give them an opportunity to interact with Arabian horses. Schedule a photo shoot if you like. Spend the night in the Sahara in a luxury desert camp. It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Wanderlust Voyages, took extraordinary care of us. It created a level of confidence for every agent on the FAM. The accommodations they selected, the places we visited, the relationships and connections they have in country, make them your best option for Morocco.
Here's a quick recap of where we went and what we saw:
It's more of a commercial hub for Morocco. Once we landed in Casablanca, we stopped to visit the Hassan II Mosque. It's stunningly beautiful and a bit modern, have you ever seen a mosque with escalators? The appeal of the city has always been the movie Casablanca. If your clients would like, they can visit Rick's Cafe, made famous by the movie.
We drove from Casablanca to Rabat where we spent the night at The View. It's a super nice hotel that is technologically forward. It took some getting used to getting an elevator. Aptly named because you'll get some of the best views of the city from the rooftop restaurant. Breakfast here was plentiful with many options. That night we went local and had a traditional Mocorran dinner at Dar Rbatia. It's a hidden gem that shouldn't be missed if you're in Rabat.
The next morning we headed to Meknes to visit Chateau Roslane, a winery, spa and hotel. Suffice to say that when we visited this property, it was our opportunity to unwind. This makes an excellent pre or post stay for clients traveling in Morocco. It's stunningly beautiful. The cuisine is as beautiful as it is delicious. The rooms are quaint, comfortable with spectacular views. We did a wine tasting and most purchased a few bottles of our own to take with us into the Sahara.
I don't think I was sure what to expect when we arrived in Fes. It's a metropolitan, bustling city. We stayed at the beautiful Riad Maison Blue. Riads are amazing places to stay but they are smaller properties. Larger groups will completely take over a riad so book super early if you want this experience. If you want a panoramic view of the medina in Fes, make a stop at Borj Sud. While in Fes, we stopped at the Pottery Factory. Get your checkbook ready. It's hard to go here and not shop. I almost walked out with a $3,000 table. It's a great place to pick up a tagine and other pottery pieces and have them shipped home. All handcrafted.
The Fes Medina is quite the experience. Stay close to your group as it's really busy in there. We stopped at the leather tannery. It's a great place to make a deal and bring home some leather goods.
We traveled all day through various cities until we landed in Rissani for the night before heading to the Sahara. Needless to say, we were all excited about getting our first glimpse of those red dunes! Clients will only need a small overnight bag for the stay in the desert camp. It's not really practical to bring large pieces of luggage over the dunes.
We hunted for fossils, rode quads and dune buggies over the desert dunes and met with a local village who live on the edge of the dunes. Perhaps our most profound moment was spending some time with a nomad family. Seeing their style of life certainly made you rethink your own priorities. After a day of activity, many of us jumped upon our camel and rode into the sunset and the Sahara dunes on an hour trek to our camp. Once we arrived, the bonfire was lit and we were ready to have some fun. After dinner, the music began. Who knew you could have a party in the middle of the Sahara! For those who don't want to ride a camel into the desert, you can take an SUV. If you have clients that don't want to spend the night in the sand, it is possible to stay in a riad or hotel close by and do day treks in. Wanderlust Voyages can provide you with many options.
It's like the Hollywood of Morocco. Many movies were filmed here including the Mummy and Game of Thrones. As we visited the Cinema Museum, we stumbled upon a film crew. They were filming a local Moroccan show. Seeing the actors, the set and props made the day. Two of the actors dressed as guards were kind enough to allow a few of us to sit on the set throne and take pictures with us. Loved it! Quarzazate was so accommodating to us. The people were extremely kind. There's so much to see and do here.
It's the place for the best accommodations, the best cuisine, simply put, it's the best of Morocco. We stayed at Es Saadi Gardens and Resort and were quite comfortable there. Our time in Marrakech was spent touring some of the most amazing hotels like Royal Mansour and Selman Palace. Movenpick was beautiful as well. The Medina in Marrakech is an exhaustive maze of streets, vendors, shops, and people. It's quite easy to get lost, turned around and confused. You'll need a guide to get through. The square is equally as busy. There are lots to see and do.
This trip was nothing short of amazing. The food is fresh and delicious. Oranges are abundant. Every time you can get one, indulge. It's the best orange you'll ever have. Morrocan tea is a staple. Drink it every time it's offered. My favorite was the Moroccan salad. It's not your typical lettuce and tomato thing. Instead, it's a savory variety of vegetables, lentils, potatoes, tomatoes and peppers, eggplant and more. I think many of us thought the salad was the meal and were quite shocked when a full entree followed. Pace yourself. Serving size is large and the food is plentiful.
This is but a small recap of the magic that we experienced. I didn't mention our stop to enjoy the monkeys in the forest or tell you how I almost set my tent on fire in the Sahara (true story). It would take days to share all the details and photos.
Vice President | Agency Education | CCRA