“A group of 4 friends visiting Morocco for the first time (flying in from U.S.)
We fly in and out of Morocco via Casablanca and have fixed flight dates. We want to have these tours / visit these places: Marrakech, the Dessert tour between Marrakech and Fez (camping), Chefchaouen. We are in our late 20s and take interest in cultural/historical/unique local things. Time is limited so we wanted to make the most out of this trip and have the tours connect as seamlessly as possible. Time saving between places will outweigh any budget concerns. We wish to have everything in Morocco booked and secured in the next couple of days. Discovered this site by chance and hope it is a good find. Thank you.”
Ian Hardie, a local specialist from Morocco, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.
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Trip planning highlights
Lucas's Morocco Tour
Summary of the trip planning conversation
I am very happy to hear that you have stumbled upon us by chance and indeed hope that you find it a good find! I will be very happy to work with you and to develop a tour itinerary that is ideal for yourself and your friends.
My name is Ian and I have been planning and operating tours in Morocco for over 10 years now. It is a vast country, with such a variety of scenery, landscape and culture. Let's see if we can provide you with a great "snapshot" of Morocco in your 6 day time schedule.
It is great is great that you have supplied your list of places, a great selection. However, I am thinking that you might be a day or two short to be able to cover all the places.
Chefchaouen is very pleasant, in the far north (north of Fes). And then the Sahara, at Merzouga, is way to the south.
There is a slight confusion - perhaps it is just me! - in your touring day availability. I see in your email you say arriving in on the 26th December and departing on the 2nd January. Is this correct? I hope so! It would be great if it was as then all your places wished for can be included The kimkim information, however, shows your travel dates as 27th Dec to 1st Jan. i.e. too short time to go to all the places.
If you can kindly confirm that it is the 26th till the second that would be terrific. And, if so, and just to get the ball rolling, hers is a very rough draft of a possible itinerary circuit:-
Day 1: Arrive Casablanca
Day 2: To Chefchaouen
Day 3: To Fes
Day 4: To Merzouga (Sahara)
Day 5: To Ouarzazate:
Day 6: To Marrakech
Day 7: To Casablanca
Day 8: Departure day
If all is correct above, and you like the "circuit", then I can proceed to developing a draft Trip Plan for you with much fuller day by day descriptions.
Kind regards, Ian
Thank you for your reply! It's a pleasure meeting you via email.
Your rough draft of that "circuit" is exactly what I was thinking last night!
After a lot of hours researching and struggling to work out how to get around between places I found it challenging to do the reversed circuit: Casablanca - Marrakech (entering a 3 day desert tour the next day) - ending tour in Fez - then 3.5hrs to Chefchaouen, then we would struggle to find a return transport to Casablanca late at night to catch morning flight back home.
I like your version of the "circuit". Thanks.
A couple of questions for the trip, appreciate it if you could give us an idea:
1. Is it going to be a guided tour with transport for the whole tour?
2. If so what type of vehicle would be available?
3. How would accommodations be arranged?
4. Does your company provide vehicles, guides etc or do you use 3rd party local partners?
Again it is a pleasure connecting with you. Hope to hear back from you soon!
Thank you very much for your upbeat and positive email, very uplifting. I am delighted to hear that we solved you "circuit sequencing" challenge.
Regarding your questions:-
1. You will have a private vehicle and driver. He will give good, general information as you travel between places and provide practical help too. Ask him lots of questions. It will be the same driver on your tour. But you can have included a half day/whole day Guide in particular cities for a fuller depth explication.
2. It will be a Toyota Landcruiser, most likely.
3. We book accommodations in advance for you for the whole tour, on half board basis (evening meal and breakfast; no lunch - although it can be added). Let us know if you want 3*, 4* or 5* Also, in Merzouga, you have the option of a night in a Bedouin tent.
4. We do not have vehicles nor our own Guides (for your travelling sort of tour; we have our own Guides for trekking groups). But we use a Marrakech transport company very well known to us and highly trusted by us. And again, we have a network of connections should we need to book a Guide in, say, Fes, for half a day.
I hope that all of the above is reassuring and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Kind regards, Ian
Hi Ian, I am very pleasantly surprised about how quickly you responded to my inquiries - that was unbeatable!
Everything so far sounds good. For accommodations we would like to have 4*-5* depending on value and of course availability.
and Yes! We definitely would like to stay a night in the famous Bedouin tents in Merzouga. I understand there is a camel ride in a typical desert tour too, is that correct?
I'm keen to learn about the more detailed trip plan you talked about in your first email - would you be able to develop this for me?
I think that will help me and my friends to agree on the trip plan.
I have another question on the local transport - does the driver speak fluent English? If there is something I need to talk to an Anzal Tour representative during the tour, who would I call?
If the driver can't double as tour guide then I think for some parts of our trip we would like to have it properly guided - would you help to make some recommendations?
Last, but apparently not least, would you give me a quote based on your developed trip plan?
Thank you and look forward to continuing this talk in detail!
We (a group of 4) started planning our Morocco trip almost too late - by first week of December we were still discussing whether Morocco is our destination for 2017's Christmas - New Year break.
I was elected to be in charge of planning this trip.
We only have 7-8 days but we don't want to miss a thing in Morocco - eventually I was sitting there scratching my head looking at a list of 7 different cities/places and trying to weaver them together with almost no knowledge of how to get around when we get there.
So I made a decision of entrusting the entire trip to an agency.
I contacted two agencies (both N. America based) and got their fee proposals. The prices were exorbitant. I also found some Morocco based tours but they lacked the flexibility we needed.
Here's what we wanted to do:
Casablanca - Chefchaouen - Fes - Merzouga (camel ride and sleeping under the stars!) - Ouarzazate - Marrakech - Casablanca.
That's nearly 2000km.
Eventually I stumbled upon KimKim and gave it a try. Ian Hardie replied my message in under an hour and then we started talking. In the next 3-4 days we exchanged at least 20 messages discussing every detail of the trip. Ian was extremely helpful. He had extensive knowledge about the places we plan to go and what to be expected. He was always very patient and willing to accommodate our many requests. His partner in Morocco - Larbie Anzal - was helping us to book accommodations and arranging transportation. I knew I could trust these good people and the results proved me right.
It was almost a mission impossible to plan and execute such an intensive trip in such a short timeframe but we did it.
The trip in Morocco was very memorable. I'd even say it is one of the best trips I've had in my life.
Youssef our driver was a great guy who was always passionate to show us anything and everything about his country. He also stepped up and defended us when a local cafe vendor attempted to overcharge our espressos. But trust me we loved almost every encounter with Moroccan people. They were very welcoming and kind.
Youssef had a copy of our trip plan and it was executed in the best way possible. By comparison some friends of mine visited Morocco last year and they decided to be on their own - and had a lot of difficulties moving around trying to take a combination of trains, grand taxis and other means of transport. I did just that in Czech, Austria, Slovakia etc last year - in central Europe it was doable. In Morocco however, especially when you have a tight schedule and are planning on visiting the Sahara, having an exclusive car and driver is your best bet. My advise to people who are planning this trip: talk to Ian, and ask for Youssef to be your driver and trustworthy travel companion - you will find your trip extremely pleasant, easy, comfortable and hustle-free.
My friends just told me that their coworkers and friends who've been to Morocco were all surprised how efficiently we were able to visit so many places in 7 days and yet were still able to have a very enjoyable trip. My friends gave me tonnes of thanks and compliments for making this happen - I'd like to pass them on to Ian Hardie, Larbie Anzal and our driver Youssef. Without them our trip may not even be possible, let alone being awesome.
I won't hesitate to recommend Ian and Larbie to anyone who's planning their next trip to Morocco. You won't regret it.
There are so much about this trip and about planning for this trip that I wanted to write here and share with everyone, only if I had more time. Maybe some other day I'll come back and add more details to it.
Now I have to go back to the endless hardwork of sorting my 5000+ photos taken on this trip...hope I can finish before next trip starts.